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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for June, 2015

Help to Keep Your Pet

Friday, June 26th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Asheville Humane Society has created a program to help when those unplanned life hardships come your way. Their safety net program can help with your pet-related needs.

Asheville Humane found that when people experienced difficult situations, many times they had no recourse but to surrender their pets to the shelter.  To prevent this heartbreaking separation, they have formed a safety-net program to help people get the help they need.

The program includes help in financial hardship; pet food assistance; temporary re-homing; pet behavior help and more.  See the flyers below for more details about assistance and the sites of the food pantries.

To learn more about all the safety net programs, contact Emily Gelb, Safety New Coordinator at 828-250-6429 or [email protected].

They want to help you make surrendering your pet to the shelter a last resort.


Patton Avenue Downtown Asheville to be Resurfaced

Friday, June 26th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – It’s a case of good news…and other news. Road resurfacing slows traffic and that can be a hassle. But it results in newly repaved roads, making travel easier.
Twelve Asheville streets will be resurfaced in coming months. Paving contracts go before City Council for final approval at its June 23 meeting.
“The work will be done July through November, weather permitting,” said Greg Shuler, Public Works Director.

That includes work on short but heavily traveled stretches of Patton and Lexington avenues downtown.
Patton Avenue is slated for resurfacing from College Street to Biltmore Avenue, right past Pritchard Park. A shorter portion of Lexington Avenue will be resurfaced, from College Street to Patton Avenue.
How will this affect traffic?
There will be lane closures and “we are paving Patton and Lexington at night,” according to Public Works Project Manager Robert Kun.
So get ready for a little paving pain and think of the smooth streets that will result.

Other streets slated for repaving include most of Shiloh Road, off Hendersonville Road just south of Biltmore Village, and two streets in West Asheville, Covington and Wellington streets. In the north section of town Spears Avenue, off Merrimon Avenue, is on the list as is Stone Alley. On the south side Ballantree Drive and South Oak Forest Drive will be resurfaced. Here’s a list and maps of the streets included in this year’s projects: City of Asheville Paving Projects 2015.

How are streets chosen? They get a grade, says Shuler. Much like scores for school grades, streets are rated between 0 to 100. Roads are selected for resurfacing based on their pavement condition rating, or PCR. The average for Asheville’s streets is a 52, so “you can see we have a lot of work to do,” said Shuler.

Where does the money come from for road resurfacing? It is set aside from the City’s Capital Improvement Plan.

At a glance:

  • Miles of streets to be resurfaced: 4.47
  • Cost: $2 million
  • Timetable: July through November

Photo above: Patton Avenue, from College Street at the point of Pritchard Park to Biltmore Avenue, is slated to be resurfaced sometime between July and November.


Catawba Brewing Co. and Buxton Hall Barbecue Summer Series

Friday, June 26th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – This Fourth of July, Buxton Hall BBQ and Catawba Brewing have the ultimate summer party planned. Buxton will be cooking whole-hog, all-wood barbecue, and Catawba will be serving beer as local as it gets at the beautiful new outdoor space at 32 Banks Ave. The food will go from 2pm until it’s gone, and the beer won’t stop flowing until ten at night. And yes there will be live music – lot’s of it – going from 12pm – 9pm with six different acts.

Elliott and the gang will be tending the fires and the hogs all night long on the 3rd, and then serving it up outside on the 4th where there’s picnic benches, yard games, lots of room for pooches and kiddos, and a beautifully new landscaped space thanks to the efforts of Catawba and the building owners at 32 Banks Ave. – home of Vortex Donuts, Catawba Brewing, and soon to be Buxton Hall Barbecue and Public School Bar. The first installment of this summer series was a raging success, with lots of beer, BBQ, blue skies, bellies filled, and good times had. Be sure to come out for this one, it’s gonna be even bigger.

BBQ is served at 32 Banks from 2pm on. 

The Summer Series Continues…

Part 1: Saturday, June 20th – Done and done.

Part 2: Saturday, July 4th – Independence Day, Beer, and BBQ.

Part 3: Saturday, July 25th – Final event before the doors open at Buxton Hall in August!

WCU Scientists Risk of Sea Level Rise

Friday, June 26th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – A report released Tuesday (June 23) by the U.S. Department of the Interior that predicts the risk posed to U.S. national parks by rising sea levels was co-authored by two scientists from Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.

WCU professor of geology Rob Young, who directs the shorelines program, and coastal research scientist Katie McDowell Peek were lead authors and collaborated with National Park Service scientists to produce the report released by Sally Jewell, U.S. secretary of the interior. The report estimates that national parks infrastructure and historic and cultural resources valued at more than $40 billion are at high risk of damage from sea-level rise caused by climate change.

The report is based on an examination of 40 parks – about one-third of those considered threatened by sea-level rise – and the survey is ongoing, Jewell said.

“Climate change is visible at national parks across the country, but this report underscores the economic importance of cutting carbon pollution and making public lands more resilient to its dangerous impacts,” Jewell said. “Through sound science and collaboration, we will use this research to help protect some of America’s most iconic places – from the Statue of Liberty to Golden Gate and from the Redwoods to Cape Hatteras – that are at risk from climate change.”

Almost 40 percent of the assets (the infrastructure and historic and cultural resources) in the 40 parks examined were put in a “high exposure” category because of their risk of damage from one meter of sea-level rise. That includes the assets at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina, where the current replacement value of the assets was listed at almost $1.2 billion.

WCU’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines has received several National Park Service grants in recent years to assist the agency in identifying resources threatened by sea-level rise and producing strategies for the preservation of the parks’ infrastructure and resources. The program in an internationally known advocate for science-based coastal management policies that consider and balance economic and environmental interests.

“We are honored that Western Carolina University is playing a major role in this process, which will help preserve these parks for the next generation of Americans,” Young said. “To no small degree, the protection of our nation’s coastal heritage is being guided from Cullowhee.”

A link to a Department of the Interior news release about the report can be found online at http://www.doi.gov/. The report is accessible through http://go.nps.gov/coastalassets.

For more information about WCU’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, visit http://psds.wcu.edu.

RAD Form-Based Code Process Begins

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – With some 180 working artist studios in a formerly industrial district, Asheville‘s River Arts District blooms with unique flavor. While that growth has been a vibrant part of Asheville’s allure to locals and tourists alike, it comes with its own challenges.

How can the River Arts District, or RAD, evolve in a way that preserves its character and yet incorporates thoughtful urban planning?

The City of Asheville is partnering with the RAD community and the Code Studio consultant group to form consensus on a go-forward plan through a form-based code structure. Simply put, a form-based code provides a way of regulating growth and development to promote a specific form, such as a mixed-use walkable community. Building heights, setbacks, in-fill development that’s in character with the community are components of form-based code planning.

Some 60 residents attended a form-based code project kickoff meeting at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center June 17. Lee Einsweiler of Code Studio led the group through a presentation demonstrating how form-based code can be used to enhance communities challenged by change and growth. Maps of the River Arts District were posted in the lobby and City staff were on hand to talk to residents about their interests and concerns.

“We’re hearing common agreement that people want to preserve the unique character, the funkiness of the area,” said City Planner Sasha Vrtunski, who is the lead manager on this project. “Retaining affordable artist workspace is another big item we heard about.”

RAD-area builder Bill MacCurdy was among participants at the kickoff meeting. “As a property owner I have a vested interest in what happens to the River Art District,” he said. MacCurdy spoke animatedly with the consultant and City staff at the kickoff meeting. “To a great extent this form-based code will have an effect on the people interested in the neighborhood and what type of houses I will design to meet their needs;  for example, parking places, on street or off, home offices and home studios,” he said.

Here is a copy of the presentation given at the kickoff meeting.


Next steps

The RAD form-based code kickoff meeting was only a first step in a months-long process. City staff are urging everyone interested in this neighborhood to mark July 25-29 on their calendars. That’s when the consultant and the City will hold a series of workshops, informational meetings and charrettes to gather and share ideas on ways to enhance the River Arts District.

All events are open to the public. Here’s the Charrette Week schedule and description of workshops.

“We’re interested in your feedback, especially during the charrette week when the whole team is here,” Einsweiler of Code Studio said during his presentation.


Learn more

Several websites and a Facebook page offer resources to residents who want to stay involved in the process and learn more about it.

Visit the City of Asheville River Arts District Form-Based Code Project Page.

Follow the RAD form-based code Facebook page.

Check out the Code Studio RAD page.



Thoughts going forward

Einsweiler told people at the kickoff meeting that form-based code is a tool that can be used to preserve and enhance neighborhoods. The City of Asheville used the form-based code process in its planning of West Asheville’s Haywood Road last year. That plan was adopted by City Council. Read about it here

Ultimately City Council will vote to adopt a form-based code for the River Arts District in spring 2016. Before the plan gets to city leaders, the consultant and staff will digest feedback from the charrette week.

The River Arts District has unique aspects to consider in this planning. Some of the challenges highlighted by Einsweiler:

  • How do we deal with flooding?
  • How do we find affordable artist workspace options?
  • How do we retain the character of the original components of the area?

We urge RAD residents and stakeholders to stay involved in this process. We hope to see you during the charrette week. In the meantime, if you have questions, contact City Planner Sasha Vrtunski at [email protected] or 828-259-5560.

WCU Diabetes Education Summit

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing is partnering with Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital in presenting the WCU Diabetes Education Summit beginning Monday, July 13, and continuing through Friday, July 17.

The summit is designed for health professionals who interact with diabetic patients, including registered nurses, registered dieticians, advanced practice nurses, nurse educators and other health care team members.

Daily topics will cover diabetes education for health care professionals; foundations of care; glycemic targets, associated complications and management; diabetes in specific populations and settings; and diabetes expert fundamentals. The summit also will focus on resources for building a patient education program and preparing for the Certified Diabetes Educators exam.

“After conversations with local health care providers from several different disciplines, I realized that we have a deficit of certified diabetes educators,” said Judy Neubrander, director of WCU’s School of Nursing. “This weeklong conference will provide the education needed to prepare a provider for the exam. It also will provide an update for the nurse, dietitian, pharmacist or physician who wants to learn the latest in diabetes care.”

The summit will be held at the Health and Human Sciences Building on WCU’s West Campus. Participants may attend any or all days of the event. Registration is $100 per day or $300 for the entire week.

WCU is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the North Carolina Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. CNE credit hours are available and live activity qualifies for CDR Continuing Professional Education for dieticians.

For more information or to register for the summit, visit pdp.wcu.edu or call WCU’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education at 828-227-7397.

Run for Shindig on the Green 5K Race Fundraiser

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The Folk Heritage Committee, which produces Shindig on the Green, is excited to announce the fourth annual Run For Shindig on the Green, a fun and healthy way to help support Shindig, featuring a 5K Race and one mile Fun Walk/Run. The event takes place Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Carrier Park in Asheville with the 5K Race beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the Fun Walk beginning at 8:35 a.m. The Run for Shindig on the Green 5K kicks off the 49th season of Shindig and is a key element in securing necessary funding for the free and beloved Shindig on the Green summer Saturday evenings in Asheville.

Two overall winners will be recognized at this year’s first Shindig on the Green, on the evening of June 27th, and all race participants are encouraged to attend. The overall male and female winners of the 5K will each receive a beautiful mug featuring the Folk Heritage Committee logo and handcrafted by Mangum Pottery in Weaverville, NC. There will be additional medals and ribbons awarded to the winners of age divisions of the 5K Race. Race management timing and finish line services are performed by Right On Time Productions; race results will be available five minutes after the last runner finishes.

Over 30,000 people attend Shindig on the Green for free throughout the summer. While the crowds of locals and visitors at Shindig have grown over the years for the free evenings, so have the costs. The non-profit Folk Heritage CommitteeTM must raise funds to cover the costs at Shindig on the Green for goods and services such as sound equipment and technicians. All proceeds from the June 27th 5K and Fun Walk will help to cover the “free” Shindig’s very real operating costs, which average several thousand dollars per evening. The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the GreenTM and the Mountain Dance and Folk FestivalTM in order to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Shindig takes place in the heart of downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green, on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage.  Dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the region’s rich cultural heritage, Shindig on the Green’s 49th summer season is scheduled for June 27; July 11, 18, 25; August 15, 22, 29; and September 5. For more information, visit www.folkheritage.org or call the Folk Heritage Info Line: 828-258-6101 x345.

Registration: Registration is open! Register for the “Run for Shindig on the Green” 5K Race and Fun Walk/Run online at www.active.com. Online registration closes Thursday June 25th. T-Shirts will be available for pre-registered participants only. There will be no T-shirts available for race-day registrants. Day-of-race registration is 7:30-8:15 a.m.

Carrier Park: The June 27th 5K and Fun Run fundraiser takes place at Carrier Park at the intersection of Amboy Road and Michigan Avenue in West Asheville.
From I-240 East: Take Exit 1C.
From I-240 West: Take Exit 1B. Take a left at the light and your next left after that, back onto I-240 East.  Stay on the ramp to take Exit 1C onto Amboy road. Carrier Park will be on the right after about .25 miles.

Parking: Parking is limited to 280 spaces at Carrier Park so please carpool if possible.

Loretta’s Big Hug Super Saturdays: On Saturday, June 27th, Shindig on the Green will be the beneficiary of Loretta’s Café’s Big Hug Super Saturday. Loretta’s will donate 10% of all sales on June 27th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to the Folk Heritage Committee. More information at www.lorettascafe.com/events.html.


Folk Music Concert WCU

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The faculty of the Mountain Collegium Music Workshop will perform a recital of medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music on early and folk instruments at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 2, at Cullowhee Baptist Church adjacent to the campus of Western Carolina University.

The musicians and their instruments include Lisle Kulbach, Holly Maurer, Gail Ann Schroeder (violas da gamba); Valerie Austin, Jody Miller, Patricia Petersen, Gwyn Roberts and Anne Timberlake (recorders); Erik Schmalz (sackbut); Lorraine Hammond and John Maschinot (harp and folk instruments); Robert Bolyard (voice and viola da gamba); and Jack Ashworth (harpsichord and viola da gamba).

Admission to the concert is free, but donations to the Gerald R. Moore Mountain Collegium Scholarship are accepted.

The summer Mountain Collegium Early Music and Folk Music Workshop at WCU offers classes in recorder, viol, voice and other early instruments as well as classes in folk, Appalachian, Celtic, Sephardic and contemporary music. The teaching organization’s site can be found at www.mountaincollegium.org.

For more information about the concert, call workshop director Jody Miller at 404-314-1891 or email [email protected].

Swim Lessons – Register Now

Friday, June 12th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Swimming is one of life’s great pleasures. It offers many health and fitness benefits, cools you off in the summer, and provides a great opportunity to socialize with family and friends. Make sure you and yours stay safe in the water by being water aware.

The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes both adults and children.

Swim Lessons are offered at each of the Buncombe County Outdoor Pools and the cost is $30 per person:

  • Registration is open for all sessions*
    • Session I:  June 15 – 18
    • Session II:  June 22 – 25
    • Session III:  July 6 – 9
    • Session IV:  July 13 -16

*All sessions are held Monday – Thursday for 30 minutes.

For more information, call (828) 348-4770 or check out swimclubasheville.com.

Asheville Riverfront Office Grilling on Greenways

Friday, June 12th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville’s Riverfront Redevelopment Office invites everyone to attend the informational public meeting, “Grilling on Greenways” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 27 at the Carrier Park Pavilion, 220 Amboy Road.

Grilling on Greenways will showcase the five greenway projects that are currently being designed and prepared for construction: The Clingman Forest Greenway, The Townbranch Greenway, the Beaucatcher Greenway, the French Broad River Westbank’s Greenway (2 segments) and the French Broad River Eastbank Greenway.

Construction of these projects will take place from 2016-2019. When completed, the greenway system of the River Arts District will have 11 miles of continuous greenways. The completion of Beaucatcher Greenway will provide another 1.5 miles. The combined greenway network, the “River to Ridge” will connect the River Arts District to the South Slope neighborhood, downtown and Beaucatcher Mountain.

“We want the public have the opportunity to understand what kind of connected greenway system is about to happen. We’ll be seeking public input at this event on both the French Broad River West Greenway and the Beaucatcher Greenway,” said Lucy Crown, Greenways Coordinator.

The public is welcome to attend this drop-in session. Hot dogs and other refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Lucy Crown, Greenway Coordinator, at 828-259-5805.

New greenways underway

During the past decade, the City has built several sections of greenway, which have become an integral part of Asheville’s landscape. Now the focus turns to completing new greenways and connecting them into a contiguous system.

Thanks to New Belgium’s donation of land along the river, the first portion of the French Broad River Greenway Westbank is underway. Other planned greenways include the final segment of the French Broad River Westbank Greenway, the multi-use path of the Riverway Road Improvements, the Town Branch Greenway, and the Clingman Forest Greenway. All of these will be constructed with the assistance of federal TIGER funds. Construction will begin in 2017. The Beaucatcher Greenway design is also complete and will be partially constructed on the western side of Beaucatcher Mountain by 2019.

In addition, on-road “greenway connectors” will be constructed during the next five years on the roads that lie between the trail heads of three greenways. These connectors will guide bicyclists and pedestrians to their destinations by linking sections of greenway with improved and clearly-marked sidewalk sections. The first connector is along Depot Street and Clingman Extension and will connect the Clingman Forest Greenway and Town Branch Greenway. The second connector will be between the trailhead of the Town Branch Greenway on McDowell Street to Memorial Stadium, which is the trailhead to the Beaucatcher Greenway.

For more on Asheville greenway projects, visit ashevillenc.gov/greenways.