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 »
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 »
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 »
The 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, planned to carry fracked gas through West Virginia, Virginia, and eastern North Carolina, is knocking at the door of NCDEQ for a necessary water quality permit. Environmental activists are knocking, too — at least metaphorically. They have been staging a protest in front of the department’s office, with several participants holding a water-only fast as the day of permit reckoning approaches. See a report on the climate activists and the project in the September 13 Indy Week: “N.C. Climate Activists Hold… Continue Reading »
The rules for North Carolina’s critical, court-ordered redistricting were announced yesterday with a promise by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett County) that the process “will be an inherently political thing.” The rules include protecting incumbents, which Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake County) called “ridiculous,” noting that “We will protect the incumbents elected using unconstitutional maps. See the full News & Observer report by Will Doran.
The state of North Carolina is roughly 500 miles long and 150 miles wide. The well-known “Murphy to Manteo” description takes on new meaning if you drive it, but the political issues and attitudes that change along the way mean the depth of the state is gigantic. So while the Murphy slice of NC life is currently in the throes of preparing for an invasion of solar eclipse tourists on and near the 21st of August (invasion of the sun-snatchers?), in the middle of the… Continue Reading »