Surrounded by mountains and crammed into a 45-square-mile valley, the city of Asheville is bursting at the seams, suffering from a severe housing shortage, skyrocketing rents and home prices, overcrowded streets with no place to park, and an abundance of lower-paying, tourism-based jobs.
After a crowded and lengthy Tuesday, Aug. 4 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners went into closed session to discuss three legal issues and two economic development issues.
And after 30 minutes of private discussion, the commissioners rejoined the then-sparse audience to announce the county must pay more than $7 million in settlement fees to five men who were wrongfully convicted under former Sheriff Bobby Medford’s watch and had served six to 11 years behind bars.
Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a versatile phone case that aims to make action shots and selfies a breeze and a youth group empowering girls through the game of lacrosse.
JB Media’s online course boasts the same up-to-date information on digital marketing as the company’s in-person course, but a web platform and more affordable pricing may allow more busy entrepreneurs and individuals to partake in the lessons.
On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the Buncombe County Commissioners will gather for the first meeting of the fiscal year, which began July 1, to discuss rezoning requests and a resolution aiming to reduce the number of mentally ill individuals in the county jail.
Transportation concerns and maintaining a balance between the old and new were the highlights of the latest round of discussions on the River Arts District form-based coding project, with plenty of unanswered questions left on the table.
“We must address the housing crisis now, before it’s too late. I believe this can be done by requiring employers to pay their employees a living wage — which, like affordable housing, is also an endangered species here.”
On a cool, foggy July morning, more than 300 children bustle past a row of blooming sunflowers and into Hall Fletcher Elementary as teachers hand out new pencils, the principal greets them by name, and the UNC Asheville mascot poses with them for photos. But it’s only midsummer: Why are these students filing through the doors about a month before their peers at other city schools?
“First, in our market of skyrocketing property values, we must acknowledge the need for some amount of subsidy to fill the gap between low-wage workers’ ability to pay rent or a mortgage and the landlord/developer’s need for a fair return on investment. “
Sixteen candidates have officially thrown their hats into the ring for the Asheville City Council elections this fall. Each week, Xpress will introduce, in brief, four candidates’ backgrounds and ideas for the city. This week, we’ve got Corey Atkins, Carl Mumpower, Lindsey Simerly and Dee Williams.
“Safe, affordable housing is a step toward opportunity and success but not the final destination. It’ll take accessory units, manufactured homes, cooperatives, land banks, increased density, small homes and apartments to address the lack of supply.”
What does a drought in California have to do with Western North Carolina? Local experts say that the situation holds lessons for food systems throughout the country, including how to become more resilient in the face of climate change.
After the U.S. Cellular Center decided to prohibit wild and exotic animal performances in January, the Asheville City Council decided to consider prohibiting these types of events from all city venues. A revision to the city’s animal ordinance, banning circuses and other wild animal entertainment, was passed at the Tuesday, July 28 meeting.
Do you know a young person who works hard doing good for not much money? That deserving person may be eligible for Asheville’s first Julian Award, a $1,000 cash prize that will be given this fall at the kickoff of Mountain Xpress’ Give!Local campaign for local nonprofits.
A new vegan lunch service opens in August, Farm Burger hosts a raffle to benefit ASAP and five local restaurants win recognition from Wine Spectator magazine. Plus food writer Jonathan Ammons talks about his latest favorite dish — grit cakes at Louise’s Kitchen.