Oct 14, 2016 - Things to Do

Mailbag: Top 25 letters on dog poop, fiber, burritos and neighborhoods

charlotte-agenda-mailbag

charlotte-agenda-mailbag

General

“I wanted you to know that I just upgraded to a paid subscription of Charlotte agenda to support the organization (not for the member benefits) solely because of your coverage of the riots and protests following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. I am a white professional female with an African American husband and a young son. Your coverage and words were thoughtful, provocative and respectful. The issues are so complex and yet you wrote with such clarity and compassion. I wanted to support you and CA as Charlotte needs more voices like yours. I also wanted to thank you personally for what you do – your writing provided me with comfort during a tough time when I didn’t feel much connection to any of the polarized narratives.” – N

Ted newsletter intro on October 12

“Not a real good idea to start your morning email to your subscribers talking about dog poop. Twice. Thanks for ruining breakfast.” – J

“Four years later and he’s still ashamed. #poopgate2012” – K

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In response to: Fiber internet service comes at a cost: Hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages

“If you are going to report the bad you need to report the good, and to be honest as a reader this felt like you were trying very hard to find the negative for the sake of a story. While I would not be happy with an outstanding $250 unsettled bill either, I don’t know that this warrants a whole piece on the cost of fiber. These contracts and slip ups are also unfortunate with costly repairs, but you better believe Charlotte is profiting from the work by a good margin. Additionally, and probably most importantly, there is a major piece that I have yet to even see something written about…the fact that there will be a large part of the community that has never had access to the internet getting it for absolutely free (at least from Google Fiber). This is what I as a reader want to see reported on. You can find negativity any anything if you want, and on a larger scale I see more and more journalism being swayed to find the negative (I get it, probably brings in more readers), but there is an opposite side to every story that I as a reader would like to see. I want all the facts and an unbiased view. I am tired of having to read articles and then research for myself to make an opinion (that is what journalism should be). Have we not learned from a rush to judgement approach that is immediately published without considering all the facts, and the damage that can cause? This article will unfortunately sway many readers to now think negatively and that is unfortunate. I think fiber is taking Charlotte to a new level and will enable things and options for people that they have never had before. Now, unfortunately, the conversation will be about about a few bad experiences being the overall narrative.” – B

“Just a quick note regarding today’s Google/AT&T article, ‘AT&T has also closely monitored customer complaints. Before doing work in each neighborhood, the company leaves door hangers with information on who to contact if necessary.’ 100% not true at all. When they came through our new development in Steele Creek, teams of truck and diggers tore up all of our new lawn, left damaged areas, and cracked our brand new driveway with their trenching equipment. There was no indication on any of their workers or vehicles which company was even doing the work. My wife went to a construction worker, they didn’t speak much english, but just repeated over and over again ATT ATT. Went through the run around in a call tree mess with AT&T because there was no contact information. Finally after 3 business days, their legal department contacted us. Said we had to send in photographs (Which we did) as well as provide a completed invoice for the work done within 14 days (!!!) in order to be reimbursed. Our development builder (Lennar) and the HOA were never notified that there would be work done – they were just as shocked as us. Luckily for us, the homebuilder repaired the driveway on their own volition so we didn’t have to find out if AT&T actually paid. Just irks me when corporate marketing speak is just thrown out there by someone in their public affairs office when the companies themselves don’t give a damn.” – M

In response to: 7 dog-friendly workplaces in Charlotte and their current job openings

“Not sure I’d enjoy showering, dressing up in my slacks and button up, spraying my cologne, only to come to work with dogs running around!” – R

“It would be nice to see more non-creative companies embrace the idea. Don’t be surprised if I end up opening Charlotte’s first dog-friendly accounting firm…”

In response to: “What I wish I had known before breastfeeding” 28 responses from Charlotte moms

“I think it’s important to encourage breastfeeding and this article did a good job of that. What it didn’t do a good job of was making women who aren’t able to, or don’t have success with breastfeeding, feel like that’s absolutely ok too. They aren’t failures. They aren’t bad moms. When I had my baby I wanted to breastfeed. I felt like I was a bad mother because I wasn’t good at it and neither was he. We just couldn’t make it work and trust me it wasn’t for lack of trying. I just wish there had been at least one comment added to the article that said ‘I wasn’t successful at breastfeeding and that doesn’t make me a failure.’ Everyone knows being a mom is hard. The last thing a new mom needs is to feel shamed because breast feeding isn’t the right fit for them and their new bundle.” – P

In response to: Burtons Grill opens November 1. View menu and look inside.


“I am SO excited about Burtons Grill opening. Why? Because they are one of the very few bar and grill style restaurants in town who have taken food sensitivities into account up front instead of treating them as an uninformed afterthought. I was pleasantly surprised to hear about a not just Gluten Sensitive but also Paleo menus (have yet to see that anywhere else) as well as offering healthier options to kids than the standard Mac n Cheese and Fries (they deserve better!) Kudos to Burtons.” – L

In response to: The #1 burger in Charlotte

“This may be the greatest paragraph in the history of journalism – ‘Katie Levans had previous raved about their veggie burgers but I don’t trust Katie’s judgement ever since I heard her say, “Nick (her fiancee) ate one of those meat burgers when I went with him.” Anyone who needs to qualify burger by adding ‘meat’ in front of it isn’t giving me dining advice.” – R

“Without a doubt the best veggie burgers, fries, that sauce ! and service (I’m sure their meat burgers are good too – and I added the word meat to irritate Ted). I went there because of Katie’s story a while back and now that you have mentioned their meat burgers we will all have a hard time finding a parking space and table in that horrible location. Good job, Ted.”

“Another day, another Ted food article that makes us all want to beat him with tiny spoons until he bleeds hummus from excessive YAFO consumption. Commentary never seems to be the appropriate category for these articles. Can we start labeling them ‘Dinner With Schmucks’?”

“YESSS. I live a block from Bang Bang Burger and eat there anytime I have a cheat meal. It is HANDS DOWN the best burger in Charlotte, and I’m so glad you recognized that! My personal fave is their Cowboy Burger, hold the grilled onions, add an onion ring (and smother in their homemade BBQ sauce). You’re welcome ;)”

“Until you’ve tried Brooks Brothers burgers (in NODA before it was NODA) you have not yet had the best! Albeit, this is not the place to go if you want the ‘artisan-crafted’ burger experience. These guys (twins in their 50’s I’d guess) hand pack their burgers daily. Lawyers, policemen, street workers, you name it, line up to order inside the little cinder block building then proceed outside to stand shoulder to shoulder beside a long rickety table to eat. Might I suggest the cheeseburger with chili and cole slaw!” – A

In response to Ted’s newsletter intro on October 10

“You should be ashamed for admitting you buy your eggs at Harris Teeter. Any minimally educated foodie knows that local farm eggs taste vastly superior than any factory farm eggs. Crack the egg of a local farm egg and you’ll see a much bolder colored yolk; that’s a clue to the great flavor to follow. Do your taste buds a favor and hit a farmers market this weekend!” – M

“I have three friends who keep backyard chickens (in PM, Wilmore, and Asheville), all of whom refer to their birds as ‘the girls’ and I also always thought it was cute, but for some reason it comes off as totally creepy when Ted says it.” – H

In response to: The condition of Brookhill Village is abysmal, though South End blossoms

“Thanks for printing Ray McKinnon’s story about Brookhill Village. I am one of the photographers whose photos were used and am writing to respond to the comment about talking with community members. Ray, Tracy, and I have all talked with residents at Brookhill as we have photographed and videoed the decline there. Two residents are persons I have known for over 10 years, so they have shared with me their thoughts and feelings about what is happening to their community. It is complicated because the apartments are in such disrepair, yet some residents are sad to have to move and lose that sense of community as well as affordability. One of my friends finally had to move this summer after living there for 47 years. Another still resides there but I do not wish to quote her and possibly cause negative repercussions. An overall theme is that residents are kept in the dark as to the future of their homes in Brookhill.” – A

In response to Ted’s newsletter closing on October 6

“Ted, you just graduated from total D*** to pure in arrogance. Thanks for your staff’s consistent condescension. I am so done with Agenda. You used to be my first read of the day and now I’m just struggling going to keep you on life support. This comment just caused me to pull the plug. Sad.” – N

“How can you forget about Salsaritas…. Salsarita’s started in Charlotte in 2000 and now are in 19 states! Talk about an amazing local success story! Salsaritas has AMAZING Queso and incredibly crispy chips! You can actually get a burrito covered in queso. I’m disappointed in your burrito taste. I mean Chipotle does not even have queso. Burritos with no queso?! Gross!! Do not let fancy California marketing sway you. You’re missing deliciousness right around you! Is your mouth watering yet?! I will personally take you to Salsaritas for a burrito sometime.” – K

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In response to our Cash Confessional series

“If I have to see ‘Student loans: None’ in your Cash Confessional series one more time, I am going to FREAK OUT.” – L

In response to: Stop putting all of your grocery bags under the sink or in the curbside bin. Here’s what the city wants you to do with them

“Thank you for the article on recycling your plastic bags and wraps at designated recycling areas (I didn’t know wraps and that whole other list of items could be recycled too)! I think it would be great if you could do another article on which items are accepted for recycling here in Charlotte. It’s all listed here but being a lazy human myself, I’m sure most people don’t actively check the website…they wait for conveniently packaged newsletters from Axios Charlotte to find out what they should do with their lives (present company included!). That said, there are some gaps (at least in my mind) that the city’s website doesn’t cover. Maybe you could debunk a few ‘recycling myths’ like: ‘You can’t recycle a greasy pizza box’. I’ve always heard this but is there a pizza box that is not greasy (???) yet it is listed as item that is accepted for recycling collection. ‘You should always rinse out your containers before throwing them in the recycling bin’. Makes sense so that your recycling bin doesn’t become completely disgusting after marinating for 2 weeks but does it make the recycling process more efficient to rinse first? ‘Tetra Pak containers (think boxed chicken broth, almond milk, etc.) can only be processed at certain recycling facilities’. Uhhhh that’s cool but does Charlotte have said magical facilities???? So. Many. Questions.” – B

In response to: What’s the deal with the chalkboard at the Summit Room bar?

“That idea was born at Dilworth Billiards because I created it for Eric 25 plus years ago for his birthday and the owners of Summit used to come there.” – S

In response to: So, you like veggie burgers? Try Thomas Street Tavern

“My cousin and I took the all-knowing and perfect advice of THE Axios Charlotte and headed to Thomas Street Tavern after work on Wednesday for the VEGGIE BURGER as written up last week in y’all’s review. (Bc the picture in your article had okra – fried!! – I ordered that too, duh). It was scrumptiously delicious. My cousin educated me on the fact that it was PERFECT because the burger fell apart easily – that’s how ya know it’s the real deal and a real meal. THANKS GUYS YALL DA BOMB DOT COM.”” – M

In response to: As a parent, it makes me sad to tell you – Charlotte Jr. Gym in South End has closed

Wow, Ted! You struck out again leaving the bases loaded. (I’m sure you don’t get the analogy, so get someone to tell you why that is a BAD thing). You hate dogs and all the things that make young people and families what they are, you write about the most mundane topics, and now this. I’m shocked that you give a damn about the Charlotte Jr Gym closing down. Chances are, until you were forced to take your child there for a birthday party, you never gave it a second thought. So, what’s the problem?

In response to: The Great Queso Debate: My search for the best cheese dip in Charlotte

“How could you leave the queso from Roasting Company off this list?! Seriously the best queso EVER. Please tell Laura to check it out if she hasn’t, and everyone should go there because Roasting Company has amazing food and really amazing queso.”

In response to: Have the past two weeks changed Charlotte forever?

“I would like to think it has, but I’m not convinced. I felt compelled to pass along to you an email which was sent to many Myers Park residents this past Wed night. I’m 63 years old, a transplant from the north and I’m embarrassed to say I live in Myers Park. I felt absolutely no fear on Wed night as I stood on my balcony to watch and hear the protesters pass by my condo. I actually felt some excitement that they were bringing their message to this ‘lily white’ neighborhood. The last line of this email really got me! Keep up the great work at the agenda….keep challenging people to get out of their bubble! The Email: ‘Subject: “Protesting in our ‘hood” Please pass along. There is protesting in our neighborhood right now (10pm, Wednesday, Sept 28). A group of ~25 African Americans just marched up Wales Ave. chanting, “Peace Walks, Justice Talks.” CMPD is following this group in multiple police cars to be sure all is safe. I spoke with CMPD officers at my house now. They let me know all is ok for now. The protocol for this type of marching is that marchers need to stay on City sidewalks, or they will be arrested. If anyone sees protestors without CMPD escort, they should call 911 immediately. Be sure to report how many are in the group, what they’re chanting, if you see any weapons (none tonight), where & when you saw them and what direction they are heading. Do NOT go outside or engage these folks in any way. Stay inside away from windows.'” – S

“I enjoyed your Agenda article on the impact civil unrest might have on Charlotte, and whether it will lead to real change. The article was very thorough, thoughtful and balanced, and I hope enough eyes see it. This is the kind of journalism the situation demands, but we see too little of it anymore. I do think it’s fair to point out, however, that Charlotte in the past has made great efforts to foster better race relations in a way that other Southern cities didn’t. Charlotte was the first city to use busing as a way to bring more racial balance to schools (I know; I was here when it happened). Another innovation was locating low-income housing developments near predominately white and middle class neighborhoods. In the 1960s and 1970s, when other Southern cities continued to be torn apart by racial strife, Charlotte’s white civic leaders invited black community and business leaders to the table to offer their insights on how we could avoid those kinds of problems. Unfortunately, that part of Charlotte’s history seems to have been abandoned during the past couple of decades. As Charlotte has become bigger and more dynamic, the gap between predominately white affluent neighborhoods and predominately black and Latino poor neighborhoods has grown much wider, as you correctly point out. City leaders need to do a better job of bridging this gap. There should be economic incentives to locate businesses and bring jobs to the poorer neighborhoods. Investments must be made in schools and community centers. Local law enforcement and community leaders should be forced to sit down together and discuss ways to foster more trust and communication.” – V

“Our non profits, faith based organizations and businesses are not putting forth any coordinated effort, along with government agencies to address root causes of poverty, homelessness, jobs, poor and unequal schools…the lack of affordable housing and more…we might have a thriving uptown with glowing buildings…but we have lost some heart and soul. The current political climate is one of great divide and inequality…we are all talking at the same time, and NOT listening to one another. The ‘old guard’ is dying out…and the newbies…well, they are not as vested in Charlotte as some of us are and were and will continue to be.” – V

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