Four Seasons Rotary Club is pleased to announce a partnership with PardeeHospital and Ingles Markets as presenting sponsors for the 4th Annual Tour d'Apple cycling event. The ride begins at Blue RidgeCommunity College on Labor Day,September 5, when approximately four hundred cyclists will pedal from 25 up to 100 miles around the apple orchards and scenic mountains of HendersonCounty.
James M. Kirby II, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pardee Hospital, said Pardee is proud to support the 2016 Tour d’Apple. “Exercise and fitness is key to healthy living,” Kirby said. “Supporting the largest cycling event in HendersonCounty aligns with our mission to improve the health of our community.”
With four routes around HendersonCounty, tour cyclists from beginners to professionals challenge themselves to achieve new goals. "This year, we have modified our Jonagold 45- mile route to appeal to those cyclists who want a great ride, but a bit less climbing and more apple orchards,” said Dick Miley, a member of Four Seasons Rotary and co-director of the ride.
This year’s route will be even more fun and have an additional rest stop. “The Jonagold riders can still add ten miles by taking the legendary climbs up BearwallowMountain and over Terry's Gap and see 'you did it' on the pavement," Miley said.
The Tour begins and ends at Blue RidgeCommunity College with cyclists rolling out at8 a.m. Cyclists can view the four routes on the Tour website:www.tourdapple.comand register at Active.com or at the College on Labor Day,September 5, at7:00 am. Early registration discounts end onAug. 27. The first 250 cyclists who register at Active.com will receive a pair of Sycamore Cycle socks. Cyclists registered by August 18 will receive a free Tour T-shirt. Participants may also order a 2016 Tour d'Apple jersey (extra cost) along with their Active.com registration.
The Tour d’Apple also features a free Crabapple Mini-Tour at the College for children ages five to 13. The Mini-Tour, which is supported by Chick-fil-A of Hendersonville, begins with registration at9:30 a.m.It includes bicycle safety lessons, games and a two-mile ride around the Blue RidgeCommunity College campus. Registration for the Mini-Tour requires the written permission of a parent or guardian.
As organizer of the one-day cycling route, Four Seasons Rotary Club will provide cyclists with five fully-supported rest stops and a post-ride party at Blue RidgeCommunity College with food from Chick-Fil-A and other vendors. Hunter Subaru provides four “Support and Gear” Subaru vehicles (SAGs) to provide help for cyclists along all routes.
In additional to Ingles, Pardee and Hunter Subaru, Tour sponsors include Brookdale East at Pine Park, Hendersonville Heath & Rehabilitation, The Lodge at Mills River, Rent WNC and Allison Development Group. Tour rest stops are hosted by Home Trust Bank, St. Paul Mountain Vineyard and Sycamore Cycles.
The Four Seasons Rotary Club has 35 members and is part of Rotary District 7670 and Rotary International. The group represents a cross-section of businesses and professions in HendersonCounty and encourages members to participate in service to others as part of the club activities. Funds raised by the club each year support various civic and educational programs throughout the community and the world, including scholarships, special needs sports, youth exchange programs, Head Start and a local downtown park. The club meets twice weekly – Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at The Green Room Café & Coffee House on Main Street and Tuesdays at 7 a.m. at Daddy D’s Suber Soul Food on Seventh Avenue. Guests and visiting Rotarians are always welcome. More information on the club is available atwww.fourseasonsrotary.orgorwww.facebook.com/
Blues legend Mac Arnold and his band, Plate Full O’ Blues, with special guest Eric Congdon, will headline the fifth annual Bids & Blues fundraiser to benefit Thrive on from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Cove at Highland Lake. This ticketed, outdoor event will feature fun for the whole family with a summer picnic, beer, wine and a silent auction. Proceeds will support Thrive's mission to address the gap in mental health services in Henderson County. Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6 to 12 yrs., and free for children five and under. Purchase a ticket online at thrive4health.org or by calling 828-697-1581.
"Without the support of the community, particularly through events like Bids & Blues, we could not continue to help those with mental health symptoms get back on their feet," says Kristen Martin, executive director of Thrive. This year marks a special milestone for Thrive, as it is the fifth year for this fundraising event, and the tenth year anniversary for the organization. Martin notes that the decline of mental health funding over the years makes it increasingly difficult for Thrive to provide critical programs that support many in our community. "With your support, we can continue to offer much-needed services to help individuals transition from surviving to thriving."
Guests will enjoy complimentary beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, wine from Metro Wines and food from Larc's Table. This year's Bids & Blues will also include a silent auction. Master of Ceremonies Ruth Birge will keep the crowd entertained throughout the afternoon. Blankets are welcome and chairs will be provided.
This year's Bids & Blues sponsors include:
Those interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact the Thrive offices at 828-697-1581.
About Mac Arnold:
Mac Arnold, or “Dr. Arnold” since his recent receipt of an honorary Doctoral Degree in Music from the University of South Carolina, has a steep history in the Blues; his first band included James Brown on piano. Arnold moved from South Carolina to Chicago, where Muddy Waters hired him on the spot. He toured and recorded with the Muddy Waters Band, recorded LPs with Otis Spann and John Lee Hooker. He then moved to Los Angeles and produced Soul Train with his friend Don Cornelius. He retired from show business to be an organic farmer, moving back to Upstate South Carolina. With the encouragement of his harmonica player, Max Hightower, Mac got back into the business and has been touring all over Europe and the United States for the past four years. Arnold ventured into the restaurant business in 2013, opening Dr. Mac Arnold’s Blues Restaurant in West Greenville, S.C. in the spring of 2014. The restaurant is located at 1237 Pendleton St., Greenville, S.C.
Thrive has been consistently filling the gap in mental health services since 1983. Known originally as the Sixth Avenue Clubhouse, due to its location on Sixth Avenue and its clubhouse model of a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program, Thrive started out as a program of Trend Mental Health Services, Mountain Laurel Community Services and New Vistas – Mountain Laurel. In 2006, New Vistas-Mountain Laurel dissolved due to lack of funding and the Clubhouse was left to stand on its own or close its doors, leaving a debilitating gap in mental health services. With the support and advocacy of staff, community stakeholders, constituents, and a not-for-profit business attorney, Sixth Avenue Psychiatric Rehabilitation Partners, Inc (SAPRP) was established, known to the community as the Sixth Avenue Clubhouse. In 2012, Sixth Avenue underwent a rebranding and strategic planning process, resulting in their transition to Thrive. For more information, visit www.thrive4health.org.
A FORMER HOST AND "VOICE" ON WHKP
A lively conversation with local author Renee Kumor about her two new publications is now available on local podcast “In the Middle of the Air.” Ken Butcher, creator of the podcast and also a published author, chats with Kumor about the characters she has created in her mystery-romance series, the River Bend Chronicles, and uncovers details of her latest volume in the series, titled Who Am I?. The discussion also turns to Charity in Motions, Kumor’s compilation of newspaper columns about nonprofit board service written for the Hendersonville Times-News from 2005 to 2015. Both books were published this spring by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, where they are available for download on eReaders or in paperback. All eight books in her River Bend Chronicles are also available at Henderson County Public Library, and just recently were added to the library’s e-lending service, OverDrive. Visit www.reneekumor.com for more information.
The Newest Mystery in River Bend Chronicles
“Dusty, the detective in River Bend, has discovered the battered body of an elderly black woman who is barely alive. The local black community is up in arms over the lack of police protection for its members. The unrest is fueled by articles written by a new young, black reporter, Jasmine Fuller,” Kumor summarizes as she explains the plot in Who Am I?
Interestingly, Kumor’s characters, whose lives thread throughout the eight-volume series, are all connected through the world of the town’s nonprofit organizations … in plots always spiced with a little romance and murder. For example, in Who Am I? Lynn and her family learn about the history of many people in town, including the simmering feuds and sad stories among members of River Bend’s African-American community, while helping to solve the case of the battered elderly woman.
“Lynn, Dusty, Tenequia, and their friends discover much through the historic and genealogical society in town, and even help to solve a 35-year-old mysterious murder,” Kumor describes. “I incorporate the subtle connections and smoldering intrigue of small-town life into the evolution of the plot. I like my characters to have dimension and I want my readers to get to know them and their real-life concerns.”
Essays on Nonprofit Service
It was at the request of her publisher that Kumor compiled 150 newspaper columns into her second recently-published book, Charity in Motions: Ten Years of Commentary on Nonprofit Board Services.She describes to Butcher during the podcast interview how the assignment at the Times-News newspaper to write a monthly column led to her creation of the on-going River Bend series, and how the historic columns are pertinent today.
“As you read through the essays,” she explained, “you will find references to local nonprofit agencies operating in Henderson County, North Carolina. You will also find mention of people who were active at the time the article was written. I used the opportunity to draw attention to their community service and offer praise for the work they performed.”E KUMOR---NOW AVAILBLE ON-LING, IN PRINT, AND ON PODCASTS
COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PROCEED WITH THEIR ORIGINAL $76 MILLION PLAN
It was an emotional morning in the main meeting room of the Historic Courthouse Wednesday…as Carey O’Cain presented the Hendersonville High School Alumni Association’s proposal for a new high school campus.
Before a packed room full of Hendersonville High supporters, business leaders, and school officials, there was a lot of technical discussion involving square footage and dollar figures for both the O’Cain proposal and a plan submitted to and accepted by the commissioners earlier this year from the county’s “architect of record”, Clark Nexsen.
O’Cain minced no words in criticizing the county-adopted Clark Nexsen proposal which O’Cain said is based on “inadequate and misleading” information…and O’Cain added…”I feel as though we have been taken advantage of by the architect of record”.
In defending their proposal, Clark Nexsen’s Chad Roberson said of the Alumni Association’s and O’Cain’s argument, “When you start digging into it deeper, it starts to fall apart”
The total cost for a new Hendersonville High School campus…constructing new buildings on the Boyd property that the county now owns and saving the 1926 Erle Still-designed main Hendersonville High structure…would be about $76 million according toi the Clark Nexsen plan. O’Cain’s and the Alumni Association’s proposal would be about $46 million. Clark Nexsen argued the O’Cain figures are wrong…that their proposal would actually cost $59.7 or close to $60 million.
Clark Nexsen also argues that the O’Cain plan leaves a deficit of some 32 thousand square feet, which would force the school to either use temporary classrooms or move students temporarily to another school.
Much of the debate goes back to what to do with the main campus-Erle Stillwell building. O’Cain said “…honoring the existing classroom building should have been the highest consideration of the architect and the Board of Commissioners.” But tearing that historic building down was never realistically going to happen---not with all the emotional support for it within the community. O’Cain’s proposal would keep it in use for classrooms…but the Clark Nexsen plan would put the classrooms in a new building while preserving the Stillwell building for some other purpose, perhaps for school administration which is now located in the aging old Rosa Edwards School on Fourth Avenue West.
In his presentation Wednesday morning, O’Cain was critical not only of their plan for the new high school, but also of the Clark Nexsen firm itself…he said they have "a reputation for being expensive". And since the Hendersonville High issue came up earlier this year, there’s been some question and criticism of the county’s use of an “architect of record”.
Both sides answered a lot of commissioner’s questions. Then commissioners made their decision to "stay the course" with their original plan after more than four hours of discussion Wednesday.
By Larry Freeman 08/17/16
Blue Ridge Community College announced the creation of its Southeastern Advanced Molding Technology Education Center (SAMTEC).
SAMTEC at Blue Ridge Community College will be the only holistic, high pressure die casting and mold training center east of Illinois. Currently, the southeast region of the United States is home to 25 die cast manufacturers and a wide variety of manufacturers using plastic injection molding and extrusion processes. The Center will focus on providing quality workforce training in high pressure die cast of aluminum and magnesium parts as well as training in the production of a wide variety of plastic products through injection molding and extrusion processes.
SAMTEC will be located on Blue Ridge Community College Henderson County Campus in the Spearman Building. This places the Center in a high-tech facility adjacent to several of Blue Ridge’s premier curriculum programs including Alternative Fuels, Mechatronics Technology, Computer-Integrated Machining, and Welding.
Fueled by a joint venture announced recently by Swiss Company Georg Fischer (GF) and Canada-based Linamar, the SAMTEC job training initiative is specifically designed to meet the training needs of GF Linamar’s new high pressure die cast facility slated to open in Mills River. The jointly owned facility will specialize in high pressure die casting to produce light-weight aluminum and magnesium parts for power train, driveline and structural components. This venture will add 350 jobs to the region with an average annual salary of $47,000.
Blue Ridge Community College recently received an Economic Catalyst grant of $550,000 from Golden LEAF Foundation for the purchase of equipment to support SAMTEC and training for GF Linamar. GF Linamar, Buhler and ABB will also donate equipment for SAMTEC valued at more than $768,000.
While designed to meet the training needs of GF Linamar, SAMTEC will also be able to support the training needs of other area companies with plastic injection molding and extrusion processes. These companies include Elkamet Inc., B.I.G. Adventures, Continental Automotive Systems, Meritor Inc., Raumedic, and Lassonde Pappas. Training topics will include die casting process, mold preparation, thermo dynamics, industrial controls, TIG welding, industrial mold process operation.
Blue Ridge Community College instructors Bryan Bagley and Shawn McCallister recently spent a total of three weeks training at BuhlerPrince in Michigan and Buhler in Switzerland, as well as at the Georg Fischer plant in Austria. This training will enable these instructors to develop and provide local training for area manufacturers at SAMTEC.
After formal agreements for the donated equipment were put into place , the College expects to open the Southeastern Advanced Molding Technology Education Center in January 2017.
The City of Hendersonville project for the Glenbrook area subdivision is underway as of June 22, 2016. The project involves Sanitary Sewer Improvements. The weather has affected our construction schedule. Pipe installation should be complete within a couple weeks. We are rebuilding Blythe St. in the areas of the pipe installation, as the existing road base is in poor condition. Blythe St. (between 4th and 5th) should be passable in approximately 3 weeks, with paving operations commencing shortly after. In addition we are receiving estimates for the new concrete sidewalk that will be installed on Blythe St. (between 4th and 5th Avenues).
Below is a detailed timeline of the project and the projected effect on 5th Avenue and Blythe Streets. We understand this project will cause a temporary inconvenience to area motorists and we apologize. We ask that the public be patient with us as we work as quickly as possible to complete these necessary improvements to the sewer system in this area.
Glenbrook Sanitary Sewer Improvements
The purpose of the above referenced project is to abandon a notoriously problematic pump station serving the Glenbrook Subdivision, located in Hendersonville, NC.
The project consists of:
Successful completion of the project will eliminate an existing pump station the does not conform to current standards. This pump station has a history of frequent clogs; has limited access; and lacks a lifting system for removing pumps, creating safety issues. Execution of the project will require the closure of Blythe St., including the intersection of Blythe St. and 5th Ave. Closure of the intersection shall be limited to a maximum of 2 weeks. The remaining portion of Blythe St. shall be closed for a maximum of 80 days.
Beginning: June 22, 2016
Duration: 120 days
Duration of the road closure: 80 days
Duration of Impact to 5th Ave: 14 days
Should you have any questions/concerns please fill free to contact:
Alvin Fuller Jr., PE
305 Williams St.
Hendersonville, NC 28972
(828) 233-3207 (office)
(828) 243-4430 (mobile)
HEAR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE NC GOP CHAIRMAN ON WHKP'S LOCAL NEWS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
In an exclusive interview with WHKP News on Monday, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Robin Hayes, responded to Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine's scheduled visit to a job center in Asheville.
The Virginia senator was scheduled to be in western North Carolina speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton's plan to create jobs if she wins the presidency. Kaine was to visit a job center in Asheville.
Kaine's visit to western North Carolina came at a time when numerous national polls show the Clinton-Kaine ticket leading Donbald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Spence, in the tar heel state...in some cases by nine points or more.
WHKP asked Hayes about the apparent edge enjoyed by the national Democratic ticket in North Carolina where Republicans control the governor's office and both houses of the state legislature. Hayes says it's too early in the process for the polls to mean much. But he acknowledges that in an election year as strange as this one, anything is possible.
The state GOP chairman had words of praise for Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows who Hayes says "...is leading the state" on many critical issues including concern over refugee re-settlement in this country.
Hayes says that even though anything is possible this year, he does not expect voter's concerns over Donald Trump to impact the other Republicans who will be on the ballot in November., And he cited the exemplary record of Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled General Assembly is achieving a healthy budget surplus in the state and in job creatioin.
Hayes encourages all voters to pay close attention to all that is said by all the candidates this year, and to be wary of the questionable ethics, of lack thereof, of Hillary Clinton...referring to the huge accumulation of wealth by the Clinton's through the Clinton Foundation.
Botton line, said Hayes, "...we cannot take four more years of Obama-Clinton".
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 08/15/16 Updated 11am
PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR SEPTEMBER 21.
FLOW CONTROL AND THE GARBAGE POLICE
A WHKP STATION EDITORIAL
Henderson County commissioners have re-scheduled a public hearing, originally set for next Wednesday August 17th, on what’s called “flow control”. Commissioners now say the public hearing will be held on Wednesday September 21st at 9am in the Historic Courthouse. In the announcement of the change that came out Thursday, no reason was given for the re-scheduling.
What the county is calling “flow control” would require practically all garbage collected in unincorporated parts of the county to be taken to the Henderson County transfer station. From there, it’s hauled by a contractor to a landfill in South Carolina. Waste disposal in Henderson County is self-supporting now and spends no tax dollars. We have some concerns with this proposed “flow control”.
Henderson County’s tipping fee is $60 per ton, and that’s $17 higher than Buncombe County’s. If this “ flow control” is imposed, local garbage contractors will no longer have the option of taking their garbage to the cheapest dumping point. They’ll be totally at the mercy of the county…and whatever tipping fee the county chooses to set at any given time. There is a loss of freedom and the free exercise of free enterprise in that. That’s one concern. Another concern is…this will inevitably mean higher rates charged to garbage customers
A huge factor for garbage contractors, perhaps the biggest factor of all, is the cost of fuel to operate their big trucks. It’s down right now, but when supplies run low and the price skyrockets, as it surely will at some point, garbage haulers will be hit with a double whammy. By not being allowed to go outside the county, to a cheaper transfer station, they’ll have to pay higher tipping fees here in Henderson County as well as those higher fuel costs…which in the end will means those costs will have to be passed along to you and me if h garbage haulers are to remain in business.
If the county is having trouble keeping solid waste on a self-supporting basis, and we’re having trouble seeing why that is, we say…why not dip into the county’s general fund to help pay for this legitimate county service? The county might have to re-consider their spending priorities and maybe give up on a new law enforcement training center. Or postpone a new emergency services building. Or maybe delay buying laptop computers for every school kid in the county. Or commissioners might even have to take a closer look at Carey O’Cain’s proposal to save $30 million on a new Hendersonville High School. Folks, for us, it’s a matter of spending the taxpayer’s money---without doing an end-run around what’s SUPPOSED to pay the county’s bills---and that’s the county’s general fund and fund balance based on a balanced county budget.
What we see taking hold in local government is a philosophy of assessing new or expanded FEES for every county service imaginable that our property taxes are supposed to be paying for. That’s already been tried with fire safety inspection fees, which thankfully fizzled because the county got too greedy and imposed an unfair and ridiculously high fee schedule. It’s not unreasonable to believe that could happen again, with any other county service.
And how would this “flow control” be enforced? The county engineer thinks a retired or off-duty sheriff’s deputy could become “the garbage police” and stop violating trash haulers at the county line then hit them with a fine. How’s this going to happen…at every road on a county line in Henderson County, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? This clearly has not been thought through.
The bottom line for us is: the county has already raised taxes a nickel and is campaigning hard to tack on a new quarter cent sales tax on top of that. “Flow control” is just another way to raise revenue from county taxpayers, and to put the squeeze on small businesses in the process.
This has been a WHKP station editorial.
As always, we invite your comments…on our comments.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 08/12/16
After two months of more than double the average amount of rainfall, Henderson County this week finally was taken out of a “drought” classification by the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council.
The county’s serious precipitation deficit issue began early last winter and continued through the spring this year, which led the City of Hendersonville to consider imposing some water restrictionS early this summer. The precipitation deficit had resulted in low “stream flow” levels in the Mills River, which is the principle source of water for well over sixty thousand customers on the city’s water system.
But it rained early in “Dog Days” this year, starting about the Fourth of July, and as mountain folks have been observing for generations, if it rains at the start of Dog Days, it’ll rain somewhere in the area every day for the whole six week period. And by the time Dog Days ended this Thursday, on August 11th, there had been enough rainfall in the area to restore “stream flow” to more adequate levels, keep most hay, fruit and vegetable crops in the county healthy, and to take Henderson County out of the “drought” classification.
There are however still five western North Carolina counties in that drought classification, all of them west of Henderson County. They are Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Transylvania counties. Two counties in the far western part of the state, Cherokee and Clay, weren’t as fortunate as Henderson during Dog Days this year and they are described as being in “severe drought”.
As heavy as some of the downpours have been in the Hendersonville area, no record amounts of rainfall were measured and recorded this summer at WHKP, Hendersonville’s official weather observation station for the National Weather Service. No indeed---record-setting rainfall goes back to the great flood of July 1916 when about two feet of rain fell on the area in a short time.
That unusual weather pattern in late July and early August this year that’s produced the scattered downpours has come at a good time. The fall is typically a dry season in western North Carolina and that’s very problematic for grass, woods, and forest fires through late fall and going into the winter.
And still to be determined…is what effect this summer’s rainfall will have on the fall color season as the leaves begin to change….an important time for the economy as tourists come into the area to enjoy the fall color and as home-folks enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains of western North Carolina.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
The county's elections director has confirmed that additional quarter cent sales tax that local officials keep endorsing and hoping for WILL BE on Henderson County voter’s ballots in the November 8th general election. Endorsed by virtually all local elected officials in Henderson County, there had been some question about that quarter cent sales tax actually being on the ballot for the voters this fall. If approved by the voters, it’s estimated that tax will generate a just over two and a half million dollars in revenue for Henderson County. At least two county commissioners, Lapsley and Hawkins, are pushing for a roll-back in the nickel property tax increase imposed by commissioners this summer as an incentive for voters to approve that sales tax increase.
Elections Director Beverly Cunningham has this week been attending a meeting of state election officials…and she also says the early one-stop voting period before the November election will be extended by a week. Early one-stop voting had been cut back a week last year.
Cunningham, says that “same day” voter registration will be allowed this fall in the early one-stop voting.
She says she’s not sure yet what the dates will be for the early voting or where the early polling places will be. She says that is yet to be determined by the local Board of Elections and will depend on how much money is available for the general election this fall.
Cunningham points out too that because of an appeals court ruling, the requirement for a photo ID for all voters is still tied up in court…and says that as of now, and unless something changes, a photo ID will NOT be required to vote in this fall’s general election.
By Larry Freeman 08/10/16