Archive for September, 2009

Local History Feature Starts in October

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I’m happy to announce that starting in October 2009, we’ll be featuring new articles on the Lineberry Alliance Blogs about Raleigh’s history. Perhaps you’re interested in the Dix Hill Historic District, Carolina Pines Hotel, or Bain Treatment Plant? Thanks to our neighbor Linda Edmisten, we’ll be able to explore some of our treasures from the past. Raleigh has a rich history and we are very excited to bring these stories to you. Our goal is to post a new article about once a month. We’ll start locally in South Raleigh and expand to where ever the historic trail leads us. Thank you Linda for sharing your passion for history and providing these articles that provide a brief window into our past.

Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC, c.1910's. Courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives

Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC, c.1910's. Courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives

If you have something you’d like to contribute to the Lineberry Alliance Blogs, please contact the site maintainer, Jason Hibbets with your ideas.

From 2030 to New Developmental Code

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Just when you thought the 2030 Comprehensive Plan process was closing up, it’s time to give the plan more teeth and re-write / update the development code that will support the future growth in Raleigh.

Example Zoning

Example Zoning

Hopefully, this new code will set high standards for Raleigh growth as we look to become more urban and focus on several things like transit-oriented development.

Just like the 2030 Comprehensive Plan review, I’m sure that District D Neighborhood Alliance (DDNA) will be very active and involved throughout the entire process. Find out more about some of the upcoming public sessions where you can learn more. Information from the City of Raleigh website:

City Of Raleigh To Draft New Developmental Code

The City of Raleigh will hold three public listening sessions and a series of stakeholder meetings in October to begin the process of drafting a new development code. The citywide public listening sessions and stakeholder meetings will allow citizens to learn more about the process of updating the development regulations, ask questions and provide input. Comments will be collected and compiled for the public record.

PUBLIC LISTENING SESSIONS
The public listening sessions will be held:

  • Monday, Oct. 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at North Raleigh Church of Christ, 8701 Falls of Neuse Road;
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 from noon to 2 p.m. at All Saints Chapel, 110 S. East Street; and,
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Meymandi Concert Hall lobby at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, located at 2 E. South St.

All three sessions have the same program format: A brief presentation will be followed by breakout table discussions on the City’s current zoning and subdivision code, suggested changes, and questions about the new code development. Each table will report out to the larger group before adjourning.

For event planning purposes, attendees should RSVP to NewCode@ci.raleigh.nc.us. Indicate which session you plan to attend. On-site registration will begin half an hour prior to the start of each session.

For more information including a schedule of stakeholder meetings, please visit http://bit.ly/gKM14

Renaissance Park 2009 Candidates Forum

Monday, September 28th, 2009

At last evenings candidates forum, September 27, 2009, hosted by Renaissance Park in their cozy club house, almost 50 citizens attended to learn more about Raleigh City Council District D and At-Large candidates for the upcoming election on October 6, 2009. Each District D candidate gave a brief introduction to themselves and why they are running for City Council. Moderator Moe Johnson then presented each candidate with five questions. At-Large councilors were then introduced and provided their platform. Questions from those in attendance followed.

Candidates in attendance

At-Large

District D

Questions and answers

Disclaimer, the following is my best effort attempt to capture the questions and answers from the candidates. I invite anyone in attendance or the candidates themselves to post any updates or corrections by contacting me or in the comments. The questions (after the first five) are paraphrased to get right to the topic.

Opening remarks from Renaissance Park resident and moderator, Moe Johnson. Renaissance Park is a new neighborhood, which means they are new at community activism. There is a desire to get involved in city government and this is one of the first projects to start that involvement for their community. (more…)

RNE: Diversity in Communities session

Friday, September 25th, 2009

We mentioned that we’d provide information about the individual sessions from the Raleigh Neighborhood Exchange held on September 19, 2009. This post is about “Building Communities with Diversity” presented by Susan Jakes, Ph.D., North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

The session started out with clarifying the objectives: the intent is to better recognize and appreciate diversity in the ways we live in Raleigh. The participants of the session gained an understanding of why diversity is uncomfortable, how it can be positive and powerful, and how to develop a framework for maximizing community amidst diversity.

Jakes started out by defining diversity as distinct and unlike. Then she talked about how it’s our natural instinct to compare and categorize the information that we put into our brain. We have a natural instinct to predict. For example, when we meet someone, we have an instinct to determine if they are friendly, safe, dangerous, kind, etc. She further explained how people are open (willing to take in information and not categorize immediately) or closed (quick to categorize people or take in lots of information and process it).

We then participated in a group exercise to define the differences that we recognize. The list went something like this: (more…)

Late Sept & Early Oct Shred-a-thons

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Information from Attorney General Cooper Shred-a-thons:
Local sponsors are donating their time and resources to sponsor a free shred-a-thon in your community. Identity Theft tips will be provided. Shred-a-thons are a perfect way to destroy old tax records, checks, employment records or credit applications. You do NOT need to remove staples and paper clips from the documents. It usually takes about 10 minutes to watch the documents shred. This event is free to the public although local sponsors may be encouraging donations.

Please pass along this information to co-workers, neighbors and friends. It is a free service offered to help prevent identity theft.

CARY – SHRED-A-THON (Wake County)
Saturday, October 3, 2009
10:00am – 2:00pm
Crossroads Plaza
Walnut Street and US 1, Cary
Local Sponsors: NBC-17, Shred-It, NC Attorney General Cooper, Goodwill Industries

RALEIGH – SHRED-A-THON (Wake County)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
10:00am – 2:00pm
Tryon Place
Tryon Road, Raleigh
Local Sponsors: NBC-17, Shred-It, NC Attorney General Cooper, Goodwill Industries

WAKE FOREST – SHRED-A-THON (Wake County)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
10:00am – 2:00pm
Heritage Sub-division, Wake Forest
Local Sponsors: NBC-17, Shred-It, NC Attorney General Cooper, Goodwill Industries

Do endorsements matter?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

This is an opinion piece on the candidates running for the District D seat, Raleigh City Council, and does not necessarily reflect the views of all the members of the Lineberry Alliance. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

After settling in yesterday from a long day in the office, I skirted through some rain drops to get the mail. In it, a first batch of political mailers for the election on October 6, 2009. One from each candidate running in District D. Incumbent Thomas Crowder and challenger Ted Van Dyk. I publicly support Crowder for the District D seat and lately, have been scratching my head trying to understand why Van Dyk is challenging Crowder’s City Council seat. A review of the two cards today lead me to think about how the candidates are positioning themselves.

On the front of Crowder’s mailer is a picture from his campaign kickoff. A few folks I noticed, Mayor Charles Meeker, At-Large Councilor Stephenson, former Raleigh City Councilor Anne Franklin, Linda (Planning Commission member) and Rufus Edmisten (former NC Secretary of State), and many more. On the left, a list of supporters. Real people who work with and know Thomas. Flipping the mailer over, testimony from neighborhood leaders around District D. I recognize the names (besides mine) because I work with these leaders on neighborhood matters. I think this association is important and I’ll touch on it later.

“A politicians brand is made up of the actions they take and the people they surround themselves with.”

(more…)

Raleigh Neighborhood Exchange 2009 Keynote

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

On Saturday, September 19, 2009, citizens from around Raleigh joined together at NC State’s McKimmon Center for the 6th Annual Raleigh Neighborhood Exchange. The event is planned by a citizens committee and led by the Community Services Department. The keynote speaker was Gail Kenyon, a social worker for 29 years and an educator for 22 years who works for the ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) Training Group. This year, workshops included seven different sessions for citizens to get in-depth knowledge on certain topics. The workshops offered were:

  • Community organizing ABCD
  • Gang prevention (which was canceled)
  • Community gardens
  • Diversity in communities
  • Business and neighbors
  • En Espanol (Spanish session)
  • Teen Topics

After a great breakfast, participants had two break-out sessions, an hour a piece, to attend. Basically, they got to choose from the seven topics and attend the ones they were interested in. Thanks to members of District D Neighborhood Alliance (DDNA) and SouthWest Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC) , we are able to bring you a series of articles that will cover the majority of the topics. Look for future postings that will provide summaries of the workshops. Ron Danley of the Caraleigh Community and Mary Belle Pate, Chair SWCAC, will be providing updates on the sessions they attended. (more…)

UPHA 2009 Candidates Forum Q&A

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

At last evenings candidates forum, September 14, 2009, hosted by University Park Homeowners Associations (UPHA), over 50 citizens attended to learn more about Raleigh City Council At-Large, District D, and Mayoral candidates for the upcoming election on October 6, 2009.  Each candidate gave a brief introduction to themselves and why they are running for City Council.  Moderator Mike Reider then presented each candidate with questions from the audience.   Don’t forget to see the additional resources at the end (or share your own tools to help others in the comments).

Candidates in attendance

At-Large

District D

Mayor

Questions and answers

Disclaimer, the following is my best effort attempt to capture the questions and answers from the candidates.  I invite anyone in attendance or the candidates themselves to post any updates or corrections by contacting me or in the comments.  The questions are paraphrased to get right to the topic.

Q: Transportation: What are the first steps needed to bring light rail and bus services to Raleigh (to catch up to with Charlotte)?
A: Meeker

  1. Approve the first phase plan for additional bus services (75 new buses)
  2. Get the ½ cent sales tax passed (a county decision) which will probably occur this time next year

Q: Financing: How does Raleigh raise funding for the Little River reservoir project?
A: Enloe
Bring economic develop to downtown and all of Raleigh; it’s a shame that we have minor league baseball in Durham and Zebulon [and not Raleigh].  What about pursuing an NBA franchise for downtown Raleigh?  Sports are businesses.  General increase in revenues in downtown Raleigh can help raise the needed funds.

Q: Financing: How do we improve roads, pay down debt, save money, and lower taxes at the same time?
A: Hudson
Focus on looking through goals to cut areas in public works, i.e. look for things like no idol policies to cut fuel costs.  Look for cheaper vehicles (extend the use of vehicles where we can).  Not just use bonds to fund parks, look for state/federal money to use a mixture of funds.

Q: Entrepreneurship:  How will your entrepreneurial experience serve Raleigh?
A: Kunz
Had a privileged upbringing.  Had a dream, to start his own business.  There is risk involved.  The  entrepreneur spirit is not dead, but it’s not being cultivated.  One objective is to look more in-depth at the budget.

(more…)

Technician makes noise about parties

Friday, September 11th, 2009

On Thursday, September 10, 2009, Technician, the student newspaper for NC State, reported on Police issuing citations for noise violations. The Lineberry Alliance has posted similar articles to help clarify the noise and party ordinance. We’ve also prepared tips for students living off-campus and want to welcome them to our community and help them be a good neighbor.

The article talks about our efforts to educate students and neighbors to make them aware of the noise and party ordinance:

Jason Hibbets is the organizer of the Lineberry Alliance, a collection of different home owners associations in the Raleigh area. Hibbets, an alumnus, said he welcomes the Noise and Party Ordinance and is working to help college students understand what they mean. “Some of this stuff I would have loved to have known [when I was in college],” he said, “rather than have to find out by a police officer knocking on my door at 1 a.m.” He said the ordinance is something everyone seems to be confused about.

Also mentioned in the article was the high quality of life neighborhoods are seeking, which was a little out of context: (more…)

2030 Plan Approved, N&O Covers Change Flurry

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Our plan, our city, and our future

On September 8, 2009, the City of Raleigh website reported City Council Conceptually Approves Comprehensive Plan. I want to first start by commending Mayor Meeker and City Council for approving the plan. Next, a round of applause to the city staff, particularly Mitch Silver and Ken Bowers from the Planning Department, for their dedication and numerous hours put into this project. I was extremely impressed with the level of engagement from the District D Neighborhood Alliance (DDNA) and the expertise, patience, and perseverance they provided during the entire 10-month process.

2030 plan approved

City Council approved the 2030 Comprehensive Plan

However, I was not impressed with recent News & Observer coverage of the 2030 plan which belittled the free consulting work that DDNA provided over the past 10-months to City Council and the citizens of Raleigh. (Reference: Council adopts new vision for growth, Late tweaks add conflict to city plan)

These articles fail to mention that the DDNA group was following the process made by the planning department and city council. We presented our recommendations at the public hearing on August 13, 2009. Then we finalized those changes at our August meeting and submitted them to Councilor Crowder per the process the Mayor prescribed at the conclusion of the public hearing.

Unlike the N&O, I’ve been providing updates for DDNA on our participation with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. This started in December 2008 when DDNA started to organize into citizen lead focus groups to review the plan. This was shortly after the plan was being rolled out and numerous public sessions were in the works. We started setting dates to meet, taking advantage of the many public sessions. We set milestones for the short time frame we had to review the plan during the holiday season. (more…)