I should also add that if you extrapolate the standings for your proposal #2 from the current ACC standings (which I know wouldn't be exactly the same but it's the best piece of data we have) this year's ACC tournament would be played without Virginia, Wake Forest, or Georgia Tech. Is that really a good idea?
This seems to be a favorite topic of sportswriters this week. The N&O also has a similar article today and I think they nailed the reason that Thad missed for the decline of the ACC tournament: the complete dominance of Duke and North Carolina of the tournament means that fans of other teams aren't as motivated to go. Not only is winning the ACC no longer required to make the NCAAs, but the ACC tournament title is no longer seen as up for grabs.
I disagree strongly with the idea of limiting how many teams make the ACC tournament. The Big East proves that when good basketball is being played in a league and the conference title is considered to be up for grabs, a four or even five day tourney can work well.
Another drawback of limiting who can make the conference tournament is that if you have 1/4 of the conference's teams not making it, you will further depress ticket book sales to fans of teams that are not in the top echelon and therefore pretty much guaranteed to be there, which also hurts school fundraising. Who will make the donations needed to be a tournament ticket buyer or even bother to buy a ticket book, or make plans to attend the tournament, if your team may not make it? In your scenario this year for example, Wake Forest and NC State fans, who by proximity should be prime candidates to attend the tournament, would probably not bother being interested since by January both fansbases probably would know that one of their teams would not even be in Greensboro. THAT's what would put the final nail in the coffin of the ACC tournament.
This article is too easy on the Morgan commission in Chatham County. It implies that the current bad economy is the main reason these subdivisions have failed, which is not the case. Back in 2005, during the real estate boom, local real estate agent Lynn Hayes was constantly posting proof that there simply was no market for all the high-end houses being proposed. For an example, see: http://www.chathamjournal.com/weekly/business/real-estate/review-of-briar-chapel-50609.shtml. In addition to this she was regularly posting on the Chatham county bulletin board pointing out that houses in those high price ranges were never being absorbed by the Chatham County market in any significant numbers.
So let's be clear. This isn't a case of today's bad economy turning viable development decisions into bad ones. This is a case of today's economy making bad decisions even worse.
Another insidious economic development factor sometimes overlooked is the effect on the value of homes without broadband. I think more and more buyers (if there are any left) are going to be verifying that they can get broadband internet before buying a house, and places without it are going to be tough to sell.
Quite a group of indignant comments you've gotten, basically from Starkweather's campaign team. It looks like they were assuming that your endorsement was theirs by right. In response to Dee's comment, I want to point out that Carl Thompson also said "I did make it clear that my comment was not intended to be a public endorsement." Despite that the Chatham Coalition has been trying to pass of Carl's statement as an endorsement.
The Sierra Club, in their release endorsing Starkweather and Kost also said: "The Sierra Club is thankful for the work of incumbents Mike Cross and Patrick Barnes, who were a great improvement over their predecessors. Cross founded the Southeast Chatham Advisory Council to work on air quality issues and to oppose a regional landfill in Chatham County, and supports good environmental positions on air quality in southeast Chatham, reducing the impact of spray fields, and standardization of water conservation rules in region through work with Triangle J council of governments. Barnes has also worked to reduce reliance on spray fields and we particularly appreciate his commitment to farm and open space preservation. We appreciate the good work done by incumbents Barnes and Cross..." The Chatham Coalition clipped these passages and claimed they were providing the full text to people.
I want to congratulate the Independent for truly being independent on this endorsement, seeing through a lot of the coalition's smoke, mirrors and mischaracterizations, and doing your own research, and not just taking the easy knee-jerk way on this endorsement. Chatham county has been well-served by Mike Cross and Patrick Barnes on the board of commissioners, and will be well-served by their re-election.
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