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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Election 2010: Who are the poll observers? Ask for them by name.

Posted by on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Voters in Wake County have lodged at least a dozen complaints to the county board of elections alleging poll observers have aggressively approached them as they entered early voting sites, reported The News & Observer today.

In Wake, both Democrats and Republicans have poll observers, although the complaints have been about the GOP.

So who are the poll observers? The Indy requested the lists of all approved poll observers from Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham counties.

Wake: Wake_GOP_Poll_Observers_earlyvoting_GOP_Poll_Observer.pdf


Durham: Durham_observers.pdf

Orange: orangecountypollobserver.pdf

Chatham: Chathampollobservers.pdf

In Durham, only Republicans are on the list of poll observers. They include Frank Hurley, who ran for Congress in the 13th District, which covers part of Wake County, and lost in the primary to Bill Randall. He spoke at a Tax Day Tea Party event.

Laura Cox is the president of Triangle Republican Women. Carol King is the vice-chair of the North Durham Republicans. Marilyn Flanary is a member of Women for Burr Coalition.

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Victims' families group responds to error-filled Racial Justice Act mailer

Posted by on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) announced today the group is "disturbed and saddened" by the anti-Racial Justice Act campaign flyer the state GOP mailed to residents throughout North Carolina.

The flyer contained numerous blatant errors and scare tactics, falsely stating that prisoners released from death row under the RJA would be freed. "Meet Your New Neighbors," the headline read on the flier. However, as the Indy's Bob Geary reported this week, the RJA does not permit convicted death-row inmates to be released from prison. It only allows them to serve a life sentence if they can demonstrate, using statistical evidence, that they were sentenced to death based on their race.

So far, state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer has refused to retract the flyer or correct the record. Residents in Wake County and other areas report the materials are still being distributed there.

MVFR opposes the death penalty and strongly supports the Racial Justice Act. "We believe the death penalty adds to the trauma of murder victim family members and actually interferes with their healing," the group said in a press release. "We believe that capital punishment is one of many examples of how our legal system fails victims and their families.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Orange County early voting running smoothly despite all the yelling at the polls

Posted by on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Orange County Board of Elections Director Tracy Reams says she’s received several complaints from voters about overzealous, boisterous campaigners distributing literature at one-stop voting sites.

“They are saying that greeters outside are a little too aggressive and are shouting at them as they go by,” she says.

So far, Reams says campaigners are keeping the required 50 feet distance from the polling sites, but she is taking note of the concerns.

“Outside of the 50-foot boundary, I don’t have any authority over what they do or what they don’t do,” she says, adding that she would call the police if the shouts rise to the level of harassment.

Otherwise, no other problems have been reported at the three early-voting locations. More than 9,500 residents have cast ballots. Reams hopes to reach 15,000 before early voting ends on Saturday.

Continue reading…

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hotline launched to help state's eugenics victims

Posted by on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 3:48 PM

If you believe you were forcibly sterilized under the authority of the N.C. Eugenics Board, you can call a toll-free hotline for information about the program.

The N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation is operating the hotline. The number is 1-877-550-6013 (toll-free in North Carolina) or 919-807-4270. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The Eugenics Board program operated between 1929 and 1974. Persons impacted by the N.C. Eugenics Board program were born in or prior to 1961.

Last March, the Indy published an in-depth story by Lara Torgesen about the program and its victims.

Callers to the Foundation Hotline will be provided a verification form, which will be used to help determine whether an individual was among the estimated 7,600 men and women who were sterilized under the state Eugenics program.

Verification forms also are available online at No type or form of compensation is guaranteed through this verification process.

“The Foundation is here to help people who may have been sterilized under this program,” said Foundation Director Charmaine Fuller Cooper, in a press release. “We understand that some people may not recall a lot of details, and others may be reluctant to share their experiences, but we encourage those with concerns to call us for more information.”

Gov. Bev Perdue established the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, which operates under the state Department of Administration to provide justice and compensate victims who were forcibly sterilized by the State of North Carolina. The Foundation will function as a clearinghouse to assist victims of the N.C. Eugenics Board program.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Taylor gathers another $2K in race against Hill

Posted by on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Roy Taylor
  • Roy Taylor

Candidate for Durham Sheriff Roy Taylor has gathered almost $2,000 more in campaign contributions during the third quarter as he faces incumbent Sheriff Worth Hill in the Nov. 2 race.

Taylor also loaned himself another $3,425 this quarter for expenditures, according to his most recent campaign finance report (PDF), filed today at the Durham Board of Elections.

Taylor has spent almost $12,000 in his campaign to unseat Hill, a four-term incumbent. Hill, meanwhile, has spent more than $15,000 this campaign, according to his most recent campaign report (PDF).

This is the first race in years in which Hill, a Durham native and veteran of the city police force, has faced a Republican challenger. Taylor has challenged Hill's leadership, but the race might come down to whether Taylor meets a requirement that a sheriff live in the county in which he's running for a year prior to the election.

Taylor is challenging whether the residency requirement, which is outlined in state law, is applicable. He states that legal advisors have found that he is eligible to serve as sheriff because he meets a 30-day residency requirement outlined in the N.C. state Constitution.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Hill raises another $2K according to new finance report

Posted by on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Durham Sheriff Worth Hill
  • Durham Sheriff Worth Hill

Financial support for Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill, who is seeking his fifth term in office, continues to stream in.

According to a third-quarter report (PDF) filed by Hill's campaign, the incumbent raised another $2,080 from July 1 through Oct. 16. Throughout this election cycle, Hill has raised $17,000 and spent about $15,000.

The most recent contributions include another $500 from former sheriff Roland Leary, who has contributed a total of $1,000 this campaign. Leary is also the citizen who has filed a formal challenge against Republican challenger Roy Taylor, whose residency in Durham Leary is disputing.

Taylor's report is not yet available. The deadline for submitting third-quarter reports in the sheriff's race is the end of Monday.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Hill's the Rev. James Clanton receives enviro justice award

Posted by on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 2:34 PM

The Rev. James Clanton

All struggles have their costs, and leaders and activists often go unacknowledged for the work they do. That is why one local activist, who has received recognition for his leadership and dedication to his community, hopes that others will be inspired to remain steadfast to their causes.

The Rev. James Clanton, pastor of the First Baptist Church of New Hill, was selected by the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) as the recipient of the network's 2010 Florenza Moore Grant Community Environmental Justice Award.

Clanton received the prestigious award at the NCEJN's 12th annual summit in Whitakers this past weekend.

Clanton has led the community and his congregation at New Hill in its ongoing fight against the siting of a $327 million wastewater treatment plant in the center of the historical, unincorporated community. The five-year struggle has pitted the primarily African-American community against the predominantly white towns of Cary, Apex and Morrisville. The towns have formed the Western Wake Partnership, which is responsible for the wastewater treatment plant.

“Recently our surrounding municipalities have begun identifying us as this group that is holding back economic development or holding up progress,” said Clanton, “and it means a lot to receive this award and realize others are supporting and recognizing our hard work — and that we are not alone.”

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chapel Hill police chief's career is open and shut, set to retire Nov. 30

Posted by on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran is closing the case on his career in local law enforcement. His last day will be Nov. 30.

“I told the manager that I owed him another Halloween,” Curran said of the Franklin Street celebration. “The rules are the first day of retirement has to be the first day of the month, so unless I just walked out of the command center on Halloween and said, ‘See ya,’ I had to work November.”

The timing makes sense. Curran is 55 and has 30 years in the system, making him eligible for retirement benefits. “I hit the magic numbers,” he said.

The Chapel Hill Town Council has known of Curran’s retirement intentions since April, but they didn’t become public until Monday.

The announcement marks the beginning of the end of what will be a 28-year career with the Chapel Hill Police Department.

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Activists share insights during Campus Y celebration

Posted by on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Decades of UNC students credited the Campus Y with spurring them to a life of service during last weekend’s 150th anniversary celebration of the center.

Bill Ferris, senior associate director of the UNC Center for the Study of the American South, described the Y, which organizers say is the longest standing YMCA in the nation and the oldest student activist group, as “the conscience of our campus.”

Through a moving oral history performance, students reflected on several political battles, including those supporting women’s rights, integration and literacy, and opposing the Vietnam War and the speaker ban, which barred communists from orating on campus.

The event, though, was as much about looking forward as celebrating the past. The Friday afternoon program featured a discussion among four prominent local activists— The Rev. Robert Campbell of the
Coalition to End Environmental Racism, Stephen Dear of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, Loida Ginocchio-Silva of the Dream Act Girls and Michelle Cotton Laws of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP—on the challenges of building a movement in modern times.

Loida Ginocchio-Silva (in blue) and the other Dream Team Girls were on a hunger strike in downtown Raleigh in June.
  • Photo by D.L. Anderson
  • Loida Ginocchio-Silva (in blue) and the other Dream Team Girls were on a hunger strike in downtown Raleigh in June.
For starters, it’s difficult to make a living fighting for what you believe in. You have to learn to say no. You have to go home sometime. You can’t survive 18-hour days for long. You have to accept that your cause isn’t always the most important. You have to talk to the people who you don’t like. You can’t turn your back on them. You may need them someday. Document everything.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Millions of research dollars at stake as Price, Lawson compete for Congress

Posted by on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 5:12 PM

At our packed-to-the-gills debate between U.S. Rep. David Price and two-time challenger B.J. Lawson last week, the two men sparred on, among many other issues, federal research funding.

B.J. Lawson, shown here campaigning at Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill in 2008, is pro-pita bread and anti-government-funded research.
  • Photo by D.L. Anderson
  • B.J. Lawson, shown here campaigning at Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill in 2008, is pro-pita bread and anti-government-funded research.
Lawson wants to privatize research and development, essentially cutting the legs of university research. Price questioned how a candidate running to represent the Research Triangle Park, UNC and Duke University district in Washington could hold such a view.

Today, coincidentally or not, Duke University—where Price has taught public policy—issued a press release touting the benefits of the $287 million in NIH grants given to the Research Triangle region through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“Federal grants for academic research and development are intended to create long-term health benefits and economic opportunity,” the release reminds.

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They need to lock that pig cop up!!!!!!!!!!!!

by William Parker on Durham police excessive force case goes to Court of Appeals (News)

Very surprised you did a follow-up on this very lightweight story. Have you no journalistic shame??

Since when did …

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