Blog :: 05-2012

Asheville-area Adventure of the Week

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5/31/2012 - Asheville-area Adventure of the Week
by Karen Chavez - Asheville Citizen Times

What: Hike the Forney Ridge Trail to Andrews Bald.

Where: Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Length: 1.8 miles one way.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Details: Head to the top of the Smokies to cool off this weekend and, at the same time, to see the remarkable craftsmanship of trail workers.

The Forney Ridge Trail starts at the parking area at Clingmans Dome, which is the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643 feet. The air here is much cooler than down at Asheville's 2,200-foot elevation, the clouds are closer, and the breathing a little slower.

But on a clear day, the views from the top of the Smokies go on for miles.

The trail dips down quickly through a spruce-fir forest -- you'll see some destruction by the balsam woolly adelgid -- but otherwise at this time of year, the trail is pretty lush with leaves, ferns and wildflowers.

It has almost a Stone Age feel, as the trail meanders among massive boulders. But if you haven't been on this trail in a while, it will be a treat.

Forney Ridge has just been completely renovated, the first to benefit from the new Trails Forever endowment of the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains nonprofit.

In a mountaintop ceremony last week, the Smokies superintendent, board members of Friends of the Smokies and the Knoxville-based Aslan Foundation, which kicked off the four-year campaign to reach $4 million with a $2 million matching grant, all celebrated reaching the milestone fundraising goal.

The endowment creates a permanent trail crew to maintain and enhance the more than 800 miles of hiking trails in the half-million-acre national park.

Forney Ridge, which was originally built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was badly eroded from water runoff over the past 80 years.

With Trails Forever funds, a Smokies trail crew, supplemented with lots of volunteer help, installed new wooden and stone stairs, cleared out fallen trees and debris and created water bars to make footing safer and easier and help water flow off the trail and down the mountain.

The work was all done with hand tools, such as saws, picks and chisels, said trail crew leader Tobias Miller. No large motorized equipment such as cranes were allowed.

The Forney Ridge Trail intersects with a trail leading to the Clingmans Dome summit and the Appalachian Trail to the right. Turn left to reach Andrews Bald.

It drops and climbs a couple hundred feet over 1.8 miles, when it arrives at the scenic Andrews Bald area, at 5,800 feet elevation. This is the highest bald is the park and will be alive with Catawba rhododendron and flame azalea later in June.

Continue on Forney Ridge to connect into other park trails, or turn around here and head back to the parking area. Bring snacks, drinking water, layers of clothing and rain gear.

Directions: From Asheville, the drive is about two hours. Take Interstate 40 west to Exit 27 and continue west on U.S. 19/74. Continue on U.S. 74 west to Exit 74 onto U.S. 441/Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Go about 5 miles following signs to the park and the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. From there, continue north to Clingmans Dome parking area.

Information: For more on the Smokies Trails Forever program, visit http://smokiestrailsforever.org. For more information on the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains, visit www.friendsofthesmokies.org.

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Asheville competition to highlight energy efficiency

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5/29/2012 - Asheville competition to highlight energy efficiency
by Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE -- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College's Global Institute of Sustainability Technologies and the WNC Green Building Council are holding a competition to spotlight the impact of energy efficiency in homes.

The Energy Savers Competition will challenge teams of three households to save the most energy through the Neighbor Saves program at NeighborSaves.org. Team members will take a class on weatherization, get a home energy audit and hold work party days for the team.

Participants in Energy Savers will receive $500 toward assessing and weatherizing homes, a free Green Gauge energy and environmental features assessment, and the team saving the most energy will win cash and prizes along with savings on utility bills each year.

For more information, call 254-1995 or email matt@wncgbc.org or visit NeighborSaves.org. Deadline to apply is June 30.

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Asheville art scene has a busy week coming, including Art Walk downtown

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5/29/2012 - Asheville art scene has a busy week coming, including Art Walk downtown
by Asheville Citizen Times

Grovewood Gallery hosts sculpture show beginning Saturday

Grovewood Gallery, 111 Grovewood Road, is hosting its annual Sculpture for the Garden exhibition, opening Saturday and running through December. The outdoor sculpture invitational features contemporary sculptures ranging from playful pieces for the home or garden to works for public spaces and corporate settings.

The opening reception, free and open to the public, will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Asheville artist Stefan "Steebo" Bonitz will lead a tour through the gardens beginning at 11 a.m.

To learn more, visit www.grovewood.com or call 253-7651.

Downtown Art Walk is Friday

The next Art Walk sponsored by the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association will be 5-8 p.m. Friday. Participating are 23 downtown venues, all listed on the Downtown Gallery Guide, with a map, available at any participating downtown gallery, the Chamber of Commerce or Pack Place.

The gallery 16 Patton has two exhibitions opening Friday and running through July 1 with a free opening reception during the art walk. The shows are "Laurie Adams: Connections," featuring figurative oil paintings, and "Charles Philip Brooks: North Carolina Pastoral," featuring tonalist landscape oils. To learn more, call 236-2889 or visit www.16patton.com.

The opening reception for "The Colors of Art" will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Front Gallery at Woolworth Walk, 25 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. The featured artists are painter Jane Voorhees and potter Julie Calhoun-Roepnack. To learn more, call 254-9234.

3 days of art in Black Mountain

AnTHM Galleries, 100 1/2 W. State St. in Black Mountain, is hosting several events this week in its hometown:

o First Fridays at the Monte Vista Hotel, 308 W. State St., return 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday as well as July 5, Aug. 3 and subsequent first Fridays. The monthly social and salon includes drink specials, appetizers, live music and art by AnTHM artists and other local talents. Jackson Hammack's mixed-media works are featured this month at the hotel.

o The Black Mountain Ale House is now showing the abstract oil paintings of Swannanoa's Sally Sweetland. An artist reception will be 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the tavern, at 117C Cherry St.

o AnTHM Town Arts presents new works by local artists Annie Singletary (ceramics), Missy Corrales (photography), Rebecca Becker (jewelry) and Jamie Rischitelli (floral acrylics) at a free reception noon-4 p.m. Saturday at the gallery.

To learn more about these events, call 419-0049 or visit www.anthmgallery.com.

June workshops set

The Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League is sponsoring a three-day workshop with watercolorist Tom Jones, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 4-6 at Red House Studios, 310 W. State St., Black Mountain. The cost is $310, or $275 for members. To register, contact Sharon Sandel at 645-5338 or sbs787@comcast.net.

Richard Christian "Rich" Nelson will be teaching a five-day portrait painting workshop 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 11-15 at Skyuka Fine Art gallery, 133 N. Trade St., Tryon. Artists will work from life. The class is open to all media, but oil will be emphasized. The cost is $500. To learn more or register, contact rich@richnelson.com or 859-0318. See Nelson's art at richardchristiannelson.com.

Ceramics show debuts, including online

Crimson Laurel Gallery, 23 Crimson Laurel Way, Bakersville, will present "Juice: Ceramics by Noah Riedel" beginning Friday. A free artist reception will be at 6 p.m. Saturday. The show may be viewed -- and items purchased -- online beginning Friday. To learn more, call 688-3599 or visit www.crimsonlaurelgallery.com.

Craft as Object exhibition now open

HandMade in America is hosting the exhibition "Craft as Object" in its downtown office gallery, 125 S. Lexington Ave, Suite 101 (enter on Hilliard Avenue), through Aug. 17.

The show includes 25 objects made of traditional craft materials -- clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and recycled materials -- by Western North Carolina artists.

"The craft object is a fundamental expression of human values and human achievement that transcends special boundaries as well as social, political and religious beliefs," Gwynne Rukenbrod, HandMade's executive director, said. "Craft objects offer meaningful examples of our shared heritage as human beings."

Ruth Ilg is artist of the month

The Asheville Gallery of Art's featured artist for June is Ruth Ilg. A free opening reception for the artist will be 5-8 p.m. Friday at the gallery, 16 College St.

The exhibition, "Meditazioni," features new paintings describing a personal, meditative journey of color, form and texture. The show will be up through June 30. To learn more, call 251-5796 or visit www.ashevillegallery- of-art.com.

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Tourism outlook for summer in Asheville is bright

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5/25/2012 - Tourism outlook for summer in Asheville is bright
by Jason Sandford - Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE -- The outlook for Western North Carolina's summer tourism season is bright heading into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, with falling gas prices, rising temperatures and ongoing national buzz about the region.

"Overall, I feel like we came through a strong winter and gas prices are now starting to come down now, so the tourism industry is pretty optimistic about what the summer holds for us," said Marla Tambellini, assistant vice president of marketing and public relations for the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Certainly this holiday weekend will be a good barometer for how the rest of the summer will shape up," she said.

Hotel occupancy has been strong over the past five months in Asheville but flattened out in April, with numbers about even with last year, Tambellini said. But the daily rate hotels are charging has been up, which indicates strong demand, she said. The visitors bureau plans to target four key markets -- Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham and Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point -- with a variety of advertising.

"We know we haven't tapped our potential in those areas, particularly in Atlanta," she said. "They continue to hold a lot of promise."

The tourism industry is a key economic sector for Western North Carolina, as well as for the entire state. Earlier this month, Gov. Beverly Perdue declared May 16 "Tourism Day" and noted that visitors spend more than $50 million a day in the state and contribute more than $4.3 million a day in state and local tax revenues as a result of their spending. Perdue said that for the first time, state tax receipts as a result of visitor spending last year came in at more than $1 billion. That number has increased more than 50 percent over the last decade.

One of the region's attractions banking on visitors' dollars is the venerable Flat Rock Playhouse, which bills itself as the state theater of North Carolina. The professional theater, which was recently awarded a $5,000 grant by the Henderson County Travel & Tourism grant committee, is in its 60th season. The theater draws thousands each year to its staged comedies, dramas and musicals.

"I firmly believe this is going to be a good summer for tourism," said Sharon Stokes, a spokeswoman for the theater. "Hopefully we'll see some record numbers."

Stokes noted recent action by the White House to establish a new national tourism strategy aimed at promoting U.S. destinations, as well as the massive exposure generated by the blockbuster "The Hunger Games." The movie, filmed in WNC's lush mountains last year, has drawn international interest from fans and others interested in visiting.

Aside from the Hollywood exposure, WNC has also continued to benefit from national publicity surrounding its reputation as a hub for craft beer. In the past couple of months, New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing and Oskar Blues brewery all announced plans to build big new brewing operations in the region.

There's also high interest in the expansions of other well-known attractions, including Navitat Zip Line Canopy Tours and Harrah's Cherokee Casino. The zip line company in Barnardsville is adding three new mountain zips 2,000 to 3,500 feet long, some of the longest in the U.S. And the casino is finishing up an eight-year, $650 million expansion that has included the addition of 500 rooms in a new hotel tower, a 3,000-seat event center and thousands of square feet of added gaming space.

The other good news for motorists who may be making their way to the mountains is falling gas prices. An estimated 884,000 motorists are expected to be hitting highways this weekend, and they'll see gas selling for an average of $3.55 per gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. That number marks a 36-cent-a-gallon drop since an April 6 peak of $3.91, according to AAA Carolinas.

North Carolina's average price is now 22 cents a gallon less than May 22, 2011, according t o the not-for-profit advocate for safety on the roads that provides automobile and insurance services. Abundant supplies, a weakened Euro due to financial uncertainty in the European Union, slower economic growth in China and no oil-related threats in the Middle East all contribute to the falling prices, according to AAA Carolinas.

"That bodes well for the summer travel prospects," said Tom Crosby, a spokesman for the organization.

"That, and it looks like it's going to be hot this weekend," he said. "The hotter it gets on the beaches, the better it is for you guys in the mountains."

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New concert series looks to draw big crowds to French Broad River in Asheville

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5/23/2012 - New concert series looks to draw big crowds to French Broad River in Asheville
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE -- Look for some hot music and big crowds this summer on the French Broad River in a new Friday night concert series presented by the RiverLink organization and sponsored by New Belgium Brewing.

The new RiverMUSIC series will present five outdoor concerts at the RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza, 144 Riverside Drive. With a stage just 20 feet from the river, it looks to capture some of the same vibe as the Downtown After 5 shows on Lexington Avenue -- only with waterfront flavor. The series is being funded through a grant from the Chaddick Foundation.

The concert site is currently being used by the Ariel Trapeze Academy classes.

The first show on June 29 features Brooklyn-based 10-piece band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds with Asheville's Krektones and The Mad Tea (formerly the Mad Tea Party).

The concerts continue on July 13, Aug. 3 and 24 and Sept. 14. None of those dates directly compete with Downtown After 5 or Bele Chere.

The series could pull 800-1,000 people per concert, said RiverLink spokesman Dave Russell. "This is brand-new for us," he said.

"We feel like the more people who hang out at the river and appreciate it, the better that they will take care of it."

The concert series is the latest chapter along the evolving French Broad River in Asheville, which is already home to a hot arts district and such spots as 12 Bones Smokehouse barbecue and the Wedge Brewing Co.

The RiverMUSIC site is directly across the river from the future home of New Belgium Brewing's East Coast expansion brewery.

"We are all just waiting to see what will happen" with the concert series, said Wedge Brewing owner Tim Schaller, who expects to see some boost in business after each riverfront show.

Parking will be available near the concert site, but RiverLink is encouraging visitors to come by foot, bike or even paddle down the river and land at Jean Webb Park or the concert site.

No alcohol may be brought to the concerts, but New Belgium will sell beer, and wine and food will also be available.

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Beer Guy: Asheville taps into Beer Week

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5/23/2012 - Beer Guy: Asheville taps into Beer Week
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times

Beer Week starts on Thursday night, and I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Should I head to Highland Brewing for a benefit for the family of a brewery worker killed in an accident in New Hampshire, go to Thirsty Monk for a tasting, soak up some Bavarian oom-pah beats at Lexington Avenue Brewery or settle in for the Asheville Beer Masters tournament at Asheville Brewing?

And that's all just on Thursday night. Beer Week means some tough choices during a crazy 11-day stretch through June 3. There's no way to do it all. There are too many conflicts, with great events happening at the same time.

The Asheville Beer Masters tournament at Asheville Pizza & Brewing downtown is very tempting. The final four contestants -- Tim Clapper, Daniel Hardin, Scott Hicks and Adam Reinke -- will face a battery of tough questions and some challenges. One of them will walk away with some great prizes, worth more than $1,000.

On Saturday, the Just Brew It homebrew festival outside Wedge Brewing Co. could be the year's biggest beer bargain. A membership in Just Economics of WNC (starting at $15) gets you an afternoon of great homebrewed beer.

The list is constantly growing, and you can keep track at www.ashevillebeerweek.com

Cheers to sessions beers

Green Man Brewing, 23 Buxton Ave., will host a Sessions Beer Festival during Beer Week and will serve 17 different lower-alcohol brews, with three of them on tap at any given day. They include a Berliner Weisse and a Scottish cask ale.

All beers will be 4.5 percent alcohol or lower and will be specially priced.

Growlers are great

The new Growler Station store will open Thursday at 109 Augusta Road in Greenville, S.C., selling two dozen draft beers (many of them regional favorites) in take-home returnable glass or recyclable plastic growler bottles.

A special refill system promises to keep beers fresh for up to three months, Growler Station owner Craig Pavlish said.

Most beers are $8.99-$14.99, through some higher-end brews go up to $20 or $30 a bottle. Because North Carolina law doesn't allow this kind of store, the Growler Station sounds like a great place to visit. Get more online at http://growler-station. com/gs002-greenville.

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Local teens help smoking rates hit all-time low in NC

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5/21/2012 - Local teens help smoking rates hit all-time low in NC
by Casey Blake - Asheville Citizen Times

 ASHEVILLE -- A new study suggests a group of local teenagers are winning the fight against some very grown-up political obstacles: tobacco use and state budget cuts.

 A recently released survey presented by the state Department of Health and Human Services says the percentage of North Carolina teens who smoke has hit an all-time low this year, down by close to 50 percent over the last decade.

A new North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey presented this week showed 4.3 percent of middle school students and 15.5 percent of high school students smoked cigarettes. That rate has dropped steadily in North Carolina since 2003.

The agency correlated the lower rates with its "Tobacco. Reality. Unfiltered" nonsmoking campaign. Since the campaign was launched in 2003, middle school smoking has dropped by 55 percent from 9.3 percent to 4.2 percent and high school smoking decreased by 43 percent from 27.3 percent to 15.5 percent.

"I think we're all really ecstatic about these results and the fact that we're making a difference," said Tiffany Jones, a junior at North Buncombe High School who works with the local TRU program and Youth Empowered Solutions.

"But we're also really aware that the fight is definitely not over, and there is a lot of work to be done."

Good teen spirit

Jones joined a group of students from other city and county schools last week to disperse "quit kits" to veterans in recognition of National Armed Forces Day. The kits include rubber bands to "snap cravings away" as negative reinforcement for cravings; candy to fight oral fixation urges; and a list of reasons to quit.

"I just want to say that I'm really proud of you guys for coming out here and doing this," one of the kit recipients told the group last week. "It gives me a lot of hope."

The teens are quick to point out that each of them has a different reason for taking up the anti-tobacco cause, but they agree that peer education is the most effective way to keep teens from picking up the habit.

"It's a lot more effective to have someone your own age telling you about this kind of stuff," said Emma Harper, a sophomore at Asheville High School.

"No one quits or doesn't start smoking because an adult comes in and shakes their finger and says, 'Don't do this, it's bad.'"

Members of the group, which represents rural and urban areas across Buncombe County, said each of them knows someone their age who smokes cigarettes.

They said the most common incentive to smoke is based on a "perception that it relaxes you or is a stress reliever," and that it's a common habit among their peers.

They said some teens they know come from homes where parents buy cigarettes for them, but many smoke away from home and have parents who have no idea they've ever picked up a smoke.

Harper said many teens have the misconception that more people their age smoke than actually do, or an "everybody does it," mentality that just isn't so.

"We've talked to kids at other schools -- and especially at Asheville Middle -- who actually think that 80 percent of teenagers smoke," said Tyler Long, another Asheville High student.

"We know that that's obviously not the case, but it's amazing how many people think it."

Potential 'halt in progress'

Despite the TRU program's apparent success, teens and their adult advocates are concerned that funding cuts taking effect in July will halt the progress they've made.

The General Assembly eliminated funding as of July 1 for TRU and other tobacco prevention and cessation programs in North Carolina.

The TRU program was originally funded by the Health and Wellness Trust Fund with funds from the Master Settlement Agreement with major tobacco companies, but funding for the program was relocated to the department's budget last year and is not set to recur.

Governor Bev Perdue proposed $10 million in her budget released last week to begin restoring support for the initiatives.

"About 100,000 students enter middle school each year in North Carolina, and those kids can't be helped by programming they've never experienced," said Pam Seamans, executive director of the North Carolina Alliance for Health.

"We've seen in other states that eliminate funding for these types of programs that progress really stalls and the rates climb," Seamans said.

"We're so proud of the work these teens are doing, so we don't want to see these successes evaporate."

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Happenings around WNC!

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5/21/2012 - Happenings around WNC!
by Asheville Citizen Times

A chance to own a piece of Richmond Hill Inn

 ASHEVILLE - OM Sanctuary, the new owners of the historic Richmond Hill Inn estate, will host an estate sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.

 Antique and contemporary furnishings, flatware and stemware and Victorian decor will all be sold. Proceeds from the event will help OM Santuary pay for deferred maintenance and restoration work. 

When it was first built in 1889, the Richmond Hill mansion was home to former congressman and ambassador Richmond Pearson. It later become a well-known bed-and-breakfast and tourist draw. The property went into bankruptcy after a 2009 arson and was purchased last year by Oshun Mountain Sanctuary Inc. for $4.5 million. The nonprofit plans to turn the property into a wellness center.

For more information write to info@omsanctuary.org or visit the website at www.omsanctuary.org. OM Sanctuary is located off Riverside Drive, across the Pearson Bridge. Follow Richmond Hill Inn signs to 87 Richmond Hill Dr.

YWCA of Asheville accepting TWIN award nominations

ASHEVILLE - The YWCA of Asheville is now accepting nominations for the 16th annual YWCA Tribute to Women of Influence Awards event, which will be held Sept. 20 at Pack Place and the Diana Wortham Theatre.

The TWIN award recognizes women who are role models in their professions and the community. Each nominee must fit into one of three categories: equality, empowerment and transformation.

The deadline to submit nominations is June 1. The nomination form is available on the YWCA website, www.ywcaofasheville.org, or call 254-7206, ext. 206. Proceeds from the TWIN event go to support YWCA programs that bridge gaps in education, earning power, health and child care.

HCC to host tax seminar May 23

CLYDE - The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will host a free seminar by the N.C. Department of Revenue 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday in the student center auditorium.

Seating for the seminar is limited. Send an email to SmallBusinessSeminar@dornc.com and include "Clyde" and date to attend to reserve a spot. You can also call HCC's Small Business Center at 627-4512.

Participants will also receive information about the Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program, an initiative that is helping thousands of small businesses that have fallen behind on sales, withholding and other trust taxes by offering penalty and fee waivers, as well as longer-term repayment plans.

Chamber seeks nominees for small-business awards

ASHEVILLE - The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its 2012 Small Business Leader of the Year awards.

The Small Business Leader of the Year Award program recognizes two individuals (one from a company with 16 or more full-time employees and one from a company with 15 or fewer full-time employees) who clearly reflect quality and dedication in the operation of business in the Asheville area and provide leadership accomplishments, including innovation, initiative and civic responsiveness.

Nomination forms are available at www.ashevillechamber.org/awards and should be submitted by Friday. Nominees will be notified and asked to submit a nominee response form (also available online) by May 31. The award winners will be recognized at the chamber's annual meeting on June 21.

Get your dance on

ASHEVILLE - The Decentralized Dance Party is coming to town 8 p.m.-midnight Tuesday.

The Canadian-based organizers of the dance party held a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year that raised $1,024. The party consists of hundreds of people carrying boomboxes and a DJ who wears a backpack containing an FM transmitter. The boombox carriers tune into the DJ's broadcast to create a mobile, synchronized sound system, according to the dance party Kickstarter site. The party will roam around downtown to "create an infectious epidemic of fun," according to the site.

New video games may break through sales slump

USA Today reports that two much-anticipated games, "Ma x Payne 3" and "Diablo III," due in stores today, could bring respite from a five-month slump in video game retail sales.

The arrival of the third-person action game and the PC-based fantasy role-playing game will be welcomed by game fans and retailers, because the release schedule of potential hits so far in 2012 has been underwhelming.

Another sign of slumping sales: Retailer GameStop reported last week that first-quarter sales fell 12.5 percent on a drop in store traffic due to fewer blockbuster titles.

Overall April retail sales were $630.4 million, down 32 percent from $930.9 million in April 2011, reports market tracker the NPD Group.

"When we see compelling content come into the market, the games are still selling as well as ever," says NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "We just saw a lot less this April as compared to last."

Other factors in the slump: growth in sales of downloadable games and add-on content, as well as a casual gamer shift to mobile and Web games. Some developers have turned design efforts to the next generation of video game consoles, even though only Nintendo's Wii U has been announced, says Geoff Keighley, host of Spike network's GameTrailers TV.

"Really, the only big game this year," he says, "has been Mass Effect 3," BioWare's science-fiction role-playing game, which has sold about 4 million copies in two months.

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Asheville area performing arts calendar for the coming week

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5/18/2012 - Asheville area performing arts calendar for the coming week
by Asheville Citizen Times

ACOUSTIC

Caravan of Thieves, gypsy jazz rhythms 8 p.m. today, The Altamont Theater, 18 Church St., Asheville. $15. 270-7747 or www.myaltamont.com.

Downtown After 5 concert series, 5-9 p.m. third Fridays (May-September), North Lexington Avenue, downtown Asheville. Today: Kellin Watson Band, Velvet Truckstop. June 15: The Secret B-Sides, Space Capone. July 20: Common Foundation, Sol Driven Train. Aug. 17: Shane Pruitt Band, Simplified. Sept. 21: The Buchanan Boys, The Black Lillies. www.asheville downtown.org.

"Across the Woods" benefit concert, 6:30-9:30 p.m. today, Brevard High School auditorium. The Hogtown Squealers, Carolina Blue, Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval, The Joe Pye Band and other musicians. The Blackberry Blossom Jammers, a group of Transylvania Youth Strings student musicians, will also perform. Silent auction. $15, $10 students, free age 12 and younger.

Jonathan Byrd, 7:30 p.m. today, Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain. $10 donation. 669-0930.

Steve Conn, 8 p.m. Saturday, The Altamont Theater, 18 Church St., Asheville. $10. 270-7747 or www.my altamont.com.

Spring Bluegrass Celebration with The Leftovers and Sonny Reighard, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, 121 Schoolhouse Road, Robbinsville. 479-3098.

Youngs Mountain Music, 8-10 bands featuring mountain music every Saturday 7-11 p.m., Mountain Music Drive (off U.S. 19E), Burnsville. Nonalcoholic facility. 675-4790.

"Heritage Comes Home," 7 p.m. Sunday, Mars Hill College, with Bryan Sutton, Jerry Douglas, dobro player, Tim O'Brien (of Hot Rize), fiddler Casey Driessen, bass player Dennis Crouch. $30, VIP tickets $100. 649-1301.

"Patriotic Pops" by Hendersonville Community Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, Blue Ridge Community College's Conference Hall in Flat Rock. $10, students free. 696-2118.

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR MORE!

Asheville Upcoming Performing Arts Events

 

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Asheville celebrates Beer Week with tasting, quirky events and two festivals

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5/18/2012 - Asheville celebrates Beer Week with tasting, quirky events and two festivals
by Asheville Citizen Times

The timing couldn't be better for Asheville's new Beer Week celebration. Just days after the city's latest victory in the Beer City USA online poll (a tie with Grand Rapids, Mich.), Asheville's brewing community will host its first Beer Week - series of tastings, festivals and other lively events, many of which are free to the public. Beer Week will actually cover an 11-day span.

"Every week is beer week in Asheville," said Asheville Brewing president Mike Rangel, who helped organize the celebration. But with dozens at of events on the schedule and more popping up every day, Asheville Beer Week will be the biggest brew-relelated celebration ever held here.

Beer Week begins on a serious note, with a Thursday fundraiser at Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, to assist the family of Ben Harris, an employee at Redhook Brewing in Porstmouth, N. H., who was killed in a keg explosion accident. Local breweries are donating beer for purchase and beer gear for auction. There's no cover charge, but donations in any amount are welcome.

The festival is bookended with two brew festivals. The Brew It home brew festival is May 26 outside Wedge Brewing Co., 125-B Roberts St. in the River Arts District. Area homebrewers will serve samples of their ales and lagers. Admission is by membership in Just Economics (a basic membership is $16, a bronze is $25 and a VIP is $75, both which includes some perks). Get more information at http://justeconomicswnc.org).

The Beer Week finale is the third annual Beer City brew festival, June 2 at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park downtown. This festival features many of the area's finest breweries, plus live music . Tickets are $40 and on sale only at the local breweries and at Bruisin' Ales and Barley's Taproom. Get more at www.beercityfestival.com/.

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