* Sierra Club NC Chapter Footnotes Online – April 2013

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Dear Bill,

Good news is always welcome. However, during weeks like this one, it’s especially important to remember the positive things found all around us. For a good example, we can turn to the Sierrans who spent last weekend participating in the programs celebrating Military Child Month. Volunteers got kids in kayaks, playing corn-hole, and learning about nature. Check out the section below for more information and pictures of awesome kids doing the things kids should be doing – getting outdoors.

And there’s more good stuff in this edition of Footnotes. We have an update on our ‘Solar Month’ campaign. There’s information on upcoming Earth Day events, including the 5 year anniversary of the Titan Cement campaign. There are a lot of good things going on. That’s important to remember, and we are glad that you are a part it.

Cheers,

Your Staff at the NC Sierra Club

 

Solar Campaign

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Our ‘Solar Month’ campaign is coming to a close, but you still have time to help make North Carolina first in solar by adding your name to the list of more than 2,000 people who have signed the petition asking Gov. McCrory to declare June as ‘Solar Month.’

Aside from the thousands of supporters like yourself, this campaign was supported by a number of North Carolina businesses, as well as Leilani Münter, race car driver and environmental activist.

If you haven’t seen the video that Leilani shot for the Chapter, click on the video to the right. After you watch the video, be sure to sign the petition to join the thousands of North Carolinians that helped make June ‘Solar Month’ in NC.

 

Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors

This past weekend, Sierrans and volunteers from other groups participated in Military Child Month at an event in Jacksonville, NC. The Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors event is part of an ongoing effort to connect military children with the outdoors. Outdoor activities can help military families reconnect, build strength and resilience, and alleviate stress.

Sierra Club members from the Cypress and Cape Fear groups, including Greenville, New Bern, Jacksonville, and Wilmington joined Blue Star Families Mil Kidz, NC Children & Nature, Barney’s Almanac, the U.S. Coast Guard, USO, and Camp Lejeune in treating children from military families to a day in the park. Activities included hiking, pinwheel making, corn-hole for prizes, and kayaking.

Many thanks to Cypress Group Chair Elizabeth Power Greene for organizing Sierrans for this event.

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All photos by Nancy Card of the Cape Fear Group.  Click here to see all of the pictures from the day’s events.

 

Legislative Matters That Matter

The deadline to file bills has passed in both chambers of the legislature and we are now sprinting towards one of the big deadlines of the year, “Crossover”. That is the date by which bills have to pass one House or the other, or are no longer eligible for consideration this session or next. In all 1,666 bills were filed.

How to keep up on legislative matters? Click here to sign up for our weekly legislative updates.

Another good way to keep up is by tuning into a WRAL feature called the “The Wrap”. This program covers the daily happenings at the General Assembly and for those not in the thick of it, it is a great way to stay informed. “The Wrap” is usually posted every evening on the Capitol Reporting page. Click here to check it out.

And below is a list of bills currently working through the legislature where we need you to step up and contact your legislators!

H 298Affordable and Reliable Energy Act

This measure would pull the plug on the state’s requirement that a portion of our energy come from clean and renewable sources. It would thwart the momentum of North Carolina’s homegrown clean energy industry, which has supported 1,100 business, thousands of employees, and brought millions of dollars to our state.

H 298 started off on a fast track but has met resistance as legislators learn about the benefits that clean energy brings to the state. We need to step up our opposition now more than ever to make sure NC isn’t the first state in the country to get rid of its renewable energy standard.

This bill is currently working its way through the House and is expected to be heard in committee next week. Click here to tell legislators the H 298 is bad for NC.

S 76Domestic Energy Jobs Act

This is the ironically titled bill that would bring few jobs to our state and goes back on promises the legislature made just last year. This year’s fracking bill would remove consumer protections, forbid local governments from raising money to cover the costs of the adverse impacts, and cut the requirement that the legislature hold another vote before fracking permits can be issued.

This bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House. Click here to tell your Representative that the legislature shouldn’t go back on its fracking promises.

S 334Dorothea Dix Lease

This bill would void the contract that the state entered into last year that would create a destination park in downtown Raleigh for all North Carolinians. The deal was nearly a decade in the making, but the Senate passed the bill to undo it in record time.

The bill is now in the House. Click here to tell your Representative to do the right thing and honor the state’s contract to create Dorothea Dix Park!

 

Earth Day Celebrations

Sierrans are getting out for Earth Day celebrations all across the state. Find an event near you and visit our volunteers who are making a difference!

 

Asheville

When: Saturday, April 20 –  All Day

Where: Lexington Ave. Downtown Asheville

Contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net

 

Carteret County

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When: Saturday, April 27 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Fort Macon State Park

Contact: epowergreene@hotmail.com

 

Wilmington

When:  Saturday, April 20 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Hugh MacRae Park, 1799 S College Rd. (map)

Contact: zachary.keith@sierraclub.org

 

Winston-Salem

When: Saturday, April 27 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Piedmont Earth Day Fair at Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, 421 W. 27th St.  (map)

Contact: aahlinda@gmail.com

 

Care for Creation with WNC Green Congregations in Asheville

This Earth Day weekend, join Sierrans and allies in the faith community to reflect on our responsibility to heal the planet.

The Asheville Beyond Coal campaign will join WNC Green Congregations for their Care of Creation candlelight vigil. By coming together with the faith community, the goal is to strengthen our movement and nurture in one another a solemn resolve to care for the earth and our neighbors. This vigil will make a powerful statement that caring for creation means stopping CO2 pollution, and putting and end to climate disruption.

Who: The faith community and allies, who seek to come together to address climate disruption.

What: WNC Green Congregations Care of Creation candlelight vigil

When: Sunday, April 21, 7 p.m.

Where: Pritchard Park, in downtown Asheville (map)

Questions: Contact Anna Jane Joyner at annajane@wnca.org

 

Five Years In & Still Going Strong: The Titan Campaign’s 5th Anniversary

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Sunday, April 28 – 5329 Oleander Dr. Wilmington, NC – next to Tidal Creek – (map)

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since the Cape Fear community joined together in its opposition to Titan Cement. We believe that opposition has only grown stronger and more committed with time.

Organizing a rally is the perfect way to let Titan Cement and our elected officials know that citizens will continue to fight – for as long as it takes – to protect our air, our water, our economy, and our children, from a polluting cement plant.

Live music starts at 2:30 p.m. Speakers, updates, and local comedians will all be part of the rally!

So come join with friends, family and neighbors for this big 5th anniversary event and support a community still standing strong against one Titan of a polluter!

 

Upcoming Outings

April 20 – 21 – Beginner Backpacking in Uwharrie National Forest

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This outing will test your beginner backpacking skills in the little known Uwharrie National Forest, less than 2 hours from the Triangle. It will cover about 12 miles over 2 days using the Uwharrie Trail and Dutchman’s Creek Trail. Along the way hikers will talk about the history of the Uwharrie Mountains, some of the oldest in North America.

Those who can will meet in Raleigh at 8 a.m. for the caravan to the Wood Run Trailhead, where we will set out on foot down the Uwharrie Trail. The group will  backpack approximately 6 miles on Saturday and set up camp along Big Island Creek. Sunday morning the group will pack up and continue back to the trailhead on the Dutchman’s Creek Trail, about 6 miles.

Trip leaders: Jeff and Debra Rezeli

Register for this event here: http://beginuwharrie.eventbrite.com/

Saturday, May 4, 2013  – Green Swamp Hike, Brunswick County

Meet for a guided hike through Green Swamp Preserve in Brunswick County. Hunt for Venus Fly Traps in bloom and other carnivorous plants native to the preserve. Hopefully we’ll see some of the resident, endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers. For more information, or to sign up, contact Nancy Card at NostalgicNan@gmail.com.

 

May 25 – 27 - Mt. Rogers Hike & Bike, Virginia

Join this outing for a weekend of hiking to Rhododendron Gap and cycling on the VA Creeper Trail. The group has Group Walk-In tent site # 2 reserved for Saturday and Sunday nights, May 25 & 26. This outing can accommodate up to 24 tent campers and 4 vehicles. Other vehicles must park at the lake parking lot.

The trail from Massie Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park to Rhododendron Gap and back. The hike will be on Sunday and is an 11 mile hike. Other excellent shorter hikes are available in Grayson Highlands for those not up to an 11 mile hike…those opting for shorter hikes will be on their own.

Cyclists must provide their own bikes, be in reasonable shape, and must wear a helmet. Hikers should also be in reasonable shape, and wear appropriate footwear/clothing, carry water and food for a lunch break on the trail.

Contact Ken Hilton at 252-321-9201 or e-mail to: kayaken@embarqmail.com to sign up.

Want to know the latest? Join us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.

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