Dem Women, Sept. 12, Carthage

Democratic Women of Moore County

Speaker Dr. Lori Heim, internist and the wife of Jim Heim, chairman of the Moore County Democratic Party, will speak on Health Care Reform.
All are welcome.
September 12, 10 am, Democratic Headquarters, Carthage. For more info call Wilma Laney 944-5502

The Garden Hive



Well Worth Reading



Poetry Society Meets Oct. 24, Weymouth Center

REMEMBER!!!! This year the North Carolina Poetry Society meeting which has traditionally been held on the third Saturday in September HAS BEEN MOVED TO SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2009.

Murdoch?? Oh, Please. . .

Murdoch attack on 'dominant' BBC
News Corp's James Murdoch says that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK and also attacked the government.


Help Our Farmers!


Guinea Babies!

Farm Up's guinea fowl finally were able to hatch a brood: two days old, tooo cute for words. Now to see if Mom Nature and the adults have success in raising them; after all, this is not Africa. . . wish us luck!

More Sustainability Workshops, Chatham Co.

Details on all these events and MANY more can be found on Cooperative Extension's Growing Small Farms website at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/calendar.html

September 12, 2009: Hidden World of Nutrition Workshop from 1:00-4:30 pm in Pittsboro, NC

September 19-20, 2009: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's 4th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour from 1:00-5:00 pm

October 1, 2009: Pastured Poultry Field Day starting at 5:30 pm at Owl's Nest Farm in Pittsboro, NC October 18, 2009

Piedmont Biofarm Pepper Festival from 4:00-7:00 pm in Pittsboro, NC

Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent Chatham County Center
North Carolina Cooperative Extension


Central Park, Raleigh, Sept. 23

You’re Invited To An Exclusive Presentation Of:

Celebration From Central Park
September 23, 2009, 8:00 - 9:30 p.m.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 West Jones Street, Raleigh

Please join UNC-TV for an exclusive presentation of Celebration From Central Park - a kickoff celebration for the premier of the new Ken Burns’ documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Celebration From Central Park is 90-minute program featuring remarks from series co-producers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, preview clips from the film, and performances by Eric Benet, Gavin DeGraw, Jose Feliciano, Carole King, Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, and Peter Yarrow.

Live from Central Park in New York City, this closed-circuit broadcast will celebrate the beauty and grandeur of our national parks. The program will not be available for viewing at any other North Carolina venue, and will not be broadcast on television. Don't miss your chance to preview this much-anticipated new documentary series.

Tickets are $10 each. For more information, please contact Joanne Davis by calling 1-877-407-0004 or via email to jdavis@unctv.org.


Not-so-wonderful Disney, Inc.

You've probably heard this old saying: "He who controls the past controls the future."
What about those who control the imaginations of children?
Why we have we given the power of shaping our children's fantasies over to a shady multinational corporation with suspect origins? The not-so-wonderful world of Disney...


Local CSA Effort Underway! Take the Survey

Incredible, well-organized, well-thought-out grass-roots effort taking shape here in our own backyards!

"What is the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative?" A business enterprise selling fresh local food to local households. It is not another store you need to visit, rather the food is brought to you. Simply sign up and you will receive, every week, a box of the fresh local produce that is in season.

This effort is in the initial stages. In order to get this enterprise off the ground we need to demonstrate to the local farmers that significant demand exists for their products. So we are researching consumer attitudes, behaviors and willingness to subscribe so we can approach the farmers with facts, not just hunches. The best way you can help:

1) Please fill out this brief on-line survey.


2) If you live in the Sandhills, please forward this email to everyone in your region. This program benefits US ALL. If you live elsewhere, see if your locale is supplying these benefits. If you're already plugged into local buying and eating, GOOD FOR YOU in sooo many ways!

Thank you so much for taking the time!


Guns of August vs. Democracy



Robbins, Sept. 12, Recycled Art and Regatta

Recycled Regatta & Recycled Art Contest
Robbins, NC, Sept. 12

If you haven't heard, it's a race where participants build boats and race them over a short course on Bear Creek. Kids of all ages will assemble boats from normally discarded materials, and compete by them paddling or using sail power. The Recycled Art contest challenges anyone to create on, or using recycled materials.

Organizers hope to pull people together, jump start their creativity, raise awareness about recycling, and have fun along the way.

Not sure how to build a recycled boat? Google recycled boats, or cardboard boats. You'll find videos, photos, and the basic science of buoyancy. Or look for ideas on the Town website below.

Don't have time to build a boat? Sign up for the Build-It-On-Site kit!

Recycled Regatta and Recycled Art Contest pdf

See you on September 12th!

Randall Moore
Director of Marketing
Town of Robbins
910 948 4040 Shop
917 699 8232 Cell

A Victory for Clean Energy


Plastics, Ocean Threat



Cover Crops and Sustainability Flick

Cover Cropping Workshop with Extension Agent Taylor Williams, Thursday, 5:30, the Armory, Morganton Rd., Southern Pines.

THEN at 6:30, also on Thursday, Sustainable Sandhills' Community Action meeting and film, Dempsey Center, SCC. Scheduled film is The Greening of Southie.

Methane Escaping Sea Bed

Methane seeps from Arctic sea bed
Scientists say they have evidence that the powerful greenhouse gas methane is escaping from the sea bed off Norway as the ice it is trapped in melts.

Picnic Cracked Iron Curtain


Mercury Contamination Nationwide

USGS Study Reveals Mercury Contamination in Fish Nationwide

The USGS released a study today that assesses mercury contamination in fish, bed sediment, and water from 291 streams across the nation, sampled from 1998 to 2005.

The report, along with a press release, podcast, and summary of major findings can be accessed at http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/mercury/

Scientists detected mercury contamination in every fish sampled in every stream. About a quarter of these fish were found to contain mercury at levels exceeding the criterion for the protection of people who consume average amounts of fish, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More than two-thirds of the fish exceeded the EPA level of concern for fish-eating mammals.

Atmospheric mercury is the main source to most of these streams — coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions in the United States — but 59 of the streams also were potentially affected by gold and mercury mining. Since USGS studies targeted specific sites and fish species, the findings may not be representative of mercury levels in all types of freshwater environments across the United States.

For more information, contact Barbara Scudder, bscudder@usgs.gov, (608) 821-3832 or Mark Brigham, mbrigham@usgs.gov, (763) 783-3274.

Dow's New Pesticide

Dow Chemicals is pitching a new pesticide that also happens to be an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gas, 4,780 times more potent than carbon dioxide. A group of scientists and advocates have organized to attempt to block the request from Dow AgroSciences to use the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride on farm fields in four states.


Energy Citizens??


Conservation Insider Bulletin, Aug. 14

Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina

Conservation News to Peruse & Use

Editor: Dan Besse, cib@conservationcouncilnc.org
August 14, 2009

It's time for some environmental scorekeeping from the just-completed legislative session, plus a glance ahead at some of this fall's municipal campaigns, this week in CIB:

Legislative Watch: Done Deals; Lurking Menaces; Live Opportunities

Looking back over the General Assembly session just ended, here are some of the items that stand out, for good or bad.

Done Deals: The General Assembly took final action on a number of environmental priority items this year. They include the following:

--Transit finance: Gaining final passage on the last day of the session, HB 148, "Congestion Relief / Intermodal Transport Fund", could represent a major step forward for mass transit in North Carolina. The bill gives five urban counties in the Triangle and Triad regions the right to hold local referenda establishing an optional half-cent sales tax increment for transit finance—similar to the one which Mecklenburg County has used to underwrite its new light rail line. The other North Carolina counties can hold referenda on an optional quarter-cent sales tax increment for public transit funding. Wake, Durham, and Orange are expected to seek to use their new authority to boost the Triangle Transit Authority's proposed light rail system.

--Reservoir rules: Earlier in the session, environmental advocates achieved an acceptable compromise for rules to clean up Jordan Reservoir, through passage of HB 239, "Restore Water Quality in Jordan Reservoir".

--Energy action: The state's renewable energy tax credit (HB 512) was extended until 2016; and local governments were authorized to establish revolving loan funds for energy improvements (HB 1389). HB 1389 will authorize municipalities and counties to use federal stimulus and other funds to finance loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. These two bills will help to keep clean energy development moving in our state during a very tough economic period.

Lurking Menaces: Some worrisome proposals were approved by one chamber or the other, keeping them alive for consideration during the "short session" in 2010, including these:

--Beach bummer: SB 832, "CRC May Permit Terminal Groin", passed the Senate and awaits consideration in the House. This terrible bill would rip a gaping hole in the state's long-standing policy of prohibiting new hard structures on the oceanfront, and lead to accelerated loss of coastal beaches.

--Wind chill: SB 1068, "Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities", which in its current form would effectively ban commercial wind generation in the mountains, was approved by the Senate. The bill started life as a generally positive proposal to systemitize the regulation of wind energy development—which is still needed—but during debate in committee, amendments were added which took a darker turn. Fortunately, the House referred the legislation to the House Energy and Energy Efficiency Committee, to be followed by review in the House Finance Committee, with final action likely in 2010. Conservationists are hopeful of repairing the proposal during that process.

-- Rule-unmaking: HB 1335, "Moratorium on EMC Rule Making", ironically passed the Senate, not the House, in its current form. After almost passing the Senate as a blanket moratorium on all Environmental Management Commission (EMC) rulemaking, it was reduced to a moratorium on rules requiring monitoring of water pollution from hog farms. Hear no evil, see no evil...and evil.

Live Opportunities: On the plus side, there are other bills still alive which offer positive opportunities, including this one:

--Local campaigns public financing: CCNC is one of many citizen groups to endorse HB 120, "Public Municipal Campaigns", which would empower the State Board of Elections to authorize more cities or towns to conduct pilot projects in public financing of local campaigns. It passed the House but couldn't quite pull together the votes for passage on the Senate floor and was returned to committee there. Why is this an environmental issue? Well, consider—the vigorous opposition to this entirely voluntary campaign reform effort was led by development interests, which are perfectly happy with their current heavy financial influence on the election of local officials. There's still a chance to move this bill forward in next year's "short session".

Campaign Watch: Green Fields

Last month, CIB invited comments on contests to watch during this fall's municipal election campaigns. Here's what we've heard thus far:

Greensboro: Joel Landau, the general manager of Deep Roots Market, is running for the Greensboro City Council seat from District 4. His experience includes membership on the Greensboro Community Sustainability Council, the Greensboro Planning Board, and the Greensboro chapter of Cool Cities (which promotes local action on climate change). Greensboro's nonpartisan October 6 primary will narrow the field in District 4 to two candidates for the November 3 general election. More information on this and the other Greensboro council races is available at www.triadpolitics.info , a site containing information prepared by the Triad's alternative newsweekly, YES Weekly.

Raleigh: Raleigh city elections routinely feature environmental themes. This year, state environmental legend Bill Holman appears in advertising for the re-election campaigns of Raleigh City Councillors Nancy McFarlane and Russ Stephenson, under the theme "Environmental Stewardship for Raleigh". Among other issue references, McFarlane touts her involvement with efforts such as "Muddy Water Watch" and the push for stronger stormwater controls. Stephenson features his advocacy for sustainable design and the reform of water resources planning.

Cary: Our Cary correspondent points to a contest of interest in Cary Council District A, where three Democratic challengers face a Republican incumbent in this officially non-partisan race. Incumbent Jennifer Robinson was previously viewed as having "strong environmental leanings", but is seen as having more recently sided with "grow at all costs" interests. The three challengers include Cynthia Sinkez, seen as a supporter of environmental causes. Cary's city elections are October 6.

Winston-Salem: There are hot contests with environmental policy implications in several of this city's districts ("wards"), both in the September 15 primary and the November 3 general election. Of these, perhaps the most interesting is the Democratic primary in the North Ward. The North Ward's current representative, Nelson Malloy (perhaps the "greenest" member of the Winston-Salem City Council), is retiring due to ill health. Three Democrats (D.D. Adams, Wayne Patterson, and Phillip Carter) are competing to take his place, and environmental matters make their lists of concerns. Adams is currently a member of the city's Sustainability Commission. Patterson speaks of his support for more bike lanes and sidewalks, preservation of green space, and expanded use of biodiesel. All three Democrats are African-American. The Democratic primary winner will be heavily favored in the general election in this majority-minority district. More information on these candidates and all the other Winston-Salem contests also can be found at www.triadpolitics.info .

We know that there's more happening out there. Reader tips on where to look for local environmental campaign items are welcome.

Washington Watch: EPA Invites Clean Water Enforcement Plan Comments

The U.S. EPA announced this week that it has created an "online discussion forum" to receive public comments on its national enforcement program on clean water laws. Comments will be received online through August 28. Comments received will be considered by the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in its development of a strengthened enforcement action plan.

Information on development of the plan is available at:
Comments will be taken at http://blog.epa.gov.cwaactionplan.

Conservationists: Sustainable Energy Group Seeks Nominees

The N.C. Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) has announced that it is seeking nominations of individuals to serve three-year terms on its board of directors, beginning this October. NCSEA bills itself as a non-profit membership organization "working to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development."

Nominees must be NCSEA members (presumably, by the time they're nominated), and nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. August 25. The NCSEA website is www.energync.org, and more info on the nominations process is available from Julie Robinson, NCSEA's Director of Marketing & Communications, at julie@energync.org.

Ratings on Airline Environmental Responsilbity


Energy, Environment Expo


Important Book


Nurses Refuse Swine Flu Vaccine


Water Crisis in Asia

Water crisis to hit Asian food
cientists say Asia's failure to upgrade irrigation and water security will hit food supplies and stability.

Herbs as Pesticides



White House Bee Hive


SS Sustainability Film, Aug. 20, SCC

Thursday, August 20th, 6:30-8pm | Sandhills Community College, Dempsey Student Center, Clement Dining Room

Our Next Film: “The Greening of Southie” - Click here for movie trailer.

Sustainable Sandhills invites all interested residents to a free screening of the film “The Greening of Southie” on August 20th, 6:30-8pm in Clement Dining Room of the Dempsy Student Center at Sandhills Community College. Everyone is invited to participate in a Q&A discussion following the film. “The Greening of Southie” is the story of a revolutionary green building, and the union teams that bring it to life. The story is set on the rugged streets of south Boston and the jobsite has its skeptics. “The Greening of Southie” is a story of bold ideas, new environmentalists and the future of the way we live.

The discussion portion of the meeting will include the green building perspective of Thomas S. Blue, Fort Bragg Sustainable Facilities Planner. Mr. Blue has been the lead designer, modeler and supervisor of more than 100 projects. His work is focused on water resources and sustainable communities. He has served as a guest lecturer at NC State University, where he has also taught hydrologic analysis, storm water management and related subject matter. Fort Bragg is currently building LEED certified buildings and we are pleased to have Thomas Blue join our discussion.

Bring a friend! It’s FREE!!! We look forward to seeing you there!

Cuba to Remain Communist

Castro says Cuban system to stay
Cuban President Raul Castro says he is willing to talk with the US, but Cuba's communist system will remain in place.

Pathogen Levels in Colony Collapse Disorder


Health Insurers

BusinessWeek: "The Health Insurers Have Already Won"

In a cover story for BusinessWeek earlier this month, reporters Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein argue UnitedHealth and other insurers maneuvered to shape healthcare reform for their own benefit. The story is titled "The Health Insurers Have Already Won," and the authors argue that the insurers have "succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable." We speak with Chad Terhune, senior writer at BusinessWeek, where he's covered healthcare for several years.

News on Peak Oil


Krugman on Healthcare

August 17, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
The Swiss Menace
It was the blooper heard round the world. In an editorial denouncing Democratic health reform plans, Investor’s Business Daily tried to frighten its readers by declaring that in Britain, where the government runs health care, the handicapped physicist Stephen Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance,” because the National Health Service would consider his life “essentially worthless.”

Professor Hawking, who was born in Britain, has lived there all his life, and has been well cared for by the National Health Service, was not amused.

Besides being vile and stupid, however, the editorial was beside the point. Investor’s Business Daily would like you to believe that Obamacare would turn America into Britain — or, rather, a dystopian fantasy version of Britain. The screamers on talk radio and Fox News would have you believe that the plan is to turn America into the Soviet Union. But the truth is that the plans on the table would, roughly speaking, turn America into Switzerland — which may be occupied by lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eaters, but wasn’t a socialist hellhole the last time I looked.

Let’s talk about health care around the advanced world.

Every wealthy country other than the United States guarantees essential care to all its citizens. There are, however, wide variations in the specifics, with three main approaches taken.

In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false. Like every system, the National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do. By the way, our own Veterans Health Administration, which is run somewhat like the British health service, also manages to combine quality care with low costs.

The second route to universal coverage leaves the actual delivery of health care in private hands, but the government pays most of the bills. That’s how Canada and, in a more complex fashion, France do it. It’s also a system familiar to most Americans, since even those of us not yet on Medicare have parents and relatives who are.

Again, you hear a lot of horror stories about such systems, most of them false. French health care is excellent. Canadians with chronic conditions are more satisfied with their system than their U.S. counterparts. And Medicare is highly popular, as evidenced by the tendency of town-hall protesters to demand that the government keep its hands off the program.

Finally, the third route to universal coverage relies on private insurance companies, using a combination of regulation and subsidies to ensure that everyone is covered. Switzerland offers the clearest example: everyone is required to buy insurance, insurers can’t discriminate based on medical history or pre-existing conditions, and lower-income citizens get government help in paying for their policies.

In this country, the Massachusetts health reform more or less follows the Swiss model; costs are running higher than expected, but the reform has greatly reduced the number of uninsured. And the most common form of health insurance in America, employment-based coverage, actually has some “Swiss” aspects: to avoid making benefits taxable, employers have to follow rules that effectively rule out discrimination based on medical history and subsidize care for lower-wage workers.

So where does Obamacare fit into all this? Basically, it’s a plan to Swissify America, using regulation and subsidies to ensure universal coverage.

If we were starting from scratch we probably wouldn’t have chosen this route. True “socialized medicine” would undoubtedly cost less, and a straightforward extension of Medicare-type coverage to all Americans would probably be cheaper than a Swiss-style system. That’s why I and others believe that a true public option competing with private insurers is extremely important: otherwise, rising costs could all too easily undermine the whole effort.

But a Swiss-style system of universal coverage would be a vast improvement on what we have now. And we already know that such systems work.

So we can do this. At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

Front Yard Vending for Locavores



Oops, No Monday Night Movie

Correction. We got ahead of ourselves by posting Food, Inc. for Monday. So far as we know now, Food, Inc. will NOT be showing tomorrow evening.


Food, Inc. Held Over for Monday!

Unbelievable! The movie, Food, Inc, sold out both nights!
No documentary previously had sold out at the Sunrise. AND they are holding it over one more night... Monday, August 17 at 7:30 pm. Same price... $7.
So far as we know, there will be no panel discussion afterward, but you will still get a program filled with info you can use to increase your access to healthful foods and help us make changes by simply doing what we do... shop! WE HAVE THE POWER... the power of our dollars! Farmers have promised that the more "REAL" food we demand from them, the more they will produce.
So if you didn't get a chance to attend Thursday or Friday... or know someone who missed Food, Inc., let them know we're on for Monday!


Good School Food in Hard Times?


Yes! We're on!

Today's Sunrise Theater's grand opening of Food, Inc. happens, rain or no rain. Venders, booths will be set up on the green beside the theater. Hey, nobody's every melted in the rain!

Tomato, Basil Diseases

Tomato blight in the northeast. Important now for backyard growers to understand the signs of disease in their small plots, as the outcome could affect larger volumes of food grown elsewhere.

Our wet weather here in the Piedmont sets the stage for other diseases. This from Chatham County Organic Extension agent Debbie Roos:

"Bad news for basil growers: basil downy mildew was confirmed at a NC farm this week (unfortunately right here in Chatham County). Basil downy mildew is a very new disease and this is the first confirmed case in the state. Basil growers are at high risk for this disease. I posted photos and information on Cooperative Extension’s Growing Small Farms website at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/basildownymildew.html

Unfotunately, this can possibly affect a number of members of the Lmiaceae or mint family."

Wikipedia says this about the mints, a large and useful family:

Lamiaceae or Labiatae, also known as the mint family, is a family of plants.

The plants are frequently aromatic in all parts and include many widely used culinary herbs, such as basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme, lavender, and perilla. Some are shrubs, trees, such as teak, or rarely vines. Many members of the family are widely cultivated, owing not only to their aromatic qualities but also their ease of cultivation: these plants are among the easiest plants to propagate by stem cuttings. Besides those grown for their edible leaves, some are grown for decorative foliage, such as coleus.

The stems are frequently square in cross section, but this is not found in all members of the family, and is sometimes found in other plant families."

So, keep an eye on your gardens, and pull out sick plants to keep the spores from spreading to the rest of your garden and beyond. Early is better than later.

Conservation Insider Bulletin, Aug. 7

Conservation Insider Bulletin
Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina
Conservation News to Peruse & Use
Editor: Dan Besse, cib@conservationcouncilnc.org

August 7, 2009

More complete legislative updates will be provided in future editions, but here's where some major environmental items stand as of today's CIB press time.

Budget Approved: More than a month late and pleasing no one, the General Assembly finally approved a budget. The combination of major program cuts and significant tax increases, in response to plummeting revenues caused by the deep recession, left a sour mood in all camps. In the process, critical environmental programs took their share of hard knocks. Within the context of these very rough times, Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources, reports what has to be taken as the good news. The Office of Environmental Education was not eliminated, despite a Senate recommendation to do so. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund received a $50 million appropriation—not enough to make up for what was raided by the governor to cover last year's shortfalls, but much better than nothing. Finally, the Farmland Preservation Trust Fund got $2 million. Overall, spending in the categories of "natural and economic resources" took $61.2 million in cuts compared to last year's budget.

An Ill Wind: The Senate this week approved a version of SB 106 "Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities", which would effectively ban commercial wind generation in the mountains. This unfortunate turn has pitted scenic preservationists against advocates of renewable energy development. Clean energy advocates point out that the two perspectives don't have to be taken as in fundamental conflict, and that a reasonable accommodation can both preserve scenic mountain vistas and make use of a clean, reliable energy source. The Senate-passed version of the bill fails to meet that test. Fortunately, the House referred the legislation to the House Energy and Energy Efficiency Committee, to be followed by review in the House Finance Committee. This seems to indicate that the measure will be reviewed with deliberation, and improvements will be sought. Final action will likely come in 2010.

Positive Energy: Not all the energy-related news was bad. Two important energy-related items have received late legislative approval. The state's renewable energy tax credit (HB 512) was extended until 2016; and local governments were authorized to establish revolving loan funds for energy improvements (HB 1389). HB 1389 will authorize municipalities and counties to use federal stimulus and other funds to finance loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. These two bills will help to keep clean energy development moving in our state during a very tough economic period.

Judicial Watch: Roadless Rule Restored

There's good news for our national forests from the federal courts this week. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (out in California) has reinstated the 2001 "roadless rule" enacted by the Clinton administration just before he left office. The court's ruling tosses out a 2005 decision by the U.S. Forest Service under the Bush administration, which had reversed the Clinton rule.

The restored Roadless Rule blocks most commercial logging, mining, and other development from 58.5 million acres of roadless areas in the national forests. These roadless areas are de facto wilderness, often including areas of our remaining old growth forest, including areas in North Carolina.

The court's decision should provide regular rule underpinning to secure the Obama administration's temporary moratorium on further development in these important wilderness areas. U.S. Interior Secretary Tom Vilsack had taken personal review of all development proposals in these areas under a directive to the Forest Service on May 28 of this year.

The Other Side: Big Coal Pays for Fake Lobbying Letters

Sometimes the machinations of the forces opposing action on climate change impress even the hardened cynics. One such case was revealed this week with news that the "American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy" was bankrolling a PR firm which sent blatantly fabricated letters opposing climate change legislation to members of Congress.

The "Clean Coal Energy" group, of course, is just a front group for the coal industry itself. Nothing new there. The PR firm it hired, Bonner & Associates, was generating "astroturf" (artificial 'grassroots' lobbying) letters to swing voters in Congress. Ho-hum, old story.

But here's the kicker. These letters weren't just goosed up by Bonner; they were made up. The letterheads of real groups, like a Hispanic network group and a Virginia NAACP chapter, were used to fake letters purportedly coming from those groups, in opposition to climate change action.

According to news reports, the newspaper Charlottesville(Va.) Daily Progress "broke" news of the scandal in the case of the fake letters sent to first-term U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA5). Since then, other similar fakes have been found to representatives from Pennsylvania. The PR firm apparently sought to target recently elected Democrats from swing districts in states where the coal industry has political clout.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has had a field day reporting on the scandal this week, including an interview with Perriello. Among her points, she noted that the "shocked, shocked" reaction from the "Clean Coal Energy" group ignored a previous history of similar scams involving the Bonner firm. According to Maddow's research, the "Clean Coal" group even knew about the fake letters before the House voted on ACES (American Clean Energy and Security Act) in late June, but failed to reveal the scam.

Debate in Congress over recent weeks has focused primarily on health care reform efforts—but some scandals are just too juicy to be entirely suppressed. Lettergate may prove to be one of these.

Education & Resources: eRulemaking Site Upgrades Public Access

The EPA announced this week that its eRulemaking Program has launched a "significant upgrade" to www.regulations.gov, the site which provides "one-stop, public access to information related to current and forthcoming regulations issued by the federal government." The 8/3/09 EPA news release specifically touted "improved search capabilities, new navigation tools, and easier access to areas for the public to provide comments on proposed regulations." The EPA acts as managing agency partner for the inter-agency eRulemaking Program.

This is no doubt news eagerly awaited by the burgeoning Green Cybergeek Community, of which there may be more members than I might have thought a couple of years ago. It will probably even be useful for the rest of us who periodically need to check the content or status of a federal rulemaking proposal.

And the odds are, you heard it here first. Another scoop for CIB. Eat out your hearts, mainstream media.

Water Use Unsustainable



Financial Aid for Community Gardens


USDA Declares Gardening Week


It's the Resources

African Development Hindered by Vast US Corporate Interests in Continent's Land, Resources
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Nigeria today, we turn to the issue of US corporate interests in Africa's natural resources. Clinton's seven-country tour of Africa includes both Nigeria and Angola, the continent's top two oil producers. We speak with Amy Barry of Global Witness, an anti-corruption watchdog that focuses on natural resources. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/12/land

Healthcare Reform Needs Action Hero


Skatepark, Aberdeen

The skatepark is moving to highway 211 E., Ashley Heights, Aberdeen Sports Complex.
Skating will be only one activity available to children and their parents, grandparents....laser tag, wall climbing, volleyball, games, concerts, roller rink, exercise room, restaurant, day camps, lock-ins, movie premieres, flea markets and a multitude of weekly special events....

Flea Market, Sat., Aug. 15 starting at 8 a.m., with another scheduled for Sept. 12.

We'll have a grand opening in September but we hope that skaters will be able to get out there this Saturday on some of the elements. It will not be complete but it will be skateable, so thanks for sharing with anyone who might be interested in supporting our cause of keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble.


Reminder, Aug 13, 14, Sunrise Theater

"Food, Inc. " will be screened on Thursday and Friday evenings, August 13 & 14 at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines. A big party on the green next to the theater precedes it. Please bring a friend and an appetite.

The community has coalesced around this special showing by the Sunrise Theater in a manner both surprising, inspiring and delightful. We're becoming a "foodie" community, neighbors. And the screening and panel last weekend in Fayetteville was a hit. Congratulations to Fayetteville!

This week's screenings should in Southern Pines be even more of a hit, as we're throwing a big party to go along with it.

Both screenings will be followed by a panel, community discussion and Q&A in the theater with local food and community advocates. Tickets for the film go on sale 30 minutes before showtime (possibly earlier this night - stay tuned for details) and are $5 for children under 12, and $7 for adults. For more information call theSunrise box office at 910-692-3611.

On Thursday only, August 13, opening day.... we kick it off with

"The Moore the Merrier"
A Celebration of Local Food

From 5pm ­ 7:30pm on Thursday, August 13, come enjoy local food, wine, beer, music and more at The Moore the Merrier...

Thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of local foodie Mariah Fong, we can come to a celebration and sample local foods prepared by local chefs on the Sunrise Theater green. Visit with farmers, local craftsfolk and shopkeepers and beekeepers.

Some of the vendors/participants include: Ashten's, Chef Warren's, La Poblanita, 195, Rhett's, White Rabbit Catering, Wolcott's, Sharron Scott - Raw Chef, Moore County Farmers Market, Griffin Family Farm, Half-Acre Farm, Toole, Family Apiary, Full Circle Farm, Raven's Wing Natural Healing, Fancy Faces 4 U, Santi Yoga Studio, Java Bean Plantation and Roasting Company, Foxy Biscotti, April Fool's ...and many many more!

Come hungry, as also this local food celebration benefits the Sandhills/Moore Coalition for Human Care, a United Way agency. (In fact, make it an afternnoon and come watch the benefit Tricycle Races before the Food Fest.) Then hustle on into the Sunrise to enjoy Food, Inc. at 7:30pm


Food, Inc. |
The Sunrise Theater | (910) 692-3611 |
250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC
Thursday, August 13 7:30pm (panel discussion and Q&A to follow film) + "The Moore The Merrier"
Friday, August 14 | 7:30pm (panel discussion and Q&A to follow film)


Reality Check on Healthcare Reform

Anyone that's watched the news in the past few days knows that health insurance reform is a hot topic — and that rumors and scare tactics have only increased as more people engage with the issue. Given a lot of the outrageous claims floating around, it’s time to make sure everyone knows the facts about the security and stability you get with health insurance reform.

That’s why we’ve launched a new online resource — WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck — to help you separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform. Here's a few of the reality check videos you can find on the site:

CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.

Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.

Matt Flavin, the White House's Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, clears the air about Veteran's benefits.

Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House's Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.

Bob Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.

Fighting the Food Crisis, NC

Sunday, August 16. 3:00 PM. Author reading and book signing by Aaron Newton, co-author of A Nation of Farmers: Fighting the Food Crisis on American Soil. Quail Ridge Books, Ridgewood Shopping Center, Raleigh.

The book explores the limits and dangers of our globalized and industrialized food system and argues that the food crisis is a direct result of our current food system. It predicts increasing hunger - the starvation of tens of millions in the poor world and more and more hungry Americans desperately trying to keep fed - unless we radically re-envision and relocalize our food system.
Aaron Newton resides and farms in Concord, NC.

Late Blight, Tomatoes



Empire of Delusion


Moore County Beekeepers, Aug. 11

The August meeting of the Moore County Beekeepers Association will be held on Tuesday, August 11th at 7pm in the Moore County Agricultural Center in Carthage. The program will be "Bees in Cartoons", presented by Hugh Madison.
Our fall field day will be a trip to the Honeybee exhibit at the NC Zoo, Saturday August 15th. Meet at the entrance to the North American exhibit at 9am.


Pollinator Workshop, Tour, Aug. 31

August 31: Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour, 6:00-8:00 pm

Chatham County Cooperative Extension building on the traffic circle in downtown Pittsboro; will probably include a tour of the garden at Chatham Mills in front of Chatham Marketplace, Pittsboro.

Presenter: Debbie Roos (North Carolina Cooperative Extension)
For more information: 919.542.8202; debbie_roos@ncsu.edu; www.growingsmallfarms.org

USDA to Seek Independent Oversight of Organics

Action Ensures Consistent Enforcement of Organic Standards WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 6, 2009)
At the urging of the National Organic Coalition and others, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will subject its National Organic Program (NOP) to a stringent audit and continued oversight by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In a July 29 letter addressed to the National Organic Coalition, USDA Deputy Secretary, Kathleen Merrigan underscored the value of scrutinizing the NOP to strengthen the integrity of the program and the USDA organic seal. The NOP is USDA's regulatory body that develops, implements, and administers the USDA organic seal and national standards for organic agricultural products sold in the U.S. It accredits domestic and foreign certifying agents who inspect organic production and handling operations producing organic food sold in the U.S. as compliant with USDA organic standards. NIST's National Voluntary Conformity Assessment Systems Evaluation (NVCASE) program reviews accreditation programs such as the NOP to assess their ongoing conformity with international standards for management of accreditation program through onsite audit, evaluation of office system, and oversight of record keeping, enforcement, and corrective actions.
"Third-party recognition is important for many of USDA's audit-based programs," Merrigan said in her letter to the National Organic Coalition. "We understand the value of this step as we continue working to strengthen the integrity of the NOP and to build the organic community's trust in the program." Merrigan anticipates that the NIST review will begin October 1, 2009.
"We applaud USDA's willingness to submit its organic program to the rigors of these international norms and believe this will pave the way for continued growth and success of the U.S. organic industry," said Robynn Shrader, a National Organic Coalition founding member and CEO of the National Cooperative Grocers Association. In June, the National Organic Coalition met with Merrigan to discuss the need for greater consistency in the implementation of NOP rules. The coalition proposed that the NOP apply to NIST at the U.S. Department of Commerce for recognition of its accreditation function and to make a commitment to strictly comply with NIST requirements.
"USDA's organic seal is the best guarantee for people who want to eat healthy foods grown without the use of toxic pesticides, GMOs or artificial growth hormones such as rBGH," said Liana Hoodes, National Organic Coalition policy coordinator.
"We anticipate that the potential changes NOP will make to earn NIST recognition will result in greater consistency and integrity in USDA organic standards, greater fairness to organic farmers and handlers, and greater consumer confidence in the USDA organic label."
The National Organic Coalition (www.nationalorganiccoalition.org) is a non-governmental alliance of organizations working to provide a "Washington voice" for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and progressive industry members involved in organic agriculture.In order for the NOP to be recognized by the NIST NVCASE program, National Organic Coalition anticipates NOP will be required to make significant modifications to its accreditation procedures.
"We think the USDA and the entire Obama Administration have sent a clear message that maintaining and improving the integrity of the organic industry is a national priority and that the USDA will continue to build a trusting alliance with the broader organic community as the NOP grows and matures," Hoodes added.

Media contact:Liana HoodesNational Organic CoalitionCell: 914-443-5759www.NationalOrganicCoalition.orgLiana@hvc.rr.com For a pdf of this release, or for a copy of the letter from Deputy Secretary Merrigan, go to www.NationalOrganicCoalition.org

Reminder, Aug. 13

Just a reminder to mark August 13 on your calendar. That is the date of "The Moore the Merrier" Local Food Festival that will precede the opening night of the movie Food, Inc. at the Sunrise Theater. Some of the vendors/participants include: Ashten's, Chef Warren's, La Poblanita, 195, Rhett's, White Rabbit Catering, Wolcott's, Sharron Scott - Raw Chef, Moore County Farmers Market, Griffin Family Farm, Half-Acre Farm, Toole, Family Apiary, Full Circle Farm, Raven's Wing Natural Healing, Fancy Faces 4 U, Santi Yoga Studio, Java Bean Plantation and Roasting Company, Foxy Biscotti, April Fools ...and more!

You don't want to miss this... Free admission! Come for dinner! Come for fun! Come and join the community in celebrating local food! And stay for the movie... or return for the second showing on Friday, August 14.