A “prominent opponent” of the Carolinas Cement Company writes with more alarmist views of the proposed plant at a site near Castle Hayne. The writer worries about water “removal,” a “threat” of contamination and saltwater “intrusion.” (link)
She says that water is a “limited resource”—untrue in context with the fact that we live in one of the most plentifully watered area on the east coast. Nor, is water “used” in the sense of “lost. Those with elemental knowledge of ecology know about the “Water Cycle.” Virtually all surface water is continually recycled. Only a small amount is temporarily stored on earth.
Thus, as Carolinas Cement Manager Bob Odom has often explained, relatively little water will be used in the manufacturing process; all other water will be stored and recycled. There’s no evidence that it will be “removed from the aquifer” and not replenished.
As for “contamination,” Mr. Odom has repeatedly said that spill and pollution prevention controls will be in place.
And about saltwater “intrusion”; the writer should take a cruise up the Northeast Cape Fear River with environmentalist Doug Springer who will show where salt water abruptly ends well downriver from the mine site.
CCC activist opponents display perpetual ignorance about the environment, the mining process, modern technology—and irrational hostility toward the company.
It’s embarrassing, but facts must be dismissed. They inconveniently counter the agenda—to shut down our vital natural resources industries and sabotage economic progress.Read full article » No Comments »
Insiders are saying a deal is DONE on the baseball stadium in Wilmington. Councilman Kevin O’Grady seems to be the starry eyed one pushing the hardest, but council isn’t happy (so I’m told) with the high dollar amount which is supposed be under $40m from taxpayers. Lawyers are wrapping up the details as of now.
Council may decide to not put the issue on the ballot to save the embarrassment of a taxpayer defeat leading into the 2013 elections, but council hasn’t been known for trying to save taxpayer dollars on anything much less a boondoggle like this.
Prediction, regardless of how bad it looks, council will make us go through the ballot to stop it.
Warning: CAPSTRAT (marketing firm from Raleigh) will be paid an amazing amount of money to convince voters that raising their taxes for this will be a good idea.Read full article » No Comments »
Rep. Mike “Strengthening Rural America & Our Economy” McIntyre tells us in his July 2012 “Word on Washington” letter that this is the “forefront” of his legislative agenda. McIntyre is a senior member of the U. S. House Agriculture Committee. He thinks the huge new porker bill, deceptively named the Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012, will provide “some certainty.” (link)
It’s certain that more than a trillion taxpayers’ dollars will be distributed by government agencies. Nearly 80 percent of these “investments” will go to expand the Food Stamps entitlement, euphemistically referred to as a “nutrition” program. (link)
Rep. McIntyre continues to use the same leftist government-speak to make us think spending this money will improve the economy when it actually sucks money out of it. His code-words say one thing, but mean something else.
For example: the “distinct needs of rural America.” This is simply another interest designation that helps him justify taking money from citizens and spreading it around to some of his voters. Then, there’s: “it is critical that we support rural communities.” Again, “we” is the taxpayers subsidizing those who are increasingly led to government dependency.
Another leftist code phrase used by McIntyre is “move forward.” This means spending more by expanding government programs benefiting some at the expense of many. And, “it is imperative that we continue to make needed investments” is yet another phrase used to justify spending for wasteful, self-serving projects.
Rep. McIntyre says he “will continue to work to ensure that we invest responsibly,” but these words ring hollow when applied to the FAARM bill—another massive transfer to wealth and vote-getting project misleadingly advertised to the public.Read full article » No Comments »
An international company with property in Castle Hayne, N. C. accepted $25 million of “state incentives” promising to invest $700 million and hire about 900 workers. The company plans to use a mined natural resource and “sensitive technology” to produce a potentially dangerous product requiring an impact study mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Public hearings have been held, according to a Wilmington StarNews report. (link)
Yes. For more than 3 years we’ve had demands for “answers”; criticisms and accusations; scares about public health hazards; and legal actions against another company that has been defined by some of the conditions cited above, except for some major differences: Carolinas Cement Company refused to accept tax “incentives; it is not involved with any dangerous products; and it doesn’t operate in secrecy.
Environmental group advocates have kept up an unrelenting assault on the CCC through the Stop Titan Action Network. (link) However, they’ve been strangely silent about plans by GE Hitachi to build a “revolutionary” plant in Castle Hayne to enrich uranium.
Where are the condemnations from the N. C. Coastal Federation, the Riverkeeper Alliance, Pender Watch, the Sierra Club and the Southern Environmental Law Center? Why the selective assault on the cement industry and no comment on plans for nuclear production by GE Hitachi?
Managers, staff and spokespeople for Carolinas Cement have been open and honest about every aspect of their proposed operation and vow to follow all state and federal regulations. Manager Bob Odom sends out monthly updates and other information for all to see. (link)
In the case of GE Hitachi, the environmental impact study has been completed—with no comment from the environmentalists—and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission may approve the plant on recommendations from the Atomic Safely and Licensing Board for a “40-year license to operate the plant.” But, according to an NRC spokesman, “There will be no more public comment about the plant or technology.” “The last major review,” writes the StarNews reporter “will take place behind closed doors.”
When will we learn of environmental advocates protesting and litigating through a Stop GE Action Network? Why have they selectively attacked the cement industry and ignored others? Could it be that the cement company is an easier target because of the openness and honesty of its people, while GE is protected from intense scrutiny by federal regulators? Who knows? What we do know is that the environmental agenda is masked and suspicious.Read full article » No Comments »
After millions of dollars on a convention center, walking trails, an extra golf course, non-profit funding and even entertaining the troops from a naval vessel the Wilmington city council has decided that fixing their streets might be important.
The city council decided to raise the tax rate by 3 cents per $100 of value for a five-year capital plan that will raise $41 million. Of that, $35.2 million will go to streets and sidewalks, including $21 million specifically for street rehabilitation. That money will address streets that have languished in poor condition or need repairs.
Simply staggering that the city can justify a tax increase on this as they continue to waste taxpayer time and money on a baseball stadium. Do you think the streets have more importance than a taxpayer funded baseball stadium?Read full article » 1 Comment »
Bob Hall, executive director of the watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, said he didn’t believe Hamilton’s support for the film industry rises to the level of an ethical violation but “does smell bad.”
More of the story here and also an overview of favoritism with film incentives over at the Locke Foundation here.Read full article » No Comments »
Rep. Susie Hamilton (D-New Hanover) is near the top of an interesting list over at WRAL. It’s the list of legislators who have changed their votes. Out of 120 House members, she ranks 2nd in the state changing her vote 19 times in this session. OM! One could say that changing a vote is common, but it’s not. Haven’t seen this one in the StarNews and I doubt we will, they still have NOT mentioned a word on her fracking bill vote change in their editorial pages. Also an interesting political trend on this list as well.
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Local television station WECT long ago abandoned objectivity with respect to the “taxpayer funded” baseball stadium when their Leland resident general manager jumped on board in support of it in early spring before the tax dollar price tag escalated dramatically as the number of stadium seats diminished. BUT. . . the following tweet from one of his reporters is just hilarious!
Ashlea Kosikowski @AshleaKosi </AshleaKosi>
Mandalay’s Rich Neumann just ran from me when I tried to talk to him about #baseball </search/%23baseball> in #ilm </search/%23ilm> .
Ashlea Kosikowski @AshleaKosi </AshleaKosi>
Mandalay’s Rich Neumann also called me “dear” as he ran out the door. #dontcallmedear </search/%23dontcallmedear> #imnotyourwife </search/%23imnotyourwife> #prfail </search/%23prfail>
Retweeted by WECT News </AshleaKosi>
Wonder how Gary feels about either his staff or Rich Neumann now? Just hilarious! Waiting to jump on board might have been the better part of valor on his part, better to know who you’re dealing with before you drink the koolaid.Read full article » No Comments »
The Wilmington City Council is in an interesting political bit of hypocrisy. They are avid lefties that allow sectarian prayers while saying they don’t. It’s kind of funny when you hear these passionate Christian prayers at their meeting while knowing that most of the council adhere to a party platform that wants to get rid of such things in government. And they’re being called out (StarNews):
The American Humanist Association is accusing the Wilmington City Council of violating the constitution by holding sectarian prayers before meetings. It’s obvious the council has a preference for Christian prayers, William Burgess, director of AHA’s legal center, said.
City attorney Bill Wolok is hilarious in his response: ”We’re not going to stop the invocation,” City Attorney Bill Wolak said. “We don’t’ have to.” Wolak said the council cannot control what people say when they are mid-prayer.
And then the hilarity will ensue. . stay tuned. Righteous indignation? LOLRead full article » No Comments »
That is essentially what the StarNews addresses in four separate articles. Worth noting is that the people quoted are more inclined to see Government as the need rather than the possible hindrance. Here’s a condensed version of the StarNews rundown:
1) Quality of life – ”The larger industries … could not care less about the quality of life” because they aren’t relocating a large number of executives, said Jim Bradshaw, Brunswick County Economic Development Commission director. “They are looking at incentives, labor force and work force training.” But it does matter to smaller companies? ”Often times they are relocating from one part of the country to another,” Bradshaw said. “They will be moving families themselves and employees.”
Bradshaw goes on to explain that it’s basically about incentives and how fast the state can give away taxpayer dollars, but he never says “taxpayer,” not even a single time!
2) How other areas attract business – Here there is yet another defense of incentives citing Person County attracting both Eaton and GKN. All three deals (GKN) – one last year with an expansion of Eaton Corp. and another in 2007 by Force Protection Inc. – totaled about 520 jobs in a county with fewer than 40,000 residents.
The story cites NC incentives program, but neglects to mention that both Eaton and GKN laid off hundreds of folks in the Lee County area with other incentives that ran out. Typical of only giving the “good” version and neglecting to tell the whole story. But taking in BOTH parts of the story would have shown that both companies made a business decision that had really nothing to do with government.
The story also points to “government assisted” organizations: WBD’s budget is nearly $1 million – most of it from private funds. . But it has a contract with New Hanover County for economic development work worth about $134,000 and with the city of Wilmington for about $80,000. Tax-dollars = $214k
Brunswick and parts of Columbus counties are handled by the Brunswick Economic Development Commission, a government agency headed by Jim Bradshaw with a roughly $400,000 (tax dollars) annual budget.
3) Utilities and Infrastructure – This article dealt with water/sewer, BIG roads, railroads, the port and airports. Not a mention of traffic or local road quality.
4) AND FINALLY: Regulations and taxes, but they refer to it as “lawmakers, officials, looking to attract business” – Legislators have made changes to environmental regulatory processes and they are continuing to look at tax reform to help give the state a competitive edge. Hmm. . . finally, an admission that regulations and taxes affect business.
Other notables show up in the story, the ever reclusive Chamber of Commerce in Wilmington makes an appearance with its director Connie Majure-Rhett. Making the permitting process easier would also help, Majure-Rhett said. While it varies in each county and city, New Hanover and Wilmington, especially, have been called out for being tough to work with. ”What would help is if we had an asset where all the answers were to apply (for permits), and there was a timeline with a good estimate of how long (they) take,” Majure-Rhett said.