Roses and raspberries, July 16

July 15, 2014 

Roses from Winnie Morgan to the PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Chapter L of Chapel Hill, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“Times have changed since 1964,” writes Morgan, chair of the anniversary committee. “They were memorable years – the civil rights movement was in full swing, our involvement in Vietnam was escalating, the race to the moon was on, and the nation was still reeling from JFK's assassination. And, Beatle-mania had begun, Twister was popular, and the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line.

“But one thing has remained constant since then: PEO’s mission to focus on the education of women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and the stewardship of Cottey College. The organization, an international Philanthropic Educational Organization, has six chapters here in Chapel Hill, and over 250,000 members worldwide.

“The 13 charter Chapter L members were a remarkable, diverse, and a uniquely active and educated group of women,” Morgan continues. “It included librarians, church leaders, sharpshooters, authors, social workers, musicians, a WWII Red Cross truck driver, civil rights and peace activists, a lawyer, gardeners, scouting leaders, and travelers. Their legacy carries on in this chapter, and in other PEO chapters across Chapel Hill and the world, as it continues to promote educational opportunities for women and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.

“For example, 50 years ago the chapter hosted a Korean woman who was granted a PEO International Peace Scholarship to attend graduate school in the U.S. And, we were pleased to have a recent recipient of an educational loan and grant, a teacher at Voyager Academy in Durham, attend our ‘golden’ celebration. We were especially honored to have Mary Helen Hayman, a 72-year member of PEO and honorary charter member of Chapter L, join us for the luncheon!”

Over the past 50 years, Chapter L has contributed over $60,000 towards women's education and assisted many women throughout North Carolina in fulfilling their educational goals. If you’d like to learn more about this group, its loans and grants, go to peointernational.org.

Happy 50th P.E.O. Chapter L and here's to another 50 years!

Raspberries to state legislators who put stringent environmental rules on hold to experiment with pumps to swirl pollution around Jordan Lake rather to stop it from reaching the lake in the first place.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave approval to the SolarBee aerators recently. It remains to be seen how effective they will be in improving the quality of the reservoir, which provides drinking water to much of the Triangle region.

Southern Orange County doesn’t have an immediate stake in the outcome. The Orange Water and Sewer Authority has sufficient water at Cane Creek and University Lake to serve existing demand and approval to tap Jordan water only in an emergency.

But as Carrboro and Chapel Hill’s flooding experience has shown, we all have reason and a responsibility to control pollution and the stormwater runoff that carries from reaching area drinking supplies, as well as fish and plant habitats. The Jordan Lake rules would have helped do that.

Raspberries to sign stealers.

The election season signs planted on every byway this time of year may or may not help candidates win office.

But they are part of the game and, as long as they are collected after the votes are counted a minor intrusion on the landscape for the sake of democracy.

So a big Bronx cheer (that’s a raspberry) to those who stole signs for candidates in the hotly contested Orange County sheriff’s race in recent weeks. (The election occurred after today’s deadline; for results, see www.chapelhillnews.com).

Supporters of David Caldwell were first to complaint of the thefts. But Charles Blackwood told WCHL his signs were taken too, and replaced at some expense.

We doubt the candidates endorsed the thievery. But the sign snatching marred the contest’s final days. We regrets the men’s supporters didn’t live up to their example.

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