WFAE - Public Conversations


A series of community forums designed to convene Charlotte-area residents for discussion of timely and relevant topics.More from WFAE - Public Conversations »

Most Recent Episodes

End-of-Life Planning And Choices

This forum addressed common choices and challenges that individuals, their families and health care providers face surrounding end-of-life planning and care. We looked at things like living wills - What are they? How do they work? Are they effective? Ethical considerations regarding how we die. Hospice and palliative care. Plus more. We've compiled these documents and articles to help you prepare: New York Times: Teenagers Face Early Death, On Their Terms Medical choices and planning tools. News Director Greg Collard and Public Conversations coordinator Mark Rumsey, who moderated the forum, shared some follow-up thoughts on the discussion in our weekly podcast, WFAE Talks. National Healthcare Decisions DayNational Healthcare Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. Advance Directives Booklet NPR host Diane Rehm emerges as key force in right-to-die

The State Of Public Education

As the new school year gets underway, this community forum explored the changing climate for public education in the Charlotte region. Panelists addressed recent moves to raise teacher pay and discussed the future of student achievement standards and Common Core guidelines. The forum also examined the role of charter schools, their successes and challenges to date in the Charlotte area, and the outlook for charter programs.

Education Focus Of Tonight's Public Conversation

From class size and teacher pay to charter schools, changing test standards and the common core, public education has been big news of late. Tuesday night, WFAE will hold a public conversation on the State of Public Education. The event begins at 7 at the UNC Charlotte Center City Auditorium. WFAE's Tom Bullock will moderate the conversation. He spoke with WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry.

What's In Our Water?

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. 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. Moderator:Lisa Miller, WFAE reporter Panelists:Richard Gaskins, executive director at Catawba Riverkeeper FoundationBarry Gullet, director at Charlotte-Mecklenburg UtilitiesJoe Padilla, Executive Director; Real Estate and Building Industry

Your HOA

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.

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. We're talking about private authorities empowered by the government known as Homeowners Associations. HOAs are the focus of WFAE's Public Conversations forum Thursday at 7 p.m. at Davidson Day School. The program is called: Your HOA and You: Who Rules The Neighborhood? (To register, click here). WFAE News Director Greg Collard will serve as the forum's moderator. He spoke to WFAE's Kevin Kniestedt to preview the event. Kevin: Sounds like an easy job you have tonight... Greg: Well, the subject of HOAs certainly evokes strong opinions from people who love and despise HOAs, and those viewpoints will certainly be expressed this evening. But there's also a lot of confusion about HOAs – what are the rights of homeowners, for example? How easy is it for HOAs to impose fines for

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

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.

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.

The Gathering Power Of Food

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.

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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