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Archive for December, 2013

Keep Your Christmas Tree Beautiful All Season

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – You’ve picked the perfect tree – now how do you keep it looking beautiful all through the Keep your cut tree looking beautiful!Christmas season?

  1. Purchase a fresh tree with needles that do not fall off when shaken.
  2. Recut the base of the stem and stand it in water as soon as you get it home.
  3. Store the tree outdoors, standing in a bucket of water, until it is brought inside.
  4. Avoid exposing the tree to heat sources and warm drafts. Use an antitranspirant spray to help slow the drying out of needles.
  5. Be sure your tree stand is large enough to hold adequate water. Check the water level daily and keep the cut surface covered with water at all times. A cut Christmas tree will absorb between 2 pints and one gallon of water per day. Use plain water, no additives.

For more information, call Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.

County Blood Drive December 30

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Donors of all blood types are needed, especially O negative, A negative and B negative. Type O negative blood is universal and can potentially be transfused to patients of any blood type.

This holiday, give something that means something.

Photo of drops of blood.Give blood and you could help save up to three lives.

The drive is open to anyone qualified to give and it only takes around an hour.

Buncombe County Blood Drive
Monday, December 30
10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Administration Building
200 College Street
Conference Room

Call Samantha Holcombe at 230-6322 or go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code buncombecounty to schedule your appointment.

ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) Route Schedule Adjustments

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Beginning Monday, Jan. 6th, 2014, the City of Asheville ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) service will adjust schedules on nine routes. These changes continue to demonstrate the City of Asheville’s commitment to multi-modal transportation, affordability, and sustainability.

Notices detailing the schedule changes can be found at www.ridetheart.com, at the ART Station at 49 Coxe Ave. and on all buses.  New schedules will be available beginning Dec. 16th at the Transit Station.  Starting on Jan. 6th GoogleTransit, the trip planning tool using GoogleMaps, will guide riders using the new updated schedules.

The schedule adjustments encompass small changes aimed at improving on-time performance and reducing wait times related to transfers to and from Route C (Cross Town) and Route N. The changes will improve schedules on the Biltmore Ave. (to Mission Hospital) and Patton Ave. (to New Leicester Hwy) routes.  In addition, the Tunnel Rd. (to South Tunnel Rd.) corridor will have service three times an hour from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

The changes are based on citizen recommendations, surveys and data analysis and have been designed to improve customer satisfaction through route efficiencies.  Future Transit Master Plan recommendations can be seen by reviewing the document on line at: www.ashevilletransit.com.

A complete list of route changes can be found below.

·         C – Emma – Louisiana – Amboy- Biltmore Vlg.- Fairview Rd.- Swannanoa R. Rd.

o        Arrival times at each bus stop adjusted to improve the connections to downtown Asheville. Improve transfers to/from the W3 & W4 on Patton Ave. at Louisiana Ave.  Improve transfer to/from E1 on Swannanoa River Rd. at Bleachery Blvd.

·         N – Montford – Downtown –           MLK – Grove Park Inn

o        Improve transfer connections at the Transit Station. From MLK Jr. Dr. to the Transit Station, N will no longer serve Biltmore Ave. north of Hilliard.  N will use Hilliard Ave. west bound to serve the Transit Station.

·         N3 – Chamber – Hillcrest

o        N3 will depart from the Transit Station at :35 and :05 minutes past the hour.  An additional late night trip will be added at 10:35pm and the 7:05pm trip will be cancelled.

·         E1 – Tunnel – Swannanoa R. Rd. – VA

o        Arrival times at each bus stop adjusted to improve route on-time performance.

·         E2 – Tunnel – Haw Creek – Porters Cove

o        Serve the Haw Creek community on the inbound portion of the route rather than outbound.  E2 will depart at :15 minutes after the hour, improving the service frequency on Tunnel Rd.

·         S2 – Biltmore – Kenilworth – Social Security

o        S2 will depart from the Transit Station at :30 minutes past the hour, improving service on Biltmore Ave. to every 30 minute with S1.  For the first trip in the morning at 6:30am, S2 will arrive at the Transit Station at 7:00am.

·         S4 – S. French Broad –Livingston Hts. – AB Tech

o        S4 will depart from the Transit Station :05 minutes past the hour.  This route will now be matched with the S2 route rather than the W3.

·         W3 – Patton – Goodwill

o        For the first trip in the morning at 6:00am, W3 will arrive at the Transit Station at 6:30am to make connections.

·         W4 – Patton – New Leicester – Land of Sky

o        W4 will depart from the Transit Station at :30 minutes past the hour, improving service on Patton Ave. to every 30 minutes with W3, shortening wait times to C.  For the first trip in the morning, at 6:30 am, W4 will arrive at the Transit Station at 7:00am to make connections.

For more information about Asheville Transit, contact 253-5691, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.ridetheART.com.

Kiplinger’s Again Ranks UNC Asheville among the “Best Values in Public Colleges”

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville is included once again among the top 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges,” in rankings recently released by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Beginning with a pool of almost 600 public institutions, Kiplinger’s selected the top 100 based on a combination of best academic quality and value. UNC Asheville, which ranks 58th in the nation, has regularly made the list for the past decade.

Kiplinger’s found that, among the 100 colleges it ranked, UNC Asheville has the sixth lowest total cost of attending for in-state students and seventh lowest in cost after need-based aid. UNC Asheville students graduate with the eighth lowest average debt.

Academic quality continues to carry more weight than costs in the Kiplinger rankings. Factors considered include test scores of incoming students, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates.

UNC-Chapel Hill was ranked first by Kiplinger’s. Others in the UNC system that made the Kiplinger’s best values list were North Carolina State University, North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State University.

Kiplinger’s February magazine edition will publish the complete “Best Values in Public Colleges, 2014,” but the lists are available online now.

Kiplinger’s is not alone among financial magazines in recognizing UNC Asheville’s value. Last August, Forbes ranked UNC Asheville 20th in the nation on its “Top Colleges 2013: Best Value Colleges” roster.

UNC Asheville also is highly ranked for quality. Last September, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC Asheville as the seventh best public liberal arts college in the nation for the second consecutive year. The Princeton Review’s Best 378 Colleges noted the “top-notch academic experience” that UNC Asheville students receive and ranked the university 13th nationally on its “Town-Gown Relations are Great” list.

In July, The Fiske Guide to Colleges named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy” among the nation’s top colleges, and for the 10th consecutive year, UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program was highlighted as showing unusual strength in preparing students for careers.

A summary of UNC Asheville college rankings is available online.

ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference Open to All Farmers

Friday, December 6th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – ASAP’s annual Business of Farming Conference returns in time for the 2014 growing season, February 22 from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa. While the conference—which focuses on the business side of farming, covering topics from recordkeeping to marketing—has always included workshops for both beginning and veteran farmers, this year’s event promises a heartier serving of options for experienced growers.

“ASAP takes great pride in seeing farmers come back to our conference year after year,” says Molly Nicholie, ASAP’s Local Food Campaign program director. “We make sure to offer new and engaging content every event. This year, that includes an advanced track of workshops for seasoned farmers, many of whom have been transforming WNC’s food system with ASAP for more than a decade.” Advanced topics include building community capital through farms and advanced QuickBooks™.

Of course, new farmers and those seriously considering farming as a profession will have plenty of workshops to attend. The popular offerings Beginning QuickBooks and Selling More at Farmers Markets remain on the docket, joined by new classes about land access issues and more. One-on-one opportunities return as well, including chances for farmers to meet with potential restaurant and retail buyers and to meet briefly with professional consultants like attorneys and marketing experts.

Michael Miller, an attorney with Ward and Smith, P.A., participated in last year’s quick consulting sessions. “It’s amazing how much gets covered,” he says, noting that farmers ask specific questions and seek general, big-picture advice. “We bring a team of three lawyers, with different skills and practice concentrations, and leave feeling like we’ve been of real help on important issues. These farmers work hard and are valuable to our community. It’s a privilege to have this time with them.”

Registration is now open at asapconnections.org/conference; attendance is $40 per person by January 31 and $60 beginning February 1, with a discount for multiple farm registrants. The conference is made possible with support from Katuah Market, Buncombe County, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

 

Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales at Diana Wortham Theatre

Friday, December 6th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Named a Top 5 Pick at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales transports audiences back to the best (and the hardest) moments of childhood with three performances in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre, January 23-25, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. The show is part of the theatre’s Intersections Series and is a special event in conjunction with the 2014 Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. In Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales, author/actor Denise Stewart examines the secret lives of girls, the way we play, and the unsupervised side of childhood in a show full of humor and depth.

In 1978, a mother, newly widowed, moved her family from the wide, open spaces of Wyoming to a tiny town in North Carolina.  Misbehaving ensued.  Over thirty years later, DeeDee Stewart began writing about her childhood – and her mother.

Putting the “fun” back in “dysfunctional,” spinning tales on scarlet fever, scotch over ice and girls gone wild, this all-American girl takes audiences on an unforgettable ride through the 70s, 80s and 90s with a performance that is at once wonderfully authentic and effortlessly honest.

Denise “DeeDee” Stewart received her theatre degree from Catawba College in North Carolina before earning a Master’s in Playwriting from the University of Virginia. In addition to her playwriting and performance work, she is also a wellness coach. Stewart honed her theatre performance skills through giving honest and often theatrical motivational talks on weight loss and body image. Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales is adapted from Stewart’s blog of childhood experiences, which she kept while working as a wellness coach with teenage girls.

Featuring a full season of classes, discussions, and performances, Intersections is an opportunity for patrons to connect more deeply with the arts, artists, and each other. The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre, a large multi-purpose space adjacent to the theatre and accessible from the theatre’s main lobby, is the venue for all Intersections events unless otherwise announced. Tickets are available through the Diana Wortham Theatre box office at www.dwtheatre.com and (828) 257-4530.

Festival of Lights (Drive Thru) Begins December 6

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Light up your Holiday nights at the Lake Julian Park Festival of Lights.

The drive through show begins Come see the beautiful lights!Friday, December 6 and is nightly from 6 – 9 p.m. through Monday, December 23.

The park is brightly lit with thousands of colored lights and over 50 animated and stationary light displays. The road circling the park becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling lights.

The cost for this drive through presentation is $5 for a car, $10 for a van and $25 for a motor coach. A portion of the proceeds are donated to Buncombe County Special Olympics.

Lake Julian Park is located off Long Shoals Road. For information about this event, call 684-0376 or email [email protected].

Festival of Lights (Walk Thru) December 4 and 5

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Lake Julian Park presents “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” at Lake Julian Park. The first two nights of the Lake Julian Festival of Come walk through the light show December 4 or 5.Lights are for walkers only.

Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5, Lake Julian Park will become a wonderland for pedestrians – no cars allowed! Enjoy the holiday lights from a new perspective as you stroll through the brightly lit woods.

Walkers will be serenaded with live holiday music by the band Graywolf. Take time to warm yourself by the fire and toast a couple of marshmallows with the kids.

Gates open from 6 – 8 p.m. Adults admission is $5 and children get in FREE!

Wonderland Walkers should wear comfortable shoes, warm clothing and be prepared to walk over half a mile on a paved walkway. The walkway is of moderate difficulty with some inclines. Parents with young children are welcome to bring strollers or wagons. No pets please.

Lake Julian Park is in Arden, just off Long Shoals Road. Parking for “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is at Family of Faith Fellowship Church, 212 Long Shoals Road, Arden.

For more information, call (828) 684-0376 or email [email protected].

*“Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is subject to weather conditions. Lake Julian Park reserves the right to cancel the event or close the event early without notice.

The Fish Are Biting!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Just because the weather is cooler, doesn’t mean the fish aren’t biting. North Carolina, with its relatively mild climate, has plenty of opportunities to fish year-round. In fact, fishing for striped bass and blue catfish in reservoirs can be excellent during the fall and winter.

Click here for a list of more than 500 places where bank and boating anglers can cast a line.

Sugarfest Winter in the Mountains

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Sugar Mountain Resort’s eleventh annual SugarFest is scheduled for December 13th through the 15th.

Weekend festivities begin Friday, December 13th when the twentieth Annual Pre-Season Ski Clinic introduces two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Diann Roffe to an eager group of skiers taking part in three days of personalized instruction on the slopes. The all-inclusive clinic is open to serious ski racing enthusiasts. It includes video analysis, a ski tuning seminar, lift/slope tickets, a Saturday night banquet and the camaraderie of old and new friends.

Later that evening at 7:30p.m., 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Wylie performs his signature skate routines free of charge for the public. The approachable Wylie is a great showman who eagerly interacts with anyone on or off the ice after the show. If you’ve never seen or held a real Olympic gold or silver medal, stop by the ice rink. Paul and Diann will share their medals and Olympic experiences with you.

Delight in the beginning of the three-day SugarFEAST during the evening’s skate show on Sugar’s 10,000 sq. ft. outdoor ice rink. To keep you warm and well-hydrated a hot chocolate and whip cream bar will flow creamy, smooth chocolate pleasures.

All day Saturday and Sunday ski and snowboard manufacturers roll out their newest equipment for an unmatched demo inventory. Any valid lift ticket holder with a driver’s license is welcome to sample the latest ski and snowboard equipment.

Participating brands include Salomon, Volkl, Nordica, Burton, Head, Never Summer, K2, Atomic, Rossignol, Ride and Line. Just bring your boots, register, and test drive the goods from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The SugarFest demo is brought to you by Ski Country Sports.

SugarFEAST continues throughout the weekend. Browse through the cafeteria line each day and experience the “Soup Safari”. Or later at 5 p.m. North Carolina BBQ and Sweet Tea should satisfy your appetite after a productive and rewarding day demoing the season’s new equipment.

At SugarFest, Après ski isn’t a thing of the past. A fireworks display will take place just before 6 p.m. The deck at the base lodge is a great place to take it all in. Kick off your boots and enjoy great food, warm drinks and live bluegrass music from favorite local music group, BOSS HAWG. The Last Run Lounge will feature SugarBrew’s award winning “best in show” Thomas Creek Brewery’s, Up the Creek Extreme IPA brewed in Greenville, SC. Of course, the good ole German beer, Spaten will be on tap among others. No shortage of beverage selection here.

Not to forget, tubing is always fun and doesn’t require much of anything. Snowshoeing on the other hand is a healthy workout in an environment you won’t experience on a treadmill.

To enjoy the total SugarFest experience, you’ll want to spend the weekend on the mountain. Participating lodging agencies within the Village of Sugar Mountain offer discounted rates for slope-side and on-mountain accommodations. Sugar Mountain Resort’s Winter Value Packages are available too.

To learn more about SugarFest go to www.skisugar.com/sugarfest or call 1-800-SUGAR-MT and become a part of Sugar Mountain’s fun-filled winter kick off.