Page 1

Pres. Obama

Obama visits Asheville area, again; hints at retiring here — See story, Pg. 2

Jim Aycock

Descendant says Gov. Aycock’s legacy trashed by Duke prof — See clashing guest columns, Pgs. 22-23


March 2013

Vol. 9, No. 4

An Independent Newspaper Serving Greater Asheville


Gun rights touted at Pack Square rally From Staff Reports

At “high noon” Feb. 23, Second Amendment supporters — some of them armed, including one with a loaded AR-15 — gathered at Pack Square in downtown Asheville to take a stand for their right to own guns. The 35-minute “Day of Resistance” event

drew more than 100 attendees. Comparing the loss of gun rights to a frog in a pot of boiling water, Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, the lead speaker, told the crowd that “it (the change) happens so slowly that most of us haven’t recognized it... “Well, the temperature has been rising, and most of our fellow citizens are either unin-

formed or ignorant or don’t really care about what’s going on.” He added, “Guns in the hands of individual citizens represent the greatest single threat to tyrants — and they know it.” Besides Eichenbaum, who gave a talk that lasted 20 minutes, Dr. Carl Mumpower addressed the crowd in a more succint speech

Did someone say ... ‘Pillow Fight?’

Daily Planet Staff Photo

The Second Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight gave people a chance to vent — in a fun and harmless way — at downtown Asheville’s Pritchard Park on Feb. 14. The hour-long event, which drew more than 100 people, is inspired by a similar anti-Valentine’s event in San Francisco that draws thousands of people.

Live off-the-grid, outside-the-box? By JOHN NORTH

SWANNANOA — His aspiration is to “live off the grid and outside the box” in harmony and balance, radical ecologist and graphic artist-author Aaron Birk said during a wide-ranging Feb. 6 talk at Warren Wilson College’s Canon Lounge. Despite his distress with what he sees as the ravages of industrialization, Birk said, “the nature without us ... always expresses itself ... You can always look within, when you feel crowded out by modernity.” For Birk, “the superhero (in comic books) is someone who finds their strength within, and not so much (from) an outside power.” Taking a conciliatory tack, the ecologist asserted,

“Rather than viewing the police or government as a blocking element, they can be regarded as yet another force” that should be befriended rather than treated with hostilty, for the long-term good of the effort to protect the environment. He added, “We need multiple approaches” — from individuals chaining themselves in key locations to delay fracking ... to more cooperative efforts. Birk, who addressed “The Anarchist’s Apiary: Guerilla Gardening, Urban Architecture and Restoration Ecology,” later fielded some questions from the audience and finished with a book-signing of his recently published graphic novel, “The Pollinator’s Corridor.” The program drew about 70 people. See LIVE , Page 10

Aaron Birk

of half the duration. A brief wrapup was given by rally co-organizer Kevin King. Eichenbaum and Mumpower are former GOP congressional candidates. Eichenbaum is an ophthalmologist from Murphy. Mumpower is a psychologist and a former member of Asheville City Council. See GUNS, Page 4

City erred in allowing guns at ‘picketing,’ Bothwell says

From Staff Reports Two hours after a Feb, 23 gun rights rally in downtown Asheville, City Councilman Cecil Bothwell issued a press release calling for “enforcement of Asheville’s ordinance banning the carrying of guns while picketing in the city.” He said his statement was in response to a story in that day’s Asheville CitizenTimes reporting that some gun advocates gathering for the Second Amendment rally intended to carry weapons to the event. In the aftermath of his statement, some of the event’s organizers and other gun-rights advocates expressed — to the local news media — sharp disagreement with Bothwell’s interpretation of the city ordinance. Several Second Amendment-backers also emphasized that the event was a “rally” and did not constitute “picketing” or a protest. Conversely, Bothwell asserted, “Carrying guns while picketing is strictly prohibited under our municipal code. The law is very clear, and the Second Amendment Rally obviously falls within the definition of ‘picket’ in our ordinance. “Furthermore, if someone is injured during this event, through intent or by way of accidents, a failure of the city to enforce its ordinance would invite a lawsuit from any injured party.” The councilman, who recently announced plans to seek re-election to another fouryear term and writes a monthly opinion column for the Daily Planet, cited what he termed the “pertinent sections” of the city ordinance. follows: “‘Picketing’ means the stationing of any person by standing, lying, walking, sitting, kneeling, bending or in any other similar manner at a particular place so as to persuade, or otherwise influence, another person’s actions or conduct, or to apprise the public of an opinion or message.” See BOTHWELL, Page 19

2 —March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Obama touts jobs plan in Arden visit From Staff Reports

ARDEN — President Barack Obama discussed jobs and the economy during a 20-minute speech to a crowd of workers and invited guests at midday Feb. 13 at Linamar Corp., a Canadian auto-parts manufacturer. It was Obama’s fourth visit to the Asheville area — and this time it was he day immediately after his annual State of the Union Address. And before traveling back to Washington, he sent a young man in a dark suit, with an earpiece and coiled wire dangling from his left ear and a large radio on his hip to pick up a large order — as usual for the president — at 12 Bones Restaurant in the River Arts District of Asheville. Meanwhile, his speech emphasized what he called the success of the partnership between Linamar and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Obama said it shows that government should do more to train workers for the jobs of the future. A-B Tech worked with the company to teach students the skills they needed to get jobs at the plant, which makes engine blocks and other parts for heavy equipment. Linamar opened in a former Volvo plant in 2011 and employs 160 people. It plans to hire 600 workers at its Arden plant by 2020. The president also highlighted “Jeff the Machinist” during his address, referring to Asheville’s Jeff Brower. Obama detailed Brower’s success in clearing the hurdle of a job loss in a tough economy. At 11:15 that morning, Obama landed in Air Force One at Asheville Regional Airport, after which he boarded an armored Cadillac limousine for the ride to the Linamar plant. He toured the production line with factory workers before addressing a crowd assembed on the factory floor. “Hello everybody!” Obama said. “Hello, North Carolina! It is good to be back. I love coming to Asheville. Love coming to Asheville. Michelle (the first lady) and I always talk about how, after this whole presidency thing, we’re looking for a little spot to...” His comments were greeted with applause. Someone in the audience shouted, “Come on down.” To that, Obama said, “Come on down? Play a little golf, do a little hiking, fishing, barbecue. There are two things that keep bringing me back here. Number one is, I really like the people. And number two is 12 Bones, which I will be stopping at on the way back to the airport.” Again, Obama’s comments were greeted with laughter and


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President Barack Obama applause. He then thanked officials at Linamar and other organizers of his visit for their efforts.. At that point, Obama asserted, “I want to point out two elected officials who are with us here today — first of all, your mayor, Terry Bellamy. Where is Mayor Bellamy? There she is. Good to see you. Plus, you (in Asheville have) got a wonderful mayor. I like that in you, too. And also, Congressman Mel Watt is here. So give Congressman Watt a big round of applause.” (Both Bellamy and Watt are Democrats and African-Americans.) “So last night, I delivered the State of the Union Address. And I talked about steps we can take right now to strengthen our recovery, but also to build up our middle class. And I said that while we’re seeing some signs of solid progress — car sales are up, housing is starting to recover — we’re still a ways away from where we need to be. “There still are too many Americans who are out there every day. They’re pounding the pavement. They’re looking for work. You guys probably know friends or family members who are still pretty

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strapped, having a difficult time. And while it’s true that corporate profits have rocketed to an all-time high, it’s also true that for more than a decade now, wages and incomes haven’t gone up at all just about.” Further, Obama said, “So we’ve got a lot of work to do. And our job — and this is a job for everybody; it’s not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing. Our job as Americans is to restore that basic bargain that says if you work hard, if you’re willing to meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead. You can get ahead.” The crowd cheered. “It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter where you come from. That’s what we should be focused on: How do we make sure that people who are willing to work hard can make a decent living and look after their family? “Because the true engine of America’s economic growth has always been our middle class. Now, there are a lot of countries that have folks at the top who are doing real well, and a bunch of folks at the bottom, but part of what set America apart was ordinary folks, if they worked hard, they could do well. “Our middle class when it’s growing, when it’s thriving, when there are ladders of opportunity for people to do a little bit better each year and then make sure that ehri kids are doing even better than them — that’s the American Dream. That’s what we got to fight for. That has to be the North Star that guides everything we do. “And as I said last night, we should be asking ourselves three questions every single day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in North Carolina or Texas or California

or Oregon. It doesn’t matter. Wherever we are, three things we should be asking. Number one — how do we bring more jobs to America? Number two — how do we equip people with the skills they need to do those jobs? And number three — how do we make sure that once they have a job, it leads to a decent living?” Obama added, “I believe we reward effort and determination with wages that allow working families to raise thir kids and get ahead. And that’s part of the reason why I said last night that it’s time for an increase in the minimum wage, because if your work full-time, you shouldn’t be in poverty.” The crowd once again applauded. “And I believe we attract new jobs to America by investing in new sources of energy and new infrastructure and the next generation of high-wage, high-tech American manufacturing. I believe in manufacturing. I think it makes our country stronger. “So that’s what we can do together. And that’s why I wanted to come back here to Asheville, because there’s a good story to tell here. I know that a few years ago, manufacturing comebacks in North Carolina, a manufacting comeback in Asheville may not have seemed real likely, because Volvo had just left town. “This plant had gone dark — 228 jobs had vanished. And that was a big blow for this area, because part of what happens is when those manufacturing jobs go away, then suddenly the restaurant has fewer customers, and supplies of the plant star withering. And it’s hard for everybody. It has a ripple effect.”

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Daily Planet Staff Photos

More than 100 people showed up Feb. 23 in downtown Asheville to stand up for their right to bear arms, including some (top right) who were open carrying weapons.


Continued from Page 1 The rally, during which a number of attendees waved signs for their cause, was organized by MACPAC, which said it was teaming up with other grassroots organizations to bring awareness to the importance of an individual’s constitutional rights. MACPAC stands for Mountain Area Citizens’ Political Action Committee. The group was founded in fall 2012 in what leaders termed the wake of a politically hostile environment. MACPAC’s next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 19 at Frank’s Roman Pizza on Sardis Road in Asheville. “Our goal is to peacefully stand with fellow patriots across the nation in defense of our constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” MACPAC noted. “The rights of American citizens shall not be infringed.” The nationwide Day of Resistance was organized in opposition to calls — from President Barack Obama, gun control advocates and some members of Congress — for new laws to be enacted to curtail gun violence. Following the killing in December of 20 young children and six adults in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the issue of gun control has catapulted to the forefront of many political discussions. In the incident, a man used a militarystyle rifle. Proposals call for banning assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines and mandating universal background checks. In his speech, Eichenbaum asked the crowd, rhetorically, “How’d we get here?” (His question referred to reaching a point where guns might be outlawed.) “Because we ignored history,” he said in answer to his own question. Later, Eichenbaum said, “I’m looking for today’s 3 percent... The 3 percent of patriots ... because that’s all it took” for America to win the Revolutionary War. “Three percent of the American colonists were able to defeat the strongest military force on earth, at the time,” he noted. “If we stand together, we will be free... Stand together for our chidlren and our freedom!” Eichenbaum received hearty applause at the end of his 20-minute talk. The other major speaker, Mumpower, began by asserting, “Thanks for being here, thanks for raising your voice, thanks for caring about the future of America and thanks for this opportunity to speak to a group of patriots with a courage button and

willingness to turn talk into action.” Mumpower then noted that “we live in crazy times — we’re told we can trust the government.” He then cited examples of the aforementioned craziness, such as the following: • “The same government which is ordering bullets by the millions.” • “The same government that is surrounded by weaponry and security that we do not have. Including a federal building set up as a fortress, an impenetrable police

department, a city hall guarded by armed officers and a county courthouse protected by metal detectors and armed officers.” Mumpower concluded by noting that those who attended the rally were showing that “the Constitution matters to you and that you believe our Founding Fathers were smarter than our current crop of political opportunists and they understood that a citizenry with the right to bear arms is profoundly safer than a disarmed citizenry vulnerable to the whims of a dishonest

government, criminals and other forces of darkness. “You believe that the best life is one lived with an eye on retaining primary responsibility for our health, our values, our economic vitality and our safety. “Those who do not like guns need not buy one, own one or use one — but we will not tolerate their intrusions on our constitutional and moral right to do so,” Mumpower said, triggering prolonged applause from the crowd.

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 - 5

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6 — March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

State of Downtown Address: Mayor seeks parking fee hike From Staff Reports

Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy said in her State of Downtown Address on Feb. 25 that City Council will consider increasing the cost of parking downtown up to 25 cents per hour later this year. The increases would be for metered spaces and those in city parking garages. The matter would be considered in the budget process this year, she said. The mayor noted that the $1-an-hour rate for metered spaces has not changed in 10 years. She added that the city tries to keep the rate at a level to encourage turnover in the spaces to benefit downtown retailers. The annual State of Downtown luncheon drew about 200 people at the U.S. Cellular Center’ s banquet hall. In other action, the attendees heard calls for

improve infrastructure in downtown’s South Slope area and updates on public projects in or near downtown. Regarding the possible parking rate change, Bellamy said the last rate increase was from 75 cents to $1 per hour. She said the proposed increase would match the rate of inflation, meaning it could go up to $1.25 per hour. A sum of $1 in 2003 would be the same as $1.25 today, based on data from the federal Bureua of Labor Statistics. In addition, hourly wages in parking garages also would increase 25 cents per hour. The city charges 75 cents per hour in three of its parking garages and $1 an hour in its new garage on Biltmore Avenue. The first hour of parking in a garage is free. In other action, Bellamy and Adrian Vassallo, president of the Downtown Association, called for infrastructure improvements in the South

Slope area to keep up with private development going on in the area and to lure more. A l s o , Mayor Terry Bellamy B u n combe County Commissioner Holly Jones asked for support for construction or renovation of two new schools near downtown, Isaac Dickson and Asheville Middle School. What’s more, Bellamy suggested that the city get a regular appropriation from the portion of the hotel-motel room tax proceeds that goes to projects designed to attract more tourists to the area.

The Southern Conference basketball tournament will return March 8-11 at U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville and Kimmel Arena at nearby UNC Asheville. Last year’s tournament in Asheville drew more than 40,000 people. A 10 percent increase in Asheville’s hotel occupancy occurred last March, according to the Buncombe County Tourism Develop-

ment Authority. The local impact of the tournament was projected at $4 million. Last year’s tournament brought the city $106,000 in profits and the SoCon, $66,000. The SoCon’s 23 men’s and women’s teams will play 21 games over four days. All of the men’s games will be played at the U.S. Cellular Center downtown.

Seven first- and second-round women’s games will be played at UNCA’s Kimmel Arena, before shifting to U.S. Cellular for the semifinals and final. The SoCon tournament was held from 1984 to 1995 in Asheville and was profitable. The tourney returned to Asheville last year after an $8.9 million renovation of the U.S. Cellular Center.

SoCon tournament planned March 8-11

City attorney to leave post to be professor

Asheville’s long-time City Attorney Bob Oast recently announced that he will be leaving his job to become a professor at Ohio State University. Serving as the city government’s attorney since 1996, he has worked with local governments in the state for the last 25 years. His departure, which technically will count as a retirement, will occur in July. Oast will serve as an assocate professor of planning practice in the city and regional planing section of the Knowlton School of Architecture at OSU in CoCity Attorney Bob Oast lumbus. He has a law degree and a master’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Regarding Oast’s impending departure, Mayor Terry Bellamy said he “will be greatly missed. he has always provided consistent and solid legal advice. Among the projects in which Oast has been involved are the Grove Arcade, Pack Square Park and the new parking garage at 51 Biltmore Avenue.

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8 — March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Utility slashes rate increase request Progress Energy, which had filed in October for about an 11 percent average rate increase across all customer classes, announced in late February that it has agreed to reduce the rate boost by about half. The state Utilities Commission is holding a series of hearings on the proposed rate incresae, with the next hearing scheduled at 7 p.m. March 5 at the Buncombe County Courthouse in Asheville. Progress reported that it has reached an agreement with the Utilities Commission Public Staff, calling for an average

4.7 percent increase across all customer classes for the first year and an additional 1 percent increase in the second year. Under the previous 11 percent plan, residential customers would have seen their rates rise by about 14.2 percent, or just less than $15 per month for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month. On Feb. 25, the UCPS filed a “notice of settlement in principle,” indicating it had reached a settlement with Progress to lower the rate boost and spread it over two years.

Leadership Asheville to join with UNCA

Nothing in U.S. ‘should be free,’ Burr tells CIBO

America is faced with a debt crisis and the federal government cannot cut its way out of it, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr told a group of business leaders during a Feb. 21 luncheon at Magnolia’s Raw Bar & Grille in downtown Asheville. Burr also said some Americans will have to pay more for benefits to help resolve the problem. He addressed the Council of Independent Owners on the issues facing the U.S. government and how those issues will affect individuals and their business. About 100 people attended. “I believe nothing in America should be free,” Burr asserted. “I believe everybody should have some skin in the game.” To that end, he said there needs to be a co-insurance fee of up to 50 percent for the wealthiest Americans on Medicare. Burr also sharply disagrees with President Barack Obama’s statement that the Social Security fund is financially sustainable. He noted that the government is set to enact the sequester, a series of sweeping budget cuts, after March 1. Then Congress will have until March 27 to reach a compromise before across-the-board cuts occur. The sequester, which would slice $85 billion from the federal government budget, is happening because Congress, a bipartisan committee and Obama could not agree on a budget that balances spending and debt. Burr said Republicans have tried to

However, the state Utilities Commission still must approve any increase.The panel could decide on the amended increase in May. Progress claims about 155,000 customers in 10 Western North Carolina counties. The utility said it needs the rate boost to pay for investments in the system that already have been made. The majority of the increase will be used to recover costs to modernize and replace less efficient coal plants with natural gas units.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr

Leadership Asheville, a leadership development organization, will join with UNC Asheville in the coming months, and transition away from its current status as an independent, nonprofit organization. The announcement was made Feb. 27, following discussions between leaders of the two organizations and a vote by the Leadership Asheville Board of Directors. For more than 30 years, Leadership Asheville has developed, connected and mobilized citizens through intensive programs and events focusing on community orientation and leadership development. More than 1,100 leaders from the business, nonprofit and education sectors have participated in the Leadership Asheville program. Leadership Asheville will become a part of the University Advancement office and will be structured to complement other community outreach efforts including the Family Business Forum and the division of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Through this new arrangement, both the university and Leadership Asheville will

bring their talents and assets together to increase leadership capacities in the community. Leadership Asheville functioned within UNCA from its beginning in 1982 until it changed to a private, nonprofit group in 2010. Bill Treasurer, chair of the board of Leadership Asheville, said, “We are re-establishing and re-imagining a long-standing relationship with UNC Asheville, so that both organizations can have an even greater impact on the community and the people who lead it. ‘Both organizations are jointly dedicated to developing leaders and to enhancing our wonderful community. For Leadership Asheville, this partnership will not only allow us to expand our educational programmatic offerings, but also allows us to deepen our impact on the community. The new partnership creates an opportunity that moves the Leadership Asheville organization from successful to significant.” Chancellor Anne Ponder added, “Leadership is the essential catalyst that brings a liberal arts education to life.”

bring new revenue ideas to the negotiations, such as having wealthy Americans pay part of Medicare, but were told by the Obama administration that it would only consider raising taxes as new revenue in any compromise. He said local business-owners need to take steps to help their communities. “If you are sitting and waiting for the federal government to solve it, you are making a big mistake in the interim, waiting for us to do the big things. “Do the small things here that help change people’s lives,” Burr urged the CIBO members.

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‘Vision of Black South?’ Boost public education, prof says From Staff Reports

SWANNANOA — The need to strengthen public education was emphasized in Timothy B. Tyson’s Feb. 10 address on “The Vision of the Black South” in Warren Wilson College Presbyterian Church. Tyson also touted the need for access to ballots and help with poverty. He criticized politicians for backing school vouchers, noting that “they’re paying people to leave public schools. That will leave public schools as holding pens.” Tyson said the conservatives and entrepreneurs “want the money from the schools.” What’s more, he noted, “We are in a perilous situation. White conservatives thought public education was a terrible idea” to begin with and now they are trying to slash them back. However, in Tyson’s view, “it’s a step” forward to provide public schools. “They’re going to do-in the public schools — and it’s going to be hard to build them back up” again, he warned. About 50 people attended the program and all were white except three guests accompanying Tyson. Tyson is probably best known as the author of “Blood Done Sign My Name,” which tells the story of the racial and sexual tension surrounding a 1970 lynching in Tyson’s hometown of Oxford, N.C. It was later turned into a movie. He serves as senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and visiting professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School.

The program began with some black gospel singing by Mary D. Williams, who is billed as an Afro-American historian studies performer of the song and narrative of the black Timothy B. Tyson South. Williams had the crowd clapping and swaying to the music. She noted that “the strength, the solidarity enabled these songs” — on plantations for slaves — “to be used to fight injustice.” Among the songs she performed were “All Over This Land,” “Wade in the Water,” “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep No More” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round.” Following Wilson’s performance, Tyson began his talk, noting, “We’re complicated creatures.” He said human beings have “no hooves or armor” and “we’re not so strong or fast. So we’re nervous, and it makes us violent.” He said Joseph Stalin, the dictator of the Soviet Union, once said that “you can’t shoot everybody.” However, Tyson added wryly, Stalin still managed to shoot 20 million of his countrymen.

After a pause, he asserted, “Nuclear weapons plus ethnic hatred is the formula for the end of the world.” Referring to the songs Williams had performed earlier, Tyson said, “Spirituals are the theology of an unlettered people. That’s why they’re so good. The ones that didn’t perform a useful function are gone.” He also expressed frustration with churches that have not become involved via social activism. During a question-and-answer session, someone asked Tyson about the “school to prison pipeline.” “There’s not really a pipeline,” Tyson replied. “It’s not like it’s automatic, but we’re letting it happen.” He added, “White children use drugs about half a percentage point higher than black children, but we hurt (black children) for sport.” Worse, “I don’t see the political will to stop it ... If we had really good public education, we could take some people out of the pipeline.” More pragmatically, Tyson said, “There’s no substitute for political victory. In the end, it’s ‘get out the vote.’” A man in the audience asked, “What can we do? The government’s been bought in Raleigh by a major interest.” “One thing is, there’s a movement happening,” Tyson said in reference to the NAACP. Also, he touted progressives, noting they favor greater access to the ballot box. “I believe the Asheville NAACP is in

mothballs right now,” he noted. “It used to be powerful ... So I want you to join the NAACP. If you keep showing up, you’ll get to know people. It’s a great thing.” He then urged those at his talk to “join your NAACP. White people can belong. It’s just got black leadership... The freedom struggle always has been biracial on both sides.” Tyson serves as the education chair for the North Carolina NAACP. Regarding poverty, Tyson said, “Things are hard. We’ve got bad unemployment in this state.” Tyson also cited an African-American proverb, which states, “We’ll know how the story goes when the fight starts.”

LETTERS 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:

10 —March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet


Continued from Page 1

His book is set “in the aftermath of the 1970s landlord fires in the Bronx. It tells of three friends in their attempt to connect watersheds, city parks and forest fragments via corridors of flowering plants, restoring biodiversity to the streets and awakening communities to the soil beneath their feet.” Birk began his talk by reviewing how he got to where he is now. After graduating from Oberlin College, he worked in gardening and eventually became a park ranger at Central Park in the Bronx area. He said he is sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts and is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio’s “Radio Lab” program. Prior to his talk, Birk had spent a couple days as a guest lecturer at WWC, addressing a number of classes. Birk began his address by noting that “Warren Wilson College, by far, is one of the most spectacular campuses I’ve seen ... You’re way of life and working pretty much embodies the ethos” of environmental consciousness. Regarding his “Pollinator’s Corridor” book, he said, “This project began in 2003. I graduated from Oberlin (College). I worked my way up to Central Park — a 70acre tract in New York City. It was gritty, sometimes we found bullets — even animal carcases had to be picked up... “In 2005, I quit my job, packed my bags and bummed around Europe.” “People were basically torching their buildings — the Bronx was almost taken off the map ... With drugs and crime, people were torching” their buildings to collect on the insurance value. “The sky’s on fire — the world is wrecked,” Birk said of his assessment at the time. “The real question is, where do we go from here? How does a meadow cross the road?” The late mythologist Joseph Campbell “wrote this amazing book, ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces,’” Birk said. Campbell’s book inspired Steven Spielberg to produce the “Star Wars” series of movies, he noted. In his interpretation of Campbell’s “hero’s journey,” Birk said Campbell found that mythology can be defined by a certain thread, where a basic pattern is found in many narratives from around the world. These narratives “keep repeating themeslves.” Continuing, Birk said, “Every single accomplishment begins with an idea.” After showing a map of the Bronx, he said, “I don’t want to say ‘wasteland’ — I’ll say, ‘industrial landscape” because it is the home to many people. “The honeybee, I believe, can fly a mile from the hive — maybe farther,” he said. (Other sources say honeybees fly up to two or three miles from their hives to forage. Birk noted that he is not a beekeeper.) He then spoke of the corridors that are used to cross cities by birds, bees and other creatures, saying they “are like capillaries... Hopefully, someday, these can be the flowering highways of biodiversity.” Turning to his artistic interests, he said, “I really love comic books... You promote the fear ... Discharging of the boundaries in the inside and outside ... Adventurour epic story versus a lesson plan that teaches need to unpack. “Incorporating the urban and the agricultural. The anarchy is the important part... We can no longer depend on an overarching systems to keep us alive. .. It depends on your taking this into your own hands.” Birk added, “Where I come from, we’re all in it together... With all these forces

crammed together, somehow ... we can find some harmony.” “The promise of the bright future of our parents and grandparents ... that’s gone now” with the changes wrought by the recent severe recession, he said. “I was really happy flying into Asheville from Charlotte, seeing the landscape soften,” Birk said. Nonetheless, he noted, “We live in a very stark era... Just over the border in West Virginia, about 500 mountaintops have been blasted off....” “In real life, I don’t think guerilla gardening is the best way.... (“Guerrilla gardening is gardening on land that the gardeners do not have legal right to use, often an abandoned site or area not cared for by anyone,” according to Wikipedia.) An April 14, 2011 story in The Washington Post described “guerilla gardening” as “civil disobedience with a twist: Vegetable patches and sunflower gardens planted on decrepit medians and in derelict lots in an effort to beautify inner-city eyesores or grow healthful food in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh food.” Birk noted, “I don’t have anything against seed-tossing,” he said. (Also known as “seed bombs,” golf-ball-size lumps of mud are packed with wildflower seeds, clay and a little bit of compost and water.) However, he said, “I think working in collaboration, cooperatively is the best way to restore things to their natural .... health.” To that end, Birk asserted, “If the coast of New Jersey had had normal coastal grasses, the inpact of Hurricane Sandy would have been much reduced.” Turning to adaptability, he said Bradford pear trees are considered an invasive tree, with pears that “aren’t very good,” but “you could cut it down to its roots and graft a normal pear” and it “grows well” and produces tasty pears. “There are always ways to adapt,” he said. Changing subjects, he asked, “What are people supposed to eat?” The answer, he said, revolves around the honeybee. He said the honeybee is a key pollinator of many plants, resulting in the foods that Americans depend on for their sustenance. “But it’s also an immigrant,” as there were no native honeybees in America before the arrival of the Europeans. “It (the honeybee) exists in domestication. You have to work” with them, to some degree, to keep them alive. While there are about 5,000 species of native bees and butterflies, they “have been largely knocked out,” Birk said. He then told of a poor neighborhood in the Bronx, where, “instead of a ribbon, crime-scene tape” was snipped to officially open a guerilla garden, and “instead of the mayor, they just had kids in the neighborhood cut the ribbon.” With an obvious sense of wonder, Birk then spoke of the importance of chlorophyll, which, he noted, is vital for photosynthesis, allowing plants to obtain energy from light. Further, he asserted, “At this point in time, I don’t like the term ‘ecology,’” feeling that it carries too much negative baggage with it. Upon leaving his ranger job in the Bronx, Birk said he realize there was much potential for calamaties. “The power could go out, the dollar could crash — where do you go? Your turn within yourself.” To that end, he said, “Warren Wilson College is so amazing ... You guys are well on your way to becoming a self-sufficient campus.” He lamented that many of the environmental policies created in the 1970s were later dumped or relaxed. Next, he slammed the practice of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing — the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale

rocks to release natural gas inside. Besides using huge amounts of water, he said the process uses “many very toxic chemicals.” Further, Birk said, “They release untold amounts of greenhouse gases.” Speaking of the Asheville area, he said, “I understand the mountains here become a conduit for air pollution from the north.” Changing topics, he said. “The Buddha said life is (physical and psychological) pain and suffering” because it is impermanant and ever-changing. And that suffering exists because of individuals’ desires and attachments. Despite the suffering, Birk said, the Buddha said individuals “have a responsibility to keep a certain amount of heart and radiance ... You can’t let it get you down.” He spoke of visiting the honey-hunters of Nepal. “They live in the forest and hunt the wild Himilayan honeybee — a very aggressive form of honeybee. “They start by honoring” all of nature. “Their view of agriculture and food is so different from ours... There’s something we can learn from them. “These people are living almost completely off-the-grid.” “I think there’s something to be gained by the marriage of (the ideas of the) east and west. Each have qualities worth preserving.” Nonetheless, he was critical of aspects of Western culture. “If you look closely, you can see underpinnings of our Colonial culture,” Birk said. “The crime of our settlement on this continent is not to be overlooked.” “Bees are not the center of the whole universe,” he said., noting their are other winged pollinators. For instance, “a bat from the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico” pollinates agave plants, which produce sweet syrup and tequila. During a brief question-and-answer pe-

riod, someone asked about his book, “When did he see the bridge of importance of nature and tie-in” with the industrial world? “This book was really hard because I don’t have an affinity for the place (the Bronx),” Birk replied. “I still don’t like going there.” He was asked whether he preferred today’s urban decay situation better than that of the 1970s. “I many ways, I like the New York from the past, with cars up on blocks” along the streets, Birk answered. “The New York of today is more monolythic.” On another question, Birk said, “Simply put, the survival of the honeybee seems to be most successful in small, urban applications.” He added that he has “a sense of deep reverence and respect” for the WWC bee-student crew. (WWC’s apiary incudes about seven hives. An eighth colony did not survive the winter.) He also said the honeybee has become an unwitting co-conspirator in feeding the world.” In an interview afterward, Birk told the Daily Planet, “Without the honeybee, food as we know it would be too expensive to afford. We’d have (only) potatoes and corn.” When pressed, Birk said that, despite the current decline of honeybee populations in the U.S., he is optimistic about them springing back. However, he said, “It might require” a collapse of American society. Does he compare the honeybees’ demise to the canary in the coal mine, in the same way indicating wider dangers to everyone else? “The honeybees’ demise would be the mine caving in,” he said. Birk also said he likes a quote of authorbeekeeper Michael Bush that “it’s better to have 60,000 beekeepers with one hive rather than one beekeepers with 60,000 hives.”

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Fitness & Diet

Special Section PULLOUT

and Calendar of Events

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 — 11

How can communities combat obesity? By JOHN NORTH

Asheville-area groups hoping to increase awareness about the importance of community design, especially how it might affect one’s health, viewed several films on the topic on Feb. 18 at the N.C. Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville. Specifically, the health enthusiasts are watching films from the PBS documentary series “Designing Healthy Communities.” Another set of videos from the series will be shown 6-9 p.m. March 25 at UNCA. Dave Gardner, executive director of the center, welcomed those who attended. He then introduced Terri March of the Buncombe County Health Department. March noted the collaboration among several groups as well as the presence of exhibtors. “And I’d be chastised if I didn’t plug the Department of Health.” In the first film, Dr. Richard Jackson, a UCLA professor specializing in the impact of environment on health, noted, “We’re looking at the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents,” largely because of obesity and the problem it spawns. Jackson said Americans “need to redesign our car-centric environment, retrofitting suburbia.” More specifically, he asserted that “building communities for cars — not people — is responsible for the Type 2 Diabetes” epidemic that is sweeping the United States. “Diabetes alone, which has doubled in the last 20 years, costs 2 percent of GNP (gross national product),” Jackson said. “It’s a crushing cost.” (He later said the annual cost is

$200 billion to treat diabetics in the U.S. On the dietary side of the equation, Jackson said, “We need to make fruits and vegetables as cheap as fast food... Fast food is a disaster” for many Americans because “obesity greatly increases the likelihood of diabetes.” The situation is so dire that “half the children in the pediatric clinics” already have Type 2 Diabetes. What’s more, Jackson said, “Three-fourths of the kids in California can’t pass a simple Dr. Richard Jackson fitness test.” He added, “A person who becomes diabetic by age 35 looks at a 15-year reduction” in lifespan. The film showed Raymond, a diabetic who narrowly avoided having to undergo amputation of a foot that developed gangrene — and he did not realize it. Raymond underwent hyperbaric high-pressure oxygen therapy that saved his foot. However, many other Americans are not so lucky and Jackson reported that there were about 78,000 amputations “caused by diabetes last year.” He also noted that “79,000 of us are pre-diabetic.” He said that “when everyone starts to get the same symptoms, it’s something in our environment.”

Prior to 1908, when Henry Ford began mass production of the Model T, most of the U.S., except for some large cities, was built in a relatively healthy way. After that, though, America began designing everything for “a car-dependent sprawl... Country life became substandard for the middle class. After World War II, the car was the principle means of transportation” and “suburbia developed.” The doctor said that “we live among three triangles,” including “where we sleep, where we shop and where we work.” Pausing, he asked, rhetorically, “How might we better measure happiness? Surveys show a steady decline in happiness since the 1950s” in the U.S., Jackson said. “Sitting in a car (for long periods) is not healthy for us. We need to change that book, called the Master Plan,” for most communities. “Once you’re a teenager or elderly, suburbia gets to be isolating... “ Particularly for the elderly, “unless someone picks you up in a little bus, you can sit alone in your house,” rarely coming into contact with anyone. For both teenagers and the elderly the isolation often breeds depression and “depression is serious because it often can lead to suicide.” As the film shows, abandoned shopping centers or dead malls provide locations to redesign into mixed use conversions that are more healthful places to live, work and play. Jackson also noted that “people who live in communities with light rail are, on average, six pounds lighter than others. He praised Charlotte as “one of the cities that did it.” Light rail is about 20 times less air-polluting than cars,” he said. “In redesigning a healthier America, we need to do it for people, not cars,” Jackson said. “I do think this is the future.”

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12 - March 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. 288148490. Submissions will be accepted and printed at the discretion of the editor, space permitting. To place an ad for an event, call 252-6565.

Friday, March 1

AFTER-HOURS CABARET, 6 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. Headliner band Free Planet Radio will be among the performers in a cabaret-style show featuring music, dance and comedy. The event is a fundraiser for ArtSpace Charter School. For tickets, which are $20, call 257-4530 or visit AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION, 7 p.m., Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Ariel Djanikian, an author, will present her debut fiction novel, “The Office of Mercy.” PAN HARMONIA CONCERT, 7 p.m., The Classic Wineseller 20 Church St., Waynesville. Pan Harmonia will perform in a “Prélude to an Aperitif” concert. There is a $10 per person minimum food or wine purchase and a suggested donation of $5 to $20 each. SPRING CONCERT, 7 p.m. Moore Auditorium, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill. The Belly Mountain Cloggers will perform in a spring concert that will be presented at 7 p.m. March 1-2 and at 3 p.m. March 3. The show, “One Dancer’s Journey From Ordinary to Extraordinary,” will feature clogging, hip-hop and musical theater. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for ages 6 and younger. OPERETTA, 7 p.m., Pingree Theater, Christ School, 500 Christ School Road, Arden. “The

Park St., Canton. Balsam Range and Cordele, Jackson & Salley will perform in concert. For tickets, call 235-2760. CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 789 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. The Blue Ridge Orchestra will present a concert titled “An Evening of Beethoven and Bizet.” General admission is by donation.

Sunday, March 3

Jim Quick and Coastline will perform at 8 p.m. March 1 at the Party Place & Event Center in Saluda. Mikado,” an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, will be performed at 7 p.m. March 1-2. It will be performed at 3 p.m. March 3. For tickets, which are $28 for the general public and $15 for those 18 and younger, visit BEACH MUSIC DANCE, 8 p.m., The Party Place & Event Center, Friendship Church Road, Saluda. Jim Quick and Coastline will perform beach music at the dance.

Saturday, March 2

AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION, 3 p.m., Montford Books & More, 31 Montford Ave., Asheville. Jim Stokely, author and son of the late author Wilma Dykeman, will read passages from her works and discuss his own novel, “Warehouse.” AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION, 5:30 p.m., Grateful Steps Bookstore, 159 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Author Deborah Schlag will present her book, “Becoming the Healer.” AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION, 7 p.m., Firestorm Café and Books, 48 Commerce St., downtown Asheville. Author Dielle Ciesco will present her new book, “The Unknown Mother: A Magical Walk With the Goddess of Sond.” CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Colonial Theatre, 53

RECITAL, 3 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. The Asheville Lyric Opera will present internationally acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee in recital. For recital tickets, call 257-4530. CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT, 3 p.m., First Congregational Church, 5th Avenue, Hendersonville. The Hendersonville Chamber Music Series will feature the NGU Quintet, led by pianist Fabio Parrini, in concert. For tickets, which are $60 for the series or $17 for the concert, visit www.

Monday, March 4

CELLIST CONCERT, noon, Scott Concert Hall, Porter Center, Brevard College, Brevard. Cellist Alistair MacRae will perform in a free show. GREEN PARTY MEETING, 6 p.m., upstairs, Fortune Building, 729 Haywood Rd., Asheville. The Buncombe County Green Party will a monthly business meeting that is open to the public.

Tuesday, March 5

FILM, 7 p.m., A.K. Hinds University Center, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. “A New Lens” film series will feature “Iron-Jawed Angels.” PROGRESS/DUKE RATE HIKE HEARING, 7 p.m., District Courthroom 1 in the basement, Buncombe County Courthouse, downtown Asheville. The North Carolina Utilities Commission will hold its Asheville public hearing on Progress Energy/Duke’s proposed 14 percent rate increase. In addition, critics say the utility’s business plan does not include wind, solar, or expansion of energy efficiency.

See CALENDAR, Page 13

$2 Tuesdays

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

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 — 13

Chuck Brodsky

Friday, March 8 • 8 p.m. Tickets $12

David Grier

Saturday, March 9 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15

The Canadian folk-music and dance group Leahy will perform at 8 p.m. March 5 in Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville.

Calendar of Events Continued from Page 12

Tuesday, March 5

WORLD AFFAIRS LECTURE, 7:30 p.m., Manheimer Room, Reuter Center, UNC Asheville. Linda Cornett will address “The Eurozone: Crisis and Imperfectons” in the Great Decisions Lecture Series, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina. Admission is free for WAC-WNC members and UNCA students and $8 for all others. LEAHY CONCERT, 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. The Canadian folk-music group Leahy will perform in concert on two consecutive nights, March 5-6. For tickets, which are $38 for the general public, $33 for students and $18 for ages 12 and younger, call 257-4530 or visit

Wednesday, March 6

HOLOCAUST LECTURE, 7 p.m., Alumni Hall, Highsmith University Union, UNC Asheville. Dr. Walter Ziffer will address “How the Holocaust Shaped My Life.”

Thursday, March 7

“GREASE” MUSICAL, 7 p.m., North Buncombe High School, 89- Clarks Chapel Road, Weaverville. NBHS will present the musical “Grease” at 7 p.m. March 7-9 and 2:30 p.m. March 10. For advance tickets, which are $8, call 645-4221. At the door, tickets are $10. PAN HARMONIA CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Broyhill Chapel, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill. Pan Harmonia will perform in a “Rare Modern Treats” concert. Admission is free.

Friday, March 8

DANCE PRESENTATION, 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. River North Dance Chicago will be presented at 8 p.m. March 8-9. Tickets are $40 for the general public, $35 for students and $15 for ages 12 and younger.

Saturday, March 9

DELBERT McCLINTON CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., The Foundation Performing Arts Center, Isothermal Community College, Spindale. Delbert McClinton, singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player whose music blends blues, country and blue-eyed soul, will perform. For tickets, which are $24 to $29 for adults and $8 for youths, call 286-9990 or visit

Sunday, March 10

PAN HARMONIA CONCERT, 5 p.m., Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., downtown Asheville. Pan Harmonia will perform in a concert that flips the script on César Franck’s Sonata in A Major, with Kate Steinbeck interpreting the work on

a wooden flute, accompanied by Fabio Parrini on piano. Tickets are $12 in advance at www. At the door, tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. CONCERT, 7 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. Robin Bullock will perform in the UUCA’s monthly coffeehouse concert series. For tickets, which are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, call 299-4171 or visit

Tuesday, March 12

WORLD AFFAIRS LECTURE, 7:30 p.m., Manheimer Room, Reuter Center, UNC Asheville. Paul Manarella will address “Iran, Israel and the Bomb” in the Great Decisions Lecture Series, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina. Admission is free for WAC-WNC members and UNCA students and $8 for all others.

Thursday, March 14

“LIES” LECTURE, 7 p.m., Lecture Hall, Rhodes-Robinson, UNC Asheville. Dr. James Loewen will present a lecture on “The Most Important Era in U.S. History You’ve Never Heard of and Why It’s Important Today.” He is the author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.”

Friday, March 15

COMMUNITY TREE CONFERENCE, 9 a..m., Center for Graduate Studies, Lenoir-Rhyne University, 36 Montford Ave., Asheville. A Community Tree Conference will be held March 15-16. For details, contact Asheville GreenWorks at 254-1776.

Saturday, March 16

SYMPHONY CONCERT, 8 p.m., U.S. Cellular Center, Haywood Street, downtown Asheville. The Asheville Symphony Orchestra will perform “The American Four Seasons,” with guest violinist Tim Fain.

Sunday, March 17

ETHICS LECTURE/DISCUSSION, 2-3:30 p.m., Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Rd., Asheville. “What We Live For” will be presented by Bart Warden, executive director of the American Ethical Union, at the monthly meeting of the Ethical Society of Asheville. A discussion period will follow his address.

Tuesday, March 19

DANCE PERFORMANCE, 8 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. Dance company Pilobolus will perform a show billed as a mix of humor, invention and drama. For tickets, which are $48 for the general public, $43 for students and $20 for ages 12 and younger, call 257-4530 or visit

See CALENDAR, Page 16

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band

Sunday, March 10 • 7 p.m. Tickets $25

Caravan of Thieves

Friday, March 15 • 8 p.m. Tickets $12 in advance/$15 day of show

Jamie Laval

Saturday, March 16 • 8 p.m. Tickets $18, $10 for students Sunday, March 17 • 7 p.m. Tickets $18, $10 for students

Garrison Starr & P.J. Pacifico Wednesday, March 20 • 8 p.m. Tickets $8

Tom Rush

Thursday, March 21 • 8 p.m. Tickets $25 in advance/$30 day of show $50 for VIP tickets that include a CD and a meet-and-greet with Tom

Carrie Newcomer

Friday, March 22 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15

Music on the Rock feat, The Music of Neil Diamond

Mon., March 25, Tues., March 26 • 8 p.m. Tickets $24

April Verch

Friday, March 29 • 8 p.m. Tickets $17

Big Daddy Love

Saturday, March 30 • 8 p.m. Tickets $10

Coming Soon:

April 4th - Martin Taylor April 5th - Jonathan Edwards April 6th - Glen Phillips (from Toad the Wet Sprockett]) April 7th - Jim Herst April 13th - Deborah Henson Corant

May 4th - Leon Redbone May 5th - John Vezner May 11th - Seth Walker May 24th - Hayseed Dixie May 28th - James McCartney (son of Paul McCartney)

18 Church St. • DowntownAsheville Get tickets at (828) 348-5327 or

14 - March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 — 15

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FILM, 7 p.m., A.K. Hinds University Center, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. “A New Lens” film series will feature “Women Art Revolution.”

Thursday, March 21

TOM RUSH CONCERT, 8 p.m., The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., downtown Asheville. Tom Rush, a longtime folk-blues singer-songwriter and guitar player will perform. For tickets, which are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the show, visit

Saturday, March 23

ISAACS CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. The Isaacs will perform in concert. For tickets, call 524-1598 or visit

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Monday, March 25 A Grown UpFolk-blues Wishsinger-songwriter-guitarFrom Santa! NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE CONCERT, 8 p.m., The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., downtown Asheville. The Flat Rock Playhouse’s Music on the Rock series will feature a tribute show, “The Music of Neil Diamond.” The show will be presented at 8 p.m. March 25-26. For tickets, which are $24, visit

Wednesday, March 27

ALICIA KEYS CONCERT, 8 p.m., Event Center, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Cherokee. Superstar rhythm and blues singer Alicia Keys will make her first area appearance. A 14-time Grammywinner, Keys is famed as a singer-songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and activist in the fight against HIV and AIDS. She is touring in support of her latest recording, “Girl on Fire,” released in November. The concert is open to those ages 21 and older. For tickets, visit or call (800) 745-3000.

Friday, March 29

THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. The Lovin’ Spoonful will perform in concert. The famous 1960s rock band scored major hits with a number of songs, including “Summer in the City” and “Do You Believe in Magic?” For tickets, call 524-1598 or visit

Monsday, April 1




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ist Tom Rush will perform in cncert at 8 p.m. March 21 at The Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville.

Lecture Hall, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa. Alan Jenkins will address social justice in the Academia and Activism Speaker Series.

Tuesday, April 2

FILM, 7 p.m., A.K. Hinds University Center, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. “A New Lens” film series will feature “We Were Here.” ANTI-FRACKING FILM, 7 p.m., Asheville Friends Meeting, 227 Edgewood Road, Asheville. Following a potluck snack, Clean Water N.C. will screen “Message From Marcellus,” a film about fracking. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

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Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 — 17

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Like a string band on steroids


FRANKLIN — The Carolina Chocolate Drops, reportedly one of the two full-time African-American old-time string bands, unveiled a winning combination of eyepopping showmanship and uncanny ability to connect with the crowd, along with stellar musical ability, during a Feb. 22 concert at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. However, the ultra-high-energy concert was not only entertaining but educational as well, as it featured a number of interludes during which group members told of the contributions by blacks to the musical genre over the years — from the invention of the banjo in Africa that was brought to the new world, to some of the little-known AfricanAmerican string band musical innovators. The Durham-based Drops noted the irony of the period after the Civil War when the banjo became popular among mainstream Americans ... and white performers would play that instrument in minstrel shows — in blackface. On the Drops’ website, Rhiannon Giddens, one of the group’s two remaining founding members, noted, “The more digging you do, the more you realize how amazingly mixed everything has been since the beginning. I’m really getting into minstrel-era music and the tunes are remarkable.... “The minstrel stuff hasn’t had a bigger stage because of the objectionable lyrics and its history. It takes a group like us — we’re young, we’re black, we can say that we’re going to play these tunes — to dig in

Daily Planet Staff Photo

The Carolina Chocolate Drops (from left) are Leyla McCall, Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins. and get this music back out there.” Regarding the issue of race today, Giddens told the crowd that she was from the Greensboro area and “there’s a whole race thing going on” there. After much consideration of many aspects of the situation, she said, “I’ve realized I’m Southern before anything else.” The crowd of about 1,000 people, the vast majority of whom were white, cheered. From the start of the concert, the crowd applauded the Drops’ performance, bestowing upon them several standing ovations throughout the show, as well as after the last song of the regular 90-minute show and the encore that generously included two songs. “Read ‘em John,” a ring shout, was the closer, which the group dedicated to marking the 150th anniversary of the

Emancipation Proclamation. Besides Giddens, the other Drops are Dom Flemons, who acted as main emcee for the show, sang lead on a number of songs, played guitar and a number of percussion instruments (including the bones and the jub) and even danced; guitar-banjomandolin player Hubby Jenkins and cellist Leyla McCall, Two highlights of the show were the Drops’ rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Jackson,” featuring Giddens and Jenkins on lead vocals in a rip-roaring performance; and the hauntingly exquisite ballad, “Leaving Eden,” with Giddens singing lead. On “Jackson,” the group began it at a breakneck speed — and it was loud and rollicking. Then the Drops suddenly slowed it down and nearly whispered the lyrics, be-

fore flooring it again at full throttle, as the crowd cheered merrily. Giddens noted that “Leaving Eden” references Eden, N.C. She added that the song tells about the tragedy for families who are left bereft when a big industry leaves a small town. Among the other standout songs performed were “Going Down the River Feeling Bad,” “Buck Creek Girls,” “Old Corn Liquor” and “Cornbread and Butterbeans.” At one point, Flemons and Giddens told the crowd that they met at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone in 2005 — and later formed the Drops. At the end of the concert, Flemons asserted, on behalf of the group, “Y’all have been a beautiful audience and it’s been a pleasure to play for you all evening.”

18 - March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Faith Notes 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, March 1

SEMINAR, 7 p.m., Arden Seventh-day Adventist Church, 35 Airport Rd., Arden. The chuch will continue its seminar series at the same time March 1-2. Karl Haffner will lead “Can I Trust God to Change Me?” He serves as senior pastor of The Kettering Church in Kettering, Ohio, and mission strategist for Kettering Health Network. Admission is free. Sonic Sanctuary, 9 p.m.-7 a.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. A Sonic Sanctuary event will feature speakers, music, dance, art, costumes and creativity. The program will include a night of deep listening and sonic transmissions, encompassing deeper states of sound from a plethora of sonic alchemists. The event is billed as “an evening for the mind, body and soul” with sonic enlightenment via pure electronic frequency transmissions. Attendees are asked to bring a vegetarian, vegan or non-vegetarian dish to share. In addition, there will be a dress-to-your-dimension costume contest, so attendees are asked to show up as a fairy, gnome, alien, angel or whatever. The event will end at 7 a.m. after yoga and meditation. A $5 love donation will be taken.

Saturday, March 2

WOMEN’S LENTEN PROGRAM, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 109 Crescent Hill Road, Arden. A women’s Lenten program will be preceded at 9 a.m. by Mass. The program will feature music by Jeanne Naber, small-group discussions, lunch and door prizes. Admission is free

Sunday, March 3

SUPPORT GROUP MEETING, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Unity Church of Asheville, 130 Shelburne Rd., Asheville. The Chronic Pain Support group will meet to share compassion, love and support for those suffering with chronic pain of any kind, as well as for family, friends and supportes. Damon Rouse, a physical therapist, will be the guest speaker. CELLO CHOIR CONCERT, 3 p.m. St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 1 Dundee St., Asheville. The Asheville Cello Choir will perform.

Tuesday, March 5

STUDY GROUP MEETING, 2-4 p.m., Unity Church

of Asheville, 130 Shelburne Rd., Asheville. The Edgar Cayce Study Group will meet each week. 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 on matters spiritual and otherwise. A love offering will be taken. FAITH/MENTAL ILLNESS TALK, 7-8:30 p.m., Western Highlands Network, 356 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. Nancy Kehoe, RSCJ, Ph.D., will address “Creating Environments of Hospitality For Those Living With Mental Illness.” She works with faith-based communities to expand understanding of mental illness.

Wednesday, March 6

MARTIN LUTHER SEMINAR, 6:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church. 235 St. John’s Road, Suite 50, Fletcher. The finale of a series of seminars on Martin Luther will be led by Dr. Douglas Johnson. Admission is free. SPIRITUAL CIRCLE, 7-9 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The Rev. Pat Veenema, associate minister, will discuss whatever questions attendees bring to the circle. A love offering will be taken.

Friday, March 8

CHOIR CONCERT, 3 p.m., St. James Episcopal Church, 766 N. Main St., Hendersonville. The Carolina Concert Choir will perform in concert.

Saturday, March 9

CORNBREAD/CHILI COOKOFF, 2-5 p.m., Swanannoa United Methodist Church, 216 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. A cornbread and chili cookoff willl be held as a fundraiser for Chase Samaritan Assisted Living. Admission is $5. For informationa about enterting the cookoff, call Mary Ann Wasson at 298-5467. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY RALLY, 4 p.m., Fletcher Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1141 Howard Gap Road, Naples. The rally will feature Lincoln Stead, editor of Liberty Magazine. CONCERT/DINNER, 6:30 p.m., Congregation Beth HeTephila, 43 N. Liberty St., Asheville. A dinner will be held and the band Simple Folk will perform in concert. For tickets, which are $30, call 253-4911.

Wednesday, March 13

QUANTUM TOUCH PROGRAM, 7-9 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Pam Hurst will lead an introduction to Quantum Touch. A love offering will be taken.

Sunday, March 24

PALM SUNDAY LUNCHEON, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 227 Cumberland Ave., Asheville. The Greek Ladies Philoptochos of the church will hold their annual Palm Sunday Luncheon. The take-out line will open at 10:30 a.m. A variety of Greek dishes will be offered. Prices will range from $1 to $16. Those who are wanting to takeout meals may call 2533754 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 254-4754 on the day of the luncheon.

Wednesday, March 27

ENNEAGRAM CLASS, 7-9 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The Rev. Pat Veenema will lead a three-week class, March 27-April 110 on the enneagram, wich is a model for human personality, partly based on earlier teachings by Gurdjieff. A love offering will be taken.

Friday, March 29

2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Communion, Betrayal, Forgiveness. How do we love Him? The service will offer a walk — metaphorically speaking — with the Master Jesus in the last week of His life. Experience this deeply meaningful service of remembrance in word and song. All are welcome. Childcare provided. A love offering will be taken.

Saturday, March 30

EASTER EGG HUNT, 2-4 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Swannanoa, 372 Bee Tree Rd., Swannanoa. The annual Easter egg hunt will be held.

Sunday, March 31

EASTER SERVICE, 7:30 a.m., amphitheater, Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. A “Sonrise” service will be held amidst singing birds and a babbling creek. The service will be held indoors if the weather is rainy. At 9:30 and 11 a.m., indoor Easter services will be held.


GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE, 7:30 p.m., Unity Center,

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Saturday, March 16

YOGA WORKSHOP, 2-4 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Information will be provided on the Five Stages of Wisdom and the Life Cycles and Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, with kriyas, meditation gong bath and personal introspection.

Wednesday, March 20

FILM, 7-9 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The movie “I Am” will be screened. A discussion will follow, led by the Rev. Pat Vaneema. A love offering will be taken.

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

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891-8700 / 684-3798 Sunday Services 9:30am & 11:00am Serving WNC for 60 years

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

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013— 19


Advertising Correction

Continued from Page 1 Regarding weapons, Bothwell cited the following from the ordinanance: “With the exception of law enforcement officers acting within the scope of their duties, no firearms or dangerous weapons of any kind, as defined by federal, state and local laws, may be possessed by any participant in a parade or by any person engaged in picketing.” The press release ends by referencing Bothwell’s bid for re-election, noting that he “ is an investigative reporter, builder, organic gardener and public servant. In addition, he leads a jail ministry affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville.” Bothwell has said that, if re-elected, he will continue to seek environmental sustainability, “equal rights” for all citizens, retaining control of the city water system, support of local businesses and public financing of local elections. Bothwell was first elected in 2009. Filing for council opens in July. In a letter to the editor in the Feb. 28 edition of the Citizen-Times, John Huie praised Bothwell’s accomplisments on council and said he looked forward to his next term. “During his first term, Cecil’s voice has been strong, independent, creative and visionary in speaking out for all the citizens of our city, not merely the privileged few,” wrote Huie, who is the former director of N.C. Outward Bound School, former director of Warren Wilson College’s Environmental Leadership School and a national educational consultant. “Cecil Bothwell is fearless. I know him personally as a man of honesty, integrity and intelligence. He is as real as they come. And while you may not always agree with Cecil on the issues (though I do the vast majority of the time), you will always know where he stands,” Huie stated. Meanwhile, the Asheville Tea Party said

An ad for Broadway’s in February’s Daily Planet omitted Sunday’s operating hours. It should have said Broadway’s is open seven days a week: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday

City Councilman Cecil Bothwell in a recent statement promoting a discussion on a local radio talk show that “Cecil Bothwell, Asheville City Council member, wants to have conceal carry permit holders arrested who attended the Day of Resistance Rally on Saturday, 2/23, at the Vance Monument. “He ignores his own city attorney. MACPAC organizers asked permission and got it. Also, “The law as stated to us by Captain Stoney Gonce of the Asheville Police Department is that it is legal to conceal carry as long as you have the proper permit and it is also legal to open carry at Pack Square Park. So if you would like to open carry this Saturday, feel free to do so. If you do decide to open-carry, please be responsible with your firearm. ALSO KNOW THAT THE ASHEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS FULLY AWARE OF OUR RALLY. If you break the law, you will be arrested.” This (the aforementioned statement) was posted on FB at MACPAC site last week, the Asheville Tea Party noted.

A response from gun rally organizers EDITOR’S NOTE: The Daily Planet received the following statement on Feb. 26 titled “MACPAC response to Cecil Bothwell on 2A rally:” • MACPAC looks to Councilman (Cecil) Bothwell for cooperation, not divisiveness. On Saturday, Feb. 23, over a hundred Western North Carolina citizens took to Pack Square in support of their constitutional right to bear arms. This was one of the largest peaceful rallies in recent Asheville history. Speakers at the event included Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, former congressional candidate; Dr. Carl Mumpower, former Asheville city councilman; and Kevin King, managing editor of The Asheville Tribune. City Councilman Cecil Bothwell responded to the event by saying that the event organizers were “apparently ignorant of the law.” MACPAC, as organizers of the event, take great offense at such a divisive comment made by a public servant. “We worked very closely with local law enforcement when planning this event,” said King, event speaker and founding member of MACPAC. “We wanted to make sure that all laws were obeyed in our peaceful event. That’s why our first phone call was to the Asheville Police Department.” MACPAC received not only a complete clarification of APD’s expectations, but followed them to a “T” and had the full support of law enforcement that was on hand at the rally to ensure there were no issues. “If there were ordinances broken, it was not intentional, as we followed the rules

laid out by APD, who referenced the city attorney,” stated Timothy Elkin, event organizer. “We abided by every expectation given to us.” “I think that Councilman Bothwell should be with us, not against us. His campaign website states ‘The intent of the resolution is to make it absolutely clear that Asheville embraces the Bill of Rights and that our law enforcement officers will not target enforcement efforts based on… political beliefs…or any other arbitrary categorization,’” added King. “The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, and every American should be able to stand behind every amendment, regardless of political affiliation. Councilman Bothwell has a record of being vocal about changing current policies in the name of equality. I encourage him to join us in changing city policies to be more favorable to the Bill of Rights. Stand with us, Councilman.” (MACPAC is an unaffiliated group of concerned citizens. Our goal is the promotion of limited, and responsible government. Open to any party affiliation. For more information go to, follow us on Facebook at or email at info@ Thank you, Jonathan Elkin Chairman/Logistics Coordinator — MACPAC

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20 — March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Daily Planet’s Opinion

Letters to the Editor

Obama personally stimulates Asheville economy with visits

Reader sides with pundit against women in combat

Is North Carolina manufacturing dead?

STEM idea touted as good, but location termed poor

Whether one likes or abhors President Barack Obama’s political policies, there is no denying that his professed love of the Asheville area and his repeated visits here — as leader of the free world — are providing a big shotin-the arm to the local economy. During his most recent visit, on Feb. 13, the president toured auto parts manufacturer Linamar in Arden, and then addressed a private gathering there, noting, “I love Asheville.” He added that, after “this whole presidency thing,” he and First Lady Michelle may even decide to retire here. He referenced hiking and fishing — and

CHAPEL HILL — “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” So said Mark Twain after hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal. And many of the more than 1,000 people who attended the Emerging Issues Forum lin mid-February are saying something similar about the reported death of manufacturing in North Carolina. “Manufacturing is not dead; it is on the upswing in our state.” Wait a minute. Even the forum’s sponsor, North Carolina State’s Emerging Issues Institute, acknowledges that between 1992 and 2010, manufacturing employment in our state declined by 30.6 percent, leaving fewer than 620,000 manufacturing jobs. Meanwhile, although the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, plastics, and food processing products is growing rapidly, employment in textiles, furniture, and tobacco manufacturing is down. Maybe not down and out. Maybe not quite dead. “Manufacturing has a public image problem,” reported the institute. By showcasing a host of new manufacturing activities, the forum attacked the public image problem and persuaded attendees that there is a manufacturing renaissance in our state. But the renaissance the forum touted is based on a new model. For instance, Gart Davis, founder of Durham-based Spoonflower, explained how his manufacturing business makes it “possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and wall decals.” So, if you want your own design for a fabric or wallpaper, Spoonflower can manufacture those products, quickly, in small amounts, at a reasonable price. The process is made possible, according to Spoonflower, by modern digital textile printers, which are large-format inkjet printers modified to run fabric. If you follow book publishing, Spoonflower is for fabric design and manufacturing as “books on demand” is to the publishing process. But the modern textile printer, by itself, could not assure Spoonflower’s success. In the old days textile manufacturers, large and small, required a network of expensive support services, including sales representatives, advertising campaigns, factors, and bankers. Spoonflower operates without them. “We get paid and we keep it all,” Davis told the Emerging Issues audience. Manufacturing on demand permits Spoonflower to collect from its customers immediately, using on-line payment services like PayPal.

his much-noted love of barbecue. Obama even had one of his security men pick up a $100-plus order from 12 Bones Smokehouse to take with him on his return flight to Washington. So what is it about the Asheville area that this president finds so attractive? “No. 1 is the people and no. 2 is 12 Bones” barbecue joint, he quipped. Analysts have said the enthusiasm for Asheville by a sitting president ranks as just about the ultimate endorsement, giving a much-needed boost to local tourism and real estate activity during these continued hard times ... And the Obamas obviously share our taste in exquisite cities.

D.G. Martin The Internet’s social media connects satisfied customers to other fabric users, spreading the word without expensive paid ad campaigns. The company’s webpage ( provides potential customers all they need to place orders. Be careful. If you visit that site, you might find yourself placing an order. Spoonflower does a healthy export business. Its business model avoids the complexities that discourage some larger manufacturers from exporting. For instance, using Google’s translation program, it communicates directly with potential non-English speaking customers. And, says Davis, they have learned how to ship a small order to a distant place like Tasmania in Australia for only $2. Why did Davis pick Durham for Spoonflower? He says the entrepreneurial culture and resources in the Research Triangle area and the help available from N.C. State’s College of Textiles were big factors. Ongoing research at other universities could lead to new manufacturing businesses. Dr. Anthony Atala, director of Wake Forest’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, described the processes his team uses to build replacement body parts using as raw materials the patient-recipient’s cells. In the lab, Atala’s team can build replacement blood vessels and bladders. They have their sights on more complicated organs. The lab process is very expensive, but as production is refined and transferred to manufacturers, costs will decline. The forum’s message was “North Carolina is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.” Why uniquely positioned? Because of an explosion of research and future researchers on our university campuses, because of the flexible and effective job-training capability of the state’s community colleges, because of co-operative, supportive, and helpful governments at all levels, North Carolina’s manufacturing tradition is far from dead. • D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV.

In your February issue (of the Daily Planet) you carried an article by Bill Fishburne headlined “Case against women in combat?” Although this is based primarily on his own experience in the armed services, I could not agree more with his conclusion. Granting women equality of rights does not make them equal in physical strength or, most important, mental attitude and values. The job of women is promoting peace, as exemplified by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which opposes war, as do I. I have never been in favor of women in the military, though to some it means “jobs.” We should be guardians of the future, ever vigilant to promote nonviolent resolution to conflicts. I was really unhappy over the decision to allow women in combat situations. Leah R. Karpen Asheville

I enthusiastically support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education in our schools, but there many issues

with putting it in the location recommended by the Buncombe County school board. The school will serve only 6% (400) of our high school students. Why not build STEM Learning Centers in our six comprehensive high schools? Can’t the school board maximize the dollars better to reach more students? No other options were researched. Could we re-purpose an under-enrolled school? We have excess capacity (over 5,000 empty seats!) in our schools and a five-year decline in enrollment. Why not put it in a nearby college campus as other school districts do? A Science and Math School satellite has been mentioned, but where is the followthrough? What about virtual classrooms? The current plan doesn’t include music, arts and athletics. The program has four pathways — pre-engineering, computer science, food science/entry level food service certification, biotechnical/environmental science. We already offer some STEM classes in all of our high schools. Let’s add PreEngineering Project Lead the Way classes, which are already in our middle schools. I encourage readers to attend school board meetings. Be there and speak up. It’s your tax dollars. PATSY WRIGHT GARDIN Asheville

The Candid Conservative

Business... Eastwood style

In his movie “Heartbreak Ridge,” Clint Eastwood famously pounded his unofficial Marine mantra into his trainees — “Improvise, adapt, and overcome.” That’s a pretty good model for combat – it may be even better for doing business. Thanks to the soon to be implemented force fed success of Obamacare, the business world is getting antsy. Every company employing over 50 people will be required to provide healthcare coverage. The Clint Eastwood, impacts are staggering. as he appeared Many employers who in “Heartbreak Ridge” in 1986. follow Clint and improvise, adapt, and overcome will be stronger in the end. How? By cutting to below 50 full-time employees, by outsourcing work, using more part-time labor, contracting services, and other creative means to pushing back against Obamacare. Will the America worker benefit? Yes, in some ways. Lean and mean makes our companies more competitive. More secure and loyal? No. ObamaCare’s massive violations of the Law of Unintended Consequences are just beginning.

Cutting spending

Let’s today with one solid truism – spending beyond your means always leads to disaster. That’s true for individuals and it’s true for countries. The only real options with debt are control it now — or let it control you later. Washington is spending 49 percent more than its taking in. They don’t want to or intend to stop. That includes Republicans much confused between the difference in funding a strong defense and funding a police force for a crazy world. If we ever do get serious about containing spending, selective cuts will not work. Special interests control our government’s attentions and they will corrupt any attempts at a targeted budgeting process. Across the board cuts are the only way to

Carl Mumpower (a) succeed and (b) do so in a fair, realistic, timely, and constructive manner. Every other course assures deception, responsibility avoidance and failure. We’ve had more than enough of that kind of leadership already.

Postponing action

Winston Churchill was such a devotee of action that he had a rubber stamp with the words “Action Now” on his desk. When his staff saw those words on a report, they knew he expected more than bureaucratic paper shuffling. We don’t have that kind of leadership Winston Churchill in America. What we have is a bunch of fear driven postponement addicts with a stamp of their own – “Don’t Act Now.” For most of this century we’ve passed programs and fought wars we couldn’t pay for. We’ve borrowed money to cover the debt. We’ve then borrowed money to pay for that debt. Have we restrained our passion for new programs and expenses – no, just the opposite. We’re spending more, not less. Every responsible action to contain this crazy cycle is met with disaster predictions that paralyze action. Example – The CBO just told Congress their automatic sequester plan to cut expenses will disastrously cut our growth rate by half. What will come next will be the only reliable thing Congress does – stop action on taking action. See CANDID CONSERVATIVE, Page 25

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013— 21

On the left

Save the climate, keep the change

As another “warmest winter ever” rolls on in some parts of the country, and the film “Chasing Ice” (2012) reveals the ongoing collapse of glaciers around the world, and Atlantic storms visit record damage on our coasts, anyone who entertains serious doubts that the global climate is undergoing accelerating change is simply delusional. Not only is it getting warmer fast, it is getting warmer faster than most scientific models predicted just a few years ago. The only meaningful question we need to ask is “What is to be done?” On the coasts we should be considering every plan for building (or rebuilding after storms) with the assumption that sea level will rise significantly by the end of this century. How high has been the subject of numerous educated guesses, from a foot to several feet, perhaps depending on whether the Greenland ice sheet slides into the ocean. It is no longer rational to build at low elevations fronting on the ocean. Where our infrastructure investment is large, we need to be designing and funding dikes, but in less intensively developed areas we ought to sound the retreat as the sea claims our buildings. Here in the mountains the physical situation is no less dire, though we obviously aren’t going to be underwater anytime soon. But landslides do happen and could become more common and intense as rainfall patterns change. Weather modeling suggests that rainfall events will tend toward deluge in a warmer climate, because warm air holds more water vapor.

Cecil Bothwell In mountain regions air is forced up where it cools so that water condenses and falls. We can expect more very heavy rains (and at the same time, more extended droughts, since water evaporates faster, and trees transpire faster, in hot weather.) The mountain version of dike building is careful land-use planning and regulation of development on steep slopes. As a glaring example, the avalanches that block traffic on I-40 with some frequency are a direct result of carving that highway through gorges in the mountains. Left to themselves mountains are fairly stable over humanly meaningful time frames. The mud slide at Ghost Town in the Sky was directly related to develpment on that mountain. And so on. So we can take action to protect ourselves from potential physical changes, and we should. Now, most scientists are convinced that much of the current planetary warming trend is a direct result of human activity, chiefly through burning of fossil fuels. As Bill McKibben has explained via his activist group, it appears that if carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere remains above 350 parts per million, we will arrive at runaway heating sooner or later. The chief cause of the runaway effect will be the release of methane gas currently

trapped under frozen tundra—now melting at a record pace, and a change in the chemistry of the oceans, which sequester less carbon as they acidify. If we really care as much for our children and grandchildren as most people claim, reducing our carbon output is job one. The City of Asheville has adopted carbon reduction goals for city operations for several years, and we continue to exceed our annual target of a 4 percent decrease. We’ve tightened up buildings, improved interior lighting and climate controls, implemented single-stream recycling, invested in more efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, and perhaps most visibly, begun to replace all of our street lights with LEDs. These new fixtures will provide better lighting, less glare, and reduce the City electric bill by something like $365,000 per year. That is fuel that is not being burned, and, yes, it’s a big deal. But now the City is aiming to extend that sort of planning into the community, to fashion policies that help citizens reduce their residential and business carbon footprints. And here’s the real deal, you will be getting help on saving energy, and that is going to save you money, too. You can help save the climate, and keep the change. (I’ll tell you more about what you can do in next month’s Daily Planet.) • Cecil Bothwell is author of eight books, including “Whale Falls: An Exploration of Belief and Its Consequences,” and a member of Asheville City Council.

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22 - March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Guest column

Prof accused of trashing Gov. Aycock’s legacy

Dr. Tim Tyson, who was in residence during February at Warren Wilson College, played a role in ending the Vance-Aycock Dinner in Asheville, for 50 years a Democratic Party fundraiser. The Duke professor’s zeal or his worthy cause, civil rights, raises questions about his objectivity. Dr. Tyson’s newspaper tabloid titled, “The Ghosts of 1898,” tied Charles Brantley Aycock to the Wilmington race riot beyond any proportionality. In May 2006, the Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report (WRRCR) was released. It was a thorough, objective, welldocumented and fair report paid for the the state of North Carolina, and is the ultimate authority on the events of Nov. 10, 1898. Charles Aycock was not mentioned until Chapter 3. A press release about the commission report did not mention him at all. Nowhere did the report say that Aycock advocated, helped plan or carry out violence. It did not place him in Wilmington at any time before, during or after the riot. In its entry on the riot, Wikipedia does not mention Aycock until the end, where it says almost off-handedly that he was elected governor in 1900. It does not tie him to the riot in any way. On Nov. 17, 2006, Dr. Tyson’s tabloid section was carried in the Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington newspapers. Only weeks later, in January 2007, the N.C. Democratic Party apologized for the campaigns of 1898 and 1900, and Vance-

Jim Aycock Aycock was effectively finished. Charles Aycock was named three times on the front page, directly under a photo of a burned-out black-owned newspaper office. A special box next to the photo was devoted solely to Aycock. This is vastly disproportionate to anything he had to do with the riot, which was basically nothing except for giving the party line speech across the state. Almost every reference by Dr. Tyson to Aycock included the words “white supremacy.” Dr. Tyson said Aycock died while giving a speech on education. He omitted that the speech was in 1912 calling on the Alabama Education Assn. to educate all its children, repeat, in Alabama in 1912. According to the WRRCR, the chair of the N.C. Democratic Party tried to “rein in” Democrats in Wilmington for fear they would do something the Executive Committee would not approve. He was told by George Rountree, one of the coup planners, to “Go to hell,” that they would run the campaign their way in Wilmington. Dr. Tyson did not include that in his story. The commission report quotes Henry Connor, whose son co-authored the 1912

biography of Aycock, as Tyson and Duke President hoping that no violence Richard Brodhead both would occur. The report refused to correct these malicious publications to their quotes Aycock in a letter to campus community.’ Connor a day after the riot The blogger described as expressing regrets for Aycock as a “terrorist” the events in Wilmington. guilty of “horrendous Aycock was the only crimes,” and has since told Democrat quoted in the me he knows the charges commission report as exare false, and has refused to pressing regrets. Dr. Tyson publish a correction. did not include any of these The Wilmington Race things in his newspaper Riot Commission Report section, “The Ghosts of Gov. Charles Aycock and “The Ghosts of 1898” 1898.” can both be read on line. Dr. Tyson reported that One certain cause of the Wilmington riot Gov. Hoke Smith of Georgia asked help was the takeover of local government by from Aycock and others in writing that the GOP-controlled legislature, which gave state’s suffrage amendment, and described Smith as “braying” his way across Georgia, the Republican governor power to appoint one half of the Wilmington city council. a clear bias. Today, public schools are under attack He failed to report that Aycock refused a similar request from Maryland because that in North Carolina. “You cannot do the best state planned to include property ownership for your child unless you also do the best for my child,” Aycock said in his universal as a qualification to vote, which offended education speech in Alabama, beginning Aycock’s sense of democracy. one of the best arguments ever made for Aycock’s position was clearly a progrespublic schools. sive move away from “we the people” — But he has been destroyed as a force for meaning white male property owners. Dr. Tyson did not include this relevant material public education in our time of greatest need. • when writing of Aycock’s views on suffrage. Jim Aycock is the former publisher Some time later, the Duke Chronicle, a of the Black Mountain News. Former student newspaper, and a blog called Duke. North Carolina Gov. Charles Brantley Fact.Check, both published falsely that Aycock was his great-grandfather’s Aycock led the riot in Wilmington. Dr. brother.

Response to ‘a question that will not stay settled’ Re: public education, white supremacy, Gov. Aycock’s legacy, N.C.’s Fusion movement

By Timothy B. Tyson Special to the Daily Planet

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following response to Jim Aycock’s essay was written Feb. 19 by Timothy B. Tyson, who is state education chair of the North Carolina NAACP under the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. He serves as Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School. Tyson included footnotes with this essay, but they were omitted here hecause of the Daily Planet’s space limitations. • Troubled by African-American protests during World War II, Josephus Daniels, 80-year-old patriarch of the Raleigh News & Observer, recounted a profound memory of Gov. Charles B. Aycock, our original “education governor.” Forty years earlier, as they celebrated the triumph of the “Party of White Supremacy,” Daniels had congratulated his friend, the most important leader of that cause. Their exchange, reported in Jason Morgan Ward’s brilliant new UNC Press book, “Defending White Democracy,” includes the most telling words ever uttered by the standard bearer of white supremacy and public education. “When Governor Aycock was elected… and we adopted the Grandfather Clause,” Daniels confided to a friend in 1942, “I said to him that I was very glad that we had settled the Negro question for all times.” Four decades later, as black protests shook the racial caste system they had created, Gov. Aycock’s response haunted Daniels. “Joe, you are badly mistaken,” Daniels recalled the governor telling him. “I hope we have settled it for 25 years. Every generation will have the problem on their hands, and they will have to settle it for themselves.” That question remains both unsettled and unsettling for our correspondent, Jim Aycock, a biological descendant of Charles Brantley Aycock. But he need not feel alone; nearly all native North Carolinians are political descendants of this troubling Tar Heel. I am in full sympathy with Jim Aycock’s yearning for a better history of his family and our state other than the one that actually occurred. Given this mixed and painful legacy, how can we feel otherwise? We would rather transcend the past without confronting it.

Denial, however, smacks of hiding the empty cake plate at midnight and hoping to lose weight in the morning. None of us deserve either blame or credit for our ancestors. I wish Jim Aycock well in his wrestling with his own illustrious ghosts. But he has not reported one single error of fact in my work. Mr. Aycock is correct that “Ghosts of 1898: WilmingTimothy Tyson ton’s Race Riot and the Rise of White Supremacy” has found readers; nearly a million copies of have been published. His resentments, however, inflate my influence over the Democratic Party’s decision to rename the Vance-Aycock Dinner. If it were true, I would accept credit like the rooster crows that he conjured up sunrise. It is beyond ridiculous for a party whose most loyal constituents are African-Americans to invite them to a fundraiser named for the tribune of the white supremacy campaigns that disfranchised them. If the Ku Klux Klan decides to name its annual convention in honor of Muhammad Ali, I withdraw my criticism. The Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report differs from my “tabloid,” as Mr. Aycock calls it, mainly in that mine has 16 pages, while the report runs nearly 500. He protests that, unlike the Commission Report, I fail to include Gov. Aycock’s alleged remorse for the massacre in my 16 pages, neglecting to mention that in her almost 500 pages, the careful historian who prepared the report, LeRae Umfleet, mentions this only in a footnote on page 188. He claims that I unfairly describe notorious demagogue Hoke Smith of Georgia as “braying” when he declared during his 1906 gubernatorial campaign, “We can handle [Negroes] as they did in Wilmington,” where the woods were left “black with their hanging carcasses.” I use “braying” because, unlike Mr. Aycock, I have read Smith’s speeches and others’ accounts of his stump style. You might well cross the Atlantic using a smaller windbag than Hoke Smith.

Mr. Aycock insists that President Richard Brodhead of Duke University and I have “refused” to correct factual errors in two student publications. If university professors or presidents were to “correct” student newspapers, they would rightly set off a huge outcry over censorship. I don’t read them. Sure, Mr. Aycock sent them to me. I did not read them then, either. I have no more responsibility for the student paper at Duke than Mr. Aycock has for the (Asheville) Daily Planet. Charles B. Aycock and Josephus Daniels first joined forces to fight the interracial “Fusion Movement” of the 1890s. In 1894 and 1896, the “Fusion” forces, campaigning on free public schools and equal political rights, swept the North Carolina legislature and won the governorship and both U.S. Senate seats. This visionary alliance, cobbled together during a depression that persuaded many whites to put their pocketbooks above their prejudices, was more a matter of the practical arithmetic of politics than any vision of interracial utopia. Yet in the context of the 1890s, it was a bold, forward-looking experiment. The Fusion legislature quickly set about easing restrictions on voting and regulating the excesses of monopoly capitalism. Conservatives had stayed in power by passing laws that let them appoint local officials, who then supervised elections and threw out opposition ballots in tight elections.The Fusionists passed laws that let people elect their own local officials, ensured a sufficient number of polling places per capita, and required that officials from all three political parties oversee each polling place and count the ballots together. They also levied heavy fines on anyone assaulting, intimidating or bribing voters and required all candidates to report contributions and identify donors. Worse still, at least for conservatives, the new Fusion legislature substantially increased spending on public education. For some whites, black citizenship itself — let alone raising taxes to educate the poor — justified any level of resistance. Fueled by Daniels’ newspaper and Aycock’s oratory, funded by industrialists in exchange for secret promises to slash corporate taxes, the “white supremacy campaigns” overthrew North Carolina’s government by terrorism, fraud, and demagoguery. See RESPONSE, Page 23


Continued from Page 22` In Wilmington, which Aycock called “the storm center of the White Supremacy movement,” business leaders organized mass slaughter in the streets and armed coup d’état in the courthouse. On Nov. 11, 1898, Aycock wrote to Henry G. Connor, calling the 1898 triumph of white supremacy “a glorious victory” but added that he regretted “the Wilmington affair of yesterday greatly.” Furnifold Simmons, one of Aycock’s closest allies in the white supremacy campaign of 1898, visited Wilmington that fall and instructed white leaders not to engage in mass violence before the impending election. Historian Deborah Bekel’s new book on interracial politics in North Carolina, however, presents evidence Simmons did “authorize coercion, intimidation, and violence.” That autumn of 1898, “Democratic ‘gangs’ such as the Red Shirts and the Ku Klux Klan controlled virtually all of the state by unchallenged force,” according to conservative scholar William S. Powell. Red Shirts were paramilitary terrorists on horseback, often masked, he writes, and “engaged in direct forms of violence: beatings and whippings of African Americans, assaults on candidates, and murder.” Red Shirts accompanied Aycock to campaign stops and appeared at his rallies. Democratic campaign funds paid the Redshirts, plied them with liquor and armed them with Winchester rifles. “Rather than an accidental by-product of white supremacy fervor,” according to William S. Powell’s Encylopedia of North Carolina, “Red Shirt violence was planned by Democratic officials.” Aycock “justified the admittedly criminal acts of 1898 and 1900 as necessary given the ‘evil’ of black political participation.” Aycock wrung his hands over the bloodbath in Wilmington, but praised those who had organized it: “This was not an act of rowdy or lawless men,” he declared in a 1900 speech. “It was an act of merchants, of manufacturers, of railroad men — an act in which every man worthy of the name joined.” He later boasted in his autobiography that he was headed to the train station with his gun over his shoulder to join the battle when he heard that the forces of white supremacy had been victorious. Aycock owned a Red Shirt himself, though it is not known where he got it or whether he wore it. In 1903, Gov. Aycock threatened more violence, declaring that “the Negro” must learn “that he may eat rarely of the cooking of equality but he will always find when he does so that ‘that there is death in the pot.’” Gov. Aycock and the disfranchisement amendment both won in the white supremacy campaign of 1900. This election amounted to an armed coup. Aycock and his allies did not bother to deny that they stole the election. They created a one-party state where those who led the coup ruled the state for generations. In many precincts, election officials reported more votes for Aycock than the total number polled. Aycock took 90.7 percent of the vote in Edgecombe County, twice the previous Democratic total. In Halifax County, a black-majority county, Aycock won by 88.3 percent, even though two years earlier the Fusionists had won by 60 percent. The same pattern held in Bertie, Northampton, and Warren. Five of the next six governors had participated directly in the murderous fraud of the white supremacy campaigns. After the coup, conservatives stripped the vote from black North Carolinians

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 — 23

This interracial cooperation laid the groundwork for the Fusion coalition of the 1890s, whose victories provoked the white supremacy campaigns. After white conusing literacy tests and the “grandfather servatives seized power in 1898 and 1900, clause,” which exempted all voters whose Gov. Aycock shifted from revolutionary grandfathers had been eligible to vote; firebrand to paternalist figurehead, partmost black grandfathers had been slaves, ing from the hard-line conservatives and not voters. Blocking the votes of their making public schools his signature issue. adversaries, Democrats created “permanent The hard-liners favored defunding black good government by the party of the White schools. Aycock refused. Though 1890s Man,” in Daniels’s phrase. Aycock was the North Carolina had spent similar amounts on black and white children, under Aycock’s leadership the state allocated three times more on each white child. According to William S. Powell, “his enthusiasm for education was based in part on his desire to create more literate white voters.” Aycock’s decision to become the “education governor” was his unique fusion of white supremacy, racial paternalism, and public service. His achievements in public education, though a cooption of the appeals of Populism and Fusion for public education and an expression of racial paternalism, cannot The (now-defunct) New York Herald reported on the race riot be diminished. of 1898 in Wilmington, N.C. While Aycock was goverirreplaceable figure who would consolinor, North Carolina founded 1,100 public date the murderous, fraudulent triumph of schools, an average of more than one per white supremacy. “We have ruled by force, day of his administration. He originated we can rule by fraud,” Aycock assured an the Textbook Commission. And yet the legacy of white supremacy, racial violence, uneasy crowd in Snow Hill, “but we want black disfranchisement, electoral fraud, to rule by law.” and one-party domination of the state for Race and public education have always sixty years cannot be dismissed either. Nor been intertwined in North Carolina history. Our slave codes made it illegal for slaves to has North Carolina ever entered even the read, under penalty of 39 lashes and banned top forty of the 50 states in any measure of school quality. preaching or teaching by blacks slave or As in the 1890s, our conflicts now free. After Emancipation, the former slaves include the success of a new “Fusion coalifounded scores of schools, though there tion” that many North Carolinians found was no statewide system of public schools promising. The NAACP, led by the Rev. for anyone. Black leaders like Abraham Dr. Barber, organized the Historic ThouGalloway and A.M.E. Zion Bishop J.W. Hood mobilized for public education, much sands on Jones Street Coalition in 2005. “HKon J” brought dozens of progressive to the chagrin of Conservative whites. organizations into coalition with the largest Right after the war, Conservatives in RaNAACP in the South. This “Fusion coalileigh outlawed public schools due to fears tion” won same-day, on-site voter registraof integration. tion and early voting laws, which the GOP In 1868, North Carolinians who supseeks to appeal. Senator John McCain and ported public education passed a new state former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the constitution that gave every child an equal Republic candidates, actually took North right to education. Rev. Samuel Ashley, Carolina on election day in 2008, but lost a white Congregationalist minister, and it during the two-week early voting period. Bishop J.W. Hood, a black A.M.E. Zion With funds from Americans for Prosperity, leader, led the state’s first public school Tea Party extremists mobilized opposition system. Conservatives at the convention to the Brown decision as a rallying cry to sought to mandate segregation but Bishop “take back” North Carolina. The outcome Hood won out. “Make this distinction in your organic law,” he argued, “and in many is not clear, but one thing is: the Fusion movement, not the “spirit of Aycock,” places the white children will have good schools at the expense of the whole people, points toward our brightest future and what President Abraham Lincoln called “the betwhile the colored children will have none ter angels of our nature.” or what will be little better than none.”

A new Fusion movement, black, brown and white, is the only way to save public education in North Carolina. Governor Aycock’s warning that “every generation will have to settle [issues of race and public education] for themselves,” seems prophetic today. Tar Heels seem to be fighting the battles of the 1950s-1970s all over again. The new segregationists spout old slogans borrowed from old South demagogues. Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Wake County, and New Hanover County have all seen schools move backwards. In Charlotte, the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2008, about half the elementary schools are nearly all-white or nearly allblack. “Charlotte is rapidly re-segregating.” In Wilmington, where the “neighborhood schools” Republicans have taken power, Snipes Elementary downtown is now 95 percent African American and 93 percent poor; eight miles away, Wrightsville Beach Elementary has become 93 percent white and only six percent of the students come from poor families. When school board Chair Ed Higgins told parents “we did nothing to create segregated schools intentionally,” the (Wilmington) Star-News reported that “his comments were greeted by laughter from the audience.” Some rural counties like Wayne and Halifax, have wholly resegregated; Goldsboro, the Wayne county seat, is half black and half white, but Goldsboro High is 99 percent black and 80 percent poor. “We have apartheid education in Wayne County,” says the Rev. Dr. Barber, who pastors Goldsboro’s Greenleaf Christian Church and leads the statewide battle against resegregation as president of the state NAACP.22 Insisting that “North Carolina is in a war,” then-Gov. Beverly Perdue told reporters, “I applaud every single thing [Rev. Dr. Barber] is doing” to stop resegregation, she continued. “If it takes going to the Supreme Court of this great country, from Wayne County and for Wake County and for other counties in North Carolina, so be it.” On the merits, school resegregation is not a tough call; that diversity and excellence are inextricably intertwined remains “one of the most consistent findings in research on education,” according to Gary Orfield, professor of education at UCLA, and Susan Eaton, research director at Harvard Law School. Four decades of research shows that schools in which large majorities of poor children are segregated become failing schools. Virtually all of the 40 or so failing schools in North Carolina fall into this category. Even though it destroys school systems, far-right ideologues across North Carolina push “neighborhood schools.” This turns some public schools into private academies, where the cost of admission is the ability to pay a huge mortgage; it transforms others into high-poverty, raciallyisolated schools that inevitably become pools of misery and failure where school systems drown. If we cherish our children, black, white, Asian or Latino, wealthy or otherwise, we cannot turn back toward segregation. We must resist the trap of pitting “diversity” versus “parental responsibility” or “school excellence,” as if rejecting diversity will make parents responsible or schools excellent. Diversity is necessary, but not sufficient. We need excellent and constitutional schools for all our children. Aycock was right: every generation must settle this question of race and public education for themselves. And now is our time. We need to stop worrying about where our difficulties originated and starting looking to the well-being of all of our children. In the words of Charles B. Aycock, for which I thank his cranky descendant, “You cannot do the best for your child unless you also do the best for my child.”

24 - March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet


Time for N.C. Democrats to dethrone GOP The 62nd North Carolina Infantry was formed in Waynesville in the summer of 1862. They were given “a few old-fashioned muskets, and a small amount of ammunition” and sent to put down “an uprising of disloyal citizens” and to guard bridges and railroads. In their first engagement, in the defense of the Cumberland Gap, they were surrendered very quickly by their officers to Union forces. Foot soldiers of the 62nd were ready to fight, but they were betrayed by their leaders ─ who went to prison camps for officers while the foot soldiers went to the infamous Camp Douglas in Chicago. About half died there. The 62nd North Carolina is a metaphor for North Carolina Democrats in 2012. And a lot of us Democratic foot soldiers identify with the foot soldiers of the 62nd North Carolina. We feel our leaders in the North Carolina Democratic Party gave up without a fight and left us prisoners of radical Republicans in Raleigh. This column serves as a worksheet for letters I plan to write to the four newly elected officers of the North Carolina Democratic Party). Why write letters to NCDP officers? Well, because North Carolina Democrats got thrashed, bashed, smashed and trashed in the 2012 elections ─ exactly like 2010. And in both years the NCDP watched from the sidelines ─ no, they watched from the expensive seats ─ while our candidates got slaughtered. I worked somewhat closely with the two General Assembly campaigns that affect our county. Neither had funds to compete. Neither was plugged into a statewide Democratic strategy or state organizational resources. Both were out there on their own, for better or worse. It turned out to be worse. In 2010, everybody was surprised by the sudden gush of GOP cash that swamped our candidates with vicious mailbox flyers late in the campaign. In 2012, Republicans openly listed Democrats they were targeting. Which they did ─ with the same tactic and with the same success as 2010. The NCDP certainly knew what was coming, didn’t they? We knew. I read a losing Democratic candidate’s reasons for the 2012 GOP win: “highly effective gerrymandering; cash from in-state and out-of-state conservative contributors; the collapse of the State Democratic Party leadership; and a well-coordinated and wellfinanced ‘ground game’ by GOP leaders.” “Collapse” is a strong word. I’ll take that candidate’s word for its proper use here. But I do know one thing: The foot soldiers are restless. We believe in the peopleoriented principles of the Democratic Party, and we hate what Republicans are doing in Raleigh. We want to fight. A Democrat in our county wrote this month: “A number of you have told me that there is nothing that we can do to stop this legislature from the things they are doing.” Then she outlines what she’s going to do herself and asks for ideas on organizing for 2014. I wrote her I’m ready for pitchforks and


The Asheville Daily Planet strives to be accurate in all articles published. Contact the News Department at, (828) 252-6565, or P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, N.C. 28814-8490.

Lee Ballard torches, and I’ll sign up for whatever is planned. But we really can’t overcome Republican gerrymandering and money advantages ourselves. We need the NCDP to lead. So what should they do? First, clean house. Let your new broom sweep decisively. Second, go to the national Democratic Party and the Obama campaign and get tough, battle-savvy professionals with expertise in strategy and organization. Give our candidates infrastructure. Make them part of a statewide juggernaut. And get pros with expertise in messaging. We of course want no part of slime like what Republicans stuffed in our mailboxes. There’s plenty of damning truth about Raleigh Republicans. And get pros with expertise in getting money, more money than Republicans will have. It can come from billionaires in New York for all I care. Last, use conventions to educate, train,

LETTERS 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:

organize and fire up the troops. They shouldn’t be social club gatherings where active Democrats guffaw and hug and pass resolutions that everybody knows are going nowhere. After a century of Democratic dominance, we’re fat and happy. If we don’t change, we’ll watch Repub-

licans experiment with their anti-people theories for years to come. We’ve got to get ready for battle. And START NOW! (If this resonates with you, clip or link and send!) • Lee Ballard lives in Mars Hill.

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Candid Conservative

Continued from Page 20`

Chinese corruption

One of the greatest revolutions in world history has been this century’s economic emergence of China, Inc. No country has ever ascended at such a rapid and powerful pace. China is the 2nd largest economy in the world and at current speed it will soon outpace the U.S. for first place. This amazing achievement is the result of hard work, citizen sacrifice, pent up desire for advancement, smart decisions and the persistent application of corruption and cheating. Yes, that’s right; a large chunk of China’s success has come from habitual corruption and cheating. For decades they have manipulated their currency, rigged trade practices, and cooked their books. That matters, because American businesses, just ask Google and Caterpillar, can’t win there. It matters because much of their success is coming at our expense. But most

of all it matters because success built on corruption and cheating can’t last. That’s when the real bad stuff starts. The fall-back position for failing governments is aggression and war.

Credit card living

The other day my bird-dog Pepper took me for a run in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. She likes to run there because she likes pigeons. I like to run in our ultraliberal city because you can see how the other side’s living. During that run we passed a barber shop where the owner was taking a break. We chatted briefly during which the gentleman noted, “Things are pretty good right now.” I smiled at what I knew to be his fondness for Obama, the Democratic Party, and liberalism in general, and pressed on with the run. To myself I noted that living good is easy when you’re running off credit. As a matter of fact I’d bet with enough credit cards to spend 40% beyond my means my lifestyle would be

Asheville Daily Planet — March 2013 — 25

pretty good too. And so it is – some are living good right now courtesy of our government’s indifference to reality. But conservatives, unlike some liberal barbers, know there’s a not-so-easy bill coming our way.

Blue angels

If automatic sequestration cuts in on March 1st, interesting things will happen. But it’s a safe bet the only thing cut will be the original promise to cut spending. Our boys and girls in Washington do not have the courage to risk the malice that comes from taking anything from anyone in America. We’re addicted to having it “my way” and that’s the only way for a majority of voters. And so, reliably, our politicians will come together to save the Democrats from cuts in entitlements and the Republicans from cuts in defense when we really need cuts in both directions. We can’t afford military extravagance devoted to policing the world versus defending America. Facts reveal

we can’t remotely afford our entitlement load. And so the threats have begun. The Defense Department is suggesting the Blue Angels may be disbanded. They should be, for the same reason a person in bankruptcy may have to turn in the Cadillac for a Ford. That’s a long-overdue right step toward budgetary realism. • Carl Mumpower, a former member of Asheville City Council, may be contacted at

26 - March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Hawaii Five-No

Ten years ago, my friend and I met our husbands on the same night (they were friends who challenged us to a game of pool), and we both got married the same year. We all pledged to spend our 10th anniversary in Hawaii together, but my friend’s husband is making it difficult, saying no to every flight, activity and hotel my friend and I propose. He’ll call a hotel “overrated” or “too touristy,” but his one bad quality is that he’s seriously cheap, and it’s becoming clear that he’s trying to torpedo the whole vacation because of it. (They are well-off, by the way!) He keeps joking that we should just stay home and celebrate — but I don’t think he’s really joking. I’m angry with my friend for never telling her husband to curb his cheapness and for not standing up for our plans and worried that my anger could affect our friendship. — Frustrated While the Hawaiian islands are home to some of the world’s most beautiful tropical gardens, your friend’s husband would like to point out that your hometown boasts not just one but several Olive Gardens. (You can still wear leis!) Your friend probably feels embarrassed about her husband’s tightwaddy ways (and her inability to change them), but probably feels disloyal saying so. Still, despite how the man must get blisters from clinging so tight to a dollar, being married to him must work for her. (You don’t mention anything about his being horrible to her or even just making her persistently unhappy, like by promising to have children with her and then insisting they have goldfish instead

a tropical cruise! — things may be different. Not because either of them is likely to change but because Orbitz may start offering great deals on floating to Hawaii on pieces of broken barrels.

Indignation wants to be free

The Advice Goddess

Amy Alkon

because they’re cheaper.) To feel less suckered, try to have some sympathy for the guy, who probably isn’t cheap just to irritate you and everyone he knows. People say “money talks.” To him, it probably says stuff like, “If I leave you, I’m never coming back!” The origins of his cheapitude may be in his upbringing — and may even be in his genes, according to a 2010 study by Dr. Itamar Simonson and Dr. Aner Sela surveying attitudes about risk and spending in identical and fraternal twins. As in other twin studies, identical twins (who are born from a single egg and are thus genetically identical) were significantly more alike in a number of measures, including how risk- and loss-averse they were, suggesting a genetic component to being a cheap mofo. Swap your anger at your friend for acceptance of reality: She isn’t able to stand up to him, and he isn’t able to say yes to spending money on a pricey vacation when he probably spends much of his life worrying that he’ll someday have to pawn a kidney to buy groceries. Tell your friend — sans animosity — that you’re weary of searching, you’re booking a hotel, and you hope they’ll join you if it works for them. Who knows, when you’re all looking at celebrating your 20th together — maybe on

What are your thoughts on gently dissuading a person from making a total fool of herself on Facebook? A woman I know had her husband leave her for the woman he was cheating on her with. She’s been venting about this almost daily on Facebook, in sometimes blistering detail, and I’m truly embarrassed for her. She’s looking for a job, and a prospective employer could see these posts (as could potential future boyfriends). Shockingly, not one of her 443 Facebook friends has suggested she put a lid on it. — Concerned Acquaintance Social networking, at its worst, is like drunk dialing not only your rotten ex but everyone in his zip code. It’s easy to forget this when you’re home alone in your ratty old robe, typing a message into the Facebook status window. But, the moment you hit “post,” it’s like you lured 500 people into a room with a clip of a monkey skiing and then got up on an ottoman and yelled out a hate-soaked rant about how your cheating husband should’ve pledged, “Till skanky piece of trash do us part.” If you saw a blind man about to step off the curb into speeding traffic, you’d probably tap him on the shoulder and say, “You know, that seems like a bad idea.” A similar approach seems in order for a friend in a blind rage wandering naked into Internet traffic. With Facebook’s confusing and ever-changing privacy settings and every computer user’s ability to take screenshots or copy and paste text, it’s best to assume that everything you post has the default vis-

ibility of “everyone on earth.” (Ideally, this is best assumed proactively -- before some fisherman in China messages you, “Tell us more! Post pictures!”) Now, it’s possible that others have privately messaged her, noting that staying connected can sometimes be the quickest way to alienate yourself from future boyfriends and employers. It’s also possible many are frozen by what social psychologists call “the bystander effect” — how being in a crowd (or even just imagining being in one) seems to lessen the likelihood that people will help a person in need. People will assume that someone else in the crowd will intervene or, if they haven’t, that there’s good reason they haven’t. (Maybe that’s what went on here — or maybe all these “friends” are just too entertained by the carnage to ask her to stop.) Of course, people are also less likely to speak up when it might make somebody angry with them, which, in this case, could lead to their unfriending on Facebook and in reallifebook, too. If you’re willing to risk that, message her, sympathize about what she’s going through, and gently remind her that even if she isn’t vying to be secretary of state, those heading the “confirmation hearings” for her next job are sure to have access to the Internet. This isn’t to say employers won’t look at people who engage in social media overshare, but it’s best that their interest isn’t expressed with “Forget her resume. Check out this YouTube video of her shoveling horse poo on her husband’s car and lighting it on fire!“ • (c) 2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol. com ( Weekly radio show:


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28 - March 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet

Asheville Daily Planet March 2013  

Asheville local news and politics

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