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Bonner-BridgeICYMI, be sure to check out the op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by Derb Carter, the Director of the North Carolina office of Southern Environmental Law Center. In it, Carter explains yet again why the longer Bonner Bridge replacement championed by his organization is by far the more responsible option — both in terms of protecting the environment and protecting taxpayers.

As Carter notes, it’s a classic “pay me now or pay me later” scenario: pay upfront for a stable  and lasting bridge that will be sheltered from storms and avoid the fast-eroding part of Hatteras Island or rely on a constantly changing set of patchwork “solutions” that are based upon repeatedly repairing roads and reclaiming land swallowed by the sea.

Isn’t it interesting that yet again, the sober, hard-headed, fiscally responsible solution is being advanced by so-called “liberals” whilst the dreamy-eyed, hope-for-the-best-and-improvise plan is being put forth by so-called “conservatives”?

You can read Carter’s essay by clicking here.

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From the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina:

RALEIGH –A young immigrant who meets all requirements for a North Carolina driver’s license but has been denied a learner’s permit while officials reconsider the state’s policy will deliver a petition with more than 22,000 signatures to the office of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory today that urges the governor to support issuing licenses to qualified immigrants who want to drive safely and legally in the state.

More than three weeks after the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office said that young immigrants who qualify under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are “lawfully present” and should be granted driver’s licenses, North Carolina officials have still not announced a decision about the state’s policy. Read More

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The Independent Weekly, the alt weekly for the Triangle, gathered up all the statements of economic interest for Gov. Pat McCrory’s major administrative appointees, and posted them online for all to see.

Go here to launch your own DIY hunt.(Links to the document are on the right side of the page.)

Whether or not any of the information is juicy really is in the eye of the beholder but there are some interesting tidbits.

As the Indy pointed out, McCrory’s budget director and Republican money-man Art Pope invests in the nation’s largest oil and natural gas royalty trust in the United States, BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust) while the the head of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz owns property with her husband on the exclusive Figure Eight Island and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata’s wife works for the Old Chatham Golf Club, an exclusive, invite-only golf club.

The statements of economic interest (SEIs, as they’re known to public records nerds like myself) are collected by the N.C. Ethics Commission as part of the sweeping changes following the scandals that befell the Democratic-led legislature in 2006. Read More