scharrison's blog

How do you like them apples?

Toxic time-bomb being defused:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ramping up work to remove dirt contaminated with arsenic and lead from a former North Carolina apple orchard being turned into a home development.

Pesticides, including DDT and lead arsenate, were used on the former apple orchard over eight decades until the late 1980s. The dirt now poses a health risk for those with long-term exposure.

Hopefully this will serve as a warning to those legislators who are gung-ho about paring down environmental regulations. This is not the kind of legacy you want future generations to remember you for.

Fetzer out, zombie Robin Hayes lurches into picture

Not-gay GOP Chairman sez family comes first:

"This is an entirely personal decision on my part," Fetzer said. "As a new husband and new father, I have other priorities now, which I need to tend to. As I told the [Republican] Executive Committee, I lived the first 54 years of my life for me, and now I'm living it for someone else."

Fetzer told The Associated Press that former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes has indicated that he would seek the chairman's job. Hayes lost his seat in 2008 to Democrat Larry Kissell.

The opening bout will pit Robin Hayes vs Chad Adams, with the headliner being Tom Fetzer vs Pat McCrory. During the intermission, security breaks up a scuffle between Art Pope and Robert Morgan. Hot dogs are 2 for $3.00 while they last.

Tillis edges out Stam for Speaker position

Apparently Skipper is not as popular as he thought:

House Republicans picked Rep. Thom Tillis of Cornelius to be the next speaker of the N.C. House during a caucus meeting here Saturday.

The pick won’t become official until the General Assembly reconvenes on Jan. 26 and the entire House votes. But with 68 of the 120 seats in the chamber, Republicans can name the speaker without a problem — unless some unforeseen infighting breaks out.

Just to get a taste of Tillis' priorities, here's his sponsored legislation list.

Elon Poll: Raise taxes before you cut state employees

Again, the cell phone people make a difference:

To take care of this budget shortfall, would you [support or oppose] eliminating jobs for current state
employees?

STRONGLY OPPOSE (p) 26.7
OPPOSE 29.4
SUPPORT 25.0
STRONGLY SUPPORT (p) 12.4

That's 56% who are against cutting state government employees. Not just teachers, all of them.

On issue advocacy and Pyrrhic victories

Many reading this are at least spritually connected to a favorite issue or issues, if not physically attached and impacted by progress (or regression) in those areas. And you're fairly well-informed on these subjects, too, which has served to solidify your support over time. But how many other people share your views? In your neighborhood? In your extended family? At work? These are the people who (are most likely to) know you, and place credence on what you believe to be true. But it doesn't work like that, does it?

Shuler and Kissell probable redistricting targets

Catawba professor gazes into his crystal ball:

“There is definitely going to be some pick-ups, folks like Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler are going to have a big bullseyes painted on their backs in terms of the redrawing of districts,” says Michael Bitzer, chair of the Department of History and Politics Catawba University.

Bitzer says once the GOP crafts a 12th district acceptable to the Department of Justice that, “a great reshuffling of districts,” is likely to result.

So...how would this work? Push more African-American voters into Mel Watt's District, to get them out of other districts?

Burr helps chemical companies block infant safety measure

Throwing babies under the toxic chemical bus:

In the major food safety legislation that the Senate is debating, which will likely pass today or tomorrow, one important provision will probably be missing: a ban on bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles or sippy cups.

According to at least one report, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr has been working with the chemical industry behind the scenes to block the Feinstein provision from being included in the bill.

This will come as no surprise to the few and go unnoticed by the many, as I seriously doubt the MSM will take up the challenge. Which is one big reason why Burr's still in a position to pull stunts like this. Effect, meet Cause.

Another UNC-CH faculty fiasco

Broadening the definition of "tutoring a student":

Monty Cook, hired this summer by the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communications to lead an innovative online news operation, resigned Tuesday amid allegations that he has sent sexually explicit messages to a female student.

Cook, a UNC alumnus, left The Baltimore Sun as senior vice president and editor earlier this year to take a post as executive producer of UNC-CH's Reese Felts Digital News Project.

J-School students were stunned but also relieved to hear this, as they had been anticipating Cook's upcoming lecture, ominously titled "The Full Monty", with some trepidation. (Sorry. That was just too tempting to ignore.:))

Boseman letter to Perdue re: Titan Cement

Retiring Senator spells it out for the Governor:

I hope this letter finds you well. I feel compelled to write to you with a request that protects the health and safety of thousands of school children and general citizens of southeastern North Carolina. The point of discussion: Titan America. I understand your position of economic development and the need of jobs for our citizens. I support that position as well, but I am hoping that the State will be far-sighted enough to demand that the jobs we seek and the business partners we look to recruit will be sound, viable, environmentally safe members of our community. I have a strong sense of suspicion that is shared by many other North Carolinians, and that is that Titan is not looking out for our best interests.

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