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Archive for March, 2011

Buncombe County Commissioners to Meet on April 5th

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Commissioners will have a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 in the Commissioners Commission Chambers, 30 Valley Street in downtown Asheville. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., with general public comment at the end of the meeting during the designated public comment period.

April 5, 2011 Agenda

For more information, contact the Clerk to the Board at 250-4105 or by e-mail at kathy.hughes@buncombecounty.org.

Last Day to Donate Pet Food – March 31

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Meals on Wheels supplies pet food to their clients who might otherwise share their lunch with their four-legged friends. Financial contributions to the program have also provided veterinary assistance to seniors with sick pets.

This February and March, Buncombe County Public Libraries will be collecting pet food to restock the Meals on Wheels pet food pantry.

Please drop off your donations of unopened cat, dog, and bird food to any Buncombe County Library location in February or March.

For more information, view the flyer or call the Swannanoa Library at 250-6486 or email swannanoa.library@buncombecounty.org.

Rail Grant Expected to Bring 4,000 jobs

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC – Governor Bev Perdue announced Tuesday that North Carolina will be the recipient of $461 million in federal rail dollars, a grant expected to bring 4,000 jobs to the state.

The federal grant should also boost economic activity in the years to come.

Gov. Perdue said that while rail improvements are exciting, the real value will come from economic development opportunities.

“It’s not just about moving people from Raleigh to Charlotte faster,” she said. “It’s about putting people back to work.”

The grant was triggered by an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Co., Amtrak and N.C. Railroad Co. that allows construction to begin on the state’s rail modernization program.

The agreement, approved by the Federal Railroad Administration, triggers release of $461 million in 100 percent federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will pay for upgrades to tracks between Raleigh and Charlotte, bridges and crossing safety improvements, station expansions in four cities along that path and construction of a maintenance facility in Charlotte.

The funding also will enable North Carolina to improve the speed and reliability of passenger service, add a fourth daily round trip between Charlotte and Raleigh in coming years and refurbish locomotives and rail cars.

Easter at the Grove Park Inn

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Easter celebration at The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa is set for April 22 to 24, and it’s an opportunity for a weekend of fun and festivities for guests staying at the legendary resort. Kids young and old will enjoy bonnet decorating, a scavenger hunt, Grove Park Inn’s famous Easter Parade and The Great Easter Egg Hunt. The weekend celebration will also include appearances by Major Bear and The Easter Bunny.

The Easter Celebration package includes an Easter basket for your family, breakfast daily and a $100 Grove Park Inn gift card. Guests may use the gift card anywhere throughout the resort, including at the Easter Day Brunch Buffet. This special holiday buffet features traditional holiday items for the whole family. Local residents who want to attend the popular holiday brunch should make reservations as soon as possible.

The Easter Celebration weekend package includes:
– Two nights of accommodations, property view room
– A $100 Grove Park Inn Gift Card (gift card may not be applied to package price)
– Breakfast daily per adult, your choice of the Blue Ridge Dining Room’s lavish buffet or In Room Dining
– Family Easter basket

Package prices begin at an average of $140 per person, per night, double occupancy.

For more information, please contact The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.5800 or 828.252.2711 or visit http://www.groveparkinn.com. For groups of 6 or more, please call 828.252.8045.

Theatre UNCA Stages “Reefer Madness: The Musical”

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Theatre UNCA will probe political parallels between the 1930s and the present through a satirical comedy, “Reefer Madness: The Musical,” with five performances from April 13-17 in UNC Asheville’s Carol Belk Theater. Tickets go on sale April 7, with student, senior citizen and general admission pricing.

Bridget Patterson and Bobby Abrahamson of Theatre UNCAThis over-the-top musical comedy is inspired by the 1930s film originally titled “Tell Your Children,” a heavy-handed forerunner of more modern and sophisticated anti-drug campaigns. Re-titled “Reefer Madness,” the film is often shown on college campuses as a laughably transparent example of propaganda designed to produce fear and scapegoating. As in the original film, “Reefer Madness: The Musical” follows two all-American teenagers who fall victim to an evil marijuana peddler. Just one puff is all it takes to induce a descent into debauchery, mayhem and ultimately, catastrophe.

The UNC Asheville student cast is directed by Lise Kloeppel, UNC Asheville assistant professor of drama, with musical direction by Chuck Taft, music director at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater, and choreography by Cherie Holmes, dance instructor at ArtSpace Charter School and a UNC Asheville alumna.

The Wednesday-Saturday performances will begin at 8 p.m.; curtain for the Sunday matinee is 2 p.m. Tickets for all performances are $15 general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $10 for students. Because of the intimate size of UNC Asheville’s Carol Belk Theatre and the often heavy demand for tickets, advance purchase is strongly advised. Tickets may be ordered online or by calling 828.232.2291 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. Tickets are also available at the box office 90 minutes before curtain.

For online tickets and links to a student blog about the production visit the Theatre UNCA Web page. For more information, contact UNC Asheville’s Drama Department at 828.251.6610.

CNN Hero Steve Peifer to speak at Warren Wilson Scholarship Luncheon

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC – The Warren Wilson College Scholarship Luncheon is an annual rite of spring that brings together scholarship recipients and donors whose generosity helped establish named scholarship endowments. This year’s luncheon, scheduled for April 16 in Canon Lounge, promises to be even more meaningful for those attending.

Steve Peifer, recipient of a CNN Hero Award for his work with schools in Kenya, will be the luncheon’s special guest speaker. He will speak on his experiences in Kenya as well as on the importance of providing scholarship support for deserving students.

A former Oracle software manager, Peifer and his family moved to Kenya in 1999 after the death of his infant son. In addition to serving as the college counselor for a school near Nairobi, Pfeifer has built solar-powered computer stations and helped schools provide meals to hungry students.

Natural Fun: Birthday Parties at The NC Arboretum Encourage Unique Experiential Adventures

Monday, March 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Remember how fun it was to explore nature as a child? The NC Arboretum invites families to participate in its birthday party program, offering safe adventure amid 434 acres of natural beauty and a fun, guided celebration that everyone will treasure for years to come.
The Arboretum’s birthday parties for ages 5 and up feature a 75-minute guided program of your choice along with 45 minutes for cake and a gift celebration. All programs are led by an expert environmental educator and take place in the Arboretum’s interactive children’s classroom as well as outside along the  trails, creeks, pond, gardens and woodlands.

Party themes include:
– Outdoor Adventure: Children embark on a short hike along the Arboretum’s trails as we learn how to build survival shelters and navigate with a compass. Party favors include a compass and bandanna for each child.
– Bug Hunt: Participants get up close and personal with our collection of live invertebrates in theclassroom, then head out to discover the amazing insects that call our pond, fields and woodlands home. Party favors include a magnifying lense and bug box for each child.
– Wildlife of the Woods: Junior wildlife biologists will be thrilled by hands-on reptile and amphibian demonstrations, a wildlife match-up game, and a guided wildlife walk. Party favors include a pair of binoculars and magnifying lense for each child.
– Custom parties are also available, just let us know what your child would love to explore!

Parties are available on Saturdays at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. One adult for every 10 children are requiredto attend the guided program. Families may arrive 30 minutes prior to the party to decorate tables, chairs and the chalkboard (for the ecological reasons, no balloons allowed). A maximum of 24 participating children and 15 adults may attend. Party favors are available at an additional cost of $2.50 per child. Parties must be booked three weeks prior to the celebration. Parking fees are waived for participants.
For information, visit www.ncarboretum.org/education/youth-programs/eco-adventure-birthdays or contact Jonathan Marchal, Youth Education Coordinator, at jmarchal@ncarboretum.org or 828.665.2492, ext. 228.

UNC Asheville to Host Open House

Monday, March 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville’s Admissions Office will host an open house for high school and transfer students and their families from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Saturday, April 2, on campus. Those attending will have the opportunity to meet faculty and staff from all academic areas, and representatives of a wide range of campus organizations. The open house also includes student-led campus tours and sessions for parents and students on admissions, academics, extracurricular programs, scholarships and other financial aid.

Online registration is encouraged. Walk-in registration is also available at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union. The open house is free and open to the public.

For more information contact vist the UNC Asheville’s Admissions Office Web site, or call 828.251.6481 or 800.531.9842.

Fairview Library Hosts Birding Expert Simon Thompson

Monday, March 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Friends of the Fairview Library are pleased to host an evening with birding expert, Simon Thompson, as he discusses “Birds and Birding in Western North Carolina: the Country’s Most Popular Hobby” on Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m.

Simon is the co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in South Asheville, and as the owner and operator of Ventures Nature Travel, he leads birding tours all over the world. Originally from England, Simon has lived in North Carolina for 18 years. He is renowned for his passion for and knowledge of birds in the western part of our state. Simon is also an entertaining presenter, so mark your calendars now.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Fairview Library at 250-6484 or email fairview.library@buncombecounty.org.

Time to Sign-up for Co-Ed Beach Volleyball

Monday, March 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – It’s time to sign up for summer Co-Ed Beach Volleyball sponsored by Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services. Registration begins on Friday, April 1 and ends on Thursday, May 26. The cost is $60 per team and includes a T-Shirt for each player. A team consists of 4 co-ed players.

The season is from June 14 through July 14. Games are played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Buncombe County Sports Park in Candler.

Each team will play 3 games per week for a total of 12 games. The league is limited to the first 8 teams to sign up. The top 4 teams will make the playoffs and prizes will be awarded to the top 2 teams.

Sign up early to be sure that your team has the opportunity to play for the championship!

For information, call Jay Nelson at (828) 250-4269 or email him at jay.nelson@buncombecounty.org.