Jason Sandford

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

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Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.More of what’s going around:

-Westville Pub has finally reopened following a fire about two weeks ago.

-The former owner of an Asheville restaurant is having a tough time with his popular Brooklyn restaurant, according to this Forbes story about Mark Henegan, owner of Madiba in New York. Mark Henegan, who operated The Asheville Public (the former Silver Dollar Cafe) for about two years in Asheville is now seeking crowd funding support to keep his popular Madiba restaurant open.

-Isa’s Bistro and Roberto Coin are inviting people to come downtown and shop. Here’s the note:

We hope you are well! We wanted to reach out and share details on a holiday brunch hosted at Isa’s Bistro this Sunday, December 13, from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Get in the holiday shopping spirit and stop by Isa’s Bistro for Sunday brunch and later at Asheville’s Roberto Coin Boutique to check out their exquisite collection of jewelry. Roberto Coin will also be offering shoppers wine and champagne from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. It’s the perfect way to dine with friends and shop for those last minute gifts on your holiday list this year! All diners who mention Roberto Coin when making their reservation will receive complementary valet parking.

-OWL Bakery and Short Street Cakes are holding a pop-up shop on Dec. 13. The announcement:

We’re pleased to invite you to join OWL Bakery and Short Street Cakes on Sunday, December 13th for an afternoon of sweet treats and warming beverages!

OWL Bakery will be offering mulled cider and an assortment of sweet & savory nibbles to enjoy and to purchase, including cookie and cracker collections, gingerbread house kits, chocolate babka, assorted pastries, and pour-over Mountain Air coffee. Short Street Cakes will serve hot chocolate and host a gingerbread person decorating activity, with signature cakes and holiday offerings available in the shop.

-For all you holiday shoppers, there’s a new website called Gift Asheville. Here’s the note:

My name is Lauren Showfety. I work for Patrick Conant and his company PRC Applications in Asheville. We are a small web development firm who handles custom web and mobile applications along with Ecommerce projects. I am reaching out to you today to ask if you would consider helping us spread the word about our new website

Although we are Ecommerce experts, and have a lot of experience building stores for clients, this is the first time we have attempted to create an online store of our own. We recently launched a new business, Gift Asheville, an online gift giving website, to ship locally made Asheville goods in five different gift box themes anywhere in the USA. Unlike most gift baskets or gift boxes that offer mostly food products, our emphasis is on bath and body, though there are several food items in our boxes. We also have several items that are vegan, organic, or all natural.

Here is our “About Us” info:

“Whether it’s a holiday, birthday, or just to say thank you, we aspire to make gifting your favorite, locally made Asheville products a breeze.

As Asheville locals we have often wished there was a way to send a package to family and friends full of unique Asheville products emphasizing handmade, locally produced items. Our products provide a multi-sensory experience to fully immerse our customers in the feeling of Asheville – we want people to taste, smell, see, feel, and even wear Asheville.

We offer beauty, grooming, souvenir, and beer themed products ranging from BBQ and hot sauce, to luxurious locally made soaps, lip balms, bath & body products, and books. We have something for all personalities.

Let us save you time shopping for the perfect gift! We have selected items that we feel represent some of the best and most unique products of small Asheville businesses. We also have a couple different options for various flavors, scents, and colors within some of the boxes.

Our Essential Asheville box includes items like t-shirts, stickers, hot sauce, soaps, lip balm, and a book. Our Gentleman’s Experience box includes items such as a men’s shave soap, exotic bath bar, and even men’s lip balm. Our Natural Beauty box contains bathing, body products, even jewelry. Our Beer Bounty box is for the beer enthusiast and contains items with Asheville beer as ingredients or subject matter. Our Simply Asheville box is great for locals, or for friends and family visiting Asheville who want to represent us in their own town. This box includes items like handmade post cards, watercolor prints, Asheville themed stickers and magnets.”

-The American Advertising Federation of Asheville is holding its holiday party on Thursday. From the press release:

The event is free and does not require RSVP. Beverages will be available for purchase at the event, to be held at one of Asheville’s newest brewing locations, Hi-Wire Brewery’s new Big Top, on Huntsman Place in Biltmore Village.

AAFA Holiday Party

Thursday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m.

Hi-Wire Brewing‘s new Biltmore Village location

2 Huntsman Place, Asheville, NC

“We’re excited to welcome our members and everyone interested in the Asheville marketing community to our holiday party,” said AAFA president Marty Steinberg. “We love the new Hi-Wire location and we look forward to seeing our friends and sharing the holiday spirit.”

AAFA serves individuals in marketing, advertising and related industries throughout western North Carolina, providing varied educational programs and the most prestigious awards in the advertising and marketing industry. AAFA is also dedicated to public service, student outreach and the recognition of the most talented local professionals in the industry.

Please visit for more information about upcoming events.

-Here’s another holiday sale alert. Press release:

Winter Wonder Sale 2015,  feat. Lucky Lucy Boutique, Hazel Twenty and Tarasway

Over the years, Asheville has become a supportive community for female entrepreneurs, allowing for innovative concepts in a rapidly growing city. From mobile boutiques to full-on warehouse facilities, these businesses are the product of hardwork and determination, making dreams into realities. Three female-led companies will be showcasing their finest selections to the public, ranging from fashion accessories to premium clothing to wearable goods from around the globe. This event offers something for everyone and is an excellent place to find holiday gifts or a special “treat-yo-self” item. Prices range to meet all budgets.

Event: Winter Wonder Sale 2015

Who: Lucky Lucy Boutique (Nadine McCowan) – E-boutique created to provide unique and wearable accessories for all women, wherever they may be, with a strong belief that personal style can be used as a fun form of expression.

Hazel Twenty (Lexi DiYeso) – a mobile boutique, where convenience meets style, delivering premium fashion to events around Asheville.

Tarasway (Kady Brotherton) – Provides unique, authentic products from a global market to connect with a lifestyle encompassed by the traveler, the free-in-spirit, and the bold trend-setter, while giving back by donating 20% of all profits to local communities around the world.

When: Friday, Dec. 4th –> 5:00PM – 8:00PM

Saturday, Dec. 5th –> 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Sunday, Dec. 6th –> 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Where: Lucky Lucy Boutique – Warehouse

402 Elk Park Dr. Asheville, NC 28804


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 December 9, 2015


    Mountain Xpress is finally covering the City’s appeal of the water lawsuit to the Supreme Court (not online yet). But there is a lot of misinformation and a lot is missing, like quotes from MSD. The article entitled “Under Pressure” states that the water system has an uncertain future. The future of the water system is far from uncertain. No matter what happens in court, the city is certain to lose the water system. (

    The article cites Water Department head Jade Dundas saying that the transfer would “at least a year.”

    That is not true. The transfer would take approximately 24 hours, give or take a few minutes. The inevitability of the system transfer has made it incumbent on MSD to plan for the transfer and those plans are in place and will be activated immediately upon the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the City’s appeal.

    State’s Motion to Dismiss & Response to PDR:

    Jade continues misinforming the public saying that the issues that need to be resolved include:

    — “Transferring the contracts of the department’s 148 employees.”

    There are no contracts to transfer. Water department staff are not contractors, they are employees.

    — “Non-tranferrable federal and state health-and-safety certifications.”

    Certifications are for people and they are not void in the event of a transfer of the employee.

    — “Transferring the financial, accounting and information technology systems.”

    MSD is ready to take over these systems as is on day one, to be operated in parallel with the current sewerage operational systems. Data migration will take place over time and under MSD’s purview.

    — “Training new employees.”

    What new employees. Water department employees will do the same job in the same capacity, only under new management. If anything, there will be staff reductions.

    — “The City’s water-related bond debt, which is financed by system revenues.”

    Here we have an admission that Asheville does not own the water system. If it did, the bonds would have been financed by the taxpayers, not water customers. Instead, the are Revenue Bonds. Also note that there is no explanation why this would be an issue. Perhaps that is because it is NOT an issue. The state has an office dedicated to resolving bond transfer issues and this has already been addressed well in advance of the coming transfer. In fact, the bonds themselves anticipate this eventuality and provides for a smooth transference to another political subdivision of the state.

    The trial court raises the matter of the issuance of revenue bonds and states that the bonds are “secured by the net revenues of the Water System” and that there is “no provision made anywhere in the Act for obtaining the consent of the bondholder” for any transfer to an “unrated successor.”

    The new Metropolitan Water and Sewerage District (MWSD), created by the Act, extends the existing Metropolitan Sewerage District (MSD) by merging the Metropolitan Water District with the currently operating MSD. MSD has as sturdy a bond rating as the City, and the rating would not suffer a loss of strength as a consequence of the Act. Note that MSD possesses the authority to operate a water utility, granted to it by the state in Session Law 2012-103. (See Article 5 – Metropolitan Sewerage Districts. § 162A-69. (13c) “To exercise any power of a Metropolitan Water District under Article 4 of this Chapter not set forth in this section.”)

    Debt service on the Revenue Bonds is guaranteed with the continued operation of the water system, which the Water Act ensures. Debt service is further guaranteed by the State in the event of default by the obligor (See Motion to Dismiss).

    There is no provision in the Act for transfer of debt precisely due to the existence of a longstanding process for handling the inter-governmental transfer of debt obligations as established by the state Department of Treasury’s Division of State and Local Government.


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