The conversations you want to have this year

Graphic by AVLtoday

Happy New Year, Asheville. 🎉

We are so grateful to kick off this new year with you + for all of the possibilities 2021 holds. This year, a song by a local musician you’ve never heard before might become your new favorite, a really great restaurant might open right down the street from your place, and that new building you’ve been watching come together for months + months could finally open to the public.

As we prepare for a promising new year, we want to know what you want to read about each morning.

Are you trying to find out if your favorite festival is returning this year, or wondering about an upcoming development in town? Do you want to know where to get the best breakfast bagel? Is there a piece of Asheville history you’ve always wanted to know about? What news gets you excited about opening our newsletter each morning

The things you asked us last year were some of our favorite stories to cover. From making sense of Waste Pro’s contact with the county to where to see holiday lights around townwe had a blast answering your questions + learning more about our amazing city. 

This year, to celebrate 2021, we thought we’d answer 21 of your questions. Without further ado, these are the 21 questions the AVLtoday team will work to answer for you this year.

1) WHO decides what building designs are approved or disapproved?  When I look at pictures of the “new” downtown Asheville, all the new buildings are simply ugly, with absolutely no character at all.  How about a return to beautiful buildings for our beautiful city instead of the ugliness  It started with the Indigo and has steadily gone down hill since. — George S.

2)  Gardens – Who creates and maintain our most magnificent gardens? What about the gardens at UNC Asheville? I am thinking about Mossin’ Annie who is on facebook – she has a business where she helps people create their own moss gardens – and she helped me create one as well!   — Barbara G.

3) I’d like to know more about the “Charlotte Street” old houses being (or planned to be) torn down and apts/condos/retail being built there.  Many of the houses are on the National Historic Registry.  Way does that not protect them from destruction?  Part owned by a real estate group and the Killian family, Dr. Killian had an office in an old home in that area until his death.  I’m guessing he’s rolling over in his grave at what his family is about to do. — Carole C.

4) The historical figures of the area… the indigenous Indians, the early fur traders and the routes they used that have turned into our major thruways … the Scots/Irish that settled the region before the revolution… the introduction of the wealthy that came up from the south and established …. so much history that folks who are here in our beautiful region need to know.  Those that came before set beacons in this historical blips. — C.C.

5) The Houston Chronicle recently reported that all of the ambulance services, including the county were out of network regarding insurance which puts a huge burden on someone seeking emergency care.  Where does Buncombe County or the City of Asheville rank regarding those emergency services? — Jed. G.
6) So, what really happens to the recyclables that are thrown into the giant pit at the transfer station? and the recyclables picked up curbside by both Asheville City and WastePro? Are they really recycled? What percentage is recycled? What are the steps and process for recycling locally? — Heidi K.

7)  Not a question, but I’d like to hear more about the surrounding areas such as Hendersonville or Black Mountain. — Kelsy Y.

8) Why is Costco not able to build a warehouse in Asheville? I have heard a rumor that Sam’s Club has a political influence over the Costco question above. — Patrick T

9) How are our area artists surviving? — Pamela D.

10)  What parts of Buncombe County are becoming gentrified, based on property sales values? And, are we losing historically black communities, like the neighborhood around MLK Street? — Rebekah L.

11) Can someone explain the progress of route 26 S? What’s with the seeming exit /entrance to/from the BRPkwy along 26 S. — Kitty H.

12) I’d like to know more about organized panhandling.  I’m serious.  I live near the mall so I see those Tunnel Road crews most often but I see crews at other intersections around town.  What’s the hourly take?  What other assistance is available? — CS

13) We are moving to ur fab city late 2021! How can we best connect and meet other members of the LGBTQ+ community & also volunteer??! —  Lisa D.

14)  What businesses do people want to see in Asheville in 2021 and do we have a chance at them coming here? (i.e., Costco, Lidl, etc.) — Keith N.

15) What is our area is doing to support people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity and how that stacks up to the surrounding counties, and “ best practices “ counties? — Sarah C

16) Affordable Housing; the Charlotte Street proposal seeks public funds via land use incentive grants to destroy a neighborhood visage we know and love. The city is incentivizing the destruction of this town in favor of developer profits. — Mike M.

17) Please tell us about new artists. — Savanna S.

18) Where can I find the best bagels? I don’t mind driving. — Stephanie E.
19) Moon Trees. A variety of tree seeds were taken on the Apollo 14 flight to the moon and then the seeds were planted in the US and around the world. Two sycamore trees from these seeds are noted as being planted in WNC – one at the UNCA Botanical Gardens and one at the Cradle of Forestry. What can you find out about these trees? I saw an article about Moon Trees in a National Geographic online article and had never heard about them before. Thank you. — George S.
20) My 1st year in AVL was 2020, so don’t know any of the annual festivals.  What are they and would you print a possible schedule? Thanks. — Deborah I.
21) What is going on in the Crafts scene around Asheville?  I am especially interested in wood crafts, but am interested in others as well. —Mike M