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