An open letter to Asheville’s candidates

Our city is in a time of crisis, one that our current political culture is badly unprepared to deal with.…

Referendum time

City leaders place a referendum on district elections on the ballot — but they don’t want it to pass. Behind…

Celebrate the Blade

Join us for the Blade’s third Birthday Bash and celebrate three years of journalism, sharp perspectives and fighting for the…

Running dry

Old wounds, segregation, a lack of transparency and skyrocketing costs all collide as the city’s ambitious plans to overhaul the…

Here we go again

Another year, another legislator trying to force a change in city elections. A primer on the latest plan, the local reaction and what it might mean Above: Proposed Asheville City Council districts under last year’s failed state Senate bill. A state legislator is now reviving…

Ultimatum season

Once again, a state legislator plans to force district elections on Asheville and the Airbnb issue reopens, in a Council meeting marked by old battles coming back for another round Above: Mayor Esther Manheimer, file photo by Max Cooper. The Feb. 28 Asheville City Council meeting,…

March of the bureaucrats

Despite a year of criticism and controversy involving senior city staff, at the recent Council retreat it was all back-patting and consolidating power for the city’s top officials Above: One of the discussion boards at Council retreat, sketching out a delegation of authority that could potentially…

A neat little conflict

New restrictions on hotels and development in the heart of Asheville mark the quiet end of an era of consensus among city bureaucrats, downtown gentry and elected officials. Above: City Hall by night, photo by Max Cooper. While it didn’t exactly rattle the windows or…

The Blade’s live coverage

In addition to the long-form journalism Blade readers have come to know and love, please check out the round-ups of our live coverage for on-the-ground insights into what’s going on in our city. City Hall under renovation. Photo by Bill Rhodes. Hello readers, I hope this brief…

Rejection notice

Parking, corporate expectations, technicalities, swearing, gentry pleadings, failed deals and more as Asheville City Council unanimously rejects a major hotel project Above: Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler. File photo by Max Cooper. For the latest chapter in a major political battle, the fight over the Embassy…

Where goes Walton Street

For years Southside community members pushed for the renovation of a long-neglected historic pool. But city government might go forward with other plans. Behind the debate about who decides the fate of a local landmark. The Walton Street pool isn’t in good shape, on that…

Hotel dilemmas

A year after a controversial hotel vote set new political boundaries on the issue, Council again faces a similar dilemma with an election on the way. A look at the latest battle lines in the hotel wars. Above: An image of the proposed Embassy Suites…

Survive. Organize. Resist.

Yes, this is actually happening. And Asheville’s political culture is absolutely, horribly unprepared for the coming years. That needs to change now. Above: protesters outside the Sept. 12 Trump campaign rally in downtown Asheville. Photos by Max Cooper. Over the chaos of the past few…

Boundary changes

Asheville City Council delays a major hotel battle, expands (very slightly) the city’s borders and mulls what input on local election districts might look like Above: Asheville City Council member Julie Mayfield. File photo by Max Cooper. For awhile, it looked like Asheville City Council…

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