Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Asheville Job Fair at the Biltmore Square Mall

Asheville had a job fair yesterday at the Biltmore Square Mall. Lots of people came out to try to find a new job, change careers and find some good employment for the New Year. Jobs have been pretty scarce around the Western North Carolina area and companies like these made a great effort to offer some local jobs and opportunity to the people.

Also see more: Asheville Videos

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Reducing your carbon footprint, lessen your impact on our landfill, while saving water and $$$!

Here's a great question submitted to AskAquaPro
Ron Whitworth asked;
"Can I make my existing toilet more water efficient rather than throwing it away?"

Well Ron, yes you can.
I am a fan of minimizing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills, and converting/re-fitting your existing toilet rather than throwing it away is one thing I definitely encourage; under the right circumstances. There are plenty of “do it yourself tricks” out there that can be much more of a headache than benefit, so do your home work before deciding on what will work best for you. The good news is there are viable, effective, affordable options for improving the efficiency of a toilet rather than throwing it away and spending big bucks for a new High Efficiency Toilet (HET or UHET).

A couple things to consider;
a) If the current toilet uses more than 3.5 gallons of water per flush you should bite the bullet and get a new toilet. You will recover the cost of buying a new toilet pretty quickly by replacing these old water hogs. Get rid of it!
b) If you have a pressured assist toilet it can be modified but requires a good bit more effort and expense. If this is your situation email me with contact information and we'll discuss things further.

One of the most cost effective ways to improve water efficiency in a toilet is to convert it to a dual-flush. The Dual Flush Pro toilet conversion kit makes this easy to do and cost’s less than $50. This kit comes with everything you need to turn your existing toilet into a Dual Flush water saver toilet in about thirty minutes. The handle has a dual function; push one way for ½ flush to remove liquid waste and push the other way for full flush to remove solid waste.

For most major brand 1.6 gallon per flush toilets the kit is pretty well set up right out of the box to provide a 0.8 gallon half flush and 1.6 gallon full flush. Not all toilets are created equal. Some models will require adjustments to the factory settings of whichever kit you decide to use. These adjustments are simple with the Dual Flush Pro kit.

Thanks for asking Ron & thanks for thinking about water conservation.

There are a lot of options when it comes to saving water, lowering utility bills and improving the quality of your water. I suggest stopping by the Aqua Environmental Resource Center in Asheville. This is a hands on product testing and demonstration facility and community educational resource for water conservation and water quality throughout the region. Come on down and see for yourself how easy and affordable saving water and improving water quality really is.

Happy Holidays,
Aqua Environmental Resource Center

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Asheville

Driving through North Asheville, it's easy to tell which homes have children in residence and which don't. Some yards are still pristine, snow covering the grass as perfectly as if they had been airbrushed. Others are pocked with footprints, mud and grass showing through, toppled snowmen looking longingly at their carrot noses tossed to the side by a naughty tyke.

Mine is one of the latter, and on Christmas Eve morning, while nearby houses sleep, mine is alive with noise and joy. Bob Dylan sings "Must be Santa" while little ones munch on toast with homemade pear butter, waiting on peppermint tea to be done. Small, sweet voices rise over Dylan's scratchy one, and even his namesake, eighteen this year, seems caught up in the excitement. Normally one to grunt in response to questions, the King of Aloof, he laughs with his siblings and teases them about what a long day this will be.

Plans for the holiday are simple: no fancy parties, no trudging from home to home to visit with people we'd just as soon not see. Today will be baking cookies, wrapping the last of the gifts, all-day holiday movie marathons and lots and lots of "Is it time for Santa yet?" There is no room in our holiday for religion, only a passing nod to the changing seasons and a smile, knowing that the days are getting longer and the sun will soon come back. Our faith is in each other, in knowing that we will be together in the morning, in the scent of Sebastian's wassail on the stove and the taste of chocolate chips melting on our tongues. Our faith is in knowing that Christmas is different for every heart, yet the same for every one: I will celebrate with my Baptist friends, my Pagan ones, the atheists, and none of those labels matter. We are, to each other, family, differences overshadowed by common bonds: love, humor, a sense of knowing we have been through this before and will survive it again.

Asheville is a family like mine, made up of people belonging simply because they don't belong anywhere else; people who are here because they want to be, not simply because they must be. Some have been here for generations, others wandered through just now and decided to stay. But regardless of how or why or how long, everyone is welcome, as long as you welcome someone else.

Whether you are just up the road or halfway across the world, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and may every day hold for you the same sense of joy and of belonging that this day does.

Make it happy, loves... Read more from me here or follow me on facebook.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another post about the snow...

It was a dark and stormy night...

No really, it was. The power went out around 4 pm on Friday, and the snow was coming down like the dandruff from that girl in "The Breakfast Club", not that you could see it. I'd already made the first of what would be several obsessive phone calls to Progress Energy (I'm afraid of the dark, okay? And to their credit, they had the power back on well before they said they might) and the kids were flopped on the floor in a pile of pillows and blankets, having eaten a dinner of cold cereal by candlelight.

Modern technology kept us company overnight, thanks to an MP3 player tuned to some lite-rock radio station playing Christmas carols. Not the best background noise, but at least we were all asleep before they played what Thing One calls "The Dead Mom Song."

By morning my poor little van was buried, the bumper peeking out between the snow on the ground and the pile on the hood, my signature pink shades mocking me from where they hung from the rearview mirror. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of snow, and waking up to a cold bed, colder toilet seat, and a snow-covered road didn't do much for my mood. Still, the kids were overjoyed-they're homeschooled, so this is as close as they get to a snow day. Bundled up, wrapped in layers of shirts and pants and scarves and boots, they piled out into the yard, playing in snow that buried my littlest baby up to her knees. There were snowballs flying everywhere, snowmen sprouting from the ground everywhere you looked, and wee little footprints that showed their exuberance, criss-crossing across the snow. The sun came out unashamed, lighting the sky peach and pink and plum, as if it had done nothing wrong in abandoning us the day before.

By and by the lights flickered on and off and then on again to stay, and we settled back into the old weekend routine: I napped for a bit, woke up and watched "Empire Records" for the millionth time; the kids flopped in front of the Wii and the television; and the kettle hummed on the stove, heating water for cocoa and chai. The only clues to the winter storm that you could tell from inside the house were the piles of damp, discarded clothes and snow-covered boots littering the front room.

Outside the snow is still there, the road undisturbed by snowplow or salt truck. I still don't want to look at the stuff-days like this, my heart is back in Florida where I could run barefoot all year and never freeze-but my shelves are stocked with food, my cell phone is charged so I don't go through text withdrawal from my dear friend Newt in Vermont, and all my babies are home, safe and warm where they belong.

Life is sweet, loves... happy snow day.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Benefit Party inspired from the Pirate Cove fire brings some of Asheville's best talents together

The Pirate Cove house owned by Sneaky McFly, local performing artist, has been a haven for party goers, artist, musicians, performers and the members of Hot Tub Church. Last week that all changed when a fire ravished the house, completely gutting the upstairs and causing water and smoke damage to the rest. The current residents, as well as Sneaky, were instantly homeless and without anything but the clothes on their back. Fortunately, Sneaky was very good about keeping up with the insurance payments and the house will be rebuilt and the stuff will be replaced.

When some of the other artist in town heard of the disaster they got together with the Hookah Bar to throw a benefit for the current residents. Sneaky met with the renters and they decided that they didn't need the money and could make do until the insurance kicked in. Well, the show must go on so now the benefit has become one of love for the Pirate Cove and one of money for the Red Cross. The Red Cross was there to help out the victims of the fire, just as they have been for so many others and therefore the $7 suggested donation will go to benefit the good work they do.

Now check out the lineup that features some of the biggest talent in Asheville...

Seduction Sideshow
Bootstraps Burlesque
Unifire Theatre
One Leg Up Gypsy Jazz
John Wilkes Booth and the Black Tooth
Members of the Fire Cracker Jazz Band
Belly Dancers of Baraka Mundi and much much more.

The show will be in a talent show format and all performers are welcome as long as there is time. To get on the list or to get more info please email

See it all this Saturday night the 19th at the Hookah Bar. Doors open at 9 pm

Road conditions deteriorating due to winter weather

Road conditions in Buncombe County may be termed dicey, local motorists agree. While kudos go to towns like Weaverville, who are already sanding and salting to minimize dangerous conditions, roads in Asheville such as 240 eastbound proved slow going. Within the past hour, that area has gone from passable to slippery and slow, as snow and icy rain accumulate as temperatures hover around freezing.

Though westbound lanes were slightly better, icy slush covers exit lanes from Weaverville to Tunnel Road, and motorists continue to cut speeds and creep along inside lanes when approaching these areas or during lane changes. Tunnel Road itself was covered over with snow slightly after 9 a.m.

Due to the rapidly deteriorated travel conditions, schools across the county began sending teachers home from the "optional workday" as early as 9 a.m., while students enjoy an extra day of vacation this holiday season. Other area residents may be seen walking their dogs or enjoying the beauty of the snowfall before winds pick up later today.

Snow day in West Asheville

Dec 18th 2009

At the back door of my home in West Asheville - letting the cold air in, the warm air out – there is a quiet tinkling of crispy snow as it lands on the trees, the shrubs, the grass. I am mesmerized and cannot move; the deck is piled high with snow, silhouettes of the trees have become more pronounced as the gray limbs become accented in white. I hear the high-pitched laughter of kids as they slide on the streets out front, the crows are cawing as they fly overhead and I am thinking that I need to put on my boots and get more seed in the feeders...
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Asheville Restaurant - Curras Dom - only 17 days to live

Starting a business and making it work in this current economy in Asheville is difficult. Money affects everyone. When people are getting laid off and jobs are being lost, people cut back on their spending. It starts with the consumer, then hurts businesses, then the employees are left without a job. Here is some sad news in Asheville: Curras Dom on the North side of town, Woodfin area, may be closing their doors on January 3rd if a miracle does not happen. This is devasting to us as we have seen the labor Marco and his wife have put into this place. This is one of our top 3 restaurants when going from North Asheville's Ingles on Merrimon Ave through Woodfin to Weaverville NC.

Curras Dom is a great restaurant about 1 minute past Beaver Lake on the left hand side in North Asheville. Many of us remember when it used to be HB's Drive In and you could order your food from your car while parked in front. Marco Garcia and his wife Amy have put a tremendous amount of effort into establishing their business in the area. They have been in operation for 2 years and guests love the dining options. Reynolds Mountain is just up the hill and lots of development is planned in the area. YMCA also just recently opened nearby. Altura Asheville is also starting on their development and planning on bringing in the new year with some large construction projects. Big area expansion is expected to take place in the next year and a half.

I don't know if you frequent the North Asheville Woodfin area, but as you pass Beaver Lake you should be aware of the restaurants in the area. Frazier's Steakhouse is on your right, Nicks Sandwiches and Subs on the right, Curras Dom on the left, Franks Pizza on the right, Bellagio Bistro on the right, Fireplace Restaurant on the right, Mother & Son Bistro on the left (in the shopping plaza where Thai Citrus is about to also open,) and finally the Bavarian Lodge restaurant on the left.

Curras Dom offers modern authentic Mexican cuisine. I have personally eaten there several times and every meal has been wonderful. The staff is friendly, the wine list is great, and sometimes music is playing outside on the patio that Marco had built from recycled materials that were going to be wasted. The inside of the restaurant is beautiful. A tremendous amount of effort was put into this dream.

Marco says "We love the Mountains, People, and Culture of Asheville North Carolina and have the most supportive people in the World. I love taking care of guests, busy or not, at the end of the day is very rewarding to know everybody loved it."

Several Asheville businesses have been very supportive of their work at Curras Dom. Vivid Image does all their printing and also trade with them. Get Roasted is a local coffee roaster where they buy their coffee, and they send lots of people to Curras. Marco provides some of the best Mexican food in the area, an awesome Margarita and a top notch Wine list. They are members of A.S.A.P so they buy a lot or most of our produce from local farms, and also buy local free range meats. They do not sell bottled water and recycle everything they can.

I spoke to the owners of Mother & Son Bistro and they are not very happy about this news at all. I also spoke to Angelo at Bellagio Bistro and he said "that stinks" and that he is very supportive, not competitive, of other businesses in the area and hope that they somehow pull through. That is the spirit of this community. Marco has lowered many of their prices to cater to the current economy, but without an outside investor and an answered prayer, the doors will be closing on January 3, 2010 and a great Asheville business will be lost. Maybe you can help or support Curras?

Curras Dom - Modern Mexican Cuisine
72 Weaverville Hwy
Asheville NC 28804
Phone: (828) 253-2111

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asheville - you light up my life

After I crossed over the mountains for the final leg of my commute it was five-15 and the winter sky had turned dusky. I left I-26 behind and merged into the torrent of vehicles being dumped onto Patton Ave and the 240 connecter. I kept thinking "when will the amount of traffic be back to ‘normal’ ?" because , for the 'off season' there were way too many cars and still many out of state tags: Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee with North Carolina dispersed in between each out of state representative.

The roadway seemed alive, animated, reminding me of an anthill after it has been disturbed causing hundreds of sentinels to spill out, at the ready, to meet head on any threat at hand. For some reason I suddenly decided to turn my road tension around and honor the season. I reframed the scene and suddenly I did not feel threatened by all the cars and trucks spilling onto the roadways from every direction. What I saw were cars and trucks that decorated the roadways as they came together into one long string of twinkling holiday lights.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Asheville Restaurant Spotlight - Mother & Son Bistro and Bakery

Where North Asheville and Woodfin collide in a struggle for identity, lies a quiet little jewel called Mother & Son Bistro and Bakery. Their roadside banner says "dining on the hill" and indeed that is where they are located, on the hillside center called Stone Ridge Business Park located next to Citizens Hardware. Some of you long time residents will remember this location as the former skating rink run by the Powers family, who continue their community involvement with the development of the business park.

If this is your first visit, the minute you step through the doors your senses are assaulted with the overflowing bakery cases of cakes, pies, muffins and Danishes. As you stand there gawking a friendly voice from behind the counter greets you then inquires if you'd like to continue on into the dining room and perhaps enjoy a meal or choose from any of 5 daily hot soups. In to the dining room you go. The decor is whimsical and relaxing, the music from the big band era. The menu includes breakfast, lunch and a separate dinner menu is available after 5:00 PM. Sunday's are an extra treat as they offer a buffet brunch that includes breakfast, salad and fruit bar as well as rotating dinner items and dessert cart.

Sometime during your visit, the kitchen doors swing open and out comes "Mom," who makes it a personal goal to check on all customers to make sure their dining experience is a good one and to welcome you as a new member of the family. She remembers everybody by name. Family is what this place is all about. After having planned and searched several areas for more than 2 years- the Izon Family made Asheville their new home relocating from Florida. Picking the current location of Mother & Son Bistro involved much renovation and improvements to the building in order to bring things up to Moms standards. During the course of construction- 2 tragedies befell the family. Mom's father died and she returned to Florida to be with her mother for the funeral. Within days of returning from Florida and preparing for the Grand Opening- Ryan (son) became critically ill and was rushed into Mission hospital where he remained for the next 6 weeks battling for his life. During all this- Mother & Son Bistro opened their doors for business, not in a grand flourish as was planned, but under extreme duress having lost 1/2 of the dynamic duo in the kitchen.

"Our goal at Mother & Son is to give you great food at a competitive price and make your visit with us feel like a trip to a friends home. I recently heard an interview with a local restaurant owner who claimed his place is the "neighbor meeting spot". That is the atmosphere we want to provide. We treat people like we want to be treated," so says the Mom. I have been in food service and hospitality for more years than I care to remember and Ryan and his sister Christina grew up in the industry as well. Christina has a background in corporate hospitality having been a manager for both Wendy's chain and T.G.I. Friday. She knows operations in the front of the house as well as back of the house. Ryan made a goal of training in the newer techniques of cake decorating and chocolate making as well as art with sugar. He still dreams of the day when his health will permit him to create wonderful confections for the Bistro. He has a love of food and a zeal for fresh ideas.

What are the future plans? Well, we are trying to move forward in a stagnant economy. We have obtained our wine permit and offer a nice but modest selection. Next we would like to offer beer including local breweries and right now we have started the arduous task of putting together investors to expand our square footage to include a full service bar and bar side dining. We outfitted the restaurant without any outside financial assistance but feel we need partners to achieve future goals. But what is the saying? "If you are not moving forward- you're actually moving backwards"? We will follow the example of the Salmon and continue to struggle up stream.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Let's talk water- It's a worthwhile conversation.

During my Wednesday evening commute home I happened across 570 AM talk show hosted by Matt Mittan. This one hour (4-5) discussion format brings local business sponsors into the studio for discussions on various green building and environmental topics. Bravo Mr. Mittan, I think this is a very community oriented programming choice and could become a valuable resource for people to get acquainted with options that are available when considering home construction or home improvements. I’ll be listening in on this program to see where it goes.

I am a little disappointed by the minimal attention offered in this past Wednesday nights show when the topic of water was approached. Mr. Mittan was clearly concerned about his recent experiences with water quality, and for the most part that’s where the conversation ended. There was some brief commentary regarding water conservation as related to LEED point qualifications. This is likely due to the topic of that evening’s show and the sponsorship involved. There is a considerable opportunity to improve community awareness on a very relevant issue. Water quality and water efficiency needs to be promoted and encouraged by those in our community that have the ability to communicate to the masses.

In recent communication I’ve had with Maggie Ullman, Energy Coordinator at the City of Asheville Office of Sustainability, the largest contributing aspect of Asheville’s carbon footprint are the resources used in providing water to its residents. There is a very well documented connection between increasing water efficiency and lowering power consumption. It takes a lot of resources; electricity, natural gas, chemicals etc, to treat and distribute water though out a community. Likewise it takes a lot of water to produce the electrical power, gas, chemicals etc, to provide safe clean water. I would like to see more thought and planning on the subject of water conservation by city and county leaders as well as community organizer and public figures. Water is a resource that must be taken care of and managed effectively; not only during times of drought but at all times. Sustainable community growth and public health and welfare depend on its protection and effective long term management. How bout it folks; is water important in your life?

Aqua Environmental Resource Center of Asheville, NC

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some Asheville Events during December 2009

Fireworks in Downtown Asheville North Carolina on December 12th and 19th at 7pm.

Asheville Holiday Party at Elaine's Piano Bar at the Grove Park Inn on December 19th 2009 from 8pm - 1am. Music, fun, dancing, and more! Wear Your Santa Hat!! This is part of the Asheville Seasonal Sizzle.

Highland Brewing Company & Barley's Taproom's 15th Anniversary Bash - Ain't no party like a Highland Party!!! House Party on Friday, December 18, 2009 from 4:00pm - 8:00pm at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville North Carolina

Toubab Krewe in Asheville! (Special 2 Night NYE Run!) Concert on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 from 8:00pm till 1:00am at the Orange Peel in Asheville

Contrawr - A Wild New Year's Eve with the OFB. Tickets Are Limited - You Don't Want to Miss This!! Old Farmer's Ball Holiday Party on Thursday, December 31, 2009 from 8:30pm till 12:30am at the Bryson Gym - Warren Wilson College

Homeless Persons' Memorial Service - Honoring those who died this year while homeless. Saturday, December 19, 2009 from 2:00pm - 3:00pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 1 Edwin Place in Asheville NC

Faerie Made Open Studio on Sunday, December 13, 2009 from 1:00pm - 6:00pm at 57 Oakwood Street, Asheville NC

SHOP WEST ASHEVILLE at over 50 businesses on Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 12:00pm - 8:00pm on Haywood Rd. in West Asheville Presents The Anti-Jam Jamboree Holiday Party on Friday, December 11, 2009 from 8:00pm till 1:00am at the Rocket Club in West Asheville NC

New Years Eve w/ Larry Keel and Natural Bridge "Bawn in the Mash" Thursday, December 31, 2009 from 8:30pm till 2:00am at The Grey Eagle Music Hall, Asheville NC

Warren Haynes' Xmas Comedy Jam feat. Pat Godwin and Vertigo Jazz Project. Thursday, December 10, 2009 from 8:00pm - 10:00pm at the Funny Business Comedy Club in the S&W Building 56 Patton Ave. Asheville, NC. Also the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam on 12/12 at the Asheville Civic Center!

Jack Of The Wood with Open Windows. Join Erika Jane and Remember The Bees on Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 9:00pm till midnight at the Jack Of The Wood

The Women's Wellness and Education Center presents the First Annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 12:00pm - 6:00pm on 24 Arlington Street, Asheville NC 28801

New Years Eve with the Broomstars !!! Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 9:30pm till Friday, January 1, 2010 at 2:35am at The Rocket Club in West Asheville

Impromptu"... a Musical and Oral tradition journey... Music/Arts - Performance on Sunday December 13, 2009 from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at Jubilee on 36 Wall Street Asheville, North Carolina

The Bright Light Biker Asheville Roadtrip. Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm. A community ride throughout downtown Asheville starting at 3:30pm @ Pack Square Park by City County Plaza.

Salseros 828 Holiday Party and Anniversary Celebration - Friday, December 18, 2009 from10:00pm - 2:00am at Club Eleven on Grove Street in Asheville NC

Paul's Creek Band - Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 8:00pm - 11:00pm at the White Horse Black Mountain

THIS Saturday! NIKKI TALLEY @ FRENCH BROAD BREWERY. Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 6:00am - 8:00am at the French Broad Brewery

Malaprop's Book Signing & Carmel's After Signing Event with Novelist Cynn Chadwick. Friday, December 18, 2009 at 6:00pm at Malaprop's Bookstore & then Carmel's Restaurant for the after-party

The Beacon Pub hosts Craggie for a special tasting of our Swannanoa Sunset! Tuesday, December 15, 2009 from 5:30pm - 8:30pm at the Beacon Pub ~ 204 Whitson Avenue, Swannanoa

The Grey Eagle Presents: Galen Kipar Project and Jen and the Juice. Don't miss GKP's last show of the winter! Thursday, December 17, 2009 from 8:00pm till midnight at the Grey Eagle on Clingman Ave. in Asheville, NC

Holiday Party Supporting Manna Food Bank. Buncombe County Young Democrats host a Fundraiser. Thursday, December 10, 2009 from 6:00pm - 9:30pm at the Manor Inn Ballroom at 265 Charlotte Street in Asheville, NC

FARMGIRL FLOWER & GARDEN SHOPPE GRAND OPENING!!! on Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 12:00pm - 8:00pm on 227 HAYWOOD ROAD-NEXT TO SHORT STREET CAKES

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is it the Right Time to Buy Real Estate in Asheville?

As November wraps up and December in Asheville gets underway I am reminded of winters when I first started real estate in 2000. There wasn't much activity on the buying side of things, but then again there wasn't much activity on the selling side either. Basically people stopped looking in the winter and most all sellers know it so they just waited to sale their homes until the spring.

It looks like we may have a winter of those in the past this year but I wanted to share with you three great reasons to consider purchasing in Asheville now if you have the ability and were thinking about it.

1) Interest rates aren't going to be any lower than they are right now. All indications are that rates will continue to rise through the winter and level of around 6% in the Spring. I just helped a young couple by their first home here utilizing the gov't backed USDA loan program and they closed with a 4.68% rate. Yes, that was a 30 yr. fixed rate loan!

2) Normally sellers will wait until the Spring to put their houses on the market if they haven't do so by now. If the house is on the market most sellers will opt to take it off and wait. Not this year! Sellers are bringing new inventory to the market in unprecedented numbers. What does this mean for a buyer. a) High inventory and low buyer market equals good deals. b)These sellers have to sell and again this equals good deals. Just to give you an idea, normally we might see 15-20 new homes a day coming to the market this time of year. Right now we are seeing on average 45-55 new homes a day. That's a lot of new inventory.

3) Don't forget the government is going to give first timers $8,000 to buy a new home and most step up buyers $6,500 to do the same. That's living room furniture or remodel money!

I'm still getting many inquiries into relocating to Asheville - "as soon as my houses sells here." I think the winter will be cold but the spring could be much more brisk. I'm not calling for a return to the markets of 2005-2007, but it will be much improved from today.
You can read over the entire November Market Report here:

If you need any specific information please don't hesitate to contact me:
Jason Ingle
The Buyer's Agent of Asheville
(828)242-7616 Direct

Monday, December 7, 2009

In the Spirit of Giving: Asheville Yogis Reach Out

I just love how this time of year brings out the best in people. Sure, it can be said that the opposite is true, especially if you happen to venture anywhere near the malls and shopping areas (which is why I tend to avoid Tunnel Road like the plague this time of year) of town. Frantic shopping and traffic aside, this is the season when community building resources and organizations really shine with churches, charities, schools and individuals reaching out and lending a helping hand to those who need it.

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Asheville over 7 years ago was the strong sense of community within the business and social networks. I have noticed a collective desire to see Asheville and all of its inhabitants thrive and be well and also so many passionate people out there every day making a difference.

The rich community of yoga teachers and studios in Asheville is no exception. In addition to many other business in town, yoga networks are reaching out to the community with events to raise awareness and support for those less fortunate this holiday season.

Yoga classes, with their deep breathing and conscious relaxation exercises, are a great way to reduce stress during the holidays. So, why not get to class and contribute to a good cause at the same time? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Below is a list of upcoming donation based classes and special holiday yoga events in Asheville:


  • Help the Hungry, Yoga Without Borders: Ongoing through Dec 31st, 2009 Half of all the money taken in at the studio in December will go towards helping to feed the hungry. Click for more info

  • OM for the Holidays Gift/Fund Drive: Ongoing through Dec 15th, 2009 West Asheville Yoga's 3rd annual toy/gift/fund drive to support foster children for Christmas. Click for more info
  • GAYA Food/Coat Drive: Sunday Dec 13th, 2009 10:00am-12:00pm Join members of the Greater Asheville Yoga Association in raising food and coat donations. Click for more info

  • Holiday Restoratives: Yoga and Yoga Nidra Workshops with Kaoverii Weber: Fridays Dec 10th and 17th, 2009 6:00pm–8:00pm Cost: by donation ($5–25 suggested). Proceeds benefit Manna Food Bank. You may also bring a non-perishable food item. Click for more info
  • Holiday Yoga Prop Swap: Friday Dec 18th, 2009 4:30pm–6:30pm Bring yoga-related items in good to excellent condition to swap with others in the spirit of sharing. Click for more info

Other yoga studios in town have already had fund-raising events. For example, ASHEVILLE YOGA CENTER had their "Burn the Turkey" benefit and food drive on November 28th which was a huge success! If you know of any events that I haven't listed, please post the information below.

Seeing people helping other people really warms me up from the inside. Who needs hot chocolate when you have such a warm community of folks here in Asheville, right?

See you in class!


Lindsay Fields is currently teaching yoga at Anytime Fitness in West Asheville and South Asheville Yoga Studio. For more information on yoga and Lindsay including her current class schedule, please visit

Photo courtesy of Anna Ferguson of Asheville.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

PR Pros celebrate 2009 successes

Industry insiders in know the professional organization to watch in 2010 is the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina. Founded in 1982, the group in 2009 came into its own, and the energetic buzz surrounding its embrace of cutting edge practice and exceptional networking opportunities for industry excellence continues to grow.

Though the year grows to a close, PRAWNC chooses to debut two innovations to its holiday observances. First, instead of a luncheon, the group hosts a festive gathering, "A Holiday Tasting" at the Wine Studio of Asheville at 169 Charlotte Street, Wednesday, Dec. 16, from 5-7 p.m. The $12 pricing includes a sparkling, a white, and three red wines, plus hors d'oevres.
The savvy cross-branding means five exceptional wines have been hand-picked by connoisseur and educator Jessica Gulano especially for review by public relations professionals. AskAsheville's literary and film aficionados already know her efforts due to the edgy Merlot pairing with the 2004 film Sideways, in which the hero refuses the varietal. Gulano proves him wrong, and gets the wine selection exactly right. One can only deduce this private tasting for PRAWNC will be worth every sip.
At the party, the 2010 slate of officers will be affirmed by attending members, and the focus will shift to the members themselves: event photos on the PRAWNC blog, and fun polls to vote on favorites. Find out more.

Another new initiative currently getting a push is a holiday gift membership option in which newcomers can get 15 months for the price of an annual membership, $50 for industry pros, and $25 for university students. Click here for information.

Sherri L. McLendon is a freelance writer, blogger, and communications consultant online at Email her at, or read her media blog at

Friday, December 4, 2009

Asheville Water main repair underway on US70 1/2 mile west of Warren Wilson Rd. West bound lane reduction and lots of water on the road.

Small Businesses Can Have Solid Business Practices

Joe's Land Care

I'm passionate about small businesses and fanatical about good business practices. Unfortunately the two not always merge, that’s why I’m always elated when I find small business owners running their businesses with vision. This is the case of Joe Mohar and his eco-conscious land care business, Joe’s Land Care.

Joe started his business in January of 2007 following his passion to work with nature and make a difference in the environment. He knew about plants and had learned a lot from landscaping experts. He was committed to work for himself and to create a green business in the town he loves: Asheville.

I love our bio region: the mountains, the bio diversity and the fact that I am surrounded by inspiring natural beauty.” Joe says talking about Asheville. “The open minded creative environment of this town makes it my home" Joe adds.

Joe was a smart businessman from the start. He learned how to manage and operate a small business PRIOR to opening his business, Joe's Land Care, something many people fail to do. He enrolled in the FastTrac training program offered by Mountain Biz Works; and most importantly, he put into action what he learned.

So, what good business practices does Joe follow?

  • He consistently advertises in Asheville publications
  • He has a uniform message and brand
  • He has a professional looking website
  • He uses QuickBooks for estimates, invoicing and planning
  • He has impeccable customer follow up and service

And, his work is true to his mission of “caring for the earth one yard at a time.” You can see the care and love he imbues in all of his projects large or small, by visiting his website

You can email Joe at or call him at 828-242-2533.

Lizette Pirtle is a franchise consultant passionate about small business success and helping businesses grow and expand. She runs International Expansion Experts with her husband Bob here in Asheville. Visit her blogs at and

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cut The Risk in Asheville North Carolina and WNC 1/18/10


All proceeds go to the Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice Women At Risk program

Asheville, NC - Help change the life of a woman at risk and pamper yourself at the same time. Prominent area salons are donating their time and services at reduced rates on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18, 2010 as a benefit for the Women At Risk program run by the Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice. Women At Risk is a community-based program and offers outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment, clinical case management and sentencing alternatives to women at risk of incarceration.

“Our mission is to stop the cycle of domestic violence for women, men and children,” said Lorena Wiedeman, President of The Genesis Alliance, a non-profit volunteer organization that once again supports Cut-the-Risk. Created to increase community awareness of the pervasiveness and effects of domestic violence and to encourage prevention through education, the Genesis Alliance works for systemic change and supports local charitable organizations that assist women and children who have been victimized by domestic violence. Said Wiedeman, “the Women At Risk Program does just that.”

Placed at the Women At Risk Program by the Buncombe County court system, offenders begin to address and overcome self-destructive and abusive behaviors that brought them to the brink of imprisonment. They learn how to break the cycle of abuse and make the kinds of healthy choices that lead away from criminal activity. Almost ninety percent of the WCCJ Program graduates successfully complete probation and stay out of jail.

“I feel very strongly that this program has been an essential part of changing my life, practically and spiritually. Because of Women At Risk, legal consequences changed for me, from serving a possible mandatory sentence in prison to only serving one day in jail. I was given an opportunity to leave illegal activities and learn to become a viable citizen. Because of Women At Risk, I learned to take a chance, to trust, to be open.” – Delores – Women At Risk graduate.

This is the eighth annual benefit for Cut-The-Risk Day, and, due to the generosity of participating salons, a real bargain. For $25 participants can schedule a hair appointment. For $35 each, they can treat themselves to a 30 minute massage, manicure or a facial. There are also one-hour services available for $70 each. Certificates for some services can be purchased to use at a later date. Services vary by salon and appointments fill up fast. To schedule an appointment, please call (828) 774-2485.

Participating salons include Advanced Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal of Asheville ∙ Ananda Hair Studio ∙ Aubergine ∙ Carmen! Carmen! Prestige Salon & Spa at Belk ∙ Center for Massage & Natural Health ∙ Chestnut Hill Spa & Salon ∙ Cottage of Compassionate Hands ∙ Eclipse Salon ∙ L’eau de Vie ∙ Lola Salon & Gallery ∙ Pi Salon.Spa ∙ Salon Dragonfly ∙ Sensibilities Day Spa South ∙ Spa at Biltmore Village ∙ Studio Chavarria ∙ The Secret Spa at The Belvedere.

The event is also generously supported by The Genesis Alliance, (Benefactor); Devereaux & Banzhoff, PLLC ∙ Law Office of Cynthia A. Strom, PA ∙ Wachovia Bank (Sponsors); Allegra Print & Imaging ∙ Broker & Hamrick Law Firm ∙ T. Justin Sigmon, Attorney At Law ∙ Judy Futch Consulting ∙ Mediation Works/Sarah V. Corley ∙ Western Carolina Women’s Special Center (Underwriters).

Article by: Tracy D. Hyorth - Out ‘n About Communications

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December in Asheville

It's one of those typical December days in Asheville, isn't it?

Bright blue sun, a chill in the air with the promise of warmth later on... deep freeze and snow predicted for tomorrow; like everything else, the weather is unsure of itself and so it recreates itself too often in order to please everyone. And only in Asheville can you anthropomorphize weather like that and not have people look at you funny. Maybe. We'll see.

The kids are after me to make good on my promise to take them to see the gingerbread creations at Grove Park, and I suppose eventually I will unwind my legs from the blankets, close the laptop and comply. I want more than anything to lie here and hate the cold until the house grows silent and still around me, but Asheville won't allow it anymore than a restless child will. The energy here, the certain slant of sunlight through the window, make it impossible to be miserable for long, and before you know what's happened you find yourself lifting your face toward the clouds and breathing in the scent of home. The streets seem to roll out in front of you as you drive, dipping and disappearing around a curve or behind a mountain so you feel a little thrill of adventure-or on bad days, fear of the unknown. The sun looks so close you can't help but reach out as if you could grasp it through the windshield and bring it inside with you, skin untouched by fire, cheeks warmed by the heat. This is December in Asheville, tricky and sly and so charming you can't help but love it.

photo by jackey bradbury, asheville nc

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hello Asheville; Hows the water?

Hello Asheville. I begin my AskAsheville blogging adventure with the hopes of providing readers with useful information and insights of value on a subject that has been my passion for many years; Fresh Water. Fresh water throughout Asheville is distributed, for the most part via three primary transmission lines; 16”, 24” & 36”. They are fed from two reservoirs; North Fork and Bee Tree. Some of this system is pretty close to 100 years old.

The picture below is of a leak on one of these primary lines. Granted the entire system has a lot of leaks, some of which are greater than this one. This one is unique in that the line surfaces in some local woods between Black Mountain & Asheville and that it has been leaking for a long time. I first came across this leak almost 6 years ago. This leak has been reported to and investigated by the Asheville Water Maintenance Department several times at my request.

I have recently calculated the measurable flow rate of this leak at approximately ½ gallon per minute. By measurable I mean what I can catch in a receptacle; which is clearly not all of what is leaking from the joint of this pipe. The loss of water from this leak alone calculates to at least 262,800 gallons per year! OMG!

Call me strange but these are the kinds of things that keep me awake at night. Maybe I can open a water bottling company and send this water to places in the world where they need and appreciate the value of Fresh Water?

Wait, did i say bottled water? Now that’s a whole n’other topic we’ll delve into later.

Regards y’all,

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Zoning in Buncombe - A Local's Take

Many of you may not have known this but Buncombe County was un-zoned until just this week - technically. Zoning actually passed last year but was challenged based on a technicality with the county commission vote.Historically Buncombe County citizens have been split on the idea of zoning. this stems mostly from the fact that local Buncombe County residents have had family here for a long time and people who settled here in the mountains around Asheville were wanting to get away from things going on in the "outside world." What you need to remember is that Asheville and Buncombe County didn't even have a railroad into the area until 1890 with the construction of the Buncombe Turnpike. This was considered a rough area and a hard area to get to and so the people choosing to live here were, let's just say, wanting to get away from something. So, the tradition carried forward that people who lived here in the mountains wanted to be left alone. They were hard working and depended on their neighbors to get by, but not necessarily for company.Bring that tradition forward 100 or so years and there is still an idea of "you do your thing over there, and I'll do my thing over here." I don't think that locals are really against the idea of zoning as much as they are against the idea of people who aren't necessarily from the area creating policy for them. Personally, I believe that in the long run zoning will be a good thing in the county but no doubt there will need to be some warming up to it.You can read more about the vote last night here:
Citizen-Times Article

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Constance Ensner in Asheville NC reaches out

I have a little history at Constance Boutique in Asheville North Carolina. I remember the "good old days" when the economy was wonderful and I used to stop by there every other week to grab a special gift for a friend of mine to wear. We used to stop by the shop in downtown AVL on a Friday or Saturday evening, have a glass of wine, listen to some great music, and the ladies would play "dress up" for grown ups, lol. It was like a small community meetup based around friendship, good times, wine, music and awesome clothing. Not just any clothes either. Constance always made sure she had a premium selection, which is a market that suffered greatly in this current economy. I even heard that she had been designing her own clothing line. This is her life and this is what she loves to do. She has 3 shops located in the Asheville area. One is right across from the public library in downtown Asheville called Context, the other is in Biltmore Village (which was flooded years ago when she first opened,) and the third store is in South Asheville right across the parking lot from Pomodoros Cafe. It is hard to hear about anyone stuck in a bad position and having to do what they can to protect their business and life, and we reach out in full support of Constance Ensner and her business. Please do the same.

From Constance herself:
"Just making sure the spin doesn't go awry in light of the current buzz over my chapter 13 filing, which was actually several months ago. One of the hardest decisions ever....... but one i had to make in order to stay in biz while anticipating better times. So would you spread the word.... wide!..... that all 3 of my stores are emphatically open? The good news is that business is picking back up...... the last 3 months have been so much busier. So let's all stay out there and continue to support the local economy and make sure Asheville doesn't lose any of it's unique and hard working enterpreneurs, right?"

Constance Boutique

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Tree Hunting in Jupiter

Here in Asheville, we seem made for Christmastime. The distant mountains are capped with snow from November to March, and downtown is alive with foot traffic, friendly pedestrians trading hellos under bright wreaths and strands of garland decorating the storefronts. It almost seems a sin to drag out a plastic tree for the holiday, and Asheville has no shortage of places to find a real, fresh Christmas tree. You can't get any fresher than a tree you cut yourself, and so last Friday- a rare day when all the kids, social creatures that they are, were home-we headed out to our favorite little tree farm to find the perfect one.

Hope Hollow farm is out in Jupiter, a few miles off 19-23, just north of Weaverville. It's a small place, unpretentious and comfortable, run by an older guy who seems genuinely happy to talk to you and to have your business. We called ahead to let him know we were coming, and soon we were making the trek up the hill to where the sheared white pines sit in neat rows, waiting for homes. The trees are lovely, slightly imperfect and perfect for that very reason. They sit high atop a hill with a view way into Tennessee, and the way the sun hits it almost makes you believe in religion.

I don't care how durable and lifelike your plastic tree may be- nothing compares to the sight of a passel of bundled-up kidlets running from one tree to the next, touching needles and peering deep into the branches for a glimpse of a bird or a bug, chattering about how this is going to be the best Christmas ever. And yeah, you may save a few bucks by using the same artificial tree year after year, but the $15 for a white pine (or $30 for a Norway spruce) is worth the joy in watching your little man make the first cut in the trunk all by himself. Later, of course, they'll decorate it with trinkets from when they were younger, memories hung on memories, and the commercialism and greed that seem to seep into the holiday a bit deeper every year dissipate like the steam from your cocoa. That, loves, is what Christmas is about, and I wish you all a most joyous holiday.

Hope Hollow Farms can be reached at (828) 645-4621; call ahead for hours and directions.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet Jeanne Perry - Appearance's Salon & Spa in North Asheville

Hello, I am Jeanne Perry of Appearance's Salon and Spa. Our business is located in the Woodfin, North Asheville area of North Carolina. The key people in this business are Jeanne Perry (owner), Misty Baker (senior hair stylist), Meghan Jenkins (hair stylist), Courtney King (massage therapist), Angelina Belada (esthetician), and Bob (my hubby) does our shop maintenance when he is not on a remodeling project.

I bought this business from the former owner. I had worked at the Salon for a few months when the owner approached me about purchasing the business. After lots of discussion, we bought it and began to rent out booths. Now we have all employees working for us. My husband remodeled the place and made it look as it is today. We went through a rough year with not only the economy hitting us, but I had surgery in May 2008, barely escaped death; and then Bob had suffered a heart attack in November 2008, maybe from helping me out so much during my surgery. It was a lot to go through and we thought we were going under... but here we are today still shining, smiling and assisting the community with quality affordable haircuts, color, and spa treatments.

I love the Asheville area. I love the people, the mild Winter, long Fall and beautiful Spring. My husband Bob and really enjoy gardening and this area has a long growing season. The people here are so nice. Asheville is a City with that down home feeling of a small town.

The best part of my business is the people I meet and we love the location our shop is. I regularly network with Bellagio Bistro which has great food and right near my salon, Middlemount Florist because brides ask for a place they can trust for their wedding flowers, and Mother and Son Bistro which is a fun and unique place for great food, bakery items, and coffee.

The top products I feature in my business are Affinage, Thermafuse, and Fairy Tales. I love working with products that are made here in North Carolina and coloring and perm products that are safe for the hair.

We invite you to pass by and say hello sometime. We usually have coffee in the back and sometimes even some cookies on hand. Thank you Asheville.
Appearances Salon and Spa
"Where it is all about you "
Phone: 828-645-8585

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blue Mountain Pizza - Thanksgiving in Weaverville NC

In Weaverville NC, not too far from Asheville, Blue Mountain Pizza provides a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner to this Western North Carolina community.

They have been doing this for about 5 years now and it goes on from 12pm - 3pm on Main Street in Weaverville North Carolina. Right this moment, I am sitting at a table of 5 people and only know one of them previously. Everyone getting along, a dog sitting outside on the porch wearing a sweater that says "faith," and true community is in the air. We are thankful.

Walk in the Sun

"If your head is wax, don't walk in the sun."
~Benjamin Franklin

As a small respite from Thanksgiving cooking and cleaning, I treated myself to a stroll around downtown Asheville yesterday afternoon, soaking in the upbeat creative energy that buzzed from each shop visited.

I picked up great button beads for my crochet vest at Chevron Trading Post before taking care of my growling stomach at Mellow Mushroom. Of course, I sat outside to soak up the sun and noticed how the clear blue sky rivaled the restaurant sign.Settling in, I ordered the bartender's own concoction-- a Catawba Pumpkin Ale topped with Highlander Porter while waiting for the House Special pizza. Ahh.

Dining al fresco under Asheville's clear blue sky is a relaxing way to work on life's checklists, perhaps solve or at least table a few problems, and transform any wax build up into a magic mold.

(@mscator welcomes your Twitter follow and posts Asheville sunrise photos daily off her blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lake Lure WNC - near Asheville, Hendersonville and Charlotte

When we want to "get away" from Asheville for a few hours; Lake Lure is what we consider a great choice. Families from Charlotte NC and elsewhere are choosing to invest in that mountain home and Riverbend Lake Lure, just outside of AVL, is becoming a very popular choice. (*This photo is of Mirror Lake in Riverbend)

Meet Vista North North Carolina Limited Partnership, Martin Birenbaum, Owner. Real Estate at Riverbend Lake Lure and Riverbend Highlands

We sell resort, retirement and second home sites in our own two communities and assisting the owners in putting their dream home on the lot. We are located in Lake Lure, North Carolina. This is a family owned business with Martin, Robert, and Deena Birenbaum as the principals. We bought both communities in 1990 from a chapter 11 bankruptcy. Robert and Deena have been doing business in WNC since 1980 and Martin joined in 1990 after graduating from Law School.

We are from South Florida, and North Carolina is and has been a hot spot for nearly 30 years. Our favorite things about AVL and WNC are the people, the climate and the taxes. We have always found it unbelievable how friendly and considerate people are in this part of the country (Asheville & WNC.) The best part of our business is helping people meet their dreams of a log cabin in the woods.

Businesses in WNC that you regularly network with and why:
Several companies have been very helpful in assisting us with our vision. Foothills Homes and Birchfield Log Homes provide referrals and home construction to assist our customers. Home Trust Bank and BB&T, providing financial services to assist our customers in achieving their dream home. We thank them for working with us and being a part of our growth in Western North Carolina.

Robert Dungan and Robert Deutsch from Asheville NC have been instrumental in keeping us going.

The top products we offer are: Vacant land sales, and land home packages with Log Cabins and Conventional Homes.

We are not your typical Developers that sell out as quickly as possible and then get as far away from their buyers as possible. Our family owned business has been selling land and managing our three communities for 20 years and pride ourselves in the personal service and care we provide to each and every customer.

Vista North Carolina Limited Partnership
Lake Lure Real Estate
110 Bills Creek Road
Email: or Phone: 1-800-699-1289

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Monday, November 23, 2009

The King of Beers, Ha... Asheville Has The Queen!

Jason & Julie Atallah, Owners, Managers, and Beerlanthropists (Beerlanthropy® is our registered trademark.)

Bruisin' Ales, a beer-only boutique store, in downtown Asheville. Over 800 different beers from around the world and around the corner. Rated #1 Beer Store “Best of WNC”, #3 Best Beer Retailer Worldwide by RateBeerBest 2009, and One of the Top Ten Bottle Shops in US by Imbibe Magazine.

We are the key people in our business (owner-operated) and we also have one single and extremely knowledge employee, Mike Guarracino.

A great beer town deserves a great beer store. The laws had changed in NC, we always loved Asheville, knew a lot about Belgian beer, and decided to uproot, quit corporate life and open a beer store. We opened in Dec. 2006. Asheville is THE hotspot for beer in the South. We hoped to bring the beer culture found in Denver, the Pacific Northwest, Northeast and California to our corner of the world. It's great to be a part of the changes going on the Southeast.

Our favorite things about Asheville WNC is the scenery, the lifestyle and the people, and of course, the BEER. So much beer and beer-knowledgeable people.

The greater WNC/Asheville area is extremely supportive of small business. I'm sure we're not alone in being extremely grateful and forever amazed at the amazing people in this community. We also find it remarkable and the number of beer people in this town. Sure a nice Red Zin or martini hits the spot sometimes, but beer is where it's at around these parts.

There is really nothing like our business model. There are other wine and beer stores, but that was never the aim of Bruisin' Ales. We're more than just a storefront. Beer has always been considered a lesser beverage and our store is about changing that perception, experimenting with styles and flavors (12oz are all sold in singles, “mix-a-six”), and education via tastings and dinners, often with representatives from the breweries or importers on-hand if anyone has questions. So, far we've had Lee Chase, formerly of Stone Brewing Co.; Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery; Adam Avery, founder of Avery Brewing Co.; and Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing, to name a few. As our trademark states, it's all about the beerlanthropy®!

Name 3 other businesses in Asheville or WNC that you regularly network with and why:

Ninemile: (@ninemile) This popular Asheville restaurant is active online in social media, particularly Twitter; it is another privately owned business like ours; and they have a kick-ass, ever-changing taplist.

Applied Solutions Group: (@ashevilleweb) These design folks help us transition into a new web redesign in 2009. We're now so much easier to communicate with via the Bruisin' Beer Blog, Facebook, Twitter and more. They're also helping us launch our new online store in early 2010! These guys rock.

The Thirsty Monk: (@monkpub) The place to go for craft beer right now in Asheville. We're proponents of our local craft beer, but sometimes you want something different or have an opportunity to try something rare. Ever-changing taps keep us there at least twice a week. We also have successfully matched up events when brewery people are in town, such as FREE tastings at Bruisin' Ales, followed by special cask events at The Thirsty Monk.

What are the top 3 products you offer and/or sell at your business?
Every day topsellers: Pisgah Pale Ale/Pisgah Brewing Co, Black Mountain, NC; Two Hearted Ale/Bell's Brewing Co., Kalamazoo, MI; Green Flash West Coast IPA/Green Flash Brewing Company, Vista, CA.
By sales: Pisgah Pale Ale/Pisgah Brewing Co., Black Mountain, NC; Pisgah Vortex II/Pisgah Brewing Co., Black Mountain, NC; Highland Cold Mountain/Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, NC

You'd think differently, but we actually get only a handful of people per year that come through our doors asking for watery domestics. This makes us happy. The revolution is happening!

Bruisin' Ales
“A High-Gravity World of Brews”
66 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Email: General: Online Orders:
Phone #: 828-252-8999

*Beer Queen Photo Courtesy of Jason Sanford of Ashvegas!

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Asheville - WNC LINC Local Information Cooperative

The Asheville Citizen Times has developed a local information network with several area bloggers. This WNC LINC Widget shows you stories listed from several blogs in the Asheville area. AskAsheville is one of these sites, then you have The Artful Parent, and also the Southern Highland Reader. Others will be soon joining in on the network. The goal is to build a stronger community and to share news and stories from several different angles. You can also view the WNC LINC page on the Asheville Citizen Times website.

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The Asheville Contra Community - Folk Music’s Hottest Dance Scene

Dancing With Wild Angels

Asheville’s contra dance community is probably the top contra dance destination among North American dancers. Asheville boasts two weekly dances, both crowded with as many young, hip dancers as traditional dancers of a certain age.

The flourishes are stylish and sometimes daring, and often well executed; flirting’s intense, and the playfulness ubiquitous across generations. Most visiting dancers agree that the dancing is the highest quality they’ve experienced. (Check the video links at the end of the post for examples.)

At the same time, there is always a large number of newcomers being taught the folk dance & welcomed into the community. There are, of course, cliques and popular dancers, but on the whole, the contra community in Asheville and around the world is warm and welcoming.

Indeed, it’s a group that defines community. The connections extend well outside the dances; people support each other in times of need and celebrate one another’s successes and milestones.

Contra dancing is a style of folk dance that shares some figures with both English Country Dancing and Square Dancing. Couples dance to calls facing another pair in long lines. When the pattern is completed the couple moves up or down the line. By the end of the set, they will usually have danced with every other couple in the line.

The steps are easy to learn, it’s a smooth walking dance, and the dances are taught and then called, making it very easy for beginners to learn and enjoy their first dance.

The nature of the dance is very social. People switch partners after each dance and couples who come together usually dance mostly with other partners, so singles are easily integrated into the group. The dance is also gender blind when it comes to finding a partner. Women ask men as often as the reverse, and all genders dance together some of the time.

Every Thursday night the Old Farmers Ball dances in Bryson Gym, at Warren Wilson College. A beginner’s lesson at 7:30 makes it a perfect place to learn the dance. Anyone can learn to do this simple dance and feel confident dancing the rest of the night. Admission is $6 for non-members. Here’s the weekly schedule.

On Monday night, there is a dance at the Grey Eagle Tavern on Clingman in downtown Asheville. The dance starts at 8 pm and costs $6. There’s no lesson, but most dancers feel comfortable here by the second time they dance. The callers are always sensitive to newcomers.

There are numerous other dances in the region, including several dances a month at the beautiful River Falls Lodge in Marietta, SC, less than an hour’s drive from North Asheville. In the other direction, there are several dances in Jonesborough, TN. These are very new dance friendly communities, as well; newcomer lessons are always held before the regular dances in both communities.

The region also boasts several very popular dance weekends in the region, including Moon Dance at Table Rock Park and Summer Soirée at Warren Wilson College and the twice yearly Contrathons and Dance Weekends hosted by the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.

Great Videos of Asheville Contra Dancing

Enjoy the dance!
Happy Feet, Happy Heart,
M.-J. Taylor, Asheville SEO Web Design

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