Politicians who rely on targeted tax incentives to help recruit businesses to North Carolina share a common trait with teenagers who stuff their faces with the first piece of chocolate cake they see. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, explains that analogy as he dissects this state’s incentives policy. Coletti explains why the politicians — and teenagers — would benefit from considering alternatives. Charlotte’s Sugar Creek Charter School has demonstrated clear success. But school founder and former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot says that success followed early struggles. Vinroot explained recently for state lawmakers how an early threat of closing prompted Sugar Creek leaders to improve the school’s performance. A national education expert recently urged N.C. lawmakers to add more local spending flexibility to the state’s school funding formula. Marguerite Roza of Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab explained how North Carolina could benefit from a formula establishing a more direct link between taxpayer money and particular students. The former Dorothea Dix mental hospital campus in downtown Raleigh is moving closer to conversion into the area’s largest park. Kate Pearce, Dix Park planner for Raleigh’s city government, recaps key pieces of the park planning discussion and looks ahead to the next steps in the process. The top statewide race on this year’s N.C. election ballot features Republican state Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson. Democrat Anita Earls already has announced plans to challenge Jackson, and other candidates could file for the office starting June 18. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, handicaps the race and explains its significance for the high court’s future.