Buzzworm news briefs

Asheville hears a Who

The sneetches and blummers liked Geisel a lot
And who in the whole ville of Asheville does not?
He gave us strange birds and strange cakes in the oven
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,
Green Eggs and Ham, the Grinch and the zummer,
Books we all read on the knees of our mummers.
Dr. Seuss comes to town Sunday, April 18,
At 2:30 sharp he’ll be making the scene,
Lord Auditorium in the bottom of Pack.
Better come early or sit in the back
When an actor named Frein tunes his brain into fun
In a show meant for oldsters as well as for young.
For info, dial 2 … then three 5s … 023.
Sundays are fun at the librar-eye-ee.

— Cecil Bothwell

How to access mental-health services

If all the hubbub over statewide mental-health reform has left you confused, an upcoming meeting could help provide some clarity.

Two mental-health insiders from the Western Highlands Local Management Entity — Interim Director Larry Thompson and Director of Clinical Access and Emergency Services Charlie Schoenheit — will talk about the new system and how to access services, which are now provided by the private sector in Buncombe County.

The Western Carolina chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill is hosting the meeting, set for Tuesday, April 20 at Mountainhouse (225 East Chestnut St. in Asheville), starting at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

For more info, call 298-1847 or (800) 451-9682.

— Tracy Rose

Love your planet day

It’s the least we can do. Once a year, people all over the world get together to celebrate the wonder of life on our planet and promote environmental stewardship. And while Thursday, April 22 is the official date for Earth Day, associated events tend to fall within that general vicinity.

Asheville’s celebration kicks off in City/County Plaza on Friday, April 17, from noon to 10 p.m. The free event will feature more than 30 nonprofit groups, speakers, environmental workshops, food, arts-and-crafts vendors, and a assortment of beers provided by French Broad River Brewery. Entertainment will be provided by Ballet Warraba, Bellyfull, Stephanie’s Id, World Spirit Bellydancers, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, The Tou Bab Crew (featuring members of Count Clovis), and the Biscuit Burners.

The next day (Saturday, April 18), 7 p.m., you can mosey on over to the Colburn Gem & Mineral Museum at Pack Place to view our planet from a unique perspective when NASA astronaut Story Musgrave — a veteran of six space flights — gives a multimedia presentation including 160 slides he shot while in space. The event is free for museum members, $5 for nonmembers.

But the fun’s not over yet. There’ll also be an Earth Day celebration on Thursday, April 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. This is the third annual celebration organized by the university’s Biology Club; but this year’s edition promises to be bigger and better with the help of the Canary Coalition, a grassroots clean-air organization, and the participation of more environmental and nonprofit groups. The free event will include high-profile public speakers (including congressional candidate Patsy Keever), forums on hot environmental issues, live music, and an alternative-powered-car show.

For more information about Asheville’s Earth Day celebration, visit; for the Colburn Gem & Mineral Museum event, call 254-7162 or visit; and for Cullowhee’s Earth Day celebration, visit

— Lisa Watters

FIRE next time?

The nonprofit Fund for Investigative Reporting and Editing trains news reporters and news sources — such as nonprofit organizations — to access, document and present information of vital importance to the public. FIRE is currently seeking new board members and volunteers from throughout Western North Carolina. If you’re interested in helping improve the quality of investigative reporting in our region, are concerned about access to public information, or wish to assist FIRE with its online archive at, e-mail Mark Goldstein (, or call FIRE’s Asheville office at (828) 259-9179.

— Cecil Bothwell

Homebuilding on the links

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity will host its 12th annual golf tournament Monday, April 19 at Champion Hills in Hendersonville. Beverly-Hanks & Associates is sponsoring the event, and all player-entry fees will be applied to the cost of building a Habitat house.

The entry fee is $500 per player, and both individual entries and corporate teams are welcome. Each competitor will receive an upscale gift bag, lunch before play, and an invitation to a post-tournament cocktail buffet. There’ll be door prizes and awards for winners in several categories. Champions Tour player Morris Hatalsky will greet all players and compete in a “Beat the Pro” par-3 hole.

“For the past 11 years, we have brought people together for a day of golf and celebration. When participants swing a club, they enable Habitat volunteers to swing a hammer and build a new house. We are grateful for the golfing community’s commitment to affordable housing for deserving families in Buncombe County,” says Lew Kraus, Habitat’s executive director.

For information, phone 251-5702 (e-mail:

— Cecil Bothwell

A rags-to-riches horse story

Banjo, a 14-year-old Arabian-mix stallion, is one lucky horse. The first time he was saved from a dicey outcome was when he was spotted by Hope for Horses founder Whitney Wright at a local auction in December of 2002.

Whenever the nonprofit rehabilitation-and-adoption organization has the money and space available (which has happened only three times to date, she explains), “We like to go to the local auction and buy the horses.”

The animals at these auctions are usually not “your high-dollar horses,” notes Wright. “These are the horses that are being sold for three, four, five hundred dollars. Basically, the price per pound is worth more … sold as meat than as a horse — which is pretty grim.

“Some of the horses get lucky and go home with nice families. A lot of them don’t. … There are killer buyers that go to these local auctions and accumulate horses until they get a load big enough to take down to the slaughterhouses. … It’s all about supply and demand. There are too many indiscriminate breeders, there are too many horses out there — and that, of course, lowers the price.”

At that particular auction, Wright ended up buying Banjo and another stallion; both were horses she knew could be rehabilitated and placed in new homes.

“Banjo was a horse that had definite potential, and I bought him for nothing. I paid 300 bucks for him. I brought him home and immediately gelded him (we don’t need to breed any more horses) … and started riding him. He’s just an absolute doll.”

Then, last year, it looked for a while as though Banjo had found a new home. As it turned out, however, the woman he was placed with was getting horses from different rescue groups and turning around and illegally selling them — basically committing fraud, Wright recalls. “So he almost ended up in bad hands a second time.”

Luckily, says Wright, she received an anonymous phone call tipping her off. “We got wind of it and ran down and picked him up. The woman’s actually in jail right now.”

But this is one story that has a happy ending. In January, Banjo was placed with a local woman whose own beloved horse died last summer. “Elizabeth has just fallen absolutely in love with him,” Wright reports. “Now he’s living the good life [boarding at] Biltmore Estate, where there are miles and miles of trails. … He’s in this great huge pasture with a bunch of other geldings, and this lovely lady comes to see him every afternoon. … He sees her now and comes running up to the gate.”

Many of the animals that end up at Hope for Horses come from owners who are no longer able or willing to care for them. “We also get horses from the Humane Society,” adds Wright. “We work closely with Buncombe County Animal Control. Whenever they impound or seize horses, those horses come to us — and then we rehab them and find good homes for them.”

Still and all, “It’s not always happy endings,” she notes.

Recalling a young, injured horse that had to be euthanized recently, Wright corrects herself: “Sometimes it’s just a different sort of happy ending. I guess putting that horse out of its pain was a relief to all of us.”

Hope for Horses will host its fourth annual open house at the nonprofit’s facility in Leicester on Saturday, April 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests are invited to tour the farm, hear guest speakers address assorted topics of interest to equine enthusiasts, and meet some of the many horses available for adoption. The used-tack sale will offer great deals on everything from saddles to grooming equipment, and all proceeds will directly benefit the horses in the organization’s care. Bag lunches will be available, and local bluegrass quartet Saluda Ridge will provide live music throughout the day. Children can learn about safety around horses at the Kid’s Corner and can decorate horseshoes to take home. Admission is free.

For more information or directions, call Hope for Horses at 683-0160, or visit their Web site (

— Lisa Watters

Who do you like?

The North Carolina Democratic Party will hold a presidential-preference caucus Saturday, April 17, from 8 a.m. to noon. This first-time event became necessary when the state’s primary was delayed until July, due to court challenges of the redistricting based on the 2000 census.

Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton are on the ballot. The results will be used to allocate delegates to the party’s national convention. Every county will have at least one voting location; Buncombe County has four:

• West Asheville Library (970 Haywood Road, Asheville)

• Charles Owen Middle School (730 Old Hwy. 70, Swannanoa)

• Wolcott Municipal Building (161 S. Charlotte St., Asheville)

• Weaverville Community Center (30 Main St., Weaverville).

— Cecil Bothwell


Too cute!

Ever since I first saw Lisa Shenouda‘s kewpie-doll photo series Subtle Bodies displayed at Gold Hill last spring, I’ve been hooked. Actually, addicted might be a better word .

I’m not the only one who’s strongly attracted to Shenouda’s work. As she says with a laugh: “A lot of people either love kewpies … or they’re totally creeped out by them. Either [reaction] is virtually the same.”

Shenouda’s models one-inch versions of the traditional kewpie that she found in 1998 at a Japanese consignment store in New York City. Shenouda likes to place them in very human contexts: soaking together in a hot tub, waving at the camera from a precipice above the Grand Canyon; or building a snowman in a toy pine forest. But there are also more surreal images: kewpie dolls floating in a bowl of milk or standing chest deep in brightly colored corn kernels. Sure, they’re fun, but if you look closely you can see that the artist is often making some sort of sly social comment with these round-headed, Buddha-bellied munchkins.

Happily (for we kewpie-philes, at least), Shenouda’s work is now available on T-shirts and postcards as well as on prints. And I must confess that I already own three of the T-shirts and one of each of the postcards. As I said, I’m addicted — there’s nothing I can do.

Subtle Bodies is on display at Lola Salon and Gallery (60 Biltmore Ave.) through Saturday, April 24. Adult T-shirts are available at Lola and Shooby Doo (34 Haywood St.); kids’ T-shirts at Belle (58 N. Lexington Ave.); and postcards at Lola, Malaprop’s (55 Haywood St.) and Diggin’ Art (779 Haywood Road) in West Asheville. T-shirts and postcards are also available through Shenouda’s Web site. To see more kewpie-doll photos (including a very cool slide show), as well as samples of her other work, visit

— Lisa Watters


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