CaryCitizen Cary, North Carolina news, food, community and events Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:09:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘Canes Have Best Draft Day in Years Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:35:44 +0000 Canes

Raleigh, NC — The Carolina Hurricanes are in the process of selecting players for their upcoming season. It may be their best draft in years.

Canes Fortunate to Get Hanifin at #5

The Carolina Hurricanes had several options as for who they would select as their #5 pick, and it all depended on who would go as #3 and #4. They selected Noah Hanifin, the #1 defenseman by every team and independent scouting report. Many reports had projected Hanifin to go #3, so landing him was a great pick for the team.

Hanifin was a freshman at Boston College (same college as current Cane Nathan Gerbe) last season and also captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2014 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. He’s a big kid at 6’3”, 203 pounds and still growing.

He is an excellent skater and likes to be in the mix offensively.

While it is tough for young players to make the NHL as a defenseman, aka Ryan Murphy, or last year’s #5 pick, Haydn Fleury, I suspect Hanifin will not only make the team but have an important role. Assistant coach Steve Smith is a great defensive coach. The Canes went from one of the worst penalty kill teams two seasons ago to #4 last season while atop of the league for a good portion. Smith will guide Hanifin’s progress to make it best for the player and for the team.

Day Two at the Draft

The Canes picked up six forwards, a goalie and another D-man in the second day of the draft. Very early on the second day (about 7:15 am), Ron Francis got goalie Eddie Lack from Vancouver in exchange for two draft picks–a third-round pick this year and a seventh-round pick next year. Lack’s first NHL shutout was against the Canes.

I immediately wrote to a couple of folks at the Canes and indicated that one of the two existing goalies would be gone later in the day. Francis wasted no time as he traded Anton Khudobin to Anaheim for veteran defenseman James Wisniewski. Wisniewski is a solid player who typically doesn’t take dumb penalties and also brings some offensive capabilities on the blue line.

EStaal and Ward’s Future

It’s reported that the Canes will try to sign both Eric Staal and Cam War to extensions after the July 1 signing period opens. Both will have to agree to a hometown discount, as their performance over the past few years can’t justify their current salaries, let alone any type of increase. Ward had a very good season last year, but was still way over paid.

Stopping goals is not just up to the goalies.

Just like you tell the 12 year-old CASL goalie, “the other team had to get around all your other teammates before they got it past you.” Same goes for professional hockey. Ward did make some amazing saves last year–a couple were in the Top 10 for the NHL.

In the previous three years, it seemed he let in an easy goal every game, and, in a league that thrives on 1-goal games, the Canes were sunk. With the defense getting stronger in front of Ward, that can only be a good thing


I wouldn’t expect any of the other draft choices to make the Canes, or even the Checkers, this coming season. Rookie camp is next week (most sessions are free to the public), and this is crunch time for several players. The Canes have some talented forwards in Charlotte, and it’s either make the big team this year or come to the realization that making the NHL isn’t going to happen unless they change their effort.

Skinner Rumors

The Canes have been shopping Jeff Skinner but are not desperate to have him leave. As Francis has said many times, “all options to improve the team will be explored.”

Skins is a highly talented player and has great potential. The guy is still very young and is one of the best skaters on the team. Forget the prone to concussion label. You get hit with many cheap hits (like he’s had), and you’ll be lucky if a concussion is all you get.

Keep Reading for Canes Updates

Hopefully this gets the juices flowing for the interest for the Canes during this hot summer. The Canes will be a better team–maybe not a Stanley Cup contender–but they will have a better product on the ice. Keep reading for updates during the summer.

Stay cool, and Go Canes!


Canes coverage by Bob Fennel. Photos from the Carolina Hurricanes on Facebook.
Read more Canes coverage.

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Harold’s Blog: Google Fiber & More Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:22:11 +0000 Harold's Blog

Cary, NC — This week was busy with long nights.


Monday started with the Official Grand Opening and ribbon cutting of MetLife.

MetLife Grand Opening

MetLife is a Global Technology Campus in Weston. They currently employ about 1,500 people with an average salary of well over $100,000 annually. Their buildings have room for expansion to about 2,400 employees.

MetLife is ahead of their hiring schedule that was contractually mandated, so, hopefully, they will fill up the rest of those buildings soon. It is great to have MetLife as a corporate citizen, and I look forward to their partnership with the town.

Agenda Review

Later Monday I attempted to call council members to hear their questions and concerns about Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting agenda items. I was only able to contact council member Yerha. Later in the day, I met with town management, administration, legal and public information to go over the agenda. That meeting lasted about 30 minutes.

Town Council Closed Session

Monday night, the council went into closed session for about four hours. The purpose was to hear from our direct reports: the Town Manager, the Town Attorney and the Town Clerk. Afterwards, the council wrote up evaluations and decided on merit pay. Council will provide feedback to the direct reports on July 2nd or July 9th.


Tuesday I joined staff members and consultants in hosting an Imagine Cary Business Roundtable discussion at the Chamber of Commerce. There were about two dozen business leaders in attendance.

Imagine Cary Business Roundtable

This roundtable discussion is an integral part of the community’s ongoing planning process which will culminate this winter with the development of a new comprehensive plan for Cary. For the first time in the town’s history, this new plan will establish our community’s economic development vision and policies, developed and designed in coordination with planning for related topics such as future land uses, housing, redevelopment and transportation.

This effort aims to ensure Cary remains an attractive place for successful businesses and a talented work force. This discussion with our business leaders focused on recommended goals and policies. The session went very well with great participation and feedback. The roundtable discussion lasted about an hour and a half.


Wednesday, I participated in a meeting with the Economic Development Committee.

Economic Development Committee Meeting

Notable items that came from that meeting included:

  • There continues to be a lot of interest from businesses to locate in Cary
  • MetLife officially cut the ribbon on its two buildings.
  • Downtown continues to see activity even with Academy Street under construction.
  • Cary’s unemployment rate was 3.4% down from 3.6%. Wake County is 4.2%, North Carolina 5.2% and the nation 5.3%.
  • Available land for large office is quickly disappearing. Future large office projects may require redevelopment of existing sites.

The meeting concluded after about half an hour.

Hindu Society of North Carolina

Wednesday night, I gave welcoming comments at the Hindu Society of North Carolina for Swami Mukundananda. Here is an excerpt from my comments:

I am a fitness nut. I’m either running or playing tennis or both every day. Yet, so much of being fit is about exercising the mind and spirit. In a world of instant gratification and “more, more, more” mentality, it’s never been so important to take a pause and reflect. Reflect on the good surrounding us. Reflect on our place in our community. Embrace quiet. And while I strive to incorporate this into my fitness routine, I am humbled to be here tonight with a world-renowned teacher of spirituality, yoga and meditation who is the epitome of humility and divine love…

Afterwards, I stayed for the religious part of the session which lasted a little over two hours. That consisted of stories from their scriptures and explanations of what it means to your daily life. Needless to say, it was quite an experience and one that I will remember a long time.


Thursday started with a brief gathering of Troop 131 from Apex and Cary who were at Town Hall to watch the council meeting. I explained the agenda to them and then answered questions. We talked for about twenty minutes. I was glad to see young people involved in local government.

Regularly Scheduled Council Meeting

Thursday night, the council met over four and a half hours at our regularly scheduled council meeting. There were eight public hearings, three discussion items and a closed session.

Rezoning Requests & Budget Approval

Two public hearings that drew most speakers were a rezoning request at Chapel Hill Road and Lake Drive and a rezoning request at Westhigh South. Both of these proposals have protest petitions and will require a lot of effort to get them passed.

In the discussion portion of the meeting, council approved the fiscal year 2016 budget of $295 million, which includes a two cent tax increase from the 2012 voter approved bonds. Despite the increase, Cary will remain with Wake County’s lowest tax rate.

In other decisions, the council decided to send the Dellinger proposal near Crossroads back to the Planning and Zoning Board since it has changed drastically from their last review. After the council completed the agenda, it went into closed session.

Once returning from closed session, the council approved a motion to do an internal and external search for a new town manager since our current town manager is retiring. Staff will bring back information about the cost and process at a future council meeting.


Friday, I participated in a meeting with the NC Metro Mayors with about two dozen mayors and representatives from other municipalities. Most of our discussion focused on the sales tax changes being considered by the NC Legislature and how it will impact municipalities.

Q&A with Google Fiber

Emails this week included a notification from Google Fiber that construction in this region will begin in the coming weeks. Once construction is completed, Google will have laid enough fiber to reach London and back. Here are some of their answers to frequently asked questions:

It looks like you’re starting construction in my area. Does that mean we’ll be the first to get Fiber? Not necessarily. We’ll be doing construction all across the metro area in the coming months, but we don’t yet have a schedule for when and where we’ll be able to offer service first.

When will you start signups for Google Fiber? It’s still too early to say. We have a lot of construction work to do first! We’ll make an announcement as soon as we have an update about timing. The best way to stay in-the-loop is to sign up for more information on our website.

Are you hiring? We have a handful of Google jobs, which you can find on our website. We also rely on many contractors to bring Google Fiber to a city, and some of those companies may be hiring. You can find some of those partners listed on our website.

What happens if there are construction issues in my area? We’re going to work hard to keep disruption to a minimum. Our crews will work quickly, and, when they’re done, they’ll return the construction area to the condition they found it in, whether that means patching any holes we had to dig, repaving streets or even planting new grass seeds when needed. If any issues come up, we’ll also have a hotline available so you can get in touch with us 24/7.

How long will you be constructing in my neighborhood/city? The amount of time it takes to bring fiber to a particular area varies greatly based on the size of the area, whether we’re doing aerial or underground work, the local soil type, and even the weather conditions.

We don’t have a specific timeframe to share just yet, but we’ll try to build as quickly and efficiently as we can, and will keep residents updated along the way. Look for door hangers which will let you know that construction is about to begin on your street.

Homebuilders Association Emails

In other emails, the Homebuilders Association provided a report about building permits.

Notable items include:

  • Cary had the most new single family permits in Wake County followed closely by Raleigh
  • Single family permits in Cary dropped 33% during the last twelve months
  • Single family permits have increased 2% in Wake County over the last twelve months

The homebuilders supply this report once a month.

Emails from Citizens

Emails from citizens included:

  • A concern about trees
  • A concern about a proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment in the Crossroads area
  • A request for assistance in getting a job
  • A request to remove an access to a public greenway
  • A concern about the Google fiber installation
  • Criticism about not having a public aquatics center
  • Criticism about not expanding CTran.

Get in Touch

Next week is a holiday week with most people getting Friday off to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. Most government offices, including Cary, will also be closed. My schedule will include meetings, welcoming remarks and a quasi-judicial hearing.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 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 with Scout Troop 131 courtesy of Mayor Weinbrecht.

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Keep Pets Safe in the Summer Heat Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:17:51 +0000 Lucy

Cary, NC — A worrisome press release I received from the Town of Cary last week inspired me to publish some tips on how to protect your pets from the heat this summer. 

A Scary Realization

I got this note from the Town of Cary in my inbox last week:

After receiving five calls over the last 24 hours for pets locked in vehicles, the Town of Cary is reminding owners of proper “petiquette” during days of excessive heat. Never leave your pet in a parked car, whether the windows are cracked or if the car is parked in the shade. Citizens with concerns over a pet’s safety should call 911.

I turned to the Humane Society for some tips on how to protect pets from the summer heat.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe & Well

Their first piece of advice? Never leave your pets in a parked car, not even for a minute, says the Humane Society. The society also said that, “On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.”

It is also recommended to limit your pet’s exercise on hot days. On hot days, try to limit major outdoor activity to morning and evening hours, and adjust the frequency and duration of exercise to how hot it is. Monitor how well your pet seems to be handling the heat. Dogs with short noses (like pugs and boxers) may especially have trouble breathing in heat outside.

Be mindful of walking your pet on hot cement. Sometimes, if it’s really hot outside, I’ll try walking without my shoes on to see how it feels. If it’s too hot for me, I limit dog walks to grassy areas.

When pets are outside in the summer, make sure they have lots of cool, fresh water and ample shade. Dog houses are great at protecting dogs from the elements, but, on hot days, they obstruct air flow and can make pets feel even hotter than when they’re out in the sun.

Tree shade is your best bet.

Heatstroke: Recognize & Treat It

If a pet’s temperature rises above 104 degrees, they can experience heatstroke.

The Humane Society lists heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness as signs of heatstroke.

To treat heatstroke, move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area and apply ice packs or cold towels to his or her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let him or her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes, and seek veterinary care.

Related Content:


Story and photos by Jessica Patrick. Tips from the Humane Society of the United States.

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2015 Guide to 4th of July in Cary Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:03:26 +0000 4th of July

Cary, NC — This is your complete guide to 4th of July festivities in Cary.

Guide to 4th of July in Cary

Whether you’re in search of 4th of July festivities across the Triangle or right here in Cary, there are plenty. We’ve received information about The Cary’s film festival, RailHawks soccer and celebrations at Cary’s winery and brewery. Of course, we’ve listed the big festivals in Cary, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill (and where to find fireworks) too.

Some events occur on the Friday before or the Sunday after the 4th, so be sure to check dates as you make your plans. Happy 4th of July, readers!

Films at The Cary

The Cary Theater will host a 4th of July film fest all weekend long. All movies are $5.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger – Thursday, July 2 at 7 pm
  • A Few Good Men – Thursday, July 2 at 9:30 pm
  • Independence Day – Friday, July 3 at 7 pm
  • Top Gun – Friday, July 3 at 9:30 pm
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy – Sunday, July 5 at 2 pm

Independence Eve Celebration

Independence Eve Celebration
Friday, July 3, 2015; 6:30-9:30 pm
at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Avenue, Cary
Join Applause! Youth Theatre and the Cary Town Band for a 28th annual patriotic salute to our nation’s birth and the service personnel, past and present, who have helped secure our liberty and freedom. You’ll hear buglers bugle and Yankees doodle dandily. This event is free.

Waverly Farmers’ Market

July 4th Party Prep on the Promenade
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 10 am-1 pm
at Waverly Place, corner of Tryon and Kildaire Farm Roads
During the Farmers’ Market and Local at Waverly Programs, there will be a huge dress up tent with all things Red White and Blue. Accessories, stickers, do it yourself face designs, hair spray paint and more. Entrance to the tent is available with a minimum donation of $2 to the Love Chain for InterAct of Wake County.

Olde Time Celebration

Independence Day Olde Time Celebration
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 7:30 am-3 pm
at Bond Park, 801 High House Road, Cary

Each year, Bond Park celebrates the 4th of July the old-fashioned way:

  • 8-10 am – Fishing tournament (register at 7:30 am at the boathouse)
  • 9:30-10:30 am – Decorate yourself for the parade (at the Kiwanis shelter)
  • 10:30 am – 4th of July Parade in the park
  • 11 am-3 pm – Family-friendly competitions (doughnut and watermelon eating, lakeside Olympics, watermelon seed-spitting, water balloon toss, sidewalk decorating and more)

July 4th Festival & Fireworks at Koka Booth

July 4th at Koka Booth
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 3 pm-10 pm
at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary

Right after the Olde Time Festival at Bond Park ends, this festival begins:

  • 3 pm – Gates open to blankets, lawn chairs and picnics
  • 3-7 pm – Kids activities (Ferris Wheel, Berry-Go-Round, scavenger hunt and more)
  • 4:30-6 pm – Contests (watermelon and ice cream-eating and corn-hole)
  • 5:45 pm – Cary Town Band performs on the main stage
  • 7:30 pm – NC Symphony performs on the main stage
  • Fireworks to follow concert

Outside the Beltline Concert

Hosted by the Cary Veterans of Foreign Wars
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 1-6 pm
522 Reedy Creek Road, Cary
Admission to this concert is free. It’s outside, so bring a chair.

Chatham Hill Winery

July 4th at the Winery
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 11 am-6 pm
at Chatham Hill Winery, 8245 Chapel Hill Road, Cary
Dang Good Dogs will be at Chatham Hill on Saturday from 1-4 pm to serve their famous hot dogs. Guests can enjoy drink specials, winery tours and relaxing on the deck.

Fortnight Brewery

Stars, Stripes & Pints
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 12 pm
at Fortnight Brewery, 1006 SW Maynard Road, Cary
Adults can enjoy corn hole, a home brew live demonstration and a brewery tour; kids can enjoy a fun zone with hula hoops, chalk, bubbles, basketball and more. There will be beer specials, outdoor seating and food from local restaurants. Admission is free.

Soccer Game & Cookout

RailHawks Soccer Game and Pre-Game Cookout
Saturday, July 4, 2015; Cookout at 4 pm; Game at 5 pm
at WakeMed Soccer Park, 201 Soccer Park Drive, Cary
The Carolina RailHawks soccer team has rescheduled their July 4 game against Minnesota United for 5 pm on Saturday to make sure that fans have time to make it out to local fireworks after. They’ll also have a cookout for fans right before the game in the VIP party deck with arcade games and catered food. Purchase $12 tickets for the cookout online.

Across the Triangle

The ‘Works Raleigh
Saturday, July 4, 2015; noon-11 pm
Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh
This is a free Independence Day Celebration during the day with live music, beer/wine tents, kids rides and games, Aerial Performances, Cirque de Vol street performers, eating contests, food and art vendors and more. Fireworks will light up the sky over The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts starting at around 9:30 pm.

Durham Independence Day Celebration
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 6-11 pm
Durham Bulls Athletic Park, 409 Blackwell Street, Durham
Tickets are required for the 6:05 pm baseball game, but gates will open for free, general admission at the end of the 7th inning. A fireworks show will begin immediately after.

Town of Chapel Hill 4th of July Celebration
Saturday, July 4, 2015; 7-10 pm
Kenan Memorial Stadium, 104 Stadium Drive, Chapel Hill
This celebration features fireworks, food and old-fashioned family fun. There will be a live performance by Transit Vocal Band, a watermelon-eating contest and fireworks begin at 9:30 pm. $1 per person or a $5 family suggested donation.


Story from staff reports. Photo by opacity.

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Cary Artist: Susan Luster Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:47:42 +0000 Susan

Cary, NC — Last week, I met Susan Luster, a Cary ceramic artist who makes clay tiles with real plant impressions. She took me on a tour of her studio and even showed me a demonstration.

Cary Artist Susan Luster

Susan Luster loves pottery. She has always collected it, and, in her twenties, she first learned how to work with clay. It was more than 20 years after her career promoting solar energy and renewables, though, that she found her real calling as a ceramic artist.

Today, out of her Cary home, Susan makes beautiful clay tiles imprinted with real leaves and plants that come from the garden in her front yard.

“I just went out this morning and cut some ferns from my backyard,” Susan told me. “I love trying to figure out the composition of the plants and how they will look on the tiles.”

Susan never uses fake plants–instead, she’ll pick leaves from Japanese Maples in her yard. She’s always on the lookout for other plants while she’s out, too. “I found these on a tree near my husband’s office,” she said as she held up a leaf. She even collects items from the beach while on vacation and uses them in a series of beach tiles.


Susan’s Technique

Susan kindly showed me a demonstration of how she makes her signature pieces.

I got to watch her use a rolling pin to imprint a leaf design on a flat slab of clay.



Cute, tiny spores were left in the clay once Susan removed the plant. After the piece dries, Susan will paint over the impression with a copper carbonate mixture she makes herself.

All the pieces get fired in Susan’s kiln.


Susan’s husband, Mike, also contributes his touch to Susan’s art. As a successful woodworker, he is able to create attractive wooden platforms and frames on which her pieces can rest.

It’s a very peaceful hobby. People really like [my art] because it’s different. I’m really aiming to have a unique product. I know some other people who use real leaves for art, but almost nobody is doing what I’m doing.

See Susan’s Work

You can see more of Susan’s work by visiting her webpage or by stopping by the Cary Gallery of Artists in Downtown Cary, where her work permanently resides.

Tomorrow, or on Friday, June 26, 2015, Susan’s work will be featured in a new Asian-inspired art show at the gallery. Susan’s ceramic pieces will be combined with the work of brush artist Elda Hiser and jeweler Monica Hunter for one unique gallery and reception. Details are below.

Asian Essence Art Show – Opening Reception
Friday, June 26, 2015; 6-9 pm
Cary Gallery of Artists in Ashworth Village, Downtown Cary

This show will feature the work of Susan Luster and other Cary artists, all inspired by Asian art and culture. The show runs through July 28, 2015.


Story and photos by Jessica Patrick. Read about more Cary artists.


Arts coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Elegant Stitches in Waverly Place.

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Lori’s Blog: Sign Up Now to Volunteer in Cary Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:47:39 +0000 Volunteer

Cary, NC — One of the best things about our Cary community is you. Really. I’m not blowing smoke here. Learn how you can start volunteering in Cary right now.

It’s Sign Up Time!

It’s because of our Cary Volunteers that we are such a great community.

I know this to be true. And, during the month of June, we have several opportunities for you and your family to sign up to be an integral part of Cary.

Teen Council

Looking for a way to get your teen involved and off the couch?

Have them sign up for the Cary Teen Council. This award-winning program that has been around for more than 20 years, and it’s just for 6th-12th graders. Over 700 kids have participated the last few years – and all of them have made a big difference for this community.

These teens participate in all kinds of programs across the town, from social and recreational events, volunteering and community awareness/service, educational, leadership/teamwork and fundraising/recruitment. Many of the Cary Teen Council members receive a chance to serve in advisory capacities for various Town boards and commissions; in fact, we have one on the Information Services Advisory Board. Hey, I’m sure it looks good on their college application, too.

Membership Applications are accepted in June of each year only, so have them sign up now.


Cary Teen Council Members from Cary Town Council

See – everyone gets in on the volunteer action.

Boards & Commissions

June is also the month for signup for our Town of Cary Boards and Commissions. If you want to learn more about how the Town works, and have more of a say in what happens, this is a great place to start. Our volunteer boards and commissions serve an important role in our democratic local government process. These boards are a great way for us on council to gather constructive citizen input and recommendations from our citizens.

It allows us to tap into your amazing collective intellectual capital and talents as individual citizens, and it can also help you understand our day-to-day local government processes. This is a double-edged sword. Maybe you don’t want to know that much?

By serving on a board, you will not only learn more about the Town of Cary, but you will become a community leader, and, more importantly, you will get the chance to weigh in on your beliefs about our community needs and how they can be addressed and met.

Your input will help influence the important decisions we make regarding government policies. It’s also an amazing way to meet new neighbors, and, of course, to serve. Oh, it’s fun, too!

Each of our boards and commissions are unique in size, meeting schedule, and specific function; however, the overall mission is the same: to make Cary a place in which we can be proud to live, work and play.Citizens who serve on these boards and commissions perform a community service using their skills, interests and initiatives to make the difference.

These volunteers believe that Cary should indeed become “My Cary” for each of us.

Six of our seven boards below and the Economic Development Committee have openings for terms that are completed or vacant, so please review the list, and apply.

Vacancies for Boards and Commissions:

Applications are being accepted through the end of June. All volunteers must live within Cary’s Corporate limits or, where applicable, in Cary’s ETJ.

Review the list of boards and commissions, find one that speaks to you and apply here.

Cary Volunteers Do So Much

There are so many great ways to volunteer – check them out online.

Take a look at our Spruce Program  our volunteer-based program designed to connect citizens to beautification, litter reduction, and environmental service projects, save us significant money and add beauty to our community. In 2014 alone, they collected 27,085 pounds of litter, spread 782 yards of mulch and planted over 1,600 trees, flowers and shrubs.


Spruce Program Volunteers

We also have Cary’s CAP team, the Citizens Assisting Police program. Before volunteering for the CAP Team, volunteers must successfully complete Cary’s Citizens Police Academy.

These volunteers help provide security at public events and assist the Police Department with fingerprinting, child safety seat installation, clerical duties, service center staffing, Community Watch programs and other duties. Last year, the 178 member CAP Team volunteered 5,585 hours, saving our town more than $135,847.00.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~Gandhi

There are so many opportunities for all citizens to participate and engage with our community.  I hope you will find one that is your calling.


From the blog of Lori Bush, At-Large Member of Cary Town Council. Pictures are from the Cary Teen Council, Town of Cary Spruce Program and Cary It Green Facebook Page.

Full disclosure: my son is in one of these pictures :)

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Safe Traveling Tips for Seniors (& everyone) Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:11:34 +0000 Travel

Cary, NC — As part of my ageless design series for seniors and senior caregivers, I’ll discuss an interesting topic–how to make traveling and vacations safe and comfortable for everyone, including seniors and people with physical disabilities or other limitations.

Tips for Safe & Comfortable Travel

Many people actively enjoy vacations, trips and cruises, but, for people with disabilities or for some seniors, the idea of travel is unknown or worrisome. For example, will a beach house or hotel have ageless design features like shower rails or doorways and hallways wide enough for walkers or wheelchairs? Will traveling by plane be inconvenient?

All vacations we take require some degree of planning to ensure comfortable transitions and safe surroundings (for all ages and mobility levels), but I’ll highlight some extra planning tips to consider for vacations with seniors and for people with disabilities.

Organize Important Health Items

Make sure medicines are updated well in advance of the trip.

Then, make at least four photocopy sets of Medicare and insurance cards, travel tickets, passports, licenses and any physician prescriptions and/or statements.

Once complete, place one set in carry-on bags and another in checked luggage. Forward one set to family at arrival destination, and leave one at home. This might be a good idea for us all!

Make Necessary Accommodations

Request special accommodations if they are needed. Southwest airlines, for example, has many options for seniors and for those with disabilities. Remember to make requests at time of reservation for trains, buses or hotels, and confirm the arrangements again before travel starts.

Hotels have options too–like the Walt Disney resort’s services for guests with disabilities page.

Navigate Through Airport Security Easily

Anyone who hasn’t flown in a while can refresh themselves on liquid packing restrictions through the Transportation Security Administration. Also, did you know that people over 75 can receive limited screenings while passing through airport security?

Prevent Theft

To prevent theft in busy, populated airports or travel destinations, using travel wallets on lanyards are a great idea instead of relying on pocketbooks and wallets in back pockets in crowded travel locations. Safety experts suggest to keep your carry-on between your feet when standing or with the shoulder strap looped around the leg of a chair when seated.

Take Travel Breaks

If traveling by car, plan to take lots of rest stops to make the trip more comfortable. If traveling by plane or train, take time to get up and walk in the aisle, or ask your doctor about using compression socks, which can help when sitting for long periods of time.

Create Temporary Universal Design

Many stores (from Walmart to our local Ashworth Drugs) sell suctioned handle bars and shower seats. At Ashworth’s, you can rent anything, from a raised toilet seat to walker as needed. When my mom visits, I put handle bars around the shower and the toilet and a sturdy chair by the shower and by her suitcase for added balance while she’s getting ready.

Another idea that worked well during a family get-together was getting my dad wireless headphones to use while he watched TV. He could turn the volume up as loud as he needed without keeping the kids up. Also, consider nightlights–they’re not just for youth!

Put a few around hallways and bathrooms so you and your family members can navigate through dark, unfamiliar spaces when getting up at night.

Find More Advice

Please refer to tips in other articles in my aging in place series, like ensuring prescriptions are not left around for children to accidentally access.

I’m sure many other readers have some great tips on how to make a house temporarily more accommodating, and I would love to read them in comments on this article.


Story by Nancy Caggia, who earned her SRES/Senior Real Estate Specialist and works at BHHS YSU Realty. Photo by smifRead more about aging in place.

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Weekend: Midnight Triathlon & Final Friday Wed, 24 Jun 2015 19:34:30 +0000 Weekend

Cary, NC — This weekend, check the calendar to enjoy Final Friday festivities, an outdoor movie, multiple concerts (three are free!), music at the Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market, cooking demonstrations, a superhero discussion and more.

Friday, June 26, 2015

It’s Final Friday, so stop by Ashworth Village in Downtown Cary for special arts events. This month, a new art show called “Asian Essence” will open at Cary Gallery of Artists. Enjoy a reception from 6-9 pm and meet the artists…a jeweler, a ceramic artist and a brush painter (all local). The show runs through July 28, 2015.

You can also join Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition Juror Clifford Chieffo as he presents an enlightening, entertaining and educational free lecture on Friday from 5:306:30 pm at the Cary Arts Center, Principal’s Hall. Check out Cliff’s impressive bio on the Cary Visual Art website.

Find this month’s other Final Friday events and venues online.

Enjoy a free bluegrass concert in the Page-Walker Gardens from 6-8 pm on Friday evening to enjoy performances by students who have just completed fiddle, guitar and songwriting camps. Another free concert by the Triangle Brass Band will take place from 7-9 pm at Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park.

After work, visit Chatham Hill Winery for WineAway Fridays. They’ll have wine and beer specials and live music from 7 pm until 10 pm.

Gone Girl, Rated R, is playing on Friday evening at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre for only $5. Bring a snack; gates open at 7, and the show will start around 8:30 pm.

Six Strings will present Jeff Black at The Cary at 8 pm. Tickets are $20.

More Friday details on the calendar.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This weekend, singer/songwriter Paula Snyder will perform at the Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market, which starts on Saturday at 8 am and lasts until just after noon in Downtown Cary. Snyder is said to have a “soulfully nostalgic, modern” style of music.

You can also check out several other Cary markets; see the calendar for more details.

Visit VOM FASS in Waverly Place from 11 am-2 pm on Saturday for Oil and Vinegar 101. Staff will use fresh fruits and veggies from the Waverly Farmers Market to guide you through making vinaigrettes and marinades.

In the evening, join Rally Point on Harrison Avenue from 6-10 pm for a Summer Fundraiser & Party featuring great food, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, a corn hole tournament, and more.

Hear the “Music of the Eagles” from the NC Symphony at 7:30 pm at Koka Booth.

Try something different–the Night Ride Tri, a midnight Triathlon (swim, bike, run) for athletes of all ages and abilities. This event starts Saturday at 10 pm at Cary Towne Center/the Triangle Aquatic Center and continues into the night.

More Saturday details on the calendar.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Join VOM FASS at Waverly Place from noon-3 pm for a Brunch & Bubbles open house with mocktails and appetizers.

Author James Maxey will discuss superheroes (and other heroes) at West Regional Library on Sunday from 2-3 pm. This event is free, but registration is requested.

More Sunday details on the calendar.

Across the Triangle

Need a cheap, fun night out? Enjoy free, live music outdoors in Downtown Durham’s Brightleaf Square on Friday, June 26, 2015 from 7-9 pm. This week, the band will be Smile. Then, stroll around the beautiful American Tobacco Campus.

A Summer Fling Horseshoe Tournament will take place in Chapel Hill on Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 10 am-noon at Hank Anderson Community Park. Registration starts at 8:30 am.

Kids can enjoy a FutureVet Play Day at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh from 11 am-2 pm on Saturday, June 27, 2015. They’ll learn alongside a real veterinarian, make and take “bow wow bites” and cat toys and explore careers in pet health. Admission is $5.

All weekend in Downtown Raleigh, don’t miss the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival. Festivities start in various restaurants, wine shops and bakeries on Thursday, June 25, 2015, continue for four days and wrap up on Sunday, June 28, 2015 with a tasting celebration at the historical Melrose Knitting Mill and Babylon from 1-5 pm.


The calendar of events is edited by Lindsey Chester. Photo from Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market on Facebook.

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3D Printing Lab Brings 170 New Jobs to Cary Wed, 24 Jun 2015 18:11:52 +0000 Proto Labs

Proto Labs Office Headquarters in Minnesota

Editor’s Note: CaryCitizen received the following press release from the Cary Chamber of Commerce. You can read the full version online.

Cary, NC — Proto Labs, a Minnesota-based technology manufacturer, will open a new office in Cary, investing $25 million in the Town and creating 170 new jobs by doing so.

Proto Labs – Coming to Cary

On June 18, 2015, Governor Pat McCrory and other NC officials announced that Proto Labs, Inc. will expand into Wake County and will create over 170 new jobs in the next five years. The company plans to invest in excess of $25 million in the Town of Cary over the same period.

Governor McCrory said:

Proto Labs is one of those 21st century companies that is helping North Carolina stay on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. By more than doubling its workforce, the company is demonstrating that nothing compares to North Carolina when it comes to being a great place for innovative ideas.

3D Printing

Based in Maple Plain, Minnesota, Proto Labs, Inc. is a leading online and technology-enabled manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production.

The Cary location will house the company’s expanded additive manufacturing (commonly called 3D printing) operation. Proto Labs has 106 employees in Wake County.

Salaries will vary by job but will include engineering, manufacturing and administrative positions. The annual payroll of the new jobs will exceed $7.5 million by the end of the five years.

Rob Connelly, Proto Labs’ VP of Additive Manufacturing, said:

Since the launch of 3D printing at Proto Labs, we’ve increased our capabilities here in the U.S. and we’ve also introduced our additive manufacturing services in Europe. Our state-of-the-art facility in North Carolina will be a critical driver in advancing 3D printing in the U.S. and globally for many years to come.

Cary Chamber is a Partner

In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., other project partners include the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Community College System, NCWorks, the Capital Area Workforce Board, the Cary Chamber of Commerce, Cary Economic Development and the Town of Cary.

When we asked Kyle Greer, VP of Economic Development for the Cary Chamber of Commerce, to comment on the big news, he said:

We are thrilled to have Proto Labs choose Cary for their expansion; they are a high tech company on the cutting edge of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. They will be a great compliment to all  of the innovation already taking place in Cary and our region. Along with their substantial investment, they will also be hiring 170 new employees who will live, shop and dine in Cary. We are happy to have another great company call Cary home!


Story from staff reports. Photo of the Proto Labs Minnesota office from Facebook.

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Recipe: Iced Coffee Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:17:31 +0000

Cary, NC — Making refreshing, coffee shop-quality iced coffee at home is easy.

Iced Coffee for Summer

I love coffee and, like many people, I drink it every morning.

In the heat of the summer, however, hot coffee becomes less and less appealing, and I end up drinking only half a cup. If you have a similar problem, here’s an alternative–iced coffee.

This isn’t just any iced coffee–it’s cold press, or strong, refreshing, coffee shop quality iced coffee that you’ll want to slurp down like water. Make a huge batch, and it lasts a whole month.


This recipe yields one gallon of iced coffee (but it can easily be doubled). Make this at least eight hours before you plan to enjoy it (or the night before).


  • 1 gallon cold, filtered water
  • 1/2 pound of quality ground coffee
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (optional)
  • Half and half or milk (optional)

Prep Instructions:

  • Estimate or weigh 1/2 pound of good-quality, ground coffee into a gallon-sized pitcher.
  • Fill pitcher to the top with 1 gallon of cool, filtered water.
  • Stir with a long-stemmed spoon to make sure coffee grounds are fully immersed.
  • Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for 8-12 hours (no more, no less). This doesn’t need to be refrigerated; you can let it sit right out on your counter.
  • After 8-12 hours, uncover and strain your coffee. I pour the water and grounds through a fine mesh strainer into a separate container. If you don’t have a fine strainer, place a colander into a big bowl and line it with coffee filters. Slowly pour the mixture over the filters.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

To Serve:

  • Fill a glass with ice, then coffee (to the top if you like it black; 3/4 full otherwise).
  • Add 2-4 tablespoons of the condensed milk, add a splash of half and half and stir well.
  • Enjoy! You can store cold press in the fridge in an airtight container up to one month.

Flavoring Your Coffee

Using sweetened, condensed milk in my iced coffee is a delicious trick I learned from Chef Ree Drummond. It lightly sweetens the drink while still keeping it strong and flavorful. I’d highly recommend you try it, but you can always use sugar and half and half instead.

If you like flavored drinks, you can purchase caramel, vanilla and hazelnut flavored syrups at the grocery store to add to hot or iced coffee. Use 3-5 pumps, or teaspoons, of syrup depending on the size of your cup or your preference for sweetness. This tastes better than a lot of creamers and much, much better than artificially-flavored coffee. Add half and half or milk to taste.

Storing & Saving Hot Coffee

If you’re short on time, you can still make iced coffee from hot coffee.

  • Leftover hot coffee can be re-used if you store it in the refrigerator soon after it brews.
  • Refrigerate hot coffee for an easier, quicker version of the recipe above in an airtight container for up to seven days. FYI-the recipe above is better and lasts longer!
  • Or, pour leftover coffee in ice cube trays. You can use this “coffee ice” in your iced coffee later as an alternative to regular ice that won’t dilute your drink.

An Interesting Coffee Fact

My family and friends playfully make fun of the annoyed, uncomfortable expression I get on my face if I see leftover coffee being poured down the drain. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a little crazy about coffee, and I hate for it to go to waste. Read this fact, though, and you’ll see why.

Did you know that it takes three-four years for a coffee plant to mature before it can start producing beans? Then, once mature, the coffee plant produces an average of 2,000 coffee cherries per year–which is enough to make only one pound of coffee.

For my family of three, that means that, every two weeks, we consume the equivalent of what one coffee plant takes a whole year to produce. I find that unbelievable.

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Story by Jessica Patrick. Photo by Kenny Louie.

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