June 2011 East CAC draft minutes

East CAC Meeting Minutes
June 2011
Submitted by Secretary Sue Sturgis

Raleigh’s East Citizens Advisory Council held its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 20, 2011 at Lions Park Community Center. About 30 people attended, with about five there for the first time. Chairman Mark Turner recorded the meeting, with video available at www.eastraleigh.org.
Secretary Sue Sturgis reported that a change was made to the draft minutes from the May meeting in the section about the discussion on tornado recovery; the final version posted on the website will reflect those edits. The minutes were approved without any additional changes.

Mark reported that Belvidere Park and Woodcrest held a community potluck at Lions Park over the weekend. There was a good turnout, and Mark encouraged other neighborhoods to hold similar events.
A resident of the Longview neighborhood reported a problem with the power going out frequently; someone from Lockwood reported a similar problem. Someone asked why the wires weren’t put underground, and Mark noted that’s very expensive and would entail cutting down a lot of trees.
In response to concerns about speeding in her neighborhood, one woman asked about neighbors purchasing their own speed bumps. Mark said something like that needs official approval, while Officer Kryskowiak noted that speed bumps raise issues of access for emergency vehicles.
Someone noted that people in neighborhoods affected by the April tornado were still cutting down trees and putting them in the street. Mark reported that June 6 was the last day the city was picking up that kind of debris, and now it’s up to residents to either haul it off themselves, cut it up into pieces that Solid Waste can haul away on trash day, or get cited by Inspections.
A resident of Lions Way reported that the cul-de-sac lacks streetlights and is very dark at night. Officer Kryskowiak said he would contact the city about it.
St. Augustine College’s plan to build a 5,000-seat sports stadium came up. Mark noted that the original plan was for a 2,500-seat facility. He said he’d invite someone from the school to attend the next ECAC meeting to discuss the plans.
A woman who lives on Brighton Road in the Lockwood neighborhood reported that residents of a rental house at the dead-end of the street appear to be operating a tree service out of the home and have been burning large fires. Someone else noted that an illegal construction debris dump has sprung up at the dead-end since the tornado. Officer Kryskowiak said he would look into it.

PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT: Lions Park Assistant Director Jason Clemons reminded everyone that a membership to the Lions Park weight room is $12/mo.; Tae Kwon Do on Tuesday and Thursday nights is $35/mo.; and Friday night cardio fitness class is $20/mo. Upcoming registrations include youth football and cheerleading, youth softball, and youth baseball. For a complete schedule, visit the Lions Park office or get a copy of the latest Leisure Ledger at http://1.usa.gov/gCjKUQ.

POLICE REPORT: Community Police Officer James Kryskowiak passed out a copy of the last month’s crime report and took questions. Someone asked about the rape that was reported on Somerset; he noted that it was not a stranger rape.
Someone recounted a recent incident where she reported to 911 hearing 10-12 gunshots; the operator asked her if she could see the shooter but she did not want to go to the door. Officer Kryskowiak noted that it is often very hard to figure out where gunshots are coming from. He reported that RPD is interested in getting gunshot detection equipment known as the “ShotSpotter” but that it’s very expensive at about $15,000. He also said this shows why it’s important to know your neighbors: If there are six houses on your street and you know five where they’re not out shooting guns, it’s easier to pinpoint the problem.
Someone asked about the status of the police office on Raleigh Boulevard. He reported that officers haven’t been spending time there lately because the air conditioning has been broken, but York Properties is supposed to fix it soon.
There have been concerns about motorcycle racing since a rider was killed in a recent accident on State Street. Officer Kryskowiak reported that a lot of racing seems to be random, with motorcyclists bumping into each other at gas stations and then heading off to race. But the police are working with residents on State Street to narrow down the days and times when racing happens there. In addition, the police have discovered websites with racing calendars on them and plan an enforcement effort. In the case of a pre-arranged race, RPD can seize the vehicle.
Air conditioning thefts have been an issue recently. Also, if your home has air conditioning window units, you need to make sure you have some way to secure the window because those units are easy to push in and gain entry.
When reporting crimes or suspicious people, please be as accurate and detailed as possible so police can establish probable cause. Ask your neighbors for help if necessary.

CAPITAL AREA FRIENDS OF TRANSIT: Amy Simes with Capital Area Friends of Transit came to talk about her organization: a group of local leaders, groups and citizens who want to see strong public transit system in our community, which is fast-growing and already has one of the nation’s longest average commutes.
She pointed to various benefits of public transit, including a cleaner environment, increased housing values and a stronger economy, as every $1billion invested in public transit creates 30,000 jobs.
A new regional transit plan is under development and will be open for comment later this year. It’s expected to address expanded bus service, commuter rail and new light rail. A referendum on a ½ cent sales tax to fund the system is likely to take place next year.
For more information, visit www.capitalareafriendsoftransit.org.

WAKE COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES TORNADO RELIEF EFFORTS: Lachelle Wardell with Wake County Human Services discussed the work her agency is doing to help tornado survivors. They worked with the City of Raleigh and Red Cross to ensure people’s need for shelter was met and also to make sure people in need got food, water and clothing. She reported that efforts are ongoing; for details about getting assistance, volunteering to assist others, or making a donation, visit www.wakegov.com/news/28866.htm.
Ms. Wardell also reported that her agency is doing a community assessment, something it undertakes every four years in order to identify the county’s needs and resources. In East Raleigh, a lack of health insurance and mental health services have been identified as significant issues, while obesity and unemployment are issues for the city overall. For more information on the process, visit www.wakegov.com/humanservices/communityhealth/communityassessment/.

PARKS AND RECREATION CORPORATE LEISURE SERVICES: Allison Marsh, the corporate leisure services event coordinator with the city’s Parks & Rec Department, offered information about her program, which helps corporations hold events in city parks, such as picnics, social outings and holiday parties. They’re a full-service event planning operation, offering services based on and priced according to what the client wants. For more details, visit http://1.usa.gov/nKPVNt.

EAST RALEIGH COMMUNITY DAY: Debbie Ford, who is one of the volunteers helping plan the event, gave a brief update. Community Day is planned for Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Raleigh Boulevard Plaza shopping center. They are now lining up sponsors and will be asking people to sign up to volunteer. They are also planning a T-shirt design contest, with the winning design to be worn by the volunteers.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m. The next meeting will be held at Lions Park at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 18.

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