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GOOD JOB!/NEEDS WORK ... Festival shines but where's the beer?

Introducing our new editorial feature, Good Job!/Needs Work, in which we issue shoutouts for good deeds, good decisions or good ideas and gentle criticism for things that could have been done better.

 

Good job! To everyone involved in another successful North Carolina Apple Festival. The weather cooperated as well as it ever has, apple growers made sure that visitors had plenty of quality apples to carry home and the entertainment this year — the Zac Brown tribute band 20 Ride on Sunday evening in particular — was outstanding. It takes dozens of volunteers who devote thousands of hours of work to make the festival happen. Year after year, they come through. So does the city’s public works and sanitation crews, its police force and city hall leaders.

Needs work … Sadly, our longstanding and futile pursuit of a really good idea, the Apple Festival beer garden, still gains no traction. Given the enormous success, popularity and award-winning quality of our local craft beer, wine and hard cider, why not celebrate that as a complement to our apple celebration? For those who don’t recall our plan, here it is. One or two avenues would be cordoned off for wrist-band admittance only. Part of the beer garden proceeds would go to hire required security in the form of off-duty sworn officers. Most of the revenue would go to local wineries, breweries and cider makers (after they pay the Apple Festival to lease space). A portion would go to a nonprofit connected to the apple industry, scholarships for family farm children who plan to pursue agriculture degrees, for instance.

Good job! To Jim Toms and Carolyn Justus and the Henderson County Heritage Museum, for working to place a plaque inside the Historic Courthouse commemorating the visit of President George H.W. Bush to the Apple Festival in 1992. Many thousands of Henderson County folks gathered on the courthouse plaza in a downpour that day to see the president. Shoutout, too, to Richard Kaufman, a close friend of Toms, who is close to the Bush family. Kaufman, a symphony conductor, made the initial contact that resulted in the excellent work by archivist Mary Finch, of the George Presidential Library and Museum, to find hundreds of images of the president’s visit, several of which we were able to publish in print and on line.

Good job! In the past few years, elected leaders in both Laurel Park and Hendersonville have devoted a portion of their city’s tax revenue to repaving. It’s showing results. Laurel Park has recently patched some rough spots at the most heavily traveled parts of Laurel Park Highway. The city of Hendersonville is investing in new blacktop in two areas ripe for revitalization: The resurgent Historic Seventh Avenue District and the streets around the Grey Hosiery Mill, which gets new life as the Grey Mill Apartments next year.

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Send nominations for Good job!/Needs work to billmoss@hendersonvillelightning.com.