Thursday News: A victory for common sense


AFTER COOPER VETOES "GARBAGE JUICE" BILL, COMPANIES BACK OFF ON USING THE TECHNOLOGY: The aerosolization process theoretically allows the water to evaporate, with the heavier particles of pollution falling back onto the landfill. Environmental groups argue the technology is unproven and could spread contaminants to areas around landfills. Some have even dubbed the liquid "garbage juice," noting it contains bacteria from rotted food and diaper waste as well as heavy metals and other toxic pollutants that have seeped to the bottom and edges of the landfill. Republican legislative leaders have been pushing for years to force the state Department of Environmental Quality to allow the practice, but some waste management companies now say aerosolization doesn't work and they're no longer interested in using it. Waste company Republic Services, which tested the process at a landfill in Lenoir, said this week the trial was a failure. "We have concluded that the technique is not a viable alternative for our liquids management in North Carolina," the company said in a statement. "We have no plans for its future use or application."

UNC OFFICIALS AGREE SILENT SAM SHOULD BE REMOVED, BUT MAY LACK AUTHORITY TO DO SO: UNC-Chapel Hill officials have said they believe it’s in the best interest of campus safety to remove Silent Sam, the Confederate statue that was the site of a massive protest Tuesday night. But they also insist they don’t have the legal authority to take it down, despite Gov. Roy Cooper’s suggestion that an exception in a state law protecting monuments would allow it. UNC asked Cooper to convene the state Historical Commission to consider the matter; Cooper told the university it could take the statue down itself. The disagreement leaves the university at a legal impasse over what to do with Silent Sam. A statement from UNC-CH on Tuesday asked for the public’s patience and cooperation “as we continue to seek clear guidance and legal authority to act.”

SOUTHERN COALITION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE SUBMITS ITS OWN SET OF DISTRICT MAPS: The plaintiffs who successfully challenged the legality of state House and Senate districts say the district maps proposed by lawmakers create more problems than they fix. So, the plaintiffs on Wednesday put forward their own proposed maps. "Based on our initial analysis, your proposed plans do not offer an adequate remedy and do not represent appropriate remedies free from other state and federal constitutional flaws," Anita Earls, executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which represents the plaintiffs in the case, said in a letter to lawmakers. The Senate Redistricting Committee will now meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, while the House Redistricting Committee won't meet until 9:30 a.m. Friday. That could push back floor votes on the maps until next week.

WHITE SUPREMACIST POSTERS PROMOTING VIOLENCE SHOW UP ON TRIANGLE STREETS: Posters spotted in North Carolina cities appear to advocate violence against anti-fascists. Media outlets report that the signs recently began appearing in Durham and Chapel Hill, and say “hospitalize your local antifa scumbag.” It also shows three figures holding weapons. Antifa refers to an anti-fascist group that seeks to fight fascism with direct action. The posters have the initials YWNRU, and the email YouWillNotReplaceUs at protonmail. “You will not replace us” is a white-supremacist slogan. The posters have been spotted on utility poles and near bus stops. City leaders, including Durham City Councilman Charlie Reece, say signs on utility poles are illegal and are asking anyone who sees one to report it.

MATTIS VISITS UKRAINE, CALLS OUT RUSSIA ON MILITARY CONQUESTS THERE: On the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from Moscow, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sharply criticized Russia as an international menace and said the Trump administration will not accept Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. After attending a raucous and colorful independence day parade, Mattis met with President Petro Poroshenko and other top government leaders. He is the first Pentagon chief to visit the former Soviet republic since Robert Gates in 2007. “Have no doubt,” Mattis said at a news conference with Poroshenko. “The United States stands with Ukraine.” He said Washington does not, “and we will not,” accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a 2014 action that was followed by Russian military intervention in support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.