Raleigh says "no" to anti-abortion rezoning request

Cue a special session of the NCGA to rewrite municipal zoning laws in in 3...2...:

A Hand of Hope ministry, which operates the Your Choice Pregnancy Clinic and provides free pregnancy services purchased land, which needed to be rezoned to allow for office space, next to A Preferred Women's Health Center at 1604 Jones Franklin Road in January. Hand of Hope had previously leased office space about a quarter-mile away.

City leaders said Tuesday night that the rezoning request is inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan, which has a vision that extends to the year 2030. They said rezoning for the anti-abortion group is simply not in tandem with the plan’s policy.

And just what is that Hand of Hope holding out to young potential mothers? Help paying for prenatal care and delivery? No. An Ob/Gyn MD to monitor you and be on-call for the birthing? No. How about help actually finding trustworthy adoptive parents? No, but they'll tell you what a great option it is, and how lonely those poor people are who can't have a baby. Here is the sum total of their services:

Tuesday News: Dynamic duo edition

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OBAMA TO JOIN HILLARY CLINTON ON STUMP, STARTING IN N.C. (New York Times) -- Hillary Clinton will hold her first joint rally with President Obama on Tuesday in Charlotte, an event signaling the start of a flurry of political activity by Mr. Obama to help elect his former rival and vanquish Donald J. Trump.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/us/politics/hillary-clinton-obama.html

White supremacists created imagery used by Trump campaign

But that doesn't slow down his apologists:

The Star of David imagery used in a Twitter post by Donald J. Trump this weekend had previously appeared on a message board known for anti-Semitism and white supremacy, as well as on a Twitter account with a history of racially charged comments, according to a report.

Later on Saturday, Mr. Trump deleted the post and added another image with a circle covering the star, though tips of the star were still visible. While Mr. Trump’s campaign has been silent on the episode, and did not respond to requests for comment, some of his defenders have argued that a six-pointed star is a symbol used by many sheriff’s departments.

The particular "defender" referenced in the article is Corey Lewandowski, who was supposedly "fired" by Trump and was subsequently hired by CNN, a move that should spell the doom of that bumbling "news" organization:

Monday News: The ultimate patriotic act

COMMIT TO VOTE: IT'S THE WAY TO REALLY CELEBRATE JULY 4TH (WRAL-TV) --Monday, July 4, 2016: The best way to defend democracy is to participate in it. Promise today to vote on Nov. 8.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-commit-to-vote-it-s-the-way-to-really-celebrate-july-4th/15821676/

LET’S (REALLY) MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (Charlotte Observer) -- This Fourth of July, let’s resolve that bottle rockets and barbecue aren’t enough to celebrate the 240th birthday of this great nation.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article87244992.html

Tarheel Founding Fathers: Willie Jones

Willie (pronounced Wylie) Jones was the son of a wealthy crown agent, and at the young age of 12 was sent to England to attend Eton, like his father before him. And like a few of our other Founding Fathers, was loyal to Governor Tryon and assisted in the crackdown on the Regulators:

As might be expected from his heritage, he was identified during these early years with the royal governors, William Tryon and Josiah Martin, and their clique. He marched with Tryon's colonial militia to Orange County and was appointed Tryon's aide-de-camp on 15 May 1771, the day before Tryon's victory over the Regulators at the Battle of Alamance. Several days later Captain Jones was sent to raid the plantation of Herman Husband, a leading Regulator. When Tryon left North Carolina to become governor of New York, Jones "publicly lamented his removal . . . as a calamity to the province." As a further indication of his allegiance to the royal clique, he was appointed, on Governor Martin recommendation, to His Majesty's Council of the Province of North Carolina on 9 Mar. 1774.

But that loyalty soon frayed, and Willie joined the cause of liberty, adding his sharp intellect to mix. In his (brief) one year career in the Continental Congress, his grasp of the military situation and his determination to make sure it succeeded contributed greatly to the cause:

Scathing editorial on Duke Energy's control of NC government

Usually more circumspect, the Fay-O cuts loose:

In the end, Duke Energy won the Great Coal Ash War. Is anyone surprised? No, we weren't either. In a state whose governor was a longtime employee of the nation's largest utility, and whose lawmakers benefit from the company's contributions, the outcome of the battle over cleanup of Duke's 33 coal-ash impoundments was pretty predictable.

Frank Holleman, senior lawyer at the Southern Environmental Law Center, got it about right when he said, "The legislature has done what Duke Energy's lobbyists told it to do, threw thousands of public comments in the trash can, and protected Duke Energy while sacrificing the well-being of North Carolina's clean water and communities."

Like many bills that make their way through the Legislature, this one (HB630) makes modifications to previous legislation, so the bulk of the text is old news. You have to look for the struck-out and/or underlined text to see what's being changed. While lawmakers did remove the Coal Ash Commission that was the subject of McCrory's successful lawsuit and recent complaints, here's the (big) money quote in this new bill:

Sunday News: A star too far edition

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TRUMP DELETES TWEET SHOWING CLINTON AND STAR OF DAVID (New York Times) -- Donald J. Trump came under fire on Saturday for posting on Twitter an image of the Star of David shape next to a picture of Hillary Clinton and calling his opponent the “most corrupt candidate ever!”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/us/politics/trump-clinton-star-of-david.html

TRUMP TWEET BLASTS CLINTON AS CORRUPT INCLUDES STAR OF DAVID (Washington Post) -- The Republican candidate’s use of the Jewish symbol prompted outrage on social media.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-tweet-that-blasts-clinton-as-corrupt-includes-the-star...

Dukeville residents riding see-saw of drinking water advisories

When Hexavalent Chromium is your nosiest neighbor:

Originally, state health officials used a level of 0.07 parts per billion as the health screening level for hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing heavy metal. That health screening level turned up dozens of unsafe water wells in Dukeville. Later, the state sharply raised the screening level to 10 parts per billion. However, state regulators in March told coal ash neighbors with hexavalent chromium levels higher than 10 parts per billion that their well water was OK to drink.

It doesn't get much more negligent than that: Raise the threshold almost 150 times higher, then ignore your own new level. These people need help right now, and forcing them to wait for a year is beyond irresponsible:

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