Waste not: In the 1980s, the residents of the Sandy Mush community in north Buncombe County found their peaceful valley was one of several sites proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy for a high-level nuclear waste repository. No repository has been built; high-level waste still awaits a final resting place. Photo by Jerry Nelson; flight courtesy of Southwings.

Green Scene: A glowing report?

The imminent release of a report by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future has revived fears of a high-level radioactive-waste repository in Western North Carolina. In the 1980s, local activists fought such a proposal to a standstill; mindful of that, concerned residents are tracking the commission’s activity. Established by President Obama last year, […]

Seeking signs of life: Christi Whitworth of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute discussed astrobiology, the search for life in the universe, in a public program last week as part of the monthly ‘Evenings at PARI’ series. Visitors got a peek through one of PARI’s powerful telescopes. Photo courtesy of PARI

Green Scene

The search for water in the universe — and, by extension, for extraterrestrial life — was the subject of “Astrobiology: Where Are We Searching and What Are We Looking For?” a May 13 program at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute near Brevard. The program included a tour of the campus and a chance to look […]

Disaster mappers: DENR geologist Rick Wooten examines a large crack that opened in a Macon County driveway when the  slope on which it was built slipped last spring. The house beyond was later condemned. DENR’s Landslide Mapping Program helps property owners avoid building in landslide-prone areas, but its future is uncertain. Photo courtesy of NC Geologic Survey

Green Scene: On the chopping block

It’s a volatile point in the state’s budgeting process, and like their colleagues in other state agencies, employees of North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources can only watch as legislators, led by a recently installed GOP majority, plan massive cuts to close an estimated $2.6 billion shortfall. DENR, which handles everything from forest […]

Green Scene: A decade of green

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,” anthropologist Margaret Mead said. The Western North Carolina Green Building Council — its founders and its members — demonstrates the truth in those words. The council started as a conversation between two people, […]

Green Scene

The Western North Carolina Green Building Council will hold its annual Green Building Directory release party on Thursday, April 28, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Pack Place in downtown Asheville. The event is free and open to the public; it includes door prizes and refreshments from local businesses. The event is sponsored by Craggy […]

Green Scene

Green living is healthy living Last year’s Asheville Earth Day was a busy, community-oriented shindig that packed Martin Luther King Jr. Park. This year will be even bigger, with the party moving to Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville and organizers teaming up with the YMCA and its Healthy Kids Day. The combined forces promise […]

Thumbs-up for water quality: Logan Jayne, an eighth-grader at Evergreen Community Charter School, reacts as he and science classmates analyze water samples collected in Haw Creek. Students hope to raise awareness about water quality through placards they affixed to storm drains that lead to Haw Creek. Courtesy of Stuart Miles

Green Scene: Getting their feet wet

Some may remember eighth-grade science as boring and perfunctory, with a focus on things like converting teaspoons to milliliters. Or maybe it was high ick-factor, slicing and dicing your way through some worm’s digestive tract? But for Stuart Miles’ seventh- and eighth-grade students at Evergreen Community Charter School, science class is more about how they […]