More of what’s going around:

-Two state lawmakers from Buncombe County have announced a town hall-style meeting, at which they plan to explain their votes in favor of a bill that claimed to repeal another controversial bill, HB2, also known as the “bathroom bill.” N.C. Sen. Terry Van Duyn and N.C. Rep. John Ager both voted in favor of HB 142, which was a compromise on HB2, but  still roundly criticized for not doing away with HB2. Here’s more from a press release about the 2 p.m. meeting on May 13 at the Stephens Lee Community Center in Asheville:

Both Van Duyn and Ager voted in support of HB142 and will be discussing their reasoning with participants. The primary focus of the town hall will be the repeal of HB2 but it will also cover recent developments in Raleigh, including the bill passed by the Senate that divides Asheville into districts to vote for city council and Republican attempts to reduce Governor Cooper’s authority over the state Board of Elections.

Last year the state legislature passed the infamous “bathroom bill,” formerly known as the Public Facilities and Privacy Act or HB2, which barred local governments from passing ordinances that protect the rights of LGBT people. The law required individuals to use the restroom facilities according to the gender listed on their birth certificate in all public buildings, including schools. North Carolina received widespread condemnation for the law and lost millions of dollars as companies and sports agencies withdrew investments from the state.

In March of this year, the NCAA gave North Carolina a deadline to repeal HB2 by March 30th or the state would be ineligible to host championship games through 2022. State legislators approved a compromise bill, HB142, barely meeting the NCAA deadline. The new law repealed the most controversial measures in HB2 but still bans local governments from implementing non-discrimination ordinances until 2020.

-Lake Julian Park Kids Fishing Tournament is set for May 13, according to a press release. The semi-annual event is open to all children ages 15 and under and is sponsored by Buncombe County Recreation Services. Registration will be on site the day of the tournament beginning at 8 am. Cost is $10 per child, which covers fishing bait, snacks and a free hot dog lunch at the conclusion of the tournament. No fishing license is required for children under 16 years of age. This is a catch-and-release event.

-UNC Asheville students in mass communication and drama will screen the original film, Mountebank, which was written, directed and produced by UNC Asheville students, alumni and faculty, at 10 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at Asheville Pizza and Brewing on Merrimon Avenue, according to a press release. The screening is free and open to the public. More:

Mountebank tells the story of two con-artist brothers who work as grifters to support their family. The screenplay was written by UNC Asheville alumnus Clint Owens, and directed by Anne Slatton, lecturer in mass communication. Mountebank was filmed with cooperation from the Screen Actors Talent Casting Agency and numerous Asheville businesses that provided shooting locations, including Habitat Brewing Company, Mike’s Auto Service, Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria, and many others.

-The rich and diverse natural and historical treasures of Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be highlights of the next Classic Hike of the Smokies at Caldwell Fork Trail, according to a press release. Join Friends of the Smokies Tuesday, May 9, to see late spring wildflowers and historic Cataloochee Valley on this moderately strenuous hike, which travels 9.4 miles round trip and ascends 1,650 feet. Former Deputy Superintendent Kevin Fitzgerald will lead the hike, according to the release.

-Looking Glass Creamery in Fairview, which is owned by Jennifer and Andy Perkins, is expanding production and building a new facility with underground cheese aging caves in the agricultural heart of Polk County, according to a press release. The existing facility in Fairview will also be renovated to offer more retail and food service options and improved parking. More:

The new cheesemaking operation will add to the burgeoning agricultural economy in Polk County and fit well alongside the numerous vineyards, five wineries, diversified vegetable operations, and livestock farms already thriving in the area. The new facility will be located on the historic Harmon Dairy, a second generation cow dairy run by brothers, Doug and Alan Harmon.

Sovereign Remedies, one of my favorite downtown restaurant/bars, has some great stuff coming up in May. Here’s a quick look:

-RPM: Recession Proof Mixology: Monday, May 1, 15 and 29, 4 p.m.; this bi-monthly event features a specialty menu of vintage and modern classic cocktails priced at $5 each giving our community an opportunity to explore and learn about classic drinks without breaking the bank.
-Indian Supper, May 2; Farmer Sunil, the founder of Patchwork Urban Farms, the community supported agriculture network cooks a family-style, multi course Indian Supper from scratch (just like his mama taught him), using organic produce from his farm plots here in Asheville. Cost is $27 per guest (excluding tax + gratuity) and includes dessert and chai.
-Bad Hombres Taco Pop-Up, May 9; a monthly fundraiser benefitting CIMA, Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Accion, a local organization advocating for immigrants’ rights here in Western North Carolina, striving for inclusive communities with justice, freedom, and equality for all. Featuring authentic made-from-scratch tacos and other Mexican dishes by Executive Chef Graham House and Chef Frankie Blum.
-Rosé Dinner, May 21; Executive Chef Graham House will be preparing a seasonal, four-course meal with carefully selected rosé wine pairings in partnership with Metro Wines. The pairings will feature rosés from around the world in varying styles and varietals. Guests will have the opportunity to order selected wines at a discount for pickup from Metro. Seating is at 7:30 PM and limited. Cost is $50 per guest excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made at www.SovereignRemedies.com.

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