I know you had limited space and couldn’t include all of my comments in the “Big ideas” article [“Big Ideas and Their Impact on the Community,” Jan. 8 Xpress], but I did want to mention one idea I spoke about in the late ’90s: Asheville and Buncombe County have potential to become hubs for eco-businesses, much as Raleigh and Durham have become hubs for research and development. From eco-tourism to businesses dealing with the environment, we could bring living-wage jobs to the area and still maintain our reputation for sustainability and environmental stewardship. Some of that is beginning to happen now. A next step could be the creation of an eco-industrial park to lure in and house those businesses, while maintaining the integrity and safety of these beautiful mountains.
— Leni Sitnick