Archive for January, 2008

Big Game Dinner at The Crest Center

Thursday, January 31st, 2008
Big Game Dinner

GameDinner.com and Highland Brewing Company held their Big Game and Beer dinner at Asheville’s Crest Center on January 24th, hosted by Joe Lasher, co-owner of M7 Event Solutions and founder of GameDinner.com. The meal paired various big game dishes with beers brewed by Highland. A percentage of the proceeds went to feed the hungry. The menu included:

  • Hors D’oeuvres Course
    Deer, quail, bison, and duck and local cheeses.
    Soup
    Bison and Barley Stew in Toasted Boule with Chestnut Crackers.
    Beer pairing: Tasgall Ale
  • Fish Course
    Terrine served with wild salmon, cold-water scallops and Maine lobster with blue crab ceviche. Wild rainbow trout caviar was also available.
    Beer pairing: St. Theresa’s Pale Ale
  • Salad Course
    Butter crunch lettuce topped with coleslaw made from jicama, sunchoke and chayote with toasted sunflower seeds and a light vinaigrette.
    Beer pairing: Kashmir IPA
  • Meat Course
    Grilled elk strip steak, sauce chasseur and roasted marmalade.
    Beer pairing: Gaelic Ale
  • Dessert Course
    Cranberry spice cake with lemon sauce, whipped cream and cranberries. Served with a Cold Mountain shandy.
    Beer pairing: Cold Mountain Winter Ale

Photographs can been found at the Photo Gallery. To get tickets for GameDinner.com’s next event, visit their website at gamedinner.com.

Local Indie Film "Anywhere, USA" Wins Award at Sundance

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Anywhere, USA was filmed right here in Asheville and was originally entitled Asheville The Movie. The project has been lauded as one of the most original films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, taking the Spirit of Independence Award in the dramatic category.

It is the first film by Asheville Director and screenwriter Chusy Haney-Jardine. The final cut of the film is a raucous, homemade movie that encompasses Chusy’s family and community. The movie stars his daughter — Perla Haney-Jardine, as she was the only real actor in the project. Other actors were found by various casting trips to Wal-Mart. The entire film was edited in Chusy’s Garage. There is a feeling that this isn’t the last we’ll hear about this talented local film director.

Les Claypool coming to Asheville

Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Les Claypool

Les Claypool will be playing at Asheville’s The Orange Peel. Claypool is a singer, lyricist, bassist and former member of the alternative rock band Primus. This future Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s mastery of the bass guitar has distinguished him as a solo-artist since leaving the band. Claypool mixes finger-tapping, flamenco-inspired strumming, and slap bass to create his own unique style that has to be heard be believed.

The concert starts at 9pm on Saturday, March 1st, 2008; tickets are $26 in advance and $28 at the door. They can be ordered online via Ticketweb.

Climate Change Could Bring Thousands of Jobs to Asheville

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
North Carolina Arboretum

Asheville’s North Carolina Arboretum is very much more than a garden space to exhibit flowers and trees native to Western North Carolina. It is also a place that just might grow jobs for the local economy as well.

The North Carolina Arboretum’s economic developer, Ron Gordon, spoke about the Arboretum’s hopes to bring in more scientific research and other, more lucrative jobs to the Asheville area.

Gordon also serves as executive director for the Centers for Environmental and Climate Interaction. With an estimate of likely workloads from federal projects, he estimates that Asheville could get almost 1,000 new jobs over the next five years and perhaps 3,000 over the next 15.

The government will probably be forced to make decisions by this spring on which climate agency will take the lead on climate change studies. Asheville should be hoping for the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), currently located downtown in the Federal Building, to lead research.

Mr. Gordon and others hope for an expensive downtown facility that would bring NCDC scientists together with local academics and businesses. This collaboration may lead to spin-off companies marketing products built out of the NCDC’s archives of satellite and weather data.

Asheville Native takes Bronze in World Cup Cycling Event

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Asheville native Lauren Franges assisted (along with her teammates) the US National Bicycle Team get a bit closer to the Olympic team this weekend.

The twenty-five year old Franges and her teammates Kristin Armstrong and Christen King won the bronze medal in the third round of the World Track Cup in Los Angeles. The Cup is one of the races that will determine the fastest women cyclists in the world and those that will represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games.

This was the first World Cup where the U.S. was able to medal as a team. “You can only go as fast as your slowest rider, so you have to be in tune with your other teammates,” Franges said. “Track is usually an individual sport, so in that respect, to be able to share the medal with my two other teammates, is a great feeling.” The team race is a new event for women on the world scene this year.

Franges lives in Asheville with her husband / former manager, Michael Tamayo. She has been a professional cyclist since she was 18.

I-26 Connector Project Approved by Asheville City Council

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

The City of Asheville has finally settled on the long-delayed Interstate 26 Connector proposal. The new design plan features a smaller disruption to West Asheville than plans previously made by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The alternative plan will use much less land and will save the State upwards of $150 million. The major change is a viaduct, instead of the State’s planned double-decker bridge.

Members of the City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday, January 15th for the new plan and now are pressing the Department of Transportation to consider the alternative design. Dr. Carl Mumpower was the only member of council that voted no on the resolution.

Plans call for a bridge to be constructed over the French Broad River. This new bridge will connect Interstate 240 in West Asheville to Interstate 26 in North Asheville. Asheville City Council is holding its breath on the NC Department of Transportation’s approval.

Projected costs have skyrocketed from $87.4 million in 1997 to $363.4 million today, with construction projected to begin in 2008. As of now, construction on the project will not start until at least 2013. The new proposal will be given to the NC DOT Friday, Jan. 18, 2008.

Buncombe County School calendars changed for snow days

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
Buncombe County / Asheville school closing

Asheville and Buncombe County School systems changed the 2007 & 2008 school calendar to make up for snow days missed during the first week of January, 2008. The last day of school is now June 2nd, 2008 instead of May 30th, 2008.

Snow and adverse driving conditions closed all Asheville and Buncombe County Schools on January 3rd. Adding another day to the end of the school year will make up the missed day. North Buncombe students also missed January 4th because of snow. Those students will attend the former Teacher Work Day and students in all other districts will not have classes.

Note: The following is from Buncombe County Schools.

Closings and Delay Information for Buncombe County

Bad weather and/or emergencies may require the closing of schools, delays or early release of students. If a change in schedule is made, the announcement will be broadcast by Asheville area radio and television stations after 6 a.m. the morning after. Our website and Weather Hot-line, (828) 255-5939, will be updated with the current information.

Announcements

If no announcements are posted on our website or broadcast on radio or television, the buses will run on their regular schedule and the schools will be opened at the regular time. If an isolated severe weather situation occurs, some schools may close or incur delays, while those unaffected schools will remain open. If more than two of our six districts are closed, then our entire system will close as well.

Early Release

If schools release students early due to weather or emergency, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will receive an ALERTNOW phone notification and announcements also will be broadcast on Asheville’s radio and television stations.

  • One-hour delay: School buses will pick up students one hour later than usual.
  • Two-hour delay: School opening/bus routes will be delayed for two hours.
  • One-hour early closing: All bus routes operate one hour earlier than the normal time.
  • Two-hour early closing: All bus routes operate two hours earlier than the normal time.

Asheville Recycling’s New Curbside Contest

Monday, January 14th, 2008
Asheville recycling

Curbside Management and Asheville’s sanitation department are holding the new Feed the Bin and Win competition. Starting the week of February 4th, they will be giving away $100 a week for 16 weeks. Those people living in the cities that participate in Asheville’s Curbside Recycling Program can enter the contest by sending in an enrollment card. The cards and a flyer will be brought to each residence when the 2008 recycling and brush collection calendar are delivered.

Every week for 16 weeks, a card will be randomly drawn and if the selected house puts out its recyclable items and all meet the city recycling guidelines; then the household will win $100. If the household does not meet the requirements, the prize money rolls over to the following week. Each week that the conditions are not met, it gives the winner of the next week’s drawing a chance to win $200.

The card and guidelines are available below, and can be turned in via e-mail to [email protected].

Asheville Marti Gras Parade

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Asheville is having its second annual Mardi Gras parade Tuesday, February 5th. The pre-party will be at Joli Rouge; sure to be filled with crazy costumes followed by dancing in Pritchard Park with live music.

The after-party is at the Grey Eagle where the Firecracker Jazz Band will play.

This is the first year the Marti Gras parade will have a permit from the City of Asheville to hold the festival in the streets of downtown.

Two New Clubs Add to West Asheville Night Life

Thursday, January 10th, 2008
Local Asheville pubs

Two new clubs aim to make their mark in Historic West Asheville. The already-open Tolliver’s Crossing, an Irish pub, and The Rocket Club are both directly on Haywood Rd., and will offer locals new venues to have a drink and some food aside from the already-established Westville Pub.

The Rocket Club

A new music venue and welcome addition to Asheville’s nightlife, The Rocket Club, will open this Friday in West Asheville at 401 Haywood Rd. The establishment is to have a full bar and 12 beers on tap, with an additional 50 or so brands of beer to be available in bottles.

Their first concert will happen on January 19th and 20th, 2008 when the Rocket Club is to be one of the venues for POP Asheville Music Festival. Parking is available on the street, so those of you in West Asheville might want to ride a bike or walk.

Tolliver’s Crossing

A new Irish Pub has opened in West Asheville. Some of the pub’s draft selections are Guinness, Beamish and Murphy’s stouts, Fuller’s London Pride ale, as well American favorites; including some beers from Rogue Brewery in Oregon and Asheville’s own Highland Brewery. The pub is dim and comfortable, with paintings of the Dublin and Belfast skylines.

An Irishman himself, owner Chuck Brown has sold beer for five years at Skyland Distributing. The slick bar stretches down one side of Tolliver’s Crossing, with a wooden tap right in the middle.

Their food includes bangers and mash, Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, and Sunday roasts.