Jason Sandford

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

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Here’s more of what’s going around, including the impending closure of a beloved drug store lunch counter in north Asheville. Here you go:

-The north Asheville lunch counter inside what was once an Eckerd’s Drug Store, then Rite Aid and now Walgreens on Merrimon Avenue, is closing on Saturday. It’s a time capsule of simple eats and a long-time community gathering spot for more than half a century. One woman, Gnelle Israel, has managed the lunch counter for the majority of the time it’s been open.

-The Asheville Citizen-Times recently told Jim Cavener, its longtime theater reviewer, that it no longer wanted his services as a freelance writer. Cavener had been writing reviews for the newspaper over at least 20 years.

-Sam Quinones, the award-winning author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” will speak today (Thursday) at Blue Ridge Community College in Henderson County. The event is open to the public.

-A photography exhibition that is made up of portraits of Asheville food service industry workers has moved from Over Easy Cafe to High Five Coffee shop on Rankin Street in downtown Asheville. Jonathon Flaum of Farm to Home Milk organized the exhibition and hired Jennifer Mesk of Humans of Asheville to take the photos. For Flaum, the display is a meditation on work, service and self. He asked workers questions such as: How is your work a space to simplify your world, your self? What is lost when you simplify? What is found? How does your work enable you to serve? When you serve, what are you feeling? How do you imagine others are impacted by your service? Check out this show, and answer those questions for yourself.

-On Friday, the Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready program will host a three-course community dinner in Southside Kitchen, with seatings at 5:30 and 7 p.m., according to a press release. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. The menu will feature Middle Eastern dishes, including falafel, hummus, harissa chicken, citrus fish, and honey-yogurt ice cream. The dinner is open to the public. The suggested donation is $10 or pay-what-you-can. All donations received support the GO training program.

-In other Green Opportunities news, Southside Kitchen will be spearheading LEAF’s culinary cafe at Eden Hall this May and offering delicious world-inspired dishes, including gluten-free and vegetarian options.

-Put this one on your calendar: Friday, April, 13, the new AUX Bar will kick off its late night outdoor cinema in the Lexington Avenue restaurant’s courtyard. The first movie, which starts at 9:30 p.m., is “Footloose.” At 11:30 p.m., “Friday the 13th” will screen. Look for free popcorn, handmade caramel apples, drink specials, hot dogs and more.

-The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, in conjunction with the Town of Marshall, has permanently protected the 541-acre Marshall Watershed with a conservation easement. The land is in the Walnut Mountains and includes 8 miles of streams, including Hunter Creek. The conservation easement will help make sure that water flowing from the property into the French Broad River will remain pure, according to the conservancy. Mature forest habitat across this land creates ample opportunity for native plants and wildlife to flourish, and many trees onsite are estimated to be 100 years old, according to the conservancy. The property contains Rich Montane Seeps, a type of non-boggy mountain wetland community that provides important amphibian habitat.

-Asheville-based Infrastructure Services Group LLC, a company that inspects and repairs underground water and wastewater pipelines and associated manholes in the U.S., has announced the acquisition of companies in Vermont and Pennsylvania with combined revenues of more than $32 million, according to a press release. The acquisition makes ISG the largest for-profit company with its corporate headquarters at The Collider, a global center for climate entrepreneurship and innovation, according to the release.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. weavervilleman April 5, 2018

    its because Walgreens bought it, and has no use for the diner.

  2. Curious March 31, 2018

    Can you give us some background on why the lunch counter is closing and what will go in its place?
    Can you give us some background on why Cavener has been cut loose from the Citizen-Times?
    What’s going on with these changes?

  3. NFB March 29, 2018

    Sad to see the lunch counter go, but to be honest I was always astonished that it wasn’t closed eons ago.


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