FLEA FOR ALL: Flea markets across Western North Carolina draw tens of thousands of residents each weekend in search of bargains, rare finds and a good time, creating micro economies and a strong sense of community among buyers and sellers. Photo by Cindy Kunst.

The people’s market: WNC flea markets offer culture, community and commoditie­s

Whether you’re hunting for a bargain or looking to make some extra cash, gathering with neighbors at a local flea market could be just the ticket. Flea market regulars say the connections that form between buyers and sellers are a unique aspect of the experience, and their value can equal or exceed the monetary rewards.

MOUNTAIN MAJESTY: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most beloved and most visited sites in the National Park System, attracting millions of visitors and tourist dollars to the region each year. Its creation was the result of over a decade of legislative wrangling, relentless promotion and fundraising, and the tireless efforts of WNC residents such as George Masa, a Japanese immigrant who helped introduce the Smokies to the American people through his photography. Photo via North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville

George Masa and the birth of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“These efforts really are about protecting places for all Americans and for future generations,” notes Brent Martin of The Wilderness Society. The leaders of the national parks movement, he maintains, “all saw a much bigger picture, not only for all human beings, but for all living things.”

Conference homes in on WNC’s local economy

The Self-Help Credit Union, in conjunction with dozens of local sponsors, is hosting a conference on our local economy. Entitled “Bringing it Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone,” the daylong conference will explore local-centric ways to grow the Western North Carolina economy. The event will be held at the Harvey L. Haynes Conference Center […]

JOB SEEKERS: BY one measure, unemployment is down in North Carolina, and Asheville's got one of the lowest rates in the state (4.1 percent). But if count those who've dropped out of the market or are underemployed, the statewide rate is higher than 12 percent. Photo by Bill Rhodes

Job statistics don’t tell the whole story for local economy

On Nov. 21, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office released a statement saying that all of the jobs North Carolina lost during the Great Recession — some 62,000 positions — had been gained back. Not long after, local unemployment numbers started coming in, showing that Asheville had the lowest unemployment numbers among the North Carolina metro areas at […]

Santa claws: lobster for the holidays-attachment0

Santa claws: lobster for the holidays

The holidays mean decadence. Fatty foods proliferate, bank accounts go negative and children risk becoming spoiled. In the spirit of overindulgence, Asheville can now add fresh Maine lobster to the holiday table. Especially since this well-armored delicacy is now available fresher and at a cheaper price than in area grocery stores.

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F3 project aims to close the sustainabi­lity loop with canola

Advantage West held the “Fry Party” last week at a kitchen at Blue Ridge Food Ventures, located on AB-Tech’s Enka campus, to bring local attention to F3, an effort, according to project director Ron Townley, that pilots a new business model for the production of biodiesel from locally grown canola. The program, he says, is aimed at ultimately reducing Western North Carolina’s dependence on imported fuels by creating a partnership among area farmers, restaurants and biofuel producers.