Draft minutes from November 2009 East CAC meeting

East CAC Meeting Minutes
November 2009
Submitted by Secretary Sue Sturgis

Chair Mark Turner called the meeting of Raleigh’s East Citizens Advisory Council to order shortly after 7 p.m. on Monday, November 16 at Lions Park Community Center. There were about 70 people in attendance throughout the evening; when asked how many were attending their first CAC meeting, about a half-dozen people raised a hand. The October minutes were approved without changes.

OPENING ANNOUNCEMENTS: Charlene Willard, the Raleigh Community Services Department’s liaison to the CAC, was welcomed back with a round of applause. She missed the October meeting after injuring her legs in a fall at the Lions Park parking lot immediately following the September meeting.

PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT: Lions Park Director Christy Jones reported that her staff recently organized a winter coat drive and provided 75 donated coats to families in need.

Pullen Park will be closing soon for renovations, but first it will hold a Holiday Express event from December 10-13 from 4 to 9 p.m. Tickets for the event, which will feature special train rides and Santa Claus, are $7 a person. The park’s grand reopening is planned for Spring 2010. For more details on the Holiday Express, visit http://bit.ly/5RqHnZ.

In other holiday events, the Mordecai Historic Park will hold lantern tours on December 12 from 5 to 10 p.m. That will be preceded by an open house at the park’s mansion from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details, visit http://bit.ly/5cxsOJ.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Kryskowiak said there was a shooting the previous weekend at Capital Boulevard and Fenton Street, with five shots fired into a car. The police think the incident may have been gang-related.

The owners of the Food Lion shopping center at Raleigh Boulevard and Glascock Street have offered the Raleigh Police Department a year of free rent for their planned satellite office if they finalize the deal by year’s end. Mark said he’d contact the department to ensure they’re moving forward.

Someone asked whether crimes that occur on the Wake Med campus are part of the written crime report presented to the CAC each month. Officer Krysko said they were not, as those incidents are reported instead to the State Bureau of Investigation. He will look into getting that information from the SBI.

This month’s crime report documented 11 aggravated assaults in the area, but only one of those was what Officer Krysko called “truly random.” That incident occurred on Calumet Drive and involved a victim who is not cooperating with investigators. The past month also saw four robberies, one of which occurred at Enloe High School and appears gang-related.

There were 12 larcenies from motor vehicles. Officer Krysko warned that the homeless shelters are full, which means there are people looking for something easy to steal and sell for a hotel room. Lock your vehicles and don’t leave valuables in sight.

In response to the crime problem in the vicinity of Raleigh Boulevard and Glascock Street, Officer Krysko reported that police made more than 117 traffic stops in the area around Raleigh North Apartments in the past couple of months. Raleigh North management also recently evicted two problem tenants who were consorting with gang members. And officers are planning to begin enforcing Section 8 Housing rules at the complex, such as no drug paraphernalia.

Officer Krysko recently testified before a grand jury regarding the counterfeit merchandise charges involving Messiah Fashions, the clothing store at the north end of the Food Lion shopping center. The shopping center’s security guards have been helpful in disrupting gang activity, he said. Speaking of gangs, police are now studying photos of known gang members, which will help with carrying out arrest warrants, etc.

There was some good news from the crime beat: While overall police call volume is up, many of the calls are actually officer-initiated—direct calls from citizens are slightly down. However, the information that is being called in is “good intelligence,” he said.

To get residents more involved in fighting crime, Officer Krysko wants to launch a “lights-on initiative.” That would involve working with local neighborhood watches (setting them up if necessary) so when a suspicious person is in the area neighbors can call each other to turn on their porch lights.

And with the winter holiday season upon us, Officer Krysko reminded people to write down the serial numbers of their possessions.

Mark reminded people to be aware of the scammer thought to be operating in the area. For more details and a photo of the scammer, who claims he needs help with a broken-down car, visit http://www.eastraleigh.org/?p=334.

Mark also showed the motion sensor kit he bought at a local tool store. It costs only $20, is quite sensitive and can be used to monitor a driveway or yard.

ANIMAL CONTROL PRESENTATION: Animal Control Officer Jenks gave a presentation in response to recent concerns about stray and at-large dogs in various parts of the CAC.

Part of the police department’s Special Operations Division, Animal Control relies on the help of residents, since there are only five officers on duty at any one time in all of Raleigh. (The city has a total of 10 animal control officers.) If a dog is wandering loose, Animal Control can go to the home, give a citation, and make sure rabies vaccinations are current.

The Animal Control office is open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and an officer is always on call in case of emergencies. Dial 911 for animal emergencies (bites, vicious dogs, etc.) or 831-6311 for non-emergencies. Police officers can also help in some situations, as they have access to animal holding cages. Animals that are picked up are now taken to the SPCA of Wake County’s lost pet facility in Garner, though that may change.

In response to a question about rabies clinics, Officer Jenks said the county does hold these clinics. The city has considered holding them as well but has concerns about the small staff.

There was also a question about wildlife. She reported that Animal Control does not remove healthy wild animals from people’s property, but they do deal with sick or injured wildlife and will set traps if absolutely necessary.

Officer Jenks can be reached via e-mail at Jessica dot Jenks at ci.raleigh.nc.us.

WAKEMED PRESENTATION: Judy O’Neal, senior vice president for public affairs at WakeMed, came to discuss the CEO Bill Atkinson’s publicly stated concerns about Black Tie nightclub across the street from the hospital on New Bern Avenue. Earlier in the month, Atkinson told the News & Observer that he was an “enemy” of the club and wanted it shut down.

O’Neal said the hospital leadership’s dream is to see the New Bern Avenue corridor transformed into a “safe, wonderful entryway into Raleigh.” To that end, they have also been having discussions with city officials and local transportation agencies about installing a signal crosswalk across New Bern. They want to work with the CAC on the improvements.

Former CAC Chair Lynette Pitt said she was glad to see WakeMed engaging with the CAC, as the group had tried to work with the hospital in the past with little success. But she was disturbed by Atkinson’s comments about Black Tie. When the violence there was out of hand two years ago and the CAC raised concerns, the club’s owner cooperated to address the problems. She would like to see Wake Med engage with businesses that make an effort to improve, not attack them.

OUTREACH, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE REPORT: Bobby Poole brought the CAC up to date on Z-18-09, the case involving the Longview Grocery rezoning on Poole Road. In September, the CAC voted to oppose the rezoning from Residential-6 to Shopping Center-Conditional Use.

The OPED committee heard that developer Danny Coleman requested an extension from the Planning Commission. Mr. Coleman has been discussing restricting the store’s sale of items such as cigarettes and alcohol to certain hours. The OPED committee will take up the case again in January before it again appears before the Planning Commission.

Last week Bobby, Mark and CAC member Mary-Brett Purnell met with At-Large City Councilor Russ Stephenson and asked him to help make improvements to the Capital Boulevard corridor a high priority for city planners.

WRAP-UP: The CAC meeting adjourned at about 8:15 for a holiday social, where attendees enjoyed pizza from Frank’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant at 2030 New Bern Avenue and chicken wings from MoJoe’s Burger Joint restaurant at 620 Glenwood Avenue. MoJoe’s is owned by CAC Vice Chair Van Alston.

The CAC will not meet in December. The next meeting is scheduled for January 18, 2010.

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