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Category Archives: Stokes County

In search of environmental justice

Since 1974, the people of the Walnut Tree community have lived in the shadow of Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Steam Station, Duke’s largest coal-burning power plant in the Carolinas. Not until 2008 were scrubbers installed on the plant’s stacks. For all those years, people in Walnut Tree were at Ground Zero for the plant’s emissions […]

Stokes County terrain at its best

Click on image for high-resolution version Given enough time, Americans can ruin just about any landscape. Suburbanization is one of the most popular methods. Suburbanization requires major expenditures on roads. We don’t have those roads here in Stokes County. Our roads are narrow and crooked. Suburbanization also requires population growth and money. We don’t have […]

Faces of the First Amendment

My camera is one of the most important political tools I have. Whether it’s a political campaign or organizing for environmental groups, photos are important, especially on social media. I find photos of public meetings strangely moving. Sometimes they capture the spirit of a Rockwell painting. I’m thinking, of course, of Rockwell’s “The Four Freedoms.” […]

I sense something historic here

The Rev. Dr. William Barber II at Rising Star Baptist Church in Walnut Cove North Carolina government has been taken over by right-wing politicians who have been hastily enacting the billionaire agenda — lower taxes for the rich, higher taxes for working people, the worst voter suppression laws in the nation, the privatization of education […]

At last, a free day

I apologize for the long absence from the blog, and I appreciate the emails asking if everything is OK. I’m heavily involved in a local political campaign, trying to bring a little progress to Stokes County. Things will get back to normal after the election. Today was the first day in many days that I […]

A tour of Vade Mecum

Most of the readers of this blog are not from Stokes County, or even from North Carolina, so I need to explain what Vade Mecum is and why people in Stokes County are so concerned about it. A hundred years ago and longer, Stokes County was a tourist destination. People would come into Walnut Cove […]

No Fracking in Stokes: our new video

As regular readers know, I’ve been involved for the last two years with No Fracking in Stokes, a grassroots group fighting fracking in Stokes County and in North Carolina. Our group has released a new video, filmed here in Stokes County (except for the shots of actual fracking in the Marcellus shale area of Pennsylvania). […]

Christmas in Danbury

Carolers Carolers at the Arts Council reception Moravian star in front of the old Stokes County courthouse The old Stokes County courthouse Charlie’s surrey Charlie Inside the Stokes museum Mantel in the museum Inside the Stokes museum

The rewards of rural life

A concerned citizen speaks to the Stokes County commissioners. Though I certainly enjoyed my 17 years in San Francisco, rural life is far from boring. One of the good things about backroads places such as Stokes County is that the American system of government operates at a small scale. People know each other. It’s easy […]

Portable sawmill

Click on images for high-resolution version A neighbor hired a portable sawmill operator to come in and saw up his hyper-local poplar and oak. He’ll use the lumber to build a new shed. Note the steam-punk control panels.