Late-edition letter: Martin Ramsey for Mayor

The mayoral primary is Tuesday, Oct. 8 — one day before the Oct. 9 Xpress publishes. The following candidate-endorsement letter arrived after the previous week’s deadline, so we’re running it online. Do you have an endorsement for the mayor’s race? Add your picks to the comments field or, if you’re more cards-to-the-vest about it, save it for the ballot box. But either way, if you haven’t voted yet, be sure you do so on Tuesday. To find your polling place, visit

The day lady died

Although myth has it that Bele Chere translates to “beautiful life,” for many locals the three-day festival spelled ambivalence. Of course there are as many who feel otherwise ― not all of those people are from out of town. Read on for a selection of reader responses to Xpress’ coverage, mock obituaries and calls for remembrances for the discontinued tradition. Where do you fall on the Kübler-Ross grief cycle? (Photo by Max Cooper)

Chick-fil-yay, Chick-fil-nay

Rumors that the developing Harris-Teeter complex on Merrimon Avenue would include a certain Southern fast-food drive-thru chain have been wafting through town for some months, and on July 15, food writer Emily Patrick verified the news. While there are existing Chick-fil-A locations in Asheville already, the proximity to downtown Asheville perhaps rekindled the ire some residents felt when the Georgia-based restaurant’s chief operating officer Dan Cathy made public comments in June 2012 opposing same-sex marriage. But not everyone’s feathers are ruffled. A few readers welcome the establishment. What do you think? (Pictured: A mural from 2012 by Gus Cutty satirizing Cathy.)

Mail to the Chief

On July 11, Asheville City Council held “a special meeting [and] declared its support for Police Chief William Anderson, announcing that an internal investigation had found no evidence that he had engaged in a cover-up related to a March car crash involving his son, as alleged by Lt. William Wilke,” David Forbes reported. Many readers questioned the efficacy of the city administration’s oversight regarding the police chief’s behavior, and wondered what other details came to light in the closed session that preceded the announcement. (Pictured: Police Chief William Anderson. Photo by Max Cooper)

Johann come lately

Most people consider classical music to be old music, unless you’re at a conservatory, which we aren’t. Even the term conservatory implies preservation, commemorating rather than creating. Composer and musician Jason DeCristofaro has called a rally of sorts to refute that assumption, and although the Brevard College adjunct may actually be at a conservatory right now, he’s taking the debate out of school. (Pictured: Jason DeCristofaro and Dosia McKay review McKay’s “First in Flight,” which will premiere at the July 21 concert.)

HandMade in America’s executive director resigns

According to a press release from the nonprofit crafts organization, Gwynne Rukenbrod, HandMade’s executive director since 2011, has stepped down. “The Board of Directors of HandMade in America announced today with sincere regret that Gwynne Rukenbrod has resigned from her position as Executive Director of the organization,” the release says. Local consultant and former Mountain […]

AAN the nominees are …

The Association of Alternative Newsmedia, a national consortium of more than 100 news organizations, announced the finalists for its annual AAN Awards, which recognize “the reporters, artists, columnists, photographers, web producers, editorial assistants, creative directors, and editors of the alternative news industry who stubbornly refuse to do anything but kick ass, week after week, regardless of what the conventional narrative says,” according to the contest description. Mountain Xpress’ Oct. 24, 2012 cover story on Moogfest is a finalist for Editorial Layout (circulation under 50,000).

Recitative­s on the guillotine

Troubling and divisive situations need most to be discussed, especially when the implications are as severe — for the individual and the broader society — as capital punishment, says pianist and composer David Troy Francis. “When people discuss these kinds of emotional issues in political debate, often they're made to feel stupid, and their positions […]

1930 all over again

Thomas Wolfe as a significant tourist draw is not so remote a possibility, and has precedent in the Asheville of the 1930s. According to Christian Edwards of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Look Homeward, Angel attracted many visitors eager to see for themselves the “cool sweet magic of starred mountain night, the huge attentiveness of dark, […]

Calling all categories

Voting in last year’s Best of WNC poll might have seemed like an endurance test, with its 240-plus categories — but, hey, that’s the sacrifice we make for living in such a diverse, exciting, top-shelf region. Please leave your suggestions in the comments field below. If someone has already suggested your idea, give it a thumbs up or reply in support and we’ll call it a gang opinion. With the exception of velvet and perfume, you can never have too much of a good thing. (Pictured: Perennial Best of WNC winners Greg and Ashley Garrison of The Hop Ice Cream Café in 2011)

It’s over … almost … maybe

As David Forbes reported in “Goodbye Bele Chere, hello ‘creative economies’” the 2014 Bele Chere street festival ” will be the last — at least, the last run by the city, as Asheville City Council members agreed during a March 12 budget session to end their financial involvement.”  Are you happy to see it go? Are there parts you’ll miss even if that’s so? Or maybe you’re heartbroken and will dress in black for every last-weekend-in-July from now on. Let us know what you think of the recent news — and of Bele Chere in general — in the comments field. (Pictured: Design by Emily Busey)

Red-letter subject

Brent Brown’s March 6 cartoon raised the ire of some readers who found the visual reference to the Ku Klux Klan disrespectful and “appalling,” even in the satirical context. “I think it is extremely disturbing that the KKK is referenced in a comic strip as though that organization’s history is in any way amusing,” one reader wrote. Brown told Xpress that there is “nothing racial about it” — the comic explores the absurdities possible within everyday language and situations (such as a KMart closing down). Are some situations too heavy to treat so lightly? Does freedom of expression have a social limit? What do you think? Let us know in the comments field.

Lets mind wander to wondering thought: Pan Harmonia spreads the gospel of chamber music

Three strong winds: From left, flutist Kate Steinbeck, bassoonist Rosalind Buda and clarinetist Fred Lemmons. — Photo by Frank Zipperer Photography. Spring and All A selection of Pan Harmonia concerts from March to May. For the full schedule, including other venues and summer dates, visit March Sunday, March 10 at 5 p.m., The Altamont […]

Lets mind wander to wondering thought

Instrumental music leaves your imagination to itself; the sounds are free to lope and form images without the tired sagas imposed by the refrains of grocery-store songs. At a Feb. 3 concert at St. Matthias' Church, Asheville flutist and Pan Harmonia founder Kate Steinbeck encouraged this kind of personal free association as she introduced a […]

Acts of light

In conjunction with the Asheville Fringe Festival (Jan. 24-27), the Asheville Art Museum will show the 40-minute anthology Fluxusfilm on a 16 mm print — a very rare local exhibition of experimental film, especially in the given format.This significant event continues the AAM’s invigorated programming since its expansion began in 2012. (Pictured: A still from Word Movie, by Paul Shartis.) Originally scheduled for today, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., and Friday, Jan. 18 at noon, the event has been postponed due to weather. The new dates are tonight, Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. and noon.