Family adopts stream: Robin Hanes and her sons Austin (left) and Emmett have adopted a section of Lynn Cove Creek in the Beaverdam area.

Quality Forward, a Buncombe County nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life in the area through beautification and education, started the Adopt-A-Stream program to recognize and encourage efforts to keep our waterways clean of litter and debris.

So far, 12 groups have enlisted in the one-year-old program. Four groups have received N.C. DOT-approved signs. Participating groups agree to clean their site four times a year, for at least two years.

Quality Forward encourages anyone interested in adopting a stream to call its office at 254-1776.

See Kelly Loves Tony

The YWCA of Asheville will hold an advance screening of Kelly Loves Tony at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 29.

The video diary documents the lives of 17-year-old Kelly Saeteurn, a straight-A student who has just become pregnant, and Tony Saelio, Kelly’s 22-year-old boyfriend who is trying to leave gang life and is fighting deportation by federal agents to his native Laos (Kelly’s homeland, as well).

In 1995, film-maker Spencer Nakasako gave Kelly and Tony a video camera and asked them to record their lives. Over the next 18 months, Kelly and Tony recorded 180 hours on tape. Nakasako edited all this into what he calls a tale of “survival on a day-to-day level.”

The YWCA is screening the show as part of its SNAPI (Students Need A Positive Image) and Mother Love programs. Teens, especially, are encouraged to attend the free screening.

PBS will also air the program at 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 4.

For more info, call Alma Atkins at the YWCA at 254-7206.

DOT hotline

Got a problem with the N.C. DOT? Something like, “We think Patton Avenue is too damn wide already.” Or maybe you’d like to dish out a compliment? “Hey, nice exit ramp,” or “I like all the pretty flowers.”

Perhaps there’s a question you need answered. “I left my car on the highway with a flat tire two months ago, and it’s not there anymore. Where is it?”

Anyway, the Department of Transportation’s new customer-service office is waiting to hear from you.

One of eight customer-service representatives will answer your call — even if you speak Spanish. If the reps can’t help you, they’ll send you along to someone who can.

The new service promises to answer inquiries within 48 hours, according to Charlene Phillips, a DOT customer-service referral specialist who used to work in the Mapping Division.

Notepad spoke with Phillips at about 5 p.m. on the hotline’s second day of operation. She’d had one other call, “And I’ve been here all day,” she said.

The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; the toll-free number is (877) 368-4968.

Global nomads group

When someone asks where you’re from, do you want to say “When?” Do you feel at home everywhere and nowhere? Does hearing the sound of another language make you smile? Do you feel a special connection to people from other countries?

Maybe you’re a global nomad. Global nomads are persons of any age or nationality who have lived outside of their passport country before adulthood because of a parent’s career, says Lisa Watters. She’s forming a support group in Asheville for such gadabouts, to help them connect with each other and to “affirm, explore and support this shared experience,” she says.

Come join a “worldwide community whose members share a unique cultural heritage.”

To learn more, call Watters at 298-5209, ext. 5701.

Calling summer volunteers

The American Red Cross needs donors to boost the area’s blood supply. With so much activity and summer vacations, summer is typically a lean time for the Red Cross’ blood bank.

The fourth-of-July holiday will be especially difficult this year because it falls on a Saturday, and many people will probably be taking off on long weekends.

Operation Blood Drive is held annually in the area in anticipation of the July 4 weekend. This year, Operation Blood Drive will be held on Wednesday, July 1, from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Asheville; from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Hendersonville; and from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Isothermal Community College in Rutherfordton.

Meals on Wheels is also clamoring for 20 more volunteers. “Without holiday help, Meals on Wheels may be forced to reduce service to local seniors,” warns a press release from the group.

The service desperately (in big, bold type) needs volunteers who can donate an hour-and-a-half one day per week, or those willing to be substitute drivers.

Call the Red Cross in Asheville at 258-3888, or Meals on Wheels at 253-5286, for more info.

Billboard watch

The N.C. billboard industry wants permission to cut down more publicly owned trees along highways, so their signs will be more visible, according to the spring edition of “Scenic North Carolina News,” the newsletter of Scenic North Carolina, Inc., a nonprofit that opposes billboard proliferation.

Billboard owners in North Carolina are already allowed to cut a 125-square-foot area in front of their signs. The billboard industry is asking to have this allotment doubled. Before he left office, former N.C. Transportation Secretary Garland Garrett appointed a task force to study the proposal.

Scenic North Carolina’s number is (919) 832-3687. DOT Secretary Norris Tolson can be reached at (919) 733-2522.

Agreement reached on utility herbicide spraying

North Carolina residents may now stop the state’s major electric-utility companies from applying herbicides on rights-of way that run through residents’ property.

The Agricultural Resources Center, a citizens group, just negotiated an agreement with the state’s four investor-owned utilities concerning notification and the right to refuse herbicide application on electric-utility easements.

Teaming up with ARC were organic farmers, rural residents, and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

The agreement calls for utilities to alert all customers (through special inserts in their bills) of the utility’s plans to use herbicides on rights-of-way, and to inform customers of their right to refuse to have pesticides applied on rights-of-way that run through property they own or lease.

In western North Carolina, the agreement applies to CP&L, Duke Energy, Nantahala Power and Light. The ARC currently is negotiating with other electric-utility companies to reach a similar agreement.

To learn more, call the Agricultural Resources Center at (919) 967-1886.

Golden Sneaker awards

At its Strive-Not-to-Drive Day on May 29, Quality Forward announced this year’s Golden Sneaker awards, which honor people or groups that “have made outstanding contributions toward making our community more walkable.”

This year’s recipients were: Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Williams and the University of North Carolina at Asheville, for their contribution of land easements along the W.T. Weaver Blvd. greenway; and Meg MacLeod for her energy and volunteerism in organizing the Walkable Communities Conference in March.

To find out more, call Quality Forward at 254-1776.

Preservation awards

The Preservation Society recently presented its 1998 Griffin awards for historic preservation.

The winners included: The Jenkins Building at 32 Broadway in downtown Asheville, the former Asheville Hotel on Haywood Street, the Sunnicrest Building on the A-B Tech campus, Tressa’s Jazz and Blues at 28 Broadway, and two houses and an apartment building.

For more information, call the Preservation Society at 254-2343.

Boy Scouts get cash

Ingle’s Markets recently donated $10,000 to the Asheville headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America. The Daniel Boone Council serves 14 western North Carolina counties.

The donation will go toward the Boy Scouts’ scholarship fund. The fund helps boys join the scouts and attend summer camp.

— forever compiled by Jill Ingram

Charlotte nonprofit publishes LSD book

Myron Stolaroff calls LSD “the greatest discovery man has ever made.” While admirers of, say, the wheel or the microchip might balk at such superlatives, Stolaroff’s new book, The Secret Chief, a historical memoir, offers an eloquent defense of psychedelic drugs.

The book is the first publishing effort by a Charlotte-based nonprofit, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which was founded in 1986 by activist Rick Doblin, after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency placed MDMA (commonly known as “ecstasy”) on its Schedule I list of illicit substances.

In the two decades following the 1943 discovery of LSD’s mind-altering properties, numerous psychotherapists and medical researchers used LSD to achieve a high success rate in the treatment of alcoholism, as well as to alleviate pain — and even, in some cases, the fear of death — in terminal cancer patients, sometimes after just one session.

So when the Lyndon Johnson administration placed LSD on the Schedule I list — a designation that made research on the substance virtually impossible — one therapist went underground. The Secret Chief tells the story of this man, identified only as “Jacob,” who illegally turned on and treated an estimated 3,000 patients before his death in 1988. Jacob also trained more than 100 therapists to use LSD in their work; many of them continue working underground to this day.

Stolaroff, whose own International Foundation for Advanced Study conducted LSD and mescaline research in the early 1960s, documents Jacob’s experiences and therapeutic procedures, and includes testimonies from some of his patients.

The book’s publisher, MAPS, endorses religious, spiritual and shamanic use of psychedelics. However, Administrator Carla Higdon notes that the organization’s grants program primarily supports clinical research. Recent grant recipients include Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (for research on the treatment of post-traumatic-stress disorder with MDMA) and John McClusky, M.A. (for a study of the Native American Church’s use of peyote in the treatment of alcoholism).

Higdon maintains a tempered optimism in the face of a widespread cultural bias against such substances.

To help counter this bias, MAPS not only supports medical-marijuana research, but recently offered a small grant to promote one doctor’s alternative to D.A.R.E.-style school programs. Says Higdon, “It’s what we at MAPS feel is a more realistic drug-education program, [one] that is based more on facts and less on fear and propaganda.”

To order The Secret Chief, or to find out about becoming a member of MAPS, call (888) 868-MAPS, or visit their Web site at

— Frank Danay

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