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The Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 16903
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Thank you!

The Independent Weekly
Joe Schwartz

The Rogers-Eubanks Road Neighborhood Association is asking for your support as the group competes for a $50,000 grant from Pepsi to fund a community center and garden to unite neighbors.

After one month of voting, the project ranks No. 333 out of more than 1,000 hopefuls in the Pepsi Refresh Project and needs to reach top-10 status to earn the money.

The Rev. Robert Campbell of the Coalition to End Environmental Racism and the neighborhood association (RENA) says funding would be used to foster an exchange of ideas and a sense of place.

(read the whole story here)

Congratulations to the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) in Chapel Hill, NC which is an Environmental Justice Small Grants Program 2010 Grant Recipient (  $1.9 Million was awarded for 76 grants to aid community projects and support EPA’s priorities of:

Improving air quality;
Managing chemical risks;
Cleaning up hazardous-waste disposal sites;
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
Protecting America’s water.

Details are listed below.

Recipient: Roger-Eubanks Neighborhood Association
Project Name: PITCH (Partnerships in Transforming Community Hope)
Project Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Issue: The Rogers-Eubanks is an African-American, low-income community and has served as the host of the Orange County regional landfill since 1972. The community was promised basic amenities when the landfill site was originally purchased in 1972, however, amenities such as water and sewer service, storm drains, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, a recreation center and greenspace have not been forthcoming.
Summary: The focus of PITCH is to achieve reductions of waste inputs to landfills and repair household energy and water inefficiencies. This will be achieved by reducing household solid waste, composting kitchen waste, recycling mixed paper, and using compost in a local community garden.

In addition, the project will educate the residents on conserving water and energy through weatherization improvements, repairs of small-scale plumbing and sewage inefficiencies, and replacement of incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones. The project will engage Orange Country residents, the broader public, and news media on PITCH-In’s call to action for waste reduction and environmental stewardship.
Project initiation date: July 1, 2010
Partners: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Daniel A. Okun Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Coalition to End Environmental Racism

Two satisfied customers show off their new backpacks!

The 2010 Back to School Bash offered a magnificent, fun, inspiring and memorable day for all who attended this year’s event on August 14th. This year’s celebration combined old and new, same and different. We began at the original location, Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love International Church at 8009 Rogers Road in the morning, and continued with food and festivities at the brand new Rogers-Eubanks Community Center, deep in the heart of the historic Rogers Road neighborhood. Included were all the original activities, from inspiring speeches and presentations to distribution to school children of hundreds of beautiful new backpacks filled with school supplies, to a delicious feast for one and all. New activities were added to the program, making it an even richer experience for all ages.

Highlights included presentations by Minister Robert Campbell of RENA/CEER; Principal Amy Rickard of Morris Grove Elementary School; and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies who serve as School Resource Officers, among other speakers. Kids also took part in the Trivia Challenge, and local youth were honored with presentation of the Camellia Lee Awards Community Service Awards for Youth in Action.

The morning events at Faith Tabernacle concluded with a fantastic demonstration by the faculty and students of Kim’s White Tiger Taekwondo, followed by a taekwondo instructional workshop in which Rogers Road’s young folks got to try out some moves under the instructions of members of the taekwondo troupe. The Back to School Bash then moved across Rogers Road and down Purefoy Street to the beautiful new community center which is now home to RENA/CEER. Under tents and grand old shade trees, community members cooked up the usual feast of hot dogs and hamburgers, with freshly made popcorn and snow-cones as extra treats.

The highlight was when each child received a fine, filled backpack for the upcoming school year :  450 backpacks, the highest number ever for this event. Additional activities included face painting, softball games, a pinata for smaller kids, a big colorful bouncey-house, and a voter-registration table. The good folks at Chapel Hill’s ” Recyclery” program came to the event for the first time this year, with five beautiful bikes and helmets to share. These bicycles were given away to lucky youngsters through a series of drawings, and check out those smiles!

So many children and families gathered together, uniting community elders, long-time residents, and newcomers, tiny babies, grannies, teens, and young adults. It was a day of connection and inspiration, dedicated to education and nurturing our great natural resource, the young ones who are so precious and have so much promise.  Generous donors of goods and financial support, coupled with dozens of volunteers were the secret ingredient of this fine day, working behind the scenes and out front, before, during and after the day itself.

Mr. David Caldwell of RENA/CEER masterminded the event’s logistical challenges, from setting up tents and training and managing volunteers to food and games. Savor these photographs which tell the story of a magnificent and worthwhile day, at RENA/CEER’s annual Back to School Bash for 2010. See you next year, second Saturday in August, for the 2011 RENA/CEER Back to School Bash.

Click here to see all of the photos!
(Many thanks to our staff photographer, Tracy Kuhlman)

In April this year, the Word went out and the people came

from all over the community, UNC and the county.

Soil was turned and tilled.

Chris urges on the team.

Fence posts drilled and placed.

Seedlings lovingly planted,

and the Rogers Road Community Garden was born!

And the garden blossomed and brought forth fresh vegetables!

March 21, 2010
DTH Editorial Board

Correction ( March 22 11:41 p.m.): Due to an editing error in this editorial, the editorial board incorrectly states that more than a quarter of the wells were malfunctioning. A quarter of the septic tanks were malfunctioning. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

Efforts to provide the Rogers Road community with clean water need to be redoubled by Orange County and the town of Chapel Hill.

A recent report released by the Orange County Health Department revealed that nine of 11 wells in the Rogers Road neighborhood are contaminated and do not meet standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Three wells that were tested contained fecal or total coliform in the water. This bacteria could cause health problems such as stomach cramps and vomiting. (read more here)

by Beth Velliquette, Chapel Hill Herald Sun

Water tests of 11 wells in the Rogers Road area showed that only two of them supplied water within the EPA recommended limits.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to discuss the results of those tests tonight at its meeting at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road. The testing of the water and the septic systems was done to provide information to the state in an application for a Community Development Block Grant.

Neloa Jones, co-chair of the Rogers-Eubanks Coalition, a group that is attempting to restore environmental justice to the area because of the nearby landfill, said the results of the tests show there are water and septic system failures, although the results do not attempt to show whether the water problems are linked to the landfill.

(Read the whole story here)

Taylor Hartley, Daily Tar Heel Staff Writer

A county survey of well and septic systems in a historically black, low-income neighborhood near the county landfill revealed contaminated wells that could threaten residents’ health.

Orange County commissioners were presented with the report, which assessed 11 wells and 45 septic tanks in the Rogers Road neighborhood, part of which is not connected to public water lines.

Of the septic tanks, two were in need of maintenance, 10 were non-compliant with septic tank standards and 12 were identified as “malfunctioning.” Five were called “end-of-life” failures.

Rev. Robert Campbell, an advocate for the community, thanked the Orange County health department for its work. “If we continue collaborating and forming a partnership, we can resolve this issue,” Campbell said.

(read the whole story here)

Evan Rose, Daily Tar Heel Sr. Writer

More than two years and $490,000 later, no one is quite sure how Orange County should take out the trash.

Local governments are currently trying to sort out the ramifications of the county’s latest decision: come 2012, when the local landfill reaches capacity, county trash will be trucked directly to a transfer station in Durham.

Members of the county Board of Commissioners say the December decision, which brought an end to a contentious search process, is a temporary fix. (read the whole story here)