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Archive for November, 2011

You’re Invited

NC Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Steve Troxler will speak at the Friends of Agriculture Breakfast, from 7 to 8 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 8, at the WNC Regional Livestock Center, 474 Stock Drive, in Canton. Informal conversation will follow. The event is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend should reserve a seat by contacting Anne Lancaster, project coordinator for Buy Haywood, at 828-713-5431 or lancaster.anne@gmail.com

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Details, Please?

Macon County hired a new economic development director Nov. 1.

[Tommy] Jenkins has already met with a diverse number of stakeholders in an attempt to attract investors and resources to the area. “I’m just trying to get my feet on the ground right now,” he said.

The contract between New South, LLC [the company for which Jenkins is the manager and sole employee] and Macon County is fairly elaborate, detailing many bullet points for Jenkins to follow through with, including providing leadership, administrative and professional work in the implementation of economic development strategies, programs and services for Macon County.

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On Accreditation

The Asheville Police Department renewed its accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

[Interim Police Chief Wade] Wood said it is a time-consuming and extensive process.

Citizen commentators on the local daily’s web site are not impressed. Most ask what the accreditation means when the evidence room is a crime scene under investigation after lots of evidence recently went for a walk. At least one Occupant was arrested because an officer did not know the law. Ron Paul campaigners took to carrying copies of city ordinances in their pockets to help officers, as they were constantly being asked to stop activities they had researched to be within their rights.

The accreditation is viewed as a way for the department to blow taxpayer dollars out its ears. Part of the accreditation involved developing a list of core values and printing them on coffee mugs and tokens employees who couldn’t memorize them had to carry in their pocket to get in the habit of answering to accreditation auditors.

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Some Legislative Improvements

As the NCGA is running out of dates in the calendar year to reconvene, new laws are about to go into effect Thursday. Among accomplishments this year is a change to existing legislation that required persons shooting invaders of their homes, businesses, or cars to prove the person meant them harm. Police used to advise homeowners that if they were to shoot a prowler, they could end up paying his hospital bills. The response, from even ladies and off-the-record cops, was they’d shoot in self-defense regardless. Another new law, which should go without saying, makes it illegal to dismember a murder victim with the intent to hide a crime.

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Noooooo! Not the Spinach!

The Shogun Buffet in Asheville was raided today, and twelve illegal immigrants are now under arrest. Ada Volkmer with Defensa Comunitaria laments the separation of families likely to follow during the Christmas season.

My greedy take: I hope they didn’t catch the guy who makes the world’s best spinach and cheese dish; but then, why should I care? Like just about everybody else in this economic recovery, I won’t be visiting any restaurants in the near future, anyway.

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Poor People

Angie Newsome’s Carolina Public Press reported poverty rates for Western North Carolina counties. Rates ranged from 14 to 25% for the general population and from 25 to 33% for children.

Of course, I am too lazy to study and understand the definition of poverty and how much it has changed; or the role such factors as a growing Hispanic population, a growing number of people who derive substantial portions of their income from the government, or the number of people who live off trusts with next to no income might play.

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Bues Nues

Here is additional excerpting on economic recovery.

The House and Senate both agreed by wide margins Monday in favor of allowing a brewery to sell retail malt beverages made at the brewery or an out-of-state location by the same brewery permit holder.

It is expected the new legislation will attract two breweries to WNC and create 300 jobs.

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Economic Development

The local daily had this to say about an economic development package awarded for Charlotte:

The state Economic Investment Committee voted Tuesday to approve the deal, which includes more than $20 million in state incentives and more than $2 million from local government to bring at least 375 high-paying jobs to North Carolina by 2014. . . . Members of the committee said the move of Chiquita’s headquarters, along with research and development laboratories, will eventually bring a total of about 417 jobs to the area. The jobs are supposed to pay an average of about $107,000. . . .

Profits were $61 million in 2010, down from $91 million the previous year. . . . The company is in a cost-cutting drive and Ohio officials said they were unwilling to go as far as North Carolina to keep Chiquita in Cincinnati, where it employs about 400 workers. . . . “The company has issues beyond what incentives can address,” said Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

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Citizens Squash Golf-to-Soccer Plans

Flat Rock Village Council voted unanimously against purchasing Highland Lake Golf Course to convert it into soccer fields. The idea had gone over like a lead zeppelin with vocal citizens from the get-go.

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Recruiting Ph.D.-Like Farmers

State Executive Director of USDA Farm Service Agency NC Aaron Martin has published features he would like to see in the next farm bill. Among the roles of the federal government he includes:

As North Carolina’s population ages, this farm bill should identify, recruit, train and support a new generation of Haywood County farmers. Careers in agriculture should be presented with the same distinction, honor and prestige as those for doctors and lawyers. Agriculture is a national security matter. Imagine the results should we ever experience a food shortage. Expanding the agriculture talent pool is a priority. (USDA Farm Service Agency already provides incentives for young and beginning farmers to begin an operation.)

The entire list is here.

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