Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Odds and Ends - DNC 2012 Edition

Lakota Helicopters - These are ultra cool, twin engine, twin tail stabilizers, single tail rotor helos that have been spotted trailing CMPD motor cops practicing escort duties around Charlotte.

Two Lakota UH 72 Helos were spotted flying low over Charlotte this week.
Ballantyne Shut Down - If you happen to work in the Ballantyne area and thought you would be immune from the DNC 2012 by just staying away from Uptown, think again. Traffic will go to grid lock as President Obama and his handlers take over Ballantyne.

Most troubling is the complete shut down of Ballantyne Commons Parkway between Community House and Johnston Road.

More details on the Ballantyne road closings from Charlotte Business Journal's Susan Stabley here.

Were Are! The Secret Service! - Don't look at us. The feds charged with protecting the President have put tenants of the Harris Building in the Ballantyne Corporate Park on notice. Those with offices on the west side of the building have been told that their widow blinds and drapes must remain closed at all times next week.  Apparently the "most open and inclusive" convention in history doesn't mean being able to gawk at the president.


The Harris Building over looks The Lodge at Ballantyne.
Cages for Protesters? - Not really sure if this fencing is to keep the crazies out or for a holding area for those arrested.

Some serious metal at 8th and Brevard Streets
Mega props to the CP reader who took this photo of some serious fence that appears to be enough to fence in a city block. Only trouble is 8th and Brevard is a long way from the Cable Box. The construction of the fence is smilier to those steel fire pit grates used by the park service at camp grounds.

Cedar Posts Update: Sources tell CP that the fence is "non scalable" and is for the horses that mounted officers are bringing to Charlotte.

No Fly Zone Over Charlotte - All Civil and Commercial Aircraft Operations will be tightly controlled over Charlotte. The FAA has ordered a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) in a 30-35 mile area around Charlotte's Uptown.  The size of the area and so called inner rings will change from day to day. It is expected that the Ballantyne area will also have a "inner ring" set at ten miles while POTUS is in town.

The TFR means you won't see any banner planes flying over Charlotte but it won't ease the number of low flying commercial flights over Lake Norman.

Thinking of flying your "remote control" model plane in Charlotte next week? Guess again. Ditto for the science project and launching your hamster into space aboard your model rocket. NOT A GOOD IDEA and is forbiden by the TFR. The NOTAM (Notices to Airmen) can be found here.

BO's Crib In Charlotte - While nice, and somewhat upscale The Lodge at Ballantyne is no where near being "Presidential" and CP imagines there are some pretty long faces at the Ritz Uptown.

It also presents a pretty big security problem for the United States Secret Service even more so if POTUS beds down in the better part of the Lodge know as "The Cottage".

Overhead photo of The Lodge with the Cottage framed in red
The rooms at the Cottage are nice enough, but The Lodge concept has struggled to find a market, often totally vacant for days at a time. Maybe the Presidential stay will increase awareness.

Master Bedroom of The Cottage

Living Room at The Cottage
Major Props to Jeff Taylor for the photo link with additional photos of the Lodge and the Cottage which is here.  You can also compare to the Ritz Carlton Presidential Suite photos which are here.

Number of Protesters Arrested in Tampa so far? 3 - Can we expect the same low turnout in Charlotte?

From USA Today:

Tampa expected 15,000 protesters for the Republican National Convention. So far, the city has seen no more than "a couple thousand," Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor told reporters this morning.

Those protests have resulted in exactly three arrests, two of whom "showed a desire to get arrested," the police chief said. Full story is here.

CP's Take: Just goes to show you people aren't upset with the GOP just the President.

Temporary Cell Towers Spotted Around Charlotte - These don't seem to be very secret or very well secured. Props to a sharp eye CP reader.

Location Parking Lot Near WestPark Marriott

Location Behind the Men's Club
 
Cedar's Take: I suspect the equipment is in place to handle the expected large volume of cell phones active in the area during DNC 2012. I'd also guess that one is AT&T and the other Verizon.

CMPD Officer's Personal Cell Phones Taken Away - It is bad enough the CMPD Patrol Officers are working 12 hour shifts, but now CP has word that the use of personal cell phones during those 12 hours is forbidden. Still looking into this but 2 sources back up the report. No official word from Rob Tufano with CMPD.

CP Update: Seems the "Offical" word is more along the lines of "if you" or "if we" have a problume with cell use the Officers phones will be taken away. Please see comments below.

Some DNC Web Sites of Interest:

City of Charlotte DNC Information http://dncinfo.charlottenctenc.gov
Charlotte Area Transit System/ LYNX- http://www.ridetransit.org
Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee - http://charlottein2012.com
CarolinaFest - http://carolinafest2012.com
CMPD – http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/CMPD/Pages/default.aspx
Democratic National Convention Committee - http://www.demconvention.com
Federal Aviation Administration flight restrictions – http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html
DNC advisory – http://www.faasafety.gov/SPANS/noticeView.aspx?nid=3995
Mecklenburg County Courts Operational Schedule -
http://www.nccourts.org/County/Mecklenburg/Default.asp
North Carolina Department of Public Safety – http://www.ncdps.gov
U.S. Secret Service – http://www.secretservice.gov

15 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Jerk why don't you just give out the lat and long for the president's bed in Charlotte.

I hope you are arrested.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the Lakotas zipping around Uptown yesterday. I expect we will see Marine One soon.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Anonymous, King Rodney will keep your President safe, he has it all under control and at no time will he "loose control of the city".

Jeff A. Taylor said...

I guess anon doesn't want to know the floorplans for The Lodge either. They are still up in plain view at Smoky's website.

Anonymous said...

I actually applaud the removal of cell phones. I can't tell you how often I've noticed officers on their phones when they're on duty (and even when driving). I've noticed many times when we've had reason to summon police to the neighborhood that a lot of work communication seems to take place on the phone rather than the radio. I can't help but suspect that's part of Monroe's effort to avoid documenting crime.

Anonymous said...

Cedar,

Your source has taken comments made by a CMPD Major out of context or only heard what they wanted to have heard. Officers were advised that if their actions, self taken photos, duty assignments or Law Enforcement sensitive information made it onto social media web sites or forums like yours (specifically named) then the department would look into implementing a no personal cell phone use during the DNC.

I enjoy your posts and the commentary that follows. Therefore, I want to make sure you get this right. Keep investigating and reporting for you do not suffer from the same First Amendment threats as the CMPD Officers do.

Cedar Posts said...

11:10 thanks for taking the time to clear that up.

Anonymous said...

Once again, threatening and bullying the Officers.

And what about the families of those Officers who may need to get in touch, or are worried for the safety of their significant others?

"If you are bad little boys and girls, we will take away your personal phone privleges".

Anon 11:00
Many have Department issued cell phones, and they have been more relable than radios.

So they are not using personal cell phones.

Anonymous said...

Was there a bank robbery in Hickory Grove yesterday?

Can't find it in the Observer.

Anonymous said...

was cedarposts the only site singled out and mentioned?
were there specific kinds of photos, or just all photos?

are you not allowed to have a camera, then?

couldn't you document what's happening and hold it until after the convention is over?

if they're worried about all of this, why not have an official policy in writing (we know the answer)

Anonymous said...

1:03

I thought you must have missed it but you are correct the local paper failed to mention the bank robbery at BB&T yesterday.

From WBTV:

The FBI and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are working to track down a bank robbery suspect.

Investigators sent out surveillance photos early Wednesday afternoon. The pictures show the man accused of robbing the BB&T Bank at 8816 Albemarle Road just after 11 a.m.

The suspect allegedly walked into the bank and gave the teller a note demanding cash. The teller passed over the cash, and the man walked back out of the building.

There is no information about a getaway vehicle.

The suspect is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall, with a slender build. He was wearing a multi-colored hat, long-sleeve shirt, and blue pants - similar to hospital scrubs.

No one was hurt in the Wednesday morning robbery. Call Crime Stoppers (704) 334-1600 or the FBI (704) 672-6100 if you have any information.  

Anonymous said...

OMG, did you see Medlock on Channel Nine, the station that is rodney's personal PR station?

He said he "expected peope to act like adults, because we are all adults".

What a freaking idiot...seriously, admonishing anarchists
"to act like adults". He does not have one single clue!!

Word is he and his cronies are still scrambling.

Also, did ALL Captains and above get new iphones?
Or just rodney and harold favorites?

Does EVERYONE have proper safety equipment?

What a cluster this will be!!!

Anonymous said...

What, Cedar, no comment on how inappropriare Clint Eastwood was?

If something vulgar like that happened at the DNC, you would be all over it!!

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