Beyond Coal

There’s an ironic juxtaposition of the old and new along Interstate 26 as you approach Asheville, said Bruce Nilles, the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign director. The Progress Energy plant burns coal day and night to provide power to consumers across Western North Carolina, while a short distance away, along I-40 a six-acre solar farm […]

Box Creek Wilderness gets new lease on life after development plan fizzles-attachment0

Box Creek Wilderness gets new lease on life after development plan fizzles

Large areas of untrammeled nature are increasingly hard to come by in North Carolina — especially where the mountains meet the Piedmont, the state’s most urbanized and densely populated region. But every so often, wilderness gets a reprieve. So it is with the Box Creek Wilderness, a 3,300-acre link between the Blue Ridge and the South Mountains just east of Asheville.

Universal joint: UNCA teams with Astronomy Club to build new observatory-attachment0

Universal joint: UNCA teams with Astronomy Club to build new observatory

All eyes are on the skies: Eyes on the skies: Last month, UNCA announced a plan to partner with the Astronomy Club of Asheville to build a small observatory on the south-facing hillside at the north end of campus, at the end of Nut Hill Road. Key partners in the observatory plan include (from left) UNCA’s Brian Dennison and Judy Beck, and Bernie Arghiere, president of the Astronomy Club of Asheville. (photos by Max Cooper)

Case dismissed, but it’s not over yet: Small growers vow to fight Monsanto-attachment0

Case dismissed, but it’s not over yet: Small growers vow to fight Monsanto

In her essay on the hazards attending genetic engineering, author Barbara Kingsolver raises the question: “What will it mean for a handful of agribusinesses to control the world’s ever-narrowing seed banks?” Asheville’s Sow True Seed has an idea, and they’re ready to fight back. (Cathryn Zommer shows off Sow True Seed’s “Harvest Goddess” street puppet, above.)

NC House committee issues subpoenas to compel EPA officials to testify on CTS

A North Carolina House Select Committee has issued subpoenas to compel key EPA officials, including Superfund Branch Chief Don Rigger, to testify in a hearing in Raleigh next month, even as Mills Gap Road-area residents file a formal complaint of criminal negligence against the agency in the case of the former CTS of Asheville, and another Mills Gap home receives an emergency supply of bottled water from the EPA. Photo by Susan Andrew.

New contamination emerges in Mills Gap; neighbors await municipal water hookups-attachment0

New contamination emerges in Mills Gap; neighbors await municipal water hookups

At a kitchen table in the Mills Gap community in South Asheville last night, neighbors of the former CTS of Asheville plant met to plan next steps, after two new domestic wells nearby recently tested positive for industrial contaminants including cyanide.  CTS has signed an agreement with EPA to provide filtration to all homes within a one-mile radius of the recently demolished plant; but neighbors say they were anticipating municipal water hookups.