Thinly veiled threats from Duke Energy over discovery of radioactive elements in groundwater

The unmitigated arrogance is breathtaking:

Duke Energgy spokeswoman Erin Culbert took issue with a recent press release from the Waterkeeper Alliance pointing out the high radium levels. She accused the “critic groups” of “drawing conclusions at this early stage to simply use this milestone to advance their agenda.”

“They seek to sign up North Carolinians for the most extreme, most disruptive and most expensive way to close basins, Culbert continued. “That’s not prudent for the environment, communities or families’ energy bills.”

Bolding mine. In a nutshell, she's trying to shift the blame for future higher energy bills from the party responsible for contaminating the water (Duke Energy) onto the shoulders of those who are working diligently to keep people safe from such irresponsible behavior. It doesn't get much more sleazy than that. It's like blaming the person who called 911 about a neighbor's house being on fire. And make no mistake, this particular house fire is out of control:

Monday News: Partly cloudy

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AS SUNSHINE WEEK BEGINS, SOME LOCAL BOARDS FAIL THE GRADE: To test how government boards handle these accounts of closed meetings, 10 news organizations simultaneously submitted requests in early January for a year’s worth of minutes from closed sessions at nearly 50 public bodies on the local, state and county level. The requests went to 10 local and state school boards, including one school board that refused outright to release any records. After more than two months, about a dozen boards had yet to turn over any minutes from closed sessions. Others provided accounts of only some of their 2017 meetings, or versions that were heavily redacted. In many cases, Jones said, what ends up being redacted is ultimately a judgment call. But he said the shorter the account of the meeting, the more doubt there is about whether public boards are keeping with the spirit of the law.
http://www.wral.com/months-after-closed-meetings-details-often-remain-off-limits/17397175/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS TO GIVE GOP UPPER HAND ONLY GAIN ELECTION CONFUSION: The continuing efforts by the Republican leadership to push a heavy thumb on the elections process -- through significant changes in the way the state Board of Elections was composed -- were rushed into law. There was no investigation as to the need for the changes or how they’d make the elections process work better for voters or candidates. The only justifications were it would enshrine Republican Party domination of the election process and they had the votes to do it. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has rightly challenged the law. Even setting aside any legitimate questions as to the very need for the changes, there are significant questions as to whether the legislature acted within its authority and if the laws are constitutional. The state’s courts are the appropriate forum to address these very real issues.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-legislative-efforts-to-give-gop-an-upper-hand-only-gain-election-confu...

Saturday News: False equivalencies

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CONFEDERATE STATUE SUPPORTERS SHOW RACISM WITH DEMAND TO REMOVE MLK MONUMENTS: If the state moves Confederate statues to a Civil War battlefield, Martin Luther King statues should be removed too, some members of the public told the state committee considering the fate of the monuments. "I just feel like they're trying to wipe out all white history," Roger Dale Williams of Graham said in an interview. "If the Confederate statues have to be removed because they offend some people, the King ones should be as well because they offend some of us." James Leloudis, a history professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, said equating King and Confederate statues ignores "fundamental moral distinctions." The Confederacy was built on the rejection of the founding principle that "all men are created equal," Leloudis said, while "King, by comparison, called the nation back to its core defining democratic values."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article204153939.html

Asshat of the Week: Kelly Hastings

Apparently there wasn't enough hate circulating around, so it's time for a rerun:

As many will remember, in the General Assembly of North Carolina, we had to nullify a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed, for example, men claiming to be women to indecently expose themselves in front of little girls in public showers and changing facilities. The ordinance basically forced these policies on businesses too. To ensure peace of mind and privacy, we passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB2).

Since you brought it up, let's take a look at what else this pile 'o crap legislation did: It blocked municipalities from setting new minimum wage standards, which sure as hell didn't help those little girls you seem to be worried about. And speaking of those little girls, this legislation also blocked municipalities from refining child labor laws within their jurisdictions. So apparently it's okay for those little girls to be exploited economically, but not okay in some imaginary scenario where (for some reason) a transgender woman and a little girl would hop into a shower together. Oh, and we can't forget the part of HB2 that took away a worker's ability to sue his or her employer for discriminatory treatment. That was a real jewel. So take your dog-whistle bigotry and stick it where the sun don't shine, pal.

Friday News: Not done yet

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JUDGE REFUSES TO RELEASE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FROM LEANDRO LAWSUIT: A judge has refused to drop the State Board of Education from a long-running public school lawsuit because he says hundreds of thousands of North Carolina students still aren't getting their constitutional right to a sound basic education. In an order released Tuesday, Superior Judge David Lee wrote that the state board failed to present convincing evidence that North Carolina is moving closer to providing students with their fundamental rights guaranteed in the state constitution. The ruling was hailed by Melanie Black Dubis, partner with Parker Poe, the lead counsel for the school districts suing the state and the state board. "It confirms that, notwithstanding changes and State Board initiatives over the years, there remains an ongoing constitutional violation because all children are not being provided the opportunity to achieve a sound basic education," Dubis said in an email message.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article204118229.html

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