Smart Bets: Perpetual Groove

While not every band creates the sort of fan base that follows it from state to state (The Grateful Dead, Phish and Widespread Panic make the shortlist) even fewer of those pied pipers can claim "an intense, retina-burning, intelligent light show creates an atmosphere unlike any other, assuring fans they’ll get a highly polished, yet […]

Up close and personal: Hendersonville’s new Listening Room offers access (and post-concert meet and greets) to musicians like Michael Reno Harrell.

Ready to listen, Hendersonv­ille?

Hendersonville's Guitar Academy of Western North Carolina teaches lessons, sure. But the school offers another important learning opportunity to its students: Live performances by local, regional and Grammy-award-winning touring artists. “Everything that we have ever done here at the Guitar Academy has been performance driven," says Director Michael Ridenour. "This is just a natural extension […]

Small is the new big

Lately, my big ideas have all been about appreciating small. There's a sort of "runaway American dream" that says we should get bigger, grow, dominate and take over the world. But when we look back, we usually yearn for the days when things weren't so big. Small. Manageable. It's the difference between having five friends […]

2012 wishlist

1. Continued improvement in the unemployment rate — an ideal job for every job seeker in Buncombe County. 2. Understanding from the banking industry regarding foreclosures — restructure mortgage payments so folks can remain in their homes. 3. Improved state and federal funding for lifelong learning (pre-K through college and/or technical school) — our democracy […]

Take care of each other

Recently, at a local supermarket, a woman who had just gone through the checkout line in front of us wasn't walking away with her purchases. After the cashier scanned our items and told us our total, the woman turned to us and said, "It's on me." Stunned, we could only utter, "Sorry?" But she repeated, […]

Big Idea 2012: A more sex-positive Asheville

What I’d like to see in Asheville is people's views open on what sex-positive culture really is. Our town is liberal, but like any well-mannered Southern town, it’s still skeptical in its openness to sexuality — and fairly new to it. With the dawn of places like the Tantra School in West Asheville and the […]

Smart Bets: Christmas with Dickens

Yes, Christmas Day has come and gone. Unless you're counting the 12 days of Christmas. Or, if you're a literary type and are celebrating Dickensian-style, which can extend well before or past actual Christmas. Blue Ridge Bookfest prolongs the holiday season with Christmas with Dickens: A Victorian Dinner with Entertainment. The idea for an evening […]

Resolve to See More Live Music!

Take this simple New Year’s Quiz to figure out what show to check out this week. 1. Your relationship with New Year’s resolutions can best be described as: a. inspirational: observing your life’s path often prompts others to make drastic changes. b. pretty negligible; you’re constantly tweaking your life year-round to be the most awesome […]

Raise a glass of Kool-Aid for our current City Council

Congratulations are due to Asheville’s liberal socialist progressives for their success in eliminating all meaningful diversity of thought from our City Council. Comfort is certainly preferable to the distress of exposure to multiple angles of view. Simplicity and a gentle buzz are assured by our city’s commitment to seven flavors of the same Kool-Aid. Though […]

Local money

I would like to see the city move its money from Wall Street banks to local financial institutions. I advanced this idea two years ago but didn't get much traction. I'm hoping that the changing mood of the nation will encourage other Council members to support this idea now. Banking locally has the same multiplier […]

Tag you’re it

I'd like to preface this by saying that I believe graffiti is a beautiful form of expression and art. Since its American inception in Philadelphia back in the ‘60s, it has proven to be such. However, seeing the words "Valet" and "Moms" and other silly self-interested scribble around town to me is not creative and […]

Managing downtown/d­efending Asheville’­s water

There are several things bubbling around. I think this should be the year that we have a downtown management system in place. This was part of the Downtown Master Plan from 2009, and it was first considered for downtown back in 1993. I'm hopeful that we can get it accomplished without hitting the three-decade mark. […]

An empty wagon can’t sell its own snake oil

I've been noticing a lot of state police “scarecrows” along the interstate lately. Some senior member of the North Carolina Highway Patrol has apparently deemed it a good strategy to park unattended police cruisers along the highway in order to make citizens think they're being monitored by law enforcement. This is wrong on so many […]

Photo by Bill Rhodes

Pack the house

Asheville’s favorite women’s flat track roller derby team is preparing for an apocalyptic 2012 season. We will continue to empower young girls and women in Western North Carolina by demonstrating that women of all sizes, shapes and backgrounds can play a highly competitive, hard-hitting sport with style, grace and excellent sportswomanship. We will bring the […]

Weekly Picks

Learn more about lighting ordinances proposed by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners when the WNC Sierra Club hosts "Dark Skies," a presentation by Bernie Arghiere, president of the Astronomy Club of Asheville. Held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville, 1 Edwin St., on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. Info: Info: http://www.wenoca.org 251-8289. […]