Ashvegas Hot Sheet: Protests at Asheville tattoo shop follow owner’s comments on bathroom law fight

Jason Sandford

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

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Some of what’s going around:

A group of protesters gathered outside Forever Tattoo on Lexington Avenue Wednesday evening after comments the shop’s owner made on Facebook about Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance were widely circulated. Rob Hunt posted the following, for example:



Don’t come in my bathroom!


So you would like some man who is confused by his genitals … Coming into a bathroom you are in?

The N.C. General Assembly recently approved a new state law, known as HB2, that prevents local governments from adopting ordinances banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identity. That move came after Charlotte’s City Council approved a local ordinance extending protections to the gay, lesbian and transgender people. It also allowed transgender residents to use either a men’s or women’s bathroom, depending on the gender with which they identify, the Charlotte Observer reported.

-Asheville resident Jasmine Beach-Ferrara read from the Bible on Wednesday during the annual White House Easter prayer breakfast. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported (paywall) that:

She read the Beatitudes, a section of the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus said “those who mourn,” “the meek,” “the merciful,” “the peacemakers” and others will be blessed.

Beach-Ferrara is head of the Campaign for Southern Equality, an Asheville-based LGBT rights group. She recently won a primary election seeking a seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. She and her organization have also been a part of the fight against HB2.

-The hotel occupancy rate for Buncombe County hotels increased 5.7 percent in January 2016, as compared to January 2015, according to new Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority statistics. (Occupancy rates also increased in November and December of last year versus the year before.) The average daily room rate for hotels in Buncombe was $107.37 in January, a 5.7 percent increase compared to January 2015, when the average daily rate was $101.48. The total number of Asheville Regional Airport passengers in January was 39,116, compared to 48,554 the previous January, a 19.4 percent drop.

Echo Mountain Studio is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. There’s a May 21 party planned at the Salvage Station.

Fun fact of the day from loyal reader Michael:

Just watched Episode 6 of 11.22.63 (a show about a high school teacher who travels back in time to try and stop the assassination of JFK) on Hulu. The exterior shot of the “Mermaid Bar” in Dallas, where James Franco’s character places a bet, is footage of the erstwhile Rock Cafe / Pork & PIe, with Madison County Courthouse in the background. Scene is at about minute 16:04.

-The spring tailgate market season is here, a press release from the nonprofit ASAP reminds us. More:

Spring is here and the growing season is upon us! Tailgate tents are going up, and area farmers markets are opening outdoors for the season. Celebrate spring by getting a taste of what Appalachian Grown™ farms are growing. At early spring markets, find fresh greens, spring onions and asparagus; meats, cheeses, baked goods, value-added farm products like preserves, and a wide selection of plant starts. Produce offerings will differ from market to market based on the location of vendor farms—microclimates vary greatly in the region. But the season changes quickly, with new offerings sprouting up each week.

Find a list of spring tailgate opening days below. For a complete list of the tailgate markets in the region, including their season start dates, visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at The 2016 print guide hits stands in mid-April.

Central Mountains Regional Tailgate Markets
Asheville City Market: April 2, Saturdays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Asheville City Market – South: April 6, Wednesdays 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Black Mountain Tailgate Market: May 7, Saturdays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
East Asheville Tailgate Market: May 6, Fridays 3:00 – 6:00 pm
French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market: April 13, Wednesdays 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Leicester Farmers Market: April 2, Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market: April 2, Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
North Asheville Tailgate Market: April 2, Saturdays 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Oakley Farmers Market: May 5, Thursdays 3:30 – 6:30 pm
River Arts District Farmers Market: May 4, Wednesdays 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Sundays on the Island: April 9, Sundays 12:00 –
Weaverville Tailgate Market: April 13, Wednesdays 2:30 – 6:30 pm
West Asheville Tailgate Market: April 5, Wednesdays 3:30 – 6:30 pm
WNC Farmers Market: May 5, Open Everyday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Yancey County Farmers Market: April 16, Saturdays 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. NFB April 3, 2016

    Yes, let’s fall into the Republican trap and pretend that this bill is about bathrooms when it goes so much further than that.

  2. Tim Peck April 3, 2016

    What is “gender expression”?

  3. Mary Misandrist April 2, 2016

    Hey, you “strangely” forgot to mention that Rob Hunt also called transpeople “f*cking retarded.” Way to dilute a story, ashvegas.

  4. Laura April 1, 2016

    Is West Asheville tailgate Wednesday, April 6 or Tuesday, April 5?

    1. chris April 1, 2016

      From their email today:

      “WE’RE BACK!
      The weekly market starts this
      Tuesday, April 5th from 3:30-6:30pm! “


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