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Archive for May 20th, 2009

Southwest to serve…

Milwaukee. What’s this all about? Southwest has, after all, been adding major markets lately — Minneapolis, New York, Boston this year — and Milwaukee is, well, not quite in that same category. Essentially a strategic response to AirTran’s build up in the Brew City.

So how does this effect when (and it is a when, not an if) Southwest comes to CLT? Charlotte is the second largest market Southwest doesn’t serve. LUV is entering new markets by shifting capacity from weak routes in the current soft economy. If Southwest doesn’t announce CLT before the economy starts to come back, then it almost certainly won’t happen for a good three or four more years.

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Giuliani Kid Loses Suit v. Duke, Judge Quotes Carl Spackler

Can’t be any more insulting than that, can it?

Recall that Andrew G. sued dook after he was kicked off the golf team, claiming breach of contract. Magistrate Judge Wallace W. Dixon had so little use for Andy’s legal claims he dropped golf jokes left and right in his decision, finishing with a citation from Caddyshack:

…brings to mind Carl Spackler’s analysis from “Caddyshack”: “He’s on his final hole. He’s about 455 yards away, he’s gonna hit about a 2 iron, I think.”

Super.

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Do You Want California to Go Bankrupt?

Or Uncle Sam to bail out the Golden (ha!) State? Be careful how you answer.

Because if Ca debt goes bad that’ll wreck state and muni debt for years. Borrowing costs for Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte would spike, probably the state of North Carolina’s as well. Weak pols would then try to hike taxes to make up the gap.

But the alternative is to nationalize Sacramento’s insane fiscal policy, which will not get it fixed — and embolden all kinds of jurisdictional basket cases — NY state, Chicago, Detroit, Robeson County — to look to Uncle Sucker.

Decisions, decisions.

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Pay Attention to the Coyote Saga, Charlotte

hhNo, not a Western. A fight between the NHL, some owners, the city of Glendale, and a bankruptcy judge. It sounds very complicated and it is, but the important bit is that the franchise declared bankruptcy, found buyer who wants to move it to Canada, which the NHL and Glendale officials do not want to happen.

The NHL has even said it has and will fund the operation of the franchise in Glendale. Yesterday Glendale pulled out its supposed trump card, the lease language which it says binds the team to Glendale. The city wants an injunction barring any sale of the franchise.

In other words, Glendale is behaving exactly as the city of Charlotte would if Bob Johnson were to tap out and walk away from the Bobcats. Better still, check out this headline from The Arizona Republic: Taxpayers could end up footing arena payments. Glendale basically TIFed $200m. worth of arena and collects $2.4m. a year in rent from the NHL team. The Bobcats pay nothing in rent, but are responsible for the operation of the Uptown Arena.

Bottomline, when speculative entertainment ventures go bad, the only place to turn to make the numbers work is the taxpayer. And the pro sports industry cannot allow owners to get out of deals with cities by declaring bankruptcy. Otherwise, how are you going to get cities to build free arenas for billionaires?

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Stupid Mom of the Day

And lucky as hell.

Woman in Indian Trail ties a rope to a baby swing so she can swing the 23-month-old kid without standing up and pushing him. Kid ends up with rope around neck, blue, and requires CPR to revive.

Woman says she is getting rid of rope. Good Lord.

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Happy Birthday to the Original MeckDec

At 234 maybe in need of a little spruce up, maybe a renewal of vows. What say ye, Charlotte? Will you provide yourselves with proper arms and accoutrements?

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AP: After Parker

Fascinating the spin the Uptown crowd immediately gave Keith Parker’s departure: See, we’re so great we keep losing talent! Ask yourself if any Fortune 500 company would make that claim.

Only city councilman Anthony Foxx seems to be speaking from the heart when he says Parker leaving after only 18 months on the job is a shock and there is no obvious second-in-command to take over. This is in stark contrast to the Post-Tober era when everybody and their brother knew Parker was waiting in the wings to run CATS.

You would hope that CATS could find someone from outside the organization to bring a fresh approach and no political baggage to what should be an apolitical job. But no. In fact, I sense that both city and county leaders are looking to de-emphasize CATS as an independent entity and assume a greater role in transit planning — and politics — for themselves.

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