Western North Carolina Landslide Confidential

According to legislative findings and geologic investigations, landslides in Western North Carolina are serious and determinable threats to lives and property. In February 2005 the state passed the Hurricane Recovery Act. The General Assembly found:

Hurricanes Frances and Ivan wrought havoc upon Western North Carolina impacting the region on a scale not experienced before in that area of the State. The President issued two federal disaster declarations for the Western Region of the State. During Hurricane Ivan, the community of Peeks Creek was devastated by a debris flow triggered by heavy rains. The debris flow traveled speeds as great as 33 miles per hour for two and a quarter miles from the top of Fishhawk mountain. Five persons were killed and 15 homes destroyed by the flow that was estimated to be several hundred feet wide and up to 40 feet high. Other communities that were particularly hard hit by landslides include the Starnes Creek area in Buncombe County, the Little Pine area in Madison County, the White Laurel community in Watauga County, and the Bear Rock Estates in Henderson County. Further....people could not know the landslide risks associated with their housing location because such maps are not readily available. The state needs to....prepare landslide mapping for the region so that homes may be built in safe areas.

Another life lost in the war in Iraq. North Carolina Army National Guard Soldier Casualty

The life of another North Carolina Soldier was lost this past week in Iraq. I was going to post this sooner but wanted to see if any of our statewide candidates would mention something about it on her or elsewhere. I personally have not heard anything about this soldier or any of the other four soldiers from this same unit that have been killed in Iraq.

Morning Post

Gosh golly that was quite a night in politics. Hmmm. What's next?
The answer would be us in the NC (well, there's Guam) and my home state of Indiana.
Yup, NC is in play. I know this because in my capacity as small town newspaper editor I got several phone calls from presidential campaigns yesterday. That and reports of hobbits in Person County.
So, the jets are fueled and Indigestion 2008 is headed to the Tar Heel state.

NC Definitely in Play May 6

As I write the PA returns have passed 60% of districts and the spread in the Democratic Presidential Primary has settled down to Clinton 54% Obama 46%, an 8% margin (which was my own personal prediction) for Clinton who is now addressing supporters. So no surprises, except perhaps this strange image from the Pennsylvania Department of State Elections Information site earlier tonight:

Rock show

The details of the rock show in Carrboro and Greensboro for Obama are set. Here's the release:

RALEIGH, NC – Senator Barack Obama's campaign today announced two concerts to headline the campaign's One-Stop Early Voting drive. Featuring Arcade Fire and Superchunk, the “Change Rocks” concerts in Carrboro and Greensboro will highlight the campaign's effort to encourage One-Stop Early Voting at college campuses and other locations across the state.

Jerry Meek on Smithfield Foods

Today Jerry Meek attempted to discretely decline a donation from Smithfield Foods.

Their reaction was typical of Smithfield: threats and intimidation.

It is sadly the truth that Smithfield has gotten away with intimidating their workers for over a decade. While Smithfield may be adept at denying the defenseless a voice, they apparently had less luck with my boss:

Ms. Theresa Kostrzewa
2349 Churchill Road
Raleigh, NC 27608

RE: Smithfield Foods and Smithfield Packing

Dear Theresa:

I wanted to follow-up with you regarding our conversation this morning. In that conversation, I informed you of our decision not to accept a contribution from your clients, Smithfield Foods and Smithfield Packing. You indicated that I was making a big mistake, and that you were going to notify corporate executives across this State of our decision not to accept this contribution.

Equality North Carolina Secures Hospital Visitation Protections

If you are straight, you may never have thought about this. Most people haven't, frankly. But, for LGBT people, visiting your partner in the hospital can be a nightmare. Under NC law, you two aren't married and you're not blood relatives. So, basically, you don't have a legal right to participate in key medical decisions involving your partner's care, you have no legal right to receive information about your partner's condition, and you may not even be allowed into your partner's room.

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