Chatham County Line - Where all voices are heard

May, 2015

Opinion by Julian Sereno

When tax cuts lead to bigger tax bills

A few weeks ago the Republican rulers of North Carolina were congratulating themselves, cackling because North Carolina was ranked 4th in economic competitiveness by the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC). “We are proud of our recent tax reform efforts that impact all North Carolinians and lower the tax burden hundreds of millions of dollars,” said state Rep. Jason Saine, in ALEC’s news release, according to Rob Christiansen in the News and Observer of April 11.

At that very same time, a hue and cry went up among many North Carolinians who found that they were paying considerably more state income tax than they ever had before. I number among that group. My state tax bill this year was higher by one-third than a year ago. A poll found 60 percent of North Carolina taxpayers paid more state income tax than last year. Read more...

Letter to the Editor by Randy Voller

Human civilization depends on its access to clean water and its ability to harness and leverage water without destroying its life giving essence. Our ability to grow food and process waste depends upon water. Simply put: no water = no life.

In the last 100 years, the importance of energy and specifically electricity to "modern society" is a given that cannot be understated. However, we have some difficult choices to make in the present that will have repercussions well into the future.

Duke-Progress is forcing our hand with its problems with “coal ash”. The utility helped fuel the “Dixie Dynamo” known as North Carolina for most of the twentieth century and it now strides over the old “North State” as "Duke-Progress" like the ancient Colossus of Rhodes. Read more...

Chatham County Commissioner Diana Hales remarks about coal ash storage

We are here today because Duke Energy has a 70-year ash problem. Existing coal ash pits around the state have failed and their contents are seeping into our public waters. Instead of seeking a 21st century solution to permanently neutralize these toxic residuals, Duke Energy will dig more pits and transport their problems to Chatham and Lee counties.

Our Legislature made a law to allow Duke Energy to move ash into socalled “structural fill” pits and compress it against a 20-year HDPE plastic liner to form twin 50-ft tall mounds in Moncure. This Frankenstein-monster permit strips local government authority, endangers public health, diminishes economic prospects, and offers a temporary Band-aide, not a solution.

It is all in the name: Solid Waste Management Facility, Structural Fill, Mine Reclamation Permit. Read more...

Behind the Wall
Book Offers Rare Perspective on Mental Illness -
From the Parents Who Watched it All Unfold

Nearly 20 million Americans live with a serious mental illness. Add to that millions more family members and loved ones impacted by its onset. Yet mental illness is rarely discussed, widely misunderstood, and remains highly stigmatized. When the subject is discussed, it’s typically presented through the lens of medical professionals or journalists. Rarely is the public allowed the honest and compassionate perspective of mental illness that can only come from the people who watched it all unfold. Behind the walls of homes across the globe, parents quietly and privately manage their child’s illness with little support and face harsh societal judgment. Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents offers an intimate look at parenting a child with serious mental illness, presenting compelling stories that have the power to educate, advocate and heal.

When Elin Widdifield learned her son’s mental illness diagnosis, she and her sister, Mary Widdifield, recognized that stories about the parenting experience had not been told. Though Elin is professionally trained in psychology and has years of experience treating families and individuals, she became acutely aware that living with a person who has mental illness is quite distinct from treating that person. Elin’s professional and personal experience rendered her uniquely qualified to gain parents’ trust to tell the remarkably candid stories within Behind the Wall, a compilation of seven stories from nine parents. The book is a resource for all family members searching for understanding and support. It also provides a valuable resource for mental health professionals, raising a deeper awareness of the condition they’re treating.

Each remarkably candid story in Behind the Wall highlights parents’ shared experience; the first signs of disorder, the search for proper diagnosis and treatment, the coping mechanisms families are forced to acquire. Through each story and each parent’s journey, readers will gain insight into how these inspiring and brave parents moved through grief, guilt, hope, and recovery.

Behind the Wall is available everywhere books are sold.

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

TaniaThomas For all those who work so hard to save lives. Bless you.

I got this question some time back from a beautiful young woman named Stephanie. I was intending to hold it back for something I am working on, but have decided to release it. This past few weeks I have had connections with several paramedics and emergency personnel. And this question keeps coming up. So I have decided to share this now. It just seems right to do so. Read more

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Page 1 - Birds herald springtime on the Haw * Chatham rejects planned coal ash dump * On the way to the future — next stop: Mexico - Page 2 - Dispatches & Briefs - Page 3 - Child care chatter - because child care matters - Page 4 - And it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out * Careers of a dubious nature - Page 5 - Strawberry season at Chatham Mill’s farmers’ Market - Page 6 - Why spay and neuter your pets? * A natural jewel In the Piedmont — White Pines Land Conservancy - Page 7 - I can change myself, cure myself, become all i want to be! - Page 8 - The May splendor of catalpas * Adventures in retirement living — Part One - Page 9 - Spring explodes in color * Coal Ash (cont. from page 1) * Birds (cont. from page 1) * Cure (cont. from page 7) * Future (cont. from page 1) - Page 10 - Poetry - Migration / Godforsaken / Hide and Seek * Solar power and competition are good for all customers - Page 11 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 12 - Chatham Comunidad - camino al futuro — próxima parada: México

IRONMAN 70.3 Returns to Chatham County

The IRONMAN 70.3 sports competition event returns to the Triangle on Sunday, May 31, with the two of the three events, swimming and biking, in Chatham County. This means that roadways near Jordan Lake and southeastern Chatham could be impacted from early morning until about 1 p.m.

"The event does bring a large number of visitors to Chatham County who can become repeat visitors, all with potential to spend money on food and lodging," said Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau (countywide). “We also get national publicity for Chatham as a desirable location to visit."

Athletes will begin their day at Vista Point on Jordan Lake with a 1.2-mile swim. The 56-mile bike course will take athletes through rural Chatham and Wake Counties before entering downtown Raleigh to transition to the run.

The main roads impacted will be in and around Vista Point on Jordan Lake early in the morning until around 10 a.m. Then the biking portion of the race will start from Vista Point to North Pea Ridge to US 64 to Beaver Creek Road, heading south to New Elam Church Road to Old US 1 and into Wake County for the rest of the race.

To view more information on the event, including maps of each portion, visit For more information on events and attractions in Chatham County, visit


Learn how to manage invasive pest plants

The North Carolina Invasive Plant Council (NC-IPC) will host the annual meeting of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (SE-EPPC) on May 26-28 at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.

The NC-IPC is a chapter of the SE-EPPC. All member states (AL, FL, GA, KY, SC, NC, TN) share the mission to support the management of invasive exotic plants in natural areas of the southeastern United States by providing a forum for the exchange of scientific, educational, and technical information. The SE-EPPC and its chapters are non-profit organizations, not regulatory agencies. All chapters will be providing updates on their activities.

This year’s meeting offers a full slate of speakers representing a wide range of expertise. The keynote speaker is Janis McFarland, who serves on the National Invasive Species Advisory Committee and will be providing updates on this group’s activities.

Other experts will speak on topics ranging from effective management techniques on lands held by nonprofits such as The Nature Conservancy to education and outreach programs developed at the University of Georgia to Duke Forest’s invasive species plan and its implementation. Students from Edenton High School and their teacher will give a talk on the Edenton Hydrilla project. Field trips that illustrate issues with invasive exotic pest plants are also offered.

Anyone interested in learning more about southeastern non-native invasive pest plants is invited to register to attend the annual meeting by visiting the NC-IPC website:

Chatham’s Dawn Stumpf Elected President of NC Association of Directors of Elections

The North Carolina Association of Directors of Elections (NCADE) elected new statewide officers at their recent conference in Forsyth County, which included electing Chatham County’s Elections Director Dawn Stumpf as its president for 2015-17.

According to Stumpf, “The NCADE was established to increase the proficiency of the directors of elections and staff in each county and to enhance the professionalism and improve the management practices and procedures in administering the elections process.”

Stumpf added that substantial changes in election processes are coming this next year due to changes in state laws and requirements and we want each county to be ready to face this challenge.”

Other officers elected are: Tonya Burnette of Granville County, first vice president; Carla Strickland of Columbus County , secretary; Rose Whitehurst of Onslow County, treasurer; Karen Lawrence of Polk County, honors; and Carol Soles from Cabarrus County, historian. All newly-elected NCADE officers will serve a two-year term until 2017.

“Gearing Up for 2016” was the theme of the three-day conference that included educational sessions, networking opportunities and group participation. The conference attracted over 350 elections professionals from 100 North Carolina counties.

The North Carolina Association of Directors of Elections was established in 1967 as a professional association dedicated to continuing education and improving the electoral process in North Carolina and the nation.

Name Change for Chatham Social Health Council

After 24 years of service to Chatham and the surrounding counties, Chatham Social Health Council has updated their mission and changed their name for a third time to Wellness & Education Community Action Health Network or W.E.C.A.H.N.

In 2001, the HIV/AIDS Council of Chatham County improved their mission and increased services which prompted changing their original name to Chatham Social Health Council. Originally a HIV/STD prevention education agency, today they provide a full array of services which include prevention education, testing for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis C, gonorrhea and chlamydia and HIV Case Management.

Wellness & Education Community Action Health Network was developed through the joint efforts of staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, and collaborative partners all coming together. With the updated name and mission, W.E.C.A.H.N. will serve to provide all original services with expansion to serve people with other health disparities such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, smoking cessation, and diabetes, to name a few.

Please join us in our excitement for this wonderful change. Our new website is We are working to get all our printed and social media information changed at this time.

New Mission:
Promoting health and wellness in our communities by offering prevention education, testing, access to care, and support services for people infected, affected or at high risk for HIV/AIDS, STD's and other health disparities.

Coming Events:

Date: May 30th, 2015
Location: Rock Ridge Park in Pittsboro
Physical Address: 1397 Old Sanford Road, Moncure
Registration: 8:30 a.m.
Walk begins: 9 a.m.
Cost: $20 per-registratered, $25 the day of
Register Individually or as TEAM!! (1st 50 people registered will get free t-shirt)
Register online at :
Sponsors needed.
For more information:


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