This Week in the Swannanoa Valley

Here’s help with insurance plan enrollment

Enrollment for 2017 health insurance plans under the ACA Affordable Care Act is Tuesday, Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. For the plan to be effective Jan. 1, you must select a plan by Dec. 15.

Informal open houses to provide further information are being offered by trained and certified health insurance navigators. The first in the area is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 at Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston Ave., Swannanoa. There will also be a session 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain.

If you are without health insurance or need to renew your ACA Plan through the health insurance marketplace, or if you have questions about financial assistance in paying premiums, stop by. You can also make an appointment for confidential assistance at no charge by calling 1-855-733-3711 or going to

Broad River Fire & Rescue holds its annual meeting

Broad River Fire & Rescue Department Inc.’s annual corporate meeting will be Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at Broad River Community Center, 46 Broad River VFD Road, Black Mountain.

Agenda items include the annual financial review, the auditor’s report, a review of past years’ activities, future planning and the election of three new board members.

All Broad River fire district tax payers are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Turkey dinner helps support Garren Creek firefighters

Garren Creek Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual turkey dinner on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 5:30-7 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and donations are accepted. This event is a fundraiser for the fire department’s auxiliary, which supports the firefighters and rescue workers.

The home-cooked food will be served at the main station, 10 Flat Creek Road, at the corner of Flat Creek and Chestnut Hill/Old Fort roads between Black Mountain and Fairview. For more, call Elizabeth Simmonds at 669-2846 or 230-3986.

Get your cholesterol checked Wednesday

Givens LifeMinistries will provide cholesterol screening from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Swannanoa United Methodist Church, 216 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. The cost is $15. Fasting the night before is required. With a finger-stick blood sample and blood pressure check, you’ll have your total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, ratio and glucose results in five minutes. Counseling with a register nurse is available. Cash or checks only. Call 686-5284 for an appointment.

Military officers to meet at Givens Highland Farms

The next Military Officers Association of American meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Givens Highland Farms, Lower Fountain Room. Come for lunch and the speaker. To make reservations, call 828-505-5511.

Just Peace for Israel/Palestine to have speaker

Just Peace for Israel/Palestine is co-sponsoring Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director for Project South, in a campus and community human rights forum on Child Detention in Palestine, Monday, Nov. 14, noon-1 p.m. at UNC Asheville, Mountain View Room, Sherrill Center.

The speaker has served as president of the National Lawyers Guild and National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Director with the ACLU of Georgia. She participated in a delegation investigating the plight of prisoners in Palestine in April 2016. JPIP meets Nov. 9 and each second Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. All are welcome.

AARP recruiting tax assistance volunteers

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, in cooperation with the Buncombe County Library System and Council on Aging, is seeking volunteers to help with its AARP Tax Assistance program.

The program offers free tax preparation and electronic filing of federal and N.C. state tax returns for taxpayers of low and moderate income, with a special focus on seniors. The service will be available from Feb. 1-April 15 at Black Mountain Library and three other libraries in Buncombe County.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is seeking volunteers. Volunteer training will be provided starting in December, with all materials included. No prior tax experience is necessary. For more, contact the local AARP Tax-Aide volunteer Jurgen Dierks at 828-418-3209 or

Christian ministry needs items for Thanksgiving, beyond

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry is entering the Thanksgiving season with several needs, all of which will be passed along to clients. It needs frozen turkeys, cake mixes, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, canned corn, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoo. The food pantry welcomes donations. Monetary donations designated to food are also welcome (send to P.O. Box 235). Drop off items at 101 N. Ridgeway Ave., Black Mountain.

And coming up ...

Veterans invite all to this Veterans Day celebration Nov. 12

The VFW hall on Cragmont Road will have its annual Veterans Day cookout and celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. Everyone is welcome.