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Archive for April 9th, 2010

Scenes From Charlotte’s Future?

A judge in Ashtabula County (Ohio) has told residents to begin arming themselves due to cut backs in law enforcement brought about by continued economic stagnation. The county has a 15.1 percent unemployment rate.

Local government’s solution to the problem? A half-cent sales tax increase put on the Ashtabula ballot for May.

Hmm. Just wait until Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte tell residents that it is impossible to adopt a revenue-neutral property tax rate next year — mandating 10 to 20 percent increases in tax bills for many local residents.

Me, I’d rather buy a gun than send $200, $300, $500 to the criminals in charge around hire.

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For the Record: Anger is An Energy

And in advance of next week’s Tea Parties. Good to see old John still has it.

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UNCC Hire: Major Blunder?

Meet Alan Major, Indy native, Purdue grad, former Ohio State assistant, and UNCC’s new basketball coach. For AD Judy Rose “A10 experience” was a major (sorry) factor — Major also spent time at Xavier under current OSU headman Thad Matta. OK, now what?

Fired Niners coach Bobby Lutz had major problems consistently coaxing local talent to UNCC. Lutz had to range far and wide to wrangle in sufficient DI talent. Major was charged with handling Buckeye big men in Columbus. I’ll let your opinion of Greg Oden’s development guide you there.

I just do not see anything in Major’s background that suggests Rose made a great hire — or an upgrade even. Major has not been a head coach at any level, according to his OSU bio.

Maybe the guy surprises me and ropes in a first-team all-stater from NC or SC while assembling a great staff and selling the program to alumni, students, and a generally indifferent Charlotte media market. I love surprises.

Meanwhile, UNCC fans get to look forward to Judy Rose hiring a football coach.

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No Second CLT-Brazil Flight

Yesterday was the deadline for proposals for the 14 weekly additional U.S.-Brazil route authorities that become available on October 1. US Airways did not apply, thus there will be no second flight between the Queen City and Brazil.

The airline currently has daily flights to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest market. It also wants to fly daily to Sao Paolo, Brazil’s largest market, but the route authorities currently on offer can’t be used to Sao Paolo until its airport increases its terminal capacity, which is four or five years off. The idea was for US Airways to trade Delta for unrestricted frequencies as part of the big slot swap and then apply for replacement restricted frequencies for CLT-Rio. But the slot swap is still in limbo, so no US Airways bid.

That this is still on hold is especially frustrating given the small number of applications for routes. American Airlines asked for authority for seven weekly (i.e. daily) JFK – Rio flights and four-a-week Miami – Brasilia service. Continental, which would have had a strong case for Newark -Rio service, did not bid. United, JetBlue, and Spirit also did not apply. Delta, unable to conceive of anything better, asked for five Detroit-Sao Paolo frequencies. That is to say they want first dibs on extra Sao Paolo flights whenever they should become available.

So yeah, US Airways very likely would probably have gotten replacement Rio rights if it could have bid.

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Mark Vitner, Still At Large

This is getting ridonk-u-lous.

Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner’s habitual happy face on local employment gloom is bigger than ever with this declaration:

The Charlotte region will add an average of 1,500 jobs per month as the economy recovers, or 15,000 to 18,000 per year, Vitner said. At that rate, it would take three years or more to recover the 61,000 jobs the region has lost since the recession began.

First off, the total job loss is more like 65,000 — from 810K levels in Q1 2008 down to the latest number for February of 746,015. In fact, you take the all-time jobs high of 813,267 hit in April 2008 and you get 67,252 — or fully 10 percent more than Vitner’s number. Now onto the recovering jobs issue.

The region has not added jobs at the rate of 1500 a month for two consecutive months since, you guessed it, Q1 of 08. Besides, the trend is in the opposite direction — we actually lost jobs from January to February 2010, 40 to be exact. And compared to a year ago — after the recession started — we have lost 6000 jobs. Clearly the employment recovery has not yet started.

When it does start, ie, when we actually start to add jobs on a consistent basis, only then will we know how long it will take to get back above that vital 800K total jobs number — or if that seems impossible.

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LiveNation Poaching Gigs From CRVA?

Very interesting development.

The Three Days Grace concert has been moved from the city-owned and Regional Visitor’s Authority operated Bojangles Coliseum to the LiveNation space known as the Uptown Amphitheater.

With the upper portion curtained off, the Coliseum seats around 5000, which is the same capacity at the Amphitheater. But if only, say, 2000 tix were sold, those 2000 would look a lot more substantial in the Uptown space. Plus there is the not small fact that LiveNation has a installed a state-of-the-art sound system at its venue. I haven’t a clue what Bojangles is rolling today.

Still, it would be fascinating to know the backstory to this move. Who initiated the change of venues and for what reason?

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