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.