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

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Moore Square re-do: The tilted lawn a good idea?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

View looking east of the tilted lawn concept Fans of Moore Square should mark Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m. in their calendars. That's when the city's Parks, Rec & Greenways Advisory Board meets to formally receive the new draft master plan and take public comment on it. The board meets at the Chavis Park Community Center, 505 MLK Jr. Blvd. The board is advisory, as its name says. Whatever it thinks, the final call is the City Council's on whether to accept the plan, change it or reject it. The plan can be viewed here: 2011MSqMasterPlanDocument.pdf it was developed by a...

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

GOP General Assembly Day 1: Step a-w-a-y from the ballot box, you &#!%#!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Just spent an invigorating several hours at the General Assembly's opening-day events. The big news, other than the fact that new House Speaker Thom Tillis revealed he was beaten by his father with a belt — more on this below — is that the Republicans are planning to move fast on their promise to pass Voter ID legislation. There's no stopping it, according to my very knowledgeable, don't-use-my-name source. The only question is whether the GOP bill will literally require every voter to present a photo ID at the polls? Or, if you don't have one, will alternative forms of...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ellmers' screw-up on health care: Just walk away, Renee

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers I don't like piling on. If I were a field judge, guys diving helmet-first into a ball-carrier when he's flat on the ground would be thrown out of the game. So I hesitate to comment on the really stupid thing Congresswoman Renee Ellmers said — and did — when she decided to accept a taxpayer-funded health insurance policy. The N&O already let her have it this morning. By noon, the state Democratic Party was out with a blast ... quoting the N&O. Read 'em (Dems' statement is below the fold) and, if you voted for Ellmers,...

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Nancy McFarlane is running for — something.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 12:33 PM

From whatcha call "sources close to" the situation, I was told seven weeks ago that Nancy McFarlane, the District A City Council member, would be announcing her 2011 mayoral candidacy very soon. This is the kind of thing one might've breathlessly reported; but then, if it was true, she'd have announced very soon anyway, so what was the point? Seven weeks later — i.e., beyond soon, let alone very soon — McFarlane hasn't announced. But yesterday, the postcard shown above arrived in my mailbox at home. Fyi, my home is not in District A. On its face, it's a...

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Progressive coalition tells Gov. Perdue: Gotta raise taxes in 2011-12

Posted By on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 11:07 AM

It'll be ugly if you don't push for a tax hike, is the message to Gov. Perdue from Together NC, a coalition of about 120 progressive-minded provider and advocacy organizations. In a letter described by its sponsors as "strongly worded," the coalition said Perdue must abandon her stated position that tax increases are "off my plate" as a means of helping to balance the 2011-12 state budget. Best estimates now are that, without any additional revenues — taxes — spending cuts of $3.7 billion will be needed to balance the budget. That means current spending levels would need to...

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Colbert disintegrates Tedesco: Watch

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Stephen Colbert gets it right about the Wake County schools, diversity and its reverse—"disintegration": The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cThe Word - Disintegrationwww.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive...

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Friday, January 14, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Education, on eve of MLK holiday, calls on Wake school board to honor diversity

Posted By on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Arne Duncan, Secretary of EducationThe U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, thinks the Wake County school board majority's moves are "troubling" and "backward" in a society still striving for racial equality. He said so yesterday in a letter to the Washington Post. The letter was in response to the Post's story earlier in the week relating how "tea party" Republicans have taken charge here with policies that threaten school integration. John Tedesco, who frequently speaks for the school board majority (or lately, for the majority minus Debra Goldman), often references Duncan's support for charter schools and other innovations as somehow...

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ralph Campbell Jr., 64, dies after long illness

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Ralph Campbell Jr.Ralph Campbell Jr. was someone who never failed to smile and who seemed always to take the long, positive view. He was widely respected as a Raleigh City Council member and later as state auditor, the first and only African-American elected to statewide office. He died last night at age 64 after battling lung cancer. The Lightner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Update2:Per WRAL, Campbell's body will lie in repose at the Capitol on a day also dedicated to observing Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. The conjunction of the two is fitting. In the evening, Campbell...

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tata wants more "resources" — that's "money" to us civilians

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Photo by D.L. AndersonWhen Tony Tata talks, Ron Margiotta listens Anthony Tata was a popular guest Thursday night at a dinner meeting of the Wake County Taxpayers Association. The conservative group, its ranks swelled to about 200 for the first public appearance of Wake’s new superintendent of schools, laughed at his jokes. (The most important criteria in the search process, Tata quipped, was that the choice “be non-controversial.”). When Tata said he likes bass fishing, they offered him directions to the best fishing holes. They nodded when Tata said that he comes from a family of educators. They cheered as...

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Progress lost but Red Hat gained

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Duke Energy is buying Progress Energy (state regulators: can they really just buy it? is that in the state's best interests?), which would mean Raleigh loses its only Fortune 500 corporate HQ to Charlotte. But hours later, the Governor's Office announces a press event this afternoon, and WRAL is reporting that the news is good: Red Hat, after thinking about greener pastures somewhere else, is staying in Raleigh. Update: Yup, Gov. Perdue just started her press conference by donning a red hat. She says Red Hat has committed to an additional 540 jobs here (above the current 2,500 — note:...

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Keith Crisco: The arts and arts education are vital to N.C. jobs

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Secretary of Commerce J. Keith CriscoWith the state facing an estimated $3.7 billion budget gap for 2011-12 (that's out of the $21.9 billion needed to keep things going as they are — no increases), expect every part of state government spending to be on the chopping block when the Republicans take over the General Assembly in three weeks. Funding for the arts and for arts education in the public schools may be in special jeopardy if they're seen as luxuries the state can do without. Secretary of Commerce J. Keith Crisco's message this morning in Raleigh was: They aren't luxuries...

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ellmers likes her Tea Party with cash in the cups, thank you

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Renee EllmersSure, Renee Ellmers got elected to Congress as a Tea Party Republican, railing against the special interests and career politicians like Bob Etheridge, her Democratic opponent, who feasted on their contributions. But even as she prepares to take the oath of office, Ellmers is faced with a choice between taking special-interest cash for her own campaign treasury and remaining pure ... but poor. Hey, that was fast. (Ellmers will take the cash, according to Politico, an online DC tip sheet. Duh.) Opponents are calling Ellmers a hypocrite. “I’m getting whiplash from the speed with which Ellmers has dropped her...

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