Local

North Carolina Department of Transportation / Wikimedia Commons

The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire on December 8th.   The U.S. House of Representatives voted in November to reauthorize the NFIP until 2022.  Now, the Senate must decide whether and how to move forward with the program.  Congressman David Rouzer, a Republican from North Carolina’s seventh district, voted in support of the 21st Century Flood Reform Act.  Fellow Republican Walter Jones, from the neighboring 3rd district, voted against it – along with a majority of Democrats.

In New Hanover County alone, which has an estimated population of about 220,000 people, more than 1100 kids are served by programs through the Brigade Boys and Girls Club. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Some revelations came out of yesterday’s meeting of the North Carolina Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board held at UNCW.  One of them:  the reconsideration of the GenX 140 parts per trillion health goal set by the Department of Health and Human Services this summer. The other involved food.

Wikimedia Commons / Chiltepinster

Many of us are confronted each morning with our personalized news feed – whether the source is social media, a news app trained to select articles reflecting our preferences, or a TV channel.  Pundits have blamed those sources for the societal divides we’re seeing today.  Whether it shows up as a rejection of negotiation on Capitol Hill or the uncomfortable moment Uncle Steve criticizes the President while carving the Thanksgiving turkey, it’s a well-documented fact that polarization is at an all-time high.    

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

The North Carolina Science Advisory Board is holding meetings today at UNCW.  Members are discussing the Cape Fear River and emerging contaminants that are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. There’s also an interim report on GenX.

Journalists Matt Lauer.  Charlie Rose.  Mike Oreskes of NPR.  NBC’s Mark Halperin.  Chef John Besh.  Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Celebrity Photographer Terry Richardson.  Investment banker Gavin Baker.  David Corn of Mother Jones. 

Chemical Company Chemours in Fayetteville is now ordered by the Department of Environmental Quality to provide even more bottled water.  Test show a growing number of tainted wells near the company’s plant along the Cape Fear River. 

It was 1929 when Ella May Wiggins decided she would join the fight to unionize mill workers in North Carolina.  She also decided she would work to integrate the union -- despite the fact she was a mill worker herself who barely survived on her meager wages, despite the fact she was a woman with no formal education, no help from the father of her children, and not even enough food to fill her belly from day to day. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality today alerted county health and public water systems in the lower Cape Fear region to another spike in GenX concentrations in the river. 

Clyde Edgerton has written ten novels, three of which are now movies.  Of those produced, his favorite is Killer Diller.  In 2013, he wrote a book of advice, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers, and he’s also written a memoir:  Solo:  My Adventures In The Air.  His short stories and essays have turned up in New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, Southern Review, Oxford American, Garden & Gun – among others.

Rountree Losee

On November 15, 1864, William Tecumseh Sherman began his “March to the Sea” from Atlanta to Savannah.  It was the beginning of a major blow to the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  While the 19th century sounds like ancient history to some of us, there exists a tangible division in this country which has this year, played out in an emotional debate over how to treat Confederate monuments and statues. 

On Wednesday’s CoastLine, New York Times bestselling author, Wiley Cash, joins us to talk about his new novel, The Last Ballad.  

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off is now underway …. in Myrtle Beach. The annual college basketball tournament was moved to South Carolina after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September. The games are being played at Coastal Carolina University.  Myrtle Beach has stepped up in other ways as well.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality announced today it has cited Chemours with violating the conditions of its wastewater discharge permit.  The move comes after the company failed to report an October 6 chemical spill at its Fayetteville Works facility on the Cape Fear River.  UPDATE: The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality began the process Nov. 16 of revoking the discharge permit for Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility. 

Fracaswell Hyman says he didn’t set out to be a writer.  Despite that, he spent years writing for Nickelodeon – on the shows Little Bill, Taina, Gullah Gullah Island.  We’ll hear about those years – but we’re also here today to talk about his first middle-grade novel, Mango Delight.  And we’ll find out what he thought he was setting out to do for a career and before he unwittingly fell into a life of writing – which he now characterizes as “writing for my life”. 

It’s the last election-related show we’ll have in 2017.  The day after a small percentage of eligible of voters went to the polls to choose leaders for the boards of towns and cities, we’re taking a look at what happened, what it could say about what’s on voters’ minds, and where we go from here. 

Also on this edition, we spend a great deal of time on why people didn't vote -- with lots of listeners chiming in via email and phone calls. 

Guests:

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The election brought some changes to the beach communities of New Hanover County. 

City of Southport

Note:  The results below are based on unofficial returns.  Votes will be canvassed Friday, November 17th.

Bald Head Island (Village)

Vince Winkel / WHQR

There were some tight races for three spots on the Wilmington City Council last night. However, it was the familiar names that were victorious. 

https://www.h2goonline.com/home

H2GO’s Board of Commissioners, a water and sewer utility in Brunswick County, is likely to change direction on construction of a controversial reverse osmosis plant. 

For the last two years, the two board members who oppose building an RO plant sat in the minority on H2GO’s five-member board.  But with three open seats this year, all it took to change the majority position was for one of three anti-RO candidates to win.  RO-supporter and incumbent Carl Antos lost his seat to RO opponent Bill Beer by 18 votes. 

The City of Wilmington will see Mayor Bill Saffo embark on his sixth term. He defeated challenger Todd Zola with about 85 percent of the vote.

Leland Town Council will continue with its current leadership.  As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, all the incumbents won reelection.

Pat Batleman was the top vote-getter for Leland Town Council.  Fellow incumbent Bob Corriston came in about four percentage points behind her.  The next vote-getter, Sandra Ford, was a distant third – about ten points behind Corriston. 

Earlier this year, the Town of Leland passed a resolution opposing H2GO’s efforts to build a reverse osmosis plant.  Pat Batleman says the town is very concerned about the management of H2GO. 

Town of Burgaw

In the Town of Burgaw, Pete Cowan won the mayoral seat after Incumbent Eugene Mulligan ran for a Commissioner seat.  Cowan easily held off two challengers with 63% of the vote.  Mulligan did not win a seat on the Board.  Instead, Incumbents Jan Dawson and James Murphy kept their seats on Burgaw’s Board of Commissioners.

Surf City’s Town Council will have Teresa Batts for another term.  Jeremy Shugarts picked up the second open seat. 

RLH

During the last municipal election of 2015, only 10% of voters in New Hanover County showed up.  By Tuesday afternoon, it was too early to tell if the numbers are up, down, or even with the last cycle.  In an unscientific, anecdotal visit with voters at New Hanover County’s Senior Center – one of the polling locations in Wilmington today – I met a handful of committed voters who say they wouldn’t miss an election.

RLH

It would be an easy leap to say that voters in Brunswick County served by the water utility H2GO are turning out at a higher rate.  But an unscientific, anecdotal sweep through the polls doesn’t necessarily bear that out.  While the direction of a $30-plus million reverse osmosis plant could change based on this election outcome – most people that I encountered in Leland today offered more basic reasons for voting.  

Charles says he comes out for every election. 

Tuesday, November 7th is Election Day – which means that people living inside city or town limits have local leaders to choose. 

It’s hard to engage voters in municipal election years.  In New Hanover County, voter turnout  is trending downward.   Since 2011, turnout has dropped from 17% to 10%.  Brunswick and Pender Counties seem to hold steady with just over 20 percent of voters coming to the polls.

But this year, some galvanizing issues have ignited controversy.  Whether it translates to higher voter turnout is yet to be determined.    

Dr. Detlef Knappe, the N.C. State scientist who uncovered GenX and other compounds in the Cape Fear River, is not happy about being pulled into tomorrow’s election for the H2GO board. He explains why he’s upset about three candidates using his name in a political ad. 

On this edition, we meet candidates from Oak Island and Kure Beach – two beach towns in southeastern North Carolina.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, our focus is largely on Oak Island in Brunswick County.  We meet Kevin Lindsey and John Bach – both running for a seat on Town Council there. 

The Town Council is Oak Island’s governing body consisting of 5 Council Members and the Mayor. This body sets Town policy, enacts ordinances and adopts the annual budget. There are seven people running for two open seats. Oak Island has a population estimated at 7,700 people. In the summer, including day-trippers, that number can hit 50,000. According to the U.S. Census, the town has grown by 13.5 percent since 2010. 

Pages