NC GOP

Duke Energy self-reports "no contamination found" in Lumberton

In a related story, Fluffy the dog says, "I don't know who tore up that couch pillow, but I'll keep an eye out."

Tests near the coal ash site at the closed Weatherspoon Power Plant in Lumberton show no hazardous levels of toxic material, Duke Energy officials said Thursday. Duke just competed groundwater testing near the Lumberton plant, according to Duke spokeswoman Zenica Chatman. The tests showed no impact on nearby wells or the Lumber River, she said.

"We're very encouraged by what we're seeing," she said.

She says, while looking at the stock readout showing Duke Energy's stock stabilizing at around $72 per share. As is often the case when PR makes it into the regular news columns, there's more to be learned in the commentary:

Eddie Goodall wants state to adverti$e for more charter school applicants

Think of how many more incompetent educators might try their hand if they only knew:

We already spend $20 million annually for lottery advertising, and senators want to spend $10 million more. We spend zero for charter schools. Advertising how to start charter schools in North Carolina offers a greater return on our taxpayer money than lottery advertising.

Better idea. Take $1 million of the lottery ad money and tell families and businesses about how to start a charter school. One primary reason we have dwindling charter applications (71 in 2014 and 40 this year) is that residents are unaware that it is indeed they and partnering neighbors or colleagues who apply to start the schools of choice.

No, the primary reason we have dwindling charter applications is that proponents are realizing it's not nearly as easy as people like you have been telling them. Somewhere around 1/3 of new charter schools close their doors within the first year, many of those never able to hold their first class. And poor financial planning is the major cause:

Is privatization behind NC Senate's cuts to mental health?

I wouldn't bet against it:

Insko is also vice chairwoman of the House's appropriations committee for Health and Human Services. Her committee proposed allocating about $712 million for LMEs this year, a slight bump from the $705 million budgeted last year. The Senate, however, wants to cut LME spending to about $519 million, forcing the organizations to drain their reserves.

The co-chairmen of the chamber's appropriations committee for Health and Human Services—Sens. Louis Pate, Ralph Hise and Tommy Tucker—did not respond to the INDY's interview requests for this story. But when lawmakers rolled out funding cuts for community treatment options in 2013, Pate, a Mount Olive Republican, told the INDY that runaway Medicaid expenses were strangling the state budget. (Medicaid ran a $130 million surplus last year.)

Don't confuse them with real numbers, it might shatter their carefully crafted delusions of private for-profit supermen coming to the rescue. And one of the most active managed care organizations as far as lobbying and campaign donations is United For Health (United Health Care):

Duke Energy coal ash propaganda in the op-ed columns

Misleading people is much cheaper than environmental stewardship:

In response to your Aug. 18 editorial ("Why not recycle coal ash instead of burying it?"), we at Duke Energy agree that as much coal ash as possible should be recycled. State policy leaders also strongly support the option and outlined provisions in the N.C. Coal Ash Management Act to encourage recycling.

The structural fill projects at the mines in Lee and Chatham counties, for example, are a form of beneficial reuse for the ash stored in basins. By reclaiming those sites and safely placing coal ash in them with many layers of protective liners, we will help repurpose land that can be reused for future development.

Bolding mine. There is only going to be one "liner" in the classic sense of a man-made polymer, the rest are a couple of layers of various composites of clay. Calling those "liners" is like calling the leaves over your head a roof. And that single polymer liner won't be a continuous (as in unbroken) liner, it will be several pieces that need to be connected and sealed, hopefully properly. But even if that liner doesn't leak, the nasty leachate water from the coal ash isn't going to stay in the impoundment, it's going to be pumped out on a regular basis and disposed of:

Message traffic related to Tom Ross dismissal

"You have four hundred twenty seven messages waiting for your attention":

UNC alumna and parent, Maureen Anne Costello Dwyer, to board members, Jan. 26: “On our family’s behalf, I am writing to express our extreme concern and confusion regarding the UNC Board of Governor’s recent actions regarding UNC President Tom Ross. As supporters of UNC and taxpayers in NC, we feel we, and everyone else in this state, deserves to know more specifically the reasons for the Board’s decision. Given the extremely limited and evasive information provided by Mr. Fennebresque in the news conference, it is incredibly difficult not to conclude that it is due primarily to politics and party affiliations.”

UNC supporter Patrick Walters to Fennebresque, Feb. 20: “I’m concerned (as are many others) about the abrupt dismissal of Tom Ross. From all indications he was doing a great job. Can you please explain in plain, simple, and honest terms why he was dismissed? If it’s because of differences in political ideology, then please just tell us.”

While Fennebresque freely admits there were more messages opposing the firing of Tom Ross, it's evident that many well-heeled Conservatives view it as an opportunity to reshape the ideology of the UNC System:

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