THE ORIGINAL MOTHERS: (left-to-right) Franklin Sides, Susan Sides, Bob Kornegay, Richard Colgan, Ned Ryan Doyle, Terry Krautwurst, Lorna Loveless (front), Jean Malmgrem (partially obscured in middle), Pat Stone (obscured in back), Kathleen Seebe (front), Beach Barrett (back), Richard Freudenberger, Marsha Drake (front), unidentified woman (obscured in back), Joanne Dufilho, Caroline Sizemore. Photo by Hannah Kincaid

Mother Earth News pioneers gather at Asheville fair

Some of Mother Earth News’ earliest “Mothers” — whose roots go back to the 1970s and 1980s — got together this past Sunday at the Mother Earth News Fair, which was held at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Nearly two dozen former employees and families met for brunch and to share their recollections from the decades past. I was one of them.

FINDING FRACE AND GOD: "Why do I argue with people who don't agree with me? Because when they go home at night, they've got to think about this stuff."

Straddling frontiers: Out to the Nations conference tries to reconcile Christian, LGBTQ community

It’s no secret that the Christian and LGBTQ communities have often found themselves at odds — each a thorn in the other’s side. But the Out to the Nations conference intends to reaches out to LGBTQ people in the Southeast who’ve felt ostracized or hurt by the church, offering them the possibility of finding a new path and personal connection with God.

The Appalachian Studies Association held its 38th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference last weekend at Eastern Tennessee University. Photo by Max Hunt.

Mountain medley: Reflection­s on the 2015 Appalachia­n Studies Conference

In an ongoing effort to connect those dispersed communities, the Appalachian Studies Association held its 38th annual conference last month in Johnson City, Tenn. The one-of-a-kind event unites scholars and musicians, activists and academics, to celebrate the often misunderstood region’s distinctive heritage, culture and physical landscape.

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

City Council to hear preliminar­y steps in evaluating shape of Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

Asheville City Council has a light schedule for its regular April 14 meeting. Council members will hear a resolution to approve preliminary steps in evaluating the condition of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, as well as tackle some administrative tasks in Buncombe County’s purchase of a 137-acre plot on Ferry Road near Bent Creek from Henderson County.

ORCHARD PROJECT: Volunteers came out on a beautiful day to plant an orchard on a formerly vacant green space in the Hillcrest Apartment complex.

In photos: Hillcrest get an organic boost from GreenWorks

Asheville GreenWorks partnered up April 11 with volunteers to transform an empty green lot at Hillcrest Apartments into an orchard. GreenWorks received a grant to plant its sixth community orchard at Hillcrest, with 24 ball-and-burlap apple trees and 36 blueberries. The goal is to promote better access to food, greenspace, shade, community pride and jobs.

THE HUB: Here’s Pack Square circa 1930, looking east, with Asheville City Hall and both the 1903 and 1928 Buncombe County Courthouses in the distance. Photo by George Masa. Original photo held by the NC Div. of Archives & History, this print courtesy of North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville, North Carolina

Honor system: Vance Monument restoratio­n raises troubling questions

The upcoming restoration of the Vance monument is said to honor the memory of Zebulon Vance, Confederate military officer and wartime governor. But there’s another side to this story. By many accounts, Vance was a white supremacist who supported and profited from slavery. Many are saying that it’s important to consider what ideals and what history the momunment reflects — and also what is absent.