Asheville City Council votes to move forward with an RFP for design services for city-owned property on Haywood Street and Page Avenue on March 28. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council vote could mark new phase in struggle over ‘Pit of Despair’

Asheville City Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendations presented by a volunteer citizen panel as the basis for soliciting design services on on Tuesday, March 28. But the community vision presented by the Haywood Street Advisory Team leaves a lot of room for interpretation — and possibly for future controversy about the long-debated best uses for the site.

UNION DAYS: Approximately 90 workers and organizers of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, Local Div. No. 128 pose for a picture in April 1913. Despite North Carolina’s status as one of the least unionized states in the country, current-day local union chapters such as ATU 128, have a long history of organizing and advocating for workers’ rights in the Southern Highlands. Photo via the Norh Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville North Carolina

Labor pains: WNC unions at a crossroads

In Western North Carolina and across the country, labor unions seem to be a dying breed these days, and many local residents don’t seem overly concerned about it. Yet WNC’s complex history of unionization stretches back to the late 19th century. From high-profile labor disputes and the emergence of “right to work” laws to the […]

Mayor Esther Manheimer recognizes Steve Mitchell as the city's Volunteer of the Year. Photo by Virginia Daffron

State legislator moves to force Asheville’s hand on district elections

City Council moved ahead with plans to poll city voters on whether or not they’d like to see districts put in place for seats on the Council. Three new members of the city’s school Board of Education were appointed, and the issue of homestays in accessory dwelling units returned to the Council chamber.

Asheville City Council, along with senior city staff, held its annual planning retreat on Friday, Feb. 17 at UNC Asheville. Photo by Virginia Daffron

City Council gets personal, celebrates successes at retreat

While last year’s City Council retreat focused on strategy, this year was all about tactics. Council celebrated the successes of 2016 — including passing a $74 million bond referendum, launching an equity initiative and retaining control of the city’s water system — and outlined tweaks to how it will operate in 2017.

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners holds its retreat on Friday, Feb. 17. Issues will range from the upcoming budget to curbing opioid use.

Drugs, teacher pay, budget, preschool and more: County Commission­ers to talk priorities during retreat

On the heels of a joint meeting with Asheville City Council, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will hold its annual retreat on Friday, Feb. 17. The meeting, while official, does not have any action items on the docket. But commissioners will discuss policy issues they would like to prioritize in the upcoming years. Commission […]

Buncombe County commissioners and Asheville City Council members held a special joint meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Issues included energy use, public safety and more.

Whitesides questions commission­, Fryar sees window for criticism at county-city meeting

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council held their first joint meeting in more than one year on Tuesday, Feb. 7. While it was mostly presentations and information updates, Commissioners Al Whitesides and Mike Fryar used the time to question the African-American Heritage Commission and energy efficiency, respectively.

Kids and parents posed for a group photo at Pritchard Park. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Children organize Asheville protest against Trump’s policies

While it didn’t rival the Women’s March on Asheville held in January, the Kid’s Protest march in Asheville on Sunday, Feb. 5, also drew a large and passionate crowd of protesters. Organized by the children of local musician Sparrow Pants, the event gave kids an opportunity to share their concerns about the administration of President Donald Trump and its policies.