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:

The Blue Ridge Pride Center in Asheville is hosting its first ever LGBT wedding conference and expo this Saturday, April 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Biltmore-Asheville. Admission is $8 online and $10 at the door. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes guest speakers delivering updates on legal and family issues surrounding gay marriage, and much more. The expo will include a variety of wedding industry vendors. And the conference and expo includes a celebration where couples can get married or renew their vows.

-Dance instructor Kathleen Hahn, who taught dance classes in Asheville for several years before moving to New York, has returned to town and has secured a new warehouse space in Woodfin for her new studio, called DanceClub Asheville.

-The story of two hikers who reported missing during a walk in Pisgah National Forest then found three days later busking on the streets of Asheville has gone national. A massive search had been launched to find the two 20-somethings, who apparently had no idea people were looking for them.

-In case you you missed it last week, here’s the link for NPR Music/World Cafe’s Sense of Place Asheville feature. It includes interviews and music from several great folks on the Asheville music scene. Check it out.

-Also in the ICYMI category from last week, and in the same music vein: The Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau formally launched its marketing campaign to promote the city as a music destination to tourists. The effort includes a new website presence on

-Loyal reader Sammy passes along this cool job opening for East Coast Greenway Alliance South Atlantic Greenway Coordinator. The job is full-time, with benefits that include health care, 10 paid holidays and 10 paid vacation days. More here:

Now hiring: Regional Greenway Coordinator

2,900 Miles from Maine to Florida

East Coast Greenway Alliance South Atlantic Greenway Coordinator

The nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) is developing a 3,000-mile route for safe cycling and walking throughout the Eastern Seaboard from Key West to Canada. The East Coast Greenway aims to transform our hundreds of communities to become models of health, sustainability, and prosperity. Position Description. The South Atlantic Greenway Coordinator (South Atlantic Coordinator) is a full-time position that carries region-wide (VA, NC, & SC) responsibilities for all aspects of greenway development, State Committee/volunteer engagement, and some fundraising tasks related to the region. The South Atlantic Coordinator works under the direction of the Director of Greenway Programs in coordination with the Executive Director (ED) and other ECGA staff. More info (’16.pdf)

-The Asheville main office of HomeTrust Bank at 10 Woodfin Street will be hosting an in-branch celebration of the 90th Anniversary on Thursday, April 14, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and the public is invited, according to a press release. Festivities include special giveaways, refreshments, and the chance to mingle with bank personnel and learn more about the 90th Anniversary Community Support Contest participants.

UNC Asheville will be part of a statewide star viewing party and host a solar observing event as part of the North Carolina Science Festival in April, according to a press release. More:

The events are free and open to the public, presented jointly by the UNC Asheville Department of Physics and the Astronomy Club of Asheville.

The solar observing event is scheduled to take place on UNC Asheville’s main quad from noon – 2 p.m. on Friday, April 8, and will include safely observing the sun through telescopes with a variety of filters to see sunspots, prominences and more.

The star viewing party will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 at UNC Asheville’s Lookout Observatory. Participants will use telescopes to view the moon, Jupiter, star clusters and galaxies. Parking will be available in the Reuter Center lot (P10). Shuttles will run at regular intervals to transport people to and from the observatory. Registration is already full for this event. To join the waiting list for this and future star gazing events, please visit

The events are part of the North Carolina Science Festival, a two-week statewide series of events showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

For more information about the North Carolina Science Festival, visit For information on the events at UNC Asheville, including the latest updates regarding cloudy weather and possible cancellations, visit, or contact Brian Hart at 828.250.3958.

The National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC), headquartered on UNC Asheville’s campus, has moved its downtown engagement site from the Grove Arcade to The Collider at 1 Haywood Street in Asheville, according to a press release. More:

“Our new location allows us to easily work with our partners,” said Jim Fox, NEMAC’s director, “but The Collider is also building capacity for local jobs in the climate and technology arena. This translates into local jobs for our students.” He added, “Being a partner of The Collider also lets us engage directly with the larger Asheville community—another facet of UNC Asheville’s strategic mission.”

Offering co-working, business, educational, and event space, The Collider is located on the newly renovated top floor of the Wells Fargo building in the heart of downtown Asheville. The nonprofit innovation center focuses on the environmental and climate sciences industry, a natural fit for NEMAC, which specializes in science communication and the development of decision support tools for local, regional, and national decision makers, planners, and the public. NEMAC’s engagement site is open to the public and is normally staffed weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., but may be closed occasionally for meetings in the community or on campus. The Collider opened on March 11.

Several of NEMAC’s partners have also taken space within The Collider, including FernLeaf Interactive, a web development firm specializing in interactive technologies headed by UNC Asheville alum Jeff Hicks, and Acclimatise, a climate resilience consulting, communications, and digital application company based in the United Kingdom.

UNC Asheville’s NEMAC was established in November 2003.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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1 Comment

  1. Sulla Felix April 12, 2016

    Wow, that’s not discriminatory AT ALL. Bloody hypocrites. Typical of liberal cretins all over the country.


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