Is Asheville ‘terribly overrated?’ A look at travel writer’s claim — See Editorial, Pg. 20
Garrison Keillor entertains with poignant stories, songs — See Review, Pg. 11
ILLE V E H AS ASHEVILLEʼS GREATEST NEWSPAPER
Vol. 9, No. 6
An Independent Newspaper Serving Greater Asheville
Lawsuit looms in water system seizure? Mumpower vows to leave GOP if water system leaves Asheville
From Staff Reports
The state House of Representatives on May 2 gave final approval to legislation that ends Asheville’s control of the regional water system with no compensation to the city. In the aftermath, the city is considering a legal fight. Specifically, the state House agreed with changes made by the Senate to N.C. House Bill 488 that would strip the water system from the city. The action sends the bill to Gov. Pat McCrory for consideration. If signed by the governor, the new law would hand over control of the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County. In the aftermath, the city announced that Asheville City Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. May 7 “to consider authorizing legal action” against the move to take away its water system. The meeting will be held in council chambers on the second floor of City Hall. Council is expected to go into closed session to consult with its attorney, as allowed by state law to discuss pending litigation. according to a notice issued by City Clerk Maggie Burleson. McCrory will have10 days to sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature. However, the measure, sponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, was approved in both the House and Senate by
From Staff Reports
‘League of Women Vipers’ tweet still reverberates
By JOHN NORTH
A recent tweet by a Buncombe County Republican Party official — allegedly in a playful reference to The League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County as the “League of Women Vipers” — has resulted in the enrollment of at least three new members who joined because they objected to what they see as mean-spiritedness of the BCGOP. At least that is the assessment of Karen Oeschlaeger, president of the local league chapter, who spoke to the Daily Planet in a May 2 interview about the tweet and her and the league’s relationship with local Republicans. “So I’d like to thank the Bun-
Daily Planet Staff Photo
Local activists Heather Rayburn (right) and Elaine Lite express their heartfelt opposition to the turnover of the Asheville regional water system via a bill that was introduced by Rep. TIm Moffitt (left). The women approached Moffitt as he was leaving after his April 5 address to the Council of Independent Business Owners at Biltmore Square Mall in Asheville. He spoke with the activists and others, calmly and at length. A story on the CIBO meeting appears on Page 6. margins that would override a gubernatoproposal prompted a big turnout of citizens rial veto. The governor’s office would not at a town hall-style meeting with City say whether he supports the bill. Council and officials on April 3. (A story The controversy over the water system on that meeting appears on Page 24.)
combe County Republican Party for the publicity rush,” she said. “Thank you for the new members.” On a more serious note, Oeschlaeger said of the “Vipers” tweet controversy, “Well, you know, it’s not really our top priority... We have the (upcoming) annual meeting” occupying most of the organization’s attention at the moment. “I just want to know who sent the tweet. I’d like to sit down with them and have a good conversation,” she said. Meanwhile, Nathan West, BCGOP communications director, confirmed to the Daily Planet April 6 at the party’s Lincoln-Reagan gala that he was the one who sent it out with the intent of being humorous. See LEAGUE, Page 10
Carl Mumpower, one of the most prominent political conservatives in Asheville history, announced on April 26 that he would leave the Republican Party over what he termed the “legislative larceny” of the Asheville water system. When pressed May 2 for a status update on his vow, he emailed the Daily Planet that, while both RepublicanCarl Mumpower controlled houses of the state General Assembly have voted to merge the city’s regional water system into the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, “I’ll wait to see if (the) governor (Pat McCrory, also a Republican) signs it” before deciding whether to resign from the party. See MUMPOWER, Page 23
Cool jazz heats up a Sunday night
Singer Rockell Scott of Asheville sings some jazz standards with the Bill Bare Trio (and two guest horn players) during an April 28 per-
Special Photo by SCOTT WOODY
formance at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall in West Asheville. Live jazz music is featured at the new venue every Sunday night.
2 —May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
UNCA packs $268M in local economic punch, study says
McDevitt takes reigns of UNCA men’s basketball
After 12 years as an assistant coach at UNC Asheville, Nick McDevitt’s dream came true on April 26 when he was named head coach of the men’s basketball team. McDevitt, 34, was chosen to succeed his mentor, Eddie Biedenbach, who is the school’s all-time leader in wins. Biedenbach resigned on April 2 after 17 seasons and a 256-258 record at UNCA to take an assistant coach’s job at UNC Wilmington. Prior to being hired by Biedenbach as an assistant coach, McDevitt play for his mentor from 1997 to 2001. After 10 years as a UNCA assistant coach McDevitt has served for the past two years as associate head coach. “My primary job is to win games, and we’re going to win games,” McDevitt said.
From Staff Reports UNC Asheville had an economic impact of $268 million in fiscal year 2012 in the Asheville metro area, according to a study released by the university in early April. Authored by research economist Tom Tveidt at SYNEVA Economics LLC, the study concluded that economic activity generated by UNCA supports 2,492 local jobs and adds $105.5 million in local income. Every dollar in state appropriations received by UNCA generates $2.96 in local income and $7.62 in economic output in the Asheville area, the report noted. On-campus employment accounts for less than one-third of the local jobs that UNCA supports, the study found. More than 1,800 local jobs supported by UNCA’s economic impact are
UNCA chancellor captures national leadership award
UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder has received the inaugural Dr. Claire Van Ummerson Presidential Leadership Award, the university announced April 23. She will be honored on May 16 at the Women’s Leadership Symposium in Indianapolis by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. Named for the former Cleveland State University president and University System of New Hampshire chancellor, the award honors a university or college president, chancellor, vice president or provost who has demonstrated leadership and promotion of women’s opportunities in athAnne Ponder letics administration or coaching. Ponder has served as UNCA’s sixth chancellor since October 2005. She is a native of Asheville and a lifelong educator. Her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in English are from UNC Chapel Hill.
WWC inaugurates world traveler as 7th president
WWC President Steven Solnick
SWANNANOA — Steven L. Solnick, 52, and a world traveler was formally inaugurated as the seventh president of Warren Wilson College in an April 27 ceremony at the school. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from M.I.T., a bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Oxford University and a doctorate in political science from Harvard University. He and his wife Maeve O’Connor have two daughters, Elinor, 16; and Naomi, 14; and one son, Ben, 11. Solnick has lived in a number of overseas locales, including Great Britain, Moscow and New Delhi.
off-campus, including 442 in the retail and trade sector. Campus operations provide about $153.54 million in economic impact, and spending by students adds another $36.3 million independent of tuition payments. UNCA also attracts visitors who spend an estimated $4.5 million annually. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at
UNCA, with its nationally known weekend seminars that draw people from all over the country, leads about 100 new households to relocate to the Asheville metro area annually, raising economic output by $7.6 million. Since the last economic impact study commissioned by UNCA in 1995, the total inflation-adjusted impact has increased more than $100 million, the university said.
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 - 3
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4 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
A-B Tech roundup
Building work halted
Daily Planet Staff Photo
More than two dozen people of all ages line New Leicester Highway near an Up ‘N’ Smoke store on April 13 to wave signs at approaching traffic for the second protest of the sale of Bizarro in Buncombe County.
2nd Bizarro protest staged; Moffitt seeking to ban drug
From Staff Reports
A second protest by local residents against the sale of the drug Bizarro was held April 13 near the Up ‘N’ Smoke store at 34 New Leicester Highway near Patton Avenue in Asheville. In addition, protest organizers announced that state Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Arden, has introduced a bill in the legislature to strengthen laws against imitator drugs such as Bizarro. “Concerned citizens appreciate this effort!” protest organizers Chad Nesbitt and Carl Mumpower noted. “Bizarro is a synthetic marijuana that does great harm. It is a quasi-legal substance that merits more legal and social attention,” they said. The first Asheville Bizarro protest was held March 9, outside the Up ‘N’ Smoke location at Innsbrook Mall on Tunnel Road. At the April 13 protest, Mumpower told the Daily Planet that he considered it a success because more than two dozen people
showed up to protest. Meanwhile, the Up ‘N’ Smoke shop was locked up during the protest with a sign inside the front door stating, ungrammatically, “Gone to lunch be back later have a great day.” In an email message prior to the April 13 protest, Nesbitt and Mumpower stated, “Bizarro is not tolerated in Madison or Henderson County. Why is it OK in Buncombe County? While our officials deliberate, agitate, investigate, and commiserate ... places like Up ‘N Smoke are benefiting from a stream of young, misguided, and foolish Bizarro users taking the bait. Many of these are, in turn, breaking down in one form or another and falling into our social service, medical, and judicial systems. “
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From Staff Reports Citing concerns about costs associated with a planned auditorium, Buncombe County in early April ordered work to stop on an expansion at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The stoppage follows wrangling between school and county officials over the space. A-B Tech wants an 800-seat auditorium in which to host allied health and workforce development programs. Conversely, the county is contending that taxpayers could be hit with tens of millions of dollars if the auditorium is used more for conferences than classes. The Buncombe finance office has stated that the federal government could charge a 39 percent penalty if the Internal Revenue Service determined that the aduitorium fails to fit with the tax-exempt bonds the county used to build it. In a letter dated April 3, Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton told the contractor, land surveyor, engineer and architect on the project that the work is suspended because of “significant concerns” about the auditorium and its tax status. The county will not pay for work completed after April 3, Creighton stressed. A-B Tech has spent about $2.3 million on design work, he said later, and has not started building the allied health building, which will cost about $50 million. The school also is improving Victoria Road and classrooms at the public safety center in Woodfin. The projects are funded by a quarter-cent sales tax that will raised $130 million over 17 years.
Suit seeks to overturn appointment to board
Weaverville businessman Steve Holland has filed a lawsuit in mid-April seeking to overturn an appointment to the board of trustees of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Filed in Buncombe County Superior Court, Holland’s suit claims that the Madison County Board of Commissioners violated the state’s open meetings law by approving the appointment of Madison Commissioner Wayne Brigman to the A-B Tech board in February. The defendants listed in the suit are the Madison Board of Commissioners and the A-B Tech board as defendants. The suit contends an inappropriate appointment of Brigman kept Republican Buncombe County Commissioner Mike Fryar off the board. Fryar has been a critic of A-B Tech President Hank Dunn and a sales tax increase supporting an A-B Tech building program. Dunn recently admittd that he rushed Brigman’s swearing-in to keep Fryar off the board.
A-B Tech receives largest gift
The largest private donation in school history — a $5 million gift from a local couple — was reported in early April by AshevilleBuncombe Technical Community College. Longtime college supporters Jack and Carolyn Ferguson gave the gift, which is for the naming rights of the new Allied Health and Workforce Development building.
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Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 - 5
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6 — May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Moffitt defends his water merger plan
By JOHN NORTH
Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe County, calmly fielded a challenge from local activist Barry Summers regarding his stance on the legislation he has proposed to merge the Asheville regional water system into the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The brief interchange occurred during the April 5 breakfast meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners at Biltmore Square Mall’s food court. Besides Summers, several other activists — including Elaine Lyte, Heather Rayburn — were in attendance at the meeting mainly composed of businesspeople and elected and appointed government officials. As Moffitt was leaving the meeting after his presentation and fielding questions, Asheville City Councilman Marc Hunt and several of the activists approached the legislator, who chatted with them at length. Earlier, Moffitt and fellow Buncombe Republican Rep. Nathan Ramsey had given a state legislative update, when Summers spoke up during a question-and-answer period that followed. Regarding the proposed MSD water system merger, Summers opened the Q&A by asking Moffitt, with a tone of urgency, “Can you claim the merger will actually save money?” “Thank you, Barry,” Moffitt replied evenly. “Neither you nor I can predict the future.” In general, he said the MSD takeover of the water system is “the right direction for the future.” Ramsey added, “There are several people who have no stake in the fight who think that’s the reasonable thing to do… In retrospect, we got here because in 1988 the voters
decided not to take water from the French Broad… In retrospect, that was the better thing to do. In the 1990s, everyone agreed to work toward a regional water authority. Certainly reasonable minds can disagree.” During his presentation, Moffitt began by noting, “Over the past 10 or 15 years, we’ve added about 10,000 rules and regulations in Activist Barry Summers the state of North Carolina that have had the same effect on you. In the next year, we plan to reduce about 2,500 regulations. It is a lengthy process. “Being a legislator is quite an honor… But the legislature, in a way, is the problem. … It’s very challenging when you craft legislation (on which) you clearly state your intent on the front end. With that being said, we’re looking at the statutes now, where the front end is clear, so what’s on the back end is clear.” Further, Moffit asserted, “On the process side, anything that threatens your liberty of property needs to be subjected to due process. We have rule-making going on in the dark in our state… in state agencies and on the local level…. It’s inappropriate to put something in place that has not been thoroughly vetted. It’s amazing to me how many of our state agencies have exempted themselves from that process. We’re looking at removing those exemptions
simply because it’s the right thing to do. “The second things is we’re looking at … the tax code…. Changing any aspect of it has unintended consequences…. At Asheville City Council Town hall …the privilege license tax is on the table because” otherwise “it’s picking winners and losers. Our intent is to streamline the tax code… To create a tax code that takes less of your time to comply with.... We have other things in that will result in a net gain for the cities.” To that end, Moffitt said, “As I was telling members of City Council, it’s mind-numbing when you get into the tax code. …. Try not to overreact to bills that are filed. There was a bill filed for religious freedom in Rowan County. … It’s simply a resolution.. But people look at that without understanding the bill-making process. “Back to the bill ... just because a bill is filed does not mean the bill will become law. Last session, we had over 3,000 pieces of legislation that were filed and I think only about 400 of those actually became law. Again, I’m available at any time if anybody has any concern. It’s a work in progress,” Moffitt said. Ramsey, who is a freshman in the House, triggered laughter from the crowd when he said, “It’s always more fun to drive up the hill (to the Asheville area) than down the hill (to Raleigh). We’re also a little closer to heaven” in the mountains. He noted that “the reason most people are here” was the introduction of a bill the previous week that “would merge the Asheville water system into the MSD. I think that’s good policy…. I think working together as a community by June, there’s many ways to skin a cat. I think we’ll have a more efficient process.… By the end of that process, the City of Asheville comes out in as good or better financial shape as it is today.”
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Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013— 7
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Park Ridge Health’s groundbreaking featured a number of people associated wiht the hospital wielding shovels at the site of its new medical center in the former Shoney’s location across Long Shoals Road from Biltmore Park.
Park Ridge Hospital breaks ground for S. Asheville center From Staff Reports
A groundbreaking was held April 9 for Park Ridge Health at Biltmore Park, a $10 million state-of-the-art medical center that will be located immediately off I-26, Exit 37. It is expected to open in 2014. The four-story, 25,000-square-foot future will create 30 new jobs and serves as the home of 16 physicians and their teams will include Dr. Denise Ingram, Dr. John Lang, Dr. Teresa Bradley, Dr. Leah Swann, Dr. Ronald Johnson and Dr. Wade Grainger, who already provide care for thousands of patients in the Arden and South Asheville area. Located just across from the entrance to Biltmore Park, the planned facility will also house specialties including cardiology, endocrinology, nephrology, rheumatology, allergy and immunology, neurology and obstetretics and gynecology, and provided extended hours, weekend access to care, imaging services and lab services, all under
one roof. The Park Ridge expansion is expected to increase the competition with its two local competitors, Asheville-based Mission Health and Hendersonville-based Pardee Hospital. “Park Ridge Health has provided primary care services at Biltmore Park and the surrounding area for many years, and this new medical center represents a strategy to consolidate many South Asheville physician practices into one cost-efficient location,” Jimm Bunch, president and CEO of Park Ridge Health, said. “With this innovative project, we can maximize the services we offer to the community, continue to raise the bar in quality of service and ease access to care.” Carlo Mainardi, chief medical officer for Park Ridge Health, added, “This project is yet another example of Park Ridge Health’s unwavering commitment to providing leading-edge health care services for our community.”
Sequester relief for parks? None forecast by Meadows
From Staff Reports
Sequester relief for the National Park Service from cuts to fix the nation’s budget woes is doubtful, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, RHighlands, told the Council of Independent Business Owners on April 30 at Magnolia’s restaurant in downtown Asheville. “We are getting a lot of calls about cuts to national parks,” he told the more than 80 people attending the CIBO luncheon. “Obvioiusly, having a vital park system, and something that is open to the public is key, but as we see it, most of the concern is ‘How will it impact me this summer on vacation or my business?’” As a result of the mandated sequester cuts, the Blue Ridge Parksway has shut down 10 campgrounds. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed three campgrounds and two picnic areas.
Meadows and other House Republicans recently criticized park managers for a sign that announced that the Linville Falls campground was closed because of the sequestration. Referring to the sign as a “wasteful political statement,” Meadows called for an investigation into the costs. In the meantime, the parkway has removed the sign. Congress recently allowed the Federal Aviation Administration to use money earmarked for airport improvements to end furloughs for air traffic controllers following delayed flights that triggered public outrage, but Meadows does not see the same scenario with the parks. “I don’t see additional funding coming in primarily because the way a lot of people in government view parks as a nonessential,” Meadows said. “Even though it’s vital to our economy here in the west, I don’t see there being a strong impetus to change things.”
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8 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Tribe unveils plan to build 2nd casino near Murphy From Staff Reports
The Tribal Council of North Carolina’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently approved building a $110 million casino and hotel near Murphy in Cherokee County, Principal Chief Mitchell Hicks said April 11 during an address at UNC Asheville. Construction could begin as soon as this summer of the tribe’s second casino, he said. The tribe’s only casino now is located in Cherokee. The additional casino would provide more revenue for the tribe to provide services for enrolled members living on the Qualla Boundary and elsewhere in Western North Carolina, Hicks noted. The Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise board proposed building a casino of 50,000 to 60,000 square feet and a 300-room hotel.
The casino space would house up to 1,200 slot machines and 40 to 50 table games. An 85-acre tract of tribal land near U.S. 19/74 is being considered by the tribe for the casino location. Harrah’s Chief Mitchell Hicks would have first rights on operating the new casino, Hicks said. The second casino would be about an hour’s drive southwest of the existing Harrah’s Cherokee Casino resort.
Cherokee sovereignty must be defended constantly, chief says From Staff Reports
An address on“Cherokee Sovereignty: Issues and Institutions” by Mitchell Hicks, principle chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, drew a large turnout of more than 150 people April 11 at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union Alumni Hall. Upon his introduction, Hicks garnered enthused applause from the crowd. “Thank you, guys. What a great crowd,” especially for a sunny, balmy midday. “I’ve got a historian, a CPA and a member of the media sitting here, so I’m going to try to put everything very precisely,.” Hicks said, prompting laughter from the audiece. “I am married and have five children from ages 5 to 18. My oldest daughter is (enrolled) at University of Tennessee. They’re talking about bringing a native American sorority to UT.” With a note of pride, Hicks said, “One of the chancellors of Wake Forest (University) was a member of the Cherokee Nation. He was there for 10 to 12 years.” Hicks pointed out that “I’m in my third fourth-year term. It’s nonpartisan politics. However, any of you who have ever been involved in (such things) know that it’s the most brutal politics.” He added that “those who are from a small town know that everything you say is picked up on.” What’s more, Hicks said, “I’m a CPA by trade. I’m with a firm out of New York City. I spend a great deal of time traveling. We focus on the apparel industry. I was fortunate to be the auditor for my own tribe. “How many of you have been to Cherokee? (Many hands were raised.) How many of you visited Cherokee 20 years ago? (Fewer hands). It’s changed a lot, hasn’t it? “We have 4,600 employees. We have a hospital, police department, EMS, child care and a gaming facility. We’ve created diverse opportunities for our people. Even if you have moral problems with gambling ... we have about 125 tribal programs... Over time, things become more complicated. “The work I have to do in Raleigh is very important. Being a sovereign nation, being an Indian nation, there’s a lot of rights that have to be preserved.” Hiks noted that the Cherokee was of-
ficially recognized in 1858, at least from a federal perspective. “You can laugh, if you want,” he said. “Anybody have any idea of how many federally recognized Cherokee tribes there are in the U.S.? He said there are three, including the Eastern Band, which is the strongest with 18,000 members. “You wouldn’t believe how many people even in Raleigh don’t know” that the Eastern Band exists in WNC. He added that there are 567 federal recognized Native American tribes in the U.S. “Going back to self-determination... We also have resources. We do receive some federal funds through grants for contracts.... Like with many tribes, our biggest resource right now is gaming,” which he termed a legal right that began in 1988. “If gaming is OK in the state you live in, as long as you have a contract with the state, you can have gaming on the tribal land. (We share a small portion of that with the state of North Carolina. Right or wrong, in any business situation, there’s going to be some negotiation going on. In California, especially, they (the tribers) are giving more to the state than they probably should. We tried to make sure” that that was not the case in North Carolina. A woman asked if the federal government has criteria one has to comply with to qualify for the benefits accruing to a Cherokee Indian. “There are well over 230 groups who claimed to be Cherokee descent,” Hicks replied. “There may be some Cherokee descent there, but to be in a tribe is a privilege. … What makes a tribe – it’s a privilege. The difference is it’s a specific criteria.” In answer to another question, Hicks said, “There’s a battle every day protecting who we are as a sovereign nation. Then there’s some people who don’t respect our sovereignty. Some people want to tax things we do. We’re in a protection mode all of the time. I spend much time in Raleigh and D.C., protecting” the tribe. A young woman asked, “Do you share profits” with fellow Cherokees? “Yes, maam, we do share the profits,” Hicks replied. “Fifty percent is sent out to the members and the other 50 percent to tribal management, including hospital, schools” and other operations.
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To register, visit www.CarolinaReadiness.com
Haywood County Fairgrounds 758 Crabtree Rd., Waynesville, N.C.
Come and join us for a weekend of learning! RVs & Tents - Free camping. No electricity or showers available.
Classes being offered are:
Butchering Canning Meat* Canning Fruits/Vegetables* Dehydrating Wound Care Food Storage Sun Oven Cooking Candle Making* Soap Making* Battery-based Solar System Bread Making* Herbal Salves, Tinctures, Teas* Horsemanship for Survivors Fire Starting*
Archery Reloading Blacksmith/Knife-making Solar Greenhouse Field Trauma/sutures* Shelters Organizing a group Trapping Preppers Medicine Chest Knot-tying Prepper Fitness & Self-Defense Secret Garden of Survival Map & Compass Navigation Tactical Radio Communications
Some classes will be limited — sign up for classes early. Classes subject to change. *Minimal materials charge Bring pad & pens, and folding chairs. If you make music— bring your instruments!
Friday Night Speakers (Starting at 7 p.m.)
Dr. Dan Eichenbaum — “Agenda 21” Dr. Arthur Bradley — “Understanding & Preparing for an EMP Attack”
Carolina Readiness Supply Inc. Will you be ready when the lights go out?
72 Montgomery St. Waynesville, N.C. 28786
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 — 9
A City of Asheville Ford Ranger truck drops off children at North Windy Ridge Elementary School in Weaverville.
Special photos from an anonymous source
A county truck drops off a child at North Windy Ridge Elementary School.
Are local government-owned vehicles being used illegally? From Staff Reports
A Daily Planet reader notified the newspaper recently that he has spotted clearly marked City of Asheville and Buncombe County vehicles being used for personal business, such as dropping off children at North Windy Ridge Elementary School in Weaverville. The reader, who requested anonymity, provided pictures (some of which are displayed on this page), showing what he said are examples of illegal use of vehicles by local government workers. The source said he has seen the city and county vehicles parked outside Ingles, too. Presumably, there were doing their grocery shopping, using the government-owned vehicles. In probing the matter further, the newspaper contacted a county and a city official, who confirmed that the vehicles are not supposed to be used for personal errands. In one particular case, the city followed up with the driver of a certain vehicle specified by the paper’s source — and the driver admitted that he had broken the policy, received a warning from city officials and promised not to repeat the action. For Buncombe County, Greg Israel, director of general services (including fleet management), said on May 2 that personal use of county vehicles is prohibited, but that there is an except for public service vehicles, but one is supposed to simply drive from home to work and not take any
Steve Shoaf Greg Israel circuitous routes to run personal errands. There are “no set penalties. That employee’s director (supervisor)” is given the discretion on warning and punishment. Someone breaking the rules could be given a written warning and repeated violations could lead to dismissal.” Israel asked anyone who thinks they see someone using a county vehicle for personal use to call him directly at
City of Asheville employee drops off a child at school North Windy Ridge Elementary School.
250-4233, or to visit the Buncombe website and use the whistleblower hotline to register a complaint. “They typically leave me with a tag number,” he noted. “On county vehicles, I get very few complaints,” Israel said. “I get a lot of calls, but they often turn out to be (about) state vehicles. I might have one complaint a year on a county vehicle, not related to EMS or the sheriff’s department. “The county in the past has been pretty pro-active in requiring that a copy of the policy (prohibiting running personal errands with county vehicles) be given to all employees.” Meanwhile, Steve Shoaf, water resources director for the City of Asheville, said “we do have a policy (in the water department) prohibiting people (staff) from transporting other people without getting permission” from a supervisor. Regarding a specific vehicle cited by the Daily Planet’s source, Shoaf said the situation has been addressed with the driver, who admitted to the offense and he said the situation has been corrected as of the end of the day May 2. “I just talked to the driver. He said ‘yes,’ that is him” referred to by the Daily Planet’s source. “When his daughter misses the school bus, he gives her a ride” to school. Now, “he knows not to do that again,” Shoaf said. Shoaf also urged anyone who thinks they have seen city vehicles being used for personal use to call Tom Downing, administrative assistant for the city manager and the mayor, at 259-5604.
A City of Asheville employee dropping child off at school at North Windy Ridge Elementary School.
10 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
GOP triumphs cited at Lincoln-Reagan gala From Staff Reports
Spirits were high among the 200 attendees of the Lincoln-Reagan 2013 Victory Celebration Dinner April 6 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in West Asheville. The crowd was welcomed by Buncombe County GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell, who expressed his gratitude to all who helped organize the night’s event as well as those in general who have supported the BCGOP. Mitchell thanked the Young Republicans chapter for the hosting the reception that preceded the dinner. He also named the many other BCGOP affiliates, noting there is even a Teenage Republican Club, “so there’s a club for everybody, no matter what age. (The crowd laughed.) Mitchell then noted that Republicans locally and statewide have “had a very successful year, taking the governorship as well as both houses of the state General Assembly for the first time in 140 years.” Also, he said for the first time in 20 years, three Republicans have been elected to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. “And we really should have had four” seats, he said alluding in the contested recount by Fairview Republican Christina Merrill, who turned over the seat to Black Mountain’s Ellen Frost. “Next, Nathan Ramsey’s still on the farm, evidently. So I’m going to introduce to you his wife Robin, who’s really the backbone” of Nathan’s campaign. It later was announced that Ramsey would show up soon — “he’s busy delivering a calf.” In continuing his introductions of VIPs, Mitchell noted that among those present are Rep. Tim Moffit, state Sen. Tom Apodaca, Buncombe County commissioners David King and Joe Belcher and Woodfin Mayor Jerry Vehaun, among others. Mitchell added, “At this time, I’d like to introduce a good personal friend of mine… Congressman Mark Meadows. “Tom was unbelievably nice to me tonight,” Meadows joked. “To the media in the room, this is off the record…. Tate Apodaca, obviously the better part of the Apodaca family, works for me. “Tate said when I arrested Tom for speeding, he had someone tied up in the back of the truck with rope. Sure enough, as a bail bondsman,… Meadows added, “I just wanted to say think you so much. In this room, there’s so many of you who worked so very hard (to help us get elected). They told me how bad it’s going to be in Washington, D.C. I’m here to tell you it’s really not that bad. It’s 10 times worse. We really need to reclaim America. “As I’ve visited across the district in the past week, I’ve got great hope…. “It’s time we start doing business in Washington as they do on Main Street. It’s time to do business by the same standards.
Further, Meadows asserted, “We also have a number of problems. Recently, you’ve probably started to read about our veterans for disability claims. It’s now up to 600 days. We need to address that right away. And I’m committed to do that. “Yet, we sit here and we see an issue that’s truly near and dear to our hearts — our veterans who truly honored our flag. … (Some people said) there’s a couple of good things about Obamacare,” one of which was covering pre-existing conditions…. “We’re nearing running out of money for covering pre-existing conditions. “The second thing is a little more problematic,” Meadows said. “Surprise, surprise, the administration isn’t ready to implement Obamacare. Of course, we’d prefer that they never implemented it. “There’s only going to be one option for you to select. We need to be sure that we don’t drive physicians out of business. “I want to close with this,” Meadows said. “When we’re up there. … We want to hear from you in both the good and the bad. When we think of efficiency, it’s not the government that we think of. To continue to give money to someone who is not efficient is (foolhardy). The next speaker, Apodaca, said, “Mark, the reason I’m being nice to you is because you hired my son.” Rep. Patrick McHenry missed the meeting, but he said an assistant to extend his regards. “He hates that he can’t be here. We got a strong 33 percent in Buncombe County last year. But we cherish that 33 percent.” There were precincts where our opponent got 1,000 votes and we got 60. We’ve got an office here in Buncombe in Black Mountain, so we’ve got a full-time presence in Buncombe County.” Apodaco spoke next, noting, “Tell Patrick (McHenry) not to feel badly. My first election, I got 12 votes from downtown Asheville (The crowd laughed at Apodaca’s joke.) Also speaking was Justice Mark Martin, who noted that “I serve on your Supreme Court. The day that I forget that — I need to get out of Raleigh and get off that court. You don’t see much of us because we run only every eight years. “I just celebrated my 20th year as a judge and yes, I started at age 12. I have many ties to Western North Carolina. My Dad taught at WCU. My wife is from Sylva. And I currently live in Raleigh. That’s because that’s where my job is. I’m only one of seven justices who has ties to WNC. “The reason I’m running for chief justice is … judges should not legislate from the bench. … A quick civics lesson. How often do legislators run? Every two years. How often do executive branch officials run for office? Every four years. Now here’s the tough question, for members of Supreme Court, court of appears, etc?
Few in the crowd guessed that the answer was eight years. “Think about this: There are seven members on the (state) Supreme Court,” Martin said. “In 2014, we will elect four out of seven justices to the state Supreme Court. Think about this. The four people who we elect, which will be the majority of the court…. these four people will serve till 2022. They’ll decided how every case ends up in this state. “The final legality of those measures will be assessed in the Supreme Court of North Carolina. So, my friends, these elections are very important in electing four outstanding candidates to the (state) supreme court. Also, I’d appreciate your support for chief justice of the Supreme Court.” Following the meal and a raffle, After the meal and a raffle, Apodaca said, “The next speaker is a good friend. He gives some headaches... ladies and gentlemen, Tim Moffitt.” Moffitt smiled and said, “It’s great to see a roomful of people who are Moffitt supporters. For the record, this is the first night that I was bought and sold as a politician. Probably be the last night. Karen Winter has worked tirelessly so I can continue to keep Sen. Apodaca busy “For those of you who are familiar with Raleifh, there’s a mall there called Crabtree Mall. … Someone was awed that a couple of legislators were in their store. He asked is there specialized training (to be a legislator) I said, ‘Have you looked at who’s in the White House.” The crowd laughed at his joke. Poking fun at himself, Moffitt said, “When you mention my name in the City of Asheville, throngs (of protesters) amass. Moffitt then noted that “I was recognized as the No. 2 leading fundraiser, following only House Speaker Tom Tillis. I also found out that I’m the leading fundraiser for (Asheville Councilman) Cecil Bothwell.” Bothwell, according to Moffitt, said, “Tim Moffitt is my No. 1 target to get out of office... Every week for my comedic relieft, I turn on the Asheville City Council meeting — and Cecil Bothwell is the star... And I’d like to keep him right there on City Council.” What’s more, Moffitt said, “I recently filed HB 488” in a move that would transfer ownership of the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. “According to the city of Asheville, I’m an SOB for doing that. But in the spirit of Larry the Cable Guy, ‘I’m going to get her done.’” Sharing some thoughts on being in Raleigh. he told a cautionary tale “that absolute power corrupts absolutely. For the first time (in recent memory), we (the GOP) have both houses.” Moffitt added, “Last time, I saw there was a lot of collegiality … When not being in power for 140 years, the honey-do list is immense. … Gov. (Pat) McCrory has pulled back the curtains and the amount of work that needs to
be done is daunting. “Recently, I was talking with a liberal college of mine… (He noted that) this is the first time the Republicans have controlled all three ... of the state (in 140 years). “I said let us be in charge for the next 140 years…. If for some reason you’ve slipped through the gates, we can compare the two and make an informed decision. That would be fair. The crowd laughed. “In closing, it’s an honor to serve,” Moffitt said. “The first time I was elected was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had. The second time, even more so. Moffitt said it was an honor to be included in a lineup with Mark Meadows, Mark Martin and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. “What’s closest to my heart, though, is to be up here with Sen. Tom Apodaca, who is rules chairman. The rules chair — no disrespect to head of the Senate, Dan Forrest — Sen. Tom Apodaca, is the one who decides whether a bill is heard. “Well, currently I have 10 bills in the Senate, and I just want Tom to know, he’s my hero. I love you, Tom. “It’s sort of a man crush. You’re my hero and If I were younger, you’d be my superhero. Apodaca quipped, “I was just sitting there and I’m glad the marriage amendment didn’t pass.” Keynote speaker Dan Forest said, said, “As Tim Moffitt said, I basically don’t have any power. I’m like a kindergarten teacher. It’s been great getting to know the representatives and senators. The folks who are here are doing a fantastic job for you. He then read the following quotation from Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction…. The only way we could… We may well spend our sunset years telling what it was like when men were free.” Forrest said, “That’s what keeps us free. If we stop telling the lessons… Our country still stands in perilous times. But we can still save America. “We’re told Republicans need to move to the left or to the middle if we want to make everything alright. But not here in North Carolina. … We still know how to elect a governor in North Carolina. “We know government is best that governs least. We know that America is an exception nation The best that’s ever existed. … We know as Republicans it’s time in America to say no to political correctness. “The reason I’m standing in front of you as, really, only the second elected Republican lieutenant governor in the history of North Carolina... We’re out here because we know the grassroots are important,” Forrest said. “Our Constitution is unique because it starts with ‘We the people’ and not ‘We the government.’”
Continued from Page 1 Oeschlaeger noted, “I had a good conversation with Nathan West.” She said he agreed at their meeting that “we’d always had a positive, respectful, professional interractions” between the league and the BCGOP. “I never heard back from Henry Mitchell, the (BCGOP) chair.” She said Mitchell stopped returning her phone calls after she asked him about his comment about the league never being friendly” to the BCGOP. For her part, she said the latest tweet making fun of the league is not the first by the BCGOP. She said there have been several derogatory tweets from the party over the last six months. “The league has a lot of issue positions. We get it from both sides. Democrats sometimes
are not happy with us. Regarding accusations that all — or most of — the league members are Democrats, Oeschlaeger said, “I can you I don’t know the party affiliations” of most of her members. “We have registered Republicans. We certainly have registered Democrats. I’m unaffiliated.” She added that the league is open to all genders and political affiliations. With a laugh, she said in the recent local election forums hosted by the league, “They (the BCGOP members) are the ones coming to our events.” Oeschlaeger said he aspiration with the league is to be fair to all sides. “The league is about open, civil dialogue,” she noted. Meanwhile, Mitchell, the BCGOP chair-
man, released the following statement: “In the past, the League of Women Voters had never been to friendly to the GOP or local Republican candidates. Seems like we where always set up and ambushed at the public forums. “Their forums have never been wellattended by the right or the GOP . “However This seems to be changing under the leadership of the new director Karen Oeschlaeger. “Karen has made a real effort to reach out recently to the BCGOP and they did a MUCH better job at the forums that where held during this past election season.We actually felt the forums where conducted in a more fair and equal format.”
Mitchell noted that West, the BCGOP communications director, had a meeting set up with Oeschlaeger recently “to discuss how the BCGOP can work closer with the LWV. “I would like to suggest that during the planning process of the public forums they include a few of our Republican ladies from the exec board or the Republican women’s clubs, to get our input with the forums. “We would appreciate the oppounity to be included in the planning of the public forums and in return encourage the BGOP to attend and support the forums. “Change is good and the new LWV leadership seems to be making that changes in a positive way,” Mitchell said.
Concert Reviews and Calendar of Events
Special Section PULLOUT
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 — 11
Keillor’s poignant show captures hearts
By JOHN NORTH firstname.lastname@example.org
BOONE — Garrison Keillor must have fortified himself earlier with some Powdermilk Biscuits because this self-proclaimed “shy person” had the strength to get up and do what needed to be done during his April 16 show at Appalachian State University. Indeed, the host of public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” from fictional Lake Wobegone, Minn. (but actually from St. Paul, Minn.), came, saw and easily conquered a crowd of about 2,000 people in ASU’s Holmes Convocation Center. His new show, “An Evening With Garrison Keillor: A Brand New Retrospective,” is based on Keillor, at age 70, reliving the good times — and the music that brings it all back, including hymns, jingles, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, pop tunes, limericks, rock ‘n’ roll, Beethoven, love sonnets, rags, blues and rousers. Keillor is America’s closest current approximation to Mark Twain — and his show was fueled by his rumbling barritone singing and soothing, folksy storytelling. This was clearly billed as something other than “A Prairie Home Companion,” but for me it was still hard to see a Keillor show with no “Dusty & Lefty: The Lives of the Cowboys” and “Guy Noir, Private Eye.” Keillor was joined on stage by vocalist Christine DiGiallonardo and backed by two highly skilled keyboardists, Richard Dworsky and Rob Fisher. (Dworsky leads The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band on “A Prairie Home Companion.”) From the start of his retrospective show, it was obvious that Keillor was among fans — perhaps many of whom are English majors just like him, reveling in his witticisms, wordplay and poignant stories. The applause was strong and steady throughout the show, capped by a thunderous standing ovation at the end. The evening began with lively perfor-
Special Photo by DWIGHT SCHNIRMAN
Garrison Keillor sings a duet with Christine DiGiallonardo on April 16 at ASU in Boone. mances by two local bands, The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys, led by Joe Shannon; and the Forget-Me-Nots. The latter group which featured David Finck sitting in a chair strumming a guitar, while three comely young women — two of whom are his daughters — charmed the crowd with their virtuosity on their fiddles, playing Celtic music. The fiddlers included Willa Finck, Maura Shawn Scanlin and Ledah Finck. Forty-five minutes into the show, Keillor finally came out and stood near the center of the Holmes arena, far from the stage, leading several sing-alongs with the crowd. Featured were a number of well-known gospel and patriotic songs, including “Amazing Grace.” While I wasn’t thrilled to hear the crowd’s singing, most of those in attendance seemed delighted to have the opportunity to belt out songs with their beloved Keillor. Eventually, Keillor made his way to the stage, where his pinstriped gray suit, accented by a bright-red tie and matching
running shoes, made for a clownish effect. His fellow vocalist, DiGiallonardo, inexplicably was dressed in casual slacks and a nondescript sweater, looking more appropriate to make a late-night grocery run to Wal-Mart than to add any much-needed fashion flair as counterpoint to Keillor. Highlights included duets Keillor sang with DiGiallonardo and a number of the colorful stories, especially of Keillor’s youth and the crushing pain of being jilted by beautiful young women he dated. To the audience’s great amusement, Keillor occasionally expressed regret in his shyness with women in his youth, repeatedly expressing the sentiment that he should have been a tad bit more aggressive. Beyond the time-consuming sing-alongs and DiGiallonardo’s drab attire, there was not much to fault in this excellent show ... other than that there was no special recognition by Keillor of the legacy of Doc Watson of Deep Gap (near Boone). Watson, who died on May 29, 2012 at age 89, is widely recognized for blending his traditional Appalachian folk music roots with blues, country, gospel, and bluegrass to create his unique style and expansive repertoire. Blind from infancy, Watson was considered one of the world’s most accomplished flat-pickers.
For ASU’s upcoming An Appalachian Summer Festival, among the featured performers are The Band Perry (at the outdoor fireworks concert,at Kidd Brewer Stadium) at 7:30 p.m. July 6; Boz Scaggs at 8 p.m. July 20; Lyle Lovett at 8 p.m. July 27; and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega at 8 p.m. Aug. 1.
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12 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Funk band to open Asheville’s Downtown After 5 series
The 25th season of the Downtown After 5 street party will open with Big Sam’s Funky Nation, featuring a New Orleans funk sound, just after 5 p.m. May 17 on North Lexington Avenue. The monthly gala, staged from May through September and featuring local beer and restaurants, usually draws 5,000 to 6,000 partiers to North Lexington Avenue, where the downtown street is closed off near the I-240 overpass. The 2013 Downtown After 5 entertainment lineup was unveiled April 30 by the Asheville Downtown Association during a volunteer appreciation party at The Orange
• June 21 — Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy Hailing from Athens, Ga., Tucker was formerly with the Drive-By Truckers. Her new band is billed as epitomizing “a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll,” with a healthy dose of soul and twang. • July 19 — Asheville All-Stars with Pleasure Chest The AA-S bring together many of the musicians that comprise Asheville’s eclectic music scene. Performers will include Josh Blake, Woody Wood, Kellin Watson, Caitlin Krisko, Adam Strange, Jeff Knorr and many more.
• Aug. 16 — The Revivalists with Lyric The Revivalists are billed as the next breakout band from the music capital of New Orleans. The group blends soulful, syncopated rock and earnest songwriting through a meticulously crafted and everevolving live performance. • Sept. 20 — Truth & Salvage Co. with The Blue Rags The band Truth & Salvage Co., which includes former members of the Asheville 1990s band Scrappy Hamilton, will close out the 2013 series with songs fitting between the genres of county and rock music, in a show stacked with four-part harmonies.
“I’m Into Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am,” “Silhouettes,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” “Just A Little Bit Better,” “Wonderful World,” “There’s A Kind of Hush,” “A Must To Avoid,” “Listen People,” “The End of the World” and “Dandy.” The SMCPA noted that, “ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold over 60 million recordings, of which several became certified as gold. Accompanied by his band, Herman’s
Hermits, Noone consistently plays to sold-out venues the world over delighting fans with his extraordinary talent, disarming Herman’s Hermits in wit, handsome their mid-1960s prime. features and compelling stage presence.” For tickets, which are $20 and $28, call 524-1598 or visit GreatMountainMusic. com.
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, May 3
Peel nightclub. Big Sam’s trombonist Sam Williams is a former member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Williams has performed with Elvis Costello, Allen Touissant and others. Also performing will be Empire Strikes Brass. The series has includes a wristband program since 2006, and each year a portion of the proceeds of beer sales are donated to a nonprofit that works each concert. Over the years, the ADA has granted more than $65,000 in wristband grant funds. Other 2013 artists scheduled to perform at Downtown After 5 include the following:
“CHANGE EVERYTHING” SPEECH, 9 a.m., Bo Thomas Auditorium, Blue Ridge Community College, East Flat Rock. Former Fortune magazine editor Rik Kirkland will address “Three Things That Will Change Everything” in a talk hosted by the Blue Ridge Literacy Council and PNC BANK. Kirkland has traveled the world, interviewing ev-
eryone from former U.S. presidents to renowned business leaders, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. He will weave together highlights from various encounters during his presentation. Tickets, benefiting the Literacy Council, are $25, include light refreshments from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Kirkland will speak from 9 to 10 a.m. For tickets or more information, call 696-3811 or visit www. litcouncil.org. CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., St. James Episcopal Church, 766 N. Main St., Hendersonville. The Carolina Concert Choir will perform. The concert also will be presented at 3 p.m. May 4. For tickets, call 891-8416 or visit Carolina ConcertChoir.org.
Saturday, May 4
HERMAN’S HERMITS’ REVUE, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will perform. At the age of 15, Noone, a Manchester, England, native, achieved international fame as “Herman,” lead singer of the legendary 1960s pop band Herman’s Hermits. His classic hits included:
Sunday, May 5
Big Love Fest, noon-8 p.m., Pack Square Park, downtown Asheville. The third annual celebration of an unchained and independent Asheville will feature music, food, local beer, independent crafters and small businesses.
See CALENDAR, Page 14
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 — 13
18 MONTHS till the end of June 2013
14 — May 2013 — Asheville Daily Planet
Continued from Page 12
Sunday, May 5
CONCERT, 3 p.m., St. Matthias Church, 1 Dundee St., Asheville. The Blue Ridge Orchestra will perform music by Bach, Mendelssohn, Telemann and Beethoven. The concert is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted.
Monday, May 6
CONCERT, noon, Scott Concert Hall, Porter Center, Brevard. Jason Posnick, violin; and Sandra Wright Shen, piano, will perform in concert.
Tuesday, May 7
FILM SCREENING, 7 p.m., Black Mountain Library, 105 Dougherty St., Black Mountain. The film “The Dark Side of Chocolate: How Bitter Is Your Chocolate?” will be screened. There also will be a sampling of treats and a discussion. The film claims chocolate is one of our favorite pleasures, but the production of much of the world’s chocolate is not so sweet.
Thursday, May 9
MEETING, 6:30 p.m., Renaissance Hotel, downtown Asheville. The Buncombe County Republican Men’s Club will meet for a program. A 6 p.m. buffet dinner will precede the program.
Friday, May 10
CONCERT, 7 p.m., Coulter Hall, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. A concert will feature David Holt, Mountain Faith and Lonesome Sound. For tickets, which are $10, call 596-4009. CONCERT, 7:30 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. The Asheville Choral Society will present a concert titled “A Spirit to Remember.” The concert also will be peformed at 4 p.m. May 11. For tickets, which are $20 for the public and $10 for students, call 232-2060, or visit www. ashevillechoralsociety.org.
Saturday, May 11 STRING BAND SHOW 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Per-
David Holt will perform at 7 p.m. May 10 in Coulter Hall at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
The Old Crow Medicine Show will play at 8 p.m. May 15 at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville. forming Arts, Franklin. Billed as “the best string band in the nation,” the Mike Snider String Band will perform in concert. For tickets, which are $15, call 524-1598 or visit GreatMountainMusic.com. ASHEVILLE SYMPHONY CONCERT, 8 p.m., Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, U.S. Cellular Center, downtown Asheville. The Rite of Spring concert will feature the Asheville Symphony Orchestra with guest cellist Joshua Roman. For more information or tickets, visit www.ashevillesymphony.org.
Sunday, May 12
CELTIC SHOW, 7 p.m., Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, Pack Square, downtown Asheville. “An Evening With Dougie MacLean” will be presented. For tickets, which are $35 for the public, $30 for students and $15 for ages 12 and younger, call 2574530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.
Wed., May 15
318 S. Washington St. Shelby NC 704-487-8114
SHOWS for 2013
ON SALE NOW
May 10 George Hatcher & Nantucket Coming Home Tour & 35th Anniversary Both in one BIG Night
Grammy Award Winner
OLD CROW CONCERT, 8 p.m., Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, downtown Asheville. The Old Crow Medicine Show will perform in concert.
With Kentucky Thunder June 22, 5 & 8 pm
Friday, May 17
DOWNTOWN AFTER 5, 5:15 p.m., North Lexington Avenue near I-240 overpass, downtown Asheville. The DA5 2013 series will open with Big Sam’s Funky Nation, a New Orleansstyle funk band. Also performing will be Empire Strikes Brass.
See CALENDAR, Page 15
With 11 number 1 HITS
May 17 @ 8pm One night only
With special guest in the lounge
Don’t miss the Cleverleys May 31 @ 8pm
The most fun you will ever have at a concert.
COMING SOON Sept. 7 Sweethearts of the Rodeo Sept. 20 Colin Hay (from Men at Work) Oct. 4 Bronx Wanderers Nov. 29 Edwin McCain
www.DonGibsonTheatre.com The Steep Canyon Rangers will perform at 8 p.m. May 17 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center in Tryon.
The Don Gibson American Music Foundation
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 — 15
Jon Vezner with Sally Baris Sunday, May 5 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15
Wednesday, May 8 • 8 p.m. Tickets $8 Nora Jane Strutchers & The Party Line will perform at 8 p.m. May 26 in the Great Hall at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville.
Matthew Perryman Jones with special guest CALEB
Continued from Page 14
Friday, May 17
Saturday, May 11 • 8 p.m. Tickets $12
STEEP CANYON RANGERS CONCERT, 8 p.m., Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon. The Steep Canyon Rangers will perform. For tickets, call 859-8322 or visit 222.tryonarts.org.
Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo
Saturday, May 18
Sunday, May 12 • 8 p.m. Tickets $20
CRAFT BAZAAR, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Big Ivy Community Center, 540 Dillingham Rd., Barnardsville. A craft bazaar will feature local as well as East Tennessee craftsmen selling a variety of handmade items.
Tuesday, May 21
SOUTH SLOPE BUSINESS MIXER, 5:30 p.m., The Millroom, 66 Asheland Ave., Asheville. The Asheville Downtown Association will host a member mixer to meet the businesses coming to the city’s South Slope. Those signed up to attend include Beer City Pretzel Co., Burial Beer Co., HiWire Brewing, King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles, and Twin Leaf Brewery. The South Slope area of Asheville’s central business district has been billed as a hotbed of new business activity, with the aforementioned businesses planning to open in the next several months.
Thursday, May 23
POWER OF PURSE LUNCHEON, 11:30 a.m., Expo Center, Crowne Plaza, Asheville. The annual Power of the Purse luncheon will feature a performance by award-winning playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith. The event benefits The Women’s Fund, a permanent endowment of The Community Foundation of WNC that supports the unmet needs of women and girls across the region. For tickets, which are $60, or $150 for a patron ticket, call 254-4960 or visit www.cfwnc. org.
Friday, May 24
JAZZ CABARET DINNER, 6:30 p.m., White Horse, 105-C Montreat Rd., Black Mountain. The Jazz Cabaret Dinner Series will feature “Boy’s
Rocker Aaron Lewis will perform at 9 p.m. May 24 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee.
Friday, May 10 • 8 p.m. Tickets $20
2nd Sundays @ 5 - Mother’s Day in the Reeds James McCartney will perform at 8 p.m. May 28 at The Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville. Night Out,” with dinner at 6:30 and the show at 8. For tickets, call 669-0816 or visit www.whitehorseblackmountain.com. AARON LEWIS CONCERT, 9 p.m., Event Center, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Cherokee. Aaron Lewis will perform in concert. As the co-founder and lead singer of Mass.-based alternative-rock band Staind, Lewis is the innovator behind some of the most memorable songs of the past decade, including the No. 1 single “It’s Been a While,” which spent 16 weeks on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart. For tickets, which are $32.50, visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Sunday, May 26
CONCERT, 8 p.m., Great Hall, Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville. Nora Jane Struthers & The Party will perform.
Tuesday, May 28
JAMES McCARTNEY CONCERT, 8 p.m., The Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St., downtown Asheville. James McCartney will perform, with special guest Risa Binder. He is the son of exBeatle Paul McCartney. For tickets which are $15, call 248-5327.
Saturday, June 1
CHRISTIAN COMEDY SHOW, 7:30 p.m., Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Mark Lowry, a Christian comedian, will perform. For tickets, which are $18 and $20, call 524-1598 or visit GreatMountainMusic.com.
Way beyond hip and trendy
Asheville Daily Planet
Sunday, May 12 • 5 p.m.
Tickets $12 in advance/$5 for students
Available at www.pan-harmonia.org/shop or $18 at the door
Saturday, May 18 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15
Friday, May 24 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15
This is a standing show! There will be seating around the perimeter, but is NOT a traditional seated show.
Chatham County Line
Saturday, May 25 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15 Advance/$18 Day of Show
Son of Paul McCartney
with special guest Rita Binder Tuesday, May 28 • 8 p.m. Tickets $15
Friday, June 14 • 8 p.m. Tickets $13 Advance/$15 Day of Show
June 1st: Jonathan Scales June 9th: Pan Harmonia June 13th: Young Professionals of Asheville (YPA) End of Year Gala June 14th: John Fullbright
June 17th: Poetry at the Altamont June 20th: Sweetback Sisters June 22nd - Erik Baker June 30th: Mike Compton & Joe Newberry July 3rd - Livingston Taylor
18 Church St. • DowntownAsheville Get tickets at (828) 348-5327 or www.myaltamont.com
16 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Daily Planet Staff Photos
Surf beat rocks Asheville
Dick Dale (above left) and his band were the featured act that drew a full house on April 29 at the Asheville Music Hall in downtown Asheville. Opening for Dale was the local surf-stomp band, The Krektones (below) that also drew raves from the crowd. Dale is billed as the “king of surf guitar” based on the style he developed from his base in Southern California in the late 1950s. He starred in the early 1960s with Dick Dale & His Deltones. He last played Asheville on April 30, 2012 at Jack of the Wood.
Photos from Dick Dale’s website (clockwise from left) show him in his prime, his current look and in the center with his Deltones in the early 1960s.
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18 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013— 19
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Saturday, May 4
PAPER-SHREDDING DAY, 9 a.m.-noon, Enka Baptist Church, 1310 Sand Hill Rd., Enka. A paper-shredding will be held, with a limit of five boxes or bags. FUNDRAISING DINNER, noon-5 p.m., Hopkins Chapel AME Zion Church, 21 College Place, Asheville. A fundraiser dinner will feature barbecue, hot dogs and fish dinners for $8. Hot dog plates will be offered at $5 and $7. Free delivery will be provided until 4 p.m. by calling 254-6098. CONCERT, 5:30 p.m., Bethany United Methodist Church, 212 Bethany Church Rd., Fairview. The Mills Chapel Choir will perform in concert, followed by a fellowship meal. Admission is one or more cans of food. SATURDAYS AT SIX, 6 p.m., Central United Methodist Church, 27 Church St., downtown Asheville. CUMC’s Saturday’s at Six series will feature The Praise Band and singers leading the music.
Tuesday, May 7
PUB CHAT, 6 p.m., Mezzaluna restaurant, 226 N. Main St., downtown Hendersonville. The Unity Center in Mills River will hold “Truth on Tap,” a pub chat with the Rev. Chad O’Shea on matters spiritual and otherwise. A love offering will be taken. OPEN DISCUSSION, 6 p.m. Christian Science Reading Room, 2 Wall St., downtown Asheville. An open discussion on practical spiritual healing and practice also will include selected readings. The topic will be The Lord’s Prayer.
Thursday, May 16
INTERFAITH BOOK DISCUSSION, 5:30-7 p.m., Grateful Steps Bookstore, South Lexington Avenue, downtown Asheville. Mallory McDuff, who teaches environmental education at Warren Wilson College, will discuss her work in environment and creation theology.
Saturday, May 18
Showcase Performance, 7 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Unity voice students will perform in a concert of heartfelt songs and sweet sharing. Admission is free. This performance opportunity is open to all past or current students of Voice Class or private lessons with Lyte and Terri. The fee is $25, including rehearsal on May 16 and accompanist. To perform, register with Lyte or Terri by calling (714) 2404889 or visiting www.singforjoy.us.
Sunday, May 19
Annual Meeting, 11:30 a.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River.The annual meeting will feature a review of the last fiscal year and an election of new board members and alternates, and of a Nominating
Tom Shadyac’s documentary “I Am” will be screened from 7 to 9 p.m. May 29 at the Unity Center in Mills River, followed by a discussion. Committee member. All are welcome; but only official members may vote. A “lap luncheon” will be served to all who attend, with all attendees aked to sign up to bring sandwiches. SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN’S SERVICE, 6 p.m., Avery’s Creek United Methodist Church, Brevard and Glen Bridge roads, Arden. A fellowship dinner and service for special needs children will be held every third Sunday. All are welcome regardless of ability to participte.
Sunday, May 26
Memorial Day SERVICE, 10 a.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Unity’ service will honor those who have served their country in the armed services, working toward the end of war, and celebrating the unofficial beginning of summertime.
Wednesday, May 29
Soul Series FILM SCREENING, 7-9 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The 76-minute documentary “I Am” will be screened, followed by a discussion, led by the Rev. Pat Veenema. “I Am” is the story of a successful Hollywood director, Tom Shadyac (“Liar, Liar;” “Nutty Professor” and “Bruce Almighty”) who experienced an injury which catapulted him into a major shift in his life, inspiring him to try to answer two very basic questions: “What’s wrong with our world?” and “What can we do about it?” Shadyac shares his search for the answers to these questions as he visits some of today’s great minds: authors, poets, teachers, religious leaders, and scientists, including the Dali Llama, searching for the fundamental answers, while simultaneously reflecting on his own life choices of excess, greed and eventual healing. “We started by asking what’s wrong with the world, and ended up discovering what’s right with it,” Shadyac noted. Admission is free, but a love offering will be accepted.
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Unity Church of Asheville An Informal Spiritual Center of Practical Christianity for Everyday Living.
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advertising@AshevilleDailyPlanet.com ... or call 252-6565.
New Books by Dr. Bob Holt, M.D. at Lulu Dot Com “Jesus in India,” etc. www.healthark.com
A Church Family for ONE and ALL Come as you are! Sunday Services Sunday Services 10:00 a.m 9:30am & 11:00am Serving WNC for 60 years
891-8700 / 684-3798
2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd. Mills River 28759 Rev. Chad O’Shea
20 — May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Daily Planet’s Opinion
Asheville overrated? Yes, but.... Asheville, topping so many “best” lists, recently received the dubious distinction of being listed on the Huffington Post’s “terribly overrated destinations.” David Landsel, contributing editor at airfarewatchdog.com who wrote the story and composed the list, included Asheville with nine other disappointing locales, including Buenes Aires, Argentina; Berlin, Germany; Chicago, Costa Rica, Colorado, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; the Caribbean, Austin and San Francisco. Regarding Asheville (rated ninth worst), Landsel wrote, “This physically and emotionally fragmented mountain town full of people who seem really annoyed by everything — including your presence here — is no fun anymore. The traffic can be atrocious, the main attraction is the soulless estate of yet another Vanderbilt, those famous hotels are sadly average and overpriced, the food is just fine.
“The worst bit, though: Asheville today is the furthest thing from relaxing. A Hamptons with no beach, it has become a bottlenecked blot on a lovely landscape, seething with urban stressites searching fruitlessly for somewhere to park their Georgia-plated Hummers. Next. “Instead, try... You probably came for the mountains. So go to them. Start with magnificent Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, running an impressive 6,684 feet above sea level. Next, hop back on the Blue Ridge Parkway — which runs straight past Asheville — and head down to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the very few places in this country where sitting in a ridiculous traffic jam is worth your time and trouble.” In our view, Landsel is mostly right on the mark, while at the same time we think there’s something wonderfully lovable about our eccentric, eclectic Asheville.
Letters to the Editor
Conservative pundit’s pot stance challenged
Carl Mumpower’s assertion in “N.C. Dems push downgrading pot penalties’’ that cannabis is a slow but certain route to hell reverses the pro-pot vow he made onstage at The Orange Peel during Jenny Bowen’s Faces of Asheville slide show in 2009. One of the photographed subjects, I saw him vow to support decriminalizing cannabis during his unsuccessful bid for re-election to City Council. (View Mumpower’s speech online at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=UL1ec9m-Wdg, posted by Jon Elliston of Mountain Xpress). I often find Carl’s opinions on topical issues strangely at odds with the conservative ideals that right-wingers claim to hold dear, such as going against family values by supporting the deportation of hardworking, head-of-household immigrants, or not wanting to accord women equal rights with men, such as the ability to go topless. But his recent opposition to cannabis de-
criminalization seems particularly disconnected from what many have pointed out for years — that cannabis’ superiority as a sustainable food, fuel, fiber and oil source is beyond dispute, its medicinal virtues as broad as aspirin, and its effects equally benign. Surely Mumpower is aware that the Bible doesn’t demonize the weed and that many believe God put the herb on planet for humanity’s benefit? Dixie Deerman Asheville
Mumpower’s departure from GOP? It’s about time
As for Carl Mumpower’s recent announcement to leave the Republican Party when the Asheville water system leaves Asheville’s ownership, all I can say is ... well, its about time. All of us liberty- minded and free market-types ought to leave and head for John Galt. The GOP is so corrupt, its not much better than the Dems. See LETTERS, Page 25
The Candid Conservative
continue to cave Two iron ladies showed the way Republicans Conservative thinkers have known for CHAPEL HILL — What about North Carolina’s “iron lady”? The recent death of Margaret Thatcher, the steely, hard-working, and effective British prime minister, led to much discussion of her career, and we heard different opinions about her impact on the opening of opportunities for women in government and politics. What an unusual lady! Charming when she needed to be, but tough as nails and mean as a snake. She showed women around the world that they could take the lead in a country that had never had a female prime minister and make it work well. But, we have learned that she was not a vigorous advocate for the advancement of other women. She did not want to be viewed as a token at any stage of her career. Other women, she believed, should work to advance on their own merit and not be given special opportunities because of their gender. North Carolina’s own iron lady had similar views, as explained by Anna Hayes in “Without Precedent,” her 2008 biography of North Carolina Chief Justice Susie Sharp. When Sharp entered law school at Chapel Hill in 1926, she was the only woman in her class. When she began practicing law in 1929, women could not be judges or serve on juries. Nor was there much encouragement for her from the judge who administered her oath for admission to the bar. He lectured her, “Well, young lady, I congratulate you and all like that, but I’d be derelict in my duty if I didn’t tell you that you will never make a lawyer. If you persist, you will just be wasting your time, playing in the sand. I advise you to start right now trying to find something more appropriate to do.” However, by 1949 her talent as a lawyer and her political connections led to appointment as a superior court judge, which required her to hold court in different parts of the state. At one courthouse she found that access to the judge’s chambers was only through the men’s restroom. As a trial court judge, according to Hayes, Sharp offered a “sterling example of how a court should be run—knowledgeably, fairly, and efficiently—earning the respect of lawyers and litigants alike. She
D.G. Martin was a tireless crusader in her courtroom remarks and public speeches for the rule of law as the foundation of democracy, and for active, informed citizenship.” Her service led to appointment to the state’s supreme court and election as its chief justice where Hayes said in an interview for the book’s publisher, UNC Press, “She was known as a legal scholar whose opinions were models of lucidity, and who undertook on occasion to bring about needed changes in the law...As a woman, of course, through her example she expanded opportunities for women in the legal profession and public life.” Ironically, Hayes said, Sharp was an “obdurate opponent” of the Equal Rights Amendment in the battle for ratification in North Carolina that raged from 1970 to 1982 and “she exerted every effort she could to defeat the amendment. She based her opposition largely on the arguable idea that women were already protected under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and believed that the ERA would cause women to lose existing protections they had under the law. ... North Carolina was considered a critical state whose approval could break the logjam and create momentum toward ratification. ... Justice Sharp was undeniably influential in the ERA’s defeat in North Carolina, and to that extent, can be said to bear some credit or blame for its ultimate failure in the nation.” Even those who disagree with Thatcher’s and Sharp’s positions on women’s issues or other important matters must be grateful for these iron ladies’ tenacious and successful battles that demonstrated powerfully how women can perform exceptionally well and lead at the very highest levels. • D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV.
some time that the Democratic Party has corrupted itself beyond redemption potentials. They’ve made too many promises to provide something for nothing to have any change of returning to a platform of reason. What hope there’s been for conservatives has centered on the redemptive potentials of the Republican Party. Recent events have not rewarded that anticipation. In every area from illegal immigration to gun control to cutting spending, Republicans continue to cave. Most recently came the proposal for background checks on gun purchasers. On the surface this idea seems like a no-brainer – except that it’s going to regulate the good guys and do next to nothing to stop the bad guys. It may make politicians feel good, but it’s at the expense of real interventions and the liberties of responsible citizens. Conservatives should never mistake motion for action – or most Republican officials for being sincere to stated principles.
A special number….
By good fortune I had the opportunity to see a great movie this weekend. It was as chock full of conservative principles as a Ronald Reagan biography. The movie was “42”—the story of the first black American to play major league baseball. From start to finish, this moving film made one thing clear – justice, equality, character, and truth are team sports. The most powerful message, however, came from Jackie Robinson’s role model. He made it clear that his missions were to pay his own way, feed his family, win, support his team, and prove himself the equal or better in talent and character of any man. Notice there was nothing in there about demanding recognition, fair treatment, or handouts. Jackie Robinson was anything but a victim and his example offers a beacon to any American – regardless of color. Last bit of advice from a candid conservative finishing No. 824? Go see “42” and then start wearing it.
Checking your six….
Our president recently proclaimed April as National Financial Literacy Month. Combat pilots have a phrase for covering their behinds called “checking your six.” Any President spending one trillion dollars
more than he’s taking in every year he’s in office needs to check his six – or more productively – his head. A trillion is a million millions. If they existed, it would take a stack of thousand dollar bills 70 miles high to equal a trillion. We’re spending trillions we don’t have pretending there’s a magic fix down the road. There isn’t anything down that road but poverty for our off-spring. The President just submitted a budget proposal legally mandated two months sooner. By now you’ve heard this President has doubled the number of Americans on food stamps. All this from a guy attempting to encourage us toward financial literacy? Sure – vanity knows no bounds in those distanced from accountability. His lack of financial literacy mirrors the voting majority’s lack of political literacy.
Our drugged up culture
We live in a society in transition. The missions of living and doing good are being replaced with the missions of feeling and looking good. The former are the birthplace of character, values, and hope. The latter are the foundations of selfishness, immorality, and despair. The trend is showing up everywhere. Our hospitals are flooded with addicts of one form or another – so are our jails – and it’s not because we routinely commit or throw poor pitiful drug abusers in prison. It’s because poor pitiful drug abusers lose their way and do crazy stuff that gets them in trouble. In today’s America if you want to feel better your pushed to swallow, snort, or smoke something. That pressure is coming from our doctors and schoolmates as surely as the neighborhood drug dealer. In the real world there are no enduring shortcuts from personal responsibility. Forget the swallow, snort, or smoke path to happiness. There’s a big difference in someone living to get a fix and someone fixing to get a living. See CANDID CONSERVATIVE, Page 25
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013— 21
On the left
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
North Carolina is being governed today like the Banana Republic of legend and lore, with a legislature that is carroming out of control, high on the fumes of its own exhaust, and careless of what it might do to the people, the schools, the businesses and the future of our state. They have become the butt of jokes and denigration on talk shows and in comedy clubs. They seem intent on making a mockery of representative government. And they don’t, apparently, give a damn what you or I or anyone else thinks. Where to begin? The low-hanging fruit (or, more accurately, nuts) are the obvious idiocies. Bills have been filed to prevent cities from banning Big Gulp sodas at fast food restaurants and convenience stores; to ban female toplessness; to permit possumdrops; and to permit their dear Representative selves to accept unlimited gifts from lobbyists without reporting them. “Government for sale or rent, votes to let 50¢ (beat, beat) King of the Road ...” (Everybody sing along!) But the more substantive bills are far worse. Right off the bat, they have refused federal Medicaid money (and thereby cut off N.C. recipients) and cut unemployment eligibility and payments. You sick, unemployed suckers will just have to panhandle, I guess. Republicans, once champions of home rule (arguing that governments closest to the people are most responsive to the people) and for small government in general, suddenly morphed into Stalinesque autocrats when they gained the majority in Raleigh. They intend to control the entire state from their central committee and are im-
Cecil Bothwell posing their views on every possible issue that comes forward. Are you a supporter of local family farms providing organic produce as a CSA or to local restaurants? Would you like your city or county to help safeguard those farms? Sorry, the General Assembly intends to ban local governments from imposing any more protections for organic farms than the state might choose to provide (which is, none, because the corporate lobbyists with the unreported gifts work for Monsanto and Archer/Daniels/Midland). Do you want to protect greenspace in your community? Protect against siltation that kills rivers? Regulate pollutants from local industry? Sorry, the GA aims to take away the right of local governments to require any stricter environmental practices than the state. Oh, and the new head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources wants to do away with the department. So much for state regulation. Would it be reasonable, in your view, to keep public the registry of conceal/carry permit holders? (As it has been since conceal/carry permits were first issued here.) Sorry, the GA wants to make that information confidential. So, Ms. Abused Spouse with a Protective Order, we don’t want you to be able to find out that Mr. Bruiser is now packing. What about hiking on Sundays? Do you
ever take a walk in the woods during hunting season? Of course, you wear blaze orange vest and hat and gloves (as a friend’s grandpa was when he was gunned down by someone who mistook him for a deer), but do you feel a little safer on Sundays when hunting is banned? Sorry, they’ve decided they want to allow gunning seven days a week, so you’d best take the kids to the mall. Have you had any particular problem with flying out of Asheville (other than the limited service a small city sustains) or out of Charlotte? Me neither. But the autocrats in Raleigh believe independent airport authorities are a better plan, and are snatching those facilities from control by the citizens of the two cities. Now if all of this were actually the product of drunken clowns, it would be bad enough. But, actually, it’s the work of ideologues doing the bidding of their puppet masters. The major legislation introduced in Raleigh this year has been modeled, if not completely written, by the American Legistlative Exchange Council, a right-wing Republican entity funded by billionaires intent on stealing your money, depressing your wages, maximizing corporate profits and gaining further control of our national and state governments. They are committed, brazen and dangerous. Please pay attention. The future of your community, our nation and the world hang in the balance. • 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 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
Ex-ghost writer recalls ups, downs of his craft I used to be a ghost. I was invisible, but you could see my handiwork. I watched and listened as others spoke my ideas, smiling when my words were quoted in the press. That’s right: I was a ghost writer. My name never appeared on books, magazine articles, thank-you notes, boardroom resolutions, resumes, movie treatments, business proposals, poems, speeches, letters and, once, an article for a scholarly journal. I thought of those days during the disastrous speeches by Romney and Ryan at the Republican National Convention. And I did some smiling last month when I visited old friends in a Chicago suburb. You see, I wrote a series of love letters in college that helped their romance along. Neither of us mentioned the letters. I guessed he never told her. Ghosting might be the second-oldest profession. Alexander Hamilton wrote George Washington’s Farewell Address. Franklin Roosevelt spoke the words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” but it was Louis Howe who coined them. Most of John Kennedy’s memorable lines were written by Ted Sorenson. Gerald Ford brought in comedy writer Robert Orben to lighten up his verbiage. An interesting ghostwriting moment came when President George W. Bush was selling the Iraq War. He assigned the job of “messaging” the war to speechwriter David Frum. Sorenson did say, “The man who controls the pen has a great deal of influence over what ultimately becomes presidential policy.” Frum’s assignment went beyond influence. Most of the time I was only asked to take the client’s ideas and craft them into flowing rhetoric. The meat and potatoes were cooked; I provided the gravy. But not always. Sometimes I even had to do the shopping. The chairman of a large bank once asked me to write a speech for him. His instructions, more or less, were: “Here’s the subject they want me to talk about. Make me look good.” And I did. Well, a few months later, my office phone rang. “Mr. Ballard,” a familiar voice said, “we have a problem. The press is asking for our corporate policy on a certain subject, and we don’t have one. Didn’t you write a speech for the chairman a while back on that sub-
Lee Ballard ject?” I said I did. Did I have a copy? I did. A messenger would be right over, she said. I protested that I had written it without input from the chairman. “Did he give the speech?” “Yes.” “The messenger will be there in 15 minutes.” One speech for that chairman I regret. I wrote the speech he gave to bank officers about competition among Texas banks for loans. The speech told the officers to get busy selling loans. Not long after, Texas banks collapsed from bad loans. Looking back, I feel sorry for my clients ─ that they had to hire me. The very process of writing is, after all, the process of thinking. When we write, we’re constantly seeking ideas, sifting and winnowing, accepting and rejecting, developing and discarding. We follow lines of logic and discover new questions. We’re sometimes forced to change our minds. We challenge a simplistic idea, and it crumbles. We research. We interview. But we try to go beyond our sources to new conclusions. True, we elect and hire people for their ability to make good decisions, not their ability to talk about them. But it’s a shame that intellectual rigor is regarded as a luxury. I’m happy that President Obama is a writer as well as a leader. • Lee Ballard lives in Mars Hill.
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Continued from Page 1
Mumpower added, “It’s a good bet that our governor is not altogether happy with the situation our local Republican legislators have put him in. “As the mayor of the largest city in North Carolina (Charlotte), he was an advocate for municipalities. Now he is in a position of supporting what amounts to the greatest act of legislative theft against a city in our state’s history.” Continuing, Mumpower asserted, “My bet is that this would not have progressed without the consent of his office and that he will sign the legislation into law. That action will reveal his dedication to opportunism over principle — just as it has for Republican Reps. (Tim) Moffitt, (Nathan) Ramsey and (Chuck) McGrady. “In that my party has made no effort to challenge this betrayal of our core principles, I’ll become an independent when the action is complete. It is regrettable that in 21st century America we do not have a political party of principle. A country without principles will not survive a predatory world.” What’s more, Mumpower emphsized, “The theft of the city’s water system will be a ghost that permanently haunts our region.” On April 26, Mumpower issued a statement to “Asheville city Republicans and other concerned citizens” headlined, “Former Vice Mayor and Republican Nominee for Congress Threatens to Leave Republican Party over Legislative Larceny of Asheville Water System.” In that email, he stated, “The Republican majority in Raleigh, under the local leadership of Republican State Reps. Tim Moffitt, Nathan Ramsey and Chuck McGrady, are in the process of conducting an act of malfeasance meriting challenge. “The unprecedented use of eminent domain to seize a city owned water system reveals a party power structure indifferent to the principles upon which that party is founded,” according to Mumpower, a former member of Asheville City Council and his district’s 2008 Republican nominee for congress. “This action is a follow-up to earlier misbehaviors by state Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Asheville, and Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Asheville, who led the charge to pass Sullivan Acts II & III, which effectively seized control of the city’s water system, but fell short of transferring ownership,” Mumpower said.
“The theft of the city’s water system will be a ghost that permanently haunts our region.” “Moffitt and his colleagues are simply finishing the job that their colleagues started “I expect political opportunism from the left, but to have members of my own party act with such indifference to our principles requires more than a passive response.” Mumpower offered what he termed “a short list” of concerns and his intended follow-up actions as follows” 1) Legislative theft of a city owned water system is bad policy, unprecedented action, and in direct opposition to the Republican Party’s stated principles. This action represents a specific violation of Principles 5 & 6. I believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least. I believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people. 2) This is a local governance matter being decided in Raleigh. Asheville is being singled out for action that has not occurred anywhere else in the state. The end result will have a dramatically harmful social and economic impact on the citizens of Asheville and by association, Western North Carolina. This effort represents the effective practice of eminent domain – a misapplication of elected authority antagonistic to everything the Republican Party stands for. 3) Legislation against Asheville is a patterned activity. Recent seizure of the Airport, being singled out as the only city in NC not allowed to share room tax revenue, Sullivan Acts II & III uniquely applied to Asheville, and other actions reflect a mismatch between word and deed in supporting the viability of chartered municipalities. 4) The reasons tendered for this legislative seizure of Asheville’s water system are dishonest and beneath the dignity of the elected officials offering those justificationsAsheville has not maintained its water system Mumpower cited as a “point of truth”
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that “Asheville’s system is no greater state of disrepair than most water systems across the state. Where differences exist, it is due to the size of the system and exceptionally difficult terrain issues that require a dramatically higher water pressure to insure service. High pressure equals more system problems. That consideration will be in place no matter who owns the system. Asheville wants to charge higher rates to non city residents Point of truth – Of course it does. Asheville’s forefathers had the foresight to purchase two reservoirs standing as the foundation of the city owned water system. City residents pay roughly double the taxes of those living in proximity to the city. The use of city assets such as water to compensate for that doubled taxation is the majority practice for cities all over the state – including Weaverville, Hendersonville, Woodfin, and other municipalities in immediate proximity to Asheville. The issue of fairness should be how much difference is appropriate to help adjust for the doubled tax burden of city residents. The Metropolitan Sewer District will do a better job of managing the system Point of Truth – The MSD is not an elected body and thus has reduced accountability and incentive to contain costs. If this point is true, why is Asheville being singled out? Why is there not a movement to seize all other city owned water systems? Why is this regional action essentially limited to Asheville? Asheville will be better off Point of Truth - Using eminent domain through legislative action to seize an objectively appraised billion dollar plus asset and then pretending the citizens victimized by this action will be rewarded is the height of audacity. There is simply no way an asset of this magnitude can be removed without significant penalty. There is a reason no other city in NC is being forced away from their water assets or offering to surrender those assets – there is no equation whereby it does not represent major harm. 5) Neither the Buncombe County nor N.C. State Republican Party organizations have offered any public challenge to the
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unprincipled actions of the Republican representatives (here or in Raleigh) who are initiating/supporting this action against Asheville. To failure to press for principled actions by Republican elected officials has resulted in the progressive erosion of the standards, impact, and integrity of the Republican Party. An indifference to stated principles represents a model of political opportunism versus political leadership. If my Party does not stand for something, continued participation represents opportunism on a personal basis. 6) Therefore, should my fellow Republicans in Raleigh chose to support this destructive, unprincipled, and unprecedented legislative action, I will take the only step I have in hand to express my concern for that act of misplaced integrity and resign from the Republican Party. I will further call on Asheville citizens registered as Republicans and others at large who are concerned with the erosion of principle in our party to do the same. Mumpower ended his statement with a quotation of Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” Bastiat was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, writer and member of the French Assembly. Bastiat championed private property, free markets,and limited government.
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24 — May 2013 — Asheville Daily Planet
Town hall meeting focuses on $6M budget deficit From Staff Reports
Asheville City Coucil held a town-hallstyle meeting-budget discussion on April 3 to review its looming $6 million budget quandary and to get the public’s input. The meeting, held in the banquet hall of the U.S. Cellular Center, began 17 minutes late. Council has until June 30 to pass a budget. Most of the meeting was consumed with a city official’s review of the dire budget situation. However, at the end of the meeting citizens lined up to lobby for the projects that might be cut because of the budget, ranging from the potential closure of the WNC Nature Center to closing the city pools. In opening the meeting, Mayor Terry Bellamy noted that the large turnout — more than 200 people — indicated that there was much interest in letting people kno what is happening with Asheville’s muncipal budget. “Y’all being here is so important to the process,” Bellamy told the crowd. “We don’t want to hear some name-calling…. I’ve seen some emails and, ooh, you all haven’t spared the rod.” The crowd laughed. The mayor said the U.S., including Asheville, have weathered the first major recession since the Great Depression. “We’ve come out of it, but now we’ve to legislators that are doing away with the good work we’ve done. “We thought we’d put the budget to bed in April... have a few public hearings in May and put the budget away early... We want to be as transparent as possible. After hearing from a Business Improvement District spokeswoman, who indicated that the group is willing to proceed when council finds the time to be right, Councilman Marc Hunt said he wanted to “extend appreciation for the hard work you guys have done. In terms of formal action, it would have to be at our convened session six days from now…. “ Next, Lauren Bradley, executive director of finance and strategic planning for the city, said, “The purpose of today’s meeting was as a budget work session. We needed a proposed budget public hearing and then the budget adoption. “In January, we were talking about a financial forecast. As we’ve moved through that process…. Since February, some of that legislation has been introduced …. Although there is some uncertainty about how and what legislation may get passed, we need to start planning …. “We still have time between formal budget adoption” to make changes necessary to balance the budget. “Because of where we are and how that budget has changed, council decided to open up this session to the citizens…. These forecasts are not final. They can and will change as we move forward. This is your chance to advice council on where to go as we move forward. “Over the past several years Asheville has been diligently” working to avoid a budget crossroads. “Before recession, revenues were growing at a rate much slower than our expenses. “Revenue (was at) 3-4 percent and expenses at 5 percent. It was a pretty small difference, so we could make small changes. “As we entered into the recession, revenue dropped to 1 percent per year (latest year to 0.7 percent), while expenses (increased to) 5 to 6 percent…. So we really had to look at how to increase revenues.” Bradley said that one of Asheville’s costly problems is its status of having the highest
ratio of daytime to nighttime population in North Carolina. “Of 40,000 people who work in Asheville per day, nearly 60 percent actually live outside of Asheville. “ She said Asheville, Terry Bellamy unlike many localities is lacking in revenue sources, although “we do have an occupancy tax, but it is by law dedicated for a different purpose...\You’re sitting in a room that was renovated as a result of occupancy tax grant... So we’re really stretching our property tax base.” Bradley added, “We cut our budget for 3-4 years… by deferring capital investments. We just put that stuff off. We froze city employee salaries for three years. We also increased city contributions to health care for employees. We also cut travel and training…. “There is an impact and effect for making those decision… We’ve kept our tax rate flat. Our tax rate hasn’t changed over 10 years. “We’re on a 65-year cycle for street repaving…. The recommendation is 20 years. I’m not sure there’s a city in North Carolina that’s hitting that mark.” Employee compensation was frozen for three years, she said. The recommended replacement cycle for vehicles is six years. “Our cycle is about 18 years.” Bradleny noted that there is an impact from the aforementioned tradeoffs. “So as we enter into the budget planning… with this long-range planning. … What is our ability to affect our rate of growth. … As we enter into planning for fiscal 2014 (beginning July 2013)… we looked at cutting back on some services and also looking at some fees … we were looking at a projected difference of $2.2 million between revenue and expenses. A forecast is a tool to look forward. We’re required to have a balanced budget.” She stressed the requirement to have a balanced budget several times during the meeting. She cited the effort to launch a Business Improvement District to provide an “enhanced level of serves for downtown area. … As you’ve seen, they (the BID organizers) actually are pulling their proposal off the table. She then showed a chart on a large screen that she said helps the citizenry to visually see the city’s financial situation. Next, she reviewed bills in the state legislaturethat might have a financial impact: “It’s uncertain that these will be passed into law, at this point,” Bradley said. The following are among bills she cited: • Unemployment insurance benefits… Requires municipalities to establish a reserve on the state level… It has about a $260,000 impact on Asheville, Bradley said. • Two bills that establish ETJs…. At some point, as areas urbanize, they might be annexed into the city. There’s about $219K in revenue that we’d lose as a result of that bill. • Another bill affects local sales tax on food, privilege license fees that we collect. “These revenue sources represent almost $8 million in revenue to us,” Bradley said. “What we assume is that not all of that revenue would go away. … We still stand to
lose in the neighborhood of just under $2 million from that.” • Transfer of the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. “It would be a $1.9 million impact to the city’s general fund,” Bradley said. “That number is related to the water fund share of central services. There’s a variable portion and fixed portion of the costs. The fixed is $1.9 million. ‘This is an organization of more than 100 employees,” she noted. • Privilege licenses and beer and excise taxes. “The city could lose $3.8 million in revenue if all of these bills were passed,” Bradley asserted. “In year two, that projected impact goes to $4.2 million... It can and likely will change. “So we started this budget forecast at a $2.2 million deficit, with a 1.5 percent increase in revenues and expenditures at two times or 2.5 times higher than revenue,” Bradley said. The following is her summary of the expenditure side: • “We were going to freeze or eliminate about 15 positions • “We had $550,000 in savings from materials budget, etc. • “Look at city’s role in sponsoring festivals. Bele Chere costs the city about $450,000 to produce. • “Aston Park Tennis Center and Food Lion Skate Park… There is an alternative proposal to have seasonal staffing during the high points of the year for a savings of about $100,000. • “On fee side, we put in a $7 solid waste fee. •”Partnering with WNC Nature Center to see if proceeds from its membership.” Bradley added, “We could cut $1 million on the revenue side and $1 million on the expenditure side. to meet the projected $2.2 million deficit. “We were showing revenue growth of about $1.6 million. When you plug in all of the above, revenue would go down $2-plus million. When you take all of those things together, it takes the difference between revenues and expenditures to $5.9 million. “Now we will be working toward this $5.9 million number. “In order for us to do that, there are a couple of choices we could make. They could be expenditure side choices or revenue choices. “We’ve really wrung the towel out as much as we can without raising property taxes. Our ability to find that low-hanging fruit is very difficult at this point. “On the revenue side, council only has control over property taxes or the other is fees we charge. “We can’t reach a $5.9m target if we’re only looking at cutting costs,” she said. “One penny (extra) of property tax would generate about $1 million in the coming year. You’d need almost a 6-cent property tax increase to get there (to close the $6 million gap), if you were doing it only to get there. “Other possibilities would be to close a fire station… Eliminating Saturday transit service, freezing targeted vacancies in our police dept., reducing street and sidewalk maintenance, closing city pools. If we’re going to address this gap on the expenditures side, these are the cuts we’ll have to make: • $600K freezing positions • $530K closing fire station • $450K eliminating Bele Chere • $240K eliminating youth programs • $100K reducing police overtime “There’s not one item on this list that does
not represent a significant reduction in core services for the city,” Bradley said. “That’s the difficult part of the equation. On the positive side, we are seeing signs” of an improving local economy. She said the Asheville metro area led the state in job growth from January 2012 to January 2013. Over two years, Asheville rated second in the state for job growth... If we are faced with a more severe budget situation, the city’s role in helping to support this type of economic development” is crucial, she said.. “Asheville is the hub of Western North Carolina.” Bradley added, “So given where the forecast is involved, we’ve recommended to City Council that we extended out the budget process to allow time for us to see how this legislation goes forward. Next, council member questioned Bradley. Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer asked, “In the projected impact, you’ve already made assumptions about” a number of bills getting passed? “They’re still crunching the numbers,” Bradley replied. “I’d say it’s very possible those projections could change. Hunt noted that “the general fund budget of the city is what we’re talking about here. The general fund budget was $92 million from 2010. The current general fund budget is $89 million. “As Lauren mentioned, we’ve squeezed efficiency and taken all the steps. The property tax rate would go up 6 cents. We’ve got a continuing challenge where revenues are growing slower than expenses. “We have a problem within our city because people choose to live outside the city because it’s cheaper… and this is only going to exacerbate that situation,” Hunt said. He added that “there are a lot of people in this room that are concerned about parks and recreation.” Councilman Gordon Smith said that, looking beyond this budget, Lauren. if we didn’t make all of these cuts, with our development of the RAD and SOSLO what are we looking for in the future. Bradley replied, “I think you’d see that pattern that you’ve seen in recent years ... If this legislation were to move forward, the second year impact would be $5 million. (So the cumulative impact will e $7 million). You might be able to fill the gap in year one, but you’ll face same problem in year two. “There will be some natural growth that will offset it,” Bradley noted. Smith asked, “How will this affect our efforts at business recruitment?” “The business that Asheville’s in is the quality-of-life issues,” Bradley replied. “That’s why people buy homes here. Quality of life. If you start cutting police services, etc., that affects quality of life.” Bellamy added, “Some of those issues that they would have been investing staff time in go away.” Bradley said, “There really is no financial flexibility to invest in those projects.” Addressing the crowd, Bellamy asserted, “We want you (the public) to hear exactly what we hear as elected officials.” Finally, the mayor opened the session to public comment. “I just want to put an exclamation point on that when we started this process,” she aid. “What the state is doing to us is something that we couldn’t wrap our minds around, going forward,” Bellamy added. “These projections kind of put a damper on all of those ‘bests.’”
Candid Conservative Continued from Page 20
A not-so-dynamic duo…
Bad things grow in the dark. One bad thing is the co-dependent relationships at the heart of the world’s economic miseries – overspending governments dependent on overextended banks. This version of social suicide begins with voters clamoring for promises of something for nothing and politicians willing to pretend to provide it. Keeping up the charade requires borrowing money to pay for the something. The illusion of nothing is maintained by accumulating debt versus raising taxes. For a time, the borrowing can be hidden. Banks carry the loans, governments print money and manipulate interest rates, and politicians get reelected. Problems develop when this equation overheats, trust is shattered, and reality sets in. Think Greece, Cyprus, Spain and just over the horizon – us. Next time you hear a politician carp about “Wall Street cronies” remember that’s nothing more than one crook ratting out another.
Selling our tomorrow…
The world’s spent five years trying to regain its balance after the economic tsunami. Per most main-dream media outlets, nothing is perfect, but we’re on the mend. Don’t buy the lie. Everything you hear, be it government solvency, banking solvency, business solvency, manufacturing solvency or individual solvency, is dependent on one very weak link – low interest rates. Every current path to recovery and promised prosperity requires rates remain low for an indefinite period of time. When, in history, has that ever, ever, ever happened? Answer – never, never, never. Take prime interest rates up to just 7%, a figure that earlier would have been considered amazingly affordable, and the whole house of cards collapse. Every single one of the groups mentioned above would drown in red ink. So what’s the solution? Same thing it always has been – personal responsibility, living within your means, and working hard are the antidote to red. • Carl Mumpower, a former member of Asheville City Council, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the Editor Continued from Page 20 Look at the lavish reception for G.W. Bush this week (April 25). In my humble opinion, there are plenty of criminal charges that would stick for this inept, bumbling jerk. On the left: We continue to see the wars against countries that were of no threat to our nation and the Bail Out of Wall Street. On the right: we see the destruction of our currency (and economy), and the lack of enforcement on immigration. Those two issues alone: the debt and the demographics, are enough to make ANY sane conservative leave the GOP. They stood by idly FOR 8 YEARS! as this idiot (Bush) destroyed the nation.... STEVEN CHASE Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and Boone, N.C.
5/6 school urged for Enka district
The Enka district needs a 5/6 school built soon. Enka Middle students have long waits for lunch lines and can’t safely open lockers during class changes. Teachers are using old closets, and the computer lab is the same size as other schools with lower populations. Current enrollment is approaching 1,100, growing to 1200plus in two years. There is clearly an inequity in student population and resource availability for Enka Middle compared to all other middle schools in Buncombe County — just ask a parent. This week HB 334 passed the state House, which gives Buncombe County the ability to use capital fund money designated for building new schools to technology, debt repayment or training. If Buncombe County decides to use this money for technology, will there be a 5/6 school built in Enka? What will they do in two years? Enka Middle is blessed with students, staff and educators that do an amazing job in a tough working environment. BCBE should send a request today to the commissioners to allocate funding for an Enka district 5/6 school to be built as soon as possible. We don’t want more; we just want the same education for our children. Michelle Pace Wood Candler
Asheville Daily Planet — May 2013 — 25
26 - May 2013 - Asheville Daily Planet
In sickness and in stealth
This woman and I were involved 13 years ago, before I met my wife, but she was married then. She got divorced and moved away. We reconnected recently on Facebook, and I discovered she’s now only 20 miles away. I told her I’m happily married and I’ve never cheated on my wife, but I would risk everything for her and want to meet her for an intimate encounter. (She and I had great sex, far better than I have with my wife.) She said she still has feelings for me but is happily married and couldn’t cheat on her husband because she would feel “too guilty.” She says he is her “rock” and has done so much for her, including taking her and her three kids in during the ordeal of her divorce. I’m perplexed. She cheated on her first husband with me, and we had lots of fun. I thought the leopard couldn’t change its spots. How could it be okay for her to cheat then and not now? — Spurned It’s so annoying when a woman lets a little thing like a lifelong commitment get in the way of providing you with an hour and a half of better-quality sex. No, a leopard does not wake up in the morning and think, “Maybe I’ll do paisley today.” Humans, on the other hand, have an irritating tendency to fail to conform to pat aphorisms. For example, this woman, who, in the past, has provided you with some seriously excellent adulterous sex, now refuses to run off to Goodwill to get back her leopard-print blouse with the scarlet A on it. Amazingly, she feels it would be wrong to reward a guy who’s “done so much” for her by doing you whenever you can both sneak out for a nooner. As for why she cheated in the past, maybe she was young and narcissistic and thought
The Advice Goddess
being unhappily married was enough of an excuse to be happily adulterous. She’s since picked herself up a set of ethics — maybe after seeing the ravages that conscience-free living can cause on husbands and children. And tempted as she may be, she seems to realize that the best way to avoid going around feeling all queasy with guilt is to avoid sexual multitasking: trying to gaze in one man’s eyes like you love him while trying to remember what time you were supposed to meet the other man at the motel. Economist Robert H. Frank explains in “Passions Within Reason” that moral behavior seems to be driven by the emotions. Guilt, clearly, has worked for your former cheatums, and Frank sees love as a “commitment device” that bonds people beyond what would be in their sheer self-interest (like running off to the first opportunity for better sex that moves back to town). In other words, if you focus on what you’re grateful for about your wife and engage in little loving touches and gestures, you can reinforce what you have —- which seems fairer than rewarding her for making you happy by giving her believable excuses for your disappearances. Remember, they’re called marriage vows, not marriage suggestions — as in, you don’t get to live according to “Till the prospect of really great sex do us part, but only for an afternoon, and I wouldn’t even think of it if she weren’t
Belittle Miss Sunshine
I met a girl online, and we exchanged some email and planned to meet for happy hour. About three hours before, she texted me, “Sorry, have 2 cancel.” That was the last I ever heard from her. I’m not bothered by being texted (since we didn’t have a relationship), but at what point do you owe somebody more than the briefest possible blow-off? — Prematurely Dumped Sometimes the technology at hand demands that a person send an abbreviated message — like when their chisel breaks just as they’re etching the last letter of “cancel” into the stone tablet. Sometimes, the brevity is the message. For example, in the briefest way, this woman told you everything you need to know about her: “I’m not about to type out eight words of explanation just to preserve some stranger’s dignity.” In Internet dating, because you’re meeting face to online dating profile, the coldly calculating find it easier to treat you like you’re just a bunch of digital information that has the possibility of becoming a boyfriend. Being kind and polite takes very little -- just some excuse that suggests you matter enough as a human to put some effort into blowing you off. So, this woman didn’t need to give you the real reason, just some reason -- “realizing i’m not over my x so sorry” -- instead of simply unsubscribing to you and your offer of a date like you were unwanted email from Lyndon LaRouche or the Pantyliner Of The Month Club.
To halve and halve not
I’ve been with two men for nearly 10 years. (Yes, they know about each other.)
My BFF has been my boyfriend on and off, but he broke my trust long ago, and the sex isn’t good. The other man’s an amazing lover, but we just have a weekly fling because he’s in a relationship. Friends say to drop both and start fresh, but that’s not so easy! Seeing the fling guy endears me more to the BFF, and seeing the BFF makes me long for the fling guy. — Stuck When they say that to find a prince you have to kiss a lot of toads, this isn’t supposed to mean kissing the same two toads a lot — week after week, for 10 years. Now, Flotsam and Jetsam here aren’t without their merits, such as how being with one endears you to the other — much in the way stomach flu must make you long for strep throat. And if, as a little girl, you lay awake imagining yourself being shuffled between an untrustworthy bad lover and a man with a girlfriend, well then, congrats — you’re living your dream. Otherwise, perhaps you’ve forgotten something: You have freedom of choice and lots of men out there to choose from. Of course, for freedom of choice to work, you actually have to choose — have standards and not drop them and your panties every time a bad deal texts you that it wants to come over. No, it won’t be “easy.” It’s just what you have to do if you want more -- like a guy who can’t wait to see you, and not because his girlfriend’s yoga class is only 45 minutes or he’s hot to make up for violating your trust with some unsatisfying sex. • (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 (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon
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28 — May 2013 — Asheville Daily Planet
Published on May 1, 2013