’Tis The Season, And Vandals Are Among Us

Vandals are lurking in the early-morning darkness, according to a Nextdoor app, and they are targeting holiday decorations on display in a number of neighborhoods throughout the community. “At least two other houses were hit early Sunday morning on December 6 between 5 and 5:30 a.m. as well,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Lake, whose Lights-On-Lakewood-At-Mirror Lake was among the displays vandalized. “Friends of ours just the other side of Morganton Road and over at Forest Lakes. Hopefully, Sunday morning was an isolated incident, but it won’t dampen our spirits.” No excuse for vandalism of any description and stealing Christmas decorations from neighborhood yards is all the worse. Remember, Santa keeps a list of who is naughty and who is nice. So does Gina Hawkins, the city police chief, and her officers on patrol.

 

 

 

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            Don’t forget the “porch pirates,” either. They’ll take a delivered holiday gift arrival in the time you can say, “Happy Holidays.”

 

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            And by the way, if you are out and about Christmas shopping, be sure to lock your vehicle doors; keep your vehicle keys in your hands; don’t leave holiday packages in sight; shop in pairs or groups if you can; and be vigilant. Take every precaution. Thieves never sleep, and they always are looking for victims.

 

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            Jesse Byrd says he had a late start this holiday season on his cranberry fruit conserve, but it’s coming. It’s one of my Christmas treats, and Christmas would not be Christmas without Jesse Byrd’s cranberry fruit conserve.

 

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            “Thanks for your Christmas decorating story,” Flo Edwards, a subscriber, writes about this month’s edition of CityView Magazine and my column chronicling the adventures of decorating Virginia’s home for the holidays. “It made me laugh and cry, and thoroughly brightened my day.” Trust me, Mrs. Edwards, it’s a Christmas season adventure, and my better half likely will come up with more holiday decorations between now and Christmas Eve.

 

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            “Bill, thanks for the wonderful tribute to Sylvia Ray,” Jonathan Charles writes in an email about our CityView Newsletter of December 2 remembering the life of Mrs. Ray, who founded the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development, circa 1990, the nonprofit that reaches out to improving the lives of women and men in this community. “What a bright point for our community. She will be missed.” Sylvia Gooding Ray was 79 when she died Nov. 30.  

 

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            Leaves, leaves and more leaves falling from my front yard trees, and I’m staying busy piling ‘em up along the curb. Can’t wait for the city loose-leaf vacuum to come. Speaking of leaves, if you reside in the city, it’s illegal to burn your leaves, according to the Fayetteville Fire Department. Violations can result in a civil citation. You can request leaf bags at any city fire station at no charge until there is no stock. If you are wondering when the loose-leaf vacuum is scheduled for your neighborhood, call 910-433-1329.

 

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            Patriotic Day Celebration was an afternoon of saying thanks to our military veterans and was replete with food trucks, local business vendors and plenty of activities for children on Nov. 14 at Fayetteville Community Church near Eastover. Organizers couldn’t have chosen to support a more worthy cause than the School of Hope as its benevolence. The school for autistic children was founded by Amy and Rob Sparks in memory of their son Jarred Bryan Sparks.

 

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            Call it a historic and emotional day Sunday as FedEx Cargo jets departed Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and tractor-trailers left Portage, Michigan, for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer manufacturing distribution plants as the war on the coronavirus is underway. Millions of vaccines, according to national news reports, will be distributed this week, and doses also will be heading our way at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Womack Army Medical Center, too, say officials at both health facilities.

 

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           And call it a tragic day Saturday, when this community learned of the death of Vick Kalevas, who lost his fight to survive COVID-19 after a three-week battle with the coronavirus at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. He was a beautiful soul and owner of the Hot Diggidy Dog restaurant along Roxie Avenue and also worked alongside older brother Greg Kalevas by the hearth of Chris’s Steak & Seafood House on Raeford Road after closing his Brickoven Pizzeria Grille & Bar on Ramsey Street. A public wake was scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, followed by a private service. Interment is at Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery. Vick Kalevas was 56 years old, and Vick Kalevas, with his engaging personality and sweet innocence, was loved in this community, and all who knew Vick Kalevas will tell you so.

 

            Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at bkirby@cityviewnc.com, billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.