In the News…

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The Blue Ridge Parkway snakes around Grandfath...
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Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation receives grant to fight childhood obesity

With a unique blend of talent and resources, the National Park Service, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation are focusing on a national epidemic – childhood obesity.

A grant of $200,000 over two years will pilot a multi-dimensional program expected to eventually span the entire length of the 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway.

The objective is to engage children and their families in activities that increase physical activity, improve nutritional choices, and increase awareness of the Blue Ridge Parkway as a recreational resource. The program will pilot initially in the Asheville, spearheaded by Olson Huff, M.D., who has a distinguished career in children’s health. He also co-chairs the Task Force on Obesity and Nutrition of the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission. Huff, the NPS, and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation have convened a regional advisory board to maximize the program’s effectiveness with Dr. Huff serving as board chairman.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation receives grant to fight childhood obesity | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.

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TN Editorial: A big win for clean air

North Carolina’s federal court victory requiring the TVA to reduce emissions from its dirtiest coal plants is not only good for folks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s an important precedent that could force Congress and federal regulators to address the issue of pollution that crosses state lines.

“This certainly is a groundbreaking case and one that is important for the health and economy for our state,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “Many people will also view this as a positive step nationally because it holds a public utility accountable for its pollution.”

The case is a big victory for North Carolina, and nowhere bigger than here in the mountains. We have said many times in these columns that clean air is critical not only to our physical health; it’s crucial to our economic health.

TN Editorial: A big win for clean air | BlueRidgeNow.com | Times-News Online | Hendersonville, NC.

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Saving mountains

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Grandfather Mountain
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From the Web…

Grandfather Mountain moved one step closer to becoming a state park when the Council of State on Tuesday approved North Carolina’s purchase of a large chunk of the property. That’s a win for the state and the Morton family, which will continue to operate its popular tourist attraction on the mountain through a private, nonprofit organization.

In Surry County, the Piedmont Land Conservancy announced last week that it has bought a second tract on Fisher’s Peak. Stunning views have been preserved, as well as flora and fauna. The peak is home to bears, as well as mountain laurel, rare grasses and chestnut trees.

Saving mountains.

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A path through these tough times | BlueRidgeNow.com | Times-News Online | Hendersonville, NC

News from the Web

Last month at an event commemorating the Blue Ridge Parkway a Depression-era federal project, Virginia’s Governor Tim Kaine said, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” It’s a message embraced by conservationists across the Southeast. This time of economic difficulty is also one of opportunity for land trusts.

A path through these tough times | BlueRidgeNow.com | Times-News Online | Hendersonville, NC.

Today – Thursday – April 12, 2007 – Day 19,423

Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Cat’s Cradle,” died yesterday. He was 84.

Source: Writer Kurt Vonnegut, Voice of U.S. Counterculture, Dies – washingtonpost.com

I know I read some of his works many years ago, but it’s the movies that stick in my mind. Seems they were mostly made about the time I was coming of age…

Indoctrination is supposed to be a predicate for action commensurate with professions of seriousness.

Source: George F. Will – Fuzzy Climate Math – washingtonpost.com

With a sentence like the one above in the first paragraph, you know George Will is on a roll. His disdain for climate change and global warming is well know, almost to the point of being a cliché. The points he makes about the “media-entertainment-environmental complex” are almost as comical as the standard “liberal media” label thrown out regularly by the “conservative” talking heads. His point seems to be that if the cost is higher than he wants to pay to clean up our act, then lets not do it. Why should we clean up our act if the “developing” countries wont clean up theirs?

George, look at the developing countries…Who are the big polluters? Aren’t they, to a large extent, the same corporations that are being forced to clean up their business over here? Should they not be held accountable for their actions no matter where they take place? Bad corporate actors are bad whether they are in the USA, India, or SE Asia. By moving bad practices to poor countries you do not mitigate the action. At some point we must take responsibility for the damage our lifestyle does to the planet…Hopefully while there is still time to repair the damage. But the action will not happen as long as the talking heads with the megaphones keep preaching about how unfair it is to take action while the rest of the world does not.

This whole argument is a lot like the conservative argument against progressive tax systems. Why should those with the resources pay to help those without? Isn’t that the argument in a nutshell. I made my fortune (or my daddy or my great-granddaddy), why can’t the poor slob down on the corner do the same? I bought my place in the Rockies with the pristine views and the cold clean air, let the rest of the world find their own. Some attitude, eh?

As if the war in Iraq wasn’t enough the Administration’s surrogates are pushing us into Syria and Iran…

At the same time Syria is terrorizing Lebanon, it is facilitating the flow of insurgents into Iraq, supporting the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and allowing its territory to be a foothold in the Arab world for Iran’s belligerent ambitions. It continues all this despite scores of trips by senior diplomats to Damascus to “talk to the Syrians.”

It is time to face facts. Talking to the Syrians emboldens and rewards them at the expense of America and our allies in the Middle East. It hasn’t and won’t change their behavior. They are an outlaw regime and should be isolated. Members of Congress and State Department officials should stop visiting Damascus. Arab leaders should stop receiving Bashar al-Assad. The U.N. Security Council should adopt a Chapter VII resolution mandating the establishment of an international tribunal for the Hariri murder.

Source: Liz Cheney – The Truth About Syria – washingtonpost.com

Now, after all that has happened in the past few years, who doesn’t see Dick Cheney’s voice behind this push to confront another country. How do these people decide which bad acting country is good and which one is evil? Who in this administration isn’t living in the proverbial glass house as the cast stones at the world? The really sad part is they seem to enjoy throwing the stone while still inside their own glass house…

The clock on the wall say I now have my blood pressure up enough to go face Houston traffic…later…