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Archive for July 29th, 2009

Nuther Reason to Smack Drew Brees Silly

His mom — estranged says Drew — is something of a fast-buck artist. Mina Brees’ latest scheme? Demanding $25,000 from Houston area restaurants in exchange for the continued use of their business name.

Brees evidently is trying to trade on the state’s “assumed name” statute even though an attorney for the Texas Restaurant Association says that is total misreading of the law.

Better sack Drew a lot just to make sure.

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Ding-Dong, The North Line is Dead

kkDon’t know why Uptown paper of record reporter Steve Harrison buried the lede. The news isn’t that the $30m. in pork spending CATS wanted for the design phase of the Northeast light rail line to UNCC is up-in-the-air; it is that the feds are not re-writing the funding rules for transit projects, guaranteeing that the North line commuter line intended to run to Lake Norman will not get federal money.

As a result, unless someone in Charlotte who likes trains has an extra $470m. lying around, the North line will not get built. Ever. Recall that some of us cavemen told everyone within reach of our clubs that the North line would not get federal money, not even with the Transit Messiah in office. You remember that one, right? Ron Tober running around town saying a new administration could change the transit rules to benefit CATS?

Of course, to the Uptown crowd, the news really is all about the $1b. line to UNCC. Their entire world now revolves around doing anything and everything possible to get that line built, including having Bank of America announce a “satellite campus” right smack-dab on top of it in University City. In fact, wait for the campaign for additional dedicated taxes in order to provide revenue for the line to UNCC. It will be couched in terms of Rawl-ee failing to supply its share of the funding as expected. You watch.

CATS cannot admit the North line is dead, of course. Not with all the votes the northern towns have on the Metropolitan Transit Commission. CATS and the Uptown crowd need transit stooges like Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain to continue to advocate for more money for trains. Keeping the North line on life support while saying it might get up and running in 10 years is how they do that.

Meanwhile, the city is stuck trying to fund a half-billion worth of streetcars promised to West Charlotte on one end and East Charlotte on the other. For those keeping track, that is at least $2b. worth of three trains lines voters were told in 2007 that CATS could absolutely, positively build with existing funding which — surprise! — cannot be built with existing funding. Tell me again, who got fired for this stunning turn of events? Who got kicked out of office?

Amazing.

Bonus Observation: Uh-oh. Here is the Uptown paper of record actually reporting the comments of city council at-large candidate Craig Nannini on the topic of streetcars. “City Council has its priorities all messed up…It will bankrupt the city,” Nannini said.

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