Archive for Local

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.

From DKos Asheville’s randallt:

Hi folks, we have exciting news. Daily Kos will be bringing a regional conference to Asheville on September 26th! Marcos and other DK staff will be in attendance and Asheville was chosen as the regional destination over Raleigh. DKos Asheville has been lobbying hard for this and today we got the news.

So please mark your calendars for September 26th. We are working with the Chamber to find the best venue for up to 500 guests and national speakers. Stay tuned!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/15/1371017/-Connect-Unite-Act-Announcing-Asheville-N-C-for-our-next-Regional-Event-9-26-15

 

Asheville, N.C. is the destination for September 26, 2015! DKos Asheville, the In-Real-Life group under the leadership ofrandallt, has been setting the example for other IRL groups across the nation regarding registering people to vote, getting out the vote, having a state open thread and setting up strategy conferences for their region. Because of this impressive leadership we’ve asked randallt to be the State Leader for all of North Carolina. We’ve got important work to do on the ground there and randallt has shown he’s the person to make that happen.

All states are welcome to attend this event and if you do you can expect to meet Markos Moulitsas in person, as well as some of the Daily Kos staff. More details regarding this regional event will be shared in the future so please stay tuned to Connect! Unite! Act!

For now, SAVE THE DATE and spread the word!

 

Categories : Action, Events, Local, News
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Feb
18

RETHINK YOUR PRECINCT 2015

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This post will remain at the top until this coming Saturday. New material will be found below.

by Gordon Smith

Are you excited about the victories we celebrated in November? Brian Turner defeated Tim Moffitt. John Ager defeated Nathan Ramsey. Todd Williams is our new District Attorney. Buncombe Democrats won every local race we ran, and now it’s time to gear up for next year’s big elections for President, County Commission, and more. That’s where you come in. Are you a Buncombe County resident? Are you a registered Democrat? We want you and need you!

When we know that the Koch Brothers intend to spend nearly a billion dollars in 2016 to elect people who want to make the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us, then it’s clear we need to begin organizing now. The battle for North Carolina will be front and center next year, and Democrats will have to organize like never before in order to combat conservative efforts to buy our democracy.

The county is made up of voting precincts. You know which one you’re in? If not, check here: http://www.ncsbe.gov/webapps/pollingplace_search/

On the morning of February 28th, Democrats from across the county will come together to lay the foundation for victory in 2016. You’re invited. We need your energy, ideas, and effort. Glenda Overbeck is a volunteer who’s marshaling Buncombe Dems’ precinct organizing this year, and I asked her “what’s this all about?”

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Feb
12

Minnie Jones’ Legacy

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Venerable local activist, Minnie Jones, has died:

Minnie Jones, a lifelong activist for civil rights and a staunch advocate for public housing and health care for Asheville’s working poor, died early Wednesday at her home. She was 81.

Friends remembered an outspoken champion who worked tirelessly for better housing, better health care and civil rights for all people. When AIDS patients couldn’t receive care at many local practices in the 1990s, Jones helped launch a clinic to care for them.

Minnie was relentless in her advocacy for the disadvantaged.

WLOS reports: Minnie’s funeral will be Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at Nazareth First Missionary Baptist Church on 146 Pine Street in Asheville.

Categories : Local, Passing
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Feb
08

Patsy Keever New Chair of NC Democratic Party

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WNCN: News, Weather, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville

Asheville Citizen-Times:

Hundreds of party activists meeting in Chatham County elected 1st Vice Chair Patsy Keever of Asheville over four other candidates seeking to succeed chairman Randy Voller, who declined to seek a second two-year term. Keever received 369 votes from the 560 members on the State Executive Committee gathered in Pittsboro. Second place went to Marshall Adame of Jacksonville, a former congressional candidate, with 169 votes.

Raleigh News and Observer:

Keever, a former teacher, state House member and congressional candidate, won election to the two-year term handily. Adame was the next-highest vote-getter.

“So many people are ready for the Democratic Party to be strong, to be positive,” she said. “This is a new beginning for us, and people are excited.”

With Rep. Susan Fisher named deputy minority leader in the state House, Sen. Terry Van Duyn appointed minority whip in the state senate, and Patsy Keever elected state party chair, women from Buncombe County are poised to wield more influence over state Democrats than the party’s minority status might suggest. With Hillary Clinton a possible Democratic presidential candidate next year, with NC Gov. Pat McCrory — considered “the most vulnerable Republican incumbent on the gubernatorial map” — up for reelection, and with Sen. Richard Burr up for reelection as well as Democratic Council of State candidates (mostly women), North Carolina will be “ground zero” in 2016.

Going to work.

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Jan
19

The courts: Targets of opportunity

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An acquaintance asked Saturday what happens if the Supreme Court rules this summer to lift gay marriage bans across the country. It seems unlikely the Roberts court will overturn rulings in 36 states, he said. He worried that, since so many of the shifts on gay marriage across the country originated in the courts, that the right will not simply use the decision to energize their base in 2016, but to further colonize and control the courts. In fact that has already been occurring, according to Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies:

Today, special interests are spending record amounts of money on court elections in the 38 states that elect justices to the bench. As a Facing South/Institute for Southern Studies report showed, more than $3 million poured into races for North Carolina’s higher courts in 2014, the first election since state lawmakers — with the help of millionaire donor and political operative Art Pope — eliminated North Carolina’s judicial public financing program.

The controversy over Big Money’s attempted takeover of the courts is now coming to a head. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing Williams-Yulee vs. The Florida Bar, a case involving a challenge to Florida’s law barring judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

Read More→

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Jan
10

Defend our water

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We seem to have created a political environment in which for some reason our communities can no longer afford to maintain public infrastructure. Oh, right. That requires taxes. (That’s 5 letters. Hmmm, I was sure it was a four-letter word.)

Now that We the People have seen fit to ensure we no longer have the revenue to do on a not-for-profit basis the things a Great People once did to create a Great Nation, companies that lobbied long and hard to reduce their taxes (and public revenues) are stepping up, eager to do them for us. For a profit. Go figure.

One of the first public properties that goes into the carts at the Chop ‘N Shop is water. Right now, Portland is fighting to retain control of its water system:

A simmering water war is about to come to a boil over the fate of historic, well-loved public reservoirs in Portland, Oregon. At the heart of the controversy is a breakdown in public trust that reflects the dangers of corporate-led water privatization schemesin the United States and around the world.

A 2006 EPA ruling (called LT2) to protect systems against Cryptosporidium precipitated the fight over modifications to reservoirs on the National Register of Historic Places.

At Truthout, Victoria Collier details alleged cronyism in the water project involving contracts with CH2M Hill. (Full disclosure: I did some engineering for them on a factory some years back.) Furthermore, it seems the firm is involved in a coordinated effort to privatize infrastructure on the west coast (emphasis mine):

The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX)was launched collaboratively by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and CH2M Hill, though the corporation has since recused itself from an official partnership position.

Now comprised of governors and state officials from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, the WCX is quietly developing a regional “public-private partnership” (PPP) model to fast-track private financing and development of infrastructure – everything from schools, bridges and highways to energy, waste and fresh water systems.

Citing the crippled tax base of so many US states, the WCX notes with regret that crumbling public infrastructure and future development needs can no longer be met by the public sector.

You bet your assets, they regret it. That “crippled tax base” just happened, of course. It just happened to coincide with the interests of international corporations that want to get their hands on public infrastructure across the planet. They want to buy it for a song from tax-starved cities and then sell it right back at a profit. It makes the payday loan industry look benign. As I observed:

Privatizing water supplies is a growth industry. Whether it’s American Water, Aqua America, Suez, Veolia Water, or Nestle, private water companies are competing to lock up water resources and public water systems. If not for you, for the fracking industry. As with charter schools and vouchers in public education, public-private partnerships are one of business’ favorite tactics for getting this particular camel’s nose under the tent.

This is a theme you see repeated with P3s across the country from Michigan south to Georgia and west to California as corporations lobby hard to gain control of public utilities and infrastructure. From schools to prisons to water and sewer. We have already discussed how that is working out for highways.

When Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder placed Detroit under receivership and appointed Kevyn Orr in March 2013 as emergency manager – effectively negating citizen control of their own city government – the first items considered for privatizing were the water and sewer systems. (Receivership ended in December 2014.)

When the GOP took control of North Carolina’s legislature in 2011, removing airports and water systems from control of the cities was top of the ALEC agenda. Where cities have fought the state takeovers in court, judges have sided with the cities.

But that’s just Round One. Because for the GOP, privatization is a twofer: it lines their corporate donors’ pockets and it weakens cities where the remaining large blocks of blue votes are. It’s the next phase of Defund the Left.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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Dec
12

I-26 Questions Remain

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From the AC-T today:

Construction of a new I-26/I-40/I-240 interchange on the southwestern side of the city would begin in fiscal year 2021 and run through FY 2024, according to the proposed long-range plan released by the state Department of Transportation earlier this month.

Work on a new crossing of the French Broad River would start in FY 2024 and continue beyond FY 2025.

The plan shows no funding over the next 11 years for the third component of the I-26 Connector, a proposed widening of Interstate 240 through West Asheville.

Heads up, Asheville City Council. Don’t fall for this:

A project’s benefit/cost can be improved if funding is provided during the project submission phase through local entity contributions or tolling approved by the local planning organization. In addition, a bonus allocation of up to 50% will be returned to the contributing area for a subsequent project scored through STI.

Rep. Nathan Ramsey was out promoting a local sales tax earlier this year:

“State Rep. Nathan Ramsey, R-Farview, interjected, “On the local component, the community has the possibility to put local dollars into these projects. . . . For instance, Buncombe County has the authority to enact sales tax to raise the score. What we’re told from Raleigh is this will score pretty well, but we won’t know ‘til the scores are released.”

Just so’s you know.