Why is this not in our down town yet?
I don't care that it's a Wal-Mart Fresh Market. It's another Wal-Mart, and that is the last thing Harrisonburg needs. Is there any way we could entice a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wegman's, anything else here? I'd rather see the space used as an indoor farmers market. Anything but another Wal-Mart.
The City is currently planning the construction of a multi-million dollar middle school to accommodate the growing number of student in our school system. I believe that the City should take a long-term view of the cost and usefulness of this building, and as such should strive to make it LEED certified (or equivalent) and a Net Zero Energy Building, meaning that it produces as much energy each year (on average) as it uses. Doing so would decrease the long-term costs to taxpayers, insulate the City from future increases in energy prices, promote sustainability, and enhance our children's educational experiences by creating a modern, forwarding looking building that incorporates scientifically and technologically sound building practices. Depending on the financing mechanism chosen, a LEED/Net Zero building need cost very little or no more initially than a conventional building, though I would encourage the City to focus more on long-term costs than simply the bottom dollar up front. If we as taxpayers have to invest a few extra dollars now in order to save many more dollars for years (decades) to come, isn't that the best choice?
The architects have been selected, but the school design has not yet been set. The firm chosen has experience in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and LEED, including with K-12 schools. Please join me in asking our School Board, City Council, and other city leaders to make the new middle school LEED/Net Zero. It is the best choice for our city, our children, and our future prosperity.
For more thoughts about why a Net Zero middle school would be a good idea, see this blog entry by a local architect with expertise in this area: http://harrisonburgarchitect.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/why-build-a-zeb-middle-school-in-harrisonburg/
Regarding your "Managing Polluted Runoff" discussion, with an eye toward establishing stormwater fees how about publishing, or otherwise make public the city's historical and latest numbers regarding stormwater runoff? This would give some grounds upon which Harrisonburg citizens could see exactly what "stormwater runoff" actually means.
Drinking water: City's National Forest reservoir water is probably some of the most healthy/cleanest in Va.; a key treasure. Concerns: the Oct. 29 City Council work meeting, there were many signs that City should complete a "full water study": 1-rate structure (since~1988?) actually *discourages conservation; 2-staff seemed unsure what City's "Musts & Wants" were to future; 3-most USA systems have or now plan pro-active, practical ways to drive down water average + peak demands plus ways to drive down their high *fixed costs (automation, upgrades, billing every 2 months); but, none were mentioned; 4-City should try hard to *avoid the ~$25 Million cost (in~10 years?) to install a big water pipe thru County to Shenandoah River (S. Fork; McGaheysville) +costly treatment equipment (Shen. water has lots of agr. runoff, bacteria, viruses, etc.;); 5- customers get triple benefits- since each gallon conserved also lowers costly sewer charges, which are rising fast; 6- +etc. benefits- TBD.
Can anything be done about the traffic light timing on Port Republic Road as it crosses the interstate? A good day is when I have to stop for only three of the four lights.
I think we need to advance our thoughts for medical marijauna we have a big pill problem in the valley if we had alternative medicine it would reduce the problem and take gangs off the street
Once a year thousands of Harrisonburgonians make a small donation to the BIG ONE FUND, and a selected organization receives the one time only donation. This is a way for innovative ideas to get off the ground with start-up funds, or a value-added program to get off the ground in an established organization. 2000 donations of $10 is $20,000! A diverse committee of Hburg resident volunteers would select the project from submissions. In fact, we could limit the donation to $10 so that the goal becomes involving as many community members as possible in the effort. A non-profit could facilitate the work, while the City, School Board, and local businesses and United Way could promote the effort among employees. Criteria might include: How big an impact will this new program or organization have on our community (or those in need, if the program is international)? How many people would benefit? Does it contribute to longterm sustainable development? Is it an innovative solution to a real problem?
Prescreen, limit to 1 per police car, per week to begin. Allow Harrisonburg citizens to ride along on patrols with officers. You now refer to your "a cup with a cop" as community policing. This could be an addition to that ongoing --and obviously successful-- outreach effort.
When the new City Hall is built, what should happen to the Municipal Building? It's one of the most important historic buildings in town and is centrally located. How could it become a focus for the community? We need public spaces for events downtown. Some have suggested a "Harrisonburg Museum." A public private partnership? Heritage tourism? How could we create a place that honors our past and helps to shape our future?