From Hendersonville Lightning...
Edward Harold “Ed” Lastein Jr., a landscape architect who designed most of the public outdoor space, greenways and sidewalks of Flat Rock and served over the past four years as “the guiding spirit” of the new Park at Flat Rock, died suddenly Thursday of a brain aneurysm. He was 59 years old.
“The whole community is obviously in shock and mourning,” said Flat Rock Village Administrator Judy Boleman. “He did all the landscaping for Village Hall. He was involved in the sidewalks. He was chair of the greenways committee. He’s just left his mark on this community and we’re just all so sad.”
“It’s a sad sad thing,” said Don Farr, who is the Lastein family’s neighbor in Kingwood and worked closely with him on greenways and park development for many years.
Lastein complained of not feeling well when he got up Thursday morning, friends and family members said. When he collapsed, the family called 911. Blue Ridge Fire & Rescue transported him down the steep roads of Kingwood to Kenmure’s golf course, where MAMA flew him to Mission Hospital.
“He lived long enough for all three of all three of his children to get there before he passed,” Farr said.
A native of Raritan Bay, N.J., Lastein and his wife, Sandy, wasted little time after his graduation from the George H. Cook college of Rutgers University before moving south. They made their way to Flat Rock in about 1988. Lastein is survived by his wife and three children, Teak, Kristen and Kelton, and a 13-month granddaughter, Sophia.
When the history is written of the incorporated Village of Flat Rock, Lastein’s contributions will be worthy of a long passage.
Whenever the Flat Rock Village Council talked about running a new sidewalk, planning a greenway, fighting kudzu or protecting hemlocks, Lastein was there as a knowledgeable and welcome adviser. His gentle manner and thoughtful guidance transformed ordinary public works jobs into something else, in keeping with the sensibilities of the Village of Flat Rock as a place of historical significance and a natural woodsy ambience.
(Photo also from Hendersonville Lightning)
IF YOU ARE ELDERLY OR DISABLED AND ARE IN NEED AND THINK YOU QUALIFY, CONTACT THE COUNCIL ON AGING OR THE SALVATION ARMY FOR FANS TO HELP PROVIDE SOME RELIEF
If you think it’s been hot this summer, you’re right…and National Weather Service data backs that up.
The first 23 days in July this summer were the 6th warmest on record for that time period at the Ashville-Regional Airport…where the average “mean” temperatures was 76.5 degrees. The record at the airport for that time period was 78.2 degrees set back in 1980.
As you would expect, it’s been even hotter at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport. During the first 23 days of July, it was their 4th warmest on record for that time period with an average temperature of 82.5 degrees.
And with the heat come some air quality issues. A “Code Orange” air quality action day was issued for the mountains this past Sunday…which means that ozone at ground levels, especially on or near the mountain tops, is, or can be, unhealthy for some people. That “Code Orange” has shifted on down into the Piedmont of North Carolina on Monday.
At the same time, a “heat advisory” was issued for Monday for most all counties in the state from Charlotte eastward. High temperatures in the mid to upper 90s were forecast, which means the combination of heat and humidity, or heat “indices”, would be reaching 103 to 107 degrees.
Heat related illnesses are more likely to occur when temperatures, or “indices”, climb to those levels. The advisory says to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight; take frequent breaks in the shade or inside an air conditioned room; and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Local temperatures may cool a degree or two later in the week, but no real break in the current weather pattern is in the short-term weather forecast for western North Carolina and for most of the tarheel state.
By Larry Freeman 4am 07/25/16
Transylvania CountyTotal: 7
Yancey CountyTotal: 6
Watauga CountyTotal: 8
"Dog Days" officially started this summer on July 3rd and will continue through August 11th. As hot as they've been this year, and some heat records have been set this summer in the 48 contiguous states, there been enough rainfall---in spite of deficits dating back to early last winter---to keep stream flow at accepable levels and the crops growing.
Old-imers here in the mountains say if it rains on the first day of "Dog Days", it'll rain somewhere in the area everyday until "Dog Days" ends. Even though the rain has been spotty, and has come in downpours in some areas that quickly ran off, there has been enough of it to avoid water restrictions...and to keep good crops...from hay to vegetables to apples...all growing and reasonably healthy in Henderson County.
Agriculture still accounts for a high percentage of Henderson County's economy.
Weather forecasters expect the spotty "Dog Days" weather pattern to continue for at least the next week, but there may be some modification of temperatures...with slightly cooler daytime highs in the upper 70s...by the middle of the week as a nationwide heat wave begins to loosen its grip.
Henderson County was officially taken off the "severe drought" list by the NC Drought Managemnt Advisory Council last Thursday, but wE remain in what they call "moderate" drought. Water consevation is still being encouraged.
By Larry Freeman 6pm 07/23/16
The 2016 North Carolina Apple Festival is a short two months.
This major annual event celebrates Henderson County’s principle agricultural industry, the multi-million dollar apple crop. The festival will be held this year from September 2nd through the 5th, Labor Day….and it will include all the usual attractions that typically bring out about a quarter of a million people to enjoy and participate in the three day event.
From the “King Apple Pancake Breakfast” on the morning of opening day to the last float down Main Street in the big parade on Labor Day, this premier event is a celebration of the apple and all it means to the growers, to the local economy, and to those who enjoy the myriad of delicious varieties grown in Henderson County orchards.
And with the festival getting closer every day, it’s not too early for potential vendors to begin to sign up. Local not-for-profits are already “in line” for the available spaces set aside for them in the downtown street fair. Those who would like to participate in the “King Apple Parade” can also begin to sign up now.
And of course…the festival always needs volunteers.
To get more information, or applications to be a vendor, parade participant, or a volunteer, go to the apple festival web site…ncapplefestival.org.
In addition to the millions who have enjoyed the festival for well over six decades, a lot of famous people have been in town to celebrate the apple…including governors, congressmen, and famous entertainers like singers Red Foley and George Hamilton the Fourth. And in 1958, actor Robert Mitchum, who was in western North Carolina to film “Thunderoad”, participated in the apple festival.
Festival organizers have been busy planning this year’s event since back in the winter. Savanna Roper, a rising senior at HendersonvilleHigh School, was named about a month ago as this year’s “Apple Ambassador”. And they say it’s not to early to plan your Labor Day weekend around the arts and crafts, the food, the music, the vendors, the fun, and the celebration of Henderson County apples…this September 2nd through the 5th.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 07/09/16 Updated 2pm
The opening reception and awards ceremony for the 13th annual Bring Us Your Best art exhibition will be held , from . This all-media visual art exhibition will be on display through in the Blue Ridge Conference Hall of the TEDC building at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.
First ($250), second ($150), and third ($100) place awards will be presented in four categories: 2-dimensional art, 3-dimensional art, fine craft, and photography. In addition, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville is sponsoring and selecting the “One Planet, One World” award. The winning artwork will be the best representation of a world community recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of all beings, and the oneness and interdependence of all life.
For a fourth year, an Artist’s Choice award will be sponsored and presented by two artist patrons. This award is selected by all artists who have work in the show. The Artist’s Choice award winner will be announced at the opening, and will receive a $300 cash prize.
The Starving Artist Art Supply and Custom Framing Shop is sponsoring the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced on , the last day of the exhibition. This award winner will be determined by the votes of all gallery visitors who will be encouraged to cast votes for their favorite piece in the show, and will receive a $250 gift certificate from The Starving Artist. Ten Honorable Mention awardees will receive $25 gift certificates from The Starving Artist at the reception.
All artwork displayed at Bring us Your Best is for sale. Regular gallery hours for Bring Us Your Best XIII will be www.acofhc.org. Monday through , and on Saturdays. A prospectus for the show is available on the Arts Council’s website,
The exhibition is sponsored by The Wax Family Memorial Funds, the Dr. Minor F. Watts Fund at the Community Foundation of Henderson County, The Starving Artist Fine Art Supply and Custom Framing Shop, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville.
The Arts Council of Henderson County is a community organization that promotes, advocates for and nurtures the arts in Henderson County and western North Carolina. Its office is located at 401 North Main St., Ste. 302, Hendersonville, NC 28792. (Entrance on Fourth Avenue West.)
The Arts Council is supported in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources; funds administered by the Community Foundation of Henderson County, Henderson County, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, and the City of Hendersonville.
Henderson County's mosquito contro program can help this summer of you have a problem with disease-carrying mosquitos..
County Manager Steve Wyatt says the county has purchased two dozen bat boxes that bats can live in.
The Transportation Security Administration recentlky displayed some 900 pounds of weapons and hazardous materials seized at TSA checkpoints at the AshevilleRegionalAirport during the past 12 months.
TSA officials say the most common banned items were those with blades, like knives. But four handguns have been intercepted at Asheville Airport checkpoints already this year…only one gun was found last year.
Even a chainsaw was intercepted by the TSA at the Asheville Airport.
Statewide, 85 guns have been confiscated at airports in North Carolina so far this year. 1,546 guns have been seized by the TSA at airports nationwide so far this year…the number of expected to be up significantly over last year.