Speak out for high-speed Internet service

To help Internet providers build a business case for extending high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of North Carolina, the e-NC Initiative has created a central location where citizens can request service. The group’s Web site includes a page where citizens can register requests for high-speed service.

“We’ve simply taken the written petition on-line,” said Dr. James Leutze, chairman of the Rural Internet Access Authority, the lead group in state efforts to bring all Tar Heel residents into the Digital Age.

Providers can use that information — broken down by county, municipality, town or area — to determine which areas are most promising for expanding demand-based service.

To request high-speed service, go to It takes about five minutes to register a request by selecting your county of residence and answering 12 simple questions. People concerned about their privacy can choose to make their requests anonymously.

“We believe this will be an incredible tool for opening a dialogue between North Carolinians and high-speed telecommunications providers,” said RIAA Executive Director Jane Patterson. “Getting North Carolinians connected to the Internet is an investment in our state’s economic future. This Web page is just one way we are bringing groups to the table to see that we meet our goal of making high-speed access available to all North Carolinians by December 2003.”

The RIAA was created by the N.C. General Assembly in August 2000. The e-NC Initiative has supported all projects to date through $30 million in funding committed by MCNC (formerly the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina), a private, nonprofit organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and cash or in-kind contributions from more than 52 other public and private entities. Both the Initiative and the Authority are housed within the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center.

For more information, visit or call (866) NCRURAL.

The therapist that purrs

Life stressful? Too much going on? Feeling overwhelmed? Well, the good news is that help is just a cat-in-the-lap away. Studies show that feline therapy eases anxiety by lowering blood pressure and releasing those “feel good” endorphins. And at this time of year, when animal shelters are overflowing with cats of all ages, it’s an especially good time to adopt one of these feline therapists.

Toward that end, the Asheville Humane Society (72 Lee’s Creek Rd.) joins the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in declaring June “Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month.” In a press release, the Society invites the public “to partake in some relaxation therapy by stopping by the shelter to meet our available feline therapists and engage in some head-scratching good fun!”

On average, the Asheville Humane Society took in 344 cats per month in 2001. But in June — always any shelter’s heaviest month because of the breeding season — the Society took in 611 cats. During that same month, only 90 cats were adopted out or returned to their owners.

For more information, call the Asheville Humane Society at 253-6807.

All aboard for Black Mountain

After hours of study and in-depth discussion, the long-awaited Black Mountain Transit route to Asheville is now a reality. Preliminary discussions about the route actually began several years ago, but the involvement of the Asheville-Buncombe Task Force brought it to the attention of the community last year. According to Asheville Transit Director Bruce Black, “The task force was instrumental in marshaling the Black Mountain community to ascertain their needs, as well as working with the City of Asheville and Mountain Mobility to implement the route.”

Funding for the route comes from the State of North Carolina, the Town of Black Mountain, and Mountain Mobility. The route is designed to provide residents of Black Mountain access to those locations in Asheville that are regularly visited. The route leaves from the Black Mountain Depot, travels west on old Hwy. 70 to the Asheville Mall, continues to Mission/St. Joseph’s Hospital, makes a loop through downtown Asheville, and then returns to Black Mountain, making multiple stops along the way

The schedule for the Black Mountain Transit route to Asheville is as follows: Buses will depart from the Asheville Transit Center at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.; buses will depart from the Black Mountain Train Depot at 11:50 a.m., 3:50 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. The fare per trip is $1.

For more information on this route and others provided by Asheville Transit, call 253-5691.

Feeding children in America

MANNA FoodBank recently announced that America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest hunger-relief charity, is sponsoring the first ever National Hunger Awareness Day on Wednesday, June 5. Through its national network of 215 food banks (including MANNA), food-rescue organizations and its partnership with government, industry and public-interest associations, America’s Second Harvest is urging Americans to learn more about hunger in this country.

According to the charity, this summer will be a three-month challenge for an increasing number of American families with parents who are among the 1.7 million people who lost jobs during 2001, or who had their hours cut during the school year.

Two-thirds of the children served by America’s Second Harvest emergency agencies participate in school breakfast and lunch programs, but only 14% are able to continue receiving lunch that way during the summer. At the close of the school year, many parents must find a way to provide two additional meals each day for each child. To cope with the increase, food banks, food-rescue organizations, community-based charities, schools, park districts, local governments, and religious organizations are providing structured summer programs that include meals and snacks as major components.

Here in Asheville, MANNA FoodBank, in cooperation with the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Asheville and Buncombe County, and Children First/Emma Family Resource Center, will operate two Kid Cafes this summer. In addition, Asheville Parks and Recreation offers two full-day, structured day-camp programs for children and seven playground facilities, and will be providing healthy snacks and supplemental lunches. On average, each site will have 60 attendees for the eight-week session.

In addition to the Kid Cafes, MANNA FoodBank will also offer training sessions for volunteers to become members of MANNA’s Public Speaker’s Bureau, and is opening a new food pantry through the Buncombe County Health Center Foundation, Inc. For a full calendar of MANNA FoodBank events, visit their Web site (

On a national level, America’s Second Harvest is launching year two of a three-year public-service campaign designed to raise public awareness of child hunger. The charity is also supporting several legislative initiatives to alleviate hunger and improve the distribution of donated food, pending federal legislation to reauthorize the food-stamp program and make several changes to improve access to this hunger-relief program. To find out more, visit the America’s Second Harvest Web site ().

To volunteer or for more information, contact MANNA FoodBank at 299-3663.

Music on the Quad

For 20 summers now, folks have been bringing blankets, lawn chairs and even picnics to the Quad at UNCA to enjoy free music in the evenings at the annual Concerts on the Quad series. This year’s series will present a concert each Monday at 7 p.m. through July 15. Snacks and drinks are on sale each week and the Asheville Chapter of the UNCA Alumni Association will sell special cookout dinners on June 17 and July 15 at 5:30 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will move to Lipinsky Auditorium.

The schedule for the 20th annual Concerts on the Quad series is as follows: June 10, “Alejandro Camara and Sayubu” (a five-piece Bolivian traditional band performing Andean music on authentic instruments of the region); June 17, “Dixie Power Trio” (actually, this “trio” is made up of four performers, who produce a New Orleans street parade sound combining zydeco, Cajun, rock ‘n’ roll, honky tonk and jazz); and June 24, “Zulu Connection: A Taste of Africa” (this special children’s performance provides another view of New Orleans rhythms and cultures via dancers and drummers, elaborate masks, costumes and stilt dancing).

The schedule continues on July 1 with “Take Note: a 1940s Musical Review” (a USO-style show with a four-piece band, vocalists and UNCA Swing Dance Club members leading the way). July 8 brings “The Dead Poets” (the words of Rumi, W.H. Auden, Joyce Kilmer, e.e. cummings and others put to music), and, on July 15, “Peggy Lyn-Haden Jazz Octet and UNCA Jazz Lab Band” (straight-ahead jazz with guest soloist Rich Willey on trumpet, vocalist Lyn-Haden, and professional and student musicians directed by Tim Haden).

The concerts are sponsored by the UNCA Office of Student Life, Office of the Chancellor and Asheville Parks and Rec. This year’s series is dedicated to Sharyn McDonald Groh, the former director of Student Activities who originated these summer performances.

For more information, call 232-5000 or visit the UNCA Web site (

A-B Tech student to X-ray Peruvian mummies

A first-year A-B Tech student has been selected to join an elite team of mummy excavators who will travel to Peru for a two-week expedition this month to work with anthropologists studying an ancient civilization. Debra Anglin, a radiography student at A-B Tech, is one of about 27 team members chosen nationwide by Arkansas State University’s Center for Medical Imaging on Bioanthropology, based on their research proposals.

In fact, Anglin’s proposal was chosen to be the focus of the whole team’s project — using radiographic methods to examine the height of the ancient people buried at the site. Center Director Richard Carlton (who wrote the textbook Principles of Radiographic Imaging, used by A-B Tech’s radiographic-technology class) said Anglin was chosen because of the quality of her research; Carlton called the chance to perform fieldwork alongside eminent bioanthropologist/mummy expert Dr. Sonia Guillen a “rare professional experience.”

In Peru, Anglin’s team will excavate mummies and artifacts, sifting through the sand around the mummified remains of the Chiribaya for clues about these ancient people. The Chiribaya lived more than 1,000 years ago and their bodies should have decayed long before now. Instead, “these accidental mummies” have survived to tell their stories. Anglin and her team will take part in what she calls a “rescue mission,” saving the remains of the Chiribaya from looters looking for rare buried treasure, and helping record the lives of this little-known pre-Colombian civilization.

The remains and other artifacts will be transported to Centro Mallqui: The Bioanthropology Institute of Peru, where more than 500 mummies have been stored. There, the radiographic team will X-ray and then store the remains.

“It’s a fascinating thing to be a part of,” explains Anglin, who has a strong interest in the role radiography in bio- and forensic anthropology. “My hope is that our team will demonstrate the importance of radiography through our research and that we will publish our findings.”

Radiology is one of two programs offered by A-B Tech’s department of medical imaging.

To donate or be a corporate sponsor for Anglin’s Peru trip, contact the A-B Tech Foundation at 254-1921, ext. 179. Donations can also be mailed to 340 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 29901, ATTN: Foundation Office, Peru Trip.


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