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Friday, August 28, 2009

Peak City Film Festival - Family Style

8-28-09 Apex, NC

The excitement continues to grow as the Peak City Film Festival moves closer and closer to fruition. There are so many quality people on the Senior Staff who want the Town of Apex to benefit from this wonderful endeavor. John Demers and Bob Crowley head up the team, and each member is an expert in a specific facet of Festival creation and facilitation. One thing that came out in last night's meeting at the Apex Chamber of Commerce is the need for sponsorship funding that will really drive this inaugural event. Being a Festival sponsor is a fairly straight-forward process and the opportunity to be a sponsor brings an array of benefits.

Most business will get their logo and link posted directly to the main website; and at many sponsorship levels, preferred seating at all events and screening tickets are just part of the benefits. But that is not all. Many of the sponsors are on the festival programs, the sponsor list displays at the screening venues, the publicity posters, and sponsors will receive press exposure in multiple interviews and releases.

As one early sponsor stated, "I can't beat the visibility I get for my contribution." Just as "all politics is local", the best marketing strategies are cheap and they are grassroots. Business identity is essential in this economy, and as the families in the Triangle focus on restaurants, services, and products, they are doing it close to home. First Citizen's Bank in Apex, Woomer Protective Insurance, Sony Creative Services, and Scott Lassiter are sponsors already on board.

Being a sponsor for the Peak City Film Festival makes a lot of sense. Drop a note to or call 919 533 9069 and they will send out an info packet that you can assess for yourself or your business. They have had non-business individuals, supporters of the cinematic arts, who have come on board as well; so this is open to anyone who wants to be a part of the Festival in a direct and very tangible way.

The Peak City Film Festival - Family Style will bring blended generations together to watch wholesome entertainment from shorts to documentaries.

The dates are November 20, 21, 22. All the sponsors will get the opportunity to meet the legendary Jerry Mathers of the beloved series "Leave It to Beaver". There will be a huge Sponsors Reception at 6 p.m. November 20 at the Halle Cultural Arts Center that will kick off three days of family fun right in the Historical Town of Apex, the Peak of Good Living! See you there!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


8-21-09 Apex, NC – Forty years ago, the wreckers pulled up to the mud-dried roads leading to Woodstock and began the slow, grinding process of towing away hundreds of abandoned cars that have been parked in haste or haze near the grounds of the festival. It is symbolic today to see the similar thing happen as the dealerships shoot liquid glass into the hood cavities of vehicles destined to the hallowed grounds of Wreckstock USA. And it looks like both groups, the Woodstock followers and the Wreckstock followers, only have their memories left. The money is just not there.

Dealerships across the country are STILL waiting to get paid, and waiting to get paid, and waiting to get paid. The paperwork fiasco might as well have been written on Zig-Zags. Although the stores are selling more vehicles, they are having a tough time collecting from the coffers of the program. On Wednesday, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood assured dealers they would get paid. He expressed confidence in the program. Remember the last time an owner of a sports franchise declared complete competence in the head coach? Ouch.

This whole thing is not very pretty. Millions of dollars are now outstanding in submitted claims. Now the dealers are used to chasing a bad debt or two; heck, they have pulled cars back when a check bounces, BUT this is much bigger. This is Wrecksville and the government is doing the wrecking. Today it was announced the program will end Monday. The Clunker Dunker date is now August 24, 2009. The smart stores have already stopped the program. Inventory is in short supply and the selections are getting tougher and tougher to choose from. I have a friend who was looking for a 2010 Ford Edge. He is still looking.

Tapping a line of credit to keep cash flowing is a strategy, but it does not quicken the money coming back into the New Car Departments. The customers are frustrated. The New Car Managers are scratching their heads, and many salespeople are waiting for commissions that only come from done deals. Another ouch.

When are we going to learn? The government is a big fat bureaucracy full of inertia and incompetence. It does not matter the branch of government. It does not matter the party. Right about now, I want to wear a WHIG!

In the “what the blank” department things are speeding along. It is the only thing going fast in Washington these days. My taxes are up. My healthcare is being challenged, and the car business I love is kicked between the headlights one more time.

I just shake my head. Is this what we voted for in November?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tinseltown Southern Style

If you blend one of the best small towns in America with a heavy dose of tinsel, add the flavor of the start of the Holiday Season, and mix in the correct amount of family entertainment, you have a spectacular menu of community treats for cinematic audiences of all shapes and sizes.

And that indeed is exactly what is happening in Apex, NC, from November 20 to November 22 as Historic Apex, known by many as the Peak City, celebrates a film festival with global magnitude. The Peak City Film Festival- Family Style is truly a defining moment in town history. Consistently named in numerous articles across a variety of media as one of the best towns in the United States to raise a family, Apex is ready to grow in international exposure, just as the town’s population has over the past decade.

Wonderful, enriching family films from around the country and around the world are starting to come in for review. The Festival’s focus of a general audience theme creates a unique opportunity to review a wide segment of the Arts. And the commonality of such films will bring budding cinema artists and students to this event. This Film Festival is creating exciting educational opportunities as well.
And of course, everything that shouts, “Lights, Camera, Action”, involves sponsorships and funding.

“We have an eclectic array of local businesses who want to get on board quickly and take advantage of this unique grass roots marketing opportunity. There is a variety of sponsorships available for local and regional businesses and the sponsor’s corporate logo gets immediate exposure on our website (”, states Bob Crowley, Peak City Film Festival Producer.

He comments further, “It seems that so far the most successful businesses in town want to be involved with this family- themed event. And it makes sense. Apex has always been known for its focus on parents and children and the town features family-based functions during holidays like the Fourth of July and Christmas. So this is a natural. We even have a mascot, Crew the Raccoon, who is starting to get very busy as the news of the Festival grows. The kids love him. And so do adults. He even made a recent appearance in front of the Apex Town Council!”

Jerry Mathers, the star of “Leave It to Beaver”, will be present during the celebration and he will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of work entertaining family audiences.

Please call or SMS 919 533 9069 for sponsorship information or contact

You can send a film in for review to Peak City Film Festival, Inc P.O. Box 2186, Apex, NC, 27502 USA. The deadline for entries Thursday October 1, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

1969 Idle Thoughts

8-15-09 Apex, NC

Yes, I have a confession to make to my friend Bob Butler... I was a Democrat back then.

Forty years ago, my Dad took me by my collar, and out of the pick up bed of Dean's 1964 El Camino... The guys were heading to Woodstock. I had a satchel, eight bucks, and a pair of jeans with me. My Mom had called my Dad at work. I was 16.

To this day, the music of Woodstock is by far the best collection of Rock n Roll ever recorded.

1969 is my favorite year. It was a year of fun, girls, and so much potential. As I look back those 40 years, I realize it was a truly extraordinary 365 days. 1969 was special.

Not only was Woodstock the Diamond of this year to remember, there were other very memorable jewels that made '69 what it was.

There were so many firsts. Apollo 9, the ATM, Seiko's first quartz watch, Wal-mart, the Pontiac Trans Am, the microprocessor, the first human eye transplant, bell bottoms, Sesame Street, and Abbey Road.

People we cannot ever forget. President Richard Nixon's first year in the White House, Clint Eastwood, and Goldie Hawn among others instantly famous in 1969, and Charles Manson's vicious murder of Sharon Tate making headlines in unbelievable fashion.

Funny Girl and Easy Rider were great flicks.

Cars cost, on average, $3200. Apartment rent was $135. Gas was 35 cents.

Who could forget the Draft Lottery?

Chicago and Blind Faith were brand new bands.

The number one song was "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies.

And finally, Zager and Evans singing "In the Year 2525".

Our past is so reflective of our future. And our future depends so much on our past.

That's heavy man... Heavy...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Idle Thoughts Politicio

Apex, NC... 8-13-09

The Clunker Law is no clinker. Many estimates state new vehicle sales will increase by 200,000 to end up at around 10 million. 16.2 million were sold in 2007; 13.2 million last year.

The Apex Town Council will be a heck of a race in November. Look for Scott Lassiter to have a successful campaign and become an outstanding councilman. Scott, former President of the Student Council at Apex High, and Student Council Treasurer at NC St., is positive and high energy. Go to for additional information.

John Edwards. He is a mess as they say in the South.

David Bowden, the Cary resident who put "screwed by the town of Cary" on the side of his house, is finally getting used to his home being a destination for drivers passing by with their thumbs up in agreement.

Michael Vick is now an Eagle? Houses are popping up in Philly with messages similar to the one in Cary.

Let the people vote on Health Care. It is "We the People" isn't it? Don't put it to the people. Put it to a vote.

Neumann's Spiral of Silence is a great theory that will help many of you understand the emotion of the Town Hall Meetings. The implosion of deviant opinion is here. Google it. it is all about Grass Roots.

Woodstock. From Richie Havens to Janis, what would the Boomers be like if there never was a Woodstock?

I love Twitter. It has changed how we communicate. And it is a great tool. Direct messages are replacing e-mail messages in many cases.

Consumers still are not spending money unless it is for need. Economic growth will be slow and gradual. It is not surprising. With all the instability in our political future, it is normal that people are holding on to cash. If indeed they have any.

I love Google Voice. It gives me a phone number on steroids. Mobility is the key. With one number all my phones ring. I get a text of the call to my Blackberry. And I never miss business. I am a big fan!

Remember the Kiwanis is having a Blood Drive Wednesday the 19th, near the fire station in Historic Downtown Apex. 10 a.m through 2 p.m. The community needs blood big time. They have free cookies!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Politically Incorrect Idle Thoughts

8-9-09 Apex, NC

It is hot outside. Extreme heat should be a Town Hall Meeting not the temp.

Real people getting real mad is at the heart of the health care scare.

Low taxes and high growth are the ingredients of a solid economy. What do you call the opposite? August 2009.

Most of us are considering unpartying ourselves. A third party focused on getting new talent into every cranny of government is not a bad idea.

The polls show the President with low ratings. Keep pushing this agenda and it could get worse. He is the only one who can fix it.

I read Clinton was going to Africa. I wondered which Clinton.

September 1, taxes go up and services get cut. Yes. You read it right.

I know a lot of people who are not in the same income bracket they were last August. Read above the revenue enhancement strategy one more time.

Paula Abdul quit Idol and did not want to settle for five million a year. Five million sounds good to me.

I see a lot more Fords driving around. The new Fusion and the Edge along with the Focus are at the heart of the Ford success story.

The tax free weekend started as a success as well. Until people realized it still cost big money to send children to school, right through college.

Josh Hamilton defines being human. I wish him luck.

The Rex/Kiwanis Blood Drive is August 19th near the Apex NC fire station Downtown. Ve vant your blood! Bela Lugosi will be making a special appearance. 10 am-2 pm.

Things are gearing up for The Peak City Film Festival-Family Style, November 20-22.
If you are a business in town, you will want to be part of the Festival in a concrete way. Sponsorships are a marketing plus for the visibility you need to increase revenue and traffic to your location. Give me a call at 919 533 9069 for details. Put your name in lights!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Out of Control

Out of Control
8-4-09 Apex NC…
There is nothing more challenging in any business than to hurry up and wait. When something is pending there are always a lot of variables. As the Democrats and Republicans make this clunker deal a message on health care, the dealerships across the country have pending oppotunities, and not just a few but thousands. Charlie Customer brought in his 2000 Clunkerr LX, last weekend and is sitting at home waiting to pick up his 2009 BrandX. But nothing is happening as the days quickly go by. It could be a week to 10 days before the Senate reviews the additional funding that was quickly approved by the House; and as we all know, days kill deals. The new car, now days out of detail, is gathering dust.

One dealer principal summed it up. “I thought this thing would last through November, not through the middle of last week.” With the stores across the country, working bell-to-bell to deal with a stimulus program that ACTUALLY is working, no one anticipated this short-sighted wall built by Congress. A little homework was all that was needed. The model, in both Germany and China, has stimulated sales in a tough global environment. Did Congress look that far? Or did they simply throw a billion on the wall to see if it would stick? My guess is the latter. This thing is now a political battle out of control.

Now the dilemma of the moment for sales managers is this; will the customers affected hang in or will they get cold feet, give up, and continue to drive their Clunkerr LX’s until the cows come home? People buy on emotion, and motion creates emotion. So anything in a car deal that kills emotion usually is pretty deadly. Resuscitation is never easy. The success comes from momentum. And right now that has dried up with the car deals pending approval.

Time will tell the tale. But of all the stimulus programs that have helped to ensure the trillion dollar deficit, the Cash/Clunker Law had the most promise to help Middle America and support local economies; now, not so much.

The simple formula is to create buyers who create confidence and that builds the incentive to purchase. Down payments of up to $4500, backed by the government, seemed like a no brainer.

Let’s hope some good news come out of this. But for the car business, it’s still out of control.

The auto industry gets kicked in the can one more time; revival again replaced by survival.

We smelled economic recovery… Now we just smell Congress. People are getting more vocal about the mistakes made by our elected officials. Stay tuned. This will be more interesting soon.