Thurman's blog

Which side are you on, Roy?

From NC Policy Watch:

Plagued by infighting and litigation delay tactics, North Carolina’s coal ash crisis has grown into more than just an environmental disaster. It’s now a political and legal nightmare, the bill for which the state and its residents will be paying for many years to come.

The latest example came late Monday, when Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a notice of appeal of a court ruling that would require Duke Energy to immediately eliminate the source of groundwater contamination at its coal ash pits — in advance of any clean-up plans it might later adopt.

Dammit Roy, whose side are you on anyway?

Duke chose to ignore the problem

From today's News & Record:

Remember the surprise that officials expressed last month on discovering that relatively weak, corrugated metal made up part of the pipe that ruptured, causing the massive Feb. 2 spill?
The pipe was one of two drainage culverts running under the Dan River ash basin, both of which were designed to carry uncontaminated stormwater from behind the ash ponds under the polluted basin and out to the river.

Here’s what the 1986, five-year report said about part of the first pipe, the part destined to rupture so dramatically 28 years later:

“Part of this culvert is constructed of corrugated metal pipe which would be expected to have less longevity of satisfactory service than the reinforced concrete pipes,” engineering consultants Clay Sams and Fred Tucker warned Duke and the commission in their 1986 report.

Someone has to ask

Shon Demetrius McClain is dead. Shon Demetrius McClain was a father, a husband, someone's brother, someone else's son. He had not even been convicted of a crime. Shon Demetrius McClain was booked into jail for an open container violation, a crime worthy of a citation, a slap on the wrist at worst, and failure to appear on a "drug paraphernalia" charge.

ALEC plans to attack renewable energy in 2014

You just can't make up this kind of utterly preposterous crap.

“As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially freeriders on the system. They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non direct generation customers are being penalised,” said John Eick, the legislative analyst for Alec’s energy, environment and agriculture program.

Art Pope has left the building

... and he did nothing to help his cause in doing so.

During a news conference held by the NC NAACP in Raleigh today, Art Pope came out of his office to tell his side of the story.

Barber and Pope exchanged words as Barber walked toward Pope's office to deliver a letter.

"We want to put a stop to the use of wealth to influence policies in a negative way," Barber said. "That's why it's not a boycott. It's a picket."

Something fishy going on in Ronda

How does a former Wake County School Board member and failed candidate for state auditor land a seat on the town commission as a write-in candidate with no campaign, in the tiny mountain town she recently moved to? I don't know, but that's exactly what Debra Goldman managed to pull off in the little town of Ronda, located in eastern Wilkes County.

According to Shirley Johnson with the Wilkes County Board of Elections, unofficial tallies show 60 voters wrote in Reece's name, 59 wrote in Goldman's and 75 wrote in Foster's.

Foster is an incumbent who declined to file for re-election but changed his mind and ran as a write-in. He attempted to put Reece on the town board to fill a vacancy in 2012, but [Mayor] Varela derailed the effort.

Fox News let one slip

Somehow I don't think the editors at FoxNews.com meant for this piece to slip through.

"But finally, early on the first Saturday morning following the launch of the exchange site — probably because the rest of the state (unlike my five-year-old) was still asleep -- I was able to log-in and complete my registration and check out all my options for insurance.

There were literally 50 plans that were better than my current insurance -- both with lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket costs and better coverage. And there were ten plans with a higher premium than my current insurance, but with lower deductibles."

Fahrenheit 336

Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel, Invisible Man, has been banned from the shelves of school libraries across Randolph County.  Parents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that their precious little snowflakes remain unmolested by "hard" reading.

By a 5-2 margin, the Randolph County Board of Education voted Monday night, at its regular meeting held at Eastern Randolph High School, to remove all copies of the book from school libraries.

...

Voting in favor of the ban were Board Chair Tommy McDonald and members Tracy Boyles, Gary Cook, Matthew Lambeth and Gary Mason. Voting against the action were Board Vice Chair Emily Coltrane and member Todd Cutler who both first introduced a motion to keep the book in the schools. This first motion was defeated by a 2-5 vote.

Poor Ricky Diaz is in over his head.

While reading this article, about a six page letter from the Legislative Black Caucus to NCDHHS Sec. Wos, demanding answers for the department's many public missteps of late, a couple of things jumped out at me.

First, this:

For the first time in weeks, DHHS Spokesperson Ricky Diaz talked to ABC11 on camera. Diaz got one of those raises -- more than $20,000. We asked him about that and other complaints lodged against the department.

Jon Camp: How do you justify some of those salary increases including your own?

"The secretary, when she walked into the department, walked into a leadership team which was vacant," said Diaz.

In Randolph County the chickens are coming home to roost.

Randolph County is one of the most Republican leaning counties in North Carolina. It should come as no surprise that our entire delegation to the General Assembly is Tea Party red through and through. They aren't just Republicans, these are partisan, hardcore Republicans.

You might recall that in this year's budget community colleges took a substantial cut in funding.

The President of Randolph Community College says he’s changing his tune when it comes to asking state legislators for money.

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