Asheville to stop urban renewal land sales; activists question company’s exception


Rob Thomas has been a chief proponent of the city’s landmark reparations program. He uses his life to illustrate systemic problems related to race.

Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE – The City Council has voted to stop selling municipally-owned land obtained during urban renewal, a 50-year-old program that levelled Black communities in the name of blight removal. 

Activists and other members of the public praised the 6-1 vote Oct. 27 but questioned an exception given to one company and said profits from that sale should go to the city’s reparations program. 

“What a strong statement it would be if you would take that money, all of it, preferably, at least some of it if not, and put it towards a reparations fund,” said Linda Smith of Candler who called in to the virtual council meeting.

Stopping the sale of once-privately owned land obtained to turn neighborhoods into roads, parks and

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How to Stop the Next Invitation Homes.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After the financial crisis in 2008, deep-pocketed Wall Street groups, seeing an opportunity to profit from non-rich people’s misfortune, bought single-family houses out of foreclosure in bulk from public entities at bargain prices, and then formed companies to rent them out. The resulting companies — Invitation Homes and American Homes 4 Rent being the largest — turned out to be terrible landlords. These companies have infamously skimped on maintenance, subjected tenants to non-negotiable annual rent hikes, and often create no-win legal situations for the people living in their homes without tenant protections. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to bring about mass foreclosures yet again, advocates and nonprofits are trying to get ahead of the situation so it doesn’t repeat itself.

Andrew Jakobovic, vice-president for policy development at Enterprise Community Partners, cowrote a new paper about just that, hoping to jump-start conversations about how to

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‘Immediately stop using’: Numerous well-known wipes products sold in Canada recalled due to infection fears

Health Canada has issued a large recall of numerous wipes products sold in Halton region and across Canada due to a possible contamination that could cause infections.

The recall involves Cottonelle & Cottonelle GentlePlus Flushable Wipes products. The company reported that more than two million units of the affected products were sold in Canada.

“Some of the recalled products may have the presence of a common household micro-organism, Pluralibacter gergoviae,” Health Canada said in a statement. “Pluralibacter gergoviae rarely causes serious infections in healthy individuals. Individuals with weakened immune systems, who suffer from a serious pre-existing condition, who have been treated surgically, or belong to another sensitive group of persons are at an increased risk of infection if they use the contaminated product.”

The affected products were sold from Feb. 14, 2020, to Oct. 7, 2020, Health Canada said.

As of Oct. 7, the company has received no reports of

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City Council could stop sale of land from urban renewal


Duke University professor William Darity says “the case for reparations are predicated on three phases of American history.”


ASHEVILLE – The City Council might stop the sale of city-owned land obtained during projects that activists and others say displaced Black communities.

The council could act as soon as Oct. 27 to temporarily halt land obtained during urban renewal projects that started at least 50 years ago, city staff said.

The proposal, which received a 3-0 positive vote Oct. 12 from the council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, would be a “vital next step” for the city’s recently enacted reparations program, historian and activist Sasha Mitchell said. That landmark program, approved by the council this summer, calls for repairing damage done by systemic racism, including boosting Black home ownership and access to affordable housing.

This photo, taken in 1958, shows an African-American family watching the highway grading. The construction

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QC gov’t lifts stop order vs condo construction in Barangay Marilag

QC gov’t lifts stop order vs condo construction in Barangay Marilag

The local government of Quezon City has lifted its cease and desist order against the construction of a 40-storey condominium in Barangay Marilag, which initially faced complaints for making noise even during nighttime.

Quezon City officials lifted on October 20 the stop order against DMCI after the latter submitted an affidavit of undertaking.

In its sworn statement, DMCI, the project developer of 40-storey Infina Towers, said that it will “eliminate/lessen/mitigate the construction noise/sound produced by any equipment or any construction activity.”

It added that their construction activities “shall not go beyond 7 p.m. and shall not start prior to 7 a.m. except for jobs that do not cause noise/sound such as painting and/or finishing works and the unloading to the ground of construction materials

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Home Builders Keep Building New Houses, Latest Data Show. Why They Won’t Stop.

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A sign is posted in front of new homes for sale at Hamilton Cottages in Novato, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Single-family home construction remained strong in September, according to preliminary data released by the Census Bureau Tuesday—and there are indications building will continue into the fall.

Single-family housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,108,000, an increase of 8.5% month over month and 22.3% year over year, while multifamily starts fell. Total starts rose to a rate of 1,415,000, up 11.1% year over year and about 2% above August’s revised figure of 1,388,000. The pace of single-family starts in September was the highest since the summer of 2007, National Association of Homebuilders chief economist
Robert Dietz
wrote in a blog post.

While single-family starts continued to rise, total starts for September came in below FactSet’s consensus estimate of 1,460,000. EISI homebuilding analyst Stephen Kim reminded

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Commission orders Nebraska GOP to stop contractor’s robocalls | Articles

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Public Service Commission again ordered the Nebraska Republican Party to stop contracting with a Missouri company to place robocalls in the contentious District 1 legislative race.

State regulators Tuesday unanimously ratified the cease and-desist order against the Nebraska GOP and its auto-dialing contractor, Kansas City-based Remington Research Group, on Tuesday, one week after initially approving it.

The second vote was necessary because of an error in publishing the notice of the Oct. 7 meeting.

Earlier this month, District 1 legislative candidate Janet Palmtag filed a complaint claiming that a robocall placed by the Nebraska GOP falsely said Palmtag was lying about endorsements from several prominent Republicans, including former Gov. Dave Heineman and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry.

The state commission found that the robocalls placed on behalf of incumbent State Sen. Julie Slama — appointed in 2018 to the Legislature by Gov. Pete Ricketts —violated state law because

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