Sunday, August 30

• Rosary at Our Lady of the Americas Church – 8:00 am, 298 Market Rd. Biscoe, 974-3051.

• St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church – 9:30 am, Holy Communion. 1145 Seven Lakes Drive.

• West End Presbyterian Church – 10 am service.  275 Knox Lane, West End.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 2:30 & 7:30 pm, The End of the Tour, The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. Stars: Jason Segel,  Jesse Eisenberg,  Anna Chlumsky.

• Postcards from Home Exhibit of Plein Air – Opening Reception 3 pm - 5 pm. The Exchange will welcome artists Betty DiBartolomeo and Harry Neely for their exhibit. The paintings in the show are of local scenes of Aberdeen, Pinehurst, and Southern Pines. Show is open to the public through September 29.  Exchange Street Gallery of Fine Art, 129 Exchange Street, Aberdeen. Visit www.artistleague.org  or call 910-944-3979.

• Bats of the Sandhills – 3 pm, learn more about these delightful creatures and their huge benefit to the environment. Myths and truths will be discussed, as well as practical methods for removing them from your home. Join a ranger in the Auditorium for this presentation. Weymouth Woods, 1024 Fort Bragg Rd., Southern Pines, 910-692-2167. Free and open to the public.

 

Monday, August 31

• Lunch & Learn at SCC Gardens – noon to 1 pm, Chris Burrows. will discuss Turf Grass Management for the Home Lawn. Burrows is the Grounds Superintendent for Pinehurst Resorts. Bring your lunch, Ball Visitors Center, Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. The Gardens will provide drinks. Register by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Moore County Board of Education – 2 pm, Meeting and Work Session at the Central Office, Carthage. Review agenda.

• Weight Watchers Meeting – 5 pm to 6 pm, at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, 1145 Seven Lakes Drive, Seven Lakes.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, The End of the Tour, The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. Stars: Jason Segel,  Jesse Eisenberg,  Anna Chlumsky.

 

Tuesday, September 1

• Healing Service – 11 am, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church. 1145 Seven Lakes Dr., Seven Lakes. Intercessory prayers for the sick & troubled, those in harms way, traveling, bereaved or deceased. Reverend Carol Burgess. All are welcome.

• Seven Lakes Kiwanis Club – lunch at 11:30 am, meeting at 12:05 pm. *New meeting location, Fellowship Hall of the Chapel in the Pines. Visitors are welcome.

• Moore County Board of Commissioners – 5:30 pm, at the Historic Courthouse, Carthage. Review agenda or full meeting packet.

• Trivia Tuesday at Sandhills Winery – 6 pm to 8 pm. 1057 Seven Lakes Drive. 673-2949. www.sandhillswinery.com

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, The End of the Tour, The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. Stars: Jason Segel,  Jesse Eisenberg,  Anna Chlumsky.

Read more: The Week Ahead

The August 21 edition of The Seven Lakes Times is now available for download in pdf format. You can download a high-quality PDF here, or, if you have a slower internet connection, download a smaller PDF here.

Highlights of this 32-page edition include:

- Mark Widman and Dev Gandhi have joined the SLLA Board as the Directors of Lakes & Dams and Recreation.

- The SLLA Board has approved a new fence for half the horse pasture, and plans a complete overhaul of the rules and regulations between now and March.

- The Westside Board approved a $120,000 repair to the toe drain of the Lake Auman Dam over the objections of its Finance Committee.

- Foxfire Village has a new police officer: Corey Adams, a Moore County native and Army National Guard veteran.

- The County Commissioners approved the use of $246,000 in lottery funds to buy land for a new school in Aberdeen, but want to know more about the School Board's construction plans before they approve an additional $900,000 in design fees.

- Moore County Schools' Operations Director John Birath says there has been no change in the priority list for building schools.

- The School Board extended Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey's contract through the 2018-2019 school year.

- Tougher admission and transfer policies are on the School Board's agenda.

- The Planning Board gave thumbs down to a request from Pinebluff to expand their ETJ. The question now moves to the County Commissioners.

- There was a great turnout for this year's edition of the Rick Rhyne Memorial Fishing Tournament in Foxfire. We have photos of the fisherfolk.

- Northsider Joe Simpson is quite the artist. Janna has the story.

- Judy Foushee makes tiny tea sets and neat fairy houses at Freeman Pottery.

- Harry's worried he might be a dinosaur, Steve Hudson has some thoughts on beauty queens and the Confederate flag, and John Hoffmann welcomes a new business to Seven Lakes. 

Download the high-quality PDF edition (or, if you have a slower internet connection download a lower-quality pdf edition) and read it all this morning, pick up a copy at locations all over Seven Lakes this afternoon, or check your mailbox tomorrow.

The Board of Commissioners has tabled a request by Moore County Schools [MCS] to use $800,000 in NC Education Lottery funds to purchase the site for a new Aberdeen Elementary School and to pay for due diligence and design fees. The unanimous vote came during the Board’s Tuesday, August 4 meeting.

“Using lottery funds for furthering the capital needs of our schools is right on,” Commissioners’ Chairman Nick Picerno said during the meeting. “That’s what they are actually supposed to be used for — to build schools.”

“What my issue is, and has been all along,” Picerno continued, “I am not voting to spend one penny on any school construction of any kind until the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners have met, got on the same page, and understand the beginning, the middle, and the end of what we are trying to accomplish, what the timeframe is to accomplish that, what the anticipated cost is going to be, and what problems we are actually solving as we go through each of these processes.”

MCS Administration and the Board of Education undertook a lengthy process of identifying and prioritizing the County’s needs for new and expanded school facilities in 2013 and 2014. That process included a projection of student population growth by a research firm affiliated with NC State University, evaluation of existing MCS campuses by Moseley Architects, community meetings and a survey to gather public input, the convening of a task force of community leaders to provide recommendations to the School Board, and significant debate by the School Board itself.

The result was a priority list of ten projects with an estimated total cost of $110 million, including the expansion of Pinecrest and Union Pines High Schools, the construction of a new specialty high school, three new elementary schools, expansions at Pinehurst and West Pine Elementary Schools, renovations at North Moore High School, and a new middle school.

What the process did not produce — and the Commissioners want — is a detailed projection of the timing of those projects, and the cash that will be required at each step of the process, so that the County can decide how best to come up with those funds.

Read more: Commissioners table funding for new school site

Parents for Moore plans to welcome the more than one hundred new teachers who will join Moore County Public Schools this Fall with welcome baskets stocked with gift cards and discount coupons for local businesses, small gifts, and even school supplies.

The group — formed to lobby for increased funding for public education — is also developing ways to show community support for classroom teachers.

Gift baskets will be distributed to new teachers at a welcoming celebration in mid-August. The program will be extended to returning teachers in September.

Jennifer Theis Hafer, who is heading up the project, told The Times that there are several ways that local businesses, non-profits, and individuals can participate:

Mondays for Moore - Businesses are encouraged to dedicate a percentage of receipts from the first Monday of each month to supporting public schools. For example, a restaurant might pledge that ten percent of its First Monday sales would go toward the effort. 

The funds collected will be divided evenly among the County's public schools and routed through the PTA or Principals office at each school. Businesses participating will be recognized in a Parents for Moore directory that will be included in teacher gift baskets. Hafer even hopes to have the directory translated into a smartphone app that teachers and others can use to locate "teacher-friendly businesses."

Chili's in Southern Pines has already signed on, and will host a Mondays for Moore event on Monday, August 3.

Teacher Discounts - Businesses offering an ongoing discount for teachers will also be listed in the directory.

Gift Cards & Coupons - Businesses can donate a supply of gift cards, coupons, or special offers for teachers for use in the gift baskets. Hafer said the group will need 155 of each in order to place one in each new teacher gift basket. Those donations will be recognized in the Parents for Moore directory.

Welcome Baskets - Finally, businesses, organizations, or individuals can build their own welcome basket filled with gift cards, gifts, school supplies, and-or various other goodies. Those baskets will be included among those given out to new teachers in mid August.

In addition to being listed in the Parents for Moore directory, Hafer said, participating businesses will receive a decal or sticker that can be placed near their cash register, identifying them as a "teacher-friendly" business.

Gift cards, coupons, and other smaller items may be mailed to Parents for Moore, PO Box 4764, Pinehurst, NC 28374. Those with larger items or gift baskets can email Hafer to have them picked up.

In order to be included in the gift baskets for new teachers, donated items must be received by Thursday, August 6.

For more information on the program, email Jennifer Theis Hafer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ray Sohl has resigned as Community Manager of the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] to pursue a career opportunity in California.

Sohl announced his resignation during the Thursday, July 23 Work Session of the SLLA Board of Directors. He said he had given notice of his resignation to President Chuck Leach four weeks earlier.

Sohl's final day on the job was Friday, July 24. He told The Times that his family would be relocating to the San Francisco area.

CAS, Inc., SLLA's management company, will provide an interim manager while the search proceeds for a permanent replacement for Sohl. A notice of the opening is posted on the website of the Community Associations Institute, a national trade group for landowners associations.

"I think you will have an easy time filling it," Sohl said of his position. "This is a beautiful community. I have really learned to love it. The lakes and the amenities really make you unique in the state of North Carolina. I'm just really sorry that I can't take this community with me."

"I have appreciated my time serving the Board and this community," Sohl said. "I think you have an excellent Board. I think they are representative of the community. It's a tough job, and I want to say how much I appreciate them, and how difficult this decision has been for me."

"He has been a dedicated, honest, and loyal Community Manager," President Chuck Leach said of Sohl, "with very few people knowing how much he truly cared for Seven Lakes."

"His primary focus has always been on doing what is right, and doing what is in the best interest of this community," Leach said.

"Ray can leave Seven Lakes with pride in his accomplishments and the satisfaction of a job well done. As he looks forward to new challenges in California, he has our respect, appreciation, and our very best wishes."

Read more: Sohl Resigns as SLLA Community Manager

Moore County has finally received a response from state lawmakers to its resolution on school funding.

The resolution points out that the way the state calculates how many teachers to fund in each district shortchanges every district in the state, because it doesn’t take into account the number of teachers actually needed to serve the students in each school.

The Board of Commissioners have passed the resolution in three consecutive meetings, and the Parents for Moore advocacy group mailed a copy to every county and school district in the state.

During the Commissioners’ Tuesday, July 21 regular meeting, Chairman Nick Picerno reported that the county has now received responses to the resolution from Governor Pat McCrory, Senator Jerry Tillman, Representative Allen McNeill, and Philip Price of the NC Department of Public Instruction, “all acknowledging that the hole we have identified certainly does exist.”

“Now that we have people in our state government acknowledging the problem, we’ll have to continue to work on a way to fix that,” Picerno said.

He added that the Board of Commissioners will hold a critical Issues Summit on September 10 and 11 that will include a session with the Board of Education on funding issues. State lawmakers will also be invited to that session.

For that meeting, Picerno said he had asked Moore County Schools [MCS] for “a real detailed, non-political, no spin” presentation on where its fund are being spent — “Where we are actually spending our money, from the state, and from the county taxpayers.”

Read more: Lawmakers respond to teacher funding resolution

The drive for a recall election that would remove Laura Lang from the Moore County’s Board of Education ran aground during the Tuesday, July 21 regular meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.

But we may not have heard their last word on the subject.

The Commissioners unanimously rejected a resolution that would have added Moore County’s name to a recall bill for the Stanly County Board of Education. 

A few hours later, Chairman Nick Picerno pledged to put the resolution again before the Board during their August 4 meeting, and to support it at that time.

Picerno made that pledge on the Parents for Moore Facebook page, in response to protests from the group’s members.

The bill in question, House Bill 111, was filed by Representative Justin Burr of Albemarle, and currently pertains only to the recall of members of the Stanly County School Board. 

It was approved by the House in a 71-43 vote in March, passed its first reading in the Senate on April 1, and has been shuffled between the Senate Rules Committee and the State and Local Government Committee since.

Read more: Commissioners back away from recall election

Steven Charles Behre, a 52-year-old resident of Middlesex, NJ, died of apparent drowning at Lake Sequoia Tuesday evening, July 7.

Moore County Sheriff's Detective Kathy Williams told The Times that Behre was found in the water near the dock at 122 Overlook Drive by family members, who began CPR. 

The home is owned by Roger Behre. Mr. Behre and his late wife, Claire, retired to Seven Lakes in 1993.

Williams said the emergency call came into the 9-1-1 center at 6:17 pm. Seven Lakes EMS, Seven Lakes Volunteer Fire and Rescue, and West End Fire and Rescue all responded to the scene, taking over efforts to revive Behre.

Williams said the incident "looks like a bad accident" but could not speculate on whether the cause of death was drowning or some other medical event. 

Behre was transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. The cause of death will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Raleigh.

Moore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey says the district will be undergoing some "organizational renovations," aimed at creating "a new culture of collaboration, trust, and respect." 

"The work of the Board of Education and Moore County Schools [MCS] will never return to its status quo, but will foster and cultivate a new normal," he said in a video released on Monday afternoon, June 29.

The carefully-worded statement honored the unprecedented level of public outcry that was sparked by his recent termination — and that succeeded in having him reinstated. But it also expressed a determination that any changes the district makes "follows appropriate due process."

Dr. Bob Grimesey from Moore County Schools on Vimeo.

"After all, are we not the same Moore County community who spoke with a single voice so loud that it gained the attention of the entire state?" Grimesey asked.

The public attention that was focused on MCS as a result of the dismissal of the Superintendent included substantial criticism of the role the Central Office staff plays in determining what is taught and how it is taught in the classroom. 

Read more: Grimesey Promises "Renovations" for School District

Recreation Director Mary Farley and Lakes & Dams Director Joy Smith have resigned from the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Board of Directors, President Chuck Leach announced during the Board's Thursday, June 11 Work Session. Farley was in the second year of her two-year term; Smith was elected to the Board in March.

Leach encouraged anyone interested in serving on the Board to contact the Landowners Office.

 

Non-members on Committees

Continuing a debate on whether and how non-members should serve on SLLA Committees, Leach offered a compromise that he said would leave everyone unhappy.

"I believe Seven Lakes has benefitted immensely from the advice, knowledge, and expertise of some of our long term renters," he said. "I also believe it is inherently wrong for a renter to sit on the Finance Committee and vote for a dues increase, that's not paying one penny in dues." Leach said he also felt it is "inherently wrong" for nonmembers to sit on the Judicial, Community Standards, or Architectural Review [ARB] Committees.

He suggested the following policy: "Tenants and others who reside within the Seven Lakes community who are not landowners may participate in an advisory, non-voting on all the Board committees."

Director Bob Racine pointed out that state law makes no restrictions other than allowing only Association members to serve on the Judicial Committee.

"On all these other committees, they are advisory only," Racine said. "They advise the Board. We set them up. They report to the Board. I don't think we have to touch our rules and regulations or bylaws. They have worked in the past."

"I think we are operating under the misapprehension that committees actually vote," said resident Mary Meyer. "Committees tend to get consensus."

"I think saying 'non-voting members' creates a separation that we don't need in this community," she added. "We don't need to be exclusive, or exclusionary. We need to include people. There are committees that would suffer greatly, Recreation being one of them."

Resident George Temple said the Finance Committee members did tend to vote on whether to forward recommendations to the Board.

Leach argued that the Board tends "to go along with the recommendations of its committees."

Jane Leach noted that the ARB does make decisions that impact a homeowner's use of their property, without first going through the Board of Directors.

"The Board is the only group that has the right to make a decision," Resident Jim Allen said, "so a lot of the rest of this stuff is a red herring. You just had two people resign. You are having difficulty getting people to serve on committees."

"How can a committee be representative when you exclude somebody just because they are not a member?" Allen asked. "I don't get it. It doesn't have anything to do with their competence."

"You are missing a talent pool that is out there that is willing to serve and be excluding them I think you are doing something that is self-destructive."

In the end, Leach's motion, that renters and other non-member residents of Seven Lakes North and South can serve in a non-voting advisory role on all committees except Judicial, was moved to the Open Meeting in a four-to-one vote, with Director Racine opposed.

Read more: SLLA Board Looking for Two Members

In Memory Of

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