Archive for January, 2013

Asheville Wing War II Scheduled for March 10

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Lush Life Productions and G Social Media are partnering together once again for an event in which local bars or restaurants in Asheville battle it out for the title  of “Asheville’s Best Buffalo Wings”. With a ticket that includes unlimited beer, wings (while supplies last) and great local music, this event has sold out in the past and is sure to sell out again.

The competition will heat up at Asheville Music Hall at 4pm on March 10. The wings will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges in two categories: specialty and traditional buffalo style. There will also be a people’s choice award in which attendees have the opportunity to vote for their favorite.

Beer

All of the beer will be provided by Sierra Nevada and Pisgah Brewing and will be included in the ticket price.

About the Band

Southbound Turnaround has been booked to play this event. Touted as the “the smoothest low down grit to hit your ears,” this band will bringing their high energy show of classic rockabilly to the stage to help dance off those wings and brews.

Formed in 2011 by friends with a deep appreciation for classic rockabilly and honky tonk music, the boys quickly started writing music for their first ep entitled, What Happened to the Jukebox?. Since its release the band has shared stages with Dale Watson, Wayne Hancok, JP Harris, Junior Brown, and Unknown Hinson among others.

Tickets for the event, which go on sale Tuesday, January 29 at www.ashevillefoodfights.com, will be $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

What: Asheville Wing War II

When: March 10, 2013

What time: 4pm

Where: Asheville Music Hall

How Much: $15 in advance; $20 at the door

Website: www.ashevillefoodfights.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ashevillefoodfights

Nominations are still being accepted and can be sent to [email protected]

Want to read more about Wing War 2011?

http://www.mountainx.com/article/3873/Asheville-Wing-War-heats-up-The-Garage-at-Biltmore

http://www.mountainx.com/article/3940/WNC-Wellness-review

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc6CxS_FeeQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onsLioS73uo

https://www.facebook.com/events/206441682733443/

http://www.lushlifetoday.com/restaurants/the-2011-asheville-wing-war-results

http://www.asheville.com/news/ww0711.html

Asheville Food Fights

The competition will be the second event of its kind and the first in a 2013 Series called The Asheville Food Fights. Asheville Food Fights will also include the third installment of The Pizza Showdown in August and The Inaugural Chili Challenge in November which will be a benefit to help provide travel expenses to Asheville’s touring musicians.

The Asheville Food Fights are a more light hearted take on the Asheville Foodie Scene and celebrate some of the more “fun foods” in our lives.

About Lush Life Productions

Lush Life Productions is a marketing and PR firm that increases brand awareness for businesses with the use of innovative tools such as video and events that fully engage their target consumer. Collaborations with local and national companies assure that every aspect of a company’s marketing and PR plan can be managed.

About G Social Media

G Social Media is a relationship building company based out of Asheville NC. Their team focuses on online marketing which includes social networking and media, SEO and other key items to build, enhance and grow your business.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The potential for frozen pipes increases dramatically when temperatures drop below freezing. Here are some tips to help you keep Frozen pipes like this can be prevented.your pipes from freezing and to help you know what to do if they do freeze.

Be aware of which pipes are most likely to freeze.

  • In an outside wall behind a sink.
  • Where pipes run through crawlspaces under houses.
  • Where exterior faucets are not shut off on the interior.

It’s hard to find a spot where cold air hits a pipe directly and freezes the line. It can freeze in that location and keep the whole line from flowing. Look for where a pipe may pass a crawlspace vent, basement window, or run along a sill plate. Look for areas where there is cold air coming in.

Precautions to Take

If you haven’t already taken the steps necessary to avoid pipes freezing here are some precautionary steps you can take:

  • Know where and how to shut off your water from the main shut-off valve.
  • Seal air leaks around pipes that allow cold air to seep in.
  • Insulate pipes near outer walls, in crawl spaces or in attics.
  • In exposed or problem areas, you may use heat tape or heat cables to prevent freezing. Make certain they are UL approved and that you follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Disconnect garden hoses, shut off and drain water from pipes leading outside.
  • Turn your faucet on just enough to have constant dripping (for pipes that may be on exterior wall)
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate around pipes under a sink. It may be necessary to remove a piece of the drywall so the warm inside air can reach the pipes.
  • Leave heat on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
  • If you plan to be away from home, have someone check on your house daily.
  • Close foundation vents if the temperature drops below freezing for a significant period of time. Re-open when weather warms.
  • Putting a light near a chronic location where pipes freeze will keep the pipe from freezing. Be careful not to let the bulb or lamp get too close to any combustible surface.

If Pipes Freeze

  • Shut off water valves. Stopping the flow of water can minimize the damage to your home.
  • Call a plumber to thaw your pipes. Thawing yourself can lead to greater damage and can be a hazard.
  • If your pipes burst, call a plumber and your insurance agent.

Although we do NOT recommend thawing pipes yourself, if you do try to thaw:

  • Don’t try to thaw the pipes with an open flame or torch. Besides being a fire hazard, the torch’s hot flame may create steam that can burst a pipe.
  • Don’t use ungrounded electrical appliances outdoors, or near grounded water pipes.
  • Be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around water.
  • Never start a debris fire to warm pipes.
  • When thawing pipes, always work from the open faucet toward the frozen area. This will keep steam from being trapped by ice and bursting the pipe.

The safest approach to thawing a frozen pipe is to wrap a towel around the pipe at the suspected area and pour hot water unto it. Slide the towel along the suspect pipe and keep adding hot water until you reach the area where it is frozen. This method will never overheat the pipe or create a fire danger. Be sure to have the faucet or valve turned on so you’ll know when the water begins flowing.

A quick and effective method to thaw pipes is to use a hair dryer, but it can also pose some risks. Never let the pipe get hotter than what you can touch – you don’t want to get it so hot that it generates steam. As long as the pipe feels warm it should be enough to thaw the ice.

For more information, call Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.

Bele Chere 2013 Now Accepting Applications for Arts and Craft Exhibitors

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is now accepting applications for arts and crafts exhibitors in all mediums for the 35th annual Bele Chere Festival on Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, 2013.  All applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 8, 2013.  In addition to the application form, artists must submit photographs of their work and the appropriate application fee.

Applications and additional information are available at www.belecherefestival.org or by contacting Kristin Perez at (828) 259-5800 or [email protected].

All applications will be juried by a panel of local arts professionals.  More than 100 quality handmade artists will be accepted and eligible for awards.

Information about the 2013 Bele Chere Festival is available online at www.belecherefestival.com or by calling the City of Asheville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department at 828-259-5800.

Bele Chere is the largest free street festival in the Southeast, with an attendance of approximately 275,000 annually and is sponsored in part by Clear Channel Radio of Asheville.  The festival is produced by the City of Asheville in conjunction with the Bele Chere Board of Directors.

Vet Connections Cafe at A-B Tech

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – A group of A-B Tech volunteers led by Tom Anspach, veteran of the U.S. Air Force, has created a relaxing environment in Birch 115 for the Vet Connections Café. The cafe is open from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays.

Veterans attending the College can come to take a break, enjoy some refreshments, network with other veterans, study and receive tutoring from volunteers. Anspach is an A-B Tech adjunct and volunteers tutoring veterans. There is full Internet access, print capabilities and help with computer applications available. The volunteers participating can help direct students to other tutoring resources when necessary.

Vet Connections Café is Anspach’s brainchild and became reality due to support from Pamela Silvers, Chair of Business Computer Technologies and Interim Chair of Networking Technologies, and Mary Albert, Coordinator of Veterans’ Services.  Other volunteers are John Erwin, Brad Burris, Elizabeth Semple and Liz Watkin. For more information, call Albert at 398-7206.

Kiplinger’s Again Ranks UNC Asheville Among the “Best Values in Public Colleges”

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville is included once again among the top 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges,” in rankings recently released by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Beginning with a pool of almost 600 public colleges and universities, Kiplinger’s selected the top 100 based on a combination of best academic quality and value. UNC Asheville, which ranks 52nd in the nation, has regularly made the list for the past decade.

Kiplinger’s found that, among the 100 colleges it ranked, UNC Asheville has the fifth lowest total cost of attending for in-state students, and UNC Asheville students graduate with the sixth lowest average debt. This academic year, UNC Asheville in-state students pay $5,856 in tuition and required fees, the lowest rate among the university’s public campus peer group.

Academic quality continues to carry more weight than costs in the Kiplinger rankings. Factors considered include test scores of incoming students, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates.

UNC Chapel Hill was ranked first by Kiplinger’s. Others in the UNC system that made the Kiplinger’s best values list were North Carolina State University, and North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State University.

Kiplinger’s February magazine edition will publish the complete “Best Values in Public Colleges, 2013,” but the lists are available online now.

Kiplinger’s is not alone among financial magazines in recognizing UNC Asheville’s value. Last August, Forbes ranked UNC Asheville 21st in the nation on its “Top 100 Best Buy Colleges” roster. Of the eight universities in North Carolina that made the list, only UNC-Chapel Hill, at 13th, ranked higher.

UNC Asheville is also highly ranked for quality. Last September, US News & World Report ranked UNC Asheville as the seventh best public liberal arts college in the nation. Princeton Review, in its “The Best 377 Colleges” guide, noted the “top-notch academic experience” that UNC Asheville students receive, and ranked the university 11th nationally on its “college city gets high marks” list.

The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges for 2012″ included UNC Asheville, and in the “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program was highlighted as showing unusual strength in preparing students for careers for the ninth consecutive year.

A summary of UNC Asheville college rankings is available online via this link.

Annual Groundhog Day Sighting February 2 at Chimney Rock

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Grady the Groundhog, Chimney Rock‘s live animal ambassador, will be making his annual prediction at the Park when he awakens from his winter slumber on Saturday, February 2. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public is invited to an educational program and shadow sighting in the Meadows, followed by kids’ crafts and family guided hikes. If Grady sees his shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter weather ahead—but if not, then spring should be around the corner! Cast your vote on whether he’ll see his shadow at chimneyrockpark.com.

Reduced admission during the waterfall trail closure is $12 adult and $6 youth (ages 5-15); free for kids 4 and under. For special admission on Feb. 2, get one free youth admission with each paid adult. During February, Grady’s Kids Club memberships are on sale for only $8.

“Grady’s Groundhog Day is like Groundhog Awareness Day,” said Matt Popowski, PR & Events Manager at Chimney Rock. “Grady is a local celebrity—the kids love him! We hope everyone gains a better understanding of and appreciation for these popular woodland critters.

Grady’s Groundhog Day. Join Emily Walker, Chimney Rock’s Education Manager, at 11 a.m. near the Classroom on the Meadows for a nature program on the life of groundhogs and the Groundhog Day tradition, followed by Grady’s shadow sighting. Half-hour guided family hikes will start at noon and 12:30 p.m. on the Great Woodland Adventure trail. Kids’ Groundhog Day crafts will be offered from noon to 1 p.m.

Vote Online. Will Grady give the same prediction as Punxsutawney Phil? Or will he daringly give his own prediction about winter’s claim on the weather? Cast your vote online whether you think Grady will see his shadow at chimneyrockpark.com. Then attend the event or check back on the Park’s website or Facebook page on February 2 to see if you guessed correctly.

Grady’s Kids Club Special.  To celebrate Grady’s special day, Chimney Rock is offering a discount on memberships to Grady’s Kids Club, the Annual Pass for youth, for only $8 during February—and it’s been extended to 18 months. For just 44 cents a month, kids ages 5-15 get unlimited visits to the Park for 18 months, discounts on Park food, retail and events and additional savings at favorite area attractions. Buy your kid’s pass online, by phone at (800) 277-9611 or at the park during February 1-28, 2013.

Animal Fun. Adjacent to the Great Woodland Adventure, a popular TRACK Trail for kids, is Grady’s Animal Discovery Den. It’s home to a handful of live animal habitats, including snakes, an opossum and Grady the Groundhog. These critters are stars in some of the park’s education programs for schools, homeschoolers and scouts. The Den also features hands-on, kid-friendly displays of furs and skulls from native animals, including deer, skunks and turtles.

This is the fifth year of Chimney Rock’s annual Groundhog Day event but only the third with Grady as the star of the show. The official Groundhog Day can be traced back to 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pa. For more information on Chimney Rock’s hands-on education programs for schools, homeschoolers and scouts, as well as summer camps, visit chimneyrockpark.com/education.

About Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. Beyond its stunning 75-mile views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock offers scenic hiking, rock climbing, Grady’s Animal Discovery Den and educational events year-round. It’s the only state park in the Southeast with an elevator inside a mountain. The park’s 404-foot waterfall was featured in The Last of the Mohicans’ final 17 minutes. Chimney Rock is located only 40 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or visit chimneyrockpark.com.

Live Ireland’s 2012 New Group of the Year at DWT

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Innovative, yet true to its traditional Irish roots, FullSet performs its unique and stunning sound at Diana Wortham Theatre on February 28, 2013 at 8:00p.m. The group was named Ireland’s 2012 New Group of the Year (Live Ireland Music Awards) and its 2012 Best New Band (Irish American News Music Awards). With formidable talent, FullSet explores its traditional Irish roots and infuses them with youthful verve. FullSet’s performance at Diana Wortham Theatre is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College.

FullSet’s debut album Notes At Liberty (2011) was met with critical praise, and earned the group a comparison to Irish music supergroups including Danú and Altan. To date FullSet has performed at various festivals and venues across Europe including the Kann al Loar folk festival in Landerneau, Brittany, and also the Festival Interceltique de Lorient. The band has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in folk and world music including Moya Brennan, Fred Morrison, Lúnasa, and Carlos Núnez.

FullSet is comprised of six musicians at the top of their game. Janine Redmond (button accordion) has achieved numerous solo All-Ireland titles in accordion and melodeon, and maintains a traditional style that is becoming ever-rarer. Seán McCarthy (uilleann pipes, whistles) began playing the uilleann pipes at age nine and has been awarded the All-Ireland uilleann pipes title on six separate occasions. Michael Harrison (fiddle) has toured extensively around the world and is a three-time All-Ireland fiddle champion in both underage and senior competitions. Eamonn Moloney (bodhrán) has performed on the Irish music circuit with musicians including The Chieftains and Cathy Jordan. He is a graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. Andrew Meaney (guitar) is a primarily self-taught guitar player with a unique and powerful style, who has been featured in many Irish festivals and broadcasts. Teresa Horgan (vocals, flute) has performed and toured in countries across the world and performed in musical productions including the Galway-based music and dance show “Music at the Crossroads.” Together these talented individuals join forces at FullSet, to the delight of audiences worldwide.

FullSet’s Asheville performance is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and is made possible by Celtic Series Sponsors Don & Nancy Ackermann Cole, with additional support from Media Sponsor 98.1The River.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Asheville Renaissance Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

ASAP’s Local Food Research Center Completes Impactful First Year

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Early last year, ASAP launched their Local Food Research Center based out of the ASAP office in Asheville, NC. Through integrated and applied research, the center examines the social, economic and environmental impacts of localizing food systems. Executive Director Charlie Jackson reports that the center produced seven publications in 2012, including food and farm assessments and a meat processing feasibility study for Western North Carolina.

To close out its inaugural year, the center completed a report on the barriers to and opportunities for increasing low-income communities’ access to fresh foods at farmers markets. A full report and quick guide for support organizations, community groups and farmers market managers have been released.

“To ASAP and others, the local food movement means local food for everyone,” says Jackson. “In recent years, farmers markets have begun accepting EBT—ASAP’s market, Asheville City Market, leads NC in farmers market EBT sales—and talk has increased about other ways to reach low-income shoppers. Our research found that with strategic efforts at markets, like multilingual signage, and outside of markets, like educational materials and events, farmers markets can reach all segments of a community. And, communities can be homes to markets that offer fresh, healthy food to everyone.”

ASAP is encouraging civic and community groups and farmers markets to share and download the quick guide: Sharing the Harvest—A Guide to Bridging the Divide Between Farmers Markets and Low-Income Shoppers. It is available for free at asapconnections.org/research.html. There, the center’s other publications are also available for download.

In 2013, the center plans to keep its momentum going. It will conduct farmer and buyer interviews about local food sourcing and purchasing, as well as conduct market research at grocery stores to test the impact of different local messages and promotional strategies on consumer choices.

ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. ASAP’s Local Food Research Center works to assess the economic, social and environmental impacts of localizing food systems. To learn more about ASAP’s work and the center, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

Portable Space Heaters – Are They Safe?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Many individuals use a small space heater if their main heating system is inadequate or if just one room of the home is cold. Space heaters have several fuel sources to choose from including electricity, propane, natural gas and kerosene. Their capacity usually ranges between 10,000 Btu to 40,000 Btu per hour.

Convection or Radiant Heat?

Portable HeaterWondering what the difference between a convection and radiant heat is? Convection heaters circulate the air in a room to raise the temperature. In other words, they heat the entire room.

Radiant heaters emit infrared radiation that heats up objects and people that are directly in front of it. Radiant heaters are a more efficient choice if you will only be in a room for a few hours and you can remain in front of it. Keep in mind that a radiant heater does not heat the entire room.

Vented and Unvented (Vent-free) Combustion Space Heaters

Unvented combustion units are not recommended for use inside your home. They introduce unwanted combustion products in the living area, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and water vapor. Keep in mind that most states have banned unvented kerosene heaters for use in homes and at least five have banned the use of unvented natural gas heaters.

Vented units are designed to have a flue gas vent permanently installed through a ceiling or directly through the wall to the outside. Look for sealed combustion or “100% outdoor air” units, which have a duct to bring outside air into the combustion chamber. Sealed combustion heaters are safer to operate than other types of space heaters and will operate more efficiently because they don’t draw in the heated air from the room and exhaust it outdoors.

Less expensive and less efficient units use the room air for combustion. They do not have a sealed glass front to keep room air away from the fire and should not be confused with a sealed combustion heater.

In addition to the installation and operating instructions from the manufacturer, follow the general safety guidelines for operating any combustion space heater:

  • For liquid-fueled heaters, use only the approved fuel. Never use gasoline. Follow the manufacturer’s fueling instructions. Never fill a heater that is still hot. Do not overfill the heater since you must allow for the expansion of the liquid. Use appropriate containers for the fuel and store fuel outdoors.
  • Have vented space heaters professionally inspected every year. If the heater is not vented properly, not vented at all, or if the vent is blocked, separated, rusted, or corroded, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can enter the home causing sickness or death. Carbon Monoxide can be produced if the heater is not properly set up and adjusted for the type of gas used and the altitude at which it is installed.

Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters are generally more expensive to operate than combustion space heaters, but they are the only unvented space heaters that are safe to operate inside your home. They don’t have the indoor air quality concerns but there are other safety hazards to remember since they can cause burns and fires.

For convection (non-radiant) space heaters, the best types incorporate a heat transfer liquid, such as oil, that is heated by an electric element. The heat transfer fluid provides some heat storage, allowing the heater to cycle less and to provide a more constant heat source.

When buying and installing an electric space heater, you should follow these general guidelines:

  • Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If you must use an extension cord, use a heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger.
  • For portable electric heaters, buy a unit with a tip-over safety switch. The unit will automatically turn off when the heater is tipped over.

Safety

When using a space heater it is important to remember safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths.

When buying and installing a small space heater, follow the guidelines below:

  • Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater has the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label attached to it.
  • To avoid the energy wasted when a room is overheated, choose a thermostatically controlled heater.
  • Use the sizing table provided with the product to determine the proper size for the room. Do not purchase oversized heaters.
  • Place the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Extra caution needs to be used to keep children and pets away from a heater.

For additional information on space heaters, contact Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.

Source: U.S. DOE- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Asheville Board and Commission Provide Opportunity for Citizen Involvement

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – There are seven elected members on Asheville City Council, but that body relies on more than 250 people serving on 35 council-appointed Boards and Commissions to help guide policy for the City of Asheville.

From the Downtown Commission to the Greenway Commission to the newly formed Neighborhood Advisory Committee, these are the groups that deliberate and advise on a wide range of issues facing Asheville. Citizen involvement is crucial in making decisions that affect the city, and the recommendations of Council’s Boards and Commissions play a big role in Council’s decisions. Some of the most influential policies in the City of Asheville have their beginnings in one of these bodies.

With so many advisory bodies, seats frequently come up for consideration, and in 2013, there will be openings on 22 City Council Boards and Commissions. To fill those seats, City Clerk Maggie Burleson sends out regular announcements of upcoming board vacancies. Asheville City Council selects and interviews applicants, and appoints members all in a public forum. A typical term is three years.

But hopefuls don’t have to wait until a vacancy is announced. Applications can be submitted at any time and will be held for up to a year.

To receive regular notifications of Board and Commission Vacancies, contact City Clerk Maggie Burleson at 259-5601 or [email protected]. Notices are also posted on the City of Asheville website (ashevillenc.gov) and on the City of Asheville’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

For more about upcoming Board and Commission vacancies for 2013 and early 2014 and how to apply, go to:

ashevillenc.gov/Departments/CityClerk/BoardsCommissions.aspx