Friday, May 25, 2012

Curb It! Memorial Day Collection Schedule for Trash and Recyclables

The City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services will provide garbage,
recyclables, yard waste and bulky item collection services according
to the normal schedule on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.

Residents are reminded of the following tips to ensure collection:

· Bag all garbage before placing it in the garbage rollout cart

· Please do not bag recyclables before placing them in the
recycling rollout cart

· Trimmings from shrubs and trees must be no longer than 5
feet in length and no larger than 4 inches in diameter

· Yard waste should be separated in piles small enough for one
person to carry

· Call 311 to schedule bulky items for collection

· Place collection materials curbside by 6:30 am on day of

· Place collection items within 2 feet of the curb. Please do
not block the sidewalk

· Allow 3 feet between your garbage cart, recycling cart, yard
waste, bulky items and obstacles such as vehicles, mailboxes, phone
poles, etc.

For more information on the Curb It! program, please visit
or call 311 (704.336.7600).

The Mint Museum to offer free summer admission to veterans and military families

The Mint Museum and two of its uptown neighbors are joining Blue
Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the
Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than
1,600 museums across America to offer free admission to all active
duty military personnel, including active Reserve and National Guard,
and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012.

All Blue Star Museums, including the Mint, Bechtler Museum of Modern
Art, and Levine Museum of the New South, are offering free admission
to all military ID holders and up to five family members. In addition,
the Mint is offering free admission to any veteran with a Veterans
Identification Card and up to five of their family members for the
summer. The initiative applies to both Mint locations.

"We are happy to be able to offer ourselves as a resource to support
military families and veterans this summer," said Hillary Cooper,
director of communications and media relations at The Mint Museum. "We
are an ideal family-friendly attraction and this initiative offers a
chance to deepen and broaden our community connections."

The Mint recently acquired the work "Defiant Gardens" by Texas artist
Dario Robleto, and the seven-foot-tall, five-foot-wide wreath-shaped
sculpture has proven thought-provoking for veterans and military
families because of its powerful themes of wartime memories. "Defiant
Gardens" incorporates paper pulp made from American soldier's letters,
Victorian hair flowers braided by war widows, dried flowers from
various battlefields, and even tiny carrier-pigeon message capsules
among its materials. The work was added to the museum's permanent
collection through the generosity of the Mint Museum Auxiliary. The
museum is inviting military families and veterans to experience the
work along with its other collections and exhibitions, and plans to
offer special programming incorporating "Defiant Gardens" later in the
summer (details will be announced at a later date).

The Blue Star Museums initiative is just one part of the excitement
going on this summer at the Mint. Spots are still open at the Mint's
Summer Art Camps (see attachment for more information), and new
exhibition openings, educational programs, celebrations, and more will
continue while school is out. For more information, visit

National Blue Star Museums announcement

The Mint's announcement follows a national announcement of the Blue
Star Museums initiative in New York City on Tuesday. "Through Blue
Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to
military families to enjoy over 1,600 museums this summer," said NEA
Chairman Rocco Landesman. "This is both an opportunity to thank
military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance
to create connections between museums and these families that will
continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited
time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to
relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy
one another and become more fully integrated into a community."

This year, more than 1,600 (and counting) museums in all 50 states,
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking
part in the initiative. Leadership support has been provided by
MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.

FOLLOW: Blue Star Museums is on Twitter at @NEAarts, hashtag
#bluestarmuse. To learn more about the White House's Joining Forces
initiative visit and follow on Twitter
@JoiningForces and on Facebook. Follow Blue Star Families on Twitter,
@BlueStarFamily, and on Facebook.


Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for
the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than
1,600 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May
28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission
program is available to active-duty military and their family members
(military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty
military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and
active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. Some
special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this
free admission program. To see which museums are participating, visit


Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military
families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve,
with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In
addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises
awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and
works to make military life more sustainable through programs and
partnerships like Operation Honor Cards, MilKidz Club and Blue Star
Museums. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as
well as service members, veterans and the civilians who strongly
support them. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit


The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in
1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the
NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence,
creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and
communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state
arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the
philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit
the NEA at

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the
military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the
military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime
Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare
in American Communities Military Base Tour.


As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and the art museum with
one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum
offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through
art from around the world via innovative collections, ground-breaking
exhibitions, riveting educational programs, and profound scholarship.
The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of
two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.

Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint,
Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte's Eastover
neighborhood as the state's first art museum. Today, in a beautiful
park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the
art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion,
European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a
reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring
lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that
complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.

Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design
collection, as well as outstanding collections of American,
contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti
Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility
combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to
provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural
experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte's burgeoning center
city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for
the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of
Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and
Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum
Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the
240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art
studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, check

Discovery Place Special Exhibitions Generate $27.2 Million in Economic Impact

The special exhibitions presented by Discovery Place during the past
five years have contributed $27.2 million in tourism economic impact
to the local economy. The blockbusters BODY WORLDS, A Day in Pompeii
and most recently Mummies of the World were visited by a combined
562,000 people, more than half of whom lived outside of Mecklenburg
County. Mummies of the World, which closed April 8, 2012 was
responsible for $6.6 million of economic impact plus an additional
$2.2 million in discretionary spending by local residents that was
retained in Mecklenburg County.

"The world class exhibitions that Discovery Place has invested in
developing and bringing to Charlotte help build the cultural and
educational life of our community," said John Mackay, president and
CEO, Discovery Place. "But these studies show that they also
contribute to the economic well-being of the region in a meaningful
way, and we plan to continue to offer these one-of-a-kind
opportunities to the community in future years."

The BODY WORLDS exhibition was presented at Discovery Place for 6
months in 2007 through 2008 and generated $12.6 million in economic
impact while A Day in Pompeii was presented for 6 months in 2008
through 2009 and generated $8.0 million in economic impact. The
studies measure the spending only of people who do not live in
Mecklenburg County but travel into the region to visit the Museum for
the exhibition.

Discovery Place partnered with the Charlotte Regional Visitors
Authority to conduct economic impact studies of its recent exhibitions
in order to measure the contributions to the development of the
community. The surveys were conducted online and through the mail and
data was analyzed using the Mecklenburg County Tourism Impact Model by
Elliot D. Pollack & Co.

During the prior five-year period, Discovery Place produced and hosted
The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. The economic output impact of this
exhibition was $19.2 million according to a study conducted by John
Connaughton, Ph.D. using methodology developed by the U.S. government
and maintained by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group.

About Discovery Place
One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place
provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in
the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings
relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking
exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on
activities. Nearly a half-million people from all over the United
States engage with Discovery Place and its IMAX Dome Theatre each year.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon
Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum's parking deck
– the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church
Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call
704-372-6261, visit or connect with Discovery
Place on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Discovery Place Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte
Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS and is supported, in part, with
funding from the Arts & Science Council.

County Announces Closings for Memorial Day Holiday

Mecklenburg County government offices and agencies will be closed on
Monday, May 28, 2012 for the Memorial Day holiday. This includes all
units of the Department of Social Services, the Tax Office, Elections
Office, the Register of Deeds Office, and the Land Use and
Environmental Services Office.

Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center (Detox) is open 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. The Department of Social Services Care Line
(704-336-CARE or 704-336-2773) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a
week to receive reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children, the
elderly or disabled adults.

The Health Department will be closed on Monday, May 28. The Main
Library and all library branches will be closed on Monday, May 28.

All Solid Waste administrative offices and facilities, except Compost
Central, will be closed on Memorial Day, May 28. Compost Central will
operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m

Park and Recreation administrative offices and all Recreation Centers
will be closed on Monday, May 28.

As a reminder, CharMeck 311 remains open and available to the public
on holidays and weekends.

Enjoy your holiday!

Charlotte Community Center Up for $50,000 Renovation from Maxwell House

From now through June 8, you can help rally the citizens of Charlotte
to support the Urban Ministry Center for the opportunity to win up to
$50,000 in renovations, courtesy of Maxwell House. The Urban Ministry
Center in Charlotte offers basic services such as a soup kitchen,
showers and laundry, while also providing temporary shelter, substance
abuse treatment and education to the community in hopes of uniting the
people of Charlotte ending homelessness.

With a history of brewing good deeds, Maxwell House is kicking-off
year two of Drops of Good: The Maxwell House Community Project to
bring change to communities in need and inspire hope from the ground
up. In partnership with Rebuilding Together and country music
superstar, Trace Adkins, Drops of Good will revitalize communities
from coast to coast.

At, you can vote for one of 10 community centers and
the top three will receive the makeover of a lifetime. They can also
find volunteer opportunities in Charlotte at

With nearly 50% of Americans receiving some form of government aid,
more families than ever before are in need and relying on local
community centers for vital support. To inspire hope and bring change
to struggling communities, Maxwell House is launching the second year
of "Drops of Good: The Maxwell House Community Project" to help
revitalize these crucial community centers.

In partnership with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading
nonprofit dedicated to safe, healthy homes and communities, and multi-
platinum recording artist, Trace Adkins, Maxwell House is hitting the
road in a specially equipped truck to revitalize community centers and
deliver grants from coast to coast. Building off the momentum of last
year's success, "Drops of Good" will:

· Ask Americans to go online to select three of 10
deserving community centers to receive up to $50,000 each in renovations

· Provide a $5,000 grant to each remaining community

· Deliver ten surprise "Drops of Good" grants to non-
profit organizations across the country

· Enlist Americans to volunteer at "Drops of Good" renovation
events or with Rebuilding Together in their local community

"While touring the country, I've seen how communities are struggling
in the current economy, and no matter what zip code I'm in, I feel the
need to help out where I can," said Trace Adkins. "I'm proud to be a
part of 'Drops of Good' because it is the perfect opportunity to roll
up my sleeves and help communities in need."

"Maxwell House is serious about giving back and encouraging
volunteerism, that's why we're excited to kick-off year two of 'Drops
of Good,'" said Corey Provine, Maxwell House Senior Brand Manager. "We
believe everyone can make a difference in their local communities and
it's the simple things in life that can often have the most impact on
those in need."

Free Re-Charge of Electric Vehicles Continues at City Locations

Owners of electric vehicles who are members of the Chargepoint Network
can still re-charge their cars for free at charging stations owned and
operated by the City of Charlotte. As an investment in supporting the
use of electric vehicles, the City will not be charging users at City-
owned stations for a limited time, as it is covered by the Energy
Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Motorists using the charging
stations can also subscribe to the ChargePoint network to reserve or
check the availability of the stations. Chargepoint is the primary
network providing charging station location and availability for
drivers of electric cars.

City of Charlotte charging stations are housed at the following
6 stations at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center Parking Deck
5 stations at CATS I-485 Station Park & Ride Parking Deck
5 stations at CATS Mallard Creek Park & Ride
4 stations at CATS Huntersville Gateway Park & Ride
2 stations on North Tryon Street near The Square (in front of Starbucks)
2 stations on South Tryon Street near the Mint Museum
2 stations on South Blvd in front of the Circle at South End Apartments
Charging station sites located on City-owned property each include one
handicapped-accessible charging station space.

In addition to charging station locations owned and operated by the
City, charging station locations that are privately operated include:
Bank of America, 750 W. Trade St
Ritz Carlton Hotel, 201 E. Trade St
Wells Fargo Parking Garage (at the Green), 435 S. Tryon St.
Bank of America, 111 E. 7th St
Duke Energy - Mint Street Parking Deck R1-R5, 404 S. Mint St
Duke Energy - Mint Street Parking Deck L1-L6, 410 S. Mint St

The electric vehicle charging stations went online in April, in
concert with the debut of the City's electric vehicle fleet, which
includes Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs. Area Chevrolet and Nissan
dealerships have partnered with the City in the Power2 Charlotte
campaign, helping to educate electric vehicle owners and the public
about the availability of the charging stations and electric vehicle
technology. Dealerships joining in the effort include City Chevrolet,
Parks Chevrolet, Steve Moore Chevrolet, East Charlotte Nissan, Modern
Nissan of Lake Norman, and South Charlotte Nissan.

To learn more about electric vehicles and the free re-charge program,

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Calls on Students to Help Save Summer

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) will be kicking off
its "Students Saving Summer Scholarship" program on Friday, June 1.
Area high school and college students who organize and host a
successful blood drive with CBCC between June and September have the
chance to earn scholarship money for their secondary education. CBCC
will award five (5) $1,000 scholarships to the students who hold the
top-producing blood drives.

"Students make up a large part of our donor base so this is a great
opportunity to keep them engaged in the summer months when blood
supplies tend to drop because of school breaks and family vacations,"
said Martin Grable, president and CEO of Community Blood Center of
the Carolinas . "We look forward to recognizing deserving students
with scholarships for their efforts in helping stock our summer blood
supply and supporting local patients."

Participating students must hold their blood drive between June 1 and
September 30, 2012; select a location; recruit donors; and collect a
minimum of 25 units of blood to be eligible for the scholarship. Each
student will be paired up with a CBCCrepresentative who will provide
assistance with planning the blood drive. The CBCC scholarship
donation must be directly transferred to the college, university or
other learning establishment of each winner's choice.

For more information or to register for the "Saving Summer
Scholarship" program, contact Kim Jones at 704-972-4727 or

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit
community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 21
regional hospitals, serving 16 North Carolina and three South Carolina
counties. CBCC focuses exclusively on gathering red blood cells,
platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives – every
drop of blood collected remains here to help people in the Carolinas.
CBCC is a member of America's Blood Centers, North America's largest
network of community-based, independent blood centers providing more
than 50% of the nation's blood supply.

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in
your area, visit or call 704-972-4700.

Follow the Community Blood center of the Carolinas on Facebook
and on Twitter

Chimney Rock Offers Family Fun & Free Tower Climbs Memorial Day Weekend

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park's climbing tower on the
Meadows will be open to guests, weather permitting, for a free climb
Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. with paid Park
admission. Check out the new, stunning elevated views on the rebuilt
Outcroppings trail to the Chimney, now easier to hike with a gentler
slope and more places to rest.

Enjoy a family picnic at the Park with a $6 special (plus tax) for a
grilled hot dog, bag of chips and 20-oz. soft drink or bottled water
in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts over the three-day weekend. Park
musician John Mason will be playing music from old time to ragtime on
a hammered dulcimer, weather permitting. The Park elevator and Sky
Lounge are expected to open by mid-June. Chimney Rock is open every
day 8:30am to 7pm; Ticket Plaza closes at 5:30pm. Admission is $12/
adults, $5/youth ages 6-15 and children under six are admitted free.

Get a Taste of Rock Climbing. Climbers who want a taste of real rock
climbing can head to the top parking lot and climb below the Chimney
with the expertise of Fox Mountain Guides, who offer the only AMGA-
Certified program in the Southeast. The 15-minute "tasters" cost $20
per person, no experience necessary. Two-hour climbing clinics and
half- and full-day climbs with Fox Mountain are available by
appointment. Get more information at (888) 284-8433 or

Live Critters Make for Family Fun. Chimney Rock was named one of the
top 5 "best summer activities for families" in North Carolina by
GeoParent last year. The Park's Memorial Day weekend offers great
hiking and activities for kids. While in the Meadows, families will
enjoy Grady's Animal Discovery Den, where children can meet Grady the
Groundhog, the Park's animal ambassador, and have fun eyeing live
critters such as turtles, snakes and an opossum. These critters are
stars in some of the Park's education programs for schools,
homeschoolers and scouts. The adjacent Great Woodland Adventure offers
an easy 0.6-mile winding hike with 13 interactive discovery stations,
where Grady illustrates how his forest friends live, including
chipmunks, frogs, owls and butterflies. Larger-than-life wood and
metal sculptures bring to life the nation's second TRACK Trail
(Trails, Ridges and Active Caring Kids), created in collaboration with
Kids in Parks, an initiative of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
TRACK Trail adventures are designed to help kids explore nature
through the use of self-guided brochures.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international
outdoor attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway
64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It has been recognized as one of the
Southeast's most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than
100 years. In 2012, the Park is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of
the release of The Last of the Mohicans, which was filmed in Chimney
Rock. The Park's 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock
offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake
Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east
of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. A
destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park
also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers,
scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock's website at More information on current Capital Improvement
projects at or by calling 800-277-9611.

Easter Seals UCP Opens Adult Mental Health Treatment Services Office for Mecklenburg County

Easter Seals UCP, a leading provider of services for people managing
disabilities and mental health challenges, has just opened an adult
mental health treatment services office to treat mental health issues
in Mecklenburg County. The Easter Seals UCP Assertive Community
Treatment Team (ACTT) will help fill a growing need for services to
help treat adults with severe and persistent mental health
challenges. The new office is located in the University area at 8430
Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28262.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental health
problems affect one in five American families. In Mecklenburg County,
despite growing mental health needs, state funding cuts have caused
many mental health service providers to shutter.

Easter Seals UCP's ACTT is a full spectrum, long-term community-based
treatment model for adults with severe and persistent mental needs
that have not been adequately treated by traditional treatments. The
team consists of a team leader, psychiatrist, nurse, therapist,
vocational specialist, substance abuse specialist and housing
specialist to help manage each individual's treatment plan. The goal
is to help individuals manage their mental health challenges and live
more self-sufficient lives.

This is Easter Seals UCP's first adult mental health service for
Mecklenburg County, but marks their 14th ACTT team in North Carolina
allowing the organization to offer the most complete mental health
coverage across the state.

"Mental health disorders account for four out of ten leading causes of
disability," said Willie Walker, Easter Seals UCP's adult mental
health manager for Mecklenburg County. "ACTT provides a team of
experts approach to address the identified needs of an individual with
persistent mental health issues that require intensive interventions
to remain stable in the community. This sets us apart from other
mental health service providers and improves patient outcomes."

Easter Seals UCP's mental health team will host an open house on
Thursday, May 24th from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for other mental health
providers to learn more about the nonprofit's services and network
with other mental health service providers. R.S.V.P at (704) 295-4955.

The typical outcomes found in individuals served by Easter Seals UCP's
ACTT are fewer hospitalizations, stable housing, effective medication
management, gains in educational and vocational goals and an improved
support system.

For more information on Easter Seals UCP's ACTT services, visit or call (704) 295-4955.

About Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
With programs and services throughout North Carolina and Virginia,
Easter Seals UCP is a lifelong partner to families managing
disabilities and mental health challenges. The nonprofit serves more
than 20,000 individuals and their families annually through an array
of services. Easter Seals UCP enhances the quality of life for
individuals and maximizes their potential for engaging in their
communities. For more information on Easter Seals UCP North Carolina
& Virginia, please visit

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Providence Baptist Church of Charlotte Issues Statement Regarding Confusion With Controversial Church Pastor

Providence Baptist Church of Charlotte has been confused in the media
recently due to the similarity of its name with Providence Road Baptist
Church of Maiden, N.C. A video about the Maiden church's pastor
making statements derogatory of gays and lesbians has gone viral after
being posted on YouTube, headlined by CNN, and reported through many
news media nationwide.

As a result, Dr. Al Cadenhead, Senior Pastor of Providence Baptist
Church of Charlotte, and other members of the church staff have
received angry emails, phone calls and other messages from people
confusing the two churches. Today (May 22), Cadenhead made the
following statement for the media and the public:

"In recent hours we have been incorrectly identified as the church in
another town where hatred and violence have been advocated from the
pulpit. First of all, we are genuinely Baptist in that we recognize
the right of every church to reach out or not to reach out as that
church deems itself to be led. Providence Baptist Church of Charlotte
believes in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our model for
living and His presence is our source of strength for life. Jesus
preached a Gospel of love. So do we. Jesus preached that we love our
neighbor, whether that neighbor is like us or not.

"The Bible is our guide for daily life and makes it clear that all
people, all of us, have sinned and fallen short of God's expectation.
And the reason we can claim our place as children of God is a result
of grace, mercy and love extended to all people. That love is best
demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. As
Providence Baptist Church we believe that we are to offer that same
grace, mercy and love to all people."

Providence Baptist Church at 4921 Randolph Rd. in Charlotte is a
"moderate" Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregation of
approximately 2,000 active members, founded in 1954. For more
information about the church, visit or call the
church office at 704-366-2784.

Monday, May 21, 2012

CNN: It's a convention city smackdown - vote for Charlotte!

CNN has declared it's Charlotte vs. Tampa -- in a convention city

Politics aside, which is the better city: Charlotte,
, site of this year's Democratic National Convention, or Tampa,
, which will host the Republican National Convention?

CNN is inviting online users to visit and tell
them the very best thing about your city of choice. Additionally,
they'd love users to include their most stunning photos to back up
their claim and then vote on's travel section,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Join Housewarming Shower for new Dove's Nest for homeless addicted women

Charlotte Rescue Mission's new Dove's Nest for women is getting close
to completion and we want to throw a housewarming shower at the new
facility this Sunday.

The new Dove's Nest will open its doors to the community for a
housewarming shower from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm for light refreshments and
tours of the new facility on West Boulevard. Those who purchased
items for the "Fill The Nest" campaign will be asked to bring them to
the housewarming shower.

The "Fill the Nest" campaign was created to help the women of Dove's
Nest get all the bedding, furnishings, and necessities they need to
feel completely comfortable in their new home.

"We want to make sure these ladies have everything they need on their
road to recovery," says Rev. Tony Marciano, Executive Director of the
Charlotte Rescue Mission. "Going from 12 beds to 120 is no easy task.
That's why we're very grateful to Bella Tunno and the Charlotte
community for helping the new Dove's Nest start off on the right track."

The Charlotte Rescue mission provides a free 90-day Christian
residential program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and/or
alcohol and are predominantly homeless.

CMPD Announces Firearm by Felon Campaign

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has launched a program
intended to target felons carrying firearms in our community. The
program will urge members of the community to call a dedicated phone
line and forward anonymous information with the identity and
whereabouts of a felon in the possession of a firearm. The anonymous
caller will be eligible for a $500.00 reward if an arrest is made as a
result of their anonymous tip. Additionally, anyone in the public who
forwards information leading to the arrest of a person illegally
carrying a firearm may be eligible for a cash reward.

During this campaign the community is asked to call our firearm tip
line at 704.336.6000 to speak with a dispatcher. They will need to
give the name and or detailed description of the suspect, and where
the person is at the time of the call. Callers will not be required
to leave their name, number, or address. Detective Marty Cuthbertson
with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers will follow up on the
dispositions of these anonymous calls and will arrange a time and date
to pay out reward money to the caller when applicable. As always,
anyone requiring an emergency response from police is asked to
immediately call 911.

Discovery Place Announces Summer Operating Hours and Exhibits

It's a wild summer at Discovery Place, and extra hours means more time
to explore all that the Museum has to offer. Discovery Place's newest
exhibition, National Geographic Crittercam: The World Through Animal
Eyes, opens May 26, showcasing the ongoing research of Crittercam, a
scientific video- and data-gathering tool safely worn by wild animals.
The exhibition invites visitors to see the world through animal eyes
and encompasses more than 20 years of scientific invention and
research collaborations.

Developed by the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., the
6,000-square-foot Crittercam takes visitors on a journey through
interactive displays, firsthand footage and realistic environments,
offering new insights into animal behavior and providing clues about
how to protect wildlife. Crittercam runs May 26 - September 16, 2012
and is free with Museum admission.

Splash into a special Marine Mammal Day on Saturday, June 9 and
explore what makes these warm-blooded ocean-dwellers so unique,
including feeding behaviors, echolocation, identification, adaptations
and more. Catch a chat from North Carolina Zoo and Roper Mountain
Science Center experts about dolphins and even polar bears, or step
inside the traveling inflatable GeoDome™ to experience a film about
how Earth's climate is changing and impacting all of us.

Guests can also immerse themselves in a giant screen dinosaur-age
adventure and go face-to-face with the T-Rex of the seas in Sea Rex:
Journey to a Prehistoric World, opening at Discovery Place's The
Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre on Friday, May 25. Sea Rex takes
movie goers on an unforgettable journey with an imaginative young
woman named Julie through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous
periods to swim with creatures that have been extinct for millions of
years. For tickets and showtimes or call
704.372.6261 x300. Note: There is an additional admission charge for
IMAX movies.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon
Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum's parking deck
– the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church
Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call .
704.372.6261 or visit

Foreign language opens gateway to global future for CMS students

Providence High School has been recently designated as a PASCH Schule
for its German studies program. It is the first high school in North
Carolina to receive this distinction. The PASCH, which stands for the
"Schools: Partners for the Future," is an initiative of the Federal
Foreign Office. The aim of PASCH is to create and strengthen a global
network of 1,500 partner schools with special links to Germany. The
program is designed to awaken and maintain student's interest and
enthusiasm for modern-day Germany and the German language.

Through the N.C. Standards of the Common Core, teachers are preparing
students to develop a proficiency in a foreign language versus simply
memorizing vocabulary. At Providence, 14 of its 300 students enrolled
in German studies chose to take a Deutsches Sprachdiplom, an
international exam given throughout the world – similar to the SAT.
Students wanted to challenge their expertise on the German culture and
language. Their knowledge of Germany and its vernacular resulted in
Providence's PASCH Schule distinction.

"We focus on what you learn in the classroom and teach students how
they can apply it in the real world. It isn't just about earning an
'A' at the German AP level," German teacher Stacy Feldstein said.

"German class is half culture and half language. You have to be able
to understand that balance and connection," senior Stephen Fitch
added. "We talk about the education system in Germany, along with
other differing cultural aspects. It enlightens us to how things are
so different from home."

Eric Hancock, who is also a senior, already sees the value of
acquiring a proficiency in a foreign language. His sister, who also
studied German at Providence, currently works with the foreign

"There is no doubt that studying German opened up my mind to a whole
other world," said senior Eric Hancock. "In this one class, I get to
experience something I never did before."

Feldstein said, "Students need to be prepared to work with different
cultures in business and in politics. We need to know how to seek
things from another language. It helps us interact with each other and
avoid a lot of misunderstandings. Understanding a foreign society
makes you flexible in your thinking and allows you to become a part of
a team."

The school was awarded 1,200 Euros (approximately $1,500) for the
PASCH Schule designation. The German teachers will use the funds for
new class materials.

County Manager Recommends Sustaining Operations With Lowest Tax Rate In Years

Mecklenburg County taxpayers will experience the lowest county tax
rate in eight years if the Board of County Commissioners adopts the
FY13 budget recommended by County Manager Harry Jones.

Under Jones' funding proposal, the county tax rate would decrease by
2.44 cents to 79.22 cents for every $100 of valued property. As a
result, owners of a property with an assessed valuation of $200,000
would see a $49 annual reduction in their county tax bill.

"The FY13 Recommended Budget does not attempt to restore all of what
was cut over recent years; it does not accommodate all funding
requests," Jones said in prepared remarks. "Instead, this budget
reflects the Board's fiscal priorities and critical success factors,
with an emphasis on continued fiscal discipline and the sustainability
and affordability of County services."

Jones said his $1.41 billion budget focuses on sustaining County
operations while maintaining fiscal discipline. Taking that
conservative approach for the past few years is why revenues exceeded
estimates in the current budget year, Jones said, and it is why he is
able to propose a tax cut. On Tuesday evening the Board heard an
overview from Jones, who then asked Hyong Yi, budget and management
director, to provide the details.

Those details include more funds allocated for education services to
sustain operations and address growth in student population. Also
included are funds for the public health operation transition; taking
on the Medicaid Waiver service; restoring Sunday hours for regional
libraries, and money for two new parks. Money for the next revaluation
is also included.

A new fire service tax district for residents who live in Mecklenburg
County but outside of a city or town limit is included. Unincorporated
residents also will see a recommended 0.71 cents increase – for a
total of 19.37 cents – in the tax rate they currently pay for police

Ultimately, the Board will decide the tax rate and vote to adopt a
budget for the County. The nine-member governing Board is expected to
adopt a budget at its June 5, 2012 meeting. The Fiscal Year 2012-2013
budget will cover July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

The total dollar amount of the FY2013 Recommended Budget is
$1,416,308,228 and includes:

Education: The recommended budget provides $367.4 million for
education funding – not including debt service. This includes $335
million for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools' operating budget and $27.3
million for Central Piedmont Community Colleges' operating budget. CMS
funding is a $9.1 million increase from FY12 to sustain current
operations and to pay for the growth in student population. For CPCC,
funding would increase by $1.5 million for its facility operations and
the transition costs for WTVI public television station.

Park and Recreation: An additional $727,000 is recommended for the
County's Park and Recreation Department to develop and operate two new
parks opening in FY13; expand the youth employment program from 30 to
45 youths, and replace park maintenance equipment.

Library: An additional $811,000 is recommended to restore Sunday
operations of regional libraries throughout the County.

Employees: An investment in County employees includes a 2 percent
increase to payroll for performance-based pay raises, and to fully
restore to 5 percent the balance of the County's match of employee
contributions to their deferred compensation accounts.

Public Health: The Board authorized termination of the agreement with
Carolinas HealthCare System by June 30, 2013, which means public
health services will transition from CHS to County operations on July
1, 2013. Although the full transition will occur at the beginning of
Fiscal Year 2014, the timing requires the County to fund and implement
the start-up of the transition in FY13. This transition start-up will
cost $2.7 million, including 17 additional Health Department positions
that will be filled during FY13.

Fire Protection Service District Tax: The Board authorized the Fire
Protection Service District Tax which created five Fire Protection
Service Districts with separate tax rates to generate revenue to pay
for volunteer fire services. The rates will vary by district with most
set at 5 cents. This shift in revenue source will eliminate from the
general fund the $2.4 million subsidy of the volunteer fire
departments. This reduction accounts for 0.2 cents of the proposed
county-wide 2.44-cents property tax rate decrease.

Law Enforcement Service District Tax: A tax rate of 19.37 cents, an
increase of 0.71 cents.

Residents have an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns and
feedback on the Recommended Budget during a Public Hearing at 6 p.m.
on Thursday, May 24, 2012. The hearing is in the Meeting Chambers of
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth Street in
Charlotte. Online registration to speak at the hearing is available at
or call 704-336-2086. To view the complete FY13 Recommended Budget,
visit the County's website.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Born Wild: See Nature's Babies at Charlotte Nature Museum May 19

Mother Nature makes some of the cutest and cuddliest babies around -
and she has a large brood! From fuzzy furballs to itsy bitsy and
creepy crawly, young wildlife come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Join Charlotte Nature Museum for the May Creature Feature event,
Nature's Babies,Saturday, May 19, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Spring means lots of new animal babies and we're wild about meeting
some of the season's recent arrivals. Did you know that young
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are called nymphs, and that a baby fish
can be called a fingerling?

There will be opportunities to visit with some of nature's fledgling residents, from hatchling box turtles
[Terrapene ornata], mice 'pups' [Mus musculus] and Sebright chicks, to
mealworms, butterfly chrysalis, moth cocoons and more. Make sure to
flash a toothy grin at Snappy, our resident juvenile American
alligator [Alligator mississippiensis]. While celebrating newborns,
fawn over other animal-related information such as the differences
between wild and domesticated animals and how to care for pets and

How do baby animals survive and thrive? It can be a jungle out there,
but just like humans, wild animal parents often protect, care for, and
teach their offspring skills they need to live in their environments.
Did you know that tiny baby seahorses, or 'fry', stay close to their
protective fathers by clinging to plants with their strong tails?
Little ones can explore their innate kinship with baby animal friends
and discover more about their development and how they learn to fend
for themselves. Museum Naturalists and exhibitors from Steritech and
Animal Rehabilitators of the Carolinas will present information about
understanding and identifying wildlife species, what to do if you
encounter a baby animal in the wild, and how to help protect habitats
and ecosystems.

It's not quite naptime, little ones – first, crawl into the Naturalist
Lab to make pinecone baby owlets. Curious ears will perk up for the
Puppet Show "Growing Up Wild" and special Story Time including "Baby
Animals on the Farm" by Liza Alexander, "Flip, Flap, Fly!" by Phyllis
Root, and "Baby Otter" by Ginger L. Clarke. Trails End Store will
feature items for sale including turtle-in-egg and frog-in-egg plush
animals and mammal and snake books.

Creature Features, supported by The Guild of Discovery Place, Inc.,
are monthly special events and include crafts, Puppet Shows and
storytelling. Creature Feature activities are free with Museum
admission. Admission: $6 ages two and older, younger-than-two and
Members are free. Parking is free.

Charlotte Nature Museum is located at 1658 Sterling Road, Charlotte.
Hours are: Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. –
5:00 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5:00 p.m.; and closed on Monday.

PETA Picks Speedway Motorsports for Winner's Circle When It Comes to Food

For providing car-racing fans with delicious and cruelty-free vegan
"fuel" at tracks across the country and helping to make sure that they
get the green flag from their doctor at their next physical, Speedway
Motorsports, which is based at Charlotte Motor Speedway, has won a
High Octane Award from PETA. The company will receive a framed
certificate and be featured on PETA's award-winning website

"Compassionate and health-conscious racing fans who take advantage of
Speedway Motorsports' vegan options can help make sure that they'll be
around for many more races to come," says PETA President Ingrid E.
Newkirk, who is also a racing fan. "After all, cholesterol- and
saturated fat–laden meat, dairy products, and eggs slow you down
because consuming them is like pouring sludge into your transmission."

Also receiving the award are NASCAR, IndyCar, and Levy Restaurants,
the food-service provider for Speedway Motorsports, a national
operator of NASCAR and IndyCar tracks. Fans who want to cut animals a
break and keep their own bodies in top running condition can choose
from several vegan specialties, including Going Green Salad With Fried
Green Tomatoes, Summer Vegetable and Tofu Flatbread, and the
incomparable Sloppy Jane—tempeh (made from soy), peppers, and onions
with molasses and brown sugar barbecue sauce.

Choosing vegan options not only helps take a big bite out of animal
suffering but also lowers one's risk of developing heart disease,
diabetes, cancer, and other potential killers. And eating vegan meals
helps cut down on water pollution, land degradation, and the
greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.

For more information, please visit

Proposed Charlotte Budget focuses on investments for City's future and property tax increase

Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton has presented to the Mayor and City
Council his budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2013 and for the
City's five-year Capital Investment Plan. His proposal includes a
total $1.97 billion FY2013 budget that maintains core operating needs
and invests in capital projects necessary for a growing community. In
2011, Charlotte added 8,500 new jobs with almost $700 million in
investments. Local building permits totaled 3,975 from January 2012
to March 2012 compared to 3,170 for the same period last year, a 25%
increase. Unemployment in Charlotte also dropped from 10% in July
2011 to 8.5% in February, and despite the economic downturn, the City
added over 75,000 residents between 2006 and 2011.

Capital Investment Plan (CIP)
A cornerstone of the proposed budget includes a $926 million capital
investment plan, which would be funded by a 3.6¢ property tax
increase. The goal of the plan is to ensure adequate capital
investments to ensure neighborhoods and businesses have the necessary
foundation to thrive and compete in a global economy. If the capital
program is approved by Council, the projects would be placed on the
ballot in four separate bond packages over the next seven years.

The capital investment plan is segmented into three areas: Investing
in Corridors, Increasing Connections, and Improving Communities.

The Investing in Corridors package project highlights include:
· $43 million for roadway extensions supporting economic
development in the Airport/West Corridor
· $25 million for transportation connections along the East/
Southeast Corridor Infrastructure
· $102.5 million for vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle access
improvements for the Northeast Corridor to complement the extension of
light rail service to the University area

Increasing Connections investments include projects such as:
· $24.9 million for City-wide sidewalks and pedestrian safety
· $119 million for continued development of the Charlotte
Streetcar from French St. near Johnson C. Smith University to
Sunnyside St. past Presbyterian Hospital
· $35 million for a 26-mile Cross-Charlotte multi-use trail

The Improving Communities package includes project highlights such as:
· $56.5 million for six new police stations
· $120 million for neighborhood improvements in the Prosperity
Village, Whitehall/Ayrsley, Sunset/Beatties Ford, West Trade/
Rozzelles Ferry, and Central/Eastland/Albemarle communities
· $60 million for Affordable Housing

General Fund
On the General Fund side, the budget includes:
· $500,000 for four crime analysts and three telecommunicators
for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police
· $1.1 million to offset increased fuel costs
· $1.4 million increase for maintenance and repair of City
vehicles and equipment

CATS, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and Storm Water
The budget also includes some increases in rates and charges to fund
infrastructure expansions that accommodate growing service demands.
The average monthly water/sewer bill will increase $3.30 going from
$56.23 to $59.53, and the average monthly storm water fees will rise
42¢ from $7.06 to $7.48. The FY2013 Charlotte Area Transit System
budget builds on programs of past years and is responsive to service
and revenue challenges. A 25¢ base fare increase is recommended for
implementation in FY2013 to support program efforts.

Employee Compensation and Benefits Summary

As part of his presentation to Council, City Manager Walton also
presented his compensation and benefits recommendations for City

· Includes a redesign of the Public Safety Pay Plan and
funding for merit steps of 2.5%
or 5% for those below the maximum pay step and a 1.5 % market adjustment

· Includes funding for a 3% merit budget for the Broadbanding
Pay Plan

· Modify the medical plan designs to ensure the City's plans
continue to contain costs, promote in-network utilization and remain
competitive with market practices

· Increase of 2% in City's cost

· Increase of 2% for medical premiums in the higher "plus"
medical plan for City employees

· No increase in medical premiums for employees choosing the
base medical plan

· Extend benefits to same sex domestic partners

· Evaluate offering a network based dental plan with a high
and low dental option

· Amend the Shared Sick Leave policy to allow use of shared
sick leave for a catastrophic Workers' Compensation covered illness or

The Mayor and Council will discuss the City Manager's recommendations
in several work sessions over the next few weeks. Residents may speak
at the public hearing on May 29. To sign up, call (704) 336-2248.
The next steps in the budget process include:

Council Budget Adjustments 3 pm, May 16
Public Hearing 7 pm, May 29
Budget Adjustments Straw Votes Noon, May 30
Budget Adoption 7 pm, June 11

For more information, visit or keep up with
the latest budget developments on City Source, the City's bi-weekly
news show, which airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on The GOV Channel Cable-16.

The City of Charlotte provides services to more than 700,000 residents.
The City's focus areas are Housing and Neighborhood Development,
Community Safety, Transportation, Economic Development and the
For the latest news about city government, visit the Citywide Newsroom
From our website, you can sign up to receive email updates on City
topics that interest you through the Notify Me service.

Charlotte Regional Realtors report home sales increasing in April 2012

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports that the number of
closings for April 2012 (2,170) increased 15.3 percent compared to
April 2011, when closings totaled 1,882. Both the average and median
sales price showed positive increases for a third consecutive month.
The average sales price in April 2012 ($214,779) was up by 5.6 percent
compared to the same period last year ($203,442), and the median sales
price ($159,995), the best measure of trends over a period of time,
showed prices up by 4.6 percent compared to April 2011 when the median
sales price was $153,000.

The average list price in April 2012 ($272,358) increased 9.2 percent
when compared to the average list price for the same period last year
($249,500), bringing the percent of original list price received
measure to 92 percent as compared to 88.9 percent last April. April
2012 pending contracts totaled 2,317, an increase of 7.8 percent over
last April's pending contracts (2,150) for the CMLS region.

New residential listings in March 2012 totaled 4,526, up slightly 1.5
percent compared to the same period last year when new listings
totaled 4,460. Overall inventory continued its downward trend, down
18.7 percent compared to April 2011, leaving the CMLS region with a
9.7-month supply of homes for sale as compared to 13.7-month supply
during the same time last year. The average number of days a property
was on the market from the time it was listed until it closed (list to
close) totaled 145, which is a decrease of nine days when compared to
last April when the list to close count totaled 154 days.

The share of new listings that were distressed in April was 11.3
percent, compared to 18.7 percent the previous year. 15.6 percent of
all closed sales in April were distressed, compared to 31.5 percent in
April 2011.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit the
association's website at and click on "Community
Data." For an interview with 2012 association/CMLS President Jennifer
Frontera, please contact Kim Walker.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association
that leads, educates and equips members to be productive. It provides
more than 6,600 Realtor® members with the resources and services
needed to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable
businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region's primary
resource for residential real estate information. The association
operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which
has approximately 7,200 Subscribers and is the private cooperative
Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings
in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area,
as well as listings outside this service area.

Relax and breathe ... School Testing coming soon

It is officially crunch time; a time when students must review
academic material from the entire school year in preparation for End-
of-Grade (EOGs) and End-of-Course (EOCs) tests. Teachers are preparing
students with classroom studies, but there are some extra tips parents
can take to give their children a helping hand.

Fahnie Shaw, an instructor for Parent University's Preparing for EOGs
courses, said she realizes this time of year can be stressful for
children. She said it is important for the family to remember that the
purpose of the tests are to show what the student has mastered and to
help evaluate teaching methods in the classroom.

"We tell the parents to make the tests no big deal," said Shaw. "You
need to reassure students that they know this information already.
Show them what they have mastered. Build their confidence."

While testing is only a few days away, Shaw said it's not too late to
review, but do not attempt to review everything in one night.

See more tips from Parent University on preparing for the EOGs and EOCs:

Before the test

· Encourage your child to get a good night's sleep before the
· Provide your child with a nutritious breakfast before the
· Minimize outside activities during the week of testing. This
will help reduce stress at home.
· Set your alarm a little early each morning and make your
time together at home pleasant and encouraging.
· Make sure your child arrives at school on time.
· Give your child a hug and let them know you have confidence
in them.

Rock Band Halestorm to Heat Up Miller Lite Stage May 25

Pennsylvania rock band, Halestorm, will become a part of Food Lion
Speed Street's history book when the group performs on the Miller Lite
stage, located near the corner of South Tryon Street and East
Stonewall Street, on May 25 at 9:30 p.m.

Founders of Halestorm, siblings Arejay and Elizabeth "Izzy" Hale began
writing and performing in 1997 at the age of 10 and 13 years old,
respectively. In 2005, the band, inclusive of guitarist Joe Hottinger
and bass player Josh Smith, signed a recording contract with Atlantic
Records and released albumOne and Done.

Four years later, Halestorm distributed a self-titled album featuring
top-10 single "I Get Off," "It's Not You," "Love/Hate Heartbreak," and
"Familiar Taste of Poison." Halestorm sold more than 300,000 copies.

In 2012, the quartet delivered its second full-length album, The
Strange Case of … Loaded with 17 tracks, The Strange Case of …
features "Loves Bites (So Do I)," "Freak Like Me," "Daughters of
Darkness," and "Here's To Us."

Food Lion Speed Street delivers an unprecedented consumer experience
to an estimated 400,000 fans by means of live entertainment, access to
racing's brightest stars, and displays from sponsors Food Lion, Coca-
Cola, Miller Lite, General Mills, Chevrolet and many more.

Musical performances for the three-day festival will begin Thursday,
May 24 at one of two stages. The Coca-Cola stage will be located on
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Brevard Street and Caldwell
Street at the NASCAR Hall of Fame entrance. The Miller Lite stage
will be located in the parking lot near the corner of South Tryon
Street and East Stonewall Street, across from the Mint Museum.

The event provides multi-day entertainment for fans attending the Coca-
Cola 600 on Sunday, May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Admission to Food Lion Speed Street is free. The festival opens each
day at noon. For a schedule of events, visit or

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas' Pints for Patriots Campaign to Honor Wounded Veterans May-July

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is joining forces
with Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation (MFLCF) to kick
off a three-month-long blood drive campaign called "Pints for Patriots."

For every pint of blood collected from May 1-July 31, 2012, CBCC will
make a financial contribution to support military families and to
thank hospitalized veterans in the Carolinas with a "Freedom Coin,"
through the MFLCF Products for Good Program. Each coin will include a
thank-you note listing the CBCC donor's name.

"We value partnerships like that with the Community Blood Center of
the Carolinas to help further our mission," said Lane Ostrow, Chairman
of the MFLCFProducts for Good Program. "We appreciate all that CBCC
and their generous donors are doing to thank and honor our veterans
and our men and women in uniform while giving blood that will save
many lives in the communities they serve."

The Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation raises money for
wounded military and their families through a wide range of programs
including emergency assistance, scholarships and support of the USO
and its programs. MFLCF is also committed to assisting the wounded and
their families with the long term needs resulting from the sacrifices
made by the wounded.

"As we gear up to celebrate Memorial Day and Independence Day,
bringing our communities together to donate blood is a noble way to
honor and support our injured military service members," said Martin
Grable, president and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.
"We urge the public to roll up their sleeves and participate in the
'Pints for Patriots' campaign to let a veteran in the Carolinas know
that his or her service will not be forgotten."

For businesses, civic organizations and churches interested in hosting
a blood drive with CBCC, call Kim Jones, director of sponsorship
development, at 704-972-4727. Donors can give blood at one of CBCC's
four donor centers or at a community blood drive available at

The Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation, Inc. (MFLCF)
provides military members and their families the dignity and respect
for their commitment and selfless service in preserving the freedoms
we all enjoy. It is dedicated to creating activities that provide
additional funding to existing and future organizations, helping
patriots and their families fulfill their dreams with the greatest
degree of respect and admiration. For more information about theMFLCF
Products for Good Program, visit

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit
community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 21
regional hospitals, serving 16 North Carolina and three South Carolina
counties. CBCC focuses exclusively on gathering red blood cells,
platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives – every
drop of blood collected remains here to help people in the Carolinas.
CBCC is a member of America's Blood Centers, North America's largest
network of community-based, independent blood centers providing more
than 50% of the nation's blood supply.

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in
your area, visit or call 704-972-4700.

Follow the Community Blood center of the Carolinas on Facebook
and on Twitter at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

City of Charlotte Celebrates Small Business Month

Mayor Anthony Foxx and the Charlotte City Council declared May as
Small Business Month at a kickoff event this morning where more than a
dozen small businesses were recognized for their contributions to our
economy. Over the course of the month, the City and its partners will
host several events to celebrate, educate and inspire the more than
30,000 small businesses operating in Charlotte.

"Small Business month provides us an opportunity to stop and recognize
the many contributions of the entrepreneurs and small businesses that
make Charlotte great, not just by providing needed goods and services,
but by driving innovation, creating jobs, and investing in our
community," said Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Small businesses are an essential ingredient to growing and sustaining
our economy. As such, the City, County, Chamber and other partners
have been working collaboratively to make Charlotte the premier place
for small business investment and growth. One of these collaborative
projects is Charlotte Business, a web portal to connect
business owners with information and resources related to the stage of
their business or important topics such as financing, licensing and
permitting and contracting.

In addition, the City and its partners have created events throughout
the month where small businesses can learn new skills, receive
information on critical business issues, network and be celebrated. A
complete list of events is attached. For more information about
Charlotte Small Business Month and the thousands of small businesses
and entrepreneurs that make the community great, please visit: <

Trayvon Martin is topic of public meeting sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte

The 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte, a nonprofit organization
committed to improving the lives of the Charlotte region's African-
American youth, are sponsoring a community meeting to discuss the
implications of the Trayvon Martin tragedy and how it impacts the
youth of Charlotte. The event will be held at UNC-Charlotte in
McKnight Hall in the Cone Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Panelists
include Dr. Patrick Graham, CEO of the Urban League of Central
Carolinas, who will serve as moderator; Reggie Singleton, director of
"A Male's Place"; Adrian Sundiata, Dean of Students at the Crossroads
Charter School; and Attorney Erin Taylor of the Federal Defenders of
Western North Carolina. The public is welcomed to attend this free
event, and are asked to bring their children to learn from the

When: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 11 a.m.

Where: UNC-Charlotte, Cone Center-McKnight Hall

9201 University City Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

Why: Trayvon Martin's unfortunate demise is a matter of
national concern for African American parents and mentors. This event
illustrates the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte's mission, "to
strengthen community support and involvement for African American

Food Lion Speed Street Welcomes Night Ranger, LoverBoy and Clay Walker to 18th Annual Festival

After 18 years of providing live entertainment, Food Lion Speed Street
will welcome Night Ranger, LoverBoy and Clay Walker to the consumer
festival on May 26. Night Ranger and Loverboy will perform on the Coca-
Cola stage starting at 8 p.m., while Walker will kick off his
performance on the Miller Lite stage at 9:30 p.m.

As a preview to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which
takes place the following day, Food Lion Speed Street delivers an
unprecedented consumer experience to an estimated 400,000 fans by
means of live entertainment, access to racing's brightest stars and
displays from sponsors Food Lion, Coca-Cola, Miller Lite, General
Mills, Chevrolet and many more.

Night Ranger – Coca-Cola Stage
Appearing on May 26 at 8 p.m., the San Francisco rock
band, Night Ranger, will take attendees back to a variety of 1980s
hits including fan favorite, "Sister Christian." In 1982, Night
Ranger debuted on the rock scene and began opening concerts for
artists such as ZZ Top and Ozzy Osbourne. From 1982 to 1988, the band
released five albums selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Not long after, the band splintered with some pursuing solo efforts or
joining other musical groups. Beginning in 1995 and culminating with
the most recent album, Somewhere in California, Night Ranger has
issued five studio albums.

Loverboy – Coca-Cola Stage
Taking the stage after Night Ranger, Loverboy will join
Food Lion Speed Street attendees at 9:45 p.m. The Canadian rock group
is known best for hit singles, "Turn Me Loose" and "Working for the
Weekend." Loverboy has earned four multi-platinum albums since first
signing with Columbia/CBS Records Canada in 1980.

Clay Walker presented by Frito Lay – Miller Lite Stage
Frito Lay will present multi-platinum recording artist,
Clay Walker, on the Miller Lite stage May 26 at 9:30 p.m.
Making an entrance in the country music scene in 1993,
Walker topped the Billboard country singles chart with "What's It to
You" and followed with a second consecutive No. 1 hit, "Live Until I
Die." Since then, he's placed 31 titles on Billboard's singles chart
toppers as "Dreaming with my Eyes Open," "If I Could Make a Living,"
"This Woman and This Man," and "Rumor Has It." He's scored four
platinum-selling albums and two gold albums. Walker has released
eleven albums, including a greatest hits album and a Christmas album.
In 2010, he released a new album, She Won't Be Lonely Long. Most
recently, he issued a new single, "Like We Never Said Goodbye."

Musical performances for the three-day festival will
begin Thursday, May 24 at one of two stages. The Coca-Cola stage will
be located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Brevard Street
and Caldwell Street at the NASCAR Hall of Fame entrance. The Miller
Lite stage will be located in the parking lot near the corner of South
Tryon Street and East Stonewall Street, across from the Mint Museum.
Admission to Food Lion Speed Street is free. The festival
opens each day at noon. For a schedule of events, visit

About Food Lion
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., is a Delhaize America Company,
which is the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE:
DEG) and operates more than 1,100 supermarkets. The company employs
approximately 57,000 associates delivering quality products, low
prices and service to customers in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic
states. For more information, visit

People Miserably Fail Local Mother's Day Alzheimer's Quiz

It may hit you and your siblings when you visit Mom this Mother's
Day. She's not as sharp as she used to be - very forgetful and
confused. Is it just old age or Alzheimer's? You don't have a clue
and you're not alone.

Half of all Americans know someone with Alzheimer's, the deadly
disease that affects five million of us - more women than men. Yet
just in time for Mother's Day - in a recent Senior Helpers Alzheimer's
Quiz taken by more than one thousand people, 67% or 2/3 failed (they
got fewer than 60% of the questions correct)! Have your readers/
viewers take the full quiz below.

That's why Senior Helpers, one of our nation's largest providers of in-
home senior care, with an office in our area, has launched Senior
Gems, a FREE and revolutionary Alzheimer's education program . It
assigns each stage of the disease to a gem, like a diamond or ruby,
and gives step-by-step instruction so people can navigate every mood
and movement of a loved one who is coping with the disease. Please
give your readers a link to the Senior Helper's Senior Gems program
where they can get a free DVD that walks them through every step of
caring for someone with the deadly disease.

"We have a crisis in America because Alzheimer's is a deadly epidemic
yet this quiz shows many people still don't know enough about the
disease or how to best communicate with a loved one who has it. As our
population grows older and lives longer, families will need survival
skills to cope through the various stages of the disease and manage
the stressful toll it takes on everyone,"says Peter Ross, CEO and
founder of Senior Helpers, one of our nation's largest in-home senior
care companies and co-creator of the Senior Gems program. "We
launched Senior Gems to give caregivers and family members a hands-on
guide for education and survival."

Pam's Mother's Day Heartbreak

Pam Huntoon says she didn't know much about Alzheimer's disease until
her 85-year-old mother was diagnosed. "You suddenly do a ton of
research but that doesn't teach you how to handle the person in real
life situations," she says. "Mom used to be witty and sharp with a
great sense of humor. Now she has hallucinations and she's very
confused. It's a struggle."

Pam watched the Senior Gems DVD and hired a Senior Helper's caregiver
trained in Gems to help with her mom five days a week. "It has been
such a blessing to have this help. I've learned it's not Mom's fault
that she acts this way, that she can't help herself. I can't argue or
prove my point. Gems has taught me to be patient and kind and that has
been a lifesaver as we guide Mom through this final stage of her life."

Senior Helper's Alzheimer's Quiz

Tell this story by giving your readers/viewers the Senior Helper's
Alzheimer's Quiz to see how they stack-up (see bottom of release for
answer key):

1. Alzheimer's only affects memory skills (Pick one)

a) True, other parts of the brain are not damaged by Alzheimer's
b) False, it affects memory and language skills
c) True, it spreads through the memory center, eventually keeping if
from working at all
d) False, it affects memory, language, vision, sensation & motor
skills, and decision making ability

2. Can you get Alzheimer's if no one in your family has/had it? (Pick

a) Yes – Anyone can develop the disease.
b) No – Alzheimer's is purely genetic.
c) No – a family member on your mother's side must have had
Alzheimer's to put you at risk of developing it.

3. What's the most common 'early' sign of Alzheimer's disease? (Pick

a) Can't remember NEW information
b) Can't remember OLD information
c) Can't remember ANY information

4. At what age is your working memory the sharpest and fastest it will
ever be? ( Pick one)

a) 10-14 years old
b) 2-10 years old
c) 30-35 years old
d) 14-18 years old
e) 35-45 years old
f) 26-30 years old
g) Late teens to early 20s
h) 45-50 years old

5. What is the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia?
(Pick one)

a) Alzheimer's is progressive (gets worse with time) but dementia is not
b) Dementia is not as serious as Alzheimer's, it just affects memory
c) They are actually the same thing, just different names
d) Dementia is a general category and Alzheimer's is a specific type
of brain failure
e) Alzheimer's is treatable, but dementia is not

6. Can you prevent Alzheimer's? (Pick one)

a) Yes –You can prevent Alzheimer's with a healthy diet.
b) Yes - You can prevent Alzheimer's with brain exercises.
c) No – you cannot prevent Alzheimer's.

7. Do people die from Alzheimer's? (Pick one)

a) No – those with Alzheimer's usually die from other causes.
b) Yes – Alzheimer's is ultimately a fatal disease.
c) No – Alzheimer's is memory-impairment disease, not life-threatening
in almost all cases

8. These are all risk factors for Late Onset Alzheimer's – which is
the greatest known risk? (Pick one)

a) Brain injury
b) Increasing age
c) Genetics
d) Heart attack or stroke
e) Stress
f) Diet
g) Diabetes
h) Obesity

9. Alzheimer's is a natural stage of aging ( Pick one)

a) True – All seniors eventually get Alzheimer's
b) False – If you lead a healthy and active lifestyle, you won't get
c) False – Alzheimer's is not a natural stage of aging.

10. At age 85, your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease is closest

a) 5%
b) 25%
c) 50%
d) 75%
e) 100%

11. Which of the following is NOT true about dementia? (Pick one)

a) It is terminal
b) It is progressive (gets worse with time)
c) There is no known cure
d) There are more than 80 causes, types, and forms
e) It always results in the person becoming angry and dangerous in the
later stages

Answer Key:
1. d
2. a
3. a
4. g
5. d
6. c
7. b
8. b
9. c
10. c
11. e

To Tell This Story:

• Print/post the quiz in its entirety so your audience can take the
quiz and see how they stack-up.

• Please provide a link so your audience can receive a FREE DVD of the
Senior Gems program.

• We will provide interviews with local caregivers trained in Senior
Gems and in some cases, local families struggling to cope with the

*Editor's Note: Please cite Senior Helpers as the source for this quiz.
*This online quiz was given by a third party, commissioned by Senior
*The survey included 1,013 respondents: male and female, 40 years or
older, with a living parent. Full survey data available upon request.

About Senior Helpers:
Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish
to live at home as
opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has 300
franchises in 39 states and one in Canada offering a wide range of
personal and companion care services to assist seniors living
independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client
and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the
leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable,
consistent and affordable home care.
For more information, please visit

About Senior Gems:
Senior Gems is a revolutionary program to help family members and
professional caregivers properly care for their aging loved ones
through each stage of dementia. Teepa Snow began developing her Gem
Levels in 2006. In 2011, the Senior Gem program was created with her
guidance and assistance. This program puts Senior Helpers at the
forefront of individual and in-home dementia-specialized care giving
as they offer all of their in-home companions and caregivers the
opportunity to become dementia care certified through the training

City Manager Declares Upcoming Events as "Extraordinary Events"

City Manager Curt Walton has declared several upcoming events as
Extraordinary Events. The City Manager, in collaboration with the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, has determined these events
meet the criteria as defined in Charlotte City Code Sec. 15-310.
Charlotte City Council adopted the ordinance January 23, 2012, which
authorized the City Manager to make declarations of Extraordinary

An Extraordinary Event is defined as a large scale event or an event
of national or international significance which might attract a
significant number of people to a certain geographic area of the city.

The ordinance does not affect the normal way of life for our citizens
who are going about their daily activities. For example, residents
will be able to walk their dog within the extraordinary event
boundaries without fear of arrest. The Extraordinary Event designation
allows the City to modify its permitting process for activities such
as parades and specifies certain items that are prohibited from being
brought into certain boundaries of the event. A list of prohibited
items is included in the following document.

The following events and geographic locations (see attached
declarations and maps) have been declared as Extraordinary Events:

Duke Energy Annual Shareholder Meeting: Investors and Duke Energy
executives will meet in Charlotte's Center City on May 3, 2012.
Current information indicates that:

· A significant number of demonstrators have gathered outside
other major corporations recently during their annual shareholder

· Reliable information indicates that significant numbers of
demonstrators are expected to attend.

· In February, some demonstrators erected 20-foot tall tripods
on the sidewalk in front of Duke Energy's headquarters. Others locked
themselves to the legs, while others suspended themselves from the
center of the device.

Geographic area: from the intersection of S. Tryon and Stonewall
Streets to Stonewall at Graham Street; from Graham Street to Martin
Luther King Boulevard; from Martin Luther King to South Tryon Street
and back to Stonewall. Time: 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on May 3, 2012.

BOA Shareholder Meeting: Bank of America's annual Shareholder Meeting
will take place in Charlotte's Center City on May 9, 2012. Current
information indicates that:

· Several organizations are making plans to protest during the
meeting. At this point, information indicates that significant numbers
of demonstrators are expected to attend.

· In the past year, significant numbers of demonstrators have
gathered outside major corporations during their annual shareholder

· In November 2011, some demonstrators illegally hung a banner
outside the bank's headquarters.

· In April 2012, some demonstrators entered two BOA branches and
disrupted business.

Geographic area: from the intersection of Tryon and Trade Streets to
the intersection of Trade Street and the light rail line; from the
light rail line to Sixth Street; from Sixth Street to North Tryon
Street and then back to the intersection of North Tryon and Trade
Streets. Time: 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on May 9, 2012.

Speed Street: The Food Lion Speed Street 600 Festival is planned, for
Memorial Day weekend May 24-26, 2012. Current information indicates:

· More than 400,000 people are expected to visit the event, in
the Center City, over its three day duration. Last year, several
fights occurred among the crowd of nearly 80,000 people who attended
the final night of the event.

Geographic area: from the intersection of Seventh and North Tryon
Streets to the intersection of South Tryon and Stonewall Streets; from
Stonewall to South Davidson Street; from South Davidson to Seventh
Street and then from Seventh back to North Tryon Street. Time: 6:00
a.m. on May 24, 2012 to 6:00 a.m. on May 27, 2012.

July 4th Spectacular: The Presbyterian Hospital July 4th Spectacular
is held at Memorial Stadium; however, participation goes far beyond
the official site.

· In previous years, nearly 100,000 people have gathered in the
Center City to watch the fireworks, celebrate the holiday or meet up
with friends.

· Significant numbers of mostly young people have caused
disturbances by blocking sidewalks and roadways, fighting, and
shooting firecrackers in crowds.

Geographic area: from the intersection of Seventh and North Tryon
Streets, to Tryon and Stonewall Streets; from Stonewall to South
Davidson Streets; from South Davidson to Seventh Street and then from
Seventh back to North Tryon Street. Time: 12:01 a.m. on July 4, 2012
to 6:00 a.m. on July 5, 2012.

Democratic National Convention: The official DNC events are scheduled
for Sept. 4-6, 2012 and related events will take place before and
after the convention. Geographic area and time to be provided at a
later date

· The DNC is expected to bring an estimated 75,000 visitors to
Charlotte, including President Obama, governors and other dignitaries,
international media, and thousands of demonstrators.

· High levels of security will be required because the
convention has been declared a National Special Security Event.

· At previous conventions, some groups have caused disturbances,
damaged property, blocked roadways and resorted to violence.