The November issue featured a story on the building—and rebuilding—of the Charlotte Bobcats franchise. Also, writer Mike Giglio spent four days in Fayetteville, and he chronicled his experience. And three chefs shared their version of the Thanksgiving meal.
I'm curious as to why you spoke only to Charlotte Bobcats executives for your article on why the NBA team hasn't caught on with Charlotte residents ("Standing in the Shadows ," by Steve Goldberg). Why didn't you talk to some of those residents, or at least to the people involved in the 2001 campaign against financing a new arena? As a leader of the CO$T (Charlotteans Opposed to Sports Taxes) referendum committee, I can tell you we won that vote convincingly because the public understands that taxpayer-subsidized sports teams and facilities are a net drain on budgets without offering anything in return, save for a few hours of buzz the morning after a win.
Few citizens cited the antics of Charlotte Hornets owners George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge as their reason for opposing this quarter-billion-dollar giveaway. Some may have thought that fresh ownership would win the fans back, but, if anything, Bob Johnson has lived down to the standards of arrogance set by Shinn and Wooldridge: the outrageous ticket prices, the vanity of naming the team after himself, the CSET premium television debacle, the attempt to charge Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for graduations.
In March, Charlotte Bobcats Arena will host the ACC Tournament and the NCAA East Regional. I bet it will be the last time the Atlantic Coast Conference visits Charlotte, thanks to an undersize NBA arena that can't accommodate the country's premier hoops conference. Bob Johnson should make plans to attend. He needs to see how it looks when Charlotte actually is a basketball town.
Two Tales, One City
A copy of Charlotte magazine arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and, having been gone from the area for a little more than four years, I began reading it cover to cover. The article on Fayetteville by Mike Giglio ("Leaving. Fighting. Loving. Living. ") caught my attention immediately. Like most, Giglio found what he was looking for—starting with bars, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, and drunken automobile rides. This lifestyle received most of the focus of his article. His reference to "Fayette-nam" really capped it.
Very little credit was given to the positive things happening in Fayetteville. I was there in the spring and there's not a prettier place when the azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom. Efforts by the downtown coalition have brought many positive changes. There are family-focused activities, festivals, art museums, a wonderful children's museum, as well as facilities recognizing the contributions of our military and their families. There are numerous families residing in Fayetteville and Cumberland County who are not a part of the lifestyle described by your writer.
Mary P. King