The Blue Banner
Volume 56, Issue 7
B Wednesday Feb. 29, 2012
The student voice of UNC Asheville
Parking woes 2
Faculty speak out about issue
Raising funds 5
Java for Justice helps nonprofit
Drug bust puts end to romance
2 | The Blue Banner | 2.29.2011
Filmmaker explores food and community Sidney Setzer email@example.com - Staff Writer
policy enforcement. Reactions to the online forum further heated at the suggestion that campus enforcement was cross-checking license tags with UNCA employees, a practice that received mixed feelings from faculty partaking in the forum. “The forum is used by some to say things that upset them, to some degrees of success,” Davis said. “I was surprised that it went viral. There is the symbolic problem and then there is the literal value.” Davis said, as far as he was concerned, the possibility of the campus police having access to state vehicle registration information was never in question and did not concern him. “The forum allowed this debate to blow out of proportion,” said David Hopes, professor in the literature department. “These are not the actual issues
UNC Asheville honored black history month by showing a documentary on the advantages and disadvantages of soul food. “The film is hopefully designed to get large groups of people to talk, to question and challenge food tradition, and also to create healthier communities. That’s the bottom line,” said Byron Hurt, activist filmmaker and creator of the documentary Soul Food. African American males are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. “I wanted to honor my father with this film who I love deeply and who I wish I was still here,” Hurt said. “I felt like my father’s story would resonate with people around the country regardless of race, class or education level. There are millions of people who lose their loved ones to preventable diseases.” Ameena Batada, assistant professor of health and wellness at UNCA, said soul food is not just unique to the African American community. “We often think about food or cuisines as falling across this racial line, but actually racial groups are a social construct. It’s more of a historical and cultural relativism that creates our food patterns. It probably has something to do with living in the South and Southern culture that has created the soul food, but it also has to do with the history of African American in the United States,” Batada said. Batada said that there are advantages as well as disadvan-
see PARKING on page 4
see SOUL on page 4
Photo by Gabriel Ainslie - Assistant Photography Editor
Faculty questions parking policies
Security guard Dennis Thompson writes a ticket Friday. UNCA faculty recently expressed concern with policy changes.
Jackie Starkey firstname.lastname@example.org Asst. News Editor
Factions of UNC Asheville faculty are heated regarding changes to parking policies, according to postings in the university’s online faculty forum. The changes, effective August 2011, require all faculty, staff and students to display a parking decal at all times on campus. Previously, permits were not needed to park in UNCA lots after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Parking permits cost undergraduates $100 for the academic year. “Usually parking policies are set to manage a scarce resource,” said Scott Walters, associate professor in the drama department. “It doesn’t seem necessary to manage when it’s not scarce. Why would you ticket the only car in a lot?” The issue was brought to the
faculty forum after a non-permit holding, faculty member received a ticket while parked in a campus lot on a Saturday. “I don’t think he intended to start some bruhaha,” said Professor Duane Davis of the philosophy department. “He wanted to point out a policy problem, I assume.” Davis said faculty and staff received an August e-mail noting changes to policy, which included links to additional information and permit registration. “I assume (faculty) jumped right to the links to get their new stickers,” Davis said. “Busy people do not read all of their emails.” Walters agreed with Davis, citing a breakdown in communication between faculty, administration and enforcement. “An email was sent,” Walters said. “However, the ramifications were not immediately clear.”
These changes, brought to staff attention this month by means of an email-based forum, incited discussion on policies and decision making on UNCA’s campus. “Some people got disproportionately angry,” Davis said. The matter of after-hours parking was eclipsed by concerns that staff and faculty nonpermit holders became targets for campus ticketing following the changes. “There was once a time when it was strongly encouraged that we not drive to campus,” Walters said. “It was one of those campus-wide efforts to be green. Now we are almost required to purchase permits and the ticketing could be construed as some kind of punishment.” Walters said he believes that punishment was not the motive for the policy alteration, but found recent faculty ticketings to be the unintended consequences of more stringent
2.29.2011 | The Blue Banner | 3
Pulitzer poet explores heritage with reading
Trethwey talks lost histories, participates in art discussion panel Ted Kendrick email@example.com - Staff Writer
Natasha Trethewey, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and state poet laureate of Mississippi, gave a reading from her upcoming poetry collection Thrall in UNC Asheville’s Humanities Lecture Hall last Thursday. “I think poems are supposed to show us to each other, and in so doing, show us to ourselves,” said Holly Iglesias, UNCA master of liberal arts lecturer, in her introduction at Trethewey’s reading. Trethewey’s poetry is known for reflecting on her biracial heritage and upbringing in Mississippi. Her parents had to travel to Ohio to marry since they legally could not in Mississippi. “It’s been said that my poems are about race, and I never Photo by Gabriel Ainslie - Assistant Photography Editor thought that my poems were Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Natasha Tretheway, read poetry in the Humanities Lecture Hall. actually about race,” Trethewey said. “I’m writing about what I “Thrall, which is the name of in 2007. “Native Guard,” the views where she said that if she know and people that I know.” the new book, arises out of the poem from which the collection wasn’t a mulatto, a somewhat Thrall, Trethewey’s newest research on Native Guard. I al- derives its name, recalls one of dated word that means a person collection of poetry, is said to ways go to the Oxford English the first black Confederate reg- of biracial ancestry, and raised be an examination of colonial- Dictionary. The first definition iments created during the Civil in the South, she wouldn’t have ism in the Americas. The selec- of native is ‘someone born into War. The regiment organized had much to write about,” said tions Trethewey chose to read the condition of servitude, of in New Orleans, but stationed UNCA sophomore Mel Holmwere mostly about her father. on an island near Trethewey’s es. “My poetry class with Prothrall.’” “My obsessions stay the same fessor Iglesias read her book Trethewey’s collection of hometown of Gulfport, Miss. – historical memory and histor- poetry Native Guard won her “I remember reading one of Bellocq’s Ophelia where she ical erasure,” Trethewey said. the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Natasha Trethewey’s inter- wrote from the perspective of
one of the mulatto prostitutes who was photographed anonymously by this guy named Bellocq. Her geography has impacted her main forms of poetry which are personal poems and writing about history that gets lost in translation.” Trethewey was also part of panel titled, “What’s Art Got to Do With It? A Discussion about Art and Activism,” in Karpen Hall’s Laurel Forum on campus before her reading. This panel was hosted by UNCA’s women, gender and sexuality studies program. Other participants of the panel included Iglesias, muralist and co-director of the Asheville Mural Project Molly Must and UNCA students Caroline Wilson and Kaley Fry. “During the Art and Activism panel, one of the panelists brought up the subject of empathy in her creative writing which prompted Trethewey to tell a story about a friend of hers who claimed that art loses value when it’s seen through an empathetic lens,” Holmes said. “This really bothered Trethewey because she believes that all art is political and that all art is empathetic in some sort.” Trethewey serves as Charles Howard Candler professor of English and creative writing at Emory University.
Occupy Asheville court date results in continuation, solidarity
firstname.lastname@example.org - Staff Writer
Latest court proceedings yield continuation for those arrested during the Occupy Asheville Movement. “It kind of sucks to be here a third time for another continuation,” said Robert Logsdon, 27, local resident and activist in the Occupy Asheville movement. This was the third continuation of the case since the arrests were made in November 2011. The court date was extended until April 26, according to Logsdon.
“Our lawyer is seeking the continuations, not the court,” Logsdon said. Arrests were made on two occasions, according to Logsdon. “I got arrested for being in a green zone after curfew,” Logsdon said. A green zone is a 24-hour free speech zone, according to Logsdon. “We were allowed to be there, but the cops didn’t know it,” Logsdon said. “The people who got arrested for the march, with impeding traffic and resisting arrest charges, are going to have a harder time getting
their charges dismissed.” Wezel McClellan, 74, another Occupy activist in Asheville, thinks his charges will also be dismissed. “I think my charges will be dropped, too,” McClellan said. “But we need more support.” If Logsdon’s charges are not dropped, he said he does not plan on complying with the outcome. “I have no intention of paying any fines or participating in any probationary activities if my charges aren’t dropped,” Logsdon said.
see OCCUPY on page 4
Photo courtesy of Caitlin Byrd - Contributing Photographer
Protestors meditate during a Pack Square rally Oct. 16, 2011. Protestors say arrests were made twice by local police.
4 | The Blue Banner | 2.29.2011
continued from page 2
Photo by Gabriel Ainslie - Assistant Photography Editor
Security guard Dennis Thompson places a parking ticket under a windshield wiper while on patrol Friday.
continued from page 2
but rather the consequence of a state of dissatisfaction.” Hopes said the forum issue allowed faculty to give voice to growing discontents that are greater than small matters of faculty parking. Davis agreed, saying that amid economic downturn and budget cuts, the UNCA faculty had found an issue to which they could make attempts to solve. “This issue is sympathetic of something else,” Davis said. “There are some things we can’t solve. This we can say, hey, there’s a problem here.” Davis said that though tempers flared within the email forum, UNCA administration did not intervene. “That could’ve been seen as fanning the flames,” Davis said. “I expected the Chief to reiterate the policy, however,
it would seem he took care of concerns on an individual basis.” Chief of Police Eric Boyce was unable to comment on parking enforcement policies at this time. Walters said as Boyce presides as a positive force on campus, striving towards greater consistency in areas such as parking enforcement, and that the issue is not as great as upset faculty express through the forum. “A majority of the faculty and staff do buy a pass,” Walters said. “It doesn’t effect them very much.” Davis said the forum served the purpose of bringing the parking issues to light so that they may be reconsidered in the future. “Pretty early on, some faculty members acknowledged that the policies would be assessed,” Davis said. “So yeah, the right solution has been found.”
tages to soul food. “It depends on how you cook your soul food and what’s in it. There’s a strong tradition of greens and using collards and other types of greens in soul food. We know that greens are high in a lot of vitamins and minerals we need. There are also a lot of proteins. Black eyed peas are often used in Southern cooking and provide protein as well as B vitamins, which are also necessary for good health,” Batada said. “The fried foods are not as healthy because they introduce a lot of fat and a lot of times it’s saturated fat.” Janet Zusi, UNCA dining services dietician, said students often come to her to for advice on how to change their eating habits. “Food is love, and food is family. What I do hear from students is that they do fine and then they go home and are challenged because they have all that comfort food,” Zusi said. Zusi works closely with the dining hall and said the dining hall tries to provide Southern foods in a healthier way. “We have no trans fats. We have a goal of lowering the sodium. We have a certain percentage of our grains that are whole grains. We also provide high fiber cereals,” Zusi said. Hurt also discussed the food justice movement and food deserts in his documentary.
continued from page 3
Support from the younger generation would be helpful for the Occupy movement, according to McClellan. “We’d really like to see more students come out,” McClellan said. The Occupy movement has been recognized by NATO for its contributions, according to McClellan. “We’re a real organization,” McClellan said. “We’re getting the bank’s attention when we do the things we do.” Super-PACs are also against the organization’s beliefs, ac-
News “Even if families know they should be eating fruits and vegetables, we still have areas, even here in Asheville, that don’t have a grocery store near their neighborhood. We call these food deserts. We need policies that provide incentives for grocery stores to have locations in areas where there isn’t access.” Ameena Batada Assistant professor of health and wellness Food deserts are places where healthy foods are not available to the public. “Even if families know they should be eating fruits and vegetables, we still have areas, even here in Asheville, that don’t have a grocery store near their neighborhood. We call these food deserts. We need policies that provide incentives for grocery stores to have locations in areas where there isn’t access. We need policies to support the use of food assistance programs at farmers markets,” Batada said. Batada mentioned the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project as a way to help educate young people on the way they are eating. “ASAP does a lot of farm to school education that brings farmers and local chefs into schools to educate children on the types of foods they need to be eating,” Batada said. Location has a large effect on
the availability of fresh foods, Hurt said. “Some people live in communities where they have a number of grocery stores and supermarkets, but in a lot of places all people have access to is a liquor store that old food and vegetables that are not fresh,” Hurt said. Batada said that Asheville is one of the more progressive places in the U.S., but there is still a great need. “We decided to end the film with the young children at the school, because these are children that, through education in an inner city environment, are learning about food, agriculture, green spaces, how far their food has to travel so they understand whether food is fresh or not fresh and it is affecting them,” Hurt said. Hurt said food is emotional and it takes a long time to work on, but you must respect and take care of your body.
cording to Logsdon. Political action commitiees, or PACs, are organizations campaigning for specific parties, candidates or legislation. At the federal level, a group becomes a PAC when it receives more than $1,000 in donations, according to the Federal Election Campaign Act. Super PACs are specifically-run PACs which can raise virtually unlimited funds for candidates or parties when run correctly. “We’re trying to get the money out of politics,” Logsdon said. “Our government doesn’t represent us with Super-PACs and all that.” The president of the Occupy
Asheville movement was also present at the court proceedings. “We elected Peanut the dog as our president,” Logsdon said. “We are an organization of people so we don’t believe in having one person in charge. It’s fun.” The Occupy movement still meets every Monday starting at 3p.m., according to Logsdon. The movement began September 2011 as a protest against financial inequality, and soon spread across the globe. “We’re there every Monday in front of Bank of America or Wells Fargo,” Logsdon said. “Peanut is out there too. He usually just sleeps.”
Arts & Features
2.29.2012 | The Blue Banner | 5
ava for J ustice J
Coffee shops collaborate, benefit Pisgsah Legal
email@example.com - Staff Writer
Local coffee shops participated in Java for Justice from Feb. 18 through last Friday to help raise resources and awareness for Pisgah Legal Services and the work they do for domestic abuse victims and those with low income. Pisgah Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that provides assistance to families and individuals in need in Western North Carolina. The firm has more than 40 staff members and 18 attorneys, said Betsy Fedder, Pisgah Legal Services annual campaign and events manager. “Mainly, our focus is on the very basic needs,” Fedder said. “A lot of people don’t know how important it is to have an attorney because so many of those things require navigating the court system to get help.” Five Asheville coffee shops helped spread support for Pisgah Legal Services by accepting donations during their business hours. City Bakery, Mosaic Cafe, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, West End Bakery and Bruegger’s Bagels gave costumers information on the work Pisgah Legal Services does, and some donated a percentage of their profits. Asheville Radio Group and the Van Winkle Law Firm partnered with Pisgah Legal Services to broadcast live from some of the coffee shops last Wednesday. “It was an extremely busy day. I think the publicity that they generated did a lot of good for their organization,” said Lewis Lankford, co-owner of West End Bakery. “It certainly brought a lot of people in specifically to support them.” This fundraiser was more of an attempt to let people know what Pisgah Legal Services does than to gain money and resources to support their work, Fedder said. “We have a loyal following and constituent base to support us financially and volunteer with us, but there are still people who don’t know what it is we’re doing over here,” Fedder said. “I think one of the things we really wanted to do was reach out to younger people.” Pisgah Legal Services’ work would not be possible without contributions from volunteers and donations, Fedder said. More than 300 attorneys take on cases for very lowincome people through the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Program. Fedder said
Local Events Thursday
Drinking Liberally Asheville 6:30 p.m. Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company on Coxe Street LYLAS Female comedy troupe 7:30 p.m. $12 - $15 The Magnetic Field Lotus 9 p.m. $20 The Orange Peel
Friday An Evening with AwardWinning Novelist Sandra Cisneros 7 p.m. Free Lipinsky Auditorium
Sunday The Lemonheads 9 p.m. $15 at door The Orange Peel
Photos by Ricky Emmons - Staff Photographer
Barista Laura Patton, an employee of City Bakery Cafe, makes coffee for a customer during the Java for Justice promotion week. Java for Justice benefited Pisgah Legal Group, a law firm dedicated to providing legal aid to those in need. the program allows the firm to refer cases to the volunteer attorneys who work them pro bono. The firm helps a wide range of low-income people including the elderly, domes-
tic violence victims, homeless and disabled, Fedder said. All donations made at the local coffee shops last week will go directly to civil legal aid for struggling people in Western North Carolina.
Queeroes: A Historical Glimpse of WNC LGBTQIA Advocates 6 p.m. FireStorm Cafe
6 | The Blue Banner | 2.29.2012
Arts & Features
Photos by Ricky Emmons - Staff Photographer
Freshman Luke Howe and junior Armon Mirian represent Sigma Nu in the homecoming parade last Friday. Below, members of Alpha Xi Delta show their bulldog support in the parade.
Photos by Ricky Emmons - Staff Photographer
The homecoming parade includes various floats designed by the sororities, fraternities and campus organizations. A group of students joined the parade and hula-hooped their way from Zeis to the bulldog statue, following the parade. In addition to Sigma Nu and Alpha Xi Delta, other campus groups involved were the Blue Echo and the UNCA cheer and dance team.
Arts & Features
2.29.2012 | The Blue Banner | 7
Photo by Dustin Stuart - Photography Editor
The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team poses with the Big South regular season title trophy in the Kimmel Arena on Saturday after their win.
Men’s Basketball finishes the regular season as champions Beckett Bathanti
firstname.lastname@example.org - Staff Writer
Following a 19-point loss at Ohio on Feb. 18, UNC Asheville’s men’s basketball team finished the regular season with two wins at home against Gardner-Webb and Winthrop during Homecoming weekend. The Bulldogs, who secured the Big South regular season Championship when they defeated Radford on Feb. 11, came out sluggishly on Thursday and Saturday. “We were all excited to be playing our last home games of the season for Homecoming,” senior guard Chris Stephenson said, “and I think we came out and tried to be perfect instead of just playing.” UNCA beat the Gardner-
Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs 71-61 on Thursday, despite a 33 point, nine rebound effort from forward Tashan Newsome. Senior guard Matt Dickey’s 16 points, six rebounds and four assists led UNCA. Junior Jaron Lane had a sensational game off the bench, recording his first career doubledouble with 15 points and 10 rebounds. After Gardner-Webb cut the lead to four in the second half, Lane scored the next seven Bulldogs points to make the score 52-41 with less than seven minutes remaining. Despite a sloppy start that saw Winthrop take an early 10-4 lead, the Bulldogs were determined to take down the Eagles in the final regular sea-
son game on Saturday. “We all know Coach B doesn’t really like Winthrop,” Stephenson said. “It’s just a rivalry that’s been brewing for years.” Stephenson sustained a concussion in the Bulldogs loss to Coastal Carolina that prevented him from traveling to Ohio. The game against GardnerWebb was his first game in nine days, and he felt the effects of the time off. “It’s no excuse, but I was feeling a little rusty, and my shot was definitely off,” he said. Although Winthrop took an early lead, UNCA responded with a 12-3 run to take a 3-point lead. Saturday’s game was physi-
cal, especially in the second half, where both teams committed 15 fouls. The officiating was uneven as lots of touch fouls around the perimeter were called, while harder fouls closer to the basket went unaddressed. Jeremy Harn, an academic senior from Chapel Hill who had his second career start on Saturday, did not feel that officiating made much of a difference. “I mean, not everything is going to get caught, so you just have to go out and play the game,” he said. Harn will graduate in May and attend law school in the fall. J.P. Primm led the Bulldogs with 17 points while junior Jer-
mey Atkinson and Big South Conference Player of the Year Dickey both added 12 points. There were only two lead changes, but Winthrop was neck and neck with the Bulldogs until mid-way through the second half when UNCA began to pull away. Following the small but noisy contingent of Winthrop fans continual sabotage of the home teams cheers, UNCA’s student section treated them to a gleeful chant of, “Scoreboard, scoreboard,” as the Bulldogs continued to stretch the lead late in the second half. UNCA will host High Point University in the quarterfinal of the Big South Conference Tournament tonight in the Kimmel Arena.
8 | The Blue Banner | 2.29.2012
Junior Melanie Kulesz and Freshman Kasey Briggs race in the one mile run at the Big South Indoor Championships on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Tim Gentry
Track and field teams compete at Indoor Big South Championships Randal Walton email@example.com - Staff Writer
First place finishes by Milan Ristic and Sarah Gentry spotlighted the Big South Indoor Championship meet in Blacksburg, Va. last weekend, in which the women’s track and field team finished in fifth place and the men’s team finished in ninth. “We’ve done some good things this year, but we’re going to need some people to step up to see what we’re capable of,” Track and Field Coach Jesse Norman said before the meet. “I always get nervous before the conference meets. It’s the biggest meet; it’s the one I’m judged on the most. Everything else is just window dressing.” Ristic finished first in the 60-meter hurdles in both the preliminary round and the final. With a time of 7.91 seconds, he set another school record. Gentry came in first in the 800, also in both the preliminary round and the final. She set a new school record with a time of 2 minutes, 11.4 seconds.
Runners like Ristic and Gentry put on stellar performances every time they step on the track, said Ryan Blackmon, a junior distance runner. However, other runners need to up their game to give the team a boost in the competition. “On the men’s team, our top performer is Milan, and while I would not say we lean on him to carry our team, sometimes, such as conference, it does end up looking that way,” he said. “Our men’s team has to step up and help relieve the weight from Milan in order to become a stronger team.” Liberty University swept the Big South Indoor Championship meet, with their men’s and women’s track and field teams stealing first place. The Bulldogs did not consider the Flames as competition before the Championship meet, but that does not mean they are not a force to be reckoned with. It just means that we do not have the depth to keep up with them, Blackmon said. “Coming into Championships as a team, on both the men’s
and women’s side, I don’t believe we saw Liberty as competition. Liberty has won the Conference Championships on both the men’s and women’s side the last three years in a row,” the political science student said. “Yet Liberty is very strong, has a lot of depth and funding, and I would say it’s fair to assume most teams find it difficult to compete with them in track and field from out conference.” The coaches did not find Liberty University to be a threat to the men’s or women’s team either, Norman said. “On the women’s side, the teams that will probably be around us will be High Point, Campbell and Gardner-Webb. Those are probably big ones,” the Lake Junaluska native said. “On the men’s side, everybody’s our competition I feel like, but the one that will probably be the closest is Winthrop, and maybe VMI.” To beat their competition, the team’s plan included a bit of trickery, Norman said. “We’ve got to sneak some people in, scoring in some
events that maybe some of the other coaches didn’t think we’d score in. It’s kind of how we were able to do well last year on the women’s side. We were able to outthink, outplay,” he said. “Hopefully, as coaches, we’ve done a good job of putting people in events where they can sneak in and score some points.” Multiple runners had solid performances at the Big South Conference. In the women’s mile run, Emma Bussard placed ninth, Melanie Kulesz placed 10th and Kasey Briggs took 24th. In the men’s mile run, Aaron Martin placed 13th. Kurt Hilbert, with a throw of 15.5 meters, came in eighth place in the men’s weight throw. In the women’s high jump, Meredith Foster had a fifth place finish with a jump of 1.65 meters. Bussard also finished in seventh place in the 5000-meter, grabbing two points for UNC Asheville. Getting noticed and going in with a winning attitude became the main focus of the team at the Championship meet, Black-
mon said. “The goal going into the Big South Championships was to be aggressive, score points, beat some schools and overall turn some teams’ heads, as well have people run some personally fast times and set some personal best marks in jumps and throws,” the Gloversville, N.Y., native said. “To meet the rest of our goals we need to improve overall as a team and get a little faster and set some better marks to be overall more competitive in our vastly improving conference.” Two members of the track and field team, Rachel Carson and Kurt Hilbert, made the AllAcademic team. Every time a player achieves something higher than themselves, it makes the coaches proud, Norman said. “Whether people are setting school records or getting on our top five list or even setting personal records, that’s what, as coaches, we really enjoy,” he said. “We still got a long ways to go, but that part’s been really exciting.”
2.29.2012 | The Blue Banner | 9
Photo corner: UNC Asheville vs. Winthrop
• Thursday vs. GardnerWebb 71-61 (W)
Photo by Dustin Stuart - Photography Editor
UNC Asheville fans raise their hands during a Bulldog free-throw in the Kimmel Arena on Saturday.
• Saturday vs. Winthrop 67-55 (W)
Women’s Basketball • Saturday vs. Radford 67-79 (L)
Photo by Dustin Stuart - Photography Editor
Senior guard Matt Dickey looks to dribble around Winthrop forward George Valentine, right, in the Kimmel Arena on Saturday. Photo by Dustin Stuart - Photography Editor
Winthrop guard Gideon Gamble fouls UNCA senior J.P. Primm as he shoots in the Kimmel Arena on Saturday.
• Monday vs. Liberty 53-84 (L)
10 | The Blue Banner | 2.29.2012
Respect of law enforcement depends on their actions Nathalie Holmgren
firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Writer
Last week, a Buncombe County sheriff’s deputy shot a teen multiple times after a chase outside of Asheville. Whether the shooting was justified or not is yet to be determined by the State Bureau of Investigation. As a police officer or sheriff, it’s easy to overreact in stressful and dangerous situations. In Western countries it’s usually easy to get over sad stories
Recent shooting incidents involving police in Western North Carolina
• Feb. 27: Buncombe county sheriff’s deputy shoots Jacob Plemmons five times after Plemmons rams a police cruiser; nonfatal • Sep. 30, 2011: Mitchell County sheriff’s deputy shoots Lew Ayers after responding to a disturbance and being fired on by Ayers; fatal • Oct. 17, 2010: Henderson County sheriff’s deputy shoots Elizabeth Shipman, a disabled woman, after responding to neighbor complaints and Shipman wielding a cigarette lighter police say looked like a handgun; fatal Courtesy of The Asheville-Citizen Times like bad police behavior. Just be a realist, perhaps a pessimist, and remember things could al-
ways be worse. The grade of corruption of our police could, after all, be
worse. The police in Northern Europe frequently fulfill their role
as a protective authority. In return they receive respect. A good example of this is the Facebook page of the Finnish police, which has more than 176,000 fans. Compare this to the Swedish police, which has about 5,100 fans. Other European countries’ police forces have more Facebook groups against them than for them. Coming from a police-loving country, I get nervous whenever I see a police car. It’s not like I start hyperventilating or something, but I
See POLICE on page 11
Quran burning proves it’s time to get out Teen love goes wrong in drug bust Amarra Ghani
email@example.com Staff Writer
The United States of America are enduring animosity from the Afghans. It may be a result of an ongoing invasion of the Afghans’ land. It may be because NATO keeps accidentally mistaking innocent civilians for the Taliban. Or, most recently, the burning religious Islamic texts, also known as the Quran. If you’re going to take over a country and turn it into shambles, the cherry on top would include taking a Holy Book and setting it on fire to prove a much needed point. A decade later, you would think NATO and other U.S. military forces would understand the sensitivity of the people of Afghanistan, keeping in mind the tragic events that have taken a toll on their country all in the name of finding the most wanted man on Earth. Americans loaded a truck full of Qurans, taken from detainees at Bagram Air Base, and set the Holy Book on fire. President Obama sent a let-
Maayan Schechter firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Writer
Photo by Amarra Ghani - Staff Writer
The Quran is the holy scripture of the Islamic faith. ter to President Karzai, apologizing for “the error was inadvertent,” and agreed to correct this mistake by holding accountability to those responsible. Within the single “error,” made by NATO, more tension from the Afghans set to rise. Two American soldiers were killed along with 24 Afghan civilians due to riots and protests of what is claimed to be the most blasphemous act in the Islamic world.
It is safe to say that the Taliban, which once completely ruled the lands of Afghanistan, created more hostility than the American military did. Disregarding this action is only justifying the need to create a hostile situation, without the help of the Taliban. Top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, also followed up with an apology and ordered soldiers in Afghanistan to undergo training on how to “properly
handle religious materials.” So, being respectful of others belongings, religion and culture isn’t an obvious principle of NATO or the U.S. military. How else would one induce war? Anti-Western fanatics and extremists have struck gold because now they have an ex-
See QURAN on page 11
Falling in love with an undercover cop may seem like the plot of a movie on the “Lifetime” cable channel, but for more than 30 Florida high school students, this was a case where art not only imitated life, art was life. When parents and teachers at several Florida high schools complained about drug use on their campuses, police deployed young female police officers in a plan called “Operation D-.” The undercover cops blended right in. They dressed the part, spoke the part and even took the Florida standardized tests along with their peers. On Feb. 10th, listeners tuned into the National Public Radio program “This American Life” and heard the love story of 18-yearold Justin Laboy, an honor student at Park Vista Community High School in Palm
See BUST on page 11
continued from page 10
check the speedometer and make sure the seat belt is fastened. If I talk to a police officer, I do my best to be nice and polite, perhaps to show him or her some kind of respect. Being able to respect an authority is indeed a privilege, considering the fact that police corruption is a big problem in many countries, such as Russia, Ukraine and Mexico. Being a cop in Finland is cool. Being a cop in Spain or Greece isn’t that cool – it might even be embarrassing to tell someone what you do for a living. A Greek young man I know keeps his police uniform deep inside his wardrobe. He likes his job; it’s just that his friends don’t. The Finnish police arrange annual bike auctions, give tips to crime victims and drug abusers on their web site and upload cute photos of their dogs on their Facebook page. It’s almost too good to be true. They really do their best to stay popular among the people.
2.29.2012 | The Blue Banner | 11 In fact, a few years ago, the police topped the list of most trusted authorities in Finland. My Greek friends kind of laugh at this, or more exactly at the police as an authority. And I know why. I happened to sit alone outside a nightclub in Athens one night. Suddenly, two patrolling night officers, wearing bulletproof vests and guns, came up to me and asked me if I wanted to come party with them later. Perhaps this is one of the reasons it’s hard to take a Greek cop seriously. In some areas of Madrid, Spain, civilians have created patrols to guard the police. Contradictive indeed. Last summer the police were so attacked by the patrols that they had to call for riot police. The citizens could no longer stand the violent behavior of the police and their exaggerated control of immigrants. In Madrid, as well as in Athens, the police checks the identity of persons who look African, Asian or Latin American, or of those who simply look suspicious. Sounds like there’s some discrimination and racism involved, if you ask me.
continued from page 10
Beach, Fla., and a 25-yearold female recruit who posed as a high school senior. “She didn’t do her homework, she slept in class,” characteristics that Laboy felt proved that she was just another high school student. Alas, his love led to his arrest when his undercover crush had him arrested for selling marijuana she asked him to hold for her. Thirty-one students were arrested in three different Florida schools as a result of “Operation D-.” In a moment of desperation to find something good on television late at night, I’m sure
One day in central Athens, a police officer stopped a passerby and asked the man what he’s doing in Greece. The man answered him with a broken Greek, “I’m here for love.” One group that often creates problems for the police are young people who participate in the demonstrations against the state power and the police. The police ask them for their identification, then checks if the person knows the name and day of birth on the ID. If these young people hang out in dark alleys with their hoods up, they can be sure to answer these questions, whether they want to or not. Isn’t it quite obvious that a police force behaving like this doesn’t really work in ex-autocracies like Spain and Greece? Human rights organizations like the UN do know about the tricky situation in Madrid and have condemned it as illegal and unpleasant for immigrants. So what? As long as the leaders of the country deny that there is any form of harassment occurring, how are you going to find a solution to the problem?
Qurans and other religious texts has befallen a sense of unjust to the continued from page 10 Afghans. Although the Afghans have recuse to chant, “Death to Ameri- ceived some sort of apology, the ca,” and other extremist principles, U.S. is reluctant to find the actual only rounding up more reasons to perpetrator and process accounthate America and Americans as the ability. whole world watches. While the U.S. is fighting to find Good luck trying to continue some sort of peace with the Middle ‘stabilizing’ Afghanistan, America. East, incidents like these aren’t While the behavior of the Ameri- helping the cause. can soldiers may be shockingly inOccupying a country you know sensitive to some, it is the wrath of seeks to be much weaker than you war that continues to take the best can be an argument, but causing of moral practices as we have seen trouble by deliberately disrespectin the past weeks. ing their religion as a source of Earlier in the year, some U.S. weaponry is pathetic. military officials decided that takThen everyone wonders why the ing a tinkle on dead Afghan corps- Middle East is so pissed off. es could be the punch line of a We continue to raid and colonize great joke. the world they live in, which we These indecencies have only believe does not meet the requireencrypted subtle anti-Muslim and ments of a democratic state. anti-Western thought in both the Sure, the regime of the Taliban minds of the oppressed and the op- was definitely an ugly one. pressors. I’m sure most Afghans are happy According to The New York that most, if not all, the Taliban Times, the ongoing demonstration have been executed out of the of protests may not just be linked country. to the Quran burnings, but to the But the U.S. is still contributing exhausted fury over the continuing to so much more destruction. presence of Western troops after 10 If the U.S. really wants to help years of war. Afghans, maybe rebuilding the “Afghans aren’t just rioting over county would be a better start. burnt Qurans. The U.S.’s 10-year The U.S. soldiers are losing their occupation has killed more than minds trying to figure out what 1,000,000 people. You’d be angry they are still doing there. too,” said Cyrus McGoldrick, civil Thank you for all your efforts to rights manager for the Councils of save us as a nation, but please get American Islamic Relations. out of our country. NATO’s investigation to what Sincerely, the people of Afghaniled to the actual decision to burn stan.
Alas, his love led to his arrest when his undercover crush had him arrested for selling marijuana she asked him to hold for her. many of you have tuned in “To Catch a Predator,” where Chris Hanson, the host of the show, pops out from behind a closed door to formally address the adult trying to make moves on a teenage girl or boy. Or perhaps you have seen the episode of “DEA,” in which narcotics detectives work undercover to bust a drug ring or an individual dealer. A case in support of using such undercover methods can
be made by arguing that the bad guys go to prison, and society is protected from those who would sell illegal drugs to young people. A case against using undercover methods can be made by arguing that undercover detectives can manipulate the system to prove that they solved the problem, without actually fixing it. In the case of the young man who fell in love with the
undercover recruit, the use of persecution and exploitation of the young and naïve comes into play. The real problem within this case is the mishandling of a situation by school administrators in letting a young female undercover officer coerce a young man into holding and selling her drugs. The school should feel ashamed. The use of undercover officers becomes a 50/50 situation.
In situations regarding prostitution and serious drug use, it’s understood when undercover officers need to be used in a serious line of duty. But when officers begin to bend the system themselves and influence young adults, there is a problem within the system. The goal of undercover officers should be to fix the problem, not to influence an arrest. Undercover officers have a purpose, but influencing the system can corrupt it as well. Exploiting young adults in a less than exceptional way can harm them academically and hurt future plans. Maybe next time you fall in love, ask for their name and badge number.
12 | The Blue Banner | 2.29.2012
The Blue Banner’s View
Too many deaths of juveniles, violence needs to end Joanna Ramos, 10, died last week from blunt force trauma after a fight with a female classmate. A high school student in Ohio, as of yet only identified by fellow students as T.J. Lane, opened fire in his high school cafeteria. Three students died and two others remain hospitalized. And Tommy Lee Harrison died Monday night after a shooting at Erskine Street Apartments in Asheville. All these young lives lost in the time span of a single week. Homicide victims under the age of 18 made up 9.9 percent of all homicide victims in the United States in 2009, according to the FBI. They were just children, and now they are dead. And for what? The horror stories are everywhere; in documentaries, books and newspapers. Children get caught up in situations they have no business in, and their only reward is a coffin. It needs to end. And the beginning to the end starts with everyone taking responsibility. These children look to role models,
Youth homicide statistics, 2010
• 12,996 total homicides in the U.S. • 1,277 homicide victims under the age of 18 • 599 White homicide victims under the age of 18 • 622 Black homicide victims under the age of 18 • 37 homicide victims under the age of 18 of race/ethnicity other than White or Black • 19 homicide vitims under the age of 18 of unknown race/ethnicity FBI.gov parents, older siblings and friends to guide them and teach them. And what are they learning? That violence is the answer? These children need to learn how to walk away and how to rise above violence. Look at how many movies glorify violence. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Thor; all
movies which made the top ten list of blockbusters in 2011. And they all glorify violence. These crimes involving children, whether victim or offender, have no point. All they cause is heartbreak, grief and anger. When does it end? When people take responsibility, when they show children it takes a better man or woman to walk away than to resort to petty violence.
The Blue Banner Editorial Board Karpen Hall 019
Hali Ledford, Editor-in-Chief
Morgan Nirenstein, Copy Desk Chief
Tim Barrett, Business Manager
Anne Louise Bouchard, New Media Editor
Trevor Metcalf, News Editor
Jackie Starkey, Assistant News Editor
Auburn Petty, Arts & Features Editor email@example.com
Alicia Adcox, Campus Voice Editor
Camille Wick, Assistant Arts & Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Amarra Ghani, Assistant Campus Voice Editor
Sarah Gentry, Sports Editor
Gabriel Ainslie, Assistant Photography Editor
Dustin Stuart, Photography Editor
Michael Gouge, Faculty Adviser
Parents should not have to bury their children. And these children should not lose their lives before it even begins. A book written by Alex Kotlowitz called There Are No Children Here follows two boys growing up in the projects of Chicago in the 1980s. Yet the book’s message remains relevant today. Children who grow up surrounded by violence never truly have a childhood. To those children who become caught up in the violence they hear, see and live everyday, their lives lead two places – jail or death. It’s time to take action. When altercations start with children, don’t walk away and write it off as kids being kids. Talk to them, make them see why violence is never worth it. Some efforts are made. The television program Beyond Scared Straight takes at-risk teens and shows them the reality of life behind bars. Chicago has the CeaseFire campaign to stop the violence infecting many communities in the city. But these programs are not enough on their own. More must be done. If something doesn’t change, neither will the statistics.
Have a news tip?
send to email@example.com The Blue Banner is UNC Asheville’s student newspaper. We publish each Wednesday except during summer sessions, finals week and holiday breaks. Our office is located in Karpen Hall 019. The Blue Banner is a designated forum for free speech and welcomes letters to the editor, considering them on basis of interest, space and timeliness. Letters and articles should be emailed to the editor-in-chief or the appropriate section editor. Letters should include the writer’s name, year in school, and major or other relationship to UNCA. Include a telephone number to aid in verification. All articles are subject to editing.