Archive for Local

Aug
09

Dance For Democracy

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Get your groove on at DANCE FOR DEMOCRACY – a fun night of dancing at The Orange Peel, from Motown to rock ‘n roll and swing to hip-hop. Tunes cued up by amazing DJ Marley Carroll… Proceeds support Democracy North Carolina’s work to promote access to voting in our state.
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Jun
19

A Full Lord’s House

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IMG_20150619_124540_014We attended the community church service at St. James AME Church today. Standing room only in the church and in the overflow. Lots of fans, tissues, moist eyes. Lots of familiar faces. The preacher had the place jazzed to pull together and get organized. I hope it’s not just another flash in the pan as Jon Stewart suggested might happen last night. Maybe this will help. God knows we could use some.

Categories : Local, National, News, Race
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Jun
07

How About Rude Week?

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3q9chgWatching the chatter on Facebook about the Tourism Development Authority here and here.

And there’s this from the Citizen-Times:

ASHEVILLE – In Savannah, Georgia, a policeman has an extra incentive for being nice to tourists: They’re helping pay his salary.

A move to raise the Buncombe County hotel-motel room tax has members of Asheville City Council saying something similar should be happening here — with police or with other services that benefit city residents.

Naturally, the hoteliers are not fond of the idea, as this recent op-ed from a hotel marketer proves:

I have great respect for county and city leaders and understand some of them would like to have a portion of the hotel occupancy tax. However, a hotel occupancy tax used for promoting tourism and funding local projects that benefit both citizens and visitors is an occupancy tax properly used. In fact, going back to the WCU study previously cited, without the current level of tourism in Buncombe County, the typical resident would pay $646 more in taxes each year.

So take a flying leap at the moon, county and city leaders. You too, AC-T editorial staff.

You know, rather than the knee-jerk protests Ashevillians love so much, locals could have a go at acting like jerks to tourists instead. Promote a city-wide “Rude Week” directing local ire at hotel patrons (you know, like those rude restaurants with surly waiters). Get the buskers and Asheville’s bicycle and Segway police to join hotel maids and bellmen to really sell it. I hear the last weekend in July is open these days.

Think that would get anyone’s attention at the Tourism Development Authority, Convention and Visitors Bureau, or the Chamber of Commerce? They could even use their shiny, new room tax to promote it.

Striking find find in the time capsule recovered from Pack Square’s Vance Monument:

The Colored Enterprise, a newspaper representing about a third of Asheville’s population in its day, lay concealed in a box at the base of the Vance Monument for more than a century.

It was put there secretly by Masons in 1897, when the monument was dedicated, and recently discovered during restoration efforts.

The time capsule contained the only known copy of The Colored Enterprise. Although scholars such as Dr. Darin Waters, a professor of history at UNC Asheville, have found references to it during their research, they’ve never actually seen a copy.

Fascinating read.

Categories : History, Local
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May
11

Local Taxes: A Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio

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By Lcj (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Asheville property owners may soon pay more in property taxes. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer began to explain to WCQS the other day that legislative changes passed in Raleigh are why:

Privilege license tax: “This last year the legislature got rid of the privilege license tax for all cities across North Carolina … for Asheville what that means is a loss of $1.5 million dollars in revenue.”

Sales Tax redistribution: “the proposed legislation was absolutely devastating for Buncombe County”

But then Manheimer got into the economic weeds and lost track of the broader message. “Absolutely devastating” NC cities is not a byproduct of the legislation. That is the goal.

How many times do I have to say this?

What we’re seeing is an extension of the GOP’s “defund the left” strategy of undermining the largest concentrations of manpower and funding that support Democrats. First they went after private-sector unions, then public-sector unions, and teachers, firefighters, trial lawyers, etc. Then with Voter ID they attacked seniors, college students and minorities. They’ve taken away control of Asheville’s airport. They tried to take away Charlotte’s. They’re still trying to take Asheville’s water system to blow a huge hole in the city budget. Collectively, Republicans in Raleigh are hoping to render cities irrelevant in future state and local elections. And with redistricting, they’ve isolated Asheville in House District 114 and won’t even bother running candidates there for now.

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Apr
23

NC-116 Town Hall

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From Rep. Brian Turner’s office:

On Saturday April 25th Rep. Brian Turner will host his second in a series of Town Hall meetings for the constituents of House District 116. The Town Hall will be held at the Leicester Community Center at 3:00 PM.

Who: Representative Brian Turner
What: Town Hall Meeting Regarding the Long Session When: Saturday, April 25th 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Leicester Community Center

Categories : Local, NC Legislature
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Apr
22

Earth Day 2015 – Water

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Today, Earth Day 2015, President Obama visits Everglades National Park to talk about climate change and the threat it poses to the water ecology of south Florida. On the first Earth Day in 1970, few Americans had even heard of ecology.

NPR’s Melissa Block spoke with Evelyn Gaiser, an ecologist with the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program, about saltwater incursion into the Everglades. She’ll be reminding the president the Everglades is not just home to birds, snakes, and alligators:

BLOCK: And along with preserving biodiversity, preserving wild space and habitat, of course also you’re seeing a real threat to drinking water with what’s going on in the Everglades, right?

GAISER: That’s exactly right. So the people of Florida depend on that aquifer underneath the Everglades for their drinking water. And as we have insufficient freshwater moving into the Everglades, we see a depletion in the freshwater resources available to the growing population of South Florida.

On the Pacific coast, Californians struggle with an epic drought and reservoirs have all but dried up.

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Apr
18

DKos Asheville: One week to Roanoke!

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Guest Post by randallt for DKos Asheville

Good day and welcome to DKos Asheville. This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread for Saturday, April 18th. We try to get together every weekend to share with everyone what we’re all up to in Western North Carolina and beyond. We hope this group and others serve to invigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that’s grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville and other local and state groups can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who we stand with, work with, and share with. We hope this local and wider community can help leverage our orange passion for progressive politics to elect more and better Democrats.

Please join us below as we plan for our April 25-26 meet up in Roanoke Virginia.

For our next meet up on April 25-26 we will be offering a dynamic community and networking experience focused on bringing together a diverse group of people who share our goal of electing more and better Democrats in every election. We will be taking the meet up on the road to Roanoke Virginia. Please sign up by dropping me a Kosmail.

This is an open invitation for all Kossacks to unite in a beautiful and relaxed setting as Spring arrives to the Roanoke Valley and wakens the dogwood and apple blossoms.Our very special guests on Saturday evening will be Dr Ferguson Reid and his son, Dr. Reid Jr.. “Fergie” has recently turned 90 and has offered to be at our gathering to acknowledge GOTV efforts not only in Virginia and North Carolina, but all of DKos as a whole. We are blessed to have these vibrantly beautiful and compassionate people grace us with their presence, advice and wisdom together with encouragement and recognition for what we have been striving for since DKos first opened it’s doors.

I’ve stayed in touch with “Fergie” Jr, through the week and I can’t thank him enough for all his guest recruiting help. He is honored that we will be featuring his Dad as our special guest and speaker and has joined with the DKos Asheville crew to raise awareness of the Roanoke event.

90 for 90

Essential to voting is voter registration of course and that is the focus behind the 90 for 90 model of local and effective political action and engagement with potential voters. The name is based on its Virginia roots but the model can apply anywhere.

In honor of Dr. William F. “Fergie” Reid’s 90th birthday and his long history of expanding voters’ rights, we commit to registering new voters for this years election.If all volunteers and candidates worked together to register 90 new voters in each of the Commonwealth’s precincts, our efforts would result in a quarter million new voters for the Old Dominion.

Denise Oliver Velez will have a story on the 90 for 90 Project on Sunday Kos tomorrow andplease read Vetwife’s great shoutout for this man to get more recognition of his life work.We are hoping for a great turnout at the event. It will offer two different venues and an after event voter registration opportunity. If you need a ride from the Asheville area, please let me know.

SCHEDULE:

Meet at the mountaintop 12:00pm

Catered lunch
Social
Introduction and welcome, agenda announcement
Introductions from audience members/organizations
Candidate forum
Skype call to KC – option1
Close

Go to Hotel 4:00pm

Check in
Set up meeting room, distribute information
Begin program 5:30pm
SKYPE call to KC – option2
Dr. Reid and son speak
Questions and discussion
Planning for GOTV and Voter Registration projects

Downtown Roanoke voter registration training and fun

Group photo of everyone in front of Fire Station #1 in the city market where President
Obama delivered his “You didn’t build it.” speech.

Return to Hotel for late night discussion and social

Breakfast

Checkout

Please see details below and let me know if you would like to attend.

What A DKos Asheville meet up in Roanoke, Virginia.When Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, 2015. 12:00 pm Saturday till 12:00 pm Sunday.

Where We will start our day with lunch on the top of a mountain at Mill Mountain Parkand then go to the hotel in the afternoon.

Hotel Roanoke, Conference Center, 110 Shenandoah Avenue, Roanoke, Virginia, 24016-2025, USA
540-985-5900

Here is a Roanoke map from Mapquest

This is a Blueridge Outdoors look at Roanoke

This is the state of Virgina’s official reference to Roanoke.

Please Kosmail me, randallt, if you would like to attend.

Let’s get local, grow our network, build this community and help win elections.

RSVPs and hopefuls
1. gordon20024
2. davehouck
3. randallt
4. Joieau
5. LamontCranston
6. Steerler Grrl
7. Steeler Guy
8. Otteray Scribe
9. DawnN
10. emmasnacker
11. Vetwife
12. Chun Yang
13. MsSpentyouth
14. Guests

Categories : Action, Local
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Apr
02

The 6-percenters

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An animated map of the progression of the historic 2012–2014 California drought, spanning from December 31, 2013, to July 29, 2014. The map highlights the rapid spread of Extreme and Exceptional Drought conditions across over 75% of California during 2014. This drought is officially the worst drought California has experienced in 1,200 years.
(Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

Hearing yesterday morning that the snowpack in the Sierras is six percent of average nearly drew a gasp. Records have been shattered:

The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California’s water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That doesn’t just set a new record, it shatters the old low-water mark of 25 percent, which happens to have been last year’s reading (tied with 1977).

Things are so bad that Governor Jerry Brown decided to slog into the field for the manual snow survey on Wednesday morning. He didn’t need snowshoes but he did bring along a first-ever executive order mandating statewide water reductions.

“We’re in a historic drought and that demands unprecedented action,” he told reporters who made it to the Sierra survey site off of Highway 50.

In the Central Valley, farmers would drill wells if they could stand the two-year wait, the half-million dollar cost, and if there was any point. California celebrates its gold rush history in the appellation, the 49ers. I’m wondering if the 6-Percenters might have a future in California lore.

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Om nom nom! Waffles!This is an invitation to a Waffle Brunch I help organize once a year. It’s a lot of fun – and if you don’t show up you’ll be missing out on some seriously awesome food. It’s known to local foodies as ” The Greatest Waffle Brunch In History.”

Chefs from around the world compete in Asheville, NC to decide who will be crowned “Master of the Waffle Iron And Supreme Potentate Over All Creation”.

To aid this culinary contest the community (That’s YOU) comes together to taste & vote on the waffles. Side-items such as fruit salad, bacon, and mimosas are provided by the attendees to share with one another.

This year all proceeds go to BAMFS – The Blueridge-Asheville Movement & FlowArts Society. (Look them up & “Like” them on Facebook.)

The Waffle-Off Championship is considered the most important event on Earth.

Cost: $5 per person + _ONE_ of the following items to share:

–> Real maple syrup (No HFCS please)
–> 1 gallon of organic orange juice
–> 1 bottle of Sparkling wine (aka: Champagne)
–> Bowl of fruit salad. (Doesn’t have to be organic fruit)
–> Something you want to share with the community, as long as it’s pre-cooked. (eg: Bacon, Mom’s breakfast strudel.)

Link to ticket page: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1353721

Advance ticket: $5
Tickets at door: $8

Note: A small group, such as a family or couple, may show up with a single one of the above items and it will count for the entire group. (For example: A family of 4 can bring a single bottle of real maple syrup.) If you don’t have time to pick up one or create of the items, no worries, an additional $5 will be accepted.

* Kids under the age of 10 and press get in free.

So, to summarize:

What: 2015 Waffle-Off Championship & Brunch

When: Sunday – March 29th 2015 @ 10:00am – 12:30pm

Why: To answer the most important question of all time: Who makes the best waffles IN THE UNIVERSE!!!???

This event is a benefit for BAMFS: Blueridge-Asheville Movement & FlowArts Society (Look us up on Facebook)

Where: The Asheville Commissary – 3080 Sweeten Creek Rd Asheville, NC 28803. (Formerly CinTom’s Frozen Yogurt) Refer to this Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/rztBY

This is a rain-or-shine event.