Participation from cycling community continues to help improve Asheville’s bike access

  The City of Asheville’s Comprehensive Bicycle Plan was adopted by Asheville City Council in 2008 after extensive involvement by the city’s bicycle community. But the input and participation from those active groups and other community organizations continues to be critical to making Asheville more and more bicycle friendly. “The cycling community really is our eyes [...]

Asheville landlords part of homeless conversation

The effort to address homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County relies on as many partnerships and as many voices as possible. After all, the motto for the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative is, “Ending Homelessness Together.” That’s why, on August 13, the City of Asheville, alongside the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Coalition, hosted a landlords’ luncheon at the Asheville Area [...]

City of Asheville Parks Maintenance sees green

Going green is big. But sometimes big ideas come in the form of little changes. That’s what the City of Asheville Parks Maintenance staff is finding out as it tries to tweak more of its operations in the direction of environmental sensitivity. From mop heads to cleaning solution to recycling strategies, the department is finding new [...]

Asheville Police Department’s Computer Crimes Unit cracks cyber cases

To keep kids safe, police are doing more than community policing and patrolling streets. Detectives in the Asheville Police Department also patrol the high-tech corridors of online communication. The job falls to APD’s Computer Crimes Unit, which was recently recognized in a regional, multi-agency law enforcement announcement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Perhaps the most high-profile [...]

Asheville’s Building Safety Department gears up for arrival of electric cars

With auto companies announcing their intention to roll out new electric cars in the next year, the City of Asheville’s Building Safety Department is preparing for residential requests for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) by examining and simplifying the required approval process. While electric cars that charge on existing 120 volt outlets will not require any [...]

Teens graduate the Asheville Police Department’s Junior Academy

On Friday, July 30, about 20 teens and their parents gathered in a room above the Asheville Police Department to graduate from the department’s Junior Police Academy. The free week-long academy is operated out of the APD’s Crime Prevention Unit and gives teens ages 14-17 first-hand exposure to various elements of criminal investigation such as [...]

Share the Ride

In a push to reduce expenses and trim emissions, the City of Asheville is conducting a shared-vehicle program that lets city staff have use of a compressed natural gas car and two bicycles. Launched in January, the City Share program allows multiple departments access to the vehicles to run city-related errands. Maggie Ullman, Energy Coordinator for [...]

Asheville Civic Center awarded $2 million grant by Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority

From the Asheville Civic Center blog: The Asheville Civic Center has been awarded a $2 million dollar grant, to be funded over a 4-year period, from the Tourism Product Development Fund of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, the City announced today. The grant will help fund a proposed $5.45 million dollar renovation of the Asheville [...]

The Bele Chere Breakdown, part 2

Since pedestrians are still walking around the festival area after Bele Chere closes, officers from the Asheville Police Department stand guard at the festival barricades, keeping the streets closed to traffic. By about 6:30, when pedestrian traffic has thinned enough, festival officials put out a call to APD officers and festival staff that vendor vehicles [...]

Picking up what you’re throwing out

Within the boundaries of Bele Chere, there are approximately 210 trash barrels and 120 recycling bins. Still, without regular rounds by the City of Asheville’s sanitation crews, those containers would be piled beyond capacity. Crew leader Booby Austin says teams of two crew members hit each container every 45 minutes on Friday, the slowest day of [...]

Area managers keep the festival on its feet

Harry McDaniels is walking in front of the Asheville Art Museum carrying a stack of Bele Chere schedules to deliver to one of the festival’s information booths. It’s details like that, large and small, that Bele Chere Area Managers have to keep on their radars for three days to make sure the festival’s moving parts [...]

The view from inside Doggie Jail

It’s one of the big no-no’s of Bele Chere: Dogs simply aren’t allowed (excepting those competing in the Purina Air Dog competition.) The heat, the crowds, the noise – it all makes for an inhospitable atmosphere for dogs. But what happens to the dogs that try to get in on Bele Chere festivities? They typically wind [...]

Local nonprofits quench your thirst at Bele Chere

  The beverage booths on the streets of Bele Chere probably don’t need to offer much more incentives to attract patrons. They do, however, have the added bonus of being completely staffed by volunteers from area nonprofits and groups that support nonprofits, who then share in the revenue while getting added community exposure. For three days [...]

Volunteers step up for Bele Chere 2010

Volunteer efforts are crucial to pulling off an event like Bele Chere. Fortunately, the City of Asheville has a large population of repeat volunteers that step forward to pitch in every year. “We have a very loyal volunteer base,” says the festival’s volunteer coordinator Stacey Witkowski. “We have people that have been with for 15 years [...]

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