Monday, January 21, 2013

Food Policy

Step One: Seek city government sanction (where the markets are). Innocuous, no funding.

"With [City of Asheville] approval of this resolution, the management process to evaluate, prioritize, and implement sustainability activities will be expanded to include food activities."

Step Two: Seek county government sanction (where the farms are). Innocuous, no funding.

"Food Policy Councils (FPC) are comprised of stakeholders from various segments of a local food system. Councils are typically sanctioned through government action such as an Executive Order, Public Act, or Joint Resolution".

Step Three: Form a nonprofit and solicit public funding.

"There is slightly more interest in establishing a more formal legal structure (such as 501(c)3 status) to pursue funding or growth opportunities".

Step Four: Seek public/private partnership, become an arm of local government in an official capacity to guide policy, craft regulations, funnel public money to a network of nonprofit cronies and enable ideological favoritism.


Nourishing policy: City Council considers Asheville's Food Action Plan
Asheville City Council is thinking about your stomach — and stomachs all over Asheville, in fact.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

LTE: Water Merger

Two takes from readers on city-state relations
Tim Peck | Asheville Citizen-Times | 1/13/2013

House Bill 552, sponsored by Representative Tim Moffitt and signed into law by Governor Perdue on June 28, 2012, directed the City of Asheville to turn over title to certain WNC Ag Center properties. To this date, the city has not complied with this directive and instead contemplates action that would control the conduct of gun shows on those same properties.

In April of 2012, the General Assembly's Legislative Research Committee directed the City of Asheville to effect a merger of their water department with the county's sewerage system into a reorganized, locally-operated regional water authority that would continue the mission of serving water and sewer customers on a wider scale with greater efficiencies and fairer representation. Instead, they have held an irrelevant and insular referendum, passed antagonistic resolutions, voted down reasonable proposals by MSD, conducted propaganda forums and coordinated oppositional activism, all aimed at thwarting the good faith process called for by the committee.

As with the Ag Center, the city has shown every sign of repeating a pattern of stubborn recalcitrance with the water merger and I urge the General Assembly to take full control of this matter and expedite the merger without compensation at its earliest availability.



"SECTION 2.2.(a) The City of Asheville shall convey to the State of North Carolina by warranty or quitclaim deed all its right, title, and interest to the 'City of Asheville Parcel' below, which is part of the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, and the corporate limits of the City of Asheville are reduced by removing all three parcels below from the corporate limits.."

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Talk of the Town

Talk of the town: The 2012 stories that got the most online comments
By Jake Frankel | Mountain Xpress | 12/30/2012

Tim Peck’s letter to the editor advocating free-market capitalism garnered more responses than any other post on the Xpress website over the past year. The local blogger and former Asheville City Council candidate also posted far more comments on the site than any other registered user.

In keeping with Mountain Xpress’ long-standing goal of promoting community dialogue, our website proved to be fertile ground for a wide variety of lively discussions over the past year. Here's a look at the posts that generated the most online comments (note: Xpress' tracking system doesn't include comments made via Facebook).

A letter to the editor by Tim Peck titled "People and Profits Are In Harmony" drew more responses than any other post. In the piece, the local blogger and former Asheville City Council candidate argued that, "In commercial transactions, two parties profit: the seller and the buyer.

"The buyer acquires a product and the seller gains financially," he continued. "This peaceable, voluntary transaction of value for value to mutual benefit is an exercise of the rights of individuals to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. It is the proper and moral exercise of economic and political freedom."

Most commenters disagreed, however, saying that sometimes, corporations’ pursuit of profit can lead to negative economic and environmental consequences for consumers.

"Your letter assumes a true free market, where transparency allows the consumer to know how workers are treated, how products are made, how pricing structures and other legal policies are created and so on," wrote commenter "sonipitts" (Xpress policy allows aliases and anonymous online comments).

"However, in our current world we don't have a free market," sonipitts continued. "We have a market dominated by a few large corporations in each field operating with the wealth of small nations and using that wealth to silence whistle-blowers who would expose dangerous or unethical practices; who use their money and subsequent influence to get laws passed specifically aimed at preventing information about such practices from being exposed (or to simply make them legal); who use that same influence to make competition impossible beyond a few small 'industry leaders' and to avoid any but the most trivial consequences for breaking the law."

The top posters of 2012 (User name/ Number of comments posted):

timothypeck 1,825
Ken Hanke 1,446
bsummers 535
Dionysis 437
Xanadon't 364
Jeremy Dylan 335
bill smith 240
Me 233
Orbit DVD 198
D. Dial 175
mat catastrophe 141
Edwin Arnaudin 130


Pete Kaliner Radio Show
1/2/2013, Hour 2
Jake Frankel from Mountain Xpress joins us to talk the big stories of 2012 and the upcoming issues for 2013. (Talk of the town @ 00:08:00)