Are Smart Phones Dumbing Down Kids?

Carolina Focus
Saturday, May 20th

Carolina Focus May 21, 2017. Are Smart Phones Dumbing Down Kids? Michelle Houck with Carolina Raptor Center talks about new summer experiences. Sgt. Mike Baker with the NCHP discusses summer programs for the roads. GoPro Motorplex Little 600. I-77 Toll Lane Project: An In-depth look with WBT's Mark Garrison.

00:53:59

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I'm mark Thomas and this is Carolina focused on news 1110993. WPP. 1079 to win 102 point 56 and the fans. It's where we look at issues events and happenings can affect the Carolinas and the Charlotte region. Just about everybody has a Smartphone these days including most kids you don't see kids with flip phones that's for sure. And it's almost as though it's. Just this. And joining us now is Preston Blair who was an education writer in Chapel Hill. And she's done a little bit of research and study of the the situation with kids and their Smartphones. And she joins us now here in Carolina focus good morning Christen. It's it's good good to have you here and you how long have you been looking at this particular. Issue of kids and Smart. Well I'd I'd. It from two angles really have looked at her for quite awhile as a writer and that co authored a book came in 2012 conference and this vaccine at large part of which looked at the whole issue. How to navigate. Technology used between an early teens and then I also navigated as a parent myself I have the fifteen yarder in nineteen. And I'll ask is that boy and girl both boys both girls. I have they nineteen year old that the boy in the fifteen year old as a girl. So you're kind of you to scoop and run the gauntlet with one and you're in the middle of the gauntlet with the other. What what are you out. What are some of the general findings. That you you profound act in their research. How much of the things that we see it it's really as you mentioned Ammon and action is just the sheer magnitude. Used since spring time. I know one study at past several years ago referred to media as the other parent it has such a huge impact on his life because there. Interfacing with it first thing in the morning throughout the day at school after school at that time and some kids as you know even with their funds. So this is that the very pervasive influence on the lives of kids who wanted to think I was really interested in looking into you. Was on how did the impact learning is the impact learning what ports that that. QVC circuit especially the kids who really don't disconnect much. And is the topic of the of the comments and they want to tackle. And I know a lot of times we'll hear any time education funding is being discussed with a public schools. In this have been going on for 25 years. That there's more demands for more technology more computers in the classrooms we have to be wired in. In order to teach kids. These days. And this seemed to would almost seem to be an extension of that is that what you're finding. Yes I mean there's definitely a lot of pressure I think I'm un school that school districts to prepare kids for the 21 century skills we see a lot of that and there's no question that the important. For kids to know how to live with devices and has faced with a responsibly. You had a leopard and then in and really helpful ways but at the same time. There's a lot that we don't know in terms of the other facts that screen emerged as happy and sense though. One of these areas that we he is with medium multitasking because kids are still connected and so much of their time in which media. It's in hinting at some of the other things that it any time as a learning. And tattered and homework and other information. Why no one of the things that has come up is the amount of time kids spend. And I think the term is that you used is recreational activities or something like that you know eight or nine hours a day in some cases. When actually you can call it what you want it comes down that four letter word play. Exactly. You know I think one edit the things that that you can't get away from and it. It's important I think her for parents and teachers and everyone else who is working closely with kids is the difference between work and play. And when the two things come together. And and kids want that right you know that there have they need a lot of help in terms of setting limits and I went to work and when the plane when those two things come together as they talked to do. With a lot of media used that can be a problem. Well I know sometimes you'll consider me a technological luddite. But for years I've thought a lot of times it seems like people have computers in their offices simply because they can't have an electric train at work. And it in his serves more her purpose for entertainment sometimes. And you know watching the flashing lights and that sort of thing are you finding that sort of thing with the kids and education. I think one of the interesting things is you gave her a lot. About kids in her treatment technology and the benefits of spending nimble Agile and using it for content creation and it and other things and one of the surveys that I site and conscious that actually. Just 3% of kids on the screen media time and I concentrations of these kids aren't they and I kodi in and out blocking most of them are using it. For a lot of the same reasons that don't use devices recreational league which is to connect with their friends or taken in context. Candy crush. Games and that the whole outlook. You know I know several several years ago one of our upper management people here in our in our radio station we were in our quarterly meeting. And I sit next to him in the back of the room he said an airplane what won some little video game on his phone. And if yes that is opposed to being a part of the meeting and it's like you know hey if a yes you cannot now not granted it was it was kind of one of these deals you have a quarterly meeting that would you know it's the same meaning we've had for the last ten years it's saying making a grim next time. But you know it's just. Adults as Wallace kids fall into this trap of using technology. That is ostensibly going to help you I mean let's face it your Smartphones in your pocket. And you're just a few clicks away from basically the totality of all human knowledge. We're not using it for that our way. I write. Well I mean I think for kids there's there's that many. And Lori distractions and I you know I think that that word is. Is key I think and class in context there's a lot of good uses for technology and I think educated they're using him in and using devices have been very exciting ways. And helpful ways but. What about kids and their time and and said that the recreational immediate he. Is that they won and and one of the studies that I that I that was an interesting was looking at how kids in record time. How that affects actually attacked performance McMaster this with a steady. If there in Massachusetts. And showed that kids who it heaviest medium multi captors. Had the lowest scores are lower scores. Time now standardized test English and English and math and intense as you get compared to kids who were not acting as frequently. So there's there's limits any evidence that maybe some of the things that catered. Outside the cluster them. Is actually having an impact on what's going on inside. And exactly how does that translate what's the what's the cause and effect we know the you know third if if you have the statistical knowledge that you know children are spending X amount of time on. Smartphones in their for their grades are. Why percentage less than that that other kids who don't spend that much time on what what's the reason for that. Well I don't I don't think we know for sure I don't know that debt and some of these cases we're looking. Your confidence back in some cases it's it's one is that the other guys down. And that's some of the research that lets. College he'd be for him once Smart and use it as Smartphone news about college deep down so it's not exactly clear. How that works there or what's going on them but we are seeing more and more. Research showing up that shows that security more and more of this throughout the day. Are actually not performing as well in school or you know other measures that we look at and and and. Could it be a situation that. There are fiddling around on their cell phones into a snap Chad minster premise that a studying could it be as simple as that. Absolutely and look at it. Exact. I always found that his cause and effect of I didn't study for the test I usually didn't do very well and if I did study for the test somehow I got a better grade I you know yeah. I don't not rocket and right now know were rocket surgery. Right if you're spending time. Why your ostensibly. The game and your not really on task studies it's gonna take you longer and it's not going to be as effective and so. That that the pretty pretty basic. Factor that they can lead candidate and I think one of the things that is pretty interesting now is that many many kids. Don't get that they don't understand that and they are trying to do their homework and their studies and that really kind of gadget brits and environment where. There are just hoping distractions everywhere and so that's not a very effective step in them. And of course with teenagers you've got enough you know in here aren't. Paulson distractions. But to use your phrase. Going on. Anyway and now this just seems to be adding to the mix. Christen Blair education writer from Chapel Hill we appreciate beyond Carolina focus. And I know this is something that is not gonna I'm be resolved any time soon. And we'll keep you in the Rolodex and touch base with you every now and see ya what else you find out. Great thanks for having. You're listening to Carolina focus on who's 1110993. WBT. 1079 the linked. One or 2.5 six and the fan also available to podcast that WVT dot com. I'm mark Thomas your host and joining us once again from the Carolina raptors senators Michelle Hayek houk excuse me is Michelle how. And she's got some surprises for us here this morning. And for things going on at the raptors senator morning Michelle Moore I you saw you sound exuberance. I can't deliver it because we're prepared for summer and we are really excited that we've got to offer people the summer yeah. Well my you're already on your summer hours I know that. But what what special things you have in store. You terrible starting Memorial Day weekend we have our annual talent. Summer flights. We did a really exciting time high flying gravity defying the last flights out. But some would have been spent a lot of Serbia out there. It's free with regular admission and that is the banks and wonderful grants that environmental education grants found. Duke Energy foundation. And I think everybody. Knew the competitiveness and the content of the flight that summer. And in the past this has been it in additional cost when you go to the Iraq percent. It's been. Accompanied by about the public but that now it is just you know to Edmonton and you're reserve bittersweet but come on man. Now what what exactly is involved here. With. With the flight show. The. We look at the end of the internet's. And we have that will fly right over the coming out. Ahead and add these to be people that could occur. Trying it is really spectacular thing. Yeah I didn't like it because it. It's. Let me it that and I and. And of course were talking raptors and for people who may not know. These are things like Eagles and owls and and so on. So we went on one of them one at a crowd favorites but is Eurasian eagle owls which had a lot larger owls in the world. And he couldn't eat you can't hear them fly because our perhaps silent flight though it sometimes it even if that applies. When those birds come over here head. Now how did you come by the Asian owls. The that your argument. Eagle out. Birds that are captive bred in the United States and that they we that it can't genetic diversity. And that sounds like a lot of a lot of very specific plot that out. If we we wanted to make sure that now that we have from. From different countries are are healthy and that. They don't get genetic. Defects because they're in glad that you wanna have a lot of those owls in the in the population in the United States. So it's so almost kind of the inverse of what people do with dog breeding in that sort of thing you don't want. 01 strain one line you want. A diversity line primarily because there are going to be much healthier way. At. Attracting. And out what to outlook now you've got that going on starting Memorial Day what else do you have going on right now the senator. Although it so I'll on Memorial Day weekend are out of rapture and counter person and raptor in Canada are small group experienced there it. What you can do wit. You and the previous plan than those. Does it. I don't really diverted out that he couldn't you can go into the eagle aviary. And hang out with eagle for about 45 and then you can. To vault servants are just taking a walk with one of which one of our resident voluntary and you'll probably get some slight. Demonstration and that culture and that culture venture you can do begin speaking to what whenever I resident an interpreter it's which it's. And the first by the government will be that President Clinton and well patent faltered later later on in the year. But. These are these available on our web site and here. They're really designed to get people on those would be quick and never really spectacular bird's. Moves to be cut like that what would what is the website. Www. Carolina raptors fractured dot RG. Now I've got a question for you see you're gonna have ravens there are rape rape or ravens raptors. There are not. We put that. Really funny how we came to have the ravens and net prize and clothes. We we thought it might be really interesting exhibit to have for the first few months this that. So the difference between court which is what they are and raptors. Corbett. On the wars that they'd they don't just eat meat. And that the can be very very intelligent and yet after the agreement with the current topics that we love to be expected that much that we didn't want and they remind somewhere else. Now didn't I know most of the birds you have there are brought to you because they're injured and they really can't make it out in the wild. Is that also the case with the the mag pies in the crow's. So I considered it. BP. Unbelievable and now more edited performance. You know when they when they make it into the apartment complex and they are no longer injured. Agents are birds that are. Great example of this species that are unable to make it back out into the wilds. And we're speaking with Michelle hop with Carolina raptors senator. About some of the neat things they've got coming up. Primarily starting at the Memorial Day it's a great place for the families and kids home schoolers and school groups to take advantage of to really learn something about. The raptors and other types of birds obviously now I do have a question for it I've seen a number of people have been friends of mine are nature photographers. And they've been getting a lot of bald Eagles in the wild recently. Canadian product could put you on the spot here a little bit. But out in the wild we are seeing more and more bald Eagles. In a variety of places where it. Bald Eagles are cool wait conservation. Success story. I'm in the sixties and North Carolina that you had won nesting pair and the elderly because it. Because of the fact that DDT he had met with the integrity of the bag there it eagle would lay in and it added that it capacity he. And yeah. That would be kind of mushy and they've put on it and it would it would not produce young and the we. Really conservation problem for a long time because of that and what it was that they can. We started recovery really almost immediately that we have. But over a hundred nesting pairs of bald Eagles in the wild in North Carolina. Great success story that really have made a comeback and you'll see them. No water in almost every part of North Carolina now. And another thing I was a speaking to someone over the weekend I was out to in Robbins Villa the a Joyce Kilmer national forest. And someone there was mentioning that they had actually seen a golden eagle in the wild. I was a little skeptical have you heard of Golden Eagles. Returning to the wild in the Carolinas. It's very very. Very rare act that we won gold mini goal end in. But it did not hospitals that that would that would Islam. That came from North Carolina. What they're likely singing is that juvenile bald eagle because those birds did not get their full head of white to. Had a light in another five or six years old and the that dark brown makes people think that they are golden eagle. But it likely to have the juvenile bald eagle. And Michelle how with the Carolina raptors center. You've got to get richer web site again NTELOS. About your special upcoming events starting a Memorial Day weekend. So. Web site is www. Carolina raptors center dot IG and we wanted to come out wonderful flights yeah. That is at 1 o'clock and 3 o'clock on Saturday died at Memorial Day weekend and on Sunday and happened at 130 and then at 3 o'clock again. You can't get no to speak with one with a one of one of the great species act you're laughter. It would have rafter encounters with we're really looking forward to its. Being out on the left a trail that summer. Michelle Hopwood Carolina raptors senator once again thanks for being on Carolina folks. Thank you so much mark. You are listening to Carolina focus on his eleventh since 993 WVT. 1079 going 102 point 56 and the fan. Also available as a podcast the WBT dot com I'm mark Tom usher host and coming up soon next weekend is Memorial Day weekend. And that usually kicks off the summer driving season. And people can be out on the roads. And in North Carolina and elsewhere. In greater numbers and you know I guess this kind of almost like the swallows to Capistrano. That means that the North Carolina Highway Patrol is going to be all a little bit more active than they are at other times of the year and joining us right now. The sergeant Mike Baker with the North Carolina Highway Patrol good morning sergeant baker. Aborted take your head and yet this is it's kind of a tradition isn't it. It is Memorial Day we keep discipline that we look forward to every year. I think we need the rest of the motor published or two because it. It actually I guess so to speak the beginning of the traveling overseas in. As you say it more people will be Seattle to the roadways going to their intended destination that is something that we you. Focus sold to make sure that those individual voters derive from political base safely. And as far as the Highway Patrol is concerned are you going to have any special programs. Any special operations going on. Over the mall and Memorial Day and then ongoing throughout the summer that you wouldn't normally have loosely. Well under Memorial Day were actually partnering Lee is the wildlife resource commission. I will be conducting the operation called all the road food all the water. Don't drink and drive were basically we're combining our efforts with the wildlife resource commission in and around boating ramps. Sitting at check point have forced ballot shall be able in the roadways wildlife will be hit with a lot of ladies. Two it hit two reduced the number of the appeared voters on the road as well as the water. How losses have troopers in the round the mistake award or monetary traffic these people travel to and from their destinations. And of course right here in the immediate Charlotte area we've got to lake Norman and like wily. Like why would be in South Carolina so why don't expect you know certainly have all the information what they're doing. But I imagine they're probably going to be having stepped up operations as well. On the lakes what to. I guess maybe if both the first question that I would have in what she's a set what to give us a thumbnail sketches to what you're going to be doing as far as. Drunk driving efforts and that sort of thing or should say. Drinking and driving efforts. Well I can't say you know go back to the operation we are actually initiating a prison here at late Norman fiscal 21 of our. Launching. Locations of the campaign itself but basically how we've patrol last state of the world would be setting up checkpoints in various locations. Throughout different portions of each carried throughout the state will be monitoring the roadways. And disappeared league to locate those impaired motorists. Before they head which is Anderson lives within sales. We're also monitoring Haas speeds. One of those who decide to drop careless and reckless. And off following too close followed this course is one that. You know a lot of people with a traveling to and from their intended destination that'll really think about what we have aggressive voters out there that. Siegel a tailgate individuals. To try to move them out of their life the travels to vessel and we'll be focusing on as the oil. Wooden casket motors says they travel to their intended destination sister used good common judgment as to govern government way. And also assist about how we crucial in the immediate that they get what they maybe ms. that impaired voters they can dial store HP you are now not war war and and give us their location. And now we'll try to get a true Brothers and response we know we we can't be everywhere one times so that's what we have to motorists. Who are traveling to assist system and in removing those impaired voters in this state which dropped from the roadway. Now I know you're not part of the wildlife commission. But to what it what are they gonna be doing since I don't have somebody from there on the on the program this morning. What do you have any idea what they're going to be doing on the lakes and waterways of the state. Well I don't know the actual aspects of their duties for political legal and let me know in talking to some of the here. Alters regarding the campaign is still there are going to be stepping up forces in various parts of the state. All the lakes and waterways. ID in child that you don't focus on appeared motors when it comes to voting. Reckless boating behaviors. There are increasing their forces the Memorial Day weekend in this is the first. We can't have pretty weak teams that we will be conducting this campaign so again that Woodward combating our efforts would not only that wallop resource commission. But also local law enforcement to make sure like conceded it. We removed as impaired voters and it. You know it's not just about an enforcement at stake we were also educate Republican in the bottom line is we useful to be able to go throughout the mobile they we can without and the report. Any fatalities across the stage. He knew that we report warned that sworn to navy and now we're just combining our efforts with the local law enforcement to make sure that everybody ideas to where they wanna go to safely. And now we can in the Memorial Day week you literally within your number of fatalities across the state got better as the main objectives. And our talking with I North Carolina North Carolina Highway Patrol. Spokesman Sargent Mike Baker here on Carolina focus. I know they're you know there's an open container law in North Carolina I can think is pretty much universal at this point. Where is a summons in the backseat having a beer in the driver's not impaired they're still gonna have have a lot of trouble. If they get pulled over. And do you know if that's sort of same sort of thing applies to voting. And again I'm I'm. Put you on the spot a little bit here because an assistant under this isn't this a secure area of expertise as such you have four wheels you don't have a V hall a patrol car but. Or do the same sorts of things apply on the water as they do on the road. You know this Spiegel by half a lot of laughs Paulson that will be hard to do I don't you know and at all about it must feel fine until. Which have made and uploaded to be able to say that I had warned do it and the town's they don't vote. I can't tell you that long without steak and you know. Don't quote me on this but it all of these drivers on Payer or drinking other passengers are safe to do so it'll there and they are you worried about college permitted. But again I don't call me on that al-Qaeda safe simply give somebody drove in the biggest start this thing you know assorted maker to we academia so it. Obviously it's hard to say either way that orchestrated impassive spears is being all the boats absolutely drivers not appear drinking upping bears they're safe to consume. So you have. Your best if you're gonna be out boating in doing this in your listening to this check with the wildlife resource officers before you get out there and start popping a few cold ones. Absolutely might be might do you good way cider. Or contact a local office I would definitely get that information before going out again we second provide more information on that sort of motor vehicle you're exactly right if you have indicators out of the vehicle. You can't beat George we have seen a position about container in the that the driver. Has concerns that that charge goes from infractions and misdemeanors and assume a lot if you are charged. You know again Unisys dot about citing people is not about a arresting people is about saving a lot of them as a primary addition. In the immediate that we do have to takes a modern removes somebody from the runway he cheated he Gene Robinson Bayard. And that's what would it. And while I have your here this morning also. Texting and driving in cellphone use and Smartphone used behind the wheel. What where we stand right now because I think there's a lot of you know there's a lot of confusion some you know some states have different laws about the use of cellphones. Smartphones texting that sort of thing where oh what what's. What's the status of North Carolina as it relates to using a cellphone or texting. And driving and just were we at right now. Well the whole state and right now with the way the legislator has the actual takes control written. I against the law to be tasting and driving or even being forward motion. Sending it takes message. Our motors all doubts about numbers they are allowed to use their folders and navigational system. It's sending messages via text. That is against the law and I do know that there is some rumbling in the legislature right now about potentially. Doing away with the use of cellphones in Haiti and but that is not passed yet I've received several inquiries are questions about the evidence so that becomes the golf course that's. Nothing we can towards that as this stay and try and they'll. Now motorists all out to use your phone today and would be ascension of testing myself so I you know that even talking on the phone. Maybe taking your email or you can and navigational system that does take away motors attention from the roadway. And that's something connected to actually called hazard. I'll let him Hamlin earlier today at a stop light the light turned green and the voters sit there for united started forty toxic as the foursome if I would move or to get their attention. It is called the real backup of traffic. Potential go road rage in the system yeah exactly although we may not be able to come if forces did something click on the problem. And our talking with Sargent Mike Baker with North Carolina Highway Patrol here on Carolina focus. So the the as far as the texting law goes that applies it to all ages. I was under the impression a few years ago it only applied to if you were under eighteen. Is that. That would. Yes it's taken law applies to all ages motors under the age of eighteen in the steel has a little to permit they cannot be on the whole list they're talking to them mother father. Or less sterile on the followed emergency services. OK so there is even if you're if you're under eighteen and you don't have a full license at that point that you've you've you've got to stay off the phone. Desperate G India in general in general. Is there any final thoughts here is we have the Memorial Day weekend sergeant maker. Where we just want everybody to have a good you know I think what it would potentially have some good weather depending on where you are seeing the way the wind has been here lately. I'm we just want everybody get out until it will cost per view from the from the beach to the mountains to just do so safely. Planet did you know there's there's going to be a large it was a traffic admit especially a major obstacle course and we don't want anybody get hurry opt for the installation they had Iraq helped play and had a quarterly Libyan that you come upon the to work. I you know utilize deadbeats were properly and not be that they see anybody out there are dropping carelessly just contact so we'll try to get out there as soon as we can't. Sergeant Matt Mike Baker with North Carolina Highway Patrol we appreciate you being here on Carolina focus. Thank you sir. Thanks for listening to Carolina focused on news 1110993. Of the TP. 1079 the only woman who point 56 and the fans it's also available for podcast at WBT dot com I'm mark Thomas your post. Thanks for listening. You are listening to Carolina focus on news 1110993. WBT. 1079 the link. 102 point 56 and the fan. And it's also available so podcast WBT dot com I'm mark Thomas your host. And mores bill everybody knows more Israel is race city and up for good reason all the race teams that are up there but it. Facility opened up a few years ago that is a little bit different and a little unique I know a lot of people are familiar with the go pro cameras that. A lot of people seem to have. For their cars in post videos on line and that sort of thing and go pro a few years back. Decided they wanted a go cart singer and they picked more snow North Carolina of all places to do it. And joining us right now is the vice president of marketing would go pro is Caitlin long break good morning Caitlin. Good morning how are you I'm greatly blessed I hope you are thanks Adam good it's you know go pro hormones go promoted what's been up there. We have been open for just shy of five years this coming October. And what. I know you've been their for a few years now with marketing. And so forth what what makes go pro unique. From other go Kart tracks that might be around the people might be familiar with the. Yes period it definitely am the same kind of clarity that a lot of people have been mine probably am leaving to go carting. But these are at high adrenaline little cart land that deputy miles per hour. And more outdoor venue to sell ivory jacket seven pence a mile long with eleven different. Come on our front stretch at backstretch they've got that pedal and metal and you're going about it these are mile per hour. And that's that's one of the things it does make unique is that you are an outdoor facility. Most facilities are in Doris and their not nearly as long as what she got up there. Yep that's correct now up. A larger court seeking get a higher feed you know our engines are on govern in an outdoors celebrate Rayner he's dying now even if it's snowing outside now we're open year round. And men and it it's quite a bit of fun. And you do have the renal carts. For people to ride but you also allow people to bring their own go carts as well. And we can have three part of the business so we have our rental car inside a thing which is about public open to the public seven days of the week. He detected week sixteen or older with the ballot drivers fight them so anybody can come and enjoy those the ones because 55 mile per hour. And then we have people who have their own go Kart as a cow like a hobby for them it got garage at on site they have opened track but I think I'm as well. And then we have a group of corporate event out of our business way he can come out and enjoy they have funded and team building and every each other contract. It's one of those things that if you've not done it before. You really don't realize yet 55 miles an hour doesn't sound that fast wider offensive that don't on the way to work but you're not three inches off the ground. Exactly we hear about a lot when you're about yucky green about the ground everything. Coming at a lot faster and at depth I get the adrenaline racing for. Now you've got something coming up in just a few days. As part of the I guess. Are your filly isn't affiliated with the Coca-Cola 600 you've got the little 600 come and up on the 23 what's that what what's that all about. It's our fourth annual little sick hundred and we're tied in with a 600 capitol associations may have act lineup they've put on events Alex speed security. And all kinds of free fun events surrounding the ten days underground John motor speedway at our event and it's coming up on Tuesday may 23. Am very late and encounter with a closer in a local residents come out enjoyed the matter but to. I would have a lot of NAFTA are your favorite apotheker is coming out to race the same rattle cart that you can raid now even playing field. On the night of fun pretty NASCAR drivers kind of show off and have fun for fans it's free admission. Just ten dollar parking fees so. Everybody got together to call family in the car and come out and check out these NASCAR driver capital funds. Now who are some of the drivers that have been out there in the past. Sure yet been here we've already got Joey that Ghana in case Elliot confirmed if I was him I kept the ball carrier Brennan pool. To put on I mean guys come out each year and support of the fat like really appreciate. It's not fun. Well I know this is you know it's a different type of racing obviously do what they and their normally doing. But they're competitive spirit is it that's gonna be the same. Yes it's day maybe even heightened a little bit like back kind of you know gloves off no rules kind of mentality. They have a lot of fun with bitten and you know and apple cart driver at all and that doesn't matter if it's a blog our go cart they're gonna be competitive and and they wanna win. And what may say there's no admission fee for this there is a parking charge. But. Give us some give us more of the details to when people didn't show up and what they can do surrounding the event and so forth. Gates open at 5 o'clock we've got a free event T shirts to get a first 350 fans they gate they'll come currently enjoy entire bank. I'll have food truck here at great food. You know plenty of opportunities for driver autograph as well as some thought about. Auto factory. Which is the appetite ever spotters off would be competing and many teachers start free which is a little eight to twelve year old everything go carts as well. And it dead what does the green flag dropped. The greens I've had a little bit under about eight parity now. Other got a couple that are key races that that the grid probably lock everything a lot about the night and the main event feature event and that eight earnings. Now you talk about the the future stars in the little kids that are of the little consider running. Go carting is something that. A lot of kids seem to be getting into these days because it's a relatively inexpensive way to actually get started on a racecar is an. I yell a lot of the NASCAR drivers that you see out here for a little 600 got this starring go carting out quite so much fun and the come around how to get back there raised that crackled through its rating. We have you know we have read you know by the time the year faculty theories which is just he gets mocked up the country outcrop packed Carolina coming out this company but. Very affordable again and that is for me that they have an on site Kart shop cart. Or North America that you could stop buying had to get all the details on how to get the go cart engine and two gloves the whole kit now. Got about the big fat commitment as well. And we're talking to Caitlin long break from go pro motor plaques up in Morrisville. How young can you be and get involved in this sport creates limits. And we like you say we take them at all ages now five years old usually have about the level that my kids start to get and that that my ticket cars. And then on up to the highest you know 7080 years old we have Carter back here. It long break would go promoter plex you've got your little six cut hundred coming up on Tuesday the 23 and again gates open at 5 o'clock. And parking is only ten dollars and the admission is free. Practice at we've got it sounds like a good time on Tuesday. I ask everybody out. The high 77 toll project. WBP's mark Pearson investigates this is an idea. They waste of money. Like winning like so many around Cornelius outraged that the state turned over a section of interstate to a company from Spain wire repaying. A company from overseas to build maintain and road to collect tolls from here lies in line angle into our local economy. So how did this come about two words. Money and congestion. My suggestion is that daily problem on I 77 it's getting worse as north Mac grows. You build interstate highway with two lanes north two lane sciele and it's seen a 500%. Increase in population over the period of time from when it opened with no had a capacity. All the congestion led to cries of do something and that brings us to money. The state decided the cheapest way to widen I 77. Was to turn 26 miles of it over to a private company to build tolling it's. The company would do the construction profit from the tolls and the state would save millions sounded good on paper. Is a huge mess and this is the problem with doing things fast and easy and not looking at the big picture county commissioner Jim Puckett one of those leading the charge against the told rode the toll road will not lessen congestion. Why won't congestion improve with the extra lanes. Opponents say the reason is simple but tolls will be too expensive wind holes or ten or twenty dollars one way. Only one out of five course are stuck in the traffic won't go to the coal mine. Those genes we're with the company building the toll lanes believes people will. Use. Me I'm hearing from every day. People looking forward to having this open. The price would change about every fifteen minutes correct Jeanne Lear is director of corporate affairs for the company building the tow away signs that are up we'll tell you. What their race is for each side. Driving on the tolled lanes will be like shopping in a supermarket where price tags constantly change. Let's say if you enter and it's the dollar even if it goes up for the person behind you you just pay that dollar so how will it work. When you pull under the tolled lanes either a picture of your license tag is staffed by I am solution could. Or you can buy a little device to transmit your whole activity to premiere online there. I never really know what my bill's going to be well drivers will be setting up accounts. You have online access to your account and every time you drive the toll lanes be sure your price will be different. We do use congestion management pricey. Congestion management pricing is a term that simply means that traffic heavy fuel prices go up the theory is the higher tolls will just attract drivers who really need to go faster. And are willing to pay a premium. That's how they make a profit county commissioner Jim Puckett says the told project is a rip off for drivers. And it's all about profit for central the company from Spain building the project. That's why you have twenty dollar to hoses you raise that and by the way that you be even higher and that will we really see twenty dollar yet is he says that won't have quelled those people are crazy it doesn't do us any good. To set the rates so high that nobody wants to use the hatch act. Jeanne Lear says the rates haven't been said. She cites one study that projects tolls of about forty cents a mile. And under that scenario the typical user would spend about sixteen bucks a week or more than 800 dollars a year. Opponents point to studies that say the tolls will take a lot of money out of local cash registers. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of fortify half billion dollars out of local economy over the news of the next few years. We are giving our public right of way to a private companies so they can profit off of public misery. That is curt Knox he's been fighting the I 77 told project with time and money letter group that sued unsuccessfully. To stop it it's a bad plan residents of north Mecklenburg are furious they simply wanted a high 77 widened to help with the massive congestion. But to save money the state hired a foreign company sentry. Turned the interstate over to them to add tolled lanes and charge as much as they want for the tolls. They're really going to be criminal indictment service that the way this contract was it was set up. Those opposing the tolled lanes have turned into a powerful political force. And thousands of north Mecklenburg resonance mini album Republicans turned out to vote against Pat McCrory last November and it cost him the election. At all and that was the contract that I would not have earned Democrat Roy Cooper criticized the project during the campaign now has a consultant looking into whether the contract with centric can be canceled or reworked. I think this companies got some problems I think the whole project has problems. Republican county commissioner Jim Puckett says he thinks governor Cooper will take this seriously out of your front that was not Roy Cooper's mistake. But it is his now. If he doesn't Puckett says north Mac will turn on Cooper in 20/20 if this is still there governor Cooper. Storch 40000 votes in the hole of the day the polls open that's just the different do you get yelled at a lot. I mean earlier the company building Elaine says she's happy to answer questions and talk to anyone even those who hate to project. She cheerfully predicts once told lanes are open skeptics will be converted. When people actually have a chance to be on it and I think that is going to change. It's the project has not stopped toll lanes are due to open late next year. And joining us now in studio here in Carolina focus is Mark Garrison. Mark welcome thank years back two year old home at a you've been. Hewitt I took over this this past rebuke and glad. Glad to have the opportunity and I am back in. Thank you now this whole 77 hole wrote pride and has been going on for year it really has and there's so many twists and two armies like an onion you keep peeling the story back in just so many different angles now. Let me ask one question here. Jeanne clear yet why does that name familiar what we can she used to be the PR person with cats Charlotte area transit. So for years she was the spokesperson for the bus and train system so she took went after government's job that's right and went to the public private partnership and getting that exactly right yep. OK. I had a prior to that I could not there's anything wrong with that I've you know that's and legal. She used to be a reporter too though I'm not sure we're but I think she has little broadcaster my grandma's house. Again thank you just kind of strikes me and anonymous early one of pound on gene bit. You know that to me it always seems a little. Revolving door issue. It would PR job to well they are go to the government go from there the government agency and then go into a quote unquote private sector job which. If this I mean when you when you're given a government monopoly. To run. Our road system yeah that's really not from you and I can't get together and they were gonna build an interstate up through lake Norman. Yeah I mean that's the that's at their new it would mean it would be nice we have the place where but even if we did. And again this is getting a little personal editorial content but you know I was have a little there's always a little asterisk whenever I hear public private partnership war. Situations like this. Out you know experiencing as this Fella named you know Kuerten loss to had led the fight did that the lawsuit to try and stop this growth and Kurt and I were chanting Wendy and he said look I am very much tea libertarian and I believe in free enterprise I love business. He said that you know he said this whole project has proven to me that there are some things government needs to do. That when you mix public and private to at least this was Kurtz take on it then it's not a good thing in part because they have to. You know that lets face it they had the company building these tolling test it return on their investments the weighted that is to. Have high told prices and to control the amount of traffic and using the tolling and so. That's part of the argument here is that UG of government is doing this and just spending tax money and widening the lane we wouldn't even have to have told necessarily and if we did they would be a lot less than what's projected here. Yeah it did that whole scene there are based on what they may have been set that's right that you know that to me is. A little bit surprised we're goal you know we're going into this promises are gonna cost. And I don't knows the answer yeah and you know that's not have to go a multi billion dollar project like this for I don't know that's. Wealthy there. There was some paperwork submitted by the people building the Rhode Island a couple of years ago and that's where that twenty dollar round trip from Charlotte remorseful came from that was one. A number that they came up with but they've really been down playing it since then and then. In the interview we did we Jeanne leers she said there's been another independent study that said. All we think it might cap out at forty cents a mile may be. But then when they looked at how many people were using and how often forty cents a mile turns and 800 dollars a year well. Forty so this 26 miles right right OK I'm not a mathematician I don't have a calculator in front of me but if it's 26 miles it is forty cents a mile that's gonna become an end that's a lot of my each way yes. That's 52 miles. Your look and act. Right around 125 but that's right. It ends there were some that their argument is well people won't ride at the whole way they'll pick it up in bits and starts in fits and starts here and here you know. What they what the company building the polling says as you may ride it for a few miles to get around assumed congestion ending get back on the freely. But another argument against that is the way that the in and out has been designed to get in and out of the east Rowling's. I was looking at a map the other day it's not going to be easy once you get on it it's all the. Like you need to stay OK first question yeah as far as the lane scale yet how many. I usually try doing is yet to any direction so it's going to be an additional two lanes north and each north into little south. It's not gonna be like the hov lanes that they have now where there's just so asylum white line that. That determines whether or not you or. Quote unquote allowed to emerge that's right you we'll show I mean that you can drive over lining him up yes there will be kind of a long merge lane to get chew into the hole and get you out of the total in the and there will be an overhead something telling you at that precise moment for the next two miles with a told will be. Will there be elected Jersey barrier. Ought to be some sort will there be like you know plastic. I think there will be similar to barrier but I'm not clear on what that will be the purity it'll be clearly defined slide because. Think I did this way if you if you're familiar with 77 north and south the toll will be where the median is now in the middle I see ya ya been up there while the construction going on and obviously there. Making you know their turn the median exact tremendous little. But in its. I guess it's. To give. And and I don't want this is gonna sound Xena phobic. Give a foreign company a monopoly which if you look at the North Carolina constitution monopolies are not to be permitted. In article one. But we'll leave that discussion aside for a second because is how many cable companies do you have to choose from but that's awful weather pulled of a discussion. Of it it just seems odd that here comes you know were we wanna build lanes are really go to a foreign company to do it are there and does in in in in the great American tradition doesn't the governor have a Brooke. Renault. And construction and does this is centro is the company that bid on it they supposedly have a long track record and indeed they do have a long track record they were caught giving bribes in Spain. They've had projects go bankrupt even the governor and one of the sound bytes that we played. And there are stories here. Governor Cooper said this is a company that has problems and I'm concerned about the contract it is accompanied it has problems but on the other hand it is a company that has some experience in road building. But what you mentioned about Spain that's been the rob with a lot of people too it's estimated that the tolls could take over the feet at this fifty year contract. And over the fifty years have been some studies that say that tolls will take billions out of the local economy and all those billions are going to Spain. And that's that piece and so is there any percentage that comes back to the state or comes back to the county Emmys this. Is it is every cent that you drop into the basket or get bill by these people there there may be some money that comes to the state I asked him not me every jot and tittle of the contract. But I do conclude this and it's an important thing to know. If the total revenue does not hit projections that the company wants the state will have to kick in and make up some. So tax dollars could help of finance said even further if the tolls don't and a. And we're talking to Mark Garrison here on Caroline focus marquis is. A daily fixture in the WBT newsroom he's been covering this I 77 project. For quite some time. The way this is gonna be build unity they're gonna take a picture license or even the transponders Korea's commitment that the trip wire yet and they're gonna send the bill. But if you don't know how what's the polls are until you get the bill. That's that. Again I you know is as someone notices a consumer. To go in and say I'm gonna purchase something and I don't know what the prices. And I'm gonna get a built the end of the month saying you ol' us you most centro. X number of dollars. Demi thing about this if you pulley and and she used the example in the story the sign for you might say a dollar for the next three miles and then if you stay on it you go under another sign that says the next four miles is ten dollars. Okay how are you gonna keep up evolve this in your brain especially if you use it every day or every other day I mean I think it will she says what you. You can go online which is true and keep up with your account it's a if you're just spending a lot of money that's hard to keep up with what in. And what recourse do you have. If you have a billing dispute I don't dispute happened and every single day and it's gonna happen with this what do you do you call Madrid and at the well they have a North America they have a Charlotte office. 77 mobility partners and and a division you have and of course five for English. And I'm sorry but today if it you know there will be a procedure but you know. Try to contestant parking ticket with a company that collect parking ticket your city. It's almost impossible so I suspect you're right people will have a difficult time contesting their bills so then. If you we have these problems people stop using it. Thirty empty lanes and all of a set in the states ominously silent and then the people in curt county are on the hook for those who in theory yeah well this so it's the state it's not Mecklenburg County that's right it is the state of north Carroll okay is okay I'm super you know honestly I'm surprised more people aren't up in arms across the state if that's the case so it hasn't aired even aware of that is going and no I I I would say in eastern North Carolina they know nothing about this but. You know the legislature got involved the house voted to kill the project and then the senate. The president of the senate Phil Berger leaned on by Thom Tillis from the US senate decided not to even take up the bill because. Tillis who used to be a mayor up in the northern part of the county has been a big supporter of the total project and a lot of people wonder. Why do why would Mark Garrison WBT news I'm sure this is not the last we're going to be talking about guys that I seven toros particular Carolina coast thank you mark. Thanks for listening to Carolina focus on news 11109893. WPP. 1079 the link. One of 2.5 six and the fan. It's also available as a podcast of the EBP dot com. I'm mark Thomas your post thanks for listening and until next time he well.
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