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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for February, 2015

Brevard Music Center Offers Free Concert March 4

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The Brevard Music Center (BMC) in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) presents its Sundays with Brevard Music Center concert series at a special time this month – on Wednesday, March 4 at 3:00pm in the Reuter Center on the campus of UNC Asheville. The program will feature Soprello – a musical collaboration between BMC’s cello artist Alistair MacRae and soprano Allison Pohl. Soprello explores the connections between vibrating strings and the human voice and aims to engage audiences with music new and old, both specific to its instrumentation and inventively repurposed. MacRae and Pohl will perform works by Schumann, Purcell, Tavener, and more.

Cellist Alistair MacRae has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal throughout the United States and in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. His playing has been praised for its “rich sound and lyrical phrasing” (Palm Beach Daily News) and his performances have been featured in radio broadcasts across the United States. Mr. MacRae teaches cello at Princeton University and is on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center. He has given master classes and lecture-performances through the American String Teachers Association, Marshall University, the University of Utah, Palm Beach Community College, and Kings College. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the Manhattan School of Music.
Soprano Allison Pohl made her professional debut as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Maestro Stephen Lord at Boston Lyric Opera. She has performed widely in the United States as well as Italy and China, drawing positive reviews for her “sparkling voice” (OuterStage) and “exuberant” performances (Opera News). This season, Allison debuts with Opera Providence as Yum-Yum in The Mikado and as a soloist with Canton Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of their Masterworks Series. Allison received her Master of Music degree from Boston University and her Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music.
This free and open to the public concert series continues on Sunday, April 5, 2015, with a concert by violinist Jason Posnock and pianist Ivan Seng. The Sundays with Brevard Music Center series is presented October through May.

The Brevard Music Center is a world-renowned summer music institute and festival and presents 80 public concerts in the summer season, more than 30 of which have no admission charge. For more information about Sundays with Brevard Music Center, visit brevardmusic.org. For more information about OLLI visit olliasheville.com.

10 Tips to Keep Your Car Starting in Cold Weather

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – There are few things more frustrating than getting into a cold vehicle on a frigid morning, turning the key and having nothing happen. Cold temperatures can negatively affect the battery, fuel, oil, belts, and hoses, Here are some tips to keep your car going in cold weather.making it difficult to start your engine. By taking some of the following precautions below, you will have a better chance of starting your vehicle and keeping it running this winter.

  1. Test the battery. Take the battery to a local auto parts store or use a simple at-home battery tester to make sure it’s fully charged. If the charge is low, hook the battery up to a charger. The average lifespan of a battery is 3-5 years. If your battery shows ‘weak’ and it’s in the 3-5 year age range, it’s probably time to replace it.
  2. Check the battery cables. These should be attached to your battery tightly, ensuring a strong connection to the engine.
  3. Clean the battery posts and clamps. Corrosion can keep your battery from making a good connection. A simple mixture of baking soda and water applied with an old toothbrush can clean this off easily. Be sure to dry off the posts and clamps and retighten them when done.
  4. Use an engine block heater. In extremely low temperatures, this simple electric device heats the engine block to keep the battery, oil, and other components at a reasonable temperature. This helps the engine start more quickly.
  5. Check the belts and hoses for cracks and wear. Cold weather can make these parts more brittle, causing them to break more easily.
  6. Fill up the gas tank. This can keep fuel from freezing, and it helps prevent the vapor from condensing or turning into crystals. Keeping the tank at least half full during extreme cold is a good rule of thumb.
  7. Test your antifreeze. Even if you have antifreeze in your engine, it may be at the end of its life cycle or you may not have the right water/coolant (50/50) mix to protect against the cold. Antifreeze/coolants come in a variety of colors and chemistries these days. If you need to top off or replace your antifreeze/coolant, check your owner’s manual for the recommended antifreeze type.
  8. Use a fuel additive like Heet to prevent freeze-ups in fuel lines. This helps eliminate water in the fuel lines, but if your fuel line is already frozen, it won’t help. Fuel line antifreeze also increases the evaporation rates of cold gasoline, which can affect how well the engine fires.
  9. Turn off the radio, heat, and lights before starting the engine. These extra functions sap power from the battery, which is already weakened by the cold weather.
  10. Spray the door locks with WD-40. To drive your car, you have to be able to get inside. Spraying the locks with WD-40 or graphite can help prevent them from freezing up overnight. You can also lube the door’s gaskets with silicone or WD-40 to keep the door from freezing to the jamb. A standard deicer is a good thing to keep handy if you forget to do this beforehand.

Source: www.oreillyauto.com

Biltmore’s 2015 Calendar of Events

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Winter at Biltmore – Jan. 12 through March 19, 2015
In the early months of the year, Biltmore offers a peaceful retreat following the hectic pace of the holidays.  Winter specials include lowest admission of the year, beginning at $39 purchased seven days or more in advance online or over the phone. Tickets include a free audio guide of Biltmore House and kids 9 and younger also get in free with an adult admission.

Orchid Talks in the Conservatory – Jan. 26 through March 19, 2015
Enjoy a complimentary 45-minute guided tour about our beautiful orchid collection this winter. This tour is offered at 11:00 a.m. on weekdays and capacity is limited to 15 guests daily.  Reservations can be made during the day of your visit at any Guest Services location. Tour meets inside the center front doors of the Conservatory.



Dressing Downton; Changing Fashion for Changing Times – Feb. 5 through May 25, 2015
We welcome an exciting new exhibition exploring fashions of the early 1900s featured in the hit PBS series Downton Abbey. Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times includes more than 40 costumes from the series showcased in rooms throughout Biltmore House. The groupings are inspired by the fictional show and by real life at Biltmore, with stories from the estate during the time period woven throughout the exhibition.

Biltmore Blooms – March 20 through May 25, 2015
Biltmore’s gardens are alive with color as spring arrives. Stunning floral displays – featuring nearly 100,000 tulips – across the estate celebrate the majesty of Frederick Law Olmsted’s legacy as Biltmore’s master horticulture planner.  Biltmore’s restaurants will feature special menu items, with the Winery offering wine seminars.

Easter Egg Hunt – April 5, 2015
The Easter Rabbit makes his annual appearance on Biltmore’s Front Lawn on Easter Sunday. Highlighting the day are the grand Easter Egg Hunts at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.  Children ages 2 to 9 may attend the hunt for free when accompanied by an estate pass holder or a ticketed adult.

19th annual Biltmore Summer Concert Series – Selected dates
Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains serve as backdrop for amazing musical experiences during Biltmore’s annual concert series. Concerts take place on the South Terrace of Biltmore House. The concert line-up will be announced in spring 2015.

41st annual Christmas at Biltmore – Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, 2016
Holidays arrive at America’s largest home in style.  More than a century ago, George Vanderbilt chose this magical season as the time to unveil his new home to family and friends.  This year’s Christmas at Biltmore promises another extravagant celebration, complete with dozens of Christmas trees, miles of ribbon, garland and lights.

32nd annual Candlelight Evenings at Biltmore – Nov. 6 through Jan. 2, 2016
Candlelight and firelight accent Biltmore House’s extravagant holiday décor during these nighttime tours. The house glows, appearing much as it would have at the turn of the 19th century. Candlelight Christmas Evenings include a self-guided candlelight tour of Biltmore House, next-day visit to the gardens, Antler Hill Village and Biltmore Winery.

“The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” Exhibition – Open daily
“The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” focuses on the lives and personalities of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt. This close-up look at exotic and rare items the family collected throughout their lives features an extraordinary collection of Samurai armor, and a display detailing the fateful decision that saved the Vanderbilts from perishing on Titanic.


Some City Recreation Facilities Closed Today

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Shiloh Center and Montford Center will open at 10 a.m. for After School Snow Care. All other City of Asheville run recreation centers will be closed today, Tuesday, February 24.

Senior Opportunity and the Asheville Area Council on Aging Congregate Meal Site – CLOSED, Tuesday, February 24

Nature Center – CLOSED, February 24

Food Lion Skate Parked – CLOSED, February 24

All other city facilities and services will operate on a normal schedule.


Abraham.In.Motion at Diana Wortham Theatre

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Choreographer and 2013 MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham‘s New York-based dance company, Abraham.In.Motion, brings a fresh, unique vision to the Diana Wortham Theatre with its groundbreaking work, When the Wolves Came In, Tuesday & Wednesday, March 24 & 25, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. Abraham.In.Motion was just named one of The Boston Globe ‘s Top 10 Dance Picks in the nation (2014), won the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2012, and has been cited as “25 to Watch” by Dance magazine and one of New York’s “Best and brightest creative talents” by OUT magazine.

Timely and relevant to the current national spotlight on race and equality, Abraham.In.Motion’s When the Wolves Came In takes its inspiration from jazz legend Max Roach’s iconic 1960 protest album, We Insist: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite. This album, originally intended to be released in 1963 to mark the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, was released in the fall of 1960 due to the severity sparked by the sit-ins in Greensboro, NC, and the urgency of the growing civil rights movement in the U.S. and South Africa.

Kyle Abraham began working on When the Wolves Came In after a visit to the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto, South Africa. While there, he became fixated on the power of perception, and the ways that the 13-year-old Pieterson’s death in a 1976 anti-Apartheid protest shines a spotlight on questions of personal choice and collective rights in the struggle for freedom today.

“I keep going back to Roach’s response when asked about the song, ‘Freedom Day,’” says Abraham. “[Roach said] ‘Freedom itself was so hard to grasp…we don’t really understand what it really is to be free.’

Kyle Abraham’s dance company, Abraham.In.Motion (A.I.M.), was born into hip-hop culture in the late 1970s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano, and the visual arts. The company’s works strive to delve into identity in relation to a personal history, with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual, in an effort to create an avenue for personal investigation and exposing that on stage. A.I.M. is a representation of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individualities create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique.

A 2013 MacArthur Fellow (known most familiarly as the MacArthur “Genius” Awards), Kyle Abraham began his dance training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In November 2012, Abraham was named the newly appointed New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012–2014. Just one month later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s newest work, Another Night, at New York’s City Center to rave reviews. That same year, Abraham was named the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow. Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. The previous year, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch for 2009, and received a Jerome Travel and Study Grant in 2008.

Abraham’s choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at On The Boards, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, REDCAT, Philly Live Arts, Portland’s Time Based Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York’s City Center, Montreal, Germany, Jordan, Ecuador, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan, The Andy Warhol Museum and The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

Abraham.In.Motion’s performances are also part of the Matinee Series for Students and Families, with a performance on Tuesday, March 24 at 10:00 a.m. The Matinee Series is open to school groups, homeschoolers, community groups, and families.

Pre-Performance Discussions: Kyle Abraham and Abraham.In.Motion company members will lead a pre-performance discussion at 7:00 p.m. prior to the March 24 and 25 performances in The Forum off of the main lobby. Free to ticket holders. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first served basis. We regret that we may not admit patrons to the discussions after 7:10 p.m. Info: 828.257.4530.

Adult Gender Identity Workshop: In recognition of Kyle Abraham’s contributions to Dancers Responding to AIDS, Diana Wortham Theatre is partnering with The Western North Carolina Aids Project (WNCAP) to co-present Abraham.In.Motion’s Dance as Identity Ownership workshop which uses dance to explore verbal and movement dialogue about gender and sexuality. Date, time and location of workshop to be announced. Info: 828.257.4530.

When the Wolves Came In was commissioned and produced by New York Live Arts through its Resident Commissioned Artist Program, with lead support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The performances are supported in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The performances are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Abraham.In.Motion’s Asheville performances are presented with support from The Arthur J. Fryar Charitable Fund; and made possible by Performance Sponsors Stephen and Suzanne Jones and BB&T; and by Mainstage Dance Series Sponsors Will & Catherine Gay, Susan Holden, Tina & John McGuire, Ronna & Rob Resnick, Hedy Fischer & Rancy Shull, BMW of Asheville, and Diamond Brand Outdoors; with additional support from Media Sponsors WCQS 88.1FM, WNC magazine, and WTZQ AM 1600.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco and into a large interior courtyard with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s main lobby and box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2014/2015 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville 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.


WCU $511 Million Impact on WNC Economy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University was responsible for injecting an estimated $511.3 million into the Western North Carolina economy during the 2012-13 fiscal year through the combined impact of payroll, operational, construction and research expenditures by the university and the spending habits of its students, visitors and alumni.

That is among the findings of a comprehensive study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International to examine the impact of higher education on North Carolina. The EMSI study examined the combined impact of the University of North Carolina system, North Carolina Community College system and private institutions, and also assessed the impact of individual UNC campuses, private colleges and community colleges on their local economies.

Western Carolina’s estimated impact of $511.3 million represents approximately 2.7 percent of the total gross regional product for the 10 counties examined in the WCU regional study – Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Transylvania. The added regional income created by WCU is equivalent to creating 10,475 new jobs, the study indicates.

In addition, the study calculates the return on investment in WCU for students, society and taxpayers, finding that for every dollar students invest in their educations, they will receive $2.90 in higher future income. From a statewide societal perspective, for each dollar that society spent on education at WCU in the year analyzed, North Carolina will receive a cumulative value of $10.60 in benefits such as savings related to reduced crime, lower unemployment and increased health and well-being across the state.

For every dollar invested by state and local taxpayers to support the operations of WCU in the 2012-13 fiscal year, those taxpayers gained $5.40 in added tax revenues collected and public sector savings, the EMSI researchers said. Specifically, taxpayers contributed $85 million toward WCU that year, while the added tax revenue stemming from students’ higher lifetime incomes and increased output of businesses totaled $358.6 million, with another $103.6 million in benefits because of reduced demand for government-funded services, the study revealed.

“It has been no secret that Western Carolina University and our UNC system, community college and private institution partners in higher education are engines of economic and community development for the communities and regions we serve,” WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher said.

“It is heartening to read the results of this study, which clearly demonstrates the incredible value that WCU and other institutions bring to the state and to the region. I trust that elected officials, taxpayers, students, parents, alumni, donors, and the business community will appreciate the exceptional return on investment our state and region receive when they invest in higher education, whether through appropriations, tax dollars, tuition and fees, or charitable contributions,” Belcher said.

Other findings from the EMSI report about the impact of WCU on the regional economy in the year of the study:

* Research at WCU generated $849,700 in added regional income, which is equivalent to creating 15 new jobs.

* Construction spending by WCU was $2.3 million, equivalent to 79 new jobs.

* About 67 percent of the undergraduate and graduate students at WCU originated from outside the 10-county region. Spending by those students who relocated to the region added approximately $39.9 million to the regional economy, equivalent to 895 new jobs.

* Out-of-region visitors attracted to WNC because of activities at WCU spent about $34.8 million at hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other regional businesses, equivalent to creating 897 new jobs.

* The accumulated contribution of WCU alumni who are employed in the 10-county region amounted to $266.7 million in added regional income, equivalent to creating 5,643 new jobs.

Leaders from WCU, UNC Asheville and Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College gathered Friday, Feb. 20, at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss the impacts of their respective institutions – and of Blue Ridge, Haywood, Southwestern and Tri-County community colleges – on the communities that that they serve.

Belcher, UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant and A-B Tech President Dennis F. King announced that public higher education institutions in WNC were responsible for injecting at least $2 billion into the state and regional economy during the 2012-13 fiscal year through their institutional expenditures and the spending habits of their students, visitors and alumni. Of that $2 billion, roughly 75 percent ($1.52 billion) stays in the 11 counties of WNC (Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Swain and Transylvania), they said.

“I am a proud product of North Carolina’s public higher education system, as are my wife and my children, so I know first-hand of the value that the UNC system and the North Carolina Community College system bring to the people of North Carolina,” said N.C. Sen. Tom Apodaca, a 1980 graduate of WCU.

“From laid-off factory workers seeking retraining at their local community colleges so they can re-enter the workforce of the 21st century to first-generation college students finding a welcoming environment at our regional universities, the people of our communities benefit tremendously from public higher education,” Apodaca said. “The results of this economic impact study also show the impact that these institutions are having on our state and regional businesses and on society as a whole.”

The meeting of regional leaders of public higher education followed on the heels of a Feb. 18 announcement of the statewide impact of the UNC and community college systems and private institutions. That statewide study reported the UNC system alone, including campuses and affiliated medical institutions, created $27.9 billion in added state income, which is equal to approximately 6.4 percent of the total Gross State Product of North Carolina and is equivalent to creating 426,052 new jobs.

Looking at the statewide picture, WCU created $901.8 million in additional income in North Carolina during the 2012-13 fiscal year, an economic impact equivalent to creating 15,381 new jobs.

The EMSI researchers say that initial spending by colleges and universities on payroll, operations or goods and services creates a multiplier effect across other businesses throughout the state and regional economy. Data and methods used in the study are based on several sources, including the 2012-13 academic and financial reports from the campuses, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior.

Researchers say the study applies a conservative methodology and follows standard practice using only the most recognized indicators of investment effect and economic impact.

For a copy of the full report, including a description of the data and methods used, visit the University of North Carolina website at www.northcarolina.edu/economic-impact-2015.

For more information about WCU’s regional economic impact, a printable PDF is available at www.wcu.edu/WebFiles/PDFs/15-123-Economic-Impact-Report-Western-Version.pdf.

WCU Faculty Oversees Project for Trail of Tears Association

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – History department faculty Sue Abram and Andrew Denson from Western Carolina University are overseeing a public history project that recently received a development grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.

An award of $5,000 was presented to the North Carolina chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, of which both are members, to be used to develop a website and brochure showcasing Cherokee Trail of Tears interpretive sites in six far western counties.

“The North Carolina Trail of Tears Association is thankful and excited to be included in the BRNHA’s grant awards,” Abram said. “We look forward to increasing public awareness and knowledge of the significant sites associated with the Cherokee removal and resistance period in Western North Carolina.”

Currently, there are 16 significant sites marked with wayside exhibits in the western counties interpreting the history of Cherokee removal from their homeland in the 1830s. These include military posts, roads used for movements of troops and Cherokee deportees, and sites of Cherokee organization and resistance against forced removal. The website and companion guide will provide an integrated, self-guided auto or bike tour and/or a virtual tour that will include stops at the interpretive exhibits.

The Trail of Tears Association is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1993 to support the development and interpretation of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The North Carolina organization is one of nine state chapters.

“This generous grant will really help us fulfill our group’s mission of interpreting and commemorating the history of Cherokee removal here in Western North Carolina,” Denton added. “The removal period is so important to our region’s history, whether you are talking about Cherokee communities or non-Indians. The BRNHA grant will help us tell some of the remarkable stories from this era to residents and visitors alike.”

The grant was one of 22 announced on Feb. 15, totaling $170,000, to be used to support diverse initiatives across the North Carolina mountains and foothills, focusing on craft, music, natural heritage, Cherokee culture and agricultural traditions.

What to Do if Your Car Starts Skidding

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. If you must drive, don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions.

It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  • Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid…

  • Take your foot off the accelerator.
  • Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  • If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  • If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse – this is normal.

If your front wheels skid…

  • Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  • As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck…

  • Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  • Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  • Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  • Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  • Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  • Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first – it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Necessary Equipment

An emergency situation on the road can arise at any time and you must be prepared. In addition to making sure you have a tune-up, a full tank of gas, and fresh anti-freeze, you should carry the following items in your trunk:

  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or cat litter
  • Tool kit
  • Essential Supplies
  • Be prepared with a “survival kit” that should always remain in the car. Replenish after use.

Essential supplies include:

  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Exterior windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string/cord
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy.
  • In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy, and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap, snow boots and blankets.

If You Become Stranded…

  • Do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation.
  • To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.
  • If you are sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so depending upon the amount of gas in the tank.
  • To protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia use the woolen items and blankets to keep warm.
  • Keep at least one window open slightly. Heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.
  • Eat a hard candy to keep your mouth moist.

Source: National Safety Council

Prevent Frozen Water Lines During Extreme Cold

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Temperatures over the next few days are expected to drop into exceptionally cold ranges, with forecasts calling for lows below zero degrees. Conditions like these present the risk of frozen water pipes.

Throughout the winter weather event, Asheville Water Resources staff will be available 24 hours a day for water related emergencies, leaks, breaks and no water calls. Customers can call (828) 251-1122 to report any water emergencies.

Residents can reduce the risk of frozen or burst water pipes in their homes by:

·        Disconnecting and draining all garden hoses and installing covers on outside faucets

·        Keeping garage or basement doors closed if there are water lines running through them

·        Opening kitchen and bathroom doors to allow heat to circulate around the plumbing

·        Wrapping pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape

·        Opening a cold water tap in the sink to let water run at a trickle and allowing water to move through pipes

If you suspect your water may be frozen at the meter, you can call the number above to have a meter technician check on it.

The City of Asheville continues to address the impact of winter storm events, clearing sidewalks adjacent to city-owned property and salting and sanding roads. However, at temperatures below 5 degrees, materials used to thaw ice are less effective. Drivers and pedestrians alike are advised to use extreme caution and not travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

This and other weather updates can be found at ashevillenc.gov.

Asheville Regional Airport Record Number of Passengers 2014

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) served a record number of passengers in 2014: 378,124 passengers enplaned at the airport in 2014, and 378,301 passengers deplaned, an 11.5% increase compared to 2013, and a 2.3% increase compared to 2010, the previous best year on record.

“We can attribute this growth to two key factors,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director. “We have been successful in our efforts to retain the important hub connectivity from AVL and in attracting new low-cost service to Florida. Also, the air travelers in western North Carolina continue to embrace their local airport, and fly from AVL as often as they can.”

During the past few years, airlines have changed their business models, and now work diligently to match flights and seats to what a market will support. They focus on connecting passengers from regional airports to major hubs, rather than flying point-to-point from smaller markets. Legacy carriers Delta, American (US Airways) and United provide two-thirds of the air service at AVL, connecting passengers with frequent daily flights to major hubs. At the same time, ultra-low-cost carriers have found an excellent niche in regions like western North Carolina. Allegiant Air entered the WNC market in 2011, focusing on selling vacation packages (including airfare) to popular destinations in Florida. In just over three years, Allegiant significantly grew its presence here and now offers a third of the airline seats at AVL.

“One thing that is a constant in this industry is change,” said Bleiweis. “An airport does not control the air service that is offered, but we do partner with airlines and work to support their success in our market. If an airline is successful, they will stay in the market, and that’s what we want for them and for the air travelers in our region – the excellent connectivity we enjoy today.”

AVL was named the best connected non-hub airport in America in 2013, and has enjoyed continued growth since that time. Seats in the market have been strong, and a look ahead shows more airline seats being offered this spring and summer compared to 2014.