Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin wall lighting on Wednesday

The Elizabeth neighborhood is building its annual pumpkin wall, and the official lighting ceremony is Wednesday at 7 p.m. (-ish, I suspect).
More photos soon from the wall on Sunday. There were plenty of pumpkins yet to be carved on Sunday afternoon. Pumpkins are free, but you're welcome to carve your own at home and bring it to the wall.
Note: I did not see any pi pumpkins as of Sunday. That was my favorite pun in the past.
Where: 537 Lamar Street.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A great story about a Merry Oaks teacher

Kansas City sports writer Joe Posnanski writes a lovely tribute to Merry Oaks Elementary teacher and Elizabeth resident Lolo Pendergrast.

His tribute is not about her teaching abilities now, but rather her teaching abilities for a young reporter.

Joe says Lolo taught him this:
"...We shouldn’t shoot low, we shouldn’t settle for the ordinary, we shouldn’t be limited by ceilings in our imagination. I don’t know that I ever thanked Lolo for teaching me those lessons; and I’m sure if I did she scoffed at the very idea of that I would thank her for sharing of herself. That’s what I mean by the Lolos in our lives. They don’t want thanks. They don’t want anything, I guess, except someone willing to listen."

We're lucky to have teachers like Lolo at Merry Oaks, and we're lucky to have writers like Joe who share the stories.

Pumpkin wall update

Under the Water Tower has the scoop on the Elizabeth pumpkin wall. Go check it out.
More pictures here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where to find election information

So you're looking to study up before voting? Want to go beyond the TV commercials?

The Charlotte Observer's vote guide is here.

The Raleigh News and Observer's election coverage is here., the website for The Independent in The Triangle, has election information here.

The League of Women Voters has PDF documents covering state and local elections here.

The Mecklenburg Board of Elections has early voting information and other stuff here.

You can also check the links in the "Politics" sidebar about halfway down on the left of this blog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MONA potluck and pitfire tonight

Last-minute reminder:

Tonight, Saturday, Oct. 18, is the Merry Oaks Neighborhood Association's fall potluck and pitfire gathering. Bring a side dish and hang out and visit with your neighbors. See the Google group for more details.

Merry Oaks cleans up Briar Creek

Trash and litter are like laundry: There's always more to be done.

Merry Oaks residents cleaned up areas of Briar Creek along the neighborhood greenway on Oct. 4 as part of The Big Sweep. But heavy undergrowth and continuing warm weather prevented volunteers from getting everything. As the weather cools and snakes and bad bugs go into hiding, we have great opportunities for getting more trash out of the creek and nearby greenway. It doesn't always take an organized event: Mindful visits with trash bags in hand work well too.

Here's part of the report from the official cleanup from the neighborhood Google message group:

"Merry Oaks volunteers did their part on Oct. 4 to clean up our section of Briar Creek at the greenway. Many thanks to Kate Mellnik and Ben Kubie who headed up a group of five who ended up with 15 bags of trash and about 5-7 bulky items. They lugged them to Arnold Drive for special pickup and reported results to Mecklenburg County. These were some of the more interesting items that were found: boxsprings, basketball backboard, thermos, baseball, lots of golf balls, cordless phone, tire, sofa cushions, phone card, and dentures."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Elizabeth's pumpkin wall

No matter your politics, you can't deny that the Elizabeth community's pumpkin wall has been a treat for the neighbors during recent years. Most of the photos here are from the 2007 wall, challenged by drought and then rains at carving time.

The photo second from the top is from the 2006 truth wall, which created a bit of political controversy.

Will there be a wall this year? What will it say? Let me know so I can share.

But one word of advice this Halloween: Let's hope all the nearby neighborhoods get a clue this year. Don't add to traffic and gas consumption by swarming Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood (and even Chapel Hill) for Halloween festivities. Let's try to make it work in our own neighborhoods. If we must visit the nearby sites, be mindful of people big and small on foot.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Call for artists

The Arts and Science Council of Mecklenburg County has released a call for artists for up to three $15,000 commissions for local painters to develop murals along the Central Avenue international corridor.

The project focuses on Central Avenue between Briar Creek Road and Eastway Drive, just next to the Merry Oaks neighborhood.

ASC encourages artists of diverse backgrounds – particularly Asian and Latino, reflecting the new immigrant communities – to apply. The application process involves qualifications only – no proposals.

From the prospectus:
"The goal of this project is to provide the corridor with a more colorful and cohesive visual identity....

"Ceramic artist Amy Sanders will continue as the lead artist. She'll have oversight of the artists hired, will coordinate community meetings to involve residents and artists in the project and will work with business owners as appropriate. The suggested locations for the murals are the Asian and Latino businesses near Briar Creek."

Application deadline is Oct. 30. Details: the Arts and Science Council.

Photos: Courtesy of the prospectus provided by the Arts and Science Council, showing a sample mural idea proposed in the UNCC Master Plan. The building is Cafe Central, at the corner of Central Avenue and Arnold Drive.