Monday, December 28, 2009

THE RE-STORE (A WCHL Commentary)

Are you aware of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore? If not, you need to know about it. The ReStore is a joint endeavor of the Durham and Orange County Habitat organizations. Open now for a few months, it is located on 15-501 near I-40 in the old Haverty’s building next to the Bob Evan’s restaurant.

The basic concept is to fill the 36,000 square feet of space to sell furniture, building materials, appliances, household goods, books, and many other things. These items are sold at a great discount and have drawn record crowds to the facility. Best of all, the funding allows Habitat to achieve their home building goals and help the environment by keeping a lot of what they sell out of the landfills. If you are able, Habitat will happily accept donated merchandise that you no longer need but useable. Your donations are also tax deductible. Habitat will do free pick-ups of large items that you need help with.

What a great way to help our community through support of the ReStore as a buyer or a donator or both. Using the proceeds to help to fund the cost of building a home for a family is really a great contribution to our community; helping the environment at the same time is just plain good for all of us. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 to 6 and Saturday from 10 to 5. You can call them at 919-403-8668. Let’s all help the Habitat ReStore!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Retired colonel takes group's helm
Chapel Hill Herald (Dec. 9, 2009)

CHAPEL HILL -- Chapel Hill resident and Vietnam combat veteran Fred Black, a retired U.S. Army colonel, was installed as president of the N.C. State Council of Chapters of the Military Officers Association of America on Saturday.

A past president of the state council's Orange-Chatham Chapter, Black is married to the former Sylvia M. Sloan of Durham. They have a daughter who is a labor relations specialist, and a son who is a major in the U.S. Army.

There are 19 chapters in the state council and more than 18,000 members in North Carolina. The association plays an active role in military personnel matters and especially proposed legislation affecting the career force, the retired community, and veterans of the uniformed services. Its purpose also has grown to include career transition assistance, improved member products, military benefits counseling, educational assistance to children of military families (to include enlisted) and strong involvement in military professionalism activities.

The state council serves to further the aims and legislative goals of the national organization and assist member chapters in effectively serving their members, their communities and the nation.

The Military Officers Association of America is open to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired and former commissioned officers and warrant officers of the seven uniformed services, the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With a membership of about 370,000, it is the country's largest military officers' association.

Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1994, Black served as a professor of political science in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. A life member of the Military Officers Association of America, he currently works as an independent management consultant specializing in leadership and organizational evaluations and assessments for both corporations, public and nonprofit organizations.

Black is a Vietnam combat veteran and a distinguished military graduate of Howard University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and his commission as a second lieutenant of infantry in June 1968. He received his graduate training in political science and public policy and administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Black is an honor graduate of both the Army's Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He is also a graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he also served as a visiting professor of national security policy.

Black has served in a variety of infantry command and staff positions with airborne and light infantry units in the continental United States, Hawaii, the Republic of South Vietnam and the Republic of South Korea. He has earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist wings and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. His other military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal with a 2nd oak leaf cluster, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.

Monday, December 7, 2009


A new law went into effect on December 1st, a law that says what you will not do while driving. This law falls into the category of what my grandmother would categorize as proof that you must tell some people everything! Yes, we now have a law that says you will not read and send text messages and e-mails while you drive. Drivers in North Carolina can be fined $100 for using mobile phones to type or to read text messages or e-mail and since it's not called a traffic violation, do it won't affect driving privileges or insurance.

Apparently, some people just won’t use common sense unless a law forces them to. Surely, people who text or send emails while driving must know how dangerous it is. One study of truckers found that talking on a cell phone increases the risk of a crash fourfold, and texting multiplies that risk 23 times! Some of us might argue that as our roads continue to get busier the risk will only rise.

North Carolina already says you can’t watch TV or look at computers or DVD players while driving, but you and I both know it still happens. Let’s hope that those who do this will get the message and not put their lives and the lives of those in their vehicle and the other vehicles on the road at risk.

Driving these days is hard enough; let’s hope that drivers in North Carolina will not use their heads, hands, and eyes to do anything other than to drive as safely as possible.