Blatant Self-Promotion: Come to My Reading Dec. 8th!

If any of you are in the Raleigh/Durham areas and want to do something a little different on the night of Wednesday, December 8th, come on down to The Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street at 7:00 PM. I'll be reading from my newest book, "Angel Interrupted" and, in general, celebrating my alter ego life as a writer of crime fiction. It would be fun to meet some of you. Click here for details and to RSVP.

Clock running down on Falls Lake cleanup commencement

Changing behavior is costly but necessary:

Authorities in Wake County pressured the legislature for the lake's cleanup, because the lake provides drinking water for 450,000 Wake residents. But the pollutants reach the lake from streams running through Durham, Granville, Person and Orange counties, whose taxpayers would bear the greatest financial burden for cleaning up Raleigh's reservoir.

It will probably do little good to repeat this, but it needs to be said: Techniques for ameliorating the negative effects of stormwater runoff have been available to county/city governments for decades, and they (for the most part) chose to ignore them. During that time, land development in the Triangle/Triad regions propagated like rabbits, and the combination of those two factors produced an inevitable result. A result that must be dealt with, now.

What's on Tap: This Week at Drinking Liberally Raleigh

"What's on Tap" is a weekly round-up of stories and links that may be interesting to Drinking Liberally patrons.

Join us every Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. onward at Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, 222 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Happy hour specials end at 6 p.m. You can find more information about us on Facebook or our home site, and follow us on Twitter - @RaleighDL.

It's a light week this week, since everyone is focusing on WikiLeaks (*gasp* the CIA spies on people?!?) This week: Raleigh's greenways; cable rates rising; a football player blames God; and bailing out Ireland and Portugal.

Express Scripts: Loose Lips Get Thanksgiving Pink Slips

I love it when I get to write about rogue companies. Not for the mischief they cause their workers, but for the Scooby Doo ear-raising "Hruh?" moment I sometimes get when I learn just how out-of-touch some of them can be. Mostly for thinking they can hide their actions. Here's what I think of them.

Have I told you...

Hello BlueNC community! First, an introduction: NC Equals is a grassroots movement of Charlotte's Latin American Coalition. We're working to build political power among low-income communities, people of color, youth and immigrant communities in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and elsewhere across the state. A great deal of our focus at the moment is on the DREAM Act and 287g programs. In addition to on-the-ground, face-to-face activism and advocacy, we're ramping up to utilize the wealth of tools new media and social media provide, along with the great resources available among North Carolina's progressive blogosphere.

Once a week, we'll post our advocacy staff's weekly commentaries and join in on discussions as much as we can. We hope to become a valuable part of the BlueNC community and we hope you find our staff's thoughts interesting, thought-provoking and challenging. The commentary below is from our Raleigh-based field director, Irene Godinez.

Thanks y'all!
Matt Comer
New Media Coordinator, NC Equals

Reporters battle robots for journalism jobs

Durham company creates software to make (human) writers obsolete:

This month, StatSheet unveiled StatSheet Network, made up of separate Web sites for each of the 345 N.C.A.A. Division I men’s basketball teams. Beyond statistics galore, each site has what the company calls “automated content,” stories written entirely by software, including write-ups of the team’s games, past and future. With a joking wink, StatSheet’s founder, Robbie Allen, refers to these sites as the “Robot Army.”

“My goal was that 80 percent of readers wouldn’t question that the content was written by a human,” he says, “and now that we’ve launched, I think the percentage is higher.”

Maybe so, but would a robot be able to write, "80 percent of people who spend their time reading sports stories are f**king idiots."

Renee Ellmers: Clueless?

Renee Ellmers has pledged to oppose all earmarks.......but right after making that pledge she revealed that she didn't really know what an earmark was.

Renee Ellmers based her campaign on repealing health care reform.......but she says she will probably sign up for the federal health care plan that is offered to congressmen and women.

Renee Ellmers wants a smaller federal government.........but her district is home to Ft. Bragg and the local governments are being overwhelmed as a result of BRAC.

Greenhouse gases reach record levels

World Meteorological Organization shouts warning:

“Greenhouse gas concentrations have reached record levels despite the economic slowdown. They would have been even higher without the international action taken to reduce them,” said WMO Secretary-General Mr Michel Jarraud. “In addition, potential methane release from northern permafrost, and wetlands, under future climate change is of great concern and is becoming a focus of intensive research and observations.”

Unfortunately, due to the recent election's shift to the Right, the U.S. will probably be even less likely to become a strong partner (much less leader) in the global effort to reverse these trends.

Local food, mom & pop retail

Designating today as Small Business Saturday is a great idea, and hopefully a lot of folks will take part. Sometimes a simple trigger like this can bring about a change of habits in consumers. But legislators and state government administration need to develop some new habits of their own to help strengthen the economic viability of small businesses in our state, or we will continue to bleed jobs as these mom & pop operations fold under the pressure of market dominance by faceless, high-volume conglomerates.

On the local food side, it looks like Kay Hagan's cosponsored Amendment to shield small farmers has a good chance of passing:


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