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Friday, August 31, 2012

RNC Day 5: Tossed from the Art Pope-David Koch cocktail party

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 3:06 PM

When I learned that Americans for Prosperity was hosting a cocktail party honoring Art Pope and David Koch during the Republican National Convention, it seemed like a natural event for me to cover. I used to write about Pope for the Independent, back when he was a state legislator from Raleigh and often the smartest (and nerdiest) Republican in the room. Since then, Pope has made a national name for himself by working committedly to move the American political landscape to the right. Along with his family and its organizations, Pope has spent tens of millions of dollars on...

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

RNC Day 4: In his speech, Paul Ryan doesn't let facts get in the way

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

In 2009, I was researching an article for AARP The Magazine about the impact of factory closings on older employers. Traveling around the country, I talked with unemployed workers who had skimped on food, lost health insurance, even suffered strokes because of the stress. During that time I kept a thick file of newspaper clippings, including stories about the 2008 closure of a General Motors plant in Janesville, Wis., that threw 4,000 people (including those who worked for suppliers) out of work. The New York Times interviewed one 24-year employee, Andy Richardson, who planned to move away to find...

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RNC Day 3: Preparing for armed revolution

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I’ve covered national political party conventions since 1980. I know how amped-up the rhetoric can get on both sides. But I have never heard so much fear of an incumbent as I’ve witnessed during this week’s Republican National Convention. “Every election we hear that this is the most important election in our lifetime,” Sharon Day, who co-chairs the Republican National Committee, told delegates last night. “This election is more than that. It is the most important election in our nation’s lifetime.” She compared GOP activists to the United States’ Founding Fathers: “What they started, what they believed in, we...

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Former Liberty Warehouse Tenants Sue Greenfire

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Five one-time tenants of the Liberty Warehouse in Durham are taking building owner Greenfire Development to court in what may be the most predictable lawsuit ever. The plaintiffs—Andrew Preiss of ARP Design Studio, Donna Sutton of Southern Portico Inc, Deborah Pratt, Adelaide Banks of Read Seed Inc. and James Nuss—were all renting space in the converted tobacco warehouse in May 2011 when a portion of the roof caved in during heavy rains. On Tuesday afternoon, all five filed separate lawsuits against the beleaguered development company for alleged negligence related to the collapse. The court documents themselves read like an abstract...

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RNC Day 2: "All the laws we have today came from Judeo-Christian views"

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Forty years ago, when she was a teenager, Miriam Aikens had an abortion. Then she had another. “I was young,” she says. “I was uninformed.” She was raised a devout Christian, and still “in the church” when she terminated the two unwanted pregnancies. Describing the aftermath, she mostly avoids the first-person pronoun. But the pain in her voice, even as she talks to a new acquaintance, is palpable. “Woman was built to carry children, and to bear children,” says Aikens, a 55-year-old minister from Reidsville, N.C., about 60 miles northwest of Durham. We are sitting in the lobby of...

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Republican National Convention, Day 1: red meat at the tea party

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Volunteers wearing plastic rain ponchos steered drivers into the sprawling parking lot of River Ministries International, a campus on the outskirts of Tampa that includes an evangelical church, a worship school, and a “Holy Ghost training center.” There were food trucks and merchandise tables, including one man selling “Anybody but Obama” sticky notes. (He gave me a sample, telling me to slap it onto the windshield of any car sporting an Obama bumper sticker. “Hey Voter!” it said. “I’ll pay for your contraceptives if you pay for my ammo.”) A mortgage and real estate broker named Marshawn Hogans was...

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paul Ryan in North Carolina

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Generally speaking, vice presidential candidates are thought of as the presidential ticket's attack dog. GOP Congressman Paul Ryan, controversial architect of deficit-reducing federal budget plans, was just that when he made a campaign stop in Raleigh Wednesday, taking shots at President Obama on the economy, healthcare and Medicare. His stop comes days after presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney tapped the Ayn Rand devotee as his running mate. "The president inherited a difficult situation when he came into office," Ryan told a crowd of several thousand fired-up conservatives—mostly white, mostly graying—at the Raleigh facility of sheet-metal fabrication company SMT. "Here's...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Xscape Lounge escapes the rent

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 5:39 PM

The nightclub’s official Twitter account hints at the story: The Xscape Lounge, one of just a handful of nightclubs in downtown Durham, has changed hands. “So to all the new followers of the @TheXscapeLounge, we appreciate y’all and value your business. #UnderNewManagement,” reads a recent entry. Frank White, owner of the building at 119 W. Main St. in Durham, also home to the MarVell Event Center, has, via court order, seized the business from his former tenant because of tardy rent payments. That tenant, Parker Holdings of Carolina LLC, was ordered evicted from the building in August by a Durham...

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

NRC issues two "apparent" violations against Shearon Harris

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM

A wimpy air-conditioner and a question over acceptable amounts of unfiltered air entering a building have prompted the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue two apparent violations against Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant, according to the NRC. The NRC has scheduled an enforcement conference at the agency’s Region II office, 245 Peachtree Center Ave. NE, Ste. 1200, in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 24, at 8 a.m. The conference is open to the public. Duke Energy operates Shearon Harris, which is near New Hill, about 20 miles southwest of Raleigh. The NRC outlined the violations, which were detected during an inspection, in...

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Will new Pit push out food trucks?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM

About food trucks, and what the future might be for them in Durham’s Rigsbee street corridor, Greg Hatem isn’t sure. Earlier this month, Hatem’s Raleigh-based development company, Empire Properties, announced its purchase of the old 7UP bottling plant on the corner of Rigsbee and Geer streets, property that includes Fullsteam brewery. Hatem, through Empire, owns multiple restaurants in downtown Raleigh. The plan is to convert part of the building into restaurant space, he says. The company will open a second location of popular Raleigh barbecue joint the Pit at the site. What that means for the food trucks that often...

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Pain in the Ass fails to make short list for I-40/440 construction name

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Neither Pain in the Ass nor Royal Goat Fuck made the cut for naming for the interstate project that will ensnare traffic for 11 miles and three years on I-40/440. We know, you can't win if you don't enter. Nonetheless, the public offered some wonderful turns of phrase. The N.C. Department of Transportation launched a naming project for the road rebuild, due to begin in spring/summer of 2013. The project, according to the N.C. DOT, could funnel traffic down to two lanes along the southern part of the Beltline from U.S. 1 in Cary to U.S. 64/264 in east Raleigh....

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

A poultry poll: Eat mor conservatives

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Forget Obama vs. Romney or Dalton vs. McCrory. Public Policy Polling has finally surveyed North Carolinians on the most important social issue of the day: What’s your favorite fast-food chicken joint? No, not the elbow or the knee, but—wait for it—Chick-fil-A! Forty percent of North Carolina voters surveyed said Chick-fil-A is their favorite fast food chicken place. KFC came in second with 23 percent, followed by Bojangles at 18 percent. When you break down the results in terms of ideology, conservatives prefer Chick-fil-A, probably because of the chain’s anti-gay, über right-wing stance, while liberals opt for KFC, perhaps because Colonel...

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Durham rallies around Sikh community

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Sikh Gurudwara of NC Vigil for Oak Creek Victims - Images by Independent Weekly More than 700 pairs of shoes filled the designated cubbies at the entrance of the Sikh Gurudwara of North Carolina Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the nine victims and the gunman of the recent shooting at a temple in Wisconsin. "Everybody has come forward in the community as well as outside the community and asked 'How can we help?'" said Paramjeet Singh, a member of the board of trustees at the Sikh Gurudwara of N.C. On Aug. 5, Wade Michael Page, a...

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Did the July heat suck or what?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

The weather in July in the Triangle was magnificent—if you're a volcano. Or a steel foundry. Or a cactus. Raleigh-Durham International Airport was one of 173 places in the U.S. that set all-time records for the highest temperature in July. RDU hit 105 degrees on July 8; the previous record was set just nine days earlier, on June 30, which also climbed to 105 degrees. In fact, July was the hottest month on record for the U.S., according to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released a report today detailing the record-breaking temperatures. Among the findings:More than 4,400...

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Justice Comes For Blackwater Kinda

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Does the name Academi, LLC ring a bell? It's what the private security contractor that once traded under the name Blackwater Worldwide is now called. That's the same Blackwater that found itself embroiled in scandal after its personnel were involved in a 2007 shootout in Baghdad in which 17 Iraqi civilians died. This afternoon, a North Carolina federal judge unsealed documents detailing the firm's 2010 settlement with the U.S. State Department over multiple violations of the federal Arms Export Control Act. Given the firm's reputation, the details are about what you'd expect of a security contractor operating in a theater...

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Carrboro Family Dollar hits another snag

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Carrboro planners may have rebuffed a Family Dollar developer's designs for settling in an Alabama Avenue historic neighborhood, but local opponents of the discount store aren't breaking out the party hats and streamers just yet. "We've been having these small victories," said community resident Anissa McLendon. "But we can't celebrate 100 percent, maybe we can celebrate about 80 percent." McLendon, along with a band of fired-up neighbors, has led protests and even a march to stymie Raleigh-based builder Will Stronach's plans to build a 8,100-square-foot Family Dollar in the largely residential community. The discount store would be built on less...

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IN WASHINGTON IN PERSON
PLAYWRIGHT DR LARRY MYERS PENNED

"DACA DADA/IMMIGRATION BRAILLE"

IN MIDST OF BUILDING SEIZURE
DIRECTOR …

by CRITIC on "DACA Is Gone, But We're Still Here": Youth Activists Stage a "Death of DACA" Rally in Downtown Raleigh (News)

innocent bystander: You really hit the nail on the head. Nice job. …

by MJKopechne on Wildin Acosta Dropped His Asylum Case and Switched Legal Strategies. Will That Save Him from Being Deported? (News)

This story is all over the place. Starts off with media interviews in a parking lot, dabbles in legal strategy …

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I have a problem with your assertion that Councilor Mendell campaigned on a "slow growth" platform. I think a much …

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This "anti-growth" talking point is not supported by the facts. According to the city of …

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IN WASHINGTON IN PERSON
PLAYWRIGHT DR LARRY MYERS PENNED

"DACA DADA/IMMIGRATION BRAILLE"

IN MIDST OF BUILDING SEIZURE
DIRECTOR …

by CRITIC on "DACA Is Gone, But We're Still Here": Youth Activists Stage a "Death of DACA" Rally in Downtown Raleigh (News)

innocent bystander: You really hit the nail on the head. Nice job. …

by MJKopechne on Wildin Acosta Dropped His Asylum Case and Switched Legal Strategies. Will That Save Him from Being Deported? (News)

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