Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pumpkin Wall update

The ECA writes:

Hello, Neighbors! We've already received a lot of questions about the Pumpkin Wall, so we'd like to provide a few more details.
First, a special "thank you" to Elizabeth's woodworking group, the Woodpeckers, for sponsoring the Pumpkin Wall for the last decade.  It's become a special neighborhood tradition that has now been passed to the Elizabeth Community Association and new neighborhood volunteers to continue.  A few things to note:
(1) Since the Pumpkin Wall is now officially being sponsored by ECA, it will no longer be political in nature.
(2) We need at least 4-5 new volunteers to step up so this unique tradition can continue.  The volunteer team will simply oversee delivery of the pumpkins, lead the annual "Lighting of the Pumpkins," and generally make sure that enough pumpkin carving supplies are available, etc.  The Woodworkers will continue to actually build the wood support structure.
(3) Key dates:Oct. 21 or 22 -- Volunteers set up pumpkins.Oct. 27 -- Volunteers lead annual lighting of the pumpkins.Nov. 2 -- Volunteers coordinate dismantling with the Woodpeckers.
(4) Will you donate your yard?  The Pumpkin Wall needs a home for 2013.  Flat ground with enough grass in front to allow for mingling/walking/carving.
(5) If you want to see the Pumpkin Wall tradition continue and would like to help, please email ECA at or Eric Davis at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Changes coming to the Pumpkin Wall

If I've counted correctly, this will be the tenth year of the Elizabeth Pumpkin Wall. The big change this year: The ECA is taking over. In previous years, a quiet group of neighborhood handypersons known as the Woodpeckers found the spot for the wall, erected the scaffolding, bought a ton of pumpkins, scheduled the lighting, got the word out, etc. I'm guessing perhaps the Woodpeckers have had enough. With the ECA takeover, look for the wall to lose some or all of the overt political messages carried in previous years. Oh, and the ECA is looking for volunteers: 
The Pumpkin Wall is in need of a home for 2013! The area needs to be level ground with enough room in front of the pumpkin display for people to walk. If you have or know of  the perfect space, send [ECA President-elect] Eric Davis a note. The Pumpkin Wall could also use a committee to facilitate and coordinate with the Woodpeckers. The committee would need a chairperson and about three members. If you love Halloween and jack-o'-lanterns and full moons and fun, please consider volunteering so our community can continue this unique tradition!Please contact:  Eric Davis or [ECA Secretary] Diana Watson for details. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A letter from the Affordable Housing Group:
To residents of the Elizabeth neighborhood and other concerned citizens,

With a great deal of regret, Supportive Housing Communities (SHC) and The Affordable Housing Group (TAHG) have decided to put on hold the development of the property at 333 Hawthorne Lane as permanent supportive housing.  As we had explained in the community meetings, the funding for development and operation of the proposed facility would come from many different sources.  These different funding sources must be coordinated in terms of amount, timing and conditions placed upon the prospective housing development.  TAHG and SHC have been and are committed to securing enough funds to make this building all that it needs to be for permanent supportive housing -- a credit to the community, the neighborhood and the residents. In addition, we are committed to obtaining sufficient and ongoing operating support to ensure the long-term maintenance and operation of the building. 

 Recent discussions with anticipated funding sources, taken in total, have given us concern about the amount and conditions for development and operational funding for the proposed supportive housing.   Consequently, our two groups have decided to step back from actively pursuing this development and investigate whether a different financing structure can be devised to create the stable, long-term supportive housing community that we’d envisioned.  This is the reason for the cancellation of the community meeting on last Monday evening.  The planned community meeting scheduled for May 7 has also been cancelled.

TAHG and SHC sincerely hope to restructure this proposed development to allow it to move forward.  If this happens, be assured that the Elizabeth neighborhood will be notified and that we will count on your full involvement. 

If you have any questions or comments regarding this (or anything else, for that matter), please give one or both of us a call at the numbers below.

Paul Woollard         (980)321-4737   
Executive Director
The Affordable Housing Group of North Carolina

 Pam Jefsen             (704) 335-9380, ext. 25
 Executive Director
 Supportive Housing Communities

We are appreciative of that understanding, open mindedness, and support that we have received from the Elizabeth community, including Elizabeth Community Association, Elizabeth Communities of Faith, and the Leadership Team from Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School. I hope that I will be talking with you again soon.

Paul Woollard

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Christine Dryden, a friend from neighboring Chantilly, writes:
On May 10, 35 local and regional artists will present the Third Annual Carolina Art Soirée, an art show to benefit The GBS/CIDP Foundation International. Last year, the event raised $30,000 for the foundation and sold over 100 paintings. Organized by Hannah Blanton, a Charlotte nurse and mother who was struck with the rare and severe illness in 2003, the fundraising event aims to raise awareness of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, often causing rapid paralysis.

The Carolina Art Soirée event will be held at Midtown’s Met Terraces, 1110 Metropolitan Ave., from 6 to 9 p.m. The reception will include live music from musician Grey Brewster, and food and drink from Vivace, Dressler’s, LaPaz, Zoe’s Kitchen, Hickory Tavern, Pisces Sushi, Delish Cakery, Penny’s Pimento Cheese, Troy & Sons Distilling and Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. Extravaganza Events, Picture House Gallery and Metropolitan are also sponsoring.  A suggested donation of $20 per person will be accepted at the door. Valet parking will be provided.  The exhibition will continue May 11 from 11 am to 3 pm. 

Participating artists include Betsy Alexander, Pam Anderson, Wendy Bilas, Laura Bowers, Dianne Britton, Curt Butler, Zan Byrd, Allison Chambers, Robbie Clair, Theresa Clark, Fonda Doerre, Christina Dowdy, Jenny Fuller, Lita Gatlin, Marcy Gregg, Chris Keogh, Heidi Kirschner, Robert Langford, Dottie Leatherwood, Kevin LePrince, Jennifer Levine, Mike Lewis, Anne Neilson, Windy OConnor, Liz Orvos, Patricia Ratcliffe, Laurie Richardson, Michelle Rivera Kosavek, Caroline Simas, Libby Smart, Gina Strumpf, Amy Sullivan, Kelly Thiel, and Helen Vanvick. The art show will also feature the work of homeless artists from Urban Ministry Center’s ArtWorks 945 program.

333 Hawthorne project on hold

The ECA writes:
Yesterday, Supportive Housing Communities and The Affordable Housing Group notified the Elizabeth Community Association that they are putting the permanent supportive housing project for 333 Hawthorne Lane on hold.  The groups asked the ECA to cancel the community meetings scheduled for yesterday and May 7.  Due to the current economic climate, a major portion of their anticipated funding is not currently available for this project.  SHC and TAHG state that it is unclear whether or not the funding opportunities will be available in the future. 

The ECA is not in a position to make further representations on behalf of SHC and TAHG.  Questions regarding their decision are best directed to SHC's Executive Director, Pam Jefsen, at 704-335-9380, ext 25.  We understand that SHC and TAHG will be sending a letter shortly, which the ECA will post on

Thank you to all of our Elizabeth neighbors for continuing to be involved and attentive to matters such as this one.  Elizabeth cares about its neighbors without a home and will continue to be part of the solution for homelessness by supporting Elizabeth's Caldwell House at Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church and Hawthorne Place at St. John's Baptist Church.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

333 Hawthorne Lane forums

The ECA writes:
Please attend one of three community forums to discuss the proposed 333 Hawthorne Lane permanent supportive housing project:

Tuesday, April 24
Monday, April 30
Monday, May 7

All meetings are from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at St. John’s Baptist Church - Broach Hall (corner of Hawthorne Lane and 5th Street).

Representatives from the ECA Board, Supportive Housing Communities, the Affordable Housing Group, and other Elizabeth stakeholders will be in attendance.

The format for all three meetings will include a presentation by Supportive Housing Communities and Affordable Housing Group, followed by open Q&A from attendees.

You may pre-read the Q&A submitted by Supportive Housing Communities and the Affordable Housing Group, which can be found on the 333 Hawthorne Lane page of the ECA website at

Elizabeth 8K

Cinco de Progressive Dinner

The ECA writes:
We've made it easier to sign up for the Progressive Dinner on May 5. If you've never been to a dinner, see what it's all about here.

Please click here to sign up to attend as a guest or to be a host house for this fun annual event!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trolley on 7th

What's under the 7th Street pavement? This weekend, workers dug down a layer, and the old trolley tracks are clearly still there. This picture was taken Sunday, with 7th Street still closed, facing toward downtown.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The ECA writes:
Elizabeth Traditional School's leadership team and PTA have invited the ECA and the Elizabeth Community to participate in an open discussion regarding the proposed permanent supportive housing project near the school. This is the only community meeting currently planned. Please make every effort to attend to have your voice heard.

When: Tues., Jan. 31, 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School Auditorium.
What: Discussion regarding the proposed housing project for the old Peak building at 333 Hawthorne Lane.
Who: School PTA, staff, Elizabeth neighborhood, churches, businesses, etc.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tree falls on 7th

Seventh Street between Caswell and Clement was closed this morning after a tree fell, knocking down power lines. The tree was in front of the brick building between Savvy + Co. and Jackalopes. That was some wind last night.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Campus wildlife

Not sure what was in the trash can at CPCC this morning, but this possum was guarding it well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New orthopaedic hospital in Elizabeth

Well, a replacement actually. Presbyterian Healthcare announced today it's going to ask the state to let it replace the existing orthopaedic hospital with an $84 million new one at the corner of 5th and Caswell. Presbyterian says the new facility will "have 64 acute care beds, 16 transitional care beds for skilled nursing care, 12 dedicated observation beds in a Universal Care Center, and 10 operating rooms." Subject to approval from the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation, of course.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Let's band together

The ECA writes:
Mark your calendars for tree banding materials!

When - Nov. 5, 9 a.m to 12 p.m.
Where - 2338 Greenway Ave.
Why? - Those pesky canker worms will start their ascent soon. Time to get the bands on!
More info - For $1 per foot, you will receive tanglefoot, spatula and gloves, batting and tar paper. We will also have staple guns you can borrow.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Britta Crandall at brittacrandall at

ALSO, if you haven't already done so, help the ECA earn $3,000 to help fund tree banding materials (if we get the grant, we can charge even less!). A quick signature stating that you'll spend at least a little time this fall banding trees will earn money for us. Sign-up sheets are posted at:

Hawthorne's Pizza
2338 Greenway
2319 Kenmore
2400 E. 5th street
1955 E. 8th St

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Help clean up the park

Kristan Magas writes:
The park adoption program is in need of help!

Please consider signing up to volunteer at Independence Park on an upcoming Saturday. We need one or two people for each Saturday to do trash sweeps and then 5-10 people to help on Saturday, Oct. 8 (and every second Saturday of each month), from 9-12 to work with the parks and rec staff on a beautification project in the park. The trash sweeps are on your own and should not take more than an hour for each side of the park. It is a good way for kids to get involved and can be counted as community service for those in middle and high school. These sweeps are really a big help to parks and rec because they don't have the manpower to focus on the little stuff anymore.

This is a year-round project. Sign up for dates that suit you best.

Thank you!