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LOCAL BRIEFS: Ecusta Trail, HLT, 'Green drinks'

Land Conservancy endorses Ecusta Trail


The Board of Trustees Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy voted endorsed the Ecusta Trail last week, saying it would have a positive impact on the region by fostering family-oriented outdoor recreation, providing opportunities to discover and appreciate nature and creating alternative means of transportation.
“Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, in partnership with others, is actively involved in promoting and expanding a network of greenways and trails in order to enhance quality of life and connectivity and feels that the Ecusta Trail can be an important part of that network,” the statement of support said.
The proposed 20-mile greenway would connect Hendersonville and Brevard along a rail corridor that has been out of use since 2002.

Allison chosen for school reform effort

Joni Allison, a high school instructional coach for the Henderson County school system, was among 29 teachers statewide selected to participate in North Carolina’s first State Teacher Voice Network.
The network is sponsored by Hope Street Group, a nonpartisan organization that is working with the state Department of Public Instruction, state Board of Education and N.C. Association of Educators for school improvement.
Hope Street Group launched the program with great success in Kentucky in 2013, replicating it in Hawaii in 2014 and now in Tennessee and North Carolina.
An instructional coach at the high school level, Allison works with teachers in the form of modeling, coaching and mentoring. Instructional coaches collaborate with teachers, principals and School Improvement Teams on training to increase student achievement.

HLT to stage ‘The 39 Steps’

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have “The 39 Steps,” a fast paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre.
Hendersonville Little Theatre will stage the show Oct. 30 through Nov. 15.
HLT’s acting Artistic Director Jim Walker has cast Christopher McLaughlin as the play’s hero, Tessa Martin as the three women who help him in his search with all of the other characters (men, women, children and even inanimate objects) played by Bryan Bird and Kathy O’Connor.
Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15.00 for ages 18-25 and $10 for students under 18. Reservations may be made by calling the Hendersonville Little Theatre box office at 828-692-1082 or visiting

MountainTrue hosts Green Drinks program

MountainTrue will host Hendersonville Green Drinks on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Monte’s Tap Room, 2024 Asheville Highway. The gathering will feature a presentation by Eric Freeman, a marine climatologist at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville.
NCEI is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing and providing public access to climate and historical weather data and information. In 2008 Freeman began his position there as the marine operations coordinator and was tasked with managing the archive of marine observations from around the globe from ships, buoys and other ocean observing platforms.
Next month’s Green Drinks, on Nov. 12, also at Monte’s Tap Room, will feature a presentation by MountainTrue staffer Josh Kelly on the management of public lands.
Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact MountainTrue Southern Regional Director Mark Stierwalt at (828) 692-0385 ext. 1004, or

Jazz Drovers to perform
at Flat Rock Cinema

The Jazz Drovers, featuring Jason DeCristofaro, will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11, at Flat Rock Cinema as part of the 2015 Magnolia Concert Series presented by Morris Broadband.
DeCristofaro is a multifaceted educator, performer and composer based in Asheville. An adjunct faculty member at Brevard College, he teaches Applied Jazz, World Music, Jazz History and Aural Skills. He is the founder and artistic director of Asheville Composer Concerts and the Western North Carolina Percussion Ensemble.
In addition to his scholarship, composition and jazz performance, DeCristofaro is a percussionist with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, has performed as a xylophone soloist with the Brevard Community Band and is a writer for Classical Voice of N.C.
The series is also sponsored in part by Hampton Inn of Hendersonville, Carolina Investment Brokers, and WTZQ-AM1600. Tickets are $15 plus tax. For more information visit or call the cinema box office at (828) 697-2463. The theater is at 2700 Greenville Highway.