OUR 27TH YEAR OF WEEKLY INDEPENDENT NEWS, ARTS & EVENTS FOR WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA VOL. 27 NO. 12 OCT. 21-27, 2020
OCT. 21-27, 2020
OCT. 21-27, 2020
C ONT ENTS
11 EAGER TO LEARN In PODS, students of color are finding academic success
12 COVID CONVERSATIONS Kalesha Ruth opens car dealership during pandemic; equity consultants open up about their work
20 THE NEXT PASSAGE A new book helps people prepare for the death of a loved one — or their own
PAGE 9 WOMEN IN BUSINESS This week, we highlight the enterprising women of WNC who took the plunge into a variety of business endeavors — from real estate to equity consulting and selling everything from groceries to cars, sweet treats and more. Look for the Women in Business banners on articles throughout this issue. On the cover: Terri King, president and owner at Coldwell Banker King COVER PHOTO Mark Barrett COVER DESIGN Scott Southwick 4 LETTERS 4 CARTOON: MOLTON 5 CARTOON: BRENT BROWN
7 NEWS 22 FOREST FOR THE SHE’S ForestHer program taps potential of WNC’s women landowners
11 BUNCOMBE BEAT 12 COVID CONVERSATIONS 16 ASHEVILLE ARCHIVES 18 COMMUNITY CALENDAR
20 WELLNESS 24 THE MARKET REPORT Women steer online grocery concepts to meet demand from producers and consumers
22 GREEN SCENE 24 FOOD 30 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 34 CLUBLAND
36 MOVIES 30 LONG AND WINDING ROADS Fwuit, The Moon and You release new digital-only albums
38 FREEWILL ASTROLOGY 38 CLASSIFIEDS 39 NY TIMES CROSSWORD
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Urge leaders to defend our democracy Defend our democracy! Are you concerned about the potential for a presidential candidate to declare the election “decided” before all the ballots are counted, such as by Nov. 4? We know that many people prefer mailing their ballots in order to avoid COVID risks at the polls, that mailed-in ballots take longer to count, and therefore we cannot expect election results to be tabulated as quickly as usual. Based on ideas from George Lakey and the group Choose Democracy (www.choosedemocracy.us), defending our democracy requires a widespread mobilization of people declaring that they will not recognize illegitimate authority. Here is something that you can do from the safety of your home to help ensure a fair presidential election: Send a message asking for every vote to be counted to every elected official you can think of — Gov. Cooper (governor. nc.gov), Attorney General Josh Stein, county commissioners, state legislators, U.S. senators and representatives and the N.C. Board of Elections. For example, please write to [Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Brownie Newman at] firstname.lastname@example.org and N.C. Board of Elections at email@example.com. (All elected officials have contact info, but often one must enter it into their website’s form.) Here’s a sample message: “I’m writing with concern that one presidential candidate may attempt to suppress the vote by declaring the election over before all the ballots are counted. With the large number of mail-in ballots expected, it is highly unlikely they would all be counted by the end of Nov. 4. It would help immensely to have elected officials make public statements assuring that every vote will be counted. Would you be willing to make such a
C AR T O O N B Y R AN DY M O L T O N statement? Can we count on you for that? Please respond.” For other strategies to defend our democracy, please see www.holdthelineguide.com. — Cathy Holt Asheville
Wells offers the middle way for sustainable growth Terri Wells is running for Buncombe County commissioner for District 1. I recommend that you vote for her for the good of Buncombe County. I like the way she integrates issues like growth, conservation, farming and economics in a way that can allow this county to grow sustainably. Shutting down all development will not work for the county or be feasible. Unregulated growth will kill us. I see in her ideas
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OCT. 21-27, 2020
a lot of “middle way” and out-of-the box thinking. Her desire for county broadband internet service was prescient, given what transpired sometime later. Although children need the classroom for education and social development, our society does not need groups of children who are not able to use the net as a resource in the best of times. Unfortunately, according to many epidemiologists, COVID-19 may only be the beginning. Thus, all our children may need to rely on internet access in the future. — Patricia Campbell Woodfin Editor’s note: The writer reports that she is volunteering with Wells’ campaign.
Cawthorn, the Sarah Palin of WNC? On Nov. 3, will WNC send its own Sarah Palin to Washington? You remember Palin, Sen. John McCain’s stunningly unqualified vice presidential candidate who was prone to embarrassing gaffes. … Far as I know, Madison Cawthorn, the Republican candidate for N.C.-11, doesn’t claim to see Washington from his house. Otherwise, they have much in common. Cawthorn has GQ good looks; a high-energy personality; and the 25-year-old has already gaffed his way to unwanted national attention with cringeworthy comments. Consider:
Law and order: [The far-fringe left wants to] “create anarchy so the American people cry out for a savior, and then they can create a federalized policing force that can be all over the country, which is just another step closer to tyranny” (Fox News, June 29). Family values: “All these kids who have grown up not getting spankings and getting participation trophies [are] going out and rioting in the street” (The New Yorker, June 26). Social safety net: “The American welfare system is ‘basically incentivizing young women, especially minority women, to not get married, and have more children because they get more welfare checks because of that” (The New Yorker, June 26). … Still think he’s qualified? • He’s a D-student, college dropout. • His … work experience was as a Chick-fil-A manager. • He [gave a misleading impression] about acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy. • Multiple women have labeled him a sexual aggressor. • He’s spoken … of Hitler [as “the Fuhrer”], spread debunked child-trafficking conspiracies and adopted white supremacy rhetoric. With this resume, Cawthorn will be lampooned as WNC’s own “green” new deal. He’ll get no relevant committee assignments. And like Ms. Palin, he’ll be a late-night punchline for months, maybe years. I understand some may find it hard to vote for Moe Davis, his Democrat opponent. So, just leave it blank. It’s a crowded ballot, with many other important races. Two years from now, we’ll be here again. Plenty of time to recruit someone more qualified. And who knows, with some life experience, that person might well be Madison Cawthorn! But not this year. For the of sake our WNC community, not this year. — Stephen Advokat Asheville Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Cawthorn’s campaign for a response to the points raised in the letter but received no response. AVL Watchdog (“Candidate’s Claim Creates False Impression,” “Cawthorn Mingles With Far-Right Fringe”), the Citizen Times (“Women Come Forward to Accuse Madison Cawthorn of Aggressive Sexual Behavior”), The Associated Press (“NC Candidate Defends Posts; Says He Despises Racism”), CNN (“GOP Congressional Candidate Madison Cawthorn on the Defensive Over Social Media Post of Visit to Hitler Retreat”) and other outlets have reported on the points above, including the candidate’s responses.
C AR T O O N B Y B R E N T B R O W N
Edney will support Medicaid expansion A new report from Georgetown University caught my attention this week. According to the Children’s Health Care Report Card, the number of uninsured children in North Carolina has grown by 24% since 2016. North Carolina is one of just 12 states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid. By not expanding Medicaid, we have not accepted billions of federal dollars; 90% of the cost of Medicaid is paid for by the federal government. When our representatives in Raleigh said no to Medicaid expansion, they said no to bringing back to our state the dollars residents of our state have paid in federal taxes. State-level government is important. Our representatives make choices that have real consequences for us. I am hoping that we can send Sam Edney to Raleigh by voting for Sam for N.C. House District 113. Sam will support Gov. Cooper’s efforts to expand Medicaid. Sam’s opponent strongly opposes Medicaid expansion. Our representatives in Raleigh should fight for all of us; right now, we have too many representatives who are protecting special-interest groups and large corporations. We need representation that reflects our values. Sam is a
small-business owner who cares about our quality of life, from education to the environment. We need to vote as if our health and well-being depend on our choices, because they do. — Elizabeth Dicey Tryon Editor’s note: Dicey reports that she volunteering for Edney’s campaign.
Moffitt has done enough for WNC I was out of North Carolina with the Army and Air Force when Tim Moffitt was a Republican legislator in Buncombe County (2011-14). He was tightly affiliated with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, [which drafts] legislation purely in the interest of the large corporations. What legislation do I remember? Moffitt introduced legislation to change how county commissioners are elected against the wish of [some of] his constituents, only for Buncombe County. Moffitt introduced legislation to strip Asheville of its own water supply and supported legislation to keep the city from charging fair prices. Most infamously, he introduced the “nipple bill” to control women. Buncombe County Republicans kicked him out of office for working
against them in 2014. Now, he has jumped over to Henderson County to run for Sen. Chuck McGrady’s open seat. I don’t think Henderson County needs him any more than Buncombe County did. He has dedicated his life to big business and selling off our mountain real estate. ... I think he’s done enough for WNC. I choose Josh Remillard for N.C. 117. He brings a soldier’s heart and loyalty to serve those of us in the district. — Fred Nace U.S. Army, retired Hendersonville Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Tim Moffitt for a response to the letter writer’s points, but he declined to provide one for publication.
Wells has insight into city and country needs [In support of] Terri Wells for Buncombe County commissioner, District 1: I have known Terri and her family for over 35 years as much-loved neighbors here in Big Sandy Mush. As a ninth generation local farmer, Terri’s roots run very deep, and it is clear she has inherited her family’s passion for community service. With her intelligence, energy and something so rare these days — true integrity — she will serve Buncombe County well.
With her help, I may finally see broadband and cellular service available to me and my neighbors. (Terri helped get high-speed internet for our community at our community center) As a member of the Buncombe County Agricultural Advisory Board, program director with WNC Communities and past program director with Asheville City Schools Foundation, it is clear she has insight into both city and country needs. Let’s elect someone we can be proud of! Vote for Terri! — Julia Borg Leicester
Vote for candidates who will fight for WNC residents We are the people of Western North Carolina: infants to the elderly; male and female; Native Americans, whites, blacks, Latino, Asian, biracial and biethnic; veterans; the disabled; workers and employers; the affluent and the unemployed; the homeless and food insecure; the sick and healthy; the gays and straights; the married and singles; the students, well-educated and functionally illiterate; religious and nonreligious; and the urban and the rural. In some way or another, we all pay the taxes that support local and state government to provide services for us.
OCT. 21-27, 2020
OPI N I ON
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This is what we want our tax dollars to do: • Provide quality public education to help our children to succeed and to help us improve the quality of our lives through better jobs. • Provide affordable broadband internet access to every part of our districts because it is as essential as other basic services like water and electricity. • Increase the minimum wage to a living wage and address the need for women and people of color to have pay equity. • Give all of us access to affordable health care that is not dependent on a job. We don’t want elected officials who are going to serve or give allegiance to campaign donors, corporate lobbyists, the whims and fancies of people they admire, their friends in high places or political bosses. We need elected officials who remember what it means to be human, that people matter and are cared for, who know we are all connected and are willing to speak up and fight for all the people of Western North Carolina. Let’s vote for all of us and our needs. Vote for Democratic candidates Moe Davis for 11th District congressional representative, Brian Caskey for 48th Senate District, Josh Remillard for 117th House District and Sam Edney for 113th House District. They are the voter’s voice. — John H. Fisher Hendersonville
Legalized slavery still thrives in prisons Contrary to the implication that inmates are no longer exploited as forced labor for the country’s benefit [“Over Their Dead Bodies: Local Historians Honor Forgotten Railroad Workers,” Sept. 23, Xpress], folks need know that such legalized slavery thrives. I’ve served as clergy for tens of thousands of Pagan prisoners nationwide for free since 1995, providing everyone from juvenile and immigrant detainees to people on death row magical guidance and help in securing their religious, medical, legal and civil rights. An unaccountable superintendent rules each facility like a medieval fiefdom. The vast majority of my charges write that businesses contract with prisons to compel them do everything from booking airlines tickets by phone to making eyeglasses and myriad products for pennies a month. Facilities get their meager money back by charging usurious prices for hygiene items from 6
OCT. 21-27, 2020
the commissary like the corrupt “company store” of yore. Working for slave wages leads to black market trading, pervasive in-prison debt, violence and decimated self-worth that often leads to recidivism. The extent of this shameful racket of profiting off prisoners to enrich corporations, inflate economic productivity numbers and fuel governmental graft is difficult to assess given the penal system’s high rate of staff and inmate reassignment, transfer and turnover. In 2018, 698 people out of every 100,000 were incarcerated [in the U.S.] — nearly 3 million (source: wikipedia. com). The U.S. continues to imprison more citizens than any other developed nation (“America Still Locks Up More People Than Anywhere Else in the World,” cnn.com, April 2019). History will decry this captive slave market as the national travesty it is. Citizens should be outraged that inmates are being used to pull the wool over our eyes by artificially bolstering our economy at the expense of free folk desperate for living wage work. Let’s not wait for history’s tsk-tsk to eliminate this expedient practice on moral grounds alone. — Queen Lady Passion (Dixie Deerman) Asheville Editor’s note: The writer notes that she is author of Pagan Prisoner Advocate’s Guide, currently enabling incarcerated witches in 558 unique institutions (see map at: oldenwilde. org/prisons).
Renaming Asheville? We could call it Wolfeville — he was a Southern icon who didn’t own slaves. — Margot Kornfeld Asheville
Correction Three items in our General Election Voter Guide 2020, published Oct. 14, reflected inaccurate information due to an editorial oversight and should have noted: • State Senate candidate Julie Mayfield listed Asheville City Council as a previous office held. • Buncombe County Board of Education candidate Everett D. Pittillo did not list any endorsements. • Asheville City Council candidate Rich Lee reported a to-date fundraising total of $12,000. X
After the end
counterparts in some other North Carolina counties who still rely on paper.
0 20 02 2 20
WNC prepares for extended election process BY DANIEL WALTON email@example.com The Tuesday after the first Monday in November usually marks the end of the yearly limelight for Corinne Duncan. She’s worked with Buncombe County Election Services since 2015 and was named its director in January. “After Election Day, everyone ignores us. We’re done,” Duncan says about her prior experience in the office. That won’t be the case in 2020. The period between the closing of polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and the official declaration of results on Friday, Nov. 13, has already become the subject of intense legal debate. Multiple state and federal lawsuits are seeking to shift the rules around precisely which absentee-by-mail ballots can be accepted. Such matters have taken on outsized importance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many Western North Carolina voters worried about contracting the coronavirus at in-person polling places, more have chosen to vote by mail than ever before. As of Oct. 19, according to the nonprofit Civitas Institute’s VoteTracker, 22,704 general election ballots had been accepted by mail in Buncombe County; fewer than 5,800 county residents voted by mail in the entire 2016 general election. Much of the wrangling in the court system lies outside local control. But Duncan and other WNC officials stress they’re doing everything possible to ensure that, no matter how long it takes, all eligible votes will be counted, and the final results will accurately reflect the voice of the people.
Because of the way North Carolina counts votes, Duncan explains, the totals reported on election night tend to be closer to the final tally than in other states. Starting on Sept. 29, county boards of elections have met regularly to review every ballot received by mail. Accepted ballots are then scanned and tabulated by voting machines so the results can be ready to post after polls close. In contrast, states such as Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin aren’t allowed to start processing mailed ballots until Election Day. The volume of voting by mail has been unusually high this year, notes Duncan, and some of the earliest ballots Buncombe County received weren’t accepted until
SO IT BEGINS: Voters sign in to cast ballots on Oct. 15, the first day of early voting, at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville. Photo by Daniel Walton several days after they came in. In response to the backlog, she says, the county added more Board of Elections meetings each week and hired temporary workers to speed up the process. Turnaround time is now fast enough to clear the stack of ballots each day, she says, similar to 2016. Add in the results of in-person early voting and Election Day itself, says Buncombe County Board of Elections Chair Jake Quinn, and the results posted to the N.C. State Board of Elections website by the end of Nov. 3 will represent a “huge percentage” of all ballots cast. Remaining to be counted will be mailed ballots still in the postal system and provisional ballots (those cast pending determination of a voter’s eligibility). Current rules require ballots to be postmarked by Election Day and received by Friday, Nov. 6, but that deadline could be extended to Thursday, Nov. 12, pending a federal ruling. Quinn suggests that an extension might allow a handful of additional votes to be counted; he notes that Buncombe County rejected 68 mailed ballots for lateness in the March primary election, for which just over 1,300 mailed ballots were accepted. An additional 10 ballots arrived in the three-day window after polls closed but were rejected because they lacked a proper postmark. “That’s a heartbreaker for me, because that’s a citizen who did everything they were supposed to do to get their absentee ballot counted, and due to something com-
pletely outside of their control, it ended up not being counted,” Quinn says. He emphasizes that the county has been working closely with the local post office since the March primary to prioritize quick and proper handling of election mail. Just over 1,000 Buncombe County ballots were voted provisionally in 2016, Duncan says, with most problems due to issues with voter registration or residents voting at incorrect precincts. Although checking those ballots represents “the most time-intensive voting process,” she adds, Buncombe’s electronic voter records allow county elections officials to validate provisional votes more quickly than their
EVERY VOTE COUNTS
Those late-counted votes make up a small percentage of the total — the 474 provisional ballots accepted in the 2016 presidential election, for example, represented just 0.34% of the 140,021 ballots cast — but they can still alter the fortunes of candidates with an apparent Election Day lead. Quinn recalls a 2012 race for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners between Democrat Ellen Frost and Republican Christina Merrill, which Frost won by 18 votes after a review of provisional ballots cast by students at Warren Wilson College. “We are Americans and we demand instant gratification!” Quinn says with a laugh. “But  just drove home the point that the election is not over on election night. People can’t cast any more ballots, but until every last vote is tabulated, it ain’t over.” Nationally, many pundits expect that reality to emerge as a “blue shift.” According to Ohio State University law professor Edward Foley, Democratic candidates have tended to gain significantly more votes during the canvassing process than have Republicans since the 2000 election. The cause of the phenomenon isn’t completely understood, but research has found that high levels of provisional ballots (but not mailed or absentee ballots) are associated with greater blue shifts. But due to North Carolina’s approach to elections, proposes Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper, WNC might actually shift red once polls close. He points out that mailed ballots, absentee ballots returned in person and early voting ballots, all of which are reported before Election Day results, are overwhelmingly Democratic: As of Oct. 19, over half of the nearly 53,000 Buncombe
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Republican Mike Clampitt and Democrat Joe Sam Queen. “Obviously, the very top of the ticket would be another that should be very tight,” Cooper adds, regarding the presidential contest between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
VOTER OUTLOOK: Corinne Duncan, Buncombe County’s director of election services, speaks about her office’s preparations during an Oct. 15 press conference at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville. Photo by Daniel Walton County ballots accepted by mail or voted early came from registered Democrats, with Republicans accounting for just over 16%. The majority of Republican votes come from Election Day polling, the results of which take time to arrive from county precincts. “Unless all these Democrats are defecting somehow, which I don’t think is the case, then the early count is going to be heavily Democratic,” Cooper says. “That’s true even in Republican counties.” Cooper suggests that WNC voters should watch for a potential red shift in the race for U.S. House of Representatives District 11 between Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis. Early votes from heavily Democratic Buncombe, which falls entirely in district lines for the first time since 2013, could give Davis a lead that evaporates once Election Day results from surrounding Republicanleaning counties are counted. Similar phenomena could occur in local state house races for District 117, between Republican Tim Moffitt and Democrat Josh Remillard, and District 119, between
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That final race, Cooper continues, is the one that keeps him up at night — not because of any potential errors by elections officials or irregularities with ballots, but because of Trump’s “rhetorical attacks on the system.” The president has repeatedly refused to promise that he will accept the results and claimed without evidence that Democrats are “trying to rig this election.” “Anytime anybody even opens the door to not accepting the results of an election, I think that is a critical problem for democracy,” Cooper explains. While he adds that WNC candidates have all committed to a peaceful transfer of power, “an increasingly nationalized political environment” means that the tone at the top could have dangerous local consequences. “I don’t think it’s the most realistic scenario,” Duncan says, when asked about civil unrest in Buncombe County due to delayed or shifting election results. Nevertheless, she notes that Election Services and other local governmental entities, including the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, recently conducted a tabletop planning exercise that considered the possibility. County staff were unable to provide any documentation on the specifics of that exercise beyond a text message from public information officer Kassi Day used to kick off the discussion. The message hypothesized a scenario with “reports of violence breaking out in Weaverville and Black Mountain,” including Facebook accounts of vandalism at local businesses and “some type of large fire in the downtown area of Weaverville.” And Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Aaron Sarver declined to provide further specifics or discuss the outcomes of that planning. “We do not have any active investigations or credible threats regarding the election,” he wrote in response to an Xpress request for comment. “The public should rest assured that they will be able to safely cast a ballot.” Quinn says the tireless work of county elections staff should give citizens confidence in the results, although he’s nevertheless “praying that the races are decisive.” But Cooper doesn’t think that’s likely. “If North Carolina were Utah, this is not an interesting conversation,” Cooper says. “Because so many races are decided at the margins, marginal changes become very important.” X
The gender divide
Women in real estate
BY MARK BARRETT firstname.lastname@example.org Not long after Terri King set up her real estate brokerage in Asheville in 2011, a salesman stopped by the office while King was talking with an employee at the front desk. “He said, ‘I’d like to talk to Mr. King,’ and I just turned to him and stuck out my hand and said, ‘I’m Mr. King,’” she recalled recently. These days, however, female real estate agents seem to be the norm rather than exceptions. Nationwide, women account for 65% of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors says, up from 57% in 2010. A look at the online rosters of agents at the largest firms in Buncombe County suggests that women make up a majority of brokers here also, although many top-level jobs are still held by men. Local women in the business say the job requires good listening skills, the ability to motivate yourself, knowledge of the community and the housing market and, yes, hard work. Those interviewed for this story said their gender hasn’t been a barrier to them in the field. In addition to earnings, they cited rewards such as being your own boss, having schedule flexibility and the satisfaction of guiding clients through what’s often the largest financial transaction they will ever make.
LUCK AND TIMING
King, a Buncombe County native, began her working life as an agricultural extension agent. Seven years later, she was working with tobacco farmers in Madison County when changes in the federal tobacco program portended big changes in her job. She switched to real estate sales in 2003 and later started her own small firm. The 2008 housing crash wiped out her business, and King, who by that time had a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, began producing and selling furniture made of reclaimed wood from old barns. Each piece came with a written description of the wood’s provenance and a photo of the barn. In 2011, King bought the local Coldwell Banker franchise — the previous owner had gone out of business — and started a brokerage practically from scratch. She transferred
IN CHARGE: Terri King, president and owner at Coldwell Banker King real estate agency, stands on the back deck at a new home in a West Asheville infill development her firm marketed. Nearly two-thirds of real estate agents nationwide are women, but King says women make up a smaller proportion of owners of real estate companies. Photo by Mark Barrett the furniture company to her business partner in order to focus on real estate. “This was when everybody thought real estate was over; they thought real estate was never going to come back,” King recalls. “When I told family and friends and other businesspeople … everybody was like, ‘Oh, Terri, don’t do this.’” Today, Coldwell Banker King has five offices and about 90 brokers. After the crash, says King, there were fewer firms and brokers in the market, creating more of an opportunity for her
company as real estate did indeed come back. “There’s no substitute for luck and timing,” she observes. “I just believed I lived in an area where people wanted to live, and boy, has that proved true.”
The first years, though, were tough. “I just put my head down and worked at it,” she remembers. The road to success in the industry is often a curvy one. In a nationwide survey by the National Association of Realtors, only 5% of respondents said that real estate was their first career. (Realtors are members of their local real estate association and must adhere to the NAR’s code of ethics. Licensed brokers do not have to be Realtors, although many are.) Vanessa Byrd, a broker at Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, got her undergraduate degree in interior design and was buying, restoring and then selling historic homes when the housing crash came. She became a Realtor in 2010. Mary Cade Mainwaring majored in psychology in college and planned to become a therapist, but a few years after graduation, she starting working at her father’s real estate agency. She later turned to selling Mary Kay cosmetics for a few years before returning
to real estate and now works at Town and Mountain Realty. For a real estate broker, having a healthy network of friends and acquaintances is an especially important asset. Gaia Goldman’s story illustrates the difficulty of starting a career in the industry without one. She entered the field in the Sarasota, Fla., area shortly after graduating from college in the late 1990s. But, she says, “I quickly found that the normal, average consumer was really skeptical of trusting their lifelong investment to a 22-year-old.” Goldman taught herself Spanish and focused on the needs of Hispanic families, whom she says most other local Realtors were ignoring at the time. Most of her clients had limited budgets, however, and the approach required selling many “little houses for not a lot of money.” She made 28 sales in her first year. “It was incredibly hard work, but it was incredibly validating to help these people who knew even less than I did about buying a house.” Goldman and her husband, who serves as her back-office support staff, also took a career detour, running a family resort in the south of France for five years before moving to Asheville in 2013. She now works out of the Biltmore Park office of BeverlyHanks, Realtors.
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MARY CADE MAINWARING
OCT. 21-27, 2020
“Our perception of who should be a leader is still very male.” — Susan Clark, associate professor of management at UNC Asheville
MAKING YOUR OWN WAY
Women in the business offered several explanations for the large number of female agents in residential real estate. Some are drawn to the field as a way to generate a second paycheck to supplement their spouses’ earnings, they say, adding that the work allows more flexibility for taking care of family matters than a typical hourly wage job. But whether a broker is male or female, it’s good to have a backup way to pay the bills during the often lean early years. In 2019, the median gross income for Realtors with less than two years’ experience was $8,900, an NAR survey found. There’s disagreement, however, as to whether part-time agents can be effective. Some say the need to keep track of the market and be available to clients argues for full-time work; others maintain that both approaches can be viable. Either way, “It takes a lot of perseverance,” cautions Sherrie Puffer, co-owner and operating principal for both Keller Williams Asheville and
Keller Williams Elite Realty. “I think a lot of people think, ‘Oh, it’s easy: I can just put people in my car and go buy houses. How hard can that be?’” Some women brokers maintain that what are often viewed, fairly or not, as female attributes — things like empathy, communication skills and listening ability — give women a leg up as agents. “This is a business of relationships. It’s a business of advocacy. It’s a business of education,” notes King. “It takes skills and talents that women just naturally seem to have.” Mainwaring, a 52-year-old widow who has one daughter in middle school and two in college, says she likes “the ability to make your own path, make your own schedule and be as independent as you want to be.” Among other things, she explains, that means “I can go to the ballgame or the dance recital.” Because agents are paid by commission, notes Byrd of Mosaic Realty, “You get out of it what you make it.” But at the same time, “There is no guarantee that you’ll make anything.” Being your own boss is “the blessing and the curse of this particular career,” says Goldman. “You don’t have anyone telling you what to do. … For those who expect guiding and prodding and reminding, that can be very difficult.” Puffer, meanwhile, says clients have become more demanding, and it’s up to agents to set boundaries to maintain work-home balance. “Clients will call at 10 or 11 at night if they’ve seen a house on the internet they’re interested in,” she explains. For various reasons, they may not be able to view homes or negotiate a
LOVELIGHT technologies 828-675-6844 lovelighttechnologies.com
SOUND ALCHEMY • DIRECT TRANSMISSION • PHOTOGRAPHY WISE GRANNIE • WOMEN’S WRITING WEB 10
OCT. 21-27, 2020
price during normal business hours. “We as a company don’t stipulate the hours you work. … However, agents tend to work more than they should,” Puffer reports. RESIDENTIAL VS. COMMERCIAL “I have never felt held back in real estate in any way because I was a woman,” Mainwaring declares, and other women in the business sound a similar note. Some clients prefer a female broker, Byrd points out. Goldman, though, says, “I don’t think gender is a factor in whether I get chosen or not” by a particular buyer or seller. When it comes to commercial real estate or to owning a brokerage, however, the gender breakdown appears to be different. Although Xpress wasn’t able to obtain an exact tally, internet searches and interviews suggest that a majority of the owners of the top 10 local real estate agencies (as measured by sales volume) are men, and the same holds true for both top officials and ordinary brokers at the area’s most prominent commercial real estate firms. Several women interviewed acknowledged that distinction. Although women have a big influence on home buying and selling decisions, a commercial real estate deal is “a business-to-business transaction with overwhelmingly male decision-makers,” says King. For her part, Byrd says men “totally dominate” commercial real estate, adding, “That’s a good ol’ boy system for sure.” King, however, also wonders why more women don’t start their own real estate agency. “The industry is filled with women who are very successful in this business, and why don’t they make the transition to ownership?” Historically, she believes, women have felt they “needed permission somehow to think bigger” and consider running or owning a firm instead of just working there. UNCONSCIOUS EXPECTATIONS Susan Clark, an associate professor of management at UNC Asheville, says that while there’s great diversity along gender and other lines in America’s front-line workforce, women are still
SUSAN CLARK vastly underrepresented in the top jobs in many fields. This year, a record 7.4% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are female, up from just 3% in 2010. However, the current figure still contrasts sharply with women’s 47% share of the overall workforce. Meanwhile, a look at company websites reveals that the CEOs of the five largest real estate franchise brands — Keller Williams Realty, Re/ Max, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Sotheby’s International Realty — are all men. Residential real estate consulting firm T3 Sixty based its ranking on 2019 total sales. Clark attributes much of the imbalance to “often unconscious” expectations that men are better suited to roles such as heading up an organization. When people think of entrepreneurs or CEOs, they tend to think of men, she says. “Our perception of who should be a leader is still very male.” Some women, she continues, share that perception, and the fact that there aren’t more well-known female entrepreneurs who can serve as role models contributes to the problem. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Clark, whose research interests include gender equality in the business world and support systems for entrepreneurs. Another factor is that in many families, women are still expected to bear most of the load of caring for children and running a home, she points out. The absence of universal paid parental leave and universal child care in the United States, both of which are offered in many developed countries, compounds the issue, she says. But even women who don’t have children or whose children are adults, says Clark, “still have trouble getting appointed and elected, so there’s something else going on there.” X
In PODS, students of color are finding academic success 7:30 a.m. hoping to join the group, Sandford said. The program waitlist currently has 200 students; right now, the biggest hurdle for expansion is recruiting enough staff to continue
EAGER TO LEARN: Students in the PODS program are excited to engage with community members, staff and other students who look like them, says Shaunda Sandford, one of the program’s leaders. Attendance is high, and early anecdotal evidence suggests academic improvement. Photo courtesy of Asheville City Schools A month into a program aimed at addressing the opportunity gap between Black and white students in the Asheville City Schools, Kidada Wynn already sees a world of improvement. “We’ve seen a dynamic change in our students’ attitudes and our leaders’ confidence,” the ACS director of student services told members of Asheville City Council at its meeting of Oct. 13. “This is the first time we’ve seen equity in action in decades,” she continued. The Positive Opportunities to Develop Success, or PODS, program was in its fifth week of active instruction, explained Shaunda Sandford, director of resident services for the Asheville Housing Authority and chair of the Asheville City school board. Students meet in small groups to receive support with online learning; PODS staff act as a liaison between ACS teachers and students to engage and offer additional enrichment for kids who are struggling academically. Currently, 23 PODS are serving 200 students at 11 community sites. In the coming weeks, two additional sites will open at Pisgah View and Deaverview apartments; a Spanish-speaking POD at the Burton Street Recreation Center started Oct. 13. Roughly 95% of the attendees are students of color or live in public housing. “This is the first time ever they get to be in classrooms with children who look like them,” Sandford said.
“Typically, there may be one or two brown or Black students in a classroom, but here, they actually go to school with kids that look like them, and they’re being taught by community members and staff who look like them.” Addressing the opportunity gap within the Asheville City Schools system was one of the goals outlined in City Manager Debra Campbell’s 30/60/90day work plan to promote racial justice and boost economic inclusion for marginalized groups. The academic performance disparity between ACS’ Black and white students is already the largest in the state; national experts fear this could worsen during the COVID19 pandemic. According to ACS demographic data for the 2020-21 school year, 21% of the district’s 4,529 students identified as Black, 8% as Hispanic and 7% as two or more races. Citywide, Asheville’s population is 11.7% Black, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Supported by the city of Asheville, Asheville City Schools, the Asheville Housing Authority and several local nonprofits, the majority of PODS sites offer free after-school care, a huge help to families living in public housing who make, on average, less than $7,000 annually, Wynn noted. Kids are excited to learn and eager to join the program, with some students showing up at PODS sites at
to provide individualized assistance. Longer term, the PODS team hopes to expand the model to create afterschool care and programming for spring and summer vacations. “It’s about time that we focus on the students and put them first for a change,” Wynn said. “This program has given them the opportunity to dismantle the achievement and opportunity gap.”
— Molly Horak X
Anthony Penland for Commissioner
Our Home... Buncombe County NC is my life long home.
As a public servant for 30 years I have taken risks for others and dedicated my life to the safety of our community. As Commissioner, I will continue the same level of dedication to your quality of life.
Anthony Penland Focused on Our Future www.anthonyfordistrict2.org MOUNTAINX.COM
OCT. 21-27, 2020
FEA T U RE S
Need wheels, will travel
Paving the way
Kalesha Ruth opens car dealership during pandemic
Local equity consultants open up about their work
Cars run in Kalesha Ruth’s family. Her dad, Jesse Goode, was always working on cars, as was her late husband, Antonio, who died last year. When a friend approached her in March about buying some used cars to start her own dealership, Ruth didn’t look back. “I was thinking about how my husband would have wanted me to start a business of my own,” she says. “It was a great opportunity.” With that, T.A.N.K. Auto Sales was born. The used car dealership, which specializes in low down payments, opened the week of Oct. 19 in Candler; a ribbon-cutting is planned for Saturday, Oct. 24. Customers can opt into a “buy here, pay here” program, allowing them to pay weekly installments directly to Ruth, regardless of their credit score. Ruth, 40, was born and raised in Asheville but moved to Charlotte 20 years ago. As she planned to launch the new business, Ruth wanted to return to the mountains: She knows the city, likes the people and wants to bring some much-needed diversity to the area’s business scene, she says. To Ruth’s knowledge, T.A.N.K. is the first Western North Carolina used car dealership owned by a Black woman. Even though she describes herself as a “chill person,” she says she’s both eager and scared to be an industry trailblazer. The pandemic has certainly presented challenges for the first-time business owner — Ruth planned out logistics in March, just as small businesses were closing en masse. But with many industries gutted by COVID-19, she believes her model is perfect for customers who
OCT. 21-27, 2020
KEYS, PLEASE: T.A.N.K. Auto Sales is now open at 1777 Smokey Park Highway in Candler. The business’s name is an acronym to honor the members of owner Kalesha Ruth’s family: TyQuez, her 22-year-old son; Antonio, her late husband; Neveah, her 12-year-old daughter; and herself, she explains. Photo courtesy of Kalesha Ruth may not have the money or credit to shop at traditional car lots. Ultimately, Ruth hopes to open a second store in Charlotte, once she’s learned the ins and outs from her Asheville venture. “I’m excited to be successful and to teach my children that they can be entrepreneurs too,” she says.
— Molly Horak X
CHANGEMAKERS: Demand is surging for local equity consultants Marisol Jiménez, left, and Tamiko Ambrose Murray, right. Organizations that successfully change oppressive cultures need to be humble, brave and open to making mistakes, they say. Photos courtesy of Jiménez and Ambrose Murray From breweries to clothing lines, businesses are clamoring to address internal biases and racism in the workplace. As inquiries pour in, local equity consultants Marisol Jiménez and Tamiko Ambrose Murray are busier than ever. The pair met eight years ago at a Racial Equity Circle hosted by Asheville’s Center for Participatory Change. They instantly clicked, growing first as friends, then collaborators. “We’re like soul mates,” Jiménez says with a laugh. “She pushes me to grow and heal.” Past lives as community organizers taught Jiménez and Ambrose Murray to approach consulting not just as facilitators, but as healers and social workers. Their work employs the theory of change, which entails defining and mapping out all of the steps necessary to create long-term outcomes. Services range from racial equity workshops to one-on-one interviews soliciting feedback from a business’s employees. No two days are the same. In September, the consultants led a Zoom discussion with a client in New York City before turning around to debrief with a local nonprofit. One of their most meaningful interactions involved a farming organization in Iowa, about a month after fierce August storms ripped through the region. Course participants still didn’t have power,
Jiménez recalls. But the Iowa team still wanted to talk about the equity work they were doing within their network. “In a moment of deep crisis and scarcity, backed into a corner, they were still committed to doing the racial equity work,” she says. Ambrose Murray chimes in. “Even though they were primarily white folks, they were still committed to advancing equity, listening to others and sharing their power.” Some businesses are genuinely ready to address harmful practices and have tough conversations; others are looking for a check in a diversity training box. The two women feel a deep commitment to this moment of racial reckoning in America, but they also know the sudden surge in demand exceeds their joint capacity. They see a need to be discerning with their clients as they decide which groups are authentic and ready to change. “As work wives and best friends, we share many of the same values, including who we hold ourselves accountable to,” Ambrose Murray says. “This is what I am called to do. I’m committed to the community and committed to the struggle. She continues: ”This is healing work, not just for us, but for our ancestors and our children and for our children’s children’s children."
— Molly Horak X
OCT. 21-27, 2020
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OCT. 21-27, 2020
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OCT. 21-27, 2020
FEA T U RE S
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‘Oh, what a shame’ City hounds the beloved and industrious Flower Women, 1920-30 In the autumn of 1920, residents were outraged when the city announced plans to start charging an annual $15 license fee (roughly $195 in today’s currency) to a group of vendors known collectively as the Flower Women. Over 200 people, “including many of the leading citizens,” signed a petition denouncing the plan, The Sunday Citizen reported on Sept. 19 “Oh, what a shame, to charge these poor old ladies for the privilege,” Andrew Mowbray wrote in a letter to the editor, published on Sept. 22. “[The Flower Women] should be paid by the city to let the tourists see what a lot of different varieties of beautiful flowers grow around Asheville.” If the city needed money, Mowbray continued, “charge ten times as much for a license for these hideous, screeching, nerve-racking motorcycles, instead of charging these industrious women anything.” Subsequent letters voiced similar disapproval. And like Mowbray, these writers offered alternative ways to raise municipal funds. One resident, Celia T. Shelmire, recommended the city fine “every individual expectorating on the sidewalks $5,” rather than compel the Flower Women “to seek other occupations on account of their inability to pay a tax.” Despite the outcry, city commissioners approved the measure on Oct. 26, 1920. The license became the first of several new guidelines imposed on the Flower Women over the next decade. By 1926, these sidewalk florists were ordered to leave their usual post on Haywood Street and Patton Avenue due to pedestrian congestion. According
OCT. 21-27, 2020
TAKE YOUR PICK: The Flower Women sell their collection of wild bouquets on the corner of Lexington and Patton avenues, circa 1930. Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville to a Dec. 13 article published in The Asheville Citizen, the Flower Women had convened at the intersection for over half a century. “Loaded with galax leaves and holly wreaths, branches of mistletoe and other evergreen, the old women trundled in surprise up and down the streets,” the article stated. “Pallor and bewilderment showed from every line of their old and wrinkled faces, but the
police were adamant and forced them to move on. Law was law, and orders were orders.” In the same piece, the paper wrote, “It was as if the whole world had been suddenly removed from under them and they were left standing in space, shaken and uncertain what do expect next.” The article concluded with a note that city commissioners intended to
find a new stand for the Flower Women, “for even the city fathers admit that somehow, they, too, are loath with the general public to see the last landmark of Asheville’s quaint customs pass.” Over the next few years, the Flower Women experienced a series of highs and lows as they set up shop on alternative streets in downtown Asheville. In October 1927, for example, Police Chief W.R. Messer accused the women of purchasing flowers for resale rather than gathering their selections from the wild. Mayor Gallatin Roberts warned the women against such practices, claiming it violated the law. Later, in the summer of 1929, The Asheville Citizen reported that a delegation of downtown business owners protested the women’s continued presence on the streets. Finally, on Sept. 21, 1930, the Sunday edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times notified readers that city officials had dedicated new stands for the Flower Women at the intersection of Church Street and Patton Avenue, as well as on North Lexington (between College Street and Patton Avenue) and several other downtown thoroughfares. According to the article, weekly rotations would be enforced “to give all sellers opportunities to use the more desirable locations.” In the same piece, the paper stated that the stands and the women who sold flowers from them were a reminder of “days when this city was a small mountain village.” Editor’s note: Peculiarities of spelling and punctuation are preserved from the original documents. X
Owner & Wig Extraordinaire
Scott Schaeffer Cosmetologist
During this pandemic, Secrets of a Duchess wants WNC to know we are alive and kicking. We’re just kicking it in a new spot! To all our faithful clientele, future clientele, family and friends, we are now operating by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please call or email us today to set up a time…or just to say hi!
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OCT. 21-30, 2020 For a full list of community calendar guidelines, please visit mountainx.com/calendar. For questions about free listings, call 828-251-1333, ext. 137. For questions about paid calendar listings, please call 828-251-1333, ext. 320.
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In-Person Events = Shaded All other events are virtual
ART Slow Art Friday: Before Social Distancing Discussion led by master docent Doris Potash at Asheville Art Museum. FR (10/23), 12pm, Registration required, $10, avl.mx/8h9
Slow Art Friday: The Human Form in Art Discussion led by touring docent Shana Hill at Asheville Art Museum. FR (10/30), 12pm, Registration required, $10, avl.mx/8l7
AIGA WatchStack: Group Talk & Signal Buzz Networking for designers. TU (10/27), 5:30pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/7dr
Asheville Chamber Music Series: Frisson Classical ensemble. FR-SU (10/23-25), 7:30pm, By donation, avl.mx/875
REVOLVE Home School: Conditions for an Unfinished Work of Mourning A conversation with artist Dawn Roe. TH (10/29), 7pm, $5-$20, avl.mx/8lb
Pack Library: Jazz by Request Featuring pianist Michael Jefry Stevens. MO (10/26), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8kj
LITERARY Firestorm Visionary Readers Group Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson. TH (10/22), 7pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8h7 Malaprop's Book Launch Ronen Givony presents Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense in conversation with Mark Capon of Harvest Records. FR (10/23), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8h6 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance: Reader Meet Writer Featuring children's book authors Jonathan Auxier, Kristen Miller and Beth Ferry. SA (10/24), 11am, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8ku Firestorm: Beyond Survival Book Club Five-week series on the collection Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement. MO (10/26), 7pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8g2 UNC Asheville Visiting Writer Series Featuring poet Melissa Range, author of Scriptorium. TU (10/27), 7pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8iu Malaprop's Book Launch Amy Willoughby-Burl presents The Year of Thorns and Honey. WE (10/28), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8kv
Power in the Pages: Foregrounding Equity in Your Writing Firestorm discussion led by Breanna J. McDaniel. WE (10/28), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8jy Stay Home & Write(rs) Group Community writing session with Firestorm. WE (10/28), 7pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/83c
THEATER & FILM Movies Under the Stars: Harold & Maude Grail pop-up screening. Tickets: avl.mx/prv7. WE (10/21), 7pm, $10, Haiku I Do, 26 Sweeten Creek Rd, Asheville Arsenic & Old Lace Radio drama performance. WE (10/21), 8pm, The Paper Mill Lounge, 553 W Main St, Sylva Drive-In Movie: Army of Darkness Tickets: avl.mx/8l6. SA (10/24), 5pm, $25/ carload, 27 Foundy St Center for Cultural Preservation: Moonshining in the Mountains Short film screening and moonshine tasting. SU (10/25), 4pm, Flat Rock Cinema, 2700D Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock Magnetic Theatre in the (Smoky) Park Outdoor variety show. TU (10/27), 7pm, $15, Smoky Park Supper Club, 350 Riverside Dr
Movies Under the Stars: Get Out Grail pop-up screening. Tickets: avl.mx/prv7. WE (10/28), 7pm, $10, Haiku I Do, 26 Sweeten Creek Rd, Asheville Asheville Community Theatre: When a Story Calls True tales of intra-house terrors, hosted by Tom Chalmers. TH (10/29), 7:30pm, $15, avl.mx/8kx
CIVICS City of Asheville Housing & Urban Development Community Development Block Grants information meeting. TH (10/22), 1pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8lc Vance Monument Task Force Public input session. TH (10/22), 5pm, avl.mx/85h Asheville City Council Formal meeting. TU (10/27), 5pm, avl.mx/7sa Asheville Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy & the Environment Climate justice public input session. WE (10/28), 6pm, avl.mx/8ld
BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY How to Deal with Difficult Customers in Food & Beverage tenBiz webinar. WE (10/21), 10am,
Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8ig The Business of Craft Beverage Start-up assistance webinar from A-B Tech Craft Beverage Institute. TH (10/22), 3pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8iz Rocket Business Plan Workshop How to write a one-week business plan, presented by Western Women’s Business Center. MO (10/26), 12pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8ke Returning to Business Basics Western Women's Business Center webinar. TU (10/27), 12:30pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8kf Using Social Media to Market Your Food & Beverage Business A-B Tech Small Business Center webinar. WE (10/28), 10am, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8kg Incredible Towns Business Network General meeting. WE (10/28), 11am, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/7g8 SCORE: Advanced Tax Topics for Business A-B Tech start-up assistance webinar. TH (10/29), 11:30am, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8kh Craft Your Commerce: Telling Your Story in Images Mountain BizWorks webinar led by photographer Nicole McConville. FR (10/30), 10am,
MOUNTA IN XPR ESS PR ESE NTS
FALL 2020 NONPROFIT 11.11.20 ISSUE
For more information, contact email@example.com
OCT. 21-27, 2020
Registration required, $5, avl.mx/8ki
CLASSES, MEETINGS & EVENTS Black Mountain College Museum: Perspectives A conversation on Alma Stone Williams, Black Mountain College’s first Black student, led by her son Dr. Russell Williams. TH (10/22), 1pm, Free, avl.mx/8ja Women & Politics: A Critical Commemoration of the 19th Amendment UNCA panel discussion on African American women and the Suffrage Movement. TH (10/22), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8it
OUTDOORS Buncombe County Recreation Services: Collier Cove Hike Two-mile, moderately rough hike. Register: avl.mx/8j8. SA (10/24), 10am, Free, Collier Cove Nature Preserve, 194 Rhododendron Dr, Arden
HALLOWEEN Scarecrow Festival Scarecrow building contest. Register to compete: avl.mx/8jf. On display thru 11/1. FR (10/23), Free, Lake Julian Park, 70 Fisherman's Trail, Arden Barks, Boos & Brews Dog costume contest and fundraiser for Mountain Pet Rescue. SU (10/25), 3pm, $5, Catawba Brewing South Slope, 32 Banks Ave
Equality NC: LGBTQ Intergenerational Conversation Monthly group meeting. FR (10/23), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8ie
Fall-O-Ween Haunted drive-thru with goodie bags. TH (10/29), 5pm, Registration required, Free, Lake Julian Park and Marina, 406 Overlook Ext, Arden
Historic Flat Rock Garden Club Meeting to plan for 2021. SA (10/24), 10am, Registration required, Free, Hopewood Gardens, 365 Sherwood Drive S, Flat Rock
Halloween Cookie Decorating Class Presented by Three Eggs Cakery. TH (10/29), 6:30pm, $25, Catawba Brewing South Slope, 32 Banks Ave
MountainTrue University: Recycling & Waste Diversion Led by Gray Jernigan and Christine Wittmeier. WE (10/28), 12pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8k0 Spanish Conversation Group For adult language learners. TH (10/29), 5pm, Free, avl.mx/7c6
KIDS 2020 Mountain Science Expo: Questions Create Scientists Two-day summit of interactive programs for students and families. WE-TH (10/21-22), 9:30am-3pm, Registration required, Free, NC Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way Miss Malaprop’s Storytime Ages 3-9. WE (10/21), 10am, Free, avl.mx/73b
Junior Wolf Howl Educational program on wolves and coyotes, plus a visit to the wolf habitat. FR (10/30), 6pm, $10-$18, WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Rd
WELLNESS Adult Eating Disorder Support Group Hosted by Carolina Resource Center for Eating Disorders. WE (10/21), 6pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/82e Introduction to Medicare Webinar How to avoid penalties and save money. TH (10/22), 2pm, Registration required, Free, coabc.org Recovery Support Meeting Hosted by First Contact Ministries. TH (10/22), 6:30pm, Free, avl.mx/7ko Turning of the Maples Virtual 5K Competition for prizes, benefiting the UNCA Fund. FR (10/23), Registration required, $10, unca.edu/virtual5k Mission Health: Crush the Crisis Opioid take-back day. SA (10/24), Locations and hours: avl.mx/8La Steady Collective Syringe Access Outreach Free educational material, naloxone, syringes and supplies. TU (10/27), 2pm, Firestorm Bookstore Co-op, 610 Haywood Rd Pop-up 5K in the Park Fully-marked, flat course with rolling starts. WE (10/28), 5pm, $10, Fletcher Park, 300 Old Cane Creek Rd, Fletcher
SPIRITUALITY Extremes of Wealth & Poverty: A Bahá'í Perspective
Devotional on wealth equality with prayer and music. WE (10/21), 7pm, Free, avl.mx/8j5 Engaging Our Faith to Reverse the Climate Crisis Hosted by Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. SU (10/25), 9am, Free, avl.mx/8l9 Creation Care Alliance: Preaching & Self Care Presented by the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade. TH (10/29), 4pm, Registration required, Free, avl.mx/8l8
VOLUNTEERING ACT Grounds Work Day Weeding, sweeping and other light grounds work. Register: avl.mx/8ky. WE (10/21), 3-5pm, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E Walnut St American Red Cross Blood Drive Free COVID-19 antibody tests for donors. Register: redcrossblood. org/give. FR (10/23), 10am, Asheville Outlets, 800 Brevard Rd Conserving Carolina: Kudzu Warriors Invasive plant management. Register: avl.mx/8de. MO (10/26), 9am, Norman Wilder Forest, Tryon Blood Connection Blood Drive Register: avl.mx/7oy. MO (10/26), 2pm, Hillman Beer, 25 Sweeten Creek Rd Conserving Carolina: Rock Crushers Trail building and maintenance. Register: avl.mx/8i6. WE (10/28), 9:30am, Hickory Nut Gorge, Gerton
OCT. 21-27, 2020
Asheville Holistic Healthcare Offering creative solutions in mental health
Asheville Holistic Healthcare is a practice offering mental health diagnosis and treatment that includes prescribing medication; herbal supplements; lifestyle recommendations; and food, genetic, mold, hormone and environmental testing that could be affecting gut and brain health. Through the practice, Kris delves into a mental/physical/spiritual approach to care that often helps clients unlock their true potential.
The next passage A new book helps people prepare for the death of a loved one — or their own
Founder Kris Hanvey, PMHNP-BC, CCIT, practices as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in North Carolina and is trained in herbal medicine through the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. As a medication provider, she carefully weighs risks and benefits when undertaking prescribing recommendations. Kris believes that coordination of care is necessary, and she enjoys working closely with other area practitioners to provide a team-based approach for the people she serves. Other modalities she offers through the practice include Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), Meditation, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and Reiki.
Kristin Hanvey • Asheville Holistic Healthcare, PLLC 1293 Hendersonville Road, Building A, • Asheville, NC 28803 828-505-4111 • Ashevilleholistic@gmail.com • ashevilleholhealth.com
Supporting Women & Moms in Creating Greater Health & Joy Within Themselves and in Their Lives. “You Have the Power to Awaken Your Health & Joy”
• 1-1 Virtual
Wellness & Joy Coaching Programs
• Therapeutic Massage
• Pre & Postnatal • Oncology Massage
• Cranial Sacral Therapy
Courtney Cox CHC, LMT#7195
Joy & Wellness Practitioner & Massage Therapist
Forest Square Office Park, Bldg. B • 1293 Hendersonville Rd., Ste. 14
(828) 398-9339 • www.awakenyourjoy.org
OCT. 21-27, 2020
PLANNING FOR THE INEVITABLE: Melody LeBaron has written a new book on preparing for dying. Photo courtesy of LeBaron
BY LESLIE BOYD firstname.lastname@example.org Melody LeBaron has had plenty of experience with death and dying. The deaths of her mother, her sister, her father, two very close friends and her son set her on a journey to learn more about how to ease the passage of a loved one from this world to the next. “There’s just such limiting views on death in our culture,” LeBaron says. “We speak so little of it, hide it away. We did it better before the American Medical Association medicalized it.” Like the process of birth in the 1970s, people are taking dying back from the hospitals and allowing loved ones to participate more in the process, says LeBaron, of Weaverville, who offers services in transforming space, self and dying, and is the author of the new book, Transforming Death: Creating Sacred Space for the Dying, available on Amazon as an e-book or paperback.
“We embalm the dead, filling them with toxic chemicals, put them in coffins that will never decompose and bury them,” LeBaron says. “There are better, more responsible ways to do this.” People who are facing death, as well as their families, need to make dozens of decisions large and small, LeBaron says, and everyone should have a plan in place before the final moments of life. LeBaron’s book is a sort of road map of what happens as someone approaches death, what loved ones can expect and what they might do to ease the process for the one dying. She writes about her experiences and specifically about how the practice of yoga helped prepare her for the deaths of loved ones and her own eventual death. “When well done, all of yoga is preparation for the moment of death,” she says. When her mother died in her mid50s from cancer in 1990, LeBaron says she felt inexperienced and uncertain. She wasn’t sure what to do — whether to hold her mother’s
“My sisters agreed to help me, and together we asked our dying mother if she wanted us to be the ones to dress her body for burial. ‘Yes,’ she had whispered. ‘Thank you.’” — Melody LeBaron hand, what to say, even whether she should speak. As her life approached its end, LeBaron and her sisters discussed caring for their mother after her death. “My sisters agreed to help me,” she writes in her book, “and together we asked our dying mother if she wanted us to be the ones to dress her body for burial. ‘Yes,’ she had whispered. ‘Thank you.’ “Now we stood just inside the doorway, looking at her still, cold form, and it didn’t seem like a good idea at all. ‘“I can’t do this!’ I thought, panicking, wanting to run out and into the sunshine.” But LeBaron and her sisters did dress their mother, style her hair and put on her makeup. It was a sacred and transformative experience. “Touching someone who has died is a difficult thing to do,” she says. “It’s also very healing. It helps begin the grieving process.” When her 17-year-old son, Logan, died seven years later after an auto accident, LeBaron arrived at the hospital. She leaned over his still form and told him she would help him recover, however long it took, or she would support him equally if his decision was to leave. Later, she clearly felt his desire to leave. There was no fear, she says, just an eagerness to go on. Her ex-husband reported having the same experience, as though Logan had come to both of them and told them of his decision to go.
Although her grief was overwhelming, she found comfort in knowing he had been ready to die, and she has felt his presence many times since, along with that of her mother and sister. And while her son died suddenly, LeBaron recommends people who have a terminal diagnosis talk about their wishes with family members and loved ones. “The patient and their family need to be the locus of control in dying, just as in birth,” she says. As LeBaron experienced so many deaths of people close to her, she learned how to help other people through the process. “When my mother died, I was completely inexperienced,” she says. “This book contains everything I needed to know when my mom died.” Our culture denies that death is an experience that can be prepared for and embraced as natural, LeBaron believes. Too many adults have been sheltered from death as children and have never come to understand the experience, she says. We also want people to rush through the grieving process and get back to normal, which LeBaron sees as emotionally and physically unhealthy. Unresolved grief, as with any emotion, can cause a number of health and emotional problems. “We need to bring grief back into the circle of life,” LeBaron says. “Death is as much a part of life as birth. It happens to all of us. If we acknowledge and embrace that, we’ll be better for it.” X
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OCT. 21-27, 2020
Forest for the she’s
ForestHer program taps potential of WNC’s women landowners BY LAURA HACKETT email@example.com The average woodland owner in North Carolina is a retired, white, 65-year-old male. But both in Western North Carolina and across the country, that demographic is changing — fast. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 60% of the nearly 13.97 million acres of private forestland in North Carolina is owned jointly or individually by women. Nationwide, the percentage of private forests with a woman as the primary decision-maker doubled from 11% in 2006 to 22% in 2013, the most recent period for which data is available. As their ownership grows, more women are also facing important choices about how to manage, finance and sustain their forest assets. And considering North Carolina’s forest products industry is worth $32.8 billion, much is at stake in the paths they choose. Yet, as is the case for many historically male-dominated industries, there’s a significant gender gap in forest stewardship. A 2017 report from the Society of American Foresters illustrates that women are
WALK IN THE WOODS: Aimee Tomcho, leader of Western North Carolina’s ForestHer chapter, works to bridge the gender gap in forest stewardship. Photo by John Henry Harrelson, courtesy of Tomcho less likely than men to harvest timber, manage wildlife, participate in landowner assistance programs and
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At the crux of the program is a workshop series that covers foundational forestry skills such as encouraging wildlife habitat and battling invasive species. Since ForestHer’s inception, Tomcho reports, more than 700 women across the state and 200 from WNC have participated in those workshops. “One of the big things we talk about is balancing objectives,” Tomcho explains. “Many folks really enjoy owning land for the aesthetic
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take advantage of green certifications and tax programs. ForestHer NC, a statewide initiative launched in August 2019 by a coalition of state and national conservation groups, aims to bridge that gap. “We are showing women how to see their land as an asset and how to make it work economically and to see that future,” explains Aimee Tomcho, a Burnsville-based conservation biologist for the National Audubon Society and leader of WNC’s ForestHer chapter.
value and having space around them, but in order to be able to sustain that lifestyle, you do need to be able to take advantage of programs out there that will share that cost.” The program covers options such as selling timber, seeking tax deferment and participating in cost-share conservation programs. Nonextractive businesses, including vacation rentals and retreat centers, are also on the table. Mary Vann Johnston, a forestry associate with Asheville-based nonprofit EcoForesters who has presented for ForestHer, believes such education is critical for the region’s female landowners, many of whom have little prior background in forestry. “I’ve spoken with a lot of women in their mid-60s who have recently acquired their family forests,” she says. “Their dad didn’t bring them into the woods. They didn’t learn their tree species or explore all the corners of the property.” Even for women with early exposure to the woods, Johnston continues, the logistics of forest management can be quite daunting. The decades- or centuries-long life
cycles of trees mean that efforts in the present don’t bear fruit for years to come. And the more timely pressures of taxes, maintenance and development offers can quickly become overwhelming. Johnston highlights a few of these challenges: “Who do you call to help you write a forest management plan that’s going to take all of your objectives into account and really listen and understand where you’re coming from on this? What is the capacity for logging? How do you get paid if your forest does get logged? What does stumpage mean?”
To help landowners talk through their decisions, ForestHer workshops have previously invited local representatives from conservation organizations to set up tables and directly field questions. Ample time for networking and breakout sessions give participants opportunities to grow their professional contacts and relationships. But over the past six months, COVID-19 has forced the program
into a virtual format, which Tomcho says has been less than ideal. “The emphasis of the workshop is to form community and sit with each other, and that’s lost in virtual communication,” she explains. “We hope to go back to in-person workshops as soon as we can.” Nevertheless, ForestHer has soldiered on to bring women landowners together online. An Oct. 8 event focused on the impacts of invasive plants and strategies for native plant landscaping. Subsequent workshops are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12, and Thursday, Dec. 10; more details and registration information are available through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at avl.mx/8l3, email at ForestHerNC@gmail.com or Facebook and Instagram. “I really believe that creating this community of women will change the way conservation happens across our land,” Tomcho says. “I’m hoping that this core group of women — and it keeps growing — that we start to communicate with one another about what we know and what we want to know and work to achieve that.” X
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Cannabis is a fast growing industry for female executives and Franny Tacy is right on trend. She entered the hemp scene with a force behind farming, education, and business. From Franny’s Farm, Manufacturing, Distribution, Franchise, sales and marketing the women at Franny’s are involved in every step of the process. It all began in 2017 when Franny Tacy became a leader in the cannabis industry and earned the achievement of becoming the first female farmer to plant hemp in North Carolina and the first to deliver a TedX speech on “Hemp as a Crop”. Since then, the company has grown into a vertically integrated CBD power house. Along with supporting women within her business, Franny has a passion project rightfully named, Women in Hemp. As a non profit, Women in Hemp funded a 3 year hemp research project with NC State lead by two female researchers, Meagan Coneybeer-Roberts, a Ph.D. researcher and Gwen Casebeer, a master’s student at NC State. The finished research from this trial will result in a how-to grow hemp in this region. Learn more about Franny and her ventures by lodging on Franny’s Farm, following Franny Tacy on social media and by visiting a Franny’s Farmacy CBD Dispensary 1 mile north of downtown Asheville, South Asheville, Hendersonville and Hickory in NC, in Greenville, SC or visit the website www.frannysfarmacy.com where you can also shop all their products online.
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The market report Women steer online grocery concepts to meet demand from producers and consumers
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When COVID-19 closed restaurants and suspended weekly tailgate market operations, two locally owned e-commerce businesses found an opening to grow by meeting the immediate needs of producers and consumers. Mother Earth Food, founded in 2012 by Andrea and Graham Duvall, saw its weekly deliveries leap from 300 to 700 almost overnight, with a waiting list at the end of March of 600 and rising. “All of a sudden, we had a lot of displaced vendors and people with product and nowhere to sell it,” says Janelle Tatum, Mother’s Earth’s CEO. “So, we opened our arms and said, ‘Come on in. Let’s get their product up on our website; it gives them an outlet; we’ll sell it to our customers and solve the supply issue.’” Emily Copus, who launched Carolina Flowers in 2016 for online sales of the flowers she grows on three pieces of property in Madison County, had systems and logistics in place to deliver fresh, perishable products to people’s homes. She also had a building in downtown Marshall with cold storage and lots of space. So, when her customers wondered if she could help them access fresh produce, the answer, says Copus, was yes. “We had so many farmer friends who had lost their clients and sales outlets, so it seemed like a really good fit for us to work with people we knew on both sides to fill a need,” she says. “I tend to thrive in climates where it’s necessary to move very quickly.”
Within 36 hours, Copus launched an online grocery through Carolina Flowers, added shelving and workstations to the Marshall facility and eventually hired additional staff, notably Morgan Schweigert, who came on board in June as grocery manager. “I’m good at setting up the dominos but needed someone to take the next step,” says Copus. “Morgan has been the driving force behind making it a business that can scale internally and make the ideas profitable.” Schweigert, who is a hobby farmer herself, says she found a very long to-do
MARKET PLACE: Zadie’s Market owner Emily Copus, left, and grocery manager Morgan Schweigert gather fresh, local produce to be boxed and delivered to Zadie’s customers. Photo courtesy Zadie’s Market list that tapped her logistical skills. “Emily got a running start on this, but Zadie’s is still a business being built from the ground up,” she explains. “Obtaining product, fulfilling grocery orders and delivering them is a very systemic process, and ensuring all the moving parts are working accurately is a huge challenge.” Andrea Duvall understands that challenge and still marvels at how it came together for Mother Earth. “For the first couple of weeks it was like trying to steer a runaway train,” she recalls. “But then the most immaculate team began forming, people with incredible expertise in building systems and getting it done. Janelle and I witnessed every single day people coming in who believed in our mission and rallied to us. It was incredibly humbling and pure grace.” Citing the influx of skilled staff culled from other local businesses that had closed, a jump in the number of farmers and producers on the company’s
roster and Buchi Kombucha’s offer to employ its trucks to supplement Mother Earth’s existing vehicles, Tatum says: “It was a miracle story in a lot of ways. Everything happened at the same time, but we had the infrastructure, and we had a lot of unused capacity in our warehouse. We were able to quickly shift, put people and systems in place, and Graham is a genius for managing routes.” Since the pandemic began, the company’s delivery routes have increased from seven to 19, and its list of vendors went from 100 to over 250 to fulfill the orders of 1,100 to 1,300 weekly deliveries servicing about 3,400 total customers. (Mother Earth also delivers to Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C., but Asheville accounts for nearly 90% of the total.) The warehouse is now at capacity, and the staff has grown from seven full-time employees to 18, with an additional 25 part-timers.
’WHERE THE SHIFT CAN BEGIN’
Copus rebranded the grocery side of Carolina Flowers as Zadie’s Market in August with its own website and ordering system. Zadie’s offers delivery six days a week, with free delivery zones (there are fees outside of those zones) as well as curbside pickup at Carolina Flowers in Marshall. The business is currently hiring as it anticipates a much-delayed brick-and-mortar home opening in early 2021 in the Old Marshall Jail building. “When all this started and it was kind of crisis mode for consumers, it made them very open to try new things,” says Copus. Yet the concept itself was not new, Schweigert points out. “People are already familiar with e-commerce and online shopping, whether it’s buying electronics, books, furniture or clothing. We have a full line of dry goods and household supplies to provide a base for local produce for consumers used to the convenience of getting everything from one place.” Copus attributes some of the business’s success during trying times to gender. “I think women, particularly women in business for themselves, have had to overcome barriers and
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adversity their entire lives, so when the world is falling apart, it’s another day at the office we need to adapt to and overcome,” she says. The mission that shaped and drives both businesses — supporting local farmers and vendors, providing fresh, healthy products to the community and strengthening the local food system overall — is one Duvall remains fully committed to. “When Graham and I started Mother Earth, it was an uphill battle every single day to inspire people to support local farms, be aware of where their food comes from and be willing to pay more for that,” Andrea says. “Then this happened, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is where the shift can begin.’” This “shift” not only benefits her business, says Duvall, but is boosting community awareness of the overall relevance of resilient local food systems. “Behind Mother Earth has always been the feminine essence of caring for all beings, land and farmers, and how we can work together in a collaborative way,” she says. To learn more about Mother Earth, visit avl.mx/8jg To learn more about Zadie’s, visit avl.mx/8jh. X
Beirut-born Suzy Phillips has continued to rock the Asheville food scene, consistently placing in the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC for nearly a decade. Most recently, her juice and smoothie bar Simple was voted 'Best Juice and Smoothie Spot,' two years running. She continues to provide a Living Wage in the city of Asheville to her motley crew of employees, all while providing exellent catering, advice and consultation to up and coming food truckers. She has been richly rewarded for making Asheville her home.
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CULTURE EXCHANGE: WNC Fermentation Festival founder and Fermenti Foods owner Meg Chamberlain offers a taste of what will be included in the curated boxes of fermented foods and beverages for sale online in lieu of the canceled on-site event. Photo by Daniela Guerrero For Meg Chamberlain, CEO of Fermenti Foods, patience is a tool of the trade. For months she held out hope that the WNC Fermentation Festival she founded four years ago could take place this year as planned on Nov. 1. But when it became clear that the daylong event — which has traditionally featured classes, workshops, demonstrations and tastings — could not be safely produced and that insurance costs for even a scaled-down fest would be prohibitive, she did the ubiquitous COVID-19 dance we’re all now intimately familiar with: The Pivot. “The two main reasons for the festival were to raise money for the Beacon of Hope food pantry in Madison County and to support our local fermentation community,” Chamberlain says. “Instead, I’m going to set up a GoFundMe account for Beacon of Hope, and for the other element, I decided to put together a CSA-type box
of fermented foods and beverages for people to buy and enjoy.” Chamberlain purchased products from 16 festival vendors wholesale and will package them and sell the entire box with no markup for $80 — a $40-$60 discount from the retail cost, she says. Items include smoked pepper and salt Hempeh from Smiling Hara Tempeh, raspberry vinegar from Raspberry Fields, coconut milk kefir from Dare Vegan Cheese, chickpea miso from Miso Master, kimchi from Fermenti and 1 pound of fresh ginger from Rayburn Farm. “I hope this goes so well that we can do a holiday box later this year,” says Chamberlain. “We look forward to coming back strong in 2021.” Deadline to order is Monday, Oct. 26, with pickup Sunday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Madison County Cooperative Extension Center, 258 Carolina Lane, Marshall. To learn more, visit avl.mx/8ji.
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Local bakers offer tasty treats for Halloween 2020
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LET THEM EAT CAKE: Smallcakes owner Brandy Mills treated these little princesses to mini cupcakes last Halloween. Photo courtesy of Smallcakes In a country roiled by conflict, can we all agree that Halloween 2020 is not the time for tricks? We need treats, lots and lots of treats. These women-owned businesses are offering seasonal sweets for treat-seekers of all ages.
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Last Halloween, Brandy Mills, who owns Smallcakes with husband Robert Mills, set up tables inside the store for costumed kids to make crafts, then treated them to mini cupcakes, the smallest of three sizes they bake in 14 flavors daily. No group activity this year, but they will have pumpkin cupcakes and Halloween-decorated vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, which can be upgraded to a Smash Cake — two scoops of house-made ice cream smashed between two halves of a cupcake. 33 Town Square Blvd., avl.mx/8jk
AVL CAKE LADY
Candy corn gets a bad rap, but when AVL Cake Lady Shana McDowell plants the tricolored sugary nuggets deep into the buttercream frosting atop her vanilla cupcakes, it’s a value-added treat. Pumpkin spice rules this time of year, and she’s on it with cupcakes, cheesecake and pound cake. Sweet potatoes are also coming on strong, and McDowell transforms them into pies and a dense pound cake. “A traditional pound cake weighs about 5 pounds, but we sell it by the slice, too,” says McDowell. 34 New Leicester Highway, avl.mx/8jl
BAKED PIE COMPANY
If you love the taste of caramel apples but are leery of the potential for costly dental work, Baked Pie Co. pastry chef Tara Robinson has a sweet solution for you. “Apple pies are always popular, but the caramel apple pie is really good.
It’s our classic apple pie with a layer of house-made caramel on the bottom that bubbles up through the pie as it bakes.” Other pies that land on the menu this time of year are pumpkin latte cheesecake, bourbon chocolate pecan and the Boo-ston Cream Pie decorated with spooky ghosts. Pies are sold whole, by the slice or as a flight of three slices. Two locations: 4 Long Shoals Road, Arden, and 50 N. Merrimon Ave., Woodfin avl.mx/6oe
OLD EUROPE PASTRIES
Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in France, but you can celebrate France on Halloween with Old Europe’s pumpkin spice macarons. Consulting her macaron calendar, manager and baker Abby Schrupp says, “We add pumpkin spice macarons to the macaron menu in October, and they remain through the end of the year. Closer to Halloween, we decorate them to look like little monsters.” Pumpkin also has its way with cheesecake, roulade with ginger cream cheese filling and pumpkin bread. Macarons can be bought individually in the store or ordered online for pick up or local delivery
in packages of four or a dozen. 13 Broadway, avl.mx/8jn
MORSEL COOKIE CO.
Morsel Cookie Co. owner Caroline Dockery adds one special cookie a month to her set selection. And as far as she’s concerned, October’s cookie — Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake — is irresistible. “Personally, I love pumpkin cheesecake; anything with cream cheese and anything with pumpkin, I’ll eat it,” she says. “And if I have an excuse to put caramel on something, I’ll take it.” The cookie is a multipart creation of spiced pumpkin dough, cream cheese filling and scratch-made caramel. “All those flavors lend themselves well to each other, then a big dash of flaked salt on top counters the sweetness of the caramel,” Dockery notes. Morsel Cookies are available at several locations, but the October special is exclusive to 10th Muse Coffee at 1475 Patton Ave. and Yellow Mug Coffee at 113 N. Main St., Weaverville. They can also be ordered online Sunday through Tuesday for Friday delivery at avl.mx/89s.
— Kay West X
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I’ve been working at Mostly Automotive since 2001. Former owner Ed Dyson (RIP) found me at a diner uptown. He kept asking me all these questions about car repair, and I kept answering. The next thing I knew, I was working at Mostly, and now I own the business. I never would have guessed it 20 years ago, but I love car repair and am so happy to be a part of the community. I love my customers and their families — I’ve watched kids grow up and start driving! I love their dogs also.
Jessica and I love our work. It feels so good to help people, and we try to give back and support our community — we love MANNA FoodBank, Habitat for Humanity and Pisgah Legal Services. Come by and visit us! We would love to have you as part of our family. Bring your puppy, too — we have treats! Now offering easy, quick, free alignment checks with state-ofthe-art equipment.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Long and winding roads Fwuit, The Moon and You release new digital-only albums
BY BILL KOPP email@example.com Dulci Ellenberger and her musical associates have been something of a moving target lately. For several years, the Asheville-based singer/songwriter/ guitarist was a key member of Holy Ghost Tent Revival, the seven-person, ragtime-jazz-turned-rock band. That same lineup (which included bassist Kevin Williams and drummer Ross Montsinger) also booked shows under the name Big Sound Harbor, playing a set built around Ellenberger’s original songs. But in 2019, Holy Ghost Tent Revival shifted musical gears, adopted a more soul-focused sound and changed its name to Moves. And now — just over a year later — what Ellenberger describes as the “core” of the band is rebranding again, this time calling itself Fwuit. If that all seems a bit confusing, Ellenberger insists that the motivation behind it all is straightforward. “This trio — Kevin, Ross and myself — just kept playing a bunch of shows that were [only] suitable for a trio,” she says. “And the three of us were able to dedicate full time to touring.”
LUNAR PRODUCE: Asheville-based groups (and tour mates) Fwuit, left, and The Moon and You released new albums 10 days apart. Fwuit photo by Kristi Knupp/Evoke Emotion. The Moon and You photo by Lauren Epps Of course, thanks to the pandemic, there’s no touring going on at present. But Fwuit has put together a self-titled, digital-only EP of its original music, which was released on Oct. 10. With a streamlined sound that builds on what Moves did last year on its soul-
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and R&B-influenced self-titled album, Fwuit delivers sophisticated soul pop. “Sparkling Water” has a sleek, urbane vibe, with Ellenberger’s sterling, assured lead vocal ably supported by subtle instrumental backing. Featuring lead vocals from Williams, “Chrome Canyon” splits the difference between singer-songwriter and country soul styles. The radio-ready “Only Got One” is reminiscent of Lake Street Dive, for whom HGTR opened at Pisgah Brewing Co. in 2016. And all the music on Fwuit’s eight-song release is paired with a positivist lyrical perspective. “Our guiding inspiration is to create content that we find meaningful,” Ellenberger says. “Hopefully it’s a reflection of what’s happening in the world around us and helps people feel more connected and able to process how they’re feeling about it.” Though the EP conveys a serious, thoughtful ambiance, a lighthearted attitude is at the center of the trio’s approach. Fwuit got its start as the musical component of LaZoom’s “Band and Beer” bus tour of Asheville. “We like to call ourselves ‘Fwuit of LaZoom,’” Ellenberger says with a laugh. “What we found in that environment was a fun balance of improvisation between the host of the tour and the band.” The group continues to tinker with the details: When it began, the ensemble had an exclamation point at the
end of its name. And while the EP is digital-only, videos for all the songs are in the works, a physical release of Fwuit remains a possibility, and the trio plans to launch a Patreon crowdsourcing page in the near future. Though the compact Fwuit lineup is poised to return to active live-concert duty as soon as it’s practical to do so, the group formerly known as Moves still exists as well. “We will always have the bigger band for bigger events,” Ellenberger says. “We like the idea of being able to expand and contract.” fwuit.com
The Moon and You began work on its Oct. 20 release Asteroids almost exactly four years ago. And initially, that work proceeded quickly. “We got the rhythm tracking done in two days,” says cellist/vocalist Melissa Hyman. “The day before and the days after the 2016 [presidential] election,” adds Ryan Furstenberg, guitarist/vocalist and Melissa’s husband. But then a succession of other activities took precedence, and progress on the album stopped. The Moon and You had a busy schedule of live dates locally, regionally, around the nation and overseas. So even though drums, bass and rhythm guitar parts were complete, the album remained unfinished.
M O U N TA I N X P R E S S P R E S E N T S “And it just remained in that state for a while,” Hyman says. “It was definitely a combination of our travel schedule and trying to [find] the funds to have more sessions.” But it’s not as if The Moon and You weren’t recording. The duo released the full-length Endless Maria (“recorded in 10 consecutive days,” Hyman says) in 2017. And then — with a collection of musical pals — they recorded and released 2019’s Big Mystery, an album of children’s lullabies credited to The Moon and You and Friends. So the uncompleted Asteroids project was again set aside. “We got a commission to do Big Mystery right in the middle of the process,” Furstenberg says. “It’s been so long,” Hyman adds with a laugh, “that, honestly, I’m struggling to remember what some of the holdups were.” “Asteroids was still hanging out there, unfinished,” Furstenberg says. “But we always planned on [finishing and] releasing it,” adds Hyman, completing her husband’s sentence. Eventually they did finish, and the resulting work wound up being a concept album. “Melissa loves to have a concept,” Furstenberg says, teasing his wife. So Asteroids is a song cycle, with the pieces linked together through audio snippets of friends and fellow musicians who came into their orbit. “We recorded people in Belgium, a friend from France, a friend from Savannah,” Furstenberg says. “People we met on the road.” Stylewise, Asteroids could serve as a sampler of the many musical moods of The Moon and You. The title track’s outro sounds like a Pet Sounds outtake; “County Lines” has the feel of classic-era AM country radio; and “Rat King” sounds like prewar hot jazz — though Hyman says the variety isn’t exactly intentional. “We tend to write in a fairly eclectic way,” she says. “We create the instrumentation and arrangement of each track to serve the song. And that’s more important to us than making an album that sounds similar from track to track.” Yet Asteroids hangs together as a whole. That’s in keeping with the idea of connectedness, a theme that runs through all of the songs. And — intentionally or not — that motif makes the long-delayed appearance of the album now, during a pandemic, especially timely. “Releasing it is a way to connect with people in a way that’s been lacking,” Furstenberg says. “It does have a quality of being almost like a photo album,” Hyman adds. “Friends that we met. And adventures that we recall fondly … that I wish we could be doing right now.” themoonandyou.com X
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OCT. 21-27, 2020
A&E ROUNDUP by Edwin Arnaudin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Halloween celebrations adapt to social distancing Halloween celebrations look considerably different this fall as organizers employ creative means to provide entertainment while adhering to social distancing and other state guidelines. From spooky tours to costume-friendly concerts to at-home options, there’s something for nearly everyone in search of holiday festivities.
Designed for children ages 3-12 and their parents/guardians, the Adventure Center of Asheville’s Haunted Trail offers multiple choices for young thrill-seekers. The 2020 version opened Oct. 8 and continues Thursday, Oct. 22-Sunday, Oct. 25, and Thursday, Oct. 29-Friday, Oct. 30
with “a family-friendly, heart-pumping walk with live actors, spooky sounds and spectacular props.” Each night at 6:30, an actor-free “Sweet Peek Tour” is available before darkness descends. The Haunted Trail is then open 7-9 p.m., as is the Treetops Adventure Park Aerial Glow Trail. Social distancing is required, along with the wearing of face masks for participants ages 4 years old and over. Tickets range from $15-$26, and $1 from each ticket sale will be donated to MANNA FoodBank. ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com
The walking dead
After a few years on the West Coast, Nat Allister, managing director of The Fox & Beggar Theater, has returned to Western North Carolina and created his first immersive theatrical experience. Described as a “meditation on the uncertain future of the human race, inspired by a very old English nursery rhyme,” Omen: The Death & Burial of Poor Cock Robin invites masked participants to wander individually through a series of outdoor art installations on the the Hawk & Hawthorne farm in Barnardsville. The show debuted Oct. 16 and continues Friday, Oct. 23-Saturday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 30-Saturday, Oct. 31, with start times every half hour, 8-9:30 p.m. The exhibition takes a little under one hour to fully walk. Guests will receive special face masks and remain outdoors during the entire production. According to the event’s Facebook page, attendees are also “required to wear all black out of respect for the departed, and asked to wear sturdy shoes.” foxandbeggar.com/omen
Necronomicons Asheville-based intuitive Charley Castex is featured in Pittsburghbased author Mary Ann Bohrer’s new book The Gift Within Us: Intuition, Spirituality and the Power of Our Own Inner Voice. Bohrer’s mission is to “change the image of intuition and gifted intuitives” 32
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LIONS, TIGERS, BEARS: Attendees of various ages enjoy the annual Haunted Trail. The family-friendly event is one of several local socially distanced Halloween celebrations happening this month. Photo courtesy of Adventure Center of Asheville with the message that all people “have access to divine guidance and wisdom through intuition” and “by taking our ego down a few pegs and listening to our own inner voice.” She describes Castex as “not only incredibly gifted” but “also a really nice guy and the antithesis of what some people think about ‘psychics.’” maryannbohrer.com Prolific Charleston, S.C.-based writer Sherman Carmichael’s Mysterious Tales of Western North Carolina spotlights numerous supernatural stories from across the region. Chapter titles include “Ghosts of the Biltmore House,” “Weaverville UFO,” “Chimney Rock Apparitions” and “Dillsboro Vampire.” historypress.com
Asheville-based rockers Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats will play a socially distanced outdoor show at Salvage Station on Friday, Oct. 30, 6:30-9:30 p.m. In addition to original songs from the band’s catalog, the trio plans to work in creative covers from its “Rats Sabbath” (Black Sabbath) and “Rolling Experience” (Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix Experience) tribute shows. Costumes are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded to the best outfits. Tickets are $5. salvagestation.com On Saturday, Oct. 31, 7-10 p.m., Mills River Brewing Co. hosts In Flight’s tribute to the macabre music of film composer and frequent Tim
Burton collaborator Danny Elfman (Edward Scissorhands; Beetlejuice). The Asheville-area band consists of Ian Taylor (keyboard/synths), Bryce Robertson (guitar) and Jay Good (drums), and will perform two sets, combining original and improvised material with Elfman’s iconic film and TV scores. Free to attend. millsriverbrewingco.com
For folks who prefer to celebrate Halloween at home, multiple local horror podcasts are available to cue up on demand. Dark Corners (gestalt-media.com/dark-corners) features original horror stories written and narrated by Swannanoa-based author David Allen Voyles. Its first season is composed of 13 stand-alone tales, while season two is the story Witch-Works, set in the haunted ruins of a toy factory formerly owned by a mysterious millionaire. Palimpsest (thepalimpsestpodcast.com), created by Jamieson Ridenhour of Black Mountain and Hayley Heninger of Swannanoa, has three 10-episode seasons. The most
recent season, “Josie,” follows a disgraced U.S. code-breaker living in London during The Blitz and her hauntings by the dead who walk the bomb-scarred streets. And Old Gods of Appalachia (oldgodsofappalachia.com), co-created by Ashevillebased Steve Shell, takes an anthology approach in its exploration of an “alternate Appalachia,” whose mountains were never meant to be inhabited. For listeners who’d like to see firsthand how an episode is made, the Mountain Murders Appalachian true crime podcast (linktr.ee/mountainmurders) will record a live show at The Odditorium on Friday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. The program launched in 2018 and is the creation of Haywood County natives Heather and Dylan Packer. The event is described as “a night of enchanting true crime, comedy and improv,” and includes a Q&A session and fan meetup. Social distancing guidelines will be followed and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 day of show. The full event will be recorded and made available online after the show. avl.mx/8l2 X
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FAR OUT: “Our mission with our music is to create the most blissful, carefree experience possible,” says Greg Ormont, singer-guitarist of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Pairing crisp, lightspeed guitar work with lively horns and percussion, the psychedelic funk band received acclaim for its 2020 album Presto. The Baltimore-based foursome will play a show for Asheville Music Hall’s drive-in concert series at Smoky Mountain Event Center Saturday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m. avl.mx/8jq. Photo courtesy of the band
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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21 OKLAWAHA BREWING CO. French Broad Valley Mountain Music Jam, 6pm ONE WORLD BREWING WEST Poster Nutbag (Phish tribute), 6pm THE GREY EAGLE Travis Book Happy Hour w/ Matthew Rieger & Andy Dunnigan (rock, folk), 6pm 185 KING STREET Team Trivia & Games, 7pm CATAWBA BREWING SOUTH SLOPE Hocus Pocus Trivia Night, 7pm TRISKELION BREWERY InterActive TriskaTrivia, 7pm TWIN LEAF BREWERY Open Mic w/ Thomas Yon, 7pm
OCT. 21-27, 2020
THE PAPER MILL LOUNGE Karaoke X, 9pm THE SOCIAL Karaoke w/ Lyric, 10pm
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22 LAZY HIKER BREWING Open Jam, 5pm SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN BREWERY Howie Johnson & Bill Mattocks (acoustic duo), 6pm ISIS MUSIC HALL Lawn Concert w/ Alien Music Club Jazz Quartet, 6:30pm TRISKELION BREWERY Jason's Technicolor Cabaret: Music & Comedy, 7pm ONE STOP AT ASHEVILLE MUSIC HALL Gunslinging Parrots (Phish tribute), 8pm
RABBIT RABBIT Slice of Life Rooftop Comedy, 7:30pm
RABBIT RABBIT Silent Cinema: Rocky Horror Picture Show, 8pm
SOVEREIGN KAVA q Poetry Open Mic, 8:30pm, avl.mx/76w
BEN’S TUNE UP Comedy Open Mic w/ Baby George, 9pm
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 ASHEVILLE GUITAR BAR Virginia & the Slims CD Release w/ Sugah & thuh Cubes (blues, swing, R&B), 5pm SALVAGE STATION Cosmic Charlie (Grateful Dead tribute), 5pm ONE STOP AT ASHEVILLE MUSIC HALL Free Dead Friday (Grateful Dead tribute), 5:30pm SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN BREWERY Mr Jimmy & Bill Loftus (blues duo), 6pm CATAWBA BREWING SOUTH SLOPE Outdoor Show w/ The Knotty G's Trio (Americana), 6pm MAD CO. BREW HOUSE Bob Keel (solo acoustic), 6pm ISIS MUSIC HALL Lawn Concert w/ The Darren Nicholson Band (bluegrass), 6:30pm MANTIQUES Gypsy & Me Album Release Show, 6:30pm ODDITORIUM Discussion w/ Mountain Murders Podcast Creators, 8pm
BEN’S TUNE UP DJ Kilby Spinning Vinyl, 10pm
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24 BURNTSHIRT VINEYARDS Barrett Davis (folk), 2pm SALVAGE STATION Natti Love Joys (reggae), 4pm ONE WORLD BREWING WEST Hustle Souls (rock, soul), 6pm BATTERY PARK BOOK EXCHANGE Dinah’s Daydream (jazz), 6pm SMOKY MOUNTAIN EVENT CENTER Asheville Music Hall: Drive-in Show w/ Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (psychedelic, funk), 6pm ISIS MUSIC HALL Lawn Concert w/ the Lazybirds (American roots), 6:30pm THE GREY EAGLE Patio Show w/ The Orange Constant (vintage rock), 7pm WILD WING CAFE Karaoke Night, 9:30pm THE SOCIAL Karaoke Show w/ Billy Masters, 10pm
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 BURNTSHIRT VINEYARDS Randy Z (solo acoustic), 2pm
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26 ARCHETYPE BREWING Old Time Jam w/ Banjo Mitch McConnell, 6pm
ONE WORLD BREWING WEST Consider the Source (sci-fi fusion), 5pm
ONE WORLD BREWING WEST Jazz Monday Outdoors w/ Connor Law, 6pm
RABBIT RABBIT Outdoor Movie: Star Wars IV, A New Hope, 5pm
HIGHLAND BREWING COMPANY Totally Rad Trivia w/ Mitch Fortune, 6:30pm
RIVERSIDE RHAPSODY BEER COMPANY Drinkin' & Thinkin' Trivia, 5pm
OKLAWAHA BREWING CO. House of SYNth, 6:30pm
THE GREY EAGLE Patio Show w/ Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers, 5pm
RABBIT RABBIT Outdoor Movie: The Addams Family, 6:30pm
185 KING STREET Open Electric Jam, 6pm TRISKELION BREWERY JC & the Boomerang Band (Irish trad, folk), 6pm ISIS MUSIC HALL Lawn Concert w/ Up Jumped Three (jazz, avant-garde), 6:30pm ICONIC KITCHEN & DRINKS UniHorn (funk), 7pm
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27 ASHEVILLE MUSIC HALL Asheville Music Hall: Drive-in Show w/ The Marcus King Trio (rock, soul), 6pm OKLAWAHA BREWING CO. Team Trivia Tuesday, 6pm
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28 OKLAWAHA BREWING CO. French Broad Valley Mountain Music Jam, 6pm THE GREY EAGLE Travis Book Happy Hour w/ Andy Falco of The Infamous Stringdusters, 6pm 185 KING STREET Team Trivia & Games, 7pm TRISKELION BREWERY InterActive TriskaTrivia, 7pm TWIN LEAF BREWERY Open Mic w/ Thomas Yon, 7pm RABBIT RABBIT Slice of Life Rooftop Comedy, 7:30pm SOVEREIGN KAVA q Poetry Open Mic, 8:30pm, avl.mx/76w THE PAPER MILL LOUNGE Karaoke X, 9pm THE SOCIAL Karaoke w/ Lyric, 10pm
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29 LAZY HIKER BREWING SYLVA Open Jam, 5pm GHOST TOWN IN THE SKY The Grey Eagle: Drive-In Concert w/ St. Paul & the Broken Bones (rock n’ roll, soul), 6pm ASHEVILLE MUSIC HALL Asheville Music Hall: Drive-in Show w/ Greensky Bluegrass, 6:30pm ISIS MUSIC HALL Lawn Concert w/ Love Bubble (blues, oldies), 6:30pm THE GREY EAGLE Patio Show w/ Little Stranger (indie, hip-hop), 7pm TRISKELION BREWERY Jason’s Technicolor Cabaret: Music & Comedy, 7pm ONE STOP AT ASHEVILLE MUSIC HALL Gunslinging Parrots (Phish tribute), 8pm RABBIT RABBIT Silent Cinema: Get Out, 8pm BEN’S TUNE UP Comedy Open Mic w/ Baby George, 9pm
OCT. 21-27, 2020
Hosted by the Asheville Movie Guys EDWIN ARNAUDIN email@example.com HHHHH
BRUCE STEELE firstname.lastname@example.org
= MAX RATING
H PICK OF THE WEEK H
leads to a complete lack of pretension, suggesting Coppola’s increased confidence in her writing and directing. If that’s not a step forward, what is? Available to stream starting Oct. 23 via Apple TV+ REVIEWED BY EDWIN ARNAUDIN EARNAUDIN@MOUNTAINX.COM
Aggie/Belly of the Beast HHHH
On the Rocks HHHHS
DIRECTOR: Sofia Coppola PLAYERS: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans COMEDY/DRAMA RATED R In many ways, On the Rocks is Sofia Coppola’s best film. Following 2015’s amusing holiday special diversion, A Very Murray Christmas, the official reunion of the Oscar-winning screenwriter and her Lost in Translation star Bill Murray reaps the rewards that come with continued collaboration between inspired minds dedicated to building on past successes. As a result, the pair’s second feature arguably yields the quintessential “late career” Murray performance, continuing his renaissance that began with Rushmore (1999). Fed zinger after zinger by Coppola — who tailors the material to the national treasure’s strengths better than anyone not named Wes Anderson — Murray is an absolute pleasure and very well could find himself with some new hardware come awards season. The conduit of his delights this go-round is Felix, a wealthy Don Juan type who comes to the aid of his daughter Laura (Rashida Jones) once she suspects her workaholic husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) of cheating on her with sexy new colleague Fiona (Jessica Henwick, Love and Monsters). 36
OCT. 21-27, 2020
Murray and Jones craft strong comedic rapport while partaking in amateur sleuthing around New York City, during which they unearth a fair amount of poignant observations about marriage, parent-child relationships and the eternal challenges of adulthood. But while the characters’ struggles and personal revelations are relatable, they’re also off-putting due to the players’ somewhat distracting wealth and privilege — an issue that’s plagued even Coppola’s finest work. Sympathy obstacles aside, On the Rocks is a complete blast and inspires memorable performances from its handful of supporting characters, namely Wayans — in his first mature role since 2000’s Requiem for a Dream — and Jenny Slate (Landline), hilarious in her handful of scenes as a chatty fellow mom who treats Laura like a free therapist while they wait in the child pickup line at school. Whether the film is indeed better than Lost in Translation, however, is somewhat of an unfair question. It’s difficult not to compare them, but they have little in common narratively and tonally, with the 2003 work favoring a more soulful approach that leans heavily on existentialism and the mystique of its Japanese scenery. But its 2020 counterpart is considerably funnier, its dialogue flows more naturally, and its grounded approach
DIRECTORS: Catherine Gund and Erika Cohn PLAYERS: Agnes Gund, Thelma Golden, John Waters DOCUMENTARY NOT RATED “Without empathy, there can be no justice,” says one of the art world luminaries interviewed in the documentary Aggie, speaking about arts patron and social activist Agnes Gund. They’re wise words for these times, and the crux of both Aggie and another new documentary, Belly of the Beast, about the legal battle to stop forced sterilizations of incarcerated women. The two films are set worlds apart — one in New York society circles and the other in the California state prison system — but they intersect at a vital point of empathy. In each, a white woman, moved by compassion, puts her privilege to work to help people in prison. Gund, 81, the former president of the world-class Museum of Modern Art, sold a precious masterpiece by Roy Lichtenstein for $165 million in 2017 in order to set up a fund to support criminal justice reform, while Cynthia Chandler, a young lawyer, co-founded Justice Now to give imprisoned women legal recourse to improve their lives. Aggie begins and ends with Gund’s bequest, but in between it’s a whirlwind tour of the contemporary art world, in which Gund used her considerable inherited wealth to support both living artists and MoMA. Along the way, she also became an early AIDS activist and funded an ongoing art-in-schools program, one of the many causes to which she contributed. The documentary is directed by her daughter, Catherine Gund, who placed her reticent mother in conversations with more than 20 artworld figures — from obscure painters to filmmaker John Waters — to try to draw out her philosophy and rec-
ollections amidst a parade of eccentric personalities. As the movie shifts from topic to topic, it offers glimpses of hundreds of (mostly) modern artworks, largely unidentified — an intriguing tease, like an exhibition catalog without captions. Mostly, it’s a remarkable portrait of a humble, determined woman whose entire life has demonstrated the endless good that can be harvested from a rich father’s millions. In contrast, the central figure in Belly of the Beast is Kelli Dillon, a young woman of color incarcerated for killing her abusive husband, then sterilized against her will during a medical procedure. It’s an awful story sympathetically told, followed by her long quest for justice, which leads her to attorney Chandler. Director Erika Cohn is an adept filmmaker who gradually brings in other women with similar stories. The film is both horrifying and uplifting — an appropriate combination for the cultural moment. REVIEWED BY BRUCE STEELE BCSTEELE@GMAIL.COM
Love and Monsters H DIRECTOR: Michael Matthews PLAYERS: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker COMEDY/ADVENTURE RATED PG-13 Think the Zombieland films would be improved if each joke landed with a thud? Love and Monsters is the movie for you. Despite a creative postapocalyptic enemy — giant mutated animals, the result of chemical fallout from missiles used to destroy a meteor headed for Earth — the second feature from South African filmmaker Michael Matthews is marred by lousy writing from Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson, and a flaccid lead performance from Dylan O’Brien (American Assassin), whose quest to launch another series after the Maze Runner movies continues to falter. The screenwriters try painfully hard to establish the quirkiness of O’Brien’s Joel via awkward sayings and his overall ineptitude in a colony of fellow survivors — annoying qualities compounded by his running voice-over that’s full of doomsday clichés. With such an unappealing character leading the way,
Joel’s risky mission to reunite with long-separated girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick, On the Rocks) at her colony is all but impossible to care about. While the addition of a faithful canine companion adds some appeal to Joel’s journey, it’s not enough to balance out poorly executed narrow escapes from massive carnivorous beasts and a would-be cheeky run-in with savvy survivalists Clyde (Michael Rooker) and Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt, Avengers: Infinity War) that suggests humor has become extinct in this decimated world. Amid these snoozy details, it’s easy to miss that Love and Monsters is actually competently shot, hinting that at least Matthews knows what he’s doing from time to time. The end result is unlikely to inspire a sequel — or confidence in O’Brien and the writing team — but the director seems worth following. Available to rent via Amazon Video, iTunes and other streaming services REVIEWED BY EDWIN ARNAUDIN EARNAUDIN@MOUNTAINX.COM
Rebecca HHHS DIRECTOR: Ben Wheatley PLAYERS: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ann Dowd DRAMA/ROMANCE RATED PG-13 Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock’s lone Best Picture winner and yet one of his snooziest films, was a prime candidate to be remade. Ben Wheatley, the director of the darkly comic and hyperviolent HighRise and Free Fire, may seem like an odd choice for the assignment, but his visual acumen and genre-blending skills prove an appealing fit for newly adapting Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel. Foremost, the story of an unnamed young woman (Lily James) who goes from paid companion of Mrs. Van Hopper (a gleefully fussy Ann Dowd) to the lover of wealthy widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) over the course of a whirlwind Monte Carlo vacation greatly benefits from being filmed in color. The remake’s slick, modern photography highlights one gorgeous coastal vista and bright period costume after another, enhancements that inspire a more effortless viewer engagement with the characters and their romance than the stodgy B&W original. And as for concerns that a shift to color might lead to missing out on the Hitchcock film’s noir elements — fear not! Once the action shifts to the longtime de Winter family estate, Manderley, Wheatley makes fine use of shadows,
especially when framing a frightfully icy Kristin Scott Thomas as creepy head housekeeper, Danvers. Modern technology’s amplification of the 1940 film’s few laudable qualities is more often than not an inspired marriage of past and present, and adds exciting new levels of suspense and intrigue to the new Mrs. de Winter’s troubles following in her predecessor’s beloved footsteps. While the twists, turns, deceptions and reveals are faithful to its forebear, and the lead performances by James and Hammer rarely extend beyond adequate, this Rebecca continues to set itself apart through its crisp imagery, including beautiful shots of the rocky coastline beyond Manderley’s walls, made possible through drone photography. But once the truth of the titular woman’s death is revealed and the film enters murder trial mode, the storytelling turns choppy and disrupts its carefully crafted air of mystery. The stumble to the end credits isn’t enough to discredit the cast’s and crew’s first- and second-act accomplishments, though it does suggest possible inherent issues with the source material and its potential for translation from page to screen. Available to stream via Netflix REVIEWED BY EDWIN ARNAUDIN EARNAUDIN@MOUNTAINX.COM
AVAILABLE VIA FINEARTSTHEATRE.COM (FA) GRAILMOVIEHOUSE.COM (GM) Aggie (NR) HHHH (GM) Belly of the Beast (NR) HHHH (FA, GM) Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (NR) HHHS (FA) Critical Thinking (NR) HHHH (GM) Desert One (NR) HHHH (FA) The Disrupted (NR) HHHHH (FA) Dosed (NR) HHHH (FA, GM) Driven to Abstraction (PG) HHS(FA) F11 and Be There (NR) HHHH (FA) Fantastic Fungi (NR) HHHH (FA) Flannery (NR) HHHH (FA) Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (NR) HHH (FA) Herb Alpert Is... (NR) HHS (FA) Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President (NR) HHHHH (FA, GM) John Lewis: Good Trouble (PG) HHHH (FA) The Keeper (NR) HHS (FA) Major Arcana (NR) HHHS (FA) Martin Eden (NR) HHH (FA) Meeting the Beatles in India (NR) HHS (FA) Mr. Soul! (NR) HHHHS (GM) My Dog Stupid (NR) HHHH (FA) Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (NR) HHHH (GM) Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (NR) HHHH (GM) Out Stealing Horses (NR) HHHHS (FA) Proud (NR) HHH (FA) RBG (NR) HHHH (FA, GM) The Tobacconist (NR) HHHS (FA) Totally Under Control (NR) HHHH (GM) We Are Many (NR) HH (FA) White Riot (NR) HHHHS (GM) MOUNTAINX.COM
OCT. 21-27, 2020
FREEWILL ASTROLOGY ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I’ve been told that nobody sings the word ’hunger’ like I do,” testified Aries chanteuse Billie Holiday. She wasn’t suggesting that she had a stylish way of crooning about fine dining. Rather, she meant “hunger” in the sense of the longing for life’s poignant richness. Her genius-level ability to express such beauty was due in part to her skillful vocal technique, but also because she was a master of cultivating soulful emotions. Your assignment in the coming weeks, Aries, is to refine and deepen your own hunger. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author Renata Adler expresses my own feelings when she writes, “Hardly anyone about whom I deeply care resembles anyone else I have ever met, or heard of, or read about in literature.” I bet if you’re honest, Taurus, you would say the same. It’s almost certainly the case that the people you regard as worthy of your love and interest are absolutely unique. In the sense that there are no other characters like them in the world, they are superstars and prodigies. I bring this to your attention because now is an excellent time to fully express your appreciation for their one-of-a-kind beauty — to honor and celebrate them for their entertainment value and precious influence and unparalleled blessings. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “If you cannot find an element of humor in something, you’re not taking it seriously enough,” writes author Ilyas Kassam. That’s a key thought for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks. Levity and joking will be necessities, not luxuries. Fun and amusement will be essential ingredients in the quest to make good decisions. You can’t afford to be solemn and stern, because allowing those states to dominate you would diminish your intelligence. Being playful — even in the face of challenges — will ensure your ultimate success. CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m hoping the horoscopes I wrote for you in late August helped propel you into a higher level of commitment to the art of transformation. In any case, I suspect that you will have the chance, in the coming weeks, to go even further in your mastery of that art. To inspire you in your efforts, I’ll encourage you to at least temporarily adopt one or more of the nicknames in the following list: 1. Flux Luster 2. Fateful Fluctuator 3. Shift Virtuoso 4. Flow Maestro 5. Alteration Adept 6. Change Arranger 7. Mutability Savant 8. Transition Connoisseur. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others, too,” wrote author Anne Morrow Lindbergh. “If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. Only when one is connected to one’s own core, is one connected to others.” In bringing these thoughts to your attention, Leo, I don’t mean to imply that you are out of touch with your deep self. Not at all. But in my view, all of us can benefit from getting into ever-closer communion with our deep selves. In the coming weeks, you especially need to work on that — and are likely to have extra success in doing so. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My cosmic tipsters told me that you will be even smarter than usual in the coming weeks. As I scoured the heavenly maps, I detected signs that you have the potential to be a skilled code-cracker, riddle-decipherer and solver of knotty problems and tricky dilemmas. That’s why I suggest you express gratitude to your beautiful brain, Virgo. Sing it sweet songs and tell it how much you love it and find out which foods you can eat to strengthen it even more. Now read Diane Ackerman’s description of the brain: “that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petite tyrant inside a ball of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredome.”
OCT. 21-27, 2020
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I vote in American elections, but I’ve never belonged to a political party. One of my favorite politicians is Bernie Sanders, who for most of his career has been an Independent. But now I’m a staunch advocate for the Democrats. Why? Because Republicans are so thoroughly under the curse of the nasty, cruel, toxic person known as Donald Trump. I’m convinced that it’s crucial for our country’s well-being that Democrats achieve total victory in the upcoming election. In accordance with astrological omens, I urge you to do your personal equivalent of what I’ve done: Unambiguously align yourself with influences that represent your highest, noblest values. Take a sacred stand not just for yourself, but also in behalf of everything you love. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity,” said fashion writer Diana Vreeland. Here’s how I interpret that: People who care mostly for their own feelings and welfare, and who believe they’re more important than everyone else, are boring and repellent. But those who enjoy looking their best and expressing their unique beauty may do so out of a desire to share their gifts with the world. Their motivation might be artistry and generosity, not self-centeredness. In accordance with cosmic potentials, Scorpio, I invite you to elude the temptations of narcissism as you explore benevolent forms of vanity. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Yes, do let people see you sweat. At least for now, be forthright and revelatory. Let people witness your secret fire, your fierce tang, your salty tears and your unhealed wounds. Hold nothing back as you give what you haven’t been able to give before. Be gleefully expressive as you unveil every truth, every question, every buried joy. Don’t be crude and insensitive, of course. Be as elegant and respectful as possible. But make it your priority to experiment with sacred vulnerability. Find out how far you can safely go as you strip away the disguises that have kept you out of touch with your full power. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Between 2008 and 2017, Southern California had two sizable earthquakes: 5.5 and 5.1 on the Richter scale. But during the same period, the area had 1.8 million small quakes that were mostly too mild to be felt. The ground beneath the feet of the local people was shaking at the rate of once every three minutes. Metaphorically speaking, Capricorn, you’re now in a phase that resembles the mild shakes. There’s a lot of action going on beneath the surface, although not much of it is obvious. I think this is a good thing. The changes you’re shepherding are proceeding at a safe, gradual, well-integrated pace. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): No American woman was allowed to earn a medical degree and practice as a physician until Aquarian-born Elizabeth Blackwell did it in 1849. It was an almost impossible feat, since the all-male college she attended undermined her mercilessly. Once she began her career as a doctor, she constantly had to outwit men who made it difficult for her. Nevertheless, she persisted. Eventually, she helped create a medical school for women in England and made it possible for 476 women to practice medicine there. I propose that we make her your patron saint for now. May she inspire you to redouble your diligent pursuit of your big dream. Here’s your motto: “Nevertheless, I’m persisting.” PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I fear my expression may not be extravagant enough, may not wander far enough beyond the narrow limit of my daily experience, so as to be adequate to the truth of which I have been convinced.” You’ll be wise to have a similar fear, Pisces. According to my analysis, you can generate good fortune for yourself by transcending what you already know and think. Life is conspiring to nudge you and coax you into seeking experiences that will expand your understanding of everything. Take advantage of this opportunity to blow your own mind!
BY ROB BREZSNY
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T H E NEW Y O R K T IM E S C R O S S W O R D P UZ Z L E 1
1 & 5 Warm-up circuits for race car drivers
9 Shoppers’ stops
14 Youngest M.L.B. player to hit 500 homers
15 Sports sword 16 Established 17 Negative fast-food review?
edited by Will Shortz 19 Scooter ___, former White House adviser convicted in the Plame affair 20 Where shots might be served (or fired) in a western 21 One of 14 in “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” 23 Madison Avenue award 25 Arles affirmative 26 Droopy feature of a cocker spaniel 27 Negative fast-food review? 32 Home of Mount Carmel: Abbr. 33 “Despicable Me” supervillain 34 Julie ___, voicer of Marge Simpson 37 Ending with cytoor proto40 Make a boo-boo 42 Emotionally demanding 43 Do after dark 45 Nickname for Maurice 47 Inc., in France 48 Negative fast-food review?
No. 0916 52 Charge (through) 54 Early hrs. 55 “Get outta here!” 56 Cirque du Soleil stars, e.g. 59 Archipelago that’s a part of Portugal 63 Guarded 64 Certain fast-food offering … or what 17-, 27and 47-Across certainly don’t add up to? 66 Musical direction for silence 67 “Anyone ___?” 68 Keen on 69 Spot for a sprain 70 Inbox label counterpart of “New” 71 Number written in parentheses on an income statement
DOWN 1 Print sources, maybe 2 Surveyor’s calculation 3 Rock around the Christmas tree?
puzzle by Paul Coulter 4 N.Y.C. mayor of the 1970s-’80s 5 Like Pisa’s tower 6 “The Simpsons” storekeeper 7 Chest muscles, informally 8 “Later!” 9 Do-over 10 Polo grounds? 11 Gawk 12 Drum used in Indian music 13 More Machiavellian 18 Divas’ deliveries 22 Browse online without commenting, informally 24 Folklore fiend 27 Cheese ___ (snack) 28 City called a “kommune” by its inhabitants 29 Complete disaster 30 Myanmar, formerly 31 The “E” of N.Y.E. 35 Falco with four Emmys 36 Choices at bakeries and liquor stores
38 Theater sign letters 39 Storage unit 41 Doesn’t keep 44 Singer Franklin, Aretha’s older sister 46 Got out 49 Purim heroine 50 Indistinct 51 Kind of number in chemistry 52 Country from which the name “Buttigieg” comes
53 Vast expanse 57 1988 Cy Young winner Hershiser 58 Attention-getting store sign 60 Western home of the National Automobile Museum 61 Grub 62 Opening for a time … or a dime 65 Free ad, for short
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