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Duke gets a pass on coal ash cleanup

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When the N.C. Legislature adjourned last week, it was no surprise that lawmakers gave Duke Energy a pass on having to fully clean up coal ash lagoons across the state. The glare of publicity that followed the massive 2014 coal ash spill has long faded, eclipsed by other news such…

Is this as good as it gets for NC?

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ALEXANDRA SIROTA Guest Columnist Over the next year North Carolinians will find out the results of an experiment that began July 1. On that date, a new state budget took effect that is based, not on the level of public investment needed to help communities thrive, but on a formula…

The U.S. National Whitewater Center

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The recent death of a teenager from a brain infection that was in all likelihood contracted at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte was tragic. Gov. Pat McCrory is right to press for more oversight of the center. The Charlotte Observer reported recently that the center is the only…

Police, African-Americans, legislators must find common ground

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — On a recent Thursday, three African-American members of the N.C. General Assembly held a press conference to draw attention to recent shootings of black men by police. They talked in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of Philando Castile near St. Paul, Minn., and…

Why the Declaration of Independence endures

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist Chances are, you heard at least a passing word of praise for the Declaration of Independence as you celebrated the Fourth of July. But why, exactly, does it endure? If the Declaration had simply announced the independence of certain disaffected British colonials, it would be long…

Candidates go their own way

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — When North Carolina Democrats Jim Hunt and Rufus Edmisten were running their races for U.S. Senate and governor in 1984, they kept as far away as they could from the Democratic nominee for president, Walter Mondale. Hunt and Edmisten co-chaired the state’s delegation to…

Clinton needs Biden. So do we.

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist For her sake, and for ours, I hope Hillary Clinton asks Joe Biden to run for a third vice presidential term this fall. There are several important reasons; the most important one is at the end of this column. She needs help in dampening the appeal…

North Carolina is no exception

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Although North Carolina encompasses many islands, our state is certainly not an island when it comes to economic growth and social development. We are part of a region, the Southeastern United States, that has been growing and developing for many decades. I know this is hardly…

State should settle quickly with eugenics victims

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Between 1929 and 1974, the state of North Carolina sterilized around 7,600 people whom it deemed unfit for parenting. Other states had similar eugenics programs, but most discontinued them after World War II because it so resembled Nazi Germany’s push to create a pure master race. Not so in North…

Moving city elections to even years

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Rep. Paul Stam is pushing a bill that would move North Carolina’s municipal elections from odd-numbered to even years. Easy for him — the powerful Apex Republican leader isn’t seeking re-election this year. He can watch the chaos from the comfort of retirement. As a state League of Municipalities leader…