North Carolina

A Challenge to Orange County Progressives

As printed in the July 29th Chapel Hill Herald

Folks are taught from an early age that if they have a problem with something that a governmental body is doing, they should contact their representative. It's safe to say a lot of progressives in Orange and northern Chatham counties have had a lot of problems with the actions, or lack thereof, taken by the North Carolina General Assembly during this year's session.
The most glaring disappointment is the lack of meaningful ethics/lobbying reform.

It's clear many legislators want to get as much out of their status as they possibly can and are not committed to making the real changes that could help North Carolina residents better trust their elected officials.

But this is by far not the only failed opportunity to make the state better during this session.

A full slate of good environmental bills have been killed by the moneyed interests around the General Assembly, ranging from strong standards to create cleaner cars to the common-sense issue of electronics recycling, for which the Orange County Commissioners have provided a great model.

Faison's Future?

What do you all think Faison's future will be? Had you noticed that he wasn't attracting as much attention this time around?

As published in the Chapel Hill Herald on July 22nd-

As this year's state legislative session winds down, one of the most interesting trends for the Orange County delegation is the silence of Bill Faison, representative from N.C. House District 50 that includes part of Orange as well as all of Caswell County.

During his inaugural session last year, he made all sorts of noise. He attracted attention statewide as one of only two Democrats to vote against the state budget, while gaining notice locally for his effort to force a referendum on district representation for the Orange County Commissioners through the N.C. General Assembly. This drew him the enmity of many other local elected officials, who thought his efforts were an attempt to wrest power away from them.

This year has been a completely different story.

Amazingly, his name has not even appeared in the pages of this newspaper since early March.

Want to be mayor for life?

Maybe now you can in Chapel Hill.

By way of Kirk Ross of Exile on Jones Street and The Independent Weekly:

A few minutes ago the NC House passed H2324 which eliminates a term limit section on the office of Mayor of Chapel Hill from the town charter.

Anybody know anything about this?

Well I looked up H2324, and it says:

Short Title: Chapel Hill Charter Amendment.
Sponsors: Representatives Insko and Hackney (Primary Sponsors).



The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Section 2.1 of the Charter of the Town of Chapel Hill, being Chapter 473 of the 1975 Session Laws, as rewritten by Section 6 of Chapter 911 of the 1981 Session laws, reads as rewritten:

The FCC comes to NC

For those of you following media politics, it has not been a good couple of weeks here in NC or in DC. The NC House moved a bill to the floor that would allow phone and cable companies to roll over communities and consumers and soon the NC Senate will do the same. Meanwhile, Congress passed a similar bill, The COPE Act, which would destroy community access television and turn the internet into a "whoever pays most, is seen most" commercial model. The death of community television and the internet? Could it get any worse?

Well, yes.

The FCC, under the leadership of Kevin Marin, from our good state, are about to change the rules about media ownership limits. Remember a couple of years ago when everyone from the NRA to Move On pulled together and stopped them? Seems they didn't hear us loud enough last time.

Local lessons from Chernobyl

Progress Energy's Shearon-Harris nuclear facility has one of the largest stores of spent fuel rods in the US, a number of recently reported security problems and is slated for a couple new reactors in spite of a 1991 near meltdown.

Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster - with Lessons for the Triangle

When: Wednesday, April 26th, 7 to 9 pm
Where: McDougle Middle School,
900 Fayetteville Rd., Carrboro [MAP]

Hosted by NC-WARN.
Click here for more info (Word doc).



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