Monday, April 25, 2016
Thursday, April 21, 2016
But the facts are clear, "In 2006 some 30 million Americans were golfers. In 2013, 160 of the country’s 14,600 golf facilities closed, the 8th consecutive year of net closures. The number of players has fallen to around 25 million." (Source The Economist )
Often cited are cost, time, the effort it takes to be reasonably effective at the sport; oh and the rules. Again from The Economist sourced above: Golf's "200-page rulebook make(s) it a tough sell to new players". More about the rules shortly.
I'm very fortunate to live on a golf course, in fact I grew up on a golf course, worked weekends and summers in High School on a golf course. I've played some of the greatest courses in the world and some not so great dog tracks. But the truth is I am really bad at playing golf. A life time double digit handicapper who has great rounds with a game that's in sync and embarrassing rounds that make my partners cringe when its not.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The request is for $11.8 million for fire to add 82 positions, including firefighters for another engine in east Charlotte, and $19 million for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to hire 125 more officers and 80 staff positions.
On Monday, a council budget committee looked over four options: cutting about 6 percent from department budgets, a freeze on pay raises for city employees, moving money set aside for capital projects and a 2.7 percent property tax increase, which translates to the owner of a median-price home worth $141,100 paying $18.62 more a year.
“We're trying to do it without raising taxes. That's another priority for us, but we want to see what it would look like," said Councilman Greg Phipps, who chairs City Council's budget committee.
City Council has not settled on which avenue it will take as the budget process continues. A budget is expected to be approved in June.
Monday, April 11, 2016
But the tail strike due to wind shear is notable because of the fatal July 2,1994 USAir Flight 1016 wind shear related accident at CDIA that killed 37 of 52 passengers. The flight crew encountered wind shear just prior to crossing the airport fence and tried to aboard the landing.
The accident was the high water mark in a series of wind shear accidents during the 1990's that prompted measures to eliminate the risk via technology and pilot training.
But apparently Charlotte and American aren't doing enough to avoid accidents attributed to wind shear.
More about the 1994 USAir accident here:
Every pilot knows the best aviation weather is often early in the day. This has been a fact since the Wright Brothers flew at Kill Devil Hills more than 100 years ago. In the real world people who take that first flight out in the morning are considerably less likely to be delayed by bad weather even more so in the summer.
Its tough being the passenger sitting behind the closed door. I am not a nervous passenger but based on some recent data, chances are I've got far more flight time than the guy or girl sitting in the right seat. I always feel better when the left seat has a lot of gray on his head.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Sure hope he enjoys his ride on the politically correct band wagon.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Spike | To reject a story. The term derives from the metal spindles which pierced unwanted submissions.
Wires | News agency reports.
Leg | A column of text.
Screamer | A sensational banner headline.
Bulldog edition | An early printing.
Jump | When a story continues on a different page.
Above the fold | A story placed at the top of a broadsheet which can, therefore, be seen even when the paper is folded.
Lede | The paper’s main story, or an article’s opening salvo. To bury the lede is to hide a story’s most interesting facts in the body of the article.
I miss the roll of the old presses, slow and purposeful at first then faster and faster til the sound was deafening. It was if they were printing money on newsprint.
So I raise a pint to those who read this, those who at one time or another knew what the word deadline meant, and those who felt the floor of 600 South Tryon vibrate, those to who the sound of presses running balls to the walls was amazing. And "Cheers" to anyone who ever felt the joy of seeing their work above the fold in color without any bleed.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
The hede screams pervy old man. But do the math, the perp was 17 when he hooked up with college student online and it went to dirt really fast. But seriously what is wrong with kids? Why is a 22 year old college woman having video sex with someone she didn't really know?
Pennsylvania Man Sentenced for Cyberstalking and “Sextorting” Massachusetts College Student
James F. Connor V, 20, of West Chester, Penn., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to time served, three years of supervised release, the first 10 months to be served in home confinement, a $5,000 fine and 500 hours of community served. In January 2016, Connor pleaded guilty to one count of cyberstalking and one count of extortion.
In 2012, Connor and the victim met through social media and developed an online relationship. In the course of that relationship, the victim sent Connor naked pictures of herself through Snapchat and engaged in sexually explicit video chats with him using FaceTime. Connor preserved many of these images without her consent. After the relationship ended, Connor attempted to continue communications with the victim and initiated a campaign of harassment and intimidation. He threatened to harm her physically and harm her reputation by publicly disseminating the sexually explicit images. Connor also repeatedly threatened to commit suicide if the victim did not take his calls, and sent her pictures of himself holding a knife to his throat with blood, which was later determined to be fake, dripping down his neck.
In September 2015, Connor escalated his campaign of harassment when he began blackmailing the victim and threatening to send the sexually explicit images to her parents and Twitter followers if she did not send additional naked pictures and engage in sexually explicit video chats with him. As part of Connor’s cyberstalking and sextortion campaign, he sent the victim a detailed list of sexual demands, which included, among other things, that she send him five sexually explicit pictures and have five sexually explicit video chat sessions per week over a five week period. Connor also insisted that she break up with her current boyfriend.
Connor frequently employed a telephone and text message spoofing, or anonymizing, application that allows users to easily change telephone numbers to conceal their identity. In October 2015, Connor was arrested and charged via criminal complaint after the victim reported the threats and prior pattern of harassment to law enforcement authorities.
Monday, April 4, 2016
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
That source told us the matter involves Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan and his future with the fire department, but couldn't go into further detail.
This comes after some council members have raised questions and requested an investigation into who leaked a confidential city memo.
As Channel 9 has investigated over the past few weeks, the memo was from City Manager Ron Carlee and was written to the vice president of the Firefighters' Union, Marty Puckett, telling Puckett he could no longer work for Councilwoman Claire Fallon as an intern. In the memo, Carlee said the arrangement was inappropriate and a conflict of interest.
We don't know if Monday's closed session is related to this leaked memo.We also do not know what time this meeting will be held. The only meeting posted on city council's website is its regular Monday meeting, starting at 5 p.m. and a council committee meeting at noon.
There is no mention of a closed session, or anything related to the fire department, in the agenda.
We have reached out to the Charlotte city fire chief, mayor, city manager, deputy city manager, and members of the city council for more information on this special session.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Monday, March 14, 2016
To all Yankee transplants please have pity on your friends and family left behind up north as they slog through another early spring snow storm, because winter down South is over. Hint you don't need that Canada Parka anymore and wearing gloves when the temps are above 55 make you look like a B&E suspect.
The Great Smoke Out - To commuters heading down Providence Road a familiar rite of Spring will occur this Thursday when Providence United Methodist Church, Troop 11 once again fires up the cookers, holding their annual "smoke out" on Providence Road.
There is just something crazy fun about 11 smokers lined up along Providence Road impairing visibility that says Spring.
Friday and Saturday are pick-up days to stop by and pick great tasting Que. They will be open 11 am - 8 pm on Friday, and 8 am - Noon on Saturday.
They do sell curbside on Friday and Saturday but if you don't want to be turned away empty handed, its best to order on line. You can order ahead and reserve your supply of BBQ on their web site which is here.
The deadline to order on line is Today at Noon.
Cedar's Take: I forgot to order by noon but the online system let me order at 12:15 yesterday so you might just give it a try.
Where there is Smoke there's Marty Puckett - Last Thursday Charlotte Fire Captain Marty Puckett was called to a disciplinary hearing regarding his off duty working relationship with outspoken Charlotte City Council member Claire Fallon. At issue is Puckett's volunteerism helping the department's most vocal critic. Let's be very clear, this is a overtly and in your face attack against Claire Fallon.
City Manager and resident DB Ron Carlee, claims it is against city policy and he cites a number of wacky reasons as to why. But look around, we have CMPD Officers doing off duty work for elected officials all the time. CMPD command staff who moonlight as real estate agents selling homes and leasing rental properties to the former chief and current officers. Fire Department Information Officers who are married to a former city attorney and the list goes on and on.
The renewed threat of being fired is of course a direct result of a letter sent by Puckett on behalf of Fallon that in part called for the firing of Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan.
Hannan has be plagued by issues including his passion for antique apparatus, cost over runs and safety issues at the new department headquarters and of course the Crystal Eschert firing. The last item may be the Chief's undoing since the North Carolina Department of Labor has found merit in Eschert's claim that she was fired as retaliation for being a whistle blower.
No word on the outcome of Puckett's hearing that took place on Thursday. The hearing was closed to the public. But Puckett posted a photo to his Facebook account dressed smartly in a business suit.
March Madness - UNC is a number one seed, USC and Davidson didn't make the cut. There was hope for the Gamecocks but sloppy play got the best of them. The ACC again dominates the brackets.
The Masters - Master's week in just around the Amen Corner. Note the aforementioned Yankees. It closer than you think and yes you can just show up and buy a practice round ticket with ease on Monday or Tuesday. And yes it is a religious experience.
Palm Sunday - Not a Church kinda person? That's ok suck it up anyways Palm Sunday is for the kids, grab the family and go.
Easter - Nothing better than a sunrise service on Easter Sunday GO! CP will have a list later in the week.
Carolina Cup - This is old school Carolina rite of Spring Sun Dresses and Rain often make this event just as much fun as wonderful sunny days. Forget the Queens Cup, Camden is 1/2 and twice the crowd. Confederate flags wave and beer flows and oh yes there are a couple of horse races.
Friday, March 11, 2016
As the weeks have clicked by details seem to seep out like polluted water from a Duke Energy Ash Pond.
This Friday morning John Autry who is running for the state representative job in district 100 got a little testy when I linked him to the Cintra Mobility Partners deal because of his yes vote.
Speaking of dumb asses. My Grandfather said it best. "Its OK to hire a lazy smart man, or a hard working dumb man. But God help you if you ever hire an energetic dumb ass." Ditto for sending politicians to Raleigh.
Cedar's Take: It is the people who live in the Lake Norman area and work in Charlotte who are to blame for the daily traffic nightmare. Therefore, they should step up and pay for the extra lanes that are need to handle the increased traffic flow.
This has always been and still is my thought on the issue. I'm also convinced that Charlotte and North Carolina are hunt by the twice daily grid lock. The entire state economy grinds to halt because of the traffic. Its is costly and prevents growth.
The developers have long since departed, made their money grabbed their carpet bags and headed home.
But the managed lane concept is a failure. I've seen an example of this in Atlanta and the bankruptcy of Cintra's subsidiary in Texas is the hand writing on the wall.
In Atlanta people refuse to use the high priced lanes, and the PeachPass entity controlled by Cintra refuses lower the price to expand usage because their model and matrix suggest raising the prices instead. Its all counter intuitive.
But the fact is at peak drive time the lanes are empty. In other words people see it as pay to drive but you can park for free program.
Here's the problem with the VIP Lane concept, Cintra thinks that a certain percentage of the public makes enough income to pay for the privilege of riding the "special" lanes. But that concept is about as useful as the airlines first class section. Most of us would love to ride in first class but when the price is triple or even double we'll just suck it up.
But its not just the working class, even the well off crowd avoid the lanes in Atlanta. The bottom line is just because a man can afford a $100 hamburger doesn't mean he'll ever buy one.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
- Classic 1970's song from the Five Man Electrical Band
You might remember a plea from Center City Partners, CRVA, Arts and Sciences Council and their ilk, begging for a change that allowed banners aka "Billboards" to be placed Uptown if they promoted a event of civic interest.
Occasional promotions for Discovery Place, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Blumenthal Preforming Arts Center, and the Charlotte Symphony type signs.
This massive billboard on 4th street once held a strikingly similar image promoting Le Miserables.
Charlotte City Staffers, claim the banner on 4th Street is "art" but Cedar Posts thinks otherwise. What it is; is a clever way to address consumer's main complaint about prior iPhone cameras having terrible picture quality.
The huge 3 story tall photo, includes the footnote "Shot On iPhone 6"
There's a money trail there somewhere. Somebody got paid to promote Apple's iPhone.
Cedar Bonus: As the election season moves into high gear it is fun to note that Charlotte politicians must post a "performance bond" to insure that they remove all campaign signs within a week after the election.
Care to guess how much they forfeit if they don't comply?
No it's $50.00
Yep just 50 bucks which explains why city workers end up clearing the right-of-ways of campaign signs.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
You hate them. Yes, we all hate them, special interests groups, lobbyists and their back room good ole boy dealings. Yep hate em, Political Action Committees, power brokers and their ilk.
But did you know Mecklenburg County just flushed nearly 400k down the drain to hire two professional lobbyists to represent the county's interests in Washington and Raleigh?
Your tax dollars just hired two carpet baggers to do the job we elect our state representatives and members of our U.S. congress to do.
Straight from your county manager:
County Selects State and Federal Lobbying Firms
We have completed the selection process for our state and federal lobbying firms. This was done through a competitive RFP process which included face to face interviews with all finalists. After evaluating the submissions and the in-person presentations, the contract for state lobbying services was awarded to Ken Melton and Associates. The federal lobbying contract was awarded Smith, Dawson and Andrews, Inc.
Ken Melton and Associates is a North Carolina-based lobbying and governmental affairs consulting firm. Ken Melton, principal and chief lobbyist, has been ranked numerous times by the NC Center for Public Policy Research as one of the state’s top 50 lobbyists from a list of nearly 800 registered lobbyists. Ken brings a proven track record of being able to work equally effective with members of both political parties.
Smith, Dawson and Andrews is based in Washington D.C. and has provided governmental relations services since 1981. The firm not only offers traditional services related to legislative lobbying, they also have demonstrated significant success in identifying and securing federal grant funding for local projects. This additional capacity is intended to enhance our ability to access new revenue streams for the Board’s priorities.
Once the contracting process is completed, I will be scheduling a time for each of these firms to meet with the Board and to discuss our strategies for the upcoming legislative session.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Monday, February 29, 2016
Unlike most of us searching "Tinder' and swiping right or left, this guy was apparently using NCIC as his personal match.com with some limited success.
The "MO" was simple enough, see a hot chick and use NCIC to track her down. But it didn't end there, because this creative genius used the NCIC information to eventually turn up her cell phone number.
If the scuttlebutt is correct, the officer would then escalate the stalking with unsolicited text messages and sending photos of his "alert" brain.
It all came to a sudden end when the victim's husband saw the photos and determined that the sender was a CMPD Officer.
Rumor has it that the subject is currently on administrative leave pending the completion of IA's review.
CP Update: Running this through a couple of back channels and I get the feeling it's dead on. Bonus seems the officer in question volunteered his phone for review and a couple of IA guys area winshingnthey can us see most of the photos.
CIAA - Well all good things must come to an end and so did the CIAA tournament. But not before these 3 stooges decided to shoot up a Mercedes Benz limo bus and the lobby of the Hyatt Uptown.
Oscar's So White: The Black Lives Matter offshoot #OscarsSoWhite boycott fizzled as the only two notable stars absent Will Smith and Spike Lee spent the evening watching Non-Oscar winning films starring black actors in non-comedy roles as Jada Pinkett Smith tried to figure out how long to cook the Jeno's Pizza Rolls in a microwave.
Later Will Smith took a nap with his dog.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
The usual MO; a trio of "brothers" got disrespected and decided to shoot up an SUV and a $70,000 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van, and the entrance to the Hyatt Hotel.
It didn't take long before the 3 stooges were arrested, one after a short foot chase that ended just the other side of Tryon Street.
CMPD is as usual downplaying the seriousness of the shooting, reminding everyone that this is after all CIAA weekend and the shooters as we as the reported victims where in Charlotte for the event.
Cedar's Take: The CIAA brings Black America's culture of violence to Charlotte every year and every year there are shootings and arrests. I don't maybe they have drive by shootings every year at the NCAA Final Four?
Frankly "the CIAA is so black" and since most everyone is from somewhere else and either doped up or liquored up or both this is bound to happen.
But isn't time we send this mess packing?
institutions and tournament attendees- whether they are visitors or residents of Charlotte, which the CIAA calls home. We're discouraged to hear of the shooting that took place on Sunday morning, especially following six days of tournament events filled with community engagement, great basketball, and family reunion styled activities attended by tens of thousands of people without incident.
We're still awaiting all of the facts and will be working with the City, the CRVA, CMPD and our partners to fully investigate the incident. Together, we are committed to taking action to identify ways to prevent violent behavior. While there were hundreds of events that went incident-free over the course of the week, any act of violence is completely unacceptable to us.
We are exploring ways to create meaningful change in tightening up the parameters of unsanctioned events to ensure the safety of all participants and attendees. We also intend to keep working with CMPD through its "Extraordinary Event" authority to determine new ways we can enhance security.
There's a definite sense of urgency here. We're already developing a committee with CMPD, the City, CIAA and the CRVA to begin brainstorming next steps for significant change and to heighten the safety of CIAA attendees and the community in which we live with our families as well. We are eager to participate in these conversations and making the necessary changes happen. Together we are committed to making the entire event experience as safe as possible year-after-year."
We share an 11-year legacy with the city of Charlotte, and see ourselves together in this.
We also want to commend CMPD for its work throughout the tournament and for apprehending the alleged criminals within minutes of the incident.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
It's not radical, or a Tea Party cause in fact it is mainstream throughout the EU.
I'm a very firm believer that the current way we pay for our Federal Government services is unfair, outdated, mind bogglingly cumbersome and totally inefficient.
Keep in mind we have twice the number of IRS employees that we have United States Coast Guard employees. Twice the number of people trying to take our hard earned money verses those who are trying to keep us safe.
My personal tax return and the corporate tax returns for the businesses I am a part of, has grown from 75 pages in 2005 to more than 300 pages in 2015.
My accountant charges a pretty fair price to complete these returns, but his price has increased from $950.00 in 2005 to more than $3,500 in 2015.
That said, my effective tax rate is still less than 7%.
But the majority of working Americans are paying more, much more as a percentage.
The poor pay nothing, and the super rich pay pretty much nothing again as a percentage. So the burden of paying for our Federal Government falls squarely on the shoulders of the middle class.
So who doesn't pay for our Federal Government?
The Poor and....
Criminals, Drug Dealers, Stripers, Hookers, Little Old Ladies who hold garage sales, Farmers, Vegetable Stand Owners, Ticket Scalpers, Landlords, Hourly Laborers, Greek Restaurant Owners, Small Mom and Pop Business Owners, Charter Boat Captains, Waiters, Waitresses, Bar Tenders, eBay re-Sellers, Gamblers, Car Hops, Lawn Care Operators, Repairmen, Cleaning Staff, Illegals from everywhere, Junk Dealers, Scavengers, Gun Show Sellers, Horse Traders, Ski Instructors, Artists, Musicians, Event Planners, Wedding Officiants, Building Inspectors and Restaurant Inspectors who take bribes, Gamblers, Bunco Players, Bingo Players, Bellmen, Doormen, Uber Drivers and the Shoe Shine Guy at the Airport.
And the list goes on and on.
Our Cash Sub-Culture
There is so much trade and business that goes on in this country on a cash basis, that the GAO admits it has no way of accurately measuring it.
Gone are the days were the majority of Americans worked at the large factory for 40 years received a gold watch and nice pension at retirement. Today those who are left at Ford, American Airlines, and Bank of America are paying more than their fair share of Federal Taxes through payroll deduction.
Many Americans are working second jobs, some even work third jobs that are cash pay only. They have "side businesses" profitable hobbies, they own small businesses and fly low under the radar, trading cars, doing odd jobs, making a living anyway they can and no surprise they are almost always paid in cash.
Call a plumber or handyman and unless they are a big operation, they will offer a discount for cash. My dog kennel offers a cash discount, and its not to get around the credit card fees.
Fair Tax is a idea that is long over due.
Under Fair Tax Everyone pays the same rate on anything they buy. The tax is collected at the retail level. And the bonus is you don't need a social security card or a green card to pay it!
Instead of taxing us for working we are taxed for spending.
Our nation has become so addicted to punishing those of us who work, that we have long forgot how to think outside the box. Seriously, why should we be punished for going to college and taking out a massive student loan to go to medical school? Why punish those who are successful and give a free pass to those who steal their way through life?
So long IRS
Abolishing the IRS won't be easy, the accountants and tax lawyers will scream bloody murder. The tax shelter con-men and mortgage brokers will jump out of their office windows. The Federal Government will have to layoff 89,500 employees not to mention the recently hired 9,000 just to enforce Obama Care.
But it will save taxpayers 12 Billon Annually.
Employers will save as well. Imagine the savings created by being able to cut the back office payroll departments in half. The burden to generate the massive amounts of paperwork and complete endless IRS forms will allow employers to focus on what they do best.
Sorry ADP and PayChex your services are no longer required.
The Best Part
Not only is it simple, it eliminates tax cheats, refund fraud and it will increase the amount of revenue that is collected.
The Objection is that it penalizes the poor and fixed income seniors.
First of all the poor are already getting a free ride. Welfare and Social Security payments will have to be adjusted. But the increase in tax revenue more than offsets the additional costs to our economic safety nets.
The Politicians Will Want Special Rates
The beauty of Fair Tax is in its simplicity. Therefore we can't let special interests convolute the process and demanding special rates for food, or gas. If congress want to exempt certain items from the tax then so be it but the key is avoiding all the loop holes that the current system has in place.
And It Wont Be EASY
Our Federal System of Taxation is broken. It is time for an intervention. Our government is out of control and much like a drug addict or alcoholic they are in denial.
Its time to get off the INCOME TAX DRUG AMERICA!