Monday, March 26, 2007

Former Good Day Cafe to Open as GOOD TIMES CAFE & TAVERN April 7

The name was devised before they knew the building existed, but The Good Times Cafe & Tavern is destined to open at 217-219 E Main Street by April 7. The story can be found in Friday's Herald. Come back to the Blog for updates and the Downtown Clayton Insider will have more later in the week...

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Rainy Arbor Day Celebration in Clayton

It was a small but interested group that celebrated a rainy and cold Arbor Day at All Star Park on Friday, March 16. Students from Cooper Elementary and Riverwood Middle School attended the ceremony organized by the Downtown Development Association to celebrate the planting of 8 trees at All Star Park on Front Street and 8 trees at Municipal Park on Stallings Street. Town Councilman Michael Grannis read an Arbor Day proclamation as follows:

"Whereas, In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees, and;

Whereas, this holiday, called Arbor Day, was first observed with the planting of
more than one million trees in Nebraska, and;

Whereas, Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world, and;

Whereas, trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife, and;

Whereas, trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel
for our fires, and beautify our community, and;

Whereas, trees, wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal, and;

Whereas, trees soften the urban environment and create a sense of peace and tranquility.

NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE PROCLAIMED by the Town of Clayton that March 16, 2007, be recognized as “Arbor Day” and I urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands, and I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations."

Following the remarks, arborist John Sugg told the group about the benefits of trees and, in the rain, showed the students how to plant a tree. Due to the weather, the students didn’t have much opportunity to actually plant the trees, but did take turns shoveling some of the dirt around one of the trees.

In attendance were students: Anthony Carswell and brothers Mark and David Germann of Riverwood Middle School; Brook Boatright and Steven Carswell of Cooper Elementary School. 5th grade teacher Susanna Hamilton from Cooper School and parents Donna Boatright and Sandy Germann. DDA member Ed Knight and his wife, Veda also were in attendance. Pastor Lacy Simpson of First Missionary Baptist Church had been scheduled to make remarks, but an emergency out of state kept him from attending and Pastor Frank Saunders of St Augustine African Methodist Church sent remarks of his support for the planting project, but was out of town due to a previously scheduled meeting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Community Vision for Public Art Forum Scheduled Thursday, March 29

The Town of Clayton is exploring public art opportunities throughout the community and seeks input from the public. A Community Vision for Public Art Forum will take place on Thursday, March 29th from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the Clayton Center, with refreshments beginning at 6:00 pm.

“The input received from this community forum will help shape a planning document to be used in developing future public art projects in the Town of Clayton,” according to Project Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen. It is envisioned that this project will act as a springboard for a broad-scale public art master plan for the Town of Clayton as well as strengthen the community’s understanding of public art. The visioning is a first step in the development of a master plan, a process which can take several years.

The forum is open to the public and will include a brief slide presentation on public art by consultant Laura Coats of Morrisville, NC. There will be several activities during which participants will be able to provide input on public art opportunities throughout Clayton.

Mayor Jody McLeod said “As a goal of the Town Council, this project will go a long way toward developing a direction for a public arts policy and program development for the town of Clayton.” Mayor McLeod added, “We’re grateful for the continued support of the North Carolina Arts Council and the N.C. General Assembly in our community and for this project in particular.” Clayton Visual Arts is also contributing monetary resources to the project.

In July, 2006 The Town of Clayton was awarded $3,000.00 from the North Carolina Arts Council for the Community Vision for Public Art Project. In October, the Public Art Planning Committee began working with Ms. Coats, to help develop a public art plan for Clayton.

The Clayton Public Art Planning Committee is comprised of Jody McLeod, Mayor, Town of Clayton and owner, Annie V’s Floral Company; Lyn Austin, President, Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation; Margaret Ritchie, Chairman of Clayton Visual Arts; Editor of the Clayton News-Star, and part-time artist; Joyce Blackley, President, Clayton Downtown Development Association and owner, Blackley Printing Company. Jessica Meadows, Executive Director, Johnston County Arts Council. Heidi Stump, Director, Clayton Center and former cultural arts director for the Town of Cary; Also on the committee are Clayton artists Kelly Sari, whose work includes the Town Mural on the east side of the Barbour Building in downtown Clayton; Walter Day and Cheryl McCardle and Leslie Barranco, a past chair of the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce and owner of Pancho’s International Foods. Clayton Downtown Development Coordinator Bruce Naegelen, is the project coordinator and grant administrator.

For more information on the Community Vision for Public Art Project, contact Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or

The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, awards grant money each year to provide diverse arts experiences for citizens in all 100 counties of North Carolina. To be eligible for Arts Council funds, organizations must produce programs of artistic merit that encourage community involvement. Grants require that matching funds be raised by the applicant organization.

Clayton Historical Association Appoints

Clayton now has its own historical association. On February 20, nine interested Clayton residents were appointed as the founding Board of Directors of the newly formed Clayton Historical Association. President, Porter Casey Jr.; Vice President, Barker Edwards; Treasurer, Kimberly Laney; Secretary, Judy Edwards; also, Mary Thomas-Compton; Timpla Stewart-Casey; Noury Buttry, Jackie Smith; and Michael Grannis have agreed to serve staggered terms.

The mission of the Clayton Historical Association (CHA) is to preserve and share the history of Clayton and to recognize and preserve the historic properties of Clayton, North Carolina. CHA's president, Porter Casey, Jr.
said one of the first orders of business is setting up a membership database. "We want to identify the long-time and new residents of Clayton who have an interest in our history and culture and to begin scheduling some programs." He added, "One of our goals is establishing a Clayton Historical Museum to display and share the Town's history."

The Association has created the following Committees, Historic Preservation and Home Committee, Chaired by Mary Thomas-Compton; Membership Committee, Co-Chaired by Jackie Smith and Noury Buttry; Fundraising Committee Chaired by Timpla Stewart-Casey; Finance Committee Chaired by Kimberly Laney; and Administrative Committee Co-Chaired by Porter Casey and Barker Edwards. For more information about becoming involved in one of these committees or for membership in the Clayton Historical Association, please contact Porter Casey at 919-553-5334 or by email at

Photo: The new Clayton Historical Association Board of Directors, Bottom Row from Left to Right, Vice President - Barker Edwards, Noury Buttry, Jackie Smith, Timpla Stewart-Casey, President - Porter Casey; Second Row Left to Right, Mary Thomas-Compton, Secretary - Judy Edwards, Michael Grannis, and Treasurer - Kimberly Laney.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Clayton Arbor Day Planting Ceremony at All Star Park on March 16

The landscape of All Star Park will become a little fuller with the planting of eight trees at the park on Front Street during Clayton’s Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony at 3:00 pm on March 16.

Clayton was recently named Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry.

The event is being organized by the Clayton Downtown Development Association. DDA Chair Joyce Blackley said, “This is a great opportunity to help improve the environment, and provide some future shade for the children and parents who use All Star Park and we hope a lot of folks will turn out for the ceremony.”

According to Charlie Yokely, Planner for the Town of Clayton, the eight trees to be planted at All Star Park are five Bald Cypress and three Downy Serviceberries. Six Eastern Redbuds, a Red Maple and a Red Cedar will be planted at Municipal Park on Stallings Street.

The Arbor Day ceremony will begin at 3:00 pm with remarks from local dignitaries and then the planting of the trees will commence with participation from those attending.

Seventh graders Mark and David Germann, will assist Town of Clayton Public Works staff to complete the planting of the other trees. Mark and David are members of the Riverwood Middle School Beta Club.

The public is invited to attend this ceremony and learn more about the program and enjoy the new trees!

For more information, please contact Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or

Monday, March 05, 2007

Downtown Clayton Calendar of Events: March 2007

Remember, it is always best to call the venue or contact number for the latest updates!

Thursday, March 8
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke 9 pm - Mid

Friday, March 9
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Amy Steinberg (folk-rock/comedy) 8:00 pm

Saturday, March 10

THE CLAYTON CENTER 111 E Second Street, 553-1737 Jesse Cook – SOLD OUT!

THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123 The Nightbirds Band (blues/rock) 9pm - Mid

Tuesday, March 13
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic 8:30 pm

Thursday, March 15
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke 9 pm - Mid

Friday, March 16
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Valentino & The Piedmont Sheiks
(foot-stompin’blues) 9pm - Mid

Saturday, March 17
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123 Coty Rivers Band (acoustic rock) 9pm - Mid

Tuesday, March 20
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic 8:30 pm

Thursday, March 22
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke 9 pm - Mid

Friday, March 23
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Brothers’ Grimm (rock/twang) 10 pm

Saturday, March 24
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Vaughn Penn w/Josh Pepper 9 pm
$8.00 cover
Tuesday, March 27
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic 8:30 pm

Thursday, March 29
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke 9 pm - Mid

Friday, March 30
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Joe Bell & Stinging Blades (R&B/Soul/Rock)
9:30 pm

Saturday, March 31
 THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: House Concert: Sam Anderson 8-10 pm

“Stress Management: Preventing Job Burnout” Workshop

The Clayton Downtown Development Association is sponsoring the third in its series of workshops aimed at small business owners and staff throughout Clayton. Christy Hawley will present “Stress Management: Preventing Job Burnout” at The Clayton Center on Tuesday, March 13 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

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Christy is a counselor at Clayton Counseling Services and is currently pursuing licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She received her MA in Community Counseling from Campbell University in 2006 and also has experience as a High School Teacher, School Counselor, and Stress Manager.

The major topics Ms. Hawley will discuss are:

- Sources of stress: Recognize the early warning signs of stress as well as psychological and physiological effects of stress

- Ways to reduce stress: Eliminate procrastination; avoid needless stress, and 10 signs that it is time to simplify your life.

- Developing a positive mental attitude: Learn to relax and take control of your life and develop strategies to improve self-esteem.

- Learn the benefits of following a healthy routine: Develop an exercise routine and ways to improve sleep and eating habits for stress reduction and prevention.

Participants will be given a stress evaluation and Ms. Hawley will also facilitate a relaxation exercise on deep breathing and guided imagery.

This workshop is sponsored in conjunction with the Johnston County Small Business Center. The fee for this workshop is $5.00 per person and to register please contact Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator at 553-1545 or