In brief: Neighborhoods feted, books sold, Pisgah mourned

FAVORED FELINE: A popular resident of the WNC Nature Center, Pisgah the cougar, died Sept. 27 of kidney failure. Photo courtesy of the city of Asheville

City celebrates Festival of Neighborhoods

The focus of this year’s annual Festival of Neighborhoods event, according to Brenda Mills, the city’s neighborhood and community engagement manager, is “to help people understand what’s next since the [Living Asheville] comprehensive plan has been approved.” Mills says the city is hearing concerns about development from multiple neighborhoods, and city staff from a range of departments will be available to answer residents’ questions.

The festival will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-noon, at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium, 19 Tech Drive. Breakout sessions will provide information on how the city’s new corridor planning initiative in different areas of the city — beginning with South Tunnel Road — will also take neighborhood concerns into consideration, while another session will review the city’s Plan on a Page neighborhood planning process.

Attendance is free, but registration is encouraged at For more information, contact Mills at or 828-259-5506.

Load up on books

For some, attending book sales hosted by friends of public libraries groups can be dangerous to the structural stability of their bookshelves. If that’s you, avert your eyes: The Friends of the Polk County Public Library will hold its fall book sale Thursday, Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with a $5 bag sale running 9 a.m.-noon that day.

The sale will feature fiction and nonfiction books in hardcover and paperback, as well as DVDs and CDs. According to a press release, “Items have been donated by members of the community or withdrawn from circulation at the Polk County Public Libraries. Many items at the sale will be priced at $1 or less.”

The fun/danger happens at the Columbus Library, 1289 W. Mills St.

Pisgah the cougar dies

Pisgah, an 8-year-old Western cougar who had been a resident of the WNC Nature Center since May 2011, died Sept. 27 from complications related to kidney failure.

According to a press release from the Nature Center, Pisgah was one of two cougars who came to the facility after being rescued in Grants Pass, Ore.

“We received Pisgah and his brother, Mitchell, as very young cubs from the Oregon Zoo in Portland.  They have been a joy to watch as they grew to adulthood. It is a sad day for us here at the Nature Center,” said Chris Gentile, the center’s director. “Despite his prognosis, our dedicated staff worked tirelessly to make him comfortable, especially these past few weeks as his health rapidly declined.  He will be missed by not only our team but the entire community.”

Women’s March to return

The Women’s March on Asheville will return for its third year on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m. at the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville. The march will proceed along a 0.6-mile route, ending at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Lead organizer Marie-Line Germain will work with several women from the 2017 march planning committee, 2018 lead organizer Sawyer Taylor-Arnold and other activists. “Our aim in organizing this 2019 march,” Germain says in a press release, “is to peacefully show our administration that we will continue to stand together in solidarity with our families and friends for the protection of our rights, safety and health until we no longer need to.”

Actor Kelly McGillis (who first came to fame for her leading role in the 1986 movie Top Gun) will be one of the event speakers. Additional speakers will be announced at




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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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