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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Opening Friday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The Better Angels - Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger

Citizenfour - Documentary

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 - Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

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TONIGHT: Latin American Coalition hosts immigration reform announcement watch party

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Tonight, President Obama will address the nation to announce the steps he plans to take to begin fixing our broken immigration system. His message won’t fall on deaf ears in Charlotte, as the Latin American Coalition has partnered with Familias Unidas to organize a viewing party for the much-anticipated address. The party will begin at 7:45 p.m. at the LAC office located at 4938 Central Ave.

Local advocates, immigrants and their allies will be there in support and to watch the president’s address and discuss what it will mean for our community.

“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long,” Obama says in a video released by the White House. “What I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”

With the bill passed by the Senate more than 500 days ago still in limbo, the president has received significant pressure to address the issue in any way he can, but House Speaker John A. Boehner has said that all options are still in consideration and that he will continue to fight the president “tooth and nail” if he continues to push the limits of his legal authority.

With the looming threat of legal ramifications should the president act, there is a lot of pressure for both parties to reach a general consensus.

Tonight will set the tone for one of the country’s most controversial and far-reaching debates in decades. Whether or not you decide to join the party at the LAC, the address is a monumental one. Missing it to watch Grey’s Anatomy, or the new episode of The Biggest Loser: Glory Days might in fact make you the biggest loser.

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Today's Top 5: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 20, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Time Warner Cable Arena

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21st Beaujolais Festival at Foundation of the Carolinas

Films on Tap at Heist Brewery

Ajax in Iraq at Queens University

Triptych Collective presents Traces f. Hectorina, Troy Conn at Neighborhood Theatre

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First Drip (11/20/14): Family Dollar takeover snags, Obama's immigration gambit, FSU shooter

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Dollar General Corp.'s hostile takeover bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc. may have hit a stumbling block. On Wednesday, the New York Post reported the Tennessee-based discount retailer could have to divest more than 4,000 stores to gain Federal Trade Commission approval to acquire Family Dollar.

A lone gunman who opened fire inside the library at Florida State University was shot and killed by campus police early Thursday morning after he wounded three people, authorities said. The gunman, who was not identified, walked inside the entrance to FSU’s Strozier Library about 12:30 a.m. and opened fire, striking three people. About 300 students were in the library at the time.

President Obama will announce plans for comprehensive immigration reform tonight on national TV. The plan includes a program that may protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allows those with no criminal record to work legally in the country, according to people briefed on his plans. Details of the plan include the expansion of a program for "Dreamers,” young immigrants who came to the United States as children. Farm workers will not receive specific protection from deportation, nor will the Dreamers’ parents. And none of the five million immigrants will get government subsidies for health care under the Affordable Care Act.

Happy anniversary to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. He has been playing second fiddle for 67 years and does so with grace; he is, “quite simply, my strength and my stay," the queen says.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Charlotte tastes the rainbow, is ranked N.C.'s most welcoming for gays

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Take a bow, Charlotte — you’re the gayest city in North Carolina. Or, more accurately, the most welcoming to LGBTQ citizens. Hot on the heels of Gaston County’s resolution to formally condemn federally recognized marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign released their annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) Nov. 15th. They found Charlotte the highest ranking city in the state for inclusivity of LGBT residents.

This year’s MEI studied 353 cities from every state in the nation, looking at factors like relationship recognition, non-discrimination in city employment, law enforcement policies, and municipal services. They were rated on these measures from a scale of 1 to 100, with bonus points awarded for employee benefits, services to youth and people living with AIDS, and whether or not the city had elected or appointed any openly LGBT officials.

Salt Lake City, St. Louis and Dayton all scored in the top 23, well ahead of the Queen City. But our town didn’t fare too badly. Charlotte got a ranking of 63, beating the national average of 59 and swamping North Carolina’s average score of 50. Our closest competitor was Durham, at 59. Cary, North Carolina scraped the bottom of the barrel with a dismal 36.

Charlotte scored highest in relationship recognition, which equals marriage, civil unions, or comprehensive domestic partnerships established by statute or case law, with 12 out of 12 points possible. We also earned 7 out of 8 points for relationship with the LGBT community and bonus points for having openly elected officials gay officials (thanks, LaWana!). Our worst category was for discriminatory laws, with a score of 0 out of a possible 18.

The 2014 MEI rated 60 more cities than in 2013, expanding their pool to include the 50 state capitals, the 150 largest cities in the United States, the three largest cities or municipalities in each state, the city home to the state’s largest public university (including undergraduate and graduate enrollment) and 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples.

The MEI is not a ranking of a city’s atmosphere or quality of life, but an evaluation of the city’s laws and policies and how they impact LGBT people. Some high-scoring cities may not feel truly welcoming for all LGBT people, and some low-scoring cities might feel more welcoming than the scores reflect. But one can safely assume no city in Gaston County was rated.

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Today's Top 5: Wednesday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 19, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Hunter Hayes at The Fillmore

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Roux Wednesdays: Our Side Of The Moon EDM Party at Chop Shop

Innovation Challenge>Food Final Event at Johnson & Wales University

Art Fusion: NanoWrimo at Mint Museum Uptown

Grandma Lee at The Comedy Zone

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First Drip (11/19/14): South Carolina seeks to block gay marriage, Uber isn't God

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 9:13 AM

South Carolina's attorney general asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to stop same-sex marriages from starting in the state. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, same-sex couples will be able to marry in South Carolina beginning at noon Thursday. Wilson is seeking a stay during his appeal of a trial court ruling from last week that the state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is unconstitutional.

Comedian Bill Cosby has finally commented on the growing controversy over allegations that he raped several women over the years with a statement released through his lawyer. The categorical denial follows a weekend in which he reportedly canceled appearances on both David Letterman’s and Queen Latifah’s respective talk shows, and NPR hosted an interview where he responded to sexual assault allegations by silently shaking his head. No word on what if any impact this will have on Cosby's scheduled performances at Belk Theater Feb. 22.

An Uber senior vice president mused about hiring opposition researchers to attack critical journalists. Ellen Cushing, a senior editor at San Francisco magazine who profiled Uber CEO Travis Kalanick this month, said that employees warned her that executives were likely to access her rider logs using a tracking system called "God View" in order to see which employees she was speaking to as part of her reporting.

Senate Democrats blocked a move Tuesday to compel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The vote was a victory for environmental activists who have turned defeat of the pipeline into one of the central symbolic causes of their movement. But Republicans, who will take majority control of the Senate in the next Congress, vowed to return to the fight next year.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

George Dunlap thinks Pat Cotham has a big mouth

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

It's not a real fight until someone starts name-calling; the battle for who will chair the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners just got real.

On Monday, commissioner George Dunlap posted a statement on his Facebook page accusing fellow Democrat Pat Cotham of having a big mouth in an effort to discredit her as a potential chairperson. "She is a snitch on the board and can't be trusted. When she was chair, the media had more information about what was going on than the Commissioners, because she was there [sic] pipe line, and still is today."

Dunlap even went so far as to drop Bill James' name in his statement. Shock value? You know us liberals run screaming into the night at the mention of the conservative commissioner.

As Jerry Klein wrote for us earlier this month: "Mecklenburg County voters overwhelmingly chose Pat Cotham as their top choice as an At-Large member of the Board of County Commissioners. Ella Scarborough returned to public office and came in second, 18,000 votes behind, and Trevor Fuller came in third, trailing Cotham by 22,000 votes. Those are not small gaps — those are landslide results."

Traditionally, getting the most votes in the at-large election would have handed Cotham the gavel. Traditionally, anyway. Last year, Dunlap and others approved a policy for electing commission chair — majority rules, no matter what the voters want.

Our elected officials, ladies and gentlemen. I can see a lot getting accomplished next year.

Read Cotham's response and Dunlap's full statement at QcityMetro.com.

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First Drip (11/18/14): Cannon goes to jail; Manson gets married

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Monday was former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon's last day as a free man. A probation officer said Cannon left his home Monday and Channel 9 confirmed Cannon arrived in West Virginia and was staying in a hotel overnight. Cannon has to report to prison Tuesday by noon in Morgantown, West Virgina.

A fight is percolating between two Charlotte coffee purveyors over whether their names are so similar that customers will be confused. The founder of Dilworth Coffee, which celebrates 25 years in Charlotte this week, says the owner of a new coffee shop has taken some of his business by using a nearly identical name and concept, according to a federal lawsuit.

Mass murderer Charles Manson has gotten a license to marry a 26-year-old woman who visits him in prison. The Kings County marriage license, viewed Monday by The Associated Press, was issued Nov. 7 for the 80-year-old Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, who left her Midwestern home nine years ago and moved to Corcoran, California — the site of the prison — to be near Manson. She maintains several websites advocating Manson's innocence.

An attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem in which four worshippers were killed by Palestinian attackers — later shot dead by police — has ramped up tensions in the region, with Israel vowing a “harsh” response to the latest act of violence.

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Today's Top 5: Tuesday

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Nov. 18, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Elenowen at Evening Muse

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Fight Night Comedy Competition Finals at The Comedy Zone

Black Chip, White Chip at UpStage

UniverSoul Circus at Old Merchandise Mart

Comedy Open Mic at Jackalope Jacks

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