Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Light Solar moves into WECAN

As confirmed by Brownie Newman friday afternoon, First Light Solar has signed a lease for 130 Roberts Street, the old AVL Technologies building that has been vacant for over a year. FLS is expected to begin to move in December 2011. This puts new meaning to the thought of the Haywood Road & Roberts Street roundabout being the intersection of Art & Science.  WECAN welcomes a great community partner.

LEAF S&S TRACKS @ Green's Mini Mart Oct. 15, 2011

LEAF in Schools & Street, in cooperation with COA Cultural Arts & Mr. Green of Green's Mini Mart invites everybody! to share their song...beat...words to mash up into a song to be played on local radio. The Mobile Art Lab Easel Rider, with all its digital music re-mixing tools, will be in Mr. Green's parking lot @ 414 Depot Street from 1 to 4pm. Please join Cleaster Cotton, Stephens-Lee students and David Hamilton & bring whatcha' got!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WECAN October 2011 Board Meeting Minutes • Draft

WECAN Board Meeting on Thursday October 6, 2011 at Merritt Park Meeting Room
Members present: Byron Ballard, Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Coleman, Joe FioccolaMike Kenton, Yuri Koslen, Luke W. Perry, and Pattiy Torno. Members not present were: Bret Frk, Tom Gibson, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Geraldine Melendez,  Jose Ruiz.
Also present were Marsha Stickford, Mary and Rusty Bryant.
Pattiy called the meeting to order at 6:32. The Bryants are planning to build a house for them to live in on the lot they cleared between the end of Club St and I 240. After introductions the September meeting minutes were approved as distributed. Pattiy read some notes from AnnaBeth:
1) Downtown Market Grand Re-opening is next weekend, Oct 15 & 16. More vendors have come this month, and there is a general sense of hope and growth. They got a lease from the bank, and are now renting office suites for a healing center (massage, etc.) Things are picking up! (Ads for the Downtown Market will air on The River radio station starting next week.)   2) Streetlight and fire hydrant are still overgrown with kudzu on Jefferson. Public Safety Hazard! (not just maintenance complaint)   3) Mark (sorry I don't know his last name) who is building a new house on Jefferson said his concrete guys dumped a load of dirt at the end of Jefferson which he will have them remove before he issues his final payment to them. He was apologetic and wanted neighbors to know it would be handled.
Joe read the proposed revisions to the By-laws distributed by email. The revisions included a more detailed description of the neighborhood boundaries, allowing electronic notice for meetings, allowing the chair to appoint a proxy in their absence and fixing term limits on officers to reflect actual practice and fairness. He moved that the board recommend the new language to be voted on at the November General Membership meeting and the motion passed.
            Luke reported on the East of the Riverway Kickoff scheduled for Friday October 8 from 6-8p.m at the Reid center. The Sustainable Communities Initiative is funded by a federal grant for planning and to encourage the EPA, HUD and the DOT to work together in areas of housing, transportation and job creation.
Luke can act as a conduit for information in and out of the group and Jeff wants to assure that neighborhood feedback is heard. They are still working on a polished paragraph or two stating and explaining their purpose. Luke read their 6 sustainability principles. Marsha pointed out that one of their goals is developing a good messaging system. Luke said they are interested in having smaller group meetings to get more information like the survey conducted by Appalachian State students earlier this year.  Smaller group meetings could also be a way to recruit block captains.
            Yuri reported on the Neighborhood Communication Sub-Committee. He passed around maps to identify natural or logical “blocks.” One goal is to identify is a network of neighborhood resources such as long term residents or those with experience in planning and design that can help in supporting roles. He will summarize the description of the desired role of a block captain and bullet point specific responsibilities. He will edit it down to a recruiting pamphlet size. Pattiy called for the sub-committee to meet in the next two weeks to suggest block boundaries and develop a draft for inclusion in the WECAN newsletter. There followed discussion of whether membership in WECAN should be limited to residents (including renters) or if it should include businesses. There was a general consensus that we should interface with other groups but not duplicate what others are doing. RADBO(River Arts District Business Owners) already represent the  businesses from the river to Roberts St including the Grey Eagle and old Silver Dollar. All the other businesses in WECAN are north of Hilliard Avenue and some are in the Central Business District. Pattiy promoted the idea that WECAN should do what is needed and do it well.
            Crime: Mike reported on a series of break ins in the Park square area.  58(?) Roberts St had a laptop stolen, 65 Park Sq had been broken into twice and lost electronics and the White Duck at 1 Roberts St had been broken into twice. Pattiy reported a laptop stolen from 12 Riverside Dr in July. She will follow up on leads with Community Resource Officer Evan Coward. An issue also came up about “weekend“ vacation rentals is against the zoning for WECAN.
            Pattiy initiated planning for the General Membership Meeting Thursday November 3rd. For the traditional pot-luck: Joe and Byron will provide paper products, Pattiy will provide hot cider, Jessie will bring crackers and cheese, Luke will bring dessert which includes wheat germ, sugar and butter. Yuri will bring salsa Pattiy will get someone to bring chips and will ask 12Bones to contribute as well. Others can bring what they would like.
Blurb or Article assignments for the WECAN Newsletter are as follows: Pattiy: Proposed By-law revisions; Warren Wilson College stream cleanup at Owens Bell Park; swamp reengineering at 95 S French Broad Ave; new restaurants opening in WECAN; and Asheville’s Living Treasure Honor to Jessie Coleman. Joe wrote a brief history of Aston Park; Luke a blurb about the reduction of noise on I240 since it has been resurfaced; Yuri about the Clingman Avenue Streetscape; and Jeff about free Tai Chi Classes at Aston Park and that equipment can be checked out for free. Deadline for inclusion is Thursday October 20. (to allow time for printing and mailing.)
            Brief discussion of Finances: Treasury is slowly being depleted with annual mailings. A suggestion was made to arrange a WECAN Night at local restaurants where neighbors come and have dinner and the restaurant gives WECAN a cash contribution.
            Marsha reported that the city has approved a contract to clean up around the steps from the Hillcrest Walkover bridge. Encroachment agreements have been secured and waiting for Progress Energy. Work will begin in the winter and selected trees will be removed.
            Pattiy reported that the Clingman Avenue Streetscape has begun and she was told that work will progress up the West side and Down the East side.
            Mary Bryant reported that ‘Danny’s Dumpster” located at the Hatchery by the silo is a private recycling and compost center that can be used by neighbors. Mary will advise Pattiy about what they will recycle.
            Brief discussion of the need for a ‘Pick up the poop” campaign to control dog waste.
            Agenda for the General Membership meeting shall include 1) Vote on By-Laws Revision. 2) Election of Board members. 3) Block captain maps 4) The Year in review 5) Community Issues.
Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.

Fri   Oct. 7 ----East of the Riverway Kickoff @ The  WC Reid Center
Tue Oct 11----VOTE!!! In City Council Primary Election
Thu Oct. 13----Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center Grand Opening
                 285 Livingston St at the corner of Depot St from 5:30-7:30
Thu Oct 27 ----Step To It Candidates forum @ The Clingman CafĂ©?          
(please see for a complete list of events of interest.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

BooFest @ UNCA October 23, 2011

For all kids 11 & under for a fun afternoon & games with goodies bags for everyone! 3 to 5pm! FREE!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

East of the Riverway Kickoff Friday, October 7, 2011

The City of Asheville has received a planning grant for what is being called The East of the Riverway (pretty much all of Buncombe County Census Tract #9) which includes all of the River Arts District. Please join us on Friday, to learn what this grant is all about and how you can help, how it might effect you, etc.
Community partners including Green Opportunities, the Asheville Design Center, the Asheville Housing Authority and the City of Asheville invite all community members to join in the kick-off to the East of the Riverway Sustainable Communities Initiative, on Friday, October 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Reid Center, located at 133 Livingston Street. The celebration will consist of food, fellowship, entertainment, and information about the East of the Riverway and what it could mean for the community.
The East of the Riverway area is 1,100 acres connecting the French Broad and Swannanoa riverfronts to downtown. The riverfronts and the adjacent neighborhoods to the east (including South French Broad, WECAN, Hillcrest, Southside, and the River Arts District) are home to over 1,500 households and many businesses. This area is emerging as Asheville's next community success story, and this sustainable communities initiative will provide resources to help that happen.
The East of the Riverway Sustainable Communities Initiative will be assessing, planning, and acting through partnerships and creative collaboration for the primary benefits of existing residents, businesses and property owners. The city and its partners will ensure that residents, property owners and business stakeholders from the area are informed and directly engaged in meaningful discussion about its future. Community members will be involved in learning about and setting goals and priorities for development in the area.
For more information, contact Tara Irby, Outreach Coordinator,, 828-259-5733 or Marilyn Bass, GO Outreach Coordinator, , 828-398.4158

New Southside Community Center Opens Oct. 13, 2011

What started as a cleared ball field several years back, The Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center will be dedicated on Thursday, October 13, 2011 @ 5:30pm.  This newest of community centers, built by the City of Asheville, stands on the corner of Livingston & Depot Streets.  Contact Debbie Ivester with questions.