Charter supporters throw temper tantrum over low approval numbers

And engage in a little name calling between tears:

Today, Alan Hawkes, a Greensboro charter leader who sits on the state’s Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB), is still hot. That’s because five schools tapped for opening by Hawkes’ board, which makes recommendations on charter applicants to the state board, were overwhelmingly voted down by the State Board of Education (SBE). Board members cited typos, weak applications and publicly questioned whether some schools’ academic plans were ready for prime time despite the CSAB’s support. Typically, state board members heed the counsel of the CSAB, but not this month.

“Don’t get me started about public charter school no-nothings (sic) on the NC State Board of Education,” Hawkes wrote in an email to Policy Watch this week. “The temerity and ignorance of those soulless SOB’s (sic) presuming to know better than the NC Charter School Advisory Board with its diversity of knowledge and experience in this area. If there is anyone who knows the good, the bad and the ugly about public school choice, it’s members of our NC CSAB.”

The plural form is "sons of bitches," so I'm thinking it should be "S'sOB"? Still doesn't look right...Anyway, if the people who are supposedly going to teach our children can neither write well nor proofread, maybe they should take up another hobby, like ATV riding without a helmet? Using a chainsaw to cut the wrong side of the limb they're sitting on? Something along those lines.

Wednesday News: Tea Party panderer edition

MEADOWS OPPOSES ASHEVILLE PLAN FOR REFUGEES (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- A global aid and humanitarian organization is moving forward with plans to make Western North Carolina a resettlement site for refugees despite objections from a congressman representing much of the region. In an Aug. 12 letter to U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, the International Rescue Committee reported that it recommended Asheville to the U.S. Department of State as a "favorable" location for a resettlement office.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Bake a cake, Erin's coming to NC

She's seen this hexavalent chromium dance before:

Erin Brockovich and the Washington-based Environmental Working Group are wading into North Carolina’s battle over the carcinogen hexavalent chromium to bolster a request the organization made years ago that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency establish a health-protective standard specific to the contaminant.

“States like North Carolina, where industrial byproducts like coal ash increase the risk of hexavalent chromium contamination, need a federal mandate to set strong, health-protective standards for levels of the contaminant in drinking water. Without it, states will continue to use inconsistent and potentially unsafe guidelines, and leave citizens confused about whether their drinking water is safe.” Brockovich and Ken Cook, the president of the EWG, say in the letter.

I'm sure McCrory and his cronies are not happy they've drawn the attention of Brockovich and EWG, but it's their own fault. The manipulation and pandering to Duke Energy involved in the "do not drink" advisory letters alone is enough to put them under the magnifying glass. And with that kind of scrutiny, it will not end well for these irresponsible leaders.

NC GOP's voter suppression brings national shame

As Ari Berman of The Nation magazine details:

Republicans in North Carolina are pulling out all the stops to suppress the state’s reliably Democratic black vote. After the Fourth Circuit court reinstated a week of early voting, GOP-controlled county elections boards are now trying to cut early voting hours across the state. By virtue of holding the Governor’s office, Republicans control a majority of votes on all county election boards and yesterday they voted to cut 238 hours of early voting in Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, the largest in the state.

“I’m not a big fan of early voting,” said GOP board chair Mary Potter Summa, brazenly disregarding the federal appeals court’s opinion. “The more [early voting] sites we have, the more opportunities exist for violations.”

This crap has gone too far already. The US DOJ needs to open an investigation about the obvious conspiracy to limit early voting by various county boards of election. This stuff doesn't happen by accident, it takes coordination. Hat-tip to JW Williamson for his honorable mention:

Jay Faison's ClearPath gives $400k to Richard Burr

Any environmentalist still sitting on the fence over this greenwashing machine needs to have their head examined:

As if to prove Miller right, ClearPath Action Fund announced earlier this month that it will be spending at least $400,000 to help reelect Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina. There is no honest way to present Burr as a defender of the environment, the climate, or clean energy. Just last year, he voted to force approval of Keystone XL, to block the Clean Power Plan, against renewing the wind and solar energy tax credits, and against closing the Halliburton loophole that exempts fracking from safe drinking water regulations, which is why he got a paltry 4 percent voting score from LCV for 2015.

Burr hasn’t even feigned concern for the climate or clean energy. In endorsing Burr, Faison shows that these issues are not his top priority either; rather, Republican control of Congress is. Faison said as much in a memo he released publicly in late July: “If Republicans are going to keep the U.S. House and Senate, our candidates and our party must go on the offense on clean energy to win over swing voters.”

For those of you who wonder why I am still pursuing this issue, it's because way too many environmental organizations are continuing to drink Faison's Kool-aid:

Tuesday News: Voter suppression 3.0

MECKLENBURG ELECTIONS BOARD CUTS HOURS FOR EARLY VOTING (Charlotte Observer) -- Despite pleas not to curtail early voting, Mecklenburg County elections officials voted Monday to cut the overall number of hours from the 2012 election by 238, even while opening as many as 22 sites around the county. The board of elections voted in front of an overflow crowd of about 150, almost all of whom wanted more hours to vote early.

New UNC environmental "collaboratory" may violate state law

That's not the way we bake these particular cakes:

“One of the problems is that the UNC code requires these things to come from the faculty up,” he said. “There’s a whole process of planning and approval that has to be followed, and that planning and approval is very detailed.”

Leonard has heard mutterings about the possibility of faculty members bringing a lawsuit over the collaboratory’s creation. The premise of the suit would be that state law does not allow the Legislature to make appropriations for individual campuses. Regardless of whether a suit is brought, issues that need to be addressed are who came up with the idea for the collaboratory and whether any system rules or state laws were violated, Leonard said.

They should file a suit, before this thing becomes a (potentially costly) reality. If nothing else, said legal proceedings will establish a public record, a definition of processes and goals. That way, if (when?) this Center starts leaning in an industry-friendly direction, and promotes pseudo-science to help Republicans water-down our environmental regulations even more, we can point back to their broken promises.

Monday News: Marching against discrimination


RECORD CROWD EXPECTED AT CHARLOTTE PRIDE TO PROTEST HB2 (Charlotte Observer) – The Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade attracted a record 120,000 people last year over three days, with out-of-towners accounting for 20 percent of the attendance. A Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority study said the event had an $11.9 million local economic impact, including $7.2 million in direct visitor spending.

McHenry shows his ignorance on payday loans

Telling a story, in more ways than one:

McHenry told a story about growing up and seeing his father loan one of his landscape company employees $20 on a Thursday to make it to Friday's paycheck and how that helped.

"I'm worried about somebody who has a car that breaks down, who has a refrigerator break down and they have two kids at home who need to eat, and they need to make it to Friday to get their paycheck," McHenry said. He said people living on the edges need a regulated way to make it to their next paycheck. Those against payday lending don't know what it feels like to live from paycheck to paycheck, he added.

On the contrary, many of those leading the opposition to payday lending have first-hand experience with these loan sharks:


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