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

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Raleigh? Charlotte one of four cities still in the running for the 2012 Democratic Convention

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 7:32 PM

The 2012 Democratic National Convention could be in Charlotte. First week in September. And boy, State Democratic Chair David Young is psyched about it: “North Carolina Democrats are honored that Charlotte has been named one of four finalists to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The Queen City would be an ideal location to host this important event, with a thriving downtown, a rich cultural history, and the capacity to accommodate a wide range of interests and tastes. The selection of Charlotte as a finalist shows that North Carolina continues to be a key battleground state and will be...

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What should we do about the Wake schools? Community discussion tonight, 7 pm in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:17 AM

No doubt you've read about Mayor Charles Meeker's displeasure with the Wake school board; Meeker is asking us citizens to help him figure out what his response to the school system — Raleigh's response, that is —ought to be. A lawsuit? A task force? Bring in a mediator? Something else entirely? Some community leaders including Bridgette Burge, who's in charge of community initiatives and advocacy at the YWCA of the Greater Triangle, have taken up Meeker's challenge. They've called a meeting tonight — a community discussion — starting at 7 pm at the Revelation Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 805...

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Their hunger strike is over. The DREAM of immigration reform continues.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:06 PM

photo by Bob GearyViridiana Martinez (left) and Rosario Lopez, on Day 6Their hunger strike is over after 13 days, ended when one of them was hospitalized with heat stroke and exhaustion. But for the three young women who were encamped in Raleigh until Monday night, subsisting on water and sports drinks to call attention to their cause, the fight for immigration reform goes on. “We grew weaker, but our spirits grew stronger,” Rosario Lopez told 100 folks who attended a final fellowship gathering. “Let’s keep the dream alive.” Lopez, Viridiana Martinez and Loida Silva stopped eating June 14 to protest...

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Monday, June 28, 2010

One of the hunger strikers is hospitalized; fellowship service is still on for 8 tonight

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Loida, at right in this photo from Day 6, was hospitalized last night. Rosario is at left. One of the three young women on a hunger strike for immigration reform was hospitalized last night, apparently due to heat stroke. (Update: Just before noon, WRAL reported that Loida was treated and released from the hospital and is resting at home.) A fellowship event scheduled for 8 pm tonight — Monday — will go on as scheduled at their encampment. It's at the southeast corner of Lane and Wilmington Streets in Raleigh, very close to the Legislative Office Building. An announcement came...

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Public meetings start today in Raleigh: What kind of transit? Going where?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 8:14 AM

It's called an alternatives analysis. That means the Triangle Transit Authority is going to weigh doing various kinds of something against doing nothing to improve bus and rail transit services in the region. Step one: hearing from you. Where should transit go? Should it take the form of buses? What kind? How about rail transit — should it be "commuter" style, with mainly rush-hour service? Or a true transit system that runs 24/7 with frequent arrivals and lots of stations? The first of a series of public meetings takes place today, 5:30-8 pm at the Raleigh Convention Center. Transit...

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Burr-Marshall debate: One is strong, the other hapless.

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I just watched a TV re-run of yesterday's U.S. Senate debate at the N.C. Bar Association meeting in Wilmington. In true, objective news reporting style, the N&O's headline — "Burr, Marshall rip Washington" — gave no indication whatsoever that one candidate might've dominated or that the other could've stayed home for all he said. (Oops. Did I just give my punchline away?) The newspaper's article, too, quite judiciously avoided any conclusions as to the Burr-Marshall outcome, and in fact gave more than equal time to the observations of the third candidate on stage, Libertarian Mike Beitler, who maintained —...

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Shop Local Raleigh: Saturday at Seaboard Station, 2-8 pm

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM

You've certainly heard all the arguments in favor of buying from locally owned businesses instead of chains, no need to repeat them here. (Or is there? Money stays in town, your neighbors are employed, they buy stuff, pay taxes, it's good for everybody — you know. Even if you shop at Wal-Mart, in your heart, you know.) So Saturday, 2-8 pm at Seaboard Station (off Peace Street next to Peace College across from the State Government mall), local businesses in the Shop Local Raleigh organization will kick off National Independents Week. No, the week isn't named for the Indy, though...

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Marshall, Burr tied in new poll — and it's not a Democratic poll

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Elaine Marshall Talk about your post-primary bounces. Democrat Elaine Marshall, whose chances against incumbent Republican Richard Burr were little and none on Monday — according to every pundit you know — is neck-and-neck with him on Thursday in the race for Burr's U.S. Senate seat, according to a new Rasmussen Poll. And as all poll fans know, Rasmussen's polls are either OK or a little skewed to the GOP side of things. They are not in the business of making Democrats look better than they are, put it that way. Three weeks ago, Rasmussen had Marshall behind by 50-36 percent...

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Marshall wins easily in U.S. Senate runoff; on the GOP side, it's a Tea Party for Bill Randall

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Elaine Marshall (Update: Well, that didn't take long to organize the "unity" event with Elaine & Cal that's mentioned below. It's on Wednesday — today — at 1 pm at the state Democratic HQ, 220 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. The world is invited.] For the second time, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall was a decisive winner in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. The first time, in May, she fell short of the 40 percent mark in a six-candidate field. This time, in a runoff against Cal Cunningham, she wins by a solid 60-40% margin. Election results are here: turnout...

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The call from Pullen Baptist: Put Raleigh 2010 in the civil rights history books as the place school resegregation failed

Posted By on Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Photos by Ava BarlowMary D. Williams at Pullen Baptist[Updated below the fold to include the Letter from Wake County Jail written by William Barber and Nancy Petty.] At Pullen Memorial Baptist Church last night, we learned that Mary D. Williams, the "parent" in the quartet arrested last week for disrupting the Wake County school board meeting, is a gospel singer with a fabulous, booming voice. The crowd, at least 250 strong and racially diverse, absolutely rocked as she led them in choruses of "Wade in the Water" and sang, "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel? Why Not Every Man!" "Let's have...

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Anti-school resegregation meeting tonight, 7 pm at Pullen Baptist Church

Posted By on Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 9:55 AM

It's billed by the NAACP as a mass community gathering "to build further support from a broad perspective against resegregation in Wake County." Raleigh's Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street, and the Rev. Nancy Petty, one of the four protesters arrested for sitting-in at the last Wake school board meeting, are hosting. The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, will be there — he, too, was arrested....

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Victims of the immigration madness, their hunger strike is in Day 6

Posted By on Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 10:04 PM

photo by Bob GearyRosario (left) and Loida Their names are Loida, Viridiana and Rosario. Three young women, each an honors graduate of a high school in North Carolina, each successful in community college, each ready for college or, in Rosario's case, finished with college (UNC-CH, BA in biology) and ready for graduate school. Three women who are, instead, on a hunger strike in Raleigh because, after listening to a decade's worth of national stalemate over immigration reform, they don't see any alternative. They are, you see, children of illegal immigrant parents. So, even though they've grown up in the United...

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wake candidates' campaign finance reports are online — finally!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Hallelujah, brother! The Wake County Board of Elections has joined the 21st century, finally putting candidates' campaign finance reports online. No more having to trudge down to South Salisbury Street and pull them off the shelves. The reports are here in all their glory. Read 'em and, don't weep; do understand that very few people contribute $4,000 to a candidate out of the goodness of their hearts. Chances are, they want something....

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No BLA(h) for Raleigh: State ABC nixes booze name on amphitheater

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

What's My Name Amphitheater The downtown amphitheater in Raleigh won't be the BLA after all. The state ABC says it can't be named for Bud Light or any other booze item. Doggone it, the BLA seemed so perfect. $300,000 a year times 5 years = $1.5 million down the drain. What are we bid for your name on the city's new amphitheater? More on this from Grayson Currin on the Triangulator blog....

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bill Randall: BP oil spill a possible conspiracy

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Bill Randall unburdened himself today on a subject that's clearly kept him up nights. Randall, a candidate in Tuesday's runoff election for the Republican nomination in the 13th N.C. congressional district — Rep. Brad Miller's seat — thinks it's possible, for reasons he can't explain, that BP wanted an oil leak in the Gulf ... and the federal government, which as you know is capable of perfidy beyond our understanding, also wanted a BP leak ... and there was "collusion" ... but then, as these things sometimes do, it all got out of hand. Watch and learn as Randall explains...

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Rep. Bob Etheridge loses it, mugs a provocateur. When he says he's sorry, believe it.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM

U.S. Rep. Bob EtheridgeA conservative blogger named Ben Shapiro says Bob Etheridge, one of the Triangle's three congressmen, is a moron. Off the evidence of this no-doubt heavily edited videotape, uh, yeah. Etheridge is extremely sorry. “I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I...

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Friday, June 11, 2010

It's hopey, it's changey: Great Schools in Wake kicks off its summer film series Sunday, 6:30 with "Obama in NC"

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Barack and Cash in '08The film is "Obama in NC: The Path to History" — at the Galaxy in Cary this Sunday, June 13 at 6:30. I haven't seen it yet — my bad — but I hear good things. Cash Michaels, the filmmaker, is one of North Carolina's best journalists. He'll be at the Galaxy for Q & A after. Before the Iowa caucuses in January of '08, Obama was trailing in the polls for the Democratic nomination. I'm not sure anybody — except maybe Cash — foresaw him winning North Carolina in November en route to the presidency....

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

From Horseshoe Farm to the Bolton tract: Sometimes, the citizens win

Posted By on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Friends of Horseshoe FarmA note from someone who read this piece about the Bolton property and the West Morgan Study Area. "Please see," she writes, "[this} link to an update about Horsehoe Farm Park. I witnessed part of the struggle between citizens and staff as to the character of that park. This news reminds me to feel optimistic that citizens can influence the outcome for the West Morgan neighborhood." Ah, Horseshoe Farm — remember that battle? Now comes the news: Horseshoe Farm Park Will Test Sustainable Landscape Rating System The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) announced the selection of Horseshoe Farm...

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Wake school board's Republican Five go for broke — as in, they're starting to break things that matter

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Deborah Westmoreland About Deborah Westmoreland. She called me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I knew that the Wake school board was laying off 40 librarians — media specialists these days — as of the end of the 2009-10 school year. I did not know that. I remembered Deborah from her involvement in the first Sparkcon a few years ago. Since then, she'd taken a job with the Wake schools as media specialist at Moore Square Magnet Middle School. Now, she was one of those being laid off. Her call prompted me to write a column in the...

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Bolton: "The most important property in Raleigh." (Or, What about Whitley Street?)

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Whitley Street This is Whitley Street in Raleigh. I know, it's not much — yet. But use your imagination. What about shops and cafes on either side of it as part of a new, mixed-use, transit-friendly, walkable development near the Hillsborough-West Morgan roundabout in Raleigh? You know, all those cool buzzwords we use to describe what we want Raleigh to be when it grows up? Well, here's a chance to grow up some. Anyway, I thought a picture of Whitley would help frame the column I wrote for the Indy this week, which ran with the headline — I didn't...

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Monday in Raleigh: FTA forum on federal transit's "New Start"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Trains a-comin' ??"New Starts" is the federal transit program that, under the Bush Administration, said "no new start for you" to the Triangle Transit Authority's long-planned commuter-rail system between Durham and Raleigh. That was four years ago. Now, "New Starts" is slated for a new start (couldn't resist) in the Obama regime. A new set of standards, that is, for approving — and funding — or not approving local transit plans. The difference may be that, under Bush, money for transit was short, and the old FTA didn't want to pay for any projects designed to "shape" future development. Either...

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