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Archive for August, 2011

Chapel Hill and Raleigh drive business to Durham

Restrictive zoning and anti-business sentiment years ago resulted in New Hope Commons landing on the Durham side of the Durham-Orange county line. It wasn’t long before the powers that be in Chapel Hill were moaning about all the sales tax revenue that Orange County residents were putting into Durham coffers. Tough beans.

Now, on the other side of Durham, Raleigh’s absurd diddling over food trucks has budding entrepreneurs looking westward from the capital city:

After watching yet another round of negotiations end in a stalemate Tuesday, Kinnin said he’s ready to crank up his new truck and hit the road.

“We’ve already decided we’re going to go to Durham,” Kinnin said. “It’s becoming entirely too cumbersome with the restrictions they have in place (in Raleigh), and what they’re talking about.”

I’ve had my differences with Durham leadership over the years (their inclination to dabble in foreign policy being one) but when it comes to food trucks, they’re right on. And to all the food trucks that Raleigh has kicked to the curb, come on over and join the fun here in the Bull City.

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18 Pages of Required Components and a 100-Page Manual and DVD

New Jersey law is about to turn childish, mean behavior among school kids into a major event via its new law called the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. And, in a story that sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit designed to make fun of government bureaucracy, we learn about the ridiculous maze of compliance requirements. From the New York Times:

 

This summer, thousands of school employees attended training sessions on the new law; more than 200 districts have snapped up a $1,295 package put together by a consulting firm that includes a 100-page manual and a DVD.

At a three-hour workshop this month, Philip W. Nicastro, vice president of the firm, Strauss Esmay Associates, tried to reassure a group of newly named antibullying specialists and coordinators gathered in a darkened auditorium at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

“I know many of you came in here saying, ‘Holy cow, I’m going to be dealing with 10 reports a day because everything is bullying,’ ” he told the audience, some of whom laughed nervously.

Afterward, Meg Duffy, a counselor at the Hillside Intermediate School in Bridgewater, acknowledged that the new law was “a little overwhelming.” She said cyberbullying increased at her school last year, with students texting or posting mean messages about classmates.

The law also requires districts to appoint a safety team at each school, made up of teachers, staff members and parents, toreview complaints. It orders principals to begin an investigation within one school day of a bullying episode, and superintendents to provide reports to Trenton twice a year detailing all episodes. Statewide, there were 2,846 such reports in 2008-9, the most recent year for which a total was available.

 

Bullying has always existed and it will continue to exist. When kids do it, they should be disciplined quickly and firmly. This New Jersey law is the classic over-reach based on the faulty premise that government intervention and new laws are the solution to a problem.

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Do It On Your Own Time and Your Own Dime

Just when you think you’ve read it all, there’s this story: Kentucky is paying some employees to take exercise breaks.

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Helloooo! This is what we’ve been saying

Many commentators and bloggers, including this one, have criticized Muslim leaders in this country for not condemning Islamofascism in no uncertain terms. Islamist apologists have responded by saying, “We have, we have.” But anyone who consumes news knows that the number of Muslim leaders who have done so forcefully are almost non-existent.

Now comes information via a Pew Research study that our criticism has been well-placed. A new poll shows that most Mulsims actually agree with us:

The Pew study found that six in 10 U.S.-born Muslims faulted Islamic leaders for not speaking out against extremism, as did 43 percent of Muslim immigrants.

The usual suspects were quick out of the block to say we, and half of all Muslims in the country, are simply mistaken:

Officials with Muslim advocacy groups say that they have spoken out repeatedly against extremists but that the American public, including Muslims, often doesn’t hear about it.

Sure, because the news media is arrayed against Muslims. Riiight.

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2 NC cities make “fun and frugal” list

Better Homes and Garden Real Estate has taken it upon themselves to discover the top ten places in America where you can have fun without spending a bunch of money. Two North Carolina cities made the list, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Here is the tale of the tape for both:

7. Wilmington, North Carolina
Number of bars and restaurants: 186
Population: 32,878
Median home price: $178,900

10. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Number of bars and restaurants: 169
Population: 33,822
Median home price: $135,000

I’m not sure of their methodology here. Just because the median price of a home is low doesn’t mean a mixed drink won’t set you back $9. I notice Anchorage, Alaska, is on the list, and from everything I’ve heard about Anchorage, everything costs a ton because of shipping costs. Same goes for the Hawaii town that also made the list.

But, hey, the local chambers of commerce will undoubtedly feel privileged to have made the list and will no doubt be sending out press releases.

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Union Postal Workers Paid To Do Absolutely Nothing

Hmm. I can’t imagine why the US Postal Service is an inefficient, bloated, outdated operation that is bleeding cash. For those who continue to support labor unions, take a look at what an audit has found. From Politico:

Labor agreements mandate that postal employees have a certain amount of guaranteed work hours, which means that they cannot be laid off during periods of low mail volume or unplanned events like the breakdown of equipment. This leads to “standby time,” in which employees spend the day doing nothing — for example, waiting in a cafeteria or breakroom.

In fiscal 2009, the Postal Service logged over 1.2 million hours in standby time, costing the agency more than $30 million. This declined to around $20 million in 2010 and is on track to be less than $10 million this year.

 

I guess we’re supposed to cheer that this complete waste of money will be “less than $10 million this year.” But hey, the get-paid-to-do-absolutely-nothing approach worked great for union teachers  in New York for years. 

 

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Citizens’ Constitutional Workshop September 10 in Sanford

These workshops have been very popular in other parts of the state. Register today to attend. Pre-registration is required. More information on the JLF speakers and topics to be covered can be found here. 

 

Saturday, September 10, 2011
9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Grace Christian School: 2601 Jefferson Davis Highway, Sanford, NC 27332

Price: $8 (includes lunch)



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Duke laxers have big impact on MLL this season

Four Duke lacrosse players made big marks on Major League Lacrosse this year. Three of them were the object of the “progressive” pot-bangers of Trinity Park back in 2006 when the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax began. Nice to see them survive and thrive.

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But They Don’t

After being told they can no longer meet at the Chapel Hill/Carrboro YMCA because they won’t sign the Y’s policy about sexuality, the Boy Scouts have been welcomed by the American Legion. 

John Akerman, scout director of the Occoneechee Council, said he also could not recall the issue coming up in his seven years as leader of the 12-county group. The council currently has 12,785 Scouts in 520 units.

“We’ve never had to deal with it,” Akerman said of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA’s action. “This is really the first time.”

“We hate that it happened,” he added. “We hate that we had to leave. But we respect their position, as we hope they respect ours.”

Mr. Akerman, your new home sounds wonderful. But let’s be clear: the Chapel Hill/Carrboro YMCA board does NOT respect your view. They kicked you out because they expect you to endorse theirs.

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“Help” From Government To Result in Price Hike For Table Saws

Common sense tells you that using a table saw comes with risk for whacking off a finger. Whether it’s because the user isn’t paying enough attention or just sheer accident, risk is part of using a powerful blade to chop things into pieces. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, however, there should be no risk to using a table saw, and they’re about to use the power of government to “help” make that happen — even though the mandated “fix” could hike the price by as much as 40 percent. It’s just one more example of the push to create a nanny state in which risk is no longer part of life.  Today, if a consumer gets hurt using a table saw and he/she can prove in court that the injury was a result of a defective product or fraud on the part of the manufacturer, then the consumer can collect damages. It works. And yes, under a reality-based system, a few people are going to lose fingers in the process. Grow up, folks. Accepting risk is part of being an adult.

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