Wednesday, December 28, 2011

3 dead in Lancaster County car crash

This is a sad and strange story occurring just outside Waxhaw. According to an article in the Herald:
Van WYCK -- The bodies of three people who died in a crash Christmas Eve in Lancaster County were found down a steep embankment by railroad employees Tuesday.

Lancaster County Coroner Mike Morris arrived at the bridge at U.S. 521 and S.C. 75 near the Van Wyck community about 1 p.m. and pronounced the victims – Darrell Christopher Fisher, 48, of Catawba; his sister Jerilyn Fisher, 47, of Rock Hill; Jerilyn Fisher’s son, William Breon Fisher, 16, of Catawba – dead at the scene

Morris said based on talking to family members he and Highway Patrol determined the crash occurred between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 24. After checking with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, they discovered one of the Fishers’ sisters reported the family members missing.

The car was not visible from the road, he said.
Read the whole thing.

WSOC has more details on this tragedy as well. Plus a video.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A little eleventh hour Christmas shopping in Waxhaw

The kids and I went out in Waxhaw looking for a Christmas gift for the special lady in our life. I thought we could head over to the Bead Merchants and make a necklace or something like that for her. But we were thwarted by the their holiday business hours that had them closing up shop on December 21st.

We headed over to the used book store since it's there and came out with a bunch of kids books and a $14 bill. Not a bad price for all the books we got, but it seems like we paid more per book than previous trips to the use book shop. It's for a good cause, so it's not a big deal; just an observation.

Waxhaw Antique Mart was open on our way back so we stopped in there to what kind of gift we could find. Lots of options, but the kids are confident they picked a good one.

New Gazette

John released another new issue of the Waxhaw Gazette last Friday. My lack of updates means most of the info there is out of date at this point, but he has put together a nice slide show of Waxhaw's Christmas Parade that's worth checking out.

The town also has some pictures of the parade available at Facebook for those interested.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas lights

I know it's been quite a while since my last post but general business of the holidays, combined with traveling, an uptick in tempo at the office, and probably a dollop of procrastination have conspired to keep me away from the site.

I mentioned last year that Royal Colony Drive was a good. It's still good (although a few of the houses' lights were off when we stopped by), but this year you should make a point to check out the Christmas lights in Wysacky Pack where Essaw Road and Yamasee Road come together.

The light display in Wysacky Park appears to be a joint effort between two houses and it's one of those elaborate displays you can find on Youtube where the lights are tied to music being broadcast via FM transmitter. It's pretty impressive and definitely worth checking out. Unfortunately the display is so big that you cannot watch all of it at once.

If you go, there's a receptacle for canned good donations, so take some if you go.

Friday, December 2, 2011

UPDATE: GingerSnap 5k

I briefly mentioned this in a prior post, but the GingerSnap 5K takes place in Waxhaw on December 3rd. My wife is already signed up to run.

For those interested, you can still sign up here. Proceeds support "Girls on the Run."

UPDATE 12/2: The GingerSnap 5K is still looking for volunteers for tomorrow morning's race. Citizens of Waxhaw unite! And then sign up here.

First Friday

Tonight's First Friday of course. See the flyer below.

And that's all I have time for. Have fun if you head out!

Christmas Show & Fundraiser tonight

The Waxhaw Arts Council is having a Christmas Show and fundraiser tonight to raise money to be used throughout the course of the year.

Visit the Facebook page of the event to get all the details if you're planning on attending. Per Donna Frasca:
This is open to the public. This function is part of Waxhaw’s celebration of the arts – First Friday Art Crawl and celebration of the revision and fast growing Waxhaw Arts Council with a Christmas Sale, Party & Raffle.

A percentage of any sales to the artists and the profit from the raffle will go to help the Waxhaw Arts Council raise money to have future functions free to the public in Waxhaw, including educational programs to school children & public in the Waxhaw/Marvin/Wesley Chapel area.

There will be over twenty-five painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, printers, musicians, etc. participating in this show. Also, you will get a chance to see the new “Bean & Belle” art studio first hand. Jennifer Host Williams teaches classes to children and hosts “art parties” for different functions.

You may email any questions on Facebook ---Waxhaw Arts Council or call Lambeth Marshall, 704-843-5060.
I just wonder where the Waxhaw Arts Council was when I was working on my campaign sign garden. Maybe their input could have turned an ordinary campaign sign garden into an extraordinary one.

In other Waxhaw Arts Council news, John Anderson had an article in the Charlotte Observer about the Waxhaw Arts Council, including detailing the new leadership.

The new leadership for 2012 includes:

President: Scott Bland.

Vice Pres: Carolyn Carroll.

Secretary: Lambeth Marshall, with Lori Sanderson and Linda Dyer as backups.

Treasurer: Lambeth Marshall, with Missy Rose as backup.

In addition, committees were reaffirmed and the leadership established as follows: Social Media and Design, Donna Frasca (chairman), Gina Karpathakis, Verna Witt; Event Coordinators, Carolyn Carroll (chairman), Lori Sanderson (co-chair), Ann Tanzy, Linda Dyer, Verna Witt, Lambeth Marshall; Business Advisers, Consultations with Cathy Murphy, Barbara Faulk (Union County Arts Council), Daune Gardner (Waxhaw mayor) and Melissa Brana (CPCC Marketing); Advertising: Donna Frasca.

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Living Social deal

For those of you who periodically eat at McDonald's and like Big Macs and fries, there's a pretty good deal going on through the end of the day.

5 Big Macs & 5 Large Fries for $13

It consists of 10 individual coupons. One burger and one fry coupon can be used at a time (ie. can't use all ten on one visit). While Big Macs aren't my sandwich of choice, I still got one

Follow the link for all the details.

Busy busy busy

I've been awful busy as of late. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving until now. I figured I'd get a post up to assure the elite few who call themselves my readers (perusers?)that I am in fact alive and well.

The GingerSnap 5K is coming up Saturday morning; expect me and the kids to be out there fighting the cold temperatures cheering on my wife.

In other news, I hope to get up posts about First Friday and the Waxhaw Arts Council's Christmas Show & Fundraiser sometime before midnight, so I guess I'm on the clock.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Gazette released

John Tiley released another new issue of the Waxhaw Gazette on Friday. Among other things, it contains a lot of useful information on upcoming events in town, including the light-up night on November 25th and the Gingersnap 5K on December 3rd.

Read the whole thing.

Dairy Barn closes (temporarily?)

The Dairy Barn had a Facebook post Friday evening saying they were closing up shop due to lease issues. Here's the whole post:
To Our Customers: It is with so much sadness that we announce the closing of our beloved Dairy Barn. We opened a year ago and we have enjoyed serving every one of you this past year. ....and now, at the end of our first year lease, we have encountered some issues that do not seem to have solutions, so we will close for the winter and look for another location to re-open this spring. Thank you for visiting The Dairy Barn, Thank You for believing in our dream, and Thank You for your continued support during this very very difficult time. Jane and Greg Carpenter
The Dairy Barn was one of the businesses in Waxhaw we regularly visited, generally for the ice cream. It was fun to play a game of checkers or Connect 4 while eating our cones.

It's a shame they needed to close up shop, but not really surprising given the revolving door of businesses that have existed in that location since we came to town. For what it's worth, Jackson's Emporium and their overpriced candy was my favorite, followed closely by The Dairy Barn.

Either way, the rent set by the owner does not seem to allow any businesses to occupy this space with serious longevity, at least thus far. But I have no idea what the rent is here or at other downtown locations.

It's times like this where I recall an old County Edge article that detailed the difficulties of starting and maintaining a business in Waxhaw. Of course, it's been so long that this article may just be a figment of my imagination at this point, growing more illustrative of this problem with each telling. For what it's worth, I'm told the Waxhaw library should have an archive of the old County Edges that I should someday take some time to re-peruse.

Either way, keep your eyes peeled for The Dairy Barn in the spring as they plan to investigate alternative locations.

My question: are they still going to have the arcade games? A large handful of tokens is sitting in our cupboard. Hopefully someday they can be put to good use, otherwise I may have to auction these off as arcane tokens of Waxhaw history.

Help support Kate Zidanic

Tonight is "Help Support Kate Zidanic" night at Fox's Pizza in Waxhaw.

Kate is a little 6-year old girl that was diagnosed with lymphona in May of this year. Rick Giarla passed along this statement by Kate's mom to WAA families:
She was diagnosed in May with Lymphoma. She seems to be responding well to the chemo, but still has a rough month ahead of her. Once this chemo is over, she will have 18 months of maintenance. she lost all of her hair last week but that will begin growing back in the maintenance phase (the chemo is not as strong). This money goes directly to a fund at 5/3rd bank designated for her medical bills.
It runs tonight from 4-8pm at Fox’s Pizza Den tonight. Fox’s is donating 15% of your order to help offset their rising medical costs.

Don't forget to mention that you are supporting Kate Zidanic when you place your order!

So if you've got a hankering for some good pizza or just want to help support the Zidanic family's medical costs, get yourself over to Fox's Pizza for some dinner between 4-8pm this evening.

There was also a coupon in the email for a 1-topping medium pizza for a mere $8, $3 of which goes directly to the Zidanic family.

Pass this along.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

UPDATE: Thieves afoot

WCNC has the story about 15 cars being broken into at the Woodleaf and Aston Manor subdivisions early Monday morning. A snippet:
WAXHAW, N.C. – Waxhaw police are trying to identify and find two people responsible for breaking in to 15 cars early Monday morning in two nearby neighborhoods.

The Waxhaw Police Department said the cars were broken into between 4-5 a.m. in the Woodleaf and Ashton Manor neighborhoods located right across from each other.

All of the cars were unlocked, and the thieves did not have to break any windows. Various items were stolen, including GPS systems, speakers and cash.
Make sure you lock your cars at night as there's no sense in making it any easier for thieves.

UPDATE 11.55pm: Or not. Per one of my most highly-placed Woodleaf sources, suspects were arrested already. But of course it's a good idea to lock your doors regardless.

Recount is over and Poccia is in

The election is now over, so no one complain about campaign signs for another couple years.

Per a Union County Weekly Facebook update, Sean Poccia survived the recount and joins Mike Stewart as a newly elected board member.
Poccia still wins after recount. four provisional ballots in waxhaw, three not registered so only one counted. That extra vote went to Martin Lane, meaning he lost by three votes
A pretty tight race and an excellent illustration of the importance of getting out there and voting for your candidate. Tough loss for Martin Lane and Phillip Gregory, but I'm sure they'll be involved in town affairs one way or the other.

You know, this blog is always on the lookout for highly motivated former board members to sit in on town board meetings (since they're already in the habit of attending these meetings) and sharing their notes with the town. There are multiple benefits to this: not only will this educate local townsfolk as to what goes on at these meetings, but it also will make it so I won't feel I need to attend these meetings. Not like I attend them now, but I always feel like I should.

Let me end with a hypothetical question for county election junkies out there: what if the other three provisional ballots were all valid and counted for Lane, in which case he would've tied Sean Poccia for the last commissioner spot. Would there be some kind of runoff?

Friday, November 11, 2011

UCW on Gardner victory

The Union County Weekly has an article up on Daune Gardner's re-election. It was not as close as the commissioner race, of course.

A snippet:
With the win, she became just the second challenged incumbent Tuesday night in western Union County, along with Mineral Springs Mayor Rick Becker, to win re-election.

“That was very gratifying and humbling,” Gardner said. “I’m looking forward to the next four years. We’ve done a lot of work, got a lot accomplished.”


Gardner received the majority of votes at the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department, Waxhaw Bible Church and Kensington Elementary precincts. Underwood won the majority of votes at the Waxhaw Elementary precinct. All total, 17.75 percent of Waxhaw’s 6,158 voters cast ballots.
Read the whole thing.

UCW on recount

The Union County Weekly has a nice piece on the Waxhaw commissioner race, where Sean Poccia currently leads Martin Lane by four votes and Phillip Gregory by seven votes. The latter has requested a recount.

But first, provisional ballots must be checked. A snippet:
Whitley said there are currently 101 provisional votes throughout the county that his department needs to sort through before Tuesday, which could also affect the final tally. Provisional ballots are those that have to be checked, if a person voted in the wrong precinct or filled out information incorrectly.
Please note that this is county wide total; there is no word thus far how many of the provisional ballots apply to the Waxhaw races.

Luckily, we've got a good group on commissioner candidates this time around, so we should be okay with whoever ultimately wins.

Stay tuned to the Union County Weekly for more information on this as it becomes available.


Any self-respecting blogger worth his salt should get a post up on 11/11/11 at 11:11am. So here's mine.

To add something Waxhaw-related, half of my campaign signs disappeared from my yard on Wednesday. The kids and I had planned on keeping them for posterity's sake (much to my wife's chagrin), but some of the faster-acting politicians got to them first. I'm talking about you Daune Gardner, Phillip Gregory, and Sean Poccia.

I quickly gathered up the signs of Martin Lane, Mike Stewart, and Lisa Thornton and hid them deep in the bowels of my garage, so if they come looking for them, they will never find them.

Veteran's Day Ceremony

I should probably mention that Waxhaw is having a Veteran's Day Ceremony that kicks off in a little less than an hour.

From the town website:
You are invited to the 2011 Veteran’s Day Ceremony in historic downtown Waxhaw. The program is slated for Friday, 11-11-11 beginning at 12 noon and will be followed by a light luncheon. It will take place in front of the Waxhaw Military Wall of Honor located in the East North Main Street block in historic downtown. The program will be emceed by Commissioner Joyce Blythe and will include: the changing of flags by The UC EMS Color Guard and singing of The National Anthem by Caren Bigelow Morgan. Members of American Legion Post #208 will lead the program including Commander James Grainger.
Check it out if you're around town today.

Forever Grateful tomorrow

Thanks to all those who served or are currently serving our country!

I mentioned this once before, but I just wanted to remind you about the Forever Grateful tribute put together by Scott Farb and Ken Corn that is taking place all day on Saturday. It's a free event with souvenir bags for the kids.

A description:
This FREE day-long event will feature uniforms from every war the American Soldier has taken part in, from the French and Indian War to modern day. Reenactors in uniforms from different periods will enhance your visit to the exhibit. Photographs, helmets, equipment, weapons and war trophies will also be on display. Children who attend will receive a free souvenir package to take home from the event. The exhibit will also feature streaming video shot by local resident Ken Corn, who served as an embedded photojournalist in Iraq.

For more information, please contact event organizers Scott Farb or Ken Corn via Facebook message, or via email, at - this is a FREE event, and we certainly hope to see you there!
Plus he added this later:
This event is shaping up to be something big - it will be a memorable day. Come out and see military displays, the likes of which the town has never seen before. We are adding a special display on Medal of Honor recipients, and the US Army Nurse Corps. We hope to see you here!
We'll have to make our way there at some point, although the we've got family in town and a birthday party.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Village Scribe on mayoral race

Mark over at the Village Scribe talks a little about Waxhaw's mayoral race. A snippet:
To satisfy the nattering nabobs who take issue with the results of a three-way race and apply the negative, I thought I’d expand it and cover that aspect.

So, by Waxhaw voting as they did,

56% Voted against Daune Gardner
67% Voted against Lisa Thornton
76% Voted against Gary Underwood

There you have it, for all you “glass half empty” types, more people voted against Lisa Thornton and Gary Underwood than voted against Daune Gardner.
I think this was pretty evident from the vote totals, but it is another way to look at it. I'm guessing this is a response to these "nattering nabobs" pointing out that only 43% of Waxhaw's actual voters (which is a small percentage of Waxhaw's registered voters and an even smaller percentage of Waxhaw residents for that matter) voted to re-elect Daune Gardner.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recount requested

Per a Union County Weekly Facebook post, Phillip Gregory has requested a recount. He finished a mere 7 votes behind Sean Poccia. And Martin Lane could also benefit from the recount since he was 4 votes behind Poccia.

A follow-up comment from the UCW provided some more information:
Mr. Gregory had to fall within 9 votes in order to qualify for the recount. Scott's right, in that he was seven behind Sean Poccia. John Whitney, Union County Elections Director, said there are several provisional ballots to be counted between now and Tuesday. After that vote is complete, then Whitley will present Gregory's request to the Board of Elections next Tuesday, where the count will be done
So if I am understanding this correctly, these provisional ballots must be counted before the recount is to begin. So depending on the specific number of provisional ballots, it's possible that these could make the race even closer or change the results before the recount is under way.

I guess we'll have to stay tuned.

Campaign sign coda

As promised, below you'll find a couple pictures of the campaign sign garden. As mentioned in an earlier post, I had to get a little creative with Gary Underwood.

Using everything I learned from all those MacGyver episodes as a kid, I jerry-rigged a bendy straw, packing tape, and the Gary Underwood flyer into a small campaign sign.

We originally planned to move the signs around just to mix it up from time to time, but that plan fell through for the most part. There was one or two reorganizations, but we all agreed we liked them in a line as shown. While it may not be Waxhaw Arts Council good, it's not too shabby. Is there a better piece of living political art in Waxhaw?

A couple art hipsters walked by one day. After declaring it "eerily bold yet arrestingly subversive," they went on to describe it as an impressive piece of folk art that "fused scandal with nature, signifying death yet still paying tribute to the thin line of rebirth; a startling exclamation tattooed onto the struggling soul of small-town Waxhaw. Love the bendy straw!"

I shrugged my shoulders and went back to raking up my leaves. We'll probably take it down tonight.

Marathon update (for real this time)

I discussed last Friday the appalling lack of marathon updates from Tim (of Waxhaw fame) as he tries to run 12 marathons in 12 months.

Perhaps egged on by my post or perhaps due to that guilty feeling you get when not keeping up with your blog, Tim has posted updates to marathons #7, 8, and 9. Follow the links to read each post-marathon follow-up.

Could this be the first time this blog has affected real positive change in Waxhaw? I'll let you be the judge.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Results are in

The results of Waxhaw's latest election are in.

Incumbent Daune Gardner has won the mayoral race with a 122-vote margin, collecting 43.50% of the votes. Here's the details:

It would've been interesting to see the results of the election without Gary Underwood playing the role of spoiler like Ross Perot in 1992, although I have no idea if the result would be any different.

On the commissioner side, newcomers Mike Stewart and Sean Poccia both won election. Mike Stewart blew the rest of the candidates away with a 137-vote margin, collecting 30.32% of the votes.

Sean Poccia squeaked in with 23.24% of the votes. He had a mere 4 votes on Martin Lane and a mere 7 votes on Phillip Gregory.

Are there any takeaways from this? Did Mike Stewart earn a mandate with that vote total? Is it possible for the losing commissioner candidates to request a recount given the slim margin they lost by?

I suspect there are a handful of Martin Lane and Phillip Gregory supporters out there kicking themselves for not finding a way to get to the polls today.

One final thought compliments of the Union County Weekly. Per a Facebook post:
Overall, just ten percent of registered voters cast ballots in today's election. Out of 84,030 voters, just 8,540 came out today.
Pretty lame turnout.

Voter #339

That was me.

It took longer to run the gauntlet of politicians and their respective poll workers at Waxhaw VFD than it did to vote. I said hi to Mike Stewart, Phillip Gregory, Gary Underwood, and saw Lisa Thornton pulling in as I arrived.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Clarifying "Land of the Waxhaws"

I've linked to a handful of "Land of the Waxhaws" (LotW) stuff. For those who aren't aware, LotW is a local internet video broadcast run by Jim Black. Or I always used to think it was run by Jim Black. Actually, it's really a joint venture between Jim Black and our Mayor Daune Gardner.

Other than her frequent appearances on LotW, which I chalked up to her position as mayor and wanting to be in the public eye more, I had never seen any notice this was a vehicle for her other than noticing her business, Creative Plus, was one of the sponsors of the show.

But it turns out she's more than a sponsor and essentially a partner in the endeavor. I've questioned why so few candidates have appeared on the show. And the answer may be found in the fact that another of the candidates heads up the operation.

For the record, Daune stated that there was an open invite for candidates to appear free of charge on a segment if they agreed to allow her to interview them. While I think the odds are slim to none that Daune would take advantage of an opportunity to make the visiting candidate look bad (partially because I think this would rebound to reflect poorly on her), I can understand the other candidates' reluctance to provide her with more time looking gracious in front of the camera to help her campaign, especially Lisa Thornton and Gary Underwood.

If candidates chose to appear on their own segments (speaking with Jim Black instead of Daune), then they would be expected to pay the going rate of $50 per segment that is charged to local businesses.

However, that rate was apparently not set in stone as it appears different candidates were quoted different prices. For example, Martin Lane appeared on air with Jim Black so you would think he would be charged $50 for his troubles. But he paid nothing.

Gary Underwood and Mike Stewart were quoted the expected $50 price but declined to appear.

Lisa Thornton was quoted a $100 figure to appear before the candidates' forum at the Waxhaw Woman's Club.

Since we're speaking about LotW, Jim Black posted a last minute offer for candidates to appear on the show before polls close tomorrow. I'm not sure how much value it would be at this point, but here it is in case any are interested.

More ugliness this election season

I got an email from Daune Gardner and Marvin Councilperson Anthony Burman on Sunday about an apparently new email that some have received entitled "A Call to Action for Waxhaw" emailed out by the anonymous person(s) behind

While it was requested that I do not show the contents of the email, I don't think it's out of bounds to provide a brief general description of the contents since Daune references them in her response below. Besides calling attention to her dismissed DUI charge, providing a picture of her mug shot, and claiming she has a substance abuse problem, a considerable portion is devoted to railing against newcomer candidate Sean Poccia, who is enthusiastically supported by Daune, by claiming it provides Daune with control of the board when combined with Commissioners Erin Kirkpatrick's and Brett Diller's votes.

I'm not sure how many people got this email as this is the first I'd heard about it. I asked a few follow-up questions trying to learn who exactly received the email in an effort to determine exactly when it was sent and if others were CC'd on it, but I didn't get a specific response.

I emailed Anthony Burman, who is apparently working on Daune's campaign in some capacity, some of the same questions along with some others late last night, but still have not heard back. If he gets back to me with some additional details, I will try to update the post.

Did anyone else out there receive this email? I'm curious to hear how many people it targeted.

And as I requested in my previous post on bad behavior, feel free to email me with other similar types of less than desirable behavior by politicians and/or their supporters. Although with voting tomorrow, this will mostly going away until next election. I hope.

As mentioned above, Daune provided me with a statement that appears to be what she wrote up for the person who brought the email to her attention. Here it is for those curious:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It is disappointing that there are those who choose to spread lies, half-truths and innuendo on the eve of an election, and are doing so behind the anonymity of email.

While this may be the first you have heard of it, it is true that I was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in 2008. The case was dismissed and the judge went so far as to order all records expunged. Those events have NEVER diminished my passion or ability to perform consistently well and with strength and integrity as your mayor.

As for the allegations of corruption and so forth, my record both as a citizen activist and as your mayor shows that I have consistently stood up to bad development, encouraged citizen engagement and insisted on proper process.

Please call me at 704-578-0763 if you have further concerns or questions.


Daune Gardner

General election thoughts

Just a few miscellaneous last minute campaign thoughts that didn't seem to fit in elsewhere. I figured I'd get these off my chest before voting is over, but here we are at 8.30pm. So in no particular order:

* The addition of Gary Underwood into the mayoral race will benefit incumbent Daune Gardner the most. She will get the incumbent vote and Lisa and Gary will somehow split the anti-incumbent vote.

* Predictions: I think Daune Gardner wins the race for mayor for the aforementioned reasons. As for commissioners, I think Sean Poccia wins one spot mainly because all the Daune supporters will vote for her preferred candidate. As for the other slot, I'm not really sure. I think all three are good board candidates, but I'll give it to the more visible incumbent, Martin Lane. Bear in mind, I'm no political prognosticator, but those are my guesses. (NOTE: These predictions were made earlier in the day before any totals are in.

* A question: why was the campaign for mayor so much more heated than the board races? They seemed almost chummy in comparison.

* The campaign sign garden is officially complete at this time. I got signs from all the candidates except Gary Underwood. So I had to improvise. I will get a picture up time-permitting.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Marathon update

Earlier in the year, I was blogging regularly on Tim's attempt to run one marathon a month for a year.

But if you follow the aforementioned link, you'll notice there's been nary an update since July.

If your first thought is that I have been deficient in keeping up with them (a la the old monthly crime reports), you would be wrong.

If your next thought is that Tim was unable to keep up with this demanding challenge, you would again be mistaken.

If your final thought is that Tim's been completing the marathons, but no longer blogging about them, then you would be correct. One for three isn't too bad.

Number 9 is in the books, so there's only three more to go. If and when he begins blogging about them again, I'll try to link to them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Parks & Rec Master Plan meeting tomorrow

Coinciding with First Friday, the final Parks & Rec Master Plan meeting will occur at the Waxhaw Woman's Club on Friday per a Facebook post.
Parks and Rec Master Plan meeting Friday, November 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Waxhaw Woman's Club. Come give us your ideas and enter to win prizes donated by local merchants!

Raffle Prizes: 1) A Snap Fitness Membership, Group Ex Trial, A Smoothie and T-shirt.
2) Four hours of garden services for your edible landscape provided by The Garden Growers. They will design, perform maintenance, troubleshoot or build an organic kitchen garden for you. A $100 value.
So while you're walking around town for First Friday, don't forget to stop by and share your opinion.

Hopefully upgrades over at Nesbit Park (behind Kensington Elementary) will be a frequent request by those who stop in. Besides getting some lights for the ball fields over there, more parking is essential. They removed some of the parking down near the soccer fields due to safety concerns. With three new fields (2 baseball and 1 multipurpose) on the way, it will be important to upgrade the parking.

If you feel similarly, please stop by and let them know how important the issue is to you. And sign up for the aforementioned raffles while you're there.

Thanksgiving brew @ Maxwell's

Maxwell's Tavern posted an update the other day with some good news for local beer connoisseurs. I guess this is a nice First Friday surprise.
Special Treat for ALL OUR BEER LOVERS. This Friday, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery selected Maxwells to tap their limited release Thanksgiving beer, Bauern Bock. A handful of establishments receive one keg and one keg only, and we are the only place to get it in the area. This will go FAST, and then there will be no more until next year.

Bauern Bock is a German-style doppelbock lager, Bauern Bock is rich and malty with a deep amber color to match the changing colors of the fall season. It is also OMB's "biggest" beer at 7.5% ABV.

This will be tapped This Friday (11/4) at 6pm.

Thanks OMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hmm, what are the odds I can get over there at 6pm?

First Friday

Just a friendly reminder that First Friday is tomorrow.

Here's the flyer:

Fox's Pizza back on

I got an email the other day that Fox's Pizza is now back on, making them once again the only Waxhaw restaurant offered at I blogged about their prior stint earlier.

While this is good news for Fox's Pizza lovers, the deal is not quite as good as it once was. A $25 gift certificate still runs you $10 (and with the constant coupon codes runs, you'll likely pay $2-4 for this), but there is now a minimum purchase requirement of $50.

So this means the total cost will now be a minimum of $27, but you will get $50 worth of pizza and/or other food. Probably not a good deal for the nights my family wants to get pizza, but it will be a good deal for larger gatherings of people, such as kids' birthday parties and the like, where $50 of pizza can be more readily scarfed down. It should save you a decent chunk of change in those instances.

Campaign nastiness?

Throughout the election season thus far, it seems like the politicians in Waxhaw haven't really been involved in any negative campaigning. From what I've been able to see or hear, the candidates seem to be treating each other cordially enough.

You can't necessarily say the same thing about the candidates' supporters.

Thus far, I have seen a limited number of Daune Gardner supporters who've been acting petty towards mayoral candidate Lisa Thornton. Other candidates' supporters make similar claims. For example, a Facebook friend of mine wrote a piece supporting Daune Gardner and Sean Poccia in which she included the following statement:
There has been a great deal of negativity in this election. Despite all of the attacks, misstatements, and even flat-out lies being spread about Mayor Daune Gardner, she has continued to keep this election about the issues, and has refused to sink to the level of one of her opponents and make attacks against them.
Like I mentioned above, the only campaign negativity I've seen up to this point has been directed towards Lisa Thornton. It wouldn't surprise if other candidates' surrogates have taken the same tact, but I have yet to witness it.

I emailed this person a couple days ago to not only get clarification, such as examples of the "attacks, misstatements, and even flat-out lies," but also to get verification that the negative attacks are occurring since I haven't been privy to them. I have yet to hear back.

I suppose there's no way to say whether this is essentially a proxy war between candidates using surrogates or just a few feeling so strongly about their candidate that they need to denigrate opponents. It surely wouldn't be the first time in politics, and likely not even in Waxhaw politics, that this occurred.

What's your take on the negativity of this campaign? Is it coming from all sides? Both in the mayoral and commissioner races?

Feel free to comment or email me with examples, but given the emotion involved in a topic like this, let's try to keep it relatively cordial. I'm not interested in naming names.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another campaign sign

I may have maxed out the sign garden with a week to go in the election.

I got Mike Stewart's this weekend so I now have every candidate except Martin Lane and Gary Underwood. If I get any more, excellent. If not, it was a valiant effort. Although I've got my eye on some of those fancy banners; they'd make a fine addition to the garden.

Although my kids weren't quite as understanding. We were driving home today and my youngest asked "Why won't Martin Lane let us have a sign?" I don't know; I just don't know.

All kidding aside, I was really asked that question so the kids are getting a kick out of the signs. And for the record Martin did say we could have a sign, but I imagine he forgot in the hubbub of daily life which I imagine is only more amplified during election season.

On a side note, Mike Stewart actually stopped by the house to talk with me on Saturday. We couldn't speak real long since I was battling a cold, but he seemed like a pretty straightforward candidate worthy of your vote.

EDIT: fixed typo

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghost walk follow-up

I wasn't sure if we'd make it or not, but the kids voted at the eleventh hour to go on the Waxhaw ghost walk. We met up with the others outside Waxhaw UMC. I have no training in estimating crowds, but I suppose there were about 100 people give or take a few. Most everyone in attendance were adults or teens, but there were a smattering of younger kids throughout the crowd.

Cecilia Neal led us on the ghost walk where she passed along tales of death and true crimes that are still apparently leaving their mark on Waxhaw today. She started out with a story from a house that once stood at the Waxhaw Farmer's Market regarding a father who just couldn't take his four kids anymore and hung himself out the window. (By the way, these are just my recollections so some of the details may be off. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

Upon hearing this, my wife and I exchanged glances as we weren't sure our kids (youngest in kindergarten) needed to be hearing about stuff like this. But thankfully it didn't appear they were listening real closely and the stories didn't seem quite so bad for the most part.

My youngest was cold and tired, so he only lasted about 25 minutes and spent the rest of the time waiting in a warm car with my wife. My oldest and I lasted one hour before heading home.
My goal next year is to hear the entire thing.

But it was definitely interesting to hear about the apparitions floating around Waxhaw. We heard stories of them from Stewart's Village Gallery, the old surf shop, and a slew of tales from the stretch of businesses starting with the used book store.

Donna took some photos during the ghost tour and posted them here. I personally haven't examined them closely, but it wouldn't surprise me if a specter popped up in one later upon closer examination.

By the way, the Union County Weekly had an article on the walk before Friday. It contained a handful of interesting tidbits on Waxhaw, including this one:
Many may be surprised to learn, according to Neal, that one of our nation’s last witch-hunts occurred in Waxhaw. In the 1700s, the townspeople accused Nancy Craighead of witchcraft after her preacher husband died. To arrive at a verdict, those in charge dug up his body and forced his wife to touch his skull. A finger bleed would be proof of her true witch identity. Lucky for Craighead, her finger never bled, and town leaders dropped the charges.

Santa Picture Groupon

Since we moved to the Charlotte area, we've been getting pictures with Santa at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville. The Santa there has been the same since 2003, so we've been going back year after year.

This weekend there's a Groupon deal for a photo package with Santa at Carolina Place Mall, Concord Mills Mall, or Monroe Crossing Mall. So if you plan on getting your Santa picture at any of those locations, you may want to consider the following deal.

$11 for Photos with Santa Claus and a Dasher Print Package ($22.99 Value)

The Dasher package gives you (1) 5 x 7 and (2) 3.5 x 5 pictures for $11. We've always just gotten the single 5 x 7 in the past and while I don't remember the specific price, I seem to think it alone was over $11 in years past.

This deal expires Tuesday at midnight, so there's still a couple days to get it if you're interested.

Friday, October 28, 2011

WAA Monster Bash @ Kensington tomorrow

The Waxhaw Athletic Association is having a Monster Bash for youngsters this Saturday at Kensington Elementary. I had planned to take the kids there, but it appears the family schedule is already booked for these hours.

If you're looking to drop the kids off and get some dinner with your sweetheart, it sounds like a win-win for everybody involved.

South Providence update

Here's my belated update on Rick Giarla's rooftop fundraiser from a couple weeks ago. From an Elizabeth Belk update over at the Waxhaw PTA Facebook page over a week ago:
THANK YOU to everyone who was able to help support Rick in his effort to raise money for South Providence School this past weekend. He raised right around $5000.00!!!! What a great thing for this school and the kids.
A little way off from the $30000 goal, but in this economy it is still a significant chunk of change I bet South Providence appreciates immensely.

The fundraiser web page is still up, so I imagine you can still contribute if you haven't already done so.

Village Scribe on candidates

The Village Scribe, a blog that focuses on Union County politics, has put up an election guide. It is also one of the handful of select sites I link to on my sidebar. The site is run by Mark DiBiasio, who freelances at the Union County Weekly as well.

Without further ado, here's his guide as it currently stands:

If you visit his actual election guide and hover your mouse over the icons, you can see what each of them mean. I recommend doing so because it's not necessarily clear as to what each mean. For example, the recycle symbol does not mean Gary Underwood is the greenest candidate.

Ideally, it'd be nice to get further explanations for some of these icons, because it likely isn't clear to many how a candidate gets tagged as "developer friendly" for example. If you visit, check the comments where Phillip Gregory recently wrote a defense against being labeled as such.

Otherwise, based on the current guide, which has changed slightly from a week ago, it appears Mark is leaning towards favoring Daune Gardner for mayor and Sean Poccia and Mike Stewart for town board. Of course, he hasn't broken out a "thumbs up" for any Waxhaw candidates, which would be an official endorsement.

I'll try and check back to see if anything changes before the election.

Waxhaw bouncing back

WCNC has an article on the small business atmosphere in Waxhaw, which has improved. A snippet:
Mayor Daune Gardner says Maxwell's was one of the first to start a new business movement in the quaint downtown.

"A couple years ago we had over a dozen empty store fronts on Main Street. Last year we had seven. This year now we have two," added Gardner.
Here's the corresponding video clip from which the article derives, which stars the mayor and some of the newer local businesses.

UPDATE: How was the candidate forum?

Unfortunately, it appears Jim was unable to broadcast the forum from the Waxhaw Woman's Club so sickies like me will likely never know how it went down. Unless someone else made a recording of the event.

So any thoughts on how things went, not just for the potential mayors, but also for the potential board members?

If you have trouble commenting, just drop me an email and I can add the comment for you.

UPDATE 9.52a: I heard from the mayor yesterday and this was apparently the format of last night's forum, for those who weren't able to witness it firsthand. This seemed the ideal post to include this information.
Moderated by the League of Woman Voters. They will accept questions prior and will choose which to ask in the forum. There will be no direct questions from the audience and no debate between the candidates. Each question will be given to either the mayoral or commissioner candidates and each will be given an equal amount of time to respond. Some questions may be given to both sets of candidates.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reminder: Candidates forum tonight at WWC

I just wanted to give you a reminder that the candidates forum is tonight at the Waxhaw Woman's Club. It kicks off at 7p.

I think I will have to sit it out as I've been fighting a cold since camping last weekend and a packed room will have little desire to have a local blogger hacking and blowing his nose throughout. To prove I'm not exaggerating, last night my better half described my cough as "annoying." I'm already walking a thin line with some of you as per the comments of this recent post and my sniffling attendance would likely only make matters worse.

Jim Black plans to stream the whole thing on Land of the Waxhaws if he can get an internet connection, which would be neat. I've never watched a LotW broadcast live before, but if Jim's there tonight with gear in hand, I may have to try it this time around.

Anyone know the format of the forum? Debate? Audience questions? Short spiels from each candidate?

UPDATE: Has Leo's Kitchen opened yet?

I've blogged about them before a couple times (see the latter for a coupon). On the way home from work yesterday, it looked to be open but there was nothing official saying it was open. Call it my blogger's intuition, which is oftentimes wrong for what it's worth.

No word on their Facebook page yet, which hasn't been for two and a half weeks.

UPDATE 11/1: To answer the question in the title, yes, Leo's Kitchen is now open and apparently the grand opening is set for November 19.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3rd man charged

A third man has been charged in the card game killing last weekend.

The Enquirer-Journal has the story. It contains a tidbit that they weren't playing poker as I had originally assumed or read, likely the former. A snippet:
Quenthoney Kegan Black, 22, of 9931 Waxhaw Highway, Waxhaw, has been charged with first-degree murder and discharging firearm into an occupied dwelling. Black was taken into custody at his residence without incident after investigators obtained a warrant for his arrest, according a Union County Sheriff’s Office prepared release.


Tonk is a version of gin rummy that was popular among jazz musicians in the 1930s and 1940s. Writing on the games website, John McLeod warns, “many players seem certain that their own way of playing is the only correct one. Before starting a game with unfamiliar players, it is wise first to agree what house rules are in force.”
Read the whole thing.

He, along with the initial two suspects, is charged with first-degree murder. Could bullets from all three guns have hit Michael Garlins? I've seen nothing to suggest police have released any kind of ballistics test or even if they have got the guns that the three suspects apparently were firing into the mobile home.

For more information on tonk, here's the rules page referred to in the article.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UPDATE: Poccia's website updated

I wandered over to Sean Poccia's website and see that it has been updated with questions from a citizen asking for his positions on various issues regarding Waxhaw.

I was particularly curious to read his response on the Waxhaw's historical preservation and was a little disappointed. Here it is:
Waxhaw historical district and preservation: As for the historical district, this is an area of great interest to me. We all know Waxhaw is rich in history and we have some phenomenal buildings that we need to ensure stay true to their heritage. I have participated in and closely followed the Waxhaw Historical Committee meetings and spoken with many residents who own, live in or operate out of a historical building. The several versions of the historical overlay are solid documents. As I recently stated in a Historical committee meeting, there are opportunities to continue creating excitement about the significance of historical preservation. One such idea that I have seen work brilliantly in other communities is establishing an annual (or bi-annual) historical preservation day whereas we create a city sponsored event and bring in experts from around our region who specialize in historical preservation. These types of events allow residents to learn about the techniques, products, services and participate in workshops etc. that will allow a home owner or historical building owner to learn of resources and techniques about preservation. It's been said that knowledge is power and if we really want to become a city where preservation isn't just something we talk about, the government needs to do more than just establish mandates and rules.
I wanted to get his take on the failed historic overlay to see where he would fall on the issue that I've written about before. After parsing this, it reads like he is a supporter of the failed historic district overlay that would've essentially shredded the property rights within the proposed district.

But it must be added that he never comes out and says exactly which side he comes down on. Perhaps the mark of a true politician; I think he's ready for the job.

In other Sean Poccia news, he became the third person running for office to appear on Jim Black's "Land of the Waxhaws," when he was interviewed by Mayor Gardner no less. Two clips here and here.

The fact that the mayor personally interviewed him likely removes any doubt that she's endorsing him, as if the sign at Creative Plus and the Facebook plug weren't enough of a tell already. She's practically showing us her hand. I could continue on with these poker-related analogies but trust me, they'll only get worse.

UPDATE 10/28: The mayor is one who always has problems commenting on this blog so she emailed the following comment:
Every candidate running for office in Waxhaw has been invited to appear on the Land of the Waxhaws internet tv program. You may have seen the spot with Martin Lane from a week or so ago and Mr. Poccia agreed to be interviewed. Our new intern, Jeff Hodge, has contacted the other candidates and extended the offer to them as well. At this point, I believe Mike Stewart is the only other candidate to express an interest in doing so. The offer was made to all but it is their choice.

As for the question of whether I support Sean Poccia for Waxhaw Commissioner, the answer is “Yes, without reservation!”
I've got some further clarifications on Land of the Waxhaws and candidate appearances that I hope to get up later today. Keep your fingers crossed.

Waxhaw homocide

I went camping this weekend with the Cub Scouts. When I got home, my wife informed me that murder was afoot in Waxhaw as I'm sure everyone has heard by now.

It occurred after a fight broke out over a poker game, so you must be thinking a lot of money was at stake. Uhh, no.

Elisabeth Arriero has the story for the Charlotte Observer:
The price for one Waxhaw man's life may have been as little as $2, some Waxhaw residents said Sunday.

According to investigators, Michael Leon Garlins, 38, of Waxhaw died early Saturday after an argument broke out following a Friday night card game in or near a home on Forest Green Drive.

"It was supposedly over a money debt for $2 or $3," said Richard Weaver, 47, who lives near the mobile home where the shooting occurred.

Investigators believe Garlins was struck by gunshots fired by at least three people during the altercation.
Read the whole thing.

According to an Enquirer-Journal article, two have now been arrested and charged with first-degree murder among other things. No word on if ballistics shows bullets from both men's guns actually struck Michael Garlins. A snippet:
The Union County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joshua Davarius McGill, 23, and Jonathan Alves Henry, 19, in connection with a Waxhaw shooting incident over the weekend.


Investigators said Garlins was struck when at least two people fired shots. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Union where he was pronounced dead. The Sheriff’s Office lists Garlins’ residence at Pine Oak Road, Waxhaw, but the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles has a Charlotte address on file.
Read the whole thing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest Waxhaw Gazette

John has the latest Waxhaw Gazette up.

In Waxhaw-related news, John linkss to this article in the Charlotte Observer explaining that the Fill Good BP (new gas station near Lowe's) is the first gas station in Waxhaw to offer up E-85 ethanol gasoline.

I guess this is good news, although given gas prices in Waxhaw versus those in Indian Land, SC, the introduction of E-85 into Waxhaw might be met with little fanfare for a significant portion of Waxhaw residents.

There also are downsides to ethanol especially now that more corn is being used for fuel than for animal feed, which is most definitely a contributor to rising food prices.

Campaign sign garden status

When I left for work this morning, I was still holding at two campaign signs - one from Daune Gardner and one from Lisa Thornton.

I dashed off a quick email to Sean Poccia earlier today and there are apparently two unique Sean Poccia signs in my yard now as well. What can we garner from this? That Sean Poccia is a man who likes to get things done at least as far as it concerns placating local bloggers and the strange artistic demands that come with them.

Martin Lane planned to contribute as well and I've got emails out to Phillip Gregory and Mike Stewart too. I also emailed Gary Underwood, but he doesn't have any currently available.

On the neighborhood front, a representative of the homeowner's association knocked on my door to tell me that the signs couldn't be as close to the road as they were so I had to move them back. I put up quite the fight, screaming something about free speech and flailing my arms and whatnot. Actually, I was packing for a Cub Scout camping trip at the time, so some might say I was as meek as a kitten in agreeing to move them closer to the house.

He did mention that the signs weren't really allowed at all; the lack of political free speech by the HOA seems a little strange, but maybe this is par for the course as far as HOAs are concerned. I suppose I'll have to dig up the HOA contract one of these days and dig into it a bit. Time-permitting, of course.

Campaign website update

Just a quick update as I finally tracked down Mike Stewart's Facebook campaign page.

Here's the latest links to all the campaign pages in the order I found them:

Mayor: Lisa Thornton / Daune Gardner / Gary Underwood

Town board: Martin Lane / Sean Poccia / Mike Stewart / Phillip Gregory

That just leaves Phillip Gregory. Anyone know if he has a campaign page?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Waxhaw Pub Crawl?

Apparently the first annual Waxhaw Pub Crawl occurred Saturday night, but who knew? The philosophical side of me wants to ask "Does a pub crawl really occur if I haven't heard about it?"

I suspect I'm not the only person who heard about this fundraising event after the fact. I'm sure others are more well-versed in Waxhaw happenings than I, but I'm struggling to understand how I never caught a sniff of this until the day after. It's practically a part time job for me to keep up with beer-related town news and somehow this failed to enter my radar.

From Lori's Facebook page, the money raised benefited the Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation to chomp out childhood cancer. I blogged about their annual AdamFest festival back in September. I concluded my thoughts with a note about how I wish I had more notice so I could've blogged about it beforehand.

And here I am once again wishing I had more notice to share the details of this fun fundraising outing for an excellent cause before the event and not afterwards. I suspect more money would be raised towards fighting childhood cancer if the respective parties would get the word out a little better. Who do I complain to at the apparently secretive Waxhaw Social Club?

I've got so many questions: how many attended? Where was one to find out about this event? How did money get raised for the Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation? Koozie and tee shirt sales only? Or was there a participation fee? Did the bars contribute as well? How much was earned in all? And how fun was it? So many questions.

UPDATE: fixed typo

Thursday, October 20, 2011

UPDATE: Waxhaw Ghost Walk / Lantern Tour

From the town's Facebook page:
WAXHAW GHOST WALK!! Saturday, October 29 at 9 pm! Hosted by CECELIA NEAL and assisted by UCAPS - UNION COUNTY AREA PARANORMAL SOCIETY.
Meet: Waxhaw United Methodist Church parking lot. This is FREE to the public although donations will be accepted for the MS Society.
Sounds interesting. I may have to try and drag the family out to this.

The Museum of the Waxhaws also is doing a Lantern Tour on October 28-29th. Per the description, it is a lantern tour of a Civil War battlefield put on by the NC 35th Regiment.

The Ghost Walk seems like the more kid-friendly event of the two. But according to the website of the NC 35th Regiment, it appears to be family-friendly as well.
Guided Tours will go thru the woods by candlelight stopping at several historic scenarios and watching for the Civil War soldiers battling throughout the woods. A must see event for the entire family.
Something about a spooky lantern tour of a Civil War battlefield (these were typically gruesome, no?) just screams not kid-friendly. Does anyone know for certain?

UPDATE 10/23: Don't miss Captain Jack's comment down below for an clarification on the Lantern Tours. The Cliff's Notes version: it will begin more kid-friendly and get "progressively realistic" as the night goes on when young children will be less likely to be present. Sounds neat.

Meet the candidates

Just a heads up that you can go meet all the local candidates at the Waxhaw Women's Club next Thursday at 7pm. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Anyone know what the format is going to be? Are the candidates taking questions or will they just spend a little time telling us about them? One obviously more informative than the other.

Martin Lane on "Land of the Waxhaws"

I thought I linked to this a week ago, but apparently I just created a blank placeholder to be filled in at a later date. And the later date is this evening apparently.

Martin Lane became the second Waxhaw politician currently running for office to appear on Jim Black's "Land of the Waxhaws" internet video broadcasts, which stream live on the internet if you're lucky enough to check his site at the right time.

I pointed out earlier the lack of most of the candidates on Jim Black's "Land of the Waxhaws" internet video broadcasts. Before Martin Lane, Mayor Gardner was the only candidate who had appeared with any regularity and given her current position and the fact that her local business, Creative Plus, has been a supporter of "Land of the Waxhaws," I suppose that's not a surprise.

I contacted Jim a week ago and he sent me a message essentially stating that ideally candidates would buy time on his show. I emailed him a follow-up as to what this might cost each candidate a week ago, but have not heard back from him. So perhaps he has decided to refrain from charging candidates.

More evidence suggesting as much is the fact that Jim invited Martin Lane to appear on the show. However, this begs the question: have the other candidates (for mayor or the board) been invited to be on the show? If so, how come they haven't appeared yet? Other candidates, inquiring minds would like to know.

By the way, leaving comments on this blog is very flaky, so feel free to email me if you can't get through via the comments.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letters supporting the new guys

Out with Martin Lane and Phillip Gregory, in with Mike Stewart and Sean Poccia. Or so says a couple letters recently published in the Enquirer-Journal.

Here's a selection for the letter supporting Mike Stewart, an unknown to me:
Mike is new to Waxhaw Politics, which is a blessing in disguise. Needless to say, it is refreshing to know he isn’t part of the good ole’ boy system or “politics as usual” that seems to be the norm in Waxhaw. Mike Stewart is quite intelligent with a strong dynamic personality and gentle soul that truly cares about the heart and soul of Waxhaw, the PEOPLE. Mike takes pride in being part of his community and is ready and willing to go the extra mile to work together with the people, board members and town staff to bring a better government to Waxhaw. Mike has fresh ideas to (1) encourage smaller businesses to come to Waxhaw, (2) STOP wasteful spending, (3) lower taxes, (4) have a smaller government, (5) encourage and initiate transparency, and most importantly (6) ensure appropriate actions are taken according to what the citizens of Waxhaw bring to the board for consideration.
Here's the one supporting newcomer Sean Poccia:
I met Sean Poccia at a meeting and greet and WOW but he is dynamic. Sean is running for town commissioner. New blood, this is what Waxhaw needs and he has it all. He is energetic, objective, analytical and the person to vote for.
Read the whole thing.

Is it safe to assume that neither has any artistic vision since neither Mike Stewart nor Sean Poccia have contributed a campaign sign to my artsy campaign sign garden? Probably not.

Campaign sign garden really coming along

I came home from work yesterday afternoon to find my first campaign sign, compliments of incumbent Mayor Daune Gardner. The initial piece to my earlier discussed campaign sign garden.

Mayoral challenger Lisa Thornton is set to drop one off as well and I'll graciously accept a sign from any Waxhaw candidate, so that means you Gary Underwood, Martin Lane, Phillip Gregory Sean Poccia, and Mike Stewart. Don't be a square and stand in the way of my artistic vision!

If you'd like to increase your presence in the campaign sign garden and have multiple unique signs, you can bring one of each if you'd like.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Facade Grant Program

The Union County Weekly has an article on the new Facade Grant program that was recently approved by the town board. This grant program makes $7500 available to certain favorably-located area businesses interested in approving their façades, essentially subsidizing exterior repairs or renewal of favorably situated private property with taxpayer money.

Here's Brian Carlton's description:
The project is a scaled down and reworked version of the historic district proposal that failed earlier this year. By turning it into a grant program, the council made it a voluntary process this time around, so only those interested would be impacted. The project sets aside $7,500 from the town’s general fund, to be used as grant funding. If a business or property owner wants to restore his facility to the way it originally looked, he or she can apply to the Waxhaw Historic Preservation Committee. If the application is approved, the committee can authorize different amounts, up to $7,500 towards the restoration. To qualify, the restoration has to cost a minimum of $250.
I am not sure I agree with this description since the failed historic district proposal would've been imposed on homeowners with no subsidization of repairs; it just would've dictated what changes or repairs could be made to homes and business falling within the specified district. If I'm not mistaken, the only taxpayer money used for this program would be the salaries of the bureaucrats that maintain it.

The Facade Grant program, however, takes taxpayer money and uses it help pay for refurbishments to accepted applicants. I'm not sure money should be taken from taxpayers and doled out to individuals to improve the look of their personal property.

Brett Diller, Erin Kirkpatrick, and Martin Lane obviously feel differently as they provided the necessary three votes to pass this program. On the other hand, Phillip Gregory and Joyce Blythe voted against it, but hold back warm and fuzzies for them quite yet if saving taxpayer money is your thing.

The article seems to suggest Phillip Gregory and Joyce Blythe didn't vote against it because of the transfer of taxpayer money to a select few, but because they weren't entirely comfortable with the Waxhaw Historic Preservation Committee (WHPC) running the program. Personally, I have more of an issue with the fact taxpayer money will be subsidizing select individuals rather than who will be overseeing the program. Although I suppose the WHPC might be more inclined to favor historic properties, but that remains to be seen.

In the article, Erin Kirkpatrick is quoted as follows:
“It’s an investment in our economic development,” Waxhaw council member Erin Kirkpatrick said. “It’s money we’re investing to bring people to our downtown corridor.”
I honestly don't see how improving the exterior of buildings downtown will more than nominally improve economic development in Waxhaw. Will a handful of improved façades downtown make a significant impact in how much money is spent in downtown Waxhaw? Is there evidence to suggest it will?

Maybe offering up much more than $7500 will attract more people (and Brenda Stewart's comment beneath the article suggests they're already looking to expand the program before the ink is even dry), but a more significant economic development would be having shops that regular folks can shop at. I realize that's beyond the scope of the town board (or so I would hope), but I consider myself a regular guy and besides the restaurants, there are very few shops in downtown Waxhaw I would need to set foot in.

Like the Waxhaw Fresh Market before it, the loss of Southport Gifts removes another store I'd pop into periodically. Where is one to shop in Waxhaw for gifts and knick-knacks besides antique shops? Stewart's Gallery comes to mind, but my ventures in there have been limited as I've normally watched the kids outside (so they don't break anything) while my wife looks around.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chili Cookoff @ Parkwood Middle

Just a note that there's a Chili Cookoff & Fall Festival at Parkwood Middle School this Saturday October 22nd from 11a-4p.

If you're looking for something to do next, it's only $5 to taste the chili. $10 to enter the cookoff and taste.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Campaign sign garden

So far no signs are in my yard, but one candidate has offered to drop one off. If a candidate wants to donate the campaign sign garden (mentioned here), drop me an email and I can send you my address. (Or you can just look it up in the Waxhaw GIS database, I guess, but that might be considered just a tad creepy.)

If the campaign sign garden does come to fruition, it may, nay will, be my greatest visual artistic accomplishment. That's not saying a lot but it is what it is.

So if you want local politicians to contribute a sign, I suggest contacting them to have one delivered post haste. They can't ignore the people forever.

#OccupyWaxhaw, anyone?

BBQ results

The results of Waxhaw's Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff are available at the town website here. Unfortunately, it's a mish-mash of downloadable PDF and Excel files. Not very convenient for looking at the results.

So here they are in all their slightly-more-convenient glory:
Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
Kansas City BBQ Society PRO Results

Place Overall
1 Uncle Mac's BBQ Crue, Charlotte, NC
2 Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC
3 Serial Griller, Yorktown, VA
4 Up in Smoke, Rock Hill, SC
5 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC
6 Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC
7 Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC
8 Bad Mother Smoker, Concord, NC
9 Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC
10 Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC
11 Butt's R Us, Waxhaw, NC
12 Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC
13 Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC
14 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC
15 Jo's Jo's Backyard BBQ, Monroe, NC
16 Just Good, Inc., Monroe, NC

Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
Kansas City BBQ Society PRO Results Chicken

Place Chicken
1 Uncle Mac's BBQ Crue, Charlotte, NC
2 Bad Mother Smoker, Concord, NC
3 Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC
4 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC
5 Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC
6 Up in Smoke, Rock Hill, SC
7 Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC
8 Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC
9 Butt's R Us, Waxhaw, NC
10 Serial Griller, Yorktown, VA
11 Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC
12 Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC
13 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC
14 Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC
15 Jo's Jo's Backyard BBQ, Monroe, NC
16 Just Good, Inc., Monroe, NC

Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
Kansas City BBQ Society PRO Results Pork Ribs

Place Pork Ribs
1 Up in Smoke, Rock Hill, SC
2 Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC
3 Uncle Mac's BBQ Crue, Charlotte, NC
4 Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC
5 Serial Griller, Yorktown, VA
6 Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC
7 Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC
8 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC
9 Butt's R Us, Waxhaw, NC
10 Bad Mother Smoker, Concord, NC
11 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC
12 Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC
13 Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC
14 Jo's Jo's Backyard BBQ, Monroe, NC
15 Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC
16 Just Good, Inc., Monroe, NC

Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
Kansas City BBQ Society PRO Results Pork

Place Pork
1 Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC
2 Uncle Mac's BBQ Crue, Charlotte, NC
3 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC
4 Serial Griller, Yorktown, VA
5 Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC
6 Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC
7 Bad Mother Smoker, Concord, NC
8 Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC
9 Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC
10 Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC
11 Up in Smoke, Rock Hill, SC
12 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC
13 Just Good, Inc., Monroe, NC
14 Butt's R Us, Waxhaw, NC
15 Jo's Jo's Backyard BBQ, Monroe, NC
16 Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC

Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
Kansas City BBQ Society PRO Results Overall Brisket

Place Brisket
1 Serial Griller, Yorktown, VA
2 Uncle Mac's BBQ Crue, Charlotte, NC
3 Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC
4 Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC
5 Up in Smoke, Rock Hill, SC
6 Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC
7 Bad Mother Smoker, Concord, NC
8 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC
9 Butt's R Us, Waxhaw, NC
10 Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC
11 Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC
12 Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC
13 Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC
14 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC
15 Just Good, Inc., Monroe, NC
16 Jo's Jo's Backyard BBQ, Monroe, NC

Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
People's Choice Award

Place Butts Team #
1 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC 9
2 Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC 15
3 Backwoods BBQ, Waxhaw, NC 1
4 The Sizzlin' Pigs, Monroe, NC 6
5 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC 7
6 Butt's R Us, Waxhaw, NC 8
7 King B BBQ, Charlotte, NC 4
8 Butt Burners BBQ, Waxhaw, NC 3
Billy Bob Beamer BBQ, Waxhaw, NC 2
Meat and Heat, Waxhaw, NC 5
Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC 10
Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC 11
Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC 12
Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC 13
Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC 14
Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC 16
Up in Smoke, Rock Hill, SC 17

Place Ribs Team #
1 Carolinas BBQ Co., Hildebran, NC 9
2 Butt Burners BBQ, Waxhaw, NC 3
3 Uncle Mac's BBQ Crue, Charlotte, NC 8
4* The Sizzlin' Pigs, Monroe, NC 6
4* 521 BBQ, Indian Land, SC 7
4* Chubby's BBQ, Monroe, NC 10
4* Red, White and Que, Waxhaw, NC 13
Backwoods BBQ, Waxhaw, NC 1
Billy Bob Beamer BBQ, Waxhaw, NC 2
King B BBQ, Charlotte, NC 4
Meat and Heat, Waxhaw, NC 5
Kick'n & Grill'n, Waxhaw, NC 11
Palmetto Smokehouse, Greenwood, SC 12
Rock Store BBQ, Indian Trail, NC 14
Smokin' Good, Fort Mill, SC 15
Texas Outback Cookers, Monroe, NC 16

*Four way tie for 4th place

Waxhaw Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cookoff
October 8-9, 2011
Kansas City BBQ Society Backyard Results

Place Overall
1 The Sizzlin' Pigs, Monroe, NC
2 Butt Burners BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
3 Meat and Heat, Waxhaw, NC
4 Backwoods BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
5 King B BBQ, Charlotte, NC
6 Billy Bob Beamer BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
7 Somerset Smokers, Waxhaw, NC

Place Pork Ribs
1 The Sizzlin' Pigs, Monroe, NC
2 King B BBQ, Charlotte, NC
3 Butt Burners BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
4 Meat and Heat, Waxhaw, NC
5 Backwoods BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
6 Billy Bob Beamer BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
7 Somerset Smokers, Waxhaw, NC

Place Pork
1 Somerset Smokers, Waxhaw, NC
2 Backwoods BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
3 Butt Burners BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
4 Meat and Heat, Waxhaw, NC
5 The Sizzlin Pigs, Monroe, NC
6 King B BBQ, Charlotte, NC
7 Billy Bob Beamer BBQ, Waxhaw, NC
I wish I could've been there.

UPDATE: Rick's apparently on the roof

But still no Facebook pictures?!

What the heck is everyone doing in Waxhaw today? Make yourselves useful.

On a serious note, I've already touched upon Rick Giarla's efforts this weekend and urge you to contribute if you can spare a dime or preferably more. He's set a hefty goal, so it be nice to reach it or at least come as close to it as we can. Hopefully the entirety of the county chips in on this fundraiser as it benefits students from across the county, not just those from Waxhaw.

Here's the page to do it.

The Union County Weekly wrote up an article on this fundraiser, providing some specifics about how the money will be spent. A snippet:
Giarla will be on top of Stacks from 8 a.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Monday, while volunteers work down below, collecting donations. He hopes to raise $30,000 for the school. That would allow South Providence to buy eight Smart Boards for the classrooms at $3,400 each and two dozen TI 83 calculators at $85 each.
Read the whole thing.

UPDATE 8.58p: It appears that Jim Black is on the case and has some pictures up now on Facebook.

Another candidate page discovered

I discovered yet another candidate's campaign page, this time mayoral candidate and former Waxhaw mayor, Gary Underwood.

He has a Facebook campaign page set up.

Here's the latest links to all the campaign pages in the order I found them:

Mayor: Lisa Thornton / Daune Gardner / Gary Underwood

Town board: Martin Lane / Sean Poccia / Phillip Gregory / Mike Stewart

As far as I can tell, candidates without links do not have a campaign web page set up. If anyone is aware of campaign pages for Phillip Gregory or Mike Stewart, drop me an email.

Fox's Pizza Deal

Fox's Pizza is offering a pretty good deal right now on Eversave, a Groupon-like site. For those of us who enjoy their pizza (or those of you thinking of trying it), it seems like a no-brainer. EverSave is not as widely known as Groupon, but I've gotten a couple things from them in the past, so you can feel confident in using it if the deals interests you.

$10 for $20 worth of food and drinks at Fox's Pizza Den

There's another 4 and a half days left on this deal, so by my calculations you have until end-of-day Monday 10/17 to take advantage.

Too bad they didn't run this deal one day sooner as I had $5 EverSave bucks that expired one day prior, which would've given me $20 worth of Fox's Pizza stuff for only $5. I haven't yet decided if this is enough of a transgression to make my enemies list or not (EverSave, not Fox's Pizza).

I'd also like to add that Fox's Pizza has got to be the best local Waxhaw restaurant (or any business for that matter) to participate in programs that allow their customers to save money. I've blogged about their past participation in and their past Groupon we missed out on. No other business in Waxhaw has embraced social buying and other customer money-saving programs like Fox's Pizza, so hopefully it helps them expand their business.