Wakeup-04-23-17

Uncloaking Islam and Sharia Law

Save 3 Bills Favoring Free Enterprise & the 2nd Amendment?

Make 1 Phone Call and Save 3 Bills ?

As you probably know, the “Crossover” deadline is fast approaching in the North Carolina General Assembly. April 27 is the Crossover deadline for this session. Any bill (with a few exceptions basically having to do with budgeting) that has not been passed in one chamber and “crossed over” to the other chamber by the 27th will die in committee.

There are three bills stuck in House committees that involve subjects near and dear to our CCTA mission statement. One involves freeing up free enterprise. The other two involve pushing back infringements on our God given, 2nd Amendment supported rights. These two gun bills are being supported by Grass Roots North Carolina also.

Let’s take a brief overview of what’s in the bills.

HB-344, Exempt Ocular Surgery from CON Laws
This bill would allow ophthalmologists to perform ocular surgery in ambulatory surgical procedure rooms in their offices without obtaining a CON (Certificate of Need) so long as certain criteria are met.

As we’ve talked about before, this would bring down costs associated with such things as cataract removal while, at the same time, making them safer.

HB-588, Omnibus Gun Changes
This bill would simplify getting a pistol permit, allow a concealed carry permit holder to carry on property used as a school and church so long as school was not in session, and would also allow the holder of a concealed carry permit to carry on properties used for higher education (like community colleges, and universities). It would allow the governor and his immediate family to carry in the Executive Mansion and the Western Residence of the Governor. It would also allow legislators and legislative employees who hold concealed carry permits to carry in state legislative buildings. It changes the reason a person discharged from our U.S. Armed Forces can be denied a permit from “conditions other than honorable” to “dishonorable conditions.”

The Omnibus Gun Changes bill would also alter provisions relating to the confiscation and disposal of deadly weapons used to commit a crime. For instance, if the person convicted is not the owner of the weapon, it can be returned to the rightful owner. However, if the weapon does not have a unique ID # or is unsafe, it is to be destroyed. Other than that, it can be turned over to a law enforcement agency to use, sell, or trade.

The Omnibus Gun Changes bill would also change the concept of “going to the terror of the people” so that it would no longer apply to carrying a handgun concealed or openly, but it would apply to carrying “an unusual and dangerous weapon for the purpose of terrifying others.”

HB-746, NC Constitutional Carry Act
This bill would remove “firearm” from the list of concealed weapons one must not carry except while at home. It also provides that any citizen of the U.S. may carry a handgun openly or concealed without a permit in N.C. unless prohibited by N.C. or federal law.

The NC Constitutional Carry Act prohibits carrying on private property that is “posted” against it. It also prohibits consuming alcohol when carrying, and there are exceptions to who may carry such as people under indictment for or convicted of a felony, a fugitive from justice, an addict, etc.

The NC Constitutional Carry Act also provides that, when carrying a concealed firearm, one must also carry an ID, and, if approached or addressed by a police officer, must disclose that a concealed handgun is being carried and must be prepared to show ID if asked.

What can we do to help get these three good bills passed?

We can call or write Speaker of the NC House, Tim Moore. If he wants them to come out of committee and be voted on by the House, they will be.

Speaker Moore is a Republican. Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly. The Republican Platform is favorable to free enterprise and the 2nd Amendment, so it is logical that they would favor these bills, and they are the sort of bills that the people who elected them would like to see.

Speaker Tim Moore’s phone number is 919-733-3451. Speaker Moore’s email address is tim.moore@ncleg.net.

Respectfully requested,

Raynor

(Raynor James, Chairman CCTA’s State Legislative Action Committee)

Watchdog Report Craven County Board of Commissioners 18 April 2017

Watchdog Report

Craven County Board of Commissioners

 18 April 2017

The Craven Board of Commissioners meeting Monday (17 April) saw a continuation of expansion of government.

First, the “Consent Agenda” contained a request from Craven Area Rural Transit System (CARTS) to hold a public hearing on plans to extend services to include “Paratransit” service as a complement to the fixed route service.  A Paratransit eligible person is any individual with a disability who is unable to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle in the system which is readily accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities.  There is more detail provided in the request.   ANYWAY, YOU GET THE PICTURE.

Call me hard hearted, but I can see this addition to the CARTS service as needing more employees (or contract service providers) to accomplish this end.  I believe this type of service should be provided by family, friends, neighbors, church, benevolent organizations, etc.  Is there no service that the government doesn’t want to provide for people?  Their willingness to dip into your pocket and mine in order to give things to small groups of other people continues to amaze and frustrate me.

The Project Development Engineers from the NC DOT gave a presentation on improvements to US 17 which will 4 lane that highway all the way from Bridgeton to Vanceboro in the next few years.  Commissioner Mark was like a proud papa.  This is not a dig.  Roads are needed by and can be enjoyed by all citizens.  They are a proper function of government, and helping to get an appropriate benefit for the folks he represents is worthy of pride.

A revised Solar Energy Facility Ordinance was presented by the planning department.   The entire proposal can be found on the county website as an attachment to the agenda for this meeting.  This proposed ordinance has been discussed at several meetings now, so it did not come as a surprise to me that the burden of responsibilities for cleanup after a facility closes has been shifted to the facility owner and operator.  That is because Commissioner Jason Jones has been looking out for the farmers and doesn’t want the land owner held responsible.  The bond requirement has been dropped from $100,000 to $50,000 to make the land lease easier to make.   Again, this seems to be a reasonable, fair-minded approach.  If a problem is caused, the person or entity which causes it is required to fix it.

I had hoped the ordinance would make it practically prohibitive for these facilities to locate in Craven County because I believe they have no economic value without subsidies, and the government has no business subsidizing business and thus picking winners and losers.  However, the interest of farmers who want to have this relatively new source of revenue continue to be an option for them was the reason that didn’t stand a prayer.  The “softer” approach taken will hopefully be adequate to protect taxpayers from the expense of clean up, so while not perfect, we’ve seen them do worse.

Commissioner Jones had another opportunity to demonstrate his farm roots when the discussion of a proposed ban on smoking outside the Craven County Court House was discussed.  Commissioner Jones pointed out that as a farmer himself he did not like to be perceived as against smoking tobacco.  He does not favor an all out ban on smoking outside the courthouse, but he thinks some areas should be left available for smoking.  Staff was instructed to continue to study the proposal.  Actually, I do not believe second hand smoke is harmful to others in an outdoor environment, so I see absolutely no reason to curtail a smoker’s right to do something (smoke) that doesn’t hurt anyone else at all.  Bans of the kind being suggested are unnecessary intrusions into personal liberty.

It was announced that the Federally Qualified Health Center in Havelock would be open for business in a few weeks.  This is another way the government earns “profits” by charging Medicaid, Medicare, etc. more than it costs to provide the service.  The same thing applies to the Dental Service Van.  The finance director asked for authorization to transfer $97,000 of “profit” from that program to apply toward needed renovation of the van.  The total cost of the renovation will be about $500,000.

Wow!  The counties of our nation have discovered a great new source of revenue!  It’s “profits” from federal and state welfare give-away programs paid for with taxpayers’ money!

The last event of the day that Raynor and I stayed for was the meeting with the four members of the NC General Assembly that represent our area, Senator Norman Sanderson and Representatives, John Bell, Michael Speciale and George Graham.

The stated purpose of the meeting was to let the members of the NC General Assembly know of their desires concerning legislative action.  Several members reminded the commissioners that “crossover” for new bill proposals was only 8 days off, and Representative Bell said the date of the crossover deadline was almost cast in stone this time.  That means that, if a bill has not been passed by one house by that time, it is off the table for this session.  (There are ways around this, if legislators get serious about a bill.  For instance, bills requiring money/ budget related things are exempt, so a financial angle can often be added to a bill in such a way as to overcome the crossover deadline requirement.)  A significant amount of time was spent explaining procedural matters and the fact that the upcoming budget is paramount for them right now.

The commissioners expressed concern about the cost of state mandated class size reductions, and they’d like to see HB-13 passed.   They want the state to fund any changes it mandates.  They also asked that about 40% of the proceeds of the “Education Lottery” be re-directed to education as was originally proposed in order to sell the idea of a lottery in NC in the first place.  Representative Bell said this would be tough as the money is now going to other needed services.  Where could they make up that difference?  Cutting some inappropriate services perhaps?

Representative Speciale said the there are several good “gun bills” and “regulatory reform” bills proposed.  He also said that there’s a “drone bill” proposed that would allow Emergency Management Services to use drones (which would have allowed surveying for damage much quicker during the aftermath of Hurricane Mathew, and as it turned out was an item on the commissioners’ wish list).  He also mentioned work going on that would allow localities to set their own school calendars.

Commissioner Jones said that less and less money was coming from the state for health services for seniors.  He stated that many of the seniors cannot help themselves and government has to do it.  He said he knew many people who think government shouldn’t do it, BUT…

Commissioner Jones also said he did not want to ask citizens of Craven County for another tax increase.  I expect we all concur on that one!

Commissioner Liner said he was disappointed that the “Wind Farm” bill had gone to committee to die.

County Manager, Jack Viet asked for adequate funding for NC Military Affairs and relief from the electronic recycling requirement.

Commissioner Sampson wants the state to do something about a drainage problem in New Bern.

In commenting on HB-13, Senator Norman Sanderson said that the state needs to figure out some way that the need for new facilities is not passed down to the counties, and earlier, in his opening comments, he had said that it will be helpful to cities and counties if the General Assembly gets the NC budget done by mid-June.  That way, cities and counties will have earlier knowledge of what they are dealing with.

All in all, (with the exception of some excursions into reasonableness) you can see from this meeting why our nation is in so much financial turmoil!

Respectfully submitted,

Hal James

CCTA Watchdog

Wakeup-04-16-17

Illegal Immigration

Rick & Anne with Grandson on Sight Seeing Trip

CCTA takes pride in teaching appreciation for our Republic!  It starts with family and grows outward!

Citizen Group Files Suit Against Beaufort County Board of Commissioners

Contact: Ray Leary

Citizens for Better Government of Beaufort County NC

Phone 252-402-5662

willeary@suddenlink.net

PO Box 954

Chocowinity, NC 27817

Citizens for Better Government of Beaufort County NC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Citizen Group Files Suit Against Beaufort County Board of Commissioners

Suit alleges multiple violations of state Open Meetings Law

Washington, NC, April 13, 2017: The Citizens for Better Government of Beaufort County

NC (“CBG”), with the assistance of the Civitas Institute, has filed suit against the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. The suit alleges that the Board has, on numerous occasions, violated North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law. Specifically, the suit alleges that the Board has illegally entered into closed session on several occasions.

 

The Board closed its meetings to the public four times in 2015. A review of the redacted minutes of the closed sessions revealed discussions that should have taken place in view of the public.

 

CBG is represented by Jonathan Strange of The Strange Law Firm and Elliot Engstrom of Engstrom Law, PLLC.

 

“Decisions made in backrooms out of the public’s view are bad business,” said CBG Chairman Ray Leary. “The CBG originated as the “Stop the Jail Committee”.  As we worked on that issue we came to realize that the problem was not so much the bad decision on the jail as it is the culture that has developed with the County Commission to make their decisions outside of their public meetings. This interferes with the Board’s accountability to the public.

 

We have tried on repeated occasions to get the Board to comply, without success. We believe, and North Carolina law requires, that the public’s business should be conducted in public. We are determined to make sure that the Board will conduct the public’s business in open meetings as required by North Carolina law.”

 

“We are honored to partner with the CBG in this important effort. Government that operates with transparency and citizen oversight is more likely to be thrifty and efficient in the use of public resources,” said Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret), President, Civitas Institute.

 

The suit seeks an injunction requiring the Board to comply with the Open Meetings Law.

 

“CBG is not seeking monetary damages from Beaufort County,” Leary said. “We are simply asking the commissioners to follow the statutes governing closed meetings and public records.”

 

 

webeditor@beaufortobserver.net; elisse.ramey@witn.com; jeff@compassnews360.com; news@wcti12.com; vail.rumley@thewashingtondailynews.com; desk@witn.com; newsdesk@wnct.com; stan@beaufortcountynow.com; henry@ibxmedia.com; rick@hfellc.com; Francis.DeLuca@nccivitas.org; beverly.boswell@ncleg.net; bill.cook@ncleg.net; michael.speciale@ncleg.net;

We don’t usually agree with the New Bern Sun Journal, but we do with this. Have a look!

Strange Craven County Board of Commissioners Meeting

Watchdog Report
Craven County Board of Commissioners
3 April 2017
 The Craven Board of Commissioners meeting last Monday evening seemed strange to me. First, judging by the agenda, I expected a short meeting. However, upon Raynor’s and my arrival, we found the meeting room at full capacity. Seeing our friend, Tyker Gonzales, among the crowd, we knew that the cause was not anything on the agenda, but the folks there were concerned about the mistreatment of dogs by some of their owners in Craven County.
Under the Petition of Citizens portion of the agenda, Tyker gave the Board a written petition signed by around 1,400 Craven residents. Please, don’t hold me to the exact number; I didn’t write it down. Then, Tyker and two other citizens asked the Board to do something (pass an ordinance limiting tethering, requiring adequate water, food, and shelter to be provided, etc.) to stop mistreatment of dogs and, in the process, cut down on the number of times dogs attack people in the county. Some discussion followed, but no real action was taken.
Another strange thing happened next. Former Commissioner, Bill Harper, started to petition the Board against getting involved with the Global TransPark again. Commissioner Dacey said they had no intention of doing so, and Bill apologized and left the podium.  Actually, Bill was right-on in spirit! At their last meeting, the Commissioners did approve of joining North Carolina’s Southeastern Partnership which is another regional economic development scheme similar to the one that the county recently separated from. And the Global TransPark is in that region!   In fact, the Global TransPark will be touted as a big draw for the region. These regional boards always end up hiring consultants, lobbyists, etc., and costing taxpayers millions. Bill may not have gotten the wording literally correct, but he was spot on about what the county is up to; it’s a case of déjà vu.
After that, another strange thing happened. Chairman Mark made a statement that he could call a 5 minute recess for people who wished to leave to do so, BUT if they did not leave now, they would have to remain for the entire meeting. I WONDER HOW HE CAME UP WITH THAT ONE? Anyway, most of the citizens left. I have been to a lot of these Board meetings and have never seen that rule mentioned before. I do remember that Chairman Mark complained once about my leaving the meeting before the Commissioners’ reports (always at the end of their meetings) because that did not give them a chance to respond to my complaints. Funny, he often admonishers citizens not to direct their remarks at any one member of the Board. I DON’T KNOW WHERE HE GETS THAT ONE EITHER. I do recall that the county attorney once advised Mr. Mark that Mr. Humphrey could indeed make remarks directed at Commission Liner’s behavior.
Anyway, enough of that.
Another strange thing happened. Two different staff members asked for budget changes, explained what the money was to be used for, but neglected to say the dollar amount of the change. None of the budget changes was something that CCTA would object to, but it was as if the staff knew that the Board knew the dollar amounts (and so did I because I print the attachments to the agenda for me to refer to during the meetings), but It’s almost like the amounts of taxpayer dollars involved is not the business of the taxpaying citizens in attendance or who will watch on TV later. Maybe the numbers are frightening. The smallest was $45,000, and then it went to an amount of $4,493,874 from the “Education Lottery.” The amount of $1,100,000 was to be used to pay down the school debt. Commissioner Jones did ask about the full amount of the debt and was told, “Around $35 million.” Still, there was no mention of how much this payment was. Odd.
Chairman Mark asked if anyone in the “audience” ( I wish he would refer to “citizens in attendance” ) would like to write to our NC representatives and request that the General Assembly restore the participation of education funding in the lottery profits back to 47% from the current 17%. I THINK THAT MIGHT BE ARRANGED.
He also wanted people to try to get HB-13 passed. It has passed the House and is in a committee in the Senate. If passed, it will mitigate the cost of providing additional K-3 classrooms and teachers to reduce classroom populations as is currently mandated, but not funded, by the state according to the Commissioners. (I believe they were relying what they had been told by members of the Board of Education on this point.) Unless that is done, it was strongly implied that Craven County taxes will have to be raised. Again.
However, when speaking with a member of the General Assembly, I was told that some of that money had been provided by the state, but the local school district chose to use it another way. This can get confusing. Who’s on first? Ah well, the Commissioners and local legislators are planning to meet soon, so that will give them an opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding about the situation.
To get back to the strangeness of the Board of Commissioners’ meeting, I believe that can be explained by my belief that the meetings are “dog and pony shows” to look like the county’s business is conducted in the open, but that it is really only an illusion.
Whatever the cause, this was altogether a very strange, down-the-rabbit-hole sort of meeting!
Respectfully submitted,

 

Hal James,
CCTA Watchdog Committee Chairman

Wakeup-04-09-17

Council on Foreign Relations

Wakeup-04-02-17

Deep State, Shadow Government

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