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Opinion Roundup: New Cooper effort puts gerrymandering front and center

Posted July 19

Gov. Roy Cooper

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on Governor Roy Cooper's campaign to combat gerrymandering, the catch-22 situation within a key renewable energy bill, an argument for N.C. legislators to spend less time in Raleigh and more.

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE: Cooper launches 'Break the Majority' to attack gerrymandering (POLITICO Magazine) – Gov. Roy Cooper launches a high-dollar campaign aimed at wresting the stranglehold Republicans have on North Carolina government. It is an effort that Democrats around the nation, looking to gain ground lost over the last few years, are closely watching.

Don’t let moratorium poison energy bill (Fayetteville Observer) -- Sometimes a decision boils down to something pretty unpleasant, a choice where you have to pick the least-damaging option, but you feel lousy about it because you’re inflicting needless damage. So it is with the renewable energy legislation that’s on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. No matter what he does — sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature — there will be serious setbacks.

DOUG CLARK: Legislators should work less to fit their part-time pay (Greensboro News & Record column) -- Until last year, I sympathized with the idea that state legislators ought to be paid more. A lot more.

Governor’s leadership needed on GenX response (Wilmington Star-News) -- Gov. Roy Cooper has been noticeably absent as area leaders grapple with the GenX crisis. And, yes, it is a crisis. When people are no longer confident their drinking water is safe, and the main water provider opens a special station for people to get water, that is a crisis. We still don’t know to what extent -- if any -- the GenX in the water is a health concern.

Growing the rooftop solar market (Bloomberg View) -- Almost overnight, it seems, the decade-long expansion of rooftop solar in the U.S. has come to an end. Installations are set to fall by 2 percent this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The last big Republican lie on health care (Charlotte Observer) -- The Better Care Reconciliation Act is seemingly dead. What’s next for Obamacare depends on how honest Republicans are with Americans and themselves.

ALAN RAPPEPORT: New Battle Begins as GOP Looks to Pass a Budget (New York Times analysis) -- Reeling from the collapse of their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are trying to move on to tax legislation. Significant challenges awaiting the U.S. House budget effort were already evident this week. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he didn't think the proposed budget could win full House approval.

MICHELLE WAGNER: ‘Gray Death’ sounds an alarm (Outer Banks Sentinel analysis) -- Local experts worried about deadly drug mix -- The July 7 seizure of what is suspected to be the deadly opioid mixture called “Gray Death” has both local and regional officials on high alert as the sale of the lethal drug is on the rise in the Carolinas.

Comforting cancer patients (Winston-Salem Journal) -- We were pleased to learn that DigniCap has been approved for expanded use by the Food and Drug Administration. This is the kind of beneficial innovation The City of Arts and Innovation can be proud of.

STEPHANIE CARSON: Charlotte Clinic Featured in New Documentary (Public News Service analysis) -- A Preferred Women's Health Center, reportedly the busiest clinic of its kind in the state where employees and patients alike are subject to loud and large protests as they enter the building. Clinic administrator Calla Hales, featured in the film, "Care in Chaos," said her staff also is legally required to tell women considering an abortion things that aren't medically proven.

ALAN BLINDER: New Tool for When States Squabble: Travel Bans (New York Times analysis) -- A handful of left-leaning states have banned public employees from using tax dollars to travel to states with laws they contend are discriminatory.

Teachers tweet about differentiated pay, evaluation, and relationships (EdNC analysis) -- Educators from Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem, and Swansboro shared their thoughts on how pay affects teachers, students, and relationships.

A Justified Rejection (Southern Pines Pilot) -- -Although it may not have been received well in some circles, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond did the right thing in ruling in a 10-5 vote that the Christian prayers offered by members of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners before their meetings in Salisbury were a violation

Prayers cross a line (Greensboro News & Record) -- The Rowan County Board of Commissioners all but established Christianity as an official religion. A federal appeals court last week said it went too far.

CATHERINE KOZAK: Meet Jockey’s Ridge Supt. Joy Greenwood (Coastal Review column) -- Joy Greenwood’s job is managing the more than 400 acres of shifting sand known as Jockey’s Ridge State Park, one of North Carolina’s most dynamic and most visited.

RUSTY JACOBS: Invasive Seaweed Species Helping NC's Coastal Habitats (WUNC-FM analysis) -- Eradicating invasive plants and species may not always be the best policy. A new study shows a non-native species of seaweed is helping coastal habitats in North Carolina.

Stay cool, stay safe (Fayetteville Observer) -- The heat wave is on our doorstep. Forecasters say we’re in for a run of at least six days with temperatures nearing the 100-degree mark and heat indexes — the measure of how hot it feels — running even higher. It will not be a comfortable time to enjoy our great outdoors, unless you’re immersed in a pool. For people who have to be outside during the day, this can be a health-compromising, even life-threatening, time.

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