Good news last night in Boone. This is from the ACLU of North Carolina:
Watauga Board Votes to Keep “The House of the Spirits” in Honors High School Curriculum
ACLU of North Carolina Joined Parents, Students and Community Members Earlier in the Day to Rally in Support of the Freedom to Read
BOONE, N.C. – The Watauga County Board of Education tonight voted 3-2 to keep Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits” in the county’s public school curriculum for sophomore honors English students after a challenge to the board had been brought. Two board-sanctioned committees had previously voted unanimously to keep the book in the curriculum.
Chris Brook, Legal Director for the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation, released the following statement: Read More
Yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory’s DHHS Secretary, Aldona Wos, unveiled the administration’s long-awaited reform plan for Medicaid. One of McCrory’s favorite talking points on Medicaid has been how “broken” the system is and how he’s going to “fix” it. Setting aside the past year of missteps in which McCrory and Wos did more than any Governor and Secretary in history to discredit and cause problems for NC’s award-winning Medicaid program, what does the administration’s plan yesterday tell us about the future prospects of Medicaid and health care for the poor in NC? Here’s my take:
1. Surrender: The Governor completely surrendered by backing down from his former big plans to sell off substantial parts of the Medicaid program to private, out-of-state insurance companies. The proposal yesterday to use “Accountable Care Organizations” or ACOs is simply, at its core, a new way to pay existing or new networks of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Paying health providers as a group for each illness a patient gets rather than piecemeal for every test and procedure is supposed to get providers focused on quality and efficiency, especially when payments go up if patients are healthier. ACOs represent gradual evolution in health care and not “major reform.”
2. Missing the boat on Medicaid expansion: The Governor also made it clear that he has no intention of solving the coverage gap for the 500,000 poor North Carolina citizens who would be eligible for Medicaid coverage if he led the charge to expand Medicaid using the billions of dollars in federal money available to our state. Conservative governors and legislators around the country – whether in New Hampshire or Utah – are coming up with innovative solutions to cover their citizens with all the new federal money available. By leaving an expansion proposal out of his plans to change Medicaid, our Governor is renouncing any claim to national moderate leadership on this issue, leaving billions of federal tax dollars collected from North Carolinians to go to states that do expand and hurting hundreds of thousands of his own constituents.
Waterkeepers Ask N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture to Take Action on Hog Deaths, and Urge Governor to Declare a State of Emergency
New Video Shows Potential Impact of PED Outbreak on Human Health
VIDEO: http://youtu.be/jKYuw9ynePw <http://youtu.be/jKYuw9ynePw>
PHOTOS: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waterkeeperalliance/sets/72157641279276173/ <http://www.flickr.com/photos/waterkeeperalliance/sets/72157641279276173/>
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA –Waterkeeper Alliance and North Carolina Riverkeepers today called on the North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler, to take immediate action necessary to protect human health and the environment in response the swine industry’s handling of dead hogs resulting from the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus outbreak in North Carolina. The groups ask Commissioner Troxler to immediately inform the public about the scope of the problem and human health risks associated with improper handling and disposal of infected hog carcasses, and to take responsibility for ensuring that the massive hog mortality will be safely managed by the swine industry and supervised by the State. Read More
House Speaker John Boehner’s most recent delay tactic in preventing passage of an immigration reform bill has been to state that Republicans have “widespread doubt about whether [the Obama] administration can be trusted to enforce our laws.” As anyone paying attention to the immigration debate is aware, this is a ridiculous statement—the Obama administration has steadily increased the number of deportations conducted compared to previous administrations. The most recent statistics show that almost 420,000 immigrants were deported in fiscal year 2012, more immigrants deported in a single year by any president.
A recent essay in the D.C. news website The Hill by a retired immigration judge makes a powerful argument against that ridiculous claim. Retired Judge John Gossart, Jr. remarks:
“In my thirty-one years as a United States immigration judge, I have never had as many people come through my courtroom as I have over the last six years. During this time, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of non-citizens that the United States detains and deports, and the detained number of individuals appearing in immigration courts today is unprecedented. Read More
R.I.P. Martin Nesbitt - http://t.co/yks9SiDHUP #ncga #ncpol #ncgov #AVL8 hours ago
Baker Mitchell’s #charterschool, Douglass Academy, receives warning for low enrollment - http://t.co/mDTWb8NQRn #ncga #ncpol #nced13 hours ago
New state economic development group outside of NC ethics laws - http://t.co/0auEQ9E6hu #ncga #ncpol #ncgov #ethics #nc15 hours ago
Breaking: Court orders Duke Energy to clean up coal ash groundwater contamination immediately - http://t.co/tYAdy4ksoK #ncga #ncpol #coalash16 hours ago