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:

-Have a pint of beer and listen to UNC Asheville professor Dr. Dwight Mullen talk about his scholarly work beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Habitat Brewing. Here’s more from the Pints With Profs event:

Dr. Mullen has been engaged in the State of Black Asheville for the past decade in order to help our city understand the realities our black citizens face. He says, “We’re investigating not just for academics, but for social change. What we provide here is social activism that hopefully leads to social justice.” Given our current political and economic environment, we are lucky to have Dr. Mullen share his work and engage us in conversation so we can become engaged citizens for the common good of Asheville.

As a Professor, Dr. Mullen is committed to both his students and to being professionally active. He offers courses in Public Policy, American Politics, African and African-American politics. His scholarly activities include panels chaired and papers presented at meetings of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists; overseeing undergraduates’ research projects covering the State of Black Asheville; and serving in multiple capacities that aim to improve the delivery of public services to underserved populations.

-The Haywood Street Advisory Team, a city advisory board, will present finalist ideas for uses of city-owned properties on Haywood Street and Page Avenue beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the US Cellular Center Banquet Hall, 87 Haywood St. For more information, contact Asheville Planning Director Todd Okolichany at [email protected] or 828-259-5840.

-In case you missed it: Chef/owner Patrick O’Cain has announced that he and his team will be opening Gan Shan West, an extension of his East-Asian inspired restaurant, in West Asheville in Summer 2017. Located at 285 Haywood Rd., the 900 square foot Gan Shan West will have seating for 25 during meal service. A take-out window will deliver immediate service to patrons on-the-go and to those who call-in.

-The Unite WNC Summit will be held from March 31 to April 1 to “create a roadmap for the digital future of Western North Carolina,” according to a press release. The event, which is hosted by Meet the Geeks and includes lunch, breaks and networking, costs $80.

-The North Carolina Arboretum will add several garden enhancements and a new seasonal butterfly exhibit, as well as a variety of facility upgrades, over the next few months, according to a press release. Also, the cost of parking is going up. Read on for details:

To continue its efforts to raise awareness for pollinators, this year the Arboretum will place a special focus on butterflies. From April through October, the Arboretum’s seasonal landscape garden exhibits will feature many plants and flowers that attract and support butterflies, and its signature Quilt Garden will be designed in a butterfly quilt block pattern. In addition, its Forest Meadow garden will add several new butterfly-focused plantings, as well as new interpretive signage about butterflies and other pollinators. On May 13, the Arboretum will open its new Winged Wonders seasonal exhibit in its Baker Exhibit Center Greenhouse. This indoor butterfly exhibit will feature a butterfly nursery and walk-through butterfly house where visitors will meet a variety of local butterfly species, including monarchs, swallowtails and more. On that same day, a new metal sculpture entitled “Life of the Monarch” will be unveiled in the Forest Meadow. Created by Waynesville, N.C., artist Grace Cathey, the sculpture is a colorful, upright kaleidoscope design featuring different stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle.

In addition to its horticulture and landscape improvements, the Arboretum is making several upgrades to its facilities. The Education Center, which hosts its café, adult education programs and youth classrooms, recently renovated its restroom facilities on both levels of the building. Additionally, a new front gate system is being installed, which will help administer faster access for visitors and member cardholders. To adhere to the Arboretum’s commitment to the environment, almost all indoor lighting fixtures now use LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which use 80 percent less energy than conventional lights, and a majority of the campus’ outdoor lighting has been converted to LED bulbs.

To sustain these new upgrades and create opportunities for future enhancements and jobs, the Arboretum will increase its basic per vehicle parking fee by $2. Starting March 1, 2017, parking rates for personal vehicles will be raised to $14. Rates for passenger vans, motorhomes and commercial buses will remain the same, and the Arboretum will continue to offer its half-price parking special the first Tuesday of every month for personal vehicles. Access into the property for pedestrians, bikers and members of The North Carolina Arboretum Society will remain free.

-Diamond Brand Outdoors will host the Campapalooza expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 18, according to a press release. The event, now in its second year, will be held at Diamond Brand’s flagship store in South Asheville’s Parkway Center (1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville). More:

Those attending Campapalooza will enjoy last year’s perks including package discounts, raffles, and the chance to chat with industry leaders and demo the newest gear. This year includes a trail run demo, hike on the Mountains-to-Sea trail, and expanded outdoor education. Diamond Brand Outdoors will also present $12,000 to local nonprofits at noon during the event.

Diamond Brand Outdoors partnered with Columbia and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance to support Asheville GreenWorks’ Youth Environmental Leadership Program with a $6,000 grant. The partnered with Patagonia and allowed the public to vote on organizations to receive another $6,000 in February. The result is $3,000 for The North Carolina Arboretum’s ecoEXPLORE, $1,750 for River Link’s k-12 Watershed Education, and $1,250 for Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s Youth Conservation Corps.

The first round of outdoor brands announced include Buff Headwear, Chaco, Deuter, Eagles Nest Outfitters, ExOfficio, Goal Zero, Good To-Go, Kelty, LEKI, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Mountain Khakis, MSR, NEMO Equipment, Oboz, Osprey, Outdoor Tech, Salewa, Smartwool, Stanley, Therm-a-rest, and Vasque.

-The Buncombe County Board of Adjustment will meet at noon on Wednesday at 30 Valley Street to discuss the following:

-Warren Sugg, on behalf of the Buncombe County Board of Education, has applied for a Conditional Use Permit of the Zoning Ordinance of Buncombe County to establish a Planned Unit Development (Level I) in order to construct additions to and renovation of the Community High School on tax lot PIN 9689-81-3751 (235 Old US 70 Hwy).

-Scott Huebner of Brickstack Architects has applied, on behalf of Martin Devine and Katina Comeaux, for a Variance from §78-645(e)(3), maximum height, and §78-645(e)(6), maximum disturbed and impervious surface standards, of the Zoning Ordinance of Buncombe County in order to construct a single family residence on tax lot PIN 9750-21-6620 (25 Bartrams Walk Dr).

-Charles Krekelberg of Samsel Architects has applied, on behalf of Joseph and Debra Hanig, for a variance from §78-645(e)(3), maximum height, of the Zoning Ordinance of Buncombe County in order to construct a single family residence on tax lot PIN 9750-60-5580 (125 Skycliff Dr).

-Michael Goforth of High Country Engineering has applied, on behalf of Sam and Angela Brandt, for a Conditional Use Permit pursuant to §78-677, §78-678(b)(6), and §78-678(b)(9) of the Zoning Ordinance of Buncombe County to establish a Planned Unit Development (Level I)/Vacation Rental Complex comprised of seven (7) cabins on tax lot PIN 9724-55-6208 (125 Snelson Rd).

-Jonathan Zilliox has applied for a variance from §78-642 Dimensional Requirements (front setback) of the Zoning Ordinance of Buncombe County in order to construct a single family residence on tax lot PIN 9664-68-4625 (162 Sequoyah Hills Dr).

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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