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The end of 2010 is fast approaching, and it’s time to look back and take stock of all the important news that took place, and in some cases, is still taking place in the Charlotte region. We’ll be joined by news gatherers from journalistic organizations around the city for a discussion of the stories that made headlines in 2010.
Taylor Batten – Editorial Page Editor, The Charlotte Observer
Steve Harrison – City Reporter, The Charlotte Observer
Lisa Miller – Reporter, WFAE
Erik Spanberg – Reporter, Charlotte Business Journal
Part One: Holiday Etiquette
The holiday season is in full swing, but it’s not too late to share some advice on how to make this season less harrowing. We’ll talk about gift-giving etiquette, how to help your child be a gracious gift giver and receiver, go-to recipes for your next holiday potluck, and much more.
Aimee Symington – Etiquette Expert
Jennifer Brule’ – Chef and Food Journalist
Part Two: From the WVL Radio Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life
For many, an annual viewing of the film It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday tradition. This year, a creative adaptation of this story is onstage in Charlotte in the form of a radio play. Live From the WVL Radio Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life” is stage play about a radio performance of It’s a Wonderful Life, and in this production, the audience will be on stage, too! We’ll talk about the reason for that, and talk with the Charlotte native who adapted this version of a holiday classic.
Willie V.R. Repoley - Cast Member & Author of this adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life
Michael MacCauley – Actor and Cast Member
Rachelle Roberts – Actress and Cast Member
Maria Buchanan - Actress and Cast Member
- Live From the WVL Radio Theatre: It’s A Wonderful Life plays Dec. 8 – 19th at the Booth Playhouse. Details.
Today’s guest argues that a South Carolina document helped launch the civil war and continues to have unintended consequences for the Palmetto State. On December 20th, 1860 South Carolina’s leaders ratified an article of secession. Dr. Eric Emerson calls the article of secession the most important document in South Carolina’s history and that the state, and the nation, continue to feel the ripples from that moment in history. We’ll talk with Dr. Emerson about the upcoming 150th commemoration of that historic event and what it means for South Carolina’s citizens.
Dr. Eric Emerson – Director, South Carolina Dept. of Archives and History
President Obama has just come to an agreement with Republican leaders on a Bush-era tax cut extension that he says is necessary to aid the recovery of our economy. The deal includes extension of unemployment benefits as our jobless rate continues to be high. Despite record holiday spending in the last couple of weeks, many experts feel that the economy remains precarious. Frequent guest Dr. John Connaughton has released his latest economic forecast and he shares his thoughts on that forecast, and the economic year in review.
John Connaughton – Professor of Economics at UNC Charlotte
- UNC Charlotte Economic Forecast (released 12/7/2010)
- Charlotte Talks | Connaughton’s last Economic Forecast (September 2010)
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” American’s have debated that phrase before the ink on the constitution’s first amendment was dry. Today politicians compete for religious fervor and favor from constituents and the annual war between the meaning of Christmas is back. We look at the role of religion in public life in advance of a WFAE public conversation on the same topic.
Dr. Sean McCloud – Assoc. Professor, Religious Studies at UNC Charlotte
Shawn Murphy – Treasurer/Spokesperson, Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics
Rev. Philip Allen – President, Western NC Chapter, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
WFAE Public Conversation:
Religion in Public Life
We’ll explore the intersection of religion and public life in the Charlotte area. Panel and audience discuss the role of religion in politics, the ‘separation of church and state,’ and more.
Date: Thursday Dec. 9th from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Mint Museum on Randolph Road
For the past 35 years residents of Mecklenburg County have relied on District Attorney Peter Gilchrest to prosecute its most dangerous criminals. Mr. Gilchrist is stepping down from his post in January but first he sits down with Charlotte Talks. He will look back at the fight against crime here, the advent of gangs, the rise in drug trafficking and the growth of a city in the eyes of someone who has seen the best, and the worst, the city has to offer. Join us for a conversation with longtime D.A. Peter Gilchrest.
Peter Gilchrist – Outgoing Mecklenburg County District Attorney
The next generation of electric vehicles is here with the plug-in hybrids Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster hitting showrooms for the coming year. More traditional hybrids have been available for years but they don’t require the infrastructure plug-in hybrids would need to recharge for longer distance driving. We’ll look at the latest electric cars and talk about how feasible it will be to provide infrastructure. We’ll also test drive an Electric Tesla Roadster (pictured above.)
Mike Rowand – Director of Technology and Development, Duke Energy
Stephanie Cox – Regional Manager, EV Project for ECOtality
Ron Cerven – Project Development Engineer, Li-ion Motors
Greg Efthimiou – Representative, Duke Energy
- Audio | Mike test-drives an Electric Tesla Roadster
- Duke Energy | FAQs about Plug-in Electric Vehicles
The 1950’s and ‘60’s were a heyday for talented basketball players in our region but many of the most talented players were left off all-star teams and out of college gyms simply because they were black. The Charlotte Observer recently published a series of articles that honored some of the greatest players whose careers were influenced by the struggle for civil rights going on around them. Yet, the camaraderie of the players, both black and white, defined race relations behind the headlines, protests and marches. We look back at that time with a reporter on the story and with a man who lived it and has been called by some, the greatest basketball player in our region.
Peter St. Onge – Staff Reporter, Charlotte Observer
Harry Picket – Deputy Sports Editor, Charlotte Observer
Paul Grier – Former Basketball Player
Richard Vinroot – Former Mayor of Charlotte and basketball player
- Charlotte Observer Series: NC’s Segregated Basketball Era
Mike with former Basketball player Paul Grier
This fall has been a contentious one for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system, as well as for its board and for its Superintendent, Dr. Peter Gorman. After a long fall of debate, the system decided to close or move several schools throughout the district to ease the budget woes that the system faces in the coming school year. On this edition of Charlotte Talks, we’ll sit down with Dr. Gorman to talk about the process and the decisions that were made regarding school closure, and what further actions are being taken to cut spending at CMS.
Peter Gorman – Superintendent of Schools, CMS