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Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:53

The Naturalist's Corner: A soggy record

The twin banes of birding, wind and rain, combined to help set a new record low for the eighth annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The soggy but undaunted cadre of birders sloshed and slogged their way around Lake Logan,…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:50

The great white quiet

Doug McFalls spent last winter as caretaker at LeConte Lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The lodge is near the 6,593-foot summit of Mt. LeConte, the third highest peak in the Smokies. “I came away with a better…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:49

A cautionary tale of the dangers of excess

“The rich are different from you and me,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway supposedly replied: “Yes, Scott, they have more money.” After getting through the final pages of Heidi Schnakenberg’s Kid Carolina: R.J.…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:48

Music offers break from winter doldrums

Though most people think the music jams at the Bryson City library are just a summertime thing, they carry on year round — the first and third Thursday of every month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Anyone with a guitar,…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:47

Kids to get crafty with wintertime creations

A free ARTSaturday program for elementary school-aged children and their families will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Macon County library. The Macon County Arts Council will provide all materials and instruction for…
The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will open its 2011 winter Studio Theater Season with a bit of backstage humor and some twists for the audience when “A Life in the Theatre” debuts on Jan. 7.   The comedy by David…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:45

WNC chefs face off at Fire & Ice

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will host a Western Carolina chef’s competition during the second annual Fire & Ice Winterfest on Jan. 15 at the Waynesville Inn Golf Resort. The competition, which will be held from 3:30 – 5:30…
Moonshine will take center stage at the next Liars Bench, a variety show series paying hommage to aspects of Southern Appalachian culture, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. “This show is definitely going to…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:43

Paula Deen cooks up live show at Harrah’s

The cooking star Paula Deen will bring her flare for Southern cooking to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino with a live cooking demonstration at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Paula Deen, widely known as the Queen of Southern home-style cooking, is a…
Everybody loves a classic. At least that’s what the minds behind Franklin’s Overlook Theater Company were banking on when they put together the lineup for their 2011 season. They’ll be putting on shows that embody every definition of the word…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:35

This stretch of road deserves better care

To the Editor: As a Macon County native who learned to drive in these mountains more than 40 years ago, I have driven in all kinds of weather, with and without four-wheel drive. That was not usually by choice, but…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:34

How can faith leaders support Dream Act?

To the Editor: I read in the newspaper an article called “Faith Leaders support the Dream Act.” What reality do these faith leaders live in? They care so much for the children of illegal aliens. Where is there compassion for…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:34

New group seeks political solutions

To the Editor: We live in the greatest country in the world, but we have serious challenges — challenges that threaten our future and need to be addressed. Unfortunately, our elected leaders, in many cases, look at these challenges as…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:33

Immigrants can enrich all of us

To the Editor: Scott McLeod writes accurately and with emotion about the Dream Act (“Hagen, senate wrong on Dream Act,” Dec. 22, Smoky Mountain News). Its passage would not have weakened our borders. The immigrant youth affected by the “no”…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:32

Just shut up and bang it out

I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. But this weekend I decided to list five and work seriously toward accomplishing them by year’s end. The only resolution of mine worth sharing (unless you find personal self-improvement goals such as…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:29

Mistake is a reminder to tell it like it is

“… but a belief in hard work and treating others fairly was ingrained from a very early age in my brothers and I.” See the mistake in the sentence fragment above? Hear it? I bet most people don’t, and I…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:28

HCC offers help in managing time

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Organizing your Work and Life - a Great Way to Start the Year!"from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, on campus in the Student Center, first…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:28

Learn about animal rescue efforts

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s annual meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13, at the Haywood County Library on South Haywood Street in Waynesville. Speakers featured at the meeting will be Katherine McGowan Shenar, Interim President/CEO, and…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:27

Public hearing set for landfill problem

Jackson County’s old solid waste landfill is leaking contaminants in higher concentrations than allowed into the groundwater, and satisfying state demands to safely contain the situation will cost taxpayer dollars. Altamont Inc. representative Joel Lenk told commissioners this week that…
How fickle fortune can be, Timm Muth, the director of the oft-touted Green Energy Park, found upon tendering a simple request this week to the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Muth’s desire to advertise an open staff position gave way…
By Colby Dunn and Quintin Ellison • Staff Writers Although retail businesses might have found some relief toward the latter part of the year, homebuilders and real estate agents found fewer reasons for joy in 2010. For homebuilders, the outlook…
By Colby Dunn and Quintin Ellison • Staff writers Despite a sour economy, many businesses in Western North Carolina are not only surviving — they are thriving. Take Krismart Fashions on East Main Street in Sylva. While many stores have…
People for and against the state Department of Transportation’s plans to pave and widen a 3.3-mile section of Needmore Road have another opportunity to tell officials what they think this month. At the request of the Macon County Board of…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:20

West Elementary gets new classrooms

Swain County’s West Elementary School will be getting a classroom expansion thanks to $1.8 million handed to them by Swain County commissioners in a special session on Monday. The elementary school will gain eight new classrooms to deal with its…
At their last meeting of 2010, the Haywood County Commissioners made what might seem like a rather mundane decision. They chose to release a slew of minutes from their closed sessions over the preceding few months. While the information the…
More than 100 people turned out recently to protest a Macon County farmer’s plan to save his land by building a dirt-bike racetrack. Herman “Bud” Talley, a well-known figure in Macon County — he’s owner of Nantahala Meats, home of…
Southern California-area television station KTLA is polling Parade of Roses viewers to determine which participating band is the crowd favorite. To show your support, click on the link to visit KTLA's site and under Band Poll vote for WCU!
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:45

A family full of marriage, but not quite bliss

Editor’s note: This George Ellison column was first published in December 2004. Most everyone agrees that marriage is a noble institution. But even in the best of situations it can be, at times, a demanding proposition. Some folks seem to…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:44

Holiday recycling hits Haywood

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year, which amounts to 25 million tons of trash. Following are some tips on how to reduce waste and consider energy…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:43

Swimming lessons to start in the new year

The Aquatics Department of Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center will begin the 2011 group swim lesson lineup with the winter session, Jan. 14 and 15, through March 4 and 5. Group swimming lessons are available for children of all…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:42

Viticulture conference coming to Candler

The North Carolina BioNetwork BioBusiness Center in Candler will host the first annual North Carolina Conference on Sustainable Viticulture on Feb. 23. The conference will feature speakers from throughout the U.S. who will share information on how to grow grapes…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:42

Fees waived and free screenings at HRHFC

Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center is waiving the usual initiation fee on six-month memberships as a holiday gift to the community. The special is valid through Jan. 7. For more information call 828.452.8080. A highly trained member of the…
Correction: Last week’s story regarding the Balsam CBC stated that dinner after the count would be at the Sagebrush. Wrong! The fine people at Bocelli’s will graciously be putting up with a bunch of tired, noisy birders. This year is…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:38

More Blue Ridge Parkway viewshed protected

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) recently protected Blackrock Ridge in northern Jackson County, a striking and important component of the Plott Balsam Mountains. The Plott Balsams, which reach 6,000 feet in elevation, tower above Waynesville, Sylva and Cherokee. Blackrock…
The next Book Ends book discussion group will be held at the Jackson County Public Library on Thursday, Jan.13. The book selection is Time and Again by Jack Finney. Time and Again is told in the first person by Simon…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:21

In new novel, outlook is grim without technology

Let me begin this review by confessing that I never heard of E.M.P. (Electromagnetic Pulse), and I was distressed to learn that its destructive potential has been readily acknowledged by both the Pentagon and the White House (Newt Gingrich wrote…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:18

A fine time to order seeds

One of my favorite annual events is set to take place Jan. 15. I share this information now because it takes time to mentally sort through a garden. Additionally, preparing a seed order often proves the highpoint of the gardener’s…
By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist During the recent election for county commissioner in Jackson County, both sides made reference to property taxes. The challengers — who ended up sweeping out the incumbents — claimed, to some derision, that Jackson…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:10

Contra dance in Jackson Jan. 9

The next Second Sunday Contra Dance will be held at the Barkers Creek Community Building from 3-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9. Contra dancing will begin at 3 p.m. There will also be a potluck dinner following the contra dance, starting…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:09

Elderly Brothers ring in New Year’s at Legion

The Elderly Brothers will perform on New Year’s Eve at American Legion Post 47 in Waynesville. The Elderly Brothers have been playing together for more than 40 years. “Our group originally started playing together over 40 years ago,” said band…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:09

Chocolate lovers, head to Bryson City Feb. 12

The Friends of the Marianna Black Library will host the 4th Annual Chocolate Cook-Off from 2-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Bryson City Presbyterian Church. The Friends are looking for the best chocolate dessert in Western North Carolina…
Storyteller and author Gary Carden will present a program titled “Old Christmas Traditions” at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the Jackson County Library. During the program Carden will regale the audience with stories of bygone traditions such as serenading…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:07

Learn the art of bookmaking Jan. 6

Phyllis Jarvinen of Sylva will demonstrate and teach a mini-workshop on book arts and book binding at the Art League of the Smokies meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, in the lobby of Swain County Center for the…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:05

Pride of the Mountains is California-bound

Nearly 400 members of Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will travel to Pasadena, Calif., to march in the internationally televised 2011 Rose Parade. The band is scheduled to appear at the 49th position in the parade,…
Haywood County residents looking to brave the ice and leave their firesides this January can find an afternoon of respite from the winter in Waynesville’s second annual Winterfest. The festival, themed Fire and Ice, is hosted by the Haywood County…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 19:55

Year in review 2010

Editor’s note: Here is The Smoky Mountain News’ annual Year in Review, but ours comes with a nod and a wink — and an award. News is serious and sometimes tragic, but in hindsight we can at least try to…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 19:54

North Shore Road funds in danger of disappearing

Battles in Congress are nothing new. Practically every day that the legislature is in session, there is a fight, argument or debate about something, some more trivial than others. But there’s one issue that residents of Swain County are watching…
When Mountain Projects came calling on Sylva leaders earlier this year because the group wanted to build five affordably priced homes within the town’s limits, commissioners found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to deny the request. The problem?…
Andrew Whalen, an up-and-coming political insider who helped craft U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler’s entry onto the political scene five years ago, has rejoined the congressman’s staff. Whalen, 30, announced he would leave his position as executive director of the N.C.…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:54

Big fish of the Smokies

Each of us inhabits several landscapes. On the one hand, there is our everyday exterior topographic landscape. We call it reality. On the other there is our interior landscape … the world of imagination, dreams and nightmares. Whether we are…