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The Daily Planet's Opinion: E. Asheville taking a hit as Days Inn to house homeless
Thursday, 16 September 2021 18:42

While the aim of those trying to provide permanent housing for the chronically homeless in Asheville is laudable on the surface and on the human level, it nonetheless leaves those with regular homes, businesses and investment properties in the area taking a financial hit, not to mention safety and other concerns ... on a deeper level.

 In particular, we are referring to the Sept. 10 news that, according to Asheville television station WLOS (News 13): “It’s official: Days Inn to become 85 permanent housing units for chronically homeless.” Confirmation was provided to News 13 by Homeward Bound, which recently closed on the Days Inn property on Tunnel Road in East Asheville. “The hotel will soon be converted into 85 permanent housing units.”

News 13 added, “The project is slated to cost around $13.5 million and will include around-the-clock support staff meals, a health clinic and job training... Homeward Bound says it’s a unique opportunity to finally be able to house some of the chronically homeless people in the community.” The project is expected to be completed for move-in by early 2013.

A press release from Homeward Bound adds, “Since 2006, Homeward Bound has moved more than 2,300 people into housing and 92 percent have not returned to homelessness over a 12-month survey period....”

While we are sympathetic to the plight of the homeless, we also “feel” for those affected in East Asheville, one of the city’s less-vocal and influential areas politically and, therefore, an ideal choice for politicians and others to dump such a facility.

Alas, the deal is done, so our hope moving forward is for all involved to do all they can to avoid damaging property values, quality of life and public safety (to name a few concerns) on Tunnel Road in particular, and in East Asheville in general.

Anti-vaxxers get COVID-19: Serves them right
Thursday, 16 September 2021 18:41
Syndicated Columnist

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I entertained bad thoughts about other people. Not only that, I wished bad things would happen to them, and rejoiced when it did. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help myself.

No doubt, you’ve heard about some of the people I’m talking about. They’re all anti-vaxxers. I never met any of them in person, you probably didn’t either. 

Four of them, like me, were radio talk show hosts. But all four of them, unlike me, downplayed the danger of the coronavirus and urged their listeners not to wear a mask or get vaccinated.

Phil Valentine, king of Nashville’s Super Talk 99.7 WTN, spent a year and a half telling listeners not to take COVID-19 seriously or get vaccinated. Until he was diagnosed with the coronavirus on July 12. By late July, he was telling friends and family he regretted his decision. Too late. He died of COVID-19 on Aug. 21 at the age of 61.

Same story with Florida talk show host Dick Farrel, known as “the other Rush Limbaugh.” A vocal opponent of Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom he called a “power-tripping lying freak,” Farrel, too, dismissed the importance of the vaccine until he came down with COVID-19 in late July, when he texted a friend: “I wish I had gotten it.” Again, too late. He died of COVID-19 on Aug. 4.

No such second thoughts for Tennessee talker Jimmy DeYoung, who compared the vaccine to the “mark of the beast” in Revelation 13: 16-17, or for Florida’s Mark Bernier, who called government officials urging people to get vaccinated “Nazis.” Neither was vaccinated, both got COVID-19, and both died of COVID-19 last month.

Those four talk show hosts are hardly alone. Every day we hear of more COVID-deniers brought down by the disease. 

Add to the list: Scott Apley, member of the executive committee of the Texas Republican Party, who insisted that “vaccines don’t work.” Dead of COVID on Aug. 25 at age 45. 

And Caleb Wallace, leader of an anti-mask “Freedom Rally” in Texas on July 4. He came down with COVID symptoms on July 26, was hospitalized on July 30, and languished in the ICU before dying of COVID-19 on Aug. 28 at age 30, leaving behind a wife pregnant with their fourth child.

Health officials report countless cases of unvaccinated people being admitted to the hospital with very serious COVID-19 infections. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg for the vaccine,” Alabama physician Brytney Cobia told the New York Times. “I hold their hand and tell them I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”

It’s too bad. I know they’ve all left behind family and friends, spouses and children. As a Christian, I know I’m supposed to feel sorry for them. But the truth is: I don’t. I don’t shed any tears for them. Instead, I resent the harm that they’ve done.

By rejecting science, they’ve not only written their own death sentence they’ve deliberately endangered the lives of their spouses, children, family, friends, co-workers, and fellow citizens. Anybody who comes into contact with them.

At the same time, they’ve put an incredible strain on the American economy: driving up the cost of health care; straining the capacity of clinics and hospitals; delaying elective surgery for millions; forcing large and small businesses to adopt special practices to protect their customers; drastically slashing business on airlines and cruise ships; wreaking havoc on public schools; and making it impossible to put the coronavirus pandemic behind us.

And all because these people refuse to get a simple shot in the arm. There’s no action more selfish, greedy, thoughtless, or uncaring. And, worst of all, they claim to do so in the name of “freedom.” 

Hogwash! Freedom does not include the right to kill your neighbor. Freedom does not include the right to infect your loved ones with a fatal disease.

It’s time we stopped tolerating the indifference and irresponsibility of anti-vaxxers. 

Yes, they can choose not to get vaccinated. But if that’s their choice, they should be banned from all places where they interact with the public: offices, work sites, buses, trains, planes, retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, gyms, stadiums, movie theaters, or public parks. 

Ban them from all human contact.

My own final word to anti-vaxxers: If you refuse to get vaccinated and come down with COVID-19, don’t expect any sympathy from me. 

You asked for it. 

You got it.

You deserve it.
©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Bill Press is host of The BillPressPod, and author of the new book, “Trump Must Go: The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (And One to Keep Him).” His email address is: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Readers may also follow him on Twitter @billpresspod.




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