National average around 9% and ours now tops 10%. Governor Perdue, touting her “jobs” accomplishments is meeting with other southern governors at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville so these numbers have got to be troubling at the least.
(WRAL) RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent in July, up from 9.9 percent in June, the state Employment Security Commission reported Friday.
The biggest driver in the increase was the loss of more than 12,000 public sector jobs, the ESC said.
On Thursday,Gov. Bev Perdue warned that the rate would increase. She made the remarks in a speech delivered in Asheville.
She and her staff will try to say it has everything to do with the GOP driven budget, but the truth is that the entirety of Perdue’s tenure has been riddled with job losses in the state even as she goes from location to location for ribbon cuttings driven by taxpayer giveaways in the form of incentives that also result in job losses.Read full article » No Comments »
Yep, there’s a connection. . . you just can’t believe it. It wouldn’t be enough that such life, if it existed, would have overcome space travel, solved innumerable problems related to physics, had such advanced technology that even the concept of terra forming wasn’t problematic or that they might have a good idea or two to share. Nope, these critters just need to get rid of mankind for not solving global warming.
The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.
“A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” the report states.
“Green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.
Hmmm. . . so, we have the possibility that nature loving “green” aliens would commit genocide to save the roaches. One of the writers of this report is Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division. That wasn’t the only scenario, but seemed more Hollywood than science. I’m thinkin’, “The Day The Earth Stood Still.” Just sayin’.
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Jon Stewart, on the Daily Show, showing how the media completely and utterly ignores Ron Paul’s success in the Iowa straw poll.
Hope you find it as funny as I did.Read full article » No Comments »
North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti reportedly tells us his “DOT isn’t going into the maritime study with any foregone conclusions.” Oh, really? In an Associated Press story front page in the StarNews (Aug. 18, 2011) we learn that this state bureaucrat plans to spend $1.7 million for a “Maritime Strategy”—just the name implies a foregone conclusion. Why would we need a strategy for improving and “modernizing” if the study concluded that the ports system is not economical? Of course, that serves no bureaucratic agenda.
Based on the stated purpose, this latest waste of taxpayer’s money sets us up for more spending on state ports, including a new “megaport”; meanwhile, we know that current public spending by the Ports Authority is greater than revenue. (Evidence: Patrick Gannon reported in the StarNews today, Aug. 18, that the state Ports Authority has lost millions of dollars each of the past several years. Yet, in government-speak, it claims “improved performance.”)
Apparently, no cost/benefit study has been (or will be) conducted. Even Lorrie Rutledge, spokeswoman for YES Port NC a nonprofit promoter of the North Carolina International Terminal proposed project for Southport, thinks such a study should have been done years ago. Still, she supports the too-late effort.
Naturally, Save the Cape organizer Toby Bronstein speaks against the study. She points out that the state has already spent $30 million on land purchases and $10 million for studies to prop up the NCIT scheme that could cost us billions—with a “b.” Ms. Bronstein correctly observes that although the DOT study purports to determine how North Carolina can compete with international ports, the question ought to be: Should we?
Personally, I think that our state legislators should take hold of this and hire an independent, disinterested business consultant to answer Bronstein’s query. But a better use of DOT’s stash would be to spend it on our roads and bridges.Read full article » 3 Comments »
Tracy Skrabal, a Stop-Titan movement operative with the N. C. Coastal Federation wrote a letter to the StarNews (starnewsonline.com, August 13, 2011). To my suspicious mind this is another attempt to stir up the public and disrupt the long, costly permitting process imposed on the Carolinas Cement Company. Its people plan to re-establish a production plant near Castle Hayne—on company land surrounded by other industrial mining operations.
Ms. Skrabal expressed irritation at the County Planning Board because apparently they have been skeptical about a planning staff scheme to restrict certain industrial businesses from operating. We wonder if Skrabal and her Stop-Titan cohorts collude with county staffers to stall the process. At this site we’ve long been critical of the flagrant and persistent efforts by a few to subvert the business plans of the company. This latest one proposes a “special-use permit.”
Frankly, I doubt that the majority of citizen “stakeholders” (which are all of us, not just a few environmental agitators and bureaucrats) in the economic health of our county expect that the planning board’s mission includes making it more difficult or impossible for industries to operate here. That seems to be in Skrabal’s job description, but it’s irresponsible of our elected and appointed officials. Why impose another bureaucratic process on any business with a good track record wanting to provide valuable products and generate wealth?
“Zoning” and permitting rules that allow only certain people to operate in specified locations end up being arbitrary, capricious and unworkable—and destructive to our freedom. Picture a handful of government bureaucrats drawing lines on maps and writing restrictions against owners planning to use their own land. Isn’t it arrogant and foolish for government officials to subvert our markets by dictating the highest and best use of our private property? And their plots are rife with politics.
Existing businesses would be exempt; some non-conforming enterprises with official connections will figure out how to be permitted; and, ultimately, zoning usually benefits a few special interests and harms or discriminates against many others.
In this case, support from environmentalists for a “special-use permit” targeting industrial land users seems to me suspect. Their goals include preventing the development of our natural resources, restricting uses of private property and locking up more land in government preserves. In my opinion, this is another desperate use of subterfuge by Stop-Titan activists to sabotage the Carolinas Cement Company.Read full article » No Comments »
SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — With the weather as hot as it has been, a seat in the shade is a good spot to be this summer. But if Southport leaders get their way, benches protected from the sun on one of the city’s busiest corners could soon be gone. The benches outside a store break the town sidewalk obstruction ordinance because they are not connected to the ground and are not up against their building.
I didn’t write it and it’s just silly. This is a great town heading down a bad path with unneeded and unnecessary regulations.
“The town does not want want me to keep my benches under the shady tree for the customers and visitors,” said Marianne Long, who owns the Bullfrog Corner Shoppe with her husband Ernest.
“We think it’s ridiculous,” Ernest said. “Over 3,000 people have signed a petition for us saying they think it’s ridiculous. The first thing they ask is, ‘Oh, you must be kidding. This can’t be true.’”
How has Southport become so mired in bad policy in such a short time. Last year they banned signs outside the small shops in the downtown area. It’s just sad and pathetic. It’s not Mayberry anymore. I just can’t believe they had to get 3000 signatures to say that having a bench in the shade is better than in the direct blaring sun in 100 degree heat.
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I just had to ask because the situation continues to escalate in Tabor City and it’s simply a matter of time before someone else gets hurt or killed. Short version, RC’s “boys” are on the lose. One makes a $1m bail without having a job and the other gets a $1k bond after trespassing on RC’s property and damaging his car. Allegations of molestation from both individuals has been documented. Roy Cooper still silent on his former colleague RC Soles.
Police reports show that on Sunday, Strickland drove up to Soles’ house at least three times on his moped before pushing the gate open. Witness John McCumbee told police Soles “beat up on” Strickland’s moped before the damage was done to the BMW. Police couldn’t find evidence of damage to the scooter and Soles denied it. Video from Soles’ residence also showed Strickland shut off the air conditioner units at their breaker boxes, according to the police report.
Hmm. . .Soles called the Tabor City police on one of the officer’s personal cell because laws regarding 911 don’t apply to him and the police are essentially his personal security force even though he doesn’t live in Tabor City. Strickland turned himself into the sheriff’s office and was released on the $1k bond mentioned earlier.
The most pathetic line out there appears in EVERY story over the past three years about the RC Soles situation and AG Roy Cooper has to look pretty bad: The State Bureau of Investigation continues to look into the allegations.
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Southport and Monkey Junction find themselves in a very similar and sad situation. In both areas, out of touch city councils are attempting to forcibly annex folks into their cities to add revenue to the bottom line because they either can’t stop spending or don’t have the political will to raise taxes.
But in both areas, thanks to a new state law, citizens have a voice in fighting such annexation. The bar is high, meaning 60% of property owners much petition against the annexation in order to NOT be annexed. Undaunted, the fight in both communities is valiant and worth noting. (from the StarNews)
Southport – Combined, there are 484 parcels in the two areas, meaning 291 valid petitions would be needed. Greg Bellamy, Brunswick County elections director, said his office had received 252 envelopes as of Wednesday, but how many valid petitions the envelopes contained wasn’t known.
Monkey Junction - To deny the attempted annexation by the city of Wilmington, at least 827 valid petitions – out of the 1,377 total parcels in the annexation area – would have to be received before the late-November deadline. As of Wednesday, the New Hanover County Board of Elections had received about 350 envelopes.
Kudos to those involved. The bar is high, but the desire to fight is even higher, or so it appears at this point. This fight will be waged until November, but methinks the activists might well have this one in hand if they continue at this pace and might well exceed the 60% threshold. Concerns abound with respect to how the elections folks will ensure that the petitions are valid AND counted.
Both cities should be VERY concerned. They could have proceeded to earn the trust and respect of potential annexed citizens, but chose instead to try to simply roll over them. If they lose, both cities will have to wait three more years to consider annexation once again. It is a shame the cities didn’t want to work WITH the citizens on this one.Read full article » No Comments »
The StarNews has an interesting editorial backhanding the frequent and addictive use of economic incentives by local government. Keep in mind that all of these highlighted points appeared in the same editorial. Here’s some of what they have to say IN FAVOR of incentives:
1) Other areas are willing to offer far more in return for the promise of a few or a few hundred jobs, which helps explain why, despite their unpopularity with taxpayers, incentives are still an essential recruiting tool.
2) In short, if everyone else is doing it and you’re not, you can’t even begin to compete.
3) . . . economic development experts understand that without them, one might as well forfeit the game.
4) The real question isn’t, “Incentives or no incentives?” Rather, it is what type of incentives . . .
5) More than incentives will go into the company’s eventual decision. But they will be a necessary part of the negotiations.
Now their mentions AGAINST incentives:
1) . . . someone is almost always willing to offer more, often in the form of generous tax incentives and/or rebates that in the public’s mind amount to little more than bribes.
2) . . . employers now know to coax the best possible concessions out of (public) officials.
3) What’s on the table in the form of incentives for the mystery business. . . is a secret for now, courtesy of state laws shrouding economic development negotiations.
4) Increasingly, taxpayers decry these “giveaways” . . .
5) other factors . . more important in a company’s decision on where to locate: education, infrastructure, accessibility, cultural and recreational amenities and a fair but competitive tax structure.
6) Terex Corp. in Wilmington, which will eliminate 90 jobs when its crane plant closes (despite a successful effort by Rep. Danny McComas, R-New Hanover, to win incentives to keep it here).
As I read this I was continually confused. It was like reading a crack addict reason that the utilization of crack was necessary but not good. With the utilization of incentives a local or state government can NEVER say that the tax laws are treating everyone as equals. No matter what rationalization they use or survey they point to, incentives discriminate and do nothing for small business where 85%+ of new job creation must come from in order to have a strong economy.
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Judge Ola Lewis, of Brunswick County, is not stranger to controversy. She was involved in the recent brush up with District Attorney Jon David that involved fellow Judge Jerry Jolly attempting to stop David from starting a traffic court program in Brunswick. (It’s a state law now so both Ola and Jolly were on the wrong side of history, but that’s another story.)
During that case, the original court rejected DA Jon David’s claims, the NC Court of Appeals then had at least one justice remove himself from the case after Lewis contacted him (she should have known better.) And when it went to the supreme court, the justices vacated the order that Lewis helped Jolly to write.
She also tried to call for an internal affairs investigation into Chief Deputy Charlie Miller for telling the truth in an affidavit involving the aforementioned case. The sheriff’s department rightfully refused as there was no merit beyond the threats from the judge.
Recently Lewis claimed to have released a member of her staff due to state budget cuts, but never presented proof of such cuts even as she sought to have the Brunswick County Commissioners fund the position with local tax dollars, which is very odd. More and more it looks like she was actually clearing the path to hire a former sheriff’s department employee as a political favor.
She is also the judge that was involved in dismissing the drunk driving charge against the Oak Island fire chief last year.
Last year, she filed a suit against a constituent, Ed Rapp, for calling her judicial conduct into question as she was involved in the senate primary between Bettie Fennell and Bill Rabon. Rapp posted a blog entry calling her actions into question and she filed a suit against him. It was brash, it was bold and it looked like a bully tactic. Rapp ultimately prevailed since Lewis is a public figure. Having lost on several fronts doesn’t mean that Lewis will stop, she has appealed that decision also.
(StarNews) Brunswick County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis has appealed last month’s ruling in a libel suit she brought against a political opponent.
The suit was filed last year, during a heated Republican primary election. Edward Lee Rapp, a media strategist for state Senate candidate Bettie Fennell, wrote two blog posts questioning Lewis’s ethics for openly supporting Republican Bill Rabon.
Some statements Rapp made turned out to be false. Lewis argued that her reputation was damaged, while Rapp apologized for the errors but claimed it was protected political speech.
On July 15, a Wake County judge brought in to hear the case ruled in Rapp’s favor, saying it should not proceed toward trial.
The appeal was filed Monday by Lewis’s attorney, Lonnie Williams.
That last line is of interest as Lewis does have a documented history with a particular favor with attorney Williams involving a payment to a Raleigh law firm and her intercepting that check on his behalf and stopping payment through the clerk’s office. Intrepid reporters should look into that matter further.
Having said all this, Lewis’ actions speak more to the potential abuse of power than to the prudent use of it. Her actions against David, Rapp and others looks deeply personal and immature. She is also quick to contact media outlets on a number of occasions when she wants a story to get out, but when she is asked to comment about her actions will hide behind her robes saying she cannot comment.
There needs to be a long hard look at her actions on these and other fronts. One has to wonder if the judicial review folks will ever have something to say about her actions.Read full article » 1 Comment »