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Archive for August, 2010

Cultural Heritage Comes to Life During Heritage Crafts Weekend at NC Arboretum

Monday, August 30th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The North Carolina Arboretum celebrates Southern Appalachian traditions during Heritage Crafts Weekend, held September 25 and 26.

The event, now in its fifth year, features craft demonstrations and juried crafts vendors, plant sales and musical performances from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days in the Heritage Garden, Baker Exhibit Center and Education Center. Western North Carolina is known worldwide for its botanical beauty and diversity, as well as for the many wonderful handmade crafts that are borne of the mountain way of life. Vitally important to the region’s craft heritage is the close relationship between crafts and the plants used in their production. Much of the fiber, color and artistic expression of mountain craft is inspired from the character and nature of plants.

The Heritage Garden showcases plants used in the multi-million-dollar craft industry of Western North Carolina, including those used for handmade paper and brooms, baskets and dyes. Visitors can explore the many plants that support crafts, understand how they are grown, prepared and used, and appreciate their value to the industry. Crafters and Musicians interested in participating in The N.C. Arboretum’s Heritage Crafts Weekend may email Mkosco@ncarboretum.org for an application form.

Visitors will have a chance to explore the new Green Garden Shed, a demonstration exhibit that provides real-world and affordable examples of how to infuse sustainable practices into an existing shed structure.

Admission to Heritage Crafts Weekend is free for members or with the parking fee of $8 per personal vehicle. Parking is always free for Arboretum Society members.

Job Fair Attracts Hundreds from Region

Monday, August 30th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – About 1,500 people attended a job fair sponsored by A-B Tech and the office of U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler Aug. 26 at the College’s Enka site.

“When we look at workforce development in the region, A-B Tech is the nucleus,” Shuler said. “What better fit, than to hold a job fair with the driving force behind economic development.”

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, JobLink and AdvantageWest were also partners of the fair, which featured 55 local businesses looking to fill 500 positions. Industries included education, construction, health care, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, janitorial and retail.

A-B Tech President Hank Dunn welcomed participants to the event and introduced Shuler. “We hope you find what you are looking for. We’re here to help you,” he said.

C.J. Wolff of Asheville, a student at A-B Tech taking Human Resources Development courses, said she was looking for office work. “I am hoping to find something there that will be a fit,” she said. “I think you should always go to a job fair, even if the jobs aren’t what you are looking for. It’s good to network and to keep your face and resume out there.”

Joseph Scotto, A-B Tech graduate and Club Floor supervisor at The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, was in attendance representing the hotel. “We have more than 60 positions we are hoping to fill. I love helping out at these events and to offer jobs.”

“If we can change just one family’s life, we have made a difference,” Shuler said. “Hopefully, with over 500 jobs available, we can change over 500 families. Even in this tough environment, these businesses have jobs available.”

Fee Waived Adoptions for All Animals, August 27-28 and 30-31

Friday, August 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Humane Society is on the move. Lucky for us they are celebrating with FREE adoptions (cats AND dogs!) during the final four days at the old shelter!

Adoption Fees Waived:

Friday, August 27
Saturday, August 28

Monday, August 30
Tuesday, August 31

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
72 Lee’s Creek Road

The old Shelter at 72 Lee’s Creek Road is closing permanently at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31.

The new Buncombe County Animal Shelter on the Animal Care Campus at 16 Forever Friend Lane will open on Tuesday, September 7.

Questions? Call 253-6807. To see animals available for adoption, visit www.ashevillehumane.org.

Used Book Sale at the Weaverville Library, September 4

Friday, August 27th, 2010

WEAVERVILLE, NC – The Weaverville Library Friends will hold their annual used book sale on Saturday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Books are individually priced and divided into subjects within the fiction and non-fiction categories. Lots of children’s books, audio materials, VHS and DVDs are available. All proceeds will benefit the Weaverville Library

UNC Asheville’s Blowers Gallery Hosts Exhibition by Artist Arrington Williams

Friday, August 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Arrington Williams with “Rose Elegante,” A collection of abstract paintings by Asheville artist Arrington Williams will be on view through September 29 in UNC Asheville’s Blowers Gallery. The exhibition includes works in oil and acrylics by Williams, a graduate of the Corcoran School of Art who now has a studio in the River Arts District. An opening reception will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, in the gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

The paintings “are ultimately about energy,” said Williams. When asked the meaning of his abstracts, he encourages viewers to “turn off the intellect and turn on the emotional receptors. And then, sometimes I say, ‘If I could tell you what it means in words, I would have written a

Blowers Gallery, located on the main floor of UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library is open 8 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 p.m.-midnight Sundays. For more information, call 828.251.6436, and for more about the artist and his work, go here.

Participation from Bike Community Continues to Improve Asheville’s Bike Access

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville’s Comprehensive Bicycle Plan was adopted by Asheville City Council in 2008 after extensive involvement by the city’s bicycle community. But the input and participation from those active groups and other community organizations continues to be critical to making Asheville more and more bicycle friendly.

“The cycling community really is our eyes and ears,” says Transportation Planner Barb Mee. “We really listen to cyclists. They are the ones that know best what’s out there.”

Multiple resources are available for bicyclists, as well as walkers, to notify the City of Asheville of maintenance needs or improvement opportunities. The Asheville Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force (www.abptaskforce.org), an advisory group that meets regularly with Mee and tracks progress on the bicycle and pedestrian plans, hosts a maintenance request form on its website that Mee can forward to the appropriate city department. The site also hosts an incident report form for anyone who has been in a biking or walking related accident. The City of Asheville email addresses ibike@ashevillenc.gov and iwalk@ashevillenc.gov provide other opportunities for people to pass information on to the city.

The collaboration has resulted in steps from turning street-level storm grates so that they don’t hamper bikes to painting bike symbols on the asphalt at select traffic lights so bikers will know where they can stand to activate sensors that change a red light green.

Requests by bicycle commuters also resulted in the installation of bike lockers in four locations downtown: parking decks at the Civic Center, Rankin Avenue and Wall Street, as well as the alcove between Haywood Street and the Rankin parking deck. Each locker is divided into two storage spaces that can be rented for $10 a month. The lockers provide added security, room to store gear like helmets, and also keep seats dry in wet weather. In addition, there are extra bike racks in each parking deck to provide a free, dry place to leave bikes.

The participation of community members is also critical in fine tuning Asheville’s bike accessibility. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force is made up of community volunteers, and will be conducting a bike and pedestrian count in September to provide crucial data. Volunteers from the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club clean the Riverside/Lyman Street bike lane on a quarterly basis, an effort that accentuates the city’s regular street sweeping there. And Asheville on Bikes, a major voice for cyclists in Asheville, recently coordinated bike corrals at the Bele Chere festival and at Downtown After 5. The cooperation of multiple groups on education and advocacy makes the bike community one of the strongest voices in Asheville.

“The cycling community has really empowered themselves to be advocates and stewards of our infrastructure,” says Mike Sule, Executive Director of Asheville on Bikes. “They have gotten to like exercising their civic responsibility.”

Another service available to cyclists, runners and walkers is a special commuter pass available through the Asheville YWCA. The $200 annual pass provides commuters with access to showers, lockers and WiFi. Mee, responding to a growing buzz for such a service, approached the YWCA and says the organization responded quickly to the need.

“We were happy to step up to the plate on this,” says YWCA Marketing Director Ami Worthen. “Our location is such that we are convenient to get to downtown.”

This summer has already seen new bike lanes completed or nearing completion on key connectors like Coxe Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Kimberly Avenue, Asheland Avenue and Hilliard Avenue. And a climbing lane on Clingman Avenue is underway.

“The bike master plan is moving along at a fair clip,” Sule says. “Soon, bikers will be able to use bike lanes to get from one end of town to the other. I think that’s amazing.”

To see more about the City of Asheville’s efforts to enhance bike accessibility in the city, go to:  http://www.ashevillenc.gov/residents/transportation/default.aspx?id=450.

View pictures at: http://coablog.ashevillenc.gov/2010/08/participation-from-cycling-community-continues-to-help-improve-ashevilles-bike-access/.

Bus route 2, 18 and 52 detour at UNC Asheville

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Transit buses will detour around UNC-Asheville campus from 6 a.m. -11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26 due to a road closure for a student block party.  Bus Route #52 will resume the normal route (downtown to Beaverdam Rd. via Merrimon Ave.) after 11 p.m. and stop at the UNC Asheville campus at 11:18 p.m., 11:48 p.m., 12:18 a.m. and 12:48 a.m.  For a full schedule for Route #52 visit: www.ashevillenc.gov/residents/transportation/city_bus/default.aspx?id=1000 Routes #2, #18, and #52 will end their routes at the WT Weaver round-a-bout.

For Route #2 & #52, riders should use the bus stops at Barnard Ave. near MAHEC.
For Route #18, riders, should wait at Founders Drive.

For more information about Asheville Transit call 253-5691, e-mail iride@ashevillenc.gov or visit www.ashevilletransit.com.

Job Fair Coming to AB Tech’s Enka Site

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech and the office of U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler will host a WNC Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 26 on the second floor of the Haynes Conference Center at the College’s Enka site.

A free shuttle for A-B Tech students will leave on the half hour from the Pines Building in parking lot C-1.

C.J. Wolff of Asheville, a student at A-B Tech taking Human Resources Development courses, plans to attend to use the skills she acquired in class. “I want to cover all my bases so I have been taking the classes to brush up on computer skills and writing resumes and cover letters,” she said.

More than 50 businesses will be in attendance at the event, representing a wide variety of sectors including education, construction, health care, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, janitorial and retail. The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, JobLink and AdvantageWest are also sponsors of the fair.

“I am hoping to find something there that will be a fit,” Wolff said. “I think you should always go to a job fair, even if the jobs aren’t what you are looking for. It’s good to network and to keep your face and resume out there.”

The fair is free and open to the public. For more information, call 252-1651 or visit www.shuler.house.gov

Changes to Riverfront Redevelopment Commission Coincide with First Annual Retreat

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville City Council, at the request of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission, made key changes to the strategic partnership of the AARRC at the Aug. 24 regularly scheduled meeting of City Council. Changes included the addition of the word “Area” to the commission’s name (previously they were named the Asheville Riverfront Redevelopment Commission, or ARRC) which Commission members say will better reflect the regional intent behind the partnership, and the addition of The Town Board of Woodfin to the AARRC’s appointing partnership.  The Town of Woodfin, which is responsible for choosing its own appointee, will have one voting representative serve as a member of the AARRC.

The first annual retreat of the AARRC will be held Aug. 27-28.  AARRC members will participate in a bus tour of the riverfront the evening of Aug. 27.  Seats for media are available by calling Stephanie Monson at 828-232-4502. The planning session of the retreat will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 28  at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Board Room (2nd floor). The planning session is open to the public.

During the planning session a framework for the AARRC’s annual workplan will be developed. The session will be organizational in nature, addressing such issues as the clarification of their individual roles and any expectations of fellow members, partner staff, and professional peers; creating a shared understanding of the work completed-to-date and the amount and nature of future work; and deciding how the AARRC should organize to address future work.  The meeting will be facilitated by Margaret Henderson, Director of the Public Intersection Project at the University of North Carolina’s School of Government at Chapel Hill.

The AARRC was created by city of Asheville ordinance in November 2009 and began having regular meetings in May 2010. The commission is intended to support the continued development and sustainability of the riverfront through strategic partnerships. In addition to the Town of Woodfin, other appointing partners include the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, RiverLink, Council of Independent Business Owners, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the River District Design Review Committee. The Commission acts as an advisory board and provides policy and program recommendations to the boards of the appointing partners.

For more information about the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission, visit

http://www.ashevillenc.gov/business/business_in/economic_dev/default.aspx?id=18016

Nominees for 2010 Minority Business Awards Announced

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Minority Enterprise Development Week Committee of WNC, the organizer of events occurring during the nationally observed “MED Week”, announces the nominees for the 2010 Minority Business Awards.  Nominated for the awards are Horace Adell, Jr, Clean Streak; Norberto Chaves, Pillar Tax & Accounting; LaQuana Edwards, Events Made Beautiful; Linda Lambert, Bellas’; Brenda Macauley, Aesthetic Gallery; Juan Martinez, Cielito Lindo; Patricia Oocumma, NativeScapes Landscaping; Accem Scott, Green Brothers Solar; Angelica Zapata, Nissi Painting.

The awards will be presented at the Minority Enterprise Recognition Reception on Thursday, Sept. 16 at Coleman Place above the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The mission of the MED Week Committee of WNC is to provide the best leadership and direction for the promotion, establishment and development of minority businesses in Western North Carolina through education, communication and advocacy.  Since 1982, the President of the United States has proclaimed a National MED Week observance to recognize the outstanding achievements of minority businesses and to honor those corporations and financial institutions that support minority business development.

Other events planned for MED Week 2010 include: an expo of minority owned businesses sponsored by the City of Asheville, Mountain BizWorks, ABIPA, and A-B Tech, a seminar from SCORE on “Positioning Your Company”, tours of A-B Tech’s Center for Business & Technology Incubation, a panel on financing options, free credit checks in Cherokee, an information session about starting a business and a workshop from the Small Business & Technology Development Center on obtaining government contracts.

Details for these events can be found at  http://www.wncmedweek.org or by calling 232-4566