scharrison's blog

Introducing Kristen Powers for Alamance County Commissioner

"After Charlottesville, some of the Alamance County commissioners made comments so hurtful to people of color that my black friends refused to come back to that building. It may have been the comment that somebody’s family slaves were considered workers or perhaps the part where a commissioner was willing to spend money rebuilding a torn down statue instead of allocating funds to repair deteriorated rooftops on schools. In North Carolina, the county commissioner is powerful. Unfortunately, in Alamance County, there are only a few who are using that power for good. When I saw that one of them was essentially running unopposed, I decided that I had to step in."

Editor's note: Kristen is a friend, but she's also *exactly* what is needed on our County Commission these days. She's not only intelligent, but she puts that intelligence to work for the good of all people, especially those who need it the most, in her work for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Here's more about her decision to run:

Struggling in the Gap: NC GOP's refusal to expand Medicaid is a health crisis

The march of the walking wounded:

In the spring of 2017, a tractor trailer side-swiped the car Hendell Curtis was driving not far from his North Raleigh home. His longtime lack of health insurance made getting needed medical care afterwards a physcial and financial minefield.

The crash left Curtis requiring surgery to install a metal plate to stabilize weakened vertebrate in his lower back. A settlement from the truck driver’s auto insurance will cover the surgery, but only AFTER it is complete.

Get that? The accident was not his fault, but he is the one living with a broken back because of it. Let down by the system, let down by the ideologues running the General Assembly. And (of course) if he'd had enough money to hire a fancy lawyer, the settlement from the insurance company would have paid for everything upfront, with enough left over to live on for the rest of his life. But that's another world, one that he and many others can only read about. Here's more about the Gap:

School uniforms required after forced privatization of Ashpole Elementary

Because apparently "choice" is only an option for parents and not students:

Eric Hall, Superintendent for the ISD, added, “In addition to fostering a sense of community and school spirit, student uniforms will help make mornings easier for families by eliminating discussions about what to wear from morning routines; relieve school staff from administering school dress codes, reduce the potential for teasing with regards to a student’s attire, and they’re economical.”

Wait, I thought charter schools were supposed to be an incubator for creative thought, a radical shift away from the "conformity" of the factory-styled public school model, a monument to freedom of thought, a paradigmatic shift...You're right, I'm being facetious. The school choice movement has nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with social engineering and money-making. Expecting them to operate in the way they've promised in order to sell their destructive policies is an exercise in futility. Also, we'll see how "economical" those uniforms are going down the road. Parents will be buying replacements before Halloween rolls around.

Donald Trump is putting North Carolina out of business

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Still waiting for all the "winning" to happen:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says $1.1 billion in North Carolina exports are threatened by a trade war, including a half-billion dollars worth of exports to Canada and $350 million to China.

Tariffs are impacting not only businesses, builders and growers but consumers who will see higher prices for things like appliances, cars and houses. Multimillion-dollar projects are in danger of being postponed or canceled.

I've never been a fan of "completely" free trade. The truth is, there are over a billion unemployed or seriously under-employed people worldwide, and American workers could easily be swallowed up and replaced in that formula. But you have to approach trade policy like a surgeon, carefully cutting and stitching, and not blasting it with a sawed-off shotgun like Trump is doing. The ripple effect of unintended consequences can be devastating to businesses:

Residents with GenX-tainted wells not happy with carbon filtration fix

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They say Chemours needs to connect them with city water instead:

Two residents participating in a pilot study that is testing whether water filter systems can remove GenX and similar contaminants say they prefer municipal water lines. The residents — Mike Watters and Fran Minshew — said they made the decision after seeing test results Chemours sent to the state Department of Environmental Quality. Their homes are among six with the granular-activated carbon filtration systems.

Chemours has offered to install the filter systems at homes with wells that have GenX levels above the state’s provisional health goal for the compound. Thus far, the state has said the filters would not be approved as a long-term solution.

This is (of course) typical of how most private corporations approach remedial actions when they contaminate water wells. Trying to avoid the expense of running water lines to these people, they use these on-site "fixes" as a test program, and they get to run the tests. When have you ever heard one of these companies say, "Oh, this is not working like we'd hoped."? Exactly, never. And these folks are also worried about continued support from Chemours going down the road, because apparently the filtration systems need a lot of maintenance:

Hog farm rally *not* held at actual hog farm site

Because who wants to smell that shit anyway:

Most recently, a jury awarded more than $25 million last week to Duplin County residents Elvis and Vonnie Williams, neighbors of the 4,700-hog farm of Joey Carter, a former Beulaville police chief. That was where Republican legislators and other elected officials brought supporters Tuesday for a rally and news conference criticizing the lawsuits and touting a new state farm law that limits when and how hog-farm neighbors can file nuisance suits.

“You work hard every single day to make ends meet, you know the daily struggles of what it’s like to grow pigs or turkeys or chickens or to grow your row crops, and you do that without complaining and the government comes in and passes regulation after regulation,” Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told farmers.

I don't want to be that guy that says "fake news," but this is simply not correct. The spot where this "rally" was held is approximately 3/5 of a mile away from the hogs & lagoon featured in the lawsuit, with a substantial strand of forest separating them. But see, they couldn't invite all those outraged white people to the *real* site, because it's literally a horror show:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The Kakistocracy marches on:

The slow disintegration of rights is about to begin:

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