Thursday, September 22, 2016

Torture protest at Aero, book and plant sales, tree contest, and other upcoming events

Local friends of the library book sales:

The three-day Chatham County book sale was last week ( ), but the Lee County Library has theirs September 22-24 in Sanford (the first day is for Friends of the Library members; see ).  The Friends of the Durham Library sale is October 7-9th at the Main Library ( ).

NC AFL-CIO Convention: 

The 59th annual NC AFL-CIO State Convention is being held September 22-23 at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown ( ). 

[Community-Supported Hemp for Solar Energy:

This is the write up from Recyclique ( ) :  "This Fri. Sept. 23, 6:30 pm come learn about prospects for Community-Supported Hemp for Solar Energy!  by Paul Tedesco.  New research shows that low-cost waste from hemp farms can be converted into a material that outperforms graphene as a nano-conductor used for solar panels, batteries and other electronics. And the timing is right: North Carolina’s new hemp commission is finally funded to design the rules for agricultural hemp in our state [amazingly, while marijuana is still illegal in conservative NC, the related industrial hemp plant, used to make textiles and numerous other products, was legalized in the last year or two]. Paul will draw on internet visuals to explain the new developments and make the case for hemp farming for solar as the future of community-supported energy.  At Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Rd., Durham 27705.  Suggested donations of $5, no one turned away.  Park in rear or next door in the Food Lion lot."   

Fall plant sales:

The NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill is holding a native plant sale and festival September 23-24th.  Over 100 native species, sustainable propagated at the Botanical Garden, will be on offer.  The event Friday, with live music and refreshments, is from 5-7:30pm, and is for members only (it is possible to join on the spot or online at and members get a 10% discount on plants and other benefits throughout the year) while the Saturday event from 9am-12 is public. 

The NC Native Plant Society will table on Saturday, and they will be at the Durham Monarch Festival and have a demonstration native plant garden at the State Fair, October 14-23rd. 

The Botanical Garden has many events throughout the year, such as the annual Jenny Elder Fitch Lecture on Sunday, November 6th, this year delivered by landscape architect Thomas Rainer and titled "Planting Design in a Post-Wild World."  It will be 2-4pm at the Botanical Garden and is free, but it is necessary to pre-register.         

Duke Gardens' Fall Plant Sale is open to all and has free parking (as does the NCBG), September 24th from 8am-12.  Members get a 10% discount and it is possible to join on the 24th.  Bring any used pots you want to recycle and the staff and Durham Master Gardeners will be at hand to answer questions.  For more information, see: .

NCSU's JC Raulston Arboretum gives away plants to members of their friends organization on October 1st starting at 9am (but come at least 15 minutes early to register).]     


The Durham County Library's first annual MACFest:  Multicultural Arts and Crafts Festival will be Sunday, September 24th 2-6:30pm at the Durham Central Park (in case of rain, it will be at the Main Library).  See: .

Carrboro Music Festival:

The annual Carrboro Music Festival will be held at locations throughout Carrboro, September 24-25th; see for more information. 

[UNC forum on Islamophobia:

UNC's Parr Center for Ethics and co-sponsors are hosting a discussion of Islamophobia Tuesday, September 27th at 6pm in Hyde Hall's University Room (Hyde Hall is across from the post office on Franklin Street and at the end of a row of buildings).  The panelists from various departments are Juliane Hammer (Religious Studies), Charles Kurzman (Sociology), Timothy Marr (American Studies), Melody Moezzi (author and attorney), and Joseph Kennedy (Law School).  For more information see: . 

The Parr Center is also marking First Amendment Day earlier on the 27th.]

Big Sweep:

NC Big Sweep is an annual campaign for volunteers throughout the state to cleanup trash along waterways, and events are planned throughout the day October 1st in Durham (but cleanups held anytime in September and October count).  See . 

Durham's Finest Trees Contest:

The Durham City/County Sustainability Office (Greener Durham) is holding the Durham's Finest Trees contest again this year.  Trees can win for exceptional size, historical significance, or other exceptional qualities, and several winners will be announced at the Arbor Day festival in March.  Nominations are due by October 1st, by mail or email (the form is online at ). 

I just noticed that there is an article about one of the winners from last year, a very large white ash on parkland in southern Durham.  The tree survived many years of natural dangers and the construction of the Parkwood community around it, but now it is endangered by the non-native emerald ash borer, which is already in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties, and may have begun to enter the south end of Durham this summer.   

Parkwood Fall Flea Market:

There is a large flea market twice a year in front of the old Parkwood Shopping Center/ Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman mosque at the corner of Revere and Seaton roads in southern Durham and the fall sale will be October 1st, 8am-12pm (rain date October 8th).  The items sold are typically what you might find in yard sales, but sometimes non-profits have tables.  For more information, see: .

The South Durham Farmers Market is held nearby at the corner of NC 55 and Sedwick Road ever Saturday morning.


Chapel Hill's annual Festifall street fair will be Sunday, October 2nd 12-6pm along West Franklin Street.  In past years Stop Torture Now had a table and while you're in the area, there is a large ash at the corner of Franklin and Columbia in the center of Chapel Hill, and some other large ones at that end of the UNC Campus (a smaller one sporting a few mistletoes was cut earlier this year, but maybe UNC will do something to protect the others from the ash borer). 

Durham Monarch Festival:

Durham's 2nd annual Monarch Festival will be Saturday, October 8th, 10am-4pm at Sandy Creek Park.  Monarchs have probably been around all summer, but they seem to be most abundant when tickseed flowers turn fields and powerline corridors gleaming yellow, which should happen once this rainy weather ends.  For details see  and there are several other upcoming events from Keep Durham Beautiful, such as rain garden planting at the George Watts Montessori School and a trash cleanup at the Geer Cemetery.   

[Pittsboro pollinator garden tour:

Wednesday, October 12th at 5pm and Saturday, October 15th at 2pm there will be tours of Chatham County Cooperative Extension's Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro (480 Hillsboro Street).  The tours will be led by Agriculture Extension Agent Debbie Roos, who created the Garden, growing over 180 plant species, 85% native to North Carolina.  Participants should meet on the front lawn of the Chatham Marketplace.  For more information about the site, see: .

Friends of Plant Conservation Annual Fall Gathering:

The group will meet at the NC Botanical Garden October 21st, 3-8pm, and on the 22nd there will be a field trip to some sites in Durham where igneous rocks have weathered to produce unusually alkaline soil, supporting many rare or endangered plants.  I'm not sure if the meeting is always held at the Botanical Garden.  To join, see: .] 

Stop Torture Now's last trash cleanup outside "torture taxi" airline:

For four years NC Stop Torture Now has picked up trash quarterly along Swift Creek Road, in front of Aero Contractors' hangar in Johnston County, but that is coming to an end.  There was a cleanup September 17th and the last will be Saturday, November 19th, starting with a 10am press conference at the Johnston County Airport followed by about an hour of cleaning.  People are also needed to hold signs near the hangar and a public dump site with a lot of visibility.  People who are going to pick up trash will need to see the DOT safety information and video at:  . 

National Events


Important dates for registration, early voting, etc. for Durham County are online at: .  The voter ID law has been overturned, so an ID is not required to vote and there have been other changes, though early voting rules in various counties are still being contested.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th, from 6:30am to 7:30pm, and judging by the lines in the primary election and the heat in the presidential contest, thee lines will be long.  For statewide information, see: .

It will be possible to vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and have your vote counted, I think as a write-in candidate (more details later), though punitive electoral policies prevent the NC Green Party from appearing on the ballot.  I hope to write about some candidates later in the fall.   

SOA Watch Encuentro at the Border:

School of the Americas Watch, originally started to protest a program at Fort Benning, Georgia that trains soldiers from Latin America, who often go on to stage anti-democratic coups and violate human rights in their home countries, is holding a bi-national demonstration at the border, in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, October 7-10th.  The demonstration will condemn the US interventions south of the border that force people to migrate and racism, xenophobia, and militarization in the US and internationally.  See their website at:  .

From a Chapel Hill activist calendar:

Some Triangle Peace and Justice Events September 21 to October 6, 2016
 (Events listed in chronological order except for recurring events posted at end)

SCARRED LANDS & WOUNDED LIVES "Powerful documentary on the ecological consequences of warfare...which traces how military forces have intentionally destroyed ecosystems as a means to win battles." 6:15 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Finlator Hall , 1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. Part of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in Raleigh ( actions-raleigh-areanc-peace- week/).
NC PEACE ACTION PEACEMAKER AWARD DINNER  Honoring Lynn and Steve Newsom, directors of Quaker House in Fayetteville. Tickets: $30.  Reservations: or 919-787-2254). 6:30 p.m., Friday, September 23, Highland United Methodist Church, 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh. Part of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in Raleigh ( actions-raleigh-areanc-peace- week/).
CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE NC FESTIVAL Workshops and peace & justice exhibitors. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, September 24, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, Clara Barton Room, 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh. Part of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in Raleigh ( ctions-raleigh-areanc-peace-we ek/). Flier posted in Commons.
VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED FOR FARMWORKERS    Dave Austin, Eno River UU Fellowship, requests drivers for two farmworkers’ events: 1-6 p. m., Sunday, September 25, FLOC Piedmont Regional Membership Meeting; and 6 a. m., and/or 8 p.m., Wednesday. September 28, Mediation Session in court, Raleigh. Speaking Spanish not necessary. Drivers take workers from labor camp to session and same or another driver takes workers back to home labor camp. Details: Justin Flores (jflores at floc dot com)., 919-433-6718.

A CONVERSATION WITH DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE Public presentation featuring James R. Clapper, who has served as Director of National Intelligence since August 9, 2010, leads the Intelligence Community, serving as the principal intelligence advisor to the President. 6 – 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 27, UNC’s McColl Building, Koury Auditorium, Kenan Flagler Business School, Skipper Bowles Drive; parking in Kenan-Flagler Parking Deck. Details:  [ ].  Sponsored by Triangle Institute for Security Studies. 919-619-0547.

POISONOUS POLITICS: FAITH, FEAR AND DEMOCRACY Join community leaders for discussion about racism and rise of Islamophobia in US and elsewhere. Panelists include Shafeah M'Balia, Black Workers for Justice and Muslims for Social Justice; Imam AbuTaleb, Islamic Association of Raleigh; Gene Nichol, UNC Law School. on-islamophobia-in-politics/. Small-group discussion following. 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, October 6, McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh. Contact:  Rev. Nancy Petty, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. 919-828-0897.

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: 5-6 PM EDT [4:30 - 5:30 PM EST], 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). 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Stand in Solidarity with Standing Rock vigil Tuesday

There will be a vigil Tuesday, September 13th, 5:30-7:30 at the corner of Wade Avenue and Dixie Trail (814 Dixie Trail) in Raleigh in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and others fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The vigil was organized by 350 Triangle; see for more information and there is a petition at .  September 13th is a national day of action against the pipeline.  The social media tag is #NoDAPL.  The Raging Grannies organized a solidarity vigil last Friday in Carrboro.