Wind, seas and surf will build in advance of what could potentially become the first tropical system of 2015 along the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States this week.
A lingering area of showers and thunderstorms east of Florida is forecast to develop tropical traits as the week progresses.
According to AccuWeather.com Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The storm can take on some tropical characteristics as it drifts northward due to sufficiently warm waters and the potential for diminishing winds aloft."
The system has a chance to become the first named tropical system of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, even though it may not be fully tropical but rather a subtropical storm.
A subtropical or hybrid storm has some warm, tropical features and some cool, non-tropical features.
"Regardless of tropical development or not, winds and seas will gradually build along the coast from northeastern Florida to southeastern Virginia, well ahead of the center of the system as the week progresses," Kottlowski said.
The most significant impact from the budding system will be late in the week, when rain and thunderstorms can occur along with gusty winds, rough surf and beach erosion.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "For people along the Southeastern coast, this storm's weather conditions will be similar to a developing nor'easter."
Factoring in dry air limiting the intensity of the storm, winds could reach an average speed of 20-30 mph with gusts frequenting 40 mph along the Carolina and southeastern Virginia coasts.
Building seas will be a concern for boaters and bathers. Cruise, fishing and shipping interests from the southeastern U.S. to the Bahamas will want to monitor the progress of the storm. Strong rip currents for bathers and sudden squalls for fishing and small craft are likely to be a concern.
The center of the storm could wander very close to the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas at the end of the week. However, even if the center were to remain offshore, downpours, gusty winds and seas will reach the coast due to the forecast broadening structure of the storm.
Weak steering winds could cause the system to meander to the coast or perhaps hover just offshore.
"If the storm stalls near or over land, enough rain could fall to cause flooding," Kottlowski said.
A small number of tornadoes could be spawned if the system were to make landfall.
Forecasting the intensity of preseason storms can be especially challenging due to marginal water temperatures and a typically more hostile atmospheric environment, when compared to mid-season storms.
In this case, we have a system forecast to develop in a near-summerlike weather pattern, which could give the storm a bit of an edge for development as well as some strengthening, Kottlowski said.
At least there will not be the added tidal effect from the moon late this week.
"The full moon was this past Sunday and typically the greatest effect from the moon on tides is within a couple of days of the full and new moon," Kottlowski said.
The new moon is not until May 18.
Monday's Times-News web site reports...
The case of four teens accused of raping a classmate at a party in December 2012 has been put on standby for the next few days, marking at least the fifth delay.
A defense attorney asked for the delay so that they can speak with the assistant attorney general, who is handling the case's prosecution.
As the docket was called in a crowded Superior Courtroom Monday morning, Roy Neill, attorney for one of the accused, Tyler Scott Garren, asked to have the matter moved to July 27.
Resident Superior Court Judge Mark Powell said that he didn't want anything to happen to the case until it is discussed in court.
Hours later, Neill returned to ask the court for permission to put the teens on an hour standby for the next few days should anything develop in the case.
“I want to know what's going on with this case,” Powell said.
“I understand,” Neill said, adding that he didn't want the teens to wait until the case could be worked out with a state prosecutor who was absent from the courtroom.
The standby status was approved, allowing the teens to be dismissed until called.
No word has been offered to the specifics of the plea deal.
Nineteen-year-olds James Matthew Bishop, Joseph Vincent Curto, Justin Wesley Ponder and Garren were minors when they were charged with felony second-degree rape. The teens are being tried as adults. The lead prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Nancy Vecchia, told the court in January that her office had “made a plea offer to the defense attorneys in this matter” and the case was continued until March. The inclement weather led to the case being postponed again until May.
Monday’s standby marks at least the fifth delay in the nearly two-and-a-half-year-old case.
North Carolina Apple Festival Executive Director David Nicholson has announced...
We are pleased to present our logo and theme for the 69th North Carolina Apple Festival.
This year’s logo was designed by Rachel’s Screen Printing of Portsmouth, VA. We became familiar with Rachel’s though the North Carolina Festival Association where their designs and merchandise annually win several awards. We are excited to have them as a part of the 2015 Festival. We will feature the logo on our t-shirts and other merchandise offerings.
Our 2015 Theme is “Apples-Fun-Music” which is based on the logo. The Theme is used by many groups including the Hendersonville Business and Merchants Association’s Window Display Contest and during the King Apple Parade.
The Hendersonville Community Band conducted by Winford Franklin
will perform it’s annual "Pops and Patriotic" concert on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 3 pm. This always favorite community event will be held at the Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall in Flat Rock.
What could be better than bringing Mom and the family to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of Broadway music, pop tunes and jazz accented with all time favorite marches! The tickets are $10 for adults, students are free and may be purchased at the Hendersonville Visitors Information Center, Laurel Park Wine Market, from any band member and at the door the day of the concert.
The 80 member volunteer member band will open the concert with "A Copland Portrait" by Aaron Copland followed by the easy listening pleasure of Marilyn Campbell our lead sax and charter member of the band doing "Misty" which will stir up some old memories of days gone by. Next a change of pace with "Yankee Doodle" by Morton Gould will be performed a bit differently than the old familiar nursery tune.
"Broadway Show-Stoppers Overture" arranged by Warren Barker will have you reminiscing those wonderful days of big Broadway productions. Included in this composition are "Everything’s Coming Up Roses; "People", "With a Little Bit of Luck"; "On a Clear Day" "Try to Remember"; and "That’s Entertainment".
"A Young Man with a Horn" by George Stoll and arranged by John Edmunston features our own jazz trumpeter "young senior citizen" Russ Sena performing a very sweet sound that you’ll be humming the rest of the day.
Everyone’s favorite "The Lion King" arranged by John Higgins will have you visualizing that wonderful stage production and looking for giraffes coming down the aisle!
The trombone section will start your toes tapping with "Lassus Trombone" [also known as a "Trombone Smear"] by Henry Fillmore. Those trombones can really produce!
To round out the concert you will recognize selections from "Cole Porter on Broadway" all of which are old stand-bys. A march "The Chimes of Liberty" by Edwin Goldman will liven up the show along with the old favorite "Stars and Stripes" at the end.
Of course, we all will perform "The Ultimate Patriotic Sing-a-Long" arranged by Jerry Brubaker and singing led by Roberto Flores and his wonderful voice [also a bassoon player in the band]. Your Mom probably didn’t know you could still sing!
The afternoon promises to be a delight to both young and old and mothers will be most appreciative that you brought her and the family to the band’s last concert of the season.
Flat Rock Playhouse is kicking off its 2015 mainstage season with the hit musical Always…Patsy Cline. Presented by The Cliffs with BMW of Asheville serving as Opening Night Sponsor, Always…Patsy Cline is a heartwarming celebration of down home country humor, true emotion and twenty seven timeless classics including Crazy, Walkin’ After Midnight, Sweet Dreams and I Fall to Pieces.
Written by Ted Swindley, Always…Patsy Cline is one of the most produced musicals in America, including a very successful run off-Broadway and sold out hit productions in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. More than just a tribute to the legendary country western singer, Always…Patsy Cline focuses on the real life relationship between Cline and Louise Seger, a Texas housewife with whom Cline communicated via handwritten letters until her untimely death in 1963. The show’s title was inspired by these very same letters that were signed “Love ALWAYS…Patsy Cline.”
“Top 10 produced plays” – AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE
“Sweet dreams again” – USA TODAY
“A song filled valentine” – LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Always…Patsy Cline, Always a hit.” – BILOXI SUN HERALD
New York City based actress Jacqueline Petroccia will assume the title role of Patsy Cline. Petroccia has played the role previously for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Stages St. Louis and Ivoryton Playhouse, among others.
“I have probably seen well over 100 productions of Always…Patsy Cline in its 26 year histoy; Jaqueline Petroccia is remarkable,” says Swindley. “She has every nuance and vocal quirk of Patsy Cline down pat. A beautiful performance – warm, full of life and heart breaking.”
Joining Petroccia will be Flat Rock Playhouse favorite Linda Edwards portraying the role of Louise Seger in this crowd-pleasing and heartwarming exploration of love, loss and friendship.
“Always…Patsy Cline continues to hold its status as one of our most frequent Box Office requests. As one of the first ever 'cross-over' stars of the Country/Pop variety, audiences now as ever remain drawn to Patsy's music and legacy,' says Flat Rock Playhouse Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant. "With the introduction of dynamo Jacqueline Petroccia in the role of Patsy we fully expect to engender the same exciting buzz as past productions, if not more so. We’re further thrilled to be able to partner Jacqueline with long time Vagabond and powerhouse Linda Edwards as together they portray the often hilarious and truly profound real-life-friendship of Patsy and Louise. It will surely be theatre magic – a show not to be missed."
Always…Patsy Cline will be directed by Bryant with musical direction by Alex Shields. Dennis Mauldin will be designing the set with Ashli Arnold providing the costumes. Stephen Terry will design the lights for Always…Patsy Cline; sound design by Kurt Conway. Lindsay A. Moss will serve as Stage Manager with Stacy Worrell Marlowe as Assistant Stage Manager.
A post show talkback has been planned with author and original director of Always…Patsy Cline, Ted Swindley, on May 31 immediately following the closing matinee at 2 PM.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Always…Patsy Cline performs May 7 through 31 on the Flat Rock Playhouse Clyde and Nina Allen Mainstage. Performances Wednesday through Friday evening at 8 PM, matinees Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday Saturday at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 - 40 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
Flat Rock Playhouse is located at 2661 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, NC.
With the line-up to the 2015 Rhythm & Brews Concert Series hitting the news, the Main Street Champion award received by Babs Newton, Mike Hall and Ralph Freeman at the recently held North Carolina Main Street Conference is a good reminder of who deserves some thanks for this great Hendersonville grown event. The trio was recognized by the NC Main Street Center for “their creative problem solving and unfailing adaptability” which had ”safely carried the event through its first year of four concerts and 14,000 total attendees into its second year of five concerts and approximately 20,000 total attendees. Whether it was in planning or executing the event, these three champions consistently delivered the energy for launching and sustaining a wildly popular community event.”
So the next time you’re enjoying Rhythm & Brews, and we do hope you will, take a moment to thank a volunteer. It wouldn’t be at all unlikely that you’ll run into Babs, Mike or Ralph driving stakes for protective fencing, keeping the over 100 volunteers and contractors hydrated, checking banners for the stage or engaged in the always underappreciated task of cleaning up. Whatever it takes to bring this fun event to Hendersonville, this crew has got it!
The first concert of the 2015 season is scheduled for May 21st and features “The Allen Thompson Band” as headliner with Emily Bodley in the singer songwriter slot and Gary Seagle opening. The music starts at 5:00 pm with Allen Thompson on at 7:00. Additional information about the 2015 Rhythm & Brews Concert Series, other downtown events and/or opportunities to volunteer with this great organization can be found on the Historic Downtown Hendersonville webpage at DowntownHendersonville.org or by calling 828.233.3205.
The Henderson County Education Foundation, Inc. (HCEF) is pleased to announce that the 13th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony, presented by TD Bank and sponsored by Park Ridge Health, will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2015 in the Education and Technology Development Center at Blue Ridge Community College.
“This year’s Hall of Fame dinner represents a whole new approach to honoring Henderson County’s education heroes.” said Graham Fields, President of the Henderson County Education Foundation Board of Directors. “In addition to a new venue, this year’s event will also feature an exciting new format, streamlined program and a delicious meal catered by Carrabba’s Italian Grill.”
Entitled Education Celebration 2015, this year’s event will induct new members and feature a reunion of inductees from past Hall of Fame classes. Over the last dozen years, more than one-hundred individuals who have had a substantial impact on education in Henderson County have been honored with induction into the Hall of Fame.
“We have a great class for the Hall of Fame this year and we will be announcing the inductees in early March,” said Dan Poeta, Vice President of the Henderson County Education Foundation. “I would invite the community to attend this special event as we honor the educators who have made lasting contributions to our county.”
For more information about the Henderson County Education Foundation and its programs
please visit www.hcef.info.
AS WHKP NEWS REPORTED OVER A WEEK AGO, THE CITY OF HENDERSONVILLE'S $25,000 DOWNTOWN PARKING STUDY WILL RESULT IN NO ADDITIONAL PARKING SPACES...BUT THE STUDY HAS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MAKING BETTER USE OF THE CITY SPACES THAT NOW EXIST.
THE STUDY WAS OFFICIALLY RELEASED TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS IN THEIR BUDGET RETREAT ON FRIDAY. AND THE TIMES-NEWS WEB SITE PUBLISHED THIS REPORT:
CITY COUNCIL'S BUYDGET RETREAT
In their first unveiling Friday of results from a parking study that began in September, traffic analysts from Dixon Resources Unlimited brought a mixed bag of suggestions to curb parking complaints to the city during a day-long planning retreat Friday.
Topping the list was a push for the city to increase the enforcement of its parking laws, after researchers learned the locals know when the city's only parking attendant isn't working.
“Anita (Lockhart) is your parking enforcement unit, but Anita also does a lot of other things for the agency including managing the crossing guard program” and other responsibilities, said Dixon President Julie Dixon.
“You have parking policies but they're not enforced consistently and everybody knows it. The one thing that really came out of our focus groups is, No. 1, everybody knows Anita, which is awesome because she has a personality and she definitely has a positive impact on the downtown parking area, but they also know when Anita works,” she said. “They know what time she's going to be on Main Street and they know what her other job duties are.”
Knowing her schedule, Dixon said, gives some the advantage to “know how to game the system.”
Whether meters are added to Main Street or parking decks are raised in the future, Dixon recommended the city beef up enforcement patrols first to see how traffic improves.
Julie Dixon and David Cooker of Dixon Resources Unlimited, a company with more than 25 years' experience in parking and transportation management, shared a few surprises in what they found.
Most of the cars taking up spaces all day in front of businesses were driven by business owners, employees and downtown residents, the study found. Main Street and side streets were operating over the industry standard set at 80 percent capacity for parking occupancy from lunchtime into the evening hours. Main Street was operating at 90 to 100 percent capacity during the busy times.
The study found that 90 percent of visitors parked on-street instead of using off-street lots, but a majority of parkers said they would consider walking farther instead of paying for parking if Main Street were metered. Use of venues with parking meters has continued to increase over the past five years, and Dixon representatives predicted it would continue to climb with consistent enforcement and updated technology.
People, on average, were spending more than 20 minutes in 15-minute spaces, according to the study, and Dixon representatives said they thought the city's parking fines were too cheap. A woman in one of their focus groups admitted she saved money by racking up a couple of parking tickets a month instead of paying for a leased space.
Dixon and Cooker said they were able to identify the locals from out-of-town guests during a Rhythm and Brews concert by where they parked. The locals seemed to know where to go, Cooker said, while there were others who kept circling the blocks.
The analysts also noticed in their study that some of the leased spaces in lots appeared to be underutilized. They suggested a plan to overhaul the program by opening up some of the leased spots to the public when not in use.
Dixon recommended the city consider:
-Increasing enforcement of the city's parking laws.
-Publishing the laws for all to see.
-Employing better signage for visitors to navigate parking options with uniformity in the downtown's branding.
-Making the 15-minute spaces loading zones.
-Overhauling the permit parking program, stripping the names from spaces to give the public a chance to use some of the under-utilized leased spots.
-Increasing the fines on parking citations.
-Revisiting the idea for parking along King Street, recently nixed by city council.
-Employing a documented special event parking procedure so people can know in advance which lots and spaces will be off-limits instead of learning about the tow-away zone that morning. The procedure could also establish signs to use in special events to let visitors know when a lot is full.
-Adding parking kiosks to lots and/or smart meters to Main Street that allow a visitor to pay for parking electronically with a credit or debit card.
-Reaching out to other lot owners like the Curb Market for public/private sharing opportunities.
-Creating a Parking Ambassador program by employing others to help enforce the city's parking laws with a customer-service oriented approach to enforcement, supplementing Lockhart's efforts.
-Letting customer service support take over the debt collection for parking tickets.
-Adding lighting, signage and safety improvements to parking lots and walkways to tie in with Main Street and the downtown's appeal.
-Publishing parking rules on signage at lots, the city's website and in road maps.
-Approving a setback policy consistent with NCDOT, which, Dixon said, could free up more room for parking.
In the future, the Dixon study suggested the city could also look to find more potential parking lots, particularly on the east side of Main Street; consider hosting a transit center with public bathrooms for busloads of tourists; and consider making Main Street a pedestrian mall during peak periods or special events.
Skate Park 'bullies'
Before the parking study results were unveiled, City Council and staff addressed concern around the city's skate park at Patton Park.
“We've got this email from a person who uses the skate park who's concerned about drug activity, concerned about bullying,” City Manager John Connet said. More trash and a little vandalism has also been found at the park.
“I've already talked to the police department about beefing up the enforcement for the drugs,” he said, but other conversations have raised the idea of staffing an officer at the park.
“I can say ditto to that first letter and email that ... talked about his child, who didn't like it because of the big kids there,” said Mayor Barbara Volk. “Last summer, our older grandson, that's all he wanted to do, so I would go over with him.”
But right before Christmas, she said, her grandson told her husband “'those big boys are talking bad and they're being mean and I want to go.' He never asked again to go back to the skate park,” Volk said.
Councilman Jerry Smith said he responded to the letter writer, saying that the park in Asheville has a full-time attendant and suggesting that may be the way to go.
Hendersonville Police Department Chief Herbert Blake said he has asked the city to fund a police officer specifically for the parks.
Other suggestions included having a monitor to keep an eye out and call police when things come up, and closing and locking the park at night. Connet said he would work with the police department and Public Works to come up with a plan to present to City Council in the future.
In other action, city staff and council members:
Heard an update on plans shaping up for the Historic Seventh Avenue District, including an idea to buy an unused lot to add off-street parking to the busy west end to alleviate concerns about on-street parking spots recently gobbled up by bulbouts.
Heard an update on the application submitted to the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant program for Berkeley Mills Park. City Planning Director Sue Anderson said they hope to hear the grant selection results in July. The city applied for a $250,000 PARTF grant, which would be supplemented by a city match budgeted for $300,000 to help renovate the park. Anderson said they are also seeking a grant to study the former mill's baseball field, which is still in use, for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places
Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act on Wednesday, which would prohibit federal employees from accessing pornographic or explicit material on government computers and devices.
Last year, an Inspector General report revealed that one Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee was viewing as much as 6 hours of pornography a day in his office on his government computer. The same federal employee was found to have downloaded as many as 7,000 pornographic files onto his government computer. To date, this employee has yet to be fired and we continue to learn of similar bad actors.
“It’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites,” Congressman Meadows said.
“While there are rules in place at most agencies to ban this kind of unprofessional and potentially hostile workplace behavior, it continues to take place. There is absolutely no excuse for federal employees to be viewing and downloading pornographic materials on the taxpayers’ dime,” Meadows added.
“Further, downloading these files, which are often ridden with viruses and malware, poses a cybersecurity threat at our federal agencies. This commonsense legislation ensures that federal workers have a comfortable, safe work environment and protects taxpayer resources from being misused,” Meadows said.
Mark Meadows serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee where he chairs the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
St. James Episcopal School for Little Folks has implemented a new program called LifeCubby. LifeCubby is a highly-organized online portfolio that offers parents and teachers a simple and new way to electronically chronicle all aspects of a child’s life, from birth through the teen years.
LifeCubby is a parent planning tool and early childhood teacher journaling tool different from any other online portfolio, child’s historical record book or social networking site because of its breadth of capabilities and ease of use.
“LifeCubby is all about leveraging the Internet and the electronic age to simplify the lives of parents and teachers,” said LifeCubby founder Sue Testaguzza. “Parents crave opportunities to capture special moments in the lives of their children. Teachers are looking for easy and convenient ways to document the progress of students. We bring all these elements together in real time.”
Parents become “cubby managers” by creating a private and secure "cubby" to organize and store information electronically for their children. Parents store everything from journal entries, medical records, keepsakes and school papers to videos and photos. With mobile apps, LifeCubby can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Parents can restrict their child’s cubby to themselves, or they can grant others access to share in creating the child’s biographies through inviting "cubby pals."
“We are so excited about having Life Cubby and our parents are, too,” said Denise Purcell, Executive Director of St. James School for Little Folks. “It’s a great organizational tool for us and a convenient way for parents to stay tuned in to their children’s progress.”
St. James Episcopal School for Little Folks, an outreach ministry of St. James Episcopal Church, is a Christian pre school, child care and day care for ages 12 months to 5 years for St. James Parish and the greater Hendersonville, NC, area. The program has been awarded a 5-star rating by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. The academic preschool program prepares children for the future by building a solid foundation of Christian values and school readiness skills.