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Gboro-Randolph megasite logo

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Nearby residents don’t be alarmed as site work begins.

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Your man bites dog headline

As North Carolina’s tweaked voter ID law heads to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk, it’s a little surprising to see a newspaper —the Burlington Times-News specifically —editorialize on voter fraud:

Voter fraud while not widespread is also not imaginary. But labeling reasonable efforts to ensure that fraud doesn’t taint elections as voter suppression isn’t exactly accurate either. And loading the voter rolls with the names of people who don’t care enough about their civic duty to provide county officials with a name and correct address is an open invitation to fraud.

True the Times-News may be more conservative than your average daily newspaper, but still…..

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HP human relations dir. fears for her life

High Point Enterprise reports city human relations director Al Heggins has been place on paid administrative leave after the HPE obtained an email making allegations of institutional racism:

Heggins said her department is required by the city’s ordinance to deal with issues of race, and she’s tried to take a proactive position.

“I’ve been systematically attacked as an individual and the department has been publicly maligned, along with my name,” she wrote in the email. “Please understand that black people are being killed. I am a black woman.

Other allegations include police refusing to take action after she reported being assaulted and “unnamed City Council member” bringing her “literature about the history of the Confederacy that included a picture of the Confederate flag.”

Stay tuned.

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Post-vacation Rhino roundup

Back from vacation—no better way to get caught up than reading this week’s Rhino.

*Right off the bat, John Hammers on Greensboro City Council’s hands off approach toward the ’15-’16 budget:

We currently have a City Council that has huge discussions about nothing and no discussions about things that matter, like the budget and changing the way the City Council does business.

Pretty much says it all—that this council is prime for serious change—whether that happens via Raleigh or in the upcoming municipal election remains to be seen. Odds are on the former.

*Hammer says the City Council is looking forward —not backward by voting in Justin Outling over former council member Tom Phillips to replace incumbent Zack Matheny, who’s leaving for Downtown Greensboro Inc. I hope so—Outling is a bright young guy—fellow UNCG grad, Duke Law School grad, coming back to Gboro to raise a family. He’s also a black Democrat, very few of whom I agree with politically. That said, I will give him the benefit of the doubt will be interested to hear his views on where Gboro is and where it should be going.

*Former Piedmont Triad Partnership president David Powell is the focus in the investigation of a “large sum of money” gone missing. N&R follows up, reporting “charges are pending” against Powell.

*Last certainly not least—top heavy city salaries, including a $3,000 raise for Assistant City Manager Andy Scott “who has not been operating as an assistant city manager for over a year.”

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EPA power plan hurts minorities

National Black Chamber of Commerce president Harry C. Alford on the Obama administration’s “Clean Power Plan”:

The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental activists frequently claim that climate change will disproportionately affect poor and minority communities.

This, they argue, justifies unprecedented environmental regulations like the EPA’s soon-to-be-finalized “Clean Power Plan” to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
But what effect will the regulation itself have on minority communities? A new study commissioned by my organization, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, answers this question.

The Clean Power Plan will lead to lost jobs, lower incomes and higher poverty rates for the 128 million blacks and Hispanics living in America. This should serve as a warning to federal and state lawmakers as they prepare for this sweeping regulation to go into effect in the coming months.

….These factors — fewer jobs, lower incomes and higher costs of living — threaten to impoverish millions. The study estimates that the regulation will increase black and Hispanic poverty by 23% and 26%, respectively. We work hard to provide a better future for our children, yet this regulation only pushes the American dream even further out of reach.

The only good news? Alford says states can either sue the EPA or “refuse to implement the plan altogether.” Would love to see the reaction from our local paper of record should the evil Republicans in Raleigh pursue that course of action.

Last question —anybody get to vote on the “Clean Power Plan”?

*Via Carolina Plott Hound.

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Susan Ladd goes off on Trudy Wade

N&R columnist Susan Ladd goes off on Sen. Trudy Wade as her bill restructuring the Greensboro City Council works its way through the legislature:

Queen Trudy demonstrated this week that she is determined to win by any means possible. If she can’t win fair and square, she will cheat.

These are not the actions of someone serving the public. These are the actions of a dictator bent on forcing her will onto an unwilling constituency.

This is the neutering of democracy.

The disdain and disregard Sen. Trudy Wade has shown to her constituents — and to the other members of the Guilford delegation — deserve an equally disdainful response at the ballot box.

Regardless of how SB 36 comes out, Wade needs to be shown in no uncertain terms that her actions do not reflect the will of Guilford County voters.

It won’t be easy. Thanks to Republican gerrymandering, she’s in a solidly Republican district — so much so that no Democrat even bothered to run against her in 2014.

Last November, I remember standing at the voting machine, staring in disgust at the only choice before me. Given only the option of voting for Wade, I opted not to vote in that race at all.

I’d vote for Alfred E. Neuman before I’d vote for Trudy Wade, and that was before SB 36.

After the way she has conducted herself this session, I’d think that MAD magazine mascot would have a decent shot in the next election.

Geez, tell us how you really feel girlfriend. Strikes me odd there’s so much anger seething underneath someone with such a strong belief in government-mandated social justice. For the sake of argument, envision government successfully instituting social justice and (while we’re at it) world peace —would it still be good enough for angry liberals like Susan Ladd?

Meanwhile, former N&R editor John Robinson says Gov. Pat McCrory is a loser, speculating—among other things —that “governor (and staff) doesn’t know how to throw the sharp elbows necessary to get things done in politics.”

Let’s be real here —anyone who read JLF sister blog Meck deck while McCrory was Charlotte mayor should know the dude is no waving right winger, know matter how much want to brand him as such when suits their point of view.

Interesting how the front page of yesterday’s N&R depicted Wade making sausage, which is what politics is all about. Bills take on different forms, legislators override executive vetoes. Yet when it when it’s not working the way they see fit, liberals make it a moral issue, claim it’s the “neutering of democracy.” A lot of things haven’t gone the way I see it the last several years—trust me I’s give Alfred E. Neuman serious consideration over any number of Democratic candidates. But hey —it’s politics—-care at risk to your own mental health.

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Wade’s Gboro council bill has new life

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Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill restructuring the Greensboro City Council —originally SB 36 —has –as only the N&R can put it– “taken a strange and dramatic turn,” never mind the fact that “it is not rare for bills to be combined in the legislature,” as Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford explained to our local paper of record.

Wade’s SB 36 has been rolled into the HB 263, the bill restructuring the Trinity City Council. The state Senate is scheduled to vote today on that bill, and if approved will go back to the House for an up or down vote.

Probably don’t even need to mention the N&R doesn’t like this, so I just showed. Still, editorial writer Doug Clark says:

Why are so many people disgusted by politics? Because of actions like those of state Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) and her powerful allies.

….Greensboro and Trinity shouldn’t be linked in a single bill making council changes to both. That’s an insult to the residents of both cities and to the House members who represent them.

Instead of using the legislative process to bring about any positive change, Wade and her allies are twisting it to serve their own purposes. They’re demonstrating politics at its worst.

Wade said —according to the Rhino — “it’s been reported that the mayor said that the council has lost its focus. I hope this bill will help bring in some new leadership and the new council will find its focus.”

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan admitted last week that the council has indeed lost focus. Reducing the council from nine members to seven ostensibly would help the council regain focus.

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Another N&R correction

Little correction in today’s N&R:

The General Assembly allocated $8.8 billion to North Carolina public schools in 2014-2015. The funding amount was incorrect in an article Tuesday on the front page.

Big difference between billion and millions, but I’ll give the reporter some slack and assume her brain wasn’t working with her fingers—it happens. By the same token someone reading the article but not seeing the correction might assume that the evil Republicans are selling are children short yet again — and that’s the impression the N&R enjoys giving these days.

Second correction on a big story in little over a week for the local paper of record. Turns out the N&R didn’t get it quite right regarding the League of Women Voters ad denouncing Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill restructuring the Greensboro City Council.

As the Rhino’s John Hammer notes, “it seems that we are supposed to believe that neither (city beat reporter Joe) Killian, nor his editors, read their own paper. It’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to read the N&R. (Who does?)”

True, even though an ever-decreasing number of us still read the N&R every morning. Whether or not you can believe what you read is another matter entirely.

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Matheny leaving Gboro council seat (for DGI)

Statement released by Greensboro City Council member Zack Matheny regarding his future plans:

A few months ago, I expressed interest in leading Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) and have interviewed to become the organization’s next President and CEO. Due to the nature of the discussions and my desire to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest, as of today, I plan to resign from City Council at the June 16 meeting.

I don’t think Matheny would be taking this step if the DGI job weren’t a lock. Expect an announcement on that front soon.

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Melissa Harris-Perry–the gift that keeps on giving…

Bust just for the heck of it, I’ll assume the Wake Forest University law professor is only kidding when she suggests media suspend coverage of all men’s sports for one year in order to build the fan base for women’s sports. (Harris-Perry apparently hasn’t thought about numbers of women—Cowboys fans especially— who would be pissed off if there were no NFL on the tube.)

But you never know with someone who would ask the U.S. attorney general to quack like a duck.

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