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Asheville traffic stop data show racial inequities

Data reported to the State Bureau of Investigation by the Asheville Police Department reveal significant racial disparities in traffic stops, an attorney for the Southern Coalition of Social Justice told Asheville City Council on April 24. And even though the data are disturbing, they may not tell the full story: An analysis revealed an apparent failure to report data for 58 percent of audited traffic stops, despite a state law requires police departments to provide demographic data for all stops.

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Asheville voters could choose: Council districts or status quo?

Asheville voters may face an up or down vote on the city district elections plan making its way through the N.C. General Assembly. City Council accepted the advice of City Attorney Robin Currin to hold a referendum on establishing six districts for seats on the council versus the city’s current at-large election system in November.

GET MOVING: The newest section of the French Broad River Greenway — open and ready for action. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Asheville’s newest section of greenway opens next to New Belgium Brewery

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest section of the French Broad River Greenway was held Friday, April 21, at the foot of the New Belgium brewery as part of the city of Asheville’s Earth Week Celebration. Representatives from the many public and private partnerships that had a role in the development of this section, called […]

QUALITY CONTROL: Two pollutants make up the bulk of the air quality monitoring oversight by the NC Department of Environmental Quality: ozone and fine particulates (PM2.5). From Bryson City to Lenoir, there are 11 ozone monitoring sites and five sites for PM2.5. The WNC Air Quality Agency conducts monitoring operations in Buncombe County, which also includes an urban air toxics monitor at A-B Tech. New this year is a sulfur dioxide monitor near the Duke Energy Progress plant in Skyland. Image from  Google, mapped by NCDEQ

Air apparent: monitoring air quality in the mountains

We all have to breathe to live, and the good news is that here in Western North Carolina, the quality of the air we all share is much better than it was just a few years ago. Across North Carolina, government employees are monitoring air quality and the associated health risks to make sure they stay within specified legal parameters. Meanwhile, citizen volunteers are also collecting data and working to make more information available to the public.

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will hear presentations for two grant requests and vote on an economic development incentive package during its meeting on Tuesday, April 18.

$7 million in grants, incentives on commissioners’ agenda

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners may be in for a long night when it confronts a full agenda at its Tuesday, April 18, meeting. Commissioners will hear presentations for two grant requests totaling $6.2 million, and consider approval of an economic development incentive package worth $881,960. Commissioners will also hold public hearings on two […]

DIRTY BUSINESS: CompostNow offers weekly pickup of compostable waste for residential customers. Once a month, customers get back a delivery of finished compost equal to half the weight of the material they collected. The company now serves about 100 area customers and hopes to triple that amount by the end of the year. Image courtesy of CompostNow

Local companies lead the way as Asheville considers composting service

Asheville and Buncombe County have worked for several years on plans to reduce the area’s solid waste stream, but implementing “pay as you throw” and municipal composting programs remain in the realm of good ideas rather than reality or even future plans. But the city says it hasn’t given up on initiatives to divert more waste away from the landfill.

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Council to puzzle over district election survey results

Asheville City Council will consider the results of a poll that show 54 percent of city voters support keeping elections for the Council as they are now — and the same percentage would vote yes to change them if asked by a referendum. Council meets at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at 5 p.m. At 3 p.m., Council will hold its final work session dedicated to the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.