Buzzworm news briefs

A doggone good time

Make no bones about it — whether you’ve got a Max or a Maggie, a Pooky or a Pepe, the Asheville Humane Society’s third annual Doggie Carnival will give him or her something to chew on. The event happens Saturday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Phase IV of the French Broad River Park (near the old speedway) at the west end of Amboy Road.

This year’s them is “Oh Doggies, Where Art Thou?”; the carnival will feature old-time music, games, activities and dozens of booths.

Check out the “Mixed-Breed Beauty Contest,” “Fastest Dog in Asheville” and other races; “Musical Sits,” the “Dog & Owner Look-Alike Contest,” “Paw Painting,” “Sparky’s Shopping Spree,” “Poochie Putt-Putt,” the sure-fire dog pleasin’ “Dunk the Dog Catcher” and many others. The games are designed to include both dogs and their owners; assorted demonstrations and kid-friendly educational activities will also be offered.

The carnival is a showcase for everything doggy: Representatives from all sorts of canine-related rescue organizations, businesses and services will be on hand. It’s a chance to meet veterinarians, trainers, sitters, groomers, pet bathers, dog walkers and many others from the local dog industry.

Last year’s event drew more than 1,000 dogs and 50 participating organizations. This year, a free shuttle will provide transportation from the A-B Tech campus. The entrance fee is $10 for the first adult, $5 for additional adults or for those who are financially challenged. All kids and canines get in free. All money raised will support the Asheville Humane Society.

For directions, a schedule of events, or more information, call the Asheville Humane Society at 236-3885, or check out their Web site (www.AshevilleHumane.org).

— Lisa Watters

A sense of place

One outgrowth of the environmental-protection movement has been a growing awareness that “local” issues are linked by geologic and climatic factors that often have nothing to do with political boundaries. Mountain communities from Virginia to Georgia have more in common with each other than with flatter, lower-altitude areas of their own state. In 1982, a small group of activists intent on creating a place-specific environmental publication noted that this region closely corresponds to Katuah, the ancestral homeland of the Cherokee. Thus did the Katuah Bioregional Journal begin its 10-year run.

This weekend, the Southern Appalachian Mountains Katuah Bioregion Conference will be held at Earthaven Ecovillage, near Black Mountain. The conference is designed to educate the public about the region’s cultural heritage, environmental threats, watershed monitoring and protection, and alternatives for more sustainable economic development. Former Katuah Journal staffers will discuss their approach to addressing environmental problems, stressing the importance of regional awareness. Workshops will explore local political empowerment, environmental stewardship, sustainable agriculture and forestry, business and transport, appropriate alternative building techniques, and energy production/conservation.

The Katuah Bioregional Conference happens Friday through Sunday, Oct. 10-12.

For more information, call (828) 669-7552 (e-mail: katuahbioregion@hotmail.com), or visit www.earthaven.org.

— Cecil Bothwell

Will Patsy run?

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) will keynote the 43rd annual Vance-Aycock Celebration at the Grove Park Inn Resort (290 Macon Ave. in Asheville) on Saturday, Oct. 11. Biden — the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime — has been instrumental in fashioning most federal crime legislation over the past decade, including the Violence Against Women Act of 2000.

The big question hanging over the celebration — as hard to ignore as this weekend’s full moon — is whether Buncombe County Commissioner Patsy Keever plans to challenge Rep. Charles Taylor for the 11th Congressional District seat. (Others ask: Steve Metcalf?)

The Vance-Aycock Celebration is named for Asheville’s hometown hero, Zebulon B. Vance (who served as governor of North Carolina from 1862-1865 and 1877-1879), and Wayne County’s Charles B. Aycock (governor, 1901-1905). The reception starts at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m.

For reservations, call (919) 821-2777, ext. 205.

— Cecil Bothwell

(Don’t) get hep

The recent local outbreak of hepatitis A has spawned a flurry of misinformation. In furtherance of public health, Xpress offers the following information.

Myth: The answer is simple: wash your hands.” (“Hepatitis Q&A,” Sept. 29 Asheville Citizen-Times, p. A-4, repeated on Oct. 1.)

Fact: Washing your hands will not prevent hepatitis. It will reduce the likelihood that a person with hepatitis transmits it to others.

Myth: The risk of exposure is connected to restaurant dining.

Fact: At press time, the Health Department had not established any causal link between dining in the restaurants where an employee became infected and any other local cases. Infection is usually, but not exclusively, food-borne. It can happen at a backyard picnic, a pizza party, a concert or a ball game — anywhere that fecal/food contamination might occur.

According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a hepatitis A vaccination is good for 20 years. In any case, the disease is rarely fatal, and with prompt medical treatment, it normally does not result in scarring of the liver — the gravest potential long-term consequence.

— Cecil Bothwell

Green juice

The NC GreenPower program allows electricity consumers to pay a little extra each month to buy energy from renewable sources. Approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission back in January, the plan went into operation on Oct. 1. We are the first state to implement a statewide green-energy program including all of its electric companies; the expectation is that the plan will speed a transition away from nuclear and coal-fired production.

The minimum contribution for a residential customer ($4 per month) buys 100 kilowatt-hours of green power. Large-volume customers get the same deal for $2.50 (At press time, Xpress was awaiting a response from NC GreenPower in Raleigh explaining the price differential.) The money goes to that nonprofit corporation, and all contributions are tax-deductible.

A press release from NC GreenPower incorrectly states that solar and wind-powered electrity “is more costly to produce than energy from traditional sources.” This is true for solar (though the picture is changing fast: Reuters news service reported this week that a major European chip-maker, ST-Microelectronics, said it had discovered new ways to produce solar cells that will generate electricity 20 times cheaper than today’s solar panels). But according to the American Wind Energy Association and the Tennessee Valley Authority, wind-generated power is actually cheaper than that produced by coal-fired plants, and far cheaper than nuclear power — even without counting the health-care costs incurred due to air pollution. And price aside, opting out of polluting power sources reduces consumers’ contributions to global warming or the creation of nuclear waste (for which there is no proven safe-disposal method).

To make the switch, contact your utility provider: Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, (828) 758-2383 or (800) 451-5474; Duke Power, (800) 943-7585; Progress Energy, (800) 452-2777; Haywood Electric Membership Corporation, (828) 452-2281 or (800) 951-6088.

For more info, visit www.ncgreenpower.org.

— Cecil Bothwell

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