The Gospel According to Jerry

This is not a fairy tale. Once upon a time, coal was king and the French Broad River was queen. Smoking, fire-breathing dragons hauled long lines of huge wagons loaded with coal and other supplies destined for the kingdom. The railroad also delivered finished products, bringing much treasure to the realm. An abundance of willing […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The shocking irony of the Asheville City Council’s recent actions wasn’t lost on me—or, I am sure, on many other residents of our fair city. First they passed an ordinance prohibiting gated communities. This was ostensibly an effort to bring our community together by fostering a climate of inclusiveness. Then, in the next breath, they […]

The gospel according to Jerry

The pathetic news story of Mary Winkler of Lebanon, Tenn., who was recently convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her preacher husband, makes me wonder what kind of hell it must be living daily with the fear that your spouse or significant other is going to verbally, physically or sexually harass or abuse […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Asheville City Council members have finally found a real visceral issue that they can add to their long and impressive list of accomplishments. So far, the list consists of installing more roundabouts, putting up fancy (and expensive) new streetlights, getting a trellis put up at Staples, changing the loading dock at Green Life, and their […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The cause of people opposed to building a new power plant in Woodfin was hardly dignified by two punk kids who illegally climbed a billboard and vandalized private property. I certainly understand that many of us are very frustrated with our national energy policy, which does not promote conservation or reduce the use of fossil […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The passing of Wilma Dykeman, the grande dame of local river history, reminded me of the need to fulfill my promise to the many who read my Depot Street articles and asked me for similar recollections of the river. Thinking back some 70 years, my first memories of the river were hardly Dykemanesque. Of course, […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The Asheville Tribune‘s recent commentary by Bill Fishburne, “Council Liberals Show True Colors in Tuesday Night Anti-military Vote,” implied that the Asheville City Council had deliberately screwed our servicemen and women. This hit a new low in editorial bottom fishing. The almost childlike implication was that because city staff had negotiated an arm’s-length agreement with […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

What’s the difference between an Asheville City Council meeting and a kabuki dance? The answer: Not much. Both are excruciatingly tedious and seem to go on forever. The Asheville City Council is like the board of directors of a major corporation. The directors are elected by the citizen stakeholders who are residents of Asheville. Council […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

As neighborhoods organize to discourage traffic on their streets, the general population is subjected to more and more abuse. In my ongoing quest to become neighborhood man of the year, I want to talk about traffic calming. When I think of traffic calming, I am reminded of a childhood song: “Here we go loop de […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

I recently read an article by Jim Buchanan in the Asheville Citizen-Times about the Arizona Voter Reward Act — which, if approved by voters in November, would offer people a chance to win $1 million just for showing up at the polls and casting their vote. I was reminded of a wonderful story about an […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

I have been a gambler ever since I was old enough to pitch pennies against a wall. I consider myself a reasonably sophisticated gambler, and I have enjoyed many a game of chance over the years, but believe me, I never considered giving up my day job. Why don’t Asheville and Buncombe County go to […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

A few weeks ago, this greedy carnivore developer found himself breaking vegetarian pizza with members of the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods. This unusual gathering resulted from CAN’s request to meet with some members of the Council of Independent Business Owners. Due to all the problems generated by the community activism and the UDO, it costs […]

The gospel according to Jerry

The Buncombe County commissioners have received requests from various nonprofit organizations for over $8 million in grants or subsidies, to be allocated from the county’s upcoming budget. Every one of these charities is a worthy cause and very deserving of community support. I have personally made substantial contributions to several of these agencies; I think […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The slipperiest slope at Wolf Laurel may be the one the management people are sliding down in dismissing the two women who openly announced their marriage in the local paper. This poses several interesting questions. If their computer or their ski lift broke down and they discovered that the person who showed up to make […]

The good old days that never were

Greedy developers are raping the land for money. Ax murderers are cutting down urban forests; big-box stores are polluting the landscape and destroying small businesses. “Why can’t Asheville be like it used to be?” whine the so-called progressives (who might better be labeled regressives). They might be shocked to find out that Asheville was not […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

As I grew up on Depot Street, I became more aware of the commerce that took place there, both legitimate and nefarious. Across from the depot were several buildings. The most important was the post office. I was frequently dispatched to deliver the business mail and to open the combination lock on the little brass […]

Feel the music

When I volunteered to work with the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, I wasn’t expecting to meet an African drummer named Bolokada Conde. And I certainly never dreamed the work would become so deeply meaningful to me. Bolokada is a native of Guinea in West Africa, where his wife and four children still live. In […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Well, the fire finally put the water out. Water am I talking about? If you can stand it, here is another postpartum analysis of the aborted water negotiations between the city of Asheville and Buncombe County. You might find it somewhat surprising that Gospel Jerry has some particular insight into the excruciating process that plagued […]

Paying tribute

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to resume writing “The Gospel According to Jerry.” I’ve been encouraged by many kind friends, not-always-so-kind detractors — and by Mountain Xpress Publisher Jeff Fobes, who says I can offer a historical perspective on many of today’s issues. (I think what he’s telling me is I’m getting old.) Still, […]

Dancing with pigs

It is absolutely astounding that the mayor of our city has also become Asheville’s chief fashion-police officer and the guardian of our morality. She’s running around town chasing down Nekkid Ukiah, yelling at him to get off the streets and go home. She recently advised him — in no uncertain terms — that he was […]