PASSING THE BATON: When RiverLink founder Karen Cragnolin, right, stepped down from her leadership role after 30 years, the board of directors implemented their succession plan and have found a new executive director in Garrett Artz, left.  The pair met during the transition, and Cragnolin shared her depth of experience with the organization. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Facing the future: What happens when a nonprofit leader steps down?

Thirty years is a long time to devote to any pursuit, and Karen Cragnolin, the oft-honored founding mother of RiverLink, can attest to that. During that time, she says she held every job in the organization and was planning to finally move on this year when, during surgery, she suffered an aneurysm that robbed her […]

Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

Zoning to be focus of Sept. 6 hearings before Asheville City Council

It’s been nearly four weeks since City Council last met. Five zoning requests dominate the agenda for Council’s Sept. 6 meeting. Notably absent from the proceedings will be a public hearing on proposed standards for screening electrical substations, a zoning ordinance amendment that has already been postponed many times. Council has been asked to advance the hearing date on that matter to Jan. 10.

RIVER RUNS THROUGH: Looking south, a calm French Broad flows well within its banks, with New Belgium Brewery under construction on the right. Drone photography by Dan Caylor

Costs and benefits: What’s the price of riverfront revitaliza­tion?

In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”

BIG RIVER: Flooding concerns have played a pivotal part in the recent debate over redevelopment plans for the River Arts District. Photo by Xpress.

If the creek don’t rise: Flooding, money and politics in the River Arts District

City plans to improve infrastructure, expand public space, increase access and encourage private development in the River Arts District have triggered considerable controversy. Xpress reached out to the city, RAD business and property owners, and organizations involved in the now flourishing area’s revitalization to try to answer some key questions.

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?