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Duke Energy to replace coal plant with gas
Monday, 08 June 2015 12:13

Beyond Coal Campaign touts its effort for change

From Staff Reports

Duke Energy Progress on March 19 unveiled a proposal to retire its Asheville Plant, a coal-fired power facility located along Lake Julian in South Asheville.

While Duke calls the move a “win-win” for the consumers, the environment and the economy, local environmental groups consider it just “a step in the right direction” and only a “half-measure,” as they had hope for total clean-energy generation via solar power and other alternatives.

The announcement includes plans to replace the coal-fired plant with a new, larger natural gas-fired operation. 

If granted approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the gas-fired plant could potentially produce 650 MW of electricity, almost doubling the coal-fired plant’s 376 MW output.

The natural gas originates in the Gulf Coast and will be transported to Asheville via the Transcontinental Pipeline.

However, the new natural gas facility will not be operational until the coal-fired plant is entirely demolished, which is expected to take four to five years.

After being pulled, ‘The Kite Runner’ deemed OK for Reynolds High students
Monday, 08 June 2015 12:07

From Staff Reports

A controversial book, temporarily pulled from Buncombe County classrooms after a complaint from a parent, will now be allowed back. 

“The Kite Runner,” a 2003 novel by Khaled Hosseini,was to be used in an honors English class at A.C. Reynolds High School in place of “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The teacher of the class sent home a note informing parents that students could opt out of the assignment if they objected to the content.

Lisa Baldwin, parent and former Buncombe School Board member, filed a formal complaint against the use of “The Kite Runner,” aruging that the book is a “dark and disturbing adult fiction novel set in war-torn Afghanistan and has been frequently challenged by concerned parents for its sexually explicit content,” according to her guest column in the May 17 edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times.

“The Kite Runner” tells the story of a wealthy boy in Afghanistan and his best friend, the son of his father’s servant. In one passage, the servant’s son is beaten and raped by an older boy.

Baldwin is charging that the honors English teacher’s “opt-out” form was insufficient as it did not “fully disclose the adult themes nor did it ask parents to sign an ‘opt-in’ form/permission slip.”

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