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Archive for December, 2011

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Events Dec 21

Monday, December 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – A memorial service to commemorate the lives of those who died while homeless in Asheville and Buncombe County will be held on December 21 at 12:30 p.m. at the Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. The memorial service is co-sponsored by the Asheville Buncombe Homeless Initiative, the First Presbyterian Church of Asheville, and the Haywood Street Congregation.

The public is invited to attend. Donations of coats, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets will be accepted at Haywood Street Congregation beginning at 9 a.m. A free community meal will be held at 11:30 a.m.

The memorial service precedes the longest night of the year. An average of 20 people die while homeless every year in this community. The memorial service will include the reading of the names and stories of each person who died while homeless this year and the opportunity to speak in tribute to them.

To show unity, downtown businesses and residents are invited to place a poster or candle in their window.   The poster is linked at the www.ashevillenc.gov/homeless website under the Events section.

Deaths in the homeless community are often the result of hate crime violence, inadequate access to health care, or lack of shelter during harsh weather.  Local community response to harsh weather can be seen in the CODE PURPLE alert adopted by shelters and emergency providers, expanding services to ensure that everyone has a safe place to get inside during sub-zero temperatures.

N.C. Center for Creative Retirement at UNC Asheville to Receive $2 Million Endowment

Monday, December 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville’s North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR) will be awarded a $2 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation, with the first half of the endowment expected to be awarded in summer 2012, according to Catherine Frank, NCCCR executive director. This follows a $100,000 grant award from the foundation in June, 2011.

“By becoming part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes network, we secure our place in the national conversation about learning in the second half of life. We will preserve what is unique about the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, which are our life transition and civic programs, and we will be able to strengthen our College for Seniors, which has been so vital to so many Asheville retirees,” Frank said.

The $2 million endowment, over time, should generate additional income of $80,000-$100,000 per year, which will allow the center to continue to offer high-quality programs at a relatively low cost to its members, she said.

Now in its 25th year, the N.C. Center for Creative Retirement and its programs have been highlighted in CBS Sunday Morning, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and other national publications. It expanded from a single classroom to the 20,000-square-foot Reuter Center, named in honor of Irving J. Reuter, the late industrialist who established the Janirve Foundation. The center has also grown steadily in prominence, winning the prestigious Jack Ossofsky Award from the National Council on Aging as an outstanding educational program.

NCCCR may be known best for its Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend, begun in 1990, and its Paths to Creative Retirement program, begun in 2002, which have had almost 3,200 participants from across the country.

“Our programs have always been ahead of the curve and this funding will allow us to stay there. These programs are unique and we believe that the future of life-long learning will be informed by our offerings,” Frank said.

Within the next couple of years, the NCCCR will be re-named the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville, Frank said. The name of the center’s building, Reuter Center, will remain.

“The support of the Janirve Foundation, both in the construction of Reuter Center and last year’s $1 million endowment, has been instrumental in our success and demonstrated to the Osher Foundation the support of our community,” Frank said.

The Osher Foundation, which is based in San Francisco, provides arts, cultural and education grants, and supports programs in lifelong learning and integrative medicine. At this time, there are 119 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) across the country including OLLI-sponsored programs at UNC-Wilmington and Duke University.

Fun Depot Fun With Santa Tomorrow Saturday December 17

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Don’t forget Saturday is breakfast with Santa at Asheville‘s Fun Depot from 9am-11am – FREE!! Bring your cameras for FUN pics!

Festival of Lights Extended Thru December 21!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

The cost for this drive through presentation is $5 per car, $15 per 15 passenger van and $25 per bus.

ASHEVILLE NC – The Lake Julian Festival of Lights Drive-Thru light show has been extended! The show, originally scheduled to end on Sunday, December 18, will now be open through Wednesday, December 21! Hours are from 6 – 9 p.m.

The road circling the park becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling lights; a display that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your vehicle. The cost Enjoy looking at thousands of colored lights & over 50 animated &stationary light displays.for this drive through presentation is $5 per car, $15 per 15 passenger van and $25 per bus. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to Buncombe County Special Olympics.

Lake Julian Park is located in Arden at 406 Overlook Extension, just off Long Shoals Road. For information about this event call (828) 684-0376, or email [email protected].

Lake Julian Park presents the 11th Annual Festival of Lights. The park is brightly lit with thousands of colored lights and over 50 animated and stationary light displays.

Shop Smarter During the Holidays

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – You can make the holidays even more enjoyable by avoiding potential headaches, shopping smart and spending wisely. Here’s how:

  • Consider paying by credit card to improve your chances of getting a refund if the retailer goes out of business.Buy from stores you know to improve the odds that you’ll be able to return or exchange a purchase if needed. To check out a company’s track record, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or contact your local Better Business Bureau.
  • Shop safely online, too. Stick to buying from well-established companies with secure web sites (look for a lock icon on the site and a web address that starts with “https”). Get the company’s street address and telephone number and verify them before you order.
  • Learn about refund and return policies. Stores aren’t required by law to accept returned merchandise, so ask about refunds and return policies before you buy.
  • Consider paying by credit card to improve your chances of getting a refund if the retailer goes out of business. If you order a gift that never arrives, you may be able to dispute the charge. If your credit card is lost or stolen, federal law limits your liability to $50.
  • Giving gift cards or certificates? If you buy a gift certificate and the store or restaurant closes before the certificate can be used, you may be able to contest the charge if you paid by credit card. Under North Carolina law, retailers can’t charge a maintenance fee on their gift cards within the first year and must clearly disclose any fees they’ll deduct after that.
  • Give wisely. Planning to make a donation as part of your holiday gift giving? Learn where your money will go and how it will be used. Research charities with the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance and the NC Secretary of State’s Office. Give to causes that you choose rather than being swayed by high-pressure telemarketers or text messages and emails that may be scams.
  • Criminals and scammers don’t take a holiday. Always be aware of your surroundings and protect your wallet and access to your credit or debit cards when in public. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. And never share personal information with telemarketers who call you or respond to emails or text messages that ask you for personal information.

If you spot a scam or need to complain about a business, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.

Light Up the Holidays with LED Lights!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – We all look forward to the glow of holiday lights – on the tree, around the house, or lining each roof ridge and gable outside. With this added illumination, some households resign themselves to a higher holiday utility Using LEDs in place of traditional Christmas lights can save you up to 80% on your energy bill.bill. That doesn’t have to be the case.

Advances in lighting technology are making holiday lights considerably more energy efficient. LED (light-emitting diode) lights are becoming increasingly popular and are readily available. Like compact fluorescents, LED lights are cool to the touch.

Development of LED lights has been ongoing since the 1960s, but LED lights have only recently begun to produce the amount of light output and power to make them competitive with incandescent lights and fluorescents.

Currently, white LED lights produce a cooler, bluish glow, as compared to the warmer glow of an incandescent with yellow undertones. Warmer-toned LED lights are available, but they offer less light per watt of energy consumed.

LED lights provide a variety of benefits: energy efficiency, savings on maintenance, durability, and impact resistance, to name a few. Many LED lights are advertised to last 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

LEDs cost around 45¢ for 30 days when used for 6 hours per day, traditional holiday lights cost $31.30 for 30 days when used for 6 hours per day. The initial investment in LED lights may be greater than traditional holiday lights; however, over time, a sizable savings will be seen on your power bill.

For more energy conservation tips for your home, contact Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.

Go Fishing – It’s a Good Time to Fish at Lake Julian!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Since Lake Julian in Asheville is a thermal lake (it serves as a cooling agent for Progress Energy) some of the best fishing occurs from October through March.

Lake Julian has an abundance of bass, catfish, brim, crappie and Tilapia.

Asheville is One Step Closer to New Police Chief

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – The city of Asheville is one step closer to having a new police chief. In September, input was collected through numerous community and staff input meetings.  The input provided important insight into the unique skill set needed by the next successful police chief and was integrated into the job announcement as well as the evaluation tool used to evaluate each candidate.

The position was advertised nationally utilizing a variety of sources and methods which resulted in over 100 applicants from all over the country.

At the beginning of this month, nine finalists were invited to Asheville for a two-day assessment center process where each candidate was faced with a series of exercises intended to evaluate his or her ability to perform his or her job in real life situations.  Evaluators in the process included key community stakeholders, police executives from across the state and city staff members.

Once the assessment center evaluations are complete, the candidate field will be narrowed again.  The narrowed field of finalists will be invited back to Asheville for a panel interview with department directors and the city manager.  The goal is to announce the new police chief in mid to late January.

“Absence as Presence” Photography Exhibit at UNC Asheville

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – “Absence as Presence,” a new exhibition of black-and-white photographs by UNC Asheville senior Gabriela Knox, is on display through December 17 at the Highsmith University Union Gallery on campus. This BFA senior exhibition is free and open to the public.

Photo by Gabriela KnoxPhoto by Gabriela KnoxKnox’s exhibit explores photography as an objective form of art. “Photography is often regarded as the most objective of fine art media,” according to Knox, “and it is conventionally expected to produce images that are a true record of the reality in front of the camera. It is also presumed that if a photograph lies, it is because the image has been manipulated before or after it was taken.”

Photo by Gabriela KnoxPhoto by Gabriela KnoxKnox presents unadulterated images captured in low lighting at night – “objects extracted from their surroundings, denied any previous context,” in order to “demonstrate the peculiar way people see,” creating meanings out of a combination of objective visual information and prior knowledge and experience.

“Absence as Presence” will be on view Mondays – Saturdays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and on Sundays, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. through December 17. For more information, visit art.unca.edu or call 828.251.6559.

Park Ridge Health Foundation and Project C.A.R.E. Receive Grant

Friday, December 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – The Park Ridge Health Foundation is pleased to announce that they were recently awarded a grant of $18,000 from The Community Foundation of Henderson County to assist in funding Project C.A.R.E. (Caregivers Alternatives to Running on Empty).

The generous grant from The Community Foundation of Henderson County will help provide financial assistance and services to two dozen Henderson County families who are currently on the waiting list for Project C.A.R.E. support, as well as for new families who request assistance this coming year.

Project C.A.R.E. is an award-winning respite care program, designed to assist those caring for an individual with dementia. The program works to increase quality, access, choice and use of respite and support services to low-income, rural and minority families caring for a loved one with dementia in a home setting. As the host agency for Project C.A.R.E., Park Ridge Health provides support for the program that positively impacts 19 counties in North Carolina, including Henderson County.

For more information on Project C.A.R.E., please call 828.687.5609. To learn more about the Park Ridge Health Foundation and how to help positively impact the health of Western North Carolina, please call 828.681.2421 or visit parkridgehealth.org.

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 43 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).