BUYING TIME: While some requested data about the Asheville Police Department will be released soon, city staffer Scott Barnwell, right, told City Council, other records requested by activists and Council members will take longer to be made public. Photo by Daniel Walton

Police accountabi­lity and transparen­cy focus of City Council meeting

Amid calls for increased public access to policing data, Asheville City Council left the city’s volunteer board dedicated to hearing residents’ concerns about law enforcement in place for now. At the same time, the elected officials noted many vacancies on the Citizens Police Advisory Committee and signaled their longterm intent to dissolve the body once the newly forming Human Relations Commission has gotten up and running.

CALL TO ACTION: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara addresses the crowd at a protest of the new state law that bans local attempts to ease discrimination against LGBT individuals. Ivy Hill holds the megaphone. Photo by Able Allen

Coalition of LGBT rights-advocate groups protest new state law

As a rain cloud darkened the sky above Asheville and the wind assaulted unfurled rainbow flags, a storm of anger from the LGBT and allied communities erupted as a crowd of about 300 protesters convened at the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville late Thursday Afternoon. The outpouring of frustration and dissatisfaction stemmed directly from the passage […]

Franzi Charen encourages  folks to "Go Local" in front of Anthropologie. Photo by Able Allen

Charen appointed to Downtown Commission

City Council appointed Franzi Charen to the Downtown Commission and Barry Bialik and Laura Collins to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee at its Jan. 26 meeting. Council also passed a “Ban the Box” measure, meaning that applicants for most city positions will no longer be required to answer questions about past criminal convictions on their initial job applications.