Daily dose

Saturday News: Lipstick on a pig

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UNC INTERIM CHANCELLOR PENS LETTER JUSTIFYING SAM SETTLEMENT: In a letter to the campus community, Guskiewicz explained that members of the Board of Governors negotiated and approved the settlement, which included a $2.5 million payment for the SCV to preserve and display the Confederate statue, through its governance committee. That committee met in private to discuss the solution before the lawsuit was filed. “The settlement ensures the monument will never return to campus, but issues of racism and injustice persist, and the University must confront them,” Guskiewicz said. “I now want to focus on our shared values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and I will continue to reject and condemn those individuals or groups who seek to divide us. We have a lot of work to do to thoroughly address and reconcile with our past.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article238118594.html

Friday News: A sign of progress

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CHRISTMAS PARADES AND CONFEDERATE FLAGS DON'T MIX: On Wednesday, Wake Forest became the second Wake County town in a week to cancel its Christmas parade over safety fears. Santa Claus was planning to come to town on Dec. 14, but Wake Forest officials canceled the parade for what is though to be the first time since it started more than 71 years ago. Town officials said they had received credible information that “extremist” groups on both sides of the issue of how — and whether — to preserve and interpret symbols of the Confederacy were making plans online to attend the parade. Crabtree said no one from either side made any threats, but the fear was that that dozens of people from the different groups would clash at the parade and that the situation could get out of hand. Because the town is a sponsor of the Christmas parade, Crabtree said, it can’t shut out a particular group from participating. In the future, he said, turning over the parade entirely to a private organization or a nonprofit community group would allow for closer scrutiny of who is allowed to join the parade.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article238067469.html

Thursday News: Rising tide of outrage

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UNC STUDENT GROUPS PLAN PROTEST OF SILENT SAM DEAL: De’Ivyion Drew, a sophomore at UNC who’s been active in the Silent Sam protests and a member of the campus safety commission, said the money is “way worse” than the statue being put back up. “There’s a lack of perspective from a person of color, particularly black people, who would prefer to have the statue back up than to have the Sons of Confederates or any white supremacy group get $2.5 million dollars,” Drew said at the meeting. Student activist groups, including the UNC Black Congress and the Black Student Movement, have planned a campus protest for Thursday afternoon on the theme that “‘Silent Sam is not ‘Resolved.’” The protest is about “UNC negotiating with and investing in white supremacy,” the group said on its Facebook page.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article238038574.html

Wednesday News: Take notes...

UNC PROFESSOR WILL TESTIFY ON CONSTITUTIONALITY OF IMPEACHMENT: Michael Gerhardt, a distinguished professor at the UNC School of Law, recently published “Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know.” He will testify Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the constitutional grounds for impeaching President Trump. House Democrats, led by Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, have been investigating Trump and his actions with Ukraine. The president denies what he did was improper. But Gerhardt won’t be on Capitol Hill to talk about what Trump said or didn’t say. He’s an expert on constitutional law and will be joined by three other law professors to discuss what the Constitution says about impeachment.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article238001664.html

Tuesday News: And they're off...

3-JUDGE PANEL APPROVES USE OF NEW CONGRESSIONAL MAP: North Carolina judges ordered a new U.S. House district map that Republican state legislators drew last month be used in the 2020 elections, deciding on Monday there wasn’t time to scrutinize the boundaries further for any left-over extreme partisan bias. The three-judge panel agreed it was too late in the election cycle to receive evidence and testimony that would be necessary to consider detailed redistricting arguments from the lawmakers and from Democratic and independent voters who challenged the latest congressional maps. “There's simply not sufficient time to fully develop the factual record necessary to decide the constitutional challenges to the new congressional districts without significantly delaying the primary elections,” Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said from the bench. “It is time for the citizens to vote.”
https://www.wral.com/new-north-carolina-congress-map-up-for-state-judges-review/18806211/

Monday News: Because Freedom

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ORANGE COUNTY CHURCH SETS UP BAIL FUND FOR THE POOR: People have been incarcerated before trial after being accused of littering, trespassing and stealing a a rotisserie chicken from a grocery store. Some have pleaded guilty without due process so they could go home and go about their lives, according to a new group Orange County Bail/Bond Justice. The group is the latest organization in the Triangle area trying to change that by establishing a rotating $50,000 bail fund. Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill launched the project in January 2019. The bail fund will post a maximum bail of $3,000 for those who cannot afford to pay it. When these people show up for their court dates, the money will be returned to the fund for other people to use. The fund will only cover Orange County residents charged with crimes in Orange County, and the nonprofit will consider previous failures to appear in court when deciding whether or not to fund a person’s bail.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article237628324.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BURR'S COMMITTEE WORK WASN'T A HOAX; HE NEEDS TO SAY SO: As a loyal and partisan Republican, Burr may want to stand with the president on the question of impeachment. But loyalty should not be blind. Burr needs to stand up for the work of his committee – one that he has proudly pointed to as a bipartisan effort to find and tell the truth about Russia’s efforts to manipulate U.S. politics and elections. Burr needs to set Reps. Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Trump’s other reflexive defenders straight. He needs to call out the president, as well. Russian meddling is no hoax. It is, to paraphrase a witness from an impeachment inquiry long ago, a cancer on American politics that can’t be ignored and is wrong to deny. Richard Burr, for the sake of the nation, stand up for your work; the efforts of your committee; and most important THE TRUTH it uncovered.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-burr-s-committee-work-wasn-t-a-hoax-he-needs-to-say-so/18796565/

Saturday News: Must-not-see TV

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OUTSIDE GROUPS PREPARE AD BARRAGE FOR TILLIS: Earlier this month, the U.S. Chamber began airing a television ad touting Tillis’s co-sponsorship of a bill intended to aid veterans’ employment opportunities. The Chamber spent more than $7 million to help Tillis’s 2014 campaign, its largest contribution of the cycle. Americans For Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers, launched ads last week, arguing against government spending and praising Tillis for his vote for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. AFP Action, the group’s political action committee, is engaged in grassroots activities for Tillis, reaching nearly 70,000 voters through phone calls and knocking on doors so far this cycle. It endorsed Tillis in June. Tillis has the lowest approval of any incumbent senator at 33%, according to Morning Consult polling.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article2...

Friday News: Desperate measures

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WAKE COUNTY PROGRAM SEEKS TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS: The cost to live in Wake County is going up even as the county expects to shed 900 affordable housing units a year. That means residents who would not have imagined themselves homeless are finding themselves on the verge of not having a roof over their head. That's partly why Wake County city officials have created a new program, known as Wake Prevent, to help catch those at risk of losing their home. The program offers rental assistance and case management to help people stabilize their finances. It is offered to families below a certain income threshold who are less than a month from becoming homeless. Officials with the program say rent costs are up 35 percent in Wake County, but wages are not rising at the same level.
https://www.wral.com/new-wake-county-program-aims-to-help-those-on-the-verge-of-being-homeless/18800...

Thursday News: $2.5 Million for racists

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JUDGE GIVES SILENT SAM STATUE TO CONFEDERATE GROUP, ALONG WITH A HEFTY BONUS: Silent Sam, the Confederate statue that stood on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus before it was torn down by protesters in 2018, is now in the hands of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. And the organization will have access to up to $2.5 million to transport and preserve the monument through a charitable trust set up by the UNC System. The allowed expenses could also include a facility to house and display the monument. The money is coming from accruing interest from the UNC System’s endowment that’s built through donations, not tax-payer money. The agreement came when a judge entered a consent judgment Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. against the UNC System and the UNC Board of Governors over the monument’s placement.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article237809039.html

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