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New DENR head imitating Skvarla

Donald van der Vaart pens whining response to criticism:

The recent op-ed “Assault on N.C. Environment” (April 19 Viewpoint) ignores facts and fails to recognize North Carolina’s commitment to bettering our environment. DENR is proud of the policies and modernization that have dramatically improved the quality of life for all North Carolinians. The facts show the author’s assertions are wrong. Here’s why.

North Carolinians breathe cleaner air today than any time in more than 25 years. Ozone levels in North Carolina are the lowest on record and toxic air emissions have decreased by more than 80 percent since 2000 despite a 50 percent growth in population and a two-thirds increase in vehicle miles traveled in the same period.

That improvement in air quality was the result of our moderately aggressive Air Toxics rules, but thanks to the "policies and modernization" of the current leadership you're so proud of, those rules have been gutted and higher levels of toxins (including asbestos and arsenic) are now being allowed:

Daily dose: The NC GOP and Leandro don't mix version

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Manning orders July 21 hearing on Leandro (EdNC) -- Superior Court Judge Howard Manning issued a notice of hearing and order in the Leandro case. A hearing will be held from Tuesday, July 21 at 10am through Thursday, July 23 in Courtroom 10-A of the Wake County Courthouse. “The purpose of this hearing is for the Court to review a definite plan of action from the State of North Carolina as to how the State of North Carolina intends to correct the educational deficiencies in the student population,” Manning said in his order. The State Board of Education has been directed to develop a plan by June 30.
https://www.ednc.org/2015/04/25/judge-manning-issues-notice-of-hearing-and-order-in-leandro/

NCDP takes big leap forward

Saturday was a big day for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Many of you may have heard about the fundraiser being held in Charlotte - the Sanford Hunt Frye dinner. As Democrats from across the state gathered for the gala, a much smaller group of 38 members of the Executive Council met earlier in the day to conduct the party's business. Several important decisions were made - all of which move the party forward.

Charlotte police declare open season on shooting suspects

When your lawyer and the DA are friends, it's all good:

Even though Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Anthony Holzhauer was represented by the same law firm, Murray did not recuse himself. He ruled this month that Holzhauer was justified when he shot and killed 20-year-old Janisha Fonville in her north Charlotte apartment. The decision meant Holzhauer will not face criminal charges.

Legal scholars contacted by the Observer said Murray’s ties to his former firm pose the appearance of a conflict of interest and that Murray should have removed himself from the Fonville case.

Heck, at least in Ferguson there was a Grand Jury, even if it did work to convict the victim posthumously. In this situation, one man gets to decide not to prosecute a client of the firm that funded his election campaign. In the excerpt below, there are two gaping inconsistencies that reveal Murray's poor judgment. See if you can spot them, the answer will be in the comment section:

Daily dose: The Lt. Gov. of extremism edition

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Open letter sent in support of 'religious freedom' bill (AP) — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, disregarding sentiments expressed by fellow Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, joined several faith leaders in writing an open letter to elected officials in support of a so-called "religious freedom" bill.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/open-letter-sent-in-support-of-religious-freedom-b...

Daily dose: "Well, duh, that's the whole point!" edition

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Commercial Exposing Animal Cruelty at NC Farms Deemed "Too Graphic" (Public News Service) -- The Humane Society of the United States recently submitted a commercial to select TV stations across the state, highlighting why it opposes so-called ag-gag legislation (SB 433/HB 405) to punish whistleblowers on factory farms. "Animal cruelty at Butterball and Pilgrim factory farms in North Carolina, exposed by these undercover, whistle-blower videos,” the commercial reads. “Animals buried alive, kicked and beaten." At least two Charlotte TV stations rejected the ad, which includes images of poultry treatment on North Carolina farms. The stations called the ad too graphic.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-04-23/animal-welfare/commercial-exposing-animal-cruelty-at-nc-...

Religious discrimination bill stalls in NC House

Unfortunately, it's all about the Benjamins:

“For this session, the bill is not going to move,” Moore said during a hastily called news conference. “This bill in its current format, at the current time, is not the proper path to go.”

It came a day after the bill apparently divided House Republicans, who discussed it in a private caucus meeting. The measure had drawn opposition from businesses, including IBM and American Airlines. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory had also expressed reservations.

Don't get me wrong, I'm encouraged by the fact that powerful corporate entities opposed this measure. But what if they hadn't? When your elected officials gauge the propriety of a piece of legislation almost exclusively by whether or not it will hurt them come fundraising time, it simply proves their moral compass is spinning madly. That's no way to run a sausage factory.

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