Category: Harrisonburg Issues

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Decision on community justice planner position on hold until at least July

Creating a community justice planner position — a major priority for activists, including the groups Valley Justice Coalition and Faith in Action — won’t happen until July 2019 at the earliest, if it happens at all.
Members of the Community Criminal Justice Board said during Monday’s meeting that they mostly agree with the goals of data analysis but still have to figure out if it warrants adding a new government-funded job.

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Still going strong, Occupy Harrisonburg meetings provide forum for homeless people to request public bathrooms downtown

Kurt Miller and other homeless people have found an avenue to address one of their biggest challenges: lack of public bathrooms, especially during nights in the spring, summer and fall when they sleep outside. Occupy Harrisonburg, the democratically run community group birthed from the national Occupy movement, has given them an opportunity to raise that issue, including at Tuesday’s meeting that has drawn the mayor.

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Harrisonburg is preparing two-part solution to Airbnb conundrum

Almost a year after the city of Harrisonburg began looking at how to regulate Airbnb properties, the city council is still grappling with how to do it in an enforceable and fair way. Now city staff are drafting a two-pronged plan to cover the different ways properties are being rented out through the popular site.

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Public Input Drives Superintendent Search

Approachability, transparency and trustworthiness are some of the qualities that residents of Harrisonburg are looking for in the next school superintendent.  

            B.W.P. & Associates, the recruiting firm hired by the city to spearhead the search, is compiling a “Leadership Profile” to direct the vetting of applicants. It details attributes and skills the public has identified as essential to the position.

The profile, released in draft form this month, is now available on the Harrisonburg City Public Schools website. Board members agree that the document has given them clear direction on what the community is looking for in this leader.

Council takes steps to slow speedy drivers in East Portland neighborhood, begins wrangling with Hburg’s scooter invasion

The Portland East neighborhood’s roads, which have been plagued with lead-footed drivers, might become a little slower to navigate after the Harrisonburg City Council unanimously adopted a “traffic calming” plan Tuesday evening.
In other traffic-related news, the council and City Attorney Chris Brown discussed ways to better regulate the hundreds of electric scooters around Harrisonburg.

Looking For A Home

“Residentially impaired” is how Dylan Thompson describes his living situation at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The church rotates with 15 other places of worship in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County that take in homeless guests as part of Open Doors.

Jail’s $1-a-day fee sparks debate over how costly incarceration is for everyone involved

As some in Harrisonburg call for criminal justice reforms, debate over a fee in local jails has opened up wider conversations about how best to help those caught up in the legal system.

There’s broad agreement that I-81 is broke and needs fixin’ – but how to pay for it?

On Saturday afternoon, Senator Mark Warner-D swung by the Hotel Madison for an hour-long talk on everything from passing a federal budget to the “really dark underbelly” of the modern social media landscape. One of the more Harrisonburg-specific issues that got plenty of attention was fixing I-81.

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