BIG RIVER: Flooding concerns have played a pivotal part in the recent debate over redevelopment plans for the River Arts District. Photo by Xpress.

If the creek don’t rise: Flooding, money and politics in the River Arts District

City plans to improve infrastructure, expand public space, increase access and encourage private development in the River Arts District have triggered considerable controversy. Xpress reached out to the city, RAD business and property owners, and organizations involved in the now flourishing area’s revitalization to try to answer some key questions.

Cover design by Lori Deaton

Tube-ocalypse now: Asheville shoots for world tubing record with ‘zombie float’

As a recreational hub, the French Broad River has come back from the dead — and legions of zombies are eager to prove it. Conceived as a creative celebration of the river’s continuing revival, organizers of the first-ever “Tube-ocalypse” are aiming to break the world record for most tubers floating together. And they’re hoping to do it in style, encouraging participants to dress as the undead.

(Photo by Cindy Kunst)

Safeguardi­ng water quality: Amid drastic state budget cuts, volunteers pick up slack

Standing knee-deep in the Little Tennessee River, Haley Williams wears a broad smile as she and her classmates fill a bucket with temporarily stunned fish. “We’ve been waiting for this all year,” says Williams, sporting hip waders and a camouflage T-shirt. Amid the verdant north Georgia mountains, she and about two dozen other Franklin High […]

‘A horrible situation’: millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into French Broad ***UPDATED***-attachment0

‘A horrible situation’­: millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into French Broad ***UPDATED­***

A malfunctioning pump at the Metropolitan Sewerage District plant sent millions of gallons of raw sewage into the French Broad River starting this morning. MSD crews hope to have the “horrible situation” repaired by early afternoon, said MSD Director of Engineering Stan Boyd, and shortly before 3 p.m. the leak was fixed. (Screenshot courtesy of a video uploaded by the nonprofit, French Broad Riverkeeper. The full video can be found in this post.)

Now is the time for renewables

I play in and around the French Broad River: rafting, tubing, hiking, gardening and partying. The French Broad is beautiful and brings people to enjoy our community. I am concerned that this important river is being contaminated slowly, daily and quietly by coal-ash ponds that leak poisons like arsenic, chromium and mercury into the groundwater. […]

Want to clean up our toxic coal-ash problem?

For everyone following the battle over coal-ash regulation, the Democratic National Convention could not have chosen a better location. Right now, every politician staying in the Charlotte area is drinking the same water that 1.5 million local citizens drink. However, anyone arriving by helicopter might have lost their thirst! Right next to Mountain Island Lake […]

MSD gives itself high marks in its 2011 performance report-attachment0

MSD gives itself high marks in its 2011 performanc­e report

Every day, the Municipal Sewerage District collects and treats — and discharges into the French Broad — an average of 18 million gallons of wastewater, relying on millions of microbes to do what they’ve been doing since the Earth was young: consume organic waste. And every year, the Clean Water Act requires the utility to provide an assessment of how well they’re doing. That report was submitted to DENR August 30; let’s take a look.