Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Erin Kirkpatrick explains Historic Ventures vote

Town commissioner Erin Kirkpatrick was the only dissenting vote for the revised Historic Ventures project that passed in late March, previously mentioned here.

She wrote a letter to the editor of the Union County Weekly in the Apr 9th-15th issue. I was unable to find the text of the letter on the Union County Weekly website.

So in some rare downtime, I scanned the article from the paper & ran it through some OCR software to see what it could do.

The result was pretty good, although I had to go through the whole thing to check for words that inexplicably couldn't be converted to text. Since I went to all this trouble, I figured I might as well share it here for posterity's sake.

Without further ado, here's town commissioner Erin Kirkpatrick's letter to the editor explaining her dissenting vote, preserved here for posterity's sake.
Historic Ventures project wrong for downtown Waxhaw

The availability of county water and sewer couldn't and shouldn't be sagely dismissed. The Historic Ventures project application with the submitted density and layout lacks harmony due to its scale, density and misinterpretation of the intent of Waxhaw's Comprehensive Plan. This parcel is located immediately adjacent to historic single-family homes. The applicant was unwilling to increase the vegetation buffer to 50 feet to help minimize sound, light and visual disruptions.

The project was resubmitted with virtually minimal change from the initial conditional-use permit zoning application. The multifamily and day care uses were removed, but proposed uses didn't replace them. A rezoning applicant should perform due diligence by submitting all uses. Fortunately, a condition was placed for the undesignated portion that prevents the applicant from submitting (another) plan for those areas for a minimum of two years.

My third rationale for voting against the rezoning at this time was due to the foreseeable traffic congestion I believe will severely impede motorists accessing our historic Main Street corridor, To that extent, the project as proposed has taken on the role of a foreground versus a background to our historic Main Street and actually shifts focus onto the
applicant's project versus our downtown core. Our town has been focusing on reviving this district.

Last, the intent behind smart, sustainable growth is to minimize impact on natural areas and not necessarily to create urban settings. This doesn't mean density should be the same as a large city but rather a potentially higher density compared to Waxhaw's existing density. The Historic Ventures project proposed roughly 18,000 square feet per acre of structure, equating to 200,000 square feet total with more to come. This figure is comparable to big-box development. Traffic for this size development has been determined in the past to be more than our main artery can accommodate with current infrastructure, especially given our railroad challenge. This was a pivotal time for Waxhaw to determine what the increased density for Waxhaw should be.

Finally, the Historic Ventures project doesn't offer much by way of green design, which is clearly the intent of the Waxhaw Comprehensive Plan in exchange for density increase. This project doesn't tread lightly on Waxhaw's culture, history or natural environs.

Councilwoman Erin Kirkpatrick

Waxhaw 5K getting close

The town appears to be gearing up for Friday's 5K (mentioned previously here & here). The boys keep calling it "mom's race" since my wife will be running her first 5K.

Whether you're running or not, here's a map of the route (and therefore street closures) that may be useful to have.

Waxhaw 5k route street closures

After carefully studying the map, I've found a few places where if my wife does an abrupt yet surreptitious U-turn, she may be able to win this thing. The intersection of Blythe Mill Road & North Providence Street comes to mind.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Verizon Wireless store coming to Waxhaw

And the grand opening is the same day as this Friday's Waxhaw 5k, which will run right past the store. Assuming the store will stay open to possibly lure in both the pre & post race crowd, could this be described as "pure marketing genius"?

Found this press release before I realized I need to sew on a Cub Scout patch before I go to bed tonight (thus this is tonight's last post as I'm not a fast sewer of patches despite what numerous townsfolk may attest to).
GREENVILLE, N.C., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A Wireless, an Exclusive Premium Retailer for Verizon Wireless, announced today the plans for the opening of their 100th retail store on April 30, 2010 in Waxhaw, N.C. A Wireless now has 100 locations across seven states. The newest retail store is located at 1100 N. Broome Street in Waxhaw. The phone number to the store is 704-243-8411. The store manager is Les Devatt. The district manager is Ed Kuykendall.
Supposedly there will be some drawings, deals, and refreshments for those of you into grand openings or in need of a Verizon Wireless phone or accessory.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Soldiers for Babies march update

Small update on the Soldiers for Babies I highlighted here & here. WSOC also did a story providing a little more details plus short video interview with Sgt. Jay Monismith.
Normally, Emily’s brother-in-law, Jay Monismith, walks with them, but he is currently serving in Iraq. However, being overseas didn’t prevent Monismith from showing his support. He planned his own walk, rallying 125 troops to support the cause.

“I talked to my boss and asked if we could walk that morning in remembrance of Sarah and he said, ‘Yes, sure,’” Monismith said.

The idea took off after Monismith’s initial request.“[My supervisor] said, ‘Why don't we do this on a larger scale? Let's do like a fun run/walk,’" Monismith said. “The Army doesn't do anything slow, so we were running the whole way."
For those interested in helping Sgt Monismith and the Soldiers for Babies team reach their goals of $5000 (and there's quite a way to go), please consider donating at their respective pages: here and here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CMC-Union sale coming to a boil

The Enquirer-Journal has an article on a recent county commissioners meeting & the hubbub surrounding the sale of CMC-Union continues unabated.
MONROE-- Emotions spilled over as people hurled accusations at one another over a proposed hospital sale or lease extension.

Commissioners expressed frustration over half-truths and outright lies; area residents demanded that commissioners not sell the hospital and candidates energized a crowd of about two dozen who filled a county board of commissioners meeting, angry at a potential sale of Carolinas Medical Center - Union.
Since the sale of CMC-Union is playing such an important role in delaying CMC-Waxhaw, I figured it'd be worth mentioning. I'm not particularly impressed with the article as it makes no attempt to detail the "half-truths and outright lies" to which it refers so take it for what it's worth.

On a side note, Mark DiBiasio (I link to his Village Scribe site in my sidebar) is taking quite the active role in pushing his point of view, but it was clear he's injected himself into this story long ago even if you skim his blog or the Union County Health Care Watch site he set up. He was apparently the only speaker arguing for the sale, so is quoted extensively in the article.

I'm still looking for a reasonable explanation of this whole mess. Something akin to an Idiot's Guide, but from a relaiable narrator of course.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Town Spring Festival on April 24th

New Town Elementary is having their Spring Festival on April 24th from 10a-4p.

If sounds a lot like Waxhaw Elementary Spring Fling (held on May 1st this year), which means the little ones will likely have a good time.

More specifics on the New Town Spring Festival is available at the PTA's site.

Spring Fest coming May 15th & 16th

One event that's been very well publicized in Waxhaw is the Spring Fest. Signs are up around town & notice has been posted on the town website one month in advance.

As a Waxhaw blogger, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention it.

Parkwood WR commits to Maryland

Since I mentioned KJ Brent's commitment already, it's only fair I mention Marcus Leak's as well.

The Parkwood WR has committed to the University of Maryland. Jerry Snow of The Enquirer-Journal has the story.
Parkwood High junior receiver Marcus Leak has committed to a full scholarship with the University of Maryland’s football program.

Leak visited the ACC school earlier this month with his father.

“I was very comfortable when I was on was on campus,” Leak said. “I like the coaches and the players. I like the academic program.

“Maryland’s a good fit for me. I got along with the players and it just felt comfortable.”
I was pretty baffled as to who the heck 'Rowell' was after reading this article, so it looks like an editor inadvertantly chopped out the part of the article that explains Nelson Rowell is Parkwood's football coach. Good information to have in there for those of us locals who don't follow local high school football closely.

More from the Baltimore Sun here. Congratulations to Marcus for earning his full ride!

March for Babies update

Not much of an update, but my earlier post on this march provides a clear illustration of the limitations of a little read blog.

The ultimate goal of Friday's post was to help both Sgt 1st Class Jay Monismith and the Soldiers for Babies team reach their fund raising goal of $5000 each. Since my post went live, they received a combined total of $310 worth of donations, far from my lofty hopes, but a positive contribution nonetheless. Thanks to all those who donated!

Maybe over time more money will find its way to this cause as more stragglers become aware of it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

March for Babies in Iraq

This is a remarkable story providing perfect illustration why the American military is the absolute best in the world. And if this is not a first as the article surmises, all the more reason to celebrate the American military.

In what is likely a first for the March of Dimes, a group of soldiers stationed in Iraq has signed up to do their own version of Charlotte's annual March for Babies.

They're calling the Friday event Soldiers for Babies, and donations are being sought in memory of a Waxhaw girl, Sarah Elizabeth Newsom, who lived only 37 hours due to a birth defect.

Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Monismith of Live Oak, Fla., organized the five-mile march in Iraq in memory of Sarah, his niece, who would have been 9 on April 30.

Read the whole thing.

Not only is this a testament of their generosity of heart, but also the remarkable work that was done during the surge. I cannot imagine something like this happening in pre-surge Iraq.

Please note that the March for Babies in the States takes place on Apr 24th, but the Soldiers for Babies march is being held April 16th -- today -- in Iraq. And they could use our help.

At the time of this post, the Soldiers for Babies team page shows they've only reached $1085 of their $5000 goal.

Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Monismith's personal page shows he's only reached $600 of his $5000 goal.

It would be great if Waxhaw & the surrounding areas can help them reach both of these goals the day of the march. Word will have to spread farther than this humble blog for that to happen, so pass this along to those that you know.

I know times are tough and money is tight, but it'd be great if you could chip in a few bucks to this worthy cause. It'll be like killing two birds with one stone - honoring the troops & supporting the March of Dimes' work at the same time. A win-win for everyone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marvin Ridge WR commits to USC

For one of the rare northern readers who stumble across this site, this headline should read "Marvin Ridge WR commits to USCe" as USC doesn't typically invoke the Gamecocks outside the south.

The State has the story:

Wide receiver K.J. Brent (6-4 180) of Waxhaw, N.C., became USC's first commitment for the 2011 recruiting class when he made a pledge to his recruiter Jay Graham.

Brent narrowed his decision to USC and North Carolina, according to his coach Scott Chadwick.

I mentioned K.J. Brent's recruitment once here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Like coffee & the mayor?

Then consider joining the mayor for coffee & if the mood strikes, perhaps give her a piece of your mind. From the town's site:
Coffee with the Mayor

On the weekends before upcoming Board of Commissioner's meetings, Mayor Daune Gardner will be available at the following location and times to discuss agenda items: Fridays from 7-9 pm at Main Street Grill; Saturdays from 8-10 am at Crossroads Coffee House; Sundays from 3-4 pm at 209 S. McKibben Street; and Mondays from 5-7 pm at Marino's.
This seems like a big slap in the face to those of us who don't drink coffee.

But seriously, the big news here: the Main Street Grill is open on Friday evenings now? During the last First Friday, I walked right past & didn't notice.

UPDATE 4/20: Nope. The Main Street Grill is not open in the evenings. The mayor confirmed for me to today and the typo on the town's website has been fixed. Yet another example of this blog getting results after holding local politico's feet to the fire.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A sign you might see in Waxhaw

I spied this tonight when I was out walking. Sorry for the poor quality, but it's the best I could do with my phone.

Waxhaw sign: Caterpillars & tadpoles for sale B1G1

I tried to clean it up a little & also blurred out some information to protect the innocent.

A pretty good deal when you think about it (at least for those in the market for caterpillars or tadpoles), but unfortunately the sale ended earlier this evening.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Late-breaking article on The Storefront Theater's latest

I'm only posting this because it's an amusing illustration of the lack of notice for Waxhaw events.

In today's Charlotte Observer, John Anderson has an article on The Storefront Theater's recent production, "The Controversial Rescue of Fatty the Pig." Unfortunately, it went to press after the initial performance on Saturday night & arrived at doorsteps only hours before the final performance today at 2.30pm.

He did dig up a brief synopsis of the play for those interested. Unless a review or bootleg video is forthcoming, that might be the best the unattendees can hope for.

My previous post on this subject is here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reminder: Don't forget to register to get your run on

Just a reminder that the 5th Annual Town & Country run is coming up fast on April 30th as mentioned here. The official race site is here.

Registration is $20 until April 16th per the Rotary Club's registration website.

It doesn't specify if the cost jumps after this date, so I emailed the organizers to see what the deal is. If and when I hear back, I'll be sure to share. My wife plans on running, with the rest of us scheduled to cheer her on.

UPDATE 4/11: Jim Rice, the 2010 Race director, kindly responded to my query with the following:
"Early registration for 5K is $20 and $10 for 1/2 mile Fun Run if you register by 4/16. The price increases to $25 and $12 from 4/16 through 4/29. We will accept race day registrations for $30 and $12 respectively."
I couldn't find this information on the run's website, but there it is. Register by the 16th to save yourself a few bucks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Former local sports star dies in LA motorcycle accident

This is before my Waxhaw time, but worth posting. Former girls soccer star at Parkwood HS, April Stirton died in a motorcycle accident on a Los Angeles freeway. The Observer has the story:

April Stirton was an all-conference athlete at Parkwood High School in Union County and followed that as a starter on the women’s soccer teams at Wingate University and Coastal Carolina University.

But she went West after graduation and was making her mark in television and the movies.

Stirton’s dream ended Tuesday morning on a Los Angeles freeway, when she was killed in a two-vehicle crash. The California Highway Patrol said Stirton, 28, died when she apparently lost control of her motorcycle on an eight-lane highway.

Even the Huffington Post, a rather well-known liberal blog/newspaper/clearinghouse, has a story on it. KTLA has a video clip of the aftermath shot via helicopter, but watching it may not be for everyone.

Rest in peace, Rachel.

Crime doesn't pay

Especially when you make mistakes like this. From WBTV:
WAXHAW, NC (WBTV) - A teen turned himself into authorities on Wednesday after committing a burglary at man's home late Saturday.

Tony Thomas, 17, has been charged with first degree burglary and larceny after breaking and entering a Harrison Park home.


When police arrived to the house, they noticed a cordless house phone on the ground about ten feet from the screen window. The phone belonged to Thomas.

Based on recent history, Harrison Park is becoming something of a hot spot for some of Waxhaw's, err, more interesting crimes. My posts on the other notable recent crime in that neighborhood are here, here, & here.

The Storefront Theatre presents...

...its last production of the season, "The Controversial Rescue of Fatty the Pig."

fatty the pig

Like many other local happenings, this one features a significant lack of notice. I stumbled across a notice in the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday, but family and tax preparation obligations prevented me from mentioning it sooner.

Performance are Saturday, April 10, 2010 @ 7.30pm and Sunday, April 11, 2010 @ 2.30pm in the auditorium of the Museum of the Waxhaws. Tickets are $10 and reservations are suggested. To reserve your tickets, call (704) 243-7283. All of this information can be gleaned from their website. (NOTE: Their home page hasn't been updated in a while, but reference to this production can be found on this page.)

For those of you with young kids, I spoke with Judy of The Storefront Theatre and she explained it wasn't a particularly kid-friendly production, stating essentially that little children weren't likely to be interested in it. Oh well. With a name like "The Controversial Rescue of Fatty the Pig," I sort of figured young children would be their target audience.

For those of you without youngins that are able to check it out, enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

OT: Groupon web site

I discovered a website called Groupon.com a couple weeks ago, a social buying site for the Charlotte area. There is one deal each day, generally for a service, event, or restaurant gift certificate. Oftentimes, you wouldn't purchase the deal of the day -- even at its sale price.

However, on occasion, sometimes they have something worthwhile for sale so it's good for those of us trying to stretch our dollars. For example, tickets to the Carolina Raptor Center were half off last week and since they're were good for an entire year, I grabbed a few for an upcoming trip. Before that I purchased a couple mobile car detailing for our cars from Zoom Impressions, which is looking like all the better with all the pollen piling up.

Today's deal is for half-price opening weekend tickets to "Goodnight Moon" at the Children's Theater of Charlotte. I might consider buying these as well if we didn't already have tickets for this show. I'm honestly curious as to how they adapt "Goodnight Moon" to the stage, considering the classic children's book has about 20 pages and slightly more than 20 words.

If you want to check it out, this link will take you there & might earn me some referral credits (if you buy anything the next few days), while the second one is a clean link to the main Charlotte Groupon page for those averse to seeing me cash in on my huge following. ;-)

Either way, I recommend signing up your email address with them so you get an email detailing the deal of the day, saving you the trouble of having to visit their website daily.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More pub for the Fiesta Band

A couple write-ups on the Waxhaw Fiesta Band in recent days:

* Over at WCNC's site, felicityksr contributed a post that ends mid-sentence. I particularly enjoy the description of how it all came together:
On one fateful Friday night, five people wearing sombreros and sunglasses ran into each other in Waxhaw. This was clearly not just some kind of coincidence, so they formed a fiesta group and started dancing on the side of the road! Eyyyyy!!!!
* In Sunday's The Waxhaw Exchange, Waxhaw ace reporter Elisabeth Arriero hits the mean streets of Waxhaw to find out what makes the Fiesta Band tick, going more in depth into the Fiesta Band's back story than I've seen to date.

I must say the Fiesta Band seems to be a much better way "to do something random" in Waxhaw than their first attempt of playing guitars on the street corner in black trenchcoats, with all the echoes of Columbine and The Matrix that that brings.

I'll also add that I had the opportunity to speak with Elisabeth Arriero for the article in question; it's only fitting since I linked to so many of her articles. I was browsing at the Waxhaw Antique Mart when I heard the music begin. I headed outside to see the fiesta had already begun and my boys were enjoying the fun. As one of the few bystanders on hand, she approached me for comment. I wish I could've come up with something more interesting to say, but obviously it was interesting enough to be included in the article.Prepare to be awed by my wit and brevity:
"My boys particularly like the storm trooper," Kaliph Hayes of Waxhaw said. "It's pretty goofy but it seems like good clean fun."
Is my 15 minutes of fame in Waxhaw all used up at this point? If so, it came & went much too quickly.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Another Waxhaw Gazette mention

The latest issue (103rd ed, Apr 2, 2010 for future Waxhaw citizens having to scour his archives) of The Waxhaw Gazette mentions my humble little site again, which is much appreciated. (It'd be a even more appreciated if there was an actual link to my site, but beggars can't be choosers.)

John goes into more detail on my earlier complaints (here & here) about short notice regarding tonight's First Friday event. To quote:
Our friend over at the Broome Street Blues - A Waxhaw Blog, recently complained about lack of information on town events. Well, the Gazette shares those same frustrations....

From the Town: I have not gotten a PR Release from anybody in Waxhaw for quite a long while, at least a year or so. The town used to put out information on upcoming events at least a month or two in advance. I understand that they hired someone to help, so perhaps we'll hear about these events in time for publication in the future? I believe they are supposed to be having a Spring Fest sometime soon?
So this behavior is apparently nothing new. Hopefully, someone can start providing more notice on local events as it will only benefit the town & its businesses (and given the relative quickness in which businesses come & go in Waxhaw, they could use all the help they can get).

In fact, during the First Friday event, a proprietor of one of the businesses I visited also commented on the short notice (he heard the same day as my post on it, Tuesday), alluding to the fact that there were even less people at his establishment for this First Friday because of this.

But back to The Waxhaw Gazette: be sure to read John's article on the Blue Star Flag & keep his son, surely one of Waxhaw's finest, in your prayers as he is currently deployed overseas.

And if I can find some time tomorrow, I'll try to write up something about my family's First Friday adventures.