BlueNC's blog

Aqua NC looks to squeeze more money out of citizens

The dark side of privatization:

Aqua North Carolina is asking state regulators for a 19.15 percent rate increase to raise bills for its water and sewer customers by $240 a year. It’s the third rate case in the past five years for the state’s biggest private water utility, which already charges twice as much as Raleigh, Durham, Cary and many municipalities. Aqua is a publicly traded company admired on Wall Street for its strategy of aggressive rate requests to recover investments in pipes and to reward shareholders.

Not only should the Utilities Commission refuse this rate hike, the Attorney General's office needs to open an investigation into the already hugely exorbitant charges this company is levying on its customers every month.

NCWorks Online outsourced to Florida software developer

As USNA77 notes in an earlier comment, the current administration is full of nothing but talk about creating jobs in North Carolina. So when they decided to launch a major new stunt to match employers with employees, where did they turn? To a company in Florida, of course!

Rowan County Commissioner "God's instrument"

Talk about delusions of grandeur:

The injunction forbids prayers specific to one religion. County Commission meetings often begin with a Christian invocation using the name of Jesus. In its ruling, the Court prohibited the County from “knowingly and/or intentionally delivering or allowing to be delivered sectarian prayers” at official Board meetings.

But the commissioners may not be backing down. In a statement, county commissioner Jon Barber said: “I will always pray in the name of Jesus…God will lead me through this persecution and I will be His instrument.”

Apparently such "persecution" is enough to drive the anointed to shoplifting wine and drinking and driving:

Clueless in Dallas

If Art Pope is going to spend millions of daddy's money on political propaganda, he might want to find a tool who can keep his foot out of his mouth. From an interview about Moral Mondays at WUNC-FM.

“It’s hard to know exactly from week to week what it is they’re upset about." says Dallas Woodhouse, state director of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina. "One week it’s about Voter ID. One week it’s abortion. One week it’s about union rights. They are basically a coalition of the aggrieved.”

Monday numbers from NC Policy Watch: Too bad for teachers edition

Some ugly numbers today. Maybe they should change the name of this feature to Monday Madness. In any case, go read the rest.

1—-percentage increase in take home pay that Governor Pat McCrory claims teachers earning $40,000 will receive from the tax cut passed by the General Assembly (“McCrory calls for fewer tests, extra teacher pay,” WRAL-TV, August 1, 2013)

250,000—amount in dollars that a household must earn on average to receive a one percent tax cut (McCrory signs tax bill, WRAL-TV, July 23, 2013)

Deep cuts coming for SNAP recipients in NC

And the hungry will be even hungrier:

For a family of three, that cut will mean a reduction of $29 a month— $319 for the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year. This is a serious loss for families whose benefits, after this cut, will average less than $1.40 per person per meal. On top of these across-the-board cuts to the program, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering and could vote on even deeper cuts to the program in the coming weeks. This could leave many families and their children without assistance to put food on the table when they need it most.

Congressional Republicans already tried once (and luckily failed) to cut this program by $20 Billion. And here's how our (NC) Delegation voted:

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