Why Most WNC Towns Remain Silent About HB2

May 10, 2016

Last month, the Asheville City Council unanimously adopted a resolution opposing North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, along with numerous other municipalities, both big and small. Yet, despite the ever-growing controversy surrounding the bill, some North Carolina towns just aren’t taking a position on the matter. In fact, it seems that House Bill 2 isn’t even on their radar. So, WCQS reached out to the mayors of some of these towns to find out why.

Stephen Houseworth photography

  Listen this week for two opportunities to hear the Asheville Symphony Orchestra's April 16th concert. We will bring you this blockbuster concert by the ASO with conductor Daniel Meyer on Tuesday morning at 10 and again Thursday evening at 8.  The primary work on the program is Giuseppe Verdi's Messa da requiem, written in 1874. This huge piece, running over an hour, is scored for full orchestra, chorus, and four soloists. In the April performance the Symphony is joined by the Asheville Symphony Chorus led by Michael Lancaster.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Graduates of UNC Asheville will hear from a pioneering voice in local journalism during Saturday morning's commencement address.  Virgil Smith is the former publisher of the Asheville Citizen-Times, and worked at its parent Gannett Company for 24 years.  He was also a member of the UNCA Board of Trustees.  He was the first black publisher of a mainstream newspaper in North Carolina.  He's now retired and living in Atlanta.  Smith sat down with WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb in advance of his speech for a conversation that touched on his speech, diversity in the newsroom, and how the news industry adapt

Irene Young

Listen this afternoon for the next Friday @2 when guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Robin Bullock will be our guest, performing live in our studio.  Robin will play his third homecoming concert a the Black Mountain Center for the arts this weekend, and will give us a preview when he plays just for us on Friday @2.

The 42nd LEAF Festival is May 12 thru 15, and the theme is "World Fusion with Cuban Spice." Executive Director Jennifer Pickering and communications director Cortina Caldwell stopped by to talk with Dick Kowal about the festival and the other activities of LEAF.

  The Asheville Choral Society presents a program titled "The Music of the Living" Saturday evening at Central United Methodist Church. Artistic Director Melodie Galloway talked to Dick Kowal about the upcoming concert.

Adding to a growing number of artists to weigh in on North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2, pop singer Beyoncé posted a statement on her website denouncing the law.  The statement highlights the work of gay rights group Equality NC and suggests ways of helping the group.  The singer made a stop in Raleigh on Tuesday.  Speculation had swirled as to whether she would cancel the show or make some kind of statement.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's office says it's appealing a judge's decision refusing to dismiss a lawsuit by the news media that says the administration fails to comply with the state's open records law.

The Charlotte Observer reported the governor's office filed a request Monday to prevent news media attorneys from taking statements from witnesses while an appeal is prepared.

The Blue Ridge Orchestra plays the final concerts of its season this weekend in Asheville, Saturday night at Biltmore United Methodist Church and Sunday afternoon at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. On the program, Beethoven's Egmont Overture and the Double Concerto for violin and cello by Brahms. Soloists are violinist Kathryn Gardner and cellist Franklin Keel.  

Chuck Taft, conductor, dropped by to speak with Dick Kowal about the music.

  Dick Kowal talked today with members of the cast of "Brave New World: The Musical," receiving its world premiere at NC Stage. Robin Skye, Justin Matthew Sargent, and Charlie Flynn-McIver discussed the origins of the play and how it happens that the world premiere takes place at NC Stage.

NPR’s very popular news program, Morning Edition, heard daily on WCQS, is inviting listeners to create their own versions of the program's longtime, iconic theme music composed by Asheville’s BJ Leiderman. Regular Morning Edition listeners have heard the familiar theme every weekday morning since the show's first broadcast in 1979.

Former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes is back as chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party after GOP activists removed Hasan Harnett from the post for misconduct.  A majority of voting members of the party's Executive Committee Saturday in Raleigh elected Hayes over two other candidates to serve out Harnett's term through the middle of next year.  Hayes served as chairman from mid-2011 to mid-2013, a period of great success for the party as it expanded its advantages in the legislature and Pat McCrory became the first GOP governor in 20 years.


Sarah Shook is an emerging country artist out of central North Carolina.  She’s playing Friday 4/29 in Asheville at the Grey Eagle.  She’s also one of many artists taking part in a concert in mid-May against North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2.   Ahead of her Asheville visit she spoke with Jeremy Loeb.   

In this week's gardening segment, WCQS gardening expert Alison Arnold has some helpful tips for gardening beginners.

Alison Arnold is agriculture extension agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

The effects of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 are continuing to be felt in the tourism industry here in Asheville.  News broke yesterday that the WK Kellogg Foundation was cancelling its conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn, costing the city 500 visitors and $1.5 million dollars in liquid revenue, according the foundation.  For more, WCQS’s Davin Eldridge spoke with Stephanie Brown, Executive Director of the Asheville Convention Visitors’  Bureau.