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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

News Briefs - June 09

May 31, 2009 02:35PM
Take a Deep Breath… Smoking Ban Approved for NC

Restaurant and bar workers as well as patrons in North Carolina will soon be able to breathe easier at work and at play. Legislators recently approved a ban that would protect a large portion of the population from secondhand smoke. The bill will officially go into effect Jan 2, 2010, but many businesses may begin making the transition sooner.

“We applaud the leadership and commitment to protecting health our senate and house members demonstrated by approving this bill that prohibits smoking in restaurants and bars statewide,” said Pam Seamans, Policy Director for the The NC Alliance of Health, an independent, statewide coalition of public, private, professional and nonprofit organizations advocating for tobacco use prevention policies.

A 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General stated that no amount of exposure to secondhand smoke could be considered safe, and that servers who worked in restaurants and bars where patrons smoked were forced to sacrifice their health for a paycheck. The new legislation in NC is part of the growing national trend of limiting the places where smoking is allowed.

The original intent of the bill was to achieve smoke-free workplaces for all employees, but Patricia Bossert, Vice Chair of Smoke Free Mecklenburg, says there is a component in the bill for local control which means the county could make this law stronger if they chose to.

"While the bill omitted certain workers, localities may still enact stronger smoke-free policies so that all workers in the local communities can breathe smoke-free indoor air,” she states.  “Smoke Free Mecklenburg’s hope is that even stronger legislation to protect all workplaces and public places from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke will happen in the near future here in Mecklenburg County."

Meeting Street Farmer’s Market Now open in Ballantyne area

The mixed-use development at Cedar Walk recently introduced its Meeting Street Market every Tuesday from 4 pm until dark. Visitors can select from fresh produce, herbs, meat, cheese, eggs, flowers breads and much more. Artisan booths showcase crafts, jewelry, purses and baby gear. Vendors include Barbee Farms, Bird Brain Ostrich Ranch, Baucom’s Best 100% Grass Fed Beef and Grateful Growers.

Cedar Walk is located at the corner of Ardrey Kell and Marvin Roads. For a complete list of vendors visit

Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge Adds Personal Trainers Candi Acuff and Jerod Cymbalisty

Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge recently added the unique styles of Candi Acuff of NaturalBody Personal Training and Jerod Cymbalisty of to their Pro-Trainer fitness team.

Acuff, an all-natural bodybuilder and judge, assists clients with core and functional training and teaches  “Slimnastics” and water aerobics in addition to personal training. “I coach men and women to levels beyond their imagination as well as those wanting to just take off a few pounds,” says the 25-year veteran, fitness author and promoter of drug free sports.

Cymbalisty brings an eclectic variety of fitness skills that include competitive bodybuilding, strength conditioning, endurance, stamina, and nutritional structure. Clients say he is encouraging, motivating, energetic and always provides a challenging and educational workout. 

The pair can assist all ages to obtain goals through positive motivation, accountability and a step-by-step plan to success.

For more information on training and classes at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge contact Acuff at 704-577-2084 or or Cymbalisty at 704-323-9143 or

West African Dance Classes Cardio & Culture for Fitness

Feel the beat and dance your way to better health with West African dance classes now offered at Just Dance Studio. Instructor LaShea Stukes says the class offers cardio and culture for the entire family.

“The mission of this West African dance class is to uplift and promote physical fitness in the community through the art of authentic West African dance choreography and live drumming,” says Stukes, who trained under Master Dancer/Drummer Mohamed DaCosta from Guinea for over 7 years.

Classes are from 7:40 to 9:00 pm at Just Dance Studio, 5221 Equipment Drive. Cost is $5 for 18 yrs and younger and $10 for adults (group rates available).

Crisis Assistance Ministry in Need of Beds   Crisis Assistance Ministry is experiencing an acute shortage of donated beds, mattresses and box springs at a time of increased demand. 

Pete Heuberger, manager of the agency’s furniture and appliance program, says many of our neighbors in need find themselves having to sleep on the floor.

“We are getting over 100 calls a week from families looking for beds, but we’re only receiving about 10 donated beds a week,” he says. “Some of the requests are from homeless families that have found a place to live, but have no beds to sleep on.”

Crisis Assistance Ministry provides emergency financial assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections, as well as clothing and household items free of charge to people who are struggling financially.

Donated goods can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9-noon and 1–4pm at 339-C West Tremont Ave. The agency also has a truck to pick-up donations from donors in select instances. For more information call 704-737-1334 or visit

Summer Solstice Celebration Feasting, Drumming, Fire

Take part in a spirited celebration to honor the Summer Solstice on June 20th. Solstice means "still standing Sun." Summer Solstice continues for several days while the Sun rises at the same point on the horizon. On June 24th, Midsummer's Day, the Sun begins to move southward again and the new season of Summer is born.

Local astrologer and celebrationist Steve Nelson says during this time the vital force of Nature is most elevated in plants and trees and within us all. “Country people believe this time is best for weeding gardens when vital energy is most out of the roots. Likewise, this time is best for 'psychic weeding' when there is the least energy in our subconscious roots,” he says.

The Solstice celebration will begin with a community potluck, followed by a drumming circle in a yurt led by Dr. Saleef Kafajouffe. Nelson will lead a Solstice ritual followed by fireleaping, dancing and more drumming around the bonfire.

“As we set ourselves free we see through into the more subtle realm from which creation comes,” says Nelson. “What is envisioned and focused as an ideal can be made real.”

Potluck starts at 6pm and ceremony at 8:30. Cost is $10. Bring a dish to share and the drink of your choice. Location is Sacred Grove Retreat in Gold Hill. Info: Register: 704-463-0768.

Discover Your Place in the Larger Reality Thomas Campbell workshop in Asheville June 20 

NASA physicist Thomas Campbell, author of the My Big TOE (Theory of Everything) trilogy and one of the leading pioneers in the study of consciousness, will premier his latest workshop in Asheville on June 20. In this interactive presentation Campbell will teach about the origins and inner workings of consciousness and how to practically apply this knowledge to everyday life. 

Campbell says, “By demanding high quality, repeatable, empirical, evidential data to separate what is real (that which exists independently and externally) from what is imaginary or illusory, we have scientifically derived this general model of reality. Participants will discover how love, spirituality and quantum mechanics are derived as fundamental aspects of this reality.”

Campbell began researching altered states of consciousness at Monroe Laboratories in the early 1970’s and has since been experimenting with and scientifically exploring the properties, boundaries and abilities of the subjective and objective mind.

During that same time, he has excelled as a working scientist – a professional physicist dedicated to pushing back the frontiers of cutting-edge technology, large-system simulation, technology development and integration, and complex system vulnerability and risk analysis. Presently, and for the past 20 years he has been at the heart of developing US missile defense systems. 

The workshop will run from 930am-6pm at the Renaissance Hotel, 31 Woodfin Street. Info: 704-451-4987 or

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