Friday, August 27, 2010

World of Opera to Broadcast Opera Carolina's Production of Faust

Opera Carolina joins the ranks of world-class opera companies with the
national broadcast of its 2008 production of Faust on NPR World of
Opera from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 11. Charlotte area
listeners will be able to hear the broadcast on WDAV Classical Public
Radio (89.9FM) or online at

As the only classical performing arts organization in the southeast to
be featured on the acclaimed nationally syndicated program NPR World
of Opera, Opera Carolina takes its place among the most prestigious
international opera houses, including La Scala, Vienna State Opera,
and Covent Garden. Other U.S. opera companies, which have been
featured on the program, include Washington National Opera and Houston
Grand Opera.

Opera Carolina's stellar reputation extends far beyond its Charlotte
roots. The company is highly regarded among the national arts
community for world-class productions, earning Opera Carolina
continued attention from NPR World of Opera. The most recent
broadcast was Opera Carolina's 2006 production of Margaret Garner by
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and composer Richard Danielpour, which
will be re-broadcast in November.

NPR World of Opera is produced by WDAV Classical Public Radio. The
national broadcast of this production of Opera Carolina's Faust is
sponsored by the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

About Faust - The Production and Cast
This lush drama by Gounod is surely the most popular
musical representation of the immortal story of Faust, who confronts
the hellish consequences of his own weakness when the devil makes him
an offer he can't refuse -- but probably should have.
The cast includes Metropolitan Opera soprano Maureen
O'Flynn (Marguerite); Metropolitan Opera tenor James Valenti (Faust);
The Paris Opera's Chester Patton (Mephistopheles); plus American
artists Corey McKern (Valentin) and Diane McEwen-Martin (Siébel); and
Charlotteans Jeremy Collier ( Wagner); Kim Blanchard (Marthe), the
Opera Carolina Chorus and the Charlotte Symphony are under the
direction of James Meena, conductor.
Peter Perrett, Classic Voice of North Carolina, noted,
"Tenor James Valenti was an elegant and seductive Faust, with a lovely
voice and a great tessitura, handling with ease the high C and the end
of the beautiful aira. Maureen O'Flynn, making her Opera Carolina
debut as the "chaste and pure" Marguerite, looked and acted the part
and sounded angelic."
About Opera Carolina
Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a
small group of volunteers, today Opera Carolina is the largest
professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget
of over $3.3 million for the fiscal year 2009. The mission of Opera
Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the
presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, and Education & Outreach
programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera
Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic
excellence and community service.
Opera Carolina is supported by individuals and
corporations throughout the region. Opera Carolina is also supported,
in part, with operating support from the Arts & Science Council.
Additional support is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council, a
division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National
Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

Winemaker Joey Tensley presents the wines of Carina Cellars at Blue Restaurant on Sept. 9th

Join Blue Executive Chef Gene Briggs and wine maker Joey Tensley for
the exclusive wine dinner event at Blue on Thursday September 9th. The
event will feature a five-course dinner paired with wines from Carina
Cellars. The event begins at 6:30pm with a reception, followed by
seated dinner at 7:00pm. Advance reservations are required.

Carina Cellars is the result of an avid wine collector with a dream
who meets an accomplished winemaker with a vision. When attorney,
businessman and North Carolina native David Hardee and winemaker Joey
Tensley met in 2002, they were quick to recognize the benefits of
combining their passion. With Hardee's talent for business, Tensley's
talent for wine making, and a shared belief in only the best, Carina
Cellars was born. Joey brings talent, passion, and attention to
detail. He and partner David predict great things for the future.

This wine dinner will be an intriguing combination of international
flavors and in the dynamic setting of Blue Restaurant & Bar. This
food and wine pairing event provides an opportunity to experience the
culinary talent of Executive Chef Gene Briggs. The event is $65 per
person (gratuity and sales tax not included). Call Blue for
reservations at 704.927.2583. Blue Restaurant & Bar is located in the
Hearst Tower, Corner of College & 5th St.

Menu and Wine Pairing
Pan Seared Striped Bass and Crisp Veal Sweetbreads
With braised fennel and a '7 Percent" jus.
2007 "7 Percent" Santa Barbara County Syrah
Roast Magret Duck Breast
Over Anson Mills Polenta with braised greens and a cranberry mostarda.
2006 Santa Barbara County Syrah
Braised Boar Shoulder
With a mushroom farrotto and black currant preserves.
2007 "Clairvoyant" Central Coast GSM Blend
Bison Ribeye Baked with a Salt and Espresso Crust
With fontina gnocchi and rapini.
2006 "Iconoclast" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon & Santa Barbara Syrah
Pear Clafouti with vanilla gelato.
2009 Central Coast Viognier 704.927.2583

CMS to receive $25.7 million from Education Jobs Fund

The Education Jobs Fund will provide Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
with about $25.7 million, the district announced at the Aug. 24
meeting of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

The fund is part of the Obama administration's efforts to protect
teachers' jobs and the money can only be used for compensation and
benefits for school-based staff. Recipients have until September of
2012 to use the money.

The Board of Education will make a final decision on how the money is
allocated. Superintendent Peter C. Gorman recommended to the Board
that most of the money be used in the 2011-2012 budget, rather than
allocated immediately.

"In theory, using the $25.7 million right now would allow us to hire
467 new teachers this year, " Dr. Gorman said. "In practice, it
doesn't really work that way. The state will receive the money from
the federal government at the end of September, and we will receive
our portion sometime after that. By the time we post vacancies,
interview and hire, it will be October at the earliest."

Gorman said that schools would be understandably reluctant to shuffle
students and schedules so far into the school year. He also said that
research at CMS has shown that teachers who begin after the school
year starts come in lagging behind their colleagues, and they stay
behind for several years.

CMS administrators are recommending to the Board that most of the
money be used in 2011-2012 to offset an anticipated funding cliff when
the federal stabilization funds are expected to end.

"It's been tough for us the last two years – but next year will almost
certainly be worse if our estimate of nearly $50 million for the
federal funding cliff turns out to be accurate," Gorman said.

He also recommended that the district use $3.7 million of the $25.7
million this year to divide 75 teacher-level positions among the zone
superintendents. He also recommended using $1.6 million to provide
coverage for teachers on leave or other critical vacancies at the
school level throughout the year. The rest of the money would be used
in the 2011-2012 budget year.

British American School of Charlotte Plans Open Houses, Including Younger Set

Calling all children ages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and their parents! Join the
British American School of Charlotte for a special Saturday play date
for children and informational session for parents interested in the
internationally renowned curriculum. The International Primary
Curriculum used in more than 50 countries around the world.

The Early Years and Primary Years are critical at BASC to where
children acquire the skills for lifelong learning. Academic
development runs alongside, the playful development of imagination and
social and emotional skills. Come find out about this amazing UK-
developed curriculum, and how your child can benefit by attending.
Full-time programs start at age 3.

A special open house/play date for ages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will take
place Saturday, September 25 from 10 to 11 a.m. Child care will be

Prospective students, ages 3 to 16, and their families are also
invited to join Head Teacher Adam Stevens, other students and other
faculty for two afternoon open house visits to The British American
School of Charlotte, including tours and refreshments. Visitors can
choose from one of two open houses: Wednesday, September 15 from 1 to
3 p.m. or Wednesday, September 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. Both are scheduled
during school hours for special tours. RSVPs at 704.341.3236 are

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 16. 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.

Motorcycle Charity Ride To Benefit People with Disabilities

Clear Creek, an Charlotte residential care facility for people with
disabilities, will host its first Motorcycle Charity Ride fundraiser
on Saturday, September 18th, with registration starting at 10 a.m.

The ride will begin at 11 a.m. at Clear Creek, 11950 Howell Center
Drive, Charlotte, then follow highways 24/27, 601 and 29 to Bruton
Smith Boulevard in Concord, NC, concluding at the Hooter's on Gateway

Motorcycle Charity Ride will also award a variety of door prizes at
Clear Creek and at Hooter's, including a golf package for four at the
Cabarrus Country Club, vouchers for free nights at select hotels, a
beach trip, and more.

Tickets to participate are $25 per bike. All proceeds benefit Clear
Creek, a 120-bed facility that provides physical, occupational and
recreational therapy; round-the-clock nursing care; and an on-site
school for children whose conditions warrant home schooling.

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Darla Morgan at
704-221-8497 or Teresa Bishop 704-545-7200.

For more information on RHA Howell, visit

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been
helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their
families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35
years. Integrity, high standards for quality, and hard work are at the
core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders
in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the
field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children.
For more information, go to

Tickets Now on Sale for Elie Wiesel's Return to Charlotte September 21

Tickets are now on sale for The Echo Foundation September 21, 2010
event, A Night To Remember, featuring the premiere of Echo's
documentary film, In the Footsteps of Elie Wiesel. The film chronicles
the journey of 12 Charlotte-Mecklenburg high school students as they
trace life experiences and formative environments of 1986 Nobel Peace
Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
Tickets ($65) may be purchased by calling the North Carolina
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center box office at 704.372.1000 or online The event will be held at the Knight Theater
located at 430 South Tryon Street on September 21, 2010, at 6:00 p.m.
Seating begins at 5:30 p.m.

Produced by Indievision in association with Emulsion Arts, the
documentary features an introduction by Richard Gere, music by Cantor
Joseph Malovany and original score by Fred Story. Following the film,
Professor Wiesel will be joined by Echo Student Ambassadors in an on-
stage dialogue. Sandra and Leon Levine will also be honored as
recipients of the 2010 Echo Award Against Indifference.
Patrons' Ticket Packages are available for $3,000 per package, which
includes 10 film premiere/dialogue tickets, program recognition and
attendance at a post-premiere private reception at the Bechtler Museum
of Modern Art, honoring Professor Wiesel and Award Recipients Sandra
and Leon Levine. Individual Patron Tickets may also be purchased for
$250. All patrons will receive preferred seating at the film
premiere. To purchase Patron Tickets or the Patrons' Package, email
or call 704.347.3844.

Leading community philanthropists, Leon and Sandra Levine, will be
honored with the 13th annual Echo Award Against Indifference.Retired
Chairman and CEO of Bank of America and the 2005 Echo Award Against
Indifference recipient, Hugh McColl, Jr., will present the award to
Sandra and Leon Levine.

"Sandra and Leon Levine are the embodiment of the American dream,"
said Stephanie Ansaldo, president and founder of The Echo Foundation.
"Having worked to build a business and achieve success, they
demonstrate a profound moral responsibility by investing that success
to improve the lives of others. Leveraging their stature and
resources, they serve as catalysts for community development and
advocates for those in need."

Leon and Sandra Levine are the living example of Echo ideals,
consistently demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to the
community. They have a longstanding reputation for leadership in the
Charlotte region. With a powerful combination of business acumen,
compassion and responsibility, the Levines have been a driving force
behind the development of medical, religious, educational and arts
infrastructures across the community. Among the many institutions
that bear their name are the Levine Children's Hospital, Levine and
Dickson Hospice House, Shalom Park, UNC Charlotte, Levine Museum of
the New South, Levine Center for the Arts, Queens University, and
Central Piedmont Community College. In the wake of the financial
downturn, the Levines helped launch the Critical Need Response Fund, a
crucial source of support for those in need.

About The Echo Award Against Indifference

The Echo Award Against Indifference was established to honor a member
of the Mecklenburg County community who works "… with an eye towards
peace, a heart filled with compassion and a voice against
indifference, in order to remind our community of its highest
ideals." Previous recipients include the late Joe Martin, Bishop
George E. Battle Jr., the late Sister Mary Thomas Burke, former
Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, former UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dean
Colvard, former Bank of America Chairman Hugh McColl, Jr., developer
Howard C. "Smoky" Bissell, community volunteer Sally Dalton Robinson,
business and civic leaders, Alan and Stuart Dickson, and the civil
rights law firm Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter.

About The Echo Foundation
The Echo Foundation was founded in 1997 to carry on the
message Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel brought to Charlotte that
year – a call to action for human dignity, justice and moral courage.
The Echo Foundation brings to Charlotte speakers and programs that
illustrate how one person can make a difference for humanity through
its Voices Against Indifference Initiative.

Previous Echo speakers include Partners in Health co-
founder Paul Farmer, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, Rwandan
Bishop John Rucyahana, African policy expert John Prendergast, Doctors
Without Borders founder and French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard
Kouchner, Harvard African and African-American Studies Department
Chairman Henry Louis Gates Jr., Columbia Earth Institute Director
Jeffrey Sachs, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, human rights advocate
Kerry Kennedy, and Chinese dissident Harry Wu. For more information
about The Echo Foundation, visit

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jessica Simpson To Kick Off Jeanswear Collection In Charlotte

Jessica Simpson has taken the music, fashion and entertainment
industries by storm, and now she's
taking on Belk Department Stores! Kicking off a national tour of
special appearances to promote the
launch of her new Jeanswear Collection, the star will be hosting an in-
store signing at Belk South Park,
on September 18, 1-4 pm.

"I am so excited to share the magic of my denim!" Simpson says about
the addition of jeanswear to her
eponymous and hugely successful collection. "It is comfortable,
affordable, trend-right, and you will look
hot, guaranteed! I am already wearing them and loving them!"

Simpson will meet fans on the 3rd floor, adjacent to her Jeanswear and
footwear shop-in-shops with any
$50 Jessica Simpson Collection purchase. Customers will also receive a
personalized autograph and gift
bag including a "Layer Me" T-shirt from the new collection and a
sample of Jessica's latest fragrance,
Fancy Nights, while supplies last.

One lucky fan will receive the chance of a lifetime to "Get Styled by
Jessica", winning a Jessica Simpson
Collection wardrobe hand-picked and presented by Jessica herself!
Customers can register to win instore
beginning two weeks prior to the event and online at

The line includes four core denim fits – Jegging, Skinny, Boot-cut,
and Flare – in a variety of inseams and
washes, ranging from $49 - $69, as well as woven and knit fashion tops
and jackets, ranging from $29-
$79. The Jessica Simpson Collection offers consumers fashion forward,
contemporary products in over
twenty categories, and is available in over 3000 stores nationwide.

Survey Exposes Attitudes of Charlotte-area Drivers

Charlotte residents overwhelmingly believe their city is "drivable,"
yet the daily commute is a tough ride for many.

The Hartford 2010 Drivability Survey conducted by GfK Roper revealed
that Charlotte drivers have generally positive attitudes about driving
and believe officials in their area are doing a good job maintaining
the streets. Nearly all drivers think it is easy to get around by car
where they live, and 80 percent agree that their fellow drivers are
courteous. On the other hand, almost three-fourths of Charlotte
drivers say traffic is getting worse in their areas, and the majority
do not think the roads where they live were designed to handle the
current volume of traffic.

"Driving is such an important part of our daily lives that it can
affect our safety, our productivity at work, and even our general
outlook on life. As an insurance company, understanding the driving
experience helps us understand how to keep drivers – and their
vehicles – moving and safe," said Kathleen Bromage, vice president,
The Hartford.

The daily commute is a major time-waster and source of frustration for
many Charlotte drivers. The survey reports that the average Charlotte
commuter spends more than 29 minutes commuting each way to and from
work, including 15.8 minutes per day lost in traffic delays. This
means that the average commuter loses 63 hours per year because of
traffic – the equivalent of eight full working days. Two-thirds of
drivers say they try to plan their days around avoiding traffic.

Multi-Tasking Behind the Wheel

Despite the delays, Charlotte commuters seem to be adept at finding
ways to make use of the time they spend stuck in traffic, with 97
percent of drivers admitting they perform at least one other activity
– such as eating, drinking, talking on a cell phone or sending text
messages – while driving to or from work. Eating or drinking (85
percent) and talking on a cell phone (79 percent) are the most common
commuting pastimes, with 33 percent of commuters reporting they do
three or more different things while driving.

Surprisingly, even in today's tight job market, only 10 percent of
Charlotte commuters would be willing to commute as long as necessary
to accept a new job they found very interesting. However, most drivers
(76 percent) would at least consider a job offer that involves a
commute of more than 30 minutes each way.

What could make the daily commute more pleasant? If given the chance,
44 percent of Charlotte drivers would choose to be driven to work by a
professional chauffeur, with fewer opting for alternatives such as a
taxi driver, soccer mom orNASCAR driver. And Oprah Winfrey tops the
list of famous people drivers might select for a carpool companion,
with 31 percent of drivers selecting the television host over
President Barack Obama, Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, Kathy Griffin and

Improving Road Conditions Would Make Charlotte Move Drivable

In Charlotte, The Hartford 2010 Drivability Survey confirmed driver
attitudes about traffic, mobility and potential solutions to improve
the "drivability" of their city:

· Almost half of Charlotte drivers (46 percent) describe their
city or area as "very drivable," and more than nine in 10 say it is at
least "somewhat drivable."
· 87 percent of drivers agree that it is easy to get around
their communities by car.
· 73 percent of drivers say traffic is getting worse in their
area, and 74 percent of drivers do not think the roads where they live
were designed to handle the current volume of traffic.

To make Charlotte more drivable, 38 percent of survey respondents
would favor improving the condition of existing roads, such as fixing
potholes or repaving streets. Less popular options included adding
more lanes to highways, timing traffic signals better, reducing
traffic delays from construction, or improving signage, each selected
by fewer than 30 percent of drivers.

In Charlotte, 56 percent of people say they routinely encounter
potholes while driving. In fact, bad roads are even less popular than
heavy traffic: 80 percent of Charlotte drivers would prefer to sit in
stop-and-go traffic on a well-paved road rather than having a road
full of potholes all to themselves.

In 2009, The Hartford launched its "Pothole Patrol" initiative to
create smoother commutes in key markets by filling costly and
burdensome potholes that cause damage and disrupt the drives of local
residents. The Pothole Patrol has visited 10 American cities to date.

For more information about The Hartford Drivability Survey and The
Hartford's Pothole Patrol initiative, aimed at improving road
conditions in markets throughout the country,

Local Woman in Running for National Geographic Honor

Local photographer Roxanne Lovett of Statesville, N.C., has just been
named a Category Finalist in the 2010 Energizer Ultimate Photo
Contestwith National Geographic. Lovett is now one step closer to her
"shot" at greatness - the Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip of a
lifetime to the Greek Isles and will see his or her photo appear in
the pages of National Geographic magazine in an ad for Energizer®
Ultimate Lithium batteries.
The 2010 Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest, which launched in April,
has named two Finalists in each of its six thematic categories:
animals/wildlife, nature, travel, people/cultures, weather and action/
energy. Now it's up to the public to pick the Category Winners. From
now through Sept. 15, people can go
lithium to view the gallery of Category Finalist photos and to select
their favorite in each category.
From more than 14,000 entries, Lovett's photo rose to the top 12.
Selected as a Finalist in the people/cultures category, Lovett's photo
stood out as one of the best representations of the theme, said Jim
Richardson, National Geographic photographer and judge for the
Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest.
"There is in the lean of the horse and the lean of the soldier a unity
of action and a harmony of purpose," said Richardson. "The scene is
graced by just enough background to suggest a greater tableau, of
events larger than life and part of our history, but it is that
graceful cant caught in the moment that is beguiling."
If Lovett receives the most votes in her category, she will be among
six Category Winners vying for the title of Grand Prize Winner, to be
determined by Richardson and announced on or about Nov. 4, 2010.
In 2008, Energizer and National Geographic teamed up on the first
Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest, bringing together the world's
premier resource for photojournalism with the company that makes the
world's longest-lasting AA and AAA batteries for digital cameras and
other high-tech devices. Three years later, the Energizer Ultimate
Photo Contest is enjoying its best year yet – with a record-breaking
number of entries.
"We continue to be amazed at the quality of work that pours in through
submissions to the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest," said Jim Olsen,
Vice President of Marketing forEnergizer North America. "Our goal is
to encourage everyone to enjoy the experience of capturing moments
through photography, and we hope the long-lasting power and
reliability of our Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries make it a
little easier to do just that."
Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries are proven to last up to 8x
longer* in digital cameras and up to 2x longer** in flash units, as
well as offering more power* for GPS devices, LED flashlights and
handheld games. In addition to delivering long-lasting power, the
batteries are 33 percent lighter than alkaline batteries, have a 15-
year storage life and perform well in extreme temperatures from -40
degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (-40o to 60o Celsius), making them
ideal for both professional and amateur photographers on the go.
Each of the 2010 Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest Category Winners
will receive an assortment of Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries as
part of a prize pack also including an EPIC Action Video Cam, a Nikon
COOLPIX L110 digital camera, a Litepanels Micro® camera light, an
Energizer® Ultimate® Lithium 1AA Handheld flashlight, anEnergizer®
Ultimate® Lithium Headlight and two books from the National Geographic
Collection: "Journeys of a Lifetime" and "National Geographic: The
Image Collection."
The Grand Prize Winner will receive all of the items listed above as
well as a National Geographic Expedition for two to the Greek Isles,
accompanied by a National Geographic expert.
For additional information on the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest and
to vote on the Category Finalist photos, visit
. For more information on Energizer and its products, visit
*Versus Energizer® MAX®. Results vary by device.
**Versus Energizer® MAX®. AA only. Results vary by device.

Bank of America Announces Underwriting of Ken Burns's Baseball Film "The Tenth Inning," Premiering This September on PBS

Bank of America today announced its support of Ken Burns's "The Tenth
Inning," which debuts September 28-29 on PBS and is the much
anticipated sequel to the landmark 1994 documentary, "Baseball." As
the sole corporate underwriter of the film - and Official Bank of
Major League Baseball(TM) and sponsor of nine MLB clubs - Bank of
America will utilize its relationship with Burns, and its long-
standing support of America's national pastime, to provide
opportunities for children in three iconic baseball cities to enjoy a
unique experience with the filmmaker.
Bank of America will leverage its MLB local club sponsorships to give
kids from nonprofit organizations in Chicago, New York and Boston the
chance to either experience the thrill of attending game at an MLB
ballpark, or attend a private screening of "The Tenth Inning." In
conjunction with the game or screening in each market, the children
will meet Burns and be able to quiz him about his upcoming film. The
first such activity occurs tomorrow, when 12 local students - who are
winners of an essay contest about baseball - will attend the Chicago
Cubs game at Wrigley Field and receive a special visit from Burns.

"Baseball truly exemplifies America's collective spirit and sense of
potential; and there are few better storytellers of this great game
than Ken Burns," said Anne M. Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing
officer, Bank of America. "Our investment in 'The Tenth Inning' is
helping Ken Burns create for baseball fans another world-class film
that celebrates the game and captivates audiences."

Immediately preceding the PBS broadcast of the film, Bank of America
will air a customized version of its 30-second TV spot, entitled
"Stitching," which debuted during the 2010 Major League Baseball(R)
All-Star Game last month. The version for "The Tenth Inning" will
culminate with a voiceover that references Bank of America's proud
support of the film.

"Bank of America's involvement in this film really excites me because
they're using it as an authentic vehicle to celebrate the company's
long-standing support of America's national pastime with their
associates, customers and community partners - many of whom are
interested in seeing the 'The Tenth Inning,'" said Burns. "I am
especially proud to have Bank of America's backing for this film
because its history is so intertwined with the history of baseball."

Bank of America and Baseball

Bank of America's history with baseball dates back to the late 1880s,
when the bank first sponsored employee baseball teams in Washington,
D.C., and in the ensuing years in Massachusetts, Illinois, California,
and other states. That heritage of support for baseball continued at
Bank of America for more than 100 years through sponsorships,
promotions, advertising, charitable donations and other programming
that has been preserved in photographs and items in the company's
archives. Today, Bank of America is the Official Bank of Major League
Baseball(TM), and a proud sponsor of the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore
Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York
Yankees, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis
Cardinals, along with dozens of Minor League(TM) clubs. Bank of
America is also recognized as a leading financial advisor across the
global sports landscape, and the bank's Sports Finance and Advisory
Team helps to set opportunity in motion for owners, leagues and
franchises by addressing their full range of financial needs.

Bank of America began its support for Ken Burns on PBS with "The War"
in 2007 and continued in 2008 with "The National Parks: America's Best

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions,
serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and
large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset
management and other financial and risk management products and
services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United
States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business
relationships with 5,900 retail banking offices, more than 18,000 ATMs
and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of
America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and
is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading
across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations,
governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of
America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million
small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use
online products and services. The company serves clients through
operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation
stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

"The Tenth Inning"

"The Tenth Inning"tells the tumultuous story of America's national
pastime from the early 1990s to the present day, introducing an
unforgettable array of players, teams and fans, celebrating the game's
resilience and enduring appeal, and showcasing both extraordinary
accomplishments and devastating losses and disappointments. The film
highlights dramatic developments that transformed the game. "The Tenth
Inning" is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC.
Directors: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Writers/producers: David
McMahon, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns. Editor: Craig Mellish. Additional
editing: Erik Ewers. Cinematography: Buddy Squires, with Allen Moore
and Ken Burns. Narrator: Keith David.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Founders Hall Launches Gift Card Program

The Shops at Founders Hall in uptown Charlotte is launching a gift
card program to provide customers with more options and greater
convenience. The cards are available for purchase at select retailers
in Founders Hall and are redeemable at any of the participating shops.

"We're excited to launch our new gift card program and provide our
customers with greater variety," said Niki Allen, manager of The Shops
at Founders Hall. "When you give someone a Founders Hall gift card,
you are giving them the gift of choice."

Gift cards can be purchased and redeemed at the following retailers:
* Aria Tuscan Grill
* Blis
* The Blossom Shop
* The BookMark
* Candy Candy
* Sonoma

Additional shops may join the program. To place a bulk order, please
contact Allen at

About The Shops at Founders Hall
The Shops at Founders Hall offer a unique shopping destination in the
heart of Uptown Charlotte. Founders Hall is connected to the Bank of
America Corporate Center on the corner of Trade and Tryon streets.
Parking for Founders Hall is available in the Bank of America
Corporate Center Parking Deck; patrons of The Shops at Founders Hall
can have parking validated for two hours. The Shops are open Monday
through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. The Shops are closed on Sunday. For more information,


The Mecklenburg County Tax Collector will mail tax bills to
approximately 379,300 property owners and mortgage companies on August
25, 2010.

Tax bills are mailed directly to the owner of the property as of Jan.
1, 2010 or the mortgage company that requested the bill for property
owners with tax escrow accounts. Property owners who escrow their
property taxes with a mortgage company will receive a property tax
notification from the Tax Collector. These owners should review the
notice carefully to ensure the bill was sent to the correct mortgage

Real estate and personal property tax payments are due Sept. 1, 2010.
Tax payments must be paid by Jan. 5, 2011 to avoid interest charges.
If mailed, the payment must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service
on or before that date. Property owners whose payments are postmarked
on or after Jan. 6, 2011, will be charged 2-percent interest for the
month of January 2011 and an additional ¾-percent every month
thereafter until paid. Delinquent taxes will be advertised in local
newspapers and an additional advertising fee will be added to each bill.

There are several payment options:
· Cash
o Accepted only in person at 700 E. Stonewall Street and 4150
Wilkinson Boulevard
o Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
· Check & Money Order1
o Payable to Mecklenburg County Tax Collector
o Pay in person or mail to Mecklenburg County Tax Collector, PO Box
71063, Charlotte NC 28272-1063
o 24-digit tax bill number required
· Credit Cards
o OPC charges a convenience fee
o Call 1-877-533-0072 or pay online via
o 24-digit tax bill number required
· eCheck
o Free service
o Call 1-877-533-0072 or pay online via
o 24-digit tax bill number required
· Online Banking 2
o Personal banking online bill pay

1 Checks must have drawer's name, drawer's address, check number,
financial institution's name, and MICR numbers preprinted on the
check. In addition, the check should have the current date, numbers
printed, the amount paid spelled out, and a signature. Mecklenburg
County does not accept starter, counter, altered, or photocopied checks.
2 If the entire tax bill number is not entered in the online bill pay
account number field, the payment will be rejected and sent back to
taxpayer's bank. Interest will apply if payment is received on or
after the interest begins date.

24-digit tax bill number in the account number field required

Taxpayers with questions about their bill, property listings, or real
estate valuations, can call City-County Customer Service at 311.
Taxpayers calling from outside Mecklenburg County should dial
704-336-4600 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. More
information is also available on the Office of the Tax Collector's
website. Visit and then click on Office of the
Tax Collector.

What is taxed? Property taxes are levied on real property (land and
buildings) and personal property (boats, aircraft, income-producing
business personal property, and unlicensed motor vehicles, etc.) The
Tax Collector bills for licensed motor vehicles based on the monthly
registration data from the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Charlotte Realtor receives national recognition

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association member Joe Rempson received
honorable mention and was awarded $2,500 through the National
Association of Realtors®' (NAR) Good Neighbor Award. The award is
given through NAR's official REALTOR® Magazine.

Rempson's service to the Charlotte community is immeasurable, and his
latest volunteer leadership for Realtors® Care Day put him in the
national spotlight. Realtors® Care Day, a project of the
association's Housing Opportunity Foundation, has helped 64 families
over the last two years. The project was Rempson's vision back in
2008, and with the help of a core committee, Rempson was event chair
in 2009 and served as co-chair in 2010.

Realtors® Care Day 2010 is an all-day event that assists deserving
homeowners with critical but often unaffordable exterior home
repairs. The event is the largest philanthropic project of the
foundation; more than 650 Realtor® volunteers perform repairs on more
than 30 homes across Mecklenburg and Iredell counties. The project's
estimated financial impact amounts to more than $400,000 over the past
two years.

"Joe's passion for helping others is inspirational and has been the
key to the success of Realtors® Care Day," says Terri Marshall,
executive director of the foundation. "We are truly fortunate that
Joe's commitment to service extends to leadership roles within our
foundation and association. He has helped guide the Realtor®
community's efforts to improve the lives of our neighbors."

Rempson has served as a Realtor® and property manager for the past 12
years with T.R. Lawing Realty, Inc., and is graciously supported by
his wife, Rachel, and three children, Avery, Cole and Ryann.

For more information about the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association
or the Housing Opportunity Foundation, visit the association's Web
site at

Partnership brings recycling program to Cabarrus schools

An exciting new partnership between local Cabarrus County school
systems, the business community and local government will bring a
comprehensive recycling program to local schools beginning this school

The Cabarrus Sustainability Council, Cabarrus County Schools,
Kannapolis City Schools, the cities of Concord and Kannapolis and
Cabarrus County have all partnered to provide recycling services to
local schools.

The effort, which was organized by the Sustainability Council, will
provide the resources for schools to recycle paper, aluminum, plastic
and cardboard. Prior to the program, each school had a varying level
of recycling activity. This program enhances and formalizes efforts
that are already underway.

"This project really is an example of what can happen when the public
and private sector roll up their sleeves and work together for a
common community good," said Ian Prince, chair, Cabarrus
Sustainability Council. Prince is the manager of real estate and
sustainability for Roush Fenway Racing.

Recycling bins and weekly pick-ups are being provided jointly by the
local governments under the shared identity "School Recycling
Partnership." As such, citizens may see vehicles from other
jurisdictions serving the schools and en route. The local schools are
responsible for developing recycling program goals and measurement.

The Cabarrus Sustainability Council, a joint effort between the
Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce and Cabarrus Economic
Development, works to promote sustainability through public and
private collaboration. The Sustainability Council made implementing
the school recycling program its primary goal for its first year.
During the coming year, the Council will focus on air quality in the
region and ways to make improvements.

For more information about the Sustainability Council, contact
Samantha Moose at 704-782-4000,

BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey Finds Bearish Sentiment Waning as Risk Appetite Improves

Bearish sentiment among investors about the outlook for the global
economy and corporate earnings has eased, according to the BofA
Merrill Lynch Survey of Fund Managers for August.

The survey shows a net 5 percent of respondents predicting that the
global economy will improve in the next year. This represents a modest
turnaround from July when a net 12 percent of respondents predicted
the world economy would deteriorate.
While the percentage of respondents expecting below-trend growth and
inflation remained unchanged at 73 percent in August, the survey shows
recession fears easing. A net 78 percent of respondents think a double-
dip recession is unlikely. After a deflation shock last month,
investors have shifted their focus back towards inflation.

The survey shows an almost neutral view on the prospects for a rise in
global inflation in the next year. Just 1 percent of respondents
expect inflation to be lower in 12 months' time, compared to a net 12
percent in July. In addition, a net 14 percent of asset allocators
indicated that global monetary policy is too stimulative, compared to
just 5 percent in July. Nonetheless, 55 percent of respondents to the
global survey are ruling out any rate hike in the U.S. before the
third quarter of 2011.

A key indicator tracking investors' risk and liquidity conditions
returned to an almost neutral reading, indicating an improvement in

"The spotlight of investor pessimism has shifted away from China and
Europe to Japan and the U.S. Investors clearly remain cautious, so
better news on U.S. growth and fiscal policy would be a pleasant
surprise," said Michael Hartnett, chief Global Equities strategist at
BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.

"Investor sentiment on Europe has staged a remarkable recovery in the
past few months, underpinned by greater optimism about Europe's banks.
Economic data now has to continue to support this shift," said Gary
Baker, head of European Equities strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch Global

Appetite for European equities returns

Asset allocators reduced their cash holdings. A net 7 percent were
overweight cash in August, compared to 13 percent in July and 19
percent in June. While there was an uptick in allocation to equities,
there was a drop in allocation to bonds. A net 23 percent were
underweight bonds in August, compared to a net 15 percent underweight
in July.

The survey also shows a sharp drop in investors' appetite for U.S. and
Japanese equities, but a recovery in demand for Eurozone equities.

A net 14 percent of asset allocators are underweight U.S. equities,
compared to 7 percent overweight in July. Global asset allocators have
also reduced their exposure to Japanese equities. A net 27 percent
were underweight Japanese equities in August, compared to a net 7
percent in June.

In contrast, a net 11 percent were overweight eurozone equities in
August, the most positive reading since October 2009. This compares to
a net 10 percent who were underweight a month earlier. There was also
good news for U.K. equities, on which investors are the most
optimistic they have been since May 2007.

Bearish sentiment on China recedes

Global Emerging Markets (GEM) increased in popularity as concerns
about a weakening of the Chinese economy waned. A net 38 percent of
global asset allocators are overweight GEM equities, up from 34
percent in July and 31 percent in June.

Bearish sentiment towards the Chinese economy eased markedly. A net 19
percent of respondents expect the Chinese economy to weaken over the
next year, compared to 39 percent just a month ago. This improved
sentiment was supported by a shift towards commodities. A net 9
percent of respondents were overweight commodities in August, compared
to a net 1 percent underweight in July.

Banks, consistently one of the most unloved sectors, finally saw a
sharp improvement from a net 28 percent underweight in July to a net
19 percent underweight this month. This ranked alongside industrials
as the biggest sector shift by investors. On the other hand, utilities
and pharmaceuticals suffered steep declines in support.

U.S. dollar looks cheap; Japanese yen overvalued

The survey reveals that asset allocators think the U.S. dollar looks
undervalued, while the Japanese yen is seen as overvalued. A net 23
percent of respondents regard the dollar as undervalued, compared to
just 3 percent in July. A net 62 percent see the yen as overvalued - a
survey record - versus 55 percent a month earlier.

Survey of Fund Managers

A total of 187 fund managers, managing a total of US$513 billion,
participated in the global survey from 6 August to 12 August. A total
of 157 managers, managing US$327 billion participated in the regional
surveys. The survey was conducted by BofA Merrill Lynch Global
Research with the help of market research company TNS. Through its
international network in more than 50 countries, TNS provides market
information services in over 80 countries to national and multi-
national organizations. It is ranked as the fourth-largest market
information group in the world.

The BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research franchise covers over 3,100
stocks globally and ranks in the top tier in many external surveys.
Most recently, the group was named 2010 Top Global Broker (second
consecutive year), Top Europe Broker, No. 2 U.S. Broker and No. 3 Asia
broker by Financial Times/StarMine. The team was also named Best
Brokerage by Forbes/Zacks for the second consecutive year. In
addition, the group was named No. 1 in the 2010 Institutional Investor
All-Emerging Europe Research team survey and No. 3 in the 2010
Institutional Investor All-Europe team survey for pan-European
coverage. In 2009, the team was named No. 2 in the Institutional
Investor 2009 All-Brazil Research team survey; and No. 3 in the 2009
Institutional Investor 2009 All-America Equity, All-Latin America and
All-America Fixed-Income Research team surveys.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions,
serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and
large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset
management and other financial and risk management products and
services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United
States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business
relationships with 5,900 retail banking offices, more than 18,000 ATMs
and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of
America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and
is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading
across a broad range of asset classes serving corporations,
governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of
America offers industry-leading support to more than 4 million small
business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online
products and services. The company serves clients through operations
in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:
BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed
on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the marketing name for the global
banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation.
Lending, derivatives, and other commercial banking activities are
performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America
Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Securities,
strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are
performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America
Corporation ("Investment Banking Affiliates"), including, in the
United States, Banc of America Securities LLC and Merrill Lynch,
Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, which are both registered broker-
dealers and members of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions,
locally registered entities. Investment products offered by Investment
Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not
Bank Guaranteed

Monday, August 16, 2010

NC Partnership to Aid Residents Facing Economic Hardship

Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service from Virgin Mobile that
provides a free wireless phone and 200 free minutes of wireless voice
service monthly to eligible customers, has announced a new alliance
with the North Carolina Community Action Association. The partnership
will help North Carolina's more than 454,000 unemployed residents
determine their eligibility and enroll in Assurance Wireless.

"Our community has been affected severely by current economic
conditions," said Sharon Goodson, NCCAA executive director. "We look
forward to working Assurance Wireless to help North Carolinians combat
these tough times."

The North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA) is a
nonprofit, non-partisan organization that advocates on behalf of North
Carolina's low-income and elderly citizens to ensure their voice is
heard at the local, state and national levels.

Not only does Assurance Wireless help low-income customers cut monthly
costs, but it also provides them a contact number for return calls
from prospective employers, which, studies show, can improve the
chances of securing employment. Assurance Wireless launched in North
Carolinain December 2009.

"With more than 738,000 North Carolinians living below the poverty
level, we are looking forward to working with the NCCAA to help their
clients get back on their feet," said Gary Carter, Manager for
National Partnerships for Assurance Wireless. "This week's event will
be a great opportunity for eligible residents to enroll on the spot
and start taking advantage of Assurance's cost-saving services."

In addition to free voice mail and call waiting, Assurance Wireless
provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the
free 200 minutes, customers can pay for additional 10-cent-per-minute
domestic calling, 10-cent text, e-mail or instant messages,
international calling at competitive rates, and more.

Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those who
participate in Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Temporary Cash Assistance
(TCA/TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Bureau of Indian
Affairs Programs (BIA), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8),
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or National
SchoolLunch Program's Free Lunch Program. Customers may also qualify
based on low household income.

Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (800)
395-2171, or visiting

Assurance Wireless is currently also available in Florida, Louisiana,
Maryland, Michigan, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In North
Carolina, the service provides nearly triple the amount of minutes
offered by Safelink Wireless®.

About Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless, one of Sprint's prepaid brands, is supported by
the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the
federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the
Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), and designed to
ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-
income customers at reasonable and affordable rates. Assurance
Wireless uses the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than
275 million people.

To learn more about Assurance Wireless, including eligibility
requirements, please call (800) 395-2171 or visit
. Information is available in English and Spanish.

Please follow Assurance news on Twitter,
YouTube,, or

Note: sources for all information and statistics are available upon

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline
communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers,
businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.2
million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2010 and is
widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative
technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national
carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data
services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost
Mobile, Common Cents Mobile, Assurance Wireless and PayLo; instant
national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global
Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can
learn more and visit Sprint at or
sprint and

Davidsonian Wins Ms. Wheelchair USA title

Alexandra McArthur, a 2009 Davidson College graduate now working in
the college's community service office, was crowned Ms. Wheelchair USA
at a pageant in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday night. She won the
Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina title in April, and was among 28 state
winners at the national event.

For more information, visit

Charlotte Regional economy shows slight gains

Recent regional employment figures were a good news/bad news scenario,
according to the Charlotte Regional Partnership. The regional
unemployment rate went down marginally between May and June, falling
from 11.7 percent to 11.6 percent, with nearly all counties' rates
declining from the beginning of 2010. However, the total labor force
also decreased slightly from a year ago, which may indicate that
discouraged workers are still dropping out of the workforce.

The Carolinas Survey of Business Activity indicates July activity
remained flat, a reflection of national trends. The Institute for
Supply Management's Report on Business reflects growth during July in
the manufacturing sector, although it continues at a slow pace.

July also saw fewer reported layoffs and closings than earlier in the
year. However, there also were fewer new jobs reported, although there
were promising signs as several existing firms expanded and recalled

See the full By the Numbers July report for a breakdown of the
unemployment and employment numbers, as well as housing statistics and
comparisons with how Charlotte USA stacks up with other regions, at:

The Charlotte Regional Partnership's By the Numbers, released monthly,
is the only report of its kind. Easy-to-read charts not only compare
employment numbers in the current and prior years for each of our 16
counties, the report breaks down employment changes by industry. It
compares the Charlotte region with the other six partnership areas in
North Carolina and other major Southeast regions. Charts show at a
glance year-to-year comparisons of the national unemployment rate,
consumer confidence and home sales indices. The report also summarizes
Charlotte USA locations, expansions, closings and layoffs for each
month fiscal year-to-date. And there are extras, such as taxable sales
within the region.

A nonprofit, public/private economic development organization, the
Charlotte Regional Partnership allocates and leverages regional
economic development resources to sustain and enhance the economic
growth, vitality and global competitiveness of the Charlotte region.
The 16-county region encompasses Alexander, Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba,
Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and
Union counties in North Carolina and Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster
and York counties in South Carolina.

Care Ring - formerly CHS - Names New Executive Director

Care Ring, formerly Community Health Services, has announced Susan
Furtney as its new executive director. The search committee, comprised
of board members, employees and donors, selected Furtney after a three-
month nationwide search.

Furtney is currently the career development services director at
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, based in Charlotte. She
has 20 years' experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors,
including a family clinic, major hospital system and a health
insurance company.

"As health care issues remain at the forefront, Susan's varied medical
exposure, track record of innovation and strategic management skills
will benefit Care Ring and its clients," said Doug Neely, chairman of
the Care Ring board of directors.

Care Ring is a nonprofit organization that provides access to
preventive health services for the uninsured and underinsured
inMecklenburg County. The organization annually serves more than
10,000 people and is a leader in a collaborative effort to improve
community health.

In its 55-year history, the organization has continued to evolve and
serve people who fall through the cracks of the traditional health
care system in Mecklenburg County. Care Ring offers a comprehensive
range of programs and services:

· Care Ring Low-Cost Clinic – This clinic in uptown Charlotte
offers basic health care services and chronic disease management at
reduced costs. Low-cost lab work is also conducted on site.

· Nurse-Family Partnership – Care Ring operates this evidence-
based nurse home visiting program that improves the health, well-being
and self-sufficiency of first-time, low-income mothers, which in turn
benefits their child's health and development.

· Physicians Reach Out – In partnership with the Mecklenburg
County Medical Society and Charlotte Dental Society, 1,500 volunteer
physicians, dentists and allied health professionals provide free or
low-cost health care for low-income individuals who do not qualify for
Medicaid and do not have access to private health insurance.

"Throughout my career, I've been passionate about advocating for
quality health care for all people," said Furtney. "I am excited to
join Care Ring and further the agency's efforts to effect systemic
changes in health care access, affordability and coverage for the
uninsured and underinsured in our community. Care Ring will continue
to serve as a voice for our clients, and collectively we can create
comprehensive change."

Furtney holds a master's degree in public health, health policy and
management from Emory University and a bachelor's degree in public
health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Care Ring is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable,
accessible and high-quality health care for people who lack access to
services. Since 1955, the agency has been providing preventive health
care in Charlotte to children and adults with limited means. Today,
the agency serves 10,000 clients annually. For more information, visit


The City of Charlotte seeks input on a proposed ordinance regulating
non-consensual towing from private lots. An input meeting will take
place on Thursday, August 19 at 6:30pm at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Government Center in Room 267 in order to collect comments and clarify
any specific questions about the proposed ordinance. Parking is
available in the Davidson Street parking deck.

The purpose of this meeting is to collect input on the draft
ordinance, especially from the towing industry, parking lot owners,
apartment complex owners, residents who have been towed, and anyone
else with an interest in the topic.

Comments from this input session will be shared with City Council's
Community Safety Committee where they will review the proposed changes
and make a recommendation for the full council to vote and adopt at a
later date.

Visit and click "Quick Links" to read the ordinance. Comments
may also be left at this link for those unable to attend the meeting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Biltmore's Flower Carpet to feature living tapestry

Jewel-tone colors of stained glass are the inspiration for this year's
Flower Carpet event at Biltmore, set for Aug. 20 through Sept. 12, on
the South Terrace of Biltmore House.

Biltmore's third annual Flower Carpet - made up of more than 100,000
plants - takes its shape and color from a set of 1880s stained glass
windows created by innovative artist and interior designer John La
Farge. These windows, part of George Vanderbilt's vast art collection,
are now on display at Biltmore's new Antler Hill Village.

Unlike traditional stained glass artists whose works were flat and
conservative, La Farge incorporated three-dimensional elements and
layers of complex plating to provide depth. This revolutionary style
allowed for the rounded and faceted glass to form sparkle-like jewels.
Biltmore's Travis Murray, crew leader of the Walled Garden, created
the magnificent design for this year's Flower Carpet.

Plant selections have been chosen to glow in shades of red, orange,
blue, yellow and grey throughout the 14,400 square-foot design. These
include Iresine Purple Lady; Marigold Janie Tangerine; Coleus Dark
Star fading into Angelonia's from dark purple, lavender to white;
Marigold Janie Bright Yellow; Zinnia Profusion White; Euphorbia
Diamond Frost and Zinnia Angustifolia Star White; Begonia Prelude Rose
and Harmony Scarlet.

On select evenings, the estate will be open for Flower Carpet Evenings
(Aug. 20, 21, 27, 28; Sept. 10, 11). Soft lighting, beautiful sunset
views and live jazz music create a special ambiance for viewing the
carpet. Evening guests will also be able to take a candlelight tour
through Biltmore House. Picnic options will be available by
reservation online or by phone when purchasing tickets. Wine, beer and
non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase on site. A
dining concierge will be stationed at the event to assist with dinner
reservations at Bistro, Arbor Grill or The Dining Room.

For additional information on the Flower Carpet event, please call 877-
BILTMORE or visit

About Biltmore
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of
George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America's
largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the
Vanderbilt family's original collection of furnishings, art and
antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including
renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of
American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include
the new Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery
and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian
Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues and Biltmore
For Your Home, the company's licensed products division. To learn
more about Biltmore, or book a visit to Biltmore, go to or call 877-

Charlotte Restaurant Nominated Best Soul Food in America

Sara Lee North America Retail announces its Hillshire Farm brand will
sponsor the Best Soul Food Place during the Eighth Annual Hoodie
Awards hosted by nationally syndicated radio personality Steve Harvey
in Las Vegas on August 28, 2010.

Charlotte's own "Sadie's Soulful Southern Experience" on North Sharon
Amity Road is a finalist and will contend for the Hillshire Farm Best
Soul Food Place category, along with bragging rights and national
recognition. Sadie's owner Tamara Thompson has been notified and is
thrilled about the opportunity to let everyone know about Charlotte's
best soul food.

Additionally, Hillshire Farm is the title sponsor of the annual
Freedom Friday Party. Guests will be treated to performances from
Doug E. Fresh and Charlie Wilson at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
on August 27, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Harvey started the Hoodie Awards in 2001 as a way to honor the
nation's best small businesses, educators and community leaders in a
variety of categories for their contributions to the areas they
serve. Categories include best high school, car wash, soul food
place, nail shop, barbershop, fried chicken, high school teacher,
barbecue place, beauty salon, church, church choir and community leader.

Hillshire Farm became a sponsor in 2007. Always committed to community
involvement, the brand looked to demonstrate its commitment to
bringing great food to the African-American community.

"Hillshire Farm is delighted to be a sponsor of both the Hoodie Awards
and the Freedom Friday Party, helping bring glory to the nation's Best
Soul Food Place," said Tim Roush, vice president lunch and dinner,
Sara Lee North American Retail.
For more information about the 8th Annual Hoodie Awards, please visit

Enjoy Upcoming Art Exhibits at Davidson College

Davidson College invites the public to an art opening and reception on
Thursday evening, August 26. Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Nathaniel Rogers will give a gallery talk at a reception for the
college's annual Faculty Art Exhibition. That exhibition will be in
the Van Every Gallery, and will include works by Rogers, sculptor Cort
Savage, and printmaker Rebekah Tolley. There is no charge to attend
the reception, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Belk Visual Arts Center.
Nathaniel Rogers' talk will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Also on exhibit in the adjoining Smith Gallery will be "Ewan Gibbs:
America." Gibbs will be at Davidson to discuss his work on Tuesday,
Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Semans Lecture Hall in the Belk Visual Arts

Both exhibits will be on display from August 27 through October 6. The
galleries are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from
noon to 4 p.m. There is no charge to view the exhibits. For
information call 704-894-2519.

Professor Cort Savage will debut a major kinetic installation entitled
"CANONS." It consists of three large steel towers, suggestive of
gallows, that fill the main space of the Van Every Gallery. Held by
thick metal cables, each tower suspends from its core a large, black
rubberband ball––a reference to Savage's "Inevitable Form" series and
"Scattered Man" installation.

Buried within the center of each ball is a bronze cast of a human
skull. Clamped within the jaws of each skull is one of three major
religious texts—the Holy Bible, the Tanakh, and the Qu'ran. Faint
white outlines of each skull (and respective canon) appear in backlit
X-rays displayed on adjacent walls.

As each ball is slowly lifted and dropped, a dull rumble (like thunder
or distant cannon fire) permeates the gallery. The foreboding sound
and formidable structures encourage the viewer to contemplate the
inevitability of mortality and the eternal life promised through
adherence to holy doctrines.

Associate Professor Rebekah Tolley specializes in printmaking. Her
installation titled "Carapace" is her first project at Davidson since
her exhibitions in Beijing and in Zibo, Shandong, China earlier this
summer. Tolley's multi-media installations incorporate dual interests
in animation and printmaking. The resulting artworks are as organic
and fluid as the aquatic life forms that inform them.

Visiting Assistant Professor Nathaniel Rogers is a 2002 Davidson
graduate who begins teaching at his alma mater this semester. Rogers'
narrative, small-scale oil paintings, often staged in theatrical
settings, are meticulously rendered and filled with playful detail.
Inspired by Grimm's "Fairy Tales," Rogers seeks to reveal the more
unsavory aspects of human nature.

By masking his characters' sadistic acts within childish role-playing
scenarios, Rogers mitigates the truths that belie their degenerative

British artist Ewan Gibbs will present in the Smith Gallery a
collection of drawings that feature iconic skyline views of American
cities. Gibbs deconstructs the "psychology of place" through a series
of self-made, formalist systems that exploit the nature of visual
perception and comprehension. His process underscores the order and
logic of the built environment.

A fully illustrated catalogue of Gibbs exhibition will be available
that includes an introduction by exhibition organizer Brad Thomas and
an essay by Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Assistant Curator of
Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The
book will also feature a months-long correspondence between the artist
and noted art historian Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair
in Art and director of the Center for the Study of Modernism at the
University of Texas at Austin.

These exhibitions and the publication for Ewan Gibbs: America are
generously sponsored by The Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery
Endowment and Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. The public lecture is
supported by a grant from the Public Lectures Committee at Davidson
College. Special thanks to the exhibiting artists and staffs of
Richard Gray Gallery and The Flag Art Foundation.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for
1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C.
Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has
graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of
the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson
Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the
nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages,
giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson
competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding
Honor Code is central to student life at the college.

Crosland Announces New Retailers for Blakeney and Blakeney Crossing

Crosland LLC, one of the Southeast's leading diversified real estate
firms, announces six new retailers set to open at the upscale shopping
center plazas Blakeney and Blakeney Crossing. Jos. A. Bank, TCBY, Le
Cookery and PJ's Designs will join the mix of Blakeney restaurants and
retailers later this year. Celebrating its grand opening, bevello, a
woman's clothing boutique, opened its doors at Blakeney in early July.
Also joining Blakeney Crossing will be City Cigar Co. and Papa
Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza this fall.

Jos. A. Bank (3,765 sf), a retailer of fine apparel for men, is
expected to open at Blakeney in early fall.
With a heritage of quality and workmanship, an extensive selection of
beautifully made, classically-styled, tailored and casual clothing,
and prices typically 20 to 30 percent below competitors, Jos. A. Bank
is not just another menswear retailer. This upscale retailer offers
customers an expert staff of sales professionals who prize service and
customer satisfaction.
Jos A. Bank has more than 475 stores nationwide and offers customers
toll-free ordering from any of their four seasonal catalogs 24-hours-a-
day, seven–days-a-week.

"Having an exclusive men's retailer such as Jos. A. Bank's caliber
join Blakeney is truly exciting as it further expands the shopping
center's offerings and clientele," said Susan McGuire, Crosland's
senior vice president of retail.

After browsing the racks throughout the shopping center, Blakeney
customers can take advantage of a tasty treat at TCBY (1,657 sf),
which will open its doors later this year. Founded in 1981, the
Country's Best Yogurt is known for innovative yogurt flavors and
exciting new products. Today, the famous dessert shop offers a
selection diverse enough to appeal to just about everyone. From
signature soft-serve yogurt to new, fruit and yogurt packed smoothies;
the choices are perfect for a healthier, active and balanced lifestyle.

Amateur chefs and culinary experts alike will love Le Cookery (2,011
sf), which plans to open early fall. Owners Charles & Laurel Greif are
expanding their Hilton Head Island-based business and opening a second
location in Blakeney. The retailer will offer the bestquality kitchen
small appliances, cutlery, tableware, stemware, bakeware, cookware and
other kitchen accessories to Blakeney customers. As an exclusive
authorized dealer for top kitchen vendors both nationally and
internationally, LeCookery will carry products from companies such as
Viking, Vietri, Juliska, All-Clad, J.A. Henckels, Swiss Diamond,
Intrada, Culinary Institute of America, ClickClack and many more. The
retailer will also provide gift and bridal registry options as well as
an experienced, professional and knowledgeable staff that is ready to
assist customers with all their kitchen needs.

Also coming soon to Blakeney is PJ's Designs (1,604 sf), a home
furnishings retailer specializing in furniture, window coverings,
artwork, lamps and other home accessories.

bevello (2,119 sf) opened its second Charlotte-area location in
Blakeney on July 9. The boutique offers an eclectic selection of
women's apparel, shoes and accessories by brands such as Max & Cleo,
BCBGeneration, Dolce Vita, TOMS, Sam Edelman, Citizens of Humanity,
William Rast, Rock & Republic, RYU, GLAM, Voom an VaVa by Joy Han,
Esley, Theme, Aryn K. and more. bevello's fashion-forward styles in
women's clothing and accessories are sure to make each customer feel
stylish, confident and one step ahead of the trend.
Customers of bevello should expect nothing less than a unique love-
centric fashion experience. When shopping at bevello, customers should
feel beautiful and loved. The retailer's name is derived from the
Italian word "bella" which means "beautiful" mixed with a little
"love." bevello's logo is "bve," thoughtfully designed to be read as
both an abbreviation for "bevello" and "love." It is the retailer's
mission to help you dress your best and feel your best wherever you go.

"Blakeney is the only high-end life style shopping center that I
considered in South Charlotte," said owner Chan Namgong, who owns
three other bevello stores throughout North Carolina. "It has great co-
tenants, and it has created a unique shopping experience where
families can come out and eat and shop at the same time. I love its
summer concert series and many events that bring communities together."
Blakeney Crossing

Joining Blakeney Crossing is City Cigar Co. (1,104 sf) which is
expected to open in early September. Owners Todd and Linda McCranie,
who have been in business in Charlotte for more than 30 years and
operate two other full-line tobacco shops in the area, feel City Cigar
Co. is a different concept from their existing stores. The retail shop
will sell cigars and related accessories, but with a more focused
offering – reminiscent of the old-time cigar shop. City Cigar Co. will
feature a large walk-in Spanish cedar humidor stocked with a wide
selection of cigars. In addition, the retailer will stock lighters,
cutters and humidors – all accompanied by a very knowledgeable and
professional staff.

Also opening in September is Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza (1,290
sf). The pizzeria, named Best Pizza Chain in Americayear after year by
Restaurants and Institutions Consumers' Choice in Chains 2009,
specializes in custom pizzas made before the customer's eyes. Shoppers
can choose a favorite Papa Murphy's pizza or create their own custom
pizza – selecting the crust, the sauce and the toppings – to be made
right before them with only the finest ingredients. The menu boasts a
varied selection of Signature, Stuffed, Gourmet and Thin Crust deLITE®
pizzas accompanied by a Cheesy Bread appetizer, nutritious salads and
delicious desserts such as handmade take 'n' bake chocolate chip
cookie dough.

Papa Murphy's has established itself as the largest Take 'N' Bake
pizza company in the world — and is now the fifth-largest pizza
company in the United States with more than 1,150 stores in 35 states.
About Blakeney

Blakeney is a 270-acre multi-use development two miles outside I-485,
zoned for 495,000 square feet of retail to include a mix of local and
national retailers with a signature retail component of specialty
shops, as well as casual and upscale dining. Crosland's retail, land
development, office, apartments and contracting divisions are all
involved in Blakeney, which encompasses four quadrants at the
intersection of Rea and Ardrey-Kell roads – key thoroughfares
connecting southern Mecklenburg and Union counties. The pedestrian-
friendly community links retail, office, residential and recreational
amenities through a network of sidewalks and trails, highlighted by
preserved greenways and a two-acre park.
About Blakeney Crossing

Located at the corner of Ardrey Kell and Rea Roads, Blakeney Crossing
boasts 87,000 square feet of retail space for shops, restaurants and
services. Anchoring the center are national retailers Best Buy and
PetSmart. Previously announced shops include Winestore, Asian Fusion,
Salsarita's Fresh Cantina and Omaha Steaks.
About Crosland

Founded in 1937, Crosland is one of the most prominent diversified
real estate companies in the Southeast and is recognized as a leading
community builder. Its expertise in retail, multifamily, office, land
development, and general contracting enables it to be an innovator in
multi- and mixed-use development.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Crosland has offices in Raleigh,
Orlando, Tampa and Nashville, and develops, builds and manages
properties in the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and
Virginia. The privately held company's asset portfolio and current
projects have a market value exceeding $1 billion. For more detail,

On the road again--CMS school buses are back beginning Aug. 16

CMS bus drivers will practice their routes for five days each morning
and afternoon before the first day of school, Aug. 25.
More than 1,096 school buses will conduct dry runs over the five-day
period, starting Aug. 16. Drivers will practice driving their routes
and picking up students. The buses will be on the roads from
approximately 6 to 9 a.m. and 1:15 to 5 p.m.

"Our students' safety to and from school is our number-one priority,"
said Carol Stamper, executive director of transportation. "We will
have a portion of the 1,096 buses on the roads each day, so please be
careful and allow extra time to get to your destinations in the
mornings and afternoons."

CMS will have shuttle stops for full magnet middle and high schools
this year. Parents will be responsible for getting students to and
from the shuttle stops at designated CMS schools. CMS will pick up
and drop off students at the assigned shuttle stop. This change is
expected to save CMS more than $3.5 million.

Parents should check the location of their child's bus stop before
school starts. Suggestions for parents and children include:
· Walk to and from your child's bus stop to become familiar
with its location.
· Ensure that your child arrives at his/her stop 10 to 15
minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
· Tell children to cross the street in front of the school bus
after the stop arm and hazard lights come on.
· Remind children to tell the bus driver if something is
dropped near the bus.
· Remind children to tell a school administrator or police
officer about any disruptive behavior or suspicious activity at stops.
Transportation information, including bus-stop locations, pick-up and
drop-off times and bus route-numbers, is being mailed to families.
Parents with questions about transportation or a bus stop should call
the school or the Transportation office at 980-343-6715.

Parents can also fill out a transportation service request form online
to request changes to their child's transportation schedule.

Media video/photo opportunity: Media may get video or photos at two
transportation staging areas during the dry runs: 6520 Orr Road and
3101 Wilkinson Blvd. Please note: Media should get shots on public
property and not interrupt drivers at staging locations. Drivers are
not available for interviews and ride-alongs are not allowed.

Local fundraiser to benefit Lake Norman domestic violence prevention efforts

The public is invited to take a "Cruise for Change" on Lake Norman on
Saturday, Sept. 25, to benefit United Family Services of Lake Norman.

The event will include a cruise on the lake, music, a silent auction,
drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at Queens
Landing, and will conclude at 10 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person,
available at the United Family Services web site,

Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, director of the Lake Norman office of United
Services, estimates from demographic projections that as many as 5,000
Norman area residents are being abused, and her office stands ready to

The UFS office in Cornelius offers long-term counseling to adult
victims of
domestic violence. Local counselors can also connect victims to UFS's
Charlotte-based victim advocates, who can help them file for restraining
orders in court. UFS also operates the Shelter for Battered Women in
Charlotte for those in imminent danger.

For more information on the cruise or UFS services, call 704-655-8745.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Metro Fitness Club to Open in Myers Park

Metro Fitness Club, offering Charlotte a new level of personalized and
efficient fitness experience in an upscale setting, will open its
doors mid-September, at Tranquil Court, 2820 Selwyn Avenue, Suite
200. The club specializes in custom designed, results-driven personal
and small group training programs.

The 8,200 square foot facility will cater to all fitness levels, offer
state-of-the-art equipment and provide more than 40 weekly classes
where members receive innovative, personalized training led by
professionally trained staff determined to support members in
achieving their fitness goals.

Metro Fitness Small Group Training will provide individualized
instruction and coaching for groups at a fraction of the cost of one-
on-one personal training. Classes will include CrossFit (led by high-
level CrossFit-certified instructors), Kettlebell and Athletic
Conditioning. CrossFit classes specifically designed for tweens and
teenagers will also be offered.

Amenities include a smoothie bar featuring a full line of nutritional
supplements, cutting-edge audio visual technology including flat-
screen TVs and sound system, and well appointed locker rooms with
towel service.

The club's six distinct training areas are Strength Training featuring
Life Fitness Signature Series and Hammer Strength by Life Fitness
equipment; a Turf Area for athletic drills; a CrossFit Training Area;
a Functional Training Area; Stretching Area; and a Cardiovascular
Training Area featuring Cardio by Life Fitness machines, including
treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers, exercise bikes and stair
climbers that have 17-inch HD flat panel screens with iPod connectivity.

Metro Fitness Club will also house a Purmotion "Functional Training
Station" which allows for individual or group workouts using
resistance training for total body toning. The Purmotion FTS system
has tiered pull-up bars and anchors for climbing ropes, rings and
AirFit trainers.

"We have created Metro Fitness to incorporate everything we want to
meet our fitness goals -- top staff, the latest training techniques
and technologies, and a spotless and convenient location," says co-
owner Dar Malecki. Co-owner Denise Abood adds, "Metro Fitness fills a
void in the Charlotte fitness arena by perfecting the personalized,
upscale experience for our members. We've also placed great care and
attention on the aesthetics."

Malecki and Abood have assembled a premier team of fitness experts,
led by General Manager, Thea Winick-Turnbull and Director of Training
Services, Jimmy Pitsiniagas.

Metro Fitness Club is currently offering a one-time promotion where
monthly fees are reduced and the $75 enrollment fee is waived.

For more information visit or call
704.200.9333. Tours, images and charter membership information is
available upon request.

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