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

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Art Pope and the future of education in North Carolina

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

photo by Bob GearyMembers of NC Student Power parlay about Pope. The bus behind them came to Raleigh courtesy of Patriot Majority, a progressive, anti-Koch Brothers group. First off, I want to 'fess up for that headline. I wrote something the other day and pitched it on Facebook with the word denouement in the header. This prompted a friend (she writes for the attention-grabbing Huffington Post) to remind me that words like denouement are not how you cause readers to click on your stuff. That said, yesterday I dropped in at the Doubletree Hotel to hear Art Pope's remarks at...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Partisan? The Wake school board majority's problem isn't that they're partisan —

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM

This just in: Wake County Board of Education Chairman Kevin Hill and Vice Chairman Keith Sutton will be available in the Board Room at 12:30 p.m. today to comment to the media. The Board Room is located on the first floor of WCPSS Central Services, 5625 Dillard Drive, Cary. I've been corresponding on Twitter with two friends this morning who are bemoaning the partisanship of the Wake County Board of Education in the aftermath of Tony Tata's dismissal. "We had five Republican a—holes in charge and now it's five Democrats," is the gist of what one said. (The other was...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Updated: Tata's out; Breaking: Wake board debating motion to fire Tata

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Update: 4:51: Tata's out, 5-4 vote. He receives a $253,625 severance. Update, 4:24 p.m., Tuesday: The Wake County Board of Education is currently debating a motion to fire Superintendent Tony Tata. Republican John Tedesco, who supports Tata and was among the board members who hired him, said, "This will cost $250,000 [to buy out Tata's contract], a waste of a quarter-million dollars when we're about to ask the public for money in the bond issue. This is an epic failure. I wouldn't trust this board with my lunch money." Debra Goldman, a board member and Tata supporter: "We're losing our...

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Raleigh's Union Station: Future rail to "lop off" Citrix?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 7:09 AM

photo by Bob GearyA freight train chugs past the West Hargett Street intersection: When the rail corridor is widened, it will slice into the Citrix buildings On Friday, we reported the good news about Raleigh's Union Station, Phase 1: It's fully funded at $60 million. In the buildup to that announcement, I heard one other, discordant note. If and when Raleigh adds commuter-rail and high-speed rail service to the current, very limited repertoire of Amtrak trains running through town, the rail corridor coming into the Union Station complex will need to be widened. Why? To make room for additional sets...

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Breaking: Tony Tata may be shown the door by school board

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Update, 4:24 p.m., Tuesday: The Wake County Board of Education is currently debating a motion to fire Superintendent Tony Tata. The Wake County Board of Education met behind closed doors for a little over three hours this afternoon on a "personnel issue" widely understood to be the status of Superintendent Tony Tata. When the session ended, the board met briefly in open session to debate whether to add an agenda item to a previously scheduled meeting tomorrow — a move that required two-thirds approval, or six votes out of nine, because it lacked the statutory 48 hours notice. With the...

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Friday, September 21, 2012

The good news in Raleigh: Union Station, Phase 1, is fully funded at $60 million

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM

I see that it was just 15 months ago — last June — when the state DOT made its first public pitch for turning the old Dillon Supply fabrication building, also known as the Viaduct Building, into a new Amtrak station for downtown Raleigh. file photo by Bob GearyThe Viaduct Building inside — it needs work!Today, federal, state and city officials gathered there to annnounce that $60 million has been cobbled together from a variety of funding sources, enough to do the work on the station and associated track improvements. The finish date? Sometime in 2016, DOT Deputy Secretary Paul...

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

More on the Wake school assignment plan, v. 3: The still-unsettled question of diversity

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

[Update: And sure enough, while I was writing this, the board majority has reversed course and decided to publish the staff's list. Hope it works out for them.] The original post — Like most people, I think, who were listening to the discussion at the Wake school board Tuesday night, my first response to the question of whether parents should be able to look online for their base assignments starting Friday — tomorrow — was why not? It's always best, isn't it, to get information out sooner rather than later? And by the way, the public has a right to...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wake school assignment plan v. 3: Return of the Jedi (or, Place Takes Base)

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM

In our first installment, a.k.a. the 2009 elections, the Republic came under attack by, er, Republicans, who soon overthrew the old regime of student assignments in Wake County's public schools. Diversity as a goal was out. Base assignments were out. Choice was in. In the sequel, the 2011 elections, the Republic struck back, ousting the Republican majority on the Wake school board. Base assignments were again in favor. Diversity too. Choice? OK, but not so much. So now it's time for Version 3 of student assignment, which according to the new school board majority's directive, is supposed to have base...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Case closed: Two years later, remaining Buen Pastor defendants free of deportation threat

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

It was Easter weekend in 2010 when members of a small Hispanic church, Iglesia Buen Pastor, while returning from a religious exercise in Texas, were pulled over by federal agents in Louisiana for looking suspiciously like they might be immigrants — undocumented immigrants, even. Those with no children were deported immediately. Those with children were threatened with deportation, and they've been fighting it since. We reported on their case last year. Today, we have good news from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. They won't be deported. And it only took two years — Immigration Charges Dropped For 22 Raleigh...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This weekend: Kids, paint, wall, Sparkcon! BESTRaleigh!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Raleigh Children Invited to Paint Downtown Raleigh Mural this weekend. ow.ly/dDkJT— BEST Raleigh (@BESTRaleigh) September 11, 2012...

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Democrats in Charlotte: From their hearts.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I'm back in Raleigh and collecting my thoughts about the Democratic National Convention for an Indy story next week. My logistics in Charlotte were tricky and didn't leave time for blogging after Monday morning. blurry photo by Bob GearyMy vantage point Tuesday at the Time Warner Arena. Fortunately, I could watch on the big screen too.So I haven't had a chance to say what a profound experience it was for me to take in the convention, especially Tuesday night. I've been telling people it was like taking an immersion course in what Democrats believe and who they are — correction,...

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Who built it? Workers built it. A Labor Day message from Charlotte.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The Democratic National Convention doesn't kick off officially until tomorrow. But the all-but-official start day is today, Labor Day, as thousands of delegates, media types, activists and interested citizens pour into Charlotte. I was here yesterday for the March on Wall Street South, a demonstration and march by about 1,000 of our progressive friends from around the country, some (most?) but not all of whom will be voting for Obama in November and prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, though in a lot of cases not by much. I'll be writing about it for the Indy this week....

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