Assistant City Manager Cathy Ball presents proposed graffiti ordinance to City Council. (Mountain Xpress/Jesse Farthing)

Graffiti ordinance, Henderson County agreement pass City Council

Asheville’s controversial graffiti ordinance passed City Council during the April 22 meeting, with only Council member Cecil Bothwell voting against it. Also during the meeting, City Council voted to authorize Mayor Esther Manheimer to enter into an interlocal agreement with Henderson County regarding a 137-acre lot in the Bent Creek area owned by Henderson County that would otherwise be returned to Asheville ownership on July 15.

oakleymarket02

MANNA announces release of 2014 Map the Meal Gap study

Feeding America, a nonprofit, national network of food banks that is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released their 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, which maps food insecurity in the United States down to the county-level. The study found that for Western North Carolina food insecurity has increased slightly since last year, reaching a rate of 15.3 percent and affecting approximately 38, 420 children in WNC.

BuncoVoter

Early voting starts Thursday, April 24, for Buncombe primaries

Early voting starts across in Buncombe County on Thursday, April 24. Some key local races are for Buncombe County commissioners (see below), the district attorney (Ron Moore vs. challenger Todd Williams) and district judge. In the races for commissioners, District 3 incumbent David King faces challenger Miranda Debruhl; District 2 incumbent Ellen Frost faces former […]

Graffiti ordinance on Asheville City Council agenda

Asheville City Council will consider an ordinance next week aimed at attacking the city’s problem with graffiti. The Council will consider tougher penalties for the perpetrators while making property owners responsible for cleanup.  The ordinance calls for a three-way approach to dealing with  the issue: education, enforcement and rapid removal. A city staff recommendation would […]

Connecting with Cuba: A delegation of Asheville travelers recently visited Cuba and is working to build cultural bridges between the local area and the island country.

Connecting with Cuba: A celebration and discussion in Asheville

In the last six months, dozens of Asheville travelers have visited Cuba, creating growing connections between the local area and the island nation. And on April 22 members of those local delegations are hosting an event that aims to help bridge the divide between our different cultures and communities. Featuring live Cuban music and art […]

Image by Steph Guinan

Thinking big: Buncombe County plan points way toward sustainable future

“In North Carolina, sustainability plans are pretty rare,” reports Scott Mouw, recycling director at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “Not many communities have taken on the task of comprehensively looking at their environmental footprint and worked through ways to reduce that footprint.” In fact, Buncombe County is one of only a handful in the state to have such a plan, unanimously adopted by the Board of Commissioners May 15, 2012. But what is it, exactly? And what does it mean for current and future residents?

Good green fun: Asheville Earth Day celebration, on Lexington Avenue, offers an array of music, arts and environmental opportunities. Photo courtesy of Asheville Earth Day

Green party

Asheville Earth Day celebrates sustainability and optimism “I think what’s really cool about Earth Day is that it can provide this umbrella for all the nonprofits in Asheville to come together,” says Ben Colvin, development director for Wild South, the nonprofit host of Asheville Earth Day. That daylong outdoor festival returns to Lexington Avenue on […]

“How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice?" asks local filmmaker Jeremy Seifert in his documentary, GMO OMG.

Planetary alignment

Earth Week events around Western North Carolina Save the shrews, celebrate the trees, take in a film and clean up a stream or two. For more ideas, visit Calendar and mountainx.com. Climate change talk at Warren Wilson College — Everyone knows what planktonic foraminifera is, right? Still, a little refresher from a Smithsonian scientist never […]

Looking forward: Graduate students in Lenoir-Rhyne’s new sustainability studies program are hoping their research projects will make a big community impact. Pictured from left to right: Lenoir-Rhyne Director Paul Knott; students Maria Wise and Alisha Goodman; Professor Keith McDade. Photo by Shara Crosby.

Future vision: Local sustainability graduate research targets real-world benefits

The first group of students in Lenoir-Rhyne University’s new sustainability studies program may be small, but the fruits of their research might eventually have a big local impact. Based at the Asheville campus, the new master’s degree program requires students to complete a “capstone” project combining graduate-level research with real-world conditions and needs. This spring, […]