Thu04242014

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Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:17

A well-written, lively look through history

In the first half of the fifteenth century, decades before Columbus set sail, the great Chinese admiral Zheng He commanded a fleet that seven times sailed across the Indian Ocean and reached the shores of East Africa. This talented admiral…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:10

Cherokee weaving talk and workshop

A workshop and presentation on Cherokee weaving will be held April 11-12 at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:09

Open call for Taste of Chocolate

An open call for bakers is currently underway for the 15th annual Taste of Chocolate Plus, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 19 at the Maggie Valley Club.
A concert to benefit landslide victims in Snohomish County in Washington state titled “The Circle is Unbroken: A Benefit for Oso, Washington, from Western North Carolina,” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Bridge Park…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:02

This must be the place

So, what are you going to ask him? That was the question constantly asked to me when friends and curious folks alike found out I was interviewing Kevin Costner. Yes, that Kevin Costner. You see the Academy Award-winning actor/director fronts…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:00

Dancing with one’s dream

Staring into a 2,250-degree furnace, Tadashi Torii sees his passion come to life. “I’m really calm,” he said. “I try not to be bothered by anything else. I try to create my inner-peace area and then go from there and…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:58

Sen. Hagan is for the people, not big money

To the Editor: Sen. Kay Hagan’s path to Washington began in high school when she helped elect her uncle Lawton Chiles to the Senate. It was a low-budget campaign which he won by walking from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys,…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:57

County oversteps its authority

To the Editor: The Haywood County Emergency Management Ordinance was signed into effect Nov. 16, 2009, by J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, then chairman of the board of county commissioners, from a motion made by Mark Swanger (the present chairman) and seconded…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:57

Kids can endure a little stress

To the Editor: Wondering what all the fuss is over the use of Common Core standards in school, I looked up what information I could find. Frankly, it gets pretty weird. One expert said that requiring kids to meet certain…
Words sometimes change meaning. It may take a few years, but it happens, and it especially happens in politics. A comment was recently posted on www.smokymountainnews.com in response to a column I wrote two weeks ago about the Haywood County…
An ordinance designed to keep student housing from taking over the village of Forest Hills is creating an obstacle for a drug recovery program looking to start up there. Mia Boyce, director of the Christian nonprofit Kingdom Care, began her…
Fundraising for a $1.3-million shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse is underway in Macon County, with REACH of Macon County hoping to move to a new building by September 2015.  “This has been a dream from the…
A trio of Republican candidates have lined up to challenge N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, for his District 119 House seat. One is barely old enough to drink, one campaigned for Barry Goldwater and one features Second Amendment-chest thumping…
Six attorneys vying for a vacant district court judge seat in the region will try to win the endorsement of the legal community this week, which could help their chances of landing the coveted spot on the bench.
North Carolina’s District 50 senator represents the state’s seven western counties. In 2010, Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin) narrowly wrested the seat from incumbent John Snow but then beat Snow by a much-wider margin in 2012. 
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:21

Cullowhee considers development standards

Cullowhee is awash in new developments. Specifically, the community is buzzing with the construction of high-density developments aimed at housing Western Carolina University’s growing student population. 
The folks in Franklin are not yet sure what direction they may go with the revamping of the town’s gazebo on Main Street. Representatives of Venture Local Franklin presented the town board of aldermen with alternative plans for the gazebo…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:18

Cherokee museum looks to the future

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian has been having some trouble with its exhibit light and sound system lately, but that’s not too much of a surprise. After all, that electrical system has run constantly since its installation in 1998.…
Despite the automated security system that speaks up every time a door is opened and the whiteboard grid tracking points for the shelter’s behavior management program, “institutional” is the last word that comes to mind when you enter Hawthorn Heights…
A coup within the Haywood County Republican Party was set in motion this week by a group of precinct chairs who called for the ousting of the party’s chairwoman.   A takeover of the local party by a faction of…
Despite last week’s chill and blustery snow, we are in the throes of spring migration. Actually, migration never stops. There is a bird somewhere on its way to somewhere else every month of the year. Purple martins have reached Florida…
Cultural heritage demonstrations will kick-off the new season for The Cradle of Forestry in America on Saturday, April 12, along with a debut of new exhibits. David and Diane Burnette of Haywood County will be plowing the Cradle’s vegetable garden…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:58

Sea-level rise documentary features WCU prof

Learn how communities are dealing with coastal erosion, storms and rising sea levels with a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “Shored Up” at Western Carolina University as part of its Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.  Rob Young,…
The fourth annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5K race are expected to draw an estimated 300 runners and walkers to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee on Saturday, April 5. 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:55

Women’s flyfishing weekend

Women of all skill levels are invited to a women-only weekend of flyfishing from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, offered April 4-6 at Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Davidson River Campground in Transylvania County. 
The Mountain Science Expo will feature science programs and exhibits designed to interest kids and adults from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:52

Appalachian Trail volunteers needed

Learn the basics of trail construction and environmental stewardships by volunteering with an Appalachian Trail Conservancy trail crew.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:51

Reap the fruits of the backyard

Learn how to grow fruit trees successfully at a fruit tree workshop coming up in Jackson and Swain counties through the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service. It will cover site selection; the differences between dwarf, semi-dwarf and seedling trees; proper soil conditions;…
Warmer weather is on its way, but along with the sunny afternoons comes the return of ozone season. A bad forecast can cancel high elevations hiking trips and outdoor playdates, but North Carolina has been seeing a decrease in those…
Some 30 years ago, a science-fiction writer named Whitney Striber wrote a novel called Wolfen, and it frightened me badly. The basic premise was that humanity had no purpose other than to provide a dependable food source for a terrifying species…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:35

Shorelines program to screen ‘Shored Up’

Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines will screen the film “Shored Up” at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center in Cullowhee.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:34

WCU to host International Festival

The 35th annual International Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University.
A workshop focusing on regional points of musical interest, entitled “Why and How to Connect to the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina” will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at the Jackson County Public…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:29

This must be the place

Kacey Musgraves makes me feel like a teenage boy. Shouts of joy escape my lungs when I find out she’s performing nearby. All my friends grow weary over my constant babbling about her. If there were a life-size poster available,…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:26

'Shining up classic dishes

The ocean is a long way from Rick Miller’s kitchen. The kitchen is a long way from where his journey began. “Back then I wanted to be a marine biologist,” the 61-year-old smiled. “And I can still give all the…
The Mélange of the Mountains culinary celebration will run from April 10-13 around Haywood County. 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:21

Vouchers won’t help low-income families

To the Editor: Recently, I became curious about the N.C. Opportunity Scholarships (a new name for vouchers) that are being billed as a way for families in poverty to have more choices for their child’s education by allowing them to…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:20

Voting challenges may overwhelm system

To the Editor: It should be reassuring that so many groups are concerned about “voter integrity” on Election Day, making certain that a voter’s physical address squares with the voting rolls. No problem there. However, the opportunities for voter challenges…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:19

Create Eden, drop animal products

To the Editor: TV host Glenn Beck and other stalwarts of the Christian right have attacked the recent blockbuster “Noah”as being “pro-animal” and unfaithful to the Bible. Well, yes and no. The film is pro-animal and faithful to the Bible,…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:19

Rep. Presnell will get my vote again

To the Editor: We must speak out against this proposed room tax increase. The county leaders may want it, but the citizens of this county do not want another tax increase. Our tax-and-spend county commissioners and their band of socialists…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:19

Has Rep. Presnell lost her memory?

To the Editor:  In a recent article about the sad state of North Carolina teacher salaries, Rep. Michele Presnell was quoted as follows: “We cannot help education until we get a handle on Medicaid. Obamacare has thrown all these additional…
To the Editor: I find it noteworthy that in the March 26 column on Rep. Michele Presnell’s opposition to the proposed 50 percent increase in the room tax there is no clear indication that the writer had attempted to go…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:16

Support fair trade but beware free trade

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist For some years now I have been promoting fair trade products as a means of helping organic farmers and cooperatives in the Third World get just prices and living wages, improve living standards, educate their children,…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:43

Canton selects new town manager

Canton Mayor Mike Ray was happy to see it come to an end. Finally, a decision has been made. “We’ve gone through 80 applications and have worked hard to make a decision for our city, our employees and our residents,”…
Plenty of green is popping up in Bryson City, but it’s not all due to the growing season. Green wayfinding signs now scattered throughout town point to landmarks ranging from the Road to Nowhere to the Swain County Courthouse. It’s…
The Waynesville skate park became an instant rock star after its debut last fall, gaining repute as a wildly popular concrete playground for all things on wheels gliding, sliding and flying over the ramps and rails all hours of the…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 00:00

A new paradigm

For decades, mountain tourism strategists have concocted catchy ways to state the obvious: come visit us because we are in the mountains. It was so predictable. And there were only so many ways you could say it.
Lynn Collins has honed the art of eavesdropping. It began innocently enough, unavoidable even, since nothing but a cubicle separates her from the foot traffic of downtown Waynesville.  SEE ALSO: A new paradigm But her accidental eavesdropping soon became intentional. From…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 00:00

Stemming the sequester squeeze

The federal sequester came back to haunt Macon County last month when commissioners voted to spend $13,000 to keep the county’s housing assistance program up and running. Commissioners had given Macon Program for Progress $12,000 at the beginning of the…
When Franklin town leaders meet in April, they will be digesting a number of alternative plans for revamping the downtown gazebo, the beloved but dated focal point of the town square on Main Street. The designs and ideas for a…