Downtown Matthews

Morning Minute: Thursday, June 27, 2019

News About Town:  Proximity Matthews is planning to plant some trees. The Taft apartment complex overcut the tree canopy when land clearing began, because, as Taft representatives explained, the tree save information was too far back in the project design drawings. Taft paid a $50,000 fine and imposed their own $100,000 fine to the town. Now they’re planning to replace the trees, but need the Board of Commissioner’s approval of the new landscape plan. The Board will decide whether to hold a public input session. The trees to be planted include oak, pine, elm, and hollies, among others.

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News Around Matthews: On Tuesday, County Commissioners held an informal meeting to discuss the potential Dedicated Sales Tax for Arts & Culture and Other Use. The quarter-cent increase in sales tax will equal about $50 million a year. How will that be divided up? $24 million would go towards arts and culture (mostly for Arts & Science Council), $8 million would supplement to public school teachers, $15 million will go to parks and greenways, and the remaining $2.5 million would go towards arts and parks programs in Mecklenburg’s six towns. On July 2, at their regular meeting, County Commissioners will vote on placing this on the November 2019 Ballot.

One Good Thing: Matthews Playhouse has a FREE Performance tonight at Fullwood Theatre. Nearly 30 area teenagers will take the stage to belt out the best of Broadway and show off some fancy footwork. The Playhouse students and camp-goers have been practicing hard to make this show a hit. The curtain goes up at 7 pm, make sure you're in your seat and ready to be impressed.


Touching Art: A Sensory Art Show at McDowell Arts Center

When my daughter and I walked into the Sensory Art Show at McDowell Arts Center (123 E. McDowell St.), I still had to ask, “It’s okay to touch everything?” Melissa Johnson, Cultural Recreation Manager for the Town of Matthews, nodded and cheerfully said, “Yep.”

That’s exactly what we did: touched each piece, enjoyed the colors and textures, the variety of methods of art making covered in the exhibit. From metal sculpture to heavily textured abstracts, the show was also perfect for kids. Friendge, Andrea Vail’s interactive community-building project, was an unassuming table in the middle of the room, waiting for viewers to sit down and take part.

With this exhibit, it’s the interaction that sparks the magic of art in this show.

Enjoy some of the photos my daughter and I took, but also go and see it yourself. The Multi-Sensory Art Show is on display through July 5. Hours are typically Monday-Friday: 1 pm-8 pm, Saturday: 10 am-4 pm, and Sunday: 1pm-6pm, but call to double check first: 704-847-9746.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

News About Town:  There are a few town events coming up that are of note. Wednesday the police will hold a car seat checking station at the police station (1201 Crews Road, Matthews) starting at 8 am. The NCDOT meeting about the 51 widening is this Thursday, June 27, 2019, from noon to 7 pm and is a drop-in at Endhaven Elementary School (6815 Endhaven Lane, Charlotte). This Friday at 5 pm head up to Stumptown Park for Food Truck Fridays.

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News Around Matthews: Any visually creative thespians out there? Matthews Playhouse is hiring! They’re looking for a Technical Director and several members for the Production Design Staff. The 2019/20 season includes The Adventures of Madeline, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Mamma Mia! For more info, contact the Playhouse.

One Good Thing: Five bucks won’t get you much these day. Maybe a meal at a fast food restaurant, less than two gallons of gas… ten movies. What?! Matthews Movies 10 is offering a 10 movie pass this summer for $5. See the newish How to Train Your Dragon, Peter Rabbit (a favorite around here), the SpongeBob Movie (barf), and a handful of others on the big screen. Bring the real cash for the drinks and pop corn.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

News About Town:  Last night, Matthews Commissioners had a brief meeting about the council meeting invocations. The meeting was brief and consisted mostly of questions from council members with clarifying answers by the town attorney. The board will have a calendar for invocations which will include many varieties of religious representation.

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News Around NC: Climbing gym Inner Peaks is moving to Matthews. The popular rock climbing destination is moving their MoRa location to Independence Pointe in the former Grand Slam USA building ( 10715 Independence Pointe Pkwy).  The renovations will be lengthy, but an Inner Peaks spokesperson said they will be open in the new location by the end of the year.

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One Good Thing: Every year the Matthews Human Services Council awards a person (or couple) the Nancy Glenn Award. The award honors those who have made Matthews a better community through service. This year’s recipient, Karla Ennis, is a nurse an community outreach coordinator for Novant Matthews. She was nominated because of her can do attitude and her amazing ability to connect the Matthews community with compassion and heart. Congratulations Karla!

Morning Minute: Monday, June 24, 2019

News About Town: Matthews lost a mainstay this past Friday, June 21, 2019. At approximately 9:00 am., Ms.Fanny Dolores Bunn was crossing Trade St. at the crosswalk near Which Wich and was struck by a motor vehicle. Ms. Fanny (also sometimes known by Delores) died at the scene. The 81-year old petite brunette lived near downtown and was often seen walking to Harris Teeter or Target with her red bag cart. The fatality is now an ongoing investigation conducted by members of the Matthews Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team.  The driver has not been charged at this time.

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News Around NC: On the topic of pedestrian safety, North Carolina was recently ranked 13th worst in the country (and 7th worst for pedestrian fatalities). In Matthews there were 46 pedestrian incidents between 2007 and 2016 (pedbikeinfo.org doesn’t have more recent data) and four pedestrian deaths between 2007 and 2017, and two in 2018.

One Fun Thing: If you began the summer with a plan for daily pool trips and at-home crafts, but have already reached the limit of your optimism, fear not! Parks and Rec has you covered. There are still spots in some of their summer camps. Three magic words will make your, and their, summers brighter: Drop Off Fun.

Matthews Last Week Today

Last week’s events throughout Matthews included several significant topics: transportation, affordable housing, and local food. Here are a few snapshots from each.

Last week Alta Design, a consultant for the Town of Matthews, hosted several workshops and open work sessions to provide residents with the opportunity for input in transportation within the downtown Matthews footprint. If you couldn’t make it to one of the sessions, watch the Facebook Live video presented by Town of Matthews Transportation Planner Dana Stoogenke, AICP, and John Cock, Alta Design + Planning VP.

Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity held a home dedication for their most recently completed home. This home was part of the Sandy Marano Memorial Women Build. Matthews residents and Habitat supporters showed up en masse for the ribbon cutting and dedication.

Volunteers for the Matthews Volunteer Farmers’ Market gathered for their annual thank you lunch at Sante. Market Manager Paulette Wilkes and Assistant Manager Jessica Thomas shared words of gratitude for the volunteers before a casual, locally-sourced lunch prepared by Chef Adam Reed.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

News About Town: On Tuesday, May 14 the police department posted security camera images of a man and woman who used stolen credit cards on May 9 at a Matthews gas station. By Thursday, May 16, Matthews Police were able to apprehend the pair, thanks in part to helpful tips from Matthews residents. 

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News Around Town: Wildlife rescuers are on overload with rescued baby birds this time of year, so think before you "rescue." If you're outside and find a baby, first notice whether it's a fledgling (covered in down and feathers) or a nestling (nearly naked). If it's a nestling, try and put it back in its nest. If it's a fledgling, the odds are good a parent is around and watching you and its baby. If it's injured, that's another story. In that case, contact a wildlife rehabber or Carolina Waterfowl Rescue.

One Fun Thing: Calling all bakers of all ages! This Saturday is the Annual Baking Competition at the Matthews Farmers' Market. The Market is looking for "All Things Strawberry" so pop on your chef's hat and mix up your best strawberry creation. Head to www.matthewsfarmersmarket.com for rules and entry form. Entries will be judged by a panel of food experts including renowned Chef Peter Reinhart of Johnson & Wales University. It's sure to be a (straw)berry good time!

Morning Minute: Monday, May 20, 2019

News About Town:  According to Mayor Bailey, the State Transportation Board approved funds this past week to widen Crestdale Road. The widening has been discussed for several years now, with broad public support from the Crestdale neighborhood (see public comments). The board also approved delaying East John Street. NCDOT engineer Scott Cole explained in an April meeting, "funding for [the John Street] project will remain committed until the project resumes in 2025."

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News Around Town: Recently a row of pine trees were removed from in front of the fence line at Sardis Plantation on Highway 51. According to HOA members, the pines were planted in a man-made berm. This instability, plus the aging of the trees, led to a decision to remove them as a precautionary measure. The Sardis Plantation HOA is discussing the appropriate plants to replace the pines.

One Good Thing: Matthews Police Department will host their next "Coffee with a Cop" this Friday, May 24th at Starbucks (2233 Matthews Township Parkway, Suite A). Take the opportunity to get to know some of our officers, ask questions, and discuss concerns. The event runs from 9am to 11am. 

Morning Minute: Friday, May 17, 2019

News About Town:  The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), part of the Town Manager's Recommended Budget, shows an array of future projects in town.  CIP projects for FY 19/20 includes partial funding for a multi-use path down Pleasant Plains (part of the Carolina Thread Trail), funding to pave and create a parking lot on the town-owned property on East Charles St. (behind Pita Kebab), and funding for constructing the Crestdale Heritage Trail. There are many more projects on the list. To see FY 19/20 and 20/21, click here. To see the CIP through 2029 click here. 

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News Around Town: Yesterday, during their regular Thursday meeting, the Matthews Kiwanis Club presented their first-ever Community Partners in Service Grants.  As one member joked, the club gave away $10,000 in 45 minutes. In truth, the club worked for several years to raise money for their foundation, which was, in turn, presented to seven local nonprofits that "serve the children & youth of our community." Club leaders also recognized the work Mark Jones and Eran Weaver put into organizing and administering the grant process.  Representatives from each group were present to accept the grant and explain how the monies will benefit their organizations. The recipients are: Bright Blessings, BSA Troop 118, COS Kids, Matthews Playhouse, Sur de Charlotte, Turning Point, Inc., and ZABS Place.

Special thanks to Rob Hunter for sharing his photo (above) of the Kiwanis honorees.

Special thanks to Rob Hunter for sharing his photo (above) of the Kiwanis honorees.

One Good Thing: One Fun Thing: What’s better than old school video game songs played on the tuba? Old school video game songs played on the tuba by a member of the Matthews Concert Band. Rock on TubaDylan.

Morning Minute: Thursday, May 16, 2019

News About Town: The Town Manager's Recommended Budget is available online. Of note is the addition four new positions in the police department, 24 firefighter positions as part of the 24-hour staffing model, and $20,000 funding for Red Brick Partnership (as of today they are not recognized in an IRS search). The public hearing for the budget will be Tuesday, May 28 at the Board of Commissioners meeting.

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News Around Town: Despite a petition by students to repeal the decision, Butler students will have a makeup day June 10. The makeup day is to fulfill a mandatory number of instructional hours missing due to school closure after the fatal shooting of student Bobby McKeithen.

One Good Thing: Registration is open for the annual Heart of a Champion Day. CMS created this opportunity to provide their student-athletes with free sports screenings and is scheduled for June 1, 2019. Registration runs through midnight May 26. Click here to register.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

News About Town: Last night the Board of Commissioners had two Public Hearings for rezonings. With Zoning Application 2019-697/Harkey the Board unanimously voted to continue the public hearing at the June 10 meeting. For the town-initiated Rezoning Motion 2019-2 (downzoning three separate parcels), the Board talked heavily about finding a compromise. Lawyers representing two of the parcels spoke and requested the town cease the motion and work with the owners for a solution.

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News Around Town: Yesterday was the Republican Primary in NC US House District 9. Republican and Unaffiliated voters selected State Senator Dan Bishop to move on to the General Election, with just shy of 50% of the vote. Bishop will face Democrat Dan McCready in the September special election.

One Good Thing: The countdown is on (at least here in Beaconville) for summer. If you need something for your kids to do and 24/7 screen time isn't going to cut it, check out all the options provided by Park and Rec. The selection is really fun. I mean, really fun. Like we're kind of wishing they-had-the-camps-for-grown-ups-and-the-kids-could-stay-home-by-themselves fun.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

News About Town: Wednesday, May 15, is Peace Officers Memorial Day. Sponsored by the National Fraternal Order of Police, Peace Officers Memorial Day pays tribute to officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty. John F. Kennedy signed the proclamation into law in 1962, and it has been observed nationally ever since.

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News Around Town:  Portrait and courtroom sketch artist Jerry McJunkins is the guest speaker for the Matthews Artist Guild meeting tonight. Join MAG for social time at 6:30 then stay to hear McJunkins share his approach with figure drawing, both in and out of the courtroom. Meetings are free and held at McDowell Arts Center, 123 E. McDowell Street. 

One Fun Thing:  Plan to head back over to McDowell Arts Center this Thursday (May 16) for the Crown Point Elementary Artists’ Reception for first through fifth graders. The show has been on display since May 4. The reception starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m. in the upstairs gallery, and Mayor Bailey will present certificates of achievement to the students.

Morning Minute: Monday, May 13, 2019

News About Town: We’ve already mentioned the Budget Presentation and the Town’s motion to rezone several properties. The evening will be action-packed (read: long) at the Board of Commissioner’s meeting. There’s a public hearing for rezoning property adjacent to Butler High School, an update from the Planning Board followed by council members voting on (or deferring) a few rezonings, technology reimbursements, and discussion of a hairy issue about the Town taking over a private street at the residents’ request.

News Around Town: Beach Fest was called off early this year due to rain. Matthews has received 1.72 inches of rain in the past week. The heaviest rainfall for the month fell on Saturday, when the rain gauge at Matthews Elementary calculated 1.17 inches. The rainfall for May thus far is nearly 3 inches.

One Fun Thing:  Save the date for the last Matthews Concert Band of the season: Around the World in 60 Minutes. (Taking wagers on whether it'll end in an Andy Rooney impersonation.) This free concert is this Thursday, May 16, 7:30 p.m., at the Matthews Community Center (100 McDowell Street) in the Fullwood Theater. The 60+ member band fills the stage with talent and fills the auditorium with incredible sounds. Don't miss out.

Morning Minute: Friday, May 10, 2019

News About Town: At 5:30 this Monday, prior to the regular town council meeting, Town Manager Hazen Blodgett will present his recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2019/20. Creating a municipal budget is a lengthy process that typically starts in February when individual town departments generate a budget to meet their needs. Those budgets are then submitted to the Assistant Town Manager and the Finance Director, who advise the Manager. The Town Manager, as Budget Director, creates a recommended budget to present to the Town Council. As of November 30, 2018, the town has had a vacancy in the Finance Director position.  

News Around Town: Speaking of budgets, County Manager Dena Diorio presented her recommended budget yesterday. We haven't studied the budget in depth (at all), but the graphic (seen above, click on the image to see it in full) explaining the budget is a great introduction. Of note, the budget doesn't fulfill all of the budget requests made by CMS, but does increase salaries for locally funded employees.

One Fun Thing:  Saturday, May 11, 2019 (That's tomorrow) the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market (8:00 AM -12:00 PM) is having herb day! The Charlotte Herb Guild and bringing their Herbal A-Game with plants, crafts, and all around planterly fun. Herbs not up your alley? The regular vendors will be there, too, providing the high-quality, super-local goodies you expect.  

Morning Minute: Thursday, May 9, 2019

News About Town: During Monday's (May 13) Board of Commissioner's meeting, the Board will hold a public hearing for three properties the Planning Department noted as "may not be appropriate from either a current or future land use perspective." These three properties under consideration include the Stronghaven warehouse on East John (I-1), the AMF Bowling Alley on Brigman Road, and a vacant parcel adjacent to the Woodspring Suites on Matthews-Mint Hill Road. The parcels are currently Industrial and Highway Business. The motion would downzone the properties to R-12 and R-15. Two properties are within the ENT zone, which calls for higher density residential than R-12 and R-15.

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News Around Town: Atrium Health and the Greater Charlotte YMCA have partnered to create the Wellness on Wheels program (@WOWCLT). WOWCLT covers territory all over the greater Charlotte area and “provides health screenings, nutrition education and lifestyle management to prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases” for free. The unit will stop at Mount Moriah Church (381 Crestdale Rd., Matthews) from 3 to 6 p.m. on May 16 (and the third Thursday of every month at that same time). No appointment is necessary.

One Fun Thing:  Tomorrow (evening we’re partnering up with Good Cup Coffee and The Loyalist for a Mother's Day Twilight Artisan Pop Up Market. Stop by the Loyalist for dinner, enjoy a Good Cup coffee, find a gift for a mom or yourself, then head on up the road to enjoy some beach music at Beach Fest. We’ll have all your favorite Matthews gear, other artists will have an assortment of handcrafted wearables, hand-poured candles, and more. Consider your Friday night planned!