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Registration for fall personal enrichment classes is beginning at Southwestern Community College.

The first course offering at SCC-Cashiers Center (217 Frank Allen Road) will be an eight-hour workshop on Digital Camera Basics, starting Monday, Aug. 16. The class will meet from 10 a.m. to noon on Aug. 16, 23, and 30, and Sept. 13.

This course will cover the basics of using your digital camera and using the various functions and tools available with it. There will be practical applications of photography theory and opportunities to explore several forms of expression. The class will conclude with the basics of getting digital photos from the camera to a computer, and simple editing and production of prints.

The instructor will be Michael Rich, the current director at Cashiers Center, who has been a professional photographer and worked for Mountaineer Publishing as staff photographer and photo editor.

828.339.4272.

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Two FUNd Parties will be held in August to help raise money for the Haywood County Arts Council’s Arts in Schools program.

Join in on an evening under the stars at the 10th Annual Wine for the Arts, starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the home of Kay and Ron Isserman.

Co-hosted by the Classic Wineseller, Inc, guests will enjoy spacious decks that draw them outside and cozy overstuffed sofas to keep them comfy inside. Enjoy the fun of a “blind” wine tasting and partake in the fruit of the vine alongside culinary delights to completely satisfy the palate. $40 per participant and the ticket purchase deadline is Monday, Aug. 16.

On Wednesday, Aug. 25, it is Bridge and Lunch with a View from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sky-high experience is offered for foursomes to provide another excuse to play Bridge and enjoy a delicious lunch while experiencing the breathtaking view of Haywood County from high above on Bottoms Way. Paid reservations must be made for tables of four, $180 per table. Deadline to purchase tickets is Monday, Aug. 2.

Call Karen for more information at 828.235.9219; for tickets, call 828.452.0593.

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The feature film “Wesley” will be screened at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.

“Wesley” is based closely on the actual events of John Wesley’s life, a story that already reads much like a Hollywood screenplay.

Arledge Armenaki, WCU associate professor of cinematography, was the director of photography for the movie.

Sixteen Western Carolina University students got hands-on experience as crew for “Wesley” during filming on locations in and around Winston-Salem and Morganton for two months in 2007 and two weeks in 2008, including a sold-out red carpet premiere. WCU students and faculty also were cast in the movie.

Wesley is a compelling and controversial main character that women found intensely attractive; there is adventure on the high seas, a terrible storm and near-shipwreck. In the newly settled Savannah, Ga., there is an incredibly romantic but star-crossed love affair that ends tragically. Wesley is crushed, and on his return to England, we experience his spiritual struggle and finally renewal. We are then swept away with his preaching in the fields and his efforts to help the lowest classes of society. His ministry is controversial, there is mob violence, confrontation, and tension followed by his victorious preaching to thousands in his hometown.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the center box office at 1028 Georgia Road in Franklin, at Dalton’s Christian Bookstore in Franklin and Waynesville, and online at GreatMountainMusic.com, or call 866.273.4615.

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In August, educational programs continue in Highlands with three diverse artists-in-residence workshops.

• Lewis Knauss, “Fiber and Handmade Paper into Sculpture,” Aug. 10 to 14.

Combining ceramic and fiber, this workshop will guide students through five days of sheer enjoyment combining off-loom techniques with Eastern papermaking to create a lightweight sculpture. His works, which reference landscape and a sense of place, will engage each student in a memorable experience. Tuition is $475 Bascom members/ $500 non-members (most materials included).

• Mira Lehr, “Painting and Layering,” August 24 to 28.

While combining Japanese paper and collage with painting, take risks and experience new levels of creativity and expression with this workshop. Described as a visual poet, Lehr teaches students to search, analyze and develop their own vision. Tuition is $500 Bascom members/$525 non-members.

• Tom Turner, “Attention to Detail”, August 27 to 28.

This workshop is an exposé of Turner’s approach to throwing, decorating and finishing porcelain pottery. His approach is graceful and inviting, alluring and complex. Tuition is $200 Bascom members/ $225 non-members.

Turner’s and Lehr’s works will be featured in The Bascom’s “Fire and Heat by Three” exhibition, which opens Sept. 11 in the loft gallery.

The public is invited to meet with all three artists-in-residence. Lewis Knauss on Aug. 10, Mira Lehr on Aug. 24 and Tom Turner on Aug. 27. Enjoy demonstrations and learn what motivates and inspires them. All artist talks, which are free to the public, begin at 5 p.m. and are preceded by a public reception at 4:30 p.m.

The Art Academy, classes for non-artist, beginners and continuing students, begins Summer Session III on Aug. 2. Courses will be offered in Outdoor Drawing, Life Drawing, Interactive Art Appreciation, Painting: Oil or Acrylic, Watercolor Basics: Design, Pastels: Studies in the Landscape and/or Botanical Watercolor. Four classes per course. $120 Bascom members/ $125 non-members.

Registration required. 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org/artacademy.

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The upland waterways of the southern highlands provide one of the region’s most interesting natural areas. Unlike most upland habitats — which generally occur as blocks or patches — streams form long corridors that afford rich and varied niches for  plants and animals that have adapted their lifestyles accordingly.

Within the water there’s a variety of animal life, ranging from native brook trout to grotesque hellbenders to water shrews equipped with hairy feet that allow them to hunt underwater. In quiet nooks of pools and eddies, waterstriders skate on film provided by the surface tension of the water.

Over the water corridor, kingfishers, dragonflies and other species establish linear territories. Along the edges, Louisana waterthrushes hunt for worms and snails that they take to their young hatched in nests built back under the banks.

Within the spray zones of waterfalls and cascades, there’s the shimmering emerald world of the mosses, liverworts, ferns and other moisture-loving plants. Then, somewhat farther back — in the miniature flood plains or wash zones created by periodic overflows — a variety of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants form thick walls of undergrowth and overhanging canopy that define the outer edges (or walls) of the corridor.

Shrub yellowroot (Xanthoriza simplicissima), one of the most distinctive and important plants found here in the Blue Ridge, occurs along the banks of most streams. Yellowroot is distinctive because of the handsome tassel of flowers that sometimes appear as early as February and the strategies it has devised for growth and seed dispersal in areas often invaded by raging currents. The plant is also economically and socially important because of its medicinal use and the yellow dye Cherokee women extract from the plant’s inner pulp for tinting basket splints.

If you’re not familiar with yellowroot, look for a woody plant about 8- to 24-inches high that looks to me like a miniature palm tree; that is, all the leafy green growth is at the top of the stem. A participant in one of my plant identification workshops disagreed, saying that it looked like carrot tops.

The flowers emerge on graceful drooping racemes about 3-inches in length. These flowers consist of five purplish-brown sepals (no petals) about a half inch in diameter. The most distinctive feature of the flower is the bright yellow dot in its center — the pollen used to attract pollinators.

The yellowish follicles or fruits produced in summer disperse seeds that float away on inflated capsules.  That makes wonderful sense of why the plant favors a streamside habitat and of how it becomes distributed downstream.

The tissue under the bark is a bright yellow hue that rivals the color of fine butter. The slender roots have long been used for medicinal purposes. Doug Elliott, in his neglected little book Roots (The Chatham Press, 1976), advises that “many people who do use it, including myself, chew a section of the bitter root regularly as a general tonic with an especially beneficial effect on the gastric system.”

Many years ago, Martha Ross, a resident of the Big Cove Community on the Qualla Boundary and a member of family well known for their basketry, told me that her mother, Charlotte Lossiah, “didn’t use yellowroot as a dye too much except with honeysuckle. She liked to use bloodroot. But I like yellowroot. We also use butternut and walnut and bloodroot. You can gather yellowroot anytime, but it’s best in spring when you get a brighter color. It’s a little dull in winter. The roots can be used if you beat them with a hammer, but I like the stems to get the prettiest yellow. You scrape the pulp into a kettle of boiling water on the stove. Pull the splints out to the edge so that the yellow fills up a little hole in the center. After 30 or 40 minutes it’s ready. I never dye a big batch at once, just enough to make a few baskets.”

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting for volunteers for the Adopt-a-Trail program.

A mandatory training program will be held on Saturday, July 31, on the North Carolina side of the Park for interested volunteers.

Volunteers are asked to hike their adopted trail section eight times between spring and fall and report major problems to park rangers. Minor issues would be handled by the volunteers, like removing small limbs from across the trail, clipping back encroaching branches, picking up trash and removing illegal fire rings found along trail.

The training will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the park entrance on U.S. 441.

RSVP by July 26. 828.497.1949 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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The Great Smoky Mountains Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will throw its annual banquet at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was integral to the reintroduction of elk in the Smokies. The annual banquet is their primary fundraising and social event of the year.

The lively evening includes a prime rib dinner, raffles, silent auction and live auction — including more than 15 rifles or shotguns and a bow. Other auction items include hunting trips, a pack trip and Bristol race tickets.

The park’s two elk experts, wildlife biologist Kim DeLozier and elk researcher Joe Yarkovich, will give a presentation on the status of the Smokies elk prior to the banquet at 4 p.m.

$45. Contact Joyce Cooper in Cherokee at 828.506.3308 or Rusty McLean in Waynesville at 828.452.2896.

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Stocking a river with one of the nation’s rarest fish is a slow and gentle process.

On a recent summer day, biologist Steve Fraley lowered a clear-plastic bag full of water and 50 small, threatened fish called spotfin chub, into Graham County’s Cheoah River, holding it closed until the water temperature in the bag approached that of the river’s. After a few minutes, he opened the bag and slowly mixed in river water before finally giving the fish free rein to enter the river. By the end of the day, 844 of the tiny fish were released following the painstaking acclimation process.

“To watch us empty those bags in the river may seem a little anti-climatic, but returning this rare fish to this river is a tremendous step in restoring the river’s rich diversity and one that is the result of a lot of effort by a lot of people,” said Fraley, a biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission who has directed the effort to restore the spotfin chub in the Cheoah.

This is the second year in a row the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has stocked the rare minnow in the Cheoah, and the latest chapter in an effort to bring back the river’s biodiversity. For decades the nine-mile river reach between Lake Santeetlah and its confluence with the Little Tennessee River was largely dewatered by Alcoa Power, which diverted the river to a hydropower generator.

Some fish and other aquatic life, including a remnant population of endangered Appalachian elktoe mussels, were able to hold on in the Cheoah River thanks to a trickle of water seeping through the dam and small feeder creeks.

A few years ago, however, federal environmental regulations forced Alcoa to stop diverting the entire river and return a small flow of water to the natural riverbed.

The spotfin chub, a fish on the federal endangered species list, is the latest in a series of reintroductions aimed at restoring aquatic life to this stretch of river. Wavy-rayed lampmussels and the wounded darter, a small, bottom-dwelling fish, are also being reintroduced. Other native species on the horizon for stocking in the Cheoah include the rainbow and Appalachian elktoe mussels.

The effort is being led by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the N.C. Wildlife Commission.

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The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River will host a “Walk ‘n Talk” in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Bryson City at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 23.

Two retired WCU professors, Glenn Liming and Dan Patillo, will take the group on a short hike to a waterfall, followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Anyone interested in discussing environmental issues and water quality in Jackson and Swain counties is welcome. 828.488.8418 or WATRnc.org.

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Jackson County resident Josie Williams will be guest storyteller at a special children’s storytime at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Williams is co-creator (with her sister-in law Kim Williams) of Shert: The Helping Hand Glove Puppet, a book-and-puppet combination for children. Shert is an acronym for Safety, Helping, Encouraging, Relating, Teaching. The simple glove puppet is both toy and teaching tool.

Williams will read from the book, Shert: Goes to the Park and introduce children to puppets. 828.586.9499.

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Join the fun at a Star Wars party at 2 p.m on Saturday, July 31, at Blue Ridge Books. The bookstore in Waynesville is one of only 70 in the United States hosting a 2010 DK Star Wars Event. The party is co-sponsored by the DK publishing company.

The event will include games and crafts for children, a trivia contest for all ages, free Star Wars souvenirs for the first 100 participants, and a costume contest. Star Wars prizes will be given for contest winners and there will be a raffle for other Star Wars prizes. The highlight of the event will be a special appearance by several members of the 501st Legion, a costuming organization formed in 1997. Be sure to bring a camera. 828.456.6000.

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Dr. Barbara Carlton will autograph copies of her book, This Nearly Was Mine: A Journey Through Carlton Country at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, in the Friendship Garden at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library.

In June 1994, the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library was dedicated. The site for the library was purchased by the Carlton family. Dr. Carlton has continued her support with spearheading the expansion of the library in 2007.

Proceeds from the sale of her book will go to the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library Foundation, which supports the library and the Friends of the Library and the Summit Charter School.

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A group of award-winning mountain dulcimer players — including several national champion musicians — will present a concert of dulcimer music at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The concert is sponsored by WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach and features the staff of Mountain Dulcimer Week, an annual residential workshop that brings together dulcimer masters and players of all skill levels for a week of courses and performances.

The show will feature a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs played on baritone and bass dulcimers, and some played with a violin bow. Performers will include Susan Trump of New York and Molly McCormack of Kentucky, both of whom accompany themselves while singing, and national champions Jeff Hames of Mississippi and Erin Rogers of Kansas.

$12 adults, $7 students and children. Tickets are available at the arts center box office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 828.227.2479, or at www.wcu.edu/fapac.

Space is still available for courses during Mountain Dulcimer Week, scheduled for July 18 to 23. dulcimer.wcu.edu or 828.227.7397.

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Join Bean Sidhe, pronounced ban-shee, for a lively evening of traditional music from the British Isles. The premier Celtic band of the Smokies will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.

The group began as a means for members to explore the connections linking traditional music from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales with its contemporary American counterparts, especially in the bluegrass, country, and folk genres. The band currently has four members: David Russell, who may have lost count of the exact number of musical instruments he plays, but he is capable of playing at least a dozen at the performance level; Amanda Burts plays recorder and accordion; Ralph Wright-Murphy, who is a classically trained baritone, sings, plays bodhran (Irish drum) and guitar; and rounding out the group is Karin Lyle, a professional musician from Waynesville who plays harp and violin, and can be found teaching at the Balsam Gallery Dulcimer Shop in Waynesville.

The Friends of the Marianna Black Library will provide snacks and refreshments. This program is free.

828.488.3030 or fontanalib.org/brysoncity.

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Celebrate the remarkable bonds of familial harmony this weekend at The Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival.

“All In The Family” parts I and II will feature performances by brother and sister pianist William Ransom and violinist Kate Ransom and the HCCMF debut of sisters The Albers Trio.

On Friday, July 23, the Ransoms will deliver Antonin Dvorak’s brilliant “Sonatina in G Major, Op. 100.” The Ransoms are no strangers to sharing the stage — every HCCMF season contains at least one duet by this dynamic team.

The Ransoms will be followed by the Albers Trio’s performance of Ernst von Dohnanyi’s “Serenade in C Major for String Trio, Op. 10.” The Albers sisters — violinist Laura, violist Rebecca, and cellist Julie — will also perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s “String Trio in G Major, Op. No. 1.”

On Sunday, July 25, the Ransoms return with Bela Bartok’s “Roumanian Folk Dances.” The Albers Trio follows with Bohuslav Martinu’s “String Trio No. 2.”

Following Intermission, the Ransoms and The Albers Trio will team up for Dvorak’s “Quintet in A major, op. 81.”

The Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival stretches through Sunday, Aug. 15. Concerts are held at 6 p.m. Fridays at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5 p.m. Saturdays at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library in Cashiers. Sunday concerts are staged at 5 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Highlands and repeated at 5 p.m. Mondays at the Cashiers Community Library.

www.h-cmusicfestival.org or 828.526.9060.

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The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet takes the stage 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 23, for the weekly Concerts on the Creek series in downtown Sylva, and the group encourages other brass musicians to join the fun.

Brass players of all ages are invited to bring their instruments to Sylva’s Bridge Park and play along with the quintet on two songs. The selections will be played just after intermission, and the music for the songs is available for download at: www.smbq.org/music/music.html.

“If you’re in the Sylva area, dust off your instrument cases, oil your valves and slides, and come join us,” said trumpet player David Ginn.

The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet is a popular group that serves as quintet in residence at Western Carolina University. The quintet has performed nationally in such venues as Carnegie Hall, as well as internationally with tours of Russia, the United Kingdom and China. Their unique music ranges from early renaissance to rock.

In addition to Ginn, the band consists of Brad Ulrich on trumpet, Dan Cherry on trombone, Mike Schallock on tuba and Travis Bennett on French horn.

This free show is part of a summer concert series each Friday evening through Labor Day weekend.

Concerts on the Creek are co-produced by: the Town of Sylva, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Parks & Recreation, Downtown Sylva Association, and Jackson Country Travel & Tourism.

800.962.1911 or www.mountainlovers.com.

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Creating a youthful, energetic mood, the new 175-seat Entertainment Lounge at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel is the focal point in the property’s Mountain Breeze zone, one of four themed zones of the casino, which is soon to be doubled in size as part of its $633 million expansion. The Mountain Breeze zone is characterized by rich, striking colors, strobe lighting and pulsating music. More than 700 new games are being added to this zone, with the new 3,000+ seat Events Center on its upper level set to open Labor Day weekend.

The Entertainment Lounge features live music on Wednesday through Saturday nights and a variety of stimulating bar top games. Music will include a rotating roster of entertainment for adults of all ages and interests. With 33 plasma-screen TVs, a 13-foot over-the-stage projector, and concert-level audio, guests will also be able to enjoy sporting events and music videos. The Lounge will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily with full bar service. For the balance of July, except July 22, 23 and 30, the Entertainment Lounge will host live karaoke from 8 p.m. to midnight every Wednesday, dueling pianos from 8 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays, and live bands from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Ultimate Elvis Competition will take over the Entertainment Lounge on July 22 and 23. The Ultimate Elvis finals will take place in the Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. July 24. On Friday, July 30, Terry Lee and the GTs will perform from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. in the Lounge.

828.497.7777 or www.harrahscherokee.com.

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The popular play, “The Prince of Dark Corners,” by local writer and storyteller Gary Carden will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the historic Rickman Store in Macon County’s Cowee Valley.

The play centers on the life and times of the Carolina outlaw, Major Lewis Redmond, and has been performed widely in North Carolina and South Carolina over the past several years.

Seating is limited to 60. Tickets are $15 and can be obtained at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and at the Rickman Store on Fridays and Saturdays. All proceeds will go to support the preservation and maintenance of the Rickman Store.

Filled with wit, humor, and pathos that pays homage to the eternal image of the true American folk hero, the play has been lauded as an entertaining glimpse into the life of one of the Carolina’s most colorful characters.

The T.M.Rickman Store is located seven miles north of Franklin by Hwy. NC 28 on Cowee Creek Road next to Cowee Elementary School.

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Students will learn the basics of quilt piecing and machine quilting while making an easy tote bag at a one-day workshop Saturday, July 31, at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center.

Participants will use the “Mini-Charmer” pattern, which is available at local quilt shops & online. A sewing machine in good working condition, preferably with a “walking foot,” is required.  If you don’t have a portable sewing machine to bring to class, don’t let that stop you. Contact Melinda at Stecoah Valley Center or the instructor, Rena Magolnick, at 828.479.2100.

$20 if you bring your own materials, or $55 including the fabric and pattern. A material and supplies list will be provided when you register. To register, 828.479.3364.

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Local residents of all ages are exploring one of the newest and hottest fitness classes: Latin Aerobics. This upbeat class offers a fun-filled, hip-shaking cardiovascular workout where students can enjoy Salsa, Samba, African, Cumbia, and Reggaeton rhythms, all while toning and sculpting their bodies.

“This is a fitness option for all ages. The class makes exercise fun, so people feel motivated to come each week,” says Nicole Polzella, local instructor and director of AccessDance WNC, a mobile dance instruction company. Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Day Spa is already on board, providing Latin Aerobics classes at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and 4 p.m. on Thursdays.

To take part or learn more, contact AccessDance WNC at 828.276.6458 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The annual Parish Fair will feature smoked barbecue, a drawing for a locally-made colorful quilt, and music and entertainment, including a children’s booth and games. The fair takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Grace Episcopal Church.

Bargain hunters can find good buys in clothing, books and boutique items at the flea market and garden shop. Some appliances and furniture will also be offered.

All proceeds from the fair go to support local charities.

Grace Church in the Mountains is at the corner of Miller and Haywood streets in Waynesville.

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Penland School of Crafts will host a professional development workshop for artists living in Western North Carolina from Oct. 1 to 3.

The workshops will be taught by the nonprofit group Creative Capital and is geared for all artists who would like to earn their living from their art or would like to take their art-based career to a new level of professionalism.

The weekend workshop is an intensive two-and-a-half-day crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising, and promotion, including lectures, peer critiques, one-on-one consultations, interactive exercises, and written assignments. Participants will be given a workbook as well as handouts with practical how-to information, and they will meet with leaders in small groups.

The workshop is open to artists living in the following Western North Carolina counties; Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey.

Applicants will be asked to submit a resume, a letter of interest, and photographs of their work. Tuition for the workshop, which takes place on the Penland campus in Mitchell County, is $50. Housing and meals are available at additional cost. Applications due Aug. 16.

www.penland.org or www.creative-capital.org.

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“For the Love of Color: Mixed-up Media,” an exhibition of works by Sylvia Everett, will take place from Wednesday, Aug. 4, to Saturday, Aug. 21. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through. A special artist’s reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, in conjunction with the Waynesville Gallery Association’s Art After Dark event.

In 1995, Everett was one of the first artists to exhibit at the Haywood County Arts Council’s newly founded Little Gallery on Church Street. From 1995 to 2001, she was a resident artist at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass. She maintained a working studio on campus and provided help and guidance to students who chose to use art as a way to explore theological questions.

In addition to the weaving, mosaic, and painting of this exhibition, Everett has created many large banners using painted silk and cut paper as well as seasonal installations for First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.

Everett has also provided worship settings for Lake Junaluska and was an artistic consultant for the Bethea Welcome Center, where her large sculptural installation, “Song of Justice,” is permanently displayed. That sculpture, composed of 27 vintage organ pipes and authentic ethnic fabrics, honors the many cultures of people who come to Lake Junaluska.

www.haywoodarts.org.

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A special art showing of David Arms’ works will run July 30 through Aug. 1 as part of Old Edwards Inn and Spa’s Season of the Arts.

For many years, Arms was one of the leading special event designers in the country, producing award-winning events from coast to coast. In 1996, he was presented the “Award of Excellence” by Special Events Magazine for his outstanding designs and contributions to the events industry. Also in 1996, he chose to devote himself full-time to his fine arts career.

He is a self-taught artist that is known for his ability to create compositions that simplify a subject to its essence. Arms’ paintings can be found in private collections and noteworthy publications. Each piece is given great detail that is evident in the final result. He resides in Nashville, Tenn. with his wife and two daughters.

828.526.8008 or www.oldedwardsinn.com.

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For the first time, Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation invites teams as well as individuals to sign up for the 5th Annual Downtown Waynesville Dog Walk on Aug. 7.

Last year, almost 280 dogs walked down Main Street. The fun begins at 10 a.m. when walkers meet at the Haywood County courthouse.

The route will be from Depot Street to Montgomery Street to Church Street then returning down Main Street back to the courthouse.

Contests for registered dogs and their owners who walked will be held upon returning to the courthouse. The contests, emceed by Jeanne Naber, will be Best Dressed, Best Tail Wagger, Best Trick and Owner-Dog Look Alike.

The two judges for the contests are Brian Hatfield, afternoon host of 99.9 Kiss Country radio, and Larry Blunt, News Anchor at WLOS-TV. Both judges will bring their dogs and walk with the crowd.

Sponsors receive up to three free T-shirts and free dog walk registration for one dog.

Pledge sheets accompany registration forms and prizes will be awarded for the most money collected by a team and by an individual.  There will also be a prize for the runner-up in each category.

Registration forms are at The Dog House located at 304 N. Haywood Street in Waynesville, Sarge’s office at 1659 S. Main in West Waynesville, veterinarian offices in Waynesville, Clyde and Canton, and online at www.sargeandfriends.org.

828.246.9050.

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The monthly Art After Dark will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 6 in Waynesville. Sponsored by The Waynesville Gallery Association, Art After Dark takes place the first Friday of each month, May through December.

Enjoy a stroll through working studios and galleries on Main Street, Depot Street and in Historic Frog Level. Festive flags identify participating galleries, while Steve Whiddon will provide music on the street.

• The wire-wrapping art of Nadine Fidelman will be featured at The Jeweler’s Workbench from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, at Waynesville’s Art After Dark.

Fidelman searches out the best gemstones, pearls, fossils and dichroic glass from the world’s top suppliers to use in her one-of-a-kind pendants and earrings.  She “wraps” each one, surrounding it with a minimal amount of wire, to enhance its beauty.

• Burr Studio will be featuring woodcarver Dennis Ruane for the month of August. Many folks will remember Dennis from the Hardwood Gallery previously located on Main Street in Waynesville.

• Earthworks Gallery is proud to feature the work of nationally-acclaimed artist Bonnie Marris and the fanciful creations of Ruth Apter as it celebrates August Art After Dark.

• Ridge Runner Naturals Studio & Gallery will be hosting a Trunk Showing of new creative, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces by Waynesville artist Keri Anna Kelley. Kelly will be sharing her inspiration and design process. Wine and cheese will be served.

www.waynesvillegalleryassociation.com or 828.452.9284.

 

Honoring four-legged friends at Twigs and Leaves

 

Twigs and Leaves Gallery is celebrating our four-legged companions with a special Art After Dark tribute from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6.

Having recently lost its gallery dog, Twigs and Leaves will honor Debbie, who welcomed thousands of customers, with a tree planting on Wall Street. The gallery will also be fundraising for The Francis Fund, which helps injured and sick creatures who are abandoned or homeless and will help the pets of people in financial difficulty.

Clay animal artist “Old Dog” will be in the gallery, and he and Twigs and Leaves Gallery will donate the profit of the sales of Old Dogs dogs to the fund. Munch on “dog treats,” stroll the gallery with its more than 170 artists, and enjoy familiar tunes on the piano.

www.twigsandleaves.com.

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On International Festival Day, Main Street in Waynesville will transform into a world bazaar where more than one hundred artists, craftsmen and international guests sell all forms of arts and crafts.

The day offers the ultimate cultural exchange for all ages, whether you’re an art lover coming to browse booths of jewelry, paintings, photography and woodwork; a child traveling the world at Passport to the Arts; or a family seeking a glimpse of international dancers and old time mountain music.

The 25th Annual International Festival Day takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, in downtown Waynesville. North Carolina’s Official International Festival runs from July 22 to Aug. 1. (See special Folkmoot section inside this week’s edition)

Festival-goers can browse booths filled with handcrafted items and even catch a demonstration or two by artisans including flame workers, potters and woodworkers.

Modern metal artist Bob Gwynn creates one-of-a-kind artwork that brings a vibrant feeling to any room. After returning from a tour in Vietnam in 1972, Gwynn took a welding course to learn a skill before deciding to go back to college.

One day on a power plant job, he cut a butterfly out of a plate of steel. Thirty-eight years and more than 800 major art shows later, he has produced hundreds of metal designs ranging from nature designs, water fountains, and furniture all from his studio located just outside of Greenville. Gwynn’s work has evolved from simple wall pieces to multimedia pieces that bring in vibrant colors and textures.

Metalsmith and jeweler Maggie Joynt has an eye for beauty in unexpected places such as the surface of the rocks outside her studio or the frayed wings of a well-traveled butterfly. Using various materials including leaves, paper, insect wings and fabrics, she presses patterns and textures directly onto sterling and copper. This process preserves the delicate texture directly onto the metal. These abstract, organic and textural elements are evident in all her work. Joynt’s open studio and gallery is located at the Riverwood Shops in historic Dillsboro.

Ceramicist Courtney Tomchik employs the raku firing technique where smoke penetrates the clay and glaze to enhance the range of colors and finishes she uses. After cooling for a short time, the pieces are placed in a bucket of water.

“The water phase stops the color process and sometimes creates flashes that are not visible until it is cooled completely,” Tomchik said.

Once cooled, the piece is cleaned with an abrasive cleaning agent ash deposits. After a 24-hour drying period, Tomchik assembles her pieces and adds additions like glass beads from local shops or her travels and small bits created from clay with gold leaf to create more drama. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.

Nadine Fidelman chooses semi-precious gemstones, pearls, fossils and dichroic glass that have character, then “wraps” each one, surrounding it with a minimal amount of wire, to enhance its beauty. Fidelman uses her fingertips, fingernails and various pliers to surround each one and often adds gemstone beads or pearls to create a unique piece of art jewelry. No casting or solder is ever used. She also creates unique jewelry with fine silver, bronze and copper, sometimes combining them with wire wrapping.

The international theme continues at opposite ends of Main Street where food courts feature a wide variety of choices including gyros, Asian spring rolls, crepes, beignets, Caribbean shawarmas, fajitas and — a North Carolina staple — pulled pork barbeque.

The Passport to the Arts children’s area is where children are issued a “passport” and “travel” to countries like Russia, India, Latvia, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Jordan, Portugal and Poland, and create Indian twirling palm puppets, Kufi hats and other one-of-a-kind crafts to take home.

Festival entertainment will be provided by Folkmoot USA’s international dancers and musicians; Voices in the Laurel Children’s Chorus; and students from the Haywood County Arts Council’s Junior Appalachian Musicians program. The cultural exchange takes place on stages at each end of Main Street beginning at 10:15 a.m. at Town Hall in downtown Waynesville.

For more information, www.haywoodarts.org or call the Haywood County Arts Council at 828.452.0593. For ticket information about Folkmoot USA performances during July, visit www.folkmootusa.org, 828.452.2997 or 1.877.FOLK-USA.

Comment

To the Editor:

Last week I announced that I would be conducting an online poll seeking input about public sentiment surrounding the proposed Super Wal-Mart project.  Many community members responded, and I would like to give them my sincere thanks for their time and thoughtfulness.

This past Friday, the Town of Franklin’s attorney informed me that polls like the one I conducted are not allowed before hearings like the one to be held by the Board of Aldermen on Aug. 2. That hearing is a “special use permit” hearing and by state law has to be “quasi-judicial,” meaning that the board of aldermen can only make their decision based on information put before it during the hearing and cannot seek public input beforehand. Because I did seek input, the town attorney has asked me to recuse myself from the Aug. 2 hearing and not participate.

I do not agree with this feature of our state law nor was I aware of it. I’ll chalk it up to a learning experience and take full blame for not being aware of this situation.

Elected officials represent the public, both the majority and the minority’s opinions to make sure everyone’s ideas and thoughts are considered. I particularly try to take in the minority’s opinion.

I will abide by the town attorney’s request. The last thing I want to do is cause any legal difficulties for the town. Therefore, I will not participate in the Aug. 2 hearing, and I will keep the poll results to myself until after that hearing. I want to stress, however, that I can and will share the poll results after the Aug. 2 hearing.

The town attorney confirmed to me that the poll and its results are proper for any other board activities that are not “quasi-judicial.”  While I will not be participating in the hearing, I would remind the public that it is a public hearing, and anyone can come and give evidence on the question of the special use permit.

Thanks again to those of you who responded to the poll.

Bob Scott

Alderman, Town of Franklin

 

Comment

To the Editor:

I wish the article written by Thomas Crowe (“The terrorists are right here among us,” July 23 Smoky Mountain News) would have never been published, but I reckon this is freedom speech being exercised.

I live in coal country and work at a refinery. Yes, we lost 29 miners in West Virginia just recently, and a great loss it was. British Petroleum lost 11 men on that rig that blew. Not everybody has office jobs where the greatest danger may be a paper cut, tripping over extension cords, or maybe even a strained back while changing the water bottle on the cooler!

Why is it the well-funded green machine makes all these statements, yet out of hypocrisy, they write and use computers that use electricity that is made from burning coal or nuclear energy? Or like Al Gore makes such statements as the ocean is rising and then turns around and buys a mansion for a mere $9 million. Of course he went and looked at it before purchasing it — in his jet, which burns 1,000 pounds of fuel per hour.

It’s amazing to me. They preach the message of doom and gloom, and people buy into it. Part of that message is we need to change our way of living.

I have a better idea. What if the power companies that supplied the A/C your sitting in while you read this or the electricity in the hospitals would shut off power to everybody that didn’t like coal, or what if all products that you used that contained some sort of crude oil in it was eliminated. Needless to say you wouldn’t be driving on roads then. All the while the rest of us who believe in coal and oil maintained our way of life as usual and see how long it took for your opinion to change! Thank God for the greatest country on the face of the earth!

Jesse McClanahan

West Virginia

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To the Editor:

We are writing to express our gratitude for your excellent coverage of the 2010 Haywood County Garden Tour. Your full page spread was really appreciated. Our attendance was up over 15 percent from 2008 thanks, we’re sure, to your support.

The Garden Tour is the primary fundraiser for the Horticulture Program of the Haywood County Extension Agency. The Horticulture Program provides advice and support to local area farmers and home gardeners. In these days of state and county budget cuts, the funds raised by the Garden Tour are sorely needed.

Paula Gatens

2010 Haywood County Garden Tour Co-chair

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To the Editor:

On behalf of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank those who helped to make Franklin’s Annual 4th of July Fireworks & Fun Day such a huge success.

Businesses donated not only money but products, while others donated their time. These people willingly worked a long, hot day to provide the activities that were offered to the folks of Franklin. We here at the Franklin Chamber feel it is an honor to serve our residents and visitors.

Linda Harbuck, Diane Baldwin and Cindy Cavender

Franklin Chamber of Commerce

Comment

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance is working to end elder abuse by offering training sessions across the far western counties of North Carolina.

Statistics from the National Center for Elder Abuse state that between one and two million Americans 65 or older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.

In January 2008, Det. Jeff Haynes of the Waynesville Police Department began working on a federal elder abuse grant with Sybil Mann, an assistant district attorney in the 30th Judicial District. Since that time, Haynes has trained numerous groups, including law enforcement, medical personnel, victim advocate groups and others who wanted to know more about the problem of elder abuse.

Call the 30th Alliance at 828.452.2122 or the Elder Safe Hotline at 866.496.5406 for help.

 

Comment

Haywood Habitat for Humanity is holding an open enrollment through July for perspective new-home partner families. Applicants must be residents of Haywood County and have lived in North Carolina for the past year, have an annual household income of $18,700 to $28,600 and a credit history free of liens and judgments. Applicants must currently reside in unsafe or overcrowded housing and be willing to commit 400 hours of labor and time into building their home or the home of another partner family.

828.452.7960. www.haywoodhabitat.org.

Comment

The Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 27 at the Shook House in Clyde. Following the business meeting, Ted Carr and Evelyn Coltman will present a program entitled, “The Best of the Cold Mountain Heritage Tour.”  The tour, which was the sixth and final one of its kind, was held in June.

The presentation will include video clips from “The Best of Bethel” and parts of a DVD entitled, “Walking in the Footsteps of Those Who Came Before Us.”  The video describes the Heritage Tour, and the DVD features interviews of local people such as Ted Darrell Inman discussing Inman’s Chapel, Tanna Timbes talking about Francis Mill, and Doris Cathey who discusses her home, all of which have been on the tour.

828.627.9828.

Comment

As the director of Southwestern Community College’s new Plus 50 program, Michael Rich is rapidly working in the community to get his face and program recognized.

An initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges, Plus 50 focuses on learning, career development and volunteering for people older than 50. In Southwestern’s three-county service area there are more than 30,000 people older than 50.

Rich is eager to appear before groups to discuss the new Plus 50 program and gather input. Call him at SCC’s Cashiers Center at 828.586.4091 ext. 497 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit the Plus 50 blog at http://blogs.southwesterncc.edu/plus50/.

Comment

Mountain Projects, Inc. through a collaborative effort with the Area Agency on Aging and Progress Energy is sponsoring Operation Fan-Heat Relief Program for seniors. People 60 years or older whose health would otherwise suffer during hot summer months and seniors who are retail residential customers of Progress Energy may apply. 828.452.1447.

Comment

A ceremony marking the installation of a marker honoring Capt. George Ellis Plott, who was killed in action on Dec. 24, 1944, will be held at 11 a.m. on July 26 at the Plott family cemetery in Plott Creek in Waynesville.

Capt. Plott died after going below decks several times to rescue injured and trapped comrades after their transport ship was torpedoed in WWII.

He was a notable Haywood County bear hunter and hunting guide who also raised Plott Hounds. Capt Plott’s relatives — including former Navy Commander Bill Plott and author Bob Plott — along with the Rev. Patrick Womack have worked together to get the marker.

For more information, contact Ernestine Upchurch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Whether you’re a birder or mountain biker, paddler or hiker, photographer or hunter, now is your chance to bend the President’s ear on the future of outdoor recreation in America.

A series of listening sessions are being held across the country “to hear Americans’ ideas on land conservation, recreation, and best ways to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors.”

WNC outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists will weigh in on “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

“The listening session in Asheville on July 15 is a rare opportunity to be heard on a number of outdoor-oriented issues relating to a place that is special to us all,” said Ken Murphy, vice chair of The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, who plans to attend. “Given that somebody is listening, we have not only an opportunity, but in some sense a duty, to speak out in order to enhance means of protecting our landscape and sharing our natural treasures with those who are losing touch with them.”

President Obama launched the initiative to develop a conservation and recreation agenda worthy for the next century.

“Even in times of crisis, we’re called to take the long view to preserve our national heritage — because in doing so we fulfill one of the responsibilities that falls to all of us as Americans, and as inhabitants of this same small planet,” Obama said.

For more, go to www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors.

Comment

The Dixie Region Hosta Convention will be in Waynesville Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17, at Rux Gardens. Lovers of the shade tolerant plant will assemble for seminars, garden tours, vending and auction.

Plant vendors will be set up from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday and 2 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday with hostas, ferns, conifers, Japanese maples and many more plant varieties from regional growers. A live auction will be held Friday evening.

Rux Gardens is located at 2930 Old Balsam Road in west Waynesville. 828.456.4621.

Comment

Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market will have a festival in conjunction with the long-awaited arrival of  summer corn and tomatoes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17.

The market has been bustling for weeks with colorful produce, homemade bread, cheese, eggs, fish and meat, plus locally made crafts. This weekend, vendors will pull out all the stops with food samples, including marinated and grilled pork and vegetable kebobs, grilled fish, fried green tomatoes and blackberry cobbler. There will be live music by Allan McRae and The Waynesville Wildcats.

“We’re working hard to make Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market the best market in Western North Carolina,” said Carol James, president of the market’s board of directors. “We’re currently one of the largest markets in the area, second only to Asheville City Market.”

Haywood’s Historic Farmers’ Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of HART Theater on U.S. 276 a few blocks down from Main Street in Waynesville.

Comment

The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River members and all who are interested in clean mountain streams are invited to the WATR Summer Public meeting on Wednesday, July 21, at the Sylva Town Hall in Jackson County. The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River will meet at 6:30 for socializing and with the regular meeting starting at 7 p.m. The meeting will feature two speakers.

Fred Grogan of Equinox Environmental will speak about the riverbank restoration along the Tuckasegee River at the old Dillsboro Dam site.  Next, Dave Cozzo of the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (RTCAR) program will present “Stalking the wild river cane: Finding canebrakes in the Tuckasegee Watershed.” The talk will be followed by a brief breakout session for group planning. Come join us, and leave knowing what dates and where you can help work for a healthy Tuckasegee River.

On Friday, July 23, WATR will have its Annual Walk ‘n Talk at Deep Creek in Swain County.  At 5:30 p.m., WATR will meet at the parking lot at the Deep Creek Entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a leisurely walk to a nearby waterfall. Glenn Liming and Dan Patillo, retired WCU professors, will be the leaders. Patillo will answer biological questions and Liming will assist.  Afterwards members will go to a local restaurant for dinner.  Check the website WATRnc.org for directions.

For answers to questions and to sign up for the Walk ‘n Talk, call the WATR office at 828.488.8418.

Comment

From bark shingles to edible mushrooms, entrepreneurs across Western North Carolina are being encouraged to tap the resources of the national forests for creative business endeavors.

More than $1.2 million in federal stimulus money has been granted to 14 small business initiatives that use forest products.

“I believe these projects will help jumpstart the forest products industry and the economy of Western North Carolina,” said USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Director Jim Reaves.

Historically, logging companies extracting timber for mass markets have comprised the bulk of the forest-products industry in WNC, but the grants seek to open the door to new innovations.

One such project called “Recovering Traditional Cherokee Delicacies” got $62,000 to harvest, grow, and market forest food products traditionally gathered by Cherokee tribe members, including edible greens and mushrooms.

Another project got $90,000 to create a cooperative of producers to grow, harvest, and market value-added ramp products. Ramps, a form of wild garlic used by Appalachian settlers and Cherokee, have become all the rage in recent years, and are now in short supply in the wild as a result.

Many of the businesses awarded grants will tap the timber trade, but not in the traditional logging style. Two businesses will launch sustainable firewood ventures. Another will cater to the demand for sustainable timber by using horse logging and small sawmills. Another will supply furniture makers with sustainably-harvested wood.

More than 60 people applied for the grants. The WNC forest stimulus initiative was earmarked for $1.9 million, but $700,000 will go to project managers, advisors and consultants, workshops and grant oversight.

Comment

Cataloochee Valley, a popular section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Haywood County, finally has restrooms.

Cataloochee Valley offers a historical representation of an early mountain community with farmhouses, cemeteries, a church and school house. It also has numerous trails, fishing and — as home to the park’s elk herd — excellent wildlife viewing.

Despite heavy visitation, the site only had port potties. It now has three permanent restrooms at different points in valley with a rustic design that looks like an old-fashioned outhouse. Each structure has two vault-style toilets, one for men and one for women.

The park service also removed built up bat droppings from the historic chapel and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

Comment

Mary J. Messer, author of the Haywood County based memoir, Moonshiner’s Daughter, will hold the kick-off launch for her newly published book from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, in front of the historic courthouse in Waynesville

Messer’s memoir is now available at the Bargain Book Store, 1032 Mauney Cove Road in Waynesville.

“It has been several years since I first sat down and hand wrote my memories of growing up ‘dirt’ poor in Haywood County in the ‘40s and ‘50s,” said Messer. “I hope the struggles I share in Moonshiner’s Daughter will help others who were abused or witnessed domestic violence as children to heal and see that there is a way out.”

Moonshiner’s Daughter is Messer’s early life story of a young girl raised in some of the most remote, backwoods parts of Haywood County.

Her father, an ardent moonshiner when he wasn’t in prison, and her mother, often showing mental illness from an earlier brain injury, raised their four children in some of the grimmest circumstances imaginable.

Messer is donating a portion of each book sold to REACH of Haywood to assist them with their mission of helping survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse as well as educating teenagers and the public in ways to avoid intimate partner violence.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 828.452.2539 or www.moonshinersdaughter.com.

Comment

More than 350 dancers and musicians from across the globe will arrive in Waynesville on July 19 to participate in the 27th annual Folkmoot International Festival, and a project is under way to provide as much fresh food as possible for the dancers.

These dancers and musicians work up quite an appetite performing across Western North Carolina. Folkmoot staff and volunteers provide four full meals each day during the two-week festival. Feeding the dancers and musicians costs a lot of money, and Folkmoot has traditionally relied volunteer help and community contributions.

This year Folkmoot is in need of baked goods, fruits, vegetables, herbs and even flowers for the dining room tables. Folkmoot is searching for gardeners who would like to help “feed the world” through a donation of produce, herbs or fruit. If you are a gardener blessed with an abundant harvest and would like to make a contribution from your garden or other source, Folkmoot can provide you with a receipt for a charitable donation. Folkmoot is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization.

To find out how you can help “feed the world,” or to make a donation, please call Sybil Mann, Folkmoot Food Committee Chairperson, at 828.508.4336.

Comment

The Original Twin Piano Twins, Mark and Clark, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 16, and Saturday, July 17, at Eaglenest Entertainment in Maggie Valley.

Mark and Clark Seymour have been playing the piano since they were 4 years old. At first, the family only had one piano and the boys would practice separately every day.  When they were 16, their parents bought a second piano, and the twins decided to put the two musical instruments together. It was then that they became an act.

The late columnist Forrest Duke described them as having “the flash of Liberace, a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis, and the piano artistry of Ferrante and Teicher.”

Their first album, first “Doubletake” on Columbia Records, went gold in five countries in Europe

The Twins’ self-composed pride and joy, “The Worn Down Piano,” went to Number 1 in several European countries and stayed there for 17 weeks. Since then, the twins have also recorded albums on their own label, Twinco, and have sold as many as half a million albums in their career through concerts and nightclubs alone.

Mark and Clark have made numerous national appearances on CBS, NBC and ABC. They have performed in Europe, Asia, South America and Mexico.

Buy tickets from noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Eaglenest box office or call 828.926.9658. Tickets range from $20 to $25. www.eaglenestnc.com.

Comment

Craft artists are invited to submit digital images of their work by July 19 to be considered for inclusion in The Bascom’s juried exhibition “American Craft Today.” This national competition and exhibition will feature original works in all craft media: ceramics, metal, wood, glass, fiber, book arts, etc. Cash awards will be made for various categories including best in show.

This year’s juror, Carol Sauvion, will select some 40-50 handcrafted works for inclusion in the exhibition taking place from Oct. 2–Dec. 18 in The Bascom’s main gallery in Highlands.

Carol Sauvion is executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated “Craft in America” PBS television series, as well as creator and director of Craft in America Inc., a nonprofit odedicated to presenting the history, practitioners and techniques of craft in the United States and their impact on our nation’s cultural heritage.

Guidelines available at www.thebascom.org/exhibitions.

Visit www.thebascom.org or call 828.526.4949.

Comment

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is pulling the stops out for its production of the smash hit “Chicago,” which opened July 9.

“Chicago The Musical” has become the longest-running revival in Broadway history, with more than 5,600 performances, along with inspiring an Academy Award-winning film.

The usual rule of thumb is that if a show is running in New York, the rights are restricted and no other theatre can produce it. Because of “Chicago’s” extraordinarily long run the rights have been released, and HART is one of the first theatres to be granted permission to do the show.

The musical is based on a play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, who had been assigned to cover the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the Chicago Tribune.

Annan, the model for the character of Roxie Hart, was 23 when she was accused of the April 3, 1924 murder of Harry Kalstedt. The Tribune reported that Annan played the foxtrot record “Hula Lou” over and over for two hours before calling her husband to say she killed a man who “tried to make love to her.” She was found “not guilty” on May 25, 1924.

Velma is based on Gaertner, who was a cabaret singer. The body of Walter Law was discovered slumped over the steering wheel of Gaertner’s abandoned car on March 12, 1924. Two police officers testified that they had seen a woman getting into the car and shortly thereafter heard gunshots.

Julie Kinte, who rocked the stage as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret,” returns as Velma Kelly, and Candice Dickenson, who blew everyone away last summer as Ulla in “The Producers,” is Roxie Hart. The production is being choreographed bymCord Scott and Music Director Chuck Taft will conduct the orchestra. “Chicago” is being directed by HART’s Executive Director Steve Lloyd.

“Chicago” will have performances at 7:30 p.m. July 9, 10 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 30, 31 and at 3 p.m. July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1.

$22 adult, $20 senior, $10 student/child with special $5 discount tickets for Students for Thursday and Sunday performances.

Box office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 828.456.6322 or www.harttheatre.com for reservations.

Comment

To the Editor:

The Smoky Mountain News and Western Carolina University’s Gibb Knotts and Chris Cooper are to be commended for a job well done (“Jackson County Political Poll” in the July 7 Smoky Mountain News).

County Commissioners Tom Massie and Brian McMahan seem to believe the polls’ questions too “generic” and do not answer the question of why people are critical toward government? Perhaps we can help with that.

People are tired and they’re angry. Many people (now in their 60s and 70s) have worked hard for over half a century, rarely been sick, never asking for help. Given the economy, for them, there is no retirement in sight ... unless they’re fortunate enough to work for the government.

People are tired of being told they have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have their work ethic, of having their hard-earned money given to people too lazy to earn it.

People are tired of being told they have to pay more taxes to help people who bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford and to bail out companies which made that possible, like “Fannie” and “Freddie.”

People are tired of being told how bad America is by millionaires who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In a few years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela.

People are tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and Islamic schools to preach hate in America while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach tolerance.

People are tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and we must help and support them and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses?

People are tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught.

And people are really tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working but are living on welfare or crime. Should we call drug dealers, “undocumented pharmacists”?

And I’m definitely tired of being lied to. If you believe Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have any intention of reforming immigration in any meaningful way, I have a bridge up in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party know that if they can mange to legalize the millions of illegals presently living in the United States they will have a permanent lock on a Democratic majority in Congress (and the White House) for 50 years.

Jackson County Sheriff, Jimmy Ashe, asks a pertinent question. “Why, with government approval at its lowest, is voter turnout so abysmal?” Easy question, Sheriff ...  apathy and ignorance. And Ashe is painfully correct when he states, “it’s up to the people to take back the government.” Up until now, we Americans have failed miserably in accomplishing that task.

David L. Snell

Dillsboro

Comment

To the Editor:

Let’s look at what truly stimulates an economy, creates jobs, drives markets and produces tax revenue to fund government services. Should it be a mystery that in a brief period of time the greatest economy in history suddenly had the pins pulled out from under it? We talk about jobs lost, the absence of bank lending, the bottom falling out of the real estate market, reduced consumer spending, and on and on. What do all of these occurrences have in common? They are all symptoms of a much deeper but simple problem. The root problem that drives all of these is simply a lack of confidence.

Confidence in the future creates jobs in every viable business in the country. It encourages banks to lend, individuals to spend and it generates tax revenue through increased commerce at every level. If business is not confident in future growth, it does not invest in people and the tools to produce. If banks are not confident in business markets to grow, they will not lend. It is the single most important ingredient in a vibrant economy.

Let’s examine what happened to confidence. That too is simple: government actions that defied logic, ignored public opinion, exhibited abject arrogance and flagrantly ignored warning signs. The predictability of government to make decisions that reflect the public’s wishes, and its reaction to issues in a logical way, drive confidence that the future will be business- and market-friendly.

Government actions like passing the bailout, stimulus spending and healthcare bills, all done in defiance of the public’s will and passed without our representatives even having read the bills, only serve to destroy confidence in our future direction.

What can we do to restore confidence? Change the players at all levels of government! The ones we now have will not suddenly be imbued with common sense and better judgment; nor will they abandon self-interest in favor of a calling to public service.

Bruce Gardner

Waynesville

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