Proposed legislation to protect the Blue Ridge Parkway

This year represents the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.To celebrate, a Congressional delegation from North Carolina and Virginia is sponsoring legislation to preserve the land adjacent to the Parkway. The proposed legislation will protect 50,000 additional acres along the 469 mile road.

Construction on the Parkway began during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the days of the New Deal it was built by a number of public work agencies, mainly the Civilian Conservation Corps. 52 years later in 1987 the final stretch was laid near Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC. Over the past few years though, a number of private developments have started obstructing the scenic views that bring in nearly 2.3 billion dollars annually to the National Park System. U.S. Representatives David Price and Heath Shuler hope that the proposed 75 million dollar investment will help protect the breathtaking views and expand the Parkway's recreational offerings.

At present the bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. Despite the recent economic downturn we hope that Congress will see the importance in preserving this national treasure. If you want to get involved with the Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th anniversary visit this site.


Yet, they keep electing her !!

I am tempted to say the 5th gets what it deserves by continuing to vote Foxx back in office (and the 10th too, for that matter), but that is the wrong attitude. The right attitude is to vote the "Wicked Witch" out of office.

Looks like she has a damn good opponent this time.

Do they allow campaign signs along the Parkway? Just a thought.

Interesting idea

I'm sure they don't allow signs, but if the Blue Ridge Parkway had a vote in this election, you can be damn sure it wouldn't vote for Madame Foxx.

Gerrymandered district lines

are responsible for the continued good fortune of officials like Rep. Foxx (R-LaLaLand). She's fully disconnected from the mainstream of public opinion. Yet, with the 5th district's lines drawn to lock in a majority for any antedeluvian relict who manages to back into the GOP nomination, she need not care.

For a fighting chance in the future to ditch idealogues like Foxx, demand more competitive redistricting from whomever controls the state legislature in 2011, after this year's census. That power is just one of many which make the outcome of the 2010 state legislative elections critical to our future.

And for all my good friends who are passionate about the campaign of Mr. Kennedy this year, don't let me discourage you. Feel free to prove me wrong, and I will be delighted.

Dan Besse

Foxx's district is gerrymandered?

Have you seen the district for Rep. Mel Watt? That should be in the dictionary as a pictoral definition of the word gerrymandered. Foxx's district is not gerrymandered at all. Brad Miller's is a little bit squirrelly, too, and the districts for Jones and Butterfield make no sense.

I believe we need an independent redistricting commission to draw the lines for the General Assembly and for the Congressional districts. As long as you leave it in the hands of politicians, you will get districts like we have. And it doesn't matter which party is in control. Either one will manipulate the system to their advantage.

Yes it is

Foxx's district is an odd shape. As is Mel Watt's district.

They were forced to be drawn that way by George H. W. Bush's Justice Dept in the 1990s when VRA approvals were denied.

Talk to the conservative activists from the Rehnquist Supreme Court or the Bush Sr. Justice Dept if you're upset about the shape of congressional districts.

They tried to use the VRA to pack as many blacks into a district as possible to render the surrounding districts solid red.

So yeah, Foxx's district & McHenry's district & Jones' district & Coble's district are the result of gerrymadering tripe forced upon NC by the Rehnquist Court and the Bush Justice Dept.


how districts are drawn

I heard Toby Fitch tell the audience at a redistricting hearing at the NCGA, without apparent shame or embarrassment, that they'd been completely "fair" when drawing the districts: they'd drawn 6 safe Democratic districts, and 6 safe Republican districts. (That was back when NC had 12 districts, and divided control of the legislature.)

I thought, "That was very fair to 12 North Carolinians, but you disenfranchised the rest of us."

There is a better way (background here), but we're unlikely to get it here in NC unless we get Initiative & Referendum first (which seems nearly as unlikely).

The Republicans keep trying, but the Democratic leadership won't even permit a hearing. If you are friends with Hackney, how about asking him to let the Independent Redistricting bill (H34) at least have a hearing?

If not because it is right, then how about because it is likely to be good for the Democrats, given the political climate this year?

FYI, here's a Google Books link to part of a discussion of this issue in David T. Canon's book, Race, redistricting, and representation: the unintended consequences of Black Majority Districts.

Gee, I wonder about this

I wonder that if the republicans were in control of the state like the dems are, they'd be all about this hearing stuff and bipartisanship on districts and all about fairness in drawing these up and so forth.

Redistricting has ALWAYS been about making the current party in power having an advantage. Right?...nah. Fact?...yep.

I would almost (heavy on the almost) give my right nut to get the 5th changed around. I mean, even you righties have to be ashamed and embarrassed by Foxx. I am almost willing to donate to someone running against her (which I see someone is actually considering it on the repug side).

With regard to majority Black Majority Districts, well, personally I think that is a good idea. If we do not do that in NC, well, to be honest, it will be all white representation and in my personal view, that is not representing the populace. Call me a reverse racist if you want, but, there is much to be said for having different races representating our populist in not only NC but our country.

I have now had my say. Doubt discussing it further from my point of view will do any good.


I hope so

I'd like to think that if the Republicans were in power, they'd be for fair districts. I can't guarantee it, though. When Morgan & Black were in charge of the House, it was indistinguishable from when Black or Hackney ran it alone.

Perhaps the best hope for real redistricting reform is a closely divided legislature, with one house controlled by Rs and the other by Ds.

Do you have an "in" with Hackney? If so, would you please speak to him about H34?

(As for Virginia, she's a sweetheart. Nobody's perfect, but she's very good, very sensible, and very bright. She's certainly not as hard Right as Price and Watt and Miller are hard Left.)

Okay, we are in the Twilight Zone now

(As for Virginia, she's a sweetheart. Nobody's perfect, but she's very good, very sensible, and very bright. She's certainly not as hard Right as Price and Watt and Miller are hard Left.)

Had to get back with you after I regurgitated, Dave.

A "sweetheart"?????? "Very sensible"?????

That is a joke, right? I needed some humor today. Thanks.

Can we talk about Brad Miller for a moment? Be honest, if you possibly can, compare him with who we here call the "Wicked Witch of the West"....Ginny Fox.

Yea, you're right

The Bushes are to blame for everything. I keep forgetting that.

Good thing the folks down at the General Assembly don't play politics with our redistricting process. They've done a great job over the years of drawing competitive districts. I think we even had close to 60 races in the House two years ago where there were two names on the ballot! That's almost 50 percent.

Keep up the great work, fellas.

Yes. I am right

I will welcome the day when the dissolution of the current NC District 12 makes all of its surrounding districts more inviting to Democrats.

Check your history in the VRA filings from the early 90s if you doubt my facts.

By the by, Bush Jr was still losing millions in the "private sector" in TX and NE while this was going on, so I don't blame him for this one.

Bush Sr's Justice Dept (with the kinds suggestions from the NC GOPers) had hands in it though. Ask Carter Wrenn.