Harold’s Blog: Staycation Week & 150 Celebrations

Cary, NC — This was a holiday week and a “staycation” for me. So there were no meetings on my calendar. I did talk with the town manager about a couple of issues, and I did answer emails.

Yet-to-Come Celebrations of Cary’s 150th Birthday

This week I received an email from the town clerk about ongoing activities and activities related to Cary’s 150th celebration. Here is a summary of those activities:

Nominate your Hometown Hero

Nomination period open now through July 16

We invite you to call out these unsung heroes by nominating someone who lives or works in Cary who has gone above and beyond in helping others during the pandemic. These nominees can be essential and frontline workers, teachers, someone who has been assisting a neighbor or friend, or anyone who has made an impact, big or small, on you or your family during the pandemic.

We know so many in Cary worked tirelessly over the last year to provide care and resources while risking their health to do so. They went the extra mile, did the unexpected, followed up, and followed through, not because it was their job, but because they cared. They were heroes.

Hometown Heroes will be honored in the October issue of Cary Magazine and at the Town of Cary’s 150th Anniversary Gala in November. See the nomination page.

Celebrate Cary, July 24 and July 31

Event details page | Location: Academy Street, Downtown Cary

Join us at 4 p.m. on July 24 and July 31 for a community birthday party for our beloved Town! This party will have something for everyone, including games, kid activities, local cultural groups performances, and Carolina Circus performances. The evening concludes with the premium of the Projection Mapping Show displayed on the Cary Arts Center. Watch the Cary Arts Center come alive with images and music through projection technology.

  • Show your interest in this event by sharing the Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/2mdgbGCFD
  • Interested in volunteering for the July 24 event? Sign up for a volunteer opportunity.

Cary At 150

Cary at 150 tells the story of one of the most successful communities in the United States. Founded by Frank Page in 1871, Cary, North Carolina has been a railroad town, a center of education, a farming community and a suburb of Raleigh.

Today, Cary is a bustling tech hub of 170,000 people, home to SAS, MetLife and now Apple. How did a dusty crossroads become an international technology hub? Who were the people who helped build the Town we live in today? Through interviews with scholars, witnesses and participants, Cary at 150 creates a rich portrait of the past, present and future of Cary.

Watch the documentary.

Cary the Stories

Come celebrate Cary’s 150th birthday and learn about its history. In this original play, written by Dr. Katherine Loflin, a new family moves to Cary and stops in at Ashworth’s for their famous hot dogs.

The family discovers they share the same names as Cary’s founding family, Frank & Catherine Page, as Mr. Ashworth takes them through several centuries of life in Cary. The show highlights stories of Cary’s people and places across the centuries, as the Town gradually moved from being the place in between to the place to be. Tickets will be available for purchase in late summer.

Show dates:

  • September 24 – 25 & Oct 1 – 2, 7 PM
  • September 25 – 26 & October 2 – 3, 3 PM

Masquerade 150 Gala

As we are closing out the celebration year, the Masquerade 150 will be a high-end gala to benefit the Play It Forward and Oasis Nonprofits.

Using the theme Past, Present, and Future, this event highlights the best of Cary through a spectacular event. Tickets will go on sale early fall. Sponsorship opportunities are available online.

Town Manager Report

The town manager, Sean Stegall’s report for this week included:

Manager’s Message to Council

I hope everyone had a nice July 4th weekend with family and friends!

Yesterday, staff monitored the storm event, noting 2.0 to 2.7 inches of rainfall across town. The advanced detection system also monitors water levels along the Walnut Creek stream bank, allowing staff to observe conditions with cameras strategically located for flood detection. I’m happy to share there were no major concerns reported.

Stay safe and have a great weekend.

Sean

Collaboration with Research Triangle Park (RTP)

Council Member Jennifer Robinson and staff members Shelley Curran and Danna Widmar participated in a discussion this week with RTP leadership regarding transportation priorities and opportunities for connections in and through RTP and Cary.

In the discussion, RTP shared more about their three key priorities, including transportation, housing, and diversity & inclusion, which generated excellent discussion about partnership opportunities. RTP is currently developing an approach for regional collaboration on these priorities and will connect with Cary as efforts move forward.

Participating and Listening Options for Council Meetings

In upholding the values of accessibility, consistency, and predictability as we return to in-person council meetings, the following is recommended for council meetings beginning on July 22.

Streaming:

  • Continue streaming on current channels (Cary TV, Agenda and Minutes Portal, Facebook Live, and Youtube Live).

Public Speaks Out and Public Hearings:

  • Written Comments
    • Continue to accept through email, 311, and mail. Comments will have to be received by noon on the day of the meeting. Comments received afternoon on the day of the meeting will be passed along to the council as routine correspondence.
  • Call-In Speakers
    • Continue to provide the option for citizens to call in. Registration for call-in must be completed by noon on the day of the meeting.
  • In-Person Speakers
    • At the first meeting open to the public on July 22, the option for in-person comments will resume. Those who would like to speak in person will be asked and encouraged to sign up before noon on the meeting date.
    • When the council was conducting a remote meeting, public hearings had a 24-hour collection period after the hearing. This collection period will not stay in place when the council returns to a regular meeting format.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees:

The first advisory board meeting to return in person will be the Zoning Board of Adjustment on August 2. Conversations continue regarding other advisory boards, commissions, and committees returning to in-person meetings.

Weekly Operational Report

The weekly operational report brings a close to the week’s organizational activities. Please take a moment to review the weekly operational report.

Departmental Updates

Included below is a summary-level overview of the operational activities continuing to take place during this health emergency.

  • We are happy to announce that the Nancy Jones House has settled into her new home nicely and the house is now stable on the current foundation, which features salvaged original brick. In addition to this, the chimneys have been reinforced with a larger base, the porch has been reassembled, and the site has been backfilled. Next steps include finalizing the National Register of Historic Places status and beginning the larger rehabilitation process.
  • The June 2021 Development Pulse Report is now available.

Highlights

  • Duke Health at Green Level: Two building permits were approved for pediatric and family medicine clinics in the new medical office building.
  • Wake Medical Office Park of Cary, 210 Ashville Avenue: Fifteen building permits were approved within the new medical office building for new medical tenet spaces.
  • Dave and Busters, 1111 Walnut Street: The building permit was approved for interior alterations to relocate the existing Dave & Buster’s from the Cary Towne Center into the building formerly occupied by Jump Street. Exterior improvements includes new finishes, materials and lighting.
  • Downtown Cary Park Bark Bar, 312 S. Walker Street: The building permit was approved for the Bark Bar which includes an open-air covered bar and dining space overlooking the dog play area.
  • Raychelle J. Wood, Mass Test Group Supervisor for Wake County Government, presented a plaque recognizing Cary as a partner in the response to COVID-19operations.As a result of Cary’s support, Wake County was able to deliver better access to testing for the community and identify the disparities, so that citizens could be informed about COVID testing and vaccinations.
  • Cary is partnering with Raleigh’s Citrix Cycle to bring Citrix bike rentals to Bond Park this Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11. The bikes can be rented for $2-4/hour using the Citrix app. The bikes will be available near the Boathouse and the juncture of Black Creek and White Oak Creek Greenways.

Hometown Heroes

Cary is partnering with Cary Magazine to call out unsung heroes by nominating someone who lives or works in Cary to be a Hometown Hero. A Hometown Hero should be someone who has gone above and beyond in helping others during the pandemic.

So many in Cary worked tirelessly over the last year to provide care and resources while risking their personal health to do so. These nominees can be essential and frontline workers, teachers, someone who has been assisting a neighbor or friend, or anyone who has made an impact, big or small, on you or your family during the pandemic.

They went the extra mile, did the unexpected, followed up and followed through, not because it was their job, but because they cared. They were heroes. Hometown Heroes will be honored in the October issue of Cary Magazine and at the Town of Cary’s 150th Anniversary Gala in November. Nominate online through Cary Magazine now through July 16.

July 4th Celebration 2021

With approximately 10,000 people passing through the gates of Koka Booth Amphitheatre (KBA), and thousands more lining the adjacent streets and parking lots, 2021’s Independence Day Celebration marked Cary’s largest in-person event in nearly two years.

A cross-departmental team serving in Unified Command off-site at Fire Station 9, led by Deputy Fire Chief Michael Martin and Festivals and Events Supervisor Adam Bell, provided support to the operations team on the ground at KBA.

As many as 800 people opted in for Cary’s new SMS alert system based in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Several event alerts were sent over the course of the afternoon and evening highlighting events on stage, the vaccination clinic present in the venue, parking updates, the fireworks schedule, and more.

Mayor Weinbrecht provided a warm welcome from the stage, while Council Members Jennifer Robinson, Jack Smith, and Ya Liu attended with family and friends, including NC Representative Gale Adcock and U.S. Congresswoman Deborah Ross. It was heartwarming to witness our Cary community re-convening after a long hiatus due to the pandemic.

Class of 2022

It may only be July, but the Maynard Road water storage tank is ready to welcome the Class of 2022.On Wednesday, contractors made the annual ascent, 138 feet from the ground to the catwalk, and repainted the year. With all the lettering looking good, the painters only had to change the “1” to a “2”, thus making short work of this year’s operation.

Major League Baseball Combine Comes to Cary

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball hosted the top 167 high school and college draft eligible players in the 1st annual MLB Draft Combine presented by Gatorade, taking place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and the Raleigh Convention Center. The Combine featured the Draft prospects, including 76 collegiate players and 91 high school athletes, as well as a decorated group of former Major League players and coaches, and various general managers, scouting directors and other Club personnel. The Combine provided an opportunity for players to participate in a series of medical and performance assessments as well as educational programming designed to prepare them for a career in professional baseball. All players had the opportunity to participate in a pro-style showcase workout, as well as strength and conditioning and PDP performance assessments. Additionally, as part of the Combine experience, the high school players participated in a unique showcase tournament. The event consisted of five hours of national television coverage on the MLB Network, highlighting the Town of Cary and facility.

Additional Information of Interest

We found the following article to be particularly interesting this week and wanted to share with you for your reading pleasure:

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • An invitation to the Indian Independence Day celebration (I have gone every year they have held it since I have been mayor)
  • A complaint about site obstruction at Sorrel Street and Chapel Hill Road
  • Complaints about a rezoning proposal for Lewey Drive
  • Complaints about a rezoning proposal for Morrisville Carpenter Road

Next week’s activities include the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships, staff meetings, giving an update to the State of Cary Address to residents at the Templeton, and speaking at Representative Gale Adcock’s (former Cary Mayor Pro-Tem) campaign event.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 18th.  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 Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.organd email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.


From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Images by Ashley Kairis & the Town of Cary.

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