Friday, June 25, 2010

2nd Annual Rock Hill 'Miles for Marines' to Benefit Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund

Rock Hill, SC – The 2nd Annual Miles For Marines is a fun filled
family event that includes a 15K (Crucible) and 5K (Double-Time) trail
race held in honor of all who have served with the U.S. Marine Corps.
All proceeds of the event will go to benefit the Injured Marine Semper
Fi Fund <>.

For children ages 10 and under who want to participate, there will be
a 1-mile (Run for a Marine), which gives a child the opportunity to
select from a list of injured Marines currently at Walter Reed
Hospital and run a mile for them. Children's activities are also
planned such as face painting, inflatables, "Magic by Haydini" and
giveaways from local businesses. Food will be available for purchase.

The events are scheduled to begin on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 8am in
Westminster Park located off of India Hook Road in Rock Hill, SC. The
courses are both challenging and scenic, winding along the banks of
the Catawba River, as participants run the courses, we hope to remind
ourselves and others of the discipline, self sacrifice and rigorous
training that Marines endure in effort to better serve our nation and
keep us safe. Participants are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or
blanket and enjoy a day honoring our military. The day will end with a
celebration of our military with demonstrations from the Charlotte
Marine Corps Recruiting staff and JROTC Drill Team.

The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) is a non-profit organization that provides
financial assistance and quality of life solutions for Marines and
Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who
have served in support of Marine forces, when they become injured in
post 9-11 combat or training operations, and their families. Our fund
provides relief for immediate financial needs that arise during
hospitalization and recovery as well as perpetuating needs such as
home modifications, customized transportation and specialized
equipment. SFF has awarded more than 20,500 financial grants totaling
more than $40,000,000.00!

The Semper Fi Fund was founded by Karen Guenther, a registered nurse
and spouse of an active duty Marine who had first-hand knowledge of
the challenges faced by wounded Marines and Sailors returning from
Iraq. She, along with a dedicated group of military spouses
established IMSFF in May of 2004.

Link to event – <


Mecklenburg County government offices and agencies will be closed on
Monday, July 5, for Independence Day and open on a normal schedule
Tuesday, July 6. This includes all units of the Department of Social
Services, the Tax Office, Elections Office, the Register of Deeds
Office, and the Land Use and Environmental Services Department. The
Department of Social Services will also be closed on Saturday, July 3.

CharMeck 311 is available for assistance 24 hours a day, and seven
days a week.

The Department of Social Services Care Line (704-336-CARE or
704-336-2273) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive
reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children and elderly or
disabled adults.

The Health Department will be closed on Monday, July 5.

Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center (Detox) is open 24 hours a
day, seven days a week.

The Main Library and all library branches will be closed on Sunday,
July 4 and Monday, July 5.

Solid Waste's administrative offices and all facilities, except
Compost Central, will be closed on Monday, July 5. Compost Central
will operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park and Recreation administrative offices will be closed all weekend,
including Monday, July 5. County parks and nature preserves/centers
will be open on regular schedules. Recreation centers will also
operate regular schedules (most are now closed on Sundays). Aquatic
facilities will operate on regular schedules, except for holiday hours
at Ray's Splash Planet, Sunday, July 4, 1–6 p.m.

Hope House Kicks Off New Trained Volunteer Program

On June 1 the Hope House Foundation began a new trained volunteer
program called RAYS of Hope, an acronym for (Resident Advisors at Your
Service). The program is under the direction of Val Daye, their newly
hired program director for Hope House. Beginning in March, Daye
branded, organized, recruited, trained and scheduled the 60 community
volunteers from faith-based congregations and organizations in the
Lake Norman area who are now monitoring the facility under Daye's

Established in 2004, Hope House Foundation provides a comfortable home
environment and support services for single unaccompanied women or
women with children (boys up to 8 years of age only) who are homeless
or at-risk of homelessness in the Lake Norman area where there is not
such facility. With 12 beds in a pleasant congregate living
environment, Hope House encourages transformative life choices and
helps women from various backgrounds, experiences, age groups and from
all walks of life who have no other network of support for success.

"Beginning last winter, The Salvation Army and Hope House had a
collaborative agreement to operate and staff the house to full
capacity for the winter months with homeless women and children,"
explained Hope House founder and chair, Lee Beth Lindquist, MD.
During this time, our foundation provided the house and its upkeep for
the residents that were referred and supervised by The Salvation Army."

Knowing that The Salvation Army would be leaving May 31, Hope House's
board of directors took a proactive approach in early spring and
established an innovative volunteer model program through Daye's
leadership that was launched within three months. On June 1, a smooth
transition for staff and residents was accomplished by the two non-
profits who had worked together in close harmony for the past six

"The cost of staffing Hope House 24/7 is daunting with paid
employees," stated Lindquist. "We are required to have full-time
monitoring for our insurance coverage. The RAYS Program is estimated
to save the Hope House Foundation about $86,000 per year by recruiting
and training community volunteers."

After an extensive renovation that lasted three years and was
supported by Lake Norman volunteers, the 4,000 square foot residence
on four acres of land transformed into a friendly home-environment for
the women and children who hold the promise of transforming their
lives while at Hope House benefiting from the support and services
available to them.

Hope House opened with its first resident in August 2009 with the help
of collaborative partners – Ada Jenkins Center and Davidson Housing
Coalition. With these collaborative partners and others, Hope House
accepts referrals from professional case managers and social workers
as well as other organizations that make referrals to Hope House
knowing that the woman can exit this transitional home within six

According to Daye, "We have recruited outstanding, responsible women,
age 21 or older, primarily from the faith-based community who are
volunteering their time to spend with the residents on specific days
and times, providing general support, safety and guidance as well as
see to it that the Hope House's rules and regulations are properly

"It's been so easy to find women volunteers in the Lake Norman area
who have a heart for serving others with the ability to provide
motivation, inspiration, and "hope" to those who greatly need it,"
continued Daye.

Volunteers from the following churches that are part of the RAYS
Program to date are: Ardent Faith, Faith Life, First Baptist
Huntersville, Holy Spirit Catholic, Independence Hill Baptist Church,
Journey Church Huntersville, Mt. Zion United Methodist, New Beginnings
Moravian, New Birth, Northcross Church, Sojourn Church, St. Albans
Episcopal, St. Mark Catholic and St. Marks Episcopal.

The RAYS Program has created a new energy and excitement in the house
with residents who connect to the many volunteers who now come in and
out of their lives. While not required, the Hope House Resident
Advisor volunteers are encouraged to share their special skills,
hobbies, or interests during their time at the home. The residents are
eager for different volunteers to come back and constantly watch the
schedule for their favorite new friends.

About The Hope House Foundation
The Hope House Foundation is a 501-(c)-(3) non-profit charitable
organization created to serve the growing needs of homeless women and
women with children in the Lake Norman area in a comfortable suburban
home in Huntersville. To qualify, residents must be carefully screened
to live at Hope House and are expected to be responsible for household
chores and to fulfill personal goals set by their case managers and
staff to become self-sufficient. To learn more about Hope House and
become a friend to its mission or to volunteer your time, call
704-992-1902 or visit<
> .

Mecklenburg County Recycling Accepts More Items With New Containers

Rethink how you dispose of that empty aerosol can. And that orange juice carton. And that broken plastic toy. Beginning next month, recycling as we know it in Mecklenburg County is
changing - for the better.

Starting July 1, you can recycle more items than ever. The expanded
list of recyclable materials includes plastic bottles and jugs,
margarine and yogurt containers, buckets, milk and juice cartons, and
hair spray and deodorant cans. These items are in addition to those
you have traditionally recycled: cardboard, soda cans and bottles,
newspaper, etc.

Some items are still not recyclable in your curbside containers, and
must go in your trash bin, including pizza boxes, takeout containers,
paper plates, and bottle caps. Light bulbs, wire hangers, batteries
and many other materials may be recycled at any of the County's four
staffed recycling centers. To find a center near you, call 311 or

As a part of this change, communities in Mecklenburg County are
altering the way they collect recyclables. The City of Charlotte – and
towns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Pineville – will now collect
materials in 96-gallon roll carts. The towns of Matthews, Mint Hill
and Davidson will provide additional bins to residents.

All of the municipalities will collect the same recyclables in one
container, so no sorting is necessary. For specific information about
recycling in your area, collection times, drop-off centers, and more,
visit or contact your city or town directly. Visit
the City of Charlotte's Recycle It! site for more City-related

NEW! What you CAN recycle:
- Newspaper
- Junk mail
- Cardboard (flattened)
- Plastic bottles and jugs (except #6 plastic)
- Wide-mouth plastic containers
- Glass bottles and jars
- Cereal and food boxes
- Milk and juice cartons (INCLUDES juice boxes)
- Rigid plastics (toys, buckets, pet housing)
- Empty aerosol cans
- Aluminum, metal food cans
- Paperback books
- Miscellaneous paper (white and colored, computer, copy, fax, legal
pads, file folders, envelopes, sticky notes, index and business cards,
blueprints, brochures, stapled paper, and paper with paperclips)
What you CANNOT recycle:
- Pizza boxes
- Shredded paper
- Glassware
- Wire hangers
- Bottle caps or lids
- Plastic food trays or cups
- Paper plates, napkins or paper towels
- Takeout food containers
- Plastic bags
- Ceramics
- Pots and pans
- Styrofoam
- Pencil shavings
- Candy or gum wrappers
- Hardbound books
- Rubber bands

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jersey Mike's Subs Raises Funds for Boys & Girls Club at Grand Opening

CONCORD, N.C. - Jersey Mike's Subs will open its second store in
Concord next week. This will be the first store for owners John and
Lisa Townsend. The Townsends know the importance of community
relations and will celebrate their new ties with the area when they
hold their grand opening on June 30.

To commemorate the event, the new restaurant, located at 6028 Bayfield
Parkway, is hosting a 5-day fundraiser from Wed., June 30 through
Sun., July 4, with proceeds supporting the Boys & Girls Club of
Cabarrus County. Anyone who has a fundraising coupon can get a free
regular size sub with a minimum $1 donation. More than 5,000 coupons
are being distributed throughout the community.

"When I read the mission statement of the Boys & Girls Club of
Cabarrus County, 'to enable all young people, especially those who
need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring,
responsible citizens,' I knew we had to get involved," said John
Townsend. "Helping to meet the development needs of the youth in our
community is tremendously important."

Reaching out to the community is a key component of Jersey Mike's
mission. All franchise owners find ways to support their neighbors
and employees are encouraged to volunteer their time and talents as
well. "When you are an active contributor in the community it shows,"
said Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike's founder and CEO. "John and Lisa are
committed to helping the children of the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus
County. We congratulate them on their first store."

"Our goal is to give each customer the very best experience when they
come through our doors," said Townsend. "Lisa and I are proud to join
the Jersey Mike's family and we are committed to serving the best subs
in the country to the best community in the state."

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You can contact this store
directly at (704) 792-0652.

Jersey Mike's, a sub sandwich franchise with more than 475 stores open
and under development nationwide, has a long history of community
involvement and support. Started at the Jersey Shore in 1956, Jersey
Mike's serves authentic Northeast-style subs on fresh baked bread -
the same recipe it started with over 50 years ago. The company's
mission is to bring its customers the highest quality, freshest made
sub in the industry and give back to the communities in which it
operates. A store locator and franchise information for Jersey Mike's
can be found at

School Board approves personnel appointments

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education approved 13 personnel
appointments, including 11 principal positions, at its June 22 meeting.

Paul B. Barnhardt was named principal of Montclaire Elementary School,
where he is currently the assistant principal. Barnhardt was
previously a teacher in Clarksdale, Miss., as well as recruitment
director for Teach for America in Houston. He began his career with
CMS in 2009 as resident principal of Sterling Elementary.

Joshua David Bishop was named principal of Cochrane Middle School. He
is currently interim principal at Cochrane. He began his career with
CMS in 2005 as assistant principal of Northwest School of the Arts. He
has also served as assistant principal of Mallard Creek High School
and Cochrane Middle.

Curtis A. Carroll was named principal of Phillip O. Berry Academy of
Technology. He is currently the area superintendent of the Achievement
Zone Learning Community. Carroll began his career in education as
community school director/special needs coordinator at Flint Northern
High School in Flint, Mich. He served as a teacher and assistant
principal at a number of schools in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan
before coming to CMS in 1993, where he was named assistant principal
of Randolph Middle School. Carroll was also assistant principal of
McClintock Middle and West Mecklenburg High schools before he was
named principal of McClintock. He was also principal of Harding
University High from 1999-2006 before moving to Florida. Carroll came
back to CMS in 2007 to lead the Achievement Zone.

Tisha Greene was named principal of Hidden Valley Elementary School.
She is currently interim principal of First Ward Elementary. She began
her career with CMS in 2001 as an English teacher at E.E. Waddell
High. She has also served as a resource teacher and executive
coordinator in the district's Curriculum and Instruction Department.

Arlene Harris was named principal of Billingsville Elementary School.
She is currently resident principal of Ashley Park Elementary. Harris
has also been a teacher at Olde Providence Elementary, a literacy
facilitator at Eastover Elementary, and an academic facilitator at
Community House Middle School.
John M. LeGrand was named principal of Bain Elementary,
where he is currently the assistant/interim principal. He began his
career in education as a teacher in South Carolina, then came to CMS
in 2003 as a teacher at Mint Hill Middle School. He has also been an
assistant principal at Alexander Middle and Independence High schools.
Janette L. McIver was named principal of Bishop Spaugh
Community Academy, where she is currently assistant principal. She
began her career with CMS in 1998 as a teacher atNortheast Middle
School. She has also been a teacher, academic facilitator and
principal intern/assistant principal at Mint Hill Middle.
Danielle M. Miller was named principal of Elizabeth Lane
Elementary School. Miller is currently assistant principal of
Smithfield Elementary. She has also served as a principal intern, math
facilitator and teacher at Hawk Ridge Elementary, and started her
career with CMS in 1999 as a teacher at Derita Elementary School.
Laura Rosenbach will be the new principal of Bradley
Middle School. She is currently an assistant principal at Mallard
Creek High. Rosenbach began working for CMS in 1999 as a teacher at
Vance High School, where she was also an assistant principal.
Rashada Simmons-Tedder was named principal of the
Leadership and Public Service School at Garinger High. She is
currently the New Leaders for New Schools Resident Principal at
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology. Simmons-Tedder has been a
teacher at Northwest School of the Arts and West Charlotte High
School. She has also taught inMaryland and Florida.
Anne Elizabeth Thompson will be the new principal of
Whitewater Academy. She began her career with CMS in 1996 as a Latin
teacher at Alexander Graham Middle School, where she was also an
academic facilitator and, currently, dean of students.
The Board also appointed Yvette C. Smith director of
Secondary Education – Title I. Smith is currently an instructional
support consultant with the U.S. Department of Education. She was
formerly an education consultant with the North Carolina Department of
Public Instruction. Smith has also been a teacher, assistant principal
and principal in Goldsboro and Durham.
Sharmel Denise Watts was appointed area superintendent
for the Central-Secondary Zone. Watts is currently principal of Bishop
Spaugh Community Academy. She began her career in education as a
teacher in Winston-Salem, then came to CMS as a teacher at Alexander
Graham Middle School. She has also served as a principal intern at
McClintock Middle and assistant principal and principal at Mint Hill

311 to Reduce Service Hours Beginning July 10

Starting July 10, calls to 311 after 8 pm will be answered by an
automated system that will route calls to the appropriate agencies
available for service delivery. Charmeck 311 will reduce a portion of
its 24/7 operations. As part of the change, 311 customer service
representatives will receive citizen calls for service between 7 am
and 8 pm daily including weekends. After 8 p.m., callers will continue
to access non-emergency local services such as:
Utilities (water main breaks, sewer issues and other non-billing
related services)

Non-emergency crime reporting and animal control services (available
until 1 a.m. and online 24-hours-a-day)

Online services are available 24/7 at The reduction
in hours was part of the FY2011 budget approved June 7 by the
Charlotte City Council. The reductions are based on recommendations
made by City Manager Curt Walton, as part of an effort throughout city
departments to identify opportunities to reduce department operating
budgets without affecting service delivery. As approved, the
reductions to 311 eliminate service between the hours of 8 p.m. to 7
a.m., the time period when the call volume is the lowest. Customer
representatives have been reassigned to the operating hours to enhance
service delivery during highest call volume periods.

No personnel were affected by the change in service hours. Seven agent
positions and a supervisor were reassigned to work during the hours of
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

My Great Story: Charlotte resident advocates on behalf of her sister in national public awareness campaign to raise awareness for Down syndrome

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and its Ambassadors are
pleased to report the progress of its latest public awareness
campaign, My Great Story, which serves to honor and celebrate the
400,000 Americans with Down syndrome.

Charlotte resident Anne Lynn has participated in the campaign on
behalf of her sister, Kay. In recalling the preparations and
celebrations in honor of Kay's 40th birthday, just over a decade ago,
Lynn shares a story of love and family, despite potential differences.
"The night of her party defined what I've always felt: the love, the
goodness, and the inexpressible impact Kay has had on my life," Lynn
writes, "she continues to play a major part in the closeness of our
family." Having Kay as a sister has taught Lynn and her siblings "how
not to live with blame, self-pity or unfairness in life." Lynn's
inspirational story joins others like in the My Great Story online
storybook collection.

The My Great Story campaign, launched last September, has garnered
strong visibility in a profound timeframe. To date, over $3.5 million
has been donated in national and regional ad space and services. There
have been over 115 million impressions across the country, which
include placements in publications such as Allure, Fortune, Newsweek,
Time, USA Today and Vogue, among other noteworthy outlets. The My
Great Story campaign has attracted other types of media as well,
including placements in bars, checkout counters and hospital patient
and waiting rooms. The CNN Airport Network has joined the effort as
well, broadcasting the My Great Story PSA starring John C. McGinley in
airports across the country.

The My Great Story campaign seeks to ignite a new way of thinking
about people with Down syndrome by showcasing and collecting
inspirational stories told by people with Down syndrome as well as
their family members, friends, colleagues, employers and many others.
These stories will be displayed in a beautiful online storybook.

Americans across the country can visit to read
and share their stories. The online storybook contains several
different categories including school, work, hobbies, travel, friends
and many others. Two of the stories have been turned into print ads
titled 'The Traveler' and 'The Public Speaker.' They were shot by well-
known photographer Zachary Scott, and have been featured in media
outlets across the country.

Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two,
copies of the 21st chromosome. One in every 733 babies is born with
Down syndrome. Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has
increased dramatically in recent decades- from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
People with Down syndrome attend school, work; participate in
decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many ways.

About My Great Story (MGS)

MGS was created pro-bono by NY based Ad Agency, Pedone. After 14
months of market analysis the Pedone team developed a campaign in an
effort to shape the future for all people with Down syndrome. The
online story book was developed by CT based Interactive Agency York
and Chapel, who spent over 12 months developing the user friendly
technology, sophisticated design and esthetics, and incorporation of
the spectacular print ads shot by Zachary Scott. To learn more about
our amazing agencies visit: or

About NDSS

The National Down Syndrome Society is a nonprofit organization
representing the more than 400,000 Americans with Down syndrome. The
mission of NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value,
acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. The National
Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down
syndrome have the opportunity enhance their quality of life, realize
their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming
community. NDSS has over 275 affiliates nationwide.

To learn more visit

ryon Plaza and The Charlotte Business Journal Team Up to Host Entrepreneur Series

Tryon Plaza and The Charlotte Business Journal have joined forces to
host The Entrepreneur Series, a collection of quarterly seminars
addressing key issues that face small business owners. The series
will feature leading experts addressing topics of direct relevance to
the growth of small businesses, ranging from the leasing or buying
commercial space to advertising and public relations needs.

The first seminar in the series, "How to Grow Your Business," will be
led by John Bly, partner, Toler, Bly & Associates, CPA, PLLC, (TB&A),
on Monday, June 28, 2010 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Tryon Plaza. His
presentation will include a perspective on leasing or purchasing
office space and will include case studies and financial analyses.

Bly, a certified public accountant and certified valuation analyst,
specializes in tax planning, mergers and acquisitions and business
valuation. With a desire to bring his experience from four years with
PriceWaterhouseCoopers to small businesses, Bly and his wife, Darci,
founded Bly & Bly, CPA. After years of working together as referral
partners, Bly and Dennis Toler merged their successful firms to create
Toler, Bly & Associates, CPA, PLLC, in 2006. TB&A is regarded as one
of the fastest growing CPA firms in the Charlotte region.

"The Entrepreneur Series presents an outstanding opportunity for
aggressive entrepreneurs and small business owners to benefit from the
experience of many specialists," said Gil Hearn with The Simpson
Organization, Tryon Plaza's developer. "I'm also happy to give them a
sneak peak of Tryon Plaza, which we have designed to meet the needs of
small business owners."

The quarterly events are complimentary and reservations are
recommended. Reservations can be made by calling the Tryon Plaza
Concierge at (704) 332-0569 or by responding via email at

About Tryon Plaza
Tryon Plaza is a commercial office building located at the premier
uptown address of
Trade and Tryon. The intersection of Trade and Tryon in the heart of
Charlotte's business district has been home to Tryon Plaza since 1927
when it housed the First National Bank. Now an office condominium
managed by the Atlanta-based Simpson Organization, the building
features 20 floors of more than 150,000 square feet of prime
commercial space starting at $225/square foot for ownership.

The building showcases the best of art deco design featuring
intricately carved sandstone arches and a grand cast-iron entryway
complete with guardian gargoyles. In addition to its premier
location, Tryon Plaza offers unparalleled amenities, including a 24-
hour fitness center outfitted with Technogym equipment, storage units
available for convenient use, beautiful state-of-the-art conference
center complete with catering kitchen and Sub Zero wine cooler,
sophisticated owner's lounge and concierge services.

For more information about the Entrepreneur Series, please call the
Tryon Plaza Owners Concierge at (704) 332-0569. Additional
information about commercial space for lease or purchase can be found

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Charlotte Regional Realtors launch to help homebuyers

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association's Housing Opportunity Foundation
launched at its Workforce Housing Forum today
at Central Piedmont Community College's Harris Center. provides consumers with free, online public access
to a wealth of home-financing resources.

The forum, made possible with assistance from the National Association of
(NAR), featured experts from various sectors of the housing continuum, who
a range of affordable-housing issues significant to the Charlotte region.
participants Pat Garrett, president of The Housing Partnership; Rebecca
Stickel, director
of YWCA Families Together Program; and Darren Ash, director of the W.I.S.H.
illuminated the increasing need to provide working families with affordable,
safe and
well-maintained housing within stable neighborhoods. Panelists also
discussed ways in
which their agencies and Realtors® can champion solutions across the
spectrum — from
homelessness to supportive housing and rental to homeownership.

"We hope today's conversation fosters a greater awareness about housing
concerns in
our community, and leads to creative and collaborative ideas that make a
said Terri Marshall, executive director of the Housing Opportunity

The foundation's new, online home-financing tool,,
is a
solution for homebuyers seeking education, information and financial
assistance. For
the first time, the public will be able to access a comprehensive collection
of available
resources, housed in one location. The site includes down-payment and
assistance programs, housing grants, below-market-rate first mortgages,
loans, as well as other financial assistance programs through government and
organizations in Mecklenburg, Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell and Union

" is a helpful first step in the home-buying
process," said
Lyn Kessie, association/Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS)
president. "The
purchase of a home can be an overwhelming process for many consumers, and will help by simplifying and consolidating the
funding and
educational resources."

Kessie also noted that the foundation intends to reach out to businesses and
organizations in the coming months to share how the website will benefit
workforces and constituents. For example, the City of Charlotte's
Neighborhood and
Business Services Department will feature as a
link on its Web page.

"I applaud the Realtors® for their continued support of housing issues in
our community
as demonstrated by the launch of," said Charlotte
Anthony Foxx. "A centralized, interactive resource of homeownership and
tools complements Charlotte's overall approach to safe, affordable housing." features include:

Simple data fields that allow the consumer to enter specific information
regardingfamily size, geographic area and financial situation. After the
user completesthese fields, the site generates customized data and programs
specific to thatindividual's circumstances.
A translation feature so users can access information in 10 languages:
Chinese,Dutch, French, English, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese,
Russian and Spanish.
Current and timely news regarding foreclosure-assistance and
A glossary of definitions to assist the homebuyer in understanding terms
relatedto the home-buying process.
The site also features a link to, which provides
about finding a Realtor® or a Realtor® who is a Workforce Housing
Specialist. A
Workforce Housing Specialist is a Realtor® who has received additional
related to working with first-time homebuyers and clients purchasing homes
in the
affordable price range, or roughly 80 percent of the median income. will continue to evolve as community organizations
resources are added.

About the Housing Opportunity Foundation
The Housing Opportunity Foundation is the charitable arm of the Charlotte
Realtor® Association. The foundation is dedicated to funding, education,
advocacy and
leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and
initiatives. The foundation serves to position and educate Realtors® as
promote homeownership and provide funding to create housing opportunities.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association that
leads, educates and equips members to be
productive. It provides more than 7,400 Realtor® members with the resources
and services needed to conduct ethical,
professional, successful and profitable businesses. The association is
dedicated to being the region's primary resource for
residential real estate information. The association operates the Carolina
Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which
has approximately 8,400 Subscribers and is the private cooperative Realtors®
use for access to tens of thousands of
residential listings in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth
Charlotte area, as well as listings outside this
service area.

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which
identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the National
Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Comprehensive review community forums begin June 21

The community is invited to attend a series of forums on the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Board of Education's comprehensive review of Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools.

Titled "The Case for Continuous Improvement: A Comprehensive Review of
CMS," the review will address policies guiding such district
operations as magnet schools, transportation, boundaries, projected
enrollments, use of facilities and funding.
The community forums will be held on the following dates:

Monday, June 21 – 6:30-8 p.m.
Harding University High (auditorium)
2001 Alleghany Street

Tuesday, June 22 – 6 p.m.
Government Center (during Board meeting)
600 E. 4th Street

Thursday, June 24 – 6:30-8 p.m.
South Mecklenburg High (auditorium)
8900 Park Road

Monday, June 28 – 6:30-8 p.m.
Hopewell High (auditorium)
11530 Beatties Ford Road

The community forums will be open to the public so that Board members
and district staff can hear public input on the guiding principles
used in decisions across CMS.

The review, expected to be completed by November, is intended to help
the Board align decision-making in multiple areas with the goals of
the district's strategic plan as well as take a consistent, strategic
approach to individual issues.
The Board will also hold three workshops before July 4 to discuss the
information collected from the public. For more information, visit the
CMS Web site.

Charlotte Teens Offered FREE Membership at Lifestyle Family Fitness

Charlotte-area teens hoping to get fit during summer break can now
register for a free health club membership at any Lifestyle Family
Fitness. The annual teen health initiative kicked off in May and runs
through August.

"I was an overweight teen and experienced a lot of peer pressure while
growing up," says Lifestyle Family Fitness founder Geoff Dyer, who
once tipped the scales at 248 pounds at 17 years of age. "I wanted to
provide health club memberships for teens who may be facing the same
self-esteem issues I once faced."

Overweight teens are at risk for many health problems, including high
blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
Among the many benefits of physical activity are higher levels of self-
confidence and lower stress and anxiety levels.

"A new study shows that even teens who are genetically predisposed to
obesity will maintain a healthy weight by exercising for an hour
daily," says Dyer.

"In an effort to battle childhood obesity and inactivity, Lifestyle
Family Fitness began donating free, two-month health club memberships
to teens in 2006," says Lifestyle Family Fitness President Kevin
Laferriere. "We do this during the summer months, because many teens
would not otherwise have access to physical education during school

"Family members tend to be too forgiving when teens experience weight
gain. It is easy to pass this off as "puppy fat" or say 'you'll grow
out of it, don't worry about it'," adds Dyer. "The better approach is
for the parent to lead by example. Eat sensibly, be active and be
supportive and encouraging."

Participation in North Carolina has about tripled since the program
started in 2007 and is expected to grow to reach more than a thousand
local teens this summer. Nationwide 11,000 teens participated in the
program last year.

To register a teen, parents may visit Teen
memberships provide all-day access to the health clubs on weekends and
access until 4:00p.m. on weekdays. For more information, parents can
call 866-362-9286 during business hours. Both Charlotte locations and
participate in the program.

Thompson Child & Family Focus Opens New Treatment Center

Thompson Child & Family Focus, a nonprofit provider of treatment, care
and education for at-risk children and families, will commemorate the
opening of its new specialized psychiatric residential facility from 4
to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 24. Thompson supporters, community
partners and staff will gather for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony
followed by a reception and tours of the 15,000-square-foot complex at
the agency's residential campus at 6800 Saint Peter's Lane.

The highly specialized facility will provide clinical and behavioral
therapy for youth who exhibit problematic sexual behaviors stemming
from sexual abuse or extreme and repeated exposure to inappropriate
sexual experiences. Recognizing a gap in services for this
population, Thompson launched a successful $10 million capital
campaign in 2007, earmarking $3.6 million for the construction and
operation of the facility. Situated on Thompson's Saint Peter's Lane
Upper Campus, the center is one of only a few facilities in North
Carolina specializing in the treatment and healing of sexually
reactive youth.

With capacity for up to 24 children, ages five to 13, two of the four
six-bedroom wings will open in August to accommodate 12 boys. The two
remaining wings will be designated for occupancy according to needs.

Children entering this program require an intense level of
intervention and therapy for a range of behaviors including sexual
aggression and sexually reactive behaviors towards others, self-
injurious behaviors, poor boundaries with peers and adults, extreme
impulsivity, and difficulties with anger management.

Without intervention and treatment, these children are at-risk for
becoming juvenile offenders and/or perpetuating the cycle of abuse
that has scarred their childhoods. Referrals for placement in the
program are already coming from departments of social services,
juvenile justice and mental health, along with hospitals and private

The center's design – a warm, home-like atmosphere – provides a safe
and secure haven for healing and recovery that reflects the vision and
experience of Thompson staff. The complex is structured differently
from the stand-alone residential cottages on the Lower Campus, with
all four wings connected for a higher degree of security. Large open
spaces and interior windows allow staff to stand in virtually any spot
of the living, dining, kitchen and office areas, providing a line of
visual supervision at all times. And, individual bedrooms and
bathrooms are equipped with "break-away" door hooks and shower rods to
prevent self-inflicted injuries.
The roomy living area encourages shared activities, with computer
learning alcoves, play and reading nooks, and a family dining space.
All furnishings have been chosen especially with the children in mind,
providing comfy gathering spots and ample personal space. The new
complex was built by Rodgers Builders and designed by the
architectural firm, Fryday & Doyne.

With staffing that exceeds requirements – three staff for six children
– Thompson is able to provide children with extensive individual
therapy and emotional support. The primary behavioral therapy model
utilized by staff is a modified version of Dialectical Behavior
Therapy, which includes skill-building around self-regulation, impulse
control, and mindfulness. Other treatment modalities will include
play therapy, art therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral
therapy, and other Expressive Arts components. Clients are educated
about how to create healthy, appropriate relationships and
boundaries. Additionally, they must also address individual sexual
abuse histories through individual counseling sessions. The average
length-of-stay is expected to be one year. Like all Thompson
programs, the treatment program embraces the family by providing
training skills, behavior modeling and emotional support.

The new program expands Thompson's psychiatric residential program on
the Saint Peter's Lane campus, where the Lower Campus residential
treatment facility already serves up to 24 boys and girls, ages six to
12, at any one time. These children receive treatment and support
that helps them heal from attachment disorders and mental illnesses
stemming from early traumas that include abuse, neglect and exposure
to domestic violence. Psychiatric Residential Treatment is one of
several types of mental health interventions/programs included in
Thompson's continuum of services.
About Heroic Measures Capital Campaign

The successful $10 million Heroic Measures capital campaign was
launched in 2007 to advance the increasingly urgent mission and work
of Thompson Child & Family Focus. Heroic Measures was chaired by:
Steele Alphin, former chief administrative officer, Bank of America;
David Dooley, vice chairman, RT Dooley; John Fennebresque, partner,
McGuire Woods; and General John Handy, retired executive vice
president, Horizon Lines, Inc.
Each of the wings in the new Upper Campus complex is named in honor of
supportive community leaders who responded to Thompson's critical need
for the development of additional facilities and programs to better
serve children and families in a specialized setting. The wings are
named as follows:
• The Yorke Cottage – named for the late John Yorke, longtime
Thompson supporter and fellow trustee; made possible by gifts from
Thompson board of trustee members and colleagues.
• The Alphin Cottage – named for Thompson trustee and former Bank of
America executive Steele Alphin; made possible by gifts from friends
and business associates.
• The Merancas Cottage – donated by anonymous partners and supporters
of Thompson.
Naming opportunities are still available for the fourth cottage,
currently called Peace Cottage.
About Thompson Child and Family Focus

The Episcopal Church founded Thompson Child & Family Focus as an
orphanage in 1886. Thompson has evolved into a leading provider of
effective clinical and behavioral treatment, developmental education,
and proactive care for at-risk children and families. All programs are
nationally accredited.
Thompson operates three campuses in the Charlotte region:
• The Saint Peter's Lane Campus in Matthews houses Thompson's two
psychiatric residential treatment centers for children with serious
mental illnesses stemming from horrific early childhood traumas, most
often involving domestic violence, sexual abuse and/or long-term
neglect. The Upper Campus center specializes in the treatment of
sexually reactive youth, while the Lower Campus center focuses on
treating children diagnosed with attachment disorders and related
mental-health issues. The Lower Campus also houses The School at
Thompson for residential children, and the main administration offices.
• The Clanton Road Campus in West Charlotte houses the Thompson Child
Development Center, which provides developmental and preventive
programming for young children (infant to age 5) and their families,
through diverse educational and therapeutic resources. This campus
also includes the Early Childhood Services Department, which provides
support and mentor relationships for other early childhood programs
across Mecklenburg, Union, and Cabarrus counties.
• The East 7th Street Campus near uptown Charlotte houses an array of
mental health community services including outpatient counseling,
foster care services, school-based intervention therapy, intensive in-
home services, and family education. These services are designed to
"wrap around" children and families, providing an accessible,
effective menu of services that support individual needs and healing.
For more information about Thompson, please visit

Mez and the Epicentre Theaters Celebrate The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The Epicentre is the place to be for Twilight fans on June 30, when
they will host a party in celebration of the release of The Twilight
Saga: Eclipse. Whether you are Team Edward or Team Jacob, you can get
your fix with creative cocktails and a guest DJ on the exclusive
second-story level of the lounge at Mez beginning at 8p.m. The
Twilight Saga: Eclipse will begin in the Epicentre Theaters at 9:35
p.m. For the ultimate experience, opt for the special VIP party
package that includes reserved seating, hors d'oeuvres and dessert–all
for only $25. To purchase tickets, please visit
or call 704-688-2400.

Eclipse stars Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and
continues the supernatural vampire romance of the 2006 blockbuster hit
Twilight. The movie is the third film based on the Twilight book
series by Stephenie Meyer. Tickets are $13/VIP or $10/General
Admission for evening show times and $10/VIP or $7/General Admission
for matinees. Please note that the theater is for ages 21 and over
after 7 p.m., and General Admission tickets do not include reserved

Voted Best New Restaurant and Bar by Charlotte Magazine in 2009, Mez
is a contemporary dining experience that entertains the palate with
global fare. The adjoining Epicentre Theaters offer the best in
theater entertainment, and guests can enjoy cuisine from Mez while
enjoying the latest feature films. The restaurant and theaters are
located at 210 East Trade Street in Charlotte, and Mez serves lunch
and dinner daily. For more information, visit or

Walmart to Hire 350 for New Indian Land Store

Walmart is hiring approximately 350 associates to work at the new
Indian Land Walmart slated to open this summer in Fort Mill. To
facilitate applications, the retailer has opened a temporary hiring
center at 9789 Charlotte Highway in Fort Mill.

The hiring center began accepting applications Tuesday, June 1 and
will continue accepting applications from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday
through Friday. Interested applicants can apply online at

According to store manager John Clevenger, the store will be hiring
both full- and part-time associates. "We are excited to add this
Walmart to Indian Land and bring good jobs with career opportunities
to the area," he said. Clevenger began his Walmart career in 1998 as
an assistant manager in Paducah, Ky.

Clevenger said associates are needed to work in all areas of the new
store, including supervisory positions.

Walmart benefits* – available to eligible full- and part-time
associates – include healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum.
Walmart also offers a 401(k) plan and profit sharing contributions,
whether an eligible associate contributes or not, store discount
cards, stock purchase program and life insurance. Additionally,
associates are eligible for company performance-based bonuses.

The majority of associates will begin work in July to help prepare the
store for its grand opening in late summer.

WHERE: Walmart Hiring
Center New Indian Land Walmart
9789 Charlotte Highway, Suite 200 10048 Charlotte Highway
Fort Mill, S.C. Fort Mill, S.C.

WHEN: Hiring Center Opening Date: Tuesday, June 1
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

* See for more details.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Hosts Events at NASCAR Venues

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte will host a Spring EXPO at
the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 12, and a six-mile Talk-N-
Train at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, June 18. The Great Start
Party/Expo is a day of preparation and celebration for the eighth Avon
Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte, taking place October 23-24, 2010.
Women and men from Charlotte and across the country will dedicate an
entire weekend walking up to a marathon and a half to fight breast

Spring EXPO

What: The Spring EXPO will feature local beneficiaries and
sponsors, meet and greet with participants and staff, camping
information, tips on training, fundraising advice, and information on
how to start your own walk team. All attendees will have the
opportunity to register for the 2010 Charlotte Walk for only $45!
That's a savings of $20 off our regular registration fee of $65.

When: Saturday, June 12, 2010

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Where: NASCAR Hall of Fame

501 South College Street in Charlotte, NC


What: At the six-mile Talk-N-Train, walkers will review what to
expect at the Charlotte Avon Walk, how the weekend is structured, how
to train and fundraise, and much more. Walkers will then head out for
a six-mile training walk at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Each lap
around the track is 1.5 miles and walkers can walk as little or as
much as desired.

When: Friday, June 18, 2010

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway

5555 Concord Parkway South

Concord, NC

For more information or to RSVP for the EXPO and the Talk-N-Train:


The Avon Walk series is a project of the Avon Foundation for Women, a
501(c)(3) public charity; funds raised are distributed by the
Foundation to advance access to care and to help find a cure for
breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. On stage
during the nine 2009 Avon Walk closing ceremonies, the Avon Foundation
awarded more than 60 grants ranging from $5,000 to $1.25 million to
leading cancer centers, research institutions and community-based
organizations in the Walk regions. In addition, the Avon Foundation
awarded more than 200 grants nationally throughout the year. For a
complete list of Avon Foundation funding, visit

In total, since the launch of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in 2003,
the Walks have raised more than $345 million through the dedication of
nearly 120,000 participants, including women and men ranging in age
from their teens to those in their 80s, from every walk of life. These
funds advance awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access
to treatment; support services; and scientific research, all with a
focus on the medically underserved.

The complete 2010 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer schedule includes:
Houston, TX (April 10-11); Washington, DC (May 1-2); Boston, MA (May
15-16); Chicago, IL (June 5-6); Rocky Mountains, CO (June 26-27); San
Francisco, CA (July 10-11); Santa Barbara, CA (September 11-12); New
York, NY (October 16-17); and Charlotte, NC (October 23-24).

British American Students Head Home Today from Washington, D.C.

Sixteen fifth and sixth graders returned today after a week-long
residential visit studying the Nation's Capitol. The grade level makes
the annual residential trip to see the highlights of Washington, D.C.,
and further their government studies about the United States. The
students, along with Head Teacher Adam Stevens and teacher Andrea
Kelly, visited The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the
Vietnam War Wall, the Holocaust Museum as well as the Crime and
Punishment Museum. A trip to learn about spying and detective work,
NCIS-style was also included in the trip—and proved to be a favorite

The British American School of Charlotte opened in September, 2004 as
the fifth BSA school. The school is located in the Ballantyne
community of south Charlotte and welcomes students of both
international and American backgrounds from ages 3 to 14. Teachers at
the schools are recruited directly from the UK and are trained in the
delivery of the National Curriculum, the International Primary
Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
British Schools of America (BSA) is a rapidly growing operator of
five, private schools in the US. Headquartered in Washington, DC, BSA
operates schools inBoston, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston and DC. BSA
opened its first school in Washington, DC in 1998, following with
Boston and Houston opening in 2000,Chicago in 2001 and Charlotte in
2004. BSA's curriculum is based on a unique combination of the
International Primary Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate
Diploma Programme – the most internationally renowned college
preparatory curriculum. Please visit our Web site at www.britishschool.orgto
learn more about our schools.

City Council Vacancy Statements of Interest

The City of Charlotte received 25 statement of interest forms Friday
at Noon for consideration by Mayor and City Council.

The following residents submitted information:
Nancy Bowen Wiggins
Marc Friedland
Brion P. Lawler
Owen Sutkowski
Svend Deal
David S Thurston
Lance Peterman
Micah Elliott
Joel Moore
William Mark Mobley
Jason Burgess
Lisa Salomon
Eddie Sanders
Donald B. Moye'
Ganyika Dixon
John (Jack) Flynn
Kendra P. Dotson
Ruth Stevenson
Eric C. Zander
Lucille Puckett
Anthony Castrillon
Trent M. Grissom
Robert P. Caldwell Jr.
Sherly Francois Bradley

Charlotte City Council agenda items for the Monday, June 14 meeting at
7 p.m. in the Meeting Chamber include Agenda Item 11 (Filling the
Current Council Member Vacancy) and Agenda Item 12 (Electing a Mayor
Pro Tem).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Stores Coming to SouthPark

SouthPark, North Carolina's premier shopping destination, is pleased
to announce the addition of four new stores to its retail roster this
season. From clothing and accessories to nutritional supplements, the
brands offer a wide variety of products. The new stores include GNC,
Pandora, Tory Burch and Vera Bradley.

GNC opened the doors of its SouthPark store in May with special visits
from Panthers star DeAngelo Williams and Olympic gold medalist Nastia
Liukin. At more than 2,500 square feet, the new store is the largest
GNC store in the Charlotte area. The unique floor layout is divided
into four sections that showcase distinct product categories including
health and diet, vitamins, as well as fitness and sports nutrition.

Pandora, an international jewelry company based in Denmark, plans to
open its 804 square foot retail location between Godiva and Wentworth
Gallery in July. Pandora is best known for its popular charm
bracelets, customizable from a selection of over 800 handcrafted
silver and 14-kt gold charms. The SouthPark location will carry the
entire line of Pandora jewelry featuring a range of products from $25
sterling silver charms to 18-kt pave rings, which retail for more than

Tory Burch, a women's wear company best known for its sophisticated
American aesthetic at an accessible price point, is scheduled to open
its first store in the Carolinas in July. The store will occupy a
2,149 square foot retail space in the Neiman Marcus wing. Tory Burch
was launched in February 2004 as a lifestyle concept with multiple
product categories, including ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes and
jewelry. The SouthPark store will carry the full clothing line as well
as shoes, handbags and accessories.

Founded in 1982, the Vera Bradley concept and line of products was
developed by two friends as they sat in the airport and noticed a
distinct lack of feminine luggage. Fast-forward nearly thirty years
and the Indiana-based company continues to remain steadfast in its
commitment to excellent quality, exclusive designs and dependable
customer service. The SouthPark Vera Bradley store will occupy 1,789
square feet of space between Guess and Cache. The store, which will
carry the full line of Vera Bradley quilted luggage, handbags and
accessories, is expected to open in late July.

About SouthPark
Located in the heart of the SouthPark area, SouthPark, a Simon mall,
is a Charlotte landmark. Originally developed in 1970, it is also one
of the largest shopping malls in the region. Anchored by Nordstrom,
Belk, Dillard's, Macy's and Neiman Marcus, SouthPark offers stores
ranging from luxury fashion such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton to
casual staples such as J. Crew and Tommy Bahama. Seven full-service
restaurants, a Food Court, Symphony Park and a beautiful outdoor
amphitheater make the area a popular dining and entertainment
destination. Symphony Park at SouthPark is the summer home for the
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra with a free concert series every Sunday
during June. It is also home to the Holiday Tree Lighting, the
official kick-off to the holiday season in south Charlotte. In
addition, shoppers are offered even more choices at SouthPark's newest
addition, The Village, which comprises 48,000 square feet of specialty
retail. This new concept of retail, dining and residential represents
a unique lifestyle in the area, further enhancing the mall and village
as one of the Southeast's premier destinations. For a map and store
listings, directions, events and job listings, visit

About Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest real
estate company in the U.S. The Company currently owns or has an
interest in 381 properties comprising 261 million square feet of gross
leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. Simon Property Group
is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000
people worldwide. The Company's common stock is publicly traded on
the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the
Simon Property Group website at

Can We Talk about Affordable Housing? Fears, Facts and the Future

Affordable housing is a challenge for our community. From 3rd Ward to
Berewick, from Ballantyne to Ayrsley, people have concerns about where
affordable housing is being built and how decisions are made about its

If you would like to discuss your position on affordable housing with
others, please join us for an interactive community dialogue - "Can We
Talk About Affordable Housing: Fears, Facts and the Future?" on either:

7:00 PM, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Harrison United Methodist

15008 Lancaster Highway

Pineville, NC 28277

7:00 PM, Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Covenant Presbyterian Church

1000 East Morehead

Charlotte, NC 28204


James Mitchell, City Council, District 2

Chair – Housing & Neighborhood Development Committee


Warren Cooksey, City Council, District
7 Brian Collier, Senior VP,
Foundation for The Carolinas

Vi Alexander Lyles, The Lee
Alexander Lyles, The Lee Institute


Debra Campbell, C-M Planning
Director Debra
Campbell, C-M Planning Director

Ned Curran, President, The Bissell
David Jones, Attorney, K&L Gates

Rodney Sadler, Professor, Union
Seminary Judy
Schindler, Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth El

Concerns and questions to be addressed at both dialogues include:

• What is "affordable housing?" How does it differ from "public
• Who determines where affordable housing is located in Charlotte-
Mecklenburg? What rights do neighborhoods and individuals have?
• What impact will affordable housing have on my property values?
Will it change the demographics of my neighborhood?
• What moral and ethical issues are raised as we make decisions about
affordable housing?

Citizen feedback from these dialogues will be shared with the City
Council, Neighborhood and Business Services and the Charlotte Housing

To RSVP for one or both events, please contact Renee Thompson

at 704.336.2424 or

School Board launches comprehensive review of CMS

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education launched a comprehensive
review of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at its June 8 meeting. The
review, expected to be completed by November, is intended to help the
Board align decision-making in multiple areas with the goals of the
district's strategic plan as well as take a consistent, strategic
approach to individual issues.

Titled "The Case for Continuous Improvement: A Comprehensive Review of
CMS," the review will address policies guiding such district
operations as magnet schools, transportation, boundaries, projected
enrollments, use of facilities and funding.
It will begin with a series of community forums in June. Click here to
view the Comprehensive Review Web site, which includes the list of
dates and times for the forums.

The community forums will be open to the public so that Board members
and district staff can hear public input on the guiding principles
used in decisions across CMS. The forums will be at three schools and
the Government Center.
"Current economic conditions, as well as a number of issues now
before us, have combined to create an opportunity for a comprehensive
review," said Eric C. Davis, chairperson of the Board. "All of us look
forward to involving the public in this important discussion."

The review will be conducted in a series of steps, some overlapping in

The Board will hold four community forums and three workshops before
July 4.

"The workshops will enable us to start from a common set of facts and
data while also providing an opportunity for us to discuss the issues
and begin a constructive dialogue," Davis said. "The community
engagement forums will allow us to include the community on the front
end of this work by listening to their perspectives."
The Board will apply guiding principles to review CMS programs,
transportation, funding, bell schedules, student assignment,
facilities and capital needs to develop a comprehensive plan for the
2011-2012 school year.


The Morehead Inn and The VanLandingham Estate welcome Kevin Lynch as
their new Executive Chef and Christen Spotts as their new Sous Chef.
They will be responsible for providing the fresh, original food
selections the historic Inns have become reknown for as well as
overseeing Good Gracious! Events for offsite gatherings.

"The success we've enjoyed is based on the foundation of offering
our guests delicious Southern staples that are handmade from the
freshest ingredients," says Billy Maddalon, managing partner of Unique
Southern Estates who are the owners of The Morehead Inn and the
VanLandingham Estate. "It also takes unique talent in the kitchen and
that is what both Kevin and Chris bring to our team." Both Inns are
host to some of the most beautiful weddings, extravagant social events
and productive business meetings in the region.

Kevin Lynch became a chef as an outlet for his creativity. "I am
addicted to the creative aspect of what it is to be a chef," says
Lynch. "I combine that passion with my zeal for eating healthy and
staying in shape. This singular approach allows me to produce fresh
food creations that inspire, but are also healthy." Lynch is an
endurance athlete in addition to his duties as Executive Chef. Prior
to his leading the kitchen teams at The Morehead Inn and The
VanLandingham Estate, Lynch worked at the former Charlotte landmark
The Lamplighter, The Townhouse, Metropolitan Café and Something
Classic Catering.

Christen Spotts has been working in kitchens since he was 13 years
old. "I was influenced by my mother, the greatest cook I know, and
those I've worked - and learned from - throughout my 18 years of
cooking and creating," says Spotts. Known as a perfectionist, Spotts
is continually improving and honing his dishes. "My greatest
compliment is watching guests enjoy the fare I have created." Spotts'
career has allowed him to work in some of Florida's most respected
restaurants. He also was a District Sales Representative for a large
food purveyor, giving him the opportunity to experience a different
side of food service.

"A recipe to me is really an idea played out with food. I get in my
head, an idea, and it starts to spin - a little of this, a little of
that - and then you are off creating something new and making it your
own for other people to enjoy," adds Spotts.

A Georgian Revival-style Bed & Breakfast, the Morehead Inn is well-
known for corporate meetings, elegant weddings and unique social
events. It is located in the heart of historic Dilworth just minutes
from uptown Charlotte. It is listed on the Mecklenburg County Historic
Register and features personalized service, exceptional cuisine,
private suites and ample meeting space in exclusive surroundings.

Located in historic Plaza-Midwood, The VanLandingham Estate Inn &
Conference Center includes the historic Harwood home and five-acres of
gardens, designed by Lee Collier, with five treasure trees. Harwood,
designed by C.C. Hook, features nine private guest suites, a secluded
carriage house and a newly renovated Garden Room. Both the gardens and
the Estate are listed separately on the National Register of Historic

Good Gracious! Events is the exclusive caterer of The Morehead Inn and
The VanLandingham Estate, well-known for creating high-quality food
presentations accompanied with a dedication to providing the
outstanding service required to make your event impressive, memorable
and unforgettable.

For more information, please visit or call The Morehead Inn at
or 704-376-3357, The VanLandingham Estate or 704-334-8909 and Good Gracious!
Events at or 704-375-3919.

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports residential real estate increases for May 2010

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports that the number of
closings for May 2010 (2,537) increased 32.7 percent over last May
2009 when closings totaled 1,912. Closings increased 14.3 percent over
last month (April 2010) when closings totaled 2,220. The average sales
price for May 2010 ($212,454) was up slightly (6.6 percent) over last
year's average sales price ($199,243), and is up by 5.5 percent over
April's average sales price of $201,410.

The average listing price of solds in May 2010 ($238,736) increased
6.1 percent) over last month's
average listing price of $225,108, and is up 6.8 percent compared to
last year's average
listing price of $223,470 for May 2009.

The residential pending contracts figure reported in May 2010 (2,059)
is down 12.4
percent compared to last May 2009 (2,350), and is down 31.1 percent
over last month

"Since December, we've seen six consecutive months of sales out-pacing
sales of a
year ago, and May's closings are our largest year-over-year increase
this year," says Lyn
Kessie, 2010 association/CMLS president. "We're hopeful these gains
point to a return
in buyer confidence, as home prices continue stabilizing and mortgage
rates remain
historically low."

New residential listings in May 2010 totaled 4,744. The average number
of days a
property was on the market from the time it was listed until it closed
(list to close) was
141.5, which is about four days less than last month. The average
number of days a
property was on the market (days on market), excluding the days the
property was off
the market or pending, was 116, or six days less than last month.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit the
association's Web site at and click on "Community Data."

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association
that leads, educates and equips members to be
productive. It provides more than 7,000 Realtor® members with the
resources and services needed to conduct ethical,
professional, successful and profitable businesses. The association is
dedicated to being the region's primary resource for
residential real estate information. The association operates the
Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which
has approximately 8,300 Subscribers and is the private cooperative
Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of
residential listings in a 10-county service area, including the high-
growth Charlotte area, as well as listings outside this
service area.

Disaster Preparedness - Debris Removal with Waste Management's Bagster

They're the types of services you rarely think about until they're
truly needed. Much like electricity for your home or gasoline in your
vehicle, most North Carolina residents may take their garbage and
recycling collection or even debris removal for granted under ordinary
circumstances, but after a severe storm or hurricane, these are the
services vital to beginning the recovery and revitalization process.

"Following a powerful hurricane strike, one of the most essential
needs for a community to begin recovery is the removal of debris and
the reliable return of its most vital services," said Randall Essick,
manager for Waste Management of North Carolina. "That's why we spend a
lot of time in the weeks and months prior to the start of hurricane
season focusing within our company on annual hurricane preparation and
recovery planning."

Each year, Waste Management staff review their local plans, re-
establish contact with local emergency authorities, and inspect and re-
stock their hurricane preparedness equipment and supplies. All this
and more is to ensure that employees are able to return to performing
their very essential collection jobs in the community as soon as
practical following a storm.

A new introduction in Waste Management's mix of hurricane preparedness
and recovery services this year is the Bagster bag. An innovation in
waste removal, Bagster is ideal in situations where there is a need to
discard more debris than can fit in a typical bin or garbage
receptacle, but not enough to require a dumpster. Bagster® bags are
strong enough to hold 3,300 pounds of severe storm and hurricane
debris items, such as tree stumps, large tree limbs, roofing shingles,
full sheets of plywood and sheetrock.

"After a significant storm blows through a community, there are few
more welcome signs of things getting back to normal than seeing North
Carolinians begin the rebuilding process," said Essick. "Once public
safety is restored, Bagster® allows residents to begin work on their
clean-up and restoration efforts quickly, use the bag for as long as
they want, then simply call Waste Management to schedule an effortless
and prompt pickup."

As part of its hurricane planning and pre-storm preparation, Waste
Management puts its hurricane response plan into action as soon as a
storm becomes a verified threat to the area.

In addition to the introduction of Bagster, Waste Management's
investment in emergency and storm recovery preparedness includes
stockpiling of supplies and needed rapid-response equipment, including
communications technologies and response vehicles. The effort includes
mobile "command centers" that include overnight functionality plus
satellite voice and data-enabled systems. These are stationed in
Georgia and Texas but are mobilized to be accessible anywhere in the
Southeast following a storm's impact.

The company also issues public advisories about storm preparation.
These include:
• Encouraging all residents and businesses to secure their garbage
cans and other trash containers in a safe location
• Reminders about preventing debris from becoming hazards to homes
and automobiles during high win
• Guidance on separating household garbage from storm debris after a
major storm strikes and tips on safe and proper disposal using a
Bagster bag or other products and services

After a storm, Waste Management also works to restart waste and
recycling collection and operations as soon as possible on streets
that are passable. Reminders to separate household garbage from storm
debris are issued. The company expands its routes to additional areas
as more streets become clear of debris and other impediments.

"Our value to a community is not always apparent unless collection
stops," said Essick. "Doing everything we can to prepare before and
return to service and help local residents recover after a crisis is
what being a good community partner is all about."

Locations in Charlotte and surrounding areas where Bagster bags are
sold, include:
Phone Number
The Home Depot
1220 N Wendover Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
(704) 365-1291
Blackhawk Hardware
4225 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209
(704) 525-2682
The Home Depot
4750 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 522-8383
The Home Depot
8135 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28213
(704) 596-1550
The Home Depot
9501 Albemarle Rd, Charlotte, NC 28227
(704) 535-6982
The Home Depot
10210 Centrum Pkwy, Pineville, NC 28134
(704) 544-2877
The Home Depot
1837 Matthews Township Pkwy, Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 845-9200
The Home Depot
14310 Rivergate Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28273
(704) 504-9836
The Home Depot
5415 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 814-6131
The Home Depot
4245 Main St, Harrisburg, NC 28075
(704) 455-7900
Indian Trail Ace Hardware
205 Indian Trail Road, Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 821-9448
The Home Depot
17111 Statesville Rd, Cornelius, NC 28031
(704) 987-0490
The Home Depot
2870 E Franklin Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28056
(704) 865-9532
Ace Hardware & Garden Center
20510 N Main St, Cornelius, NC 28031
(704) 892-7651
Locust Lumber
1709 Airport Rd, Monroe, NC 28110
(704) 289-8441
Morrison Brothers Building Center
267 Corban Ave SW, Concord, NC 28025-5155
(704) 792-2222
The Home Depot
2815 Home Depot Blvd, Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 909-2420
Southgate Masonry
3535 Us Highway 601 S, Concord, NC 28025-0473
(704) 786-9226

About Waste Management, Inc.
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of
comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our
subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource
recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer,
operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy
facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential,
commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North
America. To learn more visit www.wm.comor Bagster
is provided by WM Bagco, LLC, a Waste Management company. Collection
services provided by a local operating subsidiary of Waste Management,
Inc. Bagster, Dumpster in a Bag, BUY. FILL. GONE., and Take It On are
marks of WM Bagco, LLC. To learn more visit www.wm.comor

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Business License Renewals Due by July 1

If you operate a business in Charlotte or Mecklenburg County, you are
required to obtain a license and renew it every year unless the
business is specifically exempted by law.

Business licenses are authorized by the State of North Carolina and
are considered a license for the privilege to do business within a
local tax jurisdiction. Businesses are required to renew their
business license on or before July 1st of each year (with the
exception of taxi cab drivers and beer/wine licenses). Renewal forms
were mailed last week. Payments received or postmarked by the United
States Postal Service after July 1will incur late charges.

All businesses, trades, and professions conducting a trade,
occupation, performing a service, or selling goods or services within
the City are required to purchase a Privilege/Business License prior
to beginning operations.

This requirement applies to all businesses, whether operated for
profit, non-profit, or home based.

Privilege/Business license tax rates are based on estimated revenue
for new businesses, or annual gross receipts for businesses with one
or more years in business, at a rate of $0.60 per $1,000 (minimum tax
$50; maximum $10,000). Businesses subject to the gross receipts tax
may also be taxed at a flat rate while some businesses are only
subject to a flat tax rate. Certain types of businesses must pay both
the City and County license tax while others pay City tax alone.

A City license may be required in addition to any County or State
licenses already held. A business owner, partner, corporate officer or
any other designated assignee may apply for a license in person at 700
N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. during June,
Monday through Friday. In other months, applications are accepted at
the office between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An
application may be requested at the Business Tax Collections Office,
by telephone by dialing 311, online at, or by
mail at:

Business Tax Collections
P.O. Box 32728
Charlotte, NC 28232-2728

Questions? Business owners can contact us by dialing 311 (704-336-4600
if outside of Mecklenburg County) or via e-mail at
More information is also available at

Local, Easy Ways to Get Charlotte-area Families Outdoors

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality
outdoor gear and clothing, helps Charlotte-area families reenergize
their summer adventures with fun and friendly programs, events,
products and resources.

REI's Family Adventure Program (formerly the Passport to Adventure
program) helps adults and children explore the outdoors together. To
get started, families can visit an REI store or for free
adventure journals, filled with games, activities and outdoor diaries.
Parents can also discover an online resource of local kid-friendly
hike and bike trails recommended by REI employees, in addition to
activities for their kids designed to inspire an interest in the

Families across the country are invited to share their summer outdoor
experiences with others on REI's Online Community by submitting a
photo of their adventures. Five randomly selected photos will be
awarded $50 REI gift cards.

The REI Family Adventure Program is launching in different stores that
have found local, family-friendly biking and hiking trails. The
Charlotte and Pineville REI stores teamed up to zero-in on best hikes
and bike trails for kids in the Charlotte area. This link,
features an interactive map. If you click on North Carolina it pulls
up the Charlotte-area trails that they identified that are best for
families. Both of the stores are also hosting free classes and events
in the Charlotte area.

To help prepare more families for their next outdoor adventure, REI
offers classes, presentations and events at each store. Events span a
variety of outdoor topics from classes that teach the basics of
biking, hiking, paddling and camp cooking to volunteer projects to
conserve natural spaces. Information on local events and how to
register is available at

For resources that are accessible from home,'s Expert Advice
section features in-depth articles and quick videos specifically for
family-friendly fun in the outdoors. Using tips and instruction
provided by REI employees, online visitors can learn how to teach a
child to ride a bike or go geocaching with their tech-savvy kids.

Families can find comfort in the outdoors with a variety of gear and
apparel available at REI. The REI Base Camp tents are easy to set up
and spacious enough to fit a family and its gear. REI also offers a
variety of thick sleeping pads and cots, in addition to the Lumen
sleeping bags to make for a more comfortable night's sleep for the
entire family. Just for kids, the REI Nodder sleeping bag comes with
an attached stuff sack that doubles as a space adjuster, allowing
parents to shorten or lengthen the bag as their child grows.

Families looking to discover new destinations together can explore
trips offered by REI Adventures. With national and international
offerings, the REI Adventures team helps ease the planning hassle by
providing local family-friendly guides and itineraries, and most food
and gear needed for each trip. Discounts are available to REI members
and for children under 17 years old on select itineraries. In
addition, families can sign up for one-day, entry-level classes with
REI Outdoor School, where outdoor instructors teach families the
basics from bicycling, navigating, paddling or hiking.

About REI
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring,
educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime
of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of
Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is
committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access
to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and
financial contributions.

Public school graduation ceremonies continue June 7

Approximately 7,681 seniors will graduate this year from Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools. It is the largest class in CMS history with 465
more students graduating than last year's 7,216 graduates. It is
estimated that 80,000 guests will attend the 23 ceremonies being held
through June 15. Graduations continue on Monday, June 7, when Metro
School will hold its ceremony at The Blake Hotel (555 South McDowell
Street) at 7 p.m. Myers Park High School has the largest class with
630 students and Metro School has the smallest class with 20 students.
Click here for the list of graduation locations and times.

Commuters and guests should be aware that graduations will increase
traffic during the morning drive, specifically around Bojangles'
Coliseum. Free parking is available at the graduations held at
Bojangles' Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium. For the ceremonies held at
Time Warner Cable Arena, free parking will be available at the
Government Center (Third and South Davidson streets) and the
Mecklenburg County Courthouse (Fourth and McDowell streets) parking
garages. Guests are also encouraged to take the LYNX light rail to the
Charlotte Transit Center Station, which drops riders off in front of
Time Warner Cable Arena.

On Sunday, June 13, family members and guests attending the West
Mecklenburg High School graduation at Bojangles Coliseum (2700 E.
Independence Blvd.) at 5:30 p.m. will need to park at The Park (2500
E. Independence Blvd.) due to an evening performance of "Wicked" held
next door at Ovens Auditorium.

For security reasons, guests will not be allowed to bring the
following items into the graduations: flowers, food, duffel bags,
fanny packs, backpacks, gifts, balloons, air horns and noisemakers.
Guests attending graduations at Bojangles' Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium
and Time Warner Cable Arena will also be checked with a metal detector
prior to entering the venue. Doors open one hour before each
graduation begins. There will be no reserved seating.

InChem Corporation of Rock Hill Launches New Website

InChem Corporation of Rock Hill, S.C., a leading supplier of custom
and specialty chemicals to some of the world's leading corporations,
has launched a new website at to promote its global
chemical business.

"Our company is best known for supplying phenoxy resins to major
manufacturers of adhesives, coatings, electronic products, composites,
abrasives and more," said Steve Crownshaw, president of InChem
Corporation. "We currently have a website at created
several years ago to support our phenoxy resins business, particularly
from a technical perspective."

"But in recent years we have expanded significantly, producing a wide
range of custom, contract and specialty chemicals using our primary
production facility, which has 12 reactors, a wide variety of chemical
processing equipment, extensive new laboratory facilities and pilot
plant. The new website outlines these capabilities, as
well as our plant, equipment and technology base. We also have a team
of some of the leading chemists, engineers and industrial safety
experts in the country, whom we highlight on the new site."

Major chemical manufacturers, including many well-known international
firms, come to InChem to save time, money and risk, Crownshaw
explained. "It takes millions of dollars and many months or years to
set up a production facility for a new chemical product," he said. "We
offer the opportunity to make the products these customers need in the
required quantities without that capital expense, and with a faster
start-up. We allow these customers to better control their costs, as
well as decreasing the risks inherent in making a significant
investment of capital and other resources."

InChem Corporation has a 46-acre site at 800 Celriver Road just off
Interstate 77 in Rock Hill. It is part of a $150 million global
corporation with other plants in Lisbon, Portugal, and Johannesburg,
South Africa.

The new website was created for InChem by Lawrimore Communications
Inc. of Charlotte (, a marketing and web design firm.