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Tis the time of year when we think of "Peace on earth, good will toward men," so it was fitting that my yoga teacher opened one of our December classes by reading this text from ancient India.
The State Board of Education will consider again in February a proposal enabling failing traditional public schools to apply for an exemption easing some state regulations so they can operate more like charter schools.
After years of stalemate, 2015 was the year that Governor Pat McCrory and the state of North Carolina finalized the sale of the Dorothea Dix property to the City of Raleigh.
The 2016 centennial of North Carolina's state parks system will launch at Goose Creek State Park with a First Day Hike on Jan. 1, an opportunity to begin the New Year with exercise, family adventure and a reconnection with nature, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
North Carolina lawmakers should take aim at the state's current system of depreciation, as they look for more ways to improve the tax code
New Years is just another day on the calendar, but we always seem to find a reason to look back and make resolutions looking forward.
What IS a Republican? Is it merely someone who marks an 'R' on their voter registration card? Is it someone who seeks to protect the common people from the excesses of government bureaucracy?
As you might suspect every activity within a gated community is covered by written and legally binding covenants, which are recorded in the County Office. I have run afoul several times of these very often-specific rules.
In recollecting 2015, I remember legendary CBS Newsman Walter Cronkite, who closed each evening's newscast by saying, "And that's the way it is..,".
A barrage of articles in the popular press points out the escalating cost of higher education, rising student debt levels, and the financial struggles many colleges and universities face
Some University of North Carolina system faculty members are outraged. They have been given only one across-the-board raise since 2011
Photographers seldom have all the components for an interesting photo and need a photo editing program to put the pieces of a puzzle together.

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Government

News Release:

Raleigh, N.C. After years of stalemate, 2015 was the year that Governor Pat McCrory and the state of North Carolina finalized the sale of the Dorothea Dix property to the City of Raleigh.

"We are proud that this year we were able to end the stalemate and broker a deal with the City of Raleigh that is in the best interest of taxpayers and our state," said Governor McCrory. "In the new year, we will continue to find better use for valuable, underutilized state property through our Project Phoenix initiative."

In April, the City agreed to purchase the Dorothea Dix property from the state for $52 million. In July, the transaction was completed and Raleigh was named the official owner of the 307-acre property.

As a result of the deal, North Carolina will benefit from a new destination park in Raleigh, while honoring the legacy of Dorothea Dix by dedicating all $52 mi... (read more)
News Release:

Raleigh, N.C. After decades of delays and court challenges, 2015 was the year that Governor Pat McCrory announced North Carolina will move forward with the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project with construction beginning in spring of 2016.

"This breakthrough agreement will allow us to proceed with the long anticipated construction of Bonner Bridge connecting North Carolinians and visitors safely to the Outer Banks," said Governor McCrory. "This development will promote economic prosperity on our coast while protecting the quality of life and environment that we all enjoy."

The Bonner Bridge Replacement Project will replace the existing 52-year-old bridge over Oregon Inlet and provide for long-term reliable travel between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe. The Bonner Bridge, located in Dare County, provides the only highway connection between Hatteras Island and mainland North C... (read more)

Op-Ed & Politics

Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming our newest contributor to BCN, Kathy Manos Penn, a native of the "Big Apple", by way of the "Peach City" - Atlanta. Kathy is a former English teacher, author of The Ink Penn blog, and a communications professional in corporate America. Now with Kathy on board, I advise all other contributors to mind your punctuation and syntax.

Tis the time of year when we think of "Peace on earth, good will toward men," so it was fitting that my yoga teacher opened one of our December classes by reading this text from ancient India:

Together may we be protected
Together may we be nourished
Together may we work with great energy
May our journey together be brilliant and effective
May there be no bad feelings between us
May there be peace
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti Om
Isn't Shanti, which means Peace, uppermost in our minds as we celebrate the season and ... (read more)
Publisher's note: The author of this post is Kari Travis, who is an associate editor for the Carolina Journal, John Hood Publisher.

Five-year-old 'restart' provision for failing schools has never been tried
RALEIGH - The State Board of Education will consider again in February a proposal enabling failing traditional public schools to apply for an exemption easing some state regulations so they can operate more like charter schools.

The Policy for the Reform of Continually Low-Performing Schools, last heard Dec. 3 by the SBOE, resulted from a discussion between state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson and Alamance-Burlington School Superintendent Bill Harrison regarding whether two failing schools in the Alamance district, Eastlawn Elementary and Haw River Elementary, might take advantage of the exemption established in 2010 under Senate Bill 704.

The legislation ou... (read more)

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Community

News Release:

Sheriff Ernie Coleman and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is proud to partner with Kingdom Builders. Kingdom Builders is a local street ministry that has been handing out sleeping bags to people in need for the past year. A total of 20 sleeping bags have been given out since the program started.

Most of the effort has been in and around Washington but Kingdom Builders would like to reach more of Beaufort County. Dr. Frank Sheldon, representing Kingdom Builders met with Sheriff Ernie Coleman and Chief Deputy Charlie Rose. During the meeting it was decided that Kingdom Builders would provide sleeping bags to the Sheriff's Office. Patrol Deputies will keep a sleeping bag in their patrol vehicle and will give the sleeping bags to those that are in need, whether they are homeless or because of other circumstances. The sleeping bags will be replaced once given ou... (read more)

Business

This is technically a motorcycle and it won't make you a Hell's Angel, but it could make you the "eccentric old guy" who lives down the street and has never really grown up. It could also save you a ton of money.

I initially was looking at this concept car as a possible commuter car for my son who has a 50-mile one-way commute from his home to work. The company will require significant funding to reach actual production. The unique feature of crowd funding that is used recently for smaller projects that do not attract the Investment Bankers or Golden Angel investors also intrigued me. Instead, Elio is using the same technique of broadening the investment base with a unique concept. The blended concept of crowd funding and investment bankers is unique on such a large project. There is no doubt that this would be a speculative investment and any casual reading of the SEC forms would ... (read more)

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The Region

News Release:

The 2016 centennial of North Carolina's state parks system will launch at Goose Creek State Park with a First Day Hike on Jan. 1, an opportunity to begin the New Year with exercise, family adventure and a reconnection with nature, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

Now in its fifth year, this tradition has prompted North Carolinians to walk more than 17,000 miles on state park trails during past New Year's Day events. Each state park and state recreation area puts its own stamp on its First Day Hike.
The rugged shoreline of Goose Creek State Park: Above. photo by Stan Deatherage Click image to expand.
This year we will celebrate with a hike on three of Goose Creek's trails through the pine forest along the Pamlico River. Hike the shorter Live Oak and Huckleberry trails for 1/2 mile or hike all three for a total of 1 1/2 miles. Everyone please m... (read more)

The Arts

New Years is just another day on the calendar, but we always seem to find a reason to look back and make resolutions looking forward.

I am no different from most people in that respect. I always review the past year. Part of the reason is the ending of a tax year and the final days to make decisions that would affect my income tax for 2015. We are down to the last two days in the trading market and this is the time to realize either a gain or loss on our investments in the stock market.

I learned a long time ago not to make any financial decisions based on tax ramifications. But, it is human nature to convince yourself that you are only making a decision that you would have made anyway but you are astute enough to do so this year rather than a week from now.

In addition to money decisions, in the past I have always tried to make a change in my lifestyle based on the clock and ... (read more)
As you might suspect every activity within a gated community is covered by written and legally binding covenants which are recorded in the County Office. I have run afoul several times of these very often specific rules.

One of the best things about this neighborhood is that I don't have to read the covenants, I can wait for the letter to tell me I am in non-compliance. In a neighborhood full of do-gooders and busy-bodies, lawyers, managers and generally old people with attitudes, it is comforting to know that they are watching out for my well being.

There is one thing that does tend to gall me and that is the holiday decorations covenant. I think it is a bias against religion.The traditional Christian celebration starts the season of Advent which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and for nearly a month Christians await the coming of Christ in a spirit of expectation, ... (read more)

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Living

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, there are many things to be thankful for and I am sure there will be many posts that highlight them. This year, I will be gathering with my family as usual and we will welcome the addition of my first Grandchild. At seventy years old, I was not sure I would live long enough to see this.

However, this year, I will focus on the family history that I am trying to chronicle for my descendants. We are currently involved in a worldwide environment of religious fanatics that are intent on the destruction of us and our way of life.

It is easy to come up with glib statements and solutions to the current problems this country faces, but I have put some thought into how my family arrived at this point in time.

My father's family had been in America for generations and his mother's family date back to England circa 1450's. His father's family is s... (read more)

Announcements

Press Release:

This Saturday, June 23, 2012, there will be a PraiseFest event on Washington's Waterfront from from 1:00 to 6:00 pm.

See the image below for all of the details:... (read more)

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