The Tax on Summer Vacations

We all know that the cost of schooling the children is going up in Raleigh, but we have not learned what that is going to cost us until now. WakePol does a breakdown of the increases in taxes that the different plans would cost us here. His conclusion is that the difference in having yearround schools for all students versus only for a small fraction is 3.9 cents for every $100 of assessed property value:

According to county estimates reported today, keeping most students on traditional calendars is 3.9 cents more expensive than making all elementary and middle schools year-round.

Mom & Dad Are Out of Town!

TarGator is down with disease and Anglico is headed out-of-state for a few days, and I'm feeling a little bit like Tom Cruise in Risky Business (not the latter-day seriously-not-sane Katie-Holmes-brainwashing Tom Cruise). If you've signed up here at BlueNC and haven't tried your hand at blogging, this would be a great time. I'm going to be doing some work on the "2006 Races" part of the site, and your contribution could keep us from going stale. And hey, you could be the next Atrios!
 
Here's my favorite Google News search, in case you're short on things to write about.

Carolina Journal Misleads on Lottery

The Carolina Journal today offers another unethical article designed to hurt the Democratic Party at large. Mitch Kokai pens...types the article "Lottery Fund Switch Causes Concern:
Supplanting of current funding with lottery money worries lawmakers." And, indeed, it does. The idea that just mere months after the lottery was passed it is already being used to cut education funding confirms everyone's worst fears. The Carolina Journal does nothing to allay these fears.

RALEIGH — News that more than $200 million from the new state lottery could replace existing education spending is “not just disconcerting, it’s shocking.” That’s according to a lawmaker who voted last spring to support the lottery.

Roundup of National Forest Sale Coverage

More below, but the most colorful quote award goes to an editorial in the Roanoke Times ("Give Bush an acre and he'll take a forest"): "It's not unlike a college student thinking about selling his printer to buy paper." This picture of NC's Croatan National Forest is by (and used by permission of) Christina Dulude of Durham. Her Flickr account is full of great pictures of wild North Carolina.
 

Charles Taylor and the Road to Nowhere

The first I heard about the Road to Nowhere in Western North Carolina was in a piece on NPR's All Things Considered this afternoon. It seems that the National Parks Service made a promise 60 years ago to build a road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so that people could visit the graves of loved ones buried in the park. Construction began, but was never finished. Now there's just a stub of a road jutting into the park.

Charles Taylor, along with families with relatives buried in the park, is pushing to have the road completed. I can see why this would seem like a good idea to Taylor. Call it pork or constituent services, this is exactly the kind of bacon that representatives can bring home from Washington to improve their districts and ensure their reelection.

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