1) Watauga NAACP to Hold Branch Elections in November
The Watauga Branch of the NAACP is starting the process of electing 2015 officers for a two-year term. Officially chartered on Feb. 15, the newly formed Watauga NAACP Branch is moving quickly to establish itself in the community, recently hosting a community picnic with the Boone P.D., holding a candlelight vigil seeking justice in the shooting of unarmed Ferguson, MO teenager Michael Brown and conducting summer-long voting registration drives. The upcoming general membership meetings of the NAACP Watauga Branch are for the purpose of election of officers and at-large members of the executive committee. On Sept. 21, at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 4 p.m., there will be an election of the Nominating Committee. All members whose memberships are current as of 30 days prior to the meeting date may be elected to the nominating committee. On Oct. 19, at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 4pm, there will be a report of the Nominating Committee, receipt of Nominations by Petition, and election of the Election Supervisory Committee. All members, whose memberships are current and in good standing, may be nominated for office or as an at-large member of the Executive Committee. In order to sign a nominating petition, or be elected to the Election Supervisory Committee, a member must be current as of 30 days prior to the October meeting. On Nov. 16, 2014, the election of officers and at-large members of the Executive Committee will take place at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Polls will be open from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. In order to vote in a Branch election, one must be a member in good standing of the Branch 30 days prior to the election. Should a run-off election be necessary that election shall occur on Nov. 30 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Run-off elections shall be conducted not less than ten (10) after the original election. Watauga Branch NAACP general membership meetings are open to all and are held monthly on the third Sunday of each month, 4 p.m. at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 381 E. King Street. The community has an open invitation to these meetings, as well as all other and subsequent monthly general meetings, to learn more and to get involved at the local level. About the NAACP: Since its founding by a multi-racial group of activists in 1909, the NAACP has worked for the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. Even during periods of vicious violence and overt racial hostility, NAACP leaders and members have steadfastly and courageously kept to nonviolent means to advocate for greater justice through marches, the press, the ballot, lobbying, and litigation. While issues of racial injustice remain central to the NAACP, the organization takes very seriously its mission statement to seek equality of rights of all persons and is a powerful advocate for people who are marginalized. The NAACP is also committed to working for voting rights, women’s rights, marriage equality and environmental justice, ensuring the rights and protections for immigrants and undocumented persons, people without healthcare, people living in poverty and securing equal access to public education for all. For further information, please contact Allison Jennings, branch secretary at [email protected]. To learn more about the Watauga NAACP Branch, visit them online at www.watauganaacp.weebly.com.
2) High Country United Way Offers Triple P Positive Parenting Program Grant Funds
High Country United Way and Appalachian District Health Department are partnering to bring Triple P – Positive Parenting Program to Watauga and Avery Counties through the funding of mini grants to non-profit organizations currently working with parents and/or youth. Triple P- Positive Parenting Program is one of the world’s most effective parenting programs. It gives parents the skills they need to raise confident, healthy children and teenagers and to build stronger family relationships. It also helps parents manage misbehavior and prevent problems occuring in the first place. Learn more about Triple P at www.triplep-parenting.net. A total of $77,000 is available for grant awards with a maximum grant amount for a single organization of $15,000 based on intended reach. Triple P training and material are free of cost to awardees and the Appalachian District Health Department will provide technical assistance to each awardee. Both High Country United Way and Appalachian District Health Department believe that investing in families can positively transform the community. Triple P gives parents skills that can improve both child and parent outcomes. Adult benefits of positive parenting include greater success at work, reduced personal distress, reduce family conflict, improved relationships and social support and improve self-efficacy. Child benefits of positive parenting include improve child well-being, reduce child maltreatment, reduced child social and emotional behavioral problems, reduced risk for later problems and greater success at school, work and in relationships. Application deadline is Friday, October 3. Application information can be downloaded from the High Country United Way website at. www.highcountryunitedway.org and click on the link to Triple P. High Country United Way will be awarding the grants based on the merit of the application. For questions regarding the Triple P program, contact Rachel Miller by email [email protected] or by phone at 828-264-4995.
3) 39th annual Grayson Highlands Fall Festival Held Sept. 27-28
Grayson Highlands State Park’s 38th Annual Fall Festival will be held Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a $8 per day parking fee. This event is sponsored by the Rugby Volunteer Rescue Squad, Fire Department, and ladies auxiliary. Live bluegrass and old-time music are featured on Saturday. Music starts at 10:00 am and is played all day. This year’s lineup includes: 10 a.m. – Changing Lanes, 11 a.m. – Wayne Henderson & Friends, 12 p.m. – Flat Ridge Opry, 1 p.m. –Jess Finley & The Dry Fork Ramblers, 2 p.m. – True Grass, 3 p.m. – Steve Kilby & The Fox Creek Ramblers, 4 p.m. – Buck Mtn. Band. Gospel music is featured on Sunday. It also starts at 10 a.m. and is played all day. This year’s lineup : 10 a.m. – The Moretz Family, 11 a.m. – The Old Time Way, 12 p.m. – Heaven Bound, 1 p.m. – The Blevins Family, 2 p.m. – Heritage, 3 p.m. – Richie Henderson, 4 p.m.– Nathan Wagoner. The fire department and rescue squad provide the concessions which include barbecue chicken, hot dogs and barbecue sandwiches. There are children’s activities and a variety of arts and crafts exhibits. You can watch molasses, apple butter, and apple cider being made or a black smith at work. This year’s stamp cancellation was designed by Haley Peck a student at Grayson Highlands School. However, due to budget cuts the Post Office will not be doing the cancellation at the festival. The winning drawing can be seen at the Fall Festival Craft Committee tent located in the vendor area. Ponies from the Wilburn Ridge Pony Association will be auctioned at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. The wild ponies graze in the park and adjoining U. S. Forest Service’s Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the park’s picnic areas, visitor center and hiking and biking trails. Park campgrounds will be full; reservations must be made in advance by calling 1-800-933-PARK (7275) or online at www.dcr.state.va.us. For information about other accommodations or other information about the area go to www.graysoncountyva.com and click on visitor info. Proceeds from the festival go to the Rugby Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department, Inc. for emergency equipment and training. The festival goes on rain or shine. So come join us for a day of fun, great music, delicious food, and great handmade crafts.
4) High Country Audubon Society Meets Sept. 16
The High Country Audubon Society (HCAS) will have its next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express in Boone. Worth Pugh, Laboratory Manage and Adjunct Instructor at Appalachian State University will present a program about salamander ecology, diversity and conservation. Pugh will review the research being done in the lab, discuss general conservation issues and concerns of salamanders and give tips for identification of salamanders including photographs. HCAS invites the public to attend the montly meetings and field trips. Announcements about meetings and field trips can be found on the website at www.HighCountryAudubon.org.
5) Regional Farm Tour Showcases Appalachian Farming and the Future of Food
Jeremy Griste prefers to do everything by hand. He’s the farm manager at the Mills River Educational Farm, a property overseen by Living Web Farms. The mission of Living Web Farms, a non-profit organization, is to create resilient agriculture and energy systems for a sustainable future. The main means to this mission throughout three properties in Western North Carolina is food production via ecological farming techniques, food preservation via traditional methods, intensive care of soil resources, and public education. “We create model systems where humans can thrive, without over-dependence on petroleum, and without depleting resources,” said Griste. “So I’m digging weeds with a shovel. I’m mulching by hand.” As the mist begins to clear from the mountains, Griste’s colleague, Meredith Leigh, emerges from the farm’s springhouse and records a note on a scrap of paper before tucking it into her pocket. “We’re recording the humidity and temperature in the springhouse at key times of day,” Leigh explains, “to determine if it is a suitable environment for preserving salted meat.” Leigh will discuss butchery, cooking, and preservation of pork at an upcoming workshop at the farm on Sept. 20. In fact, Living Web Farms will open its gates that entire weekend, welcoming guests from throughout the region during ASAP’s regional farm tour. The tour includes over 40 family farms in more than 7 counties, in an effort to link people with farmers and boost the local food economy. Living Web Farms will offer education during the tour, touching on the farms’ projects from alternative energy to food security. In partnership with the Naturally Grown Project, they’ll also offer educational activities for children. Finally, they’ll cap it off with a feast. Leigh and the team are planning a 4-course dinner on the farm porch on Sunday, September 21st, boasting food sourced completely from the farm’s bounty. “We’ll butcher a hog during Saturday’s class, and slowly smoke it overnight,” Leigh says. The dinner will be a combination of freshly harvested foods, as well as fermented and pickled items the Living Web team has been working on all season. Discussing the plans for Living Web’s busy weekend, Leigh asks, “To truly eat well, why not walk through the field, feed the animal that will feed you, and then taste everything in the good company of fireflies?” To register, visit www.LivingWebFarms.org. Registration is by donation, with separate suggested fees for the tour, the class, and the farm dinner.
6) Solo Piano Works Performed Sept. 18 at ASU
Works for the piano by Haydn, Schubert, Debussy and Chopin will be performed Sept. 18 at Appalachian State University. The evening features pianist Rodney Reynerson, who takes the stage at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free. Reynerson opens his program with Haydn’s “Capriccio in G Major.” The composition is based on an Austrian folksong. Reynerson also will perform four Romantic-era pieces called “impromptus” by Schubert. The short pieces showcase Schubert’s fondness for long melodic lines. Three short works by Debussy, “Voiles,” “Le vent dans la plaine” and “des pas sur las neige,” are among 24 preludes for solo piano published in the early 1900s. The program concludes with three mazurkas and a ballade written by Chopin. Chopin wrote more than 60 mazurkas based on a Polish folk dance. His compostions inspired other to incorporate nationalism in their work. A nostalgic piece, “Ballade in G minor” has been featured in the 2002 film “The Pianist,” the 1944 film “Gaslight” and the 2006 satire “Thank You for Smoking.” Reynerson has been a member of the Hayes School of Music faculty since 1980.