Just imagine if someone said they planned to reform state nutrition standards by taking food off your plate and giving it to someone much wealthier.
The rich get fatter, while the poor get hungrier.
That’s effectively what Senate Republicans seem to have in mind with their so-called “tax overhaul proposal,” which they rolled out for the media on Tuesday.
It’s not so much an overhaul (which the Depression era system sorely needs) as it is a tax rate cut for the wealthy and an expansion of the sales tax that would put more of the burden on poor and middle-class people, as well as the elderly.
For years, we’ve watched the old brick structure decaying along Main Street near Trinity Park.
We’re so close to finally seeing a development deal with Concord Hospitality Enterprises that doesn’t offend neighbors and seems to satisfy preservationists, because the company plans to preserve some of the original structure in their new Residence Inn extended-stay hotel.
City officials have offered about $1.2 million in local incentives to make the project possible, The Herald-Sun’s Ray Gronberg reported. Now that just leaves $755,000 for Durham County to ante up.
Certainly, it's tempting.
Just like Gov. Pat McCrory, we can look at North Dakota's booming economy, towns with 1 percent unemployment, and think: That could be us. No, that SHOULD be us.
More people are dying of suicide than car accidents.
Let that thought sink in for a moment and consider the numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. In 2010, 33,687 people died in motor vehicle crashes, while 38,364 took their own lives.
Republican lawmakers in Raleigh don't want the federal government telling them what to do.
States know best how to manage their own affairs, right?
And yet, in the past two weeks, The Herald-Sun's Ray Gronberg has reported on at least two bills floating around the state House and Senate that would let the General Assembly overrule municipalities and county governments when it comes to environmental rules and city rental inspections.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, an Onslow County Republican, is co-sponsor of the bill that would block cities and counties from enacting environmental rules that are tougher than what's on the state books. His motivation, no surprise, is that local rules might make some land impossible to develop.
"We want to go back and have a hard look at the rules put in place by cities and counties and see if they make sense anymore," Brown said.
But isn't that the job of those people we elect to run our cities and counties?
A showcase of some of the cartoons that appeared in the pages of The Herald-Sun during the past week.
You’re reading this, so congratulations.
Many of us take the ability for granted. This week’s end, most of us can click open emails, browse news websites, follow Twitter streams and read books without much effort.
And we don’t always grasp how lucky we are.
On Wednesday, Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield laid out the framework of a choice that might get a dark laugh from Joseph Heller:
Gut the city’s funding for gang-reduction efforts in Durham Public Schools or slash mental health positions, abandon efforts to save a domestic-violence court that’s on the verge of losing its funding and nix plans to expand the capacity for local forensics testing.
He shared with a joint committee on gang issues the idea of cutting by about half the Police Department’s $934,638 annual expense on the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program.
Bonfield couldn’t have been too surprised by the response, as at least three key officials involved opposed the suggestion, The Herald-Sun’s Ray Gronberg reported. In fact, he described it as “about what I expected.”
The overtime expenses for the City of Durham’s Water Management Department weren’t a slow trickle in 2011-12.
They were more like a gusher.
In a report to the City Council, The Herald-Sun’s Ray Gronberg wrote on Wednesday, auditors indicated that four maintenance supervisors drew a combined $116,777 in overtime pay. That basically boosted their pay for the year by nearly half.
In the 20 years since Bill Kalkhof took the helm of Downtown Durham Inc., the city center has evolved from a crumbling ruin into a desirable place to live and do business.
Just days before his retirement party, Preservation Durham hosted a walking tour of some of the homes nestled away downtown above storefronts along Parrish, Main and East Chapel Hill streets.
From the rooftop patio of the Snow Building penthouse apartment, visitors could take in the skyline on either side of the railroad tracks and see the mark left by Kalkhof during his tenure: the American Tobacco Campus, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Durham Performing Arts Center and the revamped streetscape in the city center.
"Today we fight. Tomorrow we fight. The day after, we fight. And if this disease plans on whipping us, it better bring a lunch, 'cause it's gonna have a long day doing it."
Actor Jim Beaver, who played Ellsworth on the HBO series "Deadwood," wrote those words about cancer in his memoir, "Life's That Way." He lost his wife Cecily Adams to lung cancer in 2004, three years after the birth of their daughter.
Chances are, we all know someone who's been touched by cancer.
This year in the United States, the American Cancer Society estimates 1.6 million new cancer cases. Of those, 53,200 are expected in North Carolina.
Remember how sequestration was supposed to force Democrats and Republicans alike to knuckle down and make the hard choices?
That resolve lasted just long enough for some late flights during the past week.
On Friday, Congress decided to help the Federal Aviation Administration find the cash needed to put thousands of furloughed air traffic controllers back on the job.
This should come as a huge relief to people who travel regularly by air. Like, say, U.S. senators and representatives.
Stop the violence.
Such a simple message.
On Thursday, for the seventh year running, people marched through the streets of Durham to remember victims lost to violent crime.
"We need to change," Lessie Carr told The Herald-Sun's Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan. Carr's family has suffered the loss of three relatives to violence since 2001. Her niece, Catrina, died as a bystander in a shooting off Holloway Street. Her brother, Darrell, died in an attack on Hillside Avenue. Another niece, Jackie Howard, lost her son, Demario Carr, in a shooting on the Durham Freeway in 2011.
Didn’t this week feel a lot less panicked and intense?
This week’s end seems decidedly more relaxed.
No major cities shutting down to chase mad bombers. The Twitterverse went back to worrying about narcotics aboard Justin Bieber’s bus. George W. Bush unveiled a library containing actual books and machines that let YOU be The Decider.
And, here at home in the Bull City, we got some good news. Happy news. Plenty of it.
Few things are as tragic as a disaster that people can see coming, yet do nothing to avoid it.
On Wednesday, a world away from us in Bangladesh, an eight-story building that housed textile factories collapsed in the city of Savar. At least 230 people died.
According to an Associated Press article, workers had complained about cracks in the structure. Some were afraid to go inside. The troubling conditions even drew the attention of local media.
But workers were assured: It was safe.