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About JacksonH

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  1. JacksonH

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    I was in North Carolina last week visiting family. I flew in and out of Charlotte. I took these pictures Sunday from the plane when I was about to fly out. This is the new terminal. I have no idea what it looks like on the inside, but from the outside it looks like it could be opening any day now.
  2. JacksonH

    SouthPark neighborhood Projects

    And for those who don't like living in apartments, condos or townhouses, other options are available already in great abundance.
  3. JacksonH

    509 South Tryon | Possible Duke Energy Tower

    Well I haven't seen it up close, but from the vantage point of that photograph, it's sterile and fugly.
  4. JacksonH

    509 South Tryon | Possible Duke Energy Tower

    The architect who designed that building loved radiators.
  5. I'm "living through it" in California. I can't tell any difference. People were smoking marijuana before, just doing it illegally. So basically it seems the same people are smoking, but now the state is earning money off of the sales rather than spending money on enforcement.
  6. JacksonH

    Charlotte Greenway Trails

    I just found this article from 2008, which says the city council began considering this idea in 2000. But I could just about swear I was hearing talk of a cap in the late '80s or early '90s. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article9000260.html ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Creating an uptown icon was the bold goal of meetings this week between city leaders and a national engineering firm. Standing in a room filled with drawings and diagrams, engineers Thursday spelled out two possible visions for redeveloping a coveted piece of uptown real estate. Both plans called for a cap over Interstate 277 and the creation of a “central celebration area” that would serve as a gathering place for people downtown – something city planners have long wanted to see. City officials seemed pleased with the work unveiled at the meeting. Still, most admitted that any such plan was a long way from becoming a reality. “This is still very much in the blue sky stage,” said Danny Pleasant, the Charlotte Department of Transportation's interim director. “It is a compelling idea and it'll probably get done someday. Now, if that day is five years from now, or 10, we can't say.” The recent redesign of I-277 left about 12 acres of available land just off the highway, on the southwest side of uptown. The five parcels sit in an area next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and just a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium and Time Warner Cable Arena. City officials are looking to redevelop the land and want to create an eye-catching, pedestrian-friendly part of town. Already three parcels are under contract, and officials expect the others to follow quickly. Carving the land out of the highway cost about $26 million. The city paid $21 million. The state paid the rest. Selling all five parcels should net more than $60 million for the city, about $20 million of which will go toward the construction of the hall. The most provocative part of the plan deals with capping I-277, an idea first backed by City Council in 2000. The new proposals follow different paths. The first would cap an area between College and Church streets, building a park atop the new land. The park would become a civic destination, used for gatherings downtown. This plan also includes a pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway in a circle and would pass by hotels on both sides of the highway. The second proposal is slightly more ambitious. It would cap five blocks of the highway, creating a European-style boulevard on top, with stores and hotels on both sides. This plan also includes a civic gathering place, this time right beside Bank of America Stadium, currently the location of the Observer's parking deck. The first plan would cost about $170 million. The second plan could cost as much as $300 million. Officials said those figures are in today's dollars and would increase over time. Officials with HNTB, authors of the proposal, estimated that the city could pay for the plans with money earned from selling new parcels created by it. Several cities have built highway caps with varying degrees of success. Seattle created one of the earliest when it built a park and convention center in the '70s that covered three city blocks and stretched across Interstate 5. More recently Columbus, Ohio, spent about $7 million to build a 1-acre cap over Interstate 670. The Union Street cap, as it is known, has become a retail destination, leading other cities in Ohio to consider similar construction. Jim Kimbler, Charlotte's transportation planner, said the proposals were interesting, but that officials had a lot of evaluating to do. “This will take a lot of review,” he said.
  7. JacksonH

    Charlotte Greenway Trails

    Does anyone else remember back when city council was considering covering up I-277, between Uptown and what is now South End? I'm not talking about a simple bridge, but about a quarter to a half mile of I-277 would have been covered with an urban park on top. So if you were driving along I-277, you would drive into a tunnel underneath this park. Imagine if they had pursued that idea; South End would truly be connected to Uptown. It was about 25 or 30 years ago that they were talking about doing this, but I suppose they decided it was too expensive or had other priorities.
  8. JacksonH

    Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line

    Nowhere in my comment did I say I was against reducing the number of personal cars that require parking. My only comment was only about not wanting more cars on the road, which was in response your comment about people ditching rail transit and using Uber and Lyft instead. You made no mention of parking issues in the comment I was responding to.
  9. JacksonH

    Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line

    More expensive to the user and to the environment. Uber and Lyft seem to be putting more cars on the road, not less. This is a trend I do not like.
  10. You are correct: politicians thrive on creating opposition to their opponents. That's always been the case. But what I'm talking about here goes way, way beyond that. What has held our country together since the Civil War is a respect for multiple institutions that hold one another accountable -- from the three branches of government, including the courts, to national intelligence, to the media. When FDR tried to expand to the Supreme Court and pack it with justices that would do his bidding, Congress, including significant members of both parties push back and said, Oh no you don't! When Joe McCarthy got too powerful and began taking down too many people and threatening our democracy, Joseph N. Welch, chief counsel for the Army asked, "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" That was a tipping point. Others began joining him. The media began joining him. And this led to a push-back by the public. Forty-five years ago, we had the Watergate investigations in which U.S. intelligence and the media was key. At a certain point, members of both parties began pushing back. The situation we are in now, there is no one pushing back except members of a party that is out of power. Institutions that in the past we have relied upon in the absence of political pushback -- including the courts, national intelligence agencies, venerable media outlets that are deeply sourced -- are being undermined on a daily basis. This has never happened before, not in this country. This happens all the time in banana republics, in dictatorships throughout the world. That's how power is seized in those place, by undermining those institutions, sowing distrust in institutions and thus allowing power to be gathered by a demagogue . I keep harping on this book, How Democracies Die. Your comment about how well things are going for you is exactly the type of thing this book addresses. This is what opens the door for a chipping away of our democracy. We have not lost it yet, but our institutions are weakening. The weaker they get, the more vulnerable we become.
  11. JacksonH

    Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line

    How so? Isn't there a Gold Line station right next to the CTC?
  12. There are corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle. We can all agree with that because we've all seen the many examples. That's not in question. It's what's happening and being accepted systematically. Check out How Democracies Die. There's a whole lot of food for thought in that book. Some key takeaways: The Constitution alone has not kept this country together. In fact, we went into a civil war in spite of this document. And most of the countries in South America drafted their own constitutions based (in some cases word for word) on our own constitution, yet most of those same countries subsequently fell into dictatorships. Unlike the old days, dictatorships don't always come in the form of coups, but often initially democratically (e.g., Hugo Chavez in Venezuela) and sometimes little by little over the course of many years. What has held the U.S. together since the Civil War is not the Constitution alone, but a set of norms that emphasize forbearance and restraint, and strong institutions that keep one another in check. But today we are seeing norms being busted and these institutions being undermined.
  13. There's a book that came out several months ago called How Democracies Die. It's an excellent book, and a warning for our country. There's a section in this book calling out North Carolina because this state, according to the authors, is a microcosm of what's happening at the national level, but further along a dangerous and undemocratic path. There is very little light in the darkness of the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh. One of those lights is this representative from Mecklenburg.
  14. JacksonH

    History of Charlotte