Buzzworm news briefs

Edible architecture

Get ready to don your apron and dig out your spatula — and, while you’re at it, brush up on your engineering skills! The Grove Arcade is holding a cake-baking contest as part of its first-year anniversary celebration from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

Participating cake creators are asked to fashion a confection that represents the Grove Arcade or any of its architectural elements. These baked treats will then be on display for the public — and available for tasting — at the end of the competition. Other activities slated for the anniversary party: live music, face painting, giveaways and more.

The cake-making contest is open to bakers in three categories: youths 15 and younger; amateur cooks ages 16 and older; and professional bakers/chefs. All cakes will be judged based on creativity, with each of the three winners to be awarded gift certificates — $50 for youth bakers; $200 for the chosen adult-amateur chef; and $300 for the top professional — redeemable at any Grove Arcade shop.

Contest entry forms, available from the Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation office, must be returned by Friday, Nov. 14.

For more information, call 252-7799.

— Lisa Watters

Post-election dissection

The votes have now been cast, the chips have already fallen — and Terry Bellamy, Jan Davis and Brownie Newman have snagged those three up-for-grabs seats on the Asheville City Council.

That’s something to chew the fat over, isn’t it?

The League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County agrees and will host a post-election analysis as part of a 7:30 a.m. breakfast on Monday, Nov. 17, at The Cabin restaurant (287 Weaverville Hwy.). The guest speaker, UNCA Political Science professor Dolly Jenkins Mullen, will discuss “Emerging Issues: Changing Demographics & Public Policy.”

The event itself is free and open to the public — but breakfast will set you back $7.50. Please enter through the north side of the restaurant.

For more information, call 258-8223, or visit the League’s Web site (www.abc.nc.lwvnet.org).

— Lisa Watters

Let’s talk GPI

“The Public, the Park and the Process,” an open forum on Thursday, Nov. 20, will tackle the proposed sale of public land in downtown’s Pack Square to the Grove Park Inn for high-rise development.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County, the event will be held at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, and will feature planning displays (from 7 to 7:30 p.m.) and a guest-commentator forum (beginning at 7:30), followed by a public question-and-answer period.

Panelists will include Carol King, president of The Pack Square Conservancy; William Wescott, president of The Preservation Society of Asheville-Buncombe County; Craig Madison, president and CEO of Grove Park Inn; Barry Summers of People Advocating Real Conservancy (PARC); Jan Schochet, former treasurer for Save Downtown Asheville; and others.

Maxine Dalton of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro will moderate.

The forum is being produced through the local chapter of the League of Women Voters’ Florence Ryan Education Fund (Ryan, who died at 99 years old in 1994, was among WNC’s first suffragettes).

For further information, call 258-8223 or 252-8569.

— Staff

Can we come back in, please?

After a 20-year absence, the United States has cast its bid to rejoin the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Pretty intriguing, no?

UNCA thinks so, too.

Author Richard T. Arndt will deliver the lecture “UNESCO — Re-entry: Potentials and Perils” on Thursday, Nov. 13, at UNCA’s Reuter Center on campus. Arndt, nearly a 25-year foreign-service veteran, has served, among his other capacities, as U.S. attache to Rome, Paris and Tehran, Iran.

Established in 1945, UNESCO’s stated goal, according to one of its various Web sites, is to “contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world.”

The United States withdrew from the U.N. organization during the Reagan years, citing waste, fraud and the group’s “hard-left, pro-Soviet slant.”

Many of UNESCO’s positions on family planning — including the option of abortion — have kept the organization perpetually embroiled in domestic controversy. Critics of the current U.S. bid to rejoin the U.N. group have called the move a “humanitarian smokescreen” for the Bush government’s own Middle East agenda, while others have dubbed it “the most tangible manifestation so far” of the administration’s stated commitment to multilateralism.

The talk is free and open to the public, with parking available on the Reuter Center’s upper level.

For more information, call Dave Johnson at 277-5792.

— Staff

Be gone, ye household toxins

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a multitude of almost-empty or completely dried-out paint cans under your sink, and jugs of used motor oil building up behind your car seat. And yet you know you’ve got to do something about all this junk — but you also know the containers are potentially toxic, so you don’t want to throw them out with the rest of your trash.

Well, no problem.

The Buncombe County Solid Waste Department is holding another Household Hazardous Waste Day from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Buncombe County Landfill.

Haul the remnants and remains of your unwanted pesticides, herbicides and insecticides — plus any used motor oil and antifreeze — to the dump for disposal, free of charge. Paint and paint-related materials such as water sealer, thinners, enamels and polyurethane will be accepted for a $2 fee per 1-gallon container (just make sure all items are in their original packaging, or else are appropriately labeled).

The Buncombe County event is being held in conjunction with this year’s America Recycles Day, and anyone who submits a pledge to increase his or her own recycling activities, and to purchase more products made from reclaimed materials, will be entered in a national drawing for several choice prizes: a 2004 Ford Focus PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle), one of five TREK 24-speed aluminum bicycles and “Recycle Yourself Weekend” spa-vacation packages.

To make a pledge online, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.

For more information, call the Buncombe County Solid Waste Department at 250-5460.

— Lisa Watters

A new face for Asheville?

City Repair is on its way.

The Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit is currently staging its first East Coast tour, to include a stop at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Asheville’s Sky People Gallery (51 N. Lexington Ave.; 281-3478).

City Repair, a grassroots, neighborhood-based community group, is devoted to reclaiming and revitalizing public spaces — creating what it calls “social epicenters.” The organization’s current three-week “tour” will hit about 20 different cities, incorporating meetings with city planners and developers, neighborhood organizations, citizens’ groups and architects.

Their mission statement elaborates: “The City Repair Project is an organized group action that educates and inspires communities and individuals to creatively transform the places where they live. We facilitate artistic and ecologically oriented placemaking through projects that honor the interconnection of human communities and the natural world.”

Begun in 1996 as a reaction to an unpopular planning decision in a single Portland neighborhood (which culminated in City Repair eventually turning a residential-street intersection into a public square), the group has since blossomed into a wide range of activists, builders, planners and financial contributors.

The progressive organization’s Asheville presentation, said local organizer Tim Saunders, will include “what is quite possibly the most visionary and inspiring slideshow you will ever see.”

Learn more about City Repair at www.cityrepair.org.

— Cecil Bothwell

Hey, you do-gooders!

If helping folks over the holidays is a tradition for your group or agency, then Mountain Xpress wants to help you spread the word. Specifically, we want to let our readers know how they can volunteer their time — or other resources — in the service of others.

As always, time is of the essence. To be included on our holiday list, please contact Tracy Rose ASAP via e-mail (trose@mountainx.com), fax (251-1311) or phone (251-1333, ext. 116).

Budding volunteers: Look for our holiday help column, starting in the Nov. 26 edition of Xpress.

— Tracy Rose

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