Saturday, August 29, 2015

Which LKN town is the most debauched and depraved?

Well, according to the data that was released by the Ashley Madison website hack a couple of weeks ago, it would appear to be...

You are going to have to read to the end to find out.

Last week, Spanish software company, Technilogica, released a map using their cartography software that breaks down over 30 million subscribers to the adultary enablement site by location.  You can check it out here .

So, which LKN town had the highest user base?  The answer depends on which way you look at it.

Mooresville (5712) had the largest number of users followed by Huntersville (3650). Cornelius (2360)  and Davidson (835) were in the middle of the pack.  Troutman (350) also had a number of folks apparently dabbling in the site's online activity.

That order is about what you'd expect based solely on population.  Though "expect" is a relative term here.  It is simply stunning (and kinda creepy) there are that many people around who are willing to sign up for a site like this.

Even if you believe the site ballooned its numbers with a lot of fake accounts, the numbers are pretty high.  Cut it by 90% and you still have over 500 in Mooresville and 360 in Huntersville.

But, raw numbers aren't the only way to slice and dice this data.  When looked at as a percentage of the population, here's what you get.  Mooresville 16.4% Huntersville 7.2% Cornelius 8.8% Davidson 7.1%. Troutman 14.2%

So, while Davidson eeks out the "moral victory" with only 7.1% of its population supposedly on the site, one has to ask - what in the world is going on in Iredell county's Mooresville and Troutman!!!

With both the highest raw number and highest percentage Mooresville takes the "prize".


Friday, August 28, 2015

Davidson Community Garden Back on Fall Scheduled

With Fall just around the corner, the Davidson Community Garden has moved back to its regular Saturday morning schedule.

From Connie and Eddie Beach latest email blast....

Halloo all!

Guess what - it's time to start planting fall seeds and transplants! A group from the Community School of Davidson is coming out Friday to get started on the planting and we'll follow up Saturday. Let's see if between both work sessions we can get six box beds done by Saturday's 11:15 weighing-up time.  Fall plants are the same as spring plants and have generally done really well for us: beets, chard (yeah, but let's cut back on that), kale, carrots, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, and cabbage.

The DCG regularly donates fresh produce to the Loaves and Fishes food pantry at Ada Jenkins.  In recent years this had totalled a full ton annually.

Come on out and pitch in if you are looking for something to do Saturday morning.
Learn about that Southern staple, ocra.  Harvest some beans.  Pick a few flowers.

This is one of the real gems of Davidson.

Check it out!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Small Town Politics Water Ballet

Someone once described small town southern politics like this to me…

“It is like water ballet - serene on the surface with a lot of frantic churning down below.”

Nothing brings out this type of action more than land use questions, and Davidson has recently seen multiple acts in this never ending dance unfold at the same time.

The just completed fight over the proposed Narrow Passage neighborhood in Davidson’s rural area was one of the more brutal examples in recent memory – that's saying something for a town that is no stranger to planning and land use related controversies.  As public as it was, this story also saw aggressive behind the scenes action.

In addition to multiple letters to the editor in local publications and passionate speeches at public hearings, those who opposed this project also engaged in a scorched earth campaign that may have ultimately backfired.  Rumors were spread in what can best be described as a good old fashioned whisper campaign against those involved in the project as well as some commissioners.  More than one of those emails landed in my inbox.

In the end, those who wanted "no" to be the answer lost this one in part because of their own tactics.  Reasonable compromise won the day and resulted in a unanimous vote by Davidson’s commissioners to approve the town’s first “conservation neighborhood.”

Another act in the political ballet that is “land planing” in Davidson also seems of have wrapped up in recent weeks.   This one was even less public outside of some coverage in this column.  However, it involved multiple developers, home owners associations, and even attorneys.  There were dozens of emails, meetings, and a good bit of swirl around potential conflicts of interest.

Readers may remember a piece several weeks ago that asked question “Is there a River Run Phase Six?”.  Well, the answer to that question now appears to be a resounding “no”..

For almost 11 months, the River Run Country Club has been pursuing the possibility of carving off some of its golf course property and converting it into single family lots.  If successful, sale of these lots would have brought in several hundred thousand dollars to the club.  But, there was a catch – or two.

The proposed lots were on land designated as golf course and at least partially impacted by floodplain ordinances.  As one would  expect, neighbors and others were concerned not just on an environmental basis, but also on the precedent it would set for converting land from one use to another without following the correct process.  Additionally, this one had the interesting aspect of involvement by the Town Attorney, Rick Kline, on both sides of the issue between the club where he’s a founding member and the town where he’s been town attorney for 39 years.

In the end, it appears the town landed where it should have when this idea was originally proposed.  According to town planning staff, in order for these lots to be sold, the original planning documents for the River Run development will need to be amended – something that requires approval by the Town Board.  The town's Board of Adjustment will also need to approve any building in the flood plane.

Both are long-shot prospects, and as a result, the sales signs on the lots came down.

These two examples of land planning decision making are opposite sides of the same coin.

In the first, town residents were forced to fight tooth and nail to get town hall approval for something that will very likely prove to ultimately be very good for the town.  In the second, homeowners struggled against something the town should have stopped right from the start for the very reasons they took nearly a year to arrive at.

In both cases, citizens were forced to fight a battle of attrition over many months to get the right answer from town hall.

Maybe the metaphor at the beginning was wrong.  Southern politics isn't always like water ballet.  It’s sometimes more like water polo where you have to claw and scratch until the very end.

This post originally appeared in the Herald Weekly at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WidenI77 issues stinging response to Javier "Mr Who Knows" Tamargo

Bullies usually don't know how to respond when people stand up to them.

With that being the case, it will be interesting to see the next move from Cintra/NCDOT/Mercury(?) now that has blasted back with a blistering broadside to Javier "Mr Who Knows" Tamargo and recent letter accusing the activist group of putting out false information about his project.

Here's the link to the group's response and the preceding letter.

It's well worth a read...

This kind of response is why the godfather of HOT lanes, Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation, recently said the local resistance the HOT lanes agenda is the strongest he's ever seen.

In the wake of Tuesday's expected loss at CRTPO, the release of this response on the same evening should be a vivid reminder to everyone that this fight is far from over and that those fighting it aren't about to back down.

BREAKING NEWS: Davidson to vote 'NO' at CRTPO tonight!

This is a breaking news story. More information will be added if it becomes available.

In a phone call from Davidson Commissioner Brian Jenest early this morning, he indicated that Davidson will be a 'no' vote on the STIP at tonight's CRTPO meeting.

At last week's Davidson Board meeting he indicated that he would be a 'yes' vote on this issue.

He explained the change as not so much a change in his position as just a change in his vote.  His position has been that he supports the STIP, but does not support this paricular plan for the managed lanes.

When asked why he was going to change his vote, he responded that while he is not typically supportive of "protest votes' he recognizes how widespread the public opposition to this particular plan has become. Also, he mentioned what occurred at last night's Lake Norman Chamber meeting.

At that meeting he heard "level-headed businessmen" open to alternative plans that may involve the managed lane concept.  For him, that opened the door to other possibilities and justified the change in his vote.

While Davidson's single vote on the CRTPO  board may not make a difference in the ultimate outcome of the vote, it is great to see the town's representative standing up for what the people he represents actually want!

Ron Julian loves HOT lanes! Where is Jill Swain's outrage?!?!

Almost exactly a year ago, Huntersville Commissioner Rob Kidwell sent an email to state legislators asking them to do something, anything, to stop the I77 HOT lanes project.

Well, late on the eve of a critical vote at the CRTPO fellow H'ville Commish, Ron Julian, did something similar.

In an email to CRTPO reps, Charlotte City Council, the MeckBOCC, and several members of the NCGA, Julian had this to say.

Ladies and Gentle, As a Representative of the constituents in Huntersville, I ask that you APPROVE the TIP ( Vote Yes ). The vast majority of constituents want road improvements now and the TIP keeps this promise with dollars for local road improvements and additional lanes, yes managed lanes on I-77.

thanks for your public service,

Ron Julian
Huntersville Town Commissioner

My guess is you'll hear crickets from Mayor Swain on this one.  She agrees after all.

She's part of the HOT Lanes Bucket Brigade that has pulled this monstrosity out of the fire more than once already.

Sending Ron Julian to carry a little water since he's not running for reelection is just what a good brigade commander does.

Bonus Observation:  What caused Ron Julian to change his mind since this video in 2013?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 to respond to Cintra's Javier "Mr Who Knows" Tamargo at Press Conference

In the last post, we mentioned a planned press conference prior to the CRTPO meeting where would reply to a somewhat threatening letter received from Cintra's man in Charlotte, Javier Tamargo.

Dissemination of the letter to influence CRTPO was coordinated with NCDOT.  That coordination was managed by former City of Charlotte mouthpiece Jean Meier who now works for Cintra's local incarnation - I77 Mobility Partners.

Tomorrow, responds.

Rather than sending their communications through back channels and away from the prying eyes of the pesky public, they will hold a press conference out in the open.

See details below.

Cornelius, N.C. – (August 18, 2015) -  WidenI-77, the citizens group opposing the plan to build High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on I-77 through the Lake Norman area, will make a statement to the press on Wednesday, August 19th at 5:20 p.m. at Government Center, 600 East Fourth Street, Charlotte N.C.  

The group will make a statement on the vote scheduled to take place that evening by the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) and will also respond to the recent letter from Javier Tamargo, CEO of I-77 Mobility Partners, LLC accusing Widen I-77 of “false allegations.”

The group will take questions after the statement. We hope to see you there. Tomorrow we will email copies of the letter sent to us by I-77 Mobility Partners as well as our response. 

WidenI77 is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against I-77 Mobility Partners and NCDOT to stop the HOT lane project and is represented by a team of attorneys led by Matt Arnold Esq. of Arnold & Smith, LLC.