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Saturday, December 20, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


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    Michael J. Solender

    Michael J. Solender

    Michael J. Solender is a recent corporate refugee whose opinion and satire has been featured in The Richmond Times Dispatch, The Winston-Salem Journal, and Richmond Style Weekly. He writes a weekly Neighborhoods column for The Charlotte Observer and is the City Life Editor for Charlotte ViewPoint. His micro-fiction has been featured online at Bull Men’s Fiction, Calliope Nerve, Danse Macabre, Dogzplot, Gloom Cupboard, Full of Crow, Pangur Ban Party and others.

    You can find more of his work at his website and also at his blog.
    Number of posts: 21
    Email address: email
    Twitter: Twitter
    Subscribe to my RSS Feed: http://likethedew.com/author/tknodcmn/feed/

    Posts by Michael J. Solender:


      The Democratic Process

      The Cost of Doing Business

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 19, 2013
      The Cost of Doing Business

      Those hosting last year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte filed a report with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for items missing or stolen during the week long convention totaling nearly half a million dollars, according to Steve Harrison in today’s Charlotte Observer:

      “The Democratic National Convention Committee said it recently sent the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department a spreadsheet detailing $496,000 worth of missing equipment. CMPD created an incident report in May.

      Southern Time

      You’re late? Yeah, I know

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Dec 26, 2011
      You're late? Yeah, I know

      I am terminally, helplessly and hopelessly prompt.

      No matter how hard I try to be late for meetings, appointments or scheduled events I just can’t do it, my DNA won’t allow me to be tardy.

      If you live in the South,  you’ve probably never met anyone like me.

      Like many Charlotte, NC residents I’m a “not-from-here” and yes, I grew up north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Granted, there the obsession with all things dominated by the clock is a bit more compulsive than it is in the South.

      Southern Cities

      What Charlotte Is Not

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Dec 5, 2011
      What Charlotte Is Not

      Home to the 2012 Democratic National  Convention,  Charlotte, NC isn’t New York City, one of my artist friends reminded me the other day. We’re not Los Angeles or San Francisco, not London and we are certainly not Paris.

      One extremely popular parlor game around these parts, enjoyed particularly by those from the above-referenced burghs or those even further afield, is the blood-sport of city relative comparison. The dissection of what exactly the Queen City is – or more fashionably, what it is NOT – seems to fuel endless discussion amongst those smarter, hipper and infinitely-more-urbane-than-us lowlies here in “Banktown.”

      Southern Nuts

      Testicles Put Brakes on SC Woman’s Joy Riding

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Jul 28, 2011
      Testicles Put Brakes on SC Woman’s Joy Riding

      As reported by Reuters,  Bonneau, SC police ticketed a 65 year old woman for violation of local obscenity laws earlier this month. It seems the sexagenarian’s sporting of fake (thank goodness they weren’t real) testicles from her pick-up were enough to get the constabulary’s underwear in a bundle…

      Southern Views

      This Reality Bites

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jun 6, 2011
      This Reality Bites

      Is it me, or has this “reality TV” thing gone just a bit too far? Seriously, how long can a nation be held on the edge of its collective seat, waiting to see who is voted off the island or who will get the boot from “the Donald”? Do we really care who will win the Amazing Race or who Snooki’s next hook-up will be? There have got to be better entertainment options and a better cultural legacy to leave our children than “You’re fired!

      It seems that in momma’s generation, people actually engaged in their own lives. They knew their neighbors and were plugged into the community in which they lived…

      Got a Kidney? Get Out Of Jail Free

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Dec 30, 2010
      Got a Kidney? Get Out Of Jail Free

      The state of Mississippi leapt headlong onto the slipperiest of slopes as it is reportedly making  kidney donation a condition of parole for a convicted armed robber. As documented by the Associated Press, Mississippi’s Governor Haley Barbour suspended the life sentences of two sisters convicted in 1994 of the armed robbery that netted them $11.00.

      In a move that would undoubtedly satisfy even Shakespeare’s vengeful Shylock, Barbour made the 36-year-old Gladys Scott’s release contingent on her giving a kidney to Jamie, her 38-year-old sister, who requires daily dialysis.

      When Muslim Garb Makes You Nervous

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Oct 21, 2010
      When Muslim Garb Makes You Nervous

      Islam-o-phobia in America got ratcheted up several degrees today when NPR fired veteran journalist and commentator, Juan Williams, for stating on FOX news that he “gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane” …

      When learned and well respected reporters with pedigrees of scholarly writing and journalistic excellence in coverage of American civil rights state on national television that they get “worried” and anxious in seeing airline passengers who identify themselves through their clothing as Muslim, every one of us has cause for concern.

      Fahrenheit 451 Redux

      by | 24, Add your Comment | Sep 9, 2010
      Fahrenheit 451 Redux

      Is It Hot in Here Or Is Your Koran on Fire? For a wacko preacher of a church with less than fifty members, the pastor of the Gainesville congregation Dove Outreach Center Terry Jones, has proven himself a master promoter and genius in generating worldwide press coverage that corporate marketers with zillion dollar budgets can only dream about. It seems going public with his intention to stage a Koran burning and weenie roast — now canceled — from the front porch of his sparsely attended church…

      Krispy Kreme, Cheerwine Team Up In Culinary Tsunami

      by | 10, Add your Comment | Jun 30, 2010
      Krispy Kreme, Cheerwine Team Up In Culinary Tsunami

      In a gastronomic feat that is certain to rock and roll the Tar Heel State more than the blood glucose levels of a Brittle diabetic, those NC stalwart manufacturers of our favorite health foods, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Cheerwine cherry soda have teamed up to create the ultimate limited edition confection, the Cheerwine Kreme Filled Krispy Kreme Doughnut. As reported in my hometown rag and sometimes employer, the Charlotte Observer, the two have collaborated on a combo that is sure to send even the most conservative weight watchers into a frantic search for the famous “hot now” sign that shines round the clock at Krispy Kreme outlets.

      Sex Abuse Scandal Break-through at the Vatican: The Devil Made Them Do It

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 12, 2010
      Sex Abuse Scandal Break-through at the Vatican: The Devil Made Them Do It

      Pope Benedict XVI last week delivered his most definitive statement and apology for the sex scandal that has been plaguing the Roman Catholic Church for the better part of  the last decade. Standing before thousands of priests in St. Peter’s Square on Friday, the Pope begged forgiveness and was quoted  by the New York Times as saying he would do “everything possible” to prevent priests from abusing children. Bishopaccountability.org, a U.S. based organization that documents the abuse crisis in the Church called the Pope’s  remarks a squandered

      New Normal: Heartland is Not in Kansas Anymore

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 10, 2010
      New Normal: Heartland is Not in Kansas Anymore

      The Brookings Institution has just published The State of Metropolitan America report which evaluates census and other data for the nation’s top one hundred metropolitan areas. Their conclusions? As a nation we are reaching critical milestones that if continued to be ignored will dramatically impact our collective standards of living in negative ways.

      The report outlines  five “new realities” to be mindful of. They are: Growth and Outward Expansion, Population Diversification, Aging of the Population, Uneven Higher Educational Attainment, and Income Polarization.

      Sky Falling: But Caveat Emptor In Consuming New Media

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Apr 27, 2010
      Sky Falling: But Caveat Emptor In Consuming New Media

      U.S Newspaper circulation suffered its biggest drop in over fifteen years as reported today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The annual report indicates an average weekday drop in circulation of 8.7% in the six months ending March 31st.  Sunday circulation saw a fall of 6.5%.

      The Chicago Sun-Times said that national journals showed large weekday losses, with the

      Y’all Get Fat Now, Hear?

      by | 12, Add your Comment | Apr 18, 2010
      Y’all Get Fat Now, Hear?

      Southerners, perhaps more than any other Americans, have a love affair with their food. Of late however, the relationship between Americans south of the Mason/Dixon line and their food has become more complicated and by many measures, downright dangerous.

      According to the Trust For American’s Health 2009 study, eight of the ten states with the highest rates of obese and overweight children and adults are in the South. Mississippi led the way with the highest rate of adult obesity at 32.5 percent, making it the fifth year in a row that the state topped the list. Four states now have rates above 30 percent, including Mississippi, Alabama (31.2 percent), West Virginia (31.1 percent), and Tennessee (30.2 percent).

      Biggest Loser? Our Kid’s Enthusiasm for School

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Mar 16, 2010
      Biggest Loser? Our Kid's Enthusiasm for School

      As if being a sixth grader wasn’t difficult enough, now it’s the teachers that start going for youngsters psyche. No wonder our kids don’t find school conducive to learning.

      Sixth grade teacher Rex Roland shapes young minds at Enka Middle School outside of Asheville, North Carolina.

      At least he did until Sunday, when the Asheville Citizen-Times reported Roland was suspended for writing “Loser” not once but twice on one of his student’s graded assignments.

      Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Mar 12, 2010
      Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

      With spring upon us, many high school teens across our land turn their thoughts to that annual rite of passage, the senior prom. If you are gay and attend Agriculture High-school in Itawamba County, Mississippi, however, you won’t be welcome. This follows a recent decision by the local school board that had the school district cancel the planned senior prom rather than allow an 18-year-old lesbian student attend wearing a tuxedo and accompanied by her girlfriend. The story of Constance McMillen has been reported in a number of media outlets including CBS news and tells of the flap caused by McMillen’s intention of attending her senior prom. McMillen simply desired to escort her girlfriend to the prom and dress up for the occasion, just as other teens have done to celebrate the tradition. According to CBS news, a Feb. 5 memo to students laid out the criteria for bringing a […]

      Two Endings. One Story – Money

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Mar 6, 2010
      Two Endings. One Story – Money

      The careers of two highly regarded and celebrated men came to surprise endings this week in Charlotte.

      As reported in the Charlotte Observer, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger flew his last commercial flight for US Airways, landing his short hop run from Ft. Lauderdale into the Queen City on Wednesday. He received a water cannon salute by the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport Emergency crew …

      Jake Delhomme, the affable “Rajun Cajun” quarterback of the Carolina Panthers for the better part of the past decade, also made news in Charlotte by leaving the Panthers .

      From the Lunch Counter to the Tobacco Warehouse

      by | 12, Add your Comment | Feb 22, 2010
      From the Lunch Counter to the Tobacco Warehouse

      Author, historian, and professor of Christianity and southern culture at Duke University, Timothy B. Tyson cannot escape  from a definitive life changing moment he experienced as a ten-year-old growing up in Granville County, North Carolina. There he was witness to a turning point in the racially charged southern small town of Oxford. Like many such southern communities in the period immediately following the civil rights movement of the mid-to-late 1960s, Oxford residents were grappling with what the future of race would look like in their hometown.

      The racially motivated murder of Henry Marrow, a black serviceman returning from Vietnam, and subsequent acquittal of the white businessman and his sons accused of the crime in 1972 led Tyson to write a paper in 1982 as a freshman history major in college. 

      Buddy, Can You Spare A Troy Ounce?

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Feb 19, 2010
      wheelbarrow of money

      Next time you go out for a cup-a-joe in the Palmetto state, you might find your Washington’s, Lincoln’s and Jackson’s no good at your corner coffee house. If State Representative Mike Pitts has anything to say about it you’ll be paying with gold or silver as he’s aiming to eliminate federally backed paper currency in favor of bullion.

      CBS News reports that Pitts, a Republican, introduced legislation this month banning “the unconstitutional substitution of Federal Reserve Notes for silver and gold coin” in South Carolina. They quoted Pitts who stated, “The Germans felt their system wouldn’t collapse, but it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread in the 1930s,” he said. “The Soviet Union didn’t think their system would collapse, but it did. Ours is capable of collapsing also.”

      When Teachers and Students Can’t Look Past Differences

      by | 11, Add your Comment | Feb 16, 2010
      When Teachers and Students Can't Look Past Differences

      My morning started today as it does most mornings with coffee and my local rag and sometimes employer, the Charlotte Observer.  I found one  headline particularly troubling, Facebook venting ensnares teacher.

      The story tells of a middle-school teacher in one of the city’s neighboring counties who used the popular social networking site to complain about her young students and their insensitivity to her religious beliefs (presumably Muslim though not explicitly stated) and values.

      South Carolina Likely To Lose Subversive Based Revenue

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Feb 15, 2010
      South Carolina Likely To Lose Subversive Based Revenue

      In what will likely deal a crushing blow to yet another revenue stream for budget-tight South Carolina, State Senator Larry A. Martin last week introduced a proposal to repeal the  Subversive Activities Registration Act. According to Martin, the law has been on the state’s books since 1951 and mandates that state-based subversives first register  and pay a five dollar filing fee with the state prior to any activities related to overthrowing the government or face some nasty fines.

      U.S. History? According to North Carolina, it Doesn’t Matter

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Feb 12, 2010
      U.S. History? According to North Carolina, it Doesn’t Matter

      According to officials with the North Carolina State Board of Education, the Tar Heel State’s high school children don’t need to learn about the founding of our nation or the Civil War. The Board is proposing changes to the high school history curriculum that will eliminate teaching about any historical events prior to 1877.

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Also on the Dew

    The Democracy Wall

    The Democracy Wall

    By: Ken Peacock

    I arrived in Beijing on an old Boeing 707 China Air flight in November 1978 after a week in Japan. The entry formalities at Beijing Airport were slow but considerably quicker than the Shenzhen Railway Station where I had previously entered China from Hong Kong. I caught a taxi from the airport to the Beijing Hotel on Dongchangan Jie. Taxis were a new experience for me in China, previously it was the “foreigners bus”. The Beijing Hotel had a long and fascinating history. It was built as a five-story brick building in 1915 and two years later a seven-story French sty  Read on →

    A Winter’s Tale

    A Winter's Tale

    By: David Evans

    When he gasped to take a breath and to stop swearing in his fractured English, he told her he had a “fucking shit life” and that she was a filthy whore who would die a horrid death. Spitting out more vitriol with each breath, he finished his rant by saying, “You will lose this war.” Perhaps time will, if it hasn’t already, prove him right. Certitude rang out from this Algerian jihadist who had been captured by Afghanistan’s tribal Northern Alliance shortly after the American onslaught following 9/11 . At this point, however, the “interview” was concluded when she said, “That may be, but your   Read on →

    What Kind of Idiots?

    What Kind of Idiots?

    By: Monica Smith

    What kind of idiots shell out, or commit themselves to borrow, two hundred thousand dollars for a row house and then sign on to a "warranty" that warrants nothing other than their responsibilities as buyers and owners? Rubes from the hinterlands of Georgia, mostly, but also a bloke in New South Wales. Imagine! I have written earlier about the mortgage notes that condition a loan on the buyers of property ceding their civil rights to the financier--e.g. on a standard Georgia form the borrower: (2)Waives all rights which Borrower may have under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United  Read on →

    A Gift For You

    A Gift For You

    By: Tom Poland

    My friend and co-author, Robert Clark, and I long planned to give readers a look at the Southland and its abundant beauty, unusual charms, and fascinating stories. We came up with “Closed Wednesdays” but never got it off the ground. Too much traveling, too many book-related events, and life’s way of throwing detours in our path got in the way. We stepped back and thought things over and decided to offer readers something a bit shorter. Seems today’s hectic pace discourages many from reading long pieces. Robert’s idea, “The Photo of the Week,” resulted and so far it is getting a good recept  Read on →