Southside Village Bill LaMée

EPA clarifies Southside Village status

The 74 homes in Southside Village are not part of the CTS of Asheville Superfund site next door, say several residents of the gated community off Mills Gap Road. In two recent letters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backs up that assessment, saying it “does not believe contamination associated with the CTS of Asheville Superfund Site poses unacceptable risk to residents of SSV.”

Breathe it in: Conservation groups like Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy have protected more than 100,000 acres of WNC land from development.

Conservati­on in WNC — where we’re going, where we’ve been

From the Get It! Guide: Long before the age of Internet lists and online travel magazines, people came to Asheville and Western North Carolina for the intrinsic natural beauty. In fact, the beauty of our environment is what many say makes this place so special. But are we protecting what we have? What initiatives are underway to help ensure that the region remains a respite and a haven for generations to come?

The county's industrial and pollution control financing board will consider the approval of issuing $4.2 million in industrial revenue bonds to pay for new machinery at Plasticard-Locktech International.

County’s industrial board to consider approval of industrial revenue bonds

The Buncombe County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority will hold a meeting on Tuesday, March 31, to consider the approval of financing new machinery for the Plasticard-Locktech International facility at 605 Sweeten Creek Road. The meeting will be held at noon at 46 Valley Street in downtown Asheville.

A convenient illusion: On average, the city of Asheville produces 22,400 tons of trash a year. What's the cost of all that waste? Some say the things we throw away are affecting now just our environment but our culture as well.

The consequenc­e of waste: Buncombe’s discarded problem is piling up

From the Get It! Guide: A close look at the trash collected in Asheville was shocking — 26 percent of our waste is compostable matter, 18 percent is recyclable and 56 percent is true waste, fit only for the landfill. With the city alone producing over 22,000 tons of trash a year, what is the cost of all that waste. And what is it going to take for us to reduce it?

In 2010, hundreds of people marched down Tunnel Road advocating for the construction of a sidewalk between the Veterans Restoration Quarters and the VA Medical Center. That sidewalk has since come to fruition, but a report shows that Asheville is falling short of its goals.

Asheville tries to keep pace with rising demands for sidewalks, bike lanes

From the Get It! Guide: Asheville is faced with a rising interest in transportation alternatives, but the path to greater advances seems to be lined with historic neglect and budgetary hurdles. The city still has a long walk ahead to fulfill its 2004 goal of building 108 miles of sidewalks. In the last decade, Asheville has constructed only about 18 miles worth.

Sir Charles Gardner works in the Pisgah View Peace Garden, a community garden and commercial enterprise that grows food for — and employees — public housing residents.

Green developmen­ts: How Asheville’s public housing communitie­s are leading the eco-scene

From the Get It! Guide: Green jobs, lush community gardens, community cookouts and water quality testing — these might not be things many in Asheville picture when they think of public housing. But residents says Asheville’s public housing neighborhoods are investing in their communities’ welfare and leading a growing interest in “greening” up the neighborhoods.

EYES ON THE SKIES: UNCA students observe weather conditions near Ponca City, Okla., in 2013 during a Severe Weather Field Experience attended by Kelly Gassert, Katy Hudson, Massey Bartolini, Corey Lea, Duncan Belew, Bobby Taylor, Daniel Thomas and Thomas Winesett. Photograph by Christopher Godfrey

UNCA meteorolog­ical students look to the future

Students in UNC Asheville’s chapter of the American Meteorological Society use real-world experience, integrated with social media and technology, to feed their love for all things weather-related. There are weather balloons to release in the dark of night, mountaintop weather stations to maintain, snowfall to tweet about and, somewhere, a tornado or hurricane to track.

Dr. Marshall Shepherd

Shepherd addresses Asheville’s American Meteorolog­ical Society

Given the title of the talk — Zombies, Sports, and Cola: What does it mean for Communicating Weather and Climate? — Shepherd had quite a bit of explaining to do. Remarkably, however, the former NASA scientist managed to demonstrate, with these seemingly disparate subjects, how a significant portion of the public (mis)understands meteorology — and how the problem may be solved.

Set sail: Planes will tow motorless gliders toward Mount Mitchell, where they’ll be released into powerful wind waves in the hopes of soaring to great heights. Local Wave Camp organizer Sarah Arnold is pictured here being towed in a glider. Photo courtesy of Arnold.

Surfing the skies: Gliders fly high above Mount Mitchell

More than just birds are soaring the winds above Mount Mitchell. Dozens of pilots from around the country will soon attempt to fly motorless gliders over 20,000 feet above the area’s highest peak. They hope to be propelled upward by a natural phenomenon known as wind waves, which crest when air currents blow against the mountain ridge from the northwest.

View across lake of Duke Energy's Lake Julian plant

Duke Energy charged with criminal violations of Clean Water Act in Asheville, 4 other plants

Update: On Friday, Feb. 20, the Associated Press reported that Duke Energy, the nation’s largest power company, has been charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act at five North Carolina power plants, including the plant in Asheville. The AP reports that the charges are felony violations, while the News & Observer in Raleigh reports the power company […]

View across lake of Duke Energy's Lake Julian plant

New study cites increased sulphur dioxide emissions at Duke’s Asheville plant

Beyond Coal and the Sierra Club released a study today, Feb. 19, indicating that Duke Energy’s Asheville plant may be exceeding federally regulated levels of sulphur dioxide, a toxin that aggravates asthma and causes other health problems. “Somewhere in the Asheville area, that [federal] standard is being exceeded about once every three to four days,” said Howard Gebhart of Air […]

Gary Sizer, Asheville resident, hiked 2,185.3 miles from Georgia to Maine in 2014. The Appalachian Trail took him 153 days to complete. All photos courtesy of Gary Sizer

Tales from the Trail: Walking Appalachia from Georgia to Maine

Since its initial construction in 1937, 15,524 people are said to have completed the thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail — “2,000-milers,” they’re called. Inspiration behind embarking on such a physically and mentally challenging journey varies from person to person, but deep down it satiates core human needs for renewal and a reconnection with nature.

Dr. Marshall Shepherd

Zombies in the forecast? Former NASA scientist Marshall Shepherd at UNCA Feb. 23

What do zombies, sports and cola have to do with the weather? On Monday, Feb. 23, Dr. Marshall Shepherd — the director for the program in atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia — intends to tackle that question in a presentation titled “Zombies, Sports, and Cola: What does it mean for Communicating Weather and Climate?”  The […]