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December 2017/January 2018

The Acorn Hunt
By Dianne Flinn

My daughter couldn't believe her good fortune when her eyes took in the abundant treasure covering the sidewalk in front of us; and it was all free for the taking! Every minute or so, the giant oak that hovered over us dropped another acorn, narrowly missing our heads, and bouncing off the pavement. She immediately started listing all the possible crafts that could be created from these perfectly smooth nuggets of wood. Dad could drill holes in them to make large beads for necklaces or bracelets. Hmm, I would love a pair of stylish wooden earrings! Or they could get sliced into mini panels to make a little house for stuffed animals or figurines. I suggested we could make them into little acorn people, drawing on faces and using the caps as, well, caps. "Mom, do you have any pockets? I want to collect a ton of these"! Once the small pockets in the front of my pants were uncomfortably full and lumpy, she made more storage by creating a sling with the front of her shirt, improvising for her own lack of pockets. Once we made it back to the house with the acorns, except for half a dozen or so that were accidentally dropped along the way, a home for them was found in a plastic food storage container with a red lid.


Ask Ollie

Dear Ollie,

Is it O.K. if I brag just a little? I've been doing quite a lot of wishing this past week. And, like a canine miracle, my wish was granted: Little "Sticky Fingers" is coming to my humans' home for the holidays! Sticky Fingers is a tiny human child. When she was two, she dropped all her food on the floor. Oh boy, I hope she still does that because I know just where to sit during holiday meals….that would be directly under her seat.

This year, she will be at the adult table eating some very good Christmas dinner including turkey, turkey, and more turkey. I don't care if it's roasted, basted, fried or barbecued as long as it's turkey. I'll be looking for a boneless and well-cooked nibble.

Welcome to Christmas dinner, little Sticky Fingers. I have staked out my spot and it's not under my pet parents' seats.

Why not you ask? Because my pet parents read all the stuff from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). It comes in the mail with small address labels. My man human never drops food and never, never feeds us dogs under the table. The ASPCA says that's a "no, no". My woman human always reads everything the ASPCA sends but makes many exceptions and will occasionally slip me something because it is, after all, a holiday.

I expect that since she carefully read the ASPCA "Christmas Safety Tips", the turkey won't be undercooked because that may contain salmonella bacteria. She won't give us pets stuffing because it may contain sage or other herbs that contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive but I don't like cats so none live here.

In the kitchen, when there are baking and cooking activities, she won't give me raw dough because if I eat it, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, I and my pet friends may experience vomiting and certainly bloating which could become life-threatening. I have never risen, so to speak. Holiday cakes are off the menu too because if the cake includes raw eggs, they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

With all that bad stuff behind us I'm still taking a chance on "Sticky Fingers." Being under her seat will be the best spot to enjoy a Christmas meal and it's all mine.

-- Ripley, Labrador
Pittsboro, North Carolina

So Ripley,

Was there a question in your letter? I didn't think so. Therefore, without a question, there’s no answer. Instead, I send to you my heartfelt appreciation and warm thoughts for a fabulous holiday. May every dog that reads this story have their very own "Sticky Fingers" eating dinner at their home in the coming days. And their very own pet parents who know the right things to feed them.

-- Ollie

Ollie writes this in collaboration with his pet parent Viktoria Voller.
Pose your pet questions to Ollie at

Still Putting Off the Flu Shot? 5 Flu Shot Myths Debunked

Flu season in the Triangle is officially underway, with some confirmed cases throughout North Carolina popping up this month, including two flu-related deaths in the Piedmont and Eastern North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The Department reported a total of 219 flu-related deaths last season in North Carolina, and our state was among the first in the nation last year to report cases of the flu. With the holidays fast-approaching, many are we planning travel for the holidays or getting ready to be a host. Couple that with chillier temps, and it's a recipe for spreading germs. Despite that, many forget to put the flu shot on their holiday checklist.

For many, the flu shot and other vaccinations are covered under some form of insurance or through Medicare Part B – and often with no out-of-pocket cost. Affordable Health Care Act plans are required to cover flu shots as well as number of other vaccinations.

For those on the fence, or putting of their shot, the local Walgreens Pharmacies in Chatham County have put together--and debunked--the Top 5 Flu Shot Myths:

MYTH #1: You can get sick from the flu shot.

The flu shot isn't live, so it can’t cause the flu. Sometimes patients are exposed to the flu before receiving the shot, so when they get sick, it’s really from the virus they were exposed to previously. The flu shot typically takes up to two weeks to become effective, so during that time, you could become ill with the flu. The viruses the flu shot protects you from are respiratory in nature. The most common side effects from the influenza shot are soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given; however, low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur.


Chatham Park plans Mosaic as arts and entertainment hub

Mosaic is the name for a planned commercial component of Chatham Park that is envisioned as an arts and entertainment district. Inspired by Chatham's vibrant arts community and rural heritage, it designed to appeal to Chatham Park’s affluent, rapidly growing populace.

The 350-acre, $800 million mixed-use project is intended to be the gateway to Chatham Park, the 7,100 acre development that is transforming Pittsboro and Chatham County.

John Fugo of Eco Group met with community groups for six months after being hired to do the commercial portion of the park by Preston Development.

"There was a lot of trepidation about how this massive development surrounding Pittsboro would change the culture," Fugo told the Raleigh News and Observer. "What we found was a very deep, real artistic, very creative culture of genuine humanity, is the best way I could put it. We looked to model our commercial center to that, and complement what was already there rather than come in and give the impression that we were going to build what we thought the people needed. We wanted to build what people wanted."

The first phase, on 44 acres near the intersection of U.S. 15-501 and U.S. Route 64, is scheduled to break ground in 2018. All three phases of the remaining 300 acres are set to begin by 2020. The entire Chatham Park project aims for 22,000 residences and 22 million square feet of office, retail, research, education and community space. Its first homes are scheduled to be available in spring 2019.


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Page 1 -Chatham Studio Tour Reaches Silver Anniversary * For 2018, One Prediction and Two Suggestions * 'Greedonomics' and the importance of doing right - Page 2 - Briefs and Dispatches - Page 3 - Who Would Work Harder to Save YOUR Life? - Page 4 - The Kindred Spirits of Animal Advocates - Page 5 - Now You Don’t Even Have to Read Books - Page 6 - How to Shut Down Scammers Threatening to Cut Your Power * Truth * Tour (cont. from page 6) * 2018 (cont. from page 1) - Page 7 - Chatham OPINION Line - Page 8 - Chatham County Line nececita noticias bilingües de la comunidad Hispano de Chatham

Town Hall Meeting: Threats to NC's Judicial Independence

Representative Marcia Morey will speak when the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham counties, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy North Carolina and Progress NC co-host a Town Hall Meeting to alert voters to legislative and budgetary actions of the North Carolina Legislature that could impact the independence of our courts. The Town Hall Meeting will be held on Thursday December 14, 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill.

Legislative actions have made judicial races partisan and reduced the courts' resources. Proposals reportedly under consideration change the way we select judges, possibly replacing elections with legislative selection of judges. The legislature has canceled the judicial primary for next spring, the House has adopted a redistricting plan that reduces the number of judges in Durham, puts Orange and Chatham counties into separate judicial districts (likely reducing court-provided services in Chatham), and potentially places African-American and women judges at a disadvantage in the coming election as a result of the judicial redistricting.

Representative Marcia Morey (D-Durham), a former Chief District Judge, will be joined by a panel of North Carolina legal experts including:

• John Wester: A NC litigator at Robinson Bradshaw and former President of the NC Bar Association who has tried landmark cases, served as lead litigator for Hyatt v. Shalala, a 20-year-long case decided by the US Supreme Court, and lead counsel for three governors in McCrory v. Berger, successfully challenging the General Assembly for violating separation of powers under the North Carolina Constitution.

• James Drennan: An Adjunct Professor at the UNC School of Government, previous Director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and expert in the courts, judicial education, and sentencing law who both teaches and advises on court administration issues, judicial ethics and fairness, criminal sentencing, and judicial leadership.

This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available.

Time to register for Shared Learning 2018 courses

This December, 2017, the Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill welcomes the general public to enroll in non-credit courses for its Spring semester, as cited in its '2018 Spring Catalog,' posted on The term begins the week of January 8 and ends April 20, 2018, with an end-of-term celebration and includes choices of 24 morning courses in the humanities, hard sciences, fine arts, social and behavioral science and current events. All classes meet once a week, 1 ½ hour per meeting, in the comfortable classroom environments of Expand Church, 114 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill 27514.

Those interested in becoming new Shared Learning members can take advantage of the introductory rate of $30. for the Spring semester which entitles them to take as many courses as they wish, without additional fees. The membership fee for returning Shared Learning members who did not pay their annual dues last fall, 2017, is $60.00.

The '2018 Spring Catalog' and registration page are included on the website, or the public can contact Nancy to receive a free paper catalog in the mail:703.329.2933 The Chapel Hill Public Library Book Store will also have copies.

Some sample titles from the 2018 Spring Catalog include: 'Human Geography: Social, Cultural, Political and Economic'; 'The Movie Experience'; 'History and Nature of the Universe'; 'Experiencing Medieval Europe'; 'Modern American Essays'; 'How To Draw'; 'Views on the News'; 'The Holy Land Revealed'; 'Selected Play Readings and Discussion'; 'Great Decisions'; 'Spanish Intermediate'; 'What Does It Mean To Be Human'; 'Early Classic British Literature'; 'Science and Religion;' and 'The Louvre.'

Founded in 1979, Shared Learning is a volunteer association for persons living in/near Chapel Hill, NC, who wish to continue to learn in groups and classroom settings, for a nominal fee. It aims to encourage members to join in exploring topics of interest and to foster and share fellowship. The Association sponsors three semesters (Spring, Summer and Fall) of educational programing – non-credit morning courses, designed and conducted by its members and monthly lectures by local top scholars. Based on diverse interests, experiences, travels and expertise, members themselves determine the study topics per term. The volunteer moderators emphasize using presentation formats that are learner-centered and provocative to their enrollees. Our current membership totals just over 200 adults, traveling from Pittsboro, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham.

Free Computer Classes at Chatham Community Library

Chatham Community Library will offer a series of free computer classes in November and December. The names, dates and times of the classes are listed below. You can find a full description of the classes, including topics covered and prerequisites for attending, by visiting

Using the Library's Online Catalog: November 15, Wednesday, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Microsoft Excel Basics, Part 1: December 4, Monday, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Microsoft Excel Basics, Part 2: December 11, Monday, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Drop-in Computer Assistance: December 13, Wednesday, 4 – 5 p.m.

The Drop-In Computer Assistance sessions (December 13) do not require registration. For all other classes, space is limited and you must register in advance if you wish to attend. Register online at the link above. For more information, call 919.545.8086 or email

All classes take place in the computer lab at Chatham Community Library, 197 NC Hwy 87 N in Pittsboro, on the campus of Central Carolina Community College.

Reindeer Reader Program returns to McIntyre's Bookstore

Due to its incredible success last year, McIntyre’s Bookstore is launching its "Reindeer Readers" program for the second time this holiday season. Generous sponsors of the program provide a $40 donation to supply an entire classroom of Chatham County elementary students with the gift of a new book this holiday season. In the true spirit of giving, McIntyre's Books hopes this program inspires community support and a love of reading.

"The gift of literacy is irreplaceable and benefits us all," says Bookstore Manager Keebe Fitch. "Sarah Carr, our children's book buyer, and I have been tinkering with the idea of how to get books into the hands of younger students in Chatham County. As Sarah always says, literacy is the best gift one can give."

Last year, the bookstore was able to provide more than 1,200 kindergarten and first grade students with a book for the holidays. This year, the bookstore wants to offer book donations to the 1500 pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade students in Chatham County. The bookstore is looking for classroom sponsors as well as volunteer wrappers to help prepare the book donations. Those interested in helping out or learning more should call McIntyre's Books at 919.542.3030.

Northwood High School Reunion

The Northwood High School 1971-1999 Reunion Committee invites all NHS faculty and alumni to the second reunion of classes. This event is held periodically to bring old friends together to become reacquainted and reminisce on the fun care free days of high school.

"The Second Time Around" is the theme of this year's consolidated reunion, which will be held Saturday July 28, 2018, 6 p.m. -1a.m. at the Durham Convention Center, 301 West Morgan St., Durham, NC 27701. Featuring Food * 2 Cash Bar areas * On-Site Hotel * DJ * Class Photos * Individual Photos.

Special Recognition of Graduation Milestone Classes:

Class of 1993 (25 years), Class of 1988 (30 years), Class of 1983 (35 years), Class of 1978 (40 years and Class of 1973 (45 years)

Registration Fees:

$65 after receipt of the first 120 attendees register through May 28, 2018. Registration can be paid via Pay Pal or by Check or Money Order (made payable to NHS Reunion). Mail checks to: NHS Reunion Committee c/o Wanda Rone, PO Box 118, Pittsboro, NC 27312. *ALL MONEY IS NON-REFUNDABLE

**Please include the year of graduation and your email address on the Memo line of your check/money order or in Pay Pal Comments and include the names of ALL people (self-included) for whom you are registering**

Hotel Accommodations

Marriott City Center attached to The Convention Center
201 Foster Street| Durham| North Carolina | 27701 | 919.768.6025

NHS courtesy group rate of $139 Book your group rate for Northwood High Class Reunion One or two night stay options available. First Come/First Served—RESERVE EARLY!

21c Museum Hotel Durham 1 block away from The Convention Center
111 North Corcoran Street |Durham| North Carolina| 27701 |919.956.6700

The Durham Hotel | Restaurant + Roof 1 block away from The Convention Center
315 East Chapel Hill Street |Durham |North Carolina| 27701| 919.768.8830
Email Questions to: or your Class Representative.


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