Saturday News: Here we go again


HURRICANE ISAIAS ON TRACK TO HIT NC MONDAY: Category 1 Hurricane Isaias’ winds strengthened overnight to 85 mph as the storm continued on track to be “near or over” North Carolina early next week, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters remain divided on whether the storm will make landfall as it reaches the East Coast, but the storm’s track appears to be shifting “a bit more west,” forecasters said. The eastern half of North Carolina is now forecast to see tropical storm force winds starting around 8 a.m. Monday. Up to four inches of rain are possible through Monday, while a few southeastern coastal counties could see as much as six inches, the National Hurricane Center says.

Democracy is calling: Poll workers desperately needed for 2020 Election


Add this to your list of critical essential workers during this pandemic:

Many county elections directors started recruiting poll workers earlier than normal, are using new recruitment strategies, have increased pay and are partnering with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, political parties and voter rights groups to find people to work the election.

Officials anticipate a shortage of poll workers could cause longer lines, last-minute precinct closures and voter confusion. That was the case in Georgia and Wisconsin, where poll worker shortages during primaries caused precinct closures, hours-long lines and disenfranchised voters.

While it's true that absentee by-mail voting is going to increase substantially this year (the more the better), we're still only talking about maybe 1/3 of all votes. We need, now more than ever, properly-staffed and prolific early voting locations, and poll workers for all the precinct voting sites. The fact that many county BOEs have had their budgets cut due to a major drop in local revenues merely exacerbates a problem we knew we were going to have, since elderly volunteers usually make up the bulk of election workers, people who are extremely vulnerable to COVID 19:

Friday News: Environmental injustice

MASSIVE GROWTH IN POULTRY FARMS PLAGUE NC'S MINORITY COMMUNITIES: Environmental groups that mapped poultry operations in the state found the quickest growth in poultry operations from 2012 to 2019 was in counties with substantial Black, Latino and Native American populations. A report released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group and the Waterkeeper Alliance estimates that numbers of chickens and turkeys in Robeson, Sampson, and Duplin counties grew 36%, from 83 million to 113 million, with the fastest growth in Robeson. Excluding those three counties, the number of chickens and turkeys grown on industrial farms grew 17%, the report said. The environmental groups called for more oversight of poultry operations, starting with how they manage the millions of tons of waste produced each year.


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