Taking care of business

The collapse of Ecusta Paper, a once-profitable business dating back to 1939, isn’t really hard to describe. But trying to discern the underlying truth evokes the image of so many blind men earnestly examining an elephant, laboring to make sense of the pieces while the beast itself remains wholly unexplained. Was this a business failure […]

Medford investigat­ion unresolved

The State Bureau of Investigation has yet to complete its review of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department’s controversial handling of a domestic-violence incident on Oct. 1 of last year. District Attorney Ron Moore asked the SBI to investigate the case — which involved the son of Sheriff Bobby Medford — after Xpress reported puzzling contradictions […]

Invest in efficiency

Off-the-shelf products can result in immediate savings, both for you and for the environment. Electrical savings • Compact florescent light bulbs: Replace all of the incandescent light bulbs in your home. Start with the lights you use most frequently (and save the incandescents for replacements in rarely used locations like closets, basement, attic, etc.). Today, […]

How do you like deenapples­?

“Are we dealing with a mouse or a heffalump?” The speaker is John Sticpewich; the question is urgent. Sticpewich, a retired petroleum geologist who lives in Weaverville, is talking about pollution at the former Sayles-Biltmore Bleacheries site in east Asheville, slated for major redevelopment. That a toxic-waste problem exists on the site is not new […]

Peace in our time?

In this unsettling and uncertain time, amid wars and rumors of war, Xpress has chosen to consider its estranged sibling, peace. How do we find it? How do we make it? How do we embody it in our own lives? By most accounts, the Bush administration is on the verge of waging war in Iraq. […]

Crazy ‘bout that Mercury

“If the sun refuse to shineI don’t mind, I don’t mind.” Nah. Jimi Hendrix was wrong. These are the times that try men’s souls. Women, too, find their hope waning with the light — unabashedly thirsty for wassail or a manicure or a new DieHard to make things right. Even the mercury is looking a […]

A book for the overbooked

Cartoonist David Cohen has long been a staple of the local arts scene. After gracing these pages with his work for many years, he moved on, some months ago, to that other paper down the way. But Cohen’s audience has long extended far beyond these mountains: He’s also a regular contributor to The Funny Times, […]

Asheville City Council

The big news at the Asheville City Council’s Nov. 26 formal session was no news, and no news looks like bad news — at least for those who’d hoped for a settlement of the region’s water fracas. That same day, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners had voted to table possible divorce proceedings in the […]

Duck Soup

In a bold move aimed at bolstering public confidence in the stock market, former Gov. George Bush turned himself in to federal marshals today, declaring, “Well, I think if you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness.” He then giggled and added, “We ought to make the pie higher.” On […]

More questions in Medford incident

Our Oct. 23 report on the unusual circumstances surrounding the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department handling of an alleged domestic-violence incident appears to have catalyzed government action. On Oct. 28, Public Information Officer John Bason of the North Carolina Department of Justice told Xpress, “SBI received a request from [Buncombe County] D.A. Ron [Moore] to conduct […]

Batter up

Xpress is expanding its political coverage this year to include some of the bigger political races outside Buncombe County. All the state-level candidates we interviewed were hit with the same three questions. Races taking place in our core distribution area received more in-depth coverage. In addition, candidates were asked, on the spot, to list or […]

Asheville City Council

It’s official: Asheville has a brand-new slogan! At their Oct. 22, formal session, with smiles all around, City Council members quickly approved the fruits of 25 city-employee forums over the past year — a revamped mission statement. “The city of Asheville is committed to delivering an excellent quality of service to enhance your quality of […]

The Big Ride

[Ed. Note: Over the next few months Xpress will ride and report on every route in the Asheville Transit Authority bus system. Herewith, our first foray.] There’s a young man out in Haw Creek who actually walks to work. He gets up every morning before the buses start running and hikes past the mall and […]

Dust in the wind

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture Andrew Kimbrell, ed. (Island Press, 2002) While newspapers and TV screens are peppered with rumors of terrorist threats and biological weapons, a far more present danger looms, mostly unremarked. It is an ancient problem with a modern, technological face. Eighteen centuries ago it toppled the Roman Empire, and […]

Mountain Xpress Poll

“Since 9-11 President Bush has instituted numerous national policies. On the whole, do you support the president’s agenda?” As part of our coverage of the regional response to national events since last September, Xpress conducted a public opinion poll between Aug. 20 and Sept. 4. The results Buncombe County Support: 44%, Don’t support: 44%, No […]

Drawing the lines

After each national census, state governments must re-draw their electoral maps to reflect population shifts. North Carolina’s recent redistricting was complicated by a legislative mandate to switch from at-large representation in the General Assembly to smaller districts with a single representative. In the Asheville area, former Senate District 28 has become districts 48 and 49, […]

Bush & Sundance

The avowedly pro-business administration in Washington, D.C. regards oil dependence and consumerism as necessary pieces of what is currently labeled “the economic recovery.” George W. Bush is on record urging people to go out and spend more cash as a response to last year’s terrorist attacks, and he has cut funding for both conservation and […]

Duck Soup

I am the WNC volunteer coordinator for Cynthia Brown’s campaign for the Democratic nomination in the race to replace Jesse Helms — now retiring from the U.S. Senate. Never having been heavily involved in electoral politics, I’ve found the experience a real eye-opener — on many levels. One lesson, however, stands out and will keep […]

Duck Soup

A friend referred me to an article in the journal Nature about genetically modified corn. Recent research indicates that it is poisoning our topsoil. But business-as-usual reports in the media have slipped the news safely beneath the public radar. If you’ve been sleeping in class for the last 10 years, you may have missed the […]

Duck Soup

I have turned over a new leaf, having added speech-recognition software to my bag of tricks. My computer now writes down what I say. The plan here is to spare my carpal tunnels and free my thumbs for twiddling. Theoretically I spend a large amount of time with my hands on a keyboard, a practice […]

Duck Soup

I read recently that, during our public-relations campaign last fall, we airdropped more than 2.5 million Pop-Tarts(R) onto Afghanistan. I knew we’d sent a lot, but until now I hadn’t seen hard numbers. That strikes me as a mess of Pop-Tarts(R). This led me to wonder two things. First, did we drop toasters as well? […]