Chatham County Line - Where all voices are heard

July/August 2017

Chatham Park Brings New School Without the Choice
by Tommy Johnson

Thales Academy, a chain private school promising "a high quality, affordable education," is planned to open in Chatham Park next fall. It offers a surprisingly low tuition but to do so it avoids accreditation and has no cafeteria, auditorium, or bus system. Most notably, it lacks the resources necessary to accommodate students with behavioral conditions or learning disabilities.

Thales currently enrolls 2,200 students across the state at six locations. Robert Luddy, prominent political donor and CEO of CaptiveAire Systems, a commercial ventilation company, started the school in 2007. He founded the schools to give parents and students "exit," or a way to "bypass the existing industry," as he told


A Chicago Story
by Julian Sereno

"The South Side of Chicago ... is the baddest part of town," lyrics from the early '70s Jim Croce song, flitted through my consciousness as I planned my weekend visit for the 45th reunion of the University of Chicago Class of 1972. U of C is located in Hyde Park, on the South Side. I resided there for a decade after graduation.

As appalling as the current gun violence is, twas ever thus on the South Side. Al Capone got the notoriety but hardly started it; it was worse in the late 1800s. Numerically, there were more murders in Chicago in the late ‘60s and early '70s than there are now. The murder rate is higher because Chicago' population is smaller. The difference between now and then is firepower. Then it was .22s and .38s, now its 9mm.s and assault rifles, where the bullets rip through metal, cinderblock and brick as though they were tissue paper.


The Sham and Shame of "Wealth Care" - Not Health Care
by Gary Simpson

It's early July and that means members of the 115th Congress take an extended Independence Day break to give the American public some well deserved R & R. However, for Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority leader from Kentucky, being the relentless old blood hound that he is, he’ll continue to work at doggedly sniffing out his own favorite brand of R & R – "Repeal & Replace" (Obamacare, that is).

The sniffing (or sniveling) has been hot and heavy as of late. But, alas, even after all the feverish, closed door sessions with burning of the midnight oil, it became apparent at the 11th hour that even his partisan pals were not ready to throw the old dog a bone. His "gang of 13's" 0.2 version of the House's already repugnant American Health Care Act (AHCA) drew mixed reviews from the pack. Unable to chase down the votes needed to pass the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) before the break, Senator McConnell hit the brakes and called off the dogs yet again.


A Checkbox Away From Greatness
by John Roach

It is never a good day to buy a new computer. There is always a better, faster one next year.

When your Mac is brand-new, and you first turn it on, be mindful of the checkbox that wants to copy everything to iCloud. This also holds true if you reinstall the operating system. If you have a lot of files you will be charged for the storage space on iCloud.

I would rather backup my own files to my own external backup. If you have important files, back them up multiple ways. If they are sensitive, encrypt them. This can all be done with Apple Time Machine, or third party software like Carbon Copy Cloner, depending on your needs.


Trendsetting thugs and fascist fashionistas
by Julian Sereno

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's trendy tyrant, made a fascist fashion statement in Washington D.C., the heart of our democracy, on a warm sunny day in mid-May on Embassy Row.

And quite a row it was. Nine peaceful protesters carrying placards denouncing Erdoğan ambled around the sidewalk across Massachusetts Avenue in front of the Turkish Ambassador's residence. As Erdoğan stood near his limo, idly looking on, 24 members of his security team, large beefy men in suits, some with holstered fire arms, brushed aside the understaffed and overmatched law enforcement team tasked with keeping the sides separated, attacked the protesters and beat them to a pulp, kicking and punching them while they were on the ground. They roughed up the police -- federal officers -- who intervened.


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Page 1 - Chatham Park Brings New School Without the Choice * Love and Heartbreak for Visiting Foreign Teachers * The flight and the song of birds affirm life on the Haw - Page 2 - Chatham Trades Seeks New Board Members * Chatham Partnership for Children moving * Farming — A Labor of Love - Page 3 - I Am Your 'Difficult' Patient - Page 4 - Adding Fun for Dogs to the Dog Days of Summer * When Village with Village Comes to Parle * in sunlight and shadow - Page 5 - Whatever Arises, LOVE That * The Power of Law of Attraction - Page 6 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 7 - Chatham Opinion Line * Comey, Paris, Gays * Birds (cont. frompage 1) - Page 8 - Chatham Comunidad: Una Historia de Entrega y Agonía: Profesores Internacionales * Teachers (cont. from page 1)

Come Out and Play

For the 16th year in a row, sculptors will display their creations at the Come Out and Play sculpture show at JimGin farm just outside Carrboro. Many of the works will be for sale. Artists, who range in age from 8 to 90, keep 100% of the proceeds.

The opening party will be held on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27, noon until dark. There are also free picnic receptions on Saturday, September 2, 9, and 16, and 23 beginning at 3 p.m. and going until dark. There is no admission, and all are welcome, including dogs if they are on leashes. We know how much dogs love art! On opening day, there is a free shuttle running from Storybook Farm, 231 Storybook Lane, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.

Sculptures of many media and form will dot the landscape of this 17-acre horse farm at 150 Wild Horse Run, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

This show began in 2002 as part of a group of shows put on by Hunter Levinsohn, Jackie Helvey, Anke Gassen, Hollie Taylor, and Debbie Meyer to honor those directly affected by the events of 9/11. Attendees, who loved seeing sculpture in an outdoor setting, and artists, who often don’t have a place to display larger sculptures, asked for it to continue. Over 2,000 people attended last year's show.

For information, contact Debbie Meyer at or at 919.357.6142. She and her husband, Eric Brantley, put on the show each year as a gift to the community. The link to the invitation is

Resolve to get involved

CHATHAM CONNECTING is an online resource designed to connect individuals in need, non-profit service agencies, and donors or volunteers in Chatham County. We provide information to connect those in need with those who can help out. We list over 100 community, non-profit organizations on our website,, and bring you information about upcoming events sponsored by area agencies as well as their current volunteer opportunities and donation needs.

In September Chatham Connecting will spotlight arts programs that provide a break from work and home responsibilities and also play a role in boosting the economy. The Chatham Arts Council, Bynum Front Porch, Shakori Hills Community Arts Center, and the Pittsboro Youth Theater offer programs to engage people of all ages in the arts -- and they all need volunteers. We also list several special events in September such as Support Literacy Events, Hispanic Heritage Festival, Learning Trail Tutors, and Tokens of Care 5K Run/Walk.

Check out our website to learn more about how you can get involved with the arts and with other service organizations in Chatham County.

Chatham Development Briefing

The Chatham Chamber of Commerce presents the Chatham Development Briefing, Wednesday, August 30 at the new Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, 1192 US 64 West Business, Pittsboro. Registration, networking and a full breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m.; presentations at 8 a.m. It will end at 10:15 a.m.

Development Briefing attendees will have the opportunity to network with leaders from all areas of business. They can expect to hear the latest in development news for Chatham County from various consultants, economic development experts, county representatives, and others. There are 160 to 200 people in attendance each year. Admission is $25 for Chatham Chamber members, $35 for non-members. Contact the Chatham Chamber of Commerce for more information.
919.742.3333 |

Shared Learning lists fall classes

This fall, 2017, the Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill welcomes the public to enroll in any of its 22, 14-week courses, as cited on its website: An enrollment fee of $60.00 entitles the registrant to take as many courses as he or she wants during the year's three terms. Morning class meetings take place in the comfortable classroom environments in Expand Church, 114 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill 27514. Those interested may pick up a paper catalog with complete course descriptions and a course registration form at the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library Book store, lower level of the library. Or they may contact Nancy Goudreau to receive a paper catalog in the mail: 703.329.2933 or

The Shared Learning Fall registration period begins the end of July and closes September 4th. All classes begin the week of Monday, September 11th, and end on December 15 with an end-of-the-term celebration. The registration form is the last page of the fall catalog.

For the Fall 2017 term, some sample titles from the offered 22 include: "Geologic Wonders in the U.S. Parks"; "Episodes in the Development of Jazz"; "Shakespeare's Romances"; "Music as a Mirror of History"; "Short Stories"; "History and Achievements of the Islamic Golden Age"; "Science of Extreme Weather"; "The Movie Experience"; "Views on the News"; "Early Classic British Literature"; "Introduction to Paleontology"; and "Modern American Essays." Also, on the second Friday of the month, Shared Learning sponsors a "Let's Go To the Movie" program and shows a classic film, from 9:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., followed by discussion.

In addition, one, free Lindgren Lecture is thus far scheduled for this coming term. Open to the public, on Friday, September 22, 11:00 a.m. - noon, Jonathan D. Weiller, Ph.D., the UNC Director of Undergraduate Studies and a faculty member in the Curriculum in Global Studies, will speak about: "The Center Is Not Holding: the Name and Origins of our Political Divide." Another lecture is tentatively scheduled for October 27, TBA.

Founded by local residents in fall 1979, Shared Learning Association is a voluntary association for persons living in or near Chapel Hill, who wish to continue to learn in groups and classroom settings. It aims to encourage members to join in exploring topics of interest and to foster and share fellowship. Paying the annual membership fee of $60.00 entitles a member to take as many non-credit courses in the Fall, Spring and Summer terms as he/she wants. Members determine the study topics to be pursued per term, based on their diverse interests, experiences, travels and expertise. Also, they volunteer to serve as moderators in courses and programs, using presentation formats that are learner-centered and provocative to enrollees. Our current membership totals just over 200...from Pittsboro, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham.

Leadership Chatham Program

The Chatham Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Chatham Program is accepting applications for the 2017-18 Class Year. The Chamber is dedicated to the support and promotion of business and to helping mold Chatham into a place that everyone is proud to do business and call home. With the expected growth for Chatham County, there will be more and more opportunities that arise. The demand for effective leaders will be crucial. Leadership Chatham, a signature program of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, is an innovative program designed to develop informed, skilled and involved community leaders.

The Leadership Chatham program will take you on a journey through the social, cultural, political and economic makeup of our community. Access to existing community experts will yield firsthand knowledge of critical issues facing Chatham County. For more information or to apply, contact the Chatham Chamber of Commerce.| 919.742.3333 |

Friends of Lower Haw win Grant for Trails Master Plan

Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant from Triangle Community Foundation to support the Lower Haw Trails Master Plan project. This project is made possible with a grant from Triangle Community Foundation's Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Awareness program. Although informal use by hikers and paddlers has occurred for years, this state natural area is considered undeveloped by State Parks since there are no authorized land and paddle trails. The grant will be used to develop a trails master plan over the next year for the Lower Haw River State Natural Area to plan for future sustainable development of official hiking and paddle trails and amenities. The grant will provide funding to hire consultants to develop the trails master plan in collaboration with State Parks, Friends of Lower Haw, and other stakeholders including the general public. The planning process will include a series of stakeholder meetings and produce a final report with concept maps showing proposed trails, canoe launches, and amenities. More information about the planning process will be publicized this fall.

Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area is operating as a local chapter of Friends of State Parks, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. This state natural area consists of 1,025 acres owned by State Parks along both sides of the Haw River in Chatham County from above US 15-501 to below US 64 at Jordan Lake. It is home to a variety of wildlife and plants, beautiful rugged scenery, and the best white water paddling in the Piedmont. Visit to learn more about Friends of Lower Haw.

Free Summer Computer Classes at Chatham Library

Chatham Community Library is offering a series of free computer classes in July and August. 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

Microsoft Word Basics, Part 2: July 25, Tuesday, 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Drop-in Computer Assistance: August 9, Wednesday, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Microsoft PowerPoint Basics, Part 1: August 17, Thursday, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Microsoft PowerPoint Basics, Part 2: August 31, Thursday, 10:00 – 11:30 AM

The Drop-In Computer Assistance sessions (July 12 and August 9) 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.

Chatham Chamber names Chamber Ambassador

Michael Whitman has been named Chamber Ambassador of the Quarter, for the second quarter of 2017. He joined the Chatham Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Team in August of 2015 and has been a valued asset since. Michael is full of energy, enjoys networking, is great at forming partnerships and is passionate about connecting and helping others. He was instrumental, as part of steering committee, in getting the Chamber’s first Young Professional Group on the ground.

Michael is the co-founder of Millennium Planning Group with the goal of assisting clients in making informed financial decisions. He and his wife Nicole, a professional photographer, are expecting their first child in December 2017. Michael and Nicole currently reside in Pittsboro.

Bynum Front Porch features lots of music

Bynum Front Porch Bluegrass Pickin' is on second and fourth Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., year-round. An acoustic jam session, musicians and singers of all skill levels and ages welcome. More info

Bynum Front Porch Friday Night Music: Head to the Bynum General Store on Friday nights! There is live music every week in the summer, May - August, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Toe tapping music -- from Tommy Edwards and the Bluegrass Experience to the Durham Ukulele Orchestra. Come early -- get supper at the food trucks! There are games and toys , screen doors for kids to bang, dancing with the firefles! What a great way to start the weekend!

Jul 28: Tonk -
Aug 4: Swift Creek -
Aug 11: Gospel Jubilators -
Aug 18: Durham Ukulele Orchestra -
Aug 25: Bluegrass Experience -

Bynum Front Porch, 950 Bynum Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Google Maps link:

General information:

1. No pets.
2. No alcohol.
3. Bynum Front Porch sponsored events are free but we pass the pith helmet to pay the performers, provide Chatham Co. students scholarships and maintain the building. If you can afford it, a $10 donation is requested.
4. Keep an eye on the young'uns!
5. All events are rain or shine!


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