FESTIVAL DATE SATURDAY MAY 20, 2017
he Saluda Arts Festival is now accepting applications for the prestigious spring event celebrating the town’s heritage and arts culture. The Saluda Business Association is pleased to announce its 14th annual Saluda Arts Festival scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 2017 in historic downtown Main Street in Saluda.
The festival host more than 80 artists each year from all over western NC, TN, and Update of SC. “Stretching along historic Main Street in Saluda, every art media is represented including paintings, pottery, metal work, jewelry, sculptures, fiber, and more,” says a spokesperson for the arts festival organization.
With a very affordable exhibit fee of $100 and a non-jury event, festival organizers are expecting a large number of entries. Some types of work (i.e. jewelry) will be accepted on a limited basis. Early entries will be given first choice of booth location.
The Saluda Arts Festival has become a favorite free spring event for visitors and presents a variety of affordable art from seasoned and emerging artists. The public attending will also experience different genres of music from popular, regional musicians.
“It’s our duty to the heritage of Saluda to celebrate and promote its artistic culture, historic buildings, and natural beauty of our mountains and waterfalls," said spokesperson for the festival organizers, Cathy Jackson.
DEFEATED IN 2016 BY CHUCK EDWARDS
Norm Bossert has announced his intentions to run for the state Senate in District 48 (Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania counties) in the 2017-18 election.
Bossert, a Democrat from Pisgah Forest, said in a news release Monday that it's time to begin the hard work and planning it takes to win the district now represented by Chuck Edwards.
“Edwards has already shown the people of our district he will not work for their best interest and will vote on partisan lines regardless of what’s best for the citizens of his district," Bossert said in the release.
His recent trip to Raleigh to help fire and flood victims turned into a session that was disingenuously called to support unprecedented bills limiting the governor's authority to do his job, Bossert said, not help fire and flood victims.
"I am already convinced that Edwards is in line with the GOP, and is not concerned with the best interest of people living in his district, and that is why I have decided to challenge Edwards again," he said.
Bossert, principal at Black Mountain Elementary, ran against Edwards in 2016. He believes that redistricting efforts, recently ordered by a panel of judges, will make District 48 much more competitive in 2017.
Scholarships Available to Attend Blue Ridge Community College in 2017-18
Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation scholarship applications for 2017-18 are available now on the College’s web site at www.blueridge.edu/scholarships.
Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation awards scholarships to 2017 high school graduates and new and returning students. More than 300 scholarships are available for Blue Ridge Community College students.
Students must apply online. They can apply for the Foundation’s many scholarships using a single online application form. The deadline for submitting completed online applications is April 7, 2017.
BBQ, live music, and craft fair lovers are going to have to find someplace other than the foothills and Tryon to go this summer for a “fix”… the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce has canceled the 2017 Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival. Festival organizers attribute the demise of the festival to three things: 1)decreased attendance, 2)lack of funding, and 3)ongoing contract negotiations with the Town of Tryon for the use of Harmon Field.
The recommendation to cancel the long-standing summertime BBQ festival came recently during a festival committee meeting. The festival’s primary purpose has been to raise funds for the Chamber of Commerce through a nationally recognized family oriented two-day event…and a Chamber spokesman says the last three festivals have failed to meet their financial goals and expectation.
So, according to Chamber President Kathy Toomey, “…it became painfully obvious that we needed to take a break and rethink how the festival should continue.”
High insurance costs for the use of Harmon Field were also a factor in the decision to cancel the festival.
THE CURENT POST OFFICE LOCATION ON FIFTH AVENUE WEST WAS SOLD LAST SPRING TO THE HENDERSONVILLE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH FOR JUST OVER A MILLION DOLLARS
CHURCH PLANS ARE TO EVENTUALLY LEVEL THE POST OFFICE BUILDING AND USE THE 1.52 ACRE LOT FOR A 141-SPACES CHURCH PARKING LOT
U.S. Postal Service media spokesman Philip Bogenberger in Charlotte confirmed for WHKP News in an e-mail this week that an announement is scheduled to be made this spring of a new location for the Hendersonville Post Office.
The postal service does not own the current Fifth Avenue West location and after the deal was made to sell the property to the church, the USPS was giving until this fall to find a new location and move out.
Postal service officials said at the time of the sale that a smaller facility was desired, and Boigenberger this week told WHKP News the new location has not been determined yet but will be soon.
Bogenberger said the new post office location "...will offer the same retail services as the current location and will not impact mail deliveries to Hendersonville residents and businesses."
There had been some speculation earlier that the USPS would re-locate the post office to the larger sorting facility near Sam's Club...but Bogenberger said again this week that the USPS is committed to a new loction as close as possible to the current one.
By Larry Freeman 01/19/17
HIGHWAY 64 WEST TO BE WIDENED FROM BLYTHE STREET TO DANIEL DRIVE
NC BDOT is indicating that the Highway 64 widening project through Laurel Park may begin as early as 2019.
Officials from the N.C. Department of Transportation as well as business owners attended a recent Laurel Park Town Council meeting and discussed details of the Highway 64 widening project.
The NC DOT is considering two options to widen the highway between Daniel Drive and Blythe Street and add bike lanes and sidewalks. One option adds a center turn lane. The other option features a landscaped or concrete median with three roundabouts at the Laurel Park Shopping Center, Daniel Drive and Blythe Street.
Brian Burch, division 14 construction engineer, said NCDOT has only received aboiut three dozen public comments so far, most of which are in favor of the three-lane plan with no roundabouts.
He said, "That’s not a tremendous amount of public input, but that’s where we are today.”
Over the next few weeks, NC DOT officials will look over traffic data and comments from the public and town officials before probably making a decisioin by February.
WHKP NEWS ALSO INQUIRED ABOUT LOWES STORES IN BREVARD AND ASHEVILLE
The Associated Press is reporting that North Carolina-based home improvement retailer Lowe's says it's told approximately 2,400 full-time workers they will be laid off.
A statement from the store said the majority of the cuts are at the store level, with other cuts occurring at distribution centers, customer support centers and vice presidents at the company's corporate office in Mooresville.
The company said it's providing severance and outplacement resources to displaced workers.
WHKP News reachecd out to Karen Cobb who is the Manager of Corporate Public Relations for Lowes at their corporate offices in Mooresville. Here is her response:
Larry, thanks for asking about how Hendersonville area Lowe’s stores are affected by the company’s recent announcement about staffing changes.
We are shifting some roles and responsibilities versus eliminating them, so that the vast majority of associates affected will have the opportunity for new roles at Lowe’s. Unfortunately, the store model will also result in the reduction of approximately 1-2 assistant store manager positions per store.
In addition, we have consolidated some leadership positions in our Customer Support Centers and Distribution Centers, impacting about 37 employees nationwide, and approximately 10% of vice presidents in the corporate office in Mooresville, NC. In total, this impacts less than 1% of our workforce, approximately 2,400 employees.
The changes made are all about investing in the future of Lowe’s as we continue to respond to the dramatic shifts that are reshaping the retail landscape. Lowe’s financial position is strong and the fundamentals of the home improvement industry are solid, nevertheless we must continue to evolve and ensure that we are delivering the best experience for customers and remain the go-to destination for their home improvement needs.
At its core, we are implementing important and necessary staffing model changes at our Lowe’s stores that will enable us to better serve customers’ evolving shopping preferences. These actions will ensure that we are aligned and organized to deliver on our strategy and to provide the best shopping experiences for customers.
While the majority of employees who are affected by these actions will transition into new roles, we deeply regret that a small percentage of employees will not be continuing with the company. It is always difficult to make decisions like these that affect people, but sometimes they are necessary in order to meet the evolving expectations of consumers as we invest for the future. We greatly appreciate and value the contributions made by all of the individuals impacted, and we will be providing them with a transition package including severance and outplacement support.
While staffing decisions are not easy, we are continuing to invest in the future of our business. Over the next three years, we expect to spend $3.6 billion in capital, including plans for 15 to 20 new stores per year, and create approximately 4,000 store-level jobs.
Lowe's employees have received a letter from Robert Niblock, Lowe's CEO, that shared information about the changes. I've attached a copy.
Let us know if we can help with any additional questions.
Manager, Corporate Public Relations
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. | Mooresville, NC 28117
COMMISSIONER HAWKINS POINTS OUT THE COUNTY CAN AFFORD TO BUILD BOTH THE NEW EDNEYVILLE SCHOOL AND THE PROPOSED NEW HHS CAMPUS
In their day-long budget session Tuesday, county commissioners announced their plan to replace the aging Edneyville Elementary School.
After recently touring the aging facility, Commissioner Tommy Thompson made a motion to construct an entirely new school.
At the urging of Commissioner Charlie Messer, Thompson added a provision to save the gymnasium building for future community use. A new gym will be constructed for the school.
An estimated project cost of $25 million was presented by Henderson County Manager Steve Wyatt, who also presented a possible construction schedule showing building programming starting almost immediately in February 2017, construction in March 2018 and completion by October 2019.
Commissioner Grady Hawkins said the county can "very well afford" to construct both a new Hendersonville High and Edneyville Elementary without an additional burden on county taxpayers.
Extending sewer service to the site was also discussed to replace the 40-year old septic system at Edneyville Elementary.
HIGHER DENSITY AND ZONING CHANGES RAISE SOME CONCERNS
As growth in the Hendersonville-Asheville area is expected to continue and maybe even exceed expectations, the need for adequate housing---affordable workforce housing in particular---is beginning to be recognized and addressed by some local governments.
Hendersonville’s city management and planning board, for example, are beginning to move into the earliest stages of possible zoning changes that will permit higher density, more affordable, workforce housing in parts of Hendersonville.
In the city, 80 multi-family units are currently under construction in the Cedar Terrace project located near Cedar Bluff Apartments behind Sam’s Club. The developer, Flatiron Properties in Charlotte, is planning to build 80 more in the same area in what they’re calling Lakewood Terrace.
Another developer, Pendergraph Companies in Raleigh, is planning to construct about 72 multi-family units on Signal Hill Road to be known as Signal Ridge. These would be two and three bedroom units, and the project was approved by the city planning board almost two years ago in March 2015. Not much has happened since then and WHKP News has reached out to Pendergraph for an update on what their current plans area.
Oklawaha Village on North Main Street and on the banks of Mud Creek is already under construction and it includes some 78 multi-family units in addition to 15 single-family lots.
Out in the county, some major projects include the Seasons at Cane Creek built by Southwood Realty of Gastonia which is located literally in the heart of Fletcher. And River Stone, built by Windsor/Aughtry, on Butler bridge Road which has a new section now under construction.
Although it was approved by the county planning board, county commissioners late last year turned down a Miami developer’s plan to build “The Sanctuary At Eagles Nest Horse Shoe Bend Farm” on South Rugby Road…which would have been 225 rental units and apartments on 85 acres. Residents in the area expressed concerns about the higher density, increased traffic and other strains in existing infrastructure. Similar concerrn about higher density have stalled some attempts to allow more workforce housing in the Town of Mills River.
And those same concerns are likely to come up again whenever higher density, workforce, or more affordable, housing is proposed.
Larry Freeman 01/15/17 Updated 5am
The Town of Fletcher has been asking the county commissioners for a new library for Fletcher for years…the commissioners have not moved on that although they have made some offers for a co-operative effort with the Town of Fletcher.
Recent, the volunteer group called New Fletcher Library Partners, a steering group working toward building a new library facility in Fletcher, commissioned a study on library needs in Fletcher that’s recommending a $4.5 million facility to accommodate the community's needs for decades to come.
The study shows that the Fletcher branch of the county library is the busiest in the Henderson County Public Library system, according to a press release from the library partners.
The study's project overview describes the branch, at 120 Library Road, as having an estimated service area population of 21,000 people, an annual circulation of more than 100,000 volumes and an average annual number of visitors approaching 80,000.
"The New Fletcher Library Partners see this as proof that a new facility is badly needed," the organization said in a news release. Copies of the study are available to the public at Fletcher Town Hall and the Fletcher Library.
The NFLP has been advocating for a new library to serve the area for the next 25 to 30 years since October of 2015. Its efforts include the study, completed at a cost of $11,640 by Local Government Solutions of Charlotte, as well as a petition drive that has so far garnered nearly 1,000 signatures. A public meeting for input was also held and was well-attended, according to the release.
Serving as the impetus of the group's formation, a 2015 study found numerous issues with the library's capacity, including a lack of space, poor function locations within the building, crowding, demands outpacing library accommodations, insufficient parking and more.
Going forward, the group plans to meet with state and local agencies to determine programs to raise the estimated $4.5 million project cost, and has set a goal to have that completed by 2020. The NFLP thanked the county library Board of Trustees, the library staff, town of Fletcher and the Henderson County Board of Commissioners for their support.