NC Senate 20th district

Senator Jeanne Lucas, who so ably represented the 20th district and Durham County in the State Senate for nearly 14 years, passed away last month.

It falls upon members of the Executive Committee of the Durham County Democratic Party to nominate a replacement to finish her term of office. (I love sentences with so many capital letters. They exude importance.)

On Saturday 3/31, candidates for the seat met in a forum sponsored by Young Democrats of Durham County, and Durham Democratic Women, to answer questions about why they were seeking the seat, and what agenda they would carry out should they earn the nomination.

Woodfin Diesel Power Plant: VICTORY!

{Crossposted from the new Scrutiny Hooligans site}

happy-dance.gifThe Woodfin Board of Adjustment denied Progress Energy the conditional use permit to build their diesel-fired power plant. While Progress Energy can appeal the Board's decision through the Court of Appeals, this unnecessary, ill-conceived, sneakily planned power plant is kaput.

Give yourselves a hand.

From the AC-T: "A town board early this morning voted down a proposal by Progress Energy to build a $72 million power plant in Woodfin.

Scrutiny Hooligans Has Changed URLs!

After a few years of using Blogger (and dealing with all of the technical issues therein, such as the dreaded eaten posts, outages and downtimes, etc., all of which seemed to be exacerbated by Blogger's takeover by Google), the Hooligans sat down a few months ago over homemade chili & cornbread to discuss our options regarding the future of this blog. We decided to take matters into our own hands and jumped platforms from Blogger to WordPress, from Blogspot to our very own domain.

Walter Jones shows up late to another Party

The classic saying is, "Better Late than Never". Well, at what point does being late start to become unacceptable?

In 2003 Walter Jones voted against the disasterous Prescription Drug Plan pushed for by the Republican Party. This is and was a good thing.

However, he is just now getting to talking about it with the press.

Missed Opportunity

Part of the deal with Google to locate in Lenoir involved secret negotiations between Duke Power and Google for land controlled by Duke Power and electricity to be supplied by Duke Power. These dealings were blessed with exemptions for sales tax on the purchase of that electricity. One legacy of Lenoir's declining manufacturing activity is a robust electric distribution system yet, as Duke's applications for new generating capacity demonstrate, electricity supply is constrained.

Google has released very little information about plans for the new server farm but some assumptions can be made about electricity demands. Server farms and data centers require substantially more power per square foot than a typical office building. Other than normal electric loads like lighting, the demand for electricity in server farms comes from the servers themselves and the air conditioning required to deal with the heat generated.

After the Peak - from OrangePolitics.org

I am on the Orange Politics "Junkie" list, so I receive an email when a new post goes up on OrangePolitics.org. In this case it was an announcement of a film being shown in Orange County, however, Ruby's lead-in was provocative.

I actually think often of what our lives will be like after the assumption of plentiful and cheap petroleum is gone. For example in Chapel Hill, homes in walking distance of the campus will be even more valuable than they are now. How about homes near Carolina North? If we have managed to get some transit infrastructure into place, that will also drive the value of locations if the only appealing way to get to RTP is by transit. Or will RTP go away, a relic of the dinosaur age of cars? Will we see 10-story buildings in downtown Carrboro?

Anyway, like I said, I think about this, so I am very intrigued abut this film that is "a provocative look at the world of oil scarcity set in Orange County in the near future."

Being on the Orange County Transportation Board, this post by Ruby S. really peeked my interest. How can we put together 35 year plans without dealing with peak oil? Specifics on the showing after the break.

"I'm going to get your land, old man."

I'd heard this statement from several folks out in Washington County, but somehow it slipped my mind in all the recent developments. It's worth remembering.

This is the same agency whose field representative poked one of our farmers in the chest and said, "I am going to get your land, old man, whether you like it or not.”

This is how the United States Navy negotiates with North Carolina farmers. This is why we fight.

(This is your open thread.)

Treehugger

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I've been lucky enough to know Tim Toben for many, many years. He's a dedicated environmentalist, a community visionary, and very good friend. He's also going to be live-blogging with us this Friday. Hope you can come.

The best way to understand Tim is to follow a few links. For example, this interview in Treehugger does a great job describing his environmental work here in Orange County. Tim is the brains behind Greenbridge, a very cool green mixed-use development recently approved in downtown Chapel Hill.

You'll also be interested to know that he's pretty heavily involved in this campaign.

What else can I say? Tim started his own company way-back-when, established a bio-diesel operation on his land west of Carrboro, founded an organic farm with irrigation powered by solar and wind, moved hundreds of acres of forest into permanent conservation easements, and has a beautiful family.

If you want to get in some early questions, this is the place to do it. Any topic, of course, is fair game. Green building, conservation, the Chapel Hill Town Council, Bill McDonough, salt-water swimming pools, organic gardening, global warming, state energy policy, whatever suits you.

Please stop by on Friday morning to meet Tim. We'll start around 8 am.

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