Daily dose

Monday News: Implausible denialism

DUKE ENERGY SEZ COAL ASH YOU'RE SEEING IS NOT REALLY THERE: Nearby, a gray film floated around the banks of the river, which Matt Butler, a program director for Sound Rivers, a nonprofit that monitors the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River Basins, identified as the lighter parts of coal ash. The heavier components, he said, sink to the bottom or are suspended in the water. “I think this is a very significant spill,” Kemp Burdette, the Cape Fear riverkeeper, said in an interview Saturday. “There were numerous breaches that have all contributed to this ... given the aerial photography and the satellite imagery that we have seen it looks like a lot of coal ash was kind of pulled down to those breaches and out to the Cape Fear River. That is certainly what we saw yesterday when we were on the water.” But Duke Energy disagreed that ash is contaminating the water, suggesting that Burdette may have seen nontoxic byproducts floating in the water.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article218870635.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATORS SHOULD TAP HUGE RAINY DAY FUND TO SPEED HURRICANE FLO RECOVERY: The truth is that North Carolina has the resources to meet the immediate recovery needs – and address broader policies and needs including effective alternatives to massive hog and poultry waste lagoons that have overflowed in the storm dumping millions of gallons of raw manure into streams and rivers. Legislators boast that the state’s rainy day fund has more than $2 billion dollars in it – along with another $650 million in unspent money from the 2017-18 budget. There is no better time to tap some of those funds than now. Hurricane Flo was a rainy day if there ever was one. Be sure, voters will be watching to see if the legislature chooses to play partisan political games or works diligently with the governor to address the dire needs of suffering citizens. The special session comes almost exactly a month before Election Day 2018. See you at the polls.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-legislators-should-tap-massive-rainy-day-fund-to-speed-recovery-from-...

Saturday News: Toxic nightmare

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FLOODED DUKE ENERGY SUTTON PLANT MIXING COAL ASH INTO CAPE FEAR RIVER: Duke Energy confirmed Friday that floodwaters from Hurricane Florence have spilled into a coal ash storage pond near Wilmington and could be washing the toxic waste into the Cape Fear River. The river had been rising for days, and Duke had issued an emergency warning Thursday that a breech was likely. The 47-year-old coal ash pond is separated from the Cape Fear River by Sutton Lake, a public fishing lake used as a source of water to cool a coal-burning power plant that was shut down in 2013. Because of rising waters, the river, lake and ash pond are now part of one water system, but Duke has installed a steel barrier at the ash pond to prevent the waste from moving in the reverse direction back into the river. “Its all mixing,” said Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan. “We know that water is being discharged from the ash basin.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article218791660.html

Friday News: One-trick elephant

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GEORGE HOLDING PUSHES "TAX RELIEF" BILL FOR HURRICANE FLORENCE VICTIMS: With the cleanup from Hurricane Florence just beginning for many residents of North and South Carolina, three congressmen want to provide storm victims with tax relief. Rep. George Holding of Raleigh introduced the Hurricane Florence Tax Relief Act on Thursday in the U.S. House. The bill is co-sponsored by two of Holding’s fellow Republicans, Rep. David Rouzer of Johnston County and Rep. Tom Rice of Horry County in South Carolina. “FEMA has been on the ground for days and billions of dollars in grants and assistance will be made available to individuals and communities,” Holding said in a statement. “But I have concluded that recovering from a storm of this magnitude will also require creative, outside the box solutions.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article218736590.html

Thursday News: That's not how any of this works

TRUMP CONGRATULATES MAN WHO HAD YACHT DEPOSITED IN HIS YARD BY HURRICANE: President Trump gazed in wonder on Wednesday at an elegant yacht that had been washed ashore during Hurricane Florence and now lay shipwrecked against the back deck of a red brick house. “Is this your boat?” Mr. Trump asked the homeowner. When the man shook his head and said “No,” the president turned with a grin and replied, “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.” Across the street, where Mr. Trump came across the beached yacht, he told reporters that the homeowner had complained that his insurance company was balking at covering the cost of the damage. “We’re going to find out the name of the insurance company,” Mr. Trump declared. “They don’t know whose boat that is,” he added. “What’s the law? Maybe it becomes theirs.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/us/politics/trump-carolina-visit-hurricane.html

Wednesday News: False Prophets

FRANKLIN GRAHAM SAYS SEXUAL ASSAULT BY KAVANAUGH "NOT RELEVANT": Evangelist Franklin Graham said sexual assault accusations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from when he was a teenager are “not relevant” and that the U.S. Senate should confirm his nomination. Graham made the remarks in an interview Tuesday with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Asked by the CBN interviewer what kind of message his remarks send to sexual abuse victims, Graham replied: “Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed. These are two teenagers and it’s obvious that she said no and he respected it and walked away.” According to an article published by the Washington Post Sunday, Christine Blasey Ford said when they were in high school in the early 1980s, “Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article218630640.html

Tuesday News: Dreading the inevitable

FLOODING IN SOUTHEAST NC WILL PEAK TODAY AS RIVERS REACH RECORD LEVELS: As the days drag on, Hurricane Florence has taken this deceptive turn: The violent winds that rattled shingles off houses and tore down trees have subsided, and the pounding rain has eased, lulling many in the storm's path into believing they've already weathered the worst of it — even as rivers quietly churn and continue to rise. The storm has claimed at least 25 lives as of Monday evening and an untold number of homes on its slow march across North Carolina, inundating city after city : Wilmington, New Bern, Lumberton. Now authorities are warning that by the time the Cape Fear River in Cumberland County crests Tuesday at 62 feet (19 meters) — 27 feet (8 meters) over its flood stage — it will threaten to swamp anything within a mile on either side of it. Its tributary, the Little River, is expected to flood, too. More than 7,000 people were ordered to evacuate by Sunday afternoon. But many, weary of a storm that's lingered on and on, did their own rough calculus of the odds and decided to stay.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-residents-consider-fleeing-as-rivers-rise/17852063/

Monday News: Relentless

NC'S DEATH TOLL RISES TO 11 AS RAINFALL RAISES RIVERS TO RECORD LEVELS: Eleven people have died in North Carolina because of Hurricane Florence, and Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents Sunday to beware of treacherous flash flooding for days to come. “As this storm continues to churn through North Carolina, it has dumped more than two feet or more in many places,” Cooper said. He said that’s enough to inundate areas that have never flooded before. Forecasters expected the heaviest rainfall in the southeast and Sandhills through Sunday night, but said there is a high risk for flash flooding from the coast to the western mountains. Some rivers , including the Cape Fear, Lumber, Neuse, Yadkin and portions of the Rocky River and South Fork of the Catawba River, are expected to crest at new record levels, breaking those set during Hurricane Matthew.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article218496770.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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INDEPENDENT REPORTING IS A BEDROCK OF DEMOCRACY, NOT "FAKE NEWS": These days when a president utters out-and-out falsehoods, the reporting that identifies the errors, verifies the accurate information and seeks to correct the record, is condemned and labeled “fake news.” News you do not like is not “fake news.” Not liking something; being embarrassed or uncomfortable at being held accountable, doesn’t make REAL news anything less. The first obligation of journalists is to be fair to the facts – and making sure they are presented accurately, transparently and so citizens understand them. Independent news reporting is a bedrock value of American democracy. For those who don’t like it, stop calling it “fake news.” It is nothing of the sort. Rather than fighting those shedding light on falsehoods, it would be better to foster a closer relationship with the truth.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-independent-reporting-is-a-bedrock-of-democracy-not-fake-news-/17836631/

Saturday News: Twitter to the rescue?

NEW BERN DEVASTATED BY STORM SURGE FROM FLORENCE BACKING UP RIVERS: An ominous tweet appeared on a historic North Carolina community's Twitter feed about 2 a.m. Friday. It came as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop. And that's when people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose. "WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," the tweet said. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU." The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers. When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell — and combined with high tide, made for dangerous flooding. Roberts, the city spokeswoman, said preliminary estimates show about 4,300 residences and 300 commercial buildings had been damaged. She said that count is expected to increase significantly.
https://www.wral.com/-the-water-kept-rising-residents-overwhelmed-by-flooding/17845078/

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