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Moffitt-Turner overdrive: The fight is on
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 21:27

From Staff Reports

Democrat Brian Turner’s campaign has countered a recent charge by the Buncombe County Republican Party that 80 percent of Turner’s campaign donations are coming from outside the state House district he wants to represent.

The situation is not that clearcut, Turner’s campaign has said, claiming that nearly all of the funding of his opponent (incumbent Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Arden) is from outside the district.

The two candidates will face off in the fall general election.

The BCGOP stated in a June 18 press release that “A Biltmore Forest resident looking to unseat Rep. Tim Moffitt draws the overwhelming majority of his support from outside Buncombe County’s 116th House district.

“According to his most recent campaign finance report, over 80 percent of Brian Turner’s financial contributions come from outside the district he is hoping to represent — with the vast majority of those coming from residents of downtown Asheville. Many come from other states.... It’s interesting to note that every Asheville City Council member has donated to Turner’s campaign.... This map clearly shows who is funding Turner: downtown progressives,” BCGOP Communications Director Nathan West stated in the press release.

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Honeybee: Canary in coal mine?
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 21:18
By JOHN NORTH
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One of the the nation’s top “bee luminaries,” Jeff Pettis, was featured at a program geared for the general public — “Give Bees a Chance: The Pollination Puzzle” — on June 18 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. 

In a more specialized address, Pettis, lead researcher of the USDA Bee Lab in Beltsville, Md., spoke on “Challenges for Today’s Beekeepers” on June 17 at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. (A separate story — on his presentation to area beekeepers and the question-and-answer session that followed — appears on Page A8.)

Pettis was the featured speaker throughout Western North Carolina’s National Pollinator Week (June 16-22) activities. The Pollination Celebration, sponsored by Asheville’s Bee City USA program, also included honey-tastings, a silent auction, reception, exhibit and conversations with Pettis.

The June 18 program in Asheville, which drew more than 100 people, was billed as being “designed to provoke questions, conversation and possible answers.” During the hourlong reception that preceded the program, a popular feature was a tasting of honeys from invasive plants, including kudzu and Japanese knotweed.

During the reception, the Daily Planet asked Pettis if he viewed the honeybee as the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” and, if so, does the pollinator’s current massive die-off signify that humanity may be facing cataclysm, too?

Pettis replied that because the honeybee is not native to the United States, the “canary in the coal mine” analogy does not hold up. “For us (in the U.S.) the comparable analogy would be: ‘It’s just general pollinator decline, (serving) as a real indicator that we’re doing something wrong.’” (The stock of most of the honeybees populating the U.S. today originated in Europe, Pettis noted.) 

He added, “The answer (to the bee die-off) really begins in our own backyards.... If you’re trying to maintain the perfect lawn,” then the lawn-owner is contributing to the decline of what he termed “the invaluable pollinators.”

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