Category: Harrisonburg Issues

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‘Real change’ — JMU students and halfway house residents team up to craft stories of hope and redemption

Male residents of the Gemeinschaft Home — a halfway house — created powerful songs and emotional messages after teaming up with JMU music and social work students. The result was Story Table, in which many of those stories and songs were shared Monday night at Merge Coffee Co. and Bowl of Good.

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As momentum grows for I-81 upgrades, lawmakers prepare to pick between tolls and taxes to cover the $2 billion cost

Toll or tax? That’s a question that state legislators will begin debating next month when the General Assembly convenes for its 2019 session. At issue is Interstate 81 – the increasingly congested, dangerous and routinely backed-up artery that carries hundreds of billions of dollars in goods each year straight through Harrisonburg and western Virginia.

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City schools to install largest solar array of any public school system in Virginia

By Harrison Horst // contributor On Tuesday night, the Harrisonburg City School Board voted unanimously to work with the solar energy company Secure Futures to install a 4-megawatt (MW) solar project spread across five city schools––at no cost to the school system or the city. The decision comes nearly a year after HCPS released a request for …

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.

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.

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.

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.

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