Partly sunny & very warm
HI: 85 LOW: 64
Henderson County will recognize the 70th Anniversary of VJ (Victory over Japan) Day on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 by flying the military flags from the Historic Courthouse balcony.
Music from the time and sound clips from VJ Day speeches will play at the Historic Courthouse courtyard all day.
Henderson County invites all its citizens, especially those WWII veterans and their family members, to participate in these activities.
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, Henderson County would like to invite our WWII veterans to lead the Board of Commissioner’s meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance. Please contact Kathryn Finotti, Public Information Officer, at (828) 697-4809 to let her know if you would like to lead the Pledge.
Henderson County appreciates all veterans and reminds us to thank those who have served and those who continue to serve their country.
In its continuing effort to establish the facts and engage the citizens of Henderson County regarding the proposed Duke Energy transmission line project, Henderson County will host a public information meeting with the North Carolina Utilities Commission public staff at Blue Ridge Community College’s Auditorium on Thursday, September 3, 2015 beginning at 6:00 p.m. to answer questions from county residents regarding all relevant aspects of the “Foothills project”.
County Manager Steve Wyatt:
County Government is concerned about the potential negative impact of the project while acknowledging the energy needs for a growing community. We are also concerned about the lack of concrete information amid rumor and speculation. While the county has no regulatory role in this process, what we can do is provide our elected leaders and county citizens with the opportunity to have their questions answered, and yes, to voice their concerns, to those that ultimately make the decision - the North Carolina Utilities Commission. This is a step in that process and there will be other steps that county government will be involved in as the process unfolds. Once the facts are established, the best decision for all of Henderson County can be made.
Utilities Commission Public Staff:
During the meeting, the Public Staff will pose questions to Duke Energy representatives concerning the process, criteria, and timeline used when siting transmission lines and the specific process Duke is using for the Foothills project. Members of the public will have an opportunity to speak for the purpose of raising relevant issues for consideration in the process. Organized groups are encouraged to designate speakers to provide comment so that as many communities and interests as possible can be heard. As this informational meeting pertains only to the portion of the project impacting western North Carolina, speakers will be limited to North Carolina residents only. “The Public Staff has received numerous inquiries from the general public and elected officials regarding the Foothills Transmission Line project and we hope that this informational meeting will serve to more fully educate both the public and our staff,” said Christopher Ayers, Executive Director of the Public Staff. “While this is not an official hearing, we believe the exchange of information will address many questions and help bring greater clarity and transparency to the process.”
Fletcher Town Council joined Laurel Park, Mills River and Saluda...along with the Polk County Board of Commissioners...Monday night in passing a resolution of strong opposition to Duke Energy's proposed 40 mile-plus new high voltage transmission line through the western Carolinas.
Fletcher residents burst out in applause as their Council voted to pass the resolution Monday night.
Fletcher Mayor Bill Moore told the crowd attending the Council meeting..."I think the last time I spoke to this big a crowd was when we were raising taxes last year."
Henderson County's Board of Commissioners heard a similar resolution earlier this month opposing the power line, but so far has not officially adopted it.
Duke Energy is proposing some 40 segments for various routes for constructing the massive new power line through five counties in the western Carolina. The line is being proposed to connect a new sub-station in Campobello, South Carolina with Duke's Lake Julian power plant in Skyland.
It's all part of a one billion dollar upgrade that Duke says will convert the Skyland plant from operating on coal to natural gas, and will meet the growing demand for electric power in the region.
Duke told Mills River Town Council earlier this month that they will announce in early October which route they plan to propose to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
—A group of citizens in Saluda, NC directly impacted by the proposed Duke Energy transmission lines has organized a community meeting to educate Saluda citizens on how this line will affect them and the Saluda economy, environment, and property values.
The community meeting will be Tuesday, August 25 at the Saluda Fire & Rescue, 199 Walnut Street (and Greenville St.), Saluda, NC 28773 from 6pm to 8:30pm, (828) 749-9816.
Volunteers will be on hand with maps and computer stations to help Saluda citizens who do not have access to internet service to see where the proposed lines are in relation to the homeowner’s properties. With the help of volunteers, you will be able to submit public comments to Duke Energy online. Tables with letter writing supplies, sample letters, and important official’s contact
information will be available, and organizers will assist in letter writing and mailing of the letters. Packets will be distributed with factual information and comment forms for citizens to share with neighbors, family, and friends. Informative people who have been studying this plan will be on hand to answer questions.
“Duke Energy is taking public comments until August 31 so we need to get everyone in Saluda on board and reach out to Duke by then. We want Duke to get a strong, unified message from all the constituents being adversely affected either directly or indirectly. We think this opportunity to gather at the fire department is a way to make sure all residents in Saluda have an opportunity to get a first-hand look in a welcoming environment at what this means to them and a chance to voice their opinions,” says Shelley DeKay.
“For more than 114 years, my family has owned land in Saluda where one of the transmission lines is proposed. We have farmed and raised families on this mountain land and enjoyed the peace and quiet for decades. If this line goes through our property, then my grandkids will never enjoy the peacefulness or the unspoiled country side of pastoral meadows and mountain ridges that I have because of the massive power lines that are proposed that will go right through my family’s land.
People come to the mountains to escape from what is being proposed by Duke Energy and our mountains will not be a place to come to if visitors experience the same thing from where they are trying to get away. When they quit coming, it will affect our thriving downtown and we will see the value of our properties and quality of life decline,” says Jeff Bradley.
Organizers invite everyone who needs a better understanding of the Duke Energy project and how the proposed lines will affect Saluda, to come to the fire department on August 25 at 6pm.
HENDERSON COUNTY BIG SWEEP STREAM CLEANUP—SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2015
On Saturday, September 12, 2015, MountainTrue’s Southern Regional Office will host their annual Henderson County Big Sweep.
Henderson County Big Sweep is a county-wide litter cleanup program that brings citizens and community organizations together to clear trash from their waterways. Civic organizations, Scout troops, church groups, school groups, Adopt-A-Stream teams, neighborhood associations, city or county departments, and local businesses can all pitch in together to make a difference for waterways in Henderson County. Anyone can join in the fun by registering with friends and family or by joining an existing team.Teams will hold cleanups between 9am-3pm in streams throughout the county. For more information or to volunteer for Henderson County Big Sweep with MountainTrue’s Southern Regional Office, visitbit.ly/hcbigsweep or call (828) 692-0385 ext. 1001.
MountainTrue’s Southern Regional Office (formerly ECO) has hosted Henderson County‘s annual stream clean-up event since 1991, and the Big Sweep is one way it has demonstrated a legacy of engaging citizens in environmental stewardship. In the past five years alone, MountainTrue Big Sweep volunteers have contributed over 1,400 hours removing almost 14,000 pounds of trash and recycling out of Henderson County streams. This year, help us beat our record of removing more than 4,000 pounds of waste! In addition to Big Sweep, MountainTrue’s Clean Water Team coordinates an Adopt-A-Stream monitoring program to keep our waterways clean and healthy all year. Find more information about the MountainTrue Southern Regional Office at www.mountaintrue.org.
North Carolina Mountain State Fair
September 11 – 20, 2015
Western North Carolina Agricultural Center
The North Carolina Mountain State Fair comes alive at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center from September 11 – 20, 2015. The Mountain State Fair celebrates the heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including agriculture, music, crafts, art, food, entertainment, display of livestock, and competitions.
The focal point of the Fair is the Carnival Midway, featuring over 40 rides and numerous games for all ages. The many competitions are staples of the Fair, featuring North Carolina’s best in livestock, creative arts, farm products, and school projects.
Old timey demonstrations will be given, ranging from molasses making, blacksmithing, pottery, and needlework to basket weaving. Agriculture runs deep at the Fair during the 10 day run, with more than 4,000 animals, including dairy and beef cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, and llamas. Music fills the air at the Fair with sounds of Appalachia as bands perform nightly on the Heritage Stage.
The entertainment lineup includes music, acrobatics, magic shows, and animal acts just to name a few. The Mountain State Fair is the best source for family entertainment.
THE FALL COLOR EXPERT WHKP NEWS HAS DEPENDED ON FOR MANY YEARS IS PREDICTING A BRILLIANT LEAF CHANGE SEASON THIS FALL IN THE MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. AND SHE SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S BEEN DRIER THAN NORMAL THIS YEAR.
That’s the word from Western Carolina University’s autumnal season sage Kathy Mathews in her annual prediction of how foliage around the region will perform as the sunlight of summer wanes and days become frosty.
Mathews, an associate professor of biology at WCU, specializes in plant systematics and bases her color forecast on both past and predicted weather conditions. She believes that the formation of higher levels of pigments in the leaves correlates with dry weather throughout the year, but especially as fall comes around the bend.
“This fall could be one of the best leaf color seasons in Western North Carolina in recent memory,” Mathews said. “Three words explain it – unusually dry weather.”
U.S. Geological Survey records indicate that the region had been drier than normal for most of the year, but with enough rain, particularly in the months of April and June, to avoid drought and keep the trees healthy, she said.
Sugar concentrations in the leaves increase during dry weather because the trees are not taking up as much water through their roots, Mathews said. The abundance of sugars leads to the production of more anthocyanins, the red pigments that appear when green chlorophylls begin receding. “That’s what causes the leaf colors to really pop, along with the simultaneous appearance of orange and yellow pigments on the same or different tree species,” she said.
Some foliage fans may be wondering if the much-publicized El Nino weather pattern may affect the fall colors. Meteorologists are predicting a light hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, partly because of dry air over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean caused by El Nino, and that reduces the chances of heavy rain and big wind storms in the mountains in August and September – good news for the leaf display, Mathews said.
Leaf-peepers always want to know when the “peak color” will happen, but the timing of the color change is highly dependent on the decreasing amount of sunlight that comes with the passing days, plus the elevation of a particular location, she said. “The peak of fall color often arrives during the first and second week of October in the highest elevations, above 4,000 feet, and during the third week of October in the mid-elevations, 2,500 to 3,500 feet,” Mathews said. Visitors can look for leaves to be peaking in color intensity a few days after the first reported frost in any particular area, she said.
Regardless of all the factors that affect leaf color, visitors to Western North Carolina always will find a pleasing leaf display somewhere in the mountains from September into November, with a wide range of color made possible by the region’s elevations ranging from 1,500 feet to over 6,000 feet and the more than 100 tree species, Mathews said.
The Hendersonville Times-News reported on Tuesday that Laurel Park Town Council has become the latest governmental body to pass a resolution opposing part of Duke Energy's transmission line project that would “negatively impact the historic view from Jump Off Rock.”
In a special-called meeting last Friday, attended by about 200 concerned citizens, Mills River Town Council became the first in this area to formally oppose the whole Duke Energy modernization plan, especially the transmission line.
Laurel Park's resolution opposed Duke Energy's “transmission reliability enhancement line segment 10B "proposed to run along the outskirts of Laurel Park on a route that would also go through the Cummings Cove community.
The line “would be within the view shed of Jump Off Rock,” Town Manager Alison Melnikova told the council. “So since the public comment period … is still open for Duke Energy's process, this resolution would allow the town to officially state that they're in opposition to this particular segment of the project. It's not in opposition to the project as a whole.”
Councilman Paul Hansen said he found Duke's proposed routes online (http://bit.ly/1Wj8uj0) and took a map up to Jump Off Rock.
“Yes, you will be able to see 140-foot towers with multiple (lines),” Hansen said.
With a swath of hundreds of feet of clear-cut land paving the way for the lines, he said, it will be “pretty visible.”
“Jump Off Rock has been a cultural landmark forever, especially when you go back to the legend, and that (line) would have an impact on that cultural landmark we have in our town,” Hansen said.
Mayor J. Carey O'Cain said that the proposed route could also mar views from the Somersby residential development.
“They are actually closer to and more in line with the view sheds,” he added.
The council passed the resolution unanimously.
Times-News story and photo
Registration is now open for the Fall Into Flat Rock 5k sponsored by Pardee UNC Health Care. The race will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 9am at The Park at Flat Rock, 55 Highland Golf Drive, Flat Rock and is limited to the first 150 registrants. Cost for the 5k run is $30 and the walk is $10. All proceeds benefit Park development.
Participants will enjoy a morning run (or walk--you can register for either) through the scenic Park at Flat Rock. After the race, refreshments will be provided, and awards will be given according to age group. T-shirts are free to registered runners only.
“We are very pleased to be such an integral part of this exciting event,” stated Elizabeth Moss, Director of Community Affairs and Outreach at Pardee UNC Health Care. “Part of our mission at Pardee UNC Health Care is to support events that promote healthy lifestyles in our community. The Park at Flat Rock definitely does just that.”
To register, runners and walkers should visit active.com
The Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2013 by the Village of Flat Rock, North Carolina to help raise the funds required to fulfill the vision of a signature municipal park for the community. That vision includes opportunities for recreation, health, and education for all generations while preserving the natural beauty that draws visitors from far and wide to Western North Carolina.
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Persons interested in the history and heritage of Henderson County are encouraged to register online now for the fall semester courses that begin Tuesday, Aug. 25, through the Continuing Education Department at Blue Ridge Community College. The classes are open to the public.
Classes are held on Tuesdays. There is a day class and a night class that cover the same material. The day class is 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the night class is 6:30 to 8 p.m.enderson County History and Heritage I, covering prehistory to 1860, is taught the first half of the fall semester from Aug. 25 to Oct. 13.
Topics include geography and natural resources, Cherokee and Catawba history and culture, Revolutionary War and treaties with the Cherokee, early settlers and backgrounds, Appalachian culture, political and economic history, agriculture, transportation, religious history, education, early communities, black history, and noteworthy families and people in the early history of the county. Registration is $60.
Henderson County History and Heritage II, covering 1860 to the early 20th century, takes place the second half of the fall semester, from Oct. 20 to Dec. 8. Topics include the Civil War, Reconstruction, black history, Appalachian culture and stereotypes, political and economic history, industry, agriculture, transportation, religious history, education, tourism, 19th and 20th century communities, and World War I. Registration is $60.
The instructor is Jennie Jones Giles.
To register online, visit http://www.blueridge.edu/