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xx Why private equity is investing in small organic farmers
Yesterday at 08:45:10 AM by Gene Galin
Why private equity is investing in small organic farmers
Read the entire article at http://www.cnbc.com/id/102586322#

With each passing year, Judy Lessler, owner of Harland's Creek Farm in Pittsboro, North Carolina, finds it harder to sell shares of the crops that she and a small group of other organic farmers offer to local residents by subscription.

The farms use the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model. Customers pay early in the year for shares of their crops through her group, the Durham Collaborative CSA. That way, farmers have the cash reserves to pay for seeds and other supplies.

In 2010 the Durham Collaborative CSA had 132 subscribers. That number had dwindled to 66 by last year, Lessler said.

It's not that local foodies have given up on organic produce. But increasingly, consumers are ordering through Internet platforms that provide an alternative to the usual venues that connect farmers with customers, such as CSAs and farmers' markets. Lessler understands that the Internet "bundlers" share her commitment to organic food, but still worries about how to compete with a fast-growing one that has taken off in Raleigh.

"If you look at their growth curve and our decline curve, they'd probably have the same slopewith theirs positive and mine negative," said Lessler, a former statistician for a research institute who began farming in 2001. To make up for the lost business, she and her colleagues are ramping up their sales in local farmers' markets.
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xx UNCW names former Pittsboro HS teacher Dean of the Watson College of Education
Yesterday at 08:39:51 AM by Gene Galin
UNCW names former Pittsboro HS teacher Dean of the Watson College of Education

Wilmington, N.C. Van O. Dempsey III, Ph.D., has been named the next dean of the University of North Carolina Wilmingtons Watson College of Education, the University announced today. Currently the Vice President for Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness at Fairmont State University (FSU) in Fairmont, West Virginia, Dempsey will assume his new role on July 1, 2015.

We are very much looking forward to having Dr. Dempsey join our community as the Dean of the Watson College of Education, said Martin Posey, search committee chair and associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate studies. Van's extensive experience in the field as a faculty member and as an administrator stood out to the committee during the search process. His background, skills and leadership expertise will significantly contribute to the college, and the universitys, continued success.

Dempsey was named after an extensive nationwide search and will succeed Dean Ken Teitelbaum, who will be a professor in the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education, after serving as dean from 2011 to 2015.

The Watson College of Education is positioned to serve as a critical partner in deconstructing problems of practice, creating and supporting best practices, and creating opportunities that can have a direct impact on the quality of peoples lives, said Dempsey. "I am eager to join an institution as esteemed as UNCW and to begin working with the students, faculty and staff of Watson College and across campus, and with others in the community.

In his current role at FSU, Dempsey oversees the assessment of learning and academic programs, and the evaluation of strategic initiatives and organizational effectiveness. Prior to this role, Dempsey served as the Dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance at FSU. His accomplishments include leading the state in the implementation of new standards for teaching practice; securing over $1,250,000 in external funding; and collaborating with forty professional development schools and six school districts.

Prior to FSU, Dempsey was a faculty member as West Virginia University and also served as the Director of the Benedum Collaborative, which was nationally recognized for its teacher education program and school-university partnerships.

Dempsey has served in several state and national leadership positions. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Professional Development Schools; served on the Executive Committee of the National Network for Education Renewal and the WV Commission for Professional Teaching Standards, serving as chair for three years. He currently serves on the WV Board of Educations Higher Education High Quality Educator Stakeholder Committee. Dempsey is the recipient of a National Academy of Sciences Board on Children, Families and Youth Frontiers of Research on Children, Youth and Families national award and has published numerous articles and chapters.

Dempsey holds a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also received his Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Studies Education and his Bachelor of Arts in Education from UNC at Chapel Hill. Prior to working in higher education, Dempsey was a high school social studies teacher in Fayetteville, NC and Pittsboro, NC.
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xx File Under "Build It and They Will Come"
May 27, 2015, 01:08:01 PM by murph
Noticed the outparcel lot in front of the Food Lion in PBO had been (re)cleared/graded and asked the folks at Food Lion what was going in.  Word is it's a NAPA Auto Parts store.  There's a NAPA over on West Street (near CCCC) but maybe this location will have more space (or simply adding capacity)?

Also looks like a new bridge is underway (or is that overway?) that will connect two sections of Chatham Park (north and south of the bypass).  This appears to be part of the new North South Connector Road that will intersect East St. (aka BUS 64) just east of Pittsboro Ford.


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xx "Welcome to Work" A booming Siler City in 1964
May 27, 2015, 09:56:24 AM by bandit12

How times sure have changed....
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xx Off-duty Army Captain credited with saving couple from fiery crash in Chatham
May 18, 2015, 12:40:57 PM by Gene Galin
Off-duty Army Captain credited with saving NC couple from fiery crash

CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. An off-duty Army Captain is being called a hero after he rescued a couple from an explosive, fiery head-on crash on Sunday afternoon.

The crash happened around 3 p.m. on  OKelly Chapel Road near Highway 751 in Chatham County, according to WNCN.

The driver of a silver Chrysler SUV traveled left of center and collided head-on with a red Acura sedan.

Heavy smoke and flames engulfed the Chrysler, moving toward the Acura. A neighbor grabbed a fire extinguisher and began battling the flames before firefighters arrived.

When off-duty Army Captain Steve Voglezon saw the fire he ran to help rescue the victims from their cars.

Voglezon used a fire extinguisher to break the windows of the car and rescue the couple inside the Acura.

I picked up the other gentleman, took him to safety, while the officer was trying to free the other woman on the other side of the vehicle, Capt. Voglezon told WNCN.

Mark Ricketts, the driver of the silver Chrysler SUV was charged with traveling left of center.

He and the couple in the Acura, William and Kathleen Thompson, were taken to UNC Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
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xx CenturyLink fiber expansion announced for businesses in Pittsboro & Siler City
May 18, 2015, 12:28:00 PM by Gene Galin
CenturyLink fiber expansion announced for businesses in greater Triangle area

Another fiber player in the Triangle is expanding its service: CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL). The company announced Monday that speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second were officially available to businesses in several eastern North Carolina communities including Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Kinston, Mebane, Pittsboro, Siler City, Wake Forest and Wilson, among other locales.

CenturyLink uses whats called Fiber-to-the-Premises technology, which connects to individual homes.

The most hyped, Google, which announced its bringing its residential Google Fiber service to the Triangle, has also been the quietest. While it has yet to release a timeline for its availability, other players, such as AT&T and Frontier, have already started connecting residential customers in the Triangle.
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xx Chatham based website focusing on environmental issues.
May 17, 2015, 01:23:54 PM by ConnectChatham
New articles have been few and far between, but lots of history buried in the sub-menus. connectchatham.com

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xx Two Meth labs found in Gulf
May 16, 2015, 09:52:13 PM by Patty52

Five charged after two meth labs found in Chatham County

Gulf, N.C. Five people were arrested Saturday after authorities said they found two methamphetamine labs in Chatham County.

Deputies said one of the labs was located in a shed behind 20 Alton King Road in Gulf and the second was in the trunk of a vehicle at the home.

Jordan Olivia Newell, of Goldston, Ronald Dustin Kimrey, of Haw River, Jason Eugene Sloan, Jody Wayne Sloan, and Marian Sloan, of Gulf, were charged with manufacturing meth, felony possession meth, maintaining a dwelling, possession of precursors with intense[sic] to manufacture meth.

The group faces a total of 30 felony charges.

All five suspects are scheduled to appear in court June 8.

Read more at http://www.wral.com/five-charged-after-two-meth-labs-found-in-chatham-county/14650311/#lrg4TdGJWIdHaKPI.99

ETA: Those two Sloan men have records a mile long in the NC DPS Offender database and Ms. Newell is out on probation for drug paraphernalia.
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xx Best places to start a business in North Carolina
May 14, 2015, 11:20:25 AM by bandit12
No real shocker here on where towns in Chatham stand...

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xx A Newby's Experience of Clydefest 2015
May 14, 2015, 05:53:25 AM by Gene Galin
A Newby's Experience of Clydefest 2015

You don't have to have lived for a long time in the Triangle area of North Carolina before you see a "critter," maybe at your favorite restaurant, at the North Carolina Museum of Art, or even in a neighbor's front yard, and begin to hear parts of the story of Clyde Jones. Clyde, a former mill worker, lives in Bynum, just south of Chapel Hill and north of Pittsboro, near the path of the Haw River through Chatham County. He has been making his critters, as well as paintings of penguins, butterflies, elephants, and pandacows (his version of the Belted Galloways in residence at Fearrington Village), since 1982 and welcoming any and all fans to see his creations at his home, the exuberantly-painted Critter Crossing on Bynum Hill Road. Before you even get to the Critter Crossing, you will see critters of all shapes and sizes in the yard of almost every resident of Bynum. If you stop at the Bynum General Store, you will see a large painting of penguins on the wall. But you cannot miss the Critter Crossing when you finally get to it--the tin roof is painted with sea creatures, penguins march across the walls, and the yard is filled with critters of all shapes and sizes. Clyde is often on his front porch with a chainsaw, carving and assembling a new creation. He embellishes the critters with paint, glitter, fake flowers, spots, dots, bottle-cap or baseball eyes, and anything else to hand that will bring out the personality of each wooden animal in his menagerie. And Clyde isn't just locally famous--his critters are in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and have visited the Great Wall of China. (1)

Clyde prefers to give away his critters and other works. He has participated frequently in the Haw River Festival, organized by the Haw River Assembly to restore and protect the river that runs near his home. He loves to visit schools and has said "Parents need to leave kids be to make whatever they want to make, however they want to make it. They know what they're doing." (2) In 2002, the Chatham Arts Council honored him as the first "Chatham County Cultural Treasure" and held the first Clydefest in his honor. (3)

This year, I went to Clydefest for the first time. Now in its 14th year, and held on May 2, 2015 at the Bynum Ballpark less than a block away from the Critter Crossing, Clydefest has become a unique celebration of the things Clyde loves most: children, creativity, and critters both living and made. The Small Museum participated with a tent providing a hands-on art activity for children 10 years of age and under--check out the pictures here--and these are some of the things we saw and experienced:

1. This spring has been a very wet one in central North Carolina, and pretty much the whole week preceding the festival had included everything from spritzes to downpours on a daily basis. We showed up early on an already sunny day and many volunteers were out with lots of bales of hay to lay down over muddy patches in the infield, and food trucks trying not to get stuck in the ruts on their way to the outfield. Thankfully, the day stayed sunny and warm and was (or so we heard from a CAC volunteer) the highest-attended Clydefest ever.

2.  Fellow folk artists and friends of Clyde, Mark May (who designed the 2015 Clydefest T-shirt) and Peter Loose (and his African tortoises) set up camp in centerfield to add to the creative energy of the day. Peter and Mark both stopped by our tents bearing gifts for the museum. Peter's "dot"-"critter" pins were in high demand (I got one of the last giraffes!), and Mark's Monkeybot was nonplussed at all of the kid-handling he received. The tortoises really liked the centerfield grass.

3. Parents could barely keep up with their kids, who ran from colorful ball-tossing games, to painting their own critter cutouts, to making bookmarks with the Chatham County Library, to eating ice cream and pizza, to getting their faces painted, to running around the bases of the park infield, and to assembling and decorating cardboard and pipe cleaner robots at our tent. Entire families took home armloads of handmade art and then presumably slept very well that night.

4. Someone (Clyde perhaps?) really likes Johnny Cash. Whenever there was a break between musical acts or Bouncing Bulldog performances on the stage platform in left field, Johnny's greatest hits would play over the loudspeaker system. We couldn't help but sing along.

5. Clyde was, throughout the day, on the go on his tractor lawnmower, surveying the tents and trucks during setup, going back and forth to his house for critter-making materials, and sometimes just cruising by to give his thumbs up to kids busily making away at an activity tent. Everything else stopped in the last hour of the festival while Clyde and an assistant made a critter, taking suggestions and possible critter guesses (Alligator? Crocodile? Dog?) from the dozens of kids ranged around the stage, and then inviting every child present to come sit on the finished critter to prove its sturdiness while former Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller auctioned it off to their parents to raise funds for the CAC. Children often placed their own, unauthorized, bids on the critter (maybe an Alligator?).

6. Clydefest has the hardest working volunteers I have ever seen.

We definitely look forward to seeing everyone at Clydefest again next year!
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