Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer delivers State of the City address on Oct. 1. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Manheimer: bring all voices to the table

At the annual State of the City luncheon, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer referenced the voices of Asheville citizens “from all walks of life” as frequently as she cited experts and economic studies. Manheimer said, “The job of your City Council is to hear the voice of the people — their words, their views, their vision —and use those to create […]

City Councilman Cecil Bothwell presents results of a poll showing majority support a park on land across from U.S. Cellular Center and Basilica of St. Lawrence. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Bothwell: Poll says 86 percent of Asheville voters support park

In a press conference across the street from the so-called “Pit of Despair,” Asheville City Councilman and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners candidate Cecil Bothwell said this morning that a poll conducted by his campaign shows that 86 percent of likely Asheville voters favor a park on the city-owned parcel opposite the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center.


Breaking through: Local women challenge political glass ceiling

While the number of women in politics has definitely grown over the last few decades, “Politics is still a gendered space,” says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics. “Women see these institutions and don’t see a lot of people that look like them in charge, and that may lead to a reluctance to run for office.”

HIGH TENSION WIRES: Residents around Henderson County are speaking out publicly over a 45 mile Duke transmission line project they say may adversely effect their community. Photo courtesy of Kathy Ziprik.

High tension wires: Duke Energy and Henderson County residents at odds over proposed transmissi­on lines

Power giant Duke Energy’s proposal for a 45-mile transmission line through Western North Carolina, part of the company’s multifaceted Western Carolinas Modernization project to upgrade and integrate the mountains with a larger regional power grid, is meeting staunch opposition from residents since the company announced its intentions in mid-July.

Asheville City Council approves new zoning use for Brother Wolf cat café. Creative commons photo by iris

The meows have it: Council approves cat café

Seven meows in favor (and no “arfs” against) carried the motion to approve a new zoning use in Asheville’s Central Business District — the cat café. The proposed cat adoption center and café will expand Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s efforts into the heart of downtown. In view of the many dog-centric businesses in the city, cat owner and Councilman Cecil Bothwell said this cat-oriented attraction is “long overdue.”

Room occupancy taxes, paid by overnight visitors to the county, will go up from 4 to 6 percent. Photo by Margaret Williams

Buncombe Commission­ers approve hotel tax increase

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved an increase in room occupancy tax increase for visitors to the area at its Tuesday, Sept. 1 meeting.

The increase, from 4 to 6 percent, applies only to those paying for rooms in county hotels and does not affect residents. This rate coincides with rates currently implemented in 31 other North Carolina counties, including Durham and Catawba.

buncombe county logo

Buncombe Commission­ers to vote on tourism tax, parkway protection

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ Sept. 1 meeting seems to cover all of the bases, from taxes to zoning to county services and a possible Vietnam memorial wall. The meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Commissioner Chambers on the third floor of the county building at 200 College St.

Supporters of Homestays and short-term rentals wore red stickers at the crowded City Council meeting on Aug. 25. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

City Council grapples with Homestays, raises fines on short-term rental violations

From real estate investors to neighborhood advocates to homeowners trying to make ends meet, just about everyone in Asheville has a dog in the ongoing fight over short-term vacation rentals. At the Tuesday, Aug. 25 Asheville City Council meeting, citizens representing a variety of viewpoints crowded City Hall.

Asheville Meter Services worker Tyler White installs a new 1.5-inch meter service on Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville last Wednesday. The future management of the Asheville water system is currently in the hands of the N.C. Court of Appeals. The system consists of approximately 1,674 miles of water lines. Photo by Mike Belleme/Carolina Public Press

Should WNC’s drinking-water systems be publicly or privately owned?

Figuring out ways to preserve, repair and enhance decades-old — or even century-old — water systems provides a flood of challenges for cities, towns and communities across North Carolina’s mountains. And, experts say, ownership structures of those water systems may influence infrastructure upgrades, service quality and the ultimate price water users pay.