Parkside Town Commons

I recently wrote about the new development at Bradford, and folks seemed to like the insight and updates on new construction in Cary.  So, in keeping with that previous post, I thought I’d give an update on a project that will be one of the first in the Alston Regional Activity Center.

Alston, Where is that?
Parkside Town Commons Map

Google map, annotated

The Alston Regional Activity center is approximately 970 acres located at the northeast corner of the intersection of NC Hwy 55 and Interstate 540.  The Town believes that this area will be a big attraction due to its proximity to RTP, and quick access to local roads and interchanges.

In 2006, the Town Council created a special Mixed Use Overlay district as well as an Activity Center Concept plan to help guide development in that area, and one of the first developments to move forward is Parkside Town Commons.

 

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Don’t Get Tricked

As I write this up, it is the last day of “National Cyber Security Awareness Month” as well as Halloween, so I thought it would be the perfect time to do one last pitch for being Cyber Security Aware.

As you get ready to put on your (or help your child put on their) costume – remember, you aren’t the only one out there pretending to be someone else.  There are many hackers, pretenders and “bad actors” pretending to be someone or something else.  The act of pretending to be someone or something you are not is a tactic many cyber criminals have used since the Internet began.  This can be called “spoofing” or sometimes called a “phishing attack” – with the with real and scary intention to get access to your personal information, or to do harm to a computer network.

What is it, and Why do I care?

Phishing and Spoofing are very similar, in that they are trying to get you to do something based on fake or forged documents or information.  “Spoofing is the dissemination of the email from a “spoofed” (or FAKE) email address, and phishing is often used in conjunction with a spoofed email. Phishing is the act of sending an email falsely claiming to be from an established legitimate business to trick the recipient into divulging personal, sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers.” (This description from the Department of Homeland Security, and you can learn more from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3))

These types of attacks can be hard to detect – and in many cases, a “spoofed” email can look very real  So, how do you tell?

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Cyber Security and You

So, do I have your attention now? How many of you knew where that quote (“Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe”) came from, and just wanted to read an article about “Lord of the Rings?” 🙂

Sorry to disappoint, but this post is all about Cyber Security. I know, boring stuff, but October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and helping people use technology, and use it safely, has been my passion for a while now.

And, let’s face it, today so much of our lives are connected to some sort of digital device, as well as the information on them; it makes sense to put some protections in place to keep your information secret, and to keep it safe. That’s why I partnered with the Town of Cary Police Department to recognize and support October as Cyber Security Awareness Month, and also why our Police department works hard to protect you with an impressive Cyber Crime unit.

First, some chilling numbers

Whether you are at work, at home, school – every part of our lives now has a connection to the Internet.

Did you know that…

– Someone becomes a victim of cyber crime every 18 seconds
– Cyber crime costs an average of nearly $200 per victim
– Mobile device vulnerabilities doubled in 2011 from 2010
40% of social network users have been victims of cyber crime on a social networking site
1 in 4 people received notification by a business, online service provider, or organization that their personally identifiable information (password, credit card number, email addres, etc.) was lost or compromised because of a data breach
 (Source: Symantec and National Cyber Security Alliance)

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Should I vote for the Cary Bonds?

We are all being bombarded by political ads.  It’s the season for it, for sure.  But there are a number of other measures on the ballot that also require our attention.  One of those, is the Cary Bond referendum.  (I should probably say “referendums” since there are 3 on the ballot.)

Why the bond?

My job on the Town Council is to serve you, our citizens.  This is a task of which I am immensely honored and privileged.  And part of that task is to ensure that you have the services you need to work, live, play, learn and grow in the community that you call home.

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Musings

As I sit here at my lunch break, I realized that I haven’t been very public about all the various issues that have come before council lately.

So, in the spirit of open communications – here are my thoughts regarding some of these recent issues.

Chickens aka “Backyard Hens”

Photo from Tour D'Coop

I was a late comer in the “chicken” issue.  It was an issue that came up during the municipal election last year, and has been discussed at the council table in prior years. During the election season, I was cautiously supportive, concerned that Backyard Hens would alter the character of Cary.

But after Councilman Frantz brought it forward to council for consideration, I took the opportunity to do some in-depth research. I visited a number of homes on the Raleigh Tour d’Coop,  spoke to Josh Stein (who had a Chicken Coop in his backyard in Raleigh), and met with and talked to the folks at Cary Chickens.  I spoke with folks at the City of Durham and Raleigh – both municipalities that allow it.  What I heard from them, and from our staff, is that the nuisance complaints are few, and backyard hens have become a bit of an economic engine, in fact.

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Cary’s Technology Task Force Begins

I promise, there WILL be a time when I DON’T blog about technology. (Ok, maybe that isn’t a promise I can keep.)

Our very own Cary “Geek Squad” aka the “Technology Task Force” met Wednesday for the first time at Town Hall. I was impressed with the breadth and depth of their experience, their passion for making Cary a better place, and their willingness to take valuable time out of their lives to help in this important endeavor.

First things First

The Technology Task Force is a “special committee” sanctioned by the Town Council to determine how the Town’s use of technology services can better serve its citizens.  As volunteers for the town, these folks were treated to an overview of the Town’s ethics policy, North Carolina Open Meetings Law and Public Records Law by the Deputy Town Clerk and Town Attorney’s office.

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Building Bradford

Some folks say that they can tell when the economy is starting to come back when they see the construction trucks roll in.  I’m not sure that’s the best indicator – but the trucks are starting to roll at the corner of Davis Drive and High House.

I wrote about the Searstone and Bradford developments in March (“Construction in Cary”) – and now the work has recently begun at Bradford.

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Missing Winnie

 

It seems fitting that the title is A Life’s Work. Now that both of my children are in High School, contemplating what THEIR future will be, I find myself wondering what my impact on this world will be.  Certainly, like all mothers out there, I hope that my children are happy, healthy and kind, and contribute to society.  And I imagine that that is part of my contribution.  But I sometimes wonder, what legacy will I have left, after I am gone?

Winnie at Easel (from her website)

I bring that up because after returning home from our family vacation, we learned that our dear friend and teacher, Winnie Ferguson had passed away from complications due to lung cancer.  If you didn’t know Winnie, you missed out.  She was a truly accomplished artist and a phenomenal and patient art teacher, as well.  With a doctorate in art education, she taught high school and later was a university professor of art education and art therapy.  What she loved most, though, was painting.  Painting in oil and acrylics, and sharing that love of art with everyone around her. Read More…

Calling all nerds

So, if you didn’t know it before hand, it’s got to be abundantly clear by now.

I’m a nerd. Or a geek. Maybe the right term is technology obsessed.  Whatever the right term is, you get the picture.

Which is why this is a great and fun week for me!  Not only is the proposal that Councilman Don Frantz and I submitted for the Town of Cary Technology Task Force starting to take shape, but this weekend is CityCamp Raleigh.

Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself. Read More…

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