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Back in Raleigh's lap

Wendell commissioners retreated from the first hot potato of the new board's term. 

At issue was a request by Central Baptist Church to hook onto a water line that has been extended to the edge of its property.

Raleigh, however, requires that such water lines must reach further than that. In fact, they must go to the farthest point on the property. The idea is you leave the water line at the next guy's doorstep so he can develop his property when the time comes.

But in Central Baptist's case, they've extended their finances about as far as they can and the added cost of extending the line - more than $100,000, is more than they can manage.

Complicating matters is the fact that the church embarked on this development project before Wendell gave its water and sewer system away to Raleigh. City leaders asked the Wendell town board to explain how it would have ruled if the request had come before Raleigh took over the system.

But town commissioners punted. They went behind closed doors to talk about their options and then agreed to repeat to Raleigh what the town's policy was at the time with no indication how they would have dealt with this particular matter.

And because they spent some 25 minutes or so behind closed doors, the public doesn't know what options they considered.

And Central Baptist Church has a nice new building with no water and no relief in sight. 

A league of their own

This interesting item was in Wendell Town Manager David Bone's weekly report to commissioners last week: 

Efforts to get a new dodge ball league off the ground in Wendell came up short. There weren't enough teams interested in playing the old kids game to warrant hosting a league. Parks and Recreation staffer Tim Kay will be working with local churches and youth organizations to see if their might be enough interest to support pick up games from time to time.

The idea for the dodge ball league is to provide adults with activities that take them back to their youth, according to Bone's memo. In Knightdale the new kick ball league is an effort to reach the same demographic. Judging by the names of some of the teams in the Knightdale kick ball league, though, you'd think the teams were actually made up of some adolescent pranksters out to have a little fun.

Consider these team names: the Ball Breakers, the Ball Bruisers, I'd Hit That, The Balls.

If you want to sign up for a pick up dodge ball game in Wendell, call Kay at 366-2266. If kick ball is more your speed, the season in Knightdale is nearly over, but you can call the parks and recreation department in Knightdale at 217-2232 to find out about future leagues. 

Looking for the fireworks

One of the most festive holidays of the year is just around the corner. Independence Day, which every calls the Fourth of July, is a week from Friday.

 Most folks get the day off, so if you're looking for something to fill that extra time off, you've got plenty of options.  The folks in Archer Lodge start the day off with activities all day long. They begin the day with a road race at 8:30 followed by a children's parade at 11 a.m. Free kids games start at 11:30 a.m., which, coincidentally, is the same time they start serving free homemade ice cream.

Barbecue lunch plates will be for sale for just $7 until 2 p.m., then its back to the fun and games.

July 4 doesn't end in Archer Lodge until the fireworks display is over that night. You can make a full day of it.

In Wendell, the Fourth of July is making a return. Thanks to Nora Cambiere and the members of the Wendell Historical Society, Wendell folks can celebrate the holiday without leaving town. Events begin at 4 p.m. at Main and Depot streets with the unveiling of a historical marker. A children's parade will move the show from there to the J. Ashley Wall Towne Square where there will be refreshments for everyone.

Zebulon gets into the act after the Mudcats game that night. Fireworks are an every Friday night occurence, but they go all out on the Fourth. If you're not going to see the fireworks in Archer Lodge, consider making the trip up NC 39, take in a ball game and watch the show afterward. It doesn't get much more American than that.

Hunt/Helms Part Deux

An astute political friend once observed that North Carolinians were a bit schizofrenic when it comes to elections. What voter, she asked, would vote for Jesse Helms for U.S. Senator and Jim Hunt for Governor in the same election?

It's an interesting question to ask in Wendell these days, in light of the town board's decision to appoint both Lisa Sanderson and Charlie Kramer to the Planning Board.

Sanderson and her husband, Steve, have led an effort to remake Wendell Boulevard, a move that struck a nerve with some of the more conservative folks in town. Lisa Sanderson, daughter of former Mayor June Perry, is smart as a whip and always does her homework before she opens her mouth.

Kramer has been the silent giant behind the Wendell Community Coalition. He's an astute researcher who's inclined to follow a leave-it-alone course of action. Commissioners may have believed Kramer was the lesser of two evils in having to choose between him and Dan Edwards, the much more vocal opponent of developments like Pepper Pointe. But they have appointed a big dog to the board.

Sanderson and Kramer ought to be wonderful foils.

It's almost football time for us, the psychotic fans

I sit here every day and wonder what football will be like this year for those in eastern Wake County.

Last year it wasn’t very pretty for Knightdale or East Wake. But every year brings new promise, a new goal and a new crowd of hopefuls to add to the long-time stand fillers.

It seems like a ways away, but it isn’t. The pigskin preview will take place in just a couple of months, and although it normally doesn’t reveal much in the mini-game match-ups between various schools, it instills that feeling of a freshly-cut field and the blow of a whistle — the most comforting prospect of the season to many.

Going 2-9 isn’t easy for anyone to stomach, and since both the Knights and the Warriors ended equally on paper (aside from the Warriors' higher ranking in defeating the Knights) I’m think they will be trying not to let history repeat itself.

Before there were two schools, some four years ago, football was a pretty darn big deal in Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon and the surrounding communities. I knew this even when I lived in Raleigh, before moving to K-dale.

So I can understand how much of a pain it must be to take a program, split it in half and send the kids into two different locker rooms to butt heads against each other.

Sure, there was a need for the new school, and more kids ended up drafted to Knightdale from the Raleigh side than would have ever made it to Wendell. But I can’t help but think this is no different than a red and white game at N.C. State. Who’s to say in the first year after Knightdale opened it wasn’t kind of like East Wake’s best offense against East Wake’s best defense, except on two totally different teams?

At that, I felt terrible, but got a kick out of the fact the two border rivals felt the same hardships — one team didn’t hurt more than the other.

Inevitably, both teams will be looking to frustrate their opponents in the 2008 season, and “no rooting for the home team” aside, I can’t wait to see what they’ve changed in preparation for such a task.

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