For Western North Carolina, 2009 showed no shortage of challenges and feats, setbacks and advancements, wins and losses. Like the rest of the nation, we struggled with a dismal economy, even as some old and new businesses managed to keep their heads above water. We withstood droughts, deluges and the biggest snowstorm in years. We (some of us, anyway) debated municipal-government candidates and went to the polls to choose new slates of local leaders. We even managed to carve out some carefree times, basking in the area's rich cultural offerings.
Through it all, Mountain Xpress was there, chronicling local news, views and entertainments — often in the words of the participants and observers at the heart of the story. Here, then, is a selection of the myriad voices that graced our pages, in print and online, over the past 12 months.
"While the economy may have stalled the aspirations of certain developers and business people to turn Asheville into another Charlotte or Atlanta, don't think for a moment that they don't still envision Asheville as a mountainous cash cow."
— Jesse Junior, "A Time to Reflect," Jan. 7
"Asheville has experienced this sort of Soviet-style central planning before."
— Asheville resident Steve Rasmussen, quoted in "Development Activist Blasts Downtown Master Plan Problems," Jan. 14
"I think the recession we are looking at is different from the last two recessions. It's going to be longer, and it's going to be more severe."
— City of Asheville Chief Financial Officer Ben Durant, quoted in "Beating a Retreat," Jan. 14
"We actually have stronger regulations for basic municipal trash [landfills] than for coal-ash combustible waste products."
— Chandra Taylor, an attorney with the North Carolina office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, talking about the December 2008 toxic spill of 1 billion gallons of sludge near Knoxville, Tenn., quoted in "One Lump or Two?" Jan. 14
"Some of the people I consider my constituents consider me a sellout just for being here. [But] at this point, my position is to stand by this plan. There is enough common ground to move this thing forward."
— Kitty Love, quoted in "Selling the Downtown Master Plan" on mountainx.com, Jan. 16
"More people are asking what we do. … You grind coal, you burn coal, you make heat, you turn turbines: You get electricity."
— Progress Energy's Asheville Plant Manager Garry Whisnant, during a tour of the Lake Julian facility less than a month after a catastrophic spill of 1 billion gallons of coal-ash sludge at a TVA power plant near Knoxville, Tenn., quoted in "Coal Ash: A Pond Farewell," Jan. 21
"I decided I was pissed off about how we got from my grandfather's generation and all the real American values he stood for — that generation fought a noble war — to the generation of George Bush."
— Author John Jeeter on why he wrote The Plunder Room, quoted in "Family Jewels," Jan. 21
"The nature of the material that we work with in the Fringe — [such as] nudity, raw language, bizarre conceptual things — it is an adult experience."
— Asheville Fringe Festival organizer Jim Julien, quoted in "Cabaret of the Weird," Jan. 21
"I was mostly interested in her parking lot. Ann Dunn told me, 'You have to buy the building if you want the parking lot.' So I did."
— Steve Wilmans, owner of Echo Mountain Studios, about buying the former Fletcher School of Dance building and renovating it as a second recording studio, quoted in "Building an Echo Mountain Empire?" Jan. 21
"Watching a Sam Mendes film is like sitting in a room while all the air is being sucked out. His latest bout of Oscar-bait, Revolutionary Road, is no different. It's one of those somber melodramas that only venture outside during awards season."
— Ken Hanke reviewing Revolutionary Road, Jan. 21
"This city has a sorry history of destroying African-American neighborhoods in the name of progress. Lutovsky and Executive Director Kelly Miller of the Chamber are perfectly willing to bulldoze another predominantly black neighborhood to suit themselves."
— Asheville City Council candidate Cecil Bothwell, quoted in "Protest Planned at I-26 Debate" on mountainx.com, Jan. 27
"[The end result is] always a million times more magnificent than our wildest dreams."
— Artist Jeanne-Claude, quoted in "Larger Than Life," Jan. 28
"This is truly a wide and disparate movement made up of people from varied and diverse backgrounds. From children too young to walk, to teenagers, families and retirees, to bikers, cowboys, teenyboppers and everyone in between, this movement accepts and has something for everyone who believes."
— Photographer Scott Lessing, discussing the evangelical movement featured in his photo essay, "Faith in Focus," Jan. 28
"For the acrobalance act, Sparrow lies on her back with her feet up at a 90-degree angle and Sayde balances on top of them, then starts flipping around in the air. Next, sitting upright, as if on a human barstool, Sayde starts playing the banjo, and Sparrow picks up the viola. They perform a catchy song called 'Hot Dog,' about the positive effects of eating a hot dog every day."
— From "SoundTrack," Jan. 28
"I guess the titles The Uninspired and The Uninvolving were considered too honest, but they would've certainly provided a more accurate description of The Guard Brothers' The Uninvited."
— Ken Hanke reviewing The Univited, Feb. 4
"From my vantage point, I don't feel like [Asheville] is moving away from roots music. If we're a flower, we have a strong root and always will. But now there are other parts to that plant."
— Indie rocker Stephanie Morgan, quoted in "Next We're Movin' On," Feb. 4
"My whole thing is, just because you are in a wheelchair, that doesn't mean you can't live life to the fullest. There are a lot of individuals with disabilities who kind of let life pass them by. I let people know: 'There is life out there, and it is for you to enjoy. Take opportunities whenever they come to you.'"
— Miss Wheelchair North Carolina Brandee Ponder of Asheville, quoted in ASKville, Feb. 11
"What we're trying to do is address structural and operational issues as we see them. It's freedom for volunteers, within guidelines."
— WPVM volunteer Edwin Shealy speaking to the board of the Mountain Area Information Network, which holds the license to the low-power FM radio station in downtown Asheville, quoted in "WPVM Volunteers Present Station Management Plan," Feb. 11
"Serena struck me as one of these characters who has an odd integrity. She has an idea she's very loyal to, at the cost of her humanity."
— Author Ron Rash, quoted in "When the Bough Breaks," Feb. 18
"The recent 18 months brought in a leadership style that is termed 'corporate' and has made some staff and faculty uncomfortable with changes. The perception at the college is the 'idea/implement/buy-in' model rather than 'idea/buy in/implement'; college personnel express a feeling of isolation and disconnect with new college initiatives. Pervasive across the college is the perception that every idea has to be implemented — a 'hurry up and do it' mindset."
— Sam Dosumu of A-B Tech, quoted in "Campus Remains Unsettled in Wake of President's Announced Resignation" on mountainx.com, Feb. 20
"If they aren't going to produce, we don't want them back. URTV is looking for people that can and will produce. That is our product, not coddling members."
— URTV Secretary Ralph Roberts on assertions that the station's management was alienating members, quoted in "Whose TV?" Feb. 25
"Warren Haynes came up to me and he says … 'Mickey Raphael, who plays harmonica with Willie Nelson, would like to sit in.' And I was like, 'Oh, yeah, of course, that'd be awesome.' And then he said, 'And John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, would you mind if he played on a song?' My mouth hit the floor, and I was like, 'You kidding me?'"
— Singer/songwriter Michael Franti, quoted in "The Rebel Rocker Yogi," Feb. 25
"Gird yourselves, because the news is not getting any better."
— N.C. Rep. Ray Rapp, quoted in "Legislators Paint Grim Picture at Commerce Luncheon," Feb. 25
"All I want is an apology from Denny's. … Denny's management are making it sound like I was standing on the table doing a striptease."
— Crystal Everitt after being asked to leave the Denny's on Patton Avenue for publicly breast-feeding her child, quoted in Edgy Mama, Feb. 25
"My great-grandfather was the Johnny Thunders of the sitar."
— Musician King Khan, quoted in "King Khan and the Shrines," March 4
"It is my pleasure to call these people names. I just wish I could be more colorful."
— Council member Carl Mumpower on the city's loss of a lawsuit challenging the Sullivan Acts, quoted in "Asheville City Council," March 4
"I've devoted my life to it and I love it, but when I left New York, I was like, 'I don't want to play music. It's not going to be the focus anymore.'"
— Electric Owls singer/songwriter Andy Herod, quoted in "Everything Turns Out Nothing Like the Plan," March 11
"Do you want to look back someday and wish you'd listened to the person with the paper pitchfork when someone with a real one is after you?"
— Barnardsville resident Kathy Lack speaking out against county spending, quoted in "Buncombe Commissioners," March 11
"Pimento cheese — also known as PC, Carolina caviar and Southern paté — is a truly Southern food. Those of us who grew up here can't imagine a church picnic, afternoon tea, political rally or lunch-counter menu without sandwiches loaded with the mixture of grated cheese, mayonnaise and sweet peppers."
— Anne Fitten Glenn, "Pimento Cheese, Please," March 11
"Why Asheville Street Style? Well, like many larger cities — New York, Paris, Tokyo and Helsinki — Asheville has its own flavor, a hard-to-pin-down and equally hard-to-deny artistic essence that comes out in residents free-spirited apparel."
— Xpress arts and fashion writer Alli Marshall, "You Wear it Well," March 18
"His name was Matt Lauer. He was nice. He just was a normal person, basically, except for he's on TV every day."
— 8-year-old Wild Freeborn, who made national news for her use of social networking to sell Girl Scout cookies, describing her interviewer on NBC's Today show, quoted in ASKville, March 25
"It was a tragic end to the life of a man regarded by many as the quintessential mountain moonshiner. Famous for the quality and inventiveness of his wares, along with his unmistakable personal style (overalls, hat and a beard of mythical proportions), Sutton seemed the last of a dying breed."
— Xpress staff writer David Forbes on the late Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, writing in Bar Beat, March 25
"I say anything that makes people feel better — as long as they're not hurting anybody or a cow or, you know, doing anything that can't be put on the YouTube — then that's fine."
— Performance artist and Tupperware saleswoman Dixie Longate, quoted in "Trip the Plastic Fantastic," March 25
"Mountain Xpress … took a remarkable step on Wednesday, ending its 14-year run as a print publication (today's issue is our last), suspending its regular online news reports and converting its entire news operation to Twitter dispatches from staff and trusted community journalists."
— The intro to the world's first "Twaper," or all-Twitter newspaper, an April Fools' Day caper staged by Xpress on mountainx.com, April 1
"This wasn't just a joke — it was an experiment to see what would happen if we put all of our energy into making a Twitter paper, if only for a day. And I feel sure we will come away with things we learned and take our publication to a new level."
— Xpress Publisher Jeff Fobes on the Twaper caper, quoted in "April Fools! But the Twitter-powered Newspaper is More Than a Joke," mountainx.com, April 1
"For a long time, I felt like Afrobeat was a dirty, raw, underground type of music. But lately I've been wanting get into happy sounds, like the kind of music you'd hear if you were outside at a party."
— The Afromotive's Ryan Knowles, quoted in "Going to Their Happy Place," April 1
"The decision was reinforced by going in and seeing the condition of the store. It didn't have the feel of anything except something that was going away."
— Bledsoe Building co-owner Lewis Lankford, quoted in "West Asheville Co-op Faces Eviction, Calls Community Meeting" on mountainx.com, April 6
"I don't feel like I wrote this book to endorse mindless consumerism. But the reality is, people need clothes, or people want a dishwasher. It's important for really good green choices to be available where people are shopping anyway."
— Josh Dorfan, The Lazy Environmentalist, quoted in "Saving Green by Going Green," April 8
"What I can do, and what I will do, is walk out of the room. This is absolutely reprehensible."
— Council member Carl Mumpower, quoted in "Mumpower Storms Out of Council Meeting in Protest of Water Vote" on mountainx.com, April 15
"How long can you hold your breath?"
— Environmental scientist Meng-Dawn Cheng, talking about the importance of air quality, quoted in "What Does Earth Day Mean to You?" April 15
"You've probably noticed how indie rock has grown a thick, burly beard. Coked-up art students who were ripping off new wave and post-punk at the turn of the century are nowadays smoking grass, scooting about in handcrafted Santee moccasins and basically reliving the early 1970s. A lot of these characters dress like total fruit cups, yet some of them make great music."
— From "Hippies, Indie Rock and Moccasins," April 15
"I'm just glad to be working and times are hard, so it's a blessing and a miracle that they got this old hillbilly on one side of the water and the other."
— Singer/songwriter Malcolm Holcombe, quoted in "Pass It Around Like Corn Bread and Beans," April 29
"This is by far the toughest budget I've dealt with. I've never seen [sales-tax revenues] decline that significantly."
— City of Asheville Chief Financial Officer Ben Durant, quoted in "Nips and Tucks," April 29
"As those in the know press in toward the stage, a bachelorette party from S.C. pays its tab and exits behind the leader of the pack, rhinestone tiara and all. (Just because Mind vs. Target is more accessible than the musical ranting and raving of Ahleuchatistas doesn't mean they are accessible in any mainstream sense.)"
— From "SoundTrack: Mind vs. Target Scores a Direct Hit," May 6
"People spend a lot more money trying to find villains than create heroes. Compare the amount they put into chasing people down and locking them up to the amount they put into building up communities. The way this country treats low-wealth minorities is f**ked up, and that's never really addressed: They keep doing Band-Aids."
— At-risk-youth educator DeWayne Barton, quoted in "Putting in Work," May 6
"My barbaric chi moved me when my wilderness grown in depth of me."
— Ghost frontman Masaki Batoh (via the Babel Fish translation program), quoted in "The Important Thing is the Spirit," May 6
"We're a progressive community, and that's the thing to do right now, so we're going to keep chickens."
— Vice Mayor Jan Davis on a law allowing chicken coops within the city limits, quoted in "Chicken Coop for the Soul," May 6
"We're trying to cultivate the creative class from the bottom up. I think it's our future."
— Sam Neill of AdvantageWest on the first year of the HATCH Asheville festival, quoted in "HATCH Asheville Revisited," May 13
"The people will rally around and come together. We've had to struggle for everything we've gotten."
— Burton Street neighborhood resident Vivian Conley, quoted in "Banding Together," May 20
"It's not necessarily about doing something illegal, but [about] anything that tests the authority of those in power."
— Canary Coalition Executive Director Avram Friedman, who was arrested with other protesters at a Charlotte rally aimed at stopping Duke Energy's Cliffside plant, quoted in "Rallying to Fight Climate Change," May 20
"I'd say the movie's about 50 percent beer, 30 percent road trip — and whatever's left, it's rock 'n' roll."
— Beer Y'all filmmaker Curt Arledge, quoted in "Mountains to Sea, North Carolina Brew Stars in Locally Made Road-Trip Documentary," May 20
"By putting out these devices, we hope to invite the Chucky madtom to come in."
— U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Mark Cantrell, quoted in "Arden Pottery Maker Helps Track Rare Catfish," May 27
"Seth Kauffman better watch out the next time he plays in New York: If Wes Anderson sees him, he just might lock him up in his basement and force Kauffman to write the soundtracks to his movies for the rest of eternity."
— From "The Soul of Motown, the Grit of '60s Rock 'n' Roll and a Modern Pop Sensibility," May 27
"We're the best fortunetellers out there."
— State Climatologist Ryan Boyles, quoted in "From Drought to Floods: Welcome to WNC," June 3
"I used to go to every possible show I could go to, no matter what the cost, in all realms of cost. I would just do it. It was one of the most important things to me at that time. Honestly, I wouldn't exchange those experiences for the world. I feel like it made me the person I am today."
— Phish fan Amber Stoner, quoted in "Phish Phans Rejoice," June 3
"Rock 'n' roll was meant to be smoky. North Carolina banning smoking is like a child disowning their parent after they supported them for years."
— Asheville resident Mark Williams, quoted in "Smoked Out," June 3
"Chefs are naturally divided into two types: those who care little about their customers and those who strive to serve them. The former chefs are imaginative but willful. The latter tend to have an easier time finding work. Hayes is a consummate example of the second type: 'I just want to give people what they want,' he told me. 'It's not about what I want.'"
— Xpress food writer Hanna Rachel Raskin on Red Stag Grill chef Adam Hayes, quoted in a review of the restaurant, June 3
"I like cryptic stuff. I've always gravitated toward the obscure. And it's not just the obscurity of it I like — it's what makes it great but still obscure. I don't think you lose the spirit of what makes rock 'n' roll good when you stay obscure."
— Outsider musician Don Howland, quoted in "It Tastes Like a Mixture of Good Living and Dying," June 3
"We walked by him completely shredding on a bass, and we were like, 'OK, that's it.' And then we stole Tyler as well."
— Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell on meeting Asheville's Bill Reynolds and Tyler Ramsey, quoted in "On the High Horse," June 10
"I told my students yesterday, because they have a right to know what's happening in their education. And they were heartbroken."
— A.C. Reynolds theater teacher Kirstin Daniel on Buncombe County teacher layoffs due to state education cuts, quoted in "Laid Off or Fired Up?" June 10
"How historic was last night's Beastie Boys show at The Orange Peel? It was historic enough for Mike D to note its significance and pepper the audience with lots of Asheville love and some hammy remarks: 'I wanna know if Ashe-land is ready to dance!' Oh, and how Ashe-land was ready to dance."
— Xpress Arts and Entertainment Editor Rebecca Sulock, "Now They Rock a House Party at the Drop of a Hat," mountainx.com, June 11
"Estate sales mean somebody died (or at least went to The Home). 'Estate sale' is overtaking 'moving sale' as the most abused word in the yard-sale lexicon, with 'multifamily' running a distant third. The next time I see modern baby clothes, toys and furniture at an 'estate sale,' I am asking how the baby died."
— From "Junker's Blues; Memo to the Yard-Salers of Asheville," June 17
"Obviously, the feasibility and technical aspects of having tigers roaming free is going to be difficult."
— Asheville mayoral candidate Shad Marsh on his main campaign platform plank, quoted in "A Candidate of a Different Stripe," June 24
"You can always go to a brewery and find a new beer you've never heard of. Asheville has a lot of room for growth."
— Julie Atallah on the local craft-beer scene after Asheville tied with Portland for the title of Beer City USA in an online poll, quoted in "Drop by Drop," June 24
"I'm not as much of a jerk as I make myself out to be. … Maybe I'm worse."
— Essayist David Sedaris, quoted in "Sneer Campaign," June 24
"If you're not a supporter of transparency and open-meeting laws, vote me off. If you see no fault in URTV's staff not wanting our meetings filmed, then vote me off."
— URTV board member Richard Bernier, quoted in "URTV Removes Board Member," June 24
"A week later, Floating Action brought the same energy to a house show/cookout: Hipsters dropped their hot dogs to shake it in the halls, the living room and in line for the bathroom. Right in the middle of 'Don't Stop Lovin' Me Now,' the police suggested that the music was too loud, saying neighbors (presumably those lacking in musical appreciation) were complaining."
— From "Floating Action: Must Start Loving Them Now," June 24
"I don't care what you call it: We have to do something so that the power of the federal government comes to bear. The president has informed us that he would like a bill by October."
— Sen. Kay Hagan, quoted in "Sen. Hagan Visits Local Leaders, Pitches Health Care Reform" on mountainx.com, June 27
"My dad ran a pharmacy, and these old men would come into the pharmacy. They'd always sing songs and be crazy. They really helped me learn how to play."
— Singer/songwriter Cary Fridley, quoted in "Singing in the Shower," July 8
"When you arrest a prostitute 44 times, handcuff them and send them to jail and nothing happens, to me there should be some sort of red flag."
— APD Chief Bill Hogan on the nuisance court established this year, quoted in "Making It Personal," July 8
"My hope is that you'll read my nightmare — and let's make sure it never happens."
— Black Mountain-based author Bill Forstchen on his novel, One Second After, which speculates on the apocalyptic effects of an electromagnetic-pulse attack, quoted in "Apocalypse WNC," July 8
"You can put pretension and snobbery into any hobby, but if you leave it out, you can get so much more done. I never think, 'Oh, you stupid consumer.' I think, 'Oh, you're the perfect person for Wine 101."
— Wine expert Jess Gualano of Hops & Vines, quoted in "Teaching Vino," July 15
"Nobody else is having to prove a damn thing … yet the black guy in Buncombe County is being asked."
— N.C. Republican Party Vice Chair Tim Johnson addressing attacks on his character and past, quoted in "The One on the Right," July 15
"It just doesn't seem like our country would let something like this go on for more than 20 years."
— Buncombe County resident Dot Rice on trichloroethylene contamination, quoted in "Something Is Rotten Off Mills Gap Road," July 15
"Oh my god, the guy across the street needs to put some f**kin' clothes on! He's standing out there on his porch, and he's got some tattoo of a chick on a horse on his back. He's just new, and at least now we know if he's a boxers or briefs guy. Briefs."
— Singer/songwriter Todd Snider, quoted in "I Have Learned Nothing," July 15
"It was the hub of a very special time in Asheville, or the Southeast, for that matter. You never asked what the bands sounded like. You just would go there to see a show, because it was always entertaining and most of the time great."
— Mathmatics drummer Dougal Bailey, quoted in "Talking 'Bout My Degeneration," July 22
"This is the first time since the beginning of this process, three Councils ago, that real capital dollars will be allocated to that building. The roof we had to do: It's not a sexy thing, but it is a necessity."
— Vice Mayor Jan Davis on replacing the Civic Center roof, quoted in "Put a Lid On It," July 22
"[The roof project] is our sustainable playground, in which a variety of classes will be able to explore everything from appropriate energy alternatives, green building, sustainable landscape design and more."
— Carpentry/construction management instructor Heath Moody, quoted in "A-B Tech Embraces Sustainability," July 22
"In addition to the usual perils of the educational experience — insane guidance counselors, sadistic assistant principals and megalomaniacal class poets — Robert is also caught up in the surreal world of being in love for the first time as he falls for a seemingly out-of-reach dark-haired girl."
— Producer Chall Gray, quoted in "A Shopping Cart, a Banjo and a Dream: Local Playwright Gets into the New York International Fringe Festival," July 29
"If you really think about it, downtown can't survive just on independent businesses."
— Downtown Association President Byron Greiner on the new Urban Outfitters store headed for downtown Asheville, quoted in "Here Comes the Chain Again," July 29
"We should be discouraging national chains from moving here. They are not compatible with our working infrastructure. An 8,000-square-foot store that sells over 30,000 products a year is offering nothing special or niche — [it belongs] in the mall or on Tunnel Road."
— Sara Legatski, who owns downtown clothing stores Honeypot and HUNK, quoted in "Here Comes the Chain Again," July 29
"Once he got on the phone [and] assessed tag information through our criminal-justice systems, he was acting as a police officer. He should have been communicating in a professional manner, which he did not. We are taking action that will involve corrective training; it will involve a written reprimand that will result in days of suspension without pay."
— Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan, quoted in "Sheriff Will Suspend Deputy Accused in Road Rage Incident," mountainx.com, Aug. 3
"It really does change your attitude. You become way more aggressive, you're a lot jerkier, you walk around like a rooster bobbing your head everywhere and questioning everything."
— Actor Andy Stucky, quoted in "Everyone Should Rock a Mullet for a Day or Two," Aug. 5
"To just shoot a cyclist in the head like that, that's beyond road rage. I think there's clearly some mental illness involved. The thing that really worries me is that there's this belief that somehow cyclists shouldn't be on the road."
— Asheville on Bikes founder Mike Sule on Charles Alexander Diez's shooting at cyclist Alan Simons, quoted in "Accused Gunman Released on Bond, Cycling Community Outraged," Aug. 5
"This is going to be a blight on tourism. Americans love animals, and all they have to know is that animals are being abused."
— Former game-show host Bob Barker on allegations that captive bears were being mistreated on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation, quoted in "Bob Barker, PETA Protest Treatment of Cherokee Bears," Aug. 5
"It's always fun to see people saying our words. You can look at someone and see that they're nearly our age, and right next to them is some young 18-year-old kid who might've gotten into us when he was 10 and he was listening to Stakes Is High."
— De La Soul's Posdnous, quoted in "Still Out Doing What They Do," Aug. 5
"When mussels disappear, other species do too. … Everything's connected."
— U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist John Fridell, quoted in "The Old Shell Game," Aug. 5
"This is, after all, a movie where grown men and women gallivant around in rubber suits, going by names that sound like sex positions — Heavy Duty, Dr. Mindbender and Hard Master — yet the film never acknowledges how downright inane any of this is."
— Justin Souther, reviewing G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Aug. 12
"Fifteen years of Mountain Xpress is something we're proud of here. We may not be perfect, but I, for one, can testify that we work our collective tails off EVERY week."
— Xpress Advertising Director James Fisher, writing in the paper's 15th-anniversary issue, Aug. 19
"[Chris Robinson] has been very supportive of our group and our sound. We sing a lot of four-part harmonies, and having Chris Robinson there as our singing coach was pretty amazing. We're all guys who grew up loving The Black Crowes."
— Singer/songwriter Scott Kinnebrew of Truth & Salvage Co., quoted in "L.A. Story," Aug. 19
"Our side of the street seemed to be a little more [conservative], and the other side, with Malaprop's, was a little more alternative."
— Bier Garden owner John Bodenhorst, quoted in "Remember When?" Aug. 19
"With climate change and the need to save energy, there's reason to restart a streetcar system. … We've been building highways to solve all our transportation problems, and that era is over."
— planning expert David Johnson, quoted in "You Say Trolley, I Say Tram: A Vision for Public Transit," Aug. 26
"I was always thinking about how lines and shapes work together — I was never thinking about just one tree at a time."
— Painter Laura Marsico, quoted in "Marshall: The South of France of the South," Aug. 26
"Despite all the attention, Masa remains an elusive figure. He is a knot of contradictions: a socialite of scant means, a stranger with a thousand friends. He was an intensely private man who nevertheless managed to leave behind stacks of correspondence and handwritten records. As a businessman, he was shrewd but constantly in need of money. Trusted by many of the region's most powerful men and women, he was once suspected of being nothing less than an international spy."
— From "Light and Shadow: The Mystery and Legacy of George Masa," Aug. 26
"No one buys my vote."
— Rep. Heath Shuler on whether sizable contributions from insurance companies influenced his opposition to health-care-reform legislation, quoted in "Shuler Opposes Health Care Legislation But Says 'We've got to have reform,'" Aug. 26
"What I hope — for local food and this restaurant — is that we don't lose sight of how valuable a shared meal is for family, for business, for everyone."
— Mark Rosenstein on the sale of his well-known downtown restaurant, The Market Place, quoted in "A Changing of the Guard at The Marketplace," Sept. 2
"Each month will feature a classic portrait of a noted Asheville 'freak' and tell the story behind their uniqueness."
— Erin Scholze of Arts2People, quoted in "Meet the Freaks," Sept. 2
"I used to drink Diet Coke and Pellegrino, but now I cannot have any kind of carbonated beverage, which is really hard. I need to go to CA — Carbonation Anonymous. It's really hard to give it up, and I am not sure I can do it alone."
— Comedian Margaret Cho, quoted in "Just the Right Amount of Raunchy," Sept. 9
"This isn't a movie. This is like being trapped by the doting parents of a spectacularly backward child, who then proceed to bludgeon you with attempts to make you proclaim how adorable said child is. Now I see a lot of movies, and a lot of them I don't like very much. Very rarely, however, do I hate them. I hated Paper Heart. A lot."
— Ken Hanke reviewing Paper Heart, Sept. 9
"Unfortunately, the peculiarity of the film doesn't translate to interesting. Or funny. Or entertaining. It's a quagmire of a movie that might make me never look at crosswords the same way again. I always knew it'd be a sad day when I switched to the Jumble."
— Justin Souther reviewing All About Steve, Sept. 9
"I realized the potential of having all these bloggers who are highly influential and saw an opportunity to showcase Asheville as a tourist destination."
— Local blogger and social-media star Kelby Carr on organizing Asheville's first mommy-blogging conference, quoted in "Dot.com Moms," Sept. 16
"I've got caterers, I've got bakers, I've got farmers, I've got hot dog carts. If you want to rent my kitchen and make coleslaw juice, I'm not going to stop you."
— Blue Ridge Food Ventures Executive Director Mary Lou Surgi, quoted in "So Many Cooks in the Kitchen," Sept. 16
"The trouble with kipple is that it reproduces itself when you're not looking. Go to bed with an unlabeled, burned CD lying on your desk, and when you wake up in the morning there will be three, and two will be scratched."
— From "Crippled by Kipple: Do Junkers Dream of Uncluttered Digs?" Sept. 16
"That put us in a bit of a bind, as far as asking someone to put their money and their time and effort into putting out a record and publicizing it when we couldn't go out to do it ourselves. It's kind of hypocritical."
— Bill Taylor of Kingsbury Manx, quoted in "In Shape to Show," Sept. 16
"Xpress coverage of URTV and MAIN/WPVM was a perfect storm of journalism gone astray: Coverage starts with internal personnel matters about which management can say little; as new installments are written, claims of misconduct grow; these claims are amplified online where anonymity is not balanced by fact-checking and accountability."
— MAIN Executive Director Wally Bowen, in his commentary, "A Plea for Accountability," Sept. 16
"Krautrock was something very special, in that all the groups who played at that time had nothing in common except their urge of finding their own identity way outside the beaten tracks of Anglo-American rock 'n' roll. The media have forgotten this and use the term 'Kraut' for just about anything."
— Jean-Herve Péron of Faust, quoted in "Krautrock? Nein!" Sept. 23
"I got the idea looking at a photograph of Martha Stewart's new vegetable garden in Bedford, N.Y. Everything is perfect; not a thing out of place. I thought, 'Oh my lord.' Then I thought, 'Of course, Strega Nona's garden would look like that.'"
— Author Tomie dePaola, quoted in "Strega Nona Returns," Sept. 23
"Mercury's very toxic, and I started wondering why they would put it in light bulbs."
— Reynolds High junior Jovahnna "Jojo" Graves, quoted in "Scout's Honor: One Teen's Campaign to Safely Dispose of CFLs," Sept. 30
"This is a whole paradigm shift for people who have been chaining their dogs for years."
— Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy on outlawing dog tethering inside the city limits, quoted in "Dogged Pursuit," Sept. 30.
"I look back at the '90s and wish hindsight was more like 20/600, so I couldn't see it so well."
—Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, quoted in "Let's Just See What Happens When It Counts," Sept. 30
"It is the City's normal practice to review one application at a time per parcel. As a result, your recent Level I project will supplant the former Level II project which will be voided from the City's permit system and records."
— Letter from Assistant Planning and Development Director Shannon Tuch informing Parkside developer Stewart Coleman that his Pack's Tavern design plan voids his prior application for the controversial Pack Square condo, quoted in "City Tells Coleman Parkside Is Off the Table," Sept. 30
"I had hopes for Lynn Shelton's Humpday, even after learning it was being lumped into the distressingly depressing category known as mumblecore, a classification that more or less means little or no budget and a good deal of meandering, navel-gazing philosophizing by twentysomethings who are inarticulately dissatisfied with their ennui-infested lives."
— Ken Hanke reviewing Humpday, Sept. 30
"I was a schoolteacher for years, and 'No Child Left Behind' is what drove me into doing comedy."
— LaZoom Tours co-owner Jennifer Lauzon, quoted in "Coffee Talk, Horses and Shakespeare: An Xpress Chat with Local Businesswomen," Sept. 30
"Motorcycles are fine: Their riders simply need to obey the law. No one has an inherent right to generate unnecessary noise pollution."
— Grant Millin, "The Motorcycle Community Needs a Tuneup," Sept. 30
"English is cool for its resonance and for the hip, rhythm mouth sounds one can make with it — and the attitude. It's absolutely fantastic for expressing attitude. I use the African language to make more earthy, deep Afro sounds and percussive sounds."
— Singer Marie Daulne of Zap Mama, quoted in "At Home and Abroad," Oct. 7
"The most important place for me to be is not on the campaign trail, it's by my wife's side."
— Council member Kelly Miller on his wife's cancer, quoted in "Miller Withdraws From Asheville City Council Race" on mountainx.com, Oct. 9
"We're kind of like the hard-core band for not-hard-core people."
— Just Die! guitarist Matt Evans, quoted in "Basement Vigilantes," Oct. 14
"There is no trust; there is no faith; there is no transparency. This continues to spread." — Mills Gap Road area resident Aaron Penland on the cleanup of the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site, quoted in "No Trust," Oct. 14 "They should put huge, bright-colored condoms on all those phallic symbols standing in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse on the old City/County Plaza to remind the public what the Pack Square Conservancy has done to the community."
— Jerry Sternberg writing in Commentary, Oct. 21
"What exactly is there to be said about this utterly worthless, incredibly dull, addle-brained waste of 101 minutes except that it's an utterly worthless, incredibly dull, addle-brained waste of 101 minutes?"
— Ken Hanke, reviewing The Stepfather, Oct. 21
"If no one had ever fought discrimination, then women would still not be allowed to go to engineering school, or become lawyers or doctors or [enter] other professions that were historically male-dominated."
— air-quality engineer Melanie Pitrolo, quoted in "Pollution, Politics and Gender: A Discrimination Case at the Air Quality Agency," Oct. 28
"I could go to Malaprop's and buy books of old post cards. I could walk around downtown, and half of what I looked at was there in 1941. Likewise there are neighborhoods I could walk around, like the Montford district, that look pretty much as they did in the 1940s, except for the cars parked out front."
— Author Barbara Kingsolver, quoted in "Zelda's Neighbor, Frida's Pen Pal," Oct. 28
"We were starting to move toward, you know, can things be even more amorphous yet still rule-based, still having themes and forms and whatnot. But then when you play it, it will be different every time, but it will still be that same thing."
— Ahleuchatistas frontman Shane Perlowin, quoted in "Ferocity, Urgency, Timing," Oct. 28
"Combine the growth of alternative power sources with increased efficiency, and that reduces, if not eliminates, the need for building any more new fossil-fuel-powered or nuclear plants."
— Ned Doyle, founder of the Southern Energy & Environment Expo, quoted in "Get Smart: Feds Pump Money into Smart Grid," Nov. 4
"The route I-26 takes through Madison County has been a trade route since Native American times. The history of the region is one of change in a lot of ways. The highway isn't the change, but it's accelerating the process."
— Photographer Rob Amberg, quoted in "Road Warrior," Nov. 4
"The first line in The Fourth Kind has Milla Jovovich calling herself an 'actress,' so we know right away the film is lying."
— Ken Hanke reviewing The Fourth Kind, Nov. 11
"It's just a part of who I am. … In a sense, for people who are living in Middle America who have really no experience with Judaism, I might be the only face to it, the only connection that they would have or that they would see. On the other hand, I don't feel that's my role, and I don't feel that's my purpose. That's not really what I'm out there to do. It just happens as kind of a byproduct of who I am."
— Hasidic hip-hop artist Matisyahu, quoted in "Create the Sound and the Life You Want to Live," Nov. 11
"Things are going to get worse. You're going to see a rise in hospital activity, a rise in incarcerations because the people affected by this can't get the treatment they need. They don't just disappear; it's going to get much worse before it gets better." — Margaret George of the October Roads treatment program on the impact of yet another round of state budget cuts to mental-health agencies, quoted in "No Treatment?" Nov. 11
"I said 'pop music for cannibals' for a while. Then I called it 'minimalist pop mayhem.' I also said 'green apples in mud' to someone once."
— Ryan Cox of The If You Wannas, quoted in "Minimalist Pop Mayhem," Nov. 18
"In Asheville, there's a different ugly word attached to the policies that could do the most to reduce our per capita carbon footprint. But here the word is a long one: development. Actually, it's more of a phrase: high-density, inner-city development."
— Jonathan Barnard, writing in Commentary, Nov. 18
"Sustainability isn't something to be had; it's a way we have to live."
— Charlie Hopper, co-creator of the iPhone app Botany Buddy, quoted in "What's It Mean To Be Green?" Nov. 18
"To my eyes, Goodwill is threatening to take over the thrift-store 'scene' entirely, driving out mom-and-pop shops and turning thrifting into one fluorescent-lit, neatly aisled slow trudge to the checkout line. My teenage sister-in-law sees a thrift store of any type and says, 'Oh, look – there's a Goodwill,' like someone might say, 'Give me a Kleenex,' when they'd be perfectly happy to accept a tissue."
— From "Junker's Blues: Goodwill Disgruntling," Nov. 25
"He was our publisher, but he was also our best friend. He was the funniest person I've ever met."
— Art Director Porscha Yount on the passing of GLBT champion Ira Schultz, quoted in "Local Publisher Ira Schultz Dies; Stereotypd to Carry on His Work," Nov. 25
"This is what happens in communist countries." — West Asheville resident Hope Herrick, quoted in "Zoning War Winding Down?" Nov. 25
"This is a new strain, so we are not sure what its characteristics are going to be. If H1N1 were to mutate, then we're not sure how it would impact these waves. But right now we haven't seen a mutation of this strain."
— Buncombe County Disease Control Supervisor Sue Ellen Morrison, quoted in "Going Viral," Dec. 2
"My work was greatly affected by the creativity of the musicians and their ideas. Musical notes would turn into colors for me, almost lighting up on the canvas."
— Painter Phil Cheney, quoted in "Artillery: Painting Live at Snake Oil Medicine Show," Dec. 9
"There's presumption that the little person has rights as to what their community looks like right now. The fact is, they have absolutely none. I've seen porn shops near churches, concrete plants near communities; I've seen a shooting range right in somebody's backyard. You have no control over what goes next door to you." — Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair David Gantt, quoted in "Buncombe Commissioners Reinstate Zoning," Dec. 9
"Last year, Aerosmith (with whom Whitford plays rhythm guitar) performed a live version of the song 'Feels Like Christmas' at a Vancouver concert. If you like doing detective work, try tracking it down. Also, there's a seasonal stage spoof, performed by Chicago's Annoyance Theatre, called An Aerosmith Christmas. The tag line is, 'Will Aerosmith's Evil Drummer, Joey Kramer, Destroy Christmas?'"
— From "The 21st Noël," Dec. 9
"I prefer the term 'post-theist.' The key issue here is that there is no religious test for public office." —Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell, quoted in "Bothwell Atheism 'Controversy' Echoes Around the Web," Dec. 16
"People are going to continue to be exposed. People are going to continue to die."
— Asheville resident Tate MacQueen discussing ongoing contamination problems in the Mills Gap Road area, quoted in "The Low-down Slowdown on CTS," Dec. 16
"It really hit me, the solemnity of this building. I felt the weight of this building like I hadn't before."
— Newly elected Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell, quoted in "New Council Members, Re-elected Mayor Take Their Seats," Dec. 16
"Maybe not everyone wants to be a journalist, but we're rapidly approaching an era when anyone can be a journalist of one sort or another. And as the impacts of these fundamental changes spread, we want to be able to say that Xpress helped pave the way for a new kind of journalism that's richer, more diffuse, more responsive and more empowering than the way we used to do it."
— Xpress Managing Editor Jon Elliston, "The News We All Make," Dec. 23