Kevin Jennings, CEO of BeTheChange, wrote in the Huffington Post about a campaign his organization is promoting called Opportunity Nation, and in the process he shares a bit of his life story which began here in Lewisville, NC:
Opportunity Nation is a campaign to bring Americans of all ideologies and backgrounds together around a plan to return the U.S. to the Land of Opportunity that it once was. We are working with scholars from the Heritage Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the Brookings Institution to come up with concrete, bipartisan policy proposals that will make a difference in people's lives. We've organized a coalition of more than 250 organizations, representing more than 50 million Americans, to support this policy agenda. And we've built a leadership council of nearly 100 prominent Americans — from Mayor Mike Bloomberg to journalist Arianna Huffington to Rev. Rick Warren — who are committed to using their influence to promote opportunity.
I realized this weekend that I never really escaped that trailer park in Lewisville, North Carolina, because today I have undertaken the same work on a macro level that my Mom took on in a micro level way back in the seventies: making sure the next generation has it better than mine has had it. And I am proud of that fact: after all, it's the American thing to do.
Here's a video of Jennings sharing his story:
Cecil Wood, Lewisville's Town Manager, is retiring today. That's too bad for Lewisville because Cecil's a good man and has been a tremendous asset to the town. During my service on the Planning Board I've had a chance to work with him over the last couple of years and have truly enjoyed spending time with him and seeing him in action. He really is one of the good guys.
Here's a nice story in the Winston-Salem Journal about Cecil's retirement.
Did any of you catch the interesting play by the town council of Lewisville, NC to annex roads just outside its current borders? You read that right – Lewisville's town council tried to annex roads, but not the land surrounding those roads, and in the process ticked off just about every state legislator from the area. Basically the town was trying to control the access and delivery of services in the immediate vicinity because it wasn't granted extraterritorial jurisdiction and it wanted to prevent a development being put right outside its borders, thus increasing use of Lewisville's resources without contributing to its tax base. You ever wondered what might have prompted this concern? I'd venture a guess that the soon to be completed Lake at Lisarra development had something to do with it:
Construction on the upscale Lake at Lissara residential development in western Forsyth County is slated for completion this month, capping a more than $60 million project.
Lake at Lissara, a 254-acre project developed by Lang Wilcox, Brant Godfrey, Pete Ramey and Beau Dancy, features a man-made lake and 102 lots off Shallowford and Conrad Roads. Homes prices range from the $400,000s to more than $1 million.
Read more: Forsyth development nearly complete | The Business Journal
As I threatened this morning here's the first of what promises to be many video posts with my gift from Celeste this year: the Sony Bloggie.
Apparently the Hallmark Channel is filming a movie on location in the Piedmont Triad and one of the locations they're using is Lewisville. Here's the story in the Greensboro News & Record and the Hallmark Channel's press release. The movie will be based on the book The Shunning by Beverly Lewis.
Not sure where they're going to shoot, but there are at least four locations listed on the NC Piedmont Triad Film Commission's website. You can probably guess a few of the locations listed on the website:
If you're in Lewisville and you see a bunch of people running around with a camera you can guess what they're up to.
According to an announcement on his blog Les Puryear, Senior Pastor at Lewisville Baptist, resigned his position as of yesterday. Also according to his post he's currently in Southeast Asia and upon his return he's going to start working in a secular job.
I've never met Pastor Puryear, but I've read his blog for quite a while so it kind of feels like I have. Anyway, best of luck to him and best of luck to the folks at Lewisville Baptist as they search for a new leader of their flock.
Unfortunately my little 'ol hometown has been in the news a bit lately, and not for good reasons. A couple of days ago an elderly couple was found shot to death in their home, apparently by an elderly Mocksville man who had dated the woman and was upset that she was trying to reconcile with her husband. Then yesterday two teenagers disappeared on the Yadkin River when they decided that it would be a great idea to go kayaking while a flood warning was in effect. Just down the road from where the boys went on their little misadventure a man decided to jump off a bridge into the Yadkin because he thought it would be fun. Despite his best efforts to win the Darwin Award the man was rescued.
That's a lot of action in one week for a little town of 14,000-ish people.
From a Yes! Weekly article about the new North Carolina movie incentives:
Rushtons Crimson Wolf Production released the
multimillion-dollar, sci-fi action thriller Eyeborgs in 2008. Eyeborgs tells
the story of a near future where robotic surveillance cameras keep constant
watch for possible criminal activity, and was shot entirely in Winston-Salem
using local crew.
Crimson Wolf, based in Lewisville, was started in the Triad
because we live here, says Rushton, the we referring to his partner in the
company, Richard Clabaugh.And because there's lots of great cast and crew
people and there's just no reason for Crimson Wolf to move anywhere else. Plus
the new incentives have fired up filmmakers we know to finally get projects
going they've been putting off, which is only going to grow the filmmaking
community already here.
Eyeborgs stars Adrian Paul, known as The Highlander in the
TV series and recent feature films, and Danny Trejo who played Machete in
Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse. Its CGI, or computer generated graphics, were
described in a review on the film website the Quiet Earth on April 30, 2009 as
being more realistic and effective than mega-budget Hollywood spectaculars like
Okay people this is critical. The dog pictured here showed up at our house yesterday and must have decided it's a cool place to hang out because he won't leave. He's well groomed and fed so I'm thinking someone out there is missing him. Why's this critical? For the following reasons:
- We've already adopted two dogs in the last year and if we end up with a third I'll have to refinance just to feed them all.
- I can hear you saying, "Well just take him to the shelter." Unfortunately he's a sweetheart of a dog and I can already see the soft spot in my wife's heart for him so the shelter is NOT going to be an option.
- The kids have already named him Cujo. That's not good.
- Riley, our recently adopted black lab, was just starting to settle down and behave and now we have another large male dog that's trying to establish dominance by mounting him every 30 seconds. I'm afraid that Riley will chew another door frame or two before we get him readjusted.
- Mia, the little girl in the bunch, will probably need dog therapy if this goes on much longer.
So, if you know anyone in the Lewisville vicinity that's missing a dog that looks even remotely like the one pictured please have them get hold of me.
I've written before about volunteering my time as a member of the Lewisville Zoning Board of a Adjustment for a few years, and now as a member of the Lewisville Planning Board. Usually I really enjoy it and I definitely find it interesting. Last night's work session, however, was interesting yet far from enjoyable.
Our work sessions and public meetings (we usually have one work session and one public meeting each month) usually last about two hours and unless you really get into town planning they're about as exciting as watching paint dry. Occasionally we have some contentious issues pop up and you can imagine that if we recommend against granting someone's request they aren't too happy about it. Last night we had a gentleman come in to attend our work session even though his case wasn't on our agenda because he hadn't filed the appropriate paperwork with the town. Still we made a motion to add him to the administrative part of our agenda, which falls at the end of the meeting, and he waited for it to come up.
Cut to 2 1/2 hours later and the gentleman's case came up. The town planner reported that he hadn't recieved the paperwork necessary to formally schedule the case for us and as a result he and his staff hadn't prepared a staff report or recommendation, so we agreed to continue the case to our next meeting. The planner had also provided us with copies of the letter from the gentleman that had initiated the case and an attached list of new uses he would like to have applied to his downtown building. In addition the town planner provided a copy of the letter his office had sent to the gentleman detailing what he needed to do to get his case on the agenda. When the gentleman heard that his case wasn't going to be heard he wasn't pleased and he asked if he could speak. When told that it wasn't a public meeting so he'd need to get permission from the Board to speak and it became apparent that we weren't inclined to listen to him until we had all the case work in front of us, he proceeded to speak anyway. I can't quote him directly, but I can say that he basically accused us of having preconceived notions about his case and he said that the whole process was rigged. He ended by sarcastically thanking us for wasting two hours of his time.
I was fine until he accused us of wasting his time. As I said, we normally meet twice a month, but for much of this year we were under a series of tight deadlines due to a moratorium the town had put on downtown development so for about six months we were meeting weekly. We on the board are all busy people with jobs, families, family activities, church activities, etc. and yet we willingly give the town some of our precious time in exchange for the occasional "thank you" or "job well done." It's truly the definition of public service and for someone to accuse us of wasting his time just pushed me over the edge. The devil on my shoulder wanted to shoot him a one-fingered salute and tell him he could take his valuable time and shove it where the sun don't shine, but instead I bit my lip and let him go ahead and stomp out of the room like a five year old. I'm confident that if his case does come before us we'll treat it with the same objectivity we always do, but he won't be getting service with a smile.