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Wednesday, October, 7 2015

Selecting NASA’s next space probe(s)

Van Kane offers up an informed look at the five finalists in NASA’s current cost-capped Discovery mission selection process. These are: • DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) proposal to drop an instrumented probe into Venus’ atmosphere. • VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) mission to remap […]

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A fantasy sports scandal

As the New York Times headline puts it: “Fantasy Sports Employees Bet at Rival Sites Using Inside Information.” A major scandal is erupting in the multibillion dollar industry of fantasy sports, the online and unregulated business in which players assemble their fantasy teams with real athletes. On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced […]

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The libertarian moment that never was

Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center has a new column out for Fox News on Rand Paul’s disappearance in the Republican presidential race. Some key points: The collapse of the Rand Paul campaign speaks volumes. In a 15-person field, Paul is the only candidate who looks even remotely libertarian (social tolerance, foreign policy restraint, and […]

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Jennifer Roberts gets no love from the UPoR

The Charlotte Observer has endorsed Dan Clodfelter over Jennifer Roberts in the Democratic mayoral runoff. The paper takes it a step further though, stating that: His centrist approach probably makes Clodfelter a stronger candidate for Democrats against [Republican Edwin] Peacock in the fall. He appeals to both liberals and moderates, and even to a few […]

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Frontier Airlines adds Denver, drops Trenton and Philly

The latest from the airline whose scheduling practices most resembles an amoeba: The good: Frontier is starting Charlotte – Denver on March 17 on an Airbus A319. American (US Airways) and United also fly nonstop between Charlotte – Denver. The bad: Frontier is also ending its two existing routes from CLT — daily flights each […]

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Charlotte's Greatest Hits

Black got sweetheart deal

As jailed former state House Speaker Jim Black mounts a campaign for early release, critics contend that the state justice system did favors for Black regarding the settlement of his $1 million fine.

Questions about Black settlement

Wake County officials say imprisoned former House Speaker Jim Black satisfied a $1 million fine by surrendering some Mecklenburg County real estate, but questions remain about the real market value of the property.

Black settlement may not add up

Imprisoned former House Speaker Jim Black used undeveloped land with a tax value of less than $150,000 to pay off an outstanding $500,000 state fine.


Colleen Calvani writes that the Charlotte Area Transit system will scale back some routes in an attempt to counter three major decreases in funding.

McCrory’s failure

Jeff Taylor argues that Pat McCrory failed to carry Mecklenburg County because he failed to move its conservatives.

Lynx And Exploding Pipes

Jeff Taylor says there may be another factor to blame for CMUD’s recent series of water leaks.

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An Alternative Budget: Response to the governor's proposed budget for the upcoming biennium

The John Locke Foundation is continuing its tradition, started in 1995, of offering an alternative to the governor’s budget recommendation. Consistent with prior years, this JLF budget focuses on core government. This budget spends less in both years of the biennium than the governor’s, and only increases spending by 2 percent from the last fiscal year.

By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2012

The economic recession that hit full force in 2008 was declared officially over in June 2009 when the country experienced two quarters of very slow growth. But a troubled housing sector and a still-sluggish economy with high unemployment have contributed to the fiscal crises facing many cities and counties in North Carolina. As always, this edition of By the Numbers is must reading for government officials and taxpayers alike. It highlights what kinds of fiscal problems face local governments in an economy that grows only very slowly. With the facts given here, county commissioners and city council members can easily compare their area’s tax burden to similarly situated cities or counties. For taxpayers, BTN is a starting point for questions about taxes and spending, enabling them to hold their elected and appointed officials accountable.

Agenda 2014: A Candidate's Guide to Key Issues in North Carolina Public Policy

Every two years since 1996, coinciding with North Carolina's races for the General Assembly, the John Locke Foundation has published a revised edition of Agenda, our public policy guide for candidates and voters. Typically as we enter the campaign season, candidates for public office in North Carolina are faced with a daunting task: to develop informed positions on dozens of public policy issues. In the pages of Agenda 2014 we provide a concise and easily digestible guide covering a wide range of specific issues, from taxes and spending to energy policy and education.

City and County Issue Guide 2014

Policymakers in the many local governments of North Carolina face a host of important challenges. This issue guide offers solutions to problems that confront North Carolinians at municipal and county levels. The common thread in these recommendations is freedom. By increasing individual freedom, local governments can foster the prosperity of all North Carolinians and keep open avenues to innovative solutions from enterprising citizens.

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