City Smart: Santa glacier removed from SouthPark Mall to paid patriotism’s impact on Charlotte sports

City Smart: Santa glacier removed from SouthPark Mall to paid patriotism’s impact on Charlotte sports
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3 Important Things

  • Global Warming at the Mall. Earlier this week, SouthPark Mall set up a fancy new glacier for photos with Santa that would make the experience “fresh and exciting.” Apparently, those aren’t exactly words that Charlotte parents want to describe their annual holiday cards. A change.org petition requesting a traditional Christmas tree garnered nearly 25,000 signatures in just a few days, and this past weekend, the glacier was disassembled.
  • If at first you don’t succeed… Rep. Charlie Jeter and Sen. Jeff Tarte are working on a “plan of attack” to explore other options for expanding I-77 without relying on toll lanes exclusively, despite a $100 million penalty for backing out the already-signed contract with the builder. They are both up for re-election in 2016, and possibly trying to avoid a similar fate as Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain and Town Commissioners Sarah McAulay and Jeff Neely, who lost in last week’s elections.
  • $tar-$pangled Banner. Last week, Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain released a joint oversight report on what they termed “paid patriotism” or situations where the Department of Defense paid for patriotic tributes at professional sporting events for purposes of marketing / recruiting. Of the $6.8 million in marketing contracts with professional sports organizations, the Charlotte Hornets received $25,000 for three parachute drop-ins and the opportunity for USAF to perform on-court. The report did not include any marketing contracts with the Carolina Panthers, but did include $1,560,000 for NASCAR.

Tackling-Paid-Patriotism

1 Happy Thing

  • The Carolina Panthers are 8-0 this season, which means there are plenty of fans using the escalators paid for by the city of Charlotte. If you need a refresher, the city agreed to give the Panthers $75 million in three installments for stadium renovations and another $12.5 million for maintenance and traffic control.

1 Random Thing

  • Election turnout last Tuesday was 14.74%. Earlier this spring, for approximately 30% of the student body voted for student body president at Duke University.

(Photo credit: Tackling Paid Patriotism report)

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