Together, the city of Asheville and Buncombe County approved over $11 million in funding to install roughly 7 megawatts of solar power at public facilities and area schools. The projects are anticipated to save the governments and local schools roughly $650,000 in electricity costs in the first year and more than $27 million over the installations’ 30-year operational life.
Mike Diethelm, president and founder of Asheville-based SolFarm Solar Co., says a $10 million construction bond requirement for would-be bidders on the solar projects “knocks out so many local medium and small solar businesses, which we have a lot of in this town, and only opens it up to the big guys.”
On Feb. 14, the U.S. Forest Service kicked off a 90-day comment period on the long-awaited draft of a new plan for the forests, set to take effect in 2021 and guide the service’s management approach over the next 10-15 years. Comment online, by mail and at public meetings throughout WNC ends on Thursday, May 14.
“On Swannanoa River Road from Biltmore Avenue — especially near the Antique Tobacco Barn and on down toward Tunnel Road — the overgrowth over the river is a sorry sight indeed.”
Ultimately, Franti chooses to lend his name and support to efforts backed by passion: “At the end of the day, it’s just [about] finding people who are passionate about the same things that I am, and who are doing things that have local and immediate impact.”
“We were activists before we were musicians,” says Chloe Smith. “So there’s always been a natural instinct for us to be aware of what’s going on in our surroundings and take part in movements and missions to make the world a better place.”
The No Man’s Land Film Festival heads to New Belgium, while the Grail screens a documentary on rock climbing in the Carolinas.
Started in 2011, the Green River Spring Cleaning has grown every year, with ever more participants paddling in to cover the Lower Green and the Upper Green. “Our goal is to work the entire Green River, from Lake Summit to Lake Adger, about 30 miles,” Benedict says. “That’s a lot, but I believe we can do it.”
Located at 252 Patton Ave. and 28 Knoxville Place, the new facility will feature a gas-insulated design that gives it a smaller footprint than a conventional, air-insulated substation. Duke representatives estimate that substation construction will be completed by the end of 2020.
The NC Film Critics Association’s Ken Hanke Memorial Tar Heel Award goes to Lucas Hedges, The Purple Onion screens documentaries about hemlock preservation and more.
“We have been shouting about climate change for a long time, but now, we feel like it’s going to take more messaging in a different way,” says Avram Friedman of the Canary Coalition, a Sylva-based environmental activism group. “We’re showing people that we’re so committed to this, it’s so important, that I’m willing to fast for 10 days to get this message across.”
“To inquire, ‘Is this stream clean?’ is a valid endeavor, and together we can take legitimate steps to answer it.”
“I have to follow the data, and the data shows that, despite great progress, we still have a pollution problem on the French Broad and that it’s not always safe to be out on the water.”
State of the French Broad River Watershed 2018 summarizes a bevy of data from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the Black Mountain-based Environmental Quality Institute and MountainTrue’s own monitoring into a single holistic measurement for waterway cleanliness.
Some commonly used gardening and landscaping plants cause big problems for WNC’s ecosystem.
“We are calling for local government to ambitiously fund public transit in order to make our system run on time, all day and more often.”
Pack Library celebrates the Chinese New Year with Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid,” Mars Hill University kicks off its Reel Appalachia film series with a Ralph Stanley documentary and more.
Municipal officials, wildlife experts and WNC residents talk bear-resistant trash cans, bird feeders and educational initiatives designed to protect citizens and wildlife living in close proximity to each other.
This week, Xpress looks at the network of agencies and organizations working in Buncombe and Madison counties to improve water quality and position the French Broad as the region’s next great tourist attraction.
The 10 environmentally-themed short films featured in MountainTrue’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival range from inspiring to educational. The event takes place at Sierra Nevada’s outdoor amphitheater on Thursday, May 4.
The Grail’s Silent Sundays series continues with a Buster Keaton comedy, Hickory Nut Gap Farm hosts a Family Movie Night and more.