Local conference highlights renewable energy economy-attachment0

Local conference highlights renewable energy economy

Of the 30 utility-scale solar projects built in the Southeast last year, 21 were in North Carolina. That’s the kind of good news business leaders heard when they gathered June 19 in Asheville to celebrate the successes and discuss the challenges facing the rapidly growing renewable energy industry. (pictured: Ivan Urlaub of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; photo by Max Cooper)

There’s still time

Repairing broken streets and sidewalks, our decrepit transit center, updating key maintenance equipment, keeping taxes down — these are all things taking a back seat to funding yet another parking garage in the proposed budget, which allocates $12 million in capital-improvement funds over the next two years to build the parking garage. This action is […]

Why would our Legislature stifle job growth?

North Carolina job growth would be hurt if the Legislature passes House Bill 298. This bill would dismantle the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard established by a bipartisan legislature in 2007. The reason for the REPS was to offer a way for utilities to diversify fuel choices by having a small percentage of […]

Post-recession Buncombe still struggling, local poverty rates surpass state and national average-attachment0

Post-recession Buncombe still struggling, local poverty rates surpass state and national average

After sharing 42 slides worth of charts, data and graphs, an independent economic consultant speaking to local doctors, health advocates, politicians and board members at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services made a conclusion: Though the recession started five years ago, the numbers show that Buncombe County still has “a ways to go.” Highlights of the presentation, along with the full presentation, can be found in this post. (Slide image courtesy of SYNEVA Economics)

Up from the ashes: Once slated for destruction, the Reid Center is now the site of an ambitious renovation project overseen by the Asheville Housing Authority and involving an array of nonprofits. photos by Max Cooper

Reid Center rising: Innovative training/hiring model uses local labor

The current $4.3 million Reid Center renovation is the fruit of an ambitious alliance of local nonprofits and agencies. Once earmarked for demolition, the historic structure has played a major role in Asheville’s historically African-American Southside neighborhood since the 1920s, serving as a school for decades before becoming a community center. But bricks, mortar and […]

Sex discrimination complaint filed against ABCCM-attachment0

Sex discrimination complaint filed against ABCCM

Based on claims that the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) failed to provide female veterans with the same job training classes as their male counterparts, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a sex-discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor against ABCCM. The complaint was filed today on behalf of U.S. Army veteran Emily Bagby. (photo of Emily Bagby by Adam Taylor)

Bartending 101

With all the hype over craft brews and the movement to call Asheville "Beer City" (a sobriquet I thought reserved for Milwaukee, or at least St. Louis), I have not noticed a commensurate effort to provide good service to individual beer drinkers. I happen to like light premium beer, and how hard can it be […]