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THE SPILL
Environmentalists Not Satisfied As Dan River Cleanup Ends (WFDD-FM) -- Duke Energy announced last week that it has completed its cleanup of the Dan River following a massive coal ash spill in February. The cleanup operation began May 6, and Duke Energy says that two-and-a-half tons of coal ash and river sediment were removed. The cleanup was monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but some environmental groups are unhappy with the result. Frank Holleman is senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. He says too much of what was dumped into the Dan River is still there.
http://wfdd.org/post/environmentalists-not-satisfied-dan-river-cleanup-ends

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Creative response to a created crisis:

“POETRY IS NOT AN EXPRESSION OF THE PARTY LINE.” – ALLEN GINSBERG
All the world's a poet: Laureate flap inspires more verse (Raleigh News & Observer) -- We asked readers to send poems responding to the uproar that ensued when Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t go through established channels, chose a relatively unknown poet from Fuquay-Varina as the state’s poet laureate. Valerie Macon has since stepped down. Here is a sampling of those poems: PAT IN THE HAT -- There once was a governor named Pat/ Who put on his own stupid hat/ When appointing a poet/ He didn’t quite know it/ The state has a system for that. WARM EMBRACE -- When art’s left to our politicians,/ It’s subject to noxious conditions./ The state’s warm embrace/ Can become a disgrace/ And displeasing to academicians.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/18/4015028/all-the-worlds-a-poet-no-readers.html

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And that was all she wrote:

POET LAUREATE LAMENT
9:15 p.m. Secretary Susan Kluttz Comments on Resignation of Valerie Macon as Poet Laurearte (N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Release) -- Valerie Macon, recently appointed North Carolina's poet laureate, resigned from the position today stating in her letter that she does not want, "the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of Poet Laureate." "I am saddened by this entire situation," said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources. "I met with Valerie Macon and was very impressed with her passion to use her talent to combat homelessness. I am sorry that she became the focus of disingenuous comments that she did not deserve. I pledge to her and to all artists, both new and experienced, that this department will do all we can to support their creativity."
http://www.ncdcr.gov/News/tabid/95/EntryId/505/Secretary-Susan-Kluttz-Comments-on-the-Resignation-of...

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WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 6th DISTRICT GOP RUNOFF
A runoff election, particularly in a congressional or legislative district, is neatly defined and should be simple for the candidates. There’s little guessing about who is likely to vote – they’ve already identified themselves – down to the household – by voting in the initial primary. And, there aren’t so many people, or such an extensive geographic spread, that there is difficulty in reaching out personally to nearly every voter. Decent polling and get-out-the-vote efforts can identify just who voted for which candidate. And, these efforts can also identify which voters who may not have voted for the candidates in the runoff, would be likely to shift.

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THE SPILL
NC raising water standards; critics say not enough (AP) — After years of delays, North Carolina regulators are moving to strengthen state water-quality standards to include tougher limits on toxic metals like those at issue following the recent coal ash spill into the Dan River.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-raising-water-standards-critics-say-not-enough-2536917

EPA says Dan River back to pre-coal ash spill quality (Danville Register Bee) -- Water quality in the Dan River has returned to “normal,” according to Myles Bartos of the Environmental Protection Agency.
http://www.godanriver.com/news/coal-ash/epa-says-dan-river-back-to-pre-coal-ash-spill/article_3588eb...

CAMPAIGN 2014
UPSET! Walker beats Berger Jr. in bitter race for GOP nod (AP) — A harsh Republican Party fight for a shot at an open North Carolina congressional seat goes to Mark Walker.

Daily Dose

If you have a run-off in your district, don't forget to vote today.

THE SPILL
Senate nixes House coal ash bill, negotiating next (AP) — Legislation designed to clean up coal ash ponds at Duke Energy power plants in North Carolina is now heading to final negotiations after the Senate rejected the House version of the bill.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_d2e4804a-b7b9-5ffa-99c0-2ff863e23aa2.html

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IN CASE YOU FORGOT

"We're going to go in. We're going to have a short session. It's going to be focused. It's going to be disciplined. We're going to get in and out.,"
-- House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, WRAL-TV 05/10/2014

“All indications point toward a session that will be short, with a continued focus on economic growth, job creation, and wise investments.”
-- Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation, 05/09/2014

“We will probably be more assertive than in our first year, which I frankly thought was extremely assertive. … “We had a heck of a good first year, but now I think we can take even more initiatives. … I anticipate that we’ll be together 80 to 90 percent of the time. “We’re having very good dialogue and, in almost all cases, good cooperation.”
-- Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014

“Hopefully (Gov. McCrory) has learned that we have to work together to get things done. I don’t know if he’s there yet. Hopefully this session will tell us that.”
-- Senate Rules Committee Chair Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, Charlotte Observer, 05/10/2014

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CAMPAIGN
Some NC voters face 2nd round of primary elections (AP) — It's a sign of how much is at stake in next week's runoff election and how narrow the expected margin of success is that a Republican congressional election has devolved into one candidate claiming his Facebook page was hacked to make it look like he was fibbing about his education.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_371138d7-1290-56cf-9aa9-8426dac5c34f.html

Caustic battle in 6th District race wears on GOP (Greensboro News & Record) -- Will bitterness of race hurt party in November, political observers wonder.
http://www.news-record.com/news/government/elections/article_e7765f4e-0a3b-11e4-96e3-001a4bcf6878.html

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THE SPILL
At Town Hall, riverkeeper explains coal ash peril (Davidson News) -- Problems with coal ash have grabbed headlines across North Carolina and nationwide since a February spill at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. But Dan River is only one of many plants with potential storage problems. Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman is also on the list, but experts say it could be 15 years or longer before Duke closes down the ponds of toxic waste there. But that’s too long, Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins said in a presentation to Davidson commissioners Monday, July 7. The reason for the longer potential cleanup timeline is that Marshall Steam Station has been classified as “low risk” in state legislation aimed at requiring Duke to shut down its coal ash ponds around the state. Perkins says the plant shouldn’t be allowed to continue with business as usual, especially when business as usual means toxic chemicals seeping into the groundwater around Lake Norman.
http://davidsonnews.net/blog/2014/07/11/at-town-hall-riverkeeper-explains-coal-ash-peril/

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