New College Hill sign at Market and Tate streets is finished

New  College Hill signThe granite-and-marble sign at Market and Tate streets is now complete. It’s the first phase of a broader project to raise awareness of the historic district throughout the neighborhood. The sign cost about $19,000, paid for with funds from College Hill’s Municipal Service District fee.

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Additional streetlights going up throughout College Hill today

Two crews of workers install new streetlights

Crews install new streetlights on Tate Street on Sunday morning.

A new streetlight is installed Sunday at Mendenhall Street and Walker Avenue

A new streetlight is installed Sunday at Mendenhall Street and Walker Avenue

Crews are working on Mendenhall and Tate streets today, installing additional streetlights. The pole-mounted lights are the first of 50 or so that will help light up nighttime dark spots. They’re the same lights that were installed last winter on several blocks of Mendenhall and Spring Garden streets.

The LED lights have been paid for with funds from the historic district’s Municipal Service District tax. Inadequate street lighting has long been a concern of many College Hill residents. The neighborhood association began addressing the problem in 2014 with the installation of one light at Walker and Fulton streets. Reaction was positive, so a further test was conducted earlier this year with about a dozen lights, all placed within a couple blocks of the Mendenhall-Spring Garden intersection.

Reaction again was positive; neither the neighborhood association, city nor Duke Energy received any complaints. The lights are designed to shine directly down onto the street in a tight cone without exposing nearby homes to the glare that our traditional streetlights put out.

The very positive cooperation of both the city and Duke Energy has been critical to bringing this project along and is much appreciated.


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7% of College Hill voters had nothing better to do on Tuesday than go out and vote, particularly for Outling and Vaughan

Voters in College Hill joined the rest of the tiny turnout of Greensboro voters in re-electing Mayor Nancy Vaughan and the entire City Council on Tuesday. All of the incumbents on Precinct G44’s ballot except Mike Barber ran even better in the neighborhood than they did citywide, reflecting their generally progressive nature.

The neighborhood’s voters also supported the successful referendum to increase the mayor and City Council members’ terms to four years from the current two, beginning with the 2017 elections.

Turnout in College Hill was a lackadaisical 7%, even lower than the pathetic 11% turnout in the rest of Greensboro and the county’s other municipalities.

Justin Outling, the newly appointed District 3 council member, won his first full term, drawing 86% of College Hill’s votes, compared to 65% overall. He was named in June to fill out the term of Zack Matheny, who had resigned to become the head of Downtown Greensboro Inc.

Vaughan drew 92% of College Hill’s votes for mayor, compared to 88% overall.

Barber’s support in College Hill was 25% lower than in the city overall. All three of the political newcomers who challenged the at-large members ran more strongly in the neighborhood than they did citywide.

Voting in College Hill’s Precinct G44 yesterday:

  • Turnout
    156 of 2,131 registered voters, 7% (Countywide: 11.4%)
  • Mayor
    Nancy Vaughan, 139 Votes, 92% (citywide: 88%)
    Devin King, 11 votes, 7% (11%)
  • City Council District 3
    Justin Outling, 126 votes, 86% (65%)
    Kurt Collins, 21 votes, 14%  (35%)
  • City Council At-Large
    Yvonne Johnson, 32%, 129 votes (30%)
    Marikay Abuzuaiter, 28% 114 votes (26%)
    Mike Barber, 18%, 74 votes (24%)
    Sylvine Hill, 10%, 40 votes (5%)
    Marc Ridgill, 8%, 31 votes (9%)
    Brian Hoss, 2%, 10 votes (4%)
    Write-in, 2% 7 votes
  • Referendum on four-year terms
    Yes: 54%, 85 votes (58%)
    No: 46%, 71 votes (42%)
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Literary note: Miriam Herin to read from her new novel Sunday

Book cover: A Stone for BreadCollege Hill novelist Miriam Herin will read from her newly published second novel, A Stone for Bread, next Sunday, November 1, at 3 p.m. at Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. She also will sign copies of the book.

Synopsis from Livingston Press:

In 1963, North Carolina poet Henry Beam published a collection of poems, claiming they had been saved from a Nazi death camp. The controversy over authorship that followed cost Henry his teaching position and forced him into decades of silence. Then, thirty-four years after the book’s publication, Henry breaks his silence and begins telling grad student Rachel Singer about his year in Paris, his entanglement with the fiery right-wing politician Renard Marcotte, his love affair with the shop girl Eugenié, and his unnerving encounter with the enigmatic René, the man who supposedly gave Henry the disputed poems. The novel moves from 1997 North Carolina to post-World War I France, to Paris in the mid-50s and into the horror of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Even while Rachel wonders how much is true, Henry’s story forces her to examine her own life and the secret she has never acknowledged.

Herin’s first novel, Absolution, received the 2007 Novello Press Literary Award.

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CHNA meeting Oct. 26, 7pm

College Hill Neighborhood Association meets tonight at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall of Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.  All are welcome to attend.

The minutes from August and the Agenda for tonight are attached.

CHNA August 2015 Minutes copy

CHNA_Oct.26_2015Agenda copy


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College Place United Methodist Church Chili Festival!

An invitation to the neighborhood from College Place UMC.  Click on the link for all of the details!

Chili Festival Flyer – sent to neighborhood newsletter groups

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UNCG provides homecoming schedule and noise impacts

The university has thoughtfully provided a schedule of its 2015 homecoming events and expected noise impacts (PDF). Most of the events, including fireworks, will be held on Saturday October 17.

Highlights from Jim Settle, associate vice chancellor for student affairs:

  • Traffic: Expect increased congestion beginning in the morning of Saturday, October 17.  The annual 5K race/run/walk/roll will include on-campus street closures, which may cause traffic to divert to nearby neighborhood streets.  The main homecoming events start at 4 p.m. and will generate significant traffic into the campus.
  • Fireworks:  After the men’s soccer match on Saturday, October 17. “Although we cannot determine the exact time for the start, we expect fireworks will start around 9 p.m. and take approximately 20 minutes,” Settle says.  “We have asked the company to limit the number of ‘flash-bang’ fireworks, but the licensed operator selects the actual fireworks based on weather and atmospheric conditions, so we have limited control.”
  • Band/Music: On Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17, a DJ will play music outdoors until 9 p.m.  Friday, the music starts at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
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Greensboro College debuts its greener-than-grass soccer field

Soccer game on new AstroTurf-brand plastic and rubber field

Greensboro College, in white, plays defense against Averett on its Technicolor-green, AstroTurf field.

The Greensboro College men’s soccer team played the school’s inaugural game on its AstroTurf-brand field Saturday. The Pride romped all over their new rug, pulverizing the hapless Averett Cougars, 5-0.

The $1 million field was installed in less than two months.  The all-weather turf is made of very green plastic grass; filling in for dirt is black “crumb rubber,” little rubber beads recycled from pulverized tires. Like dirt, they get into the clothes, shoes, hair, noses, mouths, cuts and scrapes of players, especially those required to dive into the turf often, like goaltenders. The stuff has been used to cushion artificial turf since the early 2000s.

Graphic on pros and cons of synthetic turf

Washington Post graphic. Click the image to see it clearly and larger; click here to see a Post article on the issue.

Earlier types of synthetic turf were blamed for many knee and leg injuries. The fields were basically concrete with a thin plastic cover that would occasionally snag your cleats and rip your knee apart. And don’t forget turf toe.

Those concerns seem to be a thing of the uncushioned past, though. Now questions have arisen about whether crumb rubber causes cancer in youth soccer players. The AstroTurf company and industry groups the Safe Fields Alliance and the Synthetic Turf Council contend that no scientific research has linked the product to the cancers that have stricken 38 young American soccer players in recent years. Despite being a self-serving claim by parties with major economic interests in the issue, that does appear to be the case, since national media coverage doesn’t cite any and Internet searches don’t turn any up.

Concerns persist because the crumbs do contain arsenic, benzene, carbon black, lead and other chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic. The company and trade groups say the amounts are harmlessly minute. They consider the scientific case for their products’ safety to be conclusive  (“There’s an incredible amount of misinformation out there.”). Nevertheless, some customers are choosing organic alternatives despite their higher price.

Continue reading

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Following up on Saturday’s downed tree and the new sign

SUV damaged by falled tree on Mendenhall StreetThe tree that fell yesterday on Mendenhall Street damaged a very unlucky SUV, but the power lines and street light across the street were spared. Much of the tree remains in the front yard of 117 South Mendenhall St. It caved in the hood of the SUV and broke an outside mirror. The vehicle may be able to move away on its own, though, unlike the remains of the tree, which the city left for the absentee landlord clean up. UPDATE: The city actually did come back on Monday and haul the rest of it away. Who would have guessed?

New neighborhood sign under construction at Market and MendenhallUnrelatedly, work has resumed on the new College Hill sign at Market and Tate streets. Progress was stalled for several weeks by unanticipated difficulty in securing the granite. There were other problems as well, but now that the granite has been delivered, work has resumed with the stone being applied to the cinder block base. The sign is being paid for with money from College Hill’s Municipal Service District funds.

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Rain brings down large tree on Mendenhall Street

Tree down in the 100 block of  Mendenhall StreetA tree at 125 South Mendenhall Street 117 South Mendenhall Street (corrected 9/27) was brought down by the weekend rains. It fell mid-afternoon Saturday, blocking the street. By 4:30, Greensboro police had the street blocked at Rankin Place and West Market Street. Greensboro received 2.11 inches of rain Friday, a record for the date, and more throughout the day Saturday. There were no particularly strong winds, though.

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