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on the cover
p. 10 Profiled? This week, our cover story examines two local case studies — and some potentially telling statistics — that raise questions about racial profiling by law enforcement. Cover design by Nathanael Roney Photograph by Jonathan Welch
12 Cavalier Lane Swannanoa
Just Minutes from Asheville
news 16 Staying centered Asheville City Council green-light’s Reid Center construction
18 Make a date Local calendars serve up 2010 in style 40 linking up Local student helps World Bank competition go global
arts&entertainment 47 after asheville Three artists who moved away: What they’ve found and what they miss
50 a banner year For local bands, 2009 really rocked 52 junker’s blues The Bohemians and the Fop: Part One: a tale with important lessons
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DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
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letters Stuart Peterson’s sentence may be too lenient. Here’s why ... A young, 20-year-old man committed “armed robbery” with a “gun” and received a threeyears-and-eight-months sentence. This was premeditated. I do not know Stuart Peterson or anyone in that article [“Justice Undone?” Dec. 2 Xpress], but to me this sentence seems extremely lenient for such a crime, and that must be because it was his first felony arrest. Mr. Forbes fails to mention his past record of arrests other than “tales of his former life were hard to believe”; that speaks for itself. Thank God he didn’t shoot anyone during the perpetration of his crime. What I have to wonder is if Stu thinks that his sentence is unjustified? You must remember the “at gunpoint” aspect. His new family has only known him a mere six months — [a family made up of] court-appointed therapists, substanceabuse treatment counselors and an employer he likes. But how long did Stu Peterson choose his extended gang family? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior! If he proves his new “change” is not just a façade, he’ll get out early, and maybe turn it all around. Everyone has a right to arm themselves legally. But criminals will always have illegal guns. To get guns out of the hands of desperados is simple: If you use a gun in the performance of a crime, you (and anyone with you) [should] get an additional 20 years tacked onto the
sentence(s) with no chance of parole; that will end gun violence as we know it. Even gangbangers can grasp that notion. I am not unsympathetic towards his mother. But when my pregnant daughter-in-law called me sobbing that my 30-year-old son had been gone for days on a crack binge, I advocated for “tough love” and went straight to the police to get him out of the crack house and into treatment. They did, they were wonderful, and they saved his life! Police will help when parents are taking a positive hard stance. Sometimes not “protecting” your child is the hardest choice a parent ever has to make! — Kate Crawford Asheville
Cyclists who don’t follow the rules will hear my horn I must take exception and comment on the commentary by Christopher M. Craig on finding equilibrium between bicycles and cars [Dec. 9 ]. I am one of those people who will continue to blow my horn and shout at cyclists ignoring the rules of the road that they, like other vehicles, are supposed to follow. Mr. Craig admits in his column that he will pass other vehicles who are stopped at traffic lights to get to the front of the line. Stay in your place in line and wait like the rest of us are doing or expect to get blown at and cursed at. He also admits to running through stop signs, thereby endangering all of us; again expect to get blown at and cursed at.
Send letters to: Letters to the Editor, Mountain Xpress, P.O. Box 144, Asheville, NC 28802 or by e-mail to email@example.com. (Include name, address and phone number.)
xpress staff publisher & Editor: Jeff Fobes GENERAL MANAGER: Andy Sutcliffe senior editor: Peter Gregutt MANAGING editor: Jon Elliston A&E editor: Rebecca Sulock ASSOCIATE editor: Margaret Williams MULTimEDIA EDITOR: Jason Sandford Staff writers: David Forbes, Brian Postelle A&E REPORTER & Fashion editor: Alli Marshall editorial assistants: Hanna Rachel Raskin, Tracy Rose Staff photographer: Jonathan Welch Clubland editor & Writer: Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt contributing writers: Jonathan Barnard, Melanie McGee Bianchi, Ursula Gullow, Anne Fitten Glenn, Whitney Shroyer EDIToRIAL INTERN: Gabe Chess PHOTO INTERN: Joshua Cole Production & Design ManaGeR: Andrew Findley Advertising Production manager: Kathy Wadham Production & Design: Carrie Lare, Nathanael Roney calendar editor & supplements coordinator: Mannie Dalton
Movie reviewer & Coordinator: Ken Hanke Food editor: Hanna Rachel Raskin Advertising director: James Fisher advertising manager: John Varner retail Representatives: Russ Keith, Rick Goldstein, Leigh Reynolds, Scott Sessoms WEB MARKETING MANAGER: Marissa Williams Classified Representatives: Arenda Manning, Tim Navaille Information Technologies Manager: Stefan Colosimo webmaster: Jason Shope web DEVELOPER: Patrick Conant Office manager & bookkeeper: Patty Levesque special projects: Sammy Cox ASSISTANT OFFICE MANAGER: Lisa Watters ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT: Arenda Manning, distribution manager: Sammy Cox Assistant distribution manager: Jeff Tallman DIStribution: Mike Crawford, Ronnie Edwards, Ronald Harayda, Adrian Hipps, Joan Jordan, Russ Keith, Marsha McKay, Beth Molaro, Ryan Seymour, Dane Smith, Ed Wharton, Thomas Young
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Stuart Peterson, the former gang member turned anti-gang educator featured in the article “Justice Undone?” in the Dec. 2 issue of Xpress, faced his first felony arrest and conviction as described in the article. However, while he faced a single armed-robbery charge, it came from three incidents: two ATM robberies earlier this year, as well as the convenience-store robbery described in the article. If you are riding a vehicle on N.C. streets, follow the laws or get off the road, whether you are riding a bicycle, driving a car, riding a long board or a unicycle. He also admits to taking to the sidewalks, thereby endangering the pedestrians who are following the law — unlike this scofflaw, who just wants his own way. I am more than happy to see him on his bicycle, following the same laws that we, in our much bigger vehicles, also have to follow. … Yes, more bike paths and bike lanes would be helpful, but that doesn’t give Mr. Scofflaw the right to violate these traffic laws, and he needs to work peacefully toward getting these paths and lanes funded. So, I shall continue to blow my horn and to curse at you and others who like to think that you are helping prevent global warming by bicycling and want to have your own way by violating the rules of the road to suit yourselves. Ride your bike all you want, but follow the laws and rules of the road or get the hell off my road. (Yes, my road, since cars and trucks pay the highway taxes and bicycles do not.) — Craig Whitehead Candler
Dear Santa: Forget the toys, just keep my parents safe I want to share the following letter from someone in our community who couldn’t send it herself because her parents are unauthorized immigrants. I obtained it from El Centro Comunitario in Hendersonville. I’ve shortened it a bit but otherwise not changed it:
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“Dear Santa: I am a little girl that is 9 years old. I do not care or mind if you do not bring me any gifts. All I want is that I do not want the police or immigration [to] separate me from my family. Please tell God or Virgin Maria to open the office so people can get their driver’s licenses. I am confused because my dad has diabetes and my mom does not get to drive to the store, doctor or school. Santa Claus, how would you feel if your mom could not take you anywhere? I don’t understand why they say that people are criminal for their origin or skin color. You know, Santa Claus, that if you cannot drive, you cannot
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009
DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
For other Molton cartoons, check out our Web page at www.mountainx.com/cartoons work; if you can not work, you can not eat. Santa Claus tell me how to do it. For example, if my sister or brother are sick in school, how would my mom go to pick them up? I do not understand because some people can go anywhere and some cannot. For example, I wanted to go to see other states [and] Myrtle Beach because I don’t know the sea. … Santa, why do the birds make their nests really high? Because they do not want anything to happen to their babies. Why do the birds go somewhere else when it is winter? Because they do not want their babies to die. Like my parents do not want to go to Mexico because they are killing a lot of people there. That is why I want you to take good care of my parents, so they will
not get deported to Mexico. I am not putting my address because I don’t want them to find my parents — sorry Santa. I hope this is the best Christmas for me and my family.” The U.S. Congress will soon be debating whether we can allow the hardworking people who’ve joined our communities a way to achieve earned legalization. As U.S. citizens, you and I have the power to be Santa Claus to this girl and hundreds of thousands of other children. I hope we’ll do the right thing and ask Congress to pass immigration reform. — Victoria Lyall Candler
Can you guess what he wants for the holidays? “To the world you may be one person, but to a chained dog, you are the entire world.”
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www.ChainFreeAsheville.org mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009
commentary The news we all make
Always grounded in community, Xpress is evolving toward ever more citizen involvement by Jon Elliston
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When I was in journalism school a decade ago, we scrambled to keep up with advances in our field, many of them technological: digital cameras, Web-based research and publishing, and the like. But we were still following the same underlying model that had driven our profession for more than a century: We were the experts, the gatekeepers, the sole generators and providers of news; you were the news consumers, and it was our job to deliver it to you. What a difference a decade can make. Today, some news providers, Mountain Xpress among them, are reinventing our role, with an everincreasing emphasis on collaboration with readers. In the past year, we’ve experimented with numerous initiatives that take us off our journalistic high horse and decentralize how local information is gathered and shared. Along the way, we’ve started crafting systems and an overall approach that are grounded in citizen journalism — and we’ve only just begun. Despite all these changes, Xpress’ mission remains the same. In a nutshell, it is “to build
community and strengthen democracy by serving an engaged, thoughtful constituency at the local level — where the impact of citizen action is greatest.” What’s changed is the potential impact of citizen action on local journalism itself. In other words, as much as we want to help readers stay informed and active, we also want to serve as a forum, a gathering place, a hub where many networks of connections and communications come together. As much as we want to serve you, we now want to serve with you. Amid all the lofty abstractions about citizen journalism, we’re talking about something concrete: a functional model in which every concerned reader has the potential to generate and share the news. And in fact, many of you are doing so already. You’re blogging. You’re tweeting. You’re on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. You have the tools, and you’re using them to send and shape your own news. Of course, we can’t claim to know precisely what form these new approaches — including
Maybe not everyone wants to be a journalist, but we’re rapidly approaching an era when anyone can be a journalist of one sort or another. our own — will ultimately take. The pace of technological change is accelerating, and no doubt the months and years to come will bring innovations we can’t even imagine yet. In the meantime, however, we’re exploring how the new technologies and new model can foster collaboration with thoughtful citizens in unprecedented ways. These initiatives include: • MXNow A live local-news stream, it uses the microblogging program Twitter to collect and share readers’ dispatches on topics ranging from politics and the environment to entertainment, agriculture and much more. You’ll find the stream on the right-hand side of our home page, www.mountainx.com, in a yellow box. So far, more than a dozen readers have volunteered to partner with our own staff members in sharing the news they come across. • Blogwire Also on our home page is this local-news aggregator, providing a space for reports that are necessarily longer than the 140-
DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
character limit on Twitter. One of our newest ventures, Blogwire is mostly compiled by Xpress staff for now, but we’ve signed up a few readers to contribute there as well, and we’re actively seeking more. • Xpress Forums, at www.mountainx.com/ forums, is a virtual town hall — and sometimes more like a virtual free-for-all. Registration is free, and any registered member of our Web site can launch and/or contribute to discussions on just about anything under the sun. In addition to these features, we’ve worked to open our Web site to community contributions wherever we can, from online comments on all our stories to reader-submitted photos and videos to free classifieds. And looking ahead, we have big plans for 2010. We’re planning to build a hub database/ Web site serving the Asheville area where readers can create, manage and distribute community-focused content using the most advanced methods available — some of which we will develop ourselves. The project will train citizens, collaborate with area software developers, and generate revenue via a local ad network. Of course, this grand shift in the way our society gathers and shares news doesn’t always come easily for us; it can be hard to let go of old ways, of old understandings, and adopt new ones. And indeed, there are key parts of our profession that we’ll hang onto till someone pries the keyboards from our aching hands: We’ll still gather and disseminate crucial news on our own. We’ll still sit through the lengthy localgovernment meetings that aren’t everyone’s idea of a good time. We’ll still do the kind of long-term, in-depth investigations that don’t (or don’t yet) seem to lend themselves to crowdsourcing or citizen journalism. We’ll still count on experienced photographers and designers to make what we do look as artful as possible. But we won’t cling to the outmoded approach that delivers news top-down, strictly from us to you. Maybe not everyone wants to be a journalist, but we’re rapidly approaching an era when anyone can be a journalist of one sort or another. And as the impacts of these fundamental changes spread, we want to be able to say that Xpress helped pave the way for a new kind of journalism that’s richer, more diffuse, more responsive and more empowering than the way we used to do it. Here’s hoping you’ll join us and share in the exciting evolution of the way local matters become local news. X Managing Editor Jon Elliston wants to hear from readers interested in collaborating with Mountain Xpress. He can be reached at jelliston@mountainx. com, or at 251-1333, ext. 127.
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009
news The right profile
Two local cases raise concerns about racial profiling by David Forbes Racial profiling — or even just the possibility of it — by those charged with upholding the law is an extremely sensitive issue, involving questions of potential prejudice, abuse of power and hidden motives. For law-enforcement personnel, trying to gauge whether illegal activity is taking place — often in stressful or ambiguous situations with the very real potential for threats to their own safety — is a tough job. Yet at the same time, citizens have a right to be free from harassment, unreasonable searches or the assumption that they’re involved in something illegal based solely on their race or social status. “It fluctuates, but we do see a significant amount of profiling, including in Asheville,” says staff attorney Rebecca Headen of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, who heads up the group’s Racial Justice Project. “It’s very commonly connected to a traffic stop, pedestrian or bicycle encounter.” Asheville Police Department spokesperson Melissa Williams, however, emphasizes the delicate balancing act police work entails. “They try to make an admittedly unpleasant situation tolerable — but officers can’t ignore activity that appears suspicious, even if it would be inconvenient if they turn out to be mistaken in their perception. If officers can articulate reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, they can and do investigate,” she notes. “Our officers are well aware that no one likes getting stopped by the police, even for something as basic as a license check. That is why they do their best to treat people in a professional manner and to be polite.” In Asheville, the local branch of the NAACP pursues many complaints about racial profiling, and President John Hayes says he sees real grievances but also a need for a better informed public. “Profiling happens, but what we try to do is educate people, help them understand what makes [an incident] profiling or what makes it a justified stop,” Hayes explains. “People get pulled over, and plenty of them assume it’s profiling. Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t.” In the incidents described below, two area residents — both with clean criminal records — maintain that their race was a factor in what they see as unjust treatment by local lawenforcement agencies. Here’s a look at those cases, along with what statistics reveal about this controversial topic.
10 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
Camping on the Parkway: Navy veteran and student Russell Johnson near the spot where he was detained by Park Rangers after he greeted them and asked for directions. photos by Jonathan Welch
Russell Johnson grew up around the Blue Ridge Parkway and had always enjoyed it. “I’m an avid hiker — I used to go up there three, four times a week,” he explains. “As a child I was always up there with my family, going on picnics.” But on April 17, 2008, Johnson, a Navy veteran who’s now attending Mars Hill College, was pulled over by two National Park Service rangers near Weaverville. “I had my windows down; I didn’t have a cigar or anything. I was just riding on the Parkway to study,” recalls the Asheville resident. “They jumped out, asked if I had any drugs in the car, asked what I was doing up on the Parkway, if I had any alcohol. They said they pulled me over because they saw a burn hole in my passenger-side seat (my girlfriend is a smoker). I wish I had glasses that could see that far.” The rangers asked Johnson if they could search the car — he refused, though he invited them to “look wherever you want” without actually opening the doors — and ran a license check. In video the Park Service later gave to Johnson at his request, two rangers can be seen circling the car and looking through the windows while Johnson leans against the vehicle, reading a copy of the U.S. Constitution (“I figured I’d better have my rights ready,” he says).
For some reason, the video begins in the middle of the traffic stop, with the rangers already in possession of Johnson’s license, rather than at the beginning of the encounter. While they wait for his record to come back, Johnson tells the rangers he appreciates what they do, and one of them mentions several recent drug arrests and drunk-driving incidents on the Parkway. “I thought, ‘Well, what does that have to do with me? Are they pulling over everyone because of that?’” Johnson recalls. “I was clean; there was no reason for them to do anything.” After handing back his license, the rangers question Johnson for several minutes about where he came from and where he’s headed. At the end of the video, they can be seen walking up to a white couple. “How you folks doing today?” one ranger asks, before wishing them a good day and departing. The incident, says Johnson, left him somewhat reluctant to go up to the Parkway. The next time he did so was July 25, on a camping trip with his girlfriend. “We wanted to get away from the Bele Chere weekend crowds,” he remembers. “The park rangers were breaking down a DUI checkpoint, and I was taking pictures on the Mills River Bridge. The moon was a sliver: It
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mountainx.com â€˘ DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 11
of a patrol car and quizzing him about his girlfriend’s number after discovering that he has her cell phone and debit card. (Johnson had left her back at the campsite while he went to get supplies.) “I was just asking a question; now I got to get searched and everything?” Johnson says to them. (See sidebar, “Know Your Rights.”) “When you walk up asking questions with someone else’s card in your pocket,” the ranger replies, after asserting that he’d spotted a big bulge in Johnson’s shirt. “Oh, I see; I understand,” Johnson responds, after which the rangers ask him if he’s carrying guns or drugs. “I knew, at that point, they were making that assumption; that’s what I understood,” he told Xpress later. Following the license check, the rangers let Johnson go, and he tells them again that he understands, that there are no hard feelings. But Johnson says now that the experience has stayed with him, both physically and mentally. “I went to the VA hospital; I’ve been taking muscle relaxers to help reduce the inflammation [caused by their jerking my hands up],” Johnson reports. “I have a lot of friends who won’t go on the Parkway because of this.” Only about 1 percent of visitors to national parks are African-
“Profiling happens, but what we try to do is educate people, help them understand what makes [an incident] profiling or what makes it a justified stop.”
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Walking down the street: Local musician Jonathan Scales near the spot where a police officer stopped him, thinking his handshake with his realtor was a hand-to-hand drug transaction was red and so beautiful, and I just had to get a picture.” Johnson’s car was parked on the other side of the bridge, and he walked over to talk to the rangers before heading back to his vehicle. “When I walked up to one of the cars — there were four at the entrance — I waved and said, ‘I really appreciate what y’all are doing, keeping us safe on the Parkway.’ I asked how long it would take to get to Pisgah from here,” says Johnson, who wanted to get more photographs before the light faded. “He told me — and this is a park ranger — he didn’t know what I was talking about.” On video, Johnson can be clearly seen walking up to the car and waving, though his words aren’t audible. Three rangers emerge from surrounding vehicles and direct Johnson to put his hands behind his back. “I obliged, and they started searching me, going through my little fanny pack, which just had my flashlight, my compass — things you use in the woods,” says Johnson. “One of the rangers grabbed my hands and shoved them up between my shoulder blades.” The impact was so hard that Johnson will now require surgery for a damaged disc, hospital documents confirm. “I get dizzy: I’m a disabled veteran with some nerve troubles; this didn’t help things,” he says. The video clearly shows Johnson with his hands behind his back and the rangers searching him. The rangers then went through his fanny pack, which had camping gear inside it, took his car keys, and one vehicle drove across the bridge to Johnson’s car. While the video doesn’t make it clear if the rangers searched his vehicle, Johnson believes they did. “They’re not supposed to do that,” he says, adding, “The doors were unlocked when I came back.” In the video, the rangers can be seen leaning Johnson against the side
12 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
American, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Johnson believes that the way he was treated was a result of racial profiling, citing the contrasting treatment afforded the white couple. Accordingly, Johnson has hired an attorney and filed a formal complaint with the Justice Department. He’s still hoping the park rangers will apologize for the incident. But Chief Park Ranger Steve Stinnett believes the rangers have nothing to apologize for. “We take all such complaints very seriously,” he reports. “We forwarded [Johnson’s complaints] to our Office of Professional Responsibility, who basically fulfill our internal-affairs function. They investigated it; they interviewed the rangers involved in both incidents and found that there was no basis for complaint.” Johnson, notes Stinnett, was not arrested or charged in either incident. “I have absolute faith in our rangers,” he adds, while declining to comment any further on the incidents.
Well-known local musician Jonathan Scales has toured around the country, his work on the steel drums drawing raves from reviewers in JazzTimes magazine and elsewhere. But a chance encounter on Aug. 23 led to some far less positive attention, he reports. “I came out of The Rocket Club, I saw a friend of mine, happened to be my Realtor (I was buying a house at the time). I went to say ‘hey’ to him, but he was on the phone and I didn’t want to disturb him, so I shook his hand,” remembers Scales. “I walked a couple of blocks down and this police officer stops me and asked if I knew the man at the gas station. He told me, ‘I saw that handshake; it looked kind of suspicious.’” Scales told Officer Kelly Radford that the person was his real-estate agent. “Basically, at that point he accused me, said, ‘Well, it looked like a drug deal,’” Scales relates. “I was shocked. I’ve never done drugs a day in my life. He took my ID; he asked if I minded if he searched me. I told him I did mind, that I hadn’t done anything wrong; he would just be wasting his time.” According to Scales, Radford then told him that if he was innocent,
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he wouldnâ€™t object to being searched. â€œI didnâ€™t know a handshake counted as probable cause, that it was suspect,â€? Scales says with a chuckle. â€œIt was apparent I wasnâ€™t getting out of it. I refused it for about five minutes, then I let him search me. I was against the cop car, his hands on top of my hands, I got the whole pat-down treatment.â€? The next day, Scales went down to the West Asheville police station and e-mailed Chief Bill Hogan, requesting a sit-down with the officer in question. â€œThey told me he was just doing his job, that it wasnâ€™t profiling,â€? Scales recalls. â€œThey basically said they werenâ€™t going to do that.â€? Williams, the APD spokesperson, backed up that assessment, confirming that Radford did, in fact, find Scalesâ€™ handshake suspicious. â€œJonathan Scales was searched by an APD officer, pursuant to consent, based on actions that appeared to the officer to be a hand-tohand transaction of some type (and not a mere handshake greeting) on Haywood Road,â€? she wrote Xpress in response to questions about the incident. â€œNo contraband was discovered, and the officer apologized to Mr. Scales for delaying him.â€?
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Asked for a breakdown of arrests by race and ethnicity, Williams told Xpress, â€œWe donâ€™t track arrestees by race, gender, etc.,â€? though the individual incident reports do indicate the race of everyone involved. However, most law-enforcement agencies in North Carolina, including the APD, are required to report their traffic stops and searches, broken down by race and ethnicity, to the State Bureau of Investigation. Between Nov. 1, 2008, and Oct. 31 of this year, the APD reported making 6,264 traffic stops. Of those stopped, 873 (13.9 percent) were African-Americans. According to census data, roughly 17 percent of Asheville residents are African-American. Hispanics, meanwhile, accounted for 215 of those APD stops (3.4 percent); 5 percent of Ashevilleâ€™s population is Hispanic. So, by that measure, the statistics give no hint of racial profiling. Once stopped, however, African-American men are statistically far more likely to be searched. During that same time period, the APD reported conducting 509 car searches. Of those, 180 â€” more than a third â€” involved
14 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 â€˘ mountainx.com
Know your rights There are many misconceptions about law enforcementâ€™s legal authority to conduct searches and citizensâ€™ right to refuse them. Hereâ€™s what the law actually says, based on a review of federal and state statutes: Law-enforcement personnel can stop or pull a person over based on a â€œreasonable suspicionâ€? that a person is, has been or is about to be engaged in illegal activity. Legally, such suspicion must be based on observed facts, not a hunch or the officerâ€™s instinct. However, police cannot then search the person, their vehicle, their home or business premises without either their consent, a search warrant signed by a judge or magistrate, or probable cause. The 1983 Supreme Court case Illinois v. Gates defines probable cause as a â€œfair chanceâ€? that illegal actions are being committed â€” and if police make an arrest, theyâ€™ll have to justify that assessment in court. Examples of probable cause include someone screaming for help from inside a house, or an illegal firearm clearly visible on the back seat of a car. If a person objects to a search after law enforcement asserts that they have probable cause, the police may continue with the search, but the person can note that they are not consenting to it. Legally, this is important if a
black males. According to Hayes, the Asheville NAACP deals with about 20 to 30 formal complaints of racial profiling per year, and that rateâ€™s remained steady over the last decade. â€œSome of them, the officer is disciplined, and sometimes they donâ€™t find in our favor,â€? notes Hayes. â€œWe get some real problems, plenty of them, but we also get a lot of people convinced the police pulled them over because they were black. Could be, but they need to ask what else was going on, if thereâ€™s other reasons the police pulled them over.â€? â€œI canâ€™t confirm that your numbers are correct,â€? Williams wrote in response to questions about the SBI statistics. â€œHowever, it is clear that they donâ€™t shed any light on key information such as when and where the vehicle stops/searches occurred, such as in known high-crime areas, where we are charged by the community to devote a great deal of police resources.â€? Asked about the training APD officers receive, she wrote, â€œI can tell you that our officers are trained to be effective while operating within the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Constitution, state law and department policy.â€? The bottom line, according to Williams, is that they â€œstrive to do good, sound police work. They stop cars that they think need to
citizen wants to later make the case that the search violated their rights. Police may pat down an individualâ€™s clothing if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is carrying a concealed weapon, but may not also search them without probable cause. If police conduct a search without probable cause but make no arrest, the citizen can consult an attorney about pursuing legal action or lodge a complaint with the Police Departmentâ€™s internal affairs division. A person cannot be arrested for refusing to let the police search them. Likewise, they donâ€™t have to make any statement to the police or answer any questions except for giving their name. Refusing to consent to a search â€” or to answer questions â€” does not count as probable cause. If pulled over in their vehicle, a person is required to provide their driverâ€™s license and registration. If police arrest someone, they must tell the person why. For additional information and perspectives on this issue, visit the ACLUâ€™s primer on police searches at aclu.org, or the NAACPâ€™s archive of legal documents at naacpldf.org. â€” David Forbes
be stopped, and when they think itâ€™s prudent, they search those vehicles.â€? Nonetheless, says Headen of the ACLU, the experience Scales describes â€” being pressed by a police officer to submit to a search â€” is all too common. â€œThatâ€™s really too bad: â€˜If youâ€™re innocent youâ€™ll let me search youâ€™ is one of the most common misconceptions out there, especially when an officer may assume that someoneâ€™s up to something because of who they are,â€? she says. â€œIt is never a crime to assert your constitutional rights.â€? Hayes, meanwhile, encourages citizens to get educated about their rights and, if they do get stopped, to keep their cool and be attentive. â€œPeople can get angry, let it escalate. Donâ€™t. Stay calm, look at whatâ€™s going on,â€? he counsels. â€œWhen did the police stop you? How long had they been following you? What reason did they give? If you think youâ€™ve been profiled, write everything down as soon as possible; memory fades quickly â€” for the police and the person who gets stopped. This isnâ€™t TV.â€? X You can reach David Forbes at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 251-1333, ext. 137.
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 15
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by Brian Postelle The final Council meeting in an election year is bound to be a curious beast. Even as new Council members are brought in, the holiday break looms; it’s also the last chance to tackle anything that has to be addressed before the end of the calendar year. And with the January retreat still ahead, the incoming Council members have had only limited orientation concerning key issues. As a result, these year-ending sessions tend to be mere formalities, with any serious controversy postponed until after the holidays. But that’s not how things played out Dec. 15 when, at their very first meeting, Council members Cecil Bothwell, Esther Manheimer and Gordon Smith were treated to a nail biter of a discussion, with construction of the long-debated addition to the W.C. Reid Center for Creative Arts hanging in the balance. Due to some empty Council seats, the project barely mustered the four votes needed for approval. The cost to the city of adding a new performance facility and classroom space to the Livingston Street recreation center has fluctuated over the past year, as grant funds have appeared and then vanished. A $500,000 state grant was withdrawn in November because the project had not advanced to the required point. And discussions about the cost and whether it would be better just to renovate the existing gym kept the project bogged down during 2009. The current numbers show a total budget of $1.96 million. And with $133,000 left on hand from the project’s original budget and $738,000 in private pledges at stake, that would still leave the city committing to borrowing nearly $1.1 million at a time when money is very tight. Back in October, Council had approved both the financing plan and a construction master plan on a 5-2 vote. Now, however, they were confronted with an actual contract (with the Ashevillebased H&M Constructors). And with Mayor Terry Bellamy attending a holiday reception at the White House, the head count was already short. Then, on the advice of City Attorney Bob Oast, Manheimer asked to be recused from the vote because her employer, the Van Winkle Law Firm, represents two of the contractors who bid on the project. That left only five Council members at the table, and Council member Bill Russell had already turned thumbs down on the financing option in October. Oast, meanwhile, reminded Council that despite the empty seats, a full majority (four votes) was still needed to carry the measure. And when Vice Mayor Brownie Newman, presiding over the meeting in Bellamy’s absence, asked if
16 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
the issue could be tabled until the mayor returned, Roderick Simmons, the city’s director of parks, recreation and cultural arts, told him that the $738,000 in private contributions raised since 2006 would be off the table if no commitment were made by year’s end. Russell, the lone Republican on Council following Carl Mumpower’s departure, stuck to his position that the price tag had spiraled too high. “I was in support of this, but I withdrew my support when grant money went away and the cost got too high,” he noted. “I wonder if we’re building something a little too glamorous. I don’t think we have the money.” But Mildred Nance-Carson, who volunteers for youth programs at the center, disputed that view. “There is no glam in this building,” she declared, adding that considering the state of the current gymnasium, the youths deserve a new facility. “The city just has not done a great job of keeping it up,” she asserted. “We have been promised many things, none of which have happened.” To help make her case, Nance-Carson had brought along a group of Reid Center regulars. “Without the center, most of the youth in that area have no place to go,” said 16-year-old DeAngelo Brown. “I think there’s a lot of good in that place that just hasn’t been seen yet,” said 15-year-old Jacob Houle.
funds to install sidewalks within the same designated area as the new development. Lifting that restriction, said Ball, would reduce the number of sidewalks to nowhere. A connected sidewalk in another part of town, she noted, would be more valuable than an isolated stretch fronting a development. And in places where sidewalks are required on only one side of the street, argued Ball, letting the fee-in-lieu burden be shared among developers of surrounding properties might encourage more of them to choose the fee option, thus furthering the city’s goal of connecting existing stretches. The measure was approved 6-0, with an amendment suggested by Manheimer that calls for reviewing the policy after one year. While the cost of building sidewalks changes over time, she said, the city’s fee in lieu does not, and developers will use whichever option is cheaper at the time.
Hall of champions
The final meeting of the year is also the time when Council members take note of impressive accomplishments over the past 12 months, and they had no problem finding worthy subjects on whom to lavish praise. In September, Capt. Jeremy Edmonds of Asheville Fire and Rescue was named North Carolina Firefighter of the Year, and in a national competition to see how quickly and efficiently water department employees can
“We have been promised many things, none of which have happened.” — Reid Center Meanwhile, Council member Jan Davis acknowledged that, despite his prior vote in support of the funding method, he’d been ambivalent all along. “This is a difficult place to be in. We’ve sort of created a perfect storm without the mayor here to support this,” said Davis. “I’d hate to see this thing die; I think it would be a travesty.” Newman, however, urged his colleagues to follow through in recognition of all the work that had gone into the project so far. And after some quick calculation based on the number of daily visits to the current facility, Smith maintained that despite the increased cost, it would still be a wise investment. “It comes to $350 per kid per year,” he said. “That’s money well spent.” The construction contract was approved 4-1, with Russell opposed.
Where the sidewalk mends
A change in the way Asheville makes developers pay for sidewalks should enable the city to link up existing segments along major pedestrian routes, Public Works Director Cathy Ball reported. Currently, a developers who builds along a stretch of road that lacks a sidewalk must either install one or pay the city “fee-in-lieu” money. In the past, the city has been required to use those
tap a line, the city’s men’s and women’s teams both won at the state level and will advance to the nationals. They all got their turn at the front of the room, along with all 40-plus members of Asheville High School’s award-winning debate team, which will soon compete in the Harvard Invitational. But the most emotional recognition went to quarterback Brandon Whiteside of the Asheville High Cougars. The senior’s family has been ravaged by cancer: His grandfather died of lung cancer in 2004, his younger sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 2007, and his mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier this year. Whiteside made national news with his pledge to donate $1 of his own money to Asheville’s Relay for Life cancer benefit for every yard of passes he completed during the 2009 season. Racking up 1,854 yards, he broke the school’s career passing record. Whiteside’s campaign also inspired other donors, who brought the total raised to $4,659. Whiteside thanked City Council and those in attendance but also praised his teammates, saying, “Thanks for catching my passes. That also helps.” X Brian Postelle can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 153, or at email@example.com.
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 17
wnc news briefs
Make a date for 2010 with local calendars It’s time to toss that boring calendar from ’09 that you packed full of lunch dates, soccer practices and yoga classes, and to keep the date in the new decade with style. For several years, Xpress has being doing a roundup of local calendars, but never before have there been quite so many cool ones to feature. You can thank several local groups, businesses and artists for a crop of calendars like no other. Here’s to saving the date stylishly in 2010. — Gabe Chess
Ray’s Weather: Ray’s Weather is a Boone-based weather-forecasting service for Western North Carolina. For the calendar, Ray’s Weather held a contest for the best photographs of the High Country, with the top 12 all receiving a month. The calendar includes the beautiful photographs along with monthly weather averages for cities like Asheville, Black Mountain and Boone, among others. It’s available at www.raysmarketplace.com for $13.95.
Treasured Trees: The Treasured Trees calendar is an annual fundraiser for local nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks. The 2010 edition features black-andwhite images of 12 of Buncombe County’s “largest, rarest, oldest and prettiest trees” printed on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper. The pictures serve double duty as a selection of postcards; when a given month ends, you can separate the picture and mail it. The calendars are $16, and can be purchased at the Asheville GreenWorks office (357 Depot Street in the River Arts District), at several stories around town and online at www. ashevillegreenworks.org.
18 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
The Lovely Ladies of the Soda Fountain: This is the second year that the Soda Fountain in the Woolworth Walk building has put out a Ladies of the Soda Fountain calendar. Each month features a photograph of one of the Soda Fountain ladies or a group of them. The silly calendar is sure to crack a smile on your face each month, and can be purchased at the Soda Fountain.
Men of Westville Pub: Westville Pub on Haywood Road in West Asheville has cranked out a hilarious and, um, revealing, calendar for the past few years, and this year’s installment continues the tradition. The calendar is being sold at Westville Pub, and proceeds will be donated to Helpmate, a domestic-violence agency working to eliminate abuse and fear. Hence the calendar’s motto: “Objectifying men to help women.”
Freaks of Asheville: The first annual Freaks of Asheville celebrates a city dubbed “America’s new freak capital” by Rolling Stone. The calendar features Heather Mermaid, aka the mountain mermaid, on the cover, along with 12 other fabulous local “freaks,” ranging from Bob Seven to the Silver Drummer Girl to tall-biking dare devil Michael Mooney. Along with the portraits, by Asheville photographer Michael Traister, there is a testimonial from each self-professed freak. Scattered throughout each month are interesting dates in Asheville history: You are sure to impress your friends when you can tell them that Asheville was chartered on Jan. 27, 1798, or that on Sept. 18, 2010, the 30th annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition will be held in Asheville. The calendar costs $13.95 and can be purchased at www.freaksofasheville. com and several local venders.
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www.TheFhC.net mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 19
A Bee Lover’s Garden: A Bee Lover’s Garden is a project intended to help show individuals what they can do to fight the mysterious disappearance of honeybees. The calendar is full of tips to help your garden be more beefriendly, from maintaining your garden to ideas for plants bees like. It’s for sale at www. abeeloversgarden.com for $20.
Find community snowstorm news on mountainx.com
photo by Jonathan Welch
Like it did to so many in Western North Carolina, last week’s snowstorm caught us scrambling to get our work done, get home, stay warm and help whomever we could. And while our newspaper publishes only once a week (on Wednesdays), Xpress is trying new ways to disseminate emergency news around the clock, every day. As the storm clouds gathered last Friday, we set up a breaking-news box at the top of our homepage — www. mountainx.com — opening the door to hundreds of mini-reports on snowfall levels, power outages and restorations, traffic conditions, openings and closings, etc. We used Twitter, the socialmedia tool that lets Internet and smartphone users quickly share brief reports on the Web. Twitter users can tag their messages to make it easier for users to sort and filter the relentless rush of online news. Among Twitter users, that tag is called a “hashtag.” In the case of this storm, community members adopted the hashtag “#avlsnomg” (as in “Asheville snow, Oh my god!) to mark messages about the weather and its impact on our region.
What resulted was a steady stream of dispatches, pictures and videos from the media, community members, energy companies and local businesses. The messages ranged from the silly (“Cabin fever is such that the teenager has begun running outside barefoot in the snow. Trying to get me to do same.”) to the musing (“Guess next time I summon the Snow Gods to ‘bring it,’ I must be specific about no friggin’ power outages clause”) to the practical (“Our goal is to have majority of people’s power restored by 11pm [Monday]. Extra crews are still on the ground.”). Granted, Twitter-driven news is not a perfect way to stay in the know during a weather emergency — particularly if your power is out and you can’t access the Internet. But it’s a relatively new tool that helped both Xpress and the community share urgent snippets of news in ways we havn’t before. Stay tuned: At press time, there’s a chance for more bad weather on the near horizon; if snowstorms come our way again soon, please join us in sharing the news at mountainx.com. — Margaret Williams
20 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
Doors of Asheville: The Doors of Asheville is an annual art-action fundraiser to support affordable housing in Asheville and Buncombe County. This year’s Doors of Asheville calendar features art by Tom Pazderka, Julia C. Burr, Jonas Gerard and many others. The calendar can be purchased for $15 dollars at www.mtnhousing. org/doors/index. All funds raised benefit Mountain Housing Opportunities.
Laurie McCarriar’s Bookmark Calendar: Local photographer and digital artist Laurie McCarriar, who has put out several calendars in recent years, has a new variety to offer: Each month features one of McCarriar’s photographs of nature, which were taken in various locations including DuPont Forest and Ireland, and can be taken out and used as a bookmark. The calendar is available at her studio, at 170 Lyman St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at www. lauriemccarriar.com/home/small-gifts, for $10 a calendar, or two for $15.
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UNCA Weather Calendar: Published by UNCA’s Atmospheric Sciences Department, this calendar, in its 25th year, features Asheville climate data, including monthly temperature and precipitation normals, monthly heating-and-cooling degree days, plus daily normals for maximum and minimum temperatures. It’s also got info on moon phases, daily sunrise and sunset times, and a climate-data table showing normals, means and extremes for Asheville. The calendar costs $7, postage included. Make checks payable to “Weather Calendar” and mail to Dr. Alex Huang, UNCA Atmospheric Sciences Dept., 1 University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804-8511.
Bob Moog Foundation: The mission of the Bob Moog Foundation is to “educate and inspire children and adults through the power and possibilities of electronic music.” The calendar’s profits go toward creating a planned Moogseum. Each month features a photograph of Moog as well as other pioneers of electronic music, and a small write-up on the photograph or Moog quote. The calendar is available for purchase at www.moogfoundation.org/shop for $20.
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 21
See and be seen in the Xpress Photo Gallery Each issue of Mountain Xpress comes packed with pictures, but if you haven’t checked out our online Photo Gallery, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The collection — at www.mountainx. com/gallery — is an ever-growing portrait of our ever-evolving community. Featuring photos from both Xpress staffers and citizen journalists, the gallery showcases local arts and entertainments, political events, sporting contests, the beauty of mountain nature and much, much more. Here’s a small selection of recently added images by Xpress photo intern Joshua Cole. Come see us his work in the Gallery — you might even see yourself! X
Contra dancing at the Grey Eagle
Shane Conerty of Now You See Them on the LaZoom Tours bus
Belly dancing at Mela Indian Restaurant in Asheville
22 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
The Doors of Asheville fundraiser at the Orange Peel
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by Cinthia Milner Some families take ski trips to Colorado or travel to Europe for the holidays, but for the Koon girls of Buncombe County, it’s all about their annual Christmas camping weekend with dad. The week before Christmas, they pull out the camping gear (or, more accurately, their dad does) and head out to meet old friends — other fathers and their offspring — for a weekend of rock climbing, zip-lining and other play. The tradition began years ago, when Karl and McKenzie Koon weren’t much older than their kids are now. Karl was a student at Asheville School from 196974, and McKenzie was at Roberson High School around the same time. Both attended a mountaineering camp held each summer at Asheville School. James G. “Pop” Hollandsworth, a physics teacher who headed up the school’s mountaineering program, started the camp in 1967. (He was also the first director of the North Carolina Outward Bound School.) The first Koon family Christmas camping weekend was in 1972, when students, faculty and assorted friends came together for a “Mountaineering Camp Reunion.” In those days, the gatherings were held after Dec. 25, which gave everyone a chance to show off their Christmas loot — new camping gear — while reuniting with friends from the summer program. Among the original dads from
Every year, the girls return tired, wet, full of MREs and scary stories but with Christmas just a weekend away.
Tree Weekend January 9, 10 Sat., 12-4 pm • Winter Tree ID w/ Robin Allison Learn to identify the “really big herbs”, even in the winter Sun., 3-6 pm • Celtic Tree Lore w/ Crystalline Ruby Muse Study Eight Historically Sacred Trees of the Ancient Celts
24 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
photo courtesy Koon family
those early trips were Karl, Bob Jones of Atlanta and Craig Murray of Winston-Salem. Every year, they join Pop (who’s now 94) for the reunion. But at this point, it’s not so much about who got what cool camping gear: It’s about kids, and passing on a mountaineering tradition to the next generation. One quirky but much-loved part of that tradition, say the girls, is the MREs (meals ready to eat) an Atlanta friend always brings. The current crop of girls, ages 7 to 16, haven’t missed a single year of Christmas camping since the eldest — Kelly, now a junior at Asheville School — was 3 years old. So besides camping equipment, the dads also needed to stock up on diapers, favorite blankets, toys (many a Barbie has made the trip) and stuffed animals for the annual excursion. And while some of the kids have grown up and moved on, new ones arrive with their dads each year. No one wants to miss out on the fun: falling in creeks (someone always comes home wet), getting so cold someone ends up in dad’s sleeping bag, and (what camping trip would be complete without them?) scary stories. For Karel Koon, that’s the best part. But no one is allowed to repeat the tales to mom when they get home. So why aren’t the moms also part of this tradition (especially those like McKenzie who attended Pop’s original camp)? The short answer: This way, they get a weekend to themselves. “That’s the weekend the elves
come out at Inadu Lodge,” says McKenzie, referring to the family home off Jones Cove Road in Asheville. The minute the campers drive off, McKenzie begins retrieving Christmas presents from monthlong hiding places, sliding baking trays into ovens, tying bows on boxes of truffles for friends, and all the other tasks involved in turning the ordinary into the magic of Christmas. So when the girls return home after their weekend of roughing it with dad, Christmas has arrived. (Some women do join the men for the reunion, but most opt out in favor of precious, uninterrupted time to prepare for the holidays.) McKenzie remembers years when she stayed up all night just to savor her time alone, listening to Christmas music, baking and wrapping. Meanwhile, the annual event is not complete without a trip to the Pisgah Fish Hatchery — and a gift for mom. Every year, McKenzie gets a new stuffed animal to add to her growing collection of “critters” the girls pick out for her. And every year, the girls return tired, wet, full of MREs and scary stories but with Christmas just a weekend away and still a lot to look forward to. The men? Well, Karl didn’t have much to say about what they did after the children were finally conked out in their sleeping bags. Maybe they just reminisced around the fire, telling scary stories all their own. X Cinthia Milner lives in Leicester.
outdoorscalendar Calendar for December 23 - 31, 2009 Asheville Track Club The club provides information, education, training, social and sporting events for runners and walkers of any age. Please see the group Web site for weekly events and news. Info: www.ashevilletrackclub.org or 253-8781. • TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS, 5:30pm - Carrier Park Runners. Meet at the Carrier Park Pavilion. Leader: Dick Duccini, 645-8887. Pace: slow-moderate —- 6pm - Beginning Runner’s Program. Meet at the Carrier Park Pavilion. Leader: Tom Kilsbury, email@example.com —- 6pm - ATC Walkers Club. Meet at the Carrier Park Pavilion. Leader: Larry Fincher, HawCreekLarry@aol.com. • SATURDAYS, 8am - Carrier Park Runners. Meet at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. Leader: Dick Duccini, 645-8887 —- 8am - Beginning Runner’s Program. Meet at Carrier Park Pavilion. Leader: Tom Kilsbury, firstname.lastname@example.org —- 8am - ATC Walkers Club. Meet at Fletcher Park. Leader: Sherry Best-Kai, 595-4148 or email@example.com. Call ahead to confirm. • SUNDAYS, 8am - Carrier Park Runners. Park at NC Arboretum Greenhouse. Leader: Dick Duccini, 645-8887. Long, slow distance on trails —8:30am - ATC Trail Run. Park at NC Arboretum Greenhouse. Leaders: Bryan Trantham, 648-9336, and Rick Taylor, 776-3853. Pace: 8:30-9:30mpm. Beech Mountain Parks & Recreation Hikers are required to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and dogs are not allowed. Hikes are free. Info: www.hikebeechmountain.com or 3873003. • TU (12/29), 9am - Shawneehaw Overlook Trail hike. Blue Ridge Bicycle Club Encourages safe and responsible recreational bicycling in the WNC area. To find out more about the club and its ongoing advocacy efforts, or to see a complete club calendar, visit www.blueridgebicycleclub.org. • THURSDAYS - Fletcher Blue Sky Road Ride. Departs promptly at 9:15am. Route and meeting place vary. No one will be left behind. E-mail for
details or if weather is questionable: JohnL9@ MorrisBB.net. • SATURDAYS - Gary Arthur Ledges Park Road Ride. Departs in the a.m. from Ledges Park, located 6.5 miles off UNCA exit on I-26. Ride north along the French Broad River to Marshall for coffee, then return via Ivy Hill. Email for departure time: firstname.lastname@example.org. • SUNDAYS - Folk Art Center Road Ride. Departs in the p.m. from the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is a show-n-go ride, meaning there may not be a ride leader. Call or email for departure time: 713-8504 or billcrownover@ bellsouth.net. Carolina Mountain Club CMC fosters the enjoyment of the mountains of WNC and adjoining regions and encourages the conservation of our natural resources, through an extensive schedule of hikes and a program of trail building and maintenance. $20 per year, family memberships $30 per year. Newcomers must call the leader before the hike. Info: www.carolinamtnclub.org. • WE (12/23), 9:30am - Seven Gaps and Seven Knobs. Info: 505-0471 or mwbromberg@yahoo. com. • SA (12/26), 8:30am - East Fork Pigeon River. Info: 738-3395 or email@example.com. • SU (12/27), 1:30pm - French Broad River Greenway. Info: 281-3253 or paularww@bellsouth. net. • WE (12/30), 9am - Devil Fork Gap to Rocky Fork Road. Info: 654-9904 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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MORE OUTDOORS EVENTS ONLINE
Check out the Outdoors Calendar online at www. mountainx.com/events for info on events happening after December 31.
The deadline for free and paid listings is 5 p.m. WEDNESDAY, one week prior to publication. Questions? Call (828)251-1333, ext. 365
He brought me out into a spacious place... –Psalm 18:19
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OUTFITTERS Black Mountain NC
100 Sutton Avenue, Black Mountain, NC 828-669-0811 Open Mon-Sat: 10am - 6pm
77 Walnut St. Asheville, NC 28801 • (828) 252-7377 mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 25
your guide to community events, classes, concerts & galleries
Community Events & Workshops • Social & Shared-Interest Groups • Government & Politics • Seniors & Retirees • Animals • Technology • Business & Careers • Volunteering • Health Programs & Support Groups Calendar C a t e g o r i e s : Helplines • Sports Groups & Activities • Kids • Spirituality • Arts • Spoken & Written Word • Food • Festivals & Gatherings • Music • Theater • Comedy • Film • Dance • Auditions & Call to Artists Calendar for December 23 - 31, 2009 Unless otherwise stated, events take place in Asheville, and phone numbers are in the 828 area code. Day-by-day calendar is online Want to find out everything that’s happening today — or tomorrow, or any day of the week? Go to www.mountainx. com/events. Weekday Abbreviations: SU = Sunday, MO = Monday, TU = Tuesday, WE = Wednesday, TH = Thursday, FR = Friday, SA = Saturday
Community Events & Workshops Salvation Army Info: 253-4723. • FR (12/25) - Christmas dinner at the Salvation
Army Center of Hope, 204 Haywood St., in downtown Asheville. Open to all.
Social & SharedInterest Groups Afrikan Village Group • Seeking interested persons in starting an “Afrikan” village group on Choctaw Road in Asheville. Info: 279-8562 or email@example.com. Asheville Homeless Network Meetings take place at Firestorm Cafe & Books in downtown Asheville. Info: 552-0505. • THURSDAYS, 2pm - All homeless people and interested citizens are welcome. Blue Ridge Toastmasters Club Meets once a week to enhance speaking skills both formal and impromp-
*FREE and PAID listings - Wednesday, 5 p.m. (7 days prior to publication) Can’t find your group’s listing?
Due to the abundance of great things to do in our area, we only have the space in print to focus on timely events. Our print calendar now covers an eight-day range. For a complete directory of all Community Calendar groups and upcoming events, please visit www.mountainx.com/events..
Calendar Information In order to qualify for a free listing, an event must cost no more than $40 to attend and be sponsored by and/or benefit a nonprofit. If an event benefits a business, it’s a paid listing. If you wish to submit an event for Clubland (our free live music listings), please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Free Listings To submit a free listing: * Online submission form (best): http://www.mountainx.com/ events/submission * E-mail (second best): email@example.com * Fax (next best): (828) 251-1311, Attn: Free Calendar * Mail: Free Calendar, Mountain Xpress, P.O. Box 144, Asheville, NC 28802 * In person: Mountain Xpress, 2 Wall St. (the Miles Building), second floor, downtown Asheville. Please limit your submission to 40 words or less. Questions? Call (828) 251-1333, ext. 365. Paid Listings Paid listings lead the calendar sections in which they are placed, and are marked (pd.). To submit a paid listing, send it to our Classified Department by any of the following methods. Be sure to include your phone number, for billing purposes. * E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. * Fax: (828) 251-1311, Attn: Commercial Calendar * Mail: Commercial Calendar, Mountain Xpress, P.O. Box 144, Asheville, NC 28802 * In person: Classified Dept., Mountain Xpress, 2 Wall St. (the Miles Building), Ste. 214, downtown Asheville. Questions? Call our Classified Department at (828) 251-1333, ext. 335.
tu. Part of an international proven program that takes you through the steps with fun along the way. Network with interesting people of all ages and professions. Info: www. blueridgetm.org or 3332500. • MONDAYS, 12:201:30pm - Meeting. Koinonia Monday Night Potlucks • MONDAYS, 6-10pm - Potluck. The gathering invites visionaries, homeschoolers, activists, spiritualists and folks of all walks of life to share ideas and wisdom. Be a part of fostering an evolved local and global community. Change begins within us. Info: 333-2000. Scrabble Club Come play America’s favorite word game SCRABBLE. Info: 2528154. • SUNDAYS, 1-5pm Meets at Books-A-Million in Asheville. We have all the gear; just bring your vocabulary. No dues the first six months. The New Friends Meetup Interested in meeting new people for friendship, fun, romance, activities, and learning new things? Info: www.meetup.com/NewFriends-Meetup. • WEEKLY - Meets at a bar/restaurant.
Government & Politics Be A Local Leader • Through WE (1/6), 5pm - Application deadline for citizens interested in becoming a local leader by serving on an Asheville City board or commission. Info: 259-5601 or email@example.com. Stand for Peace • TUESDAYS, 5-6pm - Stand for peace with Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, War Resisters League, Military Families Speak Out, Buncombe Green Party and other peace mongers at Pack Place, intersection of Patton and Biltmore Avenues. Info: 582-5180.
Seniors & Retirees Henderson County Senior Softball League The league is always looking for new players, ages 55 and older. Weather permitting, they play yearround. Info: 698-3448 or www.LJRsoftball.com. • TUESDAYS & FRIDAYS - Daytime games at Jackson Park in Hendersonville (April-Oct.) and Leila Patterson Center in Fletcher (Nov.-March). Start times may vary with season.
Animals ChainFree Asheville A nonprofit, all-volunteer effort dedicated to improving the welfare of dogs living outdoors on chains and in pens in Asheville and Buncombe County. Info: www.chainfreeasheville.org or 450-7736. • SUNDAYS, 11am-3pm - Come help a chained dog experience freedom. No experience necessary. Meets 4 times a month within Asheville or Buncombe County to build a fence for a chained dog. Haywood County Animal Shelter Located at 245 Hemlock St., Waynesville. Info: 456-9340. • Through SU (1/3) Haywood County Animal Shelter, Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation and Aidan’s Fund are teaming up to help people adopt a shelter pet. A portion of the adoption fee for pets will be paid. Info: 2469050.
Volunteering Ashevillage Institute (AVI) Nonprofit eco-urban education center and living laboratory for sustainable solutions. Info or to RSVP: 225-8820, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ashevillage.org. • MONDAYS through SATURDAYS, 9am-5pm - Volunteer days and potluck lunch. Volunteers needed in: gardening, permaculture, stonework, carpentry, marketing,
26 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
weeklypicks Events are FREE unless otherwise noted.
wed Take a break from holiday preparations and relax at a Unity Center (2041 Old Fanning Bridge
Road, Mills River) workshop titled "Mellowing Your Drama" Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. The workshop will feature discourse, chanting, meditation and neck rubs. Love offering. Info: 684-3798.
Matthias Episcopal Church invites the community to a Christmas Eve concert and service thur St. Thursday, Dec. 24, at 5:45 p.m. The concert will feature gospel and Christmas music, and the service will include a full choir accompanied by organ, piano, trumpet, flute and cello. Info: 252-0643.
Friday, Dec. 25: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
All are welcome to a Kwanzaa celebration, a festive celebration of African-American culture, with food, entertainment and fellowship Saturday, Dec. 26, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Union Grove Family Life Center in Hendersonville. Info: 697-9698.
Winter solstice and holiday plants will be on display at the N.C. Arboretum's Baker exhibit greenhouse through Sunday, Jan. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is $8/vehicle. Info: 6652492 or www.ncarboretum.org.
mon Visit the Haen Gallery, 52 Biltmore Ave., in downtown Asheville, on Monday, Dec. 28, and view the current group exhibition, A Wintry Mix, which will be on display through Sunday, Jan. 31. Info: 254-8577.
The 11th annual Interfaith Service for Peace of the United Religions Initiative will be held Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 900 Blythe St., Hendersonville. An inspirational evening of music, fellowship and hope. All are welcome. Info: 692-6114.
administration, fundraising and business development. Asheville Area Directors of Volunteers in Agencies D.O.V.I.A., a nonprofit affiliate of the N.C. Association of Volunteer Administration, is dedicated to enhancing the skills of our community’s volunteer managers by conducting educational programs, sharing volunteer management information and resources, providing networking opportunities, and promoting community awareness of the value of volunteer services. • To get involved: 2550696, email@example.com or http://tinyurl. com/asheville-dovia. Asheville City Schools Foundation Seeking Academic Coaches (tutors/mentors) to support students by assisting them with a variety of tasks that support educational success. One hr/wk min., for one school year, in your choice of school or afterschool program. Training
provided. Info: 350-6135, firstname.lastname@example.org. nc.us or www.acsf.org. • MONDAYS through FRIDAYS, 8:30am-5pm Academic coaching in the schools or at after-school programs, once a week. Children First/CIS Projects Needs Volunteers Children First/CIS is a nonprofit that advocates for Buncombe Countys children, while providing innovative programs for vulnerable children, and engaging the community in creating a better future for all children. Volunteers are needed at least one hour per week. Info: 252-4810 or patriciah@ childrenfirstbc.org. • Sponsor a child this holiday season by donating gifts, clothing and books to Children First. Help children in our community have a happy holiday season. Call for details. Events at Barnes & Noble The bookstore is located at 3 Tunnel Rd. in the Asheville Mall. Info: www. bn.com.
• Through FR (1/1) - Annual Holiday Book Drive: Barnes & Noble will be collecting books for Toys for Tots. Info: 296-7335. Gear Drive for Inner City Outings • Through TU (1/5) - Support Inner City Outings, a local nonprofit focused on providing kids with outdoor experience, by donating gear in good condition that’s on their wish list, and get the chance to win a $30 REI gift card. Info: www.rei. com/asheville. Graffiti Removal Action Teams Join Asheville GreenWorks in combating graffiti vandalism in our community. Removing quickly and keeping covered is the best way to reduce graffiti. Info: 254-1776. • THURSDAYS - Graffiti removal. Guardian ad Litem Program Seeks Volunteers Volunteers are needed to advocate for children involved in the juvenile court process due to
abuse and neglect. No experience necessary. Free training prepares volunteers to make a difference in a child’s life. Info: 251-6130. • MO (1/11) - Training begins. Call to register. Hands On AshevilleBuncombe Choose the volunteer opportunity that works for you. Youth are welcome to volunteer on many projects with adult supervision. Info: www.handsonasheville.org or call 2-1-1. Visit the Web site to sign up for a project. • Download “Twelve Days of Caring,” a list of 12 simple projects that make our community a better place to live while refocusing on the true meaning of the holidays. Info: www.handsonasheville.org. Raise the Roof Campaign • Through FR (1/1) - Help Raise the Roof on a new community house for low-income families, for people on the streets and for seniors by collecting donations to benefit
Beloved Community. Info: 545-0324. Send donations to: 610 A Haywood Road, Asheville, 28806. Western Alliance Center for Independent Living Located at 108 New Leicester Hwy., Asheville. Info: 298-1977 or www. westernalliance.org. • MONDAYS through FRIDAYS, 8:30am-5pm - Give your computer a second life by donating it to Western Alliance to benefit people with disabilities. Donations are tax deductible. • SA (12/26), 10am-2pm - Computer donations will be accepted.
Health Programs & Support Groups Professional Help For Overshoppers/ Overspenders (pd.) Stop the pain of Overshopping and Overspending • Discover triggers and cues • Learn specific tools, strategies and techniques • Break the cycle of overspending • Overcome the urge to splurge this holiday season • Develop mindfulness in making decisions. Call 231-2107.
Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families • MONDAYS, 7-8:30pm - Open 12-step meeting at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Rear entrance; first room on left. Info: 298-6600 or email@example.com. Al-Anon Al-Anon is a support group for the family and friends of alcoholics. More than 33 groups are available in the WNC area. Info: 800-286-1326 or www. wnc-alanon.org. • WEDNESDAYS, 8-9pm - Newcomers meeting and discussion: West Asheville Presbyterian Church, 690 Haywood Road, across from Ingles. Enter through parking lot door. Info: 225-0515. • WEDNESDAYS, 12:151:15pm - Step study: First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St. Park in the back of lot between Church and Y. Info: 686-8131. • THURSDAYS, 7pm - Discussion meeting for parents of children with addictions: West Asheville Presbyterian Church, 690 Haywood Road, across from Ingles. Info: 2426197.
• FRIDAYS, 8pm - The Lambda (GLBT) group of Al-Anon is a gay-friendly support group for families and friends of alcoholics, and holds their weekly candlelight meeting at All Souls Cathedral, 3 Angle St. Info: 670-6277 (until 9pm). • FRIDAYS, 12:30-1:30pm - Discussion meeting: First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St. Park in the back of lot between Church and Y. Info: 686-8131. • FRIDAYS, 6:30pm - Discussion meeting for couples only: All Souls Cathedral, 3 Angle St. Info: 676-0485. • SATURDAYS, 10am Al-Anon North: Meeting at Grace Episcopal Church, 871 Merrimon Ave. • SATURDAYS, 10am - Saturday Serenity at St Mary’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Charlotte and Macon. Beginners welcome. • SATURDAYS, Noon - Weaverville discussion meeting at First Baptist Church on N. Main St., next to the library. Enter via side glass doors. • SUNDAYS, 5-6pm Discussion meeting: West Asheville Presbyterian
Church, 690 Haywood Road. Info: 281-1566. • MONDAYS, 12-1pm - Discussion meeting: First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St. Park in the back of lot between Church and Y. Info: 686-8131. • TUESDAYS, 7pm Discussion meeting: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 20 Oak St. Art of Intimacy Practice Group Learn life-changing communication and relationship skills, drawing from the work of Brad Blanton (Radical Honesty), Marshal Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication), Susan Campbell (Getting Real), John Bradshaw (Homecoming) and others. By donation. Info: 2545613 or www.centerforsacredsexuality.org. • WEDNESDAYS, 7:309:30pm - Meeting. Beauty Through Cancer Provides programs and services for breast cancer patients and survivors in the WNC area. Located at 131 McDowell St., Suite 202, Asheville. Info: 2528558 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 4th MONDAYS, 5:156:30pm - Women’s cancer support group for individuals going through any type of cancer treatment or recovery. This uplifting group with cover many diverse subjects. Cancer patients, survivors and caregivers are welcome. CarePartners Hospice Bereavement Offers one-on-one grief counseling, support groups, grief education classes, a monthly grief support newsletter and semi-annual memorial services (available to anyone who is suffering a loss through death). Located at 68 Sweeten Creek Road., Asheville. Call 251-0126 to set up an initial visit with a counselor. • WEEKLY - Grief education classes and support group meetings: Good Grief Support Group, Child-Loss Support Group, Suicide Loss Group (monthly). Debtors Anonymous • THURSDAYS, 7-8pm - Meets at Mount Pisgah Lutheran Church, 2606 Chimney Rock Road, Hendersonville. Info: DAHendersonville@gmail. com.
Depression & Bipolar Support • THURSDAYS, 6-7:30pm - DBSA support group meets at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Open support for family and friends. Info: peacehead@ gmail.com or DBSAlliance. org/asheville. Eating Disorders Individuals are welcome to come to one or all of the support group meetings. Info: 337-4685 or www. thecenternc.org. • WEDNESDAYS, 78pm - Support group for adults at T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating, 297 Haywood St. Focus is on positive peer support, coping skills, recovery tools. Led by licensed professional. Free. Henderson County Red Cross Red Cross holds classes in CPR and First Aid for infants, children and adults; Standard First Aid in Spanish; Babysitter Training; Pet First Aid. Located at 203 Second Ave. East, Hendersonville. Info: 693-5605. : Blood Drive dates and locations are listed below. Appointment and ID required.
• WE (12/23), 9am1:30pm - Opportunity House, 1411 Asheville Hwy. Info: 693-5605. • TU (12/29), 11am3:30pm - Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 222 Barnwell St., Hendersonville —- 10am3:30pm - Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Ave. Info: 693-5605 or www. membersforlife/cbsr. • TU (12/29), 10am3:30pm - Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Ave. Info: 693-5605. • WE (12/30), 6:30-11am & 12:30-5pm - Pardee Hospital, Jamison Conference Room, 800 N. Justice St. Info: 6964225. Hep C Hope of WNC Group meetings and educational sessions to help those with Hepatitis C learn the skills necessary to cope with their illness, and to lend support through every phase of the disease, including liver transplantation. Info: 254-0590 or www.hepchope.org. • 4th MONDAYS, 6pm - Meetings are held at MAHEC, 501 Biltmore Ave. There will be an open forum to discuss Hepatitis C. Everyone is welcome.
Moms Supporting Moms • TUESDAYS, Noon or 6:30pm - Peer support for moms struggling with depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum. Connect with other mothers and community resources. Meets at the Women’s Resource Center. Info: 213-8241. Directions: 213-8246. Narcotics Anonymous A fellowship of recovering addicts that can help those afflicted get clean and stay clean through a 12-step program. The group focuses on recovering from the disease of addiction rather than any particular drug. For WNC NA meeting schedules and info: www.wncana.net. Helpline: (866) 925-2148. • DAILY - Please call for location details. National Alliance on Mental Illness - Western Carolina Dedicated to improving the lives of persons with severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, OCD, PTSD and anxiety disorders. Free Connection Recovery Support Groups. Info: 505-7353.
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 27
• THURSDAYS, 7:30-9pm - Veterans Connection Recovery Support Group meets at the Charles George VA Medical Center, 1100 Tunnel Road. Multi-purpose room. Contact Ray at raycarter2001@yahoo. com or 337-0515. • 2nd & 4th MONDAYS, 11am - Group meets at 356 Biltmore Ave., Suite 298. Overeaters Anonymous A fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating.
This 12-step program welcomes everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. Meetings are one hour unless noted. • THURSDAYS, Noon - Asheville: Biltmore United Methodist Church, 376 Hendersonville Rd. (S. 25 at Yorkshire). Info: 298-1899. • SATURDAYS, 9:30am - Black Mountain: Carver Parks & Recreation Center, 101 Carver Ave. off Blue Ridge Road. Open relapse and recovery mtg. Info: 686-8131.
• MONDAYS, 6:30pm - Hendersonville: Balfour United Meth. Church, 2567 Asheville Hwy. (Hwy. 25). Open mtg. Info: 1-800-580-4761. • MONDAYS, 5:15pm - Asheville: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 20 Oak St. Beginners mtg. Info: 277-8185. • MONDAYS, 6pm - Asheville: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 20 Oak St. Open mtg. Info: 2778185. • TUESDAYS, 10:30amNoon - Asheville: Grace
Episcopal Church, 871 Merrimon Ave. at Ottari. Open BBSS mtg. Info: 280-2213. Red Cross Events & Classes Red Cross holds classes in CPR/First Aid for infants, children, and adults; Babysitter Training; Pet First Aid; Bloodborne Pathogens; Swimming & Water Safety; and Lifeguarding. All classes held at chapter headquarters, 100 Edgewood Rd. To register, call 258-3888, ext. 221. Info: www.redcrosswnc.org.
Winter Wallet Warmers a Holiday Coupon Section email@example.com
: Bloodmobile Drive dates and locations are listed below. Appointment and ID required. • TU (12/29) 8:30am12:30pm - Comfort Suites Hotel, 890 Brevard Road. Info: 665-4000. • TH (12/31), 10am2:30pm - K-Mart, 1830 Hendersonville Road. Info: 274-3411. S-Anon For those affected by someone else’s sexual behavior. Info: 545-4287 or 606-6803. • WEEKLY - Three meetings are available per week.
S-Anon Meetings S-Anon is a 12-step recovery program for partners, family and friends of sexaholics. We share our experience, strength and hope to help solve our common problems. Meetings held weekly in Asheville, Fletcher and Waynesville. Call confidential voice mail for information: 2585117. • WEEKLY - Meetings. Sex Addicts Anonymous A fellowship of men and women recovering from addictive sexual behavior (physical and/or emo-
Ashev i l l e’s
tional). Meetings are held in downtown Asheville. Info: 800-477-8191 (live person Mon.-Fri. 11am7pm) or 348-0284 to leave a local message for a return call. • SUNDAYS, 7pm Meeting. Sexaholics Anonymous SA is a 12-step fellowship of men and women recovering from compulsive patterns of lust, romance, destructive relationships, sexual thoughts or sexual behavior. Call confidential voice mail 681-9250 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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$35 Per Person or $65 A Couple Mon-Thur 11-9 • Fri & Sat 11-9:30 • 1455 Patton Ave. • 828-254-5046 • www.tomatocl.com
28 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
se Lf S er v e D g Wa sh
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(Off of Clingman Ave. - turn at the Grey Eagle) www.thesoapydog.com
Info: www.orgsites.com/ nc/saasheville/. • DAILY - Asheville meetings. Step/Weights Class Free ongoing aerobics class with step, weights, resistance bands and stretches. Offered by Asheville Parks & Recreation to promote Asheville’s cardiovascular health. At Stephens-Lee Center (from S. Charlotte, turn on Max St. and go up the hill). Info: 3502058. • TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS, 5:306:30pm - Step/Weights
Veg-In-Out Organic Bulk Meals Home Delivery Service Only $70 Delivers a Week of Healthy Meals to your Door - Ready to Eat! • Delicious Gourmet Dishes • Zero Cholesterol Food • Optimal Weight Loss Plan
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Class ending with mat work (stretches, yoga & pilates). All levels. All welcome! Stephens-Lee Center, 30 G.W. Carver St. (Take S Charlotte to Max St at stop light). Qs call 828.350.2058 Support Groups Sessions are led by Charlene Galvin, a board certified Chaplain. Love offering. Info: 329-3187 or chargalvin@hotmail. com. • THURSDAYS, 1011:30am - Living with Life Limiting Illness —1:30-3pm - Caregivers Support Group.
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity • MONDAYS, 5:156:30pm - A support group of persons who want to discover and recover their creative selves meets. Based on course developed by Julia Cameron. Info: rachael_bliss@ yahoo.com.
Helplines For Xpress’ list of helplines, visit www. mountainx.com/events/ category/helplines.
Catherine Classen, LMT # 1943 20 years experience
15 Zillacoa St. • Asheville
Garden N.C. Arboretum Events The Arboretum hosts a variety of educational programs. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free with parking fee ($6/vehicle). No parking fees on Tuesdays. Info: 665-2492 or www.ncarboretum.org. • Through (1/3), 10am4pm - “Winter Solstice and Holiday Plants” will be on display in the Baker Exhibit Greenhouse. Regional Tailgate Markets
• For tailgate listings, visit www.mountainx. com/events and click on “Garden.” For more information, including the exact start and end dates of markets, contact the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project: 2361282 or www.buyappalachian.org.
Sports Groups & Activities Asheville Masters Swimming Competitive, fitness and triathlon swimmers wel-
come. Info: www.ashevillemasters.com • MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS, 5:45-7:15am - Practice at Asheville School. • TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS, 5:457:15am & SATURDAYS, 7-9am - Coached practices at Warren Wilson College.
Disc Golf Check the kiosk at Richmond Hill Park for events and nearby tournaments. Info: 680-9626 or www.wncdiscgolf.com.
• TUESDAYS, 3:30pm - Doubles at Richmond Hill Park.
Pickleball It’s like playing ping pong on a tennis court. For all ages. $1 per session. Paddles and balls are provided. Info: 350-2058. • MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS, 9-11am Meets at Stephens-Lee Rec Center, 30 George Washington Carver St. (take S. Charlotte to Max St.). Women’s Indoor Trainer Sessions
• MONDAYS, 6:15pm - Youngblood’s Trainer Sessions. Bring your own trainer; no roller, please. A few indoor trainers will be available for loan/rent ($10). Begin your winter conditioning program. Info: email@example.com or tdrews@ trainright.com.
Kids Asheville Art Museum Located on Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am5pm and Sun., 1-5pm. Admission: $6/$5 stu-
dents and seniors/Free for kids under 4. Free first Wednesdays from 3-5pm. Info: 253-3227 or www. ashevilleart.org. • MO (12/28) through TH (12/31), 1-4pm - Holiday Arts Extravaganza. Day campers will create art of all kinds. For students in grades 1-4. Registration required: call ext. 121 or 122. $18/$20 nonmembers per day. At The Health Adventure Free first Wed. of every month from 3-5pm. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am5pm & Sun., 1-5pm. $8.50 adults/$7.50
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mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 29
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30 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
students & seniors/$6 kids 2-11. Program info or to RSVP: 254-6373, ext. 324. Info: www.thehealthadventure.org. • Through SU (1/3) - Explore the good, the bad and the ugly at Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body. Explore why your body produces mushy, oozy, crusty and stinky gunk at this educational exhibition. • THURSDAYS, 10:3011:30am - Preschool Play Date. Interactive fun just for preschoolers led by museum facilitators. Free with admission. • SATURDAYS, 1-2pm - Experiment with science during Super Science Saturdays. Featuring hands-on activities led by museum facilitators, the programs are fun for all ages. Free with admission. For specific activity descriptions or for more info, visit the Web site. • 2nd & 4th MONDAYS, 4-5pm - “My Mom Is Having a Baby.” Help your child prepare to be an older brother or sister with this class. Learn what to expect, how to hold the new baby, and make a special present to hang over the crib. Free with admission. Celebration Singers of Asheville Community children’s chorus for ages 7-14. For audition/performance info: 230-5778 or www. singasheville.org. • THURSDAYS, 6:307:45pm - Children’s chorus rehearsal at First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., downtown Asheville. Earth Scouts for Kids Earth Scouts is an environmental education group that is fun and empowering. Kids ages 4 and up learn plant identification, medicine making and earth skills. • THURSDAYS, 6-7pm - Meets at One World Healing Arts Institute, 2 Sulphur Springs Road, Asheville. Parents welcome. $10. Hands On! Gallery This children’s gallery is located at 318 North Main St. in Hendersonville. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10am5pm. Admission is $5, with discounts available on certain days. Info: 697-8333 or www.handsonwnc.org. • TH (12/31), 10amNoon - “New Year’s at Noon.” Make noise
makers in the Art Room then count down to New Year’s at 12pm with a parade around the museum. All ages are welcome. Haywood County Public Library System The main branch is located at 678 S. Haywood St., Waynesville. The county system includes branches in Canton, Maggie Valley, Fines Creek and Cruso. Info: 452-5169 or www.haywoodlibrary.org. • WEDNESDAYS, 11am - Family story time for children of all ages. Read books, sing songs, learn finger plays and more. Visit With Santa Claus • MONDAYS through SATURDAYS, 10am-9pm & SUNDAYS, Noon-6pm Santa will be at his castle in the Asheville Mall, where he will be available to hear children’s wishes. Plus, Santa Feeds America canned food drive in partnership with MANNA FoodBank. Info: asheville-mall.com. Waynesville Parks and Recreation Info: 456-2030 or recyouth@townofwaynesville. org. • WE (12/23) & MO (12/28) through TH (12/31), 7am-5:30pm - Day Camp for children ages 5 through 12. $20 members/$35 nonmembers per day. Pack a lunch, two snacks, a swimsuit, towel, book and a blanket.
Spirituality Astro-Counseling (pd.) Licensed counselor and accredited professional astrologer uses your chart when counseling for additional insight into yourself, your relationships and life directions. Readings also available. Christy Gunther, MA. (828)2583229. Attention Alternative Practitioners • Convenient Office Space (pd.) Samasati Healing Center, Montford Avenue. $450/month, includes all utilities. Call Tim: 2796393 for information. Faerie Pathway Readings (pd.) Guidance from faeries, guardian angels, and spirit guides to help you rediscover the magic in your life. Faerie workshops also available. (828) 645-2674. www. davidswing.com
Tuesday Afternoons • Study • Meditation • Great Tree Zen Temple (pd.) Study: 3:30pm • Meditation: 5:30pm. 679 Lower Flat Creek Road, Alexander. Love offering. More information: 6452085 or www.greattreetemple.org 11th Annual Interfaith Service for Peace • TU (12/29), 7pm - The 11th Annual Interfaith Service for Peace of the United Religions Initiative will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 900 Blythe St., Hendersonville. An inspirational evening of music, fellowship and hope. All welcome. Info: 692-6114. Advent Conspiracy Series • WEDNESDAYS (through 12/16), 6-7:30pm - Longing to simplify Christmas? Land of the Sky UCC invites you to spend less, give more, connect spiritually and resurrect the joy of Christmas. Combat commercialism, explore simple and meaningful family traditions, and serve others together. Info: www. losucc.org. Asheville Center for Transcendental Meditation/An Evening of Knowledge Transcend the busy, active mind—effortlessly—for peace, bliss and full awakening of creative intelligence. The most effective, extensively researched meditation. Revitalizes mind/body, relieves worry and anxiety, improves brain functioning. Free Introduction. Info: 254-4350 or www. meditationasheville.org. • WEDNESDAYS, 7:158:15pm - Introductory Talk: Access your deepest intelligence; compare meditation techniques; explore higher states of consciousness and total brain functioning; and learn about Scientific findings on TM’s health benefits. Held at 165 E. Chestnut St. Asheville Meditation Center Classes are held at the Greenlife Community Center, 90 Merrimon Ave., unless otherwise noted. Info: 505-2300 or www.meditateasheville. org. • THURSDAYS, 6:307:30pm - Meditation Circle. Donations accepted. Awakening Practices Study the works of Eckhart Tolle and put words into action through
meditation and discussion. Info: Trey@QueDox. com. • 2nd & 4th THURSDAYS, 7-9pm - Meets at the EnkaCandler Library meeting room. Buddhist Meditation and Discussion Meets in the space above the French Broad Food Co-op. Suggested donation: $8/$4 students & seniors. Dec. series: “Buddha’s Secrets for Happy Holidays.” Info: 779-5502 or www.meditation-in-northcarolina. org. • WE (12/23 & 30) - No class. Christmas Eve Worship Service • TH (12/24), 5-6pm Land of the Sky UCC and Westminster Presbyterian Church will celebrate the birth of Christ with a joint, family-friendly worship service at Westminster Presbyterian, 15 Overbrook Pl., Asheville. Drama, scripture and Christmas hymns. Child care available. Info: 2420268. Coalition of Earth Religions Events Info: 230-5069 or www. ceres-wnc.org. • 4th WEDNESDAYS Meeting at the Earth Fare Community Room. Call for details. Compassionate Communication Practice Group Learn ways to create understanding and clarity in your relationships, work, and community by practicing compassionate communication. Group uses a model developed by Marshall Rosenberg in his book Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life. Free. Info: 252-0538 or www. ashevilleccc.com. • 2nd & 4th THURSDAYS, 5-6:15pm - Practice group for newcomers and experienced practitioners. Events at First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville Located at 204 6th Ave, in Hendersonville. Info: 693-4275. • TH (12/24) - Christmas Eve Worship: 5pm - Family Service in the Sanctuary. The Children’s Celebration Choir will perform at 4:40pm. Gently used/new stuffed animals will be collected for children at Mainstay and The Healing Place —6:30pm - SONday Praise & Worship in the Barber
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
According to astronomer Mark Whittle, the Big Bang began in silence. Soon it crescendoed into a majestic major third chord 50 octaves below middle A. Then it transformed, over the course of a million years, into a wistful minor third chord. In my vision of the first two-thirds of 2010, the music of your life will have a similar pattern: It begins with silence. Next, it progresses into a lush major feel, with spirited and complex contrapuntal themes. Then in June, it evolves into a dreamy, contemplative phase. By late September, however — unlike the Big Bang — you will move into a third act, in which the music of your life returns to the lively mood it had at the start, only now with the gravitas that the reflective phase has instilled.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
I have good astrological reasons to suspect that a year from now, your empire will be bigger. The resources you have at your disposal will be more substantial, the influence you wield will be more meaningful, and the responsibilities you oversee will be more demanding. You can’t, however, just sit back passively and expect fate to make it all happen for you. You will have to work your assets off: get better organized, clarify your game plan, and commit to taking better care of yourself. None of that is mandatory, of course. Being a lazy wanderer with no mission statement is definitely an option. If you do go in that direction, though, don’t complain to me next December about how you feel like you’re made of cookie dough.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You will need to learn a lot in 2010, Cancerian. You’ll be in a phase of your long-term cycle when it will be wise to enhance your problem-solving skills and increase the knowledge you have at your disposal. So let me ask you: What can you do to gently shock yourself into prying open your mind? What is it that you don’t know but need to know? By the way, the coming year will also be a good time for you to offer yourself up as a teacher. In fact, sharing your knowledge and problem-solving skills will make you more receptive to what you need to learn.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
compulsions you might be harboring. And by the way, 2010 will be one of the best years ever for you to cash in on these capacities.
I was in my first rock band in North Carolina in the 1970s. We did a mix of cover tunes by David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith, plus original hippie-punk songs and my poetry rants. Controversy arose virtually every time we performed, especially in places like the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh (where we competed with the cacophony of mooing cows) and frat parties (where we endured the shouted insults of drunken jocks). It wasn’t until I moved to California that I synced up with an audience that appreciated my idiosyncratic musical sensibilities. According to my reading of the omens, Virgo, 2010 could bring you a comparable transition: finding listeners or hooking up with collaborators who are a better fit for your unique qualities.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I’m always befuddled by astrologers who preach the gospel of doom and gloom when they talk about the influence of Saturn. My experience is that the ringed planet provides the greatest gift imaginable: motivation to become the person you were born to be. It steers you away from pursuing goals that aren’t in alignment with your soul’s code. It pressures you to give up vain fantasies that even if fulfilled wouldn’t make you happy. That’s why I’m happy to report to you the following good news: As Saturn travels through your sign for much of the time between now and October 2012, I expect that you will be prompted and prodded to cut away the irrelevancies that distract you from claiming your birthright.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Comedian Chris Rock has a joke that plays on the stereotypes about your sign: “Most Scorpios die while they’re making love!” (Only he uses the f-word instead of “making love.”) I understand the source of his satire. There are more than a few grains of truth in the notion that Scorpios revel in the enigmas of eros and death. On the other hand, I wouldn’t reduce your mystique to such a simple formula. I’d prefer to say something like this: You’re sexy when you’re letting go of your staunch selfcontrol. Or: You’re an expert at transcending humdrum modes of awareness by stimulating intense pleasure. Or: If fully harnessed, your orgasmic power could kill off any destructive
Books, Music, Gifts & Events That Touch The Spirit
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
According to my analysis of your astrological omens, 2010 isn’t a year to get your head in the clouds, but rather to grow deeper roots. Your job, as I see it, isn’t so much to explore the heights, but the depths. I think you should focus on getting to the bottom of things, not the top. Your instrument of choice should be a microscope, not a telescope. Your specialty won’t be playing spectacular guitar solos but rather groovalicious bass lines. I’m happy to announce that 2010 could be the year when you become a more expert communicator. It’s not that you do a bad job now; it’s just that there is always room for improvement, and this will be an excellent time to attend to that. Life will be bringing you an abundance of experiences that will help you learn to listen better, cultivate more tact, read people’s body language like a pro, and consistently speak about the elusive truth with language that’s both kind and effective.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
I’ve known some practical, sensible, wellgrounded Aquarians in my life. They’re outnumbered, though, by the dominant subtype of your tribe: the imaginative, idiosyncratic irmprovisers with lightning reflexes and highflying notions. But even if you belong to the latter group, in 2010 you’ll be gaining the capacities of the former. In fact, I think this will be the year you get more things done than you ever have before. Attention to detail will be your specialty. You’re likely to excel in mastering the part of genius that’s comprised of 98 percent perspiration.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
The pop star Pink is a successful singer. Not only does she have a great voice; she has also sold 32 million records and won two Grammies. Recently she added what I think is an extraneous element to her live performances: a trapeze act. At the MTV Video Music Awards last September, she delivered her song “Sober” while swinging through the air and hanging upside down 60 feet off the ground. I was perplexed as I watched her, thinking to myself, “Doesn’t she have confidence that her song and her singing can stand alone?” In 2010, Pisces, I urge you not to follow her lead. There’s no need for you to go way overboard as you try too hard to give too much. Just sing your songs. Homework: If you’d like to enjoy my books, music, and videos without spending any money, go here: http://bit.ly/7Cj8rY. © Copyright 2009 Rob Brezsny
Visit our website for a complete listing of events 5426 Asheville Hwy. (Hwy.25) 1/2 mi. S. I-26 exit 44
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What influences do you really, really need to say goodbye to? The next six months will provide you with ample motivation and opportunity to finally bid those farewells. What longterm cycle really, really needs to be drawn to a close, no more hemming and hawing, all loose ends tied up and all mixed signals clarified? Again, the time between now and the middle of June will bring you the necessary inspiration to make it happen. But it’ll take deep thought and sustained work and an expanded sense of humor, so get started soon.
Do you know any world travelers, shamanic healers, or visionary entrepreneurs? If not, there’s a good chance you’ll meet some in 2010, possibly even forge alliances with them. Crafty activists, brilliant artists, and deep thinkers may come your way, as well. Another possibility is that cohorts and comrades you’ve been linked to for some time will embark on mind-expanding quests that blow your mind as well as theirs. One way or another, Leo, the coming year will bring you more than the usual benefits and challenges that come from being in relationships.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
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Christian Life Center —- 8:30pm & 11pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Music will begin half an hour before the service. Hare Krsna Sunday Feast Meets above the French Broad Food Co-op, 90 Biltmore Ave. Info: www. highthinkingsimpleliving. org or 506-2987. • Select SUNDAYS, 6-8pm - An evening of bhajans, class on the Bhagavad-Gita and a vegetarian feast. Everyone welcome. Refer to the Web site or call for dates. Land of the Sky United Church of Christ Located at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 15 Overbrook Place, in East Asheville. • SUNDAYS, 5-6pm - Women-led, justicefocused, family-friendly, and open to all. Worship with Land of the Sky UCC. An unconditional church. Mindfulness Meditation Class Explore the miracle of healing into life through deepened stillness and presence. With consciousness teacher and columnist Bill Walz. Info: 258-3241 or www.billwalz.com. • MO (12/28) - No class. • MONDAYS, 7-8pm - Meditation class with lesson and discussions
in contemporary Zen living. At the Asheville Friends Meeting House at 227 Edgewood Ave. (off Merrimon Ave.). Donation. Mountain Zen Practice Center Exploring the ‘how’ of moment by moment peace, joy, and freedom through the practice of Conscious Compassionate Awareness. Info and Orientation times: www. mountainzen.org or 4503621. • TUESDAYS, 7-8:30pm - Meditation and discussion. Mystic Gatherings Share in the community of those who are governed both by logic and observing signs around them: gut, spirit, intuition or whatever That is. Bring your stories and experiences. Gatherings are dynamic and diverse and range from topics such as changes in our society to defining moments in life and much more. Info: 206-2009. • WEDNESDAYS, 7pm - Meeting. Psychic Development Class • 2nd & 4th WEDNESDAYS, 7-8:30pm - Develop your intuition in a stress-free environment. Everyone will have an opportunity to read and to be read. Love
donation accepted. Info: 255-8304. Sh’ma Messianic Ministries Messianic studies, Hebrew classes and Davidic dance. Studies for Jews and gentiles. Hebraic roots with biblical and basic Hebrew language. Free. Visit the Web site for updates. Info: www.shmaministries.com, 367-0775 or rabbi@shmaministries. com. • FRIDAYS - Meets in the evenings. Sojourner Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) A congregation in formation. The goal is provide a caring, non-threatening environment for the exploration of Christian spirituality. Info: www. sojournerchurch.org. • SUNDAYS, 9:30am - Worship —- 10:30am - Fellowship. Lower floor of Morningside Baptist Church, 14 Mineral Springs Road, Asheville. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Located at 10 N. Liberty St., Asheville. Info: http:// stmarkslutheran.net/thisMonth.pdf. • TH (12/24), 4:30pm - Family Candlelight & Christmas Love Feast —7pm - Traditional early Candlelight Communion (music starts at 6:30pm) —- 11pm - Traditional
late Candlelight Communion (music starts at 10:30pm). • SU (12/27), 8:30am & 11am - Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion. St. Matthias Episcopal Church Located at 1 Dundee Street (off South Charlotte). Info: 2520643. • TH (12/24), 6pm - Christmas Eve Service. Preceded by contemporary gospel and Christmas music at 5:45pm. The Holy Eucharist service will include a full choir assisted by organ, piano, trumpet, flute and cello. Everyone is welcome. • SU (12/27), 5-8pm - “The Feast of the Holy Innocents.” Community worship service, followed by a public prayer vigil and feast to bring light to the realities faced by immigrant families in WNC as families are wrenched apart and fear heightened. Toning for Peace Lift your voice in freeform [removed]to generate well-being and peace for the greater benefit of our ever-evolving planet). $5-$10. Info: 667-2967 or www.toningforpeace. org. • 2nd & 4th SUNDAYS, 1:30-2:45pm - At the
32 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
Light Center in Black Mountain. Transmission Meditation Group Join in this group meditation for your own personal spiritual growth, as well as the healing and transformation of the planet. Info: 318-8547. • TUESDAYS, 6:30pm - Meditation for personal and spiritual growth. Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville Located at the corner of Charlotte St. & Edwin Pl. Info: 254-6001 or www. uuasheville.org. • SUNDAYS, 9:15am & 11:15am - Services and Children’s Programs. Unity Cafe Looking for a change from the usual Sunday service? Spiritual conversation and sharing, music, meditation, coffee and pastry. Info: 645-0514, 676-6070 or unitycafe.org. • 1st, 3rd & 5th SUNDAYS, 10am-Noon - Greenlife Grocery Community Center, 90 Merrimon Ave. Unity Center Events Celebrate joyful, mindful living in a church with heart. Contemporary music by Lytingale and The Unitic Band. Located at 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd. Info: 6843798, 891-8700 or www. unitync.net. • WE (12/23), 7pm “Mellowing Your Drama,” discourse, chanting, meditation and neck-rubs. Led by Rev. Chad O’Shea. Love offering. • TH (12/24), 7:30pm - Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Service. Celebrate the Christmas story with scripture and music. Free childcare provided. • WE (12/30), 7pm Labyrinth Walk: Discover the healing, magical power of this ancient energy pattern. Led by Sam Richardson. Love offering. • TH (12/31), 6pm - “New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Unity Center.” Enjoy a potluck supper and a burning bowl service, where oldlife issues are released. Bring a dish to share. Childcare provided. Unity Church of Asheville Looking for something different? Unity of Asheville explores the deeper spiritual meaning of the scriptures combined with an upbeat contemporary music program to create a joyous and sincere worship service. Come join us this Sunday and try it for yourself. Located at
130 Shelburne Rd., W. Asheville. Info: 252-5010 or www.unityofasheville. com. • 5th SUNDAYS, 11am - Musical Celebration Service. • SUNDAYS, 11am - Spiritual Celebration Service. Windhorse Zen Community Meditation, Dharma talks, private instruction available Tuesday and Thursday evenings, residential training. Teachers: Lawson Sachter and Sunya Kjolhede. Main center: 580 Panther Branch, Alexander. City center: 12 Von Ruck Court. Call for orientation. Info: 6458001 or www.windhorsezen.org. • SUNDAYS, 9:30-11am - Meditation, chanting and a Dharma talk. • TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS, 7-9pm Meditation and chanting. • FRIDAYS, 5:30-7:15pm - Meditation and chanting at the City Center. Womyn in Ceremony Join the group for connection, sharing, support, healing and empowerment. Meets 12 miles NW of Asheville. Info: www. RitesofPassageCouncil. com or Theresa@ RitesofPassageCouncil. com. • SUNDAYS, 4-6pm (through 12/27) Gathering on various Sundays.
Art Gallery Exhibits & Openings 16 Patton Gallery hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm and Sun., 16pm (open on Sun. MayOct. only). Info: 236-2889 or www.16patton.com. • Through SA (1/2) Inspirations, an exhibit by Signe Grushovenko. Aesthetic Gallery Located at 6 College St., across the street from Pritchard Park, in downtown Asheville. Hours: Tues.-Sat., Noon-6pm. Info: 398-0219 or www. aestheticgallery.com. • Through SU (1/31) - Environ/Mental Disorder, abstract artist Cliff Yudell’s take on mountain development. New oil paintings on view. American Folk Art & Framing The gallery at 64 Biltmore Ave. is open daily, representing contemporary selftaught artists and regional
pottery. Info: 281-2134 or www.amerifolk.com. • Through TH (12/24) - Big Gatherings, work by Ruth Robinson, Woody Long and Darrell Loy Scott will be on display in the Oui Oui Gallery. Asheville Area Arts Council The Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) is at 11 Biltmore Ave. Info: 2580710 or www.ashevillearts.com. • Through MO (1/4) -New work by Meg Manderson, Gloria Gaffney, Mark Holland and Heather Lewis will be on display. Asheville Art Museum Located on Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am5pm and Sun., 1-5pm. Admission: $6/$5 students and seniors/Free for kids under 4. Free first Wednesdays from 3-5pm. Info: 253-3227 or www. ashevilleart.org. • Through SU (5/9) - Lorna Blaine Halper: The Space Between will be on display in Holden Community Gallery. Asheville Gallery of Art A co-op gallery representing 28 regional artists located at 16 College St. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am5pm. Info: 251-5796 or www.ashevillegallery-ofart.com. • Through TH (12/31) - New Juried Members Exhibit, featuring work by Kathryn Phillips, Joyce Schlapkohl, Maggie Robinson, Christine Dickey Longoria, Karen Keil Brown and Marsha Balbier. Bella Vista Art Gallery Located in Biltmore Village, next to the parking lot of Rezaz’s restaurant. Open daily. Info: 7680246 or www.bellavistaart.com. • Through TH (12/31) - New works: Becky and Steve Lloyd, handcarved porcelain. New works: Judson Guerard, blown glass. New works: Kathleen Burke, encaustic. Featured wall artist: Sara Linda Poly, landscapes. Black Mountain Center for the Arts Located in the renovated Old City Hall at 225 West State St. in Black Mountain. Info: 669-0930 or www.blackmountainarts.org. • Through FR (1/29) - Second annual Pottery Show in the Upper Gallery. Works by teachers, students and community
members from the Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center The center is located at 56 Broadway, and preserves the legacy of the Black Mountain College through permanent collections, educational activities and public programs. Info: 350-8484, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.blackmountaincollege.org. • Through SA (2/6) - Past Presence, an exhibition exploring five important aspects of the Black Mountain College story. Blue Spiral 1 The gallery at 38 Biltmore Ave. is open Mon.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Info: 2510202 or www.bluespiral1. com. • Through TH (12/31) - Fall Salon: Sculptural glass, abstract paintings and curvilinear mixedmedia wall installations from six regional artists —- Ceramic sculpture and textiles by Heather Allen-Swarttouw —Paintings by Taiyo la Paix —- Wood-Fired Clay: Contemporary approaches to a time-honored tradition by several artists —- Basketry by Carole Hetzel, Deborah Muhl and Lee Sipe. Castell Photography A photo-based art gallery located at 2C Wilson Alley, off of Eagle St. in downtown Asheville. Info: 255-1188 or www.castellphotography.com. • Through SA (1/23) - The first annual juried exhibition of UNCA Student Photography will be on display. The group show features the work of emerging artists in the UNCA photography department. Exhibits at the Turchin Center Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is at 423 West King St. in Boone. Info: 262-3017 or www.tcva.org. • Through SA (1/16) - Plastic Flame Press, the exhibit presents a progression of designer Chris Williams’ work —- African Vailet: Olivia “Holly” Pendergast —- SAQA: 12 Voices, a traveling exhibit of the Studio Art Quilt Association. • Through SA (2/6) - 225 F: Encaustic Encounters, featuring encaustic paintings —- Collective Dialogues: New work from The Collective on Depot
—- Brush & Palette: Artists Unmasked, a representation of the Brush and Palette Art Club members’ works. Forever Gallery 98 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Info: 236-1681. • Through FR (1/15) Progressive original paintings will be on display. Grovewood Gallery Located at 111 Grovewood Road, Asheville. Info: 253-7651 or www.grovewood.com. • Through TH (12/31) - New fiber-art wall hangings by LINT (Ladies in New Textiles) will be on display. Haen Gallery Located at 52 Biltmore Ave., downtown Asheville. Hours: Mon.Fri., 10am-6pm, Sat., 11am-6pm and Sun., Noon-5pm. Info: 2548577 or www.thehaengallery.com. • Through SU (1/31) - The group exhibition A Wintry Mix will be on display. Haywood County Arts Council The HCAC sponsors a variety of art-related events in Waynesville and Haywood County. Unless otherwise noted, showings take place at HCAC’s Gallery 86 (86 North Main St.) in Waynesville. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am5pm. Info: 452-0593 or www.haywoodarts.org. • Through SA (1/2) - It’s A Small, Small Work, an exhibition of artwork 12 inches or smaller by WNC artists. Odyssey Gallery Exhibits work by Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts instructors and residents. Located at 236 Clingman Ave. in Asheville’s River Arts District. Info: 2850210 or www.highwaterclays.com. • Through TH (12/24) - Resident Clay, featuring works by Amanda Humphreys, Jaclyn Jednak, Patty Bilbro, Leslie Hinton, Beth Bond and Alex Irvine. Upstairs Artspace Contemporary nonprofit gallery at 49 S. Trade St. in Tryon. Hours: Tues.Sat., 11am-5pm and by appointment. Info: 8592828 or www.upstairsartspace.org. • Through TH (12/24) - The Spiritual Image in Contemporary Art and Presents of Art will be on display.
More Art Exhibits & Openings Art at Ananda Hair Studio The salon, located at 22 Broadway, hosts rotating art exhibits. Info: 2321017. • Through SA (1/2) - Red Moon Rising Studios presents Be Love, a textile art and fashion show by Stack. Art at the N.C. Arboretum Works by members of the Asheville Quilt Guild and regional artists are on display daily in The Visitor Education Center. Info: 665-2492 or www. ncarboretum.org. • Through MO (2/22) - Celebrating Rivers and Streams, paintings by Sue Sweterlitsch will be on display in the Education Center, 2nd floor. • Through SU (1/3) Building Small: American Folk Art Houses and Structures will be on display in the Baker Center. Asheville Community Theatre • Through TU (2/2) Miscellaneous Nothing, an art exhibit by Gayle Paul will be on display in the Asheville Community Theatre lobby, 35 E. Walnut St. Info: 2541320. Christmas in Stained Glass • Through TH (12/31) - Pam McCorkhill, owner of Blue Mountain Stained Glass in Arden, will be the featured artist in an exhibit called Christmas in Stained Glass, featuring 40 original designs in the lobby of the Brevard Transylvania County Library. f/32 Photography Group Info: www.f32nc.com. • Through MO (1/4) - An exhibit by the members of this fine photography group will be held at Deerpark on the Biltmore Estate. Grand Bohemian Gallery Located at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village, 11 Boston Way. Info: www. bohemianhotelasheville. com or 505-2949. • Through SU (12/27) - An exhibition of landscapes of the N.C. mountains as well as scenes of the French countryside by renowned French painter Jean Claude Roy will be on display. Transylvania Heritage Museum Located at 40 W. Jordan St., Brevard. Info: 884-
2347 or www.transylvaniaheritage.org. • WE (12/23), 10am5pm & TH (12/24), 10am-3pm - An exhibit of 50 vintage aluminum trees from The Aluminum Tree & Aesthetically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum & Research Center (ATOM) will be on display. Free, but suggested donation of $5/$2 kids. Proceeds benefit the THM. Info: 884-5304.
Classes, Meetings & Arts-Related Events Attention Artists and Photographers! (pd.) Need your work Captured, Reproduced, or Printed? Digital Resolutions Group specializes in high-quality large format digital photography, outstanding fine art reproduction and printing. (828) 670-5257 or visit www.ashevilledigital.com Courtyard Gallery An eclectic art and performance space located at 9 Walnut St. in downtown Asheville. Info: 273-3332 or www.ashevillecourtyard.com. • SUNDAYS, 7-10pm - Free Open Studio Night. Bring sketchbooks, canvas, easel, drawing board and art supplies. Work in the medium of your choice in a relaxed setting. Still life and occasional portrait modeling. Free coffee and tea. Info: 707-1859. Elevate Life & Art School • WEEKLY - Classes for varied ages in drama, guitar, graphic design, web design, life drawing, acrylic painting, sign language, video editing, sewing and fashion design, choir, dance, keyboard, photography. $5/class. Info: www. elevatelifeandart.com or 277-1637. Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League Classes are held at the studio, 999 W. Old Rt. 70, Black Mountain. Info: email@example.com or www.svfal.org. • THURSDAYS, Noon3pm - Experimental Art Group. Experimental learning and sharing water-media techniques and collage. $20 for four sessions or $6/session. • FRIDAYS, 10am-1pm - Open studio for figure drawing. Small fee for model. • MONDAYS, Noon-3pm - Open studio for portrait
painting. Small fee for model.
Spoken & Written Word Buncombe County Public Libraries LIBRARY ABBRVIATIONS - Each Library event is marked by the following location abbreviations: n BM = Black Mountain Library (105 N. Dougherty St., 250-4756) n LE = Leicester Library (1561 Alexander Road, 250-6480) • MO (1/14) - Deadline to apply to win a hair makeover. To apply: Write down your name, address, phone number and include three words (along with their definitions) of how you would like to feel after the makeover. Contact the library for details. BM. • TU (12/29), 6:30-8pm - Knitting/crochet group for all skill levels. LE. Events at Malaprop’s The bookstore and cafe at 55 Haywood St. hosts visiting authors for talks and book signings. Info: 254-6734 or www.malaprops.com. • WE (12/23) - Book signing: 2pm - Katherine Russell Rich, Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language. For Accomplished Asheville Writers Seeking other serious writers for critique group. Mostly fiction and nonfiction. Info: 658-8217. • Alternate THURSDAYS, 6:30pm - Group meets. Haywood County Public Library System The main branch is located at 678 S. Haywood St., Waynesville. The county system includes branches in Canton, Maggie Valley, Fines Creek and Cruso. Info: 452-5169 or www.haywoodlibrary.org. • WEDNESDAYS, 1:30pm - Ready 4 Learning. A story time designed for 4 and 5-year-olds with a focus on kindergarten readiness. This story time runs Sept.-May. • THURSDAYS, 11am - Movers & Shakers. This story time for active 2-3 year olds incorporates dance, physical activity, songs and age-appropriate books. • TUESDAYS, 11am - Family story time at the Fines Creek Branch Library. We will read books, tell stories, learn songs and finger plays,
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and do a simple craft. Info: 627-0146. • TUESDAYS, 11:15am - Family story time for children of all ages at the Canton Branch Library. We will read books, listen to songs, and learn finger plays. Info: 648-2924. Tuesday Morning Poems • TUESDAYS, 8:308:50am - Meditation —- 8:50-9:20am - Poetry reading. Introduce meditation and poetry into your week. Plus, Laura Hope-Gill will read selections from The Soul Tree. Held at 84 N. Lexington
Ave. $5 suggested donation for Wordfest. Info: www.writemindinstitute. com. Writers’ Workshop Events WW offers a variety of classes and events for beginning and experienced writers. Info: 2548111 or www.twwoa.org. • Through WE (12/30) Deadline for the “Fantasy & Science Fiction Contest.” $5 reading fee.
Holidays Bounty of Bethlehem Community Dinner
• FR (12/25), 1-5pm The Bounty of Bethlehem Community Dinner will be held at Immaculata Catholic School in Hendersonville. Free. Info: 693-5115.
Christmas in Stained Glass • Through TH (12/31) - Pam McCorkhill, owner of Blue Mountain Stained Glass in Arden, will be the featured artist in an exhibit called Christmas in Stained Glass, featuring 40 original designs in the lobby of the Brevard
Transylvania County Library.
Conscious New Year’s Eve Party • TH (12/31), 7:30pm2am - Conscious New Year’s Eve Party at Camp Rockmont with reggae bands Chalwa and Satta Lions, midnight fireworks and vegetarian potluck and late nite drumming circle. Intoxicationfree. $25/Free for kids under 12. Bring dish. Reservations suggested: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events at First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville Located at 204 6th Ave, in Hendersonville. Info: 693-4275. • TH (12/24) - Christmas Eve Worship: 5pm - Family Service in the Sanctuary. The Children’s Celebration Choir will perform at 4:40pm. Gently used/new stuffed animals will be collected for children at Mainstay and The Healing Place —6:30pm - SONday Praise & Worship in the Barber Christian Life Center —- 8:30pm & 11pm -
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Music will begin half an hour before the service.
Holiday Events at Grove Park Inn Located at 290 Macon Ave. in Asheville. Info: 252-2711 or www.groveparkinn.com. • Through SU (1/3) - Entries from the 17th annual National Gingerbread House Competition will be on display. Community viewing is Mon.-Thurs., 10am-10pm.
Holiday Events at the Grove Arcade Info: www.grovearcade. com. • Through SU (1/3) - Thirty-five houses from the annual National Gingerbread House Competition will be on display. Kwanzaa at the YMI Cultural Center • TU (12/29), 2-4pm - A celebration will be held in the Ray Auditorium, 39 S. Market St., Asheville. The featured artist is Otesha Creative Arts Ensemble from Winston-Salem. Hors d’oeuvres and
beverages will be served. Free. Info: 252-4614.
Kwanzaa Celebration • SA (12/26), 3-6pm - A festive celebration of African-American culture with food, entertainment, and fellowship. Held at Union Grove Family Life Center, Hendersonville. Info: 697-9698, 6960772 or 697-5748. Salvation Army Info: 253-4723. • FR (12/25) - Christmas dinner at the Salvation Army Center of Hope, 204 Haywood St., in
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Music African Drumming With Billy Zanski at Skinny Beats Drum Shop, 4 Eagle St., downtown Asheville. Drums provided. No experience necessary. Suggested donation $10 per class. Drop-ins welcome. Info: 768-2826. • WEDNESDAYS, 6-7pm - Beginners. • SUNDAYS, 1-2pm Intermediates —- 2-3pm - Beginners. Land-of-the-Sky Barbershop Chorus For men age 12 and older. Info: www.ashevillebarbershop.com or 768-9303. • TUESDAYS, 7:30pm - Open Rehearsals at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 51 Wilburn Pl. Mountain Folkharpers This nonprofit is devoted to folk-harp players and craftsman. Events are held at the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore. Info: http://www.mountainfolkharpers.org. • 4th SATURDAYS Meeting. See Web site for details. Song O’ Sky Chorus (Sweet Adelines International) The chorus is always looking for women 18+ who want to learn how to sing barbershop harmony. Please visit a rehearsal. Info: 1-866-824-9547 or www.songosky.org. • MONDAYS, 6:45pm - Rehearsal at Reed Memorial Baptist Church on Fairview Rd. (enter parking lot on Cedar St.). Guests welcome. • MONDAYS, 6:308:30pm - Holiday Harmony. Learn how to sing selected holiday songs. With only four easy sessions, you will be ringing chords like a pro. Registration recommended. $20/$15/$10.
Dance Asheville Ballroom & Dance Centre • Learn to Dance! (pd.) Groups and Privates available. For more information call (828) 274-8320. www.ashevilleballroom.com Argentine Tango Dancers of all levels welcome. Info: www. tangoasheville.com. • SUNDAYS (except 1st), 7-10pm - Argentine
Tango Practica at North Asheville Recreation Center, 37 E. Larchmont Rd. $5 for members/$6 for non-members. Asheville Jewish Community Center Events The JCC is located at 236 Charlotte St., Asheville. Info: 253-0701. • WEDNESDAYS, 78pm - Beginning folk dance lessons. Families especially welcome —8-9:30pm - Not-so-beginning folk dance lessons. Led by instructor Erik Bendix and other guest teachers. $4 members/$6 public. Info: erikbendix@ hotmail.com or 4501670. Donation Classes at Asheville Dance Revolution Sponsored by The Cultural Development Group. At 63 Brook St. Info: 277-6777 or ashevilledancerevolution@ gmail.com. • TUESDAYS, 8-9:15pm - Beginning/Intermediate Adult Jazz. • FRIDAYS, 4-5pm - Boys Dance Combo Class. This is for boys interested in dance. The class touches on all styles of dance for the male dancer —- 67:30pm - African dance with Sarah Yancey featuring live drumming. Open to all. $14. Hunab Kru Dance Studio The studio is devoted to the art commonly known as break dancing. Located at 4 Business Park Circle, Arden. Info: 215-3159 or email@example.com. • MONDAYS through SUNDAYS - B-boy and b-girl classes will be offered throughout the week for children ages 5-9, ages 10 and up, and for adults. $15 for dropin classes/$5 open floor sessions. Info: 654-7890. Morris Dancing Learn English traditional Morris dances and become a member of one of three local teams as a dancer or musician. Music instruction provided to experienced musicians. Free. Info: 994-2094 or www.ashevillemorris.us. • MONDAYS, 5:30pm - Women’s Garland practice held at Reid Center for Creative Art. Rave.olutioN: The Fifth Dimension • WE (12/30), 9pm2am - Rave.olutioN is a revolutionary dance party taking place in Biltmore
Village. There will be loud music, dancing, blacklights, strobes, lazers, fog. $5, glow sticks will be provided with admission. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org. Studio Zahiya Classes Classes are held at Studio Zahiya, 41 Carolina Lane. All classes are drop-in anytime. $12 per class. $40 for four classes, with other discounts available. Info: 242-7595. • TU (12/22) through TU (1/5) - No classes. • THURSDAYS, 6:307:30pm - Bhangra! A high-energy dance from Punjab, India influence by dancehall, hip hop and Bollywood films. • TUESDAYS, 6-7pm - Beginner belly dance. Learn the basics of belly dance. This class will cover posture and basic movements —- 7:108:10pm - Drills & Skills. Get ready to sweat, workout and practice your intermediate/advanced belly dance. Swing Asheville Info: www.swingasheville.com, 301-7629 or dance@swingasheville. com. • TUESDAYS, 6-7pm - Beginner swing dance lessons. Lindy Hop style. $10/person per week for a 4-week series. No partner necessary. Let your inner dancer out. 11 Grove St, downtown Asheville. Class series starts the first Tuesday of every month. VFW Upstairs. Open to the public. At 5 Points, 860 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Info: 6935930. • SATURDAYS, 6pm - Free dancing lessons —- 7pm - Live band music and dancing. $7. All singles welcome. No partners necessary. Finger food and sweets provided. No alcohol or smoking in dancing area.
Auditions & Call to Artists Call for “Art on Transit” Bus Graphics Program • Through WE (1/20) Application deadline. The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department invites all area artists to submit artwork. The juried competition offers artists the chance to have their work displayed on the exterior of a City of Asheville bus.
To apply: www.callforentry.org.
Call to Artists for Flat Rock Playhouse Craft Show • Through SA (1/30) - Artist application deadline for the first Flat Rock Playhouse Craft Show to be held in May. A juried show of fine, contemporary craft. $20 jury fee. Applications can be downloaded at www. flatrockplayhouse.org.
Montford Park Players Seeks Directors • Through TH (12/31) - Seeking directors for the 2010 outdoor season. Interested candidates should request a guidelines packet by e-mailing email@example.com. Proposals are due by Dec. 31. Info: 254-5146.
Performers Needed • Seeking m/f dancers with musical and theatrical talent for upcoming performances. Must be ok with adult and queer content. No nudity required, just a desire to have fun. Auditions by appointment thru the end of the year: spyce618@ gmail.com or 401-4192850.
Transylvania Community Arts Council Located at 349 South Caldwell St. in Brevard. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10am-4 pm. Info: 884-2787 or www.artsofbrevard.org. • Call to artists for new gallery exhibits in 2010. Open to all Transylvania County and WNC artists as long as the artwork fits the theme of the show. Contact the council for more info.
CALENDAR DEADLINE The deadline for free and paid listings is 5 p.m. WEDNESDAY, one week prior to publication. Questions? Call (828)251-1333, ext. 365
mountainx.com • DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 35
36 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
newsoftheweird Lead story
• Spare the Rod: In September, in connection with the venerable Dussera holiday, Hindu priests in India’s Tamil Nadu state ritually whipped 2,000 young women and girls over a five-hour period as penance for sins ranging from insufficient studying to moral impurity. One sobbing yet inspired lash recipient told an NDTV reporter, “When we are whipped, we will get rid of our mental and physical ailments and evil spirits.” And in November, Pope John Paul II was revealed to have periodically atoned for sins by privately whipping himself, according to a nun who worked with him and who was cited in the Vatican’s ongoing consideration of John Paul II for sainthood. The nun said she heard him distinctly several times from an adjacent room.
• From a police report in the North Bay (Ontario) Nugget (Nov. 7): An officer in line at a traffic light, realizing that cars hadn’t moved through two light changes, walked up to the lead car to investigate. The driver said she couldn’t proceed on the green lights because she was still on the phone and thus, driving off would be illegal. The officer said a brief lecture improved the woman’s understanding of the law. • The inspector general of the National Science Foundation revealed that on-the-job viewing of pornography Web sites was so widespread at the agency that the resultant ethics investigations hindered his primary mission of investigating fraud in grant contracts. The agency report, obtained by The Washington Times in September, said the heaviest user was a senior executive who logged on to pornography at least 331 days in 2008. He subsequently retired but defended his habit before leaving, claiming that he helped impoverished women in Third World countries earn a decent living (by posing for pornography). • Fine Lawyering: Acting as his own lawyer at an October hearing, 21-year-old Jacob Christine, after denying charges that he’d severely slashed a fellow inmate at an Easton, Pa., prison, offered this observation: “Whoever attacked [the victim] had a high regard for life,” said Christine, because the cut “isn’t deep at all. It’s on his neck. It’s not on his face.”
• When Minnesota’s Riverview Community Bank opened for business in 2004, founder Chuck Ripka claimed divine inspiration -- that God had told him to “pastor the bank” and, in exchange, that He would “take care of the bottom line,” leading Ripka to use “prayer” as a theme in the bank’s promotions. In October 2009, Riverview became only the sixth bank in the state to be shut down by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Riverview acknowledged that it had invested aggressively in real estate. • Dr. Hulda Clark, 80, passed away in September of multiple myeloma, an advanced cancer of the plasma cells. Before she was stricken, she had authored three books touting her eccentric remedies as cures, first, for “all diseases,” and then, especially, cancer. In her books The Cure for All Cancers and The Cure for All Advanced Cancers, she urged those diagnosed to immediately stop chemotherapy and embrace her quixotic regimens, to subdue the “parasites” that cause cancer.
The litigious society
According to a November Chicago Sun-Times report, county officials in Chicago have agreed to pay a $14,000 injury claim to janitor Mary Tait of the Sheriff’s Department. The amount covers two incidents, in 1997 and 1998, in which she hurt her back in the same way: while “reaching around to pick up a piece of toilet paper.”
Latest human rights
• In November, a judge in Somerville, N.J., overruled a local police chief who’d rejected a firearms license for hunting enthusiast James Cap, 46. The judge ordered the chief to grant the license, even though Cap is a quadriplegic and will need to mount the gun on his wheelchair and fire it by blowing into a tube. (Cap was an avid hunter before a football injury incapacitated him.)
Read News of the Weird daily with Chuck Shepherd at www.weirduniverse.net. Send items to firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679
(1) In July, Charles Diez was charged with the attempted murder of a bicyclist whom Diez felt was carrying his 3-year-old son on the bike unsafely on a busy Asheville, N.C., street. According to police, Diez was so anguished that he pulled his gun and fired at the bicyclist, grazing the man’s helmet. (2) In October, just as Pennsylvania federal Judge Lawrence Stengel was launching into his explanation for the sentence he was about to impose, bank robber Trammel Bledsoe grew impatient and exclaimed: “Can you hurry this up? I don’t have time for this. Just sentence me.” (“You’ll have all the time in the world,” responded Stengel, who gave Bledsoe 41 years.)
• Could’ve Planned Better: (1) Vincent Salters, 46, was arrested in East Knoxville, Tenn., in November after having shoplifted shoes from the Shoe Show store the day before. He dashed out hurriedly with several display shoes, but an employee said they were all for the left foot. Salters was arrested outside the store the next day, perhaps having come to pick up right-foot shoes. (2) Travis Himmler, 22, was charged with burglary in November after allegedly stealing the cash register from the Golden Wok restaurant in Bloomington, Minn., and carrying it away on his bicycle. He was found down the street, injured, after taking a bad tumble when the dangling cash register cord got caught in the bike’s spokes.
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• In November 2000, Las Vegas body modifier Nathan McKay, 24, complained about the difficulty of getting proper medical care: specifically, further surgery to prevent his already-surgically-forked tongue from fusing back together. He also wanted all his teeth removed and replaced with platinum implants. McKay, who also has 1-inch-stretched holes in his earlobes (for holding ebony disks), explained, “I want my tongue split ... as far back as possible, to the uvula, so I have two separate strands in my mouth.” The original surgeon, a family friend, has balked at any follow-up. Said McKay, “I’m not trying to turn myself into anything except someone to remember.” X
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parenting from the edge by Anne Fitten Glenn
The biggest loser: if Rocky can do it, so can your cat Remember Rocky, our 22-pound sumo cat, whom weâ€™ve been torturing through kitty fat camp for the past two months? This photo of him was taken after his spring â€œlionâ€? shave. We give his tubbiness a kitty crew cut so heâ€™s not utterly miserable during the hot summer months. But now that heâ€™s the biggest feline loser, maybe we can bypass the spring shave. And he is a loser â€” Rockyâ€™s lost almost three pounds! Thatâ€™s 10 percent of his body weight. While not yet svelte, heâ€™s definitely less bulky. And more playful. The kids realized that the Rock & Roller had knocked off some pounds when he was leapt into the air in an attempt to knock a ball-shaped ornament off the Christmas tree. This from a cat who hasnâ€™t leapt over a lizard in years. Then during my book club, Rocky was rolling around under the tree playing with a ribbon on a present. Somehow the ribbon got wrapped around one of his back legs, and he took off across the room, present in tow, being chased by a curious dog â€” and by me. He untangled himself before I could get photographic evidence (to prove that no animals were harmed in the writing of this column). Yes, Rockyâ€™s both thinner and more active. Itâ€™s kind of a miracle.
healthier raw food â€” about as close to prey as a lazy carnivore gets (full disclosure: Kristiâ€™s supplying us with raw food as part of Rockyâ€™s weight loss program. You can buy her food at Greenlife). So, yeah, heâ€™s lost weight, but heâ€™s been pissed off for most of the past two months. And mouthy as hell. â€œMom, Rockyâ€™s yelling at me,â€? says my son. â€œMom, Rockyâ€™s giving me â€˜the look,â€™â€? says my daughter. â€œGive him some catnip,â€? I reply. Thatâ€™s the other thing thatâ€™s helped him â€” feline drugs. Kristi mailed us some primo organic catnip. The day it arrived, Enviro-spouse threw the padded envelope on the kitchen counter with the rest of the mail. I arrived home a few hours later to find two blissed-out cats. Rockyâ€™s brother, Houdini, had jumped on the counter, ripped open the envelope and joyfully spread catnip around the kitchen. Both cats were rolling in the dried weed and batting at the air. Now I hide the catnip in a high cabinet. Per the instructions of Jane Mitchell of Miss Janeâ€™s Pet Sitting, I rub a feather in the kitty weed or put a dash in a balled-up piece of paper, then give it to Rocky. Makes him forget all about his food bowl. For about 15 minutes. X
After I first wrote about the Rocky Project, I received lots of e-mails from readers struggling with obese kitties of their own. Why are there so many fat cats in the world? Why is the term â€œfat catâ€? a clichĂŠ? Because clichĂŠs are rooted in reality. According to one member of Rockyâ€™s weight loss team, Kristi King of Green Earth Pet Food, cats evolved in deserts (think Egypt) and got the majority of their liquids from prey. In other words, while cats will drink water, they prefer to get H2O from, like, chipmunk blood. So, when we feed our domesticated cats dry cat food, the kitties donâ€™t get any liquid from their food â€” and they might be living in a state of perpetual semi-dehydration. This plus higher carbs in dry food can contribute to obesity, plus a host of other health problems, such as kidney failure. So the primary change weâ€™ve made in Rockyâ€™s life is giving him wet, high-protein cat food instead of dry. Getting him to eat wet food was more of a challenge than I expected. Iâ€™ve caught him sneaking dog food that Biscuit left behind, and he once knocked a bag of dry cat food off a pantry shelf and ripped it open for a midnight snack. Now our goal is to get him to eat the even
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Postpartum rejuvenation, Mama-time group for moms with new babies, and mother/daughter project groups. 38 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 â€˘ mountainx.com
Anne Fitten â€œEdgy Mamaâ€? Glenn writes about a number of subjects, including parenting, at www.edgymama.com. Parenting Calendar for December 23 - 31, 2009
MORE PARENTING EVENTS ONLINE
Crisis Counseling â€˘ Multicultural/ Diverse Lifestyles (pd.) â€˘ Teens â€˘ Young Adults/Adults â€˘ Eclectic/diverse therapy: Cognitive-Behavioral, Equine, Afro-centric, Parent Coordination/Mediation. â€˘ Tracy Keene, LPC, 828-318-3991, tracy@KeeneCounseling.com â€˘ 13 1/2 Eagle Street, Suite P, Asheville, 28801. www. KeeneCounseling.com Involve Your Partner In Your Childâ€™s Birth â€˘ â€‚ Empowered Birthing Classes (pd.) Increase confidence, learn hands-on tools, enjoy your birth! 828-231-9227. Classes monthly: Wednesdays, 6p.m. $175. Next begins Jan. 13. www. AshevilleWomensWellness.com
Used Books, MUsic and More
Check out the Parenting Calendar online at www.mountainx.com/events for info on events happening after December 31.
The deadline for free and paid listings is 5 p.m. WEDNESDAY, one week prior to publication. Questions? Call (828)251-1333, ext. 365
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The Diamond Ball, with Kat Williams performing a variety of genres, including jazz, blues, disco, Motown, R&B, rock and pop. Food by Dining Innovations, cash bar, silent auction and complimentary sparkling-wine toast. Raffle of a 1-carat Lazare diamond, donated by Wick & Greene Jewelers. Tickets are $100 for the ball, $25 for the diamond drawing.
Junior League of Ashevilleâ€™s mission to improve the community, promote volunteerism and develop the potential of women.
Thursday, Dec. 31; doors open at 9 p.m.
Land-of-Sky Regional Councilâ€™s MLK Everyday Essentials Drive â€˘ Through TH (1/14) - Toiletries drive for ABCCM and Swanannoa Valley Christian Ministry. Donated items should be new and in their original packaging. Drop off sites: Harvest House, Lakeview Senior Center, Shiloh Center, Weaverville Library,
Land-of-Sky Regional Council. Info: email@example.com. The Diamond Ball â€˘ TH (12/31), 9pm - Third annual Diamond Ball at the DoubleTree Biltmore Hotel. Kat Williams will perform. Food, cash bar, champagne toast, silent auction, diamond raffle. Black tie. Proceeds from the event support the Junior League of
Doubletree Biltmore (115 Hendersonville Road, Asheville)
Benefits Calendar for December 23 - 31, 2009
3EARCHING FOR A NATURAL HOLISTIC APPROACH TO BEAUTY
Asheville. Info: www.juniorleagueasheville.org. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County Located at 50 S. French Broad in downtown Asheville. Info: 255-0696. â€˘ Through TH (12/24) - The Moose Cafe, located off Brevard Road near the WNC Farmers Market, will be selling poinsettias to raise funds for United Way.
MORE BENEFITS EVENTS ONLINE
Check out the Benefits Calendar online at www.mountainx.com/events for info on events happening after December 31.
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mountainx.com â€˘ DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 39
environmental news by Margaret Williams
Local student helps World Bank competition go global The World Bank might seem an unlikely institution to turn its attention to small-scale sustainability projects, and even less likely to use social-media tools to spotlight them. But such perceptions may be outdated, says Noah Wilson, a Warren Wilson College senior who got an inside look at the organization last month at an event the international development agency sponsored in Washington, D.C. “In the past, the bank was known for dictating. [But] in the competition I volunteered at — ‘100 Ideas to Save the Planet’ — the bank and its partners were instead very carefully listening. … And the whole world was tuned in live, via webcast and on YouTube,” Wilson wrote in an e-mail to Xpress a week after attending the event. Born in New York City, the tall, lanky 21-yearold describes himself as one of those “weird and bright kids” who’s already explored a number of ventures — attending an alternative school in Vermont at age 16, and later hawking cheese, working as a line cook and dabbling in the pottery-and-ceramics business. “I didn’t see those as long-term career choices,” he notes. These days, Wilson serves as the college’s water-efficiency coordinator. “I fix the plumbing,” he jokes, explaining that even though he’s exceptionally tall for a plumber, being skinny helps him wriggle into tight spaces. But it’s his social-media know-how that earned him an invite to the Nov. 10-13 competition — plus the fact that his aunt works for the World Bank Institute, the arm of the agency that’s focused on small-scale, innovative technologies for developing nations. “She was involved with the ‘100 Ideas’ project, and she called me about using social media for the event,” says Wilson, adding something many young adults today can say: “Social media is my life.” He came of age with the Internet, cell phones, FaceBook, YouTube and the newer kid on the
block, Twitter. “The Net has the ability to help you sort out ‘this is good/this is bad,’” Wilson continues. And with social-media tools and approaches such as “crowdsourcing,” “Feedback can happen in real time, and you can get lots of brilliant ideas.” “It’s easy to see the World Bank as simply this big thing, but it’s made up of people,” stresses Wilson. And people, he argues, want to make connections. This year’s competition saw 100 finalists from 47 countries descend on D.C. for a chance to pitch their ideas. It marked the final stage of the ninth annual Development Marketplace program, which this year focused on projects involving indigenous peoples and climatechange adaptation/risk management. The prize? Twenty-six grants of up to $200,000 apiece, totaling $4.8 million. “Part of what I did was get little Flip Video cameras and run a desk to lend them out to the finalists,” Wilson reports, explaining that his mission was to integrate social media into the competition’s feedback and publicity aspects. “We gave them instructions to shoot no more than three, two-minute takes — behind-thescenes videos and interviews — about their proposals.” Editing the footage as little as possible, Wilson quickly got it all up on the Web via blogs, YouTube and Flickr. One result was an increase in visits to the competition Web site. What’s more, he adds, 89 percent of the roughly 7,000 YouTube views that week came from outside the United States. “We had brought the event out into the world and out of the hallowed halls of finance,” Wilson noted in his e-mail. Among his favorite proposals was a solar desalination project in Djibouti, a small country on the East African coast where a a depleted water table has resulted in their drinking water becoming too salty to use. Lacking the resources for a costly, high-tech solution, their team pro-
Connected: Noah Wilson, a senior at Warren Wilson College, recently helped the World Bank Institute stage a social-media exercise at a “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition in D.C. photo by Jonathan Welch
posed using the sun’s heat energy to desalinate the brackish water now coming from the wells, Wilson explains, noting that such simple techniques have been around for centuries. Another standout in his mind was a Kenyan proposal for a crop-shading/fog-collecting system that also employs inexpensive fixes for an environmental problem. Photovoltaic structures made of 100 percent recycled plastic will shade crops in the country’s increasingly arid Eastern Province. Fog collectors, meanwhile, will cap-
ture moisture “carried on the winds” to water the crops, says Wilson. For him, however, the biggest thrill came not from machines but from human beings. One contest participant, he recalls, said, “I came here thinking about my people and my country, and I left thinking about the world.” X Send your environmental news to mvwilliams@ mountainx.com or call 251-1333, ext. 152.
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the straight dish
Bread Pudding: recession-era dessert … or more
photo by Anne Fitten Glenn
By Anne Fitten Glenn
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Open Christmas Day Noon - 10:30 pm Thank you for letting us serve you for 5 years! open 7 days a week 2 regent park boulevard, asheville, nc 828.252.8300 • www.greenteasushi.com
42 DECEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 29, 2009 • mountainx.com
Bread pudding — that simple mixture of leftover bread or cake, eggs, milk and spices — may be one of the oldest desserts around, say food historians. In medieval times, and possibly even earlier, frugal cooks figured out that soaking stale bread in milk or custard and baking it was an easy way to make dessert — and a good use for old bread. Then they discovered that adding a little fat, such as butter, or a handful of raisins, could transmute bread pudding into a special confection. Nowadays, cooks whip up a whiskey, rum or caramel sauce to spoon over the pudding, thus elevating the humble treat to a guest-worthy gourmet dish. “Bread pudding is one of the truly univer-
sal dishes. Recipes, ingredients and method vary greatly according to place, period and taste. Whether economical leftover ‘make-do’ dish or grand expensive holiday presentation, bread pudding fits the bill,” says Lynne Olver, editor of foodtimeline.org. Puddings, and especially bread puddings, have been associated with the holidays since at least the 19th century. The presentation of a plum pudding is one of the highlights of the Crachit family’s Christmas dinner in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. (See the recipe at the end of this article for “Poor Man’s Bread Pudding” from The Carolina Housewife, first printed in 1847. But one of the ingredients, “stoned raisins,” isn’t what you might think. They’re merely raisins without stones or pits.)
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