Sunday, June 10, 2012

WECAN June 7 Meeting Notes (Draft)


WECAN Board on Thursday June 7, 2011 at Merritt Park Meeting Room
Members present: Byron Ballard, Jeff Carnivale,  Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Mike Kenton, Yuri Koslen. Luke W. Perry and Joanne Skinner. Members not present were: Jessie Coleman, Bret Frk, Tom Gibson and Suzanne Willis. Also present were APD Officers Evan Coward, Sean Davis and Greg Latcham, Otelia Harris, Iesha Ram and Pattiy Torno.
          Luke called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m. Introductions included answers to Why are you here? which included: To take notes; glad to be back after a few months, love the neighborhood; back from Citizens Police Academy; enjoy being here; blame it on someone else; being active; because of place. The May minutes were approved as published.  
APD CRO Update: Community Resource Officer Evan Coward reviewed the protocol for handling homeless campsites: Basically that it is complaint driven. Every complaint is investigated and when illegal camps are found contact is made, a seven day notice to move is given along with a card listing contacts for support services and a report is made to track progress. There has been some success in some regular campsites but under the Smoky Park Bridge there is a more transient population who are more likely to move on and less likely to use the services offered and whose numbers are constantly being replenished. There was a question whether an area somewhere in the city could be set aside where camping was allowed. There are many issues regarding this such as changing ordinances, and placement and political support.  Officer Clamser has been successful in getting some prostitutes off the streets and hopefully into some help but condoms have been littering Club Street, and the end of Jefferson where the grass is getting taller. The unusual alarm and loud speaker announcements the other day were from AB Tech campus going on lockdown because of a shooter incident nearby. The police call center had many calls from the area.
CLINGMAN CIRCLE CELEBRATION: It was a great success. Thrilling to see the turnout and everyone cooperating to bring it off. Pattiy will draft a letter to the city acknowledging and thanking everyone's amazing participation. The One Neighborhood Benefit  needed some more effort to get it going. The polka dots idea  was a really fun and simple unifying idea to see who our community was. Thanks to Pattiy and Jessie for getting that organized and thanks to Luke for the dot stickers. 
WECAN + Big Money: WECAN's participation in the Clingman Circle Celebration earned us the $100 prize.  Anna Beth will be resuming her responsibilities as Treasurer and many ideas were discussed  about how to use the prize. The main recurring expense we have is the annual newsletter which depletes our treasury by about $50-100 each year. Ideas raised included: newsletter, lottery tickets, heat support for needy neighbors, ramp festival sponsorship, public art, Owens Bell Park kiosk, and seeing what the needs are and then raising money for them.  Assignment: think about neighborhood needs for the next meeting.  Luke proposed a cookout in Owens Bell Park this summer. July was avoided because of so many vacation plans. Thursday August 2 at 6pm the cookout party and pot luck will begin and may be followed by a Board Meeting and/or General Membership Meeting. 
HILLCREST RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION: Otelia and Iesha their President and Secretary invited WECAN to the join them in an event celebrating Juneteenth on Saturday June 16 from 11am to 3 p.m. which will include a basketball tournament, face painting, balloons, capoera?, poetry reading, African dance, information booths, music, fun and food. The Hillcrest Residents Association is still filling board positions and organizing their annual summer trip and taking on one project at a time. They can be contacted at hra@asheville.gmail.com. Byron noted that from Hillcrest (once known as Stumptown) all the way down to Southside used to be one large swath of neighborhood and though multiply divided should be honored.
ROBERTS ST SIDEWALK + SPEEDING ISSUES: Mike reported that the average process for getting speed bumps is 5 years and for sidewalks it is 10 years.  The traffic count should be completed in 4-6 weeks to see the extent of speeding. There is a form to file to request speed humps or bumps and Marsha can help with those forms. Byron was approached to be on the Neighborhood Advisory Committee reporting to City Council. Though she could not participate she would contact Councilman Chris Pelly and ask about a strategy to develop a master plan to prioritize sidewalks on Roberts St. There are really two issues speeding is one and pedestrian access is the other. If there was a sidewalk it would be less dangerous for pedestrians. The pressing need is to identify the most crucial infrastructure (I.e. sidewalks) needs. (Roberts St, West Haywood St., Club St. Riverside.) Neighborhood sidewalk priorities and community needs can be identified at the August 2nd potluck/cookout. Mike was volunteered to lead the effort and Byron, Luke and Yuri will assist. 
UPDATES:
    Regarding Ped Heads at Clingman and Hilliard we hope to get an update by our next meeting.
    Owens Bell Park Kiosk: ditto.
    Jeff suggested the need for a work day on Jefferson where the grass is getting very tall.
    NEW BELGIUM: Luke invited Jan to come to a WECAN meeting soon.
    Pattiy reported that the fence on Riverside is down!  Yay! Plans for PSNC building are not set. There is money to develop a plan for it and it is estimated to take $100,000 to rehab the building. Ideas for use included Police sub station or monthly rotating uses.  
    The WECAN Garden Club (Pattiy and Joe) met on Sunday to thoroughly weed and trim the curb and sidewalk from Clingman from Hilliard to the Paris of the South Flea Market just past the Clingman Lofts. Our participation in the Asheville Greenworks cleanup day was light but enthusiastic. (Joe) The path was mulched, the fence was cleared of honeysuckle, and most of the kudzu chopped off a tree close to Asheville Transit.
    SFB/WECAN/HRA Socials. Should be in a common area such as Aston Park. Perhaps in the Fall? 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
    Grant/Southside Community Day: Saturday June 9 1-4 p.m. Walton Street Park.
    River Arts District Studio Stroll: Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
    JuneTeenth Celebration at Hillcrest Saturday June 16 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Southside Community meetings 1st Tuesday of each month 6 p.m. at Dr Wesley Grant Sr Southside Community Center. 
    Asheville's African American Community Historical Tour Tuesday June 19th 5:30 p.m. meet at WC Reid Center 133 Livingston St
    Evan announced that NATIONAL NIGHT OUT (sponsored by Target) was set for Tuesday August 7th this year's location to be announced.
    South French Broad Neighborhood Meeting Thursday August 16th Aston Park Meeting Room.
Meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.

Next WECAN BOARD Meeting 6:30p.m. on Thursday July 5.

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