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Citizen
INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

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Friday, February 26, 2010

School board on the brink; Debra Goldman has the comm

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 11:18 PM

The Wake school board will debate a resolution Tuesday calling for all hands on deck (not you, Del Burns; or you, Chuck Dulaney) to write and begin to execute a plan for community assignment zones over the next 9-15 months -- in time to take effect at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year. The full resolution is copied below the fold. In short, the new majority, or at least four of its five members, are chomping at the bit to junk the current policy of balanced student assignments -- assignments which are based on proximity to a school but...

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Wake elections: Democrat Jack Nichols to challenge Paul Coble, GOP threats

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Former Commissioner Jack Nichols, the current Wake Democratic Party chair, versus Republican Commissioner Paul Coble, the uber-conservative: It doesn't get any clearer than that. Nichols said he had "an ace in the hole" if no other Democrat filed against Coble. Turns out he's the ace -- Nichols filed this morning, just before the 12 noon deadline. His statement is below the fold....

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No. 1 issue for HK on J rally Saturday: School re-segregation

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 11:54 AM

The HK on J march and rally, snowed out two weeks ago, starts at 9:30 tomorrow (Saturday) morning in front of Shaw University. Marchers head for the General Assembly on Jones Street (the "J" in "HK (Historic Thousands) on J"), where a rally is scheduled to begin at 11. The NAACP's statement is copied below the fold. Note the number-one issue: "the re-segregation of public schools." For more information, visit www.hkonj.com or www.naacpnc.org....

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lightner: Council trio says it's not smart, secure or affordable

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 6:28 PM

City Councilors Russ Stephenson, Bonner Gaylord and Thomas Crowder today came out strongly and, it would seem, irrevocably against the proposed Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center on Nash Square. It would not be in the best interests of the city nor of the public safety officials involved, they said, to put all of them, and all the emergency equipment, into a single high-rise building. The trio once again said the Council should look at splitting the project into two phases, the first of which would be a new low-rise building for Emergency Operations. The location: somewhere downtown, but in...

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lightner: The 7 good questions that haven't been answered

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 5:26 PM

At first, it was just the timing, and the fact that it was attached to a property tax increase when people could least afford it. But the longer the plan for the proposed Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center in Raleigh lays on the table, the more questions are being asked about it by a trio of City Council members—and they’re not getting good answers from the project’s proponents, including Mayor Charles Meeker. The questions are: One, does it make sense, in an age of backpack bombs and crazy people flying their planes into government buildings, to put all...

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Friday, February 19, 2010

School board to Burns: You think you can quit on us? You're --

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

The Wake school board has called a special, closed-door meeting to discuss whether Superintendent Del Burns, who resigned in protest effective June 30, should be replaced before then. Yes, but with whom would they replace him? (Insert amusing nominations here.) The meeting is Tuesday, 5 p.m. at Leesville High School, just prior to the public hearing in the HS auditorium on the subject of year-round schools -- it begins at 6:30. Just a guess, but there's sure to be four votes against canning Burns prematurely (Hill, Maloney, McLaurin, Sutton). One more -- Debra Goldman? -- and he stays....

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Burns' decision: I will not allow myself to be a political pawn.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Del Burns gave an interview today to News 14. It's about 13:00 -- well worth your time. He couldn't implement the policies adopted by the new school board majority in good conscience, and he saw worse coming if they dismantle diversity. He's never seen politics on the school board like he's seen it over the last 10 weeks. Update: WRAL interviewed him too. So far, only a short summary is online. The money quote: "I think the potential is here for a change that will result in segregating rich schools and poor schools in the Wake County Public School System,"...

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Burns' resignation today makes it official: Wake County is in crisis

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 5:04 PM

The Wake Commissioners have a 4-3 Democratic majority and a Republican chairman elected by chicanery -- or fraud, take your choice. Anyway you look at it, it's a disfunctional group unless and until Democrat Harold Webb, who is recovering from a stroke suffered in October, either returns or resigns and is replaced. The Commissioners decide what the Wake school board's budget will be, and that's a train wreck waiting to happen this spring. The new school board majority, ostensibly conservative, is talking about sweeping policy changes that, unless they're accompanied by enormous tax hikes, could destroy one of the nation's...

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Del Burns resigns as Wake schools leader -- in protest

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Wake Schools Superintendent Del Burns announced his resignation at the school board meeting today. It's effective June 30. He can't, in good conscience, continue to do what the school board majority is telling him to. Here's his statement. More than 33 years ago my career as an educator began at Aldert Root Elementary School. And since that time, I've served in a number of positions: as an elementary and high school special education teacher; as an assistant principal and as an elementary principal in magnet schools; as the principal of two high schools; as associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, and now...

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Friday, February 12, 2010

HK on J postponed to 2/27 on 'count of the weather

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Democracy NC and N.C. Justice Center both tell us so. It was scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) in Raleigh....

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Council trio: Two pegs (one is round) a bad fit for tall, square Lightner building

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Updating the debate over the proposed Clarence E. Lighner Public Safety Center since our Indy story 12 days ago. That the proposal's rollout was bungled is now a given; but the question remains, who bungled it? Was it City Manager Russell Allen's fault? Or Mayor Charles Meeker's? Or both? It was Allen's job to shepherd the Lightner plan through the bureaucracy. But it was Meeker, along with Allen, who decided the plan ready for the City Council's rubber stamp of approval when clearly it wasn't. Since the rollout, a trio of City Council members has pushed back against the Meeker-Allen...

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

HK on J is coming Feb. 13 -- it's not a march, it's a movement worth joining

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 5:58 PM

The Rev. William J. Barber II called a press conference today with three dozen of his friends and allies. The state president of the NAACP was bursting with news: * The U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights division has initiated its own investigation into the NAACP's complaint about school resegregation in Wayne County, joining ("coordinating with" the U.S. Department of Education's investigation. * Barber continues to press the Wake County school board for a public airing of the NAACP's case against ending diversity and adopting resegregation in its stead under the veil of "neighborhood schools." He's asked School Board Chair Ron...

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