Following dog’s death in public park, mayor calls community leaders together to discuss homelessness in Hburg
After several episodes this summer involving people panhandling — including the death of a dog and businesses reporting trespassing to the Harrisonburg Police Department —Mayor Deanna Reed called stakeholders to two meetings this week to discuss concerns and possible solutions.
At the entrance, a metal sign proclaims, “Townie Summer.” Once a simple bit of local vernacular, some downtown businesses have begun to embrace the phrase. Susan Keeler, creative director at Pale Fire, says it’s about Harrisonburg having “that sleepy, small-town feel again.”
“It’s quiet,” Keeler said. “I think that’s what really sums up Townie Summer: it’s this calm.”
The Habana Cafe — the newest addition to Harrisonburg’s nightlife scene, and one with a distinct Latin flair — could open as early as Saturday in the place of one of the city’s longtime institutions, the Artful Dodger.
Happy New Year! Now that 2018 is officially history, it’s time to look forward at some of the key questions and issues facing Harrisonburg in the new year. Here you’ll find 19 key storylines The Citizen will be following in 2019.
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.
Independent council candidate Carolyn Frank, who served as Harrisonburg’s first female mayor, is running again on a platform highlighting her concerns about rising taxes and costs, which she says could force people and businesses out of the city.