FORM AND FUNCTION: The Bull and Beggar’s upcoming dinner, “Pairing Elements: An Artful Dining Experience,” combines fine art and craft with a locally-sourced, hand-crafted meal. Photo by Nick Moen

Pairing Elements

Art and craft. They share similar audiences, but split crowds when it comes to applying those definitions to the work itself. It’s a dialogue that’s most often played out in studios, galleries and museums and in the occasional after-hours argument at bars or breweries. (Certainly this is the case at the Wedge.) But what if […]

Fuel leak: Cleanup crews used booms to try to skim diesel fuel out of Hominy Creek, but many citizens reported seeing and smelling the fuel beyond the containment measures in the French Broad River. Photo courtesy of Hartwell Carson, Western North Carolina Alliance


On Feb. 15, roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled in West Asheville, much of it flowing into Hominy Creek and the French Broad River. The source was an above-ground tank owned by Harrison Construction, which could face fines from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection […]

Eyes on the prize

I hope that I am not alone in my supreme discomfort at the casual discussions our City Council is having regarding placing a larger surveillance network of cameras in downtown. Is this a surveillance network that we will hand operation over to the police, whose department is mired in malfeasance and investigation? Draconian broad surveillance […]

Smart Bets: Squirm Burpee Circus

The Squirm Burpee Circus is a cartoony, over-the-top “vaudevillian melodrama” complete with slapstick comedy, daredevil juggling and a host by the name of Baron Vegan von Hamburger. According to a press release, “the show features an eye-catching cast and a beautiful, Cirque du Soleil-like aesthetic, with high-energy acts such as the Human Cannon, the Ladder […]

Flower power: John Brute, Meg Proffitt Heathman and Amanda McGuire (from left) of The Petticoat Government will wear daffodils to celebrate Welsh heritage at the inaugural St. David’s Day Jam. Photo courtesy of the band

Wales watching

“What’s with the flower?” is a question John Brute has become accustomed to answering on March 1 each year.  Since his youth in the small Welsh town of Mochdre, which translates as “Pig Town,” he’s worn a daffodil in honor of St. David’s Day. It’s his homeland’s holiday, comparable to St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. […]

RECIPE FOR FUN: Chefs Jacob Sessoms, left, of Table and John Fleer of Rhubarb are contributing food for the OpenDoors of Asheville’s Art Affair 2014 event. Photo by Katherine Brooks Photography

Mardi Gras dreams

OpenDoors of Asheville hosts its “Art Affair 2014: One Night in New Orleans” art auction and gala Saturday, March 1. More than a dozen restaurants, bars and social lounges will lend a hand by donating food and beverages to the local charity’s annual fundraiser. The goal is to raise vital funds for programs and services […]

Electric vehicles are rolling in right direction

Thanks for your reply to my EV letter, Melissa [Oglesbee] [“Are Electric Vehicles the Answer?” Feb. 12, Xpress]. My complaint was about the tax on innovation by the state, seemingly trying to inhibit an industry in its infancy. True, electricity powers the car, but the public EV stations on Charlotte Street and UNC Asheville both […]

A GIFT FOR COOKING: Aaron Hodges, left, gave the gift of cooking to Catherine Loftis, right, this past Christmas. The couple cooked Italian lasagna together during a recent workshop at DOUGH. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Kitchen class

DOUGH’s classroom kitchen was designed to look and feel like a typical home kitchen, says the chef and owner Brian Ross. And it’s probably true that many of us would be familiar with the wooden countertops and spice racks, gas stoves and cast iron skillets at the North Asheville bakery and classroom. It won’t take […]

Serious consequences

An extensive joint study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force highlights the hazards transgender people face. Among the findings of the 2011 study were: • 40 percent of respondents reported harassment when their identification didn't match their preferred name. • 63 percent reported facing serious discrimination […]

Bison aren’t self-sacrificing

Mark Bennett’s sales pitch for bison consumption [“Reviving the Herd,” Feb. 5, Xpress] contained several erroneous statements. First, he claimed that unlike beef cattle, bison don’t need hormones or antibiotics. Cattle kept in confined agricultural operations are given hormones to cause rapid unnatural weight gain in order to maximize profits, and antibiotics because close confinement […]

Smart Bets: Arooj Aftab

Arooj Aftab is one of Pakistan’s few female guitarists. She’s also one of NPR’s top 100 composers under 40, founder of Rebuild Pakistan — an initiative that began in response to the 2012 Pakistan flood crisis in — and she’s the assistant editor for MTV’s Rebel Music Series. If her credentials aren’t already enough of […]

Mapquest: It might seem that Future Islands is a local band. The group got its start in Greenville, N.C., and briefly called Asheville home before relocating to Baltimore. Photo by Tim Accenti

Rising tide

For longtime Asheville music fans, it might still feel that Future Islands is a local band. The group got its start in Greenville, N.C., as members of the lo-fi new wave act Art Lord & The Self-Portraits, and, after relaunching as a trio under the Future Islands moniker, briefly called Asheville home before relocating to […]

LIKE A FAMILY: Old Europe owner Melinda Vetro, left, thinks of her employees, including Manager Anna Beth Eason, right, as family. Photo by Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire


Fika is the Swedish tradition of taking time each day to share and savor coffee with family and friends. In the middle of downtown Asheville, I found the perfect little coffee shop to visit whenever I am homesick for a good, strong European espresso: Entering Old Europe Patisserie is like stepping into a typical café […]

COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY: Firestorm co-founder Libertie Valance led a Feb. 18 discussion about the worker-owner, collectively managed organization’s next move.


About 50 people squeezed into Firestorm Café and Books on Feb. 19 to talk about the café’s upcoming relocation and restructuring. Firestorm’s worker-owners were expecting a fraction of that turnout, but greeted all attendees and invited them to get coffee and snacks and join in discussions about the collective’s future. On March 1, Firestorm will […]

Coggins development not transparent

My family and I have owned property adjacent to the Coggins’ property on Old Farm School Road referenced in the article, [“Colliding Visions,” Jan. 22, Xpress] for 70 years. The majority of people who live in the Old Farm School area oppose Case Enterprise’s proposed development, constituting nearly 400 housing units and commercial properties. However, […]

BLOCK PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE: Short Street Cakes owner Jodi Rhoden is partnering with East-West Asheville businesses to host a block party aimed at raising money for Hall Fletcher Elementary’s chess program. Photo by Alicia Funderburk


Short Street Cakes will celebrate its fifth year in business on Tuesday, March 4, by partnering with its Haywood Road neighbor, Urban Orchard Cider Co., and turning the bakery's annual birthday event into a Mardi Gras Block Party. According to Short Street owner Jodi Rhoden, there’s more to the plan than just partying down: The […]

Green consulting: Vice Chair Ellen Frost consults with Buncombe County Attorney Bob Deutsch about the language in a resolution that seeks to limit the use of toxic cleaners. photo by Alicia Funderburk

Clean and green?

Their argument wasn’t quite toxic, but Buncombe County Commissioners fiercely debated a resolution extolling the virtues of green cleaning Feb. 18. Pushed by Vice Chair Ellen Frost, the “Resolution Regarding Use of Non-Toxic Cleaners” urges county staff to “incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions” by using guiding principals developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. […]