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Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Tourism board divided over festival funding

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority is split over a budget for the coming fiscal year that would reduce funding for festivals and local chambers of commerce and instead put the money toward a marketing plan.
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Battered berries

Those who’ve participated in my natural history workshops know that that I’m not a very good source for information regarding edible plants. For the most part, I obtain vegetables at the grocery store or, in season, from our gardens. But…
By Bruce Hare • Guest Columnist In response to your article (“Tug of War over the Chattooga River,” May 31 Smoky Mountain News), I would like to thank you for reporting on an issue that is important to me and…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

So how far have we come?

Each year as summer dawns, when children begin counting the days until shoes become something they just have to keep track of and not wear, I continue a tradition started on June 2, 1999. That was the date the first…
Josh Kelly looked up from his topo map, took a step back and eyed the steep bank in front of him, scanning the line of the mountain until it disappeared out of sight. Somewhere through the tangle of rhododendrons, over…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

When paddle comes to shove

The only thing rippling more than the water through the rocky headwaters of the Chattooga is the controversy regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s ban on paddling in that stretch. It is a ban that has been in place for 30…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

History and wildflowers

By Ed Kelley The burning sensation on the back of my heels made me wish I had packed some moleskin. Blisters are adversary number one for the hiker. Luckily, I haven’t had them in years, but friction, moisture, heat, and…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Telling a better story

By Michael Beadle There’s a heavy heat inside Mountainside Theatre’s rehearsal studio even with fans blowing and the lights turned off. The dancers, sweaty but still smiling, have been practicing all afternoon, fine-tuning the finale for “Unto These Hills.”
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Sweet vinegar sounds

By Chris Cooper Claiming influences as far apart stylistically as Iron Maiden and Ravi Shankar, Mother Vinegar lean further toward the rocking side of the jam ethic than the majority of their tie-dyed brethren. Off kilter lyrics (understatement?) and a…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Records As in old school phonograph records, not world records or dental records. After collecting thousands of CDs over the last 15 years, I have fallen in love with records again. Whenever I get a chance to listen to the…
By Michael Beadle Luke Allsbrook has a voice as soothing as his paintings. He explains his craft with the calm of someone who has spent hours in solitary reflection, emerging from nature with gifted insights. Whether it’s a vast stretch…
By Michael Beadle It’s a story 10,000 years in the making. And now Cherokees and Native Americans from all over the United States will tell it. When “Unto These Hills” opens June 8 for its latest outdoor season, audiences will…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Spill the beans

Confession is good for the soul. As any practicing Catholic will tell you, that old tune still plays true. You may dread going to confession — I don’t know anyone who enjoys spilling out his faults and sins before a…
Elected town and county leaders will be dragged into the Haywood County tourism saga this week. They will be asked to weigh in on how much of the $600,000 in tourism tax dollars should be dolled out in the form…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer June through October is known as festival season in the mountains, and its no wonder why. During the five-month stretch there’s at least one festival every weekend somewhere in the region.
By Michael Beadle Waynesville art gallery owners don’t just want to sell art. They want people to ask lots of questions about art, see how it is actually made and how all ages can create art. It’s all about the…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Folkmoot USA, the annual international dance festival with performances held throughout Western North Carolina, always is marked by riotous colors, intriguing costumes and smiling faces, making it a photographer’s paradise.
By Chris Cooper The best rock album of the year is about to be released. No kidding. My first encounter with Roman Candle was sometime in 2002. I was slinging beer in a little venue in Charlotte, and the band…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Charles Bukowski So, you don’t like poetry? Well, maybe Charles W. Bukowski will ring your chimes. Talk about ugly? This guy was so ugly, people actually cringed when they met him. As a teenager, his acne-ravaged face had to be…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

A Taste of Scotland

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Western North Carolina boasts more people of Scottish descent than Scotland itself — and for that Franklin hosts its annual Taste of Scotland this weekend, June 16 and 17.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Amazing language found in a lost novel

Recently, the New York Times set off a hotly contested literary skirmish by naming what their literary staff considered to be the greatest novels of the past 25 years. A platoon of critics entered the fray, and after a bit…
Craig Buchner and his father didn’t say much during their weekends in upstate New York checking spigots on sugar maples, chopping wood and boiling sap to make syrup, but the Western Carolina University student found comfort just spending time with…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Bryson City developing first zoning plan

An influx of growth has prompted Bryson City leaders to address land-use planning with hopes of drafting the town’s first development ordinance by January 2007.
Butch Deals’ day doesn’t fit the image of the simple farming life. Perched in the air-conditioned cab of a John Deere towing a baler across raked winnows of straw, Deals’ cell phone traffic rivaled that of a busy banker or…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer N.C. Geological Survey staff hopes to finish its survey of Macon County’s landslide prone areas by the end of this month and present its research to county commissioners.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Haywood considers wider tourism study

The town of Maggie Valley could be getting more than it bargained for when it called on fellow towns in Haywood County to consider overhauling the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Hearing heated, but no surprises

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing regarding the recently released draft environmental assessment of Duke Power’s hydroelectric projects on the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers held last Thursday (June 8) began quietly enough.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has announced its 2006 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide and leverage funding for innovative projects that preserve and promote the heritage of Western North Carolina.
Land for Tomorrow is a statewide campaign to raise $1 billion in state funds to preserve farmland and forestland, create new state parks and natural areas, restore historic sites, develop local parks and greenways and protect views along scenic highways.
Wade Reece, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority and a Maggie Valley businessman, was in a motorcycle accident Saturday (June 10). Reece was listed in critical condition at Mission Hospital in the Neurotrauma ICU unit as of…
Joetta Rinehart, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board, recently moved to Asheville, throwing into question her legitimacy as a tourism board member.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Living inside the box

Five turtle species reside in Western North Carolina: snapping, musk, and painted turtles are primarily found in streams, lakes, and ponds. The elusive and rare bog turtle is found in the habitat for which it’s named. The eastern box turtle…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

The principle is always important

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Finding a father while keeping a Dad

By Marshall Frank Imagine having a fathers of all varieties. Step, biological and adopted? Here’s a story about such a person. Not everyone’s life is utopia, complete with white picket fence, family barbeques and one set of happy parents. No…
By Eric Larson Where I grew up, you had to choose sides early: You were either a University of Alabama football fan or you pulled for the Auburn “War Eagles.” I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but some…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Scared of the Dark?

By Stephanie Wampler • Columnist The dark is a strange creature. It has so many faces. “Dark” is how we have always described our worst times. Thousands of years ago, the phrase “the valley of the shadow of death” was…
After last week’s surprising meeting of the Haywood County Council of Governments regarding the tourism board, perhaps there is finally an end in sight to the controversy regarding this board.
Rafting fans have only two more shots this year at a trip down the Cheoah River, a rugged river in Graham County that has just recently been opened to rafting.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Things that go blink in the night

By Michael Beadle As springtime visitors flock to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the phenomenon of synchronous fireflies, researchers are hoping to learn more about how and why these beetles produce such amazing light shows. It may well…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

The Little River watershed

Nestled in the northern center of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont was once a thriving logging community that inspired Walt Disney’s screen image of Snow White’s cabin and now serves as a key research site for studying synchronous…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Mitigation demand holds in Supreme Court

In a 9-0 vote last week, the Supreme Court upheld the right of states to demand mitigation from hydropower companies for the damming of rivers under the Clean Water Act.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

All together now – flash

Around 2 a.m. the other morning I was walking Maddie, my seven-month-old, around the house trying to convince her that it was still bedtime. We passed by our wall of windows in the living area and our yard was ablaze…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

First Tour de Tuck to challenge cyclists

A new cycling tradition begins this summer with the debut of the Tour de Tuck Bike Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Soul Infusion’s fifth

By Chris Cooper Late Friday night, after the festivities died down and the crickets had begun a serenade for the wee hours, I asked Jason and Karin Kimenker to imagine what they might say 40 years from now about their…
By Michael Beadle Growing up in South Carolina, Robert Lathan remembers how just about everything and everyone was named after Wade Hampton — schools, parks, hotels, towns, and especially children. More than a century after Hampton’s death, this wealthy landowner,…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer As a child in Diana Fisher’s music class at Camp Lab School in Cullowhee, I never held the mountain dulcimer in very high regard.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Pool There is a lot to be said for going out into the woods, finding a quiet, isolated stream, and taking a refreshing swim in the cold pure water. On the other hand, a visit to your neighborhood pool…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Money verses morals

During my senior year of high school, my brother, some friends, and I went to a James Bond film festival. If I remember correctly, we entered the theater around seven in the evening and staggered out about one the next…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Macon survey

The survey in Macon County set out to quantify the value the public places on the landscape. Surveys sought to measure the public’s willingness to contribute toward conservation, and if so, how much.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Bethel survey

The Bethel survey polled a random sample of 273 residents in Bethel via telephone. The Bethel Rural Community Organization sanctioned the study to identify community sentiment toward development, farmland and what makes their community special. Here are some of the…