On March 9th, 2018 the Citizen Times published a story about Carl Mumpower and his views on the amount of liberal indoctrination in Asheville City Schools.
As a student at Asheville Middle School, I can give a first hand account of the type of education that is provided. Based on experience, the teachers and administrators do not push their beliefs onto us students. They did not pressure us to or to not participate in Thursday's walk out, just as they did not pressure us to participate in the women's march. I feel that the fact that Mumpower is accusing the teachers of forcing their beliefs is simply not backed up by anything except a guest speaker. I am referring to the guest speaker he mentioned in his article, Asheville High School invited a guest speaker in to talk to a group of art students, this person was transgender. This is how Carl Mumpower is saying that the teachers forcing liberalism on the students.
Aside from this, Carl Mumpower is a Psychologist. It seems that his work is controversial, one review on google reads “Dr. Mumpower has been amazing. He has such great insight and I also am grateful he and I share many of the same views... That brings comfort to me with his counsel.” While another reads “Carl is very arrogant and condescending. He also forces his political beliefs on everyone he interacts with. When those political beliefs involve racism as well as transphobic and homophobic tendencies, that crosses the line. He is a mediocre psychologist at best (kindly stated) and disinterested in psychology in general; he longs to hold political office again but cannot win any elections. I wonder why? He regards his patients as mentally inferior which is interesting coming from someone who graduated from the Union Institute and University (not exactly Harvard University!). If it were possible to give 0 stars, I would!” Based on these reviews it seems that people who share the same beliefs are very supportive, while people who do not are very clear that they were not benefited from seeing him as a psychologist.
I do not think Mumpower is qualified to make the statement he did. He has no right to blame Asheville City Schools for his transphobic beliefs. In the future Asheville City Schools staff will continue to separate their political beliefs with their teaching.
Story by Olive Donochod
We all know that Asheville has some amazing restaurants and some are even on top ten places to eat internationally. Here are some of my favorite places that I have been to. I clearly haven’t been to most places in Asheville, but here are places I have been to and something about each one.
-Ganshan Station is a good place if you are an adventurous eater. The menu is limited, but the food is really good.
-China Taste has amazing food but not the best surroundings. Other than the appearance, China Taste is a great place to eat if you like greasy Chinese food.
Southern Soul Food Restaurants-
-Homegrown is a family-friendly southern place on Merrimon Ave. in North Asheville. It is a great place to eat if you are really hungry. I recommend the fried buttermilk chicken and fries.
-Mouse Café is another good southern place. I love their biscuits and they do a great job decorating. It is very cozy and has many options.
-Biscuit Head happens to be a great place if you love savory breakfast meals. They too do a good job decorating and have more than one location.
-Chai Pani is an amazing place to eat if you love classic Indian and are expecting some savory food. I personally think they serve fantastic Mango Lassis.
-Salsa’s happens to be one of my favorite restaurants in Asheville because everything tastes so fresh and natural. I haven’t tasted a dish I haven’t liked there, and an advantage is the setting is in the middle of downtown.
-White Duck Taco shop has a bunch of different dishes and each has a set of assorted flavors. I like how welcoming the inventory seems and the whole place just gives a good vibe.
-Urban Burrito has a assortment of spices and flavor. It is located in a friendly complex and gives off an expected Mexican vibe.
-Zen Sushi is exceptional place to eat if you are looking for some savory and flavorful sushi. If it’s your first time trying sushi, I recommend the salmon and avocado roll. I think the only downside of going there is, like most sushi places, it is very expensive. .
-Farmburger is a place you want to be, that is, if you aren’t vegetarian. They offer very intense burgers that have a lot of meat on them. This is the place to go if you don’t have a lot of money, but are very hungry.
-Luella's Barbecue happens to be an admirable BBQ place because all of the food is appetizing and quick. They have amazing mac-n-cheese and a great inventory with vintage furniture and posters.
-Mod pizza is one of my favorite pizza places because they have so many options. You can make you own pizza and the options include many different toppings. This is technically considered a chain restaurant, but I think that Asheville is a good place for it.
-Asheville Brewing and Pizza company strikes me as one of the best things to do on a Saturday night. They play movies on a big screen quite often and they have a clever menu. They serve more than just pizza and a bonus is, they have a really cool arcade.
-Sunny point Café’s food doesn’t just taste great, it looks great too! They do a great job of presenting while also make the food fresh. I suggest always getting desert because I have not had a bad dessert there yet.
-If you like eco-friendly, down to earth places to eat, Green Sage Café is your place. They recycle and compost most things and serve fresh and healthful foods. I really enjoy their sausage, egg and cheese sandwich.
Story By Liv Suydam
Would you consider living at the Asheville mall? With the new mall renovation, that is a possibility. The Asheville Mall is undergoing a 45 million dollar renovation. The vision for the updated mall is to upgrade it to a “first class mall” according to Citizen Times. With the changes, the mall will have features such as a six story apartment building, a new ten screen movie theater, new restaurants, and much more.
This new renovation can cause many problems, but a lot of good things could also come from it too. My journalism class had a discussion about the new changes, and here's what we came up with. Our main concern is that the employees at the mall won't be able to afford to live in apartments above the mall. We think that it would be convenient for the workers to be able to live close, but with the average income of a mall worker they wouldn't be able to pay the price for the average Asheville apartment. Another one of our concern is the traffic it will bring to Asheville; Tunnel Road is already pretty crowded. Our last concern is that if it becomes a “first class mall”, will we be able to afford shopping there?
Even though there are some cons to the new mall, there are some pros too. One of the good things coming out of this is that there are going to be more stores to shop at, and more store options. Another good thing is that it will bring more money to the city. Though this renovation can cause some problems and might be a little frustrating, many good thing can come out of it too. What do you think?
Story by Maya Fuchs
Serena Williams came to Asheville and played in the first round Fed Cup against the Netherlands at the U.S. Cellular Center over the weekend. of February 10th. This was the first official match that Serena played that her daughter, Alexis Olympia, had watched, and the first one that Williams had played in 13 months. She also played in a doubles match with her sister, Venus Williams, against Dutch pair Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs. It ended up in a 6-2, 6-3 loss for the Williams sisters. It's an incredible learning experience. “I didn't manage my time well, but I was thinking about it, in the future, how to manage it better. This is literally my first time traveling with the baby and everything. I'm going to try to do better. It was hard. It was the first time for me,“ Williams told the Washington Post on Sunday when asked about bringing her daughter to one of her matches for the first time.
Williams seemed very cool all weekend, wearing bright pink Nike and chatting with her sister any chance that she got. She also made it clear that she's going to pull herself out of her slump and win two more grand slam titles, breaking Margaret Court's record of 24. One of the reasons that Williams is caught in a slump might be the health complications that she's having. She has blood clots forming in her lungs and was sick for six months after giving birth, so she was plenty rusty going into the games over the weekend. While Williams was not technically perfect, the desire was still there. I look forward to seeing her pull herself out of her slump and regain that grand title of number one.
Story by Maddie Tate
At least 1,000 to 4,000 gallons of petroleum fuel has spilled into French Broad River in North Carolina. On a Sunday afternoon earlier this February. It started in one of the tanks in mountain energy they had one of their tanks leaking fuel there trying to find the hot spot where its leaking from in the water. They’re trying to get it contained so they can vac it out or soak it out with special pads. STAY OUT of the French Broad River until further notice; authorities say it is very dangerous.
Story by Abigael Whitney
Asheville is known for its eco friendly tendencies. Many of the people here just tend to hold the environment in a higher light. There are tons of businesses, companies, and partnerships working to teach others about sustaining our environment and being conscious members of society.
With statistics from Numbeo, it is evident that pollution levels in particular are quite low in our city. Using the Air Quality Index (AQI), a healthy quality is between 0-50. In terms of Asheville’s pollution levels, in all categories the levels range between 5.00 and 27.50, all far below even 50. The overall cleanliness and purity of Asheville was also observed with data recorded out of 100. The statistic range between 72.50 and 95.00 showing that Asheville has a very high overall purity. These positive statistics and those like them didn’t just happen on their own however. Many people and/or organizations in Asheville demonstrate environmentally healthy habits that have contributed to this.
Recycling is a large part of Asheville’s self sustaining practices. Citizens of the area are able to recycle a large array of items with recycling pickup occurring bi-weekly. The City of Asheville even has a special campaign by the name of Zero Waste AVL that actively encourages residents to send less waste to the landfill. Another example of an organization working to sustain Asheville, is Asheville GreenWorks. Since 1973, their employees and volunteers have worked to reduce the dependence on landfills.
People have worked to take on the task of having eco-friendly architecture and renovation in the Asheville area. Businesses such as Samsel Architects and Deltec Homes work to make sure their constructions are as environmentally sound as possible. These companies make their vision a reality by creating homes that have a 64% reduction in total energy use or using materials that are 83.8% derived from landfill materials.
Along with these widespread ideas, there are many smaller things that each person can take part in within their individual lifestyles. Many people in Asheville seem to demonstrate healthy lifestyles in general, so giving back to the environment is just a simple addition to someone’s day. People have the opportunity to either simply participate in acts such as recycling or they can even join project groups with missions to keep Asheville healthy.
Story by Krislynn Hawkins
Photo credit - Jeff Adkins, Livability
Do you have anything to do for valentines day? If you don’t, then here are some things you can do with your friends and love ones.
1) You can go to the Valentines dance at Asheville middle school at 4:00pm - 6:00pm on February 16, 2018. Tickets on sale in the Cougar Den for $6, or at the door for $7!
2) You can visit the Biltmore House (1 Lodge St). It is beautiful in many ways; there is a very romantic garden which is great for photo opportunities, very pretty trails to walk, and it makes you feel like you are in another time period.
3) You could go to the Chocolate Lounge (10 S Pack Square). They have amazing chocolate that is made in Asheville, plus you're supporting a local business. It feels very classy, and perfect for valentines. Also, you don't have to spend that much money!
4) Last, but definitely not least, you can go to the local business called Well Played. It is a restaurant with a combination of over 500 bored games and snacks! This place is perfect for a date if you don't wanna go somewhere super fancy, or if you just want to hangout with friends on valentines. It is located at 58 Wall St.
Story by Aiyana Childs
Saturday, January 19th: Over 7,000 men, women and children gather at memorial stadium. They all have a common goal, equality of the sexes. We Interviewed two of the four high school girls who put this event together, and they helped us understand how they made this massive event a reality.
The first young woman we interviewed was Sawyer Taylor Arnold. She is a junior at Asheville high, and an avid supporter of women’s rights. When she was asked how she started the planning of the march, she said “I started planning shortly after Thanksgiving with Sarah Kate Head, one of the organizers.” She also said she worked on t-shirt orders, answering emails and taking phone calls.
Organizing such a large public event had some struggles, some of these included lack of funding, getting permits, and finding a space to hold 7,000+ people. In Sawyer’s words, “Because we didn't have the funds to get permits this year, we had to be very strategic about the placement of the march and we had to run things by the city a lot of the time to make sure that they were legal and/or safe”.
The other organizer we interviewed was Sarah Kate head, a sophomore at Asheville High School. When we asked her about who some big supporters were in Asheville, she said “Our mentor throughout the process was Marie L. Germain, who organized the very successful Women's March on Asheville in 2017. She was most definitely our biggest supporter throughout the organization of the march; always being there when we faced any issues or had any questions. She is a big influence to me and the girls, and motivated us as we went along. We are very grateful to have had her by our side, especially due to the fact that she was busy taking over the march in Philly.” We also asked her how they were able to get speakers to talk at the Women's March, and she responded with “When we were thinking about who we wanted to speak at the march, we first had to think about what we wanted them to say and who would fit best for it. We have so many amazing women in office around us and the girls and I are so inspired by them. Honestly, we started to shoot out emails here and there, and we were so lucky to have found those who we did to speak at the march. We wanted inspiring women; women who would have a strong voice to speak up about the goals of the march and the goals of the movement in general!”.
This march was an overwhelming success, and could not have been possible without the strength, charisma, and determination of these young ladies. They proved that anything is possible when you put your mind to it, which is such a valuable lesson for girls all around the world. When we asked Sarah Kate for any advice she may have to other girls who were looking to make a change in the world she said “The biggest advice I can give young women is to not be afraid; to not back down under the pressure that society build on top of our shoulders. Speak up! Talk to people about it, look around for clubs or organizations where you can feel comfortable and open. I think that every young women has the capability of moving people's minds and hearts, but the first thing one has to do is shed the anxiety, insecurity, or fear that has been layering and replace it with confidence, with courage, and with a voice.” Sawyer had some great advice for young girls as well, she said “Some of the best advice I've ever gotten was from my dad, who told me that if you don't feel uncomfortable, it means your not growing. That doesn't mean you have to feel uncomfortable all the time, but push yourself to do things you haven't done before and don't be afraid of the unknown!” Both of these quotes had a common theme, working through the unknown always pays off. These ladies did an amazing job taking their own advice and planning the Women’s March on Asheville!
Story by Alana Kendrick and Ginger Hanlon
Asheville is a community full of foodies and restaurant owners, and Asheville Middle has a small paradise of families in this category: restaurant owners. Throughout every grade at Asheville Middle, there are students with families that own these restaurants. These restaurants include a very large variety of food all around town; they include food categories such as southern comfort food, pizza places, Chinese food, and even Thai food.
Southern comfort food, a delicious range of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and chicken and waffles. Southern comfort is made by home cooks all over the south, but some of the best darn chicken and waffles you can get aren’t homemade at all, they are made right here in Asheville, North Carolina at King Daddy’s. They offer a large variety of waffle flavors and other comfort foods. Another delicious comfort restaurant is Early Girl Eatery. Early Girl is located in the heart of downtown and offers a wide variety of food, and they serve anything from breakfast food to salads and sandwiches.
Another type of food that is in the Asheville city schools restaurant family is Chinese food. Asheville middle has 2 different families with Chinese food restaurants. First off there is Metro Chinese in North Asheville, and China Taste in West Asheville. Both are local and offer delicious Chinese food. Another delicious restaurant featuring Asian cuisine is Little Bee Thai on South French Broad. Little Bee Thai is a small restaurant with big flavor, they offer delicious Pad Thai and other great Thai appetizers and entrees.
Another Asheville Middle family owned restaurant is Barley’s Taproom and Pizza. They are located in Downtown AVL and offer a variety of dinner and lunch foods ranging from hot and cheesy pizza to awesome subs and salads. Another delicious downtown Asheville Middle family owned restaurant is Limones, offering modern Californian and authentic Mexican food. They serve delicious brunch, amazing lunch, and delectable dinner.
No matter which of these AMS family restaurants you chose, you can’t go wrong. They offer all different kinds of scrumptious meals and styles. So get out there and try some delicious Asheville food, AND support your cougar family!
Story by Ginger Hanlon
On the evening of December 31, 2017 (New Year's Eve), Western North Carolina experienced what was described as an ‘ice storm.’ A down fall of sleet covered the streets and froze over forming a layer of ice. This layer of ice made it near impossible to drive anywhere in the area. Due to the circumstances however (it being New Year's Eve), the number of cars on the roads was dangerous. There were 56 car accidents in Haywood County alone. The surprising hit of winter weather on the region brought a trail of cold temperatures along with it. One teacher at Asheville Middle School said on social media that she saw over 100 accidents on her way from Tennessee to here home near Hendersonville. They shut down the freeway leaving people trapped. One AMS student says “On our way home from Michigan the weather got so bad we were trapped in Kentucky because we knew we wouldn't be able to make it home on New Year's Eve." The strange weather front has taken a toll on Asheville and schools in the area causing multiple cancellations and a huge amount of delays.
Story by Aislinn Nash