Asheville City Council

With nearly two dozen annexation foes on hand, many sporting red shirts in a show of solidarity, the Asheville City Council spent a good portion of its marathon Feb. 27 meeting examining its ability—or rather inability—to lawfully expand the city limits. Take me to the river: Gradual rezoning of Asheville’s River District could help transform […]

Asheville City Council

Bele Chere, Asheville’s annual July blowout, inspires a wide range of emotions in city residents—everything from pure love to sheer hate to major ambivalence. That goes double for people who live or work downtown: Some leave town to avoid it; others circle the dates on their calendars to make sure they don’t miss out. But […]

Latest Shuler post expands his influence

When Democrat Heath Shuler ran against long-time Rep. Charles Taylor, one of the knocks against the upstart challenger was the fact that he wouldn,Aeot be able to bring home the bacon and that constituents would lose an influential voice in Congress ,Aei thanks to Taylor,Aeos 16-year incumbency and his seats on various committees and subcommittees vital to local interests.

Homegrown and growing

Movin’ on up: Mountain BizWorks Communications Manager Rachel Miller and CEO Greg Walker-Wilson discuss the explosive growth of the formerly named Mountain Microenterprise Fund, which,Walker-Wilson says, is no longer “micro.” photos by Jonathan Welch Walter and Wendy Harrill left stressful careers in medical technology to raise blueberries and raspberries on a farm in Fairview. And […]

Asheville City Council

Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower‘s continuing campaign to beef up drug-interdiction efforts claimed the spotlight at Council’s Jan. 16 session. A heated e-mail exchange in the days leading up to the meeting (see sidebar, “The Straight Dope“) set the stage for Council to tackle the matter. Asheville police Chief William Hogan said his department […]

The mountains at war

Col. Robert Morgan, the acclaimed pilot who flew the equally famous Memphis Belle, may be the most glamorous name in Asheville’s roster of military heroes. But a new pictorial book goes way beyond the dashing bomber pilot in exploring Western North Carolina’s wartime legacy. Part of the “Images of America” series, Asheville and Western North […]

Asheville City Council

The first portion of the Asheville City Council’s Nov. 21 work session was enough to turn your stomach. A graphic and unsettling presentation by Grier Weeks, executive director of the Asheville-based National Association to Protect Children, focused on child pornography. Weeks advised any parents watching the proceedings on the local-government cable channel to make sure […]

Mean streets?

A couple of decades ago, before Asheville’s downtown renaissance kicked in, the city core could be a desolate place where crime, vice and menace of various sorts were not uncommon. Lexington Avenue was one of a number of areas where inner-city rot had planted deep roots. But while residents now brag about the city’s distinctive […]

Mr. Shuler goes to Washington­—and a very different Congress

Washington bound: Heath Shuler thanked Jesus and his supporters during his acceptance speech at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. photo by Jonathan Welch Once considered virtually invincible at the polls thanks to weak opponents, his considerable personal fortune and his penchant for bringing home the bacon, Rep. Charles Taylor met his match this time around in […]

Uncivil discourse?

“As far as the e-mails are concerned, a lot of those issues are beyond me. I don’t have the ability to allocate funds for our soldiers. If I could, I would.” — Mayor Terry Bellamy Trib-ulations: The Oct. 12 Asheville Tribune took City Council to task for raising the Army Reserve Center’s rent, sparking some […]

Asheville City Council

“That story was only used to divide the community. … It was only done to incite anger.” — Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy War is hell — and, sometimes at least, so is politics. Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy says she’s received death threats and other negative communications in the wake of a recent City Council vote […]

What’s left?

Gordon Smith: “I decided to stop being angry. … I found that action was the best antidote to that pessimism and disenfranchisement.” photo by Jonathan Welch Whether working at the grassroots level or in the blogosphere, local liberals, progressives and moderates are hoping that the upcoming elections will mark a leftward shift in the political […]

Asheville City Council

“I’ll be able to send out a lot of nice letters to tell people of your actions tomorrow.” — City Manager Gary Jackson Asheville’s water system continues to be a bugaboo for City Council. At their Sept. 19 work session, Council members agreed in principle to reduce the new capital-improvements fee for a handful of […]

An honest day’s pay?

There are any number of reasons people choose to live in Western North Carolina. For some folks, it’s always been home and always will be, regardless of how freaky it may get. Outsiders often move here for the natural beauty, for the diversity of lifestyles or for Asheville’s remarkable cultural offerings. But it seems safe […]

Asheville City Council

“Right now it’s not an overwhelming problem.” — Police Chief William Hogan on crimes committed by illegal immigrants Despite a less-than-warm reception last month, Council member Carl Mumpower once again urged his colleagues to beef up policing of illegal immigrants in Asheville and the people who employ them. But at the Aug. 16 work session, […]