Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick hits: 'Fayette-nam,' blame Florida for the tough times, and new/less tags?

Playwright says 'Fayette-nam' a tribute

"A new play about Fayetteville and Fort Bragg debuted last month in San Francisco, but people here aren't necessarily celebrating the publicity," says the Fayetteville Observer.

"It's called 'Fayette-Nam.'

"The title injects new life into a nickname that Fayetteville leaders have tried to shed for 30 years. The Fayetteville of today is not the Fayetteville of the Vietnam era, when the city was filled with rough-and-tumble draftees preparing to go overseas, and downtown was filled with strip bars and prostitutes, said Mayor Tony Chavonne.

" 'It's a different city today. It's a different country,' he said.

"But the play isn't about Vietnam-era Fayetteville.

"Set in the present day, it's about a 19-year-old soldier who fears dying in Iraq.

"According to published reviews and press materials, the soldier - a black man from California - goes absent without leave the night before he's to deploy. He hides in a doughnut and egg roll shop next to a strip club on Bragg Boulevard with a first-generation Chinese woman (who dreams of living in Paris) and her college-student daughter (who is on the run for burning down a dormitory in New York). ..."

Financial chill in the Carolinas? Blame Florida

"Amid the bad earnings, bankruptcies and other bleak financial news from Carolinas companies, executives are increasingly blaming some of the gloom on the Sunshine State," says the Charlotte Observer.

"From Fortune 500 corporations to family-owned businesses, many area companies invested in Florida in recent years to capture a piece of the state's population boom. Now that the housing market has collapsed, growth has stalled, tourism has ebbed and consumer spending is down, a chill has fallen on the state's once-sizzling economy.

" 'They all rode the wave, and the wave came crashing down,' said economist Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness in Orlando. ..."

Some lawmakers want to review specialty plates

"Attention trout anglers, tennis players and forestry fans: you can now promote your passion on the back of your cars.

"The three are among the latest in an ever-growing collection of specialty license plates on the state’s highways – letting motorists show some individuality while generating extra money and awareness for groups, schools and hobbies," says the AP.

"The number of vehicles with specialty plates – not to be confused with personalized or vanity plates – has soared by nearly 50 percent in the past three years to 227,221 as of July 1, according to a state Division of Motor Vehicles report.

" 'When you drive down the road and you see a license, you say, what does that license plate mean?' said Kelly Gaines with the North Carolina Tennis Foundation, whose new 'Play Tennis' plate started June 1, generating donations for tennis camp scholarships and junior programs. 'There are some incredible causes out there.' ..."

Now, I LOVE tennis, but I even shook my head and chuckled on Friday when I saw the "Play Tennis" one for the first time. Maybe these plates are getting a bit out of control. I, for one, would love more standard North Carolina options. But that's just me.

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