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Progress Still Possible

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Human Rights Coalition of NC: Nominations are in order for 2010 award

Posted By on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Gail Phares. Joe Straley. Evelyn Mattern. Rania Masri. Lonna and Richard Harkrader. John Paar. Mary-Lou Leiser Smith. David Potorti. Ray Buchanan. Ann Ross. Mark Gilney. Paul Luebke. Margaret Misch. Jerry Markotos. That's the list of winners of the HRC-NC's International Human Rights Award since 1996. The group will recognize the 2010 award recipient at a dinner in December. Nominations are open through September 21 — next Tuesday — so your assignment between now and then is: Who's missing from that list? That's part 1. Part 2 is a written nomination citing your nominee's work and activities; their impact; biographical...

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Crowder Plan: Use the High-Speed Rail project to remake the Capital Boulevard "Valley"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Photocomposition by Warren GentryImage courtesy of Don't Railroad Historic Five Points What's the next big thing in Raleigh? Try this: We put together the Dan Douglas plan for an urban (even European) Capital Boulevard with TTA light-rail and one of the hybrid routes for the DOT's Southeast High-Speed Rail project, then add the plan so many have talked about for a greenway "riverwalk" on the it-doesn't-have-to-be-fetid Pigeon House Branch creek north of downtown. It all adds up to City Councilor Thomas Crowder's proposal yesterday to "think big" about high-speed rail and the possibilities for Raleigh if we get it right...

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trust the Sharrow: It's the answer to everything from high-speed rail to the national debt

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM

The first roundabouts on Hillsborough Street are open and working as planned, moving the car traffic slowly but safely through what is now a pedestrian-friendly district at the front door of N.C. State University. Still unresolved, however, is the issue of bike lanes. It’s a metaphor for our times. Can we move forward together in Raleigh? I believe we can with the aid of a unifying emblem that, with proper promotion, could also heal the nation. [Update: I'm adding a well-done analysis by Wayne Pein of the problem on Hillsborough Street and his suggestion solution. He, too, trusts the sharrow,...

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

$59 billion more for war machinery in Afghanistan, Iraq? Two N.C. congressmen vote no

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I note for the record that the U.S. House of Representatives this week voted to spend $59 billion more on combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vote was 308-114. Of the negative votes, 102 were cast by Democrats. Democrats split 148-102 in favor of the measure. Republicans were more gung-ho, all their rhetoric about wasteful federal spending notwithstanding; the GOP voted 160-12 in favor of continuing to pour billions into wars that even the Pentagon acknowledges aren't winnable. I didn't see it anywhere, so I looked up how the N.C. congressional delegation voted. Two of our 13 members...

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

See it here: "The Future is Electric"

Posted By on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Photo by D.L. Anderson In 1980, only a few could foresee how the desktop computer and the cell phone would transform the communications industry. (Believe me, newspaper owners missed it by a mile.) Today, the new technologies are electric — vehicle batteries, controllers, solar panels, wind turbines, and a smart-grid system capable of integrating them, much like the cell towers do for phones. Put them together, and they promise to transform the transportation industry over the next 20-30 years and wean us, finally, from our addiction to (imported, expensive) petroleum. That was the gist of the stories I wrote a...

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Their hunger strike is over. The DREAM of immigration reform continues.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:06 PM

photo by Bob GearyViridiana Martinez (left) and Rosario Lopez, on Day 6Their hunger strike is over after 13 days, ended when one of them was hospitalized with heat stroke and exhaustion. But for the three young women who were encamped in Raleigh until Monday night, subsisting on water and sports drinks to call attention to their cause, the fight for immigration reform goes on. “We grew weaker, but our spirits grew stronger,” Rosario Lopez told 100 folks who attended a final fellowship gathering. “Let’s keep the dream alive.” Lopez, Viridiana Martinez and Loida Silva stopped eating June 14 to protest...

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Victims of the immigration madness, their hunger strike is in Day 6

Posted By on Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 10:04 PM

photo by Bob GearyRosario (left) and Loida Their names are Loida, Viridiana and Rosario. Three young women, each an honors graduate of a high school in North Carolina, each successful in community college, each ready for college or, in Rosario's case, finished with college (UNC-CH, BA in biology) and ready for graduate school. Three women who are, instead, on a hunger strike in Raleigh because, after listening to a decade's worth of national stalemate over immigration reform, they don't see any alternative. They are, you see, children of illegal immigrant parents. So, even though they've grown up in the United...

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Simple: Vote for Lanya Shapiro

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Click here to cast your vote. You'll see why. Never heard of her? (That hurts. She was an Indy Citizen Award winner.) Here's a precis: Lanya Shapiro is a social entrepreneur, a tireless activist and organizer, and part of the vanguard of the modern progressive movement. Her most recent cutting-edge endeavor is Traction, a Durham, N.C.-based offline social network designed to turn young voters into energized and engaged activists who will, over time, power the progressive movement as volunteers, donors, board members and elected officials. By putting a creative spin on classic progressive issues, Traction helps the forward-thinking nonprofits with...

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why aren't derivatives regulated? Why is Wall Street allowed to get away with economic murder?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:18 PM

So here's your civics test: Guess how much money Wall Street securities and investment firms and their partners contributed to candidates for national office since 1998? By the way, the two political parties and their candidates got roughly the same amounts, unlike what press releases today from the offices of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, and NC GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer might've led you to believe. For extra credit, answer the question: Why doesn't Congress crack down on the Wall Street gang and prevent them from rolling out the next crazy credit explosion that makes them tons of money...

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vote early and often (and by April 28) for one of these local nonprofits ...

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Five organizations are vying for a $5,000 grant and recognition as "most innovative" in addressing growth and diversity issues in the Triangle. You and I will be voting on it at the Triangle Community Foundation's website — short videos are posted there for each contender. I went to the website thinking I'd cast a quick vote for Builders of Hope, a very cool organization I wrote about last year (a BOH email pointed me to the competition). But, doggone it, the other finalists include Sparkcon, one of my favorite groups, and the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina (CRA-NC),...

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