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

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Next week: 9 public hearings set on Blue & Green options for Wake schools

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Johnny Carson used to want your cards and letters. Tony Tata wants your emails or your comments in person re: his Blue Plan and his Green Plan for making student assignments in Wake starting with the 2012-13 school year. I wrote earlier about the Blue v. the Green (not to be confused with the Blue v. Gray, which was covered here). Now the schedule is set for the nine public hearings — all next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at a HS hopefully near you. All the meetings start at 6 p.m. The schedule: Tuesday, May 31: at Enloe High,...

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rev. Barber, others, arrested at General Assembly: Video (w/ UPDATE)

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 6:25 PM

The Rev. William Barber being led away in handcuffs [UPDATE: 5/25 — David Lamotte put his thoughts in writing before going to the General Assembly. "Why I Am in Jail" is on the N.C. Council of Churches website. Here's an excerpt: " ... I would argue that what is right and what is legal sometimes come into conflict, and when they do, our allegiance to God’s teaching should be stronger than our allegiance to the state. To repeal the Racial Justice Act, to gut public education funding in favor of vouchers for private schools, to prevent federal unemployment money from...

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Blue vs. Green: Which school assignment plan will better protect Wake County values?

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Strap on your skates, public participators: Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata put a competing pair of school assignment plans on the table today along with a schedule that would see him recommending one or the other to the school board in about three weeks. In other words, time to do your reading — and put your thinking cap on. Tata has his staff hustling to schedule nine public meetings next week — nine feedback sessions — probably on just two nights, Tuesday and Thursday. The idea is to hold a meeting in a high school in every school board...

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Perdue in title defense vs. GOP'ers: Gov dominates in early rounds (but oops, goes down on broadband)

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 1:56 PM

photo by Bob GearyGov. Perdue at SE Raleigh HS Don't look now, but the supposedly unpopular Gov. Bev Perdue is kicking Republican sternum all over NC in the fight over the budget and public schools. [Update: Oh, we didn't see that one coming. The Gov just hit the deck on the broadband issue — she announced she won't sign or veto HB 129, which has the effect of making this bad boy law. The judges will have to decide if it's a knockdown or a slip — either way, it looks like it's a round lost. Her statement is copied...

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Pedro & Emily at the Nasher tonight, on film ... and in person

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

courtesy Emily GuzmanThe Guzman family two years agoIf you followed the dramatic story of Pedro and Emily Guzman in recent days, you know that Pedro was arrested and sent to a Georgia prison 20 months ago by federal immigration officials ... and despite Emily's fierce efforts on his behalf, he seemed on the verge of being deported when his case was finally heard by an immigration judge Monday ... ... but then the judge unexpectedly ruled in his favor, and after another day of uncertainty about whether the feds would appeal, they dropped the case! Pedro was free!* So now,...

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ian Palmquist leaving Equality NC: Off to fair Harvard

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 5:10 PM

courtesy Equality NCIan PalmquistNews from Equality NC: Ian Palmquist, their stalwart leader, is departing after 11 years at the helm and heading for Cambridge, MA. There, he'll wear the crimson of fair Harvard University. Under Palmquist's direction, Equality NC blossomed as a strong, statewide organization advocating "equal equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians." If the Republicans in the General Assembly have their way, North Carolina will vote next year on a constitutional amendment to discriminate against LGBT citizens. Palmquist helped build an organization capable of taking on that fight. A search is underway now...

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cary Mayor Weinbrecht kicks off re-election effort Sunday

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Mayor Harold WeinbrechtKept taxes low? Check. Man of the people? Check. Preserved character and charm? Check. (Character and charm of Cary, that is — not bragging on self.) Anyway, long press release short, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht is indeed running for a second term, and he'll give an official start to his campaign Sunday afternoon, 2-4, at Davis Drive Park. Weinbrecht, a popular Democrat, has a formidable Republican opponent in Michelle Muir, about whom we blogged previously. We ran Ms. Muir's announcement verbatim. Weinbrecht's gets the same treatment below. By the way, @MKMuir has a twitter account; I'm not finding...

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Monday, May 16, 2011

(Update 6) The horrifying case of Pedro Guzman: His ordeal is over as the government drops its appeal

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM

The Guzman family in better times [And one final Update 6: Glenn Fogle just emailed to say that Pedro Guzman is free at last. The government, on due consideration, has decided not to appeal the judge's pro-Pedro ruling. So after 20 months, this horror show is over.] [Update 5: No sooner did I put up that last update than I see that Emily tweeted an hour ago: "Pedro is being released right now!!!!!" Whether that's on bond or because the government decided not to appeal, I don't know. Great news!] *** [Update 4: Early Tuesday, Emily followed up with an...

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(Update) OutRaleigh: Saturday, May 14, WAS Raleigh's big day

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

[Update, May 16: I wasn't able to get there on Saturday before the torrential rains came and washed the last couple of hours out. Heard great things from people who did get there. Anyway, someone on Facebook (?) asked for a followup — how'd everything go? This note, sent to all the vendors/sponsors/friends by one of the organizers, contains the answer to that question — Thank you all for such an amazing, historic festival! We were told over a year ago that this wasn't possible - to have a LGBT festival that focuses on celebrating the many diverse families...

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Visual Art Exchange moving, will join CAM in the Warehouse District

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM

photo by D.L. AndersonVAE moving to CAM's neighborhoodWell, that didn't take long. No sooner did the new Contemporary Art Museum come to life in the Warehouse District than Flanders Gallery was discovered right next door — great space, nice works — and today the Visual Art Exchange announced that it will move in September from City Market to a new home right down the street from the CAM. The Visual Art Exchange is, it says, Raleigh's oldest nonprofit group that's focused on the visual arts. It's also of late the management arm of Sparkcon, of which hopefully you've heard? Put...

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Monday, May 9, 2011

(Updated) Shutdown ahead? Perdue, Republicans are toe to toe on the budget — and far, far apart

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 11:03 PM

photo by Bob GearyGov. Bev Perdue at the One Voice rally sponsored by the NCAE Tuesday (Update — 5/10: Originally, the headline on this said Perdue and the Republicans are toe to toe on the budget, which can only lead to — drumroll — a compromise. But when I raised the subject with Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger today at his weekly press conference of a possible government shutdown if no compromise is struck, Berger smiled and said he's asked his staff to look into what happens in a shutdown. They've been thinking about it for a few weeks,...

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Help Raleigh's battered cemeteries, learn to write a best-seller (!)

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2011 at 3:42 PM

photo by Bob GearyCity Cemetery, East Hargett Street You know you want to write a best-seller. And with all your worldly experience, how hard can it be? So here's the deal. You give a few $$$ to the cause, and on May 21 you receive the critical secrets — direct from their best-selling author — of The Emperor's Tomb, The Romanov Prophesy, The Charlemagne Pursuit and many others. First, the cause. City Cemetery in Raleigh dates from 1798, one of those hidden jewels in plain sight that you perhaps have never noticed even though it's located literally a short trot...

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In Yadkin fight, Alcoa loses again: Federal appeals court upholds FERC denial

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Another setback for Alcoa in its bid to control most of the Yadkin River — and continue to cash the checks from its four hydropower dams — for another 50 years: The DC Circuit Court of Appeals today denied Alcoa's bid to cut North Carolina out of the process and allow the company to deal only with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). You'll recall that in December North Carolina revoked a critical permit that Alcoa needs in order to ask the FERC for 50 more years after determining that Alcoa withheld important information when it applied for —...

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