It’s a bird. It’s a plane. These days, it could be a drone – i.e. an unmanned aerial vehicle, also called an unmanned aircraft system. More drones are popping up in the skies around town, and more photographers are getting killer shots of local landmarks using the tech. DYK: Drones started taking off in the commercial + recreational markets in the last decade, and the trend shows no sign of slowing.
Since drones are still relatively new, we wondered about NC’srules + regulations surrounding drone use. Here’s what we found out. • Many of the regulations related to drone operation focus on safety + privacy. • Drone operators must comply with allFAA regulations + policies. • Drones can’t be used: – To conduct surveillance of or photograph a person or private property without consent. Note: Some exceptions exist for law enforcement + emergency management agencies. – Within 500’ (horizontally) or 250’ (vertically) of a local,state, or federal correctional facility. – To hunt or as weapons, or to disrupt the lawful taking of wildlife resources. • If your drone weighs more than .55 lbs, you’ll need to pay $5 to register it.
If you’re a recreational flyer(a.k.a. if you fly your drone for fun), you must register your drone and mark it with the registration number (and carry proof of registration). You don’t need a special permit or license. Plus, • You must fly the drone no higher than 400’ above the ground in uncontrolled airspace. • Your drone must be in your visual line of sight, or in the line of sight of someone in communication with you. • You shouldn’t fly over a person, stadium, public event, or moving vehicle. • You shouldn’t fly at night. • You can’t interfere with the work of emergency response personnel.
Have questions on where you can fly your drone? There’s an app for that(B4UFLY). You can also check Airmap. Here are a few tips to remember. • You need special permission if you want to use your drone in a state park. • Some local governments + national parks have drone restrictions, so always check before you fly. For example, you can’t fly a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but you can fly it nearby, in areas that aren’t under the jurisdiction of the NPS or state parks. • Indoor flights are under the jurisdiction of building owners, but imagery collected is still subject to state laws.
Planning to operate a drone for commercial purposes (i.e. for compensation or a business purpose)? You’ll need a permit and must pass a knowledge test and register with the state. Get more info here.
Announced ○ Zadie’s Market in Marshall now offers same-day grocery delivery in the Asheville area. The local purveyor of produce, meats, prepared foods, goods + more is the only local grocery store offering same-day delivery and is an alternative to national grocery delivery services. Bonus:Free delivery is available in eight zones (including Marshall, Mars Hill, downtown, North + West Asheville). Orders must be placed by 7:30 a.m. on the day of delivery. 🥬
Number ○ 19.9 million.The pounds of food distributed by MANNA FoodBank in our area since March of last year. That’s 36% more than was distributed over the same period the previous year and comes out to a total of 16.6 million meals provided through the end of Nov. Pitch in to support MANNA here. 🥫
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Services here. As of Thursday afternoon, 12,300 cases and 237 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. ○ Asheville will soon welcome a new PPE (personal protective equipment) manufacturing center as the result of a new partnership between HCA Healthcare and A Plus International, Inc. The center will make and distribute masks to 1,600+ hospitals and healthcare sites throughout the US. It should be up and running early this year. (WLOS) ○ The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will revisit the 30% indoor capacity rule for restaurants this coming Monday. If COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are stable or improve, Commission Chairman Brownie Newman plans to lift the county mandate + resume the state’s 50% indoor dining capacity mandate. (WLOS) ○ The NC Department of Transportation will provide $2.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding to local transit agencies to help people get to vaccination sites throughout the state. All counties will receive funds. (News & Observer)
Development ○ Could Asheville be the next big spot for tiny homes? Due to rising local home prices + rent increases, tiny homes may be the newest way to find affordable living in Asheville. The Village, a tiny home community in Flat Rock, NC, currently has 100+ tiny homes and is adding more. Another community, Acony Bell in Mills River, just sold out of its first phase of tiny homes. Do you live in a tiny home or tiny home community in the area?Tell us about it. 🏡 (WLOS)
Outdoors ○ Bullington Gardens(95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville) has announced dates for its virtual + hybrid 2021 Spring Speaker Series. On Fridays in Feb., offerings include classes on pruning, ornamental grasses, and inspirational garden design + implementation. March classes will focus on growing fruits + veggies. 🌷
Trending ○ Swannanoa local Michael Baldwin hit it big after purchasing a $3 Power Play ticket. Originally he only won $50,000, but after the two-times multiplier was drawn he instantly won the $100,000 prize. The odds of having a winning Power Play ticket are one in 913,000. Ticket sales from scratch-offs raise over $725 million yearly for education in NC. 💰 (Black Mountain News)
We had to hop on this viral trend that has Senator Bernie Sanders popping up in cities and towns across the US. Here, he’s masked up and ready for a LaZoom bus tour of Asheville – and we bet he’ll get a kick out of the comedy + characters. LaZoom tours have been on pause due to COVID-19, but we’re hoping to get back on the bus this year.
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Arts ○ Asheville Fringe Arts Festival | Fri., Jan. 22-Sun., Jan 24 | Various locations | Various prices | AVL’s favorite experimental performance fest continues through the weekend with virtual and distanced in-person events. 👁
Community ○ Community Workday | Fri., Jan. 22| 2:30-5:30 p.m. | George Washington Carver Edible Park, 30 George Washington Carver Ave. | Free | Mulch pathways, do light tree pruning, and clear invasive plants with fellow locals. 🌳
Learn ○ Justice Matters Tour | Fri., Jan. 22| 12-1 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Learn more about Pisgah Legal + examine the legal needs in our region. ⚖️
Saturday ○ Feed Our City Free Meal Pop-Up | Sat., Jan. 23| 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | The Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St. | Free | 300 hot meals from Gypsy Queen Cuisine are provided to help our local community. 🍴 ○ Hard 2 Recycle West | Sat., Jan. 23 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | 1569 Sand Hill Rd., Candler | Free | A self-serve, drop off event. See accepted materials here. ♻️ ○ Bold Souls Morning Yoga | Sat., Jan. 23| 9:45-10:45 a.m. | Bold Rock Hard Cider, 72 School House Rd., Mills River | Free, Suggested $5 donation | Join a fun + playful yoga session to kick off your Saturday morning. 🧘 ○ Jangling Sparrows | Sat., Jan. 23| 4-7 p.m. | One World Brewing West, 520 Haywood Rd. | Free | Hang out under some nice + toasty heaters while listening to some tunes + sipping a local brew. 🍻
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
It’s Fri-yay, which means it’s time to share what the AVLtoday team is hoping for. Editor Ali is hoping for sunshiney weekend weather that will help her get out and enjoy the days, and for a fairy to come and clean her house for her. 😆🧚♀️Editor Brook hopes to get outside with her family + rescue dogs and take a nap (in that order).
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