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

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's the big deal about civil unions? Poll answers the question

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Public Policy Polling says Amendment One will pass easily — UNLESS voters get it that the amendment would ban not only same-sex marriage in North Carolina but also any other form of legal recognition, i.e., a civil unions statute, for same-sex couples. Right now, the voters don't get it. And they're not hearing it, or hearing it clearly, from the anti-Amendment One campaign. In my humble .... Here's what Tom Jensen of PPP says: When voters are informed that the amendment bans both gay marriage and civil unions their tune changes quite a bit. Only 41% of voters say they'll...

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(Update: Bill Faison too.) In Dems race for Governor, Walter Dalton & Bob Etheridge are calling for civil unions

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

[Update, March 29: And ... it's unanimous. Rep. Bill Faison's spokesperson's been in touch. Faison, too, is on board for civil unions. "If the [General Assembly] sends Governor Bill Faison legislation on civil unions, he will sign it," Jeanne Bonds said. [So that's all three of the Democratic candidates for Governor in favor. Add the two Dem candidates for Lt. Governor, and it's 5 for 5 for civil unions among the party's serious candidates for the highest state offices. [Which is, of course, a good reason NOT to amend the state constitution so as to make such a change in...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Update x 3: All five also endorse civil unions.) Five top Dem candidates in N.C. are all anti-Amendment One

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:56 PM

[Update No. 3, March 29: Bill Faison's campaign too — Faison would sign a civil unions law, his spokeswoman said. So we'll change our headline one last time.] [Update No. 2, later on March 28: Walter Dalton's campaign got back in touch. Dalton, too, supports civil unions, his spokesman said. So we'll change the headline accordingly.] *** [Update, March 28: When the Indy comes out this morning, you'll read that former Congressman Bob Etheridge is now on the side of changing the law in North Carolina to allow for civil unions. [He issued a short statement to us after we...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Speaker Tillis: Pay no attention to that silly Amendment One ...

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

... because even if it passes, it will soon pass away. (Good reporting job, NCSU Technician.) Speaker Tillis says Amendment 1, if passed, would have short shelf life. technicianonline.com/news/nc-speake… #whyohwhy— Independent Weekly (@indyweek) March 27, 2012...

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Monday, March 26, 2012

John Hood @ John Locke says "NO" on racism, homophobia and Amendment One

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM

John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh and part of the imperial ruling council of the Art Pope Empire, is not someone given to political smears, racism or homophobia. Thus, the blogger who posted on a JLF site last week about President Obama's decision to oppose Amendment One — and illustrated it with an image dripping with racism and homophobia — is gone, fired by Hood as soon as he saw what she'd put up. Hood explained himself in an online column this morning (h/t Blue NC) and also stated his personal opposition to Amendment One: I...

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

YWCA's future: Ex-staffers and board pledge to work together

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 3:06 PM

photo by Bob Geary In time, it may be seen that the way the YWCA's closing was so bungled helped sound the alarm that led to the organization's resuscitation. If so, last night's get-together of board members and terminated staffers at Martin Street Baptist Church — a private meeting — will be seen as an important turning point. When it ended, both sides pledged that, from now on, there won't be two sides. "We decided there's not going to be any more 'we' and 'they,'" the board's Maria Spaulding told several reporters waiting outside. For the first time, she said,...

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Monday, March 19, 2012

(Updated x 2) Hillsborough Street & bike lanes go together

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 11:38 PM

photo by Bob GearyThis pic is from two years ago [Update 2, Monday, 11:30 p.m. So if you had Option 3 in the pool, congratulations! Option 3 — see below — calls for bike lanes, a center-turn lane and parking on one side of Hillsborough Street. That would be the south (the YMCA) side. The City Council's Comp Plan Committee, meeting this afternoon, decided unanimously that a center-turn lane is needed and so are bike lanes. So parking on the north side had to go. Good call. The committee's decision is in the form of a recommendation to the full...

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Finally: YWCA board will meet with staff Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Updating this story from the Indy on Wednesday, the YWCA of the Greater Triangle's board did meet Thursday with Raleigh business and civic leaders, shutting ex-staffers and the press out of the proceedings. In fact, when some of us — staff and reporters — showed up at the meeting place (I went because Maria Spauding told me that board members would talk to the press afterward), we were informed it was private property and directed to leave the grounds. Understandably, I suppose, given that the grounds belong to Hospice of Wake County. People with terminal illnesses were living their final...

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Friday, March 16, 2012

President Obama opposes Amendment 1, calls it "divisive and discriminatory"

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

The Obama campaign put out a statement today, attributed to spokesman Cameron French: “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do — it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples — and that’s why the president does not support it.” The President was hailed, of course, by the Anti-Amendment 1 campaign: Protect All NC Families, the coalition...

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

(Updated w/ pix) Ides of Love march in Raleigh against Amendment 1 ... falls on the Ides of March

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

[Update, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. Running around today, I missed the march but caught some of the preparations at the Bell Tower and the end of the rally at Halifax Mall. Not thousands, but several hundred marched and/or came to the Mall for the speeches. "We cheered extra loud as we went by the Civitas building," Lee Sartain told me. Sartain is running in the Democratic primary for a newly created seat — District 38, there's no incumbent — in the N.C. House of Representatives. [I've posted some pictures: *** *** *** *** What follows is the original post from...

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Damon Circosta: The Raleigh Goodmons sign another blue-chip recruit

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Damon Circosta rates as a strong defender and clever playmaker who should help the Raleigh Goodmons in a tough league — the N.C. Future Development League — dominated of late by the Carolina Wingers. The Wingers are led by their point man, Paul "Skip" Stam, and by owner-manager Art "His Holiness" Pope. But Stam can only go to his right, and he looks like he's lost a step or two over the years. Circosta is more versatile, and he's touted as a "next-generation leader" by his coach: Raleigh, N.C. — Barbara Goodmon, president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, announced Thursday...

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

(Updated) YWCA's future? Board invites some to a meeting Thursday, but not the workers or, so far, the public

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 12:44 AM

photo by Bob Geary [Update, 10:15 a.m.: I just spoke with Doug McMillan, CEO of the YMCA of the Triangle. He said the YMCA is not a convener of the Thursday meeting nor is it looking to take anything from the YWCA. "We are coming to listen," McMillan said. "We are not leading." [The YMCA has collaborated successfully with other organizations in East Raleigh, and that kind of collaboration may be possible with some of the programs the YWCA has been running, McMIllan added. But at this point, without much information about what the YW's specific programs are, he doesn't...

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Monday, March 12, 2012

The Rev. Lynice Williams, 63, champion for health and human rights; services are Saturday in Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The Rev. Lynice Williams was, as her friend Pete McDowell says, "a great activist and a wonderful person." She was recognized as a Citizen Award winner by the Indy in 1993, before our stories were digitized (hence, there's no link for it), and she continued to work for civil and human rights until shortly before her death. Christian Faith Baptist ChurchThe Rev. Lynice WilliamsHer special passion, as head of N.C. Fair Share for its first 24 years, was health care as a human right. She took great satisfaction at the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, viewing it...

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Linda Coleman: She's pro-civil unions, against Amendment 1 in Dems Lt. Gov. primary

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Linda Coleman, one of the two candidates for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor, just did a conference call with reporters. She came out strongly against Amendment 1, the anti-gay state constitutional amendment. Her rationale, she said in answer to questions, is that it's a distraction from the real issues of jobs and education. But she added that she isn't just standing pat on the current law, which already bans gay marriages and civil unions. Coleman said the law should be changed to allow civil unions in North Carolina. "I support civil unions," Coleman said. "We need to change the...

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Elon poll buoys anti-Amendment One campaign: Shows majority opposed

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM

The Coalition to Protect N.C. Families is out with a statement about the new Elon University Poll, which shows a majority of voters in North Carolina opposed to Amendment One, the anti-LGBT amendment to the state constitution on the May 8 primary ballot. Amendment One would prohibit the state from recognizing gay marriages, civil unions or any other domestic partnership arrangements, whether between gay or straight couples. Only a one-man, one-woman marriage would count. Oddly, the Elon Poll results are roughly the opposite of the poll taken less than two weeks ago for the J.W. Pope Citivas Institute, the Art...

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Herman Cain! Here! Wake GOP excited and hoping for free pizza

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Remember when Herman Cain was the front-runner for president in the Republican universe? Good times.Well, the hits just keep on coming as Mr. Pizza-zz brings his show to Raleigh in two weeks. Cain's the cornerman for Newt Gingrich these days, fyi. A Gingrich-Cain ticket could dominate in the over-60 swingers demographic. The news just came across our digits from the Wake GOP (with a subsequent note changing the site from Dorton to Kerr Scott): On Thursday, March 22, the 2012 Wake County Republican Party Convention will be held at Dorton Arena the Kerr Scott Building on the NC State Fairgrounds....

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Tonight at UUFR: Phone bank to beat Amendment One

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 3:20 AM

If it's Thursday, it must be time (6-9 p.m.) for the anti-Amendment One phone bank at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh. Bring your cell phone and, if you have one, your laptop. From Tracy Hollister, whom you may remember from this story: Phone Bank at UUFR for Coalition to Protect NC FamiliesThu., March 8, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Community, Politics Use your cell phone to simply identify how voters will vote on Amendment One and recruit more volunteers. Hosted by UUFR's Task Force to Protect All NC Families and local chapters of PFLAG and HRC as well as the Triangle...

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gary Pearce: No need for GOP primaries ... lol.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:24 PM

After all these years, now I learn that Carter Wrenn is a liberal! #ncpol talkingaboutpolitics.com— Gary Pearce (@jgaryp) March 6, 2012...

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Meeting: "We are going to save the YWCA on Hargett Street."

Posted By on Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 9:08 PM

The good news, if there be such in the debacle of the Raleigh YWCA closing, is that the Southeast Raleigh community is rising strongly to insist that the facility and its programs be saved. That was apparent tonight as 200 people gathered — not at the YWCA, but as it turned out at the Martin Street Baptist Church a few blocks away — to voice their feelings and start to organize. "We were going in different directions," said Wake County Commissioner James West, talking about how hard times brought the community down. But with the news about the YW, West...

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Movement to save the YWCA: Meeting there tonight, 6:30.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Last night's vigil (too windy for candles) produced an outpouring of stories about the importance of the YWCA to women, especially women of color, and to children and teens in Raleigh. About 60 people turned out in support of keeping the YW open — here's some background — but there were no specifics about how that can or should be done. photo by Bob GearyPart of the crowd that turned out at the YWCA last night. Tonight's community meeting, starting at 6:30, may start to fill in some of the details. No one on the board of directors attended the...

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Friday, March 2, 2012

[Updated w/ open letter from staff] Can the YWCA be saved? Vigil on Sunday, Community meeting Monday

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

The YWCA on East Hargett Street is a linchpin for the Southeast Raleigh community and has been for 110 years. On Wednesday, the current board of directors of the YWCA of the Greater Triangle abruptly announced that it was laying off the entire staff — not even paying them for work already done. But is that the end of it? Not clear. [Update: Outraged YWCA staffers wrote an open letter to the YWCA Board of Directors and released it at 6:30 Friday evening. It's copied below. To put it mildly, they think the board is incompetent ... and then some....

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