Buncombe County Commission

A dose of hip infused the Feb. 19 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, as local folks involved in film, television and multimedia work pitched public-access TV as a tool for economic development. Loosely organized by Asheville-based digital-media consultant David McConville, the group urged commissioners to push for more money from Charter Communications in the […]

Asheville City Council

Raising taxes can be the kiss of death for any politician, especially in an election year. “It’s a soul-searching, gut-wrenching thing to do,” commented Asheville Mayor Leni Sitnick during City Council’s Feb. 27 formal session. But she went on to note that it’s something the city hasn’t done in 10 years. With that in mind, […]

Letters to the editor

In praise of white-trash ingenuity It was refreshing to read Jerry Sternberg’s brown-cow theory [Commentary, Jan. 17, “How about a little compassion, folks?”]. I have had a less polite response in mind, considering the way Asheville tends to put out of mind the existence of what is less romantically dubbed the white-trash population. Not necessarily […]

Meat plant

It was a slow news day until the phone rang. The caller had a story idea and wanted to know if I was interested. He said it would involve an early Saturday-morning trip to a nearby wetland to investigate the possibility of reintroducing a rare plant species. I was hesitant at first — especially about […]

Letters to the editor

Keep your nose out of my business I have never seen a city (Asheville) filled with so much gossip in all of my life. You can’t even go out and have a good time in this town without somebody or some group (mainly losers) who can’t focus on their own miserable lives telling folks what […]

Get Fresh!

“Pea shoots, baby!” exclaimed gardener Patryk Battle. In a scene reminiscent of Stalking the Wild Asparagus author and eat-almost-anything enthusiast Eull Gibbons, Battle waved the viney snippet of green under the nose of a male guest at the Appalachian Harvests gala, held Oct. 25 at the Grove Park Inn. The event served up a smorgasbord […]

Heartbreak queen

Pretty much every man I’ve known in my adult life (and a fair number of women, too) have, at least on some transcendental level, been in love with Emmylou Harris. Even the famously gruff Steve Earle waxed downright soft and mushy when her name came up in an interview I did with him last year. […]

Letters to the editor

Reality pales by Hanke’s comparison I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for the work of Ken Hanke, and to make sure you understand what a treasure you have in this man. I am not a rabid movie fan. At least, not of current films, although like most cinema buffs, I have […]

The reel deal

Back in 1992, when Elaine Ciampi walked into the ballroom of what was to become the Skyland Arts Cinema in downtown Hendersonville, she had one thing on her mind — foreign films (make that great foreign films). Jim Northington, who was renovating the old Skyland Hotel ballroom with the intention of turning it into a […]

In the eye of the beholder

Last June, James M. Sandlin shot a stray dog four times and nearly hacked its head off with an ax. The killing outraged animal lovers and prompted the Buncombe County district attorney’s office to prosecute the Fairview man on a charge of felony cruelty to animals. After the case ended in a mistrial last month, […]

Where are you, Piedmont Airlines?

The natives seem to be getting restless about airline service in and out of Asheville. (For the purposes of this article, we’re going to call it ‘service,’ anyway.) Along with that, there seems to be the belief that, if we make our displeasure known, surely the airlines — or maybe the government — will take […]

Letters to the editor

Animal Services Advisory Board is a circus sideshow Bored with Seinfeld reruns? Does the movie fare look bleak? Come on over to the old Carolina Power and Light building across from Three Brothers Restaurant, where — on the first and third Monday of each month — the Advisory Board to the Animal Shelter (recently mysteriously […]


One man’s trash… With all the enthusiastic recyclers in our area, it should come as no surprise that Asheville will soon host the Carolina Recycling Association’s 10th annual Shoot for the Stars Conference and Trade Show. The regional association, said to be the largest state-based recycling organization in the country, bills the conference as the […]

Letters to the editor

Free speech vs. our culture of complaint The estimable C. E. “Buzz” Johnson’s sloppy column, “Free Speech 2000” [Commentary, Feb. 23] is a paranoid, self-righteous, vague lecture on civility in free speech. “Buzz” bleats, “Should we really be allowed to insult, put down, attack, threaten, etc., fellow human beings … without some sort of reprimand […]

Take me away

Believe it or not, spring is just six weeks away. But if you simply must cast off winter’s gloom before then, many spa and outdoor-adventure retreats in our area offer romantic ways to refresh body and spirit. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual connection to nature, a healthful workout on the trails, incredible vistas, or […]

Letters to the editor

Say no to the new Home Depot I am writing with great concern regarding the proposed Home Depot on Acton Circle, in West Asheville. As a resident of the community bordering the proposed development, I drive by this site every day, [going] to and from work. It is absolutely unsuited to a 20-acre “large box” […]

Bridging the racial divide

For Tyrone Greenlee, the Building Bridges program has helped to heal some of the racial scars he suffered growing up as an African-American boy in Asheville. For others, the eight-week seminar simply offers an eye-opening look at how racism operates — not only in Asheville, but across America. Building Bridges uses speakers, videos, readings and […]

Hollow Man


In the few days since Hollow Man has been released, I have read 643 reviews proclaiming, “Hollow Man? Hollow movie!” (or words to that effect). What is so annoying about these reviews (other than their authors’ lamentable wit) is the reviewers’ outrage at the film’s hollowness. Wake up, guys! Hollow Man’s director Paul Verhoeven, is […]

Letters to the editor

“Wake up, Granddaddy” Oh! I can see it now, as my granddaughter Diamond comes to visit me from Raleigh, and we are strolling around the city of Asheville … We meet Mayor O. T. Tomes scurrying out of City Hall on his way to a ceremony welcoming the new African-American superintendent of Asheville City Schools. […]

Letters to the editor

Viewing pleasure In response to the anti-Honda-Hoot letter: Personally, all the tourists that come here each summer bother me. Lines in many shops are longer, and the traffic problems are worse downtown. That said, I find that many of the motorcyclists are fun to watch and talk to. Any city in America with anything going […]

Letters to the editor

Aah, for an all-terrain airboat There are many of us who, unlike Mr. Sternberg, have frequented the banks and waters of the French Broad River over the years, to fish and paddle and picnic with family and friends — and, in some cases, to live and raise children nearby. Many of us purchase annual fishing […]