PARKWAY PRESERVATION: A total of 5,329 acres in the area of Waterrock Knob will be conserved, the largest addition to the Blue Ridge Parkway in 60 years.  Photo courtesy of the Blue Ridge Parkway/National Park Service

Waterrock Knob expansion brings together stakeholde­rs, public

The highest peak in the Plott Balsam Mountains, Waterrock Knob encompasses a unique ecosystem. The Blue Ridge Parkway will now conserve 5,329 acres of this irreplaceable landscape thanks to recent land and financial gifts by a network of conservation groups and private donors. The public is invited to weigh in on plans for the area through Feb. 25.

THE LONG ROAD HOME: For older residents of WNC and those like Barb Knight, who has cerebral palsy, finding a suitable and affordable long-term care facility can be a dizzying experience. Luckily, there is a variety of local resources and professionals to help assist in finding the right home for residents and their loved ones. Photo by Max Hunt

Navigating WNC’s long-term care options

Few words have the ability to inspire more fear, frustration and trepidation among older Americans across the country than “nursing home.” But for those confronting the prospect of needing long-term care, a variety of care options and support services across Western North Carolina provides information to help residents find the best care available.

A SALES PITCH TO END HOMELESSNESS: Real estate agent Ryan McCullough seeks to end homelessness in Buncombe County with his foundation, REACH. The organization is in partnership with Homeward Bound of WNC and will celebrate its launch party at Wicked Weed Brewing's Funkatorium on Friday, Jan. 26.

Small bites: REACH seeks to end homelessne­ss with launch party at Funkatoriu­m

Wicked Weed Brewing’s Funkatorium hosts the Real Estate Agents Combating Homelessness fund launch party. Also: The town of Fletcher hosts its 17th annual Chili Cook-Off; the Organic Growers School talks food sovereignty and agriculture in Cuba; Blue Spiral 1 hosts its first art dinner pairing; Your Vegan Mentor demonstrates homemade soups; and author Julia Turshen celebrates her latest cookbook at Nightbell.

MUDDY WATER: An official meets with a hog farmer to review his animal waste management system. Photo courtesy of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Local agencies wrestle with livestock impacts on water quality

Advocates for clean water in North Carolina often focus on the eastern part of the state, which hosts one of the world’s highest concentration of hogs. But French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson emphasizes that Western North Carolina and its smaller farms are not immune from the water quality issues related to animal agriculture.

POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE: Although total voter registration in Asheville grew by almost 19,000 individuals in the past decade
and a half, the number of registered Republicans decreased by nearly 3,000. While there was a spike in Democratic registration
around the time of Barack Obama’s first election, the recent growth in registration has been mostly from unaffiliated voters. Meanwhile,
for City Council elections, Democrats are showing up in disproportionately high numbers. Graphics by Able Allen with data
from the Buncombe County Board of Elections

How local organizers shifted Asheville politics to the left

Movers and shakers on progressive issues have had increasing success in Buncombe County politics since the turn of the century. Activists and organizers on the left have carved out a stronghold in Asheville where they keep power by setting the agenda for conversation according to some. Meanwhile a rise in disaffiliation with the traditional two parties leaves openings for candidates that don’t fit traditional molds in Asheville politics.

CALL TO COMMUNITY: Members of the South Asheville community living around the CTS of Asheville superfund site gathered with EPA staffers, county officials and other community representatives to discuss the impending remedial efforts to address TCE contamination emanating from the former industrial property. Photo by Max Hunt

CTS clean-up moves forward as community wrestles with torrid past

Cleanup efforts are finally beginning at the CTS of Asheville Superfund site on Mills Gap Road, but past controversies and a lack of trust in Environmental Protection Agency officials continued to dominate the discussion during a Nov. 30 public meeting to review the impending remedial projects and address residents’ concerns.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION: Warren Wilson College has teamed up with the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women to bring WWC undergrads and incarcerated students together under the innovative Inside-Out program model. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Warren Wilson undergrads­, inmates come together in the classroom

Warren Wilson College has partnered with the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women to bring the innovative Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to the correctional center. For inmate and undergrad alike, Inside-Out provides the chance to gain self-knowledge, grapple with the systemic issues of the penal system and learn from one another.

Showing 1-21 of 442 results