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News briefs: Strive Beyond promotes alternativ­e transporta­tion, Asheville hosts home ownership fair

Activists with the Health Equity Coalition are organizing a Friday, May 24, community forum to explore how the $1.5 billion Dogwood Health Trust, created from the sale of Mission Health, offers the prospect of “life-changing” investments in the wellbeing of residents in 18 Western North Carolina counties. Also, it’s time to strive to drive less in the runup to the Strive Beyond Summit at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Mills River on Friday, May 31, from 3-5 p.m.

Concerns over appropriat­ion of wellness rituals spark conversati­on among local practition­ers

Rituals that draw on the traditions of indigenous, non-Western cultures are part of a growing industry at the intersection of health, wellness and spirituality. Some in Western North Carolina have raised concerns about whether it’s appropriate for non-native practitioners to offer and profit from traditional practices and techniques.

From CPP: DEQ says Asheville didn’t follow communicat­ion protocols during water problems

“They are supposed to notify the customers to boil the water and then take a sample to make sure there is no bacteria present in the water and then they lift the boil water advisory,” Kimberly Barnett, the regional manager for Asheville at the state Department of Environmental Quality, told Carolina Public Press. The city of Asheville didn’t follow that process after widespread water outages on April 1.

Healthy change: West Asheville’­s developing wellness corridor

“This is increasingly a wellness corridor,” says chef Reza Setayesh of West Asheville, the location of his newest restaurant BimBeriBon. Local entrepreneurs, he notes, “have invested in businesses that promote a lifestyle and environment that includes the whole being, whether it’s acupuncture, massage, food, yoga. This is a neighborhood that helps people move, make healthy choices and thrive.”

Local pastor’s new book targets bullying

Nationwide, between a quarter and a third of U.S. students have been bullied at school, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and most bullying happens in middle school. Pastor Brent La Prince Edwards’ new book aims to head off the problem by targeting a younger audience, using simple illustrations by the author and appropriate language to address the topic of bullying while building healthy self-esteem.

North Carolina congressional districts

News briefs: Mayor Esther Manheimer to hold gerrymande­ring press conference

In conjunction with Buncombe County voters and members of Raleigh-based lobbying group Common Cause North Carolina, the mayor will discuss how gerrymandering splits Asheville voters and advocate for nonpartisan districting reform. The press conference takes place at Pack Square Park on Tuesday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m.

Wellness briefs: Grants boost dignity, telehealth

Grants to help agencies providing health care services and studying better ways to deliver those services continued to flow in Western North Carolina. Some recent examples include a grant to Project Dignity for feminine supplies, funding to expand how telehealth services might be expanded in rural areas and support for a study of resources available to kidney patients.

Medical Emergency Ambulance ambulance

Buncombe County grants franchise to private EMS service

Although some commissioners remain concerned the agreement could cut into revenue generated by local volunteer fire departments, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners decided in a 4-3 vote on March 5 to grant an expanded franchise to private EMS service Medical Emergency Ambulance, also called Medic. Commissioners Brownie Newman, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Amanda Edwards voted in the minority.