Monday, January 31, 2011

WORKSHOP: "Understanding Market Study Data" OR "How Does Leakage Create Opportunity?"

The Economic Restructuring Committee of the Clayton Downtown Development Association has invited Small Town Main Street Coordinator, Robert Murphrey to help the DDA board understand how to read and understand market study data. One expected outcome is to learn how to determine what opportunities “leakage” can create for downtown businesses and business recruitment. Downtown business owners are welcome to attend the workshop. Refreshments will be available.

The workshop will begin at noon on Thursday, February 17 at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second Street and will be no longer than 90 minutes.

Bob Murphrey is the Small Town Main Street Program Coordinator for the Office of Urban Development within the North Carolina Department of Commerce. His experiences include nearly seventeen years as executive director of the downtown development organization in Wilmington. Mr. Murphrey served as president, treasurer and regional director of the North Carolina Downtown Development Association (NCDDA) and has participated on a number of technical assistance and resource teams for the NCDDA, the National Main Street Center and the North Carolina Main Street Center.

Please let Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator, know that you are planning to attend. You may contact him at 553-1545 or

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seth Godin: "Eight Lessons from the life and work of Jack LaLanne"

1.He bootstrapped himself. A scrawny little kid at 15, he decided to change who he was and how he was perceived, and then he did. The deciding was as important as the doing.

2.He went to the edges. He didn't merely open a small gym, a more pleasant version of a boxing gym, for instance. Instead, he created the entire idea of a health club, including the juice bar. He did this 70 years ago.

3.He started small. No venture money, no big media partners.

4.He understood the power of the media. If it weren't for TV, we never would have heard of Jack. Jack used access to the media to earn trust and to teach. And most of what Jack had to offer he offered for free. He understood the value of attention.

5.He was willing to avoid prime time. Jack never had a variety show on CBS. He was able to change the culture from the fringes of TV.

6.He owned the rights. 3,000 shows worth.

7.He stuck with the brand. He didn't worry about it getting stale or having to reinvent it into something fresh. Jack stood for something, which is rare, and he was smart enough to keep standing for it.

8.Jack lived the story. He followed his own regimen, even when no one was watching. In his words, “I can’t die, it would ruin my image.”

He died last week at 96. I don't think he has to worry about ruining his image, though.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Raleigh pair headline February art at center

‘Big Daddy Owl’ by Keith Norval     Five Antelope’ by Anna Podris 


Two young Raleigh artists, husband-and-wife Keith Norval and Anna Podris, will headline the February art exhibit at The Clayton Center.

Both began their careers working in oils, and Norval still does. But Podris branched out into encaustics about three years ago. It’s a process using hot beeswax mixed with pigment, which gives great texture to a painting. Metal tools can be used to shape the hot wax before it cools, or the tools can be heated to shape the cooled wax.

The process harks back to the Greeks in the 5th or 4th centuries B.C.

The paintings by Norval and Podris will be on display in the Clayton Center’s lobby Feb. 1-28 from 9 to 5 Monday-Friday.

A meet-the-artists reception will be held Feb. 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the center, 111 E. Second St. Everyone is invited, and light refreshments—cookies, fruit, cheese, nuts, punch—will be served. The reception and show are free, and dress is casual.

Norval and Podris are both 2000 BFA graduates of the Savannah (Ga.) College of Art andDesign. They moved to Raleigh after graduation and share a studio in ArtSpace. Both are active in the arts community.

Norval uses animals, both exotic and ordinary, as subject matter, making them spotlight the absurd while he blends in humor.

Familiar themes surface regularly—business vs. life, king vs. subjects, surprise, outrage.

“My work is changing and dynamic,” he said, and “painting becomes an examination of relationships.”

Norval was born and raised in the suburbs of Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa, where his father was an entomologist studying tick-borne diseases. There, young Keith spent a lot of time in the bush around zebras, elephants, antelopes and other such animals.

The family later moved to Kenya and then to Gainesville, Fla.

When he won a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, he immersed himself in painting and focused his creativity while earning his degree.

Today he works in his studio and teaches painting and printmaking at the Pullen Arts Center.

Prizes include first place in the City of Raleigh Employees Art Show. He also was part of “Art on the Move,” Raleigh’s Bus Art Project.

His work has been shown in Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Mo., Vail, Colo., Miami and New York City. His website is
Podris had been painting in oils for nine years before adding encaustics to her repertoire. Today, encaustic paints allow her to build translucent layers of imagery and add mixed-media elements to her work.

Her paintings always include people, plants, animals or buildings, and her paintings resonate mystery.

“I paint in a stream of consciousness way,” she said. “I let the work unfold, then take a step back and edit so the image is coherent.”

Podris grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., and took art in high school for fun.

“I was shocked when my teacher told me I could be a professional artist,” she said.

In college in Savannah, she began painting in oils and taking her sketchbook everywhere. The city with its squares, cobblestone streets, and architecture fascinated her.

Today, she is a professional full-time painter and also teaches art classes to children and adults.

Her art has appeared on Raleigh city buses for two years in a row.

Recently she had her first solo show in Brooklyn, N.Y., and she has shown in Vail, Colo., Miami and Alexandria, Va.

Her website is

Keith and Anna recently had a daughter, Ingrid.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lucky Chicken Named Best Peruvian Restaurant in Triangle by N&O

Congratulations to downtown Clayton's Lucky Chicken Peruvian Restaurant, 226 E Main Street for being named the Triangle's Best Authentic Peruvian Restaurant in 2011 by News & Observer Food Critic Greg Cox!

BY GREG COX - Correspondent

In a region as culturally vibrant and rapidly evolving as the Triangle, taking a year-end snapshot of the local dining scene is always a challenging proposition. Never in my 15 years of reviewing restaurants, however, has a year so defied categorization as 2010.

Sure, there was the usual crop of sushi bars, Italian restaurants and the like, but no single category domi nated. In fact, the two most obvious trends - food trucks and local breweries - don't even involve restaurants in the traditional sense.

That's not to say that 2010 lacked for excitement. The year saw our already colorful palette of dining options expand to include an unprecedented spectrum of new options, from authentic Peruvian (Lucky Chicken) to dramatic still-life-on-a-plate presentations in a sleek hotel setting (Flights). Asian Grill gave the region its first taste of Shanghainese cuisine, while Saxapahaw General Store turned the farm-to-fork trend upside down by serving local produce in a bucolic setting. (full article - Triangle's Best Restaurants)

Read more:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tickets are now on-sale for Clayton Youth Theater's production of Our Town!

"Our Town" by Thornton Wilder

February 17-19


The Clayton Center

111 E. Second St.

Clayton, NC 27520

For tickets call 919-553-1737.

$11 Adults; $6 Students

(*Price includes $1 service fee per ticket)

For more information about CYT visit

Clayton Youth Theater & The Clayton News-Star Sponsoring "Our Town" Photography Contest...

The contest will coincide with the Clayton Youth Theater’s production of Thornton Wilder's classic American play, Our Town, which will play at The Clayton Center on February 17-19. The contest is designed to promote, encourage and recognize area photographers for excellence in photographic skills, and to promote community pride by exhibiting photos that characterize life in and around the town of Clayton.

SUBJECT MATTER: Appropriate for the theme, “Our Town,” including persons, places or things that demonstrate the character, culture, institutions, traditions, values and lifestyle of Clayton and the surrounding community.

ENTRY DEADLINE: February 2, 2011

PRIZES: Best in Show - $100; First Place People - $25; First Place Nature - $25; First Place Places - $25; and First Place Clayton Values - $25. All winners and photographers receiving honorable mention awards will also receive two free tickets to one of the Clayton Youth Theater Our Town performances.

Entry forms are available at The Clayton News-Star, The Clayton Center, and online at

For additional information about the contest visit and click on "Special Events" or call Stewart McLeod, publisher of The Clayton News-Star, at 919-553-7234

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Editorial - New Parking Crackdown Has To Include Common Courtesy

Editorial from Clayton News Star
Clayton’s beefed-up parking enforcement, which went into effect Saturday, is a welcome first step in solving a problem that’s been growing right along with the town.

The decade-long boom that has doubled Clayton’s official population to more than 15,000 (estimated) since 2001 has brought the usual attending problems of growth: increased demand on utilities, overcrowding of schools and an explosion in the number of vehicles that are zipping daily up and down Clayton streets. (more)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Clayton’s 2010 Downtown Master Plan & Design Guidelines Now Online

A new tool has been developed for current and future property owners, investors and developers in downtown Clayton. The Downtown Development Association (DDA) has completed its update of the Downtown Master Plan & Design Guidelines and is now available online at

The updated document includes updated maps, background, design and architectural guidelines. Although much of the original 2001 plan and text remain, the design and architectural guideline components were expanded to provide more clarity to meet the goals of the downtown vision.

DDA Design Committee Chair, Boo Carver said, “This is a good, useful tool to move downtown Clayton forward with public and private investment. “

The development of the master plan has been a public process with workshops held in the spring to review the original plan and get input from property owners, business owners and residents. The final drafts were reviewed again by many of the same participants and presented to the Town Council in the fall.

Professional development of the final version was provided by the developers of 2001 plan, Brian Starkey of OBS Landscape Architects and architect Carl Winstead in Raleigh.

The 2010 Downtown Master Plan & Design Guidelines is available online at