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.

First Waxhaw Groupon?

I think this is the first Waxhaw Groupon that I've seen compliments of Fuzion Hair Design.
$39 for a Microdermabrasion or a Five-Layer Facelift at Fuzion Hair Design & Spa in Waxhaw ($80 Value)
Not for me, but my wife may be interested.

Hopefully more Waxhaw businesses try offering Groupon deals. I imagine it'd draw a lot of people from surrounding towns.

This deal is available through the weekend for those interested.