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.