Thursday, April 03, 2008

Our primary is important after all, and local developments

A couple of months ago it was looking like there wouldn't be any point of voting in the North Carolina primary this year, since by voting day, May 6, the campaigning would have been wrapped up.

But, not this year. Now it seems North Carolina's Democratic primary might decide the race. so I will have to think hard about who to vote for now.

There's lots of interest, from this posting with links at the Rural Blog, about how the area's congressman, Heath Shuler, a former Edwards supporter who hasn't decided between the two remaining candidates, will have a big effect on the results with his superdelegate vote, to coverage by our local weekly paper of Bill Clinton's speech in Asheville this week. A reporter and photographer drove the 110 miles or so to Asheville to cover this first visit by a candidate or former president to Western NC in years.

There's lots more interesting coverage on the Rural Blog, from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, including a discussion of "the Hillbilly Firewall" effect on the Clinton campaign.

More on the NC primary from Facing South blog of the Institute for Southern Studies.

Speaking locally a bit more, a columnist for the local paper, a retired journalist, did what I hoped someone at the paper would do and did some investigating into a Miami developer who bought a hillside, advertised a huge townhome development with amenities for retirees, then bailed out of the project not long after finally bulldozing 'roads', cutting trees, and leaving an ugly scar that can be seen for miles. I had already looked up the developer's public record in Florida and found little background and no media coverage, aside from business filings and unrelated court documents. It's frustrating, especially when the community seems to have no recourse to restore the ruined land. Tom Bennett's Far Blue Mountains column: Murphy’s fried mountain erodes, only emergency will spur action.

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