Mailbag: Top 30 feedback letters on our next mayor, apple doughnuts, getting drunk, Amtrak and freezing eggs

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This is part of an ongoing series titled Mailbag, items readers submit via email or our feedback form. We get a ton of feedback, this is not close to everything (it’s about 4%), but it’s a good sample.

In response to: The 2017 Agenda Mayoral Forum, presented by OrthoCarolina

“Even though he’s Republican, I liked that Kenny guy.” – H

“Your forum is the only one that doesn’t suck.” – S

“Uber and driverless cars are the only transportation infrastructure needs? No mention of walking, biking or transit. Not good.” – S

“The paid family leave is a HUGE accomplishment.” – M

“I think the handsome guy at the podium should run!” – R

“Does anyone actually know what the mayor of Charlotte does? Because it’s not much.” – J

“I attended the forum and I have to say Gary Dunn was obnoxious. He presented a stream of conscious rant that made absolutely no sense. It was embarrassing.” – M

“Best line of last night’s mayoral forum came when emcee Andrew stepped to the microphone after candidate Gary Dunn’s train wreck of a presentation and announced that they were not related.”  – D

“Thanks for what you’re doing to engage voters! I had a blast with you in 2015 as a candidate! Gotta say…it was a lot of fun as a participant!” – Edwin Peacock

“This was really well-done, different and unique. I loved it. Thank you.” – K

In response to: How many craft beers until you blow a 0.08? We found out for you (it’s surprisingly few)

“I’m an emergency room doctor at CMC. Awesome article. Thank you for drawing attention to drunk driving. We see it far too often in the emergency department with devastating outcomes. I hope this encourages more Uber and Lyft purchases… Interestingly, no matter one’s tolerance, the BAC still climbs at the same rate as someone who abstains. One might think, ‘Oh I have good tolerance, I’m fine to drive.’ That person actually hits the legal limit just as quickly as everyone else. He or she is just more ‘tolerant’ of said BAC.” – S

“As someone who got behind the wheel 2.5 years ago (and wound up being unluckily-lucky because I didn’t kill anybody), I wish I had read something like this. It took 3 7.4% beers over an hour and a half on top of a 9.3% beer I had with a whole pizza hours before to blow a 0.10 in the station much later on in the night.” – B

“So, yeah, my wife reads your article about craft beer and blood alcohol content and suddenly there’s these ‘rules’ about ‘Uber” – M

Ted, for the alcohol story, you should use a normal-sized man!” – F

“Yet another reason why I am a big fan of 8oz pours.” – J

“My fave was the range of 0-20 drinks per week. Just keeping those options open. While I truly do appreciate this article as someone who likes to go for wine with friends, I want to take this opportunity to get on my soap box and say this: While no one should drive while drunk or “high”, marijuana is far less impairing and has far fewer health risks associated with its use… For those of us who would rather smoke a big old joint, legalize it. God bless you, Amen.” – A

In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $41,000 salary

“I know this only covers one week out the year but does anyone else find that very few of these people are actually adulting? Sure it is easy to save for a house or investment property when you’ve never actually paid for adult bills like cell service, car payments or medical insurance so many of these folks say they don’t pay because their parents take care of it.” – E

“I am older than most of your readers (in my 50s). The cash confessional makes me mad. These people are not truly spending what their income supports. You are not accurately depicting people living on their own incomes. This week you profiled a 30 year old whose parents paid for his college degree, his car and his phone bill! No wonder he can blow $123 for dinner and drinks in one night. I think a grown up should pay their own bills. Just because their parents are generous or enabling doesn’t mean you should mooch forever. Tell them no thank you and see how you do on your own.” – R

In response to: Will Uptown one day have a booming “Station District”?

“The current Amtrak station is unpleasant for several reasons. Including but not limited to the lack of an actual designated turn lane into the parking lot on N Tryon, the lingering fear that you may not have just parked your car in the safest lot, the humming of the dim lighting that looks like it hasn’t been replaced in 20 years, the homeless who tend to hang around, and the general impression it gives to those coming from out of town when they get off the train. Can Charlotte focus on this, instead of an unwanted MLS stadium and team?” – P

“Amtrak has two, count them TWO, trains that provide service through, or out of, Charlotte. One of those, the Crescent, comes through Charlotte at about 1:30 am. So how can the expenditure of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars be justified for moving the location where passengers get on the TWO Amtrak trains? Just a simple question. Myself, I think the taxpayer dollars are needed to make the project a go for the private developers.” – R

“The state rail plan calls for at least 7 daily trains to Raleigh, 4+ to DC (4 via Raleigh and others through Greensboro) and eventually regular service to Atlanta. Eventually we’re looking at around a dozen trains per day and nearly 1 million annual passengers.” – S

“Rode the train 🚂 to Durham last week (business class) and it was wonderful on the ride up. The ride back was fine but it was an hour and a half late. But worth not driving.” – D

In response to: Where to freeze your eggs in Charlotte – and why one woman is documenting her experience on social media

Thank you, Charlotte Agenda for opening the topic of freezing your eggs to others. Being a childless, 30-something female in this ‘day and age’ has become something of a target. I am in a committed relationship and we are happy! We want children – just. not. yet. Several of my girlfriends have decided to freeze their eggs. It’s an empowering opportunity and who’s to say that Mother Nature has the final say on when we can and cannot have babies?! – S

In response to: This one chart shows why “affordable housing” in Charlotte is a bogus term

“Affordable” has everything to do with income. People working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year at minimum wage gross less than $16,000 (less after taxes). So, $1000/month is not affordable. Even those making twice minimum wage – meaning about half the jobs in Charlotte/Mecklenburg – cannot afford $1000 a month. – E

“I rent in Cornelius for $1,100/month. I come from New Jersey where a similar apartment would go for at least $2,000/month. Charlotte metro area has affordable housing in spades. And, as more jobs come here, you’ll have less people looking to rent for so little.” – A

“Those paying $1,000/month have to consider too, is a 650 square foot box really worth that much??” – J

The crisis of affordable housing for those households who are extremely and very low income is acute, yet rarely talked about. While not nearly enough affordable housing units are being developed in Charlotte, the few that are are targeted at the 80% of area median income level – not where there is the greatest need. They get developed because it feels warm & fuzzy to talk about affordable housing for teachers, nurses aides, police officers (all of whom deserve AH to be sure) – but the reality is that guy you see panhandling in front of Starbucks has FAR fewer, if any, affordable housing options than the barista who works inside. We will never solve the challenge of affordable housing in this community until we get rid of a “worthy poor” mentality.” – C

In response to: Apple season is here, which means Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill’s farm stand and cider bar are now open

“Those doughnuts are the BEST!” – B

“If it’s clear and yella, you got juice there fella! If it’s tangy and brown, you’re in cider town.” – G

“I see apples and donuts in my future.” – C

“I hope they have ample seating this year and more than one long line to get the hard ciders. Last year it was a mess. The freshly made doughnuts were delicious. The prepackaged ones were meh IMO.” – J


In response to: Sleepy, struggling downtown Kannapolis is set for a major overhaul

“Kannapolis is a great community. If AMTRAK will update in Charlotte then folks can commute into Uptown via the train. Win win.” – J

“This is going to be awesome!” – F

In response to: The Agenda guide to dog ownership in Charlotte

“Great starter pack of resources for both new and seasoned dog owners alike, but I can’t believe that there was only one tiny mention of microchipping… While I realize it isn’t helpful if your dog isn’t microchipped prior to it being lost, but gosh it’s something that should be a ‘oh hey, by the way, once you get your dog back, microchip them if they’re not!'” – W

“This should be titled ‘The Agenda guide to where to adopt a dog and a list of the best dog Instagram spots’. This article completely missed major parts about dog ownership and creates a chance for irresponsible pet ownership. Many people go and adopt dogs for the simple fact of having a dog or pet to so they don’t have to be lonely or to share and highlight their adventures on social media. There should be a section in here that replaces the extensive coverage of dog friendly breweries and patios that talk about the time commitment pet ownership brings with it – dogs need exercise and to run around outside at a place that doesn’t serve beer and food. Dogs should not live the majority of their lives inside, dogs are meant to be outside animals and not cooped in a kennel all day in a small apartment. If a potential dog owner’s first question is where can I take my dog with me to have a beer, that person should not have a dog. You didn’t even cover the financial commitment a dog brings. Veterinarian visits, medication, dog boarding fees, food, toys, fees at apartment complexes…the list goes on and adds up. I know someone who adopted a dog, because they felt lonely and everyone else had one, but when the dog became sick and had issues, the veterinarian prescribed medication and expensive dog food as the dog needed special dietary intake the owner thought he knew better than the veterinarian and didn’t follow the recommendations as it was costly and he could barely make his rent and bill payments. The dog was fairly large, spent 23 and half hours inside every day, and threw up every day because she wasn’t taken care of properly. What about the time commitment? I thought I wanted a dog, but then my mom told me to examine my lifestyle. I am a 28 year old who has a demanding job, likes to go out and have some freedom on the weeknights, and I generally travel and do things out or around town on the weekends. I do not necessarily have a set routine, and there are a lot of readers here that have that same lifestyle. Dogs get hungry, need to use the bathroom, go on walks, need their owner’s attention. Going out on a Friday night, waking up at 11 a.m. on Saturday isn’t an option with pet ownership. That is unless you want to wake up to a sad dog who has used the bathroom in your house. I am not even going to go in on time commitment for a puppy, they are basically a like a human baby for the first few months.” – A

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Ted Williams
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