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Archive for September, 2009

Asheville Seeks Public Participation in Recycling Contest

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville is participating in the Cans for Cash City Recycling Challenge. The contest, sponsored by The United States Conference of Mayors, Keep America Beautiful, and Novelis Corporation, challenges cities across the country to promote citizen participation in the collection of aluminum beverage cans.

Asheville will compete with other cities of the same size for up to $5,000 in awards. Awards will be used to support recycling efforts through local education and awareness programs.

Approximately 50 billion aluminum cans end up in landfills each year. Recycling aluminum beverage cans reduces waste in our landfills and helps create a sustainable environment. The Challenge starts October 1 and ends October 31, 2009. Recycle those aluminum cans!

For more information about the Challenge or drop-off center locations, go to www.ashevillenc.gov/sanitation or call 251-1122.

As Smoky Mountains National Park Turns 75, UNCA Professor’s Book Describes Unusual History

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is complicated, unique and full of human drama, and that’s just what fascinates UNC Asheville History Department Chair Dan Pierce.

Since he began researching the park in the 1990s as a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Pierce has been surprised at every turn to learn that establishing Great Smokies National Park in the early 1900s was not the smooth process it was for the first parks in the West.

“In my research, I found out that much of what I thought I knew was wrong,” Pierce says. “What I did find was a compelling, complicated and unique story that still teaches us important lessons today.”

On September 2, 1940, thousands of people gathered with President Franklin Roosevelt at Newfound Gap dedicate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Great Smokies: From Natural Habitat to National Park (2002, University of Tennessee Press) tells how the 427,000 acres necessary to establish the park had to be bought from individuals and lumber companies, unlike Western parks that were already government holdings. So funds had to be raised and lawsuits brought by unwilling sellers had to be dealt with. “The park could never happen today,” Pierce says. “And it still seems hard to believe that it happened even then.”

Pierce explains how businessmen and politicians spearheaded the park’s creation as an economic boon, raising about $1 million of the necessary $5 million for land purchases. Donations came from rich and poor, school children and housewives. The states of North Carolina and Tennessee had promised to issue $2 million in bonds each, contingent on an additional commitment of $5 million. The park was at a stalemate when philanthropist Nelson Rockefeller rode to the rescue with the last $5 million—saving the park ideal by making available the $10 million needed for land purchases.

“The part of the book I have been proudest of—and probably have gotten the most comments on—is the chapter on the removal of the working-class farm families and the condemnation of their land. If I feel any sadness about the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is for the families who lost their homes, churches, businesses and communities.”

The Grove Park Inn & Spa Introduces Special Package for Parents-To-Be

Monday, September 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is introducing the perfect getaway for parents-to-be. The historic resort provides the perfect setting for one last relaxing getaway before the arrival of new family members. Expectant parents are invited to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect before entering (or re-entering) parenthood with The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa Parents-to-be Babymoon Retreat Package.

Whether you’re welcoming your first child, your fifth, or adopting, this package includes everything you’ll need to relax and prepare for the arrival of your little one. Enjoy accommodations, breakfast daily, a special Grove Park Inn gift basket and discounts on dining and spa. Mom also gets her choice of a Mother-to-Be Wrap or a Maternity Massage at our world-class Spa and dad gets either a Spa Day Pass or a round of golf on our acclaimed Donald Ross course.

The Parents-to-be Babymoon Retreat Package includes:

-Two nights of accommodations

-Breakfast daily, your choice of the Blue Ridge Dining Room’s lavish buffet or In Room Dining

-Mom’s Choice: Mother-to-Be Wrap or Maternity Massage

-Dad’s Choice: Spa Day Pass or 18 Holes on our Donald Ross Golf Course
Grove Park Inn gift basket

-20% off a treatment at our world-class Spa, excluding Nail Treatments and Saturday appointments

-20% off dinner for two at your choice of Horizons, The Sunset Terrace or Blue Ridge Dining Room.

If your plans for a little one include adoption, our reservations specialists will be glad to customize a package to suit your needs.

For more information, please contact The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.0050 or 828.252.2711; visit www.groveparkinn.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ewgrove and Facebook at www.facebook.com/groveparkinn.

Board of Elections Seeking Poll Workers

Monday, September 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Buncombe County Board of Elections is partnering with local schools and institutions to institute a poll worker recruitment program in Buncombe County. This program is an effort to ensure better representation of young citizens, and citizens with diverse backgrounds in future elections.

Despite an impressive record of professionally-run elections in our county, it should be noted that the average age of active poll workers in Buncombe County was 60 years of age in 2008.

Recruits will be offered the opportunity to serve as poll workers in one of the two elections scheduled to take place in the fall of 2009. Other local institutions participating in this program include A-B Tech, UNC-Asheville, Montreat College, and Western Alliance Center for Independent Living.

Buncombe County Elections (2009)

* October 6th – Asheville Primary

* November 3rd – General Municipals

Responsibilities:

Assistants must report to the precinct to which they have been assigned by 6:30 a.m. and are required to remain at the precinct until after the polls close at 7:30 p.m., and all votes have been counted.

Assistants are also required to study educational materials provided by the county board of elections office and may be trained to check voter’s registration or to demonstrate the use of voting systems.

Compensation

Election Day Service $115.00

Training (if required) $15.00

Total $130.00

For more information on serving as a poll worker please contact the Buncombe County Board of Elections at (828) 250-4200, or visit the website Board of Elections For other questions on the College Poll Worker Recruitment Program please contact the program coordinator, Sami Disu, at (828) 275-4908 or email sami.disu@buncombecounty.org.

‘Peanuts Pumpkin Patch’ Returns to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Monday, September 28th, 2009


BRYSON CITY, NC – PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express returns to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for 2009. As the leaves are turning in October and pumpkins are ready to be carved, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy return to the GSMR Pumpkin Patch October 2, 2009. The excursions, which are themed after Charles M. Schulz’s classic story “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” will be departing from the Bryson City Depot October 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25. Friday departures will be at 3:00pm. Saturday and Sunday departures will be at 11:30am and 3:00pm.

Guests will hear a narration of Schulz’s “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” as the train travels to the Pumpkin Patch. Upon arrival, passengers will be greeted and have a photo opportunity with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy. Activities to enjoy at The Great Pumpkin Patch will include: campfire marshmallows, a coloring station, temporary tattoos, trick or treating, and a bouncy train. The children can also navigate through a giant hay bale maze. Other activities include hay rides, bobbing for apples, apple cider or apple juice, and treats. There will be plenty of PEANUTS™ merchandise at the Smoky Mountain Trains gift shop! Each child will also select their own small pumpkin from The Great Pumpkin Patch to take home.

For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681.

Smoky Mountain Trains Museum admission is included with all train excursion tickets. Without train excursion admission is $9.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Children.

UNCA Men’s Soccer Team Loses 3-1

Monday, September 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Kentucky scored three goals in the second half to record a 3-1 victory over visiting UNC Asheville Sunday afternoon at Wildcat Stadium.

The Bulldogs had scored in the 50th minute of the second half to grab a 1-0 lead on a goal from Bryan Bartels. David Wood picked up an assist to give Asheville a lead over the nationally-ranked Wildcats.

But Kentucky (7-1-0) quickly struck for two goals. The Wildcats tied the match up when Jase Griffiths scored in the 53rd minute. One minute later, Josh McCrary scored to give the home team a 2-1 lead.

Kentucky iced the match with a goal from Chad Haggerty in the 82nd minute. The Wildcats had a 23-5 advantage in shots.

Asheville plays again this Tuesday afternoon at Greenwood Field when the Bulldogs host East Tennessee State starting at 4 p.m.

Park Ridge Takes Holistic Approach to Health with Farm to Hospital Program

Monday, September 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Have you ever heard cafeteria food described as “amazing”? At Park Ridge Hospital that’s what’s happening—employees like the cafeteria’s meals so much that they take to‐go boxes home. Part of what makes Park Ridge’s food good is the hospital’s involvement in Farm to Hospital, a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) that helps hospitals support local farms and connect patients and staff with healthy food.

Park Ridge Hospital takes a holistic approach to health that incorporates nutrition and more. “We want to help our employees and patients learn where their food comes from, and how to find and prepare fresh foods,” says hospital staffer Graham Fields. “And we want to be a part of the community, because community is part of healing and prevention.”

Park Ridge, located between Asheville and Hendersonville, is in an area rich in agricultural resources. Black Bird Farms in Henderson County is one of the cafeteria’s suppliers of fresh produce. The farm has been owned and operated by the Haynes family since 1933. Current owner, Billy Haynes, Jr., says of his work with the hospital, “It’s a great partnership for me and an important way to supply fresh produce to the community.”

The hospital identifies locally grown foods on their menu with the Appalachian Grown logo, and displays promotional materials created by ASAP that tell diners about the farmers who grow their food. The hospital is also distributing Market Bucks, coupons that can redeemed at Asheville City Market‐South for fresh, local products.

ASAP offers Farm to Hospital resources to hospitals around the region, working with food service, administration, staff, patients, and the broader community. The nonprofit distributes Local Food Guides to hospitals and supports sourcing local products for cafeterias. ASAP also consults on educational programs such as cooking classes and field trips, wellness programs, and marketing and promotions. For more information, visit www.asapconnections.org.

WNC Nature Center to Celebrate ‘Hey Day’

Monday, September 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Come to Hey Day, on Saturday, October 10th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road in East Asheville. We’ve made the event a little greener with the addition of demonstrations on solar energy, chicken tractors, sustainable agriculture and water catchment. While being educated, families can still enjoy our special visiting animals and the following local entertainers:

– Jay Brown (10 a.m. – 11 a.m.) Founding member of the old time, swing band Lazybirds, Jay has toured throughout the southeast and as far as Alaska and has performed at festivals such as Merle Fest, Bele Chere and the Rhythm & Roots Reunion. He has shared the stage with artists including Doc Watson, Ritchie Havens, Gillian Welch and Sam Bush.

– Mountain Thunder Cloggers (11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) dance to many types of music – from Bluegrass & Country to 80s/Pop/Hip-Hop. A family-oriented team, they encourage the families watching them to join in!

– Haw Creek String Band (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Whoop it up to the music of the Haw Creek String Band, featuring banjoist Brad Searson and ole time fiddler Bob Hill

– Forge Mountain Cloggers (12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.) LOVE to clog and they bring smiles and energy to their audiences.

John Bowers and David Ray (guitar/mandolin) (1:30 – 2 p.m.) play a mellow alternative country genre and play weekends only.

Sherry Lynn and the Mountain Friends Band (2 – 3 p.m.) play acoustic country and contemporary bluegrass. This is a strong team that combines fine musicianship and pure joy, giving audiences a highly entertaining show.

Mark DeVerges (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.) is a true balloon artist. He will create a massive custom object/animal/creature right before the audience with the help of many volunteers in a way that incorporates science, education, and visual art! Following the show, Mark will amaze the kids with his award winning balloon twisting!

Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children, and FREE to Members of Friends of the Nature Center. Scrumptious food will be available at the Classroom Café onsite, so families can spend the whole day! This year’s generous Hey Day Gold level sponsors include Animal Hospital of Reems Creek, Harrington Electric Company and Dr. Ryan Haldeman, Orthodontist. Silver level sponsors include ABC Pediatrics, Allergy Partners of Asheville, Steven Cahan, Eye M.D., Greenworks Healing Center, Doug Sherry with Preferred Properties and the Toy Box. Media sponsors include Advantage Printing, Mountain Xpress and WOXL-FM.

Hey Day will be filled with fun for the whole family. Events include pony rides (extra $), weaving and spinning demonstrations, soapmaking, crafts, face painting($), a clown show, The Rainbow and You – a special storyboard performance, watercolor painting, pumpkin painting (extra $) and the always popular cake walk (extra $). Visiting animals include rescue Llamas, Fjord Horses and Miniature Ponies. Enjoy educational exhibits from the Asheville Fire Department, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Ashevillage, a chicken tractor expert, Doubletree Farm, Rainbow Recycling (inventors of the Recycling Stomp!), Riverlink, Greenworks, Higher Ground Gutter Cleaners and Sundance Power Systems.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of the WNC Nature Center’s College Summer Internship program. The Friends’ mission is to support the programs, facilities and the residents of the Western North Carolina Nature Center, which showcases the fauna and flora of the southern Appalachian region. The Nature Center’s mission is to educate the public about the flora and fauna of Western North Carolina and foster an interest in the conservation of native plants and animals. . The Center is operated by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department of the City of Asheville. For more information on the Friends or Hey Day, contact Sarah Oram, Director, at (828) 298-5600 ext. 308

Annual Greek Festival Happening this Weekend

Thursday, September 24th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – This weekend, Martin Luther King Jr. Park will host Asheville’s 23rd annual Greek festival. The festivities will take place from Friday the 25th to Sunday the 27th and include everything Greek from food to dancing and music. On Friday and Saturday the festival will go from 11am until 9pm and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. Members of the Asheville Greek community, particularly the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, will be directly involved in the food selections.

The celebration will be held in a festival style. Guests can attend for free and spend between $7 and $14 on food. The selection of food will include spanakopita and baklava in addition to a vast selection of other pastries and treats. Funds raised from the festival will go to the Holy Trinity Church as well as certain local charities.

The Greek Festival promises to bring traditional Greek foods, culture and hospitality to local residents and should deliver. Come down to Martin Luther King Jr. Park this weekend and help celebrate Greek culture in Asheville.

The Hilton Asheville Opens Roux

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville now has a unique addition to its dining scene, Roux, the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park’s new restaurant, featuring an innovative menu that incorporates small plates and comfort food with a creative twist. The Hilton Asheville along with Roux opened this August.

The restaurant’s entrees and small dishes create fusions of southern comfort and sophistication: its macaroni and cheese is truffled, its barbeque sliders are salmon and its bistro meatloaf sauce is a red-onion marmalade. Roux’s wide range of dishes range from grilled portobello and radicchio to lemon roasted chicken and sweet and spicy wings.

The basis for the restaurant name, roux, is the cooking mixture classically used to thicken the principal sauces of French cuisine. Roux, the restaurant, also blends the best of both gourmet and southern comfort food worlds.

The restaurant uses the concept of the old blue plate special to create ‘small’ and ‘larg’’ plates but with a spin- rustic potato frites in white truffle-scallion aioli and similar innovations replacing the usual ketchup and French fries- just the kind of twist Roux will become known for.

Roux’s Executive Chef Randy Dunn of Sparta, Tenn., has 15 years of culinary achievement behind him. He attended culinary school in Charleston, S.C., has worked at the Marriott in Birmingham, Ala., and had the opportunity to cook for Julia Child while at Sydney’s Grill in Cambridge, Mass. “I believe Roux will really offer something very different from your typical hotel restaurant. Here you’ll find a fun dining experience, something very social yet with great food and attentive service,” said Dunn.

The restaurant will use as much local, Asheville-based food as possible following in the footsteps of the Hilton Asheville’s commitment to sustainability. “My goal is to support local farmers and merchants and become a responsible neighbor in the town I am very excited to now be calling home,” said Dunn.

The Hilton Asheville is a luxurious, new, LEED Registered hotel located in the heart of Biltmore Park Town Square, just minutes from Biltmore Estate and just steps from dining, shopping and entertainment. Hilton Asheville is located just off Interstate 26, Exit 37 on Long Shoals Road in Biltmore Park Town Square. This location is just 5 minutes from the Asheville Regional Airport and 15 minutes from Biltmore Estate and downtown Asheville.

To learn more about the Hilton Asheville and Roux, visit the website at www.biltmorefarmshotels.com.