Author Archives: Ken Lang

Another wind farm proposed. This time next door to Cherry Point

mill_pond_windfarm
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November 11, 2013  —  Some, including us, have long felt that Downeast is the “red headed stepchild at the family reunion,” so to speak, in North Carolina politics. Raleigh has for decades catered to the timber companies that have stymied development while shipping our resources, and the profits therefrom, out of state and now in recent years, out of the country. In recent months we have seen the departments of Defense and Agriculture trying to tie up thousands of acres of land in Eastern North Carolina to prevent development to its highest and best uses. Now Downeast is being hit with another “anti-development” scam called “green energy.”

We say “scam” because the fundamental essence of green energy is that it cannot stand on its own economic legs and relies on taxpayer subsidies and then the result of the energy produced by wind mills and solar farms cost the rate payers more than conventional generated energy, thus adding to the cost of doing business and thereby handicapping economic growth and development.

While the proposed Pantego Wind Farm flies under the public’s radar another huge project is now being proposed in Carteret County near Cherry Point Marine Air Station. It’s being called the Mill Pond facility by its developer, Torch Renewable Energy, LLC. That link will take you to a document related to a November 5, 2013 meeting held in Wilmington (yes, in Wilmington but we don’t know why it was scheduled so far away) but it was covered by the Carteret News-Times.

You will note in the presentation materials that Torch says they have satisfied the concerns of the Marine Corps about the windmills being in the flight paths of planes from Cherry Point Air Station. Reliable sources tell us there is a simple reason Torch can claim it has satisfied the military’s concerns…local Marine commanders have been order to “sit down and shut up” about the proposal. And we suspect the top brass in the Pentagon have also been told by the White House to stand down on anything “green” related.

But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the problem. Page 12 of the report shows the project to be within the FAA’s designated air space of Cherry Point. But the real issue can be seen on Page 18 where part of the project is within the flight space where structures as tall as these windmills would be constructed. Now in fairness to Torch, they say they have “moved about 10 structures” out of the red area of the map on Page 18, but that still leaves the project immediately adjacent to the approach path of jets landing at Cherry Point. Blue area on the map. Gives a new meaning to the cliché “close enough for government work.”

One retired Marine/Navy aviator tells us: “this is the stupidest idea I’ve seen in many years. To put wind turbines right next to a glide path to one of the most critical installations on the east coast defies common sense. On a clear day if everything is working correctly there probably will not typically be a major problem. But let a low ceiling move in and a pilot be hit with equipment malfunction and we could have a disaster on our hands. I once had to make a hard landing that if I had been using this runway at Cherry Point with a low thrust engine problem I would have hit one of these things because I did not have the power to follow the normal approach. Why would we subject our aviators to these risks?”

Indeed. Why would we even be considering such a thing?

Wind and solar generated electricity depend on being on government welfare. They can’t make it work on their own with government subsidies..

John Droz, Jr., a well-known and highly respected expert on wind energy, says that the project does not make sense from many other perspectives. He writes that North Carolina’s public policy related to “renewable energy” is in critical need of review and revision. He points to the Wise Energy website for a wealth of documentation, with specific proposals for addressing the issues related to such projects. You can keep abreast of what is happening with Mill Pond and other energy related issues by signing up for the AWED newsletter at aaprjohn@northnet.org.

Our military expert also says that retired military personnel need to step forward and advocate for the aviators’ interests because political correctness from Washington has stifled the local active duty leadership from saying what they actually believe about this project. But he assures us that his contacts at Cherry Point are extremely concerned about the proposal.

Update 2: Newport Wind Project with Map

Please read this new excellent article about the Newport industrial wind project.
Torch_MillPond_Map_Small
For the first time we can see specific map as to where this will be. See attached. Turbines will be clearly visible from Highway 70, well into Morehead City.
Independent studies elsewhere have concluded that such industrialization decreases tourism (some samples are here, and here, and here, and here, and here). The Crystal Coast is heavily dependent on tourism dollars, so who is taking this cost into account?
—————
I like the fact that the article focused on the military impact.
What most civilians do not know, is that military personnel (including base commanders) have been specifically ordered not to speak out publicly against any wind energy projects. So, when the Cherry Point base commander says little (if anything) about the military issues resulting from the Newport project, it does NOT mean that there are no problems!
The fact is that local military personnel are preparing an internal report that identifies about a half dozen areas of concern — but this document will remain confidential, and not be available to the public.
In my opinion, the best way we can protect our military bases is to have Town, County and state regulations that provide comprehensive protections to citizens and the environment, near any wind project. I have passed on effective words to Newport and Carteret officials.
The second best way is to have retired military personnel do the candid talking that active military have been prohibited from doing. Anyone who is interested in helping with that, please contact me.
————
This article also provided a link to the slide presentation made by the developer, last week in Wilmington. There is a wealth of misinformation in that marketing material.
To give you an idea how to translate this self-serving material, I’ve written up comments based on a quickie review — see attached pdf.
As always, let me know any questions.
john droz, jr.
PS — If there are others who you think would benefit from being on this list, please let me know the specifics. If at any time you’d like to be taken off, please let me know that too.

 

 

Update 1: Newport Wind Project

You may have heard about the proposed wind energy project for Newport, NC (Carteret County). [Note: these are 450± foot structures in Mill Creek, where the trees are about 75± feet tall.]
A mailing list has been put together for citizens who’d like to keep up on this important local (and statewide) matter. To be included, please email Morehead City physicist John Droz. You can get off at any time.
There have been several mailings already, as quite a bit is happening quickly. Below is John’s synopsis of where things are now…
You may want to find out where your elected officials stand on this issue. Start with Representative Pat McElraft, email – Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Senator Norman Sanderson, email – Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Carteret County Commissioner, Chairman Greg Lewis, email – greg.lewis@carteretcountygov.org. Contact information for other County Commissioners here.
—————-
 
This is a complex technical matter. If you’d like it digested down to a soundbite, here it is:
Industrial wind energy is a net economics and net environmental loser, that has no scientifically proven net benefits.
To get a more in-depth understanding of how we got here, please peruse (as a minimum) the following:
1 – Senate Bill 3: a 2007 NC law that mandates a certain % of renewables. The real-world consequences of this are:
a) Most of this requirement will be met by wind energy (for a variety of reasons), and
b) ALL of that wind energy will be on the coast (onshore or offshore), due to the Ridge Act which protects NC mountains. (There is no comparable law that protects the NC coast.)
c) For the realities about wind energy see WiseEnergy.org and (in particular) EnergyPresentation.info

 

2 – Senate Bill 3 is a poor idea for many reasons. Here I explain some of the economic and environmentalproblems.
 
3 – “Affordable & Reliable Energy Act” (H298): was a good 2013 proposal to fix Senate Bill 3. It got pulled for political reasons.
 
4 – “Wind Permitting Bill” (H484): a 2013 NC law which was intended to protect NC military, but it really doesn’t.
 
5 – The current version of the document I sent to legislators about the deficiencies with H484 — which are legion.
6 – Per H484, DENR is the lead agency overseeing the state level wind permitting process. In our view their focus should be to protect: nearby citizens, the nearby environment, and affected NC military bases. To date these do not seem to be their priority. [If you’re interested I can send you a copy of an email I sent to the DENR Secretary, detailing some concerns so far.]
 
7 – The proposed project is roughly half in the town of Newport (Mill Creek), and half in unincorporated parts of Carteret County.
 
8 – Carteret County has Tall Structure ordinance, that addresses some aspects of wind development. Since this was written in 2008, we have learned a lot more about industrial wind energy, so this needs major updating. I’ve marked up suggestions to improve that law.
 
9 – Newport has no wind ordinance. They are currently working on writing and approving such a law. At their invitation I met with them to give them suggestions on how to do this well. They were appreciative and the meeting was constructive.
 
10-My recommendations were that they focus their efforts on four technical areas, and require an Escrow Account. The details of these suggestions are spelled out here. [There will be a town meeting about this on Thursday, November 14th.]
Until H484 is fixed, the burden will be on towns and counties to write detailed and effective wind laws.
Let me know any questions.
regards,
john droz, jr.
physicist & environmental advocate
Morehead City, NC

Letter to the Editor by Portage County, OH TEA Party

Portage County TEA Party

4682 State Route 43 • Kent, Ohio • 44240 • 330-474-3878 • 330-673-4672 (Fax)

 

November 7, 2013

 

Ravenna Record Courier

126 North Chestnut Street

Ravenna, OH  44266

 

Dear Editor,

 

I would like to make your readers aware of a change in our national media narrative. The lies, and the liars, are now being exposed, and the public is learning that the TEA Party speaks the truth.

 

With this letter, I am submitting to this newspaper a letter from State Auditor Dave Yost to the Field School Board. It shows dozens of cases of accounting mistakes and policy violations. While they kept insisting for years that we must pass a new levy, our members asked Treasurer Vokac and the Board honest, pointed, financial questions. We were called liars and worse and our personal integrity was attacked – many times in letters to this newspaper. Now we know the truth, the TEA Party was right to question their financial projections, and Mr. Vokac and the Board members who hired him are gone.

 

Two years ago, as President of the the Ohio Liberty Coalition, I publicly told the IRS that we would not comply with their outrageous demands and their attempts to restrict our first amendment rights.  We were dismissed as conspiracy theorists. The media narrative was that the TEA Party was just a bunch of bigots, racists, homophobes, islamophobes, and Nazi’s, who could not be believed.  That was the lie that was intended to discredit their critics and hide the truth. But we did prove that the Obama administration, by its own admission, used the IRS and other government agencies for political targeting.  Our efforts helped disclose to Americans that their government was reading our emails, tracking our webpage visits, listening to our phone calls and sharing our private information with political groups. The TEA Party took incredible abuse for years, simply because we told the truth, that you did not want to hear. 

 

Finally, over the past six weeks, the President, Senator Reid, and Speaker Pelosi defined the media narrative that the “TEA Party Republicans” and the TEA Party were a bunch of “terrorists”, holding the government “hostage”, “holding a gun to the head of the President”, and we were “extortionist.” They said that we were crazy to shut the government down in an effort to stop Obamcare, when in truth the President and his staff had orchestrated the shutdown months ahead of time for purely political purposes. We were trying to stop this disaster. They repeated the President’s lies about Obamacare, that you could keep your doctor, and your plan, and that your costs would go down. We said that Obamacare would raise the cost and reduce the quality of healthcare, that it was not ready, that it should be defunded or at least delayed. Now we all know that Obamacare is a disaster, and all of our concerns are true.

 

It is clear that the media, and many of your readers, have been wrong about the TEA Party from the start. They demonize us because many do not want to face the truth about themselves or our nation.  The truth is that government is not the answer, it is the problem. The truth is that capitalism works and socialism doesn’t. The truth is that good paying jobs are what people want, not handouts. The truth is that individual freedom and liberty, and the opportunity to work hard and get ahead, is what made America great. America is finally beginning to see the Truth and it’s name is the TEA Party – join us.

 

Tom Zawistowski

Executive Director

Portage County TEA Party

Local News – Newport Wind Project

A Texas company is proposing to develop a Wind Farm Enery Project in Newport, NC. This wind farm may consist of 50 windmills each which will be 450 feet tall. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources  (DENR) is reported to be bending over backwards for this wind developer in supporting the project. Even to the extent of having the first meeting that DENR refused to classify as a planning or scoping meeting (so what was it) in Wilmington, NC (not in Newport where most people affected are). It is also not clear where our local NC House member, Representative Pat McElraft, stands on the Newport Wind Project. Some have expressed concern that because of her close relationship to House Speaker Thom Tillis who killed a key bill (H298) in the last session, Representative McElraft may be turning a blind-eye to the Newport Wind Project and the residents of Carteret County. We hope that is bunk!

Some Newport Town officials are reported to have attended the Wilmington meeting held by DENR. Someone reported they were dismayed at DENR’s support of the wind development company to the detriment to the Town of Newport and citizens of Carteret County. The Town of Newport plans to hold a meeting soon to discuss the project. As details emerge, we will keep you advised. The Town of Newport is also developing a local ordinance for projects such as this wind farm project that will need your review and input. Some have suggested that the Carteret County Commissioners via the County Planning Board need to develop strict standards for the county for these projects.

Below are some emails that have been circulated if you want to dig into the details of the project and the history a bit more. Continue reading

Letter to Constituent from Kay Hagan on Gay Marriage (now renamed by Liberals)

     October 22, 2013

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me about marriage equality. I appreciate your reaching out to me on this important issue.

Marriage equality is a complex issue with strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue. After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.

This was not a decision I came to overnight. The fabric of North Carolina and what makes our state so special is our families and our common desire for a brighter future for our children. No matter what your family looks like, we all want the same thing for our families – happiness, health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren.

Religious institutions should have religious freedom on this issue. No church or minister should ever have to conduct a marriage that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. But I think as a civil institution, this issue’s time has come and we need to move forward. Jobs and the economy are the number one issue for me and for North Carolinians right now, and I’m not going to take my eye off that ball at a time when so many are still struggling.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns. If you would like to stay informed on my work in the Senate, you can sign up for my e-newsletter, follow me on Twitter at @SenatorHagan, or visit my Facebook page.

Sincerely,

Signature

Common Core Presentation in Jacksonville, NC

Confused about Common Core?

 

Don’t know what Common Core is?

 

Or maybe you just have questions about the, the bad and the ugly about

 

Common Core and your child’s education?

 

Then come meet the experts.

 

Join us at an open forum on

 

November 12th at First Freewill Baptist Church

 

at

 

919 Gum Branch Road in Jacksonville.

 

The time is 7:00pm

 

This is NOT a script put out by the North Carolina or

 

Onslow County Boards of Education.

 

These are the FACTS about Common Core presented by

 

Lindalyn Kakadelis, Director of the North Carolina Education Alliance

 

with the John Locke Foundation; and

 

Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project

 

and renowned Common Core expert

 

 

 

This event is sponsored by concerned parents and grandparents of Onslow County

Common Core Presentation by Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association

Public Service Announcement

October 28, 2013

 

Kim Fink, Common Core Committee Chairman for Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA), recently made a 5 minute speech to the Craven County Board of Education on behalf of CCTA. Kim packed an enormous amount of information into 5 minutes, and says she was able to do it by “talking fast and not breathing.” Kim’s talk is reprinted here…

 

 

My name is Kim Fink, and I am representing Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association and I am the committee chair investigating Common Core.

 

We are fundamentally opposed to Common Core Standards.

Our reasons include:

It’s not legal; Congress has passed three separate statutes that prohibit the Department of education from supervising, directing or controlling curriculum. By using the CC standards and the associated national testing to define the curriculum, they are violating all 3 statutes.

Inception of Common Core: In 2009, the Secy. Of Education, Arnie Duncan gave the Dept. of Education 435 billion dollars of stimulus money that was used to fund the Race to the Top competition. Another incentive to the states was a waiver from the No Child Left Behind program.   To compete for this grant money, states had to agree to adopt Common Core, sight unseen. How did this happen? The application for the grants was released in November of 2009. Completed applications were due in 2 months, January of 2010. I remind you that at this time our state was desperate for money for education. Our legislators were not in session during November and December so the decision to apply for the grant was made by the Governor and state board of education. The standards were released in March of 2010, 2 months AFTER applying for the grant. Kind of reminds me of Obamacare, you had to pass it in order to see what was in it.   In June of 2010 the final draft of the Common Core Standards was released and the school board had until August for their final vote, NC state board of education voted unanimously on June 2, 2010 to adopt Common Core. This decision was made during summer vacation with little involvement from local districts, principals, teachers or parents. According to the John Locke Foundation, there was only one NC participant in developing Common Core, Professor Jere Confrey of the NC State University College of education.   These standards were adopted statewide without being field tested. There is no evidence to suggested that Common Core Standards are successful

 

Standards versus curriculum argument:   Proponents say the CC standards are not the curriculum; the states are free to change the curriculum. This is misleading as the standards drive the curriculum. The curriculum is merely the details of teaching the standards. The National tests will align with the standards, which will dictate the curriculum so students will be able to pass the tests.   When states sign on to CC they have agreed to the standards plus assessments, those tests will be the enforcement mechanism. David Coleman is the primary author of the English Language Arts portion of the Common Core, and is also the new President of the College board. He wants to align the SATs with CC; again this will assure the implementation of the CC curriculum.

Data Collection: When the NC agreed to Common Core, they agreed to aggressive online data collection of the students as well as the teachers. The Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System(CEDARS) is the states longitudinal data system that incorporates the financial systems, teacher licensure, federally required data reporting, and student information from Power School, testing data and student transcripts. Included is personal information like test scores, disciplinary records, health history, medications, immunizations, student vehicle descriptions, family income range, religious affiliation, attitudes persistence, political affiliation etc. Allot of non-academic things that parents are not comfortable with, and have not given permission to share with anyone else, thanks to a presidential executive order allowing the data to be shared with any entity, public or private as long as it describes the sharing as necessary to an audit or evaluation of a federal program. This is from the amended regulations of “Family education rights in privacy act”

 

Why was CC adopted without being field tested, why weren’t other testing standards looked at? I think the answer is the money.   We all want what is best for our children. North Carolina is a Local Control State, which means the local school board is the FINAL authority on decisions of our County. We can’t choose the state tests, but we can choose to adopt whatever standards we want, and directly per Ms Alexis Schauss of the NC Board of Education, we will not lose access to State or Federal Funding should we choose a curriculum and standards other than Common Core, but may lose the Race to the Top grants. I strongly urge you to consider other non-nationalized options.

Why ccta cares: A major concern is how we are going to pay for the continued implementation of CC, the required infrastructure, the computers, the testing, textbooks and materials, the training/retraining of teachers and administration. The tax payer cost has been estimated to be between $300 million and $525 million over the next 7 years.

We care about the loss of parental rights, loss of input from teachers, principals, local and state school boards.   CCTA is more comfortable with Craven county school officials than we are with the state and federal bureaucrats and their associated agendas. The Common Core curriculum is a copyrighted program that doesn’t allow for deviation, although you can add up to 15% of content, you cannot delete any part of the standards. We oppose Social indoctrination of our children where they will be taught what to think instead of how to think.

I have collected allot of data on Common Core, my sources include The John Birch Society, The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Civitas, The John Locke Foundation, The North Carolina Education Alliance, The American Principals Project , the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law , Michelle Malkin, and even Wikipedia. I have forwarded information to all of the craven country school board members on more than one occasion. I am disappointed that only one of you has seen fit to reply to any of my correspondence. Since I can prove I have reasons to be concerned, Can you give us any reasons not to be?

                                                                                                                     

Info provided by:

Raynor James, PR Chair, Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA)

252-288-6228 (home)

252-626-2804 (cell)

305 Calico Drive, New Bern, North Carolina, 28560

Letter to the Editor – Sun Journal

To sjletters@newbernsj.com
Oct 21 at 11:38 AM

Today there was an article in the  Sun Journal by an individual who accuses all those who refuse to lockstep with the President and the Senate of the United States as traitors to their country.  This letter fundamentally displays why this country has reached an all time high of division and disagreement.  I don’t know where the individual attended school, but he was ill served as the letter showed a poor understanding of the English language, and a complete failure to grasp the fundamental ideas of the Constitution and the role of government.  He would, however,  have been a perfect citizen of Hitler’s Germany.

Unfortunately, the writer is not alone in his thinking.  Thanks to an education system which has ignored teaching our founding documents and history, we have a citizenry that is ill-equipped to make rational judgments.  A corrupt, biased media further aids the cause of the left by either under-reporting, selective reporting, or spinning the news to fit their agenda.  Add an apathetic public who prefers cake and circuses over engaging in the workings of government, and you have a recipe for complete disaster.  And that doesn’t even count those who depend on the government for the basic necessities of life.

I would remind the writer of the aforementioned letter, that the government was responsible for numerous ills of our Nation’s history, including but not limited to slavery, eugenics, interment of the Japanese, the Fugitive Slave Act, and Jim Crow laws.  It was the courage of individual citizens who forced government to change their policies, not the other way around.  So when he attacks those who disagree with the government,  he is putting Martin Luther King in that same esteemed company.

Because of my allegiance to the First Amendment, I may disagree with every word the writer espouses, but I will defend to the death his right to say it.  I doubt, however, that he would allow me the same freedom.

Nancy Murdoch

Havelock, NC

Who Shut Down the Government?

Who Shut Down the Government?
Thomas Sowell | Oct 04, 2013
Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.
There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.
This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.
As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.
Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.
ObamaCare is indeed “the law of the land,” as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.
But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.
The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies — unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.
Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who — if anybody — “wants to shut down the government.” But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.
The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a “clean” bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word “clean” like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?
If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.
You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.
When Barack Obama keeps claiming that it is some new outrage for those who control the money to try to change government policy by granting or withholding money, that is simply a bald-faced lie. You can check the history of other examples of “legislation by appropriation” as it used to be called.
Whether legislation by appropriation is a good idea or a bad idea is a matter of opinion. But whether it is both legal and not unprecedented is a matter of fact.
Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.
Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that only means that government is not allowed to run up new debt. But that does not mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.
None of this is rocket science. But unless the Republicans get their side of the story out — and articulation has never been their strong suit — the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose.

Letter to the Editor, Common Core

 

There are several Onslow County citizens that have been trying to stop the infliction of Common Core on the education system of this county.  We have tried to educate our fellow citizens in meetings and face to face discussions, as well as informing the County School Board about this “progressive” educational inhibitor. 

 

Recently I had the opportunity to talk before the school board about the increase in the school budget this would cause, but was only allowed 3 minutes.  I did not get to finish what needed to be said, so that information is what follows.

 

—————————————————————

 

My thanks to the Onslow County School Board for this opportunity to speak.

 

What I have to talk about has to do with the budget for the Onslow County School system and the affect Common Core will have on it.  According to the state of North Carolina, the cost for the Common Core Standards is an increase of $389 per student.  I am not sure if that is correct. 

 

There are Professional Development courses that are required to train the teachers on the new Common Core academic standards and methods.  This Professional Teacher Development will cost $1,931 per teacher.  There are 1,565 teachers.  That is a cost of $3,022,015.  There are the 26 Instructional Coordinators that are in the system and they will need the training.  That cost is $50,206.  I don’t know if the teacher’s assistants or the Instructional Aids will need the training, but there are 527 of them.  That would be a cost of $1,017,637.  This runs to a total of $4,089,858.  This is with a student to teacher ratio of 15 to 1. 

 

The records show the current student testing cost is about $10 per student.  The student testing under Common Core will go to $28 or $29 per student.  That is an increase of $18 or $19 per test per student.  The test questions will be made public after the test so each year new questions and tests will need to be developed so the cost will just go up.  These tests are purchased from an outside source.  According to the county records there are 24,046 students. With the increase in student testing charges of $18 or $19 per student per test that means the increase in testing cost will be $456,874.

 

I could not find any information on the cost of new text books that would be needed, so I am going to project a cost of $30 per book and I think that will be low.  This would be approximately $750,000 or in other terms, three quarters of a million dollars.  

 

So far that comes to a total increase in spending of $5,296,732.  Some of this will be one-time expenditures, but much will be reoccurring cost that will do nothing but climb over the years until the county and state can no longer carry the load and we have to turn our entire educational system over to the Federal Government.

 

This increase in cost does not include the cost of upgrades and improvements to local infrastructure.  Common Core testing in North Carolina will have to be taken on computers.  The state and local education authorities will have to examine concerns about bandwidths and technology.  Are there enough computers? Are the schools wired for the extra power requirements?  If they are going to be hardwired, are the schools wired for this with Cat-6 wiring?  Or are all the computers going to be on Wi-Fi with a central server in each school or will each school need several servers?  How about the additional bandwidth needed to connect each school with the central offices of the school system?  How often will the school system need to upgrade the computers in the classrooms?  Who pays for that?  I am guessing that will be the local county taxpayer.

 

There are many more questions to be asked and each question shows an increase in the cost of this “social progressive” system. 

—————————————————————-

What I had not planned to bring up was the $75 million bond request they have upcoming this year nor the approximant $86 million that stills remains on the last bond they had.  I was also not going to bring up that in a conversation with an administrative staff member at one of the informational meetings they admitted that were going to request another bond in just 2 years.  With the proposed 2013 – 2014 budget having the education department taking up over 31% of the county funds, I have to ask: Just how much does the School Board want?  I have not had a raise in 4 years.  How am I supposed to pay these additional taxes?

Yes, I want the children to be well educated, but Common Core will not get that job done.  Looking at the overall school budget and financial requests the $5 million plus that Common Core will cost in its first year may seem a small thing, but we need to stop spending money in some places now.

Common Core is not only costly, as well as not needed, it is a bad thing for the students.

 

Respectfully,

 

Thomas H. Austin

Citizen of Onslow County

The Bleeding Heart becomes The Iron Fist

by Dave Carter

Whatever the perceived shortcomings of Ted Cruz and his hardy band of stalwarts, they’ve performed a remarkable public service by highlighting the fate that awaits all who rub wrongly the translucently thin skin of King Barack the Petulant. The Spartans may have had their shields, Native Americans their tomahawks and arrows, the Samurai may have wielded his sword with all the deadly grace of a tiger in mid-attack, but pound for pound, nothing comes close to the audacious stupidity of “Barrycades” and people in pointy little Smokey the Bear hats, poised to protect America’s monuments from law-abiding citizens.

Welcome to liberal utopia, where barriers are not erected against terrorists or illegal aliens on our nation’s borders, but rather against citizens, and where wheelchair-bound veterans enroute to honor their comrades face tighter security than terrorists enroute to murder a US Ambassador.

Read More -> The Bleeding Heart becomes The Iron Fist

Letter to the Editor – 2 Million Biker Rally

Newport, N.C.

Sept. 12, 2013

TO THE EDITOR:

Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2013. What a day!

We met up with some riders from the Salisbury, N.C., area and a handful of others in Fredericksburg, Va., to head to Harley Davidson of Washington, D.C., in Fort Washington, Md.

Running on three hours sleep and anticipation. Arrived at the dealership at the scheduled 8 a.m. registration time. It was already hot. The sky was clear, just as it was on 9/11/2001. Anybody who wanted one was given a sticker with the name of a person who had perished on 9/11 to take with them on the ride. Stephen Huczko Jr. was ours.

Motorcycles of every description, size, make, color and custom combination. Men, women, children, black, white, young, old, tattoos, neon pink hair, clean cut guys, rough looking guys, demurely dressed women, some “trashy women.”

A sea of black leather vests. Patches depicting various political, social and religious opinions. A red bike with a charred NYFD captain’s helmet strapped on the back. (I admit I was misty eyed with that one).

Teal and black Harleys with matching sidecar ridden by two women. Lots of flags, American flags, POW flags, Don’t Tread on Me flags, PGR flags, Texas flags.

One guy from Australia, several Canadians. People from Texas, California, Arizona, Indiana (thanks to the Indiana rider who offered me a ride on his bike, which I had to decline), Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, New York.

I saw T-shirts, vests and patches from nearly every state, including Alaska. A young man handed out small American flags that he had personally driven to every crash site in one day.

Patriot Guard Riders, American Legion Riders, Hell’s Angels, Christian Motorcycle Association, The Brotherhood, Blue Knights, Purple Heart Riders, Rolling Thunder. These are just some of the groups and clubs represented.

A feeling of excitement, pride in America, people happy to be there, a totally positive feel to the day. Blue and white Washington, D. C., police helicopter overhead. A moment of silence at precisely the times of each attack. Heads bowed.

Then, promptly at 11 a.m., as planned, kick stands were up. No way to describe the sound and feel of, literally, acres of motorcycles. The bikes pulled out, staggered two abreast, non-stop, no breaks, for a solid 50 minutes (and that was just at this one staging location; there were more than one location).

Lots of D.C. cops at the site, all helpful and supportive. The street was lined with men, women and children, waving flags, cheering, waving the bikers on.

In D.C., people along the streets were waving, shouting their support, generally showing pride in America. The brainchild of one woman, and with only about three weeks of preparation time, this was an event of epic proportions. Planners intend to make this an annual event. God willing, I will be there next year. (Thanks to my grandson, David Allen Jones, for making this trip possible for me).

Most impressive: that people love, and believe in America so strongly, that they will, on very short notice, interrupt their lives and invest their time, money and energy to take a stand and make a statement. That, my friends, is what makes this the greatest nation on the planet, and no group of politicians can “fundamentally” change that. God bless America!

JENNIFER HUDSON

Ted Cruz asks for a Tsunami

From NCTEA…

As August winds down, it’s time for the next wave in Ted Cruz’s grassroots TSUNAMI.

-You’ve asked representatives for town halls and set up your own when the rep didn’t want to hear from you. Great job!

-You’ve asked your members of Congress to represent America and to stop Obamacare in September by signing the Mark Meadows letter (US House) and the Mike Lee letter (US Senate). We’ve added two more signers from NC – Great job!

-Your Republican National Committee passed unanimously NC’s resolution instructing Congress to defund Obamacare on the Continuing Resolution (CR). Great job!

Yet, US House leadership, which has the power to stop Obamacare before it starts, is still not willing to do it.

Ted Cruz has again asked the grassroots to bring a “tsunami” (FF to 6:08). Here we go.

4 phone calls from each 1 of us = The Cruz Tsunami:

1. Flood the offices of Speaker of the House John Boehner. Ask him to honor the Meadows letter, the RNC Resolution, the wishes of his caucus, and the American people:

Call Speaker Boehner at 877.976.7521 or fax his office at 202.225.5117.

Tell him you expect him to defund Obamacare through the CR and to NOT raise the debt ceiling. Not raising the debt ceiling means there will be no additional funds for Obamacare. Boehner is using the debt ceiling debate as a “shiny object” to deflect from the defund issue.

2. Flood Senator Burr’s office and insist that he represent us and sign Mike Lee’s letter committing to defund: 202-224-3154 or 800.685.8916

Tell him you expect him to back up his co-sponsorship of the Cruz Act to Defund Obamacare by signing Senator Lee’s letter. Co-sponsoring the bill is meaningless without the procedural context outlined in the Lee letter. Burr is using political cover by signing the bill and not the letter. Tell him funding Obamacare is “dumb”.

3. If your rep is listed below, call and insist that they sign the Meadows letter. Tell them you expect them to back up their previous votes against Obamacare by signing on to the Meadows letter. A vote to defund doesn’t mean a vote to shut down government. Signing the letter gives procedural context to the Graves Defund Obamacare Act. Simply co-sponsoring the Act is only political cover. 

Virginia Foxx, District 5: (336) 778-0211 or 202-225-2071

Patrick McHenry, District 10: 800.477.2576 or 202-225-2576

Robert Pittenger, District 9: (704) 365-6234 or  202-225-1976

Renee Ellmers, District 2:  1-877-645-8764 or 202-225-4531

OR If your rep is listed below, thank him for signing the Meadows letter and ask him to stand firm:

 

Mark Meadows, District 11: 202-225-6401

Richard Hudson, District 8: 202-225-3715

Walter Jones, District 3: 202-225-3415

Howard Coble, District 6: 202-225-3065

George Holding, District 13: 202-225-3032

OR If your rep is listed below, ask them to represent you and to sign the Meadows letter to defund Obamacare. Democrats know the ACA is a train wreck, and we are asking them to be brave enough to stop it:

GK Butterfield, District 1: 202-225-3101

David Price, District 4: 202-225-1784

Mike McIntyre, District 7: 202-225-2731

Mel Watt, District 12: 202-225-1510

4. Call Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) 202-224-6342 or 877.852.9462

 

Tell her you expect her to listen to the majority of North Carolinians who don’t want Obamacare imposed on them. Point out that she and her staff are receiving 75% subsidies for Ocare provided by the taxpayers because Congress found out it was so expensive. Don’t let staffers tell you otherwise!

Thank you and Good luck!

Resources:

Who are the Biggest Chickens in Washington?

Congressional Republicans Don’t Need to Worry about the Defund Strategy Hurting the Party

What to do if My Representative Doesn’t Represent Me

 

Additional numbers for reference

US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

 

District Offices:

Rep. G. K. Butterfield, Jr. (D-01) (252) 237-9816

Rep. Renee L. Ellmers (R-02) 1-877-645-8764

Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-03) 800-351-1697

Rep. David Price (D-04) 919.859.5999

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-05) (336) 778-0211

Rep. Howard Coble (R-06) (336) 333-5005

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-07) (910) 815-4959

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-08) 704-786-1612

Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-09) (704) 365-6234

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-10) 800.477.2576

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-11) 828-693-5660

Rep. Mel Watt (D-12) (704) 344-9950

Rep. George Holding (R-13) 919-856-9778

Senator Burr: 800.685.8916

Senator Hagan: 877.852.9462

Senator Barack Obama on the Debt Limit

This quote is especially to those who voted for this man twice.

READ IT…OVER AND OVER AND OVER!!!

The Quote of the Decade: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ‘s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America ‘s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” ~ Senator

Barack H. Obama, March 2006

Pass it on and on and on

More "Not-So-Good" News About Obamacare

Morning Bell: The Next Threat to Your Privacy

Who has access to your Social Security number, your bank information, and your tax records?

When Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges open, your data could be exposed to shysters and hackers, thanks to serious vulnerabilities in the system.

The exchanges are scheduled to open on October 1 (just 53 days away). But the list of implementation failures keeps growing, and the security of Americans’ data is threatened.

THREAT #1: Obamacare “Navigators”

Navigators are a group of people and organizations that are going to be facilitating signups for Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.

  • Example: Planned Parenthood has applied for navigator grants to work with consumers.
  • Danger: HHS will not require navigators to undergo “minimum eligibility criteria and background checks.” The Administration’s training program does not require navigators to participate in anti-fraud classes. And many states do not have plans for investigating unscrupulous navigators who may attempt to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting Americans. Even California’s Democratic insurance commissioner—a strong supporter of Obamacare—admitted “we can have a real disaster on our hands” if scam artists posing as navigators get access to applicants’ Social Security numbers, bank accounts, and other personal information.

THREAT #2: Obamacare’s Data Hub

The data hub is a massive compilation of tax filings, Social Security reports, and other government data that will be used to determine eligibility for subsidized insurance.

  • Insecure? The hub isn’t scheduled to be certified as secure until September 30—only one day before the exchanges open for business.
  • Cutting Corners: The HHS inspector general recently released a report highlighting major delays in implementation of Obamacare’s data hub. The report amplifies what former HHS officials have been saying for months: The Administration has been cutting corners on data privacy for the exchanges, raising major questions about whether the data on the hub can be certified as secure—or whether Obamacare will place Americans’ tax and other personal information at risk.

The Obama Administration’s shoddy, slapdash approach to Obamacare implementation is placing the sensitive personal data of millions of Americans at risk. It’s one more reason why Congress should refuse to spend a single dime implementing this unfair, unworkable, and unpopular law.

>>> Jim DeMint and Mike Needham in the Wall Street Journal: The Only Way to Stop Obamacare Is to Cut Off Its Funding

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

Obama Finally Delivers

In 2008, Obama promised to “stem the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.” On June 25, 2013, he finally delivered his plan. The piece below is from John Droz. Check out the links provided for more information.

 

 

[T]he President revealed his climate & energy plan this afternoon [June 25, 2013].
Unfortunately there was no surprise, as it was entirely a political speech, essentially devoid of any real science.
[Note that their newest PR tactic was on display: since citizens have already been flogged into insensitivity with the end-of-the world malarky, their focus now is that it’s your kids at stake!]
He is also quite proud of the fact that he is largely bypassing Congress (the elected representatives of the people), and acting contrary to the wishes of US citizenry. Additionally the fact that his unilateral actions will likely result in widespread economic harm to the country, thousands of net jobs lost, and a reduction of our security — are also taken as a badge of honor.
This makes perfect sense once one fully grasps that this is a religious campaign, and the main tenet of this secular belief is: “The End Justifies The Means.” Put another way: a lot of casualties are a necessary byproduct of war.
Marc Morano wrote a good summary: “President Obama is still parading his ignorance on climate science, linking bad weather to ‘global warming’, claiming a mythical 97% consensus, and implying that his executive actions can alter the globe’s temperature and lessen extreme weather events. The President has descended into the realm of medieval witchcraft by claiming he can combat global temperature rises and weather patterns through administrative action.”
CEI issued an insightful commentary: “President’s Climate Plan Undemocratic, Bordering On Authoritarian“. They rightly characterize his proposal as “all pain, no gain.” Other good observations from several independent experts can be found here.
The Good The Bad and the Ugly (which includes two PDF documents: 1) the President’s plan and 2) the White House “fact sheet” for climate policies for both new and existing power plants.
To understand the Big Picture of our concern here, please carefully look at ScienceUnderAssault.info.
What can you do? Despite his blatant attempt at an end-run, Congress still has some say here — for instance they control the purse strings of government agencies. So please do call your Representative and Senator to express your views: 1-866-220-0044.
regards,
john droz, jr.
PS — If you’d like to dig a little deeper, here’s more. Thanks to Bob Ferguson (president of SPPI) for most of the following summary:Claims that CO2 emissions are “contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves” not only lack scientific and observational validity, but the growing body of literature across a broad spectrum of related fields of research often contradicts such claims.
A search of these web resources by the Center for the Study of CO2 and the Science and Public Policy Institute returns ample review papers of CO2 and climate related research:
Sample papers and summaries:

Morehead City council hears budget complaints

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS CALL OUT COSTS (Mark Hibbs — Wednesday, 06/12/2013)

Tea party spokesman Eric Broyles of Morehead City spoke Tuesday in opposition to the city manager’s recommended 2013-14 budget, which includes a 4-cent tax increase.

The 4-cent tax increase included in the proposed 2013-14 budget had city officials seeing red Tuesday.

A red-shirted Crystal Coast Tea Party spokesman and his similarly attired cadre blasted the proposed spending plan during a public hearing at the Municipal Building at 202 S. Eighth St. and demanded a line-by-line review of expenses in the city manager’s recommendation.

That proposal increases property taxes from 28.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 32.5 cents if approved by the council.  The new budget year starts July 1st.

“It is time for the city council to go back to the budget drawing board and bring forth a realistic budget that does not increase taxes”, said Broyles, who spoke on behalf of the tea party group and read aloud his letter to the editor published in the News-Times on Sunday.

Mr. Broyles said the budget was padded with increased expenses.  He said the city should not hire any new employees until it can properly take care of its existing staff.

A plan to offer pay raises for city workers and the addition of several new positions were cited in the proposed budget as the reasons for the proposed tax increase.  Of the proposed 4-cent tax increase, 2.5 cents would go to increase employees salaries and the other 1.5 cents would pay for new positions.

Each penny of the property tax generates about $185,000-190,000 in tax revenue.

The council did not plan to vote on the budget Tuesday during its regular meeting.  The board had announced it will wait until a special meeting set for 1pm Friday at the same location before considering adoption of the spending plan.  But council members stuck to the originally planned date for the public hearing held Tuesday.

The decision to vote on Friday was based on a planned meeting that day with a consultant who performed a study of the city’s employee compensation and recommended the raises to bring them in line with the labor market in the area, improve morale and curb turnover.

The tea party group’s gripe, as articulated by Mr. Broyles, was less about employee wages and more the departmental increases included in the city manager’s recommended spending plan, including line-item expenditures such as landscaping, office supplies, and contracted services he called inflated spending out of control.

City manager Dave Whitlow said the budget proposal includes about $800,000 less in general fund expenditures, compared to the current budget.  Much of the reduction is in capital expenditures, contributions to various organizations, operating costs, travel and training expenses and “a whole host of things”, he said.

Mr. Whitlow said his recommended spending levels in the proposed budget were more than $1 million lower than the total requested by city department heads, about $23.37 million.

The manager’s recommended $21.97 million budget includes $10.63 million in general fund expenditures; $2.99 million in expenses for fire and EMS service; $6.39 million in water and sewer operating expenses; $926,300 in solid waste expense; $860,000 in water and sewer capital projects; and a water and sewer capital reserve of $176,000.

Mr. Broyles said he found numerous expense items in various departments in the budget that soared in comparison with the budget for the previous year and actual spending.

Mr. Broyles and his group, prior to the meeting, placed sheets of red paper in every seat of the council chambers with the words “Taxed Enough Already” printed in large, black letters.  The group had also placed on every seat a sheet of white paper printed on both sides with tables of expense categories for each city department.

The tables listed actual current-year expenses, the manager’s recommended 2013-14 expenditures and the percentage increase for each line item, as calculated by Mr. Broyles.

Page numbers in the budget document were also cited for each item in the tables.

Increases were as high as 45,354.55 percent, as in the case of ‘Safety Program Supplies’ in the Fire and EMS department table.  The item, included on Page 95 of the budget, was budgeted in the current year at $2,000.  According to the budget document, actual expenses totaled $11.24.  The department’s request for 2013-14 for the same line item was $5,100.  The manager’s recommended expense was $5,000.

Other examples included a nearly 5,000 percent increase in landscaping expense in the transportation department, a 3,500 percent increase in cemetery, buildings and grounds landscaping expense and a 2,400 percent increase from $20 to $500  for maintenance and equipment at the Webb Library.

Mr. Broyles said he had expressed his concerns to two council members he considered fiscally conservative.

That remark prompted a stern response from Councilman Demus Thompson.  “You didn’t contact me”, Mr. Thompson said during the council remarks portion of the meeting.  “I’ve always prided myself that this body is not affiliated with any party period.”  Mr. Thompson pointed out that municipal bodies are nonpartisan, unlike county government, which he referred to as a mess and a half.  “I’m thankful I don’t have to stand up and say I’m a Democrat or I am Republican”, Mr. Thompson said, adding that “Mr. Broyles should reach out to the entire council the next time he has a concern.  We all have one vote.”

Contact Mark Hibbs at 252-726-7081, ext. 229; email mark@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @markhibbs.

Letter to the Editor on Proposed Morehead City Tax Increase

Letter to the Editor by Eric Broyles

Morehead City Taxpayer Alert

I do not know how many of our Morehead City residents required EMS services after reading about Morehead City Manager’s proposed 14 percent increase in property taxes reported in the Times-News on May 31, 2013.  After the initial shock and awe wore off, I decided to investigate into the truth of the matter.  I immediately talked with two of our “fiscally conservative” City Council Members and they confirmed to me this was the case. Continue reading