Sunday, February 26, 2012

WECAN March Meeting Thursday, March 1 @ 6:30 pm

Please join us for our next monthly WECAN meeting this Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 pm.  We meet in the MHO's first floor community room at 64 Clingman Ave.  Some of things going on in our neighborhood that we will be discussing include:

-Block Jessies, and implementation of new communications/recruitment strategy.  Please let us know if you would like to be a Block Jessie (captain)!

-Hillcrest pedestrian bridge cleanup on March 10 from 11-3 in conjunction with the Hillcrest community.  We are looking for volunteers and food to be provided.

-Sustainable Communities Initiative: East of the Riverway.  An outreach team comprised of Just Folks, Green Opportunities, and App State students will be brainstorming with us on gathering community info and data.

-Neighborhood Kiosks.  We have been maintaining and developing variation communication strategies with the Kiosk across from Phil Mechanic Studios.  We will also be integrating a new kiosk into the existing covered bench shelter in Owens Bell Park.  Please join us to share your ideas.

In other news, the city has installed a new bike repair kiosk at the Clingman roundabout.  It has already generated much interested and activity.  Check it out!  We (and the cyclists) thank the city for this addition. 

Once again, we hope to see you this Thursday!

Block Jessies

In an effort to expand the involvement of people in our neighborhood and develop a better communications network, we are working on establishing a Block Jessie program, named in honor of a proud member of neighborhood, Jessie Coleman.  Please take a look at the pamphlet we have put together and let us know if you have any feedback or ideas to improve it.  Or even better, if you would like to become a Block Jessie.  We are currently recruiting for all the designated blocks!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cooking Oil Recycling Program

At our last WECAN meeting, Olufemi Lewis, presented information about the Cooking Oil Recycling Program a project of Green Opportunities, M.S.D. and Blue Ridge Biofuels. There is a recycling barrel in our neighborhood to receive used cooking oil which will be used to create biofuel and keep the oils out of the sewer system.  It is located at the River Arts District Recycling Station (in front of the White Duck Taco Shop).  They are also looking for additional locations across the county to install recycling bins.  Please recycle your old cooking oil there!

For more info:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

WECAN February 2012 Board Meeting Minutes

 WECAN Board on Thursday February 2, 2012 at Merritt Park Meeting Room
    Members present: Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Coleman, Joe Fioccola,  Yuri Koslen, Luke W. Perry and Pattiy Torno.. Members not present were: Byron Ballard AnnaBeth Hardcastle,  Bret Frk, Tom Gibson, Mike Kenton, Joanne Skinner and Suzanne Willis. Also present were Barbara Mee, Marsha Stickford, Officer Evan Coward, Olufemi Lewis, Mahdi Best?
    Luke called the Ground Hog Day meeting to order for the first time as chair at 6:32. After introductions the January minutes were approved as distributed. 
    Crime issues: Community Resource Officer Evan Coward reported that a series of 15 break ins in and around the area recently included White Duck Taco Stand on Roberts St. The fence at the walkover bridge was set to be fixed. Lance Hardcastle's SUV was stolen from South French Broad Avenue by the Downtown Market and was recovered at the Hot Spot at Asheland  and Hilliard both times with the keys inside. Joe reported there is still debris from a campsite along the river bank south of the Craven Street Bridge. More calls received about Girdwood and the dead end of Park Avenue being used for prostitution. The street light is out on the metal pole near the Grey Eagle. Not sure if the one at the end of Jefferson is still out. The hydrant at the turn-around is being repaired. Yuri raised the question if there is (or needs to be) a neighborhood watch sign on Jefferson Drive on the northbound side after turning around. Jeff was asked about the proposed stairway from Jefferson to Owens Bell Lane. He will contact MHO about partnering on a grant. Marsha will be emailed when we are ready to move on it and use the stored granite curbstones. The Ice Storage Building on Riverside is about to be condemned they are on notice until March.
    Olufemi Lewis presented flyers about the Blue Ridge Biofuels Cooking Oil Recycling Program a project of Green Opportunities, M.S.D. and Blue Ridge Biofuels. There is a recycling barrel behind the White Duck Taco Stand  to receive used cooking oil which will be used to create biofuel and keep the oils out of the sewer system. The goal is participation to pass the word get involved and know the recycling locations.
    East Of The Riverway: The Park Maintenance agreement does not need to be renewed but Marsha wants it to be reviewed as a conversation starter between WECAN and new Superintendant of Planning and Development Al Kopf and assistant Seth Handler. The issue of placement of a kiosk should be settled before then. Luke met with Byron on Sunday about organizing postings on the kiosk with titles, contacts, history, photos and maps. Appropriate postings include broader planning initiatives, WECAN and River Arts District news and events, community flyers, a chalk board for comments, a drop box for pamphlets, a you-are-here map.  Luke also reported that EOTR was looking for website development help. UNCA Health and Wellness program is a partner and UNCA and Appalachian students will be working on outreach techniques and with the 'Just Folks' group will be adding a health component to the area survey. Yuri noted that the height of the kiosk was too low to meet ADA standards.
    Hillcrest Bridge Area Clean Up is scheduled for Saturday March 10 at 11 a.m. Luke working on getting some food involvement and contacting Asheville Greenworks for materials. Marsha can arrange for a Sway-car dumpster to be placed along West Haywood Street across from the White Duck Taco.  Olufemi announced that Hillcrest After School Program and the Women's Wellness and Development Foundation was in need of tutoring for those not served by the Hillcrest After School Program. The times are Monday to Thursday from 3:30-4:30. If interested contact Nicole at 255-8777.
    Rumor: an accident on I-240 was caused by someone dropping things from the walkover bridge and that it was raising questions about whether or not to keep it open.
    Pattiy reported that the River Arts District Business Association (RADBA) wanted a small area plan like the Between the Bridges plan for the River Arts District to address connection issues and infrastructure needs and community priorities that the ARDC can to take to council. It would also initiate connections between the River Arts District and the surrounding community. One idea was a RADBA fundraiser at the Grey Eagle with proceeds going to the 'One Neighborhood' group for 'greening the RAD' to maintain the public plantings in the areas around the traffic circle  also to fund a kids arts program at the Reid Center or in the River Arts District.
    Jeff said he was going to organize a social gathering later this month.
    Pattiy discovered a paved road behind Asheville Metal Finishing. Jessie said she knew people who used to live in the 3 or 4 houses that used to be there.    
    A huge truck having trouble turning around near Asheville Transit prompted to need for a 'no through trucks' or 'local truck traffic only' sign on Hilliard near Clingman.
    Barb Mee showed the plans for the Pedestrian Crossing signs at Hilliard and Clingman. There will be push buttons to give pedestrians a head start in crossing. She also showed an installation planned for Roberts St near the traffic circle: a Bike Fix-It Station.  Marsha identified what is left for the Clingman Avenue Streetscape top be complete: white stripes on the inside part of the islands and bump outs (like the ones on Kimberly Avenue) plus reflectors on the islands. Yuri announced that the bench at the sign garden bus stop would be moved to the adjacent ADA pad. Pattiy proposed the ribbon cutting ceremony be scheduled for the week before the next Studio Stroll. The date will be Wednesday June 6 at 6 p.m. Some issues still need to be worked out such as closing the street to traffic during the cutting and parade when buses come through every 15 minutes.
    D.O.T. Interface committee had some movement: Anna Beth has requested Bret to get a map of all D.O.T. properties in WECAN for the next board meeting.
    The Neighborhood Communication Sub-Committee has a new draft brochure with each 'block' named and an explanation of what we mean by a 'block Jessie'. Jessie approved the use of the term.  Luke is requesting that the EOTR pay for printing the brochures since it supports their mission and they want to use it as a template for other neighborhoods.  Pattiy volunteered to distribute to Block 12, Yuri to Jefferson and Luke to Chicken Hill. Copies will be available at the next board meeting on Thursday March 1, 2012.
Meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m. Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

WECAN February meeting tonight!

This is a friendly reminder about the upcoming WECAN meeting.  It will held Thursday, February 2, 2012 (tonight!) starting @ 6:30pm @ 64 Clingman Avenue @ MHO in the Merritt Park Condos.  Please join us if you can.

This month we will be discussing the implementation of our block captain (jessie) program, and a presentation about the cooking oil recycling program. 

See you there!