Dec 182007
 

It isn’t often when you get to witness one of those perfect instances in time, where something extraordinary and unexpected happens. I just had to share it with VSO readers.

I ran across this video as I was checking a web email account. Just a little back story, Britain as you might expect has it’s own version of American Idol, called ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and so it has. Take note of the faces of the judges.

Incredible.

Dec 072007
 
TODD SUMLIN – tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
Click photo to see slide-show
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esterday a parking garage at South Park Mall partially collapsed according to witnesses, after a compact car struck a support post. The photo attached shows the damage to the vehicle which suffered significant damage, but given the class and weight of this automobile, it’s both hard to fathom and frightening to consider that such a minor impact caused the roof to collapse. How can it be such a structure be so fragile.

Charlotte Observer:
Firm that designed parking deck studying collapse

Charlotte Observer:
Witness says car crash preceded deck cave-in

With two weeks of Christmas shopping left, I would suggest that parking in any Charlotte parking deck might not be the smartest choice. Obviously, somewhere between construction materials and city building inspections a failure or series of failures occurred leading to the tragic death and a disaster that could have been much worse in damage and caused many more fatalities.

Better yet, shop in Union County, most everywhere except Waxhaw is easy to get to, with less traffic congestion and has much to offer.

Jul 092007
 
I recently became involved with VFW Post 2423 in Indian Trail. Since getting out of the military several years ago, I have tended to avoid anything to do with the military past or present. I never had a reason, other than to think that was in my past. Then I read a newspaper article about the Vietnam Moving Wall and how the local VFW was in need of money, volunteers, food, water, tissues, and toilet paper. Not to mention anything else they could get their hands on.

Donations of money, food, and the like apparently had not been coming in and the bills associated with the Moving Wall were fast coming due. I went and visited the VFW and what I found touched me to the point I have made this something of importance in my life.

These members of the VFW Post 2423 are working very hard, with little fanfare or donations to make this an event the County can be proud of forever.

The Moving Wall

The Moving Wall is scheduled to be at the VFW Post 2423 in Indian Trail October 25th through October 29th, 2007. It will be open to the public 24 hours a day. The moving wall is half the size of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 people will visit the wall while in Union County. After the wall exits there will be a memorial park at the VFW for the entire county to utilize. It promises to be a grand experience and can only be made better if we can drum up more support for the event.

What can you do to help? The VFW needs everything. Thats as simple as I can state it. Money, volunteers, water, food, tissues, and of course toilet paper. Please find it in your heart to contribute whatever you can to this fine event. Make this an event that will be remembered for years and years to come. Lets show respect to those that made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could enjoy our freedoms we have today. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Donations are fully TAX DEDUCTIBLE and made payable to VFW-Post 2423 and mail to The Moving Wall Committee, PO BOX 535, Indian Trail NC 28079. Contact the VFW directly by calling 704-821-9753 and speaking with Kathy Dixon. She will be more than happy to give you a needs list, dates, times or whatever.

The VFW does a lot of good for a lot of people and typically they do it on a slim budget. Together we can make this a great event.

The Moving Wall 2007

Jul 062007
 

T

oday, only the spirit and countless memories remain with the scores of family, friends and students touched by Jann Lane in her many years. Jann, the beloved wife of Roger Lane, mother of three and grandmother of three passed on, leaving only the pain and discomfort of illness in her wake.

I will remember her as a very talented artist, a woman with devilish sense of humor and a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude on life.

She would, on occasion write a letter to a editor, with a knack of cutting to the heart of whatever the issue, always direct, you knew where she stood.

Jann loved to laugh and enjoyed the often sassy Maxine cartoons — you’ll find a few of her favorites framed and embroidered in her home.

Jann Lane will be missed.

Mar 082007
 

During the last 7 years, many a newcomer have settled in Union County, a 32% increase in population between 2005 and the 2000 census. People are attracted here by the excellent school system, thousands escaping the CMS fiasco, others by the ‘Mayberry’ quality of life, still others by the low taxes.

Taxes, Taxes and More TaxesIn fact, you couldn’t go house-hunting without seeing prominent signs advertising low taxes and Union Schools displayed in entrances of new subdivisions. Just about every western county real-estate sales brochure advertised Weddington schools — even those developments outside the school district.

Union County’s current ad valorem property tax rate is .637 cents per $100 of valuationwhich will increase steadily at least 17 cents (more like 20¢) over the next 4 years, solely to pay for school construction necessitated by last 7-10 years of unmanaged growth.

In the face of all the bad news about rising taxes and needed school construction, what better time than now to discuss property tax as government funding mechanism?

A ‘Scribe reader referred the following article, which may provoke your interest.

Carolina Journal Online: Probing the Propriety of the Property Tax

Nothing stirs the average citizen in North Carolina quite like a discussion on property taxes. They are enigmatic, confusing, illogical, and bizarre. The rates in our state range from $1.10 in Scotland County to 26 cents in Dare County.

There is no tax equatable to all, but placing the largest burden on one segment of citizenry is certainly the most unfair. Escalating property tax on seniors with fixed incomes contributes to rush of property sales, especially those who live in areas where developers go door to door waving money — driving the engine of development.

Many newcomers came from states like New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts which have some of the highest and most oppressive property tax rates anywhere. Paying Union County taxes in comparison seems like a discount, but without proper land and growth management, the cost of infrastructure alone will burden the county with such a debt load that people will be forced flee again, perhaps attracted to better managed neighboring counties.

At least those who can afford to leave.