Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Historic District

Brian Carlton and the Union County Weekly has the story of the latest regarding the proposed historic district in Waxhaw.
Waxhaw residents and commissioners will be talking about a greatly reduced Historic District during the March 19 public hearing.

During their Monday, Feb. 21, meeting, the Waxhaw Planning Board approved by a 4-2 vote plans for a historic district in the town. They cut the size of the proposed district however, narrowing it to just Main Street and the area immediately surrounding it.

The proposed district would now have borders starting at the intersection of Broad and Main streets on the left and ending just before the intersection of Main and McKibben streets. On the north side, it would begin at the intersection of Providence and Howie Mine streets, while on the south, it would end at the intersection of Broome and Caldwell streets.

The move, which would eliminate over two-thirds of the original proposed district, isn’t enough for opponents, who say it misses the point.
Read the whole thing.

The illustration below shows the extent to which the proposed historic district has shrunk.

Waxhaw's latets proposed historic district

While that would seem like a good development since less people would be affected by the strict guidelines instituted by the proposed plan, the fact that the plan is still in play is still unfortunate. My post last July details some of the effects the new plan would have on the affected owners and whether it affects 100 or 20 property owners, it's still too many.

If you'd like to voice an opinion on the historic district proposal, a public hearing is planned for March 19th at the Waxhaw Elementary gymnasium. Afterwards, it will then be brought before the town commissioners, so now would be the time to say your piece.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Anyone know what's going in by McDonalds?

I heard a gas station. Can anyone verify?

Police pursuit in Waxhaw

Per WSOC and the Enquirer-Journal, the story of 17-year old Brandon Gurganus who stole a minivan and led police on a pursuit in Waxhaw on Thursday morning.

Follow the aforementioned links for all the details, but per the Enquirer-Journal, here's what he's been charged with:
Gurganus was charged with careless and wreckless driving, speeding and felony speeding to elude law enforcement. Monroe had a warrant out on him, he said.
Uhh, shouldn't there be a some sort of charge regarding the stolen minivan?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A few miscellaneous tidbits

I had family visiting from out of town this last weekend, giving me another reason not to post anything for the last few days (like I needed any).

But John has a new issue of the Waxhaw Gazette out where he tackles blogs vs. newspapers. My only minor quarrel would be that blogs typically are not indiscriminate in nature from my experience. Most blogs I stumble across seem to have a specific topic it concentrates on, much more so than a newspaper that reports a much broader cross-section of information.

When I post, I think I do a fairly good job posting about Waxhaw or Waxhaw-related info, but I guess you all can be the judge of that.

* The Waxhaw Exchange failed to arrive on Sunday once again. Do other neighborhoods receive this weekly as sporadically as mine?

* In other news, I signed the kids up to play baseball this spring at the WAA. While I love that they play baseball, it's a pretty significant dent in the checkbook when baseball season rolls around (twice a year).

* We got takeout from Maxwell's Tavern the day of the Super Bowl. Since Marino's went out of business, we figured it was high time to take the Maxwell's philly cheese steak for a whirl (since Maxwell's received more votes than Just Wing It from the pre-game electorate). It was very good, but not quite as good as Marino's in my opinion. Definitely a worthwhile local option if you're looking for a cheese steak.

It's worth noting they messed up our order as the lettuce and mayo never made it onto our sandwiches, so lucky for them I have mayo in the fridge and consider lettuce to be entirely optional. It still would've been nice to get it right though.

* I placed an online order for a crankshaft position sensor for my Saturn L300 in the hopes that it resolves some annoying starting issues that essentially limits my vehicle to being used on my daily commute.

I'm not really the expert car mechanic I've made myself out to be on this site, so hopefully everything goes well later this week when the part comes in. And even more ideally, hopefully it fixes the problem at a fraction of the cost of getting the issue resolved in a garage.

Knock on wood.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New commissioner profiled

Last week, both the Enquirer-Journal (here) and the Union County Weekly (here) profiled the newly appointed town commissioner Phillip Gregory.

Worth reading both articles for those interested.

New restaurant coming to Marino's old location

While I still mourn for the loss of Marino's, my wife informs me that a new restaurant has plans to open up shop at the Marino's old location.

She garnered that little tidbit on a walk about town. Perhaps if I got more exercise, I'd have more scoops to break on this site.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't practice engineering without a license

Getting involved sometimes has its consequences.

Here's a story out of Raleigh from last week that's worth reading.

A small snippet:
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A homeowner may face criminal charges in the fight over two traffic signals, after a DOT engineer reported the man practiced engineering without a license.


NCDOT said they would look at a second analysis if it came from an independent licensed engineer, but the neighborhood association produced a study of its own.


The study clearly shows it was submitted by the residents of North Raleigh. The group used guidelines from a 2009 Federal Highway Administration manual to help them write the study.

Instead of taking a second look at the situation, Kevin Lacy, a state traffic engineer, filed a complaint.
Read or watch the whole thing and let it serve as a cautionary tale -- sometimes those in government, be they politicians or bureaucrats, are not too excited when the rest of us try to get involved.

The News & Observer has a follow-up blog post after Rush Limbaugh apparently discussed the issue on his radio show on Monday. It contains support for both sides from professional engineers (one can only hope they are properly licensed). It's worth reading as well if the matter interests you. And for the information junkies in Waxhaw, here's an earlier post with more comments from Kevin Lacy, the state DOT engineer who filed the charges.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Waxhaw Visitor's Guide recently announced (recently meaning the last couple weeks since I've been slacking) a visitor's guide.

I haven't read through it yet since I apparently can't download it as a PDF, but it's there for anyone who's interested.

UPDATE 2/16: There are also printed copies floating around local businesses too, so you can pick up a copy if interested. I got mine at Summerfield.

Amazon 1, NC 0 ... so far

Per an AP article:
RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina tax collectors have ended a court fight with and its customers after clarifying that demands for purchasers' data don't include the titles of the books and other products.

The lawsuit originally filed by Amazon in its hometown of Seattle was closed late last month after a settlement between North Carolina's Revenue Department and seven North Carolina residents represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Revenue Department's future requests for data from Internet retailers will clarify that tax collectors don't want the titles or other identifying information of the books, movies or music sold, according to a copy of the settlement the agency provided Wednesday.
It'll be interesting to see how Amazon defends itself against North Carolina's grubby tax collectors' next attempt to squeeze more money out of its citizens when it requests a more limited amount of information, focusing more on total dollars spent at Amazon and not on items purchased.

Keep your fingers crossed.

New Hayes Carll album

While the rest of you in Waxhaw are hopelessly waiting for Hayes Carll's new album KMAG YOYO to be released tomorrow, I received mine late last week. One of the benefits of purchasing the bundle package from, I suppose.

My bundle came with the limited edition clear vinyl LP, CD, 7" vinyl of "Grateful for Christmas," KMAG YOYO patch, KMAG YOYO sticker, KMAG YOYO tee shirt, and signed lithograph -- a veritable treasure trove of KMAG YOYO paraphernalia.

As for the music itself, after a couple listens thus far, my early grade is that it's nearly as good as his last album, Trouble in Mind.

To throw the lowly rest of you a bone, here's Hayes performing 8 songs from the new album for an NPR affiliate. I haven't listened to the entire thing, but there was about six minutes of silence to begin.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Just Wing It" highlighted on Fox News Rising

I stumbled across this little clip from Fox News Rising last week highlighting Waxhaw's own Just Wing It.

We almost got wings there for lunch on Super Bowl Sunday, but the majority of us wanted cheese steaks. I've yet to sample the wings at "Just Wing It" so we'll have to do that one of these days.

Board appoints new commissioner

The Enquirer-Journal has the story. Former vice chairman of the town's planning board Phillip Gregory has been appointed to fill Brian Haug's empty seat.

I don't have much more to add other than it's good to see the board so quickly agree on a replacement this time around.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Carolina Thread Trail open house tonight

An open house will be held tonight in Waxhaw from 6-8 PM at the Waxhaw Woman’s Club (200 E. South Main Street) to review the proposed routes and provide feedback on the Carolina Thread Trail.

If you're not already scheduled to enjoy a romantic dinner at First Friday during these prime dinner hours, you can choose to provide some feedback.

If you can't make it, here's a online survey you can take to give them your opinion.

Main Street Grill not open this evening

I got some clarification from the Main Street Grill via Facebook that they will only be handing out free hot chocolate and coffee (with live music); they will not be serving dinner this evening.

On the plus side, I was told they plan to open on Friday and Saturday evenings starting in the spring, so that's a good thing for some of us.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brian Carlton on board flip-flop

Editor Brian Carlton of the Union County Weekly, who does a good job of covering Waxhaw, has a article on the board's recent about face regarding filling Haug's empty seat in the latest issue. And it is significantly more detailed than the article I discussed earlier from the Enquirer-Journal.

The entire article is pretty detailed and worth reading, but here's a snippet.
One week after a majority of the town board opposed such an idea, Waxhaw commissioners reversed course and announced they would consider appointing a replacement for commissioner Brian Haug. During their Monday, Jan. 17 meeting, council members voted 3-2, with Mayor Daune Gardner breaking the tie, to refrain from appointing Haug’s successor for at least six months. One week later, after criticism from voters and threat of a lawsuit, the council unanimously agreed to hear what options they have and potentially discuss candidates.

“That motion by me (to delay six months) was a spur of the moment decision, which came after our board failed to agree on a candidate,” town commissioner Erin Kirkpatrick said. “My goal is to find someone impartial, someone that will vote on issues rather than for friends.”
Ignoring the fact that they will never find someone impartial to fill the seat, the original decision to delay the process by at least six months makes it seem like filling the seat was not a terribly pressing goal to those who voted that way.

Here's to hoping the board can find someone to keep the seat warm until the next election. I think someone like Max Walker, who failed in his bid for re-election the last go around would be an ideal candidate, assuming he is even interested. Surely there are number of other citizens interested enough in town business to be considered. (Full disclosure: Max Walker is a Facebook friend of mine. But I know him about as well as the rest of my Facebook friends if that tells you anything.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's First Friday

As you may have heard, it's First Friday time again and love is in the air.

All the details can be found here (PDF), but in short: Maxwell's Tavern, Rippington's, and Mama Lena's are offering special Valentine's dinners. And thanks to Summerfield, each romantic dinner includes a free carriage ride.

Southsiders and the Main Street Grill both are also participating -- the former with some Crème brûlée and the latter providing free hot chocolate and coffee.

See the flyer for more details.

No word on if Main Street Grill is actually going to be serving dinner (which would be the big news in my opinion) or if they're just handing out free drinks. With family coming into town this weekend, I'm hoping to have a special dinner with one of their cheeseburgers.

Mayor hobnobs with president

Yes, that president and well, sorta.

Mayor Gardner got to shake hands with President Obama and exchange a few words with him at the recent US Conference of Mayors.

There was a brief article in the Enquirer-Journal that the mayor shared on her Facebook page, so I imagine it's safe to share here as well without angering the powers that be at the Enquirer-Journal. I'm not sure why it failed to turn up at searches at

Here's the text of the article:
Waxhaw | Conference of Mayors

Gardner reminds Obama not to forget small towns

Mayor Daune Gardner of Waxhaw got to meet the president and chat with mayors from other municipalities at the White House last week.

She attended the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The money for the conference came out of the town's mayor's ravel budget, Gardner said.

"At the winter meeting, there's a lot of focus on policy issues dealing with our national representation and this year as well as last year the conference organizers arranged for us to take a trip to the White House," she said.

She didn't spend a lot of time with the president but was able to express her opinion about small towns having their voices heard at the national level, she said.

"I was the last person to speak with him as he was just turning to go out the door," she said. "I said 'Mr, President,' and he turned back around and I reached out and shock[sic] his hand."

She told him she really appreciates him acknowledging the role mayors play in our country's government. She asked him to pay close attention to the role of small towns in the conversation, she said.

"So he said 'what town are you from and how big is it' and I said Waxhaw and we're about 8,000 people," she said, "He got a big smile on his face and he said 'tell everyone in Waxhaw I said hello."

He walked out the door after that and took off in Marine 1 as she and the others at the conference watched from the White House terrace," she said.

She participated in various discussions at the conference and saw it as a good networking tool for mayors. She tries to attend when she can, she said.

"I attend because it gives me opportunities to interact with mayors from all over," she said.

Though he hasn't ever attended the conference of mayors, Mayor Franklin Deese of Marshville agrees networking and forming relationships with other mayors is important.

"Overall we all sort of face the same problems day to day," he said.

Mayor Brad Horvath of Wesley Chapel has also never attended the conference. Despite this, he does a lot of networking with fellow mayors locally, he said

He and other local mayors participate in the Western Union County Coalition which meets regularly. It's important to network with other mayors to find out where each of them stands and whether or not they agree or disagree on certain issues, he said.
It's not surprising that local mayors are all for attending the US Conference of Mayors. It would be interesting to get a tangible list of benefits for those towns whose mayor attends. Obviously the networking of mayors is a benefit, but how much does that help the town's that pay for this networking?

An unoriginal thought (as this has already been batted around Facebook): maybe Mayor Daune can use her new connections to get President Obama down here during the Democratic National Convention, which was recently awarded to Charlotte.

Time to change the state bird

My oldest checked out a bird book from the library and we were a little shocked to see the following states all have the Northern Cardinal as their state bird: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

I therefore propose the North Carolina state legislature take this up during the current session and make the Eastern Bluebird the new state bird. Not only is it rarer than a cardinal, but also has nicer colors. Maybe Donna can explain why those particular shades of blue and orange work so well together.

While we'd still have to share the Eastern Bluebird with Missouri and New York, that would be preferable to sharing the cardinal with half the Mideast and Midwest.

It's not quite as rare (as a state bird) as Pennsylvania's Ruffed Grouse, but it'd be a start towards North Carolina obtaining state bird independence rather than us being shackled to the group-think that brought us the cardinal.