Enchanted Animal Affaire Unveils “Light of the Phoenix,” Benefits Lake Louise Community Center

WEAVERVILLE, N.C. – The third annual Enchanted Animal Affaire, the “Light of the Phoenix,” kicks off May 24, and runs June 1-26, with a Gala and Auction on June 28.

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Annual fundraiser to benefit renovation of Lake Louise Community Center, Weaverville

Get your copy of the downloadable 2013 EAA Poster here.The Phoenix represents the future renovation of the Weaverville Community Center at Lake Louise.

“The Weaverville Business Association has already pledged $5000 to this future effort,” says Liz Lewis, event chairman. “This fundraiser supports the Weaverville Business Association.”

The local, non-profit organization of businesses of businesses which support and promote Weaverville as an outstanding place to visit, do business, live, and work.

For the Enchanted Animal Affaire, the Weaverville Business Association partners with local artists and businesses. The artists create one-of-a-kind works of art, and merchants display the illuminated multi-media works to the delight of townspeople and guests.

Participating artists include Joan Atwood, Phil Atwood, Mark Bettis, Verge Design Studio, Sharon Bailey, Leah Baker, Randi Milofsky, Rob Durham, Gwen Komala Durham, Jackie Williams, Ray Mann, Mark Peyton, Barbara McGuire, and Pamela Paddock.

This year’s affaire will kick-off on May 24th with an unveiling at Maggie B’s Wine & Specialty Store, where the public will see the sculptures for the first time. Sponsoring businesses will each house a phoenix through June 25, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt and drawing to win one of the works.

Entry forms may be obtained at Aabani Salon & Spa, Blue Mountain Pizza & Brew Pub, Edward Jones Financial Advisors, Maggie B’s Wine & Specialty Store, Mangum Pottery, Miya Gallery, Optix Eye Care, the Tarrants Agency Inc., Tierney and Company Real Estate, Weaverville Home Trust Bank, Weaverville Pet Pantry, and Well Bred Bakery & Cafe.

The local art collectors and scavenger hunt hopefuls will gather on the evening of the 2013 Enchanted Animal Affaire Gala and Auction, now one of Weaverville’s most anticipated summer events, to see the phoenixes as a flock one last time before the good-natured bidding begins. In addition to the widely anticipated auction, the evening fundraiser held at the community center includes live music, an array of hors d’oevres from local restaurants and a cash bar.

“In addition to sponsoring community events, such as the Enchanted Animal Affaire, the association works with town management to ensure businesses have a voice in local matters,” says Lewis.

“The support member businesses receive for their ventures is exceptional, and we look forward to an exceptional event,” she says.

 Scavenger hunt forms and informational brochures may be obtained from area businesses. The 2013 Animal Affaire Gala and Auction will be at the Weaverville Community Center at Lake Louise, 60 Lakeshore Drive, 6-8 p.m. Admission $10. For more information, profiles of the participating artists and businesses, visit the Weaverville Business Association online at www.visitweaverville.com. Sherri L. McLendon is a freelance writer in Weaverville.

Dying to Look Good: Do You Know What Your Skin is Eating?

Toxic and carcinogenic ingredients in personal care products are improperly screened by safety agencies, according to Lorre Diamond, Asheville, a Florida licensed esthetician and educator.

Diamond, the featured speaker at a Tuesday, May 21, event at Jubilee! from 7-9 p.m., is determined educate and inspire others to remove toxic ingredients from their homes.

Lorre Diamond, Ingredient Investigator

Flipping through the pages of an industry magazine in 2006, Diamond came across disturbing information about a common chemical called a paraben, and referred to on labels as methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl paraben.

“Though manufacturers commonly use paraben to inhibit microbial growth and extend the shelf life of products, one article by Amanda Gardener found that parabens had been detected in breast cancer tissue.”

That disturbing bit of news led Diamond to more research. “The problem wasn’t just limited to paraben additives. I found that elegant bottles of beauty and personal care products contain A multitude of toxins and carcinogens in exotic fragrances and creamy textures.”

Diamond calls the series of revelations that followed an “inconvenient truth.”

“ I learned that on labels, words such as organic, natural, dermatologist tested, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, and cruelty free are just marketing. Our system is broken.”

The status quo is bleak as Diamond sees it, though she notes some non-profit action groups are making positive inroads. Nevertheless, labeling laws for personal care products do not exist in the United States. Neither the Cosmetic Fragrance and Toiletry Association, nor the Food and Drug Administration require the beauty industry to be forthright on their labels. Product safety testing remains inadequate. Products placed on the shelf in stores without adequate testing include products targeting women, men, teens, and infants, in an ironic sort of gender equality.

Daily, women use 168 difference ingredients , while men use 85 ingredients , children use 61 ingredients, Diamond’s research shows.

“My intensive research left me angry and confused,” says Diamond. “Every day, I was learning more about toxic chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Nitrosamines, so-called “natural” fragrances, 1-4 dioxane, and others.”

For example, in 2006, a team of researchers from the University of California found sunscreen may “do more harm than good once it soaks into the skin, where it actually promotes the harmful compounds it is meant to protect against,” according to the Organic Consumers Association.

The exceptions are those labels on Certified Organic products, says Diamond.

“I began searching in health food stores, on line, through books and trade shows for a product line that would be beneficial, cost-effective, healthy, and void of toxins.”

She also began searching for a better way to work.

“My inconvenient truth made it impossible for me to work in spas or salons with a clear conscious, as I was unwilling to sell and apply their toxic products.”

As a result, Diamond began speaking publicly on the dangers of chemicals and personal care products to as many people and organizations as possible. After a recent study showed hundreds of toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord, she has begun to focus her education on young adults of child bearing as, as well as cancer patients and survivors. Each group has proven susceptibility to synthetic cosmetic ingredients, she notes.

Today, Diamond calls herself an ingredient investigator after the fashion of Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C., author of the book, Dying to Look Good.” She cites Farlow’s text precisely:

“… no one knows the effects of the many different ingredients used in the thousands of different combinations, the effects of using numerous different products, one on top of the other, or the effects of repeated use of ingredients or products over time.”

No one knows, she repeats. Then, she questions.

“No one knows?”

Learn to decipher ingredients on a label, identify the most toxic ingredients in personal care products, and make better, healthier choices to protect your health. Attendees are invited to bring their favorite personal care product for an ingredient check. Cost is $10. The event is Tuesday, May 21, from 7-9 p.m., Jubilee!, 46 Wall Street, Asheville.



Asheville, Western NC Women want Equal Rights Amendment on NC Agenda

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – An organization, Ratify ERA-NC, has formed under the co-directorship of Roberta Madden, Black Mountain, and Nancy Glowacki, Hendersonville, and has begun to build a statewide database, Madden told Asheville Rising members Thursday, May 9.

“The Equal Rights Amendment is the simple idea women should be included in the constitution,” says Madden.

The informal meeting came as a result of Asheville Rising members expressing interest in addressing the underlying cause of the many problems undermining women’s welfare in matters of health, law, and economics.

A video filmed during International Women’s Day in March features local women’s responses to these issues.

A recognized leader in the Equal Rights Movement for more than 40 years, Madden was invited to meet with the group to share information and create public awareness regarding the current efforts to encourage North Carolina’s ratification of the amendment.

Why ERA? Why now?

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 by suffragette Alice Paul, states:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any
state on account of sex.

This historic piece of proposed legislation is back on the table due to the recent passage of the Madison Amendment, focusing on congressional pay raises. The passage of that amendment took 203 years, suggesting the deadline originally placed on the Equal Rights Amendment – not actually in the wording, but proposed by opponents – was invalid. First ladies such as Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, and Rosalyn Carter supported ERA in its 1972 failed attempt at ratification. At that time, the bill passed in the U.S. Senate and House, but fell short when only 35 of 38 states ratified.

ERA Reintroduced into U.S. Congress on May 9

Last week, 90 years after ERA was first introduced, a new bill to lift the deadline and place the ratification of ERA back into the national agenda was introduced in both the United States House of Representatives and Senate, the two legislative bodies within the Congressional House, says Madden.

“Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 15 and House Joint Resolution (HJR) 43 were introduced today,” she told Asheville Rising attendees at the Thursday, May 9, meeting, to a smattering of applause. “The text of the legislation and a list of cosponsors are available at www.thomas.gov.”

North Carolina Never Ratified ERA

North Carolina never ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, making it an important state in the current “3 state” push for ratification. Regrettably, no North Carolina members of Congress listed as cosponsors to the bill. To correct this oversight, supporters of the amendment may call Senators Hagan and Burr and their U.S Representative Meadows or McHenry, and urge them to add their names as cosponsors. The toll free number to the U.S. Capitol is 1-877-762-8762.

Without the guarantee of constitutional bedrock, all laws in the United States currently promising equality may be overturned by a single majority vote in state or U.S. legislatures, according to Madden and documentation provided by Ratify ERA-NC.

Equal Rights Protect All Persons

While opponents claim the 14th amendment guarantees equal rights, in actuality the 14th amendment does not prohibit sex discrimination in the U.S.  According to Supreme Court Justice Scaglia, cases of discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin are considered with a standard of strict scrutiny by the court system. Those involving gender discrimination are deemed less important, and are held with intermediate or rational scrutiny.

Though women currently comprise more than 50 percent of the population and work force, they are not provided the same constitutional protections as men. In fact, they are explicitly excluded from Constitutional protections. The Right to Vote was granted as an exclusion to this lack of protection, and does not actually provide equal status under the law. Many U.S. states today continue to consider women as legal extensions of their husbands, fathers, or sons.

Madden offers a telling example of what this means in real life in North Carolina.

“On average, a North Carolina woman, working full time, year around, makes 81 cents to every man’s dollar. This affects everything: pensions, if they have them, and social security.”

As a result, women currently constitute three-fourths of elderly individuals in poverty in North Carolina. As parents of baby boomers, and the baby boomers themselves age, the ability to sustain quality of life during age is an issue which looms ahead for many North Carolinians.

Additionally, men would also benefit from the amendment, says Madden, particularly in areas such as family law, military service, and sex discrimination.

“Men file about half of the sex discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court,” she says.


Asheville Rising is the western North Carolina response to the recent One Billion Rising Campaign on February 14 to take action to prevent violence against women. The group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/333843030062908/.
Ratify ERA-NC can be reached at www.era-nc.org. For national updates on the Equal Rights Amendment, visit www.United4Equality.org.

Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., is a freelance writer from Weaverville specializing in mindfulness approaches to marketing public relations, at http://www.professionalmoneta.com. She is a member of Asheville Rising.

Asheville Wholistic, Integrative Fair Slated for March 9 Downtown

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Asheville Wholistic and Integrative Fair, or AWIF, will be Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. – 5 p .m. at the Renaissance Hotel.The fair, hosted by Asheville Wholistic and Integrative Professionals, on of western North Carolina’s most active networking organizations, provides a forum for professionals to share their wholistic products and services with the larger community. In turn, individuals who seek wholistic professionals will enjoy the opportunity to explore a cross-section of the region’s varied wholistic and integrative offerings.

These offerings include a variety of wholistic and conscious modalities including acupuncture, chiropractic care, intuitive practitioners, wellness coaches and consultants in a range of wholistic fields, body and energy workers, aromatherapy and personal care suppliers, food, water and herbal remedy providers, animal-related services, and a diverse offering of wholistic books, music, jewelry and merchandise.

The Asheville Wholistic and Integrative Fair, or AWIF, will be Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. – 5 p .m. at the Renaissance Hotel, located at the corner of Woodfin Street and Thomas Wolfe Plaza. Convenient parking is nearby. Visit www.AWIF.net for more information.