MSD board discusses potential lease of Asheville watershed property

While there was no formal action taken, the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District has reviewed what were called “underlying assumptions” used by staff in studying the proposed merger of the Asheville water system with MSD’s operation. The option of leasing the approximately 20,000 acres of protected watershed, leaving ownership in the hands of the city, was one item on that list of eight.

Back to the future in North Carolina

Democrats controlled the N.C. Legislature for 140 years. Less than two years after Republicans took control of the North Carolina General Assembly, they skillfully managed to get a constitutional amendment passed, voiding all civil unions as well as guaranteeing [that] gay men and women in North Carolina have no equal protection under the law and […]

Multiple choice

The Joint Committee on Regulatory Reform, established by North Carolina legislators this year, is on the road. Its mission: Scrutinize “burdensome state rules and regulations on behalf of the private sector.” The 18-member team wants to hear from business and farm owners around the state concerning “outdated rules and regulations that should be eliminated.” The […]

Will the real budget deficit please stand still?

In a bit of a shell game, legislators continued to formulate their approach to the state’s budget deficit even as the governor announced that new projections had erased $1 billion of the originally predicted $3.7 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year. (The projected deficit was subsequently scaled down to $2.4 billion.) Meanwhile, the Legislature […]

NC Matters

Entering her fourth term in the N.C. General Assembly, Rep. Susan Fisher of the 114th District is the senior representative from Buncombe County. As a Democrat, however, she lost the leadership positions she held last year as Republicans took control of both houses of the Legislature in January. "None of the Democrats are seeing office-holding […]

Cansler, Nesbitt forecast better days for mental health

Lanier Cansler, North Carolina’s new secretary of health and human services, minced no words, proclaiming, “I’ve made it clear: Mental-health reform is over.” Citing a pattern of “constant change and problems” since 2001’s failed attempt to transition patients from state hospitals into community-care networks that never adequately materialized, Cansler declared, “We’ve got to create the […]

Legislature looks at absentee voting, animal tethering, mandatory testing in schools-attachment0

Legislature looks at absentee voting, animal tethering, mandatory testing in schools

Among the far-ranging topics of legislation submitted in the N.C. General Assembly over the past week were bills that would amend the absentee voting law, permit immediate euthanization of stray animals that bite humans, limit mandatory testing in the public schools, and provide written parental notification when a student is recommended for expulsion or suspension.