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Energy Innovation Task Force Announces Cancellation of Duke’s Peaker Plant, Honors Community Partners

The Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) is excited to announce that through community collaboration, the gas-fired peaker plant, originally planned for 2023, has been pushed out beyond 2032. “Delaying the need for any additional natural gas-fired generation in Buncombe County beyond 2032 is a big deal. The facility would have cost residential and business ratepayers more than $100 million paid for through higher electricity bills,” notes EITF member and Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Brownie Newman. The peaker plant would have been used to ensure electricity production during peak demand times such as the coldest winter days.  Click here to read more


THE NEW COLUSSUS by Emma Lazarus (followed by Readers’ Poems for 2017)

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


A NATION OF WEAVERS : The social renaissance is happening from the ground up

By David Brooks

Social fragmentation is the core challenge of our day. We long to be together, but we are apart. We are isolated by distrust, polarization, trauma and incivility. We live in a hyper-individualistic culture that pays lip service to community but which actually values success above relationship, ego above care, the market above society and tribal divisions over common humanity. A Nation of Weavers

~Sent in by Anne Bonnyman~


Marie Colvin: an Amazing Woman Whose Life Was Cut Short Trying to Present Us with the Truth

Mr. Harris is an independent historian and a regular contributor to the History News Network. For more information see www.JamesThorntonHarris.com.

2018 was an annus horribilis for freedom of the press.  Reporters Without Borders announced that 63 professional journalists were killed, of whom 49 were specifically targeted for death by an army or rebel group. 


Gloria Steinem says these are the best guidelines for difficult conversations

By Leah Fessler 

Gloria Steinem is one of the most legendary social-justice organizers and writers in American history. Having fought at the forefront of the women’s movement since the 1960s, Steinem, now 84, has hardly slowed down. She’s been an advocate for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and this month, her life’s work became the subject of an off-Broadway play.


Brittney Cooper on rage as a superpower

Emily Wilson | ARTS AND CULTUREFEMINISM

In the conversation with writer and Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Otis Taylor Jr.talked with her about rage, the hearings to put Brett Kavanuagh, credibly accused of sexual assault by three women, on the Supreme Court, and tennis player Serena Williams’ recent experience with an umpire at the U.S. Open. 


Sahle-Work Zewde becomes Ethiopia’s first female president

from BBC News

Ethiopian members of parliament have elected Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president. Ms Sahle-Work is an experienced diplomat who has now become Africa’s only female head of state. Her election to the ceremonial position comes a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a cabinet with half the posts taken up by women. 


How Reconstruction Still Shapes American Racism

by Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. in Time and offered by History News Network

Henry Lewis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher university professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

During an interview with Chris Rock for my PBS series ­African American Lives 2, we traced the ancestry of several well-known African Americans. When I told Rock that his great-great-­grandfather Julius Caesar Tingman had served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War — enrolling on March 7, 1865, a little more than a month after the Confederates evacuated from Charleston, S.C. — he was brought to tears.


TRUST WOMEN: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice by Rebecca Todd Peters

Publisher’s Weekly – February 26, 2018 – starred review

In this courageous, personal book, Peters, a Presbyterian minister and religious studies professor at Elon University, argues that abortion is used to shame women, control their bodies, and manipulate their choices.


American Psychological Association issues first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys

By Stephanie Pappas

For the first time ever, APA is releasing guidelines to help psychologists work with men and boys.

At first blush, this may seem unnecessary. For decades, psychology focused on men (particularly white men), to the exclusion of all others. And men still dominate professionally and politically: As of 2018, 95.2 percent of chief operating officers at Fortune 500 companies were men. According to a 2017 analysis by Fortune, in 16 of the top companies, 80 percent of all high-ranking executives were male. Meanwhile, the 115th Congress, which began in 2017, was 81 percent male.


How the media should respond to Trump’s lies

By 

A linguist explains how Trump uses lies to divert attention from the “big truths.”

President Donald Trump has hacked the media.

As Vox’s Ezra Klein argued recently, the press is in a lose-lose situation — and we all know it. Trump thrives on opposition, and often the media plays right into his hands, feverishly chasing every lie and half-truth he utters or tweets.


A LIBERAL EXPLANATION OF SOME SIMPLE BELIEFS – I just want to be understood…

by Larry Allen

An open letter to friends and family who are shocked to discover I’m a liberal… I’ve always been a liberal, but that doesn’t mean what a lot of you apparently think it does. Let’s break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: Not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines:

1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.


The Ancient Metaphor that Created Modern Sexism

By Robert S. McElvaine in the Washington Post 

Where does sexism come from? Why do evangelicals ignore the president’s serial mistreatment of women? Why does the U.S. Constitution still not guarantee equality for women? Why do women earn less than men? Why didn’t most conservatives care whether the accusations of sexual assault brought against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh were true?


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