NCDP Clips for Monday, April 25th, 2016

NCDP Clips for Monday, April 25th, 2016


TAKING THE POLITICS OUT OF NC REDISTRICTING (Duke Campaign Stop) — Removing politics from redistricting — the practice of redrawing boundaries of districts from which public officials are elected — could produce more candidates for elected office in North Carolina and boost public confidence in government. That was the gist of a day-long discussion Thursday at Duke involving former North Carolina judges, academics, a demographer, legislative attorney and political advocates. The event at the Sanford School of Public Policy was the first of three that ultimately will result in a new, but unofficial, map of N.C. congressional districts.

CRUZ AND KASICH TO COORDINATE AGAINST TRUMP (New York Times) – Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio have agreed to coordinate in future primary contests in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald J. Trump the Republican presidential nomination, with each candidate standing aside in certain states amid growing concerns that Mr. Trump cannot otherwise be stopped.

CRUZ, KASICH AGREE TO COLLABORATE IN EFFORT TO STOP TRUMP IN 3 STATES (Washington Post) — GOP presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich released statements calling for Kasich to stop competing in the Indiana primary while Cruz backs off in New Mexico and Oregon. They called on allied third-party groups to do the same.

CRUZ AND KASICH TEAM UP TO STOP TRUMP (Wall Street Journal) — In an unprecedented last-ditch effort to stop GOP front-runner Donald Trump, his two remaining rivals are divvying up the coming primary states to try to block the New York businessman’s path to the GOP nomination.

HOW BATHROOMS AND TRANSGENDER RIGHTS BECAME FLASH POINT (Washington Post) — Ted Cruz seizes on the controversy in his bid to catch up to front-runner Donald Trump.


HB2 BACKERS, OPPONENTS TO GREET LAWMAKERS (WRAL-TV) — Lawmakers return to Raleigh on Monday for their 2016 legislative session, and supporters and opponents of a new state law that sets discrimination policy will be out in force to greet them with petitions, rallies and a sit-in.

RALLIES FOR, AGAINST HB2 SET ON SESSION’S FIRST DAY (AP) — North Carolina legislators returning for their annual work session will hear loud and clear from supporters and opponents of a law they approved last month addressing bathroom use by transgender people and limiting government protections for LGBT citizens.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY SET TO CONVENE SESSION TODAY AMID HB2 PROTESTS (Fayetteville Observer) — When the North Carolina General Assembly begins its 2016 round of lawmaking today, protests against the state’s controversial House Bill 2 "bathroom access" law may dominate the the headlines from the state capital even though the primary purpose for this legislative session is to balance the state budget.

HB2 PROTESTS, RALLIES EXPECTED ON LEGISLATURE’S OPENING DAY (Raleigh News & Observer) — As critics of House Bill 2 mapped out their plans for the opening day of the General Assembly’s new session, Chris Sgro, head of North Carolina’s leading gay-rights organization, took an oath of office on Sunday that moved him from being a protester on the outside of the legislative body to becoming a member.

BIG THREE: TAXES, TEACHERS AND LGBT (Shelby Star) — Lawmakers start work again Monday in a legislative session that House Speaker Tim Moore says he hopes will focus on tax cuts, teacher raises and economic development, but he agrees there may be some hangover from the law the Republican-led General Assembly passed last month that limited anti-discrimination rules for the LGBT community.

NC HISTORIC PAPERS ON DISPLAY AS LAWMAKERS RETURN (AP) — Famous papers about North Carolina’s government will be on display for two days on the first floor of the Legislative Building as lawmakers start their next session. Included in the display will be the state’s first Constitution from 1776, which said the General Assembly selected the government, not voters. And only free men who were at least 21 years old could vote, and only landowners could hold political office.

PAY RIASES FOR TEACHERS LIKELY IN SHORT SESSION (EdNC) — Today is the first day of the General Assembly short session, and it seems that just about everybody is in agreement that teachers should get a pay raise. What isn’t clear is exactly what that will look like and when it will happen.

SHORT SESSION COULD BE LONG ON ISSUES (Wilmington Star-News) — HB2 and teacher pay among topics that could dominate legislators’ time


MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS CALL FOR HB2 REPEAL (WRAL-TV) — More than 150 mental health professionals across North Carolina sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday, seeking a repeal of a new state law they say "has created a climate of fear and confusion" among transgender people.

PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSIONALS SEEK REPEAL OF HB2 (AP) — A group of more than 150 mental health professionals have signed a letter seeking the repeal of a North Carolina law that limits protections for the LGBT community.

HOW BATHROOMS AND TRANSGENDER RIGHTS BECAME FLASH POINT (Washington Post) — Ted Cruz seizes on the controversy in his bid to catch up to front-runner Donald Trump.

CHRISTIE: I LIKELY WOULDN’T SIGN TRANSGENDER BATHROOM LAW IN NJ (NJ.COM) — — As debate continues over a controversial North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using public bathrooms for the gender they identify with, Gov. Chris Christie said he hasn’t read the law but he’d be unlikely to support a similar move in New Jersey.

MUSICIANS ASK: BOYCOTT, OR NOT OVER HB2? (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 leaves concert fans caught in the crossfire, and there is much disagreement over the right thing to do.

MUMFORD AND SONS SHARES WHY THEY MET WITH CHARLOTTE MAYOR (Charlotte Observer) — Curious as to why Mumford and Sons met with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts hours before the group’s April 14 show?

400,000 PLEDGE TO BOYCOTT TARGET OVER TRANSGENDER BATHROOM POLICY (McClatchy Newspapers) — On Tuesday, Target announced that transgender people would be able to use the bathroom and fitting room that aligns with their gender identity in Target stores. By Sunday, more than 400,000 people had signed a pledge to boycott the big-box retailer. The conservative American Family Association is calling for the boycott, echoing arguments used to support controversial North Carolina legislation requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their sex at birth.


DISTRIBUTION LAW CAPS NC BREWERS’ ABILITY TO GROW (WRAL-TV) — Brewers can obtain a malt beverage wholesaler permit to sell, deliver and ship at wholesale their own products, but only until the brewery reaches a 25,000 barrel cap of annual production.

JOAN SMITH EWING (Raleigh News & Observer) – Joan Smith Ewing, 88, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Ike Andrews and later headed U.S. Rep. David Price’s 4th District Offices, died April 8 in Chapel Hill. She was Dean Smith’s sister.

MARCHERS DEMAND A.G. JOIN EFFORTS TO FREE KALVIN MICHAEL SMITH (Winston-Salem Journal) — More than 30 people marched in downtown Winston-Salem to the Forsyth County Hall of Justice on Sunday to demand justice for two men, including Kalvin Michael Smith, who they believe were wrongfully convicted. The other man is Dontae Sharpe, a Greenville man sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of killing a man during a drug deal.

A SENTENCE OF THEIR OWN: IMPACT OF PARENT INCARCERATION ON NC CHILDREN (Public News Service) — More than 179,000 children in North Carolina have been separated from a parent because of incarceration. While those parents are serving time, a new report released today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation recommends policies to help alleviate the impact on the children involved.


ASHEVILLE TEACHER LEAVING NC, SAYS HB2 MADE HER FEEL ‘NOT WANTED’ (WCQS-FM) — McKinley Morrison, an early education teacher at Asheville’s Verner Center for Early Learning, is leaving her job and the state of North Carolina, citing House Bill 2 as a major reason for her departure. Morrison, who was born biologically male and identifies as "trans-feminine" said the bill made her feel "not wanted."

BOONE POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING 19-YEAR-OLD MAN (AP) — A helicopter has been used in the search for a 19-year-old Caldwell County Community College student who went missing from a North Carolina mountain town several days ago.

$5 MILLION FOR KOCH ‘FREEDOM CENTERS’ (Inside Higher Ed) — Arizona has made some of the biggest cuts to higher education seen across the country in recent years, so a proposed $5 million grant of unknown provenance dedicated to the state’s "economic freedom" centers — all of which received seed funds from the conservative Koch family — is raising eyebrows.

WEIGH IN ON FUTURE OF N.C. EDUCATION (Charlotte Agenda) — Late last year, the federal government passed a law that replaces No Child Left Behind — and it means that North Carolina is trying to figure out some big changes to education policy. There’s a public hearing in Charlotte this week.

PRIVATE SCHOOL IS BOOSTING UNDERPRIVILEGED STUDENT PERFORMANCE (Charlotte Agenda) — Brookstone’s reading proficiency stats are eye-popping, and their model is unusual. They’re now trying to marshal donations to boost enrollment from 140 to 250.


SOLAR FARM DELAY PROMPTS REZONING (Greenville Daily Reflector) — — Delays in the development of a solar farm prompted Grifton commissioners to reverse a zoning decision. The Grifton Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 — with Mayor Billy Ray Jackson casting the deciding vote — to return the land to residential zoning from an industrial classification granted in 2013 for the solar farm development. Ecoplexus Inc., which requested that the land be zoned industrial in order to build a power generating facility, must now apply for a conditional-use permit if it wishes to continue with the project. Contractual disputes with Duke Energy have led to setbacks, according to Nathan Rogers of Ecoplexus, who spoke in a public hearing earlier this month.

ACROSS N.C.: PIGS GONE WILD (N.C. Coastal Review) — State veterinarians and wildlife and agriculture officials are worried that feral swine are a health risk for both livestock and humans.


‘HOLDING THE LINE’ ON BUDGETS HOLDS NC BACK (Raleigh News & Observer column) — As legislators return to town today, hopes aren’t high for Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. It’s a modest spending plan that includes election-year pay hikes and bonuses, but it’s hardly the blueprint for a state on the rise. It’s about keeping North Carolina’s state funding where it has been – stuck in the austerity of the Great Recession.

BEYOND BATHROOMS, A MATTER OF JOBS AND FAIRNESS FOR N.C. (Raleigh News & Observer column) — It’s worth remembering that under Republicans, hostility to workers has oozed along the corridors of power like a toxic spill; The N.C. Justice Center was front and center recently with precisely such a reminder – focusing on a law that could be described as HB2’s misbegotten older brother; House Bill 4 revamped the state’s unemployment insurance program in a scheme that’s reminiscent of forcing someone to buy the bullets for his own firing squad.

ALLEN JOHNSON: POTTY OF LINCOLN: THE UNMENTIONABLE GETS CENTER STAGE (Greensboro News & Record columns) — What is it with Pat McCrory and bathrooms?

FAYETTEVILLE OPIOID PROBLEM NEEDS INTERVENTION (Fayetteville Observer) — We knew we had a drug problem here. No news there. We knew especially that we had an opioid drug problem – abuse and addiction to prescription and street-sold painkillers ranging from Percocet to heroin.

3 THINGS N.C. LAWMAKERS CAN DO FOR SCHOOLS THIS WEEK (Charlotte Observer) — Educators have reason to be optimistic and pessimistic about the legislature’s short session beginning this week; What can lawmakers do with some of the money from a budget surplus? Public school supporters also should be open to a pilot program for struggling schools