Daily Journal

11.25.14
Economic Nonsense and the Keystone XL Pipeline

Key arguments from pipeline detractors exhibit an ignorance of basic economics.

CJ Ticker

  • Latest N.C. employment report contains "excellent" news.
  • N.C. Supreme Court decides to bypass the Court of Appeals and address the lawsuit challenging new opportunity scholarships.
  • The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals restores same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting for North Carolina's November election.
  • JLF report calls for reduction or repeal of N.C.'s capital gains tax.
  • Gov. McCrory rejects special session dealing with economic incentives. Video here.
  • New JLF report focuses on chemical composition of fluid used for fracking.
  • N.C. Supreme Court affirms a 2013 state Utilities Commission ruling approving a Duke Energy Progress rate hike.
  • Gov. McCrory appoints Appeals Court Judge Bob Hunter to Supreme Court seat being vacated by Chief Justice-designate Mark Martin. Hunter is running for the seat in November.

Other Opinions

11.25.14
Cellphone surveillance

The Charlotte Observer says that the police should have access to modern crimefighting tools, but they should be responsible, and transparent, about it.


11.25.14
School calendar

The N. C. General Assembly’s passion in the past decade to micromanage school calendars stands among the most bone-headed of decisions says the Durham Herald-Sun.


11.25.14
Textile industry

The textile industry never will be what it was in the Carolinas. But it also never will die as long as there are outfits such as those that make up the Carolina Textile District writes the Asheville Citizen-Times.


11.24.14
State budget

Tom Campbell writes that state budgets are important. A poorly designed budget process can only lead to poor results. We can do better.


11.24.14
’Tis the season…

It’s still about two months before the mid-January start of the 2015-16 legislative session, but you wouldn’t know it with events of the past couple of weeks around the legislative complex says Patrick Gannon.


11.02.14
After the Midterms, GOP Must Lead
The 2015 Congress should be bold and specific in its moves to make America more dynamic and secure.

Media Mangle

9.17.14
When the Price of Access Is Too Steep

Media outlets should think twice about maintaining cozy relationships with murderous regimes.


9.06.12
How to downplay an embarrassing story

The N&O buries the one moment of real drama at the Democratic National Convention.


3.21.12
Death of a narrative

The world's media found the neo-Nazi meme in stories about the school shooting in France just too enticing.

Carolina Beat

11.21.14
Accountability Is No Gimmick

Lead Story

Admission Standards Dropping at Three UNC Campuses

November 25, 2014, By Jesse Saffron

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Starting next fall, N.C. Central University, Elizabeth City State University, and Fayetteville State University will be allowed to admit students with SAT scores as low as 750 (the current systemwide minimum is 800). The three historically black universities are part of a pilot program approved at the October UNC Board of Governors meeting.

11.24.14 - VIDEO: Map Act ‘Like a Drug’ for N.C. DOT

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The Map Act is “like a drug” for the N.C. Department of Transportation, allowing the department to limit development and other uses of targeted properties until the time and price are right for DOT acquisition. That’s a key argument Winston-Salem-based attorney Matthew Bryant made during a presentation Monday to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. Bryant is representing property owners in communities across North Carolina in a series of lawsuits against DOT.

11.24.14 - Obama Immigration Action Amplifies Partisan Divide

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — President Obama’s decision to go it alone on immigration, granting legal status to more than 5 million illegal immigrants, brought a sharp rebuke from North Carolina Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation and its executive branch, while Democrats in the delegation gave Obama a pass, sayings Congress has had plenty of time to act on the issue.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

11.25.14 - NC likely to join legislative push on Uber, Lyft

RALEIGH — North Carolina has become an attractive market for smartphone-based car services such as Uber and Lyft, which are drawn to the state’s mid-sized cities that have college students and young professionals but lack extensive mass transit. It’s also one of many states where little regulation exists outside of traditional cab and limo services.


Related Regulation Articles:
JLF: How sunset laws can improve North Carolina’s regulatory climate
Contractor’s license suspended after deaths at Boone hotel
Legislature setting groundwork to regulate Uber, Airbnb
Deer farmers accuse NC agency of stoking fear
Guilford Board scrutinizes food vendor laws
Uber points to DC regulations as model for Charlotte

11.25.14 - As fracking looms, NC officials worry about road damage

WASHINGTON — Some of the quiet country roads of central North Carolina might not be so quiet much longer. The first permits for natural gas exploration in the state could be issued in the spring, and N.C. Department of Transportation officials are trying to assess how the state’s rural roads will be affected by thousands of truckloads of chemicals, water, sand and mechanical equipment associated with hydraulic fracturing or fracking.


Related Energy Articles:
State committee probes new uses for coal ash
JLF: How energy subsidy comparisons should be calculated but aren't
Questions linger over Beyond Coal campaign
Solar power backers: leave friendly NC laws alone
Lawyers in governor’s lawsuit also represented Duke
Coal ash commission meets as McCrory sues

11.25.14 - House members oppose Cape Lookout beach-driving limits

RALEIGH — A newly empaneled state House committee is gathering testimony this fall to oppose a National Park Service plan that would restrict beach driving at Cape Lookout National Seashore and, critics say, could hurt coastal tourism businesses. After three years of curbs on off-road vehicles at nearby Cape Hatteras National Seashore, federal park officials are formulating rules for Cape Lookout that would require permits and limit times and places for driving on the beach.


Related Coastal Issues Articles:
JLF: Catch shares could help fight problem of declining N.C. fish stocks
Corbett tapped to chair Marine Fisheries Commission
Oyster season not bountiful in Southeastern N.C.
McCrory calls for proposals that could get federal funding
State issues permit to build terminal groin on Bald Head Island
Effects of rising sea levels likely to vary along NC coastline

11.25.14 - Should cameras be used to enforce bus laws?

ASHEVILLE — During the two-and-a-half years state trooper Kelly Rhodes drove a school bus when he was a high school student in the early 1980s, he says there wasn’t a single time when someone passed his bus when the stop sign was deployed. But today, Rhodes said drivers are “texting, they’re fiddling with the radio, dealing with their kids” — and sailing right past stopped school buses. A statewide survey indicates that a typical school bus in North Carolina is passed illegally about once a week.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
CMPD’s cellphone tracking cracked high-profile cases
911 hang-ups remain a costly problem
Mecklenburg DA’s office to review surveillance cases
Durham crime up for year, but trending down
Asheville police chief Anderson to retire
Fire department merger would keep same goals

11.25.14 - N.C. Democratic Party apologizes over 1898 race massacre

WILMINGTON — In a move sure to raise more than a few eyebrows, the N.C. Democratic Party has formally apologized for its role in the 1898 Wilmington riots and asked the Republican-led legislature to compensate descendents of the victims. But just how the General Assembly might do that isn’t laid out in the resolution that was passed by the party’s executive committee earlier this month.


Related NC History Articles:
Nation honors Charlotte native Charlie Sifford
Sit-in site’s survival complex
Greensboro offers to take over civil rights museum
Museum board member quits; mayor speaks out
Fundraiser underway to keep battleship afloat
Sunken WWII U-boat found off North Carolina coast

11.25.14 - Media groups sue UNC-Chapel Hill

RALEIGH — Ten media organizations, including The News & Observer, sued the UNC-Chapel Hill on Monday to get the names of faculty and staff members disciplined in the wake of the athletic and academic scandal. The media organizations state in their complaint that under North Carolina’s public records law, the date and reason for any demotion, suspension or dismissal of a state employee must be available for public inspection.


Related Higher Education Articles:
UNC-CH gets advice from former NCAA infractions chief
NCSU board approves tuition and student fee hikes
Accrediting commission says UNC-CH ‘not diligent’
UNC-CH’s accrediting agency raises compliance questions
Tuition and fee increases likely at NCSU
UNCW cost for N.C. residents likely to increase

11.25.14 - UNC-CH gets advice from former NCAA infractions chief

RALEIGH — There are few professors as involved in NCAA matters as University of Nebraska law professor Jo Potuto. For more than a decade, she has served on the panel that hands down punishments to universities that violate NCAA regulations, including two years as its chair. She has helped shape those regulations on NCAA committees, in opinion pieces, lectures and congressional testimony.


Related Higher Education Articles:
Media groups sue UNC-Chapel Hill
NCSU board approves tuition and student fee hikes
Accrediting commission says UNC-CH ‘not diligent’
UNC-CH’s accrediting agency raises compliance questions
Tuition and fee increases likely at NCSU
UNCW cost for N.C. residents likely to increase

11.25.14 - Questions raised about charter school’s oversight

CHARLOTTE — New documents from the state charter school office detail a litany of problems in oversight, finances and academics at Concrete Roses STEM Academy in the days before it suddenly shut down. The documents also raised concerns about personal payments the school’s founder and chairman, Cedric Stone, allowed himself on top of his salary.


Related Education Articles:
Buncombe schools rethink lunch
‘Extra duty pay’ for school administrators questioned
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
Some Charter Day salaries lag those in public schools
Wake parents plead for student assignment changes
Panel says it needs money to replace Common Core in NC schools

11.25.14 - Buncombe schools rethink lunch

SWANNANOA — It’s lunchtime at Owen High, and students are grabbing their food from the cafeteria and heading into the hallways. Some are checking their phones. Some students are hanging out inside the cafeteria talking with friends. And others are getting extra help from teachers inside classrooms.


Related Education Articles:
Questions raised about charter school’s oversight
‘Extra duty pay’ for school administrators questioned
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
Some Charter Day salaries lag those in public schools
Wake parents plead for student assignment changes
Panel says it needs money to replace Common Core in NC schools

11.25.14 - ‘Extra duty pay’ for school administrators questioned

ASHEVILLE — Depending on your point of view, it’s either well-deserved compensation for long work weeks, or a large pool of taxpayer money that should go to teachers, textbooks or some other direct student benefit. In Buncombe County public schools, it’s called “extra-duty pay,” and all principals and assistant principals receive it. For high school principals, it’s usually $1,000 a month.


Related Education Articles:
Questions raised about charter school’s oversight
Buncombe schools rethink lunch
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
Some Charter Day salaries lag those in public schools
Wake parents plead for student assignment changes
Panel says it needs money to replace Common Core in NC schools

11.25.14 - State committee probes new uses for coal ash

CHARLOTTE — State orders to close Duke Energy’s 32 coal ash ponds pose a 108 million-ton question: Are there better uses for ash than burying it in new holes in the ground? The answer is a qualified “yes,” a state committee charged with probing that question learned Monday at UNC Charlotte.


Related Energy Articles:
As fracking looms, NC officials worry about road damage
JLF: How energy subsidy comparisons should be calculated but aren't
Questions linger over Beyond Coal campaign
Solar power backers: leave friendly NC laws alone
Lawyers in governor’s lawsuit also represented Duke
Coal ash commission meets as McCrory sues

11.25.14 - Would new Charlotte garbage system reduce waste?

CHARLOTTE — As Charlotte weighs a new proposal to charge residents for how much garbage they produce, many questions remain unanswered. City officials have said the simplest method might be having different-sized rollout containers, with different prices for each. Under this “pay as you throw” method, a resident would have the option of paying for the current 96-gallon container – or spending less and cramming their refuse into a container as small as 24 gallons.


Related Landfill & Recycling Articles:
Charlotte to study ‘pay as you throw’ idea for garbage
Trash trucks target of power struggle
Airport recycling center struggles with delays, overruns
JLF: Confusing stats on Hispanics and illegal immigrants
Mecklenburg may ban items in roll-out garbage carts
Forsyth to consider $8.65 a month recycling fee

11.25.14 - 911 hang-ups remain a costly problem

WENDELL — Accidentally dialing 911 can be frightening and embarrassing. But hanging up the phone instead of correcting your mistake with the emergency communications center continues to have costly impacts on the county and each town. Whether a child is fooling around on the phone, or an adult keeps his or her finger on the “1” button a moment too long, accidental dialings in the “919” area code range occur frequently.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Should cameras be used to enforce bus laws?
CMPD’s cellphone tracking cracked high-profile cases
Mecklenburg DA’s office to review surveillance cases
Durham crime up for year, but trending down
Asheville police chief Anderson to retire
Fire department merger would keep same goals

11.25.14 - Nation honors Charlotte native Charlie Sifford

WASHINGTON — Charlie Sifford withstood a torrent of racial slurs and death threats more than five decades ago to break the color barrier in professional golf, becoming the first African-American to earn a PGA tour card. On Monday, a beaming Sifford sat center stage in the ornate East Room at the White House as President Barack Obama, the first African-American president – and an avid golfer – lauded the Charlotte native as one of the country’s “trailblazers who bent the arc of our nation toward justice.”


Related NC History Articles:
N.C. Democratic Party apologizes over 1898 race massacre
Sit-in site’s survival complex
Greensboro offers to take over civil rights museum
Museum board member quits; mayor speaks out
Fundraiser underway to keep battleship afloat
Sunken WWII U-boat found off North Carolina coast

Week in Review

Upcoming Events

Monday, December 01, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Roger Beckett

Rediscovering America Through Original Historical Documents

Monday, December 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
JLF/Federalist Society Public Policy Luncheon
with our special guest Nick Dranias, J.D.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution and the State-Oriented
Federal Balanced Budget Amendment


Saturday, February 07, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
25th Anniversary Gala Celebration
with our special guest Charles Krauthammer

John Locke Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration with Charles Krauthammer

The Locker Room ~ John Locke Foundation's Statewide Issues Blog
Selling The Dream
Investor Ploitics
Locke, Jefferson, and the Justices
Equal Rights for All
Free Choice for Workers, A History of the Right to Work Movement
Jesse Helms - Here's Where I Stand