City of Asheville releases draft zoning standards for urban centers

Press release from the City of Asheville: The City of Asheville thanks the public for their input on the Urban Centers initiative, which is part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Living Asheville. This plan calls for the City to foster higher density, mixed-use development that is economically viable and pedestrian oriented in a way that contributes to the placemaking character of the city. The vision is to support reinvestment through denser land use patterns and enhanced multimodal transportation. It aims to improve walkability and neighborhood quality of life. Another goal is to bring housing closer to jobs by incentivizing housing to be added to property located on high-frequency transit corridors to help the city grow in a smart way. The locations being reviewed for rezoning include properties at/near Kmart (Patton Avenue), Innsbruck Mall (Tunnel Road), Steinmart (Merrimon Avenue) and Walmart (Bleachery Boulevard). The Department of Planning and Urban Design will…


Bernie Sanders in Asheville: 2020 candidate is first to make a stop in WNC

The Bernie Sanders rally crowd has been capped at 2,000 by fire marshal and permit, so many fans can’t get inside Salvage Station. (Photo: John Boyle/Citizen Times) Check back here through the day for the latest on the Bernie Sanders rally in Asheville and reactions to it. ASHEVILLE – The first presidential candidate to visit WNC in the 2020 election cycle — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — is at Salvage Station in the River Arts District. Sanders on abortion Sanders is railing about restrictive abortion laws recently passed in Alabama, reporter John Boyle notes. ”Laws that will quite literally get women killed,” Sanders says. Alabama’s governor signed a bill on May 15 making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. Overflow crowd let in The supporters left at the gates have been allowed inside by the fire marshal. Reporter Elizabeth Anne Brown says security at the Salvage Station…


UNC Asheville hosts April events in conjunction with N.C. Science Festival

Press release from UNC Asheville: UNC Asheville will be part of a statewide star viewing party and host a solar observing event, a science pub, and a “Mini Maker Faire” as part of the North Carolina Science Festival in April. The events are free and open to the public, presented jointly by the UNC Asheville Department of Physics, UNC Asheville’s STEAM Studio, and the Astronomy Club of Asheville. The inaugural Asheville Mini Maker Fair comes to campus from the Asheville Makers. The solar observing event is scheduled to take place on UNC Asheville’s Quad from noon-2 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, and will include safely observing the sun through telescopes with a variety of filters to see sunspots, prominences and more. Participants can also make sun prints and experience solar energy and solar-sensitive beads. In the case of inclement weather, the solar observing event will take place on April 11….


Landslide kills 2 in North Carolina

The bodies of two people were found among the rubble of a home following a landslide in North Carolina. The names of the victims are being withheld until family can be notified, according to the Boone Fire Department, which responded to the incident call around 5 p.m. Wednesday. A landslide resulted in "catastrophic destruction of the structure," a single-family dwelling on Pine Ridge Drive in the Heavenly Mountain Community, the department said. There were no other occupants in the home. The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said it will be conducting the death investigation. Gov. Roy Cooper earlier on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the western part of North Carolina after heavy rainfalls triggered mudslides. ABC News’ Devin Villacis contributed to this developing story. Please check back for updates. Source Article


Asheville Archives: The Lost Cause narrative

MAKING HISTORY: At the October 1893 Western North Carolina Confederate Veterans’ Association reunion, Col. J.M. Ray, featured front and center, addressed a crowd of Confederate veterans. He characterized the South’s efforts not as a lost cause, but a gallant and stubborn fight. This week’s column is an accompaniment to the preview article on historian Karen Cox’s upcoming Pack Memorial Library presentation, “Confederate Monuments in the Jim Crow South” (see “Dixie’s Daughters: Historian Karen Cox confronts Confederate monuments,” May 16, Xpress). Among her many talking points, Cox will address the South’s “Lost Cause” narrative, which took shape in the aftermath of the Civil War. From textbooks to newspapers, from monuments to public orations, the Lost Cause mythology sought to present the Confederates’ wartime efforts not as one of defeat, but of heroism in the face of great odds. The campaign also aimed to reimagine slavery as both a benign and beneficial…


Mystery man frees infant from North Carolina wreck

ASHEVILLE, NC (WHDH) — A terrifying car accident in North Carolina ended with a miracle and a mystery. An unknown man rescued a baby trapped in a BMW sedan that was wedged passenger-side down between metal supports under the awning of Sona Pharamacy and Clinic. The BMW went off the road, jumped the curb, tore through a hedge row and hit a Saturn sedan that was parked with no one inside, police said. The collision between the two cars sent the BMW airborne, flipping sideways and into a wall of glass, investigators added. “It just sounded like a big shelf falling from the pharmacy,” Sona employee Anna Teall said. “It sounded like some glass fell on the ground.” The crash left a baby and another person trapped inside the BMW. A Good Samaritan arrived and rescued the baby before taking off. “A guy come out of nowhere, jumped up, opened…


Mental health struggles exact physical toll, say Asheville experts

Winston Janusz_2 Asheville resident and counselor Winston Janusz developed numerous physical issues after enduring stress that “just kept building and building and building. … It was a really stressful time. I was in graduate school — all this stuff, plus low on sleep because of having young kids. I’ve had chronic low back pain, tension in the shoulders, tightness … problems with digestion, stomach discomfort.” The experience brought the material he was studying in his courses home in a new way. “Though I already had training as a therapist, it’s kind of a different ballgame when you’re experiencing that personally.” Along with the physical symptoms, Janusz also experienced panic attacks. Janusz says he was able to recover and wants to share his message with others. “I was able to use my education and my resources [as well as] practicing mindfulness and exercise and seeing a good therapist,” he notes. “Not…


New Fonta Flora State Trail system connecting Asheville to Morganton grows

Creating a new hiking trail doesn’t happen every day in Western North Carolina. Wochit (Photo: Courtesy of Foothills Conservancy) OLD FORT — The distance between Morganton and Asheville just got a little shorter, and more scenic. The ambitious Fonta Flora State Trail, which when completed will connect the two cities by foot and bike trail, got closer to its goal with the addition of 90 acres of conserved land between Black Mountain and Old Fort in McDowell County. Foothills Conservancy, a nonprofit regional land trust based in Morganton, purchased the property from Melanie Goodson for $224,000 and conveyed the property to North Carolina State Parks on April 17, said Foothills executive director Andrew Kota. The acquisition was a conservation partnership among Foothills Conservancy, Camp Grier, and Dan and Denisa Allison. “The property came on the market. We wanted 90 acres, Camp Grier wanted a part that runs through their property,…


Biltmore’s gardens set to sprout Chihuly glass works at historic North Carolina estate

The historic gardens at the Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C., will be a little more dazzling come May. Intricate large-scale glass creations by artist Dale Chihuly will be displayed amid the greenery at the sprawling French chateau-style home built by George Vanderbilt. Expect to see towering red reeds made of glass in the Shrub Garden, a floating boat of glass spheres in the Italian Garden, three chandeliers in the estate’s conservatory and one of Chihuly’s signature suns on the front lawn. One of Dale Chihuly’s signature suns will adorn the Biltmore’s front lawn. This one was installed at Bentonville, Ark. (Scott Mitchell Leen / Chihuly Studio) A boat filled with glass balls will be on display in Biltmore’s Italian Garden. (Scott Mitchell Leen / Chihuly Studio) By night, Chihuly’s artworks light up, on selected dates with timed entry. Buy tickets online at least a week in advance for $57 midweek…