sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Friday, March 31, 2006

.......If not for Watergate and Iran-Contra, everyone would have been talking about George Mason years ago.

I realize sportswriters might be having a tough time coming up with fresh angles on the Patriots' run to the Final Four, but .......

......Dookies take note.......

"A New York assistant high school girls basketball coach whose son plays basketball for UNC Chapel Hill was among three people arrested Thursday on charges they participated in a multimillion-dollar cocaine distribution network, state police said.

"Daniel R. Green, 39, of North Babylon, N.Y., who has worked as a teacher in the North Babylon School District and helped coach the girls' basketball team, was expected to be arraigned today on charges related to the drug scheme, said a spokeswoman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

"Green is the father of North Carolina freshman Danny Green, a McDonald's All-American who was player of the year in Nassau County in 2005 for St. Mary's High School in Manhasset.......Daniel Green was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy, possession of marijuana and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

.....The federal government definitely doesn't spend enough money on education.

....Ok, so part of my very busy day yesterday involved afternoon beers at Fisher's. But that was only to relieve the post-traumatic stress of a harrowing incident in the parking lot of the Friendly Center Harris Teeter.

I'm loading both kids into the car when the shopping cart got away from me and slammed into the car sitting two spaces away. It was a plastic shopping cart, and only had two bags of groceries and a twelve pack of beer in it, so it wasn't that heavy. I checked the car, didn't see any damage, and went about my business.

I look up and standing behind me is this perky blond lady, probably in her late 40s.

"Are you going to leave note?" she asked.

"I didn't see any damage," I replied.

"Oh yeah, there's damage," she said. "Look at it from this angle."

I still didn't see any damage and let her know I was moving on.

OK, so it's not even her car........

"Do you want me to call the people right now? I will," she said, and whipped out her cell phone.

"Go ahead," I said.

She didn't dial. Instead, she whipped out a pen and started writing my tag number on her hand.

"You will leave a note, and I'm going to stand here until you do," she said.

"Who the hell are you, the police?" I asked.

I knew the next line:

"You're setting a fine example for your children."

"That's not for you to judge, lady."

I got in the car and drove off.

I can almost understand this woman questionning my morality if she perceived (however wrongly) that I was doing something wrong. But what was with the intimidation?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

....The N&O does some background checks on Duke lacrosse players.

Don't bother clicking.....underage alcohol, public urination and.....obtaining property by false pretenses.....

.....Very busy day....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

.....I didn't know what to make of Rob Daniels' column in this morning's N&R. I came away with the feeling that he has a problem with former college basketball coaches serving as ESPN analysts.

I see his point about Steve Lavin, where Daniels believes ESPN, with its pocketbook, is keeping quality coaches off the bench. I also see his point about Rick Majerus, when Daniels writes it'll "take big cash, great climate, winning situation — to lure him."

But then he knocks one of the best coaches in the game:

"While Ol' Roy is speaking to sauced middle-aged executive types at Rams club functions for three weeks on end this spring, Lavin's sunning in Malibu.

"Let's see here: trying to put a fresh coat of paint on a tall tale you heard from your mentors three decades ago, — and doing it for the benefit of people who curse your name 30 nights a year — or relaxing on the beach."

Tar Heel fans, this your coach he's writing about. I'm sure Roy Williams is doing fine, financially speaking. He still chooses to work hard for his money. Besides, he's paid his dues, as have college coaches who even in a position to become a TV analyst.

If that's what Williams wants to do someday, then he can do it. ESPN would pay well to have him in the studio.

.....Light rail in a trendy Charlotte neighborhood:

"So the folks in Dilworth have finally gotten a close look at transit oriented development and they don’t like it? Who can blame them, but what did they think light rail meant? The South Blvd. line especially is a $500 million redevelopment engine targeting everything in that corridor, including the edge of Dilworth. Put it this way, if you like anything along any of the proposed transit lines as it currently exists, prepare to be outraged because it is all going to go away. That is the plan.....That is what light rail does, that is what it demands — higher density, more commerical, operationally anti-car."

Monday, March 27, 2006

.....What kind of nut is against libraries?

What kind of nut is against Sesame Street? The same kind of nut who thinks it's a bad idea to park your kid in front of the TV so you can get some shit done.

Susan Linn, Harvard psychologist and founder of
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
, weighs in on Sesame Street's new DVD release:

"Essentially it is a betrayal of babies and families. There is no evidence that media is beneficial for babies, and they are starting to find evidence that it may be harmful. Until we know for sure, we shouldn't risk putting them in front of the television."

Dimitri Christakis, director of the Child Health Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle:

"Kids (under 2) are only awake 12 hours a day, so we have a generation of children who are watching television 10 to 20 percent of their waking lives — and that a dramatic increase."

If you ask me, two hours of television and 10 hours of just being a kid doesn't sound like a bad ratio to me.

OK, two hours might be a bit much. But I did rely on the Baby Einstein products, which raked in $200 million in 2005. The videos run about 25 minutes and expose kids to classical music, colors, shapes and animals.

At the end, Julie Clark, the founder of Baby Einstein, narrates an informational segment.

"Watch the video with your children. Clap hands, play musical instruments, sing, have fun."

Yeah, right.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

......I reckon if CMS wants school superintendent Terry Grier, they can have him.

But no matter which candidate gets the job, it won't be easy.

Former Gov. Jim Martin:

"We're a tough community. We've brought in a lot of people with high hopes, then sniped at them 'til we break them down."

Margaret Carnes, spokesperson for the nonprofit Charlotte Advocates for Education:

"If, in fact, it is an outsider, they better be ready to walk on water."

I think it's fair to question whether or not Grier can handle the job. It just depends on which version moves on to Charlotte: The version that, for the most part, coddles our school board, or the version that stood up to Guilford County commissioners last week.

Groups of parents attempting to play hardball politics is one thing; a school board that plays hardball politics is something quite different.

carl samuel hieb

esther ann hieb

....Getting geared up for this afternoon.

Last night's pre-run meal: Beer, pizza, two oatmeal cookies and a glass of milk. It was New YorK Pizza, though.

Friday, March 24, 2006

.....Interesting but strange N.Y. Times article on the rights of unwed fathers when their babies are put up for adoption.

The federal solution solution comes from Sen. Mary Landrieu, who will introduce the Proud Father Act, legislation which would create a national registry for unwed fathers who might wish to claim paternity rights.

While state-run registries are a patchwork of regulations, common complaints among unwed fathers are the bureuacratic obstacles to registering plus the narrow window of time to register after the birth of a baby, anywhere from 5-30 days.

Not to mention the cramp on guys' sex lives:

"Erik Smith.....was naturally intrigued when he heard of the Ohio registry in a class where the professor explained that babies born to unwed parents can be adopted without the father's consent if he did not register within 30 days after the birth."

"'I asked if that meant that, to protect his rights, a man should register every time he has sex with a new partner, and he said yes,' Mr Smith said."

Then this from Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute:

"It's all smoke and mirrors. How can registries work if no one's heard of them? And it's not just reasonable to expect that men will register every time they have sex."

I wouldn't think so, even if the federal government provides the service. So the answer seems to be quit having sex out of wedlock or chalk adoption disputes up as one of the many risks you assume when you do.

....I can almost understand crying when you lose.

But to this day, I'll never understand crying when you win.

.....I knew the whole time: All it would takes was one off-game by J.J. Redick.....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

....At first, I thought the N&R had done a poll. Then I read the article and found out that 40 people at a city council meeting constitutes a large show of support for a possible bond referendum in November.

Now, is it me, or does anyone else see how some of the items on the referendum promote urban sprawl? The $25 million that the Greensboro Partnership requested would be used for "land for business and industrial sites downtown and elsewhere, infrastructure improvements for those sites and improvements for transportation corridors."

It's the "elsewhere" that bothers me. I assume that the partnership has a strategy to bank large chunks of land on outer edges of the city limits so that a business can easily build a large building that will provide lots of jobs. "Improvements for transportation corridors" will make that goal even easier to achieve, making such land even more attractive to businesses.

Then there are the three new branch libraries, at an estimated cost of $9.1 million. But do we not have a fine library downtown? I've spent much time there, most recently yesterday when I went to check out a copy of Namath.

So would the city not be undermining the central library's role as a legitimate downtown marketing tool by encouraging the construction of new branches? With its wide range of resources, it's the type of place a family would come to spend a couple of hours and then perhaps treat themselves to another outing downtown.

All this said, I guess no one in their right mind would oppose lots of jobs. But what kind of nut would oppose more libraries?

....I have a solution for the Nationals' Soriano problem: Trade him to the Reds. They'll gladly let him play second base.

....President Bush wasn't the only one on the offensive yesterday.....

British Prime Minister Tony Blair also spoke about the war on terror:

"We can no more opt out of this struggle than we can opt out of the climate changing around us. Inaction, pushing the responsibility on to America, deluding ourselves that this terrorism is an isolated series of individual incidents rather than a global movement and would go away if only we were more sensitive to its pretensions; this too is a policy. It is just that; it is a policy that is profoundly, fundamentally wrong."

Blair also takes the media to task:

Terrorists " play our own media with a shrewdness that would be the envy of many a political party. Every act of carnage adds to the death toll. But somehow it serves to indicate our responsibility for disorder, rather than the act of wickedness that causes it. For us, so much of our opinion believes that what was done in Iraq in 2003 was so wrong, that it is reluctant to accept what is plainly right now."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

......Bush faces the press......Pull quotes......

"That's why I'm having this press conference — to tell you what's on my mind."

On Iraq:

"If I didn't believe we had a plan for victory, I'd pull our troops out of harm's way."

"A democracy in Iraq is going to affect reformers in a part of the world that is desparate for reform....The people have spoken and they want democracy. Otherwise, they wouldn't have participated (in the recent elections). Liberty's universal. People desire to be free."

On his staff, which has been under fire in the press:

"These are good, decent, hard-working people."

On taxes:

"This is the way Washington works. We raise taxes then we find new ways to spend."

On gay marriage:

"I believe society's interests are met by saying marriage is between a man and a woman."

On Democrats, the midterm elections and national surveillance:

"They ought to say, 'Vote for me. We're not going to have a terrorist surveillance program any more.'"

......Wily Mo for Arroyo:

The Reds definitely need the pitching, but Pena is a budding superstar, based on what I've seen so far. He would hopefully pick up the offensive slack if Ken Griffey gets injured again, which Reds fans pray doesn't happen, season after season after season........

Monday, March 20, 2006

......Boyd surrenders:

"The war was a mistake. If you'd have told anyone rational before the war that three years after, we'd found no significant WMD, the country would be split along sectarian lines and on the verge of major civil war and that the Iraqi army and police are unable to secure the country, then no one would have signed on."

Talking about prewar predictions.......

"In launching a war against Iraq now, the United States may precipitate the very threat that we are intent on preventing--weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. If Saddam's regime and his very survival are threatened, then his view of his interests may be profoundly altered: He may decide he has nothing to lose by using weapons of mass destruction himself or by sharing them with terrorists. . . . Saddam may well hide his most lethal weapons in mosques, schools and hospitals. If our forces attempt to strike such targets, untold numbers of Iraqi civilians could be killed."--Ted Kennedy, Sept. 27, 2002

.....from "someone rational."

.........NPR and hamburger....Do you really want to see them being made?

"The last two years, however, have been a very different story. NPR has created nearly 70 jobs in its newsroom many of them for reporters on newly created positions like police and prisons, labor, international economics, the environment, technology and the media. and all this as other news organizations have been paring their staffs and scaling back their ambitions as consumers and advertisers drift away.....

"One listener in particular is responsible for the new mood: Joan B. Kroc, the widow of Ray A. Kroc, the man who built the McDonald's chain. Just before her death in 2003, she arranged to leave NPR a gift of about $230 million. That was bigger than anything NPR could have imagined...."

NPR reporter Frank Langfitt puts the ketchup on the french fries:

"Without McDonald's, I wouldn't have a job."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

......School superintendent Terry Grier's appearance before the Guilford County Board of Commissioners perfectly illustrates why school policy and the school board should be politicized and partisan.

While I've credited Grier in the past for interjecting some common sense into school board meetings, it was when he was standing in front of real politicians that he spoke so clearly and concisely and about school policy. He also — with all due respect — took the commissioners to task for complaining about moving money away fromthe Jamestown Middle School project when the commission had appoved such shifting of funds before without such strong opposition.

If Grier and the school board could only cut the educational-bureaucratic double-talk and communicate that effectively and straighforwardly with parents, they might have more friends in Guilford County. The only way to do that, in my opinion, is to get everybody's true political beliefs out in the open.

Friday, March 17, 2006

....Then there's Richard Koritz, who defends SUV assailant Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar:

"There is no mention of the U.S. government, the intended subject of UNC-Chapel Hill graduate Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar's violent act. There is no mention of the ongoing war being waged by this government against the Muslim people of Iraq."

Fair enough, I guess. But here's my question: Where's the logic behind trying to kill people who, more than likely, sympathize with Taheri-azar's point of view?

.....Then there's this viewpoint from my father-in-law, who flew helicopters in Vietnam:

"Those guys in the peace movement were only in it for the girls."

.......Cal Thomas shows no respect for peace activist Tom Fox and his colleagues in Iraq:

"The motive of the activists was exposed in a statement from Christian Peacemakers Teams, under whose auspices Fox and others traveled to Iraq. Spokeswoman Jessica Phillips said, 'We believe the root cause of the abduction of our colleagues is the U.S.-and British-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.'

"Strange thing about these peace movements: they rarely mobilize to oppose the killing, torture and imprisonment practiced by dictators. It is only when their own country attempts to end the oppression that the activists become active against America, not the initiators of evil. Peace, like happiness, is a byproduct, not a goal that can be unilaterally attained. Peace happens when evil is vanquished."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

....Funding schools in North Carolina:

A billion here, a billion there.

More on bond money in Guilford County Schools tomorrow, regarding the school system's request before the county commissioners to shift some around.

Surprise: Commissioner Billy Yow votes yes.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

......I find it interesting that ABC has countered with Supernanny in the competition for the Monday 9pm time slot. ABC either believes The Apprentice has lost some of its appeal or that Jo Frost is a worthy adversary for Donald Trump. If she can handle Trump the way she handles the crazy kids she whips into shape every week.....

I don't know if Lenny can go all the way, but I think he'll go far. His biggest asset, which was on display in last night's show, is his ability to keep his mouth shut in the boardroom. When he does say something, it's straight and to the point.

Last night, it was clear either Teresa or Tarek would be fired. Trump asked Lenny what he should do.

"Fire both of them," Lenny replied.

Straight and to the point.

.....Very interesting sentence in this letter to the editor, from Andrew Young of Greensboro.

Young imagines a Barbara Walters interview with (former) President Bush in 2011. Walters presses Bush about his Middle East policy:

"When Walters cites the week's body count, he insists the 'situation is still developing' but 'one day people will thank the U.S.' for invading Iraq."

That tells me Young does not have much faith in Bush's successor. But I can only assume Young hopes it won't be a Republican.....Maybe I'm wrong....

......Do job training programs really work?

Monday, March 13, 2006

......"Audiotapes of Saddam Hussein and his aides underscore the Bush administration argument that Baghdad was determined to rebuild its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction once the international community had tired of inspections and left the Iraqi dictator alone.

"In addition to the captured tapes, U.S. officials are analyzing thousands of pages of newly translated Iraqi documents that tell of Saddam seeking uranium from Africa in the mid-1990s."

Friday, March 10, 2006

......Via this morning's N&R........

The St. Louis Post Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz:

"Bonds must be stopped, and only Selig can do it."

Miklasz reminds us that the Black sox were found not guilty in a jury trial of conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned them from baseball anyway.

The point: For better or worse, Bud Selig is a dictator, not a judge in a court of law. He could kick Barry Bonds out of baseball tomorrow if he wanted to. And he should. But Selig knows such a move would involve an ugly fight with the players' union.

Next question: Would Pete Rose still be banned from baseball if he had the union backing him?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

.....The Meck Deck rips Charlotte Observer racing writer David Poole a new one for his stance on the NASCAR Hall of Fame:

"Poole has to label the welfare-for-billionaires observation “junk” or the folks who run NASCAR will cut off his access faster than you can say restrictor plate. But then we move on the merits of Poole’s argument. Whoops! Turns out there are not any."

.....A guy tries to build an asphalt plant in Hillsborough and ends up in the North Carolina Supreme Court......probably.....

Douglas Robins' case was ruled upon by the N.C. Court of Appeals and "almost certainly" will be heard by the Supreme Court.

Robins wanted to build an asphalt plant in Hillsborough on land zoned "general industrial." Zoning regulations, however, did allow for asphalt plants to be subject to a site plan review.

Robins' fourth public hearing in front of the Hillsborough Board of Adjustment never happened:

"On April 22, eight days before the fourth public hearing, Hillsborough‘s Town Board issued a moratorium suspending “the Review, Consideration and Issuance of Permits and Applications for Manufacturing and Processing Operations Involving Petroleum Products,” including asphalt plants. The April 30 public hearing was canceled. In November 2003, Hillsborough amended its zoning ordinances to ban from the town asphalt plants and other facilities involved in manufacturing or processing petroleum products."

Basically, the three-judge panel ruled in a 2-1 decision that Hillsborough doesn't have the right to change its zoning laws while plans are pending.

The majority was also worried about

"the constitutionality of the town’s decision to ban asphalt plants. Under the Constitution, zoning decisions may not be “arbitrary and unduly discriminatory interference with the rights of property owners.”

Judge Barbara Jackson dissented, noting that

"under North Carolina case law, citizens have no general vested right to have zoning ordinances remain forever the same."

True. Hillsborough has every right to rezone land. But not when site plans are pending under current zoning.

Because there was a dissent, The Supreme court must hear the case if Hillsborough appeals.

I wonder if it will?

.....Unposted, via N&R print edition......

.....The Cato Institute's Neal McCluskey gives us at least one reason to pull for Duke.

"But before you completely dismiss the idea of pulling for the Dukies, consider this: While the Blue Devils may be insufferable, at least they don't get their competitive edge by picking taxpayers' pockets. The same can't be said of the gigantic state universities against which Duke has to compete."

Coach K's a good Republican, too. Still, I'd sooner die.......

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

...Anybody for a $1 billion school bond?

Not here, fortunately.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

....I went and checked out Oliver North's speech to the Boy Scouts this morning. Only problem was there wasn't a Boy Scout in sight. Just a lot of white guys in suits.

North's speech had two themes: the capability of our military and the assault on the Boy Scouts from the left.

"The young people who serve in our armed forces are the brightest, best-led and thoroughly-trained of any military force of any country in history."

North shared a most interesting story from his travels in Iraq. He showed a photo of a Navy corpsman carrying an injured individual away from a helicopter downed during a gunfight. But North said look closely at the picture: the injured individual was not a U.S. soldier but a member of the Iraqi Republican guard.

Here's the interesting part, according to North. A news crew was there on the scene and yelled to the corpsman, "Didn't you notice he was an Iraqi?"

"Didn't you notice he was wounded?" the corpsman replied.

On the challenges the Boy Scouts face:

"The Boy Scouts are in the crosshairs of a well-funded legal battle here in the United States......Apparently, the patriotism of the Boy Scouts offends many Americans."

Monday, March 06, 2006

....You know by now: Philip Seymour Hoffman wins the Oscar for Capote. It just so happens I caught Hoffman's award-winning performance over the weekend.

You know the story: Perry Smith and his buddy Dick Hitchcock blow away the Clutter family when they don't find a safe that doesn't exist. Capote reads about it in N.Y. Times, befriends everyone on all sides of the case, and spends five years researching and writing what would become In Cold Blood. Capote becomes rich and famous; Perry and Dick are hanged.

While the Clutter murders are well-documented in Capote's nonfiction account as well as a feature-length film and a TV movie, Capote himself, while certainly a character in real life, remained simply the narrator. Now he's a character in the drama that seized Holcomb, Kan.

And what a character. We first hear Capote's voice at a party in New York. Hoffman did it dead-on; as the camera pans through the party you expect to see the wan little fellow instead of the heavier-set Hoffman. The audience is treated to a couple of Capote monologues while hanging out with the crowd.

But most of the movie is set in Kansas, where Capote employs his own brand of journalism. He was there the next day, attended the usual press conferences and got time with officials when available.

Yet you never saw Capote take a note. He bragged about his "94 percent recall" a few times during the movie. Any journalist knows that scribbling notes interferes with really getting to know your subject. Capote's smooth methodology eventually gained him access to all the key players, including lead investigator Alvin Dewey (played by Chris Cooper).

The movie addresses some serious ethical issues that are still prominent in journalism today. In mind, Capote's cozy social relationship with Dewey while the case was still live (they were having dinner at Dewey's house when the call came in that Smith and Hitchcock had been captured) would be viewed with contempt today. If anybody finds out, that is.

But what about Capote's relationship with Smith? It's well-known that Capote was infatuated with Smith (though surprisingly, the movie doesn't explore Smith's sexual confusion). The movie makes the claim that Capote helped get them lawyers for their appeal. He also bribed the prison warden to get unlimited access to both prisoners.

But the strategy backfired. As the appeal wore on, Capote continually had to ward off his publisher. Making matters worse was the fact that Smith balked at talking about the murders. He finally spilled, giving the book and the movie its climax. If you're squeamish, I'll go ahead and tell you the murders in "Capote" are recreated in a quick, camera-darting scene.

Where the movie came up short, in my opinion, was that it didn't really show Capote performing the monumental task of actually writing the book. That's the hardest part, any writer will tell you. I would have liked to have Capote sweating over the keys, pouring over notes, checking facts by phone, tearing up pages.

The movie's well-filmed; it's cold and dark in Kansas, and you feel it. But that said, it will work fine as a rental.

....One week after her tribute to Don Knotts, the Times' Virginia Heffernan relieves my guilt for spending so much time in front of TVLand's tribute to Barney Fife:

"Television, after all is the art form reviewed in this newspaper that is also regarded as a public health hazard......Study after anti-television study has failed to pinpoint the exact perils that viewers are prone to, and yet the idea that television is dangerous persists as an article of faith."

True. People seem so proud of themselves when they say "I don't watch television" or "I don't have time to watch television." But I maintain it's an art form like any art form. There's good and there's bad. And to enjoy any art form, whether it's a movie or a photograph or a TV program, do you not have to totally subject yourself to the artist's vision?

Enjoy life. Watch TV.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

More Judge Manning......N&O coverage via Floyd Stuart:

Manning "oversees North Carolina's long-running court case on school quality...directed education leaders to crack down on the schools.....

"Under his latest his directive, principals would be replaced in schools where passing rates on state tests remained at 55 percent or less in all of the past five years, including the 2005-06 school year.

"Those schools would also be required to begin reform plans modeled after the small-school approach promoted by the state's new schools project, supported with a $10 million grant from the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation."

Here's the deal with Smith:

"The smaller high schools can be carved from larger ones and are typically oriented to a particular career theme, such as health sciences or technology."

Sure, the courts' job is to rule on the legality of school policy. But I can't see where a judge has the authority to perform administrative functions such as opening new schools and closing existing schools.

......Guilford County commissioners are getting impatient with the constant money--shuffling by the school board, to the detriment of the Jamestown Middle School project.

This time, school system CFO Sharon Ozment came before the commissioners asking that $2.8 million in state money be directed toward the purchase of the former Oakwood Homes headquarters so the system can set up up a mini-magnet school for about 300 students at Smith High School.

Interestingly enough, Ozment cited the influence of Wake Superior Court Judge Howard Manning (who made an interesting announcement yesterday) as the main reason to make this move.

But the issue that upset commissioners most was the "project ordinance revision" that wouls shift $294,000 away from the Jamestown project back into the system's capital outlay fund. The Jamestown project now has less than half of the $29 million earmarked for the project, and school officials admit there's no way it can be completed with the available bond money.

Paul Gibson asked this question:

"If we don't do this, will it in any way speed up the project at Jamestown?"

"No sir," Ozment replied.

So the school system is going to need another bond to complete the Jamestown project. But how does the board think another referendum can pass considering they way it's handled the $300 million bond that passed in 2003?

Billy Yow:

"The school board sold the Jamestown community this project. They need to do what they say they're going to do. They owe it to them."

Linda Shaw:

"If we continue to do this, I'm afraid we're not going to get another bond passed."

The commissioners ended up voting to table the issue until the school system could provide some more answers about the move, particularly Manning's influence over the project at Smith. Some are curious about Manning's influence over the state's public education system, period.

Friday, March 03, 2006

.....Caller to Medved:

"I'm not calling with one particular political point of view or the other. But I think the impeachment of President Bush should proceed."

.....Krauthammer doesn't mince words when he says "Syriana" is a bunch of liberal Jack Abramoff:

"Nothing tells you more about Hollywood than what it chooses to honor....But unitl you see 'Syriana,' nominated for best screenplay (and George Clooney, for best supporting actor) you have no idea how self-flagellation and self-loathing pass for complexity and moral seriousness in Hollywood.....

"Most liberalism is angst- and guilt-ridden, seeing moral equivalence everywhere. 'Syriana' is a different species entirely —a pathological variety that burns with the certainty of its malign anti-Americanism. Osama bin Laden could not have scripted this film with more conviction."

Any chance Clooney won't win an Oscar Sunday night?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

...Interesting article on Gov. Easley's opposition to the sale of federal forest land in North Carolina:

"Forest Service officials say the sales are needed to raise $800 million over the next five years to pay for schools and roads in rural counties hurt by logging cutbacks on federal land."


"We don't like it. We're hoping to acquire more (land) at every opportunity."

But this is a golden opportunity to acquire almost 10,000 acres that's already been set aside for forest land, at "fair market" value:

"North Carolina would get the first crack at buying the land, but Bill Holman executive director of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, said it's unlikely the state would do so. The state's resources are limited because it wants to acquire land this year from International Paper and power companies."

I wonder which is the better deal?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

.....Atlanta ups the ante on Charlotte:

"Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin just took a top seat on the pit box with Governor Perdue by upping the city's original $5 million commitment to a whopping $77 million in support of the NASCAR Hall of Fame bid.

"...Mayor Franklin saw the long-term impact on the city from an economic development standpoint and decided to make this one of the centerpieces of her newly created economic plan throught the Atlanta Development Authority.

Charlotte, you're on the clock.


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