Thursday, December 23, 2010

Skateboard park closed

Per a post on the town's Facebook page:
The Skateboard park located behind David G. Barnes Park will remain closed due to maintenance issues from vandalism and property damage until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience to those not responsible for the damage.
And Mayor Pro Tem Martin Lane was kind enough to provide some descriptions of the reasons behind this decision in a couple Facebook comments:
FYI. Used condoms in the park and bathrooms. Vulgar pictures of vulgar activities written with permanent marker on the signs at the park and in the bathrooms. I have seen the pictures. They are not good. I can assure you, as a parent and a Commissioner, that Waxhaw loves children. What we do not like is vandalism and disrespect. Parents need to monitor thier children, not Town Staff. Also, we have had meetings with volunteers who agreed to keep an eye on things. It worked great for a couple weeks, then it (again) became the responsibility of staff.

Also, our Maintenance Supervisor sat on the toilet to repair the valve where it had been kicked in and ended up with hydrochloric acid on his pants. Some one had poured acid on the seat. I do agree that it is the few bad apples spoiling the bunch, but we do not have the manpower or the resources available to babysit children.
Hydrochloric acid on the toilet seat at a children's park? Who does something like that?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas lights

We finally finished our Christmas cards this year and they're going out today, so that's done.

I'm toying with loading the family into the car and driving around to look at some light displays. Are there any recommended neighborhoods in or around Waxhaw worth checking out? I don't want to travel too far.

UPDATE 12/22: Based on caputis' recommendation, I loaded up the kids and headed over to Royal Colony Drive this evening hoping to find some displays that put mine to shame.

And while the lights in the entire neighborhood are quite nice, the five or so houses competing on Royal Colony Drive take it to another level. In the words of my kids, "those houses are outstanding!"

We're planning to head back tomorrow so mom can see them as well. (Bumped)

Broome Street to be closed for Fiestas

No word on if there will be any changes re: siestas.

Per the Union County Weekly (here), which has just been a treasure trove of Waxhaw-related tidbits this week, the town will be closing off Broome Street from Hwy 75 to Caldwell Street to accommodate the Fiesta Band starting in 2011.

This was suggested way back in May by yours truly; here's the related snippet:
[One side note on the Fiesta Band: I'm not sure how appreciated they will be by nearby businesses on First Friday evenings, particularly the Waxhaw Antique Mart. I suspect there will be a significant-enough group of potential patrons that will not be interested in running the Fiesta Band gauntlet to examine the Antique Mart's wares. Maybe the town can begin blocking off the southern side of Broome Street on First Friday evening to accommodate the ever-growing Fiesta Band, which would give them plenty of room to perform the Thriller dance. That is...if they think they can manage it. (yes, consider that a shot across their bow)]
There are a few things we can take away from this turn of events:

1) I have slightly more commonsense that you once thought. Maybe.

2) The Fiesta Band undeniably ignored my Thriller challenge.

3) Someone in the town's power structure stumbled across the aforementioned suggestion, most likely when trying to dig up a rare photo of a town blogger that lied within.

I don't see any other explanations for #3.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Challenger declares for mayoral race

Per the Union County Weekly, Waxhaw Arts Council president Lisa Thornton (who's also co-chair on my favorite alphabet committee, the Small Town Main Street Promotions Committee (STMSPC) is going to challenge Mayor Daune Gardner, assuming Mayor Gardner plans to run again.

Per the Brian Carlton article:
A month after the election, a second candidate has declared for the 2011 election. Waxhaw resident Lisa Thornton announced her candidacy to Union County Weekly Tuesday, Dec. 14, declaring for the town’s mayoral position. The seat, held by current mayor Mayor Daune Gardner, will be up for grabs next November.

“We need someone to bring the (town council) together,” Thornton said. “Our board is divided, it’s time for a change, a fresh outlook.”

That outlook is necessary, Thornton said, because of what she sees as the current board’s constant delaying on some projects and failure to address some of the town’s issues. While a mayor has no voting power, he or she should be able to keep the board on track, Thornton said.
Read the whole thing.

Lisa Thornton is very active in Waxhaw if her participation on the Waxhaw Arts Council and STMSPC didn't make that clear. She also was a vocal critic of the existence of synthetic marijuana in Waxhaw if my memory serves.

It will be very interesting which of these two candidates secures the ever valuable town blogger endorsement and to what lengths they'll go to achieve it. Hand-delivered freshly baked chocolate chip cookies?

Commissioner Haug resigns

Union County Weekly has the story on the resignation of Waxhaw commissioner Brian Haug. A snippet of the article:
Tired of juggling work, a family and his duties as commissioner, Brian Haug resigned Tuesday, Dec. 14, from his job on the Waxhaw board. Haug, a merchandise planning manager for Family Dollar, husband and father of two, said things had changed dramatically from when he took the job in 2007.

“Four years ago when I considered running, I figured doing this job would be (easy) and then I realized I had underestimated it,” Haug said. “Since then, things have changed. Our meetings go longer, the amount of time and energy it takes to prepare have grown.”
No word yet on how the town plans to fill his spot. The article discusses possible courses of action:
North Carolina state statutes give towns multiple options in such an incident. In recent years, both Indian Trail and Marvin have dealt with resignations from the board. In each case, the town council chose to appoint someone, to serve until the next election. If Waxhaw chooses not to go that route, they could hold a special election, to install a replacement or simply leave the seat empty.

Vote Waxhaw in Reader's Digest poll

Reader's Digest is running a "We Hear You America" cheering contest where you can vote/cheer for your town to try to win a share of $5 million they're giving away. I sure hope they consider overall town population when determining rankings or most of the money will end up in large population centers. For example, at the time of this post, we had a slim lead over San Francisco. Something tells me that's not going to hold up.

For some reason, it appears the mayor (or whoever posted the blurb) wants the money for public art. Here's the blurb from the contest page.
Downtown Public Art
Daune Gardner, December 20, 2010 Downtown Waxhaw

Waxhaw is a wonderful small historic town in the rural south with a circa 1880s historic downtown commercial center. The railroad bisects the downtown area flanked on both sides by grass - referred to in Waxhaw as "the green". This area is an ideal place for the display of public art - an effort undertaken by the town's beautification committee. However, as with many public art projects, this effort is not robustly funded. Any contribution from Reader's Digest towards public art in Waxhaw would be a welcome gift and would be warmly received by the people of this lovely town!
I, on the other hand, feel that any money earned through this endeavor could be put to equally good use as a stipend for a part-time local blogger.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Waxhaw Gazette of the year?

Like clockwork, John released a new issue of the Waxhaw Gazette on Friday. Per his publishing schedule, this appears like it'll be his last issue before the new year. So soak in all the Waxhaw 2010-related news before it's too late.

He's got a recent update on the change of ownership at the Main Street Grill. Apparently the new grand opening will be within a week, per his update. Visit his page to see all the details.

He's got a holiday slide show available here; give it some time to download as I think it was 10-15 MB. It includes pictures of light-up night and the parade.

For past ruminations on Christmas in Waxhaw, go here.

He also reminds me that my family missed out on our last chance to partake of the carriage rides in town. Even worse in my mind, we also missed Saturday's historical walkabout with Joyce Blythe and Melvin Faris.

Perhaps of note, I was delivering Christmas cookies to a neighbor today who just so happened to enjoy a carriage ride. They passed along talk of potentially making carriage rides available during nicer weather. No idea if this is seriously being considered by the powers that be, but I'm sure it'd be a hit in our little hamlet.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Parade Postmortem

As someone who participated in the parade and was closer to the end than the beginning, it's hard to know how it went. It's a little strange looking at all the pictures of floats and participants I didn't get a chance to see.

But in the words of Tom Petty, the waiting was the hardest part. Our pack was supposed to be in place at 2.15pm, but given our place in the parade and the preceding rain, I made the command decision to arrive at a fashionably late 2.45pm. And we still waited for an additional 45 minutes before we actually began the parade.

I helped the scouts hand out candy canes and we almost got rid of them all. Had it been a little warmer, I'm sure we would've had no problem offloading them all. If anyone got a good shot of me handing a candy cane out to a smiling child, send it my way so I can use it on this blog. A shot like that would be gold.

But to conclude this somewhat rambling post, despite participating in the parade, in a small way it feels like we missed it. I hope the scouts and other young participants were able to take it all in despite not being able to take it all in. After wandering around in the cold, we stopped at the Explorer's bake sale stand to grab a six-pack of cupcakes before heading home to our warm house.

Broome Street Blues visit to Stack's Kitchen

We headed over to Stack's Kitchen about 9.30am on Saturday. We hadn't visited since it opened up. The place was full and pretty much stayed that way during our meal. We waited about 20 minutes for a table to open up while I perused a complimentary copy of the Union County Weekly.

While waiting, I tried to see what kind of interior decoration changes were made. A lot of the design looked newer, but all my trained eye could really detect was far fewer dog decorations. Take that for what it's worth.

We eventually got seated and I noticed two things: 1) there are a lot more breakfast choices than what Big Dog's offered and 2) the prices seem higher than Big Dog's. I could be mistaken though because I always felt Big Dog's was a little steep as well for what you got.

The kids got chocolate chip pancakes which were a hit and my wife got Eggs Benedict, which apparently wasn't on Big Dog's menu and described to me as "very good." I got the Big Daddy Skillet; an alternate name could have been "Eggs, hash browns, cheese, bacon, ham, and sausage," but I guess Big Daddy Skillet has got a little more zing to it. It was good and could've been a significant breakfast at half the size. In fact, a half size offering at half the price (the world needs dreamers, right?) would be ideal for those looking to save a few bucks.

Also of note, my wife mentioned more than once the quality of the staff and how it compared favorably to that of Big Dog's. Stack's provided a good meal for a little more than I was hoping to spend. I'm sure we'll be back, but it won't keep me from Di Dee's in Indian Land (especially with the Di Dee's coupons we have, which I hope to discuss in an upcoming post).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Anti-Semitic vandalism in Waxhaw

On Saturday December 4th, anti-Semitic vandalism was discovered at the Waxhaw Farmer's Market. It's been nearly two weeks and as far as I can tell, this hasn't been reported anywhere.

I'm not exactly sure why it hasn't been reported since I reckon this isn't a normal occurrence in our town. I can understand how this might seem like a blight on Waxhaw, but it'd be more of a blight for something like this to occur and essentially be ignored in my opinion. That's part of the reason I decided to bring it to light.

I received an email a few days ago from someone asking if I had heard about this happening. It was news to me, so I dug around a little bit and found out a little more about the incident. Here's some of what I have heard:

On the morning of the 4th, anti-Semitic vandalism was discovered by representatives of the Waxhaw Farmer's Market. A swastika and the words 'DIE JEWZ' were spray-painted on one of the vendor's tables.

A report appears to have been prepared by the Waxhaw police department since I was able to find a entry on CrimeReports dated 12/4/10 at 6.00am. It's my understanding that all crimes detailed on come directly from the Waxhaw police department.

Waxhaw Vandalism report - Dec 2010

I am told that the some suspects have been identified and that they local teenagers. No word on if the the suspected perpetrators have been charged with any crimes at this point. I sent an email to the Waxhaw Police to find out more information about the crime on Thursday afternoon, but have yet to hear back. If I hear anything, I'll update at that time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Belated November Crime Report

Very belated this time around, but I've been busy with work and stuff if you couldn't tell from the limited number of posts recently.

Christmas preparations are making a modest dent in my free time as well. Gifts don't wrap themselves (but if they did, they'd probably do it better and quicker than me). Taking and choosing a good family photo to send out in the cards this year was no walk in the park either.

And I remembered late in the game that I still needed to write the Christmas letter detailing the events of the year for friends and family; it's still a work in progress. It usually begins with this simple question to my wife: "What did we do this year?"

Without further ado, here's the crime report for our fair town. As usual, more detail is available at the CrimeReports site for those information junkies out there.

Waxhaw CrimeReports November 2010

Parkwood teacher arrested

Technically speaking, she was no longer a teacher at the time of her arrest as she apparently resigned Wednesday. But let's not split hairs here.

Melissa Bitz

Per Tiffany Jothen of the Enquirer-Journal:
A Parkwood High School teacher was arrested just before 11 p.m. at her home Tuesday and charged with sexual activity with a student.

Melissa Janet Bitz, 27, of 3100 Fairington Drive, Indian Trail, was a Spanish teacher at the school, where she has worked since Sept. 23.

“She’s no longer an employee with the school system,” Union County Public Schools spokeswoman Luan Ingram said.


A student reported to school administration Friday “possible inappropriate activity between a teacher ... and a student,” Ingram said. “We immediately called law enforcement.”
On the off-chance you cannot follow this link (Note: this non-subscriber can access it with my free E-J account) to the E-J article, WSOC and WBTV have small articles on the story as well.

On a side note, while doing my research for this post, I discovered there's an entire website devoted to teachers who violate the student-teacher relationship - Who knew that was out there? For what it's worth, Melissa Bitz's page is already up.

Waxhaw Exchange on naughty list

I didn't receive my copy of the Waxhaw Exchange once again last week, but this is nothing new. Since my work schedule precludes me from picking up a copy until late in the week, I imagine I will be unable to score a copy of last week's issue.

I called my wife today in the hopes she'd try to stop by the library and pick up a copy, but the last time she did this, she turned up empty so it's not looking positive for me right now.

This wouldn't be an issue if the online edition was still available, but to have access to it, you must subscribe to the Enquirer-Journal now.

Thanks to loyal readers like Kelly, I've compiled the following list of places where the Waxhaw Exchange can be picked up by those who've been shafted. Prepare to be awed:
Main Street Grill
Waxhaw Library
If you know of any other places where the Exchange can be obtained, please let me know so I can update my list accordingly.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Main Street Grill changing hands

A sign was up advertising that breakfast was coming back to the Main Street Grill. Underneath it said something like:
Same food, same cook, new owners
It also gave a date and if I'm not mistaken, I think it was January 3rd. But I could be wrong as we were heading back from the parade and our hands were too cold from handing out candy canes to worry about such things.

No word if they plan to re-add dinner hours or not, a minor pet peeve of mine. Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Busy times in Waxhaw

I've been bogged down with work (at the office and at home), but there's plenty going on in Waxhaw assuming you can squeeze it into your otherwise busy schedule of entertaining family and baking Christmas cookies.

An art show on Saturday and the parade on Sunday. After the parade, I hear Waxhaw UMC is having a coat drive from 4-6pm if you've got any extra coats to contribute.

Waxhaw UMC is doing a live nativity display this year as well. From the town's Facebook page:
The Nativity Story will be presented in front of the Waxhaw United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (200 McDonald Street) on December 10, 11, 17, 18 ~ Friday and Saturday nights. Each night, the story of Jesus’ birth will be presented 4 times beginning at 6:30 and allowing a few minutes after each presentation to pet the live nativity animals. The last presentation will begin at 8:00 pm. The appropriate Christmas carols will be sung during the telling of the story, and we encourage everyone to join in the singing of some of our most favorite Christmas songs! Please join us for the outdoor fun and a cup of hot chocolate!
Joyce Blythe is doing another walking tour on the December 18th at 7pm for those interested. I'm going to try to make this one; my fingers are crossed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Waxhaw Gazette takes on light-up night

There's a new Waxhaw Gazette out for those interested.

Topics include the light-up night festivities. John apparently was close to the MC and the Waxhaw Baptist choir, instead of those near Church Street or those of us who spent our time running from business to business to score a Matchbox car. It's obvious that John's priorities are slightly askew from mine, but I guess that's a good thing for those rare birds who visit our Waxhaw-related sites.

In other news, he's got a bit more on the changes at the Big Dog, including a little history lesson on the Big Dog itself. It's definitely worth checking out for those interested. Recently I've preferred going out to breakfast at Di Dee's in Indian Land, so perhaps Stack's Kitchen will be able to change that.

John also links to a WBTV article/clip with update on Crystal Jordan's condition which is worth checking out .

In his editorial comments, he appears to be blaming big banks for the DOS attacks on Wikileaks. I don't quite understand the logic behind this, but it's there for what it's worth. I for one would consider big banks far more competent than the federal goverment and thus less likely to initiate a delayed toothless DOS attack on Wikileaks, which in my eyes appears to serve no other purpose than damaging American interests in the world.

Kennedy v. Britton

Tonight I stumbled across this Facebook battle royale between Britton of soon-to-be-illegal synthetic marijuana fame and Mark Kennedy of Southsiders fame.

Go here to read the very public back and forth between one legal dealer of mind-altering substances and another (currently) legal dealer of mind-altering substances. Fascinating stuff in my opinion, especially considering that one (if not both) apparently cannot resist the urge to hold their tongues.

I myself saved a screenshot for posterity's sake, although there's no telling if it's over yet. Who knew life in Waxhaw could be so darn interesting?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The party's over for synth marijuana users

And right before Christmas no less. At least those last minute Christmas shoppers hoping to purchase synthetic marijuana before Christmas can do so. It may warrant a stocking full of coal from Santa, but of course, that is between them and Santa.

The federal government, via the DEA and per this Union County Weekly article, has stepped in to put a halt to synthetic marijuana sales. I mentioned this earlier when commenting on the Enquirer-Journal three-part article on the, ahem, epidemic that has reached Waxhaw.

I predicted that the state government would relatively quickly put a halt to this society-destroying (tongue firmly in cheek) epidemic, but little did I suspect the federal government would beat them to the punch.

So rest assured that Waxhaw has been least for the time being.

Monday, November 29, 2010

No Waxhaw Exchange again?!

Once again, I did not receive my copy of the Waxhaw Exchange. I find it baffling that access to a free paper has become so difficult. You would think the more eyes that read it the better for them.

I know the Main Street Grill had copies at one point, but I rarely can get there before it closes up shop since their hours changed.

Does anyone know where else a copy can be picked up in Waxhaw?

Big Dog to become Stack's Kitchen

I'm probably late to the game on this one as I noticed it days ago. But by my decree, the Big Dog Cafe will henceforth be known as Stack's Kitchen.

Well, not by my decree, per se, but per the sign overtop the restaurant as it undergoes renovations. The subtitle on the sign is: "Good food ... and lots of it" or something to that effect.

Anyone know if ownership has changed or if the Big Dog is just overhauling?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Waxhaw's light-up night

My oldest began recovering just soon enough so we could walk over to the Holiday Festival of Lights (ie. Waxhaw's light-up night) this evening. A decent crowd was present that seemed larger than last year's crowd, although I wasn't around last year since dinner beckoned. Mayor Gardner couldn't attend this year for reasons unknown. Parishioners from Waxhaw Baptist sang carols, but unfortunately it couldn't really be heard by those of us near Church Street, but we got to hear them (or other groups of carolers) as they walked through town singing carols.

Like last year, the kids scored a lollipop and some glow sticks while we waited, but their impatience was only slightly abated. We therefore decided to participate in the treasure hunt of twelve local businesses while we waited for the lights to be lit. Stopping in places such as the Bike Depot, Waxhaw Art & Chocolate, and Fuzion Hair Design to spy one of the gifts of the Twelve Days of Christmas kept the boys engaged.

Only after coming out of Southsiders did we discover that we missed the official light-up, but we were on an important mission at that point. At the end, they traded in their card for a Matchbox car as their treasure after completing their taskbefore we headed home. The rain held off just enough although we walked home in a drizzle.

All in all, a fun hour and a half. It would've been much longer had we joined the line for the free carriage rides, but perhaps another day.

Observer absent on Thanksgiving

The Charlotte Observer failed us this Thanksgiving. We're weekend subscribers and have always received a Thanksgiving Day paper, but not this year.

My wife is one of those crazy Black Friday shoppers who stays out all night, so we ended up going out and buying a newspaper from Food Lion just so she could know more about the Black Friday sales.

I called customer service to get a replacement paper, but it never arrived for what it's worth. I'm not sure if this is just a delivery error or a policy change in that weekend subscribers no longer receive this paper. I wouldn't be surprised with either explanation.

The only reason we still maintain the subscription is for the Sunday coupons. If there was someway to get Smartsource or Red Plum to mail us those coupons, there's be no need to even bother with a subscription in my opinion. It's a rare occasion when I read one of the articles.

UPDATE: For what it's worth, they did ultimately deliver a copy of our Thanksgiving paper with Friday's. It was too late, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone in Waxhaw had a nice Thanksgiving. My family had a good day except for my oldest, like clockwork, becoming sick Wednesday and spending the day miserably on the couch. Sick last year on Halloween and the year prior on Easter. Following this pattern to its brutal conclusion, he apparently will be sick next year for Christmas.

We saved some of the Thanksgiving feast for him so hopefully tomorrow he'll be able to reheat and enjoy.

While the turkey was cooking, we got most (likely all) of the Christmas lights up and plan to get the tree and rest of the inside decorations up tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In other belated news...

...the most recent Waxhaw Gazette was released to little fanfare here at Broome Street Blues. Mainly because I hadn't realized two weeks had already passed.

I think this detail puts the kibosh on my on-again off-again thoughts of critiquing elements of his post-election/economy article from the prior issue, which apparently is only available in the archive (PDF) now.

But I will quote and concur with the following from his 'Around Town' column.
By all accounts things here in Waxhaw have been a bit on the quiet side this last few weeks.

Direct a $5 donation to Waxhaw Elementary

If you make Bing your home page (temporarily if you want), you can get a $5.00 donation code to use at to benefit schools. Click on the orange “Help Now” to get started.

I searched the archives and there is a project to get a Flip camera for Mrs. M at Waxhaw Elementary. I just got done donating $5 to this project and it only took a couple minutes of my time, so if you've got a few minutes, it'd be nice if more of this money can be directed to a local school.

Alternatively, there are tons of other projects around the country you can contribute to if you'd rather assist one of them, all compliments of Bing. They're trying to donate $2 million in total by mid-January, so if you've got a couple minutes, take a few moments and earn a small slice of this money for Waxhaw Elementary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Third suspect in DMV shooting arrested

A third suspect has been arrested in the Monroe DMV shooting. Per WSOC:
MONROE, N.C. -- Monroe police have charged a third suspect in a robbery and shooting outside of the NC License Plate Agency at the Bundy Square Mall on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Freda Brown, 37, was arrested Friday and charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
No word on what her role was at this time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

E-J update on Crystal Jordan

In an article on added charges and increased bond (yay!) for the DMV suspects (mentioned here, here, and here), a blurb indicating that Crystal Jordan's status is thankfully improving:
Robbie Jordan was treated at Carolinas Medical Center and later released. Crystal Jordan remains at CMC. Her condition was upgraded yesterday from critical to serious.

A Christmas Carol coming soon to a museum near you

I meant to post this a week ago, but got sidetracked. Possible evidence I've got a life outside this blog or just further evidence I'm slacking? You'll have to make that call.

The Storefront Theatre is performing "A Christmas Carol" this weekend at the Museum of the Waxhaws on November 20 at 7:30p and November 21 at 2:30p. For more info or to buy tickets, visit The Storefront Theatre.

For those unaware (because I was at first and may still be for all I know), The Storefront Theater performs reader's theater. A good description of reader's theater from an old Sherri Phengchard article in the Enquirer-Journal:
Judy Simpson Cook, a playwright and the theatre’s founder, moved to Waxhaw a few years ago from Charlotte. She wanted to bring an inexpensive, artistic performance to the town.

“Staged readings don’t take a lot of room, or cost a lot of money ... It is a concert reading, where the actors are seated. There is a very theatrical feel to it, and afterwards we have a talk back with the playwright,” Cook said.
I'm not sure my kids are of adequate age to take to reader's theater and expect them to enjoy it, so I don't think I'll be bringing them just yet.

But this is probably the most kid-friendly performance of the season based on this season's schedule.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Johnny's Pub & Grub

I noticed last week that Johnny's Pub & Grub opened in Indian Land, SC (at the old location of The Pour House).

Anyone been there yet? Thoughts?

I did notice the Steelers emblem in the window while driving past, which would be an interesting development if I bothered to travel to watch my team play nowadays.

I find myself inexplicably becoming less interested in the NFL these days.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Big Dog Cafe closed for now

I was on my way back from Family Dollar and noticed that the Big Dog Cafe was closed. The sign on the window said something to the effect that ot was closed and that the grand opening coming soon.

Are they just renovating in there? Changed owners? New restaurant coming?

Anyone have the scoop?

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Waxhaw Exchange last week

I know something just didn't feel right this week and it took me until Thursday evening to figure out why. And then it took me another couple days to put this extensive post together.

My copy of the Waxhaw Exchange never arrived last weekend. This is the not the first time this has happened.

The Enquirer-Journal is no longer using the issuu service, so unfortunately the Waxhaw Exchange is no longer available online to non-subscribers like me.

Hopefully this week I'll have better luck because my imagination is running wild with all the juicy Waxhaw stories I missed last week.

UPDATE: Fixed typo in header. Sorry, John!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goodbye, Sherri!

Alan Jenkins, editor of the Waxhaw Exchange, informs me that the trilogy of spice articles (referenced here) by Sherri Phengchard are her "swan song." She will no longer be freelancing for the Enquirer-Journal/Waxhaw Exchange.

First Elisabeth and now Sherri; Waxhaw is chewing up and spitting out those on its beat. No word on how John at the Waxhaw Gazette has survived for so long, but I suspect it's the bi-weekly publishing.

I've also been told that the E-J is looking for a freelancer to replace her; writing experience a plus. Contact Alan if you think you fit the bill.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spice epidemic has locals up in arms

Sherri Phengchard and the Enquirer-Journal have a three-part story on the availability of spice in dear old Waxhaw. Spice (and other products sold under different names) are sold as incense, but are laced with JWH-018 (or another variant), a synthetic cannabinoid that was originally developed for medical research. I'd describe it as a "chemical variant of marijuana."

Links to the articles, if they're still accessible, are here:

Part 1: The SPICE High: NC, Waxhaw battle new legal drug

Part 2: Local leaders' hands tied in fight against 'Spice'

Part 3: Legislators plan best approach to battle ‘Spice’

They're all worth reading.

The short and sweet of it if you're too lazy to read the articles: Southport Gift Shop, among other businesses in the state, is legally selling the incense. Certain people are suspected of not staying beholden to the package warnings and smoking the stuff à la marijuana.

Other certain people, including Patte Kennedy of Southsiders fame, are up in arms about the impending disaster because of what's going on and what this predicament might do to our fair town.

But after reading the articles, there appears to be no evidence of a spice epidemic destroying the town's youths. The series makes clear that some of the state's pols are hard at work to make these chemical variants of marijuana illegal, so I suspect those concerned with this matter will find acceptable closure in the near future. Until there's evidence to suggest that a significant ongoing problem is underway, this seems like much ado about nothing, and as such I see no need for town officials to get involved despite the entreaties of certain people.

I would be curious to know if any local high schoolers are actually smoking this stuff or have heard of peers who are. My suspicion: weed is far more prevalent than spice. If anyone wants to comment and provide some insight into what young folks think of the stuff or its use, feel free to add a comment.

Also, if anyone can offer a educated opinion on the price of spice compared to the price of modern-day marijuana, I would be very curious about that as well. It seems rather expensive based on the prices I could dig up, so I'd be a little surprised to find it could attract high schoolers by undercutting marijuana prices.

Two men arrested in DMV shooting

Per the Observer, two men have been arrested for the DMV shooting in Monroe that still has Crystal Jordan in critical condition.
Police arrested two men in Charlotte this morning in the Nov. 1 shooting and robbery of a Waxhaw couple outside the N.C. License Plate Agency at Bundy Square Mall on Roosevelt Boulevard in Monroe, Monroe Police Chief Debra Duncan said.

Officers charged Melvin Lee Luckey, 33, and Otis Redding Howie Jr., 25, both of Charlotte with two counts each of attempted first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon, and one count of larceny of a firearm.
UPDATE: I should've checked out the Enquirer-Journal before posting because they have a better story including additional pictures of the suspects. Check it out here.

GingerSnap 5K coming soon

The GingerSnap 5K, to benefit Girls on the Run, is set to take place in Waxhaw on Dec 4th. Long-sleeved race shirts (only guaranteed who signed up a week ago) and gingersnaps will be available for participants.

For more info or to register to run, go here.

I imagine my wife will be running in this one too and hopefully once again she'll beat the mayor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

October Crime Report

Here's October's belated crime report, compliments of

Waxhaw Crimereports October 2010

CrimeReports has recently begun tracking different types of violations, including traffic violations. When you add those in, it appears a veritable crime wave has struck last month.

Waxhaw Crimereports October 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reminder: Access to E-J to be reduced tomorrow

I mentioned this once already, but the Enquirer-Journal is removing access to their content for non-subscribers starting tomorrow.

I'm not exactly sure what this is going to mean going forward as far to their Waxhaw-related content. But if I or those perusing this humble blog can't access any of the articles, I imagine I'll be linking to their content much less frequently.

We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

New Waxhaw Gazette out

Another new issue of the Waxhaw Gazette arrived last Friday.

Highlights include:

* The most thorough piece on Maxwell's Tavern that exists. Given the number of hits I get on Maxwell's Tavern posts, I imagine this will be well-visited by the restaurant curious.

* John heads to the Main Street Grill to get the lowdown on their new hours of operation and basically verifies the lunchtime hours that my valuable source Toula shared with us.

* Christmas Creep hits the Waxhaw Gazette as John provides info on the upcoming Christmas parade and Waxhaw light-up night. There's supposedly more info available at the town's website, but I couldn't find it. So the Waxhaw Gazette seems to be your place this info for now.

Veteran's Day Remembrance Ceremony Thursday

UPDATE x2: Even worse, I just realized I was a week off. I made the corrections below and re-dated the post. A pretty major faux pas on my part.

A Veteran's Day Remembrance Ceremony was supposedly will be held today Thursday at noon. Per the town site:
Please join us for an afternoon of remembrance as the Town of Waxhaw honors those past and presently serving our country with a Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony on Thursday, November 11 at noon. The ceremony will take place at the Military Wall of Honor in historic downtown Waxhaw. Call 704-843-2195 ex. 26 or for more information.
I'm not sure if it was held or not due to the rain. Last year's was postponed due to inclement weather.

UPDATE: Fixed embarrassing typo in title.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Business Insider has NC in the top 10...

...the top 10 worst states to do business in, that is.

Business Insider has the ranks and if it makes you feel any better, North Carolina is the best of the worst, coming in at #10. (That's my best Casey Kasem impression.)

Here's a handy dandy graphic showing North Carolina with its business-unfriendly peers.

2011 state business tax climate

Notice that North Carolina is the sole state representing the south, which could only hinder us as we compete with our southern brethren for business.

Business Insider's article is compliments of the Tax Foundation's report, which can be downloaded for those interested.

Priscilla's record deal

I stumbled across this story and figured it was worth sharing.

Waxhaw resident and UNC freshman Priscilla Townsend stopped by a summer fair, ended up entering a karaoke contest and winning the contest with her performance of the self-composed "How Did I Know." The Daily Tarheel has the story:
Priscilla Townsend, a freshman pursuing dental hygiene, stopped by the Waxhaw, N.C., fair this summer to see some rescue puppies.

Townsend left the fair with a three-year record contract.


Townsend sang her self-authored song “How Did I Know” in a karaoke contest at the fair.

The song — now her first single on iTunes — brought her victory and the attention of Charlotte-based The Bench Studios producer Rick Lapinsky, who then asked Townsend to sign with the company.
Read the whole thing. For those interested in checking out her song, it can be purchased on iTunes for a mere buck. She's got a website too.

For the life of me, I can't think of the "summer fair" in Waxhaw with the karaoke contest where this all began. Can someone refresh my memory?

DMV gunman's description changed?

WCNC has an article that attempts to tie together an early DMV robbery with the robbery at the Jordans' license plate agency in Monroe that has Crystal Jordan in critical condition.

Both the Char-Meck and Monroe police say the description of the suspect in both incidents is similar. But based on the description I highlighted in my earlier post, the suspect has grown in leaps and bounds. Earlier reports had the suspect quite short, around 5’2" - 5’3", but the gunman is now significantly taller according to the WCNC article.
According to police, the suspect is described as a black male, with a medium complexion, he appeared to be in his 20’s and between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet tall. He has short black hair.
Seems like a pretty large discrepancy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Traffic light question answered

A long time ago, I asked my first in a small series of vexing questions about Waxhaw.
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?
Well, I finally got an answer and it's simply this: because NC DOT says we don't need one.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, NC DOT recently did a count to determine if the need for a dedicated left turn light for eastbound traffic was needed. I ended my post with what essentially was a gloomy predictions of the results, which turned out to pretty accurate.

Sean Epperson of NC DOT emailed to say that after performing the traffic count on September 22, they have concluded that a dedicated left turning light for eastbound traffic into the 16/75 intersection is not warranted. Per their calculations, the time that the eastbound traffic would save would get shoved onto north and southbound traffic, thus making the point moot as far as NC DOT is concerned.

One positive change for eastbound traffic is that the 6' x 6' inductive loop will be replaced with a 6' x 25' loop. (For more information on how this works, see here.) During the count, some instances of eastbound traffic through the intersection were not detected by the already existing smaller 6' x 6' loop, so installing a larger 6' x 25' loop should resolve that issue. This work has not yet been scheduled.

While monitoring traffic that day, Sean also made some changes to the timing of the traffic light in an effort to further improve the efficiency of the signal. So hopefully the combination of these changes will minimize delays for eastbound traffic through the intersection. We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First Friday is here again

First Friday will soon be upon us. Here is the flyer I got from the STMSPPC that gives all the details.

Waxhaw First Friday November 2010

Note the special on Corona and chips and salsa at Maxwell's Tavern. I cannot believe that it's taken this long to get a beer special during First Friday. No word on what Southsiders has been doing this whole time.

What is their logical response to this wonderful escalation by Maxwell's Tavern? $2 Coronas? $2 Guinness? Half price liquor drinks? We'll all just have to wait and see how this plays out.

Also going on from 5-7pm, although not associated with First Friday as far as I can tell, is a gathering at the Military Wall of Honor across from Southsiders. You'll be able to check out the renovations and expansion, as well as learn how to get a loved one's name added to the wall. More info at the town's site here. (PDF)

Railroad or Native Americans?

Can't you see this design charrette is tearing us all apart?

Or perhaps a little more trouble than it was worth. The Enquirer-Journal has the story (also featured earlier in last week's Waxhaw Exchange). From the article:
The two most popular images were a profile of a Waxhaw Native American, and the other was of the railroad tracks with a train, each with “Waxhaw” in a railroad track inspired font.

Lew Holloway, Waxhaw Small Town Main Street designer, who led the charrette, summarized the event’s results. Then he invited residents to the front of the room to look at the posted design variations, and to write their comments.
Apparently sides began forming shortly afterward. Read the entire article to see the differing opinions from various sides that essentially can be summed up as pro-railroad, anti-railroad, pro-Native American, and anti-Native American. The mysterious Sherri Phengchard did a good job on this article in my opinion.

To download the nearly 50-page design charrette follow-up, visit the town's page to get the PDF file. (If I had to guess, the images being referred to in the article are those on pages 34-36 of this document.) Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

As for my opinion, of the two generic ideas (railroad or Native Americans) and not based on any designs, I would choose the former over the latter. Railroads (see this year's derailment) are much more a part of current Waxhaw than Native Americans for better or worse. Besides what the museum is doing, off the top of my head I cannot think of any other significant aspect of modern day Waxhaw that has embraced the town's Native American heritage, so it would be an unlikely top selling point if I were running things. But I'm just a simple blogger.

Copper Amber Ale at Maxwell's

I forgot to add in my earlier review that Maxwell's Tavern also offers Olde Mecklenburg Brewery's Copper Amber Ale (on tap, I imagine) for $4. That's a worthy beer if you're considering it.

And for the money-conscious, you cannot beat the price of a growler at Southern Spirits if you choose to go that route -- 4.5 pints for the price of 2.5 pints. That's the equivalent of two free pints for local beer-drinking penny-pinchers!

More on North Carolina v. Amazon

Time has an article about North Carolina's attempts to extract more taxes from its citizens that just so happens to violate the First Amendment.
The court case stems from a war over sales taxes between North Carolina and Amazon. The North Carolina tax department says Amazon failed to collect sales taxes on about 50 million transactions with North Carolinians between 2003 and early 2010. As part of a tax audit, North Carolina asked the e-commerce giant to provide, for that time period, "all information for all sales to customers with a North Carolina shipping address."

Amazon partially complied, turning over a lot of records, but it held back data that would allow the state to connect individual customers with the specific items they purchased. North Carolina came back with a demand for more and different data, and Amazon sued in federal court in Washington State, arguing that the state's demands violate the First Amendment and privacy laws. The federal district court rightly ruled that North Carolina's actions violated the First Amendment as well as certain provisions of the Video Privacy Protection Act, the 1988 law that prevents unauthorized disclosure of video-sale records. The court warned that if North Carolina were able to get individualized information about Amazon customers, it would have a chilling effect on their decisions about what to buy.
The ACLU (an organization that frequently irritates me with the cases it chooses to associate itself with) sided with Amazon; this article deals heavily with the first amendment-violations that prompted the organization to enter the fray.

Given that ACLU's defense ultimately revolved around identifying an individual's purchases, what is stopping the state of North Carolina from just requesting a list of North Carolinians and the total dollar amount of their purchases for tax purposes? In my layman's opinion, a pared-down request from the state seems like it'd be far more difficult to defend as a First Amendment violation. But surely Amazon (and perhaps the ACLU) have other defenses against future requests of this nature.

Anyone know?

Another question: does the fact that Republicans have control of the state legislature for the first time since the 19th century have any effect on the state's course in this matter?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Waxhaw couple shot in Monroe, wife in critical condition

I stumbled across this earlier today. The Charlotte Observer has some of the details of this unfortunate story.
Monroe police continue to look Tuesday for the man suspected of shooting a couple outside a Monroe license plate office during an apparent robbery Monday evening.

The victims included the woman who managed the agency, in the Bundy Square shopping center on West Roosevelt Boulevard.

Police identified the victims as Crystal and Robbie Jordan, of Waxhaw. Investigators told reporters they suspect the gunman might have been waiting for Crystal Jordan to leave the office after it closed.
This Enquirer-Journal piece is more detailed, painting a more accurate picture of the crime. Read the whole thing.
Mandy Strickland witnessed the attack in the parking lot from her store next door.

“He was trying to grab her purse from her and she was trying to hold it and when he started shooting her, she let go of it,” Strickland told news partner WSOC 9 TV. “She was not moving at all. There was blood everywhere and by the time the ambulance got here, it looked like she was going into shock.”

She said the gunman then shot Robbie Jordan.

“He was shot in the face and he also got shot in the back,” she said. “When he grabbed his face the first time is when the guy shot him in the back.”
Crystal Jordan has since been transported to Carolinas Medical Center and was listed in critical condition as of last night. The suspect is still at large. The two descriptions of the gunman from the Observer and the Enquirer-Journal are:
Police said the suspect is described as a black male in his early 20s, short, with a dark complexion, possible corn-row hairstyle, wearing a white t-shirt with a blue design, jeans and ankle-high white tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600.

Police are looking for a suspect described as a black man in his early 20s between 5’2 to 5’3, with a dark complexion and either cornrows or dreadlocks. He fled north on foot after the incident and was said to be wearing a white T-shirt with a blue design or logo on the front, loose fit blue jeans and white tennis shoes that were ankle height.
Thoughts and prayers go out to Crystal, Robbie, and the police who need to catch the armed gunman.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visited Maxwell's Tavern for the first time

Because the Main Street Grill was closed last Thursday, I headed home, grabbed the family, and we headed out to Maxwell's Tavern for the first time.

My first impression (and it's the same impression I'd gotten when peaking in as I drove by) is that it was pretty busy. Most tables were occupied, so they were doing brisk business as it appears they have been since opening.

We were seated in the one available booth, a smaller one at the end. I ordered the cheeseburger I wasn't able to get at the Main Street Grill. The server appeared to have her head in the clouds a little as we received only two sets of silverware/napkins for four people. And it also took a little while to get our straws. But she was exceedingly nice and kept my sweet tea I chalk this up to start-up hiccups and suspect this will improve accordingly over time.

The food arrived and the kids appeared to enjoy the chicken tenders. The french fries and ranch were pretty good. My wife liked her Black and Bleu burger and my cheeseburger was pretty good, though I think I prefer the Main Street Grill's. I will say the burgers were quite substantial though. Finishing the meal was a challenge.

All in all, a nice visit, so I'm sure we'll be back at some point.

Voted today

I headed over to the Waxhaw VFD and it was slightly crowded in there around lunchtime. But maybe that was par for the course since I rarely vote around lunchtime.

The line was moving pretty slow, so it took us roughly 30min to get in and out.

I voted to keep the county commission at five commissioners and not increase it to seven; I see no need to add to that dysfunctionality at taxpayer expense.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick-or-treating very light tonight

I'm not sure if it was just our subdivision or not, but trick-or-treating was very light this year, both in terms of the number of trick-or-treaters coming to the door, but also in terms of homes in the neighborhood giving out candy.

A little under the weather, I stayed home to hand out candy, shunning the top of the driveway handout. But compared to recent years, trick-or-treaters were few and far between.

My wife, who was walking the kids around the neighborhood, said there was also a noticeable lack of outside trick-or-treaters, those who are trucked in from out of the subdivision.

I wonder if this is what it was like for most neighborhoods this year. The bigger question might be why.

Union County Voter's Guide?

Anyone know if such a thing exists? I'm particularly interested in learning about the judges.

The closest thing I found is the one on Mark DiBiasio's on Village Scribe Online.

Main Street Grill has cut back their hours

Thanks to Toula who commented on the original post.

But it appears Main Street Grill has cut their hours to 11am-3.30pm. That's unfortunate for me as it seriously limits the times I can eat there. It's either Saturday lunch or bust.

And they really do have good cheeseburgers and gyros.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Southsiders has a liquor license

Looks like Southsiders has received their liquor license based on some recent Facebook posts.
Southsiders Public House: OOOOOO - Some nice scotch and burbon just walked in the door! Makers Mark, Woodford Reserve and Eagle Rare single barrel Bourbon AND Grants, Johnny Walker Black and Dewars Scotch also Try a Kettle One or Grey Goose Vodka Martini up with a blue cheese stuffed olive - Patte's also perfected the brandy alexander and of course - our soon to be famous Shaughnessy's Irish coffee

Train arms malfunctioning says Dorothy

In a follow-up to my early request for info, I bring you an update from last Sunday's Waxhaw Exchange from the unlinkable Dorothy Maloney. (Her piece is in here for those interested.) Here's the tidbit:
Waxhaw residents experienced a bit of inconvenience on Saturday and Sunday with the railroad gates on Providence Road out of service. It is amazing how something like having to travel one block south to cross the tracks can cause a slight traffic jam.
So we can conclude I'm a lucky man since my beautiful wife's prediction in that post was accurate.

I think we can also conclude that if Dorothy and I continue to tag-team big local stories like this, we will get to the bottom of them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Main Street Grill closed again last night

I wanted to pick up dinner for the family last night, so I drove to Main Street Grill to pick up some burgers. I arrived about 5.45pm and was surprised to discover they were closed.

This is the second time I have tried to get dinner there only to be thwarted.

Hours weren't listed on the front door, but since they made the switch from breakfast to dinner, I just figured they'd be open through the dinner hours. Since they don't appear to have any kind of web presence, is anyone privy to their business hours? I can't be the only one who wants to know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NC's demands of Amazon violate first amendment

Another attempt by the politicians of North Carolina to get their grubby little paws on more taxes, this one ruled a violation of the first amendment.

Their previous attempts to squeeze more taxes out of their citizens destroyed the Amazon Affiliate program in the state of North Carolina, which ultimately hurts North Carolina citizens like me who were taking part.

The Affiliates program wasn't necessarily a cash cow for me as I think I earned about $15 after a couple years or so, but it's the principle. I'm sure other websites were harder hit than myself. See this LA Times editorial from April (that I don't really agree with) that provides some more details and links about the history of North Carolina going after Amazon and its customers to try to subsidize the state's out-of-control spending.

Based on the comments in the Volokh piece, it seems likely that North Carolina will take yet another crack at extracting as much money from North Carolina citizens as possible. Because the powers that be think it's much better to squeeze more money out of us rather than control their wasteful spending.

Spratt in trouble?

I've seen lots of pro- and anti-John Spratt signs on the South Carolina portion of my commute. I read a week or so ago that Democrats were shifting resources to help shore up Spratt's chances, which suggested to me he might be in a little trouble.

An article in The Hill still suggests he's still got a substantial uphill climb with only a few days remaining. The Spratt-related snippet:
Reps. John Spratt (D-S.C.), Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Chet Edwards (D-Texas) and Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) — with 70 years of congressional service between them — trail by double digits, according to The Hill’s poll. Spratt is down by 10 points; Boyd trails by 12, as does Edwards and Marshall is behind by 13.
Read the full article here.

Aww shucks

No, the title of this post isn't a segue to discuss Blind Boy Fuller's "Weeping Willow," a nice old blues song. For those of you haven't heard it, you can listen here.

The family and I made the short trek down to the Aw Shucks corn maze last Sunday, coincidentally on the same day the Observer had a story on the old McCain store that was moved from Waxhaw (on Lancaster Highway) to the Aw Shucks farm outside Monroe.

We hadn't been for a few years, so were a little surprised to see how much it'd grown. Corn maze, hayrides, a farm area, old train car, and nature trail among other things.

The theme of this year's corn maze was the 100th anniversary of scouting, so that was neat being a scouting family. We did it once as a family and then split up into two teams to see which team could successfully exit the maze first. My team didn't win, and perhaps it's no coincidence, but my team did explore most of the areas of the maze before we exited.

The old McCain store was pretty interesting, especially if you like old buildings and the knick knacks contained within. I had fun taking pictures of miscellanea on the walls while the rest of those inside waited in line for the snack bar.

For those who've seen the episode of History Channel's "American Pickers" where Mike and Frank make out like bandits at the Aw Shucks farm, then you have some idea of the amount of old signage displayed at the farm. Besides the corn maze, it was probably my favorite. I need to try and make a deal with Bonnie for some of them. They could decorate my garage if it ever gets clean enough; I should probably clean my garage first.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday wanderings through Waxhaw

I had to get my car inspected, so I dropped it off at Summerfield on Friday. Due to an earlier issue with a tire patch/plug, I was expecting it to be comped. I never expected the belated oil change I requested to be comped as well, so I've got to hand it to Summerfield for going above and beyond.

We then crossed the railroad bridge and headed to the used book store. My oldest was looking for an Encyclopedia Brown book and miracle of miracles, we found one! A Scooby Doo book for my youngest and a book of Eskimo mythology for myself, so all in all, a successful visit.

A quick jaunt back across the railroad bridge where we spent some time throwing acorns into the air under the oak tree across from Southsiders until the car was ready & then a quick trip home from Summerfield.

Reading over this post, this may be the closest I'll come to a weekly Dorothy Maloney column.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's that time again

If you haven't already heard, the local Cub Scouts of Pack 53 are having their yearly popcorn fundraiser.

Besides raising money for general operating costs, the boys in Pack 53 are trying to raise money for some new camp stoves that travel with the scouts on numerous camping trips.

If you haven’t already been hit up by a neighbor or purchased popcorn at the Autumn Treasures festival and would still like to support Waxhaw Pack 53, you can now order online at the following URL.

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

The sale is over on November 2nd. Anticipated delivery is the first week of December.

If you have any questions, drop me an email. Thanks in advance for supporting our pack.

16/75 intersection blocked the other day

Last Saturday and Sunday evenings, the Waxhaw police had the main intersection of 16/75 shut down at the railroad tracks.

My wife surmised faulty railroad arms because of this, which seems as good as any other guess. It didn't appear to be related to any kind of construction work, at least as far as we could tell.

Regardless, traffic to and from Broome Street was diverted onto Church Street, causing relatively minor delays, at least based on standards set by Waxhaw's recent road construction.

Anyone know what the problem was?

Another Waxhaw Gazette

Well, another two weeks have passed and thus a new Waxhaw Gazette has been released. (Or at least it had just been released when I began this post. I've been rather busy lately.) Check it out here.

John missed the Autumn Treasures festival due to lack of parking. Until the town buys into his remote parking suggestion, he can park in front of my house. I do think remote parking would be a good idea.

He's also got a long piece on the mortgage mess and the ever growing list of foreclosures.

He also links to a Paul Krugman op-ed in the New York Times that appears to want even more government spending. I suspect John was linking merely to highlight the lunacy of the op-ed and/or its conclusions.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Enquirer-Journal access disappearing

Per The Enquirer-Journal's website, starting November 8th, access to most content will be available only to subscribers.

The statement:
Access to all content, except the e-edition, will remain free until November 8. At that time, access to much content, particularly local content written by our news staff and the e-edition, will be available only to home-delivery, mail-delivery and online-only subscribers of The Enquirer-Journal as part of a regular paid subscription and to those users who purchase a 24-hour pass.

If you are an active subscriber to The Enquirer-Journal and have created an online account, there is nothing you will need to do differently starting November 8 to access our website – your current username and password will give you access to the site as long as your online account reflects your correct phone number.
Based on these changes, I will have to stop linking to any articles that aren't available to non-subscribers since I am a non-subscriber myself.

No word on the articles they've been making available online (sort of) in the Waxhaw Exchange will be handled.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Maxwell's Tavern now open

I realized they were supposed to be open on Tuesday, but it still snuck up on me.

A couple readers have posted their reviews in the comments. John here and Karen here.

All in all, they're pretty decent reviews, but both seem to want the bartender to tone it down a notch.

My neighbor was planning to go tonight, so I'll try to get her opinion on the place. I'm sure we'll be stopping by at some point as well.

Railroad crossing arm broken Monday?

I heard one of the railroad crossing arms at Broome & Hwy 75 was broken Monday morning. It was described to my wife as being "broken in half."

Anyone know anything about this? The only way I could imagine this getting broken is if a vehicle hit one trying to sneak through.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Treasure hunting tonight for those interested

Tomorrow is Fall Clean-up day in Waxhaw, so treasure hunters and dumpster divers will probably be out and about tonight. As I was driving home tonight, I saw one person had scored an outdoor porch swing.

Waxhaw weekend

A pretty busy weekend in Waxhaw. Of note from my end:

* As predicted, we could not attend the BBQ cookoff due to spending our afternoon at the ball fields. If it's not too much trouble, could all the contestants smoke some butt overnight & deliver it to my place? Thanks in advance.

* We headed to the festival late Saturday afternoon and casually made our way over to the kid's zone at Waxhaw UMC and stayed there until the end of the festival at 5pm. 5pm seems a little early to end the festival, at least on Saturday; perhaps the food vendors need to petition the festival to extend the hours to get more of the dinner rush. We were planning to eat at the festival, but based on reports from my mom, everyone was shutting down at 5pm, so we figured we'd go grab dinner at Main Street Grill.

* Shockingly, the Main Street Grill was closed. I'm not sure what their regular hours are on weekends, but I can't for the life of me figure out why they weren't open Saturday for the dinner rush. While some local businesses were planning their openings to take advantage of all the people in town and others tried, the Main Street Grill was closed. Very strange. We ended up walking home & picking up cheese steaks from Marino's.

* After heading to the ball fields again for a little fielding practice, we stopped in at The Dairy Barn for some soft serve ice cream. Nice place for a post-practice visit, with old arcade games, classic cartoons, and a formidable row of rocking chairs along the wall. I was a little surprised to see a small dinner menu (BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, etc.), so they're a dinner option as well now. Not a lot of tables right now, but they could easily cram some more in there if business demands it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

BBQ Cookoff tomorrow

There's also a BBQ cookoff tomorrow I had hoped to attend since I missed the last one.

There appears to be conflicting information on it though. This page states it will be held today and tomorrow (Oct 8th & 9th), but from what I can gather, the important part (where the public can eat) is scheduled to run from 12pm-4pm (or until BBQ runs out) on Saturday.

Originally, my schedule was open enough that I could attend, but it has changed so I may end up missing it again. Curses!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Museum swings into action

Per the mayor's Facebook update, which is a pretty useful place to get tidbits on happenings in Waxhaw. So much so that the mayor (unwittingly or wittingly) is one of my most useful sources.

Her update, which is apparently courtesy of Polly Stroud's update:
From Polly Stroud's status... "Everyone on the Board of Directors of the Museum of the Waxhaws voted to let Waxhaw Karate use our temporary exhibit room 2 nights a week for free for their students to have a place to meet and practice until new exhibit in January... Friends helping Friends.. That is the spirit of Waxhaw.. Very proud!!"
No word on if Waxhaw Universal Karate has taken them up on this generous offer. Hopefully, it will help Tony remain in business during reconstruction.

September Crime Report

Here's September's belated super-scientific crime report.

Waxhaw Crime Report - September 2010

Overall crime numbers ticked upward slightly, at least those crimes tracked by But it's still a far cry from July's highs.

Upcoming weekend

Besides baseball games and visiting family, Waxhaw got a lot on the plate as well, essentially starting and ending with the Autumn Treasures festival. Surely everyone is aware of the festival so there's no need to expend energy discussing it, other than to say it runs Saturday and Saturday. More info here for those interested.

I will add that apparently if you were hoping to attend one last town event with your leashed pet, the festival can be your one last hurrah. Per the town, they are being lenient with regards to the recently enacted 'no pet' policy I've discussed before.

The town's words:
Effective with Autumn Treasures on October 9/10, 2010 the Town of Waxhaw will institute the new NO PET ordinance. We do love your pets. This ordinance was created to protect the health and safety of the public. If a pet is brought to the Autumn Treasures event by an attendee not familiar with the policy, they will not be turned away but will simply be made familiar with our policy so that in the future they can leave their pets at home. Each entrance will be marked with a NO PET sign indicating that no pets (leashed or unleashed) are allowed beyond that point unless authorized by the events committee. Attached is a map showing the perimeters for the Autumn Treasures event. This map applies to Autumn Treasures only. A new map will be posted for each Town sponsored event if required.

Maxwell's Tavern to open soon

I emailed John of Maxwell's Tavern whether they'd be able to open this weekend like Dairy Barn.

We walked by the other night during our historic walk and it looked pretty nice (and nearly completed) in there.

While they are close to opening, he suspects they'll be open by Tuesday of next week.

Union County Candidates Forum tonight in Waxhaw

The details (from Lori of Bee Realty fame):
Union County Commissioners Candidate Forum -TONIGHT!!!! at 6:30 pm Please join us at the Lawson Mill House, for a Union County Commissioner's candidate forum. Come out, meet your candidates and hear what they have to say about the issues facing Union County. There will be a question and answer period as well as a time to meet with candidates one on one.

If you have any questions you would like asked during the q&a, please email them to . The questions that are most requested will be asked during q&a. This is an important election year for all of us. Please come out and meet your candidates!
I can't make it due to a baseball game but since I know nothing about the candidates, I imagine it'd be very informative. And I'm sure there are many people out there in my shoes without baseball games to attend.

Perhaps someone out there can share some details so those of us who cannot attend have a better idea of who to vote for.

More articles on fire

WBTV also has an early article on the fire at the Waxhaw Universal Karate studio. A snippet detailing that Leo's Closet also suffered damage:
The fire caused significant damage at Universal Karate Studio and Waxhaw In-and-out. There was also minor damage reported at a third business called Leo's Closet.

Fire officials say they were alerted to the fire after a burglary alarm was activated.

When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were showing from one of the businesses.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Charlotte Observer also has an article as well. A snippet, which include some quotes from the mayor:

Fire officials say the blaze apparently started at the Waxhaw Universal Karate Studio. Two adjoining businesses in the building were damaged.

"It's still unofficial, but it appears to have been caused by an electrical problem," Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner said.

Gardner said a motion detector triggered the alarm, and a police officer spotted flames and called the Waxhaw Fire Department, which responded within a few minutes. Units from the Wesley Chapel and Mineral Springs fire departments also helped battle the blaze.

We'll have to wait and see how long before the affected businesses can re-open. Here's the Observer's picture of the aftermath, complete with water tower in the background.

Waxhaw Universal Karate fire

Early WCNC article on fire

WCNC has an small article on the fire at Waxhaw Universal Karate. The meat of the article:
WAXHAW, N.C. -- An early-morning fire in Waxhaw destroyed two businesses and forced officials to shut down Highway 16.

The fire started at about 5:30 a.m. at the Waxhaw Universal Karate Studio. The fire destroyed the studio and a convenience store next door.

Investigators say the preliminary cause appears to be electrical.

This article makes it seem like both businesses will be out of commission for quite some time, which is unfortunate.

Here's a picture from the WCNC website:

Waxhaw Universal Karate fire

Fire in Waxhaw

My wife saw on the news this morning that there's a fire at a karate studio in Waxhaw and that Broome Street is currently closed.

The news report did not specify which karate studio was on fire, but she suspected it was the Waxhaw Universal Karate studio downtown.

If I get any further details, I'll update after I get to work.

UPDATE 8.37am: The town's Twitter feed has an update with no specific details.
There is a fire in the area between Intersection 16/75 and Blythe Mill Road. Take alternate traffic routes. Will update you as learn.
UPDATE 8.45am: Lori verified (via Facebook update) that the fire took place at Waxhaw Universal Karate and also at the adjacent convenience store.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Dairy Barn to open this Friday

During our historic walk, we spoke briefly with the proprietor (Jane?) of The Dairy Barn. It will be opening this Friday, just in time for the Autumn Treasures festival this weekend. This is either exquisite timing or planning, probably the latter.

We also learned each child's cone comes with a free token to use at the arcade; I have no doubt that'll be a big hit with my kids. One important but unanswered question: does an adult cone come with a free token as well?

And after a quick search, I see that they've had a web presence on Facebook for quite some time. Go there for more info.

Finally took my historic walk

Town commissioner Joyce Blythe was kind enough to take some local Cub Scouts on a historic walk last night, so I was finally able to partake. And it was as enjoyable and informative as I thought it would be, including information on some of the older buildings in town, but chock full of anecdotes from the old days of Waxhaw.

For example, we stopped at the Duncan McDonald House (current surf shop) where the boys heard rumors of ghosts, the old McDonald hotel where we were kindly allowed to enter, and Mark Hernig's Kick 'n' Stitch broom shop among other places.

If you have even just a little interest in Waxhaw and its history, you definitely should consider slipping on your sneakers for the next historical walk Joyce does.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Construction traffic in Waxhaw

In between baseball games on Saturday, we made the decision to stop at McDonald's to grab some lunch. This, unfortunately, allowed me to experience the lengthy traffic delays that have become a staple of Waxhaw since construction began.

My wife has gotten trapped in them numerous times (including this afternoon) and I've seen the numerous Facebook complaints, but perhaps you've got to be stuck waiting to really experience not moving an inch in traffic for 20+ minutes.

I imagine I'm one of the last in Waxhaw to be stuck in construction, but from my layman's perspective, it just seems like the traffic was very poorly managed by the construction crews. We sat for close to 20 minutes waiting for the other direction of travel to clear, which surely backed up traffic all the way from CVS to the railroad tracks.

To me, the strangest thing about the construction is that neither my wife nor I thought Providence Street/Broome Street was all that bad to begin with. (At least based on Pennsylvania standards.) For the life of me, at this point, I can barely recall any potholes of significance in that stretch.

On another note, I never saw so many sign holders; stationing one at every business' entrance seems like overkill. Maybe we should be thankful that they're removing the entrance to the Waxhaw Child Development Center because the state would've been on the hook to pay yet another sign holder.

Railroad ties were being picked this afternoon

On my way home work today, I saw them collecting the railroad ties that have served as a constant reminder (eyesore?) from this summer's derailment.

I'll see tomorrow morning if they got them all (and perhaps as an added bonus, removed the dumpster that's been a staple beside the tracks since the accident).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Waxhaw Child Development Center getting shafted

I'd been waiting for the ball to drop on this for a couple weeks now. Per a WBTV article:
WAXHAW, NC (WBTV) - Parents and grandparents whose children attend a local daycare say road construction is putting kids in danger.

They feel closing the entrance at Waxhaw Child Development Center on Providence Road will hamper the flow of traffic, especially for emergency vehicles.
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to remove the entrance to the Waxhaw Child Development Center at this point. It's been there for how many years with no problems.

I can't think of a benefit of removing it. Am I missing something?

New Waxhaw Gazette

And it's Friday, so a new Waxhaw Gazette has been released. It seems like only yesterday the last one came out, but I guess that's a testament to how busy I've been.

I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but have one question: did we really need to see the picture of the mouse in the bread? While I realize the odds of something detestable ending up in my food are slim to none, I'll still be closely examining my food for a little while. Thanks, John!

The Waxhaw Exchange Gazette: Affecting change in Waxhaw one household at a time...but only if you follow the link.

EDIT 10/12: Fixed an embarrassing typo. Sorry, John!

First Friday tonight!

In case you've forgotten, First Friday is upon us once again.

More info at this Facebook page, but here's the gist of it:
Join Stewart’s Village Gallery as they kick off the Fall season with their Fall sale and celebration. Save up to 50% on selected pottery and 20% on all jewelry. The Rachel Garcia Jazz Trio will also be performing from 6-9 pm. Refreshments served. Bring your chairs!

Watch one of our local artistic treasures at work as renowned local artist J. Patrick Deibel sculpts a piece of work at Bella Dimora. Visit with the artist, watch his hands work, and enjoy his exhibit from 6-9 pm. And while you’re there, shop their sale on select in-stock sofas, gliders, & chairs. All in-stock furniture & accessories are 10% off!

Looking for that perfect book to the next level at the Waxhaw Reading Room Used Book Store’s Scavenger Hunt. Find the hidden books throughout the store and pick a free $2.00 book of your choice! Drop by the store or call (704) THE-BOOK for the list of hidden books.

Enjoy some coffee and friendly karaoke competition at Real Life Church at 216 W. North Main Street. Karaoke to your favorite songs, tell stories, or recite poetry. Prizes awarded to the top performer in each category. Plus, hear stories about the church’s building while you chill, fellowship, and meet new folks over coffee. Doors open up at 7pm and the competition starts at 8pm.

Run down to the Bike Depot and save 10% off K-SWISS Running shoes and check out their huge selection of high quality bikes and accessories.

Don’t miss the sale at Waxhaw Art & Chocolate located at 101 N. Church Street just behind Tangles on Main. They will have artists on sale, and weather permitting, a lampworking demonstration!

Take a listen to local musical treasure, Joe Middleton, perform a blend of Americana and Rock at the Bandstand in front of SouthSiders Pub & Deli.

Plus, check out the new restaurants opening soon in Waxhaw- Maxwell’s Tavern and the Dairy Barn- both located on S. Main Street.