Category: Harrisonburg Issues
Council endorses environmental plan, also learns historic Thomas Harrison house wasn’t Thomas Harrison’s house
An environmental plan that includes calls for upgrading the city’s recycling program and encouraging renewable energy received unanimous support from the Harrisonburg city council Tuesday night in front of a crowd of residents. The council also declined to approve more housing for chronically homeless citizens in the city’s North East end, approved two resolutions for Public Works to seek grant money for sidewalk and bike lane improvements and learned that the Thomas Harrison House might not have been Thomas Harrison’s house.
Community volunteers and city staff who are part of a key environmental committee will present their Environmental Action Plan to city council Tuesday, which the group says will serve as a blueprint for ways Harrisonburg can help save energy, money and the planet. As part of that effort to encourage the council to act, committee members are urging residents to turn out to Tuesday’s council meeting.
Joy is not the emotion Orpha Peachey expected to feel as she stood on the courthouse steps last Thursday, sharing her experience of surviving domestic violence.
As a crowd gathered on the corner of High and Market Streets Monday evening, Jennifer Davis Sensenig, president of Faith in Action, urged the more than 80 people to march and make their case for local justice reform.
“We’re coming in force because we think the [CCJB] has the power to make local changes,” Sensenig said. The crowd responded with cheers.
Community members seeking criminal justice reform are asking the city to create a new government position: Community Justice Planner. The Community Justice Planner would be a government official whose job it is to gather data and give elected officials informed advice on how to improve the way the criminal justice system works.
Late Wednesday night, Harrisonburg’s Planning Commission voted to recommend the updated version of the city’s Comprehensive Plan to the City Council. The Commission’s unanimous vote signaled the penultimate stage in a process that has been nearly two and a half years in the making.
Since single-stream trash and recycling service abruptly stopped last spring, Harrisonburg officials have examined how to best spend taxpayer dollars for waste collection and recycling. For now, Patel said, an employee-managed recycling collection center is the best option, and there is no plan to bring curbside pick-up back to the city anytime soon.
Instead, the city is trying to figure out how to expand voluntary collection options.
You hear about the local food movement and buy fresh buy local, but can you put a figure on the local food economy in our area? Nearly all of the restaurants in downtown Harrisonburg source locally grown food for ingredients on their menus. Harrisonburg City Schools have a $100,000 budget for locally purchased foods for school meals that come from within 100 miles of the city. Andrea Early, executive director of school nutrition for Harrisonburg’s schools, says that serving local foods helps kids make that connection between the food and who grows it. She hopes that by educating kids about healthy eating they will make healthier choices as adults.