This spring, a 10th-grade honors English class was supposed to be studying Khaled Husseini’s acclaimed novel about two boys from different social classes growing up in 1970s Afghanistan. On April 27, teacher Brooke Bowman sent a letter to parents explaining the value of the 2003 best-seller as a teaching tool while warning of its mature content. In the scene in question, a servant boy is beaten and sexually assaulted by an older boy from a wealthier family.
Concerned parents and elected officials met and voiced spirited opposition to Duke Energy’s planned substation on Hill Street, next to Isaac Dickson Elementary school — and a letter was read aloud from a Duke Energy official indicating the power company had opted to put the substation on the back burner.
Asheville currently has about 7,200 hotel and motel rooms that are subject to the 4 percent occupancy tax levied on room sales. And if all of those current hotel projects came to fruition (which is by no means guaranteed), it would add at least 1,115 more, boosting the total number by 15 to 20 percent.
The upcoming restoration of the Vance monument is said to honor the memory of Zebulon Vance, Confederate military officer and wartime governor. But there’s another side to this story. By many accounts, Vance was a white supremacist who supported and profited from slavery. Many are saying that it’s important to consider what ideals and what history the momunment reflects — and also what is absent.
UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education is spearheading efforts to have a new monument constructed in Pack Square, in tribute to the contributions and history of Buncombe County’s African Americans.