Public Conversations

Public Conversations
7:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

What's In Our Water?

Mt. Island Lake, the source of Charlotte's drinking water.
Mark Rumsey

At WFAE's Public Conversation on "What's In Our Water," reporter Ben Bradford opened the community forum by presenting an overview of the Catawba River Basin including the lakes that provide Charlotte's drinking water supply, threats to the regions water quality, and the water treatment process.

Listen to the overview.

View slide presentation to accompany introduction. (Attached as PDF.)

This Public Conversation offered perspectives from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County water quality and water treatment officials, the local Riverkeeper organization, and the real estate and building industry. The discussion covered topics from water quality monitoring and government regulations, to concerts about the pollution from coal ash stored near North Carolina rivers and lakes. 

Listen to the full event audio.

Lisa Miller,
WFAE reporter

Richard Gaskins, executive director at Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
Barry Gullet, director at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities
Joe Padilla, Executive Director; Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition
Rusty Rozzelle, Water Quality Program Manager; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services


Public Conversations
4:01 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Your HOA & You: Who Rules The Neighborhood?

Credit thisisbossi / Flickr

Listen to the discussion.

Thousands of Charlotte-area residents live in neighborhoods that have a local Homeowner Association.  HOAs are often praised for keeping communities cleaner, safer and more livable.  But some homeowners complain that HOA boards can be too rigid and arbitrary in enforcing covenants and restrictions, infringing on homeowners’ rights.     

This WFAE Public Conversation explored the pros and cons of living in an HOA community, along with the rights and responsibilities of HOA residents and boards.  Panelists discussed current state laws that govern Homeowner Associations in North Carolina, and proposed changes to those laws.

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HOAs & You: Who Rules The Neighborhood?
5:23 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

HOAs And You: A Public Conversations Preview

We’ve all heard the horror stories about an authority that tells you what’s allowed, what’s required, and what you can’t do regarding your property.

No, it's not the government, or even Charlotte's tree police.

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Public Conversations
12:00 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Charlotte's Arts And Culture Groups: How Can They Survive... And Thrive?

Firebird outside the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
Credit James Willamor / Flickr

Arts and cultural organizations in Charlotte are struggling financially in the wake of the recession and cutbacks in community funding and donations.    Many of these non-profits have had to reduce staff and cut costs and services.   A few organizations have suspended all or parts of their operations, and others say they have little or no cash reserves to sustain them through any future financial droughts. 

This WFAE Public Conversation explored the challenges faced by these organizations, how they hope to build a stronger future, and what’s at stake for the community.

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Public Conversations
7:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

On Location: The Charlotte Area Film Industry

WFAE’s Public Conversation on the local film industry provided insights into how movies, television shows and commercials are cast, shot and produced in the Charlotte area.   Panelists and audience members also discussed how the film industry impacts the region’s economy.  And the forum explored contrasting views on North Carolina’s financial incentives for the film industry.

Public Conversations
1:02 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The Gathering Power Of Food

Attendees were greeted with lemonade at the front door of the Levine Museum of the New South.
Mark Rumsey WFAE

A community forum to highlight and explore the ways in which food brings people together – from food festivals to holiday meals.   Panelists and audience members  shared experiences and observations on how gatherings around food impact families, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches and other community institutions.   The Public Conversation explored the role of food in creating cultural identities, facilitating conversation, and marking key life events.  Discussion also addressed how the ‘Gathering Power of Food’ can be preserved in today’s “fast food society” and amid busy lifestyles. 

Listen to the panel discussion.

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Public Conversations
2:25 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

One Charlotte Or Many? A Neighborhood Perspective

Charlotte needs to find new ways to increase its tax base. In the past, annexation provided low-hanging fruit. But there's almost no more space to annex. Today, south Charlotte property taxes provide half the city’s revenue. Policymakers have presented initiatives and projects, such as affordable housing and the street car, but what do neighborhood residents want?

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Public Conversations
4:43 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Voices In The Gun Debate

Moderator Ben Bradford, Larry Hyatt, Rep. Mel Watt
Jennifer Lang

WFAE's Public Conversations Series examined the current debate on guns and gun violence in America. Panelists and audience members discussed recent proposals designed to reduce gun violence. Moderated by WFAE's Ben Bradford, the forum also addressed Second Amendment issues, enforcement of gun laws, underlying causes of gun violence, and the politics of the gun control debate.  

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Public Conversations
12:03 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Respect And Disrespect: What's Up In Our Society?

Panelists Cyndi Shaw, school psychologist, Jerry McGee, president of Wingate University, Judge Rickye McCoy Mitchell, WFAE News Director Greg Collard
Jennifer Lang

This community forum explored what many people see as a widespread culture of disrespect permeating our society and communities today.  Panelists and audience members discussed the causes and effects of this apparent breakdown in common respect.   The forum also examined the roles of parents, schools, public figures, the media and other groups in fostering an atmosphere of respect, or disrespect, in the local community.  


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Politics In The Streets
1:00 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Politics In The Streets

Audience members had plenty of questions and comments for the panelists. Photo: Tanner Latham

Audience members had plenty of questions and comments for the panelists. Photo: Tanner Latham

Panelists and audience members engaged in a lively conversation about the First Amendment rights of protesters during the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, and the city's plans to maintain order and safety during the DNC. About 170 people attended the free community forum at the Mint Museum - Uptown.

Moderator: Greg Collard, WFAE News Director


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