Endorsements from NC League of Conservation Voters

Remember early voting starts tomorrow, October 18, and continues through November 3. You can find your early voter site here: ncvoterinfo.org

2012 Conservation PAC General Election Endorsements

North Carolina State Senate Races

  • District 5 – Former Senator Don Davis, D-Greene
  • District 9 – Deb Butler, D-New Hanover
  • District 14 – Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake
  • District 15 – Senator Neal Hunt, R-Wake and Sig Hutchinson, D-Wake
  • District 16 – Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake
  • District 17 – Erv Portman, D-Wake
  • District 18 – Sen. Doug Berger, D-Franklin
  • District 19 – George Tatum D-Cumberland
  • District 23 – Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange
  • District 28 – Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford
  • District 32 – Sen. Earline Parmon, D-Forsyth
  • District 37 – Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 38 – Joel Ford, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 40 – Sen. Malcolm Graham, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 46 – John McDevitt, D-Burke
  • District 49 – Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe
  • District 50 – Former Sen. John Snow, D-Cherokee

North Carolina State House Races

  • District 2 –Rep. Winkie Wilkins, D-Person
  • District 5 – Rep. Annie Mobley, D-Hertford
  • District 7 – Rep. Angela Bryant, D-Nash
  • District 8 – Mark Bibbs, D-Wilson
  • District 9 – Rep. Marian McLawhorn, D-Pitt
  • District 11 – Duane Hall, D-Wake
  • District 18 – Rep. Susi Hamilton, D-New Hanover
  • District 19 – Emilie Swearingen, D-New Hanover
  • District 21 – Rep. Larry Bell, D-Sampson
  • District 23 – Rep. Joe Tolson, D-Edgecombe
  • District 24 – Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson
  • District 27 – Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northampton
  • District 29 – Rep. Larry Hall, D-Durham
  • District 30 – Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham
  • District 31 – Rep. Henry M. Michaux, D-Durham
  • District 32 – Nathan Baskerville, D-Vance
  • District 33 – Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake
  • District 34 – Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake
  • District 35 – Lori Millberg, D-Wake
  • District 38 – Yvonne Lewis Holley, D-Wake
  • District 39 – Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake
  • District 40 – Watt Jones, D-Wake
  • District 41 – Jim Messina, D-Wake
  • District 42 – Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • District 44 – Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland
  • District 45 – Eddie Dees, D-Cumberland
  • District 49 – Keith Karlsson, D-Wake
  • District 50 – Valerie Foushee, D-Orange
  • District 51 – Bill Tatum, D-Lee
  • District 54 – Deb McManus, D-Chatham
  • District 56 – Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange
  • District 57 – Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford
  • District 58 – Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford
  • District 63 – Patty Philipps, D-Alamance
  • District 65 – William Osborne, D-Rockingham
  • District 66 – Ken Goodman, D-Richmond
  • District 88 – Rep. Martha Alexander, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 92 – Robin Bradford, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 93 – Former Rep. Cullie Tarleton, D-Watauga
  • District 100 – Rep. Tricia Ann Cotham, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 101 – Rep. Beverly Earle, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 102 – Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 106 – Carla Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg
  • District 114 – Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe
  • District 115 – Susan Wilson, D-Buncombe
  • District 116 – Former Rep. Jane Whilden, D-Buncombe
  • District 117 – Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson
  • District 118 – Rep. Ray Rapp, D-Madison
  • District 119 – Former Senator Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood



Thursday, October 25, 2012. 7 PM
Southern Pines Civic Club (corner of Ashe Street and Pennsylvania Avenue)
“Revising the Moore County Land Use Plan – A Vision for Moore County’s Future.”
Panelists Pat Corso and Marsh Smith on the question:  “What do we want the county to look like in the next two or three decades?”

Pat Corso, a member of the Moore County Land Use Planning Committee, has had a great deal to do with visionary undertakings in the North Carolina area.  In 1986, he was transferred to Pinehurst by Club Corp, the previous owner of Pinehurst Resort, and was named president and CEO of the resort in January, 1987, a position that he held for 17 years.  During that time, Corso oversaw the restoration of the resort and its return to prominence as one of the three great golf resorts in the world, having helped recruit major championship golf events, including the 1999 US Open Championship.    He also led Club Corp’s resort division which included the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.  Since that time, Corso and his partners founded National Resort Management, managing resorts from Florida to New Hampshire; and he has served on the NC Travel and Tourism Board, the NC Economic Development Board, and the State Chamber Commerce Boards in both North Carolina and New Hampshire.  Named one of the forty North Carolina Tourism Leaders of the Twentieth Century by Appalachian State University, he is currently Executive Director of Moore County Partners in Progress, a public/private partnership promoting economic development in Moore County as well as a franchisee/partner of Pinehurst Donuts, LLC owner of the local five county Dunkin Donuts franchise.

Attorney Marsh Smith, no stranger to championing the environmental aspects of the county’s future, has practiced law in the Sandhills for over 20 years.  Volunteer attorney with the notable Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in Chapel Hill,  a partner at the Cunningham, Dedmond, Petersen, and Smith firm, he has his own law practice – the Law Office of Marsh Smith, PA – in Southern Pines since 2003.  Known for creative thinking “outside the box,” Smith conceived the Safe Harbor Program that gives landowners greater flexibility under the Endangered Species Act.  Now widely imitated throughout the nation, “Safe Harbor” encourages increases in endangered species habitat while protecting landowners from increased regulatory obligations resulting from such increases.  He served on the Moore County Land Use Plan Steering Committee prior to the adoption of Moore County’s first countywide zoning ordinance.  Smith designed land conservation transactions to allow lower income farm families to share in the tax benefits derived from conservation easements with conservation buyers who have higher ordinary income.  He also represented landowners and an environmental group several years ago that forced NCDOT to drop transportation plans that would have bisected the Walthour-Moss Equestrian Conservation area.

Each panelist brings entirely different visionary ideas to this forum, making for what promises to be a lively discussion.  The public is invited, questions are welcomed, refreshments will be served.


Anti-Fracking events in NC

FrackUpdate: September 19-20
Upcoming Events
  • TONIGHT, 6 PM, Central Carolina Communty College, Pittsboro: Elaine Chiosso presenting an update on fracking with a screening of "Message from the Marcellus."
  • Sept. 22, Global Frackdown. Events are planned for Asheville and the Triangle.
  • Sept. 24, 7 PM, Halyburton Park Visitor Center, Wilmington, Dr. Jeanne Simonelli presents "Fracking: Can NC Learn from PA & NY?" Cape Fear Sierra Club.
  • Sept. 28, 10 AM-2 PM Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building, Raleigh. Mining and Energy Commission meeting.
  • Sept. 29, 1:30-5 PM, Greensboro, CWFNC Annual Meeting: Fracking, Water Privatization and more!
  • Oct 2, 7 PM, Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw: Screening of "Split Estate" hosted by Central Park NC, discussion to follow led by Elaine Chiosso


Commissioner Candidate Marcus Speaks July 26, 7 pm


Ellen Marcus, running against current Commissioner Nick Picerno for the Moore County Board of Commissioners, is guest speaker at the July meeting of Save Our Sandhills, Southern Pines Civic Club, corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ashe Street, July 26, 7:00 PM.  Her talk:  “Plan before You Pave.”

With attitudes toward the environment clearly dividing our country as a whole in today’s technological age, Save Our Sandhills believes that open communication is essential.  We all depend on one world for our sustenance and welfare, and we should understand all points of view.  With this in mind and the fact that no local governmental body has a greater power to determine the fate of our forests, our streams, and our wildlife than the Board of Commissioners, Save Our Sandhills invited Commissioner Picerno to address his environment views at April meeting, and has now invited candidate Ellen Marcus to express her views.

Ellen and husband Jeff live in the Pinedale Community with two young daughters.  She grew up on a small farm in the longleaf pine forest of rural East Texas, where water conservation was a way of life.  In numerous ways her youth in the Texas longleaf pine forest helped prepare her for issues in the North Carolina Sandhills.  Ellen earned a degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology from Stephen F. Austin State University, and met her husband in 1995 when both were members of Americorps in Big Bend National Park and were studying water quality, ecology and the history of the park’s water sources. She developed an appreciation for the history of North Carolina while working at the NC Museum of History.  She has also worked as the site manager for the Malcolm Blue Farm; done freelance writing for the Pilot, The Fayetteville Observer, and NEXT Magazine; and taught children’s camps and culinary classes.

Marcus will discuss her campaign platform from the standpoint of natural resource-related issues that include the county land use plan update, development ordinances, and the county water and sewer plan.  Ellen believes that Moore County has reached an important crossroads in planning, needing to preserve what makes our area special by pausing to implement good land-use planning before sprawl, strip malls and leap frog developments pave our future.
Planning for conservation of our farmlands and forests, while accommodating appropriate levels of future growth, requires cohesive county policies.  It starts with the land use plan which provides vision for the community.  Zoning and unified development ordinances establish rules guiding any development.  County commissioners are ultimately responsible for decisions, and Ellen would be a new commissioner providing a fresh outlook for Moore County.

Ellen has seen that the land use plan is effective ONLY IF county commissioners choose to implement it.  She has seen the Pine Forest development's lesson in the importance in having zoning ordinances and other policies that back up the land use plan.  If elected, she is passionate about striving for a balance of land use policies that support the vision of the land use plan – those that conserve our natural resources and protect our property rights, yet still accommodate appropriate growth.

The public is invited, questions are welcomed, refreshments will be served.  See you there!


NCLCV Rescinds Environment Award re Fracking Vote

For immediate release
July 3, 2012
Environmental Organization Rescinds Member’s Award following Controversial Fracking Vote
Contact: Dan Crawford, Director of Governmental Relations, NC League of Conservation Voters, dan@nclcv.org, 919-839-0020 or (c)919-539-1422.
Environmental Organization Rescinds Member's Award following Controversial Fracking Vote
RALEIGH - The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) announced today it is rescinding its "Rising Star" award given to Rep. Susi Hamilton on June 20th. The award was given to Hamilton for her pro-environmental record in her first term as a legislator at NCLCV's annual Green Tie Award dinner in Raleigh. Representative Hamilton voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue's courageous veto of SB 820, an ill-conceived, controversial bill which would allow fracking in North Carolina without insuring the proper safeguards to protect public health, drinking water, and property rights.
This is bold step that the organization is not taking lightly. "Politics is not a zero sum game and other awardees have made choices that we did not agree with. However, the circumstances, timing, and weight of this issue warrants a significant response," said Nina Szlosberg-Landis, president of NCLCV. "Our members put a lot of trust in this organization, and we do not take that trust lightly," she went on to say.
Board members, supporters, and past Green Tie award winners began contacting the organization early on Monday after learning Hamilton was brokering a deal with Republican leadership to "trade her vote" on the fracking override to secure an extension of tax incentives for the movie industry, buried in a technical corrections bill. The tax incentive Hamilton sought had been championed by New Hanover County Republican Lawmaker Danny McComas, and likely would have happened regardless of how Hamilton voted.
"Last night Captain America prevailed over clean drinking water and the property rights of North Carolinians," said Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for NCLCV. "We found out that even this Green Tie Award winner "has her price." This was too big of a vote to sell out the environment on an issue that will change the landscape of our state for years to come," he concluded.
NCLCV works to hold decision makers accountable for their actions through a legislative scorecard and political action. "Green Tie award ceremonies are nice, but we do the bulk of our work in electing pro-conservation minded candidates to the General Assembly. New Hanover County deserves someone that will better balance the environmental impacts of the decisions they make; we will work to ensure that in future elections," Crawford added.
"I am deeply saddened by Hamilton's decision. Particularly because we had such high hopes for her in the future," Szlosberg-Landis said. "Our job now is to look ahead. To continue to recruit, support, and elect lawmakers who respect our citizens' rights for a clean, healthy and prosperous North Carolina. Mark my words. We will do just that."
The organization will deliver a letter to Hamilton's office today, asking that she return the NCLCV Rising Star award plaque.
NC League of Conservation Voters is a statewide lobbying organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina's natural environment. NCLCV has been working to protect North Carolina's environment and our citizen's health for over 40 years, turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities. NCLCV's vision for the future of North Carolina is that all citizens and our elected decision-makers will better understand and appreciate North Carolina's unique natural environment, and the integral role it plays in North Carolina's economy and quality of life. nclcv.org

Wrong Economic Model for Planet


Attacks on Public Sector, Science re Extreme Weather



Free Lecture, Women's Attitudes, Civil War, June 24

Women’s Attitudes
Toward Secession and the
Civil War Lecture
Mary Wayne Watson

Sunday, June 24, 2012
First Baptist Church
200 E. New York Avenue and May Street, Southern Pines
2:00 pm, No Admission Charge
The Moore County Historical Association invites you to a free lecture by Mary Wayne Watson on “Women’s Attitudes Toward Secession and the Civil War.” The lecture is Sunday, June 24 starting at 2 p.m. and is at the First Baptist Church of Southern Pines. Visitors should use the May Street Entrance.

Watson is no stranger to Moore County audiences. This noted English professor is sponsored by the N.C. Humanities Council as part of the Roads Scholar program. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her doctorate from the University of Virginia.

Her lecture focuses on unpublished manuscripts and correspondence by gifted North Carolina women whose perspectives of the Civil War period show the impact of Sherman’s scorched earth policy on the area, following the first period of idealism, followed by sadness and loss during the four years from 1861-1865, as North Carolina and the rest of the South continued to suffer loss and misery into the post-war period. Watson actually used as her basis letters her own great-grandmother in Scotland County wrote during that period to a family in Moore County, in the process revealing that North Carolina had a surprisingly literary heritage in years of hardship and loss.

Watson also has done presentations on her own great uncle, a North Carolina Poet Laureate named John Charles McNeill, and a cousin, Gerald White Johnson, a journalist and historian.

The lecturer has taught English at both middle and high school levels in public schools. She also taught at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and is currently a professor of English and literature at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount.

For more information call (910) 692-2051 or email info@moorehistory.com


Call Gov. Perdue re Fracking ASAP

Tell Governor Perdue to veto Senate Bill 820 and oppose this irresponsible rush to bring fracking to North Carolina!

During the floor debate, legislators were given a letter from Calvin Tillman, the former mayor of a small Texas town which is in a major fracking zone. He wrote:

"We’ve watched as fracking has turned our small rural town into an ugly industrial zone. We’ve also felt health impacts first hand as we have been overwhelmed at times with strong chemical odors. We’ve watched our roads be in a constant state of congestion and in need of repair due to the stress of relentless heavy truck traffic. This is the reality of life in a fracking state."
We shouldn’t rush into legalizing this controversial practice when so many questions remain regarding its safety, its practicality, and the potential impacts to our communities. Of particular concern is the Republican plan to create a new state commission to oversee fracking which will itself be dominated by fracking industry representatives.

Tell Governor Perdue to stand up against the rush to frack in North Carolina by vetoing Senate Bill 820 today!


Will Allen with Colbert Report, June 12

Growing Power’s Will Allen to Make Guest Appearance on the Hit T.V. Show, The Colbert Report
MILWAUKEE [June 11, 2012] – Will Allen, Farmer, Founder, and CEO of Growing Power and newly published author of “The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities” (Gotham Books) will make a guest appearance on the popular T.V. show, The Colbert Report. The show will air at 11:30 PM ET/10:30 PM CT, Tuesday, June 12, 2012 on Comedy Central.


Our Coast, a NC travel guide with a conscience

Education & Resources: Travel With a Conscience
In time for summer vacation season, the N.C. Coastal Federation (NCCF) has just published "Our Coast"--billed as a travel guide which "features places that were once threatened by development and are now protected because people fought for them." Editor Frank Tursi calls it "a travel guide with a conscience."
'Our Coast' should be of interest to everyone from college students out to discover the real coast away from the beach town bars, to the old conservation hands back for a visit to places they helped to save. Features range from night expeditions to hear red wolves howl in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, to marsh cruises on the White Oak River estuaries around Hammocks Beach State Park.
For more information and to get a copy of the free guide, go to http://www.nccoast.org/Article.aspx?k=918af80a-bc10-4183-adf4-38e52cd06fef


No-Frack Day, June 5, Join In!

Save Our Sandhills President Joe McDonald spoke on fracking in a panel discussion taped on Monday, May 21 and which will air on local station WEEB 990 on Tuesday, May 22 at 10:05PM.
Please listen in if you have the opportunity.
June 5 is the important frack-free lobby day in Raleigh.  Save Our Sandhills would like to send a strong contingent. Please let us know if you can go to Raleigh on that day. Call 235-3862 or 315-1233.


Resolution on Fracking in NC, spread the word


Save Our Sandhills

No Hydraulic Fracturing In North Carolina

WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking”, is a method of extracting natural gas from shale rock through the use of horizontal drilling and the injection of a highly pressurized mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to fracture the shale and release the gas; and

WHEREAS, data from Pennsylvania shows that between three and five million gallons of water is required for each separate drilling effort, which could pose a serious problem in Central North Carolina where extended periods of drought have occurred in recent years and where water in some areas is already in short supply; and

WHEREAS, data from Pennsylvania shows that each drilling pad with its associated wastewater impoundment, buildings, and new roads consumes between five and eight acres of land, usually carved out of forests or farmland, and which if clustered together in large enough numbers can change a bucolic rural landscape into an industrial site, which in the long term will negatively affect income from tourism, farming, and other businesses, and which will eventually have a depressing effect on property values; and

WHEREAS, despite continual denials from the energy industry, fracking has been shown to cause contamination of private wells, as was evidenced by the settlement reached in Pennsylvania in 2010 between Cabot Oil and Gas and 19 Dimock Township families whose wells became unusable due to methane contamination after fracking was carried out in the area, and wherein Cabot agreed to pay them $4.1 million in damages; and by the announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 that compounds associated with fracking chemicals were found in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, Wyoming; and by numerous other examples of higher than normal levels of methane in private wells that have occurred in areas where fracking was carried out; and

WHEREAS, catastrophic accidents can occur with fracking operations, an example being the explosion of a fracking well in Pennsylvania in 2010 which spewed thousands of gallons of toxic water and chemicals over fields and into a tributary of the Susquehanna River, this being only one of several other major spills that had occurred in Pennsylvania in prior years; and

WHEREAS, fracking operations have been shown to be the source of air pollution, an example being the town of Dish, Texas where state regulators found dangerous levels of cancer-causing benzene, which they concluded had come from the 60 nearby fracking wells; and another being in Wyoming where the ozone level in one area near fracking operations was found to be higher than in Los Angeles; these findings being further supported by a Cornell University study which found that over the lifetime of a fracking well, 3.6 percent to nearly 8 percent of the gas will escape into the air; and

WHEREAS, scientists have found a close correlation in time and space between fracking operations and minor earthquakes, examples being in Ohio, Oklahoma, and in Great Britain; and

WHEREAS, there is currently no satisfactory way, in North Carolina or elsewhere, of disposing of leftover wastewater from a fracking operation, known as “flowback” or “produced” water, which will be present in large amounts despite efforts to recycle it, this water being highly toxic, including with radioactive materials, there being no wastewater treatment plant in the United States which is equipped to properly purify it, and the practice of injecting it into deep aquifers on the assumption that they will never be used for drinking water being patently unsatisfactory, and the practice that has taken many Pennsylvania landowners by surprise of leaving it in lined basins near the well site to be covered over and seeded in grass being unsatisfactory for many reasons including the possibility that the liners will eventually leak; and

WHEREAS, in the Triassic Basin area in North Carolina the possibility of groundwater contamination may be greater than in other states’ shale formations because the groundwater aquifers and the gas-producing shale layers are much closer together than in other gas-producing states, and the depth to which freshwater extends is generally unknown to state regulators, plus the fact that in North Carolina and elsewhere the migration of chemicals can never be predicted with certainty because, as geologists point out, existing faults, weaknesses, and fractures naturally found in the rock, as well as locations of old drilled wells, are generally unknown; and

WHEREAS, a majority of the modest number of new jobs that might be created by fracking operations will go to workers brought in from out of state, and many of the new jobs will in any case be of a temporary nature, and any new benefits to the local economy could easily be wiped away in the future after the fracking operations have terminated and property values are depressed because of the presence of abandoned well sites, an industrialized landscape, and the possibility of contaminated groundwater;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Save Our Sandhills in an electronic polling of its voting members in May, 2012 has concluded that the risks of hydraulic fracturing far outweigh the potential benefits, that it should not be allowed in North Carolina, and that the wisest course of action by the North Carolina General Assembly would be to enact legislation that would permanently ban hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in North Carolina to protect our citizens from its risks and dangers.

 SIGNED BY:    Joseph R. McDonald, President

                         May 16, 2012

CONTACT:    Save Our Sandhills at 910/315-1233 or 910/235-3862


Race Relations in Aberdeen

http://www.pinestrawmag.com/news/2012/may/01/voices-among-stones/  Reading, Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, May 16, 6 p.m.  See you there!


Exemptions for Fracking?!

State Senator Bob Rucho, Chairman of the legislature's Energy Policy Issues Committee (which includes Moore County's Senator Harris Blake), has issued a report which contains proposed legislation that would permit fracking in North Carolina. This draft legislation, known as the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act, would provide exemptions from state rules which currently prohibit fracking techniques and would make fracking possible in North Carolina after a two-year moratorium. The bill also contains language that would render invalid any local ordinances which would restrict oil and gas exploration and development.
Clean Water for North Carolina is urging citizens to oppose this bill as strongly and as quickly as possible. For more information, go to www.ncga.state.nc.us/ and click on WHO REPRESENTS ME in the bar at the top of the page. (Contact Harris Blake at Harris.Blake@ncleg.net. Contact Sen. Rucho at Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net. )


Picerno to Speak at SOS, Apr. 26

Moore County Commissioner Nick Picerno will be the guest speaker at the April meeting of Save Our Sandhills, with his topic being “Moore County Environmental Issues: Past, Present, and Future.” The meeting will be at the Southern Pines Civic Club, located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ashe Street, on April 26, 2012 at 7:00PM.
Environmental issues have been subject to discussion from as early as 1905 when President Theodore Roosevelt created numerous national parks, making the term “conservation” a part of our national ethos. In an increasingly urbanized society, where people are now more attuned to technological advances and devices than to the natural world, these discussions take on a new sense of importance. There are attitudes toward the environment that divide us, and these attitudes seem to have become even more polarized in recent years. Since we all live in one world, and we all depend on that world for our sustenance and welfare, Save Our Sandhills believes that the time has come for more open and honest communication and for a better mutual understanding of all points of view. At the local level, no governmental body has a greater power to determine the fate of our forests, our streams, and our wildlife than does the Board of Commissioners. For that reason, Commissioner Picerno’s remarks will be awaited with much interest.
Commissioner Picerno grew up in Moore County and received a BS Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1978. He founded Southern Software Inc. in 1988, a company which builds and sells software to the municipal market. He was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2008, and was elected Chairman later in the same year. He was again elected Chairman in 2010. He also serves on the Department of Social Services Board, the Health Board, the Workforce Development Board, and the Emergency Services Advisory Board.
Among the topics Commissioner Picerno plans to cover will be the Pine Forest zoning process, the new Unified Development Ordinance, the county Transportation Plan, water options, and how fracking may affect us in the future. He will welcome questions on these and on other topics. The public is invited. Refreshments will be served.


Lobby for NC Environment, May 30

The North Carolina General Assembly returns to Raleigh in May. Those of us who care about land and water conservation need to let our legislators know how important this issue is for North Carolina.
Please make plans to join us for Land for Tomorrow Lobby Day on Wednesday, May 30 to help us tell our conservation story and ensure continued support for the state’s four conservation trust funds. 
You know firsthand the difference that land and water conservation has made in your community and across the state. Your legislators need to hear from you so they can understand how important this issue is for their constituents.
Visit landfortomorrow.org for more details and to register for Lobby Day.
See you in Raleigh on May 30th!


Compost Awareness, May 5, Carthage

Saturday, May 5, 9:30 AM

Moore County Extension Center in Carthage
Compost Educational Lectures, Program and Compost Related Exhibits

 Speakers & Topics

·       Amy Brooks – How we make Brooks Compost

·       Kathy Byron – Composting: The Art & Science of Healthy Soil

·       Glenn Bradley – How to successfully use Compost in your Garden and Landscape

 Those attending the Educational Program will be given a free 50# bag of Brooks BR-1 Compost!

4-site garden tour to follow:

After the educational program & collecting your free bag of Compost, a map to the location of the Compost Garden Tour will be handed out for self directed visits over the next 2 hours.

·       Large Home Vegetable Garden using Compost

·       Pinehurst Elementary FirstSchool Garden

·       Private Home @ CCNC using Compost for Garden & Landscaping

·       Horse Farm successfully using Compost for their Outstanding Pastures

 No cost to attend - see you there!    For Information call 947-3188


Strawberries 2 weeks early, Get Yours

Local strawberries are here! The crop is easily two weeks early this year, and looks like it will peak by April 20.
In addition to strawberries, look for local asparagus, greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers, and green onions. Strawberries and asparagus can also be found at Natures Own in Aberdeen.

Local Farms selling strawberries:

Carter Farms - Billy Carter, 673 Eagle Springs Road, Eagle Springs, NC
(910) 673-7730

Highlander Farms - John, Vickie, and Sam Blue, NC Highway 22, 1.0 mile south of NC 15/501, Carthage - 947-5831 vblue@broadlink.biz

Lewis Ring, 937Airport Road, Lakeview (Whispering Pines) - 949-2657 chickberryfarm@centurylink.net 1 mi. East of Moore County Airport

CV Pilson Strawberries and Flowers

Cliff and Chester Pilson
108 CVP Lane, (Vass area - take Cypress Church Road, 5.7 miles from SR 690 in downtown Vass)
910-245-4285 (farm) 910-783-4462 (cell)

Pressley Farms
Richard Pressley
995 Union Ch. Rd. Cameron, NC
910-947-1154 (stand) 910-947-2735 (home)

Karefree Farms
4680 HWY 15-501 South, Carthage, NC 28327

Triple L Farms
Jim & Joe Lambeth
2205 Derby Rd. Ellerbe, NC 28338
or Corner of Highway 5 & Ampersand Drive, Aberdeen, NC 28315


Crazy Situation

A GAP-certified Richmond County farm cannot get carrots into a local school, 1/4 mile away, a school where the obesity rate is 42%.  Contact NC Dept. of Education, Richmond Co. school board or NC Ag. Extention if you can think of a solution.

Last Chance to Speak, Fracking in NC

Last Chance to Speak Out on Possible Fracking in NC!

Public Hearing on Draft Shale Gas Report
6:30-8:30 PM, Monday
, April 2
The Barn at Fearrington Village
100 Village Way, Pittsboro. (map/directions)
arrive by 5:15PM to sign up to speak
Chatham County will host the last final hearing on DENR's draft shale gas study report next Monday. This meeting will cover a summary of the draft report and DENR will be present to accept comments. For possible talking points click here.

The deadline to submit written comments has been extended to April 2. Send your comments via email to shale_gas_comments@ncdenr.gov or mail to NCDENR, attn: Trina Ozer, 1601 MSC, Raleigh 27699

House Republicans Slowing the Rush to Frack? Only ‘til early 2014…

On Wednesday, Representatives Gillespie and Stone held a press conference to outline a proposal that would continue some studies on regulatory needs for fracking and require legislative proposals by March of 2014. While this is a big improvement over the aggressive bill we expect from Senator Rucho and Rep. Mike Hager, it would still call for regulations even before the EPA study on water impacts is final (late 2014) or national regulations are considered. Stay tuned for further detailed review by grassroots groups of the Gillespie/Stone proposal and opportunities to advocate for improvements!

Here’s the News and Observer’s coverage of the press conference: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/03/29/1966174/delay-fracking-2-gop-lawmakers.html


Fracking in NC? Update

The DENR shale gas hearing in Chapel Hill had a large, feisty and well-informed turnout last night! Thank you for your presence, comments and solidarity against 'fracking' in North Carolina, which regional legislators got loud and clear. DENR acknowledges plenty of unknowns in the study and we'll have more to point out in written comments, due April 2. Many speakers pointed out that we haven’t seen evidence from any state that fracking can be done safely. Thanks to public pressure, a third and final hearing will take place in Chatham County next week!

  • March 30, 7-9:30 PM. Black Mountain, Fracking in NC? (details).
  • April 2, 6:30-8:30 PM. Pittsboro (map/directions), Shale gas study hearing (details) and DEADLINE FOR WRITTEN COMMENTS! Email to shale_gas_comments@ncdenr.gov or mail to NCDENR, Attn: Trina Ozer, PO Box 1601, Raleigh, NC 27699


Second Public Comment Session on Fracking, Mar. 27

DENR is holding its second public comment session on its hydraulic fracturing report tomorrow, March 27th, at 6:30pm at East Chapel Hill High School.  More information about these meetings can be found on DENR's website here: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/guest/public-input
RAFI encourages the public to provide DENR with comments on hydraulic fracturing and consumer protection at the upcoming public meetings. Although the Attorney General's office has not made the consumer protection section of the report available at this time, it is important that landowners tell DENR and the Attorney General's office of the importance of maintaining landowner property rights and supporting strong landowner protections. Anyone interested in landowner protections and hydraulic fracturing can contact RAFI-USA for further information.

NC Ranks 10th

From NC League of Conservation Voters:  A special report released on the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act of 1972 finds that toxic water discharges still abound, and North Carolina places tenth on the list of states by volume of discharges.

The 48-page report, titled "Wasting our Waterways 2012", was issued by the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center. It is based on discharge information submitted to the EPA for its Toxic Release Inventory for 2010, the most recent data year available.

The report notes that 53 percent of assessed rivers and streams, and 69 percent of assessed lakes, remain unsafe for swimming or fishing or both. Our nation continues to fall far short of the 1972 Clean Water Act's goal that all American waters should be "fishable and swimmable".


April Fools Band Playing Apr. 1, Lighterwood Farm

The April Fools are playing live in person
Sunday, April 1, 2012
3PM until they are played out!
At Lighterwood Farm,
in the Barn of Jesse Wimberley
535 Speight Rd., West End, NC
It will be family friendly and pot luck, so bring kids and friends of all ages and a dish to share. And a chair to sit in. BYOB too. And your own transportation home or a sleeping bag! Or just show up and enjoy.
Looking Forward to a Foolishly good time; It is rumored there may even be dancin'.  Clothing optional, but highly suggested for most.
Need directions? Give us a holler or use that fancy GPS thing. Jesse's farm is just about a quarter mile off NC HWY 211, down Hoffman Rd, then Speight Rd. back in the woods about 1/2 mile.
David and Amy McDonald
Jesse Wimberley


The Shaw House, Palustris Fest, Mar. 24

A Stitch in Time: 19th Century Needlework Exhibit
Shaw House, Southern Pines
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
$2 Donation Admission Charge

Authentic 19th century needlework will be exhibited at the historic Shaw House property on Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as the Moore County Historical Association’s participation in the Palustris Festival.
The Festival is in its third year as an area-wide celebration of the arts and culture of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen area.
The Shaw House at the corner of Morganton Road and Bennett Street in Southern Pines is an 1820s dwelling and headquarters of the MCHA. Also during the Palustris Festival 2012, tours will be given of the Shaw House property from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, March 20 through the 22nd but will be closed on Friday, March 23 to prepare for the exhibit on Saturday.
The needlework exhibit will be on display throughout the houses on Saturday, March 24, including the Sanders Cabin and the Garner House, 18th century dwellings from northern Moore County located at the back of the Shaw House property. The display includes vintage quilts, samplers, clothing and needlework tools such as gold and silver thimbles, thimble cases and wooden darners.
All of these articles will be on loan from private collections for this one day only.

Moore County Historical Association
The Moore County Historical Association is a non-profit organization
dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the rich historical
legacy of the people, towns, and surrounding areas in Moore County,
North Carolina. For more information, visit www.moorehistory.com or join us on Facebook
Offices are located at the Historic Shaw
Pines. Open Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Phone/FAX 910.692.2051• moorehistory@connectnc.net


Save Our Sandhills and Palustris, Mar. 24

Save Our Sandhills is participating in the Palustris Festival again this year, all day Saturday, March 24, at the Southern Pines Civic Club, corner of Pennsylvania and Ashe. We'll have lots of food and drink.
Consult the most recent edition of Pinestraw magazine for a schedule of festival events.
Saturday, March 24, 2012, 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Southern Pines Civic Club, 105 S. Ashe St.
9:00AM-5:30PM Nature Photography Exhibit by David Blevins
9:30AM-11:00AM Michael Schafale, author of Wild North Carolina, will discuss his book.
11:00AM-12:30PM Biologist Terry Sharpe will discuss the joys of eating wild foods.
12:30PM-1:30PM Live bluegrass music
1:30PM-3:00PM Lawrence Early, author of Looking for Longleaf, will discuss his great book.
3:00PM-4:30PM Photographor David Blevins will describe new ways of looking at natural areas.
4:30PM-5:30PM Live bluegrass music

Public Comment on Fracking, two meetings

Legislative Watch: Fracking Report Released, Hearings Planned

The long-anticipated state report on fracking was released late last week, and contains conclusions guaranteed to dissatisfy all perspectives. In sum, the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) draft report concludes that 'fracking'--hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas contained in rock layers--and the horizontal drilling to conduct it can be done safely. However, it also says that additional legal and regulatory safeguards are needed first.
The report's recommendations for safety steps proceeding the authorization of fracking include the following:
--Further study of the potential impacts on groundwater in areas where exploration may take place.
--State-approved plans limiting the amounts of water that can be withdrawn during the process.
--Mandated disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process, with public disclosure of any information not protected by 'trade secret' status.
--Development of an oil and gas waste management regulatory program.
The report's recommendations are not likely to please either those whose position is 'no fracking, no way', nor those whose mantra is 'drill now, drill everywhere, for everything'.
DENR's press release with more information is available at http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/journal/view_article_content?groupId=21953&articleId=6157644, and the full draft report can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/guest/denr-study.
The two meetings to accept public comments on the draft report are scheduled for March 20 at the Wicker Center in Sanford, and March 27 at the East Chapel Hill High School auditorium in Chapel Hill. Both public meetings are scheduled to run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
DENR is required to make its final report to the N.C. General Assembly no later than May 1. The legislature's special Energy Policy Committee is set to meet April 21, and is likely to take up the report for discussion whether the final is ready or not.


The Business of Being Born, Cameo Theater, Mar 3 and 17

Sustainable Saturdays Film Series
Please join Sustainable Sandhills SATURDAY, March 3 & 17 at the Cameo Art House Theatre Inc. in downtown Fayetteville for showings of "The Business of Being Born". Brought to you by Sustainable Sandhills and Cameo Theatre, both showings will start at 11 a.m.

businessbeingbornphoto 4
Following the film, Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique, a partial sponsor, will discuss its green baby store, and certified doulas will answer audience questions about the film.

We will also have a drawing for an individual membership to the Cameo, donated by a generous benefactor.

Cameo Art House Theatre is at
225 Hay Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301

Cost is $6 per person or $5 for Cameo and Sustainable Sandhills members. Children six years and younger will be admitted free.

A look at the film...

"The Business of Being Born" is about the choices that are available to families as they welcome their new members into the world. Compared to the details women often focus on when planning a wedding or party, often times the birthing process is accepted "as is" without any idea of alternatives. This film is a good starting point for families who want to learn more. The film delves into alternative births with midwives and home births as well as hospital births in America, and includes footage of on-screen births.

To learn more, go to www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com

Sustainable Sandhills is also working with multiple partner businesses to bring a special Sustainable Moms event to Fayetteville. The event will showcase the new film "More Business of Being Born" and will also include a panel discussion by local, leading businesses focusing on midwifery, doula services, and green baby products and services. We will update you with information soon.

Sustainable Sandhills is a nonprofit dedicated to conserving the natural resources of the eight-county region surrounding Fort Bragg, NC. Through education, demonstration, and collaboration, we are changing the ways we live, work, and play.

We have many upcoming events this spring that will be fun, will educate the public and will provide sustainability dialogue. We need corporate sponsors, volunteers and members to help make these events successful. For a list of events, click here.

Become a fan of Sustainable Sandhills on Facebook. Dialogue with us about sustainability, stay updated on events, and learn what sustainable information makes the news in the Cape Fear and Sandhills regions. We are getting very close to our 1,150th "like", and that person will win a special sustainability prize. Please like our page and share the information about the film with your friends and colleagues.

For more information, contact Marketing & Office Manager
Jen Cooke at jenc@sustainablesandhills.org or 484-9098. To donate, and for more information about our organization, please go to our website at sustainablesandhills.org.


April Fools tonight, Wine Cellar, 7-10

April Fools Old Time String Band plays tonight, Saturday, February 25 from 7 - 10 p.m. at the Wine Cellar, downtown Southern Pines.

Amendment 1, local film Sunday, Feb. 26, 7 pm

Learn more about Amendment 1, NC Legislature, tomorrow evening, 7:00, Whispering Pines Community Center, 1320 Ray's Bridge Rd, just off Hwy 22, about 1 1/2 miles north of the traffic circle at the airport, Whispering Pines, NC.
We are at a critical point in the health of the state of North Carolina.   Please join our Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Sandhills as we present the first in a series of films to bring awareness to Moore County about the inequities of Amendment One.

Broad Street Bakery!

While we're enjoying the opening of Betsy's Crepes, let's not forget the Broad Street Bakery next door, where for 19 years Steve and Jackie have been preparing specialty breads, pastries, custom cakes and pies, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, a large variety of beverages.  Hours 7 am - 3 pm, 6 days a week.

Let's keep BOTH local businesses alive and well on Broad Street, downtown Southern Pines, the best small town in NC!


Save Our Sandhills and Palustris, Mar. 24

Save Our Sandhills: Learning from the Past for a Better Future
Saturday, March 24, 2012
9:00 am  -- 5:30 pm
Southern Pines Civic Club, downtown

There is a “web of connection” throughout life, a web between past and present, a web between plant life and animal life to create an ecosystem, a web between mankind and nature. Save Our Sandhills celebrates those webs that create sense from chaos, thereby making our lives more meaningful and enjoyable.

9am –5:30pm: Enjoy a celebration of North Carolina’s natural landscapes through the photographic display by David Blevins. Items will be offered for sale.  Blevins’ website is www.blevinsphoto.com.

9:30am – 11am: Wild North Carolina: Author Michael Schafal, a community ecologist for the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program) and nature photographer David Blevins, also a forest ecologist, will discuss their book Wild North Carolina, illuminating our state’s natural communities and highlighting the reasons plant and animals are found where they are, with a special focus on the Sandhills. Autographed books will be offered for sale.

11am – 12:30pm: “Eating Wild”: Terry Sharpe, a wildlife biologist and forester who spent 30 years working with the NC Wildlife Commission, will describe the joys of reconnecting with a more natural way of life. Considering the great outdoors to be one big dinner plate, he will discuss favorites on his menu, provide guidelines on finding and preparing them, and bring samples to taste.

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Traditional bluegrass music by Joe and Abby and Friends. Refreshments will be served.

1:30pm – 3pm: Looking for Longleaf: Lawrence Earley, former editor of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine, and a writer and photographer, will discuss his book Looking for Longleaf. Having the ability to bring the past to life, he will explain how the longleaf pine ecosystem was exploited, the problems with regeneration of the pines, and the renewed commitment needed to help this biodiverse ecosystem thrive. Autographed books will be offered for sale.

3pm – 4:30pm: “Photographing Nature”: David Blevins, a nature photographer and forest ecologist, will describe how patterns in landscapes help people to see familiar places in a new way and new places with a sense of familiarity.

4:30pm – 5:30pm: Traditional bluegrass music by Joe and Abby and Friends. Refreshments will be served.  Refreshments courtesy of The Fresh Market and Nature’s Own, both of Southern Pines