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Anti-Semite? Speaker in MLK keynote says foes trashing her
Sunday, 03 February 2019 21:41
By JOHN NORTH
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Activist and co-organizer of the Woman’s March Tamika D. Mallory made several references to the plight of Jews —  saying they and other “oppressed people” need to work together, and she opined several times that anti-Semitism is uncceptable — during her 40-minute speech on Jan. 24 to a crowd that came close to filling all 580 seats in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium.

After her speech, she fielded six of many questions submitted electronically by those in attendance. She received standing ovations after her speech and after the Q&A. 

Despite temperatures outside in the 20s and a chill wind, somewhere between five and 10 Jewish protesters and/or Jewish sympathizers stood outside Lipinsky, named for a Jewish philanthropist, holding signs and banners protesting Mallory’s appearance.

They said they felt that, while Mallory should have the right to expresss her views, which they believe are decidedly anti-Semitic, it was inappropriate that she should do it in the spotlight of a celebration of the nonviolent ideas of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In both her speech and the Q&A, Mallory, who gave the climactic keynote address of UNCA’s MLK Jr. Week, sidestepped any mention of her alleged close ties with the Rev.  Louis Farrakhan, an American black nationalist and minister who is the leader of the religious group Nation of Islam. 

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NCDOT gives improvements update for I-26, other roads
Sunday, 03 February 2019 21:36
By JOHN NORTH
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The local chief of the North Carolina Department of Transportation gave an update on area highway and road improvement projects during the Jan. 11 meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center:

About 50 people attended, with special recognition given to the three elected officials who were present, including state Sen. Terry Van Duyn, who is running for lieutenant governor; Brownie Newman, chairman of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners;  and Amanda Edwards, a newly elected county commissioner.

Speaking to CIBO was Mark Gibbs, district engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, who addressed:

• What roads have made the list?

• What is the timeframe for starting to work?

• How will the improvement projects affect travel?

In other action, CIBO received a progress report from Newman on the search for the next Buncombe County manager and a report on the status of the lawsuits and indictments against former county employees.

On a third matter, CIBO heard a report from Van Duyn on the upcoming state legislative session in Raleigh.

During a question-and-answer session after Gibbs’ presentation, a man identifying himself as a member of Asheville’s Multi-Modal Commission said, “I wonder about Broadway (Street). My understanding is that is was designed (when it was widened to four lanes years ago) to be a relief valve” for nearby Merrimon Avenue traffic. “It doesn’t appear to be taking place... I wonder if, in your (NCDOT) corridor study of Merrimon, if you’re also going to look at Broadway. There’s not a good connection from Broadway to Merrimon near I-240.”

Gibbs agreed with that assessment and said NCDOT is looking at ways to divert more traffic from Merrimon onto Broadway.

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