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Staying Engaged
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Press Release

Staying Engaged

With the war in Iraq well underway, I wanted to share some of CSE ' s perspective on these events. As a grassroots group dedicated to lower taxes and less government, CSE does not take a position on foreign affairs issues. We're focused entirely on reducing the size and scope of government here at home. As patriots, however, we do strongly support the fighting men and women of the United States military. We know that our country and our values are being well represented by the bravery and professionalism of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen. We continue to hope and pray that this conflict will end quickly with a minimal loss of life on both sides.

04/04/2003
Texas Insurance Update
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Press Release

Texas Insurance Update

The Senate bill (CSSB 14) would impose government price controls, add layers of costly bureaucratic mandates, substitute regulators' decisions in place of sound business decisions, force certain Texans to subsidize the insurance costs of other Texans, and cause businesses to view Texas as a less desirable place to do business. Citizens should call their House member. Below is some background information and talking points for calling your legislator or a draft of a letter you can modify and send your legislator:

04/04/2003
Oregon CSE Supports the “Fair Retirement Plan” amendment to H.B. 2020
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Press Release

Oregon CSE Supports the “Fair Retirement Plan” amendment to H.B. 2020

Salem, OR – Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy (OR CSE) calls on member of the Oregon House of Representatives to support meaningful measures to reform the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). Specifically, OR CSE recommends that lawmakers support State Rep. Dennis Richardson’s “Fair Retirement Plan” amendment to H.B. 2020. OR CSE believes that this rational reform measure will go along way to ensure public employees receive retirement security while Oregon’s finances are secured. OR CSE Director Russ Walker had these comments:

04/04/2003
Voucher Bill Passes Committee
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Voucher Bill Passes Committee

BY April Castro

During an impromptu meeting Thursday, the House Public Education Committee hastily passed legislation that would allocate government money to low-income parents in certain school districts to transfer their children from public to private schools. The bipartisan committee voted 5-3 in favor of referring the bill favorably to the House Calendar Committee, which sets a date for a full vote on the measure. Rep. Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington, who authored the bill, said he expects a full vote on the House floor within the next few weeks. "It's a good thing for Texans," said Michael Sullivan, director of government relations for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an influential group of conservative policy wonks. "Children benefit when children have more opportunity and more choices. Obviously our public schools are doing a fantastic job in educating just about every kid in just about every circumstance. But there are kids who need different circumstances." Critics of the voucher program questioned why the move was made on the House floor with little public notice. "We wonder why the vote was taken at the chairman's desk on the floor of the House and not in committee where the public would be fully aware that a vote was on the agenda," said Larry Comer, a spokesman for the Texas Association of Professional Educators. "Perhaps the committee members are afraid of public backlash to a tax entitlement plan that benefits only private and parochial schools at the expense of public schools." A "school voucher" program, which has previously been unsuccessful in the Texas Legislature, has drawn criticism from teachers' groups who say a lack of state accountability in private schools can be detrimental to students. "To give tax dollars to private school operators is to transfer money from a system which is highly accountable to taxpayers into a system that has no accountability at all," said John Cole, president of the Texas Federation of Teachers. Cole noted private schools are not subject to open records and meetings requirements. Sullivan argued that accountability in private schools is more efficient. "Private schools have the greatest accountability possible - Mom and Dad can say we're leaving," Sullivan said. "What accountability does Harvard have, does Baylor have? We believe that parents really do care about their children's education and there's an arrogance in thinking that Mom and Dad can't make good educational choices for their children." Other opponents say the measure would be fiscally irresponsible in the face of an estimated $9.9 billion budget shortfall. "This voucher bill is so fiscally irresponsible that it drew bipartisan opposition," said Samantha Smoot, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, which opposes the voucher system. "Our state is facing a $10 billion budget deficit and our schools are facing billions in education cuts. Texans know that now is not the time to drain millions more from our public schools." Still, chances for the bill this time around seem promising as House Speaker Tom Craddick, Gov. Rick Perry, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst - all Republicans - have said they favor a voucher program. "I think you're seeing areas of the state where there are still some failing schools and those children in those failing schools should not be forced to a life of mediocracy or failure just because someone wants to protect a failing school," Perry said, during an interview with The Associated Press before the session started in January. "I still think that's an appropriate option for parents and students." Grusendorf, who prefers the term "freedom scholarships" over vouchers, said the loss of money and students to public schools would be countered by other legislation allocating more money per student to public schools. "Free education isn't free, it's our tax dollars that are being used whether they're being used at a public school or at a school other than public that the parent chooses, they're still our tax dollars being used," said Peggy Venable, director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy. "The bottom line shouldn't be the money, the bottom line should be the child's education." Public schools in Texas are funded primarily with local property taxes and state money. The school finance system, known to some as Robin Hood, takes money from property rich districts and gives it to poorer schools. The program would be limited to children of low-income families in the state's largest school districts, with enrollments of more than 40,000. Eleven public school districts would be initially affected: Aldine, Alief, Houston, Pasadena, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, El Paso and Ysleta. In 2005, local school boards could vote to allow any district to participate. The private schools that accept the vouchers would be required to make test scores public, a provision critics oppose because the public has no say in what kind of test. Public schools would continue to receive some funding for students who choose to use a voucher, including about 10 percent of the value of the voucher. Private schools would receive 90 percent of the voucher or the school's average annual cost per student, whichever is less.

04/03/2003
Backgrounder: Texas Senate Bill 435
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Press Release

Backgrounder: Texas Senate Bill 435

Background: In May 2001, The Allstate Corporation acquired Sterling Collision Centers Inc., a network of 39 auto body repair shops. Allstate made the acquisition to ensure its policyholders and claimants have a high quality repair option from which to choose. The experience consumers have in auto body repair can affect their feelings toward their insurance company, which is why Allstate felt compelled make a direct investment aimed at improving quality in the auto body industry. Sterling is under different management and Allstate customers are not referred specifically to Sterling. They have the choice to use any collision repair shop they desire and state law prohibits insurers from steering customers to particular shops.

04/03/2003
This Week on Capitol Hill
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Press Release

This Week on Capitol Hill

As expected, Capitol Hill is focused on the supplemental appropriations bill that President Bush submitted last week. Both chambers are expected to complete and reconcile their bills by the April recess.

04/03/2003
Postal Blues
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Press Release

Postal Blues

With only two weeks left for filing, taxpayers across the nation are poring through the thousands of pages of forms and instructions that comprise the United States tax code. While the complexities and headaches remain, the Internal Revenue Service is promoting new e-filing procedures that may ease the final burden of paying taxes by eliminating a trip to the post office. While such taxpayer friendly improvements are to be praised, not everyone is happy. Tech-savvy improvements in the private sector, the rise of the Internet, and a dynamic marketplace are ringing alarm bells at the United States Postal Service.

04/03/2003
WNC Calendar
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WNC Calendar

Happening today DOG PORTRAITS ART EXHIBIT: Opening party from 4 to 8 p.m. at Gourmet Perks, 165 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Lois Simbach presents dog portraits through this month. A percentage of the sales will benefit Friends of Madison County Animals. For more information, call 649-9768. SENIOR GAMES AND SILVER ARTS REGISTRATION: From 9 to noon at Waynesville Recreation Center. A variety of athletic and artistic competitions for adults 55 and older. For more information, call 452-2370. SPRING DANCE: For children ages 7 to 15, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Waynesville Recreation Center, 550 Vance St. There will be movies, pizza and drinks in addition to dancing. The price of admission is $5 and includes a slice of pizza and a drink. WESTERN-STYLE SQUARE DANCE: Early rounds at 7:15 p.m. at East Asheville Community Center, Tunnel Road, with Asheville Allemanders Square Dance Club. $8 per couple for nonmembers. For more information, call 298-2870 or 298-0593. "HOW TO DESIGN AND BUILD YOUR OWN HOME" COURSE: From 6 to 9 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Enka campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Cost is $85, which includes textbook. Bob Johnson, a licensed North Carolina general contractor, author and college instructor, will teach the course. To enroll, call 777-6866. Limited seating. "THE ABSENCE OF A CELLO" PLAY: Will be performed at 8 p.m. at Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Call 389-8632 or (877) 691-9906 for more information. TAX TOUR 2003: At noon at Shoney's Restaurant, Long Shoals exit off Interstate 26, Asheville. Sponsored by The John Locke Foundation and Citizens for a Sound Economy. For more information, call Thomas Croom at (866) JLF-INFO or e-mail tcroom@johnlocke.org. ASHEVILLE FEDERATION OF NEGRO WOMEN: Meets at 6 p.m. at The Friendship Center, 141 Shiloh Road, Asheville. Call Claudia Tucker at 274-2198 for more information.

04/02/2003
WNC Calendar
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WNC Calendar

Happening today SWANNANOA VALLEY MONTESSORI SCHOOL: Informational/registration meetings for Swannanoa Valley Montessori School, which is planning on starting pre-primary classes for ages 3-5 this fall in Black Mountain. All interested parents or other persons are invited to attend at 7 p.m. at Black Mountain Library. Call 669-8571 or e-mail swanmont@juno.com for more information. NRA BASIC RIFLE SAFE HANDLING AND SHOOTING SKILLS COURSE: Registration deadline is today for 14-hour certificate course for ages 12 and up. Fee is $55. Start date is Saturday, April 26, at On Target Shooting Range, 1160 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville. Contact Mark at 258-2278 for more information. ASHEVILLE COMPOSITE SQUADRON OF THE CIVIL AIR PATROL: Meets at 7:30 p.m. in the squadron headquarters building at 61 Aviation Drive in the General Aviation section of the Asheville Regional Airport. Anyone interested in joining is invited. For more information, e-mail Phil Kelley at nc4utvols@aol.com. "MY FAIR LADY": Performance begins at 7 p.m. at the James F. DeBruhl Theatre at North Buncombe High School. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Box office opens at 6 p.m. For advance tickets, call 645-4221, Ext. 20. SELF HELP FOR THE HARD OF HEARING: A support group for those with hearing problems will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at 445 Biltmore Ave. (across from St. Joseph's Hospital). Call 251-6190 for more information. FAMILY NIGHT STORY TIME: At 7 p.m. at North Asheville Library, 37 Larchmont Drive. An evening of stories, songs, puppets and fun for children ages four through third grade. Call 251-4991 for more information. CREATIVE JOB SEARCH: At 10 a.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Call 255-2503 for more information. BUNCOMBE COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION: Meets at 5:15 p.m. at 155 Hilliard Ave., Suite 205, Asheville. For more information, call Sandra 250-4787. Friday, April 4 DOG PORTRAITS ART EXHIBIT: Opening party from 4 to 8 p.m. at Gourmet Perks, 165 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Lois Simbach presents dog portraits through the month of April. A percentage of the sales will benefit Friends of Madison County Animals. For more information, call 649-9768. SENIOR GAMES AND SILVER ARTS REGISTRATION: From 9 to noon at Waynesville Recreation Center. A variety of athletic and artistic competitions for adults 55 and older. For more information, call 452-2370. SPRING DANCE: For children ages 7 to 15, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Waynesville Recreation Center, 550 Vance St. There will be movies, pizza and drinks in addition to dancing. The price of admission is $5 and includes a slice of pizza and a drink. WESTERN-STYLE SQUARE DANCE: Early rounds at 7:15 p.m. at East Asheville Community Center, Tunnel Road, with Asheville Allemanders Square Dance Club. $8 per couple for nonmembers. For more information, call 298-2870 or 298-0593. "HOW TO DESIGN AND BUILD YOUR OWN HOME" COURSE: From 6 to 9 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Enka campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Cost is $85 which includes text book. Bob Johnson, a licensed North Carolina general contractor, author and college instructor, will teach the course. To enroll, call 777-6866. Limited seating. "THE ABSENCE OF A CELLO" PLAY: Will be performed at 8 p.m. at Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Call 389-8632 or (877) 691-9906 for more information. TAX TOUR 2003: At noon at Shoney's Restaurant, Long Shoals exit off Interstate 26, Asheville. Sponsored by The John Locke Foundation and Citizens for a Sound Economy. For more information, call Thomas Croom at (866) JLF-INFO or e-mail tcroom@johnlocke.org. ASHEVILLE FEDERATION OF NEGRO WOMEN: Meets at 6 p.m. at The Friendship Center, 141 Shiloh Road, Asheville. Call Claudia Tucker at 274-2198 for more information. Saturday, April 5 SEN. JOHN EDWARDS AT SPRING GALA: The senator will speak at 6 p.m. at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community Collge Enka campus. Dinner tickets are $35 each and may be purchased from the chairman of the Democratic Party in each of the 15 counties in the 11th District or by calling 274-1731. HOW TO BE YOUR OWN EDITOR: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 29 1/2 Page Ave., downtown Asheville. Sponsored by The Writer's Workshop. Cost is $50 for members and $55 for nonmembers. For more information, call 254-8111. ELECTRONICS COLLECTION DAY: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at National Guard Armory, Brevard Road, West Asheville. For more information, call Buncombe County Solid Waste at 250-5460. WRITING THE SHORT STORY WITH KAREN ACKERSON: Teens will work on stories and learn how to revise work for publication or reading. Call The Writers Workshop at 254-8111 for more information. PET ADOPTION FAIR: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SuperPetz, 825 Brevard Road, Asheville. For more information, call Animal Compassion Network at 258-4820 or visit www.a-cnet.org. "THE ART OF THE MILLINER" SYMPOSIUM: About the role of fashion and women in Appalachia at 10:30 a.m. at Tartan Hall, 24 Church St., Franklin. Refreshments will be served. Call Barbara White at 524-9758 for more information. MATH N' ART EDUCATION FAIR: From noon to 4 p.m. at the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. Call 252-8215 for more information. HENDERSONVILLE SYMPHONY: "Joy and Sorrow" will be performed at 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 697-5884 or visit www.hendersonvillesymphony.org. THE POTTING SHED SPRING LECTURE: Free admission. "Ramblings of a Rhodoholic Speaker" from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., "Japanese Maple Mania" from noon to 1 p.m. and "Go Organic: Be Kind to Our Environment" from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at The Potting Shed, 408 Mills Gap Road, Fletcher. Call 684-8050 for reservations. SERVICE NORTH CAROLINA DAY: UNC Association of Student Governments will hold a statewide event that unites universities in their efforts to give back to their communities through one day of service that will generate more than 30,000 service hours. For more information, call (919) 715-2431. ANTIQUE TRACTOR PULL: Lawn and garden tractor pull at 10 a.m., antique tractors pull at 1 p.m. at Edneyville "speedway," corner of South Mills Gap Road and U.S. 64 in Henderson County. Free admission. For more information, call 684-9661 before 8 p.m. SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR: Meets at 10:30 a.m. in Candler to organize a Western North Carolina camp of this national patriotic organization. For more directions and information, call Tom Rightmyer at 225-0515. BINGO: Activities start at 7 p.m. at Center Community Center, 2 East Fork Road, Marshall. Hot dogs and fixings will be on sale. All proceeds go to the center for utilities, payments, continuing a meal-site for seniors and the children's tutoring programs. For more information, call 689-9021. WNCwriters: A creative writing workshop using the Amherst Writers & Artists method. Two groups: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact facilitator Joy Bagley at jbagley030@earthlink.net or 658-9458. BLUE RIDGE WATERMEDIA SOCIETY: Member's paintings will be exhibited from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through May 4 at the Biltmore Estate's Deerpark Restaurant. The event coincides with the estate's Festival of Flowers. NARFE: Chapter 156 of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees will meet from 10 a.m. to noon at the UNCA Cafeteria, Asheville. Lunch will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. Call 658-3461 for more information. NATURAL SINGING WORKSHOP: From 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Namaste Yoga & Healing Center, 57 Broadway, downtown Asheville. $35 or $45 day of event. Pre-registration is required. Call 253-6985 for more information. BAKE SALE FUNDRAISER: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wal-Mart in Clyde to benefit Lake Logan-Cecil Volunteer Fire Department of Canton. Baked goods, Rada knives and utensils, planners, flavorings. For more information, call 648-8411 or 648-9917. PAPERBACK BOOK SALE: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at East Asheville Library, 902 Tunnel Road. Three books for $1. Call 298-1889 for more information. "THE ABSENCE OF A CELLO" PLAY: Will be performed at 8 p.m. at Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Call 389-8632 or (877) 691-9906 for more information. PROMSTYLE: Prom fashion and makeover event from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at Fletcher Town Hall for female high school juniors and seniors. Tickets are $7. Call 2 77-8419 or 687-0751 for information. ETHOS PERCUSSION GROUP: Performs at 8 p.m. at The Porter Center for the Performing Arts, Brevard College. Call 884-8324 for more information. BREAKFAST WITH EASTER BUNNY: From 9 to 10 a.m. in the food court at the Asheville Mall. Admission is $1.50 for adults and children. Enjoy face painting, cookie decorating and photos with the bunny. Reserve your breakfast by calling 298-5080. RELAXATION WORKSHOP: From 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Blue Ridge Motor Lodge, room 280, Interstate 240 to Exit 6, Asheville. Presented by author of "800 Stepping Stones to Complete Relaxation." For more information, call 273-4858. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR LITTER PICK UP: Clean up day in the Upper Hominy Valley community of Candler. Friends of Mount Pisgah and Protectors of Standhill Mountain will meet at 9 a.m. at the Stoney Fork picnic area. Orange vests and trash bags will be provided for litter pickup from the picnic grounds to top of N.C. 151. For more information, call Susan Gray at 771-5503 or e-mail susang@mtn.ncahec.org. Sunday, April 6 BOOK READING: Authors Cynn Chadwick and Jeff Rackham will read from their books, talk about the art of writing and answer questions from the audience at Henderson County Public Library, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. Free admission. Call 697-4725 for more information. WILDFLOWER PROGRAM: At 2:30 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Free admission. For more information, call 255-5203. VIDEOACTIVIST WORKSHOP: From 2 to 6 p.m. at Asheville Community Resource Center, 63 N. Lexington Ave. RSVP by email or phone to reserve a place at 664-0186 or info@mountaineyemedia.org. Sponsored by the Asheville Free School. MARS HILL QUARTET: Madison County Arts Council's "Hills Are Alive With Music" presents Mars Hill Quartet at 3 p.m. at Church of the Holy Spirit, Mars Hill (Bone Camp Road, off N.C. 213). Suggested donation $5. Call 689-5507 for more information. EASTER EGG HUNT: From 2 to 4 p.m. at The Laurels of Summit Ridge, 100 Riceville Road, Asheville. For more information, call 299-1110. WNCwriters: A creative writing workshop using the Amherst Writers & Artists method from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, e-mail jbagley030@earthlink.net or call 658-9458. FREE HAIRCUTS FOR THE NEEDY: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Fantastic Sam's in Weaverville local beauticians join together to help the underprivileged with a haircut and clothing. Call 645-7731 for more information or to make a donation. CHANTING AND POSTURES FOR OPENING THE CHAKRAS: From 2 to 4 p.m. at Namaste Yoga & Healing Center, 57 Broadway, downtown Asheville. $35. Pre-regis

04/02/2003
WNC Calendar
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WNC Calendar

Happening today SQUARE DANCE: The High Mountain Squares will hold a dance from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Macon County Facilities Building, U.S. 441 S., across from the Whistle Stop in Franklin. For more information, e-mail earledw@dnet.net. BALLROOM DANCING: New beginning adult dance classes will be offered from 7:45 to 9:15 p.m. at Blue Ridge Community College. This 12-session class will cover the basics of social dancing. The registration fee is $91.25 . Enrollment is limited. For more information, call 694-1742, 658-2242 or visit www.blueridge.edu. CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: Municipal campaign finance reform efforts in the state of North Carolina will be the subject of the breakfast meeting of the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County at 7:30 a.m. at The Cabin, 287 Weaverville Hwy. The public is invited; no reservations are necessary. For more information, call 658-2141 or 258-8223. SENIOR GAMES AND SILVER ARTS REGISTRATION: From 8 to 11 a.m. at Haywood Regional Fitness Center in Clyde. A variety of athletic and artistic competitions for adults 55 and older. For more information, call 452-2370. WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM: Will honor several members for their commitment and service over the years at 5:45 p.m. at the YWCA, South French Broad Avenue, downtown Asheville. For more information, call 299-1414. BUNCOMBE COUNTY DEMOCRAT PARTY VOLUNTEER LUNCHEON: Will be held at noon at McGuffey's Restaurant, 13 Kenilworth Knoll, Asheville. Call 274-4482 for information. ASHEVILLE GARDEN CLUB: Meets at 10 a.m. at the Botanical Gardens building on Weaver Boulevard. The public is invited. GARDINIERE'S GARDEN CLUB: Meets at 10 a.m. at the Arboretum in the Bent Creek area of West Asheville. Meet at Ingles on Merrimon Avenue to carpool. For more information, call 254-8794. BEECH COMMUNITY CLUB SOFTBALL SIGN-UP: The spring/summer church softball leagues are being organized. We are considering women's, men's or coed leagues. Church or co-church sponsorship is required. Call 645-2571 for more information. MEDITATION MADE SIMPLE: From 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. at Namaste Yoga & Healing Center, 57 Broadway, downtown Asheville. $10. Call 253-6985 for more information. WEAVERVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION: At 12:30 p.m. at Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St., to discuss "The Girl in Hyacinth Blue" and "The Girl with the Pearl Earring". Call 645-3592 for more information. HENDERSONVILLE ANTIQUE AUTO CLUB: Meets at 6 p.m. at Samovar Cafe, Church Street and Barnwell Avenue, Hendersonville. ASHEVILLE CITY SCHOOLS DEVELOPMENT PROCESS EXPLORED: Seminar from 6 to 7 p.m. at UNC Asheville. For more information, call 251-6420. "WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SOUTHERN AUTHOR": A brunch with discussion and book signing by author Cecilia Budd Grimes from 10 a.m. to noon at Homewood, 19 Zillicoa St., in the Montford historic district of downtown Asheville. Sponsored by Friends of Mountain History. $20 includes entry and brunch, $12 each for signed books. Thursday, April 3 SWANNANOA VALLEY MONTESSORI SCHOOL: Informational/registration meetings for Swannanoa Valley Montessori School, which is planning to start pre-primary classes for ages 3-5 this fall in Black Mountain. All interested parents or other persons are invited to attend at 7 p.m. at Black Mountain Library. for more information, call 669-8571 or e-mail swanmont@juno.com. NRA BASIC RIFLE SAFE HANDLING AND SHOOTING SKILLS COURSE: Registration deadline is today for 14-hour certificate course for ages 12 and older. Fee is $55. Start date is April 26 at On Target Shooting Range, 1160 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville. Contact Mark at 258-2278 for more information. ASHEVILLE COMPOSITE SQUADRON OF THE CIVIL AIR PATROL: Meets at 7:30 p.m. in the squadron headquarters building at 61 Aviation Drive, in the General Aviation section of the Asheville Regional Airport. Anyone interested in joining is invited. For more information, e-mail Phil Kelley at nc4utvols@aol.com. "MY FAIR LADY": Performance begins at 7 p.m. at the James F. DeBruhl Theatre at North Buncombe High School. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Box office opens at 6 p.m. For advance tickets call 645-4221, Ext. 20. SELF HELP FOR THE HARD OF HEARING: A support group for those with hearing problems will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at 445 Biltmore Ave. (across from St. Joseph's Hospital). Call 251-6190 for more information. FAMILY NIGHT STORY TIME: At 7 p.m. at North Asheville Library, 37 Larchmont Drive. An evening of stories, songs, puppets and fun for children ages four through third grade. Call 251-4991 for more information. CREATIVE JOB SEARCH: At 10 a.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Call 255-2503 for more information. BUNCOMBE COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION: Meets at 5:15 p.m. at 155 Hilliard Ave., suite 205, Asheville. For more information, call Sandra 250-4787. Friday, April 4 DOG PORTRAITS ART EXHIBIT: Opening party from 4 to 8 p.m. at Gourmet Perks, 165 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Lois Simbach presents dog portraits through the month of April. A percentage of the sales will benefit Friends of Madison County Animals. For more information, call 649-9768. SENIOR GAMES AND SILVER ARTS REGISTRATION: From 9 to noon at Waynesville Recreation Center. A variety of athletic and artistic competitions for adults 55 and older. For more information, call 452-2370. SPRING DANCE: For children ages 7 to 15, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Waynesville Recreation Center, 550 Vance St. There will be movies, pizza and drinks in addition to dancing. The price of admission is $5 and includes a slice of pizza and a drink. WESTERN-STYLE SQUARE DANCE: Early rounds at 7:15 p.m. at East Asheville Community Center, Tunnel Road, with Asheville Allemanders Square Dance Club. $8 per couple for nonmembers. For more information, call 298-2870 or 298-0593. "HOW TO DESIGN AND BUILD YOUR OWN HOME" COURSE: From 6 to 9 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Enka campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Cost is $85 which includes text book. Bob Johnson, a licensed North Carolina general contractor, nationally published author and college instructor, will teach the course. To enroll, call 777-6866. Limited seating. "THE ABSENCE OF A CELLO" PLAY: Will be performed at 8 p.m. at Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Call 389-8632 or (877) 691-9906 for more information. TAX TOUR 2003: At noon at Shoney's Restaurant, Long Shoals exit off Interstate 26, Asheville. Sponsored by The John Locke Foundation and Citizens for a Sound Economy. For more information, call Thomas Croom at (866) JLF-INFO or e-mail tcroom@johnlocke.org. ASHEVILLE FEDERATION OF NEGRO WOMEN: Meets at 6 p.m. at The Friendship Center, 141 Shiloh Road, Asheville. Call Claudia Tucker at 274-2198 for more information. Saturday, April 5 SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS AT SPRING GALA: The senator will speak at 6 p.m. at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Enka campus. Dinner tickets are $35 each and may be purchased from the chairman of the Democratic Party in each of the 15 counties in the 11th District or by calling 274-1731. HOW TO BE YOUR OWN EDITOR: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 29 1/2 Page Ave., downtown Asheville. Sponsored by The Writer's Workshop. Cost is $50 for members and $55 for nonmembers. For more information, call 254-8111. ELECTRONICS COLLECTION DAY: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at National Guard Armory, Brevard Road, West Asheville. For more information, call Buncombe County Solid Waste at 250-5460. WRITING THE SHORT STORY WITH KAREN ACKERSON: Teens will work on stories and learn how to revise work for publication or reading. Call The Writers Workshop at 254-8111 for more information. PET ADOPTION FAIR: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SuperPetz, 825 Brevard Road, Asheville. For more information, call Animal Compassion Network at 258-4820 or visit www.a-cnet.org. "THE ART OF THE MILLINER" SYMPOSIUM: About the role of fashion and women in Appalachia at 10:30 a.m. at Tartan Hall, 24 Church St., Franklin. Refreshments will be served. Call Barbara White at 524-9758 for more information. MATH N' ART EDUCATION FAIR: From noon to 4 p.m. at the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. Call 252-8215 for more information. HENDERSONVILLE SYMPHONY: "Joy and Sorrow" will be performed at 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 697-5884 or visit www.hendersonvillesymphony.org. THE POTTING SHED SPRING LECTURE: Free admission. "Ramblings of a Rhodoholic Speaker" from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., "Japanese Maple Mania" from noon to 1 p.m. and "Go Organic: Be Kind to Our Environment" from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at The Potting Shed, 408 Mills Gap Road, Fletcher. Call 684-8050 for reservations. SERVICE NORTH CAROLINA DAY: UNC Association of Student Governments will hold a statewide event that unites universities in their efforts to give back to their communities through one day of service that will generate more than 30,000 service hours. For more information, call (919) 715-2431. ANTIQUE TRACTOR PULL: Lawn and garden tractor pull at 10 a.m., antique tractors pull at 1 p.m. at Edneyville "speedway", corner of South Mills Gap Road and U.S. 64 in Henderson County. Free admission. For more information, call 684-9661 before 8 p.m. SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR: Meets at 10:30 a.m. in Candler to organize a Western North Carolina camp of this national patriotic organization. For more directions and information, call Tom Rightmyer at 225-0515. BINGO: Activities start at 7 p.m. at Center Community Center, 2 East Fork Road, Marshall. Hot dogs and fixings will be on sale. All proceeds go to the center for utilities, payments, continuing a meal-site for seniors and the children's tutoring programs. For more information, call 689-9021. WNCwriters: A creative writing workshop using the Amherst Writers & Artists method. Two groups: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact facilitator Joy Bagley at jbagley030@earthlink.net or 658-9458. BLUE RIDGE WATERMEDIA SOCIETY: Members' paintings will be exhibited from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through May 4 at the Biltmore Estate's Deerpark Restaurant. The event coincides with the estate's Festival of Flowers. NARFE: Chapter 156 of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees will meet from 10 a.m. to noon at the UNC Asheville Cafeteria, Asheville. Lunch will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. Call 658-3461 for more information. NATURAL SINGING WORKSHOP: From 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Namaste Yoga & Healing Center, 57 Broadway, downtown Asheville. $35 or $45 day of event. Pre-registration is required. Call 253-6985 for more information. BAKE SALE FUNDRAISER: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wal-Mart in Clyde to benefit Lake Logan-Cecil Volunteer Fire Department of Canton. Baked goods, Rada knives and utensils, planners, flavorings. For more information, call 648-8411 or 648-9917. PAPERBACK BOOK SALE: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at East Asheville Library, 902 Tunnel Road. Three books for $1. Call 298-1889 for more information. "THE ABSENCE OF A CELLO" PLAY: Will be performed at 8 p.m. at Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Call 389-8632 or (877) 691-9906 for more information. PROMSTYLE: Prom fashion and makeover event from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at Fletcher Town Hall for female high school juniors and seniors. Tickets are $7. Call 277-8419 or 687-0751 for more information. ETHOS PERCUSSION GROUP: Performs at 8 p.m. at The Porter Center for the Performing Arts, Brevard College. Call 884-8324 for more information. BREAKFAST WITH EASTER BUNNY: From 9 to 10 a.m. in the food court at the Asheville Mall. Admission is $1.50 for adults and children. Enjoy face painting, cookie decorating and photos with the bunny. Reserve your breakfast by calling 298-5080. RELAXATION WORKSHOP: From 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Blue Ridge Motor Lodge, room 280, Interstate 240 to exit six, Asheville. Presented by author of "800 Stepping Stones to Complete Relaxation". For more information, call 273-4858. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR LITTER PICK UP: Clean up day in the Upper Hominy Valley community of Candler. Friends of Mount Pisgah and Protectors of Standhill Mountain will meet at 9 a.m. at the Stoney Fork picnic area. Orange vests and trash bags will be provided for litter pickup from the picnic grounds to top of N.C. 151. For more information, call Susan Gray at 771-5503 or e-mail susang@mtn.ncahec.org. Sunday, April 6 BOOK READING: Authors Cynn Chadwick and Jeff Rackham will read from their books, talk about the art of writing and answer questions from the audience at Henderson County Public Library, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. Free admission. Call 697-4725 for more information. WILDFLOWER PROGRAM: At 2:30 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Free admission. For more information, call 255-5203. VIDEOACTIVIST WORKSHOP: From 2 to 6 p.m. at Asheville Community Resource Center, 63 N. Lexington Ave. RSVP by email or phone to reserve a place at 664-0186 or info@mountaineyemedia.org. Sponsored by the Asheville Free School. MARS HILL QUARTET: Madison County Arts Council's "Hills Are Alive With Music" presents Mars Hill Quartet at 3 p.m. at Church of the Holy Spirit, Mars Hill (Bone Camp Road, off N.C. 213). Suggested donation $5. Call 689-5507 for more information. EASTER EGG HUNT: From 2 to 4 p.m. at The Laurels of Summit Ridge, 100 Riceville Road, Asheville. For more information, call 299-1110. WNCwriters: A creative writing workshop using the Amherst Writers & Artists method from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, e-mail jbagley030@earthlink.net or call 658-9458. FREE HAIRCUTS FOR THE NEEDY: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Fantastic Sam's in Weaverville local beauticians join together to help the underprivileged with a haircut and clothing. Call 645-7731 for more information or to make a donation. CHANTING AND POSTURES FOR OPENING THE CHAKRAS: From 2 to 4 p.m. at Namaste Yoga & Healing Center, 57 Broadway, downtown Asheville. $35. Pre-registration is required. Call 253-6985 for more information. WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHERN APPALACHIA: A slide show at 2:30 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. Free admission. Call 255-5203 for more information. "THE ABSENCE OF A CELLO" PLAY: Will be performed at 2:30 p.m. at Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Call 389-8632 or (877) 691-9906 for more information. Call 669 8571 or e-mail swanmont@juno.com

04/02/2003

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