Friday, November 30, 2007

Email from NC Representative

Got an email recently from one of the local Representatives to the NC House. Normally I just answer that I want to see health care coverage for all the children in our state, or even just health insurance extended (without charge) to all state employee's FAMILIES. Right now, the state of NC will cover the health insurance cost for the employee, but not anyone else. And some of the NC state employees cannot afford to pay the insurance premium for the rest of the family, so they do without. This issue does not impact on me - I am single with no children. But, this time, the email said a few things about SAFETY and I decided to comment and email the NC Representative back. Here's what I sent:

Well, just off the cuff from reading this:


"Local governments can adopt ordinances regulating demonstrations on state roads and highways. The ordinances can regulate the time, place, and manner of gatherings, picket lines, and protests."

It sounds to me that a local group in power could effectively stifle free speech and dissent, if they do not like what an individual or group is presenting or representing. Or, they could make it such a blooming hassle that people give up. It is already such a hassle now that the Peace Coalition is thinking of moving our annual Peace Rally (since 2003) to private property or just stop altogether. By the way, the only people who have disrupted the Peace Rally at all were Asheville Police and city government employees. They did not do anything horrible, just interrupted, annoyed, and caused us to change our plans. All done in the interest of keeping us "safe" I guess, although no one else was bothering us at all - or complaining about us.

and this one from the NC Representative email:

"We passed a bill (HB 189) that allows counties to authorize cities to issue pyrotechnics permits. Pyrotechnics is the science behind chemical reactions that operate numerous items like fireworks, safety matches, and airbags."
I am wondering if that is why the Peace Coalition needed an "open flame permit" for candle luminaries at Prichard Park in September - but not in August. We decided to dump the idea of doing candle luminaries because of the $25 fee for an open flame permit - the candle luminaries look pretty, but we just didn't think it was worth the expense or trouble of getting a permit from City Hall, since we all work full time. So, no more candle luminaries at Pritchard Park or Pack Square or anywhere from the Peace Coalition. They did look pretty, though, as we tried to peacefully get our citizens to think about and promote peaceful ways in the world.

See, no one has "outlawed" what we want to do, they just made it such a hassle that we give it up..... and we recognize that our tax dollars may pay for those public spaces, but that does not mean we can utilize them the way we want, even if we get no complaints from the general public, just from city government employees and Asheville police. It is just so much easier to just stay home and watch TV and let our country and town do what they want..... after all, it is all working out beautifully, right? Who cares if the rest of the world calls us SKANKEES and The United States of Monsters? And those million dead people in Iraq? well, no relation to me......

[Can anyone tell I have a chip on my shoulder? a huge one! The photo above is of one of the August candle luminaries that we will not hold again.]

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