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After Planning Commission vote, updated Comprehensive Plan on the home stretch

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.

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Council candidates try to connect with JMU students

The five city council candidates tried Wednesday evening to appeal to bloc of potential voters that often eludes them—especially in midterm election years. But even the students who showed up to the Traveling Town Hall stop at JMU’s Grace Street Apartments weren’t exactly sure, at least at first, how the city council affects them.

Phillip Wong, a junior psychology major, was one of the few students to ask any questions of the council candidates: Democrats Chris Jones and Sal Romero Jr. and independents Carolyn Frank, Frank McMillan and Paloma Saucedo. The five are vying for two spots on the council.

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The Hub. Co-working in downtown Harrisonburg.

Harrisonburg sorts through tons of plastic, paper and pent-up demand for more recycling options

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.

Fresh and local and all grown-up: a look at a movement with staying power

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.

Council candidates offer different philosophies in ways they should – and can – help immigrants

Saturday’s city council immigrant forum revealed a philosophical gap between the five candidates – not necessarily over political ideology – but more broadly in how they view the relationship between government and citizens. The candidates, who are vying for two seats in the Nov. 6 election,  also differed over the council’s ability to actually affect certain issues, including access to health care and federal immigration policy.

Wave or ripple? Voter registration numbers in Harrisonburg on an ordinary path to the mid-terms.

By Jeremiah Knupp, contributor With the upcoming midterm elections dominating the national news cycle, voter registration numbers around the country are soaring. Over 800,000 people signed up on National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25, according to Nonprofit VOTE, who sponsored the event. State election officials have said that registrations are up this year over …

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