Opinion: Campaign over marriage amendment will change North Carolina

There’s been some talk in light of the General Assembly’s decision this week to approve the so-called “marriage amendment” that “not much will really change.” According to this line of thinking — promoted mostly by amendment supporters — all their decision to send the amendment to the May ballot does is to preserve the status quo. “So, we’ll have a vote next year on something that’s already barred by law,” say the supporters. “What’s the big deal?”

Whether it’s sincere or knowingly deceptive, this is ridiculous, head-in-the-sand talk. …

Land sakes

North Carolinians recently joined the nationwide celebration of Great Outdoors Week, honoring our state’s public lands and their vital contributions to public health, recreation and the environment. But what’s sometimes overlooked is the importance of these treasures to North Carolina's economy. Getting people outdoors is a growing business here, accounting for more than $7.5 billion […]

Burdens or bunkum?

At a time when "jobs" is the buzzword in politics, conservative politicians are attacking one of our economy’s key building blocks. In 2008, trout fishing alone had a total economic impact of $174 million in WNC, according to a study by the Wildlife Resources Commission; we also have a thriving white-water rafting industry. In Western North Carolina, it’s become increasingly clear that without EPA oversight, environmental protections simply won’t move forward.

Burdens or bunkum? Proposed laws could destroy WNC’s water quality

To most Western North Carolinians, it might seem obvious that protecting access to clean water should be a top priority for our elected leaders. Besides making up 60 percent of the human body and being essential for drinking, irrigation and fisheries, water is a vital regional asset for recreation and scenic beauty.

But even putting all that aside, it’s also one of our most powerful economic engines. …

Gay is the new local-attachment0

Gay is the new local

Recently, the two of us sat on Lexington Avenue reading Mountain Xpress aloud to each other. It’s something we do while we take in the goings-on in our neighborhood. We live in downtown Asheville, and while we appreciate the quirky spunk of West Asheville, the almost rural feel of Fairview, the old-school Southern charm of […]