Rep. Brian Turner at Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce pivots agenda at legislativ­e luncheon

The document, set by the chamber’s advocacy and policy committee, adds opioid and substance abuse prevention to the docket for the first time. Affordable housing and expanded transit options throughout the Asheville metro region also made the cut, while Medicaid restructuring and the Interstate 26 Connector Project were both removed from last year’s list.

Riverwoods site graphic

Despite ‘physical anxiety,’ Council approves 416-unit South Asheville subdivisio­n

“When I say I literally have physical anxiety about supporting this project, that is real and true,” said Council member Keith Young, citing his concerns over a lack of affordable housing in the Riverwoods development. “A part of me really feels like I’m letting folks down by approving this project.”

Chris Day and Phillip Woollcott

Technical Review Committee delays approval of Flatiron hotel plans

Citing unresolved questions about parking and a planned bike lane for Battery Park Avenue, the TRC continued its review until more information is available. The proposed 80-room hotel will likely come before the board again on Monday, Feb. 4, then face a hearing at the Downtown Commission on Friday, Feb. 8, followed by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, March 6.

Christmas tree redux

As the holiday season winds down and decorations are packed away, disposing of Christmas trees sits at the top of the to-do list for many households. Even our region’s most famous residence, the Biltmore Estate, can’t escape the task of tree removal. In fact, with more than 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees in and around the estate, Biltmore has had to develop more than one approach to recycling and reusing its trees.

Construction at Duke Energy's Lake Julian facility

2018 in review: 7 Asheville-area climate stories

Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.

Quentin Miller swearing in

Year in review: Evolving race relations in Asheville

Asheville has gotten whiter over the past two decades. The proportion of African-American residents in the city dropped from 17.6 percent in 2000 to 12.3 percent in 2016, a change city officials attribute to a combination of white influx and black exodus. For the people of color who remained in Asheville, 2018 proved a mixed bag.

Angry Taxpayers PAC sign

2018 in review: Partisansh­ip alive and well in WNC politics

As the Democratic Party retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, Buncombe Dems managed to hold onto a few key positions in local elections — perhaps most notably that of county sheriff. Politics also seeped into the Board of Commissioners race, where Republicans fell short in their bid to flip the party composition of the board.

Scott Hardin-Nieri and Steve Norris

Activists, faith leaders hold 10-day fast and prayer for climate change

“We have been shouting about climate change for a long time, but now, we feel like it’s going to take more messaging in a different way,” says Avram Friedman of the Canary Coalition, a Sylva-based environmental activism group. “We’re showing people that we’re so committed to this, it’s so important, that I’m willing to fast for 10 days to get this message across.”

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