Archive for July, 2007

PRR-Watch Plans 3rd Annual National Night Out ™

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

National Night Out

When: Tuesday, August 7, 2007, 7:00 PM
Where: Lawrence and Balboa
Enjoy: Watermelon Social, Kids Costume Contest, Games, Door Prizes, Raffle, and Much More!

Who will be Raleigh’s next Police Chief?

Friday, July 27th, 2007

City Manager Russell Allen has a tough decision to make: Who will be our next Police Chief? The field has been narrowed down to only two candidates: Grand Rapids Chief Harry Dolan and Raleigh interim Chief Kent Sholar. Both candidate have an outstanding police record and credentials, but more importantly, both candidates want the job and want to lead the Raleigh Police Department (RPD).

At the public forum held at City Council Chambers on July 26, 2007, Russell Allen asked each candidate the same 10 questions. They each had about 4 minutes to respond. When asked about their keys to success, Kent Sholar stated that communication with everyone was key. This includes officers, civilians, community members, city council, everyone. Chief Sholar also said that getting out in the community was important to understand what the needs are and what issues are out their.

Chief Dolan had a slightly different twist on the question. He started off by saying he believes in transparency across the department and believes that integrity is important. Developing personnel, which translates to community, is a critical component to a successful department.

In a later question about community relationships, Chief Dolan talked about building trust with the community, erasing race barriers, and getting key stakeholders involved with Police Department planning to ensure successful growth for Raleigh. Chief Sholar wants to continue the existing communication with the community, mentioning CAC’s and Community Watch, but also to deal with the cities growth issues and gang & drug problems.

There is no doubt in my mind that both candidates are well qualified to lead the cities Police Department. After the public forum, there seemed to be a dominate candidate that captured our attention, Harry Dolan was a clear public speaker that provided insight on his past experience and future desires & ideas. Although I’ve met Chief Sholar before and his 24-years of experience with RPD seem impressive on paper, the candidates forum didn’t allow him to shine. Sholar spoke mostly about what the department is doing now, and in my opinion, didn’t help me understand what direction he would take the department. It was also hard to understand his responses and they were unclear at times and muffled.

After the forum, I spoke with Chief Dolan about a public version of RPD’s COMPSTAT. He related to one of his responses to the top three challenges facing RPD, technology. He stated that it’s very important to have this data available to the public and urged me to continue driving the issue and to staying involved.

In my mind, the clear winner after the public forum was Chief Dolan. His tall figure commands authority and demands respect at the same time. Although I believe that growing talent within an organization is important, this may be a time where bringing in a person from the outside with fresh ideas and innovative police thinking will enhance the department. I think that if Chief Dolan gets the job, he will continue to tweak the system that’ in place to better the dpeartment and make improvements with creative ideas.

No disrepsect to current interim Chief Sholar, his tenure in RPD speaks for itself. If he doesn’t get the job, I hope he continues on with his Raleigh Police career and uses this as an opportunity to lead RPD in other ways while learning what he can from Chief Dolan.

Information from WRAL, ABC 11, and the N&O:

Updated on 7/28/07 – More links from Saturday’s N&O:

Technician Coverage of Lower Trailwood Speed Limit

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

NCDOT, City of Raleigh lower Trailwood speed limit
After a series of accidents, the speed limit on Trailwood Drive has been reduced.

Becka Huvard from NC State’s Technician covers the new Trailwood speed limits.

The Smell of Fresh Asphalt

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Watch out on some of the roads in the neighborhood, the man holes and water main access lines are being raised. Yep, fresh asphalt is on the way. The following streets are scheduled to be resurfaced over the next 2-3 weeks: Lineberry Drive from Bliss Street to Joanne Drive and Sierra Drive from Shenandoah Drive to Lineberry Drive. Also, our neighbors on the other side of Sierra Drive are getting Sierra resurfaced from Winnie Place to Carolina Pines Avenue.

The process is something like this…the contractor crew comes through and raises the sewer and water utilities. Then they patch anything that needs patching. You would notice square and rectangle white spray paint outlining these area. Then, 2-3 weeks from the utility raising, you’ll see temporary new parking signs. The asphalt equipment comes through. Then the stripping crew. Enjoy our new roads in a few weeks!

Police Captain Finalists Arrive – Public Forum on July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

From the Raleigh Website:

City Manager Announces Police Chief Finalists – “City Manager J. Russell Allen has announced the two finalists to be considered to fill the City of Raleigh’s police chief vacancy: Harry Patrick Dolan, 49, chief of the Grand Rapids, Mich., Police Department and Samuel Kent Sholar, 46, acting chief, City of Raleigh Police Department. City Manager Announces Police Chief Finalists.”

“A public forum will be held July 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the council chamber of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett St. At the forum, Mr. Sholar and Mr. Dolan will be asked several questions. The questions will be presented to them by the City Manager. The public will not have an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates. Citizens attending the forum will be given a form to complete and return at the conclusion of the event.”

Source – raleighnc.gov

Sales Tax Holiday – August 3-5, 2007

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

I’m always up for saving money. And one great way to do that is to score some great deals and save on sales tax during tax free weekend. Sales Tax Holiday starts the first Friday in August and ends on the first Sunday in August.

Find out all the details at http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/sales/salestax_holiday.html

Skate park to be located at Marsh Creek

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

The Raleigh City Council agreed on July 12th, 2007 to locate the Raleigh Skate Park at the Marsh Creek Community Park. Carolina Pines Civitan Park was a possible site for this skate park, however, the skate park designers and city officials felt that Marsh Creek better suited the needs and requirements for such a project.

As mentioned in a previous post, a majority of attending SWCAC members at the June meeting were opposed to the construction of this skate park at Carolina Pines Civitan Park due to lack of easy walking access and the loss of desired space for handicapped parking spots, whereas several were in favor in order to create space where skateboarders would be allowed to participate in an increasingly popular activity.

Meeting with Community Services

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

I had a meeting today with Kevin Smith from the City of Raleigh Community Services Department.  We discussed the current project we are working on, a Certified Neighborhood Leader program.  I hosted a meeting with Alumni from the Raleigh Neighborhood College and Citizens’ Participation Leadership Institute back in February 2007.  We had a decent turnout and a great brainstorming session a few months ago.

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Fish in your backyard!!!!

Monday, July 16th, 2007

A month ago today, a great new fishing opportunity became available, and it is less than 5 minutes away!!!! Lake Raleigh, a reservoir on North Carolina State’s Centennial Campus, has three new piers available to people of all ages and abilities, and a ramp to launch non-motorized vessels (ie kayak or canoe).

Walnut Creek was dammed by the Army Core of Engineers in the early 1900s to form Lake Raleigh. This 73 acre reservoir acted as the main water supply for the city of Raleigh until the 1920s, when Lake Johnson was formed upstream. Lake Raleigh was maintained as a backup water source, and was off limits to fishing. Hurricane Fran breached the dam in 1996, and rebuilding of the dam was completed in 2001.

This reservoir has previously been off limits to fishing, and therefore presents a great opportunity for first time anglers and for experienced anglers to catch that once in a lifetime fish. Grab a friend, a pole and some bait and head on down. Below is a link with information, directions and great pictures of kids and adults catching some great fish on the opening day. The easiest way to get there is to get on Lake Wheeler Road heading into the city, take a left on Centennial Parkway at the Farmers Market, take your next left on Achievement Drive, take your first right on Main Campus Drive, and your first left heading down to the lake.

A recent study on the lake by some NC State students in the Zoology Department found the following species: largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, blue catfish, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, warmouth sunfish, redear sunfish, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, creek chubsucker, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, eastern mosquitofish, and golden shiner.

Remember, all regulations must be followed and fishing licenses ($15 annual for NC resident) are required for all people over the age of 15. These can be found online at: http://www.ncwildlife.org/ or at the NC Wildlife Resources Commission building on Varsity Drive on Centennial Campus (just a short drive form the piers).

Have fun out there, and be safe.

Information, directions and pictures: http://centennial.ncsu.edu/amenities/lake.html

Opening day newspaper article: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/607110.html

Remember to bring some essentials, like water, sunscreen, and sunglasses (also bring life preservers if using a vessel). Be sure to leave alcohol and firearms at home, as it is on campus, and these are not allowed.

Replies from the City – Recycle Bin issue

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Here are some replies from our City Officials so far:

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Subject: RE: SWS concerns from Pleasant Ridge & Ramsgate
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 12:20:29 -0400
From: Allen, Russell
To: Jason Hibbets CC: Battle, Frederick , Thomas G. Crowder, AIA, NCARB
Jason,

I am confident that Fred will be able to correct this poor level of
service. If you continue to have problems, please let us both know.

Thanks and hope you are well!
J Russell

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Subject: RE: SWS concerns from Pleasant Ridge & Ramsgate
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 13:04:05 -0400
From: Thomas G. Crowder, AIA, NCARB
To: Allen, Russell ,
CC: Suzie Clark, Jason Hibbets

Fred-

Last Monday, you stated you would have your supervisors address the lack of service in this community. Were any of them present on July 12th to witness or inspect the quality of service being provided? If not, perhaps they should do so this coming Thursday… I intend to be watching.

Thomas G. Crowder
Raleigh City Council | District D
Post Office Box 590
Raleigh North Carolina 27602

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