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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for October, 2009

Birthday Parties at The NC Arboretum Encourage Unique Experiential Adventures

Friday, October 30th, 2009

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 the classroom, 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 favorsinclude 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 required to 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 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

For information, visit Arboretum Birthday Parties or
contact Jonathan Marchal, Youth Education Coordinator, at [email protected] or
828.665.2492, ext. 228.

Bulldogs Live to Start on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Scully’s

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The UNC Asheville men’s and women’s basketball radio show – Bulldogs’ Live – is returning for its sixth year starting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Scully’s Signature Restaurant on 13 Walnut Street from 6-7 p.m. The show will be broadcast on WISE Radio (1310-AM). Each week the show will provide an update on both Bulldog basketball teams.

The show will move to Wednesday’s this year after being on Thursday the past five seasons. The move was necessary due to the men’s basketball team playing six Big South Conference games on Thursday this year.

Bulldogs’ Live will feature comments from head men’s coach Eddie Biedenbach and women’s coach Betsy Blose plus a chance for callers to ask questions of each coach. Both Bulldog teams will have players on the show from time-to-time.

“We are delighted that WISE Radio and Scully’s is allowing us to have Bulldogs Live yet again this year,” commented Biedenbach. “This is a great opportunity for our fans to interact with both of our basketball programs.”

“I’m really happy that Bulldogs’ Live is back for another year,” stated Blose. “It’s a wonderful show that gives us a chance to promote our programs and be with our great fans.”

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa Introduces ‘Girlfriends Getaway’

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa has the perfect way for you to reconnect with that long lost friend from high school or college with our Girlfriends Getaway package. There’s no better way to connect with good friends than with this relaxing and fun-filled package. Make a date with “the girls” and meet up at our historic mountain retreat. A visit to our celebrated world class Spa gets your Girlfriends Getaway started. Slip into luxurious robes, then swim, relax in our sauna or simply idle in our outdoor whirlpool with its incredible views. The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa offers a variety of activities such as dining, shopping, golf and a state-of-the-art sports and fitness center. At the end of a fun-filled day, girlfriends can retire to their room for a night of gossip and heart-to-hearts: Just like old times!

The Girlfriends Getaway Package includes:

– Accommodations

– Dinner served in your room or at award winning Blue Ridge Dining Room

– Daily breakfast

– Passes to The Spa at The Grove Park Inn Resort

Call (800) 438-5800 for more information or to speak to a reservations specialist, or visit www.groveparkinn.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ewgrove and Facebook at www.facebook.com/groveparkinn.

Youth Leadership Academy Helps Local Homeless Shelter

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA) teaches high school students about civic responsibility, both through summer internships and through monthly community service projects.

The CAYLA students spent a recent Saturday at the ABCCM Women and Children’s Shelter preparing lunch for the residents. Among the many lessons learned: When making a four-course lunch for 40 people, there are never too many cooks in the kitchen. While there, CAYLA students also played basketball with the resident children and cleaned and disinfected the toy room. For more information about CAYLA or to support an upcoming service project, please contact program coordinator Erika Germer: [email protected]

Bon Bébé Brings New Offerings to Biltmore Park

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Soft pastel colors, huggable gifts, and the cutest décor you could imagine. These are the newest offerings of recently-opened Bon Bébé in Biltmore Park Town Square. Whether shopping for your own children or perusing their selection of apparel and furnishing for friends and family, Town Square’s newest store is not to be missed. Bon Bébé is every pampering parent’s dream, and if you aren’t one yet, chances are you’ll want to be once you venture into the store.

Located in Suite 110 on Town Square Boulevard, the main road in Biltmore Park, their storefront display is a good representation of what they have to offer. The fashionable clothing and posh cribs, bassinets, armoires, and more will have you wishing for the days when you could spend your time snuggled deep under blankets without a care in the world. And even though you may not be able to return to that time, you can ensure that the children in your life enjoy their time with peaceful, comfortable, and, of course, fashion-forward days.

Bon Bébé is one of a group of retail stores that recently moved to Biltmore Park Town Square, and they are excited about adding to the variety of offerings in the mixed-use center in South Asheville. Town Square is quickly becoming a one-stop shopping destination, and when you visit Bon Bébé, you also have an opportunity to stop by retailers REI, Barnes & Noble, Sparrow Spa, and more. In the meantime, don’t forget to venture into Bon Bébé and welcome them to Town Square.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Announces Seasonal Service to North Pole

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

BRYSON CITY, NC – In 1985, Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, a story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. The train takes a young boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. “The Polar Express,” published by Houghton Mifflin Company, has become a contemporary holiday classic, with over 6 million copies sold worldwide. In 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. reunited the Academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis in an inspiring animated version. That same year GSMR began operating The Polar Express based on the storybook version. Over 40,000 passengers rode The Polar Express with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2008.

The one and half hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the “North Pole” to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board The Polar Express, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

The Polar Express 2009 schedule is November 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, & 19 departs at 6:30pm. November 7, 14, 22, 24, 25, & 29 departs at 5:00pm & 6:30pm. November 20, 21, 27, & 28 departs at 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 2, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17 departs at 5:00pm & 6:30pm. December 3, 4, 10, & 11 departs at 11:00am, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 5, 12, & 19 departs at 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 18, 20, 21, 22, & 23 departs 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm.

Fine Arts Theater Hosts Special Showing of Herb and Dorthy on Thursday

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum invites you to a special film screening of Herb and Dorothy at 7:00 p.m. the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville on Thursday, October, 29, 2009.

With the tagline: “You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art, “this film tells the extraordinary collecting career of New Yorkers Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal clerk and librarian respectively, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history — now mainly housed at the National Gallery of Art (NGA). The Vogel Collection at the NGA was the main lender to the Asheville Art Museum’s recent exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects.

At one point over 2,000 pieces of art filled every square inch of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. This gem of a film has received numerous awards since it debuted last year; the Museum is pleased to premiere the film in Asheville.

Purchase your tickets in advance with cash, check or credit card by calling 828.253.3227 or get tickets at the Fine Arts Theatre beginning 30 minutes prior to the film with cash only. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 Museum Members, students and seniors.

After the film, if you find you need your own Christo and Jeanne-Claude work in your home, come by the Museum Shop or visit us online! The Shop has high-quality framed posters signed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude available for purchase! (The artists derive no profit from the sale of these works. The works were donated to raise funds for the Museum’s fine programming to serve the community.)

Asheville’s WNC Alliance Wins Statewide Innovation Award

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Western North Carolina Alliance (WNCA) was recognized for its “exemplary performance in innovation” and awarded $10,000 from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation at the North Carolina Conservation Network’s Annual Retreat in Raleigh.

The foundation gave WNCA its annual Community TIEs Award based on the group’s innovative approach of working with federal and state agencies, private companies, and other non-profits and involving volunteers in invasive exotic plant species control and native habitat restoration efforts on vulnerable public lands in Western North Carolina. Criteria for the top innovative program included the use of new and different solutions to combat old challenges.

“The innovation category traditionally receives the most applications from competing groups,” WNCA Executive Director Julie Mayfield commented, “so we are particularly honored to be chosen for this award, and we are grateful for the $10,000 gift.”

Excessive growth of exotic invasive plants is ranked second only to habitat destruction as a threat to wildlife. To combat this growing problem, WNCA and its partners launched this program in 2004, and since then the program has:

– Trained close to 200 volunteers in identification, inventory methods, and control methods of nearly a dozen invasive exotic plants;
Coordinated over 1,300 volunteer hours over 29 days across 25 miles of trails and roads in national forests and national parks;

– Coordinated control work on over 13,000 square feet in the Sandy Bottom ecosystem in Asheville to directly benefit endangered Bog Turtles and diverse salamander species;

– Planted over 150 mixed-hardwood trees for habitat restoration; and Educated over 300 other citizens through presentations to various organizations, schools, and garden clubs.

“Our success is measured not only in the hard numbers of miles and acres controlled, but also in the knowledge volunteers take back with them to their yards, their neighborhoods, and their local parks,” said WNCA Ecologist Bob Gale, who manages the program. “WNCA is proud to use this innovative and scientific approach to continue to improve our region’s most ecologically sensitive areas.”

Other partners in the program are Equinox Environmental Consulting and Design, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Southern Appalachian Man and Biosphere, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and North Carolina Department of Transportation.

WNCA is a 27-year old environmental group that empowers citizens to advocate for livable communities and the natural environment of Western North Carolina. For more information on upcoming WNCA activities, call the office at 828-258-8737 in Asheville.

Western Carolina Presents "Midsummer Night’s Dream Set in 1930s Appalachia

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Care for a serving of Shakespeare, hold the Elizabethan English and add a dash of fiddle and a soft Southern drawl? The department of stage and screen at Western Carolina University will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – a commentary on the absurdity of love – at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 29-31, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

One of the most often performed of Shakespeare’s comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” weaves multiple storylines: A royal wedding, a group of amateur actors planning the wedding entertainment, the confused affections of four young lovers, and a feuding fairy king and queen whose magical spells cause mayhem. The characters ultimately decide they must have dreamed the chaotic series of events, yet all find themselves changed by the experience.

“Shakespeare has purposely made this all a jumble,” said director Claire Eye, a faculty member in the department of stage and screen. “Shakespeare’s point is that you can’t put logic into who you fall in love with.”

Eye set the play in Depression-era Appalachia because it was a time when people craved laughter, and the play reminds her of qualities of this region. “There’s such a beauty to the music and the people here,” Eye said.

The play’s music, dance, costumes and set will evoke Appalachia, and while the language will be Shakespeare’s original, the pronunciation will be in a Southern dialect – a natural fit because “Shakespeare’s writing is very musical,” Eye said.

The cast includes:

– Titania, queen of the fairies – senior Dayna Damron of Valdosta, Ga.

– Oberon, king of the fairies – junior Jack Watson of Asheville

– Demetrius – senior Jon Coward of Titusville, Fla.

– Lysander – senior Nathanial Mason of Bryson City

– Hermia – junior Christina DeSoto of Charlotte

– Helena – senior Amanda Pisano of Candler

Puck – freshman Peter O’Neal of Raleigh

– Bottom the Weaver – Peter Savage of Asheville, a faculty member in the department of stage and screen

The play is part of the College of Fine and Performing Arts’ Mainstage theater series and recommended for ages 12 and older. Sunday’s showing also is part of the 2009-10 Galaxy of Stars Series.

Tickets cost $20 for the general public, $5 for students and $15 for WCU faculty and staff and people older than 60. To purchase tickets, visit the FAPAC box office or call the box office at (828) 227-2479 for Visa and MasterCard orders. Order tickets for Thursday through Saturday nights here, and Sunday afternoon here. online here.

City Calls for Bids on Economic Stimulus Projects

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The city of Asheville is calling for bids from qualified contractors for two projects, a pedestrian improvement project and a bicycle project, made possible by economic stimulus funds. Allocations for these projects were made available through the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The projects will extend the city’s pedestrian and bicycle transportation network by more than four miles.

The pedestrian improvement project includes approximately one and one-third miles of new sidewalk on parts of Hendersonville Road, Depot Street, Hilliard Street, Short Michigan Avenue, Linden Street and Evelyn Place. The project also includes construction of a quarter-mile multi-use path along Choctaw Street.

The bicycle project will increase the existing bicycle network by more than two and one-half miles. Bicycle lanes will be added to Coxe Avenue, Asheland Avenue, Hilliard Street, Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard, and Choctaw Street. Coxe Avenue will also be resurfaced as a part of the project.

“These projects will enhance the city’s capacity to support a multi-model transportation network by making it easier to walk and bike in Asheville,” said Ken Putnam, the city’s transportation director.

Additional information on the scope of these projects, including the plan drawings and contract documents, is available here.

Interested contractors must attend a scheduled pre-bid conference for each project and must submit bids on or before 10 a.m. Thursday, November 12, 2009 for the pedestrian improvements project and on or before 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2009 for the bicycle project.