Archives for March 2018

Charlotte Talks News Roundup: Facebook Data, School Safety, CMS Segregation

The Facebook data scandal finds its way to North Carolina. Republican senator Thom Tillis used the company at the center of the uproar, Cambridge Analytica, to target voters, as did the state Republican Party.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox offers a glimpse at post-Parkland security measures, as state lawmakers begin examining school safety.

A new report labels CMS the most racially-segregated school system in North Carolina, and says income-based segregation in the district is up sharply.

Mike Collins leads a discussion on the week’s news with our reporters roundtable.


David Boraks, reporter, WFAE

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher, Q City Metro

Mary C. Curtis, columnist, Roll Call (@mcurtisnc3)

Ann Doss Helms, education reporter, The Charlotte Observer 

What North Carolina Schools are Doing to Protect Students

CHARLOTTE, NC– Another day, and unfortunately, another school shooting, this time in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The circumstances change, but the tragedies continue. In Wake County this week, three schools were put on lockdown after threats. And a UNCC student was arrested for making threats.

And all this is before the March 24 “March for Our Lives,” scheduled in WashingtonDC., to rally for gun control and school safety measures, and organized in spirit and action by students in Parkland, Fla., after a shooting at their high school killed 17 last month.

Other marches will be happening across the country and around the world.

So, what are North Carolina schools doing? Are they taking cues from actions in other states?

Opinion: Putin’s Job Is Easy When Americans Do It for Him

Russian president Vladimir Putin easily cruised to a fourth term this past weekend, surprising absolutely no one. The only nail-biters were how many people would head to the polls — always unpredictable when the victor is certain — and how completely Putin would trounce the token opposition. Now, presumably, the newly re-elected leader can turn his attention to meddling in elections in other countries.

Speaking of the United States, while both Democrats and Republicans would prefer a little more predictability in the November midterms, if not Russian-style oversight, it is members of the GOP who seem most nervous about the eventual outcomes, especially in close House races. And while the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was officially disbanded in January, its spirit lingers on in hints from officials that certain votes should count more than others.

Opinion: Not the Pennsylvania Message You’d Expect, but One Heard Around the World

The election for a congressional seat in Pennsylvania is over, yet not over, as absentee ballots were still being tallied on Wednesday and the wrangling haThe election for a congressional seat in Pennsylvania was over, yet not over, on Wednesday, with all eyes on the few hundred votes that gave Democrat Conor Lamb an initial edge over Republican Rick Saccone.

And the reckoning has only begun. Amid the hand-wringing from nervous Republicans fearing a midterm blue wave and cautious optimism from Democrats who realize November is a long way off were signs that the tensions of this campaign resonate far beyond a spot in the southwestern corner of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

National School Walkouts in Charlotte: What’s Next?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Thousands of students across the country, and right here in Charlotte, are expected to walk out of their classrooms today to demonstrate against gun violence.

Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis talks about the planned protests, and steps students and families can take moving forward.

Opinion: Lawmakers Not Fit to Wear Mister Rogers’ Cardigan

Do you remember “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”? I certainly do. It was my go-to and much appreciated moment of calm when my son was small. And I was as much of a fan as he was.

The PBS show celebrated the 50th anniversary of its national broadcast debut with a special, “It’s You I Like,” which aired this week. During its time, the show, less kinetic than “Sesame Street,” which had its own unique charm, wit and silliness, was sometimes mocked for its simplicity and for the decidedly “un-cool” characteristics of the man at the center.

But watching the special and feeling that calm once again reminded me how much his virtues never grow old, and how very much Fred Rogers, who died in 2003, is the role model we need right now in our lives and politics. You have only to look at the headlines — from chaos to wild tweets to payoffs to adult film stars to notice how far we have wandered from the rules according to Fred.

Raleigh PD to Recruit in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC — First it was Raleigh being included on the Amazon short list while Charlotte did not make the cut. Now, Raleigh police are coming to Charlotte Friday to meet potential recruits, while our city struggles with its own shortage of officers.

Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis breaks down why this matters, starting with CMPD’s shortage of officers.

Opinion: The President’s ‘Black Panther’ Suit — Lessons From ‘Wakanda’ to the U.S.

Was Donald Trump among the movie fans pushing the latest entry in the Marvel universe to box office records this past weekend? Where else would the president have gotten the idea to play superhero, rushing to meet an active shooter — as he said he would have at a Florida high school — with only his bravery and, one imagines, a fantasy “Black Panther” suit to shield him?

On second thought, given his low opinion of the African continent, it’s hard to imagine him getting inspiration from any country there, even the fictional Wakanda.

In the real world, though, Trump and his congressional supporters might want to pay attention to recent developments in South Africa, where an unpopular leader was forced to resign by fellow party members when allegations of corruption and incompetent governance made him a liability for said party’s future

The Reverend Billy Graham’s Life & Legacy

Charlotte, NC — From presidents to the people, thousands have lined up to pay respects to Billy Graham. He preached to millions across the world, and when he died at the age of 99, praise, prayers and good wishes poured in from all over. Charlotte was his hometown, and where he came home to rest – after being chosen to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, a very rare honor, indeed.

Besides his impact on spirituality, a particular kind, Billy Graham also was associated with politics. So, what does his death mean for the future of the role of religion in politics?