Access or egress?

Buncombe County Board of Commissioners April 5, 2011 meeting Buncombe ranked N.C.’s 17th healthiest county Commissioners OK public-safety towers A standing-room-only crowd turned out for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ April 5 meeting; many were there to urge increased funding for URTV. The public-access channel can be seen on Charter Communications’ Channel 20 in […]

The placard stops here

Walking the streets of Asheville on a cooling September afternoon, Joe Minicozzi points out parked cars bearing handicapped placards. Under state law, people with disabilities can park for free in unmetered on-street spaces; currently, the city doesn’t ticket or charge even those parking in metered spots. Minicozzi is executive director of the Asheville Downtown Association, […]

The Beat

As temperatures cool down, campaign season has started heating up. In a recent online post, Xpress reported, "Buncombe GOP Fires First Video Salvo." The blog includes a video produced by the Buncombe County Republican Party in which Chair Chad Nesbitt asserts, “In order to defend ourselves against socialistic terrorism, we need to have a large […]

The Beat

Two days after downtown Asheville was the scene of a two-and-a-half hour standoff between police and a man from South Carolina, big trucks arrived at the renovated Pack Memorial Library: “The Books Are Back,” Mountain Xpress staff photographer Jonathan Welch reported in a Thursday, Sept. 2 blog post. But earlier in the week… All’s well […]

Debacle or sparkle?

You’d never know it from the kids splashing around the fountain or the young couples playing Frisbee on the lawn, but a decade ago, the 6.5 acres comprising downtown Asheville’s City/County Plaza was a mishmash of thoroughfares — three lanes of Patton Avenue traffic cut eastward past the Vance Monument, merging onto College Street — […]

State of emergency

Asheville wants to end homelessness, right? That’s a noble cause, and I support the good intentions behind this effort. But if Asheville is ever going to achieve this lofty goal, we need to be honest about a few things first. 1) There’s a segment of Asheville’s homeless population that chooses it as a “lifestyle.” Take […]


My e-mail in box frequently receives outraged, sorrowing communications concerning the state of Stonehenge in England and the Hill of Tara in Ireland. Both have been important cultural markers in my personal spiritual journey, and I’ve been awed and privileged to spend time at each of them. Both are now endangered, say the e-mails, by […]