Earth Day in Greensboro

I received e-mails about Earth Day Events in Greensboro.

City-wide Litter Cleanup April 1st
9 -11:30 a.m. Call Greensboro Beautiful to volunteer 373-2957

Guilford Solar Communities
Program presentation of Kilowatt Ours

Kilowatt Ours is a film about electrical energy production in America.
It highlights our current reliance on coal-burning power plants, taking
you on a tour of coal mining practices in the Appalachians. The view is
unsettling. From mountaintop removal, to the production of haze, to
mercury poisoning, to global warming, the lesson is clear: the coal-fired
production of electric power is bad news.

But Kilowatt Ours is really about alternatives-about energy conservation and the production of clean, renewable energy. The film shows you how you can adopt and promote these alternatives. And it shows you how to save money in the process.

Join the GSCP folks on Saturday, April 1, at 10am, at the Guilford
County Agricultural Center, 3309 Burlington Road, in Greensboro.
The showing will be held in the Barn Kitchen and Meeting Room
From downtown Greensboro, take East Market Street past Huffine Mill Road (East Market Street becomes Burlington Road) The Ag Center is just beyond that intersection on the left.
More info: Sustainable Triad

Earth Day events at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library on April 1st
Noon – 5 p.m.
(Nature Storytime for Preschoolers 11:30 – Noon)
Bring a waste-free picnic lunch (1st 50 families with waste-free lunches win prizes)
More information:
Environmental Resources Librarian or 373-2923, or
Greensboro Public Library or


Nuclear Power Boom

The Greensboro News-Record reported on 3/23/06, on page B4, that The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has expanded an investigation into allegations of poor security at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant owned by Progress Energy.

This is an investigation that started in January initiated by complaints by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network. See this from the Raleigh Independent report DECEMBER 14, 2005, "Guards sound alarm over security at Shearon Harris nuclear plant"

More on Progress Energy,
who has plans to built another nuclear power plant near Raleigh.

And more. or <here.

I hope these links are ok. I think I fixed them from the first try of this post.

Separate Branches, Balanced Powers

Multimedia Contest for students in grades 9-12 - Three grade groups - with a cash prize in each grade group.

Explain or illustrate the uniquely American design of the three branches of the federal government under Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the U.S. Constitution with an emphasis on the limitations provided by the separation of powers.

I believe this is worthy of all the publicity it can possibly get.
A chance for students to learn more about our Constitution and how the Three Branches of Government should work.
Grade-appropriate entry forms have been distributed to public and private schools. A winning entry could be an asset on a student's application for further education.

More information is available at here at
Here is Part of the Application for High School Students:

Liberty Under Law: Separate Branches, Balanced Powers
Law Day: May 1, 2006

Multimedia Contest for students in grades 9-12.
Explain or illustrate the uniquely American design of the
three branches of the federal government under Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the U.S. Constitution with an emphasis on the limitations provided by the separation of powers.

This contest is open to all students in Guilford County. Student may choose any medium.
A Cash prize will be awarded to the top entry in each grade group.
The prize winning entry and honorable mention entries will be displayed at the Law Day panel discussion at the Greensboro Historical Museum on May 1.

Entries will be judged by the Young Lawyers’ Division of the Greensboro Bar Association. Decisions of the judges are final.
Sponsored by the Greensboro Bar Association, League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, NC Court Watch, YWCA of Greensboro, AAUW, Greensboro Public Library. Contest is supported (in part) by a grant from the Program on Constitutional and Legal Policy of the Open Society Institute.

Remind your favorite student about this contest. Thank you.

Talking Trash

Orange County's landfill will be full in about 4 years

Where will the trash go then?

Orange County made a decision some time ago not to build another landfill in the county. Alamance County officials said they won't take it. Wake County has trash disposal problems of its own.

The Raleigh N&O reports that Orange County Commissioners are considering a waste transfer station where the garbage will be loaded onto trailers for long-distance hauling. They will ask solid waste management in Durham about the possibility of locating a shared transfer station.

In 2003, nearly 25 percent of all municipal trash in the United States crossed state lines for disposal, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ten states imported at least 1 million tons of trash that year, up from only two states in 2001.

Some thoughts on Waste to Energy

The Nukes are Coming ! ! !

Duke Power Company is considering a large tract of land in Davie County as the site of a new nuclear power plant.

Duke has more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina and already operates 3 nuclear-generating stations. The company has indicated that several new power plants are needed to serve the needs of its customers.

Another site being considered for a nuclear plant is the Blews Creek station near Winston-Salem, one of Duke's 8 coal-fired stations. Nuclear reactors use large amounts of water and power stations need access to roads, rail service and power lines.

According to The Business Journal Duke Power Company announced this week that a site near Gaffney, SC has been chosen for the site of one of it's proposed $6 billion nuclear plants.

Several other utility companies are considering nuclear power expansion in the Carolinas, including Progress Energy Corp. (NYSE: PGN) of Raleigh and Scana Corp. (NYSE: SCG) of Columbia, S.C.

Previous Post about Nuclear Waste Disposal

There are other options for producing electricity. What do you think?

Is Recycling JUST Feel Good Project?

I don't think so. There is much more to it. Greensboro has made a real effort to reduce the amount of garbage going into the city dump. Our recycling efforts are just one of the ways we are doing that.

Greensboro City Council Member Sandy Carmany noted on her blog that she wants input from citizens about recycling. Here are SOME of my thoughts.

1. IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT MONEY. The State of North Carolina has mandated the reduction of certain waste deposited into landfills. Recycling is one of the ways Greensboro has elected to do this. Composting yard waste is another (also mandated by state law).

3. Mayor Holliday has suggested (several times) that a label be POSTED ON THE BROWN CAN with information about what is acceptable for recycling in Greensboro and what should not be put into the brown can. I agree. Mr. Holliday should push harder on this suggestion.

4. Other ways of helping us understand might be by using billboard or banners such as the ones used to encourage water conservation. Recycling is easy in Greensboro. Just put the right stuff into the brown can and haul it out to the street once a week. And it is voluntary.

5. Recycling, along with other ways of disposing of trash, can reduce waste going into landfills by almost 95 percent. Construction and demolition waste takes up much space in private and public landfills. Private and public efforts are beginning to be improved to reduce this source of stuff deposited into landfills.

6. Someone is making money from trash. The taxpayers elected officials should be able to, at the very least, stabilize the cost of disposing of trash by retaining control of the process.

7. And back to my old phrase. Waste to Energy is a viable option for our region.

8. And to questions from Sandy Carmany and Tom Phillips. Our recycling efforts should be continued and improved. RECYCLING IS A FEEL GOOD WAY to help protect our environment in which EVERY CITIZEN CAN PARTICIPATE.

Crooked Judges

I was a minor witness in a jury trial. I spent all day yesterday and half the day today at the Guilford County Court House.

While I was sitting in the court room waiting for my turn to be questioned, I noticed that there were 31 portraits of past judges hanging on the walls of the room. One of the pictures behind the judge's bench was a bit askew.

I felt a little bit like Monk. I wanted to find something to stand on and straighten the picture. Then I noticed that more than one of the judges was not quite straight.

We just can't have crooked judges hanging around in the courthouse. What shall we do?

Thursday Mail

The mail carrier just left my house. Lowell brought my mail to me. I received SIX ENVELOPES from Attorneys and FOUR ENVELOPES from Chiropractors.

My minor accident
was Wednesday. No one was hurt in the accident.

The police report was on the web yesterday. Those lawyer and chiropractor guys don't waste any time. I guess if they snag a customer they make enough to pay the printing and postage.

I wonder if they sent information to the out-of-town woman who was at fault in two accidents with minutes of each other. She was driving without a license. She was driving a car that did not belong to her. Her address is in Virginia.

Wednesday Accident

Wednesday morning just after 10:30, I was involved in a minor traffic accident in front of the Central Library on Church Street. The accident took just a second or two. The next several hours were spent hanging around waiting for the police to finish the investigation and file their report.

Just before I arrived on the scene another accident had happened. A driver in the left lane changed lanes and ran into a car traveling in the right lane. There was minor damage to both cars. Police were called. One of the drivers pulled onto a side street and the other pulled over in front of the library. Both were looking for auto registration info when I drive by. The woman in the car parked on the street opened her car door just as I was passing. My van ran into the door and made a real mess of it. The front bumper on the van was dented, headlight broken, and there was damage all the way down the passenger side of the van. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

It turns out that the driver of the vehicle I hit was from out of state and did not have any identification with her. The car was not registered in her name and there was no insurance verification in the car. She gave the police her name, address in Virginia and her SS number. The police had to send a message to Va. where they found a record of the woman. Then the Va authorities faxed a photo of her to the Greensboro Police Station on Washington St. One police car stayed on the scene all this time.

Another police car arrived and was sent to the station to pick up the fax. He returned and the woman's identity was confirmed. She was driving without a valid license. I think that her license had been suspended. Anyway, even though the car could be moved, she couldn't drive it. The officer finished filling out his report and I was able to leave the scene of the accident.
Yesterday was a pretty day and there were benches beside the library and pretty pansies blooming. I'm glad that nobody was hurt and that there was no mechanical damage to any of the three vehicles involved,

I called my insurance company Wednesday afternoon and my agent told me to call her insurance company. I did, and they were very nice. A man in Tampa, Fl, took my information. An adjustor called me and came to look at my van yesterday morning. She took pictures of the damage. I had already made picture of all three cars. I would post them on this site, but I haven't figured out how to do it.

Town Helps Developer

The Raleigh N&O reports that the Morrisville Board of Commissioner's voted to condemn a strip of land for developer Ed White, past president of the local Chamber of Commerce, to build a road into his new residential neighborhood. White has been in negotiations with the owners of the land who are asking more than he thinks the land is worth. He appealed to the board for help.

The N&O also reported that White said he is still willing to pay top dollar for a strip of land owned by the Davis Family.
"It's really to the benefit of a lot of people, and it's not detrimental to anybody," White said later.

See Town helps Developer nab land

Excitement on S Elm: Train Hits Truck

I was watching the store (Davis Design Art Supplies) this morning while Grey was waiting at his house for his new washer and dryer to be delivered. I think it is a combo washer-dryer. But I'm not sure. Anyway, that is not part of this story. It is just to say why I was downtown near South Elm and McGee streets at 9 in the morning.

This morning before 10 o'clock, a freight train hit a truck near the intersection of South Elm and MLK Dr. which is about a block from the store. What a mess.

The truck looked totaled (no surprise). The occupants got out of the truck and ran out of the way of the crash before the train hit. At first I thought the truck was a city vehicle, but someone closer than I said that it was a RR Truck.

Of course, I did not have my camera with me. I usually take it when I go down to the store because I often take photos of stuff in the store to add to the e-commerce web site. (had to plug our on-line store -

The fire engines and police cars arrived shortly after the crash. I guess the emergency people knew that no one was hurt because it was quite a while before the Emergency Medical Wagon arrived.

A little after 10 as I was standing on the corner with Mebane and Dusty, observing the happenings and the people observing the happenings, there was almost another crash. This one involved a truck pulling a trailer. The truck came down McGee Street and got about half way across Elm when someone yelled at the driver and he realized that he was headed straight into traffic on McGee Street. McGee Street is a one-way street for one block between Greene and Elm and the warning signs for traffic are not especially clear. The city will fix this soon. It is part of the project making Greene Street two ways for a few blocks and adding a traffic circle at McGee Street beside the old-folks high-rise.

Maybe now that Jefferson-Pilot is forsaking Greensboro, the city "leaders" will make the entire length of Greene Street a two-way artery. Up until now, they were scared of JP who will have to re-configure the entrance and exit of their private parking lot if Greene Street is made a normal two-way street.

Greene Street is a wide through-a-fare through the downtown area of Greensboro. It starts nowhere important and goes nowhere important, but it should be either one way or two way the whole way just to avoid confusion. I think two way is better. At least then, motorists can go around the block easier - that is, if the Greensboro DOT doesn't mess it up too bad.

Several years ago, they put medians in the center of McGee Street and down the center of Spring Garden Street, making it harder to turn onto or off of either street and almost impossible to cross either in a car. Oh well, we need more medians so the city can spend more money mowing grass and doing other upkeep on them, such as replacing signs that stick out into the right-of-way and are frequently hit by passing trucks. --- Added comment by diane ---- Not all medians are bad, but almost anything can be taken too far and i think Greensboro is going overboard on medians.

I wonder how much the city spends replacing knocked-over and bent signs on medians. One on Hill and Smith streets seems to get knocked down weekly. I noticed the last time I drove that way that there wasn't a sign at the intersection. Maybe someone wised up. Another place that the signs are hit by passing cars and trucks is the no-man's street between Lawndale and Westover Terrace/Battleground beside the train tracks near Cornwallis Dr. And, I don't even want to think about the mess at the intersection of Cornwallis and Battleground and Lawndale.

Sorry, I got off on my rant about traffic. A city the size of Greensboro should not have the traffic mess that we have. But, we are lucky in a way. At least we don't live in Charlotte.