Friday News: Keep your fingers crossed

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TRUMP ADMIN HAS "INDEFINITELY DELAYED" EXPANSION OF OFFSHORE DRILLING: Gov. Roy Cooper opposed plans to open waters along the North Carolina coast to drilling. Most governors along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts opposed the Trump administration plan. Some elected officials in coastal communities and business owners in those areas also fought drilling. The Journal reported Thursday that U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in an interview that the plan was on hold while a federal judge’s decision upholding an Obama-era drilling ban in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic Ocean is appealed. “I certainly hope that ‘indefinitely delayed’ is Washington-speak for ‘never,’” Southern Environmental Law Center senior attorney Sierra Weaver said in a statement. “Whatever the reason for this delay, more than 230 communities have spoken out against seismic testing and offshore drilling in the Atlantic, and those hundreds of thousands of coastal residents and businesses welcome any development that makes risking their coast less likely.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229681264.html

UNC students walk out of class to protest police behavior

Talk about your misplaced priorities:

Demonstrators gathered on the steps of Wilson at 1:30 p.m. for a demonstration against police brutality. Lindsay Ayling, a graduate student in the Department of History and an organizer of the event, explained why the protest was necessary. “Pretty much the entire year, police have been brutal to anti-racists while protecting white supremacists,” Ayling said.

Those who gathered began chanting, echoing shouts including, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect,” “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ‘cause the power of the people don’t stop” and “Cops and Klan go hand-in-hand.”

Bolding mine, because that goes to the core of this problem. While a handful of the anti-racists that have demonstrated may come from off-campus, the majority are students and teachers. On the other hand, the pro-Confederate folks hail from other counties, if not other states. There should be no question as to "who" the UNC Police should choose to protect when those two groups come together, the ones who are paying tuition to attend the school is the obvious answer. But apparently that (simple) choice is beyond their capacity to understand:

Thursday News: Union!

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DEM LAWMAKERS FILE COMPANION BILLS TO ALLOW COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: Two first-term Democratic state legislators have filed bills hoping to overturn a 1959 ban on collective bargaining by public-sector employees. That means labor unions would have negotiating power. In North Carolina, instead of through collective bargaining, government workers’ wages are set by the legislature or a local government. So workers lobby for what they want rather than negotiate a union contract. Rep. Zack Hawkins said overturning the ban would help grow the middle class. “North Carolina’s a state on the rise ... moving our state in this direction helps our economy,” the Durham lawmaker said at a news conference Wednesday, and repeal would “once again make North Carolina a beacon in the South.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article229597039.html

Lawsuit filed to stop Mid-Currituck Bridge to OBX

Apparently 20 years of study actually doesn't produce good ideas:

The bridge would lead to growth in undisturbed areas along the northern Outer Banks, increase pollution in the sound and surrounding habitat and damage the ecosystem that helps handle storm surge, flooding and sea level rise, according to the suit filed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and the No Mid-Currituck Bridge Concerned Citizens, among others. The Federal Highway Administration officially approved the project last month following more than 20 years of environmental impact studies, public hearings and delays.

The 6.2-mile, two lane toll bridge would cross the Currituck Sound connecting Corolla and Aydlett and cross a swamp before intersecting with U.S. 158 south of Coinjock. It would cost an estimated $440 million.

I've never driven that route, so I don't know how bad the traffic situation is. It appears to be pretty bad, with vehicles idling for hours as they creep along. But in my opinion, ramping up growth *anywhere* on the Outer Banks is an insanely bad idea, and one healthy storm surge could turn this into a $440 million bridge to nowhere. SELC is (as usual) right on top of this situation, with much better (and cheaper) alternatives to the bridge:

Wednesday News: And they're off!

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EARLY VOTING IN 9TH DISTRICT PRIMARY BEGINS TODAY: Early voting for the May 14 Republican primary starts Wednesday in Mecklenburg, Union and the six other counties in the 9th Congressional District. Only Republican and unaffiliated voters are eligible to cast ballots. There are no primaries for Democrats or members of the Green, Libertarian or Constitution parties, though each has a candidate in the general election. Ten Republicans are running for the nomination. The winner is expected to face Democrat Dan McCready, who ran in 2018. If no one in the May 14 primary gets at least 30 percent of the vote, there will be a Sept. 10 runoff followed by a Nov. 5 general election. If no runoff is necessary, the general election would be Sept. 10.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article229583014.html

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