Today’s Email Announcements

Published Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 10:26 am

1) The Watauga Soil and Water Conservation District Board will hold its regular Board meeting Wednesday March 25, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. at the Soil & Water Office

Located at 971 West King Street, Boone NC 28607

The public is invited to attend.

2) Clarinetist Kevin Streich performs in March 24 recital

Kevin Streich, a member of the music faculty at UNC Pembroke, will present a guest recital on the clarinet March 24 at Appalachian State University.

The recital begins at 6 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Recital Hall and will be followed by a masterclass with clarinetists from Appalachian’s Hayes School of Music. The public is invited to attend the free performance.

Streich will perform “Arlequin” by Louis Cahuzac, “Parable for Solo Clarinet, Op. 126” by Vincent Persichetti and “Three Etudes on Themes of Gershwin” by Paul Harvey.

Streich is an adjunct professor of clarinet at UNC-Pembroke, clarinet instructor at the Ravenscroft School and teaches students in his home studio in Raleigh. He served for 10 years as an instrumental music faculty member at the N.C. Governor’s School east campus.

He is principal clarinetist with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle and plays regularly with the North Carolina Symphony and N.C. Opera. His other performing engagements include the Cape Fear New Music Festival, Mallarme Chamber Players, Union Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra, and the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

Streich has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University, a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Connecticut.

3) Class on growing and caring for tropical plants held March 21

A free “plant parenthood” class focusing on vegetative propagation of tropical plants will be held March 21 at the Department of Biology Greenhouse located at 211 Dale St. off State Farm Road.

The class will run from 9-10:30 a.m. Space is limited and offered first-come, first-served. To register for the class, email [email protected]. Call 262-4025 for more details.

This class is part of the “High Country Gardening” gardening series offered by Appalachian State University greenhouse staff. It will include a tour of the conservatory, which holds nearly 800 species of tropical, subtropical and temperate plants.

4) Spring renewable energy and energy efficiency workshop series begins April 10

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University will host a series of renewable energy and energy efficiency workshops on campus beginning April 10.

The workshops will cover a range of topics such as N.C. Energy Code, solar thermal and photovoltaics and distributed wind energy, micro-hydro system design and installation. They will provide continuing education credits for professionals including architects, engineers, inspectors, realtors, appraisers, teachers and others.

Early registration costs range from free of charge to $1,150 depending on the topic and the length of the workshop.

The first workshop in the series is N.C. Energy Code Training for Appraisers April 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other workshops are:

·       April 24, N.C. 2012 Commercial Energy Code Training

·       April 25, Best Practice Code Compliant PV System Design

·       May 8, Green Guidelines and Certifications for Homes

·       May 11-15, Introduction to Photovoltaic System Design and Construction

·       May 29, N.C. 2012 Residential Energy Code Training

·       June 6-7, Photovoltaic System Fundamentals

In addition, the Energy Center will offer a free workshop for teachers July 17 and 24 titled Teaching K-12 STEM Through Renewable Energy.

The series runs through September. For more information about these and other workshops offered through September, visit

5) Celebration of the humanities held April 10 at Appalachian

The College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Council at Appalachian State University will host a “Celebration of the Humanities at Appalachian State: Past, Present, and Future” April 10.

The event begins at 1 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom and will look at the role of the humanities in higher education. The public is invited; however, participants must RSVP for the event by March 23 using on online reservation form at or call 828-262-2483.

“In the 21st century, American citizens are being asked to redefine themselves as members of an emerging global community,” said Nancy Love, coordinator of the university’s Humanities Council and a professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies. “Although the traditional humanities remain crucial resources in this effort, today their task is to enhance public life in new global contexts on behalf of a more sustainable democracy.”

The humanities include the study of philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, language and other academic disciplines that document and understand human culture.

Retired English faculty member and folklorist Tom McGowan will present the keynote lecture, “Walking Boone: Reflections and Digressions on a Local Landscape.”

The arts in the humanities will be showcased at 2 p.m. with a performance by the Department of Theatre and Dance’s African dance class taught by Sherone Price and at 2:15 p.m. when Hayes School of Music faculty member Laurie Semmes presents a talk and shows a video clip on Balinese gamelan, a type of percussion instrument.

A faculty panel will discuss “Why the Humanities?” beginning at 2:45 p.m. Panelists are Michael Behrent from the Department of History, Susan Doll from the Department of Technology and Environmental Design, Kim Hall from the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and Chris Osmond from the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. Joseph Bathanti and students from the Department of English will present a poetry reading.

A reception for attendees and participants will be held at 4 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Whitewater Lounge and a dinner and discussion on the “Future of the Humanities” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in Blue Ridge Ballroom.

Comments by William Adams, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities made in 2014 to the National Federation of State Councils are expected inform the dinner discussion. In his address, Adams spoke of the tensions between two views of the humanities: Matthew Arnold’s classical view that the humanities “deepen our intellectual and moral capacities as human beings and open us to broader and deeper experience of human excellence and beauty” and William James’ pragmatic belief that the humanities serve “the conduct of life.”

“In this framework, the humanities are valuable because they help us understand the circumstances of our lives, as individuals and as members of the public sphere,” Adams said.

The dinner is open, but seating is limited. RSVP to the reception and dinner at

A display and poster exhibit developed by Pam Mitchem from University Archives and Brittany Means, a graduate student in the Appalachian studies program, will be on display in the student union. In addition, the Scholars’ Bookstore will feature works by faculty authors participating in the program.

6) Steely Pan Steel Band performs March 22 

The Steely Pan Steel Band takes over the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts for a concert Sunday, March 22, at 2 p.m. at Appalachian State University.

Joining the band will be guests Rob Falvo, who will play the vibraphone, and Jonathon Sale on guitar.

Byron Hedgepeth from the Hayes School of Music will direct the performance.

The program includes “Musical Instruments” by Michael W. Smith, “Mambo” by the Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra, “My Paradise” by Ellie Mannette, the father of the steel drum, “Sabre Dance” by Aram Khachaturian and arranged by former steel band director Scott Meister, “Pagliacci” by Ruggiero Leoncavallo and “Cha Cha Sandwich” by Phil Hawkins.

Other compositions are “Last Train to San Fernando” by Mighty Spitfire, “Birthday Party” by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, “Mood for a Day” by Steve Howe and arranged by Jonathon Sale, “Message in a Bottle” by Sting and arranged by former band member Chris Wabich, “Pan2” by Chris Wabich and “Stranger” by Winston Anthony Bailey.

Members of the band are Jerome De Leon, Ward Francis, Caleb McMahon, Greg Peterson, Jonathon Sale, Sarah Snouse, Lindsey Willis (drum kit and iron), Mikey Bard, Jessica Hughes, Taylor George, John Overby, Nicholas Henson, Brady Kennedy, Miranda Stone, Eliza Dutcher, Chris Mayhew and Aaron Richie. Percussionists are John Kleinart (iron, guiro, drum kit, congas, bass pan) and Byron Hedgepeth (drum kit, congas).

7) A severe geomagnetic – or “solar” – storm is hitting Earth today, producing gorgeous auroras and sparking concerns about power disruptions.

The storm, which hit the Earth at around 10:00 a.m. ET, is a “G4” on the five-point scale, according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center. reports that it’s the strongest so far in this solar cycle, which occurs about every 11 years.

These types of “storms” are part of what’s known as space weather, when energy that blasts off from the sun interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere and geomagnetic field.

The electric power grid, and the power to homes and business, can be disrupted by solar storms like this, NOAA said, though there have been no reports yet today.

More info see link

Before sunrise, bright auroras were sighted over several northern-tier U.S. states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas and Washington, according to More auroras could be visible tonight, possibly even as far south as the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, and Central Plains.

There can also be disruptions to satellites during these storms, though NOAA reports that there is no threat of that with this storm.

This event should last roughly 24-36 hours, NOAA scientists said at a briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

This geomagnetic storm is the result of two significant eruptions from the sun’s corona that occurred early on Sunday, March 15, according to NOAA.

8) The Mother Earth News Fair is a family-friendly sustainable living event that features 200 hands-on workshops and demonstrations from experts on real food, organic gardening, homesteading, renewable energy, green building and remodeling, DIY projects, small-scale livestock, green transportation, natural health, and related topics. Notable speakers include Joel Salatin, cheesemaker Claudia Lucero, market gardener Pam Dawling, and renewable energy expert Richard Freudenberger.

Also on the grounds: hands-on children’s projects; heritage-breed livestock; an alternative-fuel vehicle display; vendor, livestock and craft demonstrations; and local and organic food offerings.

Pre-order weekend wristband passes for $25. Passes will cost $30 at the gate. Children 17 and under get in free. The event offers a limited number of VIP lanyards. VIPs receive priority seating at workshops, catered meals and other perks.

Address: Western North Carolina Agricultural Center

   1301 Fanning Bridge Road
Fletcher, NC 28732

Dates: April 11-12, 2015

Times: Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

            Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

9) Spa industry veteran Diane Trieste is the new director of North Carolina’s Shankara Avurveda Spa

With more than two decades in spa and wellness, Diane Trieste brings her talents and experience to Shankara Ayurveda Spa. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Boone, N.C., the Spa is part of the Art of Living Retreat Center. As the Director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, which was previously known as Blue Heaven Spa, Trieste is responsible for spa and hotel operations and integrating both amenities into the offerings of the Retreat Center.

“Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center is on the way to becoming one of the top Ayurvedic spas in North America,” says Trieste (pictured). “The mountaintop location, sense of stillness, and authentic Ayurvedic experiences delivered by doctors and therapists from India make Shankara Ayurveda Spa a wellness destination that is unlike any other.”

Situated at a height of 3,700 feet on Heavenly Mountain and spread over 380 acres, Shankara Ayurveda Spa is one part of the experience at the Art of Living Retreat Center. Including a boutique hotel with three spa suites and 27 rooms, vegetarian dining, an alcohol-free environment, as well as wellness and fitness activities, the Center is quickly becoming known as a great spot for retreatists.

“Panchakarma is a retreat that is a signature offering at Shankara Ayurveda Spa. Led by our team of Ayurveda experts, the week-long retreats are customized to each person and include more than 10 treatments, cooking demonstrations, yoga, meditation, organic meals, and take-home education,” adds Trieste, who has worked for notable spas including Canyon Ranch. Other packages include those for couples, girlfriends and mothers/daughters, as well as the two-night Detox and Restore and one-night Overnight Peace.

The Art of Living Retreat Center includes a Meditation Center that can hold up to 3,700 people, additional halls for events, a 41,000-square-foot dining hall with mountain views, a labyrinth, pottery studio and gardens. Founded by humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Retreat Center is the centerpiece of the Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) in North America. The AOLF is present in 152 countries and reaches an estimated 300 million people with a vision of individual and social stewardship in society.

About Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center – For those seeking physical and internal renewal on their journey toward greater self-awareness and happiness, Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center provides a nurturing environment and service-oriented, educated staff. The relaxing mountaintop location near Boone, N.C. offers wellness adventurers a range of therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments and day or overnight programs perfect for those hoping to cultivate rejuvenation and inner growth.  More on



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