Citizens rally to stop Titan Cement's 'bullying tactics'

CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) -- Some very concerned citizens gathered in Castle Hayne Wednesday afternoon to protest the proposed Titan Cement plant.

Folks gathered at Castle Hayne Elementary to show their opposition to what they call Titan's attempts to influence, manipulate and bully citizens and elected officials. Marcher's held up signs of mock "targets" of Titan's bullying tactics.

“I think it's important for citizens to come together and be vocal about issues affecting them and their neighbor,” said Brinkley Hutchings, a rally organizer. “Today people are joining together for the ‘Stop Titan Movement’ as they learn about Titan's attempts to bully our community members.”

Participants marched down Holly Shelter and Blossom Roads and stopped near the new Stop Titan billboard.

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to me it comes down to trust. I am and always will be more willing to trust people that are protecting their communities & families before I will even think of trusting large multi-national corporations.

A Titan concrete plant on the banks of the Cape Fear River will severely damage the health of the surrounding environment, and that is a fact. The people fighting the installation of this plant do not want to see the southeastern section of North Carolina ruined. I have to say that I agree with them. Titan has a record of breaking laws and paying fines, FACT. If you think they will stop breaking laws for our sakes then you are too disillusioned for any sort of sane argument. Wake up and smell the mercury!

Please think of other viable and sustainable businesses to promote in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. I for one think a public transit railway would be a great improvement.

side note: if you want to taken seriously, try to avoid name calling. It is a childish tactic. If you employ childish tactics, donʻt be surprised when you are treated like a child.

You think THAT would be a "viable and sustainable buisness?"

Who do you think would be crazy enough to invest in that? Please let me know, beacuse I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell them.

...in response to the mob-rule mentality of those opposed to Titan...the back-door attempts by Carolyn Justice to push through what basically constituted a bill of attainder?

Here's an accurate assessment of the situation: Titan is fighting to protect its rights under EXISTING LAW. The people opposed to Titan are trying to deny Titan's rights under existing law.

There are far too many people in this community who pay great lipservice to "following the law," yet seem to disregard that philosophy when it comes up against something they don't like. Change the environmental laws if you want to, but denying Titan its "equal protection of law" while awaiting attempts to stack the legal deck against them is an absolute outrage.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - if Titan will meet the environmental standards in force right now, then the plant gets built. If it can't meet them, it doesn't get built. It really ***IS*** that simple. Denying them their rights because of some possible, maybe, we're sure hopin' future tighter restrictions is nothing more than a poorly camouflaged ex-post facto imposition.

This endless search for ways to stop a corporation from enjoying the legal rights afforded to everyone else needs to stop. The anti-Titan ground does NOT hold the moral high ground any more than KKK members who blocked Black voters from polling stations.

Follow the law AS IT EXISTS!

"This endless search for ways to stop a corporation from enjoying the legal rights afforded to everyone else needs to stop."

Really? How about the legal rights of citizens to voice their concerns to their government? In a democracy, public participation is the cornerstone of the system; it is what connects government to the governed. And yet this corporation comes into our community, refuses all invitations to a public forum with those of an opposing view, and then sues our citizens for speaking their grievances to their county commission. Comments, by the way, that are factual and easily referenced.I believe those are RULES protected in our constitution.
Titan has also tried to sneak an amendment into the Castle Hayne Incorporation Bill to change zoning RULES that would benefit them at the expense of the community. Their CEO spent this spring in Washington trying to convince Congress to abolish EPA regulations - RULES the government says save thousands of lives every year.
Titan also paid thousands in fines recently for breaking environmental RULES at their Virginia facility, were sued for breaking RULES in Florida for price-fixing, and continue to operate a mine there that a Florida judge says is leaking benzene into people's wells- I'd call that breaking some important moral RULES.
So, Titan cares nothing about EXISTING LAW.They have a proven track record of not playing by the rules. They care about the bottom line at the expense of the environment, drinking water, quality of life and health of the good people who have to live here long after Titan packs up and goes back to Greece.

Until then, both Titan and everyone else follows existing law.

If Titan has gotten more aggressive it is because of the lynch-mob mentality among the chicken-littles that has existed since they announced their intention to locate here. They have existing law on their side. All you have is "We're all gonna die!!!!!"

BTW, they paid THOUSANDS in fines! Whoa! Must have been a whopper of a violation. That pig farmer in Columbus County just got fined $1.5 million for releasing hog waste....but I guess you have to grasp at any straws you can, huh?

Well, CommonSenseNotCommonToday,
I know you're smart enough to realize that the fine doesn't always fit the crime. You seem to be ignoring the facts in all of the replies posted.

Physicians are not typically the ones who jump into an environmental fight, but in the case of Titan, more than 200 physicians have stepped up. Do you ever ask yourself why? What's in it for them? Several of them are quite active in the fight, and one of them is being sued by Titan.

The statements made by Kayne Darrell and Dr. Hill for which Titan is suing them can be backed up by a simple Google search. Did you even try? The science, the facts are on their side.

IF Titan wants to do what is right, why have they spent months lobbying to undermine EPA regulations? YOUR arguments aren't logical? IF Titan wanted to be a good corporate citizen, why were they trying to undermine local policy? Why are they being fined in plants across the country?

Perhaps instead of blindly defending a company that you seem to know very little about, you should try doing the research that thousands of local citizens did.

As for your comment re being anarchists, really? Doctors moms, dads, teachers, regular citizens expressing their very real concerns about the future of this area- THAT's anarchy?

GE has recently been getting very bad press because they used existing tax laws to pay very little or no taxes. (Depends upon who you believe)

Now, would anyone accuse GE of doing anything wrong by using existing tax code provisions to reduce their taxes? Well, no one with a brain would.

By the same token, would anyone argue that our tax code doesn't need some major revisions? Again, no one with a brain could.

Titan is in an identical situation. If they can meet the current law's requirements, they should be allowed to enjoy what that law affords them.

You, the doctors, and everyone else from stoptitan are free to press for the law to be changed. Maybe the law needs to be changed. If Titan is the merchant of death you all claim, then by all means have your science codified into law. Until you do that, however, you can't hold Titan accountable for standards that simply don't exist in law and seem to vary based upon whom you talk with and when.

In the meantime, just as GE gets to keep their money using existing tax law, Titan gets to build using existing law.

I can't make it any clearer than that.

If they can meet the current environmental requirements, they get to build.

All of the "Oh, we're gonna die" rhetoric in the world cannot change the existing law and what it allows.

I wouldn't judge Titan too harshly in light of the NIMBY wall they ran into in New Hanover County. Where would you suggest this kiln be built, considering where the limestone is loacted, and the fact that the prevailing westerlies will rapidly carry it out over the ocean? (I'm standing by for the 'Oh, all the fish will be poisonous" argument next.)

We either follow the law AS IT EXISTS RIGHT NOW, or what is the purpose of having law?

Existing laws, Titan is trying to write its own laws that benefit them at the cost of the health & quality of life of citizens in southeast North Carolina. Titan's CEO is the chairman of the Portland Cement Association, which is trying to change rules that have been set by the EPA, rules that are for the protection of US citizens. William Brian JR, an attorney with K&L Gates, representatives of Carolina Cement, wrote in a 6 page letter that they, Carolina Cement, know what protections are needed for the public therefore public involvement is not needed. The letter further implies that if zoning regulations are issued that the county would be burden with cost stemmed from litigations with Carolina Cement. Titan cement also tried to incorporate language into Castle Haynes incorporation bill that would help the company get around proposed changes to New Hanover County's zoning rules regarding industrial properties. Evidence shows that Titan cement doesn't care about “following the law”, in Florida lawsuit were filed against them for “price-fixing” and contamination of drinking water and in Virgina for contamination of local waterways. Legal rights afforded to everyone, I don't know about you but I can't afford the legal representation that Titan cement can or the cost of housing lobbyist in the State & US Senate. To compare Titan Cement to the struggles that African-Americans had & have with the KKK and to place citizens that are concern with the health and quality of life US citizens in the same category is nothing other than idiotic. Please educate yourself about Titan and the impact that they will have on southeast North Carolina.

I was comparing one group of people who refuse to accept the law (the KKK) to another group of people who refuse to accept the law (You).

Now Titan is playing hardball? Gee, I wonder why? Could it be because of people who want to ignore the existing law and impose mob rule?

Thanks for all that wonderful trivia you provided, but nowhere have any of you explained why you refuse to accept current environmental laws. You gloss over that "little detail."

If they can meet current environmental requirements, let the construction start. Otherwise, you're no different than those masked, black-hooded loons that riot at every WTO meeting. The law means nothing to you.

WASTING your time dude...these people are the same whakos that voted Obama in..they wouldn't know the truth or common sense if it walked up and whacked them on the head! They all have blinders on and are closed off to discussion!

WE DO hold the higher ground.We (and our children) do not want to die any sooner than we have to .If you will read insteat of rant , you will quickly understand the situation is much deeper than you are .

If you won't do that, you are no better than any other anarchist.

I don't like Titan cement coming here any more than they do, but bullying? Hardly. If someone libeled my company like those two currently being sued did (and let's be clear and honest, they did lie in public statements about Titan) I'd fight back to the fullest myself also.
Let your arguments speak for themselves, but don't publicly lie about someone or you deserve the push back. Or at least be strong and honest enough to expect the consequences when you knowingly lie about someone.

As I mentioned in another comment, the statements made by Kayne Darrell and Dr. David Hill can be backed up by a simple Google search. Did you bother to do the research before posting?

And yes, it is bullying when a billion dollar company takes aim at two local citizens who were certainly not the only ones repeating the facts. Clearly Titan is trying to scare the opposition into backing down.

Publicly lie? How do you back up that statement? WHAT did Darrell or Hill say that was a lie? As one of the other people commented, you just posted a complete untruth about two upstanding citizens.

Instead of attacking Darrell and HIll, you should be thanking them for volunteering their time and energy to fight this corporation and the threat it poses to our community.

Wow, wondering how you know for a fact that the victims of Titan's SLAPP suit "knowingly lied about someone". I believe you just call some folks liars. Can you prove they knew they were lying? Based on what evidence? Is it intuition? Telepathy? Can you read their minds? I think you may have just set yourself up for a libel suit. Better watch out. Those "liars" may decide to sick their lawyers on you. Then you can see for yourself what it's like to get sued, spend thousands on lawyer fees and have to defend yourself and your reputation in court.
If you had taken the time to understand what a SLAPP suit is (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) you would know that Titan could care less if the people they sued spoke the truth or not. Nor do they care that they spoke it in a public forum to their government - rights completely protected under the First Amendment. Titan's only goal is to stifle public debate on this issue and to intimidate and silence their critics. Pretty damn unamerican if you ask me.
They didn't get sued because they lied. They got sued because they spoke the truth and Titan doesn't want you to hear the truth.

First, I'd be really interested to know how you know for sure that the victims of Titan's SLAPP suit "knowingly lied to someone" Wow, did you just call someone a liar? Based on nothing but pure speculation on your part? I think you may have just set yourself up as a target for a slander lawsuit. Better hope those you called liars don't sick their lawyers on you.....

Kayne Darrell did not “publicly lie”. Ms Darrell's statements can be proven by reading case #09-23187, it's a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court against Titan and eight other cement companies over an alleged price-fixing scheme. A SLAPP suit which was filed against Ms Darrell is a suit without merit, the indent is to intimidate the defendant into silence. Please read case #09-23187.

Those being sued did not lie, everything that they stated can be proved by a simple Google search. The 'bullying' by Titan refers not only to the lawsuits but their attempts to skirt environmental regulations and influence our local officials to force their way into our community. They have done worse to communities in Florida and Virginia. I encourage you to learn more about this issue.

No one libeled , they did not lie in public statements . It's public record if you would take the time to review your facts. Everything they said are facts. look it up and do your homework before you spout off . I hope it does come to a jury. they will get stomped.