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Opinion Roundup: Feds stiff N.C. on flood relief

Posted May 15

A shopping center on Sunset Avenue in Rocky Mount was flooded on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, by a creek. The creek was flooded by Hurricane Matthew, which hit a day earlier. (Photo By: Nick Stevens/WRAL)

Monday, May 15, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on Hurricane Matthew disaster assistance, Burr's Russia response, the faulty class-size compromise and more.

Hurricane victims need more help (Wilmington Star-News) -- It takes something monumental to bring Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, together with U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and 7th District Congressman David Rouzer, both devout Republicans. That something monumental was Hurricane Matthew, which inflicted at least $1.5 billion in damage on North Carolina back in October. Six months later, tens of thousands of Tar Heels still need help.

Shortchanging N.C. on hurricane relief a slap in the face (Wilson Times) -- Hurricane Matthew turned country roads and suburban streets into lakes. Thousands were flooded out of their homes. Dozens of cars were swept away in rushing water. Twenty-eight people lost their lives.

Feds add insult to Hurricane Matthew injury (Fayetteville Observer) -- Washington sent a message to Gov. Roy Cooper the other day: So you drowned. Not our problem. Dry yourself out. You’re on your own. If this is the way the federal government is being remade, we’re all in trouble. The message wasn’t quite in those blunt words, but intent was clear.

Mr. President, come see for yourself (Winston-Salem Journal) -- We share Gov. Roy Cooper’s “shock and disappointment” at the tiny amount of federal disaster assistance offered to help recover from the Hurricane Matthew flooding that devastated Eastern North Carolina last year. We urge our members of Congress to twist a few arms, if that’s what it takes.

Burr must stand tall in Russia-Trump investigation (Fayetteville Observer) -- For students of history and for those who were watching the news unfold 43 years ago, the events in Washington this week are setting off a heavy dose of deja vu. History, as it is wont to do, is repeating itself, at least to some degree. The similarities are hard to miss. President Donald Trump’s sacking of his FBI director bears a strong resemblance to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”

Burr must press on (Greensboro News & Record) -- Sen. Richard Burr’s reaction probably was like that of most Americans:

A Weak Compromise on Class-Size Law (Southern Pines Pilot) -- No one opposes smaller classes for our youngest students; the research all supports the merit of that goal. But when the General Assembly last year mandated the smaller sizes for kindergarten through third grade, it stripped away school districts’ flexibility and gave no extra funding.

Republican legislature reaching out to touch everything (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- In the last several elections, North Carolina voters have handed over to the Republican Party veto-proof majorities in both the N.C. House and Senate, and for the period Jan. 2013, to Jan. 2017, put in office Republican Gov. Pat McCory, securing GOP control over the state's political and legislative infrastructure.

Roadside poppies a fitting tribute to WWI veterans (Wilmington Star-News) -- “In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row ...” Compliments to the N.C. Department of Transportation, which has been planting red poppies along many of the state’s highways.

Reopen Yadkin hospital (Winston-Salem Journal) -- For two years now, Yadkin County has gone without a hospital. But some leaders have worked hard toward filling that crucial gap. And now their work is finally starting to pay off.

Spread the wealth (Greensboro News & Record) – State Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram’s district in northeast North Carolina is fortunate to have her “back home,” but opportunities for other rural residents will be hard to come by without more state help.

Sessions revives failed drug policies (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a return to the failed policies of the War on Drugs that resulted in the long-term incarceration of hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders.

Senator whiffs on obvious conflict of interest (Charlotte Observer) -- Sen. Ralph Hise has an obvious conflict in his work on Board of Elections legislation and should recuse himself.

A chance to invest in NC’s growth (Kinston Free Press) -- It’s budget season in North Carolina. Governments at every level, from the General Assembly to town councils in tiny rural towns, are trying to reconcile needs with cash flow and come up with a spending plan by the beginning of the next fiscal year, July 1. It’s never easy and sometimes is excruciatingly painful. It shouldn’t be at all painful for the members of the General Assembly.

Wrong time to drill (Greensboro News & Record) -- If President Donald Trump wants to see oil rigs off the Southeast coast, he’ll have to roll over opposition from beach towns first.

In North Carolina, a reminder of the unjust consequences of war (Charlotte Observer) -- A North Carolina Army veteran’s death reminds us that war, even just war, has costs.


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