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Neighborhood Activists Take Their Battle To The Internet

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CARY — From new development to schools to sewer lines, neighborhood activists have plenty to fight about. More people are turning to their computers to get others to listen.

Swift Creek resident Richard Krueger went to his computer and superimposed what a smelly sewer release valve might look like in front of a local church. He added information about the potential impact of a sewer line through the neighborhood, how to contact the town manager and called his Web site, Stop Cary.

"The tools are so great. You can easily show through digital manipulation the effect of something that would, otherwise, not be possible," he says.

The days of going door-to-door are over. More activists are taking their battle online.

More than two years ago, Tim McBrayer and his north Raleigh neighbors launched a fight to block the proposed FedEx expansion at RDU International. They formed the North Raleigh Association of Neighborhoods and created aWeb siteto get the word out.

"We looked at our Web site and our organization as a way in which people could learn more about these issues," McBrayer says. "Face-to-face communication is still the best kind of communication."

The group won their battle, and in turn, expanded their Web reach to all kinds of timely issues ranging from schools to traffic.

Community activists like Krueger say the Web is only part of the process.

"Going to all the town meetings and calling all the elected officials," Krueger says. "It's one of the tools of many that we're using."

Dozens of Triangle neighborhoods are using the Internet to get their message out. Anyone interested in joining one of the non-profit groups can checkNCNeighbors.comfor a local listing.

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Cullen Browder, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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