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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for November, 2011

Website Creation Workshop Dec. 2

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

CULLOWHEE NC – A one-day workshop in building free personal and business websites will be offered Friday, Dec. 2, by Western Carolina University’s Office of Continuing Education.

Participants will learn how to create, design and publish personal Web pages on the Internet using no-cost online resources. The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 137 of WCU’s Cordelia Camp Building.

The instructor, Gordon Pike, worked as a senior technical writer for General Electric Co. for 33 years before his retirement in 1995. While at GE, he wrote military and commercial technical manuals for complex electronic systems such as the Apollo program, the F-16 pilot training simulator and the Trident missile program. He now teaches computer courses at Haywood Community College.

The cost of the workshop is $49. No book, program download or special computer skills are required.

To register or for more information, call 828-227-7397 or go online to learn.wcu.edu.

UNC Asheville to Hold Annual Ceramic and Art Sale

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville’s Art Department will hold its annual holiday sale of ceramics and art from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 in the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery in Owen Hall. The sale is open to the public.

A wide variety of functional and decorative items crafted by UNC Asheville students will be on sale with prices beginning at $5. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Art Department.

For more information, call UNC Asheville’s Art Department at 828.251.6559.

Hendersonville Resident Featured on Blue Zones Website

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – One Hendersonville resident is taking the Blue Zones message to heart – and seeing results. Paul Alexander has been using a standing workstation at home for more than eight weeks, and has shed pounds simply by standing for a few additional hours each day. Alexander’s story was featured on Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones blog on November 9.

Alexander built his new standing desk after hearing a presentation by Park Ridge Health’s Jodi Grabowski and reading Buettner’s book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. He ditched his office chair and transformed his home computer desk into a temporary standing workstation, and recently renovated it into a more permanent setup.

To read the Blue Zones feature on Paul Alexander, please visit http://www.bluezones.com/2011/11/losing-pounds-effortlessly/#more-2163.

For more information about free wellness seminars, please contact Jodi Grabowski at 687-5290 or [email protected].

About Park Ridge Health:

Park Ridge Health was built by Henderson County residents, and more than 100 years later, they are still a beloved piece of the growing community’s health care network – providing quality, compassionate care in a Christian environment. In 1986, Park Ridge partnered with Adventist Health System, joining more than 44 exceptional not-for-profit community hospitals in the U.S., and leading the way in many medical firsts for the region.  For more information about Park Ridge Health or to find a physician, please visit parkridgehealth.org or call 855.PRH.LIFE (774-5433).

Antique and Collectible Book Sale – Nov. 18-19

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Bookends Used Book Store at Pack Library will be having a collectible book sale on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 from 10 a.m. – 4 The sale @ Pack Library will feature antique & collectible books, 1st editions & rare finds.p.m. This sale will feature antique and collectible books, first editions and rare finds for bibliophiles. The collectible books will be in Lord Auditorium on the lower level of the library. Cash or check only will be accepted for this sale.

In addition, there will be a hallway book sale outside the library featuring holiday books, movies and music. Children’s books in a variety of subjects will also be available in the hallway sale.

For more information, call Pack Library at 250-4700 or email [email protected]. All proceeds will benefit the library.

Learn the Long-Range Winter Forecast for WNC

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

ice treessnowy forestASHEVILLE NC – The Institute for Climate Education at A-B Tech will host a seminar on the winter forecast for Western North Carolina at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 in Ferguson Auditorium on the College’s Asheville campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

“The Long-Range Winter Forecast for Western North Carolina” will be presented by Meteorologist Tom Ross. “Winter weather can have a profound impact on our lives and on the investments that we’ve made in our landscaping and crops,” Ross said.  “We’ll look at the global weather patterns to see if another harsh winter could be in store for our region.” There will be a question-and-answer session following Ross’ presentation.

“We’re all interested in getting the scoop about what the coming winter may bring,” said Pamela McCown, coordinator for the Institute for Climate Education.  “It’s one of the questions I get asked the most. The last two winters have produced very snowy periods, and while that can be great news for some businesses like ski resorts, it can make it difficult for parents with children in school when schools must close. Our goal is to help people be prepared as best we can.”

The Institute for Climate Education was established at A-B Tech to offer classes, workshops, seminars and other training for the general public about climate and climatology. For more information, visit http://www1.abtech.edu/content/institute-climate-education/overview


“Egyptian Uprising: Revolution or Coup d’Etat?” – Cairo-based Professor to Speak at UNC Asheville

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Amy Austin-Holmes, assistant professor at the American University in Cairo and witness to the uprising that ousted the Mubarak regime in Egypt, will speak at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center room 417. This event is free and open to the public.

Austin-Holmes was in Cairo throughout the entire uprising and witnessed many of the key events. Her research lies in the intersection of both democratization processes and social movements in countries where the United States has a strong security commitment. This presentation, which will include photographs and video, will explore the internal and external dynamics that led to the collapse of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, as well as the current period characterized by military rule.

LED Street Lights Ramp Up in West Asheville

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Beginning Monday, Nov. 21, the city will move into Phase II of a streetlight upgrade program in which traditional bulbs will be upgraded to LED bulbs.  Retrofits will take place Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with no expectations of traffic disruption.

In spring of last year, the City of Asheville successfully installed 700 lights in River District and Kenilworth neighborhoods in Phase I of the street light upgrade project.  Phase II has a broader reach and will involve 2800 streetlights across West Asheville, Kenilworth and Oakley.  Once completed all four phases are expected to save $650,000 annually and 2628 tons of avoided carbon which is equal to the amount of carbon absorbed from 60,000 trees.

Phase I of the four year initiative began in May 2011 and has generated $32,000 in actual savings. City Council’s approval of the Green Capital Improvement Plan rounds out the triple bottom line impact of the project.  The plan, adopted in the 2011-2012 budget commits all dollar savings from municipal energy efficiency projects to future energy efficiency projects

The City of Asheville is the first in the nation to implement this innovative financial model where all the energy savings pay for the streetlight investment. The lighting upgrades build further upon the successful lighting ordinance passed in 2008 which ensures all municipal streetlights adhere to “Dark Sky” standards.

For more information about these upgrades please visit the frequently asked questions page at www.ashevillenc.gov/green or contact Maggie Ullman at 828.271.6141 or [email protected].

Time to Prepare for Winter Weather

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County has enjoyed some beautiful fall weather over the last few weeks so it may be hard to imagine that winter weather will soon be here. Now is the time for us to begin preparing for snow, ice and strong winds. It’s important for us to prepare because winter weather can cause power outages that result in loss of heat, water and communications to our homes and businesses.

Preparing for winter storms is very similar to preparing for other emergencies like hurricanes or floods, with the addition of a few cold-weather supplies. Follow the three steps below now so that you and your family will be ready for whatever situation this winter brings.

Step 1: Get a Kit

  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
  • Thoroughly check and update your family’s Emergency Supply Kitbefore winter approaches and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
    • Sand to improve traction
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
    • Also include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Step 2: Make a Plan: Prepare Your Family

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
  • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.

Step 3: Be Informed: Prepare Your Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural stability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
  • If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to leave. In addition, check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
    • Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
    • Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
    • Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
    • Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
    • Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
    • Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
    • Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
    • Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
    • Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
    • Tires – make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
    • Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
    • For more information Preparing Your Car for Winter

Additional resources

WCU Art Student to Exhibit Work Nov. 17-Dec. 9

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

CULLOWHEE NC – “Exhi-beard-tion,” the fall senior thesis exhibition for Western Carolina University art and design students, will run from Thursday, Nov. 17, through Friday, Dec. 9, at WCU’s Fine Art Museum.

A reception for the exhibition will be from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. The event is free and the public is invited.

Exhibiting seniors are Javier Comacho, abstract painting; Austin “Rogen” Gardner, sculpture, with a focus on fantasy cardboard helmets; Patrick Garren, painting, with a focus on narratives addressing the hunter and the hunted; and Anthony Sykes, wood sculpture.

For more information, contact Marya Roland of the WCU School of Art and Design at 828-227-3593 or [email protected].

Tour a Historic Home During Lighting of the Green at A-B Tech

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech will usher in the holidays with its second Lighting of the Green Dec.10-22, featuring historic homes on the Asheville campus decorated with energy-efficient lighting.

Community members are invited to ride through campus and view the lights from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly. Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion once the center of social activity for the township of Victoria, will be open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13, 16 and 20 for free tours, light refreshments and entertainment.  This year’s entertainment will include the A-B Tech Drama Department, the A-B Tech Music Department, storytellers Sharon Gudger and David Novak, vocalist Kadesha Barnard and the A. C. Reynolds High School Madrigal Singers under the direction of Janis Dellinger Bryant. There will be a craft area in the lobby of the Magnolia Building for children to make holiday cards.

Fernihurst was built in 1876 by Colonel John Kerr Connally and his wife Alice Thomas Connally and named after the Kerr ancestral castle in Scotland.  The bricks for Fernihurst were made from clay taken from the surrounding acreage.  Originally comprised of 12 to 14 rooms, the house was later expanded by the family to 50 rooms, including 29 bedrooms.

The Connallys enjoyed entertaining and would have as many as 500 guests at their parties.  Rumor has it that George Vanderbilt attended one of these parties and was so impressed with the views from the house that he asked to purchase the property to build his own house.  When the Connallys refused, Vanderbilt purchased all the land on either side of the two rivers.  He also purchased land adjacent to the Connally property and built six houses, including five rental properties – the remaining of which is Sunnicrest, which houses the Human Resources Office of A-B Tech.

Fernihurst was restored to its original splendor in 2008 and is now part of A-B Tech’s Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.  It is used as the venue for fine dining training for student chefs and restaurant managers as well as the site of College functions such as “Lighting of the Green” and the annual fundraising gala “April in Asheville.”