Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: NCGA thumbs nose at Cooper's call for special session

Posted June 9

Gov. Roy Cooper

Friday, June 9, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on the North Carolina voting maps special session that never was, a rural education success story in Warren County, some disturbing signs that emerged out of Thursday's James Comey hearing and more.

KIRK ROSS: Governor calls special session; lawmakers cancel it (Carolina Public Press column) -- Gov. Roy Cooper called for a special session starting Thursday to redraw North Carolina General Assembly districts after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Monday opinion agreeing that 28 House and Senate districts are unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering. But lawmakers, accusing Cooper of overstepping his constitutional authority, cancelled the session without ever meeting.

FERREL GUILLORY: Bright spot amid sobering news on rural schools (EdNC column) -- Hearty congratulations go out Warren County High School – and Principal Darrell Richardson, and their guidance counselors and teachers. All 90 graduates have been accepted into community colleges and universities to pursue education beyond high school. It is a promising transition and an important achievement for a school in a rural, majority-minority, economically-distressed county where only 15 percent of adults have a bachelor’s degree.

Comey’s deeply troubling testimony (Charlotte Observer) -- Former FBI director paints a portrait of a president trying to shut down an investigation.

MICHAEL GEBELEIN: Polk schools blindsided as feds prosecute counselor (Carolina Public Press column) -- School counselor admits to Medicaid fraud, stealing student data. Schools say they’ve been left mostly in the dark about what happened

ROSE HOBAN: Budget Abortion Language Could Jeopardize Hospital Procedures (N.C. Health News column) -- Language inserted in the Senate's version of the state budget could force hospitals to choose whether to perform the procedure.

‘Terrible’ says it well (Greensboro News & Record) -- Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, whose conservative roots run deep, thinks a bill that is slip-sliding past common sense toward swift approval in the General Assembly is, in his words, a “terrible” idea.

Gun bill aims to end a dubious legal distinction (Wilson Times) -- Battle lines are drawn predictably — Second Amendment defenders on one side and gun control advocates on the other. But House Bill 746 has more to do with short-circuiting bureaucracy than expanding gun rights

‘Raise the Age’ is the right move (Fayetteville Observer) -- The N.C. General Assembly is on the right track with its work on “Raise the Age” legislation. Bills in the House and Senate would take slightly different tacks but have the same aim: to recognize that 16- and 17-year-old teenagers should not be treated as adults in most criminal matters. We view this as a sensible move that would shift North Carolina into the national mainstream in applying the law to this age group.,

Forgo seismic blasting -- at least for now (Wilmington Star-News) -- If kids in your neighborhood were shooting off fireworks, and the occasional dynamite stick, outside your house at all hours, you’d call the police. But that’s basically what we’re about to do to whales, dolphins, sea turtles and schools of food fish off the North Carolina coast. The Trump administration has decided to reopen the Atlantic coast from Delaware through Florida to seismic testing.

TRISTA TALTON: Drilling, Seismic Opponents Rally … Again (Coastal Review column) -- More than 100 environmental advocates gathered this week in Wilmington to renew their battle against seismic exploration for oil and gas off the N.C. coast.

SUSAN LADD: House bill marks progress for renewable energy (Greensboro News & Record column) -- A bipartisan compromise bill could help diversify the state's energy portfolio and offer customers more clean energy options.

New 'asset map' tool aims to help NC cities drive innovation (WRAL TechWire) -- Communities looking to promote innovation can now inventory their assets through a new "asset map" tool from the Institute for Emerging Issues, RTI International and several other partners.

DAVID MONTGOMERY: Trump wants to kill federal arts funding. What difference would that make? (Washington Post column) -- The wind is up in Wilson, N.C. Giant pinwheels and propellers start spinning atop tall and spindly kinetic sculptures called whirligigs, which have been erected on a village green being developed into Whirligig Park. The rotating wheels drive chains, belts and shafts that, in turn, set in motion whimsical characters and shapes. Little bicycle riders and unicyclists pedal and wave, helicopters hover, birds flap their wings, fighter planes change course.


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