Wait, what's that smell? Oh, it's the sweet scent of the 2016 election. Could that explain Gov. Pat McCrory's inching toward the center with his two laudable vetoes? The ag-gag bill got the big V, as did the measure allowing God-fearing, Jesus-quoting magistrates (wait, Jesus said nothing about homosexuality) to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
The Senate voted to override McCrory's veto on the magistrate bill; the House is expected to vote on their bigotry today.
As for the ag-gag, aka "the Property Protection Act," we're hoping this bill is as dead as a piece of fried chicken. In addition to prohibiting employees from secretly documenting abuses at animal processing facilities, those restrictions could have also applied to nursing homes and day cares. All in the name of protecting property, of course.
Compared to the other horrific bill of the week—forcing womenfolk to wait three days before getting a legal abortion—the killing-Bambi-on-the-Lord's Day legislation seems minor.
But this ridiculous bill provides yet another glimpse into the minds of the gun-lovin', gay-hatin', mansplain' lawmakers. (Hat tip to WRAL, who managed to report this story without irony.)
Under the measure, hunters with guns must wait until noon on Sundays to shoot animals, but they can still do their killing on the Sabbath. This levels the playing field with the bow hunters, who have been able to mortally wound deer, squirrels, wild turkeys and whatever else was "in season" on that day. Hunters would have to stay 500 yards (1,500 feet) from a church or home. Praise the Lord, pass the ammunition!
Here are some choice quotes from the WRAL pieces:
"A little bit of dirt under their fingernails, a little bit of dirt from the outdoors on the soles of their shoes, might combat some of the dirt they're putting into their minds with a click of a mouse," said Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin and Waynem the bill's primary sponsor.
(While remote-controlled Internet hunting is illegal in 38 states, including North Carolina, there are plenty of hunting simulation games available with a "click of a mouse." At the Laundromat, I used to watch kids while away an entire wash cycle with one of those arcade games.)
"I'll tell you one more heritage that we have in this state," State Rep. William Brisson, D-Bladen, said, "It's our Christian heritage. No matter what denomination you are, I'll tell you, this state is known as a Christian state."
(Clearly, Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths whose Holy Days are not on Sundays have a hunting advantage. This must be stopped! They're getting all the good bucks!)
"... Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland, argued that hunting was little different from the bevy of festivals, road races, golf tournaments, sports events and other distractions that already take place on Sunday."
(Unless you're running a marathon with a 12-gauge or putting on the 14th green with a Winchester.)
'Round the INDY, we call Raleigh's latest legal threat to hot fun in the summertime the Greg Hatem Law.
The proposed Outdoor Dining Ordinance would restrict which businesses could apply for a permit. In order to use a public space for outdoor dining, aka, the sidewalk, at least 30 percent of an establishment's sales would have to come from food and sales from alcoholic beverages could not exceed 70 percent. Above that threshold, and a restaurant or bar would no longer allow this outrageous wine-drinking behavior outside. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 16.
Over in Durham, we suggest bringing trail mix and a flask to Thursday's 1 p.m. City Council work session, because it's gonna be epic.
On the agenda: how to address the embarrassing disparity between the number of contracts awarded for businesses owned by white men and the number awarded to those owned by minorities and women. In Durham of all places, aka the United Colors of Benetton.
If you're a fan of Durham Central Park, there soon could be less of it to love. The city could sell several easements currently part of DCP to a developer that wants to build 100 condos at 539 Foster St. And in a further erosion of public space in that area, 235.53 linear feet of Roney Street, which adjoins the DCP could be closed. That right-of-way would be used for the Foster Street development, instead of parking for the farmers market, which is already in short supply.
We'll also have another look at the 2015–2016 budget, and at drawings for the new Durham Police fortress, we mean headquarters.
Two weeks ago, Council took a strafing from residents of Stonehill Estates and Ravenstone, whose streets and sidewalks have never been finished after the developer went belly up seven years ago. When the city tried to force the insurance company's hand to pay for the completion, a lawsuit ensued. Durham got the short end of the stick, and to pay for the streets and sidewalks, the city has to find room in the budget and/or residents are going to be on the hook for part of the cost.
Anyway, there's going to be a public hearing on the matter, which will tell us how much residents will have to pony up—right now it's a whopping $4,500 per household—and how much the city will.
And where are the Realtors who sold these homeowners this lemon?
They got their commission, so ... crickets.