“We are fortunate to live in an Usnea-rich bubble, but over-harvesting or other unsustainable collection practices could threaten the beard lichens’ very survival.”
“Oddly enough, the future of the Republican stranglehold on North Carolina and the nation can be glimpsed through Meadows and the 11th District.”
“Clearly, we already have both the expertise and the commitment to improve lives in our region. What we need is more funding and better coordination among our health care system, county public health and social service agencies, and nonprofit community partners.”
“As a culture, we suffer from plant blindness, largely ignoring the green organisms all around us that spend their days quietly gathering sunlight.”
“Our trees and their arboreal cohorts all across Asheville could be —should be — our city’s most effective and affordable defense against the dangerous flooding, erosion and temperature extremes that climate change is increasingly inflicting on us.”
“A major investment in electric public transportation will make a huge difference in equity and in achieving our goal of 100% renewable energy! So I invite all who value both social and environmental justice to insist on funding for great, electrified public transportation.”
“The way Asheville on Bikes and Blue Ridge Bicycle Club see it, the more people on the road, the more people need safety education.”
“We need to have as much say as possible over the decisions that affect our lives, the money that informs our projects, the food that we eat and every system we touch,” writes Lee Warren, executive director of the Organic Growers School. “Relocalizing means taking back our power in every possible way.”
Elevated national attention aside, there’s always been a danger in allowing New York-based media to define Appalachia.
“I was shocked and dismayed by the optics when, while watching the Michael Cohen congressional hearing, Mark Meadows, our own 11th District representative, paraded an African-American lady before the assemblage like a life-size cardboard cutout.”
“Oversight in this kind of system — where the board is appointed by a body with no regulatory authority, in a process closed to school employees, families and the community as a whole — is more than a little messed up. It is completely unaccountable, open to all kinds of corruption and anti-democratic, not to mention a lousy use of resources.”
Our community has learned a lot about the limits of open government law over the past year, as indictments of former Buncombe County employees Wanda Greene, Mandy Stone, Jon Creighton and Michael Greene revealed corruption and embezzlement concealed from both the public and the media over many years.
“The ‘little man’ from Assisi found a way that did not provoke anger, hostility and division. Can we? Blessed are the peacemakers. Is there a place where anger and compassion meet?”
“The importance of black history and the contributions of many African-Americans in our state and national history cannot be overstated.”
“So if we are going to rise forth, let us begin to courageously open the gates of true intellect and research and let go of holding back hidden facts in fear.”
“The only way we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve optimal health is to work together with a shared and well-coordinated commitment to improving our community’s health.”
While Xpress can’t replace the volume of the coverage a fully resourced Citizen Times and other daily newspapers provided this community for over a century, we will continue to highlight the topics that have been our mainstays for many years: local government and economy; the region’s environment; arts and entertainment; food; history; health and wellness; opinion; and community happenings.
“Until we can rework the health care system in America, this is one important way to relieve the stress and unintended consequences of needing medical care today.”
“I dreamed of The Race Relations Station, a place where all kinds of people gather in small groups, simply getting to know folks different from themselves and discovering their common humanity.”
“I have a fantasy, sparked by a friend’s wistful Facebook comment, that everyone could come together to spread all of these many jolly activities (and their associated deadlines) throughout the year, perhaps loosely attached to an underperforming existing holiday.”
Interim Buncombe County Manager George Wood summarizes some of the county’s most notable achievements in 2018.