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Archive for July 17th, 2009

Knights Look for More Baseball Welfare

hhSeveral of you made the connection last year between Gwinnett County’s new AAA ballpark and the new stadium quest of our own Charlotte Knights. It is official now: the Knights want a similar kind of publicly financed ballpark.

How similar? Well, that is tough to say as this time last year the Georgia park was slated to cost taxpayers $45m., but quickly hit $64m. with a total financed cost of $77m. Way back when Uptown baseball chatter first started almost a decade ago, Knights owner Don Beaver was prepared to spend $18m. on a new play-place, which jumped to $35m. once Mecklenburg County agreed to essentially give Beaver the land along with $8m. in infrastructure, freeing up Beaver’s limited cash-flow to play for the stadium itself.

But now that financing has dried up and that $35m. number has been proven to about half of the true cost of a 10,000 seat stadium, it is all out in the open that a — wait for it — public-private partnership would have to build the Knights a new home in Uptown. You know how those work, public money, private gain. See Hall of Fame, NASCAR.

The Charlotte Business Journal has all the details here, including a couple of “duh, of course taxpayers will have to pay” quotes from the usual gang of Uptown insiders. Next up will be the ginned up “economic impact” reports attempting to show that the stadium would “pay for itself” and that Charlotte would cease to exist should Beaver’s AAA operation pick up and move to more free-spending environs.

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No More Gjertsen on CMS Board?

If this Twitter entry can be believed, Ken Gjertsen is pulling out of the District Six race, throwing his support behind John Ross of Matthews.

That would still leave Tim Morgan, late of REBIC, and Terri Dickinson of Mint Hill as Ross’ opponents.

Stay tuned.

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Detroit, More Honest on Crime Than Charlotte

The Detroit Free Press reports that Wayne County prosecutors may not even bother with “low-priority” crimes like breaking and entering, citing budget shortfalls.

In Mecklenburg County we run a catch-and-release program for small time hoods and sit silently as steps are taken to weaken the state’s habitual felon law. Steps which would make it even more likely that criminals engaged in property crime skate away from punishment.

As Tara Servatius noted:

The penalty for most daytime break-ins is probation. Criminals know they can be convicted of breaking into homes at least four times without ever serving a day in prison, which has lead to a free-for-all on North Carolinians’ property.

If anything, we need to toughen our breaking and entering laws. Currently, the only way for a prosecutor to put a repeat house-breaker away for a significant amount of time is to use the habitual felon law. It’s frightening to ponder how much our already atrocious home break-in/burglary rate would rise if certain legislators and the state’s newspapers succeed in gutting the habitual felon law.

More insidious is the buried assumption that property crimes are a minor infraction of our social compact, provided no one gets hurt. The Left has chipped away at the legitimacy of private property to the point where ad hoc extra-legal redistribution of wealth often draws no more state interest than jaywalking. Add in a dollop of Southern white liberal guilt and we are on the way to de-criminalizing breaking-and-entering.

At least in Detroit they are upfront about reworking the fundamentals of civil society. Residents of Wayne County are on notice that they are on their own when it comes to protecting their property. Mecklenburgers are in the same boat, but do not know it.

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