News related to the CTS site in the Mills Gap Road area bubbled to the surface this past week: “A group of 16 individuals and families filed suit against the Elkhart, Ind.-based corporation yesterday in federal court,” Xpress enviro-reporter Susan Andrew wrote in a Feb. 23 blog post, “Seeking Relief.” “Complainants include Tate MacQueen, spokesperson with the advocacy group Citizen’s Monitoring Council, which has worked to get the [contamination] issue noticed and addressed, and Lee Ann Smith, whose young sons were treated for cancer after they were exposed to high levels of contaminants in a stream flowing from the CTS property near their home.” Meanwhile, state officials updated their health study related to ground- and surface-water contamination near the site, where CTS operated an electroplating facility for about 30 years (see our Wellness column in this issue).
In other news, a slight majority of North Carolinians “don’t want the state budget gap closed either by making a sales tax hike permanent or by cutting state workers’ jobs,” the Asheville Citizen-Times reported on Feb. 25. (”Elon Poll: North Carolina Residents Oppose State Job Cuts”). The Associated Press report went on to say “The poll also found that residents’ opinions are evenly split on Gov. Beverly Perdue. Forty-one percent disapprove of the job she’s doing, while 40 percent approve.”
And more on Perdue: Xpress Contributing Editor Nelda Holder provided updates on the line being drawn in the sand between the governor and Republicans, who now control both the House and Senate: “Perdue Vetoes Republican Deficit Bill.” Says Holder, “At 3:05 p.m. on Feb. 22, [Perdue] exercised her veto power to send SB 13, “The Balanced Budget Act of 2011,” back to the General Assembly. It was the first veto by the Democratic governor for this Republican-majority legislative session.”
In less contentious news, at its Feb. 16 "We're for Business" luncheon, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of various awards — from Clean Streak to Sassy’s Computers, from "innovative" to "over the top" customer service.
New Chamber president Kit Cramer emceed the award luncheon, and local business owners announced the winners: "Over the top" customer service: Sassy's Computers (under 30 employees) and BMW of Asheville (more than 30); "Commitment to Community": Charlotte Street Computers (under 30) and Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care (more than 30); "Out on a Limb" (innovation) winners: Mind Your Business (under 30) and Biltmore Farms (more than 30); and “Green business”: Clean Streak (under 30) and CarePartners Health Services (more than 30).