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On The Level: Hoss Hinson – yes, the name is real. So is he. (access required)

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Hoss Hinson is a cool name, and the guy who has it has the cool to back it up, too. The wrap-around-sunglasses-sporting, pickup-truck-driving, beard-wearing, hard-hatted and safety-vested vice president of the Monroe-based Godfrey Construction Co. showed up at East Mecklenburg High School taking swigs through a straw in a Big Gulp cup full of Mountain Dew.

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Rain spotlights erosion control issues (access required)

Clearwater Pool Service maintenance technician Nick Wright works to clear silt that flowed into a pool at 4224 Rosecliff Drive.  City officials say the erosion came from the Enclave at Providence development. Photo by Diane Petryk

Recent rainy weather has kept local inspectors chasing erosion control complaints near construction sites. Water and where it goes is always an issue, especially with Mecklenburg's rolling landscape, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services educator Sharon Foote. When development is taking place as well, rain plus disturbed soil can lead to a multitude of problems, she said.

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Not exactly ‘The Godfather’ : On the Level with Darin Brocklebank (access required)

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Eschewing the cliché of starting a successful business on the back of a paper cocktail napkin, Darin Brocklebank started out Metro GreenScape at the bottom of a paper grocery sack. Usually, On the Level calls or emails subjects and begs them for a half-hour of their time. Brocklebank emailed us, saying he wanted to meet us so he could do us a favor. That was a new one, so we agreed to meet, but only if he let us interview him in exchange for hearing about his offer.

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Site unseen: filling space in Charlotte that isn’t built yet (access required)

Portman and Trinity Partners will have to lease a good portion of the building before construction can start.   Photo by Nell Redmond

Imagine signing a lease for offices in a building at the same time you have to imagine both the offices and the building. That’s what’s happening in uptown Charlotte, where Portman Holdings, a worldwide development and architecture firm based in Atlanta, is planning a large office tower on Stonewall Street, on top of the existing parking deck at The Westin, which Portman also owns.

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On the Level with Bill Miley of Metrostudy (access required)

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Get this: As a kid, Bill Miley used to play tennis with … but we’ll let him tell you. The Charlotte regional director for the Houston-based Metrostudy housing analytics firm just released his latest quarterly report, and it says that developed lots in the nine-county Charlotte market are … well, it’s complicated; better you should hear it in his words.

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Renaissance Man: On the Level with Frank Spencer, president of Habitat for Humanity Charlotte (access required)

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On the Level apologizes to Frank Spencer. All the articulate gent wanted to do was talk about Habitat for Humanity Charlotte. But we kept interrupting him and encouraging him to digress. That's because Spencer, president of the Charlotte affiliate of the national affordable-housing nonprofit, is a dang interesting guy.

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