Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Next First Friday is Friday

The town just posted a flyer (PDF) at their website advertising the next First Friday, which just so happens to be this Friday. For those unaware, First Fridays are where some of Waxhaw's establishments stay open later so more people (especially those who commute into Charlotte and back) can examine their wares in an effort to drum up more traffic.

This tells us two things:

1) The town, in this case the Small Town Main Street Program Promotions Committee (that's a mouthful) isn't spreading the word much in advance, a slight complaint of mine in a previous post. I would think leaking word to Dorothy Moloney of The Waxhaw Exchange a couple weeks in advance would be the bare minimum, but I don't recall seeing anything about this in her recent columns.

2) All subsequent First Fridays will apparently continue to be called First Fridays. Thus answering one of Waxhaw's vexing questions (others here & here).

But little advance notice is better than none, so with family in town, it may be an opportune time to check out some of the local stores I rarely set foot in. Anyone know how child friendly these events are? Are there things for youngins to do?

One last thing: the photos on the flyer (PDF) should probably be updated. The picture on Main Street still features Jackson's Emporium, which has been gone for years now. Sorely missed by my family for the candy & ice cream, although it was crazy expensive. $1 for box of Nerds was too much.

Monday, March 29, 2010

5th Annual Waxhaw Town & Country run

I didn't see anything on the town page, but a little web research yielded information on the 5th Annual Waxhaw Town & Country 5K run.

Full details can be found here.

Sponsored by The Waxhaw-Weddington Rotary Club, the race is to be held on Friday, April 30th. Cub scout camping is scheduled for that weekend, so we may have to delay our much anticipated arrival to Saturday morning so we can cheer on my wife, who's been looking forward to running in this race.

Online registration is here.

UPDATE: I forgot to include the race route, which is located here. (PDF). If you look real closely, the entire 5K somehow takes place among the trestles of the Waxhaw foot bridge. I learned that style of joke from my dad...

Ritchie Starnes still around?

Does anyone know if Ritchie Starnes is still local? I was a loyal subscriber to The County Edge since it started, so much so that I had roughly 2 years left on my subscription when the presses stopped.

If anyone has an email address where I could contact him, please drop me a line. Thanks in advance.

Waxhaw video montage

Just a heads up that Lori over at the other rarely updated Waxhaw blog has put together a nice video montage of, well, Waxhaw. Just taking all those snapshots seems pretty time-consuming to me, let along putting together the slideshow. Lots of nice pictures & a solid soundtrack to boot.

Check it out here.

Are there any Waxhaw aficionados willing to create a list of the structures photographed? I imagine there will be a few like me curious about the historic homes photographed.

Reminder: Spring pick up starts tomorrow

Consider this a public service announcement for my legion of readers because I know the pain of forgetting about this -- that old grill had to sit under my deck for another six months.

Items are supposed to be curbside by 7am tomorrow.

The flyer (PDF) has more details.

Truce in hospital war?

If they say so, since I am not ashamed to admit I have no clue what this whole hubbub is about.

And if you've found someone who can describe the issue to those of us laymen unable to wrap their heads around this pickle of a problem, please let me know.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday evening thoughts

Just a few thoughts on this weekend:

* News 14 had a piece on Officer Richard Belk's funeral. The video is available at this link. There's an article in today's The Waxhaw Exchange (a slight variant of the article can be found here.) None of the articles I've seen thus far have indicated that the compartment syndrome that afflicted him during the training exercise was the cause or even the catalyst for his untimely death. Here's a Google Health page that seems to suggest that amputation is the most serious complication.

* My family attended the WAA (Waxhaw Athletics Association) opening day ceremonies at the new HC Nesbit fields behind Kensington Elementary. A nice ceremony, but unfortunately a little cold. My family didn't stick around for the dedication due to temperature complaints, but when we returned for game time, we did get to see the bronze bust of HC Nesbit, a picture of which can be found on the front page of this week's The Waxhaw Exchange.

* Waxhaw crime piling up... at least on the town's CrimeReports page. The last 30 days or so looks something like this:

Waxhaw Crimereports mar 2010

* If you're looking to get involved with Waxhaw politics, then visit the town's homepage as they've seeking applications for volunteers on the Waxhaw Planning Board & the Waxhaw Historic Preservation Committee. Serious question: what does an alternate on the Waxhaw Planning Board actually do? Is it sort of like an alternate juror where you sit through all the evidence presentation, but only get to have a say if an unforeseen circumstance arises?

* Beyond Waxhaw: For many years, I've been watching The Simpsons on Sunday evening. For the record, I don't find the show the least bit funny anymore & watch it solely out of habit at this point, but there were a couple references to the "Carolina Panthers" tonight, with Homer flashing a "Carolina Panthers"-branded credit card and coming across a "Carolina Panthers"-branded yarmulke on his trip to Israel.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Beyond Waxhaw: Creative Loafing highlights new Hickory Tavern

Just a heads up that the Creative Loafing recently highlighted the new Hickory Tavern in Wesley Chapel. I'll be visiting tomorrow evening, so I'll see if it can hold a candle to Southsiders. Unfortunately for Hickory Tavern, it's already got one strike because I have to drive to it.

On a small side note, since the URL references Waxhaw's bar scene, I kept waiting to read about Southsiders, but 'twas not to be.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Historic Ventures project has passed

The town commissioners approved the Historic Ventures project this time around. Per The Enquirer-Journal:
This time around, Historic Ventures got the “yes” it needed to move forward with their multiuse development.

Commissioners approved the project 3-1, with Commissioner Erin Kirkpatrick as the dissenting vote.

Eight pages of conditions were attached to the approval. For instance, there can only be construction during certain hours Monday through Saturday and never on Sundays. Also, the developer can’t submit plans for the undeveloped part of the land for two years.

The development will include a hotel, civic center, fitness center and other buildings.
I'll admit to not following this very closely since the first attempt fizzled, so it appears Historic Ventures made enough changes to their plans to pacify a significant portion of the initial opposition. But the article suggests this was significant:
But between that public hearing and this one, the town switched over from conditional use zoning to conditional zoning, opening up the lines of communication between all parties involved.

The developers also removed the proposed apartments and day care center from their plans.
I won't pretend to know the significance of switching from conditional use zoning to conditional zoning, so I'm just going to assume that removing the apartments was a more significant catalyst towards the recent vote in favor of Historic Ventures project. NOTE: I can't imagine the proposed day care center causing much consternation. Since Chesterbrook Academy is coming into town, a day care seems very financially viable in Waxhaw. And considering how much daycare extracts from from my family's finances, I imagine you'd feel the same if you aren't already feeling the same pinch.

But the one-time proposed apartments were always less bothersome to me than the still proposed hotel. I just have a hard time believing a hotel can keep its occupancy full enough during the week, if not during the weekends, to remain financially viable. If they build it, will they come?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RIP Officer Belk

Officer Richard Belk

Per the town's website, Officer Richard Belk has passed away.
The Town of Waxhaw is extremely saddened to announce the passing of one of our finest, Officer Richard Belk, with the Waxhaw Police Department. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his family. Information on funeral arrangements will be posted as learned.
If his name sounds familiar, this is the same officer who experienced a rare case of exertional compartment syndrome during a department training run in October 2009 (here), prompting the town to come together and hold a BBQ cook-off that appeared to have been unbelievably successful since the BBQ ran out hours before my family attempted to get any (here).

Our prayers are with his family and fellow officers.

UPDATE 3/26: Western Union County Scoop has a post with a little more information. And the town's site now has visitation and funeral details for those interested in paying their respects.

Bike Depot hosts Tiger Cubs

The Bike Depot (Facebook page here) in bustling downtown Waxhaw was kind enough to host some local Tiger Cubs earlier this week, after hours no less. Mr. Joe, one of the proprietors, discussed some of the finer points of bicycle safety and bicycle repair with the boys & answered his fair share of questions on flat tires and reflectors. I walked away with a handy dandy tool to help me change my next flat tire.

On another note, it appears their grand opening was last Saturday. A good number of people were milling around (including a bagpiper if their Facebook photos are to be believed) as I drove by on my way home from helping prepare the HC Nesbit fields (behind Kensington Elementary) for opening day festivities this weekend.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Library Association of Waxhaw's calendar fundraiser

The Library Association of Waxhaw are creating a 2011 calendar to raise money for a larger town library. It will be comprised of art and poetry of local youngsters. From their website:
We want you to enter your artwork and poems to our 2011 Calendar Competition. Winning entries will be published in our 2011 calendar. The contest is free and open to all Waxhaw area youth and Waxhaw library patrons ages 5-18.

Judges will choose 13 art pieces and 13 poems that best fit the library theme "Passport to Adventure." Rules and Entry forms are available at the Waxhaw Public Library and on this website.

The Library Association of Waxhaw 2011 community calendar will feature the art and poetry of our local youth in an effort to raise funds for a new, larger library facility. The calendar will be published this Summer and will be available for purchase this Fall, 2010. Libraries play a vital role in supporting the quality of life in a community. The Waxhaw community has grown and prospered and our library needs to reflect this vitality.

Calendars may be preordered starting in April 2010 for $15. Please check back to this website for updates on the calendar.
Entry form & more details about art/poem submission entering can be downloaded here. The file is a PDF file even though it doesn't save with the .pdf extension. Entries must be received by April 17th.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Waxhaw police team up with CrimeReports.com

From the front page of the town website:
Citizens can now have free access to official, timely crime data through the CrimeReports website and IPhone application, thanks to the partnership between CrimeReports and the Waxhaw Police Department. "Providing reliable, timely information to our citizens is one of our top priorities," says Chief of Police Mike Eiss. "Partnering with them gives us the ability to keep the public informed on a regular basis as to what is going on in the community."

CrimeReports is the largest and most accurate online resource for up-to-date crime information, working with over 700 law eforcement agencies across North America. The network offers easy to use software tools for law enforcement agencies to understand crime trends and share up-to-date neighborhood crime data with the public, including a free iPhone app. Community members can access the integrated crime map and receive email crime alerts for free at http://www.CrimeReports.com, empowering them to make informed decisions to help improve the safety of their neighborhood and community.
Follow this link to see the current map with current crime data. CrimeReports.com is a savvy combination of local crime data & Google Maps. If they can keep it updated, this will be an excellent resource into crime in Waxhaw.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The CMC-Waxhaw Mess

Can anyone make anything out of the CMC-Waxhaw mess, where Carolinas Healthcare System is apparently battling county politicians, over leasing issues? I tried to read what I can on it, but neither side seems capable of clearly explaining what's happening.

I read a editorial/letter to the editor some time ago from one of the politicos involved explaining their stance (sorry but I cannot seem to find a link or paper copy top quote it). The only thing that struck me was the sheer number of words they used to offer no additional insight into the manner, the way politicians often do.

Over at the Village Scribe, we've got a open letter from Kim Rogers, chairwoman of the Union County Board of Commissioners here for those interested. (Can you spot where she summons her inner Barack Obama?) Comments were locked so I don't know what to make of that, especially because I can't imagine any post on the Village Scribe becoming bogged down with too many comments. Just seems like a crude way of blocking dissenting opinions.

Another post there by the proprietor Mark attempts to debunk the full page add that ran in the Neighbors section of the Charlotte Observer & in The Enquirer-Journal on March 7th. After reading this, the only thing I can be certain of is Mark D the Scribe has strong anti-CHS opinions, but those tidbits could be garnered by the fact that he locked comments on Ms. Rogers' open letter.

And for those interested in a separate website Mark set-up to promote his opinion on the matter, go here.

After all of this, I'm personally no closer to understanding what the problem is. But honestly I'm having a hard time understanding why the county is even involved in this. In my Xanadu, CHS would decide to build an emergency department in Waxhaw, figuring the growing population could support the enterprise. They would purchase the land, build the building, get the approvals, staff the department, and serve the citizens of the Waxhaw area, ideally making a profit through the course of their business. Somehow the county has become involved for reasons not understood by me & now government bureaucracy has gotten involved.

Is there a CMC-Waxhaw for Dummies? Maybe the Library Association of Waxhaw (here or here) has something available for purchase in their new downtown store (the old Waxhaw Fresh Market).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nothing going on in Waxhaw

Well, at least according to my posts. In reality, I've been a little busy lately and a little under the weather.

Some stuff I could've posted on but didn't are:

* First Friday -- A Friday evening event where local businesses stayed open later on Friday. Supposedly a pretty big deal based on all the follow-up articles (here & here for example). Unfortunately, my family spent the evening at home because we had no idea it was going on. And while I don't pretend to know everything in Waxhaw, I like to think I follow Waxhaw happenings a little more than your average joe. So a little more awareness about the "Second Friday" might benefit area businesses even more.

Just wondering, but is the next one going to be called "Second Friday" or are they all going to be "First Fridays"? That's a serious question.

* For those in the broom market, Waxhaw has a new artisan broom store. An article by none other than Dorothy Moloney can be found in the March 14th edition of The Waxhaw Exchange. It's run by Mark Hernig and is simply called the Broom Shop. Good luck to Mark who's also done much to improve the outdoor exhibits at the Museum of the Waxhaws. Hopefully his shop doesn't go the way of the Waxhaw Fresh Market, which is no more.

* If you've driven by a baseball field recently, you've probably noticed that the spring season is starting up again.

* Waxhaw UMC is selling a cookbook. Joyce Blythe was nice enough to personally deliver my copy to me. If you're interested, contact her for more details. On a sidenote, this is the first instance of my vote for town commissioner physically paying off for me. I can honestly tell you that neither Brett Diller nor Erin Kirkpatrick have hand-delivered local cookbooks to my house.

* I see a Chesterbrook Academy (a pre-school) is going in at the old smokestack building by Fox's Pizza. I'm a little disappointed with that because with the beer & liquor referendum passing (mentioned here), I thought that place would make an ideal location for a micro-brewery. Oh well.

* I finally visited Southsiders tonight after the new bar was put in. A very healthy crowd was there. I figured what better day to go get a couple pints of Guinness than St. Patrick's Day.

* And perhaps the biggest news: I was finally able to score a couple packs of Silly Bandz, making me the world's greatest dad at least for the evening. For those of you unaware, Silly Bandz are rubber bands shaped like animals, cars, dinosaurs, etc. They are all the rage in elementary school (and beyond I hear) & my wife had been unable to secure them in Waxhaw. Rumors of shipments to the local Walgreens always seemed to fall through. But I was able to secure some in nearby Gaston County.

UPDATE 3/31: Fixed typos

Monday, March 8, 2010

SouthSiders profiled in Observer

Ron Stodghill profiles Waxhaw's SouthSiders in today's Charlotte Observer.

"Last Friday night, we were the only place in town conducting commerce," boasts Kennedy, who, with her husband, Mark, co-owns SouthSiders, a modest little joint in downtown Waxhaw.

"That's because we are the only place in town with a bar."

SouthSiders is one of those delightful rarities of modern life, a family-owned business that, with voters' help, beat City Hall. It's the tale of a daughter, beer and an uncle: the daughter of an old-school Chicago pol gets mad at city leaders who won't let her sell beer and makes them cry "Uncle."

But not until the 14th paragraph do we learn the most useful piece of info:
The passage has breathed new life into SouthSiders, Patte says. Adding beer - for now, Blue Moon and Guinness on tap, and 20 bottled brands - has not only boosted revenues by more than 35 percent, but added four waiters to the payroll.
I haven't visited since the new bar was put in, so I'll have to make my way over there at some point and have a pint -- Guinness because I don't understand the fascination with Blue Moon. Hopefully the beer on that tap will be rotated out.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ask a question

Ask a question and receive at least a partial answer via Facebook the next day.

Two photos from Friday night's shindig outside the Waxhaw Antique Mart were posted to the town's Facebook page & I'm posting them here so those non-Facebook devotees can see them as well.

waxhaw dancing2

waxhaw dancing1

Further Facebook research yields more promising results: turns out its the Waxhaw Fiesta Band, which somewhat explains the multitude of sombreros. Check 'em out on Fridays 7.00p-9.00p outside the Waxhaw Antique Mart.