Vicki Boyer's blog

Unexpected Budget Treasures: The Rocks

Curious. This past spring, out of nowhere, New Hanover Sen Michael Lee filed SB 160, a bill to remove "The Rocks," from across the southern tip of the barrier islands at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. This bill passed the Senate but stalled out in the House. It was then inserted into the budget (HB 97).

What are The Rocks?

The Army Corps of Engineers says The Rocks are the “best ever” project conducted by its South Atlantic Division. The Rocks have been referred to as a dam, a giant breakwater, and a jetty, and were built to close up what was called New Inlet. New Inlet was a break in a barrier island at the mouth of the Cape Fear created by a big storm in 1761. (Yes, that’s actually 1761.) Today, we see this kind of inlet appear across Hatteras when a storm comes through and creates a new opening for water to move between the ocean and the sound.

NC's Opportunity Deficit Only Getting Worse

I noted Rob Christensen’s article in Sunday’s N&O and his point that North Carolina’s unemployment rate has gone up for 4 straight months and yet the NC Senate wants to cut funding for 8,400 teachers assistants.

That unemployment rate is going to go up, not down. Explain this to our GOP electeds? Even if we chose the least confrontational manner possible to point out that in 59 of our 100 counties the public school system is the county’s largest employer, it would not change the minds and votes of our GOP leadership.

Why? Because they no longer consider the people of North Carolina as their constituents. They don’t feel they need to answer to us. They don’t feel a need to even explain themselves. They are following the governing model of cheap labor conservatives and they will force that into place in our state no matter how many of our people are hurt by it. They don’t answer to us anymore.

Return of the Carpetbaggers

The Koch brothers do not live in North Carolina.
The Koch brothers are not registered to vote in North Carolina.
The Koch brothers are not running for office in North Carolina.

And the Koch brothers have no business telling our legislators how to run North Carolina.

ALEC Whistles; NC Officials Show Up

You, too, can scroll through the agenda ALEC has set for its annual meeting late this week in San Diego.

At this web site you can wonder about such things as:

Who is 'exhibiting' and what are they showing??

Is ALEC really interested in 'consumer protection?' Or is the discussion on how to get rid of it?

Dillon vs. Homerule

Whatever your feelings may be on confederate monuments, this man's statement bears reading.

Rep. George Cleveland, a Jacksonville Republican, said the state should have the final say. “Municipalities and cities are subdivisions of the state, and the state can play with their property if they feel like it,” he said.

NC Business Really Likes Sustainable Energy

Another NC business weighs in, warning NCGA not to make changes in sustainable energy standards.

SAS Institute Inc. has become the latest high-profile company to weigh in on the ongoing debate in the General Assembly over whether to change the state’s renewable energy policies.
In a letter sent to all state lawmakers Wednesday, the Cary-based business analytics software company warned lawmakers that changing the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard could hurt the development of clean energy in North Carolina.

“Technology companies value North Carolina’s existing energy policies, which enable us to operate and grow our businesses in a sustainable manner,” the company says.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2015/07/16/sas-nc-renewable-energy-portfolio-standard-reps....

Another Step Towards School Privatization

Thanks to Lindsay Wagner at NC Policy Watch, I can call your attention to this news in education. Rep. Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg) has gutted SB 95 and replaced it with language that will take low performing NC elementary schools, put them into a special Achievement School District (ASD) and turn them over to for-profit charter management companies. The plan is to start with the 5 lowest performing elementary schools, but if this is enacted, I fully expect to see it regularly expanded until all of North Carolina’s traditional public schools have been privatized.

Representative Government

It strikes me that those who loudly complain that government should not be picking winners and losers, are actually involved in the conduct they revile.

In allowing film industry incentives to expire, leadership at NCGA is choosing to let a North Carolina industry die. That's approximately 4,000 jobs.

Business likes solar

It's not just wind energy getting a boost in North Carolina.

The leadership at NCGA may not care for sustainable energy, but business really likes solar power. Solar power saves money and that has a direct impact on the bottom line. Target Stores like solar so much they are planning to add solar to their stores' rooftops.

Triangle Business Journal is reporting:

Target Corp. plans to have rooftop solar projects on as many as 30 stores in North Carolina by the end of the year, according to information from the company and filings with N.C. regulators.

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