19 Aug FHA Newsletter, September 2020
HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
September, 2020 Volume 39 Number 8
- From the FHA Board
- Features: Snakes of Fearrington, Village Trails
- Club Announcements
- Fearrington Cares
- Directory Changes
“Democracy is a device which insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” (Bernard Shaw)
Democracies take different forms. Our beloved democracy in the United States, as in many other countries, is a “representative democracy;” we vote for representatives who then vote for the laws that govern us as well as our taxes. Our Village is what my professors called a “direct” democracy—we vote for representatives on our Board, but then have a direct vote by us all as residents for each change in covenants, bylaws, or increases in annual dues above a small percentage. This “direct democracy” provides the input we all prize in our village.
Both forms can be messy. The messy part, particularly for a village of our size, is obtaining those votes. We must receive paper ballots from a substantial number of residents voting for or against those changes. That requires a lot of communication and outreach as well as collection of those ballots.
We still have outstanding proposed covenant changes, limiting short term rentals and increasing the size of the Covenants Committee, from our Annual Meeting last November. Our Board feels that communicating with and engaging residents on those changes was not really done to the extent that was needed; in addition, COVID has prevented some of the outreach that was planned to explain the changes and obtain the votes. While almost all votes received were positive, we do not have nearly enough total votes cast to allow them to be adopted. The amendments will most likely not be approved and will expire by the time of our upcoming meeting this November.
We are reevaluating the more complicated short-term rental amendments. However, the simple proposal to put five instead of three members on the Covenants Committee should have been an easy decision, given the number of requests we get for members of that committee to address residents’ plans or issues. We are evaluating whether or not to bring some form of those amendments back to the annual meeting this year, but at this point we do not anticipate proposing any covenant or bylaw changes, given the limitations imposed by the virus.
What we will have to ask for are votes for board positions. Both Leslee Shell, our Secretary, and Mark Haslam, Director of Facilities and Infrastructure, were appointed by the board to fill vacancies, and must now be voted for full terms. Both have done an excellent job and brought a lot to this Board. Maggie Tunstall, our Director of Community Affairs, is retiring from that role, and our Nominating Committee is searching for a candidate who must also be approved.
This virus threat means that we cannot hold our Annual Meeting in person at Galloway Ridge. Our plans are still developing, but center around a Webinar such as the one used for our recent open meeting. We reached a record number of people through that webinar and it was a resounding success. We believe we can do the same for our Annual Meeting, though how to obtain votes we need is still to be determined. We could manage a form of absentee balloting, distributing ballots via email attachments for sending back to us via return mail, and this may be our best option. However, we are working to see if we could use an online survey instrument which requires registration, and which could be easily verified. We will keep you advised as we explore this.
“Strip the human race absolutely naked and it would be a real democracy,” said Mark Twain. We don’t see that as realistic for us villagers (at least for now), but we will make our democracy work anyway.
Carl Angel – email@example.com
From the Editors
A Bit About Us
Jan Kowal has worked in Health & Safety Services for the American Red Cross, as a public librarian, and as a church secretary. She has more than twenty years of newsletter editing in her background. She is from Long Island, NY, and has spent most of her adult years in Connecticut then South Carolina, before coming here about six years ago.
Ann Melchior was invited to join The Newsletter staff in late spring 2020 after writing an article about dog training for the June newsletter. (No good deed goes unpunished!) Before moving to Fearrington Village in 2019, Ann edited a few neighborhood and club newsletters. Ann also helped start a committee to welcome new residents to River Falls, the community in Potomac, MD where she and her husband lived before retiring to NC.
Deborah Repplier: Originally from the Boston area, Deborah moved to NC in 2007, and to Fearrington Village just two years ago. Her background ranges from writing to editing to teaching, and everything in between. Currently she works full-time in marketing, and most days you can find her on the trails with her two Standard Poodles.
Jackie Walters: A checkered career in communications as an English teacher, reference librarian, instructional designer, policy writer, and newsletter editor has been central to Jackie’s professional and personal life. Letter-writing (yes, in longhand!) continues to bring joy to her and her friends, as does holding and reading a book, magazine, or newspaper that informs and entertains. Thus, contributing to the Fearrington community as a member of the newsletter staff is a natural fit, and she looks forward to working with a terrific team.
We’ll begin the search for a name for our newsletter next month. Then we’ll look for a new logo. As you can see from this issue, we’re bringing what was “The Supplement” into the newsletter as “Features.” A whole new look is coming over the coming months.
FROM THE FHA BOARD
- Combatting Scams, Fraud, and Financial Abuse
- The Gathering Place to Open as Polling Place on November 3
- FHA Open Meeting, July 16
- The Inside Scoop: Developments in the Wastewater Treatment Issue
- Volunteers Corner
We all read in AARP magazine, newspapers, and on social media that fraudsters are out there ready to scam us and our elders. And yet many of us feel we are too smart to be fooled so easily. But research shows that among older adults those of us who think we are most invulnerable are most likely to fall for a scam. I was one who felt I could not be scammed. Yes, I deleted all unsolicited phone calls and emails from unknown sources offering free products. I laughed at offers to help transfer an inheritance that was being held for me in a bank in Uganda, and even ignored the request from a long lost relative for financial help.
My feeling of invulnerability proved to be unfounded when one day I received a call from a person who claimed to be my nephew Brian. He told me he was in a car accident and had been arrested for drunken driving. For a few minutes I believed I was talking to Brian, but then he asked me to send him bail money. I said, “I’ll call you on your cell phone to verify it’s you.” When the person on the phone said, ”Uncle, would I lie to you?”, I hung up.
An older friend of mine received a call saying she had just won $70,000 in a publisher’s contest and she had only to send $2,000 via Pay Pal in order to process the payment. Luckily when she went to the bank to withdraw the cash to send, the bank manager informed her it was a scam.
And now COVID-19 makes us all more vulnerable to scammers. We are more isolated, and a friendly call or email can cause us to be more trusting than we should be.
Financial fraud that targets the elderly is another insidious and growing type of crime. Financial abuse of elders is the misuse or withholding of older adults’ resources by another person. According to the North Carolina District Attorney’s office, there has been a 96% increase over the last ten years in reported financial and elder abuse crimes. The National Center of Elder Abuse states that 57% of the perpetrators of exploitation of older adults are family members, 16% friends and neighbors, and 14% care givers and home aids.
Chatham Sheriff Mike Roberson described to me some of the more common financial crimes that are perpetrated on our vulnerable older population. They include money stolen out of bank or checking accounts, identities stolen by care givers, legal documents altered or changed, and medication theft.
What can be done to prevent these kinds of crimes? Here are some recommended guidelines we should follow:
- Before hiring somebody, or sending money to a charity, do a simple Goggle search. You may be surprised what you can learn.
- Always check your bank and credit card statements monthly.
- Do not allow any legal documents to be altered or changed without having a trusted attorney look at them.
- Account for and secure all controlled medications.
Hiring someone to help around the house or to work as a health aide can be difficult for an elderly person. Only hire housekeepers and health aides from reliable agencies. Ask if the agency’s employees are bonded. If an employee is bonded a criminal and general background check can be made before the person is hired. After hiring a person, if theft, damage to property, or harm to the individual in his or her care does occur, the agency can be held liable.
If you feel that an employee has committed or attempted to commit a crime, do not accuse the person of misdeeds while you are alone. Always have others present in the room. In fact, if you have evidence of misdeeds, it may be a better idea to talk to the Sheriff or county social services.
Finally, remember there is no need to feel embarrassed about reporting a crime. Financial exploitation of any adult over 65 is considered a crime in North Carolina and should be reported to authorities.
— Warren Ort, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fearrington Village and Galloway Ridge voters who choose to cast their ballots in person on Tuesday, November 3, will be able to do so at The Gathering Place. As always on election days, The Gathering Place, which is the polling place for Precinct 78, also known as West Williams, will be open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.
Poll workers will be fully outfitted in personal protective equipment, and plexiglass shields will be in place between poll workers and voters. Voters will use disposable pens to mark their ballots, and voting stations will be wiped down with sanitizer between voters. The Gathering Place will be professionally cleaned and sanitized after the polling place closes at no cost to Fearrington FHA.
Voters will be asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing designations inside and outside of the building. Once voters enter through the main door, a new one-way traffic pattern will direct them through the voting process before they leave the building through an emergency exit to the right of the kitchen.
As usual, curbside voting will be available, but will be moved to the kitchen end of The Gathering Place so that there are additional parking spaces and poll workers can access and assist curbside voters without interrupting social distancing.
Voters who wish to vote before November 3 have two options: One-stop, in-person voting at one of six early voting locations or by mail-in absentee ballot.
Early voting starts October 15 and the closest location to Fearrington Village is at the Central Carolina Community College’s Health Sciences Campus, fronting 15-501 between Andrews Store Road and Jack Bennett Road. Alternatively, the second closest early voting site is the Bold Building, 41050 Moring Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517.
The same safety precautions for November 3 will be practiced at early voting. Updates are to come on the exact dates and hours for early voting.
To vote by absentee ballot, voters must request an absentee ballot as instructed at this website: https://www.chathamnc.org/government/departments-programs/board-of-elections/absentee-voting. The one-page form must be signed and can be returned by US mail or electronically. Full instructions are available on the website.
As needed, additional updates for in-person voting at The Gathering Place will be included in the October issue of the newsletter. Special thanks to the Fearrington Village FHA leadership and the Chatham County Board of Elections staff for their commitment to make The Gathering Place available as a safe and convenient polling place for West Williams voters.
Because of the pandemic, it was not possible to hold the usual open meeting of the FHA Board this summer. Instead, the board organized a meeting using a Zoom Webinar.
Speakers addressed three topics. Rose Krasnow and Fran DiGiano described the findings of the Wastewater Management Task Force. Jesse Fearrington discussed issues involved in maintaining village grounds. Tony Daniels talked about uncertainties in the FHA budget, using the analogy of weather forecasting. Carl Angel gave an introductory address, and Gordon Pitz was master of ceremonies.
The meeting was attended by 206 registered residents. This is an underestimate of the number of viewers, since several couples watched together with only one person signing in. This is more than twice the typical number of attendees at regular open Meetings. Feedback was very positive. Many viewers mentioned that the presentations were informative, and they thought the webinar format provided a more useful experience than a regular open meeting.
Viewers were able to type in questions as they watched, and several took advantage of this opportunity with more than 50 questions being submitted. You can find the Q&A on the FHA website, as well as a recording of the webinar, which will be available for a limited time.
Much has happened with respect to wastewater over the last two months, but we don’t seem to be any closer to a resolution at this point. Here are some of the highlights.
Fish tank filled with effluent Photo: Rose Krasnow
Several members of the Wastewater Task Force traveled to Hubert, North Carolina (near Jacksonville) to tour a brand new wastewater treatment facility built by Pluris. The quality of the effluent being discharged was excellent. To demonstrae this, they showed the group a larg fish tank that had been filled with effluent from the treatment plant. The many fish swimming inside all appeared to be healthy and happy.
In addition to three sewage spills in Briar Chapel in late June, there was an extremely large spill on Sunday, July 26th, that was reported around 11:30 am. No one appeared to begin repairs until 4:30 in the afternoon. Apparently, well over 20,000 gallons of sewage were spilled during this unfortunate event.
Integra Water, the parent company of Old North State/Chatham North, asked the Utilities Commission for an indefinite postponement of the evidentiary hearing that had tentatively been scheduled in September. In addition, Integra took over billing and customer service from Envirolink in Briar Chapel. No similar change was made in Fearrington Village.
The Williams Corner rezoning hearing, which was supposed to take place on Monday, August 17, was postponed at the request of the applicant, Bold Development. In notifying the community, the county said, “the sole reason for this request has to do with the current uncertainty surrounding operational issues with the Old North State Water Company (ONSWC) and its sewer system. Applicant believes it is best to wait to see if that situation achieves a higher degree of resolution before it proceeds further.” Chris Ehrenfeld, President, said his company hopes to resume the project “once the available sewage processing option(s) are more reliable.”
The Wastewater presentation at the Board’s open meeting on July 16th was well received, and you can find the relevant questions and answers on the FHA website.
The task force continues to meet every other week and is working with a consulting engineer who will examine our assumptions and help us answer several questions related to technology, footprint, and costs, should Fitch Creation end up rebuilding our wastewater treatment plant on site rather than sending our sewage up to Briar Chapel. We want to remind everyone that regardless of what happens, our rates will go up.
Other providers are charging anywhere from $42/month to $70.00/month, and some are now seeking to increase rates to $80/month. We recognize the burden such high rates would put on many of our residents, which is one reason we are trying to come up with a more cost-efficient solution than the interconnected system currently under consideration.
Rose Krasnow, email@example.com
In this new world of ours, volunteers in Fearrington have found new ways to carry on through online meetings and social distancing. One committee that is working hard right now is the FHA Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for identifying and vetting candidates for the various positions on the FHA Board for the upcoming year. The current Board is one of the strongest we have had in years and fortunately, most of them will either be continuing in their two-year terms or running for a new two-year term.
One position that will be open is that of Director of Community Affairs. Director of Community Affairs is probably the most fun of all the Board positions because it is mostly planning parties and meetings (when there is no COVID-19 virus around). While this aspect of the job has been put on ice for most of 2020, it looks like it will be up and running in 2021 with vaccines on the horizon. There are a few other duties involved. One is supervising the wonderful Hospitality Office Volunteers, some of whom have been continuing to work behind the scenes even though the office is closed. If you think you might like to assume the position of FHA Director of Community Affairs, please contact Maarten Simon Thomas, chair of the Nominating Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of the other members of the committee who are listed on page 77 of the Directory.
Meet the Snakes of Fearrington
Gordon Pitz, email@example.com
Copperhead: Wikimedia Commons
Did you know there are no poisonous snakes in North Carolina? A poisonous snake is one that makes you ill if you eat it, so it’s probably not the poisonous snakes you are worrying about. No, it’s the venomous ones.
There are six species of venomous snake in North Carolina. Most common by far is the Copperhead. There are also three species of rattlesnakes, the Timber Rattler (or Canebreak), the Pygmy, and the Eastern Diamondback. The venomous species you may see swimming is the Cotton Mouth, or Water Moccasin. Finally, there is the Eastern Coral Snake. For pictures of these snakes, watch this video.
The Copperhead is considered the most dangerous, simply because it’s so common. It’s more likely to live near human dwellings than other venomous species and is responsible for most venomous snakebites. Although the Eastern Coral Snake possesses stronger venom, sightings are extremely rare in the state, and no bites have been recorded. The Eastern Diamondback is highly venomous, but it too is quite rare. In Fearrington, it’s the Copperhead you should worry about.
There are 31 non-venomous species in the state. See pictures of all of these species here.
How Can I Identify the Venomous Snakes?
There is no fool-proof method. Some non-venomous snakes look like venomous ones. For example, the Scarlet Kingsnake looks like the rare Coral Snake. (The sequence of colored bands is diagnostic. A convenient mnemonic is “Yellow touches black—you’re fine, Jack. Yellow touches red—you’re dead.”)
Venomous-looking Rat Snake: Gordon Pitz
In North Carolina the best indicator may be the shape of the head. In all venomous species except for the Coral Snake the head has a triangular shape. However, a number of harmless snakes try to look dangerous and mimic venomous ones. I was amazed one day to see what I was sure was a rattlesnake by my front door in Chapel Hill. I took a photo and was later informed by a herpetologist that it was a Rat Snake, which can flatten its head and look venomous.
The good news is that venomous snakes have no reason to pretend to be harmless. If the head looks triangular, avoid it. If you’re sure it’s not triangular and doesn’t have the colored bands of a Coral Snake, it’s safe.
Copperhead: Wikimedia Commons
For Copperheads, the color (varying shades of copper and tan) and the pattern (bands that have something like an hourglass shape) are usually good indicators
How Can I Avoid Snakes?
Perhaps you prefer to avoid snakes altogether. In Fearrington this may be impossible. But if you encounter a snake it’s usually because you’ve both been surprised. The best plan is to leave the snake alone and give it plenty of room; usually it will move away. Snakes are cold-blooded though, so in cool weather it may move very slowly. My wife and I were walking through the woods one day. My wife suddenly shouted, “Look out for the Copperhead!” “Where?” I said. “Under your foot!!” Sure enough, there was a Copperhead between my feet, almost motionless.
You may need to worry more about your dog than yourself. Dogs do not share your anxiety, and their curiosity may put them in danger. I have had two Labradors bitten in my own yard. The first was exploring a patch of long grass; the second was standing too close when I took the cover off a wood pile. In areas where there may be snakes, keep your dogs on a leash. Don’t allow them to explore likely hiding places. If they seem curious about something in the weeds, lead them away.
But please, don’t try to kill the snake, venomous or not. Snakes are an important part of our ecosystem; their net contribution to the quality of life is positive and substantial. Besides, it might fight back.
Can I Keep Snakes Out of My Yard (or at Least Away From My House)?
Rat Snake looking for lunch: Gordon Pitz
Snakes may consider your yard, or your garage, an attractive place to live. They seek shelter, and if your yard is full of clutter you have the perfect home for them. Wood or brush piles, natural rock formations, leaf litter, piles of mulch or sawdust, all attract snakes.
Snakes also need food and water. Rodents (rats, mice, voles) are their main prey. Rat Snakes and other climbing snakes seek eggs in bird nest boxes. A source of water or objects that collect rainwater may be attractive.
Black Rat Snake: Gordon Pitz
At my wife’s request, I moved a Black Rat Snake off our deck, where it was probably attracted by a wren’s nest. The next day it was in the garage, where there was a good supply of clutter and mice.
If you cannot eliminate the snake attractors, a fence might deter Copperheads, although Rat Snakes and other non-venomous varieties are good climbers. The fence should be at least 30 inches high, and buried deep, with no gaps in it.
But forget the “snake repellent” that is widely sold as there’s no evidence that it has any effect on snakes.
But What If …? How Should I Treat Snake Bites?
First, let’s dispose of the folklore. Do not use a tourniquet, cut the wound, or try to suck out the venom. Do not pack the wound in ice either.
Do stay calm. OK, easier said than done, but try deep breathing. Have someone call 911 or Carolinas Poison Center at 800-848-6946; call them yourself if you are alone. Then remain immobile (preferably lying down) and keep the affected limb at an even level with the rest of the body.
You’ll know if you have been bitten, especially by a venomous snake. It might be trickier with a dog. If you’re not sure, look for swelling around the bite. You may notice bleeding or a bloody discharge, and sometimes the fang marks are visible. If your dog is bitten, call the vet immediately. If the vet is closed or located some distance away, you can treat with Benadryl, which is great to keep on hand. Dosage is 1 mg per 1 lb, so a 20 lb dog would get 20 mg. Be sure to inform your vet that you’ve provided treatment—they’ll likely still treat with pain meds and possibly antibiotics. Anti-venom is used only in critical cases.
Oscar the Ophidiophile
Photo: Marsha Sheppard
Why Are We So Scared of Snakes?
Ophidiophobia comes with our DNA. Our pre-human ancestors were more likely to survive if they avoided snakes, and an innate fear of anything snake-like made sure of that. You may be surprised that city dwellers on the average are more afraid of snakes than country dwellers. We don’t have to learn to fear snakes. But we can and often do learn to moderate that fear.
I grew up in the country and have always been rather fond of snakes. My wife, who grew up in the city, was terribly afraid of them. We lived for many years in the woods. Snakes were common, and she was determined not to pass on her fear to our son. She succeeded, perhaps too well. He learned to identify the venomous ones but would often come home with a Kingsnake wrapped around his arm. One day we heard a cry from his bedroom, “Mom, have you seen my snake?” It had escaped from his dresser drawer. We never found it, but we did see occasional snake skins around the house; and we were never bothered by mice.
Now my grandson represents the third generation of ophidiophiles in the family.
More Useful Information:
For additional facts about snakes, see this publication from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
The Trails of Fearrington: Gifts from Your Fellow Residents!
Having a place to walk surrounded by nature is a real gift, especially in the time of COVID. Several gravel paths were fashioned by Fitch Creations to wind along roads; some thankfully under the shade of nearby trees. These paths are still nicely maintained by Fitch. Did you know, however, that the natural trails in the Village were originally created and are still maintained by your fellow residents?!
The Creekwood Trails
As sections of Fearrington were completed, a number of small parcels of land, most fairly small and covered with rocks and downed trees, were turned over to the FHA by Fitch. The largest of those was a sliver of forested land (green area to left) with a stream flowing from the Village Center to Beechmast Pond. Deer had worn a path along much of the creek. Over the years, a few residents began walking their dogs along that stream.
Soon the route of a trail was established as was the need to mark it so walkers wouldn’t get lost. One solution was to nail small pieces of blue metal to trees, some of which can still be seen today.
As more residents were drawn into this lovely space, some of them (who clearly were not afraid of hard work) started to improve the trail by moving fallen limbs, cutting back unruly overgrown vines, and installing steps on steeper grades. While there was never a formal declaration to develop a system of trails in Fearrington, a group formed and more serious work got started with the knowledge of the FHA Board and its tacit support.
The “ringleader” of a group of diligent men that usually numbered about a dozen was Henry Castner, and they built bridges, railings and stairways, and began maintaining the trails themselves. Then in 2009, Colette File moved to Fearrington. She was an avid walker and was “over the moon” when she discovered these trails. She recounts, “One day I came upon this scruffy looking man who was installing a post. It was Henry, and the start of my five-year involvement in maintaining these magical trails. All the trails by then were well established thanks to Henry and other’s hard work, and mostly needed a little TLC. I had worked in an office, often windowless, for 35 long years, so when I retired it was like I had been let out of jail, and wanted to spend as much time outside as possible. I was in heaven.” She worked all day, six days a week most of the year for five years raking, weeding, cutting out the little roots growing across the trail, and creating borders with fallen
Renovated “Pont de Colette” Bridge
Many other residents joined the cause to create and maintain these trails, and they became known as “The Light Cavalry.” The result of their labor is a functioning system of trails that now connect the Village center with Beechmast Pond, as well as branches to the East connecting to Turtle Run and to the North connecting to Shadowbrook, for a total of some 1.8 miles on an easily walked surface.
“Walk this Way”
Over the years, other improvements have been added including the “Tushrooms” (a small seating place halfway along the trail), the Puzzle Pad (a small space with seating for a gathering of half a dozen or so people), the Labyrinth (a place for meditation while walking in a small pine forest). There are also folk-art pieces, “geocaches” used for treasure hunting with a mobile device, and small covered signs naming particular trees or bushes or pointing out an aspect of woodland life in a particular area. All of the bridges and some of the stairways have been named in order to provide locational landmarks
There have also been several attempts to plant species of trees and bushes along the trails and around Beechmast Pond that would enrich these habitats and improve the birdwatching experience, but past droughts have taken a toll on some of these.
Installation of “Tushrooms”
Creekwood trails are currently maintained by the Light Cavalry, which now includes about 35 residents on an email list that Jim Fink inherited from Henry Castner. This includes post-storm clean-up, repairs to now aging wooden structures, whacking stilt grass to keep it from overcoming walkways, etc. One exciting addition is planned by the Cavalry, and that is to extend the trail East of the water treatment plant; soon to be known as the Creekwood Far East Trail. This section has small waterfalls similar to NC mountain streams, so should not be missed! (See video here, thanks to Jim Fink).
Across from the Knolls on Millcroft is a hidden trailhead marked by a wooden sign.
North Langdon Trail
This trail is one of the best places in Fearrington to spot birds: both the kind that fly and 13 beautiful, hand-painted ones that were recently installed. It is a simple loop of about ⅓ of a mile within fairly dense forest containing lots of different tree species as well as a more open part with lots of light. How did this gem come to be? Before The Knolls was built, R.B. Fitch had his chief gardener at the time, Ginny Gregory, create a trail on that property that the Fearrington community extended by half a mile and maintained. This became known as the South Langdon Trail. Residents enjoyed it so much that when the Knolls was developed and that trail was lost, Henry Castner took the opportunity to ask R.B. if he would allow development of a trail across Millcroft in the low wetlands. R.B. agreed and the North Langdon Trail was born. This came at a time when much of the work developing the Creekwood trails was coming to an end, so the Light Cavalry turned its attention to this new project.
Carved Birds Photo: Maarten Simon-Thomas
An early crisis was the felling of a dozen young trees by some beavers trying to build a dam across a tributary of Bush Creek at the northern edge of the property. A girdling of chicken wire was placed around the remaining young trees, and this dissuaded the beavers from continuing their dam building efforts and they moved on.
Habitat Restoration Project
Not too many years ago, some residents wondered what changes would develop in vegetation—especially wildflowers—if deer were kept out. The late plant ecologist Charles Racine and Gus Reed solicited funds to build a high fence around an area on the NLT and called it a “Habitat Restoration Project.” Native to a North Carolina forest, and some beautiful wildflowers have started to show a return on investment! If you’re interested, you can find more information and photos of the Habitat Restoration Project here.
The North Langdon Trail is now maintained by nearby residents who operate as a bit smaller Cavalry. If you are interested in trying to spot the wooden birds as well as live ones on your walk, a list and photos of the hiding creatures and can be found on the FHA website
There have been many volunteers over a few decades, so please excuse any omissions, but those who have consistently dedicated their intellectual, physical, and artistic skills to this cause (in addition to those above) include: Matt Alexander, Mark Berman, Bob DeVido, George Erickcek, David Field, Jim Fink, Jim Granger, Carol-Ann Greenslade, Forrest Greenslade, John Hale, Tom Hauck, Frank McKeever, Joe Mottola, Gordon Pitz, Bill Rosenfeld, Maarten Simon Thomas, Nina Verin, Kevin Wolf, and Jason Welsch.
I’d like to personally thank every resident who has given freely of their time and effort to create such amazing nature trails for all of us in Fearrington. I’ve only lived here a year and they’ve already provided me endless hours of beauty and sanctuary. What a joy to have such giving and gifted neighbors!
While you enjoy these trails, YOU are also invited to pick up one of the many rakes provided and clear a portion of trail that nature may have covered by leaves or branches—especially in the fall. If we all do a small part, it will preserve these precious gifts. If you have any other ideas for enhancing the trails (art, etc.), or if you are interested in joining The Light Cavalry, you can email Jim Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Women of Fearrington
- Fearrington Concert Series
- Fearrington Great Decisions
- Fearrington Democratic Club
- Fearrington Republican Club
- Fearrington Genealogy Group
- Fearrington Garden Club
- Fearrington Havurah
- Fearrington Golf Club
- Duplicate Bridge Club
- Fearrington Village Singers
- Chatham County
- Toiletry Drive in Fearrington
- Chatham Connecting
- Chatham Literacy
- Continuing Education
- Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill
- OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke
All women new to Fearrington interested in learning about the Village and meeting other newcomers are invited to attend a “Welcome to Fearrington” Zoom coffee. Tell your new neighbors! Please contact Jo Anne Rosenfeld email@example.com or Barbara Fearrington firstname.lastname@example.org.
We launch our 2020-21 activities with two exciting events:
- September 16 Webinar about Pauli Murray’s lifelong battle to establish social justice and women’s rights. Please register online.
- September 22 Road Trip to Mark Hewitt Pottery Studio. See his “big-hearted pots!”
Please visit www.womenoffearrington.org for more information and registration for activities. All our events are subject to government guidelines for health and safety.
This month we begin fundraising for our annual Wonderful Options Fund. All monies raised are distributed to local nonprofit organizations whose missions support women and children in Chatham County. This year their needs will be greater than ever. To make a donation, go to the www.womenoffearrington.org website (see forms).
It is with regret that the organizers of the Fearrington Concert Series announce the cancellation of the 2020-21 concert series. Beautiful and well-performed music sustains and inspires us in the best of times, and is even more essential in confusing times such as these. In an effort to make this resource available to as many Fearrington Village residents as possible, Concert Series committee members are providing a Fred Moyer video at no charge on this private website. Fred Moyer has been one of our most popular performers in years past and hopes to return as one of our artists in the 2021-22 season.
Like other groups in Fearrington, Fearrington Great Decisions considered several factors in deciding whether and how to restart the speaker series this fall. These included: (1) The ongoing closure of The Gathering Place for large gatherings; (2) The desirability of using Zoom or similar media; and (3) Uncertainties surrounding the public health emergency.
We believe what makes Fearrington Great Decisions special is the positive in-person exchange of questions and dialogue between our speakers and an audience of 60 to 100 engaged people. We appreciate the thoughtful ideas we’ve received, including reminders of the many first-rate distance learning opportunities and on-line educational resources offered by noted scholars that many of us are using. When the disruptions of 2020 are a thing of the past, we look forward to engaging the Fearrington community in a conversation about what a new and revitalized Great Decisions program in 2021 might look like!
Fearrington Democratic Club
The Fearrington Democratic Club is getting ready to vote! Ordinarily we would be having a big candidate rally in the Fearrington Barn—but of course everything is different this year. So, all summer we held Zoominars and interviews with statewide and local Democratic candidates who have inspired us with their expertise and dedication to public service and good government. Here’s our link to the impressive Democratic candidates on your ballot.
Absentee ballots will be mailed out beginning Friday, September 4 (the start of Labor Day weekend), and can be requested through October 27. For voting by mail, only one witness (no notary) is required. Ballots can be returned to the Board of Elections only by the voter, his/her near relative or guardian, or a special Board of Elections team member. Call the Chatham County Board of Elections with questions: 919-545-8500.
Fearrington Republican Club
Fearrington Republican Club WILL NOT be holding our annual member supper in September. With Governor Cooper continuing a Phase 2 lockdown with no end in sight, FRC would not be able to host our group at The Gathering Place. Please continue your support of FRC and your Chatham GOP. We will be sending info for voting, candidate, and volunteer opportunities via email. If you are not on our email list, drop a note to email@example.com or questions to Donna Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday, September 8, at 3:00 pm, we are planning a one-hour Zoom-based teleconference with short presentations from three FGG members. There will be an opportunity for questions and comments after each presentation as well as a general discussion of our long-range plans at the end.
- Robin Williams has new information to share with us about the Philadelphia Williams. This includes some dramatic information about the auto racing history of the Williams Brothers.
- Kay White has become deeply entrenched in DNA techniques and will describe how DNA results have helped solve problems posed by her traditional genealogical researches.
- John Cocowitch has continued his research endeavors during the last six months by using remote opportunities to locate sources that have uncovered new documentation and historical details for his ongoing research in North and South Carolina as well as Florida. These presentations will no doubt inspire us all to get back to work and share our recent successes!!!
New members are welcome to join the Fearrington Genealogy Group. We have waived the membership fee for the 2020-21 year.
Contact: Linda Grimm at 919-533-6296.
After months of germination, the Garden Club sprouts! While The Gathering Place is closed, we’re planning outdoor sessions. First is Farmer Bob, the longtime caretaker of our beloved cows, goats, chickens, and donkeys. On Tuesday, September 15, at 10 am, mask up and bring a chair to the shady Farmer’s Market area for Bob’s story. To help us ensure proper distancing, please email email@example.com to hold your place. Seating is limited.
We hope you’ll renew your membership to enable the club to continue its service mission of supporting the horticulture program at Chatham Central High School. Along with a donation from the club, every penny of our poinsettia and spring plant sales goes to the school. We won’t be collecting dues in person, so please take your $15 (per member) check to the Garden Club’s mailbox in the Swim & Croquet kiosk. The membership form can be found in the Groups Portal of the FHA site.
Fearrington Havurah welcomes members and guests from the Fearrington and Galloway Ridge communities to join us on Zoom for an interactive Interfaith Dialogue Tuesday, September 15, at 7:00 pm.
Our panelists have been recognized as outstanding leaders in the Chapel Hill/Durham faith communities. Rabbi John Friedman, retired rabbi of Judea Reform Congregation, the Rev. Elizabeth Marie Melchionna on Chapel of the Cross, and Iman Abdul Hafeez Waheed, interim Muslim Chaplain at Duke University, will share their decades of combined experiences working towards interfaith understanding and cooperation in our community.
This program is generously underwritten, in part, by Warren Ort and Barbara Gilbert Ort. Registration is limited. To register, contact us at:firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Beryl Silverman email@example.com.
Our quarterly club meeting is scheduled via Zoom for Wednesday, September 2, beginning at 7:00 pm. Club members will receive an invitation by email. If you would like more information about this meeting, please contact FGC President Michael Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of COVID-19, golf sponsored by FGC is suspended. Individual members are driving themselves to nearer golf courses, playing, and maintaining best practice hygiene. Senior golfers can still request one golfer per cart, although courses have relaxed that rule generally. Most courses are attempting to provide safer conditions by disinfecting carts, placing noodles in holes, and providing more hygienic conditions for check-in. Golf courses have been especially busy because so many people are out of work and school, and because golf is good exercise for parents and children.
“We’re all a little masochistic. Otherwise, why would we continue to play bridge?”
COVID-19 may have taken away our chances of interacting with Fearrington friends at the bridge table, but not our chances to play duplicate bridge. We do miss all of you and Valorie’s cookies.
Those of you who have learned to enjoy Bridge Base Online (BBO) appreciate the opportunity to play at so many levels in so many different games. If you don’t like robots, then try friends. If that doesn’t do it for you, try playing as an individual and realize that when you are paired with someone whose system you don’t know, maybe playing with a partner-friend might do the trick (excuse the pun). As most of you know, you may play in Unit 191 games or for the penurious-at-heart, online for anywhere from $1.25 and up. One can barely pay for a TV movie for that price!
Not only are you able to play in your whatever (assuming you are wearing whatever), you can move about, find the refrigerator, and scratch your animal. You are able to check how you played in comparison to others and to watch how the hand was played and you could have done otherwise. Since you are in the privacy of your own home, you can chastise yourself in private.
We hope to be back after a vaccine has been found. As all of us know, since we all handle all the cards, it may take longer than some other games. Nonetheless, we think of all of you often and we know you will return smarter than ever when we meet again in person.
If you have questions about BBO, please contact me at 919-548-6216.
— Jean Hjelle, President of the Fearrington Duplicate Bridge Club
Matt Fry’s Virtual Music Course (Open to All Fearrington/Galloway Residents)
Registration is currently open to anyone who would like to take a music course from Matt Fry, the director of the Fearrington Village Singers.
Dates: Mondays from September 14 to November 16, 2020
Time: 4 pm (running 60-90 minutes)
Location: Zoom link will be sent.
Cost: $50 per person for all ten sessions. No materials need to be purchased.
Registration: Print your name, address, phone number and email address on a piece of paper and mail with your payment to: Fearrington Village Singers, 2010 Fearrington Post, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or deliver to: the Fearrington Village Singers drop box in the mail kiosk on Swim and Croquet Road in Fearrington.
Your registration will not be complete until we receive your check written to Fearrington Village Singers or cash. Sorry, no credit cards, Venmo or PayPal.
Questions? Call Linda Patterson at 339-225-1710 or email email@example.com.
There are many needs for Chatham County residents during this difficult time. CORA hopes to provide some basic toiletries for those in need. Fearrington can help! Toiletry donation bins are set up outside the front of The Gathering Place and at the Millcroft Mail Kiosk. Please help by donating toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, soap, and hand cream. Fearrington can help our neighbors in need.
It is going to be a very different September as COVID-19 continues to impact Chatham County nonprofits, schools, and government. At https://www.chathamconnecting.org/, you can find information about over 120 nonprofit organizations and learn about their missions, their needs, and how you can volunteer. As organizations open up, the importance of extra help increases, especially for donations. Habitat for Humanity is reopening its restores, Second Bloom, a resale store, will extend its hours, and Partnership for Children and KidSCope have information about how you can be involved. CORA and other organizations that feed our Chatham County neighbors are also looking for volunteers from age 16 to 65. Communities in Schools continues to connect with their children to support learning and caring issues. The Council on Aging provides connections for many through phone calls, help with food, and other age-related concerns. Chathamconnecting.org connects those who can help with those who need help.
Celebrated Author Key to Chatham Literacy’s “No-Show” Fall for Literacy Book Event
Locally celebrated author Allan Gurganus’ charming short work, A Fool for Christmas, headlines Chatham Literacy’s fall fundraiser.
This “No-Show” Fall for Literacy Book Event embraces staying-at-home and encourages reading this delightful story alone, with a small group or virtually with friends on September 26, at 11:00 am, ending National Literacy week.
Registration is $60 per person. The first 125 registrants will receive a free hard copy of A Fool for Christmas.
Additionally, a $20 raffle ticket provides you an opportunity to win one of six delightful prizes.
Registration and raffle sales between July 20 – September 26 at www.chathamliteracy.org or 919-214-1269.
Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill’s Shared Learning Association offers non-credit courses for people who love to ‘share learning’ with other adults with similar interests. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shared Learning will offer 24 online courses via Zoom, beginning September 14 and ending December 18. Full semester courses are moderated by our members and include fine arts, hard sciences, humanities, current events, and social and behavioral sciences.
For a Fall membership fee of $25, students may take as many courses as they can fit into their schedules. The Fall 2020 Catalog includes a registration form with full course descriptions and schedule and is available online at: http://sharedlearning.us. Or, to receive a paper copy, you may contact Mary Ann Freedman at 919-593-3335 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Registration for the Shared Learning Fall Online Courses began on August 3.
OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke
We offer year-round educational community that in normal times would take place on the Duke campus, as well as at other sites including Galloway Ridge for retired folks. Courses cover history, literature, natural or social sciences, art, music, drama, and current events. For the Fall season, all courses will be held online. Catalogs will not be mailed, but will be available online, as will registration. Catalogs will be online two weeks before registration.
Registration will be on September 1 – 2. For members who registered for the Winter term, which was cut short, a $100 credit will automatically be applied when you register. To register and to view courses, go to learnmore.duke.edu. If you have questions, contact Warren Ort, 919-533-6597, or email@example.com.
Gratitude in Challenging Times: A Note from Karen Metzguer, RN, Nurse, and Executive Director
One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, writes that people with hope acknowledge the tension created by seeing both “what is” and “what could and should be,” and do something each day to narrow the gap between the two. I believe this is what each of us is being asked to do as we paddle our small boats into uncharted waters. For several months I have encouraged you to create quarantine care circles: just a few individuals you see regularly, at a safe distance, and speak with often. It’s great to speak with lots of folks if you can, but we all need a few individuals we can open up to and lean on when we’re weary and the going gets tough.
In addition to friends, there are three resources I can recommend that are just a phone call away. Both the Disaster Distress Helpline (800-985-6990) and Hope4NC (855-581-3463) are open 24 hours a day and you can speak with trained volunteers and professionals about coping and anxiety. I am also happy to return your call if you reach out to me; just leave a message in my voice mailbox (919-542-6877).
Fearrington Cares is actively providing virtual programs, movement classes, support groups, grocery and pharmacy home delivery, equipment loans, outdoor handyperson assistance, health consultations, and information and referrals by phone. We are offering a series of programs this fall; join us and polish up some of your tried and true resilience tools for dealing with the unknown. Let me know if you’d enjoy a “video date” to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in several months. I’ve set those up for a couple of villagers and they were delighted and surprised with how much fun it can be.
I’m grateful for the flowers and the wildlife, for friendships, for books to get lost in, and for each of you! Fearrington residents are supporting this organization financially and are generous volunteers. Although 100% of our temporarily-suspended services put a volunteer within six feet of a resident and almost all of the residents with needs and our volunteers are over 65, I am working with our volunteer Board of Directors (virtually) to plan new ways that we can be of service.
Please explore the website (www.fearringtoncares.org) to join our programs and to see updated health information about COVID-19 and other news articles.
Zoom Movement Classes, Support Groups, and Education Programs Links Are on Our Website: www.fearringtoncares.org.
Occasionally Zoom program IDs and passwords will change; if you have saved a link it may eventually become inactive. Use the links on our website for a quick, current connection to all Zoom programs.
If you would like to practice a Zoom connection and meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set that up for you.
Join Movement Classes via Zoom www.fearringtoncares.org
Join Support Groups via Zoom www.fearringtoncares.org
Caregiver’s Support Group: Wednesday, September 2, and every other Wednesday, 12:30 to 2:00 pm.
Parkinson’s Support Group: Check the website for current meeting times.
Living with Chronic Conditions: Thursday, September 3 and 17, and every first and third Thursday, 1:00 to 2:30 pm.
Five Ways to Rejuvenate Your Resilience
Wednesday, September 9, and the second Wednesday of October and November, 2:00 pm via Zoom
Need a booster shot of well-being and connection? Join us each month this fall to gain fresh perspective and polish up a trove of down-to-earth tools to help build stress-resistance during these challenging times. Each hour-long Zoom session is led by Vicki Field as your “guide by the side,” and includes time for a brief lecture, self-reflection, fun exercises, and focused discussion. Handouts will be emailed to participants after each class.
In September, we will define and discuss resilience and explore ways to increase it by building “stress hardiness,” squelching worry, rediscovering old strengths, finding inspiration, and practicing “productive floundering.” (Trust us—productive floundering is a real thing!)
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Thursday, September 10, 7:00 pm via Zoom
We’ve all heard the term “aging in place” but what does that mean for you? What makes us worry about NOT being able to live where and how we want in our retirement years? What are some of the trends in long-term care? What are the general and local options for creating the type of living arrangement that we desire? How much do specific kinds of care cost and who pays (or doesn’t pay) for them? How can we go about putting things in place to be prepared for eventual changes?
Alan Millikan, RN, MHA, has over 35 years of experience in the local health care arena and helps operate Aegis, a local home care and geriatric care management company. The Clinical Director of Aegis, Kimberly Morton, RN, MSN, has over 25 years of experience as a provider and leader in acute and long-term care facilities. They will share national statistics and trends that will help shape the conversation and will provide a picture of the local long-term care landscape and its resources.
What’s Up With COVID-19? A Chatham County Perspective
Thursday, September 24, 1:30 pm via Zoom
Join the Fearrington Cares Education Committee in a Zoom presentation to learn from one of Fearrington’s own public health experts. Dr. Steve Stewart has spent 45 years in the fields of epidemiology and public health teaching to health sciences students, consulting in Florida and Oklahoma, and serving as Associate Dean of External Affairs at James Madison University. During this latter period he was a consultant to the United Nations, the US State Department, and the US Departments of Defense and of Homeland Security. As a retiree in Fearrington Village, he served on the Fearrington Cares Board, including three years as its President. He is presently a member of the Chatham County Health Department Scientific Advisory Committee, which is currently working with UNC on a COVID-19 vaccine testing protocol.
Game of Thrones may be over (at last!), but the flu will always be with us. COVID-19 obviously has our attention right now, but influenza will definitely be making its annual appearance. You can protect yourself from this one virus by getting a flu shot. They should be available from the usual sources and should protect you for the entire season. There will be a variety of flu vaccines and your choice may vary due to factors such as allergy to eggs. However, be aware that for those of us 65 and over (chronologically gifted!), high dose vaccines are available to bolster our potentially diminished immune response. Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season.
A nasty aspect of the flu is that it can sometimes lead to pneumonia, especially among the elderly or those with certain chronic health conditions. Fortunately, there are two different vaccines that aid in protection from several bacterial causes of pneumonia. The CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all adults 65 years or older and all children younger than 2 years old. CDC also recommends vaccination for people with certain medical conditions and adults of any age who smoke cigarettes. Medicare Part B covers the first shot at any time and a different, second shot if it’s given at least one year after the first shot.
As always, talk to your doctor or other health care provider about the flu shot and to see whether you need one or both pneumonia shots.
Welcome to Our New Residents!
The following persons have been added to the Fearrington Village Directory between June 15 and August 14:
|Miki ADAMS||15 Matchwood||Miki’s Email: email@example.com |
Miki’s Cell: 919-545-1884
|Angela BAILEY||123 Becket Bend||Angela’s Email: Bailey.AngelaM@gmail.com|
Angela’s Cell: 571-377-9424
|Kathy, Ned and William|
|890 Ashton||Kathy’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Ned’s Email: email@example.com
William’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela’s Email: email@example.com
Kathy’s Cell: 252-636-0202
William’s Cell: 252-626-5794
Angela’s Cell: 252-619-3611
|John and Rosa |
|24 West Madison (1152)||John’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Rosa’s Email: email@example.com
John’s Cell: 757-532-1943
Rosa’s Cell: 757-345-8524
|Stephen D. (Steve) |
|849 Langdon||Steve’s Email: Sgartrell1@gmail.com |
Susan’s Email: Susan8gartrell@gmail.com
Steve’s Cell: 508-733-6275
Katherine (Kathy) PECHTER
|15 West Madison (1159)||Kathy’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Andrea’s Cell: 917-579-3238
Kathy’s Cell: 917-608-9730
|David HILL||837 Findlay||David’s Email: email@example.com |
David’s Cell: 919-410-4197
|Christine JACKSON||116 Stone Edge||Christine’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Christine’s Cell: 919-259-8546
|James W. JORGENSON|
Carolyn J. MORSE
|908 Woodham||James’s Email: email@example.com |
Carolyn’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James’s Cell: 919-697-6449
Carolyn’s Cell: 919-697-6120
|Cathy H. KAHN||3 Bladen (4003)||Cathy’s Email: email@example.com|
Cathy’s Cell: 206-679-0414
|159 Windstone||Donald’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Melissa’s Email: email@example.com
Donald’s Cell: 908-803-0980
Melissa’s Cell: 908-553-6023
|357 Linden Close||Patricia’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Carol’s Email: email@example.com
Patricia’s Cell: 919-260-8793
Carol’s Cell: 919-259-9835
|Rachel MCDAVID||157 Windstone||Home: Rachelmcdavid@gmail.com|
|Catherine (Cathy) W. RYAN||648 Spindlewood||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Cathy’s Cell: 973-632-7348
|James and Morgan|
|83 Shagbark||James’s Email: email@example.com|
Morgan’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Arnie and Joy YOUNG||38 McDowell (1084)||Arnie’s Email: email@example.com |
Joy’s Email: LJJones170@gmail.com
Joy’s Cell: 910-289-7814
Changes to the Directory
The following persons have made changes to their Directory listing between June 15 and August 14:
|Richard and Sara (Sally)|
|G-207 G Wing||Richard’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Sally’s Email: email@example.com
|Donna T. and|
Dr. John Christopher (Chris)
|898 Burwell||Donna’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Chris’s Email: email@example.com
Donna’s Cell: 919-530-0875
Chris’s Cell: 919-451-9372
|David C. and Marianne|
|1378 Bradford Place||David’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Marianne’s Email: email@example.com
David’s Cell: 516-650-6507
Marianne’s Cell: 631-848-7258
|Sarah WITHERSPOON||889 Ashton||Sarah’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Sarah’s Cell: 918-302-8839
September 2020 Calendar
Fearrington Village clubs and groups will be meeting on these dates. Events are usually held at The Gathering Place unless stated otherwise. However, The Gathering Place is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Therefore, if you have questions, be sure to check with the person or web page listed in the “Contact” column for the most up-to-date information.
|Wednesday September 2||7:00 pm||Golf Club|
|Tuesday September 8||9:30 am||Women of Fearrington|
|Jo Anne Rosenfeld|
|Tuesday September 8||3:00 pm||Genealogy Group|
|Thursday September 10||7:00 pm||Women of Fearrington|
|Jo Anne Rosenfeld|
|Tuesday September 15||7:00 pm||Havurah|
|Tuesday September 15||10:00 am||Garden Club|
Farmer’s Market Area
|Wednesday September 16||1:30 pm||Women of Fearrington|
Webinar on Pauli Murray
|Tuesday September 22||10:30 am||Women of Fearrington|
Road Trip to
Mark Hewitt Pottery
|Thursday September 24||7:00 pm||Women of Fearrington|
|Jo Anne Rosenfeld|
|Friday September 25||9:30 am||Women of Fearrington|
|Jo Anne Rosenfeld|
|Thursday October 8||9:00 am||Women of Fearrington|
Small Coffee Klatches
Call Mif for Details