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U.S. economy best in history; no recession till at least 2021, 2 experts claim
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:52
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The United States economy is firing on all cylinders in its best performance in history — and no recession is likely until 2021 at the earlest, according to two noted economists who spoke at UNC Asheville’s 35th annual Crystal Ball seminar on held April 17 in UNCA’s Lipinsky Auditorium.

Most of the auditorium’s 580 seats were filled for the seminar, mostly by members of the local business community. The event, along with a reception immediately prior to the seminar and a question-and-answer session afterward, was sponsored by Parsec Financial and UNCA’s Department of Economics. 

Economists David W. Berson and James F. Smith made forecasts on the business and financial outlook for the coming year, taking account of new federal tax policies and Federal Reserve decisions about interest rates.

An event promotion flyer noted that “the economic outlook portion of the program will focus on inflation, employment, interest rates, the strength of the dollar and housing market. The financial outlook presentation will explore the implications of Federal Reserve policy for financial markets. Various investments will be addressed, with an emphasis on interest rates and the bond market.”

Undercover agent, critic of Islam, to speak again in AVL, HVL
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:50

From Staff Reports

Chris Gaubatz, billed as an “undercover researcher in the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas” who spoke about his experiences Feb. 12  and 13 in two area appearances, will return with a new presentation at 6:30 p.m. May 16 at Skyland Fire Department and 2 p.m. May 17 at City Operations Center in Hendersonville.

His previous address — and the Daily Planet’s coverage — prompted criticism from Ibrahim Hooper, who is national communications director and spokesman for the Council of American Islamic Relations, better known as CAIR. Hooper dismissed Gaubatz as an “Islamaphobe” in a March 26 interview with the Daily Planet.

Meanwhile, an Asheville Tea Party press release said that “it is with great honor and pleasure” that it announces that Gaubatz “is back by popular demand” and noting that he will address “new topics,” including “Experiences Undercover in the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas” and “Red-Green Axis, Exposing the Left Workig With Jihadis to Undermine Our Nation.”

Bilello added, “It is crucial that Americans understand and recognize the nature of the threat from radical groups that wish to destroy the very fabric of our nation so we are better prepared to confront and defend the values and principles we hold dear.”

Regain trust via return to core values, new county manager says
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:47
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Following several scandals involving top leaders, the county government’s entire workforce needs to return to a commitment to core values to regain the public’s trust, Avril Pinder, the new Buncombe County manager, told the  Council of Business Owners during an April 5 breakfast meeting in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center.

The meeting’s other speakers were Alison Morrison-Shetlar, the new chancellor at Western Carolina University, who spoke of WCU’s role as an area economic driver; and Nathan Pennington, Buncombe County’s planning director, who gave an update on county zoning changes. About 40 people attended.

Pinder, who was introduced by Brownie Newman, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said, “You know where we’re coming from in Buncombe County — we’ve got a great reputation, but it got tainted and we need to regain the public trust.'

Rhetorically, she asked, “How do we work on our staff? How do we ensure this doesn’t happen again? I’ve asked staff… The answer is — we all need to be our brother’s keeper. We need to make sure nobody does this again... So we have that commitment now in Buncombe County” from the county employees. “We know that....

“The next thing is our core values — we need to come back to them .…” Among the core values she cited are showing pride in one’s work, practicing honesty and integrity, showing compassion and care, “showing respect for ourselves and for others” and valuing — and practicing — honesty... My point is our core values mean something,” Pinder said. 

“Your attitude matters... I’ve seen the lift in morale... So when you see me, I’m always ‘on,’” she said.

The Advice Goddess: May 2018
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:15

‘Eye will always love you?’ Beware

I’ve long been a “Shallow Hal,” attracted to women’s youth and physical beauty and less concerned with integrity. Not surprisingly, I keep getting into relationships with women who aren’t very good people. How can I stop being so superficial?
— Man With Eyes 



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