Darts and laurels
Dart to Gov. Pat McCrory’s strange attempt to channel Betty Crocker — or was it the Keebler elf? It’s hard to figure what was going on in McCrory’s mind when he emerged from the manse this week and delivered a plate of cookies to a group of women protesting the tougher abortion regulations that the governor signed into law on Monday. Was it meant as a peace offering? An attempt to show solidarity with homemakers everywhere, regardless of political persuasion? Whatever the motivation, the attempt at high-carbohydrate diplomacy didn’t change the fact that McCrory’s signing of the abortion bill was in stark contradiction to the vow he made on the campaign trail, no matter how he tries to spin it. If the governor wanted to make a conciliatory gesture, a few minutes of sincere conversation with the demonstrators would have sufficed. As it was, the cookie episode came off as condescending and, well, a bit kooky.
Laurels to Warren Wilson College archaeologist David Moore for digging up new details about North Carolina’s early history. This summer, excavating in Burke County, Moore and his assistants located the moat and palisade wall of Fort San Juan, which was established in 1567 and is thought to be the oldest European garrison in the interior of the continental United States. The find establishes the definitive location for the fort, which was among a string of southern outposts established by the 16th century explorer Juan Pardo, whose expeditions also brought him through the Piedmont.
Dart to state wildlife officials’ pricy possum battle. The state has to pay $74,446 in legal fees for its unsuccessful challenge of an administrative court’s ruling against the New Year’s “possum drop” in Brasstown. The case came about after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals challenged the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s authority to issue a permit allowing the celebratory drop, in which a possum inside a box is lowered to the ground by a rope. After the administrative court sided with PETA, wildlife officials made the bad decision to appeal to a higher court and lost. Now, the state has to pay PETA’s legal fees. Regardless of how the possum may feel about the whole affair, it constitutes cruel and inhumane treatment of state taxpayers.