Blogging

Headlines sell papers, content brings them back

Often, we are stirred to emotional response by the headlines of a “news” article, opinion page, and yes, even a blog headline.

A current article in today’s Gazette makes us chuckle a bit: “How Liquor Stores Stack Up in Gaston County”.

At first glance, without reading the article, one would think (even the simpletons who edit these pages), that we have stacks of ABC stores in our backwoods lovin’ neighborhoods.

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You could have a stack of books, a stack of boxes, or a stack of pallets, but stacking up liquor stores?

Of course it made us look — you did too if you clicked on the link or read it in the paper.

The content of the story is trying to make a case to combine all the community’s ABC boards into one (Re: Gastonia), and to point out that the smaller towns don’t know how to market their local operations. And of course, the Gastonia ABC general manager points out that people want to shop at larger, well lit stores. (Re: Gastonia –Cox Road or Long Avenue).

Well, we haven’t seen either dirty or poorly lit stores in either Cramerton or Mt. Holly. Yes, the selection of product is smaller, and as most retail outlets will demonstrate, product offerings tend to follow local consumer demand. Certain items that sell well at Cox Road might not do well or even be offered at Mt. Holly. We get a kick out of the fact that a Harris Teeter is nearby the Cox Road store, and “Always Low Prices” Food Lion is next to the Cramerton and Mt. Holly stores.

Hmmm…

Mt. Holly and Cramerton have Belmont’s business depending on which side of town you are coming from. It certainly is more convenient most of the time to shop locally.

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Good for the Gazette trying to imply that the yokels outside of Gastonia don’t know what they are doing. It certainly sold a couple of papers.

Interesting Blogs

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Our group of editors like to read other blogs for ideas, style, and interesting articles by other people.

Many blogs out there in the “world” can be really scary. We found one that has been very popular within the past month called, Stuff White People Like. Just putting the link here and not posting it to the blog roll is probably all we are willing to do right now.

Have you ever seen nine people try to push each other into the bushes? It’s not a pretty site, even with glasses of Pinot Grigrio, or Merlot in hand. It’s easier with a Budweiser though…

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In our opinion it is a funny and thought-provoking cultural view. Any thoughts from ya’ll?

Happy New Year !

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Ok, we are a little late posting – long time to recover, airport delays, yadda, yadda, yadda…

Really, we hope you have a happy new year !

Beer, wine maker has new home in Belmont textile mill

We love it !

Of all the uses for former textile facilities, warehousing being one, enterprises such as an internet sales of beer and wine making don’t usually top the economic development list.

Alternative Beveridge has been around awhile and recently moved operations to Belmont, and the Gazette highlighted the operation in East Belmont in a recent article.

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(Mike Hendsill – Gazette Photo)

In our humblest opinion, the entrepreneurs of the world are at the top of the list. Several of our blogsite readers and commentors own these types of businesses and are quite successful. Some grow to become giant organizations, others provide a comfortable living for the owners and employees within a community. So, kudos to ya’ll who have those types of visions and determination to make a business grow and thrive over time.

What we like about Alternative Beveridge is the simple way of teaching and servicing their customers.

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A simple way to homebrew

8 candidates seek 3 open Belmont seats (Updated)

That’s It ? , that’s all the Observer could write?            vote.jpg 

They are not “open”, they are contested.

Is this all that we are going to get from the City Council candidates this year?

You have to buy a copy of the Thursday (10/18)Observer to get more information. To be fair, there is a bit more information from the generic questionaire that was sent to all the candidates.

becky-burch.jpg Becky Burch: “…she would encourage the development of one shuttered textile mill to be converted into a nursing home…”  and this helps the tax rate how?

“Burch said council members have the authority to ask developers to leave room for these areas, she said. They haven’t made that request yet though, she said.”  WHY haven’t the council members made those requests – YET ?

We are not making this up – these are quotes from the Charlotte Observer.

irl-dixon.jpg  Irl Dixon: “While some candidates say they are concerned about high property taxes, Dixon said the tax rate dropped last year and he expects it to do the same in the future because of the development of high-end, waterfront homes”.

Does this give credence to the term “economic-genocide” that East-enders and South Point residents are concerned about? Push out the existing homes to build McMansions along the lake, reducing visibility and accessibility. This is a concern here in this community.

charlie-flowers.jpg  Charlie Flowers:  “If re-elected, Flowers said he will push for businesses to fill the now empty textile mills”.

Too Late Charlie !  Most of the mills have been torn down or are in the planning stages to be torn down. We cite the examples of the Belmont Hosiery plant – now, called Belmont Reserve. We cite the Imperial Mill – now vacant, and its mill village called Hawthorne. We cite the Acme – now the space for development. This site even had a viable park area that the city acutally refused to use (Woodlawn) in the late 1990’s. How about what once was the Belmont Dyers, now torn down with development plans for high-end housing. Even the cotton warehouse that Stowe Mills used over on Eagle Road (a perfectly good pre-cast concrete structure) was torn down to make way for the clear-cutting that is now known as Eagle Village. Not even going to discuss in any detail the tearing down of the Eagle Mill for $500,000 unsold homes across from Belmont Central.

rfoulk.jpg  Ron Foulk: “…61-year-old political newcomer said council members have budget responsibility…”.

He’s not a newcomer — he has run for City council in at least 2 other elections. He also opposed the Amity Acres annexation into the city in the 1990’s. How can you trust someone who will be opposed to future annexations.

curtis-gaston.jpg  Curtis Gaston: “He would favor a building moratorium, especially on large subdivisions.”

Once again, the Pittenger/Duke(Crescent) property is already under design – that’s over 1,000 acres of voluntarily annexed land. The city has had jurisdictional control for over ten years on this property and until it was sold to State Senator Pittenger, nothing was done to guide its development direction.  Young Mr. Gaston needs to be more involved. He has promise but will he be committed in the long run?

stowemanorlogo.gif Martha Stowe: “…It [the land use plan] doesn’t prohibit developers, it just makes sure you’re working in tandem with developers,” she said. “As much development as we’re seeing in Belmont we’re going to have to do something other than what we have done…”

So, what are your plans and ideas?

Richard Turner:  “…The recent land-use plan lacks teeth, Turner said, and developers have been able to build as they wanted using conditional zoning. He said the city needs a public facilities ordinance that wouldn’t allow growth beyond the city’s ability to service it…”

Dennis Boyce: “Did not respond”

We hope the BannerNews and the Gazette will expand these questions.

We find it amazing that wherever you see a Burch sign in a yard, there is a Flowers sign right next to it. If it looks like a ticket (signs), sounds like a ticket (identical votes on all issues before council), it’s probably a ticket. Vote for one, get 2.  And we thought that the politics in Belmont was “non-partisan”.

Bad news: Carolinas cheated out of rain again

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Rain Dance

by Steve Lyttle, Charlotte.com  

Forecasters say a combination of events will rob the Charlotte metro region and much of the Carolinas of what had been a strong chance for badly needed rain today.

Instead of a steady rain, we’ll be lucky to get a shower or two, they say.

But forecasters still hold out hope for Friday.

This is terrible news for the region, which is locked in one of the worst droughts in history. Charlotte is more than 13 inches below normal for rainfall this year, and mandatory water restrictions are in place across the area.

Today’s problem is a familiar story. It has happened at least four times since July.

A general area of low pressure has developed across the Southeast, and forecasters originally thought showery periods of rain would cross the region today. But instead, an area of strong thunderstorms is forming along the Gulf Coast, and that is robbing our region of moisture. In addition, the second center of the low pressure is moving to our north.

That leaves the Carolinas stuck in a relatively dry area between the two rainy areas.

It doesn’t mean we’ll be dry and sunny today. The atmosphere is very moist, and fog will be common in many area this morning. Skies will be mostly cloudy for the rest of the day, with high temperatures in the upper 70s and humid conditions.

On Friday, a frontal system will cross our area. Rodney Hinson, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said that front is our next good chance for rainfall. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop along the front, with most of the precipitation expected to fall before 2 p.m.

Clearing is expected Friday evening and night, so the high school football games likely can be played without any problems.

Friday’s front will mean a pretty weekend.

Partly to mostly sunny skies are predicted, along with temperatures approaching 80 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.

A Little Love for South Point from a Gazette Writer

Phillip Gardner, a sportswriter for the Gaston Gazette had a couple of nice things to say about the Red Raider game versus Ashbrook the other night.

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A little love offering perhaps for the gushiness expressed for Gastonia schools over the last several years perhaps?

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Who knows?

Don’t like paying $5 to park in the neighborhood? COME EARLY and tailgate ! If you wrote more stuff about Belmont area sports in a more loving tone, like what is usually reserved for Forestview and Ashbrook, maybe someone would let young Mr. Gardner park for free. 

NOT !

Really, to be fair, we think Mr. Gardner does a wonderful job of covering sports in Gaston County. He makes an effort to attend the games, and get a feel for the players and coaches in his articles.

A little love goes a long way in selling papers…