Asheville

Public meeting on the CTS-Asheville superfund site July 29th

If you can make it, please turn out to support the folks struggling with this man-made catastrophe:

Concerned citizens in south Asheville and the greater Buncombe County area are invited to attend an informational meeting about the contaminated CTS site on Tuesday, July 29th at the T.C. Roberson High School auditorium from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. This meeting, entitled “The Road to Cleanup,” will provide the latest technical information on the contamination at the CTS site, outline steps necessary for immediate cleanup action, and allow a forum for residents to ask questions of technical experts and the EPA. The meeting is hosted by POWER Action Group, an Asheville-based non-profit advocating for a comprehensive cleanup at the contaminated CTS of Asheville Superfund site.

One drawback to the focus of regional news outlets is people in the Triangle are often unaware of what's happening in the mountains, or vice-versa. One of our long-standing goals at BlueNC is to shorten the distance between regions, to bring our readers stories they might miss from their local paper. And this is a big one:

Moffitt's theft of Asheville's water overruled

In a blatant power grab, Tim Moffitt tried to do his part for privatization of public resources by attempting to usurp Asheville's water supply.

However, as is becoming common these days, a court of law struck down Tim's power play as unconstitutional.

Asheville is claiming victory after a North Carolina judge's decision striking down the transfer of the city's water system to a regional body.

Asheville officials said Monday that Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. ruled state lawmakers last year violated the state constitution and failed to compensate for the cost of building the water system.

US Supreme Court to rule on Asheville water contamination suit

When bad state statutes rear their ugly heads:

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case today that could have major impacts on lawsuits against Camp Lejeune over contaminated drinking water. CTS Corporation v. Waldburger deals with North Carolina law and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

But CTS disagrees, because state law requires lawsuits involving real property to be brought within three years of discovering injury or 10 years of the defendant's last act. If the Supreme Court upholds the state's statues, it would make lawsuits filed against Camp Lejeune for contaminated drinking water from the 1950's to 1985 invalid.

As you may recall, the CTS contamination of local wells was detailed in this letter we published a few years ago. It often takes years for trichloroethylene to migrate in the groundwater just a few thousand feet, but it's still all kinds of nasty when it arrives in your drinking glass. This (NC) statute should have been done away with a long time ago, but I don't see NC Republicans doing that particular job anytime soon.

Groupie Pat parties at Moogfest as protest rages

Pat McCrory made a surprise appearance at Moogfest, attending a VIP pool party atop the Aloft Hotel. Meanwhile, protestors went on with a planned rally against his policies.

McCrory was originally scheduled to appear at a kickoff panel of the five-day festival, which celebrates music technology and innovation. Local residents organized a protest against the Republican governor after the announcement.

Jill Lieberman, a Moogfest spokeswoman, said Friday morning that McCrory would not attend “due to a scheduling conflict.” Later that day, McCrory’s office said organizers asked him not to attend the event but sent best wishes for a successful event. Moog said that it regretted any miscommunication between the parties.

Moogfest uninvites Pat

Although Moogfest organizers appear to be trying to be as vague and polite as possible, Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat's office says that Pat was uninvited to the annual music, technology and innovation festival.

McCrory Communications Director Josh Ellis said in a statement Friday evening that, "It was at the request of Moogfest organizers that we changed our plans to attend this event."

Gee, who wouldn't want the state's governor at their festival?

Shortly after his attendance was announced, local residents organized a protest for during his visit.

Oh. Politics.

Robot Pat McCrory to unspool software tapes on wiring the mountains at Moogfest

Governor McCrory will have an opportunity to look remarkably unhip and out of touch when he kicks off this year's Moogfest in Asheville.

No, this isn't a joke.

Moogfest, a multi-day festival that includes workshops and panels on experimental electronic music and concerts by headliners such as Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys, will kick off April 23rd with a panel discussion on "Wiring Silicon Mountain: Nurturing Innovation Through Technology in Western North Carolina". The panelists will include McCrory, Asheville mayor Esther Mannheimer, Hickory mayor Rudy White and others.

Fighting for a living wage in Asheville

Asheville's Citizen-Times profiles the work of Just Economics of Western North Carolina, a local group working for an increased minimum wage in Buncombe County.

The nonprofit group has been pushing for local businesses to pay a "living wage," which it calculates at $11.85 an hour, the minimum amount a worker must make to afford basic necessities, without public or private assistance. So far, 370 businesses in the Asheville area have signed on, meaning about 3,000 workers have moved above that living wage threshold.

Hmm ... I wonder if Art Pope's Roses's store in Buncombe has signed on.

Good news from Asheville

A real progressive gets the nod to fill Senator Nesbitt's seat. And even better, it's a woman. Way to go, Asheville!

Van Duyn is a well-known fundraiser, volunteer and activist who was among those arrested in Raleigh during a June Moral Mondays protest last year. She also participated in the recent Moral March on Raleigh. Her victory is also a victory for the progressive end of the party though she does have support among mainline Democrats.

Buncombe Register of Deeds wants to issue gay marriage licenses

The Register of Deeds will "accepting and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state's legal advisor, Attorney General Roy Cooper". (Announcement at Official Buncombe County Register of Deeds site)

“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval," Reisinger said. "I have concerns about whether we are violating people's civil rights based on this summer's Supreme Court decision.

Tea Party ignorance on parade

Wanting both an open and closed government:

At a field off the parkway near the inn Saturday, a group of about 30 people held a rally to protest the closing of national park facilities. Jane Bilello, chair of the Asheville Tea Party, blamed “the tyranny of this federal government.”

“They are inflicting pain,” she said. “Veterans cannot even visit their memorials. They cannot go into their cemeteries. People are saying enough is enough.”

But Bilello said she doesn’t want the Republican-controlled House to agree to end the government shutdown without conditions such as defunding the new health care law.

I'm surprised her head doesn't just explode from the contradictory synapses (mis)firing up there. Then again, if your delusions stretch this far, a simple contradiction won't even register on an EEG:

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