At least 1,000 to 4,000 gallons of petroleum fuel has spilled into French Broad River in North Carolina. On a Sunday afternoon earlier this February. It started in one of the tanks in mountain energy they had one of their tanks leaking fuel there trying to find the hot spot where its leaking from in the water. They’re trying to get it contained so they can vac it out or soak it out with special pads. STAY OUT of the French Broad River until further notice; authorities say it is very dangerous.
Story by Abigael Whitney
Asheville is known for its eco friendly tendencies. Many of the people here just tend to hold the environment in a higher light. There are tons of businesses, companies, and partnerships working to teach others about sustaining our environment and being conscious members of society.
With statistics from Numbeo, it is evident that pollution levels in particular are quite low in our city. Using the Air Quality Index (AQI), a healthy quality is between 0-50. In terms of Asheville’s pollution levels, in all categories the levels range between 5.00 and 27.50, all far below even 50. The overall cleanliness and purity of Asheville was also observed with data recorded out of 100. The statistic range between 72.50 and 95.00 showing that Asheville has a very high overall purity. These positive statistics and those like them didn’t just happen on their own however. Many people and/or organizations in Asheville demonstrate environmentally healthy habits that have contributed to this.
Recycling is a large part of Asheville’s self sustaining practices. Citizens of the area are able to recycle a large array of items with recycling pickup occurring bi-weekly. The City of Asheville even has a special campaign by the name of Zero Waste AVL that actively encourages residents to send less waste to the landfill. Another example of an organization working to sustain Asheville, is Asheville GreenWorks. Since 1973, their employees and volunteers have worked to reduce the dependence on landfills.
People have worked to take on the task of having eco-friendly architecture and renovation in the Asheville area. Businesses such as Samsel Architects and Deltec Homes work to make sure their constructions are as environmentally sound as possible. These companies make their vision a reality by creating homes that have a 64% reduction in total energy use or using materials that are 83.8% derived from landfill materials.
Along with these widespread ideas, there are many smaller things that each person can take part in within their individual lifestyles. Many people in Asheville seem to demonstrate healthy lifestyles in general, so giving back to the environment is just a simple addition to someone’s day. People have the opportunity to either simply participate in acts such as recycling or they can even join project groups with missions to keep Asheville healthy.
Story by Krislynn Hawkins
Photo credit - Jeff Adkins, Livability
Do you have anything to do for valentines day? If you don’t, then here are some things you can do with your friends and love ones.
1) You can go to the Valentines dance at Asheville middle school at 4:00pm - 6:00pm on February 16, 2018. Tickets on sale in the Cougar Den for $6, or at the door for $7!
2) You can visit the Biltmore House (1 Lodge St). It is beautiful in many ways; there is a very romantic garden which is great for photo opportunities, very pretty trails to walk, and it makes you feel like you are in another time period.
3) You could go to the Chocolate Lounge (10 S Pack Square). They have amazing chocolate that is made in Asheville, plus you're supporting a local business. It feels very classy, and perfect for valentines. Also, you don't have to spend that much money!
4) Last, but definitely not least, you can go to the local business called Well Played. It is a restaurant with a combination of over 500 bored games and snacks! This place is perfect for a date if you don't wanna go somewhere super fancy, or if you just want to hangout with friends on valentines. It is located at 58 Wall St.
Story by Aiyana Childs
Saturday, January 19th: Over 7,000 men, women and children gather at memorial stadium. They all have a common goal, equality of the sexes. We Interviewed two of the four high school girls who put this event together, and they helped us understand how they made this massive event a reality.
The first young woman we interviewed was Sawyer Taylor Arnold. She is a junior at Asheville high, and an avid supporter of women’s rights. When she was asked how she started the planning of the march, she said “I started planning shortly after Thanksgiving with Sarah Kate Head, one of the organizers.” She also said she worked on t-shirt orders, answering emails and taking phone calls.
Organizing such a large public event had some struggles, some of these included lack of funding, getting permits, and finding a space to hold 7,000+ people. In Sawyer’s words, “Because we didn't have the funds to get permits this year, we had to be very strategic about the placement of the march and we had to run things by the city a lot of the time to make sure that they were legal and/or safe”.
The other organizer we interviewed was Sarah Kate head, a sophomore at Asheville High School. When we asked her about who some big supporters were in Asheville, she said “Our mentor throughout the process was Marie L. Germain, who organized the very successful Women's March on Asheville in 2017. She was most definitely our biggest supporter throughout the organization of the march; always being there when we faced any issues or had any questions. She is a big influence to me and the girls, and motivated us as we went along. We are very grateful to have had her by our side, especially due to the fact that she was busy taking over the march in Philly.” We also asked her how they were able to get speakers to talk at the Women's March, and she responded with “When we were thinking about who we wanted to speak at the march, we first had to think about what we wanted them to say and who would fit best for it. We have so many amazing women in office around us and the girls and I are so inspired by them. Honestly, we started to shoot out emails here and there, and we were so lucky to have found those who we did to speak at the march. We wanted inspiring women; women who would have a strong voice to speak up about the goals of the march and the goals of the movement in general!”.
This march was an overwhelming success, and could not have been possible without the strength, charisma, and determination of these young ladies. They proved that anything is possible when you put your mind to it, which is such a valuable lesson for girls all around the world. When we asked Sarah Kate for any advice she may have to other girls who were looking to make a change in the world she said “The biggest advice I can give young women is to not be afraid; to not back down under the pressure that society build on top of our shoulders. Speak up! Talk to people about it, look around for clubs or organizations where you can feel comfortable and open. I think that every young women has the capability of moving people's minds and hearts, but the first thing one has to do is shed the anxiety, insecurity, or fear that has been layering and replace it with confidence, with courage, and with a voice.” Sawyer had some great advice for young girls as well, she said “Some of the best advice I've ever gotten was from my dad, who told me that if you don't feel uncomfortable, it means your not growing. That doesn't mean you have to feel uncomfortable all the time, but push yourself to do things you haven't done before and don't be afraid of the unknown!” Both of these quotes had a common theme, working through the unknown always pays off. These ladies did an amazing job taking their own advice and planning the Women’s March on Asheville!
Story by Alana Kendrick and Ginger Hanlon