This week’s top stories on NC Policy Watch
This is the second of a three-part series about a commonly used method of environmental protection for wetlands and streams called “compensatory mitigation.”
This a place where the Atlantic Ocean begins: A yawning storm pipe draped by kudzu about a half-mile south of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Little more than a murky ditch, the shallow stream winds south, beneath the American Tobacco Trail bridge, behind a strip mall, and past two gas stations, to Forest Hills Park.
To illustrate the connections between Durham’s lowly downtown ditch to the coast, if you floated a paper boat from the headwaters in Forest Hills, its 150-mile journey would run south through Third Fork Creek, which in turn merges with New Hope Creek, which flows into Jordan Lake, a drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of people. The boat would skim over the dam and into the Cape Fear River, which travels through southeastern North Carolina and spills into the Atlantic south of Wilmington.[Read more…]
Veteran justice laments politicization of Supreme Court confirmation process, expresses optimism about the future
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking to a crowd of mostly women Monday in Raleigh, recalled when so many opportunities were off limits for her gender.
“What is the difference between a bookkeeper in New York’s Garment District, which my mother was, and a Supreme Court justice?” she asked. “And my answer is, one generation.”
The audience burst into applause. More than 1,600 people attended the conversation with Ginsburg as part of Meredith College’s Lillian Parker Wallace lecture series in Raleigh.
“As bleak as things may seem, I have seen so many changes in my lifetime, opportunities opened for people of whatever race, religion, and finally, gender,” said the 86-year-old.[Read more…]
Medicaid expansion is back on the table at the North Carolina General Assembly.
The latest maddening and semi-hopeful development in this seemingly never ending saga arose in the aftermath of the September 11 budget veto override debacle when House Speaker Tim Moore announced that he would fulfill “a promise” to revive the GOP version of the proposal now that the House was “finished” with the budget.
Last week, the measure – House Bill 655 – was approved by the House Health Committee on a voice vote and forwarded on to the House Rules Committee. The same committee had already taken the same action on a very similar version of the proposal back in July in a 25-6 vote.[Read more…]
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest to withdraw from headlining an event featuring several controversial anti-Islamic speakers.
Forest’s top-billing at such an event sends a dangerous message, said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.
“By sharing the stage with anti-Muslim speakers, the lieutenant governor would legitimize the bigoted views espoused by the speakers and delegitimize the Republican Party’s claim of supporting religious freedom for all,” McCaw said. “Lieutenant Governor Forest should immediately withdraw from this event and reaffirm his commitment to representing all North Carolinians regardless of faith or background.”
The group, which bills itself as the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is responding to Forest’s planned speech to the The American Renewal Project’s “North Carolina Renewal Project” event. The event takes place next week, Oct. 3-4, at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel.
Forest has not responded to requests for comment from Policy Watch.[Read more…]
The Senate voted 54-41 to end the declaration, delivering a rebuke that’s likely to be symbolic. Both chambers of Congress already voted to block the resolution, but the effort failed after the U.S. House failed to override Trump’s veto in March. The White House is expected to veto the resolution again.
Eleven Republicans joined Senate Democrats this week in voting to block Trump from circumventing Congress to obtain funding for a controversial border wall. The National Emergencies Act allows Democrats to seek a vote on repealing the emergency declaration every six months. The resolution disapproval requires a simple majority to pass the Senate.[Read more…]
“I speak for all of us who could not afford to go to Duke,” Charles Kuralt once declared in 1993, in that inimitable oaken voice, during the UNC system’s bicentennial celebration.
Kuralt, speaking to an august assemblage that included former President Bill Clinton and then North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, was in the midst of one of the regal monologues the famous newsman was lauded for in his 22 years at CBS News.
“What is it that binds us to this place as to no other?” he boomed. “It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls, or the crisp October nights or the memory of dogwoods blooming. … No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be, the university of the people.”
Kuralt, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and Wilmington native, earned a place in a generation of UNC commercials for that dedication. You can also catch Kuralt’s folksy love letter to Chapel Hill at any UNC sporting event, although the kum-ba-yah has an oddly dissonant sound in 2019.
Today, it is difficult to imagine many institutions of higher education in North Carolina, much less in the United States, can reasonably claim to be the “university of the people” anymore, unless we are to change the definition of “the people.” [Read more…]
Kate Walsh, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has a reputation for being provocative.
She lived up to that billing this month during a visit to North Carolina to discuss strategies for improving college and university teacher prep programs.
In North Carolina, there are 52 such programs approved by the State Board of Education (SBE). They include private and public universities and colleges as well as smaller programs created by school districts and nonprofits to feed the teacher pipeline. [Read more…]