Archive for North Carolina

Remember me warning you about Thom’s Tholl Road? Coming soon to an interstate near you? Via Barry Summers. Introduced in the NC Senate:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to direct the department of transportation to study ways to fund improvements to interstate 95.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Study. – The Department of Transportation shall study ways to fund improvements to Interstate 95 from the South Carolina to Virginia borders, including the feasibility of establishing tolls and managed lanes.

It’s been “studied” since 2010 at least:

North Carolina tolling I-95 being studied

Here’s the group that was fighting it in 2012: http://notollsi95.com/

How long before they’re “studying” it for I-26?

State Sen. Jeff Jackson went from Twitter to Vimeo:

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Om nom nom! Waffles!This is an invitation to a Waffle Brunch I help organize once a year. It’s a lot of fun – and if you don’t show up you’ll be missing out on some seriously awesome food. It’s known to local foodies as ” The Greatest Waffle Brunch In History.”

Chefs from around the world compete in Asheville, NC to decide who will be crowned “Master of the Waffle Iron And Supreme Potentate Over All Creation”.

To aid this culinary contest the community (That’s YOU) comes together to taste & vote on the waffles. Side-items such as fruit salad, bacon, and mimosas are provided by the attendees to share with one another.

This year all proceeds go to BAMFS – The Blueridge-Asheville Movement & FlowArts Society. (Look them up & “Like” them on Facebook.)

The Waffle-Off Championship is considered the most important event on Earth.

Cost: $5 per person + _ONE_ of the following items to share:

–> Real maple syrup (No HFCS please)
–> 1 gallon of organic orange juice
–> 1 bottle of Sparkling wine (aka: Champagne)
–> Bowl of fruit salad. (Doesn’t have to be organic fruit)
–> Something you want to share with the community, as long as it’s pre-cooked. (eg: Bacon, Mom’s breakfast strudel.)

Link to ticket page: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1353721

Advance ticket: $5
Tickets at door: $8

Note: A small group, such as a family or couple, may show up with a single one of the above items and it will count for the entire group. (For example: A family of 4 can bring a single bottle of real maple syrup.) If you don’t have time to pick up one or create of the items, no worries, an additional $5 will be accepted.

* Kids under the age of 10 and press get in free.

So, to summarize:

What: 2015 Waffle-Off Championship & Brunch

When: Sunday – March 29th 2015 @ 10:00am – 12:30pm

Why: To answer the most important question of all time: Who makes the best waffles IN THE UNIVERSE!!!???

This event is a benefit for BAMFS: Blueridge-Asheville Movement & FlowArts Society (Look us up on Facebook)

Where: The Asheville Commissary – 3080 Sweeten Creek Rd Asheville, NC 28803. (Formerly CinTom’s Frozen Yogurt) Refer to this Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/rztBY

This is a rain-or-shine event.


General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper at Creech Air Force Base, NV, one of several test sites promoted by the state.

We’ve also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] that could be used to disperse chemical and biological weapons across broad areas. We’re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States. – Pres. George W. Bush, Cincinnati, OH, October 7, 2002

That was the first time many of us heard the term “unmanned aerial vehicles.” Ticking off a litany of bogus reasons for invading Iraq, Bush hoped we would collectively wet our pants in fear of unmanned drones over America unleashing death from above. That was then. This is now.

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Mar
15

They’ve got a little list

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A few weeks ago, we looked at how Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin is using his position to weaken and eliminate pockets of political opposition. The University of Wisconsin system, specifically. Chris Hayes had observed:

There’s something sort of ingenious about this from a political standpoint. It seems to me that one of his M.O.s in office has been to sort of use policy as a mechanism by which to reduce the political power of people that would oppose him — progressives, the left. I mean, go after the unions, right? Which is a huge pillar of progressive power in the state of Wisconsin. And another big pillar of progressive power in the state, frankly, is the university system.

I noted that Republicans in North Carolina were using the same M.O. Since then there have been more efforts by the NCGOP at legislatively targeting political opponents. Democrats swept the four open seats on the Wake County Board of Commissioners last November? No problem.

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Mar
10

Nice democracy you got there

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If you have been following the travails of states under “small government” Republican rule, this will sound familiar. After 59 percent of voters in the city of Denton, Texas voted on November 4 to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in their town, well, Republican lawmakers in Austin are rethinking that whole “bringing democracy closer to the people” thing. Representative Phil King (R) of Weatherford has introduced two bills to prohibit city voters from controlling what happens within their own borders.

King, who per the Center for Media and Democracy sits on the executive board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is leading the charge to restrict pesky Texas citizens from exercising democracy when it interferes with the oil and gas bidness:

According to The New York Times, eight states led by Republicans have prohibited municipalities from passing paid sick day legislation in just the past two years. Other such preemption laws have barred cities from raising the minimum wage and regulating the activities of landlords. This year, Arkansas passed a law that blocks a city’s ability to pass anti-discrimination laws that would protect LGBT people, and bills introduced in six states this session would follow Arkansas’ lead.

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Mar
07

NC More Like Buncombe Every Day

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In case you missed it:

Sen. Chad Barefoot’s controversial plan to change how Wake County elects commissioners would put three Democratic incumbents in the same race if they all seek reelection in 2018.

Barefoot and fellow Republicans say the bill would end “outrageously expensive” countywide campaigns that result in a board that mostly lives in Raleigh. But Democrats say the proposal is a power grab launched after all Republican incumbents lost in last year’s commissioners election.

This follows on the heels of a similar move in Guilford County in February:

GREENSBORO — State Sen. Trudy Wade filed legislation Wednesday proposing the most significant restructuring of the City Council in more than 30 years. Senate Bill 36 would shrink the size of the council, fundamentally change the role and powers of the mayor, lengthen council terms, and reduce the number of council members who are elected at-large.

A stroll down memory lane, ain’t it? And wouldn’t you know, of the four Greensboro city council members who would have to run for a seat in the same district, three are Democrats, as is the mayor.

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Mar
03

The Cent-ire Strikes Back?

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This appeared yesterday in The Hill:

Centrist Democrats are gathering their forces to fight back against the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of their party, fearing a sharp turn to the left could prove disastrous in the 2016 elections.

[snip]

The New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a caucus of moderate Democrats in the House, plans to unveil an economic policy platform as soon as this week in an attempt to chart a different course.

“I have great respect for Sen. Warren — she’s a tremendous leader,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), one of the members working on the policy proposal. “My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.”

Peters said that, if Democrats are going to win back the House and Senate, “it’s going to be through the work of the New Democrat Coalition.”

I had to pause reading to laugh out loud.

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Feb
18

The Lone Legislator Writes Again

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Who was that masked man?

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Feb
17

This is How That Happened

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by Barry Summers

Late in 2013, I was reading a press release from a local state legislator, which publicized his being named chair of a new NC House committee. At the bottom, he listed all the other committees he was currently on, and just on a whim, I compared it to the official list of committees on his legislative website. There was exactly one missing from the press release: “House Committee on Unmanned Aircraft Systems”. That got me curious, and that’s how I eventually came to be the only member of the public sitting in an NCGA hearing room full of military, law enforcement, and drone industry representatives, and being stared at by an angry NSA contractor. Yikes…

2007 – 2012: “We want a fully integrated environment.”

RQ-4/MQ-4 Global Hawk. U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka. Public Domain Image courtesy Wikipedia.

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, it became clear to the Department of Defense that they would have to start planning for the day when most of those drones that they had come to depend on overseas, would have to come home. And they don’t have enough segregated, military airspace in the continental US to fly them all, for training, research, etc.

Pentagon working with FAA to open U.S. airspace to combat drones:

“With a growing fleet of combat drones in its arsenal, the Pentagon is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to open U.S. airspace to its robotic aircraft.”… “The stuff from Afghanistan is going to come back,” Steve Pennington, the Air Force’s director of ranges, bases and airspace, said at the conference. The Department of Defense “doesn’t want a segregated environment. We want a fully integrated environment.”

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