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Charlotte Talks: Parks Vie For Attention In MLS Bid / Paula Poundstone Puts Comedic Lens On Science

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Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

If Major League Soccer comes to Charlotte, will parks suffer? Mike Collins talks with parks advocates about their concerns, and then comedian Paula Poundstone joins Mike ahead of her Friday performance in Charlotte.

PART ONE

The debate over a Major League Soccer stadium has left parks advocates green with envy. If Charlotte is awarded an expansion team, a stadium renovation would take a big slice - more than one-third of dollars earmarked for recreation - out of funding for other parks projects, some of which were approved by voters nearly a decade ago and are still waiting for funds.

Recreation funding was slashed from the county budget during the recession, but now that things are looking up, some members of the Park and Recreation Commission, which advises the county, are asking for more attention - and money - for parks.

County Manager Dena Diorio has said that even if Charlotte doesn’t land an MLS team, those funds earmarked for the stadium wouldn't necessarily go towards parks. Meanwhile, a national survey by the Trust for Public Land ranked Charlotte 97th of 100 cities for access to public parks.

Mike Collins talks with two park commissioners and a park advocate as they make their pitch for parks.

GUESTS

Brian Cox and Rick Winiker, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation commissioners

Ed Barnhart, president, Greenways for Mecklenburg Foundation; former Park and Rec commissioner

PART TWO

In an era when "alternative facts" are debated, comedian Paula Poundstone is on a quest "to get less stupid, one expert at a time."

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Credit PaulaPoundstone.com
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Paula Poundstone, voted one of the best stand-up comedians of all time, will perform in Charlotte at the Knight Theater this Friday.

That curiosity has resulted in a new podcast, "Live from the Poundstone Institute," in which she talks with the scientists and experts behind such findings as what music cats prefer.

Perhaps this drive for knowledge is based on Poundstone, a regular panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me," holding the show's record for losses.

One of Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time, Poundstone will be on stage Friday in Charlotte at the Knight Theater. But first, she joins Mike Collins to talk about her career and her new series.

GUEST

Paula Poundstone, author, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness; host, "The Poundstone Institute" (@paulapoundstone)

EVENT INFO

You can see Paula Poundstone at the Knight Theater, Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. More details here.

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.