Public Conversations

Public Conversations is an ongoing series of community forums designed to convene Charlotte-area residents for discussion of timely and relevant topics.  Our goal is to create comfortable settings that encourage a stimulating and enlightening exchange of ideas.  By organizing these Public Conversations, WFAE intends to serve as a catalyst for community dialogue.  Participants are encouraged to engage in conversation with a cross-section of community representatives, expert panelists, and with each other.

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A Trifling Place
9:45 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Episode 5: Charlotte's Tree Obsession

Trees shade the uptown area of Charlotte in the summer.
Flickr/Erik Cleves Kristensen

Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.

Of the seven cities I've lived and worked in, Charlotte has got to be most green. When you're getting ready for an airplane landing, it's like you're descending into a forest. Once you're on the ground, you quickly learn trees are a big part of the city's identity.

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Local Politics
4:12 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

In State Of City Address, Foxx Pushes For Streetcar

Mayor Anthony Foxx at City Council chamber, delivering his annual state of the city address.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Mayor Anthony Foxx says the city needs to focus on getting the streetcar and nearly $1 billion capital budget plan approved in order to create more economic opportunities and see Charlotte grow in the future. He spoke at the City Council chamber on Monday morning in an annual state of the city address.

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Local News
7:41 am
Mon January 28, 2013

DNC An Economic Boon Or Bust? Answer Comes Today

Local and DNCC officials at one of many press conferences during the planning stages of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Original estimates placed the economic impact of the DNC in Charlotte between $150 million and $200 million.  We'll know today if it came close. WFAE's Julie Rose reports:

Charlotte tourism officials have been known to over blow predictions of economic impact for various conventions, so they hired an outside firm to come up with a credible number for the DNC. 

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Budget
5:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Charlotte Ranks Third In Nation For Funding Pensions

Charlotte ranks third in the nation for the funding of its pension system of the nation's 61 most populous cities, according to a new Pew report.
Credit Briana Duggan

Charlotte is ranked third in the nation for paying its bills on time. Not just any bills – pension bills. That's according to a new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts. They found that the country's largest cities have an unpaid tab of more than $200 billion when it comes to retirement benefits promised to employees. And it turns out Charlotte has been preparing for retirement relatively well when it comes to pension plans.  

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A Trifling Place
11:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Who Are Charlotte's Celebrities?

Evangelist Billy Graham was honored by President Richard Nixon on Friday, Oct. 15, 1971 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, he has a plaque on the north side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Credit flickr/lorenabuena

One indicator of how well you've settled into a place is gaining a sense of the city's "celebrity" culture. Admittedly, I'm nowhere close. So I need your help ... 

I'm working on a list of local celebrities that newcomers to Charlotte should be familiar with (in case you run into them on the street!). Here's what I have so far:  

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A Trifling Place
10:01 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Episode 2: Uptown Vs. Downtown

Angela Haigler stands on the corner of East 6th Street and North Tryon Street in Charlotte.
Tasnim Shamma

President George Washington called Charlotte a "Trifling Place." That’s how our first president described the city during a visit in 1791.

But it’s certainly changed since then. Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.  


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A Trifling Place
3:41 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

A Trifling Place, Episode 1: Where Are You From?

Credit Tasnim Shamma

President George Washington called Charlotte a "trifling place." That's how our founding father described the city during a visit in 1791. But it's certainly changed since then. Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.


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Crime
4:49 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Guns For Gift Cards At Charlotte Church

This year, the New Life Fellowship Center received 93 guns which it turned over to CMPD
Courtesy of John Kee

A Charlotte church invited folks to exchange their guns for gifts over the weekend. The New Life Fellowship Center has been doing that around the holidays for the past six years. This year, the pastor says some of the people turning in their guns had the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut on their minds.

John Kee has been the pastor at New Life Fellowship Center for more than 17 years. He says during his time as pastor of the Double Oaks community, he's learned a lot. Especially about violence in his community.

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Music
1:08 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Holidays Keep Children's Choir Busy

The Charlotte Children's Choir rehearses at Myer's Park Baptist Church
Tasnim Shamma

For children's choirs across the country, the holiday season is a busy time. Choirs are in high demand, so that means choristers and their parents are spending long nights at rehearsals and concerts after school. 

The children at Myer's Park Baptist Church are in the middle of their evening rehearsal. They're standing under 120-foot-high ceilings and intricate stained-glass windows.

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Local News
4:49 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Wells Fargo Banker Charged With Insider Trading

The SEC has charged a Wells Fargo investment banker with insider trading.
Credit David Paul Ohmer/flickr

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged an investment banker at Wells Fargo with leading an $11 million insider trading ring while he worked in Charlotte.

John Femenia had access to a lot of confidential information through his job at Wells Fargo. He’s an investment banker (or at least was), and he got the scoop on several mergers because his bank helped with the financing.

That information is as good as money. Mergers often drive a company’s stock price up, so if you buy it before that happens – you're setting up for a nice profit.

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