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Om nom nom! Waffles!This is an invitation to a Waffle Brunch I help organize once a year. It’s a lot of fun – and if you don’t show up you’ll be missing out on some seriously awesome food. It’s known to local foodies as ” The Greatest Waffle Brunch In History.”

Chefs from around the world compete in Asheville, NC to decide who will be crowned “Master of the Waffle Iron And Supreme Potentate Over All Creation”.

To aid this culinary contest the community (That’s YOU) comes together to taste & vote on the waffles. Side-items such as fruit salad, bacon, and mimosas are provided by the attendees to share with one another.

This year all proceeds go to BAMFS – The Blueridge-Asheville Movement & FlowArts Society. (Look them up & “Like” them on Facebook.)

The Waffle-Off Championship is considered the most important event on Earth.

Cost: $5 per person + _ONE_ of the following items to share:

–> Real maple syrup (No HFCS please)
–> 1 gallon of organic orange juice
–> 1 bottle of Sparkling wine (aka: Champagne)
–> Bowl of fruit salad. (Doesn’t have to be organic fruit)
–> Something you want to share with the community, as long as it’s pre-cooked. (eg: Bacon, Mom’s breakfast strudel.)

Link to ticket page:

Advance ticket: $5
Tickets at door: $8

Note: A small group, such as a family or couple, may show up with a single one of the above items and it will count for the entire group. (For example: A family of 4 can bring a single bottle of real maple syrup.) If you don’t have time to pick up one or create of the items, no worries, an additional $5 will be accepted.

* Kids under the age of 10 and press get in free.

So, to summarize:

What: 2015 Waffle-Off Championship & Brunch

When: Sunday – March 29th 2015 @ 10:00am – 12:30pm

Why: To answer the most important question of all time: Who makes the best waffles IN THE UNIVERSE!!!???

This event is a benefit for BAMFS: Blueridge-Asheville Movement & FlowArts Society (Look us up on Facebook)

Where: The Asheville Commissary – 3080 Sweeten Creek Rd Asheville, NC 28803. (Formerly CinTom’s Frozen Yogurt) Refer to this Google Map:

This is a rain-or-shine event.

It’s been years since I last posted to this blog. Decided to do so today because there’s an important issue that needs to be discussed within the Buncombe Democratic Party … and I don’t have another vehicle to start the conversation.

As you may know, I support Todd Williams in the current District Attorney race.  But what y’all may not know is why.

What I didn’t write in the LTTE, because I didn’t want to be confrontational before more information became publicly available, is that Ron Moore had possession of evidence that would have cleared the names of 5 people for murder – and didn’t turn it over to their defense attorneys.

This is upsetting enough. What’s salt-in-the-wound is that this serious miscarriage of justice is not being discussed intelligently within the establishment of the local Buncombe Democratic Party during this year’s DA primary race. “Moore’s a good man” is the common mantra when faced with facts around this issue, or pretty much every other scandal concerning Moore.

Ron Moore may very well be a good man. Fine. It really depends on which side of the prison-bars you’re sitting on – I guess.

The Asheville Citizen times has full coverage of the story here. But the highlights are:

1) Ron Moore ignored DNA evidence.

2) Another person admitted to the crime in 2003, but Moore didn’t re-open the case for investigation.

3) Videotape evidence corroborating the 2003 confession was ignored.

I know Moore is a Democrat. He might even be a great guy in-person. But 5 people spent years in jail because Moore didn’t want to do his job properly. Frankly, if it had been 5 white middle-class kids – it is my humble option he would have been disbarred over this by now. In the coming years this issue is going to develop into a major scandal, putting the already tarnished credibility of the DA’s office in serious jeopardy.

The local Democratic party has a choice this year: During the primary y’all can put forth a 24-year incumbent with a history of opaqueness, sweeping serious issues such as the evidence-room scandal under the rug, and preventing justice; or you can submit someone who will focus on doing the right thing.

ON EDIT: Grammar & spelling

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The white llama on the left is Phil “Llama of multi-modal goodness.” He’s the patron saint of Asheville’s sustainable transportation options.*

You see, those of us who advocate for sustainable transportation options can’t afford a super-model, or even an attractive tattooed hipster, to be the spokes-peon for our cause.

So we hired this llama to get your attention.

Phil likes likes hay, oats, and, if you give his owner $20 and a bus pass, multi-modal transportation.

Phil wants you to know that the best political forum / hang-out-with-local-community-leaders is coming up tomorrow: The “Get There Asheville” Transportation-Themed Candidate Campaign fair.

If you want to know how candidates for City Council feel about public transportation, biking, sidewalks, and how to fund multi-modal transportation – this is the forum for you.

Or: If you just want to hang out with a bunch of fun folks – this is the forum for you.

Or: You don’t like fun folks… but you want an excuse to drink beer and get out of the basement – this is the forum for you.

Or: If you like llamas and want to meet a group of people crazy enough to pretend to hire one to be the spokes-llama for a political forum – this is _definitely_ the forum for you.

The date: Thursday – September 16th 22nd
The time: 6pm – 7pm
The place: Clingman Café (242 Clingman Ave)

More details: The event aims to provide candidates the opportunity to discuss how they hope to improve multi-modal infrastructure of the city.

Each candidate will have a chance step to the microphone, stand on the “soap box of transity-goodness” and showcase h/er campaign and transportation platform.

Bonus: Attendees will be able to talk and challenge candidates on an individual basis at their respective campaign booths after their soap-box stump-speech.

See you Thursday evening!

Come for the beer. Come for the candidates. Come for the amusement of watching me explain why there won’t actually be a llama at this event.

– pvh

* Not really. But what the heck – why not?

I’m still working on the next post about Asheville Transit. In the meantime, I _highly_ recommend this week’s MountainXpress cover-story about Asheville Transit: The art of the wheel

Jake Frankel does an excellent job reporting on up-coming changes to our public transportation system:

“Amid tough budgets, significant safety issues and rising fuel costs, Asheville Transit is rolling into summer with a major tuneup. The system is poised to announce new routes, schedules and other changes designed to improve performance, convenience and safety. In tandem, the city will launch a marketing campaign aimed at touting the transition and luring new riders, starting with a name change from ATS to ART (Asheville Redefines Transit).

The makeover marks the initial phase of implementing the city’s Transit Master Plan. Endorsed by City Council in October 2009, the proposal was developed over the course of two years by consultants HDR Inc. of the Carolinas, assisted by city staff, a steering committee and several well-attended public-input sessions. By 2020, the plan calls for dramatic improvements: expanding the bus fleet from 21 to 46, offering Sunday service, having buses run every 15 minutes on main corridors, and building new transfer stations outside downtown.

But with government at all levels seriously strapped, the funding for those ambitious steps hasn’t yet materialized. Still, the adjustments on tap for this summer represent a huge leap forward, advocates say.”

Kudos to Carrie Lare, who designed the cover-image. (Posted above)

– pvh

Categories : Local, Transportation
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Who Needs A Transit Master Plan?

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This is the second post in a series about Asheville’s Transit Master Plan. To readers who are familiar with how local public policy works this post’s subject might seem a bit basic.

“Of course you start with a Master Plan before you overhaul infrastructure!” those readers are probably thinking to themselves, “You can’t expect decision makers to approve systemic changes without hard data and stakeholder input first!”

But this series isn’t for the choir. It’s for those trying to understand how the coming changes to public transit were made and how these changes will effect them.

So let’s start at the beginning: Why the heck did we need a TMP in the first place? The City of Asheville shelled out about $100,000 to Nebraska-based HDR Consultants for this. What did taxpayers get?

For starters, for the first time Asheville now has a science-based, objective set of data that redefines the Asheville Transit System (ATS) to work as effective transportation infrastructure.

When City Council commissioned this plan in 2008 their were a number of objections about the TMP that are worth addressing now:
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Next Bus Stop For Asheville Transit: Change Avenue

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After two years of public comment, City Council leadership, and preparation; the Asheville Transit System (ATS) is about to roll out the first wave of reforms called for by the Transit Master Plan (TMP).

By mid-June ATS will go from a chronically-late, hour-based system – to one with 30-minute routes, enhanced on-time performance, an intuitive wayfaring system, and a new marketing plan to educate people as to how they can integrate public transportation into their lives.

Myself and other members of the Asheville Transit Commission have read emails, taken phone calls, and met face-to-face with citizens about the pending changes.

While most are looking forward to a greatly improved public transportation system, the TMPs implementation is also being met by a certain amount of trepidation. Several fear the adjustments are too numerous and too fast, while others insist there aren’t enough changes and the pace of updates is too slow. Some are worried a few of the new routes aren’t as safe as they could be, others feel city-staff was too cautious in route-planning. My favorite objections are between those who believe the new buses are too large, and those who are convinced they are too small.

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The ARC – Kind of a Big Deal

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There is an important new Arts2People program coming to Asheville: The Artist Resource Center. (ARC) This is a Very Big Deal that could have significant economic impact for the area. To appreciate why we are going to start with an old joke.

Question: What’s the difference between a pizza and an artist?

Answer: A pizza can feed a family of four.

This joke is especially true in Asheville where we are home to many struggling artists, who, despite collectively being one of the primary engines of our local economy, are largely neglected.

Think about it: A typical suburban couple considering a place to vacation doesn’t think: “I hear-tell Asheville has an awesome parking deck … let’s go there and check it out!”

No – tourists come here to see & experience artists, cultural creatives, dancers, musicians, and damn interesting folks. While our neighbors love to whine about Asheville’s “Freaks” … the bottom line is that without them the region would be fly-over territory.

This raccoon on a bike has nothing to do with the subject of this blog post. However, it catches the eye and makes me smile - so I'm using it.

Sadly many of these same damn interesting folks have the organizational acumen of a three-year old with a bucket of legos and sweet-tarts.

Piss-poor organizational skills means lousy book-keeping & follow-through. No book-keeping & follow-through means missed opportunities for personal & economic growth. Missed opportunities for personal & economic growth means a hand-to-mouth existence.

In other words: A lack of career skills for artists is why pizza beats art when it comes to feeding families.

Imagine if we could infuse the Asheville art community with some basic business skills? Within a few years, instead of waiting tables and hiding from the land-lord on rent day – artists would become the bedrock of an entire class of mini-cottage industries.

Imagine what that would mean for Asheville.

What’s needed for this vision to turn into a reality is a continuing education program tailored for artists – to teach them skills they need to make their passion economically sustainable. Stuff like basic book-keeping, marketing, sales, and invoicing. Classes for these skills need to be inexpensive, and instructors have to be willing to follow up when classes are over to make sure students follow through with lessons.

This program wouldn’t just prep people to take out bank loans; instead, it would help change an artist’s habits and self-image so they can live a more fulfilling life in line with their own goals and aspirations.

I just described The Artist Resource Center. Do you have a business skill or two to teach? Be a part of something amazing: helping our artists benefit from the national attention they have made happen here. Arts 2 People needs instructors at the Artist Resource Center, and is developing the schedule now.

Go to to submit a description of your class idea.

– pvh

Categories : Events, Local, Misc.
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Dancing Santa

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I don’t usually post videos or music on SH. Other Hooligans are far better at that kind of thing. I’m making an exception today because:

1) The video jump-started my Christmas spirit – and it will do the same for you.

2) It’s local.

3) It’s really, really cool.

So without further ado, here’s the video. Enjoy:


Happy Holidays Asheville. I love you.

– pvh

Categories : Local
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The Shuler Ad on the ScrutinyHooligans side-bar annoys me. It features a picture of Shuler with the words “Keep Our Majority”.

Shuler’s team knows they’ve irked local progressives – and they can’t appeal to them on many of the issues they care most about. So they’re playing the fear card: ZOMFG!!!111 LOOK SCARY REPUBLICAN! OOGA BOOGA!!! You wouldn’t want to  give the House to them, would you?

I hate, hate, HATE appeals to fear. It’s a corrosive acid on the body-politic; It’s a cop-out answer to legitimate questions over policy direction; Most importantly, it sets a unnecessarily negative tone from the Shuler camp.

But wait! Isn’t fear of a Republican take-over legitimate?

Not any more. Even if Shuler wins 100% of the NC11 vote, it looks like scary Republicans are talking the House after all. Don’t feel bad – it’s normal for the President’s party to shed seats during a mid-term election.

I’m bringing this up because there are many non-fear based reasons to vote for Shuler.

1) Shuler is more qualified than Miller.

2) All of these reasons.

3) If the House goes Republican we can look forward to at least two years of investigations of Obama’s birth certificate, anti-science legislation, and proposals for a constitutional amendment banning flag-burning. In the meantime, Shuler isn’t going to embarrass us the way Miller would under a Republican majority.

In conclusion: Go vote. Vote your conscience. Ignore fear-mongers on both sides of the aisle. Your vote is your own, and you don’t owe it to anyone. If no one can make a rational argument to support Shuler, then don’t vote for him, or leave the space blank. Just don’t DON’T vote. There are always candidates that deserve your support in other races.

In the meantime, here’s some advise for team-Shuler: Why not go positive in your web advertising? Here are some, admittedly sloppy, ads that would help me support Shuler and don’t require fear.

Just sayin’.

– pvh


Step 2 It

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I enjoy fun activities. I’m guessing you do too.

Yes, there are those who enjoy chewing tinfoil, receiving root canals, and The Family Circus cartoon strip … but, by and large, ScrooHoo readers lean toward the “Like To Do Fun Stuff” demographic.

There is a particularly fun event coming up next week: The Step2It Candidate Fair.

It’s like a normal fair – ‘cept without carnies, an entrance fee, or diabetic shock-inducing deep-fried Oreos.

Candidate Fairs can be kind of dry – but this one is being organized by Get There Asheville (GTA) – the same folks who brought you the epic Jeopardy-style candidate-forum last year.

This time expect more surprises. Up to, and including, a visit from a great-and-mighty magical being.

GTA encourages candidates to make a smart, sustainable local transportation network a top priority and to represent the interests of bus riders, cyclists and pedestrians. If you want better bike lanes, sidewalks, and buses – this is the event for you.

You’ll get to meet the people who are running for office and ask them questions about their views on multi-modal policy. Clingman Cafe will be open so you’ll be able to enjoy beverages and food.

So far, U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler and N.C. Reps. Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever have committed to attending. (All local candidates were invited.) Members of Asheville’s City Council will present an update on local transportation improvements. UPDATE: Chris Dixon, who is running for the NC State Senate seat in District 48 has just announced he’s coming too.

A questionnaire was sent also to all candidates, you can read their responses at

Step 2 It candidate fair
Wednesday – Oct. 27, @ 6-7:30pm.
Clingman Café – 242 CLingman Avenue, Asheville

Categories : Local, Transportation
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