Category Archives: North Carolina

How Many Kids in NC are Enrolled in SNAP? Catching Up on Lost Time; Support from ProSource Fitness

Hunger Fact of the Day:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also commonly known as food stamps, has over 663,000 kids enrolled in North Carolina. – Source, Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC

 


Today’s sponsor:

ProSource Logo

ProSource Fitness Equipment is a very strong supporter of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (my day job), and their point person in our market, Josh Owen, is an active volunteer who recently won PTAA’s Supplier Vendor Partner of the Year Award. They’re also very involved in the community, including PTAA’s Food Drive.

ProSource is a provider of fitness equipment, both commercial and residential, and I can vouch for them personally because I’ve purchased from them for my home gym and have had nothing but a good experience with the equipment and the company.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and Monday/Tuesday was Day 4. Much thanks to Josh and the team at ProSource Fitness for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!


 

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Activity Days 56-57: For this walk, I once again enjoyed the company of my better 3/4, my partner in crime, Celeste Lowder. We took advantage of the coolest day we’ve had for weeks, and likely the last cool day we’ll have for at least a month, to get in some serious catch-up miles.

Miles walked/run: 10.01 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 63.39

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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What Percentage of Income is Spent on Childcare When School is Out?; Putting in Some Solid Miles; Support from Phillips Management Group

Hunger Fact of the Day: During the summer, when school is out, many families struggle to put food on the table because their childcare expenses increase significantly. According to a blog post at Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC, “American families can expect to spend 20% of their income this summer on childcare. In North Carolina, the cost of childcare is even more burdensome: here, the percent of the median summer income spent on childcare is 22%.”


Today’s sponsor:

PMG Logo

Over the last few years, Phillips Management Group has REALLY stepped up their efforts to support Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC. In fact, they have won the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association’s Owner’s Cup for raising the most food (per unit) of all the management company members of the association.

Phillips is very active in the community in many other ways, including actively supporting the work of Partners Ending Homelessness, as well as participating in innumerable community service projects in the many cities in which they have property.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and this weekend constituted days 1-3. They provided me with some really nice shirts for the walk, and I’m glad they’re going to let me hold onto them because, as you’ll see from the pictures, they got more than a little sweaty! Much thanks to Maria, Brandon and the entire team at Phillips for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!

 

 

Activity Day 53-55: The first day of this leg of the challenge was a Friday and I explored our office park as well as the attached facilities also owned by Highwoods (our landlord). I found some places I’d never come across before in our seven years here, including a pond I had no idea existed. This place really is pretty big so I was able to get in some good miles. Saturday was a walk around the neighborhood and a bit of a break to recover, especially given the heat. Sunday, my better 3/4 went with me to Tanglewood Park in Clemmons and I was able to get in some serious miles there (just shy of 10).

Miles walked/run: 20.10 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 73.4

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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Right Now You Can Feed Twice as Many People per Dollar; Breaking 100 on a Dark and Stormy Longest Day; Support from ProSource Fitness

Hunger Fact of the Day:

 


Today’s sponsor:

ProSource Logo

ProSource Fitness Equipment is a very strong supporter of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (my day job), and their point person in our market, Josh Owen, is an active volunteer who recently won PTAA’s Supplier Vendor Partner of the Year Award. They’re also very involved in the community, including PTAA’s Food Drive.

ProSource is a provider of fitness equipment, both commercial and residential, and I can vouch for them personally because I’ve purchased from them for my home gym and have had nothing but a good experience with the equipment and the company.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and Sunday was Day 3. It’s appropriate that they are sponsoring my first walk back home since they sponsored my first day in Utah. Much thanks to Josh and the team at ProSource Fitness for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!


Activity Day 52: For this walk I enjoyed the company of my better 3/4, my partner in crime, Celeste Lowder. We took advantage of the summer solstice and milked every minute of the longest day for this walk. Our timing was impeccable because halfway through the walk some thunderstorms rolled in so we had to boogie to get the miles in before the lightning started to get too close for comfort. Gotta say it’s a lot more fun having Celeste with me on these walks and I’m hoping she’ll join me for more. And hey, if you feel like going for a walk with me just give me a shout and maybe we can make it happen. The more the merrier!

Finally, we reached another milestone: less than 100 miles left for me to make the 367 challenge goal!

Miles walked/run: 7.06 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 93.5

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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LGBT People are Disproportionately Food Insecure; Encounters with Urban Wildlife; Support from Crescent Rotary Club

Hunger Fact of the Day:

 


Sponsor for Days 49-51:

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I’m a proud member of Crescent Rotary Club in Greensboro and am most appreciative of their support for this walk (especially the support of “Mr. Rotary” Patrick Eakes. Crescent has about 80 members and those members are all extremely active in supporting the community, through volunteer hours and through financial support via the Crescent Rotary Club Foundation and the Rotary International Foundation.

I’ll highlight just two of Crescent’s many activities this year. First, the club worked with Second Harvest to support the Community Cupboard at the East Market Seventh Day Adventist Church in Greensboro. The club’s foundation donated $4,000 to help purchase new equipment and club members volunteered to help serve food to members of the community who were impacted by the tornado that hit East Greensboro in April. Crescent Rotary Club Foundation also donated $20,000 to the fund established by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro to help immediately re-house those who were displaced by the tornado.

If you’re in Greensboro I highly recommend checking out Crescent – it’s a great place to find like-minded business people who are all about serving their community.


Activity Day 49-51: The walk on day 49 was a trip. First, I stepped right over a black snake that I thought was a stick until I saw it slithering away right AFTER I’d just stepped over it. Then about five minutes later and just a couple of blocks away, a very large owl flew out of a tree and directly in front of me before perching itself on the house I was walking by. The combination of those two events had my heart rate WAY more elevated than it normally would have been. Luckily days 50 and 51 had no drama because this old man can only take so much.

Miles walked/run: 15.28 miles. Here are the screenshots from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 100.56

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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15 States With Highest Rate of Food Insecurity; Walking in Winston Again; Support from ProSource Fitness

Hunger Fact of the Day:

15 States


Today’s sponsor:

ProSource Logo

ProSource Fitness Equipment is a very strong supporter of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (my day job), and their point person in our market, Josh Owen, is an active volunteer who recently won PTAA’s Supplier Vendor Partner of the Year Award. They’re also very involved in the community, including PTAA’s Food Drive.

ProSource is a provider of fitness equipment, both commercial and residential, and I can vouch for them personally because I’ve purchased from them for my home gym and have had nothing but a good experience with the equipment and the company.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and Sunday was Day 3. It’s appropriate that they are sponsoring my first walk back home since they sponsored my first day in Utah. Much thanks to Josh and the team at ProSource Fitness for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!


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Activity Day 48: Sunday was the first day back in Winston-Salem after 8 days on the road in Utah and California. Was nice to walk around my normal stomping grounds although I would prefer to have San Diego’s sunny, dry and mid-70s weather. Didn’t miss the 90 degrees + 800% humidity:)

Miles walked/run: 5.06 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 115.84

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

DonateNowButton

He Made Me Hit Him!

When I was a kid I had a terrible habit of slugging my younger brother. Granted it usually followed him tormenting me and me warning him that if he didn’t stop I was going to hit him. Despite my warnings he would continue to needle and annoy me until I passed the boiling point and slugged him; then he’d crumble to the ground in agony and scream for my mother. Sometimes I knew I’d truly hurt him, but many times he definitely hit the emote button to maximize the punishment he knew I was going to get.

When my Mom arrived on the scene a couple of things happened. First she’d ask, “What happened.” Then, as soon as I started explaining with, “I hit him, but he started it…” she’d cut me off and say something to the effect of, “I don’t care what he said or did, there’s no excuse for hitting him. You’re older and bigger than he is, so there’s just no excuse.” Later, after doling out my punishment, she’d ask me why I continued to let him sucker me in like that and why I couldn’t learn to just ignore him? I didn’t have an easy answer, but deep down I knew she was right.

Why this trip down memory lane? Well, I was reading about the NC’s republican leadership saying they’d entertain the idea of repealing HB2 if Charlotte would repeal it’s bathroom ordinance, and it reminded me of me and my brother. They’re claiming that Charlotte passing its bathroom ordinance forced them to pass a law that not only negated the ordinance, but also removed the ability for municipalities to enact employment bias protections more stringent than the state’s, or for employees to sue employers in state court for wrongful termination. In other words the legislature, and governor, did the equivalent of beating the snot out of Charlotte because the city council stuck its tongue out at them.

Here’s what’s being floated by the republicans:

North Carolina’s two top legislative leaders put their weight behind a proposed repeal of House Bill 2 Sunday night, but only if the Charlotte City Council repeals its own transgender nondiscrimination ordinance first…

The joint statement issued on behalf of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger is both the clearest sign yet that the General Assembly could backtrack on the controversial law and an effort to pressure the Charlotte City Council in accepting at least some of the responsibility for a months-long fracas over the measure…

“If the Charlotte City Council had not passed its ordinance in the first place, the North Carolina General Assembly would not have called itself back into session to pass HB 2 in response,” the legislative leaders’ statement reads. “Consequently, although our respective caucuses have not met or taken an official position, we believe that, if the Charlotte City Council rescinds its ordinance, there would be support in our caucuses to return state law to where it was pre-HB 2.”

Simply put I think the Charlotte city council would be nuts to cave on this. First, because they don’t gain anything by conceding and second, because the legislature has yet to explain why they can’t repeal the parts of the bill that had nothing to do with the bathroom ordinance.

What the republicans don’t want anyone to pay attention to is Part IV of HB2. Here’s what it says:

PART IV. SEVERABILITY 31 SECTION 4. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act is temporarily or permanently restrained or enjoined by judicial order, this act shall be enforced as though such restrained or enjoined provisions had not been adopted, provided that whenever such temporary or permanent restraining order or injunction is stayed, dissolved, or otherwise ceases to have effect, such provisions shall have full force and effect.

So, if I’m Charlotte my reply is that at a minimum the legislature needs to repeal parts II and III of HB2 before we’ll discuss anything. Even then I think Charlotte’s city council would be dumb to even entertain the idea of repealing the ordinance – after all it’s the legislature and governor who are over a barrel right now – but at least the conversation would be about the specific bathroom bill and not the constraints on local municipalities to provide added employment protections for the LGBT community if they so desired.

How do the legislators and governor not get that to everyone else in the world who isn’t from their camp they look like how I did to my Mom way back when. Even if Charlotte passed the ordinance with the specific intention of provoking them, how could they be so stupid as to get suckered into overreacting and getting themselves sent into economic timeout?

My excuse is that I was 12, but what’s theirs?

Proactivism

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last couple of months you’ve heard about a small issue we’ve had here in North Carolina. It’s a piece of state legislation called HB2, aka “The Bathroom Bill”, and it has actually grown into a national issue thanks to the combination of national media attention, acts of protest by well known companies and entertainers and the recognition by many politicians that it is a perfect “wedge issue” for this monumental election year. From amidst the increasingly nasty din that surrounds the issue has emerged a fleetingly rare voice of sanity, and it came to my attention from, of all places, an issue of a trade newsletter I receive called Associations Now, that has a piece about a group that is encouraging musicians to use their shows to protest HB2 instead of cancelling their shows outright in protest:

As an alternative, a pair of activists launched North Carolina Needs You, which encourages musicians to hold shows in the state and use them as platforms to speak out against the measure, known as HB2.

The initiative was born when Grayson Haver Currin, a prominent North Carolina music journalist and onetime codirector of the state’s Hopscotch Music Festival, came up with the strategy after Springsteen canceled. Currin and his wife, Tina, created the campaign out of concern that, in the long run, artist boycotts would do more harm than good.

Almost immediately, the band Duran Duran, which had struggled with whether to cancel its show, collaborated on Currin’s initiative and decided to perform, using the show to draw attention to the cause by bringing critics of the law onstage and by donating money to political nonprofits working to fight the law.

The website also found quick support from those nonprofits, including Equality NC, Progress NC Action, and the state chapters of the NAACP and the ACLU…

The artists choosing to stay have received positive notices from music-industry peers who are directly affected by the law.

The band Against Me!—whose lead singer, Laura Jane Grace, publicly came out as transgender in 2012—announced that it would keep its May 15 show in Durham on the schedule specifically to protest the law. The band is encouraging attendees to use gender-neutral bathrooms at the concert venue.

While it’s easy to understand where acts like Bruce Springsteen are coming from when they cancel shows, this approach seems much more productive. Hopefully more voices like the Currins’ will emerge here in North Carolina and we can get back to some level of sanity.