NMCA Newsletter (1/10)

Your 2010 Board of Directors

  • President: Jim Gilreath
  • Vice-President: Mike Cubelo
  • Treasurer: Lois Graves
  • Recording Secretary: Phyllis Gilreath
  • Membership: Joyce Murphy
  • Webmasters: Michael Huskey & Chad Chandler

The Board of Directors meets the first Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30 PM at the Bobby Pearse Community Center.

A New Look for NMCA Website

The NMCA website (www.northmaincommunity.org) has a new look and is now much more accessible and user-friendly, making it easier to invite other neighbors to keep in touch. Keep up-to-date on issues that affect your neighborhood. Join or renew your membership easily right online. Learn more about your community demographics. Ask a question of the NMCA Board or your city officials. Subscribe to receive online email alerts and updates about city officials voting records, positions on issues, and much, much more. Comments always welcome.

Find us on your favorite social networking sites:

Waffles for Trees?

Work is continuing on the Waffle House on Stone Avenue. According to the city, the owner of the Stone Avenue property has the right to demolish, build, and/or lease the property to a business that fits the current City guidelines which requires that they cannot operate after 12 midnight. The City of Greenville by law cannot restrict the owner if he/she works within these guidelines. The City of Greenville has not received an application for a Special Exemption for the Stone Avenue property to operate a business after midnight.

It is our understanding that the Waffle House has initiated legal action against the city to be allowed to operate after midnight. Hopefully this Waffle House will not have the crime issues associated with other Waffle Houses. While this situation is very frustrating, particularly to those in close proximity, it helps demonstrate the necessity and importance of a strong neighborhood association and cooperation among all neighborhood associations and the city in order to assure this does not happen in the future in other “backyards”.

Let’s Be Counted in 2010!

(Email from Lillian Brock Flemming, Vice Mayor Pro Tem, City Council District 2)

Happy New Year North Main Community Association! 2010 will be a year of great revitalization and planning efforts for the North Main area. The increased and improved communications efforts launched by the officers and others of the association have been helpful in moving the City’s Stone Avenue Development Planning forward. I have seen the area’s growth in development and traffic in the last ten years and we must make sure that we foster SMART and family friendly growth. My children attended school in this area and my family still shops and supports area businesses. So I have a vested interest in the North Main area. We are not perfect but I am an optimist! Thanks for the support that you have given me and you have my support. We will be counted in 2010 in more ways than one. Residents can receive the City of Greenville’s enewsletter by signing up here.

District 1 Update: Stone Avenue Master Plan

(Email from City Council member Amy Ryberg Doyle)

This past year was a challenge for the City of Greenville as revenues were down and the budget cuts affected all departments. The City still made great strides in maintaining a strong financial position while continuing some important projects, most recently the road repaving throughout the city. Here is a quick update on a couple of neighborhood issues…..

Council passed the allocation of funds for the Stone Avenue Master plan. I have written several emails about the importance of planning both Stone Avenue and Wade Hampton and have been working on both of these. You may recall in my previous email, a steering committee of neighbors and business owners was formed. This committee has chosen an urban design firm and the planning will likely begin in the early part of 2010. There will be ample public input opportunities for both businesses and residents in the Stone Avenue Master planning process.

The BILO Center removed 15 trees this past April prior to the outdoor concert. The management was notified they violated the tree ordinance and the City requested the BILO center to comply with the current landscape regulations. Five new landscaped medians with 39 willow oaks were planted and the City inspection completed last Friday concluded the violation is now closed.

The second phase of the Mohawk Chick Spring culvert rehabilitation is still underway. Bennett Street is expected to be closed for another five weeks.

The first phase of the Wade Hampton landscaped medians has begun. The medians are located on Wade Hampton between North Pleasantburg and White Oak Drive. Construction will likely finish in late January and landscaping installed in February. Bob Jones University has generously agreed to partner with the City and will be maintaining the landscaped medians. This will be the first of several Wade Hampton streetscape improvements.

McPherson Park is getting a facelift with new playground equipment. Bids are out and the equipment will likely be replaced in late February.

Repaving for East North Street (from N. Pleasantburg to Stone Avenue) is now scheduled for the Spring. The City has requested DOT to “road diet” the street down to 3 lanes with bike lanes on both sides.

You will also notice in the next weeks the demolition of the Woolworth Building. While this may seem distant from your street, it is certainly a great start for the redevelopment moving north of the Central Business District. The property is in design phase and no formal plans have been brought to the City.

Viola Street Neighborhood is featured in January’s Southern Living Top 10 “Comeback Neighborhoods” in the South. See here.

For further City information, please see the city’s website. Questions or comments? Feel free to call or email me at Amy_Doyle@bellsouth.net

Why Be a Member of the NMCA? A Member’s Perspective

Isn’t our community wonderful? The adjective “wonderful” with all its synonyms, including “awesome” and “unique”, is quite fitting for our area, delineated not only by specific physical boundaries, but by this beautiful region of the world and its diverse populace. We easily demonstrate that good, intelligent, hard-working people of many ages, races, ethnicities, incomes, religious affiliations, and political inclinations can live in a peaceful community. Besides over 2,000 residences, there are businesses, churches, and schools. There is also a city park that is maintained and funded in part by the NMCA. In fact, the NMCA has contributed more than the city for the last couple of years toward maintaining the Rotary Park at North Main and Ashley.

The NMCA assists with relaying city and other event information to its members, but that’s not all it does. It is made up of committees that organize and provide for social and park work events, and that alert us about criminal activity. It paid for the signs and maintains the landscaped areas around them at the North Main entrances. But most importantly the NMCA uses its clout in interactions with city staff and elected officials to influence decisions about our future. The NMCA board and committee members regularly attend city meetings to convey our concerns as needed, and gather information to relay to NMCA members. Additionally, the NMCA organizes meetings for membership interaction with city officials or representatives.

About that clout……the city needs to be continually aware of our neighborhood so city staff and elected officials will have us in mind as they make decisions concerning this part of town, if not the whole town. The city is aware of the NMCA membership, and the seriousness with which the city takes us is directly proportional to the ratio of NMCA members to residents. Just as there can be disagreement within any organization, there will be disagreement among NMCA members, but there is power in numbers, and the city will pay attention to the majority of our membership because it realizes that people who go to the trouble of paying dues for an organization are alert and going to be better informed about what’s happening, including how elected officials vote. In other words, the more members the NMCA has, the more seriously the city will consider NMCA input about zoning concerning property values, funding for parks, number of police, capital improvements, etc.

We thank you for being a member of the NMCA and would be delighted if you would forward or pass this newsletter along to neighbors who aren’t members and encourage them to join. Dues are still a real bargain at only $10 per year and funds are used for hardcopy newsletters for those without email, neighborhood entrances signs and landscaping maintenance, plants and other supplies for the park, support for the website and supplies for social activities such as the annual National Neighborhood Night Out. Anyone desiring to be a new member for 2010 may send an email to north_main@bellsouth.net to request a form or go to the website www.northmaincommunity.org and join online.

By Michael Huskey

Need an Easy New Year’s Resolution? Get to Know the Humane Society

The Greenville Humane Society opened its doors in 1937 as the SC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. There have been a number of changes over the years and for the last two years, the Greenville Humane Society has been a ‘no-kill’ shelter with the mission to promote and improve the quality of life and humane treatment of animals. They are completely dependent on tax-deductable contributions from the public and private sector and the work they accomplish would not be possible without the generous help of volunteers and donors. As a volunteer at the Humane Society for about 2 months now, I’ve been impressed with the dedication of the staff and volunteers. They find homes for approximately 500 animals per month, trying to match people with pets that fit their lifestyle. In December alone, 631 animal companions were placed in a loving home for Christmas! Unable to adopt? Consider temporary foster care for an animal that has minor health issues or when there is a lack of available space. The Humane Society provides food, necessary medications and training……all you provide is love, attention and proper care and what you get in return is, as they say, priceless.

Interested in volunteering? Orientations are held every month, usually on the third Tuesday evening at 6 PM in the Humane Society lobby. Your schedule will be based on your availability and the time slots you prefer, usually 2 hours. Jobs include working in the puppy/kitten room, walking dogs, pet therapy, special events and helping customers. It’s very rewarding and hard to think of as ‘work’. The Humane Society also operates the only low cost spay/neuter clinic in the Greenville area. Pet supplies are available for sale in the lobby and online, as well as special items during holiday seasons.

To learn more about the Greenville Humane Society, visit their website at www.greenvillehumane.com or visit them at 328 Furman Hall Road. Adoption Center hours are M-F 12-6:30 PM, Sat. 11 AM-5 PM and Sun.1-5 PM. You can also call them at 242-3626.

Attention !!! This spring the Humane Society will have a fundraiser called Sips for Snips. Items are needed for the silent auction. If you own a business, know someone or have a good contact, they need people willing to offer services (like interior design, hair salon, etc…) or items (art, jewelry, themed baskets, etc…) or perhaps a vacation home that they would be willing to offer for a week or weekend. The event takes place March 11th and they will need to have a list of items by the end of February. This is a huge event and the animals are counting on us to make it a huge success. That success depends on the kindness of you and the entire community! Please call Paula at 864-242-3626 ext. 222 if you have items to donate. Thank you!!

By Phyllis Gilreath

In the Garden

You should have bulbs planted by now. Keep an eye out for earlier planted bulbs which will be emerging soon. Keep them lightly mulched.

It’s still a good time to plant shrubs and trees as long as the soil is not frozen. Don’t forget that even though it’s cold and plants are not actively growing, they still need water. With our freezing temperatures, water becomes even more critical for birds and other wildlife. Try to keep birdbaths filled and ice free. Heaters designed for birdbaths can be purchased from a number of sources.

When pruning or cutting dead or diseased trees, remember wildlife uses the knotholes as habitat and insects in rotting wood serve as a food source for many birds. Some choose to head back trees and plant new ones nearby, thus preserving the beneficial aspects.

For newcomers, please be aware that the city will not pick up trash sitting on the curb in bags or yard debris over 6 feet in length or 6 inches in diameter. (Sounds like free firewood for those with a wood burning fireplace!) The city also will not pick up concrete or construction debris…..it only serves as a traffic hazard. For more information, take a look at the county’s Recycling Brochure.

Even though temperatures may warm, resist the urge to get out those pruning shears. Now is not the time to prune……we have a lot of winter still to come.

It is a good time to sit in front of a warm fire and peruse those seed and plant catalogs, planning your spring garden. Don’t forget to include some native plants and plants that serve as food or habitat for wildlife. Check out this website for tips on making your backyard more attractive and useful for wildlife.

Winter Fire Safety in the Home

Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Almost half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. The National Fire Protection Association suggests the following simple steps which can prevent most heating-related fires from happening:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater.
  • Only use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never use your oven for heating.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • For fuel burning space heaters, always use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a tightly covered metal container, which is kept at least 10 feet away from the home and any other nearby buildings. Douse and saturate with water.
  • For wood burning stoves, install chimney connectors and chimneys following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not attempt to light the appliance. Turn off all the controls and open doors and windows. Call a gas service person.
  • Test smoke alarms and CO alarms at least monthly.

(Source: National Fire Protection Association)

NFPA and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASRAE) have joined together to offer a free brochure of energy and fire safety tips for the heating season.  Download this brochure (PDF, 425 KB)

NMCA Newsletter (1/10)
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