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ITic Blue Banner — Sening the Uni\ ersit\ of North Carolina at Ashe\ille since 1982
January 25, 2007
,,, . ,v , ... , . Megan Wildman - Staff Photographer
t hns Denton, 30, of Asheville, fills up his truck at Blue Ridge Biofuels’ biodiesel pump located at 405 Haywood Rd. Other publicly accessible
pumps are located at 2251 Hendersonville Rd. in Arden and at 97 Hendersonville Rd. in Biltmore.
By Maggie West
STAfr W BITBI
Blue Ridge Biofuels works to promote alternative energy
Oil is considered one of the most
important issues of the century.
Especially as fossil fuel reserves
sink to an all time low, the battle
over the world’s natural resources
As the world’s supply of fossil
fuels is slowly consumed, the
search for untapped energy
sources continues to grow.
Alternative fuels, such as
biodiesel, are becoming more and
more commonplace in today’s
“Biodiesel rocks” said Woody
Eaton, an employee of Blue Ridge
Biofuels. Formerly known
Asheville Biodiesel Cooperative
Blue Ridge Biofuels is a worker-
owned business committed to pro
moting the use of alternative fuels
in We.stern North Carolina.
With the help of local business
es, Blue Ridge Biofuels combines
recycled vegetable oil with diesel
fuel to make a biodiesel, an envi
ronmentally friendly solution to
our current energy crisis.
“Biodiesel is an apt band-aid for
the bleeding energy circuit,” said
Sean Pace, UNC Asheville gradu
ate and employee of Blue Ridge
Biofuels. “In addition to releasing
less carbon monoxide emissions,
biodeisel is afso less combustible
than petroleum, making it safer to
transport long distances.” A 1998
study conducted by the U.S.
Department of Energy and the
U.S. Department of Agriculture
concluded that the use of biodiesel
reduced net carbon dioxide emis
sions by 78 percent as compared to
the use of petroleum diesel.
It is important to note that
biodiesel fuel can be used in any
diesel engine without modifica
tions. Despite the social connota
tion surrounding them, there are
many benefits to owning a diesel
engine, according to Blue Ridge
Biofuels. Diesel engines get
between 25-40 percent better fuel
economy when compared to stan
dard gasoline vehicles.
In addition to providing the com
munity with alternative fuels, the
members of Blue Ridge Biofuels
live with the environment in mind.
Every employee who owns a car,
owns one that runs off some form
of biofuel, according to Pace.
According to Eaton, his
Volkswagen van runs completely
off recycled vegetable oil. When
asked if there was any truth to the
rumor that cars running off used
oil smell like French fries, he
“It kind of makes me hungry
sometimes,” he said.
While the company currently
owns and operates three biodiesel
pumps (the nearest one being
located at 405 Haywood Rd.), they
are seeking to expand their busi
“We are scheduled to have five
more pumps in the next year,’
In addition to promoting the use
of biodiesel engines. Blue Ridge
Biofuels is also committed to pro
moting more environmentally
sound ways for people to heat their
Biodiesel is an apt Band-
Aid for the bleeding ener
gy cdraiit. It releases less
carbon monoxide emis
sions and is less oon -
bustible than petroleum.
UNCA alumnus and Blue
Ridge Biofuels employee
Certain types of biodiesel, a
blend known as B20, can be used
in any oil or kerosene furnace
without having to alter the furnace
at all. In addition to the environ
mental benefits it offers, the price
of Blue Ridge Biofuels’ Bioheat is
comparable to that of kerosene.
As the company continues to
grow, more and more community
members are starting to use alter
native fuels in their everyday lives.
“Taking a waste product and
turning it into fuel...it’s a good
thing,” said Asheville resident
Aaron Schenk. Schenk, a self-
employed welder, uses biodiesel in
both his home and car.
“My car runs better on it,”
The number of people and
organizations who use alternative
fuels is growing. As of right
now.both the US Postal Service
and the U.S. Departments of
Defense, Energy, and Agriculture
all use utilize some form of
To further encourage the use of
alternative fuels, the government
is currently offering a biodiesel tax
incentive for petroleum distribu
tors. For every percent of biodiesel
used in a fuel blend, the company
is given a one cent tax credit.
According to the US Department
of Energy, this incentive will
increase the demand for biodiesel
to at least 124 million gallons per
While many government offi
cials have joined the effort to pro
mote the use of biodiesel, much is
being done to promote the cause
locally. According to Pace, Blue
Ridge Biodiesel has had over 100
volunteers since they started and
over one quarter of them have
come out of UNC Asheville.
Students seeking to leam more
about internship or volunteer
opportunities can contact Blue
Ridge Biofuels at (828) 253-1034
or visit their website at
WWW. blueridgebiofuels. com.
Pet of the Week:
Ubermench the cat
StAPF W HTTtR
Ubermench can turn doorknobs
and oi^n them. It hardly seems
surprising, but Ubermench is a cat,
with six toes on his front feet, one of
which acts like a thumb. The two-
year old cat lives with his owner,
Rachael Stanfield, and her rat
Richard, and her roommate’s cat
Ubermench, or Ube as he is affec
tionately known, is yellow, though
as a kitten Ube was pink. He does
a little dance before drinking water
and hasn’t yet figured out the con
cept of glass, as he still tries to go
through it. His favorite pastime
appears to be teasing the smaller
Little Buddy, since he currently has
a plastic cone on his head.
Ube is strictly an indoor cat,
though because he used to live out
side, he now escapes whenever pos
sible, going on week-long sabbati
cals. Ube can climb anything, even
straight pine trees, according
When Stanfield gets home,
greets her at the door by licking her
all over. “Ube is kind of like a dog,"
The only breed of cat that
has more than average number of
toes is the PixieBob.
• Technically, these cats are
called Polydactyl Cats. Often cats
with extra digits are called
Hemingway cats. Ernest
Hemingway’s first cat had extra toes
and bred with other cats in the area.
Soon the area where Hemingway
lived. Key West, Florida, became
populated with an abnormal amount
of Polydactyl Cats.
• Polydactyl cats are also
known as mitten cats, boxer cats,
thumb cats, stx-fmgered cats and
Boston Thumb cats. This last term
comes from the fact that Boston
contains a high density of
• Many breeders claim that the
trait for polydactylism occurred
originally in America, since there
are few other places in the world
where cats have more toes then
average. However, in most of
Europe abnormal cats were killed,
for fear they were the products or
servants of witches.
In Britain, Polydactyl cats
By Daniel Hartis
Staff W rtibr
Gone are the days when people
protested in city streets with fists
and picket signs. They’ve packed
up and headed into the blogos-
The blogosphere is a collection
of Web logs (blogs) in which vir
tually everyone is free to voice
their opinions on almost anything.
A blog may feature the work of
one or more writers, and most
allow readers to leave comments.
“I blog for the same reason
young actors go to L.A., or cooks
go to Paris to become skilled
chefs,” said Paul Van Heden, local
blogger for Brainshrub.com. “I
want to be great at what I do.”
Asheville resident James
Sapienza said he enjoys reading
blogs, though he rarely leaves
comments or engages in discus
“I usually like the funnier, more
satirical blogs,” said Sapienza. “I
think it’s always good to have a
sense of humor. Especially any
time you’re talking about poli
People should read blogs as a
secondary source of news, accord
ing to Sapienza.
“It’s good to have other
sources,” Sapienza said. “Even if
the blogger isn’t a big name, he’s
just one of many. There are plen
ty others out there to check.”
Bloggers eliminate false report
ing by checking other bloggers’
work, according to Van Heden.
“Now, disinformation can be
cross-checked and corrections
made instantly,” Van Heden said.
“I’m not saying particular blogs
are more credible, than say, the
New York Times. I’m saying the
blogosphere as a whole is.”
For bloggers to succeed, they
must update their content regular
ly, form a community with their
readers and choose a unique focus
and stick to it, according to Van
Heden. By doing so, bloggers
will, over time, attract a consistent
“At the current rate of growth,
my site will get more traffic by the
end of the year than the Asheville
Citizen-Times,” Van Heden said.
“I want future generations to study
my blog as an example of what
blog-style writing can be.”
People read and write blogs for
different reasons. Some enjoy a
blog’s sense of community, while
others just want to get their points
Some appreciate a humorous
approach to the news, while others
want just the facts. Some prefer
liberal blogs, and some conserva
That being said, listed below in
no particular order or political
affihation are ten great political
blogs for college students.
Crooks and Liars
An award-winning liberal blog
with a large selection of video
content, this is one of the more
popular blogs on the Internet.
Blue Gal attributes much of her
liberal blog’s traffic to her panties
Well, not her panties. She posts
pohtically-inspired panties and
thoughtliil, humorous articles.
Local blogger Paul Van Heden
invites discussion of stereotypes of
Asheville lesbians as well as
national politics by linking coun
terpoints to many of his argu
ments, making this one of the
most progressive blogs on the
Free Republic is a conservative
blog known for its emphasis on
grassroots activism and extensive
Conservative in terms of politics
but not humor, InstaPundit fea
tures some of the blogosphere’s
most amusing content.
With over 100,000 registered
users. Democratic Underground
provides a major source of discus
sion and news.
The Raw Story
As an alternative news source,
The Raw Story delivers stories
often overlooked by other blogs.
Little Green Footballs
Mastering this conservative
blog’s unique vocabulary is almost |
as fiin as using it. Leam what
“idiotarian” means before some
one labels you one.
Readers must separate fact
from funny in this hilarious, lib
eral blog. (For instance, Hilary
Rodham Clinton did recently
announce her decision to run for
president, it probably did not ruin I
a fellow senator’s diimer.)
Daily Kos: State of the
This liberal blog adlows readers
to create their own diaries, whicli
allows a large number of readers'
to respond to.
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—' a polydactal, or Hemingway cat