BlueNC is going on vacation

Yes, we are on our way to an exotic locale to enjoy a couple of days of rest and relaxation. The exclusive resort known as Drupal 7 is our ultimate destination and the trip comes complete with little umbrella drinks and gourmet meals served at poolside.

I have given Steve and James the next few days off while I complete the upgrade. If you are an admin, please do not create content during this time. It will not migrate over.

What can you expect when BlueNC returns?

  • a responsive design that makes it easier for you to access, read, and blog on BlueNC whether you are on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device
  • a better text editor that makes it easier to style your blog posts and add images
  • better integration with social media
  • ...and coming soon we will have content collections that make it easier to find the information you are looking for

New Mecklenburg County charter school closing after only four weeks

Last Spring, Student First Academy closed after only 8 months of formal operation as a charter school reportedly because of financial mismanagement. Today, one of 11 new charter schools in Mecklenburg County, Concrete Roses STEM Academy, has told parents it is shutting its doors after only four weeks of operation. The Charlotte Observer is reporting the suspected reason is insolvency, however, there is no indication it is due to mishandling of funds.

Concrete Roses STEM was one of 11 charter schools approved by the state a year ago for the 2014-15 school year. At the time of its application, the school’s anticipated enrollment was one of the largest for proposed charters in Mecklenburg, with 2,400 students in grades K-12 expected by its 10th year of operation.

Mark Walker would have no qualms about bombing Mexico

This guy is in two heated contests. First, he wants to be the Congressman representing the 6th District of North Carolina. And second, he's in the running for America's Dumbest Congressional Candidate Ever.

Question: Mr Walker, I want to ask you how you feel about military, using the military to secure our southern border? I know a lot of people holler Posse Comitatus, that's when the military out enforcing local laws, guarding the border is not the same thing. And we've got other people, other countries going, "Why can't we guard our own?"

Walker: Well, my first answer for that is we need to utilize the National Guard as much as we can. But, I will tell you If you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat and if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don't have a problem with that either. So yea, whatever you need to do."

Moderator: "I hope you wouldn't have any qualms about starting up a little war with Mexico."

Walker: "Well, we did it before, if we need to do it again, I don't have a qualm about it."

As a commenter said on YouTube, "the stooopid, it burns."

Before after dark


A note from the Youtubers.

This entire film is a must-see. Get it at https://www.createspace.com/204634. This is one of the best music documentaries ever made - Live at Sing Sing Prison. Producer Harry Wiland and I filmed inside the joint. Scenes include a concert and other behind the scenes stories. This scene presents the amazing Voices of East Harlem. Other scenes involve BB King and Joan Baez, Jimmy Walker and the Voices of East Harlem and other performers.

Behind the scenes at the Voter "Integrity" Project

Land sakes. The big wheels at the so-called Voter Integrity Project are acting like a bunch of Thom Tillis losers. They get called out for questionable activities, and respond with cease-and-desist letters to silence their critics.

The main actors in this drama are Denise Stetter and Jay DeLancy, the communications director and executive director for the Voter Integrity Project respectively. It's a complicated story filled with conspiracy, intrigue, and incompetence, but it's well worth your while to dig through the details to see how the right-wing operates.

One thing you'll want to read is Stetter's original cease-and-desist letter. It's a beauty, hand-crafted with hysteria and hyperbole. Nice work, Ms. Stetter!

And then there's this remarkable transcription of a call between DeLancy and Cherie Poucher of the Wake County Board of Elections. Voice mail? Seriously?

The law says that as long as the voter approves and the judge approves that it’s OK, and I just want to be sure you’re OK with that - - but got a judge - - well, I’ll go ahead and tell you, Denise Stetter, she’s the chief judge over at Kiwanis in North Raleigh, near where we both live - - by Millbrook and Millbrook Exchange, I’m not sure what they call that place now - - the Millbrook Exchange Park. But the - - I think, if she had permission from you, I think she would allow it - - I haven’t even - - I just broached it with her - - but I wanted to talk to you also, just to see what you thought. We wanted to get in there and get a few shots of the interior with some people standing in line - - that are our people wearing masks, because we want to make some imagery, that makes the point that without ID you don’t know who’s voting.

And - - we would really like to have those shots and - - so much easier to do it there with all the right equipment you have rather than, than tryin’ stage it somewhere - - you know, with all the equipment we don’t have like the signage and whatnot - - but of course, that would be another way to do it, to - - you know, in the future like after the election, if you would lend us some of the signs to set up a fake polling station, but I’m wondering - - as dead as it’ll be tomorrow, if we could find a dead spot to bring about 6 or 7 people in there standing in line and get some quick imagery of them all standing there with masks on - - you know, and transacting the deal to vote, and so - - I know it’s off the hook - - but, it is technically it’s just imagery, so I’m thinking, you wouldn’t have to go to the County Board or the State Board for this kind of approval, as long as the - - you know, according to what I’ve read in the law as long as the chief judge and the voter himself approves of the photography - - and - - that’s it

I'm not a lawyer and this isn't a legal opinion, but it would be reasonable to conclude that the Voter Integrity Project is nothing but an ideological front for voter suppression, run by a bunch of morons and scammers. To my knowledge.

Winston Salem Police Department works to protect officers from needlestick injuries

Winston Salem Police Department Works to Protect Officers from Needlestick Injuries
Interview by Tessie Castillo, NCHRC Program and Advocacy Coordinator

On December 1, 2013 a law went into effect in North Carolina that protects law enforcement from accidental needlestick injury and potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis C during searches. HB850/Needlestick Prevention law states that a person cannot be prosecuted for possession of a syringe or other sharp object if the object is declared to a law enforcement officer prior to search. The law was designed after a survey of officers from 67 departments in NC revealed the majority of law enforcement were concerned about needlestick injury and supported a syringe decriminalization law in order to prevent it. But now that the law is in effect, are law enforcement actually using it to protect themselves? And how are they handling the issues of drug residue that is left in a used syringe? I spoke with Sgt David Rose at the Winston Salem Police Department to find out how his department is moving forward to protect officers from needle stick injury.

GOP conquest of NC Supreme Court part of a larger intiative

Chopping away at the Judicial Branch:

The stakes in the political and ideological battle over choosing justices are high: State supreme courts review local courts’ criminal and civil verdicts and the constitutionality of state laws, and about 95 percent of all legal cases are filed in state courts, according to a 2008 report.

More than $3.1 million has been spent this year on television ads in elections already held in Tennessee, Idaho and Arkansas and in a May primary election bid to unseat a North Carolina justice, Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center reported earlier this month. Races in Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Montana, New Mexico and Texas will likely attract millions of political party and special-interest dollars, the groups said.

That number is on the low side, I would think. About half that much was spent here in North Carolina alone in an effort to get rid of Robin Hudson and have two Republicans run for her seat. Low estimates aside, voters should find this trend chilling, if they ponder what it represents: A concerted effort to preserve and protect unconstitutional government actions by Republican legislatures.

Best Educated Cities in America

Forbes is reporting that WalletHub has come out with its list of the 10 Most and Least Educated Cities in America, and NC's RTP has something to crow about:

Raleigh, North Carolina, comes in second, with neighbor Durham, North Carolina right behind it in third place. Provo, Utah, and Manchester, New Hampshire, round out the top five.

How long we will remain on the good end of this list could be problematic with all the cuts being made to our education systems and pressure to turn our university system into something less than world class. WalletHub reports:

Daily dose: Highway robbery edition

CAMPAIGN 2014
Berger campaign changes NC voter ID ad (AP) — Senate leader Phil Berger's campaign on Wednesday changed a television commercial highlighting his role in passing a photo identification requirement to vote in North Carolina after it became the subject of an elections complaint.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/berger-campaign-changes-nc-voter-id-ad-2653637

Berger's campaign backtracks and modifies challenged ad (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The campaign of Senate leader Phil Berger has decided to modify a re-election ad running on TV after the North Carolina NAACP complained it misled voters and could harm turnout at the polls this November. But a spokesman for the Eden Republican on Wednesday maintained the complaint, which the NAACP filed this week with the State Board of Elections, was off-base, erroneous and was at its core just a publicity move.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/17/4159097/bergers-campaign-modifies-challenged.html

Koch-funded TV spots slam Hagan on health-care, VA reform (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A Koch brothers-funded super PAC, formed this year to direct more than $15 million to help free-market candidates in the midterm elections, is launching two TV ads against U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/17/4158476/koch-funded-tv-spots-slam-hagan.html

Gov. Haley invades NC to help Tillis (AP) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is crossing the border to help campaign for fellow Republican and North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis.
http://www.wral.com/gov-haley-crossing-carolina-border-to-help-tillis/13993026/

Christie Wades Into Fight for Senate (Wall Street Journal) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has expanded his role in campaigning for Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, further testing his national appeal in races where the stakes are legislative control of Washington. …. Mr. Christie traveled to North Carolina to campaign for Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis. In March, Mr. Christie headlined a fundraiser for Terri Lynn Land, a Michigan Republican running for Senate. The effort to tip the balance of the Senate represents an expansion of Mr. Christie's work for other Republican governors, as he considers a run for president in 2016. Mr. Christie has traveled to 28 states this year as Republican Governors Association chairman to stump with gubernatorial candidates. The campaigning could further increase his visibility and viability as Mr. Christie seeks to overcome the George Washington Bridge scandal, political analysts said. The Senate contests are marquee match-ups in a year when Republicans could wrest control of Congress for the first time since 2006, and they have largely overshadowed the gubernatorial contests, said Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University.
http://online.wsj.com/articles/christie-wades-into-fight-for-senate-1411002784

Christie and Tillis inside, protesters outside (Lumina News) -- When asked whether he would change his strategy in reaching women voters with his opponent, current U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, polling better among that demographic, Republican Thom Tillis said he would stay the course. “I think we have to stay focused on what Kay Hagan has failed to do and the promises that she has broken,” Tillis said. “Kay Hagan said she was going to go to Washington and be different but she has become part of the Washington establishment.” While Gov. Christie said he was excited about visiting with the protestors gathered outside the front of the restaurant, he and Tillis worked their way through the restaurant meeting supporters before exiting through the rear entrance around 11 a.m.
http://luminanews.com/2014/09/christie-and-tillis-inside-protesters-outside/

NC court candidates talk experience, fairness (AP) — Candidates for the North Carolina Supreme Court are discussing their differences on experience and fairness and the effect outside money has on appellate races.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/nc-court-candidates-talk-experience-fairness/artic...

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