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Archive for July, 2009

Fight homelessness, one quarter at a time

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

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The city of Wilmington is hoping to make a change by installing new yellow parking meters downtown. Believe it or not, it’s part of an effort to fight homelessness.

“We want to see a reduction in panhandling, but we also want to see the ultimate goal of a reduction in chronic homelessness. Moving people into transitional and ultimately permanent housing,” said John Hinnant, Director of Wilmington Downtown, Inc.

By making a donation to one of these meters, you’re becoming part of the solution by giving money to the agencies that can help. Every quarter will go directly to benefit homeless people in Wilmington. City officials say with the new meters, there’s no excuse to say yes to panhandling.

“The public, who has being panhandled, has the ability to say no in good conscience, and the panhandlers learn that these areas are no longer friendly environments for seeking contributions,” Hinnant said.

Saying no to panhandlers is key to the success of this plan. For those of us who have a hard time saying no, Residents of Old Wilmington’s Kevin O’Grady has some advice. “The answer is no, and its an assertive, no! And generally, the panhandlers will leave you alone if you are assertive in your no. And you should be, you shouldn’t feel guilty, its not a good thing to contribute to.”

Five meters will be installed downtown this week, and up to twenty will pop up across the area in the next two years. The plan is to reduce overall panhandling in the Port City by as much as 80% in the next year.

Make a Change is looking for sponsors of the meters. For more information, visit www.CapeFearHomeless.org.

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videoNew meters are popping up across Downtown Wilmington, but they’re not for parking. They’re part of the city’s ten year plan to try to end chronic homelessness.

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Associated poll

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Bow hunting plan could target deer in Sunny Point buffer zone

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

By Amanda HutchesonCitydesk@StarNewsOnline.Com

The Army is moving ahead with a proposal to allow archery-only hunting of deer in its buffer zone area behind Kure and Carolina beaches.

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Back Then – Vandals attack Wilmington school in 1959

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

By Scott NunnScott.Nunn@StarNewsOnline.com

The following historical perspective, compiled from Star-News archives at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Randall Library, takes readers back to the Cape Fear region of years past.

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The students on board the Dan Moore

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

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Students on board the RV Dan Moore share stories about what attracted them to Cape Fear’s Marine Technology program. “Everyone wanted to get out of Wilmington – go other places, see other things. I wanted to be on a boat. I want to spend the rest of my life on the ocean. I want to follow my dreams; live the life you had imagined,” said CFCC Marine Technology student Michael Farrell.

Eddie Fetter is also a student. He said, “I’m hoping to get a job in the Army Corp. of Engineers, doing hydrographic surveys.”

One hundred twenty-five students are currently enrolled. Throughout the two year program, they will take five voyages and spend a total of 32 days at sea. Some of the tech students are right out of high school; others came into the program in their 30’s, with four-year degrees and work experience.

“I spent 25 years in the workforce, before I came to the CFCC program in marine technologies. I got laid off one too many times. I was an engineer for 10 years, building trades before that, and this intrigued me,” said John Klingler.

Thirty-year old Lydia Tobolski has one semester left. She is counting on this offshore training to secure a surveying job, and support her son. “This is the experience that you can’t get anywhere else, and the people who do the hiring, in the job market know that. That’s why they come here to hire. It’s dangerous living on a boat and working on a boat, and being out in the seas, and they appreciate that we have at least a taste of that.”

One of the first skills students must master is just living aboard a ship. The lifestyle is completely different than living anywhere else. “I finally broke down and took a shower last night,” said Justin McDonald. “I couldn’t handle all the fish blood on me.”

Passing through a deafening engine room, and down a ladder will take you to the bow where the girls sleep. The bunks are tight with little head room. The boys sleeping quarters are at the stern. “The hardest part of sleeping on the Dan Moore is getting in and out of the top bunk,” said CFCC public information officer David Hardin.

The students are definitely not deprived of good eating. A chef on board prepares three hot meals a day, and there’s a freezer full of ice cream at all times. But the food doesn’t always stay down. Sea sickness is one of the biggest battles aboard the boat. Captain Steve Beuth said, “Yeah when I’m up here six hours straight and we’re into real heavy seas – seven, eight ten foot seas, pounding and pitching away, even my inner ear, equilibrium does get out of whack. You are sweating one moment and shivering the next.”

Sea sickness, tight sleeping quarters, and learning to share bathrooms with two dozen people; it is what these Cape Fear Community College students signed up for. It is what sets them apart from the competition. “When people go to hire, they come to us first, and not having the funding, not having the boats, would put us on the same level with a lot of other people,” said Tobolski.

Thursday will be the last leg of our voyage. We will talk about the current status of the program in the state legislature, and what it will take to keep this offshore training program afloat.

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videoThis week, we are taking an in-depth look at Cape Fear Community College’s Marine Technology program. WWAY’s Hailey Winslow takes us on board and introduces us to the students; each who share a vision to turn their sea training into future careers.

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Associated poll

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Democratic lawmakers largely united on NC tax plan

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

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RALEIGH — Senate Democrats are willing to go with a plan to raise nearly $1 billion in taxes to reach a North Carolina budget agreement with the House.

Senators leaving their party caucus Wednesday said they can accept a deal to raise the sales tax rate by a penny, add extra 2 percent onto income tax bills and increase the cost of a pack of cigarettes by 10 cents. Alcohol taxes also would go up.

Sen. David Hoyle of Gaston County says his Senate colleagues would have preferred increasing the number of services subject to the sales tax while lowering overall rates.

The House still must go along with the plan. Some House Democrats have been opposed to raising so-called “sin” taxes. House Democrats meet Wednesday afternoon.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Senate Democrats are willing to go with a plan to raise nearly $1 billion in taxes to reach a North Carolina budget agreement with the House.

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Associated poll

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