Cloaked in Hawaiian T-shirts with tongues planted firmly in cheeks, leis around necks, cone-shaped party hats on scalps and noisemakers in mouths, members of the progressive Together N.C. coalition threw a send-off party to North Carolina on Wednesday morning on the Halifax Mall, bidding adieu to the state’s ability to thrive, they said.
“We’re here to say what makes this state great is ask risk,” said Louisa Warren, co-coordinator of Together N.C. and a policy advocate at the N.C. Justice Center.
The group handed out “pink slips” and offered cake and lemonade.
Rep. Earline Parmon, D-Forsyth, stopped by to sign an oversized greeting card that read, “We’ll miss the good times, N.C.”
Chapel Hill High School alumnus James Barrett announced today his candidacy for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.
“We as a community share a set of goals and values for our school district. Now is the time to do things a little differently to make real progress on those goals,” he stated in a press release.
Barrett, who also attended Seawell Elementary School and Phillips Middle School, moved back to the Triangle in 1995 after working in Atlanta, and says the time is ripe for reform. New superintendent Thomas Forcella will take the reins July 1 replacing Neil Pedersen, who will step down after 19 years, which makes him the longest tenured superintendent in the district’s history.
Governor Bev Perdue will let House Bill 129, the anti-municipal broadband bill become law today, opting to neither sign nor veto the legislation before the midnight deadline.
She issued a statement (full text below) saying she both wants every North Carolinian to have Internet access and seeks rules to prevent cities from having “an unfair advantage over providers in the private sector.”
It's only the second day of the session and already the GOP is ramping up the hate machine:
First up, undocumented immigrants.
House bill 11, sponsored by state Rep. George Cleveland, a Republican from Onslow County, would prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending North Carolina colleges and universities.
Currently, undocumented immigrants may attend these schools, but only under certain restrictions. For example, they must pay out-of-state tuition, which is as much as four times more expensive than in-state rates.
You can read the text of the bill here: H11v0.pdf
The N.C. Central University administration has publicly condemned the trashing of hundreds of copies of the student newspaper, done in apparent retaliation over two controversial stories published over the last six weeks.
“Attempts to suppress unpleasant news are offensive and contrary to everything we stand for at our university, where the free exchange of information should not be impeded,” wrote NCCU Associate Provost Debbie Thomas in a campuswide e-mail.
Campus Echo Editor Ashley Griffin wrote an editorial this week defending the stories, adding, “I am troubled that some of my fellow Eagles would stoop so low as to attempt to suppress news that they find inconvenient. Your behavior is petty and childish. And it will not work.”
“Business School Blues,” published Oct. 6, covered the controversy over the dismissal of NCCU Business School Dean Bijoy Sahoo, who was replaced after a review by a university task force questioned his leadership. Shortly afterward, hundreds of newspapers disappeared from the Willis Commerce Building.
Hundreds of papers also disappeared from near the sociology building and student union and were found in a dumpster after the Echo published a story Nov. 3, “Sociability Shortage in Sociology.” The article detailed a conflict between student Dontravis Swain, later suspended from the university, and assistant professor of sociology, Dana Greene.
Greene, according to the article, had allegedly claimed that a white student of hers, Robert Mihaly, was racist after he wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the likeness of Martin Luther King Jr. that read “UNC system racist” because N.C. Central doesn’t offer organic, non-genetically modified foods in its cafeteria.
Swain and Mihaly got into an argument in the classroom over the T-shirt i, which escalated when Swain allegedly began arguing with Greene. She alleged that Swain pushed her, but some students have disputed that account.
Campus Echo Adviser Bruce dePyssler told the Indy he doesn’t know who is dumping the papers, but according to the Student Press Law Center, it is illegal. Charges include larceny, petty theft, criminal mischief or destruction of property.
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.
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.
Last November, as well documented by the rousing "Green Team" video below, Joe Green won a seat on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Election.
"We’re hopefully going to work hard for the school board and do a great job,” he says in the video, a thank you to voters and his campaign team.
Today Green announced that he’s going to work hard and do a great job elsewhere.
He turned in his resignation letter, leaving a hole on the seven-member board and three years on his term, in favor of a post at Marquette University.
UNC is relinquishing a $14.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that would have funded new additions to the Bingham Facility, formerly known as the Farm, the university announced late today. This means expansion of the facility has stopped.
Earlier this year, UNC received the grant, which was part of the federal stimulus package. The money was for "shovel-ready" projects that have a short completion time. UNC planned to use the money to erect two new buildings to house additional animals for research on genetic diseases such as muscular dystrophy and hemophilia.
"We have concluded that pursuing the NIH-funded expansion would require more costly infrastructure upgrades than anticipated," wrote Bob Lowman, UNC associate vice chancellor for research, in an e-mail to neighbors, many of whom have long been concerned about environmental and public health implications of the expansion. "This is a major change of course for us and it will take some time to determine our future plans for the Bingham Facility."
However, due to serious problems with the facility's wastewater treatment plant—it is closed and UNC will build a new one—the Bingham Facility's construction schedule has been delayed. In addition, the original grant application to the NIH stated there were no wetlands on the site; when the area was mapped earlier this year, it discovered there were several wetlands that had been damaged during construction.
The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources fined UNC $16,000 as a result of t
hose wetlands encroachments illegal discharges into nearby Collins Creek.
Check back Tuesday for updates to this story.
As expected, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Neil Pedersen announced tonight that his 19th year at the helm will be his last. Pedersen, the longest serving head in the 101-year history of the district, will step down June 30, 2011.
“Dr. Pedersen, are there any announcements?” Chairman Mike Kelley asked to start the meeting, inviting the elephant in the room to trumpet.
“Yes,” he said, smiling the cut the tension. “As you know, I’ve been giving serious consideration as to the best time for me to retire as superintendent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. As I complete my 18th year in this position, I’ve concluded that this will be the last year that I will seek to serve in this capacity.”