As we wrap up 2016, I’d like to thank you all again for the opportunity to work for you. I’m looking forward to representing you again in the coming year.
New council term begins: On December 5, newly elected or re-elected council members (and the mayor) were sworn in to begin our new terms. Newly elected John Larson replaced the retiring Molly Leight to represent the South Ward. We all enjoyed working with Molly and look forward to working with John. The council also adopted committee assignments for the new term. I will once again chair the Public Works Committee, which oversees city transportation, utilities, stormwater, and related work areas.
Christmas trees collection: As usual after the holidays, the city this year will collect used Christmas trees and put them to good use as mulch for our parks and roadsides. To have a tree picked up, residents should put them at the curbside (wherever you'd normally leave brush for collection), after first removing all lights, decorations, stands and nails from the trees.
Apartment residents and those who don't want to leave the trees at the curb (where it may take a few weeks before all are collected) can take them through January 31 to the following locations (sites most convenient to the Southwest Ward are noted in bold): Crawford Park, 4226 Oak Ridge Dr.; Hanes Hosiery Recreation Center, 501 Reynolds Blvd.; Hanes Park (tennis court parking lot), 625 West End Blvd.; Little Creek Recreation Center, 610 Foxcroft Dr.; Old Town Recreation Center (tennis court parking lot), 4550 Shattalon Dr.; Parkland Park (tennis courts), 1660 Brewer Rd.; Polo Park (swimming pool parking lot), 1850 Polo Rd.; Salem Lake (at the gate), 1001 Salem Lake Rd.; Sprague Street Recreation Center, 1350 E. Sprague St.; Winston Lake Park, 3535 Winston Lake Rd.
Leaf collection will conclude: Curbside loose leaf collection is wrapping up with an extra round this year due to the late fall of most of the leaves—this will be the fourth collection pass for each residential block. Round 4 is expected to begin January 5 in Quadrant 2, which includes most of the Southwest Ward. You can check the progress of collections and the estimated start date for your neighborhood here: https://www6.cityofws.org/COWS_ServiceFinder/LeafCollection.aspx
If you have leaves you wish to have collected, please have them raked to the curb before that estimated date, with no car parked in front of them, and no sticks, trash, bags or other foreign objects mixed in with the leaves. A leaf collection truck will only pick up each block once during each round—no return trips for a house that didn’t have its leaves on the curb yet. This is the last round for this season—no return trips once it has passed!!
Hawthorne Road work continues: Utilities renovation work is planned to continue on Hawthorne Road during January. For the work week January 3-6, Hawthorne Road will be closed to through traffic between Magnolia Street and Melrose Street. Detours will be marked. Those who use Hawthorne Road through this area should note that the eastbound/northbound planned detour will be more complicated than usual: Magnolia—Walker—Ebert—Sherwood—Miller—Hawthorne. If you must travel through this route next week, please slow down and exercise extra caution!
Citizens’ Police Academy: The Winston-Salem Police Department is accepting applications through March 10 for the next Citizens’ Police Academy (which begins April 6). This program is designed to inform interested citizens and residents on the work of the police department, including topics such as department functions, search and seizure laws, use of force, firearms training, crime prevention, domestic violence, criminal investigations, vice/narcotics operations and K-9 and special operations. Participants will have an opportunity to ride with a patrol officer. The classes are taught by officers and civilian employees from throughout the department. The academy lasts 13 weeks, with one class a week taught each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Enrollment is open to any citizen 18 years of age or older who resides, works or attends school in Winston-Salem. Anyone interested in attending the Citizens’ Police Academy may call the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 408-8126 for an application, or complete an application online at WSPD.org. The class is limited to 30 students.
Upcoming January events and meetings: These are the meetings and events I’d like to call to your attention this coming month:
--New bus routes, schedules, and signs: The Winston-Salem Transit Authority is implementing the new citywide bus routes beginning January 2. Across the city, new green and white bus stop signs have replaced the old blue and white ones. The new signs give the specific route number which serves that stop, and the individual stop number, which you can use to check live, real-time updates of when your next bus will arrive. The signs all include how to get that info via text, phone, or internet. Details on the new routes and schedules can be found here: http://www.wstransit.com/2017routes/
--Hawthorne bike travel markings: There will be a drop-in meeting on Thursday, January 12, from 6 to 7 p.m., at Miller Park Recreation Center, to review proposed bike travel markings on Hawthorne Road.
--South Suburban Area Plan: The process of public input into updating the South Suburban Area Plan will begin with a public information meeting on Tuesday, January 24, starting at 6 p.m., at the Southside Branch Library on Buchanan Street. (The South Suburban planning area includes a small part of the Southwest Ward located east of Ebert Road and south of Silas Creek Parkway.) To see the existing South Suburban Area Plan, go to http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Planning/Area-Plans/South-Suburban.
Happy New Year and a great 2017 to all!
That’s my report for December. As always, you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions. Thanks.