(Sorry, to late). Dave Chappelle adds second show in Asheville; both sell out!

Tickets to see comedian and actor Dave Chappelle in Asheville went on sale at noon on Friday and demand was so high, a second show had to be added.

RELATED | Dave Chappelle to perform in Asheville

By 10 a.m., a line of fans waiting to purchase tickets stretched down the sidewalk onto Flint Street.

The first show sold out in under 30 minutes. US Cellular Center’s box office confirmed the second show has sold out, as well.

News 13 spoke with the first customers in line who arrived before 7 a.m.

“Big fan of Dave Chappelle all the way back to Nutty Professor and the way back to his show,” Michael Danner said. “And I love all his work, and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m just glad to be up here to see him.”

Chapelle is performing two shows on the night of Monday, February 6 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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Rental unit supply increases, easing Asheville-area housing crisis

Finding a place to live in Buncombe County has gotten slightly easier in the past two years as a result of some 1,500 new rental units coming available. But monthly rents continue to rise, despite these new residences and the promise of thousands more currently under construction.

A growing vacancy rate highlights, one expert notes, the possibility of the Asheville housing market becoming saturated with available units.

Those are some of the findings of a report conducted by Bowen National Research, released by Asheville city officials at the end of December.

The report “makes clear that new affordable housing remains a dire need in Asheville and Buncombe County,” said Jeff Staudinger, Asheville assistant director of community and economic development. “It also provides evidence that, despite a small increase in the availability of market-rate apartments, the strong demand continues to push rents higher,” Staudinger said in an email.

The report’s conclusions roughly tracked third-quarter Asheville metro area data released earlier by two other real estate research firms.

Two years ago, Bowen, an Ohio-based real estate market consulting firm, pegged the rental vacancy rates for Asheville and Buncombe County, respectively, at less than 1 percent.

The new Bowen assessment found the county rental vacancy rate had risen to 2.7 percent, or 337 units in October and November of this year, from 99 during the same period in 2014.

Those figures include market-rate housing and “affordable rentals” such as tax-credit and government-subsidized housing.

The occupancy rate in the latter category remained about 100 percent, Bowen researchers concluded. But the market-rate component eased a bit to 96.4 percent this year, down from from 98.8 percent in 2014.

Both figures are above the national average of 95.1 percent, wrote Patrick Bowen, the firm’s president and report’s chief author in a Dec. 20 letter to Staudinger.

Apples to apples?

“Healthy and well-balanced rental housing markets have overall occupancy levels of around 95 percent,” Bowen wrote.

Rental-unit data from Reis, a New York-based company, paint a rosier picture for the Asheville metro area. The federally designated metro area, which comprises Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties, shows a 6.8 percent vacancy rate during this year’s second and third quarters and 7 percent for 2016’s first three quarters combined.

However, Axiometrics of Dallas reports lower metro vacancy rates during this year’s first three quarters. According to Axiometrics, the rate dropped to 4.1 percent in the third quarter from 4.5 percent in the second. It stood at 4.8 percent during the first. The company’s report did not provide a percentage for 2016’s first three quarters combined.

Bowen researchers surveyed 105 multifamily rental properties to produce its report.

City officials paid Bowen $4,500 for the new report and $29,750 for the 2014 assessment, which examined Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties.

No date had been set, as of Dec. 28, for Asheville City Council to discuss the findings of the new Bowen report, Staudinger said. Although the city’s Housing and Community Development committee is scheduled to review the updated data on Jan. 17. Asheville city staff will prepare a report for that review, he said.

An influx of new rental-units did not prevent rents from increasing, the Bowen survey found. But Bowen emphasized in a phone interview last week that this year’s large increase in median asking-rents in some categories occurred due to new upscale rental units that did not exist in 2014.

“So it is not an apples-to-apples comparison,” Bowen said.

Effective rental rates include any discounts or concessions landlords provide tenants. Asking-rental rates do not.

Median asking-rents in market-rate units, regardless of total number of bathrooms were, according to the Bowen report were:

Studios

  • 2016: $875
  • 2014: $667

One bedroom

  • 2016: $930
  • 2014: $830

Two bedrooms

  • 2016: $1,061
  • 2014: $916

Three bedrooms

  • 2016: $1,127
  • 2014: $1,021

Slowing the climb

“Market-rate rents have increased at an annual rate of 4.4 percent over the past year, while tax-credit rents have increased at 0.9 percent during this time,” Bowen wrote.

The national rate of increase during that period was 3 percent, he wrote.

Asheville’s higher rate of increase indicates that “demand for market-rate rental housing remains strong despite the large amount of new inventory added to the market during the past two years,” Bowen wrote.

The report also found that county renters “will likely live in lower quality product as long as rents are affordable.” Higher-quality units had higher vacancy rates than lower-quality units, according to Bowen.

Metro asking monthly rental-rate increases dipped to 0.5 percent during this year’s third quarter, from 2 percent during the second quarter, Reis reported.

The median asking-rent in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties rose to $1,044 in the third quarter, from $1,016 in the previous quarter, Reis researchers found.

Reis surveyed the units — from studio to multi-bedroom apartments — in 58 multifamily developments to determine its figures.

Using a different methodology, Axiometrics researchers also found rent inflation dropped in this year’s third quarter from the previous quarter.

The effective monthly rent increase fell slightly to 3 percent, from 3.1 percent between the two quarters, Axiometrics found. The metro’s average effective monthly rent climbed to $1,097 during the third quarter, from $1,080 in the second quarter.

Axiometrics did not provide a median figure. Its conclusions are based on a survey of 26 multifamily developments in the metro area.

The Bowen report concludes that 1,563 new rental units were built between January 2015 and October 2016, Bowen said.

Multifamily rental units currently under construction total 2,265, according to the report. Another 2,507 are “planned or proposed.”

The large majority of those units – 3,924, or 82.2 percent – will be market-rate rentals.

Though community leaders have described the lack of affordable housing in the Asheville area as a “crisis” for more than two years, Bowen cautioned that could change, with the Buncombe market becoming “saturated” due to new rental units coming available.

“Such indicators of a saturated market would be an increase in vacancies, with the market occupancy rate dropping below 95 percent,” Bowen wrote in his concluding remarks.

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Watch out: Old pipes, big problems: More than 20 sinkholes in Asheville

ASHEVILLE – It’s a terrifying prospect: the Earth opens and swallows the road, or your yard, or even worse, your house.

While the chance of being directly affected by a sizable sinkhole is low, the occurrence, also known as a ground collapse, happens on average at least once a year in Asheville.

In the last two decades, more than 20 major sinkholes have appeared on roads, in parking lots, yards and under homes. That frequency is greater than in the state’s largest city and speaks to Asheville’s unique terrain and aging underground pipes, which were responsible for almost all collapses.

While no one was hurt, many of the holes caused traffic disruptions, loss of business income and property damage at times exceeding $100,000.

An additional 20 sinkholes in other areas of Western North Carolina have also gotten media attention since 1996. Naturally occurring sinkholes have opened farther west in places such as Tennessee, where one played a role in a bizarre murder involving a Graham County man.

The issue has come to light most recently with the slow collapse of two East Asheville homes into a failing culvert along London Road. A duplex and neighboring house have become unlivable and the owner of one fears he might have to absorb the cost of the loss alone.

“The real issue is that most of our infrastructure is 100-150 years old and it needs to be replaced,” said Leslie Klingner, who in 2012 watched a sinkhole form under her North Asheville home.

“We have the benefit of being in this old town with all the beautiful old buildings, but we also have a lot of old pipes,” said Klingner, who does art and historic preservation for a private company.

City officials have said they are working on fixes. A $5.6 million stormwater utility fund paid for annually by Asheville property owners is slated to install or replace 2,500 feet of pipes by this spring to drain away rain water. But those repairs won’t necessarily save home and business owners from situations like those experienced by Klingner or by owners of the London Road homes.

What’s a ‘sinkhole’?

The term sinkhole brings to mind naturally occurring pits in places such as Florida or east Tennessee with an abundance of limestone or other soluble rock. In those areas underground water sources eat away the rock, sometimes over millions of years, causing holes that can appear slowly  – or very suddenly.

A sinkhole in 2014 opened in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in the middle of the National Corvette museum, swallowing eight vintage cars.

And near the Tennessee community of Mount Vernon a sinkhole in 2011 gained a macabre notoriety after the body of David Shannon Sawyer, of Robbinsville was found in a barrel in the 25-foot-deep pit.

Ground collapses caused by human or “anthroprogenic” action can also be called sinkholes, said Daniel Doctor, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. The ground material in those cases is not limestone whose “dissolution happens over geologic time,” Doctor said, but instead easily moved sediment or quick-dissolving gypsum or salt-based rock.

In and around Asheville the cause has almost always been human activity, specifically failed pipes.

The city does not track sinkholes, though it does keep records of repairs to public streets and utilities. Asheville Stormwater Services Manager McCray Coates said the number found by the Citizen-Times through media accounts is likely on the low end.

“There have been many sinkholes within the city’s rights of way over the past years. I would think it has been more than 20,” Coates said.

Of the 22 found by the Citizen-Times, 16 were from failed culverts or storm drain pipes, some belonging to the city, some belonging to property owners. Four happened after water lines failed.

The cause of a sinkhole that opened this summer at the White Labs beer yeast facility construction site was unclear. President and CEO Chris White in August he had expected the nearly $10 million facility at 172 S. Charlotte St. to already be opened. But the sinkhole had developed on the site, which includes a 100-year-old former tobacco warehouse last used by the city as a public works building. This month White didn’t respond to two messages seeking more details about the pit.

Another incident featured a dramatic June 17 building collapse at 290 Haywood St. in West Asheville. The 1949 structure once used as a small engine repair shop was being remodeled for a bakery and restaurant when it crashed to the ground. Emergency workers said at the time the cause was a sinkhole, but this month owner Loren Linck of California said that was incorrect. He declined to talk about what he thought caused the collapse, saying it was under litigation. Rubble from the building remains at the site.

‘Big enough to swallow a car’

Most of the sinkholes in Asheville, 15, appeared in roadways or parking lots. Four happened in yards or under homes and one happened in a public square.

A broken water valve in October 2006 shot a geyser of water into a building at 830 Hendersonville Road and opened a sinkhole “big enough to swallow a car,” according to a report from that time. The incident closed two lanes for most of the day on the busy highway near South Forest Shopping Center.

 

Officials told business owners in February 2000 of their intent to dig up part of Pack Square to fix a sinkhole they suspected was caused by a leaking fountain and possibly an underground stream.

A commercial area in North Asheville was particularly plagued by the strange pits. Starting in 2003, at least five holes opened up on properties on the west side of Merrimon Avenue just south of Beaver Lake.

A hole in July 2007 opened in the parking lot of the Asheville AAA office at 1000 Merrimon Ave. and stretched as wide as three parking spaces. It appeared to be more than six feet deep. Another hole during that time period was as deep as 35 feet.

Following a 2013 storm, debris washed from one of the sinkholes into an eco-filtration pond on the edge of Beaver Lake, forcing a state-mandated cleanup.

Craig Friedrich, owner of Ski Country Sports, spent more than $210,000 trying to fix two holes. The cause was believed to be large drain pipes installed around 1978 by a previous property owner. The pipes channel a creek that flows into the lake with other pipes from adjoining properties apparently linked to it.

Friedrich sued the city, claiming the local government should be held liable for “an unreasonable volume” of water going through the private pipes. The courts, however, sided with the municipality. Friedrich did not respond to a phone call this month seeking comment.

A truck-sized hole appeared in October 2014 in the parking lot of the Buncombe County permits and inspection building following heavy rains. Builders constructing the four-story City Centre office building at the corner of College and South Charlotte streets found a manhole leading to an underground stream. The 1922 four-foot wide pipe was channeling the Town Branch stream under an urbanized part of the city, but part had collapsed, causing the sinkhole on the neighboring site.

Rusty Pulliam, developer of the $20 million project, said they had failed to find the pipe despite doing about 50 soil borings and a title search looking back at 50 years of property records. Moving the pipe would cost almost $500,000. They felt stuck, Pulliam said.

“We were pregnant with a project and couldn’t turn around and go back,” he said.

In a compromise, the developer and the city each contributed $200,000 and the property owner added $100,000 to pay for relocation, allowing construction to move forward.

Sinking homes

Some of the worst sinkhole incidents have happened under homes, something that has occurred at least twice in 20 years.

Klingner in April 2012 found residue from a small flood in her basement and a 10-foot hole under her Blair Street home near Charlotte Street. A 16-inch terra cotta stormwater drainage line had given way, making her house unsafe. The historical curator and her boyfriend stayed in an apartment while she continued to pay the mortgage on the 1,100-square-foot bungalow she bought in 2007 at the peak of the housing boom for $242,000.

“The storm drain pipe had been put in before that house was ever built, so I was unaware of it. And when it collapsed there was imminent danger not just to my house but to other houses on the block,” she said.

The city’s initial reaction was that the pipe was Klingner’s responsibility since it was on private property and there was no recorded easement — a piece of private property through which the government has a right to run a pipe or other utilities. But eventually she and three other property owners reached an agreement with the city to split the nearly $156,000 cost to move the line. The municipality picked up 75 percent, leaving the four property owners to pay the rest.

Klingner said her insurance company agreed pretty quickly to help pay but disagreed over how much, leading to protracted negotiations. Klingner declined to say how much the company paid in the end or how much she spent out of pocket, but described the total as “significant.”

A lot of the cost came from her insistence on maintaining “historic integrity” of the 1924 home, she acknowledged, and “wanting to do everything the right way.” Last year, the restored home won a Griffin Award from the Asheville and Buncombe County Preservation Society. Klingner still owns the home but lives in a house she bought nearby on Sunset Drive.

 

The other incident involving homes started in December 2015 when Terry Simmons first noticed a hole at his rental duplex at 225 London Road. When he bought the home for $107,000 in 2007 he was not told about the culvert, Simmons said. Now the house has a cracked foundation and is clearly sinking into the Earth.

Next door another home is sinking at 221 London Road. It belongs to a woman who bought it from Western North Carolina Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit that helps poor people build and buy homes. Habitat officials said they could not comment because of a confidentiality agreement and because the nonprofit is in a dispute over one of the properties. Tax records show that home valued at $137,900.

The city has told Simmons the pipe is not a public responsibility since it is on private property. His insurance company has said damage from the sinkhole is not covered.

Meanwhile, he is continuing to pay mortgage and insurance on the house which has no renters. Moving it would cost $40,000 and demolition would be about $20,000, he said. Simmons, who owns more than 30 rental homes in and around Asheville, said he’s afraid the situation could destroy his credit and eventually his business.

“In my opinion, the pipe is still not my responsibility. I didn’t put it there. I didn’t know it was there.”

Where are the pipes?

Part of the sinkhole problem in Asheville comes down to records. Notations on pipes from more than a century ago may have been lost or never written down since their location was deemed unimportant. In other cases, private pipes may have been joined to other private pipes and eventually became part of a public system by default.

That’s not uncommon in older towns, said Dan Pliszka, the risk manager for Charlotte-Mecklenberg.

“We try to map through GIS the new stuff that goes in, but we don’t know where a lot of the old stuff is — and especially once it’s been abandoned,” he said.

But that metropolitan area, with a footprint more than six times the size of Asheville, may have less of a problem. Pliszka estimates the area experiences one or fewer sinkholes a year.

That may be because of the high number of old pipes in Asheville, a remnant of austerity following the Great Depression. The city was hit particularly hard from that historic downturn because of widespread real estate speculation and borrowing for public projects that amounted to some of the greatest per capita debt in the country. Unlike other local governments, the city didn’t default on its loans but insisted on paying them, inhibiting infrastructure repair for decades.

Former Asheville risk manager John Miall said old pipes, relatively unregulated private stormwater systems and steep terrain has led to sinkholes and other problems. During his 1990-2005 tenure Miall said it was “not unusual to have one or two such events in a year.”

Often private property owners would install a culvert to reduce flooding from a stream. Decades later as more development occurred uphill that culvert would eventually be overwhelmed.

“Property developers historically looked to make properties usable, and I think over time with greater runoff, those systems weren’t designed to carry the loads that are happening in today’s world,” Miall said.

He questions whether the city has used the stormwater fund effectively. The $5.6 million fund derided by some as the “rain tax,” includes a $250,000 increase this year paid for by a 5 percent rate hike charged to property owners.

Coates, the stormwater services director, said in addition to planned line improvements, the fund is used to respond to unexpected failures.

“The city’s goal is to make the repairs as quickly as possible,” he said.

How to protect yourself

Avoiding sinkhole-prone places in the first place is naturally the best course of action, experts and experienced homeowners say.

When buying a home, a title search is typically done for the last 30 years, said Charles Worley, a real estate attorney and former Asheville mayor.

Those searches should pick up storm drain easements that date back further than three decades because each new record should note the right of way. But sometimes they don’t carry forward. For that reason, it may be a good idea when building or buying in an old area of the city to go back as far as 100 years, Worley said. Additional costs to the homeowner will depend on the time it takes, he said.

“It depends on the chain of title. Sometimes it’s real quick. You could probably do it in less than 30 minutes.”

It’s also good to check existing city maps that can be found online at mapAsheville. The map doesn’t include what the city considers private lines, so to locate those or any unrecorded public lines a good survey should be done, say Coates and Klingner. That’s something the historic curator said she did when buying her second North Asheville home.

With insurance, a homeowner could ask specifically for coverage. The additional cost would have to be weighed against a buyer’s comfort level with risk.

If a property owner is already dealing with the unlikely but expensive situation of a sinkhole there are some avenues to try.

In the case of responsibility, a homeowner could do an expanded title search looking for public easements. With the City Centre project, the city did find an easement that the developer’s 50-year search didn’t locate, something that led to the compromise over relocating the line.

Even if a written easement can’t be found, it might still be possible to prove a pipe is part of a public system if other connections can be located. That is essentially what happened with Klingner, she said.

Coates said the city evaluates each situation on “a case-by-case basis.”

“Consideration would include potential impact to city infrastructure. In the case with the Blair Street project, the failure of the system would have impacted Charlotte Street,” the stormwater services manager said.

Worley said the city is not likely to quickly volunteer to pay for the problem. In theory, a homeowner could take the situation “to an extreme,” the attorney and former mayor said.

“A homeowner can stop up that easement at the point it enters his property and then it backs up the system. That is extreme, but it will certainly get the attention of whoever is putting that water in the drain up above the owner’s property line.”

If, however, a culvert is truly only on private property and has few or no connections, the owner may be solely responsible.

With insurance, it is unlikely that sink holes are specifically mentioned in a policy, said Sam Craig, one of the few local attorneys who practice “bad faith” insurance law. But the companies will often point to broad language in a policy to say they are not covered.

“They will exclude as many things as they possibly can in their language,” Craig said.

Coverage in this situation is rarely clear-cut and it is likely worth the time of the insurance policy holder to try to negotiate as Klingner did, he said.

When it comes to hiring an insurance attorney, only the biggest cases involving hundreds of thousands of dollars are worth it, Craig said. The worst thing an insurance company can face is a judgement showing they failed to honor the contract. Such “bad faith” judgments can give triple damages, but even at that level, “much can be eaten up by my fees,” he said. Generally, cases don’t end in bad faith judgments but are instead settled for less money.

Doing the research

The location of stormwater pipes in Asheville can be found online at mapAsheville: arcgis.ashevillenc.gov/mapAsheville/ 
Choose stormwater pipes in the layer list. The map doesn’t include what the city considers private lines, so to locate those or any unrecorded public lines a good survey should be done.

via http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2016/12/13/old-pipes-big-problems-more-than-20-sinkholes-asheville/95152436/

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NC races for Senate, governor to have national impact

ASHEVILLE, NC — After one of the most raucous and ugliest campaign seasons in recent memory, voters on Tuesday may be tempted to stab holes in their paper ballots instead of calmly filling in the little ovals next to their preferred candidates’ names.

However you cast your ballot — it probably won’t count if you punch holes in it — here is a look at what the candidates in North Carolina’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races have been arguing about and what Tuesday’s results might mean for the rest of us.

See Also: North Carolina Voter’s Guide

Governor

The candidates had plenty of disagreements before HB2 came along. Then passage of the law in March to regulate who uses which restroom in public buildings and keep local governments from banning discrimination against LGBT people added still more intensity to what was already one of the nation’s most closely watched gubernatorial contests.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic nominee, says he would make public schools a priority, stop tax changes he says have hurt middle class and low-income residents and keep reasonable environmental rules in place.

 

He has noted complaints about a lack of money for classroom supplies, the state’s low ranking for teacher pay and other moves seen as hostile to public schools during the tenure of his Republican opponent, Gov. Pat McCrory.

“I’ve never seen the morale this low among our teachers, principals, educators who serve the public across our state,” he said during an April speech here. Cooper said he wants to see teacher pay raised to the national average.

In 2014-15, average teacher pay in the state was $47,792, 42nd in the nation. A progressive group says preliminary state data indicate the average so far this school year is $49,744, a little less than the $50,000 McCrory had projected.

Changes in the state tax code that McCrory signed off on have mostly benefited the wealthy, Cooper says. He says growth in the state’s economy mostly reflects the improving economy nationwide and many people have yet to see a real change in their situation.

Under McCrory, the state shifted some of the tax burden from the income tax to sales taxes, adding services like auto repair to the list of things subject to taxation. Higher income tax rates for the wealthy were eliminated, but all taxpayers saw lower rates.

Cooper says McCrory has not been tough enough on Duke Energy after its 2014 Dan River coal ash spill and, when he visits the mountains, reminds audiences of the lawsuit his Department of Justice brought in 2006 to force Tennessee Valley Authority to reduce emissions from coal burning power plants that polluted air in Western North Carolina.

 

McCrory said he took over a state with an economy at low ebb and a state government that wasn’t working well.

He likes to tell the story of noticing fountains on the grounds of the state Capitol were not working around the time of his January 2013 inauguration. He had them fixed.

He also eliminated a $2.6 billion debt owed by the state’s unemployment insurance system, won passage of a $2 billion bond issue to improve state facilities and advanced an effort to reduce the impact of politics on decisions on road construction and other transportation issues.

Changes to the tax code, McCrory said in October, were “level-headed tax reform” that reduced North Carolina’s dependence on the income tax and made it more competitive with other southeastern states for new businesses. He says his policies played a big role in improvements in the state’s economy that saw the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fall from 8.8 percent for the month McCrory took office to 4.7 percent in September.

McCrory notes significant pay raises for teachers approved in each of the past two state budgets. He says because his administration’s policies are helping grow the economy and producing budget surpluses, “We will be able to make the necessary investments in our education system to help our kids succeed.”

McCrory says coal ash issues were neglected when Democrats were in power and laws passed since the Duke spill are forcing cleanups where needed. He says Cooper has failed to fix problems with the state crime lab. Cooper disagrees.

 

Then there’s HB2.

The law “writes discrimination into our law and it is wrong, period,” Cooper says, adding that it is a significant handicap when the state is recruiting businesses or events like NCAA basketball tournament games.

McCrory says he and the General Assembly were only responding to a Charlotte ordinance when they passed the law and the courts will ultimately sort out the issue.

“The left brought this issue up, not the right,”  he said in a recent debate.

Impact: The race’s outcome will be seen nationally as a referendum on HB2 and will affect government officials’ decisions on similar issues around the country. It will also affect how the rest of the nation views North Carolina.

But a governor has a lot more to do than defend or attack HB2. State government has taken a more conservative tack on a number of issues since Republicans gained control of Raleigh in 2013. Most prognosticators think the GOP will keep majorities in the state House and Senate regardless of who wins the gubernatorial race.

A McCrory victory would allow the move to the right to continue and would be seen as a vote of confidence in the direction already taken. It would also keep state government in Republican hands for another four years.

Cooper might have limited ability to block significant Republican initiatives from the General Assembly if he’s elected, depending on whether Democrats pick up enough legislative seats to allow them to uphold a Cooper veto. Either way, the prominence of the governor’s job would allow him to give the legislature some resistance and possibly push through some of his plans.

U.S. Senate

For much of this year, the race between Republican incumbent Richard Burr and Democratic nominee Deborah Ross stayed in the background while spotlights focused on the governor’s race and the contest over North Carolina’s 15 Electoral College votes for president.

Burr, who is nearing the end of his second term in the Senate, has had a lower profile in office than some senators. Pundits initially gave Ross little chance of unseating him. Recent polls, however, say it’s a real contest and North Carolinians and others are paying attention.

The race has featured a heavy dose of accusations by the campaigns against the opposition and wandered into areas like the presidential contest and HB2.

 

Ross, an attorney and former state legislator from Raleigh, has criticized Burr for a large increase in his personal wealth since he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and for being one of only three senators to vote against a bill to make it illegal for senators and House members to make stock trades based on inside information they get through their jobs.

Burr responds that his wife’s successful real estate business is responsible for most of the increase and says the conduct the stock trading bill was aimed at was already illegal, making the bill redundant.

Burr says Ross opposed a bill in the General Assembly to establish a sex offender registry and her record as past head of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union shows she is too liberal for North Carolina.

Ross calls the accusation “politics” and said during a debate between the two she “voted 18 times to strengthen and update the sex offender registry.” The sponsor of the bill to set up the registry has recorded a TV ad rejecting Burr’s charges.

The candidates are divided on a high-profile issue likely to come before Congress next year, what to do about rising premiums for health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act.

 

Burr voted against the ACA and has since voted to repeal it. He has offered a plan that would do away with the requirement that individuals get health insurance and provide tax credits to some low-income people who do buy it.

“Government-run health care is already here and it’s called Obamacare,” he said during a debate.

Ross said she would have voted in favor of the ACA. “The Affordable Care Act clearly needs to be fixed, but it is much better than what we had before,” she said. “We simply can’t go backward.”

Comments Burr made about Hillary Clinton and the Supreme Court during a secretly recorded Oct. 29 meeting with supporters have been a big focus during the last few days of the campaign.

Burr said early this year that the next president should fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, not outgoing President Barack Obama. But he said in the meeting that,  “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that four years from now we’ve still got an opening on the Supreme Court.”

Burr later softened his stance. His campaign released a statement Tuesday in which Burr said, “I will assess the record of any Supreme Court nominee, but clearly Hillary Clinton has a long history of backing liberal judges.”

 

He also joked Oct. 29 that when he saw a photo of Clinton on the cover of the National Rifle Association magazine, “I was a little bit shocked that it didn’t have a bull’s-eye on it.” He apologized Monday, calling the comment “inappropriate.”

Ross responded that Burr “is putting politics ahead of his duty and ahead of the Constitution,” which says presidents will appoint Supreme Court justices with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. “He’s applying for a job by saying he’s not going to do his job,” she said.

She also criticized Burr’s “bulls-eye” comment, saying, “We should be able to have a civil discussion, and a civil society, and a civil election without talking about violence.”

Impact: The Burr-Ross race is one of a handful that will determine which political party will control the Senate for 2017 and 2018. That will have repercussions on the process of filling vacancies on the Supreme Court — some of the sitting justices are getting a bit long in the tooth — and confirming the new president’s picks for other jobs.

Burr is one of three Republican senators to raise the possibility of blocking a Clinton nominee to the Supreme Court. Regardless of what happens to the party balance in the Senate, a Burr victory could encourage other Republican senators to dig in their heels on the issue. A Burr loss might make them more pliable.

Republicans are almost universally expected to retain control of the U.S. House. A Democrat-controlled Senate would give a President Clinton much more leverage in the legislative process even though she would not have a free hand. A Republican Senate would give the GOP considerably more power to block Clinton’s agenda.

A President Trump would be much more free to enact his proposals on trade, taxes, immigration and other issues if Republicans rule both houses of Congress. A Democratic Senate would be the biggest check on Trump’s power.

via http://www.13newsnow.com/news/local/north-carolina/nc-races-for-senate-governor-to-have-national-impact/349877255

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Asheville gentrification: When Pearson’s Store was lost

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She came home for work one day and it was gone. Everything, even the foundation. As if it had never been.

This is how we were told about the destruction of Pearson’s Store, of how the city came that day without warning and demolished the small grocery store that E.W. Pearson had opened in the Burton Street neighborhood in the early 20th century.

While telling us the story, Vivian Conley’s demeanor remained calm and endearing, but she warned us that she couldn’t speak too much about the community’s experiences without the pain and sadness rising.

I am with eight other people on a tour of the Burton Street neighborhood in West Asheville. The tour began at the Burton Street Community Center — once the segregated Burton Street School — made a stop at the site where the store once stood and concluded in the Peace Garden behind the school.

To place the loss of the store into some sort of perspective, we might consider the importance of Pearson to the history of Burton Street, to the history of Asheville as a whole and, in fact, to the history of the nation.

As a young man, E.W. Pearson was a member of the Buffalo Soldiers, the segregated 9th Cavalry unit of the U.S. Army that fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War. When he moved to Asheville in 1906, he used his real estate training from his studies in Chicago to create subdivisions for African-Americans in West Asheville, including in 1912 the Burton Street neighborhood.

In 1914, he organized the Buncombe County and District Agricultural Fair, which ran for 33 years, coming to an end the year after his death in 1946. Thousands of people attended this fair, Ms. Conley told us on the tour. Blacks and whites together, she said.

Two years after establishing the fair, he organized the first African-American semi-professional baseball team in Asheville, the Royal Giants. He had loved to watch baseball but wasn’t allowed into whites-only games in the city. In 1921, he helped to found the Blue Ridge Colored Baseball League and became its first president. The league brought together teams from North and South Carolina: Charlotte, Asheville, Spartanburg, Greenville, Gastonia, Concord, Winston-Salem, Rock Hill and Anderson.

Then, in 1933, he established the Asheville branch of the NAACP and became its first president as well. E.W. Pearson, in other words, was a leading force in the community, along with his wife Annis Bradshaw Pearson, who often joined in his efforts and was herself involved in various community and civic organizations.

I think about the store, about this man who ran it, photographed again and again in his three-piece suits and fedoras, the man who was known for the catchy phrases he created for the fair. I think of the store that sat across the street from the Burton Street School and a stone’s throw from the 1890 Wilson Chapel A.M.E. Church, two other monuments to African-American leadership and community.

I imagine the people who entered the store on a daily basis, maybe to buy a cool drink, maybe just to say hello to neighbors, maybe to see what Pearson was up to that morning, this man was who had done so much to create community in his world, the sort of man who had brought fair rides and baseball and penny candy into the neighborhood, even as he addressed the pressing social justice issues of his day.

I think of Pearson’s son, the man known as Professor Bop, who in the early 1950s became the first African-American disc jockey at WLOS Radio and who later turned the store into the Blue Note Casino, a music hall established in that historical moment when rock ‘n’ roll, with its deep and rich African-American roots, was about to explode on the national scene.

And I think of Vivian Conley, an activist who has worked diligently to hold together her neighborhood. I think of the shock she must have felt on that day she returned home from work to find the store not only demolished but missing, carried away by some rapid and unfeeling, if not hostile, force.

The day after our tour, I returned to the vacant lot. I walked up the remnants of a driveway, now broken asphalt that turns to cracked red dirt. Black walnuts litter the dry grass. A hemlock tree covered in vines attempts to survive at the edge of the lot. Off to the left, someone has nailed a sign to an old telephone pole. The sign is faded, horribly weather beaten, but you can still make out the name Jesus.

The calls of the tree frogs compete with traffic noise from the increasingly encroaching highway. The city has chosen an aggressive plan for widening Interstate 26, a plan that will roll over the old Wilson AME church, now known as Community Baptist. It will also take out Ms. Conley’s home. When this plan is implemented, it will be the third time the neighborhood has been devastated by highway construction.

I walked to the back of the lot, where someone had dumped a truckload of trash, including a broken white-picket fence. The day before, when our second tour guide — artist and poet DeWayne Barton — saw the trash, he broke into sad and solemn song. As the rest of us listened and watched, he raised his closed eyes to the heavens and voiced both lament and hope.

As it turned out, that lament represented one of the ways that community lives on in Burton Street. And I don’t mean that the community survives only in the vibration of song and broken dreams. I mean that DeWayne and his wife Safi Mahaba have created a peace garden behind the school, one they made from trash left at the site.

When our group visited, we were viewing the garden in the cool shadows of evening, and some of what makes the garden remarkable was lost on me. I laughed at the paintings of Fat Albert and Fred Sanford. I felt awed by the paintings of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X and other leaders in the civil rights movement.

Still, it wasn’t until I returned the next day, in the harsh afternoon light, that I looked closely at the images, at the meaning being conveyed by this garden. It overwhelms the senses — and the imagination — and the mythological stories wrapped into the history of the United States. It is sophisticated art in the genre of junkyard.

Though the artists’ final message is one of hope, peace and love, not for one moment do they shy away from presenting truths about racism, environmental degradation, the despair of war or the inequities of capitalism. Plastic Santa Clauses are mixed with skulls and gas masks, with crosses and tattered currency.

One particular scene in the garden took my breath away. At the base of a tree, you see a bomb half-buried in the dirt. Leaning dead against the tree is the bloodied representation of the body of an African-American woman dressed in white. Long strands of pearls hang around her neck. An Army helmet lies crooked on her bent head. An African-African child lies under her.

Yet overseeing these scenes are the icons of African-American leadership, those portraits of Tubman and King and Parks that give order to the chaos and violence. They stand in peaceful contrast to the images of Reagan and Nixon scattered among those places of the garden where wasteland is paramount.

As I was leaving, I passed a smaller exhibit. This one warned of the impact of drugs, but it also connected the loss of black life to the process of gentrification. And it’s here that I find myself at a loss, knowing that I am a part of the gentrification process of Asheville — in my case, of the African-American community of Shiloh in South Asheville, a community originally displaced by George Vanderbilt when he built Biltmore Estate.

I don’t yet know how to react to my role in gentrification, but I’m glad I took the Hood Huggers Tour of Burton Street. I hope it will make me a better neighbor.

Dr. Darlene O’Dell has published three books, including the most recent “The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven” (Seabury Books, 2014). She has appeared on NPR and has taught at Clemson University and the College of William and Mary. Contact her at darleneodell@live.com or visit darleneodell.com.

ABOUT HOOD TOURS

Hood Tours offers driving and walking tours of 90 minutes to 2 hours. Learn more at hoodhuggers.com or call 828-275-5305. 

Driving tours run at 1 p.m. most Thursdays and at noon or 3 p.m. Saturdays, or by appointment for groups of 5-9 people. Driving tours typically begin at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave., Asheville. The cost is $25/person.

Walking tours of  the Burton Street Community (West Asheville), East End Valley Street (downtown) and Shiloh (South Asheville) are available for groups of 5-25 people. The cost for a walking tour is $20/person.

Tours incorporate history, art, poetry, music, community green spaces, local voices and more to relate the past, present and future of African-Americans in Asheville. Tours are led by artist, poet and community activist DeWayne Barton.

According to its website, “Hood Tours is a social enterprise that provides opportunities for young people while helping to spark more grassroots economic development in these resilient communities.”

via http://www.citizen-times.com/story/life/2016/11/04/asheville-gentrification-when-pearsons-store-lost/91277946/

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Buncombe, Asheville property transfers for Oct. 24-28

Ibuyhomeslogo square v2The following transfers were filed in the Register of Deeds office Oct. 24-28.

Arden

Lot 58 section 1 St. Andrews Brookwood Community, $265,000, Kimberly M. and Vernon M. Welch III to Courtney Jones and Jefferson Winfield Asher Haynes

Asheville

Units B-3, A-4 and Garage Space at Longchamps Condominiums, $755,000,George W. Krieger to Elizabeth F. Minor

Lot 547 block N Lake View, $541,000, Sallie Trippe (f .k. a. Whalen) and Claude U. Broach Jr. to Sean M. Bailey, Nancy E. Schwartz

16 Tryon St. (Lot 4 and portions of lots 1-2), $291,000, K & D Mountain Rentals LLC to Mary Carlisle Rankin

Lot GIII-10 Laurel Place Cluster Three Garden Homes, $283,500, Nettie J. and Thomas A. Colina to Francine Farthing

22 Stone River Drive (Lot 32 phase 1), $300,000, David Scott and Lissie I. Barnett to Justin and Jessica Hunter

Lot 34 SEC Villages phase II – The Thoms Estate, $578,500, Gated Communities Of Asheville LLC to Roy L. and Pamela V. Moore

Lot 1 Rankin Heights, $141,500, Sandra Lee Scott to McMaster Real Estate Group LLC

Unit 1102 (11B) Club Interest 7, $125,000, Suzanne Rosoff to Summit Hospitality 123 LLC

Lot 4 block 6 Wilshire Park Inc., $40,500, Marc Mullinax, Grace Elizabeth Boyer to Alelsandr and Pamela Isaenko

Lot 19 section 1 Deavermont Park, $85,000, Joseph M. and Teresa B. Bolick to Ashkat Realty LLC

Lot 7 Hudson Hills Subdivision, $161,500, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity Inc. to Tera Marie Jabs

Lot 20 The Thoms Estate Subdivision phase II, $577,000, Gated Communities of Asheville LLC to Lee M. and Heather L. Aberle

Lot 32 Windy Hill Farms section 1, $195,000, Ameriprise National Trust Bank (Jane A. Snyder Charitable Remainder Unitrust) to Joshua W. and Felicia T. Tomberlin

Lot 7 section 2 Olmstead At Biltmore Park, $1,200,000, Jason E. Bergman, Connie Jo Herbst to The Perry & Fay Liivng Trust

Lot 11 block E Gracelyn, $324,000, Brian E. and Julie S. Merrell to Kate Chappell

17 Azalea Road (Lot 17 block D Rosscraggon), $154,000, John Stevenson to Jonathan Murphrey

Black Mountain

Unit 1009 Laurel Ridge phase II, $37,000, Allison J. Wall to Allan Franklin Pierce Revocable Trust

Buncombe County

192 Milksick Cove Road, $125,000, David Neal and Wanda Edwards Carter to Rolando Del Cid Rodriguez, Claudia I. Gonzalez Vasquez

340 Upper Grassy Branch Road, $168,000, Sharon Burnette Brown to MD Roberts Investment Properties LLC

5 Riddle Ridge Drive (1.34 acres), $170,000, Reverse Mortgage Solutions Inc. to Thomas and Marian Plaut

Unit 627 of the Gove at Appledoorn Condominiums, $132,000, David Everette Wilson to Kimberly Kessaris, Gabrielle Michel

Lot 2 Maplewood Village, $318,000, Barbara B. Bartley to Jason and Chandrea Bartley

Lot 15 Tudor Croft phase 1-B, $55,000, Summit Ave. LLC to Nathan A. and Gail P. Woodworth

Lot 1 New Leicester Highway, $146,500, Diana Celeste Gordon to William F. Bailey Jr.

86 Spivey Mountain Road, $60,000, Carol A. and James F. Andres to Charles Travis and Pamela Jean Dover

Lots 45-46 River Walk, $90,000, Lei Han Lao, Xiao Chun Yan to Paul Gavrilov

302 Donnybrook Drive (Lot 3 section 1 Bent Creek), $293,000, Joseph G. Allawos, Carson K. Dellinger to Kevin Richard and Mamie Jennifer Colburn

22 Warwick Place, $350,000, Shien-Lin S. Saber to Elizabeth Graeme Browning

12 Debra Lane (Lot 21 section 2 block A Echo Hills Inc.), $215,000, Christopher Todd and Judith Bolus Lanning (one half undivided interest), Brent Leslie and Victoria Norton Lanning (one half undivided interest) to Linda C. Saxon

223 Fennel Dun Circle (Unit 80 block A2 of Biltmore Lake phase 1), $386,000, Resi REO Sub LLC to John and Kathleen W. Mitchell

56 Lakeshore Drive (Lot 1 and a portion of lot 2 Lakemont), $250,000, 56 Lakeshore LLC to Jon Richard and Stephanie Ann Felsinger

106 Woodcreek Circle (Lot 45 Cherry Blossom Cove Subdivision phase 2A), $219,000, Sharon L. Horne to Office Furniture Distributors Inc.

0.76 acre on Brookdale Road, $750,000, Ricky D. Robinson to Asheville Community Yoga Center Inc.

Lot 190-A Depot St. (0.664 acre), $575,000, Kevin L. and Cleopatrick V. Green, Keith R. and Kishaun M. Green to David Frechter

Lot 24 Scenic Bluff Subdivision, $237,500, Joseph B. and Ashley B. Chapman to Shannon Leigh and Jason A. Chestnut

Unit CX-01 Creekside Condominiums, $140,000, T. Michael Jordan to Deborah A. Simpson

106 Rotunda Circle (Lot 702 Mt. Carmel Village phase 1), $141,000, Rachael Langley, Antonio Samuel Logan to Robert L. Allen

26 Ridge St. (Lot 6), $83,500, Henville S. and Irma M. Abraham to C 2 Holding Group LLC

Lot 6 Twin Lakes Subdivision (0.505 acre), $250,000, Michael J. and Elizabeth R. Sanders to Zachary D. and Giuliana Aguilar (a. k. a. Brown-Aguilar) Brown

Lot 22 Northern Horizons Phase III, $73,500,George E. and Dolores D. Brown to Brad and Sheena McKee

200 Hobson Branch Road, $125,000, Peter P. Gutillo, Susan T. Snider to Andrew T. Gregory

Lot 19 Mill Creek Townhomes Subdivision, $170,500, Mayfair Partners LLC to Jeffrey G. and Jennifer Hedges

Lot 12 Amber Knolls, $286,500, Mountain View Construction of WNC Inc. to Johan L. and Nancy M. Bentley

Leicester

78 Walnut Drive, $18,000, Paul J. Caldwell to Janet Lynn McCargar

Limestone

4 Heywood Road Unit D (Heywood Road Condominiums), $106,000, Amcourt LLC to Brenna Storm Cook

Lot 11 Quail Hollow phase 2, $425,000, Ed Holland Builders Inc. to Suzanne Premo

Lot 4 block 6 Skyland Springs, $300,000, Jeanne Shuford and Felix Francis Vaitekunas to AVL Holdings LLC

Swannanoa

Lots 16-17 block 42 of E. W. Grovemont Lands, $188,000, W. David Myers Properties LLC to James Hutchins

114 Edwards Ave. (Lot 26 Beacon Manufacturing Co. Old Village), $169,000, Robbie E. and Tressa (f. k. a. Tressa M. Holland) Pierce to Christopher R. and Lindsey Cannon

Weaverville

Lot 26 Reems Creek Town Homes phase 4A, $210,000, Cedar Ridge Plaza LLC to Sean P. McConnell, Michelle A. Youngblood

49 Loftin St., $332,500, Serrus Creekside LLC to Virginia McKey

0.81 acre on Old Mars Hill Highway, $380,000, Michael C. and Sandi N. Annone to Flat Creek Holdings LLC

Woodfin

5.39 acres on Charcoal Road, $52,500, Gary J. Emory to Devin Morgan, Paige Schneider

via http://www.citizen-times.com/story/money/business/2016/11/04/buncombe-asheville-property-transfers-oct/93280616/

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Retirees and real estate interests back Buncombe candidates

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The nine candidates for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners altogether raised at least $280,000 through about 1,400 campaign donations, many of them from retirees, out-of towners, and building and real estate professionals, according to campaign finance reports.

The reports show residents of East and South Asheville have largely funded the races, while downtown and West Asheville residents contributed little, based on population.

The candidates must file quarterly campaign finance reports with the Buncombe County Board of Elections showing where their money comes from. Most contributors provide their names, addresses, occupations and employers.

About 425 contributions of $50 or less are listed as aggregate contributions, and no information about the donors is available. These contributions amounted to about $15,275, or just over 5 percent of the money candidates gained through fundraising.

People who listed themselves as retired collectively contributed the most to the commissioners race. About 360 people supplied nearly $80,000. People living outside of Buncombe County made up the second-most numerous group. About 120 people donated around $45,000.

Attorneys and property-related professions represent large groups of contributors. Ninety-three attorneys donated more than $21,000, and about 100 real estate agents, contractors and similar occupations contributed nearly $38,000.

The contributions show who has money to spend and which issues are important to voters, said Chris Cooper, a Western Carolina University political science professor. The reports underscore the importance of development in Asheville, he said.

“People think they’re going to get something for their money,” he said. “It says what types of issues people think will matter going forward.”

The Citizen-Times analyzed the commissioner candidates’ campaign finance reports, which run through Oct. 22, for this election cycle for occupational and geographic trends.

 

Democrat Brownie Newman and Republican Chuck Archerd got most of their campaign money through personal loans — $42,00 and $230,000, respectively.

Of money they raised, both candidates focused on local donors. Archerd raised $39,757, of which 91.5 percent came from Buncombe residents, and Newman raised $34,410, of which 97 percent came from Buncombe.

Archerd raised about 44 percent of his money from addresses in South Asheville’s 28803 zip code. Newman’s geographic base was broader. He raised 23 percent of his funding in North Asheville’s 28804 zip code and 17.5 percent in downtown’s 28801 zip code.

Retirees made significant contributions to each campaign, and donors’ occupations were generally similar.

Newman raised more money from educators than Archerd. He and Jasmine Beach-Ferrara topped fundraising among candidates in that area, with each listing 10 education-related donors. Archerd, Robert Pressley and Mike Fryar each had one donor who identified as an educator.

Archerd received a $1,000 contribution from the NC Realtors PAC in Greensboro.

Newman received more contributions from politicians than any other candidate. Donors to his campaign included state Rep. Brian Turner, state Sen. Terry Van Duyn, Sheriff Van Duncan, District Attorney Todd Williams and fellow commissioners David Gantt and Holly Jones, all Democrats. Asheville city councilwomen Gwen Wisler and Julie Mayfield also contributed to his campaign, as did Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger.

Weaverville punches above its weight in east Buncombe’s District 2

Democrat Nancy Nehls Nelson has challenged incumbent Republican Mike Fryar in east Buncombe, where voter registration numbers show the race is likely to be close.

If Nelson, a Weaverville resident, wins, she will likely thank her neighbors. The Weaverville zip code 28787 produced 62 contributions totaling $9,875 for Nelson, about 28 percent of the $35,018.20 she raised.

Fryar, who raised $43,204.30, received the most contributions from Fairview, where he lives, North Asheville and South Asheville, but no one area contributed as strongly for Fryar as Weaverville did for Nelson.

About 26 percent of Fryar’s donations came from real estate and building professionals. He raised more money in this category than any other candidate. Donations included a $1,000 contribution from the NC Realtors PAC in Greensboro.

He also performed comparatively well with healthcare professionals, raising $1,650 from seven sources. Beach-Ferrara was the only candidate who performed better in this category.

At about $127, Nelson’s average donation amount was relatively low compared with other candidates. She tied with Beach-Ferrara for the largest number of donations.

Democrats raise more than Republicans in west Buncombe’s District 3

Republican commissioners have controlled District 3 since it was created in 2012, but this year, they failed to raise more money than their Democratic opponents.

Democrat Ed Hay raised $21,376.06 to incumbent Republican Joe Belcher’s $15,493.25.

With $28,018.77, Democrat David King raised more than twice what his opponent Republican Robert Pressley raised, $13,856.11.

Pressley had the largest average donation — $945 — of any commissioner candidate, but with just 16 donations, those large contributions didn’t amount to much. Pressley had fewer donations and consequently raised less than any other candidate.

District 3 has the fewest voters of the three commissioner districts, according to registration numbers released in September, which could have made fundraising more difficult. No candidate proved particularly successful at raising money in Arden’s 28704 zip code, which yielded just $1,300. None of that went to District 3 candidates.

For Hay and King, Asheville and Biltmore Lake addresses contributed significant amounts. Belcher and Pressley didn’t receive the same boost from these areas.

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara forges her own fundraising path

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara went into the March primary with a fundraising advantage and defeated other Democrats vying for the District 1 seat, which represents central Buncombe. She is running unopposed in the general election.

She raised more money than any other commissioner candidate, reporting $49,640.33. About 61 percent of that money came from out-of-town donors.

The Boston and St. Louis areas, where Beach-Ferrara and her wife, Meghann Burke, have roots proved important. Donors in these areas contributed about 40 percent of the money she raised.

Beach-Ferrara said she was intentional about fundraising, perceiving potential barriers to her candidacy.

“As a first time candidate who’s also a woman and who’s also LGBT, those are a lot of potential challenges for a candidate on paper,” she said. “From the start, I knew that I needed to have the resources to run a really strong campaign.”

Although Beach-Ferrara was a prolific fundraiser, fewer of her donors were retirees than any other candidate. Just 5 percent of donors listed themselves as retired, whereas the average was 25 percent.

 

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Buncombe, Asheville property transfers for Oct. 10-14

Ibuyhomeslogo square v2The following transfers were filed in the Register of Deeds office Oct. 10-14.

Arden

Unit 208 building B Carrington Place Condominiums phase 1, $117,000,Richard F. Christy to Johne Hamiltonne Smith, Marleni Portillo Cantarero

Asheville

2.0007 acres on Sweeten Creek Road, $285,000, Joel K. and Sue Ann Jensen to Lighthouses LLC

794 Haywood Road (0.38 acre), $535,000, Ellen E. Sherlin to Kville Investment Group LLC

235 Virginia Ave. (Lot 1), $110,000, Blue Asheville Investments LLC to RHW Investments LLC

42 Schenck Parkway Unit 302 (Building 4A of Biltmore Park Town Square – A Condominium (Parking space , Garage, & Storage Closet ), $460,000, James A. and Wanda Ray to Marvin R. and Elayne B. Taylor

Lot 14 Springtime Subdivision, $208,000, Glen Edward Chapman Revocable Trust to Phillip M. Orr

333 Hi-Alta Ave. (Lot 2), $104,000, Mitzi Lea Logan Bagarmary and Jamese Allen Odom, Zachary James and Tara A. Bagamary to Mitzi Lea Logan Bagamary and Jeffery Allen Odom

48 S. Griffing Blvd. (Lot 130 Griffings Kimberly Heights block K), $450,000, Marguerite P. Thompson to Raymond L. and Lana L. Tetzlaff

Lot GIII-01 Laurel Place Cluster Three Garden Homes, $395,000, David G. and Susan H. Cooper to Constance D. and Pauline Aridas

Unit 65 building 4C Biltmore Park Town Square – A Condominium, $380,000, Paula P. Lindrum to AIMAX LLC

Lot 63 Crest Mountain $485,000, Margaret J. and Hugh Holliday Paschal to The Bonnie L. Parker Revocable Trust

Unit J-4 Pine Cliff Condominiums phase 5, $190,000, Kent E. and Elizabeth C. Nelson to Susan W. Hiller

146 Dunwell Ave. (Lot 6), $172,000, Jack Michael Cannon to McMaster Real Estate Group LLC

Avery’s Creek

Lot 167 of the Cliffs At Walnut Cove phase 2, $505,000, Patrice M. and Thomas T. Teel II to Richard A. Stuckey

Black Mountain

19 Seldom Home Drive (1.55 acres), $228,000, Timothy Beams to Amanda G. Heermans

Buncombe County

Lot 4 Wilson Ave. (Block 12 E. W. Grove Grovemont Lands), $26,000, Kathryn Lee (a. k. a. Kathy Lee or Kathryn L. Woodhouse) Penley to Jerry Dean Robinson

Lot 35 Coventry Woods phase 3, $595,000, Dean E. and Elizabeth G. Hill to The Sean Patrick Katz “SLCC” Trust

8 Von Ruck Court (Lot 15), $265,000, Diane DeBruhl, Phil Thompson, Sierra Schoenheit & Roger Tinsley, Sam Schoenheit to Kathryn Elaine Blount, Joseph Benjamin Burrell

18 Moser’s Place (Lot 9), $188,000, Thomas David and Karen (f. k. a. Picou) Cochran to Leann Wright, Franklin Dorsey Parker III

5 Hampstead Road, $525,000, Mara L. and David K. Alexander to Patricia L. Abrams, Sarah E. Pedley

Lots 254-255 Reynolds Mountain Development LLC phase II, $615,000, Steven Schulman Family Trust to Beverly E. Belgya Revocable Trust

Lots 7-10 of Fox Run Drive, $20,000, Elliott (a. k. a. Elliot) Reed Seskin, Lori Shinn (a. k. a. Shin), Chelsea Cypress to Home Crafters of Western Carolina LLC

12 Memory Lane (Lot 1B), $80,000, Dickey P. (a. k. a. Dick Philip) McCanless, Mary Sue Hamlin, Sonja William & William Joe McCanless Jr. to J. Cure Properties LLC

Lot 41 Pinebrook Farms, $334,000, Pinebrook Farms LLC to Susan B. Stockman

41 Blackstone Ave. (Lots 27-31 Laurel Terrace Block 5), $187,000, Jakub and Kiersa Holy to Willard Properties LLC

Unit F-3 Pine Cliff Condominiums phase 3, $185,000, Suzanne C. (f. k. a. Conlon) and James S. Traub to Sandra J. Misage

Lot 613 Southcliff phase 2, $256,000, MRECV Southcliff LM LLC to Michael E. and Kimberly K. Rovinski

15 Holly Hill Court (Lot 15 Tiny Farms section 3), $454,500,Douglas and Debbie Cohen (a. k. a. Cohen-Moll) Moll to Timothy J. and Caroline S. Jacklin

411 Bowling Park Road (Unit 411 of the Residences At Biltmore), $255,000, Serrus Residences At Biltmore LLC to James N. and Diane S. Bacus

Lots 46-47 Ventana phase 2B, $460,000, Ventana Communities LLC (f. k. a. Philly Capital Partners LLC) to Gary Bunch

345 Pritchard Road (0.434 acre), $226,000, Brenda C. Kiser to Caroline C. Albright

Lot 70 of the Cliffs At Walnut Cove phase 1, $695,000, Barry A. and Shelly (a. k. a. Shelly) A. Kugel to Bart A. and Cynthia S. McLean

Lots 1-2, 37-38 Royal Pines block 30, $349,000, Paul Mark Pappas, Melanie Jeanne Olivier to Royal Pines Group LLC

Lot 14 Oakmont Subdivision, $173,000, Joseph Thomas Whittle to Elvis Enmanuel Echavarria Matos

1.079 acres on Chatham Road, $725,000, Kendal Bragg Minnich, Susan Fennelly to Raymond Lee, Terry Faulkner

68 Locust Meadow Lane (Lot 12 Forks of Ivy Acres), $270,000, Shirley Robinson Wright to Teresa M. and James J. Norconk III

4 Dundee St., $8,500, Robert Craig Simon to DDG Real Estate LLC

314 Bowling Park Road (Building 314 of the Residences At Biltmore Condominiums), $250,000, Serrus Residences At Biltmore LLC to Donna M. and Darryn D. Roasa

Fairview

Lot 8 block C section 2 Blue Ridge Forest, $275,000, Kevin and Nicole Penland to Danny L. and Rose Ireland Metcalf

Fletcher

19 Bradford Vistas (Lot 10 Waterford Lakes), $750,000, Joseph Richard Tomkinson, Irene Jacobs to Ruth Veronique Saretsky

Leicester

N.C. 63 Right of Way from Gilbert to Newfound Roads, $38,000, Evelyn M. and Richard Edward Carter to the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation

Swannanoa

6 Peek Hill (Lot 2), $165,000, John P. and Thea M. Mueller to Nicole Chamberlain

Upper Hominy

Unit B building 42 Woodlands Trails Condominiums, $89,000, Jeanette Y. Hawkins to Darlene Hightower

3 parcels on Charity Lane, $158,500, Theodore W. and Darlene B. Haberer to Balloons Over Asheville LLC

Weaverville

14 Dula Springs Road (Unit 2 Garden Springs Condominiums), $141,000, Garden Springs Properties LLC to Enrique and Arlette Varela

51 Loftin St. (Unit 5 Creekside Village), $283,000, Serrus Creekside LLC to Lisa Hultman

Compiled by Citizen-Times News Correspondent Bonnie Black

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WBTV partners with NC Housing Finance Agency to help struggling homeowners

Ibuyhomeslogo square v2CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –

WBTV partnered with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to help people who are struggling to make payments on their homes because of lost jobs or personal hardships.

According to CoreLogic, While the number of foreclosures in NC is declining, there were still 15,000 completed home foreclosures in the state in 2015. There have already been 14,272 foreclosure filings in NC so far this year through June. 30; 1,743 in Mecklenburg County.

The NC housing Finance Agency runs the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund in which they use funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Funds were made available to North Carolina because of high concentration of unemployment at the beginning of the recession.

The purpose is to help homeowners who lost their jobs during the recession and recovery to avoid also losing their homes – strengthening their ability to recover and preserving local property values.

It has helped families like Lionel and Deborah Wellington. Lionel lost his job.

“The paint machines, I was building those and they laid me off,” said Wellington. “It is frightful thinking you are going to be in the street if you do not have a place to live.”

Not only did Wellington lose his job, but he also suffered three heart attacks. With those heart attacks came massive medical bills.

“When he had the heart attack that is what really hit. I was like, ‘we may be in trouble,’” said Deborah Wellington, Lionel’s wife.

The Wellington’s turned to the Housing Finance Agency for help.

“This is not just about rich people or poor people. This is about hard working people that just happened to fall into this position,” said Deborah Wellington. “Oh, the journey was easy for us.”

“They paid my mortgage and my HOA for 18 months which ended up being about $26,000 dollars,” said Wellington.

Below is more information on the Fund, the help offered, and who is eligible.

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund:

  • Administered by the NC Housing Finance Agency using funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Funds were made available to North Carolina because of high concentration of unemployment at the beginning of the recession.
  • Purpose is to help homeowners who lost their jobs during the recession and recovery to avoid also losing their homes—strengthening their ability to recover and preserving local  property values.
  • Also assists homeowners struggling with mortgage payments due to a temporary hardship such as divorce, death of a copayer or illness that necessitates them finding a new job, and homeowners who have suffered a qualified hardship and are now re-employed but earning less or are now on a fixed income and unable to make mortgage payments as a result.
  • Provides special assistance for veterans transitioning to civilian life. Making the foreclosure assistance available for veterans is particularly important in North Carolina, which is home to 10 percent of all active-duty military personnel in the U.S. (102,000) and more than 775,000 veterans.
  • Since 2010, more than 22,000 NC homeowners have been assisted;  98 percent of those who have completed assistance and now make their own payments have successfully avoided foreclosure; more than $3.8 billion of  property has been kept out of foreclosure
  • No other program in North Carolina does this (makes mortgage payments on behalf of a homeowner)

Types of Assistance:

  • Mortgage Payment Assistance: For homeowners who have lost their jobs or who are recovering from a temporary hardship, the program makes mortgage payments of up to $36,000 directly to the loan servicer for up to 36 months while homeowners look for jobs or re-train.
  • Principle Reduction Assistance: For homeowners earning less or on a fixed income, the program can reduce the principal and recast the loan to make mortgage payments more affordable.
  • Funds can also be used to bring a mortgage current for a homeowner.
  • Veterans attending school on the GI Bill or participating in a VA-approved vocational training program are eligible for the maximum 36 months of assistance, as long as their mortgage payments exceed 25 percent of their household income.
  • Zero-interest deferred loan; repayment not necessary if homeowners remains in home for 10 years

Eligibility for Fund assistance:

  • Responsible homeowners who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.
  • Homeowners struggling because of temporary financial hardships that require them to find a new job.
  • Veterans must be separated from service on or after Jan. 1, 2008, provide a DD-214, have a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility for the GI Bill and provide proof of enrollment in school or a vocational retraining program.
  • For mortgage payment assistance, must be looking for work or retraining.
  • For principal reduction and loan recast, must be re-employed or on a fixed income after a qualified hardship and earning less with an unaffordable mortgage.
  • Need to have good payment history before job loss or other hardship.
  • Must show ability to resume making own mortgage payments after assistance ends.
  • Don’t have to be delinquent on payments to apply.
  • Do have to show a need—mortgage and related payments are greater than 25 percent of household income.
  • Legal resident of North Carolina.
  • Job loss/financial setback must be after Jan. 1, 2008.

The process:

  • Apply through local HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide or online at www.NCMortgageHelp.gov.
  • Final decision made by Fund staff at the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.

For more information:

via http://www.wbtv.com/story/33428933/wbtv-partners-with-nc-housing-finance-agency-to-help-struggling-homeowners

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Property transfers Buncombe, Asheville for Oct. 3-7

Ibuyhomeslogo square v2The following transfers were filed in the Register of Deeds office Oct. 3-7.

Arden

Lot 3 Brae Burn, $282,000, Roger A. and Jane A. Wallace to Jamie N. and Nicholas D. Van Dyke

Asheville

32 Bideford Row (Lot 66 Devonshire Subdivision phase 7), $620,000, Laura S. Claiborne Richard to The Alexander Family Trust

83 Keasler Road (Lot 1, 1.278 acres), $285,000, Harold L. (a. k. a.) Howard L. and Mae M. Deel to Nery Galia Jeritski

Lot 1 Pinebrook Terrace, $238,500, Margaret McLean Bissell to Michael Patrick Hamel, Sarah Colleen Coury

407 Old Stone Gate Place (Lot 6 Reynolds Mountain Development phase 1), $985,000, Elliott N. and Valerie C. Exar to Bob and Sally Gremillion

114 Pebble Creek Road (Unit K-5 Pebble Creek Condominiums phase 8), $116,500, Terri Lynn Hornsby, Victor C. Garlock to Colleen K. Karen E. C. Cody

84 Saint Dunstans Road (Lot 2), $450,000, Donald R. and Ayako (a. k. a. Ayako Kega) Wilson to Eric William and Shawna Dee Hanson

Lot 32 Witchwood Acres, $109,000, Beverly A. Bell to Danielle T. Sheridan Bell (a. k. a. Sheridan-Bell)

17 Jeff Drive Unit 8B (Amber Sunset), $250,000, Aized Real Estate LLC to Jonathan Martin and Ricca Bartlett Ray

195 Edgewood Road (Lot 5), $427,500, Roger and Laurie R. Moser to Howard S. and Barbara A. Fiedler

38 Eastview Ave. (0.26 acre), $193,000, Adam H. and Katherine (f. k. a. Apt) Bannasch to Ryan Wade and Jamie Zane Brazell

Lot 1 building 37 Hawthorne phase 1, $137,000, January W. McSwain, Michelle and Scott Niemi to James L. and Susan C. Crowder

Avery’s Creek

Lot 52 section 1 of the Village At Avery’s Creek, $233,000, Mark R. and Sherri H. LaFever to Harold E. and Helga U. Zeltner

305 Piney Mountain Drive (Unit Q-1 Pine Cliff Condominiums), $205,000, Margaret E. Jones to Kandie Coggin and Frederick James Sparger III

Buncombe County

Lot 14 High Valley Estates, $53,000, Christina M. and James H. Carter Jr. to Boyd Robert Mintz

Lot 5 Country Subdivision phase VI, $135,000, Roland P. and Madeleine Joan Chabot to Christopher H. and Sarah D. Booher

Lot 19 Oakland Forest, $200,000, JXF Investments LLC to Benjamin David Swann, Katherine Swann, Elizabeth N. Swann

248 Saint Johns St. (Lot 2 block G Mountain View section 2), $189,500, Raymond L. and Renee L. Cagle to Derek and Kristina Olson

Unit 5 Sunset Park, $521,000, Glenn and Angela Cullen to Robert and Carla Fennelly

Lot 92-A Pinebrook Farms, $534,000, Pinebrook Farms LLC to Steven and Virginia Mannina

10 N. Delano Road, $185,000, Cedar Brook Properties LLC to 521 S. Front St. LLC

Lot 64 block C Riverview, $60,000, Dry Ridge Investments LLC to DeBord Enterprises LLC

Lot 77 of the Cliffs at Walnut Cove phase 1 (1.562 acres), $645,000, Urbana Cliffs RE LLC to Folkestone LLC

82 Woodcreek Circle (Lot 35 Cherry Blossom Cove phase 2A), $220,000, Robert L. and Michelle C. Colangelo to Ember Patrice Latrella

15 Pine Acre Blvd. (Lots 144-145 block H Lakeview Park), $890,000, Donald K. and Elizabeth R. Bagwell to Matthew Loos

75 Lakewood Drive (Lot 122 block B Kenilworth), $380,000, Vanessa Cram and John Homer Byrd III to Prospero Properties II LLC

181 Bear Creek Road (Lot 10 block G Malvern Hills), $390,000, Evan L. and Kelly R. Sluder to Christopher B. and Jessica T. O’Neill

48 Asher Lane (Lot 24 of the Cottages at Glenn Oaks, 0.23 acre), $282,000, R & D Ledbridge LLC to Randall Corbin and Stephanie Clouser

Lot 9 Lakeside Meadows, $240,500, Windsor Built Homes Inc. to Karen L. and Richard B. Southard

301 Theron Court, $292,500, Robert Adam and Ashlee Rainwater to George Robert and Jennifer Rainwater

Unit 92-B Pinebrook Farms, $510,500, Pinebrook Farms LLC to Richard J. and Susan Powers Spoering

96 Oakley Road (Lot 3), $249,000, Natasha X. Kush to Francois and Julie H. Gros

Unit B6 Longchamps Condominiums, $450,000, The Sharon G. Watson Revocable Trust to Janice Garrett McArthur

206 Forest Hill Drive (Lot 32 block D Kenilworth), $290,000, Frances C. and Jeffrey L. Norman to Brook Trail Properties LLC

Fairview

21 Clifford Drive, $242,000, Edward C. and Brenda W. Pagan to Mary Ace and Edward Rey Baggot, David L. and Cecilia Baggott

135 Laurel Haven Road (2 tracts), $30,000, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA to Sandra Messer

French Broad

2 Twin Drive (Lot 7) $31,500, Randy M. Rice to Carolyn Rice

Limestone

Lot 4 section 1 High Valley Forest, $242,500, Judith A. Adams, Nancy Christine Westfall to Amy and Joseph Stertz Jr.

Swannanoa

Lot 16 Bee Tree Village Subdivision, $232,500, Estate of Lydia W. Ledford to Martha H. Moore

Upper Hominy

Lot 16 Challedon Estates, $62,000, The Greg Glance and Elizabeth P. Glance Living Trusts to Pavlo Heyko

Weaverville

103 Alaron Drive (Lot 7 Hamburg Place), $500,000, Terry L. and Katherine S. Poling to Richard H. B. and Marcy B. Woodrow

Lot 25 Chickwood Knoll, $229,000, Christopher T. and Alesia Michelle Gudger Whitfield to Robert D. and Kimberly M. Buchanan

Compiled by Citizen-Times News Correspondent Bonnie Black

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