CaryCitizen Cary, North Carolina news, food, community and events Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:02:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Advice for Tricky Talks with Aging Parents Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:02:10 +0000 How do you start that delicate conversation with your parents about aging, living accommodations and other necessary topics? Nancy Caggia, a certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, shares her experience, knowledge and advice on the matter.

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Cary, NC — How do you start that delicate conversation with your parents about aging, living accommodations and other necessary topics? Nancy Caggia, a certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, shares her experience, knowledge and advice on the matter.

The Silver Tsunami is Coming…

Did you know that, according to a recent Forbes study, Raleigh is the second fastest aging population in any U.S. city? With more than 22% of Cary’s residents being over 65, and with many of us being in our forties and fifties, chances are that lots of folks in our area are facing the challenges associated with aging or with aging parents.

Starting the Conversation About the Future

We might fear resistance, silence, or conflict when talking about aging and the unknown future, but we should fear a crisis more. Unexpected health emergencies or accidents that result from a lack of proper planning can negatively impact several generations. Small, simple conversations are a great way to start preparing for the unknown.

Set the TEMPO

Talk Early, Talk Often, an online resource for those at a loss of how to bring tricky subjects–like changing living arrangements–up with aging parents, suggests setting the “TEMPO.”

Timing — You’ll want to time your conversations appropriately so that you and your parent are not distracted and that you’ll have adequate time to talk and listen patiently.

Experience — Often, you can open the door to talk to your parents by tying your specific topic to direct experience. For example:

Dad, when you were kind enough to pick up Sally from day camp, she said you were having trouble making turns. Were you tired that day? I’m concerned about how you’re feeling about driving these days.

Motivation — Your motivation needs to be solely for safety, well-being and quality of life. Both theirs and yours.  Plans for the future need to hold your parents’ best interest as the goal–but your life and your family matter as well. I found some great tips and videos online that suggest which words to use and which to avoid.

Place — When planning for the conversation, make sure you create a “safe space” where no one feels trapped. In other words, the holiday dinner table is not the place to talk to your parents about a sensitive issue. Instead, try a restaurant or coffee shop.

Outcome — You don’t need to come up with an answer today. What you’re trying to establish is an ongoing, honest conversation. You’re laying the ground work to understand your parent’s feelings, wishes, and needs. Find out what they are having a hard time with in their everyday life.

Take Your Time

You want to get information and share information. But this will happen bit by bit over time.


Story by Nancy Caggia. Photo by marchasselbalch.

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Cary Entrepreneur’s Tutus Reach NYC Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:03:24 +0000 Cary-based NYC tutu designer Diane Schaubach graciously agreed to sit down and chat with me about the reasoning, artistry, and passion behind her professional tutus.

The post Cary Entrepreneur’s Tutus Reach NYC appeared first on CaryCitizen.


Diane showed me the intricate details of an in-progress tutu bodice.

Cary, NC — When Lindsey and Hal mentioned to me that their neighbor designs ballet tutus worn in New York City and around the world, I knew that I had to investigate. Artist/entrepreneur Diane Schaubach sat down to chat with me about the reasoning, artistry, and passion behind her professional tutus. 


I could tell that Diane was an artist from the moment I stepped into her house. My eyes immediately wandered to a sparkling light pink tutu costume displayed on a mannequin in her kitchen. Three more tutus, in a variety of colors, were elegantly placed on the floor.

We sat down with coffee and immediately stated chatting about how she got started.

Q: What spurred your tutu business?

Diane’s oldest daughter started dancing when she was four or five. During those dance classes, Diane would sit upstairs with some of the other moms to sew costumes for the company’s production of The Nutcracker. She told me that:

We all had very basic sewing skills, we had our sewing machines, so we just talked and sewed. I started thinking, ‘There’s got to be a better way. I know there’s a better pattern, a better way that we can do this instead of just gathering up net and sewing on a piece of elastic.’ And so I started researching, and I found a small company called in Charlotte. was started by a retired professional dancer who saw a need for ballerina costumes. From her website, Diane was able to purchase instructional books and patterns for the craft of making professional tutus.

It was 40 pages of very intricate detail–just a few photos. [The book] was basically on how to make a professional bodice tutu, so I just started playing. I’d say to my daughter, ‘Leah come here, try this on.’ If that didn’t work, I’d tweak it, try something else.

Q: And it took off from there?

That’s when I first got the interest, and then I taught myself how to do it. [At first] I just worked for [my daughter’s dance company] and, when you’re working with a school, you need lots of different sizes because the kids are constantly changing; coming and going. So I made bodices of a couple different sizes and tutus that were separate that we could attach and mix and put together for different bodies.

Later on, Diane started seeking out more original design work. She saw that there was a need for nice tutus for kids to wear to competitions, and she thought, “Let me try that.”

Diane explained to me that, in the competition world, there is a huge need for tutu rentals. Dancers will sometimes wear three different costumes for one competition. They seldom need to wear them again, and they often grow out of them in a year. That’s what spurred her rental line–which is an important part of her business today.


Diane makes rental costumes for local dancers and dance studios throughout Cary, Raleigh, and Wake Forest–but she didn’t stop there. Her hard work has expanded her clientele, and her tutus have gone to New York and beyond.

Q: Who else wears your tutus?

Diane first formed a connection with New York City dancers through Lauren Lovette, a soloist for the NYC Ballet. Lauren is from Raleigh and danced with Diane’s daughter before she moved to New York for school. When Lauren came home for a visit, Diane showed her the tutus.

I had done costuming for her when she was younger, and she said, ‘That’s so pretty. There’s such a need for this in New York.’ At the time, her boyfriend was the principal of the NYC ballet. So she told him [about the tutus] and then, 9 months later, I got an email. He was starting and his own small company and needed costumes.

Professional NYC ballet dancers wear Diane’s costumes during the off-season when they go off and create their own companies or perform independently. These dancers travel with the costumes, so the tutus been to places like Italy, Japan, and China. Diane just shipped her first costume internationally to a client in Australia.


This striking photo, by Luis Pons Photography, shows Lauren Lovette posing in one of Diane’s tutus.

Since her first New York commission, Diane has made five tutus for Lauren Lovette and 11 for Ashley Bouder, one of the most well-known ballerinas in the world today. She’s even made a wedding dress for a friend’s daughter who wanted a tutu-style ensemble.

Her costumes have been worn by ballerinas in big-time dance companies like the Youth America Grand Prix and the World Ballet Competition. Diane told me that, “Between the professional gig season, the competition season, and the Nutcracker season, [my work] keeps me going all year long.”

Q: Your tutus are so intricate. I bet that sets you apart.

Yes, Diane has been extremely successful with her commissions–but it was her artistry that fascinated me. If you take a look at her masterpieces, you’ll see that each tutu is elaborately embellished with trims, laces, and even Swarovski rhinestones. Diane only uses the highest quality fabrics and materials in her tutus, and she takes it upon herself to mix and match different elements to create unique, striking costumes.

I’m always trying to find the best of the materials that I can use so that the garment is nice. Something as simple as the elastic–I use European mesh elastic–and it’s expensive. But it makes all the difference with the dancers on stage because it kind of blends in with their skin and it’s hidden.

What’s even more fascinating is that Diane is completely self-taught. She told me that:

My mother was an artist, my whole family is artistic, and I’ve always been drawn to the embellishments and the textures and the different colors. I’ve never taken a class; I learned it all myself with just a little bit of sewing knowledge from my Home Ec. class and from my mom. After my first commission, I took the proceeds and invested in a really nice sewing machine and, from there, everything I did I just put back into building up what I needed for the business.

See for yourself.

Diane’s professional tutu business is called DQ DESIGNS. You can explore her work on Facebook and Instagram.


Story and lead photo by Jessica Patrick. Additional photos by Luis Pons Photography and Christine Prisk.

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Cary Mayor Delivers 2015 State of the Town Address Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:38:43 +0000 This week on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht delivered his annual State of the Town Address to the Cary Chamber of Commerce at Prestonwood Country Club.

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State of the Town Address

Cary, NC — This week on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht delivered his annual State of the Town Address to the Cary Chamber of Commerce at Prestonwood Country Club. 

The State of the Town Address

Harold Weinbrecht, Cary Mayor for the past seven years, discussed the town’s accomplishments, challenges, amenities, and services to a group of 100+ citizens on Wednesday. It was his eighth year of doing so. If you missed the address, we’ve listed and summarized the main points of Mayor Weinbrecht’s speech here.

You can also view the address in video or text format through the Town of Cary website.

Cary Statistics

How would you describe Cary? The statistics Mayor Weinbrecht covered in his address can provide an interesting, informative, and factual answer. As we begin 2015, Cary stats are as follows:

  • Population: 151,700
  • Land mass: 58 square miles spread among two counties
  • Cary has the lowest tax rate in Wake County (35 cents)

Mayor Weinbrecht emphasized that Cary is an educated and culturally diverse community with:

  • 2/3 of residents having four year degrees
  • 1/4 of residents having advanced degrees
  • 1 in 5 Cary residents born in another country
  • Less than 5% of residents born and raised in Cary
  • Over 22% of Cary residents over 65

Financial Status

Cary’s financial standing remains strong with the highest rating from all major bond rating agencies. Also:

  • Cary continues to maintain a reserve balance more than triple of what is required
  • Our debt is well below our 15 percent ceiling (at around 11 percent)
  • Cary budgets conservatively; the 2014 fiscal year’s budget came in at $17 million less than planned


Cary received many accolades in 2014. One is that we have the lowest crime rate in the nation for communities of our size. Here are a few others:

In the country…

  • #8 best place to live
  • #4 best economy
  • #5 best housing
  • #4 best education

In the Raleigh/Cary metro area…

  • #1 for raising a family
  • #1 for home ownership
  • #2 for young professionals
  • #4 for job growth
  • #4 for launching a start-up company

Town Council

This year, the Town Council will operate with only six members instead of seven, since former Mayor Pro-Tem Adcock was elected to serve in the NC Legislature. Voters will elect her successor in October. While Cary will miss Gale, this is good news, as our town has gained a strong advocate at the state level.

Mayor Weinbrecht also stated that “the remaining Council members average 11 years of service and are professional, respectful, and passionate about keeping Cary great.”

Town Staff

The Town of Cary staff are dedicated to “doing more with less.” Most communities our size have an average of 11 employees per 1000 residents, but Cary’s efficient operations use less than eight employees per 1,000 residents.

Job Growth

Cary, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, had a great year for job growth in 2014. Mayor Weinbrecht stated that:

The Economic Development Partnership of NC decided to locate their offices in Weston Office Park. Having this newly privatized marketing arm of the NC Department of Commerce located in Weston means that visiting companies interested in locating in North Carolina will see Cary first.

Other big news:

  • Cary’s unemployment rate is 3.5%, which is considered full employment and pre-recession.
  • Over 700 new businesses registered to do business in Cary in 2014.
  • HCL Technologies is bringing over 1,000 jobs to Regency.
  • SAS opened a new building that will house 600 workers over the next three years.
  • MetLife filled nearly 1100 jobs with about 300 positions remaining. Annual salaries average at $110,000.

Police & Fire Protection

Mayor Weinbrecht thanked Cary fire and police officials for their hard work, bravery, and dedication. He also announced the groundbreaking and development of a new downtown fire station and discussed the Town’s need for policeman as a result of its growth.

Sports & Recreation

Many developments took place in 2014. Cary begins the new year with 30 parks, three community centers, a cultural arts center, a senior center, a nature center, and the Booth Amphitheatre.

Cary’s greenway and trail system is becoming larger–82.2 miles are completed and an additional 150.7 miles are proposed. Within the next couple of years we should have greenway connections from Lake Crabtree to the American Tobacco Trail. Eventually, our trails combined with others will allow a continuous greenway from Falls Lake in Raleigh to Durham.

Cary has three major sports venues that provide our citizens with recreational and entertainment opportunities and the town with economic benefit. It is estimated Wake Med Soccer Park, USA Baseball, and the Cary Tennis Park inject close to $8 million into our economy annually.

Road Projects

There are over 680 miles of roads in Cary. The town maintains approximately 430 miles of streets–the remainder being maintained by the NC Department of Transportation and private homeowners’ associations. About 60 percent of the portion that Cary maintains is in good or excellent condition.

The Town has increased expenditures for road repair and repaving by over 400 percent since 2011. The town is also spending an additional $5,000,000 on road repairs from our 2012 Community Investment Bond Referendum. Current and upcoming projects include:

  • Walnut Street bridge over US1/64 near the Buck Jones Road ramps
  • Academy Street improvements downtown
  • Cary Parkway over US 1/64 to allow for two continuous westbound through lanes
  • The intersection of NW Maynard Road and Chapel Hill Road
  • Green Level West Road
  • Carpenter Fire Station Road project

The Town of Cary now has over 417 miles of sidewalks. Sidewalks continue to be a budget priority and are required with development projects.


Transit service has expanded in the past year. CTran now runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. six days a week. Additionally, an express route from Cary’s Town Hall parking deck to downtown Raleigh was created as part of NCDOT’s Fortify construction on I-40. If this route becomes popular, Triangle Transit may continue to provide this service after construction is complete.

Challenges for Cary

Growth-Related Issues

  • Cary’s growth is less than 3%–but Western Cary residents don’t feel it.
  • Schools, roads, and parks in West Cary are becoming crowded and overwhelmed.

Town Council doesn’t have State authority to stop development–they only have the power to decide which type of development occurs. Every property owner has a legal right to develop his or her land, but the Council has to make sure that the growth can be accommodated by Town services and schools–which are provided by the county.

School Overcrowding

School overcrowding, especially in western Cary, is a significant problem. The Town has consistently communicated growth date to the school system for years, but the funding needed for additional schools in western Cary and throughout the county has not been available, resulting in the capping of many Cary schools.

A school bond vote to provide funding for additional schools will not be allowed until 2016 due to legislative restrictions by the General Assembly.

Road Congestion

The NC Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining roads in Cary, but adequate State funding is not available. This leaves the current General Assembly to look for ways to improve roads throughout the state with very little money. For Cary, that means road congestion, especially in western Cary, will also be a challenge this year.

General Assembly Decisions

Cary will need to make sure Legislators understand that municipalities aren’t competing with rural areas and that we need to all work together to bring jobs and improve commerce in our state.

The elimination of the privilege license tax cost Cary over $1.7 million in revenue, and the legislature is looking at ways to redistribute sales taxes collected in Cary to rural areas, which could result in an additional loss of $4 million in revenue. Other decisions being considered by the legislature that could impact Cary include:

  • Efforts to eliminate our aesthetic controls of homes
  • Fracking, which could impact our drinking water
  • Not implementing the Jordan Lake rules, which allows pollutants in our drinking water
  • The possibility of requiring municipalities to take on the responsibility of State roads

Google Fiber

Google Fiber has announced its selection of the Triangle–great news for both businesses and residents. The company projects that these services could become available to a large segment of Cary residents within about 18 months.

Downtown Developments

The Academy Streetscape Project, beginning in April, will provide an attractive main street with better pedestrian access, and it will also improve old water and sewer construction. A Downtown Park is in process with even plans more underway–so keep your eye out for developments.


Cary will face some significant challenges in 2015, but Mayor Weinbrecht continuously stated his confidence and pride for the dedicated and kind citizens and staff of Cary. He ended by stating:

Cary begins the year financially sound, environmentally friendly, and economically strong. Cary is one of the greatest places to call home whether you are a resident or a business. I appreciate your trust and confidence in me as your Mayor and, with your help, we will make Cary even greater than it is today.


View the entire address online. Photo by Hal Goodtree.


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Superbowl Eats: New England Lobster Rolls Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:47:10 +0000 If you're a Patriots fan, here's a recipe for New England Lobster Rolls and a "cheater's" recipe for the same dish made with crab meat instead.

The post Superbowl Eats: New England Lobster Rolls appeared first on CaryCitizen.

Lobster rolls

Cary, NC — In recognition of the Seahawks, CaryCitizen published a recipe for Seattle Hot Dogs last Thursday. But, if you’re a Patriots fan, this is your week. Here’s a recipe for New England Lobster Rolls and, if you’re a lobster-newbie like me, a “cheater’s” recipe for the same dish made with crab meat instead.

The New England Lobster Roll

Traditional lobster rolls are sandwiches filled with butter-soaked lobster meat. Yum, right? The first lobster roll originated at a restaurant in Milford, Connecticut in 1929. This dish is associated with Maine, but it’s also popular in the other New England states.

We can enjoy them here, too, especially if you want to show loyalty to the Patriots by serving the dish at a Super Bowl party. Lobster rolls are funny–in theory, they’re just sandwiches served on buns and commonly served with chips and veggies. Simple for a party, right? Not really.

If you’re serving a crowd, cooking the lobster will be a process. So, as delicious as the real thing sounds, I thought I’d provide an easier, cheaper alternative. I’ve listed that first, but it’s also followed by a real lobster roll recipe.

Recipe: Crab Rolls

If you don’t want to take the time to boil a lobster and collect the meat (or if, like me, you can’t bring yourself to handle and boil a whole lobster) then this recipe is for you.


  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 4 hot dog buns, sides split open
  • 4 red leaf or Bibb lettuce leaves


  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon peel, and cayenne pepper in medium bowl.
  2. Mix in crab meat and chopped green onions. Season crab salad to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread butter on insides of hot dog buns.
  4. Warm large skillet over medium heat 1 minute.
  5. Place buns, buttered side down, in preheated skillet and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Place 1 lettuce leaf inside each bun. Divide crab salad among buns and serve.

Recipe: Lobster Rolls

Here’s the real thing. I’d love to know what you thought about the process, especially if you’re preparing lobster at home for the first time. From the Food Network.


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 (1-1/2-pound) whole live lobster
  • 1/4 cup small-dice celery (from about 1 medium celery stalk)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 top-split hot dog buns


Cooking the lobster

  1. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and stir in the measured salt. Add a steamer rack to the pot. (If you don’t have a steamer rack, lightly bunch a long piece of foil so that it looks like a rope, then make a figure eight out of the foil rope and set it in the pot).
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lobster to the pot head-first, cover with a tightfitting lid, and return the water to a full boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil until the lobster is bright red, about 14 minutes from the time it went into the pot.
  3. Pull on an antenna. If the antenna comes out with no resistance, the lobster is done. Remove the lobster to a rimmed baking sheet and let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle.

Obtaining the meat

  1. Using your hands, twist and separate the tail from the body.
  2. Twist and remove both claws where they meet the lobster body; set aside. Discard the head and torso. Starting with the tail, remove the small, wispy flippers from the underside of the shell. Using a fork, pierce the exposed tail meat.
  3. Slowly twist and pull it out of the shell in one piece. Rinse any white debris off the tail meat and set it aside on a cutting board. Discard the shell of the tail. Twist the claws and separate them from the legs; set them aside.
  4. Gently wiggle and pull the smaller part of the pincer shell off each claw.
  5. Using a seafood cracker, gently crack the claws, remove the meat, and set it aside on the cutting board. Check the meat for any cartilage or shell and discard it.
  6. Coarsely chop the reserved meat and place it in a medium bowl (you should have about a cup).

Making the salad

  1. Add the celery and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to six hours.


  1. Spread butter on the outside of the buns. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Place the buns butter-side down in the pan and toast until golden brown.
  3. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Divide the lobster salad between the buns and serve immediately.


Potato chips, sweet pickles, and carrot and celery sticks are easy sides to complement your rolls.


Story by Jessica Patrick. Photo by pixxiestails.

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Canes Shock Lightning Bolts 4-2 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:22:34 +0000 The Canes had an impressive 4-2 win over the the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, in their first home game after the All-Star break.

The post Canes Shock Lightning Bolts 4-2 appeared first on CaryCitizen.


Raleigh, NC — Wow! That just about sums up the Canes’ impressive 4-2 win over the Eastern Conference leaders, the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts, in the first game after the All-Star break at the PNC Arena on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

Bragging Rights

For the third time this season, the Canes kept one of the NHL’s best, Steven Stamkos, off the scoreboard. That alone has bragging rights, despite the Canes losing the season series 2-1.

EStaal Opens Scoring Early

As much as everything went badly for the Canes in the forgetful month of October, just about everything went right for them in this game. Both teams set the tone for a battle as the top lines started, and it was non-stop action from the drop of the puck.

The Canes immediately got the puck deep in the Bolts’ end after the initial face-off. With Jiri Tlusty putting pressure on the defense, the Bolts attempted to clear the puck around the perimeter of the boards behind the net. Jordan Staal used his size and speed to stop the puck going over the blue line and shoveled a pass to Eric Staal.

EStaal took the puck along the side boards and made a power move towards the net with Tlusty charging the net. EStaal attempted a backhanded dish to Tlusty, but the puck hit the defender’s stick and floated over Ben Bishop’s right shoulder for the earliest goal, 22 seconds, of the season for the Canes.

A Battle Won

Just five minutes later, Victor Rask won a battle along the near half board while keeping the puck alive in the offensive zone and sending it far-point to Brett Bellemore. Bellemore took a shot that was going wide that Elias Lindholm, who was camped out in the dirty are of the crease, tried to tip towards the net.

The puck still went wide and bounced off the back boards but, with speedster Nathan Gerber crashing the net like a power forward in basketball, he snapped the puck in for a 2-0 Cane lead. The Bolts scored late in the period on a goal that was no fault of Anton Khudobin’s, as it appeared to bounce in off a leg or skate with bodies sprawled in front of the goal.

Faulk Continues Scoring Touch

In the second, the Canes scored on their first power play. JStaal won a face-off in which the puck ended up along the back boards. EStaal out-muscled the defense-man to shuffle the puck up the boards. JStaal touched the puck, but Justin Faulk went to the mid-boards to retrieve it.

With Jeff Skinner going to the wall, Faulk carried the puck to the high slot about 10’ inside the blue line and sent a shot that bounced off the pipe into the net for a 3-1 Cane lead. In one of the few blemishes of the night, the Canes gave up a short-handed goal on their next power play.

Tlusty Seals the Win Against Bolts

The icing on the cake came just under the eight minute mark in the third. EStaal won a battle deep in the Canes’ end and passed the puck up to Faulk at the blue line. With the coaches strongly encouraging the defense to join the rush, Faulk obliged.

Faulk grabbed the puck and put on his jets to go up the right wing with a lone defender between Tlusty and himself. He then sent a nice saucer pass to Tlusty, who sent one short side to seal the game, and all that was left was blowing out the candles. Wow!

Next Home Game

The Carolina Hurricanes’ next home game is Friday, January 30, 2015 against the Blues. Come on out and enjoy some hockey!


Canes coverage by Bob Fennel. Photos from the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts on Twitter.
Read more Canes coverage.

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Weekend: Wild Foods Supper & Super Bowl Sunday Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:41:18 +0000 Comedy, art, and a steaming hot bowl of chili await you this weekend, as well as some great shows premiering around the Triangle. Check the calendar and make your plans now.

The post Weekend: Wild Foods Supper & Super Bowl Sunday appeared first on CaryCitizen.


Cary, NC — Sure, it’s Super Bowl weekend, but comedy, art, and a steaming bowl of chili all await you too, as well as some great shows in the Triangle area. Check the calendar and make your plans now.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Help the Cary Rotary Club stop hunger by dropping in on their annual Chili Dinner during lunch or dinner hours on Friday. The event, held at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian, provides attendees with a delicious meal for only $7.50–and it supports a great cause.

It’s cold, yes, but it’s also the last Friday of the month, which means that Cary’s Final Friday Art Loop is back. This month, there will be a reception and meet-and-greet with featured artists Donna Schultz and Jean Scholz.

Fridays are WineAway Fridays at Chatham Hill Winery and event venue. Live music starts at 7 pm and continues until 10. Wine is available by the glass or bottle and two local brews from Fortnight will be on tap. Attendees can order food in from local restaurants or try the winery’s international cheeses.

More Friday details on the calendar.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Try something different and attend the NCSU 4th annual Wild Foods Supper on Saturday evening at 6 pm. This event, held at the Cary VFW, is a fundraising event for the university’s Leopold Wildlife Club. In addition to the dinner (featuring venison, fish, and other game), there will be raffles, contests, and prizes. There is a suggested donation of $10.

Comedian Andy Woodhull will perform at the Cary Theater on Saturday evening at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 and on sale online or in-person at the theater.

More Saturday details on the calendar.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It’s Super Bowl Sunday–do you need a place to watch the big game? If so, check out Rally Point, Mac’s Tavern, Spirit’s Pub & Grill, T.MAC, and The Corner Tavern and Grill, just to name a few Cary hot spots.

More Sunday details on the calendar.

Across the Triangle

This week is Triangle Restaurant Week, and the fun continues until Sunday evening. Restaurants in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding areas are offering special three-course meals at fixed pricing. You can view the list of participating eateries online.

The Blue Man Group will perform at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium this weekend. Shows are at 8 pm on January 29-30 (Thursday and Friday) and are at noon, 4, and 8 pm on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Tickets, which range from $37-$150, are available on

Southern Season in Chapel Hill is hosting a “Learn at Lunch” class. For $30, attendees will learn to how to make a selection of appetizers and dishes for a Super Southern Super Bowl Party. The class starts on Friday, January 30, 2015 at noon.

Raleigh’s 14th Annual African American Cultural Celebration will be held at the NC Museum of History on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 10:30 am-4:30 pm. The free event will include musicians, storytellers, dancers, historians, authors, and artists.


The calendar of events is edited by Lindsey Chester.

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The Upchurch Farm: Stories from 3 Generations Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:23:17 +0000 Right off of High House and Davis, just minutes away from shopping centers and housing developments, is a lot of land and a big story. I got to speak with three generations of the Upchurch family, the folks behind the incredible history of the farm on Carpenter Upchurch Road.

The post The Upchurch Farm: Stories from 3 Generations appeared first on CaryCitizen.

Upchurch Farm

Three generations. From left: William, Billy, and Will Upchurch.

Cary, NC — Right off of High House and Davis, just minutes away from shopping centers and housing developments, is a lot of land with a big story. There, I got to meet the Upchurch family–the folks behind the incredible history of the farm on Carpenter Upchurch Road in Cary.

Billy, William, and Will

I had the best conversation with William “Billy” Upchurch, Sr. and his family over Pepsi and country ham biscuits last week.

Mr. Billy Upchurch has lived in the same house since he was seven years old. That’s where he started a farming operation from nothing. Billy’s father died at a young age, so he was forced into adulthood early on. William, his son, told me that:

Dad completed high school and then went to college, but the needs of the farm kept on growing bigger and bigger. So he came home and ran the farming operations so his sister could finish up school at UNC to become a pharmacist.

From tobacco to small grains, the farm’s crops have changed throughout the years–but Billy ran and continues to run a successful farming operation. For years now, he has had the help of his son, William Upchurch, who grew up in that house too. William still lives on the farm with his wife and his son, Will. They live in a house just a short tractor ride away from Billy.

The Tobacco Days

Nowadays, William and Billy raise small grains, fescue, and pumpkins on the farm. But that wasn’t always the case. William reflected that, “The bread and butter of this farm, many years ago, was tobacco. That’s what paid our bills and sent me to college.” Billy added:

Back when I was coming along young, this whole community was tobacco. You either raised tobacco or you worked in Durham at the tobacco factory. The tobacco factories were King, American…every one of these farms were tobacco farms. And those who didn’t stay here and raise tobacco worked at the tobacco factory.

Upchurch Farm

William told me that, long ago, this barn was used to cure tobacco.

By the late 90’s, making a living off tobacco no longer worked, as growers had to be part of a larger farming operation to produce the amounts of tobacco that companies wanted to buy.

A Self-Sufficient Farm

Billy, and even William, can both remember a time when the farm was completely self-sufficient. Billy reflected that:

You pretty well had everything you needed right here on the farm. You didn’t run to the grocery store for anything. You canned up everything or froze everything for the winter and used your animals for your own food. The country stores had the staples, I assume, like molasses and some flour.

The Old Roads

For awhile now, I’d been hoping to get a better idea of what Cary looked when the only road around ran through downtown. Billy gave me some idea:

When I started farming, we used to haul grain to Raleigh all through where Preston is now. We’d be axle deep with the truck, mud and all; the only paved road was where Chatham [Street] is now. We were glad to hit that pavement. Down through where Preston is now was just a big mud hole. All that flat through there where the golf course is now was just wet road back then. And there weren’t any buildings.

Upchurch Farm

The top section of this feed barn stored hay, which would be dropped through trap doors to feed the cows and mules that used to live on the farm.

Present Day

The Upchurch Farm is beautiful and vast. William and Will took me on a scenic “Gator” ride from their house to Billy’s and, on the way, I got to see vintage barns, expansive fields of rye and fescue, and a beautiful pond surrounded by trees. William’s two sisters both live on the farm, too. Their houses are right between William’s and Billy’s.

Much of the work completed at Upchurch Farm is done to help other local farms. In fact, in addition to being a farmer, William works full time as the head of the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, which is a division of the Department of Agriculture.

He told me that, between taking care of his farm and helping local farmers full-time, he gets to “stay in act seven days a week.”

Upchurch Farm

You’ll find farming equipment outside both William’s and Billy’s homes. William told me that he likes red tractors, while his father prefers green (John Deere) equipment.

Supporting and utilizing the crops of local farmers is very important to the Upchurch family. William told me that a neighbor uses one of their fields to grow fescue to feed his cow, and they swap equipment with other farms all the time. William also grows rye and sells it to landscapers.

The Upchurch family owns several other farms, which they rent out to farmers in other counties.

The Animals of the Upchurch Farm

Upchurch Farm

Eight Nigerian Dwarf goats call Upchurch Farm their home.

Tiny, DJ, Oreo, Davey, Ginger, Katie, Romeo, Rowdy are the names of the eight goats that live on the farm right outside of William’s house. Most of the goats were babies when they first arrived and were raised by the family.

All the attention they’ve received over the years, especially from Will, has made them gentle and kind. Will made me laugh when he shared that he “finds it kind of funny that even the female goats have beards.”

There’s also a precious miniature donkey named Hollywood that keeps the goats out of mischief and protects them from predators.

Support the Farm

You can support the Upchurch family, and visit the animals, by paying them a visit in October and December. Pumpkins, grown right on the farm, are available for purchase each year, as well as Christmas trees grown by North Carolina farmers. William’s wife even makes and sells homemade wreaths.

Right now, the Upchurch family is busy making plans for the year. Look for another article in several months to hear their farming update.


Story and photos by Jessica Patrick.


Community coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Thai Spices & Sushi, located in Preston Corners.

Click to visit


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Pay Attention to Your Dryer: Here’s Why Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:56:56 +0000 Local firefighter Jimmy Spero shared an important article with us about the importance of keeping your dryer vents clean in order to prevent house fires.

The post Pay Attention to Your Dryer: Here’s Why appeared first on CaryCitizen.


Cary, NC — Local firefighter Jimmy Spero shares with us the importance of keeping your dryer vent clean in order to prevent house fires.

Clothes aren’t getting dry anymore?

It might be more serious than you think.

You don’t ever have to remind a firefighter to change the batteries in his family’s smoke detectors. We do it twice a year at the same time that we set our clocks forward or backward. We do it because we know how important it is to be alerted to smoke in the home, and we know how many lives those smoke detectors save.

Another thing you don’t have to remind a firefighter to do is to clean her dryer vents regularly. That’s because, out of every 20 or so fires that we respond to, one of them is going to have been started by a dryer. About a third of those are caused by the owner’s failure to properly clean the dryer vent and duct work. In 2010 alone, these dryer fires caused 51 deaths—all of them preventable—and $216 million in property damage.

Here’s how it happens.

In a perfect world, every dryer would be located against an exterior wall of a house with less than eight feet of duct work between the dryer and the great outdoors. But, in reality, niches are often carved out for washers and dryers wherever a homeowner can find space—interior closets, bathrooms, basements, etc.

This means that the necessary duct work often travels between floors and through interior walls, twisting and turning around obstacles before reaching its destination. At every juncture, lint and dryer debris accumulate. As the blockage grows, the trapped air gets hotter and hotter and can eventually cause the accumulated material to ignite.

Keep your dryer vent clear and clean.

The good news is that it’s easy to prevent that kind of scenario by simply having your vents cleaned out once a year. Pick a day that’s easy to remember, like a half-birthday or daylight savings time, and put it on your calendar. But, if you notice any of these warning signs, schedule a cleaning immediately:

  • A “burnt” smell around your dryer
  • The dryer is operating inefficiently (taking two or three cycles to get clothes dry)
  • The outside of the dryer is hot to the touch

More good news—it’s a lot cheaper to get your vents cleaned than you probably think. At J-N-J we charge between $55-65 per vent, which is about the cost of dinner for two. We are fully insured, and all of the work is done by local firefighters who understand the importance of doing the job thoroughly and correctly.

Contact J-N-J

Have questions? Concerns? Get in touch with us today at, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter at @CleanYourVent.


Story contributed by Jimmy Spero, local firefighter and owner of J-N-J Dryer Vent Cleaning. Photo by Jeremiah.

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Google Picks the Triangle for Fiber Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:26:00 +0000 What would you do if your internet were 100 faster? Start thinking about that question, because Google has chosen the Triangle for its next rollout of Google Fiber and Cary is on the list to get gigabit internet.

The post Google Picks the Triangle for Fiber appeared first on CaryCitizen.


Cary, NC – What would you do if your internet were 100 faster? Start thinking about that question, because Google has chosen the Triangle for its next rollout of Google Fiber and Cary is on the list to get gigabit internet.

Triangle Gets Google Fiber

The Mountain View, California tech giant announced today that the Triangle was among four metropolitan areas selected for the next rollout of Google Fiber. Other metros chosen include Charlotte, Atlanta and Nashville. Google already has Fiber up and running in Kansas City, Provo and Austin.

Cities not selected in this round include Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose.

Who’s In

Here are the Triangle communities Google has designated for Fiber:

  • Carrboro
  • Cary
  • Chapel Hill
  • Durham
  • Garner
  • Morrisville
  • Raleigh

Other Triangle communities including Apex and Wake Forest will have to wait or hope for better offerings from current providers.


Image from


What Is Google Fiber?

Google Fiber delivers 1 gigabit internet to the home. That’s about 100 times faster than the 10 megabits most broadband customers in the U.S. currently enjoy.

What’s Next?

Google has not announced a timetable for Triangle rollout, but you can sign up for announcements right now:

From previous Fiber rollouts, expect the Triangle network to grow street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. Your friend may get it in a few months but you might have to wait two years.

Stay tuned to this space for more on the Cary rollout of Google Fiber.



Story from staff reports. Photo from Google Fiber.

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Technology: Tech Tank Update Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:02:55 +0000 Over at Tech Tank, our friend Ian Henshaw has been pushing out blog posts that discuss recent developments in the Triangle area. We've shared a few here.

The post Technology: Tech Tank Update appeared first on CaryCitizen.

Tech Tank

Cary, NC — Over at Tech Tank, our friend Ian Henshaw has been busy publishing blog posts that discuss recent technological events and developments in the Triangle area. CaryCitizen shares a few here.

Tech Tank Event Calendar

Ian keeps us aware of Triangle events that provide education on and interaction with new or existing technologies. Be sure to mark your calendars if any of the programs below sound interesting.

Free and Open Source Software Fair: February 7, 2015 from 8:30 am-5 pm. This participant-driven event is open to the public. Ian shares the what, where, and why of the program as well as its all-day schedule.

Startup Weekends in NC – RAL: February 20-22, 2015. This 54 hour event brings together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains. Ian provides more information about it in this post.

Cary Updates

Code for Cary – Jan 2015: Ian discusses the items covered in the first Code for America Brigade in Cary (Code for Cary) meeting of the new year.

Cary Coworking: Ian introduces the benefits of co-working and informs us of developing plans to create such a space in Cary.

Cary Technology Task Force Recommends: Ian lists the summary recommendations for Cary from the Technology Task Force, which was commissioned in 2012 to study the town’s technology and engagement.

Triangle Updates: Open Data

Durham Announces Open Data: The city and county of Durham, NC recently announced the hiring of an Open Data Consultant. In this post, Ian introduces us to the hire, Jason Hare, and provides a brief history on Durham’s journey towards open data.

Triangle Open Data Day 2015 Update: Ian updates us on the themes and registration process for TODD 2015.

Latest News

Registered ODI Trainer in NC: Tech Tank’s very own Ian Henshaw was recently recognized and provided with the Open Data Institute (ODI) Registered Trainer mark. In his post, Ian explains what this credential means.

Welcome to Your Endless Frontier: The RTP Frontier, a large, new co-working space in Research Triangle Park, just launched. Ian provides information about the January 15, 2015 opening. You can find more Frontier coverage on CaryCitizen.


Posts from Tech Tank. Photo from kev-shine.

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