Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: Dark moment in history revived by modern, polarized politics

Posted August 9

North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse.

Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on a controversial tweet by a state party leader, an 11-state battle for a huge jobs project, a teacher's realization about the limits of business in the classroom and more.

Republican leader’s 1898 tweet a pathetic overture (Wilmington Star-News) -- It’s nice to see people learn their history, but a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Case in point: the Honorable Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party. Responding to a Democratic Party tweet Sunday on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Woodhouse accused Democrats of being responsible for killing black people in Wilmington in 1898. Well, technically, that’s true.

The hurt of history (Greensboro News & Record) -- In 2007, the N.C. Democratic Party finally — by a unanimous vote of its executive committee meeting at Elon University — made a formal apology for and renounced its role in the 1898 events. So N.C. GOP Director Dallas Woodhouse clobbered Democrats for sins they confessed a decade ago. It hurts to confront the crimes of history, but repentance and changes for the better make a big difference.

PETER GRANT: N.C. among 11 States Jockeying to Land Toyota-Mazda Production Facility (Wall Street Journal analysis) – North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas are among the states on the shortlist to host the $1.6 billion factory.

$100 million expansion and only 40 jobs? (Fayetteville Observer) -- We have seen the future and it is scary. The thriving American workplace will still be with us, but there may not be all that many humans in it. We cheered Tuesday when we saw the great news out of Lee County.

SUSAN LADD: Immigration policy is another example of President Trump's anti-family agenda (Greensboro News & Record column) -- In addition to sweeping away protections for health, education and financial security, President Donald Trump targets family reunification in a misguided approach to immigration.​

Protecting the media to protect America (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- ATTORNEY GENERAL Jeff Sessions took a couple of steps down a dangerous path last week in announcing that the U.S. Department of Justice would aggressively pursue and prosecute leakers, including making it easier to subpoena members of the media.

Neighborly police (Winston-Salem Journal) -- We appreciate the police department’s recent effort to reach out in a friendly way to the community. The hot dogs didn’t hurt.

JUSTIN PARMENTER: The cost of doing business in the education world (EdNC column) -- I began to realize that the notion that anyone could accurately measure exactly what value I was adding to each of my students’ learning was false, as was the idea that I could use this EVAAS data for much more than a ticket to an emotional roller coaster ride.

STEPHANIE CARSON: Give peace a chance – N.C. schools take new approach (Public News Service analysis) -- Thousands of N.C. children have their first day of school this week, and while the emphasis is on academics, more educators also are looking at innovative ways to encourage a healthy learning environment. The group Peaceful Schools NC works with schools to create a positive climate to enhance kids' ability to learn.

JOEL BURGESS: After raucous town hall, Meadows' Obamacare repeal gets cool reaction (Asheville Citizen-Times analysis) -- Rep. Mark Meadows' Obamacare repeal ideas got a raucous reaction from opponents at a town hall — and a cool reaction from the governor's office and some state House members representing Buncombe County. Most of the packed Henderson County town hall meeting was spent on health care, with Meadows, the high-profile U.S. House Freedom Caucus chairman, sparring with repeal opponents.

Living in NC is bad for our health (Fayetteville Observer) -- The nasty politics of health care may be killing us. We’re not a healthy bunch here in North Carolina, it turns out, and that’s in no small measure because we’re not getting the care we need. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We’ve known for some time that this state’s residents are more likely to be smokers and overweight, that our infant mortality rate is too high, and that access to decent health care plummets outside the big cities.

TAYLOR KNOPF: Changes Could Make ACA Signups in Charlotte More Challenging (N.C. Health News analysis) -- Changes made by the Trump administration will resulted in fewer navigators and a shorter time window to sign up for insurance.

TRISTA TALTON: Drilling Opponents Dominate Public Hearing (Coastal Review analysis) -- The first of three North Carolina public hearings this week on the new federal proposal for oil and natural gas leasing off the East Coast drew about 175, mostly drilling opponents.

A True Blessing in Fracking Slowdown (Southern Pines Pilot) -- It seemed so simple just a few years ago. North Carolina’s General Assembly was convinced that the state’s next great economic fortune lay in the rocky substrata beneath northern Moore, Lee and Chatham counties.

JOSEPH BEBON: Solar developer wins in N.C. appeal after permit denial (Solar Industry magazine analysis) -- In a unanimous decision, the N.C. Court of Appeals recently held that the application for issuance of a conditional use permit by Innovative Solar 55 to construct a solar farm was wrongfully denied by the Robeson County Board of County Commissioners.

MARK JURKOWITZ: Tallying up a disaster’s toll (Outer Banks Sentinel analysis) -- The power is on and the tourists are welcome again on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands after a week-long power failure caused when PCL Construction damaged transmission lines. But now that the work of restoring power is over, an even harder task is underway — the effort to credibly calculate the economic costs of the outage and to fairly compensate the victims.​


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