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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for May, 2014

Ignite Asheville Spotlights Rising Startups

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Grow a startup, but make it quick. That’s the new theme of this year’s Ignite Asheville Big Idea Competition on Thursday, May 15 from 3 – 5 p.m. at The Orange Peel, hosted by Venture Asheville and the Economic Development Coalition Asheville-Buncombe County. Tickets are for sale only at www.igniteavl.org.

Asheville’s growing scene of creative entrepreneurs has pushed an event that started with a focus on interesting ideas and passions to now dig deeper—in just five-minute lightning rounds.

Hear from ten bright minds that transformed their big ideas into extraordinary startup products and services in technology, clothing, sustainability-centered innovations and more. They’ll share insights about each of their unique ventures and how they’ve embraced challenges through ingenuity and collaboration.

This star-studded lineup of high-impact, early stage start-ups includes:

  • Mariano deGuzman of Appalatch, an outdoor apparel company utilizing technology similar to 3D printing to create custom fit clothing.
  • Michael Shore of BarberWind Turbines, which is inventing groundbreaking wind technology to build more cost-effective, productive, and transportable commercial-scale wind turbines.
  • Jackson Anderson of Blue Blaze Soda & Syrup Co., which produces all-natural soda syrups by hand at Blue Ridge Food Ventures.
  • Annika Schauer of HotWax Websites, a software as a service (SaaS) provider that allows designers to build professional-quality websites in a single day to exact client specifications–95% painless, 100% code-free.
  • Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute, a cutting-edge, comprehensive, in-person training program for online marketing.
  • Angela Newnam of Knock out!, whose Smart Panties are eradicating panty failures using patented technology in luxury cotton underwear to protect you from wetness and odor all day, every day.
  • Clark Harris of LoLo, a free and effortless local loyalty movement that enables members to earn 5% in rewards on every dollar spent at local businesses.
  • Jesse Lee of Outrider USA, which builds ultralight recumbent tricycles that are setting records for speed and distance across the U.S. and are adaptable for physically disabled riders.
  • Marty Bauer of The Iron Yard, which will open a Green Tech Accelerator in Asheville to stimulate startup green tech consumer apps and clean tech enterprise software and hardware developers.
  • Ty Hallock of Trusted Sharing, an app-based social tool that enables individuals and user groups to tune into the people and topics they care about most with deeper, more valuable conversations.

Don’t miss this fast-paced, high-energy afternoon at the Ignite Asheville Big Idea Competition, presented by the Asheville Citizen-Times. Space is limited. Cost is only $8 for Asheville Chamber members, $10 for non-members. Attendees must reserve their tickets at www.igniteavl.org.

     Ignite Asheville is sponsored by the Asheville Citizen-Times Publishing Company, The Orange Peel, Printville, Rely Local Asheville, Alt Media Productions, WNCW Public Radio, io design & illustration, inc., ERC Broadband, Flat Shadow Productions, Ask Asheville, and FastSigns. The event is in collaboration with the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Master of Ceremonies will be Josh Dorfman, Director of Entrepreneurship Development for Venture Asheville, who has over a decade of experience as an entrepreneur in green and start-up companies. Dorfman is known as the Lazy Environmentalist, for which he hosted and produced a daily radio show on SiriusXM and an award-winning reality television series on Sundance Channel.

     Venture Asheville catalyzes strategic, high-growth entrepreneurship in the Asheville, N.C. area. It merges creativity with connectivity to help local start-ups grow by providing access to seasoned talent, experienced mentors, and engaged investors. Venture Asheville’s mission is to facilitate networking, educational events, and access to community resources that foster a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem and stimulate economic development. Contact Venture Asheville at (828) 258-6137 or [email protected].

     The Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC) is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment.  The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Weaverville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign. Visit www.EconomicDevelopmentAsheville.org.

Growing Green Schools in NC

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Six North Carolina schools received NC Green School awards this year in recognition of the schools‘ environmental leadership and engagement in sustainability activities. There are three levels of Green School Recognition Awards: NC Green School of Promise, NC Green School of Quality, and NC Green School of Excellence. Rainbow Community School is the first school to earn the highest recognition as a NC Green School of Excellence. Rainbow’s Director Renee Owen commented, “We are very honored. Rainbow Community School is committed to nurturing children so that they grow and thrive in a sustainable world with an appreciation for the planet in which they live. We hope to be a beacon of light for others to follow.”

Other NC schools also earned awards, including one NC Green Schools of Promise: Fairview Elementary (Buncombe), and four NC Green Schools of Quality: Hall Fletcher Elementary (Asheville), Queens Creek Elementary (Swansboro), Koontz Intermediate (Buncombe), and Cane Creek Middle School (Buncombe). “We understand how stretched teachers are these days and we are so proud of these schools for their commitment to having a lighter footprint and teaching with the environment in mind,” said Katie Cavert Ferrell, Program Director of NC Green Schools. Schools will be honored at award ceremonies.

A volunteer team of professional architects, county planners and community educators ranked the school applications on how well they met certain criteria based on these five components: Culture and Community, School Sustainability, Healthy Schools, Curriculum Integration, and Innovation. The schools with the highest scores are ones who engage the most students, teachers, parents and the surrounding community in school projects that have a positive impact on student learning and the environment. “I enjoyed this process and am proud to serve the community in this way.Rainbow Community School has made an amazing effort to green their school and I am glad to know so much more about the school than I did before. In my opinion they are very deserving of the Green School of Excellence designation!” said Torin Kexel, Building Performance Director at Green Opportunities in Asheville and a NC Green Schools judge.

NC Green Schools evolved from Reading Riding Retrofit, a program created to help reduce energy costs, support environmental education and encourage sustainability practices within the public schools in Buncombe County. In 2010-2012, the program made a significant impact with an EPA Sustainable Communities Showcase Grant. “We built a strong team of community partners and the schools successfully cut $250,000 from the school’s energy budget per year and have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by over 1250 tons, annually!” said Robin Cape, Executive Director of NC Green Schools. “Since then, we have worked to support schools across the state with resources and tools for teachers and we are excited to celebrate these green schools’ successes.” said Ferrell. The NC Green Schools Learning Network plans to offer workshops for teachers who want to learn more and connect with like-minded educators about how their school can implement programs like Hall Fletcher’s successful composting initiative and Rainbow Community’s use of outdoor educational space.

WCU Unveils 10th Annual Galaxy of Star Series

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Galaxy of Stars Series at Western Carolina University will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a lineup highlighted by a return engagement of country-western icons Riders in the Sky, a Grammy Award-winning group that performed during the inaugural season of the series.

The only professional entertainment series in Jackson County, the series debuted in 2005, with all performances taking place in the 900-seat John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The 2014-15 schedule comprises:

Riders in the Sky, 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14 – Back by popular the band, the group founded in 1977 and featured in the motion picture “Toy Story” is known for its award-winning harmonies, wacky cowboy wit and high-yodeling adventures.

“Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 – “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” is billed as “the only unscripted theatrical awards show,” as master improvisers gather made-up hit song suggestions from the audience to create a spontaneous evening of music and humor.

“Cinnamon GRITS: Christmas in the South,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 – A follow-up to the popular show “GRITS: The Musical,” this production is a mix of storytelling and music that provides a Southern-style look at the holidays.

Elvis impersonator Travis Ledoyt, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31 – Hailed by critics as “the world’s best young Elvis,” Travis Ledoyt captures the music and moves of Elvis Presley in his prime in a show that focuses on the hits and ambience of the era from 1954 through 1959.

“Man 1, Bank 0,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 – Patrick Combs tells the true story of a man who deposited a junk-mail check labeled “non-negotiable” into a bank account only to see things erupt into an adventure pitting a “David” regular guy against the “Goliath” of the banking industry.

Ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger and comedian Glenn Singer, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 – Comedienne and ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger incorporates audience participation into her show that features a trunk full of zany characters as Glenn Singer supplies visual comedy using optical illusions.

“We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered,” 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26 – Vocalist Michelle Berting Britt, accompanied by a seven-piece Nashville band, re-creates the original easy listening sound of the Carpenters, one of the most successful recording acts of all time.

The Galaxy of Stars Series is presented by the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts with support from the WCU Friends of the Arts organization.

Season subscriptions go on sale Monday, May 5, offering substantial savings over individual ticket prices. Patrons can enjoy all seven shows in the season for $120 for adults and $45 for students and children. Subscriptions for WCU faculty and staff are available for $110.

Subscriptions allow patrons to select and keep preferred seats and also are an affordable way for families to enjoy live entertainment, said Paul Lormand, director of the Bardo Arts Center.

Single-show tickets for the 2014-15 series go on sale Aug. 12. Those prices are $21 for adults; $16 for WCU faculty and staff; and $7 for students and children. Ticket prices are $15 per person for groups of 20 or more.

For tickets or more information about Galaxy of Stars events, contact the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or go online to bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.

Brevard Music Center Box Office Open 2014

Sunday, May 11th, 2014
ASHEVILLE NC – The Brevard Music Center’s (BMC) box office is now open for its 2014 season, which kicks off Saturday, June 21, with the Music Center debut of classical music superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman. A Kennedy Center Honoree and multiple Grammy winner, Perlman’s 50-year career has included performances with the world’s top orchestras, television and film appearances, and concerts for heads of state including Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama. Perlman will join BMC Artistic Director Keith Lockhart and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra for an evening of his most well-loved works from film, television and classical repertoire.
“Our 2014 season has something for everyone – wonderful soloists and conductors, great pieces from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky to Mahler, old friends and new faces, and so much more,” said Mark Weinstein, BMC President and CEO.
The 2014 season features more than 80 performances, including 20 different orchestra programs, four opera productions, wind ensemble, chamber music, new music, recitals and more. In addition to the full range of classical offerings, the 2014 season will include a number of concerts appealing to a range of tastes. More than 30 performances will be presented free of charge. These include concerts by the Brevard Symphonic Winds, opera scenes, student piano recitals, new music concerts, student chamber concerts and recitals, and other special events.
Tickets are on sale now. Lawn tickets for most events start at only $15. For more information on 2014 subscription packages and concert information, please visit brevardmusic.org or call (828) 862-2105.
The Brevard Music Center will open its 2014 season on June 21 with the music center debut of a superstar of classical music – violinist Itzhak Perlman. A Kennedy Center honoree and multiple Grammy winner, Perlman’s 50-year career has included performances with the world’s top orchestras, television and film appearances, and concerts for heads of state.
Photo by Akira Kinoshita
The Brevard Music Center originated in 1936 as a summer music camp at Davidson College. James Christian Pfohl, the Music Center’s founder and first Artistic Director, moved his operation to Queens College in Charlotte for the summer of 1943, then to the current location in 1944. Pfohl added a festival of concerts at the end of the 1946 session. Over time the camp became an institute, and the festival came to run the entire summer season.
In 2014 Brevard Music Center will enroll more than 400 students from nearly every state in the U.S., plus students from Europe, Asia, and South America. Sixty-five professional musicians, representing major orchestras and distinguished music schools, comprise the artist faculty. Students, faculty and staff all reside on the 180-acre wooded campus in Western North Carolina. The Brevard Music Center has emerged as one of America’s premier summer training programs for young musicians.
For more information on festival performances visit brevardmusic.org, “like” the Brevard Music Center on Facebook, follow @brevardmusic on Twitter, and visit the Brevard Music Center YouTube channel for performance videos from previous festival seasons.

Hickory Nut Falls Trail Open at Chimney Rock

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – After almost a year and a half closure due to a massive rock slide, the Hickory Nut Falls trail at Chimney Rock State Park has reopened, just in time for guests to enjoy the springtime beauty of one of the most popular attractions of the Park. State contractors and NC State Parks with the support of  Chimney Rock Management, LLC cleared 300 metric tons of rock and other materials that crashed down the side of the mountain, demolishing a wooden walking bridge and covering part of the trail. Although the observation area at the base of the falls remains closed for repairs, guests are still able to hike to the end of the trail to view the 404-foot falls.

“We’re incredibly proud of our trails and maintenance teams for working so hard alongside State Parks to clear the Hickory Nut Falls Trail,” says Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager of Chimney Rock Management, LLC. “The Falls trail is an iconic part of Chimney Rock State Park and is a main attraction for our guests. It was important to us that we reopen it as soon as possible while ensuring the utmost safety of our visitors.”

Massive Rockslide Caused Extensive Damage On the evening of November 12, 2012, residents in the Chimney Rock area reported hearing a loud, rumbling sound from the mountain. The next morning, State Parks and Chimney Rock Management employees discovered that heavy rains had dislodged giant boulders, including a 2,000-ton rock slab that had fallen 340 feet from an overhanging ledge above the Hickory Nut Falls Trail, which shattered before continuing down the cliff face. The impact of the rock ruptured the ground’s surface on another ledge, causing the ground to slide, splintering trees and dislodging more boulders, some of which went airborne and sheared 10-inch diameter trees. Boulders as large as 10 tons continued to roll, bounce and fly down the slope toward the trail. Some boulders came to rest as far as 200 feet below the trail. Within the path of destruction was the trail’s 230-foot bridge. Three thousand cubic yards of loose, unstable deposits of rocks, boulders, soil, broken trees and stumps littered the area.

Repair work intensive After assessing the damage, special contractors began work above the slide area to ensure the safety of workers on the trail below. Other contractors began removing the damaged bridge, which had to be done piece by piece. Due to the width of the trail, only small pieces of equipment, such as a track hoe and a small skid steer, could be used to remove debris. Each of the bridge’s three 80-foot beams were removed in 40-foot sections, and many small rocks and other debris were removed by hand.

Long-time popular attraction The Hickory Nut Falls Trail began as a Jeep trail, installed in 1963 to access the 404-foot waterfall at its end. Today, the ¾-mile trail boasts hardwood forests of oak, hickory, maple, beech, poplar, locust and basswood that harbor abundant plant life, which includes rare and endangered wildflowers as well as old favorites like Jack-in-the-pulpit and Solomon’s-seal. The 404-foot waterfall feeds from Fall Creek, which winds through the Hickory Nut Gorge. The trail and its falls were prominently featured in the 1992 blockbuster hit, The Last of the Mohicans, starring Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe, and have long been a favorite visiting spot for Park guests.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It has been recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com. More information on current Capital Improvement projects at chimneyrockpark.com/progress or by calling 800-277-9611.