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, including a scheduled talk by criminal justice activist Susan Burton. Here we go:

-The new Japanese restaurant WakuWaku is open today for limited hours with a limited menu, cash only. Check it out at 674 Merrimon Ave, right across from Asheville Brewing. Hours today are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30-7:30 p.m.

-Donald Trump flew from Asheville to Moscow in November 2013 after Trump attended a birthday bash for Rev. Billy Graham at the Grove Park Inn, Bloomberg reports.

-Ryan Naylor of Connect AVL offers a weekly video giving highlights of Asheville events. Check it out here.

-The Mediation Center will present award-winning author and criminal justice reform activist Susan Burton at its annual “Speak Your Peace” event at 6:30 p.m. on May 7 at the A-B Tech Ferguson Auditorium, according to a press release. Burton will discuss her ground-breaking work helping formerly incarcerated women rebuild their lives after prison, as well as her continuing efforts as a leading figure in the movement to change the policies that authorize the legal discrimination against people with convictions. Here’s more:

Before the “Speak Your Peace” event, Burton will visit the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women to give a talk and provide copies of her book to inmates. The Mediation Center has implemented a successful Re-Entry Mediation Program at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. With the help of a mediator, women and their families work through past harms and get on the same page about expectations for the future. These difficult and emotional conversations are shown to increase hope, improve support systems, and decrease recidivism.

Burton is widely recognized as a leader in the national criminal justice reform movement and has earned numerous awards and honors for her work. In 2010, she was named a CNN Top Ten Hero and received the prestigious Citizen Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her book “Becoming Ms. Burton” won the 2017 Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice and received of the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work Biography /Autobiography.

Tickets are $12 and available here.

-Asheville book publisher Grateful Steps will present an interfaith program featuring author Ron Eddings from 5:30-7 p.m. on April 26 as part of the YWCA of Asheville’s Stand Against Racism program. Eddings, a Grateful Steps author (Broken), will discuss racism he and his friends and family suffered when he was growing up in Asheville, the downward spiral his life subsequently took (drugs, prison, despair) and his triumph of recovery with God as his pilot. Grateful Steps is located on Crest Mountain, directions here.

-$3 gasoline is coming soon, along with the summer tourism season, CNBC reports.

-Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Asheville Center on Monday celebrated the grand opening Monday of 7,000 square feet of renovated space in the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce building on Montford Ave.

-Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont: shuttle  service to the viewing area will be provided on Tuesday, May 30 through Tuesday, June 6. All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass distributed through the lottery system at

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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