scharrison's blog

Criminal negligence: NC's underfunded mental health system

When there aren't enough beds, people die:

Chapman was the Charlotte man who sought psychiatric help at Carolinas Medical Center-Randolph, at one point telling staff he wanted to "kill his wife," but was released with medication for depression and instructions to call back for an appointment. Hours later, police say he had killed his wife, one child and a stepchild.

A government that spends hundreds of millions for capital projects and economic incentives, yet sends suicidal or homicidal patients back on the streets, can no longer lay claim to the title "Public Servant".

NC Republicans and their warped ideology

Couples heading to the magistrate need a "cooling off" period:

Could a 30-day waiting period for marriages performed by magistrates be in North Carolina’s future? Rep. Bill Current, R-Gaston, said he hopes the idea results in making marriages stronger.

“Most ministers won’t marry you unless they talk to you for a while,” Current said, explaining why the suggestion wouldn’t put a similar requirement on ministers. Current said that local and state officials spend a lot of time trying to fix problems that are a result of marriages falling apart.

Burr hits $10 million mark

Jack Betts asks the elephant-in-the-livingroom question:

Here's a question the moderators didn't ask Thursday night in the first of two televised debates between Senate Democratic candidates Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham: Does their race even matter against an incumbent with a $10 million war chest?

Just as a point of reference, by this time in 2008, Kay Hagan had amassed some $1.6 million for her campaign, and much of that was raised and spent pre-Primary.

Is Wendell Fant running, or not?

The NC First Party's chosen candidate is waffling:

After a costly petition drive to put him on the ballot as an independent alternative to Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, Concord resident Wendell Fant said Friday he's not sure he'll run.

"Right now it's a definite 'I'm not sure,'" Fant said.

A group called N.C. Families First delivered more than 35,000 signatures to election boards throughout the 8th Congressional District supporting Fant's candidacy.

Titan Cement stands alone in SEPA appeal

Which should tell them something about their chances:

Cement-maker Titan America will be alone in appealing last month’s Superior Court ruling, the one that applied a lengthy environmental review to its proposed facility and rock quarry in New Hanover County. That is because the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has decided not to join Titan in appellate proceedings.

Gov. Bev Perdue’s office announced the attorney general’s decision to step aside in a statement Thursday evening, in which a spokeswoman said the attorney general had reviewed the ruling and concluded it was too narrow a decision to contend.

Thanks to BP, Gulf ecosystem failure likely

In the Gulf, it's what we don't see that may be the most damaging:

Oil from what is now considered the nation's second-largest spill, 1989's Exxon Valdez mishap, slicked 11,000 square miles of ocean surface and 1,300 miles of pristine Alaskan coastline while killing hundreds of thousands of birds and marine mammals and untold numbers of fish and fish eggs.

But the impacts of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon leak in the gulf may be far worse given that much of the loose oil is actually in the water column, not on the surface. In fact, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently detected huge deepwater plumes of dispersed oil up to 30 miles long, seven miles wide and hundreds of feet thick.

Governor sides with NAACP in fight against resegregation

And she uses some strong language to describe the struggle:

"North Carolina is in a war,"..."If it takes going to the Supreme Court of this great country from Wayne County and for Wake County, and for other counties in North Carolina, so be it," the governor continued. "We will stand together, to make sure that all of the children of this state have a chance."

"From my position as citizen, not as governor but as a citizen of this great state, I applaud every single thing that [Rev. Barber] is doing, and I, for one, do believe that diversity does make for a better end product for children in this state," Perdue said.

UNC faculty exodus continues

Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side:

The school has lost 53 of 77 faculty members recruited by universities during the last academic year, a retention rate of about 30 percent. Most years, it wins 55 percent to 60 percent of its recruiting battles by boosting pay or adding resources such as a coveted piece of lab equipment.

The losses are a gut shot for one of the nation's top public institutions, where leaders take pride in recruiting and retaining faculty members who might otherwise end up at elite private institutions. But this year, deep-pocketed elites such as Yale and Cornell are having their pick of Chapel Hill faculty.

8th District electoral craziness

The Prophet Tim sues his opponent for blasphemy:

Flanked by lawyers, Harold Johnson on Tuesday denounced a lawsuit by rival Tim D'Annunzio as "embarrassing and frivolous" as the war of words between the two Republican congressional candidates continued to escalate.

D'Annunzio sued Johnson for defamation Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court.

And it looks like D'Annunzio is bringing his fight to the comments section again:

Rick Martinez gets it wrong again

As he tries to spray dispersants on the growing concerns over offshore drilling:

The pictures of oil from the BP gusher reaching the shores of Louisiana tear at my heart. But the images haven't changed my mind about offshore oil exploration. I'm still a "Drill, baby, drill" guy.

I've previously written about the need to do a full cost accounting of alternative energy such as solar, wind and biomass. Now it's time to apply the same standard to oil. As with every other source of energy, I want to know the true cost of oil exploration and extraction, and that includes the cost of safety measures to prevent catastrophic blowouts.

No, you don't, Ricky. You say you want to know, but that's only to make your other wants seem reasonable.

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