River Wars? Landowner posts "no trespassing" signs across Mills River

It's just like a public road, anybody can use it:

Ray Bryson complained that a private fishing club was limiting access to the river. Eddie Ingle delivered a written statement that said the rope across the river is a “form of harassment, may be dangerous to boaters and technically is a ‘gate.’”

Phil Brittain, a resident who lives at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Mills River and who spoke at the meeting, told CPP that he was “surprised and shocked” by the “no-trespassing” posting. “The river has always been seen to be held in common and has been looked after by the community,” he said.

This reminds me of the (mostly Republican) opposition to Obama's Waters of the U.S. rule expanding the Federal government's oversight of water resources. The main goal of that was to protect water quality by limiting pollution and runoff in areas previously not under control, which of course was viewed as a Big Government Grab (or whatever). But let's set that aside for a minute and look at some ethical issues that frequently come up in local government:

Thursday News: Facebook faux-pas

STATE ELECTIONS BOARD WARNS COUNTY MEMBERS TO STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA: The state board ultimately voted 4-1 last week to reject a pair of complaints filed by local Republican Party leader Jane Pait against two members of the Bladen County Board of Elections, who she accused of posting statements on Facebook that disparaged President Donald Trump. One of the posts in question involved an image of Trump’s face superimposed on the head of a lion with the caption “The Lyin’ King.” “We have spent a disproportionate time on social media posts,” chairman Damon Circosta said. “It absolutely has to stop. ... Stop posting on social media, look back at your own social media.” Board member David Black echoed those concerns. “It’s important that you not seem to be biased in any way when you’re talking to the public,” Black said. “Get off Facebook, delete your Twitter account. ... It’s just not worth the effort to try to make those types of posts.”

Wednesday News: All aboard...

PROPOSED HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINE WOULD CONNECT RALEIGH TO RICHMOND: A blockbuster deal announced last week between freight railroad CSX and the state of Virginia includes something for North Carolina that will help with the development of high-speed rail between Raleigh and Richmond. CSX agreed to allow the N.C. Department of Transportation to eventually acquire about 10 miles of railroad right-of-way in Warren County, between Ridgeway and the Virginia state line. Virginia will acquire another 65 miles of the CSX line from the state line north to near Petersburg. The state’s long-term plans for rail service include passenger trains capable of going 110 miles per hour between Raleigh and Richmond on the S-line. Orthner says the tracks also could be used eventually for commuter rail service between downtown Raleigh and Wake Forest. NCDOT is working to eliminate railroad crossings on the CSX line in Wake County by building bridges, starting with Durant and New Hope Church roads in Raleigh.

Tuesday News: Tarheel of the Year

AFFORDABLE HOUSING BUILDER GREGG WARREN GETS NOD FROM N&O: Warren’s long commitment to affordable housing is why The News & Observer chose him as its Tar Heel of the Year. The honor comes as the need for housing affordability has emerged as a top issue in the Triangle, and concerns arise about gentrification displacing existing residents. Voters in Durham just approved a $95 million bond for affordable housing, and Raleigh’s new City Council is expected to put a bond before voters as well. “I think there’s an understanding that growth in our region is dependent on many who don’t earn a lot of great wages,” Warren says. “And I think that if we can’t deal with the wage issue, perhaps at least we can make some impact with the housing cost issue, which is the largest single cost that people typically incur.” People who have worked with Warren over the years describe him as an astute businessman with a passion for helping people of modest means.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This is what obstruction looks like:

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up. Because the cover-up is exceptionally strong circumstantial evidence that the crime did actually occur.

Monday must-read: Barry Yeoman's hog lawsuit essay


Sometimes you gotta take a stand:

In a federal courtroom in Raleigh, North Carolina, a 14-year-old honor student named Alexandria McKoy swore to tell the truth. Then she settled in to testify against the world’s largest pork producer.

McKoy had traveled 90 miles from Bladen County, part of the flat and farm-heavy coastal plain that covers most of eastern North Carolina. Her family lives on a sandy cul-de-sac that recedes into a driveway flanked by “No Trespassing” signs. Her mother grew up on that land, working in the fields with her sharecropper father and playing in the woods nearby.

These stories are powerful, because they bring the issue to life. There is no better demonstration of the complexity of property rights than the hog farmer vs. neighbor situation, especially when both are multi-generational natives to the area. Here's more:


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