Mailbag: Top 20 feedback letters on Amazon, LGBTQ policy, Panthers money and SouthPark traffic

Mailbag: Top 20 feedback letters on Amazon, LGBTQ policy, Panthers money and SouthPark traffic
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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 2%), but it’s a good sample.

In response to: What Charlotte can learn from being snubbed by Amazon

“Seems like all the wrong lessons are being learned. Why do we continuously provide incentive packages to larger corporations at the expense of already existing companies and small businesses here? Why do we not create an environment for all businesses to thrive rather than focusing on attracting companies at expense of the taxpayer?” – A

“First off I noticed how Charlotte doesn’t have a startup community like at all…I never been to a city that didn’t that has I.T. for banking that has to change period. Charlotte looking for large companies to move here instead of putting in small business incentives for startups like new York has a tax free for ten year zone for startups etc… Also, they won’t attract I.T. techies without startups and these people are needed when larger companies come in looking for talent… Charlotte wasn’t picked because it simply doesn’t have the I.T. work force to fulfill the needs of Amazon.” – W


“I’m sorry, but thinking that having ‘#CLTisPrime’ on city buses is impressive is the exact reason we weren’t chosen.” – S

“Those crying fowl about Atlanta and Raleigh probably have not even visited those cities, and I would encourage them to do so. Atlanta is at the very least 5 years ahead of Charlotte in everything from retail, to sports to a diversified portfolio of large businesses. Raleigh’s downtown is bustling and unique, while not as big as Charlotte, is obvious the city and leaders are really focused on supporting. On the other hand, Charlottes retail is laughable, and leaders seemingly only work towards keeping the big banks. As a retail business owner (that’s uptown mind you), we have seen zero support despite being 100 yards from Charlotte Center City Partners and the Chamber. Those banks the leaders support are probably the worst examples of companies you want to build your city around. Talk about lack of economic opportunity for employees! Having worked at a bank they are stuck in the 90’s and likely the last thing a company like Amazon wants to be associated with.” – B

“This was a huge blessing in disguise for Charlotte Trust me! Such a massive presence of one company presents its share of issues that we don’t want. All you have to do is look at what happened to Seattle when Amazon pretty much took over their downtown. The cost of living skyrocketed, pricing most people out of home ownership. Amazon’s influence came at the cost of citizens and other area corporations best interests.” – G

“Guarantee a big part of why we weren’t chosen was the recent ‘bathroom bill’ issue. That’s a huge red flag for a progressive company like Amazon.” – J

“Let’s come down from the clouds and take a step back into reality. Charlotte is a great town, that is constantly growing and evolving, but we are nowhere near what Amazon needs. Amazon isn’t looking for a shipping center, so let’s just curb your airport arguments here. They’re looking for a city where they can have an impact.” – G

Time and, presumably, money was wasted pursuing Amazon, as it will be pursuing Apple. Invest these resources into reestablishing Charlotte as THE banking capital outside of New York, which it lost last year. Fintech is Charlotte’s only future in technology. Be the best at it. Unfortunately, this means that economic mobility will not improve anytime soon. Banking culture is not progressive enough. Evidence: simply observe the people walking down Tryon Street. – S

In response to: 9 food trends to watch in Charlotte in 2018

“Fads: charcoal and fancy cinnamon rolls. Here to stay: Plant-based entrees and poke bowls.” – W

“I wonder if any chefs/owners have meetings at which they ask the question – okay, do we have any Instagrammable dishes? Seems like they’re too cocky/proud to do this, but they totally should.” – J

In response to: Seoul Food Meat Company has a sister concept in the works next door

“Exactly what Charlotte needs. This is BBQ state and yet there is no Korean BBQ restaurants? WTH? The next food gold mine here will this concept… they were the best back in Cali. – B

In response to: What’s happening with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and LGBTQ policy, explained

“These are lifestyle choices. We are free to choose them. Our kids are there to learn. This should not be an issue. Schools need to remain neutral. Not become political and set an agenda. Families need to raise their own children their own way. Schools need to stick to reading and math. Teaching tolerance is one thing. Confusing children is another.” – N

“The fact that the detractors in the meeting used the terms they used is evidence that the area needs education regarding these topics. Education starts with kids since adults tend to be more entrenched in their ideologies.” – J

“They use beautiful words to mask a perverted agenda to sexualize kids, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have no right to talk to our kids about these topics much the less make it mandatory for them to see materials and classes that go against everything our religion teaches us goes against God & normalize this type of sexual behaviors. I’m saddened to say but these schools will become a safe place for the LGBT community and a complete danger for Christian families.” – M

“Good. LGBTQ children do exist. They deserve an education, same as anyone else. Bullying needs to be combatted and children benefit from learning about those different from themselves and tolerance. Sounds like parents need the education also.” – B

“Thank you for the detailed explanation of this topic although I think you should have, if possible, stated the names of the people that said, ‘It’s a parent’s responsibility to decide what goes in and what stays out of their child’s ears’ and ‘Should my child be subject to personal stories of sexuality?’ You want to know why Charlotte isn’t a modern city with tech companies beating down the door to move here? Read those two quotes and think of how many people in the city agree with them. Not only are the insensitive but they are simply stupid. And I don’t mean that they don’t make sense, I mean that they are literally stupid and show a complete misunderstanding of what a public school system is supposed to do. If people in Charlotte want an all-Christian, segregated, heterosexual-only school there are plenty of private options – but keep your ill-informed, racist, bigoted hands out of our public school system.” – A

In response to: The Panthers are worth public money. But let’s figure out now what we’re willing to offer

“Let’s remember what “public money” is: It is tax money taken out of the paychecks of hard working people, many of whom would probably disagree that the “intangibles” of having a NFL team in Charlotte is more important than other things that can be done with that money. Many of the people who would have part of their incomes confiscated in order to subsidize keeping the Panthers can’t even afford to go to a Panthers game. Think about that. No one wants the Panthers to leave, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking it’s really the highest priority for public spending.” – A

“A new owners demanding a new stadium is pure and simple 100% greed.” – B

In response to: 15 most beautiful restaurants in Charlotte, ranked

“We [designers] would really appreciate if you all would give credit to the VERY HARD WORK all of these lovely places take to make a reality. The designers/architects/contractors are often not cited and it frankly infuriates me. We throw our lives into these designs working hard with the clients, to achieve a beautiful experience and atmosphere and get no credit or recognition. Perhaps more of these lovely places would exist if people simply knew who to ask to design/build them.” – K

In response to: 45 projects that could turn SouthPark into a walkable, green neighborhood

“While I agree that the city needs to become more walkable, there is a growing movement among cities to impede traffic in the name of pedestrian safety, walkability, etc. This works in compact business districts where people live and work in a small area – think Manhattan, the Loop in Chicago, much of San Francisco, and most major cities in Europe. The problem is that Charlotte is not like any of these cities and restricting automobile traffic, or making it more difficult to get around in a car, will have the opposite effect than is intended. Traffic Calming, which is essentially creating congestion, may incent people to take public transportation or walk when those are viable alternatives, unfortunately those alternatives largely don’t exist in Charlotte. The city and it’s workers have expanded out not up and we should change the city landscape with that in mind. Reducing traffic lanes, adding pedestrian crossings where they are not needed, and narrowing roads can work in when there is a subway, a bus system that professionals will use, or people live close enough to bike to work – no one is going to decide to start taking the bus from their McMansion in south charlotte because traffic got worse, they’ll simply get more aggressive while driving.” – A

In response to: Looking for killer Vietnamese food? Head to Lang Van on the east side of town

“I’ve been going here for over 20 years and still come in to town for now that we live in SC.” – H

“My favorite restaurant in the entire city! Dong remembers everyone and what they ordered! I have food allergies, and I’m a vegan, and she always remembers! The staff are so polite and attentive! It’s just a wonderful place!” – J

In response to: It’s time to ask — Do those petitions you’re signing make a difference?

“LOL… of course they don’t work for things like movie theaters. These aren’t public policy choices or national parks. These are private businesses with financial problems. Your “petition” to keep them open doesn’t make them profitable. If you want them to stay open, petition them with your money…. cancel that Netflix subscription, go to the movies another once or twice a month, and make sure its always to that theater.” – F

“I am having withdrawal symptoms after park road shopping centers shortsighted loss of the movie theater. I’ve been here 15 years and have watched countless cool shows there…sometime with a theater all too myself. I realize that wasn’t great for business but it was a great location. lease don’t put a trendy bar there.” – R

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