Thursday, February 02, 2017

Some upcoming events, February-June

More events and details might be added after this is posted. 

Internationalist Books is closed

Internationalist Books when it was on West Franklin St.; the Carrboro location seemed larger. ©   

This is old news, but I just found out that Internationalist Books only has an online presence now (  A current tenant said the Internationalist closed in August and there is an announcement about it from September 7th on their Facebook page (  It was a good place to find and distribute leftist and Marxist literature and petitions.  Many free newspapers were available, including local papers like Chatham County Line, Triangle Free Press, and The Blotter, leftist papers like the Catholic Worker and War Crimes Times, and harder left papers.  Occasionally I found Workers World and Revolutionary Communist Party publications there, and I left Marxist-Leninist magazines (and people even left donations to defray printing costs), and there were papers such as Workers Vanguard, Socialist Viewpoint, Slingshot and sometimes publications from abroad.  At one time its lending library included rare or at least unusual to come across English-language books from socialist Albania.  The West Franklin Street location in Chapel Hill was an important meeting venue relatively close to UNC during the early years of the Iraq War and there were other meetings, such as the local Earth First! branch, LGBT groups, and occasionally the Triangle Socialist Forum.  More recently the store moved to Lloyd Street in Carrboro.  I didn't agree with the Internationalists' overall anarchist and Trotskyist atmosphere, but it was a unique and valuable center for the community.  With the demise of The Know Bookstore (now I'm having trouble remembering the exact name of this bookstore/café near NCCU) and El Kilombo Intergaláctico in downtown Durham and now the Internationalist, there don't seem to be any left bookstores/community centers in central North Carolina, apparently part of a nationwide trend, probably part of the general decline of brick and mortar bookstores.          

City of Durham Budget Priorities Survey

There is an online survey at , open through March 31st, or residents can talk to the City Council at Coffee with Council meetings:

Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m.–noon, Lyon Park Community Family Life and Recreation Center, 1309 Halley St. (PAC 3)

Monday, February 13, 6 p.m.–8 p.m., Durham Public Schools Resource Center, 2107 Hillandale Rd. (PAC 2)

Thursday, March 9, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., City Hall Committee Room, 101 City Hall Plaza, Second Floor (PAC 5; Spanish translation available) 

Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.–noon, Campus Hill Recreation Center, 2000 S. Alston Ave. (PAC 4)

Saturday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Holton Career and Resource Center Child Care Center, 401 N. Driver St., Second Floor (PAC 1)

The Durham Bike+Walk Implementation Plan is also seeking input:  I'm not sure if this is the office involved, but there are planned trails that have been planned for years or decades and have yet to be started, though the land necessary to implement them may be filling up.  . 

State of the City Address

Mayor Bell will give his annual State of the City Address February 28th, 11:30am-1pm, in American Tobacco Campus Bay 7 (318 Blackwell Street).  This is his last year in office, so there will also be an interview with WRAL's Gerald Owens and a retrospective video with the thoughts of people he worked with over the years, and a speech by Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Geoff Durham.  The video of the event will be available on social media and the Durham Television Network, but tickets are required to attend:  

Comprehensive Transportation Plan comment period

Comments are requested on the draft comprehensive transportation plan for Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro through February 24th; see for details. 

Climate Change Solutions for North Carolina

This conference will be Saturday, February 4th 10-5pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Shepherd Hall (121 Hillsborough Street, opposite the Old State Capital).  For details, see: 

No Ban.  No Wall.  No Fear.  A Day of Action:  Raleigh

There will be a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Muslim, Latin@, refugee, and immigrant communities February 4th 12-3pm at Raleigh's Halifax Mall (16 West Jones Street).  For more information see: 

Labor Legislative Conference

The NC State AFL-CIO's annual Labor Legislative Conference, a planning and lobbying event, will be February 7-8 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel (421 South Salisbury Street).  See for details.  

Balance and Accuracy in Journalism

        "7:30 PM WEDNESDAY FEB 8 
                 106 PUREFOY RD, C.H.
   Balance & Accuracy in Journalism                       
                          Josh Fox’s 
Stunningly reckless choices and votes mount up in DC, even
as the earth’s temperature and climate destabilization increase.  
What answer does the human spirit bring to such colossal threats?
Josh Fox, whose documentary Gasland spotlighted
the dangers of fracking, has produced a large and beautiful 2 hr film 
he calls, 'How to Let Go of the World 
and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.'
  See what you think he’s saying.  
Chris Barsanti of Film Journal International wrote,
'Fox hits that sweet spot between realism and idealism 
which few of his cinematic eco-activists have so far achieved.' "

From a Chapel Hill activist calendar:

"DEFIANCE: THE NIGHT OF THE FAILED COUP  Documentary by Cüneyt Özdemir, who will introduce film and lead discussion, tells story of  failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016,  7 p.m., Thursday, February 2, Duke’s Richard White Auditorium, East Campus, near corner of Main Street and Buchanan Blvd. Sponsored by Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), Screen/Society, Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), AMES Presents, and Duke University Libraries. mideast[at]duke[dot edu].
DEMOCRACY FOR SALE SCREENS IN TRIANGLE  Documentary focuses on how North Carolina became a bellwether for how money of a few came to dominate our democracy and what can be done to help stop it. All screenings at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 2, Eno River UU Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd. Durham; Friday, February 3, Church of Reconciliation, 110 N. Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill; Tuesday, February 7, Community UCC, 814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh.  Details: -for-sale-screens-across-nc/, 919-908-7919
THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA Part I of a PBS FRONTLINE investigation of partisanship that gridlocked Washington in Obama era, and polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president. Footage from dozens of interviews with top White House officials, members of Congress from both parties, experienced reporters and other key experts.  6:30 p.m., Friday. February 3, Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Road, Durham (park in rear or next door in grocery store lot).  Suggested donation $5,[at]gmail[dot com].

A REPORTER’S PERSPECTIVE: ISLAMIC STATE, ASSAD, RUSSIA, AND THE FAILURE OF US POLICY Reese Erlich will discuss growth of Syrian extremist rebel groups, status of  Assad regime, foreign intervention, and failure of US policy and provide analysis and what President Trump will likely face. 6 – 8 p. m., Thursday, February 9, UNC’s FedEx Global Center Nelson Mandela Auditorium, corner of Pittsboro and McCauley Streets (parking under Center). Sponsored by Department of Peace War and Defense. 919-962-3093.

Raleigh: Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil, 1st Wednesday of every month, Noon to 1 PM, Century Post Office on Fayetteville St (919-782-0667); Raleigh: End the death penalty (PFADP, AI-USA, NC-ACLU), 5 - 6 PM, Mondays, Central Prison, corner of Hunt Dr and Western Blvd (919-779-1912); Chapel Hill:4:30 - 5:30 PM EST [5-6 PM EDT], Fridays, corner of Elliott Rd and East Franklin St; bring your sign(s) to show your concern or take one from collection (919-942-2535)."

"RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF NC COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON TORTURE Urge Chapel Hill Town Council's passage of a resolution upholding NC, US, and international law and as a moral issue. In December Carrboro Aldermen and Orange County Commissioners passed such a resolution and Durham's Mayor Bell made a proclamation in support.. Town Council to address at regular meeting in February 13. Sponsored by Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Orange County Peace Coalition.  919-942-2535.

INDIVIISIBLE  Ruth Backstrom leads discussion about movement of left and right sides joined with goal to build government that works to solve biggest problems. 6:30 p.m., Friday. February 17, Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Road, Durham (park in rear or next door in grocery store lot).  Suggested donation $5, yikes[dot]contact[atgmaildotcom]."

HKonJ 2017

The Historic Thousands on Jones Street demonstration, organized by the NC NAACP and over 200 other organizations annually since 2006 will be in downtown Raleigh Saturday, February 11th ( ).  There will be a mass meeting and worship service, open to all, Friday, February 10th at 7pm at Raleigh's Rush Metropolitan AME Zion Church (see ).   

Friends of the Durham Library book sale in February

The Friends of the Durham Library ( ) is having a book sale at the Main Library February 11-12, 10am-4pm Saturday and 1-4pm Sunday.  If the weather is bad, the sale will be the weekend of the 18th.  Both days are open to all with the same prices and there will not be a Sunday bag sale.  There doesn't seem to have been very advanced notice about this sale, and it is unclear if it is the annual spring sale or if there will be three sales this year, and they are just trying to reduce the amount of inventory to move out of the Main Library during the renovations.  There are mini satellite sales at other branches all year and the new location at Northgate Mall, beside Sears, will open March 1st, but books can be donated there starting February 14th.    

The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library will have book sales there April 7-9, September 8-10, and December 1-3 this year; see 

Speaking of book sales, Chapel Hill Comics ( ), a long-running independent bookstore in downtown Chapel Hill, will close for good in late March and probably has sales going on now.  It used to have a variety of comics/graphic novels and related books and merchandise.  I found out about an old variety of Chinese comic, I think called lianhuanhua, that was used in political propagandizing, in a book about world comics styles  I found there (see for pictures). 

Black Marxism:  From Reparations to Du Bois to Black Lives Matter

The Workers World Party Durham Branch is organizing a discussion of WEB Du Bois' book Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 on Sunday, February 12th 4-6pm in Durham.  Workers World newspaper managing editor LeiLani Dowell will facilitate.  For details, see:  

Justice for Berta Caceres in Honduras

The Honduras Solidarity Network is having a webinar February 12 at 5pm EST on the status of the investigation into the murder of Lenca indigenous environmentalist Berta Caceres last March and the overall situation in Honduras; there will be protests around the world in solidarity (to register, see: .  Hillary Clinton helped cause the instability in Honduras by abetting a coup against a leftist leader, but few in the media brought up such problems with her record as secretary of state.     

Duke Energy-Future Plans, Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline, Gas Plant on Duke Campus? 

The NC Sierra Club Capital Group's February 16th meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - Founders Hall (3313 Wade Avenue will feature three speakers on these issues and is open to the public.  The speakers are David Rogers, of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign; Claire Wang, Duke Student Climate Coalition president; and Deb Self, Southeast coordinator of the Sierra Club's Dirty Fuels campaign.  The meeting will be 7-8:30pm, but there will be refreshments and the room will be open at 6:30.  For more information, see their group.   

Russian Revolution exhibit at UNC

I can't vouch for the content, but there is an exhibit, "A World on Fire in Flames of Blood:  Narratives of the Russian Revolution," marking the Revolution's 100th anniversary, at UNC's Wilson Library until May 14th.  For more information, see:

International Polar Bear Day

Polar Bear Day, February 27th, is an annual event to increase awareness of polar bears and the threat posed to them and other species by climate change, such as the disappearance of Artic sea ice.  It was started by Polar Bears International ( ).
National Invasive Species Awareness Week

This annual campaign to highlight the harm caused by non-native, invasive species will be February 27-March 3 ( )

Durham Mardi Gras 2017

There will be a parade starting at 7pm from the bull sculpture in the plaza at 201 Corcoran Street downtown and other events February 28th.  For details see:

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Walk

This two-week event, similar to the annual Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice ( ), will walk along the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in eastern NC, starting March 4th and lasting two weeks.  For details and registration, see:

Durham Arbor Day Celebration 2017

Date and location TBA, but probably in early March; see

International Women's Day

International Women's Day is every March 8th; it apparently began in the USA, but is more often celebrated in the ex-socialist bloc today.  The UN's website for the holiday is while it is given a capitalist spin at

Sandhills Clean Energy Summit 2017

This conference on sustainability and climate change will be March 10-11 at Fayetteville Technical Community College (2856 Fort Bragg Road, Fayetteville).  For details, see:

Durham Creek Week 2017

Durham's annual Creek Week will be March 18-25, 2017; the schedule will be posted at as it gets closer to March.  

Anniversary of the Iraq War
The official date seems to be March 20, 2003, but according to Wikipedia ( air attacks to prepare for an invasion were already being launched on the 19th, and the US bombed Iraq for many years before 2003.  Under Bill Clinton the US tried to provoke Iraq enough to justify war, but it was left to GW Bush to launch.  Just as Obama and the Democrats left legal room for a renewal of torture policies under Trump, Trump may launch wars Obama helped set up.     

World Water Day March 22nd

Begun by the UN in 1993, this is an annual event to increase awareness of the importance of freshwater and managing it sustainably (see: ). 

National Farmworker Awareness Week

Farmworker Awareness Week, March 24-31, is a week of action on farmworkers issues that has been marked for almost 20 years.  For moore information and materials, see:

2017 NC Breathe Conference

This is a public policy conference on the economics and health impacts of air pollution, to be held Tuesday, March 28th at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.  For details, see   

Earth Day

Traditionally April 22nd (also Lenin's birthday in 1870, 100 years before the first Earth Day), which is a Saturday this year.  Information about the Durham Earth Day Festival will be posted at:

The Kathleen Clay Library in Greensboro (1420 Price Park Road) is having its annual event April 1st, 1-5pm and is seeking tablers with hands on activities related to nature, the environment, and alternative energy; the deadline to register is February 17th (contact Melanie[dot]Buckingham[at]Greensboro-nc[dot gov].  This festival usually brings out about 2500 people.     

March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate

There will be a demonstration for economic and environmental justice in Washington, DC Saturday, April 29th, the culmination of activism during the Trump Administration's first 100 days, organized by the People's Climate Movement.  See:

May Day/International Workers' Day is Monday, May 1st and surely there will be local and national events and protests.  It is the equivalent of US Labor Day in Mexico and many other countries, though it began in the USA. 

Wake County's Annual Book Sale & Festival of Reading

Date TBA, but it will be sometime in May; see:

World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day, May 23rd, is an annual event to increase awareness of turtles and tortoises, and was created by American Tortoise Rescue ( ).  Many turtles are unnecessarily killed on roads around here (and even turtles that look too injured to survive can recover if at least removed from the road, and if necessary taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, in part because they are cold-blooded and rugged animals), and it is possible that box turtles are in decline because of sprawl.  It might not be causing problems, but red-eared sliders, colorful aquatic turtles that used to be traded as pets, live in the Triangle and elsewhere in NC, but aren't native, while closely related yellow-bellied sliders are native.  On the coast there are issues with endangered species of sea turtle.   

World Oceans Day

This annual day for increasing awareness about the oceans and keeping them healthy will be June 8th (see: ).    

50th anniversary of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty

The Israeli air force and navy attacked the USS Liberty in international waters off Egypt, killing 34 and injuring 171, during the 1967 war, on June 8th. 

Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad!

The United National Antiwar Coalition ( ) will have a national conference, Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad:  Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression!, June 16-18 and the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia (403 North 3rd Street).  There will be a webpage, but for now details are posted at: 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Redbay, sassafras, and the harm caused by globalization

A redbay at the NC Botanical Garden ©

Besides the near extermination of ashes and possibly other trees by the emerald ash borer, the subject of a previous post (April 16, 2016), there are a few other serious non-native threats to the integrity of North Carolina's environment, either established in nearby states or already found here (there is an overview at: ). Another major threat to forest ecosystems is laurel wilt, a non-native fungal disease spread by the similarly exotic redbay ambrosia beetle, which kills trees in the laurel family, especially redbays, but also sassafras, avocados, and other species, and is already spreading in southeastern North Carolina.

In summer 2002 a USDA pilot project to detect newly arrived non-native insects, started only in 2001, caught redbay ambrosia beetles (Xyleborus glabratus) around Port Wentworth, Georgia, near Savannah. These tiny woodboring beetles, about 2 mm long, are native from eastern India and Bangladesh to Taiwan, southern Japan, and some Pacific islands, and are not a major pest there. Females were trapped in 2002, probably the first generation born in solid wooden packing material from Asia. It only takes one female to start an infestation and the beetles can complete their life cycle in as little as 40-60 days. There are multiple broods in a year and adults are around at any time of year and the winged females are most active late in the day, which is important when using some insecticides. By 2003 people realized that an unusual number of redbay trees were dying in Chatham County, Georgia (where Port Wentworth is located) and across the border in Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina, and late in 2004 the cause was identified. Redbay ambrosia beetles tunnel into living trees, inoculating them with various fungi (what the beetles actually live off of), carried in pouches on the beetles' mandibles. Apparently the non-native fungus Raffaelea lauricola is what causes laurel wilt. R. lauricola spreads through a tree's xylem vessels, and the fungus itself and possibly the tree's over zealous response to the infection cuts off circulation, girdling and killing the aboveground parts of the tree over as little as 3-12 weeks. Redbay ambrosia beetles have been found carrying R. lauricola in Asia, but laurel family trees there must have co-evolved with the disease while it is a new epidemic in the Americas and can kill healthy trees. The beetles prefer large trees, mostly boring into the first 1.5 meters of the trunk, and sometimes it is possible to see tiny “sawdust toothpicks” marking the boreholes. Older trees are most at risk, but even saplings only 1 to 1.5 cm wide aren't safe. In one place in Florida redbays 1” wide or more were monitored and mortality rose from 10% to 92% in only 15 months and mortality was 98% between 2004 and 2009 on St Catherines Island, Georgia. The beetles prefer redbays (Persea borbonia) here, but have been found on non-laurels in Asia. R. lauricola has been found in live oaks, but only laurel family trees are thought to be at risk, and the fungus can be picked up and transmitted by other species of ambrosia beetle in the laboratory. There is some evidence that avocados might be getting laurel wilt from a different beetle. 

Redbay is most at risk, but swamp bays (Persea palustris) and sassafras (Sassafras albidum) are also susceptible, as are two endangered small trees, pondberry (Lindera melissifolia) and pondspice (Litsea aestivalis). In experiments, Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin), lancewood (Nectandra coriacea), and pepperleaf sweetwood/Gulf Licaria (Licaria triandra) can get laurel wilt to some degree and these small trees/bushes grow in areas already effected by the disease, but redbay ambrosia beetles prefer trees with thicker stems. Spicebush, which grows near waterways in the Triangle, apparently does not attract the beetles, so it may be at low risk, but the beetle likes Asian spicebush. Pepperleaf sweetwood is a Federal endangered species with fewer than 12 wild trees in Miami-Dade County, Florida, but it also grows on some Caribbean islands. By 2007 avocados (P. americana) were dying in yards in Jacksonville, Florida and in 2012 laurel wilt reached commercial groves in Miami-Dade County. The West Indian variety of avocado most common in Florida also happens to be the variety most susceptible to laurel wilt, and avocados are Florida's second biggest fruit industry. On the other hand, avocados on Merritt Island, Florida were surrounded by dying redbays for 3-4 years without major problems, and the beetles reproduce poorly in avocados. A fungus carried by a different ambrosia beetle is impacting avocados in California and affects over 200 plant species, but so far it is only a Western problem. In 2013 a bay laurel, an ornamental native to the Mediterranean, growing near an infected avocado in Gainesville, Florida was killed. Tests show that redbay ambrosia beetles are attracted to and can reproduce in California laurel (Umbellularia californica), and it is susceptible to laurel wilt if the disease gets to the West. Like redbay, California laurel is valued for woodworking, which makes human spread more likely. There is a Mexican redbay that is susceptible in the lab, and there are many related trees in Latin America, some important for timber. Bay laurel and viñátigo (P. indica), a common tree in Madeira and the Canary Islands, are susceptible. Ornamental camphortrees (Cinnamomum camphora) can be killed by laurel wilt, but they co-evolved with the redbay ambrosia beetle in Asia and aren't in much danger. In Asia the beetle is found in trees like Asian spicebush (Lindera latifolia), yellow Litsea (Litsea elongata), and sal (Shorea robusta), and is not known as a pest of avocados.      
Sassafras grows throughout North Carolina, while redbay is found in the Coastal Plain, including Moore, Lee, Harnett, Johnston, and Wilson counties just south and east of the Triangle. There are some redbays growing behind the NC Botanical Garden's Totten Center, resembling more familiar broadleaved evergreen magnolias. Spicebush is also found throughout the state, but less so in the Coastal Plain. Pondspice grows in a few places in southeastern NC and pondberry grows in and around Bladen County, the epicenter of laurel wilt in southeast NC. 

A single female beetle is all it takes to start an infestation, and they can travel about 15-34 miles (55 km) a year, and might also be carried in the wind, but they are spreading furthest through unwitting human transportation. In 2004 laurel wilt spread to a campground at Stephen C Foster State Park in Georgia, west of the Okefeenokee National Wildlife Refuge, probably with human help, and in 2007 it spread around a hardwood mulch producer close to Nahunta, Georgia. Earlier in 2006 an infestation started on a railroad line in Jesup, Georgia near a pulp plant and state prison, either on its own or with human help (see the Georgia Forestry Commission's Distribution and Spread of Laurel Wilt Disease in Georgia: 2006-08 Survey and Field Observations, 2008). In 2009 it spread to Richmond County, Georgia, 65 km from the nearest known infestation (Evaluation of Laurel Wilt Disease in Georgia: Progression in Redbay and Sassafras - 2008-2010). The NC Forest Service hasn't disseminated information this detailed about how laurel wilt is being spread, but might if asked. Logs brought in for woodturning took the beetle to Volusia County, Florida in 2008. It has been suggested that emerald ash borers are using vehicles to travel around Russia, and it seems possible that redbay ambrosia beetles could spread that way too. Human transportation seems to have carried the beetle and its fungus to the Gulf coast of Mississippi in 2009, the Florida Panhandle in 2010, central Alabama in 2011, northern Louisiana in 2014, and East Texas in 2015. There is some evidence that the redbay ambrosia beetle spread from Georgia and northern Florida separately, or got to Georgia in 2001, not 2002. The beetle and laurel wilt are now found in southeastern North Carolina, much of South Carolina, coastal Georgia, almost every county in Florida, coastal Alabama and Mississippi, along the Louisiana/Arkansas border (it was discovered in sassafras in Arkansas last February), and in extreme East Texas.
Until 2009 the beetle had only gotten as far north as the area around Charleston, SC, but then it jumped to the Myrtle Beach area (Horry County) bordering NC, and in March 2011 it was suddenly found near Colly, at the eastern end of Bladen County, NC and when the NCFS looked for it, it was found in three other counties within 15 miles of the first site. Laurel wilt was found in Brunswick County in 2012, New Hanover County in 2013, and now effects nine counties in NC. I wonder if laurel wilt could have spread more than the NC Forest Service realizes. One piece of good news is that a 2008 study predicted that by 2015 laurel wilt would have spread across most of NC, except for some of the northern Piedmont and mountains, but so far it is only found in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, and Sampson counties, though it is still spreading within those counties and human transportation has greatly advanced the 'schedule' in other states. At the time sassafras was a wild card and studies have now shown that the beetle tolerates cold well enough to spread throughout the eastern US.

Symptoms of laurel wilt vary by the species affected. Evergreen redbays turn wilted and brown until the entire canopy is just dead leaves. There could be signs of boring, such as sawdust and dried sap. Peeling the bark back reveals dark lines in the sapwood beneath. Stricken trees attract additional redbay ambrosia beetles and other beetle species. The black twig borer is another Asian ambrosia beetle that attacks redbays and other trees, but it only kills isolated branches. Deciduous sassafras turn brown or display their bright fall color early and lose their leaves. The fungus seems to spread through interconnected roots in sassafras and avocado groves, and may be able to do so in pondberry as well.
Individual trees can be protected with fungicide for one to one and a half years at a time and insecticides and beetle-killing fungi can reduce the beetle population, but there is no way to protect an entire forest. So far there don't seem to be any parasites available in Asia to naturally control redbay ambrosia beetles, in contrast to emerald ash borer. In 2006 all infested trees on public and private lands on Jekyll Island, Georgia were removed in an attempt to get rid of the beetle, but the beetle remained in 2007. Transporting untreated wood and live plants long distances is very risky, but live plants and wood from trees in the laurel family especially should not be transported out of or through infested areas. Amazingly, while NC had county quarantines and now a state quarantine against emerald ash borer, there does not seem to be a quarantine against laurel wilt (see ) and some infested states lack regulations. Maybe the rationale is that redbay wood is not often cut and transported.
The beetles and fungus can live in a dead tree for more than a year, and, ideally, infested wood should be chipped, burned, or buried on site. Leaving infested wood exposed in a dump allows redbay ambrosia beetles to reproduce and the fungus could be picked up by other beetle species. In a study, no beetles or fungus were found 2 days after chipping, but the wood still should not be considered clean. Covering a pile of chips with plastic kills the beetles, but the chips could attract new beetles and should not be transported. Advice to Florida avocado growers claims that high-speed mechanical pruning equipment does not spread laurel wilt, but hand saws can. Wounds such as pruned branches attract beetles. Cutting roots linking trees in infested groves using trenchers, etc. might help protect trees such as sassafras once an infection starts in a grove. Coppicing might allow homeowners to keep trees alive, but at a smaller size.

Redbays if not other trees can resprout from the ground after the tops are killed and there are seeds in the soil, so they probably don't face extinction, but this new growth can get re-infected as it gets larger. Strangely, redbays often re-sprout from the roots, while thicket-forming sassafras often re-sprout from the trunk. When people talk of trees being killed by disease, it is usually unclear if they mean the entire tree is dead or if the roots are still alive, so that regeneration is possible. Also according to the Georgia Forestry Commission, dead redbays rot faster than sassafras, but sassafras wood is also supposed to be rot-resistant. Researchers are testing resistant varieties and storing germplasm for future restoration, though it may be hard to store redbay seeds longterm.

Fear of laurel wilt or other new pests should not result in the killing of healthy trees. The situation may be the same as with emerald ash borer, where studies have shown that preemptively removing ash trees is more expensive than waiting and does not stop the borer. I might have seen this happen in Durham in December, and I am not advocating pointlessly hastening the downfall of these trees.

Redbay Ecology and Culture
Redbay and related trees are important members of forests in the coastal plain and barrier islands and are valuable for both wildlife and humans. Redbay grows naturally in the coastal plain from southern Delaware to East Texas and into southern Arkansas, as well as the Bahamas, so I don't have a lot of personal experience with it here in the Piedmont. It typically grows near water but also sometimes in drier sandy soil, often under longleaf pines. The Bald Head Woods Reserve conserves rare maritime forest on the coast of NC, where redbay is or was an understory tree making up about 11.4% of the vegetative cover, while in Florida's Everglades, redbays make up 30% of the canopy in forested areas, and possibly more in certain habitats. The loss of redbays could greatly change ecosystems, such as by opening gaps that non-native plants will fill. Redbays can grow up to 70' tall and 3' wide and are valued as ornamentals and were used to reclaim phosphate mines. Swamp bay is similar, possibly just a subspecies of redbay, and grows in swamps over about the same range. Silkbay is another subspecies or a separate species, found in oak-pine scrub habitat in Florida.
US animals very threatened by the laurel wilt epidemic are Palamedes swallowtails, large black butterflies with yellow markings whose caterpillars eat mainly redbay, three tiny leafmining moths in the Phyllocnistis genus, and the redbay psyllid (Trioza magnoliae), an insect that forms swollen galls on redbay leaves. Palamedes swallowtails feed only on redbay and possibly sassafras; in experiments their caterpillars can feed on exotic camphortrees, but females don't know to lay eggs on these Asian trees. A study in Mississippi found that the swallowtails were three times less common where laurel wilt had been around for three years or longer. Palamedes swallowtails are an important pollinator of the yellow-fringed orchid (Platanthera ciliaris), and possibly related orchids with deep flowers, though the orchid also grows where these swallowtails are absent, including in the Triangle and in western NC. Spicebush swallowtails are another pollinator, and also depend on trees in the laurel family. Few other animals seem to feed on redbay leaves, and they have alternatives. Avocado weevils eat plants in the laurel family, and despite their name, might prefer redbays. Deer and black bears eat the leaves and fruit. The fruit is bitter, but is eaten by turkeys and many other birds, while bobwhites and a seed beetle eat redbay seeds. 
Fresh or dried leaves can be used like bay leaves in cooking. Redbay is a potential graft for avocados and a source of disease resistance through crossbreeding. According to Plants for a Future (, redbay had many uses in Seminole herbal medicine, such as treatment of constipation, rheumatism, fever, and to induce abortion. Bays in general are very important in Seminole and Miccosukee traditional medicine and ceremonies in Florida. Its red wood polishes well and is used in cabinetry and other interior uses and boats, but the wood is strong but brittle and straight trees are rare.

Sassafras leaves taking on fiery colors in the fall ©

Sassafras Ecology and Culture
Sassafras is an important but probably overlooked tree that grows throughout much of the eastern US, from southern Maine and Michigan to East Texas and the Florida Panhandle. It can grow 90' tall, 6' across, and live 1000 years (longer than oaks or UNC's ancient Davie Poplar, a huge tuliptree), but around here they are usually 15' tall or shorter. The best and most public specimen I can think of is a pretty grove of saplings about 15' tall where Barbee Road crosses over I-40 in Durham. Sassafras have very distinctive soft and aromatic leaves, which can be oval, mitten-shaped, trident-shaped, and rarely five-lobed, probably depending on the amount of shade. Sassafras fills different niches across its large range, but around here they often grow along fencerows and as understory trees in somewhat moist and rich soil near streams and on hillsides. Sassafras is somewhat common in the Triangle, but might escape notice because it is usually small.
Many insects feeding on sassafras, including colorful and well-known spicebush swallowtails and Promethea, Cecropia, Io moths, and several less well-known moths, sassafras borers (a long-horned beetle), and other insects, but most or all of them have options if many sassafras succumb to laurel wilt. Deer, rabbits, and groundhogs also browse on sassafras. Black bears, fox squirrels, turkeys, bobwhites, robins, towhees, mockingbirds, catbirds, pileated woodpeckers, bluebirds, phoebes, and other birds eat the late summer or fall fruit.
Leaves can be eaten fresh and gumbo filé and soup thickener is made from dried and powdered shoots. Tea is made by boiling the washed roots and adding sugar or using the flowers. Twigs were boiled, mixed with molasses, and fermented for beer. Various parts of sassafras were used against many illnesses, and It had such a reputation that it was a principal export of Jamestown and other English colonies. It is probably more useful for its taste than as a cure, and has been used in soap, perfumes, and flavoring. Sassafras' popularity came to an end when the FDA classified its oil, safrole, as carcinogenic, though the risk might be overstated. Safrole is used to make the drug ecstasy, but the oil is usually harvested from related trees. Sassafras is also a source of dye. Sassafras wood is fragrant and was used in beds and chicken coops in an attempt to repel pests, as well as for posts, railroad ties, barrels, buckets, furniture, finishing, boats, and dugout canoes, as it resists rot and shrinkage.     
A grove of miniature sassafras in January ©
Laurel Wilt and Imperialist Globalization

Laurel wilt is a disaster that could have been prevented and is only one of several invasive pests harming trees in the US in recent years, and non-natives species that run wild are a major problem worldwide, rarely highlighted by opponents of “free trade.” Changes in global trade patterns have caused trends in the organisms that reach the US and become established, despite the enactment of Federal regulations since 1912. A 2010 study (Historical Accumulation of Nonindigenous Forest Pests in the Continental United States, posted online) found that about 2.5 established non-native forest pests were detected per year from 1860 to 2006 (though studies of aquatic and other habitats have found accelerating colonization rates), but the most damaging pests (all 16 microbes and 62 insects, 14% of the insect total of 455 species) were discovered at a rate of one about every 2 to 2.5 years. The rate varied by how the pests live, so the highest rate of detection of leaf eating pests in the USA was around the 30's, while sap-feeding insects peaked in the early 1900s, but had a smaller secondary peak in the late 20th century that the study left unexplained. Discovery of high-impact pests and phloem vessel and woodboring insects has greatly increased since the 80's. 56% of the new insects detected between 1980 and 2006 were in this borer category. 56% of the high-impact pests with known detection dates came before 1930 and then fewer were detected per year until the trend greatly reversed around 1990, so that 24% of the total were detected after 1990. Since 1990 an average of 1.2 high-impact pests have been found per year, almost three times the rate from 1860 to 1990. 44% of the insects found between 1999 and 2006 were in the high-impact category. The study suggests that the rate has increased because of the use of wood in containerized shipping and heightened vigilance. In Canada detections peaked in the 40's-50's but only declined in the 80's, which a study attributed to new laws across the border in the US and a 1976 Canadian phytosanitary law, but I wonder if this could also relate to Canada's changing relations with US and British imperialism, effecting who Canada trades with and what laws are made.

Globalization seeks to 'flatten' the world, and in a sense that could mean our forests will be flattened, in exchange for greater business profits. Any long-distance trade and travel gives exotic organisms a chance to hitch a ride, but offshoring factories just to exploit workers and resources in other countries and importing labor rather than paying higher wages to attract workers who are already here increases the chance that something disastrous will become established. American species, from goldenrods to largemouth bass, likewise cause problems when transported to new places. In the Eastern US there has already been significant to catastrophic damage to American chestnuts, elms, Fraser fir, hemlocks, ashes, American beech, flowering dogwoods, butternut, black walnut, bays, sassafras, Western soapberry, and other trees, and serious threats to oaks and pines are waiting in the wings, in addition to damage caused by bad land management, the extinction of native animals that were beneficial for plants, competition with non-natives, air pollution, and climate change. Harm to trees in turn affects other plants and animals and the human inhabitants of this forested region.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is February 27-March 3 ( )!

Some links about laurel wilt:

About ambrosia beetles:

About sassafras:
About redbay:
About the Palamedes swallowtail:

General non-native issues:

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Some December - February events

It is late news, but prominent NC peace activist John Heuer passed away November 16th.  He was a former president of the Triangle branch of Veterans for Peace, Eisenhower Chapter 157, and a former secretary of VfP's national board of directors, as well as a state chair and director of NC Peace Action, and participated in many anti-war events locally and nationally.  He was a columnist in Chatham County Line, including the current issue (see, advocating a peace-oriented foreign policy and economy.  I offer my condolences to his friends and family and North Carolina has lost a strong advocate for a better future, or possibly any lengthy future for humanity.  There is more information at VfP's tribute page:

UNC Library seeking commonplace items

UNC librarians are seeking photos of UNC-related t-shirts:
I plan to submit photos of some old student political and other organization t-shirts they don't seem to have yet, such as Student Action with Workers and green energy campaign shirts. 

UNC's NC Collection is looking for NC election materials, such as flyers, brochures, and letters seeking contributions, and maybe they would take signs and buttons as well:  If my voting site is representative, polling places across the state have bins full of discarded election materials the NCC could use, and I have extra materials from the Cynthia Brown for Senate campaign and others.  The Durham County Library's NC Collection also seeks donations related to local history.   

For people outside of North Carolina, there might be a public or university library seeking items like this in your area.  Things we take for granted, like t-shirts, political mass mailings, and emails could be useful to historians and social scientists in the future, and will be rare items in the future (and possibly monetarily valuable, as can be seen on PBS' Antiques Roadshow).  Archaeologists get a lot of information excavating ancient garbage pits and stone tools were once as ordinary as plastic bottles; historians are often missing useful information from the past, like the prices of everyday items; and think of all the valuable writings or paintings that have been destroyed or lost in an archive or cave somewhere.  There are also many cases where someone saves something like a painting from a dumpster or buys an object very cheaply, and later finds out it is worth thousands of dollars.  Bolerium Books ( ) specializes in ephemeral leftist items. 

NC Wildlife Resources Commission announcements

The NC's Candid Critters program is helping people set up camera traps to study the State's mammal populations.  Cameras can be borrowed from libraries or you can use your own, and cameras will be set up on public land and any private land that is volunteered, starting in eastern NC this month and statewide in March.  For more information, see: .

Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk, moose, and reindeer, similar to mad cow disease, is spreading in the US and Canada and has been found in the wild in Norway and in imported animals in the ROK.  Once it reaches an area it can't be removed, so there are regulations about what people who have been on hunting trips can bring back to North Carolina: .  I thought CWD was already in NC, but apparently the closest cases are along the border of northern Virginia and West Virginia.  There is no proof that humans can get CWD, but infected animals should not be eaten and where CWD is present the most potentially dangerous body parts should be avoided.  There is more information at:      

December 7th is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor

In line with recent, mostly neoliberal, condemnations of "fake news" (for example, see the many articles on, one of the progressive websites recently smeared as propagandizing for Russia) NPR denounced the idea that the Roosevelt administration wanted a Japanese attack, so it would have an excuse to enter WWII ( ).  For an alternative view, see peace activist David Swanson's detailed article at: .  It is possible that the revisionist history of the attack on Pearl Harbor is wrong, but NPR's counter-evidence is just a few quotes from two authority figures.  On the other hand, NPR called it a surprise attack, without mentioning that Japan apparently planned to declare war before the attack, and NPR staff just can't stop repeating the unsupported elite conspiracy theory that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, as opposed to peaceful and legal nuclear technology, until recently and they rarely mention that it is an open secret that Israel has nuclear weapons already.   

Durham's Digital Divide:  Living without Internet in the Bull City

Internet access is becoming indispensable for modern life, but many people still lack access in Durham and elsewhere.  There will be a panel discussion of this problem and what to do about it Thursday, December 8th, 6:30-8pm at the Hayti Heritage Center (804 Old Fayetteville Street in downtown Durham).  There will be representatives from the community and local government, Durham Public Schools, and the Durham County Library, with moderator Leoneda Inge from WUNC (the local NPR station).  For more information see: 

Greg Palast election fraud film showing at Recyclique (

From Recyclique's announcement:

"Join us this Fri. Dec. 9, 6:30 pm for:  “The Best Democracy Money can Buy”  A  New documentary on US election fraud, by investigative reporter Greg Palast.  Before Jill Stein asked for a recount in 3 states; before Trump said the vote would be “rigged,” Palast was investigating how US democracy has been corrupted.  The trampling of voter rights in NC is one of the places he says made the difference in Trump’s surprise victory. And yes, there are real reasons to suspect hacking in some places with electronic voting. We’ll also bring you up to date with the latest on the recount. Special thanks to Rob Coffin.  Suggested donations of $5, no one turned away. At Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Rd., Durham. Park in rear or next door in grocery store lot-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Also: this Sat. Dec. 10, 2-4 pm –Handmade Holiday Cards & Ornamants  (or decoupage a candle, bottle or frame from the shop as a gift!)  all ages welcome! We’ll supply materials – paper, markers, paint, glue, cool pics & art magazines, old cards/ornaments, fun stamps, and more – (or free to bring a picture you’d like to use).  RSVP appreciated: [at] gmail [dot com].  $5 suggested donations (kids free w/ adult).  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"

"Fri. Dec. 16, 6:30 pm – CommunEcos Solstice Party & Potluck meal. Open Mic. Bring a song, musical instrument, poem or other talent to share! We may have a fire-pit in the front yard weather-permitting.  RSVP to [at] gmail [dot com]  so we can coordinate food.  

Fri. Dec. 30, 6:30 pm – Report from Marrakech – Tom Fletcher will report on his experience attending the climate conference in Morocco, representing Unitarian Universalists.

Fri. Jan. 6, 6:30 pm –New film:  “Before the Flood” featuring Leonardo di Caprio, on climate change.
Fri. Jan. 13, 6:30 pm -  Film: The Four Horsemen  - a British documentary featuring Noam Chomsky, Joseph Stiglitz, John Perkins, and Herman Daly, which offers a critique of  fractional reserve banking, the debt-based economy and political lobbying by banks, which it regards as a serious threat to Western civilization.
Unless otherwise noted, events are at Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Rd., Durham 27705.  Most events have suggested donations, usually $5, or as noted. Park in rear or next door in Food Lion lot."

December 10th is Human Rights Day

Immigration public hearing

I don't have the details yet, but there will be a public hearing related to immigration Monday, December 12th at 1pm at the Wake County Detention Center. 

Drugs, America's Holy War

UNC economics professor Art Benavie will speak on the Drug War Monday, December 12th at 1:15pm in the Carol Woods Assembly Hall (750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill).  This is sponsored by Elders for Peace; for more information, call 919 969 4480.

Moral Monday Movement

There will be a press conference Tuesday, December 13th at 10am at the General Assembly building (3rd floor conference room) in Raleigh, followed by observing the legislative session. 

[The annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street march, HKonJ, will be Saturday, February 11th in downtown Raleigh]

December 15th is Bill of Rights Day

I'm not sure if Durham still has annual Bill of Rights proclamations by the City Council and County Commissioners , something the Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee lobbied for, but there will be a proclamation by Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County leaders on the Thursday, the 15th, at noon at Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill (in front of the post office at the corner of East Franklin and Henderson streets, opposite UNC).  Former state legislator Ellie Kinnaird will speak on freedom of speech and investigation of North Carolina's role in torture as a violation of freedom from unusual punishment.  The Raging Grannies will also be there.  This event is sponsored by the Orange County BORDC and the Orange County Peace Coalition; for more information call 919 942 2535 or 919 918 3432 

The Orange County County Commissioners will vote on a resolution proposed by the Orange County BORDC and OCPC in support of an NC commission of inquiry on torture Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm at the Southern Orange County Human Services Center (2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill).  For details, call 919 942 2535.  Carrboro's board of alderman passed a resolution on the 6th. [Orange County adopted the same resolution as Carrboro, and the Chapel Hill Town Council will probably be asked on January 9th, but I'm not sure if that is when they will have a vote.]     

John Wagner on DAPL, Standing Rock, and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Threat to NC

Balance & Accuracy in Journalism, the local Sierra Club, ECO, and the Community Church's Peace and Justice committees are sponsoring this talk about the pipeline in North Dakota and a pipeline planned in eastern NC by someone who witnessed what is going on at Standing Rock. 

Here is part of an email sent out by BAJ prior to the announcement that the Army Corps of Engineers won't allow DAPL to cross under the Missouri River after all (though activists are taking a wait and see approach): 

"There are a variety of legitimate fund raising sites that provide funds directly to different camps at Standing Rock.  To read about the main funding options, this   This site has the links below and some information about the camps.
Contribute directly to Standing Rock:
Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund:
A GoFundMe site for Standing Rock:
What to do:
Call President Obama.  The Missouri River pipeline crossing is on federal land controlled by the Army Corp of Engineers.  Obama could stop the pipeline and he could halt construction and demand an end to violent attacks on the peaceful Water Protectors.
Call the White House comment line: (202) 456-1111  It is often busy, so be prepared to keep trying until you get through and can leave your message.
Divest - There are 17 banks that are funding the pipeline.  If you can withdraw your money and start an account with a credit union or more socially responsible bank.  The primary banks are
Reliable sources of information about what is happening:
  • Indigenous Environmental Network is an indigenous group dealing with a variety of issues.  Their NoDAPL site is:
  • Their facebook page is: and is a very good source of new and information.
  • Also on Facebook, two indigenous people who give very frequent updates from the Standing Rock camp are Dallas Goldtooth and Kandi Moss.  The Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault has an important role and has spoken with President Obama and testified about the pipeline before the United Nations.
  • DemocracyNow and Amy Goodman has done some excellent coverage and Amy has been in Standing Rock multiple times.  Go to and search for Dakota Access Pipeline. [Democracy Now is broadcast on WNCU 90.7 FM Monday-Friday at 7pm, on UNC-TV's channel 4-4 at 8am, and on cable access in Durham and Orange counties.]
John spent several days with the native people at the 
Dakota Access Pipe Line. As someone active with 
the struggles over fracking, coal ash, climate destabilization, 
and energy policy, he is well equipped to deliver the 
significance of recent events and the issues they reveal."

[ John Wagner will also speak Monday, December 19th at 1:15pm at the Carol Woods Assembly Hall (750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill).  This is sponsored by Elders for Peace; for more information, call 919 969 4480. ]

Anti-DAPL and ACP protest in Raleigh

There will be another rally Friday, December 16th at 4pm at the downtown Raleigh Wells Fargo (150 Fayetteville Street), because of their investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline project.  People can send a selfie photo with a divestment message for Wells Fargo to the organizers and the photos will be presented to Wells Frago CEO Tinothy Sloan.  People can call Sloan's office directly at 866 249 3302.  There is a Facebook page at: , which also mentions the demand that Obama pardon long-term political prisoner Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement (see ).  RSVP is requested for the December 16th protest and there is more information at:

Chapel Hill UPS Solidarity Rally

There will be a rally in solidarity with UPS workers in Chapel Hill Friday, December 16th 7:30-10:30am on Eubanks Road.  I don't have the exact location yet. [7:30-10am at 7411 Rex Road, near the corner of Eubanks and Mill House roads; the contact is 919 370 4114.] 

Political Party Events:

Democratic Socialists of America meetings

Thursday, December 8th the Greensboro DSA will be meeting 7-9pm at the Preyer Brewing Company (600 Battleground Avenue).  For more information, see:

The NC Piedmont DSA is meeting Sunday, January 29th 3-6pm at the Chapel Hill Public Library.  Their Facebook announcement is at:

Triangle Area Green Party meeting

The next meeting will be Saturday, January 7th 11am-3 at Raleigh's Cameron Village Regional Library (1930 Clark Avenue).  For more information, see:

Workers Assemble events ( ):

Part 1 of a weapons training workshop will be Saturday, December 17th 12-3pm, in Durham.  For the location, contact the organizers (see ). 

There will be a Peoples Assembly Sunday, December 18th 3-6pm at the Durham Central Park downtown (501 Foster Street).  The Facebook announcement is at: .

Presentation on red wolves at NHAS

Christian Hunt of Defenders of Wildlife will speak about red wolf conservation at the New Hope Audubon Society's January meeting, Thursday, January 5th at the NC Botanical Garden, 7-9pm.  Non-members are welcome and there is not a fee.  For more information, see: 

Bolin Creek Unpaved:  Saving Carrboro's Last Forest

Friends of Bolin Creek ( is showing a film about Carrboro's Bolin Creek Forest Sunday, January 15th 3-6pm at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro.  The film was produced locally and the soundtrack is by local musicians.  A ticket is required, and all proceeds go to Friends of Bolin Creek:   For more information, email FriendsBolinCreek [at] gmail [dot] com. 

Durham Main Library Closes

The Main Library will be closed for renovations at the end of the day January 15th, until 2019. 

Chapel Hill MLK Rally and March

For Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 16th), there will be a rally at Peace and Justice Plaza at 9:15am followed by a march to First Baptist Church - Chapel Hill (106 North Robeson Street) and a service there at 11:15.  Blair LM Kelly, an associate professor of history at NCSU, is the guest speaker.  This is sponsored by the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP. 

Occupy the Inauguration

There will be demonstrations around President-elect Trump's inauguration, January 20-21 ( and ).  Workers World is organizing buses from Durham, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte ( ). 

Vigils for the Earth During the Presidential Inauguration

There will be vigils across the country January 20-24, during the Trump Administration's first 100 hours, in favor of action on climate change.  This campaign comes from a religious perspective, but not all of the events are explicitly religious.  Events are listed at: 
From an activist calendar in Chapel Hill:
"RALEIGH MARCH IN SOLIDARITY WITH WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON Unite with mission of  national march to send a bold message to our new government on its first day in office that women's rights are human rights, as we struggle for democracy and progress in NC. 10 a.m -1 p.m., Saturday, January 21, Raleigh.  Gather at City Plaza on Fayetteville Street in front of Marriott.  March to Moore Square, 200 S Blount Street, for rally program. [ ].
TURKEY TODAY  Speaker Omid Safi, Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center. 1:15 p.m., Monday, January 23, Carol Woods’ Assembly Hall, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill. Sponsored by Elders for Peace. 919-969-4480.

COMMUNITY AND STUDENT FILMMAKING IN PALESTINE  Screening of 3 student and community-made films from West Bank with discussion led by Professor Nadia Yaqub, UNC’s Department of Asian Studies. 12 noon - 1 p. m., Wednesday, January 25 , Duke’s John Hope Franklin Center, 2204 Erwin Rd.  Sponsored by John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies and Duke Islamic Studies Center. Light lunch. Park in Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. decks; attendees given parking voucher.

RIGHTSWATCH: HEALTH CARE  What do rights to due process, health care, a clean environment, education, and living wage have in common? First panel in series focusing on health care. Participants include professors Don Taylor, Michelle J. Lyn, and Dennis Clements.  12 Noon – 1 p.m., Thursday, January 26, Duke’s Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall, Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, 114 South Buchanan Blvd, near corner of Buchanan and West Main St. Details: http://humanrights.fhi.duke.ed u/event-detail/rightswatch-hea lth-care/?utm_source=Jan+2017+ Events&utm_campaign=Jan+events &utm_medium=email ."
"TRIANGLE LABOR COUNCIL LOCAL LEGISLATIVE MEETING Come meet your NC Legislators, learn about the NC AFL-CIO’s 2017 Working People’s Agenda, and talk openly about our issues. Strong participation greatly impacts our success in state legislative work.  Catered breakfast provided. $5 per person.  Saturday, January 28th 2017 @ 8:30 am IBT 391 Hall, 6317 Angus Dr. Off Hwy 70, Raleigh, NC   RSVP NOW! For more information contact Aiden Graham at aiden [ at ] aflcionc [dot org] or call 919-833-6678
TRIANGLE PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY: We need your help to develop a People's Assembly process to serve as a fundamental component of sharing reports, learning from each other, strengthening a democratic, bottom-up grassroots movement to engage a stronger vision and struggle for working peoples power and transformative change in our communities, workplaces and society. Saturday, January 29, Noon-4pm, NC Assoc. of Educators Bldg, 700 S. Salisbury Street, Raleigh. Sponsored by Triangle May Day Unity Coalition events/1784925505164852/
Labor Legislative Conference

The NC State AFL-CIO's annual Labor Legislative Conference, a planning and lobbying event, will be February 7-8 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel (421 South Salisbury Street).  See for details.  
National Invasive Species Awareness Week

This annual campaign to highlight the harm caused by non-native, invasive species will be February 27-March 3 ( )

Durham Creek Week

Durham's annual Creek Week will be March 18-25, 2017; the schedule will be posted at closer to March (right now it has the 2016 schedule). 

Vigils in the Triangle

From a Chapel Hill activist calendar:

"ONGOING VIGILS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE Raleigh: Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil, 1st Wednesday of every month, Noon to 1 PM, Century Post Office on Fayetteville St (919-782-0667); Raleigh: End the death penalty (PFADP, AI-USA, NC-ACLU), 5 - 6 PM, Mondays, Central Prison, corner of Hunt Dr and Western Blvd (919-779-1912); Chapel Hill:4:30 - 5:30 PM EST [5-6 PM EDT], Fridays, corner of Elliott Rd and East Franklin St; bring your sign(s) to show your concern or take one from collection (919-942-2535)."

Statement from the water protector camp in North Dakota:

Coalition Statement: What’s Next for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock?
December 8, 2016
Contact: LaDonna Allard (CSS), ladonna [at] sacredstonecamp [dot org] (701) 426-2064
Dallas Goldtooth (IEN), dallas[at] ienearth [dot org](507) 412-7609
Tara Houska (HTE), tara [at] honorearth [dot org](612) 226-9404
Eryn Wise (IIYC), eryn.ontheroad [at] gmail [dot com], (602) 769-8444
Cannon Ball, ND -- We, the below stated, are a coalition of grassroots groups living and working in the Dakota Access resistance camps along the Cannon Ball River in Oceti Sakowin treaty lands.
The following is a coalition statement on the next steps for the #NoDAPL fight and water protectors at Standing Rock:
As we reflect on the decision by the US Army Corps to suspend the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) river crossing easement and conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the resistance camps at Standing Rock are making plans for the next phase of this movement.   Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II has asked people to return home once the weather clears, and many will do so.  Others will stay to hold the space, advance our reclamation of unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, and continue to build community around the protection of our sacred waters. They will also keep a close eye on the company, which has drilled right up to the last inch it can, and remains poised and ready to finish the project.  
We fully understand the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s desire to transition people out of the encampments and back to their homes.  The influx of people to Standing Rock as winter arrives has been an enormous strain on local resources due to the inherent challenges and dangers of travel and camping in this climate and, in many cases, a lack of necessary knowledge, skills, and experience on the part of those who have traveled to join us.  Also, the closure of Highway 1806 and the twisted media portrayals of the camp have essentially acted as economic sanctions against the tribe, denying revenue to an already impoverished nation with a long list of urgent social problems.  And, as the violence from law enforcement has escalated and caused serious injuries, we are all concerned for the water protectors’ physical safety and want to avoid further casualties.  
As such, we support the tribe’s request for a transition and are working with many different groups to design and implement that transition in a good way - one that honors our ceremonial responsibilities, the sacrifices we have made to be here, and the deep commitment we have each made to defend the land. We ask anyone that is considering traveling to join the encampments at Standing Rock to stay home for now and instead take bold action in your local communities to force investors to divest from the project.
We also support those who choose to stay, if they are able to live comfortably and self-sufficiently through a winter in the Great Plains.  We support the Sacred Stone Camp, the original encampment established in opposition to the pipeline back on April 1st, 2016.  This community space was opened on Ladonna Bravebull Allard’s private land and will continue through the winter.  Rest assured, LaDonna is not going anywhere.  “I have not changed my mind.  We stand until the black snake is dead,” she said yesterday.   But due to limited space and infrastructure, there is no longer an open call for people to come join Sacred Stone Camp unless personally invited.  
We do not have sufficient words to express the gratitude and love we have for all the people who have come to Standing Rock to protect the water.  We have traveled far, given up much, and taken extraordinary risks.  We have endured serious hardships and physical violence, and shown courage, passion, and determination in the face of impossible odds.   We have come together across the lines that divide us, and gathered in solidarity to demand an end to 500 years of oppression of Indigenous peoples - to demand respect for Mother Earth and clean water for all our relatives and future generations.  We absolutely cannot let this transition break us apart.  We must stay together, we must keep building momentum.  As warriors, we must be flexible and agile.  We must adapt to shifting circumstances without pause.  
We ask you to join us in an unprecedented divestment campaign to kill the black snake financially.  We will also ask you to engage in the development of the Environmental Impact Statement to the extent that the public is invited to participate, and guide you through that process.  But let us use this time to cut off funding for the project.  December is an international month of action focused on the 17 banks that are profiting off investments in the Dakota Access pipeline.  Shut these banks down with direct action.  Close your accounts and tell the world you’re doing it.  Pressure your local jurisdictions and philanthropists to divest.  Every day is a day of action.   
This fight is not over, not even close.  In fact, this fight is escalating.  The incoming Trump administration promises to be a friend to the oil industry and an enemy to Indigenous people.  It is unclear what will happen with the river crossing.  Now more than ever, we ask that you stand with us as we continue to demand justice.