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Wednesday, 19 April 2006 00:00

Baseball’s scapegoat

San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player of this era, and one can make a good argument that he is the greatest player in history. Bonds will almost certainly pass the legendary Babe Ruth on the…
Wednesday, 19 April 2006 00:00

Stuck in a stinky situation

Hopefully, any encounter you have with a skunk will be a sighting, not a spraying. Neither my wife nor I have ever been sprayed by a polecat. But our dogs have — and they were pitiful creatures for days afterward.
Grasping the extent of development sweeping across the Haywood County landscape is not always easy. So Marc Pruett, the county’s erosion control officer, came up with a little anecdote to put things in perspective. He tallied up all the private…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Back-buying Have you ever noticed that people, for the most part, solidify their tastes — in music, and clothing, and what they like to eat — at a certain time in their younger years? I don’t mean that we can’t…
Besides being what T.S. Eliot called “the cruelest month/Breeding lilacs out of the dead land,” April is also National Poetry Month. To do honor to poetry, let’s look at two books that have much to do with the poem and…
For the first time in history, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is running for a seat on the Swain County Board of Commissioners. Ben Bushyhead lives just outside Bryson City and works for tribal government…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Enforcement issues cloud zoning debate

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer With growth on the forefront of Macon County’s election issues, commissioner candidates have staked out their stance on land use planning. A majority of candidates have recommended taking a cautious approach — avoiding zoning…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer They’ve said they want to strengthen the economy. They’ve said they want to help bring in higher paying jobs. They agree that doing it will require local schoolchildren to get the best education possible.
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Old-style ‘machine’ a factor in Swain

A slate of challengers running in the Swain County commissioners race are speaking out against what they claim is decades of control by an elite handful in the inner circle of the Democratic Party known as “the machine.”
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Political factions help define Haywood race

Two well-defined political factions emerged early in the Haywood County commissioners primary and have only grown stronger in the countdown to election day on May 2. On one side is the county commissioner chairman Mark Swanger, who is running for…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Swain commissioner candidate snapshots

Three candidates are running for Swain County chairman in the Democratic Primary.
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Wild, mysterious and sometimes a bit sly

In the natural world here in the Blue Ridge, there are certain visual images that rivet the attention of human beholders. One such is a timber rattlesnake suddenly encountered in the wild. That sight literally galvanizes the senses. The vibrating…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Get ready for the backroom abortionists

Three cheers for crime. If moralists have their way, it will only get worse. How coincidental that within three short weeks of Justice Sam Alito’s long-anticipated confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, the anti-abortion lobby of South Dakota suddenly convinced…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Get over the fear and say it: ZONING is GOOD

Note to all candidates seeking office in Western North Carolina, and all their constituents: repeat these words, over and over — zoning, land use, high-impact ordinances, long-range planning, master planning. Say them again, and try to get over the fear…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Rotten to the core

According to recent stories by Knight Ridder news services, the Bush Administration thinks our national parks are too fat. A mandate called the “core operation analysis” has been issued directing park officials across the country to cut between 20 and…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Don’t touch that fawn

White-tail deer will soon start scouting the fields and forests for hiding places to give birth to their fawns this spring. After giving birth, the doe leaves the fawn lying on the ground and continues foraging for the crucial calories…
Five marinas on Fontana Lake have been certified as Clean Marinas in recognition of their efforts to preserve and protect water quality in the Tennessee River system by the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the dam at Fontana Lake for…
By Michael Beadle Helen Keller is an unruly child. She eats food with her fingers, drops her silverware on purpose, kicks and whines, and throws temper tantrums. She also happens to be blind, deaf and mute with very little way…
First, an admission: I didn’t get to talk to Kenny Wayne Shepherd at all. No interview or anything. Kind of a bummer, because it means I couldn’t ask him how it feels to look back on a performing and recording…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Frank may be gone, but not frugality

Some people say I can be cheap, or at the very least, my priorities are out of whack. They say, “You’ll spend $30 for a bottle of wine, but won’t spend 30 to get that dent in your car fixed.”…
Every year when the local tailgate farmers markets begin opening, it’s a good time to ponder just what it means to be able to hop down to some designated spot and buy produce, flowers and other goods fresh from a…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Float trips return to Waynesville

The sight of bobbing caravans of inflatable kayaks floating down Richland Creek through Waynesville will return on Saturday, May 6 when Whitewater of Waynesville, a.k.a. WOW, opens back up for its second season.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Mount Sterling — a hikers’ crossroads

Climbing the 80 rickety feet of metal and wood got my adrenaline flowing a bit. Once up there, I found it to be a precarious perch, especially since the plywood floor was rotten and some of it missing. I was…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Declare war on incumbents

By Marshall Frank • Columnist Time to send a message to our government leaders. Our democracy is ruled by the will of the people. It appears our president, and our senators and congressional representatives from both parties have forgotten that.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

The life-long legacy of a few brushmarks

By Lew Garnett Without his ever knowing it, Blaine Richardson was one of my heroes. It was a recent breezy Saturday at our karate school, where over the past few years I’d fought a sharp contest between my 50-year-old body…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

A brand new world

Anyone who hasn’t been to the woods in the last month would swear they’re in a different world. In a sense, they are. At the end of March most anything above 2,500 feet still looked like winter. A hike today…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Reaching out for the Little T

When Cass and Mary Lou Combs attended a conservation celebration along the shore of the Little Tennessee River in Macon County last Friday, their mind occasionally wandered from the speaker at hand to thoughts of a new great-grandchild being born…
For two and a half years, David Erikson at Twigs and Leaves has offered a monthly drawing for a gift certificate as a surreptitious means to compel customers to share their hometown address.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Beach Trips My first vacation of any real length is coming up in two weeks’ time. My boyfriend and I are heading south to Delray Beach, Fla. — a place picked solely for being home to the Morikami Museum and…
By Chris Cooper There’s this thing that can happen when you research an artist for a review. I’m not sure what the technical term for it is, but it goes something like this: you find that many people (usually well…
By Michael Beadle There’s so much art to see in downtown Waynesville, gallery owners are now offering to keep their businesses open extra hours. For the first Friday of the month starting this May, the Waynesville Gallery Association is kicking…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

A lost soul finds a home

On a spring night in 1929, Mary Seneca Steele escapes from her home in Charleston, taking only her two children (Pet and Hugh), a new Auburn Phaeton (belonging to her abusive, shiftless husband, Hubert (Foots) Pettigrew Lamb, and $33. Her…
Local writer Jeanne Nutter, 72, of the Caney Fork Community took first place in the Jackson County Extension and Community Association’ s recent Cultural Arts Contest.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Ashe cruises by Cruzan in sheriff race

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In a landslide win, Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe held off challenger and former sheriff Jim Cruzan in what many have called the election’s most heated race.
Former North Carolina Highway Patrolman C.D. Jenkins emerged from a field of three Democrats to win the Macon County Sheriff’s primary and the opportunity to run against incumbent Sheriff Robert Holland.
Despite a slate of challengers campaigning for change in the Swain County commissioners race, all but one incumbent running for re-election was ousted by voters.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Sylva voters pass liquor by the drink

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Sylva residents have decided — it’s time for a good stiff drink. Voters approved mixed beverage sales 257 to 182. Only 34 voters chose not to cast ballots on the measure.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Newcomer, incumbent win in Macon

Political newcomer Ronnie Beale and incumbent Bob Simpson beat two other Democrats in Tuesday’s primary and will move on to the Nov. 7 general election against two Republicans.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Pro-planning group wins in Jackson

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County will usher in a new board of commissioners committed to addressing the county’s growth issues with the election of pro-planning candidates William Shelton, Tom Massie, Joe Cowan and Mark Jones in Tuesday’s…
By Michael Beadle Incumbent Kirk Kirkpatrick and newcomers Charles “Skeeter” Curtis and Bill Upton have won the top three slots in the Haywood County commissioner Democratic primary. Incumbent commission chairman Mark Swanger and former commissioner Bill Noland were the fourth-…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Tips for B&B guests

• Costs — Before you book a reservation at a B&B, be sure you check the fine print and know the total cost of your stay. Inns have room taxes that are added on to the bill and there may…
By Michael Beadle Western North Carolina prides itself as a tourist destination — the mountain getaway where you can hike and shop and rest among the soothing sounds of nature.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Hepatica — a thing of beauty and lore

Nothing is fairer, if as fair, as the first flower, the hepatica. I find I have never admired this little firstling half enough. When at the maturity of its charms, it is certainly the gem of the woods. What an…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

The past, present and future on Alarka

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young (Editor’s note: Writer Dawn Gilchrist-Young is conducting a series of interviews with mountain natives to gauge their reaction to changes taking place in the region and their memories of the past. These stories will appear intermittently in The…
By Michael Beadle Last week, Cherokee students found themselves stretching, swooning, thrusting imaginary swords and spouting 400-year-old Elizabethan English. All that without textbooks or boring lectures about William Shakespeare being the greatest playwright ever.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer From behind the waist-high counter that divides his studio and gallery in half, potter Mark Karner pauses for a moment to extend a hand and make introductions before getting back to work applying handles…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Five CDs that deserve a spin

I’m going to take a brief detour from the regular album/show review format and present five CDs that I feel are worth seeking out. The idea started out as a “top 5” of the last year, but apparently I got…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Spring One diversion in my life this past month was the weather. Surely this spring is among the most gorgeous of the last two decades. There is a lush, warm quality to the landscape this season, and the very air…
Well, it’s spring — a beautiful spring indeed this year — and that time on the calendar when a young man’s fancy turns to love.
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Art auction brings in record amount

Quick Draw in the Mountains raised a record amount of money this year off a live and silent auction that supports budding artists and art in the schools.