scharrison's blog

NCCN alert: local food at risk

Received this via e-mail a few days ago:

North Carolina has a thriving and growing local, sustainable food system. Locally grown food helps to keep our environment cleaner, our rural economies more profitable, and North Carolinians healthier. However, federal legislation (Senate Bill 510) could have devastating effects on local and organic food production unless specific improvements are made to the proposal.

Mother may I have those lab test results?

SBI reveals withholding full laboratory analysis in criminal cases was common practice:

North Carolina's top law enforcement agency did not always automatically provide complete crime lab test results for use in trials, the agency's director told The Associated Press on Friday, bolstering an accusation that helped exonerate a murder convict this week after 16 years in prison.

"I wasn't here in '91, but that was the practice," she said. "It was not to withhold. It was simply to give the lab reports and to await requests from either the prosecution or the defense for the bench notes," said Pendergraft, who has been SBI director since 2001.

Good Lord.

Democratic Primary foolishness

Please help me understand this:

"The people of North Carolina deserve a Senator that will shoot straight with them rather than one who will say one thing in public and do another in private," Lewis said in a news release announcing that Cunningham turned down the debate. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall had previously rejected Lewis' pitch for a debate because she had scheduling commitments.

Wake school board whines, threatens

With petulance and wrath abounding, the newly Republicanized Wake County School Board (over)reacts to Superintendent Del Burns' public statements:

Departing Superintendent Del Burns could face insubordination charges if he can't work effectively with the Wake County school board majority he is openly criticizing, a key member said Thursday.

Pitt County Sheriff enraged over anonymous blog comments

The Democratic Primary heats up in Pitt Count:

A “distorted” political poll, anonymous blog conversations and negative comments on local media Web sites about Pitt County Sheriff Mac Manning compelled the sheriff to publish a four-column paid response in The Daily Reflector on Wednesday, Manning said.

UNCW professors' warning re Titan Cement

The N&O has a great article about mercury levels in fish and Titan Cement's likely increase of such levels:

The proposal for Titan America to build a new cement manufacturing plant along the shores of the Northeast Cape Fear River near Wilmington brings with it the potential for increased air and water pollution to the southeast coast, as well as increased risks to human health from airborne toxins. What has had little exposure thus far is the strong likelihood of serious pollution impacts to fish and wildlife.

Greenwashing fades back to brown for oil companies

revealing their lack of support for needed change:

Three big companies quit an influential lobbying group that had focused on shaping climate-change legislation, in the latest sign that support for an ambitious bill is melting away.

Oil giants BP PLC and ConocoPhillips and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said Tuesday they won't renew their membership in the three-year-old U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a broad business-environmental coalition that had been instrumental in building support in Washington for capping emissions of greenhouse gases.

Teenage evangelists and Facebook follies

Wake County middle school teacher suspended for venting about her bible-thumping students on Facebook:

"Today a student left a brand new bible on my desk with an anonymous card that said 'Merry Christmas; with 'Christ' underlined and bolded," Hussain wrote. "I can't believe the cruelty and ignorance of people sometimes."

Hussain later goes on to accuse her students of spreading rumors that she's a Jesus hater. She complains about the students wearing Jesus shirts, singing "Jesus Loves Me" and reading the Bible in class.

Former Miami slumlord behind Maggie Valley landslide

And he may not have to pay for his mistakes:

The 18 North Carolina families displaced by a landslide are still waiting for their road to be cleared and the ground above their homes to be stabilized before they can return.

Ghost Town in the Sky, the company that owns the top of the mountain, has declared bankruptcy and may not be able to pay for the stabilization work, The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Sunday.

Mel Watt challenged by Tea Partier

Mark Binker does the necessary:

Gillenwater was a Tea Party organizer and helped organize a “tax day” last year and helped with a couple of rallies elsewhere.

Gillenwater says the United States is "moving in the direction of socialism." I asked him to talk about that assertion: “We’re getting too much government involvement in people’s personal lives, too much bureaucracy, too many agencies being created. They’re getting too much control of our money…This is crazy. We need to restructure our tax system. The IRS needs to be eliminated because to me they’re nothing but a punitive arm the government anyway.”

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