Fact: The Republican Party of Buncombe County is going after Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger for closing down his office during snow, and then posting pictures of himself sledding with friends on social media.
Fiction: The Libertarian Party of Buncombe County (I don’t think there is one.) is going after everybody else for not shutting down to go sledding.
Norfolk Southern has sold its Western North Carolina rail lines to Watco, an outfit based in Kansas. This could have implications for people who have lobbied Norfolk Southern to engage in activities that have nothing to do with the transport of freight, such as converting unused rail lines to greenways, rebuilding bridges to accommodate beer companies, and providing infrastructure for recreational passenger excursions through subsidy or bank-breaking debt.
When I think of privatizing, I think of having activities performed for profit by non-government entities. I don’t like the way the term is now being co-opted to apply to “partnerships” where once private companies share government money. It further blurs the line between public and private, but how dare I use that disparaging term “socialist.”
We also privatize by farming government operations out to management entities that look and smell just the same as government bureaucrats to consumers of programs, offer no relief to taxpayers, and aren’t unionized but act like they are and call it something else. This might actually add another layer to the Inferno, but we can cover up the smell of sulfur with enough paper coated in random words. We’ll give it an Orwellian doublespeak title because nobody in their right mind would read a pile of jabberwocky and try to make it mean what it doesn’t say.
Yesterday, we learned from the local daily that panhandling arrests were up in downtown Asheville. The day before, City Councilman Jan Davis, who has a shop downtown, let the cat out of the bag. Although people experiencing aggressive panhandling and transient behavior (from the perpetration side) have been raising more awareness with intensified outreach to passersby in this post-recession era of low unemployment and thriving economic indicators; Davis said the police are really responsive. He also commented on the “what am I supposed to do with this?” sense that comes over folks when presented with statistically insignificant vicissitudes in crime stats.
What is more confusing, though, is that the police department is fining panhandlers and putting them in jail. Isn’t that something like asking a murderer to earn his freedom by turning over more bodies? At least the criminal justice system can put the money to use.
The N.C. Department of Commerce, Office of Urban Development has announced that Waynesville was one of 20 North Carolina communities to achieve accreditation from the National Main Street Center for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
. . .
Working in partnership with the National Main Street Center, the North Carolina Main Street Center evaluates each of the state’s local Main Street organizations annually to identify those programs that meet 10 performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.
Why don’t newspapers think it is headline news when other newspapers get awards?
Pete Kaliner on 570 WWNC is now talking about legislation in Georgia that would require persons over the age of 75 to have a physician vouch for their physical and mental wholeness before they could drive. I am opposed on the grounds it is a bad solution for a legitimate problem. Personally, I do not want to see a doctor until Obamacare is repealed. I’m perfectly fine with Patrick Henry’s options. Furthermore, I foresee future MMPI’s designed to spike for sympathizing with the Tea Party. Methinks a road test combined with ramifications for getting pulled over for distracted driving should suffice.
Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer previously shared in an interview her expectation that even though the city had secured a stay on litigation to take over the municipal water system, she was almost expecting the “representatives” in Raleigh to perform some legislative calisthenics to make it not so. Then, at council’s legislative update last night, Assistant City Manager Paul J. Fetherston alerted council to the existence of House Bill 189. The bill is billed as an amendment to legislation on child support orders. You can find it by searching the keywords “child custody,” “child support,” “divorce,” “minors,” and “public.”
If you scroll down far enough, you will find that a rider has been added. It would be wrong to assume non-sequitur riders are violating the spirit of and raison d’etre for deadlines for introducing legislation, but I digress. Fetherston started to explain that the bill would cause any legislation legally challenged to prevail over the challenges until the judicial system is exhausted. Manheimer picked up the story, and applying it to Asheville’s circumstances, said the legislature would be allowed to take over the water system. The bill was, she said, “extremely troubling,” she said, she said.
Maybe the water disagreement and Swain County’s “Road to Nowhere” settlement exist only to keep newspapers in business. When local leadership takes summer vacations, one can always report movement on these perpetual struggles. By way of a reminder, the federal government is not making good on its deal to reimburse Swain County for failing to build a road after flooding another road to create the Fontana Dam.