Submitted by teddyrooseveltp... on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:07pm
Thursday afternoon, students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro staged a walk-out protesting budget cuts at the institution. About $12.8 million will possibly but cut from the state appropriated budget in 2014-15; since 2007, the university has seen permanent cuts totalling $39 million. The university is responding with a "Reduction-in-Force Plan" that will see staffing and budget cuts to all academic departments, the library and services provided by staff.
At the same time as cutting academic departments, the university's administrators have gone ahead with controversial plans for new athletic and recreational facilities.
Submitted by usernamehere on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 4:49pm
Common-sense North Carolinians of all parties should be paying attention to the May 2014 primary race for one of the seats on the NC Supreme Court.
NC's most astute sitting Supreme Court member, Justice Robin Hudson, is being challenged by two corporatist opponents. One of those challengers is an Art Pope minion who serves at one of the Pope entities. Corporatists are trying to squeeze Justice Hudson out in the May primary.
Justice Hudson's rejection of her regressive colleagues' was affirmed by the US Supreme Court (even by Justice Alito!!!) last year in Wos. V. E.M.A.
On the Dan, determining the health of low-lying river creatures such as mussels, clams, crawfish and dragonflies will determine the health of the fish in the river, and later, the birds and animals that feed on those fish. The fear, said Brian Williams, also a Dan River Basin Association program manager, is that the entire food chain along the upper Dan could be imperiled by the presence of coal ash and its poisonous heavy metals. (The Dan River stretches some 200 miles; about 70 miles is affected by the spill.)
Already, though, Williams described the river bottom on the Dan a mile or two below the spill as a virtual “kill zone” for macroinvertebrates because of the amount of toxic sludge that’s settled. At the spill site, there is a coal ash bar some five feet thick and 75 feet long. Coal ash has been detected along the river bottom some 70 miles eastward downstream — all the way to the John Kerr Reservoir north of Raleigh.
Even those critters who survive this calamity will absorb toxins and heavy metals, which will form a bioaccumulation chain that will eventually make any fish pulled from the river or Kerr Lake inedible. Or, more precisely, fish that shouldn't be eaten. Humans are also subject to bioaccumulation.
After weeks of hit-and-miss justice, lawyers for Moral Monday defendants have finally hit upon the winning argument:
This week, trials resulted in more acquittals after defense attorneys pointed out that demonstrators on the third floor of the N.C. Legislative Building were engaging in many of the same actions that protesters were arrested for on the second floor.
This has been my contention all along. The rules of arrest at the General Assembly were arbitrary and contrived to fit the political agenda of Thom Tillis and Phil Berger. The actions of protestors on the second floor could in no way be distinguished from the actions of protestors on the third floor. The only difference is that police arrested people on the second floor, while ignoring the actions of those on the third.
It's long past time for Colon Willoughby to put an end to this charade.
Meet the environmental "regulator" who hates science
In 2012, North Carolina’s newly elected Republican governor, Pat McCrory, announced the appointment of a businessman named John Skvarla to head the state’s environmental regulatory agency. For several reasons, the move worried environmentalists. Skvarla has expressed doubts about the science behind climate change and has peddled the obscure theory that crude oil is an infinite, renewable resource. He has insisted that the agency he now leads has been long regarded as the primary obstacle to economic growth in the state. Last summer he stated that if environmentalists were to get their way “we’d live in lean-tos and wear loincloths.”
Four other communities in the state also launched municipal broadband. Such enterprises irked big-time providers enough that, after years of lobbying and a million dollars in campaign cash, North Carolina in 2011 passed a cable industry-backed law that makes it nearly impossible for any other municipality to do the same. (Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink did not return requests for comment.)
Two weeks ago, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it intends to take a close look at overruling such state laws, which restrict the ability of cities and towns to build their own broadband networks in 20 states across the country. The legal restrictions on municipal broadband are an “obvious candidate” for the agency’s scrutiny as it seeks to enhance competition, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.
It's about time somebody stepped in to defend the rights of cities and towns in this state. Republicans in the NCGA have shown nothing but contempt for these smaller governments, and have allowed private companies to dictate what should be decided by local voters. Bring it on.
It's also important to keep in mind that Hagan thinks like a legislator. She carefully weighs each sub-paragraph before taking a stand. On major issues from gay rights to immigration to the Affordable Care Act, she's been slow to embrace the Democratic view, let alone the progressive one. And yet, on each of these issues, she's come to a progressive position—and she was strong from the start on women's rights and gun issues, for which the loonies running the National Rifle Association give her an "F."
The Republican-led Lee County Board of Commissioners recently announced town-hall style meetings around the county. The problem is, their first meeting will be at the gated community Carolina Trace, which directly contradicts NC open meetings laws. When The Rant, a local blog, inquired about why this meeting was, essentially, closed to the public by virtue of its location, the Republicans took an interesting rightward turn to solve it.
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