Adoption and Parenting Session at St. Michael’s

Story by Mary Beth Phillips. Photo by James Brandon.

Cary, NC – Patti Zordich did not plan to become an expert on trauma and attachment theory, but after earning her doctorate with a focus on attachment theory and then working with children who had experienced trauma, it all came together.  The fruits of her experience led her to write a book for newly adoptive parents: Gotcha! Welcoming Your Adopted Child Home. Read more

Inside the Eye: Flyers Foil Hurricanes

Story by Bob Fennel. File photo by Tom Mousseau.

Cary-lina, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes failed to even up the season series when the Philadelphia Flyers won a hard-fought battle 2-1, at the RBC Center January 10, 2012.

The Canes have been playing well at home going 5-1-1 in the last 7 games, 10-10-3 overall. Read more

Wildlife: Jordan Lake Eagle Cam is Back

Story by Hal Goodtree. Photo by Ken Schneider.

Cary, NC – Last year at about this time, editor Matt Young did a story about Eagle Cam, a citizen science project at Jordan Lake. The big birds are back, and you can watch online again this year as they sit in the nest and prepare to hatch their young. Read more

Don’s Blog: Now on CaryCitizen

Editor’s Note:  Cary Town Council Member Don Frantz has been keeping a blog since 2008. It is with great pleasure that we announce that Don has given us permission to republish his posts and see how it goes.

Don Frantz is a great blogger – you can really hear his voice in what he writes. He’s very informed on the issues, but keeps it simple. He follows an informal publishing schedule – when he’s got something to say, he writes a post.

Don speaks his mind, even if it puts him in the opposition on some issues. But he does it in a way that’s principled and without intentionally ruffling anyone’s feathers. That’s why we respect his blog and asked him to let us republish it here. 

This post is from late December. But it gives some good insight into the intellectual conversation happening right now in Town Council.

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Cary, NC, December 18, 2011 – With the holidays, the last couple of weeks have been relatively light in regards to council responsibilities while heavy on the fun and festivities! The only downside is that with so many holiday events, you just can’t make them all. Highlights for me were the Heart of Cary Association’s Ole Time Winter Festival, the town’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade. Congratulations and Thank You to all the volunteers and town employees who worked so hard to make all of these events a huge success! And thanks to the man upstairs for the great weather!

And while we’ve had a lot of fun, we did have some work to do.

Notable items from our December council meeting included the swearing in ceremonies for newly elected council members, a number of public hearings and annexations, specific council initiated requests and ordinance amendments pertaining to telecommunications towers.

The meeting began with the swearing in ceremonies for Mayor Weinbrecht and Council Members Adcock, Bush and I. After we were sworn into office, the first order of business was to elect a Mayor Pro-Tem. Congratulations to Cary’s new Mayor Pro-Tem Gale Adcock! I am confident she will be a great ambassador and represent Cary’s interests well.

Following the election of Mayor Pro-Tem, Mayor Weinbrecht announced the new committee assignments for council members. The list is long and boring so I will let the Mayor post it on his blog. 😉 I will say that I (finally) get to Chair the Planning and Development Committee and I remain the liaison for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR) advisory board and the Town Center Review Commission (TCRC).

Notable public hearings included:

• C-Tran fare increases and changes. Changes include the elimination of free transfers – this is consistent with both CAT and DATA, modifying the current bus pass structure, and allows for seniors and children to now ride fixed route for free, but remember, ID is required (just not to vote). You can view a complete list of changeshere. The council unanimously approved the amendments.

• Land Development Ordinance Amendments regarding telecommunications towers (cell towers). Proposed amendments provide incentives to telecommunications providers to utilize stealth technology – hopefully resulting in fewer ugly cell towers throughout Cary. The incentive is basically an administrative review and approval process vs. the current costly, time consuming council approval process. If a proposed cell tower is NOT of stealth design, it must still come through the council…and considering previous council decisions…well…good luck with that. The proposed amendments now go to our Planning and Zoning Board for review.

• Site Plan for the old Austin Foods site in Downtown (at the E. Durham Road/E. Chatham Street Intersection) Basically the applicant wants to take an old, ugly, environmentally contaminated site and make improvements that will not only allow for re-use of the existing structures and improve aesthetics downtown, but also better protects our environment and reduce stormwater runoff. The council unanimously approved the request.

Council initiated requests included:

• A request from Councilmember Adcock and Mayor Weinbrecht to direct staff to investigate and report back to council the pros and cons of amending our ordinances to restrict or eliminate the tethering of dogs in Cary. This request passed unanimously.

• A request from Mayor Weinbrecht and I to direct staff to investigate the pros and cons of implementing a trap, neuter and release (TNR) program in Cary to reduce the number of feral cats in Cary. This request also passed unanimously.

• A request from Council member Bush and Mayor Weinbrecht to direct staff to investigate suggested actions the town may take in regards to hydraulic fracturing (AKA fracking) in town limits or Cary’s extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ). This request passed 5-2. Both I and Councilman Smith voted “no”.

I opposed the request because:

  • Fracking is currently illegal in NC – what problem are we trying to solve?
  • I would prefer to work on real issues facing Cary today and not waste time and resources making a political statement.
  • Would a ban on fracking in Cary – the intent of this request – even address our concerns?

From the discussion at our meeting it is obvious that no one has a clear understanding of what fracking really is, or what the impacts to our community may or may not be; and given the amount of media sensationalism and special interest spin on both sides of this topic, I don’t know that we could ever get the truth.

But the reality is that even if state law is changed to allow fracking, it’s probably not going to occur in Cary (zoning, property values etc..), so trying to ban it really doesn’t do anything to address any concerns we might have. If anything we should be more concerned with what might occur in neighboring jurisdictions – especially those near Jordan Lake – our water source.

If the state legislature is going to allow fracking in NC, then it makes more sense that we work with our law makers to ensure that whatever legislation is passed provides for the highest environmental protections, best management practices and transparency as possible so that regardless of where any drilling/fracking occurs, all of NC is protected.

We cannot ignore the potential economic impact of drilling in North Carolina, nor can we ignore the potential environmental impacts. Fracking has worked well for many communities across America while others have concerns. Let’s learn from the success and failure of others and see if we can find something that works for us.

Following our council meeting we held a closed session to discuss a number of legal matters, none of which I can tell you about. Confidential, sorry.

Our December Planning and Development Committee meeting lasted a whopping three minutes. We had only one agenda item for discussion that was a no-brainer. I also met with Town Manager, Ben Shivar to discuss a few items.

That’s about it for this post. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season and have a Happy and Safe New Year!

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Photo of Town Hall by Hal Goodtree.

Wide World of Cary Sports: High School Basketball

Cary, NC – Recently, some stellar basketball pictures came floating across the Cary Flickr Group. They are by Marvin of The M Factor and they are this weeks Wide World of Cary Sports.

High School Basketball in Cary

Marvin has been catching a few games around town – boys and girls, Panther Creek, Athens Drive, Cary High and Green Hope.

Interesting (at least to photographers), Marvin shot these pictures with a remote controlled flash. That’s unusual for sporting events and accounts for the crisp action pictures and vibrant indoor colors.

How About Your High School?

If your Cary area high school is not represented here, reach out to someone in your community who is shooting your games and recommend they contact the photo editor at CaryCitizen.

All our photographers make a voluntary contribution of their work. We rely on the community for our high school sports coverage. Any sport, any school in Cary is welcome.

Alternatively, maybe you know a pizza parlor or ice cream shop that might want to sponsor coverage of your school’s sports. Hook us up!

Wide World of Cary Sports

 

Eateries: Sugar Buzz Bakery & Cafe

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, North Carolina – Looking for some place new to get coffee and a pastry? Check out Sugar Buzz Bakery & Cafe, now open in Saltbox Village. Read more

Business: Revenue Collection Up in NC

Story from staff reports. Photo by apbailey.

Cary, NC – In another positive economic bell weather for the area, the Governor’s Office reported today that revenue collection is $150 million above forecast for the current fiscal year. Read more

3 Kings Came to Cary

Story by Lindsey Chester, photos by Brooke Meyer.

Cary, NC – The weather was almost tropical for The Three Kings Parade in Bond Park last Saturday, January 7th, culminating the holiday season for the Latino community. Read more

Harold’s Blog: Costco, Fracking & Neon

From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, covering the week through January 8, 2012. Photo by Martin Abeggien.

Cary, NC – This was the first full week of the New Year but included a holiday so things were still a little slower than normal.

On Monday I had dinner with a longtime supporter and talked about the next four years and the new council makeup. Read more

Food: BurgerFi Coming to Cary

Cary, NC – Here are two words you don’t hear together very much: “eco-friendly” and “hamburgers.” BurgerFi, a new restaurant concept, aims to change that perception when they open their doors in Cary during the Spring of 2012. Read more