LOOK HOMEWARD, ASHEVILLE! Asheville's current boom in tourism and development mirrors the state of the city during Thomas Wolfe's life in several respects. The author, who wrote extensively about the changes he saw around him, may offer clues as to how the city can address current concerns and questions facing its residents. Left photo by MAx Hunt. Right photo courtesy of North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, NC.

Of time and the city: Issues facing Asheville in Wolfe’s youth mirror today’s concerns

Asheville and environs have seen considerable change in the 77 years since Wolfe’s death, yet many of the aspects he wrote (and sometimes fumed) about seem uncannily familiar. And as current residents ponder the challenges the city faces today, a look at several of the celebrated author’s key themes might prove instructive.

LIVING LEGACY: Surviving members of ASCORE, a student-led group who fought for equality during the 1960s in Asheville, will be honored during a special reception on Nov. 5, part of UNC-Asheville's Center for Diversity Education 20th anniversary celebration. Photo by Emmanuel Figaro.

Torchbeare­rs: Center for Diversity Education honors ASCORE’s legacy

In 1960, a group of student activists at Asheville’s all-black Stephens-Lee High School courageously challenged the racial status quo, bringing the civil rights movement closer to home. Through public demonstrations, boycotts and engagements with city officials, the members of the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality helped break down Jim Crow-era barriers. For the past […]

REFERENCE POINT: Despite a surface sonic connection to New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s, LA-based musicians Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, aka The Milk Carton Kids, are more influenced by Appalachian and jazz sounds than Lower West Side folk songs.

The Milk Carton Kids’ contempora­ry take on American folk music

The Milk Carton Kids are really just two Los Angeles-based singer-songwriters — Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale — who figured out that they sounded good playing together. But to the rest of the Americana world, the two are magic in a bottle, blending the fraught folk weariness and preternatural guitar picking of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings with the fragile pop harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel.

SERVING THE COMMUNITY: Since it's grassroots origins as a small, owner-led grocer in 1975, the French Broad Food Co-op has grown into one of the most popular businesses in downtown Asheville. The FBFC now plans to expand its facilities and offerings and is proposing ideas for addressing community issues of affordability and housing. Photo via the French Broad Food Co-op.

It takes a village: French Broad Food Co-op announces expansion proposals

The iconic community-owned food market and grocer has announced initial plans to expand its current space on the 60-100 block of Biltmore Avenue and is reaching out to community organizations and the city of Asheville to begin discussions on the possibility of a massive multiuse facility.

SLOW & STEADY: Local business alliance group Asheville Grown is ramping up for its 2016 Go Local campaign with a new card design and set of discounts from locally-owned businesses across the city. Image courtesy of Asheville Grown.

Bringin’ it all back home: Asheville Grown ramps up for 2016 Go Local campaign

As new hotels and construction sites pop up across across the city seemingly every week and nationally-branded chains vie for retail space downtown, the local small business alliance known as Asheville Grown is reminding the Asheville community of the importance of keeping small, locally-owned businesses at the center of the city’s economic development plans.


Breaking through: Local women challenge political glass ceiling

While the number of women in politics has definitely grown over the last few decades, “Politics is still a gendered space,” says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics. “Women see these institutions and don’t see a lot of people that look like them in charge, and that may lead to a reluctance to run for office.”

"Yellow Alert!" - cartoon by Brent Brown

Yellow Alert

It would not be a case of yellow journalism to investigate the suspicions that something smells in dark recesses of downtown Asheville’s parking garage stairwells. City leaders should make addressing this a number one priority. It’s one thing to advertise downtown as a drinking destination, but having facilities available to return that rented beer makes the difference […]