Archives for October 2013

The end of domestic violence awareness month, but not the problem

CHARLOTTE – The confident, composed and extremely successful businesswoman sitting beside me at the “Women Helping Women” lunch was also the face and voice in the video, the one talking about how to move on and grow stronger after experiencing domestic violence at the hands of a partner who professes love.

The event called attention to activities planned for October, domestic violence awareness month. While the month may be drawing to an end, the problem is far from solved. Earlier this year, when President Obama signed an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act, which backs local and state efforts, he acknowledged that the rate of sexual assaults has dropped and progress has been made. But he said there is still work to do.

Who will be the next Charlotte mayor?


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Election Day is less than a week away. We’re talking with Mary C. Curtis on her thoughts regarding the race for mayor.

She’s got all you need to know on the race and the candidates.

Curtis says there’s no clear winner at this point.

The Battle Over Voting Access in North Carolina



CHARLOTTE, NC: Political and current events columnist Mary C. Curtis discusses the inroads NC GOP wants to make with African-Americans, Gov. Pat McCrory’s chat with the Heritage Foundation, and the future of the NAACP’s Moral Monday protests.

GOP launches minority outreach in N.C., defends voter law in court

CHARLOTTE — Republicans were busy in North Carolina and Washington on Monday. Did the activity in the courts and on a conservative stage have the effect of muddying the welcome mat the GOP rolled out for minority voters in the state?

Earlier in the day, Republican state officials filed to urge a federal court to dismiss two lawsuits challenging changes in North Carolina’s voting laws, changes opponents contend disproportionately harm African American voters. A third challenge by the U.S. Department of Justice is waiting in the wings.

Monday evening in Charlotte, at the opening of the Republican National Committee’s African American engagement office in North Carolina, Earl Philip, North Carolina African American state director, said he believed in the message he has been taking to churches, schools and community groups.

North Carolina attorney general dislikes laws he must defend

Roy Cooper wants everyone to know how he really feels. That must be why he wrote a column lamenting why and how he thinks his home state of North Carolina is moving in the wrong direction – that, and perhaps he’s trying out for a gubernatorial run in 2016.

What’s next as couples challenge N.C.’s ban on same-sex marriage?


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There’s still challenges in North Carolina with the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Register of Deeds in Buncombe County accepted marriage applications, even though they can’t be filed.

Mecklenburg County, on the other hand, denied same sex couples’ applications last week.


‘I behaved badly,’ says Rielle Hunter. Is it ever too late to apologize?

At least it wasn’t one of those “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” apologies. For her big mistakes, John Edwards’s mistress, Rielle Hunter, offered an all-encompassing apology in a column on the Huffington Post Web site. She knows she offended and hurt a lot of people.

“Back in 2006, I did not think about the scope of my actions, how my falling in love with John Edwards, and acting on that love, could hurt so many people,” she wrote. “I hurt Elizabeth and her kids. I hurt her family. I hurt John’s family. I hurt people that knew Elizabeth. I hurt people who didn’t know Elizabeth but loved her from afar.” The “Elizabeth” was, of course, Elizabeth Edwards, who was married to John Edwards at the time of the affair and who died of cancer in 2010.

Michael Pollan name-checks North Carolina amid warnings about a ‘cooking paradox’

Americans spend more time watching televised cooking shows than actually cooking. “We’ve managed to turn cooking into a spectator sport,” said best-selling author Michael Pollan. Plus, wouldn’t you know, “the less we cook, the fatter we are.” While Pollan’s visit to Queens University Thursday night was thoroughly entertaining, such depressing truths sprinkled throughout made the food star’s talk pretty scary, too.

The way Pollan writes, food is history and culture, as well agriculture; cooking is therapeutic, a political act. If “the family dinner table is the nursery of democracy,” he said, grabbing fast food on the run really could be the decline of civilization we suspected all along. Pollan explores where what we put in our stomachs really comes from, something that would have been obvious 75 years ago, he said, but now results in such revelatory New York Times best-sellers as The Omnivore’s Dilemma,The Botany of Desire and Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.

After his description of a vast, industrialized potato farm with machines spewing toxic insecticides just so those fried spuds sprouting from bright cartons remain unblemished, you immediately vow to start digging out a patch of dirt or trolling farmers markets. “If you grow vegetables, you will cook them; you will feel guilty if you don’t,” he said – even though you might have to learn to use more than the microwave.

So it was a relief to hear Pollan bring the discussion close to home.

In N.C. skirmish in national voting-rights wars, student once thrown off ballot wins race

Being thrown off the ballot was the best thing that ever happened to Montravias King. The national coverage that rained down on the Elizabeth City State University student when a local elections board in North Carolina rejected his initial City Council bid surely helped him break out from the field of candidates. He got the chance to plead his case, and his views, before millions, reaching many more people than a meager campaign budget could ever allow. This week, according to preliminary results, the university senior was the top vote-getter and will get to represent the ward where his school is located.

Was turnout affected by the actions of the board in an increasingly partisan state atmosphere where restrictive voting laws have drawn legal action from many groups, including the U.S. Justice Department? King, who never stopped thinking local, didn’t take any chances, knocking on 365 doors for votes, he said in the News & Record. He said that in addition to his fellow students, he had gotten a “great and amazing” reception from older voters. That he had also discussed the issue of voter suppression with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who went to North Carolina for the story, was an unexpected extra.

Update on Charlotte airport drama


CHARLOTTE, NC: Terrance Bates talks with Washington Post columnist Mary C. Curtis about the latest developments at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.