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For the next day or two we'll be moving to a new server, so you may not see any new content posted, and you may experience some problems clicking stuff here and there. Also, there's a somewhat ugly yet comfortable sofa that won't fit with the decor of the new place, and we really don't want to leave it out by the road unless we have to. And no, it won't fit in that hybrid minivan, so you'll need to call your brother-in-law with the truck. Thanks ahead of time for your patience, and if you have any boxes, we could sure use them.

As samples are collected for testing, chemical company decides to clean up GENX prior to discharge

And that timing is more than a little suspect:

Beginning tomorrow, the Chemours company will “capture, remove, and safely dispose of wastewater” that contains the byproduct GenX generated at its manufacturing plant in Fayetteville. The company announced late this afternoon that it would eliminate discharge containing GenX into the Cape Fear River, a drinking water supply. GenX has been detected in the Cape Fear near Wilmington; the chemical isn’t removed during traditional treatment at municipal plants.

The timing of the announcement is notable. The NC Department of Environmental Quality started sampling water in the Cape Fear and at the Chemours plant yesterday. The agency and will continue those tests through Thursday, and then resample at the same locations over the next three weeks. Also tomorrow the Cape Fear River Watch is hosting a community forum about GenX and the company.

Had a conversation recently with someone holding an MBA, in which I had to explain the difference between a chemical compound and a base element. Dude was waffling between Libertarianism and Bernie-ish "all politicians are owned by the corporations," and he said something about how we've known what these chemicals can do for close to 100 years, so when he reads about the EPA "still testing" something it's evidence of a payoff. Or something. There are literally thousands of new chemical compounds created every year, mostly by industry, and the bulk of their research is proprietary. Meaning, even if they did discover dangers to the environment or people associated with their new chemical, we probably won't know until that danger is detected by someone outside the company. Here's some background on GENX's predecessor, and the Du Pont spinoff Chemours:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

It's what you don't do that defines your budget:

Taking something that was already critically underfunded and slashing it more:

When is a clinic not a clinic? When it's an anti-abortion propaganda mill

Republicans should be ashamed of themselves:

Here in North Carolina, the news been similarly discouraging as lawmakers have mostly abandoned the idea of taking affirmative public action to promote women’s health. Remarkably, this is true despite the presence of data showing a number of poor health outcomes for the women of North Carolina as compared to other states. Unfortunately, one “women’s health” initiative the North Carolina General Assembly has managed to find money for is the anti-abortion ministry of so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

In 2015, despite making cuts to social safety net programs that many North Carolina women and children depend on, lawmakers managed to increase this funding to $300,000. And in this year’s budget, it appears they are appropriating $1.3 million in state general funds for CPCs, in addition to $400,000 in federal maternal health grant money.

Aside from being a coldly calculating attempt to undermine women's rights, it is also a patently irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars. These "centers" offer very little in the form of maternal health, and zero assistance in helping make child birth affordable, not to mention the costs of raising those children:

ZSR's Mo Green takes the pulse of North Carolina communities

And finds there is a lot of work to be done:

As the new executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation – an 80-year-old family foundation committed to improving the quality of life in North Carolina – Green set out in May 2016 on a statewide tour dubbed “Mo wants to know.” Seeking to learn where the state is hurting, where it’s doing well and what it needs to ease its pains and enhance its strengths, he spoke with hundreds of people, from one-on-one sessions with community leaders to community forums to private talks with people who poured out their stories of loss and hope. In all, he visited 19 counties from the coast to the mountains.

“We were trying to figure out what was going on in the state and how we could be responsive to that,” he said.

I'm pleased by this, but not surprised. ZSR has done great work over the years supporting research and organizations that help people, and now (more than ever) that help is needed. But the only way to solve some of these problems is in the ballot box:

Magistrate ignores 2013 court finding with ban on Reverend Barber

Refusing to acknowledge dictates from judges is becoming a habit with Republicans:

The ban also applies to 31 other protesters arrested that day during a health-care sit-in after they refused to clear the hallways outside legislative leaders’ office. The ban was a condition of the protesters’ release from jail, set by Wake County magistrate Jeffrey L. Godwin as he charged them with second-degree trespassing. General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock said Friday that his agency didn’t ask the magistrate to set those conditions, but he said he plans to make the request for future arrests of protesters.

Geeta Kapur, an attorney for Barber and the NAACP, says the ban is unconstitutional. She points to the provision in the state constitution that says “the people have a right to assemble together ... to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.” She pointed to a 2013 decision by a judge to throw out a similar ban on arrested protesters. Since then, most arrests at “Moral Monday” protest events have not included a ban on entering the Legislative Building as a condition of release.

The GOP is notorious for resurrecting bad ideas and questionable legal practices every few years or so, just to see if they will stick, and this ban is no different. And if another judge throws it out, they'll do it again next year or the year after. Precedent? We don't need no stinking precedent, we make this shit up as we go.

Trudy Wade's "garbage juice" bill just more pay-to-play politics

trudymandering.jpg

The Queen of Trash strikes again:

A measure on its way to the governor's desk would allow landfills to collect the contaminated liquid that leaks from the trash and shoot it up into the air over the dump, using giant blowers called aerosolizers. The process would save waste companies money by reducing the amount of contaminated wastewater they have to pay to treat.

House Bill 576 would require the state Department of Environmental Quality to approve permits for the process, which Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, insisted Thursday is safe, though Democrats said they never received studies or data they had requested as evidence of that. The inventor of the aerosolizer technology, patent holder Kelly Houston of Cornelius, contributed $5,000 to Wade's campaign in June 2016, according to state campaign finance records.

And that $5,000 is all the evidence Trudy Wade needs. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some Guilford County voters? When Wade is not trying to gerrymander the hell out of Greensboro, she's trying to contaminate the entire countryside with nasty landfill water. Trash collecting trucks leaking stinky water right in front of your house? Suck it up. Tired of the smell coming from that dump in your neighborhood? Just wait until we start spraying it in the air, you'll love that. And they keep electing her. Here's more from Lisa Sorg:

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