Montcross

March Update – The REAL cost of living

We reported in January about the food prices at area stores. It seemed like a good idea. 

Today, with oil prices going as high a $105/barrel, we felt that it was time to do an update on our local cost of living.  

We added Walgreens to the mix because their outside sign is advertising milk prices this week. We also added eggs after discussing how much we all use eggs each week in our menu planning.

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Wed 3/5/08

Aldi Bi-Lo Food Lion Walmart Walgreens
           
Whole Milk $3.69 $4.19 $4.09 $3.78 $3.59
2% Milk $3.59 $4.19 $4.09 $3.78 $3.59
Skim Milk $3.49 $4.19 $4.09 $3.78 $3.59
           
White Bread $.75 $1.15 $1.07 $1.16  
Wheat Bread $.99 $1.59 $1.89 $1.52  
           
1 doz, Large Eggs $1.75 $2.19 $1.99 $1.82  

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We appreciate the competition between the chain stores on these particular staple food items. But the obscene amount of displayed food at Walmart puts all the other stories to shame and our editors to tears. Our one Walmart over in Montcross has more food on the shelves in one day than many stores in Haiti or Pakistan can display in a year.

We live in a land of plenty and we are thankful for the options and choices that we have in this community.

Ribbon-Cutting Tuesday, March 4, at Stowe Pointe Community

New Montcross Area Chamber member, Stowe Pointe, invites fellow members and friends to a catered lunch, prize giveaways, a ribbon-cutting and tours of the newly decorated Winslow II model on Tuesday, March 4, from 11 AM until 2 PM

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(Lennar Homes rendition)

Stowe Pointe is a Lennar Homes community at 405 Stowe Road, which is off South Point Road, just south of South Point High School. Homes are 4 and 5 bedroom, from 3,042 to 3,735 square feet and priced from the $270s.

The Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place about noon. RSVP is
requested at 704-258-8290. More information on Stowe Pointe is available at www.lennar.com

Belmont Abbey making area headlines lately

Maybe this blogsite has tweaked area media outlets a bit. Maybe they didn’t like being upstaged a few times. We don’t care either way, Belmont seems to be getting better coverage across the board for everything from the Abbey’s personnel policies and the monastic community lifestyle to our Belmont politics and school functions.

abbot-placid-celebrates-vows.jpg (Gazette Photo)

Even the local paper, the BannerNews has dramatically cleaned its lense (well, except for the sports reporting) and scope.

The Abbey has made news with sports – doing well; With the faculty/staff personnel policies — opportunity to debate faith adherence practices versus having a job — or not. And, what it is like to become a member of a religious order.  

An explanation of a Monk’s Life —from Mount Angel Abbey, a Bendictine community in Oregon:

Locally, the more vocal religious fundamentalists certainly support the Abbey’s stance on taking away women’s health choices. Those supporters, both Catholic and Protestant appear to have a public viewpoint and a completely different set of values in their private lives. But hey, why would we call a spade, a spade, just for the heck of it?

The Catholic Church’s stance has been unwavering for 1500 years in their view towards women. Most Protestant denominations are closer in philosophy to the Universal Church than they think.

Unfortunately, the shrinking numbers of the priestly vocation, even in the developing world, contributes the crisis of faith by many Catholic-born. 

Local dioceses are ordaining fewer and fewer young and middle-aged men into the priesthood. Those who are entering are more fervently “conservative” and sometimes downright misogynistic in their practice of faith leadership to the faithful and seekers.

The local bishop, Peter Jugis of Charlotte, has a Belmont connection. He served as pastor of Queen of the Apostles a few years ago. Rarely did he venture out into the community unless heavily prompted by a few notable citizens. Upon appointment as leader of one of the fastest growing dioceses in the US, he issued a politically inspired letter threatening excommunication toward any Catholic who would vote for pro-choice political candidates.

Is it any wonder that the largest parish in Gaston County, St Michael in Gastonia, has had at least 4 pastors in the past 6 years?

In this ramble of an entry, it is good that the Abbey, its practices and operations, are becoming more transparent to the larger community. As the “driver” of the second or third largest land tracts in the area, it is a smart move to keep an outreach going with the traditional media outlets, many of whom like to think that they can guide debate along their own agenda pathways.

We prefer to be a bit more skeptical.

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Link to Gazette video of  celebration of vows of two newest brothers:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1155201824/bclid1155106715/bctid1410389962

Belmont PD: Purse snatchers targeting senior citizens

This is despicable behavior !     daffy-duck.jpg

Another spillover effect of having more traffic for economic development? The Walmart Effect hits the Reid neighborhood. Lincoln Street connects back to Wilkinson down by the Auto Zone near Pack Brothers. It is an easy cut-through road.

We hope that the people of our community neighborhoods can feel safe – certainly makes a case for more police wouldn’t you think?

Chamber changes town’s name to “Montcross”

Yes, that is the word around town the past couple of weeks – for real. We are not making this up.

And people are furious.

So much for the gossip gabbies, the name change of the Chamber is NOT the name change of the town — so settle down. It is just the Chamber name not the town name.

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At the very end of the Chamber’s annual dinner on January 24, an announcement was made that the Belmont Chamber would hence be known as the the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce, signifying the regional aspect and vision of the Belmont community.

Several members were “aghast” (our words) over the development. Some were downright angry that a small group of people could change the focus of a community chamber that quickly and without much external debate.

However, most of the Belmont Chamber’s membership are not truly Belmont businesses, but branch representatives, and businesses with market groups in the Belmont area. When speaking with several different board members about the proposal, it seems that many of the 2007 board were not present at the meetings where this name change was discussed — or so they say. This discussion had been taking place over the course of several board retreats, but never was really discussed publically. 

So, it begs the question, who voted for the name change? Do people serve on boards of directors to build resumes and networked inside tracks, or are just a minority driving the agenda?

Upset small business owners who are members of the chamber for 2008 have one way to drive their point home. Vote by withholding your membership dues upon renewal — of course, for many that isn’t until next November or December. Not really a wise idea though…big things are ahappinin’…

We hope that the the Abbey/Parkdale/Stowe Mill consortium known as Montcross paid big money to rebrand a community name, along with the regional focus.

With an expected $2 billion investment and 14,000 jobs over the 20-year+ master plan for the development, it seems logical to “help” Bill Monroe, and the Abbey with a more visible name than Belmont.

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Belmont Citizens of the Year

citizens-of-the-year-2007-gearl-dean-and-jack-page.jpg 

(Gazette photo)

The Belmont, oops, Montcross, Chamber of Commerce bestowed its highest community award to Jack and Gearl Dean Page at its January 24 annual dinner.

We also congratulate the Pages for this award. As friends and neighbors at church and in the community, Jack and Gearl Dean have always been active and engaged in community projects.

Both the Gazette and Gaston/Lincoln section of the Observer wrote very nice stories about the Page’s involvement in a host of community activities.

vince-hill.jpg (Gazette photo)

Caravan Coffee owner, Vince Hill, was recognized as Business person of the year.

Now about changing Belmont to Montcross… 

Richness of Life

In Belmont, we are often faced with the challenges and joys of accepting and tolerating people of many backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, and faith.

Belmont Abbey College is a rich dynamic of teen angst, higher education, self discovery, religious growth, and a source for leadership development.

Thank you  to Abbott Placid Solari, the priests and brothers of the Southern Benedictine Society, and the faculty and staff of the college.

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One student, Elizabeth Suaso, a student at the Abbey from South Carolina, has written a particularly interesting account of life. It is good reading. Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to look over a 440 page body of work.

Recently, the American Legion honored two people who had given formative leadership to the the development of the Belmont Historical Society, Bob Brown and Jack Page. We know both of these men as neighbors, colleagues, and friends. This year’s Community Service Award by the Legion was well-timed and well-deserved.

Belmont is also blessed by the long-term commitment that Vince and Brenda Hill had made to downtown Belmont. It took a very long time for Caravan Coffee to appear as an anchor of the downtown revitalization. The building renovation seem to take for-EV-ver, first the hole in the wall, then no roof, then the interior. The result has been fanTAStic. They got Brenda’s cake-making storefront up first, and carefully laid out the coffee shop.

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Now, the Hill’s have  taken on leadership with the downtown merchant’s association and last summer led the development of the street concerts, called Friday Night Live, on alternating Friday evenings. Vince, you and Brenda got our votes for “Citizen of the Year” for 2007.

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The former students of the East Belmont elementary school have been doing fundraising to build a memorial for the old school which had been torn down some years ago. The last remnant of the school being the “scout hut” at Park Street Methodist Church and some fencing along Church street.  

As Belmont grows, multiple elements of traffic, business, housing, schools, roads, and newcomers pressure us all to deal with the change in our various ways.

This summer, while picnicking on the hill at Stowe Park during one of the many events, the reflection of how much Belmont has changed over the past 20 years was impacted by all the new faces at each event. New accents, different clothing styles, vastly different types of cars parked on Main Street and along Myrtle all contributed to the noticeable change that has taken place.

The Montcross presentation at the Haid last week had the old and the new in the same room. Curiousity, opportunity, and leadership meeting over wine and cheese.

Interestingly, Clyde Dietz was present at the Abbey that evening. Clyde has to be almost 100 years old by now. He has served this community very well in many capacities. His presence was one more element of statesmanship that we really appreciated.

For many of us, his presence at the event put an exclamation point on the “richness of life” that is Belmont.

Related Link: Order of St. Benedict