Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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More of what’s going around:

-A city advisory board on Monday reviewed the Asheville Art Museum’s construction plans as the $24 million project gets set to begin in the heart of downtown Asheville. The guts of the museum will be demolished and then rebuilt, according to the plans, which the Asheville Technical Review Committee looked over on Monday afternoon. Here’s more on the art museum construction impacts.

-A former Asheville climate scientist alleges that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association manipulated data to advance a political agenda by hiding the global warming “pause,” according to reports. The Washington Times, following a Daily (U.K.) Mail story, reports that

in an article on the Climate Etc. blog, John Bates, who retired last year as principal scientist of the National Climatic Data Center, accused the lead author of the 2015 NOAA “pausebuster” report of trying to “discredit” the hiatus through “flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards.” In addition, Mr. Bates told the Daily [U.K.] Mail that the report’s author, former NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information director Thomas Karl, did so by “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation.”

-A story includes Asheville on a list of 10 cities it says are gentrifying the fastest. Other cities include Charleston, S.C., Nashville, Tenn., and Austin, Texas.

-Pour Taproom is planning to open in a new Durham hotel, according to the Durham Herald-Sun.

-Did you know that the Albemarle Inn in Asheville once hosted Hungarian composer Bela Bartok as a guest? Bartok lived at the inn on Edgemont Road in 1943 when it was a rooming house. Bartok composed his Third Concerto for Piano, also known as the “Asheville Concerto,” in Asheville, according to the inn’s website.

-At least 10 bed-and-breakfast businesses are for sale in Asheville, reports WLOS-TV.

Moogfest, which is set for May 18-21 in Durham, has announced that “protest” will be a key theme of the music event this year.

-The next SuperHappy Trivia Challenge is set for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 at The Magnetic Theatre on Depot Street. More:

This fast-paced variety show leaves audiences of all stripes doubled up from laughing. Hosts Adam Arthur and Troy Burnette welcome back to the panel veterans Jeff “Dirigible” Catanese and Rodney Smith, plus panel newbies Jeff Messer and DiAnna Ritola. Jeff has been active in Asheville theatre since forever plus he hosts his own radio show every afternoon at 880 am. DiAnna Ritola, last seen as the mother in Night of the Living Dead, brings years of improv experience and serious comic chops.

-The Franklin School of Innovation, a public, tuition-free charter school, is accepting students for grades 5-12. There’s a meet-and-greet from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday for parents and students who want to learn more. Here’s more about the school:

The school employs a learning model which shares its heritage with Outward Bound. Known as Expeditionary Learning, this model is characterized by a redefinition of traditional classroom roles. At an EL school like FSI, instructors speak less, students speak more.

On a typical day at Franklin, teachers provide their classes with resources, protocols and goals, and then students do the rest. They scrutinize their resources, pop out of their desks to compare their data with each other, draw conclusions, debate those conclusions, attend to their goal. Teachers circumambulate the classroom, and they listen. They listen to their students grapple with the lesson’s material and avoid intervening except to keep everyone on task. At the end of the class, students present their work to their teacher and to one another. They discuss, together, whether the end goal has been reached. Then they discuss, together, the context and significance of the class’s lesson.

In a nutshell, Expeditionary Learning is learning through discovery. And though at times it may seem messy and raucous, this learning model works. It works, first and foremost, because it requires that students know why they’re learning what they learn. The effect this has on students’ motivation is profound and positive. In general, people are much more productive when they understand the purpose of their efforts, and so, at Franklin, a large part of a teacher’s job is to make the relevance of schoolwork transparent for students.

Part of this is accomplished through the implementation of interdisciplinary projects, and part of it occurs through the incorporation of real-world problems in lessons. The curricula at Franklin often include a related service component that allows students to apply the knowledge and skills they glean in school. To cite some examples, last year’s 8th Grade class participated in a stream clean of Hominy Creek after testing its water quality and learning about the deleterious effects of human pollution. This year, high school students are involved in a Habitat for Humanity build after spending time studying social justice.

The driving force behind Expeditionary Learning is the idea that growth is an end in and of itself. Therefore, Franklin students are taught to track their personal and academic development over time. They routinely analyze their progress towards goals they set in collaboration with teachers, and they practice sharing their assessments of this progress with others. They learn to be resilient and persistent, that failure is a necessary step towards success, and that growth is a lifelong vocation. Students are taught to encourage and support each other in the same way that their teachers encourage and support them. The result is a classroom dynamic, defined by mutual respect and trust, that both allows students to take risks and promotes their acceptance of challenge.


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Curious February 11, 2017

    “It’s really inconvenient that Ashvegas doesn’t allow direct links in our comments.”
    I’m curious if anyone else thinks that Mr. Summers needs to have his own blog, so he could be more expansive in his comments. He offers so many interesting insights into so many topics. Instead of piggybacking on Mr. Sandford’s blog, he deserves his own. Thoughtful citizens could engage directly with him, rather than be inconvenienced by the way Ashevegas is set up.

    1. Barry Summers February 11, 2017

      I get it. You disagree with me, you’re mad that I make good points, and so you’d like me to go away. Aren’t you concerned that coming right out & saying so like this will give me more credibility with other readers, or encourage me to comment more?

    2. Barry Summers February 11, 2017

      I’m also curious why these people who try to silence me on these comment threads are always anonymous cowards.

  2. Barry Summers February 6, 2017

    “Moogfest, the Durham, NC festival that celebrates progressiveness in music and technology, is no stranger to getting political. This year should be even bigger, with the organizers including a new Protest Stage.

    “The stage was announced specifically with two things in mind: Trump’s travel ban of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States and North Carolina’s HB2, “a law that enables discrimination across gender, sexual orientation, and class.”

    That’s funny. When they were here in Asheville, I didn’t get the impression they were big fans of “protest”.

    1. Big Al February 7, 2017

      The paragraphs you copied & pasted do not appear in the Ashvegas post. Does the original from which you are quoting give any specifics of how “Moogfest…is no stranger to getting political? ” That would help us know if your impression of their apolitical nature while in Asheville was correct.

      I also never got any feel for Moogfest being about anything but music, fashion and beer. A move towards political statement and protest would fit better in Durm, anyway.

      1. Barry Summers February 8, 2017

        You’re absolutely right – sorry. I started to include the link, and then got distracted. It’s really inconvenient that Ashvegas doesn’t allow direct links in our comments. You have to drag & drop this:

        It’s an article about Moogfest, from a mag that I assume is based in Durham.

        I was referring to Moogfest inviting Pat McCrory to headline the opening ceremonies in 2014, and then reacting badly to the protests which that action provoked.


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