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xx Little Dipper's Italian Ice thinks Chatham Chatlist is a shame & a disservice
Today at 07:36:21 AM by Gene Galin
 ----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "wethreewirtz"
To: Chatham Chatlist
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: Little Dipper's Italian Ice this weekend
I'm sorry, but I don't understand.  I realize they are not Chatham County events, but we are a Chatham County business.
Do you not post happenings in other Triangle areas, even if it promotes Chatham businesses?
If that's the case, it seems a shame and a disservice.
Please let me know so I don't keep wasting your and my time.
Thank you.

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 23, 2014, at 1:13 PM, Chatham Chatlist wrote:

These are not Chatham County events


On Apr 23, 2014, at 10:37 AM, "Dida & Tom Wirtz" <wethreewirtz> wrote:

> Haven't made any plans for the beautiful weekend ahead?  How about joining us at the 26th Annual Dogwood Festival in Mebane?  This is a two day event jam-packed with fun things to do, see, and eat!  We'll be there all day long on Saturday, April 26, serving up our homemade ice.
> You can also catch us in Sanford on Sunday at the Fitness Fest and Family Fun Day.  This day-long event runs from 9:30-4:30 in downtown Sanford.  It may be too late to register for any of the Fitness competitions, but it certainly isn't too late to show some support or simply enjoy the festival afterward!  There will be plenty of craftsmen and vendors, as well as family entertainment and music.
>
> --
> Candida Sabol-Wirtz
> Little Dipper's Italian Ice
> 919-306-4602
> www.littledippersitalianice.com

4 comments | Write Comment

xx Diana Hales' answers to the IW questionnaire
Yesterday at 09:44:52 PM by Gene Galin
Diana Hales
Candidate for Chatham County Commissioner

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/diana-hales/Content?oid=4114344

Name as it appears on the ballot: Diana Hales

Full legal name: Diana Hestor Hales

DOB: January 20, 1947

Home Address: 528 Will Be Lane, Siler City, NC 27344

Campaign website: www.ElectDianaHales.com

Occupation and employer: Retired, NC state government, Center for Geographic Information & Analysis

Spouse: Cheyney M. Hales

Occupation & employer: Retired, NC state government, Department of Cultural Resources

Years in Chatham: 28

Home phone: 919-663-2372 Cell phone: 919-545-4164

Email: dianahales4commissioner@gmail.com

1. What are the three most important issues facing Chatham County? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

(a) Quantity and quality of surface and groundwater resources. Explore and use any official action, including moratoriums, zoning and stream buffers to resist fracking in order to protect Chathams ground and surface waters.

Rigorously fight for our Countys share of Jordan Lake waters in the 2015 state reallocation.

Review buffer requirements in ordinances; restore them on ephemeral streams and wetlands.

(b) Growth and Infrastructure. Work cooperatively now with Chatham Park developer and Town of Pittsboro to plan for infrastructure, especially schools and emergency services, water and wastewater systems, transportation corridors and transit strategies, and other impacts to county taxpayers.

Work cooperatively with the Town of Siler City and Chatham Economic Development Corporation to plan for the expansion of county services triggered by development in and around the industrial megasite.

Update the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The current Board refuses to update the 2001 plan. A subgroup of the Planning Board, without citizen input, is nibbling around the edges. The County should have a full discussion about zoning, where we grow and what we protect.

(c) Government in Full View. Citizens are best served when issues are discussed in public. The current Republican majority appears to make their decisions before each meeting. The evidence: limited discussion on agenda items, they never disagree, and always vote together.

It is time to revitalize the advisory committee process to encourage experts and remove barriers to participation. Remove ideological restrictions put in place by the Republican majority. Committees should be deliberative. Their advice will be sought and respected, again.

To increase public access to local government, we should revive the first- and third-Monday monthly meeting schedule. The current Board usually meets one day per month, squeezing public business into an afternoon Work Session (where important decisions are made) and the Regular evening session. This sharply restricts citizen participation.

2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners? This might include career or community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.

This is the first time I am seeking office. Now retired, I had the good fortune to work in public service for 20 years, including the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School of Business, UNC-TV, and the Center for Geographic Information and Analysis in state government. Every position focused on team work, building consensus, and promoting policies that benefit citizens by providing services and access to information. My career relied on the power of research, the ability to communicate, and sharing of information. Retirement provided an opportunity to attend almost every meeting of the current Board of Commissioners, since their election in 2010. To inform citizens on how the Tea Party majority conducts the peoples business, I write meeting notes and issue alerts that are published and widely disseminated throughout the county.

3. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I am a Democrat who believes in government by the people. What happens in local government directly affects everyone in the county. This is where citizens should be engaged to help direct Chathams future. Unlike the current Board, I welcome that conversation. My history of working collaboratively in teams and groups to reach common goals is a strength that I bring to the table. Unlike the current majority, I promise to be engaged and to spend the time to understand issues.

4. Do you support adding a fifth school district representative to the Chatham County Board of Education? What are the biggest challenges facing Chatham County public schools and what steps, if any, will you take to address them if elected?

Chatham County already has five school board districts. In 2012, Deb McManus, then Chair of the Board of Education, was elected to NC House, District 54. Her seat is still vacant. There could have been a special election in fall 2013, but the Chatham Board of Commissioners asked the NC Legislature to withdraw a local bill that would have allowed that election. The Commissioners interfered because they did not want that fifth seat filled, which would have broken tied votes, nor did they want to spend money on an election to give voters a choice.

There are numerous challenges facing Chatham public schools. The Republican majority on the Bd. of Commissioners does not appear to be a fan of public schools, and they have consistently squeezed the annual budget. Their priority was clear in 2012: A resolution supporting charter schools was passed first; their resolution in support of public schools followed months later.

If elected, I would: First, increase teacher supplement pay to retain our teachers. Second, fund the much-needed technology upgrade so teachers have the instructional delivery tools they need. Third, build an adequate school bus maintenance facility. The existing facility is substandard and so small mechanics must work outside all year. There should not be a budgetary choice between teacher pay OR a bus garage, but that is how this Commission operates.

5. What is your vision for development of Chatham County and if elected, how will you propose to fund it?

Chatham has a unique blend of three small towns, traffic corridors along Hwy. 15/501, Hwy. 64, and Hwy. 421, large rural areas with farming and timber operations, open space, two river watersheds and Jordan Lake. Individual property owners pay the majority (91%) of property taxes; only 9% are paid by commercial and industrial enterprises. That imbalance needs to change. The 1,700-acre megasite west of Siler City is being promoted for large-scale manufacturing, and the 7,500-acre future Chatham Park, situated to the north, south and east of Pittsboro, promises a new commercial center.

Last year Chathams Economic Development Corp. presented five conceptual scenarios showing how we could develop. We must go further. I support a full citizen-centered process to revise the 2001 Chatham County Comprehensive Land Use Plan and consider our infrastructure needs, resources and costs. What attracts people and business to Chatham is quality of life. To ensure that for our future we must invest in vibrant downtowns, natural recreation areas, great schools, and a diverse arts culture. The current Commission majority is not interested in having that discussion.

6. What is your stand on the proposed Chatham Park? What advantages or disadvantages could the park bring to the county? If elected, would you support more funding going to parks and greenways in Chatham County?

Chatham Park can be an asset and job creator. A traffic impact study and transportation plan, sadly, are not addressed in the current plan and should be. To become a 21st century development Chatham Park must build within a new reality of decreasing water supply. For this enormous project to be sustainableand make it to the 50-year build-outthe developers should consider treatment and reuse of wastewater; storm water capture in cisterns for reuse; integration of non-toxic building materials, such as hemp, into construction; generate and use their own solar power; install broadband; minimize impervious surfaces, and use paving materials that reduce runoff. They have a unique opportunity to conserve a major natural area for recreation that also directly benefits water and air quality for the surrounding area. Chatham Park could set a national benchmark for exciting and sustainable development.

I support parks, trails and greenways. Chatham is fortunate to have a stretch of the multi-county American Tobacco Trail, trails around Jordan Lake, and a network of trails in Pittsboro. Trails provide an outdoor connector in urban and suburban neighborhoods. The parks in rural areas of Chatham are an asset evidenced by increasing community usage. I am a regular walker at the southwest park.

7. What is your position on the ICE resolution? Do you support or oppose the decision to rescind the resolution in 2011? How has that decision affected relations between undocumented immigrants and police and what steps, if any, will you take to improve relations between undocumented immigrants and the larger community if elected?

In 2009 the former Board of Commissioners passed a resolution opposing local government agency assistance in enforcing federal immigration laws, or ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). In March 2011, the new Republican-led Board rescinded that resolution, stating the County Sheriff should enforce all laws, even immigration. This vote delivered a strong message to the Hispanic community that they were not welcome in Chatham. I do not have direct information on whether ICE had been implemented in Chatham as in other parts of the U.S. However, although local governments voluntarily participated in ICE, another federal 287(g) agreement, called S-COMM, now requires mandatory sharing of information, including Chatham County. When a person is booked into jail their immigration status in now checked. Driving infractions in Chatham County can land a person in the ICE deportation network. This creates friction between the police and Hispanic community.

I was stopped at a law enforcement blockade in Siler City and asked to show my drivers license. I could see that the three cars pulled to the side of the road were all driven by Hispanics, frantic on their cell phones. For a long time Hispanics avoided going to the hospital and community college on this road because of those stops. The larger question is how to improve trust between police and the Hispanic community, which includes everyone, legal citizen or not. North Carolina drivers licenses should be available to anyone who can pass the written and driving test. The license is about learning and following rules for driving safely on our roadways, and should not be a deportation tool.

8. The state is on track to begin hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the coming years and energy companies have targeted Chatham County as a potential drilling site. What is your position on fracking and what steps, if any, would you take to ensure the Deep River and its watershed are not harmed?

I am opposed to hydraulic fracturing. Three Chatham County residents and I have attended every study group and committee meeting of the Mining and Energy Commission since 2012. The rules making procedure is fast-tracked so permits can be granted next March. Although there are plenty of words about getting it right and seeking best practices from other gas-producing states, in reality the risk of accidents, injury, and long-term health consequences are byproducts of this industry. A well failure, and there will be multiple failures and accidents, could contaminate our water and land forever. This is a heavy industry with a track record of environmental contamination and human health problems that are being reported in local media across the nation. You will not hear about it on Fox News.

The Deep River is the main target encompassing both Lee and Chatham counties. This area experienced several coal mine explosions (caused by methane?) in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including one of the largest coal mining disasters that killed 53 miners in a gas explosion on May 25, 1925. And, the shale formation is at shallow depth and even protrudes out of the river. Chatham County commissioners do not appear to be engaged in seeking information about this industry, or planning for emergency response. If elected, I would pursue any available strategy through local planning and zoning powers, or a moratorium, to stop the fracking juggernaut.

9. The INDYs mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

I believe that government should, as stated in the Preamble to the Constitution, promote the general welfare of all citizens. That means providing equal access to education, healthcare, and infrastructure, as well as environmental protections for clean water and air.

10. Identify a principled stand you would be willing to take if elected, even if it could cost you popularity points with voters.

I will advocate for countywide zoning. Chathams future will depend on how we adapt to changing weather patterns, conserve and protect our resources, and work together as a community. Zoning is a tool to help build those protections for our future.
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xx Norman Clark's answers to the IW questionnaire
Yesterday at 09:42:14 PM by Gene Galin
Norman Clark
Candidate for Chatham County Commissioner

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/norman-clark/Content?oid=4114543

Name as it appears on the ballot: Norman Clark

Full legal name, if different: Norman V. Clark

Date of birth: August 25, 1962

Occupation and employer: Firefighter Chapel Hill Fire Department Retired

Spouses name: Lyndolyn Clark

Spouses occupation and employer: Nurse Duke University Medical

Years lived in Chatham County: 51.5

Home phone: 919-542-5469 Cell phone: 919-265-7049

Email: normlynn@centurylink.net

1. What are the three most important issues facing Chatham County? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

A) Economic Development and Jobs: 1. Support the Chatham Economic Development Corporation and its ongoing efforts to recruit and support new business. 2. Support efforts to develop and certify the two Megasites in Chatham County. 3. Diligently pursue bringing Broadband Wireless to needed parts of the county. This will aid in recruiting new business.

B) Growth and Development: 1. Establish and strengthen relationships with all the Municipalities in Chatham County. This will encourage collaboration between the governing parties and enable resource sharing and facilitate planning for growth. 2. Continue developing the Strategic Plan and Land Use Plan to develop growth in a strategic planned manner. 3. Communicate with the citizens and developers to increase awareness and understanding of the impacts of impending projects. This will aid the transparency of the approval process.

C) Jordan Lake and Protecting Water and Natural Resources: 1. Chatham County should be very proactive in lobbying for implementation of the Jordan Lake Rules and lobbying the legislature for upstream protection for the Haw River. 2. Attention has to be given to the Coal Ash ponds and Duke Power and their facilities in Chatham County. Their protocols on Hazardous Materials need to be reviewed and the County needs to be aware of what materials are stored and where 3. The County should establish a policy for Mining and Fracking in Chatham County and not allow any processes to begin until protections of the water supply and the environment can be guaranteed to the satisfaction of the Board of Commissioners and a review committee made up of environmental and advisors and citizens.

2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners? This might include career or community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.

I have been a resident of Chatham County my entire life. The relevance of this is that my sense of community and values has been shaped by growing up in rural Chatham County in the 1960s and 1970s. I learned at an early age to share with and help your neighbors. I saw my paternal grandmother and a maternal uncle become community activists. This taught me to be active in trying to improve my community and is part of my decision to serve as county commissioner. I have served on many committees and boards in the community. This has developed the ability to work in groups, the ability to reach a consensus. I also learned problem solving techniques and conflict resolution. These skills are essential to being an effective commissioner. A few of the countywide boards I have served on are the Chatham County Human Relations Commission, The Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Piedmont, the Chatham County YMCA and Raising Achievement Closing the Gap Committee of Chatham County Schools.

My career in Emergency Services will make me an asset as a commissioner. Emergency Services is one of the major expenditures in the County Budget. I will bring an understanding of the operations of Law Enforcement, Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services to the board. As a Public Safety Officer for the Town of Chapel Hill I was trained and certified in all three disciplines. I became a Captain in the Chapel Hill Fire Department and was assigned to the Fire Prevention Division. I became an Assistant Fire Marshal. I was certified as an Arson Investigator and Inspector. I developed critical thinking and problem solving skills that will be a valuable as a commissioner. My Inspection duties gave me the opportunity to develop skills in reviewing plans of major developments in Chapel Hill. The plans review process required me to interact with the planning department, architects, project managers and developers. I will bring an understanding of the processes and procedures used. I will also bring the ability to establish relationships with the Sheriff, Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs and their personnel. I will understand their equipment and how they function and more importantly, if the equipment is needed.

My service on the Chatham County Board of Education is valuable and relevant because I know how to be effective. I have proven that I can be a productive team member. I know how to communicate with the public. I understand the processes of government. I understand the budgeting process and have approved major budgets. I understand the needs of Chatham County Schools. The budget for the school system is the biggest expenditure in the Chatham County budget. I will bring an established relationship with the Board of Education and Chatham County Schools administration. This will aid in continuing the collaboration between the BOE and BOC. My service on the Chatham County Board of Education afforded me the opportunity to work with the governing bodies of the Municipalities within the county. I bring established positive relationships with members of the town councils of Pittsboro, Siler City and Goldston. I would encourage joint meetings and collaboration with these boards.

3. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I see myself as politically moderate. I tend to listen to all sides of an issue before I render an opinion. This is partly due to my police and investigator training. The truth of an issue or resolution to a problem tends to be found in the middle between the two perspectives. This helps in building consensus and reaching compromise. When on the Chatham County Board of Education, I was viewed as an effective leader because of this. When presented with an issue, all sides would be considered, all voices heard, and then a resolution that was acceptable and beneficial to the parties involved was reached. It is reflected in my campaign platform by focusing on Issues that affect the whole county. My desire is to have government that addresses issues in a way that benefit the majority of Chathams citizens. Addressing the three issues identified in question one would accomplish that goal.

4. Do you support adding a fifth school district representative to the Chatham County Board of Education? What are the biggest challenges facing Chatham County public schools and what steps, if any, will you take to address them if elected?

I support appointing the fifth school district representative to the Chatham County Board of Education. The Board is designed to be a 5 person board that the business can be conducted with approval of the majority. With only 4 representatives there is no vote to break ties. This can potentially render the Board ineffective.

The three biggest challenges to the BOE in my opinion and from my experience from serving on the BOE are Teacher Recruitment and Retention, Growth and Overcrowded school, and Adequate Funding.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention: In recent years the number of potential Teachers has been declining. This prompted North Carolina to create the Lateral Transfer program. This allows people from the private sector to begin teaching and earn their certification while working. This program has helped, but the pool of available teachers still does not meet the need. To compound the problem for Chatham County, we have to compete with Wake, Durham, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro, which have some of the highest teacher pay and supplement in the state. A significant number of our new teachers tend to live in these districts and we lose a number of them to these systems. The BOC has done a good job of funding teacher pay and must continue to do so. The supplement has to be increased whenever possible. The BOE must continue to develop innovative incentive packages.

Growth and Overcrowded School: Planning for growth is a challenge for Chatham County. Chatham has a proposal for a large development as well as smaller residential developments to plan for. Both of these will bring additional students for the school system. It is impossible to know accurately how many. We have to be proactive and collaborate with developers, and other municipalities to plan and acquire locations for additional schools. We must be diligent in maintaining present schools and expanding them to accommodate growth when prudent. Building a school I expensive and time intensive, proactive planning is necessary to ensure that adequate funding is going to be available to build them.

Adequate Funding: Funding for schools is becoming more challenging for all counties in North Carolina each budget year. The State has shifted more of the funding burden to the counties. Chatham County has to fund pay, maintenance, and transportation cost that previously were funded by the state. Im proud to say that during my term on the Chatham County Board of Education, we increased collaboration with the Board of Commissioners. This resulted in the County Finance office working with the Chatham County Schools Finance office to develop the budget for the school system. The BOC and the BOE have been proactive in finding funding for the school system and that must continue as well as the positive relationship and collaboration between them.

5. What is your vision for development of Chatham County and if elected, how will you propose to fund it?

Chatham County has a fairly comprehensive Land Use Plan that encompasses existing development. There are natural development corridors such as industrial development in Moncure, residential development in Pittsboro and North Chatham, and mixed use development in Siler City. Using these as guidelines will help preserve the existing characteristics of Chatham County. The County has to particular attention to recruitment of business and industry, so the cost of growth is not paid solely through property taxes. The Economic Development Commission has done excellent work and must be supported to continue their work. The business and developers will be expected to bear a significant portion of the costs that are unique to their particular development. The County may bear the costs that will benefit greater Chatham County.

6. What is your stand on the proposed Chatham Park? What advantages or disadvantages could the park bring to the county? If elected, would you support more funding going to parks and greenways in Chatham County?

Chatham Park will be transformative for Pittsboro and Chatham County. If properly planned, it can bring economic development before unseen in Chatham County. It can elevate Chatham County and Pittsboro to the level of Wake and Durham County as an economic power in the state. If Chatham Park is not properly planned it can result in residential sprawl and a traffic nightmare. Hiring the outside consultant was a prudent decision. The Lawrence Groups recommendations were reasonable and feasible and provided a realistic starting point for both entities to negotiate a Master Plan that will be beneficial to both parties. I support a well-planned Chatham Park. When economically feasible, I support more funding for greenways and parks. As a former coach for Chatham County Recreation department, I am an avid supporter of programs that encourages activity. I believe that communities that have good parks and greenways are more active and healthier.

7. What is your position on the ICE resolution? Do you support or oppose the decision to rescind the resolution in 2011? How has that decision affected relations between undocumented immigrants and police and what steps, if any, will you take to improve relations between undocumented immigrants and the larger community if elected?

While serving on the Chatham County Human Relations Commission, we passed a resolution supporting the ICE resolution. I supported the ICE resolution then and felt that it should not have been rescinded. I still feel that ICE was redundant for Chatham County because the Sheriff Department participates in the Secure Communities that achieves the same objectives. I think that decision increased the level of distrust between the Latino Community as a whole and all governmental agencies. To improve relations with undocumented immigrants, the larger community has to improve relations with documented immigrants and legal resident Latinos. If we can build trust with this group, they can be the bridge to building trust with undocumented immigrants. This can be achieved by recognizing and treating Latinos with respect and acceptance as residents of this county. That is the first step I am taking whether I am elected or not.

8. The state is on track to begin hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the coming years and energy companies have targeted Chatham County as a potential drilling site. What is your position on fracking and what steps, if any, would you take to ensure the Deep River and its watershed are not harmed?

My position on Fracking is that it should not be allowed until the process is safe and not harmful to the environment and the water supply. The Energy industry has not proven to be a proponent of environmental safety. As stated in my answer to question 1, I believe local governments are going to have to safeguard their citizens and the environment by establishing policies to regulate these operations. The steps I would take would be monitoring and testing of the Deep River and wells in the area to ensure that the water quality is not being compromised.

The INDYs mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

I would further build a just community by being a just elected official. While serving on the Chatham County Human Relations Commission, a study on poverty in Chatham County was conducted. It showed that there is a lot of room for improvement by the county in dealing with the inequality of conditions throughout the county. We have to address the needs of the whole county, not anyone particular geographical area or community. I would bring diversity and a different perspective to the BOC on many levels. I would reach out to all of Chatham diverse citizens to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs and issues are known.

9. Identify a principled stand you would be willing to take if elected, even if it could cost you popularity points with voters.

I would vote for a moderate tax increase if it was needed and justified. When elected officials vow or promise no tax increases, they are going to do a disservice to either the citizens or operation of the county. As the true cost of providing needed services increases, it is the duty of a county commissioner to ensure the delivery of those services. I believe that property tax increases should be the last option considered. I would consider other sources of revenue or evaluate areas to reduce services initially. I would vote for an increase to protect public safety and delivery of essential services if warranted.
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xx Independent Weekly's Chatham County Endorsements
Yesterday at 09:36:17 PM by Gene Galin
Independent Weekly's Chatham County Endorsements

For Sheriff - Richard Webster
http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/webster-for-chatham-sheriff/Content?oid=4150347

We endorse Chatham County Sheriff incumbent Richard Webster. Webster is a lifelong resident of Chatham County and has worked in that office for more than 20 years. He is active in a number of local, state and national organizations, including the Dispute Settlement Center and the Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center. Webster wrote that he believes law enforcement should treat all people with as much respect and fairness as possible; he was an opponent of the 287-g (ICE) Program, which mandated that local government agencies assist in enforcing federal immigration laws by, for example, checking a person's immigration status when they're pulled over while driving.

Webster's opponent, Gary Franks, works for the U.S. Marshals Service in the federal courthouse in Durham County. He has worked in law enforcement, including as a highway patrolman, for 25 years. While that resume is impressive, we are concerned about his 2007 arrest on charges of assault inflicting serious injury. A first sergeant with the State Highway Patrol at the time, he was charged as a result of a fight with his 18-year-old son, according to media reports. Both men decided to drop the charges. Franks was not disciplined by the highway patrol, but we think this conduct is not appropriate for a law enforcement officer.

For Commissioner - Dina Hales
http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/hales-for-chatham-commissioner/Content?oid=4150348

The two Democrats running for the District 3 seat on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners are both strong candidates and largely equal in their views on growth and development, education, immigration and fracking the most important issues facing the county.

Norman Clark, a lifelong Chatham resident, is a retired firefighter with the Chapel Hill Fire Department and he served for four years on the Chatham County School Board.

Diana Hales is retired from the Center for Geographic Information & Analysis, a state agency. If either unseated incumbent Brian Bock, both candidates would bring diversity to the Board of Commissioners: Clark would be the only African-American on the Board, while Hales would be the second woman.

Clark describes himself as politically moderate and says his public safety training would inform his leadership. "The truth of an issue or resolution to a problem tends to be found in the middle between the two perspectives. This helps in building compromise and reaching consensus," Clark wrote in his questionnaire.

But we have to give our endorsement to Hales, a staunch environmentalist. She has been endorsed by the Sierra Club. Hales takes a hard line against fracking in a county that has been targeted by energy companies for that specific purpose. Hales, who has attended "every study group and committee meeting of the Mining and Energy Commission" writes that if elected, she will "pursue any available strategy through local planning and zoning powers, or a moratorium, to stop the fracking juggernaut." She gives no caveats about seeking best practices or the disclosure of chemicals to be used. If anyone can stop the fast-tracking of fracking in Chatham County, we believe it would be Hales.
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xx Helen Chappell obituary
Yesterday at 03:55:28 PM by Patty52
She was a friend and classmate of my son at Northwood and NCSSM and since. A bright light gone out suddenly and too soon when she died this week. RIP Helen.

Quote
Helen Chappell
Durham

Helen Chappell was born on September 5, 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the first child of Cynthia and Raymond Chappell.

The years of her youth were marked by diverse activities that she pursued with passion. Helen loved to dance, and did ballet for years. She was always an avid bike rider, played softball, and simply loved being outside, camping, and hiking trails. Foreshadowing her future, Helen developed a keen interest in science and astronomy early and would often try and teach others about what she had learned. Helen started into music and learned how to play trombone and joined the school band, doing both marching and jazz band.

Helen attended Northwood High School in Pittsboro for her first two years then competed successfully for admission to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, from which she graduated in 2003. She then attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated cum laude with a B.S. in physics and astronomy in 2007. While there, and through 2008, she was a science educator and planetarium technician and presenter at The Morehead Planetarium, and studied abroad in Chile. Helen then conducted graduate research as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the National Renewal Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, while earning her M.S. in physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

After much adventuring, the self-described recovering physicist and unashamed nerd returned home and married her long-time love Eric Bowen on the campus of NCSSM, where they had met some 10 years earlier. Helen told Scientific American that she was, "too much of a generalist at heart to be happy doing physics research," and started to explore her love of writing and science at the News and Observer as a 2011 Mass Media Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. After a short stint at the North Carolina Solar Center, she became an exhibit developer at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, a job in which she fell in love, "an amazing fit," she said. Helen was deeply engaged with the local and international science communication community and was a rising star in informal science education in museums and science centers. In addition to blogging and her scholarly works, Helen's published science articles include Double X Science: "Bipolar Brings Anxieties Beyond Mood Shifts," and Discover: "How a Tick Bite Made Me Allergic to Meat".

She is survived by her husband, Eric Bowen, and daughter, Ursula, and her mother, Cynthia Chappell, and father Raymond Chappell, and brother, James Chappell. A memorial service will be held for her at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers we ask that you please make donations to her Give Forward fund, which will go towards medical bills and her daughter's college: https://giveforward.org/fundraiser/g1g4/helen-s-medical-fund

Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 23, 2014
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsobserver/obituary.aspx?n=helen-chappell&pid=170757573#sthash.lZv010AZ.dpuf
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xx "Wall of valor" at Pittsboro courthouse?
Yesterday at 09:41:27 AM by Tina
I seem to remember a request for contributions to a "wall of valor" from the Chatham Historical Association. The wall was to honor Chatham war veterans. Is that an exhibit that is open to the public, and if so, where is it?  Thanks!
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xx New 32,000 sq. ft. Chatham County Agricultural Civic Center coming in 2015
Yesterday at 07:30:39 AM by Gene Galin
The Pittsboro Town Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the site plan for the new Chatham County Agricultural Civic Center, which will be located adjacent to the CCCC campus in Pittsboro. The 32,000 square foot facility will sit on 97 acres and is expected to be completed in 2015.

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xx Pittsboro couple joins Obamas for White House Easter Egg Roll
April 21, 2014, 10:33:39 PM by Gene Galin
Pittsboro couple joins Obamas for White House Easter Egg Roll
http://www.wncn.com/story/25303292/pittsboro-couple-joins-obamas-for-white-house-easter-egg-roll



WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and the first lady kicked off the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll Monday with more than 30,000 people assembling on the south lawn.

Among those in attendance was a Pittsboro couple, who volunteered at the event.

Cathy and her husband Dr. Alan Jones set up a booth to show children how to make garden necklaces with carrot and lettuce seeds. Dr. Jones is the president of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Monday's event's theme was "Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape" and featured live music, yoga and obstacle courses in addition to the egg roll, sports and storytelling.

Obama reprised what has become an annual reading of Maurice Sendak's children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are." With a group of children arrayed before him, Obama mimicked the book's monsters, gnashing his teeth and growling and challenging the youngsters to a staring contest.

Mrs. Obama also participated in a healthy snack cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Marc Murphy and cast members of Disney's "Jessie." The group prepared fruit salad with honey and kale smoothies.

"I have a smoothie like this almost every day," she said, adding that she likes to include green apples and ginger in her green drink.

Mrs. Obama did her own storytelling, making an appearance with the family's dogs, Sunny and Bo, who quickly disappeared for their own walks with National Park Service staffers. The first lady read "My Garden" to the youngsters and asked what non-foods they would grow in their garden. After the children replied "money," she said, "Wow, this is a very sophisticated crew."
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xx Kentucky Derby Party at Governors Club
April 21, 2014, 08:40:36 AM by CEF
Do you love the Kentucky Derby? If so, join the Chatham Education Foundation at the Governors Club on May 3rd from 5-8pm. Tickets are $49 and $10 of each ticket goes to support the Chatham Education Foundation. Price includes one drink and small plate foods, a raffle and of course viewing the race on a big screen. If you are interested in tickets, please email John at jwilliamson78@nc.rr.com and we will get you the tickets. Thanks as always for any support.
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xx IW - New landowners in Shakori Hills now look beyond festival season
April 20, 2014, 11:32:43 PM by Gene Galin
New landowners in Shakori Hills now look beyond festival season

Read the entire story at http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/the-new-landowners-in-shakori-hills-now-look-beyond-festival-season/Content?oid=4081098

You won't find the most significant difference between this weekend's Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival and the most recent iteration last October on any stage or in any campground. It won't leap up in the circus-sized dance tent or manifest itself in the popular children's education area. Very few attendees will notice it at all.

Shakori Hills has occupied the same verdant Chatham County spot since the spring of 2003. Even after 20 festivals, they didn't actually own it. But thanks to a nontraditional funding model and a community of sympathetic and enthusiastic investors, the festival finally purchased its site in December. This weekend's four-day event is the first Shakori Hills festival since the acquisition; the organizers now feel like they finally have the chance to do the work they've always wanted to dobuild an arts center, host environmental workshops, produce summer camps and, well, build handicap ramps.

"For years, people were like, 'When are you going to buy the land?' That was frustrating," says Sara Waters, the festival's co-coordinator since 2007. She began working with Shakori Hills just as the push to form a nonprofit and use it to purchase and eventually shape the land into a community arts space began in earnest. "We knew what we were doing, but we needed to look good for the people supporting us, too."

A dozen years ago, Puryear took the idea of an eclectic, nonprofit, community-oriented model he'd helped shape at the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival in Ithaca, N.Y., and decided to put it on the road. The goal was to build a traveling event for every season. The New York festival is in July, so he headed south in search of hosts for the cooler months. He found a few sites in North Carolina, especially farms, but no one seemed willing to take the risk on a young promoter and guitarist from the north.

As soon as he saw what would become Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, a rural expanse with a Pittsboro address and very few neighbors, Puryear knew he'd found the organization's anchor. Still, for a decade, Shakori Hills could only rent its sylvan homestead. Two festival supporters agreed to purchase and hold the parcel long enough for Shakori Hills to purchase it, but the acquisition proved more challenging than expected. Through a series of fundraisers, they'd acquired $75,000 for a down payment. Shakori Hills had been operating in the black since 2007. But would that be enough to convince a bank to provide a $695,000 loan? Probably not.
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