BlueNC @
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 8:45am

If you have a run-off in your district, don't forget to vote today.

THE SPILL
Senate nixes House coal ash bill, negotiating next (AP) — Legislation designed to clean up coal ash ponds at Duke Energy power plants in North Carolina is now heading to final negotiations after the Senate rejected the House version of the bill.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_d2e4804a-b7b9-...

Daily dose
279
BlueNC @
Monday, July 14, 2014 - 8:57am

IN CASE YOU FORGOT

"We're going to go in. We're going to have a short session. It's going to be focused. It's going to be disciplined. We're going to get in and out.,"
-- House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, WRAL-TV 05/10/2014

“All indications point toward a session that will be short, with a continued focus on economic growth, job creation, and wise investments.”
-- Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation, 05/09/2014

“We will probably be more assertive than in our first year, which I frankly thought was extremely assertive. … “We had a heck of a good first year, but now I think we can take even more initiatives. … I anticipate that we’ll be together 80 to 90 percent of the time. “We’re having very good dialogue and, in almost all cases, good cooperation.”
-- Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014

“Hopefully (Gov. McCrory) has learned that we have to work together to get things done. I don’t know if he’s there yet. Hopefully this session will tell us that.”
-- Senate Rules Committee Chair Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014

Daily dose
355
BlueNC @
Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 7:59am

CAMPAIGN
Some NC voters face 2nd round of primary elections (AP) — It's a sign of how much is at stake in next week's runoff election and how narrow the expected margin of success is that a Republican congressional election has devolved into one candidate claiming his Facebook page was hacked to make it look like he was fibbing about his education.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_371138d7-1290-...

Caustic battle in 6th District race wears on GOP (Greensboro News & Record) -- Will bitterness of race hurt party in November, political observers wonder.
http://www.news-record.com/news/government/elections/article_e7765f4e-0a...

Daily dose
454
BlueNC @
Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 10:43am

THE SPILL
At Town Hall, riverkeeper explains coal ash peril (Davidson News) -- Problems with coal ash have grabbed headlines across North Carolina and nationwide since a February spill at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. But Dan River is only one of many plants with potential storage problems. Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman is also on the list, but experts say it could be 15 years or longer before Duke closes down the ponds of toxic waste there. But that’s too long, Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins said in a presentation to Davidson commissioners Monday, July 7. The reason for the longer potential cleanup timeline is that Marshall Steam Station has been classified as “low risk” in state legislation aimed at requiring Duke to shut down its coal ash ponds around the state. Perkins says the plant shouldn’t be allowed to continue with business as usual, especially when business as usual means toxic chemicals seeping into the groundwater around Lake Norman.
http://davidsonnews.net/blog/2014/07/11/at-town-hall-riverkeeper-explain...

Daily dose
428
BlueNC @
Friday, July 11, 2014 - 9:09am

THE SPILL
New coal ash ad targets Tillis (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A new barrage of TV ads criticizing state lawmakers over environmental issues will begin airing this week, this one singling out House Speaker Thom Tillis. This ad is the opening salvo from the N.C. League of Conservation Voters, and is part of what the organization says is a $1 million drive to hold polluters accountable and win greater protections against future spills like the coal ash pollution of the Dan River this year. Earlier this year, several state environmental advocacy groups and the national Natural Resources Defense Council kicked off a series of TV ads targeting specific Republican state legislators. The NRDC said more than $1 million would be spent. The League of Conservation Voters coal ash campaign, separate from the state and national coalition’s campaign, begins with an ad buy of $845,000 airing from Friday to July 24 in the Triangle, Charlotte, Triad and Asheville, the League says.

Daily dose
417
BlueNC @
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 10:37am

It doesn't take a genius to see the practical way out of our budget conundrum. But then again, it does take at least a few brain cells, which we seem to be lacking in Raleigh.

STOP THE FREAKIN' TAX CUTS

493
BlueNC @
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 9:35am

THE SPILL
What do you do with 100 tons of coal ash? (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Dump trucks – each loaded with 20 tons of coal ash – make some 200 trips a day from Duke Energy's Lake Julian power plant to the Asheville Regional Airport, where the toxic material is used as fill to create flat, usable land. The disposal method is considered a cost-effective and environmentally sound reuse of the material. About 4 million tons will have been removed from the plant's two ash ponds by the time the project ends next year. But, as state lawmakers struggle with legislation to better manage coal ash in the wake of the Feb. 2 spill into the Dan River, there are concerns about what to do with amounts of the byproduct far larger than what's being reused in Asheville. Duke estimates there are 102 million tons of coal ash in 33 ponds across the state.
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2014/07/09/tons-coal-ash/1...

Daily dose
394
BlueNC @
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 9:56am

CAMPAIGN 2014
93-year-old woman speaks against voting changes (AP) — The 93-year-old lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging North Carolina's new voting restrictions recounted in federal court Tuesday how she was forced to take a literacy test as a young woman registering to vote.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/93-year-old-woman-speaks-against-voti...

N.C. attorneys say removed provisions ripe for problems (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The issue of voter fraud – one of the many reasons state legislators cited in their push for North Carolina’s new voting law – was front and center Tuesday during a federal hearing on whether to block many of the provisions of that very law.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/n-c-attorneys-say-removed-provision...

Daily dose
459
BlueNC @
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 6:19pm

The General Assembly
explores its budget options.

After Dark
378