Archives for January 2019

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: E-Scooter Rules; Affordable Housing Funds; Flight 1549 Reunion

City Council OKs the new rules for scooters for now, but council members say revisions to the rules are likely in the future.

Financial institutions in the Queen City are putting up $70 million combined to aid in affordable housing initiatives to help with the $50 million Housing Trust Fund bond money. How far will that money get the city towards its affordable housing goals?

The number of people receiving federal paychecks is in the thousands in the Charlotte region, so as we reach nearly a month of the government shutdown, what is the effect locally, and what will be the long term impact here and around the country?

Charlotte was in the national spotlight on Tuesday celebrating the 10th anniversaryof the outcome of what could have been a major air disaster. The crew and passengers of the Charlotte-bound “Miracle on the Hudson” flight assembled in the Queen City for a major remembrance of that extraordinary emergency landing.

Those stories, an update on the 9th Congressional District probe and much more.

Guests:

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal 

Very much up for grabs: this year’s profile in courage

OPINION — “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Identifying the politician offering that idealistic advice is not so hard — President John F. Kennedy at his Jan. 20, 1961, inauguration. But that’s not all the 35th president had to say about the promise and challenges of America.

Climate change? “The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet.” Income inequality? “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, based in Boston, planned to regularly tweet out Kennedy’s quotes, though if you now try to seek a daily dose of inspiration, you will see a note on its page: “We’re sorry, but we will not be posting updates to our social media channels during the government shutdown. Also, all National Archives facilities are closed and activities are canceled until further notice.”

Impact of Government Shutdown

CHARLOTTE,  NC — Wednesday marks the 26th day of the partial government shutdown with no end in sight as Americans wait on lawmakers to resolve this standoff.

It’s not only the federal workers themselves who are at risk. Lately, the country is seeing airport slowdowns as TSA agents and air traffic controllers are affected; food inspections are being curtailed; national parks are being overrun with tourists and litter.

And if this shutdown keeps going, we may start to see some of those long-term impacts get worse. People could then potentially lose their homes and cars, and won’t have access to their medicine. Some already cannot afford to pay to fill their gas tanks to get to work. In the future, food-stamp payments may be affected.

And some are finding other jobs, finding a government job fulfilling but too unpredictable when it comes to paying the bills. (Mary C. Curtis)

Our Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses what happens if this shutdown lasts much longer.

If Trump is looking for a national emergency, he should try these ones instead

OPINION — Dueling teleprompter speeches and a high-drama walkout: This is what it looks like when our country’s leaders debate the best way to meet the challenges at the border and whether shutting down the government is the best way to settle it.

If no one budges this week — and the way talks have been going so far, optimism is not particularly warranted — the next step could be a national emergency, declared by the president. But first Donald Trump seems intent on diluting the word “emergency” to mean whatever he wants it to mean on a particular day or hour.

Government Shutdown and Border Wall

CHARLOTTE, NC–

President Trump and lawmakers may not have made much headway in discussions on ending the government shutdown and agreeing on terms for a wall on the southern border.

Tuesday night, the president made his case in a nationally televised address from the Oval Office, countered by a speech from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Meetings are set this week.

But what will happen next as 800,000 workers are on furlough or working without paychecks?

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

9th District Race – No End in Sight

CHARLOTTE, NC —  Robert Pittenger will not run again in North Carolina’s 8th District U.S. House race.  At least that’s what he says.  And right now, that might be the only thing people know for sure about the contested contest roiled by accusations of election fraud and more plot twists than any movie.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

Trump’s reading list: Start with dictionary, look up ‘wall’

OPINION — Though his two terms have ended, it is a tradition that former President Barack Obama has continued: providing his year-end list of favorite books (and films and music). This year, not surprisingly, his book of the year is Michelle Obama’s “Becoming,” already a best-seller. That makes sense, since she is not only his wife and one of America’s favorite first ladies, but also, according to Gallup, the “most admired” woman in the country. Plus, can you imagine the troubles at home if another title topped his list?

But what of our current president?

Through the words of his staff and aides, many of whom have left the building, we know he is not that into reading, whether briefing paper or book, though “Trump: The Art of the Deal” will always have a special place in his heart. And to be fair, with a Democratic majority in the House and anticipated findings in special counsel Robert Mueller’s various investigations, Donald Trump has a lot on his 2019 plate.