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Please begin with an informative title:

Good day and welcome to DKos Asheville. This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread where we get together every weekend to share with everyone what we're all up to in Western North Carolina and beyond. We hope this group serves to invigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that's grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who we stand with, work with, and share with. We hope, through this community, that we can leverage our orange passion for progressive politics to help elect more and better Democrats.

Asheville and all of Western North Carolina are wonderful places to visit. We have a powerful progressive presence, both cultural and political, and for the most part everyone is really nice. And the views are breath taking. If you've never been here, we promise you'll love it.

This week week we look at local news through the eyes of a great local blog.

Intro

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Blank canvass. Image by Castell Photography
This week, we would like to feature work from one of our great local blogs, Ashevegas, established in 2005. From the site- Ashevegas is an independent news blog serving the city and the people of Asheville, N.C., sharing local news, the word on the street, events, and information as it happens. We’re the first place to look for the Asheville news you care about.

Ashvegas is produced by: Jason Sandford, founder and editor: Jason is a writer, photographer and resident. Jason grew up in Asheville and is a 20-year veteran journalist.

First off, some insight into the result of electing some progressive candidates to the city council.

Budget blessed

Speaking of council meetings, Tuesday’s was a big one as the group unanimously approved a $147 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The plan includes no property tax increase and is highlighted by commitments to pedestrian projects including sidewalks, greenways and Sunday bus service. City employees will get a 3 percent pay increase, and storm water fees will rise for property owners. Council members also voted to approve an expansion of downtown’s Central Business District, which will allow for construction of taller buildings closer to the intersection of Hilliard and Asheland Avenues. Mountain Xpress reporter Jake Frankel has a complete rundown of the meeting here.

This is a great race that has not gained much national media attention. Would love for it to get more.
Moffitt maligned, Turner to toss

Here comes the District 116 ad war! This week we saw one of the first hit pieces in the race—a 30-second ad sponsored by the North Carolina Environmental Partnership blasting state Rep. Tim Moffitt over his pro-fracking vote this year. Meanwhile, Moffitt’s Democratic opponent Brian Turner was out and about this week, canvassing for votes and talking baseball. According to the Citizen-Times, Turner will throw out a first pitch at an upcoming Tourists game, and has been training to fire in a real pitch “with a little bit of humph.” Perhaps we’ll see the speedball featured in an ad.

Here is a look at a downtown street art project.
Mural project kicks off Friday in downtown Asheville with 10 artists painting Wilson Alley (Image above)

This is an exciting new mural project for downtown Asheville. Check this, from loyal reader Heidi, gallery director at Castell Photography Gallery:

I hope all is well! I wanted to let you know about a mural project that we at Castell Photography Gallery are organizing for this Friday.

As you may know, Molly Freeman painted a really lovely mural across from our space on Wilson Alley a few years ago. It’s been a great addition to the alley and has barely been tagged or marked since Molly first painted it. It’s been great for making the alley a bit more of a destination and bringing more people down here to our beloved neighborhood, “The Block”!

And here is an example of Asheville's more flashy side. Movies!
Movie star Owen Wilson was spotted in downtown Asheville Monday morning. Ashvegas peeps tell me he was seen strolling Wall Street. No word on where he was headed. (He was also spotted at Asheville Regional Airport, according to a Twitter report.) On Monday night, Wilson was seen walking downtown near Mellow Mushroom (he reportedly asked how to get to Skinny Dip Falls), and on Tuesday night, he hit the LAB and Imperial Life.

Owen is in town for the filming of Loomis Fargo, a new comedy that will be shot around Asheville this summer. Owen is starring with Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig. Jason Sudeikis is also on board. (Wiig and Sudeikis are SNL buddies.) Filming will crank up after the Fourth of July holiday. The movie production crew is scouting numerous locations around town – everything from city streets to vacant property. Keep your eyes peeled.

We hope you enjoy this trip through Asheville. Please drop in and say howdy and please give Ashevegas a visit.
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