NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Chatham, Lee residents head to court over disposing coal ash in abandoned mines

Sat, 11/12/2016 - 10:24

If it looks and acts like a landfill, is it a landfill? Superior Court Judge Carl Fox will weigh that question on Monday. Three environmental groups are asking Fox to review a legal decision that allows coal ash to be dumped in old slate and clay mines in rural Lee and Chatham counties. At issue ...

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This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 14:10

1. A pep talk for progressives Keep calm, stay engagedReasons for hope; reasons to keep working It’s been a devastating last 36 hours or so for millions of caring and thinking people in the United States and around the world. The very notion that Donald Trump (a man that one of North Carolina’s best known ...

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This week in pollution: A final, breathtaking tally of what Hurricane Matthew hath wrought

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 11:05

Within a week of Hurricane Matthew, evidence of the what had been set free and sent asunder could be found on the roadsides throughout eastern North Carolina. A pair of rowboats landed belly up in the woods on Rouse Road in Kinston. A dead hog in Duplin County, separated from its farm, finally came to ...

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Court packing move would set a dangerous new low for NC GOP

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 09:30

It’s hard to imagine that North Carolina conservatives could ever sink lower than they did during last March’s kangaroo special session of the General Assembly in which they took the execrable HB2 from the back of an envelope to state law in just a few hours. Unfortunately, as NC Policy Watch reporter Melissa Boughton reports ...

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Seats still available for next week’s election post mortem luncheon

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 06:52

Please join us Wednesday, Nov. 16 as NC Policy Watch presents a Crucial Conversation luncheon: Making sense of the 2016 election: What happened? Why? What now? Click here to register One of the most contentious elections in recent American history is now in the books and North Carolinians are confronting some important lessons  — some ...

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Why North Carolina teachers leave: A fascinating report from WRAL

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 15:55

Recently, Policy Watch reported on the still troubling numbers surrounding departing teachers in North Carolina, part of an annual report presented to the State Board of Education. Now, WRAL has offered up a fascinating piece shedding light on exiting teachers’ comments to administrators about their workplace. The verdict: Lots of complaints about exhaustion and pay. ...

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The western NC wildfires are visible from space; record pollution in smoke plumes

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 14:44

Breathing in far southwestern North Carolina, outside anyway, is not advised because of pollution coming from a dozen wildfires. The NC Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Code Red, which means the conditions are unhealthy for everyone in Cherokee, Clay, Macon and Graham counties. Some of the highest particle pollution ever measured by NC DEQ ...

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Another small but important piece of encouraging election news

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 11:47

Here’s another set of important North Carolina election results that you may have missed in the hubbub of the last 48 hours.  It comes from the good people at the North Carolina Housing Coalition: “The North Carolina Housing Coalition worked in partnership with several local organizations to support four different ballot measures around the state. All of them ...

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Is this the most maddening take on the election of Trump?

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 07:56

There is a lot of troubling nonsense emanating from conservative circles in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s electoral college victory on Tuesday. For my money, however, some of the most absurd blather comes from a Trump critic — the reliably cretinous and sanctimonious George Will. Raleigh’s News & Observer is running Will’s latest missive this ...

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LGBTQ Rally demands McCrory to concede, Cooper to repeal discriminatory legislation immediately

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 17:40

True to their word, LGBTQ community members and activists gathered for a rally Wednesday morning after the election to demand the repeal of discriminatory legislation, particularly House Bill 2, House Bill 972 and House Bill 318. HB2 targets workers and LGBTQ community members, particularly transgender North Carolinians; HB972 prevents public access to police body camera ...

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Environmental advocates ready to fight Trump “in the courts, in Congress, in the streets”

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 15:48

Since there has been so little of it, let’s start with some positive news. Yes, the environment will be under federal siege during the Donald Trump administration. But the president-elect, his cabinet and a conservative Congress will face formidable opponents. “We can guarantee him the hardest fight of his political life,” said Michael Bruene, executive ...

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Election brings Democratic majority to N.C. Supreme Court with Mike Morgan win

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 15:29

The North Carolina Supreme Court race is non-partisan, but Mike Morgan’s win in the election against incumbent Justice Bob Edmunds tipped the ideological balance to a Democratic majority. Morgan won by 348,825 votes or 54.45 percent, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, effectively flipping the court from a 4-3 Republican majority to 4-3 Democratic ...

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Must read editorial explains what we ought to do next in NC

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 14:30

Be sure to check out this morning’s Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com. It’s hard to say at this point what’s next with the powers that be in our state, but the “to do” list it spells out ought to be a no-brainer: Six must-do tasks to get NC back on track The election’s done. ...

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Here are the major Election Day outcomes for NC public schools that nobody’s talking about

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 11:32

Much of the discussion this morning, rightfully so, centers around Donald Trump’s surprising coronation early this morning, but followers of North Carolina’s most hot-button education issues were in for their fair share of surprises last night too. Policy Watch’s Chris Fitzsimon noted this morning that, with the exception of HB2-affiliated politicians such as Gov. Pat McCrory ...

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N.C. Governor’s race: What we know, what we don’t know

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 10:43

As Tuesday’s election night stretched into a tense Wednesday morning, Attorney General Roy Cooper claimed victory in his hard fought battle to unseat N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory. But the embattled Republican governor vowed that the race wasn’t over – provisional ballots would still have to be counted, the vote would have to be certified. Because ...

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Three-and-a-half preliminary takes on the election shocker

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 06:58

Yesterday was a remarkable day in the history of American democracy. This morning, millions of people at home and abroad are rightfully concerned about where our country goes from here — not just with respect specific issues like Supreme Court nominees and reproductive freedom and access to health care, but with more existential matters like ...

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Wake County residents turn out at polls for ‘a big year’

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 17:30

No matter who they cast their ballots for, Wake County residents were passionate about making their voice heard Tuesday. Yenny Duran, who is from Venezuela, said it was her first time voting in the United States. “I wanted to be free, respectful,” she said. “I believe this is very important for the U.S. and the ...

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Need a distraction from the election? How about bad news regarding mosquitoes?

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 16:39

Zika, West Nile, Dengue fever, La Crosse encephalitis and Chikungunya: More than 700 cases of  mosquito-borne diseases have been reported in mid-Atlantic states, a region that includes North Carolina, this year. Even though there were 72 travel-associated cases of Zika in North Carolina this year, there are fewer public dollars for mosquito control programs, Dr. Stephanie Richards ...

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Disturbing campaign signs posted at Raleigh elementary school polling site

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 16:17

  It was a good thing students were on a two-hour delay Tuesday, otherwise the kids at Hilburn Drive Elementary School may have seen the risque conservative campaign sign posted outside criticizing Bill and Hillary Clinton on the front and antagonizing Roy Cooper on the back. Jim Baudreau, the precinct chair representing the Wake County Republican ...

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In NC’s largest school district, a race for control over schools

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 14:40

Much of the attention in recent months has centered on the presidential election and a bitterly contested, close contest between Gov. Pat McCrory and his challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper. But in Wake County, home to North Carolina’s largest school district, it’s worth noting that control of the Wake County Public School System Board of ...

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