March 2010 Newsletter 
Dear Neighbor:
The advent of spring brings with it the promise of longer days and warmer temperatures, as well as an exciting primary season.  Coupled with other news and events, this month's newsletter begins our coverage of the 2010 elections and their potential impact on rural Orange County.  OCV is a non-partisan organization and will not endorse particular candidates. Instead, we will provide information and insights that could prove valuable to voters within our rural community.
Local Elections are Crucial for Rural Orange County
The filings are in, and local elections -- those for county commissioner and Orange County School Board -- are highly contested.  Your vote in the primary will be crucial in determining how important the voice of the rural community is in shaping the future course of the county.  Certainly, none of us want to revert back to fighting landfills, airports, and other unwanted municipal development.

Please check out the new election section of our website, where you'll find "Local Election Basics", as well as information about various races.  We will add candidate questionnaires and links to informative news articles as the election draws closer. 

The North Carolina Primary is on May 4th.  Registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in their own party's primary.  Unaffiliated voters may vote in either (but only one) primary.  For voter registration information and locations, including "One-Stop No Excuse Voting" information, click here.

Questions for the Local Candidates

Where do candidates stand on issues impacting rural residents?  WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  OCV will invite candidates to respond to questionnaires focused on issues that YOU consider important.  We will be directing the first of our questionnaires towards candidates running for county commissioner and school board.

Please submit your questions by March 19th.  OCV questionnaires and candidate responses will be posted on our website.  To submit questions or learn more, contact Patrick.

Candidate Forum Planned for April 6th

The New Hope Improvement Association is planning a candidate forum for state legislature, county commissioner, and county sheriff candidates.  School board candidates are not included.  The forum will be held on April 6th, at 7:00 PM.  For more information, click here.
OWASA Unveils Draft Plan to Manage Forest Land in Bingham

On February 24th, OWASA presented a draft forestry management plan for its Buckhorn Game Land.  This 450 acre tract is near the intersection of Buckhorn and Mt. Willing roads.  OWASA committed to the forestry management program when Cane Creek Reservoir was created.

The forestry management plan is a phased program to clean up storm damage and "unhealthy" areas through a process of selective removal and controlled burns.  (OWASA stated that the surrounding community will be notified of the controlled burns.)  OWASA will plant and protect higher-valued timber such as oak and poplar, trees that will eventually be harvested to fund the program.  State and local forestry experts believe that the program will protect water quality and wildlife habitat.  They did not discuss sewage sludge, which is spread on nearby land.  For more information, click here.
Neighbors in Need

  • The White Cross Fire Department is hosting a community breakfast and bake sale on March 27th, to benefit long-time volunteer firefighter Gene Williams and his wife Ruth, who lost their home to fire.
  • The New Hope Presbyterian Church is helping long-time Orange County resident Carolyn Goode recover from a fire that destroyed her home near JoMac Road.
  • Friends of Social Services is accepting safety-compliant cribs and bassinets for families in need.

For more information on how you can help these neighbors in need, please click here.
Renewable Energy Funding for Farms and Rural Businesses

Grants and tax credits can help make renewable energy improvements affordable for farmers and convenience store owners, as well as owners of other rural businesses.  Investments in such things as energy audits that pinpoint and result in improved energy-efficiency; manure digesters; systems that generate energy from alternative sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal; replacement of older equipment (eg., freezers) with newer, more energy-efficient models may all prove to yield an even greater benefit come tax time.  For more information, click here.
Trash and Sludge as Renewable Energy?

Lou Circeo, director of plasma research at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, is coming to Orange County to discuss plasma gasification, a promising technology to convert municipal waste (a.k.a., "trash"), hospital waste, sewage sludge, and other waste products into renewable energy.  GTRI is arguably the largest university-based research program for plasma processing of waste materials in the country.  Sponsored by Orange County's Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB), Dr. Circeo's presentation is scheduled for the evening of April 8th.  Check local papers and the OCV Community Calendar for final details.  For more on Dr. Circeo's work, click here.
Mark Your Calendar
  • Lou Circeo to speak on using Plasma Gasification Technology to convert municipal solid waste and sewage sludge to energy.  This will take place at the County Solid Waste Administration Building, 1207 Eubanks Road.  Doors open at 6:30 PM, with Circeo's formal presentation beginning at 7:00 PM.
  • The 15th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour is scheduled for April 24th and 25th.  Be sure to stop at the Maple View Ag Center and the many wonderful farms throughout the rural community.  For more information, click here.
  • The OCV Tick Education Forum scheduled for March 20th has been cancelled, but stay tuned for information on its rescheduling.  Tick season is on -- so please be sure to protect your family and pets from ticks.  For more information, visit the TIC-NC Information Center.

  • The 65th Central Piedmont Junior Livestock Show and Sale will be held on April 21-22nd, at the Central Carolina Holstein Barn, 6616 Orange Grove Road, just north of the Orange Grove Fire Station.  For a tentative schedule of events, click here.  For a map, click here.
Support Rural Retailers

Please support the rural retailers who add to the delight of living in rural Orange County by providing great services, convenient locations, and a chance to catch up on local gossip!

The Maple View Ag Center is offering its Spring Spectacular, and spring plants and supplies will be arriving soon at the Farm and Garden Center and at Piedmont Feed.  There's music every week at Harry's Market -- and more to come.
Your Generosity is Overwhelming

A draft list of OCV donors is now posted on our website (click here).  These friends and neighbors have reached out -- many more than once -- to show their support for the rural community and the work OCV is doing on its behalf.

If you are a donor, please check to see that you are listed properly.  Please contact Susan if you have changes/corrections.  For more about our 501(c)(3) application, click here.

For us, the donor list is an overwhelming reminder of your generosity.  Thank you for your support to Orange County Voice. 
As we move into positive and proactive work on behalf of the rural community, we welcome your input on activities, events, and goings on in rural Orange County.  If you have something to share for our calendar or newsletter, please contact Susan.

Here's wishing you the top o' life without a single tumble.
Here's wishing you the smile o' life and not a single grumble.
Here's wishing you the best o' life and not a claw about it.
Here's wishing you the joy o' life and not a day without it.
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
Local Elections are Crucial for Rural Orange County
Questions for the Local Candidates
Candidates Forum Planned for April 6th
OWASA Unveils Draft Plan to Manage Forest Land in Bingham
Neighbors in Need
Renewable Energy Funding for Farms and Rural Businesses
Trash and Sludge as Renewable Energy
Mark Your Calendar
Support Rural Retailers
Your Generosity is Overwhelming
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