TOOLING AROUND: At an Oct. 21 community sharpening event at the Asheville Tool Library, participants learned to sharpen blades on implements ranging from kitchen knives to chainsaws. The tool library will celebrate its second anniversary this month. Photo by Travis Smith

Nicholas Letts brought the sharing economy to Asheville with tool library

While reducing the environmental impact of purchasing tools that member households may need only infrequently is a key goal for the Asheville Tool Library, the nonprofit has an even bigger vision. Founder Nicholas Letts says he hopes the library levels the economic playing field by reducing expenses and promoting collaboration.

ON THE HOT SEAT: Asheville City Schools Superintendent Denise Patterson has come under fire for what some parents say is inadequate communication with students' families in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14. Patterson has released a series of videos on the subject of school safety. Image from YouTube

Parents criticize Asheville City Schools response to Parkland tragedy

Parents of students in Asheville City Schools pushed back against what they saw as a tepid response from district leaders after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., saying local administrators were slow to acknowledge families’ fears and provide concrete information. At a March 6 parent forum, some additional details about the district’s safety planning were made available.

PLACE TO CALL HOME: Jimmy Yamin of Workforce Homestead described plans for a 70-unit affordable apartment complex in Candler off Smokey Park Highway on April 10. Asheville City Council approved Yamin's zoning request unanimously and also approved a $600,000 loan from the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund in support of the project. Photo by Virginia Daffron

City sustainabi­lity efforts fall short of annual goal in 2017

After years of progress toward waste and carbon emission reduction goals, the city hit a wall in 2017, according to a report presented to Asheville City Council on April 10. Asked for bright ideas about how sustainability efforts can get back on track to achieve long-term goals, city staffers said that, without significant additional investment, progress is likely to be limited to incremental gains.