Transgender Day of Remembrance observed Nov. 20

From a press release: Transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer groups Just Us for All, Tranzmission, and Campaign For Southern Equality have organized a day of events to focus the community on the needs of transgender people as and most importantly the persistent murders and mistreatment of transgender people. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is […]

Smoky Mountain LME/MCO observes National Alzheimer’s Month

From a press release:  This November, Smoky Mountain LME/MCO (“Smoky”) is recognizing both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month by highlighting how Smoky’s geriatric teams are helping both professional and family caregivers better understand and respond to older adults under their care. An estimated one in seven adults age 71 or older in […]

Asheville VA Hospital laboratory gains national recognition

From a press release: The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded accreditation to the Charles George VA Medical Center (CGVAMC) Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service based on results of a recent on-site inspection as part of the CAP’s accreditation programs.             The CGVAMC’s Chief of Pathology and Laboratory, William E. […]

Motorcycle therapy program in WNC rehab hospitals

From a press release: Let’s Twist Again Foundation Inc., a  new 501c3 nonprofit based in Hendersonville,  provides a unique motorcycle therapy program to those in rehabilitation hospitals and long-term care facilities. Using a virtual riding apparatus that utilizes real motorcycle controls and a variety of courses to ride, director Garry Segal works with recreational/occupational/physical therapy […]

Mining and Energy Commission looks at public fracking comments, Nov. 6-7

From a press release: The MEC will discuss the 217,000 public comments about draft rules for the new fracking law at 9 a.m. on Nov. 6 and 7 in the Ground Floor Hearing Room of the Archdale Building, 512 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. The public  can also comment at these meetings, with up to 10 speakers per meeting, […]


VET FEST 2014 benefits veterans services, Nov. 9

From a press release: Sunday, November 9th, from 2-6pm – Highland Brewing will host VET FEST 2014, a concert celebration honoring two local non-profit organizations serving disabled Veterans in Western North Carolina–Helios Warriors, offering alternative holistic healing therapies, and Heart of Horse Sense, providing equine-assisted therapies. Both organizations offer their services at low to no […]

Duke Energy submits plans for groundwater assessment at coal ash facilities

  From a press release: Duke Energy has provided state officials with its plans for assessing groundwater quality at the utility’s 14 coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources required Duke Energy to submit Groundwater Assessment Plans as part of the effort to cleanup or mitigate groundwater contamination […]

Radio interview with Men’s Wisdom Works founder on Oct. 4

From a press release: Men’s Wisdom Works founder Chuck Fink will be interviewed live on WRHI’s Radio 4 the Ages program Saturday, Oct. 4 at 10:20 a.m. The program will be available online at ten groups operating out of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville and one at Givens Estates, Men’s Wisdom Works […]

Families gather to drum at the Friday night drum circle in Pritchard Park. File photo

Keeping the beat

On a Friday night in early spring, a low rumbling can be heard throughout downtown Asheville. The contagious rhythm grows louder as people are drawn into the vortex of reverberating beats in Pritchard Park. The Friday night drum circle has emerged from winter hibernation, becoming once again the heartbeat of Asheville. For some, the weekly event is simply another one of Asheville’s quirks. For others, the drumming provides a source of therapy and healing.

Randy Shaw teaches drumming to children as part of a therepeutic program. Photo courtesy of City of Asheville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department

Drum therapy

Therapeutic recreation program wins state award Randy Shaw, director of therapeutic recreation at the Asheville Parks and Recreation Department, was not a drummer. Even so, he believed that drumming had the potential to help people with disabilities. “A light bulb turned on for me when … I started to facilitate drum groups and I saw […]

INTO THE WILD: In a wilderness setting, students have fewer distractions and the opportunity to detach from technology, says Shawn Farrell, executive director of SUWS of the Carolinas. “The result,” he says, “is that they are able to sit with themselves and begin to ask themselves who they are, what they want to be, and what they want to do differently.”

Wilderness works

Wilderness therapy “gave me my son back — and better,” says Stephen Mace. His son, Christian, age 15, participated in the wilderness program at SUWS of the Carolinas in Old Fort last year. SUWS is one of several local and regional organizations that use wilderness therapy. Sarah “Salli” Lewis, an Asheville-based clinical scientist, has conducted several […]

A new kind of CSA: Community Supported Apothecary-attachment0

A new kind of CSA: Community Supported Apothecary

As cold and flu season lingers on, herbal medicine is “definitely a frontline treatment,” says Ceara Foley, director of the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism (ASHH). Jamie Sparks, owner and director of Herban Farmacy, agrees, and shares what she has been offering customers in her herbal CSA. Both women tout the healing powers of herbs for winter wellness and offer different suggestions for herbal remedies.

GROUNDED: Marin Leroy, director of environmental education at Evergreen Charter School, spends some time in the school’s garden with students Lila Ryman and Hannah McDonald (from left to right). photos by Nick King


Even in a nature-rich area, residents can lose touch with the environment. “I've been fretting over the disconnection between people and nature for most of my adult life,” says Chuck Marsh, co-founder and co-designer of Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain. This disconnect has a name — nature-deficit disorder — and Marsh and other local educators […]