Future vision

A proposed zoning plan for the Haywood Road corridor , which would regulate development based on six types of districts, received mostly positive feedback from residents and business owners at a March 27 open house. The “form-based code,” a marked departure from current practice, could become a model for rezoning other parts of Asheville. “We’ve […]

Trailblaze­r: UNCA professor Dee James still leads the way

When Deborah “Dee” James walked tentatively onto the UNC Asheville campus in 1969, it was as one of the first African-Americans to integrate the women’s dormitories. Nowadays, however, she downplays that pioneer status. “It was the times; it was happenstance. If it wasn’t me, then it would have been somebody. Also, because I was 17, […]

Drawing connections: This image shows two different possible routes for Interstate 26. The older plan, Alternative 3, pictured above the red line, calls for it to cross the French Broad River into Emma. The newest plan, Alternative 3C (pictured below the red line), which is being pushed by a group of leaders, routes it further south before crossing the river closer to Westgate Shopping Center. Image courtesy of the N.C. Department of Transportation

The big drive

By David Fobes and Jake Frankel After being off the radar for years, a renewed push to construct a section of Interstate 26 through Asheville is picking up speed. The drive is, in part, the result of a small group of influential local leaders who have met behind the scenes for more than a year to […]

Knowledge is power: Vernon White II aims to empower his community with job-seeking skills and connections at two events to be held in the Shiloh next month. photo by Alicia Funderburk

Working relationsh­ips

By Ami Worthen It might not surprise Vernon White II’s former teachers and classmates at T.C. Roberson High that this two-time MVP, who was awarded a full basketball scholarship to N.C. A&T State University, is once again tackling a challenge with his trademark persistence, energy and enthusiasm. With a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and […]

Primed for a fight

Several Buncombe County Commissioners are facing challengers in the May 6 primary election. Here’s a basic rundown of the candidates and the races, broken down by district. District 1 Democrats Brownie Newman and Keith Young will fight for a seat in District 1, which encompasses the city of Asheville and leans to the left politically. […]

HOLIDAYS PAST: Founded as an independent publishing house in 1979, Lark Books employed a host of creative professionals, averaging nearly 70 craft-oriented books a year. photo courtesy of Rob Pulleyn

Love and loss

On Feb 19 Lark Books employees got the word: The longtime publishing house is closing, and staff must move out by the first week of May. That’s when Lark — founded as an independent publishing house in 1979 by Rob Pulleyn with his then-wife, Kate Matthews — will officially relocate to the New York offices […]


Mars Hill University kicked off its new ACLU organization by inviting immigration attorney Lynn Calder from Raleigh to speak to students and the public about US immigration policies. Around 30 people showed up to listen to Calder’s talk in the university’s Broyhill Chapel at noon on Feb. 24, which was followed with a few questions […]

Biz blotter

Openings Apex Brain Centers, 2 Walden Ridge Dr. Suite 80. 708-5274. apexbraincenters.com Mojo Kitchen & Lounge, 55 College St. 255-7767. facebook.com/mojokitchenandlounge Katuah Market, 2 Hendersonville Road. 676-2882. katuahmarket.com King James Public House, 94 Charlotte St. 252-2412. facebook.com/kingjames.publichouse Love Hate Asheville, 37 Wall St. 424-7176. Nightbell, 32 S. Lexington Ave. 575-0375, thenightbell.com Posh Boutique Hotel, 8 […]

Serious consequenc­es

An extensive joint study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force highlights the hazards transgender people face. Among the findings of the 2011 study were: • 40 percent of respondents reported harassment when their identification didn't match their preferred name. • 63 percent reported facing serious discrimination […]

COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY: Firestorm co-founder Libertie Valance led a Feb. 18 discussion about the worker-owner, collectively managed organization’s next move.


About 50 people squeezed into Firestorm Café and Books on Feb. 19 to talk about the café’s upcoming relocation and restructuring. Firestorm’s worker-owners were expecting a fraction of that turnout, but greeted all attendees and invited them to get coffee and snacks and join in discussions about the collective’s future. On March 1, Firestorm will […]

Green consulting: Vice Chair Ellen Frost consults with Buncombe County Attorney Bob Deutsch about the language in a resolution that seeks to limit the use of toxic cleaners. photo by Alicia Funderburk

Clean and green?

Their argument wasn’t quite toxic, but Buncombe County Commissioners fiercely debated a resolution extolling the virtues of green cleaning Feb. 18. Pushed by Vice Chair Ellen Frost, the “Resolution Regarding Use of Non-Toxic Cleaners” urges county staff to “incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions” by using guiding principals developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. […]

IN THE QUEUE? Long-awaited and oft-debated plans for the Interstate 26 connector will be in the queue of road projects for Western North Carolina. Hayley Benton

Travel plans

In between snow events that brought most state roads to a halt, the Department of Transportation held an open house in Asheville Feb. 11 to encourage public input and conversation about upcoming plans — particularly those queued for Western North Carolina, such as the long-awaited (and oft-debated) Interstate 26 connector. With a respectable showing of […]