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Carolina Journal Radio No. 719: Plans for Hyde County landmark generate controversy

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 719: Plans for Hyde County landmark generate controversy

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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February 27, 2017 12:00 am

North Carolina taxpayers have spent millions of dollars – and might spend more – to restore a Hyde County landmark before turning it over to a private partner to run as a for-profit enterprise. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, explains why this arrangement for the Lake Mattamuskeet lodge is raising red flags for government watchdogs. Every American president has been a leader, but some have exhibited much better leadership than others. Attorney Talmage Boston has used public cross-examinations of presidential historians and other experts to identify key traits shared by the most successful leaders among the presidents. He compiled those observations in the book Cross-Examining History, and he highlights details from the book for Carolina Journal Radio. Some state legislators want to ensure that North Carolina is taking the proper steps to protect the state’s electrical grid. They heard a recent briefing on the topic from key Duke Energy staffers. You’ll hear key elements from that briefing. It took a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to confirm Betsy DeVos as the new U.S. Education secretary. Now that DeVos has the job, Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based education think tank, predicts the likely impact for traditional public schools and school choice across the country. The N.C. Military Affairs Commission recently generated unwanted headlines when it refused to discuss a report about a controversial wind farm project until a reporter had left the group’s meeting. Before he left, the reporter, Carolina Journal Associate Editor Dan Way, had refused the commission’s request not to report on what he saw and heard. Way explains why the Military Affairs Commission’s actions ran afoul of the spirit – and possibly the letter – of North Carolina’s open-meetings law.

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From Cherokee to Currituck from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio I'm Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. All presidents are leaders, but some are better leaders than others. During a recent visit to North Carolina, a prominent attorney and presidential historian shared his thoughts about the best presidents key leadership qualities. Some North Carolina lawmakers want to ensure the state is doing the best job you can to protect its electrical grid. You'll hear highlights from a briefing on the topic. Now that Betsy DeVos has survived a confirmation fight to become the US education Sec.

What will she do in office for traditional public schools for charter schools and other forms of school choice will ask an expert and will learn how Carolina Journal reporter helped spark an open meetings dispute involving North Carolina's military affairs commission. Those topics are just ahead.

First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline the Hyde County area of North Carolina adjacent to the Pamlico sound usually attracts attention because of its beauty, but it is a lot in that area that's now attracting headlines following estate report that details a plan to turn over the matter. Mesquite Lodge which is received millions of state dollars to a private group that will run it is a business that will then compete for tourists in that area. Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal joins me now with the story which has been a headline in the print version of Carolina Journal also available Carolina Rick welcome. Thank you so why is a state of North Carolina involved financially at all with the Lodge near the Pamlico sound will the state has had control the Lodge's for better part of a decade, thanks to a law that former Senate leader Mark Bass night got the pass through Congress that turned this Lodge which is on federal property over to the state and there are all sorts of ideas about what to do with this abandoned building if you will. And finally, although the initial idea was to have the building used to some sort of wildlife. Sooner or visitor center something like that for a for tourists to see fortune you the history of wildlife and that sort of thing. In recent years, some local business owners have gotten the idea of maybe turning it into something that could be a run for profit that looks like it was going to happen now. How much money are we talking about here in terms of state dollars so I spent a couple million dollars in leasing there. There may be more out there involvement that was largely to renovate the building, which dates back to the WPA hear the depression era and the money then got to renovate the building may be two or $3 million more to make it habitable. If you will basically boarded up right now there's this big tower there was a smokestack of the area was the pump station in which this shallow lake was supposed to have been pumped out because it happens that the ground beneath it is very appropriate for farming. The lake itself is below sea level and certainly public out in the sea level would rise a little bit for the storm or select at the lake refill again and so it's it's always been a membership of chasing your tail.

Try to keep the like trained in violence they give up on, is this a situation where the state now owns this piece of property is just trying to figure out something to do with it. So the latest idea is, well, let's try to make some money out of what one of the problems with this whole project as it is not really clear that the state ever considered alternative uses for the Lodge.

Other than for the current idea of making its River resort because the area that area of high County. There are a few small motels and unlike there in the scenario where people go duck hunting and bear hunting and things like that. And so it does have some a few thousand visitors a year come there for that purpose. But the idea now is been to turn it over to this to this local businesses businessman who is going to then allegedly add about a dozen rooms that have a catering facility in heaven events there and things like that and it seems to be a pretty dubious use of money because it's real difficult to get their number one and number two. There are no water and sewer facilities are so so to be a tourist basic that's right we we really get into detail of this particular story. But if, as we follow-up that is one thing is happening. Is it right now the area sewer's are not the sewage system, but the septic system there something that's used by the federal government because federal government owns a lot of land around there still considered to be wildlife area and there's really not proper accommodations for you hotel luxury hotel quality facilities that which is what has been envisioned in the state plan we have any details about what the financial interest of the state would be it was turned over when the state be making money.

That's were not real sure about vectors very look very few details about what the financial plan would be for Amanda Mesquite resort there that we really don't know a whole lot about it just seems that for some reason there. The members of the legislature have been enticed into going along with this local businessman's plan to make this really interesting and very scenic odd odyssey of a facility interested interesting for the public knowing some of the locals there would say sure spends the money to restore it or at least maybe raise some money to restore it from some of people who use the area for hunting in the light and converted into visitor Center on education center or have you know NC State or East Carolina. One of the universities in the state. Use it for research purposes. The notion of having it in which she would have this constant turning of tourists coming there or staying there. The hotter things like that just doesn't seem to be very appropriate.

After all, this was the area of generally speaking, where workcenter Bass night try to get a a a fairy built just to transport the people who work to the hotels on the Outer Banks from the mainland and we will call the ferry for the children but basically it was the idea that that right now if you actually are living in this area for living on the Outer Banks itself is very expensive, but if you're living in, what, it's not very expensive but it's also hard to get anywhere because right many roads and certainly very few ideas resort facilities that the people used to give resort purposes are shops there is nothing like that at all. Carolina Journal story again. You can read it at Carolina. there is a very familiar name that comes up in the story and that would be what is the trump connection to Lake madams 12 Donald Trump Junior was was a guest of this Benjamin Simmons local businessman who is apparently being groomed to run whatever happens to Lake madams ski Lodge and all Trump Junior was invited there to do slips a bear hunting back during the winter before the inauguration of the current president more than likely, this was just to try to grease the skids to make lawmakers okay what we got the president's son here hunting and so that if the present. Some will come here.

Just think of all the other people who come here to hunt and of course the minute what I think it was largely given or could we maybe in the future see a big T on well if we did it would be a very interesting use of the of the presidents family money. Now we know that if this does occur this way. By the way all this information is available in a 50+ page report that was released recently by a state agency felt that folks can read this right there some sort of state law that prevents a state agency or state facility from competing with private businesses.

Yes it's called the Homestead act and what it said it essentially says is at stake is not allowed to compete with the private sector directly.

If the private sector is providing a service or central product. The public than the state can just going to say he will want to do that to possibly undercut a source of competitive issues involved there and again some of the locals who were questioning the wisdom of this project are saying that it may well violate the upset of the agencies in charge of this is the wildlife resources commission and it's a commission that essentially is supposed to be under the Department of natural and cultural resources, but it really has very little supervision. So the agency itself sort of runs on its own and it may be one of the issues here is the commissioners of wildlife resource commission may have thought this is a great idea without actually having any adults in the room to say no. This really does make a lot of economic sense and may have other problems to do we know Rick.

Finally, if the legislature invites taking notice of this 50+ page report could happen here. We have not seen any action of the Gen. assembly about it, but there there should there will be something because we may end up with another situation like the ready board theater if were not careful boy in our listeners who are regular listeners will know that was pretty much a boondoggle from the ground.

Yes, it was okay again. You can read this story about Lake Amanda Mesquite Lodge at Carolina. It's written by Don Carrington Rick Henderson is the editor thinking is much more Carolina Journal radio to come in just a moment when you hear the word crime you probably think about murder, assault or robbery, but what about crimes linked to obscure government rules so obscure. Most people wouldn't even know they're breaking the rule North Carolina has too many crimes like that crimes that can lead to convictions just because a person runs afoul of rules and regulations. Most people don't even know exist.

It's a big problem, a problem the John Locke foundation and Texas Public policy foundation are tackling. You can join in.

Monday, March 13 at noon at the Campbell Law school in downtown Raleigh and expert panel explores North Carolina laws the turn bureaucratic mistakes into crimes. That's right and honest mistake that leads to criminal conviction that's noon on Monday, March 13 at the Campbell Law school.

The $10 price includes lunch.

Sign up online Click on events that John Locke LOC welcome back Carolina Journal radio I Muskoka by virtue of the job, president of the United States is a leader. There's no question about that, but some presidents are better leaders than others.

In our next guest to spend a great deal of time exploring the leadership lessons we can learn from our top presidents Talmage Boston is an attorney and longtime student of presidential history.

He's used his legal skills to help put together the interviews that make up the book cross-examining history. A lawyer gets answers from the experts about our presence to the program to be her marriage before we get into some of these leadership lessons. First of all, tell us about how this book came together in 2010 I started doing on stage interviews in my hometown of Dallas, Texas for the world affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth and his best-selling authors and figures would come to town for various programs. More and more of them favored presenting their show in the in the interview format as opposed to one person behind the podium. So because I was a director of the world affairs Council and I've always enjoyed interrogating people particular in front of crowds makes it more fun.

I did my first one with Michael Lewis when he came to town on the national book tour for the big short than the next big when I did was with Dave McCulloch when he came to town for his his bestseller, the greater journey really that the biggest one. I guess I've ever done came when I got to interview Henry Kissinger when he came to town, and in March 2013 and that really kind of kicked off the idea that these conversations were important. What was being said needed to be preserved and sort some sort of meaningful way.

In early 2015 after I done ate with presidential historians and presidential insiders who worked in the White House. I decided I could make a book out of it turned out there were 31 interviews that I conducted was completed at the end of last year.

So the book is is the edited transcript of 31 on stage interviews with top presidents presidential biographers and people who served in the White House to get their most advanced thoughts about the presence of you today. The research and written about, or the presence of their work with so with 31 interviews you cover much ground, but one of the areas that you cover is presidential leadership. What are some of the things people should know from the book about what you learned about presidential leadership of the very end of the book after all. 31. Edited transcripts appear from George Washington through Bush 43 commentary. I decided I need to come to pull all these thoughts together in some sort of final conclusions and so part of that chapter wasn't made identifying discrete leadership traits that certain presidents epitomized that have applications all who are involved in leadership positions in sales since it turned out there were 10 of them. I thought 10 Commandments was kind of a catchy title and and and and put that into the back of book, leaders are they gonna be.

Are they leaders with high integrity are they leaders who have the skill to cross the aisle and and cause legislation to pass through through dialogue and and and compromise are they going to be able to persevere with steadfast resolve over setbacks. Are they going to be able to be no going to pursue their initiatives with perfect timing. Are they going to remain calm in a crisis and not panic. These are the kinds of traits that over time are critical weathers Republican president Democratic president. We need leaders who exemplify these traits if you want to have the highest level of confidence in the person who's leading our country.

We are chatting with Talmage Boston, an attorney based in Dallas Texas and also author of this book cross-examining history lawyer gets answers from the experts about our presidents. So did you find that the best presidents tended to always or at least almost always exemplify these various commitments for the most part Abraham Lincoln I think is good and to not attend back I think he's great in 10 out of 10 of the trades and I don't think any other present comes close to that when George Washington on the one hand was was the high integrity service conscious and chief that's it. That's our first commandment of presidential leadership, but was he a great communicator. Well, he was a good communicator, Thomas Jefferson. What was great at crossing the aisle, but he was not a great public speaker. He fortunately lived in an era where was more important to be a good writer than a good speaker so so are presidents of all sleep in flawed human beings with strengths and weaknesses and and Lincoln Lincoln strengths certainly topped them all in terms of having of the traits that that might for a great president based on the commitments that you mentioned. It sounds as if the best presidential leaders have some good innate characteristics, but also have to be able to work with others know what's important, what's not as important, how to craft deals to get closer to what they want, maybe not there ideal, but at least some large part of the way there. Well, to be a successful president. You are so you gotta be a successful communicator/persuader and that is to get people who are thinking differently on an issue to all of a sudden have their eyes open to your particular perspective, and in fact, over time, change their opinion and and and Thomas Jefferson, and in social situations and in small gatherings was what was quite the leader in that respect. Obviously Lyndon Johnson with the way he advanced civil rights legislation by getting Republicans to come on board and the advancement with the Civil Rights Act of voting rights act and and the fair housing bill resident Reagan particular during his first term with the able White House Chief of Staff James Baker by his side was very successful at crossing the aisle and getting Democrats to come on board with, among other things. For example, the tax Reform Act of 1986. The last time we had any meaningful tax reform led by a president so the great presidents do know how to get people to number one know what people think, understand the public sentiment, but then come up with strategies to cause that sentiment to transform over time to align with the presidents vision. Of course nobody was better that than Abraham Lincoln in the way he issued the Emancipation Proclamation to get the country on board with the need for ending slavery not as a matter of moral grounds, but but as a matter of military necessity is a seven Emancipation Proclamation everybody.

One of the civil war to end ASAP and he made the case that with the freed slaves from the South now been emancipated.

They could join and support that the union military force, and that obviously would help the war effort and bring the war to an end quicker and so that's how he got the public to fulfill his vision of ending slavery, but by tying to what they were thinking and their focus on brain and into the war.

In the brief time that we have left. There are lots of books about history. Lots of books about presidential history. What you think of book that involves interviews with people who have been thinking about this, who worked with these leaders. How does that add something different and fresh that people have not encountered if they've just read biographies or other histories puts it all into one book. So instead of having to read 700 pages of David McCullough going on John Adams or thousand pages on Harry Truman or 800 pages of updates W brands on on Ronald Reagan. I read all of these books and advance the interviews identified what I thought were the most intriguing areas and the questions were zoomed in on those areas. So I like to think that the reader of my book can essentially go on an expedited basis to our top presidential thinkers who taught us from George Washington all the way to the to the modern 21st-century era and get the juiciest nuggets of food for thought from each of them and I'll have it there in one book as opposed to 31 books of the book once again is cross-examining history lawyer gets answers from the experts about our presidents. The lawyer and the author of the book is Talmage Boston. Thanks much for joining us will have more on Carolina journal radio just a moment at the John Mott foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying.

In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you.

That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the lock foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interest. The special interests.

We would be honored to have your help in this fight.

John and make a tax-deductible donation. Right now the John Locke foundation where fighting for you where fighting for freedom North Carolina lawmakers head back to Raleigh. There's a new governor in town working together or working against each other will make big decisions decisions that affect you, your wallet, your home, your business, your kids education to keep up with those big decisions day by day. Even minute by minute look to Carolina journal, a full team of reporters and analysts there watching the action in the state capital.

The reporting minute by minute developments for you Carolina journal. It's available each month as a free newspaper and every day with updated find us on Facebook to share items from Carolina journal share items from the John Locke foundation. Follow us on Twitter at Carolina journal at John lock in C and at Becky Gray Carolina journal it your go to source for news about state government and how government affects your life.

Visit Carolina today. Did you know you can now advance freedom and free markets just by shopping with Amazon it's true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shot using the Amazon smile program and designate the work foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop and Amazon donates money to us.

The John Locke foundation. So here's how it works. Why not to Amazon smile. It's the same Amazon you know same products same prices with better Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to pass the John Locke foundation to try and be sure to designate the Locke foundation is a nonprofit, you want to support.

It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy will also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation.

Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy some state lawmakers want to be sure North Carolina's electrical grid is safe from attack. Thomas Pruitt of Duke energy recently led a legislative briefing grid.

Of course, is one of our top priorities. We have to balance protection the grid and maintaining system reliability and an efficient, reliable, safe system is record everything we do. One of the focuses of course is not the mundane but in fact what we call high-impact low-frequency events. Those are physical and cyber security attacks.

As you mentioned earlier GMD EMP hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flood, seismic events, Fars you name it we deal with. We know that no single solution can completely eliminate any of these risks so we ensure that their contingencies and redundancies in place for everything we can think of, and where contentment continually balancing that threat mitigation with the cost to our customers another Duke energy staffer Carl Cahill focuses on cybersecurity centered ourselves around three possible attacks or major risks if you will not one is a dispute disruption of the generation or distribution of power to is the disruption of IT services. So imagine websites. Anything that supports our our overall mission to deliver power as well. And finally, sensitive data, we do not want to lose her sensitive data so customer information, Social Security numbers, credit cards, etc., sooner or later the bad guys are going to get through just happens, whether through an email or some other method. So if they if they get through defenses. How quickly do we find them and then what we do with what about the threat of an attack involving an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP where factor EMP protection into the overall protection plan for parking facilities and design criteria for EMP is location purpose specific when reviewing, refining, refining existing plans.

We work with the law enforcement division of local informative site site public safety to develop an Oklahoma EMP readiness response plan with very proud of that. To our knowledge this is the first effort in the nation anywhere to do something like this. In particular, were were very glad to see that were involved in all of our critical infrastructure sectors not just electricity.

We plan we drilled the plan that we take lessons learn and improve the plan Pruitt emphasizes resiliency so resiliency of course is very important it's a very complex issue involves a number of different elements is not just simply heartening is not just simply preparation. It's all of the steps along the way and we always have to balance that against cost to our customers. You been listening to highlights from a recent briefing on Duke energy's efforts to protect North Carolina's electrical grid will return with more Carolina journal radio involvement when you hear the word crime you probably think about murder, assault or robbery, but what about crimes linked to obscure government rules so obscure. Most people wouldn't even know they're breaking the rule North Carolina has too many crimes like that crimes that can lead to convictions just because a person runs afoul of rules and regulations. Most people don't even know exist. It's a big problem, a problem the John Locke foundation and Texas Public policy foundation are tackling. You can join in. Monday, March 13 at noon at the Campbell Law school in downtown Raleigh and expert panel explores North Carolina laws the turn bureaucratic mistakes into crimes. That's right and honest mistake that leads to criminal conviction that's noon on Monday, March 13 at the Campbell Law school.

The $10 price includes lunch.

Sign up online click on events. That's John Locke LOC look at that Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy took a tie-breaking vote from VP Mike thence to get Betsy DeVos confirmed that the US education Sec. now that she's in the job. What can we expect joining us with some thoughts on that topic is Michael Petrilli, president of a Washington DC based education think tank the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Thanks for joining greatly with you, Mitch. This was a very contentious debate.

A lot of discussion took that tie-breaking vote from my past, but now we have Betsy DeVos as US education sec. what you expect.

We do yes and it was a surprise. I don't think any of us expected that she was going to be the one nominee of the president trumps that would get this kind of backlash and it was really quite amazing. Millions of people writing letters and calling into their senators, but now she is sectors of education, I think we can expect a couple things. First, as she is made it very clear that she agrees with Republicans in Capitol Hill that we need to give power back to the states and to local communities when it comes to education is very much in line with this new well-year-old now law called the every student succeeds act. This is the law that replaced no Child left behind and very much is clear that states now are to have much more control over how they grade their schools, how they intervene in low performing schools and everything else that comes to their education policies, and I think that Betsy DeVos is very much to be someone who went when asked about this policy issue or that policy issue she's gonna say well go talk to Gov. that's not my decision to make.

Second, be good for education.

With these decisions now more in the states, rather than in DC. I think it is meant to me. Especially right now we have such a polar heist of Washington DC. Of course that many states are polarized to, but at any time that we can send power and decisions back to the states back to local communities, you know, let red states come up with their own decisions, and blue states come up with their own.

I think it helps to take the temperature down a bit and and I hope get back to the point where education is one of those rare issues that is not so polarized, it makes sense that the people closer to the action.

The teachers in the principals and the parents have more say over what goes on in their schools there.

I know I think there are still some important things states need to do like have accountability systems that grade schools and tell taxpayers how different schools are doing most of the action should be local and I think this is a this can be a good a good thing for American education is also a way to help more experimentation and what works and to find out what does and what doesn't work as as different states pursue different strategies. That's right mean absolutely immune here. You know we got our laboratories of democracy with the 50 states and it does allow states to go their own way, especially on issues like school accountability and another there's 1 Best Way to grade schools and to look at their performance.

There is still a federal requirement that that states test students regularly and that they turn those test scores in some kind of rating for schools and theirs was to look at things other than test scores. Now I think that's all quite reasonable, but when you get into the details of how that is done, it's okay for different states to try different things and will see what works. You don't North Carolina.

Once upon a time back in the 90s was seen as a real leader in education reform and suddenly showed huge progress on the national assessment on that that tract reading and math progress over time and other states looked at North Carolina's hate. Some they're doing something right. We should figure out how we can follow along as well. I think that's healthy when you get back to that we let different states do different things and then figure out if somebody hits on something that's working, then we can encourage other states to follow. We are chatting with Michael Petrilli, who is president of the Thomas B.

Fordham Institute in education think tank based in Washington DC that the main topic as we started with was Betsy DeVos that I think among those who were her supporters and among those who were her critics probably the things she was most known for is support for school choice. How much might that affect how things happened in the schools here North Carolina and across country.

That's right. And in this is the big unknown. We are expecting the trump administration and Betsy DeVos to come out with some big proposal on school choice and of the president on the campaign trail talked about $20 billion.

He wanted to invest in school choice is a big number. Even in Washington and that could potentially help hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of kids go to private schools of their choice. I'd now you have to see what they propose. Many of us expect that it will be part of a tax reform bill. That's because, you know, even many Republicans in Capitol Hill are going to be sheepish about supporting private school choice Republicans from rural states. For example, that don't have a lot of private schools but if it's part of a tax reform bill something that has to pass and how it can can pass in a partyline vote that might be something they can get done could be some kind of federal tax credit for people for individuals or maybe corporations donating to scholarship programs. You've got a program like that here.

North Carolina targeted low income kids and it could say that. Hey, if you donate to that North Carolina program. You can take a ride off on your taxes and that program then would have more money to turn around and make grants to make scholarships to low income kids go to private schools, so lots to do. To be continued were not sure what that's gonna look like, but but that's something to wait for you mentioned earlier that this was a bit of a surprise that that that Betsy DeVos turned out to be one of the cabinet appointments withdrew so much scrutiny and so much opposition. How surprised were you that the people who are major advocates of the education establishment came out so forcefully against well that that part wasn't a surprise. There's no no surprise that the teacher unions amended the other educator groups came out against her because she is mostly associated with private school choice and they just hate that idea. They just have drawn it a redline when it comes to vouchers and in private school choice. What was more surprising was that so many parents and in and really you know teachers, whether driven by the unions are not the way they responded. I a look. I think that part of that was about present trump still a lot of fear and anger and backlash him part of it I think is is because she did not do that well in her hearing and she came off as somebody who just didn't know a lot about public education. I actually think she knows more than she let on. And that hearing and that she's been around education, policy and politics for it for three decades working on this issue of parental choice, but if all you knew of her with the clips that you saw on social media were on late-night TV, then it certainly appeared that she was not somebody qualified for the job and that led to this huge backlash out there that I think it was partly about the unions and other groups and partly was organic as a person who works on education issues from DC. What is so one of the first things that you hope Betsy DeVos is going to do what she gets in there and starts work around you deciding what her priorities are well first I I hope she makes it clear with to the states as they are implementing this new federal law that they need to keep moving full speed ahead and that they are going to have a sector of education that's gonna back them that's going to basically stay out of their way. As long as they stayed stay within the lines of law. Second thing is you know she's got a really make some decisions around the office for civil rights at office under the Obama administration was very aggressive I would say too aggressive in terms of trying to micromanage the nation schools. For example, they got into making it that you have very really telling schools in hey if you suspend too many kids especially too many kids of color were to come after you with with some civil rights investigations even if those schools were doing what they needed to do to keep order to keep safety.

I think she can undo that pretty quickly. Least I hope so.

And I think that's something that could have a big impact on schools right away one person who is going to be watching Betsy DeVos very closely, as she moves on in the job as US education Sec. is Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and education think tank based in Washington DC.

Thanks much for joining us think you have more on Carolina just a moment at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying. In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interests.

The special interests. We would be honored to have your help in this fight. John and make a tax-deductible donation. Right now the John Locke foundation where fighting for you where fighting for freedom, welcome back to Carolina Journal radio Donna Martinez media law experts believe that the North Carolina military affairs commission violated the spirit, if not the letter of state laws requiring the conduct of public meetings in a transparent manner.

Now that is the lead of a story written by my next guest Carolina journals danwei tried to cover a presentation being made to that commission, but was told the items he was wanting to cover would be pulled from the agenda and is here to share the rest of the story with Stan welcome back.

She tried to cover a presentation that was gonna be made to this commission. You go to the meeting. You show your press credentials and what happens will initially I was never given. The meeting was in a small room so there was an issue with getting enough people in this we had to set out in our room then when I open it up after couple people left. I was stopped at the door before I got in and asked who I was and why was there and why I thought I should have access Somoza public meeting.

Obviously I will you and we are the representative for the public so once I got in there, Larry Hall, former state representative from Durham who is now the nominee to be the Sec. of the Department of military and Veterans Affairs objected to members of the media being present which I thought was rather bizarre since it was a public meeting some discussion between he and Bud Martin who is the chairman of the military affairs commission and Mr. Martin then asked me if I would be willing to not report on what happened for this presentation. I was there specifically recover how a second.

Let's be clear for our listeners so the person in charge of this commission in this public meeting wanted you to not reveal what was in the presentation of nondisclosure pact in which I told him that's just not going to happen. This is a public meeting which he agreed was a public meeting set in the interest of not allowing this. They thought was sensitive information to get out of the realm of public what I'd agree not to course I said no and we should tell folks this is not a wind farm will get into the details of the actual story Vince about wind energy right and there were two other members from the general public there who are interested in the same topic. And so they said since I wouldn't agree not to print and since the other folks apparently were going agree not to say the outside of the meeting.

They pulled it from the agenda so they would reschedule for a later date, which they did not name because you were there, a reporter with press credentials. They pulled this presentation right and in the Larry Hall's isolation to me was that it wasn't fair for me to have the scoop is much as I wanted to have it and that while maybe other media should be present and they could do that at a later date because it won't just my version of events coming out into the public realm. So okay Dan so I do have a broadcasting degree and it's been a few years since I have been in a classroom, but my understanding is a public meeting the public is therefore entitled to go view whatever is taking place to watch and to listen and your journalist so you're there to report what is being presented. What is confusing about that to the people who are in charge of that meeting will there's nothing confusing about it and I'm sure that they know better than what they acted so as a result of the note after the folks left they put the item back on the agenda which may in itself be a violation basement or tricking the public to leave so that they can have this conversation in private and they also admitted to me later that they did not notice the meeting in a public manager supposed to put their schedules of events on the secretary states website, which they did not do, which is another clear violation of the state open meetings law after this all occurred you wrote a story and you contacted media law experts what they tell you about this momentum. Martin, who represents Austin the North China press Association so that she was pretty certain that what had occurred, there was a violation of the law and this was prior to the agency itself admitting to me that they did not legally notice the meeting of Amanda Martin since she was pretty certain it was a violation of the law of Jonathan Jones is the president of the North, open government coalition said no he wasn't going to say.

Absolutely it was a violation since he didn't know enough about to be comfortable saying so, but definitely violated the spirit of the law and that asking a reporter for an envelope nondisclosure agreement was just ludicrous. This is unheard of. Now after your story about this was published. A lot of people took notice of this including some North Carolina legislators Larry Brown's on the military affairs commission is a Senate Minority Leader. He was disappointed in the way it happens that they should be public meetings. He was not in attendance and that he was turning the other Senate events and since that time, Senators Bill Cook and Norman Sanderson have introduced legislation, Senate Bill 77 that would raise the penalty for violations of open meetings and open records laws to a class III misdemeanor offense pretty interesting. So all of this occurs and so there's that aspect of the story. But then, let's let our listeners know little bit about why you were there. What this presentation was about this is that a wind energy story in eastern North Carolina is hitting the Navy versus Sam I windfarm right will our own try journals Don Carrington has been covering this issue for some while doing an excellent job on what's happening right now there's an Amazon wind project is north of Elizabeth city in its cradle on stir among the military community because these giant wind turbines can degrade the operational capacity of a major radar installation, just over the Virginia border and so there's a lot of concern about impacts on degrading the military readiness capabilities operations missions so it's a big issue is not just custard with Amazon product are two other proposed wind projects that there's concern that they could have the same type of effect at Seymour Johnson and Cherry point and said this was gonna be the topic of this presentation was semi-made at this commission meeting, which was, and then it was pulled, you laughed and that was put back on.

That's right. And so not just military capabilities but there's a lot of other issues ago with the wind energy measurement know it's not really sustainable.

It can have a net cost to communities that host these sites. There's health concerns about it.

People who've had different stories about people who say there's some sort of vibration, sometimes with the giant turbines housing vibrations noises so there been studies all over the world and say because things like gloss, quality of life, dizziness, sleep deprivation, depression, and just general annoyance in the case of this particular story. Since the U.S. Navy is part of the story that gets into national security issues and has the Navy actually weighed in on this site will the current secretary of homeland defense of while he was still the commander of Southern command did issue some severe warnings about these facilities and exit testify before Congress saying that he didn't believe that having these facilities that close was a very good idea at all because of the impact it has on the ability for these radar installations.

The pickup narco trafficking big story has a lot of different time angles to it and of course now we know that there is that the question over you being told of that presentation was not going to occur.

Wanting you to not report on what was going to be presented at public meeting and then the issue itself is fascinating document danwei. He is a reporter for Carolina Jim, thanks so much for sharing the story you all the time.

We have North Carolina internal radio this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martines. We help you come back again next week for another edition of Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John learn more about the John Locke foundation donations support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development job done. Call 1866 GLS 166-553-4636 Journal radio nation airline is nearly done.

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