Friday News: California burning

VENTURA COUNTY ENGULFED IN STATE'S 3RD MAJOR WILDFIRE OF 2017: Steve Andruszkewicz and his neighbor Joseph Ruffner returned to their Faria Beach Colony homes just north of Ventura on Thursday to discover the flames that appeared to have spared the houses were threatening them once again. "I thought we were done yesterday," Ruffner said, adding he and his family returned to their home in the morning to see a wall of fire that seemed to be a safe distance away. But then it moved in, spraying hot embers onto the neighborhood. "It's coming back to burn what it didn't burn yesterday," he said. Firefighters urged people to leave the beachfront community, where electricity was out. "We're leaving," Andruszkewicz said as he and his wife sprayed palm trees with water from garden hoses first. Ruffner said he was staying put. "I bought a generator yesterday so at least I can see on TV what's going on," he said.
http://www.wral.com/hundreds-flee-as-fires-randomly-take-spare-california-homes/17164674/

Billionaire trying to take over NC schools gave $50,000 to Dan Forest

And since Dan Forest will have a vote on who wins the contract, the conflict of interest is glaringly obvious:

John Bryan has contributed about $600,000 to legislative candidates in North Carolina, most of them Republicans, and GOP political committees from 2011 to 2016. Included is a $100,000 contribution to a group supporting GOP candidates for the state Supreme Court. He contributed $50,000 to a political action committee called Truth & Prosperity, set up to support Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Forest is a member of the State Board of Education, which will help select which companies are chosen.

Forest said in an interview earlier this year that he did not know why Bryan contributed to the PAC.

Whether you know or don't know why is beside the point; at minimum, you should recuse yourself from any actions dealing with the Innovative School District. But the best way to handle this would be to resign your seat on the State Board of Education entirely. Because make no mistake, this story is not going to "fade away" like you're hoping it will.

Thursday News: Dirty tricks by GOP pricks

CLUB FOR GROWTH DARLING TED BUDD USES FAKE WEBSITE TO ATTACK DEM OPPONENT: Manning filed her candidacy Wednesday for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina’s 13th District, a seat now held by first-term Republican Rep. Ted Budd. Manning’s announcement was first reported by The News & Record in Greensboro. If you want to find out more about Manning, you can always visit her website. But Budd’s campaign already claimed kathymanningforcongress.com, offering its assessment of “The Real Kathy Manning” and labeling her as “an establishment Democrat insider” with ties to national Democratic political figures such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article18...

Who's prepared?

Below is an email from a friend who is currently living out west. Think of it as a road map for how to survive, if and when the shit hits the fan. In my opinion, the odds are high that our government will fall into fascism, both at the national level and here in North Carolina. It could get ugly.

With that preamble, here's what one person is doing to prepare for the worst. I'm on a slightly different track, but many of the actions he's taking are on my to-do list.

Judge cracks the whip on pork producer Murphy Brown

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That simply won't do, pig:

A federal judge is telling a major pork producer to live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution tied to almost a dozen industry-scale hog operations.

U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard this week ordered Murphy-Brown LLC to end a three-year delay and have a mutually agreed consultant develop plans to fix problems at 11 sites in in Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Pitt, Sampson and Scotland counties. Environmentalists say the independent expert found groundwater contamination or waste lagoon problems at the operations.

It's as good a time as any to report on NC's current hog population (9.2 million), which of course produce a hell of a lot more waste than the 10.2 million humans residing here. It's bad, and Murphy Brown is the worst of the worst:

Wednesday News: Provocateur-In-Chief

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TRUMP ENRAGES MUSLIM NATIONS WITH RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS CAPITOL: The Arab League said it will hold an emergency meeting for foreign ministers on Saturday and Turkey announced it would host a meeting of Islamic nations next week to give Muslim countries' leaders an opportunity to act together and coordinate following Trump's move. Palestinian officials declared the Mideast peace process "finished." Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, slammed Trump's imminent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel while in Syria, a Foreign Ministry statement said the anticipated announcement is a "dangerous step" that will fuel global conflict. It described Trump's imminent move as the "culmination of the crime of the seizing of Palestine and the displacement of the Palestinian people" and urged Arab states to stop normalizing relations with Israel. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the "whole world is against" President Donald Trump's move and argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be a "grave mistake."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/world/article188285299.html

Tuesday News: NC exports justice

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REVEREND BARBER TAKES MORAL MONDAY MOVEMENT NATIONWIDE: A national “Moral Revival” effort that has echoes of North Carolina’s “Moral Monday” protests will be launched next spring by the Rev. William Barber II and his co-chair at the Poor People’s Campaign. “We must transform the moral narrative in this country,” Barber, who led N.C.’s Moral Monday efforts, said in a statement announcing the plan ahead of a Monday news conference. “We went through the most expensive presidential campaign in U.S. history in 2016 without a single serious discussion of poverty and systemic racism. Now we are witnessing an emboldened attack on the poor and an exacerbation of systemic racism that demands a response." Barber served as leader of the N.C. conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 2005 until he stepped down in October.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article187942274.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The front lines in the war against democracy:

Here's a prediction, and one which I hope I get wrong: The November 2018 ballot will have painfully long lists of candidates for judicial districts, and after voters have been forced to slog through all those names with which they're not familiar, they will be given the choice to continue electing judges, or allow them to be appointed. Thus creating a new phenomenon, the "push ballot."

Durham moving forward with "Bike Boulevards" program for safety

Because two wheels are much better for you than four:

Bike boulevards, which have been created in cities like Portland, Ore. and Berkeley Calif., would turn some neighborhood streets across the urban core of Durham into preferred routes for the bicyclists – directing bikers off car-heavy streets and toward quieter routes. Durham is hoping to create at least 7 miles of these bike boulevards in the coming years to help safely move bicyclists more easily from north Durham to south Durham.

That “one-street-over” concept is currently exemplified by Watts Street in the Trinity Park neighborhood, which became the first bicycle boulevard in the city in 2016. On that street, the city has put pavement markings and street signs directing cyclists to use that road and letting motor vehicles know the street is a preferred bicycle route.

We've just begun to discuss something like this in my (relatively) small town, and (believe it or not) we have some challenges that Durham may not have. Our Main St. is just a stone's-throw away from a busy rail line, and we have two state highways that converge right in the middle of downtown. Coming up with alternate routes without taking bikers too far away from that hub has turned out to be not nearly as easy as I originally pictured. But since we're hoping to get more density in the downtown via mixed use (retail & residential), we need to figure it out pretty soon.

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