Mental Health Protection Act: It's (long past) time to ban Conversion Therapy

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These children don't need to be "fixed," they need to be loved for who they are:

The bill (HB 516/SB 426) would protect young people in North Carolina from the discredited practice of “conversion therapy,” which purports to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Techniques can be extreme and barbaric, including institutionalizing young people against their will, using electroshock treatment and encouraging young people to feel shame about a central part of themselves. The emotional and psychological trauma inflicted on LGBTQ minors often follows them for the rest of their lives.

It's hard to believe we're still having this discussion in 2019, but here we are. I don't have a problem with "religious freedom," until it crosses the line into abuse. And that includes "blasting," where a bunch of zealots stand around a young person yelling in their ears. Don't take my word for it, listen to the survivors:

Monday News: Pay attention to the teachers

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NCAE HAS RELEASED LIST OF DEMANDS BEFORE MAY 1 RALLY: Looking forward, the NCAE has identified the following priorities for this year's rally on May 1: Provide enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national professional-to-student standards. Provide a $15 minimum wage for all school personnel, a 5 percent raise for all ESPs (non-certified staff), teachers, administrators, and a 5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for retirees. Expand Medicaid. Reinstate state retiree health benefits eliminated by the General Assembly in 2017. Restore advanced degree compensation stripped by the General Assembly in 2013.
https://www.wral.com/nc-educators-demands-what-they-want-and-how-lawmakers-have-responded/18345743/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DEAF TO TEACHERS? LEGISLATORS POISED TO SHORT--CHANGE PUBLIC EDUCATION: A House appropriations subcommittee unveils details today of a skimpy education budget. It offers up less than a 1-percent boost next year for North Carolina’s public schools, community colleges and universities. The constitutional requirement for access to quality education – a “right” in our state – is not being met and it is the General Assembly’s failure. Per-student spending ranks among the lowest in the South and the nation. Teacher pay, when adjusted for inflation, is less today than it was in 2009. While the legislature scrimps its constitutional duties, it finds plenty of money to spend on unnecessary tax breaks for corporations. The latest is a proposed $140 million annual cut in the franchise tax. That’s on top of $2.5 billion in corporate tax cutting that has already been enacted over the last five years. All that comes at a cost of meeting the VERY BASIC needs of North Carolinians.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-deaf-to-teachers-legislators-poised-to-short-change-public-education/...

Raleigh's gentrification gains national spotlight

The whitening of former black neighborhoods:

In the places where white households are moving, reinvestment is possible mainly because of the disinvestment that came before it. Many of these neighborhoods were once segregated by law and redlined by banks. Cities neglected their infrastructure. The federal government built highways that isolated them and housing projects that were concentrated in them. Then banks came peddling predatory loans.

“A single-family detached house with a yard within a mile of downtown in any other part of the world is probably the most expensive place to live,” said Kofi Boone, a professor at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. Here, because of that history, it’s a bargain. And while that briefly remains true in South Park, the disinvestment and reinvestment are visible side by side on any given street.

This is one of those issues that is not cut-and-dried:

Saturday News: Par for the course

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REPUBLICANS FILE BILL TO BLOCK FUTURE TEACHER RALLIES: The state House Education budget released on Friday would change state law to say that schools can’t give permission for teachers to use personal leave on a school day unless they can confirm that a substitute teacher is available. School districts have cited the lack of substitutes to cancel classes, both for last year’s mass teacher rally and the one scheduled for May 1 in Raleigh. “A local board of education shall not alter a school calendar once adopted unless necessary to address a severe weather condition, energy shortage, utility failure, public health crisis, school safety crisis, emergency related to a school building or school transportation, or act of God,” according to the budget documents.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html

Big Brother is watching: Election observer bill goes too far

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When conspiracy theorists are allowed all up in your bidness:

Election observers shall have the explicit right to:(1) Begin observation duties from the time the judge enters the polling location until all ballot containers are officially sealed and the voting enclosure is secured for the day.1

(2) Hear the name and address of each voter when the voter first announces the voter's name at the initial check-in table and ask any election official to repeat the name or address of the voter if the observer was unable to hear the voter's name or address when it was initially announced.

This is wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start:

Friday News: Keep your fingers crossed

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TRUMP ADMIN HAS "INDEFINITELY DELAYED" EXPANSION OF OFFSHORE DRILLING: Gov. Roy Cooper opposed plans to open waters along the North Carolina coast to drilling. Most governors along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts opposed the Trump administration plan. Some elected officials in coastal communities and business owners in those areas also fought drilling. The Journal reported Thursday that U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in an interview that the plan was on hold while a federal judge’s decision upholding an Obama-era drilling ban in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic Ocean is appealed. “I certainly hope that ‘indefinitely delayed’ is Washington-speak for ‘never,’” Southern Environmental Law Center senior attorney Sierra Weaver said in a statement. “Whatever the reason for this delay, more than 230 communities have spoken out against seismic testing and offshore drilling in the Atlantic, and those hundreds of thousands of coastal residents and businesses welcome any development that makes risking their coast less likely.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229681264.html

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