Gaston County Articles & Publications

[title_1]
Plans for the Silver Line are taking shape
   January 26, 2021
Ely Portillo

The multibillion dollar Silver Line light rail is years away, but Charlotte is moving closer to a final vision for the east-west transit line that could reshape much of Charlotte.

This week, the Charlotte Area Transit System presented a more detailed map of the proposed routes and stops. It’s an ambitious undertaking: At roughly 26 miles, the Silver Line would be nearly twice as long...

Read more


[title_1]
Four things to know about Charlotte’s push for more transit funding
   December 4, 2020
Ely Portillo

Charlotte voters could find the biggest ask in local history on their ballots next year: A $6 billion referendum to fund the local share of the city’s “transformational mobility network” with a new, one cent sales tax.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, the Charlotte Moves Task Force and other local leaders have signaled their support for such a measure in the fall of 2021. The referendum would...

Read more


[title_1]
Charlotte region's Hispanic population grows at a rapid pace
   July 7, 2020
Chuck McShane
It’s been nearly a generation since the 2000 Brookings Institution Report that classified Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham as “Emerging Immigrant Gateways,” based largely on the rapid growth of Hispanic/Latino immigrant population. Hispanics now make up more than 10% of the population of the 14-county Charlotte region, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Read more


[title_1]
Sun Belt cities are driving much of our urban growth. Let’s study them.
   July 6, 2020
Mary Newsom
The U.S. population, like that in Charlotte, is growing, and much of the growth is in the cities of the Sun Belt. A new report from a Houston university research center says the country should be paying more attention to those Sun Belt cities – treating them as a specific genre that needs its own body of research. Read more


[title_1]
How to help fireflies — and save a bit of summer magic
   June 22, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom
A bobwhite quail calling from the edge of a stubbled hayfield. Honeybees buzzing in every patch of clover.  Fireflies hovering just beyond reach as dusk gives way to night. These are the images that come to mind when I think back to summers outdoors in the Uwharries when I was young. Little did I know that over the course of my lifetime, each of those species would experience precipitous... Read more


[title_1]
The pandemic is an opportunity for investing in our community
   June 16, 2020

Stephen Grotz
As the world sinks towards an unprecedented depression, now is the time to invest.   The demand for the most valuable commodity in the world — human ingenuity — has not been this low since the Great Depression in 1933. The nation’s unemployment rate spiked to 16.1% in April 2020 (before dipping to 13.3% in May), and world populations are confined to their homes, threatening the global economy.... Read more


[title_1]
Post-coronavirus, everything will change in cities — or not
   June 4, 2020
Mary Newsom
We who write about cities are quick to make predictions. Some will prove prescient. Some won’t. But nobody really knows. Cities aren’t all alike. New York’s texture, way of life and pandemic experience are not Charlotte’s, or Houston’s, or Seattle’s. And this: We humans have a long history of behaving both predictably and unpredictably. Read more


[title_1]
Identifying the frog calls of spring
   May 27, 2020

Lily Cooper
June is upon us, and the rush of activity in the ponds, streams, and vernal pools of our state is already well underway. For many native frogs, it’s breeding season. Right now is a great time to experience the variety of nighttime songs that signal the return of summer in our waterways. The best part is, you don’t need to collect ticks or put on a pair of waders to do so. Frog songs can be... Read more


[title_1]
Growing peas and finding peace in the Piedmont
   May 26, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom
The English peas are finished. Given the long spell of mild weather we’ve enjoyed this year, I’d hoped this cool-weather crop might last a bit longer. Alas, they still flamed out in a matter of weeks. English peas (Pisum sativum) are the very essence of a Piedmont spring – sweet and tender and all too fleeting. Read more


[title_1]
What does COVID-19 mean for place-based development?
   May 20, 2020

Places like Shelby’s Don Gibson Theater, the El Dorado Outpost outdoor retailer in the Uwharries and The Twilight Bark pet supply company in Troy were built on grit, luck and the surety that there would be demand for something other than the offerings at chain stores and strip malls. But for those counting on place-based, experiential strategies to drive their revivals, the key question is:... Read more