Daily dose

And that was all she wrote:

9:15 p.m. Secretary Susan Kluttz Comments on Resignation of Valerie Macon as Poet Laurearte (N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Release) -- Valerie Macon, recently appointed North Carolina's poet laureate, resigned from the position today stating in her letter that she does not want, "the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of Poet Laureate." "I am saddened by this entire situation," said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources. "I met with Valerie Macon and was very impressed with her passion to use her talent to combat homelessness. I am sorry that she became the focus of disingenuous comments that she did not deserve. I pledge to her and to all artists, both new and experienced, that this department will do all we can to support their creativity."

NC's new poet laureate resigns amid criticism (Wilmington Star-News) -- Less than a week after she was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, Valerie Macon resigned Thursday as North Carolina's poet laureate. The move followed a week of controversy after reporters learned that Macon had produced only two chapbooks (poetry pamphlets of 40 pages or less), both self-published through a small press in Sylva. Other poets and academics had denounced the appointment.

Controversial poet laureate resigns (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Valerie Macon, whose appointment as North Carolina poet laureate sparked outrage among the state’s writerly class, has resigned from the post less than a week after Gov. Pat McCrory appointed her. Macon could not be reached for comment Thursday night. But she released a statement thanking McCrory and “the many individuals” she said supported her. “I do not want the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of the Poet Laureate,” she wrote. Macon was the eighth person and third woman to hold the poet laureate title since 1948. She was to serve a two-year term and conduct workshops and readings while earning a stipend between $5,000 and $15,000. But controversy erupted over the appointment because of the thinness of Macon’s resume in contrast to past laureates, and misrepresentations on her website (which was taken down over the weekend after debate heated up).

Uproar: Self-published poet laureate in NC resigns (AP) — North Carolina's poet laureate resigned Thursday, less than a week after her appointment as criticism of the governor for choosing a writer with just two self-published books of poems continued.

7:15 p.m. North Carolina poet laureate resigns (WTVD-TV) -- The newly appointed North Carolina poet laureate has stepped down from her position effective immediately. Last week, Gov. Pat McCrory chose Valerie Macon, of Fuquay-Varina, to serve a two-year term as poet laureate. ( Read Macon's resignation letter here. ) Macon is a disability examiner for the state with two self-published books of poetry and a dedication to helping the homeless.

7:00 p.m. NC's newly named poet laureate resigns amid criticism (WRAL-TV) -- North Carolina's poet laureate is resigning amid criticism of the governor for choosing a writer with just two self-published books.
Read more at http://www.wral.com/news/local/asset_gallery/13125609/#b4HpRjaO1l4MoIq3.99

NC poets laureate hope to meet with governor (AP) — North Carolina's four previous poets laureate offered Thursday to meet with the governor about the process used to select the most recent person to hold the high-profile post, who has self-published two books of poetry. "We appreciate his willingness to look into the process," outgoing poet laureate Joseph Bathanti said. "And we would welcome an opportunity to sit and talk about what poets laureate have done historically in this state for its citizens, not just for other poets." At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory said he would review the process used to select Valerie Macon of Fuquay-Varina as poet laureate. His staff, he said, recommended poets, and he selected from among those people. Macon is a disability examiner for the state whose poems reflect her interest in helping the homeless.

Green groups object to Duke Energy’s ending its Dan River cleanup (Triad Business Journal) -- Environmentalists dispute Duke Energy's claim to be finished cleaning the Dan River after removing 6 percent of the coal ash spilled in in February.

EPA: Duke done dredging coal ash from NC river (AP) — Duke Energy has completed removal of large pockets of coal ash from the Dan River months after a massive spill at a North Carolina power plant, federal environmental officials said Thursday.

NC, Va. groups to monitor coal ash in Dan River (AP) — Two water protection groups say they'll continue to monitor the Dan River to identify coal ash from a massive spill in North Carolina that flowed into Virginia.

Coal Ash Remains But Duke Energy "Completes" Cleanup (WFMY-TV) -- Coal Ash might still be in the Dan River, but as far as the EPA and Duke Energy are concerned, cleanup is done -- for now.

8 Most Interesting Second-Quarter Fundraising Reports (National Journal) -- Trouble With the Day Job—Thom Tillis, N.C. Republican: Weary of long legislative records, both parties run fewer state-level lawmakers for Congress than they used to, even though they do have pluses, especially campaign connections and experience. Tillis, the state House speaker, highlighted another drawback with his most recent fundraising report, which showed $1.6 million raised in the second quarter while Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan raised $3.6 million. Tillis is stuck in an extended state legislative session that's causing GOP infighting and keeping him from full-time campaigning. He'll be out soon enough and there's plenty of outside money in North Carolina to help him along, but it's another example of how state legislatures can interfere with congressional campaigns.

Rising populism is altering the identities of both parties (Naitonal Journal) -- When you combine disenchanged New Deal Democrats with broad-based anger at Washington, the simultaneously reinvigorated populist movements on the left and right are creating volatility in our political system that has few precedents. This is not just giving establishmentarians headaches; it's also playing havoc with pollsters and strategists who are seeing odd voter-turnout patterns in primary elections such as the one in Virginia's 7th Congressional District (a contributing factor to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's reelection loss), while in general-election polling, independent and third-party candidates are pulling larger numbers than is normally the case. In North Carolina's Senate race, for instance, Libertarian Sean Haugh, who delivers pizzas for a living, may draw votes from Thom Tillis, the Republican challenger, as well as from Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan; in four recent polls, Haugh has registered 8 percent or more. With both sides pounding their opponents mercilessly with negative advertising, the "pox on both your houses" sentiment seems to be gaining currency all across the country. Voters are in an ugly and angry mood, and they're behaving differently as a result. Nobody knows exactly what it will ultimately mean, but "disruptive" is certainly a good term for the shifting loyalties and alignments the populist resurgence may bring.

Hagan talking on contraception legislation (AP) — North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan is speaking out with abortion-rights activists at her side to promote legislation seeking to override a Supreme Court ruling last month on birth control. Hagan was scheduled to hold a Raleigh news conference Friday with Planned Parenthood members to discuss a bill she helped introduce but failed to advance in Washington this week.

Martin looks to bring experience to bear as chief justice (Kinston Free Press) -- Former Pitt County, appeals court judge serving 15th year on state Supreme Court

Stage set for 5th Congressional District race (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The results will not be official until the canvass next week, but the stage is set for this fall’s 5th Congressional District race after Josh Brannon won a Democratic second primary on Tuesday with nearly 66 percent of the votes.

Americans for Prosperity to add 2 new states (Washington Post) -- The group has 400 field operatives in 33 states, and it aims to spend more than $125 million on this year’s elections.

One-candidate super PACs now essential for viability (Washington Post) -- Since the entities came into being in 2010, they have become essential in down-ballot House races.

2014 quest to get single women to the polls (LA Times) -- The 2014 quest to get single women to the polls. It has been nearly a month since the Supreme Court handed down its Hobby Lobby decision, yet the issue has remained at the top of the political news now for weeks -- a key facet in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate. To explain that, look no further than the research by the Voter Participation Center into the voting trends for single women in midterm elections. Though single women make up a growing share of the electorate — nearly 4.2 million became eligible to cast ballots since 2008 — they turn out in far lower numbers in midterm elections than presidential contests.

Rep. Ellmers ahead of Aiken in fundraising in 2nd Congressional District (Fayetteville Observer) -- Rep. Renee Ellmers edged out challenger Clay Aiken in campaign fundraising during the most recent reporting period.

Republicans choose candidate to replace Fulghum in state Senate race (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State Senate District 15 Republican Party executive committee members on Thursday evening selected a John M. Alexander to run for the retiring Sen. Neal Hunt’s seat. Alexander replaces Rep. Jim Fulghum who had to withdraw from the race after being diagnosed with cancer.

SHORT SESSION, DAY 66: Overtime 18 $900,000
$50,000 a day, but do you care? (WRAL-TV) -- As lawmakers continue to snarl at each other over the state budget in the July swelter, predictions that the state House and Senate would wrap up their summer session by the end of June look laughably optimistic in hindsight. While concerns inside the Legislative Building might be trend toward running through the available supply of seersucker and ruined vacation plans, it's less clear whether it registers with anyone outside of Raleigh that lawmakers are hanging about the capitol longer than expected. "Nobody cares," said Steve Greene, a political scientist at N.C. State University. People might care about what laws legislators pass, especially if those laws affect their daily lives, but the timetable doesn't really matter. Even the message that it costs $50,000 extra per day to run the legislature when the General Assembly is in session doesn't seem to hit home with a population that's not really clear on how long lawmakers should be in session anyway.

NC Agencies Spend Cautiously As Budget Haggling Continues (WFAE-FM) -- It’s already two weeks into the fiscal year and North Carolina’s budget is still up in the air. The state Senate today proposed a new compromise with House lawmakers that would offer eight percent average pay raises for teachers. That’s down from the Senate’s original eleven percent proposal. The House and Senate have also disagreed on Medicaid funding. It all means state agencies are currently spending money with caution. … Art Pope, the state budget director, has advised departments to look at spending levels laid out in the House and Senate plans. Whichever plan has the most cuts, he tells them to expect that much money.

N.C. Senate proposes incentive fund to lure manufacturing companies (Wilmington Star-News) -- A measure proposed by N.C. Senate Republicans would provide substantial new financial incentives that could help close deals to bring large manufacturing companies to the state. The proposal would create a Job Catalyst Fund that would provide state grants to local governments in their bids to attract large projects that create hundreds of jobs. “This is a closing fund that gives us some flexibility when we are in negotiations for significant projects,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said Thursday. “When you get to the end of negotiations, you need flexibility.”

NC spent tens of millions on Common Core (WRAL-TV) -- North Carolina has invested tens of millions of dollars to implement the Common Core academic standards that could eventually be abandoned in public schools statewide. State lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to legislation calling for the controversial standards to be repealed and replaced by standards drafted by a new state commission. Gov. Pat McCrory has said he plans to sign the bill. The repeal effort was backed by angry parents – mostly conservatives – who said the national English and math standards aren't appropriate. Since 2010, when the state started preparing for Common Core, the Department of Public Instruction has spent $66 million in professional development for the 100,000 math and language arts teachers responsible for getting students to meet the standards.

Senate's idea to reform NC Medicaid OK'd by panel (AP) — The Senate's idea of Medicaid reform in North Carolina cleared a hurdle Thursday in the chamber despite redoubled opposition from several medical organizations and Gov. Pat McCrory's administration, which prefer a House plan.

Some Medical Experts Raise Concerns Over Senate's Medicaid Proposal (TWCN-TV) -- The Senate's new proposal that would shift costs to providers and non-provider care organizations passed in committee on Thursday and now moves on to the floor for debate.

Senate Measure Overhauling Medicaid Headed For A Vote (WUNC-FM) – An effort by the state Senate to overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid program is headed for a vote in the chamber next week. The proposal would allow both provider-led and managed care plans to serve patients who qualify for the health insurance program. Senate leaders say their plan would help control costs. It would also create an entirely new department to oversee Medicaid in the state, headed by a corporate-like board. Republican Sen. Louis Pate is a sponsor of the measure.

NC Senate Medicaid overhaul moves forward (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A proposal to overhaul Medicaid is on its way to a vote of the full Senate, carried out of committee Thursday on a wave of praise by the managed care industry and questions about its impact on existing programs.

Vote delayed on Senate bill that could stop sales tax hike (Charlotte Observer) -- A bill that could scuttle Mecklenburg County’s planned referendum on raising the sales tax was delayed Thursday when Republican senators couldn’t agree on the proposed wording.

NC Senate delays local sales tax bill . (AP) — A proposal to streamline sales taxes in North Carolina while preventing counties from collecting extra revenues simultaneously for education and public transportation has been put off in the Senate until at least next week.

UNC Charlotte can raise $129 million for capital improvements (Charlotte Observer) -- UNC Charlotte is one of six institutions in the UNC system that will benefit from a new bill signed earlier this month that paves the way for $129 million worth of campus improvements. The renovations, a UNCC spokesman said, will cater to the growing number of students who choose to live on campus and prepare for 30 percent enrollment growth over the next six years. The money will be generated by an increase in student fees, grants and other fundraising efforts. Neither tuition nor appropriated taxpayer funds from the state’s General Fund will be used for the improvements.

Senate proposes incentive fund to lure manufacturing companies (Wilmington Star-News) -- The proposal would create a Job Catalyst Fund that would provide state grants to local governments in their bids to attract large projects that create hundreds of jobs. The state Senate proposed the establishment of a closing fund that could help North Carolina recruit large-scale economic development projects by allowing it to match incentives offered by other states. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said she expects the fund would need to be in the $20 million to $30 million range.

Crowdfunding bill skates past Senate committee (Triangle Business Journal) -- A crowdfunding measure that's already met with House approval just got a Senate committee nod.

Lawmakers move to put N.C. in line with Supreme Court ruling (Wilmington Star-News) -- That could affect a handful of North Carolina inmates on death row whose sentences could be commuted

GOP senators split over NC license plate camera bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina law enforcement agencies are increasingly using the latest technology to take roadside snapshots of license plates in order to catch wanted criminals and other suspected violators. A bill would regulate them for the first time.

Happy Birthday to the Gerry in 'Gerrymandering' (Voter Update Magazine) -- On this day in 1744, Elbridge Gerry was born in the coastal town of Marblehead, Mass. Some 270 years later and 700 miles away, his name still resonates in North Carolina elections.

PETA claims new Possum Drop law illegal (WRAL-TV) -- Animal rights advocates maintain that legislators improperly granted a regulatory loophole to a Clay County business last month to allow it to conduct its annual Possum Drop on New Year's Eve.

Possible deception worries USDA (Greensboro News & Record) -- It seeks explanation after learning Guilford may have tried to hide earlier backlog of cases.

ECU looks to cover shortfalls (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- East Carolina University officials continue to look for ways to cover budget shortfalls in the coming years, including in its medical practice.

EC-Pasquotank loses third of secondary math teachers (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- Ten secondary-level math teachers either retired or resigned from the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools in a three-month period, and the district is currently working to fill those openings.

NC school vouchers may flow before court hearing (AP) — Taxpayer money for private or religious school tuition may start flowing to North Carolina families before a judge rules whether the program is legal.

Wilmington's Swirl Films moves to Atlanta, citing better incentives (Triangle Business Journal) -- Swirl Films, founded in Wilmington by Eric Tomosunas, has formed a new Georgia company, Swirl Entertainment Group, and moved.

Swirl Films announces entertainment group development in Atlanta (Wilmington Star-News) -- Tomosunas founded the Wilmington-based Swirl Films in 2008, but will now be in Atlanta full-time.

McCrory’s opposition to film incentives firm even after studio visit (WWAY-TV) -- Film industry supporters have been critical of Gov. Pat McCrory not answering their plea to meet with the film industry during visits to Wilmington as the debate over film incentives continues. Today that changed. Gov. McCrory was a few minutes late to his scheduled visit to the Corning plant in Wilmington today. He said it's because he was touring EUE/Screen Gems studios. The governor said he met with a casting director and toured some sets. McCrory jokingly told the crowd gathered at Corning for the NC Business Committee for Education's regional meeting that he'd be cast in the TV show "Sleepy Hollow," which shoots at Screen Gems and around Wilmington. McCrory said his visit did not change his stance on North Carolina's film incentives, which are set to expire at the end of the year.

Governor meets with film industry reps, tours production (Wilmington Star-News) -- Gov. Pat McCrory met with representatives of the film industry Thursday during a visit to Wilmington, something local crew members and industry leaders have asked him to do for weeks. McCrory toured EUE Screen Gems studios Thursday and said afterward he was impressed by all the sets of familiar shows. Speaking to a gathering of the N.C. Business Committee for Education at the Corning Inc. plant, he quipped that he didn't know whether he was inside the dome or outside it, referring to the locally filmed TV series "Under the Dome." The studio tour made him late to the afternoon gathering of the nonprofit organization of corporate experts who collaborate with the state's leaders on education. The governor toured the sets of Fox's "Sleepy Hollow," CBS's "Under the Dome" and ABC's "Secrets and Lies."

Governor makes unscheduled stop at film studio (Port City Daily) -- Two weeks after a Wilmington visit that did not include a stop at the film studios as requested, Gov. Pat McCrory stopped by EUE/Screen Gems Studios today while in town to tour the Corning plant and attend a regional meeting of the N.C. Business Committee for Education. Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, was out of town at the time and said he could not comment on “the content or the quality” of the governor’s visit, though he did confirm that the visit took place. A call to Bill Vassar, executive vice president of EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, was answered by a receptionist who said a statement would be released today.

Gov. McCrory tours Screen Gems studios (WECT-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory made a last-minute visit to Screen Gems studios Thursday after catching heat from film industry workers for not going there during a trip to Wilmington two weeks ago. The only publically announced event for the governor's latest trip to the Port City was a meeting with area business leaders at Corning. McCrory apologized for being late to that event, telling the group he had been touring the movie studio. "The governor's people said he has some extra time between meetings and wanted to stop by," said Bill Vassar, Screen Gems executive vice president, who said he received a call just after lunch. "It was an unexpected but welcome surprise. The governor wanted to see the studio, meet members of the crew and better understand our industry."

McCrory Addresses NC Business Committee for Education (TWCN-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory traveled to Wilmington Thursday, where he spoke to the North Carolina Business Committee for Education That's a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that aims to increase student achievement in the state. The governor addressed a wide-range of issues, including his goals for educating students and the state's economic recovery. He also said he's a supporter of film incentives and disagreed with critics who say he's refused to visit local film productions. "That's actually not true. I've seen, I've actually been in some of the productions in the last 15 to 20 years, and of course being the mayor of the City of Charlotte, we were very active in the film industry. And I got to see the studio here firsthand, and we had wonderful conversations," said Gov. Pat McCrory.

Lassiter: N.C. economic devolopment partnership to start with 25-30 workers (Triad Business Journal) -- ​The N.C. Department of Commerce is in a state of transition with most of its business recruiting and marketing functions being moved to the new non-profit Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina that was signed into law in June.

Advocates Push for Medicaid Breastfeeding Support Coverage (N.C. Health News) -- The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force is pushing for an initiative to have Medicaid cover medical lactation support services.

Suspects in NC museum theft turn themselves in (AP) — State Capitol Police say two people wanted in the theft of a baby dinosaur replica from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences have turned themselves in.

HELP ME RHONDA? Amid controversy ex-Wake school board member Goldman resigns new position (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former Wake County school board member Debra Goldman has resigned her position as a member of the Ronda Board of Commissioners.

NC safe surrender law meant to aid unwanted babies (AP) -- As the district attorney awaits a final autopsy report before deciding whether to file charges in the death of a newborn found buried in a backyard, people involved in an earlier case that led to North Carolina's safe surrender law say young mothers always have options.

Greensboro, 2 colleges to join in safety program (AP) — The N.C. Department of Transportation is partnering with the City of Greensboro and two local universities in a campaign that focuses on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

PETA challenges new Possum Drop law (AP) — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed another lawsuit in its effort to stop the use of a wild opossum as part of a New Year's Eve celebration in the North Carolina mountains.

Familiar face will guide Imperial, Lorillard integration (Triad Business Journal) -- Martin Orlowsky, the former head of Lorillard and a longtime tobacco executive, has joined Imperial Tobacco Group to lead its enlarged U.S. business.

2 arrested for operating unlicensed NC day care (AP) — A Hickory woman whose husband is facing a felony sex charge involving a child has been arrested for running an unlicensed day care where police say the incident occurred.

Shipwreck's gold inventory released (AP) — Deep-sea explorers recovered millions of dollars in gold and silver and a slew of personal items that are a virtual time capsule of the California Gold Rush, according to newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Associated Press that provide the first detailed inventory of a treasure trove being resurrected from an 1857 shipwreck at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Congressmen push NCSU on case of flawed research (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The two House members say NCSU hasn't done enough to correct the record. Chancellor Randy Woodson says it's up to a scientific journal.

Nation’s Oldest Public University Embraces Modern Technologies (Rocky Mountain Institute) -- The University of North Carolina’s 17 campuses, extending from the mountains to the coast, are as diverse as the state’s terrain. However, there is one thing they all share—recognition of the importance of greater adoption of renewable energy on their campuses. UNC, the oldest public university in the nation, is embracing modern technologies to fulfill its commitment to the state’s environmental health and the efficient use of energy. UNC recently sent a team to RMI’s eLab Accelerator to learn how it can employ more renewable energy on its campuses. The UNC team believes that energy-related innovations transcend ideology, representing a broad range of benefits for the state and all of its citizens.

After GOP eliminates funding, nascent industry wonders (Environment & Energy Daily) -- A year, ago Steven Burke's life was very different. He was the president of the North Carolina Center for Biofuels, the nation's only state-funded center devoted to researching and developing advanced biofuels. He managed a staff of about 15 and a budget of about $4 million a year, using the resources to provide grants, conduct research and woo the world's first maker of cellulosic biofuels into the state. But the state's Republican-led Legislature last July abruptly zeroed out the funding in its state budget, forcing the center to shut its doors. There are signs that the Tar Heel State is moving forward with biofuels, but Burke and other former leaders of the center, who say their endeavor was swept up in a broader vendetta against renewable energy, worry that its closure has done lasting damage to a nascent industry. "I am profoundly regretful that North Carolina has probably lost enormous opportunity to have national leadership in an emerging new sector," said Burke, who was a longtime state leader in biotechnology before taking over the center's leadership in 2009. "Enormously regretful."

N.C. Coastal Resources Commission Science Panel To Meet July 21; Seal Level Rise Study on Agenda (N.C. Political News) -- The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel will meet from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. July 21 in New to start discussing an update of the panel’s 2010 sea-level rise study report and Bern to discuss the CRC’s study of inlet hazard areas. The panel will meet at the Craven County Cooperative Extension, 300 Industrial Drive, New Bern. The meeting is open to the public, and members of the public are welcome to speak during a comment period scheduled for 2:45 p.m. The panel provides scientific advice to the state Coastal Resources Commission. It was created by the CRC in 1997, and is composed of coastal engineers and geologists.

North Carolina part of bat conservation study (Fayetteville Observer) -- North Carolina will receive a portion of $5.6 million in grants through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Public To Comment On Fracking Rules -- Hearings In Raleigh, Sanford, Reidsville (WUNC-FM) -- The N.C. commission that is drafting rules for hydraulic fracturing will host public comment hearings next month. Members of the Mining and Energy Commission have spent nearly two years writing more than 120 rules. They cover issues including where drilling companies can frack and whether they have to disclose the chemicals they use in the process. Amy Pickle, the commission's rules chairwoman, says she expects plenty of comments on whether fracking should happen at all.

Who owns mineral rights on your property? Questions triggered by NC fracking hopes (Carolina Public Press) -- As the state tests for natural gas deposits, some Jackson County property owners are fretting about decades-old decisions to sell mineral rights.

Judges rebuff Obama over Chinese firm's purchase of wind farms (McClatchy Newspapers) -- A federal appeals court Tuesday issued a landmark ruling that weakened President Barack Obama's ability to block foreign firms' purchase of American companies on national security grounds. A three-judge panel of U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Obama violated the constitutional due process rights of Chinese-owned Ralls Corp. in a September 2012 order voiding its purchase of an Oregon wind-farm company.

Coastal Sketch: John Runkle (Coastal Review) -- Meet John Runkle, an environmental attorney and the only person to serve on the N.C. Coastal Federation's board of directors for all 32 years.

US House and Senate maintain support for Beaufort laboratory (Raleigh News & Observer) -- After an initial proposal to close the Beaufort Marine Laboratory, funding has been secured in both US House and Senate bills. But the two versions differ in protections for the lab.

Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions (New York Times) -- While many have howled about complying with a proposed rule slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Minnesota has been reining in its utilities’ carbon pollution for decades.

Duke Energy Carolinas slips in customer survey (Charlotte Observer) -- Duke Energy Carolinas, which serves the Charlotte region, slipped in this year’s J.D. Power and Associates customer-satisfaction survey of electric utility residential customers.

Give McCrory credit for clearing NC pipes of clog-producing elitists (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- You have to give Gov. Pat McCrory credit: He’s doing everything he can to stamp out elitism in our state. Given how many years we’ve spent having people do jobs they were educated and trained for – ending up with nothing but one of the fastest-growing economies and best places to live in the nation – it seems like a worthy experiment. His most recent attack on the “elite” came when he appointed to the position of poet laureate someone who apparently has never published a poem she didn’t pay for. He said one of his goals is to “open up opportunities for people that aren’t always a part of the standard or even elite groups that have been in place for a long time.” And you can’t disagree; he has demonstrated that time and again since his inauguration. Sure, you can point out that a good thing for inexperienced poets to do is practice writing poems, but that would be like suggesting that inexperienced, say, actors should, oh, I don’t know, practice acting. When of course commonsensical anti-elitism says that what you should do is give them Academy Awards rather than keep giving the prizes to the same old Meryl Streeps and Daniel Day-Lewises who have been clogging up the ranks for so long.

Tea party’s victory over Berger Jr. sets up interesting 6th District contest (Raleigh News & Observer) -- There was a disbelieving sigh in some Republican corners in North Carolina with the news that Phil Berger Jr. had lost a Republican primary runoff for Congress.

Not exactly poetry in motion (Burlington Times-News) -- A lot of fire-breathing discontent emerged this past week over a still-smoldering issue that is once more emblematic of the political and cultural divide among us these days. We give you, the poet laureate flap. Come again? Sigh.

YOU DECIDE: What are the gains and gaps in our economy? (NCSU Mike Walden Column) -- Now let’s come home to North Carolina’s economy. … Jobs at businesses (payroll employment) have also increased a little quicker than nationally since the recession ended, and our unemployment rates are close to national levels. … Since the state’s job market began improving in 2010, job growth has been fastest in both higher-paying jobs, like professional and finance positions, and lower-paying jobs, such as those in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Job growth has been slowest in middle-paying jobs, like manufacturing and construction. … In four of the last five years average wage rates – adjusted for inflation – have fallen in North Carolina. So even if a person has a job, if the wage rate hasn’t keep up with rising prices, then his or her standard of living is moving back rather than ahead. … So how will North Carolina finish 2014? … The unemployment rate could dip below 5 percent in fast-growing areas like Asheville and the Triangle. Yet there will be plenty of economic gaps. Many of the jobs created will be low-paying, and most workers will see little or no gain in their hourly earnings. Many people will still have to accept part-time work even though they want to work full-time. And the economic improvement won’t be spread evenly across our state. Several areas will still have jobless rates of 7 percent or higher.

Academic Fraud, Athletes and Faculty Responsibility (Inside Higher Ed column) -- As the NCAA reopens its investigation of UNC, professors must take more seriously the threat that academic wrongdoing poses to their institutions, write Gerald Gurney and Mary Willingham.

Race and Voting Rights (New York Times column) -- While there is no dispute that “the overt racism of the 1960s is largely a thing of the past,” it is also true that in far too many places affected by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision voiding a critical section of the Voting Rights Act, racial discrimination continues to flourish. One of the indignities of discrimination is the insistence on simply reducing it to “feelings.” But it is a matter of fact, not perception, that all of North Carolina’s voting provisions disproportionately affect racial minorities. Whether local officials are “shocked” by allegations of racial motives is beside the point. Those who believe that discrimination in voting is wrong will stand up and support efforts to move the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act forward. On the other hand, those who remain silent cannot credibly claim to support access to that fundamental right for all.

Don't throw out foundation of the 'Common Core’ (Wilmington Star-News) -- Back to square one. After giving students and teachers just two years to work within the Common Core Standards, our visionary band of lawmakers has voted to throw the whole thing out and start over. Gov. Pat McCrory says he’ll sign the bill, which directs education officials and a newly created “advisory commission” to adopt new K-12 standards. The Honorables promise that the new guidelines will be just as challenging. (Trust them.) Meanwhile, millions of dollars and thousands of hours spent by school districts and teachers are out the window.

common core (Greensboro News & Record) -- Afraid of a ‘federal takeover of education,’ North Carolina rejects national standards. The replacement will be similar.

Taking a look at motel tax issue (Wilson Times) -- You may be familiar with the saying about the word “assume” — what “you” and “me” might become when one assumes.

Lawmakers confused about Medicaid reform should hold off on changes (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The end of a short legislative session is no time to engage in wholesale change in Medicaid for North Carolina.

Is chicken plant right for Cumberland County? (Fayetteville Observer) -- A giant slaughterhouse processing a million-plus chickens a week may not be what Cumberland County officials had in mind

Much more than footnote to history (Charlotte Observer column) -- One spring day in 2008, while I was in Nashville, Tenn., to teach a class of aspiring editorial writers at the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center, John Seigenthaler drove up with a passenger. That passenger was Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy’s widow.



Poet laureate resignation

If Susan Kluttz is "saddened by this entire situation", she needs to blame her boss, not the people who pointed out her boss's serious breach of protocol and lack of judgment.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014




ask ol' Mike-iavelli how much he's raked in from his colossal swindle, and who he has bullied lately, and whether he found the last 50 years of climate change data.

If this doesn't make sense (Rip knows what we're talking about), review Hager the Horrible's entry in the NC Hall of Shame.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014