"Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the rest of the nation's national parks are a uniquely American invention that brings democracy to the landscape, according to the writer and producer of a new Ken Burns film series," says the Citizen-Times.
" 'This is the Declaration of Independence applied to a beautiful continent,' said Dayton Duncan 'Only a democracy would come up with the idea that the most special places should be preserved for everybody, not just the rich and royalty.'
"An Asheville audience got a preview Wednesday of 'The National Parks: America's Best Idea' in a screening at the Diana Wortham Theatre. The six-part, 12-hour series will air this fall on PBS." The Smokies, celebrating its 75th anniversary as a park, plays a prominent role in the historical narrative. ..."
N.C. tribe votes to allow casino alcohol sales
"Alcohol sales at a North Carolina mountain casino have been approved by members of the Cherokee Indian tribe," said the AP.
"The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians approved alcohol sales at Harrah's Cherokee Casino by a vote of 1,847 to 1,301 after nearly half the tribe's registered voters went to polls.
"Supporters of alcohol sales said it would boost profits at the tribe's casino. The tribe uses half the profits from the 11-year-old casino to run its government and half for twice-a-year payments to tribal members.
"It was the second alcohol sales vote, but the first since the casino was constructed. Tribal members voted 2-1 against alcohol sales in 1980. ..."