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.