Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Give that Christmas Tree a New Life - Recycle It!

Though the 12 days of Christmas aren't even halfway over, practicality
(and an ever-increasing shower of dry pine needles on the floor)
sometimes calls for taking down the tree before the pipers start
piping or drummers start drumming.

Though you might be tempted, don't burn that Christmas tree!
Mecklenburg County Solid Waste and Recycling will recycle your tree
for free, and turn it into useful mulch for sale. If you live within
Charlotte city limits, place your tree by the curb on your regular
yard waste collection day starting January 3, 2011 for pickup. Make
sure all decorations have been removed.

If you're not sure of your regular yard waste collection day, check
out the GeoPortal and enter your address, then click the "Services"
tab. If you have an artificial tree you want to dispose of, you can
schedule a bulky-item pickup by calling 311.

Residents outside city or town limits can drop their tree off at one
of our full-service recycling centers, or check with your town or
waste service provider to see if tree collection is offered. Trees can
be dropped off at the following full-service recycling centers:

• North Mecklenburg Yard Waste Facility, 12300 N. Statesville Road

• Compost Central Mulch and Composting, 5631 West Blvd.

• Hickory Grove Yard Waste Facility, 8007 Pence Road

• Foxhole Yard Waste Facility, 17131 Lancaster Highway
For more information on recycling and waste reduction during the
holidays, visit

Friday, December 17, 2010

Keep Charlotte Beautiful Accepting Adopt a City Neighborhood Applications

Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB), one of the nation's first affiliates
of Keep America Beautiful, is accepting applications for the 2011
Adopt a City Neighborhood Program. Any neighborhood within City limits
is eligible to apply. KCB's objective is to enhance the quality of
life for Charlotteans by maintaining and improving the cleanliness and
beauty of our City. The KCB committee works closely with neighborhood
organizations and homeowners' groups, as well as with area businesses,
schools and local governments to achieve these goals.

Every year, the KCB Committee members select a neighborhood to adopt
and work with residents to provide a community service/beautification
project of the neighborhood's choosing. There is no cost for the
neighborhood to participate, however, neighborhood volunteers and a
commitment to maintain the project after completion is necessary.
Some examples of projects completed in recent years have included:
beautification of neighborhood entrances, landscaping neighborhood
common area and painting a neighborhood center.

Neighborhoods must apply by January 31, 2011 to be considered. Visit
for more information and to download an adoption application.

Completed applications can be sent to:

Wendy Gigante
Executive Director, Keep Charlotte Beautiful
600 E. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Fax: (704) 336-8015

Finalists will be contacted by a Committee member in February for an
on-site visit.

Make the Holidays Healthy With Water

During this holiday season, and into the New Year, drinking more water
or replacing high calorie holiday drinks with water can save calories
and even reduce weight. Most of us know that we need to drink water
every day and that it is good for us, however during this time of
parties, extra food around the house or office, and more stress, water
in your diet is more important than ever.

"Water is crucial to health and every system in the body relies on
water to function normally," says Allison Mignery, a dietitian with
the Mecklenburg County Health Department. "Drinking enough water
helps to reduce the risk of kidney stones, prevent constipation,
relieve headaches, and maintains healthy skin. And since sixty percent
of a person's body weight comes from water, it needs to be constantly
replenished," she continued.

So how much water do people really need? The old rule of thumb had
been to drink eight 8-ounce cups of water every day. However,
according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report in 2004, new
guidelines recommend the vast majority of healthy people can
adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their
guide. Exceptions to this rule include anyone with a medical condition
requiring fluid control such as athletes, people taking part in
prolonged physical activities, or whose living conditions are extreme.
The IOM report did not specify exact requirements for water, but
concludes total water content should be coming from all beverages and

Being physically active increases the amount of water you should drink
daily, including before, during, and after exercise. Generally, for
every pound lost during exercise (sweating, exertion) you need to
drink an additional two cups of water. People lose water naturally
through sweating, breathing, and urination, and if it is not replaced,
dehydration can occur. Signs of dehydration include: excessive
thirst, dry mouth, tiredness, lightheaded, headaches, muscle weakness,
and dulled critical thinking abilities.

This holiday season go ahead and go to that party or enjoy your
favorite cookie, but remember to drink plenty of water as well. Making
drinking water a regular part of your daily routine will improve your
health and just might help keep those holiday pounds from haunting
your New Year.

Go to for a list of ways to incorporate water into
your day as well as a list of the top 10 high calorie holiday drinks
to avoid.

Registration for 10th Annual 24 Hours of Booty Charity Cycling Event to Open Jan. 5 - Slots limited to first 1,200 riders

– 24 Hours of Booty, Inc., which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling
Event of LIVESTRONG and the only national 24-hour road cycling charity
event in the country, announced today that it will be kicking off
registration for its three events, including the 10th Annual 24 Hours
of Booty presented by Blumenthal Cancer Center in Charlotte, on
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at 9 a.m.

The annual charity cycling event in Charlotte – geared for teams and
individuals and open to participants of all ages and skill levels – is
scheduled to roll on the "Booty Loop" in Myers Park from 7 p.m.
Friday, July 29 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, 2011. Event registration
will be capped at the first 1,200 registrants.Carolinas Medical
Center's Blumenthal Cancer Center is the presenting sponsor of this
year's event where participants gather at the Queens University of
Charlotte athletic fields for camping, food and fun. For more
information about fundraising commitments and to register for the

In addition to the Charlotte event, 24 Hours of Booty will also host
the Third Annual 24 Hours of Booty of Columbia, Md. at the Gateway
Business Park "Booty Loop" on August 27-28, 2011 and the Second Annual
24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta at the Stone Mountain "Booty Loop" in
Fall 2011.

24 Hours of Booty will also offer its reboot program again for the
Charlotte event, whereby reboot riders can ride between 10:00 a.m. –
7:00 p.m. onSaturday, July 30. A $25 registration fee and $100
fundraising commitment is required to participate in the program. All
reboot participants will have full access to drinks and snacks,
receive an event t-shirt, and be eligible for fund-raising prizes. For
more information, contact

"This coming year will be a banner one for us as we celebrate our
tenth anniversary of the Charlotte event and continue to grow the
events in Atlanta and Columbia," said Basil Lyberg, executive director
of 24 Hours of Booty. "The 2010 Charlotte registration drive closed
out in just ten days so we are anticipating the 2011 registration
drive to fill up even faster. Our goal is to break the 10,000-rider
mark for all years and events combined in commemoration of our tenth-
year event. We look forward to another fantastic event this July and
appreciate the community's support in our fight against cancer."

About 24 Hours of Booty
24 Hours of Booty, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity
located in Charlotte that provides extraordinary cycling events that
are safe, fun, and open to all levels of cycling ability. Its mission
is to conduct 24-hour cycling events that increase public awareness,
funds, and support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and local cancer
organizations. Local organizations include The Keep Pounding Fund at
Carolinas Medical Center and the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas in
Charlotte, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in Columbia, Md.,
and Children's HealthCare of Atlanta.

In 24 Hours of Booty's nine-year history, more than 7,500 riders have
raised more than $5 million. Last year's events included the Ninth
Annual 24 Hours of Booty presented by Blumenthal Cancer Center in
Charlotte and the Second Annual 24 Hours of Booty of Columbia, Md.,
and the inaugural 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta, which collectively
raised more than $1.5 million. For more information, call 704-365-4417

Get updates and the inside scoop about 24 Hours of Booty! Follow us on
Twitter at and on Facebook at

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas to Kick off Third Annual Pint for Pounds Jan. 1

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is preparing to
launch their Third Annual "Pint for Pounds" campaign. For each blood
donation in January and February, CBCC will donate six pounds of food
to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

"The need for food in the frigid winter months is especially crucial
for the people we serve in our region, so we appreciate all that the
Community Blood Center of the Carolinas and their blood donors are
doing to support our organization," said Kay Carter, executive
director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

Since the "Pint for Pounds" campaign began in 2009, CBCC has donated
99,828 pounds of food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

"We look forward to breaking the 100,000 pound mark in food donations
during our Third Annual Pint for Pounds campaign," said Martin Grable,
president and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. "We
believe that as individuals and as an organization, it's important to
give back to our community and so do our donors and sponsors.
Together, we can support the needs of local cancer, cardiac and
transplant patients, while also feeding the hungry in our community."

For businesses, civic organizations and churches interested in hosting
a blood drive with CBCC, call Jennifer Teague, director of sponsorship
development, at 704-972-4709 for more information. For a listing of
upcoming blood drives, visit

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina
As part of Feeding America, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina
serves 19 counties in North and South Carolina. In FY2009-20010,
Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina distributed over 33 million
pounds of food and essential grocery items to approximately 650 hunger
feeding agencies including emergency pantries, soup kitchens, senior
programs, shelters and low-income daycares.

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is an independent, locally-
managed, non-profit community blood center providing more than 90
percent of the blood supply to the 16 area hospitals that serve 15
North Carolina and three South Carolina counties. The Center's mission
is to be the steward of a community resource – life-saving blood. CBCC
is strictly a blood center, completely focused on gathering red blood
cells, platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives.
Every drop of blood collected stays here to help people in our
community. Our vision is to help build and strengthen the bonds of

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is a member of America's
Blood Centers, North America's largest network of community-based,
independent blood programs. It subscribes to a community-based banking
philosophy. That means community donors know that the blood they give
stays in our community first – helping family members, friends and
neighbors. Excess supply is shared with other communities when needed.
For more information on blood drives near you, visit or
call 704-972-4700. You may also donate blood at CBCC, located at 4447
South Boulevard in Charlotte, 1212 Spruce Street in Belmont or at 600
Hospital Drive in Monroe.

Visit and bookmark CBCC's virtual press room today. Become a "fan" of
the Community Blood center of the Carolinas on Facebook or follow us
on Twitter at

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eat at Chick-Fil-A and Help Support Scholarship Fund

The Therapeutic Recreation Section invites the public to "Spirit
Night" at the Chick-fil-a on East Woodlawn Road on Tuesday, December
7, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the TR
Summer Scholarship Fund.

Guests who make a purchase during the event and present this flyer or
mention "Therapeutic Recreation" will have 15% of their purchase
donated to the scholarship fund.

The Therapeutic Recreation Section provides services for individuals
with disabilities to help ensure inclusive opportunities in all
program services and accessibility at all Department parks,
facilities, special events and classes.

'American Idol for Inventors' at Time Warner Cable Arena , Dec 10

Inventors from across the country attend TeleBrands/Charlotte Checkers
Inventor's Day, an open casting call for those with the dream of
creating the next "must have" infomercial product. The event is at 9
a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Time Warner Cable Arena,
333 East Trade St., Charlotte.

A cross between "American Idol" and "The Apprentice"-- each inventor
has 5 minutes to pitch TeleBrands CEO AJ Khubani and a panel of
judges. Products will range from kooky ("what were they thinking?!")
to practical ("why didn't I think of that!!") and the pitches will be
attention-grabbing. With names like Home Tech Flavor Injector, Cit-
Trease Orange Peeler, and Wizzer Bread Vac, we're sure to have some fun.

In addition, TeleBrands will be sponsoring their 2nd annual "As Seen
on TV" Products night with the Charlotte Checkers on Friday evening,
December 10 when the Checkers take on the Hershey Bears. The first
2,000 guests will receive a free TeleBrands product.

For pre-event interviews and media clearance, contact Andrea Pass,


A study released this week by the Brookings Institute reveals that the
Charlotte/Mecklenburg metropolitan area is one of 24 worldwide regions
that is experiencing a solid rebound despite suffering a greater
decline than most over the last three years.

The report, titled Global Metro Monitor: The Path to Economic
Recovery, is produced in conjunction with the Brookings Institution
and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and gives an
overview of 150 metropolitan economies in the wake of what many have
termed The Great Recession. It lists metropolitan Charlotte as #53 in
its economic performance over the last year, ahead of cities such as
Boston, Houston, Cincinnati and Tampa.

A few American metros achieved strong turnarounds, moving from about
the bottom third to the top third in the rankings between the
recession and recovery periods, including Charlotte, Cleveland,
Detroit, and Minneapolis, the report states. Their experiences are
consistent with stronger performance in the U.S. banking,
manufacturing, and business services sectors in 2010.

The report also reveals that Charlotte fell to 141st place during the
depths of the recession, down from an initial pre-recession rank of
65. Charlotte/Mecklenburg experienced one of the most significant
fluctuations in its economic ranking, indicating that although the
recession hit hard, this region's economy has demonstrated enviable

The Brookings Institution findings are good news for Charlotte-
Mecklenburg, and support the fact that the Charlotte region continues
to be competitive in the global economy, said Jennifer Roberts,
chairman of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. Most
importantly, it reveals that even after one of the worst economic
declines in history, the region is poised for a strong recovery.

Roberts serves on the Brookings Metropolitan Partners board and has
presented the Charlotte/Mecklenburg perspective at Brookings
conferences and panels over the past year.

The report concludes that most of the winners emerging from the recent
global downturn are metropolitan areas in developing regions of the
world. Charlotte/Mecklenburg is one of 12 US cities that Brookings
says are on the road to full recovery, along with Austin, Texas;
Dallas; and Minneapolis, among a field of global cities in this
category. The rest of the world's metro areas are either experiencing
continued challenges in the recession, or are still in decline,
according to the report.

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization
based in Washington, D.C.