This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread where we try to get together every Saturday morning around eleven, and then drift in and out throughout the day. We hope this group serves to reinvigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that's grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who these people are that we stand with, work with, and share with in the political process. We hope, through this community, that we can do a better job of leveraging our orange passion for progressive politics to help elect more and better Democrats.
If you would like to host a weekly open thread, please let us know.
I live in a rural part of Buncombe County called the Upper Hominy Valley. When I first moved here ten years ago, one of the first things I did as a new resident of the larger Asheville community was to go out one Saturday with some folks from River Link to clean up a section of Hominy Creek. I thought it especially connective to be out helping to clean up Hominy Creek since I live in Hominy Valley.
We worked all day. The group I was with made our way down stream until we found a place where an electrical contractor had dumped a bunch of cable into the creek. It was partially buried in the creek bed, and it took a lot of effort to pull it all out and up onto the bank. At the end of the day my clothes were soaked and I was tired; but I was also happy. We had made a significant difference in a small stretch of Hominy Creek.
A few days ago a friend emailed me asking if I had heard about the fuel oil spill in Hominy Creek. I had not. We have of course been hearing about a lot of significant spills recently; but right here at home, in Hominy Creek?
Here is the article from the Citizen Times last week. The article says that 5,000 gallons on fuel oil spilled, though it doesn't say how much of that went into the creek or further downstream into the French Broad River; however, this later article from WLOS [warning: autoplay video on page] says that 3,000 gallons made it into the creek and subsequently the river. Officials from both the EPA and the NC Fish and Wildlife Division were on the scene.
As has been discussed in the front page articles about other recent spills into our waterways, these incidents impress upon us the importance of electing legislators and governors that care about water quality and the regulations and inspections necessary to maintain our creeks and rivers. It is important to talk about these incidents on a local level, educating our neighbors about the importance of these issues.
But for me this spill was also a reminder of the important work organizations like River Link do; local environmental groups that help cleanup rivers and establish parks in your own hometown. Often, these groups can be fun ways to get your hands dirty, or your pants wet, meet some really nice folks, and make a significant difference in your community. And of course if you just can't make the time to get out for a day of fun in the water, these groups can usually use some financial help as well.
There are lots of ways that we as individuals, as progressives, and as Daily Kos community members can make a difference in our local communities. One of course as we frequently focus on here at Daily Kos is elections; city councils, county commissioners, school boards, soil and water conservation, all important for the direct impact they can have on the quality of life in our communities. But often overlooked are small, local organizations that reflect our progressive values, and where we can make an even more direct and significant impact on our communities.
So here in the wake of an incident that polluted Hominy Creek and the French Broad River, I just wanted to take a moment to write in appreciation of all the local organizations and their volunteers that help clean up and maintain our creeks and rivers, and improve the quality of life in our communities.
In the works:
The weather is getting warmer, and we need to get our voter registration project back on track. I'm guessing that initially we'll look to get back on the Earthfare calendar; but now that we've got our feet wet, we should consider expanding into new territory. If you have any suggestions or questions, please post them in the comment section, or kosmail me or Randall directly.
And as a reminder, we now have a google group for DKos Asheville, setup for the purpose of making it easier for us to send messages to group members. We'll use it to send reminders of the Saturday open threads, meetups, voter registration events, etc. If you would like to be added to the google group, kosmail me an email address and I will send you an invite. Note, this is a private group and your email address will not be public. Remember to check your email for the google invite.
Enjoy your day!