Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.More of what’s going around:

-Coggins Conservation Project to present new “ruralism business model”: There’s a meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at 76 Biltmore Ave. next to the French Broad Food Co-op; more from their press release:

Coggins Conservation Project (CCP) announces its new ruralism business model as an alternate exit strategy for retiring farmers. The CCP is attempting to assume the current developer’s contract on the Coggins Farm property in East Asheville and aims to establish a center for sustainable agriculture and farmland preservation. Currently in the region, career farmers have had few retirement options. In the past 10 years, open land and farms in Western NC have given way to suburban sprawl. As a result, an increasing number of rural communities on the edges of cities have lost their biodiverse habitats and land used for local food production. The co-founders of CCP have developed a business model to incorporate some suburban-rural population growth while maintaining necessary space for sustainable agriculture and conservation of natural habitat. The goal is to establish a model site on Coggins Farm just outside of Asheville, NC and then aid other communities throughout Southern Appalachia and beyond.

“Conserving open space in perpetuity has been a driving mission for the CCP,” says Nesta Kennedy, co-founder. “The project was born from our desire to preserve one of the last large pieces of open farmland on the outskirts of the city. As we’ve seen support rally around this concept, it’s grown into something more: we want Asheville to be a mecca for new, sustainable ways of living. What better way than to create a solid, thriving model for alternative growth in our rural communities?”

The CCP new ruralism model aims to recognize the needs of the individual farmer while maintaining dynamic agri-diversity in the region and support for active farms that contribute to the growth of the economy.

As Ron Ainspan, owner of Mountain Food Products, puts it, “Our region has been instrumental in developing and nurturing local food chains. We see the conservation initiative for the Coggins property as further inspiration for that effort. At the same time, we live in an area experiencing population growth. An approach which integrates a small residential component accommodates the population demand while not crowding out the agricultural contribution or the rural character.”

Coggins Conservation Project will provide a formal presentation of its business model to the community at large on May 7 at 7 pm at 76 Biltmore Avenue next to the French Broad Food Coop in downtown Asheville. This event is free and open to the public. Also, please visit our website at http://cogginsconservation.org.

-Leadership Asheville has announced its summer series of lunchtime panel discussions. “Secrets to Successful Festivals” is the first one, set for June 17. Cost is $20.

-LEAF starts today. This year marks the 20th anniversary for the twice-a-year event of world music, arts and community. See you ’round the lake. And don’t expect much work to get done in Asheville on Friday.

-Asheville and Marshall are playing host to the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships this weekend. You can watch bike racing in Marshall on Friday and Sunday, and in downtown Asheville on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. along Coxe Avenue.

-Lafayette, the new restaurant by the owner of Bouchon, held a soft opening Wednesday night. The restaurant was slammed. The decor is still under construction. The food was delicious. Official opening is May 11.

-67 Biltmore, the new restaurant opening in the former Laurey’s Cafe location, is opening Tuesday.

-Blue Dream Curry, a new curry joint on Patton Avenue, is hiring. Look for a late May opening.

-Meet the candidates for Asheville Police Chief. Here’s the press release:

The City of Asheville has scheduled a public meet and greet for the candidates invited to participate in the next stage of the police chief selection process. The event will be a drop-in event from 5-6 p.m., Monday, May 18 at the Wilma Sherrill Center on the UNC-Asheville campus.

At 6 p.m., following the meet and greet, candidates will make presentations on a pre-determined subject. Community members will have the opportunity to offer feedback on candidates through comment cards. The feedback will be considered in the selection process.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend both events. Child care will be available onsite for children kindergarten age and older.

It is anticipated that the candidates selected for the on-site hiring process will be confirmed on Wednesday, May 13. Once the participants are confirmed, the names of candidates involved in the meet and greet along with brief bios will be posted on the City of Asheville website at www.ashevillenc.gov.

-A-B Tech daycare closing: Here’s a note from a loyal reader:

A-B Tech has suddenly closed its childcare facility, leaving faculty, staff and students without childcare. Center will close as soon as July 1. Employees of the Center have been given no reliable severance pay, short of a promise they can take classes in something else at A-B Tech–but only at a diploma level. Diploma is roughly 30 credit hours.

There are three pregnant staff members of the Center who are losing their job and their daycare provider. There is at least one woman who is just short of retirement and will receive no benefits.

A-B Tech has offered faculty and staff a “consultant” to help “evaluate” other daycares in the area. Again, no financial compensation–other daycares in the region of similar 5-star caliber cost much more–no salary adjustments to compensate. No time off allowed for working parents who may not be able to find care.

President takes “full responsibility” for the closing. CFO likely the impetus. Cites the College’s deficit.

 

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