bee installation at Harry's
August 2011 Newsletter
Dear Neighbor:

We trust that you are surviving this summer's protracted heat wave with some effective strategies for keeping cool.  At OCV, we have been busy revamping the web site and planning our work for the coming year.

Here's a quick update on upcoming events, along with information from the Sheriff's Department -- and followed by a summary of recent news impacting our rural community. 


In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Update from the Sheriff's Department
Redistricting May Affect You
Sewage Sludge Action Network (SSAN) Releases Documentary
Update on NC Legislative Session and Veto Overrides
Community Groups Join Forces to Close County Landfill
More Work Needed to Secure Dog Deer Hunting Ban
Legislature Rescinds UNC's Airport Authority as Med Air Fleet Moves to RDU
Grady Brown Elementary School Slated for New Playground After Winning Pepsi Challenge
Drug Cartel Member Arrested in Orange Grove Road Trailer Park
Changes at County Convenience Centers Coming this Fall, Other Budget Changes Averted

Upcoming Events     

  • The Sheriff's Department is hosting two Community Watch meetings in order to teach residents how to partner with law enforcement:  
    • Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, Tuesday, August 9, at 7:00 PM.
    • Maple View Agricultural Education Center, 3501 Dairyland Road, Thursday, August 18, at 7:00 PM.
  • The Food and Water Watch Road Trip ( is stopping at the Maple View Agricultural Education Center on Friday, August 12, at 11:00 AM, to tour the farm and discuss issues facing independent farmers in North Carolina. For more information, click here
  • The Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) is hosting their annual back-to-school bash on Saturday, August 13.  Community events start at 11:00 AM.  Beginning at 2:30 PM, hundreds of children will choose a new backpack filled with school supplies.  This event will be held at the RENA Community Center on Edgar Road.  More more, click here
  • Orange County is hosting a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic on Thursday, August 18, from 1:00-4:00 PM, at the Orange County Animal Shelter, 1601 Eubanks Road.  One-year vaccinations are offered for $10.  For more, click here.    

Update from the Sheriff's Department  


The Sheriff's Department reports that community crime watches are the single most important weapon against crime in our rural communities.  Because of you, the county's crime and arrest rates are improving. 


If you are not already receiving crime reports, please contact Deputy Corporal Butch Clark ( at the Sheriff's Department to be added to the crime report e-mail list.  You'll be notified on a regular basis of criminal activity and scams occuring in the county.  The report is organized by area, so it's easy to see what's been happening near you. 


In addition, the county has a "Code Red" reporting system to notify residents of emergency situations.  Your home number is already registered, but if you'd prefer to be contacted on a cell phone or at an alternate number, please register it by clicking here.


Most importantly, call 911 if you notice any suspicious activity.  Even if you don't suspect criminal behavior, calls help the Sheriff's Department piece together patterns that often lead to arrests.


The Sheriff's Department also runs other important programs on our behalf:

  • Project Lifesaver -- providing free GPS transmitter bracelets to eligible citizens with special needs, such as autistic children, seniors with memory loss, and others who can easily get lost.  With a tracking bracelet, at-risk citizens can be located in minutes.
  • Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) -- a program where deputies on patrol check in with seniors, to make sure that they are safe and sound.
  • Project Safe Neighborhood -- a last-chance program to handle violent repeat offenders.  For more, click here.

This summer, ATVs, bikes, lawnmowers, and other equipment left unattended have been stolen.  The Sheriff's Department encourages you to lock them up!  Copper tubing from air conditioners at both vacant homes and homes under construction has also been a common target of thieves, according to the Sheriff. 

Redistricting May Affect You


Redistricting is underway, and will impact rural Orange County.  While district boundaries have not been finalized, here's what we've heard:

  • Representative Faison's territory would be extended to include White Cross and northern Durham County.  Caswell County will no longer be part of Mr. Faison's district.
  • Senator Kinnaird's territory remains in Orange County.  She is projected to lose Person County and gain Chatham County, with her district overlapping, like a dovetail, that of Senator Atwater.  
  • Congressmen Price and Miller's districts would overlap in a similar fashion.

It is likely that the new redistricting plan will be reviewed by the courts, and therefore it is unclear as to whether the plan will be in place for the 2011 election.  We will keep you posted. 

Sewage Sludge Action Network (SSAN) Releases Documentary
In an effort to build awareness of the risks that accompany the application of sewage sludge to fields in Orange and Alamance counties, SSAN has released a documentary addressing this issue.  To view the short film, click here.  You may see some familiar faces.
Update on NC Legislative Session and Veto Overrides     

The North Carolina Legislature's override of Governor Perdue's veto faces legal challenges.  Activism protected the governor's veto of S709, a bill supporting both fracking and offshore drilling, at least for now.

However, Perdue's veto of S781, a bill which undermines current and future environmental protection rules, was overturned by the legislature.

Representatives Hackney and Insko supported the veto of S781 and S709.  Senator Kinnaird supported only the veto of S709.  Representative Faison was absent for the vote.  For more, click here
Community Groups Join Forces to Close County Landfill and Address Community Impacts
OCV joins the Rogers Road Community (RENA) and Justice United in helping elected officials to develop a plan to close the county landfill, mitigate its impact on the Rogers Road Community, and find a long-term alternative to waste management that does not intrude on anyone's backyard.

For a look at a recent article in the Independent on the impact of landfills on communities, click here
More Work Needed to Secure Ban on Dog Deer Hunting


Last year, for the second time, the county commissioners asked state legislators to ban dog deer hunting in Orange County.  If you recall, the county held several meetings and public discussions on the topic.  Twice, county commissioners voted unanimously to ban dog deer hunting, citing property rights and public safety--especially given the increased density of our population.  Dog deer hunting is only permitted north of Hillsborough.  For more, click here. 


We are restarting our advocacy to secure a ban--and need your help.  First, please sign our petitionSecondly, if you want to help with the broader campaign, please contact Steve Graf.

Legislature Rescinds UNC's Airport Authority as Med Air Fleet Moves to RDU

While there's no indication that Horace Williams Airport is closing any time soon, the legislation that gave UNC the authority to site an airport in rural Orange County has been rescinded.

UNC's Medical Air fleet has moved into a new, private terminal at RDU.  Click here for more details.

Senator Kinnaird, together with Representatives Hackney and Insko, supported the legislation.  Representative Faison, a private pilot, did not.

Orange County has discussed zoning to protect rural communities from the construction of airports in the future, but no action has yet been taken.    
Grady Brown Elementary School Slated for a New Playground after Winning the Pepsi Challenge
With your help, Grady Brown Elementary School placed among the top five finalists in the Pepsi Challenge, winning $25,000 for a new playground.  To view an article in the Herald-Sun on this news, click here.
Drug Cartel Member Arrested in Orange Grove Road Trailer Park
The Orange County Sheriff's Department, working with the FBI, apprehended a drug cartel leader who was hiding out in a trailer park on Orange Grove Road.  The suspect is being held on a $1 million bail.  To view a Herald-Sun article on this arrest, click here 
Changes at County Convenience Centers Coming this Fall, Other County Budget Changes Averted
Beginning October 3, 2011, the county's Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be open Sunday afternoons, from 1:00-6:00 PM, but will be closed on Thursdays.  The county will spend over $800,000 to pilot paving and compactors at the Walnut Grove Center.  A third Solid Waste property tax fee -- in addition to the two existing 3R fees -- will be added to property tax bills to cover the costs of operating, maintaining, and improving the county's convenience centers.  To view a Herald-Sun article on new schedules, click here.

To view a separate article that appeared in the Herald-Sun, this one on the county budget's protection of the current tax rate and per-pupil funding, while adding fees for convenience centers and building permits, click here
That's it for now.  We hope to see you at a Community Watch meeting or at other events that continue to enhance our rural community.


Have a safe and healthy end of summer!



Bonnie Hauser, President 
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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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