Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Third Ward Neighborhood Association!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Third Ward / Year in Review

Good afternoon!  It has become an annual tradition to celebrate the closing year with a summary of the year’s activities.  The watchword for the Third Ward Neighborhood Association in 2010 is stability.  The association is now a resident- and homeowner-focused, dues-supported organization.  We have a solid core of active board members, and will welcome more in 2011.  We have popular, sustained annual events like the Tailgate and Condominium Presidents’ Forum.  What were once new initiatives are now business as usual.

Milestones for the year include the bountiful success of the community garden, real progress toward the development of Gateway Station, top-notch ratings in the City’s quality of life report, and vocal endorsement of the residential fabric so valuable to our beautiful neighborhood.  In 2011, I look forward to keeping focus on our sense of community and identity, with due attention to quality of life.  As always, stay tuned.

With the board, I am pleased to continue another tradition in acknowledging a resident who exhibited strong dedication to Third Ward.  In addition to her leadership at Cedar Street Commons, Lindsay Hazelman oversaw the neighborhood’s application for an Energy Efficiency Grant this summer, earning the support and participation of many others.  Thank you Lindsay for your hard work!  We are excited to give you this gift as a token of our appreciation.

Thanks to all of our sponsors, partners, and members, especially the board.  I am personally grateful for the dedicated CMPD officers who visit our meetings every month and keep us safe every day.

A final thanks to Eric Davis, past president, who will complete ten years in neighborhood leadership when he steps down this month.  Thank you Eric for all of your work!

You will notice that the button at the upper right now reads 2011 Membership.  Please consider supporting the association!  2010 members have already received the 2010 Annual Report.

Happy holidays, and happy new year!
John

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Events

Noon Year's Eve at the Mint: "Friday, 31 December | 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Mint Museum UPTOWN | Free for families with children  ages 16 and under.  Mark your calendars and make plans to join Radio Disney in welcoming 2011 with a countdown to NOON!  Ring in the New Year in Disney style with music, games, family tours of the Museum, and a non-stop dance party."

Volunteer with Hands On Charlotte for First Night: "All volunteers receive a FREE First Night Charlotte branded Navy Blue fleece vest to wear at the event and Jason’s Deli will be providing food for all of our hard working volunteers!!
McDonald’s First Night Kids will take place from 3-7pm at ImaginOn, Levine Museum of the New South and Discovery Place with activities such as puppets, juggling, music and a percussion petting zoo taking place! We will need people helping out in these areas. Shifts are 3 hours long and we’ll need help from 2-5pm and 5-8pm. Minimum age of 18 to volunteer.
Other volunteer opportunities include: Event & Venue Assistant, Logistics, Stage Production and Wrist band sales."

CMPD Update UPDATED

The December CMPD update, including holiday tips, is available here.  Many thanks to the dedicated officers in our neighborhood!
Update: The Third Ward specific update can be found here.  CMPD has noted that the majority of increases in serious crimes are associated with Bentley's bar at 4th & Poplar.  CMPD is working with the property owner and bar management to correct this situation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"First Night Charlotte, a Collage of Culture"

"First Night Charlotte, Uptown’s cultural event of the year is taking place on New Year’s Eve from 3pm-Midnight. McDonald’s First Night Kids runs from 3-7pm at ImaginOn, Levine Museum of the New South and Discovery Place. The kids countdown is from 7-7:45pm at the 7th street stage. Evening programming will run from 8-11:30pm at various venues around the South Tryon Street area with the countdown to midnight from 10-12:30am at the Duke Energy main stage located at Levine Avenue of the Arts street."
For complete information, see this link.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Board Applications / Charlotte Trolley / Myrtle Johnson / Mary Weis

A reminder for those interested in service to Third Ward by becoming part of the Board of Directors: Please submit your application form to me this week.

A special opportunity for Board leadership has manifested via Charlotte Trolley.  With the Blue Line’s increased traffic through South End, Charlotte Trolley is considering relocation of its historic line to the Third Ward-Wesley Heights-Seversville corridor, with its eastern terminus in Third Ward’s Cedar Yards.  Charlotte Trolley plans to launch an initiative to study this plan, with assistance from neighborhood residents welcomed and needed.  This will be a fun opportunity for people to be involved – volunteer!

Among the holiday joy, please remember the Johnson/Dye and Weis families in your thoughts and prayers.  Myrtle Johnson, 81, a 57-year resident of Third Ward, passed away on November 27th (obituary).  Myrtle’s home was on North Clarkson Street, and she was a retired employee of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  Her daughter and son-in-law, Maria and Michael Dye, will continue to reside in the family home.

Mary Weis, a resident of neighboring Fourth Ward, passed away on December 6th.  Many of you have met her husband Lynn, who gives regular tours of Elmwood-Pinewood Cemetery and has been active in Uptown leadership.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meineke Car Care Bowl Information: Clemson Tigers vs. South Florida Bulls

"The street festival at Trade Street and Tryon Street begins at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 30.  Event organizers expect 10,000 participants. Tryon Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets will be closed on December 30 from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Trade Street between Church Street and College Street will also be closed at the same time. The game will begin at 12:00 p.m. on December 31 at Bank of America Stadium. For more information visit www.meinekecarcarebowl.com."

Monday, December 6, 2010

State of the City Address/City Council Board Vacancies

Mayor Foxx has issued this invitation for the State of the City address on December 7th.  See the image at left for event and RSVP details.
Also, there are several vacancies on City Council Boards.  See this summary and this application form if you are interested in applying.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jazz at the Bechtler

"Kick off the holiday season at the Bechtler with jazzy renditions of classic songs performed by the Ziad Jazz Quartet. Listen to favorites including The Christmas Song, Jingle Bells, Silent Night and the John Coltrane version of Greensleeves among other seasonal tunes. Jazz at the Bechtler is performed from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free with museum admission. Tickets can now be purchased online prior to all concerts. Cash bar.".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Third Ward Board Applications / Christmas Trees / Mayor's Town Hall / Holiday Ho-Ho-Home Tour

Board Applications are due in December.  If you have a positive attitude, play well with others, and want to work on behalf of the neighborhood, join the association’s Board of Directors.  Directors serve two year terms and commit to executing a “personal project” benefiting the neighborhood.  Submit this form to me to be a part of the leadership team for the most dynamic neighborhood in Charlotte.
Not one but two Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies will take place this Thursday, December 2nd.  Gateway Village and The Square will host their annual events – both beginning at 6:00p.
Mayor Anthony Foxx invites you to a Mayor’s Town Hall this Wednesday, December 1st, beginning at 7:30p at the Charlotte Museum of History.
Our neighbors in Fourth Ward will host their annual Holiday Home Tour this weekend.  For more information, see this site.  Happy holidays to all friends and neighbors!

Monday, November 29, 2010

ULI Report: West Trade Street/Beatties Ford Road Corridor

Pat Mumford, executive of the City's Neighborhood & Business Services department, sends the following:
"I am pleased to share with you the final report from the Urban Land Institute’s Technical Advisory Panel for the Beatties Ford West Trade Corridor. Your input and support was invaluable to the Panel as they completed their work. The report clearly recognizes the good work and great plans already in place for the study area and provides a pathway for helping realize those plans. It also presents some new ideas that can help strengthen and grow the corridor.
The report and its findings have been recently presented to and supported by City Council and its Economic Development Committee. Neighborhood and Business Services staff is already working closely with Johnson C. Smith University and local property owners to begin implementation of some of the plan recommendations. We will continue to work in partnership with stakeholders to help implement the collective vision for the Beatties Ford/West Trade corridor."
The bulk of the study area occurs west of I-77, so Third Ward (and Fourth Ward) make up a small part of the report.  However, all development along the West Trade corridor between Gateway Station and Johnson C. Smith University is of interest to Third Ward.  Happy reading.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving Parade in Uptown Charlotte begins at 10:00a.  Happy Thanksgiving from the Third Ward Neighborhood Association!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Transportation Alphabet Soup: NCDOT, HSR, MTC

Another week; another series of major announcements impacting Third Ward.  Monday night's neighborhood meeting brought Allan Paul and Mike Shumsky of NCDOT from Raleigh (and local consultant Travis Pollack) to present detailed information on railroad infrastructure improvements leading to the development of Gateway Station.  Mr. Paul and Mr. Shumsky were well-informed about Uptown Charlotte and Third Ward specifically, having cultivated feedback through community meetings dating back almost ten years.  Their presentation can be found here; note that the "South End" improvements noted in the document relate to the section of track between Uptown and the airport (not the South End neighborhood).  Bottom line: Design charrettes for Gateway Station will begin in 2011, though its final design and construction will wait upon a public-private partnership (i.e., private investment) or possibly a major federal grant.
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's remarks may have forecasted just such a grant.  Speaking in Charlotte Wednesday morning, LaHood indicated that North Carolina could be the recipient of high-speed rail (HSR) stimulus funds to be rejected by Ohio and Wisconsin (at least one editorialist disagrees).  The Charlotte hub for the HSR line linking south to Atlanta and north to Raleigh, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston will be, of course, Gateway Station.
Not to be outdone, the Metropolitan Transit Commission entered the fray Wednesday afternoon.  The MTC decided to pursue an accelerated schedule for the Blue Line Extension (extending the current Blue Line toward UNC-Charlotte) in a "scaled-back version."  For the commuter Red Line serving Lake Norman communities - to be based at Gateway Station - the MTC recommended seeking private investment.
Apart from the section from the arena down Elizabeth Avenue, implementation of the streetcar has been postponed indefinitely.
For more on NCDOT's work on Gateway Station, see this website.  2011 will present big opportunities for Third Ward residents to shape the most significant infrastructure investment in the region.  Please plan to join the discussion.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Villa Heights Magnet Information

Darlene Heater has provided the below information regarding the Villa Heights magnet program, coming to Irwin Avenue this fall.  Please also be aware of two Open Houses at the school to explain their program.  The first is tomorrow morning at 9:30a; the second is in December.  I have been told that the school will add an extra kindergarten class next fall, which should open up some seats for neighborhood kids in that age group.

Talent Development (grades 3-5): Students entering grades 3-5 must have TD certification for gifted children [apparently this is not required of Kindergarten entrants].  Families seeking more information on TD certification may contact the TD/Advanced Studies Department at (980) 343-6955.
How do I get an application for a magnet program? If you are a new CMS student and enroll prior to December 14, 2009, you will be mailed a letter with your ID number and PIN in order to participate in the First Magnet Lottery. If you are a current CMS student, you will receive a letter with your ID number and PIN from your current school. Current and new CMS students can expect the letter in early January, 2010. New students who enroll December 15 – May 21, 2010 will be eligible to participate in the Second Magnet lottery March 15 – June 4, 2010 at 10:00pm.  Visit the Applying to a Magnet School page for detailed instructions.
What is the timeline for applying to a magnet program? The First Magnet lottery application period for the 2010-2011 school year is January 8 - February 8, 2010 at 10:00pm.  A Second Magnet lottery will be held for families new to CMS who enroll between December 15 and May 21, 2010.  The application period for the Second Magnet lottery is March 15 – June 4, 2010 at 10:00pm.  Visit the Applying to a Magnet School page for detailed instructions.
How does the lottery work? The lottery is used to assign students to magnet programs.  When there are more students applying to a program than there are seats available, the lottery runs on the following priorities:

  1. Students who live within 1/3 mile of a full magnet school, up to 20% of seats available at that school. 
  2. Students who are assigned to a Title I Choice School, up to 10% of seats available. 
  3. a) Students who live outside the transportation zone for Randolph Middle School will have a priority to attend Randolph. b) Students who live outside the transportation zone for Piedmont Open Middle School will have a priority to attend Piedmont. The number of students admitted to either school under this priority is limited to 10% of the available seats in the school. Transportation will not be provided to these students.  
  4. Students who live in a magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number with the following limits: The maximum number of students admitted under this priority from any one elementary home school area must be proportional to the total number of potential applicants in the magnet feeder area. 
  5. All students who live in the magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number. 
  6. All students who live outside the magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number. Transportation will not be provided to these students.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Third Ward Arts & Science Council Project UPDATED

Yesterday the Arts & Science Council launched its beautification project at the Virginia Paper Company Building, on the site planned for the Knights Stadium (map).  The windows will be covered with vinyl panels designed by students at Hopewell High School and based on the work of artist and Third Ward native Romare Bearden. (Images 1, 2, 3.)
Our thanks go to both the ASC and Hopewell High School for your work!
Update: A News 14 Carolina story and video can be found here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gateway Station Meeting Tonight

A reminder of tonight's meeting: Michael Shumsky of NCDOT will present information on the railway projects leading to the development of Gateway Station in Third Ward.  Gateway Station will be the future location for a new Amtrak station and the southern terminus of Charlotte’s commuter Red Line.  The meeting will begin at 6:00p tonight at the Gateway Village YMCA.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Elementary School Update

I know everyone has been keeping an eye on school changes affecting the neighborhood.  As a parent myself, I know also that school choice is a family's own decision, so be assured that the association will not play a role in that.  However, some information has been provided to me that is worth sharing.

A surprise outcome of CMS deliberations is that Irwin Avenue Elementary will not become an administrative center, but will instead become home to the current Villa Heights Elementary school.  Villa Heights is a K-5 learning immersion and talent development magnet program, and was one of the ten highest scoring elementary schools in CMS in 2009.  Its NC School Report Card can be found here; the school is categorized as an "Honor School of Excellence," the highest rating.  Paul Reali, president of the Villa Heights PTA (website), has already reached out to me via e-mail.

To be sure, the "home school" for Third Ward and Fourth Ward will be Ashley Park Elementary.  The NC School Report Cards website categorizes Ashley Park as as "Low Performing," its lowest rating.  However, Mr. Reali indicated that  children in the neighborhood of a magnet program have an advantage in the school lottery.  CMS information on applying for the lottery can be found here.  Please note the deadlines.

If you are interested in being included in a neighborhood e-mail list of parents and others interested in schools, please contact me.  With sufficient interest, there will be an opportunity to have Mr. Reali speak at a neighborhood meeting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CMPD On the Beat! with Holiday Shopping Tips

Courtesy of Sergeant Nick Pellicone, Response Area 2 Commander, CMPD's latest update can be found here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Villa Heights Coming to Irwin

WCNC has just reported that the original plan for Irwin Avenue Elementary's closure as a school has changed.  The Villa Heights Elementary magnet program is now slated to come to Irwin Avenue.  More details will be found here as they emerge.

School Vote Tonight

The school board will vote tonight on school closures including Irwin Avenue Elementary School.  Superintendent Peter Gorman has recommended approval of this motion assigning students of Third Ward (and Fourth Ward) to Ashley Park Elementary School.

Charlotte Center City Partners VP of Urban Living Darlene Heater sent the following to Uptown neighborhood leaders last week:

"All, As you probably are aware, CMS is proposing system-wide changes to Charlotte’s public schools.  I am providing the attached [1, 2] summary of how proposed changes may impact Uptown and South End (to the best of my knowledge and understanding).

Michael Smith and I have been advocating for CMS and the board of education to consider Center City as one neighborhood.  Further, we propose that all Center City students be assigned to the Dilworth/Alexander Graham/Myers Park feeder.  We have talked with CMS staff (Dennis LaCaria and Pete Gorman), met personally with Board Chair Eric Davis, and have contacted Board of Education members.

We have elected to advocate directly with CMS staff and board members and feel this strategy will provide a better opportunity to engage decision makers in meaningful dialogue than taking a public stand for/against proposals in these highly emotional public forums.

We encourage you to advocate to CMS board members too.
Irwin Elementary is in District 3 - Joyce Waddell
Dilworth Elementary is in District 4 - Tom Tate
Alexander Graham is in District 5 - Eric Davis
Myers Park High is in District 5 - Eric Davis
At large board members are:  Kaye McGarry, Trent Merchant, Coach Joe White

We want you to know that we feel this is a priority issue for Center City and that we are advocating for our Center City residents and students.

Call or email me if you have any questions.
Best,
Darlene"

Friday, November 5, 2010

City Market / 2020 Vision Plan / Gateway Station

I want to thank the people who have recently responded to my requests for feedback, particular to the development of communication with Charlotte Center City Partners (FAQ).  This initiative seems to have gained urgency and relevance in just the past few days.  Please keep communication flowing to cccpfeedback@third-ward.org.

A critical component of steering Uptown development in a way benefiting residents’ quality of life is participation.  Please mark your calendar to attend at least one of the following meetings:


We have an excellent topic and speaker on deck for the final neighborhood meeting of 2010.  Michael Shumsky of NCDOT will be on hand to give a presentation on the railway projects leading to the development of Gateway Station in Third Ward.  As the future location for a new Amtrak station, and eventually the southern terminus of Charlotte’s commuter Red Line, Gateway Station will make a significant impact as a major regional transit hub.  The meeting will begin at 6:00p on Monday, November 15th at the Gateway Village YMCA.

Board member Gray Pendleton was instrumental in facilitating this meeting, and has been following the different grants closely.  He has provided more information to be posted on third-ward.org next week in preparation for the meeting on the 15th.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bechtler Museum Family Day

"Go beyond crayons at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s Family Day November 6. The event will provide hands-on art activities for kids of all ages and specially designed museum tours for families. Art projects take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. in the museum’s classroom and video gallery, both located on the second floor. Most art activities illustrate techniques and styles used by artists in the museum’s current exhibition, School of Paris: European Abstraction Post World War II.
Tours of the museum for families will be offered on the hour between noon and 3 p.m. and special tours just for kids will be offered at 1 and 3 p.m. All tours are docent led and include sketching, scavenger hunts and a junior art critic game.
Museum admission on Family Day is free for those under 18 years old; all others receive a discounted ticket price of $4. All Family Day activities are free."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Parade

A reminder that our neighbors in Wesley Heights have graciously invited Third Ward families to their second annual Halloween Parade.  Parents and kids will start lining up in the 400 block of Grandin Road at 5:00p on Saturday, October 30th, with candy and beads to be distributed to the kids.  More than 50 kids (and 100+ parents) are already signed up!  Bring your cameras and trick or treat baskets, and contact Carolyn Walker Kellogg at Carolyntwalker@yahoo.com for more information.

Schools, Schools, and Schools

Public Schools: Last month it was announced that CMS plans to close Irwin Avenue Elementary and shift students elsewhere.  The new boundary proposals published Sunday do not directly indicate plans for students currently assigned to Irwin Avenue Elementary.  Several sources have indicated that Dilworth Elementary could accommodate Third Ward and Fourth Ward students, though some current maps seem to indicate that both neighborhoods’ students will be districted to Ashley Park Elementary.

One potentially positive outcome is the consolidation of two CMS administrative centers at Irwin Avenue Elementary, which could bring a new major employment center to the neighborhood.

Episcopal High School: The nascent Episcopal High School of Charlotte has extended an invitation to learn about the new school: “Advisor Dennis Richter and other members of the site team will be on hand to answer questions about the site and the plans for renovation [of the Hawthorne Mill for the school’s use].  We'll talk about how the preservation, the environmental impact and the community integration of the physical school will support the mission of the EHS.”

The event takes place at 7:00p on Monday, November 1st at Christ Episcopal Church.

"Waiting for Superman": At 7:30a on Monday, November 1st, Katie Crompton and Allison Watkins will respond to the acclaimed documentary film 'Waiting for Superman'.  You are invited to join the event, sponsored by the Charlotte Top Of The Week Rotary Club, at Taste Restaurant in Founders Hall.

"Allison Watkins finished her two year stint as a third grade 'Teach For America' Teacher at Irwin Avenue Elementary School last June where Katie Crompton currently teaches and just returned from a national Conference of Outstanding Teachers from 50 states."

Call Chuck Sawicki at (704) 334-8202 for more information.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

City Market Information

Thanks to Charlotte Center City Partners President & CEO Michael Smith, and CCCP board member Rob Cummings, for presenting the City Market proposal at our Monday meeting.  The PowerPoint deck from the presentation can be found here; an additional white paper produced by CCCP can be found here.
As mentioned in earlier bulletins, CCCP and the association are working together to develop consistent channels of feedback between Uptown residents and CCCP. (An FAQ on this relationship can be found here.) I appreciate those of you who have already taken the time to respond.  Your feedback will be submitted confidentially to CCCP in coming weeks.
For those who haven’t registered an opinion, please know that submitting feedback is easy.  Just send it directly to cccpfeedback@third-ward.org.  Thanks for your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crime & Safety

Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte has published this 6-question survey with District Attorney candidates Michael Barnes and Andrew Murray.  Review it to inform yourself of their respective positions.
CMPD has also notified me of several tool thefts along Cedar Street.  It seems these have been focused on the construction site at Johnson & Wales University, but if you hire contractors or are one, please be mindful of this. As always, please call 911 when you see suspicious activity.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tonight's Meeting

Tonight's meeting will be at 6:00p at the Gateway Village YMCA.  We will welcome Larry Kopf from the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to discuss transit plans, and representatives from Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP) to present information on their City Market proposal.  See you there!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bond Campaign Information

The upcoming bond vote will focus on Roads & Transportation, Neighborhood Improvements, and Affordable Housing. See the Overview tab at voteyesforbonds.com to learn what is applicable to Third Ward and beyond. Contact jill@voteyesforbonds.com for more information.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tailgate Recap / October 18th Meeting / CATS / CCCP / FAQs

A big thank you goes to the Carolina Panthers, Hartigan’s Irish Pub, and Elevate Magazine for their partnership in the 2010 Third Ward Tailgate! (Photos can be found here.)  I would also like to thank the board of directors, especially Tracey Wopperer and Mike Sposato, and all members of the Third Ward Neighborhood Association.  Your contributions allow the association to carry out its mission, including the production of great neighborhood events like the Tailgate (membership).
Near-constant activity continues in Third Ward, with changes coming to neighborhood schools and a potential grant being the “tipping point” for real progress on Gateway Station.  The board has been working to attend meetings, ensure relevant information is posted on the website, and secure interesting speakers for upcoming meetings.  As always, we thank you for your interest and input.
The October 18th meeting (6:00p, Gateway Village YMCA) will feature Larry Kopf from the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to discuss transit plans, and representatives from Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP) to present information on their City Market proposal.
Many residents don’t know that as Uptown property owners, we fund CCCP through a special property tax called a Municipal Service District (MSD).  CCCP asks neighborhood associations to deliver feedback from residents regarding CCCP initiatives.  I encourage you to attend the October meeting to speak with CCCP representatives directly.  Going forward, please feel free to share your feedback with me and other board members, or via cccpfeedback@third-ward.org.  Your input will be kept confidential (unless you state otherwise).
Please also see this FAQ for a better understanding of MSDs and CCCP.  See you at the meeting!

Jazz at the Bechtler–C’est Si Bon

"Museum programming this fall has a distinctively French flair, inspired by the School of Paris exhibition of abstract artworks created in the French capital during the mid-20th century.
Don your beret October 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. when the Ziad Jazz Quartet, featuring vocalist Toni Tupponce and pianist/vocalist Noel Freidline, performs Parisian jazz standards and cabaret songs from the 1930s through the 1950s. Experience music immortalized by legends Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, Stephane Grapelli, Django Reinhardt and others.
Jazz at the Bechtler is free with museum admission. Cash bar."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Third Ward Yard Sale

Residents of Westbrook Drive, Greenleaf Avenue, Clarkson Street, Victoria Avenue, and McNinch Street have organized the "1st Annual 3rd Ward Yard Sale" for this Saturday, October 9th, from 8:00a to 4:00p: "Participating residents are selling electronics, music, house wards, games, toys, books, workout equipment, clothing, & more."
According to the flyer, by law each participating household must obtain a $5.00 permit from Walton Plaza (700 East Stonewall Street) or the Hal Marshall Building (700 North Tryon Street).
For participation information and an exclusive list of items being sold, contact Rhonda at 3rdWardYardSale@gmail.com.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CMPD Update + Halloween Tips

See this bulletin for recent crime statistics in Central Response Area 2, as well as tips for safe trick-or-treating.  Look out for your neighbors and always call 911 when you see suspicious activity.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thank You

Thanks to the Carolina Panthers, Hartigan's Irish Pub, and the board of directors and membership of the association for producing our second annual Tailgate!  All of us appreciated the participation of neighbors and friends on a beautiful day in Third Ward.  Pictures from the event can be found here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tailgate Tomorrow!

Here is a final reminder for tomorrow’s Third Ward Tailgate from 11:00a to 2:00p at 600 South Cedar Street.  Sunny, 76 degree weather with no chance of precipitation is the forecast.  It will be a beautiful day to be out and about in the neighborhood.
Sir Purr, the Top Cats, and the sign-up sheet for stadium tours will be in front of Hartigan’s Irish Pub along with the DJ they have provided.  Eleven college games kick off at noon, including a whole bunch of local favorites (and my own University of Kansas…  Rock Chalk!).
At the Tailgate, please welcome our neighbors from First and Fourth Wards, Wesley Heights, and beyond, as well as representatives from The Light Factory.  Also enjoying our hospitality will be visitors and guests participating in the Komen Race for the Cure and visiting the Grand Opening of the Mint Museum of Art.
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Days...

...until the 2010 Third Ward Tailgate.  See the post below for more details!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CMS Proposal re: Irwin Avenue Elementary School (updated ~2:00p)

[Updated portion in bold italics.]
The Charlotte Observer reports that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has included Irwin Avenue Elementary School on its list for closure with school restructuring.  The school would be repurposed for administrative offices.
While the outcome is not yet known, acceptance of the proposal will certainly have an effect on educational options for children in Uptown neighborhoods including Third Ward.  Secondary factors such as land use and property values are also expected to be impacted.
I have contacted Charlotte Center City Partners to determine if the organization has released a statement on the CMS announcements regarding Center City schools.  Please utilize this contact address to submit your own feedback.
Irwin Avenue Elementary School is adjacent to a multiacre parcel, also owned by CMS, that was recently rezoned for the proposed Sycamore @Gateway project.  CMS had ventured to trade the land to private developers in exchange for the developers' promise to build 25,000 square feet of administrative space for CMS use.  The rezoning was successful despite its failure to meet Planning guidelines and vigorous opposition from the Third Ward Neighborhood Association, Friends of Fourth Ward, and several other community organizations.  A CMS representative stated today that the organization does not intend to move forward with the land trade.
Please stay tuned for more updates.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Third Ward Tailgate Countdown

There are just five days until the Third Ward Tailgate!  Bring your family and friends down to 600 South Cedar Street beginning at 11:00a this Saturday, October 2nd to snap photos with Sir Purr and the Top Cats, enjoy tours of Bank of America Stadium, participate in events at the practice field, and maybe even win some prizes.  Most importantly, you can spend time with your neighbors in Third Ward.
Hartigan’s Irish Pub will open its doors for the event with a full menu and slate of college football games.  Key Saturday matchups include:
  • Ohio State vs. Illinois,
  • Clemson vs. Miami,
  • Florida State vs. Virginia,
  • North Carolina vs. East Carolina,
  • Tennessee vs. LSU, and
  • Texas vs. Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout
Don’t forget that the Tailgate directly follows the Komen Race for the Cure, and runs concurrently with the Grand Opening of the new Mint Museum.  Join us at the Tailgate and in welcoming thousands of visitors to Third Ward!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Judicial Candidates Forum

"Justice Initiatives, Inc. is proud to sponsor a judicial candidates’ forum for all the individuals vying for seats on the District Court Bench and Superior Court Bench in Mecklenburg County. The forum will be held on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at the Charlotte School of Law from 6:00 pm to 7:30pm. The moderator for the event is Taylor Batten with the Charlotte Observer. Members of the audience will also be presented with an opportunity to pose questions to the twelve candidates.  Candidates will NOT be able to respond to any questions regarding how they might rule in either pending or future cases. Seating is limited."
For more information, see this flyer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fighter Jet Photos

A slideshow of photos from yesterday's fighter flyover can be found here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

F-16 Flyover

The Panthers' home opener will once again feature a flyover by F-16 fighter jets in an east-to-west route.  The flyover will occur at approximately 1:00p this Sunday, i.e. at gametime.  Please do not be alarmed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2010 Quality of Life Report

The City of Charlotte's 2010 Quality of Life Report was released yesterday.  Third Ward's metrics - which consider the area shown in the below map - have once again reflected a "Stable, Trending Up" quality of life:
"[Stable NSAs] exhibit few neighborhood level problems. These are neighborhoods that score high on the social, physical, crime, and economic dimensions. Compared to other NSAs, the Stable grouping has a significant higher quality of life than the city average conditions."
Since the 2008 report, Third Ward's population has increased to 2,856, with a decrease in the youth population and increase in persons over 64.  Housing units have increased to 1,343, and average house value has increased to $313,704 (versus a city average of $228,128).
Fully 100% of Third Ward residents have access to public transportation.  Though slight increases were recorded in the Crime measurements, Third Ward had the lowest rates of crime compared to other Uptown neighborhoods - in every category.
Read the full report, including definitions, here.  Thanks to Keith Hall for sharing the link!

"Water-Sewer Rate Study Seeks Citizen Input"

"Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities customers are urged to attend upcoming information and public input sessions related to the first comprehensive review of water/sewer rates and fees since 1977.

'We’re taking a fresh look at rates and fees charged for the essential water and sewer services we deliver, to see if there are better alternatives,' said Barry Gullet, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Director. 'We need to hear from customers.'

As a public service, Gullet emphasized the utility’s goal is 'to recommend a rate structure that is considered fair and equitable, while generating the revenues required to operate the water and sewer system.'

Two sets of five public meetings are scheduled across Mecklenburg County. The first series, which starts next week, will include presenting information and gathering input related to the existing water and sewer rate structure. The second series begins in late October/early November and will introduce potential rate & fee alternatives for public feedback.

WEST MEETINGS - September 14 and October 26. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at Clanton Pavilion in Clanton Park, 3132 Manchester Ave.
CENTRAL MEETINGS - September 15 at Noon, and October 27 at 6 p.m.  Both meetings will be held in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center (1st floor Meeting Chambers), 600 East 4th Street. These meetings will be shown on the GOVChannel (Time-Warner Cable channel 16) and streamed from www.charmeck.org &  www.cmutilities.com. An online rate study comment form is available.
NORTH MEETINGS - September 15 and October 28. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at Lee S. Dukes Water Treatment Plant, 7980 Babe Stillwell Road, in Huntersville.
SOUTH MEETINGS - September 16 and November 3. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the South County Regional Library, 5801 Rea Road.
EAST MEETINGS - September 21 and November 4. Both meetings start at 6 p.m. and will be held at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, 6401 Hickory Grove Road.

Fifteen community volunteers are serving on a Water/Sewer Rate Study Stakeholders Advisory Group that will act as a sounding board during this process. Red Oak Consulting, a division of Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., is the rate expert working with Utilities staff. A rate structure recommendation will be shared with the Utilities Advisory Group, the City Council Restructuring Government Committee and presented to City Council for consideration in February 2011. Visit www.cmutilities.com for rate study details and updates."                

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uptown Farmers Market

Tonight the City Council will discuss a consultant's study recommending a home for a permanent, full-time Uptown Farmer's Market.  The list of recommended sites includes a Third Ward location, adjacent to the proposed future Knights Stadium.  See this Charlotte Business Journal post for more information, and stay tuned for updates.

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/11 Memorial Services

The Our Children's Memorial will host its sixth annual 9/11 memorial service tomorrow, Saturday, September 11th, at 8:30a: "It will be a time of special remembrance of those who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in the four airplanes brought down that day. An Honor Guard from the Charlotte Fire Dept will open the service, followed by a prayer, releasing of balloons with 9/11 tags, and the Pledge of Allegiance. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will provide a bugler for taps. There will be time for anyone who would like to say a few words to do it."
On Monday, Gateway Village will also host a brief service in the Promenade, at 9:30a.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CMPD Update

This month's CMPD update can be found here (note that several repeat offenders of various property crimes have been taken into custody).  As previously noted there has been a recent spike in Larcenies from Auto in Charlotte; please take the appropriate precautions.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 2010

Once again Third Ward welcomes the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!  The event is a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) walk on October 24th and October 25th throughout the Charlotte area.
"The funds raised will go to the Avon Foundation's Breast Cancer Crusade. The Crusade’s primary focus is assisting the medically underserved population, including minorities, the poor, the elderly, and the under- and uninsured, with a mission to fund access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. For more information on the Avon Foundation and the Breast Cancer Crusade, please visit www.avonfoundation.org."
Frazier Park will host the opening and closing ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, October 23rd-24th, 2010 (the soccer field will be closed to visitors).  Walkers will begin and end their journey at the park, concluding on the 24th between 1:00-3:30pm.  Please expect elevated noise and traffic throughout the weekend.  Contact info.charlotte@avonwalk.org with questions or concerns, and please look out for visitors in need of directions or help.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Upcoming Streetcar Meetings

See this flyer for upcoming meetings on the Streetcar project, including information on:

  • Technology findings
  • Defined alignment, shelter design and stop locations
  • Capital cost estimate
  • Next steps
  • Streetcar Starter Project (1.5 mile segment)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Knights Stadium Site Cleanup

Charlotte Knights' staff will be on site at the Virginia Paper Mill building on Wednesday, September 8th.  The building occupies the planned site for their future stadium, and is due for cleanup.  We thank the Knights for their efforts to improve the area; if you would like to volunteer to help, contact me.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jazz at the Bechtler

"The summer is almost over but jazz music at the Bechtler is not. Requests for more jazz and strong attendance at each Cool Summer of Hot Jazz concert led to an extension of the museum’s jazz programming. The series will continue on the first Friday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. in the museum lobby [beginning tomorrow, September 3rd]. The concerts are free with museum admission."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Compact Fluorescent Lighting

Duke Energy has a new program to promote energy savings through the use of compact fluorescent lighting.  Call (800) 943-7585 to receive up to fifteen light bulbs - free - for your home.  You must provide your account number, and delivery takes 4-6 weeks.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hog Jog

The 2010 Hog Jog 5k will once again travel through Third Ward, on Saturday, September 11th.  The race benefits the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission.  For more information, see this link.

Friday, August 27, 2010

CMPD Bulletin

CMPD has noted a recent rise in Larceny from Auto crimes.  Positively, arrests have been made; however, many incidents could have been avoided.  Please observe the following, especially the last item:
  • Always lock your doors and roll up your windows.
  • Never leave valuable items in your vehicle.
  • Store packages in the trunk of your vehicle while shopping.
  • Remove items such as laptops, GPS, telephones, ipods, purses, briefcase, backpack, cash and even loose change each time you leave your vehicle.
  • If you use a window suction cup mount for any electronic device wipe off the circular mark made on the window by the cup.  Criminals are targeting vehicles that have this mark on the windshield. 
  • Park in well lit areas at night.
  • Park vehicle in the driveway rather than the street.
  • Consider a car alarm for added protection.
  • Call 911 if you see any suspicious activity.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Condominium Presidents Forum Recap

Last night neighborhood sponsor The Burger Company graciously hosted the 2010 Third Ward Condominium Presidents Forum.  The event has become a fixture in the neighborhood association's annual schedule, as a crossroads for leaders to discuss issues specific to condominium and townhome associations - and simply to get to know one another.
Residents of Cedar Mill, Cedar Street Commons, Clarkson Green, First Row, and Gateway Plaza were well-represented in a discussion focused upon best practices for association management.  My personal thanks goes to The Burger Company, those who participated, and to everyone who volunteers in service of Third Ward.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Drumline

This year the Panthers have invited a local drumline to play at every home game.  The drumline musicians will warm up on the practice fields before home games, beginning at 10:00a.
If you haven't seen a drumline perform, I would recommend stopping by to experience it.  Enjoy the extra ambience in the neighborhood this season!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gateway Station Improvements

Thanks to board member Gray Pendleton for catching this item regarding new potential funding earmarked for Gateway Station.  The article confirms earlier reports that NCDOT has been seeking federal funds to speed the relocation of the Amtrak station to the neighborhood.
In other news, the Charlotte Business Journal's Erik Spanberg reports on the potential hiring of an engineering company to study the makeup and operations of Gateway Station and the existing Charlotte Transportation Center.  Stay tuned.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"New Look or New Stadium for the Panthers?"

Yesterday's Observer article regarding the eventual (re)development of the Panthers' facilities will have implications for the neighborhood.  Should the Panthers stay put, develop a new stadium on the Beazer site, or another option?  Post and share your thoughts on Third Ward's Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Recycle, Win Prizes

"The City has installed 15 recycling containers, paired with trash containers, along Tryon Street. This move is putting Charlotte on the short list of cities with on-street recycling on their Main Streets. The idea for this project came from a series of public meetings.

Installation on the bins began on Thursday, August 5. Another 10 will go into the Transit Center.

An incognito Prize Patrol crew will reward people recycling as it happens with a $25 Harris Teeter Gift Card, usable at all stores, and with lunch coupons that are redeemable at the Uptown Harris Teeter."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacancies on City Council Boards

See this document for information on opportunities to volunteer on a City Council Board.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stop By Tonight

Though there will not be a formal agenda for tonight’s meeting, doors will be open at 6:00p at the Gateway Village YMCA’s Community Room for residents interested in:

  • Volunteering for the 2010 Third Ward Tailgate
  • Discussing permitted parking on Westbrook Drive
  • Picking up a Third Ward sticker

Another congratulations to Lindsay Hazelman and her team of volunteers, who submitted Third Ward’s application for the Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Grant at the end of July.   Please join me in thanking Lindsay, her project team leaders Cameron Butler, Brandon Jozsa, and Jim Thompson, and the numerous volunteers and partners on the project.  The results are due in September.
Have a great week!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yellow Vespas and the YMCA

Next week representatives from the Gateway Village YMCA will be riding through Third Ward on bicycles and yellow Vespas promoting their annual BIG referral campaign.  Do not be afraid!  Flag down the operator (safely) to receive a free two-week pass to the YMCA!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Street Smart WalkScore

The popular WalkScore website is testing its 2.0 version with a "street smart" version that evaluates walkability via actual street connections, instead of only "as the crow flies."  More information can be found here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jazz...

...TONIGHT at the Bechtler, 6:00p, free... LATER TONIGHT at the Wadsworth Estate, 8:00p, $10 at the door... TOMORROW at the Historic West End Market, noon, free.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Streetcar Grant in the Spotlight Tonight

Tonight, the Charlotte City Council will consider whether it will allocate the $12 million match required to capture the $25 million federal grant, to fund the first phase of the Streetcar line.  Interested residents should attend the meeting, beginning at 6:00p at the Government Center (map).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CATS Public Meetings

"The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will be conducting a series of public meetings for a look at how transit improvements over the last decade are benefitting the community and what's planned for the future to provide greater connectivity for the region.  “We are taking this information to the community to show CATS’ investors what we have achieved in the forms of operational quality and reliability as well as amenities and corridor projects,” said Carolyn Flowers, CEO of CATS.  “The entire community by virtue of paying sales tax dedicated to public transit has an investment in their local transit system.”

The same information will be shared at each meeting.
Meeting times and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
6:00p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Cornelius Town Hall
21445 W. Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC  28031

Thursday, July 29, 2010      
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.            
Charlotte-Mecklenburg      
Government Center            
Room 267                              
600 East Fourth Street
Charlotte, NC  28202

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Matthews Town Hall
232 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC  28105

For more information about the meetings or transit service near the meeting locations, contact 704-336-RIDE (7433) or visit www.ridetransit.org."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Grant

Though there will be no July meeting as the neighborhood association is on summer hiatus, the Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Grant team will be meeting at the regular 6:00p time on Monday, July 19th, at the Gateway Village YMCA.  Cameron Butler, one of the leaders of the grant application team, shared the following information on earning a City grant for your home:

“Greetings Third Ward Residents,

Third Ward leaders and organizers are looking for volunteers for a Household Energy Fund Study.  The Third Ward is one of many neighborhoods in Mecklenburg County applying for funds from Charlotte's Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).  One qualification for the grant requires involvement from a neighborhood's residents to participate in home weatherization and energy upgrades.  Data from these upgrades will be used in the new Quality of Life Study through the EECBG.

The upgrades for this Household Energy Fund include:
1. Attic sealing and insulation
2. Duct sealing
3. Weatherization and blower door air sealing.

Household Energy Fund Eligibility:
1. Homeowners/renters who have occupied residencies for at least 12 months
2. Residence is not in the CPMD Rental Database
3. Residence is not for sale or in foreclosure
4. Taxes are current on the residence
5. Utilities must be in resident's name
6. 1 year of utility bills (prior & post installation, often accessible on utility company website)
7. Proof of Income

We hope that we will have many volunteers for this great opportunity and would just like to get a commitment from as many residents as possible.  For those who are interested in the Household Energy Fund, please drop by the Gateway YMCA on 7/19 from 6-8 to sign up, or contact ThirdWardNEET@gmail.com for more information.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Historic Charlotte’s 10th annual Blast for the Past

Historic Charlotte’s 10th annual Blast for the Past will be at the new Uptown Mint Museum on Thursday, October 21st, allowing guests to be some of the first to view this spectacular new arts venue right here in Third Ward.  There will be live music and great food, a silent auction and the residential and commercial preservation awards ceremony recognizing the most innovative historic preservation projects in the Charlotte region.
Tickets go on sale in August at HistoricCharlotte.org and are limited to 400. (If you are interested in being a table sponsor for Blast for the Past please contact D.Althouse@HistoricCharlotte.org)..
Want to get more involved?

  1. Donate or help us gather unique and fabulous auction items; 
  2. Volunteer to help with the event itself and be part of this fun and exciting evening.  

Donations are tax deductible, so pf you have any auction items contact Sarah Kennard at Sarah@HistoricCharlotte.org or at 704-332-8825 . If you would like to volunteer to help the night of the event please contact Jeanne Pearson at Jeanne@HistoricCharlotte.org or at 704-998-2229.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recycling Reminder

Third Ward's first pickup under the new biweekly recycling schedule will be tomorrow, July 14th.

Friday, July 9, 2010

West End Market

After its July 4 hiatus, the Historic West End Market returns to 1601 West Trade Street this weekend.  Enjoy produce specials, live music, and people watching!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ivey Handbell Ringers 28th Annual Homecoming Concert

"On Friday, July 9 at 7:00pm, the Ivey Handbell Ringers, a group of 10 youth handbell ringers from First Presbyterian Church will present their annual Homecoming Concert in the church Sanctuary. The group will return that afternoon from a 12 day concert tour of Colorado where they performed 10 concerts including ringing at the Air Force Academy Chapel on July 4th. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information contact the church office at 704-332-5123.
First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, www.firstpres-charlotte.org."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Collection Day Changes

Beginning this week, Third Ward's trash collection day will change to Wednesday.  At this time the new bi-weekly recycling schedule begins using the new, larger bins.  Third Ward's first recycling collection under the new schedule will be next Wednesday, July 14th.
For a schedule of on/off weeks for recycling pickup, please see this link.  Third Ward's recycling collection weeks are shown in green.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Red, White, & Boom! 2010

The annual Red, White, & Boom! festival begins this Sunday, July 4th, at 6:00p with a food drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank.  A donation qualifies you for a drawing for a list of prizes, including a $500 gift card to fly anywhere in the continental US on US Airways.
Fireworks begin at 9:30p (weather permitting) at Memorial Stadium (map) with the music track simulcast on 96.9 FM.  Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Exploring Third Ward and Beyond

There are two great opportunities to explore Third Ward and beyond this weekend.  First, the Historic West End Market resumes this Saturday at 1601 West Trade Street.  Check out the specials in this flyer, and information on becoming a vendor here.
Second, Historic Charlotte will conduct a tour of Elmwood/Pinewood Cemetery, also on Saturday, beginning at 11:00a.  Meet at the Gardner's House at 700 West Sixth Street.  The tour is free for Historic Charlotte members; $10 for non-members.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CMS Comprehensive Review

"You can have a say in the future of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The Board of Education seeks input as it does a comprehensive review of the school district. Titled 'The Case for Continuous Improvement: A Comprehensive Review of CMS,' the review addresses district issues including magnet schools, transportation, boundaries, projected enrollments and use of facilities.
Come out to a community forum and make your voice heard. Forums will be held on the following dates and times:

  • June 21, Harding High (2001 Alleghany St.) at 6:30 p.m.
  • June 22, Government Center (600 E. Fourth St.) at 6 p.m.
  • June 24, South Mecklenburg High (8900 Park Road) at 6:30 p.m.
  • June 28, Hopewell High (11530 Beatties Ford Road) at 6:30 p.m. 

The Board will also hold three workshops before July 4 to discuss the information collected from the public. For more information, visit the CMS Web site."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bank of America Stadium

Bank of America Stadium will conduct its periodic fire alarm/strobe testing tonight at 6:00p.  Please do not be alarmed.

Meeting Tonight

Tonight's meeting will begin at 6:00p at the Gateway Village YMCA, with presentations from CMPD, Neighborhood Energy Challenge guru Lindsay Hazelman, and Kennie High and Whitney Jackson of the Gateway Village YMCA speaking about Pursuing Learning All Year, or PLAY.  See you there!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Irwin Creek Stream Cleanup

STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates, located on the edge of Third Ward in the historic Boxer Building, is conducting its annual Irwin Creek Stream Cleanup this Saturday, June 19th. (Disclosure: My wife is employed at the company.)
Participants should meet in the parking lot at 1000 West Morehead Street at 9:00a; hip waders, trash bags, and "grabbers" will be provided.  The cleanup will conclude at noon.
Thanks to STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates for their work to beautify our shared neighborhood!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Historic West End Market

The Historic West End Market was created by our neighbors to the west of I-77 in the Wesley Heights, Seversville, and Smallwood-Biddleville communities.  With the exception of Father's Day weekend - i.e., this weekend - it runs Saturdays from 10:00a to 3:00p through the summer.  The market is located at 1601 West Trade Street (map), and through July is promoting a special on produce (flyer).  Visit and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Real Estate Report

Board member Mike Sposato's Third Ward Real Estate Report for May 2010 can be found here.  Thanks to Mike for providing this service to the neighborhood!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Historic Charlotte, Inc. 10th Annual Blast for the Past

"Historic Charlotte is seeking nominations for its 10th Annual Historic Preservation Awards (Blast for the Past) for the greater Mecklenburg County.  The two-step application includes:

  • Step One:  Email Leah@HistoricCharlotte.org and request a Blast for the Past Preservation Awards nomination form. Email or fax the completed form to Leah@HistoricCharlotte.org or 704-375-6152. 
  • Step Two:  A PowerPoint Template will be emailed to you and your firm for you to complete with information and pictures about your preservation project.  The PowerPoint should then be emailed to Leah@HistoricCharlotte.org or sent via CD to Historic Charlotte at P.O. Box 33113, Charlotte, NC 28233.  The entry deadline for all submissions is August 20, 2010.

Winners will be honored at Historic Charlotte’s annual preservation celebration, Blast for the Past, on Thursday, October 21th, 2010 at the Mint Museum Uptown.  Food, music and historic ambiance will set the stage for the 2010 Historic Charlotte Preservation Awards.  Tickets may be ordered by calling Historic Charlotte, Inc. at 704-375-6145 or online at www.HistoricCharlotte.org after September 1st, 2010.

Nominated projects must have been completed within the last three years on a 50+ year old structure in greater Mecklenburg County.  Projects must exemplify aspects of effective preservation, historic renovation, adaptive reuse and/or new construction or neighborhood planning within a historic context.

There are five award categories:  Preservation Residential, Preservation Commercial, Infill Residential, Infill Commercial, and Preservation Excellence. The Preservation Excellence award is given to a person or group that exemplifies excellence in preservation in Mecklenburg County.

Winners from 2009 include the Funderburk-Johnson House, Morning Star Lutheran Church, the Summit Greenway, Howard Residence/Max & Co., NC Music Factory, and the Dr. Robert Greene House. For more details about past winners visit Historic Charlotte’s home page at www.HistoricCharlotte.org.  Contact Diane Althouse at d.althouse@HistoricCharlotte.org  for information on how to be a sponsor for the Blast for the Past Preservation Awards.

The mission of Historic Charlotte, Inc. is to promote historic preservation in the greater Charlotte region.  Historic Charlotte, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1991.  Historic Charlotte, Inc. is supported in part by the Arts and Science Council."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CMPD Update - UPDATED

The latest update from CMPD can be found here.
Update: CMPD has contacted me regarding the graffiti found in the neighborhood this week.  They are highly proactive in this matter and taking steps to prevent additional incidents.  If you see suspicious activity of any kind, call 911 immediately.  Thank you!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Progress on HSR

"Virginia and the Federal Railroad Administration announce the completion of a draft environmental statement that is a key step toward implementing high-speed rail service in the two states and the Southeast.  The Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Statement covers the portion of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) corridor between Richmond, Va., and Raleigh, N.C.
The SEHSR project proposes to implement approximately 162 miles of high-speed rail as part of an overall plan to extend high-speed passenger rail service from the Northeast Corridor (Boston to Washington, D.C.) southward through Virginia to Charlotte, N.C.  The Richmond to Raleigh portion includes nearly 100 new bridges/overpasses that, when combined with existing bridges/overpasses, will create a fully grade-separated system to ensure the safety of passengers and train crews, motorists and the surrounding community.
'This is a significant step in completing the high-speed rail line from North Carolina to Washington, D.C.' said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo. 'We are very pleased with the multi-state cooperation and agreements with the freight railroads, which will serve as a model for other states in pushing high-speed rail beyond their borders.'"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cool Summer of Hot Jazz

"Mid-century art meets mid-century music this summer at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Visit the museum from 6 to 8 pm on June 4, July 2 and August 6 for free music outside on the plaza. The Ziad Jazz Quartet will play selections from the masters of mainstream jazz including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and others.
The Bechtler is open late the first and third Fridays of the month until 9 pm. Regular admission applies during the late hours; the jazz series is free. Beer and wine sold in the museum café."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

William McDonough

Internationally-known sustainability and design expert William McDonough will speak at the UNC-Charlotte School of Architecture's Visions of the City series on Tuesday, June 8th, at the Knight Theatre.  See this flyer for more information; RSVP required via rsvp@charlottecentercity.org.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Helicopter Landing

Please be aware that there will be a helicopter landing today on the Panthers practice field, landing at approximately 6:15p and departing at approximately 8:15p.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Neighborhood Energy Challenge!

Dear Third Ward Residents,

I'm Lindsay Hazelman, a Third Ward resident, and am pleased to announce that the Neighborhood Association is participating in Charlotte's very own NEIGHBORHOOD ENERGY CHALLENGE!

The Neighborhood Energy Challenge (NEC) encourages neighborhood-level involvement in planning and implementing energy solutions through two funding components:

  • Funding Component 1: Energy Conservation Action Plan projects to benefit the overall neighborhood ($20,000).
  • Funding Component 2: The Household Energy Fund, provides individual households funding to install weatherization & energy upgrades ($60,000).

25% of the qualifying criteria to receive these funds is successful community engagement.  Please email ThirdWardNEET@gmail.com if you are interested in participating on our Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Team (NEET).  I'll be organizing a brainstorming meeting in the next two weeks and would like as many residents to attend as possible.  Please let me know if you are interested.

I'll be managing the grant application process for the neighborhood.  If you are unable to attend a brainstorming meeting (TBD), I encourage you to submit your weatherization and energy conservations ideas to ThirdWardNEET@gmail.com.  Project ideas will be voted on at the June 21st Third Ward Meeting.  

For more information, please view the NEC Presentation or the NEC Grant Application Guidelines, found at the bottom of this page.

Best,
Lindsay Hazelman

Friday, May 21, 2010

Speed Street 2010 Update

Next week's Speed Street event will entertain more than 400,000 fans in a new location (map).  Numerous fan-friendly destinations will be included such as:

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame - 400 Martin Luther King Boulevard 
  • Food Lion Kids Zone presented by General Mills - Tryon Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Third Street 
  • Miller Lite Stage - Parking lot at the corner of Third Street and Poplar Street 
  • Coca-Cola Stage - East Trade Street and Tryon Street

For a complete schedule of events and parking details, visit www.600festival.com.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Utilities Inspection Alert

"As part of our efforts to enhance customer service, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has hired an independent contractor to perform an audit on water meter equipment that will begin ... Wednesday, May 19. Vanguard Utility Service, Inc. will be auditing 9,000 residential customer meters countywide over the next seven weeks. Here are a few details we’d like to share about the project:

  • This audit complements billing quality assurance processes already in place and will give us a good snapshot of how meter equipment is functioning in the field.
  • The sites selected are meter reading routes that represent a cross-section of transmitter types, water consumption and geography.
  • No action is required by customers, and the auditor will not need to enter homes. The auditor will perform an inspection at the meter box and will conduct a “flow test” by running water briefly from an outdoor spigot. This ensures the meter equipment is accurately measuring water use.
  • Vanguard auditors will drive marked vehicles and will be wearing identification. (See photo.)
  • Auditors will leave a door hanger with their findings. If they identify a problem, a Utilities crew will be dispatched to correct it as soon as possible. If the problem had affected the customer’s bill, it will be adjusted accordingly.

We are committed to ensuring accurate billing, and we’ll be sharing the results of this audit with our customers. Please visit www.cmutilities.com for more details on the meter equipment audit and our FY 2011 budget and rates. This meter equipment audit is one of nine projects initiated in February to improve customer service. Please click here for information on the City-sponsored Customer Service Evaluation."
As always, if you see any activity that seems suspicious, call 911 immediately.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May Meeting

Beginning May 17th, the association will meet on the third Monday of each month at 6:00p.  We will return to the Gateway Village YMCA (map) as our “permanent” home, though may visit other neighborhood venues occasionally.  The board of directors concluded that this time, and the return to a regular location, would be more accessible and convenient for residents.
Our new meeting schedule will get off to a strong start.  On May 17th we will host Michael Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, Heather Hill, an advocate for a new Episcopal High School for Charlotte, and board member Mike Sposato, Owner of Carolina Realty Advisors, who will present a real estate report specific to conditions in Third Ward.  Free parking will be available in the paved lot at 950 West Trade Street (map, the entry code is 950#).  See you there!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

31st Annual Kiwanis BBQ & Bluegrass Luncheon

"Friday, May 14th * 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Rain or shine!) * Cost $9 in advance/$10 at door – Includes BBQ, 3 sides, roll and tea * Uptown on the grounds of First Presbyterian Church * Live Bluegrass Music! * Dine in or take it to go * Proceeds from this event help children in our community * Please order tickets in advance * Contact Mike Griffith at (704) 904-9509"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gateway Village Farmers Market

"The Gateway Village Farmers Market will be in the Promenade this Summer every Tuesday, June 1, 2010 – August 31, 2010. Look for a variety of home grown veggies, fresh baked goods, natural products and much more. Invite your family and friends to join you for lunch in the Promenade and enjoy live music while you lunch. Farmers Market Vendors will be donating 10% of their sales to several different charities."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Recycling Carts Update

The new recycling carts are being delivered today.  Please note that the carts will not be used until the Improved Recycle It! program commences in July.  In the meantime, please continue to use the red recycling bins.  For more information, see the Improved Recycle It! website.

Wells Fargo Cultural Campus Newsletter, Issue 3

A thorough update on the new Wells Fargo/Levine Cultural Campus can be found here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lunchtime Jazz

Find Your Center's free jazz series kicks off today at 11:30a, and repeats the first Wednesday of every month until August.  Today's concert will feature John Alexander's Band: Big Octave and will be located at 201 South Tryon Street, on the 5th floor terrace.
$5.00 box lunches are available, consisting of a sandwich, apple, chips and a drink, sold on the spot from McCormick and Schmick’s Restaurant. Buy a lunch or brown bag your own.
John Alexander's Band: Big Octave has "an innovative style and an eclectic repertoire.  They perform their own original works, as well as music by many other artists, formed into new and unconventional arrangements."
Mark your calendar for the next concert on Wednesday, June 2 with Rhythm + Jazz.  For more information, check out http://www.findyourcenter.com/.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Historic Charlotte Artevation

Historic Charlotte will host several events focused on its "Save Our Signs" campaign.  The events, part of the Artevation series, will take place May 4th, 7th, 8th, and 25th, at 2000 South Boulevard.
Please see the flyer at right for more details!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bike Festival/Bike Safety

2010 BIKE! Charlotte kicks off today with events running (riding?) through May 16th, including  the Mayor's Ride, Tour de Light Rail, and the Cycle Charlotte Festival.  For more information, see http://www.bikecharlotte.org/BikeCharlotteEvents.htm.
With bike use comes the need for bike safety.  A couple of residents in neighboring Fourth Ward had their bikes stolen from a parking deck bike rack recently.  Most bicycle thefts result from unlocked or improperly locked bikes.  Following these tips will help prevent your bike from being stolen:

  • Never leave your bike unlocked.
  • Use a high quality U-lock or very thick chain; for added security use both.
  • Lock your bike in a well lighted and highly visible location.
  • Lock your wheel and bike frame to a sturdy, firmly anchored object such as a bike rack or post.
  • Keep a photograph and the serial number of your bike.  Provide these to the police if reporting a stolen bicycle.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Beer Dinner at Pie Town

On Saturday, May 22nd at 6:30p, Pie Town will host a Beer Dinner featuring three courses paired with beers from the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.  The cost is $24/person not including tax or gratuity.  RSVP at (704) 279-7555 or via briana@sonomarestaurants.net.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rev'd Up 2010

NASCAR's Rev'd Up series returns to Third Ward on May 20th with bands Switchfoot, Parachute, and the Paper Tongues performing.  Events begin at 4:00p near Third Street & Mint Street (map).  Find more information here!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Family Day at the Bechtler

MAY 8, 2010 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M
Bring your family for a day of artful fun in and around the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Try your hand at creating art in the styles of Warhol, Miró, Calder, Picasso and other greats. Sketch the museum and the Firebird or join in creating a public work of art. Explore the unique style of the Bechtler’s architecture. Learn how a cantilever works and how to build an arch and keystone or examine the blueprints for the museum building.
Look for Family Day activities on the Bechtler plaza, in the lobby, and across Tryon Street in The Green park.
All Family Day activities are free. Admission to tour the museum on Family Day is discounted to $4 for adults; children up to 18 years are admitted free.

"Driver Crashes in Uptown Creek"

For the Observer article, see here.  For WSOC video, see here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weather Postponement

Due to predicted thunderstorms, Historic Charlotte has cancelled  the History Learning Series Walking Tour this afternoon.  Historic Charlotte will schedule an alternative date in May.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Historic Charlotte 2010 History Learning Series

Explore Charlotte’s Historic Pinewood/Elmwood Cemetery on a guided walking tour led by local experts Lynn Weis and Bill Hart ... Tuesday, April 27, 2010 (rain or shine).
Tour Begins at 5:30pm at Alexander Michaels Tavern (410 West Ninth Street), or meet at 6:00pm at the  Pinewood/Elmwood Cemetery Gardner’s House (700 West Sixth Street)."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Reminder: Community Garden Workday Tomorrow

Be at the Community Garden at 8:30a to begin!

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Presents the Music and Museum Series

"APRIL 23 AND 25 AT 5 P.M. IN THE MUSEUM LOBBY [map]
This innovative concert/lecture hybrid fuses image, sound and conversation to provide an insider's perspective on artwork from the Bechtler collection and featured musical compositions. Enjoy selections by French and Spanish composers performed by a quartet of chamber musicians complemented by a display of artworks by Alfred Manessier and Pablo Picasso. Concertgoers will be treated to a champagne reception prior to the performance.
TICKETING/RESERVATIONS
Tickets for each concert are $15 per person ($10 for museum members). Call 704.353.9200 to purchase. Space is limited."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wayfinding Signage

"In an effort to make Uptown more pedestrian friendly and to encourage more pedestrian trips, a wayfinding signage program was developed to direct visitors, residents and employees to their destinations. The Pedestrian wayfinding signs were installed in 2007, and new highway and vehicular signs are being installed in spring 2010. By September 2010, dynamic signs at the gateways to Center City and at 15 parking decks in Center City will be installed providing real-time information about where parking is available so that vehicles can quickly and efficiently locate parking. The rest of the signage program will encourage them to walk to the remainder of their destinations, limiting vehicle trips and reducing congestion on Uptown streets. Learn more about the signage program by clicking here."