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More research on habitat loss from wood pellet industry

Stronger regulation is desperately needed:

The region was recently designated a global biodiversity hot spot, and according to one of the papers, the use of biomass for energy hinges on its sustainability. Minimizing overall loss of forests and biodiversity and maximizing the area of habitat have been suggested as criteria for sustainable bio-energy production.

“Results from the scenarios we examined suggest that simultaneously achieving the best outcomes for these sustainability criteria under a single biomass production future may not be possible,” according to the report. However, there may be a middle ground. To avoid the negative effects on critical habitats, restrictions on biomass harvesting in longleaf pine and bottomland hardwoods will be necessary.

Bolding mine. As is very often the case with studies emerging from NCSU, the agriculture industry is given the benefit of the doubt on sustainability initiatives. In this case, researchers assume they're going to re-plant new forests wherever they harvest, so there won't be a "net loss" of forestland. I disagree, vehemently. There is little evidence of that, on a large-scale, anyway. With that understanding, those words "will be necessary" above carry even more weight. Enviva needs to leave those longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods alone. But since they've already developed a taste for those precious trees, the only way to stop them is to make it illegal. And as for their claims of sustainable operations:

Wednesday News: Fletcher's fall from grace

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STATE SEN. HARTSELL INDICTED ON CAMPAIGN-RELATED COUNTS (AP) -- A longtime North Carolina state senator was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from allegations he spent more than $200,000 in campaign funds over nine years for his personal benefit.
http://www.wral.com/n-carolina-sen-hartsell-indicted-on-campaign-related-counts/16054522/

HARTSELL ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING, MAIL FRAUD AND WIRE FRAUD (Charlotte Observer) - The Concord Republican faces federal and state charges related to his campaign expenditures and reports.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article104504736.html

GSO's International Civil Rights Museum receiving threats

A friend who had donated to the Museum got the following email.

The Museum has been receiving racist threats of violence - and had two people show up with loaded weapons - after MSNBC aired a segment on Trump's campaign bullied the staff in an attempt attempt to use the Museum as a backdrop for a photo-op. The campaign demanded that the Museum close for five hours to accommodate arrangements and security for Trump to be briefly be photographed looking at the exhibits.

The photo-op would have taken place on the same day as the police killing of Keith Scott and the beginning of the unrest in Charlotte. Rachel Maddow's video report is well worth watching if you haven't seen it already, putting the incident in the context of Trump's visit and his remarks about African-Americans that day in NC appearances.

Dan Forest wields unprecedented influence over new ASDs

Expanding his twisted little empire:

A selection advisory committee appointed by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has been interviewing candidates and is expected to make a recommendation to the State Board of Education by next week. The state board will have the final say in who is hired.

Weird Trump-church rumor coming out of western NC

I'm passing this along because it's just so strange, but still plausible.

I have not see any media confirmation of this, but it would be quite curious if it were true.

I have friend in Charlotte who works for a mainstream church in the city and people at his church were talking about something they heard about this weekend.

Tuesday News: Cooper surges, McCrory clinches fists

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COOPER UP BY 9 OVER MCCRORY, WHILE CLINTON-TRUMP AND, BURR-ROSS IN VIRTUAL TIE (High Point Poll) – Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper holds a 9 point advantage over Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory 50%-41% among North Carolina likely voters while Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump 43-42 while Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr leads Democratic challenger 45%-43%. McCrory is particularly weighed down with a 51% job disapproval rating.
http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2016/09/47memoA.pdf

Gun-nuts to raffle a "Hillary Clinton Special" AR-15

The Secret Service needs to be all over this:

We all know that if Hillary Clinton is elected President on November 8, panic buying will ensure that by November 9, there won’t be a gun (or ammunition) available for love nor money. That’s why the GRNC Political Victory Fund – GRNC’s federally registered political action committee – is giving you what might be among the last chances to get…

Falling into the HB2 "false equivalency" trap

Starting over from scratch merely promotes discrimination:

Both sides are posturing for the voters instead of doing what's right for the state. And it's getting tiresome. The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association has tried to broker a deal, and so has the Charlotte Chamber. Even conservative businessman Art Pope, a powerful Republican financier, has gotten into the act, urging the repeal of both the state law and the city ordinance.

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