Local environmental controls  likely to  be whittled down by regulatory reform bill-attachment0

Local environmental controls likely to be whittled down by regulatory reform bill

Rich Ducker calls Senate Bill 612 “a real Christmas tree of a bill – all sorts of things hung on it.” But the biggest issue, says the public law and government specialist, may be a “sleeper issue to some people.” And that’s language that could prevent local environmental ordinances that are any more stringent than state law—something that would likely do away with Buncombe County’s steep-slope ordinance and other regionally specific rules.

Advocates see threats to public education in current legislation

They had to keep rolling out chairs Tuesday night for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions. And in a nutshell, the program message was that the status of public education in the state — which has been quantifiably climbing for years — is about to take a drastic plunge. (photos by Max Cooper)

Following the leaders: Legislative access and locals in power-attachment0

Following the leaders: Legislative access and locals in power

Citizen access to the legislative process in the state has taken a solid step forward via new features on the N.C. General Assembly website, and Buncombe County legislators are taking solid steps forward in the Statehouse itself. Meanwhile, in recent legislative action, Doc Watson and Ruth and Billy Graham are proposed for native accolades.

Mountain Resources Commission goes on chopping block-attachment0

Mountain Resources Commission goes on chopping block

Draft legislation in the N.C. General Assembly would eliminate some 102 state boards and commissions, including the WNC-oriented Mountain Resources Commission and its accompanying Mountain Area Resources Technical Advisory Council. Both were created in the 2009 to address balancing growth and development in the mountains with the preservation of natural resources and farmland.