Friday, December 24, 2010

NC Population surges ahead in 2010

Thinking its getting more crowded around here lately? According to the latest US Census numbers, North Carolina jumped substantially ahead in the number of residents and is among the "mega-states" in population. The State's population swelled by a whopping 18.5 percent since year 2000.

The NC population increased nearly 1.5 million people since 2000 to a total count of 9,535,483, the fifth most of any state. 
Read the entire report...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Biggest home in town

So you want a big beach house?

Check out this one at North Carolina's Cherry Grove Beach. This new home is being built (summer 2010)  for the owner of Bollineau's in downtown Cherry Grove Beach. He owns the main grocery store, hardware store, gas station, souvenir shop an other businesses in town.

Interestingly, the home sits by the bay at the end of a street of all one-story small private residences. Here's guessing he is friends of all of them or they are his employees since the home doesn't fit anywhere in the entire nearby area.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Town of Apex butchers historical tree

Town of Apex 1, resident 0. Game over.

The Town utilities department butchered one of the historical oak trees along Center Street on July 12, 2010. The tree has been part of the character the old Herbert Poe house in the so-called Historical District since the early 1900s.

Granted, some trimming is necessary to protect the Town's power grid, but butchering the tree would seem to be an extreme step to take. Especially since the Town long ago adopted the position to require owners of properties in the Historic District to preserve the original look of homes in order to protect and maintain the "small town character" in the older Town neighborhoods.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hotter than hot in Apex NC

It's hotter than hot in Apex NC !!!

And this is in the shade!

102 Degrees and counting...

July 7, 2010, 3:30 PM

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can a bag of water keep flies away?

Ever see bags of water hanging in or near a restaurant or someone's doorway?

The theory is that these will keep flies away from the area where they are hanging. Myth or truth, the concept sounds interesting and useful. One of the reasons suggested is that light refraction confuses flies and causes them to leave the area. Read more about the concept on "HowStuffWorks"...

What do you think? Leave a comment to share your results if you have tried it...

Read the article about whether bags of water can keep flies away...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Apex Town Council supports no-busing plan for Wake County

The Apex Town Council voted May 3rd to support the Wake County plan to not use busing for diversity. Mayor Keith Weatherly frequently places the Town Council at the center of controversial issues and now says the Wake County Board previously put too much emphasis on busing to diversify schools. He cites the Town Council has been very outspoken in the past against the busing policy and wants to encourage the County to put "educational emphasis on minority and economically disadvantaged students".

The Mayor says the previous school board had focused on having "an arbitrary, economic and racial mix in all of our schools when education should be the primary focus."

Read the full article...

Apex Passes Resolution In Support Of School Board

May. 4, 2010 11:14 pm
APEX, N.C. - Apex City Council members unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Wake County School Board's Community Schools program.
The mayor said the council was very vocal in the past against the county's busing policy.
Council members said they support diversity in schools but believe the focus of the board should be on something else.
"We are encouraging, educational emphasis on minority and economically disadvantaged students, which we've seen low graduation rates on other things that had not been successful," Mayor Keith Weatherly said. "We feel that that's been the most important emphasis of the previous board of education; to have an arbitrary, economic and racial mix in all of our schools when education should be the primary focus."
Other communities, including Raleigh, have passed resolutions denouncing the School Board's actions.

Monday, April 26, 2010

CSX strikes again locking up and parking a train across several Apex crossings

A CSX crew locked up their train engine and walked off the job leaving a line of train cars blocking three street crossings in the heart of Apex at 4:00 AM Friday April 23rd until around 9:00 AM in the morning. Never mind that this left the neighborhoods blocked with residents not aware they could not cross the tracks at these streets. Never mind that should anyone need emergency help that police or EMS personnel did not know they could not cross at these streets if they got an emergency call.

What's missing from this report is that this is not the first time CSX has done this in Apex. From time to time a train is left parked near the same crossings blocking traffic in the same manner. It is a simple , but necessary, courtesy to the community for the train to be moved a few feet to leave the Chatham Street crossing unblocked. They could also have pushed the train all the way past the Tingen Road crossing and left it parked until a new crew could have been brought on scene.

CSX crews routinely leave engines parked at the Center Street train depot with engines idling all night and all weekend causing a constant engine noise problem and venting diesel fumes into the neighborhoods with no concern to the health and welfare of the neighbors of the entire downtown area.

Leaving crossings blocked for a few minutes during busy traffic times is largely an inconvenience. But leaving a train parked and blocking three traffic crossings with no crew to move the train could easily lead to a crisis for a local resident needing police or EMS help while the crossings are blocked. The extra time needed to figure out the train is not going to move and then find an alternate route could make or break a life or death situation...
News & Observer
April 23, 2010
Staff Report

Train blocking 3 intersections removed

A train that was abandoned by its crew and left sitting on the railroad tracks where it blocked three roads in downtown Apex for several hours Friday morning was removed about 9 a.m. police said.

The train was left parked on the tracks about 4 a.m., and when police contacted CSX railroad officials, they were told the members of the crew had reached their limit of work hours, stopped the train, locked it up and left, Sgt. Greg Rhodes said.

A spokesman for the police department said that apparently CSX sent out another crew to move the train.

The train blocked Tingen Road, Moore Street and Chatham Street, police said. Rhodes said the three blocked intersections did not cause any traffic problems. Drivers figured out alternate routes on their own, he said. Read original report...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not your Father's AT&T

This is not the quality work of your Father's AT&T. Since the company was split up years ago and recently merged with another company, the traditions of providing good service and doing quality installations that blend with the surroundings have long been abandoned.

Take a look around and you will see sloppy installations (like the one here near the CSX rail depot in downtown Apex) and signs of lack of concern for the environment and community. Another widespread insult to the environment can be seen in the form of gaudy orange and white marker poles along roads everywhere that are placed in theory to prevent digging up underground cables and fiber circuits.

So much for being a good community citizen!
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times 2010

When folks get laid off some look for any means available to produce income until things get better. Sign outside of Doctor's Office in Cary, NC.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Apex officials eliminate coverage of elective abortions and regulate employees morals

The Apex Town Council recently took on the hot topic of regulating morality of women town employees and family members when Mayor Keith Weatherly quietly introduced an unadvertised item at the beginning of the January 19, 2010, Council meeting. The Mayor's fast tracked item was intended to eliminate coverage for elective abortions for employees and family members from Town provided health insurance. By slipping the item into the agenda, the Mayor virtually insured (no pun intended) the change would pass through the Council approval process without allowing community input on the change. This raises the question as to whether Mr. Weatherly should be allowed to continue as the Town's Mayor.

The Mayor introduced the change into the Council approval process after learning about past cases of elective abortions from his Cary friend Kent Misegades, also a director at the new Thales Academy and a founder of the controversial Cary Watchmen. Mayor Weatherly in effect decided it was appropriate for the Council to regulate employee morality and introduced the proposal to remove coverage from the Town provided insurance package that historically allowed women employees to have an elective abortion when needed. It was also done in a manner to not allow input from Town residents. Introducing the change in this manner the Mayor was able to fast track getting the change quietly added to the agenda with other items to pass on the night it was introduced. This avoided the accepted practice of advertising topics being considered by Town Council to area residents in advance of the voting process.

This controversial move has set off a storm of discussion in the surrounding area and has now led to other regional municipal groups debating insurance coverage of elective abortions and morality based issues. No other local municipalities deny similar coverage for employees to date. According to a recent News and Observer article on the Apex issue, there have only been three cases of Apex Town employees choosing to have an elective abortion. No information has been provided as to whether the choice of abortion made a difference to the health or well-being of the employees.

As noted in the February 6th, 2010, News and Observer article, "Apex's health insurance policy has for years afforded employees the benefit of having the procedure covered at a minimal out-of-pocket expense. During the past six years, three employees have claimed the benefit, town manager Bruce Radford said."

The proposal was quietly slipped into the meeting agenda as noted in the Council's minutes on the Town website...
Apex Town Council Meeting Minutes of January 19, 2010
Mayor Weatherly presented the Regular Meeting Agenda to be set prior to taking action; amendments: 1) Mayor Weatherly asked to discuss town employee health plan...
One of the Councilmen suggested putting the topic under the regular agenda items and the proposal was inserted in the regular agenda items section. When the topic later came up Mayor Weatherly presented the idea of removing elective abortions from the Town employee insurance plan as follows...
Presenter: Mayor Keith Weatherly
New Business # 04 – Add-on: Employee Health Plan
Mayor Weatherly had recently found Town of Apex employee health plan covered “elective abortions”, and understood it standard in most contracts, however, asked Council consider removing “elective abortions” from employee health plan, and not when it relates to health related issues. Human Resources Director Green stated this was correct; noted codes would indicate when abortion would be health related. Town is self funded, with Blue Cross and Blue Shield as administrator over the insurance coverage; BCBS advised the revision could be made to the Town’s contract to state the insurance coverage will no longer fund elective abortions and can have the coverage revision by February 1, 2010. With a brief discussion the following action was taken.
Action: Council Member Schulze made the motion to approve the omission of elective abortions from the town employee health plan. Council Member Gossage made the second to the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
End of New Business # 04
Read the January 19, 2010 Town Council Minutes. News and Observer February 6, 2010, report on the Apex issue from the News and Observer can be read here.

What's your view? Should the Town of Apex be in the business of excluding elective abortions and regulating decisions on health care for the women employees or family members covered by Town health insurance? Is this discriminatory toward women employees? Leave a comment to voice your decision.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

OK... who wants a Lego set?

Lots of folks lined up for Lego's Christmas 2009.
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Monday, February 1, 2010

Looking toward warmer days

The cold days of winter in North Carolina give us all reason to look forward to the warmer days of spring and summer.

This view of a beach home along the coast at Emerald Isle gives us reason to think the cold will soon go away and we will be able to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine before long.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Avalon Pier, Kill Devil Hills, NC

It's cold in Apex with all the snow and sleet but check out the Avalon Pier on January 30th at Kill Devil Hills, NC. Wind, rain, sleet, snow, ice...

Maybe it's a good day to be around home after all!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Transparency - A step in the right direction by the Town of Apex

Check out the new "Transparency" link on the home page of the Apex town website. In response to a recent report slamming the town (Grade = "D") for not being open with information, the Town has made an attempt to give folks a page listing all sorts of information. Unfortunately they called it "Transparency" so folks will not have a clue about what the link provides (they could have called it "Information and Documents" or something meaningful). Too bad the Town Staff and IT department doesn't work with a cross-section of local residents on what is needed or how it should be shown to be useful!

Mayor Weatherly and the Town Staff were dragging their feet and initially resisted providing some information (salaries and other sensitive information) online but have at least now provided a link to some of the information residents should have easy access to. Read a comment on how communities in NC have been reacting to an initiative the John Locke Foundation launched in 2009 at, a website connecting North Carolina citizens with information available online from state agencies, school systems, and municipalities. The website is now routinely used by citizens and the media to get information previously difficult to access.

Read the John Locke Foundation findings on transparency of information in Apex and note how many areas were not available!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Town of Apex - the Big Dig...

So... how many Town of Apex employees does it take to dig one 2 foot wide hole?

In this case it took six employees over half a day to dig a small hole in a yard on Tunstall Street (near Olive Street) on the morning of Tuesday, January 19th, 2010. Look closely and you will see only one person digging and five standing around talking (Click on the photo to see a larger version).

There were also five Town trucks parked in a line in the street in front of this house during the Big Dig.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smokey's BBQ Shack

Yet another hidden BBQ spot in the Apex area...

Smokey's BBQ Shack is tucked away on the side of the road out in Morrisville at 10800 Chapel Hill Road (Highway 54). Take a ride out Davis Drive, turn right onto Morrisville Parkway, then turn back to the left onto Highway 54 in Morrisville. Drive about three miles and look for a small diner-like shack on the right.

The BBQ is great and both chicken and pork are available. You can also get ribs, sliced brisket and wings! There are lots of fixin's to choose from - mixed greens, fried okra, green beans, potato salad, mac-n-cheese, slaw, baked beans and the ever present hush puppies to go with the meal. You can also get Brunswick stew.

Prices are reasonable and two can dine for less than $20 - dine in or take out.

Hours are from 11 AM - 2 PM Monday-Wednesday, 11 AM 7:30 PM Thursday-Friday and 11 AM - 7 PM on Saturday. Call ahead (919-469-1724) if you want to place a large order or to be sure they are open before making the drive. When they run out of BBQ they close up and go home!
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