This Week in the Swannanoa Valley

Prostate cancer support meeting reconvenes

Us TOO of WNC, a prostate cancer support forum for men, caregivers and family members, will meet Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. This month there will be an open discussion. Coming for the October, November and December meetings will be Dr. Scott Sech from Victoria Urological, Dr. Eric Kuehn from Mountain Radiation Oncology and Dr. Mehul Bhakta from Mission Health. There is no fee to attend. For information, contact 828-242-8410 or

Enroll your student in Arts Center’s JAM program

The first JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) session for students interested in learning about regional culture through music is Wednesday, Sept. 6. If your child shows an interest in old-time music or learning how to play a stringed instrument, the JAM sessions every Wednesday are at Black Mountain Center for the Arts. The first session at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 6 is for parents and students.

Junior Appalachian Musicians are in third- through ninth-grade (or ages 8-14) who learn to play fiddle, banjo or guitar from professional old-time musicians. Group JAM sessions occur every Wednesday from 3:30-5 p.m. and are divided into two sessions. The fall session lasts 14 weeks (Sept. 6-Dec. 13). The winter 2018 session runs January through May.

Homeschoolers are welcome. Fall session tuition is payable in two parts ($70 each). The arts center is at 225 W. State St. For more, visit or call 669-0930.

Recycle your eclipse glasses

The Friends of the Library at Black Mountain Library is collecting eclipse glasses to recycle. The glasses will be sent to Astronomers Without Borders and kept out of the Buncombe County Landfill. There is a collection box at the Black Mountain Library.

Companions needed for seniors living on their own

Are you age 55 or better, have an annual income of less than $24,120, and be willing to volunteer a minimum of 15 hours up to a maximum of 40 hours a week with older adults who want to remain living independently at home?

Volunteers are being recruited to serve with the Land of Sky Senior Companion Program in the Black Mountain and Swannanoa areas. Senior Companion Volunteers provide companionship, or transportation for medical appointments/grocery shopping, or very light meal preparation or very light housekeeping to one or more older adults currently awaiting support to remain living independently.

Volunteers receive a tax-free stipend of $2.65 per hour, up to 200 miles transportation reimbursement, free excess insurance coverage, monthly required in-service training, volunteer recognition events and the opportunity to give back to the Swannanoa Valley community in a meaningful way.

The Senior Companion Program is sponsored locally by Land of Sky Regional Council and funded through a federal grant by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

For an application and more, contact Ann Whisenhunt at (828) 251-6622. ext. 126, or email

Duplicate bridge group posts results from latest game

The Lake Tomahawk Duplicate Bridge Group played at the Lakeview Center on Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain Aug. 22 and had a great time.

Coming in first were Ron Gibson and Larry Pearlman. Coming in second were Jackie McNeese and Roger Fenna. Coming in third were Dan McGaughey and David Hirsch.

If you would like to join in, whether you are local or from out of town, email for information.

Coming up ...

Learn about gardening in a heating planet

Peter Loewer, an internationally known local author and gardener, will talk about “Gardening in a Changing Climate” during a free program at Swannanoa Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12. Everyone is invited.

Get your cholesterol checked Sept. 13

Givens LifeMinistries will provide cholesterol screening from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13 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.

Historian to talk about Frederick Douglass

Civil War historian David Blight will present a talk entitled “My Voice, My Pen, My Vote: The Several Lives of Frederick Douglass” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies at 36 Montford Ave., Asheville.

The talk, free and open to all, is a presentation of the Association of Yale Alumni for Western North Carolina, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies Asheville, and The Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Administrator of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Blight is finishing a new biography of Douglass to be published by Simon and Schuster in early 2018. Since 2004, Blight has been professor of American History at Yale University. He is director of the Gilder Lehman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Try a group harp lesson, for free

Award-winning Celtic harpist Sue Richards is offering a free lesson at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts (just four seats available). Anyone aged 7 and up who is interested in trying the Celtic harp should pre-register for this group lesson by calling the arts center at 669-0930. Harps will be available.

Richards teaches 45-minute lessons ($50) on Tuesdays at the arts center. She hopes to spread her love of this beautiful instrument with the free group lesson.

She teaches students of all ages and abilities, and welcomes anyone interested in Celtic repertoire. She teaches the traditional way, by ear, with music given out later.

The arts center is at 225 W. State St. For more, contact it at 669-0930.