Monday, September 1, 2014 - 11:26am

But it doesn't come as a surprise to some of us:

State officials at the Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division compiled the survey after hearing similar stories from companies across the state. The problem is across the board — in small towns and large.

When the business was strong, so were training programs for machine technicians. Not anymore. “We’re not having trouble hearing from people who have been in the textile industry,” Durham said. “It’s more the higher-skilled technicians. These are just not turning up. We have people wanting those jobs, but they’re just not experienced.”

What a lot of these young managers don't understand: even back in the textile "boom" years, many of those machines were being fixed either by their operators or jack-leg mechanics, not highly-skilled technicians. In the absence of a union influence, job descriptions and requirements were (are) hazy at best, and the cheapest alternative was usually sought. But while we may not have exactly what an employer is looking for on an application, that doesn't mean the jobs can't be filled. It just means the employers need to do their own apprenticeships and promote from within.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 11:13am

Self-righteous indignation is so 1950's:

Last month, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he would no longer defend the state’s marriage equality ban because "there are really no arguments left to be made." This did not sit well with Mark Creech, executive director of the North Carolina Action League. In a Christian Post column yesterday, Creech attacked Cooper for “wimpishly” capitulating to “tyranny” and yielding to the “despotism” of “judicial totalitarians.”

"By refusing to resist with every legal means possible, Cooper capitulates to a form of tyranny in our day. He abandons his post on the field of battle, throws up the white flag, stands in the very place of the state (a state that voted by 61% for the marriage amendment) and wimpishly replies to the 4th Circuit that North Carolina accepts their judgment and surrenders. Furthermore, he calls on the judges who will preside over the cases currently challenging the state's marriage amendment to stand down and yield to the despotism of two judicial totalitarians."

I've been trying to complete this diary for over an hour, but there's so many aggressive advertisements on this Christian Post page it keeps locking up my computer. There's a Sunday School lesson in there somewhere, possibly something about Mammon (I don't know who that was), but now it's almost time for brunch, so...

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Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 10:09am

Mandating a failing system:

The state budget that Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law earlier this month includes a provision requiring the State Board of Education to authorize two online charter schools to serve K-12 students by next fall.

In drafting the budget provision for the virtual charter schools, lawmakers ignored many of the education board's recommendations. For example, lawmakers allowed the online schools to receive both state and local funding for students, while regular charter schools receive only state money. State law also lets the online schools enroll more students and have more students drop out than educators wanted.

Bolding mine. When your pet project (K12 Inc) has so many shortcomings and faults it can't meet even the minimum standards of being authorized, what do you do? You either lower the standards or you force the authorizing body to acquiesce via government fiat. Adding to the ever-growing list of behaviors exhibited by our General Assembly that closely resemble that of Third-World tyrants.

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Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:00am

Which is becoming a habit with mainstream media:

A top executive at a North Carolina paving company has pleaded guilty in federal court in what prosecutors say was an $87 million scheme involving government-funded road construction projects.

Carl Andrew Boggs III pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Transportation and money laundering. The 50-year-old from Waxhaw is president and part owner of Boggs Paving, Inc. He now faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

And not one word about Boggs hosting a campaign fundraiser for Gubernatorial candidate McCrory, during the time Boggs was ripping off the Federal government, no less. If this had been Bev Perdue or Mike Easley, the press would be all over this connection like flies on dog poop. Infuriating.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 11:07am

And it may be the people's only defense against an overreaching government:

Since Republicans took control of the General Assembly in 2011, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, redrawn legislative and congressional district voting maps, a law requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls, a law requiring a doctor to narrate an ultrasound before providing an abortion, a law creating a "Choose Life" license plate and a budget provision eliminating the tenure rights of veteran teachers all have led to lawsuits against the state.

Michael Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and director of the Center for Law and Government at the University of North Carolina School of Law, said he doesn't find the raft of lawsuits unusual. "When you have a legislature that was fairly aggressive like this one was to try and change a lot of areas of life in North Carolina, then you can expect some push-back," Gerhardt said.

Republicans are outraged that the courts became involved in these issues, but they should have thought about that when they decided to attack certain groups of citizens. Prejudice and misogynistic leanings have no place in the halls of government, and the products of those twisted beliefs should be challenged.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 6:06pm

The grass isn't the only thing greener on the other side:

After helping to develop the governor's plan, which emphasizes the development of local doctor networks to care for Medicaid patients, Peal is going to work for a company whose lobbyists have worked on behalf of a competing measure put forward by state Senate leaders. That Senate plan would have relied more heavily on companies such as WellCare to manage the state's Medicaid population.

Mullins said the administration would continue to push for a Medicaid reform model that relies on local providers and emphasized Peal was part of a group that had developed the accountable care organization model put forward by McCrory. Mullins said Wednesday that Peal did not want to comment for this story.

I bet she didn't.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 10:24am

Disciplinary action or election-year posturing?

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a notice of violation to Duke over the ongoing contamination at the L.V. Sutton Electric Plant in New Hanover County. The site includes a pair of unlined dumps estimated to hold 2.6 million tons of ash.

The state says monitoring wells near Duke's dumps at Sutton showed readings exceeding state groundwater standards for boron, thallium, selenium, iron, manganese and other chemicals. Thallium was used for decades as the active ingredient in rat poison until it was banned because it is so highly toxic.

Make no mistake, Duke Energy should be fined for allowing toxic chemicals to leak from their coal ash impoundments. But considering they will soon be pursuing (and likely be granted) rate increases from the NCUC, whatever fines they do pay for this will be easily recouped from the people. And efforts by DENR to conceal or edit test results calls the timing of this action into question:

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 12:39pm

The rumors of Art Pope's loss of influence over McCrory are wildly exaggerated:

In a press release on Monday afternoon, Governor Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Winston-Salem lawyer Richard Dietz to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Dietz will fill the seat of Judge Bob Hunter, Jr., whom McCrory appointed as a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court ahead of elections in November. Judge hunter will be sworn in on September 6th to be followed by Dietz.

“Richard Dietz has an esteemed legal record and an extensive background in appellate practice,” said Governor McCrory. “His experience, service on the North Carolina Courts Commission and involvement in his community will make him a valuable addition to the Court of Appeals.”

What you won't find in this article is his recent attachment to Civitas and the John Locke Foundation, including his indoctrination training in free-market principles:

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 9:18am

The harsh reality of the GOP's failure to properly fund public education:

And no math formula can make it right:

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