Ashvegas Hot Sheet: I-26 Connector route through Asheville chosen


More of what’s going around:

Asheville Citizen-Times Beer Guy Tony Kiss reports that there are several new local breweries in the works: Upbeat Brewing, going in at RAMP studios at the corner of Riverside Drive and Broadway; a second Wedge Brewing site at Foundation Studios on Riverside Drive; and Fahrenheit 828 in south Asheville.

-State and federal officials have chosen a route for the notorious Interstate 26 Connector, a section of proposed new highway that would span the French Broad River and connect I-26 north of the river with the interstate south of it, reports the Asheville Citizen-Times. The route is known as Alternative 4B, and its the route that Asheville officials have been pushing for, because it takes some traffic off the existing Bowen Bridge.

The Avett Brothers recently shot a music video with scenes at the Asheville Regional Airport.

Construction has begun on the 11th house in Buncombe County to be sponsored and built by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, according to a press release. More:

Women Build offers an opportunity for women to become a part of the solution to a worldwide housing crisis. Construction officially started last Friday with a wall raising celebration. A group of Women Build Global Village team members from all over the country (and one from South Africa!) had been building the flooring and wall components for a full week prior to the celebration.

This house is one of the new homes in Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s Shiloh: Let’s Build campaign! Through the campaign, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity will invest $2.5M to build 15 new affordable houses and complete 30 home repair projects in the historic Shiloh neighborhood by the fall of 2017. To learn more, please click here.

-The second annual Modern Atlanta 2 Modern Asheville (MA2MA) Modern Home Tour will take place on Saturday June 4, 2016, and will feature seven of some of the most unique, contemporary residential properties in the Asheville area, according to a press release. Here’s more:

Atlanta-based MA! Design is Human is yet again teaming up with Modern Asheville for a “Satellite Architecture Tour” that is a part of the larger Design is Human Atlanta (DiHA) thirteen-day schedule of events.

“My partner Kelly (Erin-Spinney) and I are thrilled to be growing this event for the second year. We’ve been working towards a Modern Home tour for 5 years and it is fun to see the momentum growing. This year is exciting because along with architecturally designed homes we have a couple of homes that have been hand-crafted by their owners which makes it very Asheville”, says Modern Asheville’s Troy Winterrowd.

Tickets are on sale through the MA! Design is Human website and are just $18.09 (which includes a processing fee). A detailed map of the tour is emailed with each ticket purchase and participants have from 10am – 4pm to visit and explore all the homes.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released its final risk classifications for Duke Energy’s 34 coal ash pits in the state on Wednesday, according to a press release from the Sierra Club. Here’s more:

In accordance with the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, these classifications determine the timeline and method Duke Energy must use to close the coal ash pits.

Today’s decision by the Department listed 8 sites as high risk and 25 as intermediate risk. None were listed as low priority, which would have meant that the ash could have been left in unlined pits and capped in place, allowing continued pollution of groundwater. The McCrory administration also requested the ability to revisit the classifications in 18 months.

“In light of overwhelming public comment asking that no community be treated as low priority, we are encouraged by today’s announcement,” said Molly Diggins, State Director of the NC Sierra Club.

“Today’s classifications are a testimony to the persistence of committed and engaged communities advocating for safe drinking water,” said Emma Greenbaum, organizing representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in North Carolina. “While today’s announcement represents a significant step forward, families living near coal ash ponds will continue to face uncertainty about their drinking water until the coal ash is removed and stored away from water sources.”

But the Sierra Club also expressed concern over DEQ’s unusual request to the legislature to be given the authority to change the classifications in 18 months. For the coal ash pits classified as high risk, Duke Energy must excavate the ash and move it to dry lined storage with a monitoring system by Dec. 31, 2019. Intermediate sites must undergo the same process by Dec. 31, 2024. If the legislature agrees to DEQ’s request, the deadline for closure plans for intermediate-risk sites would bump up against possible changes of classification.

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County is looking for volunteer tutors for the Adult Education, ESOL, and Augustine Project programs, according to a press release. More:

We will be hosting two orientations in May so you can learn more about becoming a volunteer tutor: May 25 at 9am and May 26 at 5:30pm. Please email or call 828-254-3442 x 204 for more info.

In addition, the Augustine Project, our tutoring program for low-income school-aged children, will have its once-a-year training in July. The orientations specific to this program, and the training dates are below. Please contact Lily at for more info.

The Augustine Project tutors low-income, school-aged children who read below grade level. Orientations will take place:

Fri., June 10, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Wed., June 15, 5:30 — 6:30 p.m.

The 2016 Augustine Project training will take place at ArtSpace Charter School. The training is over the course of eight days, listed below. There are no alternate dates.

Tues., July 5, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Wed., July 6, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Thurs., July 7, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Fri., July 8, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Mon., July 11, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Tues., July 12, 9:00-4:00 p.m..
Wed., July 13, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Thurs., July 14, 9:00-4:00 p.m.