Monday, November 30, 2009

"Jogger robbed during run in Frazier Park" UPDATE

The Charlotte Observer reports that a jogger was robbed and sexually assaulted in Frazier Park on Sunday morning.  Please be aware of your surroundings at all times and also watch out for the welfare of your neighbors.  Please also keep the victim of this crime in your thoughts and prayers.
CMPD has referred the crime to its Investigations section and has promised to share updates as they become available.  CMPD has additionally provided these reference papers on "To Fight or Not To Fight" and "While Walking on the Street."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Safety Tips from CMPD

"With the onset of the winter holidays, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is stepping up patrols and taking special precautions to ensure the safety of citizens and shoppers throughout the holiday season. Beginning this week, with one of the biggest shopping days of the year, police presence will increase and continue through New Years.
Funded through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), extra patrols have been added throughout the entire jurisdiction, providing heightened visibility, especially in high volume shopping areas. This includes all major shopping centers, malls, and superstores such as Walmart, Target, and Sams Club. The Department has allotted more than $80,000 of JAG overtime funding to support this project.
The Department will be paying special attention to its known and repeat offenders while also employing the full support of its undercover officers who will be on the lookout for any criminal activity and suspicious behavior. Officers will have a special focus on crimes such as shoplifting and larceny from autos.  The Department also plans to fully utilize crime prevention tools such as its Sky Watch Towers.
In addition to more police patrols, CMPD will collaborate with private security firms to combine efforts.
Emphasizing the crucial relationship between the community and law enforcement, CMPD will be working with local businesses to reinforce precautionary measures for money management and business safety.  The Department is also encouraging citizens to take preventive steps to ensure the securing of their property and their personal safety and offers these tips for the holiday season:

Safety While Shopping 
1. Pay with checks or credit cards when possible. Don’t flash large amounts of cash.
2. Don’t leave any purchases or your purse unattended while shopping or in a dressing room.
3. Try to carry as little as possible. Make multiple trips to your vehicle to store your purchases.
4. Never leave your children alone.
5. If your children get separated from you, teach them to find a cashier or a security officer and ask for help.
6. Report all suspicious activity. Call 911 with a description.

Safety in the Parking Lots
1. Park and walk in well-lit areas.
2. Walk with confidence be aware of people around you, and know where you parked.
3. Always lock your car doors after leaving or entering your car.
4. Have your keys in your hand so that you don’t have to linger before entering your car. Check the back seat before you get in.
5. Don’t leave packages on the car seats. Keep packages out of sight in the trunk or under a covered rear cargo area.

Home Holiday Safety
1. Make sure your home is well lit. Turn on outside lights, spotlights, motions lights, etc. Leave several lights on timers while you are away to give your home that lived in look.
2. Keep all shrubbery trimmed. Do not allow shrubbery to conceal windows or doors.
3. Remove anything a burglar could climb up on to gain entry or use to knock out a window or door; items such as ladders, tools, tables, and chairs.
4. All exterior doors should be solid, rather than hollow core.
5. Don’t leave garage roll down doors open, even while you are home or while you are doing yard work.
6. Use a deadbolt lock to secure your doors. A good deadbolt should have a 1” throw, if you have glass within 40” of the lock a burglar could reach in and unlock the door. A double cylinder lock (this type needs a key on both sides to unlock) should be used if glass is near the lock.
7. If you are going away contact a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail, newspaper and other delivered items.
8. Try not to leave gifts in open view. This is an invitation to burglars.
9. Don’t advertise new gifts or purchases. Break up cartons before leaving them at the curb or dispose of them another way the morning of trash pick up.
10. Don’t forget to engrave new gifts or purchases with your Drivers license number.
11. Don’t open your door to strangers. Be wary of solicitors and salespersons. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, tell them to stay outside, lock the door behind you and make the call for them. Never let a stranger inside your home.
12. Don’t give any information about yourself or your neighbor to a stranger."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

REMINDER: Thanksgiving Parade

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving Parade begins at 10:00a!  For more information, see this link.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Desserts

The Charlotte Rescue Mission needs homemade baked desserts for its annual Thanksgiving Day at 907 West First Street.  The Mission will accept deliveries all day Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day until 9:30a.  Thanks for contributing and happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tailgate Recycling Update

Sunday's game against the Falcons brought a major spike in recycling activity, with nearly 40% of trash being recycled.  The weighted average of recycling activity for this year's initiative is now ahead of the goal.
If you are tailgating tonight, remember to put your recyclables in the yellow bags.  Go Panthers!

Streetcar Information Meeting Tonight

The second of three (identical) Streetcar Information Meetings will be tonight at the Johnson C. Smith University Auditorium, from 6:00p to 8:00p.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Streetcar Information/Meeting Tonight

The first of three (identical) Streetcar Information Meetings will be held tonight at the Government Center, Room 267 at 6:00p.  Please see the attached Scope and Fast Facts documents.

Monday, November 16, 2009

CMPD Alert/Residential Break-ins

CMPD has sent notice that the neighborhood has had five residential break-ins so far this month, on West First Street, West Fourth Street (2), West Trade Street, and South Sycamore Street.  Homes were entered via a window being smashed or pried open.  Large TVs and computer equipment were taken.
Mark Summers (photo) is a suspect; past aliases include Arthur Summers, Michael Summers, Mark Santiago, Mark West, and Anthony Hatton.  I have been notified that Mr. Summers is a suspect in a string of Fourth Ward burglaries as well.
Please call 911 immediately if you see this suspect or anything suspicious.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Membership & Board of Directors

As 2009 nears its end, the neighborhood association approaches two significant milestones.  In concert with the association’s mission, these are focused upon the enhancement of life for all with an interest in Third Ward.  Please read on.

Membership Dues: In 2010 the association will introduce annual membership dues of $25.  This change was made after much consideration, for those who 1) seek to offer their support to the association and be more closely aligned with their neighbors, and 2) recognize value in pooling resources toward the collective goals of the neighborhood.

Though dues are voluntary, all Third Ward residents and stakeholders are strongly encouraged to contribute.  “Residents” includes all who live in condominiums, townhomes, single-family homes, and apartments.

Because this is the first year of dues, projecting the 2010 budget – and the activities of the association derived from it – is difficult.  The budget is anticipated to be focused upon events, beautification projects, and charitable contributions for the benefit of all in Third Ward.  The budget, as determined by the (new) Board of Directors, will be made available to members.

Of course some will find this initiative controversial; others will find it long overdue.  Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments.

Dues can be paid online (see the Google Checkout button in the upper right) or in person at any neighborhood meeting.  Please note that there is a $2.50 fee for online transactions.

Board of Directors Renewal: I can personally attest to the fun and opportunity that comes with being part of Third Ward’s leadership.  As the current Board of Directors ends its term, the association is in an Open Application period for Directors.

The qualities of the ideal Director are evident: positive attitude, plays well with others, works on behalf of the neighborhood, and attends monthly meetings.

Each Director commits to a Personal Project matching his or her area of interest.  Going forward, these Personal Projects will have the greatest impact on the fortunes of Third Ward.  The most successful neighborhoods in Charlotte are founded upon individuals who are passionate about a particular issue: schools… events… parks… the list goes on.

Please consider making the commitment to contribute your personal enthusiasm to Third Ward.  The application for the Board of Directors can be found here.  Thanks!

John Schwaller
Third Ward Neighborhood Association

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Streetcar Information Meetings

"The City of Charlotte Engineering and Property Management Division and Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will host a series of meetings to discuss project-related material for the Charlotte Streetcar Project.

This meeting will serve as an opportunity for staff to provide a project update to the community on what will be accomplished during the Preliminary Engineering phase of the project. Meetings will be held at the following locations:

November 17, 2009
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East 4th Street
2nd Floor Room 267
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Add to Your Outlook Calendar

November 19, 2009
Johnson C. Smith University Auditorium
100 Beatties Ford Road
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Add to Your Outlook Calendar

November 24, 2009
Memorial United Methodist Church
4012 Central Avenue
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Add to Your Outlook Calendar

*Please note the same information will be shared at all three meetings."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Virtual Charlotte

If you like Mecklenburg Polaris, try Virtual Charlotte.  This link has been added to Resources at below left.

Mint Museum

It won't be long until the Mint Museum moves in to its new home on South Tryon Street, adding to the already extensive list of Uptown cultural amenities.  In addition to its exhibits, the museum hosts speakers and offers classes for children and adults.  Consider connecting yourself or your family with the Mint by joining its e-mail list (text box at below left) or connecting on Facebook!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Parade

The annual Thanksgiving Parade, the fourth largest parade of its kind in the United States, will begin at 10:00a on Thursday, November 26th at Ninth & Tryon Streets.  To participate or learn more, follow this link.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rental Property Ordinance Proposal

On Monday, November 9th, there will be a public hearing on the Rental Property Ordinance Proposal: "The Rental Property Ordinance will require registration of those rental properties that fall within the top 4% of a Disorder Risk Threshold among all rental properties. This activity will be measured on a weighted scale with violent crime rated the highest, followed by property crime and citizen initiated disorder calls for service. Owners of those properties meeting the 4% threshold will pay a registration fee based on the number of units in the property."
The hearing will begin at 7:00p at the Government Center.  For more information, please see this postcard.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

History, Geography and CMS

"MeckEd and Levine Museum of the New South invite you to join a lively and interactive exploration of the historical context behind Charlotte's school issues. We'll learn some school history, focusing of Charlotte's experience as the U.S. test case for court ordered busing. Mostly we'll be looking at patterns of economic separation and racial segregation over time. This Discussion Tour evolved from an orientation that Dr. Gorman asked Levine Museum of the New South to give him when he arrived. He's since sent many administrators and principals on this discussion tour. As Dr. Gorman says, it helps us understand why we don't all seem to be 'coming from the same place.'"
The event will take place Thursday, November 19th, from 8:30a to 2:00p.  For more information, see this link.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Catalyst + Real Estate Report

Confirming persistent rumors, the Charlotte Business Journal reports that the Catalyst building will fully convert its 462 units to apartments.  Novare, the Atlanta-based developer of the project, surrendered its management responsibilities to Crosland Investment Services, located elsewhere in Third Ward in the Carillon Building.  Crosland will also manage the 20,000sf of retail space located in the building.
While this result did not meet the intent of Novare, it nonetheless will bring hundreds of new residents to the eastern part of Third Ward; we welcome them to the neighborhood!  Catalyst residents will share the neighborhood's particular interest in the commencement of construction at Romare Bearden Park.
For a more in-depth look at Third Ward real estate activity in Q3, see this Real Estate Report prepared by board member Robyn Riordan.  And if you have thoughts/suggestions on the preservation and enhancement of real estate values in the neighborhood, please contact me.