Sunday sampler

I didn’t post anything last Sunday because nothing impressed me much. Today is different.

Fayetteville: The Observer has the latest chapter in how your state legislature is not working for you. This one is about the funding cut as it applies to emergency judges. Good government watching tax dollars? Maybe, but in real life it means that justice is delayed as cases back up because there are no available judges to hear them. “It’s not clear why the legislature curtailed the use of emergency judges.Republican Sen. Shirley B. Randleman of Wilkesboro filed a bill last year to eliminate all emergency judges. Randleman is a retired clerk of Superior Court. Her bill did not pass. Instead, the legislation that restricted the emergency judges’ assignments appeared in the middle of the 438-page state budget bill that was passed in June.”

Wilmington: It’s always worth noting when the federal government does an about-face on public policy; in this case, on off-shore drilling. The Star-News passes on objections from New Hanover residents. “More than 30 governments have passed resolutions stating opposition to offshore drilling, seismic testing or both, with New Hanover County becoming one of the latest to pass such a resolution in January. Only one government — Carteret County — has a current resolution supporting offshore exploration, with Brunswick walking its own support back in early January during a public meeting attended by more than 200 residents.”

Raleigh: The N&O has a good takeout on the local TV news wars in the Triangle. I don’t know that it’s of general interest to y’all, but given its media focus, it interests me. (Wish the N&R would do a similar piece for here.) “Two TV stations switched network affiliations. One got a new owner. A trusted voice in local news passed away, high-profile departures were announced and a carrier dispute led some viewers to change their news habits for months. And then there was the protracted, nasty dispute over a traditional feel-good event – the Raleigh Christmas parade. And through it all, not as many viewers are actually tuning in, and the battle for those viewers is tighter than ever before.”

Raleigh: How has Gov. Roy Cooper done in his first year as far as keeping his campaign promises? Meh. “As long as the Republicans, with their supermajority numbers, control the legislative process and can override his vetoes, I think he will feel frustrated in terms of wanting specific issues enacted,” said Michael Bitzer, professor of politics and history at Catawba College in Salisbury.

Greensboro: Strangest story to me is in the News & Record. The city of Greensboro wants Duke Energy to replace its old street lights with new LED lights, which will result in a huge savings to the city. “Or more to the point, why has the utility proposed a rate-hike plan that would drive up the city’s street lighting bill by 2.8 percent if Greensboro switches to the new lighting technology — a technology that would save Duke Energy itself lots of money over the years?” Duke’s explanation is, well, opaque.

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