Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

I thought that today would be the perfect day to follow up with the outcomes of this weekend's two Earth Day Celebrations! The first event was Dig In! which is a forum that was held at Marbles Museum to promote the idea of community gardening in Wake County. Dig In! was a tremendous success! It was great to see so many folks out and about to support Wake County's community gardening system. I have high hopes that we will continue to see more community gardens start throughout Raleigh and Wake County!

The second event was the annual Earth Day Celebration! This even was also a tremendous success. There were all kinds of fun events for people of all ages to enjoy. I have posted a few pictures from the Earth Day Celebration! Please remember to do your part to reduce, reuse, and recycle!

As always, I will continue working to uphold my personal values of environmental stewardship along with the official City council mission statement:
  • We are a 21st Century City of Innovation focusing on environmental, cultural and economic sustainability.
  • We conserve and protect our environmental resources through best practices and cutting edge conservation and stewardship, land use, infrastructure and building technologies.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Progress in Motion Forum 2010

Progress in Motion is an annual conference that is held for those interested in how railroads contribute to North Carolina's transportation system, as well as the economic and environmental benefits of our rail system. With the growing interest in light-rail transportation for the Triangle it is appropriate that this year's theme is 'Rail and the New Economy'. The intention of the event is to encourage a new dialog in order to maximize the benefits and spread the word about North Carolina's existing rail system and future potential. The kick off event will be May 10th at the Raleigh Depot, and forum will be held May 11th at the Convention Center.

The North Carolina Railroad Company is the state's oldest corporation, and touches nearly a quarter of the state's economy. In the near future, North Carolina will begin taking steps toward using our rail system to face growing transportation and environmental issues in our state. The Progress in Motion Forum gives Citizens an opportunity to gain a better understanding of our current rail system, as well as the plans for the future of our rail system.

For more information, please visit or call 919-954-7601.

Council Meeting Today!

City Council Meeting Today! As always, the full agenda is available here.

Today, we will vote on the proposal to provide bicycle rental facilities in downtown Raleigh. With no investment needed from the City, this is a great opportunity for us to provide our Citizens with another great service!

Please feel free come out and join the conversation at the City Council meeting today!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Raleigh Announces Green Building Training Certification Program!

The City of Raleigh's Office of Sustainability has developed a Green Building Training Program through a grant from the Department of Energy and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

The Green Building Training Program will offer classes and certificates for a $25.00 refundable fee to construction professionals. The courses will include LEED certification, Solar Panel Installation, Solar Thermal Installation, Green Plumbing, Sustainable Landscaping, and Home Energy Rater System (HERS), along with several others.

Classes will begin in May and continue through December 2012.

The Program will provide a great opportunity for local construction businesses to equip themselves with new skills and tools that will make them more competitive in an increasingly green building market. The City has partnered with Wake Technical Community College to develop and broaden the courses being offered through the Program. This is on the first programs of it's kind, and just one of the many great partnerships in Raleigh to help grow our economy is a sustainable manner.

Monday, April 12, 2010

City Council Approves Stormwater Projects

Throughout my terms on council and as Chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee I have worked hard on developing strong stormwater standards. These help establish local systems to control the flow of water and protect waterways from excessive sedimentary runoff from construction sites.

The following projects were reviewed and prioritized by the Stormwater Management Advisory Commission (SMAC) in March and forwarded to the City Council. The approved drainage improvement projects total an estimated total cost of $340,000. All Drainage Petition projects are funded by the Stormwater Utility fees.

  • Maram Court - severe channel erosion in a tributary to Big Branch which flows through the backyards of several homes. The City will stabilize approximately 80 feet of the drainage way by bioengineering methods.
  • Sylvester Street - A tributary to Southgate Branch which bisects the backyards has severe erosion. The work will shift the stream away from the driveway and tie back in along the eastern side of 2916 Sylvester Street. The area will be stabilized with bioengineering plantings .in the areas of eroded bank on both properties.
  • South Saunders Street - To help prevent street flooding, the Stormwater Utility Division will upgrade the existing drainage system from a pipe inlet behind 2621 South Saunders Street to a catch basin on the west side of South Saunders Street.
  • Onslow Road - The work at 1408 and 1416 Onslow Road will correct severe erosion and create a floodplain bench and stabilized with plantings.
  • Lake Boone Trail - A collapsing and separating corrugated pipe has caused severe erosion and sink holes on a property at 413 and 501 Lake Boone Trail. The work will replace approximately 216 feet of pipe.
  • Shavenrock Place - A 15 inch diameter concrete pipe will be replaced to correct severe erosion.
  • Silkwood Way – an open channel and pipe to alleviate erosion caused by uphill development

Friday, April 9, 2010

Brentwood Boys and Girls Club Career Fair

Last night, I had the opportunity to meet some great kids at the Brentwood Boys and Girls Club! I was invited to be a part of their Career Fair, which was held for about 150 kids, ages 5-16.

The Career Fair was a great opportunity for these young people to learn about different career paths available to them. They asked some great questions! It was a lot of fun to be able to speak with about both of things that I do, pharmacy and City Council!

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County provide a wealth of programs and opportunities to children throughout Wake County! They really do a tremendous job, and it was great to learn more about their organization and be a part of the Career Fair!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

DIG IN! The Down and Dirty on Community Gardens!

On Saturday April 17th, Advocates for Health in Action will present Dig In!, a local summit on Community Gardens. The event will be a great opportunity to learn how to build, maintain, and sustain a community garden. Dig In! will be held at Marbles Museum from 9:00am to 12:30pm. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature workshops, presentations from community garden experts, educational booths and a guide to working community gardens throughout Wake County.

I am very excited about this event, and believe that there are endless benefits to community gardens. Community gardens provide easy access to healthy, locally grown foods while promoting community involvement and a healthy lifestyle. There are several community gardens throughout Raleigh, and it would be great to see this number continue to grow!

Dig In! promises to be lots of fun and very informative! Planet Earth Celebration will also be going on at the Museum of Natural Sciences on Saturday April 17th. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Strickland Road Traffic

I have begun receiving a series of letters from residents of The Cypress hoping for a new stoplight at Harvest Oaks Drive and Strickland Road. Yesterday, I spoke with members of City staff and shared their concerns. Soon, the City will begin monitoring the traffic patterns at the intersection as the first step in deciding the best way to alleviate the traffic problems in the area.

I will keep you informed as progress and decisions are made!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Council Agenda 4/6/2010

Today's full Council agenda available here.
  • Today there will be a public hearing to consider increasing the water nutrient reduction fee. Please come out and join the conversation!