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

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Save Dix or close it? The choice is Gov. Perdue's

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Mental health advocates in Wake County are hoping that a last-ditch, last-month campaign will convince Gov. Bev Perdue to keep Dorothea Dix Hospital open. As things stand, Perdue's Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler has announced that he has no money to keep Dix operating past the end of 2010, and consequently Dix will cease taking new admissions at the end of November. About 100 people rallied in a light rain this afternoon near the General Assembly, then marched to the Governor's Mansion to chant "Keep Your Promise!" to Perdue, who was nowhere in evidence. Is there a...

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: It does exist, and Raleigh is well-represented

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 4:14 PM

If I were a right-winger, I'd sure be proud of my good friends Art Pope and Bob Luddy. Moneywise, they're not quite in the same league as the Koch Brothers, who are reported to be "worth" $21 billion each. (Worth means different things to different people, but if I were a right-winger, I'd measure it by the money.) But Art and Bob are rich. And when the vast right-wing conspiracy meets — and as this report from Think Progress (Center for American Progress) demonstrates, it's hosted twice a year by the Kochs — Raleigh is well-represented in the persons...

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Shameless promotion dept: Lenovo hearted Hopscotch

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:14 PM

We interrupt State Fair week to bring you this Lenovo plug for how cool they were to be associated with the Indy's inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival a few weeks ago, which Lenovo thinks — and I do too — was chill. (Is that the word?) And great for Raleigh....

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Cameron Village apologizes: PDA's are cool, gay or straight

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

An apology from Lynne Worth of York Properties, which manages Cameron Village, about yesterday's kissing incident: Cameron Village is a family friendly shopping center that welcomes the entire community. We sincerely regret Wednesday's events and have attempted to contact Ms. Breedlove and invite her to meet with us. We have arranged a meeting for 3:00 pm tomorrow (Saturday). The officers’ actions do not reflect the views of Cameron Village and York Properties. The officer involved was immediately suspended. The supervising officer and all security officers will receive additional sensitivity training. Cameron Village is committed to maintaining an open and welcoming...

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Great Schools in Wake forum tomorrow: Coming at a good time

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 3:18 PM

While there's a pause in the Wake school board majority's action, the Great Schools in Wake coalition offers a public forum tomorrow — Saturday, October 16 — at the McKimmon Center, N.C. State University, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Speakers include such academic experts as Helen Ladd (Duke) and Amy Hawn Nelson (UNC-Charlotte), plus civic heavyweights like Jim Goodmon (Capital Broadcasting CEO), Tom Oxholm (Wake Stone Corp., ex-school board member) and Tom Bradshaw (ex-Raleigh mayor, investment banker). It's a good opportunity to catch up on the latest twists and turns in the Wake schools saga — and figure out what the...

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

No kissing at Cameron Village? Or no kissing if you're gay?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 6:04 PM

[Update 10/15: Cameron Village has apologized. You can read it here. (Much the same as geekypoet's response in the comments below from Regency, the shopping center firm that owns CV.] I'm pretty sure they're not anti-kissing at Cameron Village, Raleigh's oldest and usually up-to-date shopping center. On the CV website, note all the hugging couples. All hetero- couples, however. What about gay couples? *** I heard about this incident last night — third hand. Now come the details: A lesbian couple say that they were cuddling a little on a bench at CV yesterday after lunching at the Flying...

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Update on Bolton, aka, the most important property in Raleigh

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM

At the beginning of June, I wrote a column which my editor titled, accurately, "The Most Important Property in Raleigh." It's the most important to me, anyway, for reasons I explained back then: (1) It's close to my neighborhood; (2) It's a highly strategic location in terms of Raleigh's ambitions for becoming a walkable, transit-friendly city; (3) It's ripe for redevelopment, not that it hasn't been for 20 or 30 years, but now it's under new ownership; (4) It's a chance for the Raleigh City Council to demonstrate that it doesn't just talk the talk about form-based zoning and new...

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Bless her heart, Elaine Marshall is getting murdered

Posted By on Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM

It's 7:32, 32 minutes into the Burr-Marshall debate. I can't watch any more. Burr was terrible in the first debate. That was a couple of months ago, and no one was watching. In this one, three days before early voting starts, Marshall is terrible. Burr's not great, but he's doing a reasonably good job of talking around every issue. And Marshall, who's 15-20 points behind in the polls, hasn't managed to call him out on anything. Generally, she parrots his nonsense, forgets to deliver any sort of critique of Burr, the Republican Party, George W. Bush, filibusters, obstructionism, special...

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Still at war in Afghanistan: For what? And at what cost?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Lib Hutchby (right) reads the name of a fallen soldier. The others in line will do the same. From N.C. Peace Action, a startling statistic: The budget gap facing North Carolina in 2011-12 is an estimated $3.2 billion. The annual cost to North Carolina taxpayers of our military operations in Afghanistan, post-surge: about $3.2 billion. That's right. The amount of money needed to maintain important social services and avoid cuts to school, community college and university budgets is considered too huge for state politicians to raise. $3.2 billion? Far beyond our means — according to both parties. (The Republicans: Far,...

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Huge: Debra Goldman swings the ax and the school board majority splits

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Debra GoldmanOne thing that can't be said about the breakup of the Wake school board majority at Tuesday's meeting: We didn't see that coming. Because of course, we did see it coming. So what now? With John Tedesco's Student Assignment Committee sidelined, only one new student assignment plan continues as a work-in-progress. It's the one brought to you — in a few weeks — by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Wake Education Partnership and their consultant, Cambridge, MA's Michael Alves. Hard to predict what Debra Goldman will do next, but it seems to me she has three options:...

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wake Commissioners elections: Democrats talk curbs on the school board majority; Republicans see no evil

Posted By on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 8:37 PM

On the Republican side, candidate Phil Matthews yearns for the days of William Howard Taft. Even Taft, though, might be a little too up-to-date for Commissioner Paul Coble, with his antebellum approach to things. Commissioner Tony Gurley, the chair, is more of a Dick Nixon Republican. Commissioner Joe Bryan, a former chair, seems to have come unmoored—but he does have a party, and it's spelled GOP. And on the Democratic side, the history that appeals to candidate Steve Rao is about the integration of Raleigh's and Wake's schools a half-century ago — a breakthrough that he accurately locates as...

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Wake Commissioner Norwalk: School board majority a threat to county's prosperity

Posted By on Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Stan NorwalkDriving back to Raleigh just now from Durham, I tuned into the CityLine program on WSHA. Mayor Charles Meeker was a guest, and he was talking about the Wake school board situation. What the school board majority intends will result in segregated schools, Meeker said flatly. It is lllegal and immoral. What can people do? the host asked. First, Meeker said, it's time for everyone — people on the street, people in the corporate suites — to speak out on these issues in every way available to them. And second, the Wake County Commissioners elections are coming in four...

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Raleigh schools among the least segregated: Northeastern U. study

Posted By on Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 4:07 PM

In addition to being a quality bargain, the Wake school system's diversity policy — unless the new school board majority is allowed to get rid of it — also helps Raleigh's schools be among the least racially segregated of all city school systems in the USA. So says a Northeastern University study, forwarded by a reader from the Minority News website. (Here is Northeastern's summary, with a link to the study itself.) The chart above tells the story: Raleigh is 7th best when it comes to integrating black students and white students (and not all of the six ahead...

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Wake County schools a quality bargain, study says (and check out who paid for the study!)

Posted By on Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

This just in: Only one of North Carolina's urban school systems is graduating students at a high rate and at low cost to the taxpayers. And it is — ta da! — Wake County. Or it was Wake County before the new school board majority got in there. And which group's study tells us this? Why it's none other than the John William Pope Civitas Institute, a right-wing Raleigh nonprofit paid for by a foundation controlled by Art Pope, the Republican millionaire and new school board majority backer. (Art = John William's son.) That's right (and h/tips to a reader...

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