Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good time to buy Real Estate

Despite all the national news about how bad the housing market is I believe it is a great time to buy a home in the New Bern area. Home prices have stabilize and are certainly more reasonable than they were a year and a half ago, and interest rates are very attractive. I have always felt it was a mistake to listen to the gloom and doom media. Frankly, the market had to adjust some as prices were rising faster than they could be sustained. Don't listen to the prophets of doom, if you are in the market for a home buy one. Check out my website for all the information you need on Real Estate in the New Bern area.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Bern History

New Bern has a very unique and storied history and the older I get the more interested I am becoming in not only the history of New Bern but of North Carolina as well. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it is because the older I become the more I feel like I am a part of history myself. I guess one of the advantages of growing older is that I can remember things from 50 years ago. Yikes! thats scary.

With the 300th aniversity of the founding of New Bern just around the corner there will certainly be some interesting facts surface regarding early New Bern and I look forward to learning more about the colonial capital of North Carolina. If you would like to learn a little more about early New Bern go to my website at . Please let me know what you think and if you have any information on this subject that you would like to share with me please do so.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Incredible New Bern Bears

This was your classic David and Goliath story. Going into the state 4A championship Saturday night, Charlotte Independence had won 7 straight state championships. Talk about being an underdog. I think the only folks in the state that thought New Bern had a chance to win were the players and the coachs. It is common knowledge that Charlotte Independence is a football factory of sorts. They recuit players outside of their district and draw from a talent pool of over 1 million. The New Bern Bears draw from perhaps 40 thousand. Despite getting behind 14 to 0 early in the first quarter the Bears never gave up hope. History was made last night. David aka Bears, won their first state championship.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Go New Bern Bear's

I attended the New Bern High School final playoff game Friday night in New Bern and cheered as the Bear's beat a game but out gunned team from Raleigh. Both teams played hard but in the end New Bern proved to be the better team. Next stop the Bears will take on a team from Charlotte. This is the 4 th time in about 7 years that New Bern has made it to the State championship game. In past years they have gone up against teams from Charlotte which requite players from a much larger area, perhaps 20 times as large. Good luck Bears in the final 4A Championship game.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wounded Warriors Leave Program

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!
Let's Get 'em home for Christmas!

Last December the national director of the Military Order Of Purple Heart (MOPH) visited the Wounded Warrior Barracks at Camp Lejuene. He wanted to give each of the Wounded Marines a special gift for Christmas. Some of these brave men have suffered debilitating wounds. When asked "What do you want for Christmas?", most said they just wanted to spend Christmas at home with their families. Because many of the brave Marines could not afford the cost of an airline ticket and planned to spend Christmas in the Wounded Warrior Barracks, the Wounded Warrior Leave Program was born.

Last year there was a fundraiser that was held at New Bern Golf and Country Club. That fundraiser, along with an e-mail that was circulated throughout the United States, raised enough money to send every Wounded Marine home for Christmas. Donations to this project bought airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, bus tickets, whatever was necessary to get the wounded Marines and Soldiers together with their families and grant them their Christmas wish!

This year will be even more of a challenge. In addition to the 125 or so Wounded Marines at Camp Lejeune, the MOPH will help the Wounded Soldier's at Fort Bragg.

Here's how you can help.
Please join us Tuesday, December 11th from 6-8 PM for a fundraiser at New Bern Country Club where our guests of honor will be several of these wounded Marines.There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Bring a check payable to "MOPH-Wounded Warrior Leave".
Our donation goal is $50 per person or more for attendees. Even if you can only stay a short while, please come by and meet these brave Marines and let them know we appreciate the sacrifice they have made! Ask anyone that attended last year, it was a truly special ocassion, everyone was overwhelmed with the Christmas spirit, and we expect this year's event to be just as memorable.

If you have other obligations but are still willing to help with any amount of donation, please mail a check ASAP, payable to MOPH-Wounded Warrior Leave. Send to SteveTyson , 820 Broad Street, New Bern, NC 28560

We recognize this is short notice, but there is a deadline of December 12th in order to purchase plane tickets. The limited time-frame is why we are attempting to contact as many people as we can by email. Please forward this e-mail to everyone in your contact list. Last year, we were surprised at how much came in from the email that was circulated nationally. It was truly a team effort for a wonderful cause. Time is short, We must purchase tickets soon before the airlines get booked up with holiday traffic.


If you can attend Please RSVP by email as soon as you can at or call 252-633-5720.

God bless you and your family this Christmas,

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Glory Days

Friday night I invited a friend of mine to go with me to see New Bern High School play in the first round of the division playoffs. My friend, who had not been to a high school game in years, was quite a player in his day. As we were walking down the bleachers looking for a seat we saw 5 guys that we had gone to high school with some 35 years ago and we sat with them. It was a great time and we all reminisced about our glory days on the High School team back in the day. New Bern proved to be to talented for the team they played from Raleigh, and it was pretty much a blow out. Nevertheless we all throughly enjoyed the game and have decided to go to round 2 of the playoffs next week. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ghost walk

Saturday was the final night of the New Bern Ghost walk and some members of my lunch Rotary volunteered to help at the Cedar Grove Cematary. There were 5 groups of actor's playing various roles with a common theme pertaining to the occupancy of New Bern by Union forces during the Civil War. The weather was perfect, the crowds were quite large, and everyone seemed to enjoy their evening stroll through a time in New Bern's history that has become somewhat blurred with time. Quite a bit of money was raised for the New Bern Historical society and me, I found it to be a haunting experience.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

October in New Bern

In New Bern, October is a month of fun and festivals. We just got back from the Chili Festival which is always a fun filled event held in Havelock which is about a 20 minute drive from New Bern. Chef's from all over the state come in to see whose chili will be chosen number one by a panel of 12 judges. Many other types of food were prepared by various non profit organizations and sold to raise money for the charities they represent. Many performances, including Community and High School Bands, College choirs, professional wrestlers, and Civil War re-enactment soldiers entertained the thousands of visitors.
Also held this weekend was the Neuse River Run. This year's event had over 800 contestants who competed in 5 and 10 K runs/walks. The run begins in Bridgeston and proceeds to the Neuse River Bridge and finishes in downtown New Bern. All proceeds from the event go to 12 non profit organizations.

The Mum Fest was held in downtown New Bern last weekend. This annual event is rated one of the top 20 festivals in the South and grows each year with new vendors and performers. Click the link to learn more about the Mum Fest

New Bern's Ghost Walk will be held October 26 and 27. This years Ghost walk will give you a chance to experience the Civil War Years in New Bern at the 17th annual New Bern at Night Ghostwalk. The Ghostwalk tour features historic homes, churches, and the town’s oldest cemetery, dating back to 1798. This year’s event transports you to the Civil War Years, with Confederate and Union soldiers, spies and other “spirits” that disclose their intriguing stories. Guides are available at each site to give the history of homes while the “ghosts” tell the story of the Battle of New Bern and share other tales of what the town was like during this turbulent era in American history when brother fought against brother.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Oh say can you see

The 4th of July is all about fireworks, small town parades, friends, family and cookouts. This year I managed to experience a little of all the above. I started the day by attending the Riverbend 4th of July parade. This is a great event to attend as it typifies a small town 4th of July celebration. The parade is only about 3 blocks long but the enthusastic crowd cheers their local celebraties, Fire departments, and civic organizations. The parade ends at the town hall where they have pony rides, games, food and drink and a country rock band.

After leaving Riverbend I rode to Havelock to join some friends, retired Marines, for their annual 4th celebration that comes complete with barbeque, watermelon, cole slaw, and pepsi cola. Havelock is the home of Cherry Point Marine air station and there are plenty of former Marines that attend the party. The air was filled with patriotism as you might expect. Great time but I had to leave early to get back to New Bern and prepare my boat for a fun filled evening on the water with friends. We, along with everyone else in the area with a boat, boated to Union Point and watched the awesome fireworks. What a sight. We enjoyed it throughly and will no doubt be back next year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Bern regional airport

Last Saturday I had to go to the airport to pick my wife up. She was coming in from Philadelphia. I was suprised when I walked in the the airport to see so many people, some getting their luggage, 2 lines, one Delta, one US Air, both of which weemed to be full. New Bern, and all of Eastern NC, are fortunate to have an airport with such outstanding service. We have 8 US Air flights daily to Charlotte, 3 Delta direct jet flights to Atlanta, and several weekly flights to Philadelphia. Thats hard to beat for a small county like craven, Pamlico, and Cateret.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lake New Bern

Last night my wife and my son spent the afternoon at Lake New Bern. Lake New Bern is a 60 acre, 40' deep absolutely beautiful lake located in the center of New Bern. We set up a tent, started the charcoal, and proceeded to enjoy the afternoon reading, walking-me, and fishing. After I walked around the perimeter of the lake, around 2 miles, I checked to see how many fish my wife and son had caught. The sum of their catch was 0. So I asked if they would mind if I gave it a whirl. First cast and bang, I hooked a nice large mouth bass.

Humbly I unhooked the fish and walked away.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fun at the Palace

The photo on the left shows New Bern's Tryon Palace during a concert held Tuesday June 4. What a wonderful evening. Over 1000 people showed up to hear the North Carolina symphony. Afterwards there was a spectacular fireworks display courtesy of one of our local corporations. All this for free. Great evening and I hope they will do it again soon.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy on the river in New Bern

Happiness is being on the Trent River in New Bern with your grandson and your two best friends, Roscoe and River. Doesn`t get much better than this.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Golf Factor in the New Bern Area

The golf scene sure has changed in the New Bern area over the past 40 years. New Bern golf and country club was the first and only course in the area until the mid 1960's. I believe Carolina Pines was the next course to open, sometime in the mid 60's, and Riverbend followed in the late 60's. The Shoreline course in Fairfield, the Minnesot course in Pamlico County, the Quaker Neck course in Jones County, all sprung up in the 70's. The 80's brought the Harbour Pointe course in Fairfield and the Emerld in the city of New Bern. In the 90's Taberna and the links joined the crowd. The end result is that we have a plethora of fine courses to chose from in this area. As in life I believe variety is the spice of life when it comes to golf. Most of us get comfortable playing our home courses and miss out on the challange of facing a course ofwhich we are not familiar. I think we should all get out and play some of the other fine courses in the area.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Goodby to a piece of history

On May 15 at 3 pm the the old Alfred Cunningham draw bridge over the Trent River in downtown New Bern NC was closed forever. It will be torn down and replaced with a new Bascale style bridge. The new bridge is estimated to take 2.5 years to build and will hopefully be ompleted for the 300 aniversary of the founding of New Bern. It will be sad to see the old bridge go, she did a great job for 60 years.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Capital Projects

The board of County Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting Monday, May 7th at 7 PM. During this meeting The Superintendent of Craven County Schools submitted his request for county funding for fiscal year 07-08. His request represents an 18% increase over what we budgeted last year. The County manager and his staff will be meeting over the next few weeks to discuss the School Boards request. We also heard from Dr.Scott Ralls, the president of Craven Community College. The college requested what amounts to a 7.72% increase over fiscal year 06-07.

Over the course of the next month we will be hearing from many county department heads and other organizations that receive funding from the county government. By the end of May the County Manager will present a budget proposal to the board of commissioners. The commissioners will meet throughout the month of June to fine-tune the budget. By state-statute, a new budget must be adopted by June 31st.

In addition to the regular agenda, there was a public hearing concerning the county borrowing 60 million dollars for the following projects.

1.Creekside Elementary School-$14,000,000. This school, which is currently under construction, is located on Old Airport Road. Creekside is being built to relieve overcrowding at Brinson elementary which is over 60 years old and at times has enrollment of close to 1000 students. Creekside will relieve current overcrowding at Brinson and should accommodate the growth in township 7 for some time.

2.New Jail-$30,000,000. The current jail was built to accommodate 70 inmates and at times has over 200. The State Department of Corrections has been telling the county for years to alleviate the overcrowding or they would require us to send our inmates to other jails. This would be very expensive in terms of manpower to move the inmates and the cost to house them in another counties jail.

3. Loan to Craven Regional airport. $1,800,000. I guess by know everyone has heard that Delta has 2 flights, soon to increase to 3, to Atlanta. These flights in addition to the 8 flights daily by US air to Charlotte give us a very viable airport for a small county. The airport board believes, and I agree with them, that with all the development occurring in Township 7 it is necessary to purchase several hundred acres that surround the airport. There are documented cases throughout the United States where airports have been forced to close and relocate because new housing developments were built near existing airports. The $1,800,000 we are lending the Airport will be to purchase necessary land to prevent housing developments from occurring around the runways. The airport will repay the county the $1,800,000 in 4 years. FYI, the county owns the airport, however we are not involved in the operations of the airport. They have a board of directors and an airport director(retired General Braaten) that manages the day to day operations.

4. Capital Improvements to the County Schools. $10,023,175. Many of our schools were built in the 40's,50's, and 60's and are in need of additions, updates, and or repairs. These funds will help to keep some of the older schools functioning for some time.

5.Tryon Palace History Center $1,000,000. The state has allocated $35,000,000 for the building of a history center in downtown New Bern. The funding for the history center will come by way of a bond referendum that will be voted on statewide in November. Before legislators would agree to commit state funds for the center they wanted a commitment from local government. They feel that if local governments have an ante in the project they will work harder to ensure its success.Tryon Palace Commission marketing studies indicate the history center will attract an additional 100000 visitors to New Bern. Even if their numbers were to be off by 50% the increase in sales and occupancy tax paid by visitors from outside of Craven County will allow us to recoup our $1,000,000 commitment in a few years.

The County Commissioners voted to fund these projects by way of what is called a certificate of participation. We basically give the lender an instrument similar to a mortgage. These improvements will not result in a tax increase as long as the state government does not alter our existing revenue stream.If you have any questions about these projects please call me at 633 0075 or 6335720.

Steve Tyson
District 7 Commissioner

Friday, May 11, 2007

Eleoquent dining in downtown New Bern

Last night, for the 3rd time this week, my wife and I ate supper at the Harvey Mansion located in downtown New Bern, NC. It is my favorite restaurant in New Bern and is truely a dining experience.
On the first and second floors there are six dining rooms. The green room was the original formal parlor, with its ornate woodwork and molding. The board room has a conference table which is perfect for business meetings or gatherings for up to 10.
All dining rooms have a fireplace with local art showcased. This 9000 square foot home, built from 1797 to 1804, is one of the last remaining structures in New Bern representing the prominence of the town as a seaport and thriving colonial city.
On the third floor, with a view of the Trent and Neuse Rivers, are three spacious bedrooms. Converted in the late 1990's to a B&B, the third floor was part of the original living quarters.
The menu features a complete array of seafood, beef, poultry and lamb dishes. Dinners are beautifully presented and amply portioned and include a house salad and fresh rolls. Regular items such as Beef and Brie en croute, lamb Osso Bucco, Ahi Tuna and portabella stack, Chicken Chesapeake and Carolina Crab Cakes that rival the Eastern Shore of Maryland keep our guests coming back. Nightly specials, sumptuous appetizers and homemade desserts tempt your palate and add to your dining experience. The wine list is derived for your enjoyment from the Wine Spectator Award list at the Beef Barn, and has been described as the best variety and value in the area.The original kitchen and storerooms were located in the cellar, which today still feature the original fireplace and andirons. The copper-top bar, exposed beams and low-ceiling provide a unique pub/lounge ambience. Enjoy your favorite steamed seafood or snacks in this laid-back and casual atmosphere. Join your friends - old and new for a fun evening at New Bern's hottest spot.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Storm Water

As a County Commissioner I get more calls about drainage problems than about any other problem. Many people are not aware that the Counties in North Carolina are not responsible for drainage along side streets and Highways. This is the responsibility of the department of transportation.
With the current and foreseeable budget problems at the DOT their position is that they are not concerned with standing water and slow drainage in ditches, and unless the water actually comes high enough on the roads so as to present a danger to traffic, they are not concerned with overflowing ditches.
There are several reasons contributing to the NC DOT taking this position.
1. Budget shortfalls
2. The inmate labor that used to help with keeping the ditches clean is harder to come by.
3. Increasing stringent enviromental regulations are preventing keeping feeder streams cleared.
I hate to say it but this problem will continue to get worse, especially in Township 7,where much of the developement is taking place. As more and more inpervious surface replaces what used to be wooded areas the water that is shed will be forced into overtaxed ditches.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Highway 70 E crossovers

As many residents in Township 7 can attest traffic in the James City area is starting to resemble a large city at certain times of the day. Traffic in the HW 70 corridor from James City to Morehead is expected to double in the next 10 years. You might have noticed DOT working in James City this past week as they will be closing 8 median crossovers. Their stated purpose for these closings will be to enhance safety on the 70 corridor and facilitate the flow of traffic. Two median closings will be replaced with directional left turn lanes that will have a left turn lane that will allow left turns from the highway, but will prevent crossing from the service roads to make a left turn onto the highway. The directional left turns have been funded for the Garner Road intersection and the Grantham Road intersection. I'm told that others will be installed as funding are available and the DOT studies show the need.
The median crossovers that will be completely closed are,
1.Franco's Pizza
2.Williams Nursery
3.Trent Cadillac
4.New Bern Mazda
5.70 East Pawn
6.United Self storage
7.The median east of Fisher Road
8.Kicking Machine before you get to Catfish Road.
The directional left turns will be located
1.Grantham Road.
2.Gardner Road.
The stoplight at the interection of Taberna will be getting a high speed long vehicle detection device installed in the East bound lane only. This device detects if large trucks are going to fast to stop and will keep the light green until they pass. This is suppose to be installed within 3 months.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring Homes tour in downtown New Bern

Friday, April 13th and Saturday April 14th you are invited to explore the finest Architecture and flora that New Bern, NC has to offer. If you have never taken a homes tour of historic downtown New Bern you don't know what you are missing. Some of the finest architecture, craftsmanship, and design are right here. Tickets are only$15 in advance or $20 on the days of the tour. Call 252 638 8558 for tickets.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I have lived in Eastern North Carolina long enough to know that although spring is tempting us, it is not quite here yet. Despite the fact that the azalias are blooming about as early as I can remember, I bet we will get some frost before warm weather is here to stay. Nevertheless, when I hear the birds chirping in the morning as I leave for work it makes me long for the river.

Last fall my wife suprised me with a kayak and I fully intend to start using it when it gets just a touch warmer. It has long been my intention to explore some of the small creeks that flow into the Trent River, especially up around the Riverbend area. Speaking of Riverbend, I think you will find the most house for your money in Riverbend. Incorporated in the early 1980's it has about everything you could want in a community and the homes are very affordable. Golf, tennis, boating, fishing, walking, and jogging, you name it. Check it out on my website,, or call me and I will give you the nickle tour.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The beautiful NC mountains

While traveling in the NC mountains along HW441 in Cherokee NC I was startled to see a male elk grazing on the side of a mountain about 100 yards off the road. This was the first time that I have seen an elk and they are truly magnificent animals. I later found out they were native to the NC mountains, as were bison, but were hunted to extinction in the 1800's.
Interestingly enough, I also recently saw, for the first time, a pair of bald eagles fishing at Lake New Bern. I had heard of bald eagles nesting in the Croatan Forrest area but was shocked to see a pair in town. Our local bird expert, Dr. Bob Holmes, told me that the pair nest about a mile away on the Neuse River. While we have done a better job of cleaning up the Neuse and Trent Rivers there is still room for improvement.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The beautiful NC mountains

My wife and I are heading to the mountains for a much deserved vacation. The mountains of NC are often overlooked as a tourist destination. Most folks from up north think of the beaches when they think of NC, overlooking the fact that Western Carolina has the highest mountains on the east coast. My only problem with the mountains is that they are a long way off, about 7 hours from New Bern. Although I would never move from New Bern and the beautiful rivers, when my ship comes in I might have to have me a cabin in the mountains.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tonight my Sister in Law was in town and my wife and I took her to dinner at the Harvey Mansion in historic downtown New Bern. The Harvey Mansion is my favorite restauarnt n downtown New Bern. This 9000 square foot home, built in 1797, is one of the last remaining structures in New Bern representing the prominence of the town as a thriving colonial seaport.
This 3 story home has all he fine woodwork that you would expect in a home build by ship carpenters, and the food is the best in town. Great dining experience.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sign Moratorium

I have had mostly positive comments about the the sign moratorium that has been imposed in Craven County. A few business owners have expressed concern that it might hurt them but after they read it thay realized that it would not affect on site signs in a negative way.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sign Moratorium

The highway corridor between New Bern and Havelock has over 90 billboards. Many residents feel that the sheer number of billboards detracts from the area and could hurt property values. Last night the County Commissioners imposed a 6 month moratorium on new billboards that will allow them time to write a sign ordinance to regulate road side signs.