Post-recession Buncombe still struggling­, local poverty rates surpass state and national average

After sharing 42 slides worth of charts, data and graphs, an independent economic consultant speaking to local doctors, health advocates, politicians and board members at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services made a conclusion: Though the recession started five years ago, the numbers show that Buncombe County still has “a ways to go.” Highlights of the presentation, along with the full presentation, can be found in this post. (Slide image courtesy of SYNEVA Economics)

Changes celebrated at Buncombe County Health and Human Services Department

About 75 department heads, staffers, elected officials and others gathered Feb. 15 to celebrate recent renovations to the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Department building in downtown Asheville.
(Pictured here: Board chair David Gantt and Commissioner Carol Peterson try out a new kids play area in the building’s lobby. Photos by Bill Rhodes)

Invest in children, invest in the future

I’d like to call your attention to another Big Idea in the works for 2012, The Success Equation: a movement to reduce the incidence and impact of child poverty and create a community where all children thrive [”Big Ideas for 2012,” Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, Xpress]. Scientific research on toxic stress and brain development, […]

Don’t judge a book by its cover — especially in a library

When I read Mr. Roberts’ June 1 Xpress letter, “What Happened to Pack Memorial Library?” my first reaction was speechless disbelief that he would take it upon himself to label a sizable portion of Pack Library patrons “ex-cons, strung-out drug abusers, downtrodden” and “scary-looking thugs.” Ironically, downtrodden is defined by the Princeton University WordNet database […]