Friday, October 05, 2012

In California, there's a fight over rural residents paying a $150 fire-fighting tax

Update: Dec. 7, 2012: The California Board of Forestry made permanent the "fire prevention fee" that forces the owners of more than 800,000 rural homes in California to pay a $115 to $150 annual tax. Representatives from several rural counties were on hand to remind the board that they oppose the tax. 

The fires out West are getting hotter, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association thinks rural residents in California are bearing too much of the burden for fighting them. The group announced Thursday that it is suing to end a $150 annual state fire fee imposed on California's rural residents and want to obtain refunds for those who have already paid the fee.  Kevin Yamamura of the The Sacramento Bee reports that the group brought suit in a Sacramento Superior Court alleging that that the $150 annual fee, which the state began collecting in August, "amounts to a tax that was illegally approved without the necessary two-thirds majority of lawmakers." The tax applies to 825,000 rural homeowners.

Gov. Jerry Brown argues that it is legitimate to ask rural residents to pay higher costs for fire prevention in the wake of larger developments on once-rural lands that face greater wildfire risks. "This is putting a huge stress and strain and fear on rural property owners," Jarvis group President Jon Coupal said. Cal Fire spokeswoman Janet Upton said her organization thinks "it's unfortunate that (the Jarvis group) is trying to obstruct funding that we need for fire prevention. We strongly feel that prevention activities funded by the fee save lives and property." (Read more

Drought has produced mixed pumpkin harvest; fewer, but some that made it are big and pretty

This year’s devastating drought has reduced the number of pumpkins in many Ohio patches, but some say the summer’s abundant heat and sunshine has also produced some particularly big and rather good looking specimens. Mary Vanac of The Columbus Dispatch reports the good news that pumpkins actually like it hot. “Overall, there should be a good-size, quality harvest,” said Lisa Schacht, co-owner of Schacht Family Farm and Market in Canal Winchester and president of the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association. (Columbus Dispatch photo by Jonathan Quilter)

Those who are wondering about how Thanksgiving dinner is going to be affected may have to wait a little longer, however. Roz O'Hearn, spokeswoman for Nestle USA, maker of the famous Libby-brand pumpkin that makes the famous Libby pumpkin pie, said it was too early to tell if the supply or price of canned pumpkin is at risk. “Our harvest is under way now,” O’Hearn told Vanac. “The many thousands of acres of pumpkin we grow are located right in the midst of the drought-stricken area, 50 miles out in any direction from Morton, Ill., where we pack the pumpkins we pick.” Libby’s did not irrigate its pumpkin fields, she said, so yields will be down this year. Ohio's pumpkin crop represented more than 10 percent of the U.S. pumpkin crop last year.

USPS to hold public meetings at each of the 13,000 rural post offices slated for a reduction in hours

The U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting at each of the 13,000 rural post offices where it plans to reduce operating hours. The idea is that for its POStPlan to work, USPS needs to get its customers on board, or at least have them feel that they've had a voice in the matter. The service has already scheduled 1,518 meetings for the two-week period Oct. 8 through Oct. 19. At a rate of 900 meetings a week, it is expected to take six weeks for the process to be completed. An initial list of the meeting times and places is here. (Be sure to open the Cards 1 window for the full alphabetical list.)

According to the Save The Post Office blog, half the meetings are scheduled for 4 p.m. or later and the other half are planned for mid-day. Those individuals interested in having their say about the changes planned in their area will be able to fill out a survey in lieu of on-site participation. (Read more) Those interested in organizing to save rural post offices can look for help here.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Chesapeake Energy's aggressive leasing for oil and gas worries even some of its contractors

Among large natural gas companies that own millions of acres of land leases in several states, Chesapeake Energy Corp. "has become the principal player in the largest land boom in America since the 1850s California Gold Rush," Reuters reports. The company has mastered the "land grab," or "an aggressive leasing strategy intended to lock up prospective drilling sites and lock out competitors." As a result, it now controls the rights to drill for oil and gas on about 15 million acres, or roughly the size of West Virginia.

Chesapeake has made land leasing the core of its business model. A Morningstar Inc. analysis shows that it spent $31.2 billion to get drilling rights over the last 15 years. In comparison, Exxon, which had 2011 revenue 35 times larger than Chesapeake's, spent $27 billion. "We believed that the winner of these land grabs would enjoy competitive advantages for decades to come as other companies would be locked out of the best new unconventional resource plays in the U.S.," the company wrote in its 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

A Reuters analysis of hundreds of internal Chesapeake emails and thousands of pages of documents showed the company is secretive about its leasing tactics, which some of its own contractors find dubious. "What emerged were approaches to leasing property that land brokers, land owners and lawyers say push ethical and legal limits. Chesapeake has unilaterally altered or backed out of leases. And in Texas and at least three other states, it has exploited little-known laws to force owners to hand over drilling rights and sometimes forfeit profits," Reuters reports. That apparently refers to forced-pooling laws, which allow oil and gas companies compensated access to the resources underlying land of owners who don't want to lease but are largely surrounded by those who have. (Read more)

Feds want 1,000 rural hospitals to switch to electronic health records by 2014

The federal government wants 1,000 "critical access" and rural hospitals to adopt electronic health records by 2014, and is funneling about $30 million through its Regional Extension Center to make it happen. The money could help as many as 1,500 rural hospitals, or 90 percent of those covered by the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has already secured $32 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money for REC for IT improvement at critical access hospitals, which are classified as facilities with no more than 25 beds and an average of 10 patients a day, Neil Versel of Information Week reports.

The National Rural Health Association is enthusiastic about the funding, but still sees obstacles to implementation, Versel reports. "To realize this goal, we need all hands on deck. We need everyone rowing in sync, including leadership and staff in every critical access and rural hospital, electronic health records vendors, hospital associations and state offices of rural health in every state, Rural Health IT Network Development grantees, Office of the National Coordinator grantees, and many more public and private, federal and local partners," ONC Office of Provider Adoption Support director Mat Kendall, and ONC rural health IT coordinator at Leila Samy said. (Read more)

USDA beginning farmer grants awarded in 24 states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced earlier this month it would give more than $18 million to beginning farmer programs in 24 states through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The money will go to groups that provide education, training, technical assistance and outreach programs to farmers or ranchers who've been working for less than 10 years.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has been awarded a $561,000 grant for its KyFarmStart training program for those who are considering a farming career. Program director Lee Meyer told UKnow's Carol Spence that Kentucky's farm population is aging, with 30 percent of farmers over 65, higher than the national average of 57. "To keep farming viable in the state, we have to be able to replace these people," he said.

Rural Community Development Resources in Yakima, Wash. is another grant recipient, getting $562,500 to help Latino farmers in the Yakima Valley become interested farming. The grant will help the nonprofit host educational workshops about farm and financial management and expand its Center for Latino Farmers into the Wenatchee area to meet increasing demand, RCDR business counselor and loan specialist Maria Garcia told David Lester of the Yakima Herald-Republic.

A beginning farmer program in North Carolina received $180,000 and will give up to $8,000 each to farmers who create innovative opportunities in production, processing and marketing through the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund. The program is administered by the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA. The program is designed to keep farmers farming and maintain an economic base for North Carolina's traditional tobacco farming communities. (Read more)

Access and cultural issues make alcohol, prescription pills rural drugs of choice

"Alcohol and non-heroin opiates are the drugs of choice in rural populations ... while heroin and cocaine top the list in urban areas, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration," reports Aaron Levin of Psychiatric News. Methamphetamine usage was about the same in rural and urban areas, "despite the common assumption that meth is largely a rural problem," Levin writes. Rural people also use slightly more marijuana.

Higher use of alcohol and non-heroin opiates, or prescription painkillers, in rural areas may reflect access issues, SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment director H. Wesley Clark said. "Illegal drugs may be harder to conceal in the pipeline to rural areas, or legal substances may be less stigmatized." Rural people steal about 67 percent of the prescription pills they abuse from friends or family. The rest come from doctors, University of New Mexico psychiatry professor Snehal Bhatt told Levin.

About 67 percent of rural users started using before 18, compared to 53 percent of urban users. This probably leads to higher rates of rural youth binge drinking and driving drunk, according to a University of Southern Maine study. "Rural youth, their families and peers are less likely to disapprove of youth drinking than urban youth, risk factors that are associated with greater likelihood of adolescent alcohol use," researcher John Gale wrote in the study. (Read more)

Rural people more likely to die from colon cancer

Rural people with colon cancer are more likely to be diagnosed late and receive inferior treatment than their urban counterparts, according to a new University of Minnesota study. Rural colon cancer sufferers are also more likely to die from the disease. This is the first study of its kind to show that outcomes in colon cancer are affected by where a person lives, Tiffany Chao reports for ABC News.

The study focussed on more than 100,000 patients diagnosed with colon cancer from 1996 to 2008, with rural people making up 15 percent of the total. Rural patients were 4 percent more likely to get a late diagnosis, had 17 percent lower odds of receiving chemotherapy and had an 18 percent lower chance of getting lymph nodes removed during cancer-removal surgery, indicating that their treatment was most likely inadequate. Overall, rural patients were 5 percent more likely to die from colon cancer. (Read more)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Rural areas have higher percentage of uninsured

The share of rural people under 65 without health insurance increased 8 percent during the recession, and is now higher than in cities or suburbs, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Before 2005, rates of uninsured were about the same in rural and urban areas, but during the recession, the rate of uninsured rural people rose to 18.4 percent, compared to 17.7 percent in urban areas, Bill Bishop of the Daily Yonder reports.

The data show "a huge variation in the percentage of uninsured by state," Bishop writes. In 16 states, at least one in five rural residents under 65 didn't have health insurance. From highest to lowest, they were: Texas, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oregon, Louisiana and North Carolina. The rate of rural people without insurance was higher than in urban areas in all but six states: Illinois, California, Nevada, Connecticut, Florida and New York. (Read more)

Dairy farmers struggled through drought, now battle armyworms; will suffer without Farm Bill

Dairy farmers will lose up to 10 percent of their monthly income from milk beginning in October because the Milk Income Loss Contract expired when the Farm Bill wasn't renewed on Sept. 30. MILC is a program that provides dairy farmers with payments when the price of producing milk is more than the price for which it's sold. (Oklahoma Farm Report photo)

MILC payouts were cut to 34 percent, from 45 percent, when the Farm Bill expired, Melissa Miller of the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau reports. High feed and gas prices have forced farmers to sell their least productive cows to slaughter, and some small farmers are considering leaving the business. Miller writes that the armyworm is adding to farmers' misery. The pest strips pasture grass, which often replaces expensive feed. Dairy Farmer John Schoen told Miller most farmers are likely losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month.

"Dairy is one of the few commodities that will get hit immediately by this [Farm Bill expiration] because we're on a monthly schedule," Jefferson County Farm Bureau president Michael Kiechle told Ted Booker of the Watertown Daily Times in far upstate New York. "We probably won't get anything now until the crops go in the ground next spring."

Commercial dairy farmers in Maine "depend on subsidies in the [Farm Bill] to help them get through tough times," reports Jay Field of Maine Public Broadcasting. They are selling milk for less than it costs to produce it because of high gas and feed prices. One farmer told Field he will spend $6,000 more on fuel this year, and is barely covering operating costs right now.

Child farm-labor rules, unchanged after lobbying, probably affect more children than statistics indicate

The recent debate about child farm-labor laws revolved around what many farm families said was an integral part of growing up on a farm: helping out around the fields. What many may have overlooked, though, is that the children of migrant workers don't grow up on farms; they just work on them. And advocates say "lax enforcement of underage labor laws and inadequate safety rules for teens are threatening the long-term health of thousands" of those migrant children, Anthony Schick of The Oregonian reports. (Oregonian photo by Faith Cathcart: Diana Cristal Mendoza Sanchez, 12, picks blackberries)

Farm lobbyists have blocked tighter restrictions on the work children may legally do, and efforts for closer monitoring have failed, Schick writes. The industry won a huge victory when the Obama administration stopped the Labor Department's plan to revise child labor rules written in 1974 and adopt in regulation a policy adopted by the second Bush administration more than 10 years ago. Most child labor in heavy agricultural states is largely hidden "because official data do not include underage workers," Schick reports. "Visits to fields and interviews with farmworkers indicate it is far more widespread than statistics show."

Schick continues: "Nearly everyone involved has an incentive to allow underage labor. Farmers need crops picked, farmworkers need money children bring home and advocates for workers risk alienating whole families if they broach the subject. The tenuous residency status of many Mexican-born workers also plays a role." Even though parents and farm owners say the jobs children do are relatively safe, but Schick reports that all children working on farms face "significant risks:" Child farmworkers suffer fatal injuries four times as often as in other industries, extreme heat, repetitive strain and exposure to toxic substances can create chronic health problems. (Read more)

Judge rejects bid to preserve site of coalfield battle

West Virginia's Blair Mountain, the site of the largest armed conflict in U.S. labor history, will remain off the National Register of Historic Places, a federal judge has ruled. The site was added to the list in 2009, but the Interior Department removed it after it was found that a majority of property owners didn't support the listing, Paul Nyden of The Charleston Gazette reports.

Coal companies may mine the area, and a lawsuit was filed in 2010 by several groups, including the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and Friends of Blair Mountain, seeking to restore the area to the register. Judge Reggie Walton of the District of Columbia ruled that the groups had no legal standing because no coal companies had announced "immediate plans to begin mining on Blair Mountain," Nyden reports. (Read more)

Ken Ward Jr. of the Gazette's Coal Tattoo puts it this way: "The judge ruled that the citizen groups could not meet one of the requirements to show 'standing' to bring the case, that of 'redressability,' or that a favorable ruling from the court would redress their injury." As a result, the judge said in his decision "that the surface mining would be permitted on the Blair Mountain Battlefield as a result of permits that were acquired prior to the historic district's inclusion on the National Register."

In 1921, more than 10,000 union miners fought with armed company employees and contractors along the ridge along the Logan-Boone County border for a number of things, including better working conditions. The battle lasted eight days, and only ended after federal troops and air support intervened.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

High court OKs rule limiting roads in national forests

The Supreme Court upheld on Monday the "roadless rule," which limits road building and timber harvesting on 45 million acres of undeveloped national forest land. The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association challenged the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, saying it "unfairly jeopardized multiple industries and hampered economic development," notes Amy O'Donoghue of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City.

The rule was upheld by the 9th and 10th circuit courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. Supporters of the rule said the court's move resolved "what has been a decade of uncertainly over management of inventoried roadless areas," O'Donoghue writes.

"Sound roadless conservation policies safeguard big-game habitat security, productive trout and salmon fisheries and our sporting traditions," said Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Center for Western Lands director Joel Webster told the reporter. "The 2001 roadless rule remains a strong mechanism for conserving America’s outdoor heritage." (Read more)

College graduates with no farm experience are turning to careers in agriculture

The number of farms in the U.S. increased by 4 percent from 2002 to 2007, according to the last Census of Agriculture, and recent college graduates seem to be fueling this trend by returning to the land, sometimes learning farming as they go, Natalie Kitroeff of The New York Times reports. Many don't have agriculture-related degrees, but became interested in farming through other means, including working in food service or supermarkets. Several work as farmhands, learning the trade through a workers' perspective.

Hearty Roots Community Farm, which raises vegetables in upstate New York, hired 10 farmhands this past season, none of whom had agriculture backgrounds, and all of whom are young, college graduates. Some such farmhands go on to establish their own farms. The newcomers to farming are helping increase the number of farms, which had been steadily declining since 1920. (NYT photo by Nathaniel Brooks: Hearty Roots farm crew manager Jordan Schmidt harvests beets)

Hiring college graduates with no experience can have drawbacks, Kitroeff reports. "Most of the people here who work for me are here for one season and then move on to other farms, and so that's actually the biggest challenge, Hearty Roots owner Ben Shute said. "Every year it's like training new people." But he added that having such an ambitious staff who want to own their own farms someday is a benefit because they are very willing to learn. (Read more)

Common use of genetically modified crops leading to rise in pesticide, herbicide use

Use of genetically modified crops has become commonplace in agriculture, but has led to an increase in use of pesticides and herbicides, according to a new study. Weeds and pests have have adapted to the modified crops and become resistant to the chemicals used to protect them, so farmers have been forced to spray crops with increasing amounts of the chemicals. The use of pesticides increased by 404 million pounds from 1996 to 2011. Herbicide use increased by 527 million pounds, and insecticide use by 123 million pounds.

Charles Benbrook, lead author of the Washington State University study, said it "undermines the value of both herbicide-tolerant crops and insect-protected crops," Carey Gillam of Reuters reports. Monsanto's Roundup Ready seeds were a hit with farmers, who enjoyed the benefits of being able to spray their entire crop, killing weeds and bugs without hurting their crops. However, more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to Roundup.

The amount of herbicide needed to fight "superweeds" is increasing by about 25 percent every year, Benbrook said. The annual increase has risen to 90 million pounds in 2011, up from 1.5 million in 1990. Insecticide use dropped 28 percent from 1996 to 2011, but is now rising, Benbrook said. (Read more)

Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling takes a stab at rural life and politics in her first novel for grownups

The self-made literary master of the fantasy world of teenage witches and wizards has turned her attention to the real-life drama of rural politics in a new book out this month. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, explores the inner workings of small-town political and personal life in the fictional English village of Pagford, after the death of one of its council members. Though the story is set in England, it could resonate in the U.S. with those familiar with small-town politics. After all, it's our mother country.

Rowling has created "an old-fashioned novel, a thoughtful, angry and densely plotted story in the 19th-century tradition," in which Pagford "is small but its class and racial divisions run deep," Isabel Berwick of The Financial Times reports. The novel explores class divisions between "the posh houses" and inhabitants of Church Row and the Fields, "a sink estate on the outskirks of the neighboring town, Yarvil." The plot centers around the council chair's campaign to fill the vacancy with his son, and then use the council to relieve Pagford of any duty to the Fields. (Read more)

Monday, October 01, 2012

Daily Yonder, five years on rural, seeks donations

The Daily Yonder, which is all about rural news, policy and culture, is making its most direct appeal for money yet, saying it "is trying to raise $25,000 to see it through the next year."

"The Yonder has been around now for five years. We have only indirectly asked for money over that time. Now we’re asking for real," write Co-Editors Bill Bishop and Julie Ardery of Austin, Tex., who are also husband and wife -- and, we should add, friends and associates of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog. The Yonder is published by the foundation-supported Center for Rural Strategies, a nonprofit organization based in Whitesburg, Ky. Bishop and Dee Davis, director of the center, are both on the Institute's advisory board.

While The Rural Blog is designed primarily for rural journalists, the Yonder is for everyone interested in rural. "Our job is to give rural people, writers, places and issues a place and a way to be heard," the editors write. "In the last five years, we’ve published thousands of stories by over 250 different authors, most of whom live in rural America. . . . We need your help to continue what we’re doing — and to make it bigger and better."

The Yonder's usual fun streak runs through its appeal, offering various premiums for donations, such as a banjo lesson, a musical jingle and a walking tour of Hazard, Ky., with natives Davis and Kentucky poet laureate Gurney Norman. And they're looking for folks to provide other premiums that they can offer. To read more, click here. To donate, go here. And if you want to help The Rural Blog and the Institute, here.

Pork producers struggle through drought, sending more young female hogs than ever to slaughter

More female hogs than ever are being sent to slaughter because producers can't afford high feed prices caused by this summer's oppressive drought. Sows are building blocks of herds, so slaughtering them not only shrinks herds but expands the pork supply, sending prices plummeting, P.J. Huffstutter and Theopolis Waters of Reuters report. Producers are left to either use savings to survive, or sell herds and leave the business. (Photo by John Gress)

Just under 10 million head of hogs were sent to slaughter in August, the most ever for that month, according to data analyzed by Reuters. But, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its quarterly inventory of hogs and pigs on Friday said the number increased slightly through Sept. 1. There were 67.5 million head, up 3 percent from June 1.

Still, large producers are "scouring the Midwest to snap up whatever feed they can find, or are sinking tens of millions of dollars into importing [feed] from Brazil," Huffstutter and Theopolis report.

Climate change keeping pests alive through winter

Climate change is not only causing crop-killing drought, but its increasing the longevity of at least one species of pest that can devastate potato, tomato, pepper and about 40 other crops. The potato-tomato psyllid, right, sucks plants dry and can spread "zebra chip" disease in potatoes that causes potato chips to have a burnt flavor, Gabriela Quiros of Quest. That disease has cost producers in three states about $8 million so far. (University of California photo by Jack Clark)

Farmers have dealt with psyllids for more than 100 years, but rises in temperature are allowing them to survive through winter. "Our temperatures have increased by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit, and that seems to be enough to keep them from being frozen out during the winter,” said University of California, Riverside entomologist John Trumble. If pests can live through winter, they can attack crops early in the growing season, which could leave to even more widespread loss of crops because of the bugs, Trumble said. (Read more)

Alabama's Hispanic farmworkers being replaced by African and Haitian refugees

Alabama farmers are turning to a different set of immigrants to help harvest after the state's controversial immigration law requiring police to check status drove many Hispanics to other states and caused a labor shortage. African and Haitian refugees, which were brought to the U.S. legally by labor brokers, are filling the gap, Margaret Newkirk of Bloomberg News reports.

Most of the refugees were recruited by poultry companies, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. They sought refugees because not enough local residents were interested or qualified to work in the plants, Wayne Farms spokesman Frank Singleton told Newkirk. The poultry company spent $5 million to replace and retrain workers after most of its Hispanic workers left. Alabama doesn't track the number of refugees who came to fill jobs, but it had about 95,000 illegal Hispanic immigrants in the workforce in 2010. (Read more)

Colorado officials, pressured by local officials, plan to strengthen oil and gas regulation

Driven by local pressure and public opposition, Colorado officials are poised to revise state oil and gas laws, much to the chagrin of industry groups, Bruce Finley of The Denver Post reports. The state has proposed buffer-zone restrictions on new wells and mandatory groundwater testing prior to drilling, but local officials worry those won't do enough to ease communities' concerns.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore, left, said he will ask commissioners to launch a new rule-making session to revise the rules last set in 2008. "We want to get it right, as best as we can, for as many people as we can," Lepore said. Colorado Oil and Gas Association attorney Andrew Casper said the group has identified "numerous concerns" with the proposed revisions and a new rule-making session. Homebuilders have also voiced concerns about bigger buffer zones, which could complicate urban planning.

Local and state lawmakers said their communities are complaining regularly about fracking. Democratic Rep. Su Ryden of Aurora said most of her constituents "want drilling as far away as possible." Colorado Conservation Voters director Pete Maysmith said during an invite-only community discussion with Gov. John Hickenlooper that "neighborhoods and fracking don't mix." Maysmith's group gave the governor a petition with 14,500 signatures from residents in Adams and Pueblo counties asking for their communities to be shielded from drilling. (Read more)

Healthy Foods, Local Farms Conference Oct. 13

The 13th annual Healthy Foods, Local Farms Conference in Louisville will feature such speakers as author-farmer-poet-philosopher Wendell Berry, Goldman Prize winner Lynn Henning, Environmental Protection Agency water administrator Nancy Stoner, and Dennis Dimick, National Geographic's executive editor for environment.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at Kentucky Country Day School in eastern Louisville. The registration fee is $40 and includes meals with locally and sustainably grown food. Scholarships are available. For information email or call Aloma Dew at 270-685-2034. A pre-conference Harvest Party on Friday evening, Oct. 12, at the Bashford Manor B & B, is $45. For information email or call  Joan Lindop at 502-836-3853.