Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lunch Break (7/27/16): VIDEO: County officials say 'Adios, amoebas'

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention being held in Charlotte yesterday, just a day after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the same crowd. Following his speech, a local lawmaker and Charlotte's mayor teamed up to call Trump out for his shady records regarding veterans. The statement, released by Mayor Jennifer Roberts and N.C. Senator Jeff Jackson, reads as follows:

“Donald Trump has made his supposed support for veterans one of his signature issues in this election. But his record simply does not live up to his rhetoric. The truth is that Trump has displayed a pattern of disrespect toward those who have served our country. He has lied about his donations to veterans’ charities and shown contempt toward prisoners of war, claiming that Senator John McCain is ‘not a war hero’ because he spent five years in captivity. Additionally, Trump has put forward proposals that would negatively impact our veterans, such as supporting the privatization of the Veteran’s Administration, which would force the men and women who served our country into a private market that isn’t equipped to handle their unique health needs. Donald Trump lacks the knowledge, stability, and values to be America’s Commander-in-Chief. His ideas are not resonating with North Carolina’s veteran population.”


Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the day President George W. Bush signed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Since then, the VRA has been stripped by decisions like the Shelby County vs. Holder decision of 2013, which did away with a VRA provision that requires states and local governments with histories of racial discrimination to obtain federal clearance before implementing changes to their voting laws.

This morning, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights coalition of more than 200 national civil rights groups sent letters to the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees noting that two bipartisan VRA restoration bills are languishing in their committees without action.

“Just months before the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, we write to express our frustration that two bills to help restore the law continue to languish in the committee you chair," the letter to Chairman Bob Goodlatte said. "More than three years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating Shelby County v. Holder decision, voters across the country desperately need Congress to take action to protect their rights.”


Mecklenburg County Health Director Dr. Marcus Plescia held a press conference this morning to discuss the newly released plan to drain the remaining water in the U.S. National Whitewater Center into the Catawba River.

The plan includes treating the water with chlorine and ultraviolet rays to make sure there is no threat from the infamous brain-eating amoeba that killed an 18-year-old visitor to the center in June. The amoeba is common in warm, freshwater environments like Catawba River, where the USNWC cycles its water from, but Lauren Seitz's death has caused alarm throughout Mecklenburg County.

The new plan was approved by Mecklenburg County Environmental Health and Storm Water Services, Charlotte Water, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USNWC.

Dr. Plescia assured the public that the treatment plan and dilution of the water would render the water harmless, which is probably already is anyway. "Anything that's in there is going to be hugely diluted to the point where it won't be any different from what you'd normally find [in the Catawba River]," Plescia said. The entire press conference can be seen below. 

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