Community News

Commentary & Guest Columns 

Guest Column: Senate has other choices to help poorer counties

The N.C. Senate budget proposes to alter the formula for distributing sales tax to benefit smaller, poorer counties. Rural counties, with little retail and meager property tax bases, can use more money for schools and basic services. However, when it came to how to raise that money, the Senate had other choices.
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Guest Column: The Science of Shark Bites

Even before “Shark Week” began last week, we all witnessed a recent feeding frenzy of reporters all seeking “sound bites” on what has been causing the high incidence of shark attacks off the North Carolina coast. Unfortunately, sound bites do not lend themselves to proper public communication of science because they are divorced from the process by which scientists reach conclusions. 
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Commentary: CCA is all about catching fish for fun, not food

Readers of the June 26, 2015 op-ed written by the executive director of the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina might have the impression that the organization is all about protecting marine resources.

But the CCA's record over the last 30 years shows a grab for the resource – working to make sure that access to the public trust resource is restricted to recreational anglers and off limits to commercial fishermen. It’s an ugly track record with calls for gamefish status for three delicious fish, which would make them off limits to commercial fishermen and remove striped bass, speckled trout, and red drum from your dinner plate.
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Commentary: About those ferry priority passes

Well hidden in the recently passed North Carolina General Assembly Senate budget -- page 423 of a 500-plus page document – is a proposal that anyone who wants a pass to be in the priority lane for the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry would have to purchase one for $150.

The Ocracoke Observer writes that folks waiting in the ferry line for hours have seen islanders and vendors drive right up to the dock and board. This privilege may seem unfair to those having to wait, but here is another view.
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Commentary:  The missing sense of urgency in Raleigh

It promises to be a long hot summer in the Legislative Building in Raleigh as House and Senate leaders try to come up with a final budget agreement for the next two years with hundreds of millions of dollars and dozens of policy issues in dispute between the two chambers’ spending plans.

A report prepared by staff members that lists the differences between the House and Senate budget runs 372 pages long and does not include many of the major policy sticking points like Medicaid reform and changing the way local sales tax revenues are distributed.
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Commentary: Changes to flounder plan not fair to our commercial fishermen

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission is meeting in New Bern today to take comments on draft proposals to supplement Amendment 1 of the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.

That might sound like a routine housekeeping step needed to ensure the viability of the state’s fishery resources. However, it is not. 
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Guest Column:  County officials must unite on dredging and nourishment issues

The chairman of Dare County's Democratic Party urges the county's commissioners to stop dividing us and start pulling the county together to solve the challenges we face. 
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