scharrison's blog

NC Senate votes to ban video sweepstakes

Via Mark Binker's blog Capital Beat:

The Senate has passed a bill that would ban video sweepstakes, games that are spreading throughout the state and that many consider akin to video poker. That bill was passed under a procedure that would only allow the House to vote the measure up or send it to a House-Senate conference committee.

“We’re moving toward a floor vote,” House Speaker Joe Hackney said. The bill will first be heard in the House Judiciary I Committee.

Just a note: If Mark's site isn't on your daily blog round-up, it should be. Not only does he get tons of interviews, he asks the tough questions, too. He also provides audio and video files for most of his stories, which is beyond cool.

Lesbian mom wins on appeal

And it's the second time she's had to go through this:

After a more than three-year court battle, Angel Chandler can finally have her children legally stay in her home.

Earlier this week, Tennessee's Court of Appeals for a second time struck down a judge's ruling in a child custody agreement that prevented Chandler and Mary Counce, her partner of more than 10 years, from living together. Angel Chandler used to live in Gibson County, Tenn., but now shares a home with Counce in Black Mountain.

A Tennessee judge telling a NC couple they can't spend the night together? Which creates a new category, the "Hyper-Activist Judge". I expect Conservatives to line up behind me, and then we'll...hey! Where are you?

State takeover of Yadkin hydro explored

This entry was partially inspired by a rather lengthy discussion I had with my eldest son the other day, whose main mission in life (apparently) is to poke holes in my logic. When I held him as a baby and said, "You're going to be smart!", this wasn't what I had in mind, but...such is life.

He made a valiant effort in this recent set-to, but I emerged from this patricidal exercise still conflicted about the subject at hand. So I decided to bring more logic pokers into the fray by airing some of my opinions here. Feel free to poke away.

Tarheel Founding Fathers: Thomas Burke

Thomas Burke was a man of many skills and interests. He was a poet, a physician, a reader of law, a statesman, a warrior, and finally, a governor of our fair state, if only for a short time.

As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he had to balance his innate desire to preserve states' rights while building a federation which could prevail against an extremely powerful oppressor. To this day, his opinions and ideology are difficult to tie up in a neat little package. That he served us well, however, is not in doubt.

NC Pork Council noses into puppy mill debate

Susie needs to go back to Raleigh so she can explain the difference between puppies and pigs:

A bill aimed at combating puppy mills by regulating commercial dog breeders in the state has failed for the second straight year, in part due to opposition from an industry that doesn't deal in dogs: the state's pork producers.

The N.C. Pork Council, which represents a $2.2 billion industry in the state, opposed Senate Bill 460, which sought to "eliminate abusive practices and provide for the humane care and treatment of dogs and puppies by establishing standards for their care at commercial breeding operations."

Wind Power comes to Currituck

One man's dream may become a reality within a year or so:

Dean Carrico with East Coast Wind Power says he will apply for a permit in the next couple weeks to erect a meteorological tower at Powells Point, the possible site for a 250-acre wind farm if the winds are strong enough to support the investment.

If the venture succeeds, seven to 12 utility-scale wind turbines, 300 feet tall from the base to the hub with 180-foot blades, would feed into the grid system, generating enough power for 15,000 homes over one year, Carrico says.

Good luck, Dean. We're rootin' for you.

NCCN Alert: water usage legislation

On the floor of the (State) House next week:

The state Senate has wisely just passed a bill that will generate important science-based estimates of the flows of water that could help keep North Carolina’s river basins sustainable and healthy for years to come.

We expect the state House to take a final vote on this issue as soon as next Tuesday. Please take a moment to urge your state Representative to vote YES on H1743, Improve River Basin Modeling.

WUNC-TV documentary targeted by Judiciary Committee

And it hasn't even been aired yet:

The subject of the documentary is Alcoa, which is seeking renewal of its federal license to operate hydroelectric generating stations on the Yadkin River. The Perdue administration has opposed the license renewal before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and wants the legislature to pass a bill that would create a way for the state to purchase the hydro plants.

This raises all kinds of questions about the relationship between branches of the government -- in this case, legislative versus executive, in that UNC-TV is an agency overseen by the UNC Board of Governors. And it also involves the power of the state versus the academy.

Cary "Clam Juice" Allred popped for DWI

Sad, but inevitable:

Former state legislator Cary Allred was charged Tuesday night with driving while impaired. Allred called the charge “police harassment” and said he attempted to take the Intoxilyzer test.

“The officer did not tell me how hard to blow,” Allred said. Allred said he has bronchitis but attempted to blow hard enough for the test to be effective.

Doubtful, Cary. As a professional blowhard, this should have been a breeze.

SCOTUS decision prompts release of former lottery official

Kevin Geddings gets his walking papers:

A judge on Tuesday ordered a former North Carolina lottery commissioner convicted of five counts of the honest services law released from a Georgia prison.

Geddings was found guilty of honest services mail fraud for not disclosing his financial ties to a company that was expected to bid for North Carolina's lottery business.

Another step backward for ethics reform. In the absence of this (Federal) statute, what other criminal laws would come to bear on a "failure to disclose" these conflicts of interest?

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