Chatham County Line - Where all voices are heard

February 2016

Kudos for Chatham County Health Director Layton Long

The North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors honored Chatham County Health Director Layton Long as the 2016 Health Director of the Year at its annual awards meeting luncheon January 20. Mr. Long, who joined the county in 2013, has spent over 27 years working to improve public health across North Carolina. He has been a health director for over 10 years, previously serving as the health director in Davidson County.

Mr. Long was recognized for his “leadership and commitment to the health and well-being of the residents of Chatham County.” During his tenure with the county, he has been instrumental in several important initiatives, including tobacco control, an updated animal control ordinance, and the formation of the Chatham Health Alliance. Read more...

Chatham Organic Dairy Farm Permanently Conserved

Chatham Organic Dairy Farm Permanently Conserved Lindale Farm, a certified organic dairy in the Silk Hope area of Chatham County, is now permanently conserved by an easement with the nonprofit Triangle Land Conservancy.

A fifth generation dairy and poultry farm, Lindale Farm is Chatham County's first and only certified organic dairy. Lindale Farm is one of four NC dairies that produce milk for the farmer-owned cooperative Organic Valley which is sold through local grocery stores.

The landowners, Neill and Cori Lindley, chose to permanently conserve the property through a conservation easement designed to shield it from incompatible land uses and excessive development. The 182-acre conservation easement allows for farming and agricultural related structures, but prohibits future subdivision of the property. TLC holds the easement and is responsible for making sure the easement's terms are followed into the future.

"The Lindley’'s are a wonderful example of a farm family that has a long term commitment to their farm and its natural resources," said Leigh Ann Hammerbacher, TLC Associate Director of Conservation and Stewardship. "They serve as a model for innovative and successful production and conservation at the state and national level."

The property includes mostly open pastureland and fields with several acres of woodland. The easement protects several acres of floodplain, over 1.8 miles of streams that feed into the Haw River, and prime agricultural soils. Lindale Farm participates in several conservation best management practices, including livestock exclusion from streams and stream buffers.

Additional funding for the project was provided by the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund and the USDA's Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).

"TLC is proud to have been the conduit through which Federal, State, and Non-Governmental funding sources have been combined and leveraged to protect Lindale Farm in perpetuity," said Bo Howes, Director of Conservation and Stewardship for TLC. "This important family farm is the latest in our continuing effort to keep the Silk Hope Community a strong agricultural center. We are very appreciative of the Lindley family’s commitment to their land and way of life."

TLC Conserves 97 Acres of Chatham Farmland

Chatham County farmland

Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) has permanently conserved 607 acres of contiguous farmland in Chatham County with the signing of a new 97-acre conservation easement this month.

The conserved property, located about 10 miles south of Siler City, protects almost 14,000 feet of streams, including a tributary of Tick Creek, itself a major tributary to the Rocky River. Read more...

Chatham County map

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The Chatham County Council on Aging encourages eligible residents to avoid unnecessary fees this tax season by relying on VITA tax preparation service. The program is available to clients with low to moderate income, as long as eligibility guidelines are met. All VITA services include FREE electronic filing for both federal and state tax returns.

The IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will begin its free service on February 9, 2016, for Chatham and Orange Counties. Appointments can be made by calling the number listed below. Please leave your name and number for a return call. Appointment schedulers will help to determine your eligibility and provide information such as documents to bring. Allow two hours for each appointment. Additional information is now available at local libraries and online. The Chatham County appointment contact number is 919.542.4512.


Community Leadership and Development Presentation

Gaines Steer, Chatham County resident, has scheduled a time and place to tell the "back-story" of the creation and early years of the new city, Columbia, Maryland. It will be Sunday February 28, 5 p.m. at the Chatham Habitat Community Meeting Space, 467 West Street, Pittsboro.

This is a true story that Gaines knows personally, as he was the first Community Organizer hired in "The Next America," as this large and innovative community was described. Situated on about 15,000 acres purchased between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland, Columbia was the brainchild of Jim Rouse and Company, a socially conscious developer. The development and its style gained national recognition from publicity by Time Magazine (cover story) and a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.

Rouse and other community leaders brought Gaines (M.Ed. Community Leadership and Development) to Columbia from the Boston consulting firm Social Dynamics, Inc., in an effort to understand and resolve numerous "dysfunctions" that plagued this massive undertaking of 100,000 residents. Columbia is widely considered the most successful such venture in the United States for over 40 years since its inception (see "Best Places to Live 2014," Money Magazine).

This one-hour presentation bears no hidden agenda and is non-aligned and apolitical. The story is an end-in-itself, yet may have implications for the growth and development of Chatham County. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVP requested: via e-mail

Coal Ash Disposal Discussion

The Environmental Issues Team of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties is sponsoring a public discussion on disposal of coal ash on Saturday February 20, at 9:30 a.m.

Nick Torrey of the Southern Environmental Law Center will speak. The discussion will be held in the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) Greenbridge Building located at 601 W. Rosemary Street, room 220, in Chapel Hill. Torrey will address issues concerning the disposal and storage of coal ash in our general area, as well as in Chapel Hill. This comes at the outset of the state’s public comment period during which we, as concerned and informed citizens, may wish to be involved. Please join us to learn more about this potentially harmful material and ways we may influence the disposal and storage decisions being made. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Abundance NC's 2016 Climate Change Conference

On Friday, March 4, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Abundance NC's 2016 Climate Change Conference will explore both practical and social solutions and adaptations to climate change.

We will dig deep on this one. We'll explore the nuts and bolts of on-the-ground, down-and-dirty, farming and permaculture techniques (as well as the hard data), but were also seeking the very root of climate change and other forms of environmental destruction. We can adapt to a changing climate, but if we don't strike the root we'll never repair whats been broken. We believe this exploration starts with our basic assumptions about the merits of our civilization and what it took to get here: including the inequity of race, colonization and the politics of extraction in an increasingly damaged world. For more information, including Early Bird Pre-Registration, visit

DIY Music!!! Weekly Tuesday PM Irish/Celtic open jams

Weekly Irish/Celtic open jams are held every Tuesday evening from 6-7:30PM at SG Music Company, 78 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro (The Violin Shop). This session is for acoustic instruments, flutes, penny whistles.... Play with music, play by ear, play with your fingers or your toes...... just go and play spirited Irish/Celtic music! For additional information email

Bynum Front Porch Bluegrass Pickin'!

On the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Bynum General Store hosts the Bynum Front Porch Pickin’. This is a circle jam open to all skill levels and ages…but acoustic instruments and voices only, please. Bynum General Store is located at 950 Bynum Rd. For more information email

Statement from Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

We are grateful to worship God in a nation that explicitly protects our freedom to do so. We affirm the freedom of others to practice as they so choose, whether they profess different creeds, a different faith, or no faith at all. We know we are living in a troubled world—we are angered by injustice, we are grief-stricken by senseless violence, we are heartbroken by cruelty. But we renounce attempts to use our anger and grief and heartbreak to stoke fear. We reject messages that tell us to be afraid of outsiders. We condemn the persecution of and discrimination against believers and non-believers around the world, regardless of whether such actions target and victimize Christians, Muslims, atheists, or those of other faiths.

We remember that God’s perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). We will, with God’s help, work to do as God commands, practicing forgiveness, standing up for those who are persecuted, and welcoming one another, as Christ has welcomed us, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

-- Session of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chatham County.


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