May 2012 Newsletter

MOUNTAIN TALK

News From Them Thar Hills!

Volume 3, Issue 5, May 2012

Whither the Weather?

Well, It started off as the winter that wasn’t. Then came the spring and heat in the 80’s. Then came a frost and then heat and then another light frost. As far as we can tell, the crepe myrtles in the area were severely, and in some cases irreparably, damaged by the successive late frosts. Some have begun to recover but the ones that were not previously pruned seemed to have suffered the most. Most of the poplars in the area still have yet to leaf out fully. The new growth on most landscape plants were damaged. Some fared better than others but even the small and large leaved hollies were damaged.

Of course, the warm winter got some folks all twitchy with anticipatory excitement. They just couldn’t wait to get out there, armed with a plethora of annuals and early veggies, and get the planting season started. Up around these here parts, most of us know it is generally safe to plant after April 15th. May 1st is an even safer bet, but that’s just for the chicken-hearted. So they come home from the Depot or some big box store with their plants and fertilizer and what-not, ready to tame the wilds of their garden beds and break out the Ben-Gay afterwards. Then in sneaks a quick little frost. The next morning they are running all over their yard bemoaning their bad luck. Then it’s off to the plant store to buy another round. Ever wondered why the big stores get all of their plants in way too early for them to be planted out? Cha-ching!!!    Does that make me cynical?

Insurance Assurance

I know many view insurance as one of those necessary evils that one  must endure. Some view it as just plain evil. Regardless, there are times when insurance is certainly essential, especially in business. Many clients want to know that we carry liability insurance, which we do. Others, especially businesses, want to know that we have a workers comp. program in place, which we do. The costs associated with insurance are one of the “costs of doing business.” Of course, there are many “associated business costs” that any business must bear. Insurance is just a particularly onerous one!  So you might want to keep that in mind as you seek companies to do work for you. If the bid comes in a good bit lower that another, there is probably a good reason for that. After all, you do get what you pay for, mostly.

Dam Movement

According to a story that ran in The News Observer on May 3rd, Lake Blue Ridge is not expected to reach full pool this year. It is currently at 1,672 feet. Normal summer pool is 1,687 feet. According to the story: “On March 7, TVA put the project on hold because of a long crack that was discovered in the new material on the downstream side of the dam. Since then engineers have been monitoring data from seismographic instruments around the crack. On April 22 another smaller crack was found on the same side of the dam. Both cracks are considered surface cracks, according to TVA.”

A news release by the TVA: “May 1, 2012 — TVA will continuing holding the water level in Blue Ridge Reservoir at approximately 1,672 feet (its current elevation) at least through the end of July 2012. This means the reservoir will remain below normal summer pool for this year. Blue Ridge Dam is safe and stable. There is no change in the dam’s ability to hold water. Because public safety is TVA’s number one priority, we are being overly cautious and holding the reservoir at this level after we saw unexpected ground movement on March 7, 2012. This movement occurred during the completion of the two-year Blue Ridge Dam rehabilitation project. To ensure long-term dam safety, we are conducting significant monitoring, testing and analysis on the earlier ground movement at the dam. Holding the reservoir steady provides TVA consistent conditions for collecting the data necessary to complete a full engineering evaluation. It removes the variable of fluctuating water pressure against the dam from monitoring readings. This will allow us to determine if additional long-term stability work is necessary before completing the dam rehabilitation project.”

I don’t imagine folks located on Lake Blue Ridge are enthralled with the TVA. Dealing with the near draining of the lake and the subsequent low lake levels the last couple of years have worn thin the patience of lake residents. As far as the TVA goes, I suppose erring on the side of caution is best.

…a note from Cindy

Soon Memorial Day will be here as well as many of our friends and clients.It is the kick of off the Summer Season with lots of things to do from Festivals to Memorial Day parades. Think about hiking as it is the perfect of year, or maybe you would like to go for a swim.Check out the beach at Poteet Creek Recreation Area Park near Lake Nottely Dam or spend some time at Vogel park and go for a dip.If you will be here thru the first week of June you will be able to do some of that grocery shopping at the Union Counties Farmers Market as it will be the first week open.Have you checked out the new Union County Chamber of Commerce and Community Center?If not you need to go and take a look, it is beautiful!You can find brochures for all kinds of places in the area, play a round of golf or have lunch with an incredibly beautiful view.It is located at the Butternut Creek Golf Course located in Blairsville.

We want to wish you a safe and happy Holiday hope you can make it up here to the hills for a little down time, rest and relaxation!!!!!!

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