“Give us the bowl back.”
These five sternly crafted words seem to be the best that our N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla can muster in dealing with PayPal’s decision not to expand in North Carolina in response to HB2.
The Charlotte Observer’s Katherine Peralta reported on Oct. 24th in a story entitled “Jilted NC to PayPal: Give us our stuff back” Skvarla stating,
“We reached out to them and said, ‘Give us the bowl back.’ That is a North Carolina artifact from the North Carolina state capitol made by North Carolina artisans for companies that are coming into North Carolina.”
“We got it back, gave it to a charity auction, and they raised money that is for the benefit of the state capitol.”
“Jilted.” Great word.
Sounds as if a “jilted” groom-to-be was left at the altar because he openly bashed the family of the bride at the rehearsal dinner in a discriminatory manner, and then asked for a gift that’s not the ring back from the bride-to-have-been. Maybe it’s a necklace or a pendant.
But the ironic thing here is that the bowl was then given to a charity auction that raised money for the benefit of the state capitol. Maybe that money can be used to help create more gifts to give to companies that may not be expanding in NC because of HB2.
I am also sure that the amount of money raised from the auctioning of the bowl is equal to the amount of revenue lost by the state because of the HB2 bill in the first place. Even the state capitol would have benefitted greatly from the 450 jobs that PayPal would have brought through taxes alone on the salaries of the workers.
Besides, that money should have gone to Charlotte for the loss of the revenue in their local economy.
In the same edition of the Charlotte Observer, Peralta had another report entitled “HB2 ‘hasn’t moved the needle’ on NC’s economy, Commerce Secretary says” that states,
Major sporting events like the NBA All-Star Game have pulled out of North Carolina over House Bill 2, and prominent business leaders have criticized the bill for damaging the state’s economy. But state Commerce Secretary John Skvarla says the bill’s business impact isn’t anything to worry about.
“It hasn’t moved the needle one iota,” Skvarla told the Observer Monday during a visit to Charter Communications’ training center in Matthews.
North Carolina is in the “best position” it’s ever been in, financially and operationally, Skvarla added, citing the state’s taxes, regulation, quality of life, workforce and environment that make it an attractive place for companies to relocate.
“PayPal wasn’t even a grain of sand on the beach,” he said. “It was 400 call center jobs over five years. Much too much is being made of PayPal.”
It sounds convenient for an appointee for the governor to say that HB2 has not had an effect on NC’s economy. However, if would be believable if it was being said by other business leaders, especially in Greensboro and Charlotte.
Maybe Skvarla should demand that the NCAA and the NBA send something back to auction to help offset the monetary loss of their removal of games. I can see an auction of basketballs, footballs, and other athletic gear garnering enough money to cover the hundreds of millions of dollars that has been lost just from pulling championship games from NC.
But there is the matter with the bowl. What should have been done with the returned bowl is not to auction it off, but put it to good use. If over 340 bowls were made and many remain in the hands of the governor’s office, then they all should be put to good use.
Last week it was revealed that there was more coal ash spilled into NC rivers after the flloding from Hurricane Matthew.
WUNC reported on Oct. 21st (http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/regional/did-coal-ash-spill-during-matthew-floods/339969172) in “Did coal ash spill during Matthew flooding?” that,
Environmental activists say they have proof of a coal ash leak into North Carolina’s Neuse River during the flooding after Hurricane Matthew, but Duke Energy says the substance visible on the water is not coal ash and is not toxic.
Pete Harrison of the Waterkeeper Alliance has been collecting evidence along the river near three inactive coal ash pits at the HF Lee Steam Plant in Goldsboro, where a white, powdery substance coats trees and still waters near the river’s banks.
“I think what this shows us is it’s inherently dangerous to store coal ash in unlined pits in the flood zones of major rivers,” Harrison says.
The toxicity of such coal ash has not been determined. But why is it there in the first place?
Maybe the returned bowl and its siblings that still reside here in North Carolina can be used by the governor and other Duke execs who have skirted punishment for harming the environment.
They should go and scoop up every bit of the contaminated water and properly dispose of it.
Seems only fair, right?
And then, if you need more bowls to give away, make them from the trees that died on the edge of the contaminated rivers affected by the coal ash spills over the last few years.
Those gifts might be more indicative of what has happened in North Carolina.