Notice

I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.

Photoblog

Photos from my photoblog.

Nothing is here yet

I haven't decided what to put here yet, so look at this pretty photo.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Macon County Commissioners to Review & Discuss Macon County Comprehensive Plan
Live Twitter Coverage at 6pm

**11.47pm** Here is the audio of the marathon 3 hour meeting of the Macon County Commissioners. They took apart the recommendations in the Macon County Comprehensive Plan line by line and put it back together again with softer language in place of the hard and demanding tone of the original.

Link to Download MP3


Since the meeting was so long, I will process the video in shorter, more watchable segments tomorrow and the next day.





The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6pm to review and discuss the Macon County Comprehensive Plan that has been prepared by the Macon County Planning Board and the subject of a recent public hearing [See Video of the entire public hearing]. 


In case you haven't taken the time to read the plan, I've embedded the recommendations and the entire plan here. They are both downloadable so that you can download the documents to your computer and read them at your leisure. 






Reccomendations 42811






Comprehensive Plan Rough Draft Final 42811





I'll be there to cover the meeting and will be recording video and making live reports via Twitter on my @wpig account using the hashtag #MaconGov. You can follow along on your favorite Twitter Client, or by the widget I've embedded below.




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2011 Observance of Memorial Day in Franklin, NC




The 2011 Memorial Day Program was well-attended by the citizens of Macon County.


Here is a video and some photos I took at yesterdays observance of Memorial Day in Franklin, NC. The regular portion of the event lasted just under 25 minutes. after that, Six new individual monuments were dedicated to each of the branches of the military. I will have photos and video of that tomorrow.




Video of the regular Memorial Day observance.




Photo Slideshow I took at the 2011 Memorial Day Ceremony.

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NC General Assembly
05-31-2011 Legislative Calendar
Links to Bills and Live Audio Feeds

**Note** After the legislative calendar, I have included information regarding the 2011 Budget information and Committee websites.


The new session of the North Carolina General Assembly is well underway and here is the schedule for today. There are lots of committees meeting today, and there are sessions of the NC Senate and the NC House scheduled also. I have included links to bill histories, downloadable PDFs of the current versions of bills and links so that you can listen to the audio feed of these meetings live...provided they are taking place in a room that is wired for audio streaming to the Internet.


If you cannot listen to these meetings live, check back later to see if I have. If I have, I'll post the audio (and a download link) for the meeting in the calendar. You can also follow what is happening in the NC General Assembly by keeping an eye on the hashtag #ncga on Twitter.

If I haven't been able to listen, please check with Voter Radio. You should already be subscribing to their podcasts anyway. I do. ʘ‿ʘ



Link for audio webcasts by room. The old linking system no longer works.



10 MINUTES AFTER SESSION
Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House)
Huntersville E-Mail Lists/Electronic Access. (H440)

1327 LB
4:00 AM
Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources (Senate)
Swine and Poultry Waste RECs. (S710)
Stormwater Best Mgmt. Responsibility/Asscs. (S563)
Sedimentation Civil Penalty Cap & Remissions. (S561)
Clarify Ag Development/Preservation in DACS. (S499)
Repeal Subsistence License Waiver. (S571)
Standards for Some Nursery Stock Purchases. (S562)

544 LOB
8:30 AM
Appropriations (House)
Justice Reinvestment Act. (H642)

643 LOB
9:00 AM
Speaker Tillis & Senator Berger
Press Room LB
10:00 AM
Health and Human Services (House)
This meeting is scheduled for two hours.
Smart Card Biometrics Against Medicaid Fraud. (S307)
Statewide Expansion of 1915(b)/(c) Waiver. (H916)

1228/1327
10:00 AM
Education -- CORRECTED (House)
Removed HB 467 and added HB 702 and HB 744 to the calendar
Completion of CPR by Students Required. (H837)
The Founding Principles Act. (H588)
Personal Learning Plan for Each Child. (H855)
Educ. Assistance for Minimum Wage Workers. (H702)
Safe Students Act. (H744)

643 LOB
11:00 AM
Sen. Nesbitt
Press Room LB
12:00 PM
Session Convenes (Senate)
LOCAL BILLS
FOR CONCURRENCE
SB 120 Preston 3rd Ed. NEW BERN CHARTER AMENDMENTS. H Com Sub
2/24 St. and Loc. Gov.
3/22 Unfav bill; St. and Loc. Gov. Com Sub Adopted (Chgs title)
3/23 Passed 2nd & 3rd Rdgs; To House
5/26 Rec'd for concurrence House Com Sub; Cal 5/31
PUBLIC BILLS
SECOND READING-ROLL CALL
HB 200 Brubaker 6th Ed. APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2011. S Com Sub No. 2
5/5 Appro./Base Bud.
5/24 W/D Appro./Base Bud.; rerefer Finance; if Fav Appro./Base Bud.;
if Fav Pens./Ret./Aging
5/25 Unfav Com Sub No. 2; Sen Finance Com Sub Adopted w/ Comm Amds.
Nos. 1-5 (Chgs title); rerefer Appro./Base Bud.; Fav, as amended w/ Comm
Amds 6-27; rerefer Pens./Ret./Aging
5/26 Unfav Sen Appro./Base Bud. Com Sub; Sen Pens./Ret./Aging Com Sub
Adopted; Cal 5/31
Senate
12:00 NOON
State and Local Government -- CANCELLED (Senate)
Greensboro Charter Amendments. (H150)
Edgecombe Co. Tourism Development Authority. (H204)
Local Development for Winston-Salem. (H207)
Town of Cramerton/Regulate Utility Vehicles. (H212)
Columbia Municipal Early Voting. (H360)
Pasquotank Hunting. (H362)
Expand Joyce Creek District Board. (H416)
5th Senatorial District Local Act. (S260)
17th Senatorial District Local Act. (S151)
Winston-Salem/Council Meetings. (H170)
Wake Local Energy Efficiency. (H266)
Roanoke Rapids Deannexation. (H367)
Mecklenburg Energy Efficiency/Renewable. (H435)

1124 LB
12:00 NOON
Program Evaluation -- CANCELLED (Senate)
Abolish Andrew Jackson Committee. (S593)

421 LOB
12:00 NOON
Transportation -- CORRECTED (House)
Remove SB 461 Add HB 661
Paying of Overweight Fines by Private Parties. (H603)
CDL/HAZMAT Endorsement Expiration. (H661)
Amend Weight Limits for Farm Products. (S461)

643 LOB
1:00 PM
Insurance (House)
Insurance Changes to Payments & Group Life. (H373)
Study Insurance for Contract Growers. (H774)

1327 LB
1:00 PM
Agriculture (House)
Energy Crops for Biofuels Feedstocks. (S378)
Animal Welfare Advisory Board/Fund. (H816)
Amend Fox Laws. (H755)

643 LOB
1:00 PM
Appropriations/Base Budget -- CORRECTED (Senate)
643 LOB
2:00 PM
Session Convenes (House)
PUBLIC FOR CONCURRENCE
HB 98 Senate Committee Substitute - McGrady - BREWERIES TO SELL MALT BEVERAGES ON PREMISES. (Senate Committee Substitute) (3rd Edition)
LOCAL BILLS
SECOND READING - ROLL CALL
SB 19 Tucker - UNION FIRE FEE SUNSET REPEALED. (Finance) (1st Edition)
PUBLIC BILLS
THIRD READING - NON - ROLL CALL
HB 503 Committee Substitute - Insko and LaRoque (Primary Sponsors) - NUTRITION STANDARDS/ALL FOODS SOLD AT SCHOOL.
(Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Adopted - 5/24/11) (Education) (2nd Edition)
SB 501 House Committee Substitute - Rouzer and Jackson (Primary Sponsors) - SWINE HOUSE RENOVATIONS/SITE LIMITS. (Agriculture) (3rd Edition)
SECOND AND THIRD READINGS
HB 233 Pierce, Bryant, M. Alexander and Frye (Primary Sponsors) - DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION/EX-OFFENDERS. (Government) (1st Edition)
HB 439 Committee Substitute - T. Moore - ALLOW EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LOOK BACK/CONTINUE EXPENDITURES 2011.
(Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House) (2nd Edition)
HB 489 Committee Substitute - Pridgen, Stam and Martin (Primary Sponsors) -MECHANICS LIEN AND BOND LAW CHANGES. (Judiciary/B) (2nd Edition)
HB 491 Committee Substitute - R. Brown and Cleveland (Primary Sponsors) - REPEAL STATE CAPITAL FACILITIES FINANCE ACT. (Finance) (2nd Edition)
HB 517 Committee Substitute - Stevens and Sager (Primary Sponsors) - MAGISTRATES/CALENDARING. (Judiciary/B) (2nd Edition)
HB 619 Committee Substitute - Howard, McLawhorn, Carney and Ingle (Primary Sponsors) -JOB CREATION ACT OF 2011. (Finance) (2nd Edition)
HB 656 Committee Substitute - Guice, Ingle and Faircloth (Primary Sponsors) -CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES/PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.
(Judiciary/B) (2nd Edition)
HB 709 Committee Substitute - Folwell, Dollar, Hager and Crawford (Primary Sponsors) -PROTECT AND PUT NORTH CAROLINA BACK TO WORK.
(House Select Committee on Tort Reform) (2nd Edition)
House



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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Program in Macon County to Feature Dedication of Individual Service Monuments

Service Monument at the Macon County Veterans Memorial Park Awaiting Dedication


Six monuments will be unveiled and dedicated at a  Memorial Day program beginning at 11.30am on Monday, May 30, 2011 at the Veterans Memorial Park in Franklin, NC. [Directions to Park] The public is invited to attend and pay their respects to those who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.


The sculptor who created these monuments is Alexei Kazantsev, who previously created the "Defending Freedom Since 1775" statue at the entrance of the park. Video and photos of the unveiling and dedication of that statue are available here.


The Veterans Memorial Park of Macon County was dedicated on July 4, 2009. See video of that ceremony here.



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Friday, May 27, 2011

NC Senator Jim Davis Discusses State Budget

NC Senator Jim Davis updates local Republicans on the State Budget






Jim Davis, Senator from the 50th District in North Carolina, updated local Republicans on the state budget in Raleigh and read a Letter to the Editor of his that was published in the Raleigh News & Observer on May 25th. He assured them that the Republicans in Raleigh were working to reduce the size and cost of the state government and get them off the backs of job creating businesses. He said that the temporary one cent tax that had been extended numerous times was finally going to go away. His remarks were well received and he spent time after the meeting speaking with individuals.



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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Macon County GOP to Honor Media Outlets
Live Webcast Starts at 6pm

**8.47pm** I've replaced the live player with the video recorded with my webcam.






The Macon County Republican Party will be recognizing six local media outlets for their contribution to the community, and I've been invited to webcast the event live. The coverage will be starting at 6pm on the player below:






The next regular meeting of the Macon County Republican Party will be on Thursday, May 26th, 6:00 p.m. at the Boiler Room at the Fun Factory on Georgia Road in Franklin. We will be honoring six local media outlets for their contribution to the community. Parts of the First Amendment are embodied in our media and their importance in a free and open society are immeasurable. Barbara McRae, editor of The Franklin Press will be the guest speaker and Major John Van Hook, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan will lead the pledge. We will also be highlighting our goals for 2012, honoring some of our own for a job well done, offering committee positions, and doing a draw for door prizes at the end of the meeting. Our party member elected officials have all been personally contacted and most if not all will be there. Let’s make this a great start for our 2012 win by attending the meeting and getting involved! Attendees may order off the menu if they wish to eat. SEE YOU THERE!
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NC General Assembly
05-26-2011 Legislative Calendar
Links to Bills and Live Audio Feeds


The new session of the North Carolina General Assembly is well underway and here is the schedule for today. There are lots of committees meeting today, and there are sessions of the NC Senate and the NC House scheduled also. I have included links to bill histories, downloadable PDFs of the current versions of bills and links so that you can listen to the audio feed of these meetings live...provided they are taking place in a room that is wired for audio streaming to the Internet. 


If you cannot listen to these meetings live, check back later to see if I have. If I have, I'll post the audio (and a download link) for the meeting in the calendar. You can also follow what is happening in the NC General Assembly by keeping an eye on the hashtag #ncga on Twitter.

If I haven't been able to listen, please check with Voter Radio. You should already be subscribing to their podcasts anyway. I do. ʘ‿ʘ



Link for audio webcasts by room. The old linking system no longer works.


8:30 AM
Finance -- CORRECTED (House)
Clarify Property Tax for Conservation Land. (H350)
Protect Galax & Venus Flytrap/WRC Rule Fines. (H476)
NC Certificates of Participation Referendum. (H491)
Update/Modernize Physical Therapy Act. (H619)
Electronic Monitoring Fee. (H662)
Southern Shores Canal Dredging/Maintenance. (S145)
Surplus Lines/Premium Tax.-AB (S321)
Nat'l Gas/Bonds/Fees/Studies (H242)
Union Fire Fee Sunset Repealed. (S19)
544 LOB
10:00 AM
Environment (House)
Coastal Wetland Riparian Buffer Grandfather. (H116)
Amend SW Financial Assurance Rqmts. (H209)
ASU Wind Demonstration Project. (H694)
NC Water Efficiency Act. (H787)
544 LOB
10:00 AM
Government (House)
Department of Correction/Ex-Offenders. (H233)
Modify Abandoned Property Provisions. (H733)
ETJ Restrictions. (H281)
Zoning/Temp. Family Health Care Structures. (H887)
Metropolitan Sewerage District/City. (H925)
643 LOB
11:00 AM
House Select Committee on Tort Reform (House)
This meeting will be one hour.
Protect and Put NC Back to Work. (H709)
1327 LB
11:00 AM
Session Convenes (Senate)

PUBLIC BILLS
SECOND READING
SB 576 Hartsell, Tillman, Preston 3rd Ed.
CHANGES TO FEES FOR TEACHER CERTIFICATION. Com Sub No. 2
4/14 Ed/Higher Ed.; if Fav Finance
4/27 Unfav bill; Ed/Higher Ed. Com Sub Adopted; rerefer Finance
5/12 Unfav Com Sub; Finance Com Sub Adopted; Cal 5/17
5/17 W/D Cal; Cal 5/19 5/19 W/D Cal; Cal 5/26
SB 727 Hise 2nd Ed. NO DUES CHECKOFF FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES. Com Sub
4/20 Ed/Higher Ed. 5/2 W/D Ed/Higher Ed.; rerefer Rules
5/19 Unfav bill; Rules Com Sub Adopted
5/23 W/D Cal; Cal 5/24 5/24 W/D Cal; Cal 5/25
5/25 W/D Cal; Cal 5/26
SB 730 Clodfelter 2nd Ed. TAXPAYER ACTION IF NO DOR DETERMINATION. Com Sub
4/20 Finance 5/19 Unfav bill; Finance Com Sub Adopted
5/23 W/D Cal; Cal 5/25 5/25 W/D Cal; Cal 5/26
Senate
12:00 NOON
Banking -- CORRECTED (House)
Consumer Finance Act Amendments. (H810)
1327 LB
1:00 PM
Session Convenes (House)

INTRODUCED BILLS
(Reminder: Members may electronically cosponsor these bills until 5:00 p.m. on Friday.)
HR 932 Martin and Killian (Primary Sponsors) - HONOR NORTH CAROLINA UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS.

PUBLIC BILLS
THIRD READING - ROLL CALL
HB 823 Committee Substitute - Holloway, Hilton, Brubaker and Blackwell 
(Primary Sponsors) - GOVERNANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION. 
(Amendment No. 1 Adopted - 5/25/11) (Education) (2nd Edition)

SECOND AND THIRD READINGS
HB 439 Committee Substitute - T. Moore - ALLOW EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT 
BENEFITS LOOK BACK/CONTINUE EXPENDITURES 2011. 
(Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House) (2nd Edition)
HB 811 Committee Substitute - Torbett - ASSESS TRANSPORTATION PROCESS AND FUNDING. 
(Transportation) (2nd Edition)
SB 501 House Committee Substitute - Rouzer and Jackson (Primary Sponsors) - SWINE HOUSE RENOVATIONS/SITE LIMITS. 
(Agriculture) (3rd Edition)
House
2:00 PM
Jt. Reg. Reform Comm.
414 LOB


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wherein Freedom Works Prepares to Commit Suicide



FreedomWorks, one of the largest and most influential national Tea Party groups, is planning to devote its considerable resources toward uniting the grassroots "movement" behind whoever emerges as the most electable alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Huffington Post reports.

“I don’t think I’ve met any groups or any local activists that like him or want him to be president,” Tea Party activist Brendan Steinhauser said. “They just don’t believe he’s authentic. That’s the biggest problem in addition to the health care thing.”

Source: Business Insider


Commentary

If Freedom Works does not want Romney to win the nomination, their best move would be to get all but one of the dozens of conservatives running in the primary to drop out. By focusing their attention against Romney, all they'll achieve is to unify the other factions of the GOP to seek Romney as the alternative to the Tea Party. The libertarians who think they run Freedom Works are nothing but trouble, and seem to prefer attacking their fellow Republicans than actually winning elections. Dick Armey and Brendan Steinhauser are not part of the libertarian wing, but have jumped onboard because they see it as a vehicle to ever more power, the same way they jumped onboard the Tea Party movement. I have video of Brendan claiming that in Franklin . Click here to see it. Before the meeting started, I approached the leader of the local Freedom Works chapter about what I should do in order to create a local Tea Party. He eventually locked me out of the process and made it a creature of his organization.

One would hope that they'd follow Reagan's 11th Commandment or perhaps his advice on political compromise. Like children, they seem focused on an all-or-nothing attitude that has previously been the position of the crazy Ron Paul Supporters.

Competing for power does ugly things to people and organizations. This is a train wreck that may end up costing the eventual nominee of the party the election.

I see nothing good coming out of this move because they will try to take ownership of the whole thing...and they'll be responsible for the chaos and destruction a second Obama Administration will sow in our Republic. I am nervous about the eventual implementation of ObamaCare and think that most people have no idea that insurance rates will soar higher than they ever were before because of the government interference in the free market. I don't know if elected Republicans will have the spine to stand up to him. Time will tell.

As for me, I believe that Mitt Romney will be the nominee of the Republican party. If that happens, I will work as hard as I can to get him elected....because, despite his shortcomings...he would be a better choice that Barack Obama. Anyone who can't see that is a fool who deserves to live under a second Obama Administration.



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