Paradigm shift

We are the world: Jim Hausman explains global interconnectedness using Buckminster Fuller’s innovative Dymaxion AirOcean World Map. photo by Mariah Grant Did you know that simply by replacing your home’s incandescent bulbs with compact-fluorescent lights you can single-handedly remove hundreds of pounds of carbon from our air each year, and keep hundreds of pounds of […]

Brave new ideas

Asheville’s Design Science Lab had two distinct objectives. The first was to develop strategies for achieving one or more of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The second, more important aim was to devise approaches for achieving a desired future for Asheville that can be replicated elsewhere, with a focus on sustainability addressed in the […]

Asheville City Council

“Workers are being exploited, and it’s the employers that are benefitting.” — Council member Bryan Freeborn on illegal immigrants The topic of illegal immigration is muy caliente these days, and the Asheville City Council waded into the fray at its July 18 work session. A series of suggestions by Council member Carl Mumpower had a […]

Bank shot

“The competitive pressure exerted by credit unions on the banking industry in North Carolina is substantial.” — Thad Woodard, N.C. Bankers Association Better than banks?: Customers line up at the Ecusta Credit Union in Pisgah Forest, which has some 7,400 members. photos by Jonathan Welch Once referred to as “the poor man’s bank,” credit unions […]

Mass communicat­ions

“The idea that there is a ‘public’ that has a prior ownership claim on a spectrum of radio frequencies is a fantasy.” — Tim Peck, Asheville resident They came — more than 400 of them, from all over the state and from as far away as Nashville. Citizens of varying colors, ethnicities and political persuasions. […]

‘Xpress’ testifies

Many local-media representatives said their piece at the town-hall meeting with the two FCC commissioners. Mountain Xpress was among the publications that submitted testimony. Our newspaper’s statement is reprinted verbatim below. June 28, 2006 Remarks before the FCC forum on the future of media, Asheville, North Carolina Commissioners, panelists and guests: I’m Jon Elliston, news […]

Suffer the little children

Laura Sadelson, a teacher at Mountain Area Child and Family Center in Swannanoa, with one of the toddlers she watches over. photos by Rebecca Bowe Nobody ever said raising small children was easy. But if you live in Buncombe County and you need childcare, good luck — especially if you’re poor, working your way through […]

Asheville City Council

Faced with a $2.4 million budget shortfall, not to mention massive water-infrastructure needs, the Asheville City Council considered a slew of fee increases at its May 16 work session. And if the proposed increases are included in the 2006-07 budget that Council is slated to vote on next month, virtually no one will be spared. […]

Asheville City Council

The journey toward a decision on the Asheville Civic Center’s future can be likened to a succession of baby steps. And while the ultimate fate of the dilapidated structure remains distant, City Council took another baby step at its May 9 session, formally accepting the Civic Center Task Force’s report. Council’s stamp of approval isn’t […]

Let my people stay

“First of all, I thank you, my undocumented friends, for having given your best to build up the United States.” — the Rev. Russell B. Hilliard Sr. Dressed in a pair of work jeans and a gleaming white T-shirt, Luis says he’s here in North Carolina illegally, far from his home in the Mexican state […]

Asheville City Council

Pressed to meet a June 27 budget deadline, Asheville City Council members and Chief Financial Officer Ben Durant continued to search for ways to fix a $2.4 million shortfall at the April 18 work session. The new fiscal year begins July 1. And in a related agenda item, Council members indicated a willingness to add […]

Astral projector

The first striking thing about 34-year-old wunderkind David McConville as he answers the door to his West Asheville studio is not so much the shaved head and black goatee but the T-shirt proclaiming, “I’m an idiot.” In fact, his nickname is “Id.” Which is funny, really, because judging by his two-page curriculum vitae (which would […]

Car 54, where are you?

Worried about what your teen is up to in the family sedan? Fretting over your fickle spouse’s whereabouts? A local company’s cutting-edge spy device could help provide some answers. The Cyber Tracker, developed by the Asheville-based Homeland Integrated Security Systems, puts Big Brother right on your dashboard. “It really is a revolutionary device,” says Chief […]

Fear and loathing in D.C.

“We are prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Shuler — as long as it doesn’t require any money.” — attack blogger Jason Woodmansee There are any number of reasons for disliking politicians. In the case of local Democratic congressional candidate Heath Shuler, who hasn’t yet been elected to anything, one might dislike him […]

Asheville City Council

“I see some smiles, so I guess I won’t see any tomatoes this afternoon.” — Mayor Terry Bellamy on proposed staff salary increases Asheville is in a budget bind — to the tune of $2.6 million — but at their March 21 work session, City Council members said they’re committed to raising salaries for some […]

Asheville City Council

The Asheville City Council’s new majority bared its teeth during the Feb. 21 work session, relieving former Council member Joe Dunn of his duties on a sharply divided 4-3 vote less than halfway through his four-year term on the Asheville Regional Airport Authority. Taking his place will be Council newcomer Bryan Freeborn — the very […]

The economics of tolerance

photo by Kent Priestley In and out: Rev. Kathryn Cartledge (shown here with her pet llama) says she lost a chaplain job at a local drug-treatment center because she is a lesbian. In the summer of 1996, the Rev. Kathryn Cartledge, an ordained United Church of Christ minister, was excited to be starting a new […]

Too rich to be victims?

One key argument against workplace protections for gays and lesbians has been these two groups’ supposed affluence, which has been cited as proof that they are not victims of discrimination. Consider, for example, the following snippet from the conservative, Raleigh-based N.C. Family Policy Council, a nonprofit that says it’s “dedicated to the preservation of the […]

Broken vows

photo by Mariah Grant The big chill: After their wedding announcement appeared in the Nov. 6, 2005, Citizen-Times, Virginia Balfour (left) and Laurel Scherer say that Wolf Laurel’s owners informed them their photo services would no longer be needed. The couple stand in front of a local billboard still bearing one of Scherer’s photographs last […]

Anchors aweigh

photo courtesy Asheville Naval Reserve Center At the ready: Local Navy personnel muster for a flagraising in the early 1950s, soon after the Asheville Naval Reserve Center was established. Asheville is justly renowned as a jewel of the Southern Appalachians, but less well known is the city’s strangely rich naval heritage. Thousands of locals — […]