Statehouse candidates debate: Ramsey vs. Ager

There wasn’t much tension between Nathan Ramsey  and John Ager at the Council of Independent Business Owners’s early-morning debate, Friday, Aug. 29 perhaps because of a personal history. “John’s my neighbor,” said Ramsey. “I’ve known John since I was probably about two years old.” Not only are the two candidates personal acquaintances, both grew up in the […]

Local environmen­tal controls likely to be whittled down by regulatory reform bill

Rich Ducker calls Senate Bill 612 “a real Christmas tree of a bill – all sorts of things hung on it.” But the biggest issue, says the public law and government specialist, may be a “sleeper issue to some people.” And that’s language that could prevent local environmental ordinances that are any more stringent than state law—something that would likely do away with Buncombe County’s steep-slope ordinance and other regionally specific rules.

Advocates see threats to public education in current legislatio­n

They had to keep rolling out chairs Tuesday night for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions. And in a nutshell, the program message was that the status of public education in the state — which has been quantifiably climbing for years — is about to take a drastic plunge. (photos by Max Cooper)