Wednesday, June 29, 2011

N.C. still a great state for business

Our neighbor to the north, the Old Dominion, comes out on top again. But the Old North State has nothing to be ashamed of, according to CNBC's Top States for Business Rankings.

Virginia topped our inaugural study in 2007 with Texas at number two. In 2008, they switched positions and Texas took the title. In 2009, it was Virginia/Texas. In 2010, it was Texas/Virginia.

This year, Virginia powers back to the top spot with the best overall score in the history of our study — 1,660 out of 2,500 points. Texas slips back to number two with a respectable 1,578 points. ...

Our fifth annual study once again puts all 50 states to the test, measuring them on 43 different metrics in 10 key categories of competitiveness. We weight those categories based on how frequently the states use them as selling points to attract business. That way, we hold the states to their own standards, and tell you how they measure up.

This year's categories and weightings, for a total of 2,500 points, are:

• Cost of Doing Business (350 points)

• Workforce (350 points)

• Quality of Life (350 points)

• Infrastructure & Transportation (325 points)

• Economy (300 points)

• Education (225 points)

• Technology & Innovation (225 points)

• Business Friendliness (200 points)

• Access to Capital (100 points)

• Cost of Living (50 points) ...

Top 10 States for Business
1. Virginia
2. Texas
3. North Carolina
4. Georgia
5. Colorado
6. Massachusetts
7. Minnesota
8. Utah
9. Iowa
10. Nebraska

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And the official state sport is ...?

... if you guess basketball, then you'd be wrong. But if you guessed NASCAR, well, ding ding.

Gov. Bev Perdue is waving the green flag to make stock car racing North Carolina's official sport, says the AP.

Perdue planned to visit Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday and sign a bill that makes official the state's close and longstanding connection with the popular pastime.

Elementary school students urged legislators to place stock car racing on the list of state superlatives — the state bird is already the cardinal, the turtle is the state reptile and the sweet potato the official vegetable. ...

The bill notes that North Carolina's motorsports industry creates more than 20,000 jobs in the state and is home to racing greats such as Richard Petty and Junior Johnson.

Thoughts? Is this appropriate and spot-on? Does it enhance a stereotype? Does it really matter at all?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick hits: It really was Blackbeard's boat, and Uwharrie going natural

They're sure now ... it's the Queen Anne's Revenge
"The Raleigh News and Observer is reporting that the State has decided that the remains of a shipwreck off Beaufort, N. C. are in fact those of Blackbeard's flagship the Queen Anne's Revenge a.k.a QAE," writes the Beaufort Observer.

"Now we should say up front that we have no clue whether or not they are correct that this wreck is indeed Blackbeard's ship. What we do have a clue to is why they have declared it to be what they have thought all along it was. Money. ..."

Forest Service wants to return Uwharrie back to native condition

"The U.S. Forest Service wants to restore Uwharrie National Forest to its more natural condition by planting different trees and carrying out selective burning to encourage the growth of rare sun-loving plants," says the Winston-Salem Journal.

"The Forest Service last week released the draft management plan and environmental impact statement for the forest, which covers 51,000 acres in Davidson, Montgomery and Randolph counties. ...

"Plan highlights include reducing the number of loblolly pine plantations in favor of longleaf pine and oak-hickory forests.

"Currently, about 20,000 acres in the national forest are occupied by loblolly and shortleaf pines, mostly the result of past plantings for timber harvesting. ..."