Posmo @
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 12:35pm

WRAL reports that thousands of crime victims had their personal information potentially exposed on the DPS web site for years.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety officials scrambled Thursday to take down a website that included the names and personal information of thousands of crime victims, including rape victims, who had applied for financial assistance from the state.

State officials say it's unlikely that anyone actually accessed the site, but if anyone did, well, it was chock-full of personal information.

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 10:37am

A lifetime of hatred leads to tragedy:

The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who has extensive ties to North Carolina. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, ran for governor of North Carolina and for the Senate in the 1980s under the last name Miller.

According to police, the attacks happened within minutes of one another. At around 1 p.m. a gunman shot two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks away to a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said. Officers arrested him in an elementary school parking lot a short time later.

It appears this nutcase was working his way down to small children when they caught up with him. I'm going to do some digging to see how many votes this dirtbag received back in the day, but here's some more history to contemplate:

BlueNC @
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 10:11am

Four Racial Justice Act cases under scrutiny:

This morning, the state supreme court will hear the cases of four defendants who were removed from death row under the state's racial justice act. The court will review whether the now repealed-act should apply to these defendants.

Experts say the state supreme court could come out with a narrowly tailored decision that would only affect those four people, or their decision could be broader and affect the more than 150 defendants who have filed motions for relief under the act.

It may be several days before the actual text of the arguments are made available, but we'll post them when we can.

James @
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 8:39am

I know sea level rise has been declared illegal in North Carolina, but that doesn't change the fact that it is happening ... and accelerating. For a practical look at the consequences for infrastructure (especially sewage systems), take a look at this excellent story at North Carolina Health News. It's a sobering reminder that the people in charge of our government are, for the most part, clueless fools with their heads stuck in the sand.

Posmo @
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 8:33am

Pam Tilley is an NC educator, and she's well informed. Recently she wrote an open letter to Jerry Tillman, education committee chair.

As a citizen and mother in North Carolina, I am gravely concerned about the rapid exodus of teachers leaving North Carolina for higher pay in other states. While I recognize that there are highly qualified teachers such as myself (all “accomplished/distinguished” per this year’s evaluation) who consider North Carolina their home and teaching their calling and refuse to wave the white flag, I completely understand why teachers are leaving at higher rates. Last summer, in my frustration with the legislation that was passed removing teacher tenure and once again denying teachers a cost-of-living adjustment or step increase, I started a blog to archive teacher resignation letters: www.resignnc.org

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 7:25am

A statue depicting Jesus as a homeless person sleeping on a bench recently installed at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, NC prompted a call to police, with a woman in the upscale neighborhood concerned for the safety of her neighbors.

The statue was purchased by a church member for $22,000 as a memorial to a former parishioner, Kate McIntyre, who had loved public art.

The statue had previously been turned down by St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

Not everyone in the neighborhood is enamored with the work of art, with Swannock saying, “Jesus is not a vagrant, Jesus is not a helpless person who needs our help. We need someone who is capable of meeting our needs, not someone who is also needy.”

Others, such as Ellen Donaldson, say that the statue gives her peace.

James @
Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 7:50pm

One of North Carolina's great treasures is its system of state parks. Jane and I have been visiting many of them, and this weekend we had the pleasure of spending two days camping at Medoc Mountain State Park in Halifax County. It's a sweet place with five great loop hikes, and spring was definitely in the air. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the park:

Medoc Mountain is not really a mountain at all; its highest point reaches an elevation of only 325 feet (99 m) above sea level. It is, rather, the core of what was once a mighty range of mountains — Medoc Mountain is what remains after millions of years of erosion. The eroded peaks were formed by volcanic action during the Paleozoic Age, about 350 million years ago.

The park sits near the fall line, an area where the hard, resistant rocks of the foothills give way to the softer rocks and sediments of the coastal plain. The northern and western faces of Medoc Mountain have very steep slopes, dropping 160 feet over a distance of less than a quarter mile. Such rugged terrain is unusual for the eastern piedmont.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 10:55am

No respite for the weary:

As much as I love the 50 children I’ve been privileged to love, teach and laugh with, I’m leaving. I can’t afford to stay any longer. Every month when I’m paid, my paycheck is spent within an hour. Between my rent, my car payments, loans and paying my credit card off from the previous month’s expenses, I have nothing left.

I can assure you I don’t make enough money to live lavishly. Dinner time at my house is often brown rice and Diet Coke. Just for fun one day, I added all the hours I work (about a third of them completely unpaid yet necessary), and averaged my salary per hour. I made more money per hour while working at a magazine in college.

On the plus side, since you can't afford to go out and eat dinner in a restaurant, that gives you more time to grade papers and prepare class assignments for the following days. Inappropriate jokes aside, we can't continue to presume that good teachers will "stick with it" and remain in their classrooms due to some noble calling. Nobility can't survive on an empty stomach, and it's hard to grade papers at night if your house is foreclosed on and you're living in your car.

Posmo @
Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 9:28am

can still result in attempts to muzzle the speaker.

Gene Nichol is now required to warn UNC and add a disclaimer any time he writes something for publication.

Printed under the column were [Nichol's] name, his title as the Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor and this statement: “He doesn’t speak for UNC.”

Since late October, the disclaimer has appeared whenever Nichol, a provocative and prolific writer, pens a piece for the newspaper’s opinion pages.

According to email records obtained by the N&O, Nichol, a former dean and college president and well-known liberal, has also been asked by his bosses to give them a day or two days’ notice – a “heads up” before his columns appear

That's because Nichol speaks truth that the powerful don't want to hear. And some of the powerful react with indignation.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 6:33pm

In 2013 three men from Florida, California, and Virginia with ties to the taxicab and parking industries made $24,000 in donations to Charlotte City Council Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes and $24,000 to former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon. One of the men, William H. Bodenhamer, Jr. is an executive with Standard Parking (SP+), which had bid on a large airport-related contract that was voted on by the Charlotte City Council in early 2014. All three men are part owners of NBRS USA Holdings, which owns Yellow Cab in Charlotte. Yellow Cab was one of three taxicab companies selected to work out of the Charlotte Airport in 2011 in a controversial decision.

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