BlueNC @
Monday, March 17, 2014 - 10:31am

Once the public money flows, so should the information:

Charter school boards, unlike their school-district counterparts, are not elected. They begin as self-selected groups of like-minded people with a vision for a school. First they must form a nonprofit group to apply for the charter; during the planning stage – which often takes more than a year – they are not public bodies.

That changes when the N.C. Board of Education awards a charter, which entitles the board to get state, local and federal money for education. With that money comes public obligations, from holding open meetings to reporting academic data.

Old habits die hard, which is why these boards should operate as transparently as possible, even before the taxpayer dollars kick in. Getting feedback from parents and other members of the public during the planning stage could be crucial in the survivability of the school itself; an "idea" only becomes a "good idea" after it's been picked apart and put back together again. Those who would shield their ideas from exposure are merely exposing their lack of confidence. And their lack of skills, too:

BlueNC @
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:25am

Removing Climate Change information from its website:

As recently as Jan. 21, information about climate change was available on the front page of the Division of Air Quality's website. Sometime in the last two months, the page was edited to remove the link. The link used to connect users to a page full of information and resources about greenhouse gases and climate change. That page no longer exists, either.

"We made these changes as part of our ongoing efforts to update, refresh and redesign our website," Mather said. "Currently, states do not have a lot of regulatory authority dealing with climate change. We do have responsibilities in several areas, however, and we still include that information on our website."

I wondered how long it would take for this to happen. When the people who run your organization are idiots, it's only a matter of time before the dumbing down begins:

BlueNC @
Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 12:15pm

And it's apparently been leaking steadily for some time:

Video inspection of a second, 36-inch pipe shows “it has the potential by configuration to release ash material in a way similar to the 48-inch conduit,” a state dam-safety engineer wrote Duke on Friday afternoon. Steven McEvoy, a state dam safety engineer, wrote Duke that videos of the reinforced concrete pipe’s interior showed it was laid in four-foot sections with numerous joints.

McEvoy noted water was dripping through a number of those joints. In three places the flow was under pressure, forming what the engineer called “water jets.” He also saw ponding water inside the pipe. One joint near the pipe’s outfall to the river had separated, he wrote.

Once this situation is resolved, hopefully without another spill, these video inspections need to be done on all coal ash ponds across the state. And the ones where riverkeepers have reported contamination from leaks need to be at the top of that list.

BlueNC @
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 12:58pm

Time to step up to the plate:

The State Board of Elections and county elections offices begin accepting candidate forms at noon Monday. The filing deadline is Feb. 28.

Voters this year will decide whether to re-elect U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan or one of her rivals. They'll choose members of the U.S. House delegation, all 170 members of the General Assembly and dozens of judgeships. There will also be scores of county commissioner and school board elections.

The primary is May 6, with runoffs July 15 if needed. The general election is Nov. 4.

If you are planning to run, go ahead and file now. It will narrow down the list of races in which a candidate may need to be found, and it will help potential donors decide where best to dedicate their resources.

BlueNC @
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 11:43am

BlueNC @
Monday, February 3, 2014 - 9:54am

BlueNC @
Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 1:03pm

Here comes the GOP US Senate Primary crazy train:

Um, you're not running against McCrory, Thom. And if you try to out-crazy Greg Brannon, you won't be running against Kay Hagan, either.

BlueNC @
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 12:14pm

How to silence a growing demographic:

Some Triangle college campuses could lose early voting sites as county election boards across the state seek to secure locations that meet new voting requirements.

Tracy Reams, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said moving the early voting location had nothing to do with the students.

She said there were a number of issues with the previous location at Rams Head Dining Hall, including difficulty with curbside voting and scheduling around football games and other campus events that require the use of parking decks.

Don't you believe it for one minute. Republicans didn't craft the new law with some vague ideas about accessibility. They had specific targets in mind, and college students were high on that list of targets. Which is one big reason why they are trying desperately to conceal their communications while they were plotting this attack on Democracy: