HERE'S HOPING: "Almost everybody in the book is a decent human being doing the best they can," says Ron Rash of his new novel, Above the Waterfall, his most optimistic book to date. Interestingly, despite more than a dozen drafts to fine-tune the language, Rash says he never rereads his own novels after publication.

Ron Rash’s new novel offers poetry, optimism

This sentence appears in the preface to Above the Waterfall, the newest novel by Ron Rash: “I watch last light lift off level land.” It’s just one of thousands of slight, deftly crafted lines. But there, before the story even begins, Rash slows the pace and announces himself, not just as a craftsman of rich, dark Southern fiction but also as a poet. He’ll present the novel at Malaprop’s on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Dewayne Barton, co-founder of Green Opportunities, community activist and artist, talks with Erika Schneider, outreach coordinator with Sundance Power Systems, about the importance of affordable financing for local communities. Photo by Ned Ryan Doyle

Financing the future: Self-Help Credit Union lauded for $76 million in solar loans

Now that the cost of ‘going solar’ on a home is equivalent to buying a new car, the challenge is no longer technical but affordable financing. America’s ubiquitous automobiles would not be us without financing. So why not finance solar in the same fashion? This question and others regarding investing in clean energy, from residential […]

"I was born to be a moss artist," proclaims Annie Martin. The Brevard landscaper, educator and writer will release her book, The Magical World of Moss Gardening, this month.

A mossier, more magical world: Local ‘mosser’ releases new book on moss gardening

Annie Martin — or Mossin’ Annie — is a Western North Carolina native, educator, landscape designer, farmer and champion — of mosses. She’s designed moss gardens for the North Carolina Arboretum and the Highland Botanical Station and her book, The Magical World of Moss Gardening, is being published by Timber Press and released this month.

NO FEAR: With her book, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, Leanne Brown aims to empower people on tight budgets to feel confident in creating flavorful meals from simple ingredients.

Small budget, big flavor: An interview with cookbook author and food activist Leanne Brown

Good food doesn’t have to be expensive. That’s the message of Leanne Brown’s new cookbook, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, which is aimed at empowering people on very tight budgets to cook food they love. Brown visits the Asheville area on Friday as part of MANNA FoodBank’s calendar of Hunger Action Month events.

FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL: As  the demand for food assistance in WNC continues to grow, local food-security organizations are embracing September, designated national Hunger Action Month, as a chance to raise awareness about the issue.  Here, volunteers and staff at MANNA FoodBank raise orange spoons — the symbol of the Hunger Action Month initiative.

Gather around the table: WNC rallies for Hunger Action Month

With one in six people in Western North Carolina lacking consistent access to food, MANNA FoodBank and its partner agencies are uniting to host hunger-awareness events and initiatives in September for national Hunger Action Month. MANNA also hopes to wrap up its Space to Erase Hunger capital campaign this month, allowing for crucial expansions to the organization’s capacity that will impact hungry families in 16 counties.

Room occupancy taxes, paid by overnight visitors to the county, will go up from 4 to 6 percent. Photo by Margaret Williams

Buncombe Commission­ers approve hotel tax increase

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved an increase in room occupancy tax increase for visitors to the area at its Tuesday, Sept. 1 meeting.

The increase, from 4 to 6 percent, applies only to those paying for rooms in county hotels and does not affect residents. This rate coincides with rates currently implemented in 31 other North Carolina counties, including Durham and Catawba.

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First annual Monarch Butterfly Day offers help to a declining butterfly population

Nearly one billion monarch butterflies have vanished since 1990 due to habitat destruction, which impacts their primary food source, milkweed, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Efforts to protect monarch butterflies center on educating the public about the plight of the monarchs, as well as encouraging the creation of garden spaces that provide nectar plants […]