Recent Articles

Maniac’s Mountain: Puppy Stream of Consciousness

Today we welcome a new character to Maniac’s Mountain: Fred the puppy. For maximum enjoyment, it is recommended that the following piece be read out loud to a friend with a sense of humor, or a dog. Puppy stream of consciousness: OK, yippee we’re going out. Maniac says pee. Have to remember to pee. Oh wait there’s a leaf. Better pick it up and carry it over here. Hey, a stick. I found a stick. Wait, aren’t I suppose to be doing something? What was…   Continue Reading »

Women Justices Honored for NC Supreme Court Service

RALEIGH — In a ceremony on Tuesday, April 10, the Supreme Court of North Carolina honored the women justices who have served on the state’s highest court. This commemorative ceremony is the second official event to be held as a part of the Supreme Court’s 200th anniversary celebration. The event featured a portrait sitting of the justices (pictured below) and a short program honoring (pictured below from left to right, top row): former Chief Justice Susie Sharp, former Chief Justice Rhoda Billings, former Chief Justice Sarah Parker, former Associate Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson; (bottom row)…   Continue Reading »

For-Profit Educational Experiment Set for Robeson County School

The NC State Board of Education has voted to hire a private, for-profit management company, Achievement For All Children, to take over at Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County, as reported by T. Keung Hui in Raleigh’s News & Observer. The 7-4 vote established the first such contract based on a new program called Innovative School District, established by state legislators. Former Rep. Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg County), who introduced the enabling bill, is a member of the board of directors of the management company.

On Cows and Things

                Editor’s Note: The following came to me as a letter from an old friend in Vermont — a former dairy farmer (and also former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture) who gave up cows for turkeys almost three decades ago, and who lately has added popcorn to his repertoire. I had written to ask him about the veracity of the many articles on dairy cows I was seeing, alluding to forced births in herds to enhance the milking schedule….   Continue Reading »

Finally, a State Board of Elections (and Ethics Enforcement) Put in Place

While not conceding his legal contention that the state’s new legislatively declared Board os Elections and Ethics Enforcement is unconstitutional, Gov. Roy Cooper has now appointed eight members (four Democrats, four Republicans; six men, two women) to the board in order to offer some semblance of order as primary elections get underway for 2018. The newly constituted board will appoint its ninth member, who must be neither a registered Democrat or Republican. In today’s News & Observer, Anne Blythe offers details on this latest shift in election…   Continue Reading »

Maniac’s Mountain: Do You Think He’s Dead?

Written by the award-winning columnist Mark Jamison (aka “Maniac”) of Jackson County, NC, Maniac’s Mountain features many of the characters that populate Jamison’s rural life — human or animal. PPNC Exclusive columns feature the outrageously fearless foursome of Maniac, Otis the three-legged dog, Mellow the feline, and Spooky Cat. Most columns arrive in the wee hours by email, and are kept as true-to-email-form as possible; thus they carry a standing “potentially X-rated” warning.   Otis: Do you think he’s dead? Mellow: Better fucking not be, the food dish is…   Continue Reading »

A Good Idea Is A Good Idea

In their recent staff editorial, the editorial board of the News & Observer hit the gerrymandering nail on the head. Included is this reference to perhaps the wisest grandmother of nonpartisan redistricting, the Iowa method: “One better approach to redistricting is found in Iowa, where partisanship has been drained out of the process almost entirely. Iowa’s legislative and congressional districts are drawn by a nonpartisan state agency without regard to voter registration data or previous election results. The legislature has up to three opportunities to approve…   Continue Reading »

Maniac’s Mountain: The Wood Stove

PPNC is pleased to introduce a new “culture” column, Maniac’s Mountain. It is written by the award-winning columnist Mark Jamison of Jackson County, and features many of the characters that populate his rural life. That would include humans as well as animals, though PPNC Exclusive columns feature the fearless foursome of Maniac, Otis the three-legged dog, Mellow the feline, and Spooky Cat. We think you’ll love this quartet tremendously. And for the record, most of the Maniac columns arrive in the wee hours by email. They are…   Continue Reading »

Sailing With Shredded Flags

Editorial by Nelda Holder     It is my alarming observation that the state of North Carolina, my own home state and host to my immigrant great-great grandfather, a stone mason from Ireland (who helped build the Capitol in Raleigh), is currently sailing with shredded flags straight into a hurricane. Battered by numerous constitutional issues that have involved no less than the lifeblood of our nation—the right to vote—we are now facing a monumental storm that is being fed by political climate change. And yes,…   Continue Reading »

Jeopardizing Balance in the State’s Judicial System

By: Nelda Holder At a time when the state of North Carolina is under the judicial microscope for unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in its legislative redistricting, a new set of maps that scramble the state’s established judicial districts has received a loudly voiced “Slow down!” from various quarters. The new maps, released in a mid-summer tweet by Rep. Justin Burr of Albemarle (R-Montgomery/Stanly), reshape judicial lines across the state in ways that affect the entire court system. Judges and district attorneys may be running in different…   Continue Reading »

Environmental Questions Grow Over “GenX”

As reported October 5 by Steve DeVane in the Fayetteville Observer, tests are to be expanded in the area of the Bladen County Chemours facility where high levels of “GenX” (used to make nonstick coatings on cookware) have been discovered. According to the article, around 150 people attended a meeting Thursday with Sheila Holman, assistant secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality, to discuss questions concerning the chemical release and its potential effects. Meanwhile, in Raleigh, the NC General Assembly overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of HB-56,…   Continue Reading »

How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away

by Nelda Holder The legislative version of redux is trying the patience of any number of North Carolina citizens and Statehouse watchers, not to mention a large number of advocacy groups and even some of the legislators themselves. In 2016, the last year of the 2015-2016 biennium, the North Carolina General Assembly held one regular and five special sessions. Obviously this in-and-out practice was attractive to the leadership (while keeping the general public on their toes), and the 2017-2018 two-year cycle saw the leadership deviate…   Continue Reading »

  • Mission

    PoliticallyPurpleNC examines -- from a nonpartisan angle -- the legislative decisions of the North Carolina General Assembly and their potential effects on the citizens of the state. It does so in a setting that includes context -- historical background and social implications. PPNC encourages rational, nonpartisan evaluation and advocacy for the good of the whole.
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