The Sierra Club hosted about 50 locals to a boat tour up the Cape Fear River this past Saturday. The destination was Duke's Sutton Plant, and the group brought on board speakers who touched on river ecology and current water quality issues.
This December, Duke Energy Progress will retire the coal units at Wilmington’s Sutton Plant, and switch to more energy-efficient natural gas operations. But while those coal units are being decommissioned, Duke will keep their ash basins operational for what they say is a short time. However, local environmental advocates are pushing to excavate the ash immediately, as they say its chemical components could pose public health threats. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that the Sierra Club and Cape Fear River Watch have teamed up to launch a petition demanding a timetable from Duke.
This weekend, Ogden Park will become a bastion of music, food and dance celebrating the traditions of Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and many more Latino countries. Festival Latino has been a November tradition in Wilmington for fifteen years, ever since one day when a few Latino families gathered in the park for a picnic. The event has since evolved into a two-day festival that’s projected to draw 20,000 visitors. This growth parallels the expansion of the organization behind the festival, Amigos Internacional.
Local educators are increasingly finding fault with new laws affecting public education. They say the state’s pay-for-performance compensation system will hinder collaborative learning environments, and that phased-out teacher tenure just strips teachers of their right to due process. Meanwhile, some legislators say the laws are meant to incentivize teachers and weed out the bad ones. In an effort to exempt their school from these measures, all of Murray Middle School’s teachers and support staff recently presented a signed petition to State Representative Ted Davis.
For several weeks, Facebook has been buzzing with speculation of a North Carolina public educator walkout to take place next Monday. Teachers and education activists are hoping to shine attention on recent legislative measures including what they say is decreased spending per pupil, a new pay-for-performance system, increased standardized testing and insufficient educator compensation. However, locally, the demonstration will likely take the form of a teacher “walk in,” during which teachers will all wear red and walk into school together.
Six Wilmingtonians are running for three open spots on their city’s council. And curbing Wilmington’s highly publicized crime rate is a top priority for each. The hopefuls agree that higher police officer pay would fortify intervention efforts; however, they have disparate ideas when it comes to preventing the root causes of crime. The value of youth-oriented social services is the source of greatest contention.
This November, two town council candidates and incumbent mayor Dean Lambeth are all running unopposed in Kure Beach. Of top concern to this beach town is the question of how to strike a balance between preserving its quaint and quiet nature—a major reason many residents chose to live there—while still profiting from tourist dollars. Kure Beach’s newly opened Ocean Front Park is intensifying this issue.
Five candidates are running for two seats on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen this November. Of top concern to the town is impending legislation that would increase its home and business owners’ flood insurance rates. The two alderman hopefuls who attended last night’s beach town forum at WHQR are both campaigning on their mission to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. This federal law is meant to recover recent losses to FEMA’s Flood Insurance Program, and stands to significantly raise local insurance rates.
During the seventies and eighties, Felix Cooper served as New Hanover County’s finance manager and later, its county manager. Following those sixteen years of local service, a subsequent stint as city manager of Key West in Florida, and several years of retirement, the Democrat is throwing his hat in the ring again. This time, he’s vying for a seat on Wilmington’s City Council. And, Cooper is a major proponent of increased synergy between the city council and the county commission.