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Archive for July, 2010

Decentralizing the NHS

On the subject of healthcare, Britain —- imagine this —- is attempting to decentralize its National Health System.

The government’s white paper acknowledged that the changes would “cause significant disruption and loss of jobs” because “layers of bureaucracy would be abolished.”

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Mr. McBevee is make believe

No lie —–on the way home from yesterday’s field trip, I was explained the lesson to be learned from the famous Mr. McBevee episode to my backseat passengers.

Then I got home and read this. I knew Andy Griffith was a Democrat, but one of them old-style conservative kind, eh?

I got news for Andy — this time around Mr. McBevee is just make believe.

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‘Project Camo’

The double super-secret code name assigned Caterpillar by the N.C. Department of Commerce. The Winston-Salem Journal has the tale of mystery and intrigue behind the city’s efforts to land CAT:

The mysterious delegation arrived in Winston-Salem in March.

The visitors offered no business cards. They introduced themselves using only their first names.

“I’m Shawn,” said one, an engineering manager.

They said they wanted a site, 100 acres, to build a plant that would make critical pieces for the heavy machinery their company sold.

That was all the information they would supply.

As you can probably imagine, the Journal is beside itself with joy.

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New G’boro police chief

I was going to suggest that this morning’s N&R lead editorial basically an endorsement of Kenneth Hill for police chief, since Lisa Womack was basically out of the running and calling off the search now would only heighten the Pulpit Forum’s sense of power.

Oh well….never mind.

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W-S lands CAT plant

The Winston-Salem Journal reports Caterpillar “has chosen Winston-Salem as the site of a $426 million manufacturing plant, several officials confirmed yesterday.”

The city and Forsyth County offered a total of $23.5 million in incentives to lure CAT. A news conference is scheduled for later today.

Let the cheering begin.

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Get off, Paul Daniels

Guilford County Board of Education meetings are known around here as a surefire cure for insomnia. But evidently board member Paul Daniels got a bit testy following a motion by chairman Alan Duncan to fund cost overruns for renovated Ragsdale High School:

Pounding on the dais, Daniels said he was “sandbagged” by Duncan and interim Chief Operations Officer Andy LaRowe and even made a motion to go into closed session to discuss LaRowe. No one seconded the motion.

“OK, folks, don’t come to me when you get sandbagged by staff,” Daniels said after his motion failed.

What’s funny is Daniels was chastised by none other than fellow board member Deena Hayes, who has very questionable ties to the proposed downtown luxury hotel. Hayes told Daniels “we have a character education initiative here and we have a responsibility to model those characteristics.” If she says so.

At any rate, it’s good to see a little emotion from a school board member. If Ed Price replaces Garth Hebert on the board come November, we should see a little more emotion.

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Hagan votes for cloture on gov’t collective bargaining

Civitas reports that Sen. Kay Hagan voted for cloture on a House appropriations bill that included “language mandating that states, counties and municipalities collectively bargain with public safety employee labor unions.”

Hagan’s confusion on the issue was discussed here last month, including assurances that she would NOT vote for cloture on Dingy Harry’s Senate bill.

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Meanwhile, in Greensboro…..

Up Interstate 85/40 in Greensboro —- an offshoot of the Pulpit Forum is demanding the City of Greensboro delay the hiring of a new police chief. The group is “asking the city to ask for a formal U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the police department, something also requested by the state NAACP and the Pulpit Forum in May.”

Quite the situation the city finds itself in. City Manager Rashad Young is already taking heat for not properly vetting finalist Lisa Womack. I think it’s fair to say that Womack is now out of the running, which leaves the city with only one choice —Charlotte-Mecklenburg deputy chief Kenneth Miller. If the city decides Miller is not the man for the job, then the search will start all over again.

No matter the reason for starting search over again, doing so will give the Pulpit Forum a sense of power. If Miller is hired, then he’ll have the Pulpit Forum all over him from the get-go.

It’s a mess.

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Alamance sheriff’s race heats up

The Alamance County Tea Party and Fairness Alamance are sparring over Sheriff Terry Johnson, who’s running for reelection in November.

The Tea Party says Fairness Alamance “appears to be trying to use the current left wing presidential administration to strong-arm Sheriff Johnson who has done nothing but heroically enforced the law, as any true lawman would.”

At issue is the Justice Department investigation into alleged discrimination against Hispanics by the sheriff’s department, which is participating in the federal 287 (g) program.

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Guilford sales tax, part II

The N&R reports that Guilford County commissioners are considering a vote for a quarter-cent sales tax hike. With the county facing $40 million in debt service next year, one would assume it would go on this November’s ballot.

I’ll note that the Rhino reported this a couple of weeks ago.

Update JLF’s Joe Coletti weighs in on Guilford and Robeson County, which has a sales tax increase on the ballot in a special election next week.

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