Breaking animal news and politics

Animal activities showed up in the North Carolina Wilmington StarNews this past week. The paper has regular, copious reports and pictures featuring house pets, ocean turtle hospitalization-releases and various other bizarre, tear-jerking stories and promotions about domestic animals. The following short reports relate to wild animals and politics in the State:

SALISBURY| The Catawba College graduation and several other local events planned for early June were cancelled because of honeybees. A massive honeycomb was discovered inside a wall in the events building. The busy bees were flying in and out of a small crack in the brick exterior. School officials have hired a Georgia company to “provide a nonlethal way” to remove 400,000 bees. No word yet if this has been authorized by “animal rights” groups—or, who will get the honey.

PLYMOUTH| The town is hosting its first “North Carolina Black Bear Festival.” The Washington County Travel & Tourism Authority hatched up this scheme to attract tourists. These tourism agencies throughout the State are set up to spend taxpayers’ money to benefit a few local businesses and fund more government bureaucracies. Tom Harrison, chairman of the Authority, said eastern North Carolina has the biggest and mostest black bears in the State. The festival promotes tours to view the bears (sometimes 20-50), free-ranging and some captured and held downtown. It wasn’t reported if People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will show up to demand release of the bears.

In news from the North Carolina House of Representatives

COMMERCIAL FISHING COURSES/COASTAL COLLEGES (SB 112): In this legislation community colleges are urged to “offer courses on commercial fishing and aquaculture.” The bill was sent to Gov. McCrory who likely has more important activities and decisions on his agenda.

For example, pushing to have the State taxpayers vote themselves $3 billion more in bond debt for government buildings and parks. The Gov is also looking for unity in the GOP. It’s reported that some in the General Assembly have “a skeptical view on growing the state’s debt….” Ironically, McCrory has touted his record—with assistance from the State legislature—of eliminating a $2.5 billion debt to the federal government. Oh, well; for politicians with our money it’s easy come, easy go.

Finally, House Bill 574 provides for excluding opossums under State wildlife laws from December 29 to January 2. The bill was introduced by a representative from Cherokee, N. C. It was sent to the governor for approval.

Would this have anything to do with the Indians celebrating the New Year at their beautiful woodland casino by dropping a ‘possum from a tree? If it does, you-know-who will surely show up to demand justice for the ‘possum.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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