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Pat McCrory 4It should probably come as no surprise when a state elects a governor who’s spent most of his adult life in the employ of one of the planet’s biggest polluters and he fails to make environmental protection a top priority. That said, there is something disturbing and notably blatant about the way the McCrory administration continues to wage war on environmental protection and, it would seem, the very idea that government has a role to play in the matter.

The list of disasters implemented over the last few years in the realm of environmental protection in North Carolina is already a long one — the uninspiring leaders appointed, the half-baked responses to the coal ash mess, the retreat on sea-level rise, the failure to take action on climate change, the lack of investments, the rules compromised — but two new announcements this week serve really to pour symbolic salt on the wound and rub it in.

First is the announcement to be unveiled officially today with the Governor’s proposed budget that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is to be: a) re-christened as the “Department of Energy and  Environment” (I’m sure you noticed which word got second billing) and b) further eviscerated with the transfer of the state zoo as well as several museums and parks (and scientists) to the Department of Cultural Resources.

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No, that headline is not a typo.postpic

North Carolina’s Department of Cultural Resources — you know, the folks with the mission to enrich lives and communities and create opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina — has a post on its Facebook page in which it touts the state’s new and regressive tax changes and links to a Forbes.com article on the subject.

I suppose you can chalk it up to loyal administration staffers simply cheerleading for the people that hired them, but the post has ticked off a heck of a lot of Facebook commenters who are used to coming to the page to read about, you know, cultural issues. As of Thursday afternoon, 63 people had commented.

Here are a few of the mostly negative responses to the surprisingly political entry:

“I really enjoy the posts about NC culture and history. This post is neither.”

“I totally thought this was a gag post. Sad to say it was not.”

“What a Crock of Inappropriateness…Shame on you North Carolina Culture.”

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