NC Coastal Federation

Candy corn, pimps, and Marc Basnight

Anyone who reads the newspaper on a consistent basis usually finds their niche. It might be the front page, the sports page, or the obituaries. For those that read daily, year in and year out, that niche tends to change. The frontpage takes a backseat to letters to the editor, other opinions, or editorials. We eventually become interested in what the newspaper has to say about the news; or people in particular. Like everything else in life, newspapers are not, and should not, be void of opinion; or cheap on heaping praise, especially when it is extraordinarily due. Sister newspapers owned by the same company sometimes tend to vary, both in opinion and editorial. In the case of the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer (McClatchy), that's not readily apparent. On the coast, it's a different animal.

Coastal news you can use

One of the great, long-standing non-profits in North Carolina has a sweet new daily report on important issues related to our coastal region. You can sign up to have it delivered automatically to your email box by following this link. It's easy ... and well worth your effort if you care about the North Carolina coast.

New PPP poll on environmental protection

Good news, or more evidence of the confused duality of NC voters?

Seventy percent of those polled said protecting the state’s environment is at least as important as economic development. Many of those voters – almost 40 percent -- said Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory’s track record on protecting the environment will be very important when they again cast ballots for governor in 2016.

I have no doubt that most of those folks (think they) meant what they said in this poll. But I also think most of them don't pay enough attention to even know when a politician (or an entire political party) actively works against the environment. And I have to agree with Carter on this point:

Study debunks Titan Cement's economic impact claims

And they weren't that impressive to begin with:

More than likely, based on averages, there will be fewer people hired than originally expected, and the average salary will be lower," Craig Galbraith, a professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Cameron School of Business, said during a presentation of the study Tuesday night at WHQR in Wilmington. "It's my general feeling that the impact is probably lower ... and possibly even negative."

I'd say more than possibly. Thousands of people are employed in recreational/hospitality jobs associated with tourism, and thousands more in the seafood industry, both of which will be negatively impacted by air pollution and doubling-down on methyl mercury exposure to fish. It's a bad idea all around, and it's not too late to stop it.

Terminal groins: by the people, for the rich

Fleecing the taxpayers coming and going:

Further, Miller said, the law allows landowners who lose property due to the groins to seek damages. The proposed location for the groin bisects a group of properties owned by one company, LW Legacy Assets LLC, raising the prospect that without some kind of legal agreement with the town, the company could profit on one side of groin by seeing properties become buildable again while seeking damages for properties damaged by the loss of sand flow on the other side. The company is owned by Williamson family members.

And I'm sure you won't be surprised to find the Williamson name on the Town's Board of Commissioners, since such a powerful family simply must have some control over the locals, lest they revolt and break away from the monarchy...oh wait, we already did that. Didn't we?

Judge demands more information on Titan Cement

A closer look is a good thing:

A judge on Wednesday afternoon put off a decision on whether Titan America should be able to get an air permit and begin building its Castle Hayne plant before a more comprehensive review that will consider the plant's overall environmental footprint is completed.

Judge Donald Stephens asked attorneys on both sides at a hearing in Raleigh to prepare orders that he will consider in making his decision. Those orders need to be submitted by April 23.

Camden County landfill battle heats up

You don't often see the State of North Carolina and advocacy groups on the same side in legal disputes:

The N.C. Coastal Federation said in a press release Wednesday that it has asked to join the state and the N.C. State Conference of the NAACP in defending the state’s right to deny construction of the landfill by Waste Industries USA, Inc., and their subsidiary, Black Bear Disposal, LLC.

The press release says that forested wetlands, state parks, national wildlife refuges and state game lands should not be subjected to the threats that accompany mega-landfills because potentially dangerous contaminants can leach from landfills and migrate to groundwater or to streams.

Easley Legacy Continues

As some of you are probably aware, the battle over Titan Cement's new facility in Hanover County is still raging. Dozens of (medical) doctors have joined to voice their concern, as well as hundreds of citizens and a few of my favorite environmental orgs. Most recently, these groups pleaded with the NC Department of Administration to generate a formal review of Titan's application/permit, and the answer was, in a word, stupefying.

A fox in the coastal henhouse

From posts written over the course of the summer, it's clear that many BlueNC community members are big fans of the North Carolina coast. I count myself among the beach boosters, as well. Which is why it was so distressing to see our out-of-touch legislators allocate $300,000 of taxpayer money to fund a study designed to open the floodgates for jetties and groins that would harden our coastline for generations to come. Todd Miller, executive director of the NC Coastal Federation, addresses the scam on the editorial page of the N&O today.

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