On Bees, Or, An Apple A Day May Be A Thing Of The Past

America employs a massive army of migrant farm workers, who rise from their winter slumber every year and travel from farm to farm, helping to prepare the crops.

From October to December of 2006 they started vanishing in unprecedented numbers. Many of the ones who survive have suffered massive injuries from an unknown agent; and it is possible that crops from apples to pears to avocado will no longer be produced in the US as a result.

Who are these workers? Honeybees.

How sad is this?

Can you imagine a more miserable situation than the Governor of North Carolina having to go to senators of other states to get help protecting our state?

Gov. Mike Easley, unhappy with the reticence of the state's two U.S. senators to take a position on the Navy's proposal to build a landing strip in eastern North Carolina, said Tuesday he's asked senators in other states for help in blocking the project. Easley said he's already received support from members of North Carolina's U.S. House delegation to hold back money for the 30,000-acre site in Washington and Beaufort counties, where the Navy wants to build the so-called outlying landing field.

But because North Carolina GOP Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr have yet to agree to do the same, Easley said he's talked to senators from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia about applying pressure on the Navy to discuss an alternative.

Anti-government weenies attempt to derail light rail in Charlotte

God damn this makes me mad.

One of the things I look forward to in Charlotte is the distant day when I will be able to ride convenient public transit from my neighborhood on the east side to the University, where I work. One of the selling points for this neighborhood, for me, was the citywide transit plan.

First the South line tying together all the farflung southern suburbs would go in. Then a trolley line tying old Central avenue to the business district. Then a line out to the University and beyond.

Now the troglodytes are trying to kill the transit plan:

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.

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