Readers had a lot to say in 2022 about a host of local issues — from our region’s growth and development to the environment, homelessness and more.
“Business as usual is not going to take us where we need to go as a community resilient to the worsening effects of climate change or one that strives for economic justice for those who live and work here.”
“So I urge all voters to undertake the due diligence that will enable them to see through the environmentally destructive charade for which the Sierra Club is providing political cover.”
“Woodfin town commissioner candidates Eric Edgerton, Jim McAllister and Hazel Thornton are endorsed by the Sierra Club and committed to open government practices and protecting our environment in Woodfin.”
“Many items that are now standard construction practices have been removed from our checklist, while we have added opportunities to gain points for new technologies,” explained Maggie Leslie, the nonprofit’s program director.
“The Sierra Club supports the proposed 3 cents per $100 property tax increase to fund these badly needed initiatives.”
“I believe that an important part of keeping that economy strong relies on reasonable and smart land use. Endorsed by the Sierra Club, Nancy Nehls Nelson, Democratic candidate for Buncombe County commission in District 1, will work with stakeholders to make that happen.”
“After an extensive process of reviewing voting records, questionnaire responses and interviews, the Sierra Club is endorsing the following candidates for the Democratic primary …”
“Brownie Newman, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Al Whitesides and Ellen Frost voted in favor, and the three Republicans made speeches about how they support the environment before voting no.”
“Gwen is working every day to improve Asheville for our children through her efforts to protect our natural environment, improve our built environment, make our city more equitable and improve our public schools.”
“These candidates care about solutions for global warming, planning for smart growth, farmland preservation and will protect our air and water from fracking and coal-ash pollution.”
The new Energy Innovation Task Force — which brings together representatives from electric utility Duke Energy, elected officials, the private sector, nonprofits and alternative energy providers — held its first meeting on May 13. In addition to the task force members, a sizable group of citizens and energy advocates also turned out for the public kickoff of the one-of-a-kind initiative, which aims to slow the growth of local energy demand and avoid the construction of a third natural gas generator.
After a Monday, Feb. 22 hearing disrupted several times by protests, the chair of the state Utilities Commission said he expects to meet a legislative deadline for a decision on Duke Energy-Progress’ conversion of its Asheville facility. Duke warned that it may not phase out its coal-fired units at the site if its petition is denied.
“Keep the Sierra Club working on the big issues, not interfering in local politics.”
When the fight began, no one knew whether public opposition could kill Duke Energy’s proposed 40-mile transmission line from a new substation in Campobello, South Carolina to a massive new gas-fired power generation plant at Lake Julian in Skyland. Now that Duke has changed course, energy activists celebrate and refocus.
“We don’t need another building downtown — we need green space, and for Sierra Club to take the side of more development was disappointing.”
“Good people can disagree on the park versus mixed-use/public plaza discussion. But no one is saying ‘high-rise hotel,’ even though Cecil [Bothwell] keeps propping up that straw man.”
In a brief session, city council appointed Guillermo Rodriguez and Tony Hauser to vacant seats on the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission. Council’s next meeting will be Nov. 10.
“As strange as it feels to be opposing the Sierra Club, I urge my fellow members, and, indeed, anyone who feels that this election is as much about protecting our urban as our natural environment, not to take the club’s endorsement with the sort of knee-jerk trust that I myself have exercised in the past.”
“The Sierra Club has endorsed Julie Mayfield, Marc Hunt and Lindsey Simerly for Asheville City Council after reviewing the records, experience and positions of the candidates on a broad range of environmental issues rather than one single issue. “
A public hearing on Duke Energy’s Lake Julian air-permit renewal is scheduled this Wednesday, April 29 — on the heels of an announced $30 million boost to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” initiative.