scharrison's blog

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Making our schools both more religious and more dangerous:

It's almost like GOP leaders asked themselves, "Let's see, what can we do to make it look like we care about school safety, but doesn't cost much money?"

Homeless in NC: Gastonia to tear down "nuisance" hotel

Some residents have lived there for decades:

The city of Gastonia takes the keys Friday of a motel it declared a nuisance and bought for $1.2 million in December 2016. Owner Jay Patel, who paid $825,000 for the motel in April 2014, started telling guests three months ago that on Monday morning they would all have to find a new place to live.

After 60 years, the Budget Inn will give way to the city’s multi-million dollar plans for a Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District and stadium that city leaders hope will bring new life to west Gastonia. City leaders hope the district, which will be called “FUSE,” connects a reinvigorated downtown with the redevelopment that transformed the Loray Mill from the site of the deadly 1929 textile strike into luxury loft apartments and retail space.

As many reading this already know, I've become deeply involved in downtown revitalization efforts in my small town. I'm all for new development and re-development of existing and sometimes historical structures, but I'm also very keen on watching out for that 18%-20% who live at or below poverty level. In this particular case, it doesn't appear the City of Gastonia is lifting a finger to help relocate these folks, something that any responsible government body should at least attempt to do:

Justin Burr wants to track what films were shown in schools

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We'll have to be more careful with our Liberal Socialist Indoctrination Program (LSIP):

AN ACT TO REQUIRE LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION TO REPORT MOVIES SHOWN IN SCHOOLS DURING INSTRUCTIONAL TIME.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts: SECTION 1.(a) Each local board of education and each charter school shall report in writing to the Superintendent of Public Instruction by September 1, 2018, on each movie shown during instructional time at each school in the local school administrative unit or at each charter school during the 2017-2018 school year in the months of November, December, January, April, May, and June.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in nonrecurring funds for the 2018-2019 fiscal year to provide for collection and summarization of data in accordance with this act.

If you're wondering about those dates, join the club. This bill was filed three days ago, but it seeks data from the previous school year. Data that was not (previously) required of teachers to compile. Yes, most of those teachers could probably tell you exactly what was taught on a specific day by perusing their schedules, and could probably tell you off the top of their heads what films were shown. But the timing of this tells me Justin Burr has a burr up his butt about something. Like, some irate evangelical parent told him about some evil film that was shown (Evolution!), and he's on a crusade to root out that evil. Whatever the case, get a life, dude. Are you upset you couldn't punish judges all across the state, so now you're going after teachers? I'll take that silence as a "yes."

The re-segregation of NC schools just got a jump-start

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Four Mecklenburg towns will build their own lily-white charter schools:

Despite warnings that it could resegregate North Carolina schools, a bill that would allow Mecklenburg County towns to run their own charter schools moved closer to passage Thursday. The N.C. Senate tentatively approved House Bill 514 after a sometimes heated debate over the local and statewide implications of the measure.

Supporters said the bill would give suburban parents options and ensure that towns frustrated by a lack of CMS facilities and resources can provide their own in the form of town-run charter schools. The bill, which originally affected only Matthews, was expanded to include Cornelius, Huntersville and Mint Hill.

Republican leaders in the NCGA are transparently hypocritical. When towns or cities try to develop policies or programs that are progressive in nature, that lift up those in the community in most need of lifting, the heavy hand of authority reaches down from Raleigh and strangles those efforts. But when towns want to do something horrifically regressive, like separating the races and creating "havens" for the students of affluent white residents, those same Republican leaders are giddy at the prospect. And apparently they're hoping other towns across the state get on board with this new (yet very old) segregation approach:

City of Charlotte to build low-income housing adjacent to light rail

But their definition of "'low-income" seems to be evolving:

Charlotte plans to use the 2.31 acres to build the low-income apartments on its own, or with a nonprofit company. But the new plan calls for all of the 80 apartments to be for people earning 80 percent of the area median income. That's about $43,000 for a family of four.

But the switch from very low-income housing to so-called workforce housing raises questions about whether the apartments are needed. Two consultants have told the city that Charlotte has a surplus of housing for people earning about 80 percent of area median income, and the city's biggest need is for apartments serving the city's poorest residents, who earn minimum wage or less.

Don't know all the ins and outs of this deal, but in the initial purchase (by the City) and sale back to the private sector, $4 million in taxpayer dollars was lost. And considering the City Council just had dozens of genuinely poor citizens drum up the courage to walk into the chamber and ask (desperately) for help with affordable housing, this decision seems to be about as tone-deaf as you could get. About the only citizen who appears to be "winning" in this deal-making is the developer himself:

NC Republicans emulate Trump in their Budget "process"

If it walks like an orange-haired duck, well you know the rest:

Secrecy. Greed. Dishonesty. Self-dealing. Neglect disguised as concern. Contempt for democracy. If one were asked to describe the most notable hallmarks of the administration of President Donald Trump, it would be hard to come up with six more accurate characterizations. To see the latest concrete confirmation of this appalling state of affairs, North Carolinians need look no further than the preposterous state budget bill that Republican legislative leaders rolled out yesterday.

Whether it’s yet another round of tax giveaways to the rich, the continued underfunding of public schools and early childhood education, new assaults on environmental protection and public transit, the shocking neglect of school safety, dozens of outrageous pork barrel giveaways to favored special interests or just the absurd lack of process that accompanied it, the new 2019 budget is an example of Trumpism at its absolute worst.

Since I'm in the mood to dole out some totally unqualified psychoanalysis: One of the hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or Sociopathy) is a complete disregard for the safety and well-being of others. Just doesn't register. So it's really hard to say if the GOP's failure to fund NC's Suicide Hotline was due to tone-deaf incompetence, or some kind of conscious coup de grâce, but either way, some 255 calls per day will likely soon go unanswered. More from Rob Schofield, who (as usual) puts these things into better words than I can:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

And their turn to the Dark Side is complete:

Give me a show of hands if you could read a 267 page book the night before taking a test on it. Anyone? Bueller?

Durham Sheriff defies judge and turns over detainee to ICE

Proving Durham's voters made the right choice in the Primary:

The Durham County sheriff turned a man over to Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers on Saturday despite a Durham Superior Court judge’s request that law enforcement bring the 35-year-old Honduran to his courtroom on Tuesday. Judge Orlando Hudson had scheduled a hearing for Tuesday after an attorney for Jose Hernandez, a Durham-based window installer, filed a petition accusing Sheriff Mike Andrews of unconstitutionally detaining her client.

Hudson said Saturday he did not issue a formal order demanding Hernandez’s presence on Tuesday. But the judge said Curtis Massey, an attorney for the sheriff, had assured him that Durham deputies would get Hernandez there.

It was only just a few weeks ago when (outgoing) Sheriff Mike Andrews tried to justify his cooperation with ICE by saying he was actually "helping" the undocumented immigrant population, by turning over criminals and keeping ICE from "searching" for them in the community. But as we see in this case, his deputies racially profiled this guy and grabbed him as he left his bank:

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