The Asheville Argus: Birds, Part I

I park my car in front of the Masonic Temple, and between there and the bistro I encounter two young boys doing their best to kick pigeons on the sidewalk, a half-dozen street performers, and a man screaming violently at passersby. In spite of all of this, it’s the enormous falcon that draws a crowd.

The Gospel According to Jerry

If you own a home, farm or business, you could suffer huge losses when Jesse James and his Eminent Domain Gang ride onto your spread — unless you know what to do. I speak from experience here, having recently concluded a run-in with the Metropolitan Sewerage District. I’m not a lawyer, but here’s my take […]

Opinion: Campaign over marriage amendment will change North Carolina

There’s been some talk in light of the General Assembly’s decision this week to approve the so-called “marriage amendment” that “not much will really change.” According to this line of thinking — promoted mostly by amendment supporters — all their decision to send the amendment to the May ballot does is to preserve the status quo. “So, we’ll have a vote next year on something that’s already barred by law,” say the supporters. “What’s the big deal?”

Whether it’s sincere or knowingly deceptive, this is ridiculous, head-in-the-sand talk. …

Herd of nerds: Dragon*Con

“I’m baffled and completely confused,” said Kevin Lacey of the Peculiar Pretzelmen about his first Dragon*Con experience. I totally relate. I didn’t know what to expect at Dragon*Con, and I could not have imagined the bizarre enormity of the largest fan-run multimedia popular culture convention in the universe.

Land sakes

North Carolinians recently joined the nationwide celebration of Great Outdoors Week, honoring our state’s public lands and their vital contributions to public health, recreation and the environment. But what’s sometimes overlooked is the importance of these treasures to North Carolina's economy. Getting people outdoors is a growing business here, accounting for more than $7.5 billion […]

Burdens or bunkum?

At a time when "jobs" is the buzzword in politics, conservative politicians are attacking one of our economy’s key building blocks. In 2008, trout fishing alone had a total economic impact of $174 million in WNC, according to a study by the Wildlife Resources Commission; we also have a thriving white-water rafting industry. In Western North Carolina, it’s become increasingly clear that without EPA oversight, environmental protections simply won’t move forward.

Burdens or bunkum? Proposed laws could destroy WNC’s water quality

To most Western North Carolinians, it might seem obvious that protecting access to clean water should be a top priority for our elected leaders. Besides making up 60 percent of the human body and being essential for drinking, irrigation and fisheries, water is a vital regional asset for recreation and scenic beauty.

But even putting all that aside, it’s also one of our most powerful economic engines. …

WNC at the crossroads

For 10 years, I organized the annual Southern Energy & Environment Expo, educating thousands about sustainability while generating an economic impact estimated at more than $5 million. Recently, however, I decided to pull the plug on the event. The decision wasn’t easy, but I did it because I’m convinced that, like the nation as a […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

In case you haven't noticed, Asheville and Buncombe County have been inundated by a political tsunami. As an amateur political seismologist, I can tell you that the underlying political earthquake came from several directions and still caught most of us by surprise. There were the national tremors caused by the bad economy, unemployment and huge […]

Gay is the new local-attachment0

Gay is the new local

Recently, the two of us sat on Lexington Avenue reading Mountain Xpress aloud to each other. It’s something we do while we take in the goings-on in our neighborhood. We live in downtown Asheville, and while we appreciate the quirky spunk of West Asheville, the almost rural feel of Fairview, the old-school Southern charm of […]