usna77 @
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 2:53pm

Not sure what exactly to make of the failure a few minutes ago of House Bill 1224.

One thing I do know. The economic development part of the bill would have provided some $13 million (depending on which article one reads) to extend and expand natural gas service to Canton, home of the Evergreen Packaging paper mill formerly operated by Champion International. Local news sources, including the Asheville Citizen-Times, are portraying this as a vote against the mountains.

Recent reports claim that nearly 60% of the state's economic development money over the past 5 years has gone to three counties: Mecklenburg, Wake, and Durham. Headline stories have noted $100 million to MetLife, $85 million to the Carolina Panthers, and $36 million to Sealed Air.

usna77 @
Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 11:53am

This week I had a conversation with a friend who owns an environmental services company. His company provides a range of environmental services, including spill response and cleanup under contract to DOT and DENR. Much of his costs are in payroll, and consumable materials like fuel and cleanup supplies. He also has disposal costs. My friend is also a strong Republican.

My friend complained to me that under the new regime in Raleigh, he is having trouble getting paid for his services. He has some invoices to state agencies that are approaching 180 days past due, with DENR telling him they don't have money to pay him for his services.

Small Business
usna77 @
Friday, June 27, 2014 - 9:11am

It seems, from this report by Laura Leslie and Mark Binker, that watching or listening to, and then reacting to, sporting events is perfectly acceptable on Jones Street these days.

A watch party for the World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Germany was held inside the Legislative Building on Thursday, and the shouts of lobbyists and legislative staffers could sometimes be heard inside the House chamber, where lawmakers were plowing through a lengthy calendar.

So, there are World Cup matches scheduled for Monday afternoon, and again Tuesday afternoon. Moral Monday participants should be watching or listening to these matches, and responding with appropriate cheers and jeers.

Moral Monday
usna77 @
Friday, May 30, 2014 - 1:54pm

WRAL is reporting on a provision in the budget that could lead to shutting down Elizabeth City State University.

Could this possibly be related to the election last November of ECSU student Montravias King to the Elizabeth City Council?

Naahhhh they wouldn't possibly pull a stunt like that....would they?

ECSU state budget
usna77 @
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 8:47am

Lake Junaluska residents and property owners (two overlapping groups) have circulated petitions demanding that the state House (specifically Rep. Michelle Presnell R-Yancey) vote on the local bill that has already passed the Senate to allow Lake Junaluska Assembly to be annexed into the Town of Waynesville.

usna77 @
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 4:02pm

The rift between "establishment Republicans" and tea party activists continues to widen in Haywood County. See the report from the Smoky Mountain News April 9 edition.

usna77 @
Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 6:40pm

Now it seems that it is OK for millions of gallons of raw sewage to spill into NC rivers without any public notification.

Reports are that some 3.5 million gallons of raw sewage from Burlington's treatment plant spilled into the Haw River on Monday night. State law requires that media outlets in the affected area are required to report the spill within 48 hours.

However, NCDENR supervisor Corey Basinger "felt that it was important to make sure that the public press release accurately represented the amount of untreated waste that entered the river and so, especially under these adverse conditions, allowed the city some extra time to make sure of the report's accuracy. Instead of the report coming out Wednesday night, it was released some time on Thursday."

usna77 @
Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 10:11am

Jane describes herself as a "moderate Democrat." She is the widow of former state senator and western district attorney Charlie Hipps.

I have known Jane and Charlie for years in Waynesville. She is an experienced educator, who went back to school at age 60 to become a Nurse Practitioner. She is smart, quiet, and tough, and will represent our mountain counties well. Furthermore, she has the name recognition to present a strong challenge and a reasonable chance to win the seat.

Jim Davis, on the other hand, is beholden to Art Pope after spending over a million dollars to win twice against former senator and judge John Snow.

Here is the writeup on Jane from the Smoky Mountain News yesterday.

usna77 @
Friday, November 1, 2013 - 6:15pm

Internal Debate Divides Haywood GOP reads the headline in this week's Smoky Mountain News.

No doubt veteran political observer Becky Johnson has poked the elephant out here in the mountains;

Some mainstream Republicans in Haywood County fear their local party is being hijacked by a far-right faction with extreme views on what limited government should look like.

County party vice-chair Mitchell Powell has resigned, saying that long-standing party members are falling away and refusing to contribute to local party operations.

usna77 @
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 7:31am

Right wing reaction to the Common Core State Standards for K-12 education is an almost instinctive rejection of anything aimed to the "common good." Perhaps this "reject instinct" hearkens back to the Cold War, where communism, which sounds like "common" and shares etymology tracing back to the Old French "comun."