PRESIDENTIAL PALATE: Chef William Dissen's trip to Washington, D.C. includes an invitation to meet President Obama's chef Sam Kass.  “Who knows? Maybe the first lady will step out to speak with us!” says Dissen in anticipation. Photo courtesy of The Market Place

Asheville chef demands GMO labeling at Capitol Hill, White House

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, is one of about two dozen chefs invited to gather at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in support of labeling food containing genetically modified organisms. Dissen and other renowned chefs, including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Art Smith, Andrew Zimmerman […]

Photos by John Penley

Photos: Michael Brown justice rally draws hundreds in Asheville

About 200 people gathered in downtown Asheville Nov. 25 in support of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man who was killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer earlier this year. Unlike protests in Ferguson and some other cities, the Asheville gathering at Vance Monument was peaceful as attendees held signs with phrases such as “Hold Cops Accountable” and “Where is Justice for Black America.”

Around 100 supporters and activists gather at Vance Monument Nov. 20 to remember transgender people murdered in the last year due to discrimination.

Activists say transgender people still face uphill battle in Asheville

Activists who gathered Thursday night, Nov. 20, during the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TdoR) say there is ongoing danger toward transgender people living in Asheville, and it may not be an issue that is on people’s radar. “There is danger for transgender people living in Asheville. I know of transgender women who have faced danger […]

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WNC environmental groups merge into MountainTrue

The historic merger of three long-standing Western North Carolina environmental groups was unanimously approved Nov. 20 by the boards and members of Environmental and Conservation Organization (ECO), the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance (J-MCA) and the WNC Alliance (WNCA). Julie Mayfield, co-director of WNCA, opened the proceedings by welcoming the members of all the organizations and the elected officials […]

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Despite funding challenges, WNC nonprofits find ways to serve

Western North Carolina is blessed with a tremendous variety of charitable nonprofit organizations, each of which contributes to the overall health of our community in various ways. These organizations help find homes for animals, protect the environment, feed and clothe the needy, advocate for vulnerable populations, encourage healthy living and help grow independent businesses. Without […]

Board of Commissioners Chairman David Gantt presents departing Commissioner David King with an award for his service on the board.

County approves economic incentives, King bids farewell

Counting on a longterm return and benefit to the area, Buncombe County commissioners approved two economic incentive packages today, Nov. 18, in exchange for the creation of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment in the county economy. Commissioners unanimously approved a $9 million economic incentive for gear maker Linamar North Carolina Inc., to […]

BREWS AND DUES: At $250 per person, an Outer Banks field trip can be prohibitively expensive for FDNSC students. Brian Pesci aims to use his passion for homebrewing to reduce the financial burden on students' families. Photo courtesy of Pesci

Homebrewing teacher hopes to fund field trip with brew sale

Bucking the bake sale tradition, West Asheville’s Hops & Vines will host a “brew sale” fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 21, to benefit students of the Francine Delany New School for Children. The donation-based beer-tasting event, led by FDNSC teacher and award-winning homebrewer Brian Pesci, will help offset the cost of FDNSC’s annual sixth grade field […]

""Homelessness is really an issue that crosses all political definitions," said Kelly King Horne, a panelist at a recent Asheville forum on the issue. (photo by Cameron Huntley)

Asheville forum focuses on housing, income shortfalls and change

Leigh Snyder teared up several times as she spoke to well over 100 people who had gathered for a forum on family homelessness in downtown Asheville on Nov. 6. The event, sponsored by Homeward Bound of Asheville, brought together activists, volunteers, community leaders, business owners and local politicians — enough to easily fill the Celine and Company Catering’s large banquet hall at 49 Broadway.

Intro to film: Nicole Hinebaugh, right, will work with Mars Hill University students, including Shamika Davidson, left, and Paige Stack, center, as they document life in Asheville's public housing communities. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Student documentary invites the public into public housing

Working in collaboration with Housing Authority residents and the Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation, a group of Mars Hill University undergraduate social work students will spend a semester interviewing and filming public housing tenants before assembling their footage into a short film. The idea is to increase a sense of connection in a city where public housing communities are physically and socially isolated.