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.
To those of us who live here, Harrisonburg is a lot of things – growing, increasingly diverse, quirky. But above all, it’s home.
Earlier this year, several of us who have an interest in news and have chosen to live in Harrisonburg – or to return here – began discussing ways we could help our community.
What emerged was the foundation for The Citizen: an online news organization that will provide, without a paywall, in-depth coverage of community issues and information we need to know to be active and informed participants in this democracy. We are driven by curiosity, not any political philosophy. And our goal is to not just explain what happened, but to provide a clearer picture of why and how using any and all tools available to us.