CaryCitizen Cary, North Carolina news, food, community and events Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:14:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Guide to Beer in Cary 2014 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:14:01 +0000 Bring on the Beer! There are over 16 microbreweries right here in the Triangle with more in the works. Across Cary, we've scoped out 20 places to sample the suds for the 2014 Guide to Beer.

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Cary, NC — Bring on the Beer! There are over 16 microbreweries right here in the Triangle with more in the works. Across Cary, we’ve scoped out 20 places to sample the suds for the 2014 Guide to Beer.

More breweries mean more beer options, thus local restaurant and bar owners have difficult choices to make. For many people, beer selection is a deciding factor when going out for a drink or for a meal. I tend to seek out places that offer local beers on tap, several styles, seasonal selections, and reasonable prices.

Fortunately, restaurants keep improving their beer menus therefore wherever you go for dinner you are bound to find a good craft beer. The following are my favorite beer havens in or near Cary.

Guide to Beer in Cary

Fortnight Brewery

1006 SW Maynard Rd, Cary, NC 27511
(919) 342-6604

At long last, Cary has it’s own brewery. Fortnight brews English style ales, porter and ESB. Brewery and pub located on the corner of Maynard and West Chatham.

Triangle Wine Company

3735 Davis Drive, Ste. 113, Morrisville, NC
(919) 462-1912

Although the name may deceive you, Triangle Wine Company (TWC) also specializes in beer. TWC has thousands of bottles of wine and beer in addition to a bar with 20 taps and wine by the glass. The beer list is always changing but consistently has a wide array of beer styles from India pale ales to sours. Assistant Manager, Tom Plourde says that there is “something for the most seasoned beer nerd to drink as well as something for the person who usually only drinks Budweiser.”

Every Friday, TWC has beer events typically involving a tap takeover by one brewery. Some of the events during September and October include:

  • 9/26 – Oskar Blues Tap Takeover featuring a special cask
  • 10/3 – New Belgium Tap Takeover featuring a cask and a couple of vintage kegs
  • 10/10- Stone Brewing Tap Takeover

TWC is a great place to go to expand your palate and try new styles of beer. The staff is available to answer any questions, and if you enjoy a specific beer at the bar, you can find a similar bottle to take home.

Tyler’s Taproom

1483 Beaver Creek Commons Dr., Apex, NC
(919) 355-1380

Tyler’s boasts a whopping 80 beers on draft, listed according to style in the “beer bible”. The first pages of the menu are dedicated to seasonal and specialty beers from all over the world. There is a section for North Carolina beers with seven from the local area.

The brewery of the month for September is Green Flash Brewing followed by Founders Brewing Company in November. Also notable in November is the celebration of International Stout day on the 8th

- a huge event featuring a wide variety of many rare and vintage stouts.

Weekly beer specials are:

  • Monday: Pint Night- Buy the beer, Keep the glass
  • Tuesday: Build your own flight night!
  • Wednesday: $1 off North Carolina Beers, also $1 off all cans

In the back bar of Tyler’s there are sometimes other specials on the chalk board, but they are decided on a daily basis. If you are a new beer drinker then the “beer bible” can be a bit intimidating. Any server or bartender should be able to tell you a beer that is similar to what you normally drink. You can also order a flight which allows you to try two ounce pours of four different beers.

Carolina Ale House

2240 Walnut St., Cary, NC
(919) 854-9444

The Cary Carolina Ale House upgraded their draft system in December of 2012 as the first location in a company-wide initiative to increase focus on craft beer. There are now 72 beers on tap with 30% dedicated to local and craft beers. About 10 of the taps are continuously rotated in order to accommodate some seasonal beers. There are no really unique beers, but the Ale House definitely gets the award for most improved beer line-up.

Each day of the week there are beer specials at the Ale House.

  • Monday- Sweetwater 420 & Blue – $3.50
  • Tuesday- Ale House Red & Pilsner – $2.50
  • Wednesday- PINT NIGHT – Pints (certain exceptions) – $3.00
  • Thursday- Sam Adams Lager & Seasonal – $3.50
  • Friday- Blue Moon & Blue Moon Seasonal – $3.50
  • Saturday- Sam Adams Lager & Seasonal – $3.50
  • Sunday- All NC Pints – $3.00

Rally Point Sport Grill

1837 N. Harrison Ave. Cary, NC

Rally Point (RP) recently doubled their beer selection due to consumer demand for more craft beers. Compared to last year, RP’s beer sales are up 30%- a clear sign that customers are happy with the change. The staff is prepared for the influx of beer nerds as they all now have their Cicerone Beer Server Certifications.

Some of the fall beers lined up are- Southern Tier Pumpking (my favorite pumpkin beer), Southern Tier Warlock, Foothills Sexual Chocolate, and North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.

Owner, Drew Schenck, will also be brewing a beer in collaboration with Larry Lane of Double Barley Brewing Company. The beer will be brewed in October and served at the restaurant when it’s ready.


Mellow Mushroom

4300 NW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC

(919) 463-7779

There are 21 draft beers with about half from North Carolina. Mellow Mushroom currently has Boulder Brewery’s “Shake” chocolate porter on draft, which I highly recommend trying before it’s gone.

Weekly specials:

  • Sunday- $14 pitchers
  • Monday- $3 pints
  • Tuesday- $3.50 NC drafts
  • Wednesday- $3.50 craft and $1.50 Domestic cans


1101 Market Center Drive,  in Park West Village, Morrisville
(919) 388-3500

The newest Ruckus location is home to 20 beers on draft, and all but two of them are craft beers. Ruckus is frequently giving back to the community by hosting events, benefiting nonprofit organizations. The restaurant also partners with breweries to offer beer dinners where each course is paired with a specific beer. The next beer dinner is October 20, and the brewery is Oskar Blues.

Spirits Pub and Grub

701 E Chatham St, Cary, NC
(919) 462-7001

Spirits is a quaint, little neighborhood restaurant where you can sit at the bar and enjoy a cold beer. The beer menu is primarily local and North Carolina brews, and includes 21 drafts in total. If you go to Spirits on a Thursday, all drafts are only $3.50.

Other Venues

Craft beer is everywhere on tap in Cary including Doherty’s (best poured Guinness in town), Hiberian on Kildare Farm Road and at West Park Tavern, which lists 13 craft brews on the menu including Shotgun Betty, Angry Angel and Bad Penny, all from the Triangle.

The Corner Tavern at Maynard Crossing has NC Drafts for $3.75 on Tuesdays. As of this writing, Abbey Road has 11 craft beers on the menu. UnVined has 13 craft brews listed, including two that are gluten free.

Tribeca Tavern in Stonecreek offers beers from the Mash House in Fayetteville, one of NC’s first micro breweries. They also have about a dozen crafts on tap, most from North Carolina. Woody’s has a couple crafts on tap, specials on Wednesday and an impressive collection of bottled beer. Mac’s Tavern lists 16 beers on tap including Great Lakes Brewing Company.

New on the Scene

World of Beer

2036 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC
(813) 493-2656

World of Beer in Cary held its grand opening on September 1st 500 bottles from around the world, spirits, pub-style food and 19 flat screen televisions. There is a local beer presence with Fullsteam, Lonerider, Big Boss, and other on tap. Currently, there will be a select craft draft special on Saturdays and Sundays for $3. Each Thursday night is a Tap Takeover, where one brewery will have at least three or four different styles of beer on tap. Next up is Goose Island Brewery on September 18.

Product manager, James Secky stands by the WOB goal to “create an ever-changing beer selection that balances a variety of styles, comfort or go-to beers, rare offerings, international brands and of course local brews.”

Blackfinn Ameripub

3201 Village Market Place, Morrisville, NC
(919) 468-3808l

Blackfinn Ameripub opened in Park West Village on Thursday, September 4th has 36 beers on tap, but many are domestic. There are a few locals including Cary’s own Fortnight Brewery. Beer can be purchased in little nine ounce glasses, pints, logo growlers (64 ounces), and towers (92 ounces). Beer specials will be available, but the specifics are still being determined. Plans are also in the works for two beer dinners- Sam Adams in October and a Fortnight in November. Blackfinn is intent on pleasing customers and are all ears when it comes to preferred beers.

HighCraft Beer Market

2716 NC Hwy 55, Cary, NC
(919) 267-6593

HighCraft Beer Market will be Cary’s first craft beer and bottle shop when it opens this fall. Matt Ganzart, the shop’s owner, plans to have over 800 bottles of beer and 12 draft beers for on-site consumption and to fill growlers. Draft beers will be a mix from North Carolina, US, and worldwide breweries. It is Ganzart’s goal for customers to have fun drinking a pint while learning about the elements and styles of craft beer. Customers can meet a friend for a drink or make their own six-pack to take home. If you’re not sure what you want or what a specific beer tastes like, you are welcome to sample any beer on tap. Ganzart is excited about the Triangle’s beer scene, and happy to be able to work in partnership and support local breweries.

If you have stepped foot into the craft beer world, there is no turning back. Ha ha ha (maniacal laugh). Each beer is different and even the same beer can differ from one batch to the next. Take the time to explore the burgeoning Cary beer scene. Make note of what you like and don’t like and don’t be afraid to try new beers.


Story by Jamie Bunning. Photo by Adam Barhan.


The CaryCitizen Guide to Beer was sponsored in part by HighCraft Beer Market, Blackfinn Ameripub and Rally Point Sport Grill.


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Morrisville Leadership Program Seeks Applicants Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:35:47 +0000 Leadership Morrisville is now accepting applications for its new and intensive leadership development program.

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Morrisville, NC — Leadership Morrisville is now accepting applications for its new and intensive leadership development program.

Leadership Morrisville

Leadership Morrisville will provide participants with the tools and skills for community engagement. The class members will have an opportunity to connect with a network of leaders and gain access to valuable resources.

The program will meet one day each month starting in January 2015 and end in May.  Program sessions will focus on economic development, education, governmental affairs, culture, history and leadership.

The course is being offered through the Morrisville Innovation Foundation, the non- profit entrepreneurial arm of the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce.

While residency in Morrisville is not required, applicants should either work in Morrisville or have some vested interest in the community and have a passion to serve.  Applications are due November 14, 2014 at noon.

For more details and to apply, please visit the website: or call 919-463-7159.


Photo by Georgios Karamanis.


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Harold’s Blog: September 28, 2014 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:41:36 +0000 In the news this week Money Magazine ranked Cary as the #19 best places to live in the US for cities between 50,000 and 300,000.

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Cary, NC — This week was a regularly scheduled council meeting week which is always busy.


Monday started with calls around to council members to hear their concerns or questions about the upcoming agenda. I was able to get in touch with all council members but Robinson. There were very few concerns and questions expressed and all of us noted that there will be some interesting votes on the rezonings. Later Monday I met with management, directors, administration, public information, and legal to go over the agenda items. Our meeting lasted a few minutes and I predicted the council meeting would end around 8:30.

Afterwards I met with the town manager, deputy town manager, and assistant to the town manager to go over a few items. At this meeting I received the latest information on last week’s shootings and other items.

Academy Street & Downtown Park

Monday night the council held a work session to go over the Academy Street Streetscape and the downtown park.

For the streetscape we decided on the granite bench text engravings, paver concepts, street lighting, tree palettes, and tree lighting. We asked staff to come back with information on putting in our on decorative street lights rather than renting them from Duke Energy. Having our own street lights would also allow receptacles at the base for events like Lazy Daze.

In the downtown park part of the work session the council decided not to have a bronze bowl or collars on the fountain (saving over $100,000 in cost). We did decide to have an additional pump and colored lights to enhance the water flow and appearance.

In the garden sections of the park we decided to have active areas for bocci ball, concrete ping pong tables, and concrete chess tables.

Both the park and streetscape should begin construction in the spring of next year. Construction will last until the summer of 2016. During that time Academy Street will only have one lane and will become a one way street. It will be challenging to get through the construction period but I believe the end result will be well worth the trouble.

Tuesday – Council Meeting

Tuesday the council held a regularly scheduled council meeting. Normally our meetings are on Thursday but this one was scheduled around the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah which started on Wednesday and ended on Friday.

I am not familiar with the holiday so I looked it up. I found that that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish holiday that takes place on the first two days of the Jewish New Year. The holiday marks the anniversary of the creation of Adam & Eve and is celebrated as a sign of accepting God’s kingship. During Rosh Hashanah a ram’s horn, known as a shofar, is sounded. This is done to represent the coronation blasts used for kings but is also a call to repentance. Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Those celebrating the holiday do so by eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, blessing one another with a specific phrase and saying a special prayer near a body of water.

At the council meeting there were three public hearings and six decisions that were discussed. The Public Hearing for the Keller property on Stephens Road (near Crossroads) drew about two dozen speakers. Most were opposed to the proposed rezoning for townhomes because of traffic, density, and stormwater issues. Since this proposal has a valid protest petition it will take six council members to approve the proposal when it comes back to us for a vote sometime early next year.

Council also approved a motion to call for a public hearing to change the Land Development Ordinance requirements on the Walnut Street Corridor. If these requirements are changed then it is likely that the trailer park along Walnut Street will be redeveloped.

Council approved the Stitt property along Green Hope Church Road. This single family development was proposed with less than three units per acre which is much less than the eight units an acre which was the maximum density allowed. Unfortunately the local paper, in their never ending attempt to create controversy, inaccurately reported that we rezoned to the maximum rather than the minimum despite residents’ concerns with overcrowded schools.

It is important to point out that the council doesn’t have the authority to stop growth and that rezonings are decisions on a type of growth and not a decision of whether or not to allow development. Every vacant parcel of land can be developed without council approval as long as the match the current zoning. And since our job is to decide the best use of the land I believe this particular decision was a good one since it was at the minimum density. In addition, denying a rezoning based solely on school capacity can be viewed by courts as arbitrary and over turned especially since we don’t have authority to regulate schools. What we do need is to help the school overcrowding county commissioners to fund schools that have been planned for years this area.

In another decision the proposed rezoning for single family houses on High House was also approved with much less density than is allowed.

A decision to rezone townhomes along Holly Springs Road near Tryon Road was also approved. I voted against this proposal because it was six units an acre when the land use plan called for density that could be three units an acre.

In other decisions the council approved a mutual aid agreement with Raleigh. This included purchasing a pipeline along Holly Springs Road eliminating the need for the town to build one. Council approved an additional member to the Aging Issues Task force which should finish their meetings by the end of the year. The council meeting adjourned around 9 PM.


Remembering Bill Coleman

Wednesday started with the sad news of the passing of former town manager Bill Coleman. I had the good fortune to work with Bill when I served as a council member and as a mayor. I also got to know members of his family very well through church. I teach alongside his former wife Kay and had his son Ben and daughter Nicole in my Sunday School classes over the years. My thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family as they grieve his passing. Here is a copy of the statement I released to the media that asked for comments from me:

“Our hearts are heavy today as we grieve the passing of Bill Coleman, a wonderful man and outstanding public servant who was Cary’s Town Manager from 1994-2008.
We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to him for leading Town staff in helping create the Cary we love today by expertly and tirelessly bringing to reality the Council’s vision for this great place he and we call home. Truly, Bill was a unique man, a real force of nature for all that he loved, from his son, Ben, to baseball to friends and fun, and, of course, the very, very best in local government.”

Bill will be sorely missed by many.

Cary Matters

Wednesday afternoon I was joined by council member Jack Smith for the taping of the October episode of Cary Matters. Our main topic was about the newly revised tree ordinance. We also talked about burglaries and the future of Louis Stephens Drive. Our taping lasted a little over 30 minutes.

MacGregor Downs Country Club & Noise Ordinance

Later Wednesday I met with the General Manager and Golf Couse Superintendent of MacGregor Downs Country Club. They are having an issue with the vagueness of the town’s noise ordinance. The ordinance gives an exception for golf courses to begin maintenance starting at 6 AM rather than the normal noise ordinance hour of 7 AM. However, the ordinance exception on refers to greens. So they and the other golf courses in Cary would like it changed to allow maintenance from tee to green starting at 6 AM. I presented this information to the town manager who is investigating the ordinance before anything else is done.

Sports Venue

My last meeting Wednesday was with a group of investors who are looking to create a public private partnership in a sports venue venture. I was joined by the town manager and the Vice President of Economic Development. We listened to their concept and asked them to come back with more information.


Thursday I attended the Governor’s “1000 for 100” initiative which was kicked off by the Governor and Secretary of Commerce Decker at Deutsche Bank in Cary. The initiative is a fact-finding tour in which local workforce development teams will visit 1,000 businesses throughout North Carolina’s 100 counties during the next 100 days to learn the skill sets the state’s economy demands. The “1000 in 100″ initiative is part of the new NCWorks program which essentially put all of the state’s workforce development efforts under one roof.


Saturday morning I attended the first ever Dragon Boat festival held at Regency Lake and Booth Amphitheater. I provided remarks with several other dignitaries. The purpose of the Dragon Boat festival was to celebrate Asian culture, diversity, ethnicity, roots and history. It was a great time with Asian offerings in food, stage performances, cultural exhibits and merchandise. Next year’s event promises to be bigger and better.

Saturday afternoon I had the privilege to attend the ground breaking of the Jack Smith Park near Penny and Holly Springs Road. What is being built is the first phase of this 50 acre park. It will be our town’s southernmost park and will include several unique features. Outside of the usual playground, picnic shelter and greenway trails, the park will be home to a climbing wall, the Town’s second dog park, and our first Sprayground which will be fun especially on hot days. The park’s first phase is scheduled to open next fall. The layout of the first phase can be seen at$!2c+Recreation+and+Cultural+Resources+Department/Planning+and+Design/bartleyparksiteplan.pdf. To see the full layout of all the phases of the completed park go to:$!2c+Recreation+and+Cultural+Resources+Department/Parks$!2c+Recreation+$!26+Cultural+Resources+Department+PDFs/parks/masterplanrender.pdf.


Sunday I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Adcock and Council member Bush in a community meeting at Stonewater with about 50 residents to discuss ways to make their community safer. I started with a few remarks that basically said:

“Even though Cary may be one of the safest communities in America that doesn’t mean much if you don’t feel safe. And safety is not only a police department issue or a mayor issue but everyone’s issue. It takes a partnership to make a safe community.”

The overall atmosphere was positive and I believe Stonewater will continue to look for ways to work with our police department to become safer.

In the News

In the news this week Money Magazine ranked Cary as the #19 best places to live in the US for cities between 50,000 and 300,000.


Emails this week included complaints about overcrowded schools, comments about our noise ordinance, and comments about High Meadow Drive.

Get in Touch

This week’s activities will include a joint meeting of the council with boards and commissions, a quasi-judicial hearing, the Green Hope High homecoming celebration, the fall litter sweep, a celebration event at Dorcas, and a private preview of the new T.MAC restaurant in Cary.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, October 5th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to


From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photo courtesy of Mayor Weinbrecht.

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Ping Pong Diplomacy in Morrisville Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:39:42 +0000 Triangle Table Tennis, based in Morrisville, hosted the Chinese National Table Tennis Team in a bit of ping pong diplomacy on September 24, 2014.

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ping pong diplomacy`

Triangle table Tennis Association held a press conference Sept 23 when the Chinese National Table Tennis Team paid them an unprecedented visit.

Morrisville, NC –  Triangle Table Tennis, based in Morrisville, hosted the Chinese National Table Tennis Team in a bit of ping pong diplomacy on September 24, 2014.

Recalling Diplomacy of 40 Years Ago

At 2:00 the group held a press conference at their Perimeter Park facility.

Mike Babuin, Chairman of the Board of USA Table Tennis said, “About 40 years ago table tennis broke the ice between our two nations”.

This meeting in Morrisville was the first time ever that the Chinese Team has come to North Carolina, and many are hoping it won’t be the last. Triangle Table Tennis is hoping to form a strong bond with the Chinese Team to continue learning from each other.

The organization, headed by Ann Campbell and Mike Babuin, has many ties to China, one of which is their Head Coach, Ms Tong Feiming, a past member of the Chinese National Team who competed in the Olympics for China.

The Chinese delegation expressed pleasure over the quality of the facilities at Triangle Table Tennis. The facility boasts Olympic style courts and amenities as written about in a previous CaryCitizen story. Lu Yuansheng, the Vice Chairman of Chinese table Tennis Association stated that he was

“Glad to see under the leadership of your association (TTA) a USA player to win the first ever bronze medal” he went on to add “I hope the friendship between our two peoples can continue forever”.

Here to Help

The group came to the Triangle to help athletes, and aspiring youth, develop proper training techniques and skills to improve the quality of their performance. After the news conference a clinic was held in the evening for beginners through intermediate players and a second clinic was offered the following day for advanced table tennis players. The groups then offered private lessons in two sessions on Friday September 26

The visitors from China included Lu Yuansheng, the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association and Ms Liu Yi, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Table Tennis Association.

The athletes and audience at the press conference

The athletes and audience at the press conference

The Association brought over a delegation of five athletes to visit the center in Morrisville including: Mu Zi (winner in 2007 and runner up in 2009 for the Mixed Doubles World Championships) , Wen Jia (2013 singles and doubles champion at the German Open) , Feng Yalan (in 2012 the Women’s singles champion in Russia and in 2013 a quarter finalist at the China Open), Fang Bo (who has won  championships in Austria and Russia) and Wu Hao (in 2014 was declared the China Super League “superstar”) .

They came with two of their coaches: Ren Guoliang the Chines Women’s Team Coach and Ma Junfeng, the Chinese Men’s Team Coach, both reknowned in their country for coaching not only the National Team, but also individual athletes who have gone on to place as high as third in the World Championships.

Nurture Future Talent

Community leaders and corporate entities will be sponsored much of the activities associated with this rare event. The Chinese delegation hopes to increase awareness on the lifelong physical benefits of table tennis for youth and adults. In addition, they hope to help launch a training program for local area youth that will be designed to train and nurture young table tennis talent.

photo of delegation provided by Triangle table Tennis Association

photo of delegation provided by Triangle table Tennis Association

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New Park to be Named for Jack Smith Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:37:32 +0000 The future community park at 9725 Penny Road now has an official name – Jack Smith Park – thanks to a unanimous vote by the Cary Town Council.

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Cary, NC –  The future community park at 9725 Penny Road now has an official name – Jack Smith Park – thanks to a unanimous vote by the Cary Town Council at their regular meeting on Thursday, September 11, 2014.

The Town Council’s action marks their colleague’s 25th year of service to the Cary community, a term that makes him the longest serving Council member on record as well as having been in office longer than any mayor in Cary’s history (even though Smith has never served as Mayor).

Other Cary elected officials with parks named for them include Fred G. Bond, Marla Dorrel, Robert V. Godbold, Harold D Ritter, and Thomas E. Brooks

Amenities in the Park

Located in southern Cary, the 50-acre Jack Smith Park was once home to the Bartley family farm. The new park will include the Town’s first spray ground, a major children’s play area, the Town’s second dog park, a climbing rock, picnic shelters, paved and unpaved trails, and an open lawn area. Upon completion, public art pieces by North Carolina artists will be installed near the play area, and will include whirligigs by folk artist Vollis Simpson and a grouping of sheep sculptures by William Moore.  Funding for this project was approved by Cary voters in 2012 as part of the Community Investment Bonds referendum.


The community is invited to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jack Smith Park on Saturday, September 27 at 2 p.m. Guests are asked to park at Oak Grove Elementary at 10401 Penny Road and take the complimentary C-Tran shuttles to and from the park site.

The Town of Cary currently has 30 parks, with several areas “landbanked” for future use including an area off Roberts Road in Western Cary and adjacent to the Cameron Pond neighborhood West of NC 55.

Link to view Park Site Plan.

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Transit in the Triangle Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:35:20 +0000 Triangle Transit CEO, David King, recently spoke at the Morrisville Chamber to give the audience an update on how the Triangle is doing with regard to mass transit.

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Morrisville, NC – Triangle Transit CEO, David King, recently spoke at the Morrisville Chamber to give the audience an update on how the Triangle is doing with regard to mass transit. The region’s population is expected to double by adding another  1.3 million people over the next 20 years. It’s safe to say, “We are behind” when it comes to mass transit planning. Triangle Transit oversees transportation issues for three counties including Durham, Wake and Orange. They are a regional organization charged with planning for the region’s transit problems. They don’t yet cover Johnston County, but maybe that’s only a matter of time. The Triangle Transit organization looks at heavy transit routes and begins to make plans for whether rail, bus, carpool lanes or van pools are the answer depending on roads and availability of existing services.

Wake Needs A Plan

Only Durham and Orange have already passed a 1/2 cent sales tax to help pay for future transit needs. That plan includes 17 miles of light rail with 17 stations. It will connect NCCU, Duke, Duke Hospital, Downtown Durham, UNC-CH, and UNC Hospital. The plan was put to the voters and approved by over 69%.

Wake Commissioners are just now ready to take up the issue of mass transit planning and are expected to hire a consulting firm within the next few weeks to begin a new Wake County plan. A draft plan is hopefully to be issued in March of 2015. That will include Wake County, Triangle Transit, Capital Metro Planning, the City of Raleigh, Town of Cary, NC State, RDU and RTP.

Transit Brings Development

One fact that needs to be emphasized, according to King, is that where transit hubs are created, economic development follows. Hubs interest developers, who then build housing and shopping , and they can greatly re-energize an area, especially poor quality, under-utilized downtown areas. King went on to point out how the light rail in both Charlotte and Atlanta have renovated former brownfield areas and turned them into upscale development.

Not One Fix

There is not “one fix” to our traffic/ transit woes, and some situations will call for an innovative approach. One such idea has been allowing buses to ride on the shoulders of highways and interstates. there are already 25 miles of these in North Carolina and in 2 years there have been no safety issues. Express buses are another solution. They have added apps to allow passengers to feel less stressed about the arrival of their bus, which can see the route in real time.

One of the key threads for the new Wake County transit plan will be to identify key corridors, and assess demand. There will be a focus on bus frequency. Our bus service  ridership “is near the bottom” for use and service. Rail service is in the mix with hopes of a Wake-Durham commuter rail line that will include two stations in Garner, Downtown Raleigh, NC State, 2 stops already planned in RTP, a west Raleigh stop, Cary Downtown, Mc Crimmon in Morrisville, Downtown Durham and West Durham. This proposed line would cover over 37 miles. The plan is to partner with Norfolk Southern who owns the corridor.

We are Behind

Even with plans underway, it takes years to purchase right of ways, make routes, and for rail to be built. Even if a tax is approved by voters, it takes a year before the fund start to be collected.King asserted that light rail takes at least a decade to be built. And by then the Triangle will have added half of those 1.3 million people. All driving their cars to and from work.

More Food for Thought

A recent report from Wake Up! Wake notes that

  • There is a huge mismatch between where Americans live and where they want to live.
  • 58% of survey respondents say their ideal neighborhood has a mix of housing, offices, and retail, but only 39% currently live in such a neighborhood.
    • Urban, suburban, and small-town mixed-use neighborhoods are all under-supplied, and Americans of all age groups want them.
    • The most “over-supplied” type of neighborhood is the residential-only suburb. 30% of respondents currently live in a residential-only suburb, but only 16% say their ideal neighborhood is a residential suburb.
  • Young people are far more likely to use transit than older people.
    • This suggests that places that are using transit to attract young people shouldn’t worry that young residents will leave after they start families. (At least, not because they will abandon transit — there may be other concerns, like schools.)
  • Americans in all age groups agree on the four most important improvements that would make them ride transit more: Shorter travel time, stations that are closer to where they live or work, lower cost compared to the alternative, and reliability.  This supports transit projects that improve travel time (like new bus rapid transit or rail projects) and expand access to transit to more people. It supports walking and biking improvements that make it easier to access stations, as well as projects that improve service reliability.

Wake County Commissioners have the opportunity to plan for the future growth of this area, and get it right. We may be behind in our planning for our area’s huge growth, but that shouldn’t mean our officials do nothing. The quality of life that brings so many people here in the first place will suffer if we do not adequately plan for our future.


Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

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Operation Medicine Drop this Saturday Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:23:18 +0000 The Town of Cary will host its biannual Operation Medicine Drop on Saturday, September 27, 2014 as a chance for citizens to dispose of expired medications.

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Cary, NC- The Town of Cary will host its biannual Operation Medicine Drop on Saturday, September 27, 2014 as a chance for citizens to properly dispose of prescription, over-the-counter and expired medications, no questions asked.

Where to Go

At four sites throughout Cary from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. as part of Operation Medicine Drop, law enforcement officers will be available to safely dispose of medications and answer poison control questions:

• Town of Cary Fire Station #3, 1807 Kildaire Farm Road
• Town of Cary Fire Station #8, 408 Mills Park Drive
• Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury Odell Place
• Christ the King Lutheran Church, 600 Walnut Street

“Before you stock up on medicines to battle the seasonal flu or colds, take time now to clear out from your medicine cabinet what you don’t need or can’t use,” said Sgt. Tom Stewart of Cary’s Criminal Investigations Division. The Town’s Spring 2014 Operation Medicine Drop collected roughly 453,000 pills for safe and proper disposal.

Alternate Drop Off

Citizens who cannot attend Operation Medicine Drop have the opportunity to properly dispose of medications year-round thanks to a secure drug disposal box at the Town of Cary Police Department, 120 Wilkinson Avenue. The permanent drop box is accessible weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Over the counter and prescription medicines are accepted; liquids, radioactive materials, batteries or needles may not be disposed of at this site.

Operation Medicine Drop is sponsored across North Carolina by Safe Kids North Carolina, the N.C. Department of Insurance, State Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration. For more information about Operation Medicine Drop or for a schedule of statewide pill take-back events, visit

For more information on the Town of Cary’s local event, search “Operation Medicine Drop” at or call (919) 460-4917.


Photo by ep_jhu.

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Former Cary Town Manager Bill Coleman Dies Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:37:10 +0000 Former Cary Town Manager Bill Coleman died on Tuesday night. He was 63.

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Cary, NC — Former Cary Town Manager Bill Coleman died on Tuesday night. He was 63.

Bill Coleman – A Life of Service

Coleman, a native of Red Springs in Robeson County, NC, worked for municipal and county government for 30 years. He was the town manager for Southern Pines and Pittsboro, and also served as the manager for Chatham County.

Coleman came to Cary as assistant town manager in 1988, moving to the top spot in 1994, where he worked for 14 years.

Coleman served four mayors in Cary, and presided over unprecedented growth in population and services.

After his retirement of government service, Coleman spent the remainder of his career as an industry advisory consultant for SAS.

The USA Baseball National Training Center at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary has “Coleman Field” named in honor of the former town manager.


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Cary Weekend: Moonlight Sculpture Tour and More Wed, 24 Sep 2014 19:44:47 +0000 Sunny skies and warmer weather should return to Cary this weekend, just in time for music, Dragon Boats, a couple of 5k's and the Moonlight Sculpture Tour.

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Cary, NC — Sunny skies and warmer weather should return to Cary this weekend, just in time for music, Dragon Boats, a couple of 5k’s and the Moonlight Sculpture Tour.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Celebrate this year’s beautiful transition into fall and take a gardening class at Gather, Downtown’s new hybrid gift shop/coffee shop/work space. Class participants will plant mixed herbs and salad greens that can be kept and used throughout fall and winter.

Get into the weekend mood early this week by enjoying some live music. This Thursday evening at 6 p.m., the Harvest Nights at Park West Village continue with activities for kids and outdoor music from local and regional bands. Another live music option includes jazz at UnVined in Downtown Cary, starting at 8 p.m.

More Thursday details on the Calendar.

Friday, September 26, 2014

On Friday, Cary Visual Art is hosting a Moonlight Sculpture Tour during Downtown’s Final Friday Art Loop. Walking tours of the twelve outdoor sculptures start at 8 p.m., but arrive at Ashworth Village early to get a homemade lantern and decorate with glow-in-the-dark body paint. Also at Final Friday, enjoy a glass of wine and a walk through the open art galleries.

Prefer to stay inside? Enjoy two shows Downtown, both starting at 8 p.m. The Cary Players will present “Wait Until Dark” at the Cary Arts Center, and The Cary Theater will present a concert featuring artists Jennifer Daniels and Jason Harrod. “Wait Until Dark” can also be seen at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday.

More Friday details on the Calendar.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Starting at 7 a.m., the 519Church in Cary is offering a 5k/10k run along the American Tobacco Trail. A 1 mile run is available for families that want to run together, and all entry fees support efforts to open a women’s hospital in Haiti.

The Triangle’s first annual Dragon Boat Festival will run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday at Koka Booth. This is a fun activity where attendees can race dragon boats (or just watch) and enjoy cultural food, performances, and experiences.

Stop by the Western Wake Farmer’s Market or the Cary Downtown Farmer’s Market to pick up locally grown and crafted foods. Downtown, the market will be accompanied by the Westwood Back Porch String Band. This is a great chance to hear some bluegrass music and to pick up some fresh items for your kitchen.

More Saturday details on the Calendar.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Another 5k will be held on Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park along with a team 1-mile water carry challenge. The GlobalRun4Water benefits District projects focusing on water, sanitation, and hygiene.

For Sunday afternoon entertainment, The Cary Theater will be playing a film, Elsa & Fred, at 2 p.m. Another “Wait Until Dark” showing will be held at the Arts Center at 3 p.m.

More Sunday events on the Calendar.

Around the Triangle

Got ink? This weekend, the 1st Raleigh Tattoo Festival takes place Friday-Sunday at 421 Salisbury Street. Bands, seminars, exhibitors and lots of body art. More info:

One of our favorite events is the Pittsboro Pepper Festival. It’s peppers, chefs, dishes, live music, kid’s zone, DIY and drinks. More info:

In Durham this weekend, it’s all about the music with Ian Anderson, the Four Tops, Branford Marsalis, Allen Toussaint, John Bonamassa and more appearing in the Bull City. Not on the same bill, of course. But all this weekend in Durham.


Story by Jessica Patrick. The Calendar of Events is edited by Lindsey Chester. Moon Through the Trees photo by Gary J. Wood. Sculpture from

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PCHS Hosts 7th Annual Marching Band Invitational Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:09:16 +0000 Nineteen high school marching bands--that's 1,700 students--will compete at the PCHS 7th annual marching band invitational on September 27, 2014.

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Cary, NC — Nineteen high school marching bands – that’s 1,700 students – will compete at Panther Creek’s 7th annual marching band competition on September 27, 2014.

An Event of Epic Proportions

This year’s Panther Creek Invitational (PCI) is going to be the school’s “biggest and best ever.” Almost 3,000 people are expected to fill the stands on Saturday night to watch nineteen bands from around the Triangle compete and kick off the season for high school marching band competitions. This year, the school will even welcome a band from out of state.

Team Effort

The PCI is the band’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it requires much help from Panther Creek staff and parent volunteers. Committees of dedicated parents work for months ahead of time to plan the event, and they will also be present on the big night to direct traffic, welcome bands, take tickets, run concessions and get instruments on and off the field during the competitions.

“We continue to have great bands here at the PCI because we provide a great judging panel and we make sure that the directors and students are well taken care of,” said Panther Creek High School band director David Robinson.

Many volunteers will arrive at PCHS at dawn on competition day and stay past midnight to help clean up. “We have fantastic support from our band parents and administration,” Robinson continued. “Our students and parents are proud of our program.”

A Tremendous Growth

The band department at PCHS has seen significant growth throughout the years. Robinson was originally on his own as director for Panther Creek’s first Invitational, but he is now joined by assistant director Jon Swofford.

This year’s predicted number of 3,000 spectators will double the size of the crowd at Panther Creek’s first PCI in 2007. Back then, there were only 85 students music students in the school band. Now, a group of almost 200 student musicians will fill the field.

Apart from the event’s promotion of fundraising, friendly competition, and community spirit, the PCI will also create awareness for the great high school marching bands in the area.

Event Info

7th Annual Panther Creek Invitational (PCI) Marching Band Competition
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Gates open at 2 p.m.; First performance at 4 p.m.

Panther Creek High School Stadium
6770 McCrimmon Parkway
Cary, NC

10$ General Admission
Tickets are available at the gate on the night of the competition

Visit the event page for more information.

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