Full-spectrum road rage

In an attempt to counter the increasing frequency of “road rage” incidents in Buncombe County, commissioners voted recently to replace the traditional red light bulbs in the county’s traffic lights with full-spectrum red lights from Earth Fare.

“Full-spectrum lights bring an aura of purity and freshness to people, objects and surroundings,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Tom Sobol at the March 24 meeting, adding, “They’ll do a lot to help keep people from seeing red.”

“Full-spectrum lights bathe spaces with a pleasing, colorful and relaxing feeling that maximizes peoples’ senses of well-being,” reported Commissioner Bill Stanley. “They’re just what the residents of this county need when they start to feel bad on the road. This is one of the best things we’ve done on this Board since I’ve been a commissioner,” he added.

Before replacing all the county’s light bulbs, however, the commissioners voted to try them out in a special test district.

Commissioner David Gantt said he has high hopes for the new bulbs. “I think they will put a stop to the mean-spirited finger gestures that I see so often on the road,” he said. “It’s a shame to see the men of Buncombe gesturing to their brothers in such a vulgar manner.”

“What about the women of Buncombe County, David?” Commissioner Patsy Keever interjected. “We can make obscene gestures, too.”

“Who cares?” said Commissioner David Young. “It’s good business. We can give a big, fat, economic-development incentive to one of these full-spectrum manufacturers and locate them right here in the county. Good for the people, and good for the tax base,” he vowed, licking his lips.

Replacement of the bulbs will begin at the height of rush hour on April Fools’ Day, when all five commissioners will ceremoniously screw new bulbs into the lights at the intersection of College and Charlotte streets, providing a definitive answer to the question, “How many Buncombe County Commissioners does it take to change a light bulb?”

For more about Buncombe County’s new Red Light District, call the county Illuminations office.

Wild chickens and rabbits

Rabbits and chickens may well be “wilder than you think,” according to a press release from the WNC Nature Center. Attending the center’s “Wild Weekend” on April 4 and 5 may help you discover if this is true.

Visit the Charles D. Owen Educational Farm’s chicken exhibit at 2:30 p.m. on the 4th, and perhaps you’ll come up with a theory on that pesky chicken vs. egg issue.

Do rabbits and chickens make good pets? Find out, and learn proper maintenance of these critters, at 2:30 on the 5th.

For more info, call the center at 298-5600.

Pet essences

Is your pet fearful? Does she attack at random? Is daily vomiting a problem? Perhaps flower essences are in order.

As the life force of a plant’s energy field, “flower essences do not contain any physical parts of the plants, only their pure, life-affirming energy,” according to a brochure put out by flower-essence practitioner Carol Martin. The essences will interact with the “emotional part” of your pet’s energy field, clearing out “emotional debris” from your pet’s past. Best of all, “There are no harmful side effects; if the wrong remedy is given, it simply has no effect,” while the right combo can promote “profound healing,” Martin reports.

At least two pets are satisfied with their essence therapy so far, according to pet testimonials on Martin’s brochure. “I had so much fear at times that I would go berserk and attack my companion Jasmine,” says Luna the cat. “I would be scared for a long time and hide under the bed. If I saw Jasmine, I wanted to attack her again. I didn’t know why I did this,” testifies Luna. However, as soon as Martin dosed her with the essences, Luna reported feelings of happiness, love and calm, and no more episodes of “going berserk.”

Luciano the cat reported feeling “skittish, nervous and aloof” and vomiting daily before his flower-essence treatment. After treatment, “I stopped vomiting and became happier and more affectionate,” he says.

The initial flower-essence session costs $30 and is done with Martin and pet via telephone, as Martin connects with your pet and determines which essences are right for the job. Essences are custom mixed and mailed out to you for $10.

For more info, call Martin at 669-5820, or e-mail her at

Billboard-removal workshop

Asheville residents who feel seven years is too long to wait for the city to remove area billboards are invited to attend the Citizen Action Billboard Destruction And Removal Alliance’s first annual billboard-removal workshop, from 3 a.m. till sun-up on April 31. Participants will meet in the parking lot of Fuddruckers, on Charlotte Street.

The workshop will feature citywide working demonstrations of actual billboard removal, to be followed by a panel discussion in which billboard-removal experts will argue the pros and cons of various removal techniques (for instance, the “chop it from the base” versus the “top it like a Madison County tree” method).

“We hope, with this workshop, that we can show people the proper way to take down everything from a 30-footer to 50-footer,” said CABDARA spokesman Ken U. Blevit.

The workshop is free, but participants are asked to bring flashlights, chain saws, monkey wrenches and bail money. Blevit advises dressing in black.

For more info, call CABDARA at its unlisted number.

Book Captain Slow

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll achieve a higher state of enviro-consciousness when you book your own private showing of “The Big Throwaway: A Comedy of Global Impact,” a production of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

This dramatic performance, starring Captain Slow the silent clown, has Slow engaging in a mock-heroic struggle as he develops a sensitivity to the Earth and her natural resources. “Captain Slow does battle with his trash can and its contents … all of which are recyclable,” reports the BREDL press release.

“The Big Throwaway” can run between 30 and 50 minutes, and is most effective for kindergartners through ninth graders, according to the release.

For more info, call BREDL at (336) 982-2691.

Late-night flushing activity

It’s time again for the Asheville Water Resources Department’s semi-annual “Night Flush.” The late-night flushes are already under way and will continue until April 29. Flushes will affect your area only once, and will occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.

Customers shouldn’t notice any impact from the flushes, which ultimately result in cleaner water and lower chlorine levels, according to a city press release. “Just to be on the safe side, however, we recommend that you not wash your white clothing on the morning following the night the water system in your neighborhood is flushed,” it continues.

Look for the flushing activity schedule in Friday editions of the Asheville Citizen-Times.

For more info, call 251-1122.

Soar with the pigeons

The City Parks and Recreation Department still has a few spaces left in its Introduction to Urban Hang Gliding course, which begins in May.

Instruction will include launches from heights that are easily accessible in the urban environment (such as parking garages and church bell towers), and landing in confined spaces (such as narrow alleys and loading zones). In addition, participants will learn to gauge urban weather patterns, including wind tunnels that commonly occur between rows of tall buildings.

Participants will be eligible to register for Urban Hang Gliding II after completing a successful launch from atop the BB&T Building and landing inside the Vincent’s Ear courtyard.

Call the City Parks and Recreation Department at 251-SOAR for more info.

— senselessly compiled by Jill Ingram

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