When invasive plants reach into productive “rich coves” like Sandy Mush, they can choke out much of the region’s native biodiversity. Endangered and sought-after plants such as yellow mandarin, black cohosh and wild ginseng, as well as thousands of other species of native plants and animals, can be at risk.
As a sacred fire burns, two holy leaders from Canada will share insights gleaned from their lives as resilient survivors and indigenous leaders at the Voices of Wisdom gathering near Weaverville Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18.
Robert Pressley, incumbent Buncombe County commissioner for District 3, was the only Republican to win a county race in the hotly contested 2018 midterms. Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rose said the party’s unprecedented midterm voter outreach had helped propel Democratic candidates to wins in nearly all local contests.
Watch this space for the latest election results and commentary from the Mountain Xpress news team. The post will be updated regularly throughout the evening.
From 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., polls will be open throughout the region for citizens to decide who represents them in key local, state and national offices, as well as if six amendments will be added to the North Carolina constitution.
The new facility’s planned retirement is in 2059 — 17 years after Buncombe County government’s 2042 goal of transitioning all homes and businesses to completely renewable energy. Jason Walls, Duke Energy district manager, said his company is committed to helping local governments achieve their goals but that the new plant’s construction is based on forecasts of growing energy needs.
District Wine Bar hosts a paella and Spanish wine fundraiser for Asheville Music School. Also in this week’s Asheville food news, GO Kitchen Ready students present their Showcase Dinner, the Acornucopia Project offers a nut foraging class, Hickory Nut Gap Farms hosts Sausage Fest, Marshall gets ready for its second Fermentation Festival and much more.
Craig Harper with the University of Tennessee notes that negative public perception about prescribed burning generally arises from a lack of understanding about how fire benefits the landscape. “Many people will argue for increased diversity on national forests, but they don’t want disturbance,” he says. “If you don’t have disturbance, then it is impossible to have increased diversity.”
On Oct. 20, local giving circle CoThinkk held its third annual community award night at The Collider in downtown Asheville. “Standing In We: Rooted in Collaboration” celebrated the region’s work toward ensuring more equitable outcomes for communities of color, particularly the efforts of African American and Latinx leaders to cultivate change.
Carl Mumpower, chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party, encourages voters to support the six amendments. In contrast, both Democratic and Green party leaders aim to “nix all six,” while the Libertarians support only a lower constitutional cap on state income taxes.
“It’s like the playing field that everyone’s playing on — that the economy’s playing on, that companies are playing on, that the government’s playing on — that playing field is starting to erode,” says Josh Dorfman, CEO of The Collider in downtown Asheville. “I think there’s more on the line than many people understand.”
“Oh happy day,” proclaimed Council member Sheneika Smith after the unanimous appointment vote for the city’s most powerful unelected official. “As an organization, as a city, and even the county is rejoicing today.”
Reid Thompson has lost the most recent battle in his 13-plus-year fight with the city of Asheville. But the war, suggested Thompson’s representative and urban planner Joe Minicozzi, is far from over. “He’s got to file a civil suit to get his civil rights upheld,” Minicozzi said. “You can’t enforce the law on one side of the street and not enforce it on the other.”
Despite the unique set of challenges it presents, WNC women are increasingly looking to agriculture as a business option.
Reid Thompson, the owner of 28 and 32 Maxwell St., seeks to rezone those properties from residential to lodging expansion, thereby allowing their short-term vacation rental use — because the activity of Greenlife Grocery, he says, has made it impossible for him to keep long-term tenants.
While the long-running planning process has made considerable progress toward a consensus vision for the forest, sticking points do still remain. Conservationists continue to disagree with some hunting advocates and logging industry groups about protected area designations and the exact extent of active management on the land.
Offered in response to public demand for greater transparency in the city’s finances, the work sessions allow each governmental department to explain how it uses its portion of more than $180 million in spending. The sessions also provide a forum for Council members to seek information on specific budget items, such as Pack Square Park maintenance.
Four candidates, including three Democrats in contested races, showed up to the event. Their three Republican opponents — Senate incumbent Chuck Edwards, House candidate Marilyn Brown and Commissioner Robert Pressley — didn’t appear. According to League policy, candidates without an opponent present are limited to a two-minute opening statement.
Every fall, between late September and early October, monarch butterflies migrate from the Northeastern U.S. to Mexico, with many passing over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although fewer monarchs are making the trip these days due to habitat loss and other factors, local monarch enthusiasts are working to study and protect their populations.
Local city governments offer leaf collection and processing services, but residents can also put their own fallen leaves to good use.
Earlier this summer, Kenilworth residents followed up on a complaint first sent to the city of Asheville in September 2017. They allege that changes Mission has made to address their noise concerns haven’t eliminated the problem — and that the health system wasn’t acting in good faith when it entered into discussions with the community.