Chatham County Line - Where all voices are heard

February, 2015

Volunteers for Family Violence and Rape Crisis

Volunteers for Family Violence and Rape Crisis

Volunteers for Family Violence and Rape Crisis gathered at unWINEd on January 23rd for an appreciation luncheon catered by Nan, manager, and Michelle, assistant-manager, at Second Bloom. It was a great opportunity for the volunteers to meet each other and to be appreciated! Everyone had a wonderful time!

Pittsboro Business Association expanding

The Pittsboro Business Association announced at its January board meeting it will start accepting members outside of Pittsboro’s 27312 zip code beginning immediately.

A group of Pittsboro business owners with the goal of promoting downtown retail businesses founded the membership-driven organization as the Pittsboro Merchants Association more than 10 years ago. The group changed its name to Pittsboro Business Association in 2011 to reflect its goal of supporting all businesses.

Greg Lewis, owner of Pittsboro Roadhouse and General Store and co-chair of the Pittsboro Business Association board, said the new location guidelines reflect an increasing demand for membership.

"With the current and future growth in Pittsboro, we’re seeing other Chatham County businesses trying to connect with Pittsboro consumers," Lewis said. "We want to give them an opportunity to do that, and the more members we have, the stronger our marketing efforts can be."

While the change allows new members regardless of location, the immediate effect will be on Chatham County businesses that are just outside Pittsboro’s zip code or that primarily do business in Pittsboro.

"We’re just five miles south of Pittsboro’s downtown, but we’ve missed out on being members," said Joni Pavlik, who owns unWINEd, a wine shop and event space on Center Grove Church Road in Moncure. "Hopefully this change lets businesses like unWINEd get more attention in Pittsboro, where the majority of our customers are based."

"Pittsboro’s growing, and we want to grow with it," Lewis said.

Membership to the Pittsboro Business Association is $180 per year. Non-profit organizations can join for $90. To learn more about membership, visit

Suicide Rate for Seniors in Alarming - Especially Older Men
By Dennis Streets

The North Carolina Injury & Violence Prevention Branch, part of the State Division of Public Health, has just released the 2015 N.C Suicide Prevention Plan. A related report from this branch, "Elder Suicide in North Carolina," presented some alarming data.

From 2008 to 2011, 905 North Carolinians age 65 and older died as a result of violence, with 741 of them committing suicide. More than 80 percent of these elder suicides were men—mostly white men who used firearms.

About half of elder male suicide victims were categorized as being in a “current depressed mood,” as compared to 37 percent of female victims. Only 5 percent of elder male victims had disclosed a history of prior suicide attempts. One in four of the male victims reportedly had “a crisis within the last two weeks.”

More than half of the elder female victims had a current mental health problem and had received treatment. More than half of the men (57 percent) and nearly half of the women had a physical health problem. Nearly a third of the men and about one-fourth of the women had disclosed their intent to commit suicide to someone else.

You may be asking—what does this mean and why is it important?

First, we need to acknowledge that there can be many sources of stress for older adults with the loss of loved ones, mobility, physical wellness, employment, and other factors.

Second, we must realize that some individuals have had mental health problems throughout their lives, while others experience them in later life. Either way, we should encourage use of mental health services just as we would seek treatment for physical ailments.

Third, we must each do our part to identify signs of depression and other mental health issues that may predispose individuals to violence against themselves or others.

Fourth, we should encourage mental health wellness along with physical health. The Chatham County Council on Aging offers a variety of opportunities to encourage mental health wellness and coping with loss. These include participation in Healthy IDEAS for those dealing with depression; support groups for caregivers and those grieving the loss of loved ones; and many opportunities for remaining active and involved with others.

Contact or visit the Council’s Eastern and Western Senior Centers to learn more (919.542.4512 in Pittsboro; 919.742.3975 in Siler City).

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions manages mental health and substance abuse services for people who are uninsured or have Medicaid. Individuals in need of services may contact Cardinal Innovations’ Access line at 1.800.939.5911 to be referred to a contracted provider. One of these providers is Trinity Behavioral Healthcare, which has clinics in Siler City at 919.663.2955 and Pittsboro at 919.542.2141.

For those wanting information on suicide prevention efforts, visit the Triangle Coalition for Suicide Prevention’s website at If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255.

Dennis Streets is Executive Director of the Chatham County Council on Aging

A Medium’s Visions
Tania Thomas – Author, Spiritual Medium,
Motivational Speaker, and Sometimes Comedian

TaniaThomas Within my Facebook fan page, Visions and Voices, I receive an abundance of questions from inquisitive minds regarding what I do for a living. I would like to share with you some of questions that have topped the list as the most unusual and thought provoking, and perhaps you can relate to them too.

Question from Janna: "My family were always really big on get togethers. We would have a great time, but my aunt would constantly have a glass of Jack Daniels in her hand!! My question for you is, do they still behave this way after death?"

Answer: Thanks Janna. That's a really good question and I am laughing as I respond to you. Read more

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Page 1 - Chatham Park economic study raises troubling questions * Chatham EDC has always supported Chatham Park * The Haw River is a living organism - Page 2 - Dispatches & Briefs - Page 3 - Child care chatter - because child care matters - Page 4 - "The foreordained Creation of that Calvinistic County" of Lee * Haw (cont. from page 1) - Page 5 - Uniting to help families of children with rare diseases - Page 6 - Sibling rivalry * Options for treating alcohol addiction within the community - Page 7 - Do you yearn for the truth? - Page 8 - Troubling (cont. from page 1) * Park (cont. from page 1) - Page 9 - Folk Art Show returns to Fearrington * Why you should listen to your mother - Page 10 - Poetry - Page 11 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 12 - Chatham Comunidad - Nuestros letreros * Signs of our times

Community Spring Cleanup Planning Meeting Scheduled

The Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site Readiness Committee invites all interested and willing community volunteers to participate in a planning session on Thursday, February 19, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for an upcoming spring cleanup day. The meeting will be held in the second floor courtroom in the Siler City City Hall (311 N Second Avenue). The efforts revolve around increased resident community involvement as the area continues to work to attract new industry. The planning meeting agenda will include a discussion of sites, finding partner organizations and workers, and setting cleanup site priorities.

Individuals, neighborhood groups, school clubs, church groups, civic organizations, business, etc. are encouraged to take advantage of this community service opportunity.

Volunteers are encouraged to be observant around the community and identify the most visible sites needing improvement. Send photos to Jack Meadows, Director of Planning and Community Development, at or bring them on a flash drive to the meeting for consideration on the list of site priorities for the cleanup day.

The proposed Springtime Siler City Cleanup date is Saturday, April 25, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This date is consistent with the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) cleanup promotion period from April 18–May 2.

A fall cleanup day was held on Saturday, November 1, 2014.

In addition to the Saturday cleanup day, other small group volunteer commitments can be incorporated into the community improvement efforts.


Learn to Grow Farm Profits at Piedmont Grown Conference

Piedmont Grown will host the 4th annual Growing Your Farm and Food Business Conference on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at the David H. Murdock Research Institute on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. The one-day event is geared toward farmers and producers in North Carolina who are interested in growing their bottom line.

The 4th Annual Piedmont Grown Conference – Growing Your Farm and Food Business: Increasing Profitability offers local farmers and producers opportunities to learn from nationally-known farmer and farm consultant Chris Blanchard of Purple Pitchfork in Decorah, Iowa with his keynote speech, “Is Scaling Up Right for You.” Nine other breakout sessions and panels are available to attendees throughout the day including sessions guiding farmers through the process of connecting with local chefs, navigating social media and a tour of the nearby Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm.

Demand for local products in North Carolina continues to grow, and producers are looking for resources to help get their products to the marketplace. “I hear from other farmers they crave the tools to make them profitable, and this conference is designed to increase all of our bottom lines,” says Dani Rowland, co-owner of Rowland’s Row family farm and board member of Piedmont Grown. Piedmont Grown is a non-profit organization and a certification program that wants to make sure that farm products grown, raised, and made in the Piedmont Region are clearly identified and promoted everywhere one can buy food and farm fresh products.

The conference has been held throughout the piedmont, and this is the first year it will be in Cabarrus County. With the growing demand from the Charlotte and triad region, the organization felt it was important to support the local producers in the southern piedmont. A full agenda & registration can be found here.

The 4th Annual Piedmont Grown Conference is sponsored by North Carolina Growing Together.

Chatham County Schools and Community Taskforce

On Tuesday, February 10, representatives from the Chatham County School System, Chatham YMCA, and Community in Schools of Chatham County came together with leaders from 10 local agencies, including area non-profits and local government, to hold the first annual Chatham County Schools and Community Taskforce meeting. The goal was to bring together the many groups and individuals who are supporting the students, families and citizens of Chatham County. Agencies were able to exchange information on the many ways the local non-profits, government agencies, and the school system are already working to help the children and families of Chatham County and look for new partnership opportunities. During the meeting agency representatives shared current efforts and spent time seeking out new ideas and partnerships. The taskforce’s long term vision is to facilitate regular opportunities for collaboration and alignment between school and community efforts to all students, families, and community members. The taskforce will be coming back together in April to start writing action plans for new school or community based efforts. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Charles Aiken at or Tracy Fowler at

Chatham Council on Aging Expands Storage of Equipment that Helps Many

"Thank you for the use of the mattress for my Dad and for all the help you have given both my Mom and Dad."

"I am a diabetic and both of my legs and feet were in very bad shape. I knew I would soon lose them—they were so swollen and infected. Within two weeks of receiving the wheelchair from you, a 'miracle.'"

These statements represent a few of the many expressions of thanks from seniors and their families who have benefited from the equipment that the Chatham County Council on Aging makes available. Such efforts are only possible when individuals and organizations donate a wide range of items (new and used) that the Council then loans to seniors and others in need. While this equipment often helps older adults remain living safely and more independently at home, the Council also provides some items to improve the quality of life of residents in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Examples of helpful donated equipment include: hospital beds and mattresses, wheelchairs, hoyer lifts, shower chairs, raised toilet seats, walkers, canes, and many other assistive devices and mobility aids. While this is an important service that the Council has offered for some time, its capacity has been limited for several reasons. A major challenge had been limited space to store such items as well as the need for additional volunteers to help provide this service.

Dennis Streets, director of the Council on Aging, reports that a generous donation has provided a new accessory building at the Eastern Chatham Senior Center in Pittsboro. “It will allow us to store much more equipment for use by our seniors and others in need.” The grant came from the Carolina Meadows Community Grants Program.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Megan Adkins at the Council on Aging at 919-542-4512 or You can also apply to volunteer through the Council on Aging website at If you have questions about the service or have items to donate, contact Alan Russo or Ethan Lechner at 919.542.4512, or Vickie Cheek at 919.742.3975. Monetary donations to the Council are tax deductible. The Council will provide a letter to those donating equipment acknowledging receipt of the items.

- Debra Henzey
Chatham County Government


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