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

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Updating the DREAM Team hunger strikers: They're on the hustings working for immigration reform

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Good writeup and video on the MyNC/NBC17 website of the rally at the State Capitol yesterday in favor of immigration reform, i.e., not what Arizona is trying to do. For pictures, see The Progressive Pulse. I got there late but was able to catch up with two of the three N.C. DREAM Team hunger strikers, Viridiana Martinez and Loida Silva. Rosario Lopez wasn't there; she was in Charlotte for a sister rally. That's Rosario in the picture above (she's at left) getting arrested during a protest in Washington, DC last week. We were in touch by email and, briefly,...

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

$59 billion more for war machinery in Afghanistan, Iraq? Two N.C. congressmen vote no

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I note for the record that the U.S. House of Representatives this week voted to spend $59 billion more on combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vote was 308-114. Of the negative votes, 102 were cast by Democrats. Democrats split 148-102 in favor of the measure. Republicans were more gung-ho, all their rhetoric about wasteful federal spending notwithstanding; the GOP voted 160-12 in favor of continuing to pour billions into wars that even the Pentagon acknowledges aren't winnable. I didn't see it anywhere, so I looked up how the N.C. congressional delegation voted. Two of our 13 members...

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What does the Wake school board majority "intend"? As Michael Alves says, we'll know very soon

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Michael Alves, the Massachusetts-based guru of “controlled choice” plans for student assignment, made his Wake County debut Tuesday in the role of gray-haired eminence who just might be able to forge a peace between the warring pro-diversity and pro-neighborhood-schools forces. At the Wake school board’s Student Assignment Committee, Alves said he’s seen some horrible inner-city schools in his years of consulting, so as he was driven around in Raleigh the day before, he kept expecting to see at least one — but never did. He only saw good schools. Alves didn’t add, but might’ve, that the reason could be the...

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Wake's graduation rate for ED students: It's not 54 percent any more, it's ...

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 1:01 PM

... It's almost 60 percent — 59.7, to be exact — for the graduating class of 2010. That's the rate for graduations in four years from time of entering high school. The five-year rate is 62.2 percent. These numbers are in a new report from the Wake County Public School System required as part of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The new school board majority has made much of low ED graduation rates, which had slipped to 54.2 percent last year, calling it evidence of the failure of diversity assignment policies. Cause-and-effect was always problematic with...

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

High-Speed Rail thru Raleigh: What route? At what price?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 10:51 PM

Our topic tonight: The public hearing Monday in Raleigh on the proposed Southeast High-Speed Rail (SEHSR) project. The hearing is at the Raleigh Convention Center, 7 p.m., preceded by an open house from 5-7 p.m. I recommend, if you're going — and you should go if the subject of Raleigh's transit future is of any interest to you — that you also take up Norfolk-Southern's offer of free food at their rail yard Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Read on for why I say that. The rail yard is at 1500 Carson Street. See also this position statement from the Downtown...

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Day Later: Thoughts on the Wake school situation

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Photo by Bob Geary Another Wake school board meeting, another tumultuous Tuesday. The pro-diversity march and rally on Fayetteville Street was over-shadowed by the protests and arrests at the board meeting a few hours later. Someone said to me last night that it was a mistake for the Rev. Barber & Co. to get arrested — they stepped on their own publicity, in effect. I'm of two minds: That's true; and yet, if Barber, the Rev. Petty and the rest hadn't been arrested last time, yesterday's rally would've numbered 100, not 1,500. With a second round of arrests, another mass...

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Revs. Petty, Barber arrested for trying to enter the Wake school board meeting; others taken into custody at the meeting for chanting

Posted By on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Photo by Bob GearyThe Rev. Nancy Petty at the head of today's march (Update:The public comment period of the school board meeting just ended — dissolved, actually, as the final speaker, who was wearing an NAACP shirt, launched into a chant of "Forward, Ever/Backward, Never!" and suddenly, WRAL-'s online feed ended and a slate came up saying the meeting was in recess. Like many, I can't be there and am watching the TV station's feed. Just got a pair of emails from folks who are there saying about 10 more people were arrested, apparently for refusing to stop the chanting....

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Tuesday on the Wake schools front: Pick your spots

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM

A friend just called. She can't devote her entire day to the Wake schools protest, but she can come for part of the day and "wants to be counted" in the fight for diverse schools in Wake County. Better to come in the morning for the march/rally? Or in the afternoon for the school board meeting? Well, to each her own, but if forced to choose, I'd march in the morning. The school board meeting itself is gonna be 1) a zoo; 2) very hard to get into. (The Board of Education issued a statement about this Friday —...

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Diversity's supporters have the high ground going into Tuesday's rally at the Capitol

Posted By on Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Looking ahead to Tuesday and the mass march/rally at the State Capitol in favor of diversity in the Wake school system: It's mid-July. The new school board majority has been in office for almost eight months, and a referendum on their actions to date is coming in November with elections for the Wake County Board of Commissioners. The (Republican) majority has thus far managed to scrap diversity as a policy goal, change a few school calendars and move some students around, notably the ones from Southeast Raleigh who were attending school in Garner but won't be henceforth. They won...

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

See it here: "The Future is Electric"

Posted By on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Photo by D.L. Anderson In 1980, only a few could foresee how the desktop computer and the cell phone would transform the communications industry. (Believe me, newspaper owners missed it by a mile.) Today, the new technologies are electric — vehicle batteries, controllers, solar panels, wind turbines, and a smart-grid system capable of integrating them, much like the cell towers do for phones. Put them together, and they promise to transform the transportation industry over the next 20-30 years and wean us, finally, from our addiction to (imported, expensive) petroleum. That was the gist of the stories I wrote a...

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wake schools before the new majority: Test scores were going up

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Wondering how your Wake school system was doing before the new school board majority came along? Last year's EOG (end-of-grade) and EOC (end-of-course) results are in: Preliminary North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) test scores for 2009-10 show improvement in virtually every subgroup of students in the Wake County Public School System, and also show a closing of the achievement gaps between white, African-American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students at several grade levels. Additionally, 85 percent of students taking EOC tests passed those exams. "These improvements are a clear indication that our efforts since the 2007 Curriculum Management...

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Your input needed: The new Wake schools superintendent should ...

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM

... communicate well with all segments of the community? (or: only with the segments I prefer?) ... have successful experience as a school official? (or: skool bureaucrats need not apply?) ... serve as the face and voice of the school system? (or: be voiced by the Wake Republican Party?) ... and so on, through 20 questions about the qualities you'd like to see in new schools superintendent, including whether you'd be OK with an ex-military or bidness man/woman. (Hey, isn't Gen. McChrystal, a.k.a. the Runaway General, available?) *** It's your call — the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is...

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Very cool: New BikePed Googlemap for Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Courtesy of Mr. Steve Waters — member of the Raleigh Bike Ped Advisory Commission — comes this one-stop look at Raleigh's greenways and bicycle routes, current and future. (Mostly, in the case of bike lanes, future.) Check it out....

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

PPP on U.S. Senate race: Burr's ahead, but not by much

Posted By on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Sen. Richard Burr, R-NCRight after her runoff primary victory, Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall was running even with Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican, in one poll and was 10 points behind him in another (done for WRAL). Now, a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey shows Burr 5 points ahead, but with only 38 percent of likely voters saying they're for him. The Libertarian candidate, Michael Beitler, was the choice of 10 percent, with Marshall getting 33 percent. According to PPP, Beitler's biting into Marshall as much or more than he's biting Burr: Burr's at 38% to 33% for Marshall and a...

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sad news: Hon. Officer Will Bunn, 8, died today

Posted By on Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Will Bunn's cancer ended his life three weeks after the Raleigh P.D. made him an honorary officer. From a WRAL report: "I like all the handcuffs and how they go check out the jail and stuff," he said at the time. "I really like it how they do all that stuff."...

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