Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quick hits: Catawba River is the most endangered and jazz legend loved Charlotte

(Sorry for all the 'Quick hits' of late. Just too much going on.)

Catawba River called 'most endangered'
"The Catawba River, beset by growing water demand, drought and what critics say are failed policies to protect it, is the nation's most endangered river, an environmental group says.

"American Rivers, a Washington-based advocacy group that has turned out most-endangered lists since 1986, put the Catawba at the top of its 2008 list to be released today," according to the News & Observer.

"The group accused Carolinas decision-makers of 'sucking their rivers dry' to continue development as a historic drought lingers over the Catawba basin. Neither state, it said, has a long-term water plan to ensure the river survives future growth.

"But public officials say the Catawba, the subject of detailed studies and the beneficiary of new conservation efforts, has been far from ignored.

"The amount of water pulled from the Catawba is projected to more than double over the next 50 years, one of those studies shows. Charlotte's chief water supply, Mountain Island Lake, could struggle to meet demand during a severe drought by 2048. ..."

Music legend held Charlotte close to his heart
"When George Butler was a boy, sports often stood in the way of his piano lessons. It got him into trouble only once: During a piano recital, he forgot the notes to a Scarlatti sonata, and launched into some boogie-woogie.

"What a scolding he got from his parents and teacher," writes the Charlotte Observer.

"As it turns out, the Charlotte native was playing the right music.

"He became a legendary record producer, the brains behind the careers of such jazz greats as Harry Connick Jr., Earl Klugh, Terence Blanchard and the Marsalis brothers, Wynton and Branford.

"On April 9, George Butler Jr., who grew up on Charlotte's Beatties Ford Road, died in a California hospital after a long illness with Alzheimer's disease. He was 76. ..."

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