December 2009 Newsletter 
Dear Neighbor:
As our first full year comes to a close, we await  decisions on the county's Waste Transfer Station and the Talkin' Trash Survey.  We face these challenges with newfound enthusiasm about the power of a unified rural community, and our ability to mobilize on issues that impact us.  Just think, it all started when we joined forces to keep an unnecessary airport out of rural Orange County. 
We're devoting this year-end issue of our newsletter to recap important events of the last year and to take a peek at what's coming in 2010.  Also, we're pleased to announce that our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status is forthcoming.
Commissioners to Decide WTS Option
Please attend the BoCC meeting on Monday, December 7th, to show your support for a responsible decision about the Waste Transfer Station (WTS).  OCV leaders will make a simple statement and ask you to stand to show your support.  We will ask the commissioners to eliminate Bingham from consideration and to pursue a partnership with Durham until a suitable solution is found. 
The meeting will be held at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, at 7:00 P.M.

On December 7th, after years of work and $500,000 in consulting fees,  the County Commissioners will evaluate three options to to handle the county's trash after the landfill closes: (1) 100+ acre Howell Property on west Hwy 54; (2) 10 acre Paydarfar Property on Millhouse Road; (3) partnering with Durham.  
Given the Board's choices, only the Durham option fits our vision for Orange County's future and there are better options that have not been considered.  Plus we believe that the impact of closing the landfill on taxes and fees should be disclosed and discussed before the county commits to this major capitial investment.  For more information,
click here.      
Your support has never been more important. Please join us on the 7th and Stand Up for Trash! 
Rural Orange County "Talks Trash" with the Solid Waste Work Group
The Talkin' Trash survey is complete.  The results, incuding comments from residents, are on our website and at retail stores throughout rural Orange County.  For survey results, click here.
OCV launched the survey to provide input to the county's Solid Waste Work Group - which was looking at new services and fees for rural residents. Responses from 881 households from all over rural
Orange County suggest that Convenience Centers are highly valued and there is little interest in curbside collection services or user fees. 
The survey results will be considered in the report from the Solid Waste Work Group to the BoCC on December 15.  The report is expected to discuss options on keeping the Bradshaw Quarry Convenience Center open, and whether or not to expand mandatory bi-weekly curbside recycling to more rural residents. 
For our full report -- click here, and scroll down to the Full Report links.
We will monitor progress and notify you of important developments.  Thank you again to the households, volunteers and local retailers who worked hard to make the survey a great success.
Dog Deer Hunting Under Discussion
Northern county residents are discussing options to deal with dog deer hunting in their community.  Dog deer hunters use dogs to flush deer out of hiding.  Unfortunately, some dog deer hunters follow dogs onto private property and illegally shoot into private property.
Dog deer hunting is banned by the state below I-85 and in Alamance and Durham Counties.
Orange County officials are meeting with hunters and residents, on December 8th, to see if there are options other than an all out ban.  While it is unlikely for action this year, it's possible that the county will seek a state ban in northern Orange County for next year's hunting season.
For more information, contact Steve Graf
Rand Departure May Improve Eminent Domain Protections
The announced departure of Tony Rand from the NC legislature may allow North Carolina to join 48 other states in prohibiting the use of eminent domain for economic development.  Rand, who is a private pilot and supported an airport in rural Orange County, has been blocking the legislation for some time.  For more,
click here .
While we see no immediate threat of an airport in rural Orange County, this legislation would help protect rural communities from unwanted development.  For a recap of our No-Airport Campaign,
click here.
Durham Residents to Sue Durham County Over Jordan Lake Zoning
When the Durham Planning Department (PD) made an error handling a zoning petition, the Durham BoCC opted to "let it stand".  The PD miscounted signatures on a petition that opposed a boundary change.  The board's decision opens the way to massive new development in the Jordan Lake watershed.  The error allowed the Durham BoCC to approve the boundary change without a super majority (4-1 vote)
If you are in favor of protecting Jordan Lake, or are simply in favor of accountable government, please donate to the Jordan Lake residents legal fund.  You can send a check or donate using Paypal.
For more information, including how to donate, click here.
OCV to Become a Tax-Exempt 501(c)(3) Organization
With the help of UNC's Community Development Law Clinic and third year law students Jina Dhillon and Nathan Cooper, under the direction of Professor Tom Kelley, OCV has filed for 501(c)(3) (not-for-profit; tax exempt) status.  Our Mission Statement and other corporate information is posted on our website,
click here.
Bonnie Hauser, Susan Walser, Tony Blake and Michael Hughes are OCV's Executive Committee, and the following community leaders have agreed to serve on our Board of Directors:
Myra Dotson, Chair and spokesperson for the Sewage Sludge Action Network
Tish Galu, spokesperson and leader of Justice United
Bob Nutter, Chief Executive, Maple View Farm
Norma White, Schley Community Leader
Other Directors to be named.
Scott Kohn, CPA, Kohn, Roseth & Associates, Ltd.,
 is OCV's accountant.
Formal IRS approval will take another month or so - but IRS representatives have confirmed that our application is complete and is being processed through routine channels.  While there may be questions, approval is forthcoming.  Upon approval, donations to OCV since our incorporation in July 2009 become tax deductible in 2009.  Should you have further questions, please consult a tax professional.
So please consider adding OCV to your year-end giving.  To donate by check or using Paypal, click here.
Make a Donation
Gifts That Keep on Giving   
Here are fun gift ideas that support the work of OCV and the rural community:
  • Deep Space Images from Bill Walser's Meadowview Observatory  feature Orange County's dark skies!  Bill has donated the images to OCV.  You can purchase a signed and matted 5x7 color image for $35.  Or we'll give you one with a tax-deductable donation  to OCV of $250 or more.  Orders must be placed by December 15th in order to have them in time for Holiday Giving.  For more information and to view the images, click here - then scroll down for the images. 
  • Earth Machine Compost Bins are available from Orange County for $50 (compare at Whole Foods for $80).  Contact the County's Solid Waste Department.
  • OCV Reusable Shopping Bags are available for $10 each at Maple View and convenience stores throughout the rural county.  These large, strong, flat bottom reusable bags are a great way to support the environment and to show your support for rural Orange County.  Or truly give the gift that keeps on giving and "wrap" your holiday gifts in an OCV bag.  Bags are $10 each or $25 for 3.  Email Bonnie to purchase bags or click here for more information.

Or simply make a donation in honor, or in memory, of someone you love, who cherishes rural Orange County.

Volunteer Opportunities in Rural Orange County
There are exciting opportunities with OCV and other organizations to help improve awareness of the rural community.  For more information, check this out.
What's Next for OCV and the Rural Community
All of us at OCV wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year.  We hope for win-win outcomes from our 2009 campaigns and are excited about the prospects for 2010.
With your continued support, we are planning exciting new events for the coming year including:
  • An educational forum on topics of interest to rural residents.  Our first session will be on tick-borne illnesses.  It will be held in the Spring just before tick season starts.
  • Continuing our responsible waste management campaign, including research on long term alternatives to landfills and sewage sludge application on rural farmland.
  • Community-driven approaches to parks, municipal services, and other programs that build communities and cooperation.
  • Ongoing education and awareness about issues affecting the rural community.

We close the year with thanks to the volunteers and neighbors who have helped to create a resounding voice for the Orange County's rural community.

Community Calendar
OCV has added a community calendar to our website
OCV now has a community calendar on our website.  In addition to highlighting  important events in the rural community, we will include links to other calendars - such as Harry's Market and  BoCC meetings.

If you'd like us to post your event or link to our calendar,  please contact Susan.
Thank you for your continued support of Orange County Voice and 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
Donate Locally -- Support Orange County Voice
In This Issue
Rural County "Talks Trash"
Dog Deer Hunting
Rand Departure/Eminent Domain
Jordan Lake Watershed Protection
OCV to become 501(c)(3)
Gifts That Keep on Giving
Volunteer Opportunities for Rural Orange
What's Next - For Us & You?
Community Calendar
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