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:

-Local musician Andrew Fletcher is considering a run for Asheville City Council as the period for candidates to officially declare their intentions nears. The filing period opens at noon on July 7. Over the past two or three years, Fletcher’s profile in town has grown after he took a leadership role in working with city officials on new regulations governing street musicians. Here’s the list of announced candidates for Asheville City Council Election ’17: Adrian Vassallo, Jeremy Goldstein, Rich Lee, Kim Roney, Cecil Bothwell, Gwen Wisler, Dee Williams, Sheneika Smith and Vijay Kapoor. Mayor Esther Manheimer has announced she’s running for re-election for mayor, and Jonathan Wainscott has announced he’ll be running for mayor, as well. The candidates will start making their runs official on July 7 at the Buncombe County Board of Elections. A primary election will be held Oct. 10, and the general election will be held in November.

-For the sixth consecutive year, the Asheville Habitat ReStore at 31 Meadow Road near Biltmore Village is encouraging residents to show off their creativity and talent for a chance to win the ReStore ReUse Contest, according to a press release. More:

Garden shed, artist studio, chicken coop…tree house, dog house, playhouse…if you recently built a structure like this using predominantly reused building materials, Habitat wants to know. The contest runs July 1-August 31 and submissions must be sent electronically. Information and entry form will be available on starting July 1st.

The purpose of the contest is to showcase innovative building projects constructed predominantly of used building materials. “Our customers often tell us about the projects they make using materials purchased at the ReStore. This contest is a great way to showcase their projects and inspire others to reuse, recycle and repurpose usable building materials and supplies,” said Scott Stetson, ReStore General Manager.

Five judges will select winners in the following categories: Best in Show, Furniture, Homesteading, Live/Work Space, and the new categories of Home Décor and Youth (age 16 and under).

Past projects have been diverse and included everything from kitchen islands, fences, raised garden beds, and pallet furniture to dog houses, little free libraries, and tiny homes. To see photos from the 2016 contest, click here.

-James Beard-nominated Chef Katie Button will headline Pinehurst Resort’s third Chef & Maker Series event of 2017, Sept. 15-17, according to a press release. More:

Button is co-owner and executive chef of acclaimed downtown Asheville restaurants Cúrate and Nightbell. Button is also the author of the cookbook, Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an America Kitchen , which was published by Flatiron Books last fall.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Pinehurst this September,” says Katie Button. “What I love about the Chef & Maker Series is how it gives local businesses an opportunity to share their craftsmanship with the community; it’s a celebration of North Carolina.”

The festivities begin the evening of Friday, Sept. 15, with a Pinehurst “Cúrate -inspired” event, sponsored in part by the Country Bookshop, featuring the vibrant flavors of Spanish food and wine. There will also be beer from Southern Pines Brewing and Mother Earth Brewing as well as spirits from Doc Porter’s Distillery and Piedmont Distillers.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the day opens with a Q&A and book-signing with Button, followed by an interactive workshop by Seagrove potters Scott and Bobbie Thomas, of Thomas Pottery. Later that evening, guests will be seated for a Chef’s Dinner featuring Button’s specially curated menu highlighting the weaving of local and regional North Carolina ingredients into Spanish recipes and techniques. The combined result is a multi-course meal firmly rooted in Spanish tradition.

-Dig Local has launched version 2.0 of its smart phone app that connects users with locally owned businesses. Here’s more from a press release:

Big guys like Yelp and TripAdvisor might be taking a back seat for those seeking and supporting the local scene in Asheville, NC. Dig Local just launched its new 2.0 version of their one-of-a-kind app for IOS and Android. The app and enhanced website,, showcases thousands of Asheville experiences, from food trucks and wilderness guides to live music and pint nights. According to CNBC, “Shares of Yelp cratered” last month and TripAdvisor fell short of estimates for quarterly earnings.

“It’s not just the visitors to Asheville who are seeking an authentic, homegrown encounter, 50% of our users live here,” said co-founder, Ted Pate. “There is a surging trend across the country to support the independent entrepreneur, Dig Local’s 72,000 downloads and more than 1.7 million web views reflect that trend. Whether you visit Asheville from across the globe or want to uncover a new craft brewery in your own neighborhood, Dig Local is all about directing you to an authentic experience.”

Created in October 2013 at the Startup Weekend Competition in Asheville, Dig Local crafted a solution that would level the playing field for local businesses competing with deep pocketed chains. Awarded first place, Ted and Flori Pate didn’t just put the award on the shelf, they went to work to turn concept into reality. Both newly unemployed from corporate jobs and parents of two young boys, they set out to join the ranks of the very people they sought to support.


Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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1 Comment

  1. Sneaky Mcfly June 28, 2017

    Andrew Fletcher for President.


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