Friday, December 26, 2008

First Night

Don't forget First Night, Uptown on New Year's Eve! Events run from 3:00p to Midnight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LYNX Blue Line Interruption

Please be aware that on Sunday, December 21, from 6:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., the LYNX Blue Line will not operate north of the Carson Light Rail Station due to construction of a pedestrian bridge in Center City. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will provide free connecting buses that will operate between the Carson Light Rail Station and the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC)/Arena Station during this time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Third Ward / Year in Review

Third Ward's year-end recap is below. If you did not receive this via e-mail, subscribe to our distribution list by sending an e-mail to president@third-ward.org. Thanks!

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Good morning, I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season! As we close the year, I wanted to send a final message to review the highlights of 2008 and the promise of 2009.

2008 was another memorable year in Third Ward's march forward. More young families continue to stay and grow here, even catching the attention of the Charlotte Observer in a front-page article in April. In the cycle of life, we also lost some longtime residents with the passing of Mrs. Roberts and the relocation of Tony Nimmons after decades in the neighborhood.

Personal connections have been made at our bountiful community garden, our annual Picnic in the Park, and through socials sponsored by neighborhood businesses. I thank the City Club, My Townhome, Reliant Group Properties, and Hartigan's Irish Pub for their generosity. Third Ward business participation went beyond social events, too. STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates dedicated a springtime Saturday to Irwin Creek cleanup, and Enventys offered its creative resources toward an emerging identity program for the neighborhood.

Charlotte continues to find our neighborhood as a gracious host to its best events and amenities. In October we welcomed the Komen Race for the Cure and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and we can't forget the Panthers at the top of the NFC South. Though we still await groundbreaking of Knights Stadium, we can view the dramatic transformation of South Tryon Street into a world-class commercial and cultural destination.

At our neighborhood meetings, we welcomed guests like Michael Smith, Phil Kline, and Chief Rodney Monroe. Chief Monroe's visit, which came just five weeks into his tenure, was our best attended meeting of the year and was even covered on the evening news.

I am very pleased with the success of our website. Since its relaunch in March, the site has attracted almost 1,500 unique visitors. Third-ward.org has been the conduit for disseminating hundreds of posts and documents to the neighborhood. Through the site and our e-mail distribution list, there is much more information about Third Ward readily at hand.

In 2009, many of us will face uncertainty in our professional lives as we experience the threat or reality of layoffs and a faltering economy. With the change of presidential administrations, one hopes that the promise of improved infrastructure will continue to offer an even better quality of life to urban neighborhoods including Third Ward. At the same time, we will be challenged to ensure that what is built enhances the beauty and variety of our neighborhood.

Regardless of our physical surroundings, 2009 should be a year when we look to grow closer to our friends and neighbors during difficult times. We will never change our hospitable attitude to greater Charlotte, but we will look to grow our own community and identity more visibly. The neighborhood association will step up its efforts to bring people together in 2009, with more outreach and more events. (You'll have the chance to provide your suggestions and feedback in a survey to be released in January - and always to me personally.) Whether through an "official" event or not, I invite you to say "hello, my name is..." to the people you see in the neighborhood.

Finally, I would like to thank the officers, board, and volunteers who have done so much for Third Ward this year, including the condominium association presidents who have been active. I would also like to recognize Keith and Amy Hall, residents who distinguish themselves through constant participation in neighborhood events and willingness to take on some unglamorous tasks - parking and neighborhood watch among them - in service of the neighborhood. Thank you very much.

Happy holidays! See you in January.

John

John Schwaller
President
Third Ward Neighborhood Association
third-ward.org

Monday, December 15, 2008

CATS Airport Sprinter

Third Ward's response to the proposed route for the CATS Airport Sprinter can be found on the Development + Infrastructure page.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gold Rush Forum

CATS will host a public meeting on Thursday, December 11th at 4:00p. According to a press release, "CATS is researching several service change proposals that if adopted, would take effect between February and March 2009. Citizens are encouraged to attend the public meetings to review the proposals and provide feedback to CATS staff." The meeting will focus specifically on the Gold Rush service, as well as the First Ward Shuttle. It will take place at the Government Center, Room CH-14.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

First Night Charlotte by Charlotte Center City Partners

"Begun in Boston in 1976, First Night is an alcohol-free community celebration of the New Year that is now celebrated in over 200 cities internationally. Entertainment, art, ritual, and festivities are all intertwined at First Night.
The celebration aims to advance the public’s appreciation of visual and performing arts through an innovative, diverse, and high-quality New Year’s Eve program that offers a shared cultural experience, accessible and affordable to all. The festivities will run from 3pm until midnight ...
Nontraditional locations (bank lobbies, municipal buildings, churches, and balconies), traditional locations (theatres and auditoriums), as well as the outdoor cityscape (fountains, streets, building facades, and plazas) will play host to a wide array of programs, exhibitions, and shows at the same time, making First Night a truly unique experience that cannot be missed.
The evening will culminate with a countdown to midnight and grand finale at the main stage located at 300 South Tryon. The main stage area will also feature a resolution wall where kids of all ages can add their New Year resolutions.
Admission buttons will go on sale throughout the community beginning Thanksgiving weekend and will cost $10. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, visit http://www.firstnightcharlotte.com/."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Tree Lighting

A picture from tonight's Christmas Tree Lighting at Gateway Village...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Charlotte Rescue Mission

The Charlotte Rescue Mission provides drug and alcohol recovery programs to men and women who are homeless, or about to become homeless, and its quiet headquarters is right here in our neighborhood. This Thanksgiving, a day of meals and movies is planned, with free phone time available to participants.
Volunteer space is already filled up for Thanksgiving day. However, if you would like to join the mission's efforts. homemade desserts are needed for Thanksgiving Day. If you are interested, please contact Tony Marciano via e-mail or at (704) 806-4693.
Interested in doing more? The mission's Christmas Wish List and Volunteer Opportunities Guide are good places to start.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thunder Road Marathon

Third Ward welcomes the Thunder Road Marathon, with a route that will pass through the neighborhood on Saturday, December 13th. The route will include Trade Street, Cedar Street, Fourth Street, and Mint Street. There are a variety of ways to participate. Register by December 12th if you are interested in running the marathon, half marathon, or 5k (there is no race day registration), or create a spectator event. My family will be cheering on a friend ourselves, so let me know if you are planning to do the same!

Tonight's Meeting...

...is at Hartigan's Irish Pub at 7:00p. First round of beer is on the house. See you there!

Friday, November 21, 2008

NEXT MEETING

Our next neighborhood meeting will be the last of the year. Drop in on a brief CMPD update followed by cocktail hour at Hartigan's Irish Pub, this Tuesday, November 25th, at 7:00p. The first round is on the house!
Hartigan's is located at 601 South Cedar Street and is in walking distance of most/all of Third Ward. The pub has had "New Owners - New Staff - New Attitude" since earlier this year and is eager to take its place as a neighborhood institution. Drop in to spend some time with your neighbors and friends before the holiday season gets really hectic!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CMS Holiday Donation

Interested in donating to Uptown's schools this holiday season? See this list for gift ideas, and let me know what you decide to give.

Holiday Events Begin

Gateway Village will conduct a tree lighting on Thursday, December 4th at 6:00p. Events that also include a holiday market will happen that day from 11:00a through 7:00p.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gateway Village Incident

CMPD lists the following in its Significant Events Log from yesterday evening: "Four subjects were traveling together in a vehicle when two of the subjects got into an altercation. During the altercation, one subject produced a knife and stabbed the other. The victim was transported by medic w/ [non-life threatening] injuries. [Assault with a Deadly Weapon] Unit and [Crime Scene Search] responded. The suspect was taken into custody."
This incident took place where Fifth Street and Sixth Street intersect on the cemetery side of Gateway Village. Our Area Commander will provide additional details as he finds them.
Thanks to Keith Hall for the tip.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Additional Updates

The Observer's new article gives some more details on the crime, along with reaction from local retailers. The latest account corrects earlier reporting, and states that Richard Jordan has been convicted of several crimes.
Last night WSOC-TV additionally reported that Jordan spent six years in prison. According to that report he has confessed to the murders. This article on WSOC's website quotes CMPD's Captain Jeff Estes: "Center city has the lowest violent crime rate in the city, so this is very rare for this to happen... We want to make it clear to the public and people living in the area that this is not a random act of violence.”
At our November meeting, CMPD will supplement their typical monthly report with information on personal safety. If you have not met our Community Officers I would recommend coming out to meet them. They will be available, as always, for Q & A during the meeting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

CMPD Update

I spoke again with our Area Commander. At this time the shootings are not thought to be related to drug or gang activity or a robbery. Rather, there was a personal dispute between the shooter and victims. From what I can understand, the victims had no criminal record and were "innocents" in the case. Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy.

Suspect Charged

Richard Henry Jordan has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder in the Gateway Village shootings of last night. Updated Observer article here. Jordan has an arrest record that includes assault, robbery, and possession of cocaine with intent to sell, but no record of convictions.

Shooting Update

Our CMPD Area Commander returned my call this morning, and we spoke just moments ago. As of this morning, CMPD has suspects in custody. CMPD is examining motives, such as drugs, gang activity, or robbery. Additionally, bike officers will be in the neighborhood tonight to talk to people and answer any questions.
The Observer's article has been amended with the following statement: "Detectives told reporters this morning that they don't believe the shootings were random."
From what I can discern, neither the victims nor the perpetrators were Third Ward residents. I will keep you posted as I learn more.

Gateway Village Shooting

Please see this article for the latest information on the Gateway Village incident of last night. I have contacted our CMPD Area Commander and will share any updates that I can in the coming days. If you were a witness in any way, contact CMPD immediately at (704) 432-TIPS.
It is hard to understand how a place many of us walk daily and nightly could be the site of a "shooting spree" resulting in the loss of life. The common steps to personal safety are well-known, but bear repeating:
  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Introduce yourself to your neighbors - and don't forget that the students, retailers, and businesspeople are our neighbors too!
  3. Call 911 if you see something suspicious.

The association has already been planning several visitors to discuss safety at an upcoming meeting. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cedar Street Buses

Residents who live on Cedar Street (between Fourth Street and Morehead Street) and are concerned about a steep increase in bus traffic should contact me. The neighborhood association and other Third Ward stakeholders agree that Cedar Street is an "essential" neighborhood street, a residential and pedestrian corridor that should remain free of frequent bus traffic. Signatures are needed to promote an alternative route that remains within walking distance of Cedar Street residents, while serving additional residential, employment, and lodging centers within Third Ward.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE TODAY

If you haven't heard... today is Election Day. Get out and vote!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TONIGHT

Tonight is a busy night for Third Ward, with the Johnson & Wales Way/Fourth Street Improvements Public Meeting at 5:45p, followed by the monthly neighborhood meeting at 7:00p. We welcome Phil Kline of the Mint Museum and Mary Stauble of Mecklenburg County. Both events are in the Hance Auditorium at Johnson & Wales University, at 801 West Trade Street. See you there!

Monday, October 27, 2008

NSC

Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte will meet this Thursday, October 30th, 6:00p at Providence United Methodist Church.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Meet The Chief, Part Two

If you missed your opportunity to meet CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe at Third Ward's July meeting, CMPD is organizing a second chance. A forum will be hosted at the Government Center on Thursday, November 13th, at 6:00p. Free parking is available in the deck across Davidson Street, and the meeting will take place in Room 267.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Voting

Election Day is November 4th with early voting already in progress at the library's main branch and other nearby locations. See http://www.meckboe.org/ for early voting locations, and follow the "Sample Ballots" link to see exactly who you will be voting for.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Carolinas' Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place Uptown at 10:00a on Thursday, November 27th - Thanksgiving Day, naturally. For more information, see this link!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blood Drive

Gateway Village will host a blood drive from 9:00a to 1:30p tomorrow, October 21st. Interested in donating? Schedule an appointment here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Community Bonds

Catherine DuPre of My Community Bonds sends this link for those interested in learning more about the bonds on the ballot next month. Questions? Contact Catherine directly.

Neighborhood Schools

Interested in supporting our neighborhood schools? You can link your Harris Teeter VIC card to Irwin Avenue Elementary by applying code 1609 at checkout. Thanks to Chuck Sawicki for the tip!

Sustainable Charlotte

Sustainable Charlotte offers free design services for commercial spaces, and can sometimes even offer donated materials for such projects. Contact Christy Denning for more information.

Candidate Survey

Neighbors For a Safer Charlotte has performed a survey of political candidates to determine their approach to crime and safety in our area. For the summary, follow this link.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Plus One

Yesterday Jennifer and I welcomed Julia Marie to the family. Born at 5:48p, she weighed in at 6lb 14oz. Mom and baby are beautiful and healthy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Charlotte's Got A Lot

You may have seen the "A LOT" television advertisements airing locally. Here is Visit Charlotte's companion website to that marketing campaign.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mr. Big

Mary Newsrom wrote this article in today's Observer. It reminds me of how the work of small organizations - such as neighborhood associations! - makes a big difference in our community, and is sometimes not as well-publicized as it could be. With everything happening in our lives and in our city at this moment, I don't know if we can count on "Mr. Big" to sustain us in the near future. Improving our quality of life is up to us!

Picnic in the Park

Third Ward's Picnic in the Park will be held October 18th at Frazier Park for area residents, businesses (and employees), and organizations. The event will run from noon until 2:00p, and is a joint effort of the Third Ward Neighborhood Association, Johnson & Wales University, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, Charlotte Center City Partners, and the Charlotte Rescue Mission. Come out and celebrate your community while enjoying an afternoon of food, music, and family activities.

Bring your own picnic or enjoy free hot dogs, pizza, chips and drinks (for the first 500 people). Johnson & Wales will provide dessert!

Entertainment includes a live band, For Peace, salsa dancing program and instruction, kids' activities organized and staffed by Johnson & Wales students, and games including cornhole, horseshoes, and checkers. There will also be appearances by our favorite team mascots.

For more information on Picnic in the Park, please contact Moira Quinn at (704) 332-2227 or mquinn@charlottecentercity.org.

Friday, October 3, 2008

VoteSmart

VoteSmart.org is a nonpartisan political site designed to help voters make informed decisions in elections from a national to local level. Simply enter your zip code to discover relevant information on all the candidates.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ribbons/Bows for Breast Cancer

Don't forget it is breast cancer awareness month! This Friday afternoon we'll be installing the ribbons/bows along portions of the routes serving the Komen Race for the Cure and the Avon Walk. Let me know if you can help!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Center City Parks Vision Plan Workshop

Parks & Recreation is hosting another Parks Vision Plan Workshop to solicit parks ideas from Uptown residents. Make your voice heard! The meeting will take place Tuesday, October 21st, 6:00p at Trinity Episcopal School in nearby First Ward.

It's Official

The Frazier Park Dog Park's "Official" Grand Opening will take place Sunday, October 12th, at 2:00p. See this invite.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CATS Budget

Last post on this for the day, I promise. An overall CATS system budget discussion will take place October 7th from 11:30a to 1:30p at the Main Library's Francis Auditorium.
A quote regarding the event: “We want to have a dialogue with citizens to share CATS’ progress and challenges faced over the past nine years and to ask for the community’s opinion on shaping the future of the transit system,” said Dee Pereira, CATS’ Chief Financial Officer. “At each meeting we will be asking attendees to fill out a survey to help us gauge what service(s) is most important to the community.”

CATS Purple Line

Is this starting to sound familiar? A public meeting on the purple line, which will terminate at Gateway Station is also planned soon. October 9th at 6:oop, the Sugar Creek Library at 4045 North Tryon Street will host the session.

CATS Silver Line

The CATS Silver Line will eventually run from Uptown southeast to Matthews. Do you have a reverse commute along this route? If so, join a public meeting on the silver line, Tuesday, October 7th at 6:00p. The meeting will be held at Memorial United Methodist Church, 4012 Central Avenue.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MEETING TONIGHT

Tonight's meeting will be at the Gateway YMCA, 7:00p. See you there!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Resident Meeting for Uptown Parks

Citizens interested in the future of recreation and the environment in Uptown Charlotte are invited to join a residents' stakeholder meeting about a Center City Master Plan for Parks and Open Space. The meeting will occur September 18th, at 6:00p at Trinity Episcopal School, 750 East 9th Street.
Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, Charlotte Center City Partners, PROS Consulting, and the Project for Public Spaces are collaborating to seek public participation in the plan. Goals of the plan are to integrate green lined streets, active public spaces, greenways and open spaces, establishing public parks and maximizing connections to cultural, hospitality, transit, and educational facilities. Resident input will be included in Parks and Recreation's 10-year Master Plan.
For more information, contact Moira Quinn at Charlotte Center City Partners.

American Heart Association Heart Walk

Next Saturday, September 20th, Uptown Charlotte will host the American Heart Association's Heart Walk. The event begins at Founders' Hall at 7:30a and will route walkers down through Third Ward and Wesley Heights. Trade Street, Graham Street, Fourth Street, Greenleaf Avenue, and Cedar Street will be affected by closures.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hands On Charlotte

Hands On Charlotte is a locally based nonprofit organization that coordinates volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, groups, and businesses. The organization will hold its 16th annual Hands On Charlotte Day on Saturday, October 18th, and will bring together more than 1,000 volunteers to participate in service projects throughout the city.
The event kickoff will take place at EpiCentre, after which volunteers will spread out to work at dozens of project sites, including several within Third Ward.
Interested participants can sign up for projects here. There is no participation fee, and each volunteer will receive a free t-shirt.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 11 Service

Mecklenburg County is hosting a memorial service at Frazier Park, commemorating the 7th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist strike. All are welcome. The field at Frazier Park has already been decorated with thousands of flags, representing the nationalities of those who lost their lives in the attacks in the shape of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The service begins promptly at 8:30a Thursday morning.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Third Ward and Transit

This Sunday's Observer reported on the association's opposition to the CATS Vehicle Maintenance Facility planned next to the railroad tracks just south of West Fourth Street.
The concerns of the neighborhood were reflected accurately, with one exception. The neighborhood does not oppose anything associated with Gateway Station because the line is "not completely sure to exist." We actively support public transit, especially light rail and the streetcar, regardless of funding timelines. Though this is a minor issue, I have contacted the author to clarify; I also wanted to be sure residents were correctly informed.

Blues, Brews, & BBQ

Charlotte Shout's annual Blues, Brews, & BBQ event takes place this weekend on Tryon Street between Sixth and Tenth Streets. This year's festivities include the Hog Jog 5k, Great American BBQ Tour, Charlotte Cornhole Championship, and naturally, beer and barbeque. All of the events are listed here. Streets will reopen Sunday morning. Enjoy the food and drink!

Monday, September 1, 2008

North Corridor Vehicle Maintenance Facility

After gathering the input of Third Ward residents, the neighborhood association has determined there are too many "unknowns" to support the CATS North Corridor Vehicle Maintenance Facility at this time. The board elected to oppose the facility until certain concerns are resolved.
Our concerns are listed in this letter, which was presented to CATS after the most recent stakeholders' meeting. Notes from that stakeholders' meeting should be distributed within the next week; I will post them on third-ward.org as soon as possible.

Bearden Update

The latest Romare Bearden Park presentation - dated 7/31 - can be found on the Parks + Natural Resources page.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Park It! Office Moving

For those who plan on picking up NFL hang tags or residential parking permits after September 13th, Park It! will be in a new location. The new office will be at 1440 South Tryon Street, Suite 108, just one block west of the LYNX Blue Line Bland Street Station.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rain or Shine

Tonight's meeting will continue regardless of weather. Gateway Plaza's roof terrace is serviced by an adjacent conference room with kitchenette. Don't let the rain deter you from getting to know your neighbors - see you at 7:00p!

SOCIAL TONIGHT

Tonight's Third Ward Neighborhood Social will take place at Gateway Plaza Condominiums, 718 West Trade Street. Sponsors My Townhome and Reliant Group have arranged for catering by Press. See you there!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stewart Creek Greenway

Wesley Heights' Stewart Creek Greenway (and associated park on Freedom Drive) will open on Saturday, September 13th. This leg connects with the greenway through Frazier Park that we are all familiar with. Wesley Heights has kindly invited Third Ward residents to attend, and Parks & Rec will provide a grill for preparation of lunch. The event will last from 10:30a to 1:30p.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Canine Central

Have you visited the new Dog Park? If so, let me know about it.

Historic Charlotte Tours

Historic Charlotte, Inc. periodically gives tours and presentations highlighting Charlotte's historic amenities. Next up is a study of the Early Blues Music Scene, at 5:30p on September 16th at Jillian's South End. On October 28th, a guided tour of Pinewood/Elmwood Cemetery will be available. See http://www.historiccharlotte.org for more details!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dog Park Opening!

Good news: The Frazier Park Dog Park will open on Tuesday, August 19th! A Grand Opening event will follow - likely in October - but the park will be open for general use next week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I-277 Cap

See the Charlotte Observer's update on a potential "cap" for I-277 to connect Uptown to South End.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NFL Hang Tags

Thanks to Greg Burnham at Oak Park for the reminder on hang tags! With the Panthers preseason about to kick off, hang tags are needed for street parking in Third Ward during stadium events. The tags are free at Charlotte's Park It! office, at 229 South Brevard Street. Your vehicle registration is needed to apply.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Charlotte Shout Culinary Arts Experience

Johnson & Wales University will host the Charlotte Shout Culinary Arts Experience on September 26th & 27th. The event will feature culinary celebrities Cat Cora (Iron Chef America), Billy Strynkowski (Cooking Light Magazine), and Curtis Stone (Take Home Chef). Additional events include the Grey Goose VIP Lounge and the Discover Wine with Robert Mondavi Tour. See this link for more information on this exciting event!

America's Most Walkable Neighborhoods

You may remember an item on WalkScore that I posted earlier in the year. WalkScore measures a location's walkability based upon its access to urban amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, parks, and entertainment.
WalkScore recently released an index ranking walkability among major cities. A typical Third Ward address easily ranks in the top ten, matching or exceeding the walkability of such cities as Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
The bad news is that Charlotte ranked #38 of 40 cities. Residents of other Charlotte neighborhoods: Come experience our quality of life!
I have added the WalkScore "tile" to third-ward.org. See the right hand side of this page to try out your own address.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Igunnuko International African Festival

Third Ward's Frazier Park will host the 2008 Igunnuko International African Festival this weekend! The festival brings local, regional, national, and international artists and performers together to celebrate African heritage through the arts.
This year's festival will include a marketplace for crafts, jewelry, clothing, and art; food vendors specializing in African, Caribbean, and Soul food; and a children's educational village. It will run three days beginning Friday, August 1st, and will run 12p to 9p each day.

7th Annual Book Bash!

On August 16th the Gateway YMCA will host its 7th Annual Book Bash. The Book Bash is a program that distributes backpacks, school supplies and books to 1,000 area elementary school students.
The Neighborhood Association has supported this event with donations and volunteer labor for years. If you are interested, see this flyer for more information, or contact Chris Orr at the Gateway YMCA directly to volunteer. See you there!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Three for Four

Today's Observer reports the third of four lawsuits intended to block construction of the new Knights stadium has been dismissed. So far, the county's actions have been found to be in compliance with the law. A state panel will review the bond package more closely, and a fourth lawsuit awaits review.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crime Report from Plaza-Midwood

The below was posted on Plaza-Midwood's crime blog. Please continue to watch out for yourselves and neighbors, and always check credentials! If you see anything like this in progress, contact 911, followed by David at AT&T at (704) 724-6243.

"I was going to inform you of an incident at my house on Wednesday July 22. I had two white guys in a white Toyota truck with AT&T on the side come to my house and I was not home.
My neighbor saw them and called me, I informed her I did not have AT&T. She watched the guys and they rang the doorbell and no one was at home so they then went and opened my fence gate and started in the back yard. She yelled and questioned the guys and they gave her a story about a work order etc. They did not have the work order or my name. She called me and I spoke with the gentlemen and nothing was making sense. I called AT&T and their security division called me back and informed me they do not have Toyota trucks nor was anyone
scheduled for a service call in the area yesterday at that time. AT&T has alerted their drivers and security division to be on the lookout for this truck ... David at AT&T ... said all AT&T reps wear khaki pants and an AT&T shirt with a ID around their neck which these guys were not wearing."

Catalyst Sales

Third Ward's newest residential tower, Catalyst, sold 58 of its 462 units in the first three weeks of sales. See this Doug Smith blog post for more.

WSOC Reports

A short article and video from WSOC's coverage of last night's neighborhood meeting are posted here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Big Meeting

An excellent turnout tonight for Chief Rodney Monroe of CMPD and David Carol of CATS! Brigida Mack's coverage of the meeting ran on WAXN's 10:00p news just moments ago. Contact me with your comments about the meeting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Movies Under the Stars

Saturday, August 30th, Ratatouille will play after a day of swimming at Ray's Splash Planet. Join the fun at 215 North Sycamore Street; the movie starts at 7:00p.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dog Park Update

Blaine Gregory of Mecklenburg Parks & Recreation sent the following update yesterday: "Fencing is scheduled to begin being installed this week and will take 7-10 days max. to complete. We will then need to install benches, cans, water fountains, etc…We're hoping to have everything completed sometime by the 1st or 2nd week of August and then have a "soft" opening. A more formal event may occur later this summer."
The countdown begins...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Next Meeting

I am very excited to announce two coveted guest speakers for our July 22nd meeting: Chief Rodney Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and David Carol of the Charlotte Area Transit System.
Chief Monroe took his position approximately five weeks ago, and faces heightened concerns about increasing crime in Charlotte. David Carol, project manager for the North Corridor Commuter Rail line, is prepared to explain a proposal for a vehicle maintenance facility in Third Ward. Welcome Chief Monroe and Mr. Carol!
As always, I encourage you to take the opportunity to learn about issues affecting our neighborhood by attending the meeting. This will be one of the most memorable neighborhood meetings of the year. I look forward to seeing you there!

Street Closure

West Stonewall Street between South College and South Church Streets will be closed at 7pm Friday, July 18th, reopening at 12pm Monday, July 21st. Between South Church and South Tryon Streets, eastbound traffic will be maintained in a single lane. No through traffic will be allowed in the block between South Tryon and South College Streets.
Access to businesses will be maintained. South Tryon Street will remain open during this construction. Eastbound traffic will be detoured around the closure via South Tryon, East Third, and South Brevard Streets. Westbound traffic will be detoured around the closure via South College, West MLK and South Church Streets.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Volunteers

If you are interested in getting more involved with Third Ward, check out the new Volunteer page at right. And if you have a project in mind that isn't listed, let me know and I will add your "cause" to the list.

Monday, July 14, 2008

June Minutes

Minutes from the June meeting have been posted on the Meetings page.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bottoms Up for Booty Pub Crawl

This Thursday, July 10th, a benefit pub crawl for 24 Hours of Booty will take place at Connolly’s on 5th, Madison’s, and The Attic Bar, beginning at 5:00p. For more information, contact Theresa Dawson at (704) 588-7555 (extension 321) or at theresa.dawson@gitabike.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MEETING TONIGHT

Our June meeting will be tonight at 7:00p at the Gateway Y. Among other items, past president Eric Davis will speak on his Education + Outreach initiatives. Citiline Resortline's rezoning meeting will follow, beginning promptly at 7:30p.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Corporate Neighbor: HDR, Inc.

HDR will be relocating its Carolinas hub to Third Ward's newest office tower, 440 South Church. The Omaha-based engineering firm will lease 45,000sf in the project. Contact me if you work for HDR and are a current or future resident of Third Ward.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Catalyst

Third Ward's latest highrise condominium, Catalyst, goes on sale this week. See this article for more information.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Community Garden Press Release

Charlotte Center City Partners released this press release yesterday to promote the Community Garden. Please remember the garden work day scheduled for this Saturday, June 21st, at 7:30a.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Red, White, & Boom!

This year's Red, White, & Boom! event will take place on July 4th from 6:00p to 10:00p at CPCC's Memorial Stadium (310 North Kings Drive). Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30p.
The musical portion of the fireworks show will be simulcast on all Charlotte Clear Channel stations: 96.1 The Beat, WRFX 99.7 The Fox, Lite 102.9, 96.9 Kat Country and 106.5 The End. Additionally, USAirways will sponsor a Second Harvest food drive in conjunction with the event. Participants will be entered into a contest to win a free round-trip ticket within the continental United States.
Some street closures will occur in the "fallout zone" between 7:00p and the end of the display.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Updated Information

Minutes from the May meeting are posted on the Meetings page. Additionally, the presentation on Uptown retail is posted on the Development + Infrastructure page, and presentations on Romare Bearden Park and the Frazier Park Dog Park are posted on the Parks + Natural Resources page.

Garden Work Day June 21st

Phil Kerr of Parks & Recreation will be hosting a Community Garden Work Day on June 21st at 7:30a. Be there to beat the heat.

Porsche Parade

Automotive aficionados can take in the Porsche Parade exhibition and judging events on June 29th. All road access will be maintained. For more information see http://www.paradecharlotte.org/.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Uptown Restaurant

If you read this article in today's Charlotte Observer, you are aware that Hooters is working on a new restaurant located near the intersection of Trade & Tryon. Because the retail space falls within Third Ward, the Officers and Board, along with the presidents of the condominium associations located close to the proposed store, considered the neighborhood's response.
The conclusion of all involved was that a public protest was not desirable at this time. If you feel differently - or if you feel passionately about any issue affecting Third Ward - I encourage you to contact me to become more involved in the association.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reminder: Gateway Village Farmers Market...

...begins tomorrow and runs from 11:00a to 5:30p. Buy two watermelons and get the third free!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Romare Bearden Park, May Update

Minutes from the latest stakeholder meeting can be found on the Parks + Natural Resources page.

Retail/Restaurant Space at Catalyst

I have posted the flyer for Catalyst's 20,000sf of retail/restaurant space under the Development + Infrastructure page. See "Catalyst Retail Flyer" under Public Projects/Real Estate Development.

Taste of Charlotte

Taste of Charlotte is coming this weekend! Please be aware of street closings along Trade, Tryon, Martin Luther King, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Streets from Thursday through Sunday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Johnson & Wales Way/Fourth Street Extension Public Meeting

City representatives will host the first public meeting regarding the Johnson & Wales Way/Fourth Street Extension improvement project on June 17th. The meeting will begin at 6:30p at the Johnson & Wales Academic Center, 801 West Trade Street (free parking is available at the Doubletree).
This meeting will focus on the Johnson & Wales Way portion of the project. After a short presentation attendees will be invited to break into small groups and offer feedback.
For more information, see the Development + Infrastructure page as well as this postcard, which will be distributed to addresses within 1/4 mile of the project limits.

County Budget Hearing

This Thursday evening, the County Commissioners will consider additional money dedicated to Public Safety and Law Enforcement. Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte is inviting all interested parties to attend in support of public safety. The meeting will take place at the Government Center at 6:00p. See this letter for Chairman Jennifer Roberts' perspective on the issue.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

MEETING TONIGHT

Reminder that tonight's meeting will take place at 7:00p at the Gateway Village YMCA. Speakers include various representatives of Parks & Recreation, and Michael Smith of Charlotte Center City Partners.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Education + Outreach Committee

I am pleased to report that Past President Eric Davis has agreed to chair the Education + Outreach committee! Eric has a specific commitment to the Lunch Buddies program, the Book Bash, and Uptown schools. Volunteers are needed to fill out this committee, whether in pursuit of these activities or others. Contact Eric if you are interested in becoming involved.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Uptown High School

The Observer reports the advocacy of Center City Partners and others to rebuild a high school in Uptown Charlotte. The school would alleviate overcrowding at Myers Park High School and West Charlotte High School. It has been suggested that the school would serve up to 2,000 students and would be located on the former site of Second Ward High School, which closed in 1969.
Interested in supporting this effort? Please contact me!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Farmers Market of Our Own

And one more opens! On Thursdays, beginning June 5th, Gateway Village will begin hosting a weekly farmers market. The market will run through the end of August. June purchases will benefit Mothering Across Continents.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charlotte Walks Together - June 1st

On Sunday, June 1st, from 1:00-3:00 pm, Gateway Village will host Charlotte Walks Together, a fundraising walk benefiting youth leadership development programs of the Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice. CCSJ is a Third Ward-based non-profit agency dedicated to building an inclusive community.
In 2007 the Walk raised over $85,000, allowing CCSJ to serve 1,400 students in 21 schools – an increase of 40% over the previous year. If you would like to join the effort, please contact Beth Walker via e-mail or at (704) 535-9220.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Police Chief Candidates Public Forum

Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte invites you to a public forum to meet the candidates for Charlotte's police chief. The event will take place Tuesday, May 13th at the Blake Hotel, beginning at 6p.
Interested in giving direct feedback to Charlotte's City Manager regarding this or other issues? See this page.

South End Farmers Market

The South End Farmers Market is open Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Corner of Park Avenue and Camden Road. It will run through the summer and feature organic and local products. Utilize Bland Street Station on the Lynx Blue Line for light rail access.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

MSD New Services Funding

Property owners within Uptown Municipal Service Districts (MSD) 2 and 3 (map) are expected to be subject to a forthcoming rate increase. This will affect current Third Ward residents in Gateway Village, TradeMark, and 230 South Tryon. The rate increases will add 1.15¢/$100 (or $115/million) of assessed value and will fund additional programming for Charlotte Center City Partners. The public hearing with the City Council will be Monday, May 12th. Questions?

Revitalization Continues

Citiline Resortline's upcoming project on the site of the Victoria Apartments - with the working title "Western Gateway Anchor" - is featured in this week's Charlotte Business Journal. Citiline Resortline plans ground floor retail under an office tower and hotel tower; the rear portion of the site will include townhomes along Irwin Avenue. The company's collaboration with Third Ward in its rezoning efforts is documented on the Development + Infrastructure page.
Just over the border in Fourth Ward, Crosland and Trinity Capital Advisors have finalized longstanding plans to redevelop the Polk Building site into 500 West Trade (featured in this CBJ article and this Charlotte Observer article). 500 West Trade will feature 400 luxury apartments, and will bring additional ground floor retail to the Trade Street/Gateway Village corridor. Construction is slated to begin this fall.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Development Map

A Development Map of Third Ward is posted under Development + Infrastructure.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oak Park

Thanks to Wade and Julie at Oak Park for hosting Chris Metzler and me along with their fellow Oak Park residents. I enjoyed getting to know you as neighbors. Thanks again!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

third-ward.org

A couple of interesting data points from third-ward.org, tracked from April 4th to May 3rd. All data courtesy of Google Analytics:

Number of Visits: 273
Unique Visitors: 156
Pageviews: 661

Interestingly, we have had visitors from five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Peru, and Singapore. The U.S. accounts for 98.17% of all visits.

Friday, May 2, 2008

2008 Center City Green Market

Next Saturday, May 10th, the Center City Green Market opens for the year across from Reid's Fine Foods in First Ward. The market will run every Saturday from 8:00a to 1:00p, through the summer (with the exception of May 24th).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Pedestrian Lifestyle

Want to see how your home/neighborhood stacks up in walkability? See WalkScore for the results. My home ranks a 72 (out of 100), Trade & Tryon an 89.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Neighborhood Crime Meeting

This evening I attended the Neighborhood Crime gathering at the City Council meeting. The council chambers were full before the 6:30p start time, so like many others I dispatched to an upstairs room to watch the proceedings on television.
The news media will do more justice to the details than I could. However, the bottom line of the meeting was our city took a step forward. The City Council appears prepared to tackle the inadequacies of our justice system, with the support of the citizens of Charlotte.
In Third Ward we are fortunate to have a dip in crime in recent months. Of course this is no time to be complacent. Our CMPD officers will continue to offer their recommendations for crime prevention, and the association meetings will be a forum for new ideas as well.
If you also represented Third Ward tonight, thank you!

Meeting Minutes

The minutes from April's meeting are under the Meetings page.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Romare Bearden Park Update

Minutes from the latest stakeholders' meeting and an updated Master Plan can be found on the Parks + Natural Resources page.

Community Garden Full

I spoke with Phil Kerr this afternoon. He had just finalized the reservation for our final Community Garden space. Due to Phil's efforts and the interest of the neighborhood, we can be proud of the success of this amenity. Thanks to all!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Street Closings + Uptown Events

Details on upcoming street closures and Uptown events.

Johnson & Wales Way/Fourth Street Extension Project

Minutes from the April 14th stakeholders' meeting are posted on the Development + Infrastructure page. The comments of the Neighborhood Association and the Committee to Preserve Third Ward are compiled under "Third Ward".

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fortune 500 in Third Ward

Third Ward will soon host two of Charlotte's nine Fortune 500 businesses with Duke Energy and the soon-to-be relocated headquarters of Wachovia. If you are a Third Ward resident and work for one of these companies, let me know.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Uptown Retail

Yesterday's Observer noted two new retailers to be opened at the base of the Avenue condominium building this year. Basil, a Thai restaurant out of Charleston, and Avenue Market. This will be Basil's second location. Avenue Market will feature grocery items, wine, and beer, and serve sandwiches, smoothies, and sushi.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dog Park

Blaine Gregory of Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation sent an update on the Dog Park. P&R received approval from the Board of County Commissioners to allocate funding for the park, and is working on construction estimates for various aspects of the park. An opening is planned for Summer 2008 "if all continues to go well." Blaine will be in attendance at our May 27th meeting to share the final construction plans.

Third Ward's Newest Resident

Past President Eric Davis and wife Michele welcomed Cameron Michael Davis at 6:38p Monday evening. Cameron weighed in at a healthy 10 pounds and is 21.5 inches in length. Congratulations to the Davis family!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

CCCP Retail Vision

Charlotte Center City Partners presented its vision for Uptown retail at Thursday night's Center City Vision Awards. See this link for further details.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Last Reminder

One last reminder about the Community Garden Work Day tomorrow morning at 9:00a. Our community garden is at the corner of West Fourth Street and Sycamore Street. Phil Kerr from Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation will be in attendance, with beverages and a few plants to give away too. See you there!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Right Moves For Youth Twilight 5K Run/Walk

The 12th Annual Right Moves For Youth Twilight 5K Run/Walk will be passing through Third Ward on Friday, May 9, 2008. Please review the map and turn-by-turn directions to determine the approximate time the participants will run/walk by. The roads will be effected from 7:00p until 8:00p.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cankerworm Spraying

Aerial spraying for cankerworms is expected to begin in Third Ward Monday. The Observer's Q&A on the process can be found here.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Community Garden Work Day Update

The Community Garden Work Day will now take place Saturday, April 12th, 9:00a at the garden. See you then!

Community Garden Work Day Postponed

Weather conditions will postpone our work day today. Stay tuned to third-ward.org for updates!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

STV Irwin Creek Stream Cleanup

Third Ward business STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates is a participant in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Adopt-a-Stream program. Twice a year, employees volunteer a Saturday morning to clean the section of Irwin Creek that runs from Trade Street to Morehead Street (essentially through Frazier Park).
Interested participants should meet on April 12th at 9:00a in the STV/RWA parking lot (1000 West Morehead Street). All cleanup supplies, including gloves, trash bags, and waders will be provided. In the event of rain, the clean-up will be rescheduled.
Contact Jennifer Schwaller for questions or more information.

"Charlotte transit plans leave Atlanta in slow lane"

Thanks to Darlene at CCCP for this link.

Monday, March 31, 2008

March 25th Meeting

One more post before the night is out. I had a request from one resident for minutes from our March 25th meeting. Official minutes will be recorded more formally going forward, but a brief summary will have to do this time around. Thanks for your patience.
  1. Charlotte Knights Update: Dan Rajkowski, Vice President & General Manager, was present with several representatives from Odell. The process so far has been one of "stops and starts" due to lawsuits from Jerry Reese. Presently the club expects construction to begin in late 2008 or early 2009, with the park opening in April 2010. This, of course, is contingent upon the speedy resolution of litigation. Mr. Rajkowski's Architect explained how the ballpark will be placed on the site, and noted several features to integrate its pedestrian walkways with Romare Bearden Park and surrounding parcels.
  2. Election: Please see your new Third Ward officers, at right.
  3. CMPD: A brief CMPD report was given. Overall, the basic recommendations continue: do not leave valuables in sight, in your car.
  4. Community Garden: A Community Garden work day is planned for Saturday, April 5 at 9am.
John

3W Agenda

Good evening. Please be aware that in coming weeks the 3W officers will be setting an agenda for the next two years. If you have particular questions or concerns for our neighborhood, please make them known by contacting me. Of course, if your passion for the neighborhood inspires you to volunteer, please let me know that too.

Thanks for reading,
John

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Third Ward Transitions

Welcome to Third Ward online!

On Tuesday, March 25th, elections were held for a new slate of Third Ward officers. I will be serving as your President for the next two years, with Beth Springston as Treasurer and Tony Marciano as Secretary. Our outgoing President, Eric Davis, deserves a round of applause for his efforts in service of the neighborhood over the past several years. Many thanks to Eric!

Across Third Ward, there are almost too many exciting things happening to list. The Neighborhood Association itself will mature to reflect this new reality. Over the next several months our organization will change to better reflect our growing population. Highrise condominum residents and those along the West Morehead Street corridor will join residents in "classic" Third Ward to together enhance the quality of life in our signature Uptown neighborhood.

Please visit this site regularly for updates on meeting times and locations. And if you have questions or are interested in becoming involved in Third Ward, please contact me via e-mail.

I look forward to working together over the next two years!

John Schwaller

Brookings Institution Considers Third Ward

I grabbed this off the automated news feed: New Kind of Growth Emerging for Charlotte.