Monday afternoon Ex

Via Ex:

This week's column looks at annexation fights and an astroturf battle royale over the transfer tax fixin' to crank up.

Angry Suburban Ethos

As I write these words I can see the line just beyond the back fence where gently — for now — laps that rising tide known as the municipal limits of the town of Chapel Hill.

My neighbors and I know that one day we’ll be engulfed by that tide, absorbed into the town, offered its services and taxed accordingly. Some of us will go willingly or without struggle—others will put up a fight.

Such is the fate now of thousands of North Carolina homeowners each year as the urban boundaries in this urbanizing state swell. And while the number of us living unincorporated-style shrinks, so grows the ranks of angry suburbanites.

Puppet ploy: Can Rick Martinez really be this stupid?

The few real journalists remaining at the N&O must cringe with embarrassment every time Rick Martinez, Art Pope's planted Puppet at the paper, comes out with a new column. His most recent is truly laughable.

First off, in his infinite wisdom ignorance, Martinez questions the viability of conservation, preferring instead to build more coal-fired power plants that would hasten the demise of the planet. True to his Puppet roots, Martinez has never met a thoughtful approach to planning he didn't like.

The latest chapter in North Carolina's growing record of civic selfishness occurred early Tuesday morning in the Buncombe County town of Woodfin, a few miles north of Asheville. In a room packed with 150 or so people, the town's Board of Adjustment rejected Progress Energy's request for a conditional use permit to build a small, 130-megawatt peak power plant.

It was a mistake

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I don't know who Joe Sinsheimer is, but he sure seems to have a lot of clout. He writes a personal letter to Joe Hackney alleging ethics problems in North Carolina politics, and boom, the news media are all over it. 'When will Hackney respond?,' they ask. 'I'll get to it when I get to it,' he says.

In the spirit of Joe Sinsheimer, I am also writing letters. Mine are going to Joe Hackney, Marc Basnight, and Mike Easley. And like Sinsheimer, my letters are about ethics in North Carolina politics.



By now it is clear that the so-called North Carolina Education Lottery is an idea whose time has come and gone. The desired income is not materializing, and new proposals to fritter away additional proceeds to stimulate more participation are too reminiscent of pushers hooking teenagers on crack. Today's story in the News and Observer lays the sad situation out for all to see:

Open thread: Easter eve

From a comment by Parmea:

Well Navy, here is a lesson learned.

Do not lie to the people you're about to steal lands from.
Come to us with a need and not a trumped up want.
Create a working dialog vice a contemptuous attitude.
Be forthright and honest with us.
Present facts that are quantifiable.
Perform all the studies needed and required.
Ensure your ducks are in a row before you start something like this.
Do not go after the poor or middle class just because you think we are stupid.

Hope your weekend is going better than the Navy guys in charge of the OLF fiasco. Anybody doing the Easter Bunny thing besides me? I love spring. Especially when the pollen passes.

Another example of unethical legislative work creating unfair favoritism of select few

In 2003 a tuition grant clause was slipped into the state budget favoring certain students by granting free tuition at UNC campuses for graduates of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, the prestigious state boarding school in Durham. The provision was slipped in during budget planning by a Senator chairing the appropriations committee.

Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, is the driving force behind the tuition grant. She used her influence as chairwoman of an appropriations committee to insert the grant into the budget.

Poor Puppets Get No Respect

You'd think with all their connections, the Art Pope Puppetshow would be able to pull a few strings and get this bastion of right-wing-nuttery to agree with their views on North Carolina taxation. But alas, the Puppets' whacked out "reports" decrying our state's miserable business climate get no respect.

(Forbes) magazine ranked five metropolitan statistical areas in North Carolina among the top 25, led by Raleigh-Cary at No. 1. Raleigh-Cary was the national runner-up the past three years. Durham was ranked seventh, Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury was 21st, Asheville was 23rd and Winston-Salem was 24th. The Greensboro-High Point MSA was ranked 61st overall.

Governments Try to Control Language about Climate Change

I guess the United States isn't the only country where the government tries to tell scientists what their data actually says or should say. According to articles out in news media around the world, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries have joined the United States in requesting/requiring that scientists tone down the dire warnings contained in reports on Global Warming.

From the LA Times:

A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: hundreds of millions of people short of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction.

Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action.

More below the fold...


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