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Good morning!

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!


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Comment Preferences

  •  New Day has a New Name (12+ / 0-)

    The Daily Kos local community building group is now known as Connect! Unite! Act!  And today's diary is up here.  If you have a moment, stop by to tip, rec, and comment, and help support local progressive community building across the country.

    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:16:49 AM PST

  •  Hello gentle readers! (7+ / 0-)

    Don't forget to mark those calendars! DKos Asheville meet up. Saturday May 3rd, 1:00 PM at The By Water! I'm working on collector lanyard IDs for everyone. You know you want one. Please kosmail me to book yours!

    Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

    by randallt on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:49:57 AM PST

  •  Sorry about your creek. (7+ / 0-)

    It's a beautiful day, warm but with a bit of chill wind. I've planted a bunch of bulbs that were in the rescue bin. Need to go back out and mulch them good, small arctic blast headed this way for mid-week.
    Have a great day.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:53:19 AM PST

    •  I want to get my tomato seeds started today (5+ / 0-)

      But right now I'm trimming the red-tip bushes.

      Love one another

      by davehouck on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:10:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just picked up the new seed catalogue from "Sow (5+ / 0-)

        True Seed" in Asheville.  This warm weather is getting us excited about our garden plans as well, but we are realists as well and know that the mountains will "turn on a gardner" in a heartbeat with a late snow or killer frost!

        But no problem in wishing, and planning for now....

        "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy...." - Rumi

        by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:33:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Planted spinach, radishes and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davehouck, Gordon20024

          red bunching onions in the porch boxes this week, now filling pots to start later crops (cukes, cantalope, pumpkins, squash, beans). Will prep beds tomorrow for peas, leeks, cole (kale and collards), lettuce, beets and potatoes. They don't mind some cold. I expect it'll freeze some in March, always does. Hopefully not for long stretches, and we sure don't need another blizzard (March 13, 1993)!

          Always wait until after Blackberry Winter to plant out the summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, the curcubits, squash, melons and beans), because it's still 40-50º nights through mid-May. So I like to have well established seedlings by then.

          I'm excited because my local supplier of all sorts of plants and goodies - Painter's Greenhouse opens next Saturday, free organic vegetable growing seminar Sunday afternoon, I'm gonna be there for sure. I know a couple of the certified Master Gardeners who will be on hand, looking forward to the "grape guy."

          Get my tomatoes, peppers and herbs from them every year, as well as cheerful bedding plants. Must get at least a couple of cherry trees this year, maybe another peach. And roses... climbers this time, for the garden arch. They have an annual sale in late May with steep discounts for community and governmental associations to get rid of the last of their spring landscaping inventory. We are the Mill Creek Beautification Society, usually plant whatever we've gotten free or for mere pennies that we're not using on our disc golf course landscape down at the geyser (town park) at the bottom of our driveway.

          Check 'em out, neighbors! r will be on hand to provide entertainment April 12th or 13th (haven't finalized schedule yet, as he's at the LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) in Black Mountain that weekend too) for Painter's annual Herb Festival. Also artists, music, food, fun for the whole family!

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:38:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Looks like a cool greenhouse! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gordon20024, Joieau

            Thanks for the link!

            Love one another

            by davehouck on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:35:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You are the only other person besides my neighbors (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gordon20024, davehouck, Joieau

            to have ever used the term, and planting time "Blackberry Winter"!  Where did you learn that expression?

            "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy...." - Rumi

            by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:09:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My father's family were (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              davehouck, Gordon20024

              Kentucky denizens, other side of the Appalachians, but still qualify. So I 'grew up' there, spending time every summer I can remember and from when Dad retired until he died. Blackberry Winter is just some folk wisdom that is part of the knowledge base. Granny always had a nice garden, tastiest watermelons ever. You don't plant out the hot weather crops - those that need soil temperatures at steady 70º or above - until the blackberry blooms have all fallen.

              I don't know why, but I've never seen it otherwise in these mountains that when the blackberries bloom, temperatures go down. The blackberries bloom from the last week of April into or through the second week of May, depending on your elevation and orientation. It can have been 70s and 80s up to that point, but it'll go down to 50s and 40s while the blackberries bloom. I've never seen it freeze that late, but close. Last freeze date for our zone was officially May 10th before the USDA changed it a couple of years ago.

              My Mom, who weathered the depression as a girl on her grandfather's peach farm in Georgia, always said that once the dogwoods bloom the freezes are done. But my dogwoods froze hard in full bloom here just a few years ago, so that's not as reliable as blackberry winter.

              Then again, I usually plant by the moon too. Root crops on the wane, fruiting crops on the wax. It works okay, gives me an excuse to keep track of the phase icon on my dashboard. §;o)

              There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

              by Joieau on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:46:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent job Dave..... Kudos to you all. On... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davehouck, DawnN, Joieau, navajo, Gordon20024

    another note, I may be attending a Moral March in Phoenix on 3/29 if  I can convince my best friend (whom I will be visiting to celebrate our mutual 60th birthdays).  

    I learned about this event from a post that Denise Olive Velez wrote from the diary about AZ passing laws regarding legal discrimination allowed from merchants based on religious and social beliefs.  Apparently they too have held this march in the past, and this is supposed to be a big one because of the law that just passed.  It will be held at the state capitol in Phoenix, and I will be in Phoenix on that date.

    Now to convince my best friend (who is very conservative, to say, but I think of him as my blood brother of over 42 years) to attend..  He is not in the best of health, so I may have to have him drop me off at the march so that I can spend some time there.  I would welcome the opportunity to show him what real street "Democracy" is all about as he has never attended anything political in all his life!  I hope to stand arm in arm and support the folks that will be there in AZ that day that NC is with them in solidarity.  I will have a camera, and maybe a diary down the line...??

    AZ bound!

    Have a great weekend folks, and remember to be safe out there.

    "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy...." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:24:16 AM PST

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