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Opinion Roundup: N.C.'s coastal parks yield big economic perks

Posted June 7

Due south of Fort Macon State Park, a little more than a mile offshore, the pirate Blackbeard's flagship lies at the bottom of Beaufort Inlet. Despite being under about 20 feet of water, the Queen Anne's Revenge site is often plagued by low visibility and dangerous currents (Tyler Dukes/WRAL).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on a new report showing nature's value in North Carolina, how Congress' effort to repeal Obamacare could hurt our kids, continued gridlock among state leaders and more.

ASHITA GONA: Parks, Nature Boost Coast’s Economy (Coastal Review column) -- The appeal of national parks and natural areas on the North Carolina coast brought in more than $215 million in visitor spending in 2016, according to a recent National Park Service report.


ROSE HOBAN: GOP Bill in Congress Would Hit Kids Hard (N.C. Health News column) -- As policy experts examine the Obamacare repeal and replace bill making its way through Congress, they’re finding it could have a big impact on kids.


Our state of conflict (Greensboro News & Record) -- Gov. Roy Cooper lost a round in court last week and didn’t like it. “It looks like the threats from the legislature had an effect on these judges,” Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said after a three-judge panel dismissed the governor’s suit against the legislature over the composition of election boards and an ethics commission. That was out of line.


JAY SHERRILL: Keep Governor's School funding (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- North Carolina’s Governor’s School is a publicly-financed nearly six-week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high-school students, integrating academic disciplines, the arts and unique courses.


Time to give gerrymandering a good funeral (Fayetteville Observer) -- Maybe it’s time to stop blaming liberal judges for legislating from the bench. Maybe it’s time for this state’s lawmakers to stop all the blame-gaming and get on with the serious business of insuring that every North Carolinian’s vote carries the same weight. When lower courts found that the General Assembly’s redistricting efforts amounted to racial gerrymandering, legislative leaders decried the decisions as political nonsense.


SUSAN LADD: Voters deserve immediate remedy for gerrymandering (Greensboro News & Record column) -- Like a movie with too many sequels, gerrymandering lawsuits and appeals have consumed the better part of a decade.


Will N.C. have a special election in 2017? (Charlotte Observer) -- U.S. Supreme Court affirms that state legislative districts are illegal, but is uneasy about how to fix them.


WILL MICHAELS: Lawmakers Propose Overhaul To NC Solar Energy Regulations (WUNC-FM column) -- State lawmakers are quickly advancing a bill that would overhaul North Carolina's regulations on solar energy production.


JEFF HAMPTON: In field dominated by men, world champion taxidermist is young mother in Moyock (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- Dead animals have been a lifelong infatuation for Kendall Wilson. And she doesn’t apologize for it. In 3 years she's advanced from amateur to professional to master – the highest class in taxidermy shows on world levels.


MICHAEL TIEMANN: UNCSA proud to be part of this strategic plan (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- The University of North Carolina system has wisely built its strategic plan to leverage the natural diversity of its constituent campuses. This choice prioritizes the potentially unlimited value of emergence over the very finite possible gains of efficiency alone.


STEPHANIE CARSON & DALLAS HELTZELL: NC Sportsmen say 'Keep Public Lands in Public Hands' (Public News Service column) -- More than 35 hunting, fishing and outdoor groups today sent a letter to the members of North Carolina's congressional delegation calling on them to defend public lands in the state and the rest of the country. The demand from organizations representing more than 100,000 stakeholders comes as efforts continue to privatize some national parks.


Wade’s crusade could make your paper arrive late (Wilson Times) -- A state lawmaker’s personal grudge against the newspaper industry could end up hurting workers and delaying delivery for early risers. Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, filed a March 28 bill that would classify newspaper carriers as employees rather than independent contractors. Her legislation failed to advance, but Wade succeeded in modifying House Bill 205, which sought to extend workers’ compensation benefits to certain inmates, to include her provision for delivery personnel.

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