CANDIDATE LINEUP: Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum at UNCA. From left: Kim Roney, Andrew Fletcher, Gwen Wisler, Dee Williams, Pratik Bhakta, Jeremy Goldstein, Cecil Bothwell, Vijay Kapoor, Adrian Vassallo, Sheneika Smith, Rich Lee and Jan (Howard) Kubiniec and moderator Tim Hussey. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Race, housing take center stage in Council candidate forum

Who can afford to live here and how can we all live together? Those questions formed the crux of the conversation among Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum where two issues garnered strong and varying viewpoints: the lack of affordable housing and persistent racial tensions in Asheville.

Nicole Townsend urges City Council to take action to remove Confederate monuments in Asheville. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

City stands against white supremacy

Asheville City Council passed a resolution condemning the actions of white supremacists and racial violence in Charlottesville earlier this month. Council members also resolved to support the designation of Big Ivy as a wilderness area, and voted to move forward with a phased approach to a greenway along Lyman Street to Amboy Road. A proposal to reduce the minimum width of residential lots by 20 percent citywide was sent back to the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission for further study.

IN THE BEGINNING: Reputed to be the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad has gone from a polluted industrial dumping ground to a key cog in Western North Carolina’s outdoor and tourism industries. This renaissance is a result of government, nonprofit, and individual efforts to improve water quality throughout the watershed. Photo by Mike Belleme; courtesy of Transylvania Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Development Authority

Communitie­s along Upper French Broad work to restore water quality

In this two-part series, Xpress invites you on a guided a trip down the river as we examine the work of various communities to write the next chapter in the French Broad’s history, beginning with Transylvania and Henderson counties.