In stories reported about the Carolinas Cement Company’s proposal to rebuild a plant near Castle Hayne, N. C., Wilmington StarNews journalists invariably provide comments from various environmental nonprofit “advocates” with presumed credible authority to criticize, defame and litigate against the company. (link)
After more than three years of this, in my opinion, it’s way past time for StarNews “Watchdogs” to do some investigative reporting. We need answers to nagging questions about these people. The press has provided only superficial and self-promoting propaganda on them. Readers should learn who they are, how they are funded and what’s really behind their rabid, irrational attacks on the company. Below are a few of the questions that might help us understand what’s really behind this:
Why does the N. C. Coastal Federation and allied groups (some operating out of state) target the Carolinas Cement Co. alleging potential environmental and public health harms, while ignoring other big industries and government projects operating near Wilmington and the Cape Fear River with possibly greater potential threats?
(For example: the U.S. Army Military Ocean Terminal(link);
the N. C. Port at Wilmington(link);
an ADM plant at Southport(link);
GE Hitachi Nuclear facility at Castle Hayne(link);
the Brunswick Nuclear Plant(link);
and the New Hanover County WASTEC facility(link))
Who is Mike Giles, really? What authorizes him to be frequently cited by StarNews reporters as a “coastal advocate”? What’s behind his comment: “We’re going to keep a watch on them and not take our pressure off of Titan.”? Why does he go unchallenged when making false charges and threats?
What’s the activist agenda of the Southern Environmental Law Center? What are its connections with UNC and Duke Universities? Who funds this group and why? On what basis do these people have legal “standing” to bring lawsuits against Carolinas Cement Co.?
With no substantiation to support their charges and allegations, why aren’t the environmental activists being investigated for accountability and transparency in what they say and do? It’s time we had answers to these questions.Read full article » No Comments »
The city finds itself on the receiving end of potential legal action for its lack of action on Olsen Park from local attorney Gary Shipman:
Olsen Farm of Wilmington, LLLP, from whom the City of Wilmington purchased approximately 64 acres in 2007 to develop Olsen Farms Park, believes that the City of Wilmington has violated the terms of the purchase agreement by failing to undertake development of the park in accordance with its terms and has retained a Wilmington law firm to explore its legal options. “We’ve been asked to determine whether the City has breached the purchase agreement and what remedies exist for that breach,” said Gary K. Shipman of Shipman & Wright, LLP.
The City has recently announced plans to place a bond referendum on the ballot in November to fund a $37 million baseball stadium in the City, and Shipman said that this was particularly disturbing to his client. “We think that the City needs to fund and complete its current obligations before embarking on any others, and we’re hopeful that our discussions with the City over the coming weeks will refocus the priorities,” Shipman said.
Ouch! City priorities and leadership are sorely lacking these days.Read full article » No Comments »
It is unusual for the StarNews editors to EVER take exception with the actions of the Wilmington City Council, but they did on Saturday:
The city has spent a total of $4.75 million to buy back the 2.3-acre piece of property, which it owned up until 1997 when PB&G co-owner Gene Merritt bought it for $1.5 million. . . Ten years later, the concrete monstrosity was undeveloped and the city bought half the site back for $2.6 million with the idea that the site could become a small urban park. Then in June, the city council unanimously decided to pay another $2.15 million to get the rest of it back. . . Now another developer, Jim McFarland, says he’ll take the whole thing off the city’s hands for $2.5 million. Calculators up! Compute. The developer, who says he’d put up a hotel and parking area, is offering a little more than half of what the city spent to buy back what the taxpayers once owned in the first place. That would be a $2.25 million loss for the city, but a great deal for the developer.
LOL. . the editors don’t have a problem with the city buying a second golf course, the troubled Olsen Park, the delayed 3rd St. project, the continual wrecks with the 5th St. fountain, the actual utilization of the convention center or the $37m proposed baseball stadium, but they’re spot on with this boondoggle of a parking deck.Read full article » No Comments »