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Petition nears 2.9K signatures against ‘hot mess’ on 3-laned Merrimon... Road-narrowing pact says it’s only for benefit of city gov’t, NCDOT — ‘Boy, did they get that right!’ City critic/retired attorney laments
Saturday, 26 November 2022 15:12

From Staff Reports 

The signature total on a petition seeking to “Save Merrimon Avenue before it’s too late” had risen to 2,878 signatures with a goal of 5,000 signatures, as the Daily Planet went to press for this edition at mid-morning Nov. 21.

Perhaps summarizing most succinctly — and vividly — the view of many of those signing the petition, Donna Moore posted on the comments section of the petition website (, “I’d hate to have to totally quit going up Merrimon, but I’ll not deal with this hot mess!”

Meanwhile, Sidney Bach, a longtime city critic and a retired attorney, sought and received from the city a copy of the written agreement between the Cty of Asheville and NCDOT on the Merrimon project, and, via email, shared with the Daily Planet that “It specifically states that the Agreement is solely for the benefit of the City of Asheville and the NCDOT ‘and is not intended to give any rights, claims or benefits to third parties or to the public at large!’”

In response, Bach declared, “Boy, did they get that right!”

Rep. Cawthorne buys $1.1M house in Fla.; terminates (early) his services to his constituents... His successor, Edwards, steps up to cover for him
Saturday, 26 November 2022 15:09

From Staff Reports 

CAPE CORAL, Fla. —  U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-Hendersonville, N.C., has purchased a $1.1 million home in Cape Coral, located on the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Myers in the southwest of the “Sunshine State.”

“Cawthorn, 27, bought the Cape Coral home in August, according to the register of deeds records for Lee County, Florida,” according to a report in the Asheville Citizen Times.

“His spokesperson did not return a Nov. 8 message asking about his residency status or plans once he leaves office on Jan. 3. The youngest member of the U.S. House at the time of his 2020 election, Cawthorn lost in the Republican primary after multiple scandals and missteps,” the ACT noted.

Meanwhile, Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported Nov. 18 that Cawthorn’s “constituents have been speaking out that their questions and calls have gone unanswered as Cawthorn appears to have closed — or at least emptied — his offices.”

News 13 added, “Edwards officially takes his congressional seat in January. But with outgoing Rep. Cawthorn closing his office, he’s already fielding many questions about federal issues.”

To that end, the Daily Planet received a press release, dated Nov. 17, from Cawthorn’s successor, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, which was headlined, “Senator Chuck Edwards to assist constituents with federal issues.” 

A subhead on the release added, “Just because a federal office closed does not mean constituents stop needing help.”

Biltmore ushers in Christmas; activities to run through Jan. 8
Saturday, 26 November 2022 15:07

From Staff Reports 

 The delivery of a towering 35-foot Fraser fir tree at “America’s Largest Home” in early November was the finishing touch after weeks of decorating Biltmore House for the holidays. 

“Christmas at Biltmore,” the estate’s holiday celebration, runs now through Jan. 8.

“The 35-foot Banquet Hall tree is Christmas at Biltmore’s star attraction,” a Biltmore press release stated. “It took more than 50 staff members to hoist the tree onto their shoulders and carry it into the Banquet Hall, where a system of ropes secured the tree in place. 

“The tree comes from Andrews Nursery in Avery County, N.C. and is a nod to a tradition started by George Vanderbilt on Christmas Eve 1895 when he opened his 250-room home to friends and family for the first time. 

“As tradition dictates, the tree is decorated with 500 ornaments and lights, with wrapped packages tucked into its branches. It serves as the seasonal centerpiece in the home’s immense Banquet Hall,” the release noted.


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