Page 1

It makes ‘em want to shout! Cecil Bothwell

See Statements, Pg. A4

Jonathan Wainscott

James Hunter

U.K. soulman sizzles in show — See Review, Pg. B1

Register of deeds probed by BCGOP

Drew Reisinger

— See Story, Pg. A2


November 2013

Vol. 9, No. 12

An Independent Newspaper Serving Greater Asheville

Sparks fly after gadfly’s ‘Daily Show’ appearance


Don Yelton resigned as a precinct chairman for the Buncombe County Republican Party — de facto removing himself from the party’s executive committee— less than 24 hours after being pressured by the county and state GOP chairmen. The action followed remarks he made on Comedy Central television’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in an Oct. 23 humor segment focusing on the new voter ID law in North Carolina and other Southern states. He was interviewed for the show

for two hours, but Yelton said in an Oct. 25 Daily Planet interview that his views were “cut and pasted” to make him look racist in the five-minute segment that was aired. Yelton’s remarks soon went viral and were condemned by both Republicans and Democrats. Yelton announced his resignation (but said he would continue to be a Republican), while fielding questions from many angry — and some sympathetic — callers as a guest Oct. 24 on libertarian-leaning “The Pete Kaliner Show” on Asheville radio station WWNC-AM (570). See SPARKS, Page A10

The Advice Goddess

Amy Alkon

Social ‘notworking’

Q: My 40-something younger brother has been “friending” my hot female friends on Facebook, women I have befriended in real life whom he’s never even met! I said nothing at first. Then, one of these women posted a photo of herself, and I commented on it in a flirtatious way. Up pops my brother, commenting on my comment in a way that killed her ability to respond to me and adding a personal message to me, “Hey, bro, call me when you’re up.” I was upset that he’d butted into my conversation with her, and I don’t think her page is a place for him to leave messages to me. I asked him to remove his comment, and he was upset and insulted. Shouldn’t etiquette standards apply online, too? If I’m having a faceto-face conversation with someone, it’s considered rude to just walk up and butt in. And, isn’t it a little creepy that my brother trolls my Facebook page and “friends” women he’s never met?

Want to know the answer?



Trader Joe’s opens in Asheville

Trader Joe’s opened its doors early Sept. 27 to about 50 enthused shoppers with a ceremonial cutting of a lei with a pair of oversized scissors. Employees lined the store’s entrance, clapping and cheering

Daily Planet Staff Photo

as customers rushed through the doors. Inside, live Hawaiian music was featured. Trader Joe’s, located at 120 Merrimon Ave., is known for its exclusive, privatelabel products and laid-back atmosphere.

A-B Tech chief leaving Jan. 1 with buyout exceeding $100K From Staff Reports

A-B Tech President Hank Dunn will leave the post Jan. 1 with a buyout of more than $100,000. The school’s Board of Trustees announced Dunn’s impending departure on the night of Oct. 23, noting that he was not being terminated. A school official told the news media that there would be no comment on reasons why Dunn was leaving. Dunn, who began work at A-B Tech in Hank Dunn March 2010, was widely credited with helping win voter approval in 2011 of a special quarter-cent tax in Buncombe County to fund new buildings and renovations at the school, but his tenure also saw controversy. However, he clashed repeatedly with county officials over how to use tax proceeds. In addition, Dunn admitted earlier this year that his behind-the-scenes action to swear-in someone else early helped keep County Commissioner Mike Fryar, a critic of Dunn and the tax, off the school’s Board of Trustees. Relations with some employees reportedly were difficult at

times. Dunn will receive a separation payment of $113,052, the equivalent of six months salary, the school said. The sum will come from school vending revenues because of a state law prohibiting making such payments from taxpayer funds. A statement from the school says an agreement between Dunn and trustees “is confidential and the board will not have any additional comment.” Dunn was only the school’s fifth president since A-B Tech was established in 1958, but the second president in a row to leave after a relatively short time in the top job. Betty Young held the job from September 2007 to March 2009. She resigned, citing dissatisfaction with her leadership. K. Ray Bailey held the position from 1990 to 2007. He was popular enough that he was easily the top vote-getter among eight candidates for regular seats on the county Board of Commissioners in 2008. A brief statement from trustees Chairman Joe Brumit does not give a reason for Dunn’s departure. Brumit declined to answer questions at the end of a 45-minute closed meeting of the board late Wednesday afternoon. Dunn was a candidate for president at two other community colleges this year, but did not get either job.

A2 —November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Register of deeds wants to issue samesex marriage licenses

From Staff Reports


BCGOP unveils plans for probe of official’s actions

Buncombe County’s register of deeds is the first government official in the South to seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. From Staff Reports Drew Reisinger issued a press release on Buncombe County Republican Party the afternoon of Oct. 14, announcing his decision to accept and hold same-sex mar- Chairman Henry Mitchell on Oct. 21 anriage applications, pushing the question of nounced an official probe by the BCGOP into equal marriage rights to Attorney General the recent actions of Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisingers acceptance of Roy Cooper. “I will let each couple know that it is my marriage license for same-sex couples. The BCGOP has made official public rehope to grant them a license, cords requests under the but I need to seek the North Freedom of Information Carolina Attorney GenAct (and other applicable eral’s approval,” Reisinger laws) for communications said in the release. “I have between the NC Attorney concerns about whether we General Roy Cooper and are violating people’s civil Register of Deeds Drew rights based on this sumReisinger regarding the acmer’s Supreme Court deciceptance and possible issuDrew sion.” Henry ance of marriage license for Reisinger The Campaign for South- Mitchell same-sex couples. ern Equality notified Re“We have made inquiries that we hope isinger that at least six same-sex couples will aid in determining if any laws have would request marriage licenses Oct. 22. been violated” Mitchell said. “The people Reisinger said he would allow the couples of North Carolina voted in an overwhelming to complete and sign their applimajority, around cations. He said he would accept 61 percent, for “The people of the applications, but withhold Amendment One North Carolina his own signature. and it is our duty “I will then let the attorney to hold public ofvoted in an overficers accountable general know that I would like whelming majority, to the will of the to issue these couples licenses, people around 61 percent, but that I need his clarification “On Oct. 15, on the laws of the state that seem for Amendment One Buncombe County to contradict the equal protecand it is our duty to Register of Deeds tion clause of the U.S. ConstituDrew Reisinger hold public officers tion,” Reisinger said. became the first Oct. 22 was the first time accountable to the public official in same-sex couples have requestwill of the people.” NC to accept mared marriage licenses from Reis— Henry Mitchell, riage license of inger since the June 26 Supreme Court decision striking down the BCGOP chairman same-sex couples while ignoring the Defense of Marriage Act. N.C. State ConEarlier on Oct. 14, Cooper announced his support for marriage equality, but added stitution and the recent amendment, often that he would vigorously defend North Car- referred to as Amendment One, to define olina’s constitutional amendment against marriage as “Marriage between one man same-sex marriage. Cooper is also slated to and one woman is the only domestic legal be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Equality union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.... Gala in Greensboro on Nov 9. “We officially made public records reThe Supreme Court case in question, quest to Mr. Reisinger and AG Cooper toUnited States v. Windsor, struck down a federal definition of marriage as between one day. We also notified Mr. Reisinger last man and one woman on the grounds that the week that we would be filing a formal redefinition violated the due process and equal quest and he has already begun assembling protection rights of same-sex couples. At the the records requested” Mitchell said. “However, he did indicate that most of the moment, the decision only applies to federal communications were conversations over laws. The American Civil Liberties Union of the phone with the AG Public Information North Carolina is currently challenging the Officer and he has not talked to AG Cooper constitutionality of Amendment One. directly, making us unclear on how much inReisinger, who is personally in favor of formation we will actually receive. legal same-sex marriage, has asked state At“It is the goal of the Buncombe County torney General Roy Cooper asking a series Republican Party to protect the NC State of questions about the legality of Amend- Constitution and the will of North Carolinment One, including whether it violated the ians throughout the state. We will continue Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. to hold public officials accountable and fight Cooper’s office did not respond immedi- political activism against the will of its peoately to Reisinger’s specific questions, but ple,” he said. did say that under current state law, “issuThe CGOP noted that it will announce its ance of a marriage license to a same-sex findings and keep updates posted to its webcouple would be a violation of the law.” site and Facebook Pages.Mitchell noted.

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A4 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

3 council hopefuls favor elected school board A statement from Wainscott over Bothwell dust-up

From Staff Reports

The issue of election for Asheville School Board members rather than having City Council continue to appoint them drew the support of three candidates running for council during a candidates forum Oct. 25 in Asheville’s Biltmore Square Mall. All give candidates vying for the three available councils seats in the Nov. 5 election show up for the Council of Independent Business Owners’ debate during a “power lunch. About 50 people attended. An elected school board would be more accountable, agreed incumbent Cecil Bothwell, along with newcomers Mike Lanning and Jonathan Wainscott. Lanning referenced concerns about the five-member School Board’s decision last May to give then-Superintendent Allen Johnson a $175,000 payout upon his departure. The decision raised scrutiny because that was the same amount Johnson’s contract call for him to get if he were fired, but school board members denied that that was the case. “I’ve got a problem with that, paying $175,000 to tell someone to leave,” Lanning asserted. “If I were in that position, I’d go from job to job, getting fired and making a living doing that.” Bothwell added that tax money should be spent by elected officials “so you can throw the bums out if you don’t like what they’re doing,” while Wainscott noted that he wanted more oversight and transparency. The remaining two candidates — incumbent Gordon Smith and newcomer Gwen Wisler — said the issue is complex and they have yet to make up their minds. “We as a City Council should be focused a little more on the results from the school board and getting a little bit more accountability,” Smith said. He added that he “just began really exploring this issue” and that his focus has been on appointing the most capable board members. “We have to get the best and most professional people we can on that board because this job has gotten

The five candidates for three seats on Asheville City Council include (from left) Gwen Wisler, Jonathan Wainscott, Gordon Smith, Mike Lanning and Cecil Bothwell. Smith and Bothwell are incumbents, while the third seat is being vacated by Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer, who is running for mayor. The current mayor, Terry Bellamy, has announced plans to not run again. harder than it’s ever been,” he said. On a separate question, the candidates took differing stances on the Interstate 26 Connector proposal, even if it would be built eight lanes wide. The project would involve widening Interstate 240 in West Asheville, building a new bridge across the French Broad River north of Bowen Bridge and revamping the I-26/I-14/I-240 interchange. Wainscott said, as a member of council, he would oppose an eight-lane plan. “I don’t think a city the size of Asheville needs a highway the size of Atlanta or Chicago.” Smith said, “There’s a small group” of council members, Buncombe County commissioners and others who are meeting, “so we can come together” with state officials with a unified proposal. “I want to make sure West Asheville is connected to downtown with multimodal transportation.” Lanning, a former city policeman, said, “I’d prefer to see a loop around

Asheville. I’m the only candidate who had to work a wreck almost every day across the Smoky Park Bridge. So absolutely, I’m in favor” of eight lanes. Bothwell said, “I covered the connector as a reporter since 1992. It’s been a long time. The truth of the matter is it’s always been a money matter. Now we’re scheduled to get it in 2040. Right now, it’s an eight-lane option. By their own numbers, we don’t need it. We could get it down the list if we could agree to six lanes.” Wisler said, “I’d like to support the efforts of that one small group” to which Smith referred. “I think it’s important that we go to the state united. To really address the difference between local traffic flow and through-traffic flow… it’d reduce the number of lanes needed. I’d support the minimal infrastructure needed” to get the job done. Besides the councilmanic election on Nov. 5, city voters will be choosing a new mayor — between Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and retired city official John Miall.

Tyranny opponents celebrate inn’s win From Staff Reports

WAYNESVILLE — The Asheville Tea Party on Oct. 12 held a Pisgah Inn Rally for Liberty to celebrate what it termed a “push back against this tyranny” in the reopening — after a forced closure by Blue Ridge Park Police — of the privately run business that leases its property from the federal government along the Blue Ridge Parkway. About 50 people attended the affair at a parking area along the Parkway near the inn, which, as USA Today noted in a story earlier that week is “at a spot 5,000 feet above sea level and 20 miles from the nearest town.”

This partial view shows some of the 50 people gathered for a Pisgah Inn rally for Liberty on Oct. 12 in a nearby parking area. The rally attendees included ATP members, as well as those from other local tea party groups, as well as sympathizers — veterans, students, businessowners, senior citizens, churches and Oath Keepers-We the People.

As planned, a number of those at the rally wanted to show their support so they went immediately afterward to lunch at the inn, which involved about an hour’s wait because of the glut of diners after news of its reopening.

A shouting match erupted between challenger Jonathan Wainscott and Councilman Cecil Bothwell that ended an Oct. 18 forum for City Council candidates in West Asheville. Following is Wainscott’s subsequent statement on that dispute: Dear Citizens, “For those who have been following the current election campaign for City Council, you are probably aware of the recent discourse between me and fellow candidate and Councilman Cecil Bothwell. At a recent candidates’ forum, a heated discussion between the two of us escalated to a full-fledged argument. Upon the accusation of me being a “liar” by Mr. Bothwell in front of my community and family, I defended my honor as an honest man and candidate. The charge of dishonesty by Mr. Bothwell is thoroughly unfounded and irrefutably rebuffed by a wealth of video and written correspondences. Mr. Bothwell has apologized to Mr. Lanning, Mrs. Wisler, and the West Asheville Business Association, but his insistence that I am lying to the public has been neither substantiated nor apologized for. I have expressed my regrets to both Mr. Lanning and Mrs. Wisler in person for the awkwardness that the moment of my defense caused for those two candidates. For those present at the forum and those who have witnessed the exchange by watching the video, I too apologize for the unease this exchange may have caused you. “I will not apologize, however, for defending myself against the false and egregious accusations levied by Cecil Bothwell. During the course of this campaign Mr. Bothwell has accused me privately and publicly of being a liar when he has found himself short on facts. He has repeatedly put words in my mouth then accused me of lying based on his own verbiage he attributes to me. Mr. Bothwell has a reputation of unapologetic denigration of those he does not agree with, and continues to employ the tactics of a bully. I will not stand for his dirty-pool tactics. Mr. Bothwell clearly owes the community, my wife, and my daughter a full explanation of his accusation of my alleged dishonesty, an apology to me for these unfounded accusations, and an explanation as to how his behavior is not a violation of the Code of Ethics he is bound to uphold as a member of the Asheville City Council. “As we proceed with our current election cycle I give you the following assurances: “I will continue to provide complete honesty about my vision for moving Asheville forward. “I will express myself with vigor, passion, and respect, but I will not be bullied and if finding myself in that situation again, I will defend myself, my family, and my community with the same level of dedication that I bring to my concerns about our city. “I will continue to lead our community toward the prosperity, rewards, and greater ownership of our assets and resources we all deserve. “Thank you for your attention and participation in this election. The road forward can be a rough one at times. It is not my intention to inflict harm in exchange for political gain. It’s my intention to boldly lead our community to a higher level of empowerment. “In the words of a great social leader, Mr. Thomas Petty, ‘I won’t. Back. Down.’” — Jonathan Wainscott EDITOR’S NOTE: The Daily Planet offered Councilman Cecil Bothwell the opportunity to respond to Wainscott’s statement and the following is what he submitted to the newspaper on the night of Oct. 27: “Bothwell issued a statement on the morning following Wainscott’s failed attempt to shout him down: ‘I would like to apologize to WABA, Mike Lanning, Gwen Wisler and attendees of last night’s West Asheville Business Association Candidate Forum for my part in a heated argument which occurred. I’ll do my part to maintain decorum in the future.’”

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 - A5

A6 — November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

RAD lofts project unanimously OK’d by Asheville council From Staff Reports

MantraFest’s beauty, bliss sweep over Asheville

Counter-clockwise from bottom right are Deva Premal & Miten, along with Manose Singh and Maneesh de Moor (not pictured), who wowed a sizable crowd during MantraFest 2013 on the evening of Oct. 1 at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. Also performing were special guests The GuruGanesha Band. The organizers urged attendees to “get ready to experience the beauty and bliss of the world’s most sacred mantras!” The Asheville stop was part of a fall tour.

Asheville City Council on Oct. 22 unanimously approved a zoning change that will provide a green light for a $43 million plan for 209 apartments and retail and office space in the River Arts District.. The former Dave Steel property will be developed into seven mixed-use buildings and a parking deck, with a groundbreaking the spring. RAD Lofts team changed plans from one large building to several smaller ones to make for a more “interesting” building and a higher quality of life for occupants of the development’s 209 residential units, according to its developer, Harry Philos. Philos also said he plans to locate 26 retail spots, 11,656 square feet of office space and a 338 space underground parking garage on the 3.26-acre property at the corner of Clingman Avenue and Roberts Street. The project will bring 125 permanent jobs to the area when it is up and running in 2016, Philos said. “I think this is an incredibly valuable, transformative project for the River Arts

“I think this is an incredibly valuable, transformative project for the River Arts District.”

— City Councilman Marc Hunt

District,” City Councilman Marc Hunt said before the vote. He and others said the project will add dramatically to activity around the project site between Clingman Avenue Extension and Roberts Street. Members of City Council and a River Arts District businessman said there are concerns that the project by Delphi Development will have adverse impacts on the area as well, possibly making the district too expensive for the artists that have made the area attractive to begin with. “If we don’t have space for artists, we won’t have a River Arts District,” said Wedge Brewery owner Tim Schaller on behalf of a group of businesspeople in the district.

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Business Owners — and drew some criti“We’re excited to be here to find how we We also ask this group (CIBO), if you’re cism — during an Oct. 4 breakfast issues can get more input on the city’s develop- aware of incentives you’ve seen *elsewhere, meeting at Asheville’s Biltmore Square ment goals,” Ball said. “We feel that we tell us of them. We’ll see if we can apply Mall. About 50 people attended cannot do it without getting input from our them here. Think about if you’ve heard of Making the presentation was City Plansmall businesses... We are incorporating an inventive…. ning Director Judy Daniel. “The process takes a little bit of time… sustainability into everything we do. Part Judy Daniel She first told about changes related to Maggie Ullman 0001904920 in the of sustainability is keeping small businesses We don’t want to just be subjective 0001904920 Bate Road… The walking experience Newt Plemmons signage and agricultural uses. “InBerry the past, has be- within our community.” Berry Bate Newt Plemmons way we’re providing these resources. So there were confusingCall aspects,” Daniel said. Bows! to many828-231-8169 come very important people, even for appointment 828-508-6667 today’s part of that first step,” Ullman said. Ball then introduced 828-508-6667 Ullman, noting,Bows! Call for appointment 828-231-8169 “Industry is very important to us and we in our suburban in Guns & environment.” in Guns &In questioning that followed, Swicegood “Maggie’s role has expanded…. You’ll hear want to get those high-paying jobs here, off Sweeten Creek Rd.In question-and-answer Call for appointment next week session that fol- us saying ‘sustainability.’ off Sweeten CreekYou Rd.might think forcatchy appointment said, “I’veCall heard words like ‘collaboranext week when we can.” ad lowed, CIBO our member Mac Swicegood said, tion,’ ‘threshholds’…. I still don’t understand it’s a cliche for trying to make everything 2 Winners Circle • Arden 23 Young Road • Weaverville our ad Daniel said the changes would include “Judy what you’’ve 2 Winners Circlethe• Arden 23 Youngtalking Road about. • Weaverville Look forgot sounds good. But it’s green. Maggie’s what you’re You need to be leading effort.” Look for level three, which would be required in the ShOwROOmconceptual zoning, again. It seems wARehOUSe like instead more specific in what you’re talking about.” With a smile, Ullman said that, to her, to ShOwROOm wARehOUSe industrial district; level 2, for final approval of having real rules to hang your hat on, we’ve “I’m sorry you feel that way,” Ullman in the industrial district; “and anything be- got some concept that someone thought of that be sustainabile “we need to have a happy, healthy business community…. We want to replied. “When we’re talking about small low that is just a level one” looks good on paper, but makes it difficult if get outside of City Hall, where government business, we’re talking about under 50 peoAnother change is related to reducing the *Factory rebates for month ofcan December only.front, rather than just reacting to ple… Right now,rebates typical economic developbe out open space requirements, she said. The re- someone wants to build something.” *Factory for month of December only. Unphased by Swicegood’s cricitism, economic development. We want to start ment means number of jobs and *amount of duction is from 15 percent to 5 percent in Daniel asserted, “It will be very easy to see building a relationship. capital investment.” the commercial/industrial district. Undeterred, Swicegood said, “When you “This all started last year, when we were “The second set of changes relate to what you’ll be able to do on a property… That’s the whole idea behind it. I think most start talking about sustainability… and prohaving a hard time with the budget. Council signs,” Daniel noted. “The first is a clarificafor,” * tion (where) when you’re putting up a new people used it. They may not agree with it, instructed us to be up-front, working with viding the services I’m already paying folks. We want to have a suite — a menu — it leaves him wondering what is going on. “I sign, you must take down the old sign first.” but it’s easy to undersantd. A man asked, “With all the development of tools that y’all can easily” access. have a building downtown that I’m having In addition, a multi-tenant commercial devel“The process .. the very first step is evalu- to put up no trespassing signs to be able to opment change was made “to allow addition- on Merrimon Avenue, what is going to be ating the incentives we have now — from Denforce al signage where you have frontage on other done as far as the traffic and people?” E IN THtheE law. … If you would just proMA vide “I think it will settle down, eventually,” permit waivers to development-related inthe services that we’re paying for....” streets ... Now you can have an off-premise “Our two core services are safety and Daniel said. “Trader Joe’s tends to do that centives,” she said. sign…. This expands the use of signs.” “Of those dozen or so tools, we came infrastructure,” Ullman told Swicegood. She said “the most significant change” is (draw crowds) when they open. When you an “extended annexation period from five to have new popular stores opening, for a few up with about four that are not being used “Sidewalks are our business… We’re the * — we really know weeks, that’s going to happen. I think that’s much, or at all.” As examples, she cited an seven years for signs.” BY Linfrastructure I B ERTY andfolks streetlights sidewalks. That’s really our incentive grant and density bonus. “Where going to settle down a bit. Our traffic enThe last set of changes adopted by the council relate to agriculture, Daniel said. gineers” and those from the Department of are there gaps? When you look at some strong role. 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A8 - October 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

UNCA’s clicking on all cylinders, chancellor says By JOHN NORTH

has been working with students on a project called “Virtual Lincoln,” that will be ready to give the famous speech on the date and hour UNC Asheville is crystal-clear in its misof the 150th anniversary of the “Gettysburg sion — and the students and the local comAddress” — on the UNCA campus. munity are reaping the results, Anne Ponder, “That’s the hardest thing in 3D (dimension) the school’s chancellor, said during an Oct. -- to revive a real-life human being,” Ponder 23 luncheon meeting of Leadership Asheville said. “What happened is they discovered Forum at the County Club of Asheville a photograph of Abraham Ponder addressed “What’s Lincoln at Gettysburg that New at UNCA?” About 70 never had been known. So people attended. Christopher Oakley deserves The Asheville native became applause.” (The crowd apUNCA’s chancellor in October plauded.) 2005, after serving for 10 years Ponder also noted that as president of Colby-Sawyer recently took the opportunity College in New London, N.H. to know three UNCA students, She has a national reputation as with whom she made time to a strategic planner. interact. “Even I, as chancelPonder said her talk would lor, get to know a dozen or so address surprising demonstudents each year.” strations of the liberal arts at She reviewed the goals and UNCA, provide answers to aspirations of three students, “What are MOOCs?” and all rising seniors. They are all answer the burning question of exceptional and involved in a “How many days till basketball great many things. So those season starts” at UNCA? Anne Ponder are three snapshots, working She was introduced as somebackward, that you don’t have one who “traces her roots to the 1780s, when to be rich to attend UNC Asheville. Asheville was known as Morristown.” (The “About 40 percent of our students are town was renamed Asheville in 1797.) Ponder Pell (Grant)-eligible,” meaning their family earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate incomes are under 40 percent, Ponder said. degrees in English at UNC Chapel Hill. She added, “Our students are very interested Ponder began her address by noting that in multiple things…. I was walking across UNCA “continues to show up” in “all of the campus” recently and several students “just national rankings... We show up for quality for had come out of differential equations” class what we offer... and affordability.” and” they were hanging around waiting to atShe added, “We are in the top 10 — top 10 tend Mandarin Chinese” class. — nationwide for all colleges and universities After a pause, Ponder quipped, “So what I for students who graduate with the least debt.” want you to have a sense of is UNC Asheville After citing several other achievements is for the really cool kids....” for UNCA, Ponder said, “And we have been “Another thing I’d like to brag about is there recognized for our town-gown relations...” is a magnitude of economic profile for UNC Most important of all, she said, “UNC Asheville, which is quite surprising. UNCA as Asheville has never been more widely rea whole contributes about $268 million” to the spected and known ... than now.” local economy. ‘Our students alone spend over “It’s not the Asheville-Biltmore College $30 million per year” in the local economy, she (founded in 1936) “from the middle of the said. Regarding UNCA’s various boosts to the 20th century” that offered two-year degree local economy, Ponder quipped, “Now I’m an programs at what became the first state-supEnglish major, but I know that’s really good.” ported community college. In 1966, the school Turning to MOOCs, which Ponder defined graduated its first four-year degree-holders. as “massive open online courses,” she said, On July 1, 1969, the institution’s name was “They are created by some other entities. They changed to UNC Asheville. are offered for educational credit online for Regarding the changes from a community free. They tend to choose the very best speaker college through today, when UNCA is receivor drama. That particular trend has bloomed in ing top national recognition among its peer the last couple of years.” universities, Ponder said, “It’s an astonishing In her career in academic, Ponder noted that, progress for a university in under a century.” “in the mid-’90s, the academic purposes of the At that point, Ponder recognized the accom- Internet began to be more widely used. … It plishments of two UNCA faculty members, changed what it meant to be a scholar... All of beginning with Dr. Bert E. Holmes, the a sudden, small colleges like UNC Asheville school’s Philip G. Carlson Distinguished Chair could be a winner because you could live in and professor of chemistry. Asheville and still be a world-class scholar.” Specifically, she noted that he has earned the “The places where there are rich intellectual 2014 American Chemical Society Award for communities… all of a sudden that comes to Research at an Undergraduate Institution. “He our threshold. As long as our faculty keeps has been recognized as the premiere faculty up... So the competition that MOOCs will member in the country for this year,” the chan- offer for community college or large lectures” cellor said, as the crowd applauded. will be a good thing. “So all of a sudden, UNC Another outstanding faculty member, Asheville is optimally positioned....” Christopher Oakley, assistant professor of new Finally, she said with a broad smile, here media, recently drew the national spotlight for is “an answer to my third topic: ‘How many his discovery of Abraham Lincoln in a rare days till the start of the basketball season?’ The photo at the scene of the Gettysburg Address, answer is ... 16 days.” The crowd cheered. Ponder noted. Oakley, a historian and expert on Lincoln, Ponder fields questions, Page A9

Vote for Andrea Boyer for Woodfin Alderman

Remember the 5th of November! • A New Candidate in Woodfin Challenging the Status Quo....

I am Andrea Boyer, candidate for alderman in the Town of Woodfin. I grew up in Weaverville. When my husband, Cody, and I chose to make Woodfin our home, it was because of the friendliness of this small community. As I have been campaigning “door to door” all over Woodfin, I have been overwhelmed by the open-heartedness of my neighbors. Their determination to survive and even succeed in this economy has made a great impression on me.

• The Primary Issue and Where I Stand….

The tax issue comes up a lot as I travel around town. While I applaud the efforts of the mayor and the board of aldermen to slow spending, unfortunately, it is not enough. We must do better. I realize that property values have declined for some, particularly for higher-end homeowners. However, values have not declined for many living in middle- and lower end homes in our community. Woodfin’s tax rate increase of 15%, along with the 8% county tax hike, has created hardship for many Woodfin residents. Our municipal tax increase falls most harshly on our middle- and lower-income residents. Many in this category are retired, laid off or underemployed. I think we can do better than this.

• Principles of Governance....

Public safety and protection of private property are essential roles for town government. Other spheres of activity that can be handled more economically by voluntary cooperation between residents within the community. Creative fund-raising is an avenue that can be explored to help pay for youth and senior activities. When an outdoor shooting range was proposed for Woodfin by Buncombe County government, the public outcry was the key factor that caused the county commissioners to take that proposal off the table. The cooperative effort of the people made the difference. We should look for “bottomup solutions” first and accept “top-down solutions” from governments only as a last resort.

• Town Hall needs to be in touch with the people ....

Many residents do not feel that they are represented. They sense that Town Hall is not in touch with them. I have always been serious about representation, but this widespread sentiment has caused me to think even more critically about what it means to be a real representative among our Board of Aldermen. I have had some great conversations with people about how elected officials and bureaucrats all too often assume that they know better than the residents as to how they ought to live. The lack of information on the town’s website has been frustrating for some. Minutes of meetings, records of votes and town ordinances are not available online. Folks want more information on a timely basis and they want a town website where they can ask questions and make comments to officials.

• Your voice and your vote are important to me ....

The best experiences I have had during this campaign have been meeting people and hearing what they have to say about living and working in Woodfin. If I haven’t knocked on your door yet, I hope to soon! As your elected alderman, I will listen to the needs of residents and business owners, learn the facts, and be a voice of representation for our community. Honesty and integrity are the values that I strive to live by and are the pillars of my campaign. Please visit my website and leave feedback there or call me. I want to hear from you. • 828-484-1850 Paid for by Andrea Boyer for Woodfin Alderman

UNCA chief fields questions on property acquisition plans, other universities vying in city

fine institutions.” From Staff Reports Nonetheless, she then noted that “UNC During a brief question-and-answer period Asheville SATs are over 1,200” and reiterated following her address, UNC Asheville Chanthe university extensive number of national cellor Anne Ponder fielded a number of quesrankings. “It’s a different style. We’re pleased tions about property acquisition and competition from other schools moving into Asheville to have those institutions compete. I don’t during an Oct. 25 Leadership Asheville Forum. think it will affect UNC Asheville at all.” First, a LAF member asked about Gov. Pat She added that “we have brought the UNC McCrory’s recent remarks that challenged the School of Pharmacy to the UNC Asheville value of a liberal arts education. campus. We went and got the second best “Here’s what I say and what I advocate: If in the country and we think we’ve got (a you are interested in practical education — situation) to make it the best in the country.” what you need in the leaders of the future ... Ponder noted that UNCA took the tack of pigthe members of this group in the future... is gybacking with an excellent program, rather to master a number of things in a number of than “starting our own pharmacy school. fields…. You need to be able to have multiple “We also have very good N.C. State perspectives,” which is programs in megatronics, only provided by a liberal environmental engineering” “We have earned arts education, she said. and other fields, she said. the reputation of beAnother LAF member “The other thing we’ve done ing great members of in master’s programs is we’ve asked about UNCA’s plans on property acquisition. got a robust MLA program — the community and “We have been very Master of Liberal Arts.... making a buck go a fortunate during this reces“I do think what will help, long way.” not just in Asheville, will help sion and recovery to be … universities to succeed is able to fund acquisition of — Anne Ponder not to try to be all things to all property for this univerUNCA’s chancellor people. We need to strategisity,” Ponder replied. cally align with our missions. “We have a deep “We’re now in a mission review process (at conviction that UNC Asheville is of Asheville colleges and universities) across the state. At — and is in the right place. And even though UNC Asheville, we’re done (already). We’re we don’t know precisely how we might use that clear in our mission. Thank you for the property in the future, we are not confident it will be available. We think the university could opportunity to be with you today.” and should do what it can to acquire it. “The first was the Rhodes property, at Merrimon and Weaver (Boulevard). That came to us in December 2008. We acquired 10 acres and a house. We have not done anything but assign a temporary use. And we have a community garden for our students.” “We know we will be doing a campus master plan process. “The year before last, the MAHEC on Weaver Boulevard decided they’d be efficient by consolidating in South Asheville,” so “we now own 118 W.T. Weaver Blvd. and are renovating it. It’s perfect and a gorgeous addition to our campus.... “We are in the process of talking with area property-owners…. So far, what we have done is to recommend” the purchase, as approved by Board of Directors, of the 525 Broadway property from the Momentum or Health Adventure. “We actually took a tragedy for Asheville and made it into something good. We’re now moving through the Raleigh part of the process.” Ponder added, “There are other parcels along Broadway in the old park property and other properties along the boundary of the campus that we are working on.” With a note of pride, she asserted, “We have earned the reputation of being great members of the community and making a buck go a long way.” Another LAF asked, “Western Carolina University, Lenoir-Rhyne University and others. have all moved new locations to Asheville (recently) — and what’s that say about Asheville? How will that affect things for UNCA?” “Thank you,” Ponder said to the questioner. “Asheville is the population center for Western North Carolina.... We’re in the era of satellite campuses… We (at UNCA) have no interest in that. We think it’s most valuable” to have a campus where faculty and students freely interact “live.” Further, the chancellor said, “All of the organizations you mentioned — they’re all

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — A9

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A10 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet


Continued from Page A1 During the segment on controversial new voter ID laws in North Carolina and other states across the South, Yelton said, “The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt,” contradicting Republican Party leaders who have argued the law is not about partisanship. “If it hurts a bunch of college kids that are too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, then so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, then so be it,” Yelton said on the show. In another exchange, the Gawker website noted that “Daily Show” interviewer Aasif Mandvi “attempted to prompt a reaction by declaring ‘the law is not racist, and you’re not racist.’ Expecting Yelton to fire back with an unequivocal ‘no,’ Mandvi was instead treated to several long seconds of introspection, followed by, ‘well, I’ve been called a bigot before.’” Yelton went on to bemoan the notion that it’s acceptable for black people to use the Nword, but not for others to do so. In apparent disbelief at what he was hearing, Mandvi responded by emphasizing to Yelton: “You know that we can hear you, right?” Yelton, 66, well-known in local political circles as a gadfly — and former member of the Buncombe County Democratic Party, has been called “the Rush Limbaugh of Western North Carolina.” In response to Yelton’s “Daily Show” comments, critics of North Carolina’s voting law said he reinforced their argument that the measure is racially discriminatory. What’s more, New York Magazine called the Yelton segment the “Most Baldly Racist ‘Daily Show’ Interview of All Time.” On Oct. 24, Henry Mitchell, chairman of the BCGOP, released a statement (printed below), castigating Yelton for his comments. In defending Republicans’s stance that the new voting law, which among other things will require IDs by 2016 is designed to ensure against fraud, state GOP Chairman Claude Pope, released the following statement: “The North Carolina Republican Party finds the comments made by Mr. Yelton to be completely inappropriate and highly offensive... I would like to make it very clear that Mr. Yelton does not speak for either the Buncombe County Republican Party or the North Carolina Republican Party.” Nathan West, who is the BCGOP’s communications director, told the news media that Yelton’s comments “offensive, uninformed and unacceptable. … In no way are his comments representative of the local or state Republican Party.” West noted that Yelton was reprimanded by the party and removed as a precinct chairman For Immediate Release: October 24th, 2013

Conservative gadfly gives his side of story By JOHN NORTH

Don Yelton on “The Daily Show.” in 2012. He was re-elected this year, placing him on the party’s executive committee. Upon request from the Daily Planet, Kathy Sinclair, chair of the Buncombe County Democratic Party, released the following statement on behalf of her party regarding Yelton’s “Daily Show comments: “The Buncombe County Democratic Party finds Mr. Yelton’s comments sad and offensive. No matter your personal politics, this type of discourse has no place in our society. It is even more unfortunate that he has refused to apologize for his racist and insensitive remarks. “Mr. Yelton’s comments about changes to our election laws were an unfortunate but honest statement about the true intentions behind the voter ID bill. Governor McCrory and the GOP-controlled legislature in Raleigh are not interested in preventing voter fraud, only limiting people’s ability to vote.” Meanwhile, Penda Hair, co-director of Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that filed a federal suit over the law on behalf of the NAACP, told The Charlotte Observer, that Yelton’s comments affirmed our argument that this legislation is discriminatory and unconstitutional.” The Rev. William Barber, head of the state NAACP, told The Charlotte Observer that he was “disgusted, but not surprised, by (the) arrogant remarks.” Yelton, he said, “laid bare everything that we know politicians are trying to do through this legislation – which is to manipulate our voting laws, making it harder for certain communities to participate, in order to unfairly win elections.” Yelton told the Asheville Citizen-Times he does not regret his “Daily Show” appearance. “There’s nothing I said that I would take back,” he told the AC-T. “The activity going on across the state today proves what I said is true – the Democrats are jumping on it like flies after honey.”

Buncombe County Republican Party Responds to Comments Made by Buncombe County Resident Don Yelton on “The Daily Show” On behalf of the Buncombe County Republican Party we would like to express our sincerest regrets and disappointment in the comments made by Don Yelton on the Wednesday edition of Jon Stewarts “The Daily Show.” Mr. Yeltons comments are offensive, uninformed, and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party. In no way are his comments representative of the local or state Republican Party. “Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon” said Chairman (Henry) Mitchell. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party”. Mr. Yelton was recently reprimanded and removed from his position as a precinct chair in Buncombe County for a period of time in 2012 through 2013 and was then reelected to precinct chair by 2 votes (his wife and himself) at the 2013 convention placing him back on the Buncombe County Executive Committee. “We have requested that Don resign his position of precinct chair and if he is unwilling to do this, we will again be pursuing avenues to remove him from any and all positions at any level within the state” said Chairman Mitchell. “The Daily Show” led viewers to believe that Mr. Yelton was speaking on behalf of the NCGOP. Mr. Yelton did not seek the approval of any party official before accepting the interview request.

chair, as “enumerated in party principles that (former BGOP chairman and former state GOP vice chairman) Tim Johnson found.” In After the political firestorm he has his appeal of that BCGOP decision, Yelton weathered since his recently aired interview said he did not feel he was dealt with in an with “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” open and fair way by state GOP officials. Buncombe County conservative gadfly Don He later repeated his admonition from “The Yelton said Oct 25 that he is — and will Daily Show” that the “N-word” only can be remain — a Republican. used acceptably by blacks and not by whites. “I’m not leaving the Republican Party because they need to have at least one member “That’s a double-standard,” Yelton said, and he is sticking to his contention. He asserted that who has the guts” to stand up for the party’s those who disagree with him on the issue are principles, Yelton told the Daily Planet in a far-ranging and lengthy interview. “I believe in afflicted with political correctness. Yelton also said “The Daily Show” incorthe principles, not the party. That’s why I am rectly reported that “I was staying with the party.” a state (Republican) exHe added, “I’ll just “I’m not leaving ecutive,” when he claimed keep on doing what I’ve the Republican Party he clearly explained to been doing. People, as a Aasif Mandvi, the reporter whole, are tired” of the because they need who interviewed him for posturing and political to have at least one the comedy that “I was a correctness that are commonplace among Repubmember who has the lowly precinct chairman” North Buncombe lican leaders He termed guts” to stand up for for County, where he lives. the situation “political the party’s principles. Yelton said he did bullcrap.” Further, Yelton as— Don Yelton Kaliner a favor by announcing his resignations serted, “Thank God I Republican on Kailiner’s show. At the didn’t compromise and same time, he noted that he apologize — that’s supchastised Kaliner for his criticism of Yelton’s posed to make everything OK,” but it does decision even to be interviewed for “The Daily not. Show.” So why did he even resign as precinct Yelton said he said, “Pete, you are giving chairman? Why didn’t he fight to retain his the power to the ‘Daily Show.’ You’re more posts till the bitter end? interested in proving you’re right” than look“I resigned because — to tell you the truth — if they (Republican leaders) were not going ing at Yelton’s impact from a more objective standpoint. to support me,” it would be pointless for him As for his remarks on “The Daily Show,” to go through the ordeal the removal process. Yelton said he sees too many lazy AmeriYelton then asked, rhetorically, “Why not cans — and no difference between blacks and just do the right thing, and not worry about doing the ‘correct’ thing?” Too often, he said, whites, or other races — in that aspect. “I don’t see blacks as any different from it is a matter of “there goes that worry thing anyone else,” he said. again.” One of his closest friends is Tim Johnson, Regarding his “Daily Show” appearance, whom, he said, called Yelton after “The Daily he said that, “eventually, it’ll have a positive Show” controversy and resignations, to coneffect.” He also said that “it’s important that sole him. He said he also received similar calls people speak their minds” and “eventually, of support from several other black friends, it’ll cause people to realize these things,” including H.K. Edgerton of Asheville. most notably Republican Party principles. A long-time member of the Frederick As for the the fallout from his remarks Douglass Foundation, Yelton said he has built labeled by many as racist on the Oct. 23 a reputation as a strong supporter — politically television comedy show, Yelton said, “My as well as financially — of the group that is comments were my comments.” billed as ‘the largest Christ-centered, multiWhile he admitted recognizing before the ethnic, and Republican ministry in America.” interview that ‘The Daily Show’ is a comic (Johnson, a former Buncombe County resiparody,” Yelton said it “zeroed in on the racial dent, is its founding chairman.) Further, Yelton noted, “When I said (on issue — and they’re (the Democrats) are ‘The Daily Show’) that I was going to kick raising money off me. They’re using it (his Democratic butts,” he was referring to the fact comments) to try to unite the base.” that “Democrats have been in control (in North He added, “At the same time, (libertarianCarolina) for 150 years. leaning WWNC-AM talk radio show host) “The truth is, the voter ID law is making Pete Kaliner and the Republican Party act sure that the person who votes is allowed to like it was a serious interview... What should vote.” Instead, he said the Democrats “are puthave happened is Henry Mitchell (Buncombe ting their spin” on his remarks to imply that he County GOP chairman) and Claude Pope wants to surpress legally eligible people from (state GOP chairman) should have called me voting. He said that is not his stance. “The Democrats want anybody and everyand asked what I said” instead of simply acbody” to be able to vote, presuming that most cepting what was widely reported and asking unqualified voters will cast their lot with the for his resignation. party of entitlements that will benefit them, So is he upset with the Republican Party? Yelton said. “Yes,” he replied. Yelton said if Mitchell Regarding his critics referring to him as a and Pope had been doing their jobs, he would long-time local “gadfly,” Yelton said he takes have resigned earlier and avoided a lot of that as a compliment because it is the same animosity in all directions. term that was once applied to the Greek phiYelton also asserted that, two years ago, he losopher Aristotle, who, Yelton noted, has been was “illegally removed” from my precinct respected among thinkers through the ages.

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — A11


Race, voting and Yelton’s self-awareness

Fri., Oct. 25, blog After his appearance on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” program Wednesday night, we really aren’t any closer to understanding why Don Yelton would go on the show when he knew he’d be mocked and made into the poster boy for stupid, racist, redneck Republicans. (This is part of a long, rich history of Democratic attacks on Republicans as stupid, corrupt, or both.) After spending three hours talking with Yelton yesterday (plus our conversation three weeks ago about his appearance on this show), I confess I still don’t see what he thought he would gain, nor do I see what he thinks he DID gain. I tried to prepare Don for what was coming, when he dropped by the NewsRadio 57 Cent Lunch Special at Arby’s this week. I don’t think he realizes how his racially charged comments sound, nor does he realize that the many people who disagree with those comments are now accused of agreeing with him by a leftist political and media machine. Drop by any of the national publications that have focused on Yelton’s story (as if he were an actual leader of the GOP at any level), and you’ll see how easily the left takes Yelton’s words and stuff them in the mouths of every Republican. It was completely predictable, of course, making him more than he was. Yelton was billed as a mouthpiece for the party and someone who knows why Republicans in the General Assembly REALLY passed all the voter law changes. But Yelton was a precinct chairman. For folks who don’t know, these are ridiculously easy posts to attain. You, basically, show up. Yelton won his chairmanship by a vote of 2-1, thanks to his wife being with him. Once you get this post, you are part of the county Executive Committee. There are hundreds of members. He is not a GOP “official” in any honest understanding of the term. But these facts don’t matter. The liberal Huffington Post called him a spokesman (he’s not). Leftists are urging people to vote him out of office (he doesn’t hold office) and celebrated when he got ‘fired from his job’ (he resigned his volunteer position). Yelton’s history with the Buncombe GOP (and the Democratic Party before that) is tumultuous. Talking with him yesterday, he obviously thinks he settled some local scores. What was gained? Which brings me back to why Yelton agreed to go on the show if he knew all this is what would happen (which he says he did). I kept asking him yesterday whether the argument in favor of voting law reforms benefited from his appearance. Or whether the conservative philosophy was advanced. He acknowledged they were not. He admitted that probably nobody else benefited, except him. And the Democrats, of course, who are fundraising off him. I think Don enjoys tweaking the local Republican leadership. And maybe he wanted to make things uncomfortable for Buncombe GOP leaders (who threw him out of his precinct chairmanship position last year). But I actually don’t think he went into the interview with that motive. As simple and obvious as it sounds, I think he just wanted to be on TV. Don has been battling some serious health problems for a very long time and I think that’s part of it. When a person

Pete Kaliner approaches the end of his life, I think that person tries to ensure he or she left a mark. I think Don thought this might be his best opportunity to do so. And he did, at least for the next few news cycles. Also, just like Todd Akin with his infamous “legitimate rape” comments, Yelton’s racial rhetoric probably doesn’t get a lot of pushback from people in his personal social circle. It’s why I say: an unchallenged idea is easy to hold. I think Yelton is having those ideas challenged now. Unfortunately, he is forcing people who don’t hold those ideas to defend themselves from the same attacks. And it doesn’t appear he understands that. Thurs., Oct. 24, blog Yelton Is The Face Of NCGOP? The TV show featuring the most trusted news man in America came to Asheville recently to do a story on the raft of voting law changes adopted by the Republicanled General Assembly. Yes, I’m talking about the Comedy Central channel’s “Daily Show!” Seen as the arbiter of all truth among leftists, the “Daily Show” informs a lot of Democratic voters’ opinions on current events and politics. Over time, the program’s mocking has grown more focused on Republicans than Democrats. I don’t understand why anyone except a leftist would go on the show, given the sole intention is, in fact, mockery. So, imagine my disbelief when I heard that local activist Don Yelton was going to be interviewed by the “reporter” Assif Mandvi. Yelton, a former Democrat who became a Republican and was then kicked out of his positions in the Buncombe County GOP, somehow became the spokesman for the NC Republican party. How did that happen? Shocking! I’ve been told the “Daily Show” reached out to Buncombe County Democrats — but not the local GOP. How strange! It’s almost as if the comedic value would be undermined by a legitimate debate, or something. It makes you wonder how the Daily Show become aware of Don Yelton? Of all the people in North Carolina to discuss the voter ID law, the Daily Show happened upon Yelton. Pure luck, I guess. A few weeks ago I asked Don about why he would sit for this interview in the first place - given the Daily Show is in the business of mocking conservatives. Don said he wanted to take the fight to the liberals, and the Daily Show is what liberals watch. But you saw exactly what I predicted — there was no substantive argument about the issue. The editing of hours of discussion was distilled down to the most racially-charged soundbites to reinforce what leftists believe: that the GOP is a bunch of race-obsessed racisty racists. As I told Don, he was not the best messenger for this issue and he has helped undermine the legitimate arguments for the voting law reforms in North Carolina. • Pete Kaliner hosts a talk show from 3 to 6 p.m. daily on WWNC-AM (570).

Spending fixes termed critical to save America From Staff Reports

ernment wasn’t funding Social Security and Medicaid. All of the people I asked about that MARS HILL —America is not going banksaid they did know about it. Then I ask if they rupt — “it is bankrupt” — and the nation campaigned against that shabby behavior? is “on an economic death spiral” with $72 They said they hadn’t…. So they kept electtrillion in debt (and growing) in a situation ing people who were looting their Social Sethat can only resolved by spending controls, curity and Medicaid funds — and now they taxing changes and tinkering with health care want the benefits.” insurance and other entitlements Regarding America’s standing to make them sustainable. as “the greatest nation on earth,” At least that was the word Boyle said, “I think it’s hard to be from John Boyle II, who spoke the greatest nation on earth when Sept. 30 in the inaugural univeryou don’t have dry powder….” sity lecture at Mars Hill UniverHowever, he acknowledge that sity’s Broyhill Chapel. on some levels the U.S. still preHe also said that 108 milliondominates, such as “we’ve got plus of the United States’ 308 highest GDP in the world. We still million citizens “are dependent have some of the top universities, on tax dollars — that’s not sustop military and we typically win tainable.” That number has skythe most medals” in the Olympics. rocketed 229 percent from 33 John Boyle II On other levels, America is slipmillion dependent on government tax dollars in 1960. During that same period ping, Boyle said, noting that it is 10th in economic freedom, “we’re 23rd in science in the the population went up 72 percent. Boyle addressed “Let’s Save America (The world, 31st in mathematics and we’re 18th in Unaffordability of American Government and life expectancy — just in front of Cuba. We have the highest rate of infant mortality in Stanching America’s Slide Into the Economic the first world. We have the most expensive Abyss).” About 100 people attended. Boyle founded J.L. Boyle International in health care in the world... We are slipping….” 1981 and has more than 30 years of experience In summarizing, he said, “Health care and working on strategy development, corporate and govevernment cost 78 percent. Everyone municipal restructurings, complex analysis and in favor of that, raise your hand... No hands litigation support. raised. That isn’t going to happen. What is Billed as “a seasoned expert” with “extensive going to happen?” knowledge of government economic, Boyle Ultimately, Boyle said, “There’s nothing, began his business career in Ford Motor Co.’s nothing, nothing going on in Washington deFinance Staff under the direction of J. Edward signed to fix that. There’s nobody in WashingLundy, the last of Ford’s so-called “Whiz Kids.” ton saying we’re running on stupid. Nobody.” He holds a master’s degree in actuarial He added, “So let’s put that $77 trillion science from Georgia State University and a into context (28 times annual revenue) it’s master’s degree in statistics and operations almost five times GDP. It’s a big sum... The research from the Wharton Business School. entire world economy is $60 trillion. That’s He’s an adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan more than the entire world economy that’s not University. funded.” MHU President Dan Lunsford introduced Further, he asserted, “We’ve got a millstone Boyle, noting, “Tonight, indeed, is a historic around our neck and we’re trying to compete occasion,” Boyle said. “In our first quarter as a with the world... There are some things we university…. we’ve initiated a speaker series. can do. You should become educated about “Tonight is specifically about economics, the state of the United States financial system and the financial nightmare being foisted on the how that compares to the world.” American people… And next year’s not goLunsford said Boyle wrote in a guest coling to look any better. And it doesn’t matter umn in the AC-T recently, “Our government what happens tonight… It’s a charade.” shouldn’t make promises it cannot keep, but we Among his solutions are to scrap the curshould keep the promises we’ve made.” rent tax system and replace it with a conLunsford added, “Tonight, we will hear from sumption tax. “The current tax system is a John Boyle II … The message he will share mess. It consists of 74,000 pages of tax law. with us tonight will be interesting, provocative It’s understood by vitally nobody and creates and troubling and, I’m sure, quite thoughtfelons out of hardworking Americans. Much provoking.” of the code was created by lobbyists. Boyle, who began by noting that MHU has “The main thought I have on this is you’ll a beautiful campus, said, “My speech is a little get more tax revenue (from a consumption long — it runs about 75 minutes.” He also tax). It eliminates tax avoidance by big corfielded questions afterward. porations and it eliminates tax evasion. He said he would tell about the following: “Some say we can’t raise taxes or reduce • The magnitude of the problem benefits… to those, I say, great, then we can’t • The unaffordable government the students at do anything. MHU will be inheriting “All Americans should pay at least some • What can be done. taxes. If you use the resources of America, you “I was going to title this speech ‘How to should pay for the services. That’s my opinion Save America From Bankruptcy,’ but America and that’s the way I think it should be. already is bankrupt,” Boyle said. Boyle also urged the education of others. He noted problems with the federal debt at $70 trillion, while state and local govern- “People need to be educated on what’s going on.. And you’re not going to get it by watchment’s debt is about $7 trillion total. “The folks in Washington continue to pil- ing ‘Dancing with the Stars.’” Questions that should be answered, going fer from the Social Security trust fund to pay forward, include: “Is it fiscally responsible? Is it current expenses,” he said. Focusing on Social Security and Medicare, affordable? Does the good outweigh the bad?” Among his other solutions are to refrain Boyle asserted, “Baby boomers point out to me that they’ve contributed to Social Secu- from catering to government leaders... Anyrity and Medicaid all of their lives…. Then I time there’s a deficit of 3 percent of GDP,, ask them did they know that the federal gov- nobody eligible for re-election,” Boyle urged.

A12 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Faith Notes Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. The Mountain Spirit Coffee House monthly concert series will continue. Suggested donations are $15 for the public, $10 for students and free for children ages 14 and younger.

Send us your faith notes

Please submit items to the Faith Notes by noon on the third Wednesday of each month, via email, at, or fax to 252-6567, or mail c/o The Daily Planet, P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, N.C. 28814-8490. Submissions will be accepted and printed at the discretion of the editor, space permitting. To place an ad for a faith event, call 252-6565.

Friday, Nov. 15

AMY GRANT CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Arena, UNC Asheville. “An Evening With Amy Grant” will be presented. She is billed as “the queen of Christian pop” music. For tickets, call 258-7900 or visit

Sunday, Nov. 17

Tuesday, Oct. 29

SOCIAL JUSTICE FILM, 7 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. The documentary “The United States of ALEC” will be screened on a Tuesday, rather that the traditional Friday film night. The UUCA bills it as “an important film about corporate political influence at the state and national level.” Further, the UUCA notes, “The ‘United States of ALEC’ reports on the most influential corporate-funded force most of us have never hear of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporatons. ALEC presents itself as a ‘nonpartisan public-private partnership.’ But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.” Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

Wednesday, Oct. 30

FESTIVAL/DINNER, 5-7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 204 6th Ave. W., Hendersonville. The annual Harvest Festival and Dinner for the community will be held. Enter through the Buncombe Street parking lot entrance. TRUNK-OR-TREAT GALA, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Blue Ridge Christian Church, 147 Oren Drive, Mills River. The gala will feature treats with attendees in Halloween costumes in what is billed as a safe and fun environment. MODELS OF PRAYER CLASS, 5:45-7 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 Sixth Ave. W., Hendersonville. A four-week “Models of Prayer” class will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 6. Pastor Greg Williams will lead students in looking at four well-known church leaders, including C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther and St. Francis of Assisi. Prior to the class, dinner will be offered for $5 per person or $16 per family. Child care will be available for up to age 5.

Thursday, Oct. 31

Christian pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant will perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena. Church, 1245 6th Ave. W., Hendersonville. The church will hold a yard sale, along with a sale of baked goods. Also, orders will be taken for Christmas wreaths.

Sunday, Nov. 3

ALL SAINTS SUNDAY, 8:15, 9:45 and 11:15 a.m. services, Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 Sixth Ave. W., Hendersonville. All Saints Sunday will be commemorated with three special services. The names of members who died this past year will be read aloud, and Holy Communion will be offered.

Tuesday, Nov. 5

Friday, Nov. 22

SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVIE NIGHT, 7 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. Social Justice Movie Night will be held. Film to be announced. Admission is free.

Thursday, Nov. 28

THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST, 1 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Unity will hold a Thanksgiving Day feast. Attendees are asked to bring food to share or contribute $5 toward the cost of the turkeys.

Sunday, Dec. 1

GRIEF WORKSHOP, 1 p.m., Unity Center, Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The Rev. Linda Zupan will lead a grief workshop, which is is highly recommended for prayer chaplains, health care/hospice workers and counselors, as well as anyone who has experienced or is currently dealing with loss. “Grief isn’t only something that accompanies death, divorce, and other major life changes; it is with us in large and small ways each day,” Unity noted. “The changing of the seasons, the news that a loved one has fallen and broken a hip, the start of a new school or work schedule and the changed morning routine ... these and other life events bring their own emotional charges – whether we examine and embrace them or not. Advent, the beginning of the Christmas season can bring up old grief and feelings of emptiness. Join this workshop to learn tools to help you access you own healing and forgiveness and to help you move into Christmas with a more hopeful feeling.” The workshop is open to everyone on a “love-offering” basis. “Rev Z” is a graduate of Unity Institute and a classmate of the Rev. Pat Veenema, who is senior minister of Unity of Mills River. “Rev Z” has facilitated hundreds of grief and loss session in a variety of individual and group settings.

Tuesday, Dec. 3

PUB CHAT, 6 p.m., Mezzaluna restaurant, 226 N. Main St., downtown Hendersonville. The Unity Center in Mills River will hold “Truth on Tap,” a pub chat with the Rev. Chad O’Shea on matters spiritual and otherwise. A love offering will be taken.

PUB CHAT, 6 p.m., Mezzaluna restaurant, 226 N. Main St., downtown Hendersonville. The Unity Center in Mills River will hold “Truth on Tap,” a pub chat with the Rev. Chad O’Shea on matters spiritual and otherwise. A love offering will be taken.

Thursday, Nov. 7

FREE COMMUNITY DINNER, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Groce United Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Rd., Asheville. GUMC offers a free community dinner on Thursdays.

T’AI CHI CHIH CLASS, 10:30 a.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 Sixth Ave. W., Hendersonville. The T’ai Chi Chih class is being extended, meeting Thursdays, beginning Nov. 7. The instructor is Beverly Ward and the cost is $5 per class.

Saturday, Nov. 2

Sunday, Nov. 10

YARD/BAKE SALE, 7-11:30 a.m., Grace Lutheran

ONE-WOMAN PLAY, 11 a.m., Unity Church of Asheville, 130 Shelburne Rd., Asheville. The Rev. Donna Dia Colletti-Lowre will perform “In Her Own Voice,” which she wrote. The onewoman play will be an abridged version in place of the usual Sunday sermon. “In Her Own Voice” features sacred songs that also were written by Colletti-Lowre, who is an award-winning actress and singer, and has performed in theater in New York City, Los Angeles, regionally in the United States and in Europe. She studied acting at the world-renowned Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and in the master class with Uta Hagen in New York City. She answered her call to ministry in 2004 and graduated with honors from Andover Newton Theological School in 2008 with a master’s of divinity degree. FERNANDO ORTEGA CONCERT, 5:30 p.m., The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, 1 Porters Cove Rd., Asheville. The Fernando Ortega concert will also include a buffet dinner and fellowship. For tickets, which are $50, call 298-2092, or visit www.

THANKSGIVING EVE SERVICE, 7:30 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Attendees will be afforded the opportunity to get in touch with the true meaning of Thanksgiving at the Communion service (all are welcome). Unity will celebrate gratitude for their many blessings in words and music.

COFFEEHOUSE CONCERT, 7 p.m., Unitarian Universalist

Covenant Reformed

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 281 Edgewood Rd. • Asheville, N.C. 28804

828-253-6578 Wednesday— 7 p.m. Prayer/Bible Study Sunday— 9:30 a.m. Sunday School 11 a.m. Worship • 6 p.m. Worship

Celebration Services 11 AM Sunday

Unity Church of Asheville An Informal Spiritual Center of Practical Christianity for Everyday Living.

Bookstore Meeting Rooms

130 Shelburne Road West Asheville 252-5010

New Books by Dr. Bob Holt, M.D. at Lulu Dot Com “Jesus in India,” etc.


Unity Center

A Church Family for ONE and ALL Come as you are! Sunday Services Sunday Services 10:00 a.m 9:30am & 11:00am Serving WNC for 60 years

891-8700 / 684-3798

2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd. Mills River 28759 Rev. Chad O’Shea

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — A13

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A14 — November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Daily Planet’s Opinion

Yelton gets motors runnin’ Buncombe County conservative activist Don Yelton has become a lightning rod of controversy, following his recent appearance — with politically incorrect comments on race and other issues — on Comedy Central television’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Indeed, Yelton’s portrayal on the show has provoked an uproar in political circles of all stripes across the United States (and even around the world), nearly universal in their condemnation. It is hard to evaluate what is in someone’s heart, but we at the Daily Planet have gotten to know Yelton through the years on a personal basis and feel that he has been sincere and well-meaning in his fashion, espousing small government and other constitutional principles — and truly cares about others, regardless of race.

For shock effect, he also sometimes — well, make that often — uses off-color language and jokes that are totally outside acceptable polite phrasing in today’s mainstream American society. We don’t think that necessarily makes him a whack-job. Yelton contends that “The Daily Show” cut and pasted his two-hour interview into five minutes to make him look like a racist buffoon. We were not there for the interview, so we at this newspaper do not know what was said and done. However, if Yelton did get a bum rap — a misrepresentation of what he is and really believes — then it’s truly an injustice. If not, he got what was coming to him. Yelton’s case aside, we see much value in today’s opaque political world for someone who cares enough to serve as a gadfly, a provocateur ... even (gasp) a contrarian.

Obama, McCrory in the same box

CHAPEL HILL — President Barack Obama and Governor Pat McCrory are in the same box. Criticized by their opponents for being radical and divisive, they are, at the same time, dismissed by partisans in their own political parties as too moderate and too accommodating. Both came into office promising, and genuinely aspiring, to bring a new spirit of conciliation and peace to a disrupted political order. Both hoped to bring an end to petty partisan divisiveness. Now both find themselves characterized as demons rather than healers. What happened? “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America,” are the words Obama used in his keynote speech to the Democratic convention in 2004 to gain the hopeful attention of the entire country. Those hopeful words previewed his 2008 presidential campaign, in which he promised bipartisanship and an effort to heal the country’s political divide. It did not work, of course, and within months of his election victory, polls already were showing the greatest polarization of opinion about presidential performance in 40 years, with 88 percent of Democrats approving Obama, while only 27 percent of Republicans did so. Obama supporters blame Republican partisans for opposing Obama at every turn and rejecting his efforts to find common ground. Conservative voices blame Obama. As the Washington Times wrote last year, “The arrogance of power overwhelmed the better angels of his nature. Those who questioned his policies were labeled extremists, or worse.” In an election year interview with Charlie Rose, Obama conceded, “I haven’t been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people.” Much like Obama in his first presidential campaign, McCrory promised a bipartisan approach in his campaign for governor. After his election he said he was reaching out to leaders on both sides of the aisle to ensure a smooth transition. “I don’t want to make the mistake of any party, which is become arrogant with your power or majorities,” McCrory said. “I think that’s a huge mistake both parties have made in the past.” Today, after the passage of a partisan

D.G. Martin legislative program that is unpopular with many North Carolinians, McCrory’s bloom, like Obama’s, has faded. A poll by High Point University showed Obama and McCrory tied with approval ratings of 39 percent in the state. A similar poll by Elon University showed McCrory’s disapproval rating dropping to 46 percent, not far behind Obama, who registers 51 percent disapproval. Feelings go beyond mere disapprovals. A friend of mine who has little respect for the president or his policies told me he would have a hard time being civil to Obama, but would try since he is the president of the United States. Maybe being civil is a start. Maybe those of us who oppose McCrory’s policies should think about accepting a cookie the next time he offers us one, taking an opportunity to communicate civilly instead of rushing to demonize the gesture as patronizing and sexist. Maybe there is a good example in a new book by NBC’s Chris Matthews, “Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked,” about the relationship between Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill. Matthews writes, “Why won’t our leaders work to accommodate each other, employing civility as they cooperate to accomplish goals in the country’s best interests? Why must we continue to suffer their relentless gumming up of the works? What in our national character, in the ways we choose to deal with one another and respect different viewpoints, has changed so since the days of Reagan and O’Neill? How can we win back the faith that our republic is working?” Reagan and O’Neill, Matthews says, “disagreed on the role of government, knew it, admitted it face-to-face. But they put concentrated effort into trying to get along even as they challenged each other. Why, we wonder, can’t it be that way again?” Why, indeed? • D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV.

Letters to the Editor

N.C. Republicans ripped for Don Yelton’s comments

The Republicans have done it again — once again our state is the subject of an embarrasing national news story. Yet again, we have been featured on “The Daily Show,” as our laws are reduced to a punch line. Last night (Oct. 24), Don Yelton, a Republican precinct chair from Buncombe County, was featured on “The Daily Show” in a segment about the Voter Suppression bill the Republican majority passed in July. When asked about the effects of the bill, Yelton said that “the law is go[ing] to kick the Democrats in the butt.” Yelton admitted that it was designed to suppress votes from college students and African-Americans,

both of whom he called “lazy.” The sad truth is, Don Yelton’s disturbing comments last night were more honest about the Republican intent behind this bill than any of the state House members who voted for it have to date. Stand up today and show Republican leadership that we are committed to undoing the damage to your voting rights by contributing ... or whatever you can afford today. Since taking power in this state, the Republican agenda has turned the clock back decades on North Carolina’s progress. They gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest citizens of our state and out-of-state corporations, while raising taxes on middle-class and hard-working families. See LETTERS, Page A17

The Candid Conservative

Earmarks corrupt politics

A common comment from federal spending apologists is that the dollars represented are insignificant. Certainly $16 billion out of $3.7 trillion doesn’t represent a major cut in spending, but it is a beginning. Repeated debt ceiling ruptures reveal that recapturing America’s social and economic vigor requires we clean up Washington’s corruption and put a lid on their extravagance. Earmarks are a great place to start because these perks involve Washington’s redistribution of our wealth to their political special interests back home. Most importantly, to get money for your district, you have to play party politics that emphasize power before principles. Pork doesn’t come free and once you start the game your days as a man of the people are numbered. Though Republicans have been as bad about going to the trough as Democrats, under their majority serious efforts have been made to impair this drain on resources and system integrity. No matter what earmark apologists say, America’s beter interests are not served by Washington’s manipulated community welfare program….

Transparent secrecy

Whistle blowers are under the gun in America. That is not a good thing. Bad things grow in the dark and secrecy is used to protect leadership error and bureaucratic corruption as often as it is used to protect us. Soldiers and contracted employees who break their oath should be prosecuted. Citizens trying to keep the system honest should be rewarded. It’s not their job to protect our government’s addiction to secrecy. A civil liberties group recently tested Obama’s promise to run a transparent government. Under the Freedom of Information Act, they requested the same information from the FBI, but from different requestors. The FBI responded with matching copies – all censored uniquely. They thus demonstrated why conservatives separate protecting important information from protecting bureaucrats and seats of power – and note the difference in transparency and using fear to turn out the lights….

Welcome to Floridita

During my son’s adolescence, we took two trips a year to foreign lands – including our last, a journey to Cuba. I wanted him to see a communist country at work. The evident poverty, double standards, and corruption didn’t let me down. On one of our evenings we visited Ernest Hemingway’s old Havana haunt, Floridita. Capitalistic enterprise was evident in the government’s

Carl Mumpower exploitation of Anglo Hemingway’s touch on Cuba. A visit to Florida reveals they’ve reciprocated his kindness. In fact, the mass importation of Cuban, Mexican, and other Hispanic people has made English secondary to Spanish in many parts of the state. That’s a problem – Florida is not Cuba or Mexico, its part of America and that state and others been subverted by irresponsible immigration policies. The key to good immigration is assimilation at a rate that nourishes our country and culture and the people who come to join us. But just as rain nourishes soil – floods wash it away. Events in Floridita are proving that the American Dream must be earned, not sold or stolen….

TEA Party is not over

America’s TEA Party has a lot to be proud of. Thanks to these folks, mainstream liberal media, Elephant power brokers masquerading as conservatives, and left leaning culture vultures have been successfully challenged in their missions of mischief. With a Republican majority in congress that has taken conservative talk to a point of action, TEA Party members are tired, but time-out is not in the cards. History reliably tells us that what our politicians say to get elected and what they do when elected rarely match. There is an urgent need for TEA Partiers and other conservative groups to hold our elected officials accountable. Grading the match between principles, promises and actions is a great place to start. Recent events have dramatically revealed the difference in RINO political opportunists and principle driven Republicans. Though essentially everyone has piled on the Republican effort to resist Obama’s healthcare fantasy and the continuing DC addiction to living beyond our means, what some are calling our elephant’s last stand was an admirable effort to do what was right versus what was politically popular. America’s future will only be secured by the latter. TEA Party members are part of the equation of accountability that is slowly but surely putting such people in office. See CANDID CONSERVATIVE, Page A17

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013— A15

On the left

Perpetual emotion

The dream of getting something for nothing has an unending allure, probably because most of us have worked pretty hard to get anything at all. One of the things most of us gain along the way is the knowledge that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But that doesn’t diminish the feeling that a free lunch would be nice, or dim our occasional susceptibility to snake oil peddlers who offer us the next newest version of perpetual motion. These days the Internet is full of misinformation about engines that run on water or some sort of unlimited energy that exists all around us, yet kept unavailable by corporations or governments or the Bilderbergs or somebody! Those wild tales are pretty easy to see through if you paid any attention at all during elementary school science lessons. But sometimes the free lunch pitch is less obvious. For example, during this year’s Asheville City Council election campaign one candidate used the retail price of a gallon of water at a local supermarket to suggest either that the city was giving away a precious resource to commercial businesses at far too low a price, or that the city could get into the water business and make millions of dollars currently “lying on the table.” Wow! I mean, look at the numbers! A gallon of water at Ingles costs $1.50 and a big commercial user is only billed about 1/3 of a cent per gallon. Somebody is getting rich and it ought to be the city! What this sales pitch ignores is that the retail price of a one gallon jug reflects the cost of bottling and delivery and a hefty profit for the store. The cost of the water itself amounts to something like a rounding error. Asheville’s largest water bottling plant, Milko (owned by Ingles), only pays for delivery of water to their facility, at the same rate we charge other commercial users. After all, water is sometimes scarce, but it’s always free, carried up to the sky by solar heating and delivered via rain. Capturing, storage, treatment and delivery are what you see reflected on your water bill. Of course, all energy is really solar energy. If, like me, you’ve baled hay and split firewood, you know that using the free solar power stored in growing plants involves hard work. Most of our energy comes from ancient sunlight in the form of coal, oil, and gas,

Cecil Bothwell and some from all that free water going through turbines in hydroelectric dams. Delivering that power where we want it and when we want it is expensive. (Nuclear power is derived from even older sunlight, from uranium formed in ancient stars, long before our own solar system was born.) It’s worth noting that all of that energy starts out as free, delivered to our planet from the sun, captured by plants which were later compressed to become coal and oil, delivered to mountaintops through evaporation and rain, or condensed from the remnants of stars that exploded eons ago. The companies which deliver our energy tap into that free resource through investment in land, licensing and technologies. The biggest financial outflow from our local economy is for delivery of energy from outside our region. If we want to grow our local economy, slowing that outflow is a great place to start. New technologies developed since World War II now allow us to capture sunlight directly, through solar electric panels. Those panels have become much cheaper and more efficient in recent years, so today it is an affordable option for any home- or business-owner who has sunlight shining on a roof. That’s why businesses like A-B Emblem in Weaverville, the Biltmore Company, New Belgium Brewery and Sierra Nevada have made solar power part of their business plans. That’s why I’ve installed solar panels on my roof, and have started the Asheville Metro Area Zero Energy District plan to move our community toward greater energy independence. The City of Asheville reduces operational energy use by 4 percent every year, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in energy bills. You can do the same, and I’ll be here to help. • Cecil Bothwell, author of nine books, including “She Walks On Water: A novel” (Brave Ulysses Books, 2013), is a member of Asheville City Council.


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A16 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet


Modern libertarians can’t govern My son mentioned in a 2008 phone call that he was “impressed with Ron Paul.” I was stunned – too stunned to ask why, what or how much. You see, this son is a lot smarter than I am – and more liberal. Until then, Ron Paul had been a caricature: the 10-foot x 8-foot banner on the house down the road, the straw-poll winner at a nutcake convention, someone one notch less bizarre than the John Birch Society. (Why am I thinking of that old episode now? Because the nutcakes have taken over the bakery down in Raleigh, that’s why.) Anyway, after my son’s comment, I started giving Paul more attention and more respect. I found him easy to understand. Most politicians dip and dodge; Paul says, “Here I am.” I found his ideas of “freedom” – a standard part of libertarian philosophy – really somewhat appealing. Everyone should be free to live as he or she chooses. That lines up well with liberal beliefs that led to such as the civil rights movement. Suppression of individual rights is a basic wrong of history. But that’s not what Paul and the libertarians mean by “freedom.” They use

Lee Ballard the word as a verbal tool in their anti-tax campaign. They envision a land where government involves itself in the lives of its citizens only when absolutely necessary (they mention prohibiting rape, murder, robbery, fraud). If government doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t need money, so it taxes less, and people with money get to keep theirs. Everybody takes care of himself in this world. This is their idea of individual freedom. It’s a deceptive philosophy. It’s a selfish, prideful world.. At its core, it’s contrary to the teachings of all religions, including those of Jesus. It’s also a primitive philosophy. This model of government was the norm for centuries. Rulers owned their subjects. An occasional ruler, like Isabella I of Spain, set up departments of government to care for

Calvin Coolidge

Ron Paul

the needy, but these rulers were the oddity. In 2008, I would have said that libertarianism could not possibly govern anything in the modern era – nation, state, even a small county like mine. In the past, yes. Calvin Coolidge governed by libertarian philosophies. (Prior to H.L. Mencken, a contemporary of Coolidge’s, “libertarian” was synonymous with “anarchist.”) Debt was an abomination to Coolidge. He vetoed spending bill after spending bill, even flood relief and veterans’ pensions. Herbert Hoover continued his policy of non-intervention, and he gets

the blame for the Great Depression. Then in 2010, the Tea Party swept in libertarians, in Washington and in Raleigh. Now my “can’t govern” opinion is being tested. Well, whatta ya know, we’re watching the U.S. House of Representatives, gummed by Tea Partiers, happy to block everything that comes their way. Their leader says yeah, they’re not passing new legislation, but they hope to repeal some. And Raleigh? They’re not Coolidge-ite libertarians really. Sure, they’re doing some tax-cutting, but these Tea Party folks are activists. They’re intervening all over the place. I stand by my view that libertarianism can’t govern in the 21st century. What’s going on in Raleigh ain’t governing. (Footnote: I hadn’t talked to my son about Ron Paul since he made his comment in 2008. I called him while I was writing this. He said, “Ron Paul had some good, rational ideas about a lot of things. But he got wacky when he talked about money.”) • Lee Ballard lives in Mars Hill.

It’s time to ‘burn the ship while it sinks’

So while our country’s ship sinks under the weight of unsustainable debt, irresponsible spending and money-printing, I am thinking, “Why not burn the ship while it’s sinking?” Here are some ideas to get some fires started: Elect stupid people. I don’t mean people with whom I disagree (name-calling). I mean people are aren’t very smart. You know, low IQ, a little slow, not much going on upstairs. These people should not have the brainpower to understand philosophy or how laws reflect a society’s moral standing (or decay). I want people who don’t think about the long-term consequences of deviating from our founders’ understanding of human nature: people who are not well educated in history, the Constitution, or the Federalist Papers. I don’t want them to know about the world’s prior attempts at communism, why a state turns fascist, or what happens to a country when it starts printing money. I want representatives who are not critical thinkers. They should blindly follow the opinions of a few smart people and not question their motives or correctness. (That way we can get just a few people controlling a large Congressional voting block.) Whatever new idea comes their way, these people must think that it is an improvement on what has come before, simply because it’s new. Get rid of standards. Give every participant a trophy. Eliminate winning and losing. Stop expecting our children to grow up and our adults to be responsible for themselves. If we can lower our standards, we can eliminate excellence. “Good enough” will do. Standards are hurtful, you know. They make a person feel bad if he doesn’t live up to them. We don’t want anybody to feel bad. If we crush a person’s self-esteem by telling him that his work isn’t good enough, well, he will never recover. And then we’ll feel bad too. A person’s feelings are way more important than the truth. A person shouldn’t have to learn and improve himself; it is our respon-

Robin Shoemaker sibility to make him feel good about his capabilities no matter how he performs. Also, let’s give students As and Bs. Bad grades can scar a kid for life, you know. We’ve got to make our students FEEL like they are capable before they can BE capable. We should send the message to them, “You are good enough, just the way your are” so they don’t have to worry about improving themselves or their skills. They can be HAPPY in their mediocrity. Stop offending people. Again, we must avoid hurting people at all costs. We are responsible for how another person feels. I think I’ve already established that it is up to the rest of us to maintain each person’s self-esteem. We want everybody to feel included and accepted. The goal here is not to find confidence in ourselves, but in others. If we can stop offending people, we can hide all of the bigoted and nasty people because they’ll censor everything they want to say before they say it. Also, edicts against offending people will go a long way toward shutting up people who don’t see things the way we do. Nobody likes to be disagreed with (especially by offensive people). If you let others disagree with you, you have to come up with cogent arguments to defend your point of view and how difficult is that! Eliminate right and wrong. The best conflagration that we can light is to eliminate this whole “right and wrong” thing. Do you realize how judgmental that is? We have no right to judge other people! It’s hurtful and makes us look superior. We are responsible for how other people feel about themselves, remember? We can’t risk their morale by telling them that they’re doing something wrong. I don’t know what

would happen, but I’m quite certain it would be bad. If we can just eliminate “wrong” altogether, then anything goes. We can be free to be as profligate and promiscuous as we want and feel no guilt about it. Nobody can tell us that we’re damaging other people, our society, the future, blah, blah.... If there is no wrong, we will have to ignore the consequences that come from behaving against nature’s laws. Or, better yet, we will blame those consequences on the offensive people. We can stop being so hung up on truth. Truth is the opposite of lies. We don’t have to trust one another to make a society work or to find real happiness. So here’s to burning the ship while it sinks! It will make for a spectacular sight for the rest of the world. We can be that shining beacon once again (well, for a very limited period of time anyway). Our country is going down in a sea of IOUs and worthless dollars. Let’s make the most of the time we have left by living only for the moment and making everybody feel


good about themselves and free of guilt. By lighting all of these fires, there will be no fragments of the once-mighty ship left. After it is under the surface and out of sight, there will be nothing, thankfully, on which to float and be rescued. • Robin Shoemaker lives in Asheville and holds a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting from Clemson University.

Write a Letter to the Editor

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PAinting! interior & Exterior 232-9195

Letters to the Editor Continued from Page A14 To fund this effort, they cut over a halfbillion dollars from public education, fired teacher assistants and increased class sizes. Now, in a desperate attempt to hold onto power, the Republicans are trying to shield themselves from the repercussions of this terrible legislation by suppressing your right to vote. Help us show Republicans that they need to stop playing games with our state and our rights by contributing ... whatever you can afford today. Don Yelton North Carolina deserves better. The House Democrats are committed to holding Republicans in this state accountable for their actions. With your help, we can take put North Carolina back on the right track. Veronica Scofield, Finance Assistant N.C. House Democratic Caucus Raleigh-Durham

Bothwell, Wisler termed outstanding candidates

Politics matter, and the place our vote

makes the most difference is on the local level. In the last City Council election, Lael Gray, an exceptional progressive candidate, lost by less than 40 votes. We can’t let that happen again. There are two standout candidates who need your vote on Nov. 5: Cecil Bothwell and Gwen Wisler. Bothwell, an incumbent, voted against the sweetheart deal that the city gave to the McKibbon Group for the property across from the landmark basilica. (McKibbon is responsible for the eyesore Aloft hotel on Biltmore Avenue.) Voters never have to worry whether Bothwell has the citizens’ best interest at heart or the developers’ — Bothwell will always champion the people. Bothwell has supported Five Points and Kenilworth against two irresponsible developments, and he has made huge strides to safeguard Asheville’s environment. Wisler, a former corporate executive and CPA, is also a progressive candidate and will bring a head for fiscal responsibility to the council. She’s even-tempered, goodhumored and cares about neighborhoods, equality and the environment. Gwen Wisler and Cecil Bothwell have my strongest endorsement. Heather Rayburn Member, Five Points Neighborhood Association Asheville

Boyer touted as Woodfin candidate for ‘the people’

It is said that if society has a moral responsibility to provide society’s mentally ill with accessible and affordable mental health care services, then it follows that the mentally ill have a moral duty to society to

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pope added as a postscript to the aforementioned letter to the editor to the following: “My sources are ‘Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill’ by Robert Whitaker and ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psyciatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America,’ also by Robert Whitaker, America’s best investigative journalist.”

right dependency cycle are practicing socialists doing great harm to our culture. We do no man a favor in distracting him from his liberty, personal power, and accountability. Those who attempt this

corruption of others can count on harvesting the eventual wrath of their creation. In the meantime, the harvesting of the lint out of our pockets and the character out of our culture continues….

• Carl Mumpower, a former member of Asheville City Council, may be contacted at

Candid Conservative Continued from Page A14 We live in a culture increasingly dedicated to making people dependent on government and the labors of others. It’s probably important to understand the monster being created by this model of incremental cultural conversion. Political vanity kings like the “take the glory now and postpone the bill for later” approach in promising goodies to constituents. Their assumption is that pretending to fight for the needy will produce warm furry loyalty feelings. That assumption is correct, but only for awhile. Dependent people rarely love or appreciate those that they are dependent upon. Instead, over time, anger and resentment bloom into a hostile dependency relationship. When dependencies are challenged, the buried anger bubbles up – often violently. Witness events in Greece, France, and other countries where even minor benefit corrections or cutbacks are considered. We all have wants, but when someone else is paying the bill, those wants have a way of becoming needs. It feels good to have needs met, but then needs have a way of, in turn, evolving into assumed rights. Remember the argument that we have a “right” to good healthcare with little or no consideration for the personal responsibility part of that equation? The “rights” of the Constitution are more about restraining government and opening the doors of liberty than giving us some sort of special deal. There is another problem with assumed rights in that nothing in nature conforms to this model. In fact, nature is persistently telling us that we have absolutely no free rights. What we do have are opportunities and the bounties from higher authority that afford unlimited potentials for our prosperity and success – but only if we are willing to earn them. Assumed rights put the accountability on someone else’s shoulders. Nature does not endorse that exchange. Politicians who trigger the want-need-

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — A17

It has been interesting to see who supports the incumbents in Woodfin’s election cycle this go ‘round. “Big-time” developers of Crest Mountain and Reynolds Mountain seem to be the backers, if anything can be told by who is hosting the incumbents’ meetings. Hats off to Andrea Boyer, the challenger for Woodfin slderman! This is turning into a real Grassroots vs. The Establishment campaign. I, for one, am tired of the status quo and am glad Andrea’s campaign highlights the fact that the same people have been in government in Woodfin for far too long. I appreciate that Andrea is going door-todoor. No one else has ever knocked on my door to ask what I have to say. I welcome Andrea’s emphasis on the people of Woodfin and our voices. Please join me in voting for Andrea Boyer, a voice of and for the people. Joe Ramon Woodfin

Psychiatric drugs blamed for mental illness epidemic

seek and comply with treatment. No, they don’t! ... No, they don’t. There is an epidemic of mentally ill Americans becoming mentally disabled and unable to work or function and joining the welfare system’s disability rolls at a rate of 1,100 per day! And do you wanna know why there is an epidemic of mentally ill Americans becoming mentally disabled? Because the psychiatric drugs psychiatrists prescribe to the mentally disable and damage the brains of the mentally ill. And when their brains become disabled by psychiatric drugs, they become disabled like their brain! This is a true national scandal! And mentally ill Americans have no duty to society to seek and comply with treatment that will cause mental disability and result in their joining the disability rolls. RICHARD D. POPE Hendersonville

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A18 — November 2013 — Asheville Daily Planet

Advice Goddess

Continued from Page A1 A: Facebook brings a lot of people closer, like the hot women you’ve gone to the trouble of developing friendships with in real life and your brother, who’s gone to the trouble of paying his electric bill and turning on his computer. Hot women on the Internet — those who don’t take credit cards for their friendship — can be pretty guarded. Luckily, your brother shares your last name, so instead of your hot friends seeing his friend request and thinking “Eek, who’s this perv?” they probably think something like, “Oh, how adorable. Joe Blow has a little brother, Bo Blow.” As unfair as it seems that your brother logged in to Facebook and sat there in his underwear helping himself to a salad bar of your female friends, you seem to have misunderstood something about the nature of Facebook conversations. “Facebook” is not the name of a romantic restaurant where you’ve booked a table for two. You’re having these flirtatious exchanges at a “table” for, oh, 547 of a woman’s closest friends — along with any “friends” she might’ve made through those friends. This might explain why they call it “social networking” and not “social isolation.” No, your brother shouldn’t turn some woman’s Facebook page into the digital version of the write-on/wipe-off board your mom used to have by the kitchen phone. Because he got to this woman through you, this makes you look bad by association. So, you aren’t wrong to want him to change his message-leaving behavior, and you can call dibs if there’s one particular woman you’re putting the moves on. But telling someone what to do, even when a demand is phrased as a request (to remove the comment, in this case), generally

The Advice Goddess

Amy Alkon

doesn’t inspire him to say, “Right, I was a jerk. I’ll change, pronto!” It makes him angry, hurt, and defensive. A more effective approach is telling him you feel bad about something he’s doing, evoking his sympathy. That’s probably your best bet for getting him to back off a bit from your Facebook harem, considering it’s a little late to put your privacy settings on lockdown and way late to take the age-old approach to brotherly conflict resolution: “Maaaaa! Bo’s stealing all my hotties — just like he stole my firetruck 45 years ago!”

Battle of the divulge

My boyfriend won’t “friend” my friends or relatives on Facebook. He says he doesn’t want to worry about censoring his posts or friends’ comments. Well, I have a handful of friends, and now a brother and a cousin, who’ve told me that he never responded to their friend request, and I worry that they’ll think he is rude or doesn’t like them. — Bothered Your boyfriend probably prefers your brother remember him for the wonderful way he helped your granny and not for how he looks in that photo his friend likes to post — the one where he’s passed out on someone’s bathroom floor with a bra draped across his chest and “Princess” writ-

ten across his face with a Sharpie. Although privacy is reportedly dead, it’s his right to be one of those holdouts who refuses to be a 24-hour gas station of personal information. The problem comes in his ignoring your friends and family —tossing their friend requests in the Internet landfill with all the personal messages from African warlords with $19 million in diamonds to share with a trustworthy total stranger. Tell your boyfriend you’re afraid feelings are getting hurt, and suggest he message people back with something like, “Thanks, but I mainly use Facebook to stay in touch with a few old friends. Hope to see more of you in real life.” It’s gracious but boundary-maintaining, and if you break up, his lack of connectedness should provide a healthy barrier between him and explosive revelations about your new boyfriend, such as what he had for lunch.

dishtowel. Where you go wrong is in letting his bad behavior shape your breakup behavior, effectively letting him shape who you are in a small way. Do the decent, adult thing. Call him and say something like, “I thought we should have a nicer ending than we did, so I just wanted to say thanks for the good times and wish you the best.” You’ll surely feel better ending things classy, and who knows, maybe he’ll be inspired by your example — at least enough for his next girlfriend to get the message when his mom calls to tell her it’s over. • (c.) 2013, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email (advicegoddess. com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio. com/amyalkon

Is it a no-no to just cut off communication to break up? I am 27 and was dating a 25-year-old guy for three months. This past month, he started texting way less, ignoring many of my texts, and making excuses not to hang out. Realizing he was taking the easy way out of dumping me, I blocked his number and email. If he was looking to ignore me until I went away, I figured I’d do the same. Help! It feels terrible ending things this way. — Regretful


Wane man

There are times a man can’t help but disappear on a woman, like when he’s kidnapped by revolutionaries who happened to stop off for Slurpees and hostages when he was at 7-Eleven. Otherwise, there’s only one good explanation for his not telling you it’s over: On the manliness scale, he’s a little old lady’s

The Asheville Daily Planet invites Letters to the Editor of 200 words or less. Please include your name, mailing address, daytime telephone number and e-mail address. For more information, call (828) 252-6565. Send mail to: Letters, Asheville Daily Planet P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814 Send e-mail to:

Horoscope By MARYANNE MORRIS Special to the Daily Planet

Aries (March 21-April 19) Break out of your routines this month, Mars suggests that what your doing isn’t working. Look for inspiring pursuits. Taurus (April 20th-May 20th) Hug someone who needs reassurance. Don’t let it creep you out. It will help you with something in the universe, somehow. Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd) Stay in the comfort of your home this month. It can be a cold, cold world. Try not to be in the middle of a rock and a hard place. Leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd) Your confidence can make you a perfect person for boxing, which can be a great humbling tool. Virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd) Send a letter for once. Not a card, that has things written for you already. Don’t write an email. Write something in your own handwriting, make

it personal, if you can. (Send it to your Mom.) It will get you some “brownie” points, especially if you’re not the favorite child. Libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 22nd) Your energy is really high this month. The universe, stars and chakra people are giving you a high five.Enjoy!!!!! Scorpio (October 23rd-November 21st) The sun has a traveling path during the day. I am assuming it is doing it with enthusiasm, as should you this month. Sagittarius (Nov. 22nd-Dec. 21st) Rollerblading has its ups and downs. Yeah, it doesn’t look cool, but the people rollerblading they don’t care.They have blinders on — I hope you do the same this month.

Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — A19


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Pieces (February 19th-March 10th) Look for life’s mysteries. It could be really awesome for you, or you can turn into the creepy guy who takes it too far.

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A20 — November 2013 — Asheville Daily Planet

Calendar of Events and Concert Reviews

Special Section PULLOUT


Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013

British soulman sizzles

James Hunter Six proves to be on edge of greatness


‘Backpocket Bluegrass Song Book” was published recently.

REVIEW Handbook for pickers termed ... invaluable By DAVE ROWE

Special to the Daily Planet

If you want to become a picker, this is invaluable. It’s a 36-page paperback called “Backpocket Bluegrass Song Book,” published recently by Wayne Erbsen, local musician, music historian, radio host and businessman. “Backpocket Bluegrass” contains music, lyrics and anecdotal information of 27 songs, including time-honored standards such as “Wildwood Flower” and “Rolling in my Sweet Baby’s Arms.” Included also is “Long Lonesome Road,” the first tune recorded by Bill Monroe, regarded by many as father of the genre. Another standout is “East Virginia,” a ballad covered by many, including Joan Baez. Erbsen, a California native who moved to Western North Carolina in Wayne Erbsen the late 1970s out of love for original mountain music, hosts the “Country Roots” radio show at 7 p.m. Sundays on WCQS-FM (88.1). Recently, he noted — on-air — that to become a full-fledged troubadour what’s needed in the repertoire is at least one murder ballad. In “Backpocket Bluegrass” is a classic, “The Banks of the Ohio.” It’s the saga of a jilted lover who hurls his antagonist into the wide river then watches her as she floats down. Adorning many of the pages are photos of the artist or artists that Ersbsen acquired through various sources the Library of Congress included and above each song are motivating adjectives such as “lively,” “dismally” and “flat-out.” See HANDBOOK, Page B6

GREENVILLE, S.C. — With its tour manager capably substituting as its drummer for the first time (and with little time for preparation), the crack British classic-mod soul group James Hunter Six still managed to bring down the house Oct. 15 at The Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre. About 350 people attended the 90-minute concert, playfully dubbed by Hunter as “One Night of Terror,” in honor of Chris Phillips’ debut on the drums. (Jonathan Lee, the regular drummer, suffered a death in his family three days earlier and had to miss the concert.) Hunter prompted laughter from the audience when he deadpanned part way through the show, “Who would have ever thought that such a lousy tour manager would be such a good drummer?” Hunter, performing songs that sound like classics but instead are mostly his original compositions, has a voice variously reminiscent of Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Bobby “Blue” Bland and James Brown. He has been hailed as the best “blue-eyed soul” singer to emerge from the British music scene.

Photo from the James Hunter Six’s website

James Hunter (foreground) sings as his two-man horn section wails away. His guitar-playing was remarkable, shift- rarily until Lee returns), but thrived. The audience appeared to be immensely ing in style from machine-gun attack to pleased with the precision performance, soulful lament and back again. calling for — and receiving — an encore. Hunter and his crew not only survived See SOULMAN, Page B6 breaking in a new drummer (albeit tempo-


B2 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet



Send us your calendar items


Please submit items to the Calendar of Events by noon on the third Wednesday of each month, via e-mail, at calendar@ashevilledailyplanet. com, or fax to 252-6567, or mail c/o The Daily Planet, P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, N.C. 28814-8490. Submissions will be accepted and printed at the discretion of the editor, space Cornel West permitting. To place an ad for Scholar-author will speak at 7:30 p.m. Nov. an event, call 252-6565. 6 in UNC Asheville’s Sherill

Tuesday, Oct. 29

FASHION SHOW BENEFIT, 5:30 p.m., Magnolia Ray Restaurant, 72 Weaverville Rd., Asheville. To support Pisgah Legal Clinic’s work to end domestic violence, clothing designer Julia Monet, or “J. Monet,” and Magnolia Ray Restaurant are hosting a fashion show. Inasmuch as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, J. Monet hopes to raise awareness and “spread loving, healing, joyful energy.” CLIMATE HEARING, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Cathedral of All Souls, Biltmore Village, Asheville. A Citizens’ Climate Hearing will be hosted by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, WNC Alliance, Sierra Club and WNC Green Congregations. Testimony will be voiced to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of carbon limis on new power plants. Features will include food, educational opportunities and fun. PIANO RECITAL, 7:30 p.m., Thomas Auditorium, Blue Ridge Community College, East Flat Rock. Pianist Tommy Lum will perform ballads, preludes and etudes by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Brahms and Manuel Ponce. For tickets, which are $10 for adults and $3 for students, call 694-1700. RECITAL, 7:30 p.m., Coulter Building, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. The WCU School of Music will present a recital by the Schubert Octet, which will present Franz Schubert’s Octet in F Major, D. 803. Admission is free.

Wed., Oct. 30

“POPULATION ISSUES TALK,” 6 p.m., Green Sage Coffeehouse & Café, 5 Broadway St., downtown Asheville. The group Green Drinks will hear a talk on “Population Issues” by John Seager, president and chief executive officer of Population Connection. PC’s mission statement notes, “Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources. Admission is free and open to the public. HOSPITAL CHIEF’S LECTURE, 7-9 p.m., Manheimer Room, Reuter Center, UNCA Asheville. Mission Health CEO and President Ronald A. Paulus, M.D., will talk about Mission Health and its expansion plans, as well as the impact of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and relevant state legislation. The event, hosted by Leadership Asheville Forum, is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Oct. 31

BOOK DISCUSSION, 6 p.m., Swannanoa Library,101 W. Charleston St., Swannanoa. “Love Will Save the Day” by Gwen Cooper will be the subject of a book discussion.

Center. Admission is free.

STORYTELLING, 6:30 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 3 E. Jackson St., Sylva. An All Hallow’s Eve storytelling will be featured. FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., BrooksHowell Home, 266 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. The film “Life in Occupied Palestine” will be show for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

Friday, Nov. 1

BARNAROO MUSIC/ART FESTIVAL, 5 p.m., 38 Came Sharp Rd., Leicester. Barnaroo will run through Nov. 3. Among the featured performers are Big Ben & The Clocktowers, Chuck Brodsky, Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy, Bubonik Funk and many others. For event information, visit PREPAREDNESS SPEAKERS, 6-9 p.m., Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. Speakers during the first night of Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar III will include Mr. Modern Survival on “Spiritual Preparedness” at 6 p.m., Tim “Old Grouch” Glance on “Communications” at 7 p.m. and Mike Moore on “Security” at 8 p.m. Tickets at the door are $25. For $20 advance tickets, visit The seminar continues Saturday. AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION, 7 p.m., Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Daniel Coston will present his new book, “North Carolina Musicians.” COMEDY SHOW, 7 p.m., The Mill Room, 66 Asheland Ave., Asheville. A professional stand-up comedy show will feature Mike Lawrence, Tanner Inman and Cary Goff. Admission is $17 at the door. For advance tickets, which are $15, call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.

Ronnie Milsap will perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. Accent on Books, 854 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Amy Ridenour will present her new book “Historic Inn of Asheville.” RONNIE MILSAP CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Born in the mountain town of Robbinsville, N.C., Ronnie Milsap, who went on to become a country music star, will perform in

concert. For tickets, which are $25 and $30, call 524-1598 or visit

Sunday, Nov. 3

WILMA DYKEMAN LECTURE, 3 p.m., Reuter Center, UNC Asheville. “Wilma Dykeman as Novelist” will be presented

by Jim Cole Overholt, a retired teacher and former director of the Regional Appalachian Center at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge (Tenn.), where Dykeman served as a consultant. The public is invited and admission is free.


Way beyond hip and trendy Asheville Daily

weekend g n i v r e Now s

Saturday, Nov. 2

PREPAREDNESS SPEAKERS, 8:15 a.m., Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. Speakers during the second day of Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar III will cover a number of topics. The keynote speaker is Dr. William Forstchen, author of The New York Times bestseller “One Second After” and a history professor at Montreat College. Tickets at the door are $25. For $20 advance tickets, visit The seminar ends Saturday COMMUNITY SHREDDING EVENT, 9-11 a.m., Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Ave., Asheville. Shred-it mobile shredding services will be available to help area residents protect against identiy theft. All paper must be bagged or boxed and each person is limited to three tall kitchen bags or three copy paper voxes of paper. Bags and boxes must be intact, with no rips or tears. Reusable bags, boxes or containers will be returned. AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION, 11 a.m.,

Dr. Marc Mullinax, professor of religion at Mars Hill University, will speak at the Great Quotes Forum at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville.

$2 Tuesdays

$2 domestic draft Wednesdays Breakfast Club-Brunch menu served until noon on Sundays before shows.


Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — B3

The African desert rock band Bombino will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium.


Continued from Page B3



Sunday, Nov. 3

CHAMBER MUSIC, 3 p.m. St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 1 Dundee St., Asheville. A 23-piece ensemble will perform Haydn’s Symphony No. 8 “Le Soir,” and Mozart’s Concertone for two violins. Soloists will include Arnold Brown and Day Ann Emory. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. DINNER/AUCTION, 5:30-8 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, Asheville. WNC Health Advocates will host its 5th annual Eat at Mike’s Dinner. The group’s mission is to offer comfort and support to people with illness and disability, to new mothers and families, and to advocate for access to quality health care for all. Tickets are $25. A silent auction will feature items fro local crafters and artists. For more information, call 243-6712. CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Central United Methodist Church, 27 Church St., downtown Asheville. The Asheville Symphony Chorus will perform “Music of Eternal Light” for its fall concert. Tickets are $25 for the public and $15 for students.

Monday, Nov. 4

NUCLEAR WASTE MEETING, 2 p.m., Earth Fare parking lot, Westgate, Asheville. A bus will depart for Charlotte for the purpose of voicing public comments on radioactive waste at the evening meeting of the U.S. Department of Energy . The bus will return about midnight. To reserve a seat, call Mary at 242-5621. PAN HARMONIA GALA/RECITAL, 6:30 p.m., The Haen Gallery, 52 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. A “meet the artists” reception will precede the recital with complimentary wine and light “nibbles,” followed at 7:15 p.m. with a concert for flute and strings by Mozar, Brahms and William Bradbury.

Singer-fiddler Rhonda Vincent will perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.

For tickets, which are $22 in advance for adults and $8 for students, visit Tickets at the door are $24. FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain. The film “Budrus: It Takes a Village to Unite the Most Divided People on Earth” will be shown for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

CORNEL WEST SPEECH, 7:30 p.m., Sherrill Center, UNC Asheville. Cornel West, author of “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters,” will discuss the role of race, gender and class in American society in a public lecture. A leading political commentator, proressive activist and public intellectual, West is professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary and a professor emritus at Princeton Univesity. He graduated from Harvard University in three years and was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton. The event is free and open to the

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Thursday, Nov. 7

AUTOTRADER.COM SPEAKER, 4 p.m., theater, A.K. Hinds University Center, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. David Lilly, a business development and growth advisor with 25 years’ experience in starting and expanding businesses, including, will open a new guest speaker series sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innnovation at WCU. His talk is titled “A Fireside Chat With David Lilly,” is free and open to the public. FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Brooks-Howell Home, 266 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. The film “Budrus” will be show for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East. GREAT QUOTES FORUM, 7-9 p.m., Smoky Mountain Theater, Lake Point Landing, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. Marc Mullinax, professor of religion at Mars Hil University, will discuss the William Arthur Ward quote, “Interruptions can be viewed as sources of irritation or opportunities for service, as moments lost or experience gained, as time wasted or horizons widened. They can annoy us or enrich us, get under our skin or give us a shot in the arm. Monopolize our minutes or spice our schedules, depending on our attitude toward them.” Following Mullinax’s 30-minute presentation, a 30-minute question-and-answer session will be held. Moderator Don Emon will then lead a 50-minute “applied philosophy” discussion on Mullinax’s talk, followed by five minutes of the “last word” by Mullinax. A $5 donation is requested of attendees, with all proceeds going to a general scholarship at MHU.


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B4 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Review ‘Clean’ comedian David Coulier hits on all cylinders By JOHN NORTH

FRANKLIN — Comedian David Coulier did it all — some wacky impressions, a dead-on Bullwinkle voice and even played some mean cowboy and blues harmonica — during his show on Oct. 5 at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. Coulier, best known for the role of Joey Gladstone on the ABC sitcom “Full House,” was introduced as the spearhead of the “Clean Guys of Comedy” film/broadcast. Paradoxically, Coulier admitted during his Franklin show that he remains a great admirer of the late comedian Richard Pryor, whom he called “a genius of comedy.” (However, Pryor also was known for using colorful vulgarities, profanities and racial epithets during his standup performances, sharply contrasting with Coulier’s G-rated show.) Featuring nary a four-letter word, but perhaps a few too many jokes (for some tastes) on bodily functions, his 90-minute show without an intermission appeared to delight the between 400 and 500 people in attendance. Clad in a black-and-white checked shirt, blue jeans and white lace-up shoes, Coulier bounded onto the stage to open the show, noting with mock glee that he had been provided with all of the essentials — a tall stool, a towel and a bottle of water. “Thanks … and goodnight!” he deadpanned, triggering laughter from the audience from the get-go. He noted that “people ask me some really dumb questions about ‘Full House.’” For instance, Coulier said, “People ask me if I knew all of the characters on ‘Full House.’” To that, he quipped, “No, we were all holograms… We worked from a GreenScreen.” More seriously, Coulier said he really did know all of the “Full House” cast members — and still maintains friendships with many of them. Coulier said he now lives in Los Angeles, noting “it’s one of those cities where there are actors and people in

show business,” working in all kinds of jobs. Recently at an L.A. eatery, a waiter introduced himself by noting that “I’m also a producer.” “Well, I asked, ‘Could you ‘produce’ some water and bread?” Coulier recalled saying, causing the audience to roar with laughter. As a standup comedian, he said, “My job is professional immaturity, really.” Coulier noted that as a comedian, he travels by airplanes frequently and has noticed that the “pilots sound a little too sophisticated… They sound almost comatose” and smug in their addresses to the passengers from behind their locked cockpit door. Continuing, he said, “Well, David Coulier I’d love to be an airline captain. You’ve got a microphone and your audience isn’t going anywhere” — what more could a comedian want? Coulier then went through several comedy routines that he would use, if he were a pilot, to scare — or at least tickle the ribs of — his passengers. On a separate tack, he lamented the trend in which Hollywood leading men tend to speak in a whisper. Coulier playfully lambasted macho movie star icon Clint Eastwood for starting the whispering style. The general leading-man dialogue, he joked, includes “first, I’ve got to defuse the bomb… then, I’ve got to save your life and ... one more thing … I’m falling in love with you!” Coulier noted that many leading sports heroes “are going down” these days. “They’re cheating and getting caught.” Specifically, he cited New York Yankees third-baseman Alexander “A-Rod” Rodriguez and former professional

road-racing cyclist Lance Armstrong. When the scandals erupt, the athletes tend to lose their commercial sponsors in short order, he said. Conspiratorially, Coulier suggested, “They should be able to do one last funny commercial before they let them loose.” As an example, Coulier suggested the following slogan for a disgraced athlete: “’Nike: Our products are so good, it’s like you’re cheating.’” Regarding his father, Coulier said, “My Dad believed in miracles. He just turned 83. He’s really closed off to only one group of individuals — men with really long hair.” The comedian then told several stories of his father seeing questionable situations and concluding that there must be men with long hair involved and that they also inevitably would be on drugs. He also said, “texting drives my Dad crazy.” Coulier said his father never could understand why one would send a text message rather than talk to someone on the telephone. One person told his father, “It’s because I don’t want to talk” to the person he is texting. As for his son, Coulier noted that, at one point during his schooling, the boy came home with grades of “A” in Spanish and “D” in English. “Do you realize you got an “A” in Spanish and a “D” in your native language?” he recalled asking his son. Without missing a beat, he said his son replied evenly, “Si, señor!” Despite the difficulties of communicating with a teenager, now that his son is away at college, “I miss him.” However, when his son comes home, “God forbid, if I say anything while he’s on the Xbox (videogaming) ‘drip.’” Coulier noted that he, himself “peaked with Mario Bros. (an arcade game)” during his youth. He added that “it (Mario Bros.) was a confidence-building game,” while Xbox — for him — is confidence-destroying. See COULIER, Page B6


United States, with droughts, flooding and hurricanes. “I think the planet wants us to leave,” he mused. On an ever-so-slightly more serious Continued from Page B5 tack, Coulier suggested the problems Perhaps because of his son’s command revolves around the fact that “we don’t of Xbox and his own hamhandedness name these storms with scary enough with it, “My kid just makes fun of me names.” openly … to my face,” Coulier said. The storms, such as Karen and other Beyond the video games, Coulier said commonplace, nonthreatening names, his son informed him recently that he need to be named “Maximus or Karneeds to get his “zheimer’s” checked, dashian or Snooky… something that will using a hip shortening of the disease scare you … We had Hurricane Dean. alzheimer’s. Who’s that going to scare?” “There are so many things could can be At that point, he announced, “I brought sick with now,” Coulier said in reference a little music for you.” Coulier whipped to his own aging. Indeed, out a harmonica and his son also told him began playing a cowboy On a more quixotic that he needs to get a song. Then he played a colonoscopy because his note, David Coulier blue riff, noting, “The friend’s father recently blues — that’s what the said, “The weather’s had a colonoscopy. Preharmonica was built going crazy” across dictably, many colonosfor.” the United States, with copy jokes followed. Next, he noted, When he was a young droughts, flooding and “Sometimes I write child, Coulier said his things for ae show that hurricanes. “I think brother Dan taught him don’t fit in the regular the planet wants us to “to do voices (impresprogram. Among the ranleave,” he mused. sions)” and was better dom one-liners he rolled than him at it — that is, out were the following: “until at age 9, I did a duck with a pencil • “I met a woman named Carmen,” caught in his throat. Then, there was no who said her mother named her for her looking back….” two favorite things — cars and men. As the crowd laughed at his impresCoulier mused, “Maybe I’ll change my sion of a duck with the aforementioned name to Golfboobs.” malady, Coulier said, “Hey, that could • “What if the ‘Hokey Pokey’ IS what come in handy,” citing the possibility of a it’s all about?” thief asking for his wallet — and startling • “Horror films have really ruined it for the would-be thief with that voice, caushitchhikers.” ing the theft to say — as he was running • “I go to the beach, where I see a guy away — that Coulier should spend the walk by with a lot of back hair. I say, money in his wallet to get his voice fixed. ‘Hey, get back here.’” “When I was a kid, I’d do impres• “I think I’ve been to enough places, I sions of people I knew… I was a wimpy think I could make people think I’m from kid growing up… One guy who was a any country.” Coulier then did voices, using bully — I’d do the Cowardly Lion voice ridiculous combinations of English phrases, (from the “Wizard of Oz”) — and he beat with that language’s inflections, making the crap out of me.” In retrospect, that them sound legitimate. Among the lanparticular voice was not a good idea, he guages he imitated were Spanish, French, solemnly concluded. Japanese, German, Indian and Chinese. “When I was a kid, I started using the As the crowd laughed and cheered, a Bullwinkle voice” — and it made everysmiling Coulier said, “I know I’m like one around him laugh. “What if you used a language savante.” He then bowed, the Bullwinkle voice in real life?” he thanked the crowd for coming to his mused, offering some hilarious examples show and left the stage... with a smile. of how people, perhaps bored with their mundane lives, might be startled. “It’s nice to see that Elmer Fudd voice in GEICO commercials,” Coulier said. “I loved ‘The Jetsons’ growing up because they had a family spaceship.” With much glee, Coulier imitated the sound of “The Jetsons’” spaceship. In his career, “I got to work with a lot of my heroes,” he said, citing his association with Jim Henson, creator of ‘The Muppets.’” After asking and answering his own question — “You know what the best part of this show is? It ends.” — Coulier transitioned into a series of quick impressions. Among the stars he imitated — all to hilarious effect — were Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Tom Hanks (in the latter’s role in the film “Cast Away”). Coulier noted that most people he knows are extremely annoyed when they receive telephone calls from telemarketers, but for him, as a standup comedian, they are a welcome treat to have great fun. He then told of such a call he received from a young woman named Sarah, to whom he responded with an evil screech, Our SEPTEMBER edition marked an akin to one from a horror movie. Evenall-time circulation record for tually, as she tried to continue with her Asheville Daily Planet sales pitch, he ran through his repertoire We thank our readers from Western North of scary voices, prompting her to eventuCarolina who enjoy our FREE newspapers. ally hang up on him. “I don’t think that We must continually increase our pressruns to make enough Daily Planets availI’ll ever hear back from Sarah — or Toys able to satisfy your voracious demand. For Tots,” Coulier said, as the crowd CONTACT US to get your advertising message roared with laughter. before our enthusiastic readership. On a more quixotic note, Coulier said, 828.252.6565 “The weather’s going crazy” across the

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Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — B5

B6 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

An Elvis Presley tribute concert, “Christmas With the King,” will be performed at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 in The Foundation Performing Arts Center at Isothermal Community College in Spindale.

Calendar Continued from Page B3

Friday, Nov. 8

BUSINESS WORKSHOP, 10 a.m.-noon, RiverLink’s Warehouse Studios, 170 Lyman St., Asheville. RiverLink and outdoor recreation risk expert Will Leverette will offer a workship on the risks of operating outdoor- and recreation-oriented businesses. Leverette is the author of “The History of Paddling in Western North Carolina and has been the paddling whitewater coach at Warren Wilson College since 1997. He also is the director of the risk management department and director of the East Coast Crnach for the Worldwide Outfitter and Buide Association in Salt Lake City. The workshop is free, but reservations are recommended by emailing, or call 252-8474, ext. 10. PERCUSSION PERFORMANCE, 4 and 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, downtown Asheville. Yamato: The Drummers of Japan will perform. LIBERTARIAN MEETING, 7 p.m., Oakleaf Furniture, 130 Miller St., Waynesville. The Haywood County Libertarian Party, which meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays, meets for open discussion, with debate encouraged. All perspectives and persuasions are welcome, regardless of political or religious affiliation. For more information, email Windy McKinney at windymckinney@ “BRAHMS: A GERMAN REQUIUM,” 7:30 p.m., Arden Presbyterian Church, 2215 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville. “Brahms: A German Requium” will be performed by the Asheville Symphony Chorus and Asheville Choral Society. For tickets, which are $25 for adutls and $15 for students, call 254-7046, or visit CELTIC TENORS CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., The Foundation Center Performing Arts Building, Isothermal Community College, Spindale. The Celtic Tenors will perform. For tickets, which are $25 and $30, call 286-9990 or visit AFRICAN ACROBATS, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. “African Acrobats International present ‘Zuma, Zuma.’” For tickets, which are $17 and $22, call 524-1598 or visit

Sunday, Nov. 10

WILMA DYKEMAN LECTURE, 3 p.m., Reuter Center, UNC Asheville. “Wilma Dukeman as Traveler” will be presented by writer Jim Stokely. One of Dykeman’s sons, Stokely will talk about where she traveled and why she visited those places, and share from her travel journals. The public is invited and admission is free.

Monday, Nov. 11

CIDERFEST, 1-5 p.m., Echoview Fiber Mill, 76

Jupiter Rd., Weaverville. The WNC Green Building Council is hosting the first CiderFest NC. Four of Western North Carolina’s cidermakers will participate in the festival. Tickets at the gate will be $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. For advance tickets, which are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers, call Nina at 254-1995. Children will be granted free admission. FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain. The film “The Gatekeepers” will be show for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East. LECTURE ON ISRAEL’S FUTURE, 7:30 p.m., Mountain View Room, Sherill Center, UNC Asheville. Gershom Gorenberg, author of “The Unmasking of Israel” and senior correspondent for The American Prospect, will give a talk, “The Second Israeli Republic: Why It’s Needed and Gershom Gorenberg How to Get There.” He will describe the development of Israeli democracy. He also will discuss policies he feels places Israel in danger, and his proposals to preserve and renew the Israeli repulbic. The lecture is free and open to the public.



Continued from Page B1 The group’s camaraderie was on display, having played with Hunter for some two decades. Two saxes chimed in baritone and tenor (Lee Badeau and Damian Hand), the bass stood upright (Jason Wilson), the organ whirled a Hammond B-3 pitch and the drums pounded out a crisp and economical beat. Hunter played his Gibson Les Paul guitar through a vintage Vox amplifier that occasionally emitted mildly annoying feedback between songs, for which he fixed with a swift kick and a broad smile, triggering much laughter from the audience. Despite playing for an older, prosperouslooking and (dare I say?) somewhat lethargic audience, Hunter displayed his dry, sly British humor throughout the concert, and played up a storm. Hunter, 51, a Colchester, England, native, is a Grammy Award-nominated rhythm and blues musician and soul singer. Hunter and his band took the stage and, without a word, launched into “She’s Got a Way.” “This one’s about chicken and switches — I was drunk when I wrote it,” Hunter told the crowd with a smile, as the JHS

performed “Chicken Switch,” the lead track from the band’s first new album in five years — “Minute by Minute.” Next, he performed “One Way Love,” “Gold Mine,” “People Gonna Talk,” “No Smoke Without Fire,” “Baby, Don’t Do It,” “Heartbreak,” “Jacqueline,” “Drop on Me,” “Let the Monkey Ride,” “The Gypsy,” “Down Home Girl,” “Think,” “Carina,” “Minute by Minute,” “Look Out.” “Believe Me, Baby,” “All Through Cryin’,” “Talking ‘bout My Love” and “Hand It Over.” The group’s rendition of “Carina” was ska-influenced, perhaps mainly because of the new drummer’s impact. Interestingly, Hunter made no big deal about performing “Carina,” which has been his biggest hit. “Thank you all for hearing us. Hope to see y’all again,” Hunter said, as the band left the stage. However, the crowd cheered for more. Soon, Hunter returned to the stage — without his group — and performed a solo version of “Can’t You Tell.” His band returned for one last song and then left the stage for good, leaving an audience that was calling for still more.

Continued from Page B1 Included in the book is a fundamental guitar chord chart and Erbsen, who taught American History for two years, offers lessons in not only on guitar but in manddolin, fiddle and banjo through Native Ground Music, the small bluegrass business he heads. Available there ( is “Backpocket Bluegrass” along with the other dozen or so books he’s published, one consisting solely of Civil War ballads while one of the others is all gospel. He’s hosted his WCQS show as a volunteer the past 31 years. It is billed as the radio station’s longest-running show. On the show, occasionally Erbsen — or Erbsen and a friend, or Erbsen and sev-

eral friends — will play live in the studio Several weeks ago, a friend of his came by with vintage recordings of the famed “Bristol Sessions” the 1927 recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, regarded by many as the birth of country music. Generally the music for the show comes from Erbsen, who is reachable at banjo@ He takes requests.


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Asheville Daily Planet — November 2013 — B7

Calendar Continued from Page B6

revolves around a group of old friends, some of whom are reluctant to accept the new wife of one in their midst after his first wife has died. As the focus on life changes and the unsolved mystery of Rosalyn’s death in the previous year, the characters display many high emotions of envy, passion and friendship. Admission is free. FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain. The film “The Other Son” will be shown for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

CHEROKEE SPEAKER,12:30 p.m., Mountain View Room, Sherrill Center, UNC Asheville. Chad Smith, the former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will gave a presentation discussing the principlebased leadership Chad Smith organization and “Point A to Point B” leadership model used during his tenure. Admission is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Nov. 14

FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., BrooksHowell Home, 266 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. The film “The Gatekeepers” will be show for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

Friday, Nov. 15

DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER CONCERT, 7 p.m., The Foundation Center Performing Arts Building, Isothermal Community College, Spindale. Doyle Lawnon & Quicksilver will perform. For tickets, which are $20, call 286-9990 or visit AMY GRANT CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Arena, UNC Asheville. “An Evening With Amy Grant” will be presented. She is billed as “the queen of Christian pop” music. For tickets, call 258-7900 or visit

Saturday, Nov. 16

RHONDA VINCENT CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Rhonda Vincent, bluegrass vocalist and fiddler, will perform in concert. For tickets, which are $15 and $18, call 524-1598 or visit ASHEVILLE SYMPHONY CONCERT, 8 p.m., Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, downtown Asheville. The Asheville Symphony Orchestra will perform “Beethoven’s Sevent” with flutist Lissie Okopny, and also works by Bartok and Bach.

Sunday, Nov. 17

FERNANDO ORTEGA CONCERT, 5:30 p.m., The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, 1 Porters Cove Rd., Asheville. The Fernando Ortega concert will also include a buffet dinner and fellowship. For tickets, which are $50, call 298-2092 or visit

Monday, Nov. 18

FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain. The film “Precious Life” will be show nfor free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

Wed., Nov. 20

NATURE CENTER TALK, 11:45 a.m., Country Club of Asheville, 170 Windsor Rd., Asheville. Chris Gentile, director of the WNC Nature Center, will give a talk titled “WNC Nature Center” during the Leadership Asheville Forum’s Critical Issues Luncheon. BOMBINO CONCERT, 7 p.m., Lipisky Auditorium, UNC Asheville. The African desert rock group Bombino will perform in concert. Admission is $20 for the general public, $12 for UNCA faculty and staff, $7 for area students and $5 for UNCA students.

Troubador Jim Malcolm wll perform “Just Flowing in From Scotland” at 8 p.m. Nov. 20 in Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville. TROUBADOR SHOW, 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, downtown Asheville. Jim Malcolm’s “Just Flowing in From Scotland” show will be presnted. Malcolm is billed as “the ultimate troubador, with guitar and harmonica peppered with funny stories. For tickets, which are $20 for adults, $18 for students and $12 for children, call 257-4530.

Thursday, Nov. 21

FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., BrooksHowell Home, 266 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. The film “Precious Life” will be show for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East. TRIBUTE CONCERT, 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, downtown Asheville. “Susan Werner: The Hayseed Project” will be presented. Acoustic musician Susan Werner will return with her newest project paying tribute to American agriculture and her Iowa farm roots by revisiting the language and people she knows best.

Friday, Nov. 22

“SHAKESPEARE ON TRIAL” CONCERT, 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, downtown Asheville. A comedy play, “Shakespeare on Trial,” will be performed.

Sunday, Nov. 24

JOHNNY CASH TRIBUTE SHOW, 5-7 p.m., John W. Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” will be presented. For tickets which are $20 for adults, $15 for facult and staff and $5 for students and children, call 227-2479, or visit www.

Tuesday, Nov. 26

SHAKESPEARE ON TRIAL PLAY, 7:30 p.m., The Foundation Center Performing Arts Building, Isothermal Community College, Spindale. The one-act “Shakespear on Trial” play will be performed. It is billed as “a hilarious comedy of Shakespearean proportions.” For tickets, which are $17 and $12 for adults and $6 for children, call 286-9990 or visit

Monday, Dec. 2

AUTHOR’S TALK/PRESENTATION, 7 p.m., Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Cassandra King, wife of Pat Conroy, will talk about and sign cpies of her new novel, “Moonrise.” The book is set at an eerie mansion in Highlands, N.C. The polt

Thursday, Dec. 5

FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., BrooksHowell Home, 266 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. The film “The Other Son” will be show for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

Saturday, Dec. 7

CHRISTMAS WITH THE KING TRIBUTE, 7 p.m., The Foundation Center Performing Arts Building, Isothermal Community College, Spindale. The Elvis Presley tribute show “Christmas With the King” will be performed. For tickets, which are $25, call 286-9990 or visit FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain. The film “The Other Son” will be shown for free as part of the Middle East Film Series, hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

The tribute show “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” will be performed from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 24 in the Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

B8 - November 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet


Real ‘Jersey Boys’?

‘Oh, What a Night:’ The Hit Men hit the spot, musically


SPINDALE — Despite a two-hour power outage in the area that was resolved just before the show, The Hit Men — former members of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Tommy James & The Shondells and other top bands — didn’t fire a blank, and repeatedly hit the target with nary a miss during an Oct. 12 concert at Isothermal Community College. Besides the music, the nearly two-hour show that launched ICC’s year-long, 50th anniversary celebration also featured group members telling their “back stories” and sharing anecdotes from their time in the forefront of pop music. The concert drew about 600 people, mostly older and female, to ICC’s Foundation Performing Arts Center. The band performed each “golden-oldie” song as a cherished treasure with obvious respect and enthusiasm. The Hit Men remained on the stage after finishing its show with the rousing “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” sung by drummer Gerry Polci, who was the lead singer on the original. Ironically, “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night), the biggest-ever hit for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, did not feature its biggest star, Valli, as the lead singer. The crowd stood and cheered for more. After a dramatic pause, The Hit Men eagerly complied with an encore akin to a fireworks finale — a rip-roaring medley of some of best-known Four Seasons’ songs, including “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and ending, predictably, with “Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye).” Following the concert, the five group members, who performed individually or in combinations on more than 80 albums since 1966, patiently signed autographs and chatted with fans for more than 30 minutes. The group included electric pianist Lee Shapiro, who is the group’s leader and musical director; drummer Gerry Polci; guitarist Jimmy Ryan; bassist Larry Gates; and keyboard player Russ Valezquez. Shapiro played with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Tommy James and the Shondells, Barry Manilow, Bob Gaudio and Paul Schaffer; Polci with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and Barry Manilow; Ryan with The Critters, Carly Simon, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Elton John and Kiki Dee; Gates with Desmond Child, Phoebe Snow, Carole King, Janis Ian, Bon Jovi and Rick Derringer; and Valazquez with Sting, Carole King, The Ramones, LL Cool J, Luther Vandross, Korn, Paula Abdul and Chicago. The show’s highlights included their spot-on, enthusiastic renditions of songs, as well as moments when it improvised vocally and instrumentally during jams in some lengthened editions of songs. On the negative side, there were too many medleys that just provided sample of songs, rather than the often-glorious full versions. The Hit men went overboard in trying to please the crowd by playing as many of the Four Seasons hits as possible — meaning lumping them together as medleys. The band opened the concert with a Four Seasons medley of 1964’s “Dawn (Go Away),” “Working My Way Back to You,” “Rag Doll” and “Stay.” The first three were

Photo from The Hit Men’s website

The Hit Men performed non-stop song hits during an Oct. 12 concert in Spindale. Four Seasons originals, while “Stay” was a with the dramatic refrain: 1964 top 20 hit for the group, but originally was written by, and scored a No. 1 hit in “I love you baby and if it’s quite all 1960 for, Maurice Williams, a Lancaster, right S.C., native. “Stay” also is the shortest I need you baby to warm the lonely Billboard No. 1 song in American musical nights history. I love you baby, trust in me when I say At that point, Shapiro addressed cheering Oh pretty baby, don’t bring me down I the audience for the first time, asserting, pray “Yeah, let’s get this party started! We are Oh pretty baby, now that I’ve found you The Hit Men,” noting that they represent stay “the real Jersey Boys,” referencing the And let me love you baby, let me love Broadway musical based on the rise of you.” the Four Seasons. He then triggered some laughter from the largely Southern audiThe song also garnered the top applause ence when he deadpanned, “We come from of the night — at least until that point. up north … somewhere.” While Shapiro said he and Polci enjoyed He added that the group calls itself The their time as members of the Four SeaHit Men because “we were on so many sons, by 1980, “music had changed,” so hit songs” in the 1960s through the 1980s. they left the group and Shapiro was out of Shapiro added that the group had “two Sea- the business until 1983, when one day his sons” on stage, as he and Pucci were two of telephone rang and the voice on the other the Four Seasons during the 1970s version side of the line asked, “Lee, would you like of the band, which featured lead vocalist to be a Shondell?” The voice was that of Frankie Valli. Tommy James. Shapiro said “yes” to the After a hard-charging performance of the Four Seasons’ “Who Loves You?” with Pucci on the lead, Shapiro told the crowd that “we had a power outage at 6:30 and we thought this would be a quiet show.” With much energy, the group ripped into “C’mon Marianne,” with Valazquez singing a highly energized lead. In a nod to Ryan, who performed with the late Jim Croce, the group performed two of Croce’s biggest hits, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.” In offering some musical history, Shapiro noted that, with the Four Seasons, “where I grew up” musically, Frankie Valli always, always aspired to be a solo artist. To that end, he said Valli also had a stellar solo career, and that the next song ranks as “the most-recorded song” of those performed by Valli. “In any case, get close to the one you love….” The group then performed “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” The band had the audience singing along

offer. The group then performed a medley of hits from Tommy James and the Shondells, including “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Draggin’ the Line,” “Hanky-Panky” and the longest version I ever heard of “Mony Mony” that include spirited vocal and instrumental improvisation. I would have preferred one of James’ finest songs, the laid-back, psychelic-influenced “Crystal Blue Persuasion” to the not-very-memorable “Draggin’ the Line.” Following intermission, the band returned with a full rendition of the Four Seasons’ “Let’s Hang On,” and then another romantic ballad hit from Valli’s solo career, “My Eyes Adored You.” Ryan, the guitarist, noted that he had performed in a band called The Critters for about five or six years, and, “unfortunately, Tommy James didn’t call me” after the group called it quits. Therefore, he worked in a store that sold musical instruments handmade friends with a woman, Carly Simon, who later asked him to perform on her new song, “You’re So Vain” and “You Belong to Me,” among many hits. The Hit Men then performed those two songs. He later asserted that, “winding the time back a little bit, it’s been said that Carly Simon burst onto the scene, but she’s said that not true — that (instead) she tiptoed onto the scene.” Ryan also said that he was a frequent session musicians in the 1970s and was called in to do a recording with Reggie White, a name he never had heard before. “I look in the control room and there’s Elton John” — and Ryan learned soon that Sir Reggie White was Elton John’s real name, even though he goes by his stage name. The band then launched into John’s “Crocodile Rock,” spurring much cheering and applause from the crowd. Ryan said he also worked for Cat Stevens and lavished much praise on him, before the group performed a rendition of Stevens’ “Peace Train,” which seemed to move the audience deeply. Shapiro joked that, “if you remember the ‘70s, you weren’t there.” He added that Valli had a huge hit with the title song from the film “Grease.” They then performed it. The group then sang the Four Seasons’ “Silence Is Golden,” accompanied instrumentally only by Ryan on acoustic guitar, with all five members standing in a semicircle at stage center. It was greeted by big applause, prior the the show-ending “November 1963: Oh, What a Night” and the encore medley.

Asheville Daily Planet November 2013  

Asheville local news and politics

Asheville Daily Planet November 2013  

Asheville local news and politics