His nickname was "Africa," some in the Los Angeles skid row section said. One person took a cell phone video of the man's confrontation with multiple officers, who were, according to early reports, there to get him to move his tent off a sidewalk.
Over a year after the Dan River disaster, our Department of Environment and Natural Resources and our legislature should require that Duke remove the coal ash from the dangerous, polluting Lee site. But yet another continuous source of pollution looms on the banks and tributaries of the Neuse: industrial hog operations, most of which are controlled by foreign corporate interests. Over 500 of the 2,000 industrial hog factories in North Carolina call the Neuse River Basin home. The 10 million hogs that live in our state produce roughly as much waste as 100 million people.
Columbus County, two hours due south of Raleigh in a rural, underemployed region of North Carolina, might seem an unlikely place for a satellite of the state Museum of Natural Sciences. But that’s exactly why it has become home to its own museum branch.
Dana Milbank: A slide projected onto the wall at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee gathering Monday contained a warning to delegates: “AIPAC is Bipartisan,” it said, next to an image of a Democratic donkey and Republican elephant in boxing gear. “Check your gloves at the door.” They checked their gloves, all right – but less to practice bipartisanship than to pummel the Obama administration with bare knuckles. In the brawl between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran nuclear negotiations, AIPAC has joined congressional Republicans in siding wholeheartedly with the Israeli hard-liner.
Froma Harrop: Net neutrality won the day in Washington, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. Republicans indignantly opposed regulating Internet service, currently dominated by a few cable giants. Texas Republican Ted Cruz called it “Obamacare for the Internet” (in his world, fightin’ words). So why, when the FCC said the Internet would be treated as a public utility, like telephone lines, did Republicans retreat rather than battle on?
On Wednesdaynew Chief Justice Mark Martin will speak to NC lawmakers. And if he’s honest, he will revive the message: North Carolina’s judicial branch operates on a shoestring, and justice is at stake. The judicial branch may be one of three equal branches of government in civics class. In North Carolina’s reality, there’s nothing equal about the funding. The court system receives $464 million from the state – just 2.2 percent of the general fund budget. More than half of that comes from revenue the courts themselves collect in fees and give to the state.
Stephen Leonard: Filling positions on the UNC Board of Governors is not usually a front-page story, but the NC General Assembly’s actions this year will likely be remembered as a critical moment in the legislature’s legacy. Lawmakers will choose between returning to excellence in the governance of the university or continuing the all-too-frequent missteps and overreach that have defined the work of the current board.
Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether the Obama administration used the IRS to deliver health insurance subsidies to Americans in violation of the law. Millions of Americans may lose these subsidies if the court finds that the administration acted illegally. If that occurs, Republicans have a plan to protect Americans harmed by the administration’s actions.
Regarding the Feb. 14 news article “N.C. task force wants shorter tests”: The task force consists of parents, teachers and administrators but no students. I am an eighth-grader at Lufkin Road Middle School, and I have been closely following this issue as it directly affects me and my fellow students.
In his Feb. 28 statement, UNC Board of Governors chair John Fennebresque wanted us to believe that the BOG considered impact, educational mission, working across disciplines and lack of adequate financial support as the basis for canceling three centers.
I really liked Adam Linker’s Feb. 24 Point of View “McCrory’s Medicaid moment” in taking the initiative away from Washington and exercising it here in North Carolina. Sure, it will be difficult to win enough support from the troglodytes in Raleigh, but it sounds as if most of the pieces for a state-crafted solution are in existence, waiting to be put into play.
It’s the height of ivory tower elitism for professors to defend the UNC Center on Work, Poverty and Opportunity. It’s the height of absurdity to analogize closing the center with the censorship of E.E. Ericson and John Spencer Bassett, as Rob Christensen did in his Feb. 22 column.
Gail Collins: Over the past few years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg been getting unprecedented public nagging about retiring from the Supreme Court while simultaneously developing a massive popular fan base. You can buy T-shirts and coffee mugs with her picture on them. A blog called Notorious RBG posts everything cool about the justice’s life, from celebrity meet-ups (“Sheryl Crow is a Ruth Bader Ginsburg fangirl”) to Twitter-size legal theory (“Justice Ginsburg Explains Everything You Need to Know About Religious Liberty in Two Sentences”).
John Fennebresque: Of 240 centers, the board voted unanimously to discontinue three centers – all with very limited resources and narrow scopes. They are East Carolina University’s Center for Biodiversity, NC Central’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. The Center on Poverty has been the primary focus of media attention in recent weeks. The board concluded the center was unable to demonstrate any appreciable impact on the issue of poverty. We also felt the center did not enhance the educational mission of the university, did not work across disciplines to effect change and did not have the financial support to sustain it – the same criteria used to evaluate all 240 centers.
The city of Raleigh should not institute new downtown parking fees at night to pay for cleaning up trash and parking decks. Other revenue sources can meet that cost without discouraging downtown visits.