DKos Asheville Open Thread: PFAS, Cherokee cannabis, South Slope fireworks, Mission strike?

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The annual fireworks display in downtown Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood, which has been a popular place for watching fireworks for many years, underwent a major change on Thursday. According to reports, the change was well received. Story and photo gallery are below.

Other featured stories include Reuniting pet runaways with their owners, PFAS, Cooling off on the Blue Ridge Parkway and ECBI’s decision-making process regarding cannabis sales.

Buncombe and Henderson mobile home parks found to have PFAS levels above the safe level

Five mobile home parks located in Buncombe County and Henderson County have water systems with PFAS compounds that are above the maximum limit. These chemicals, also known as forever chemical, put residents at risk for cancer and other illnesses.

According to state environmental regulators, water testing conducted between August 2023 and October 2023 revealed that two of the parks exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 4 parts per trillion limit for compounds in drinking water. This was the first time the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had set this limit in April.

Inspectors from the state found 8.85 ppt PFOA at Jeter Mountain, and 7.27 ppt PFOA at Rangeview Acres. The water systems of Oak Crest, Maple Hills and Magnolia mobile home parks, all in Hendersonville, contained 4.31, 4.99 and 4.71 ppt PFOA, respectively. All the parks are using well water.

According to an Asheville Watchdog analysis of EPA information, all five parks are within 2-20 miles from at least 40 manufacturing companies or landfills that are active or inactive. It’s not clear if these companies have or use PFAS.

The possibility of a strike by Mission nurses increases as the labor contract expires

Mission Hospital and Mission Nurses United failed to reach an agreement on a new labor contract by midnight of July 3, which was the expiration date of the current contract. This increased the likelihood of a strike.

Asheville Watchdog reported that nurses told them they are still far apart from the hospital on important issues such as compensation and retention.

Before the contract’s expiration, Asheville Watchdog quoted union nurse Kelly Coward as saying: “I still feel that we have a lot of work to do.” The main goal of our organization is to focus on the patients and community. To take care of patients and the community, we must have the necessary resources. We also need nurses.

Jeanne Mould , a union nurse and member of the bargaining team, said that there had been some progress in proposals regarding safety and working conditions. “But when it comes down to proposals which would increase nurse retention we receive a lot of pushback, and are not even willing to budge.”

The union has been circulating pledges of strike, which are commitments that members sign in order to participate in a work stoppage.

Cherokee community reacts to recreational marijuana being legalized in the tribe

CHEROKEE (WLOS) – Cherokee tribal members can now buy recreational marijuana. Cherokee approved the sale of marijuana for medical purposes in spring. Adults over 21 can now purchase marijuana for recreational purposes.

As of now, recreational marijuana sales are only allowed for tribal members and can only be used along the Qualla border.

Bill Devine uses marijuana as a medicine.

He said, “If I could get off of the pain medication and [use] something without side effects, I would be all for it.”

Dinilawigi reverses its decision on hemp stores and adult-use cannabis is ratified

CHEROKEE (N.C.) – Dinilawigi, the Tribal Council, reversed its decision three weeks after it passed legislation prohibiting the ownership of hemp/cannabis shops on tribal trust land of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Robert Mark “Bertie”, an EBCI tribe member and owner two hemp/CBD shops in Cherokee, filed a protest with Dinilawigi. No. No.

This protest was about two amendments to the Order of Day. No. Dinilawigi held a special meeting on Thursday, 27th June, during which 63 was discussed.

Saunooke, in a letter of protest to Dinilawigi chairman Mike Parker, wrote: “This floor amendement has the effect shutting down all private hemp stores along the Qualla boundary.” As a member of the EBCI, and as a party interested in the change to the ordinance, I protest the floor amendement.

Owning two hemp/CBD shops, I am an interest party. Native Cloud stores sell hemp products in Saunooke Village, and are near Subway on Tsalagi Road. “If this ordinance does not change, my two stores will be forced to close.”

Stephens Lee alumni continue to work for legacy 100 years after graduating class

Angel Redmond , who grew up in Buncombe county, never gave Stephens-Lee High School much thought when he was a student. The school educated Black students from Western North Carolina during the four decades it existed, until its closure in 1965.

Redmond, a T.C. Roberson High School was founded in 1994. “At Roberson I learned nothing about it.”

Redmond is the facility supervisor for the city-owned Stephens-Lee Community Center. The center, located in the former school gymnasium, is owned by the city. She wants Asheville’s youth to know about the school, which excelled in music, athletics and education and was a cultural hub for the African American community.

She says, “We have regular conversations with our kids in our summer camps and after-school programs about the importance Stephens-Lee.” We talk about respecting the space we’re in, because it is so important for Blacks.

Asheville Humane Society provides tips for reuniting lost pets during the Fourth of July

ASHEVILLE (WLOS), N.C. — The Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks for many people. It may be fun for us humans, but not for our four legged friends.

American Kennel Club reports that more pets are reported missing over the Fourth of July weekend than at any other time. Mabel Lujan, with the Asheville Humane Society, says to pay attention to body language when you see what might be a missing dog or cat.

It’s important to observe the animal’s body language. “Are they flinching and seeming really scared, or do they appear to be kind of approachable?” Lujan explained.


The best and first way to help them find their family is using the free microchip scans in Asheville.

Asheville Humane Society’s scanner is available 24 hours aday.

Then, go online and find a site where the number can be entered. You can enter the microchip number on the Asheville Humane Society Website or Lost Pets website AVL.

Asheville 4th of July Block Party set new record for South Slope businesses

The Fourth of July celebrations this year set records in some businesses on the South Slope. On Thursday, July 4th, thousands of people walked down Coxe Avenue. This resulted thousands of dollars being spent at the various restaurants and breweries.

Hayden Plemmons is the executive director of the Asheville Downtown Association. He said, “We’re thrilled with the turnout at the Independence Day Block Party.” “Our businesses were full, and the people were having an amazing time. The crowd said that the fireworks were better than those in most large cities. We hope to host on the South Slope again in the future. The unobstructed view of the 20 minute firework display and the incredible support provided by our local businesses are hard to beat. .”

Asheville Celebrates Fourth of July With South Slope Block Party, Fireworks

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“Be Safe Out There.” Lamont Cranston