Sunday, December 20, 2009

Belk BBQ a success?

I can only assume it was. My family showed up late in the afternoon (after a day filled with making Christmas cookies) to get dinner, but were told that the BBQ had run out pretty early. I neglected to get a specific time as to when it had run out.

Anyone know for certain? I imagine one of the local news outlets will have some word on it here the next couple days.

It's too bad because I had a big hankering for BBQ at that point. We headed to SouthSiders only to realize seconds later that they're closed on Sundays. So we headed home and had chicken patties. It wasn't the same.

So much to post, so little time

During the Christmas season, I'm having a hard time keeping up with posting. There's so much I wanted to post on, but cannot seem to find the time. Generally, I write my posts in the late evening after the kids go to bed.

But in recent weeks, that time has been devoted to work, our family's annual Christmas letter, entertaining out-of-town visitors, and plenty of online gift shopping or research into said gifts; there's just not enough hours in the day.

Hopefully some more time presents itself or else how else am I supposed to wax poetic about our first trip to the Waxhaw Fresh Market.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Waxhaw police officer gets DWI, resigns

My wife is probably my greatest source during the week & she was the first to tell me a couple days ago about this the unfortunate story of one of Waxhaw's finest running afoul of the law.

Elisabeth Arriero and The Enquirer-Journal have the full story.
WAXHAW — A Waxhaw police officer resigned early Thursday after crashing her Jeep when her blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

Patrol Officer Samantha Byers crashed into a brick column at the entrance of a driveway on Davis Road just outside of Waxhaw at about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.


Trooper Will Winchester, who responded to the scene, charged Byers with driving while impaired and careless and reckless driving after Byers took a Intoxalyzer blood alcohol test that indicated her blood alcohol content was 0.13. In North Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
It's unfortunate that one mistake has ended Officer Byers career so abruptly, but if anyone is to be held to a higher standard, it is the police.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waxhaw Gazette giving me too much credit

I journeyed over to The Waxhaw Gazette & was pleasantly surprised to see a link on his main page to my little site. If you require proof, follow the link soon as his main page updates updates every week or two, although I imagine it will be moved to his archive for posterity's sake.

He quoted some of this post, but I do want to say most of what he attributes to me was actually from this News 14 article on injured Waxhaw police officer Richard Belk. That being said, I do appreciate the link.

More importantly, read any of the aforementioned links for details on how you can help with Officer Belk's medical bills. I'll give you one hint: BBQ cookoff.

All that being said, I do appreciate the link.

SouthSiders still the only game in town?

If you're looking for a pint, it appears that Southsiders is your only option within walking distance -- for now.

The Enquirer-Journal has the story:
Mark Kennedy, co-owner of SouthSiders, said he had the fire marshal at his store two days after the election to make sure he was up to code. Soon after, Kennedy drove to Raleigh to get his malt beverage permit.

His restaurant was the first to offer alcohol in Waxhaw; they’ve been serving it for two weeks.

“We were really ready to go,” he said. “It’s definitely improved our bottom line, obviously.”

And now, Kennedy doesn’t have to shut down his restaurant with the rest of the town in the early afternoon on weekends: he’s staying open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Last Saturday we had a live band. People just came in and had a grand time,” he said.
Kennedy said he’s waiting to apply for his liquor permit until he can find a place to store the liquor bottles. For now, he has 13 beers to offer his clientele.
Anyone been there for the live music? For the life of me, where do they put the band? There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of room in there? Under the TV?

Later on in the article, it appears that Elisabeth Arriero did the leg work by calling various restaurants in Waxhaw to if they applied for or received permits for beer, liquor, or wine. The results for our town:
In Waxhaw

• Southsiders

• Mama Lena

• Rendini’s Pizza and Pasta

• Mingfu Sushi and Chinese
I'm surprised Rippington's wasn't on the list.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Injured Waxhaw officer

My wife tipped me off to this story (video at link).

WAXHAW, N.C. -- A Waxhaw police officer is recovering after he nearly lost use of his left leg during a training exercise about six weeks ago. With two surgeries to go and mounting medical bills, the law enforcement community as well as the community is stepping up to get Officer Richard Belk back on the force as quickly as possible

Belk says he was about a half-mile into a department training exercise when something felt a bit off.

"I had shin splints, which isn't that uncommon, so I continued the run,” he said. “(I) got done, tried to stretch it out and couldn't get it stretched out."

The cramping continued after Belk went home so he saw his doctor the next day. The doctor thought he might have a blood clot, so he referred Belk to an orthopedic specialist who had him in the emergency room as quickly as possible.


Six weeks and 10 surgeries later, Belk is on crutches. It turns out what he thought was shin splints was actually exertional compartment syndrome, so rare his doctors told him they'd only known of two documented cases in their careers.

Fellow officers have been donating sick leave. Details on how you can contribute involve a BBQ cook-off on Dec 20th, so it's a win-win for everyone.
To further help Belk with his medical expenses, the police and fire departments in Waxhaw are having a barbecue cook-off on Sunday, Dec. 20 in front of Old Firehouse Station 18 on the northeast corner of Main Street near the railroad tracks.

The cook-off runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There's a $5 minimum donation per person.

What's Your Beef moving to Ballantyne

I heard the other day that the What's Your Beef butcher/deli is moving to Ballantyne; the grand opening is Jan 9th or so says their website.

I've got an email to Vic trying to see the last day in business in Waxhaw; if he responds, I'll update the post.

UPDATE 12/3/09: Vic was kind enough to get back to me. Their last day in Waxhaw is Dec 31st.

Thanksgiving break in Waxhaw

Haven't spent much time in Waxhaw proper (read "historic downtown Waxhaw") during the much-appreciated Thanksgiving break.

With family in town, we decided to hit Mama Lena's on Wednesday evening rather than cook dinner before the big dinner. I must say that place was hopping. I believe every table was seated, but perhaps not surprising given the date.

A significant portion of the next three days was devoted to putting up the Christmas lights and decorations, inside and out. I did run out of some supplies so had to hit Ace for a little Black Friday shopping in the late afternoon.

My son & I stopped briefly at the Festival of Lights, but dinner was cooking, so we couldn't stay to see the show. But we were there long enough for him to score a Christmas glow stick and candy cane lollipop, so he was happy. For those interested, the town's put up some photos on their Facebook page (they're accessible without a Facebook account).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vexing Waxhaw question: Where's my left turning light?

I've always considered this a vexing Waxhaw question if there ever was one, but can anyone explain why there's no left turning light to turn onto Broome Street from 75?

Is there some valid reason for there not to be one? Is it better for cars to take the back routes on Broad, Church & Caldwell Streets to get around the backups here?

Beer is pouring into Waxhaw

And I doubt, like fictional Laramie cigarettes of Simpsons fame, the drivers have been ordered to ignore all stop signs & crosswalks.

I found out today compliments of an email from Mark that beer has been getting served at Southsiders since last Tuesday. And of course, I was there a week before that.

No taps as of yet, but they're on their way. I may have to stop in over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Any other local restaurants serving beer or mixed drinks yet? I always figured Southsiders would be first.

Grab a beer & celebrate that Waxhaw is still in one piece as far as I can tell.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ronald McDonald doesn't push in his chair

I 'd heard the new McDonald's near Lowe's had opened. Correction, my boys had heard the new McDonald's had opened so we visited for lunch on Saturday.

As I'm sure you're aware even if you glanced driving by, there's no playground. That was a big downer for my boys, but obviously not enough to get them to change their mind about lunch there.

The inside was a little too modern for its own good in my opinion; the pastel yellow chairs have a large hole in the back essentially ruling out using the space between your back & chairback as a storage space for, say, little coats or a purse. And the chairs are rather wide and smooth, making it difficult to hang little jackets (or a purse) over without them falling to the floor.

But bear in mind, I have no history in critiquing decor so take it for what it's worth. But I much prefer the close-to-garish yellow overhangs on the outside to the look inside. I prefer utilitarian to showy, especially since we're not exactly talking fine dining here. Of course, this won't stop us from visiting McDonald's when we want to.

On the upside, Ronald McDonald happened to be visiting. Despite my kids turning shy every time he got near, they enjoyed his presence. Ronald himself sat down with us and talked with them a little before moving onto other tables & other kids. As we were leaving, I mentioned how cool it was that Ronald McDonald happened to be there & my oldest proceeded to tell me that "Ronald McDonald doesn't push in his chair." And anyone since who has heard about their encounter with Ronald McDonald hears this little tidbit as well.

So besides Ronald McDonald's poor manners (corporate bigwigs at McDonald's, I hope you're listening), it was a successful visit as far as the kids were concerned.

And for fast food gourmands, the new McDonald's should be a welcome addition to Waxhaw. I've been very displeased with service at Burger Kings' & Bojangles' drive-through. Too often the food was cold, missing or just unpleasant (and I mean unpleasant by fast food standards) when I got home. The Wendy's in Lancaster County was a nice addition but a tad far if not stopping by the way home. But now with a McDonald's nearby, maybe that will light a fire in its competitors for better service.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last week

Not a whole lot going on here besides trying to keep up with the falling leaves. But that may be evident from the lack of posts.

I had off Veteran's Day, so I planned to take my oldest to the the veterans ceremony at noon, but it was canceled due to the rain. Supposedly rescheduled for Friday at noon, which is unfortunate as less kids could attend. Of course, I originally saw it was postponed via a Town of Waxhaw Facebook update that appears to no longer exist at this point. If a Facebook update announcing the postponement & rescheduling of a ceremony no longer exists, does the ceremony really occur? Sorry to get all philosophical on you.

Anyone in the vicinity of Southsiders last Friday at noon to confirm whether it did?

In lieu of the cancellation, we walked around town in a light mist & got hot dogs at Southsiders before heading home to play some marbles.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Waxhaw Gazette

One more post before I join the rest of the family & hit the hay...

A new Waxhaw Gazette has been published by John Tiley. I hadn't followed the Historic Ventures development particularly closely, but I had thought it was a somewhat reasonable plan. However, John wrote the following:
And what is this about a 60 room hotel? I find that idea so implausible that I can’t really believe there is a hotelier behind it, after all any hotel that we would actually want here in Waxhaw has to be able to maintain a 60% occupancy to remain in business. That means 36 rooms have to be occupied, every night, seven days a week, all year long… here in Waxhaw? I am sorry, but, even in our wildest dreams; there isn’t a hope of generating that many “room nights” in our little town.
While I wasn't all that upset about the apartment complex (although I thought it'd be difficult to fill a 94-unit "sczillion"-unit apartment complex so far from Charlotte), I had somehow missed that they planned to include a hotel.

As John plainly writes, there is no way a hotel of that size could survive in Waxhaw, so it's inclusion in any redevelopment plan should essentially make that plan DOA as it'd be doomed for failure. It's mere inclusion in a plan should make residents wonder how well thought out the rest of the plan is, unless of course there's some ulterior motive that explains inclusion. Of course, there's this: one should never never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

Where were you during the servolution?

I was heading through town today on my way to a baseball game and I saw a bunch of volunteer's cleaning up around downtown Waxhaw with "Servolution" shirts on, at least that's what my squinting eyes were able to pick out.

Based on this town document (scroll down), this appears to have been organized by the Five Stones Church, whose may be better known to local children as the church who supplies the free bounce slide at the festivals. Utilizing more of my advanced detective skills, I stumbled across what can for all intents & purposes be considered a full confession.

Not only did the town of Waxhaw benefit, but so did the Main Street Grill. Both times I drove by, volunteers had their patio nearly filled to capacity. How about less eating & more working, guys?

Just kidding, of course. Looks nice.

Speaking of Facebook...

I see Brett Diller still hasn't updated his campaign's Facebook page after his recent election as town commissioner. Nor his campaign's official website for that matter. No money left in the campaign coffers for that?

Not a big deal, but strange that it hasn't happened yet. If your tech-savvy enough to have a campaign page on Facebook, you'd think you'd be savvy enough to have a little shout-out to your supporters. Just sayin'.

Addendum: I should note that Erin Kirkpatrick isn't any better. Her campaign website hasn't been updated either. And her campaign's Facebook page looks like some sort of Facebook ghost town.

Joyce Blythe doesn't have a campaign website or Facebook page as far as I can tell. Now that's an old-school politician.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Leaky roof at the museum

Elisabeth Arriero had an article in The Enquirer-Journal a couple days ago about the leaky roof at the Museum of the Waxhaws.
WAXHAW — Rainstorms and persistent leaks are threatening exhibits, but The Museum of the Waxhaws can’t afford a new roof.

Roof leaks at the Museum of the Waxhaws have been getting worse over the last year, to the point where museum director Sharon Murrer has had to set up several buckets inside.
It's strongly implied that local government won't be supplying the museum with the money for repairs, which suits me just fine.
“I prefer to see it come from the citizenry, from contribution,” Baucom said of the possibility of the county providing funding for a new roof. “Every organization in existence can make a valid case that it has value to the community but at some point, you have to take and put a limit on how far you can go.”

Baucom added that the “the financial condition of the citizens in the county would need to change” before he would support funding a new roof.


But he [Parker Mills], too, cited the current economic climate as a reason why extra funding for the museum’s new roof is unlikely.
The estimates in cost appear to range from $20k - 90k. It doesn't seem unreasonable to collect at least the low end of that nowadays through private donations assuming you can get enough local residents aware of the problem.

News14 Carolina has followed up today with their own report (video clip at the link).

For those interested in donating, the News14 article recommends calling (704) 843-1832, although I imagine donating directly through the Museum of the Waxhaws website would suffice.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waxhaw police on Halloween

Just a note congratulating the Waxhaw police on their Halloween presence, at least in my neck of the woods. Officer Mike was assigned our neighborhood and spent lots of time walking the neighborhood and speaking with those of us handing out candy.

As far as I know, there hasn't been any recent incidents in my neighborhood on Halloween, but given the strategy of the Waxhaw police making their presence felt, perhaps that is the reason why.

On a side note, on the day after Halloween, I saw something sitting on the counter stating that there was a 9pm curfew in Waxhaw on Halloween night. I had no idea this was the case, so perhaps they need to find better way of getting this info to residents. An after-the-fact web search revealed this was accurate. You would think they would've at least put it on the town's Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All precincts in! - The 9:53 Update

Well, all votes are in; News14 once again has the numbers.

The referendum has passed, so I don't have to open that speakeasy anymore, right? We should all go celebrate with one of those Carolina dogs from Southsiders. Will someone now tell me what group was responsible for all those yellow anti-referendum signs?

Oh yeah, in other news, Erin "Eric" Kirkpatrick, Brett Diller, & Joyce Blythe have all won.

I can say now that these are the three candidates I voted for, not because I agree with them on everything but because they spent the most time and effort responding to my referendum-related emails. (Given the totals, does this mean I've jumped on a bandwagon I had no idea existed?) Good luck to them.


Everyone go have a celebratory drink. I am.

Election results (2 precincts reporting) - The 9:08 Update

And of course immediately after posting, I see two precincts are now in.

Same top three in the commissioner race, but the order has changed. But for all intents & purposes, they're Blythe, Diller, Kirkpatrick are all tied. Max Walker & Ken Collins are falling behind.

In referendum news, two-thirds of the voters in the two precincts still support them.


Partial Waxhaw election results

News14 Carolina has partial results of today's election in.

With one out of four precincts reporting, approximately 3 out of every 4 are supporting the malt and mixed beverage referendums.

And Brett Diller, Erin Kirkpatrick, and Joyce Blythe are currently leading the commissioner voting.


Counterfeit electronics ring in Waxhaw

I missed this story back in March, but it's interesting. This WSOC-TV report (video at the link) speaks of two Waxhaw houses being key cogs in a counterfeit electronics ring.
The FBI says companies overseas copy all kinds of electronics, illegally putting brand names and logos on the outside but using inferior parts on the inside. Dishonest dealers then sell them illegally as genuine brand-name products.

In the Waxhaw case, federal court documents allege at least a half-dozen different Web sites were used to sell counterfeit items that made their way from China to Waxhaw before being shipped to unsuspecting buyers across the country.
An article in the Charlotte Business Journal in September provides more useful details for anyone not familiar with the case.

Federal authorities have seized more than $345,000 in cash and electronic equipment of undetermined value in an investigation of an alleged counterfeit equipment operation in Waxhaw.

Elizabeth Lopez and Omar Salem sold counterfeit iPods, memory sticks, digital picture frames and other electronic equipment, investigators allege.

Affidavits and other documents filed Tuesday in seizure proceedings in U.S. District Court in Charlotte say the two sold the equipment through several online and catalog operations. They include Deals Direct Inc., Computer Inc. and The Computer Warehouse.

Brian Boze of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Lopez and Salem are being investigated on allegations of trafficking in counterfeit goods, conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and smuggling goods into the United States.

No charges had been filed against them in federal court as of midweek.

According to a Waxhaw town memo dated 3/20/09, the investigation involved houses in the Quellin & Providence South Downs neighborhoods.

While I have not been able to find much details on this current case (still under investigation), it appears that Elizabeth Lopez & Omar Salem have teamed up before in Florida much to the chagrin of Disney, Viacom, and Warner Brothers. I'm fairly confident that the Lopez & Salem detailed in the following link are one and the same.

LegalMetric link

Frothy malt beverages coming to Waxhaw?

Today's the big day to vote for the referendum.

I had also planned on posting over the weekend with a round-up of my thoughts on the town commissioner candidates with regards to the referendum for what it's worth at this late date. It was to be mainly based on my email correspondence with some of them.

Unfortunately, a number of obstacles prevented that from happening, including but not limited to out-of-town visitors, high fevers, birthday parties, hayrides, trick-or-treating, the Phillies playing in the World Series, and most importantly my procrastination.

I only queried them on the referendum, but here's a quick rundown.

Brett Diller and Erin Kirkpatrick said while they did not support these referendum in the past, they both planned to vote for them this time around.

Joyce Blythe is against the referendum.

Max Walker's response suggested he supported the referendum, but he never followed up when I asked for clarification.

As for the mysterious Ken Collins, who knows? I couldn't find a contact email address for him.

Hopefully we'll be able to celebrate with a beer in one hand and a mixed drink in the other.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meet the candidates EJ-style

The Enquirer-Journal spoke with all the candidates with the exception of Ken Collins.

Their responses appear to have been gathered over the phone, so they are noticeably more unique & less contrived than those that were submitted to the Observer.

As a teaser, here's their stated reasons for running, but be sure to go to The Enquirer-Journal to check out the whole thing.

Brett Diller
“I’m running for the reason of being involved in the community. My wife and I are both involved citizens. We live in the historic district and we’ve seen a lot of changes over the years — some good, some bad. We have two children we’re raising, and we want to see the town quality of life is sustained.”
Erin Kirkpatrick
“I love Waxhaw. That’s the easiest reason to tell you. A lot of it has to do with growth and making sure we have the right plan in place. I’m also from the school of thought that people should be giving back to their community.”
Joyce Blythe
“I’ve enjoyed my first four years, and I’d like to continue to run to continue on with things we’re doing like small town Mainstreet U.S.A. program that is a two-year program that promises to be pretty exciting. I’m interested in the downtown historic district. I would like to see it promoted more.”
Max Walker
“To serve the town.”

Historic Ventures project shot down by commissioners

I'm a little late to the game on this one, but worth posting anyways.

The town commissioners nixed the proposed Historic Ventures redevelopment. Per The Enquirer-Journal:
Town commissioners voted 4-1, with Commissioner Max Walker in opposition, to deny a zoning change for a lot in historic downtown. Without the zoning change, the request for a conditional use permit, for that same lot was invalidated.

The development by Historic Ventures LLC, would have included a three-story apartment complex with up to 94 units, a hotel, a mixed-use building, a day care and a civic center.

“I don’t feel like it is reasonable or consistent with the area,” said Commissioner Martin Lane.

It is not the first time that the town’s board has fended off large developments in the historic downtown. In 2006, the town entered into an exhaustive series of hearings before rejecting efforts to add a Walmart Supercenter to the area.
I'm not exactly sure what's so "historic" about that section of town, but what do I know? I'm still upset I need to drive 20min to Walmart.

One interesting thing to note: Kay Carnes is still around. She was quoted once again by The Enquirer-Journal regarding this issue.
Kay Carnes said she was proud of the preparation that Waxhaw residents showed leading up to the meeting.

“And I’m proud of the members of the board who had the courage to say no to this,” she said.
I'd argue there was nothing particularly courageous about their decision.

Meet the town commissioner candidates via the Observer

Or at least the ones that responded.

The Charlotte Observer queried Union County candidates in the upcoming elections. And three of the five Waxhaw town commissioner candidates submitted a response.

For those of you interested (and the fewer still who learn something of value about the candidates through these questionnaires), here's a link to the main search, to read up on what Brett Diller, Joyce Blythe, & Ken Collins had to say.

Unfortunately, the Observer set up the page in the most user-unfriendly way possible making direct links to each submission difficult if not impossible. And you wonder why the newspaper business is struggling?

Referendum fight brewing

I came home Sunday after a nice weekend at Camp Hawk Valley & noticed the following sign outside my neighborhood.

anti referendum sign

Two questions:

1) What kind of monster would put up such an offensive sign?

2) Anyone know who's responsible for this campaign? Nothing on the sign identified the group responsible.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Coming to blows at the new fire station?

Per the The Enquirer-Journal, there was a healthy debate on the new Historic Ventures venture.
WAXHAW — A proposed apartment complex in the downtown Waxhaw historic district has residents mobilized and divided. A public hearing Tuesday prompted 25 individuals to sign up to speak against the approval of a conditional-use permit for the complex, while seven signed up to speak for it. They will all have to wait until next week to do so.
VillageScribeOnline has this to say about it via Twitter:
Fist Fight at WAXHAW Town Council Meeting. In typical chaotic fashion,the Re-Zone-CUP hearing for Historic Ventures project went a bit crazy
Kay Carnes feels strongly about the situation as she's quoted both in The Enquirer-Journal article
“How is all that traffic going to get in and out?” resident Kay Carnes asked. “Where is the water and sewer coming from for 180-plus occupants? We’re not trying to be ugly, but we do want to preserve the historic nature of the town.”
and also days before the meeting in a letter to the The Enquirer-Journal. A snippet:
Ninety plus apartments are not needed nor appropriate! Where will the water and sewer for a possible 180 plus people and traffic control for 180 plus cars come from? Does the proposed federal lending tell our town officials who can and cannot rent the ninety plus apartments?

It is my speculation that the apartments the developer says he needs to build to have enough money to replace the run down buildings will be the only buildings that will ever be built!!

Does Waxhaw really need ninety plus apartments? High-end apartments for professional people we are told. Why not build town houses or condo’s if they are such high-ended persons. Owning one’s dwelling would not only increase taxes but insure that they are well-kept as well. I am a teacher by profession.
For those unaware, the Historic Ventures project is the one that plans to redevelop land along Broome Street & Church Street. Or in these highlighted areas.
For more information on this project from the Historic Ventures perspective, visit their site.

As for my opinion, I don't necessarily see the downsides to the redevelopment. That part of town could benefit considering it looks more like an eyesore than not. I don't see the immediate downside of having an apartment complex included, which appears to be creating most of the conflict. Of course, I was upset the Walmart project was run out of town a couple years back, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

And the lengthy Board of Commissioners meeting that opened the post? It's not over. Per a Town of Waxhaw Facebook update, it is scheduled to reconvene at the Museum of the Waxhaws on October 20th, 2009 at 6:30pm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Local kidnapping attempt

WCNC is reporting an attempted kidnapping near Newtown & Crane Road, in between Marvin & Waxhaw.

WAXHAW, N.C. -- A six year-old boy was nearly abducted Sunday afternoon as he walked near his home, according to the child's father.

Lt. Cody Luke confirmed the Union County Sheriff's Office was investigating the 1:45 p.m. incident in The Reserve subdivision near New Town and Crane Roads.

The boy and his eight year-old brother were returning from a friend's home, just a few hundred feet from their own residence, when a silver, four-door sedan pulled along side the children, their father told NewsChannel 36.

A woman extended her arms from a back, passenger-side window and reached for the younger boy, said the father, who asked not to be identified because he feared for his children's safety.

The video of the news segment is available at the link as well.

Very strange story, but a useful illustration of why neighborhoods need to be vigilant in protecting their kids.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How was your Autumn Treasures Festival?

We had a good day today, although we didn't get around to doing (and eating) everything we wanted. Off the top of my head, we forgot to visit the sand art booth & I neglected to get a BBQ sandwich, but the funnel cake was especially filling this year.

And while I forgot to go back & buy some of that Sweet Carolina Honey, we did get a couple of balloons in the shape of a parrot & a sword after waiting for what seemed to me an eternity. And in case you were wondering, yes, I was stabbed by that balloon sword far too many times on the walk back home.

How was your Autumn Treasures Festival?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Waxhaw's sample ballot

I grabbed a sample ballot from the Union County Board of Elections site & figured I'd make it available here.

There will be two referendum-related questions:

* To permit the "on-premises" and"off-premises" sale of malt beverages.

* To permit the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theatres, and convention centers.

If you consider me influential in any way, vote "for" on both of these.

A couple questions, one more serious than the others:

1) How is your average citizen to ascertain a difference between those running for town commissioner? None of those names mean a thing to me. Unless you're friendly with one of the candidates, I don't know how the average person could even decide who to vote for. I think I'll abstain.

2) Who's responsible for choosing to spell it as "theatre"? This link suggests that it's a snobbier way of spelling "theater" which jives with my thoughts on the matter. In which case, this is to be expected because we're a snobby wine town at this time. Maybe the spelling of this word will change in official government documents if the referendum passes.

3) Hotels? Convention centers? Someone has big plans for Waxhaw.

Cub Scouts annual popcorn sale underway

Just wanted to drop a quick note that the Cub Scouts annual popcorn sale is underway. They were selling Trail's End popcorn way back when I was in the Cub Scouts & they're still selling it today. A model of consistency.

If you haven't already been hit up by your neighbors and would like to support local Cub Scout Pack 53 "The Action Pack", you may see their table at the Autumn Treasures Festival this weekend. Failing that, you can also purchase popcorn online nowadays at the following URL:

(For the record, any sales made through this link will be credited to my son.)

Are you ready to get your vote on?

Elections are coming up on November 3rd and the important mixed beverages referendum will be on the ballot. At this time, for me at least, everything else on the ballot is inconsequential.

I clearly want the referendum to pass; I would love to have a pub within walking distance. It's always bothered me a little lot that wine is available, but beer is not. I'd love to hear the backstory on how that came to be.

For those currently not registered to vote, it's time to get cracking. To be able to participate in the election in Waxhaw (ie. for me, this means voting at the new volunteer fire station on 3500 Waxhaw Parkway), you need to have your signed voter registration postmarked by October 9th.

Also, it can be faxed in to the Union County Board of Elections as late as the 9th, but you would need to ensure that the signed copy arrives by October 14th.

If you're unable to meet these deadlines, I believe your only remaining option would be to participate in one-stop voting (registration & voting at the same time) that takes place in the Griffin Room of the Union County library in Monroe. It runs nearly all day for the latter half of October, so if you frequent Monroe, perhaps that would be most convenient for you.

Go here to get your voter registration form.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Beyond Waxhaw: Bob Mayberry upset

We've occasionally had some service work done at Bob Mayberry Hyundai (formerly Chrysler Dodge Jeep) over on Hwy 74. He has released a Youtube video discussing some of the details behind Chrysler's decision to dump Bob Mayberry.

Given some of the statistics cited by Bob MayberryJr., they have reason to be upset. Plus the lack of transparency on how some dealers were retained & others dropped makes the whole thing more maddening, I'm sure.

I will say that they are now affiliated a much more desirable brand. I personally am much more likely to buy a Hyundai than to consider Chrysler or GM at this point.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waxhaw rapist gets 61 years

Floyd Barns was convicted for a Hickory rape & sentenced to 61 years. He has confessed to a 2005 Waxhaw rape, but has yet to be convicted of this crime.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hard Times in Mineral Springs

Crime is up 500% in Mineral Springs. 17 burglaries & 5 business robberies. Video also available at the link.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bridge & Rail closing or already closed?

I heard from the missus who heard from her friend (those details have been provided to help you determine how much stock you want to put into this rumor) that the Bridge & Rail is closing or has already closed. I'll be driving by tomorrow on my way to a game, so I'll try to remember to look. (UPDATE 9/28: I forgot to look & I've been by there 2 or 3 times since the original post. Luckily for me, the missus did confirm there's a sign on the door saying it's closed for renovation & will re-open under new ownership.)

Other details provided by those vicious rumormongers were that the new owners were going to petition for it to be turned into a bar.

My first thought: hooray a bar I can walk to!

My second thought: is this possible even if the Southsiders-sponsored referendum passes? In other words, does the ability to serve beer & mixed drinks alone allow for the opening of a bar? Or are there additional hoops to jump through even if referendum passes? I don't know enough about it to say either way.

I know The County Edge (now defunct?) once had an article detailing the kinds of businesses that were & weren't allowed to open up downtown. But I highly doubt bars were included on the undesirables list like gun dealers were because at that time, there was no chance they could open for business at that time. (We wouldn't want gun dealers rubbing elbows with bead barons, now would we?)

On a lighter note, I'd never eaten at the Bridge & Rail although we heard from a couple people who weren't real high on it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Toodle-oo Naked Runner?

Per John Tiley of, he suggests we've seen the last of the naked runner until the heat dies down.
I’m sorry to tell you, that at least for now as I understand it, sources tell me she will not be practicing her art form in public. Too much publicity I would guess…
Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Which for me is about 24 hrs as I just heard about it.

I must say that performance art would be a nice euphemism for "marketing gimmick," as goes my jaded theory. Seriously, how many people out there think Waxhaw can support two bead stores?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Everything's on Facebook now

Who knew that the Waxhaw Research Park has its own Facebook page?

And then there's this one too? I don't know what they did to Josh, but it's going to take a whole helluva lot to keep me away from those philly cheesesteaks.

Our very own naked runner

The local Fox affiliate has a news report including video about a mysterious, possibly shape-shifting, naked runner that apparently pops up from time to time between midnight to 2.30am.

The "sightings" started about two months ago always between midnight and 2:30 am. The stories are running rampant: "I heard it was an old guy wearing beads." "A guy with a pony tail." "She had on a coat and was running buck naked!" “With only her tennis shoes and some beads!" [my emphasis]

The details of the naked runner change depend on who you talk to and now, there's even talk that the naked runner isn't even human.

I find the fact the naked runner has been spotted with beads somewhat interesting, since Waxhaw appears to be at the epicenter of North Carolina's burgeoning bead industry. Who would've thunk a second bead store would open up shop downtown? The question is will it survive or disappear like many of the other businesses in town.

(On a side note, I recall The County Edge, apparently defunct, had an interesting article long ago about detailing the types of rules for a business to open in downtown proper & what I considered exorbitant costs in just applying to open a business in downtown Waxhaw. Sadly, that article is no longer available.)

Dare I suggest this is some cockamamie scheme by the soon-to-open second bead store to rekindle interest in beads so that Waxhaw can support two bead stores? If I were in their shoes, I'd pull out all the stops

Exit question: Does the fact that I've heard nothing of this naked runner for two months destroy or just devalue my credibility as a Waxhaw blogger? I'd probably hear a lot more if a bar were to open. Not all of us drink coffee you know.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Waxhaw Research Park?

Apparently our mayor is working hard to get a research center in town.

The Charlotte Business Journal had an article on this last Friday. A few of the available snippets:

Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner is on a mission to bring a research park to her town.

... How about a 1,800-acre energy research park tucked in what is now a rural corner of Union County that would represent a $3 billion investment? The “energy hub” concept is already being pushed by economic developers and Duke Energy Corp. ...

Gardner has simply married the two and cranked up a scenario she says could bring 12,000 jobs to mostly suburban Waxhaw. She believes in the idea so much she has sought the advice of science-park experts, has been lobbying for a meeting with Gov. Bev Perdue and made presentations about the Waxhaw Area Research Park 70 times in the last six months. (my emphasis)

Maybe this is why she never showed up at the Waxhaw Athletic Association (WAA) Spring baseball opening day ceremonies on April 4th as expected?

Seventy presentations in six months is quite extraordinary; that works out to be one presentation on the research park every 2.6 days! I hope by now she's memorized her pitch verbatim.

This undated proposal appears to describe the following location.

The subject property is an area of land west of Waxhaw-Marvin road that has, until recently been under development by GS Carolina under the name of Millbridge containing roughly 1,200 acres. In South Carolina, the same developer has an adjoining project named Edenmoor that stretches to SC 521. The SC parcel is believed to be around 2,100 acres. The site is accessed by Waxhaw-Marvin Road on the east, Kensington Road on the north, NC 75 on the South and SC 521 on the west.
That seem about right?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

5 'For Sale' signs in Heathwood

I was driving by Heathwood on my way home from work the other day & counted 5 different 'For Sale' signs. It's the most I ever noticed at one time.

My first thought was that the whole neighborhood was for sale, but I realized I've never been back there.

Checking Google Maps reveals that subdivision is bigger than I realized.

Not sure if this is worthy of a blog post of not, but until another Waxhaw dentist is busted growing pot or we have another drive-by, this is all I got.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Creeping government

An article in The Enquirer-Journal a couple weeks ago details what I consider creeping government.

Are signs in Waxhaw such an issue that it requires the government to craft specific rules as to what is & is not allowed, custom applied to the different parts of Waxhaw?

I guess so.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What does Waxhaw have to hide?

Apparently, Waxhaw isn't all that transparent.

It's enough to make one think Waxhaw's powerful wheelers & dealers are hiding something. Seriously, we can do better than a 'D', no?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Considering mayoral post

I'm trying to find some reason to post something about our mayor's relatively recent problems in South Carolina without it coming off as pure schadenfreude. I need a good segue into it.

I obviously didn't wait for on in the dentist's case, but dentists are not my favorite people. They're always blaming the bloodbath in my mouth that accompanies my biannual checkups on my lack of flossing. Seriously, who flosses daily?

Don't mess with our dentists!

I know this is a little dated, but it's stories like this that are so fun to talk about.

MARSHVILLE, N.C. – A Union County dentist faces a number of charges after deputies say they discovered dozens of marijuana plants growing on his property.

Andrew Jackson Branch is charged with seven counts, including trafficking marijuana. Investigators say he had 23-ounces of packaged pot inside three vehicles and in his home on Riggins Road in Marshville.

The street value of the drugs is estimated to be more than $134,000. Deputies say they also found three pistols, 11 rifles, two shotguns and about $700.

Branch has a dental practice on North Broom Street in Waxhaw, N.C.

The above link has News 14's video as well if you're interested in actually viewing their coverage.

The Charlotte Observer's story is here for what it's worth.

While the story is interesting, the most fascinating part to me is the amount of fire power he's packing. Is marijuana dealing(?) in Marshville such a dangerous game that it was necessary to have this many guns or is he just avid sportsman/NRA member?

I really do miss The County Edge when stories like this come around.

Friday, July 31, 2009

News Sentinel on Andrew Jackson's birth

The Knoxville News Sentinel has a recent and good (as far as I can tell as a carpetbagger) overview of the Andrew Jackson birth brouhaha between North Carolina (Waxhaw) & South Carolina (Lancaster).


It's not even debatable; any reasonable person will conclude he was born in Waxhaw.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Any word on The County Edge?

Anyone hear any word as to what's happening to The County Edge?

The website has the same message every time I check: "Due to a restructuring of our organization, The County Edge has temporarily suspended publication. A formal announcement about our future plans will be forthcoming. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience."

I tried emailing Ritchie, but the old email address is no longer valid. I renewed back in December for 2 years. While I'm not concerned about the money, I'm just wondering if I should write the paper off or expect it to return. Unlike the Charlotte Observer, I actually enjoy subscribing to The County Edge.

Anyone heard anything?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Liquor & Beer on the ballot in November

This is probably old news for most, but I spoke with the proprietor of Southsiders recently & he informed me the beer & malt are going to be on the ballot in November, which is good news all around.

If it passes, the rest of us will be able to enjoy a drink at dinner. The first step in Waxhaw shedding its snooty wine town persona.