David Boraks

Reporter

David Boraks is a reporter and host at WFAE, covering energy & the environment, politics & government, affordable housing, transportation and other topics for WFAE.  He's a veteran Charlotte-area journalist who also has worked at The Charlotte Observer (1993-2000) and published the online community news network DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net (2006-2015).

He also has worked for American Banker (2000-2005), The China News in Taipei (1991), The Cambridge (Mass.) Chronicle (1989-1991) and The Hartford Courant (1986-89).  He has been a Knight Center for Specialized Journalism fellow (1997), won the North Carolina Information Technology Association Media Award (1998), won the Davidson College Sullivan Community Service Award (2009), and was an Annenberg/Knight Block-by-Block News Entrepreneur fellow (2011). 

David has a bachelor's  degree in history from Cornell University and a master's degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

Drawing shows what the Gateway District might look like after it's redeveloped.
City of Charlotte

City officials have asked three groups to submit final proposals for the Charlotte Gateway Station development off West Trade Street. 

Sacramento, California, appears poised to be the next city to get a Major League Soccer expansion team —  not Charlotte. News reports say an announcement is scheduled for Monday, with Sacramento's mayor and representatives from the minor league Republic FC attending. 

A new report from Mecklenburg County says public and private agencies should fight homelessness in the region by collaborating and devoting more resources to those at risk of losing their homes. 

Charlotte Housing Authority manages the federal Section 8 housing voucher program.
Courtesy of Charlotte Housing Authority

Last spring, as part of our weekly Finding Home series, WFAE reported on problems with the federal Section 8 housing voucher program in Mecklenburg County. Vouchers help pay rent and utilities for qualifying low-income residents. But the county doesn't have enough vouchers to go around, and fewer landlords are taking them.  Charlotte Housing Authority manages the program and is trying to improve the situation.

Duke Energy hopes to replace its Asheville coal-fired power plant with this gas plant later this year.
Duke Energy

A Duke University climate scientist and 27 former federal environmental officials are calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to order a halt on building new gas pipelines and power plants in North Carolina. 

Barriers separate free lanes from toll lanes (left) on I-77 north of Charlotte. The northern section of the toll lanes is scheduled to open to traffic on Saturday, June 1.
David Boraks / WFAE

The contractor building toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville is asking for more time to finish the project, which could push construction into next year. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it is reviewing the request, but hasn't made a decision yet. 

Amy Anderson lives in northwest Charlotte with her son, Aaron, 13. Their business AnderBerry Bracelets is their main income source, and making the monthly rent is a struggle.
David Boraks / WFAE

Mecklenburg County's annual report on homelessness and housing instability shows that despite some progress, the need for lower-cost housing continues to rise in the Charlotte region. The new numbers are a reminder of just how acute the shortage remains, especially for residents at the low end of the income spectrum.

Duke Energy's solar rebates help homeowners, businesses and nonprofits pay for the cost of installation.
RENU ENERGY SOLUTIONS

Duke Energy will offer another round of rebates for home solar installations in January. If the past two years are any indication, they'll be snapped up quickly and there won't be enough money to go around. Some consumers and installers are plotting how to boost their chances.

Duke Energy has seven coal-fired power plants in the Carolinas, including the Allen Steam Station in Belmont.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

The Duke Energy division that provides electricity for Charlotte and much of western North Carolina has asked state regulators to approve an average 6% rate increase.

A homeless man sleeps in a bus shelter on East Trade Street during last May's Speed Street Festival uptown.
David Boraks / WFAE

Mecklenburg County's affordable housing crisis is worsening, especially for people of color and at the lowest income levels, according to a new study of homelessness and housing instability. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway's Roval is a road course on and inside the traditional oval.
NASCAR

NASCAR's top-level playoffs return to Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday, where drivers will battle it out on the 2¼ mile Roval, which includes parts of the regular oval, plus a twisting-turning infield course. It's one way the speedway has tried to boost excitement among fans in a sport where the audience is waning.

Wrong-sized girders on the Hawthorne Lane bridge project delayed the bridge's reopening until April.
David Boraks / WFAE

Work gets back on track this week on the Hawthorne Lane bridge over Independence Boulevard after wrong-sized steel girders slowed the project to a crawl. The news comes not a moment too soon for neighbors and nearby businesses. 

CMPD vehicle
NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

Charlotte Mecklenburg police are investigating a homicide Thursday night in north Charlotte that apparently followed an argument between two women. 

Catawba Nuclear Station, on Lake Wylie.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy says it wants to renew the licenses of its North and South Carolina nuclear plants for another 20 years. Licenses for the 11 reactors at six sites run out in the 2030s, and the utility says it will ask the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for extensions. 

A new 8,000-square foot replica of 18th century Fort Dobbs will open this weekend.
N.C. DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES

For years, guides at the Fort Dobbs historic site in Statesville have tried to tell the fort's story without an actual fort. This weekend, a replica of the 18th century structure opens to the public, after three years of construction and an even longer campaign of preservation and fundraising.

Nicole Seekely chairs the Hulsey Yard Study Committee in Atlanta, where neighbors support redevelopment of a big vacant rail yard, including affordable housing.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

A frequent obstacle to developing affordable housing is NIMBY, which stands for "not in my backyard." Neighbors bombard elected officials with concerns about traffic, crime and demand on city services as they try to halt new developments. Often, they succeed in blocking developments.

But in some cities, there's now a growing pro-development movement called YIMBY — for "yes in my backyard." 

A car was still partially submerged June 10 after flooding the night before on Riverside Drive in northwest Charlotte.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

Federal regulators say Duke Energy did not violate its license when it released water from Catawba River dams in June that caused flooding downstream. But in a letter this week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked Duke to review its high-water management and notification procedures and recommend improvements. 

DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

North Carolina’s seemingly endless 9th District congressional race is over.

Republican Dan Bishop won the special election last night by 2 percentage points over Democrat Dan McCready in a race that drew national attention as a possible preview to the 2020 election.

If you get TV over the airwaves (not cable or satellite), you'll need to re-scan the channels next week.
FCC

Many TV stations nationwide are switching to new broadcast frequencies this month as part of a federal effort to open up new spectrum for high-speed wireless services, including 5G. That means if you get TV over the airwaves you'll have to re-scan the channels on your TV.

Affordable Housing advocates sat with signs at Monday's council meeting.
David Boraks / WFAE

New donations have pushed Charlotte's private-sector affordable housing fund to $53 million, beating a $50 million goal.

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