Tensions run high over tackling Asheville’s graffiti

Local business owners raised their voices and things got, by the moderator’s own admission, “a little out of hand” at Friday morning’s Council of Independent Business Owners meeting when it came to the issue of graffiti. With the district attorney, city leaders and a state representative on hand, opinions differed — sometimes sharply — on possible solutions and who should foot the bill.

ACA health insurance still available for some locals

While the sign-up deadline for health care under the Affordable Care Act passed March 31, some can still sign up, according to an attorney with one of the local nonprofits that has assisted WNC residents in doing so. People who dealt with technical difficulties or have a major life change can still get healthcare under the ACA. Also, due to North Carolina’s government refusing to expand Medicaid, many locals will not face a penalty for not having insurance.

Commissioners approve $50,000 for Mountain Bizworks microloans on party line vote-attachment0

Commissioners approve $50,000 for Mountain BizWorks microloans on party line vote

Buncombe Commissioners voted along party lines April 1 to give Mountain Bizworks $50,000 toward a new microloan program that will help small local businesses get needed capital. The local business nonprofit will leverage the county funds to receive an additional $300,000 from the federal Small Business Association Microloan Program.

Nuestro Centro celebrates Latino culture at Emma Elementary-attachment0

In photos: Nuestro Centro celebrates Latino culture at Emma Elementary

Last Thursday, March 20, students and parents from Emma Elementary school gathered in the school’s auditorium to watch some of their fellow students perform a traditional Mexican dance from the state of Veracruz. The program, part of the school’s Cultural Day, was organized by Nuestro Centro, a Latino community center based in the Emma community.

City rolls out new zoning plan for Haywood Road tomorrow night-attachment0

City rolls out new zoning plan for Haywood Road tomorrow night

After months of preparation, city of Asheville staff will present a new “form-based” zoning plan for the Haywood Road corridor at a meeting tomorrow night, Thursday, March 27. The new plan is a very different approach from the city’s previous development rules, and could provide a model for overhauling other neighborhoods’ zoning as well.

Environmental Quality Institute seeks volunteers to sample local waterways-attachment0

Environmental Quality Institute seeks volunteers to sample local waterways

The Environmental Quality Institute’s Stream Monitoring Information Exchange program is currently seeking volunteers to attend a volunteer training on Saturday, March 29th, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at UNC Asheville. Once trained, volunteers work in small groups to sample a couple sites, two times per year (about 10 hours of annual service). Volunteer opportunities are open to anyone (11th grade and up) with any level of experience or identification skills.

Asheville City Council preview: dueling futures

As a renewed push to move the Interstate 26 connector forward continues, Asheville City Council gets its turn on Tuesday, March 25, to consider a joint resolution seeking to make the long-delayed highway overhaul a reality, even as a number of community groups vocally oppose the plan. Council will also consider what to do with vacant property on Haywood Street across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence, another contentious issue.