Monday Numbers: NC's CAFO nightmare is getting worse

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Complaints about the handling of animal wastes are on the rise:

Stench and flies. Noise and traffic. Waste flowing into waterways. Manure-infused spray. Complaints about industrialized livestock farms prompted the NC Department of Environmental Quality to inspect those facilities at the second-highest rate in 10 years, according to a report recently submitted to the legislative Environment Review Commission.

From June 30, 2018, to July 1, 2019, 8.3% – or 215 – of the 2,571 state inspections were driven by complaints. In the the previous fiscal year, the rate was 9.4%, the highest in at least a decade. In 2016, only eight-tenths of 1% of DEQ inspections were the result of complaints: Just 19 of 2,237 total inspections.

And again the "property rights" crowd from NC's faux-Libertarian "think-tanks" are either silent or on the wrong side. There is simply no justification for one neighbor to spray shit on another neighbor, but it happens daily. Imagine if that were a suburban or urban neighborhood, and the sheer outrage that would ensue. Oh, you want to have a cookout or garden party in the back yard? Here's a little airborne gift for you. That contradiction goes to the core of environmental justice issues across the state, and has been that way since the birth of our nation. And hog farms make up the bulk of those operations:

Monday News: Code Yellow

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THREATS MADE TO FAYETTEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL OVER THE WEEKEND: Terry Sanford High School Principal Thomas Hatch informed parents and students of the threat in an automated message sent Sunday, according to The Fayetteville Observer. ″Law enforcement has been notified and is investigating the situation,” Hatch said. School officials are cooperating with law enforcement officials, Cumberland County Schools spokesman Lindsay Whitley said Sunday night. “We take any threat very seriously,” Whitley said. “School officials learned of the threat earlier (Sunday) evening and notified law enforcement immediately.” Whitley said, depending on the investigation, Terry Sanford High School could operate under a “code yellow,” status Monday morning, meaning there would be additional investigation and security at the school.
https://www.wral.com/threat-against-terry-sanford-high-school-in-fayetteville-could-affect-classes-m...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WHY DID UNC GIVE MILLIONS TO A NEO-CONFEDERATE GROUP?: After years of protest, Silent Sam was pulled off its pedestal during a rally in August 2018. Since then, the university has hidden the statue in a secret location. The Daughters of the Confederacy recently handed over ownership to the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans, which made clear that it intended to sue the university for control of the statue. Before it could, several members of the university system’s board, each appointed by the conservative state legislature, announced that not only would the group get the statue, but it would also get access to $2.5 million to be placed in a trust for the “care and preservation of the monument.” The board, and the university, claim that the settlement avoids a nasty legal battle and ensures that Silent Sam will no longer sit on school grounds. But legal details aside, how do you make a deal with a group that valorizes something so morally abhorrent as the Confederacy?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/opinion/unc-silent-sam.html

Can we get a little help here, please?

I thought this sounded like an interesting campaign strategy.

GOP propaganda about tuition cuts for children of veterans way off-base

The blame lies solely on their shoulders:

The DMVA received $9.19 million annually to fund the program, Hall said in a statement Thursday. But last year, he said, the General Assembly allocated an extra $2.4 million to increase the room and board allowance. Hall asked for the same level of funding from legislators for the 2019-20 academic year, according to the statement.

“Despite passing multiple priority funding bills throughout the summer and fall, legislators adjourned without providing additional funds for this program,” he said in the statement. “Recipient institutions were notified of the impact to room and board awards on November 25.”

What was in the Budget hardly matters considering it was Vetoed. But it's that second part that people need to pay attention to. Republicans in the General Assembly passed several "mini-budgets" before throwing in the towel for the year, but the (needed) additional funding for these students didn't make it. You know what did make it? A reduction in the Franchise Tax for businesses (subsequently Vetoed), and an IT funding bill which included $10 million for Montreat College to host a cybersecurity research center it isn't qualified to host:

Saturday News: Lipstick on a pig

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UNC INTERIM CHANCELLOR PENS LETTER JUSTIFYING SAM SETTLEMENT: In a letter to the campus community, Guskiewicz explained that members of the Board of Governors negotiated and approved the settlement, which included a $2.5 million payment for the SCV to preserve and display the Confederate statue, through its governance committee. That committee met in private to discuss the solution before the lawsuit was filed. “The settlement ensures the monument will never return to campus, but issues of racism and injustice persist, and the University must confront them,” Guskiewicz said. “I now want to focus on our shared values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and I will continue to reject and condemn those individuals or groups who seek to divide us. We have a lot of work to do to thoroughly address and reconcile with our past.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article238118594.html

Report: Onshore damage from offshore drilling can be devastating

Wherever the oil flows, the risk is great:

Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center’s Offshore Drilling, Onshore Damage delves into a series of possible adverse impacts offshore drilling would have on land well beyond state’s beaches.

The report released Wednesday highlights the infrastructure needed on land to support offshore drilling. Construction of pipelines and potential ruptures of those lines, the possibility of spills at marine and port terminals, construction or expansion of oil refineries, and on-land disposal of offshore waste generated from drilling are “less known, but no less real,” according to the report.

The drilling is bad enough, but the transportation of crude oil has also been a major source of pollution and massive spills:

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