Archive for Parkside


Saturday Morning Reading

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Before I get to all that business of sharing the fun readings, I want to shout out to all of you lurkers reading this blog. We know you’re here. We know you come and read. You click the links and absorb the comments. You sometimes linger and sometimes swiftly jaunt on to your next virtual information fix. You are multitudes.

For those who been lurking, I salute you. For those who lurk and think of commenting but don’t, I invite you to try it – you’ll like it. For every person who comments at Scrutiny Hooligans there are 50 readers who don’t.

Remember Robert Altman’s movie, Short Cuts? In it, Lyle Lovett plays a creepy lurking baker. When I see your footprints, lurkers, I imagine you like Lyle, shyly staying at a hidden distance. If you’ve been waiting for an invitation to add your voice, this is it.

Did y’all hear about Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! getting arrested at the Republican National Convention? She was charged with an unlawful assembly misdemeanor, but those charges have now been dropped. While this is good news, it revealed a GOP plan to create conditions for police brutality:

In August, protesters at the 2004 RNC successfully won police brutality lawsuits against the New York City police department.

So, a few days later, the Republican Party indemnified the St. Paul police for up to $10 million in the event that charges of police brutality would be brought against them.

Then, at the convention, the police went out and illegally beat up $10 million worth of progressives, including progressive media. It was a free beating for them.

Wanda Greene, Buncombe County Manager and architect of the secret meeting with Progress Energy as well as the Parkside debacle, has decided to go to war with Sheriff Van Duncan over how and when his officers use their police vehicles. Greene is Buncombe Old Guard politics personified. Duncan puts it like this, ““It’s about control,” Duncan said. “She wants me to do business the way the old administration did business.””

The next County Commission is going to need to give Wanda Greene her walking papers. Let her go screw up some other County. We need a County Manager who believes in transparency and cooperation. Greene does not.

In case you missed it, the Asheville Citizen-Times Editorial Board called for the County to use eminent domain to reacquire the Parkside property if Coleman doesn’t stop behaving like a spoiled child.

In an end to my Palin-free blogging, here a fun quote:

Gov. Sarah Palin’s favorable/unfavorable ratings have suffered a stunning 21 point collapse in just one week, according to Research 2000 polling. Last week, 52% approved and 35% disapproved of the GOP vice presidential nominee (+17 net). This week, 42% approved and 46% disapprove (-4 net).

The BlogAsheville Awards voting is open. Everyone is welcome to cast your votes for your fave blogs. You can go to this post first if you’d like to have a look at all the blogs that were nominated. Or you can click here and go straight to the voting!

I’m getting up out of there to go hiking, but share your readings in the comments. Here’s a little lurking Lyle Lovett to sweeten your Saturday morning:

WLOS just reported that Judge Hyatt signed the order written by Pack family lawyer, Joe Ferikes. The order disallows any development on the contested parcel. If Coleman breaks the rules, he’d be in contempt. While that would have a certain poetic irony to it, I don’t think he’ll do anything to violate the order. An appeal may be on the way, but that’s a lot of time and money for an unlikely victory.

My guess is we’ll see a deal before election day between the County and Coleman on buying the park land as well as the Hayes and Hopson.

UPDATE: Mountain Xpress wins the ‘linkiditfirst” award.

Have a look –

Categories : Local, Parkside
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Friday Open Thread: Barack, Pack

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What do you think, Hooligans? Barack? The Pack family?

Say it all. There’s so much to say.

Update: Or just watch the speech again:

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AC-T got the scoop:

The judge hearing a lawsuit challenging Buncombe County’s sale of parkland near City Hall to a local developer is preparing to strike down the land sale, an attorney for plaintiffs says.

Superior Court Judge Marlene Hyatt has asked attorney Joe Ferikes, who represents members of the family of the man who gave the land to the county more than 100 years ago, to prepare a draft order granting his clients’ request for judgment in their favor, Ferikes said at mid-day today.

“It means the case is over and we’ve won,” Ferikes said.

The outcome won’t become official until Hyatt signs an order and it is filed, Ferikes said. It is common for judges in civil cases to have attorneys for the winning side prepare a draft order that becomes the basis for the judge’s order.
“Louise Pack Metcalf, an East Asheville resident who was one of the plaintiffs, could hardly contain her emotion shortly after hearing the news.

“I am so thankful. I just thank God that they left it as parkland,” she said. “I’m thankful that just one time the system worked for the people and not for the big man.”

The ruling apparently means ownership of the land will remain with Buncombe County. The Packs were seeking simply to overturn the sale and keep the land in public hands, Ferikes has said, not to have the land return to the Pack family.

It’s party time, people. Unless Coleman finds a way to subvert the judge’s ruling, this is game over.

Categories : Parkside
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Can You Believe This Guy?

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Stewart Coleman is the poster child for arrogant developers. It’s mind-boggling that despite all of the opposition he plans to build his condominium high rise on the doorstep of City Hall and in the park that George W. Pack gave to the “public forever”.

AC-T: “Boundaries for the controversial Parkside Condominium project were marked Wednesday, indicating construction plans are moving ahead despite a court case that could delay or derail the project.

Parkside developer Stewart Coleman said the boundaries were marked with spray paint so fences can be put up around a construction site.

Time to remind the Commissioners that we’re still here waiting for them to commit to stopping this project. The resolution they passed on June 24th said that they would take responsibility for reacquiring the land. They have yet to meaningfully and forcefully inform Mr. Coleman that he will not build on that parcel.

Email them today. It takes five minutes.,,,,

Categories : Action, Local, Parkside
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URTV is going to replay the well-reviewed panel discussion between John Robinson, Cecil Bothwell, B.J. Snow, and Barry Summers. Jim Barton sent me the news:

Rebroadcast times are Wed., Aug. 27th at 6pm, Thurs., Aug. 28th at 9am and 7pm, and again on Sat., Aug. 30th at 8am and 1:30pm

Check it out!

Categories : Local, Media, Parkside
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Even as I type this, Judge Marlene Hyatt is commencing a hearing to determine whether George W. Pack’s descendants are right to claim that Mr. Pack’s gift of park land to the “public forever” is worth the paper it was written on. The Packs are suing Buncombe County and Stewart Coleman’s Black Dog Realty over the land sale.

If the judge determines that the Packs are in the right, then, according to the terms of the deed, all of the land on Pack Square and City/County Plaza (including the land underneath the County and City buildings) could again become the Pack’s private land. That would be a good and interesting problem to have.

If the judge rules that forever doesn’t mean forever and that the park-level land that’s always been considered part of the park isn’t part of the park, then this controversy moves to the next stage of intervention.

As recently as 2001, the City and County agreed that the land sold to Coleman was part of the park. Anyone who walks over there knows it’s obviously part of the same contiguous parkland as the rest of the square. It’ll soon be time for the County to man-up and get to work on Eminent Domain. Alternately, if this Commission isn’t prepared to do the right thing, it’s time to get to work persuading our candidates for County Commission to right the wrongs of their predecessors.

Tomorrow, Mr. Coleman will be standing before City Council seeking an easement for a road in front of his Parkside. He’s petulantly threatened to move his building further in front of City Hall if he’s denied his easement. Of course, if the Packs win their suit, then Mr. Coleman will be sent packing, so to speak. If they lost, then Council will have to choose whether to surrender to Coleman or to continue to make clear their categorical displeasure with Coleman’s project and strongarm tactics.

I’m going to be working all day, though I think I’d rather be offering gavel-to-gavel coverage of the court proceedings. If you’re on the scene, near the scene, in the scene, or of the scene, please keep us all updated in the comments.

Categories : Local, Parkside
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Hot Parkside Action on URTV

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While you’re getting geared up for the big Pack family lawsuit hearing Monday morning, tune in to URTV Sunday night for even more background on exactly how FUBAR this whole debacle is.

URTV will broadcast a panel discussion entitled: “Parkside Questions”, featuring three activists opposing the Parkside development. Cecil Bothwell, B.J. Snow, and Barry Summers will answer moderator John Robinson’s questions regarding the controversial land sale and proposed building in Asheville’s downtown Pack Square Park.

Sunday, August 24th, 2008 9:30 pm.
URTV, Charter cable channel 20

Categories : Local, Parkside
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Monday Is Judgment Day

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In case you’ve forgotten, Monday marks the next episode in the Parkside saga. Here’s an update from tree-sitter Steve Rasmussen, who says that folks who oppose the Parkside project should turn out in force at Monday’s summary judgment hearing:

This Monday, August 25, starting at 9:30 a.m., the lawsuit brought by the descendants of George W. Pack against Buncombe County and Stewart Coleman alleging that the sale of the Parkside parcel should be overturned will be heard on the 7th floor of Buncombe County Courthouse before Judge Marlene Hyatt. The Packs’ attorney, Joe Ferikes, has asked for summary judgement in the case — and if Judge Hyatt rules in his favor on Monday, the now-infamous piece of parkland under the magnolia tree in front of Asheville’s City Hall will be returned to the people and the controversy will be ended . . .

Mr. Ferikes told Magnolia watchers Lady Passion and Clare Hanrahan today that the more of us pack the courtroom that day, the more likely it is the judge will decide to rule in the Packs’ favor then and there rather than take the “easy way out” and send the case to trial (which would probably not begin till November or December — after the county commissioners’ election).

You can find info on Judge Hyatt here, at the NC Courts website. I don’t want to read too much into this, but I’m heartened by the fact that she’s from Waynesville. The last thing we need is another Buncombe Courthouse regular having anything to do with Parkside (and I’m sure most courthouse regulars feel the same).

One other item of interest from Steve:

. . . the county clearly had its own doubts about its right to sell the public parkland to a private developer, since it sold Parkside to Mr. Coleman under a non-warranty, or “quitclaim,” deed. Ferikes and other real-estate experts say this is the weakest form of deed — a kind of “buyer-beware” document that offers the purchaser no guarantee that the seller’s transfer of title is valid or free of encumbrances … and no money back should the sale be ruled invalid. It’s typically used only by family members transferring property among themselves.

If Coleman were allowed to build Parkside, the individual buyers of its $900,000 condos would also be entitled to nothing more than flimsy quitclaim deeds on their homes.

Got that? The county didn’t want to have to take the fall in case there was trouble with the sale later on, so instead of a general warranty deed, they gave Coleman a quitclaim deed, which means he’s holding the bag in case the ownership of the land comes in dispute. So what bank is going to lend someone $900,000 to buy a condo on a property conveyed via quitclaim? Or is Coleman counting on a bunch of gullible multi-millionaires lining up to pay cash?

At any rate, thank God for the courts. They may just prevent us having to rely on any politicians to lead us out of this mess. And remember – Monday, 9:30 a.m., 7th floor of the courthouse. Steve and other defenders of the park plan to assemble about 9 at the magnolia tree, hold a bit of a rally, and then head off for the courtroom.

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What with this ridiculous limitation on the number of hours in a day, it sometimes seems impossible to keep it all straight, get it all done, and through it all smile.  I’ve stayed up too late catching Olympic women’s gymnastics, and today is another jam-packed whorl.  I’m picking up keys for the new business location and working with insurance companies to turn me from a group member into an individual.  There’s strategies to be strategized re: stuff and whatnot.

John Carroll, a Republican real estate guy running for County Commission, has been taking up a good deal of my research attention.  He’s got a lot of smooth campaign stuff up on the web, but know that whenever you hear him talking about transparency he was one of the guys pushing the hardest for the Woodfin Diesel Power Plant despite two years of secret meetings between the County and Progress Energy.  More on him later.

All things Parkside seem to be at a standstill until the Pack lawsuit is heard on the 25th.  Sunday, however, is the day of the big non-violent protest training at the Magnolia at 3pm.  The turnout for the last training was big, and this training promises more numbers and more tactics.

What do y’all know?  What is happening in your lives?

Categories : Local, Open Thread, Parkside
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