Calling Senator Hagan

Isn't it always the case? The new guy/gal on the block is the one getting all the attention.

North Carolina's newly minted Senator Kay Hagan is targeted for heavy lobbying over two high-profile issues on their way to showdown Senate votes soon--the first on children's health care, and the others before too long on labor organizing rights.

Haywood County Fails to Protect Homeowners from Landslide

Tragedy always stirs the media and occasionally awakens dozing regulators.

The recent tragedy: a 300 foot-landslide that flattened a three story Maggie Valley, North Carolina residence on Wildcat Run Road. Bruce and Lorraine Donin, who were at home, survived. Rick Wooten, a senior geologist for the N.C. Geological Survey who investigated the site, said “It wasn’t so much that the house that was destroyed was located on a steep slope, it just got hit by a landslide that would have knocked any house over that wasn’t bombproof.”

Is the County Responsible for the Donins’ Property Loss?

Shuler for Senate 2010?

From up Asheville way, the Scrutiny Hooligans are already predicting that loyal Blue Dog Dem and WNC favorite, Heath Shuler, will be the challenger to Richard Burr for the open Senate seat in 2010.

Although not the favorite of most Progressives in North Carolina, Heath is widely acknowledge for having heavily fortified coffers and, if Gordon is to be believed, none other than former President Bill Clinton will be hosting a fundraiser for Heath in Raleigh a week from Monday (after the President Clinton delivers an address at N.C. State). Roy Cooper and Richard Moore, justifiably, have been getting most of the attention from early internet speculation concerning the race, but should they be worried about Shuler as a formidable candidate?

Roy Cooper and NC Prevail against the TVA

The Associated Press is reporting that Judge Lacy Thornburg has ordered the TVA to install pollution controls at the four coal-fired power plants closest to the North Carolina border.

In a move to protect the environment of our beautiful North Carolina mountains, Attorney General Cooper filed suit against the Tennessee Valley Authority to require they clean up their act. The TVA refused. Judge Thornburg sided with the North Carolina mountains.

2009: The final nail in the OLF coffin?

The US Navy's "divide and conquer" strategy has tried to pit down east North Carolina communities against one another, but judging from the strength of local opposition across the board, it seems unlikely to work. Ham-handed from the get-go, the Navy still has not made a case (convincing or otherwise) that a North Carolina based Outlying Landing Field is important to its strategic readiness. That said, do there appear to be some cracks in the opposition?

Open thread


A fancy new graphical thingie to make it easier for me to post and find open threads first thing in the morning!

Makes you want to go to the beach, no?

Could budget woes put a dent in modern prohibition?

North Carolina's undisputed queen of all things fiscal, Elaine Mejia, offers an interesting post at NC Policy Watch today, outlining her take on the budget challenges facing the General Assembly in Raleigh. It opens with a sobering assessment:

The scope of the budget shortfall facing the state is large. The gap between the amount of revenue the tax system in its current form will generate and what spending is needed to maintain current services is roughly $3 billion, or 15 percent of the current budget. The federal government may step in and help North Carolina with some Medicaid and transportation expenses, but that will not come near closing the state’s budget gap.


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