Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dr. Heath Morrison launches plan to strengthen CMS

Dr. Heath E. Morrison announced eight key goals to move Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools forward at a Nov. 26 event marking his first 100 days as superintendent.

In a presentation titled The Way Forward, Dr. Morrison emphasized the importance of community participation in strengthening CMS, including the creation of 22 task forces to identify ways to achieve the eight key goals.

"As a district and as a community, we recognize that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has established a very strong foundation but is not yet great," he said. "We want to create the schools we need for the future, not the schools we remember from the past."

Dr. Morrison said that he and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education were committed to improving every school and providing more choices for parents and students.

"We want our local schools to be schools of choice," he said. "Every single school in CMS needs to be a school that we can be proud of. These goals will help us make that happen."

The eight goals are:
· Goal 1: Accelerate academic achievement for every child and close achievement gaps so all students graduate from CMS college- or career-ready.
· Goal 2: Ensure an effective teacher in every class is led by an effective principal in every school served by quality support staff, by supporting the professional development of all employees.
· Goal 3: Cultivate innovative partnerships with parents/caregivers and the community to provide a sustainable system of wraparound support for all children.
· Goal 4: Continuously nurture a self-renewing culture of high engagement, customer service and cultural competency.
· Goal 5: Establish a comprehensive performance-management approach that ensures data-informed and evidence-based decision-making for students, schools and the district as a whole.
· Goal 6: Strengthen and expand our portfolio of educational choices for students to foster creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
· Goal 7: Increase technology integration to support inspired learning and teaching.
· Goal 8: Communicate proactively and purposefully to strengthen public trust and establish CMS as the preferred K-12 choice.

CMS will begin work on the goals immediately, Dr. Morrison said. Some parts of the goals will take time and planning to achieve; others can begin sooner. He also emphasized the need for community engagement as CMS begins the work.

"We want community and employee input into the decisions we will make to further these goals," Dr. Morrison said. "So we are convening the 22 task forces with CMS staff, parents and the community. Each task force will look at one component of a goal and how best to achieve it."

Rigorous curriculum is a key component in making sure all students graduate with a meaningful diploma, he said. CMS also needs exceptional leadership in classrooms and in schools, as well as a high level of parent involvement.

"Our brand is not what we say it is – it's what people say about us," he said. "We want CMS to be the preferred K-12 option for parents and we're going to strengthen our schools to make that happen. There is a lot of amazing work that is being done in our schools every day, and we want to build on that foundation to move CMS from good to great."

Dr. Morrison said that the future of CMS is an important factor in the economic development of the larger Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

"CMS is part of the economic engine that fuels our region," he said. He pointed to research showing that tomorrow's workers will need to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial to succeed.

Workforce analyses have shown that:
· The need for complex communication skills has increased 14 percent
· The need for expert thinking and problem-solving has increased eight percent.
At the same time, he said, those analyses also show that the demand for other skills has declined:
· Routine manual skills: demand decreased three percent
· Non-routine manual skills: demand decreased five percent
· Routine cognitive skills: demand decreased eight percent

"To prepare our students for tomorrow, our schools will have to change," he said. "Great public schools are constantly improving and changing – and that is what CMS needs to do."

Your Input Is Needed for New City Manager Survey

Residents of the City of Charlotte are being encouraged to participate in an online survey beginning today to identify the most important characteristics for Charlotte's new City Manager.

The Charlotte City Council has retained the services of the Waters Consulting Group to assist them with the recruitment and selection process. Part of the firm's responsibilities is the development of a profile that indentifies the highest priority issues, important professional experience and expertise, and management/leadership characteristics for the new City Manager. Survey comments are anonymous, confidential, and considered public information. They will be provided directly to The Waters Group through the online survey link. The survey is available in both English and Spanish, and will remain operational until 6:00 p.m. (EST) Friday, December 7.

To participate in the survey, click on http://ManagerSearch.CharlotteNC.gov

The City of Charlotte operates with a Council-Manager form of government. The City Manager has the following administrative and management responsibilities:
· assuring the effective and efficient operation of all City departments (Police, Fire, Utilities, Solid Waste Services, Aviation, Transportation, Transit, Engineering, Planning, Neighborhood Development, Business Support Services, Finance, Budget, Human Resources);
· attending City Council meetings and preparing recommendations for consideration by Council;
· making reports to the City Council about the City and keeping the City Council fully advised of the City's financial condition and its future financial needs;
· appointing all department heads and employees of the City except those provided in the City Charter to be appointed by the City Council (City Attorney and City Clerk)

Important dates in the City Manager recruitment process:
November 27-December 7: City Manager characteristics survey period
December 17: Candidate profile based on survey input finalized and approved by the City Council
December 18-January 18: Timeframe to submit applications
January 28: Waters Group makes recommendations to Mayor and Council on candidates to interview.
Mid-February: Mayor and City Council conduct interviews; choose 2-3 finalists.

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 Environment.
For the latest news about city government, visit the Citywide Newsroom at newsroom.charlottenc.gov.
From our website, you can sign up to receive email updates on City topics that interest you through the Notify Me service.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Help in BI-LO's Search for Owner of 70 Year Old Ring

About a year ago a ring was found in the BI-LO on Pineville-Matthews Road. It is a 14 karat gold band with an inscription from a husband to his wife, dated to their wedding day: what appears to be 10/29/44 or 10/28/44 – nearly 70 years ago. Proper procedures were followed in an effort to identity the owner - signs were posted in the store for six months and a Craigslist ad was posted - but the person to whom the ring belongs was never identified. A full year has passed and the owner has not stepped forward, so we are taking the search to the next level to reunite this ring with its owner.

BI-LO would love your help finding the owners of the missing ring so that another wedding anniversary does not pass without the owner or owner's family having this sentimental ring back in their hands. A photo of the ring is included here. Those who wish to claim the ring may call (704) 804-4225 to speak with Rodney Towery and describe the inscription.

Science After Dark at Discovery Place: Adults-Only Series Launches Dec. 4

Don't be afraid of the dark! Discovery Place will shine the light on inquiry and ideas during a new series of "social" science for adults only. Science After Dark events will explore contemporary topics using the lens of science and the hands of the participants. Part intrigue and part fun, Science After Dark offers the intellectually curious adult crowd a new mix of diverse learning opportunities in a relaxed social atmosphere.

"The spirit of scientific inquiry is in each of us," said Robert Corbin, vice president, Learning Experiences, Discovery Place. "Even as adults, we hunger to know more about the how and why of the world we live in. Any time we get the chance to dabble and explore, even as grown-ups, we satisfy our innate curiosity and expand our common understanding."

Science After Dark topics will include:
· Game Night (December 4, 2012): Join Spandex City, Queen City Chess Club, UNCC and Merely Players to explore some favorite pastimes such as video games, board games, trivia and more, from an adult point of view, and discover the science behind playing around. (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
· Improv (January 12, 2013): Two premier Charlotte improv groups, the Chuckleheads and Synergismo, will present a night of laughter, creativity and fun. Attendees will take part in improv exercises and games. (6:00–9:00 p.m.)
· The Wonder of Food & Drink (February 5, 2013): An evening of presentations will focus on sustainability, plus information on molecular gastronomy and brewing science. (6:00–9:00 p.m.)
· NanoScience and Society (March 5, 2013): Nanotechnology is creating a dizzying array of new materials and manufacturing possibilities which will profoundly impact our economy, environment and society. Join Thomas Schmedake, Ph.D., of UNCC's chemistry department and other educators to discuss the latest in the nanotechnology and what it holds for the future. (6:00–9:00 p.m.)
· Astronomy (April 17, 2013): Spend an evening with Discovery Place and Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club observing stars and planets. The evening will include an astronomy talk by Jim Craig, director of the James H. Lynn Planetarium at Schiele Museum of Natural History.(7:30–9:30 p.m.)

All Science After Dark events will be held at Discovery Place after the Museum closes to the public and will include light snacks and beverages featuring various North Carolina breweries. Reservations are encouraged and can be made online by calling 704.372.6261 x300. Admission is $5 per person in advance or $10 at the door. Parking is available in the Museum's Parking Deck; the Carol Grotnes Belk Deck located at Church and Sixth Streets. For additional information about the series or any individual Science After Dark event, please call 704.372.6261 x300 or email info@discoveryplace.org.

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 x300, visitdiscoveryplace.org 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.

Recycling Pickup Announces Thanksgiving Collection Schedule

The City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services will not collect garbage, recyclables, yard waste or bulky items on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22. Residents who normally receive service on Thursday will be serviced on Friday, November 23. Residents who normally receive service on Friday will be serviced on Saturday, November 24.
With autumn in full swing, residents are reminded to properly prepare leaves and other yard waste for collection. A few tips include:
· Place leaves in untied plastic bags or uncovered trash cans (not City-issued rollout carts). Leaves may also be placed in biodegradable paper bags for collection
· Cut limbs, logs and brush to no more than 5 feet in length and 4 inches in diameter
· Separate yard waste into piles small enough for one person to handle.
After items are properly prepared, place them curbside no later than 6:30 am on your scheduled collection day. Please do not block the sidewalk with collection items. For more information, visit http://curbit.charlottenc.gov or call 311.

Charlotte Area's Only Functioning Covered Bridge and Community Sets Date for Light Up Event

MillBridge, a master-planned community in South Charlotte, will expand the tradition it began last year with the lighting of the area's only functioning covered bridge. Presented as a surprise gift last year by the community's developer, Landeavor, to its residents during a Christmas party, this year the event will be open to the greater Waxhaw-area community and will include the entire Community House amenity, model home park and a luminary-lined journey through MillBridge's neighborhood streets.

More than 200 community members will celebrate the beginning of the holiday season by decorating their homes and placing luminaries along their winding sidewalks as the community's amenities – the covered bridge, resident club, airnasium, nostalgic bus stop and model homes will light-up the holiday sky. On Friday, December 7 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., MillBridge resident Rachel Morgan Sawhook will serenade attendees with seasonal favorites at the covered bridge's entrance and old-fashioned holiday gifts will be shared to spread holiday cheer. The Lighting of the Bridge ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m. and all families will have an opportunity to take photos by the Christmas tree.

"MillBridge is a place where family and friends are connected," said Garner. "Lighting our community, and inviting the public to join us for Light Up MillBridge is our way of welcoming them to this authentic neighborhood. It's our second year and we hope it's a new holiday tradition that becomes a standard on busy holiday calendars throughout the years to come."

Attachment: Pictures from last year's Light Up MillBridge are available in 150DPI for promotion of the 2012 event.

About MillBridge: Located in historic Waxhaw, N.C., MillBridge is a 920-acre master-planned community that features the Charlotte areas only functioning covered bridge. The inclusive, resident-focused community offers pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, parks, walking and biking trails, common squares and greenways to the 2,000 residents who will call MillBridge home. The adventure-filled Community House, spanning 9,000 sq. ft. indoors, and more than 60 acres outdoors, offers an aquatic center with three pools, airnasium with full basketball court, fitness center, movie theater and special event facilities.

About the Town of Waxhaw, N.C.: Founded in the 1770's and named in honor of the Indian tribe that once inhabited its land, Waxhaw gained prosperity through commerce that developed with the introduction of the railroad and cotton farming businesses. Its close proximity to Charlotte provides the perfect blend of small town charm and big city convenience. The national historic district covers more than 700 acres and 97 buildings of documented significance. With this heritage, Waxhaw's residents pay tribute to its past as it plans for a fulfilling future of diversity, quality growth and cooperative spirit. For more information, visit: www.waxhaw.com.

Easter Seals UCP Presents Moonlight and Martinis - December 13

Easter Seals UCP is proud to present a fun, new event that promises to take you back to the night club evenings from the 1960's. Tickets are now on sale for this festive fundraiser - Moonlight and Martinis - which takes place on Thursday, December 13, from 7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. at CenterStage at NoDa (2135 North Davidson Street). Guests can expect to hear amazing live music (think Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett), shop incredible silent auction items, enjoy fantastic food and of course, taste themed martinis.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple and can be purchased online at http://charlottemartinis.eventbrite.com. All proceeds benefit Easter Seals UCP's lifelong programs and services that provide support, care and hope to children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges in the Charlotte metro community.

Guests are encouraged to wear their best 1960's attire, but business attire is appropriate.

For more information, contact Brooke Porter at (704) 566-6040.

About Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
Easter Seals UCP is a lifelong partner to people managing disabilities and mental health challenges. Established in 1945, our nonprofit serves more than 20,000 individuals and their families across North Carolina and Virginia through an array of community-based services and solutions. We light the runway, helping people find their own voices, make their own choices, and discover innovative solutions to their challenges. For more information on Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia, please visit www.eastersealsucp.com.

Community invited to spend Thanksgiving Day at the Charlotte Rescue Mission

The Charlotte Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving Day festivities is more than a mid-day meal. It is a full day of opportunities to bring hope to others in our community.

"We make coming to the Rescue Mission on Thanksgiving as special as going to your grandmother's house" says Rev. Tony Marciano, Executive Director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

It all begins bright and early with a hot breakfast served from 6:00am–7:30am. "We will be having a "breakfast buffet with a twist," says Marciano. "Our guests will be served by volunteer waiters."

Our traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings, including our delicious homemade desserts, served between 11:30 and 2:30pm. There will be movies shown during the day. Cell phones will be available for guests to use.

"In addition, our dinner guests will be treated like royalty" says Marciano. "Volunteers will be dressed in white shirts, black pants or skirts to resemble fine dining wait staff. Our guests will be served with heaping portions of food on china, while using silverware, all on a table cloth. There will also be a cloth napkin, folded in a fan, coming from the glass. It resembles a wedding reception."

The Charlotte Rescue Mission is not only serving the homeless, its doors will be open to anyone who wants to celebrate Thanksgiving in a family setting.

What: Community invited Thanksgiving Day at the Charlotte Rescue Mission
When: Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 22 from 6:00am – 2:30pm
Who: Community guests will use donated cell phone service
Where: Charlotte Rescue Mission - 907 West 1st Street. (Diagonally opposite the Carolina Panthers practice fields). Enter through the glassed in security desk at the 2nd building on the left.
Thanksgiving Day schedule--

6:00-7:30am Hot breakfast ordering off a menu
6:00am-3:00pm Movies are shown all day
9am-3pm Cell phones are available to call home
11:30am Mid-day Thanksgiving dinner

About Charlotte Rescue Mission
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 predominately homeless.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday gift ideas from Mint Museum Shops

Forget mall gifts - Mint Museum Shops offer a variety of one-of-a-kind finds. The holiday gift hunt is easy - just stop at one of the two convenient museum locations: Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, or Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road.

"The Mint Museum offer a memorable shopping experience, and gift-givers have the added benefit of knowing they are supporting a treasured local cultural institution with their purchases," said Sandy Fisher, manager and buyer for retail operations at the Mint. Museum members receive 10 percent off all purchases over $10 at the Museum Shops.

Here are some recommendations for this holiday season's finds.

For the bibliophiles:

"One Work"
This groundbreaking new book combining art and scholarship was recently published by The Mint Museum in partnership with Yale University Press. The book, a work of art in itself, includes a hanging hook embedded in its cover and two pullout accordion folds depicting the monumental four-story work by Sheila Hicks in the atrium of Mint Museum Uptown, Mega Footprint Near the Hutch (May I Have this Dance?). ($40)

For the Decorators:

"The Christmas Bell"

The Mint's special edition Christmas ornament for 2012 is handmade by Rebecca Plummer and Jon Ellenbogen of Barking Spider Pottery. It was chosen to commemorate the painting The Christmas Bell (1860) by John Ferguson Weir. This work is part of the special exhibition The Weir Family, 1920-1920: Expanding the Traditions of American Art, on view through January 20 at Mint Museum Uptown. Barking Spider Pottery has operated in the mountains of North Carolina for over 35 years. Each of their beautiful, lightweight ornaments is unique. This ornament is certain to be the perfect addition to any tree! ($19.95)

Queen Charlotte's Crown Ornament

This design is adapted from the crown decorating the frame of the coronation portrait of Queen Charlotte, the city's namesake. ($15)

Painted Wooden Reindeer

These reindeer come in two sizes and lay flat for storage. This item sells out very quickly! ($9.50 to $12.50)

For the Little Ones:

Wooden Toy Race Car

This classic toy for tots is especially popular and is made by Dick Nease of Olde Towne Woodworks from Gore, VA. ($10.50)

For the Fashionistas:

The Little Sequined Bag:

This bag, one of many beaded items that are hot sellers in conjunction with the Mint Museum Randolph fashion exhibition And the Bead Goes On (recently extended to March 31, 2013), is an essential addition to any woman's closet! ($12.50)


Gift of membership
Give a gift that lasts all year long - and provides two gifts for the price of one! For every gift membership to The Mint Museum purchased by a member of the public before December 31, the Mint will give another membership to a family identified by Thompson Child & Family Focus, a local organization serving families in need. This will enable many families to participate in the Mint's educational programming who may not have otherwise had the opportunity. Membership brings unlimited admission to both Mint locations all year long, plus free or discounted admission to many programs and classes, invitations to members-only events, discounts at local businesses and much more! Memberships may be purchased at www.mintmuseum.org/support.

And this is just the beginning! High-res images of all items are available on request.


As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, 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, groundbreaking exhibitions, and riveting educational programs. 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, visit the NEW mintmuseum.org.

8th Annual Thunder Road Marathon Races in Charlotte - Nov. 17

The 8th Annual Thunder Road Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital 5K will be run Saturday, Nov. 17 (rain or shine)
Bag Check: 6:00-7:30AM
Full/Half-Marathon begin at 7:45AM
5K begins at 8:15AM
The Start Line will be on Tryon Street at 1st street/Levine Museum Avenue of Arts intersection. (see media parking info below)
The Finish Line/Victory Lane Area will be at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and S. Davidson Street (see media parking info below)

Publix Thunder Road Marathon Health & Wellness Expo
Friday, Nov. 16
10:00AM – 9:00PM
(Vendor Expo, Packet Pick-up and Registration)
*No race-day registration available

EXPO: The Blake Hotel
555 South McDowell Street
Charlotte, N.C. 28204

· Please check in via phone with Jenni Walker (704-649-6571)
· Any media who want to park by the start or finish lines, or along the course need to print out the attached car pass and put it in their car or media vehicle.
· Media Parking by the Start Line will be located on Levine Museum Avenue of the Arts – please enter from S. Church Street. The attached Thunder Road media pass is required.
· Thunder Road staff will be available after 5:45AM for any on-site media interviews by the start-line area. Please contact Jenni Walker (704-649-6571) to set up an interview in advance.
· Media Parking at First Baptist Church parking lot off of Caldwell Street (this parking lot is NOT open to the public and is only available for Thunder Road staff, vendors and media). For any parking questions contact Jenni Walker at 704-649-6571.

• City Proclamation to be presented by Councilman Andy Dulin at 7:30AM at Start Line
· Fan Zones with entertainment throughout the course: http://www.runcharlotte.com/fanzones.htm
· 2012 Neighborhood Challenge: Neighborhood Associations along the course will be competing for two $500 cash prizes. Click here or visithttp://www.runcharlotte.com/neighbrohood-spotlight.htm for a listing of the participating neighborhoods.
· Thunder Road Stock Car courtesy of Comp-Cal to start race and then park a finish line for photo-op backdrop.
· Victory Lane Highlights:
o Buffalo Wild Wings Patio Celebration
o Chick-fil-A VIP Area
o Entertainment
o Massage Garage
o Awards
· Photo and b-roll opportunities
· Post-race interviews: Winners, runners with inspirational stories, event staff

For a list of road closures, visit http://www.runcharlotte.com/parking-roadclosurers.htm. Some intersections will be closing at 3PM Friday, Nov. 16 and others will begin at 5AM Saturday, Nov. 17.

Detailed course maps can be found at http://www.runcharlotte.com/2012maps.htm. The Half Marathon is limited to three (3) hours and the Marathon is limited to six (6) hours.

About Thunder Road Marathon
The Thunder Road Marathon is the second largest marathon in the Carolinas and unites the excitement of road racing, music, family-friendly entertainment and the Charlotte region's rich heritage of stock car racing. Featuring a marathon, half-marathon and 5K run, the event draws participants from 48 different states and Canada. In its seven-year history, the race has raised more than $250,000 for local charities. For more information or to register or volunteer for the 8th Annual Thunder Road Marathon, zoom to www.runcharlotte.com.

Stayed connected with Thunder Road Marathon on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ThunderRoadMarathon and Twitter at @ThunderRoadCLT.

Charlotte-Meck Schools releases audits and employee survey

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has received the results of an all-employee engagement survey and three audits commissioned by Superintendent Heath Morrison as part of his 100-day entry plan. The employee engagement survey, conducted in October by the consulting firm K12 Insight, found that 76 percent of CMS employees were engaged or highly engaged.

"This survey highlights that the majority of our employees are fully committed to CMS and the work we must do together in service to children," said Dr. Heath E. Morrison, superintendent. "But it also says that we have some significant work to do in reaching the remaining 24 percent. For CMS to fully succeed in serving children, every employee must be personally and professionally engaged. We are committed to advancing this work in partnership with our employees." The survey was designed with input from nearly 200 CMS employees, and explored employee sentiment in seven areas: shared values, work environment, career growth and training, leadership, quality service, communication and feedback/recognition.

The three audits were also conducted by independent outside groups to inform future plans to strengthen the district. A district-wide organizational audit was performed by a team from the Council of the Great City Schools, a national organization representing America's largest urban districts. The audit recommended restructuring CMS to create more efficient, streamlined workflow among departments, and offered several recommendations for specific realignment of executive departments.

"Reshaping the structure of CMS is a critical task in making the district more effective," Dr. Morrison said. "We plan to begin the work with an initial reorganization, which will be followed by additional reshaping of our executive and senior staff during 2013. This is part of a cycle of continuous improvement that will keep us flexible and responsive to our students, families, schools and employees."

A second audit, conducted by Drive West Communications, focused on CMS' communications structure, procedures and performance district-wide. Audit recommendations included restructuring the communications department to enable more proactive and strategic communications planning, a greater emphasis on sharing positive news stories about CMS quickly and effectively, and an increased focus on making information about district-wide initiatives and decision-making more transparent both within CMS and externally.

"Transparency is essential in building public and employee trust," Dr. Morrison said. "There are multiple ways in which we can do this better and we will begin this work immediately. Our district has many good things going on, and we want to do a better job of proactively sharing those stories as well as updates on district initiatives so the public as well as our employees know what's going on."

The third audit examined the district's human resources department and was conducted by AronsConsulting LLC. That audit found that the existing HR structure does not serve schools well and made multiple recommendations to streamline the processes for identifying strong candidates, hiring them and retaining them. There were also recommendations about how to streamline the process for identifying and removing unsuccessful teachers and other employees, as well as suggestions for staffing teaching vacancies, especially hard-to-staff jobs, more efficiently with an early-contract process.

"Finding and keeping great teachers, principals and support staff is one of our most important responsibilities as a district," Dr. Morrison said. "We need to be as streamlined and efficient as possible. We have a lot of work to do in this area, and we will make progress."

The district will continue to use the findings from the three audits and the employee engagement survey to inform decisions in the coming months. More information on priorities and plans will be announced after Dr. Morrison's 100th day at an event Nov. 26, and district work in areas identified as needing improvement will continue throughout the school year.

CPCC recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) was recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit leading the nation's most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success and completion. CPCC, one of 14 institutions designated as a 2012 Leader College, was recognized for demonstrating sustained improvement and accomplishments on key student achievement indicators, including student persistence and completion. The 14 new Leader Colleges are:

· Bay College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/bay_college> (Escanaba, MI)

· Central Piedmont Community College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/central_piedmont_community_college> (Charlotte, NC)

· Community College of Baltimore County<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/community_college_baltimore_county> (Baltimore, MD)

· College of the Ouachitas<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/college_ouachitas> (Malvern, AR)

· Davidson County Community College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/davidson_county_community_college> (Lexington, NC)

· Elgin Community College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/elgin_community_college> (Elgin, IL)

· Greenville Technical College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/greenville_technical_college> (Greenville, SC)

· Lone Star College System<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/lone_star_college_system> (The Woodlands, TX)

· National Park Community College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/national_park_community_college> (Hot Springs, AR)

· Springfield Technical Community College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/springfield_technical_community_college> (Springfield, MA)

· Temple College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/temple_college> (Temple, TX)

· Texarkana College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/texarkana_college> (Texarkana, TX)

· Trident Technical College<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/trident_technical_college> (North Charleston, SC)

· University of Hawai'i Community Colleges<http://achievingthedream.org/college_profile/university_hawaii_community_colleges> (Honolulu, HI)*

"CPCC is committed to creating an engaged college that is focused on student success and completion," said Dr. Tony Zeiss, president of CPCC. "Our many departments work together each day to implement and create innovative strategies, initiatives and interventions that have produced and sustained improved student success across all areas of the College."

Leader Colleges are demonstrating the power of the Achieving the Dream Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement<http://www.achievingthedream.org/institutional_change/four_principles> by raising persistence and graduation rates and closing achievement gaps. Each college approaches the work differently, but with the guidance of the model and Achieving theDream Coaches, colleges implement data-informed programs and policies that build long-term, institution-wide commitment to student success. Examples include: college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, and intensive and individualized advising.
"We are proud of CPCC for earning this respected distinction," said Rachel Singer, Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations and Applied Research. CPCC has raised the bar on promising practices that will impact policies to help more students succeed. They deserve recognition for their dedication to the student success movement."

In order to be eligible for Leader College distinction, colleges must demonstrate commitment to and progress on the principles and values of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement all guided by a student-centered vision focused on equity and excellence. Additionally, each Leader College has successfully implemented at least one student success intervention that is advancing student outcomes.
These colleges have identified workable solutions to issues such as enhancing the experience of first-year students, improving developmental education, closing achievement gaps, strengthening academic and personal advising for students in need of additional support, strengthening links to high schools and four-year institutions to strengthen student preparation and advancement, and increasing retention, persistence rates, and the number of certificate and degree recipients. To learn more about LeaderColleges, visit www.achievingthedream.org/get_involved/leader_colleges<http://www.achievingthedream.org/get_involved/leader_colleges>.
Achieving the Dream, Inc.
Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensivenon-governmental reform network for student success and completion in higher education history. With nearly 200 colleges, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams. To learn more, visit www.AchievingtheDream.org<file:///C:\Users\llewis\Downloads\www.AchievingtheDream.org>.

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in North Carolina, offering nearly 300 degree and certification programs, customized corporatetraining, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. In 2002, the National Alliance of Business named CPCC the Community College of the Year for its response to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational andtraining strategies.

Bank of America Merchant Services Announces Mobile Pay on Demand Solution for Small Businesses

Bank of America Merchant Services, the No. 1-rated electronic payments processor in the U.S.1, has announced the upcoming release of Mobile Pay on Demand. Available on December 3, Mobile Pay on Demand is a new solution designed specifically for small businesses that will turn a client's smartphone or iPad into a mobile point-of-sale terminal. Mobile Pay on Demand will include a free mobile app, free secure card reader, no monthly or annual fees and expanded functionality to meet the needs of small business owners nationwide. Customers can find more information about the product and sign up at http://www.bankofamerica.com/mobilepay [4].

"In today's economic environment, small businesses are looking for secure, easy and portable ways to confidently accept payments beyond cash, and promote their business to a broader customer base," said Tom Bell, chief executive officer, Bank of America Merchant Services. "With Mobile Pay on Demand, we are making it even easier for small business owners to accept secure payments anywhere. The product is fully integrated with existing Bank of America accounts and services, allowing deposits made into a Bank of America small business checking account to be processed as soon as the next business day."

As part of a fully integrated suite of products and services, merchants who sign up for Mobile Pay on Demand can also access BankAmeriDeals and iDeals Marketing Platform Pro. The two services are designed to connect merchants with new and existing customers through promotional offers, online coupons and deals.

"We believe we can meet the combined merchant needs of accepting payments and marketing to clients," said Bell. "Merchants want simple, holistic, integrated solutions that allow them to better serve their own customers in addition to the secure, fast processing that meets their own business needs."

Features of Mobile Pay on Demand include:

• A free mobile app and free secure card reader for smartphones and iPads developed with First Data – a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing - enabling credit card acceptance. The card reader is specially designed to reduce transaction mis-swipes.
• Next-day access to funds through a Bank of America checking account, even when payments are accepted outside of normal business hours2.
• Encryption on every credit card transaction, so customers can be confident their information will be secure.
• Easy self-sign-up, with approval in as little as one hour, with no monthly, annual or set-up fees.
• Pricing includes 2.7 percent swiped3, 3.5 percent plus15¢ keyed4 for Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Also includes transaction processing support AMEX One Point at competitive rates5.
• Integrated redemption of card based offers through the iDeals Marketing Platform allowing merchants to reach more customers.
"Mobile Pay on Demand provides an easy-to-use, secure solution for small businesses that have a need for mobile merchant services," said Robb Hilson, Small Business executive, Bank of America. "Offering a mobile point-of-sale solution for our customers is one more way Bank of America is demonstrating its commitment to serving the needs of small businesses."

With BankAmeriDeals, merchants are able to serve offers to Bank of America online banking and mobile banking customers, who can access the offers for free. Since its launch earlier this year, BankAmeriDeals has served more than 400 million offers, and 2,800 merchants nationwide now participate in the program, including discount department stores, fast food chains and casual dining restaurants.

Also, merchants who sign up and are approved for Mobile Pay on Demand between December 3 and year-end will receive a free, one-year subscription to the iDeals Marketing Platform Pro – a $200 value6. iDeals Marketing Platform is an online marketing tool kit that helps business owners reach customers through promotional offers, coupons and events.

Bank of America's commitment to small businesses

Bank of America has a long history of serving the small business community – providing clients not only with customized product solutions but also with the personal touch of small business experts and specialists. Bank of America is in the final stages of hiring approximately 1,000 small business bankers across the country. These bankers will serve as a dedicated resource for small business owners, helping them assess their companies' deposit, credit and cash management needs. Bank of America continues to actively lend to small businesses across the U.S. Through September of this year, Bank of America extended more than $6.2 billion in new credit to small businesses – an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year. In addition, combined new and renewal small business lending totaled $14.9 billion.

1 Based on bankcard, other credit, and PIN debit sales volume and transactions. Per The Nilson Report, March 2012, Issue 990.

2 After deposit of transactions and only when you have a Bank of America business checking account. Only valid on Visa®, MasterCard® and Discover® transactions. Exceptions may apply.

3 Card-swiped rate applies to swiped Visa, MasterCard, or Discover network transactions (also sometimes referred to as card present transactions) and requires the Mobile Pay card reader. Card-swiped transactions will be listed as "Qualified" on your merchant agreement and statement.

4 Keyed rate will be charged on all manually keyed Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Network transactions that have verified addresses. Keyed transaction will be listed as "Non Qualified" on your merchant application.

5 American Express rates range from 2.30% to 3.50% + $0.00 to $0.15 and will vary based a variety of factors. Please review your merchant agreement and statement which will contain the rate you will be charged.

6 Transaction fees may apply.

About Bank of America Merchant Services

Bank of America Merchant Services, a joint venture between First Data and Bank of America, provides payment solutions by combining the technology and innovative products of First Data with the relationship strength and prominent global brand of Bank of America. Bank of America Merchant Services delivers a comprehensive suite of products and services, called Paymentum™, to merchants of all sizes. Paymentum includes over 100 products including traditional payments like terminals and point-of-sale solutions, gift card and loyalty programs but also provides innovative mobile and ecommerce solutions, security options and customer service. In fact, Bank of America Merchant Services is the number one-rated electronic payments processor in the industry with more than 300,000 active merchants processing more than 13.5 billion transactions annually. For more information, visit http://www.bankofamerica.com/merchant [5].

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 55 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,500 banking centers and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active online banking users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to more than 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom [6].

Andrew Roby Raises $120,000 for Make-A-Wish - A World Record

The Pitchin' for Wishes Cornhole Tourney, co-sponsored by Andrew Roby and Harris Teeter, raised $120,000 for Make-A-Wish® Central & Western North Carolina.

The money will provide hope, strength and joy for as many as 20 children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. The average cost to grant a child's wish through Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina is $6,000.

"The tournament was a lot of fun, and we're thrilled to support the mission of Make-A-Wish in such a meaningful way," said David McGuire, Andrew Roby chief operating officer. "It's great to know that everyone involved with Pitchin' for Wishes has helped make dreams come true for so many deserving children in our area."

Though Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina grants about 200 wishes each year, it has more than 325 qualified children in its pipeline. The organization relies solely on fundraising support from the local community.

"The Andrew Roby family of companies, their employees and vendors are true partners in the Power of a Wish®," said Amy E. Brindley, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina. "We are overwhelmed at the lengths they go to help fund the wishes of children in our community that are battling incredible odds. They are truly a vital part of our Make-A-Wish family."

The Pitchin' for Wishes Cornhole Tourney on Oct. 13 at Freedom Park featured an NCAA bracket-style bag-toss competition, as well as food, music and entertainment. Almost 1,000 people attended the family-friendly event, which was the fifth annual cornhole tournament organized by Andrew Roby. The tournaments have raised a combined $353,000 for various charities.

Last year's event set a Guinness world record with 256 cornhole players. The 2012 tournament broke the record with 288 players, and the results are in the process of being certified by Guinness.

Andrew Roby, the premier custom residential contractor in the Carolinas, specializes in remodeling, kitchen and bath renovations, new homes and handyman services. The company was founded more than 60 years ago as a one-man remodeling firm and has grown into the largest in the Charlotte metro area with offices in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Boone and Atlantic Beach, N.C. With fine materials, unsurpassed craftsmanship and commitment to customer service, Andrew Roby produces one-of-a-kind homes that feature style, luxury and comfort. Visit www.andrewroby.com.


Enjoy High Tea and Holiday Shopping at The Duke Mansion

Looking for an elegant new way to enjoy the holiday and take care of your shopping at the same time?
Experience a delicious high tea and an afternoon of boutique shopping at The Duke Mansion on Sunday, December 2 at 2 pm. The cost is $35 per adult and $15 for children ages 5 to 12. Reserve your spot by November 28 by calling 704/714-4445 or emailing kellis@tlwf.org . The Mansion is located at 400 Hermitage Road in Charlotte's Myers Park.

From 2 - 3 pm, we'll shop 'round The Mansion's dramatic Christmas tree. Participating shops include:
blis Uptown
The Blossom Shop
The Buttercup
Jeffre Scott Apothecary
Reid's Fine Foods
Twenty Degrees Chocolates
and more…
At 3 pm, we'll savor high tea in the living room. Offerings from Executive Chef Harrison Booth will include Duke Mansion signature tea and other tea selections, tea sandwiches, canapes, and sweets.

Built in 1915 and tripled in size by its most famous owner, James Buchanan Duke, The Duke Mansion has been home and host to leaders of the 20th century. Duke's most lasting legacies, including Duke University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment, took shape at the home. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Mansion is now operated as a non-profit with all proceeds being used to preserve and protect this community treasure. Find out more at www.dukemansion.org #

Friday, November 9, 2012

National political analyst David Brooks will speak at Davidson Monday evening, Nov. 12

Davidson College invites the public on Monday, November 12, to a talk analyzing the 2012 elections by New York Times columnist and PBS Newshour commentator David Brooks. Brooks has been an opinion columnist with the paper since 2003. He has also served as a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, and as a contributing editor for Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly.

Brooks will begin his talk, which is titled "What It Means: The 2012 Election and the Future of America," at 8 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall. There is no charge to attend, but tickets are required. They may be obtained for free at the Alvarez College Union ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and are available for a $3 fee at www.davidson.edu/tickets<http://www.davidson.edu/tickets> and at 704-894-2135. If tickets remain, they will be available at no charge at the door on Monday evening.

Brooks is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs. His newest book is titled The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. Among his other books are Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future."

The program is being sponsored by the President's Office and the Vann Center for Ethics.

Celebrate Mayan Art with Chocolate and Stargazing at Mint Museum Randolph

The public is invited to "spice up their evening" by joining The Mint Museum for ArtFusion: Maya on Tuesday, November 13 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road. Admission is FREE for a night of art, chocolate tasting, stories on Mayan mythology and stargazing.

Begin the night by exploring the museum's Art of the Ancient Americas collection, which includes many rare Mayan art items on view. Then, enjoy free chocolate tastings with chocolatiers from Davidson Chocolate Co. Afterward, get ready for a lecture on Mayan mythology (and its fabled "doomsday" implications) with Dr. Dorie Reents-Budet, Consulting Curator of Ancient American Art. And finally, end the night by stargazing and learning about the night sky with Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club. A cash bar will be offered.

"We are extremely excited for this wonderful event showcasing the Mint's Art of the Ancient Americas Collection," said Reents-Budet. "The Mint's collection is nationally acclaimed, and we are thrilled to share the collection with guests through this event-filled evening."

One of The Mint Museum's painted Mayan pottery vessels was recently loaned to the Princeton Art Museum's exhibition Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vase Painting of the Ik' Kingdom, which is on view through February 17, 2013. This exquisite exhibition is the first ever presentation of many works by two of the finest painters in the Classic Period, the pieces not having been together since around the year 760 in northern Guatemala. Dr. Reents-Budet was recognized in the dedications of the exhibition's accompanying catalogue for her contributions to the field.

"The catalogue is a tour de force of scholarship and design, and like the exhibition, is the first publication to explore the works of two master Mayan painters in the same light as is traditionally done for other areas of the world," said Reents-Budet. "In all, The Mint Museum is in good company in this exhibition and publication, both of which will be seen widely and for many years to come."

The ArtFusion: Maya event will bring new opportunities for interaction with Latino artists. Ana Lucia Divins, the Mint's newly hired Latino Community Education Liaison, has invited a group of artists from Art Sí, a community initiative supporting Latino arts, to attend the event. "It is exciting to be able to offer this opportunity to the community. This is an interesting inter-cultural event and we are looking forward to welcoming a diverse group of people for this special night," Divins said. And in a further illustration of the Mint's increased bilingual outreach efforts, Mint Museum Randolph will host a free children's story time featuring the bilingual duo Criss, Cross Mangosauce (of which Divins is a member) at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday, November 10.

More information about Princeton University Art Museum's exhibition is available at www.princetonartmuseum.org. Images of the Mint's loaned item and interviews with Dr. Reents-Budet are available on request. Information about ArtFusion: Maya, upcoming performances by Criss, Cross Mangosauce and more events is available at www.mintmuseum.org/happenings.


As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, 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, groundbreaking exhibitions, and riveting educational programs. 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.

Charlotte area real estate sales, prices show gains in October

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports that residential sales outpaced last year with closings in October 2012 (2,575) up 36.8 percent compared to October 2011, when closings totaled 1,882.

Both the median and average sales prices showed gains. The average price in October 2012 ($204,335) was up 4.9 percent compared to last year ($194,739), and the median price ($157,000) was up 3.3 percent compared to October 2011 ($151,942). These gains mark nine months of year-over-year price increases for both price indices.

The average list price in October 2012 ($235,920) increased 6.2 percent over the same period last year ($222,194), bringing the percent of original list price received measure to 92.4 percent compared to 90.0 percent last October. Pending sales data show demand is strong. Contracts in October totaled 2,783, up 58.5 percent compared to the previous period when contracts totaled 1,756.

New residential listings in October 2012 totaled 3,448, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to last year when new listings totaled 3,238. Inventory continued its downward trend, decreasing 27.3 percent compared to last October, leaving the CarolinaMLS region with a 6 months' supply of homes for sale.

Association/CMLS President Jennifer Frontera said, "Now that the market has reached equilibrium at a six months' supply, we're no longer in a buyer's market."

Homes in October spent less time on market. The average number of days a property was on the market from the time it was listed until it closed (list to close) was 149 days, which is a decrease of 18 days compared to last October. Days on Market until sale (DOM), the metric that accrues for "Active" and "Under Contract-Show" statuses only, was 108 days compared to 122 last year.

Foreclosures and short sales together made up 13.2 percent of all new listings compared with 17.4 percent last year, while 15.3 percent of closed sales were distressed, down from 20.2 percent last October. Foreclosures continued to sell rapidly; the list-to-close figure was 63 days for single-family homes and 47 days for townhome-condo properties.

Frontera said, "We're seeing fewer distressed sales as a share of the market and prices are reflecting this. With inventory dropping, buyers can expect to see prices continue to rise."

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit www.CarolinaHome.com and click on "Community Data." For an interview with 2012 association/CarolinaMLS 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 6,000 Realtor® members with the resources and services needed to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region's primary resource for residential real estate information. The association operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CarolinaMLS), which has approximately 7,200 Subscribers and is the private cooperative Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings in a multicounty service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area, as well as listings outside this service area.

Series of Public Meetings Announced for Tax Revaluation Review

Pearson's Appraisal Services has announced the dates and places for a series of meetings to discuss with property owners the findings and recommendations from its review of the 2011 Mecklenburg County property revaluation. One meeting will be held in each Board of County Commissioners district, and will include details related to findings in the district where the meeting is held. The six BOCC district meetings will follow Pearson's presentation of its review findings and recommendations at the Nov. 13 Board of County Commissioners workshop, which will be held at 3 p.m. in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center.

At the beginning of Pearson's review, a first round of public meetings was held in July and August to provide property owners an opportunity to voice their concerns about the revaluation. Pearson's will spend a total of 16 weeks on the assessment including all aspects of administrative procedures, conformity to legal requirements, accepted appraisal standards, integrity of data, and the dissemination of information to the public.

Meeting dates:
November 13 – District 5 – Marion Diehl Recreation Center – 2219 Tyvola Road
November 14 – District 1 – Cornelius Town Hall – 21445 Catawba Ave
November 15 – District 4 – Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center – Room 280
November 15 – District 6 – Matthews Town Hall – 232 Matthews Station Street
November 19 – District 2 – First Baptist Church West - 1801 Oaklawn Avenue
November 19 – District 3 - Living Faith Baptist Church -8600 Hood Road

All meetings are 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and are open to the public. There is no need to register in advance.

The Board authorized contracting with Pearson's to analyze the revaluation to address concerns expressed by several home owners about changes in property values as well as the notification and appeals process. Pearson's will provide a final report to the Board at the Board's Nov. 20 meeting.

Davidson College schedules production of "The Pride" Nov. 14-18

The Davidson College Theatre Department invites the public from November 14 through 18 to its production of The Pride, a play that contrasts the gay experience in 1958 and 2008. This tale by acclaimed British playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell portrays romantic and platonic relationships through moments of loyalty and betrayal. As they discover their personal identities, characters explore the power of love, lust and friendship.

Senior theatre major Elizabeth Schneider' 13 will direct four Davidson student actors in this duel-era story of self-discovery. On the 1958 set, Phillip is married to Sylvia, who is illustrating Oliver's most recent children's book. There's an obvious attraction between Philip and Oliver when they meet, leaving all three characters wondering what to do about their tense, unspoken emotions. In 2008, Phillip gets fed up and leaves his unfaithful partner Oliver who then turns to Sylvia, the woman who introduced the two, for consolation. Campbell's play explores the "then and now" of gender roles, and what it means to be gay in middle-class western society.

Productions will be November 14 – 17 at 7:30 p.m. and November 18 at 2 p.m., all in the Barber Theatre in Cunningham Theatre Center. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for seniors, $7 for faculty and staff and $5 for students. The performance contains graphic sexual content and brief nudity, and is recommended for ages 17 and up. Call 704-894-2135 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays for reservations, or purchase online at www.davidson.edu/tickets<http://www.davidson.edu/tickets>.
Schneider said she chose to direct The Pride "first and foremost because it is a beautiful play. The characters are relatable and can teach us all something about ourselves."

She appreciates The Pride's minimalist setting and small number of actors as a challenge in maintaining simplicity without compromising accuracy. Schneider also knew she would be directing on a college campus in a state that recently voted down gay marriage. "This is an important, pertinent issue that's created a lot of change in the past few years," she said. "I wanted to focus on it and do something politically challenging."

The cast is Tom James '15 as Philip, Megan Pratt '13 as Sylvia, Allen Rigby '14 as Oliver and Greg Thorn '15 as supporting actor. Theatre major Christian Hatch'15 designed the set and Barbara Wesselman designed costumes. Josh Peklo is lighting designer and Sarah Welty is sound producer.

For more information about the production, call 704-894-2930.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.

Turkeys needed to feed the community on Thanksgiving Day

Each Thanksgiving Day, the Charlotte Rescue Mission opens its doors to all those seeking food, comfort and hope. The tradition continues as we hope to collect over 100 turkeys during our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive.

"Our goal is that all those who come to the Mission on Thanksgiving Day receive a hot meal and the hope of a new tomorrow from the troubles they are facing today," says Rev. Tony Marciano, Executive Director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. "We served nearly 1,200 meals last year and we hope to feed even more this Thanksgiving. But we can't do it alone. That's why we need the love and support of the Charlotte community."

The Charlotte Rescue Mission needs turkeys from 15 to 25 pounds each. And they need to be frozen for health and safety reasons. Donations may be dropped off at the Charlotte Rescue Mission located at Cedar and West First Street, diagonally opposite the Panther Practice Fields.

About Charlotte Rescue Mission

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 predominately homeless.