Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Beech Mountain Ski Resort Hosts Annual College Week

January 31 - February 8, 2016   College Week at Beech Mountain Ski Resort   Incredible discounts, exciting competitions, live music and many memories are just a few of the benefits students will receive during College Week.  Daily activities and competitions will be announced throughout the week.  

Live music performances in the new Beech Mountain Brewing Co. and the Beech Tree Bar and Grille include local favorite Dr. Bacon, Tony Bailey and Rick Lael. On Saturday, The Broadcast takes the stage in the Beech Tree Bar and Grille.

Save big on lift tickets with a valid student ID when presented in the Group Sales office. Discounts on rental equipment are also available through the Group Sales office; advance reservations are required.

Daily activities and competitions will be announced throughout the week including local favorite corn hole tossing, plus competitive eating and karaoke. For the spectator’s enjoyment, USCSA will host three collegiate competitions in slopestyle, giant slalom and slalom. The week is sure to offer everyone the opportunity for a little friendly competition or at least the chance to witness others in excellence.

Beech Mountain Trail Map courtesy

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's Restaurant Week in Asheville NC

January 19 - 28, 2016   Asheville Restaurant Week 2016    During Asheville's Restaurant Week enjoy all the key tenets of farm-to-table dining. Asheville is home to nearly 250 independent restaurants, 20 regional tailgate markets and a growing number of craft breweries. There is a commitment to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, earning Asheville a designation as one of the top ten food and wine destinations in the United States.

Now you can enjoy the tastiest cuisines during Asheville Restaurant Week, taking place. Participating restaurants will offer a prix fixe menu ranging from $15–$30 per person.

Participating Restaurants:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr Remembered: Black Mountain Home for Retreats

This article re-printed from Carolina Press, a nonprofit investigative publication serving all of Western North Carolina. Written by Jon Elliston on January 14, 2016 in Buncombe, Crime and Justice, Documents, Information, Open Government, Politics, Special Reports, Top News

As Martin Luther King Day — Jan. 18 this year — celebrates 86 years since the civil rights leader’s birth, FBI files reveal much about King’s brief but weighty times here (in Western North Carolina), including parts of the bureau’s campaign to monitor and discredit him. 

King visited Western North Carolina at two key moments in the civil rights movement, for a strategic retreat at Black Mountain in 1964 and a groundbreaking sermon in Montreat in 1965. 

During both appearances, the FBI was hot on King’s trail, according to declassified FBI files collected by Carolina Public Press from several archives and published below. 

The records show that even as the bureau’s leadership, including and especially Director J. Edgar Hoover, was striving to snuff out King’s influence, the FBI recorded and responded to other threats against him. 

Black Mountain, 1964: A rare respite and crucial strategy session Hoover’s hatred of King led to extraordinary levels of FBI surveillance and attempted disruption of King’s efforts on the civil rights front, but the bureau’s leadership tried to hide its hand. 

At a Dec. 23, 1963, meeting, top FBI officials decided to infiltrate King’s inner circle while taking a “discreet approach” to gathering info that could be used “at an opportune time in a counterintelligence move to discredit him,” FBI Assistant Director William Sullivan noted in recap of the meeting. 

Subsequent directives to FBI field offices told them to shadow King whenever possible while doing nothing so intrusive as to expose and embarrass the bureau. 

At the same time, King was preparing for a strategy meeting with 20 or so of his top aides at an Episcopal Church-owned estate in Black Mountain, where they would retreat to plot the future of the civil rights movement, and the FBI was already on his case. 

Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson,
during one of their White House meetings. King met with
Johnson just before his Black Mountain retreat
in early 1964. Photo courtesy Johnson
Presidential Library via Carolina Press
In a Dec. 18 memo, the FBI’s New York City office reported its latest findings from a confidential informant, including that King was planning the retreat at “a place near Asheville.” According to the informant, King said the meeting would include some recreation but mostly be focused on “where do we go from here.”

The plan was to start the retreat on Jan. 6, 1964, a date that was later adjusted forward a couple of weeks, as the FBI noted in its continuing coverage of King’s planned summit.

The retreat was shifted to Jan. 20-22 after King and his top aides were invited to meet with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House on Jan. 18. Fresh from that Oval Office experience, King and crew went to Black Mountain to decide their next steps, with the FBI watchful but increasingly wary of exposing its operations against the civil rights leader.

In advance of King’s visit, the FBI sent agents to scope out the Black Mountain estate, In-the-Oaks (which today is owned by Montreat College), according to a detailed memo in the FBI’s file. The agents reported to headquarters that... READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Nantahala Outdoor Center Local Athlete and Olympic Hopeful Call for Support

NOC - Nantahala Outdoor Center - is supporting 2016 Olympic hopeful Michal Smolen's Olympic journey and hoping that the mountain community and beyond will join in. Smolen's bronze medal finish at the 2015 World Championships makes him a serious 2016 medal contender.

Michal is doing his part, earning recognition as a Team USA Breakout Star of 2015. NOC will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $12,000 to help cover his training and travel expenses leading up to the Olympics.

Michal took his first strokes on the Nantahala River, and he has grown up paddling at NOC. So please help support this homegrown hopeful. The costs are almost $37,000 to support a world-class Olympic paddlesports athlete. A "Wishlist" section is provided online that breaks down the types of support needed. With support from the mountain community and other paddlesport lovers there will be a good chance to can  get a paddlesports Olympian back on the podium.

"It's so humbling to see the first donations come in. I'm very excited to share my journey with all of you and I'm very honored to have your support on my quest for Olympic glory! Thank you for your generosity and for being part of my team!" -Michal Smolen.

Nantahala Outdoor Center  has long been the home to many aficionados, the meeting place for friends and the vacation destination for many groups and families. NOC has been recognized by various media including Good Morning America, The New York Times, Outside, National Geographic Adventure and more. The dedicated staff of folks bring their passion for the outdoors to work every day to share the wonders of the Nantahala River, and all the places to raft, hike, pedal and paddle.  Nantahala Outdoor Center proudly guides outdoor trips on both private and public lands and is a US Forest Service Permit Holder. NOC's Nantahala River location is 13077 Highway 19 West in Bryson City NC. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Purple Onion January Events and News

The annual cleaning and maintenance continues until January 7, 2016 at 11 AM when the restaurant re-opens the doors for another year of fabulous food and live music. 

Every Monday and Tuesday - Oyster and Pint Nights.
The Feature is oysters on the half shell, raw or roasted and $3 pints. 

Every Friday Night - Live Music at 7 PM with Fred Whiskin playing Blues to Brubeck 

January 7, 2016 - Gigi Dover -  gypsy, jazzy, funky, southern-soul and world music from longtime Onion favorite 
January 9, 2016 - Lonesome Road Band - great bluegrass music from these old friends 
January 10, 2016 - Jonathan Byrd and Johnny Waken  
January 14, 2016 - Keith Davis Trio -  great jazz from South Carolina 
January 16 - The Secret Band Bill Fletcher, formerly the drummer in the Shane Pruitt Band, brings his new group 
January 21 - Mare Wakefield and Nomad - fabulous singer/songwriter returns 
January 23 - Jay Brown -  featuring Jay on vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion and piano 
January 28 - The Everydays - Everydays duo from Black Mountain makes its debut at The Onion
January 30 - Red Dirt Revelators -  they were such a big hit last year that the restaurant could not wait to bring this"dirty blues band" back.

Live Music in Saluda NC, photo courtesy The Purple Onion
Sunday, January 10 at 6:00 PM "One of the top 50 songwriters of the last 50 years, " said Rich Warren of WFMT in the Chicago Tribune. The Purple Onion is honored to welcome back Jonathan Byrd for the first Sunday Concert of 2016. Byrd will be accompanied by Johnny Waken (guitar, mandolin, saw) for a concert full of complex songwriting, compelling vocals, and hot guitar picking in the line of North Carolina greats Doc Watson and Tony Rice. 

A stalwart of modern folk music, Byrd has released five solo albums with a surprising variety of musical directions. The doors open at 5:00 PM and a limited menu will be available prior to the concert with beverages and desserts served throughout the evening. Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Come by the cafĂ© at 16 Main Street in Saluda or call 828-749-1179 for reservations. 

The Purple Onion Restaurant is located at 16 Main Street in historic downtown Saluda NC.