NCGA

Paralyzed shooting victim speaks out on need for gun control

His life was changed forever in the blink of an eye:

I’m one of the 78,000 people a year who are lucky enough to survive a gun injury. Lucky is a relative term. I have a spinal cord injury. I struggle with relentless nerve pain. One gun, one bullet changes everything.

Little did I know that 4:29 pm, April 15, 2005 would be the last pain-free moment I’d ever spend in my lifetime. At 4:30 pm, I entered the outer lobby of a Detroit television station, and was shot at point blank range. There was no confrontation, no attempted robbery, no yelling and screaming. A young man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia quietly pulled a 33-caliber handgun out of his pocket and pulled the trigger. It’s amazing the pain one bullet can cause. It was a living nightmare, a nightmare I share with an estimated 309 people who are shot in America on any given day.

This is almost too horrible to write about. To be wheelchair-bound is bad enough; we take for granted the ability to get up off the couch and walk to the bathroom, or dash back into the house if we forgot our wallet or sunglasses. For somebody in a wheelchair, even the simplest of activities are a challenge. But to also be in constant pain from a spinal injury, a pain that never fades away, nor can it be "managed" with pain meds, is just incomprehensible to most of us. We can't imagine it. But we really need to try, if we are to hold our elected officials accountable and not allow the gun-nuts to dictate policy:

NC GOP drives its Legislative fiat into downtown Asheville

And Big Brother is barely out of his campaign diapers:

Edwards made it clear that he doesn’t care what the people of Asheville think of this. Of course that isn’t terribly surprising, given that Edwards only represents a sliver of the city he wants to save from itself.

“As a courtesy I am informing you of this intent with the hope that your discussion may revolve more around ‘how’ to district, and forego the discussion of ‘should’ we district,” he told the City Council.

It's a testimony to the arrogance of the GOP that a freshman Senator feels free to dictate terms to a City Council that collectively has a few decades of service under its belt. But that's the difference between most Republicans and Democrats: When an "R" wins a race, no matter what the margin of victory, they consider it a "mandate" to do whatever crosses their mind. When a "D" wins, however, that's when the soul-searching really begins, the desire to make sure they are acting in the best interests of the whole, as opposed to disparate parts. But as far as Edwards is concerned, what the citizens of Asheville want doesn't matter:

The benefits and dangers of revamping NC's renewable energy policies

Big changes could be on the horizon:

Word that the work of a large stakeholder group of industry and environmental advocates convened in early 2015 to tackle a number of energy issues would likely yield new legislation this session came in a keynote speech Friday by Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, at the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment’s Clean Tech Summit in Chapel Hill.

“When that draft bill was shown to the groups who had been part of the collaborative process, everyone got their shorts in a wad,” McGrady said in his remarks. “Surprisingly though, in a very short period of time, the outline of an energy bill is emerging.”

Instead of taking up space on the front page with my usual long-winded rant, follow me below the fold if you're interested:

CCRC and Dogwood Alliance speak out on wood pellet plant

And Richmond County's draconian public comment rules:

The group had come to last month’s meeting to voice concerns about the Enviva plant, but were denied because of the county’s public comment policy, which states that speakers must sign up with the the board’s clerk the Friday prior to the monthly meeting.

Kim McCall, secretary of the group, said she and Debra David attempted to do so this month, but were again denied because Enviva was on the agenda. The public comment policy — which county officials said has been in place since 1997 — also does not allow for comment for an item on the agenda. McCall calls not being allowed to speak an “injustice.”

These County Commissioners might think they're being clever, but they're about to get a hell of a lot more exposure than they imagined, and not the good kind, either. Here's a few words from Emily Zucchino, fighting the good fight for the Dogwood Alliance:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

More big-government bullying on the schedule for today:

Pay close attention to the short title:

Fouling the waters: Shellfish harvest put on hold by stormwater runoff

Fecal coliform bacteria levels are off the charts:

High levels of fecal bacteria have prompted state environmental officials to close some coastal and inland waters to harvesting oysters, clams and mussels. The 2,450 acres stretching across eight counties will be off-limits until further notice, state environmental officials announced.

The bacteria comes from human and animal waste that enters the stormwater, which then flows into the harvest areas. Over the past several years, above average rainfall along the coast has washed that waste into the water. The cumulative effects of that runoff emerged in recent testing that showed bacterial levels have exceeded safe levels.

This is what happens when you ignore or downplay irresponsible behavior in favor of "economic gains," or whatever the rhetorical twist of the day is. Human waste is bad enough, but when you've got ten million factory hogs and hundreds of millions of chickens and turkeys, it's no wonder the coast is drowning in shit. And of course, spraying that liquefied mess all over the surface of plowed farmland just helps it on its way downstream when the rains come. But let's not get too involved in their business, because freedom. Or something.

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