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:

Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate running for North Carolina governor this year, will be in Asheville on Saturday. He’s scheduled to speak at noon at Old Wood Company on Riverside Drive in the River Arts District. A large crowd is expected, especially in wake of the recent actions of Cooper’s opponent, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, whose signing of a controversial new law known as HB2 has sparked a firestorm of controversy. The new law 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, theCharlotte Observer reported.

The Asheville Tourists kick off their 2016 season with a road game later this week, with their home opener at historic McCormick Field in Asheville set for 7 p.m. on April 14 against the Rome Braves.

Asheville Flea For Y’all and The Salvage Station are prepare for the 2016 season of the vintage and antique outdoor monthly flea market with a vendor launch party set for 1-4 p.m. on April 10, according to a press release. Here’s more:

The Flea For Y’all is preparing for the much anticipated start of their second season by hosting a get together for NEW, OLD and PROSPECTIVE vendors with an open house. Drinks and snacks provided and a chance to check out the venue changes the Salvage Station has been working on since the close of last season and a chance to pick their spot for opening day!

The Flea For Y’all is THE place to be on the last Sunday of each month April through October at the Salvage Station and in December at the WNC AG Center. Vendors will be selling vintage, antiques, mid century modern, machine age, danish modern, rustic and industrial decor and lots of handmade art.

The Flea will start on April 24 and be open to the public 9am-4pm with $2 admission. Other dates are May 29, June 26, July 31, August 28, September 25, October 30 and then December 3rd at the WNC AG CENTER for the Christmas show.

The events are curated and vendor applications are being excepted. The Flea For Y’all will be held monthly at the Salvage Station, 468 Riverside Drive in Asheville. The location offers spectacular scenery by the French Broad River.
Breakfast, lunch, coffee available all day and beer/drinks (after 12 pm) from the then newly opened on sight restaurant. The Flea for Y’all will draw dealers from surrounding states and customers from all over
the world!

Asheville Music School has a new executive director. Charlotte Sommers, the schools development director since January 2015, has been named to the post. Here’s more from an email making the announcement:

On behalf of the Asheville Music School Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce our new Executive Director, Charlotte Sommers. Charlotte has been working for AMS as Development Director since January 2015, and has been instrumental in securing numerous grants and new fundraising opportunities for the school, and will continue to do so as Executive Director.

Charlotte brings with her a wealth of arts-related nonprofit experience. While living in Maryland, she was the Executive Director of BlackRock Center for the Arts, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit performing arts and education center with a $1.4 million operating budget. Charlotte booked and managed an annual season of 40 national touring artists and ensembles in jazz, classical, folk, and pop music; oversaw the education program, including classes and summer camps in music, dance, theater, and visual arts. She also led the organization through the 2008 recession without major program or staff cuts, led the annual fundraising campaign, and played a major role in the record-breaking 10th Anniversary Gala fundraiser.

As a career arts administrator who has held leadership positions in major arts organizations for more than 15 years, Charlotte has succeeded in working with boards and staff members to sustain and expand programming through sound fiscal management, strategic planning, fundraising, and by forging community partnerships. We know she will continue to put her skills to work at Asheville Music School and are thrilled to have her as our new Executive Director.

To close, here is a note from Charlotte: “The positive impact that AMS music education and outreach programming is making in our community cannot be overstated, and I am excited about the opportunity to lead the organization in finding ways to build our capacity and broaden our reach.”

Fonta Flora Brewery, a two-year-old brewery in Morganton known for incorporating locally grown ingredients in great beer, has announced an expansion via FB. More:

Although it has taken the better part of a year, thanks to a unique partnership from our friends at Foothills Land Conservancy of Morganton, North Carolina, we have secured one of the most scenic and historic pieces of property in Burke County. Nestled at the foot of the Linville Gorge, we have acquired 8 acres of land, adorned with historic stone barns that use to house Whippoorwill Dairy Farm.

A 4,500 square foot stone barn will serve as the main production facility for all brewing and packaging operations. With plans to install a 15Bbl brewing system, acompanied by 30Bbl fermentation and aging vessels, this will allow us to produce roughly 2,500 barrels in our first year in operation, which quadruples our current production capacity. The smaller barns will eventually serve as a barrel/bottle cellar and a traditional coolship building will allow us to continue down the path of creating our distinct Appalachian Wild Ales.

In keeping with our brewing philosophy of utilizing local agriculture into our craft beers, we plan to cultivate the land through annual gardens and a pernennial hop yard and orchards. We will plant harder-to-find fruit trees such as paw paw fruit, persimmons, figs and elderberries to help us craft beers with a true sense of place. In addition, brewing adjuncts such as carrots, beets, fennel and bloody butcher corn will all come from the property.

To tie all of this together and to give everyone goosebumps, this land is situated in the original valley, on the banks of the Linville River, where the Fonta Flora settlement existed more than a century ago. When we adopted Fonta Flora as the name of our brewery, we knew there was a massive amount of historical importance that came along with it. With this expansion, we will continue to share this important part of Burke County history with folks near and far.

WCQS is hiring a news director.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and Our Voice is working with the Asheville Brewers Alliance and Buncombe County’s Environmental Health Inspectors to address potential sexual assaults in local bars.

During the month of April, local ABA member breweries will donate $1 for each pint sold to Our VOICE, a sexual-assault survivors advocacy group. Employees at breweries will also be receiving training such as the training outlined below in a press release:

The collaboration will be based on Our Voice’s Bar Outreach program, an innovative approach to addressing and preventing incidences of Drug and Alcohol Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA). During their regularly scheduled visits to county establishments that serve alcohol, representatives of the Environmental Health Department will provide bar staff and managers information about Our Voice and about how they can participate in the Bar Outreach program.

Bar staff in the county will also be encouraged to participate in a comprehensive training that addresses DFSA, effective bystander intervention strategies and ways to keep bar patrons safe. …

In addition to speaking with bar staff on location, Our Voice encourages bar managers and/or owners to contact us for additional materials or to take part in the Bar Staff Training.

For more information, call (828)252-0562 or visit our website at

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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1 Comment

  1. Tim Peck April 5, 2016

    “That move came after Charlotte’s City Council approved a local ordinance extending protections to the gay, lesbian and transgender people.”

    But the illegal Charlotte ordinance removed prohibitions on the use of public facilities (bathrooms, shower rooms, locker rooms) based on “gender expression.” What is “gender expression”?


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