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Western North Carolina’s Source for Weekly News, Entertainment, Arts, and Outdoor Information

May 29-June 4, 2013 Vol. 14 Iss. 52

Voter ID bill prompts dueling public forums

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On the Cover: With a plan in hand, Maggie businesses are gearing up to revamp the valley’s commercial image. Patrick Parton photo (Page 16)

News Forums analyze both sides of state voter ID bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Residents overwhelmingly against Duke rate hikes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Waynesville mayor dreams of bringing tourist train through town . . . . . . . . 10 Swain train deal nearly sealed but questions still loom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Jackson County TDA picks its new slogan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Official Ghost Town open delayed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Waynesville selects artist for latest installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Macon schools could see drastic changes next fall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Jamaican restaurant finds new home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Balsam Range named “Ambassadors to Haywood County” . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Opinion Haywood misses the boat on potential tourism tax revenue . . . . . . . . . . . . 20




Scott McLeod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Micah McClure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Bumgardner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily Moss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whitney Burton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Bradley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hylah Smalley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Becky Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caitlin Bowling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Kasper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garret K. Woodward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Singletary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Minick (writing), Chris Cox (writing), George Ellison (writing), Gary Carden (writing), Don Hendershot (writing), Dylan Brown (intern)

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Stopping voter fraud or just stopping voters? Dueling forums address both sides of voter bills BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER state bill mandating that voters show identification to cast a ballot has split opinions down the middle, with Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other. Republicans have rallied around the bill as a panacea for voter fraud, while Democrats have disparaged it as a way to suppress votes. For Lynda Bennett, head of the Haywood County 9-12 TEA Party, and other similarly minded individuals, the matter boils down to trust in the political system — something that has been wanting in her eyes. “It starts with having fair elections, with fraud-free elections,” Bennett said. However, Democrats say the bill will actually make elections unfair by preventing some legal citizens the right to vote. Opponents have also argued that voter fraud is almost nonexistent in the state and therefore needs no remedy. “These bills that have been introduced are voter suppression bills. They are not to get at voter fraud,” said Luke Hyde, chair of 11th District Democratic Party and an attorney from Bryson City. “It is solutions looking for problems that don’t exist.” With a Republican majority in the General Assembly, however, the voter identification bill swept through the N.C. House last month, following a mostly partisan vote, and now lies in wait in the state Senate. Both N.C. Representatives Michelle Presnell, R-

Smoky Mountain News

May 29-June 4, 2013



Burnsville, and Roger West, R-Marble, voted for the bill. N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, DWaynesville, voted against it. According to Hyde and others, the bill will succeed only in preventing minorities and immigrants from casting ballots on election days. Since both groups historically favor Democratic candidates, Hyde could only draw one conclusion. “(Republicans) are trying to win elections by playing fast and loose with voter laws,” Hyde said. Hyde referred to the bill as a kind of poll tax since it creates an added barrier to voting. But Bennett said the voter identification bill will only prohibit those from voting who shouldn’t be voting anyway — and those who vote early and often. “In no way do we want to disenfranchise anyone from voting,” she said. Bennett said she doesn’t believe it’s too much to ask someone to produce a simple form of identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card or military ID, in the name of voter integrity. “We are not asking for some exotic form of ID,” she said. According to the bill, anyone who cannot produce a valid picture ID may cast a provisional ballot, which is used when a voter’s eligibility is called into question. Provisional ballots are then set aside to be vetted by county boards of elections. If the voter is found to be valid, the ballot is counted when final election results are certified and tallied during the days following an election. Because of its prominence nationally, the voter identification bill has received the most

Last election, voters simply walked into a polling station and cast their ballot. But if N.C. House Bill 589 passes into law, all will be required to flash an ID first.

Hear both sides Two separate WNC political groups are hosting two separate forums to address voters’ bills circulating through the N.C. General Assembly. • The Haywood County 9-12 TEA Party is hosting a forum at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 30, at Agriculture Center located at 589 Raccoon Rd. in Waynesville. The event will look at efforts to reduce voter fraud, particularly N.C. House Bill 589, which requires voters to show some form of identification before votattention as proponents of both sides work to either kill it or push it through the state chambers. It is also one of the few election related bills to survive the state’s May 16 crossover deadline — the day by which a bill must pass either the state Senate or House to stay alive. Another controversial bill, Senate Bill 667, did not meet the deadline and died.

ing. Jay DeLancy of Voter Integrity Project NC is scheduled to speak. • The 11th Congressional District Democrats will hold an information workshop from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 8, at the Haywood County Justice Center in Waynesville. There will be a presentation by Democracy N.C., a non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing voter participation and decreasing the influence of big money in politics. Members of the N.C. General Assembly and county boards of elections will also attend.

That bill would have kept college kids from voting where they went to school if their parents counted them as a dependent on tax returns. Parents could not claim a child as a dependent if that child registered to vote somewhere other than the parent’s address. That would have precluded college students from voting in the district where they attend school.

Cherokee tribal council candidates face primary election next week Enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will head to the polls Tuesday, June 6, to vote in the primary election for Tribal Council. This year, 34 people — including all 12 incumbents — are running for Tribal Council. There is no election for chief and vice chief this year. The matters weighing on voters’ minds are tribal debt, health care, and caring for the tribe’s youth and elders, according to candidates’ platforms. A number of candidates who are challenging the current tribal leaders have called into question whether a new $110 million casino planned in Murphy is a wise idea. Tribal Council recently approved plans to build the second, small scale casino in Murphy. However, critics have called for more diversification of its economy, saying the tribe needs to branch out beyond gambling to other sources of revenue. A couple of challengers have even gone as far as to call the current Tribal Council representatives financially irresponsible. Throughout the debate about a second casino, enrolled members constantly questioned how the debt taken on by the tribe to build it would affect future generations. Some asked, isn’t the Eastern Band in enough debt already from the major expansion of its main casino in recent years?

Another key topic this election is health care. The Cherokee have a history of diabetes and substance abuse problems. Although plans for a new hospital with expanding services is in the works, tribal leadership must do more to help enrolled members get healthy, according to both Tribal Council incumbents and challengers. One concrete idea is the construction of a substance abuse treatment facility and rehab center. Tribal Council has talked about building such a facility for years, with current Council Member Terri Henry driving the push for it, but the project has yet to take off. Given the high rates of alcohol and drug abuse on the reservation, enrolled members hope that by operating their own rehabilitation center, the tribe can help more of its people who have addiction problems. In their platforms, many candidates have also talked about immersing the youth more in Cherokee culture and language, and ensuring that the elders of the tribe are well cared for.

WHO’S RUNNING? Cherokee is divided into six voting districts — Birdtown, Big Cove, Yellowhill, Wolftown/Big Y, Painttown and

Snowbird/Cherokee County — with two council members representing each community. Next week, voters will narrow the list down to four finalists for each district who will then advance to the general election in September. Tribal council members serve twoyear terms. Here’s the list of those registered to run for office. The two incumbents are listed first: • Birdtown: Gene “Tunney” Crowe Jr., Jim Owle, Albert Rose, Solomon “Slick” Saunooke and Terri Taylor. • Big Cove: Perry Shell, Bo Taylor, Teresa McCoy, C. Rich Panther, Lori Taylor and Mary Welch Thompson. • Yellowhill: Alan “B” Ensley, David Wolfe, Arizona Jane Blankenship, Jimmy Bradley and Rick Medford. • Wolfetown/Big Y residents: Mike Parker, Dennis Edward • “Bill” Taylor, Bo Crowe, Chris McCoy, Marty Taylor, Berdie Toineeta and Jeremy Wilson. • Painttown: Terri Henry, Tommye Saunooke, Cameron Cooper, Lucretia Hicks Dawkins and Lula “Lou” Jackson. • Snowbird/Cherokee County: Diamond Brown Jr., Adam Wachacha, Tommy Chekelelee, Brandon Jones, Janell Rattler and Bobby Teesateskie. — By Caitlin Bowling

BY CAITLIN BOWLING WNC was hit by several days of heavy rains, STAFF WRITER causing flooding and dozens of landslides, hen a rockslide shut down Interstate both big and small, around the region. Then 40 through the Pigeon River Gorge in a couple of weeks ago, another bout of proHaywood County three years ago, the longed rains came, and more slides occurred. N.C. Department of Transportation scram- One slide killed a railroad worker from bled to clean up the massive slab that sheered Waynesville. off the mountain and then shore up the tow“The conference brings to focus the imporering rock face against future slides. tance of being ready to respond and the imporBut it still took six months to reopen the tance of good upkeep and proactive approachroad, negatively affecting the economies of es to keeping roads open,” said Joel Setzer, the Western North Carolina. The need for coop- head of the N.C. DOT’s 10-county mountain eration and coordinated response in the after- region. “It is a good way to bring leaders math of rockslides gave rise to an annual con- together and hear about what we are doing.” ference that brings together state highway departments, county leaders, emergency management teams, tourism leaders, geological experts and others to talk about rockslide prevention and response. “Our purpose is really to get all of the folks that would be affected together to see what happens from various perspectives and have a coordination of resource and networking event so we can increase awareness,” said Denese Ballew, a regional planner with Land-of-Sky Regional Council, a A landslide earlier this month trapped about 40 people on regional planning and Holder Branch Road for a day. Another near Black Mountain development organizaaround that same time killed a Waynesville resident who was on tion for Asheville and surduty working for the Norfolk Southern railroad. rounding counties. Better cooperation and response during a rockslide can save time Other featured speakers include an expert and money. WNC loses about $1 million a from the state’s hazard mitigation office, an day in tourism revenue whenever a rockslide engineer for a private rockslide prevention blocks Interstate 40, Ballew said. company and a project manager with the “I think there is a lot of benefit really to Federal Highways Administration. having people meet each other and know “It is always interesting to hear what (the each other,” Ballew said. “It is a lot easier to experts) have to say,” said Haywood County know that this person over here has this Manager Marty Stamey, who will welcome resource if you’ve met them and talked to everyone to the conference. them before.” He added that for county administrators So, Land-of-Sky created a rockslide con- like himself, the conference is an informaference, the first of which was held in tion-gathering event where he can keep up Newport, Tenn., in 2011. This year, it will with new protocols and techniques for dealhold its second in Haywood County. ing with rockslides and landslides. Haywood Community College will host the Jason Lambert, director of commerce for rockslide conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will Wednesday, June 5. deliver the keynote address at noon. Lambert Although it was born out of concern will detail just how much of an economic about the effects of Interstate 40 rockslides impact the closure of U.S. 441 though the on the Smoky Mountain region, the event Great Smoky Mountains National Park had this year will also include discussions about on Cherokee businesses. more run-of-the-mill landslides. A landslide in January closed U.S. 441, the Rick Wooten, a landslide expert with the main tourism artery from Gatlinburg to the N.C. Geological Service based in Asheville, Cherokee Indian reservation, for about three will speak about landslide warning signs and months. some best practices for responding to them. For more on the conference or to register A recent rash of landslides makes how to go to or deal with them a timely topic. In January, 828.251.6622.


Experts convene at rockslide response conference


May 29-June 4, 2013 Smoky Mountain News 7


Been there, done that BY B ECKY JOHNSON STAFF WRITER aywood leaders are no strangers to overhauling their economic development strategy and structure. A major transformation played out just 10 years ago. When the dust settled on the politically charged process, the economic development director resigned. While heated and controversial, it struck at the fundamental, underlying philosophy of what the county’s economic development strategy should be. Back then, economic development efforts were focused largely on luring new factories. Economic development leaders were accused of being too insular and unresponsive to the changing economic paradigm in Appalachia. “The dynamics of the economy have changed so much,” said Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown, an attorney who has been on the new economic development board since it was formed 10 years ago. The county had hemorrhaged several thousand manufacturing jobs over a decade. Chasing new factory jobs to replace those being lost simply wasn’t working. “The large manufacturing concerns were not viable for Haywood County or most communities in America for that matter,” said Mark Swinger, chairman of the Haywood County Commissioners. The process 10 years ago — as with the process now — was initiated at Swanger’s behest shortly after he took office as a county commissioner. A blue-ribbon task force was convened for several months. In the end, a new economic development board was constituted, a new director was hired and a new mission was adopted — one that focuses on entrepreneurship, recruiting new business and supporting existing industries to keep the jobs the county already has. The new board was more inclusive, in hopes that a more collaborative approach from a broader cross-section of the county would lead to better results. “If we have done anything over the past 10 years, we have really broadened the idea of what economic development is,” said Mark Clasby, Haywood’s economic development director since the reorganization 10 years ago. Some of the same players at the table then are now at the table once more, revisiting some of the same questions. But Swanger expects it to play out much differently. When asked whether this process will be marked with political discord like last go around, Swanger said “no.” “I am certain it will not be. We have a different dynamic entirely,” Swanger said. For starters, no one is particularly dissatisfied with the economic development commission or the director. Swanger said Clasby is doing a fine job. Examining whether there is a better model should be taken at face

Moving the chips of economic development in Haywood

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May 29-June 4, 2013




The Haywood Chamber of Commerce gathers business leaders for face time with Congressman Mark Meadows at a recent luncheon. File photo BY B ECKY JOHNSON STAFF WRITER n exploratory committee of Haywood County business leaders will examine in the coming months whether to reshuffle the county’s economic development arm for the second time in a decade. Traction is building to move the Haywood County Economic Mark Clasby Development Commission under the auspices of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce. Both are separate entities now — the chamber is run by private business leaders and the economic development commission is run by Mark Swanger county government. But both presumably have a similar goal: to improve commerce, bolster the economy and grow jobs. The task force will examine whether those goals would be better served if the county’s economic development commission was brought into the chamber of commerce’s fold. The county would continue to fund economic development efforts, but they would be carried out in closer concert with the chamber on a day-to-day basis. The possible configurations run the gamut from simply sharing the same office building to the chamber directing economic development activities. The conversation was kickstarted two months ago at the suggestion of County Commissioner Chairman Mark Swanger


and is just now getting underway in earnest. “We thought it would be beneficial to look at it with no preconceived notions or opinions, but just to see if this model that we have is working as well as it should in today’s economic climate,” Swanger said. “We just don’t know that now.” Swanger said the county is obviously interested in whether it would be more cost efficient to have a combined model. But the larger question is whether it would be more effective. “One of the reasons we are undertaking this study is to get a better handle on that,” said Charles Umberger, a chamber board member and president of Old Town Bank. Those on the task force claim the jury is still out. “This is study and evaluation rather than jump in and start arranging it,” Umberger said. Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown, a member of the economic development commission, hopes that is indeed the case. If there is a preconceived plan, then the process is pointless in a way. Swanger assured there wasn’t. “There is no preconceived notion. I am very open on this. I feel we have the obligation to examine how we are doing things every so often,” Swanger said. Swanger said the days of the “buffalo hunt” for big manufacturing employers has passed. The county retooled its economic development strategy a decade ago to adjust to the new reality, but with that philosophical hurdle cleared, could it be taken one step further? A combined model with the chamber of commerce wasn’t considered 10 years ago, largely because the chamber wasn’t a tour de force in the business community like it is now. “The chamber then is not today’s chamber,” Swanger said. “Ten years ago it was not a viable option. Today, I think it is.”

Brown pointed out that in rural communities, however, a combined model is not as prevalent. Local government can often bring more resources to the table and serve as a liaison to job creation and recruitment more effectively. In the corporate world, there are three primary drivers in a merger, Brown said. One is efficiency from a cost standpoint. There’s less duplication, functions are consolidated and overhead can be shared. Another is synergy. Together, more can be achieved than separately. “One and one is three,” Brown said. A final reason for a merger is to grow the footprint and increase market share or dominance. When weighing the pros and cons of a combined model, Brown will be most interested in the concept of synergies. At the very least, housing the economic development commission under the same roof as the chamber of commerce makes sense, Brown said. “I have always been a fan of co-location,” Brown said. “Somebody walking in, we can quickly get them into the right box.” Both entities could cross-reference resources more easily yet still keep their own focus. Mark Clasby, the director of the economic development commission, said he spends the majority of his time working with existing large employers to ensure Haywood County is still an optimal place for them to do business so they don’t leave. The chamber, meanwhile, is the bastion of small business and the go-to network for small-scale entrepreneurs breaking in to the business community. “The chamber has made a real effort over the past number of years to really focus on small business and really support small business and entrepreneurial communities,” said Umberger.


Haywood County’s economic development model — essentially as a function of county government — is similar to most rural counties in the mountains. In larger cities, however, economic development functions are often housed under the chamber of commerce. “There are a variety of ways it could be nuanced. But speaking generally, you either have a government-based function or a public-private partnership,” Swanger said. CeCe Hipps, the executive director of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, said she is accustom to the combined model in the larger communities where she worked before coming to Haywood seven years ago.


One question being studied is whether a combined model could save money. The county budgets $240,000 annually for economic development, a function with

two fulltime employees. The chamber of commerce has a budget of $226,000 with three fulltime employees. Swanger said the county was naturally interested in whether it could save money by contracting with the chamber of commerce to run economic development. Clasby isn’t so sure. Right now, all the “back office” functions of the economic development commission are carried out by the county, from payroll to grant processing to bookkeeping. Even phone and internet service are wrapped in with the county’s overall phone and internet fees, amounting to a fraction of the total pie. As for office space, the county pays just $200 a month including utilities for its economic development office. Since those back-office and overhead costs are either minimal or folded in with the county’s overall volume, outsourcing it to the chamber might not be any cheaper for the county. For its part, the chamber may hope to offset its own office expenses in exchange for housing the county’s economic development functions. Meanwhile, the county may hope to save money if the chamber subsidizes some of the operating costs of economic development. So which entity, if any, will see a financial benefit remains to be seen. “That is something that has to be studied,” Clasby said. Hipps said financial factors will not be a big part of the decision-making process. Instead they will focus on what model will be best for the goal of economic development.

B EEN THERE, CONTINUED FROM 8 value and not as a reflection on Clasby’s performance, Swanger said. Ten years later, it is reasonable to go through the exercise again, Clasby agreed. “It is time to do an evaluation of what would be best for the county from an economic development standpoint,” Clasby said. “What is the best model for the economic development commission? It may be the best model is still the county.” But Brown said the process this time around doesn’t seem to be asking a key question: what is the goal? The last overhaul focused on what the mission should be, then focused on the best structure to achieve it. This time, the process seems to be focused primarily on the structure, skipping over the most fundamental questions, Brown said. “Obviously you should always review your operations and make sure you are meeting your goals. That begs the question: what is it we want to be doing?” Brown asked. “You have to know what your goal is. What do we want to achieve?” That question may not need answering to the same extent it did a decade ago, however. The shift a decade ago required monumental self-reflection — even an admission of failure to some extent — and acceptance that the future of economic development looked far different than the past. “The reality of our economic development landscape today is the entrepreneur and the small business as our base,” said Charles

Umberger, CEO of Old Town Bank and a member of the chamber executive board. With that major machination having transpired already, the mission this time might be more self-explanatory. “The emphasis is what is the most effective model to create a sustainable, growing economic community in Haywood County. To create the place we all want to live, work and play,” Umberger said. While not nearly as dramatic as the time of reckoning the county faced a decade ago, the economic climate has cer-


As part of the study phase, Hipps researched the structure in 10 communities that use a combined model. “There probably are a lot of pros and advantages,” Hipps said. The most common model is a simple “outsourcing” of economic development functions. The county contracts with the chamber to house an economic development officer under its umbrella. But the economic development side has its own board of directors and a separate budget funded largely the county. “They are governed by separate boards and have different funding mechanisms but they are very closely aligned,” Hipps said. Chamber of commerce members comprise the majority of the study task force, since the chamber needs to assess the feasibility from its standpoint of taking on economic development functions. But the task force also includes two county commissioners and three representatives from the economic development commission. When the study period concludes later this year, county commissioners will have to decide what to do with the economic development commission — and the chamber would then have to decide whether to accept a larger role if asked by the county to take it on.

“If we have done anything over the past 10 years, we have really broadened the idea of what economic development is.” — Mark Clasby, Haywood economic director

tainly kept changing, Swanger said. The conversation is particularly prescient as the state contemplates eliminating Advantage West, a regional economic development arm in the mountains. Haywood leaned on AdvantageWest for networking, to help recruit new businesses and to piggyback on regional initiatives. There would certainly be a void if AdvantageWest disappeared. “We have to be nimble enough to adapt to the situation we find ourselves in in coming months,” Swanger said.

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Jackson urged to vet all options before dishing out railroad grant BY ANDREW KASPER STAFF WRITER group of Jackson County residents have been making the rounds in recent weeks asking decision makers to think twice before forking over $750,000 to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in hopes of increasing tourism. “Everybody is so fired up to give the train money,” said Barry Kennon, a kayaker in Jackson County. Kennon wants the county to consider other ideas to boost tourism. If the county has $750,000 to invest in tourism, why not consider all its options instead of the one that fell in the county’s lap. One idea Kennon hopes will gain traction is a man-made whitewater park along the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro with a series of whitewater obstacles. “This is a guaranteed thing — if you build a whitewater park people are going to come and use it,” Kennon said. Kennon, a former World Freestyle Kayak Champion and member of the U.S. National Slalom team, shared the idea at a Dillsboro town meeting recently. The reception was amicable but skeptical, he said. Part of the problem, Kennon said is that Dillsboro still has the mentality of being a train town and its residents may be hesitant to embrace its potential as a river rat town. “The people in Dillsboro are so caught up on the train,” Kennon said. “They don’t realize how many people actually whitewater kayak or raft.” Putting money into a scenic tourist train is catering to an aging demographic of tourist, according to Dillsboro Resident Eileen Kessler, another advocate of the river park idea. But a river park would appeal to the next generation of tourists and be a smarter move in the long run. “That will generate more interest in Dillsboro and Sylva than going backward,” Kessler said. Catering to outdoors enthusiasts would be the perfect niche for Dillsboro and tap the natural outdoor attractions it has at its doorstep,


from bike trails to boating to hiking. “We have plenty of empty storefronts to fill with shops selling merchandise related to sports like kayaking, rafting, hiking, repelling, climbing, ziplining, and biking, etc.,” Kessler said. Kessler also questioned the logic of giving money to the private tourist railroad. If it will really increase riders, the railroad should be able to afford the improvements itself, or at least pay the money back. “Why should we subsidize a private firm to get the steam train running for them?” Kessler asked. Jackson County is still negotiating the terms of the deal with the train — essentially what Jackson would be guaranteed in return for putting up the money. “I don’t think we are close to making an agreement at this point,” County Manager Chuck Wooten said.

TRAIN IN THE HAND The tourist train was once Dillsboro’s bread and butter. Its main depot and headquarters were there, but it pulled out of Dillsboro several years ago. Now, it only offers limited trips into Dillsboro as a layover destination for trains from Bryson City. The layovers are only 90 minutes, and only bring tourists to town on select days and select weeks out of the year. Dillsboro merchants have struggled without the tourists the train once brought to their doorstep. The town has been laser focused on luring the train back during the past two years. The grant from the county is intended to lure the train back to town. The $750,000 grant would help refurbish a steam engine, build engine turntables and make improvements to the maintenance yard. In exchange, the train would have to base at least half its trips with the new steam engine out of Dillsboro. T.J. Walker, owner of the Dillsboro Inn, said the benefits of bringing a greater share of the train market back to Dillsboro can’t be overstated. He is not sure another plan like a white-

Waynesville’s wish of tourist railway derailed out of the gate Smoky Mountain News

BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER ince the advent of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, tourists flocking to Bryson City and Dillsboro to ride the scenic passenger train have been the envy of neighboring communities. They have long been wondering how they could get a piece of the action and lure the tourist rail attraction to expand its train service. “That was sort of the big picture thing” when the railroad started 20 years ago, said Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown. But, “It got no traction.” The privately owned Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is based in Bryson City with runs as far south as the Nantahala Gorge and as far north as Dillsboro. But Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown dreams about the train transporting tourists on to Waynesville, or even as far east as Asheville. 10 “I don’t know that it can be done, but I am doing some


water park will come close filling its shoes. “Having the train back in Dillsboro is by far the most job-boosting, economic-boosting thing we can do for our county and town,” Walker said. Walker worried that a raging whitewater park may actually scare off fisherman, another source of tourists. But Kessler urged the town push to emphasize the Tuckasegee’s natural assets.

she has a few ideas of her own. She likes the sound of some sort of technology incubator project, investing in the Dillsboro Green Energy Park or creating a small business loan program instead of the deal on the table. Several mini grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs could create more jobs than one big hand-out to a single business. As the county prepares to hire an economic development director to work with its newly formed economic development committee, Green said it may be wise to wait and hand the train project over to them. She is also hesitant to grant $750,000 to the railroad without a clear county policy regarding such economic development deals. “If you do something for the train, what will the next person ask for, and what will the commissioners base their decision on?” Green said. While Green is preaching for more options to be considered, the whitewater advocates are the only organized contingency to emerge with an alternate plan. Whitewater additions to the section of the Tuckasegee Although a whitewater park can River near Dillsboro have been floated by Jackson County be extensive and costly, Kennon said residents as an alternative investment to providing a loan the site should begin with a wave for to the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Mark Haskett photo freestyle paddling stunts, much like the one located in front of the “We’ve got the water — no one else has Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County. i water like this,” Kessler said. “What can be a This September, the site will host the worldt better way to attract young people?” freestyle championships, a discipline of paddle County Commissioner Vickie Green is posi- sports also known as playboating that involvesp tioning herself to be one of the only commis- flips, spins and other tricks on a standing wave sioners who is outwardly preaching against in the water. And while the Nantahala River is entering into a hasty, and potentially risky, deal raking in its share of the whitewater pie, the t with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. As Tuckasegee is underutilized. talks continue between the county and rail“This is a more a family-oriented rafting road, Green is asking why the rush. She said river: it’s warmer, deeper, better for hanging w she’d like to see key financial records from the out,” Kennon said. railroad before committing to any deal. Dillsboro exists in the crossroads of some4 “I haven’t seen anything. I haven’t seen a of the best kayaking in the country, due to thing,” Green said. “I don’t think it’s a wise combination of moderate climate, unique ele-h investment for the county.” vation and precipitous rainfall. Yet, manyt Furthermore, if the county has that much people drive by it on their way to thew money to spend on economic development, Nantahala.

investigation on my own,” Brown said. There is no doubt that it would be a huge draw for tourists, he said. “It would be a benefit to the community from my perspective at least,” Brown said. “How many kids today can say they have ridden a railroad?” The biggest hurdle is that the only railroad tracks venturing north from Dillsboro to Waynesville belong to Norfolk Southern and are used daily for freight. Norfolk Southern transports freight to and from a cardboard factory in Sylva and an Epsom salt factory in Waynesville, as well as carrying woodchips to the papermill in Canton. The mayor said he is trying to gather major players who might work with him to convince Norfolk Southern to share the tracks. Among those Brown has spoken with is Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who in August expressed a similar desire — to see the tourist train expand into Cherokee, though there are currently no railroad tracks running into the reservation. As for Waynesville’s wish, without an agreement with Norfolk Southern, the idea will be nothing but a pipedream. “A lot of hurdles would have to be overcome to make that

h happen,” said Robin Chapman, a spokesman for Norfolk Southern. The two forces could only reach a mutual use agreement if the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad trips do not interfere i with Norfolk Southern’s schedule. Trains carrying freight run T along the lines between Sylva and Waynesville about six j times a day, he said. “Coordination of the freight and passenger trains would be a challenge,” Chapman said. The spur line from Canton to Waynesville to Sylva doesn’t have many, if any, pull offs allowing two trains to pass. The parties involved would also have to identify any possible liabilities of operating a passenger train on the rail line as well as come to an agreement on how much the tourism train b operation would pay to essentially rent use of the tracks. “That would be a rather complex process,” Chapman said. t But, “We are willing to listen to requests from localities.” Another question, however, is whether the Great Smoky t g Mountains Railroad would want to expand trips into Waynesville or whether that would be a viable business oper- w ation for the company.

The Swain County Board of Commissioners is set to ink a deal with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad within the next month to put a restored steam engine into service on Bryson City’s tracks. Elizabeth Jensen photo


Litter that blows from improperly secured truck beds is a multi-million dollar problem for North Carolina taxpayers, and the Haywood County Solid Waste Department wants to raise awareness of it by giving away 100 free tarps on May 31. Take your truck to the Haywood County Materials Recovery Facility on Recycle Road in Clyde from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that Friday and get

The Haywood Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for “Leadership Haywood,” a program designed to develop informed, active and involved leaders in the county. The program will take an intensive look into the social, economical and political dynamics and their impact on our community. Leadership Haywood will begin with an opening team building exercise in September followed by an eight-month curriculum. Session topics includes: The History of Haywood County/Arts and Cultural Resources, Health and Medical, Local and State Government, Education, Economic Development, Non-Profits/Religion, Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention, and the Environment. Participants will build relationships and strengthen leadership skills. Tuition is $600 for Chamber members and $700 for non-members. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, June 30 and are available at

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Smoky Mountain News

kind of holding up the final agreement,” Lay said. “We are making progress, but it’s slow. There is a lot of deed work; there is a lot of survey work.” In return for the $600,000 contribution, the railroad will put up the steam engine and turntable as collateral. In fact, the county is requiring the railroad to sign over the deed on the steam engine to the county, so the county will own the steam engine outright from the beginning. The railroad must also create six new jobs, have the steam engine operating within 36 months and base at least 50 percent of its trips out of Bryson City for 15 years. Jackson County commissioners have been asked to provide financial assistance to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad as well to help with turntables and maintenance yard improvements but have yet to sign anything. No matter, Swain will push full steam head. “Regardless of what Jackson County decides to do, we are moving forward with Swain County,” Lay said. One opponent asked why Harper did not invest the money in the steam engine himself if it is expected to draw thousands more riders. “Nobody has looked into why he didn’t fix it himself,” said J.B. Jacobs, a Swain resident. “They could get the county into a mess here.” By not fixing the engine, Jacobs argued, Harper was missing out on potential revenue. Despite some citizen concerns, county leaders said they feel confident in the agreement, which will benefit the town and its businesses. The steam engine is estimated to bring as many as 36,000 additional visitors a year. “It boils down to that one issue — jobs,” said Commissioner David Monteith. “You walk up and down the street. Those businesses, they weren’t there before the train was there.” Swain County will borrow the $600,000 and pay it back during a 15-year period out of tourism tax dollars collected from overnight visitors.

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May 29-June 4, 2013

BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER wain County may soon seal a deal with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pay for the restoration of a steam engine in hopes it would bring more tourists to town to ride the scenic train. County leaders voted last fall in support of putting up $600,000 to restore the steam engine. The money would come out of a special tax paid by tourists on overnight lodging. But the deal has been held up on some technicalities. “It is tied up with the lawyers right now,” said County Manager Kevin King. “We are just waiting on this, so hopefully in the next 30 to 45 days.” Although Swain County and the railroad have a preliminary agreement hashing out the terms each side must live up to, neither party will sign on the dotted line until all the ducks are lined up. “It is very close,” said Kim Lay, Swain County’s attorney. “There is a lot of detail that has to be gone through.” The major hang-up is that the county doesn’t yet know the total estimated cost of repairing the steam engine and building a turntable. The county wants to know that if they put up $600,000 that it would be enough to get the job done, or at least come close. Otherwise, the county would be out the money and still not have a working steam engine at the end of the day. The railroad previously contended it had no way of knowing what it would cost until the repair job got underway, but Lay wants to drill down on some hard numbers upfront. Part of the project would also include building an engine turntable — if, that is, there was any money left over. Surveyors recently bored into the ground where the turntable will sit to figure out how strong the ground is and how much reinforcement it would need to hold the rotating piece of track. “Until the total cost is assessed — that is

Haywood County citizens are making their voices heard in Raleigh as legislators contemplate reducing library services to trim the state budget. Sharon Woodrow, executive director of the Haywood County Library System, said a petition with more than 2,000 signatures of county library patrons has been sent to the state capitol in support of funding public libraries. A letter of support from the library’s board of directors will also be sent, she said. Woodrow also met with members of the Fines Creek Community Association May 28 to answer questions and provide information concerning the county’s budgetary problems and how they may affect services to local libraries. The Fine’s Creek library branch has been considered for shuttering as an option to cope with the state’s proposed cuts.

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Swain holds back on train deal as devilish details are firmed up

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BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER espite cutting more than $50,000 from the town’s budget, Bryson City’s leaders plan to raise property taxes and town fees in the coming fiscal year. The Bryson City Board of Aldermen has proposed raising the property tax rate by 2 cents starting July 1. The change, if approved, would bring the town’s tax rate to 35 cents per $100 of property value. It would amount to an extra $30 a year in property taxes for the owner of a $150,000 home. The board plans to put revenue from the additional 2 cents, an estimated $25,000 annually, into a road improvement fund. The town would grow the fund overtime. “We’ve got a lot a streets that could really use a lot of work,” said Bryson City Mayor Tom Sutton. “It takes a lot of money to pave streets.” The town does not get enough from the state for road repairs to cover all its needs, according to town leaders. A number of pothole-riddled roads within the town limits need fixing. “I can’t disagree with (the board) that we need more money for roads,” said Town Manager Larry Callicutt, although his original budget did not include a property tax increase. However, Callicutt wonders whether people will turn out for a public hearing on the budget and tax increase in mid-June. “I have yet to find that people want taxes to go up,” said Callicutt. Although tax increases are never popular, Alderman Tom Reidmiller said he thinks people will understand and accept the board’s reasoning. “I have had many comments on the streets, and I think people would be in favor of setting aside a little money to fix the streets,” he said. In addition to a property tax increase, the town’s water and sewer fees will go up slightly as well. For residents in the town limits, the monthly rates will increase by 25 cents; for residents living outside town, the rate will go up $1.50. The board is following a plan from 2009 that outlined how much Bryson City’s water and sewer rates needed to appreciate each year so that the system could start paying for itself instead of using property taxes to subsidize water and sewer line repairs. “Theoretically, your water system should be self-supporting, but my understanding is most are not,” Sutton said, adding that small, incremental increases are better than a larger one later. “It will allow us to continue to maintain our system,” he said. “It’s not going to bring in a lot of money.” Bryson City has struggled with an aging water pipe system, some of which were installed in the 1920s and desperately need replacing. “The operation of the water and sewer system is still not up to standards due to the age of the system and additional require-


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ments mandated by the state of North Carolina. This will continue to be a problem until the system is rebuilt,” Callicutt wrote in a letter to the town board explaining the proposed fee increase. While the water pumped into the system is good, about 25 to 30 percent of it is lost due to leaks, and the town must eat that cost. And although the additional money from the increased fees will not rectify the problem, it will keep it at bay. However, Bryson City’s water infrastructure may soon benefit from a portion of a $2 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit that helps rural, economically challenged counties.


Bryson City had to cut its budget this year after the town lost a large chunk of revenuev — a nearly $100,000 decline in dividends from liquor sales at its ABC store. The town ABC store was once the supplier of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort on the Qualla Boundary. The reservation is dry, but the casino is not. The tribe previously didn’t

Want to weigh in? The Bryson City Board of Aldermen is holding a public hearing at 5:30 p.m., Monday, June 17, at town hall to gather citizen feedback on the proposed budget, copies of which are available at town hall.

have its own ABC operation and so the casino purchased all of its liquor from the Bryson City ABC store. However, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which owns the casino, started its own ABC operation last March and no longer went through Bryson City. “Now, the casino has their own ABC, so we are not going to be dealing with them quite as much,” Sutton said. The town received its last payout from the tribe this fiscal year. Next year, the town only expects to earn about $24,000 from its liquor sales, down $117,500 from this year. The payouts from the tribe usually came sporadically, which is why they seem like random influxes of money when viewed on paper, according to Callicutt. The town looked for budget cuts to help offset the loss. It switched insurance providers, saving nearly $28,000 in expenses. It also saved $30,000 because the town doesn’t need to buy a new police car this year. However, the police department will add a new officer, going from 8 to 9 officers. “We really need more than one, but one will do for now,” Reidmiller said. Having so few officers makes it difficult for anyone to schedule vacation time or take sick days when need.

Play On, Jackson County

BY ANDREW KASPER STAFF WRITER fter weeks of back-and-forth debate, deliberation and nail-biting, members of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority have zeroed in on a slogan to help sell the area to potential visitors. “Play On” beat out other top finalists “Base Camp for Life” and “Up to Good” last week to be crowned as Jackson County’s official tourism tagline. The decision was reached by a consensus of board members. Even those who at first had reservations came around in the end. George Ware, owner of the Chalet Inn near Dillsboro, admitted he hated the slogan “Play On” at the onset of the selection process. But the momentum the phrase carried on the home stretch and the resounding logic in those two, simple, authoritative words swayed him in the end. “Our point is to get tourists to come here on vacation, and what’s the opposite of work?” Ware said. He was also hopeful that the brand could be wielded to attract youth into the county. One of the popular aspects of the chosen phrase is its potential to speak to a wide range of vacationers and the full age spectrum — from little old ladies playing bridge at the High Hampton Inn to tweenie tubers on the Tuckasegee River. Alex Bell, a fly fishing guide on the tourism board, said the versatility of the phrase was what spoke to him. “It would be the easiest to tag onto whatever activity,” Bell said. “You could do it seasonally as well.” The two-word line also passed the rigorous marketing litmus test of “Would it live well as a bumper sticker, and would people put it on their car?” said Art Webb, president of BCF,



soon if they wish to enter into another contract with the company. The second phase would cover strategic deployment of an ad campaign using the brand. “Base Camp for Life” was another brand highly regarded by authority board members entering into the final round of selections. It was also Webb’s preference. However public sentiment turned on the idea when it came to light that Bryson City had already declared itself “Base Camp for the Great Smokies.” Webb said if that one were chosen it could cause a stir, although his concept of life’s base camp was a much different concept than an actual base camp for the Smokies. “There are people that are going to chatter about using ‘Base Camp for Life,’” Webb said, as he prefaced the brand to board members. But County Commissioner Doug Cody had a much more solid platform on which to plant his opposition to the notion of Jackson County being a base camp. It harkened back to a time when the county’s slogan was “In the middle of Art Webb, president of BCF, a branding company based in Virginia, was contractthe most.” Both phrases, he contended, ed by Jackson County to develop a tourism brand. Andrew Kasper photo send the message that the county is a stopover destination on the way to somethe Virginia-based company that developed the brand. where else that’s better. Webb and his staff came up with several slogans during a “The motto here in Jackson County at one time was ‘in the multi-month process, which were whittled down to the winmiddle of the most,’” Cody said. “That’s sounds good on the ner last week. This week, Webb will present several mocksurface, but a donut hole is in the middle of the most, too.” advertisements and a short video clip demonstrating how The three semi-finalists that were cut from the list during the brand could be employed in an actual marketing scheme. previous elimination rounds were: “Eastern Mountain Because BCF’s $50,000 contract only covers the developTime,” “Be Your Mountain Self,” and “Calm. Cool. ment of the brand, the board members will have to decide Connected.”

May 29-June 4, 2013


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BY ANDREW KASPER STAFF WRITER ost who spoke during a public hearing at the Macon County Courthouse on Duke Energy’s proposed rate increases were not pleased with the prospect of another uptick on their electric bills and lambasted Duke Energy representatives for wanting to use the increase to pay for recently built fossil fuel plants and pay higher dividends to investors. The utility company is seeking an additional $446 million per year in revenue and wants to raise rates to get it. The public comments came during a hearing held by the N.C. Utilities Commission. While many were content with Duke’s service as a utility company, most were opposed to paying more for that service. The proposed increases would translate to a 10 percent hike in electricity costs for all customers and a hike as high as 14 percent for residential customers. “I like to have my beer cold; I like to have my food preserved; I like to read at night without going Abraham Lincoln — I appreciate having electricity,” said Jackson County resident Adam Bigelow, during his testimony in Franklin. “But I am asking the commission to not only deny the increase being asked here, but give no increase.” Bigelow, like several others who testified that day, said he’d like to see Duke move toward more renewable sources of energy.


Bigelow said he’d even be willing to pay extra for electricity if he knew it were clean energy — much like he is willing to pay more for organic food and bio-diesel fuel for his car. “I would stand up here and say ‘Please, increase my rates,’” Bigelow said. “I would pay for that.” But he doesn’t want to fund more fossilfuel-based energy. This is Duke Energy’s third request for an increase in the last several years. The company says 90 percent of this latest increase is needed to reimburse itself and its stakeholders for construction of gas and coal power plants recently brought online. The company is also seeking to increase returns paid to its investors. The meeting last week in Franklin was the first of a series of meetings in which the commission will listen to expert testimony and regular residents on the proposed rate hike. Then, commissioners will make a decision by early fall on how much — if any — increase to grant Duke. This latest round of hearings began just after the N.C. Supreme Court ordered the commission to provide further justification for approving Duke’s previous rate increase that took affect in February 2012. However, Duke officials say this latest rate increase is vital to providing reliable service and making essential upgrades to the company’s aging infrastructure. According to Duke Energy’s Nantahala Area District Manager

Lisa Leatherman, the company has some of the best reliability rankings in the region and some power plants it is phasing out, in a costly upgrade process, date back to the mid-1900s. The increased rates ensure the service stays reliable and Duke’s equipment and facilities are current with environmental standards, Leatherman said. And, when the increases are explained in that context, ratepayers are understanding, she said. “The rate increase is about paying for the investments to serve our customers, for decades to come,” Leatherman said. “When I share with folks about an aging electrical system and increasing environmental regulations, they understand.” But not David Waters, a retired electrical engineer from Franklin. He did not understand why the company would put the burden of rate increases on the backs of residential payers. If left up to him, Duke’s rate increases would undoubtedly be nil. “It hits the poor and the middle class — it’s unconscionable,” said Waters. “I think it’s important that Duke Energy not raise the rates in North Carolina but rather eat it out of their own resources.” One campsite manager who lives in Almond, Joe Deddo, said he paid about $1,000 for his power bill last July to provide electricity to his 30 campsites. It was his first summer in operation since the last round of Duke increases took effect in February, last year. He said he testified at the meetings

regarding those rate increases as well. “We were just here a year and a half ago,” Deddo said. And according to him, his economic situation hasn’t improved all that much since then. “It’s hard to make it.” Two residents at the meeting gave favorable testimony of Duke, although both stopped short of supporting the rate increase. Sutton Bacon, CEO of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, applauded Duke for its partnership in providing prime whitewater releases from its dam above the Nantahala River and for making various boating improvements in the region, such as put-ins, riverside parks and wildlife observation areas. The company was required by federal regulators to do so as part of its license to use public waterways to generate electricity. “None of this would be possible without Duke Energy and their support,” Bacon said. “I couldn’t ask for a better partnership with Duke representatives.” Bacon’s rafting operation is one of the largest in the country and relies on Duke’s water releases to stay afloat. Franklin resident Ken Murphy also testified as to how Duke has been helpful in working with him to put energy back onto the company’s grid. Murphy has a wind-turbine system as well as solar energy panels on his roof that allow him to supplement his electrical needs using a special two-way meter. Murphy said Duke staff has supported his


Smoky Mountain News

May 29-June 4, 2013


Most oppose Duke rate increase and reliance on fossil fuels

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green energy ventures. “Duke Energy not only talks the talk, but it walks the walk,” Murphy said. However, another Franklin resident Bill Crawford feared Duke and other energy companies liked the publicity surrounding green energy and renewables but were unwilling to heavily invest in them on a large scale. He saw the recent completion of Duke’s new coal and natural gas plants as evidence to that. He feared the rate increase might be enabling the company to continue down the path of fossil fuels and that contribute to global climate change. Yet, he did identify a silver lining in the increase. “I’m torn on the rate increase,” Crawford said. “If raised, the rate hike might slow consumption of electricity.” Four of the six members of the N.C. Utilities Commission attended the meeting in Franklin and listened to the testimony given. Commission Chairman Edward Finley said the testimony was much like the other public hearings for prior rate increase cases. He has been on the commission for about six years. “People are concerned about the economy and their ability to pay the rates, and people are concerned about the fossil fuels,” Finley said. “We have heard that testimony often in the past and are not surprised to have heard it tonight.” Commissioner Bryan Beatty would not go as far as to say that the testimony was necessarily anti-Duke. He claimed people were just speaking the truth about how the rate changes might affect them. “I wouldn’t describe it as anti-Duke,” Beatty said. “I would simply say they are expressing their economic situations and talking about the economic situation of their friends and neighbors.”

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Maggie’s Achilles’ Heel: lack of curb appeal Consultant presents town to-do list to get economy on track BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER aggie Valley’s slow and steady decline as a tourist destination comes down to aesthetics, a consultant hired to assess Maggie Valley’s economic challenges told town leaders last week. Maggie Valley’s appearance has declined and not kept up with the more sophisticated tastes of today’s tourists, according to his assessment. “The curbside appeal of the town has suffered over the years,” leveled Craig Madison, a consultant hired to create a business plan for the valley. “It is one of those things that affects every business.” Maggie’s slumping tourism has been blamed on many things over the past decade — Ghost Town amusement park closing down, entertainment venues shutting, then the recession. But while tourism is coming back elsewhere, it’s not manifesting in Maggie. “There is recovery, but it is lagging here a bit,” Madison said. Madison was hired as part of a larger project called Moving Maggie Forward, spearheaded by Maggie’s new Mayor Ron DeSimone. The goal is to bring stakeholders to the table and chart a new course for the town as it battles an identity crisis from its glory days as a tourist kingpin. The town hired Madison, the former president and CEO of the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, using a $20,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Center. As consultant, he spent more than 100 hours going from business to business talking to people about what they want

As Maggie Valley’s economy declined, so did its appearance. A consultant hired by the town recently suggest that the valley improve its curbside appeal to draw more customers into its businesses. File photo

May 29-June 4, 2013


for Maggie Valley. Madison compiled the interviews with information from an online survey and group work sessions to craft the preliminary plan for the valley’s future, which he presented to town leaders and business owners last week. “It provided an incredibly clear direction,” Madison said. He suggested that the businesses get together and hire a professional design team to create a look for Maggie Valley’s streetscape. He also recommended that the town set up a grant program, matching up to $5,000 for businesses who invest in facade improvements. A lack of curb appeal can negatively impact a business district. In fact, an estimated 70 percent of first-time sales are based on curbside appeal, said Madison, citing the 7-8-7 rule of business. The rule also states that women make 80 percent of the choices, and 70 percent of retail sales happen after 5 p.m. But if Maggie business owners can’t draw people in, then the latter two are a moot point. “People want to invest in a successful town,” Madison said. Another problem identified by business

Ghost Town falls short of summer opening target Smoky Mountain News

BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER Ghost Town in the Sky did not open to much fanfare last weekend because, simply put, it didn’t open. Ghost Town did not have its mandatory, yearly safety inspections on the kiddy rides or the chairlift completed in time for its hoped-for summer kick-off Memorial Day weekend. The reason? Ghost Town didn’t submit a request for the inspections in time. The N.C. Department of Labor needs at least 10 days advance notice from amusement parks seeking ride inspections. Ghost Town and the state have different versions on when the inspection request was sent in. Mike Matthews, general manager of Ghost Town, claimed that the park had submitted an inspection request about two weeks from last Friday. But according to a spokeswoman with the state Department of Labor, nothing was sent in until May 17 — only five business days before its 16 scheduled grand opening event.

owners was arguing among town leaders and residents, which creates an unpleasant atmosphere. And don’t think tourists don’t hear about any infighting, Madison said. “You keep fighting amongst yourselves no one is going to stay with you,” he said. “What gets in the ear of the community gets into the ear of the visitor.” Although fighting among various groups has been a tradition in town for years, Madison said that business owners have a genuine eagerness to work together. “People wanted to talk. People wanted to share. There is a desire,” Madison said. Business owners listed the town’s strengths as its location being in the mountains, the Wheels Thru Time motorcycle museum, the natural beauty of the region, the festival grounds and the access to outdoor recreation. The businesses need to exploit those strengths for their benefit and promote anchor attractions, such as Wheels Thru Time, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park and Cataloochee Ski Area, which draw tourists to Maggie. “Let promote these anchors as a primary driver of our business,” Madison said.

Visitors get to the mountaintop amusement park via a chairlift. Without the chairlift operating, there was no good way to get large numbers of people up to the park. Buses have been used in the past to shuttle people up and down the mountain when the chairlift is undergoing repairs, and Ghost Town currently has two busses, which together can accommodate 45 people, to transport people up the mountain if the chairlift if down for some reason. Unlike the large parking lot at the bottom of the mountain, there’s no parking on top large enough to accommodate the public should they drive up themselves. Still, the amusement park held a grand opening Saturday event, complete with music, food, cancan dancers and crafts — just without the actual opening. Instead, everything was brought down to the street-level parking lot. “It went really well,” Matthews said. Although they did not perform, gunfighters were there to meet and greet attendees. Because the event was free, Matthews said it was hard to tell how many people showed. “It’s was hard to say; it came in spurts,” he said, adding that 30 people paid to ride Ghost Town’s ziplines. Now, a new official grand opening for the season has been set for June 1 if everything goes well with inspections. Safety inspectors with the Department of Labor are scheduled to visit Ghost Town on May 30, when they will

As for retail commerce, develop a mall mentality, Madison said. Stay open late, cluster similar businesses together, have a sense of place, recruit and bring events and entertainment to create excitement. Before the meeting concluded last week, Madison recommended that the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce reorganize and refocus its mission — to be a liaison for the business community, rather than a tool for tourists. “By design, the Chamber has been forced not to be a chamber so much as a visitors center,” Madison said. He also urged the Chamber to get rid of its paid membership model, which is typical among chambers of commerce, and have the town invest $50,000 a year in its operations. That way, the Chamber could represent all businesses, not just those who paid membership fees. “Let’s be the first town in the state of North Carolina to have every business a member,” Madison said. The Chamber of Commerce will help spearhead the action from here. Teresa Smith, executive director of the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce, said she would give people a little time to digest all Madison’s information and recommendations. Then they will hold another meeting. “We just want to say to the business owners, ‘OK, now you have your plan. How would you like to proceed?’” Smith said. Maggie Mayor Ron DeSimone told business owners that it is now up to them to take the reins. “Where it goes from here depends on you,” DeSimone said. “If you could get 20 percent of the people to work in one direction together, the plan would have a life of its own. (But) no action will certainly receive a reciprocal result.”

either deem the rides and chairlift safe or hand the amusement park operators a list of necessary changes. If the rides and chairlift are not up to snuff, workers at Ghost Town will need to make the alterations and then schedule another inspection. The chairlift passed state inspection and was open last year; however, the kiddy rides were not. This Thursday will test whether those rides are ready for passengers. Ghost Town, which was popular in the heyday of cowboys like John Wayne, fell into a prolonged period of declining visitation starting in the mid-1980s and persisting through the ‘90s. It eventually closed in the early 2000s. Since then, it was bought and reopened twice by investors trying to revive it. Twice, it failed. That is when Pressley, a longtime Ghost Town lover and Maggie Valley champion, decided to resurrect it. She purchased the troubled mountaintop amusement park in Maggie Valley out of foreclosure last year and has since spent more than $3.5 million on it, including the purchase price and repairs. Last summer, Pressley had a soft opening, where people paid reduced prices to ride up the chairlift and tour around the old park. After closing for the season in the fall, the repair work started on the mock-up of an Old West Town where the gunfights were once held, rewiring the park, fixing its water system and getting the kiddy rides operational.


If you have ever wanted to fly radio control airplanes, here’s your chance to learn. The Macon Aero Modelers Club is sponsoring a one-day training course for folks wanting to learn the basics from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15, at the club’s flying field at 515 Tessentee Road in Otto.

Students will begin their flight instruction with a short session about the forces that affect flight of an aircraft, the function of control surfaces and safety. The students will then transition to simulators where they will fly aircraft on computers. Finally, they will fly an aircraft with an instructor pilot. The event is free, but registration is required, and students must be at least 18 years old. Call between 7 and 9 p.m. June 7 or 8. 828.369.7542 or


Smoky Mountain News

Come fly with Macon Aero Modelers

salary bonus that Macon teachers get. Many counties tack a supplement on to teachers’ pay over and above the base state salary. Duncan said targeting the $400,000 in county supplements would not be popular — considering the North Carolina ranks one of the lowest in the country for teacher salaries — but may be necessary if no more money is given to the schools. “I’d rather have the teachers higher paid,” Duncan said. “But if I don’t have enough teachers to cover the classrooms, that’s a moot point.” After seeing the county manager’s proposed budget, county Commissioner Jimmy Tate said he’s not sure the school will get any more funding. Commissioners had already agreed earlier this year that they would not raise taxes, even to save the school budget. A tax increase of 1.5 cents would be necessary to fund the schools’ full request. The preliminary budget already foregoes adding more than a dozen county positions requested by various departments, including deputies, paramedics and information technology staff. However, as the budget talks take place, Tate said he’d like to see what else can be done for the school system. “If we are able to find any other funds in our budget, I would like to see it go toward education,” Tate said. “No doubt.” The county has been no stranger to school spending in recent years. During the past five years, the county has funded more than $45 million in construction projects and improvements. Neither has the county been a stranger to other spending requests in recent months. Commissioners have approved large-ticket spending requests to purchase land for baseball fields, emergency cardiac defibrillators and more than $750,000 in added annual expenses for employee raises. County Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin, who formerly served on the school board, said his vote will back giving the schools least what the Horton suggested, if not more. Corbin said with conservative revenue projections, more money might become available at mid-year as well. But he said it was unrealistic to think the county could come up with the money to make up the entire school budget shortfall, while holding true to its commitment not to raise taxes. Furthermore, the county is already taking $1.6 million out of its fund balance for next year’s budget. That makes the prospect of drawing even more from the county’s reserve fund for the school system unlikely, Corbin said. “It’s a tough budget year,” Corbin said. “It’s not realistic without raising taxes, and we already said were unwilling to do that.”

May 29-June 4, 2013

BY ANDREW KASPER STAFF WRITER acon County Schools may be in store for some noticeable changes come the start of school this fall. Facing a massive budget shortfall, school leaders asked for a funding increase of $1.5 million from the county — a 22 percent increase compared to last year’s funding from the county of $6.9 million. But the county’s proposed budget calls for a far more modest increase of only $200,000. That recommendation was included in a draft budget presented to commissioners last week by County Manager Jack Horton. If Horton’s draft budget stands, the school system will need to dig deep and cut its way out of a roughly $1.3 million hole. “I was not surprised, but I was disappointed at the initial amount placed in the budget,” said Superintendant Jim Duncan. “It’s not enough to cover what we need to have to start school.” The preliminary budget could be altered yet by commissioners during a series of budget meetings in the coming month. The county will also hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, at the Macon County Courthouse before voting on a final budget, which won’t take effect until July 1. Duncan is hoping the commissioners will be swayed to inject more into the school system for the coming year — another $200,000 at the very least. Another $400,000 would avoid the deepest cuts. The school board waffled in recent months over how much to ask the county for. At first, the school system formulated a list showing what a full suite of cuts would look like — eliminating teachers’ assistants, assistant principals, middle school sports and the early college program, plus moving to bigger class sizes. Then a second list was floated showing what $900,000 in cuts would look like — in hopes the commissioners would make up the difference between the more severe list of cuts and the scaleddown cuts. Duncan suggested the county could dip into its large fund balance, which stands at about $18 million, to help the schools. “I don’t consider it a dead issue at this point,” Duncan said. “But if there’s no movement — it’s going to be a big adjustment, and it’s not going to be pleasant.” If commissioners can’t be swayed to, at the very least, meet the school halfway and avoid the entire $1.3 million shortfall, Duncan said the situation could become serious. One option on the table is cutting the local


Macon schools budget could soon face time of reckoning




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Metal artist Grace Cathey (left) was recently selected by the Waynesville Public Art Commission to install three metal panels depicting wild flowers of the Smokies. The pieces will be displayed in downtown Waynesville. A representation of the final product is between Cathey and Jan Griffin, chairman of the WPAC. Garret K. Woodward photo

Smoky Mountain News

May 29-June 4, 2013

Cathey selected by art commission, will raffle off artwork


Renowned metal sculptor Grace Cathey has been selected to create an art piece by the Waynesville Public Art Commission. Entitled “Wild Flowers of the Smokies,” the three metal panels (six feet high by four feet wide) will each represent a beautiful native wild flower found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “There’s an incredible diversity in Grace’s work,” said Jan Griffin, chairman of the WPAC. “Her pieces showcase a great mind of talent, one that focuses on bringing out the essence of nature in this region.” Cathey proposed the idea in March with a smaller piece that was used to show what the ultimate project would look like. With two other finalists, Cathey eventually won the $12,500 art grant, funds that were all privately or publically raised by the WPAC, with no taxpayer monies being involved. This is the fifth art installment for downtown Waynesville. “I believe in a body of work that is whimsical, abstract and interpretive,” Cathey said. “Art adds so much to the quality of life here in Waynesville, and everyone in this community, residents and leaders, supports the artists.” The initial presentation piece, which depicts a Lady Slipper wild flower, was donated back to the WPAC for their upcoming auction. The auction will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville. The evening will include a barbeque dinner, live music, with a silent and live auction. Raffles tickets for Cathey’s piece are currently available for purchase at $10 each or six for $50. They can be bought from members of the WPAC, at the town municipal building and during the night of the fundraiser. 828.452.2491 or 828.246.8188.

Gettin’ together and feelin’ alright

Specializing in Jamaican cuisine, One Love restaurant has relocated from Canton to Lake Junaluska. The business is expected to open May 31. Garret K. Woodward photos

“It’s the quality and respect between each other, where you sit down to eat and you can feel the love at the table, and you want to come back.” — Patrick Bulgin, head chef/co-owner, One Love restaurant

“It’s all about a clean presentation and tastiness, which is what Jamaican food is all about.” After his tenure in the Big Apple, Bulgin soon found himself in Western North Carolina. He opened a couple of moderately successful places in Hendersonville. The food and intent was pure, but the crowd never seemed to wander in through the door. “Some people can be [apprehensive] of

Balsam Range hitting for the home team in Haywood tourism messaging


Members of nationally acclaimed bluegrass band Balsam Range have a laundry list of accomplishments, to which they can now add “Ambassadors to Haywood County.” people to visit. “It is our honor and pleasure,” Nicholson said. “It’s just beautiful, and the people are great. There are no better people than in Western North Carolina.”

The band will not be paid to carry the torch of Haywood’s tourism message. Balsam Range has had numerous nominations at the International Bluegrass Music Awards and finally won the IBMA “Song of the Year” in 2011. Separately, each musician has a list of noted achievements as well. Banjoist Marc Pruett has won a Grammy Award; bassist/dobroist Tim Surrett is in the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame; guitarist Caleb Smith won PowerGrass Music Awards “Male Vocalist of the Year;” Nicholson performed at the Grand Ole Opry; and fiddler Buddy Melton has jammed with the legendary Doc Watson. The Haywood County Board of Commissioners even proclaimed Aug. 10 “Balsam Range Day.” And although the band members reside in different towns in Haywood County, they don’t differentiate; they lay claim to the whole of the county. “We are really proud of the county,” Nicholson said. “Everybody in this county, from the very first show we did, got behind us and supported us.” Balsam Range’s summer is already jam packed with concerts to continue promoting their most recent album “Papertown,” named after Canton. 19

Smoky Mountain News

BY CAITLIN BOWLING STAFF WRITER embers of the nationally acclaimed bluegrass band Balsam Range are now the bona fide ambassadors of Haywood County. The Haywood Tourism Development Authority asked the five-man band to serve as official promoters of Haywood County. “What better ambassadors can we have?” said Lynn Collins, executive director of the Haywood County TDA. The high-profile bluegrass band, hailing from Haywood, dovetails perfectly with the county’s new tourism promotion message: Homegrown in Haywood. The marketing campaign positions Haywood as a bastion of authentic Appalachia, be it music, handmade items, food, culture or even craft beer. Although all the details have not been worked out, the band’s new duties could include bringing tourism materials on the road, such as T-shirts or maybe koozies with the TDA logo on them, or being featured in promotional videos. “It is a work in progress,” Collins said. Darren Nicholson, mandolin player for Balsam Range, said he expects the job to be easy since the band already makes a point to mention Haywood County at all its shows and invite

May 29-June 4, 2013

Yes, the food can get quite hot and flavorful, but Bulgin assures those curious of the food that each meal can be perfectly tailored to any desire, from subtle to mild, sweet to spicy – it’s all about figuring out just what the customer wants. “Our food is really smooth, and it can be made spicy if you want it to be,” he said. “Your customer is going to eat it, and you want them to feel good about what they’re eating; you want them to digest it all and enjoy it.” With his mother’s kitchen wisdom, Bulgin left Montego Bay for New York City when he was 21. He got his start at a successful Jewish seafood restaurant. Their business model impressed Bulgin to the point where he still holds close the techniques and ideals he learned there, and employs them with each new endeavor in which he finds himself. “You have to always remember that your reputation is right behind your food,” he said.


BY GARRET K. WOODWARD STAFF WRITER This summer, there will be a new scent wafting through Lake Junaluska. Originally located on the Old Asheville Highway outside of Canton, the One Love restaurant has taken over the former Granny’s Chicken Palace building on Dellwood Road. Specializing in authentic Jamaican culinary delights, the establishment aims to continue their quest of introducing something special to the palates of Southern Appalachia. Their grand opening is expected to be Friday, May 31. “I want people to Patrick Bulgin come here and be happy, to see and eat something different,” said head chef and coowner Patrick Bulgin. “I think people here are looking for something unique, and I came here into this area to fill that gap.” Born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Bulgin spent his childhood watching his mother, a beloved culinary matron in her own right, cook for celebrities like Johnny Cash, who would visit the area, stay in guest houses and fill their bellies with genuine Jamaican fare. “I learned all of my techniques from my mother,” the 54-year-old said. “It’s all about paying attention to the food and the ingredients. You don’t just come here in the morning and start, you must prepare and set it all up before coming in.” And prepare he does. Marinating his meats for the better part of two days, Bulgin offers a variety of Jamaican jerk (jerk meaning “spicy”) chicken, pork, shrimp and ribs.

Jamaican food because they think it’s too spicy, but we can do it anyway for you,” he said. “But, there is a lot of love put into this food, and into eating it. It’s the quality and respect between each other, where you sit down to eat and you can feel the love at the table, and you want to come back.” From there, Bulgin bounced around the state before ended up in Canton, where he opened the original One Love location — named after the song “One Love/People Get Ready” by Bob Marley & The Wailers — in 2011. Focusing solely on Jamaican delights, the menu is filled with meat and vegetables, all cooked with coconut or olive oil, with an emphasis on seasoning and spice rather than salt, which Bulgin stays away from as much as possible. “People want something more natural, so I use a lot of coconut and olive oil,” he said. “It speaks to me when people come in and I cook, they taste it, and they want to know who the cook is. It makes me happy and wanting to do better.” The restaurant soon found the following Bulgin always knew was possible in this area. The business grew to the point it was time to find a bigger, more appropriate location – cue Lake Junaluska. “Growing up in Jamaica, I was around all of that love Bob Marley and Peter Tosh sang about,” he said. “Bob spoke a lot about love and peace, and here it’s all about positivity.” With the grand reopening just days away, Bulgin glances out the window at the fastpaced vehicles zooming up and down Dellwood Road. The sun is shining on Western North Carolina. The last details of One Love are being finalized. Soon, the doors will open, with tourists and residents alike eager to try the culinary essence of Jamaica. “If you’re anywhere outside of the restaurant, even far away, you’ll smell how good it is,” he smiled. “I really dedicate myself to cooking, and I think this location is perfect. I’m really looking forward to it all.”



Smoky Mountain News

Room tax issue won’t change much between now and 2015


Schoolhouse Earth is a favorite learning place

To the Editor: At a school bus stop north of Franklin, I pick up trash weekdays from kids apparently tossing stuff out the bus windows: chewed off pencils, pens, wadded up paper, numerous snack foods, gum and candy wrappers, all ugly litter that should have been recycled by the user, not me. Getting down to basic ABCs, many of us consider recycling not a silly bothersome chore but a deep moral obligation, one that could, and should, be subject matter for a few Sunday sermons. Many believe the earth is our home with God the master gardener ... and the earth our schoolhouse with Mother Nature the wisest teacher. And one small lesson addresses the way nature deals with waste. Everything is recycled including animal homes and even the animals themselves. All plants are biodegradable and reused. There is no waste in nature. As a child, I learned to appreciate how the earth takes care of itself, not so much from my family, church or school, but at Girl Scout camp. The counselors kept insisting, “Leave the site better than you found it.” That entailed discovering what was there, how it worked, and taught me that we should fit in rather than change nature’s most wonderful design. It also meant trying to do no harm and leave no trace that we had been there. Can we leave no trace in our neighborhoods? Recycling should be a part of everyone’s daily agenda, wherever you are. Not too difficult for a teacher to place a box in the classroom and tell kids to use both sides of paper before tossing in the recycle box. Buses can provide recycle baskets for snacky kids. If adults aren’t recycling at home, school, church,

The detractors of the proposal to hike the room wanted two things: a clearer plan for how the extra revenue would be spent; and they wanted Maggie Valley to have more control over how the money would be spent. The first argument has some merit. People focused on potential tournament caliber softball fields — part of the “vision problem” referred to by Aumen. Supporters of the tax, however, said getting a committee of volunteers to spend a whole lot of time develEditor oping a spending plan for money that might not come through would be an exercise in futility. I think a more detailed plan could be developed if supporters felt confident that this would make it through the legislature. The second point of contention may never be cleared up, though. Anyone who follows the news in Western North Carolina knows the changing tourism landscape has been tough on Maggie Valley. While the winter season is stronger than ever as Cataloochee Ski Area has made improvements

Scott McLeod

lice Aumen, one of the owners of Cataloochee Ranch and a longtime tourism booster in Haywood County and Western North Carolina, hit the nail on the head: “It’s a vision problem.” She was referring to the decision by Sen. Jim Davis, RFranklin, not to support the proposed room tax hike for Haywood County because a small, vocal contingent of lodging owners and two town aldermen in Maggie Valley came out against it. Because everyone in Haywood would not support the hike, Davis allowed it to die in committee. That means hundreds of thousands of dollars for tourism-related capital projects will not find its way to Haywood County. Local bills almost never have the support of everyone involved, and if that is the litmus test for passage then nothing would get through. Anyone could go down the list of local bills that pass each year in the General Assembly and find detractors in almost every case, but those local legislators supported the leadership in the counties they represent. Davis supported the merger-annexation of Lake Junaluska with Waynesville, and there were plenty who opposed that measure. So it’s a bit unclear as to why he is imposing this standard on this particular bill.

LOOKING FOR OPINIONS The Smoky Mountain News encourages readers to express their opinions through letters to the editor or guest columns. All viewpoints are welcome. Send to Scott McLeod at, fax to 828.452.3585, or mail to PO Box 629, Waynesville, NC, 28786. picnics, etc., how do we expect our children to be more responsible citizens? What’s so funny and sad at the same time is that to reuse and recycle is so darn easy and still, like lazy slobs, we continue to waste resources. When I taught at a middle school on the Navajo reservation, my first lesson plan integrated recycling with language arts. After reading/reviewing the subject of “reusing resources,” teams of two students each, armed with empty grocery boxes, visited younger classrooms to make an oral presentation on why and how to recycle. Our students also interviewed the cafeteria staff on reusing containers, etc., and we even got in some math lessons on measurement from our cooks. Easy lesson right on the premises and the students became part of a solution rather than a problem. They learned a few civic and social skills along the way. Thanks to parents, teachers, preachers and friends who care to do the right thing by helping our children to respect the earth as well as each other. A group of volunteers at Macon Pride is working hard in the county to encourage reuse/recycling with short demonstrations on how to set up an easy, no-cost recycling station in your school, club, business, church. We are also awarding “Proud to Recycle Here”

almost every year, Maggie Valley is still redefining itself and working to weather the recession. That struggle has highlighted the differing opinions among business owners and town leaders about how to address the future. But those challenges aside, the rest of Haywood showed overwhelming support for this proposal, and that’s why it should have had Davis’ support. As we all know, tourism is economic development in WNC. Those in Haywood can look west to Swain County and east to Buncombe to see neighbors who have taken advantage of leveraging a portion of their room tax money for capital projects. The whole point here is for these projects to serve as a catalyst for private enterprise, attracting visitors who will spend money in hotels and inns, restaurants, convenience stores, pubs, campgrounds and galleries. This in turn benefits the entire community. Now, it’s wait until 2015 and try again, and it’s a pretty safe bet that there will still be a very vocal, very small opposition. If Haywood leaders want this room tax hike to pass, Davis will have to change his mind or voters will have to elect a different senator. (Scott McLeod can be reached at

stickers to all organizations who recycle the nearly 98 percent of items that are accepted by Macon Solid Waste Department. Call Shirley Ches at 828.524.9991 or Elena Marsh at 828.369.8915 for more information. Debby Boots Franklin

Graduate programs in music are worth saving To the Editor: The committee at Western Carolina University charged with evaluating academic programs issued its report on May 22. The report can be found at Several of the committee’s recommendations, if approved, will adversely affect the Fine Arts College. In particular, the committee recommends the elimination of graduate programs within the School of Music. After speaking with several people, it appears that the decision was based on numbers. I will save my arguments opposing the decision for the committee. However, one of the stated reasons — the program does not serve the region — is without merit, in my opinion. I urge all who live in the region served by WCU to express the ways the School of Music, its faculty, and students have touched your lives. In particular, if you have had a positive experience with the graduate program, or a student(s) within the program, please make that known. Music faculty will be meeting with Chancellor David Belcher later in June to present their arguments for maintaining the graduate program. As the faculty prepares their arguments, hearing from you would be a huge help. Please send your comments to Will Peebles (wpeebles@email.wcu), Dan Cherry

( or contact Chancellor Belcher directly. Linda Watson Cullowhee

GOP-led legislature making huge strides To the Editor: North Carolinians are fortunate to now have a legislature that is making historic strides towards fiscal responsibility and maintaining the values of the citizens of this state. After Republicans gained both houses of the state legislature in 2010 and in 2012 voters seated a Republican governor, I am writing to praise the voters of the state who recognized that such change was sorely needed. Jackson County played an important role in setting this scene. We voters re-elected Senator Jim Davis, R-Franklin, to the N.C. State Senate, voted for Gov. Pat McCrory, Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, and helped turn North Carolina to a red state. Because of these leadership changes, on Thursday, May 23, the North Carolina Senate passed a $20.58 billion budget. Below is a statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham):

“In spite of a massive $1.2 billion shortfall in Medicaid, the Senate has passed a balanced budget that funds our state’s core priorities, demands greater government efficiency and accountability, and strengthens public education — without raising taxes. I’m proud of the Senate’s commitment to delivering budgets that reasonably and responsibly direct available resources toward real needs. This plan sets a solid foundation on which North Carolina will

move forward.”

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Smoky Mountain News

To the Editor: In 2010, the Macon County Board of Commissioners, under the leadership of then Chairman Ronnie Beale, voted to raise property taxes by 1.5 cents per $100 of valuation, or approximately $1.4 million. In the depths of terrible economic conditions, with many folks losing their jobs, many homes in foreclosure, many filing for bankruptcy, the county commission raised your property taxes. Each year since, the county has collected approximately an additional $1.4 million as a result of that tax increase. The increase wasn’t needed; it hasn’t been spent. It sits in the county’s treasury instead of your bank account or paying your bills. County management says a huge fund balance is a sign of good financial management. To the contrary, it reflects poor finan-

To the Editor: Sponsors of House Bill 944, the school voucher bill, proposed certain changes during the bill’s first committee hearing this week. Changes include lowering the income required for eligibility, decreasing the total amount of money awarded, and increasing public accountability. Let us not forget that the voucher concept itself is flawed. Siphoning funds from public schools will not generate the savings it claims to, but will instead take much needed funding from the numerous fixed costs schools incur each year. Private schools, not parents or students, will be empowered with choice — able to cherry-pick some students and return others, often the most vulnerable, to an underfunded public school system. All the while public dollars are consumed by unaccountable private schools. Our public education system is far from perfect, but school boards, teachers, and staff are working hard and making gains, as improving national test scores and graduation rates indicate. We can aid in these gains, pledging ourselves to preserving the system of education our constitution provides; or we can dismantle public education as we know it. Dr. Ed Dunlap Executive Director, North Carolina School Boards Association

Best Strawberries in Western NC

May 29-June 4, 2013

Macon should use fund balance, cut tax rate

Voucher system will hurt public schools

Opelny Dai


Under state law, having a Republican governor allows the Jackson County Board of Elections to now include two Republican appointed members on the three-member board. Since 2008, three Jackson County Commissioners — Republicans Charles Elders and Doug Cody, along with Independent Commission Chair Jack Debnam — have voted to bring greatly needed reform to our county. After many years of delay, there is a brand new Cashiers/Glenville Recreation Center. The commission led the way for a county-wide vote in favor of alcohol sales and an ABC Board has been appointed. Commissioners consolidated two county Travel and Tourism Boards into one Tourism Development Authority now working hard to bring more tourism business into Jackson County and therefore create jobs. A radio station, WRGC of Sylva, has been reborn thanks to the efforts of the Jackson County Commission. Many volunteers, contributors, donors, hosts and hostesses, organizers and workers made all of the Republican gains possible. Untold hours were devoted to complete the many election cycle functions that lead to the improvements we now enjoy in Jackson County and North Carolina. I think as these men and women who are now leading our governments continue, there will be many more good things to come. Ralph Slaughter Chairman, Jackson County Republican Party Executive Committee, Cashiers

cial management. Good financial management would result in a fund balance near the target of 25 percent a previous commission established, not in the mid-40 percent range and rising annually. In next year’s budget, soon to be decided, the tax rate should be dropped by 4.5 cents per $100 of value, returning the excess money collected by the ill-conceived increase of 2010. Such a decrease would not affect county services one iota and would result in a fund balance of approximately 38 percent. In an interview on May 8, Commissioner Beale was quoted as saying, “If we could find a way to do it (tax reduction), great, but without penalizing our school systems and other things we have going for us, but if you cut taxes, something has to be cut out.” This could not be further from the truth. The county could budget an increase in expenditures by $10 million for next year and have enough fund balance left to meet the 25 percent targeted reserve. The current property tax rate is 27.9 cents. Next year’s should be 23.4 cents. Don Swanson Franklin 21

tasteTHEmountains 190-72

Try our New Panini & Sandwich Lunch Menu! 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.




May 29-June 4, 2013


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Smoky Mountain News

ASHEVILLE: 60 Biltmore Ave. 252.4426 & 88 Charlotte St. 254.4289

Taste the Mountains is an ever-evolving paid section of places to dine in Western North Carolina. If you would like to be included in the listing please contact our advertising department at 828.452.4251 ANTHONY WAYNE’S 37 Church St, Waynesville. 828.456.6789. Open for lunch Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; open for dinner Thursday-Saturday 5 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exceptional, new-American cuisine, offering several gluten free items. BLUE RIDGE BBQ COMPANY 180 N. Main St., Waynesville. 828.452.7524. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. TuesdayThursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Blue Ridge BBQ is a family owned and operated restaurant. The BBQ is slow hardwood smoked, marinated in its own juices, and seasoned with mountain recipes. All menu items made from scratch daily. Featuring homemade cornbread salad, fresh collard greens, or cornbread and milk at your request. Old-fashioned homemade banana pudding and fruit cobbler of the season. Catering, take-out, eat-in. BLUE ROOSTER SOUTHERN GRILL 207 Paragon Parkway, Clyde, Lakeside Plaza at the old Wal-Mart. 828.456.1997. Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friendly and fun family atmosphere. Local, handmade Southern cuisine. Fresh-cut salads; slowsimmered soups; flame grilled burgers and steaks, and homemade signature desserts. Blue-plates and local fresh vegetables daily. Brown bagging is permitted. Private parties, catering, and take-out available. Call-ahead seating available. BOURBON BARREL BEEF & ALE 454 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville, 828.452.9191. Now open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner nightly from 4 p.m. Closed on Sunday. We specialize in hand-cut, all natural steaks, fresh fish, and other classic American comfort foods that are made using only the finest local and sustainable ingredients available. We also feature a great selection of craft beers from local artisan

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brewers, and of course an extensive selection of small batch bourbons and whiskey. The Barrel is a friendly and casual neighborhood dining experience where our guests enjoy a great meal without breaking the bank. HERREN HOUSE 94 East St., Waynesville 828.452.7837. Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday Brunch 11 a. m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy fresh local products, created daily. Join us in our beautiful patio garden. We are your local neighborhood host for special events: business party’s, luncheons, weddings, showers and more. Private parties & catering are available 7 days a week by reservation only. CATALOOCHEE RANCH 119 Ranch Dr., Maggie Valley. 828.926.1401. Family-style breakfast seven days a week, from 8 to 9:30 am – with eggs, bacon, sausage, grits and oatmeal, fresh fruit, sometimes French toast or pancakes, and always all-you-can-eat. Lunch every day from 11:30 till 2. Evening cookouts on the terrace on weekends and Wednesdays (weather permitting), featuring steaks, ribs, chicken, and pork chops, to name a few. Bountiful family-style dinners on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with entrees that include prime rib, baked ham and herbbaked chicken, complemented by seasonal vegetables, homemade breads, jellies and desserts. We also offer a fine selection of wine and beer. The evening social hour starts at 6pm, and dinner is served starting at 7pm. So join us for mile-high mountaintop dining with a spectacular view. Please call for reservations. CITY BAKERY 18 N. Main St. Waynesville 828.452.3881. Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join us in our historic location for scratch made soups and daily specials. Breakfast is made to order daily: Gourmet cheddar & scallion biscuits served with bacon, sausage and eggs; smoked salmon bagel plate; quiche and fresh fruit parfait. We bake a wide variety of breads daily, specializing in traditional french breads. All of our breads are hand shaped. Lunch: Fresh salads, panni sandwiches. Enjoy outdoor dinning on the deck. Private room available for meetings. CITY LIGHTS CAFE Spring Street in downtown Sylva. 828.587.2233. Open Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tasty, healthy and quick. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso, beer and wine. Come taste the savory and sweet crepes, grilled paninis, fresh, organic salads, soups and more. Outside patio seating. Free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly. Live music and lots of events. Check the web calendar at CORK & CLEAVER 176 Country Club Drive, Waynesville. 828.456.7179. Reservations recommended. 4:30-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Tucked away inside Waynesville Inn, Cork & Cleaver has an approachable menu designed around locally sourced, sustainable, farm-to-table ingredients. Executive Chef Corey Green prepares innovative and unique Southern fare from local, organic vegetables grown in Western North Carolina. Full bar and wine cellar. FRYDAY’S & SUNDAES 24 & 26 Fry St., Bryson City (Next To The Train Depot). 828.488.5379. Spring hours: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wed., Thur. & Sun. 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fri & Sat. Fryday’s is known for its Traditional English Beer Battered Fish & Chips, but also has burgers, deep fried dogs, gyro, shrimp, bangers, Chip Butty, chicken, sandwiches & a great kids menu. Price friendly, $3-$10, Everything available to go or call ahead takeout. Sundaes has 24 rotating flavors of Hershey's Ice Cream making them into floats, splits, sundaes, shakes. Private seating inside & out for both locations right across from the train station & pet friendly. FROGS LEAP PUBLIC HOUSE 44 Church St. Downtown Waynesville 828.456.1930 Serving lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Sunday lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Mondays. Frogs Leap is a farm to table restaurant focused on local, sustainable, natural and organic products prepared in modern regional dishes. Seasonal menu focuses on Southern comfort foods with upscale flavors. Come for the restaurant’s 4 @ 4 when you can choose a center and three sides at special prices. Offered Wed- Fri. from 4 to 6. J. ARTHUR’S RESTAURANT AT MAGGIE VALLEY U.S. 19 in Maggie Valley. 828.926.1817. Lunch Sunday noon to 2:30 p.m., dinner nightly starting at 4:30 p.m. World-famous prime rib, steaks, fresh seafood, gorgonzola cheese and salads. All ABC permits and

Burgers to Salads Southern Favorites & Classics -Local beers now on draft-

117 Main Street, Canton NC

Bring your own wine and spirits.

828.492.0618 • Serving Lunch & Dinner


MON.-THURS. 11 A .M. TO 9 P.M. • FRI. & SAT. 11 A .M. TO 10 P.M. SUNDAY BRUNCH 11 A .M. TO 2:30 P.M. 190-27


tasteTHEmountains JUKEBOX JUNCTION U.S. 276 and N.C. 110 intersection, Bethel. 828.648.4193. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Serving breakfast, lunch, nd dinner. The restaurant has a 1950s & 60s theme decorated with memorabilia from that era. MAD BATTER BAKERY & CAFÉ Located on the WCU Campus in Cullowhee. 828.293.3096. Open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Earth-friendly foods at people-friendly prices. Daily specials, wraps, salads, pastries, breads, soups and more. Unique fare, friendly service, casual atmosphere and wireless Internet. Organic ingredients, local produce, gourmet fair trade and organic coffees. MOONSHINE GRILL 2550 Soco Road, Maggie Valley loacted in the Smoky Falls Lodge. 828.926.7440. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 4:30 to 9 p.m. Cooking up mouth-watering, wood-fired Angus steaks, prime rib and scrumptious fresh seafood dishes. The wood-fired grill gives amazing flavor to every meal that comes off of it. Enjoy creative dishes made using moonshine. Stop by and simmer for a while and soak up the atmosphere. The best kept secret in Maggie Valley.

OLD STONE INN 109 Dolan Road, off Love Lane. 828.456.3333. Classic fireside dining in an historic mountain lodge with cozy, intimate bar. Dinner served nightly except Sunday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Signature dinner choices include our 8oz. filet of beef in a brandied peppercorn sauce and a garlic and herb crusted lamb rack. Carefully selected fine wines and beers plus full bar



available. Open year round. Call for reservations. PASQUALE’S 1863 South Main Street, Waynesville. Off exit 98, 828.454.5002. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Classic Italian dishes, exceptional steaks and seafood (available in full and lighter sizes), thin crust pizza, homemade soups, salads hand tossed at your table. Fine wine and beer selection. Casual atmosphere, dine indoor, outside on the patio or at the bar. Reservations appreciated. PATIO BISTRO 30 Church Street, Waynesville. 828.454.0070. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Breakfast bagels and sandwiches, gourmet coffee, deli sandwiches for lunch with homemade soups, quiches, and desserts. Wide selection of wine and beer. Outdoor and indoor dining.



Now Open at 174 E. Main Street Sylva Shopping Center

Chef Jerri Fifer

Across from the ABC store

Gourmet Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & Deserts WHISTLE STOP MALL GEORGIA ROAD, FRANKLIN NC


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Pressed Cuban Sandwiches, Cuban Food & Desserts 828.400-5638 WED-SAT 11:30-9:30PM


TAP ROOM SPORTS BAR & GRILL 176 Country Club Dr. Waynesville 828.456.5988. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Enjoy soups, sandwiches, salads and hearty appetizers along with a full bar menu in our casual, smoke-free neighborhood grill. THE WINE BAR 20 Church Street, downtown Waynesville. 828.452.6000. Underground cellar for wine and beer, served by the glass all day. Cheese and tapas served Wednesday through Saturday 4 p.m.-9 p.m. or later. Also on facebook and twitter.

Custom Cupcakes by

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6306 Pigeon Road Canton, NC

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–Locally Grown Cuisine –

Hermit Kings

Open at 11 a.m. • Closed Saturday • 828-456-1997 207 Paragon Parkway • Clyde, North Carolina

Smoky Mountain News

190-47 1430-26

Adam Bigelow & Friends

828.586.1717 •




Tues.- Fri. 11a-9p & Sat. 12 noon - ‘til




628 E. Main Street • Sylva





RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AND BAR Maggie Valley Inn and Conference Center 828.926.0201 Bar open Monday thru Saturday; dining room open Tuesday thru Saturday at 5 p.m. Full service restaurant serving steaks, prime rib, seafood and dinner specials. SOUL INFUSION TEA HOUSE & BISTRO 628 E. Main St. (between Sylva Tire & UPS). 828.586.1717. Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday noon -until. Scrumptious, natural, fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and desserts. 60+ teas served hot or cold, black, chai, herbal. Seasonal and rotating draft beers, good selection of wine. Home-Grown Music Network Venue with live music most weekends. Pet friendly and kid ready.



May 29-June 4, 2013

MOUNTAIN PERKS ESPRESSO BAR & CAFÉ 9 Depot St., Bryson City. 828.488.9561. Open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. With music at the Depot. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Life is too short for bad coffee. We feature wonderful breakfast and lunch selections. Bagels, wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads and quiche with a variety of specialty coffees, teas and smoothies. Various desserts.



open year-round. Children always welcome. Take-out menu. Excellent service and hospitality. Reservations appreciated.


190-43 190-18

MONDAY-SATURDAY: 7 A.M.-9 P.M. SUNDAY: 8:30 A.M.-3 P.M. 23



Smoky Mountain News

Want to learn?

The Cullowhee Mountain ARTS adult workshops will be held from June 16 to July 26 at Western Carolina University. For more information, go to

• Lisa Pressman - (Mixed Media with Encaustic Painting: All Levels) “Layers, Richness, and Personal Vision” June 16–21, $600. • Rebecca Crowell – (Oil and Wax Painting: Advanced, Masters) “Oil and Wax: Abstract Painting with Cold Wax Medium, 2”, June 16– 21, $630. • Jeff Oestreich – (Ceramics: Intermediate Advanced) “A Closer Look at Function and Detail” June 16–21, $570. • Greg Newington – (Photography: All levels) “Five Days as a Photojournalist” June 16–21, $560. • Stuart Shils – (Oil Painting: Advanced - Masters Level) “The Structure of the Visual Moment” June 23–28, $875. • Jody Alexander – (Book Arts/Mixed Media/Sculpture – All Levels including Beginner) “The Stitcherly Book” June 23–28, $530. • Rebecca Crowell – (Oil Painting with Cold Wax: Intermediate - Advanced) “Oil and Wax: Abstract Painting with Cold Wax” June 23–28, $630. • Janice Mason Steeves – (Painting: Intermediate - Masters Level) “Visual Language and the Art of Critique” June 23–28, $600. • Catherine Kehoe – (Oil Painting: Advanced Masters) “Painting Loud and Clear - Still Life” July 7–12, $600. • Randall Stoltzfus – (Mixed Media Painting - All Levels) “Expanding the Palette: Enriching Paint with Mixed Media” July 7–12, $530. • Linda Soberman – (Printmaking / Mixed media: All Levels) “Building Imagery: Photo Transfers and Pronto Plate Lithography” July 7–12 , $580. • Nina Bagley – (Book Arts and Jewelry: All Levels) “Book of Treasures” July 7–12, Tuition: $560. • Kerry Vander Meer – (Printmaking, Mixed Media: Intermediate – Advanced) “Mixed Media Monotype” July 14–19, Tuition: $610. • Julie Friedman – (Paper cuts & Book Arts: Intermediate to Masters Level) “Paper Cuts” – July 14–19, Tuition: $525. • Gay Smith – (Ceramics: Intermediate to Advanced, space for 2 beginners) “Fresh and Lively: Soft Altering on the Wheel”, July 14–19, Tuition: $540. • Charles Basham – (Painting: Intermediate to Advanced) “Landscape Painting - Observation and Conceptualization, July 14–19 Tuition: $520. • Judy Richardson – (Sculpture: Open to All Levels) “Sculpting with Found Materials” July 21–26, $560. • Kenn Kotara – (Mixed Media: Open to All Levels) “Mixing the Media, Maximizing the Effect” July 21–26, $520. • Hayne Bayless – (Ceramics: Intermediate to Advanced) “Slabs and Extrusions” July 21–26, $540. • Martha Madigan – (Photography/Photograms: Open to All Levels) “Photographic Solar Printing, Nature Inspired” July 21–July 26, $600.

Bringing a world of art into your own backyard

Cullowhee Mountain ARTS will be holding its summer adult art workshop series from June 16 to July 26 at Western Carolina University. There will be 19 professional artists from around the country coming to Cullowhee to instruct students and fellow artists alike. Donated photo BY GARRET K. WOODWARD STAFF WRITER For Norma Hendrix, it’s all about connecting the dots. “I love working in a community of artists,” she said. “I really like pulling all of those dots together, where you create a sense of community with the energy of people working side-by-side.” Executive director of the Cullowhee Mountain ARTS, a nonprofit organization bringing creative workshops to the campus of Western Carolina University, Hendrix is gearing up for this year’s installment of programs that are kicking off on June 16. “When people come and experience these programs, they are totally energized about learning and being involved in a community of other artists,” she said. “All of these artists go back to their studios completely charged up and ready to create.” Coming into its second year, the vast array of workshops bring together professional artists from around the country. The program aims to nurture creativity at every skill level, where students and teachers alike are able to flourish in an electric environment. “People that come here will end up meeting other artists and making lifelong friends from another part of the country,” Hendrix said. “Everyone who comes ends up wandering through the area, which is a great way to infuse the economies of Cullowhee and Sylva.” During the five weeks of workshops, running from June 16 to July 26, each five-day course provides a different genre of art, rang-

“There is a high level on interaction ... this ‘crosspollination,’ and sometimes outright collaboration, makes for an exciting week.” — Rebecca Crowel, painter

Art for Kids There will also be several summer youth art camp workshops that will be held by the Cullowhee Mountain ARTS at Western Carolina University. For more information go to ing from photography to painting, pottery to sculpture, bookmaking to mixed media. The sessions showcase 19 professional artists from around the United States, each of distinct and successful backgrounds in their respective fields. “Cullowhee offers artists concentrated time and community to work with professionals,” said mixed media artist Lisa Pressman. “Magic happens when creative people live and work together in this environment. Students go home with ideas and techniques that can fuel their work for months, if not years.” Teaching the course “Painting with

Encaustic: Layers, Richness and Personal Vision,” Pressman is based out of New Jersey. Encaustic, which is the art of painting with beeswax, will be her focus in a classroom that combines the history, safety and numerous techniques involved. “My focus is the individual student and their expression,” she said. “A variety of techniques, tools and exercises are used to explore personal imagery, abstract as well as representational. Experimentation is the focus along with attention to art fundamentals and editing, content and having fun.” A painter from central Wisconsin, Rebecca Crowell will be teaching “Oil and Wax, extended: Abstract Painting with Cold Wax.” Like Pressman, Crowell is a second year instructor at Cullowhee Mountain ARTS. In her classroom, Crowell puts an emphasis on experimentation and opening up the creative flow, rather than aiming to beat the clock with a finished piece. “There is a high level of interaction that is ongoing, since everyone stays on campus,” Crowell said. “This ‘cross-pollination,’ and sometimes outright collaboration, makes for an exciting week.” With an average course cost of $495, attendees are provided real-life professional instruction and advice. There are also options available for meal plans, with lodging on campus included for an additional cost. “If you do the math, you’ll see how much value you can get with each class,” Hendrix said. “You’re learning from someone really notable in their field.” Hendrix points out the numerous presentations and demonstrations that will be free and open to the public during the week. Scholarships for workshop tuition are also given out to WCU students interested in a career in fine art through the Friends of the Arts at WCU. Internships are provided for other students looking to learn about a creative medium right from the source. “These college students get the workshop for free with their assistantship,” she said. “They get to work side-by-side with an artist and see firsthand how the creative process works, and how to become a professional in their field.” With the second season of programs only weeks away, Hendrix has a long-term vision of eventually incorporating creative writing, film and the performing arts. “We’re trying to create learning communities, an adult camp for adults, where they stay here in Cullowhee, which is the idea of combining entrepreneurship and innovation,” she said. So, why should communities rally around Cullowhee Mountain ARTS and its artists? “An artist is a person with a job and a place in the community like any other, and we’re all coming to understand the idea of local support in economic terms,” Crowell said. “But it goes beyond that. The opportunity to appreciate and support creative people and their work is life enhancing and affirming everyone’s inherent creativity.”

Appalachia, the ing full-time and mainnewest exhibit from the tains a studio in Sylva; Haywood County Arts Crystal Allen, an artist Council, will run from focusing on calligraphy, May 30 through June 29, painting in watercolors at Gallery 86 in and spinning natural Waynesville. An artist fibers; Mike McKinney, reception will be held at a third generation woodthe gallery from 6 to 9 worker who is a carpenp.m. Friday, June 7. ter, furniture maker and The display focuses wood turner; Matt on the numerous genres Tommey, a basket weavof intricate local crafts er using natural materiand techniques and will als; Caryl Brt, a furniture highlight several local maker whose resume artists and how their includes car mechanic, work ultimately impacts landscaper, itinerant the heritage of the apple picker, railroad “Aidan’s Walk” by Patti Best. region. brakeman and carpenArtists include Doc ter, dabbling in metalWelty, a 30-year potter and proprietor of working, polymer clay and handmade paper; Leicester Valley Clay; Patti Best, a self-taught Susan Balentine, a potter that focuses on painter and drawer; Sandra Brugh Moore, a functional individually thrown pottery; and landscape artist, who explores new painting Kaaren Stoner, a potter with an endless fascitechniques in her attempt to capture the nation with the beauty of leaves, grasses, peace and spirit of nature; James Smythe, a flowers, rocks and landscapes. retired art professor who now enjoys paint828.452.0593 or

Printmaking with instructor Frank Brannon will start the Summer Art Portfolio Program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 3-6, at Southwestern Community College in Bryson City. SCC’s Nantahala School for the Arts is offering these programs for high school students grades nine to 12 and recent graduates. It is designed to enhance student’s art skills and help prepare a portfolio for college admissions into a fine arts program. Students will have exposure to what it is like to take an art class in a college setting while making new connections with professional artists from the region. Each instructor is a practicing professional artist and a professor of art at SCC. Students will learn advanced skills and processes beyond the high school level. All projects will make up a refined art portfolio for future use. Cost for the program is $20 for one week, or $60 for all three weeks. This program is in part funded in part by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.

Smoky Mountain News

There will be a public reception for Cherokee artist Joel Queen and the formal presentation of a pottery piece he designed at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. The large pot piece has a design of seven Carolina parakeets in a flock formation. The eye of each bird is marked with a Macon County ruby. The pot was funded in part with proceeds of the Jim McRae Endowment for the Visual Arts and represents the first project of the endowment. Queen, a member of the Eastern Band and a descendant of the Bigmeat family, is a ninth-generation potter who is helping to

preserve the traditions of Cherokee pottery. He often blends traditional and modern designs and also works as a sculptor and wood carver. The endowment was established through the Macon County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF). A local group, the Association for the Visual Arts (AVA), serves as an advisory board for the McRae endowment. The piece Joel Queen will be on permanent display at the library following the reception and annual meeting of the Friends of the Macon County Public Library. The reception is free and open to the public. 828.524.3600 or or

SCC offers summer art portfolio classes for high schoolers

May 29-June 4, 2013

Cherokee potter to be honored in Franklin

There will be a brand marketing and quilting class offered at Southwestern Community College in Sylva. From 6 to 8 p.m. June 4, “Marketing Your Personal Image and Brand: Your Personal Palette” will explore practical techniques you can implement to enhance your brand. The components of image include effectively communicating, presenting our thoughts and ideas successfully to others, exploring appearance and attitude, using nine steps to result-oriented networking, and gaining visibility. The class will be led by Nyda Bittmann-Neville, vice president and director of marketing and communication of Asheville Savings Bank and CEO of TNB Consulting Group. Seminar fee is $30 per person. From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from June 5 to July 24, “Learning to Quilt” teaches the basics of making a quilt, fabric choice, templates, rotary cutting, piecing by hand and machine, borders, “sandwiching” three layers, methods of quilting, finishing, and binding. Each student will create a finished quilted piece during the eight-week course. Expert quilt maker Linda Nichols will impart her knowledge and skill from more than 30 years of quilting and teaching experience. Students must bring to class a sewing machine and the knowledge of how the machine works, the machine’s owner’s

manual, needles for machine and hand stitching, scissors and thread. The course fee is $80 per person. or 828.339.4497.

Waynesville brewery hosts golf tournament

Tipping Point Brewing will hold its inaugural charity golf tournament at 12:20 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Waynesville Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Disabled Veterans Chapter #89 of Haywood County. The tournament will be a four-man captains choice. Hole sponsorship is still available. A post tournament buffet will be at the Tipping Point, with prizes, raffles and lunch provided. Registration is the

day of the tournament at 11:30 a.m. at Tipping Point. Cost is $100 per player. 828.246.9230 or

arts & entertainment

Haywood exhibit puts spotlight on Appalachian crafts

Brand marketing, quilting classes at SCC



arts & entertainment

Wheel throwing, hand building at Riverwood

Recycled fashions hit The Bascom

There will be a wheel throwing and hand building class offered at Riverwood Pottery in Dillsboro. Wheel throwing will run from 6 to 8 p.m. June 4. The class is every Tuesday through Aug. 6. Cost is $160, which includes tools, materials and firing. Hand building will run from 6 to 8 p.m. June 5. The class is every Wednesday through July 31. Cost is $160, which includes tools, materials and firing. 828.586.3601 or

A high-fashion exhibit of recycled materials, ReDress: Upcycled Style by Nancy Judd, is currently on display until Aug. 18 at The Bascom in Highlands. These dramatic fashions are not what they appear. Instead of real fur, jewels and luxe fabrics, they are made of such components as aluminum cans, tires and plastic grocery bags, and even crime scene tape. Judd created Recycle Runway and its samenamed website while working as the recycling coordinator for the city of Santa Fe, then as executive director of the New Mexico Recycling Coalition. In 1998, she founded the Recycle Santa Fe Art Market and Fashion Contest, recognizing that art and fashion could be combined to motivate the public to be more environmentally conscious. 828.526.4949 or

Watercolor film to be shown in Swain

Want to learn to draw? There will be a beginner/intermediate drawing classes from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 4-20 at Gallery 1 in Sylva. A master artist, Julie Jacobson will instruct drawing fundamentals through extensive studio-based exercises and studies. Supplies are provided, except paper, which will only be provided for the first class. The class is $100 for JCVAA members, $120 for nonmembers. or 843.614.7428.

Gary Carden and Dave Waldrop will lead a discussion on a recent finding in a l o n g - h e l d Appalachian mystery at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. “Tears in the Rain” is about a chain gang of 19 convicts who v drowned in the Tuckasegee River near Dillsboro in 1882. Weighted down by chains and shackles, Storyteller Gary Carden will be joined by Dave Waldrop on June 6 they sank in the river. for a discussion on an 1882 chain gang drowning near Dillsboro. Their bodies were not Garret K. Woodward photo reclaimed for two days and then they were quickly buried in details of how these graves were found and unmarked graves somewhere in the vicinity discuss plans for the removal of the remains. Thursdays at the Library, sponsored by of the Cowee Tunnel. Two months ago, members of the Liars Bench found the graves the Macon County Friends of the Library, is that had been a mystery for 132 years. In an eclectic mix of programs by authors, addition, the group now knows who they musicians, and educators on topics designed were since their names have been found in for enjoyment and learning. The event is free and open to the public. an obscure file in Raleigh. During the pro828.524.3600. gram, Carden and Waldrop will relate the

May 29-June 4, 2013

A “Big Brush Watercolor” film will be shown during the next Art League of the Smokies meeting at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. The film by Ron Ransom is packed with practical watercolor instruction condensed from seven hours of filming this well-known artist from the UK. Ransom demonstrates his big Hake brush techniques both on location and in the studio with close-up shots of every stroke. His subjects include nature, buildings and people in rural landscapes and in a street scene. The event is sponsored by Swain County Center for the Arts and Swain County Schools. It is free and open to the public 828.488.7843 or

Liar’s Bench members find answers to mystery

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Gourd artists from around the world will gather at the 11th annual Gourd Artists Gathering and Art Festival May 31 to June 2 in Cherokee. Throughout the weekend, nearly 300 gourd artists will be participating in more than 100 scheduled workshops, demonstrations, mini-workshops, presentations and Q&A sessions. Gourd art instructors and nationally acclaimed artists from around the country have teamed up to provide a wide variety of techniques from their areas of expertise. In addition to a variety of finished gourd art for sale, many art and craft supply vendors will be on hand with a variety of tools, books, patterns, accessories and other supplies, which are used in many art forms, not only gourd art. There will be an auction Saturday evening, which features a wide vari-

Benefits to feature live music, cornhole

The 2013 Squire Summer Writing Residency will be July 11-14 at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Workshops include: • “Poetry with Kathryn Stripling Byer” – North Carolina’s first woman Poet Laureate. Byer has published six full-length collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Hudson Review, Boston Globe and Georgia Review. • “Fiction with Elizabeth Lutyens” – Lutyens’ novel-in-progress, Medicine Island, was a semi-finalist in the 2011 William Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. A faculty member of the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC Asheville since 2006, she cur-

ety of finished gourd art, raw gourds, gourdrelated items and other art. The festival is free and open to the public. or The TeaM (Treyson and Megan) Bradley Benefit will be held from 3 to 8 Bridge Park in Sylva. Megan has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and The TeaM — Treyson and Treyson remains Megan Bradley. Donated photo in pediatric intensive care with an undiagnosed medical problem. The TeaM Bradley Benefit will sell hamburgers and hotdog plates, TeaM Bradley T-shirts and bracelets. There will also be an auction, cakewalk, live music and cornhole tournament. Please bring your own chair and come and hang out for a good cause. 850.294.1670.

rently teaches its by-invitation Prose Master Class and is editor-in-chief of its online literary magazine, The Great Smokies Review. • “Creative Nonfiction with Catherine Reid” – Reid has edited two anthologies and served as editor of nonfiction for a literary journal. Her essays have appeared in such journals as Georgia Review, Massachusetts Review, Fourth Genre and Bellevue Literary Review. She is currently the director of creative writing at Warren Wilson College, where she specializes in literary nonfiction and environmental writing. Registrants also will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations. Admission is limited to the first 50 registrants who sign up for one of three three-day workshops Registration is now open.

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Writer’s residency sets up shop at WCU


May 29-June 4, 2013

There will be two upcoming benefits for children with serious medical issues on Saturday, June 1, in Waynesville and Sylva. The “Birthday Fiesta for Tye” will be at 11 a.m. at Los Amigos Restaurante in Waynesville. The event will benefit the Tye Blanton Foundation, which is a nonprofit providing help to NICU families. The foundation was formed in honor of Tye Blanton, the infant son of the slain Highway Patrol Trooper Shawn Blanton, who was born premature and died after a prolonged fight in neonatal intensive care. There will be a cornhole tournament, with a $40 entry fee per team of two (bring your own partner). Money prizes and trophies will be awarded. There will also be kid’s activities and refreshments available, with the restaurant open for business as well. or 828.734.6692

Jeannine Thames will be one of the featured artists at the Gourd Artists Gathering and Art Festival.

arts & entertainment

Cherokee festival showcases gourd crafts

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Mark Lowry. arts & entertainment

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Gypsy jazz, ode to The Beatles in Waynesville Renowned Christian entertainer hits the stage in Franklin

May 29-June 4, 2013

joy and fear, sorrow and healing. “In the end, it always comes back to inner strength and hope,” Tee said. “I hope to take listeners on a journey and that you are able to find bits of yourself in my story.” 828.587.2233 or or

Dove Award-winning Christian entertainer Mark Lowry will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. A comedian, songwriter and singer, Lowry is best known as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band. He has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for nearly 40 years. Stan Whitmire, a very talented Dove Award-winning pianist, has been part of a music ministry for more than 30 years. He has been traveling across the country with Lowry since 2003. Lowry’s gift for communicating profound truth through music and storytelling keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. His entertaining personality makes attendees laugh, cry, and think about their personal walk to salvation. Tickets start at $18 per person. or call 866.273.4615.

Asheville singer to play City Lights Singer/songwriter Gabrielle Tee will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at City Lights Café in Sylva. Based out of Asheville, Tee recently released her album “Find My Way,” which is a manifestation of love and heartbreak,

Gypsy jazz mandolinist Michael Pilgrim and singer/songwriter Joe Cruz will perform at the Classic Wineseller in Waynesville. Pilgrim will play from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 31. Of all the forms of jazz to emerge in the twentieth century, gypsy jazz is the style most often defined as passionate, exhilaratingly up-tempo, and steeped in an outsider tradition.

Free summer concerts begin at WCU

The annual summer concert series on the Central Plaza at Western Carolina University will begin with Floating Action at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6. The series is presented by the A.K. Hinds University Center, every Thursday in June and July (excluding July 4). Audience members are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and snacks. The rain location is inside the University Center. • June 6, Floating Action – A blend of multiple styles of music including folk, blues and indie rock. • June 13, STEREOSPREAD The Big Nasty Jazz Band will be playing the WCU summer concert series on June 20. The series starts with Floating – Electronic pop band from Action on June 6. Donated photo Asheville. • June 20, Big Nasty Jazz Band – A nostalgic jazz experience that brings “super group” and recipients of two consecutive International Bluegrass Music Association back the music of the 20s and 30s.  • June 27, The Honeycutters – An old- Instrumental Group of the Year awards.  • July 25, Kovacs and the Polar Bear – A school country experience that’s best listened culmination of rich harmonies, catchy hooks to live. • July 11, Jamie Paul – A songwriter resid- and Appalachian folk music. The concert series is free and open to the ing near Asheville who released his debut public. album, “Let It Mend,” in February. or 828.227.3622. • July 18, The Boxcars – Described as a

Country, rock music hits the stage at No Name

Joe Cruz. Donated photo

Cruz will be at the Winseseller at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 1, with a tribute to the Beatles and Elton John. Cruz moves easily from one musical genre to another and has opened for Chicago, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, and Average White Band. Enjoy local, regional and, on occasion, national talent live at the Classic Wineseller every Friday and Saturday night. The kitchen opens at 5:30 p.m. serving freshly prepared small plate fare. There is a $10 per person minimum including food, drink and retail purchases. or 828.452.6000.

The No Name Sports Pub in Sylva will feature performances from an array of music styles during the next week. Country singer/songwriter Dylan Riddle will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30; Asheville rock-n-roll band Unit 50 will play at 10 p.m. Friday, May 31; and musician Brett Wilson will take the stage at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2. All shows are free and open to the public age 21 and older. 828.586.2750 or

Country singer Dylan Riddle will be playing in Sylva on May 30. Calvin Stiles photo

Smoky Mountain News

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Pianist to play solo in Macon

Franklin brings pop, Motown to downtown

Pianist Tommy Jordan will play a program of popular classics from Broadway and the movies at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin. Selections will include familiar favorites such as Henry Mancini’s “The Pink Panther” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia On My Mind,” along with a set of patriotic tunes and others. Jordan began formal piano studies at age 8 and has performed throughout the American South and MidAtlantic regions in more than 200 full recitals. He is the pastor at the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin. The program is presented by the Arts Council, with funding from the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Admission is by donation. 828.524.7683 or

“Freedom Rocks the Square,” a concert of vintage pop and Motown music, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, at Town Square in Franklin. The award-winning C-Square & Company performs classic pop hits ranging from Elvis and Everly Brothers through The Beatles, Billy Joel, and many others, along with some classic country hits and a musical salute to veterans. Bring a lawn chair, family and friends. Food vendors will also be on-site. Rain date is Friday, June 7. The event is produced by the Arts Council of Macon County with funding support from the Town of Franklin, Macon County, and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. It is free and open to the public. 828.524.7683 or

arts & entertainment

Concerts on the Creek returns to Sylva May 31

The Concerts on the Creek series in Sylva will resume with the Rye Holler Boys on May 31. Donated photo

Big Band (June 21), Buick MacKane (June 28), Sundown (July 5), Buchanan Boys (July 12), Dashboard Blue (July 19), Mountain Faith (July 26), Whitewater Bluegrass Company (Aug. 2), Lonesome Sound (Aug. 9), Steve Weams & the Caribbean Cowboys (Aug. 16), Porch 40 (Aug. 23), and Lisa Price Band (Aug. 30). The concerts are produced by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Sylva and Jackson County Parks and Recreation. They are free and open to the public. 800.962.1911 or

May 29-June 4, 2013

The Concerts on the Creek summer music series returns for its fifth season with the Rye Holler Boys from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Bridge Park Pavilion in Sylva. The series consists of 14 weeks of Friday evening concerts from late May through August. This year’s lineup is an ideal fit for Western North Carolina with an emphasis on bluegrass, country, blues and gospel. Other genres include beach, oldies, rock and 1980’s music. The full schedule is as follows: Rye Holler Boys (May 31), Johnny Webb Band (June 7), Unspoken Tradition (June 14), Vinyl Brothers

SMOKY MOUNTAIN BRASS BAND ENDS SEASON IN HAZELWOOD The Smoky Mountain Brass Band will celebrate its 31st season of providing quality music to the people of Western North Carolina by giving its last concert of the season at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Hazelwood Baptist Church in Waynesville. The concert is free and open to the public. Joyce O’Neil Photography

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A story of violence and race in small-town N.C. y decision to read this “docudrama” (part memoir, part history and part detective story) was prompted by my genuine wish to gain a better understanding of the history of racial conflicts and violent conformations that took place in North Carolina between the 1950s and the present. Although I remember events such as the Lumbee vs. Klan dustup in 1958, the Greensboro Massacre in 1979 and the Wilmington race riots (in both 1898 and 1968), I did not see them as related. Timothy Tyson Writer changed that. By the time the reader finishes Blood Done Sign My Name, he/she will be painfully aware of North Carolina’s deeply rooted and abiding racial history. In essence, Tyson feels that the “status quo” embodies the same forms of discrimination, but they are now disguised as “moderate” and “conservative” policies that advocate “gradual progress.” In fact, it is so gradual it is usually non-existent. Timothy Tyson is a gifted storyteller and a poet – two talents that are employed with consummate skill to produce a narrative that sparkles with clarity and honesty. The story concerns a racist murder in his hometown, Oxford, N.C., in 1970. Tim was a child at the time, and much of the narrative is seen through his eyes. The son of a highly regarded Methodist minister, Rev. Vernon Tyson, Tim is a witness to his father’s struggle to retain his ministry in an all-white church where he attempts to reconcile Christ’s teachings with the church’s bedrock racism. Using old letters, newspapers and his parents’ diaries, the author vividly chronicles his father’s struggle during the weeks following the brutal murder of Henry Marrow, a 23-

Gary Carden


year-old Vietnam veteran who was shot and beaten to death for allegedly making an inappropriate comment to two white women outside a local grocery store. The murder was carried out by Robert Teel, a local barber and a KKK member. He was aided and abetted by two of his sons. Teel had a longstanding Blood Done Sign My Name by reputaTimothy Tyson. Crown Publishing, tion for 2013. 355 pages violence and had previously been involved in a number of incidents in which he had attacked and beaten both law officials and Oxford citizens. At times, Blood Done Sign My Name reads like a variation on the murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955. Both Emmett and Henry Marrow were beaten to death by racists who were subsequently found not guilty by an “all white jury.” In both crimes, the outrage following the verdict acted as a catalyst that ignited outrage. Till’s murder provoked national concern, and in the years following Emmett’s death, significant and painful changes finally came to Mississippi. When Marrow’s killers were released, Oxford’s African-American community launched a series of destructive actions designed to strike at the heart of the town’s business district. The burning of warehouses and local busi-

Authors to speak at Rickman Writers Nita Welch Owenby and Roy Owenby will give a presentation of their last two novels at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at Rickman Store in Cowee. The Friends of the Rickman Store is launching a series of conversations intended to provide exposure and recognition to local writers. A prolific writer, Owenby has written more than 200 short stories, many of which will be featured in an upcoming book, Taters, Corn Shellers and Lard Buckets. He will be presenting his latest novel, The Owl Knows, a work of fiction based on the real vanishing of two women in the Nantahala National Forest. Nita Owenby has written Christmas plays and numerous short stories about family life in the “good old days.” Her first novel The House of Rose is about the life of a young girl who is abused and finds herself without a family after her attacker burns down her home in search of valuables.

nesses was orchestrated by a group of Vietnam veterans who understood the mechanics of arson. When the mayor increased law enforcement and established a curfew, the town’s black activists organized a boycott and established a “taxi service” that took the Oxford’s black community to nearby towns to buy groceries and shop. The boycott worked, with Oxford’s business owners reporting a 40 to 60 percent loss. Tyson gives a poignant description of the mule-drawn funeral train that traveled from Oxford to Raleigh where the marchers hoped to get an audience with the governor. The entire event was designed to force the governor to acknowledge the injustice that has been proclaimed daily in Raleigh’s News and Observer. Gov. Scott refused to meet with the marchers — a response that defined his position. Tyson identifies everyone by name and gives colorful and graphic descriptions of Oxford’s cast of characters, including the major, the editor of the Oxford Public Ledger (the paper’s files mysteriously vanished from both the newspaper office and the library when Tyson began his research on this book), the police officers, the alleged killer, Robert Teel and his lawyer, Billy Watkins, and a host of state officials, including Gov. Robert Scott and Jesse Helms. His most notable “real life” characters are Eddie McCoy (who perfected the “Miller High Life fire bomb”) and Ben Chavis, the mastermind behind the Oxford boycott. Both became significant leaders in the “freedom movement” throughout the state. Ben is famous for his statement, “We decided we are not going to spend our money with businesses that were supporting injustice.” (This strategy is vividly alive today. In fact, I just signed a petition to stop using a product that is harmful to the environment.) Tyson’s portrayal of family members and close friends is especially noteworthy. Golden

The event is free and open to the public. 828.369.5595.

“Goldie” Fricks, a former nightclub owner and African-American, has acquired a reputation in the civil rights movement as a “mover and shaker.” He comes to Oxford to speak at Henry Marrow’s funeral and to lead the subsequent march to Raleigh. Like Chavis and McCoy, Fricks appears throughout Blood Done Sign My Name, going where he is needed. Then, there is the author’s moving portrait of the poet, Thad Stem Jr., who became Tyson’s mentor and inspired him to develop a writing style that combined lyricism and storytelling. In view of this book’s merits, it appears that Stem’s encouragement succeeded. However, the most abiding image in this book is that of his father, Rev. Vernon Tyson, who struggled so courageously to overcome the dormant racism in his congregation. He failed, and in time he was forced to leave Oxford. Ironically, his next church is in Wilmington, where he finds himself once more in a town that is on the verge of racial violence. Although Tyson’s admiration for his father is heartfelt, it is also true that in the final analysis, the author feels that his father and all of the kind and well-meaning men like him are “part of the problem.” Despite his defense of African-Americans, the Reverend Tyson embodies that attitude toward racial equality that Martin Luther King identified as “those people of good will.” They are “moderate” or “conservative,” and they are unintentional obstacles to racial equality. In conclusion, let me note that there is a movie version of Blood Done Sign My Name. Don’t waste your time or your money. Although it manages to follow the basic plot, it is as empty and devoid of “lyric storytelling” as a 1950s sitcom. Uninspired and totally miscast, it has only one character who seems authentic, and that is the murderer, Robert Teel, who is portrayed by Jackson County’s very own Nick Searcy. Nick is excellent, but he can’t save this turkey.

A reception will follow the reading. 828.586.9499.

Byer and Ellison to be honored

89-year-old releases memoir

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance award finalists Kathryn Byer and George Ellison will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Byer and Ellison are well-regarded writers in Western North Carolina. They will share poetry from their recent works along with some new poetry. SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) is a trade association representing more than 300 bookstores and thousands of booksellers in the Southeast. The alliance exists to empower, promote, and celebrate bookstores in a spirit of partnership. Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite “handsell” books of the year, and both Byer and Ellison are nominated for poetry.

June Skinner Peacock will read from her memoir, Window in the Wall, at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Peacock began to write in earnest at the age of 89. Two years later, having spent more hours at her desk than can be counted, this memoir is complete. It was to be for her family. However, it reaches beyond simple life experiences to be shared with family into the depths of struggle, reinvention and joy that speak to the resilience of the human spirit. For all who read this, there is an honesty that will encourage each of us to seek a full and meaningful life, to welcome and accept new challenges of creativity and reflection and to look forward to the future, no matter our age. 828.586.9499.



Smoky Mountain News

BY ANDREW KASPER STAFF WRITER he swim leg of a triathlon is notoriously daunting. Of the sport’s three heats — swimming, biking and running — the water is the most brutal and dangerous. It’s every person for him or herself as the racers jump from a dock or surge forward from shore, creating a sea of flailing limbs and churning water as they jockey to get an early lead off the start. “We’ve got arms and legs flying; you can’t see the bottom,” said Susan Wilkins, who organizes the King of the Smokies Triathlon at Lake Junaluska with her husband Bill. “There are some people that train in the swimming pool, and they’ve never trained in a lake before.” Triathlons have exploded in popularity during the past decade, but with that has come an increase in deaths along triathlon courses, mostly drownings. Haywood boasts two triathlons with lake swims — one of Lake Logan and one on Lake Junaluska. The event organizers are taking extra precautions to ensure America’s ever-popular endurance race remains safe. “There’s been a lot of publicity lately about triathlons not being safe,” said Susan Wilkins, who organizes the King of the Smokies Triathlon at Lake Junaluska with her husband Bill. In New York City, two competitors died during the swimming portion of the city’s triathlon in 2011. And last year, during the city’s first Ironman event, a 43-year-old man died during the opening leg of the race in the Hudson Bay. Similar deaths have transpired in San Diego, Wisconsin, Cleveland and other locations. The high-profile deaths that took athletes at the peak of their fitness prompted USA Triathlon, the


Lake Logan The Lake Logan Multisport Festival coming up Aug. 3-4 in Haywood County is continuing to grow in popularity and esteem. Put on by Glory Hound Events, the festival is preparing for 800 participants in the various races held during the course of the weekend. The Lake Logan Multisport Festival was started in 2006 as a single Olympic distance triathlon and has expanded during the years to a multi-day, multi-race affair. Now the line-up includes both Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons, a straight open water swim, an aquathlon (swim and run), and new this year is an aquabike race (swim-bike.) The venue has been selected to host the USA Triathlon MidAtlantic Sprint Triathlon Regional Championships, which mean those who place at Lake Logan automatically qualify for the national triathlon championships. Lake Logan will also be the site of Aquathlon National Championships The theme of this year’s event is “A Weekend of Champions.” A special wave in the Sprint and Olympic triathlons will be open only to top finishers in one of 60 other triathlons around the Southeast.

Triathlons aim to make treachorous lake swims safer country’s governing body for the sport, to launch investigations into the incidents. Between 2003 and 2011, 45 people have died at triathlon events sanctioned by the organization. Of those deaths, 31 occurred during the swim. At the Lake Junaluska triathlon in late August there are two race distances: the Sprint, which includes a quarter-mile swim and the International, which includes a onemile swim. Race coordinators Bill and

around the Southeast. “We want to take them a step further and help them train to be a lifeguards for triathlons,” Bill said. And competitors are paying attention, more so now than ever, to the safety amenities of each event before signing up. “It just works out so much better to have good lifeguards — that draws more people to your event.” Even Ironman, a famed name in triathlon events, has come up with a

start, and he employs a special water safety coordinator to ensure lifeguards, emergency responders and volunteers are all on hand to assist with swimmers. As the events become more popular, safety precautions are becoming more important. As many as 800 competitors may be in Lake Logan at once for this year’s events, in part because it is hosting a regional and a national championship in two separate events.

King of Smokies Triathlon at Lake Junaluska. Donated photo

Susan have employed several tactics to prevent any problems, including emergency response personnel and volunteer boaters from a kayak club based in Sylva. Swimmers are allowed to take a breather resting on the boats without being disqualified. The racers also start the race in waves as opposed to a mass start, which can create chaos when too many swimmers jump in the water at once. Along with the staggered start, each group of racers has a uniquely colored swim cap, so officials can identify swimmers who begin to lag behind. “A lot of the safety is we watch everything,” Bill said. “We watch everything that goes on.” Lifeguards will also be on the lake watching swimmers at the King of the Smokies Triathlon. Sanctioned races are required to have one certified lifeguard per 50 participants, but spotting at triathlons is not your typical lifeguard gig. After talking with other triathlon organizers in the region, King identified a need at large events for not just lifeguards but lifeguards who are experienced in working triathlons. He would like to assemble of group of specialized lifeguards to form a traveling team on the triathlon circuit

new set of policies for the 2.4-mile water section of its events this season. The organization has decided to increase the number of rescue boats and life-saving personnel at each race, in addition to placing flotation rafts along the water routes for swimmers to rest on without being disqualified. Organizers are even promising to call off or shorten races when the water is too hot or cold, another factor that can cause stress on competitors. Ironman will pilot rolling starts in waves instead of mass starts at several of their races this year. The Ironman races are notorious for hordes of competitors pouring into the water at once. “Can you imagine 2,500 people starting at the same time and going in the same direction?” said Greg Duff, organizer of the Lake Logan Multisport Festival. The multisport festival this August will include several water-hybrid races. There’s a standard triathlon with all three legs — swim-bike-run. There’s also an open water race, which is a straight-up lake swim. And then, there’s everything in between: an aquathlon with swimming and running and an aquabike with swimming and biking. Duff said his event uses a wave-style

In only its second year, race organizers for the Lake Junaluska triathlon are expecting 300 participants. Between 2003 and 2011, the number of triathlon participants each year in the United States has grown from nearly 200,000 to just under 500,000. And the sport is also becoming more popular with the older age categories, retired people who have time to train, expendable income to attend races and are looking for a way to stay in shape. “We did notice that people participating in events are getting older and older,” said Ricky Mehaffey Jr., assistant chief of the Haywood County Rescue Squad, a group of volunteer paramedics that helps at the King of the Smokies Triathlon. “One was in his 70s last year. It’s really impressive.” But Mehaffey said that age is not necessarily biggest telltale risk when it comes to health episodes at a race event, although it may play a part. From bike accidents, scrapes and bruises to water emergencies, fatigue is usually the common denominator. “People get tired and then they start getting hurt,” Mehaffey said. “They fall or wreck their bicycle, or during the swimming part of it, they get stuck out in the middle of the water.”


The Naturalist’s Corner BY DON H ENDERSHOT

A hangover of hoverers

down through British Columbia to Oregon and parts of Colorado and across the entire Eastern U.S. down to the Gulf States. Not a blaze of color but an attractive, dapper bird about six inches long. The sexes are similar, with the male being a bit brighter. They are olive-brown above with the tail and wings darker than the nape and back. It has a prominent white eye stripe with a black border at the top and a gray cap. The under parts are creamy white.

An upcoming photography workshop is geared to help any photographer capture great shots without traveling far. The Neighborhood Nature Photography workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1, at the Balsam Community Center. It will provide basic tips and techniques to help photograph images of nature in a backyard setting. The instruction will focus on the areas of subject, composition, angles and lighting and teach skills for the technical aspects of photography. Pre-registration is required. $20. The community center is located on Cabin Flats Road. 828.452.5414 or 190-61

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Smoky Mountain News

Turn your backyard into National Geographic


May 29-June 4, 2013

As we turn to bask in the full glow of the summer sun, mornings begin to heat up quickly. As they heat, they become quieter. The neotropical migrants that arrive in waves in April and early May, filling forests, glades, parks and backyards with the lustful music of birdsong, have paired and are busy setting up housekeeping; territories have been established, and populations are more diffuse. Males still greet the dawn with song as they patrol their territory stopping at the same established song posts to give a shout out, letting other males of the same species know, “This spot is taken.” After the morning tour of duty, assured that his territory is secure, the male turns his attention to whatever fatherly duties are at hand, be it nest building, securing food for mates and/or young, etc. They still sing occasionally, but it’s not as urgent or prevalent as when they were looking for a mate. And Red-eyed vireo prolific songster of eastern forests. as the morning heats up, song NPS photo becomes more and more scarce. Red-eyed vireos build cup-like nests susForests can become deathly quiet by 11 a.m. pended from forked branches, generally on a late June-July morning. below 20 feet. The nest is constructed of But if you know nature, you know there twigs, bark, grasses, pine needles (if availare exceptions. The red-eyed vireo is a proable) and lichens. Spider webbing is used to lific songster. Granted the short robin-like hold the nest together and the inside is phrases repeated again and again as often lined with plant fibers and/or hair. as 40 times per minute are not as melodious Red-eyed vireos are common interior as songs from other neotropical crooners, forest nesters but spill over into edges and but often, on those hot summer days, they suburban settings. These more open nests will be the only tune blaring from the treeare prone to parasitism by brown-headed tops in the midday heat. cowbirds. A dedicated insectivore during Consider the vocal output of this arboresummer often hovering to pluck caterpillars al rapper. Sources vary considerably regardand other insects from twigs and leaves (85 ing the number of songs a red-eyed vireo percent of its summer diet is insects), the might sing in a single day. The estimates red-eyed vireo often shifts gears and range from 10,000 to 20,000. Taking the becomes totally frugivorous on its wintering smaller estimate and figuring on an average grounds in the Amazon Basin. of 15 hours (900 minutes) of daylight durNow I don’t know who decides these ing the red-eyed vireo’s stay on its nesting things — perhaps in this case someone who grounds, and this little songster is belting had one too many libations the night before out 11 songs per minute. That takes whistle — but a group of red-eyed vireos is known while you work to a whole new level. as a “hangover” of vireos. The red-eyed vireo is one of the most (Don Hendershot is a writer and naturalist. He common neotropical nesters in North can be reached a America. It ranges across Canada, drops


828.454.1990 Fax 33


Smokies summer camp near Cherokee The sitting wall in the new outdoor classroom at Highlands Middle School.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a three-day camp, “Smokies Summer Science Investigations,” for youth entering sixth through ninth grade in the fall. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 1 through July 3 and meets each day at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee. Youth will explore the Smokies while helping collect research data on crayfish and salamanders. They will also assist with service projects such as controlling exotic plants. While designed with summer fun in mind, campers will also learn about how park rangers use science and technology in their daily jobs. The program is taught by National Park Service education rangers, and there is no charge for the program, but pre-registration is required. 828.926.6251.

Bringing the classroom outside

Smoky Mountain News

May 29-June 4, 2013

Highlands Middle School became home to a new outdoor classroom earlier this month. The school’s old courtyard was revamped with a stone sitting wall inlaid with artistic features such as ceramic birds and flowers and surrounded by newly planted landscaping and greenery. The classroom will also have a weather station placed there and will be geared for outdoor instruction and activities for students. A celebration for the classroom will take place from 1-2 p.m. June 10 at the Highlands Middle School. Members of the community will congregate to drink lemonade, take a tour of the project and learn how instructors will use it in the coming year. The project was built with nearly $35,000 in donations and grant funding from local organizations.

Summer camp for kids in Waynesville A Smokies summer camp participant displays his scientific discovery. Donated photo

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department is offering a fun-filled summer camp for kids from kindergarten to the fifth grade. The camp will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 3 through Aug. 16, at the Waynesville Recreation Center. There will be games, movies, swim time in the pool, fishing and even a field trip to natural features in the area. The cost is $75 for members of the recreation center or $95 for non-members. Daily enrollment is limited, and reservations required. 828.456.2030 or

Get served by the pros Local tennis pro Bunnie Allare plans to develop a true junior tennis program for Haywood County with her Tennis Lifesong Summer Camp. The tennis programs are schedules for May 28 through Aug. 23 at Lake Junaluska. Youth program are offered Tuesdays through Fridays at a variety of hours, while adult instruction and open play will take place on Saturdays. The camp offers programs for children as young as four-year-old to adults. Also programs can be as short as half-hour per day to several hours of instruction and practice. Allare will be teaching with two assistants who are United States Tennis Association certified instructors. Cost is between $5 and $200, depending on the camp. Those who sign up before June can receive a reduced rate. 828.513.608.9621 or or

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828.452.4251 34

Danny Bernstein will discuss her third hiking book, Mountains-To-Sea: Trail Across North Carolina, at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Her talk about the trail will include slides of her hike. Stretching 1,000 miles from Clingmans Dome in the Smokies to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks, the trail is half on footpaths and half on back roads, offering experiences not only in nature but also in small towns, at historic monuments, in family cemeteries and in local shops. 828.456.6000 or

Sylva farmers market gives veggies, takes plastic You don’t have to barter with chickens at the Jackson County Farmers Market, or even pay with cash for that matter. The weekly market in Sylva accepts debit and credit cards to purchase farmers tokens, which in turn can pay for locally grown vegetables, strawberries, meats, fine crafts and more. It also accepts SNAP benefits. The market is held from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday at Bridge Park. This Saturday, June 1, will feature musician Mackenzie Grace Puckett playing near the information booth with both old time and contemporary guitar tunes and singing. Also, the program Family Art at the Market will be working with children and their families to make art under the pavilion starting at 10 a.m. City Lights Bookstore will have story time at 11 a.m. also under the pavilion. 828.631.3033 or


Outdoor writer explores Mountain-To-Sea Trail

Author climbs Clingmans Dome in new book

Who knew the great

outdoors could be

this dramatic?

“Unto These Hills” Outdoor Drama

June 1 - August 17, 2013 | 8 pm nightly, except Sunday | Tickets $8 - $23

Smoky Mountain News

Nature is a hugely meaningful aspect of Cherokee culture and history. It also happens to make a spectacular setting for exploring that history and culture via the outdoor drama, “Unto These Hills.” Telling the Cherokee story from 1780 to the 21st century, and loaded with ritual, betrayal, love, action, and suspense, this isn’t just an outdoor drama in a beautiful setting. It’s your chance to be transported to another time and place. For tickets, visit or call 866.554.4557.


May 29-June 4, 2013

Clingmans Dome towers over the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains as the highest point in both the national park and the state of Tennessee. In her book, Clingmans Dome: Highest Mountain in the Great Smokies, author Marci Spencer presents the natural and human history of this iconic destination and explores its ancient allure — the Cherokee treasured it, as did early settlers, and it captivates throngs of visitors today. The book also ventures into Sen. Thomas Clingman’s 1858 journey to measure the mountain and the 1934 birth of the park. Scarred by logging, invasive species and modern pollution, the mountain has endured through time. Spencer is a retired nurse practitioner and local naturalist who graduated from the natural science program at the North Carolina Arboretum. She also volunteers for a bear rescue center and in the park. The new book is available at local stores and online.

Advertise in The Smoky Mountain News 828 | 452 | 4251 35


Exploratory hike through Panthertown The Highlands Biological Foundation’s “Think About Thursdays” family activity series will kick off 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. June 6 with a guided hike through Panthertown Valley with Wes Burlingame. Burlingame is the former owner of Laurel Springs Nursery in Hendersonville, has led numerous hikes through

similar event each Thursday throughout the summer. A full schedule is available online. 828.526.2221 or

Trout waters set to open; youth go first

May 29-June 4, 2013

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open approximately 64 miles of trout streams and two lakes known as delayed-harvest trout waters on June 1, with a special head start for youth anglers. From 6 a.m. until noon that day, only anglers 15 years old and younger will be allowed to fish on those waters. At noon, everyone can fish. The delayed-harvest waters will stay open through Sept. 30. During this time, anglers can keep up to seven trout per day — with no bait restrictions or minimum size limMark Haskett photo its. The commission stocks the delayed-harvest waters from fall through Panthertown and has vast knowledge spring with high densities of trout. Once about the flora of the area. This hike is appropriate for ages 12 and up but may be summer arrives, waters become too warm for trout to survive so the streams and strenuous at times. Cost is $10 for memlakes are opened for fishing. Delayed-harbers of the foundation or $15 for nonvest trout waters are posted with diamondmembers. Advance registration is requestshaped, black-and-white signs. ed. or 888.248.6834 The foundation will be organizing a

Great Smokies celebrates National Trails Day The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, with a volunteer workday on the Appalachian Trail. Volunteers will be assisting in tasks such as the cleaning and replacing water bars, rehabilitating steps and turnpikes, and helping to main trail tread on sections of the trail. The workday concludes with a barbecue

picnic at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area for all registrants. Registration and a $25 fee are required for the event. The fee goes to sponsor trail projects in the Smokies. Friends of the Smokies, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club are also sponsoring the event. or 865.932.4794.

Volunteers perform work on a water diversion feature on a section of trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Donated photo

Local trail groups plan for National Trails Day Several local hiking groups have planned outings for National Trails Day on June 1. The Nantahala Hiking Club has teamed up with the Bartram Trail Society for a group hike. At 10 a.m., hikers will begin from the Wayah Bald and head to Wine Springs Bald on a section of trail shared by the Bartram and Appalachian trails. The trip will be about three miles round trip, and hikers will have the choice of extending the hike. Dan Pittillo, a local botanist and founder of the Bartram Trail, will lead the trip. There will also be a guided children’s hike that day. The Friends of Panthertown will also be participating in the country’s largest celebration of trails. From 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. June 1, the organization will be holding events in Panthertown Valley, including a hike, trail projects and a trail dedication ceremony. Hikers should meet at the Salt Rock Gap trailhead parking area. However, group size is limited and reservations are required 828.269.4453 or

Smoky Mountain News

Work on trails the wild wilderness this summer


Registration is now open for the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards’ summer volunteer programs. The programs are weeklong or weekend volunteer programs in one of the 22 wilderness areas in the Southern Appalachians. Each program offers a different experience in areas such as trail restoration and clearing, new trail construction and trail re-routing. Some work projects require members hike or backpack to the areas where they will spend the week. Eight weeklong programs are currently open for registration, as well as a few shortterm opportunities. Those who wish to can sign up for multiple weeks for a variety of experiences. A work session will take place in the Shining Rock Wilderness from June 23-28 and in the Snowbird WSA from July 7-12. Food and equipment are all provided to volunteers and crews are led by experi-

Trail workers chop out a section of the Hawksbill Trail in Linville Gorge. Donated photo enced leaders.


All phone numbers area code 828 unless otherwise noted.

• Free 90-minute computer class: How to sell items on Craigslist, 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. Space limited. Register, 586.2016.

176 Country Club Drive, Waynesville.

• Free seminar, SBA Doing Business with the Government, 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, May 29, room 102C, Burrell Building, Southwestern Community College, Jackson Campus. Register at 339.4211 or

• Five-course champagne brunch to benefit PAWS, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, historic Fryemont Inn, Bryson City. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at Fryemont Inn, PAWS Thrift Store or by mailing a check to PAWS, P. O. Box, 1814, Bryson City Seating limited.

• Employability Laboratory, Southwestern Community College, Sylva; May 29, Build and Improve Your Resume; June 5, On Track – Ten Hidden Rules to Money Management. Register, 306.7020.

• Taster’s Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 3, Susan Todd Lounge, Lake Junaluska. Sponsored by Junaluska Woman’s Club Events. Open to all ladies from the Lake and surrounding communities. Covered dishes will be shared for lunch, followed by birthday cake for dessert.

• Alive after Five: Networking Event, Thursday, May 30, 3 Eagles Outfitters, Franklin. 524.3161. • Free seminar, The Basics of Bookkeeping, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, room 117, Founder’s Hall, Southwestern Community College, Jackson Campus. Register at 339.4211 or • Women’s Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Smoky Mountain Chevrolet. • Marketing Your Personal Image and Brand: Your Personal Palette, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Southwestern Community College, Jackson Campus, Burrell Conference Center 102A. Nyda Bittmann-Neville, speaker. $30. 339.4497. • Free seminar, How to Write a Business Plan, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, room 117, Founder’s Hall, Southwestern Community College, Jackson Campus. 339.4211, • Issues & Eggs, 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, Gateway Club, Church St., Waynesville. • Foundations in a Day, three one-day workshops for entrepreneurs, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, Sylva; Thursday, June 13, Bryson City; and Thursday, June 20, Hayesville. Ashley Epling, 253.2834 x 27 or

COMMUNITY EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS • Tarp Day, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 31, Haywood County Materials Recovery Facility, Clyde. Get a free tarp, while they last, to secure truck beds to prevent litter. 627.8042, 704.442.0791 or • TeaM (Treyson and Megan) Bradley Benefit, 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Sylva Bridge Park, to offset medical expenses for Megan and baby Treyson. Food, games.Bring chairs. • Birthday Fiesta for Tye/Cornhole Tournament to Benefit Tye Blanton Foundation, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 1, Los Amigos Restaurante, 366 Russ Ave., Waynesville. $40/team. 734.6692, • Foster Pet Adoption, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s Adoption Center, 256 Industrial Park Drive, Waynesville. 246.9050. • 26th annual National Cancer Survivors Day Ice Cream Social, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Angel Medical Center Cafeteria, Franklin.

• Macon County Beekeepers Association, 7 p.m. Thursday June 6, Cooperative Extension Office, Thomas Heights Road, Franklin. 524.5234. • Register from 7 to 9 p.m. June 7-8 for a one-day training course to learn to fly radio controlled airplanes. Training day is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15, at the Macon Aero Modelers Club training field, 515 Tessentee Road, Otto (south of Franklin). • Lake Junaluska annual Flea Market, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, Nancy Weldon Gym, just off main entrance by highway 19, Lake Junaluska. No early birds. 452.9164. • Relay for Life to benefit American Cancer Society, Saturday, June 8, Franklin High School Football field.

Smoky Mountain News

1, Cheoah Lake, Graham County; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8, Max Patch, Haywood County. Kids fish for free. Must be accompanied by an adult. Registration, 8 a.m. 524.6441 ext. 424. • Nature Nuts: Snakes, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1; Wednesday, June 12; and Saturday, June 28, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, U.S. 276 south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Transylvania County. Ages 4 to 7. Story time, crafts and a hike. 877.4423 • Eco Explorers: Raising Trout, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and Friday, June 28, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, U.S. 276 south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Transylvania County. Learn about the Bobby N. Setzer trout hatchery operations, participate in an outdoor activity that simulates trout life, and feed the fish. Ages 8-13.

Summer Camps


Visit and click on Calendar for: â– Complete listings of local music scene â–  Regional festivals â–  Art gallery events and openings â–  Complete listings of recreational offerings at regional health and fitness centers â–  Civic and social club gatherings Methodist Church, ages 3 to not yet attended kindergarten, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 3 through Aug. 2. 293.9215 or visit

• Tennis Lifesong Summer Camps, Tuesdays through Fridays, May 28 through Aug. 23 at Lake Junaluska. Ages 4 and older. Bunnie Allare, 513.608.9621, or

• Lake Junaluska Summer Day Camp, June 6 – August 9, for ages 24 months through rising sixth graders. Half day, full day available. Come all summer or for just a few days.,, 454.6681. Registration forms available online.

• Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department summer camp for kids in kindergarten to 5th grade., 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 3-Aug. 16. Register, 456.2030 or email

• WOW! a World of Wonder day camp, ages 4 to 6, 10 a.m. to noon, June 4-7, July 9-12 and Aug. 6-9, Highlands Nature Center. $55, advanced registration required. 526.2623,

• Elementary School Summer Day Camp, ages 6 to 12, Cullowhee United Methodist, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 3 to Aug. 2. 293.9215 or visit

• NatureWorks²day camp, ages 8 to 11, 10 a.m. to noon, June 11-14 and July 16-19, Highlands Nature Center. $85, advanced registration required. 526.2623,

• Preschool Summer Day Camp Cullowhee United

• Summer Reading Adventures, 8 a.m. to noon, Monday,

BLOOD DRIVES Jackson • Landmark Realty Group Blood Drive, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 49 Frank Allen Road, Cashiers. Alan Rhew, 743.0510. • Sylva Community Blood Drive, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, Jackson Senior Center, 100 County Services Park, Sylva. Keyword: Sylva to schedule your appointment.

Macon • State Employees Credit Union - Franklin Blood Drive, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, 245 Cunnington Road, Franklin. Lawren Cress, 369.3536 or log on to Keyword: SECU FRANKLIN. • Franklin Relay for Life Blood Drive, 3:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 100 Panther Drive, Franklin. Brenda Wooten, 369.9221 or log on to Keyword: FRANKLIN RELAY

SENIOR ACTIVITIES • Senior trip to see the elk, Monday, June 3. $5 for members of the Waynesville Recreation Department, $7 for non-members. Age 50 and older. Register, 456.2030 or email

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• Lisa Verges, M.D., 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Senior Resource Center, 81 Elmwood Way, Waynesville. Top 10 Tips for Caregivers, strategies for assisting individuals with memory loss. 452.2370.


• Indoor Flea Market, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Haywood County Fairgrounds, highway 209 north, Lake Junaluska. 400.1529.

• Free pre-participation sports physicals for Haywood County student athletes, Thursday, May 30, MedWest Health & Fitness Center, MedWest-Haywood. MedWest Sports Medicine Hotline, 452.8077.

• 26th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, June 2, Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa,

• Kids Fishing Days, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1, Cliffside Lake, Highlands; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June

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June 17, to Friday, June 28, Western Carolina University. For rising first-, second- and third-grade students. $125, 227.7397. • Jr. Ecologists day camp, ages 11 to 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 18-21, Highlands Nature Center. $120, advanced registration required. 526.2623, • Amazing Animals day camp, ages 7 to 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 25-28 and July 30-Aug. 2, Highlands Nature Center. $85, advanced registration required. 526.2623, • 5-day art camps, Cullowhee Mountain Arts: “Around the World in a Week” 9 a.m. to noon, June 17-21, ages 5 to 8, $125 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 24-28, ages 9 to 12, $225. Fine Arts Building, Western Carolina University. • Summer Day Camp, Southwestern Child Development and Hazelwood Early Education and Preschool, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Fridays, June 3 through Aug. 28. Ages 5 to 9. $500 per month. Subsidy accepted. 456.2458. • Rocket to Creativity, (Cullowhee Creativity Camp), for rising second- through ninth-graders, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 24, to Friday, June 28, Western Carolina University. $130, includes lunch. 227.7397. • Day Camps at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, 227.7108 or

Science & Nature • Great Smoky Mountains National star gazing event, 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob. Call 926.6251 or reservations and directions. GPS or an internet map service not recommended.

Literary (children)

May 29-June 4, 2013

• Teen Summer Events preview fair, 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, meeting room, Macon County Library, Franklin. For rising sixth through 12th grade students., Ellen, 524.3600. • Volunteers needed (college-age students or older) three afternoons a week to assist the Teen Program leader at Macon County Public Library, Franklin., Ellen, 524.3600. • Children’s Story time, Rotary Readers, 11 a.m. Monday, June 3, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. 586.2016. • Children’s Story time, Happy Pig Day! 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, Jackson County Public Library, 586.2016. • Children’s Craft Time, Mud Painting, 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. 586.2016. • Teen Craft Time, Mud Painting, 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Jackson County Public Library, 586.2016.

Smoky Mountain News

• Book Talk with Betty Fallon Brady, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Jackson County Public Library, 586.2016.

• Caney Fork CDC’s annual BBQ & Music, 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Caney Fork Community Center, four miles east on Caney Fork Road, off SR107. $7 adults and $4 child under 12. Music, raffle and cakewalk. Curt Whitney, 293.9826.

ECA EVENTS • Extension and Community Association (ECA) groups meet throughout the county at various locations and times each month. NC Cooperative Extension Office, 586.4009. • 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 – Spoon Necklaces, Kountry Krafters ECA, Tuckasegee Wesleyan Church, Tuckasegee. • 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 6 – Berry Health, Potpourri ECA, Conference Room of Community Service Center, Sylva.

POLITICAL GROUP EVENTS & LOCAL GOVERNMENT Dems • Mountain High Republican Women’s Club (MHRWC) luncheon meeting 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, Trillium Links and Lake Club. Reservations by May 31. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. 526.4146 or email Mail inquiries to MHRWC, P.O. Box 126 , Cashiers, NC 28717. • Beginning June 6. Executive committee officers will meet at 5 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at at Democratic Headquarters, 286 Haywood Square, Waynesville. Next meeting will be Monday, June 24.

Others • Jay DeLancy of Voter Integrity Project NC, 6 p.m. Thursday, May 30, NC Agriculture Cooperative Extension, 589 Raccoon Road, Waynesville. Nonpartisan event.,

SUPPORT GROUPS Jackson • Look Good, Feel Better, 10 a.m. to noon, Monday, June 3, Harris Medical Park conference room, 98 Doctors Dr., Sylva. Mary E. Mahon, RN, 631.8100. • Man to Man Support Group for prostate cancer patients and survivors, 7 to 8 p.m., Monday, June 10, Harris Medical Park conference room, 98 Doctors Dr., Sylva. Mary E. Mahon, RN, 631.8100.

• Soil Babies with Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation, 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. 586.2016. • Teen Activity, cornhole, 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. 586.2016. • Summer reading program, Dig into Reading, registration Wednesday, May 29, Marianna Black Library. For preschool age children through 5th grade. 488.3030.

FOOD & DRINK • Live music, 7 p.m., Friday, May 31, Caleb Burress; Saturday, June 1, Tarnished Rose Band, Frog Level Brewing Company, Waynesville. 454.5664 or


the Beatles and Elton John with Joe Cruz (piano, vocals), 7 p.m. Saturday, June 1; an evening of Carole King featuring Sheila Gordon (piano, vocals) 7 p.m. Friday, June 7; and jazz, classical guitar, 12-string with Kevin Lorenz, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Classic Wineseller, 20 Church St., Waynesville. 452.6000 or visit

• Live music, gypsy jazz with Michael Pilgrim (mandolin) 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 31; musical tribute to

A&E FESTIVALS, SPECIAL & SEASONAL EVENTS • Canton Spring Fair, opens 5 p.m. May 29-31; and 1 p.m. June 1-2, downtown Canton, $20 for unlimited rides. • Maggie Valley BikeFest & Swap Meet, June 7-8, Maggie Valley. 736.2217, • Spring Rod Run, June 7-8, Cherokee Events Center. 497.2603.

• Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration, Saturday, June 8, downtown Waynesville. 456.3517,

voices, all in unison,

• Bingo, 5:45 p.m. Thursdays, starting May 30 through Sept. 5, Pavilion next to Maggie Valley Town Hall. Cash prizes.

saying the very same thing:

• High-fashion exhibition, ReDress: Upcycled Style by Nancy Judd, through Aug.18, The Bascom, Highlands., 526.4949.


wnc calendar

Imagine many

• Rafters and Crafters Festival, Saturday, June 8, Dillsboro.


• The Storytelling Center, 7:30 p.m. June 4-6, downtown Bryson City, 488.5705, • Thursdays at the Library, Tears with the Rain, with Gary Carden and Dave Waldrop, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6, Macon County Library living room. Free. 524.3600. • Cherokee Voices, Saturday, June 8, Cherokee. Demonstrations of basket making, pottery, finger weaving, carving, storytelling, flute music, and gospel music in the Cherokee language. Free. 497.3481.

LITERARY (ADULTS) • SIBA award nomination finalists, Kathryn Byer and George Ellison, 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, City Lights Bookstore, 586.9499. • Book release party for local children’s author Anna Browning, 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, The Vine, 188 Depot St., Waynesville. Tanner Turbeyfill and the Moon Rocks is illustrated by 2005 Tuscola High School graduate Josh Crawford.,, 342.4355. • Hiker and author Danny Bernstein, 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St.,

Cherokee Voices Festival

Waynesville. 456.6000,

June 8, 2013, 10am-5pm

• Local writers Nita Welch Owenby and Roy Owenby, 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, historic Rickman Store,

• Local writer Betty Fallon Brady, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, community room, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. 586.2016.

This is your invitation to explore Cherokee culture through its dance, music, storytelling, arts and crafts, food, and living history. The Cherokee Voices Festival has provided family fun, Cherokee style, now for 17 years, and it’s free of charge. Held at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian (intersection of Highway 441 and Drama Road) and sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. You can find more information at or call 828.497.3481.

• Author Peter Carlson, 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, City Lights Bookstore, Sylva. 586.9499. • Author June Peacock, 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8, City Lights Bookstore, Sylva. 586.9499.

May 29-June 4, 2013

259 Cowee Creek Road, seven miles north of Franklin. 369.5595 or visit Friends of the Rickman Store on Facebook.

ON STAGE & IN CONCERT • Love, Loss and What I Wore, by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, May 30-June 2, Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center, 507 Chestnut St., Highlands. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Directed by Ronnie Spilton. Tickets, $20. 526.8084.

• Ring Of Fire, Celebrating the music of Johnny Cash, 7:30 p.m. May 31, and June 1, 7-8, 14-15; 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 9 and 16, HART Theater, Performing Arts Center at the Shelton House, 250 Pigeon St., Waynesville. Tickets, $24 for adults, $22 for seniors, and $12 for students/teachers. Special $6 discount tickets for students and teachers for Thursday and Sunday performances. 456.6322, • “Freedom Rocks the Square,â€? free outdoor concert of vintage pop and Motown music, 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, Franklin’s Town Square gazebo, Main Street at Iotla, weather permitting. Bring a lawn chair. 524.7683, • Family friendly Concerts on the Creek, every Friday during summer, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sylva Bridge Park

No Need to go to a Big Box Store. We Have Lower Prices, Higher Quality And Experienced Staff.

Nutrition Facts serving size : ab out 50 p ag es Am ount per Serving Calories 0 % Daily Value * Tot al Fat 0g


Reg ional New s


Op inion


Outd oors


Art s


Entert ainm ent


Classified s


* Percent Weekly values b ased on Hayw ood, Jackson, M acon, Sw ain and Buncom b e d iet s.


Smoky Mountain News

• Perfect Wedding, 7:30 p.m. May 31, and June 1-2, Smoky Mountain Community Theatre. 488.8227,

YOUR HOMETOWN PRINT, COPY, DIRECT MAIL & SIGN SHOP 641 North Main Street, WAYNESVILLE, NC (3/10 Mile North of the Courthouse)

828-456-HAUS (4287)

509 Asheville Hwy., Suite B, SYLVA, NC

(Located in the NAPA Auto Parts Center)

828-586-HAUS (4287)


wnc calendar

Pavilion near Scott Creek: May 31, Rye Holler Boys; June 7, Johnny Webb Band,

charities. Jane Cole, 456.8885. For directions,

• Mark Lowry, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Tickets start at $18., 866.273.4615.

• Gourd Artists Gathering and Art Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 31 through June 2, Cherokee Indians Fair Grounds, Cherokee.

• Unto These Hills, 7:30 p.m. preshow, 8 p.m. main performance, nightly except Sundays, June 1 to Aug. 17, Mountainside Theatre, Cherokee. Reserved seating, $23, adults; $13, children 6 to 13 years of age; free for children five and under. General seating, $20, adults; $10, children 6 to 12; free, children 5 and under. 2,000 seat outdoor amphitheater. • Smoky Mountain Brass Band, 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2, Hazelwood Baptist Church, Waynesville. Free. • Pianist Tommy Jordan, 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2, sanctuary of Franklin’s First United Methodist Church, 66 Harrison Ave., downtown Franklin. 524.7683 or • Western Carolina University free Summer Concert Series, 7 p.m. every Thursday in June and July (excluding July 4), A.K. Hinds University Center stage in Central Plaza: June 6, 227.3622. • Groovin’ on the Green with Jay Drummond, Friday, June 7, Cashiers. Free. 743.8428.

ART/GALLERY EVENTS & OPENINGS • Friends of the Macon County Library, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, with public reception for Cherokee artist Joel Queen and the formal presentation of a pottery piece he designed and created for the library. 524.3600,

May 29-June 4, 2013

• Art After Dark, 6 to 9 p.m. Main Street and Frog Level, Waynesville. Extended hours for most galleries and shops. • Original Art Sale & Benefit for Friends of the Smokies and Friends of the Lake, 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 31, Lambuth Inn, Lake Junaluska. 734.1307, • Village Square Art & Craft Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1-2, Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine St, downtown Highlands. 787.2021. • Ceramics exhibition by students from Highlands High School, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, through July 14, The Bascom, Highlands., 526.4949.

Smoky Mountain News

• Photographer Barbara Sammons’ Dusty Roads and More, a collection of 18 photographs of old cars and tractors, wildlife and scenography, through July 31, Canton Branch Library, 11 Pennsylvania Avenue, Canton. Barbara Sammons, 707.4420. • Norma Bradley (fiber) and Rebecca Kempson (mixed media), through June 30, Folk Art Center Focus Gallery, milepost 382 Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. 298.7928,

CLASSES, PROGRAMS & DEMONSTRATIONS • Smoky Mountain Home and Garden 101, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, May 30 through June 27, Cecil Groves Center, Macon Campus, Southwestern Community College, Franklin. $40 class fee + $35 material fee paid to instructor, Linda Joyner. Register with Jenny Williams, 339.4497.

• Quilt Art exhibition by the Shady Ladies, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2, Lake Logan Episcopal Center in southern Haywood County. $5 admission charge will be donated to Lake Logan’s Summer Camp Program. Purchase chances to win a quilt, Dresden Plate 40 Special, with all proceeds going to Haywood County

• Summer Art Portfolio Program, Printmaking, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3-6, Southwestern Community College. $20. 366.2005 or • Summer drawing class with Julie Jacobson, 6 to 7:30 p.m. June 4-20, Gallery 1, Sylva. 843.614.7428, • Wheel Throwing, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, June 4-Aug. 6, Riverwood Pottery, Dillsboro. $160, 586.3601, • Art League of the Smokies, 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Swain County Center for the Arts. Video “Big Brush Watercolour” with Ron Ransom will be shown. 488.7843, • Dogwood Crafters Class, Leather Key Chain, 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, Dogwood Crafters, Dillsboro. $3. Register at 586.2435. • Learning to Quilt with Linda Nichols, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 5-July 24, Bradford Hall Conference room Southwestern Community College Jackson campus. $80. Register at 339.4426. • Southwestern Community College pottery classes, Swain Center, 60 Almond School Road, Bryson City., 366.2000.

FILM & SCREEN • Movie night, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday May 29, Jackson County Public Library, 586.2016. • Children’s Movie, 1 p.m. Monday, June 3, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. • Teen Movie, 3 p.m. Monday, June 3, Jackson County Public Library, Sylva. Call for movie title. 586.2016.

DANCE • Contra dance with Charlotte Crittenden and The Dog Branch Cats, 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Community Room Keith House, John C. Campbell Folk School, 4590 Brasstown Road, Brasstown. $7, adults; $4, children ages 12 to 18; $3, children under 12 years of age. 800.365.5724, • Pisgah Promenaders “Summer Picnic” square dance, 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Old Armory Rec. Center, 44 Boundary Street, Waynesville. 586.8416, Jackson County, 452.1971, Haywood County. • Ballroom dance class, 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays through June 17, Breese Gym, Western Carolina University. $59 ($49 for WCU students, faculty and staff). Register at and select the “conferences and community classes” tab or call Office of Continuing Education, 227.7397.

Outdoors OUTINGS, HIKES & FIELDTRIPS • Franklin Bird Club, weekly bird walk, 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, along the Greenway, led by Karen Lawrence. Meet at Macon County Public Library parking area. 524.5234.

7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 1. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at Highlands Town Hall Parking. Destination is Edwin and Kaye Poole’s home in Highlands. • National Trails Day hike, 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1, Wayah Bald to Wine Springs Bald, three miles round trip. Joint hike between Nantahala Hiking Club and Bartram Trail Society. Dan Pittilio will lead the hike. Jim Kautz,, 524.6593 or Bill Van Horn, 369.1983. • Kids Fishing Days, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1, Cliffside Lake, Highlands; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 1, Cheoah Lake, Graham County; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8, Max Patch, Haywood County. Kids fish for free. Must be accompanied by an adult. Registration, 8 a.m. 524.6441 ext. 424. • Neighborhood Nature Photography, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 1, Balsam Community Center (old school house), Cabin Flats Road. Larry Thompson instructor. $20. Pre-registration required, 452.5414, • Nantahala Hiking Club, nine-mile strenuous hike, Saturday June 1, Appalachian Trail from Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Gap. Meet at 9 a.m. Westgate Plaza, Franklin. Leaders Bill and Sharon Van Horn, 369.1983, for reservations. Visitors welcome, no pets. Rain date, June 29. • Nantahala Hiking Club joint hike with NC Bartram Trail Society for National Trails Day, Saturday, June 1. Meet at 9 a.m. at Westgate Plaza, Franklin. Kay Coriell, 369.6820, Jim Kautz, Bartram Trail Society, 524.6593, • Donate food and raft for free, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, Dillsboro River Co., 10 Macktown Road, Dillsboro, and Smoky Mountain River Adventures, 5303 U.S. highway 74 E., Whittier. Bring ten non-perishable food items to either rafting company. Collected food goes to United Christian Ministries of Jackson County. • Highlands Plateau Audubon Society bird walk, Wednesday, June 5, with Mark Hopey at Cowee Mounds, north of Franklin. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Town Hall Parking lot in Highlands.

Southern Appalachians, June 1-July 29, Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest on NC highway 276, 14 miles north of Brevard. 877.3130, • Volunteers needed for National Trails Day and Appalachian Trail Work Day, Saturday, June 1, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Barbecue picnic at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area afterward. or Holly Scott, 865.932.4794. • Road construction and maintenance one-day workshop for private landowners June 6, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Otto. $25 per person ($15 for an additional family member), includes lunch. Register at or at 524.2711 ext. 305 • Elkmont Firefly Viewing, Thursday, June 6 through Thursday, June 13, Elkmont Campground, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Parking pass required. $1.50 each. Purchase at, or 877.444.6777.

COMPETITIVE EDGE • Ruby Run, 8 a.m. Saturday, June 1, Franklin High School parking lot, 100 Panther Drive, Franklin. Sponsored by Franklin Daybreak Rotary. Proceeds to support several local charities. Register online at • Mountain Lakes 5K race and walk, 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 1, Highlands. Race-day registration, 7:30 a.m. lobby at recreation park. Proceeds to benefit Wheelchairs for Bolivia Project. Registration forms at front desk of Highlands Recreation Park and on line at Skip Taylor, 526.4280, Victoria Ingate, 421.2548, or email • Cherokee Memorial Holiday Trout Fishing Tournament May 31-June 2, $11 entry fee and $10,000 in tagged fish in the rivers on the Cherokee Reservation (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch and release waters). Registration necessary to redeem cash prize. 497.1826.

• Highlands Biological Foundations Hike through Panthertown with Wes Burlingame, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 6. Ages 12 and up. $10 for members or $15 for non-members. Register, 526.2221., 526.2221.

• Xterra Tsali, off road triathlon, Sunday, June 2, Tsali Recreation area.

• Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club, 10:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursdays from June 6 to Aug. 1, Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest, Summer nature series for children ages 4 to 7. $4 per child. Accompanying adults are admitted to the Cradle of Forestry for half price, $2.50., 877.3130.

• Ole Smokey Tractor Club Spring Farm Fest, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 31 through June 1, Maggie Valley. Parade of more than 30 tractors drive through Maggie Valley, crafts, vendors. 734.1510,

PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS • Know Your Frogs workshop, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, Highlands Nature Center. Ages 6 to adult. Bring a flashlight to search for frogs in the wild. $5, advanced registration required, 526.2623. • Synchronous Fireflies Fundraiser, 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, Norton Creek Sanctuary near Gatlinburg. $75 per person. Space limited. 865.430.4756, • Great Smoky Mountains Field School classes, Early Summer Wildflowers and Ferns, with George Ellison, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. $49., 865.974.1000.

• Franklin Bird Club weekly bird walk, 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, along the Greenway, led by Paula Gorgoglione. Meet at Salali Lane. 524.523.

• National Trails Day, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Panthertown Valley. Meet at Salt Rock Gap trailhead in Cashiers. Group size limited. 269.4453.

• Highlands Plateau Audubon beginners’ bird walk,

• Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular


• Kids Corner Market, 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1, Original Waynesville Tailgate Market, 171 Legion Drive, Waynesville, behind Bogart’s. Vicky Rogers, 456.1830 or • Haywood Beekeepers Club, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, Haywood County Extension Center, Raccoon Road, Waynesville.

FARMER’S & TAILGATE MARKETS Waynesville • Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market. Fresh, local produce, fresh seafood, baked goods, goat cheese, herbal products, meat and eggs, plants, flowers, preserves, honey and heritage crafts. Live music, 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays and Saturdays. 250 Pigeon St, Waynesville in the parking lot of the HART Theatre. 828.627.1058. • Waynesville Tailgate Market. Fruits, vegetables, black walnuts, organic food and other products from Haywood County Farmers. 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 171 Legion Dr., Waynesville, at the American Legion in Waynesville behind Bogart’s restaurant. 828.648.6323.



Advertise in The Smoky Mountain News


MarketPlace information:

LEARN THE ART OF FLY FISHING Jonathan Creek School of Fly Fishing. Fly Fishing - Fly Tying. Private Instruction! www.JonathanCreekSchool

The Smoky Mountain News Marketplace has a distribution of 16,000 every week to over 500 locations across in Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties along with the Qualla Boundary and west Buncombe County. For a link to our MarketPlace Web site, which also contains a link to all of our MarketPlace display advertisers’ Web sites, visit



ALLISON CREEK Iron Works & Woodworking. Crafting custom metal & woodwork in rustic, country & lodge designs with reclaimed woods! Design & consultation, Barry Downs 828.524.5763, Franklin NC

■ Free — Residential yard sale ads, lost or found pet ads. ■ Free — Non-business items that sell for less than $150. ■ $12 — Classified ads that are 50 words or less; each additional line is $2. ■ $12 — If your ad is 10 words or less, it will be displayed with a larger type. ■ $3 — Border around ad and $5 — Picture with ad. ■ $35 — Non-business items, 25 words or less. 3 month or till sold. ■ $300 — Statewide classifieds run in 117 participating newspapers with 1.6 million circulation. Up to 25 words. ■ All classified ads must be pre-paid.

AUCTION 42± PRIVATE ACRES. Mountain Views. Beautiful Home Sites. Open & Wooded Land. Union School Rd, Floyd, VA. Absolute Auction: June 15. 800.780.2991 (VAAF93)

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BUILDING MATERIALS WHITE PINE, HEMLOCK, POPLAR Lumber and Timbers, Any Size! Rough Sawn or S4S, Custom Sawing. Smoky Mountain Timber, 3517 Jonathan Creek Rd., Waynesville, NC. 828.926.4300. HAYWOOD BUILDERS Garage Doors, New Installations Service & Repairs, 828.456.6051 100 Charles St. Waynesville Employee Owned. SULLIVAN HARDWOOD FLOORS Installation- Finish - Refinish 828.399.1847.




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ALL OVER AT AUCTION WITH A WHOLE LOT OF TOOLS Saturday June 1st @ 7:00 pm 482 W Main St. Downtown Sylva Col. Dodie Allen Blaschik NCAL 3410 828-226-3921 or 828-735-4790 Personal Property of Jim & Mary Van Cleave (living) Includes: Craftsman 10” Bandsaw, Hitachi Compound Mitersaw, 16 inch Variable Speed Scrollsaw, Ryobi 10” Drill Press, 3 Gallon Oilless Air Compressor, Ryobi 10” Tablesaw, Exotic Woods & Much, Much More!

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AUTO PARTS DDI BUMPERS ETC. Quality on the Spot Repair & Painting. Don Hendershot 858.646.0871 cell 828.452.4569 office.

CAMPERS COOL SUMMERS ON JONATHAN CREEK. 35’ Park Model For Sale, 25’ Covered Porch, Furnished, 32” Flatscreen TV, Fireplace Heater, Separate Washer/Dryer, On Leased Lot in RV Community 352.223.9497

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AIRLINES ARE HIRING Train for hands-on Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial Aid if Qualified Housing available. CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance. 1.866.724.5403. SAPA

CDL-A DRIVERS: Hiring experienced company drivers and owner operators. Solo and teams. Competitive pay package. Sign-on incentives. Call 888.705.3217 or apply online at

DRIVERS: Run FB with WTI. Be home weekends. Start up to 28% plus fuel bonus. New equipment. BCBS. Experience needed. LP available. Call 877.693.1305.

AVIATION CAREERS Train in advance structures and become certified to work on aircraft. Financial aid for those who qualify. Call aviation institute of maintenance 1.877.205.1779. WWW.FIXJETS.COM SAPA CARENET, INC., Subsidiary of Wake Forest Baptist Health, seeks Staff Counselor for Wilmington/Jacksonville NC area to provide high-quality, effective pastoral counseling. To apply: AA/EOE.

DRIVER One cent raise after 6 and 12 months. $0.03 Enhanced Quarterly Bonus. Daily or Weekly Pay, Hometime Options. CDL-A, 3 months OTR exp. 800.414.9569.

DRIVERS: Top Pay & CSA Friendly Equip, Class A CDL Required. Recent CDL grads wanted. 877.258.8782.

DRIVERS Hiring Experienced/Inexperienced Tanker Drivers! Earn up to $0.51/ Mile! New Fleet Volvo Tractors! 1 Year OTR Exp. Req. - Tanker Training Available. Call Today: 877.882.6537. Or go to:

DRIVERS- REGIONAL Class A CDL - Company Drivers & Owner Operators Out 5 to 7 Days 1.800.444.0585 Press 2 for Recruiting or Online applications FOLKMOOT STAFFING 30th Folkmoot Festival seeks guides, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, housekeeping staff, sound techs, and interns for marketing/event management. Volunteers welcome! Must be available days, evenings, weekends, July 15 - 29, 2013. For applications call 828.452.2997 or email:


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ENTRY-LEVEL AND SKILLED Offshore And Inland Workers Needed. Cooks Galleyhands Deckhands. Excellent Pay And Overtime. Start New With This GREAT Opportunity Call 1.850.424.2600 SAPA

NOW HIRING! National Companies need workers immediately to assemble products at home. Electronics, CD stands, hair barrettes & many more. Easy work, no selling, any hours. $500/week potential. Info 1.985.646.1700 DEPT NC - 4152 (Not valid in Louisiana) SAPA

ADMINSTRATIVE ASSISTANT Training Program! Become a Certified Microsoft Office Professional! No Experienced Needed! Online training gets you job ready! HS Diploma/GED & PC/Internet needed. 1.888.926.6057.

PART-TIME CENTER DIRECTOR JACKSON COUNTY - HEAD START Must have an AA in Early Childhood Education, (BS in Early Childhood or related field preferred), Admin Levels I & II, 2 yrs. supervisory experience, have a good working relationship with staff and families and be able to work a flexible work schedule. Candidate will be supervising 5 staff members and must also have good judgement/problem solving skills working with diverse populations and be able to multi-task. Computer skills helpful. This is a 20 - 29 hours/week and a 9 month position. Some benefits apply. Pre-employment drug testing required. EOE/AA. Applications will be taken at Mountain Projects, 2251 Old Balsam Rd., Waynesville, NC 28786 or 25 Schulman St., Sylva, NC 28779


Puzzles can be found on page 45.

May 29-June 4, 2013

These are only the answers.


Great Smokies Storage 10’x20’








828.506.4112 or 828.507.8828 Conveniently located off 19/23 by Thad Woods Auction



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LAWN & GARDEN HEMLOCK HEALERS, INC. Dedicated to Saving Our Hemlocks. Owner/Operator Frank Varvoutis, NC Pesticide Applicator’s License #22864. 48 Spruce St. Maggie Valley, NC 828.734.7819 828.926.7883, Email:


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BANK LAKE PROPERTY Liquidation! Smoky Mountains Tennessee 1-8 Acres Starting $12,900 w/boat slip access! LAST ABSOLUTE PUBLIC SALE! Preview 6/8-6/9, Sale 6/15. Map/ pricing 1.800.574.2055 ext.108 EVER CONSIDER A Reverse Mortgage? At least 62 years old? Stay in your home & increase cash flow! Safe & Effective! Call Now for your FREE DVD! Call Now 888.418.0117. SAPA



Mieko Thomson


Cell (828) 226-2298 Cell

2177 Russ Avenue Waynesville NC 28786

FOR SALE BY OWNER 11.40 Acres, 2 miles outside of Robbinsville, NC. 3 Mtn. Ridges, spring and a pond; easy access. Property backs up to US Forest. $82,900 for more info call 828.452.7105

FURNITURE RED OAK LUMBER AVAILABLE 12 Boards, 11 ft. x 14 inches x 5/4. $125. Old Chestnut Boards Available $500. For more info 828.627.2342


NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Offering 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments, Starting at $400 Section 8 Accepted - Handicapped Accessible Units When Available

Jerry Smith 828-734-8765

74 N. Main St. • Waynesville


(828) 452-5809


Schulhofer’s Junk Yard

OFFICE HOURS: Tues. & Wed. 10:00am - 5:00pm & Thurs. 10:00am- 12:00pm 168 E. Nicol Arms Road Sylva, NC 28779

Prevent Unwanted Litters! The Heat Is On! Spay/Neuter For Haywood Pets As Low As $10. Operation Pit is in Effect! Free Spay/Neuter, Microchip & Vaccines For Haywood Pitbull Types & Mixes!

Phone # 1-828-586-3346 TDD # 1-800-725-2962



Equal Housing Opportunity

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 12 Noon - 5pm 182 Richland Street, Waynesville


Best prices in town. Accepting stumps & brush. We deliver. As always, paying top dollar for your scrap metal.

Talk to your neighbors, then talk to me.

Ann knows real estate!

May 29-June 4, 2013

TANKER & FLATBED Company. Drivers/Independent Contractors! Immediate Placement Available. Best opportunities in the Trucking Business. Call Today. 800.277.0212 or

OWNER OPERATOR SOLO'S To run I95 Corridor. Percentage pay + 100% FSC & authorized tolls paid. No New York City. Call Now 800.695.9643


WNC MarketPlace

NC PRE-K ASSISTANT TEACHER Haywood County - An Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is mandatory for this position, must also have the ability to assume responsibilities of teacher when absent, work well with parents, co-workers and diverse families, have good judgment/problem solving skills and record keeping skills and 1-2 years experience in Pre-K classroom. Basic computer skills preferred. This is a 10 months position with full time benefits. Applications will be taken at Mountain Projects, Inc., 2251 Old Balsam Rd, Waynesville 28786 or 25 Schulman St, Sylva 28779. Pre-employment drug testing required. EOE/AA. HEAD START ASSISTANT TEACHER - Jackson County - An Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is mandatory for this position, must also have the ability to assume responsibilities of teacher when absent, work well with other staff members and have good judgment/problem solving skills. Basic computer skills and 2 yrs. experience in Pre-K classroom child care preferred. This is a 9 month position with fulltime benefits. Pre-employment drug testing required. EOE/AA.



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Chad McMahon, A gent 3 4 5 Wa l n u t S t r e e t Waynesville, NC 28786 Bus: 828 - 452- 0567 chad.mcmahon.r v37@s t atef

Advertise in The Smoky Mountain News 828 | 452 | 4251 43

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INNER LANES ACROSS 1 “GoodFellas” co-star Joe 6 London subway route diagram 13 Plate umpire’s call 20 “Par -” (stamp on airmail) 21 Religious hermit 22 Wyoming tribe 23 “A Boy and His Dog” sci-fi writer 25 Pronto 26 Bus. college course 27 Aircraft abbr. 28 Star of the silent film “Madame Du Barry” 30 “Dharma & Greg” co-star Jenna 33 Pupil locale 34 Pick - (cavil) 35 In a certain folk singing style 37 Relief pitcher with the 2004 World Serieswinning Red Sox 43 Revered one 44 Horse’s kin 45 Padlock part 46 Sneaker stringers 47 Even if, briefly 48 Old crone 50 - -di-dah 51 “Got some thoughts?” 53 Old city buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius 57 Man-mouse link 58 Additionally 59 Bun seed 60 1965 Yardbirds hit 62 Bad, in Brest 65 Census stat

66 Novocain, for one 70 Twisty curve 73 U lead-in 74 Foray 75 First family as of 2009 79 Coal mines 81 High-fashion inits. 83 Boarding of a jet 85 Derides 88 Before, in verses 89 Hair stiffener 90 Sea, to Fifi 91 Forest feline 92 Dark loaves 94 Greek letter 96 Domicile 97 Native of Fiji or Vanuatu 99 Places to see stars in science centers 102 Back part 103 Lab bottle 104 Bond girl player d’Abo 105 Have practical usefulness 110 Kin of Ltd. 111 In a crowd of 112 Stage names 113 Assorted 119 Tooth puller 120 Unicellular swimmers 121 Romanov royals 122 Chip away at 123 Gets thinner 124 Toss about DOWN 1 Oom- - band 2 Hungarian-born Gabor 3 English title 4 Gary of

“Diff’rent Strokes” 5 How soup is often sold 6 Juvenile 7 Address for a dot-com 8 Minsk locale 9 Oskar Schindler’s wife 10 Sea vapors 11 - -Z (thoroughly) 12 Letter-writing friends 13 Attach with brads, e.g. 14 In a florid way 15 “Slither” star James 16 Church nook 17 Sharp taste 18 Blacken on a grill 19 Arizona tribe 24 All-or- 29 More or less even (with) 30 Wharton and Bunker 31 Chinese nut 32 They’re often tile-covered 33 Brains have high ones 36 Trilogy, often 37 Spa sound 38 - tai 39 A-F filler 40 Movie units 41 Make blank 42 County whose seat is Newark 45 Hard-hitting carpenters 48 Comic’s forte 49 Baldwin and Guinness 50 Greg Evans comic strip 52 Dog tag info 54 Fresno loc. 55 Zip

56 PC letter 57 Saloon sign 61 In unison 63 Make up for, as sins 64 Slander’s kin 67 “Comin’ -!” 68 “Good” cholesterol abbr. 69 Spying aid, briefly 70 - salts (cathartic) 71 After then 72 Sword material 76 Recollection 77 Vigorless condition 78 Watercourse 80 “Sisters” co-star Ward 82 Tiny grooves 84 Opposed to, in dialect 86 Politico Paul 87 Most severe 88 Nighttime, in verses 93 Hired lawn maintainer 94 Sugar pill 95 1968 film computer 96 Most difficult 98 Attends 99 - movement (military maneuver) 100 Actress Watson 101 Infects 103 Sunshade 105 Get dimmer 106 Intestine divisions 107 Dryer fluff 108 Sol followers 109 F - “Frank” 111 Heady brews 114 “- -comin’!” 115 Judge’s field 116 Scull mover 117 Suffix with strict 118 NNE’s opposite

answers on page 42

Answers on Page 42

Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine.

May 29-June 4, 2013

UNPLANNED PREGNANCY? Thinking Of Adoption? Open or closed adoption. YOU choose the family. LIVING EXPENSES PAID. Abby’s One True Gift Adoptions. Call 24/7 1.866.413.6295 SAPA

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WNC MarketPlace

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Smoky Mountain News May 29-June 4, 2013



“Tunnel-phobia” has gotten worse as years go by


BACK THEN phobia.” It kicks in when I see a road sign announcing there’s one just around the next bend. And it lasts until I emerge into daylight again. If I’m driving at night and have to negotiate a tunnel, I am not a happy camper. I grit my teeth and curse the “double-darkness.” Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Ferrin Knob Tunnel No. 1 at milepost 400.9 is the first and longest of the so-called triplet tunnels (the local people once referred to fern glades as “ferrins”). Ferrin Knob Tunnel No. 2 is located at milepost 401.3 and Ferrin Knob Tunnel No. 3 is located at milepost 401.5. Whenever I have to negotiate this triple-headed monster I think of what Dante said as he prepared for his ascent into the inferno: “In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost … thinking of it recreates the fear.” I’ve never liked driving at night, but “tunnel-phobia” is a fairly recent affliction. It was initiated maybe 10 years ago when I was leading a field trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway for a regional facility. A young lady was driving the van for the facility. She wasn’t a competent driver. I bit my tongue several times but finally asked her (in a nice way) to slow it down. I discovered the hard way that she didn’t have a clue where the on-


ts m a ns

Tunnel construction. BRP photo

driver … and eight or so participants. One of the guys in the back asked, “Where are we?” and a lady answered, “Under the ground.” Fortunately, no other cars entered the tunnel while we fumbled in the dark for the switch. It wasn’t on the turn signal stem. Feeling along the dash on the left side of the steering wheel column, we found it. It was one of those roller-switches that are difficult enough to locate in daylight.

But, alas, I didn’t learn my lesson. Several years later the same thing (more or less) happened again. It was a different facility, a different driver, and a different tunnel. This time we were headed north along the parkway from the Bent Creek exit to Mt. Pisgah. My driver seemed competent. I let my guard down and assumed that he knew all about headlight switches. Wrong! Suddenly we were “under the ground” again. Once again no other vehicles came along and we didn’t hit the wall. The switch was easy to find. But I learned my lesson. At the risk of being labeled a cranky old coot, I now deliver my “Hello, do you, by chance, know where the headlight switch on this vehicle is located?” sermon before each and every field trip. I suggest that you do the same under similar circumstances. George Ellison wrote the biographical introductions for the reissues of two Appalachian classics: Horace Kephart’s Our Southern Highlanders and James Mooney’s History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. In June 2005, a selection of his Back Then columns was published by The History Press in Charleston as Mountain Passages: Natural and Cultural History of Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains. Readers can contact him at P.O. Box 1262, Bryson City, N.C., 28713, or at

Homes Built On

48C $/,7< raf

off switch for the headlights was located. At the first long tunnel south of Balsam Gap (headed toward Mt. Pisgah) she was talking away and suddenly we were enveloped in total darkness. Reflexively, I jammed my left foot on the brake before we collided with the wall. There we sat in the darkness: me … our


YourLand L

May 29-June 4, 2013

m Home sto



George Ellison

eading a field trip isn’t complicated. But there may be more to it than you suppose. It helps if you know ahead of time where you’re going to make stops; where to eat lunch; and where the bathrooms are situated. On a scale of one-to10 I’d give lunch a “7.5;” pre-designated stops a “9;” and bathroom awareness a “9.5.” Some years ago “bathrooms” Columnist were a “5,” but their importance has risen of late. I have recently added another item that I give a “10.” Make sure the driver of your vehicle knows where the on-off switch for the headlights is located. And, furthermore, that he or she pays enough attention to have them turned on “prior” to entering a tunnel. Turning them on “after” entering is better than not knowing “how” to turn them on at all. But “before” is better than “after.” Sometimes I can’t avoid doing either, but I don’t like driving at night and I don’t like driving or riding as a passenger through a tunnel. Well-lit tunnels are bad enough. Unlit tunnels are, for me, a species of hell. There’s probably a technical term for it, but I’ve got what might be called “tunnel-

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Smoky Mountain News

May 29-June 4, 2013





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Smoky Mountain News  

A weekly newspaper covering Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.

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