Archive for February, 2011

Parks, Greenways and Recreation March-April Newsletter Available

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Come Out & Play is a guide to the activities of Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services. This bi-monthly publication reports on upcoming events, park improvements, athletic leagues, and all of the other services offered through PG&R. You can download a free copy by selecting the link below.

Stay informed and active with Come Out & Play!

Asheville AIR Presents – Lighten Up Your Dessert Contest

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Mission’s Lighten Up 4 Life program and Asheville Independent Restaurants are launching a “Lighten Up Your Dessert” contest that will run from February 21 through March 21.

The public is invited to submit a reduced fat and low calorie dessert recipe. The winner receives an AIR Passport (worth $600 in savings at AIR restaurants) as well as five $50 gift certificates from the restaurants participating in the contest: Corner Kitchen, Tingles, Vinnie’s, Frankie Bones and Tupelo Honey. Second place is five $25 gift certificates from each participating restaurant and third place is five $15 gift certificates from each restaurant.

The winning desserts will be featured on the five participating restaurants’ menus from March 31 through April 11. Anyone presenting their LU4L PERKS card and purchasing an entree can get one of the winning desserts for free. The winner will be announced March 31 at an event at one of the restaurants and will be held between 3 and 4 p.m.

Submit your recipes between February 21 and March 21

Recipes should be sent to www.facebook.com/Lightenup4life

Celebrating 50 years, Airport Launches New Website

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Fifty years ago, Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) opened its doors and its runway, beginning commercial passenger aviation services in Western North Carolina. In the first year of service, the airport hosted approximately 50,000 departing passengers. Now, fifty years later, Asheville Regional Airport is not only celebrating its golden anniversary, but also a record high number of passengers: 369,576 passengers departed from the airport in 2010, and 366,184 passengers arrived, a 27% increase compared to 2009.

“We can attribute this phenomenal growth to two factors,” said Lew Bleiweis, Airport Director. “First, we have been successful in our efforts to attract and retain new airlines, routes and competitive fares for our passengers. Also, though, Western North Carolinians are loyal to local businesses, and have shown through their use of the airport that many prefer to fly out of AVL. We will continue to advocate for and provide the services that travelers need and want, and hope to see more of our regional travelers walk through our gates in 2011.”

In an effort to enhance services for air travelers in the region, today the airport will launch a redesigned website (www.flyavl.com). The site is full of customer services, such as easy ways to book airline tickets, a service that identifies the best fares from Asheville Regional Airport, and a robust “frequently asked questions” section. In addition, the airport is very interested in feedback about its services, passenger experiences and perceptions about AVL. Residents of the region are encouraged to take the on-line survey (found on the website) – those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a prize – an airline ticket voucher.

“We take our role as an economic anchor business in our region very seriously,” said Bleiweis. “It is important for the airport to continue to grow and thrive, which contributes to the overall economic vitality of our region. We are working diligently to continue to positively enhance the air traveler’s experience, and also to encourage travelers in our region to always check Asheville Regional Airport first in their planning. We look forward to a stellar fiftieth year.”

Celebrating its 50th year as an economic anchor organization in the region, Asheville Regional Airport is dedicated to advocating for needed routes and competitive fares for the air travelers in Western North Carolina.

Local Banks Wanted for 3rd Annual Summer Concert Series

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Biltmore Park Town Square is searching for local talent to be included in their third annual summer concert series – Concerts in the Park. Some of the biggest names in the Asheville music scene have performed in the series over the past two years, and your band could make the cut this summer.

If you think your band has what it takes to fill the evening with tunes and have event-goers dancing under the summer sun, please submit .mp3s and/or press kits for consideration to Biltmore Park Town Square at [email protected].

Beginning in May and running through October, the concerts will take place every Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. in Cecil Park in front of Brixx Pizza and Hickory Tavern Grill and Raw Bar.

UNC Asheville Named One of the Nation’s 50 “Best Value” Public Colleges by Princeton Review

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Despite the current economy, there are still great values to be found in higher education, according to the “2011 Best Value Colleges” ranking released today, February 22, 2011, from the Princeton Review. For the fifth year in a row, UNC Asheville was selected as one of the 50 best value public colleges in the country.

The Princeton Review also published a 50 Best Value Private Colleges list, for a total of 100 colleges in all. According to the Princeton Review, the 100 Best Value Colleges “provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price, either by controlling costs or offsetting them with stellar financial aid packages.”

The Princeton Review praised UNC Asheville’s growing national academic reputation, noting that the university provides “students a private school experience at a public school cost.” It also favorably notes UNC Asheville’s  The ranking applauds the university’s accessible faculty and the diverse offering of student activities both on and off campus.

The Princeton Review selected the top 100 institutions based on institutional data and student opinion surveys collected in 2009-10. The selection criteria focused on undergraduate academics, costs and financial aid.

Learn How to Make Your Own Rain Barrel

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – If the summer turns dry, you may be glad to have a rain barrel or two to save up some of the free water for your garden. You can find rain barrels sold at some local garden centers and hardware stores, or find them through online sources. You might also consider making your own.

A rain barrel can be made from recycled food grade plastic barrels, large trash containers or whiskey barrels. Besides the barrel, you will need a lid to keep out mosquitoes and other things, an overflow spout, and a spigot or hose connection. Some sources for instruction include:

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

Buncombe Libraries Help the Unemployed

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – As unemployment rates hover at nine percent statewide, Buncombe County Public Libraries are providing access to the Job & Career Accelerator™ online service, purchased by NC LIVE, and funded through a grant from the State Library of North Carolina.

This innovative online resource provides job seekers everything they need to find their next job. Users create professional resumes and letters using integrated tools, master interviewing and networking techniques, upgrade their current skills, and learn to use popular work-related software applications through the fully integrated interactive computer skills training.

Job & Career Accelerator enables North Carolina library patrons to search millions of job listings, both locally and nationally. As is the case in many North Carolina counties, unemployment continues to drive library use, making tools like the Job & Career Accelerator especially necessary.

Access to the Job & Career Accelerator is free to all North Carolinians through a grant provided by the State Library of North Carolina to NC LIVE, an organization that provides North Carolinians with access to online books, journals, and other media. NC LIVE also offers a current collection of job and career-related eBooks and other resources through the NC LIVE Jobs Portal at www.jobs.nclive.org.

Patrons of the state’s public libraries, as well as students, faculty and staff from any of North Carolina’s community colleges, independent colleges, and public universities can access all NC LIVE resources, at no cost through www.nclive.org, or through library websites.

Contact your local library for free access to NC LIVE resources. For more information, please visit www.nclive.org or any Buncombe County Public Library.

Special Screening of On Coal River at A-B Tech

Monday, February 21st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech’s Global Institute for Sustainability Technologies (GIST) and student organization Green Power are sponsoring a screening of the Asheville-produced documentary film, “On Coal River” at noon March 2 in Ferguson Auditorium on the College’s Asheville campus.

The film takes viewers to Coal River Valley, WV — a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. Shot over a five-year period, “On Coal River” follows a former miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it.

Directors Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood produced this portrait of grassroots environmental activism in hopes of shining a light on coal issues and helping inspire others to take action in their own backyards.

“This project – like our last film – is about a community under threat. Coal River Valley is
home to people who have been sacrificing for a long time so that America can benefit from
cheap electricity, and it’s still a very beautiful place. But people like Bo Webb are seeing
their mountains blown up all around them and people like Maria Lambert are living with
contaminated water coming out of their kitchen sinks,” Cavanaugh said.

“On Coal River” was nominated for a Gotham Award and was shown at East Coast film festivals including SILVERDOCS, the Hamptons International Film Festival, CamdenInternational Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Chesapeake Film Festival, and Moving Pictures Festival.

Free admission for students with ID. A $5 donation is suggested for nonstudents. There will be a director Q & A session after the screening.

For more information, contact Ashley Edwards [email protected]

The North Carolina Arboretum Announces Spring Flower Shows

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The North Carolina Arboretum invites visitors to discover blooms in abundance at this spring’s plant shows. The events celebrate the beauty of the season and offer inspiration for garden enthusiasts. Educational programming, including classes and question-and-answer sessions, will provide useful information for all skill levels.

Events for spring 2011 include:
WNC Orchid Society—Saturday and Sunday, March 26 -27
Thousands of orchids fill the Education Center in this annual American Orchid Society judged show that also features orchid plants and supplies for sale by world class vendors. Educational classes will be offered throughout the weekend, and WNC Orchid Society members are available to answer questions and provide orchid-growing advice.

American Rhododendron Society, SE Chapter—Saturday and Sunday, April 30-May 1
Hundreds of blooms are featured at this yearly event. Spring and summer blooming rhododendrons and azaleas are favorites of the weekend. The North Carolina Arboretum is home to the National Native Azalea Collection, and visitors are encouraged to explore the garden representing nearly every species native to the United States.

Dahlia Tuber Sale & Mum Plant Sale—Saturday, May 14
A wide variety of dahlia tubers and chrysanthemum rooted cuttings featuring cultivated varieties will be available for purchase. Learning from Dahlia and Mum Society experts, visitors can uncover the secrets of how to produce plants with show quality blooms. Varieties will include traditional favorites as well as the latest cultivars to start the growing season. This year’s sale will also feature heritage tomatoes, zinnias, and marigolds.

Asheville-Blue Ridge Rose Society—Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29
The annual Asheville-Blue Ridge Rose Society Exhibition features award-winning roses of every color and size. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about selection, care and history of these elegant garden plants. A sale will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, which will include rose plants, fertilizer, and soil amendments.

Shows and events are free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($8 per personal motor vehicle). Visitors are also encouraged to explore the Arboretum’s kaleidoscope of spring color, 65 acres of cultivated gardens, ten miles of hiking and biking trails, and engaging exhibits.

The mission of The North Carolina Arboretum is to cultivate connections between people and plants. For more information, call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org.

City of Asheville, Asheville GO, AB Tech GIST and Shiloh Community Association Present Home Energy Improvement Workshops

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Heating your home in the winter and cooling it in the summer takes a lot of energy and money. Come learn how to make your home more energy efficient and spend less money on your energy bills in the coming Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Improvement Workshops that are FREE and open to the public.  The workshops are sponsored by the city of Asheville Office of Sustainability, Asheville GO (Green Opportunities), AB Tech GIST (Global Institute for Sustainable Technologies) and Shiloh Community Association.

Homeowners and renters are invited to attend the following workshops.  Participants will learn basic home energy economics and then get hands-on experience in implementing some quick energy saving fixes as led by qualified and trained Asheville GO weatherization staff.  Please wear clothing that can get a little dirty or bring something to wear over clothing for the hands-on portion.

6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the Public Works Building Room A109 located at 161 S. Charlotte St.

6 p.m. Tuesday Mar. 8 at the Shiloh Community Center located at 121 Shiloh Rd.

RSVP by emailing [email protected] or calling 251-4057 and indicate which workshop you will attend.

For more information please visit www.ashevillenc.gov/green.