Daily Journal

9.02.14
Probing the Dip in Ed School Enrollment

Critics of the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly rely on speculation and wishful thinking when they tie recent policy changes to declining numbers of education majors.

CJ Ticker

  • 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.
  • JLF report says 2014-15 N.C. budget sets better course for future spending plans.
  • HB 1224, economic incentives/local sales tax option, fails 47-54. Short session likely to adjourn Wednesday or Thursday.
  • New JLF report answers questions, debunks myths about fracking.
  • Federal judge denies move by NAACP, others to block N.C. election reforms during 2014 season.
  • 19(!) file for Martin seat on state Court of Appeals.

Other Opinions

9.02.14
Coal ash questions

Tom Campbell says that before legislators could adjourn for the year they had to do two things: give teachers a pay raise and pass a coal ash cleanup bill. Most agree their coal ash solution was weak.


9.02.14
Economic incentives

Patrick Gannon says that state lawmakers have returned home to their districts for good to campaign for re-election in November. Or have they?


9.02.14
Try again for jobs

Gov. McCrory should call the legislature back to tackle economic development issues because more help is needed says the Greensboro News & Record.


8.29.14
Help wanted

Some local jobs are hard to fill, a business poll finds, but the bigger problem is still the high rate of unemployment says the Greensboro News & Record.


8.29.14
More money

Patrick Gannon writes that most incumbent lawmakers have more money than their opponents to spend on ads, mass mailings and other campaign activities.


8.06.14
The ‘Ruling Class’ Promises Peace, But Its Actions Ensure The Opposite
Pacifism mixed with an arrogant idealism has not made our nation or the world safer.

Media Mangle

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.


1.16.12
Anatomy of a Newspaper Hit Piece

In a Sunday piece, The Charlotte Observer employs all the steps used by the mainstream media to mislead readers.

Lead Story

NCGA Protest Rulings Could Ripple Downward

September 02, 2014, By Dan Way

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — A legal challenge to the General Assembly’s new rules on public use and behavior at the legislative complex could reshape public access and speech rights on public property all the way down to local governments. Plaintiffs say North Carolina’s protections of free speech at the legislative complex are sufficiently expansive to allow the sorts of raucous rallies that have taken place over the past two General Assembly sessions.

08.29.14 - Friday Interview: Debunking Arguments That Capitalism Is Unfair

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Critics often label capitalism as unfair. They say a system based on free markets and limited government control leads to wide disparities among the rich and poor. David Rose, professor of economics at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, challenges that argument. Rose discussed the fairness of capitalism with a John Locke Foundation audience earlier this year. He also spoke with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.

08.28.14 - Review Seeks To Boost Profs’ Accountability

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — A change in faculty review policies implemented in June will bring the process outside the control of close-knit faculty groups by requiring a series of evaluations. Supporters say this should lessen the chances faculty members will engage in mutual back scratching when performance reviews are conducted.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

9.02.14 - Debate could shape Senate race between Hagan, Tillis

CHARLOTTE — They’re like two prize fighters, bruised and battered by months of pounding but still standing. Now Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis head into the ring at 7 p.m. Wednesday for their first debate (UNC TV), a head-to-head matchup that could shape the final nine weeks of the campaign.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Finance sectors’ PACs putting their money on Hagan
Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis cast contrasting votes
Does Hagan vote with Obama 95 percent of time?
Meadows calls shutdown wrong strategy
Ad update: Setting a negative tone
Veterans issues top US Senate race agenda as Obama returns to NC

9.02.14 - Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis cast contrasting votes

RALEIGH — In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Kay Hagan is attacking Republican Thom Tillis’ four-year tenure as state House speaker, while Tillis is criticizing Hagan’s votes as a first-term senator in Washington. The jabs – backed by millions of dollars in television ads – are meant to draw distinctions and contrast their respective records for voters.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Debate could shape Senate race between Hagan, Tillis
Finance sectors’ PACs putting their money on Hagan
Does Hagan vote with Obama 95 percent of time?
Meadows calls shutdown wrong strategy
Ad update: Setting a negative tone
Veterans issues top US Senate race agenda as Obama returns to NC

9.02.14 - Finance sectors’ PACs putting their money on Hagan

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has received $962,000 since 2008 from employees and political action committees of industries that are under the jurisdiction of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where she has served for a large portion of her first term in Congress.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Debate could shape Senate race between Hagan, Tillis
Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis cast contrasting votes
Does Hagan vote with Obama 95 percent of time?
Meadows calls shutdown wrong strategy
Ad update: Setting a negative tone
Veterans issues top US Senate race agenda as Obama returns to NC

9.02.14 - Veterans see VA scandal as key in Congress races

FAYETTEVILLE — Late summer means back to school, so the leather waiting room chairs at the community college veterans center are full of former service members seeking help with course mix-ups, education benefits and any other obstacle to a degree or new job qualification. Like many voters, most of the 2,500 veterans at Fayetteville Technical Community college haven't begun paying close attention to politics.


Related Federal Government Articles:
Obama pledges support for veterans in Charlotte speech
Hagan says leases approved for temporary VA centers
VA official says agency must earn back veterans’ trust
Bank of America reaches $16.65B mortgage settlement
Bank of America settlement announcement set for Thursday
BofA settlement talks turn to consumer relief

9.02.14 - 5 things to watch in North Carolina’s elections

RALEIGH — North Carolina government has undergone a dramatic shift to the right. How voters feel about Republican control should shade Election Day results for the U.S. Senate and on down the ballot. A state government dominated by Democrats for generations turned when the state House and Senate went Republican in 2010. Pat McCrory became the first GOP governor in two decades two years later.


Related NC Politics Articles:
Week of protests wraps up at NC Capitol
‘Moral’ movement caps off summer in downtown Raleigh
Anti-abortion activists protest at Hagan’s Charlotte office
Petitioners confront McCrory on marriage ban
Gay rights advocates deliver petitions to McCrory
Vouchers only latest NC legislation to be challenged

9.02.14 - NC offered $100M for Toyota HQ, twice Texas bid

RALEIGH — North Carolina business recruiters offered Toyota more than $100 million in incentives for the world's largest carmaker to move its North American headquarters to Charlotte rather than a Dallas suburb, but still lost out to a Texas offer half that size. Only about a quarter of the nearly 3,000 jobs paying an average of $105,000 a year were expected to move from Southern California, meaning a golden but missed job-creating opportunity for the region.


Related Economic Incentives Articles:
JLF: N.C. film incentives are good old-fashioned corporate welfare
Wilmington lawmakers join call to reconvene legislature
North Carolina was ready to offer Toyota $107 million
McCrory facing pressure to call special session
Wilmington leaders want McCrory to reconvene legislators
N.C. House rejects bill on local sales tax, economic incentives
Commerce ‘Sustainability’ Official Still On Job

9.02.14 - Randolph landfill could get coal ash

RANDLEMAN — Environmentalists warn that a planned regional landfill in Randolph County could become a burial ground for worrisome amounts of coal ash. A contract the county signed with trash-disposal giant Waste Management specifically allows the new landfill to accept waste from “electric power generation.” Those are code words for coal ash, said Therese Vick of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.


Related Energy Articles:
NC advocates question utility deposits, credit checks
N.C. official rebuts environmentalists’ coal-ash claims
DENR rejects new legal action against Duke Energy
NC moves to fine Duke over coal ash pollution
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Hundreds decry fracking

9.02.14 - NC advocates question utility deposits, credit checks

CHARLOTTE — North Carolina advocacy groups are raising social-justice questions about the credit checks and deposits that utilities require of new customers, saying they’re unfair to people with modest incomes. The N.C. Utilities Commission is reviewing rules written in 1970, when owning a house or having a good payment history was enough to turn the lights or gas on.


Related Energy Articles:
Randolph landfill could get coal ash
N.C. official rebuts environmentalists’ coal-ash claims
DENR rejects new legal action against Duke Energy
NC moves to fine Duke over coal ash pollution
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Hundreds decry fracking

9.02.14 - Feds seek input on maintaining red wolf recovery

RALEIGH — Federal wildlife officials asked the public Friday to weigh in as the government reviews whether to continue maintaining the world’s only wild population of the red wolf in eastern North Carolina. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it had awarded a contract to the Virginia-based nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute to evaluate its 27-year experiment to restore the endangered species to the wild.


Related Environment Articles:
Feds jail ginseng poacher as wild plants face risk
Penalty for removing Venus’ flytraps could increase
Poaching Venus flytraps may become a felony in NC
Officials keep close watch on mosquito population
NC’s wild horses maimed by isolation
Durham city staff: Bamboo problem is real

9.02.14 - At UNC-Chapel Hill, the truth about grades

CHAPEL HILL — Tar Heels in search of the easy A, beware. Starting this fall, UNC-Chapel Hill transcripts will provide a little truth in grading. From now on, transcripts for university graduates will contain a healthy dose of context. Next to a student’s grade, the record will include the median grade of classmates, the percentile range and the number of students in the class section.


Related Higher Education Articles:
UNC-Chapel Hill revamps sexual assault policy
Four UNC-CH players suspended from season-opener
New Campbell law school program offers flexibility
UNC-CH’s plans to renovate or replace Smith Center “on the back burner”
Ackland, Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill to get new leaders
St. Augustine’s University continues to cut costs

9.02.14 - North Carolina laws allow children to use automatic guns

CHARLOTTE — A 9-year-old Arizona girl’s accidental killing of her firearms instructor this week reignited the national debate over guns, but with an unusual focus: children using fully automatic rifles. North Carolina is among 30 states that don’t prohibit children from using rifles, whether it’s a .22-caliber squirrel rifle or a fully automatic Uzi like the one in the Arizona accident.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Catawba College’s role eyed in coach’s sexual assault case
Greensboro filing lawsuit in nightclub overcrowding
Jury finds CMPD officer liable in Taser death
Judge upholds SBI’s firing of Duane Deaver
Charlotte’s diversity not shown in CMPD
Officials: Diverse police forces eases tensions

9.02.14 - New DNA evidence could free two men in notorious case

RALEIGH — At 9:10 p.m. on Sept. 28, 1983, a sheriff’s detective knocked on the door of Henry McCollum’s home and invited the 19-year-old to the Red Springs Police Department for questioning. An hour and a half later, his brother, Leon Brown, and their mother went to the station to see what was taking so long.


Related NC Courts & Justice Articles:
Sarah Parker leaves legacy on Supreme Court
Winston-Salem lawyer appointed to N.C. Court of Appeals
Judge orders Henderson County man freed after 20 years
Voters will decide whether defendants can waive jury trials
JLF: Improving juvenile justice
Retirements bring change to NC courts, elections

9.02.14 - Catawba College’s role eyed in coach’s sexual assault case

CHARLOTTE — A New York City man returned to North Carolina two summers ago to confront a popular soccer coach he claims sexually abused him when he was 9 years old. The man drove out Independence Boulevard to a small townhouse off Village Lake Drive in southwest Charlotte. A weathered door mat announced: “Catawba Soccer Shop.”


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
North Carolina laws allow children to use automatic guns
Greensboro filing lawsuit in nightclub overcrowding
Jury finds CMPD officer liable in Taser death
Judge upholds SBI’s firing of Duane Deaver
Charlotte’s diversity not shown in CMPD
Officials: Diverse police forces eases tensions

9.02.14 - Charlotte, Mecklenburg look to sales tax hikes

CHARLOTTE — For two decades local government has turned to targeted sales taxes to help fund special projects – a convention center, football stadium renovations, a new uptown arena, new art museums, a baseball stadium and a light-rail line. To foot the bill, the city and the county have raised the sales tax on hotel and motel rooms three times, rental cars two times, restaurant and bar tabs once, and the overall sales tax once.


Related Local Government Articles:
Apex debates growth, sprawl
Raleigh City Council panel backs new limits on road races
Meck tax referendum supporters regroup after surprise start
Wilmington considers policy change to deal with derelict houses
Kure Beach, homeowners still in court over 6-inch feud
JLF: What government costs cities and counties

9.02.14 - New path for public housing in Greensboro

GREENSBORO — The Greensboro Housing Authority is about to get an influx of money to renovate its properties under a program that is changing the way public housing is funded nationwide. The housing authority, with about 2,200 apartments, is going to become part of a new U.S. Housing and Urban Development program that will allow the authority to tap into private financing to improve its low-cost apartments.


Related Social Services Articles:
JLF: How mental health reform went wrong
Homeless advocates encouraged by ‘rapid-housing’ plan
Consolidation is the future for human services, says DHHS head
NC counties roll out new WIC computer system
Child care subsidy rules changing under N.C. budget
Law requiring welfare applicants be tested for drugs delayed

Week in Review

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 08, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. William Happer

"The Myth of Carbon Pollution"

Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Viewing of the Award Winning Film Rockin the Wall
with our special guest Dr. Larry Schweikart

Rockin the Wall

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