Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chapel Hill dog trainer opens new kennel

 A new boarding kennel and dog training center has opened on New Hope Church Road about a half-mile from Interstate 40.  The newly constructed facility is called Chapel Hill Boarding Kennel.  The owner, Gene Lonsway, is also the owner and handler of Durham Bulls mascot, Lucky Junior.  The new facility seeks to provide upscale lodging for dogs while offering a wide range of obedience training and problem solving services.

The 20-run kennel holds fewer dogs than most, but that's the way Lonsway wanted it.  The more intimate design provides the guests with a higher level of care and attention.

"We've designed our kennel to provide the personal care that I would want for my own dogs," Lonsway says.  The basic boarding package includes indoor and outdoor play time, food and bathroom breaks.  Group activities are also included.

After 25 years as a professional dog trainer, Lonsway doesn't intend to stop any time soon.  Even for short stays, training packages are available to improve dogs' behavior.  Training classes and extended board and train options are still offered.  Group lessons and puppy classes are also available.

The new building includes a 1,000-square-foot indoor activity room for obedience classes, training and play time, rain or shine.  Doggie daycare will also be provided in the space.

Chapel Hill Boarding Kennel is accepting reservations as of June 29.  The formal grand opening will be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 16. Dogs are definitely welcome for this event.

The Durham Bulls canine mascot, Lucky Junior, will be on site daily to greet visitors.

Chapel Hill Boarding Kennel is a 3,000-square-foot dog boarding and training center located at 719 New Hope Church Rd. in Chapel Hill.  The 5-acre campus is located on New Hope Creek.  It was formerly known as Canine College of Chapel Hill.  Services include overnight dog boarding, in-board dog training, dog training classes and doggie daycare.  Tours are available by appointment. For more information, pictures and videos visit the website

Gene Lonsway is a graduate of the National K-9 Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio.  Since 1986, he has lived in Chapel Hill and offered dog training services out of his home.  In 2002, Lonsway's yellow labrador retriever, Lucky The Wonderdog, was chosen as the canine mascot for the Durham Bulls baseball club.  Lonsway and the current mascot, Lucky Junior, still perform at weekend home games.  He has authored a childrens book called Lucky Oh Lucky: The Puppy Who Loved to Run.  Lonsway also holds two U.S. patents for dog toys he has invented.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Register for Chapel hill Parks and Rec youth football teams

The Town of Chapel Hill's Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for football.

The department is accepting registrations for Youth Flag Football for ages 5-6. Teams will participate in the Central Piedmont Football League, which competes with teams from surrounding areas. Practices start in August, and games start in September. Registration fee is $50 for Orange County residents and $60 for non-Orange County residents. Registration runs until the camp is full. Birth certificate is required for registration

Registration also is being taken for Youth Tackle Football (ages 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12). Teams will participate in the Central Piedmont Football League, which competes with teams from surrounding areas. Practices start in August, and games start in September. Registration fee is $60 for Orange County residents and $72 for non-Orange County residents. Registration runs until the camp is full. Birth certificate is required for registration.

Register at the Parks and Recreation office on 200 Plant Road or on the department website. For more information, contact Mike Troutman at (919) 968-2736 or Bernard Leach at (919) 968-2734.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Air quality officials continue health notice for central and eastern North Carolina

Rains have improved air quality, but shifting winds could carry smoke from wildfires further north and west in central and eastern North Carolina on Friday, air quality officials say.

Residents as far west as the Triangle and Fayetteville and as far north as Rocky Mount could experience unhealthy air quality, and people are advised to avoid or reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors if they can see and smell smoke.

Wildfires in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare and Hyde counties, the Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County and along the Bladen and Cumberland county line are affecting communities with smoke that could contain high levels of particle pollution. Smoke from the fires is drifting downwind. For more information about the North Carolina fires, check out the link on the national interagency website.

Air quality monitors operated by the N.C. Division of Air Quality, or DAQ, have shown elevated particle pollution due to smoke from the fire. People who live in counties close to the fire, particularly sensitive groups, should limit their outdoor activities if they can see and smell heavy smoke.

Some of the highest particle pollution levels that DAQ has ever measured were in smoke plumes from wildfires. Recent concentrations have reached Code Purple, or very unhealthy, at times in counties close to the fires. The highest particle concentrations have tended to occur during the evening and early morning hours. Particles can be harmful to breathe and contribute to haze and other air quality problems.

The air pollution forecast for Friday shows that fine particle levels in the coastal region could exceed the standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over 24 hours. High particle levels can impair breathing and aggravate symptoms in people with heart and respiratory problems and irritate the lungs in healthy individuals. People with chronic lung and heart ailments as well as children and older adults should reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity.

Fine particles can penetrate deeply into the lungs and be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing or aggravating heart and lung diseases. Persons most susceptible to particle pollution include those with heart and respiratory conditions, older adults and young children. Symptoms of exposure to high particle levels include: irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; coughing; phlegm; chest pain or tightness; shortness of breath and asthma attacks.

 More information on air quality in North Carolina can be found at the DAQ website. More information on the health effects of smoke can be found online.

Lyme disease fundraiser!

Whitney Corn, a Hillsborough native battling late-stage Lyme disease—which isn't covered by insurance—will hold a raffle and fundraiser on Saturday, July 9, at 4 p.m. at Schley Grange Hall. Money raised at the event will go toward funding Whitney's treatment as well as paying for various bills the family has had to put on hold to be able to pay medical fees.
To buy raffle tickets, make a donation or help in any way possible, call (919) 602-5555 for Kathy Corn, Whitney's mother. Raffle prizes include:

  •  First-place—a 55-inch Vizio LCD HD TV.

  •  Second-place—a photo sitting and 11-by-14 portrait donated by Kent Murray.

  •  Third-place—a full auto detail donated by Superior Auto Detail.

  • For more information on the Corn family's struggles, see the Wednesday, May 19, edition of the News of Orange or read it online. For further information about Whitney's ordeal and the politics of Lyme disease, see the Wednesday, July 6, edition of the News of Orange.

    HPD youth basketball camp location has changed

    The Hillsborough Police Department is accepting applications now for its annual basketball camp, which now will be held at C.W. Stanford Middle School.

    The camp is open to youths ages 10 to 16 years old. This year’s camp will be 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 11-15 at the Stanford Middle School gymnasium, 308 Orange High School Road. Registration is $5 per youth. Participants will need to bring snacks and lunch.

    To sign up, visit the Hillsborough Police Station, 127 N. Churton St., to fill out the necessary paperwork. For more information, contact Cpl. Tereasa King at 732-2441 Ext. 26.   

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    A note from Sen. Ellie Kinnaird

    Dear Friends,              

    Two big pieces of news this week: the bills Gov. Perdue has vetoed and the release of the Congressional maps.  I’ll go through the vetoed bills in next week’s newsletter.

    The pertinent story on the Congressional maps for Orange and Person counties are the changes to their districts.  What is startling about David Price’s 4th District is that no longer is it tied to a common “community of interest” of the Triangle, which is one of the criteria in drawing the lines, but reaches from Hillsborough in Orange County to Fayetteville in Cumberland County!  I’m not sure those military folks feel a common tie to the peaceniks in Orange County.  

    Representative Miller’s district encompassing Person County is about the same as his present district, with the addition of some strongly Republican precincts in Wake County.  David won’t have any trouble being elected since his district is packed with Democrats, but Brad will have a hard time with the new precincts.  Talk about gerrymandering.  The districts look like a scoop of the weirdest looking sea creatures ever seen pasted on a map ofNorth Carolina.  The map is available online for those who want to see it.          

    State legislative districts are drawn entirely differently because the Republicans 10 years ago objected to the Democrats' map using the same tactics and went to court.  What resulted is that counties must be kept whole and be contiguous.  Were that so in the Congressional districts.

    Now for more wrap up of bills passed.                         

    As a result of the Study bill, some good issues will be thoroughly looked at.  The Department of Commerce in conjunction with the NC Utilities Commission and the NC Solar Center—that was the program that was cut out of the House budget and fortunately restored in the Senate budget—will study the recruitment of offshore wind turbine and solar manufacturers.  This will encourage job creation and recruitment of industries to North Carolina that are thriving in Europe and China.  We need to develop that industry here.

    What seemed like a good idea turned into one of controversy.  One of our Democratic Senators along with several House members sponsored a bill called the Founding Principles Act to require the teachings of the founders of our country.  It would explain the structure of government, the separation of powers with checks and balances, equal justice under the law, due process, individual rights as set forth in the Bill of Rights, among other subjects.  But it had a few stumbling blocks, which we thought we had removed.  But in the end there was a hue and cry that this was a subterfuge by the far right to inject the teaching of religion and the exalting of private property into the high school curriculum. (A passing grade is required in the course.)  There is also concern that it will replace existing courses that are broader in scope.

    Parking when visiting a museum or the capital will cost more.  Currently it so $ per hour but will double to $2.  (When is a tax not a tax—well about $100 million of these fees in the budget?)  That might be a burden on a family, but luckily, the museums are still free.

    Former incarcerated people can now earn a certificate that will allow them to obtain a professional license to get employment.  Finding a decent job when a person has a conviction is very difficult and leads to the revolving door to prison where housing a prisoner costs $27,000 a year.  Steady employment is critical in determining whether a person will commit another crime or become a productive member of society.  Without that help, most come back to prison within three years. This will change current law that anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from obtaining licenses for about 700 occupations.  Law enforcement, faith and non-profit groups supported the bill. 

    North Carolina has allowed countless special message license plates.  This year, the controversy grew over two issues: the color and pictures of background of the plates people are so fond of and adding a Choose Life plate.   Because there are such a large variety of plates, law enforcement can’t always tell the are North Carolina plates.  They would like a single, uniform, instantly recognizable plate. I contend that people who buy such plates aren’t likely to be criminals.   (I ran a plate for libraries some years ago, but they didn’t sell the required 300.  All you library lovers help us out.)    

    The other controversy was over the Choose Life plate. I spoke against it because no plate has ever carried a political or controversial message. Those of us opposed to the plate offered an amendment that would have said Respect Choice, but it failed to pass.   I voted against the bill that passed easily with but one Republican dissent, and the Governor signed it into law.

    Another controversial bill, even within our Democratic Caucus, was the E-verify bill. This bill requires employers to use a federal system called E-Verify to confirm that the people they hire are in the country legally.  There are two large exemptions: it only applies to employers of 25 workers or more.  That might exempt landscapers, janitor services, even some small restaurants. Contractors could also hire sub-contractors with fewer than 25 people as a subterfuge. The other exemption is for agricultural employers who hire workers for only up to 90 days.  

    There are those who feel that employers take advantage of workers they know are here illegally, and underpay (or sometimes don’t even pay them), thus driving down wages for legal workers.  An African-American construction worker told me he would often approach an employer to ask for work, only to be told they weren’t hiring, but the next day he would see several Hispanic workers there. 

    On the other side, when illegal workers are deported because of this program, it breaks up families.  Large companies already use E-verify so the loop-holes mean that not much will change.  Finally, the system is not always accurate, leading to some who are here legally being wrongly tagged as illegals. 

    Since Congress isn’t likely to pass meaningful immigration legislation, I think one of the best solutions is to pass the Dream Act.  This would allow children who were brought here by their parents at a young age and have graduated from high school to either attend college or go into the military and obtain citizenship.  I have urged our two U.S. Senators to pass this bill.  Sen. Hagan was one of the deciding votes that killed it last time around, but some say she is softening.

    As we enjoyed this weekend commemorating the founding of our country, please remember that, within the last two weeks, 27 of our military in Afghanistan and Iraq have died.