The Week Ahead
Written by Greg Hankins   
Sunday, 07 April 2013 09:05

Monday, November 24

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 2: 30 and 7: 30 pm, Fury, stars:Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, and Logan Lerman. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.

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

• Sandhills Natural History Society – 7 pm at Weymouth Woods Auditorium, 1024 Ft. Bragg Rd., Southern Pines. Dr. Mark Stanback, Professor of Biology at Davidson College, will present, "Brown-headed Nuthatches in Suburban Environments: The Role of Nest Site Competition.” He will be summarizing his studies of nest site competition between Brown-headed Nuthatches and Eastern Bluebirds living in suburban environments. Visitors welcome. Call 910-692-2167 forinformation or visit online at www.sandhillsnature.org


Tuesday, November 25

• Zumba Class – 10:30 to 11:30 am, free class at Seven Lakes Baptist Church, Hankins Family Life Center, 1015 Seven Lakes Drive, 673-4656.

• 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, meeting begins at 12:05, Seven Lakes Country Club Restaurant. The speaker will be Dan Perone, Wilds of Alaska. Visitors welcome.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 2: 30 and 7: 30 pm, Fury, stars:Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, and Logan Lerman. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.

• Women's Volleyball at Seven Lakes Baptist Church – 6 pm to 8 pm, open gym for Women's Volleyball. Connie McDermott coordinator. Seven Lakes Baptist Church, Hankins Family Life Center, 1015 Seven Lakes Drive, 910-673-4656.

• Foxfire Village Council – Work Session. 6:30 pm. at the Village Offices. Review agenda.

 
New Owner for Seven Lakes Country Club
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Saturday, 15 November 2014 08:23

Seven Lakes Country Club has a new owner -- almost.

The club informed members on Wednesday, November 12, via email that the Board of Directors has identified a new owner for the club. But negotiations are apparently still underway, so details are scarce.

An email sent to members Wednesday morning, November 12, broke the news, but provided few details.

Here's the text of the notice to members:

"The BOD wishes to inform the membership that a decision has been made on who will be the new owner of SLCC. Due to the sensitive nature of negotiations we cannot reveal their name at this time. We will inform you once the negotiations are complete. The BOD is very excited for the future of Seven Lakes Country Club under the new owner."

"Member dues and annual payment options will remain the same. Information regarding this will be available within the week."

The Board had listed the award-winning course, designed by Peter Tufts, with Hilda Allen Real Estate Inc. in Adel, Georgia.

The broker then conducted a sealed bid auction with a November 6 deadline.


 
November 14 Times Ready to Download
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 17:00

The November 14 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:

- Director Bill Hirsch has resigned from the SLLA Board of Directors. It's a bit of a complicated story. You can read about it in detail here. And you can read Hirsch's take on the situation in this week's edition of The Times.

- The unpleasantness that led to Hirsch's resignation arose in a disagreement about the best approach to replacing or repairing the SLLA pasture fence, which has lately been falling down and letting horses escape. You can read about the options in this week's edition.

- A proposed SLLA volunteer policy sparked considerable debate during the Board's November 10 Work Session.

- The Board has delayed any decision on renewing the lake management contract with Foster Lakes until other options can be explored.

– After long study by the Planning and Zoning Committee, a new ordinance permitting the development of commercial solar generation facilities in Foxfire Village's ETJ has been approved.

- The Village Council continues to discuss whether and how it can restrict non-resident use of the Village swimming pool.

- The Moore County Board of Education will sell the former Academy Heights school to Taylortown for $300,000.

- Board members praised the service of Enola Lineberger and Dale Frye, who attended their last Board meeting on Monday.

- Members of the public and the County Manager pushed back against animal activists who have been forceful in their criticism of the County's Animal Center and Animal Operations Director Brenda Sears. One member of the Animal Operations Advisory Committee suggested that panel's ability to do its work has been damaged by "open hostility" and "unjustified and inflammatory charges."

- Seven Lakes Stables hosted the SLLA's annual Halloween Party, and even the horses had costumes.

- The Moore County Veterans Memorial Committee hosted a tribute to veterans on Saturday, November 8.

- Greg is planning to take advantage of the free memory screening offered next week at St. Joseph of the Pines (and catch the Glen Campbell documentary).

- Chris thinks we all might need to relax, Alan Shaw has some thoughts for the SLLA Board and Manager, and there's plenty of thanks in our letters section.

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.

 
Committees Present Competing Proposals on Pasture Fence
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Saturday, 08 November 2014 22:00

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

In the case of the pasture fence in Seven Lakes North, the factor that separates the Architectural Review Board [ARB] from the Recreation Committee is beauty — beauty, and its constant companion, money.

Members of both those Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] committees, along with representatives of the Security and the Facilities Committees, as well as a smattering of interested residents, met on Friday afternoon, November 7, to review options for replacing the existing pasture fence. SLLA President Bob Racine called the special meeting after discussion of the matter was postponed at the October 29 Open Meeting.

Jane Leach presented the ARB committee's recommendations; George Temple spoke for the Recreation Committee.

They key issue that separates those proposals is a wood fence along Seven Lakes Drive: ARB wants wood; Recreation can live without it.

No one apparently sees much value in retaining the existing split rail fence. Community Manager Ray Sohl said many of the fence posts are loose and moving, causing rails to fall.

"I don't see a reason to keep it, because it will constantly require maintenance," Sohl said. 

 
Hirsch Resigns from SLLA Board a Second Time
Written by Ellen Marcus, Times Reporter   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 15:22

For the second time this year, Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Director Bill Hirsch has resigned.

Responding to comments made by former SLLA President Bob Darr during the public forum period of the Wednesday, October 29 Open Meeting, a visibly angry Hirsch raised his voice, insulted Darr, and then stormed out of the room.

Darr’s remarks focused on proposed upgrades to the fence that surrounds the Association’s horse pasture.

But Hirsch's anger apparently had less to do with Darr's comments regarding the fence and more to do with a series of emails and conversations regarding an October 23 Architectural Review Board [ARB] meeting that dealt, in part, with the stables, and from which Darr believed he had been excluded.


The background

Earlier in the month, during the Monday, October 13 SLLA Board Work Session, the Recreation Committee and the Stable Manager proposed fence improvements that aimed to make the pasture more secure. Horses have escaped through the fence on at least two occasions in the past sixty days.

Stable Manager Amanda Dugan reported, during the Work Session, that the current split rail fence and electric wire were old and in a constant state of disrepair. She recommended the construction of a new electric fence inside the existing split rail fence.

After Duggan's presentation, Hirsch recommended that any fence rehabilitation first be approved by ARB, suggesting that there would be enough time to finalize the fence proposal between the Work Session and the October Open Meeting.

During their October 23 meeting, ARB voted against the concept of a secondary fence around the perimeter of the stable, effectively ruling out the stable manager's recommendation.


 
Where to put the concept high school?
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Sunday, 19 October 2014 20:45

Moore County Schools LogoThere are two key questions that need to be answered about the proposed 800-student "concept" high school on Moore County Schools' Master Facilities Plan.

The first question is what to teach there. You can read about that discussion on Page 7 of the October 17 Seven Lakes Times or here.

The second question is where to put the school.

Ever since the idea of a concept high school first saw the light of day in Moore County, the assumption among many, if not most, of its advocates has been that the new school would be conveniently located next to the campus of Sandhills Community College — quite likely built on land currently owned by the college.

But that idea has some folks wondering why the new school — which is supposed to be a driving force for economic development — would be built on the opposite end of the county from Robbins and North Moore — the part of the county that most desperately needs economic development.

Why place the school that houses the district's technical career training facility so far away from those students most likely to seek vocational training rather than college admission?

 
Putting the ‘concept’ in new concept high school
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Sunday, 19 October 2014 20:51

Moore County Schools LogoThe “concept” high school on Moore County Schools’ [MCS] Master Facilities Plan has caught the im-agination of the local business community.

“If we can pull this off, we open up a new day for our kids, in terms of their competence and competitiveness — and our ability to attract companies because we have the talent here,” Partners in Progress CEO Pat Corso told the Moore County Board of Commissioner in a recent meeting.

But the concept high school is also the least well-defined project on the Board of Education’s ten-year facilities wish list.

Increasing capacity at a high school, or building a new elementary school, are ideas easy to grasp. But what’s a “concept high school?”

During the school board’s, Monday, October 6 work session, MCS administrators began to flesh out the “concept.”

Associate Superintendents Dr. Kathy Kennedy and Dr. Eric Porter, along with Career and Technical Educational Specialist Amy Garner, presented the rough draft of a proposal for the school that would divide it into four separate, career-focused academies: life and health sciences; agriculture; design and production; and hospitality and culinary arts.

Introducing the presentation, Superintendent Robert Grimesey told the Board that it was “a fluid design that is still a work in progress.”

The design aims to give students the training they need to graduate from high school with marketable skills — or credits that can be transferred to a community college or four-year university. A close partnership with Sandhills Community College — and community colleges in surrounding counties — is an integral part of the plan.

Providing high school graduates with marketable skills was a key objective that surfaced in conversations with local business leaders, as well as conversations with parents led by former superintendent, Dr. Aaron Spence, Kennedy said.

Though no location has been chosen for the new school, the idea of placing it on the SCC campus has been much talked about in public discussions of the idea.

 
Boards meet on funding for school facilities plan
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Sunday, 19 October 2014 20:39

Moore County Schools LogoNo high-stepping marching band or cheering crowd of onlookers celebrated the event, but it would not be an exaggeration to call the Tuesday, October 14 joint meeting of the Moore County Board of Education and Moore County Commissioners “historic.”

It was little more than a decade ago that the two boards found themselves in a funding dispute so acrimonious that the school board sued the commissioners. It has taken many years for that chill to thaw.

What brought the two boards together on October 14 was the need to build and expand school facilities — to relieve overcrowding in high schools and elementary schools, to replace aging buildings, and to develop a new magnet high school that would offer students job training or a head start on their college career.

The standard playbook for building new schools has the school board developing a master facilities plan encompassing ten years and $50 $75, or $100 million in projects; voters approving the sale of school bonds; and commissioners figuring out how to pay back the principal and interest on all that borrowed money.

“We had always just pretty much been told that a bond was our only option,” school board member Laura Lang said during the joint meeting. “No one had ever said that we can borrow cheaper than we can do a bond . . . . Nobody had ever said that before.”

 
Jon Sedlak Appointed to Foxfire Council
Written by Ellen Marcus, Times Reporter   
Saturday, 05 July 2014 10:54

Foxfire Logo

The Foxfire Village Council has appointed Jon Sedlak to serve out the unexpired term of Councilman George Erickson. Erickson, who served as mayor for the past nine years, resigned effective July 1, because he is moving to Florida, for at least part of the year.

Sedlak will replace Erickson as a member of the council, but not, necessarily, as mayor. The council will need to elect a mayor from among its members at a future meeting.

Sedlak served as the village's Water Superintendent for six years. His appointment came at the conclusion of a Thursday, July 3 special meeting, during which council members interviewed both Sedlak and Helen Kirk, the only other applicant for Erickson's seat.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Durham presided over the meeting, with council members Mick McCue, Leslie Frusco, and Vic Koos present.

Helen Kirk and John Sedlak 

If at First You Don’t Succeed

The two candidates were interviewed individually, and each candidate sat in on the other’s interview. They were also invited to stay afterward and observe the council's deliberations.

“You are welcome to stay,” Durham said. “It goes without saying, thanks to the both of you for applying and your interest. Getting volunteers these days is difficult, and we appreciate both of you. In a year and a half, there are likely to be a couple of openings, so you can reapply.”

The next regular municipal elections will be held in November 2015, when the terms of seat occupied by Durham and, now, Sedlak, will expire.

“It’s an open meeting,” McCue added, but neither Sedlak nor Kirk chose to stay.

“We don’t have any closed meetings around here,” Frusco noted.

 
Shelter searching for dog from Seven Lakes West
Written by Greg Hankins   
Monday, 23 June 2014 21:08

AlmaThe Moore County Animal Shelter is asking for help locating a dog that scaled the shelter fence to escape — and may be headed home to Seven Lakes West.

On Sunday morning, Alma, a six to seven year old Australian Shepherd Mix, climbed over a fence topped with barbed wire, and then climbed over the gate at entrance to the shelter parking lot. Volunteers and staff ran after her down the driveway to NC Highway 15/501, and then searched for her, to no avail.

Alma was turned over to the shelter when her owner, a resident of Seven Lakes West, died.

The shelter staff report that she was despondent and clearly grieving for the loss of her owner.

Because her home was in Seven Lakes West, Animal Center staff believe she could be headed back in the direction of Seven Lakes.

If you find a dog fitting Alma's description, contact The Animal Center at 910-947-2858. They were hoping to place her with a foster family.

 
Citizens Ask Commissioners to Make Education Top Priority
Written by Greg Hankins, Editor   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 08:04

Moore County LogoThe annual public hearing on Moore County's budget is seldom a pleasant experience, for either the folks speaking or the commissioners listening.

Funding for public schools is generally the focus — which is not surprising, given that funding for education makes up forty-two percent of the county's general fund budget.

It's not uncommon for speakers to insinuate — when they don't come right out and say it — that the Moore County Board of Commissioners are underfunding education and playing fast and loose with the future of Moore County's children.

But, this year, it was different.

The dozen speakers who took turns at the microphone during the Tuesday, June 3 hearing on County Manager Wayne Vest's proposed FY2015 budget spent as much time thanking the commissioners for their continued support of the schools — and their recent advocacy for school funding in Raleigh — as they did pressing the case for additional school funding.

 
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