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Opinion Roundup: Amid D.C. uncertainty, N.C. sees no time to spare on opioid crisis

Posted July 7

Friday, July 7, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on North Carolina's plan to curb opioid addiction, a city's chance to remove toxic paint from dozens of homes, the political battles plaguing a UNC program's future, and more.

TAYLOR KNOPF: Cooper Presents NC Opioid Action Plan, Slams Federal Health Care Bill (N.C. Health News) -- State health leaders strategize how to reduce the destruction created by opioid overdoses, even as federal cuts that could jeopardize those plans loom.


Getting the lead out (Greensboro News & Record) -- Using paint that contained lead was, for a time, the way of the world.


MARTHA WAGGONER: No easy alternative for UNC Center for Civil Rights (AP Analysis) -- A committee studying alternative paths for a University of North Carolina center that offers legal help to the poor found no options that would allow the center to continue the full breadth of its work while also satisfying conservatives who oppose how it operates.


Elections commission has a fishy mission (Fayetteville Observer) -- Even the red states are saying no. Some of them are saying it will all the flourish of a hard-slammed door. They’re not about to share their voter data with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Hard to blame them, really. The commission has all the trappings of a fishing expedition cobbled together to support President Donald Trump’s claim that he lost the popular vote last November because of rampant voter fraud.


DOUGLAS BELKIN: States, District of Columbia File Suit Against U.S. Over College-Marketing Rules (Wall Street Journal analysis) -- A coalition of Democratic attorneys general from North Carolina, 17 other states and the District of Columbia announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education regarding the end of Obama-era rules designed to punish colleges and universities that use deceptive recruiting tactics and charge high prices for dubious degrees.


SUSAN LADD: The Queen of Refuse rides again (Greensboro News & Record column) -- State Sen. Trudy Wade's advocacy for solid-waste companies and their financial support for her campaigns spans her political career.


Domestic abuse bill sends a message (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- State lawmakers, law enforcement officials and advocates for domestic violence victims are backing a bill that would allow prosecutors to charge suspects of domestic abuse homicides with first-degree murder.


Leave ‘garbage juice’ bill dead (Fayetteville Observer) -- We have to wonder: Were our lawmakers celebrating the passage of the Brunch Bill a little early when they also passed the Garbage Juice bill? They certainly couldn’t have been thinking clearly. The brunch legislation lets restaurants and retailers sell alcoholic beverages at 10 a.m. on Sundays, two hours earlier than the law currently allows. Cities have to approve the earlier sales too before they are allowed.


Expunction reform helps ex-offenders earn second chance (Wilson Times) -- Some of us may remember a stern principal or harried teacher warning us that misbehavior could lead to a black mark on our “permanent record.”


ALLISON BALLARD: GenX: Focus Shifts to Environmental Justice (Coastal Review analysis) -- Speakers at an event Wednesday on the GenX chemical recently detected in the area’s drinking water supply said more needs to be done to inform minority and under-served residents.


Dog soldiers (Winston-Salem Journal) -- As the military struggles to respond to the mental pain haunting many of our troops returning from the war on terror, one obvious form of treatment is proving valuable. We need more therapy dogs.


LEAH ASMELASH: Dental Students Get A Lesson in Empathy (N.C. Health News analysis) -- A simulation helps dental students - mostly well-to-do and educated - to understand the lives and struggles of their less fortunate patients.


STEPHANIE CARSON: Women Could Be Caught in Crossfire of Senate Health Bill (Public News Service analysis) -- Ciara Zachary, policy analyst for the Health Advocacy Project at the N.C. Justice Center is concerned about the proposed changes in the U.S. Senate’s proposed repeal of Obamacare, which she says could affect women's health costs and coverage more than men's. One are of concern is an amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz to allow insurers to sell plans that don't comply with current regulations about what must be covered - as long as they offer plans that do.


ALEX GRANADOS: Launch of the Achievement School District, with for-profit charter school? (EdNC analysis) -- Eric Hall, superintendent of North Carolina’s Achievement School District, gave the State Board of Education a glimpse of the future of his district. At the heart is the creation of a district which will eventually include five low-performing schools from around the state. The schools, which are yet to be named, could be turned over to for-profit charter operators.


Who says there’s no money in education? Not CMS (Charlotte Observer) -- CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox hands out big raises in first day on the job.

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