It was a year of heated debates and sometimes fruitful partnerships, and the buzzwords will linger: partisan elections, steep-slope development, Progress Energy, Smashing Pumpkins, the flag arrests, The Ellington, and so on.
Of course, we're hardly starting '08 with a clean slate: The political trends and personalities that shaped the last 12 months are with us still. So this review is more than just a trip down memory lane -- it's also a sign of things to come.
"[The Asheville Police Department] is not matching the creativity, enthusiasm and persistency of those dealing drugs on our streets."
— Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower, quoted in "Pushing the Envelope," Jan. 10
"I have a growing concern about Council members stepping over the line of [policy-making] ... in the area of policy implementation."
— Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, responding to Mumpower's anti-drug push, quoted in "Pushing the Envelope," Jan. 10
"I guess if there ever was a legend, I'm probably one of them."
— Bluegrass star Ralph Stanley, quoted in "Oh Brother, You're Still On the Road?" Jan. 10
"What we need in this country is to let this system collapse. And it will in the next 10 years; we just can't continue to spend more money."
— Outgoing Buncombe County Health Director George Bond on the national health-care system, quoted in "Passing the Torch," Jan. 17
"For $300,000 in taxes you're going to destroy our health? Shame on you."
— Asheville resident Julie Brandt, speaking to the Buncombe County Commissioners about the proposed Progress Energy power plant, quoted in "Power Plant Lease Approved," Jan. 24
"It's you and me who use the power. We need to take responsibility for that."
— Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Nathan Ramsey, quoted in "Power Plant Lease Approved," Jan. 24
"It's kind of like bringing an extra dish to Thanksgiving dinner."
— Unnamed Asheville resident weighing in on what it means to schedule Bele Chere during peak tourist season, quoted in "Grin and Share It," Feb. 7
"I think it's important, even now, to look at the ways African-American people tried to carve out a place for themselves in the Reconstruction period. It took an enormous amount of imagination and courage to do that, and it's something people need to know and understand."
— UNC-Chapel Hill history professor Theda Perdue on a black settlement in Henderson County, quoted in "The Kingdom of the Happy Land," Feb. 7
"The type of cluster development used in our town-home neighborhood, however unattractive during the development stages, has preserved over 30 acres of surrounding pristine wilderness. ... [Reynolds Mountain] will be a model for sustainable development."
— Gerald Green, environmental consultant for Reynolds Mountain, quoted in "Green Scene," Feb. 14
"Next time I pick up a new Mountain Xpress and see a letter by Stewart or Terry David, I will go to the nearest McDonald's restaurant and purchase a double Quarter Pounder with cheese, then proceed to support the acquisition of a not-yet-selected local animal product and encourage others to do the same."
— Nina Smith, Letter to the editor, Feb. 14
"If my next letter is about being kind to dogs and cats, will she choke a kitten or kick a puppy?"
— Stewart David, Letter to the editor, Feb. 21
"A gated community is an oxymoron. Gates are built to keep community out."
— Beaverdam resident Brad Brock, speaking before Asheville City Council, quoted in "Rock and Hard Place," Feb. 21
"You see, the elation of mastering an untamable landscape is lost on people like me. The idea of scratching my way up a rock so I can have a nice view for a few minutes before risking my neck getting down again doesn't appeal to me half as much as, say, almost anything that can be done in my living room."
— Xpress writer Steve Shanafelt in his column "Adventure on the Big Screen," March 7
"Local developers ... know not to build on the mountain slopes. But now we have developers coming in who want to stick it to us, take the money and run."
— Buncombe County Commissioner David Gantt, quoted in "Thinning the Ridges," March 7
"Just because the General Assembly says that forced, involuntary annexation is legal doesn't mean it's right. After all, the British Parliament insisted that what they were doing to the American Colonies was legal and just, but history proved them wrong."
— Matt Mittan, in his commentary "It's Time to Force Annexation Out," March 21
"I think if a movie's really great they should just leave it; they shouldn't keep remaking every great movie. [But] theater is different. Theater is meant to be performed again and again. And it's meant to be revived, because theater itself is ephemeral."
— Actress Molly Ringwald, quoted in "She Can Remember Lots of Things," March 21
"The worst menaces to the lifestyle and stability of Asheville and Buncombe County are drug dealers and land developers. The former destroy lives; the latter ravage landscapes."
— David J. Stanley, Letter to the editor, March 21
"1) Thomas Wolfe auditorium smelled like an Amsterdam hash bar.
2) In the bathroom I observed a gentleman purchase pills and ingest same from another gentleman with a T-Shirt that said something like "I play for mushrooms".
3) I observed one person in the back balcony smoking a joint and a group of people sharing a joint on the left side of the auditorium.
4) The music "Ratdog" was good.
5) When I arrived at the civic center there were 6-8 officers standing in the front of the building. Most were in uniform."
— From an e-mail by Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower, reporting on his observances at a March 23 concert at the Asheville Civic Center, quoted in an online report, "Mumpower on Civic Center concert: Drugs Bad, Ratdog Good," March 26
"There is no reason that this community should accept Progress Energy's proposal until we see an aggressive alternative proposal."
— Environmental Defense staffer Michael Shore on the Woodfin power-plant proposal, quoted in "Green Scene," March 28
"I think it is unfair to create the expectation that we can conserve our way out of existing demand."
— Progress Energy Public Relations Manager Ken Maxwell on the Woodfin power-plant debate, quoted in "Green Scene," March 28
"The fly-fishing world, much like my closet, is cluttered with useless crap."
— Sam Wardle in his Outdoors column "Zen and the Art of Heavy Nymphing," March 28
"Some students will even be able to take workshoplike classes in Elizabethan slang, meaning it's only a matter of time before kids start texting each other with phrases like 'WUMDEC?' ('what's up, my dizzy-eyed coxcomb?')."
— Steve Shanafelt on Shakespeare for a New Generation, quoted in "Culture Watch," April 4
"The best thing about being a painter is that you invent your own problems. They are your problems -- you are not trying to solve someone else's problems. You find your own amusement; you answer to nobody else. It is a very time-consuming process. You just wait for that occasional moment of clarity that makes it worthwhile."
— Painter Robert Godfrey, quoted in "Less Worse Than Anything Else," April 4
"According to the most recent data available ... the Canton mill reported (among other pollutants) emissions of more than 9,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, more than 3,800 tons of nitrogen oxides, and more than 2,900 tons of carbon monoxide in 2005. As a point of comparison, the proposed Woodfin power plant (recently shot down by the Woodfin Zoning Board of Adjustment) would have released a projected 2.4 tons of sulfur dioxide, 247 tons of nitrogen oxides and 60 tons of carbon monoxide annually."
— "Green Scene," April 11
"I feel like we're at a moment in the culture where there's actually a lot of interesting work being done everywhere -- on TV, on the Web and on the radio there are little pockets where people can do interesting work -- and I'm not sure it matters if this stuff ever takes over the culture."
— This American Life host Ira Glass, quoted in "Through Prose-Tinted Glasses," April 11
"'Southern food' is such a magnetizing word. People definitely take a position. It makes people feel like insiders if they have a connection to the South and they love Southern food. And if they don't, they're either drawn to it or repulsed by it, but either way, they have an opinion."
— Food writer Matt Lee, quoted in "Forget The Tiramisu, Have a MoonPie," April 11
"We had what seemed like an overwhelming amount of evidence that it wouldn't benefit Woodfin."
— Robert Powers, chairman of the Woodfin Zoning Board of Adjustment, on the board's decision to refuse a permit for Progress Energy's planned power plant, quoted in "The Lease of Our Worries," April 11
"It's kind of like the Million Man March, but we're not going to D.C. And the reasoning behind that is, why burn all those fossil fuels to go to D.C.?"
— Phillip Gibson of Warren Wilson College's Environmental Leadership Center on Asheville's Step it Up rally for climate-change policy, quoted in "Green Scene," April 11
"The gladiators in Madison's political circus bear names that echo throughout the county's history: Allen, Ponder, Wyatt, Cody, Ledford and Ramsey."
— Milton Ready in his commentary "Them's Politics: Madison County's Soft Despotism," April 11
"Still, in a world that favors internal-combustion engines for transportation, repairing old bikes might seem an old-fashioned skill, much like canning tomatoes. So why would anyone want to come here?"
— Jack Igelman in his Outdoors column "Pedaling Toward the Revolution," April 18
"Still, as vacant lots are filled in, the character of neighborhoods changes. ... Back in the day, my neighborhood included little grocery stores, churches, businesses along the river. Most houses had a garden plot where vegetables were grown to add to the cook pot or to can for winter. Many residents kept a few chickens for eggs and meat. There was a line in the back yard for drying clothes."
— H. Byron Ballard in her commentary "Losing the War on Terra," April 18
"One ad claimed that only 'cosmetic updating' was needed to restore an arts-and-crafts home to full glory. We did a drive-by and met the sellers' young daughter (they apparently lived next door). 'There's no walls,' she informed us. 'You mean no doors?' we suggested gently. 'There aren't any walls,' she repeated, lest we misunderstand. Talk about your open floor plan."
— Melanie M. Bianchi in her commentary "House Hunting Stinks," April 25
"For a young person of color, discovering a creative outlet, a form of self-expression, a safe place amid all the chaos that comes with being a black adolescent is a matter of survival."
— Tamiko Murray, in her commentary "Surviving by Creation," May 9
"We have found that, on average, wells are going deeper, but it's because they are moving up the mountains."
— Vickie Greene of Greene Brothers Well & Pump, quoted in "Well, Well," May 9
"I'm not going to advise anyone to hang in there. ... It's too terribly difficult, and sometimes the rewards aren't worth it."
— Actress Rue McClanahan, quoted in "The Late Start as Art," May 9
"This is not a ballot, this is a portal into hell."
— Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower on instant-runoff ballots, quoted in "Votes and Slopes," May 16
"Skye Barkschat lay in her hospital bed, clutching a syringe and sucking on a rubber tube. It was a simple form of stimulation, but a vital first step in relearning how to talk, communicate and return to the vibrant woman she was before an accident injured her brain."
— Bettina Freese on bike-crash survivor Barkschat, in her Outdoors column "A Biker's Incredible Journey," May 23
"It's not like anybody is paying us to do this. We've got some good tapes out, even if nobody ever buys them. ... I think the recordings are really worth it. I have to believe that, because kind of the only thing I'm riding on is that I'm doing something worth doing."
— Dig Shovel Dig's Ted Robinson, quoted in "Do Sequencers Dream of Electric Banjos," May 23
"I think of the saddest moment of my life -- one of my last moments with Pappaw. Ravaged by Alzheimer's, he looked into my eyes, shook his head and said: 'I know I should know you ... but I can't.'
"I think of one of the happiest -- when he looked back up and added: 'But I know you're someone I must have loved.'"
— Mark Jamison in his commentary "Moments of Perfection," May 30
"We continue to be a street-level challenge to the corporate dreck that passes as democratic discourse in the media. We want people to know that the Asheville Global Report is not dead."
— AGR editor Eamon Martin on the news that the newspaper would drop its print edition but remain active in other media, quoted in "Going Down Swinging," May 30
"Wage justice is just as important as addressing issues of climate change."
— Richard Fireman of the North Carolina Council of Churches speaking to Asheville City Council, quoted in "Wages of Virtue?" May 30
"The movie follows Gracie (Carly Schroeder, Firewall), who decides to try out for her high school men's soccer team after the death of her brother (Christopher Shand, A Very Brady Sequel) in a car wreck. The only problem is that her father (Dermot Mulroney) refuses to help her train, so instead Gracie takes the path of the troubled teen (as far as a PG-13 rating will allow), which means sneaking into discos and getting really close to smoking cigarettes."
— Xpress movie writer Justin Souther, from a review of Gracie, June 6
"During the inventory, we were unable to locate any documentation or records regarding the disposition of $216,769. In addition 233 hand guns and 114 shotguns/rifles could not be located. Drugs from 1,318 green sheets could not be located nor could sheriff staff prove the drugs had been destroyed. ... Numerous evidence items were found with no case identification markings including drugs, guns and rape kits."
— Buncombe County Sheriff Evidence Room Audit Report of May 2007, quoted in "Missing Guns, Drugs and Money at Buncombe Sheriff's Department," June 13
"While my fingers raked through this leafy brush, a buzzing mass engulfed my hand and traced down my arm and into my hair. A second later, the stings began."
— Jonathan Poston in his Outdoors column "Facing the Rock," June 13
"It would not be my intention to endorse this slippery little rascal as a means to sidestepping our commitments [to the National Guard]."
— Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower, referring to a rare salamander discovered in Richmond Hill Park that might have been used as leverage to conserve land slated for an armory, quoted in "Green Scene," June 20
"I'm just a coatrack. A moving coatrack that sings falsetto."
— Performer Holiday Childress on his role as illustrator Edward Gorey, quoted in "Unhappily Ever After," June 20
"I don't want to contribute to the perception that Progress Energy is engaged in a legitimate process involving meaningful community input. It's important for the public to become aware that ... the advisory council appointed solely by Progress Energy is a public-relations tool being used to create the perception that the corporation is involving the community."
— Canary Coalition Executive Director Avram Friedman on why he wouldn't attend a meeting of the Sustainable Energy Advisory Council formed by Progress Energy, quoted in "Green Scene," June 27
"They burned everything I had on, because that's what they did; this stuff was spreading so fast."
— Polio survivor Sandy Warren on her admission to the Asheville Orthopedic Hospital in 1952, quoted in "The Once and Future Sting," June 27
"God help me if I should ever buy Spandex bibshorts or a pair of ankle socks with the Campagnolo logo stitched into them. My girlfriend would probably shoot me dead on the spot."
— Kent Priestley in his Outdoors column "Never Ride Alone," June 27
"A thick, frosty goop soon pooled in pockets around them, covering the tent's floor in an icy patchwork. Each breath they took made the situation even worse. And when their bodies erupted into full-body shivers, they decided to bail."
— Jonathan Poston in his Outdoors column "How Not to Camp," July 5
"How can you go green when you've got these big pots of pollution>s It's like a smoker taking vitamins."
— Former CTS employee Mary McGraw on fears of contamination at the former factory site, quoted in "Fail-Safe?" July 11
"We were raised in the Sesame Street generation. ... There isn't time to get bored."
— Asheville Comedy Festival co-creator Rowan Lischerelli, quoted in "Pun Intended," July 18
"I can't make you sit down. I could, but I would see that on YouTube again."
— Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, alluding to a widely circulated YouTube video of her ejecting radio host Matt Mittan from a City Council meeting, quoted in "Facing the Music," July 18
"The demand to attend a belcher festival being minimal in the Southeast, the city of Asheville, in its wisdom, separated the word to create the Bele Chere festival, intending it to mean something along the lines of Dear Beautiful or the belle dame sans merci or something -- anything -- except the explosive, gaseous, esophageal-based expulsions thickening the downtown air."
— Gene Senyak, Letter to the editor, July 25
"If I were to go along with my constituency, I would say 20 years [from now] is after the end times, and things will be radically different."
— Swami Nostradamus Virato, on Asheville 20 years hence, quoted in "Through a Glass Darkly," Aug. 1
"Heck, I would rather watch an actual golf than have to sit through this movie again - which, believe me, is quite a statement."
— Xpress movie critic Justin Souther, from a review of Who's Your Caddy?, Aug. 1
"A day will come when matters of beauty, tradition, peacefulness, economic equality and public opinion matter. It's just not today."
— Krys Crimi, Letter to the editor, Aug. 1
"I think the city of Asheville is completely overwhelmed now. The developers have better lawyers, better engineers, and this is their business. And the city, I think, can't keep its fingers on all the holes in the dike -- and the developers know this."
— Kenilworth resident William Jell, quoted in "Rivers of Mud," Aug. 8
"It's unfortunate that a byproduct of war is something that's actually really good for our company. ... We're not particularly happy that there is a war. But as long as there is a war, we're happy to be supplying something positive in terms of equipment that improves a soldier's chance of coming home and not being maimed or killed."
— Mary Lynne Woro, vice president of marketing for AvL Technologies, which manufactures two-way satellite antennas for the military, quoted in "War Incorporated," Aug. 15
"I think my musical style is something like this: PJ Harvey is playing bartender alongside Tori Amos, Björk, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco. They have Alice in Chains on the stereo in the back of the room, and they are all trying to come up with the perfect cocktail. They each throw in their own pinches of spice and turn on the blender. It's a tasty, dark melody, and it makes your heart burn. [Then] comes Laurie Anderson with some Rolaids."
— Carolina Star winner Nikki Talley, quoted in "Surviving 'Star'dom," Aug. 22
"Brian for years remained silent and took credit for writing those songs, which I actually wrote. There's no doubt that some of the people, with respect to his PR and management, have contributed to the demonization of Mike Love. But I know what I did, and so does Brian."
— Beach Boys singer Mike Love on the band's legal battles, quoted in "Love is a Battlefield," Aug. 22
@text: "A body in motion usually means a mind in motion. But my body won't be in motion long if I slip and fall into the rocky stream."
— Danny Bernstein in her Outdoors column "Backpacking the Back of Beyond," Aug. 22
"Moving forward on a statute like that, especially when it's a complaint from a National Guard friend, was not a good move."
— Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan on the mistake made by Deputy Brian Scarborough in the "flag arrests" cases, quoted in "'Things I Can't Talk About': Deputy in Flag Case Not Demoted, Suspended or Fired," Aug. 22
"I'd do it over and over again if it meant people didn't have to go through [the problems caused by mountaintop-removal coal mining]. I'd want somebody out there locking their necks together for me."
— George Silva, one of five activists arrested while protesting Bank of America's ties to coal companies, quoted in "Sticking Their Necks Out," Aug. 22
"I wanted to get together a group of hip, Mac-using, latte-drinking Republicans and try to spurn the stereotype."
— Justin Powlison on why he founded the Asheville Latte Republicans, quoted in "Lattes: Not Just for Liberals Anymore," Aug. 29
"The protesters were just plain WRONG. Worse ... it was bad PR for their cause. Just durn stupid wannabe ecoterrorists."
— A commenter on the Xpress Web site, in response to the Bank of America protests, quoted in "Sticking Their Necks Out," Aug. 22
"I've long believed that hell will consist of being strapped to a chair with my eyes propped open -- à la Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange -- while that scene from I Love Lucy where Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance try to contend with a conveyor belt of chocolates in a candy factory plays in an endless loop on the screen. Having seen Michael Corrente's Brooklyn Rules, I may have to rethink my vision."
— Xpress movie critic Ken Hanke, from a review of Brooklyn Rules, Aug. 1
"We screwed up."
— From an e-mail by Buncombe County Commissioner David Gantt addressing the commissioners' sale of land adjacent to City/County Plaza for the proposed ParkSide condo development, quoted in "A Friend in Deed," Sept. 5
"I figured if I built a 20-foot bike I could die just as easily."
— Michael Mooney prior to his failed attempt to break the world record for riding a "tall bike," quoted in "A Freak Folk Hero is Something to Be," Sept. 5
"I can't believe you actually pay the 'Asheville Disclaimer' people to write crap like the 'Women in Business' piece [Aug. 29 Xpress]. While it is mildly offensive to women, I'm mostly offended by how unfunny it was."
— Kathleen Payton, Letter to the editor, Sept. 5
"We're not trying to offend anyone, but we can't let the possibility of doing so dictate the subject matter. ... Every group has a number of members who aren't going to like being poked fun at. So that would pretty much take every group off the table. If you give protected status to one group or topic, you have to give it to every group or topic. In this case, the subject matter is 'successful women.' If we can't make fun of them, who can we make fun of?"
— The Asheville Disclaimer's Michele Scheve on the feature's controversial parody of Xpress' "Women in Business" advertising section, quoted in "What Was She Thinking?" Sept. 5
"The whole idea of pop and celebrity -- those are selfish careers; those are selfish people with selfish ambitions."
— Ex-Jane's Addiction front man Perry Farrell, quoted in "Free, Happy and Loose," Sept. 5
"It was a fun thing; I just wanted to keep the mystery going. It's kinda funny that nobody really outed me. It's like everybody kind of liked the mystery too."
— Blogger Jason Sandford, aka Ashvegas, on Internet anonymity, quoted in "Who Let the Blogs Out?" Sept. 12
"Police misconduct hurts us all. Discourteous behavior or excessive use of force by even a single officer goes against the grain of the Constitution, our sense of community and our collective sense of dignity, casting a shadow on all men and women in blue. I should know: I was a victim of police brutality in Asheville on March 18, 2005."
— Kyle Ann Ross in her commentary "Shocked: Asheville Needs Meaningful Police Oversight," Sept. 12
"I feel all the time like a kindergartner in Algebra II."
— Singer/songwriter Eliza Lynn on the complexities of her rapidly growing career, quoted in "The Importance of Being Earnest," Sept. 19
"The report is a betrayal of trust. Our decisions about training and developing the department aren't going to be based on this poorly executed [document]."
— Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson on a widely criticized consultant's report on racial problems in the Police Department, quoted in "City Blasts Race Report," Sept. 19
"It is the epitome of the attitude I keep running into among those who feel like the "have-nots" in Asheville. People who take pride in their appearance and weigh an ounce less than Raskin should not be scrutinized for liking finer things and supporting different forms of progression in Asheville."
— Milly Lark, Letter to the editor, Sept. 19
"Big Bro's crowing was the one thing that set where I live apart -- a sliver of nature in the city, if you will. I always looked for the chickens when leaving my apartment during the day. ... Yesterday, I was informed by a man in my building that he had shot Big Bro with his buddy's BB gun."
— Rachel Applefield on a local feral chicken, Letter to the editor, Sept. 26
"The same ways that someone can hack into your computer, theoretically they can do the same thing to your copier."
— James Reasor, training manager at Charlotte Copy Data, on the data risks inherent in digital copiers, quoted in "The Biz," Oct. 3
"Bike commuting? Fair-trade coffee? Check. With organic food, biodiesel and potluck dinners around every Asheville corner, why bother moving to a community, anyway?"
— Alli Marshall, quoted in "Let's Move In Together," Oct. 3
"Fortunately, we have the support of the people."
— Amro Ali, co-owner of Ali Baba in the Grove Arcade, on the ongoing dispute with the building's management over whether the eatery can stay, quoted in "Let Them Eat Falafel," Oct. 3
"It's like walking through the pathways of his brain."
— Michelle Moog-Koussa, daughter of the late electronic-music pioneer Bob Moog, on the experience of mining her father's recently discovered archives, in "Conscious Party," Oct. 3
"Watching the lush paradise of Asheville being impermeably paved by apostate-hippie City Council members, I sometimes believe that our only chance is to spike the Western North Carolina coffee supply with pot."
— Columnist Bill Branyon, quoted in his commentary "Marijuana Mellow Drama," Oct. 10
"[Billy] Graham needs critics. His grandfatherly image and astounding record of service in ministry have caused many supporters to sanitize his career."
— Writer Seth Dowland in "Judgment Days," Oct. 10
"Graham learned from his mistakes -- most notably after Watergate -- and he recalibrated his relationship with the presidency."
— Writer Seth Dowland in "Judgment Days," Oct. 10
"Think Dell in Austin; think Microsoft in Seattle, and Red Hat in the Triangle [area]. The success story becomes the magnet for other entrepreneurs."
— Jim Roberts, former Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council director, on the potential local ramifications of Asheville's hot dot-com, BUILDERadius.com, quoted in "The Biz," Oct. 17
"The instructions for the upcoming Zombie Walk (Asheville's second such event) are simple: Get ready by burying your clothes."
— Alli Marshall, quoted in "The Death of the Party," Oct. 17
"I think there's two natural slates here. We've got three progressive candidates, and we have three candidates who are not as progressive. They'll be more inclined to maintain the status quo with respect to development in the city."
— Elaine Lite campaign worker Jake Quinn, assessing the victors in the Asheville City Council primary, quoted in "The More Things Change ...," Oct. 17
"This is a pretty big iron. You could do 12 pairs of pants at once with it."
— Asheville Parks and Recreation employee Brandon Rogers on the giant flatiron sculpture on the corner of Wall Street and Battery Park Avenue, quoted in "Scrub, Scrub Here, Scrub, Scrub There," Oct. 17
"Charlie's role is -- as I told City Council -- to bring it to a level that they can understand. They're not listening to me; maybe they'll listen to a puppet."
— Street preacher and City Council candidate Chris Chiaromonte on the use of his hand puppet, "Charlie," in the Council chamber, quoted in "Askville," Oct. 24
"We're all enthusiastic but we're also realistic. ... We're all in our 30s: That puts us in a different bracket. I don't want to say mature, but ..."
— The Broomstars bassist Jared White, quoted in "Clean Sweep," Oct. 24
"We're plopping in an oversized building that's equivalent to two vertical Wal-Marts."
— Bob Malkin of Asheville Citizen Voices on the proposed high-rise The Ellington, quoted in "Clear Sailing," Oct. 24
"It's going to give Asheville what it needs -- 12 months a year."
— Café on the Square owner Tracy Adler on The Ellington, quoted in "Clear Sailing," Oct. 24
If you were an animal, what would it be?
"A kangaroo: I am cute, bouncy, I carry my kids around with me everywhere, and I kick ass."
— Asheville City Council member Bryan Freeborn, quoted in Xpress' voter guide, Oct. 31
"I am writing to express my outrage and sadness at learning that Cecil Bothwell -- many times winner of the Xpress' "best journalist" award -- [has been fired] for being too outspoken. I have always enjoyed and learned a great deal from reading Cecil's insightful, thoroughly researched and beautifully written stories, and I believe many other readers feel the same way."
— Cathy Holt, Letter to the editor, Oct. 31
"With all the horrors out of Washington, for the Xpress to fire [Cecil] Bothwell -- for whatever reason outside of treason to the U.S.A. -- is, frankly, a puzzle, a wonderment and notoriously bad judgment."
— Peter Loewer, Letter to the editor, Oct. 31
"Before you rush to judgment about the loss of one of your favorite reporters, please at least consider this: You don't have enough facts to adequately assess the basis for Xpress management's decision to drop Bothwell from its news team. ... And we ask readers to at least allow for the possibility that we will proceed with some measure of intelligence, vision and professionalism. After all, we have helped steer a pioneering Asheville media outlet that's been part of this community since 1987, and we don't believe we've sold our souls, forsaken our mission or lost our minds."
— Xpress Publisher Jeff Fobes and Managing Editor Jon Elliston, letter to readers, Oct. 31
"If you look at the facts, it's pretty clear. People, other Realtors, will give you positive [feedback on the strength of the market], but in reality there are about 30 percent more houses on the market [than last year], and they're just not selling."
— Local unidentified Realtor describing the Asheville housing market, quoted in "The Biz," Nov. 7
"They call me e/ that's empty/ that's every/ that's eager/ that's easy/ that's effort/ that's eat me ... endless ever-change/ every style/ every name ... i am him/ slim with the tilted brim/ you know you know him."
— Soul musician Jar-e, quoted in "Soul Food," Nov. 7
"It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press
It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble
It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote ...
It is the VETERAN
— Excerpt from "It is the Veteran," a controversial poem planned for, but ultimately dropped from, the future WNC Veterans Memorial, quoted in "The Writing on the Wall," Nov. 7
"Well, people will say all kinds of things. I don't see how anyone could criticize it."
— Richard Griffin, chair of the WNC Veterans Memorial board, on the "It is the Veteran" poem, quoted in "The Writing on the Wall," Nov. 7
"It's a dangerous message for young people to see ... to think that all the liberties they enjoy are due to the military, when that's just not so. They're due to a history of struggle by many Americans."
— Poem critic Wally Bowen, quoted in "The Writing on the Wall," Nov. 7
"Now imagine a colorful altar erected in front of the Vance Monument, bedecked with golden marigolds. Splendid in a red sari, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, perches on a pedestal shaped like a lotus flower. Her arms are outstretched, and from her hands a cascade of golden coins falls on the lotus below. The falling coins remind Ashevilleans that money must be kept in circulation, not hoarded -- the true secret of prosperity."
— Eira Patnaik, in her commentary "Transforming Asheville -- Diwali: the Indian Festival of Lights," Nov. 7
"I'm sure that our opponents will attach the development community to us, and [say] that the end of the world is going to come."
— Newly re-elected Asheville City Council member Jan Davis, quoted in "Change in the Weather?" Nov. 14
"If somebody comes out and says the homosexuals are putting fluoride in our water, which is why the birth rate is going down, the old model is Wolf Blitzer saying, 'OK, you believe homosexuals are putting fluoride in the water. Now we have somebody else to present the other side of the argument, which is that homosexuals are not putting fluoride in the water.' When of course the appropriate reaction to this is, 'You're nuts! How nuts are you? Are you off your meds?'"
— Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me's Peter Sagal, quoted in "You're Nuts! How Nuts Are You?!" Nov. 14
"It's a wonderful feeling to have people gushing over me. I suppose I'm guilty of meeting someone that I love and admire and I'm still going 'Oh my God!' It's human nature. I've got people that do it to me, and I'm totally aware of it. But I'm just an a**hole like everyone else."
— Blondie's Deborah Harry, quoted in "Beyond Blondie," Nov. 14
"The voters have expressed their will on it, so it's time to move on."
— Asheville City Council member Brownie Newman on the referendum in which 80 percent of voters rejected a proposal he'd backed to switch to partisan elections, quoted in "Nonpartisans Rule in Referendum," Nov. 14
"I don't live or die based on whether or not I'm on City Council."
— Asheville City Council member Bryan Freeborn in the aftermath of his defeat in the Nov. 7 election, quoted in "Regressive Progressives," Nov. 14
"We thought there was some pent-up enthusiasm for Dunkin' Donuts, but it has certainly exceeded our expectations."
— Scott Shealy, local Dunkin' Donuts franchisee understating the phenomenal local launch of the brand, quoted in "The Biz," Nov. 20
"Here we're blowing down something of significance -- and we could preserve it if we wanted to."
— Enka resident Jerry Rice on the imminent felling of the American Enka smokestacks, quoted in "When the Stacks Come Down," Nov. 20
"Thanksgiving is probably second only to Christmas Day in terms of moviegoing -- and I suspect that the dynamic is the same with both. Dragging everyone off to the movies late in the afternoon has probably prevented more mass murders than you could comfortably count."
— Ken Hanke, quoted in "A Different Breed of Holiday Turkey," Nov. 20
"The genius who first mixed spandex with cotton is my hero. I'm serious. What's one of my secrets to surviving momhood? Yoga pants. Yoga pants rule."
— Anne Fitten "Edgy Mama" Glenn, quoted in "Yoga Pants Rule," Nov. 28
"Most of the things that are referenced in the press about our shows happened a few years ago. The urination, the vomiting, the nudity -- that was all a few years ago. That didn't happen that often to begin with, and it doesn't happen that often now."
— The Black Lips' Joe Bradley, quoted in "Good at Being Bad," Dec. 5
"As a parent, it's hard to find kid music that doesn't annoy you."
— Cactus (aka Agent 23, and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo), on the motivation behind creating his "kid-hop" album Easy, quoted in "More Fun Than a Purple Dinosaur," Dec. 5
"I don't care about someone's private life. If you want to have sex with a duck, as long as you buy it and it's of legal age, then that's your business. But don't push it on others."
— Buncombe County resident and Carolina Stomper Don Yelton, drawing an analogy to homosexuality, quoted in "Fighting Mad," Dec. 5
"They oppose gay marriage, they oppose homosexuality. ... They're moralistic, and it's very dangerous. I think the Carolina Stompers exemplify everything that's wrong about the Republican Party in Buncombe County."
— Activist and blogger Tim Peck, quoted in "Fighting Mad," Dec. 5
"There was one young woman who would pitch a small tent as the headquarters for her preaching. I overheard one of the men say that for $5 she would lay that Bible down, take you inside the tent, and teach you what salvation was really all about."
— Jerry Sternberg in his commentary "The Gospel According to Jerry: Short-lived Stock and Enduring Bonds," Dec. 5
"I believe in the cake, and I knew it was going to happen."
— Avi Sommerville, president of Highcliffe Baked Goods, on the growing national success of her World's Best Carrot Cake, quoted in "The Biz," Dec. 12
"It's hard, what we do to put food on a plate. Then to add something like this that doesn't even bring in revenue? It boggles the mind."
— Restaurateur and Greenbeanery co-owner Joe Scully on a new state law requiring eateries to recycle their cans and bottles, quoted in "Bottleneck," Dec. 12
"DoDos? DODOS?! What are you, retahded? ... D'n'Ds, Double Ds, or even Drunkin' Blonuts are all common and acceptable terms of endearment for the beloved chain, but DoDos? NoNo."
— Stu Helm, Letter to the editor on a nickname for Dunkin' Donuts used in "The Biz," Dec. 12
"My point being that musicians tend to see the importance of giving back; in some cases musicians and artists maybe see that importance a little bit more because they feel blessed to do what they do for a living. And so when it takes a day or two out of your life -- doing what you love and doing what you do every day anyway -- and turning that into building houses for people who can't afford houses, it's a beautiful thing."
— Warren Haynes on the reason performers love to play the Christmas Jam, quoted in "Tis the Season for Jam," Dec. 12
"I'm very proud of Frampton Comes Alive!; it's a great record with some great playing on it. It was a very incredible and amazing experience, and I wouldn't want to go through it again."
— Rock legend Peter Frampton, quoted in "Zen and the Art Of Solo Guitar," Dec. 12
"As things get more generic, more homogenized, more corporate and streamlined, the South stands out as a place made up of quite unique individuals, for whatever reasons, good and bad."
— Southern Culture on the Skids' Rick Miller, quoted in "Redneck Love-in," Dec. 12
"As much as I love doing it, I don't want it to be the only thing I'm known for. Already people walk up to me going, 'Hey, you're that elf guy.'"
— Local actor Tom Chalmers on why he may turn in his pointy shoes after the 2007 production of The Santaland Diaries, quoted in "Holiday Jeer," Dec. 12
"Here's the stone-cold truth of the matter: You must agree to give up sleep, sex and the society of sane adults for most of the first year of each child's life. ... You'll deal with projectile vomit, diarrhea, snot and other disgusting bodily fluids on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. You'll break up sibling fights, work to uphold self-esteem, and try not to react when your teenager comes home with an earring in his lip. Basically, you'll agree to love, support and nurture your kids until the day you die."
— Anne Fitten "Edgy Mama" Glenn, quoted in "Kids Giveth and Kids Taketh Away," Dec. 19
"A press release from the U.S. attorney's office charges that [former Sheriff Bobby] Medford and his deputies 'deprived the citizens of Buncombe County of their right to their honest services, performed free from deceit, favoritism, self-enrichment, self-dealing, concealment and conflict of interest, by participating in an alleged conspiracy related to illegal video-poker machines' during Medford's time in office."
— From "High Stakes," Dec. 19
"If the charges are true, this is a black eye on county administration, it's a black eye on the commissioners, and it's a black eye for the Sheriff's Office. This is going to increase people's cynicism about government and law enforcement. I hope these charges aren't true. Bobby Medford did a lot of good for this county. I voted for him. But if this is true, then I made a mistake."
— Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Nathan Ramsey, quoted in "High Stakes," Dec. 19