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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Duke study finds elevated gas levels near fracking sites

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Major news for frack-followers: A Duke University study published this week finds homeowners living near fracking wells may be at an elevated risk of drinking water contamination. The study, performed by researchers at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, analyzed 141 drinking water samples from water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania, prime fracking country. According to the study, methane concentrations were six times higher and ethane concentrations were 23 times higher at homes within a kilometer of shale gas operations. Propane was found in 10 samples, all of them within a kilometer of fracking sites. Robert Jackson, a study co-author and...

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Goddess bless the Wayback Machine: Here's the scrubbed Civitas staff list

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM

As INDY Week reported earlier, we researched the Civitas Institute staff via its website this morning. And then poof! the staff list disappeared except for President Francis X. De Luca. Well, nothing really ever goes away on the Interwebs, so thanks to the wayback machine we found the Civitas staff list before the scrubbing. Here it is, just so you know we weren't imagining it....

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Who's who at Civitas? Let's name names

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 2:44 PM

The outrage is boiling over about the ultra-conservative Civitas Institute, which this week published personal, albeit publicly available, information about the protesters arrested at Moral Monday demonstrations: mug shots, party affiliations, cities of residence and, taking a page from the white supremacist intimidation playbook, their employers. Well, turnabout is fair play: Here is a list of people on staff and on the board of the Civitas Institute and its sister organization, Civitas Action. civitas_whos_who.pdf Coincidentally, when we were building this database this morning, all the names were listed on the Civitas Institute website. Now, only Francis X. De Luca, Civitas...

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Chuck Wakild, director of Division of Water Quality, leaving the agency

Posted By on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

A top official at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced he is leaving his post effective today. Chuck Wakild, the director of the Division of Water Quality, told his staff, "I will be leaving my job as director effective today and will be retiring from state service at the end of August," according to an email obtained by INDY Week. He thanked his staff and closed the email by writing, "Change brings opportunities and I encourage you to look for them as we all move ahead." Wakild (WAY-killed) has been director of DWQ since 2012. He has...

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fracking bill passes House environment committee

Posted By on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Sen. E.S. "Buck" Newton, R-Johnston, Nash, Wilson, sponsored Senate Bill 76. Fast-track fracking legislation, Senate Bill 76, is headed for the House floor after the chamber's Environment Committee gave its approval of the measure Thursday morning. Sen. E.S. "Buck" Newton, a Republican from Johnston, Nash and Wilson counties who co-sponsored the bill, said the drilling has the potential to create thousands of jobs and billions in revenues (for more on those expectations, see here). "Do we want to sit around and twiddle our thumbs for another 15 to 20 years and do nothing when other states have been doing it...

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fast-track fracking bill passes House commerce committee

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, sponsored Senate Bill 76. As expected, fast-track fracking legislation, Senate Bill 76, passed the House Commerce and Job Development Committee Wednesday morning, although with several notable departures from the version passed by Senate leaders in February. Those differences, according to fracking opponent and Environment N.C. Director Elizabeth Ouzts, include stripping the legislation of language allowing the injection of fracking waste underground. The House version also removes a provision booting environmental and geological experts from the regulatory Mining and Energy Commission, the panel tasked with preparing the state's regulatory structure for drilling. The bill's key point—authorizing the...

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In voting no on 751, Durham expects retaliation from lawmakers

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

This post was updated at 11:09 a.m. with post-vote remarks by Eugene Brown. The Durham City Council would not be pawns. Council voted 4-3 Monday night against the annexation of 751 South, the controversial project planned for the Jordan Lake watershed. By doing so, the council also refused to extend water and sewer service to the 253-acre development that under recent negotiations, bundled the already-built Colvard Farms in southern Durham County into the deal. Voting no were Councilors Eugene Brown, Diane Catotti, Don Moffitt and Steve Schewel. Mayor Bill Bell, Mayor Pro Tempore Cora Cole-McFadden and Councilman Howard Clement voted...

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Durham City Council votes no on 751 annexation

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 11:36 PM

By a 4-3 vote, Durham City Council voted against annexing 751 South and extending water and sewer service to the controversial proposed development. Yes: Mayor Bill Bell, Mayor Pro Tempore Cora Cole-McFadden and Councilman Howard ClementNo: Councilmen Don Moffitt, Steve Schewel and Eugene Brown and Councilwoman Diane Catotti. Check back tomorrow for more details and in the June 5 edition of INDY Week....

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151 arrested at Moral Monday protest

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

"Moral Monday" protests, which began more than a month ago with 17 arrests, are starting to get real. A crowd of roughly 1,500 people, almost three times larger than any previous protest, gathered on Halifax Mall behind the Legislative Building Monday. Another 151 were then arrested after entering the Legislative Building and refusing to disperse. Monday's wave of protests brings the arrest total to 304. The protests have been organized by a coalition of progressive organizations, which is headed up by the state branch of the NAACP, in response to a dizzying array of legislation, from cutting Medicaid and...

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