Raleigh, Nashville, and the fight for equality

This week, the Metropolitan Council of Nashville & Davidson County, TN made Nashville the fourth city in Tennessee to approve domestic partner benefits. Another big city on the right side of history. To put this into further context, Forbes Magazine recently released its list of “The Best Cities For Jobs 2014”. Here are the top six, along with whether or not the governing body of that respective city has passed legislation providing for domestic partner benefits:

1. San Jose, CA - Yes
2. San Francisco, CA - Yes
3. Austin, TX - Yes
4. Raleigh, NC - No
5. Houston, TX - Yes
6. Nasvhille, TN - Yes

Magazine Ranks North Carolina Number Four In Right Wing Political Ideology Business Climate

When people talk about businesses and business climate, never underestimate what it is, exactly, they're talking about. It's not the mom and pop businesses in North Carolina and across the nation; the ones that overwhelmingly are the greatest job creators. It's not the businesses for which many are on a shoestring budget, a namesake in a community, a passion or dream which is, or has come to, fruition. No, it's the big boys. And deep pocketed, politically influencing big boys.

Another magazine, another ranking. North Carolina gets top billing for 2014 based on "Passes tax-reform package hailed as by some as any state’s best in two decades." Or "Areas in North Carolina like Raleigh, Charlotte, Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham have been great places for technology companies. The workforce in these areas have very talented candidates. The western part of the state does not fair as well.”

Did you buy any Aqua America Inc. (WTR-NYSE) stock today?

Maybe a portfolio rebalance is in order. The stock (WTR) is currently trading at $25.14; down 0.19 with a volume of 153,010 and a dividend of 0.15.

From the Triangle Business Journal dated May 3, 2005: "Aqua America Inc. said Tuesday that its subsidiaries have made three small acquisitions in North Carolina worth about $250,000. The acquisitions were made by Aqua's North Carolina subsidiaries, Cary-based Aqua North Carolina Inc. and Heater Utilities Inc."

And then bits and pieces started flowing (literally) from the spigot.

"The homes north of Interstate 540 are among Wake County's most expensive -- and, this summer, may be among the driest. Because of policies designed to discourage high-density construction near Falls Lake, these neighborhoods are not hooked up to Raleigh's water system. Instead, they get their water from wells."

A lot of crazy in one room

The Conservative Chickenship Leadership Conference, an uncivil Civitas crowd, is meeting in Raleigh.

Lt. Dan got 'em all heated up today. Ann Coulter is there. Our moderate failure of a Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat will speak.

The biggest name on the plate is Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who will speak at Friday’s lunch. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal backed out at the last minute, replaced by author and commentator Ann Coulter.

The agenda is essentially a recipe to destroy our state and nation.

The agenda for the Civitas Institute event reads like a buffet line of hot-button conservative issues: Common Core standards, ending renewable energy mandates, stand your ground gun laws, IRS investigations, Obamacare and plenty more.

I'm running for Wake County Commission

I am excited to tell you that I will be a candidate for the Wake County Commission in 2014. My opponent, Paul Coble, is a two term incumbent Republican who stands in the way of progress in Wake County. He has complained that advocates of transit "shouldn't be worried about things 20 or 30 years in the future" while we have "short term concerns." I believe the exact opposite. We can help resolve our short term concerns by thinking about the future, developing goals, and working to achieve those goals. Leadership requires vision. These commissioners don't have it.

I need your help. This is a huge county, with over 650,000 voters. And it isn't cheap to run in a place this big. Please give at www.BurnsforWake.org

What's up in Alternate Realityville?

For those who doubted that DAG McCrony lives in his own Alternate Realityville, the Raleigh News & Observer reports the latest on the Dix Park controversy (quick recap: back when we had a competent governor, she reached an agreement with the City of Raleigh to lease the state-owned, highly prized Dorothea Dix campus to the city for 75 years for $68M. The GOP right-wing nut jobs pushed to void the agreement because...well, because they really hate the City of Raleigh (Dems in charge!) and because they can. In the end, a so-called "compromise" prevailed in which DAG McCrony signed a "standstill agreement" that gave the state and the city 1 year to negotiate a new agreement. We pick up back in the present:)

The 'Pat' of the past

Democratic and Republican Charlotte City Council members say they would support Mayor Pat McCrory 's run for governor, if for no other reason than its benefits to Charlotte.


How is that working out for you?

Raleigh veteran supports new syringe access bill

Joe Donovan knows a thing or two about hard living. A few years ago the Raleigh-based veteran was diagnosed with a rare adrenal disorder, Addison’s Disease, which can cause fainting spells that require an emergency injection. Since his diagnosis in 2004, Donovan has been required to carry emergency medication and a syringe on him at all times, as well as to wear a bracelet explaining the disorder and how to administer the injections.

Not long after his diagnosis and the discovery of a tumor on his pituitary gland, Donovan lost his job. Soon after, with pending surgery and medical bills piling up, he became homeless. Over the next five years he was homeless twice, for as long as two years at a time. Living in homeless shelters with nothing but a backpack and some clothes, Donovan had many things to worry about, but among his concerns were the syringes he kept in his backpack along with the emergency medication. As a veteran, he obtained the syringes from the VA for his disorder and had every right to carry them, but because he was and subject to the same stereotypes about drug use that plague many homeless people, he often worried about run-ins with the police. Would they believe his story that the syringes were for a medical condition?

Forbes labels Raleigh as #2 Boom Town

Forbes Magazine has published a list of the next Boom Towns in the US. Raleigh is number 2, Charlotte is number 8. According to Forbes:

Raleigh has experienced the second-highest overall population increase and the third-highest job growth over the past two decades in the U.S. It also ranked among those regions seeing the biggest jump in new immigrants and is the No. 1 city for families with young children. The area is a magnet for technology companies fleeing the more expensive, congested and highly regulated northeast corridor. Affordable housing and short commute times are no doubt highly attractive to recent college graduates and millennials looking to start families.

No cities in South Carolina made the list. It seems that to Forbes, the level of regulation here in NC is just fine, thank you very much. It would seem, yet again, that South Carolina is not our competition.

What's Brewing in Raleigh? Possum Stew!

What’s Brewing in Raleigh? Possum Stew!

The most recent unemployment numbers in North Carolina show a continued decrease in employment. Gaston County, like all the counties in the state recorded more unemployed citizens than the previous month. At 11.1 % unemployment on the county level and 10.2 state-wide, the frenzied activity in Raleigh to right this sinking ship must be at an all-time high, right? Unfortunately the answer is no. Instead the feverish legislation coming out of Raleigh amounts to a piping hot bowl of possum stew!

Instead of an “all hands on deck” approach our law-makers in Raleigh have set their sights on laws that are not only insignificant, but smacks of silliness in the face of current economic calamity.

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