December 6, 2016: LONELY PLANET NAMES ASHEVILLE 'BEST PLACE TO VISIT IN UNITED STATES IN 2017'
Travel publisher Lonely Planet has named Asheville as the number one place in the United States to visit in 2017. Lonely Planet gave Asheville the No. 1 position despite the LGBTQ controversy over House Bill 2 introduced by the Republican't-dominated Legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, who lost a bid for reelection this year in part due to his support of what many have called a hate bill. Asheville "has always been an open, welcoming place, and continues to be after the legislation," Lonely Planet magazine Managing Editor Rebecca Warren said. "While Lonely Planet doesn't condone the political exclusion of others, Asheville thrives on diversity and tolerance. The city has many LGBT-owned businesses and there has been an outpouring of support this year for its LGBT communities, including signs cropping up around the city saying 'Y'all means all,'" said Warren.
December 5, 2016: MCCRORY FINALLY CONCEDES TO DEMOCRAT ROY COOPER IN GOVERNOR'S RACE
After more than a month of protesting and costing North Carolina taxpayers millions in legal fees and recount costs, NC Governor Pat McCrory, an Ohio native, finally conceded the gubernatorial election to Democrat Roy Cooper. The final count showed that Cooper won by more than 10,000 votes. Although Donald Trump won the presidential vote in North Carolina, Democrats bucked the regional and national trend by electing Democrats to key state positions including the Governorship, Secretary of State and Attorney General. Democrats also flipped the state Supreme Court, with a win by Mike Morgan. North Carolina lost hundreds of millions of dollars in new business investment and tourism due to the passage of HB 2, which was opposed strongly in progressive urban areas of North Carolina including Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and others. Hundreds of CEOs of national companies publicly opposed the bill, which stripped civils rights protections from LBGTQ citizens and from minorities including African-Americans.
December 4, 2016: WILDFIRES IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA DROWNED BY RAIN, NOW FULLY CONTAINED
Rain and showers over a period of several days have extinguished the wildfires that had burned thousands of acres of mountain land in Western North Carolina.
November 30, 2016: NEW ELECTIONS FOR STATE LEGISLATURE TO BE HELD IN 2017 DUE TO RACIST GERRYMANDERING BY GOP
Federal courts have mandated that North Carolina hold new elections for State Senate and House seats in 2017, a year earlier than normal, due to mapping of electoral districts by Republican'ts that, the courts concluded, were designed to deny African-Americans and other minorities equal voting rights.
July 28, 2016: ROLLS-ROYCE OWNERS' CLUB HOLDING ITS NATIONAL MEET IN ASHEVILLE; 275 MOTORCARS ON DISPLAY
The Rolls-Royce Owners' Club (RROC), the largest association of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcar owners and enthusiasts in North America, is holding its annual National Meet in Asheville July 31-August 4. Nearly 1,000 owners and their families have registered for the convention, the largest turnout since the National Meet in Colonial Williamsburg in 2008. The headquarters hotel is the Omni Grove Park Inn. About 275 Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars are scheduled to be displayed on the front lawn area of the Biltmore House on Thursday, August 4, during the judging part of the Meet. Visitors to Biltmore House will be able to see the motorcars in person, ranging from antique, classic, veteran and vintage vehicles manufactured in the early to mid-20th century to new Rolls-Royce and Bentley models. Other events during the National Meet include caravan drives to various destinations in Asheville and around Western North Carolina, educational sessions and banquets for members of different Rolls-Royce and Bentley model groups. Mary White of Winston-Salem and Jeff Trepel of Charlotte are co-hosting the RROC Meet.
July 27, 2016: LAN SLUDER AND ROSE LAMBERT-SLUDER TAPPED BY FODOR'S TO UPDATE BEST-SELLING GUIDE
Fodor's, one of the world's oldest and most-respected guidebook publishing companies, has announced it will publish a new 7th edition of the best-selling Fodor's Belize. Lan Sluder will be working on updating the guidebook starting in August 2016. Rose Lambert-Sluder, Lan Sluder's daughter, also has been selected by Fodor's to work on the new edition. Lan Sluder, the author of 28 books and ebooks, including 18 on Belize, has been reporting on that country for more than 25 years and has authored all six previous editions of Fodor's Belize, which also includes a section on Tikal and Flores, Guatemala. Before that, he co-authored Fodor's Belize and Guatemala. Lambert-Sluder has been traveling in Belize and elsewhere in Central America since she was 3 years old. She also has traveled extensively in Eastern and Western Europe. Lambert-Sluder spent a gap year traveling and volunteering in Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and elsewhere in South America. As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill she took part in study abroad program in Istanbul, Turkey. In June 2016, she received her Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Oregon, where she was Graduate Teaching Fellow. "I'm pleased and proud that Rose will be working with me on this book, and I think she will bring a new, youthful perspective to the guide," said Sluder. The new edition of Fodor's Belize is set for publication in spring 2017. Lan Sluder has done other Fodor's guides, including writing Fodor's InFocus: Great Smoky Mountains National Park and co-authoring Fodor's The Carolinas & Georgia. Lambert-Sluder has been named a Hawthornden Fellow at Hawthornden castle near Edinburgh, Scotland.
July 9, 2016: 25 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT DONALD TRUMP
1. Donald, who is notorious for his anti-immigrant statements, comes from a family of immigrants. His mother was an immigrant from Scotland, his grandfather was an immigrant from Germany, and two of his three wives are immigrants from Eastern Europe.
2. Donald has been a member of at least three political parties: Reform Party, also known as Independence Party (1999-2001), Democratic Party (2001-2009) and Republican Party (1987-1999 and 2009-present) although in 2012 he stated he had no party affiliation.
3. Donald once served as financial advisor to boxer Mike Tyson.
4. Donald has been married to two women who were born in Communist countries. First wife Ivana Zelníčková Winklmayr Trump was born in 1949 in the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia, now known as the Czech Republic. Third wife Melania Trump (birth name Melanija Knavs) was born in 1970 in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, now Slovenia. Her father, Viktor Knavs, reportedly was a member of the Slovenia Communist Party, but Donald denies this.
5. Donald reportedly keeps his famous forward-swooping hair style in place by using a product called CHI Helmet Head Hair Spray made by Farouk Systems in Houston, headed by Farouk Shami, a Palestine-American friend of Donald’s.
6. As a young man in his 20s, Donald was said, by New York Times columnist Judy Klemerud and others, to closely resemble Robert Redford.
7. Donald has never used an ATM machine, according to a statement he made on the Conan O’Brien show.
8. Donald has written (more accurately, co-written or had ghost-written) more books any other major presidential candidate in U.S. history except one. He has published at least 17 books, but over his lifetime President Theodore Roosevelt wrote 45 books.
9. In 2013, Donald was inducted in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame.
10. Donald’s second most favorite movie is Gone With the Wind.
11. Donald’s family name originally was Drumpf. His grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf, was born in Kallstadt, Germany. A U.S. immigration officer at Ellis Island changed Drumpf to Trumpf, and Friedrich later dropped the terminal “f.” All his life, Friedrich pretended he was Swedish, not German, and as late as 1987, in his first book, The Art of the Deal, Donald also stated that he was of Swedish heritage.
12. Donald has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded in 2007 for producing The Apprentice.
13. Donald has visited 20 foreign countries. By contrast, Hillary Clinton visited 112 countries during her four-year term as secretary of state.
14. Although his favorite sport is golf, Donald says if he had wanted to he could have become a major league baseball player and that in high school he was the best baseball player in the state of New York.
15. Although Donald usually rides in a chauffeured car, occasionally he takes the wheel and drives himself. His first car was a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.
16. Not only has Donald never smoked or had an alcoholic drink in his life, he also doesn’t drink coffee or tea, although he enjoys Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.
17. Donald has received two Emmy nominations for his television work on The Apprentice.
18. Donald’s fourth child, Tiffany, was born out of wedlock in October 1993, two months before Donald married second wife Marla Maples.
19. Donald’s favorite food is meatloaf.
20. Donald has insulted a number of Republican politicians, even including Ronald Reagan – in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald wrote, “people [are] beginning to question whether there’s anything beneath that smile.”
21. Contrary to claims that Donald is a self-made businessman, in fact he was born into a millionaire family who had a 23-room mansion in an upscale area of Queens, with a both a Rolls-Royce and a Cadillac in the driveway. On his death in 1999, Donald’s father, Fred, left an estate of from $250 to $300 million, which was divided equally among Fred’s four living children.
22. In 2000 on the Howard Stern show, Donald rated Princess Diana, who had died in 1997, as one of the “hottest women” in the world and said he had wanted to date her, even though “she was crazy.”
23. Donald’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a Republican, is a Senior United States Circuit Judge, who was nominated for the position in 1999 by President Bill Clinton.
24. Donald gave his second-grade music teacher a black eye because he thought the teacher didn’t know enough about music.
25. Among other businesses, Donald’s grandfather, Friedrich, ran brothels in the gold rush fields of the Pacific Northwest.
April 5, 2016: PAYPAL CANCELS PLANS FOR 400 NEW JOBS IN STATE OVER HB2; McCRORY, BERGER, BISHOP IN A HEAP OF TROUBLE
PayPal announced today it was canceling plans for a 400-job expansion in
Charlotte due to HB2, the discriminatory law passed by the General Assembly and signed by McCrory all in one day. The bill has been nicknamed the "bathroom law," but its main impact is to create a statewide law that allows LGBT people to be discriminated against. Republican't Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte had the gall to blame the loss of the jobs, which would have paid an average of $51,000 a year, on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts for passing a local law that granted rights to LGBT citizens. Republican't Sen. Phil Berger , main sponsor of HB2, and Gov. McCrory, who signed it into law, appear to be laying low. In a national backlash, more than 100 leading companies, including IBM, Google, Apple, Facebook, Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, American Airlines, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Microsoft and PepsiCo, have spoken out against HB2. A number of large cities including Atlanta, New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, along with a number of states including Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington and Vermont, have said they will not allow non-essential travel to NC. Google's venture capital arm has announced it will not fund any more technology startups in NC. The High Point furniture trade show, arguably the most important in the nation, has had a number of cancellations. The tourism industry, important to Asheville, also is expected to feel the impact.
March 27, 2016: PAT MCCRORY AND NC REPUBLICAN'TS FIND THEMSELVES IN NATIONAL AND STATE HOT WATER AFTER PASSING AN ANTI-LGBT LAW
In a special session, the GOP-dominated North Carolina Legislature thought it could sneak an anti-gay bill past the people of the state and nation, and the Duke Energy-owned governor of North Carolina signed the bill immediately. However, the world didn't miss this. Since the law was signed, denying local control to Charlotte, which had passed a statute allowing citizens to use the restroom of the sex with which they identified, a number of city governments, including those in New York City, Seattle and San Francisco, have moved to prevent all but absolutely necessary travel to North Carolina. Protests have been held in Asheville, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and around the state. The ACLU and others have filed a suit against the state alleging violations of civil rights. Many large companies, including IBM, Apple, Paypal, Google, American Airlines and others, have come out against the legislation, some saying that they will not do further business with the state or cutting back on the business they now conduct in North Carolina. The state of North Carolina also is in danger of losing some $4 billion in Title 9 Education funding.
March 26, 2016: ASHEVILLE NATIVE LAN SLUDER'S 15TH AND 16TH BOOKS ON BELIZE PUBLISHED
Lan Sluder's Guide to Belize was published in March by Equator, followed soon thereafter by Lan Sluder's Guide to the Cayes, Coast and Beaches of Belize. These are Lan Sluder's 15th and 16ths books on Belize. Among his other books on Belize are Fodor's Belize, Easy Belize, Living Abroad in Belize and Adapter Kit: Belize. Lan Sluder's Guide to Mainland Belize is set to be published in May, along with his Guide to the Best Hotels and Restaurants in Belize. Sluder also has published more than a half dozen books on Asheville, North Carolina and the Carolinas and Georgia, along with books on Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars and on the game of bridge.
January 24, 2016: BIG STORM DROPS FOOT OR MORE OF SNOW IN ASHEVILLE AREA, RECORD 66 INCHES ON MT. MITCHELL
The big storm that dropped record and near-record amounts of snow on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states from January 22 to 24 hit the Asheville area with about a foot of snow, although totals ranged from around 8 inches to over 2 feet in the region. Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the East, got a record 66 inches, far surpassing the 50 inches it received in the blizzard of 1993.
January 22, 2016: ASHEVILLE TO GET A SECOND ART FILM THEATER
Grail Moviehouse, a new two-screen art film theater is expected to open in February on South French Broad Avenue in Downtown Asheville. The new theater, which is designed to look like an old movie theater down to the plush velvet fabric on the seats (but in purple), will show classic movies, art films and documentaries. Tickets are expected to cost around $8.It will complement the long-established Fine Arts Theatre on Biltmore Avenue.
January 17, 2016: BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY AND GREAT SMOKIES MOST VISITED NATIONAL PARKS
The Blue Ridge Parkway regained its status as the most-visited National Park unit in the USA in 2015, with more than 15 million visitors. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco temporarily held the number 1 place in 2014. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park had a record 10.7 million visitors in 2015, retaining its status as the nation's most visited national park.
January 13, 2016: NEW SEASONAL AIR SERVICE FROM ASHEVILLE TO DC-BALTIMORE ANNOUNCED
Allegiant Air, a low-cost carrier serving Asheville since 2011 with flights to several destinations in Flor, has announced it will offer seasonal summer service between AVL and BVI (Washington Baltimore International Thurgood Marshall). Initially flights will be twice weekly, with rates as low as $39 one-way.
January 12, 2016: FINAL APPROVAL FOR BB&T CONVERSION TO HOTEL AND CONDOS APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL
The Asheville City Council voted 5-2 to approve the conversion and exterior makeover by the McKibbon Group, Tampa, of the 18-story BB&T Building on Pack Square from offices to a 140-room hotel with 39 luxury condos plus a restaurant and retail space. The building, in a prime location at the heart of Asheville, was completed in 1965 as the Northwestern Bank Building. The Brutalist International style architecture of the building, whose design has been called a bad copy of the Seagram Building in Manhattan, has long been considered an eyesore in central Asheville. The conversion, expected to be completed in 2017, will include resurfacing the building with steel, glass and synthetic stone and adding a new roof feature along with Art Deco-style elements. Existing office tenants must be out of the building by May 2016.
January 8, 2016: NEW EDITIONS OF AUTHOR'S BEST-SELLING BELIZE BOOK RELEASED
The new second edition of EASY BELIZE How to Live, Retire, Work and Buy Property in Belize, the English Speaking, Frost Free Paradise on the Caribbean Coast by AmazingAsheville.net founder Lan Sluder has been released. The best-selling guide to living in Belize is available now as a paperback published by Equator and as a Kindle ebook. Sluder has written more than a dozen books on Belize along with four books on Asheville and WNC, as well as books on other subjects.
January 1, 2016 WET, WARM CHRISTMAS
Asheville's Christmas week was wet and warm, with temps reaching a near record 70 degrees on some days. However, the New Year brought more seasonable weather, with lows in the 20s and highs around 40. For December, the Asheville area got around 9 inches of rain, second highest on record, but some areas received 10 to 12 inches or more. There were flooding in Biltmore Village, at Carrier Park on Amboy Road and in East Asheville.
December 10, 2015 ASHEVILLE REGIONAL AIRPORT SETS RECORDS
The Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is among the top 5 small hub airports in the U.S. in passenger growth since 2013. AVL had a record 400,000 commercial passenger boardings in fiscal 2015, up 9% from 2014. The airport is building a new $75 million, 8,000-foot runway and has recently added additional parking space to meet customer demand. Served by American, Allegiant, Delta and United, AVL has frequent non-stop flights to national hubs including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago and Newark, seasonal flights to LaGuardia and low-cost non-stop flights to five cities in Florida.
November 3, 2015 PROGRESSIVES WIN ASHEVILLE CITY COUNCIL VOTE BUT DIFFER ON SOME ISSUES
Keith Young, a community activist, Brian Haynes, a political newcomer who supports legalization of marijuana and Julie Mayfield, an environmental advocacy leader, won election to the Asheville City Council in November 3 voting. All three are considered progressives, but Mayfield is more aligned with the traditional Democratic establishment, while Young, who is black, and Hanes, brother of rock star Warren Haynes, take more of an anti-development stance and have been supported by current Councilman and political maverick Cecil Bothwell. The three winners were separated only by around 200 votes. Incumbent Vice-Mayor Marc Hunt, financial advisor Rich Lee and self-described tattooed lesbian and former homeless person Lindsey Simmerly failed to gain enough votes to win one of the three open seats. When the new Councilmembers are sworn in in December, it is believed the Council may split 3-3 on some issues, with Mayor Esther Manheimer, Gordon Smith and Mayfield on one side, and Bothwell, Young and Haynes on the other, with Gwen Wisler possibly having the deciding vote.
October 23, 2015: REPUBLICAN'TS APPOINT POLITICAL HACK TO HEAD UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM
The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, themselves mostly GOP political appointees, named another Republican't political hack, Margaret Spellings, 57, president of the UNC system, replacing the highly respected Tom Ross, a distinguished attorney, Davidson College graduate and former president of Davidson, who was fired merely because he is a Democrat.
Spellings, who has no graduate degrees and attended a third-rate college, currently is president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, the former president’s library and museum.
Spellings did go to high school and reportedly has an undergraduate degree from that bastion of high educational achievement, the University of Houston. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Houston as the 187th best university in the country and only the 11th best in Texas. Spellings was the political director for George W. Bush's first gubernatorial campaign in 1994 and later became a senior advisor to Bush during his term as Texas governor from 1995 to 2000. She served in the Bush presidential administration as political advisor. W nominated Spellings as Secretary of Education in 2005, where she served until 2009, supporting the unpopular "No Child Left Behind" and other unsuccessful programs.
Her greatest achievement seems to be an appearance on "Celebrity Jeopardy" in 2006. She didn't win.
NC Gov. "Fat Cat Pat" McCrory failed to sign an NC Legislature bill on his desk that would have required the Board of Governors to nominate at least three candidates, so Spellings was the only candidate. Under McCrory, per-student funding for the university system has been reduced by 25% and tuition has been increased by 34%.
Separately, it was announced that a watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability, has filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, claiming that NC 10th District GOP Congressman Patrick McHenry accepted large donations from payday loan companies, with the timing of some donations taking place before key votes on financial regulation bills. "Payday Pat" McHenry is the House's chief deputy whip. Payday loan companies have been accused of exploiting low-income families with expensive loans with interest rates of up to several hundred percent annually.
October 7, 2015; PROGRESSIVES DOMINATE ASHEVILLE CITY COUNCIL PRIMARY ELECTIONS
The primary for Asheville City Council was held Tuesday, October 6, and with all 40 precincts reporting, progressives took the top six positions in the 15-person nominally non-partisan race. These six will go on to the Nov. 3 general election, and the top three vote-getters then will join four returning City Council members. The Council, already dominated mostly by Democrats and progressives, is made up of seven members including the Mayor. Members are elected for staggered four-year terms
The winners Tuesday, in order of finish, were: Julie Mayfield (the top vote getter, an environmental non-profit director and political newcomer); Brian Haynes (assistant manager of the local Habitat for Humanity, brother of rocker Warren Haynes and another political newcomer); incumbent/Vice Mayor Marc Hunt; Keith Young (Deputy Clerk of Superior Court and the only Black candidate to win in the primary); Lindsey Simerly (an LGBT advocate and the only openly gay candidate); and Rich Lee, a financial advisor and neighborhood activist. The primary winners all have a decidedly progressive perspective.
Republican Carl Mumpower, a former Asheville Council member and Vice Mayor, didn't make the cut, nor did former Asheville Mayor Ken Michalove, a fairly conservative Democrat who served the city as Mayor from 1989 to 1993.
The six primary winners all were within about 1,000 votes of each other, and no single candidate received more than 14% of the total votes cast, so it could be a tight race in November. In the primary election, voters could vote for up to three candidates out of the 16 on the ballot. One candidate earlier had withdrawn from the race due to health issues but her name remained on the ballot.
OUR GOALS FOR ASHEVILLE AND THE NC MOUNTAINS
This is the bucket list of the long-term goals we at Amazing Asheville support for Asheville, Buncombe County and the Western North Carolina mountains. Ambitious? Absolutely. Achievable? Perhaps. With years of work and some luck.
• Work to encourage every local business to pay employees, at a minimum, a Living Wage so that residents can afford a decent place to live, reliable transportation and healthful food for themselves and their families
• Work to attract and encourage even more diversity in Asheville and Buncombe County – by age, race, ethnic background, sexual identity, education, place of origin, language and in other ways
• Work to bring more “creative space” jobs to the area – in art, crafts, technology, video, internet, research, writing, advertising and other creative fields, using the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Western Carolina University, Warren Wilson College, Mars Hill University, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute and other colleges, along with the River Arts District, as levers and catalysts
• Work to install sidewalks, walking trails and bicycling paths along all residential streets and roads in the city and county
• Continue the successful work of the many who have revitalized Downtown Asheville with new art and craft galleries, residential options, local stores and shops, tourism sights, restaurants, craft breweries and distilleries
• Expand development of West Asheville, North Asheville and the River Arts District as sustainable satellite neighborhoods adjoining Downtown Asheville
• To better show the beauty of the mountains and to protect against outages, put all power, telecommunications, cable TV and other lines underground
• Continue to work to position Asheville as a major national destination for visitors, using the Biltmore Estate, Downtown Asheville, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Western North Carolina’s other mountain and outdoor resources, along with the area’s restaurants, craft beers and wineries, as levers
• Work to make the University of North Carolina at Asheville and other area colleges the focus of “Asheville as a college town”
• Continue to provide maximum possible support for Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute for training in medical, technology, sustainable agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing and other key local industries
• Work to make Asheville and Buncombe among the most politically progressive areas in the South, while maintaining political and philosophical diversity
• Legalize medical and, for adults only, recreational marijuana in a licensed, controlled and taxed way
• Expand support for sustainable natural and organic farms in the region and to maintain small family farms
• Work to increase public transportation options in Asheville and Buncombe County including bike and car share programs, enhanced ART bus service and new rail service to Charlotte, the Triangle, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Atlanta
• Work to bring back at least a part of Asheville’s streetcar service that operated from 1889 to 1934
• Work to find alternatives to mobile homes/trailers as lower-income housing, and work to cluster remaining mobile homes in visually attractive trailer parks
• Work to enhance Asheville and Buncombe County as an important regional medical center
• Continue to preserve and enhance Asheville’s and the region’s unique architectural heritage
• Enact and enforce sensible but more stringent county-wide zoning in Buncombe County to reduce visual clutter and inappropriate property uses
• Continue to work to attract and grow non-polluting manufacturing industries, new professional and business service firms and regional corporate headquarters to Asheville and Buncombe County
• Work to expand the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and to relocate the park headquarters to Asheville
• Evaluate the practicality of combining Pisgah and Nantahala national forests, adding more land, including some state parks, and creating a new national park in Western North Carolina
All content copyright © Lan Sluder except selected photographs used by permission and brief quotations or other fair use text, which are owned by the copyright holder.
We have made every effort to confirm the accuracy of information on this website, and in the Amazing Asheville book and ebooks, but travel information is subject to frequent change, and no warranty is made, express or implied. Please notify us of any errors or omissions, and we will attempt to correct them as soon as possible. All opinions expressed are those of the author, Lan Sluder, unless otherwise noted.