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by Lisa Watters

The great paper mix-up

The residents of this fair metropolis were armed and ready on July 1, when the city of Asheville began curbside collection of mixed paper. Blue covered bins, about the size of laundry baskets, had been distributed by city workers beforehand to households throughout the city. Would residents begin recycling junk mail, cereal boxes, telephone books, office paper, magazines and other unwanted mixed-paper products? Only time would tell.

Well, the results are in: As a result of the new program, curbside recycling increased by 29 percent, or 77 tons, in July.

“The residents of Asheville are to be congratulated for their efforts. We had predicted a 60-ton-per-month increase, and the first month substantially exceeded our expectations,” said city Recycling Coordinator Audran Stephens in a recent news release.

With the addition of mixed paper to the city’s curbside-recycling program, plus the drop-off centers on Merrimon Avenue and at Wal-Mart on Tunnel Road, the city of Asheville recycled more than 500 tons in July.

For more information about the mixed-paper recycling program, call the Asheville Recycling Office at 259-5936.

Discovering treasures

Ever wondered what that family heirloom in the attic is worth? Or the value of that great bargain you got at the yard sale (obviously, they didn’t know what they had)?

If so, then Trinket or Treasure: An Appraisal Fair, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, in Cullowhee, might give you the answer. From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at least a dozen professional appraisers from across the Southeast will be on hand at the Ramsey Regional Center to examine and evaluate items.

In addition to general antiques, specialized appraisal categories will include silver, works of art, firearms, Cherokee artifacts and baskets, American military items, jewelry, furniture, Civil War items, toys and tools, and historical documents and books.

Appraisal fees are $15 for one item; $20 for two items. For those who want to come and watch the excitement, there’s a $5 entrance fee.

All proceeds will benefit the Jackson County Community Foundation’s general fund.

For further information, call (828) 293-5670.

Model Asheville

Over the last month, the city of Asheville has had at least a couple of occasions to pat itself on the back. One of these was a visit by an entourage of elected officials, business owners, chamber of commerce administrators and others from Durham who visited downtown Asheville on Aug. 24 and 25.

The purpose of the visit, organized by Downtown Durham Inc., a nonprofit organization charged with redeveloping Durham’s center city, was to learn from Asheville’s success with its own downtown-revitalization efforts.

“It went very well,” said Asheville’s Director of City Development Mike Matteson, speaking about the visit, which included tours, presentations and networking with local business leaders and city officials. “The folks from Durham seemed to like what they saw. … They were excited about going back and working with their own downtown.”

Another noteworthy accolade for Asheville came in the form of a national award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, presented at its Best Practices Symposium in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 8. The award recognizes Asheville for the way it involved citizens in the preparation of its Five-Year Consolidated Strategic Housing and Community Development Plan for 2000-2005, calling the process “truly citizen driven.”

The award was presented by HUD Assistant Secretary Cardell Cooper to Asheville’s Community Development Director Charlotte Caplan and Black Mountain resident Michael Sobol, who played an active role in the citizen-planning group.

“I am delighted that the hard work of our citizens has been recognized in this way,” stated Caplan recently. “Not only do we have a clear plan to guide us for the next five years, but we also have 90 citizens who are knowledgeable advocates for housing and community development. This is the way citizen participation should work.”

Preparing a Consolidated Strategic Plan every five years is a requirement for the city’s continued participation in the Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs — which bring in about $2.5 million in federal funding each year for housing and community-development programs benefiting low-to-moderate-income citizens. The five-year plan covers not only the city, but also Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties, which also participate in the HOME program.

Appalachian voices

The Appalachian region is famous for its unique landscape and culture. Equally distinctive are the voices of its writers. Two of perhaps its finest, Wilma Dykeman and Robert Morgan, will lend their presence to “Voices from the Mountains: A Conversation with Wilma Dykeman and Robert Morgan,” to be held at the Fairview Christian Fellowship Church (located behind the Fairview Library), 4-5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10. In addition to reading from their works, the authors will engage each other and the audience in conversation about their Appalachian novels, and the history and people of our area. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Fairview Library, and a book signing and reception will follow at the Fairview Public Library from 5 to 6 p.m.

Dykeman and Morgan, both famous for their Southern Appalachian literature, have written more than 30 books between them, and both have received numerous honors and awards for their writing. Among Dykeman’s best-known works are her novel The Tall Woman and her history of our region, The French Broad. Morgan’s latest novel, Gap Creek, was on the New York Times’ bestseller list and garnered an Oprah Book Club selection.

Tickets for the program can be purchased in Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Common Ground Book Outlet and Mountain Harvest. Tickets are $7.50, with proceeds going toward library materials and continuing programs. Child care will be provided.

For program information, call 628-0676. For ticket information, call 628-9588.

Healthy forests

Often, when we think of forest sustainability, we look to those entrusted with the care of our national forests to do the right thing — but even private landowners can make choices that support the health of our forests, especially when it comes to cutting timber. Landowners wanting more information about sustainable logging and timbering may want to attend “Sustainable Forestry: What Is It? How Do You Do It? Who Can Help?” on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Henderson County Library auditorium.

In addition, on Saturday, Sept. 30, a Sustainable Forest Demonstration Day will be held at John Humphrey’s farm in the Mills River Community in Henderson County. This daylong event will show specific techniques and feature sustainable forestry principles in action. Both programs are free and open to the public.

These programs are sponsored by Forests and Communities, a project of the Western North Carolina Alliance, in cooperation with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, the North Carolina Forest Service, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Henderson County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Environmental and Conservation Organization.

For more information, call Kieran Roe, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, at (828) 697-5777; John Humphrey at (828) 891-9353; or Bob Carter, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, at (828) 693-1629, ext. 3.

Global is local

Global-trade issues are a hot topic these days — debated in Congress and an issue in this fall’s presidential and congressional campaigns. Last December, demonstrations in Seattle, against the World Trade Organization’s global-trade rules, intensified the debate about the effects of increased globalization on national economies and long-established cultural and social structures. And global trade has a direct impact on Western North Carolina’s own general economic prosperity.

The World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina will address some of these issues in an upcoming series, “Global Trade 2000,” which brings nationally recognized authorities to Asheville to discuss the complexities of expanding free trade.

In the first lecture — to be held on Friday, Sept. 15, at the Humanities Lecture Hall on the UNCA campus — the former Director of International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council and now President of the World Affairs Councils of America, Dr. Jerry Leach, will speak on “Congress and the American People: The Foreign Policy Gap.” While at the National Security Council, Dr. Leach authored the U.S. import-export ban on elephant ivory and oversaw scientific, environmental and nuclear nonproliferation issues.

The talks continue one Monday each month, through January, in UNCA’s Owen Conference Center. Admission to any lecture is $4. Members of the Council and students with a valid ID are admitted to all lectures at no charge.

• On Oct. 9, Dr. Michael J. Mazarr, Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Development at the Electronic Industries Alliance, will speak on “Americanization or Globalization? The Value of Culture in a Shrinking World.”

• On Nov. 6, Dr. Don Wallace, Jr., Chairman of the International Law Institute and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, will address the topic “Whose Standards and Conventions? The Rule of Law in Global Transactions.”

• On Dec. 4, Dr. Gary Burtless, Senior Fellow of the Economics Study Program at the Brookings Institution, will address the issue of “Winners and Losers in Globalizing Economies: Do Losers Deserve Compensation?”

• On Jan. 8, Thomas Caster of Volvo Construction Equipment, N.A., will discuss issues surrounding the company’s purchase of Samsung’s heavy-equipment division. Volvo epitomizes the global nature of modern business and demonstrates its local economic impact.

The World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (based in Washington, D.C.) and was established in 1988 with the goal of promoting international understanding and enabling the WNC region to become more aware of the relationship between local concerns and global issues. The WACWNC is an independent organization, affiliated with UNCA. Annual membership in the Council costs $30 for an individual, $40 for a couple.

For more information about the series or particular lectures, call the World Affairs Council at (828) 250-3828. Watch for continuing coverage in Mountain Xpress.


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