From Burger Brothers Facebook: At 4:48 am Sunday July 31, 2011 an unknown Black Male pitched a large rock through the Burger Brothers Drive-Thru window, he then made entry, set off the motion alarm and then retreated, nothing was taken. If you know him please contact Conway Police Dept. 248-1790. This was recorded at 1/4 speed so bear with it!
Some business owners downtown are grumbling again after an article in the Horry Independent gave credit for the opening of twelve new businesses to a poster campaign by Conway Main Street USA. The article discussed the success of the "I am Conway" posters that appeared in closed storefront windows last year. The posters featuring photographs of locals were enjoyed by all. Most folks generally agree that the posters improved the appearance of the vacant buildings and gave a boost to community moral. There was even some positive local news coverage of the campaign. However, when the embattled CMSUSA Director Gail Alexander used the poster campaign to take credit for 12 new business opening, the universal approval ended....
This Summer the Farmers' Market will be doing everything that it can to help bring folks downtown on Saturdays. By connecting rural ag producers, craftsmen, and downtown businesses their success could send positive economic ripples across the entire county. The 1 year old market still has a long road ahead and will need every bit of help they can find. In case you are not aware, the market is a nonprofit community development organization.
The new art/business nonprofit CREATE!Conway will continue to promote 1st Saturday Art Walks in the Historic District. With a lunch money budget and the loss of the last dedicated art gallery, it will have it's work cut out for it this Summer. Luckily it's a simple concept. Business owners invite artists and musicians in to their shops, and Create! invites customers to come enjoy it all. It's not a huge deal, but it works. Plain and simple, customer counts are always higher on 1st Saturday Art Walks.
So when the City of Conway Tourism Committee decided to kick-start a new tourism promotion it was only natural that they choose Saturdays, but they didn't. Instead they picked Thursday nights. I'm not sure of the logic, but I think it went something like this:
Question - What day could we promote that would have the greatest positive impact on the most businesses?
What do you get when a nonprofit organization operates on tax payers' dollars while refusing to allow the tax payers to attend its meetings?
You get a SC Freedom of Information Act violation. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is designed to protect tax paying citizens from groups who may want to take their money and meet secretly to spend it on wasteful projects like... well... I'll let you insert your favorite wasteful project here. You see, we the people work hard to earn our $$$. Then our elected officials take some of that $$$ and spend it on us. They buy us roads to drive on, police to protect us, and in Conway they buy us a Main Street USA program(CMUSA). The FOIA basically says that since we the people pay for these services we have a right to know how these groups are using our $$$. The FOIA applies to any groups which use your tax dollars to operate.
Just last week Barbara Streeter (local citizen, small business owner, non-profit leader, Conway Main Street member) brought a law suit against CMSUSA citing a FOIA violation. The complaint alleges that the violation occurred when CMSUSA board member Larry Biddle refused to allow Mrs. Streeter to attend a committee meeting because she did not receive his personal invitation. Click here to see the full article on this incident. It does not appear that Mrs. Streeter is seeking any personal financial gain from this suit. The complaint is requesting payment for actual attorney fees, and a declaration that a FOIA violation occurred. State and Federal Laws protect her right to attend the meeting as a citizen. National Main Street USA encourages her attendance as a local member. And because of her recent success with CREATE!Conway, even the City of Conway had encouraged her to return to CMUSA to see how the groups could work together.
While there are many violent crimes that strike fear in our hearts, it's the drunk driver who's most likely to seriously injure or kill someone close to us. 44% of all SC traffic fatalities in 2008 involved a drunk driver. That's up 1% from 2007 and 4% from 2006,...errhh, the trend is going the wrong way.
Local Artist, Business Owner, Nonprofit Leader, and Main Street Member Tossed Out of Conway Main Street USA Meeting.
This morning, at the Main Street Economic Restructuring Committee meeting, Barbara Streeter was ask to leave by Main Street board member Larry Biddle. Insiders say that as the meeting began Larry informed Barbara that all attendees had been invited with the exception of her. He asked what information she had to offer the meeting and what level of membership she was. After hearing Mrs. Streeter's responses he asked her to leave. Barbara once again voiced her interest in remaining in attendance. Mr. Biddle then suggested again that Barbara leave the meeting. At which point Barbara left the meeting.
Nothing says "Welcome to Historic Downtown Conway!" like a firm middle finger. That's why folks are wondering what to do about Trudy, Conway's most well known mannequin. She hasn't always been quite so offensive. Up until last year Trudy had been seen holding up the universally recognized two finger peace sign. In 1971 Trudy sacrificed her two small fingers to protest the war in Vietnam, not a popular position to take at the time. As years passed folks in Conway grew fond of her pleasant smirk, Jim Morrison hairstyle, and signature peace sign.
As we close the fourth quarter, we find Downtown Conway continuing to wrestle with the recession. Like swimming in peanut butter, it takes a determined effort to make even the smallest amount of progress. Last year's sales were dismal and as this year ends most businesses find themselves in the same spot that they were in last December. There are no great financial success stories, but there are a few businesses that have posted slightly improved numbers.
The big news this week was the arrival of the new Conway Visitor's Map. It turned out great and we appreciate all the positive feedback we have received. I presented it to City Council and requested input and guidance for the next printing. Every Council comment was positive, even the requested changes.
What started out as a basic event listing has become a become a never ending string of comments. The Conway Main Street Cutie Pie Pageant is over but the debate surrounding it continues. The original article quickly became the most read, and most commented item on ConwayJournal.com. We have decided to leave the article posted as long as it's popularity continues.