URBAN FOREST  Unaware of the controversy over their fate, 23 mature oaks stand on a knoll overlooking Coxe Avenue. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Oaks’ last stand: South Slope urban forest won’t get city funds

If the 23 mature oak trees at 11 Collier Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope are to escape the chainsaw, it will have to be without the city’s help. While City Council followed through on its commitment to explore possible strategies for preserving the urban forest, in the end Council decided that committing resources to the effort in advance of significant private fundraising wasn’t a responsible use of taxpayer assets.

Adam Myerson (front) at the 2016 Cyclocross Nationals. Photo by Joshua Cole

A national coup: How Asheville Cyclocross Nationals went from dream to reality

Racers and organizers both had their fingers crossed as competitors zipped around the often muddied and frozen course on the Biltmore Estate during the 2016 Cyclocross National Championships, Jan. 5-10. In the end, the event drew high praise from all quarters. Adam Myerson, a 30-year-veteran bike racer and pro from New England, wrote: “Nationals course evaluation: best nats course I’ve ever ridden. Maybe best U.S. course ever, period.”

RESILIENCE BRILLIANCE: "We know a lot already about how to deal with climate change," says Laura Lengnick, author of Resilient Agriculture. She offers a solution in the form of sustainable, nature based practices. Photo courtesy of the Organic Growers School

In Asheville and beyond, creative problem solvers are hatching new solutions

Carl Sandburg called Chicago the “city of the big shoulders”; if he were alive today, he might describe Asheville as “the city of the big thinkers,” acknowledging the passion so many area residents display in seeking out new solutions to the issues we face. On many fronts, creative new approaches are being hatched and put […]

Frand, navigating Smokey Park Highway in 2014

Asheville disclaimer­: Asheville man determined to ride bicycle all winter for no clear reason

The Asheville Disclaimer is parody/satire. Asheville, Monday — The 2.5-mile commute Scott Frand makes on bicycle between his home and his work will get significantly more difficult and unbearable as winter worsens, to the apparent delight of Frand. “Last winter, I had to finally switch to my car when the snow got too bad and […]

Sunrise on Grandfather Mountain

Holiday events roundup for 12/23 through 12/31

ART/CRAFT FAIRS Caldwell Arts Council 601 College Ave. SW, Lenoir, 754-2486 • Through WE (12/23) – “Satie’s Holiday Sale,” 75 crafters and artists exhibiting. Mon.-Fri.: 9am-6pm. Sat.: 10am-3pm. Free to attend. BENEFITS Dancing, Drums, and Dreams Benefit AshevilleRhythm.org • TH (12/31), 8:30pm – Tickets to this New Year’s Eve celebration with music by Free Planet Radio and Kevin Spears benefit […]

Center for Art & Spirit at St. George Labyrinth

Holiday Events Roundup for 12/16 through 12/24

ART/CRAFT FAIRS Caldwell Arts Council 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, 754-2486 • Through WE (12/23) – “Satie’s Holiday Sale,” 75 crafters and artists exhibiting. Mon.-Fri.: 9am-6pm. Sat.: 10am-3pm. Free to attend. Holiday Craft Bazaar ashevillemusichall.com • SA (12/19), noon-6pm – Local art and craft vendors with live music. Free to attend. Held at One Stop Deli & Bar, […]

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Rumble 2015 allows competitor­s to prove their climbing ability

  Climbers converged on the Rumbling Bald area of Chimney Rock State Park for Rumble 2015 this weekend, for the 2nd annual Rumbling Bald bouldering competition. The Dec. 12 competition, organized by the Carolina Climbers Coalition, attracted about 80 climbers who sought to test their skills on a variety of bouldering “problems.” Bouldering is a […]

Coyotes captured on video by Tom Brass.

Videos show wildlife at ease behind Henderson County home

A mere 50 yards from the back door of Tom Brass’s Henderson County home, bears, bobcats, coyotes and foxes creep across the mountain ridge, and Brass has the video evidence, posted on his YouTube channel, to prove it. Using three infrared, motion and heat-sensitive heat-activated, Browning trail cameras, Brass collects upward of 400 videos per […]

REVIVING THE HOMESTEAD: North Carolina has long been defined by its agriculture industry. As development pressures and rising land costs threaten to consume viable farmland acorss the state, public officials and private land trusts are working to preserve N.C.'s farming heritage and revitalize existing farms. Photo courtesy of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

Eyes on the future: Saving WNC’s farms

Robin Reeves is the sixth generation to grow up on her family’s Madison County farm — a lineage that dates back to before the Civil War. Reeves spent much of her youth helping her parents raise cattle, burley tobacco and tomatoes as well as her extended family in Sandy Mush. As an adolescent, she sold […]

Personal trainer Teah Boswell is known for hauling clients to unorthodox locations for workouts, including the occasional trip to The Wedge, pictured. Now, the fitness enthusiast hopes to set up her own permanent indoor space for cycling training.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. An indoor studio […]

NEED FOR SPEED: Taylor Earnhardt Putnam has carried on her family's legacy of competition into her own chosen profession in the professional rodeo circuit. She competes this weekend at the WNC Ag Center for the title of "All-Around Cowgirl" in the SRA Finals. Photo by Darrell Stewart Photography.

Racetrack to rodeo: Taylor Earnhardt Putnam carries on family legacy in SRA finals

Putnam comes into this weekend’s Finals competition as the leading “All Around Cowgirl,” having scored more points in multiple categories than her competitors, in addition to being ranked fourth overall in barrel racing and ninth in breakaway roping. True to her family legacy, she has established herself as a top competitor in her chosen sport, translating her heritage of winning and love for speed from the asphalt to the cow-pen.