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I-77 HOT lanes: A bargain or a $400M gamble?[Jun. 26, 2014]
A new “public-private partnership” in North Carolina appears to put hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars at risk while guaranteeing profit for a company that has run into trouble in other states. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced in April that it had selected a contractor to take on the task of widening the congested 26-mile corridor of I-77 north of Charlotte. The project calls for the addition of a high-occupancy/toll (HOT) lane and the conversion of the existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane into another HOT lane. Cintra Infraestructures, a Spanish company, was selected to design, build, and maintain the improved roadway – and collect the tolls. The term of the contract is 50 years.
Here’s what real tax increases in North Carolina look like[Jun. 6, 2014]
Progressive protestors, including “Moral Monday” demonstrators, have for roughly the past year voiced their opposition to a supposed state “tax increase” passed last year. Specifically, they gripe that the landmark 2013 North Carolina tax reform – which lowered
income tax rates on all income levels – actually results in a tax increase on 80 percent of North Carolinians. The “80 percent will pay higher taxes”, however, has been soundly debunked.
Stream valleys and forests will frame Chatham Park’s neighborhoods[May 27, 2014]
Hello. My name is Thomas D’Alesandro. I live in Wilmette, Illinois and I have been working on Chatham Park’s master plan for over two years. I build live-work-play communities that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. The National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and the American Planning Association have recognized Columbia, Maryland, Reston, Virginia, The Woodlands, Texas and other places I’ve helped develop.
Racist roots: Progressives sought white supremacy in 1898[May 7, 2014]
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise in 2013 that North Carolina Democrats and self-styled progressives reacted with fury when Republicans took over the General Assembly and the governor’s office. That’s because Democrats and Progressives reacted the same way when their hold on power was threatened more than a century ago. A little over a year ago, on February 22, 2013, the Charlotte Observer broke the story of a leaked strategy memo from leftist group Blueprint NC that described the game plan “progressive” groups should use to “eviscerate” the Republican leadership. While the memo itself was scandalous, it exposed the liberal Left’s determination to regain the power that had been lost to conservatives in the 2010 and 2012 elections. No student of North Carolina history would underestimate what the Left will do in such circumstances.
Opponents of election reform and voter integrity got it wrong on early voting[May 2, 2014]
Already progressive fictions about voting reform are being dispelled by hard numbers from state government. April 29, 2014 data from the State Board of Elections revealed that as of yesterday (eight days out from Election Day) 95,257 people had voted early. Also, 90,031 of those voters had voted at an early voting one-stop location. That's after five days of in-person early voting. In 2010 (the comparable election year), at the same time (eight days out from Election Day) 85,255 people had voted. Of those 81,323 had voted at one-stop sites. The difference: In 2010, at eight days out from Election Day, voters had been voting for 12 days already.
Video about trash at Jordan Lake is released[Mar. 19, 2014]
Clean Jordan Lake is a grassroots, nonprofit founded in 2009 for the purpose of removing trash from the shoreline and preventing its recurrence. We are an official partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the managing organization for the lake. So far, 3,000 volunteers have removed 8,500 bags of trash (that's about 85 tons!) and 3,400 tires (many still on rims) from 15 miles of shoreline in 90 cleanup events, large and small.
Landlords, screen your rentors meticulously[Feb. 26, 2014]
Landlords, screen your rentors meticulously. Some will stop paying rent and live for free while you process their removal or eviction. Some will damage your property willfully and try to blame you for it. Some will work a con about being short on rent, endlessly working for breaks while, sometimes, indulging in luxuries.
What UNC’s Poverty Center was hiding[Feb. 26, 2014]
A public records request filed by the Civitas Institute confirms that the UNC Poverty Center continues to use publicly funded resources for blatantly political activities in ways that are inappropriate, violate UNC policies, and possibly illegal. Email records show that the center – formally the UNC Center for Poverty, Work, & Opportunity – hosted an invitation-only conference in November 2013 of top liberal activists and organizers.
The whole story about voter reforms in North Carolina[Jan. 21, 2014]
Much has been said and written about the election law reform legislation known as VIVA (Voter Identification Verification Act – HB 589) – but too many of the reports are misleading or just plain wrong. The legislation was passed in the 2013 legislative session and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in August. Mostly, the old guard media have focused on just three provisions of the new law — the voter ID requirement, the elimination of same day registration and the shortened early voting window. These three parts of the law are the most controversial, so focusing on them gives liberal advocacy groups a platform on which to continue their assault on the people who support election reform
Irony defined: NAACP bullies Voter Integrity Project for confidential records[Jan. 3, 2014]
Christmas was postponed indefinitely last month for the Voter Integrity Project after the NAACP served an expansive subpoena for the records of VIP on Friday, December 20, 2013. “We won’t take this bullying lightly, but do marvel at their hypocrisy,” said Jay DeLancy, Chief Executive of the Voter Integrity Project-NC. “It looks like they’re employing the same tactics against us that bigoted Governors once used when trying to run the NAACP out of the South.”
Correcting some errors in statements by SELC on Bonner Bridge[Dec. 18, 2013]
I want to correct some errors in statements made since the Bonner Bridge closure, particularly by plaintiffs’ counsel on this issue, that occasionally are reported as fact. In this case, plaintiffs’ counsel is the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
Civitas Poll: Voters back developing NC natural gas resources[May 19, 2013]
The latest Civitas Poll shows that North Carolina voters strongly favor developing the state’s natural gas resources, including offshore reserves. The poll of 500 NC registered voters had a margin of error of plus-minus 4.36 percent. “Voters want to see North Carolina develop the natural resources lying right under our feet, or just off our seacoast,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca. “Legislators should heed these beliefs, and pay less attention to the scare tactics often used to block energy development.”
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