More of what’s going around:

-Asheville Sister Cities is sending a delegation of 25 citizens to Saumur, France, this month. Saumur is one of six “sister cities” to Asheville. The delegation will meet with the mayor and present him with gifts from Asheville, including a letter from Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.

-The Asheville Affiliates will hold their “Party with a Purpose” from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday at The Boathouse. Tickets are $25 and include food, drink and live music. Proceeds go to the nonprofit with the most votes, and the nonprofits are: Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, Asheville Community Theatre, Irene Wortham Center, ARC-Buncombe County, RiverLink, Junior Achievement of WNC, Mills River Partnership, The Roots Foundation and WNC Green Building Council.

Community Roots is organizing a boat-based peaceful protest on July Fourth called “July 4th: Independence from Fossil Fuels” at Lake Julian and Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plant. The group plans on telling Duke that it doesn’t want the utility to build the two new fracked gas plants and that it wants Duke Energy to move faster toward 100 percent renewable energy. I’m wondering if members of your group might be interested in joining us. There’s more info here.

828:design has received three 2017 American Web Design Awards from Graphic Design
USA, according to a press release. The awarded website designs are for Old Wood Co., Sitework Studios, The Bunn House and Precedent Furniture, all Western North Carolina based businesses. The awarded sites are showcased on the GDUSA website and published in the June 2017
print issue. 828:design is a comprehensive graphic design studio specializing in digital, print and user experiences, according to the release.

-The color for this year’s Asheville Area Arts Council fundraising event known as the Color Ball is indigo.

-The Foothills Conservancy, a nationally accredited, nonprofit regional land trust based in Morganton, his hiring a new executive director. A search committee has been formed and the conservancy has hired executive search firm Capital Development Services to help find a new executive director. The conservancy works cooperatively with landowners and public and private conservation partners to preserve and protect significant natural areas and open spaces. Focus areas include watersheds, forests and farmland across the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills in eight counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford. The position announcement is available on the Capital Development Services website: www.capdev.com as well as on the Foothills Conservancy website: www.foothillsconservancy.org Nominations, expressions of interest, and applications will be accepted through July 1, 2017 and must be submitted via email to searchservices@capdev.com Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references. All material will be confidential. Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 x208.

-Significant efforts toward sustainable practices are being modeled at OM Sanctuary as a method of implementing environmental stewardship through conservation and minimizing the current carbon footprint of the organization, according to a press release. Here’s more:

In the winter of 2012, the organization participated in a Hospitality Greening Assessment through Waste Reduction Partners, in 2015, OM Sanctuary’s urban forest became protected under a conservation easement through the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, as well as adopting a Forest Stewardship Plan by August 2016. This spring in 2017, working alongside EcoForesters and the internship project developed by University of South Florida M.A. graduate Evan Novell, a Forest Carbon Evaluation was completed that focuses on the OMS 42-acre conservation easement. The highlights of the report estimate the current and future forest carbon stocks contained within the protected urban forest. “We are committed to continue our quest to offset our carbon imprint and offer programs to assist the public in learning about personal and global sustainability,” states OM Sanctuary President/Founder Shelli Stanback.

Ruth & Ranshaw dessert shop in Fairview is closing. Here’s the note posted to the shop’s page on Facebook:

We wanted to share that we will be closing the bakery at the end of the summer. We have decided to move in another direction, take advantage of some new opportunities, and spend time with our young families. It has been an amazing four years of learning new things, meeting all of you wonderful people, and building something we will always find special.
All of the current orders placed, weddings, clients that are in the books, and commitments made up to this point will be honored. Our dedication to quality will be upheld until we close the doors. If you have concerns regarding an existing order you are welcome to email us or give us a call. If you would like to place future orders we would be happy to accommodate anything you have in mind for the next few months.
If you are interested in purchasing the space, the equipment, or combination of both please reach out to RuthAndRanshaw@gmail.com.
Thank you for being part of an incredible adventure. – Clair & Colleen

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