August 2009 Newsletter 
Wetlands Confirmed at Howell Forest 

The Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed what OCV told the BoCC months ago - there are jurisdictional wetlands at the Howell site.  This means the wetlands are regulated U.S. waterways subject to environmental regulations, adding further complications and costs to the site development.
Based on guidelines set by the commissioners, the Howell site should be eliminated from consideration as a possible WTS site due to the wetlands.  The issue of onsite wetlands are in addition to concerns raised by the towns that the site is too far away and will be overly expensive to develop and operate.  Plus it fragments all the solid waste operations and is likely to undermine service levels.
Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy has offered a site on Millhouse Road to the County.  However, further County evaluation of this site is pending a decision by the Chapel Hill Town Council to formally offer the site. 
A vote may be taken in September, but most people believe it will be delayed by the mayoral election.
Please help encourage the Commissioners to stop wasting our tax dollars on a site and a process that isn't working.

  • Attend the BoCC meeting on Tuesday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m. at the Senior Center next to the Sportsplex in Hillsborough.  
  • If you haven't done so already,  please sign our petition opposing a waste transfer station in Bingham.
  • Send a short letter asking the Commissioners to stop wasting tax dollars on the Bingham site, which is too expensive to use and will fragment solid waste operations.  Click for Commissioner's contact information.
Community Groups Unite to Seek Better Waste Management "Process"
Orange County Voice (OCV) has joined with OCOC,  RENA/CEER  and others to ask the County Commissioners for waste management solutions that are socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible.  At the BoCC meeting on August 18th, this coalition will ask the Commissioners to stop the "process" that they are using to site a waste transfer station.
The process has cost taxpayers over $360,000 and has produced no usable results.  The reports issued by the consultants have been incorrect and misleading.  Following this process, the Commissioners have instructed the county staff to continue work on the Howell Forest on West Hwy 54 (the Bingham site), despite objections from towns and taxpayers who are concerned about excessive costs (taxes) and ongoing service issues.
The coalition will ask the BoCC to start a new process to find a responsible and citizen-driven solution that considers: 
  • 5-10 acre sites in/near town and on I-40 or I-85
  • Partnership with Durham
  • Decentralizing disposal - so that each town can do what works best for them
  • Vendor-based solutions
The "solution" should reflect impacts of waste reduction and recycling programs, as well as alternatives to landfills such as waste to energy.  In addition, taxpayers want to understand the  fiscal impacts of the landfill closing and the full cost of proposed solutions.  
Bradshaw Quarry Convenience Center to Close
As many of you know, the Bradshaw Quarry Solid Waste Convenience Center is scheduled to close on September 21st -- despite an outpouring of creative and thoughtful ideas from the community.
Savings to the county are offset by costs to residents who will now have to haul their trash 20-30 miles, round trip, to convenience centers at Ferguson Road or Eubanks.  Private haulers do not serve the area. 
The Orange Grove Fire Department is concerned that trash burning will increase and that trash will be dumped on the side of the road.
County officials estimate that the county will save less than $35,000 a year by closing the convenience center - a fraction of what has been wasted on the Waste Transfer Station project or non-essential services - see Letter to the Editor from Bob Porreca.
Residents have offered better ways to cut costs, including reducing rural curbside recycling or non-essential services at the convenience centers.  Hopefully the Board will consider them.
Please support your neighbors:
  • Write to the Commissioners and ask them to keep Bradshaw Quarry open.
  • Sign the petition online or at the Orange Grove Fire Department.
  • Attend the BoCC meeting on August 18th where residents will ask the Commissioners to reconsider their decision.
Small Area Plan for Bingham?

As part of our "No Airport Ever" program, OCV is pursuing a small area plan for Bingham Township.  The plan would define land use, zoning, transportation, recreational and development priorities.  It will be developed in concert with the County Planning Department and the Planning Board.
Michael Hughes will lead the effort for OCV.  To learn more, please email Michael
Dark Skies in the Rural Landscape
Enjoy our exquisite dark skies!  Resident Bill Walser knows that rural residents can see stars and constellations that are not visible to those who live with streetlights and other forms of light pollution.
From Bill's Meadow View Observatory:

Nebula M42, M43 (on right) & NCG1957 (on left).  Nebulae are part of the Orion Constellation and are located on the middle star in Orion's sword.
For more astronomy photos taken in rural Orange County, visit:
Community Calendar
OCV to add a community calendar to our website
OCV is adding a community calendar to our new website.  In addition to reporting important events in the rural community, we will include links to other calendars - such as Harry's Market and the BoCC.
Announcements like the Annual White Cross Tractor Pull on August 14-15 at the White Cross Recreation Center will be posted for your convenience.  Check it out

If you'd like us to post your event or link to our calendar,  please contact Susan.
Vote for the Carrboro Farmer's Market!
The Carrboro Farmer's Market is in a close national competition for the Best Farmer's Market.  First place winner gets $5,000.
Please help and cast your vote.  Voting closes September 17th.
Wanna Help?
OCV will be spreading our message to residents  throughout the county at local Farmer's Markets and other events.  If you'd like to volunteer to work an event, or in some other way, please contact Bonnie.
Please remember to attend the BoCC meeting on the 18th and support our shared goals for responsible waste management.
Thank you for your continued support of Orange County Voice.  Together we are becoming an important voice for the rural community.
Bonnie                   &                Susan
Bonnie Hauser                               Susan Walser
Email Me                              Email Me                     
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Mead
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In This Issue
Wetlands Confirmed at the Howell Forest
Community Groups Unite to Seek Better Waste Management "Process"
Bradshaw Quarry Convenience Center to Close
Small Area Plan for Bingham?
Dark Skies in the Rural Landscape
Community Calendar
Vote for the Carrboro Farmer's Market
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