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Re: “A Stinking Mess

Ellen, I dont see your comments anywhere in my inbox. Please email them to me directly: jbillman at indyweek dot com.

Posted by Jeffrey Billman on 07/05/2017 at 5:00 PM

Re: “A Stinking Mess

I also wrote you Indyweek. Please print my comments. North Carolina is hell for hogs also

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ellen Canavan on 07/05/2017 at 4:15 PM

Re: “The SBE Will Turn Over Some, But Not All, of the Information the White House’s Voting Integrity Commission Wants

Let's start with what we know. Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Commission, is running for governor of Kansas in 2018. He has been using the so called voter fraud commission in his campaign materials. Now a complaint has been filed against Kobach for violations of the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act makes it illegal for executive branch employees to engage in activity to gain political advantage. Kobach was tapped by Donald Trump because he is angry Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Trump wants Kobach to track down alleged widespread voter fraud that does not exist.

According to data analysts and other researchers, Kobach has a history of throwing legal voters off the rolls, based on last names. Most of the voters deprived of the right to vote were those who normally vote for the Democrats.

Here is what we don't know or understand. Why is the NC State Board of Elections giving up personal information about Tar Heels? Here are my concerns: My Social Security number is sacrosanct. My political affiliation(s) serves what purpose? Would that knowledge make me a target of some evil-doer? Is there a stated time limit on when or how often I vote? Numerous newspapers and digital outlets have questioned the validity of the methodology used by Vice Chair of the Commission, Kris Kobach. One data expert called Kobach's research "childish. " Stats showed he scrubbed 1-in-6 Latinos, 1-in-7 Asians and 1-in-9 Blacks because of common last names.

Has the NCSBOE asked Kobach to review and replace our voting apparatus, which assures everyone of a vote? The N&O said the Board was satisfied with the overall "integrity" of North Carolina's voting process in 2016 despite media reports of possible Russian hacking of VR Systems software. I am distressed the NCSBOE might breach the covenant of secrecy for all voters. I also fear my vote may not count, if the state remains wedded to old, exploitable technology.

What I know is the Trump/Kobach Commission is a hammer looking for a nail.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by cityfox on 07/05/2017 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Capitol Broadcasting Wants Community Input on Its American Tobacco Campus Expansion. By God We're Going to Give It to Them.

Well, that sarcasim was quite constructive! Now, any real suggestions?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barbara 2 on 07/05/2017 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Hogwashed, Part 2: Environmental Advocates Say Hog Facilities’ Antiquated Waste-Disposal Systems Are Threatening the State’s Waterways

My name is Tom Butler and I am a NC contract hog farmer. I am quoted several times in this article and I want to expand on the comments that I have made to Indy Week. It is not my intention to defame or be critical of DEQ or their inspectors and how they do their job. I do agree that I am a strong advocate for strict inspections of our hog farms, our records and our lagoons. I am a strong advocate for replacing our current lagoon spray field system with new affordable innovative and more environmentally friendly systems. I hope all NC hog farmers realize and seriously consider the fact that these waste storage lagoons as a part of the spray field system belong to us. Our lagoons and waste management records are our full responsibility as long as the lagoons exists. (Note: To officially end the lagoon responsibility a grower must spend $40,000 to $60,000 per surface acre to decommission a swine waste lagoon.) If I elected to close and decommission my farm and lagoons today, it would cost me between $250,000 to $312,000. The integrators and the regulators carry no responsibility for the lagoons or waste on our farms. Personally, I want records to show that I have a well managed closely regulated DEQ approved farm operation and storage lagoon. If something does go wrong or waste management issues arise, I would want a history to show that I was inspected and given a clean bill to continue to operate. I would expect most growers in the state have lagoons that are 15 to 30 years old. A lot of these storage facilities, including my two, are nearing their sludge capacity. Do you as a lagoon owner know your sludge level? I know that an annual lagoon sludge level measurement is required, but it is my understanding that a current data base is not maintained by DEQ. I think there should be a current year to year sludge level record kept by DEQ and it should be public information. In my opinion, DEQ should have the responsibility of notifying the grower, as a courtesy, when the lagoon level is nearing capacity. If you aren't notified by DEQ then you, as a grower, are required to notify DEQ that you have reached your sludge limit. When you do notify them, you have 90 days to draw up a plan with a technical specialist and up to two years to implement tne plan.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by William Butler on 07/05/2017 at 11:47 AM

Re: “Water Levels Are Declining in North Carolina’s Rivers and Streams, and Scientists Are Concerned

Yep, let's blame this on climate change, too. There, that was easy.

1 like, 13 dislikes
Posted by John Trololo on 07/05/2017 at 10:57 AM

Re: “GoTriangle Will Soon Learn Whether Light Rail Will Move to the Next Stage of the Grant Application Process

Lets not forget that if the FTA approves this phase but does not approve the funding in 2020, Durham and Orange will spend $100 million on #DOLRT studies for naught.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bonnie Hauser on 07/05/2017 at 10:42 AM

Re: “The $3 Million Question: Why Didn’t Wake Divert a Property Tax Surplus to Its School System?

I would encourage readers to look at other sources as this "article" is missing some key FACTS. So let's get this straight -- Ms. Holmes and Mr. Ford in the same breath say that any extra money (and this is a DUBIOUS claim indeed) should be directed to schools AND voted on? If they are both so concerned with public funds why are they not asking the WCPSS to spend monies they've already taken from the PUBLIC COFFERS ?
Their absolute disregard the needs of the community as a whole (where is their concern for public safety and mental health for instance) is a testament to their inability to see beyond their own set of biases and serve all their constituents.

Posted by Trixsie M on 07/05/2017 at 10:33 AM

Re: “Wake County Found an Extra $3 Million. Who Decides How to Spend It—Commissioners or Bureaucrats?

Goldsmith is a careful thoughtful writer, and this is key debate on school funding. Go Tommy

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by harold romaro on 07/05/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “The Total Package Tour Promises a Heavy Dose of Eighties Nostalgia. But Does the Lineup Even Make Sense?

That is like going to a concert of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, except without any of the musical talent.

Posted by MichyMitch on 07/05/2017 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Blackfoot on 07/03/2017 at 3:18 PM

Re: “Know More About Manhattan Than Your Embattled Neighbors in Rural North Carolina? Then See Raising Bertie.

I was born and raised in Bertie County, and believe me, this was painful and beautiful to watch. I was a cheerleader for the basketball Bertie Falcons in the Bertie gym and on the sidelines of the Falcons' football field, and grew up driving on the same roads in the film. I had to pause to cry on several occasions.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tar Heels forever on 07/03/2017 at 1:38 PM

Re: “Hogwashed, Part 1: Hundreds of Poor, Mostly African-American Residents of Eastern North Carolina Say Big Pork Is Making Their Lives Miserable

My name is Tom Butler and I am a NC contract hog farmer. I am a 76 years old family farmer and I live in Western Harnett County, NC in the Flat Branch/Anderson Creek community. I have been a contract hog farmer for more than 20 years. This article is near and dear to my heart because it pretty well tells the truth about our industry. I am not an activist against our hog industry, but an advocate for affordable and environmental friendly changes to our industry. Changes that will help make the aforementioned issues go away. We as an industry can do better and the time for that has come, but again, instead of doing the right thing we have stooped to a new level with House Bill 467. I call House Bill 467 "The Boss Hog Bully Bill" and named it this because it shows the people of NC (especially any critics) that the current NC General Assembly can pass most any legislation they want to without rhyme or reason! I can assure all readers, that in my opinion, HB 467 was not passed in an effort to protect family farmers. There is not enough room on this comment sheet to explain the true reasons!

20 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by William Butler on 07/03/2017 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding

Keep one thing in mind as the Durham Mayoral election comes up in November. Your Indy Week origins come from Steve Schewel. He will be a candidate running for the position, and he is a huge proponent of this damn thing. There are other choices in this race, so please keep that in mind.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Barbara 2 on 07/02/2017 at 12:13 PM

Re: “The $3 Million Question: Why Didn’t Wake Divert a Property Tax Surplus to Its School System?

Commissioner Ford is right to question the threshold for budgetary discretion made by staff. Where are the boundaries? Does staff spread the excess funds evenly across all line items, or do they assign the dollars to specific projects and if so how is that determination made? It's a fair question and shouldn't be swept under the rug as 'bizness as usual'. That's exactly how $600,000 in revenue gets pocketed in deeds and registrars office. Voters elect the Commissioners to make these decisions- not staff. And after weeks of public comments and pleas being made on behalf of the school board and the commissioners deciding they don't have the funds for education this is extremely disappointing

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Prescott on 07/01/2017 at 5:26 AM

Re: “Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding

Meanwhile we burn +1 million per month of regressive tax dollars on non reimbursable engineering and shameless marketing hype. How many bus shelters and sidewalks could that money build? How many routes could have their hours extended to better serve the public?

When will the local politicians put a stop to this?

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by where's the beef? on 06/30/2017 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding

The public should also keep in mind that the monthly cost for planning - right now - is huge. I've seen estimates that taxpayers are currently paying about $1,000,000.00 every month for planning and promoting the Durham-Orange Light Rail. If anyone has accurate numbers, please correct me.

Stop and think about what could be done with that money to improve transit, or education, or infrastructure, or health in our counties.

This whole project may never fly, in which case every cent that's being spent on it before ever moves into construction phase will be completely wasted. Every wasted cent will have come from the pockets of today's Durham and Orange taxpayers.

Tom Englund
Durham County

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Tom Englund on 06/30/2017 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding

The biggest waste of tax dollars. I hope the Feds do NOT fund this ridiculous plan, and an environmental impact study has been released. It's atrocious. No reason, whatsoever, for this money pit to be developed.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Barbara 2 on 06/30/2017 at 1:35 PM

Re: “Highway to Hell: Take a haunted house road trip

I want to take my teenage niece and nephew to their first haunted house. I love that fear factor that it seems so real, that I wonder if it might actually be real. Like grapes masquerading as eyeballs. Who thinks of things like that. I'll keep all this in mind, when I choose the perfect haunted house.

Posted by SHexner81 on 06/30/2017 at 1:00 PM

Re: “Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding

Having watched this discussion since the mid to late 90's, the obfuscated origins of the current alignment is a ruinous mistake and must be re examined in order to prioritize a straight modification of the 15-501 corridor, which is the problem we are trying to solve -in coorination to the "EF" redesign, (in addition to the 54 corridor traffic problem, similar, but not to be confused)

Go Triangle has done a tremendous job of privitazing public input and squelching open dialogue.

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by duh on 06/30/2017 at 11:06 AM

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