The Battle For Local Seafood In North Carolina

There is a song from the musical “Oklahoma” entitled, “The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends.” The song refers to the struggle between those who wanted to use the newly opened lands in the western United States for cattle and those who wanted to use the land for crops. There were some struggles before that issue was resolved. North Carolina faces a similar issue–a struggle between the commercial fishermen and the sports fishermen. At issue is the availability of fresh local seafood and the ability of small family commercial fishermen to earn a living.

Today I went to Raleigh to the legislative buildings (along with about three hundred other people) to talk to our state representatives about House Bill 867, which would have a serious negative impact on the commercial fishing industry in North Carolina. What is being proposed here actually happened in Massachusetts while I was living there. Over- regulation crippled commercial fishing businesses that had been owned by families for generations. The towns of New Bedford and Gloucester were particularly hard hit. I don’t want to see that happen in North Carolina. The Craven County Board of Commissioners has taken a stand on this issue. Hopefully the legislature will listen to their resolution.

This is the resolution:

Resolution To Oppose North Carolina House Bill 867

Coastal Fisheries Conservation / Economic Development

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina and particularly Eastern Carolina counties, have a long history and lineage of commercial fishing from the Algonquian Indians trading fish to the modern day commercial fishing industry; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina commercial fishermen have made extraordinary gains with science in protecting the environment which they rely on for their wellbeing and way of life, and want to protect the waters and fisheries for the next generation along with generations to come; and

WHEREAS, commercial fishing in North Carolina is in a state of change. There are a number of economic pressures bearing down on industry participants such as competition from imported seafood, closing working waterfronts, and ever increasing government regulations ; and

WHEREAS, imported seafood is normally of lower quality, with little regulation and inspection of the product. Imported seafood has been known to have been raised in waters containing human or animal feces, and also injected with carboxymethyl cellulose, gelatin, and glucose; and

WHEREAS, due to recent appointments to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission, the Commission has refused to listen and adhere to the advice of their own advisory committees including Finfish, Habitat and Water Quality, Shellfish / Crustacean, Northern Region, and Southern Region advisory committees; and

WHEREAS, the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission has gone against the advice of their advisory committees, and are currently trying to establish severe restrictions on the commercial fishing industry without scientific data or an economic impact study on which to base their restrictions. These restrictions go against the current Management Plan which requires future regulations be based on science and the data gathered; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 867 seeks to rewrite the North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act of 1997, which was passed after months of public scrutiny. House Bill 867 would reform the North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act of 1997 without such vetting from the public; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 867 would eliminate the advisory committees which have a set amount of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, and scientists to advise the Commission and replace them with one, 20 member advisory committee appointed by the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission without any designation as to member’s qualification or status in the industry; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 867 also offers a commercial fishing license buyback plan which also gives insight to the implied destruction of a way of life for so many North Carolina residents that would cause a harmful impact to the state’s economy.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Craven County Board of Commissioners hereby opposes North Carolina House Bill 867 in its entirety and respectfully requests that North Carolina Legislators reject this legislation and support the State of North Carolina’s working watermen in order to sustain a way of life for many future generations and preserve a vital economic engine for North Carolina.

Adopted this the 15th day of May, 2017.

Some of the warriors from yesterday:


Protecting Your State From Federal Government Overreach

This week the Supreme Court ruled on President Obama’s recess appointments. This was the first slap on the wrist the President has received when he has overreached his power. There is also a lawsuit coming from Congress regarding his changes to ObamaCare, which were clearly unconstitutional. However, there has generally not been a lot of pushback to President Obama’s power grabs. States that have refused to blindly follow the President on ObamaCare changes to Medicaid or on Common Core have found themselves treated poorly by the Obama White House. It has become obvious to some citizens that states need to protect themselves from unconstitutional actions by the federal government. Now more than ever, we need to follow the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

One concerned citizen has done something about his concern. The following article is posted at the Craven County North Carolina GOP website:

Craven County GOP Leaders visit with Senator Sanderson and Representative Speciale

By Mark Jones on June 23, 2014 in Events

Today, Carl Mischka and I traveled to Raleigh to visit with Senator Norman Sanderson (District 2) and Representative Michael Speciale (District 3). Joining us on the trip were Hal James, Raynor James, Rick Hopkins, and Randy Siler. The group thanked Norm and Michael for their efforts to further the cause of Conservatism in the North Carolina Legislature. We also asked both gentlemen to work hard to pass an effective bill that will end Common Core as we know it in North Carolina. Senate and House Bills about Common Core are currently expected to be debated and possibly combined this very week. It will take efforts in both Chambers of the Legislature to ensure an effective outcome.

We also talked to Senator Sanderson and Representative Speciale about what the Legislature may be able to do to protect North Carolina citizens from unconstitutional Federal executive orders. State Legislatures are the final line of defense between our out-of-control Federal Government and the people. We received commitments from both gentlemen to work with us on this issue between now and the next Legislative Session which begins in January. Let us hope and pray we have until January to do something before more freedoms are lost. More information will be provided on our website as it becomes available.

If anyone wishes to join us in our efforts to defend the Constitution and save America (one county at a time), please contact us for information about how you can help. One person can make a difference.


 About Mark Jones

Mark is the current 1st Vice Chairman of the Craven County Republican Party and former Precinct Chair for Epworth. Mark serves as a GOP leader organizing efforts in rural Precincts in western and northern Craven County. Mark believes in personal liberties, personal responsibility, limited Government, and in the U.S. Constitution as the blueprint for everything Government should do.


Candidates Forum In New Bern

Last Night I attended the Candidate Forum at the Stanly Hall Ballroom in New Bern, North Carolina. The forum was sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. The candidates attending included Republicans and Democrats running for office at various levels of government including the U. S. Senate the U. S. House of Representatives, the North Carolina Senate, the North Carolina House of Representatives, and various other state and county offices. It was a very informative night, and I encourage you if you live in an area that does candidate forums, to attend one–they are worth attending. On May 6th North Carolina voters will go to the polls to vote in a primary election. Many of the candidates for office have primary challenges. Be an informed voter.

It would take forever to detail what each candidate said, so I am going to simply list general impressions of a few candidates who stood out.

Greg Brannon is impressive. His off-the-cuff knowledge of the U.S. Constitution is inspiring. He is definitely ready for prime time. His answers to questions were clear and concise, and there was nothing he had to backtrack on as the questions continued. It was also interesting to see that some of the other candidates deferred to him on Constitutional questions. There were a number of candidates who made statements during the question and answer period that they had to backtrack on. I suspect they will be working on this before the election.

I was also impressed by Norm Sanderson and Michael Speciale. Norm Sanderson is serving is freshman term in the North Carolina Senate, and Michael Speciale is serving his freshman term in the North Carolina House. Both men had clear ideas on what needs to be done in North Carolina and clear plans for instituting those ideas.

I was also impressed by George Liner, running for Craven County Board of Commissioners. When asked a question about the Craven County tall structures laws and how they would protect people and property values from a wind farm, he was already aware of the potential problems that would arise. He seemed well prepared to hold the office if he is elected.

All of the candidates had an opportunity to state their reasons for running and their positions on various subjects. It was a very informative evening. As a new resident of this area, I learned a lot at the forum. It was very helpful to me to see the candidates and hear what they considered the major issues facing the state and local communities.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Learning About The Politics Of My New Home State

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I have recently moved from Southeastern Massachusetts to Coastal North Carolina. Obviously the politics are a little different, and I am spending some of my time learning about some of the groups that share my political philosophy. (I’ll probably never get the language down, but the climate and politics I love!)

Today I had the privilege of sitting down with Hal James, Chairman of the Watchdog Committee of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). I asked Mr. James to list some of the current concerns of the Watchdog Committee.

Mr. James began by mentioning his concerns about the Common Core curriculum which is being introduced into North Carolina and other states around the nation.  He stated that the Common Core curriculum is a federal intrusion on education, and is thus unconstitutional (in violation of the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution). The Common Core curriculum is an attempt to influence the values of young people in a direction not consistent with the traditional values of America. The CCTA is currently working to make parents and voters aware of the things in the Common Core curriculum.

The general goal of the Watchdog Committee is the hold elected officials accountable to the people who elected them.  Members of the Watchdog Committee attend meetings of various city and county boards and legislative meetings. Their goal is to become informed so that they can share information that may not be included in the news in order to make voters more aware of what their government is doing. Watchdog Committee members study the county budget and read the audits. North Carolina law requires every governmental agency to have an independent audit of its books. Those audits are made public, and members of the CCTA Watchdog Committee read them.  Reading the audits will reveal such things as unfunded liabilities that might not be obvious in simply reading the budget.

We are currently entering into the budget process. Department heads in Craven County will be submitting budgets to the County Manager. After review by the County Manager, the budget will be submitted to the Board of Commissioners. There will be public meetings in the county during this process.

Mr. James pointed out that the Board of Commissioners has recently been studying the idea of privatization of home hospice care in Craven County. That move would be a cost cutting move for the county and would save taxpayers money.

Mr. James also pointed out that Carolina East Hospital, which is run by a private corporation, is built on county land. The hospital pays no rent (or taxes) for the use of the land. Originally this occurred because it assured the area of having a local hospital. As the area has grown, other hospitals have been built, and it is time to seek a new arrangement with Carolina East.

Mr. James also addressed the claim by the Board of Commissioners that they have reduced real estate taxes in the county two years in a row. It is true that real estate taxes have been reduced, but somehow they failed to mention that the reduction was about $10 on an average-size home.

If you are interested in learning more about the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association, their website is  The organization is very welcoming and always willing to share the results of their research on various issues.

Enhanced by Zemanta