by Steve Norris
Six of us went to Duke CEO’s home at 5 pm [on May 4th, 2017] and set up a picket on public property next to the road at 2327 Vernon Drive in Eastover Charlotte. This is a quiet street in an upscale neighborhood where old houses are being demolished so that McMansions can be built in their place. Lynn Good’s house is one of those new McMansions, and another one next door to her house is partially framed on a site previously occupied by a smaller house. There is a “For Sale” sign in her front yard.
(Greg Yost and Steve Norris in front of Lyn Good’s house.)
When we arrived Pat Moore knocked on her front door, which was opened by her husband Brian Good, who welcomed Pat, but did not seem pleased at our purpose or the letter which Pat delivered from BXE (a copy of letter is attached). The letter, under the heading Dhoyle Land Services, said in part:
“This notice is to inform you that employees of Dhoyle Land Services will soon be surveying your property at 2327 Vernon Drive in preparation for a pipeline which Duke Energy and Dominion Resources are proposing to install on your property. We are sorry if this in any way inconveniences you. But as you know, even though studies show the gas is not needed, pipelines like this are necessary to satisfy the greed of Duke Energy’s executives and shareholders for increased profits.”
Drivers passing by seemed curious about us and our picket, but no one stopped to complain or to ask for more information. However, a neighbor from across the street talked to us on and off for about an hour, was genuinely curious to learn about the issues we were raising, and took extensive video and photos. Her children spent time with us too. She thought Brian and Lynn Good were good neighbors.
About 30 minutes into our visit, Officer Dano of Charlotte Mecklenberg police arrived. We had a pleasant and extensive interchange with him. He was curious about our reasons for protesting. Eventually he told us we would have to leave because of a Charlotte ordinance forbidding pickets and protests in front of residences that lacked sidewalks. We had a 15 minute discussion with him about this ordinance and its meaning, and argued that we had a right to be on public property. He finally said we would be issued citations if we did not leave. At that point John Moore politely demanded that we be able to talk to his supervisor. Officer Dano agreed, and we spent another 45 minutes picketing and waiting for the supervisor to arrive. During this time we talked at length to Officer Dano, about Duke, Lynn Good, the ACP, and officer Dano’s work (he had just dealt with a suicide that afternoon and was visibly shaken).
Meanwhile a reporter/videographer from Spectrum TV showed up, shot footage and interviewed us.
Eventually, about 6:30, we decided we had accomplished what we set out to do – to let Lynn Good and her neighbors know that we hold her personally responsible for the damage Duke Energy is doing to North Carolina residents, families, children, communities, environment and the climate. We packed up and left.
All six of us agreed that our visit to Lynn Good’s house was worth the time, effort, controversy and push-back it generated. Some of us may return. We need to find out where she is moving when her house on Vernon Drive sells.