Police pay letter to the editor

I sent this letter to the editor to the N&O last week when I saw the paper was recirculating the video Jill Knight shot of Hallie and Travis pounding our neighborhood officer, Officer Boyd, with snowballs. This past fall, Officer Boyd broke the news to me that he was leaving and announced his replacement at the November 21st East CAC meeting. I am sorry to see Raleigh lose such a talented officer and wanted to do something about it.

It was bittersweet to see the N&O reshare Jill Knight’s video of my kids pummeling Raleigh Police Officer J.D. Boyd in a snowball fight. Sadly, there will be no rematch: Officer Boyd has quietly left RPD for another area police department. Unfortunately, he is one of many.

Retaining first responders with deep knowledge of the areas and people they serve is critical to our safety. It’s time for the City of Raleigh to offer truly competitive pay and benefits for our men and women in uniform.

The N&O hasn’t run it yet and I don’t know if I am thankful for that or not. With this week’s dismal snow and ice only now melting around the city, few people would’ve seen it had it been run. But will it see the light of day? Who knows? I hope so, though, because I think city leaders need to hear it.

The paper might also not be thrilled with me for loudly tweeting that they missed four days’ worth of deliveries to me to start off the year. I did get my paper the day but have been paperless due to the storm up until today. I hope the N&O and I are still BFFs, though, because I think what they do is important.

Madrid bans half of cars from roads to fight air pollution | World news | The Guardian

Madrid’s city council has implemented restrictions on cars in an effort to combat persistent smog. While battling smog is a good thing, the measure does not restrict mopeds and motorcycles, which cause more smog than cars do and seem to me to be far more prevalent in the city.

Madrid has ordered half of most private cars off the roads on Thursday to tackle worsening air pollution, a first in Spain.

The restrictions will operate between 6.30am and 9pm. The city council said in a statement: “vehicles with even-number registration plates will be allowed to drive around on even-number days and cars with odd-number registration plates on odd-number days.”

The measure is activated when levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere go above 200 microgrammes per cubic metre in at least two measuring stations for two days running, and if the air is unlikely to clear imminently.

Source: Madrid bans half of cars from roads to fight air pollution | World news | The Guardian

Jessica Holmes and the Wake Commissioners

Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes


The new Wake County Board of Commissioners were sworn in last night and got to the business of picking its chair and vice-chair positions. Sig Hutchinson got unanimous support for Wake Chair while Matt Calabria won a split vote for vice-chair over Jessica Holmes. Jessica, apparently caught up in the moment, then announced she was resigning from the board.

This was a real shame and a shocker. Jessica has pushed some awesome initiatives during her two years on the board and her energy and enthusiasm made you want to cheer for her. Fortunately for all of us, she rescinded her resignation today and will continue to serve.
Contine reading

Raleigh quietly pulled the plug on Camp Ranoca. Why?

We met Kelly’s family at a Virginia state park for our new “Cabin Thanksgiving” tradition. Standing around the campfire Friday night, we were close to exhausting our measly repertoire of camp songs when Hallie and Travis giddily led the others through several zany camp songs they had picked up from their summers at Raleigh’s Camp Ranoca. Anything that gets both of my kids to happily cooperate gets my attention and it was obvious they both looked back fondly on their Camp Ranoca experiences.

Hallie was greatly looking forward to the chance to be a camp counselor this summer at Camp Ranoca. She is excellent with kids and loves the camp experience. Goofiness runs in the family (if you couldn’t tell). She would’ve been great. I was probably as crushed as she was when we found out at the beginning of the year that Raleigh had quietly discontinued Camp Ranoca.
Contine reading

Jon Stewart on President-elect Trump, hypocrisy in America – YouTube

After Jon Stewart left “The Daily Show” last summer, much of the presidential campaign went on without his unique and satirical point of view. Charlie Rose met with Stewart to discuss his new book about the more than 16 years he spent at the Comedy Central program. Stewart was quick to give his post-election analysis.

Autocracy: Rules for Survival | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

However well-intentioned, this talk assumes that Trump is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. In short, it is treating him as a “normal” politician. There has until now been little evidence that he can be one.

More dangerously, Clinton’s and Obama’s very civil passages, which ended in applause lines, seemed to close off alternative responses to his minority victory. (It was hard not to be reminded of Neville Chamberlain’s statement, that “We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.”) Both Clinton’s and Obama’s phrases about the peaceful transfer of power concealed the omission of a call to action. The protesters who took to the streets of New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities on Wednesday night did so not because of Clinton’s speech but in spite of it. One of the falsehoods in the Clinton speech was the implied equivalency between civil resistance and insurgency. This is an autocrat’s favorite con, the explanation for the violent suppression of peaceful protests the world over.

Source: Autocracy: Rules for Survival | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

The Right Way to Resist Trump – NYTimes.com

Five years ago, I warned about the risk of a Donald J. Trump presidency. Most people laughed. They thought it inconceivable.

I was not particularly prescient; I come from Italy, and I had already seen this movie, starring Silvio Berlusconi, who led the Italian government as prime minister for a total of nine years between 1994 and 2011. I knew how it could unfold.

Now that Mr. Trump has been elected president, the Berlusconi parallel could offer an important lesson in how to avoid transforming a razor-thin victory into a two-decade affair. If you think presidential term limits and Mr. Trump’s age could save the country from that fate, think again. His tenure could easily turn into a Trump dynasty.

Source: The Right Way to Resist Trump – NYTimes.com