BlueNC's blog

Saturday News: Toxic legacy

waterpollution.jpg

FIRST DUPONT, NOW HONEYWELL: DECADES OF POLLUTING THE CAPE FEAR: Federal authorities say they've reached a proposed settlement with two companies for the cleanup of a former chemical plant near the Cape Fear River. The Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said in a news release Thursday that the settlement was reached with Honeywell International Inc. and International Paper Co. The companies have agreed to treat, store and dispose of soils and sediments contaminated by metals that include mercury and PCBs. The settlement says the from 1963 to 2000, the LCP-Holtrachem plant made chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, liquid chlorine, hydrogen gas, liquid bleach and hydrochloric acid at the plant in Riegelwood in Columbus County, adjacent to the Cape Fear River. A federal court must approve the settlement.
https://www.wral.com/honeywell-to-clean-up-chemical-pollution-in-north-carolina/18335696/

Friday News: Nope, not this time

cooperseal.jpg

GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES "BORN ALIVE" ANTI-ABORTION BILL: "Laws already protect newborn babies, and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients," Cooper said in his veto statement. "This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other health care providers for a practice that simply does not exist." The bill is similar to others that have cropped up this year in other states, and Cooper's veto is sure to appear in campaign commercials. Already, both sides were fundraising off the news Thursday, sending email blasts to supporters seeking donations. The North Carolina Values Coalition sent out a donation appeal titled "Roy Cooper just vetoed babies." It remains to be seen whether Republicans can muster the numbers needed to overturn Cooper's veto, but it will be difficult. The GOP lost its super-majorities in the House and the Senate in last year's elections and would need to peel off more Democrats to make this bill law.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-vetoes-born-alive-abortion-bill/18333666/

Thursday News: Just don't do it

dukeenergybuilding.jpg

BUSINESS LEADERS AND WATCHDOGS OPPOSE DUKE ENERGY'S 5 YEAR RATE PLANS: Lobbyists for large manufacturers, industrial customers and Google spoke against a key section of Senate Bill 559 in committee Wednesday. Walmart, the state's largest private employer and one of its bigger electricity users, issued a statement saying the bill "could lead to unchecked electricity rate increases." "There are better options here," Howard told legislators. "We ask that you slow down." The state's Department of Environmental Quality recently said Duke would have to excavate more coal ash ponds around the state, boosting what would have been a roughly $5.6 billion cleanup plan closer to $10 billion. With those costs and others coming down the pike, "now is not the time to loosen the regulator reins," said Sharon Miller, another lobbyist for large manufacturers.
https://www.wral.com/big-employers-push-back-on-duke-energy-rate-bill/18331861/

Wednesday News: Sesame Street, with no muppets

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

NC REPUBLICANS WANT POOR KIDS TO HAVE "ONLINE" PRE-K: The state House Education Committee backed legislation on Tuesday that would create a three-year virtual early learning pilot program targeted at preparing at-risk preschool children for kindergarten. Backers of the new program say it will help underserved young children who aren’t able to get into a traditional pre-K program. “The purpose of this program is to deliver a high-quality program, early intervention for those kids so that when they do start school they’re not left in the dust.” But critics say the new program falls short of providing children a real preschool program. ‘It seems so often in the last few years that we’re doing things on the cheap.” Keith Poston, president of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, said in an interview Tuesday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229142574.html

Tuesday News: Parting is such sweet sorrow...

dallaswoodhouse.jpg

DALLAS WOODHOUSE WILL LEAVE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION IN JUNE: The party’s central committee, a group of about 30 people, held an hours-long meeting Sunday night at which it discussed Woodhouse’s future. Early Monday, McClatchy was not able to determine what was decided. The meeting came after the party’s chairman, Robin Hayes, was indicted for allegedly trying to funnel bribe money to N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey and making false statements to the FBI. Hayes relinquished some of his duties at the NC GOP, appointing Aubrey Woodard as acting chair. Woodhouse wasn’t mentioned in the indictment and says he’s not a target of the investigation. But he testified before the grand jury in December, as McClatchy previously reported. “I am under contract through the convention,” Woodhouse said in a text. “After that, with the election of a new chair, and after four years, a run longer than most, I am moving on. This was always what I had in mind.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229193954.html

Monday News: Beto testing

beto.jpg

2020 DEM PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL BETO O'ROURKE IN NC TODAY: Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke is making a quick run through North Carolina — a presidential battleground and early primary state. O'Rourke planned "meet and greet" events on Monday in Charlotte, Greensboro and Chapel Hill. The former Texas congressman and 2018 U.S. Senate candidate announced his bid for the Democratic nomination last month. Monday marks his first visit to the state as a presidential contender. North Carolina's party primaries will be held March 3, 2020. O'Rourke's events will be held at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing in Greensboro and at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
https://www.wral.com/orourke-making-first-nc-visit-as-presidential-candidate/18326566/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

opinionpages.jpg

TWISTING THE TRUTH WON'T MAKE PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHER PROGRAM ACCOUNTABLE: The twisted logic and fractured use of facts is worthy of the work of Cold War-era Soviet propaganda operations. Under a chilling headline, “Senate Democrats File Bill to Cut Funding for Opportunity Scholarships,” the release warns that legislation will “siphon money” away from scholarship for poor students to attend private schools. Instead, the money will go to the “largest and wealthiest school districts” in the state. Here is the truth. No one in North Carolina – not a single child -- who qualified for the so-called “Opportunity Scholarship” private school vouchers, has been denied a dime. In fact, in the current school year, of the $54.84 million available for the vouchers, $35.56 million has been obligated. More than a third of the money won’t get used to help educate anyone.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-twisting-the-truth-won-t-make-private-school-voucher-program-accounta...

Saturday News: Punishing good behavior

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

LEGISLATURE MULLS HUGE INCREASE IN FEES FOR EVS AND HYBRIDS: A proposal to ratchet up the annual registration fee for a hybrid or an electric vehicle cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday. Senate Bill 446 calls for increasing the fee on electric vehicles from $130 to $275 over the next three years. A new fee for hybrids would be imposed as well, starting at $87.50 and growing to $137.50 by 2022. After 2022, the fees would be adjusted every four years to keep up with inflation. Sen. Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg, said the higher fees could discourage people from buying a hybrid or an electric vehicle. Davis said that isn't his intent, and Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, said the proposal is simply a matter of fairness. "Without any question, on the roads that they travel, [these vehicles] will cause just as much of a problem as my light pickup truck, and I'm paying 36 cents a gallon to ride on that road," Rabon said. "It is only fair that they pay an equal amount."
https://www.wral.com/registration-fees-for-hybrids-electric-vehicles-could-be-going-up-a-lot/18318162/

Friday News: False premise

PlannedParenthood2.jpg

CONSERVATIVES USE DECEPTION IN BATTLE AGAINST REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM: Identical House and Senate bills, one of which could receive a floor vote as soon as next week, require physicians and nurses to care for children born alive after the procedure. They could face a felony and active prison time if they don't, along with potentially $250,000 fines and other monetary damages. Abortion-rights advocates and their largely Democratic allies say the measures address a non-issue and are designed to intimidate medical providers and women who have the right to an abortion. Newborns aren't being left to die, they say, and any malicious activities already are subject to criminal laws and medical licensing boards. "The legislation is not aimed at treating a problem that exists," said Kelsea McLain with A Woman's Choice of Raleigh, which provides abortions. "Rather it's aimed at creating inflammatory rhetoric around abortion rights and access to further stigmatize our rights."
https://www.wral.com/post-abortion-bills-moving-at-north-carolina-legislature/18321050/

Thursday News: Never again

holocaust.jpg

ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA PLACED IN UNC CHAPEL HILL LIBRARY: The university did not report what was on the posters. Ari Gauss, executive director of N.C. Hillel, the UNC-based foundation for Jewish college students across the state, said he had seen the posters. He condemned them in a statement on the Hillel’s website. “We are outraged that vicious anti-Semitic flyers, referring to “an evil Jewish plot,” were placed at Davis Library at UNC Chapel Hill this week, the statement said. “We are disgusted by the vile and hateful rhetoric on these flyers. The language is reminiscent of centuries-old, anti-Semitic rhetoric that incited the murder of thousands of Jews in pogroms throughout Eastern Europe and the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. This racist, repulsive language has no place on any campus or in any society.” Unrelated to the discovery of the flyers, Gauss said, the Hillel is hosting a speaker at UNC Thursday night, Dr. Marc Dollinger, a Jewish historian who will talk about the history and impact of anti-Semitism.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article229078544.html

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - BlueNC's blog