Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Asheville Water could make common skin problems worse

If you have Eczema you need to get the chlorine out of your water!Chlorine is a toxic chemical with know health effects. It is also the preferred method for controlling bacteria and other potentially dangerous pathogens in Asheville water supply.

Our skin is our body’s number one defense against germs. The largest organ of the human body, it is a protective layer that keeps us healthy and protects our internal organs. There are so many factors that affect the health and condition of our skin. Eczema can make this even challenging because the moisture that we need isn’t produced as it should be.

There are a lot of external factors that affect an eczema flare up such as weather, lotions, makeup, soap, and laundry detergent. One factor that you may not realize that is so harmful to your skin condition is Chlorinated water. Most, if not all, municipally supplied water is treated with chlorine. Chlorine however is hurting us and not helping our water.

Here are some of the effects of chlorine on our skin and eczema.

First and foremost, chlorine dries out your skin. This is especially bad for people who have eczema because their skin already is dry and has hard time maintaining natural moisture. It can also dry out your hair as well. Swimming pools have a lot of chlorine in them to ward off bacteria If you’ve and spent much time in a pool or hot tub you know that dried out itchy feeling that is so common afterward.

There isn’t as much concentrated chlorine in your bathing water, however over time the chlorine’s effects take does damage to your skin because the levels of chlorine are still pretty high. After showering you can feel itchy, dry, and notice a rash. This is an uncomfortable feeling to have every day.

Showering is even more harmful than swimming in a chlorine treated pool. The hot water from your shower opens your pores, to cleanse, but the toxic gases caused from the steam and heat is easily absorbed by your skin; and even worse still you breathe it in, which is a direct transfer to your bloodstream. In addition to drying you out, you can prematurely develop wrinkles. To ease the itching feeling after your shower, you can use lotions or eczema oil to alleviate the irritation and bring some moisture back. There is also an option to install chlorine free shower-heads. Chlorine free water is the best defense against atopic dermatitis and wrinkles.

There are other harmful effects of chlorine in the water you bathe in and the water you drink. Chlorine is used to fight off bacteria in our water, yet it causes so many other detrimental health problems. In addition to causing atopic dermatitis or making it worse, it has also been known to cause cancer. If you drink tap water that has been treated with chlorine you run the risk of hurting your bladder, stomach, and breasts. It can also really flare up asthma attacks which are commonly associated with eczema. Chlorine, over time, will damage cell tissues.

Get the Chlorine out of your water an you will see improvement in the health of your skin, hair and overall wellness. You will be glad you did.




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Plastic water bottles & food packaging; Safe or not safe?

This is very welcome and long overdue news. Let's hope the EPA holds true to their stated goals. Bisphenol A is a very dangerous chemical with long lasting negative environmental and human health concerns. It is one of the primary concerns with the use of plastics for food and water packaging. Lets hope we get this substance exposed for the damaging effects it has on our health. here's a lot of money opposing the exposure so it's good to see an agency with the power of the EPA targeting this issue; as long as the results are unbiased and actions are implemented. We'll be watching developments. Here is a link to a science journal article that only begins to tell the story of how big an environmental concern plastics are to all forms life on earth. As with many chemical impacts we are only begining to discover the potential of damage that has been done already. http://bit.ly/1EEnQ

Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 1:06 PM
Subject: EPA News Release (HQ): EPA to Scrutinize Environmental Impact
of Bisphenol A

Dale Kemery

March 29, 2010

EPA to Scrutinize Environmental Impact of Bisphenol A

Agency sets stage for action on BPA

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today
announced a number of actions to address the potential effects of
bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the manufacture of a wide range of
consumer and industrial products. The BPA action plan released today
focuses on the environmental impacts of BPA and will look to add BPA to
EPA's list of chemicals of concern and require testing related to
environmental effects. These actions are part of Administrator Lisa P.
Jackson's comprehensive effort to strengthen the agency's chemical
management program and assure the safety of chemicals.

In January 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced
that it had some concerns about the potential human health impacts of
BPA and it would study the potential effects and ways to reduce exposure
to BPA in food packaging.

"We share FDA's concern about the potential health impacts from BPA,"
said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Prevention,
Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "Both EPA and FDA, and many other
agencies are moving forward to fully assess the environmental and health
impacts to ensure that the full range of BPA's possible impacts are

Food packaging represents the most obvious source of BPA exposure to
people and is regulated by FDA. Unlike FDA, EPA has authority over the
potential environmental impacts of BPA.  Releases of BPA to the
environment exceed 1 million pounds per year. BPA has caused
reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies and may also
affect the endocrine system. The EPA action plan on the environmental
impacts of BPA includes:

*       Adding BPA to the chemical concern list on the basis of
potential environmental effects.

*       Requiring information on concentrations of BPA in surface water,
ground water, and drinking water to determine if BPA may be present at
levels of potential concern.

*       Requiring manufacturers to provide test data to assist the
agency in evaluating its possible impacts, including long-term effects
on growth, reproduction, and development in aquatic organisms and

*       Using EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program to look for
ways to reduce unnecessary exposures, including assessing substitutes,
while additional studies continue.

*       And, continuing to evaluate the potential disproportionate
impact on children and other sub-populations through exposure from
non-food packaging uses.

EPA is working closely with FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
on research to better assess and evaluate the potential health
consequences of BPA exposures, including health concerns from non-food
packaging exposures that fall outside of the FDA's reach but within
EPA's regulatory authority.  Based on what this new research shows, EPA
will consider possible regulatory actions to address health impacts from
these other exposures.

In December, EPA announced that it will, for the first time, use its
authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to list
chemicals that may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or
the environment. The decision to list chemicals signals EPA's concern
about the risks that the listed chemicals may pose and the agency's
intention to address those risks. These actions are part of the agency's
efforts to strengthen EPA's chemical management program, utilizing
current authorities to the fullest extent possible, while continuing to
encourage legislative reform of TSCA, which has not been updated since
1976 and is in need of reform.

More information on EPA's BPA action plan:
As always, thanks for reading. Visit again soon.


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Parents beware- From bad to worse!

I reported this broken pole and low hanging power limes to Progress Energy yesterday morning. This morning one of the ow hanging lines had been pulled down and was laying across the road. This is not at all an acceptable situation. The intersection at Brevard Rd and Davenport is a daily pick up and drop off point for students that ride the buss to school. (Progress Energy has since wrote to AskAsheville on Twitter and confirmed that those are not power lines, but cable lines. Thank you for following the community and responding!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Man Missing in Asheville - Palmer Avery

Asheville, please keep your eyes out for this missing man. Thank you. (Story via Asheville Vaudeville)

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizonwireless.com/picture.

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Broken cable pole on Brevard Rd (not power pole)

Something to be cautious of. On my way out of West Asheville this morning I was surprised to see this broken utility pole. Just North of Davenport on Brevard Rd. Wires from the pole that cross over Brevard Rd were hanging low enough that they were almost pulled down by a passing garbage collection vehicle. I reported this to CP&L this morning. (Progress Energy has since wrote to AskAsheville on Twitter and they told us that this is a cable pole, not a power pole. Thanks!)

Business Spotlight: Kid Bean in Asheville NC

Melissa Zenz is the owner of Kid Bean. It is just her working there now, but that will be changing later this year when she moves the business and hires a few employees. Melissa incorporated the business in 2001 and relocated from Pompano Beach, FL in March 2006

"We researched relocations options for over a year and chose Asheville for a combination of appealing factors, including: lower crime rate, incredible ethnic/political/artistic diversity, large and supportive homeschooling community, abundant access to fresh/local/organic foods, numerous alternative healthcare providers, veg-friendly restaurants & markets, more suitable climate (having lived in both OH and in South FL, we prefer seasonal changes but temperatures that don't go too extreme in either direction) ,and, of course, the amazing natural beauty that surrounds all of Asheville. We spend as much time as possible near waterfalls, in the woods, on mountains, and in/near the water.

In addition to those reasons mentioned above, I love street musicians performing downtown, the plethora of free/low-cost/family-friendly events, that the city is large enough to offer an array of cultural and artistic activities but small enough to still feel like a small town, that I can drive 60 minutes or less in any direction and be in a fairly secluded natural setting for hiking/canoeing/wading, that I see black bears in my front yard even though I live in the city limits, that vegan and gluten-free foods are readily available in many restaurants and markets and that even non-veg restaurants here know what "vegan" means, and that I can see mountains all around me!

I apply the same principles and standards for ethics and environmental sustainability in both my business, KidBean, and in my personal life. For all the reasons mentioned above, Asheville is the ideal place for me to operate my deep green business and to live my dark green lifestyle. KidBean.com serves as a highly-refined filter for green baby products to help parents get beyond the hype to find the safest, truly eco-friendly, and labor-friendly options. Many other stores sell "green" products but no one else asks as many questions as we do nor has as high of standards as we do. *Link to the Play Kitchen.

My attorney, Thomas Beckett, has been indispensable, providing assistance with our relocation from FL to NC, advice on contracts and other legal issues, and networking. Pam Lewis from Advantage West has been wonderfully supportive and has helped us make mutually beneficial connections with other businesses. I also love Asheville Green Drinks—I always learn something new and make meaningful connections.

Self-Help Credit Union was a lifesaver in the fall of 2008 when they granted us a loan just as the market was declining. Julie Duriga, CPA, and Michael Hudkins, CPA, have been exceptionally supportive and have provided amazing service so I can focus on running my business instead of doing my taxes. Bill and Beth Johnson at The UPS Store in East Asheville have also been vital, providing fax and copy services as well as shipping assistance when we need it.

The top 3 products we offer and/or sell are organic toddler pillows, organic cotton baby and children's clothing, and wooden toys."

KidBean.com is the 2010 winner of the SafBaby Ethical & Environmentally-Conscious Retailer Green Award, a CarbonFund certified CarbonFree Partner, and has been a member of Green America since 2004. You can connect with KidBean.com on Facebook (KidBean), Twitter (KidBean), and LinkedIn (Melissa Zenz).

Earth-friendly, labor-friendly, vegan products for your family.
Website: http://www.kidbean.com/
Email: info@kidbean.com
Phone: 828-299-3608

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Asheville Twestival 2010 - We Helped Save The World

The Asheville Twestival hosted by Club 828 started with a family time from 5pm - 7pm. Here are some of the beginning clips and then meet some of the people involved including Wendy http://Twitter.com/ItsWendyLou and Jose http://Twitter.com/h0zae. Taylor Martin's Engine gets rolling with some music and the party kicks in. The whole evening was focused on raising money for Concern Worldwide http://www.concern.net/ and allowing people an education, thus increasing the chances of them rising out of poverty. Thank you to everyone that attended, contributed and supported this great local effort with a global focus.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

A great way to make a big statement with little effort

or a huge statement with a little community coordination.
Is the City of Asheville on board with Earth Hour 2010? I would hope so but we'll see whether or not a city wide participation is encouraged by our local government.
Earth hours is a worldwide community participation event that helps raise awareness to environmental issues, particularly climate change. Participation it is voluntary. Will you participate? I hope so. On March 27th at 8:30 pm, turn off all your lights and send a message of support for  global warming initiatives to our governments.  Last year 4100 cities worldwide participated, including more than 80 million Americans in over 300 US city's turned out their lights.
Make it a memorable event and do something special with family or friends; by candle light of course. Let's do this Asheville. How cool would it be to have a video camera on Town Mountain recording the event in Asheville. Lights out Asheville; Anybody game?

I would apreciate hearing from any folks that plan on participating.
Thanks for stopping by.


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Sunday, March 21, 2010


This is important stuff folks. For the first time since the creation of the EPA's Toxic Substance Control Act, these once secret records are now available for public viewing. Here is the EPA press release:

March 15, 2010

EPA Makes Chemical Information More Accessible to Public

For the first time, TSCA chemical inventory free of charge online

WASHINGTON - As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's strong
commitment to increase information on chemicals, for the first time, EPA is providing web access, free of charge, to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory. This inventory contains a consolidated list of thousands of industrial chemicals maintained by the agency.  EPA is also making this information available on Data.Gov, a website developed by the Obama Administration to provide public access to important government information.  This action represents another step to increase the transparency of chemical information while continuing to push for legislative reform of the 30 year old TSCA law.

"Increasing the public's access to information on chemicals is one of
Administrator Jackson's top priorities," said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "The American people are entitled to easily accessible information on chemicals, and today's action is part of a series of ongoing steps that EPA is taking to empower the public with this important information."

Until now, the consolidated public portion of the TSCA Inventory has
 only been available by purchase from the National Technical Reports Library or other databases.  By adding the consolidated TSCA Inventory to the Agency's website and to Data.Gov, EPA is making this information readily available to the public at no cost.

Currently, there are more than 84,000 chemicals manufactured, used, or
imported in the U.S. listed on the TSCA Inventory. However, EPA is unable to publicly identify nearly 17,000 of these chemicals because the chemicals have been claimed as confidential business information under
TSCA by the manufacturers.  Under Administrator Jackson's leadership, EPA has already begun a series of aggressive steps to provide greater transparency on chemical risk information, including an announcement in January that signaled EPA's intent to reduce a certain type of confidentiality claim, or Confidential Business Information (CBI) claim, on the identity of chemicals

In the coming months, EPA will take further steps to increase
 transparency and make more information available to the public, including adding TSCA facility information, and the list of chemicals manufactured to the Facility Registry System (FRS). FRS is an integrated database that provides the public with easier access to EPA's environmental information and better tools for cross-media environmental analysis. The addition of TSCA facility and chemical databases to FRS
will provide the public with information on the facilities in their communities using industrial chemicals.

For information about EPA's increasing transparency on chemical risk
information see

[or http://tinyurl.com/yhegw6l ]

For access to the entire TSCA Inventory, please visit




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Asheville this is an Important Week..

Lots of great things going on in the Asheville community this week. First, we have the free social media school coming up on Tuesday evening from 5:00pm - 7:00pm at the Garage at Biltmore, with some music and a social time after. G Social Media, Trey Pennington, and Social Village will be teaching on Twitter and Facebook networking and marketing. You can find more info on http://bit.ly/gsm2010
Next, we have the Asheville Twestival event on March 25th, Thursday evening from 5:00pm - 11:00pm with the family time being from 5 - 6:45pm. There is going to be lots of music, Asheville Vaudeville is going to be on the scene, DJ Plume is going to spinning some tunes, lots of food for the 1st few hours, rafffles, and so much more. You do not want to miss this great event where we raise money for education and to help people around the world rise out of poverty. http://asheville.twestival.com/
Then comes Friday, March 26th, which is the deadline for you to vote for Google to come to Asheville NC. We need you to take a stand with us and bring this great technology advancement to AVL! For more info see http://googleavl.com/

Consumer skeptisism; The biggest hurdle for new toilet standards.


The AERC of Asheville has begun independent performance evaluations on popular new toilet models. We want to help promote these devices because of the positive impacts they will have on helping to preserve our fresh water resources around the world; but we also want to be certain consumers have a positive experience with the products they buy. The industry has a chance to correct it's mistakes of the past and improve their image in the community; I hope they get it right.

HET's or High Efficiency Toilets are becoming the norm in the industry. For a toilet to qualify for the HET labeling it must meet a maximum performance (MaP) test developed by the EPA requiring toilets to use 1.28 gallons of water or less per flush.

After implementation of Federal mandates the early 1990's and the introduction of low consumption 1.6gpf toilet's, consumers remain skeptical of these performance standards. As a Plumbing Contractor I remember very well the debacle with the first rounds of low consumption toilets in the 90's and consumers tend to have long memories when it comes to things they don't like. Almost 15 years after I still hear it every time I try to convince a customer that it's time to switch to a more water efficient toilet; "no thanks, I don't want to plunge my toilet every time I take a dump". It is one of the most difficult sells for a plumber to make. Consumer dissatisfaction with the performance of one of the most intimate fixtures in our homes, still plagues the industry.

“The AERC is not an official EPA MaP testing facility, we are doing this entirely on behalf of the consumers in our community; with no bias to the outcome of test results except to provide people with honest results they can trust and experience for themselves. We've opened the AERC to help inform and advise our community. There are a lot of good folks out there that want to do everything they can to help protect our environment and preserve the quality of fresh water resources in the region, but they also can't afford to spend money on things that don't function well or won't hold up in under real world everyday use. 

With that in mind we do these tests a little differently at the AERC. The standard MaP test has placed strict standards on the procedure used for evaluation. The test medium is a soy paste enclosed in a latex sleeve. Each piece is required to meet specific length, diameter and weight standards; 4" long, 3/4" diameter, 50 grams. Toilets are evaluated on how many pieces they successfully flush on a consistent basis. This works fine for general evaluation, but in my opinion doesn't really represent how things work behind the closed doors of our real world bathrooms. No two poops are the same; we test toilets with this in mind. See for yourself what I mean in the video below.

The AERC of Asheville is located at 46 New Leicester Hwy. The center is open to the public and encourages people to come down a see for themselves how things work and what options they have for improving water efficiency & energy conservation in their homes and places of businesses.
Come on down, lets get our hand wet and have some fun learning about water conservation & water quality. 

Contact the Aqua Environmental Resource Center at (828) 236-5980




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Friday, March 19, 2010

ECCS Alum Found Safe

Emily Gottfried has been found safe... thanks to all who helped look for her.

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Former Evergreen CCS Student Missing

This is all the information I have at this point... Social networking helped bring my own daughter home, and I hope it can do the same for Emily and her family. Please take a good look at her photo and keep and eye out for her. If you see her, please call one of the numbers above. Thank you.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Council on Aging of Buncombe Needs our Help

Hello Asheville!
Here is a call to action for a great opportunity to help our local senior citizens in need and help yourself to some incredible deals. If you haven't heard yet, there is a fund-raising event happening through Saturday at the Aqua Environmental Resource Center; affectionately known as The AERC (arc) of Asheville.

This is a two part fundraiser. For starters a silent auction of high quality fixtures, 24 items totaling over $8500 in value received from the unfortunate closing of a showroom in Raleigh. The silent auction provides bidders the chance to get an unbeatable deal. Secondly a Donate To Participate ticketed drawing for over $2500 worth of products, gift certificates, and more. A $5 donation will get you one ticket while $20 gets 5 tickets. Item for the drawing include H2oEasy water filtration system, a $200 gift certificate, 2ea $100 gift certificates, free tickets to this weekends Home Show at the Civic Center, CD & 2 tickets to the Skinny Legs And All CD release party in April t the Grey Eagle, Dual-Flush Pro toilet conversion kits and much more. This is a wonderful opportunity to support the COABC Home Repairs Program. As an incentive to stop in The AERC is providing FREE home water efficiency kits while supplies last.
Check out some of the auction items below and get your tails down to the center!!!

Located at 46 New Leicester Hwy in Asheville. Just of Patten Ave turn left at the Moose Lodge sign (Moose Heart Lane) and you are there. At the very least you will have fun playing in the hands on demonstration showroom and leave with some valuable incites about water conservation & water quality. They even have a toilet MaP (maximum performance) test station so you can see for yourself how well a toilet will perform.

 Contact phone number at the AERC is 828-236-5980. 



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Asheville Twestival Event on March 25th at Club 828

Asheville has already been a part of the Twestival Global network before and helped raise money for local and worldwide benefits. Projects ranged from getting water to 3rd world countries to helping local farmers in the Western North Carolina community. This time the focus is on education. 100% of the money raised from Twestival’s around the world will go to Concern Worldwide. Education is a key to coming out of poverty and reaching for more in one’s life. This year, Asheville is going to have a part in making this happen around the world!

What is Twestival? Simply... it is a Twitter Festival, a festival organized and initiated on Twitter. It is a global meet-up of Twitter users and others who donate and raise funds for a certain benefit.
Who is Concern Worldwide? Well according to their Twitter profile they proclaim… “We help the poorest people in the world’s poorest countries. And we tweet.” Concern began working in Biafra in Africa. 40 years later, they are now working in 28 of the world’s poorest countries. Concern is also actively involved in raising funds to send “Survival Packs” to Haiti.

Twestival Asheville is just one of the many Cities involved in this great effort. New York City is actually having Twestival NYC on Times Square. And then there is Twestival Seoul, Twestival Singapore, Twestival London, Twestival India, Twestival Kota Kinabalu, Twestival Moscow and so many more. Asheville is a part of this big picture.

Make sure you get your tickets for March 25th from 5pm – 11pm (family time from 5pm – 6:45pm) at Club 828 in Asheville North Carolina. You can purchase tickets HERE!

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Man Cave Grilling comes to Asheville Social Media School

More great news comes to the free social media school on March 23rd at the Garage at Biltmore in Asheville North Carolina as Man Cave Grilling teams up with this great crowd to add some awesome grilled food to the mix. They are going to be cooking complimentary samples and also selling bratwurst sandwiches, health veggie, and premium meats. Man Cave in AVL has recently commissioned G Social Media to assist them with their social media efforts in the Western North Carolina area, so lots of events are planned for the rest of the year. Randy and his team love working with the community and will also be networking with local Asheville breweries to have Grilling and Beer parties.

More information about Man Cave Grilling can be found at http://www.mymancave.info/ or call Randy at 828-333-0253

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Asheville Earth Fare Fights Childhood Obesity

Earth Fare Launches Itty Bitty Bites at Family Dinner Night - Eliminating Childhood Obesity One Bite at a Time

Asheville, NC - Select Earth Fare locations will be launching their Itty Bitty Bites Kid’s Healthy Meals on Family Dinner Night, Thursday, March 18. From 4-8 pm, these meals will be FREE with a $5 adult meal purchase. Family Dinner Night will continue every Thursday evening from this date. Both Asheville locations will be participating.

Earth Fare is committed to eliminating childhood obesity in the areas it serves through its Itty Bitty Bites program. Our program will educate, provide access to healthy food, be affordable and promote teamwork in the Asheville, NC community. We will be getting healthy food to the kids that need it the most.

Regularly priced at $3.99, Itty Bitty Bites Healthy Meals will provide variety, balance, value, taste and most of all fun. Parents can be confident that each meal is healthy, wholesome and delicious. A preview of the Itty Bitty Bites heroes and villains can be seen at:


Family Dinner Night at Earth Fare will provide fun for the whole family. In addition to the FREE Kid’s Healthy Meals, stop by for face painting, games, balloon artistry, music and more!

About Earth Fare:

Earth Fare, founded in 1975, is an Asheville, North Carolina-based natural foods grocer. Since inception, it has grown into one of the largest natural foods retailer in the country. Earth Fare’s strict ingredient philosophy has earned them a loyal following. Today, Earth Fare continues to lead the healthy grocery movement, providing the best-tasting local, natural and organic foods available.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Brewer.
Contact: Jennifer Brewer - Jennifer.Brewer@earthfare.com Earth Fare, Inc.
(West Gate) 828-253-7656/ (Hendersonville Rd) 828-210-0100

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Google... Asheville Really Wants You

Asheville North Carolina hopes to be the recipient of Google’s high speed broadband network. Year ago the Chamber of Commerce had an IT Council where they talked about attracting technology based companies to the AVL area. The mountains produce some limitations as far as attracting big corporations that need 100’s of acres to develop. In this terrain, keeping your footprint small and building up instead of out is more of a necessity than an option. Then there are those who would like to construct skyscrapers in the Asheville area and attempt to kind of blend them with the mountains.

If Google comes to Asheville NC, the local economy would be greatly stimulated. Besides the jobs that Google could bring to the community; many technology companies from a few hundred mile radius and beyond will relocate to AVL to get in on the action. Not tech only, but everyone in the Asheville community would benefit from the trickle effect. From restaurants, local AVL merchants and just about any trade you can think of. Folks will be moving, building, eating, shopping, working, living and having a big effect on the whole Asheville and WNC community. Educational resources would be more available and the quality of learning will be increased greatly.

Google in Asheville… Maybe a sort of Silicon Valley of the Southeast mixed with the great cultural diversity, music and arts, culinary cuisine, and an unmatched community of people working together. Having high speed will allow companies to transfer files and connect on a much faster level. Talk about “Green” and working more efficiently… this is it!

Google has already changed the whole face of the Internet and continues to amaze the world with the many complimentary platforms they provide individuals and businesses. Google provides such a great daily part of our lives with websites like Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Feedburner, Picasa, Wave… and of course their infamous Search Engine. Asheville + Google = AskAsheville, and AskAVL actually uses a Google Custom Search feature on their site to provide more targeted local Asheville and WNC results. G Social Media builds social media packages for many AVL and WNC businesses and uses Google platforms as the main stage for everything they do.

Google – Asheville would be proud to be a part of your high speed broadband project, and collectively, we will not let you down. We Want You!

Support Google coming to Asheville by clicking HERE!

Also see GoogleAVL for more information. Thank you.

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Aqua Environmental Resource Center launches EPA Fix Leak Week event

In case you haven't heard, the AERC of Asheville has begun a scheduled week long community awareness campaign.
Fix a Leak Week is an annual EPA program that focuses on helping homeowners understand the importance of monitoring for & repairing leaks in their home.

The average home in the US wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water a year due to minor leaks. Dripping faucets, leaky garden hoses, water heater relief valves are all commonly overlooked sources of unnecessary water loss. Probably the biggest culprit in any home is the toilet. A toilet can leak as much as
7000 gallons in a month without you even knowing it. These silent leaks go on for months until you receive an unexpected increase in your water bill; and the water department won't help. If the leak is inside the home, where it could have been detected, they won't adjust the bill. If your toilet has an audible leak you could be loosing 25,000 gallons a month or more.

One of these leak sources is occurring, right now in 1 out of every 10 homes in the US.
There are many ways to improve water efficiency in your home. First we need to start with the obvious things, then we can move to more exotic and creative ways of conservation. 

The AERC will offer some simple hands on minor home repair training classes during Fix a Leak Week. Be sure to stop by the center or contact us for details.

There are a lot of fun and exciting things happening at the AERC this week so stayed tuned for more updates.

office 828-236-5980



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Asheville and NC Human Trafficking

TEARS OF COLOR in Asheville
Human Trafficking is a global phenomenon. It is the fastest growing crime in the world! There are currently over 27 million people enslaved today and 80% of them are female. The victims are young as 4 years old and on average 14.
Human Trafficking is when a person is being exploited for their services including domestic and sex slavery. Most often girls are trafficked across borders, lured into the sex trade by a false job opportunity and upon their arrival, passports and documents are taken from them. These women are held against their will and forced to service up to 40 men a day.
North Carolina is a prime location for human trafficking!
This is why Tears of Color has been launched. This is an initiative by locals in the community of Asheville who want to do something about this horrific injustice using their creativity and art.
The evening benefit is designed to stimulate, educate and inspire using high quality multimedia, music, dance and art.
This is also an opportunity for you, the individual, to raise your hand to make a difference. You can submit your artwork, purchase tickets and artworks at the gallery or simply donate.
Everyone has a part to play.
The proceeds will be going to our local shelter for survivors of human trafficking; the Hope House and our global initiative; The A21Campaign. Join us for an evening you will never forget!
Orange Peel / May 7, 2010 / $15 / DOORS open @ 6

Celebrate the YWCA at UNCA Thursday

Celebrating Advocacy: Asheville YWCA
Working to Empower Women and Eliminate Racism

A chance to hear a brief history of the deep roots and current stories of the Asheville YWCA, its mission, its accomplishments and it vision, all highlighting its true “staying power” in our area.

A chance to say THANK YOU and

UNC-Asheville, Laurel Forum, Wednesday, March 17, 6:45 pm

Sarah Judson, UNC Asheville Associate Professor in History, will contextualize the theme of celebration of work well done, through a brief history of the YWCA in Asheville. Holly Jones, YWCA Executive Director, and Catherine Peck, YWCA Program Director, will introduce the panel of four or five dynamic and effective YWCA program directors telling their stories of why they are committed to the YWCA’s goals and how people in their programs over the years exemplify real progress.

The focus is on the YWCA programs advocating for children and youth, health and economic empowerment, including the following:

• New Choices: Strategies for Success (Displaced Homemaker Program)
• Preventive Health (Diabetes Wellness and Health Outreach Programs)
• Future Vision for students ages 12-18 (Dropout Prevention and Mentoring Programs)
• School Age for students K-12 (After School and Summer Camp Programs)
• MotherLove/Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

Some examples of ways in which the YWCA and UNC Asheville are already partnering will be given. Students (and others) will learn of upcoming opportunities to make significant contributions in selected events or initiatives. The evening will end with a question and answer period.

The public is cordially invited to join UNC Asheville in this celebratory and informative gathering, exploring the following questions and more:

• What is and has been the significance of the Asheville YWCA in our wider community?
• How successful has it been in fulfilling its twin goals of combating racism and empowering women?
• How long has it been active in the Asheville area?
• What are some of its current or near-future initiatives?

Sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Africana Studies Program, Center for Diversity Education, Ramsey Library Special Collections, NEH Professor in the Humanities, History Department, Career Center, and the Key Center for Service Learning.

Photo from the YWCA Archives, 1964

New Cosmic Band Lights Up Asheville

Asheville's own New Cosmic Band touches down on Saturday, March 20 for the first of several shows coming up this spring. Kick off the equinox with the psychedelic love-fest made up of members of Silver Machine, Freak Before Brotherhood, and other local greats.

The brainchild of Asheville guitar virtuoso Dave Lee, the New Cosmic Band is like nothing you've ever heard before. Combining elements of each other band represented, things come together like glitter in water under a blacklight: bright and dark, spinning madly, shooting rays of light out to catch your eyes and ears and hold you in a trance until it's over.

The New Cosmic Band's first show of the spring is March 20 at 10 pm at Fred's Speakeasy on College Street. They're following that up with a show on April 16 at MoDaddy's, and another one is set for May 22 at the New French Bar. To hear the band or learn more, visit their Myspace page.

april is a freelance writer from asheville. read more of her work here or follow her on facebook.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Asheville Architect Needs Your Vote!

A big thanks to all of you that have voted for me. Because of you, we are in a strong 9th place and in position to gain a few in the last few days. If you voted and did not receive a return message from Free Green who's next contest, your vote may not have registered. You will have to go back and re-vote, (see link below) and confirm your vote in your in-box or spam box for the vote to count. If you are uncertain whether you confirmed your vote, just re-vote and it will tell you if you voted.
Asheville and everyone... If you are considering sharing this with friends, family and co-workers... NOW would be the time. Voting for round one ends Thursday, March 18th. Again thanks for your time, support and patience. -Daryl
Daryl S. Rantis, Architects, P.A. 828.257.2998
Also, please see my latest video talking about E. Fay Jones, Helmut Jahn and Frank Lloyd Wright on http://youtube.com/AshevilleArchitect

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hop Head Dream tonight in Asheville NC

Introducing 4 new India Pale Ale's - being released tonight from Green Man Brewing to the Asheville community starting at 4pm. These will be available until the kegs run out, which may not be too long with this Asheville neighborhood beer crowd.
These are the same beer, but each one brewed with a different variety of hop. These crafts brews are Dry-Hopped in Asheville, meaning hops are added after the fermentation process which produces a strong hop aroma.
Cascade Hops - The Original - Old School
Amarillo - Super Cascade - Secret Weapon
Columbus - Very Bitter - Zeus and Tomahawk
Simcoe - Most Intense Hop
Come by Green Man Brewing to sample all 4 for $4.50. Located on 23 Buxton Ave in downtown Asheville NC. 828-252-5502

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Asheville Social Media - Class #2 on March 23, 2010

Social media has been on the minds of many people and businesses in the Asheville area. Some have jumped to the occasion, while others are in a sort of limbo. With media communications changing so rapidly; it is not hard at all to get "stuck in the transition." The danger of this is that you are left without a voice and many times without a presence if you are not communicating in this new media language. The longer folks wait to accept the transition, the harder it becomes from businesses to catch up. G Social Media along with Trey Pennington and Social Village will be conducting a free social media school (class #2) in Asheville at the Garage at Biltmore on March 23, 2010. The focus of the class will be Facebook and Twitter and will cover everything from setting up an account to business networking on these platforms. This class is completely free and you will not be charged for anything.

Trey Pennington: "75,000 followers on Twitter and is at the Facebook friend limit, will outline a comprehensive model showing you how to use social media tools to meet friends, potential friends, and prospective clients and customers online. More importantly, he'll share a brief overview of the foundational principles necessary for making meaningful contacts through social media."

Justin Brackett: "Making his mark on a world that desires life change. His experiences with the business world, the non-profit sector, and witnessing life change interpersonally gives him a unique position in the Social Media landscape. If you would like to know more, ask him. He really likes to tell about the epic he finds himself experiencing."

For More Information about these events and other Social Media Info, please click on the "Asheville Social Media" link below:
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kick Back and Kook in Asheville NC

Angela McKeller, kookbook author of Passion on a Plate: Affordable & EASY Gourmet, hosts Culinary Event June 4 & 5, 2010

Asheville, NC - Angela McKeller has been a guest on the Food Network, asked to appear on several reality cooking shows, just published her first kookbook and now celebrates by hosting a culinary event in Asheville, NC, June 4 & 5, 2010.

McKeller teams up with local micro-breweries and offers an exploration of tastes featuring seasonal, local ingredients, and an Iron Chef Competition with prizes.

On Friday, join Chef McKeller for a Beer and Truffles tasting with Pisgah Brewing (didn’t think beer and chocolate went together? Think again!) and Souffl├ęs Made Simple Friday evening. Sample Simple Summer Desserts and a Brew Tasting on Saturday afternoon and join the Iron Chef Competition Saturday night.

Weekend-long activities also include live performances by local musical talents, Davin McCoy, a book signing, and a silent auction benefitting The Hope & Light Foundation, a foundation working hard to find the cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the leading genetic cause of death in children under age of 2.

The “Kick Back and Kook," Feasting with Brew” weekend takes place at The 1847 Blake House Inn. For weekend packages that include accommodations, please contact the Innkeeper, Leslie Kimball at 888.353.5227. Each kooking class is capped at 25 students, and classes are filling up fast. For a complete list of classes and pricing please visit, KickBackKook.com. To reserve your space in a cooking class, please email Angela McKeller directly at angela@kickbackkook.com.

For more information on Angela McKeller’s culinary event in Asheville, NC, please visit Angela’s Kick Back and Kook! Blog. To schedule an interview or request additional materials please contact Bethany Bengtson

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Infrastructure Repair; A Great Way to Spend Stimulas Funding and Create Jobs In Asheville

I was approached by a colleague this past Friday afternoon. He had been on a hike a few days prior in the area of Swannanoa where the chronic leak I have reported on is located. He informed me of his discovery of an additional and much larger leak just a short distance further through the woods. I went to this location and indeed he had found a leak of much greater concern; or so it appears. I have contacted Asheville Water Maintenance and informed them of the discovery. They were going to investigate today and do a follow up thereafter to keep me posted on the matter.

Typically in a situation of this nature I would do some simple testing of the water to verify whether or not it is municipal water or a fresh water spring. It would not be unusual for a spring to have found it's way along the underside e of a pipe this size. The previous several years of drought conditions and recent influx of water from the heavy snows we have experienced this winter could have contributed to this scenario. I did not test the water for chlorine (the tell tale signature chemical in our city water supply) and instead contacted the maintenance department to investigate. I expect to hear from them within a day and we will know their findings.

Regardless of what they report, when we know leaks of this nature are very common on infrastructure as old as the systems in these mountains and many others places across the country; why don't we see extensive infrastructure repair with stimulus funds? We certainly hear this idea expressed in the media. It has been a topic in President Obama's public position. What is being done with all this money? There are lots of local folks in need of  work, and this kind spending would create jobs in many areas of the market. Manufacturing, distribution, transportation, sales, management, food, labor and more would all benefit from the spending of money on infrastructure repair and upgrading. This would be good for the country, good for the people and makes complete sense for supporting a growing population.

What I know is that we lose much more water from leaking infrastructure than we do from inefficient everyday use, so if we're going to preach water conservation we need to look at the big stuff along with the little stuff; otherwise we're never going to get it right.

What do you think?



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Autism Community Center Offers Much-Needed Services in Asheville

In January, a new community center opened in Asheville, offering much-needed services to children and adults with autism and their families.

The Autism Community Center was founded on the premise that people with autism should have a quality of life worth celebrating. There is no typical person with autism; their strengths and weaknesses, skills and struggles vary greatly, just as in the "neurotypical" community. The Autism Community Center is here to help people on the autism spectrum celebrate their unique gifts and explore their own interests while they build valuable social skills and increased self-confidence.

When someone has autism, it can sometimes feel like everything in his life revolves around therapies, schedules, and sensory diets. And while those things are all important, the Community Center gives people a break from that and lets them simply hang out, have fun, maybe try something new.

The Autism Community Center offers activity groups for youth, teens and adults-topics range from cooking to hiking to video games, and each group is led by someone with a true passion for the topic. Participants can interact and participate as little or as much as they're comfortable with-whether you simply sit and listen the whole time or jump right in and help run the show, you're welcomed in the group. Groups cost $65 a month, and some need-based scholarships are available.

Autism doesn't just affect the individual; it affects the entire family. The Community Center allows parents to have a break with their parents' night out program, staffed by trained professionals and volunteers. It's open to all kids, not just the ones with autism. Kids can choose between a variety of structured activities or just do their own thing; they're welcome to bring their favorite things from home to enjoy. The cost for two and a half hours of child care is $15 for the first child, and just $5 for each additional.

The Community Center's parent seminars focus on ways to enrich the incredible experience of raising a child with autism. They cover topics like finding and making the most of available resources, and building a successful home program that can evolve to meet the needs of your child and family. The leader of the seminars uses real-life examples and experience to make sure the information is relevant and keeps you interested.

For more information about the Autism Community Center, visit their website or call (828) 919-9313. You can also email shelley@autismcommunitycenter.com or sylvia@autismcommunitycenter.com. Since it's a non-profit organization, donations are always needed. If you'd like to help, they could use all sorts of costumes, art supplies, and sports equipment; office supplies, especially a fax machine; and food-call or email the center to see what the cooking group has planned, and what ingredients they need.

Two of my boys just joined groups at the Community Center. Jeremy thought it was a little cold to go hiking last week, so he'll have his first outing tomorrow, but Sebastian went to the cooking group and absolutely loved it. He was welcomed right in by Sylvia, and an hour later emerged with a huge grin and a bag full of delicious sugar cookies he made. He's excited to be part of the Community Center, and so am I. Nobody can predict the future, but with the Autism Community Center up and running, I think it's looking better than ever for these amazing kids of ours.

april is a freelance writer and mother of three boys on the autism spectrum, and three neurotypicals who are anything but typical. read more of her work here or follow her on facebook.

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Grover says: Thank YOU Asheville! I have my forever Home

I am so very happy and I have you to thank: the wonderful people of Asheville. You helped me find my forever home. A week ago I was united with my forever family!

I have a big fenced yard, a couple of dogs to play with and some wonderful kids I already love so much. My mom and dad are normally home so I never have to miss them. What can I say? I am in heaven.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

PRAWNC debuts luncheon site on foursquare

This week, Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina announced expanded member benefits and a new luncheon site at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Both decisions cement the organization's unspoken, yet implicit showcasing of its members-as-opinion-leaders.

At the group's March luncheon, the first in the Chamber location, communications industry leader Justin Wight, senior partner with TerraNova Strategies, LLC, will share his next generation insights on "Fully integrating the internet into broad communications strategies." Wight is expected to extend and expand upon traditional communication vehicles, creating new understandings attendees can use to maximize returns in the new digital frontier.

The luncheon is Thursday, March 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Members $15; Non-members $25. RSVP at finance@prawnc.org.

In a move representative of the unexpected sort of thing we're seeing from this organization, PRAWNC launched its new profile on foursquare, a late-breaking social media phenomenon.

According to foursquare, the service "is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways."

Insiders speculate foursquare, with its unique "To-Do" postings, has interesting implications for public relations practice, especially for use in vertical project planning and audience engagement across regions, audiences, or venues. The origination of the foursquare profile augments the organization's now taken for granted use of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

What's left to tweet, fan, friend, post, and now, To-Do?

March is also PRAWNC's membership renewal month: $50 professionals, and $25 students. In addition to seriously hooked-up networking, we hear the group's expanded benefits include access to perks from the organization's new membership in the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, and special programming for students and job seekers. For more information, go to www.prawnc.org.

Sherri L. McLendon is a freelance writer near Asheville, N.C. Check out her media blog at www.sherrimclendon.com, or email her directly at sherri@sherrimclendon.com.

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Asheville Leather Workshop

Asheville, NC.. THE Annual Extreme Leather Workshop of the Southeast is happening Friday, Saturday, Sunday, March 19, 20, 21 at the Doubletree in Biltmore Village.

FREE CLASSES FOR YOUTHS. Supplies and Materials FREE
Tandy Leather Factory of Charlotte, NC will sponsor and teach free leather classes during the 3 day workshop. These slots are first come first serve, so reserve early. Each slot is open to only 20 students. All open class students under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Go to http://www.hidestoart.com/ and click on Free Classes to see schedule and register.

Adult Classes Available:
Locally owned, Hides to Art, is hosting The Extreme Leather Workshop in Asheville, N.C. There will be master instructors from all over the Southeast coming to the workshop providing in depth leatherwork instruction for 3 days.

Award Winning Instructors include: Bob Beard, Chan Geer and Al Gould

Workshops include:
Beginning to advanced leather carving techniques such as swivel knife control, basket / geometric stamping, Sheridan Style carving, embossing, leather coloring, buck stitching and other assembly techniques.

At Least 3 Project Based Classes:
Sheridan style photo album, leather jewelry as only Bob Beard can do it and a western style breast collar for the horse lovers out there.

Price: All classes are $195. That is only $65.00 per day for hands on,
personalized, custom tooled leather instruction.

Skills learned during this leather workshop can be used on virtually any leather project from custom leather wallets / checkbooks, notebooks, embossed floral & scenery, to custom hand tooled saddles and holsters.

Hides to Art hopes you will join us in the mountains of Western North
Carolina for an informative and fun weekend.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Asheville Professional Women In Building Council offer Scholarship

The Professional Women in Building Council of the Asheville Home Builders Association is announcing our intent to award students with a source of financial aid up to $500.00 for senior high school students of Buncombe County entering college or a technical school. Scholarships will be awarded to students attending school in North Carolina and studying in a construction related field (many fields of study relate to the home building industry) - please check the AHBA Directory for examples of construction related job categories.

Deadline for entries is May 1, 2010  Awards to be made in June 2010
2010 Scholarship Application and requirements can be found at the Asheville Home Builders Association - under the Professional Women In Building Council ( PWB)  or call the AHBA office at (828)299-7001

The Professional Women In Building Council of the Asheville Home Builders Association is the premier professional organization that provides strategies and solutions for the professional women in the building industry serving Western North Carolina.  We are dedicated to promoting industry professionalism and supporting women at local, state, and national levels by offering networking, educational opportunities, legislative awareness, community involvement and outreach, as well as personal development. Our council members are individuals who are members of one of the Region 10  Home Builders Associations of North Carolina and represent many aspects of the building industry.

 We are also accepting donations to our scholarship fund - please contact the AHBA office or one of our 2010 Board Members:

Chair:   Amanda Ballew    More Space Place Asheville
Vice-Chair:  Maria Aponte   Hi-Tech Integrated Systems
Secretary:  Gina Kidder Core Installations, Inc.
Director: Jenny Brunet  Cool Mountain Construction

Thank you for reading my blog. I am passionate about the home building industry and the people involved. I am also passionate about other things you can read on my blog, or connect with me on Facebook or @AVLCustomCloset on Twitter. 

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Asheville Water Experts - AquaPro Solutions

Hello, I am Chris Hanson; Founder of AquaPro Solutions LLC, Founder H2O Easy Water Quality Products, Volunteer Dir of Education @ AERC.

AquaPro Solutions LLC (APS); Parent company of H2O Easy water Quality Products, Aqua Environmental resource Center (AERC), and Asheville Green Plumbing (AGP) on 46 New Leicester Hwy, Asheville, NC.

The key people involved in this business are:
Kelly Hanson, CEO AquaPro Solutions LLC, Jason Rector, Dir of Sales AquaPro Solutions, Davie Robinson Dir of Operations AquaPro & General Manager Asheville Green Plumbing, Peter Bartolomeo Service Manager Asheville Green Plumbing

-AquaPro Solutions LLC and current division therein are the culmination of 18 years of plumbing and water quality service to the Asheville community. We started business in the WNC area in 1991. My favorite things about Asheville and WNC are cultural diversity, beauty and sanctity of these ancient mountains. Asheville and WNC is home for my family; and I think it always will be. AquaPro’s primary goal is to provide for and help improve our community

Businesses in Asheville or WNC that you regularly network with and why:
1. G Social Media for building business relationships.
2. Asheville Chamber of Commerce for building community relationships.

Twenty years ago a local business man that had been in business in Weaverville for 25 years took a chance on my intensions, sold me his business; That was the launching point for what we are today.

The top 3 products we offer and/or sell at our business are:
-Water conservation & efficiency products & services,
- Water filtration & conditioning products
- Environmentally conscious plumbing services

We also provide Community education and awareness services.

AquaPro Solutions LLC
Divisions of: Aqua Environmental Resource Center
H2O Easy Water Quality Products
Asheville Green Plumbing
APS- Water Conservation, Purification & Management Products & Solutions
AGP- Plumbing Today For A Better Tomorrow
AERC- Preservation Through Education
H2O Easy- You Know The Waters Clean
AskAquaPro blog- Because Water Matters

46 New Leicester Hwy, Asheville, NC 28806

Website: http://www.aquaprosolutions.com/
Website: http://www.ashevillegreenplumbing.com/
Website: http://www.h2oeasy.com/
Website: http://www.aquaenvi.org/
Blog- http://www.askaquapro.com/

Email: info@aquaprosolutions.com
Email: AquaPro@AquaEnvi.org
Email: AquaPro@AskAquaPro.com
Email: info@AshevilleGreenPlumbing.com
Phone #: 828-255-0772

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