Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Squirrels for Obama!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:32 PM

Woodland creatures are such swing voters.

obamasquirrel.jpg

Via Cuteoverload.com

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Recipe: Pumpkin Cake

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Although the forecast for Charlotte is calling for temperatures in the 70s and 80s this week, according to the calendar it's officially fall season. I consider baking with pumpkin a faux pax any time of the year other than fall and winter. So I'm going to kick off the season with some long-awaited delicious pumpkin cake. Here's a recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com.

Pumpkin Cake

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups white sugar

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups canned pumpkin

4 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

(optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 12x18 inch pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread batter into prepared 12x18 inch pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

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Local leaders to the rescue!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Amid all the bad news, it comes as a great relief to Charlotteans, particularly Wachovia employees, that our powerful local leaders intend to do something about the Citigroup buyout mess. In a forceful joint statement that pulled no punches and offered creative solutions, Mayor Pat McCrory, County Commission chair Jennifer Roberts and Charlotte Chamber CEO Bob Morgan announced yesterday that they, uh, "will make the case to the leadership of Citigroup to retain every job that is currently in Charlotte and to encourage them to increase their investment in our community." To which Citigroup honchos in New York will no doubt respond, "Who the hell are you? Do you have an appointment?" It's so gratifying to know that our oh-so-influential, locally elected banking industry puppets, er, leaders, are fighting for all of us. Yep, a warm, fuzzy moment indeed.

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Bat Latte?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 11:02 AM

This is probably not a mix that will be on Starbuck's menu anytime soon.

An Iowa woman had bat mixed with her coffee.

According to the Associated Press, the woman reported there was a bat in her house to the health department. She wasn't really concerned about it and then she set her automated coffee maker.

"She discovered the bat in the filter when she went to clean it that night. The woman has undergone treatment for possible rabies.Health officials said the bat was sent to a lab but that its brain was too cooked by the hot water to determine whether it had rabies."

Here's the full story.

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Zombie Walk rises

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Zombies are about to invade Charlotte. Check out this message from the Charlotte Roller Girls:

Second Annual Charlotte Zombie Walk to take place October 5th

Zombie and Halloween enthusiasts throughout Charlotte to overtake the city!

Charlotte, North Carolina (ZOMBIES!) September 22, 2008: The second annual Charlotte Zombie Walk will take place Sunday, October 5th beginning at 7:00 PM.

Charlotte Zombie Walk is open to the public and participants are encouraged to don their zombie best for the event. The first annual Charlotte Zombie Walk boasted over 80 participants and served to promote Halloween related activities in metropolitan Charlotte.

The event will begin at Alley Cat in Uptown at 7:00 PM and the walk will end at the same location at 8:00 PM. Blood donations will be accepted outside Alley Cat from 2:30 to 7:00. The first annual Zombie Ball will follow the walk at 8:00. All ages are welcome to participate in the walk.

"Last year's event was a lot of fun and we are looking for a bigger turn out this year" says Badger, the event organizer, "It's good to have something for everyone that puts a bit of Halloween spirit into the city."

About Charlotte Zombie Walk:

Charlotte Zombie Walk is a free community event that was first held in 2007.

About Alley Cat:

Alley Cat is one of Charlotte's finest live music venues offering a full service bar and featuring Penguin Grill. Alley Cat is located at 314 N. College St.

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New chef at Nolia

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 9:09 AM

This just in from the recently opened restaurant Nolia:

Nolia Restaurant Hires Joshua Rosenbaum As Chef

- Johnson & Wales University’s Summa Cum Laude Grad Joins Nolia’s Team -

Charlotte, N.C. – Noila Restaurant, a recently opened restaurant in the heart of the Elizabeth neighborhood at 7th Street and Caswell, hired Joshua Rosenbaum as its chef to manage its fresh food preparation and presentation in this neighborhood Southern bistro.

According to Brandon Foster, the managing partner for Nolia, “Joshua brings originality and knowledge in food management and preparation from a broad perspective that is welcomed on our restaurant team. When it comes to lunch and dinner menus, our guests will find his savory fares irresistible. For those who wish to languor over a relaxing weekend brunch on Saturday or Sunday, they will enjoy his breakfast or lunch selections from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.”

With a background in contemporary American food preparation in both hotel kitchens as well as in à la carte restaurants, Rosenbaum gained his formal culinary arts education at Johnson & Wales University in Norfolk, Va., where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of science degree in foodservice management.

Upon graduation, Rosenbaum became the executive chef in the well-known rustic Maine island destination Chebeague Island Inn. Applauded by both “Travel & Leisure” and “Yankee” magazines, this Inn, which he managed the daily operations of the kitchen, was described as the ultimate destination for delicious fresh food by these media sources in reviews. When Rosenbaum moved to Charlotte from Maine, he was the chef for Doubletree Hotel in Gateway Village. Before joining Nolia, he served as the chef consultant that developed the innovative menu for an organic breakfast and lunch concept as well as outlined the kitchen staffing, equipment and procedures for Blynk Organic that opens this month in Uptown and caters to providing organic food for a healthy lifestyle.

For Nolia Restaurant, Rosenbaum has developed a menu that will appeal to both children and adults. Selections include fresh appetizers, salads and a host of sandwiches at lunch and dinners ranging from pasta to chicken, beef short ribs, shrimp and grits to pork chops and grilled salmon. A special children’s menu offers foods that kids love from burgers to chicken to grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and rainbow pasta, served with a side order and beverage.

Rosenbaum will be recommending menus to complement Monday night beer dinner with a set price that will feature a three-course beer dinner with each course paired with different beer. Tuesday night will use the same three-course format with wine paired with each course presented by the chef. He will also work with private parties for special menu planning and selections when reserving the private dining room.

Nolia Restaurant is short for Magnolia and celebrated its grand opening on September 17 with an art benefit with proceeds going to Citizen Schools, a non-profit where middle school students develop the academic and leadership skills they need to do well in school, get into college and become leaders in their careers and in their communities.

Nolia Restaurant is located at 366 North Caswell Road in the Elizabeth neighborhood. For additional information or reservations, please call 704-376-1515 or visit their web site at www.noliarestaurant.com

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Monday, September 29, 2008

The mood at Wachovia

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 3:25 PM

The world watches as Wachovia crumbles, but how do people who work for one of Charlotte’s big banks feel?

According to a press release from Wachovia, “Wachovia Corp. will remain headquartered in Charlotte. Wachovia Securities will continue to be headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Citigroup will headquarter the retail bank in Charlotte and the investment bank in New York. Wachovia’s investment bankers were Goldman Sachs, Perella Weinberg Partners and Wachovia Securities, and its legal advisors are Sullivan & Cromwell and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.”

But for some employees this takeover is unnerving.

“It was tacky,” said an employee who got all of the news of the takeover from the Internet, radio and TV. “Why is it all of a sudden we have to sell today?”

He asked that his name not be used in this report, saying, “I don’t want to give them a reason to can me today.”

“This local economy can’t afford for Wachovia to just go under,” he said. “Wall Street is now trickling down to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. What scares me now because of what happened on Wall Street, it’s going to affect businesses that care about the community.

“I’ll hop my behind over to Best Buy and Wal-Mart and do what I have to do,” he said. “But it’s too early to jump ship.”

Another employee, who spoke with Creative Loafing on the condition of anonymity, said, “Our 401ks are shot. We might as well have a memorial service for it.”

She also learned of the Citigroup takeover through media reports.

“When we came in, everybody was panicking, but it is what it is,” she said.

She doesn’t know if she’s going to have a job but the employees have been in and out of meetings all day.

“Our managers didn’t know,” she said. “They knew we had an option for merging but they didn’t know that it had happened.”

A Wachovia employee who was off today said she hadn’t heard the news. But if she lost her job because of this merger, it wouldn’t be the first time that she lost a position with the bank. The woman said she worked at Wachovia from 2002 to 2006 and was displaced. She’s been in her current position since April.

“Nobody called me,” she said. “Wow. That disturbs me.”

She said she doesn’t have a real back up plan because she didn’t expect this to happen. “I thought Citigroup was just a call center. Now I’m concerned about my job once again.”

If Citigroup offers a relocation package, she said she would take it. “If they offered a moving package and paid all of my fees I would relocate.”

Another male employee said he initially wanted to work at Wachovia because of its strong commitment to community, and he wonders if Citigroup will have the same values as Wachovia.

“They’re telling us that they are trying to have everything ironed out by the end of the year,” he said. “Going into this weekend, we hadn’t heard talk of us being taken over.”

All three employees say they’re trying not to panic, but they are dusting off their resumes just in case their jobs disappear.

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And where. . .and where. . .is the Mc-Mayor?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Dear MAYOR McCrory:

Newsflash, you are still the mayor of Charlotte, not the governor of North Carolina. Forget Wachovia needing to keep a presence in North Carolina--what about Charlotte?

Have you forgotten that you went out of your way to run for reelection as mayor? While we're running on empty in the Queen City, the city that you've been fighting Raleigh to take care of for 12 LONG years, you're in parades and kissing babies? If this is how you're going to run the state, what's my motivation for voting for you?

What happened to the gas you promised was coming? You're acting more like an irresponsible father--you know the kind who promises to pick his child up but leaves the kid sitting on the stoop--than the mayor of North Carolina's largest city.

Mr. Mayor and Not [yet] Governor, you had one press conference before today and all you did was whip the city into a frenzy that caused longer lines at dried up gas pumps. Is this how you're going to run the state? Are you only going to show up when things get so bad that people are fighting in lines and pulling guns out on each other for a gallon of overpriced gas.

You suspended your campaign a week too late. What about our city? You're treating us like Hurricane Katrina victims and losing your core. I bet Bev Perdue would've stuck around. Hell, Richard Vinroot would've been out front calming the city. You were running for governor when Charlotte ran out of gas. What a shame.

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Creative Loafing files for bankuptcy

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Creative Loafing Inc., the company that owns Creative Loafing Charlotte, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning.

Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason said in a conference call with company management hours ago that the bankruptcy will have no affect on normal Creative Loafing business and that no liquidation or impending sale of the company is on the horizon. And all Creative Loafing employees and vendors will be paid on schedule.

“The term “bankruptcy” conjures up all kinds of images and demons but it is essentially a legal proceeding designed to give an over-leveraged company the time, process and a safe harbor for which to reorganize its finances,” said Eason in a company memo. “Chapter 11 was the natural place for the Company to go to accomplish an orderly reorganization of our finances.”

While business operations won’t change, according to Eason, the reorganization will better allow Creative Loafing to increase its online presence. And although the company incurred new debts when it recently acquired papers in  Washington  and  Chicago (CL owns papers in  Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta and the Tampa Bay area.), Eason asserts that the purchases did not play a role in the reorganization plan

“This filing has little to do with the acquisition and everyone should feel very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” reads the company memo. “It hasn’t been easy but it has been successful. The assumptions we made have not turned out to be so successful. The print business has been under siege from all quarters with the exception of the one place that counts; audience.

"This," said Eason, "is all about a fresh start."

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Creative Loafing files for bankruptcy

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Creative Loafing Inc., the company that owns Creative Loafing Charlotte, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning.

Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason said in a conference call with company management hours ago that the bankruptcy will have no affect on normal Creative Loafing business and that no liquidation or impending sale of the company is on the horizon. And all Creative Loafing employees and vendors will be paid on schedule.

“The term “bankruptcy” conjures up all kinds of images and demons but it is essentially a legal proceeding designed to give an over-leveraged company the time, process and a safe harbor for which to reorganize its finances,” said Eason in a company memo. “Chapter 11 was the natural place for the Company to go to accomplish an orderly reorganization of our finances.”

While business operations won’t change, according to Eason, the reorganization will better allow Creative Loafing — which also owns papers in Atlanta, the Tampa Bay area, Washington, D.C. and Chicago — to increase the company’s online presence.

“This is all about a fresh start,” said Eason.

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