Thursday, May 28, 2009
We also received an excellent presentation about not only the technical aspects of solar technology, but the business models of investing in renewable technologies. These are long-term investments which take about 5 years before any substantial returns are generated. Motivation for choosing to invest in these technologies are not just financial, but ethical. Renewable technologies are a socially and environmentally responsible way to reduce our impact on the Earth and our dependence on foreign oil. FAQ about Solar.
Last year SAS installed the 1-megawatt solar photovoltaic farm, comprised of 5,040 ground-mounted panels on five acres, which is one of the largest solar electric systems in the Southeast. Southern-Energy Management is the primary contractor for SunPower on the project, providing engineering and project management support, as well as installation of the photovoltaic and AC/DC electrical phases of the project. They are also responsible for the maintenence of the solar farm. The electricity it generates will pump clean energy into the local utility grid, eliminating more than 1,600 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The City Council recently adopted a policy of using renewable energy in municipal buildings to enhance energy efficiency. One of the first projects was installed in District A, at Fire Station No. 15 off Spring Forest Rd in front of Millbrook Exchange Park. A solar thermal hot water heating system has been installed by Petra Engineering. It supplements a natural gas unit that had been the fire station’s only source of hot water. Read full story here.
Southern-Energy Management, which currently employs about 50 energy efficiency and solar professionals in the Triangle and Charlotte, has been providing sustainable energy solutions for businesses, home builders, and home owners since the company was founded in 2002. They provide both residential and commercial solutions for solar thermal hot water systems and photovoltaic energy producing systems. Check out some of the other awesome NC solar projects completed by SEM.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Prescription drug abuse is growing in Raleigh and across the country, mostly amongst teens. Most teens and adults who abuse prescriptions obtain them from the homes of unsuspecting family and friends. If you are unable to attend this weekends event, the proper way to dispose of pills is not to flush them. You should crush up the pills and mix with something undesirable such as kitty litter or coffee grounds.
As an advisory board to the Raleigh City Council, the mission of the Substance Abuse Advisory Commission is to advocate for a healthy community by promoting best practices for the prevention, intervention, and treatment for the abusing of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. The group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month in the Municipal Building at 222 West Hargett Street in Room 305 from 12-1. Councillor McFarlane is the Council liason to this committee.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday May 20 - In a celebration to officially honor the Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park a lunch and gathering was held on-site. In this beautiful place where members of her extended family have often gathered the City humbly gave thanks for this wonderful gift. Opening remarks and a warm welcome were given by Senior Parks Planner Steven Bentley, followed by an appreciation on behalf of the City of Raleigh from Mayor Meeker. Councillor McFarlane was also there to offer appreciation for this wonderful addition to District A. Dr. Annie's sister offered a moving tribute to her memory and to the specialness of her property. It is a special piece of land which in 100 years will look just as it does today!
Thursday May 21 - The Wake Nature Preserve Partnership organized a Capacity Building Workshop on Nature Preserve Management with a day trip to Charlotte to learn how their system is run. Councillor McFarlane and Councillor Stephenson attended the workshop along with several other members of the Parks Department. They toured Reedy Creek Park & Nature Preserve, Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve, Flat Branch Park and Clarke's Creek Nature Preserve. Some sites are focused on preservation with only passive recreation, while others maintain a mix of active and passive recreation facilities. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County do a good job of working together, and have chosen their greenspace wisely by identifying targetted areas with unique wildlife and flora. When Wake County designates an area under preserve they are only agreeing to 20 years of protection, which is not the model Charlotte-Mecklenburg uses of protecting land indefinitely. Thanks to Jennifer Roberts, Chair of the Mecklenburg County Comissioners, for taking the time to meet with our group.
The property is only be used as a Nature Preserve Park for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education, as well as the study and research into methods of conservation. The 157 acres contains a number of open fields, large stands of mature trees (never to be cut unless diseased), tributaries to Honeycutt Creek and exposed granite outcroppings. This land is never to be used for general recreation but will be open 7 days a week for public enjoyment of the natural environment.
North Raleigh is fortunate to have several other Park & Recreation sites in our proximity! Many of these sites are related in scope and will provide complimentary services, connectivity, additional education and outdoor opportunities to the Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park which is located off Raven Ridge Rd, adjacent to Falls Lake. Examples of other services, park and recreation opportunities and connectivity within reasonable proximity include:
- Durant Nature Park
- Neuse River Greenway and Canoe Launch
- Forest Ridge Park
- Horseshoe Farm Park
- Greenways: Honeycutt Creek, Durant Trails, Falls River, Wakefield
- Blue Jay Point County Park
- Falls Lake Project Area
- The Falls Lake South Shore Trail
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
- LeadMine Road vicinity will be closed on Sunday August 30, 2009 from 7:30am - 11am for a road race organized by AE Finley YMCA
- The City of Raleigh has been granted 14 AmeriCorps VISTA members who will serve in the City Managers Office, Community Services, Public Utilities, Administrative Services and Information Technology. The national VISTA program fights poverty by providing indirect service to increase the organizational capacity of programs working with impoverished communities. Locally, "Raleigh Invests in People and Communities" will utilize VISTA members to enhance the City's efforts to build the personal capacities of individuals living in poverty and the organizational capacity of impoverished communities to control their destinies and rise out of poverty. The VISTA initiative is of no cost to the City, with an expected value of $249, 270
- City Police Officers will now be able to issue civil penalties for nuisance party and noise violations. While officers still have the right to issue misdemeanor criminal charges, a civil penalty reduces burdens on the court and does not result in a permanent criminal record against the offender. Text of the ordinance.
- Approval for Downtown WiFi passed 6-1 and will be installed by local company WindChannel Communications. This infrastructure investment continues to assure Raleigh as a 21st century city attracting business and enterprise to boost our economy. Councillors raised questions about extending this service to other parts of the City particularly North Hills, Crabtree and low-income communities. City Manager Allen suggested the VISTA volunteers particularly explore the later.
- Public Hearing scheduled for July 21 to consider an ordinance to regulate Front Yard Parking for Single Family Detached Dwellings based on Councillor Crowder's proposal suggested in Budget & Economic Development Committee.
- City Manager Russell Allen presented the FY2009-2010 Budget which will be reviewed by Council and City Staff during work sessions every Monday afternoon in June at 4pm.
- The Mayor's Unity Day on 1/17/09 organized by the Raleigh Human Relations Commission was a huge success and attended by almost 200 people. Topics of discussion included discussion on diversity, employment, gang prevention, immigration and faith.
- The newly formed "Raleigh Wake Partnership to End & Prevent Homelessness" presented an update on their efforts and various programs working to achieve the "Raleigh/Wake 10 year Plan to End & Prevent Homelessness" as adopted by the City Council and Wake County Commissioners.
- Z-22-09 Six Forks Rd, east side, northeast of I440 - moved to Comprehensive Planning Committee for further review.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
It's the year of Compiegne in Raleigh!
The City of Raleigh celebrates a 20-year-long relationship with its sister city Compiegne, France!
A delegation of nine citizens led by Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane leaves May 13 for a three-day visit. Todd Culpepper, executive director of the Raleigh-based nonprofit International Affairs Council, will be blogging along the trip.
PLEASE NOTE - Councillor McFarlane did not use any public or City money to fund this trip. She personally covered of all her expenses.
View blog updates from Compeigne here.
This past Veterans Day 2008, Raleigh welcomed 17 students from Compiegne as part of an annual exchange with students and faculty from Ravenscroft School in North Raleigh. Among the speakers were the vice-mayor of Compiegne, Michele LeChatelier, and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, who spoke of attending Armistice ceremonies in Compiegne two years ago. He proclaimed the next 12 months (Nov 2008 - Nov 2009) the "Year of Compiegne" in Raleigh.
Have you ever noticed Parc Compiegne? It is a small green oasis of open space between Chamberlain Street and Logan Court, directly across from the North Carolina State University Bell Tower. The park was dedicated on Oct. 29, 1999 in honor of the tenth anniversary of Compiegne and Raleigh becoming Sister Cities.
Sister Cities is an international nonprofit citizen diplomacy network working to increase global cooperation at the municipal level, to promote cultural understanding and to stimulate economic development. Sister Cities International leads the movement for local community development and volunteer action by motivating and empowering private citizens, municipal officials and business leaders to conduct long-term programs of mutual benefit. In addition to Compiegne, Raleigh is a Sister City to Rostock, Germany and Kingston-upon-Hull, England. When the round-abouts are completed on Hillsborough Street I would like to see each of them named after one of our Sister Cities!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Triangle Restaurant Week May 11-17
Bike to Work Week May 11-15
30th Anniversary of Artsplosure May 16-17
North Raleigh Farmers Market - Saturdays May 16 8am-12pm
Henside the Beltline Tour d'Coop Benefiting Urban Ministries, May 16
Raleigh Fashion Week May 14-17
Art on the Move Unveiling May 16 at City Market 11am
Kids 2 Kamp Benefit Ride, Proceeds going to Victory Junction Gang Camp, May 16
Downtown Raleigh Home Tour, May 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
Opening of The Bain Project, Revitalized Depression Era public works project, May 16-17
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Cost per 1,000 gallons
Previous Raleigh water rate $ 2.63
Current Raleigh water rate $ 2.83 (as of 5/2009)
Fayetteville water rate $ 2.20
Greenville water rate $ 2.95
Cary water rate $ 3.28
Apex water rate $ 3.52
Asheville water rate $ 4.61
Water in gallon containers $ 1,050.00 ($1.05/gal)
Water in bulk cases of 24, 20 oz bottles $ 1,061.33 (6,400 bottles/ 1000 gallons)
Springtime water in 33.8 oz singles $4,885.21 ($1.29/33.8 oz, $4.89/gal)
*Sierra Club Publication - Learn the Facts About Bottled Water
*If you're buying bottled water for concern over tap water quality, try something like this.
Pepsi products $ 3389.35 ($3.39/gal, $1.79/2L)
Coca-cola products $ 3389.35 ($3.39/gal, $1.79/2L)
Lemonade $ 1,690.00 ($1.69/gal)
Tea $ 1,990.00 ($1.99/gal)
Milk $ 3,990.00 ($3.99/gal)
Orange Juice $ 3,990.00 ($3.99/gal)
Apple Juice $ 4,490.00 ($4.49/gal)
Wine ($10.99/gal) $ 10,990.00
Bud-light when purchased in 12 oz/ 6 pack $14,178.00 ($7.99/pack)
These calculations are based on prices obtained from Food Lion in the Greystone shopping center on Tuesday April 28, 2009.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Approximately 18.40 acres is requested by Medlin Heirs and Wardlaw Heirs to be rezoned from Office and Institution 1 with SHOD-1 to Office and Institution 2 Conditional Use. Conditions include prohibited uses, limiting building heights, limits to access, stormwater retention, right-of-way reimbursement and site plan approval by City Council.
2. Rezoning Z-28-09 - Poole Road, South Side, Southeast of its Intersection with I-440 Being Wake County
Approximately 23.026 acres is requested by the City of Raleigh to be rezoned from O&I 2 and R-6 to Industrial 1 General Use.
1. Invocation - Doctor Jerry Williams, Agape Word Fellowship
2. Pledge of Allegiance
C. RECOGNITION OF SPECIAL AWARDS
D. CONSENT AGENDA
All items on the consent agenda are considered to be routine and may be enacted by one motion. If a Councilor requests discussion on an item, the item will be removed from the consent agenda and considered separately. The vote on the consent agenda will be a roll call vote.
11. Road Race - Lead Mine Road Vicinity - Donnie Jackson, representing the A.E. Finley YMCA, requests a street closure on Sunday, August 30, 2009, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for a road race.
E. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
F. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE CITY MANAGER
1. North Wake Landfill - Redevelopment as School/Park Site
G. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE APPEARANCE COMMISSION
1. 2008-09 Annual Report and 2009-10 Work Program
Andrew Leager, Chair of the Appearance Commission, will present the commission’s 2008-09 Annual Report and 2009-10 Work Program for consideration of City Council.
H. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE ARTS COMMISSION
Brian Starkey, Chair of Raleigh Arts Commission, will present the Proposed Matrix for Arts Commission Member Appointments and accompanying information form.
I. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HISTORIC CEMETERIES ADVISORY BOARD
1. Historic Cemeteries Advisory Board Name Change and Bylaws
J. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
Commissioner Lorrin Freeman will present the Human Services Agency Grant recommendations for this year.
K. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE RALEIGH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
1. Quarterly Report January – March 2009
This item is the submittal of quarterly reports outlining the City’s marketing and economic development program efforts January - March 2009.
L. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE STORMWATER MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMISSION
The Stormwater Management Advisory Commission has developed additional recommendations
concerning the sedimentation control program.
1. Tree Conservation Ordinance - Proposed Text Change
The Committee recommends the City Council direct Administration to prepare a text change to incorporate into the tree conservation ordinance the following recommendation of the Tree Conservation Task Force and staff.
O. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
P. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE
1. Isabella Cannon Park Master Plan
The Committee recommends upholding staff’s recommendation to adopt the Draft Isabella Cannon Park Master Plan with the following adjustments: 1) that a new RFQ be issued for the design of Phase 1 due to the recent dissolution of current vendor, WSP Sells; 2) that extra parking at Raleigh Little Theater be utilized to satisfy the requirement for four parking stalls at the park; and 3) include the sidewalk as part of the master plan, but phase the sidewalk with development and design in the form of a trail being sensitive to existing trees and topography.
EVENING AGENDA - 7:00 P.M.
A. REQUESTS AND PETITIONS OF CITIZENS
B. MATTERS SCHEDULED FOR PUBLIC HEARING
1. A hearing to consider the petitioned annexations of the following locations. If following the hearings, the Council wishes to proceed with the annexations, it would be appropriate to adopt ordinances annexing the properties effective June 30, 2009, and a resolution placing the properties in the appropriate electoral district.
- Wynbrooke Subdivision (District E)
- North Raleigh Christian Academy (District B)
2. A hearing to consider improvements to Rock Quarry Road from approximately 1,000 feet west of Sunnybrook Road to New Hope Road with the improvements consisting of widening the existing two-lane roadway to five lanes with a center two-way left-turn lane and wider outside lanes to accommodate bicycles, installation of curbs, gutters, drains and paving with a five-foot sidewalk on both sides.
3. A hearing to consider the following sidewalk repairs.
7. A hearing to consider the permanent closing of all of the right-of-way known as Annette Avenue which is located south of Glenwood Avenue and west off Toyota Drive.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Some of the topics we discussed were:
- North Raleigh parks
- how stimulus money is going to be used in Wake County
- the installation of parking meters downtown
- City of Raleigh water plans; where we are today with the water supply and plans for potential new water sources; how conservation and storm water control can mitigate the impact on demand for water
- how schools are impacted by rezoning
- the need for better and increased storm water control during construction
These meetings covering various topics take place the last Thursday of every month. The next meeting will be Thursday May 28 from 6 p.m. to 8p.m. in Raleigh at Milton's Pizza & Pasta.