Invitation: Help clean Greensboro College’s stream April 21

Greensboro College logoYou and everyone you know are invited to join Greensboro College for its annual Streamwalk, a clean-up project for the creek that runs along the downtown side of the campus, next Friday, April 21, at 2:30 p.m.

From the college:

Participants should meet at the north (Market Street) end of the parking lot behind James Addison Jones Library on campus. Members of the public are invited to take part. Participants should wear pants and shoes that can get wet or dirty.

In Streamwalk, members of the college community and the public patrol College Branch, the stream that flows north along the campus’s eastern (downtown) edge, removing trash from the stream. In 2016, 31 bags were collected.

Biology professor Calhoun Bond, who supervises the event, also will assess the health of the stream.

For more information, contact Bond at 336-272-7102, ext. 5353, or email her.

Posted in Greensboro College | Leave a comment

There are almost no homes for sale in College Hill right now; plus Google Street View and jazzman Wynton Marsalis visit

Dogwood blossoms in the front yard of 306 S. Mendenhall

The house with the dogwoods on Mendenhall is on the market at $355,000.

The spring home-buying season has begun with only two houses for sale in College Hill, 306 South Mendenhall and 508 South Cedar. Both were listed last year but didn’t sell. There’s also one Wafco condo on the market. And that’s it.

Condos and townhouses in Wafco area have been moving unusually fast this spring (details here). A Wafco townhouse on Walker Avenue was listed March 1 and had an offer on March 3. Two townhouses nearby were listed in late February and had offers by March 19. One on Spring Garden was listed March 16 and had an offer by March 27. Very unusual to see properties there moving so fast. …

A Google Street View car rolled through the neighborhood Tuesday morning. The updated view of  Tate Street at Carr may include a guy walking a yellow dog. … The former Subway location on Tate Street is being upfitted for a new tenant. Subway closed in December. …

The Fire Department is conducting its annual testing of fire hydrants through May 15. Opening the hydrants sometimes causes temporary discoloration of water in nearby homes. The city assures us that the discoloration is not harmful in any way (no, no, of course not); just run the water for a few minutes and it will clear up. …

Wynton Marsalis and more at UNCG this month

April is one of the busiest months of the year at UNCG. This Saturday’s events include Slow Art Day at the Weatherspoon and the International Festival. Perhaps the major event of the month is the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis, Thursday April 20 at 8 p.m. in the UNCG Auditorium. Added bonus: Marsalis will give a public talk at 3 p.m. the same day in the auditorium, free and open to the public.

Neighborhood Watch

March was a very quiet month, even at The Province. The only crimes reported in College Hill were two car break-ins, both at The Province, on March 28 and 29.

On April 1, though, there was a bit of a fracas at 201 S. Tate Street, back behind the house in the parking area on Edgar Street. From an uncharacteristically informative police report:

“On 4-1-2017 at 2314 hours, I responded to 201 S Tate St in reference to a disorder call. Upon my arrival I met with the complainant, who advised that on 4-1-2017 between 2300 hours and 2314 hours, a vandalism of automobile occurred. During the course of the investigation, there was sufficient probable cause developed to charge Mr. [see police report for name], 20 years old, with damage to personal property.”

Thank you, Officer N.E. Walton, for quick work and a relatively detailed report.

Posted in City Government, Neighborhood Watch, Public Safety, Real Estate, Tate Street, The Province | 1 Comment

April calendar of events

April calendar of events

Recurring on Tuesdays

  • In*Spire Meditation group
    Tuesdays, noon, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 South Mendenhall Street, in the Sanctuary. The meditation period is less than an hour and is open to the public.
  • Noon at the ‘Spoon
    Second Tuesday each month, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Spring Garden Street at Tate Street, a 20-minute exploration of a new exhibition.
  • Taco Tuesday Bike Ride
    Every Tuesday, rolling at 6:30 p.m. from ReCycles, 908-A Spring Garden Street
    A social ride, an opportunity to meet new riders who want to get outside and maybe work up to longer rides over the course of the summer. Initially, the ride will be averaging around 6-10 miles, no-drop, at a pace averaging around 10+, then building through the summer.  Afterward, the Bandito Burrito Food Truck is at South Mendenhall and Spring Garden.

UNCG event calendars

April

  • Saturday April 8
    Slow Art Day, Weatherspoon Art Museum, corner of Tate and Spring Garden
    A global celebration to help people slow down and discover the joy of art. WAM will have a handout to help guide you through the exhibitions and choose at least one work to look at for 5 to 10 minutes. You’re welcome to view all the exhibitions and slow down for pieces that really catch your attention.
  • Sunday April 9
    College Park UMC Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Springdale Park after morning worship
    In case of rain, the egg hunt will be held indoors.
    Bring your basket! The children and parents will eat lunch in the Fellowship Hall while the eggs are being hidden. Parents and grandparents are asked to sign up at the church office or call 336-275-3363 to let the church know how many children to expect.
  • Friday April 14
    Recycling and bulk trash will be collected along with the weekly garbage and yard waste pickup.
  • Saturday April 22
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Free Oral Cancer Screening, College Park UMC
    Conducted by the Central Carolina Dental Hygiene Society and open to all.
  • Monday April 24
    7 p.m. — College Hill Neighborhood Association board meeting, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, Fellowship Hall, 501 S. Mendenhall Street
  • Friday April 28
    Recycling and bulk trash will be collected along with the weekly garbage and yard waste pickup.
Posted in Bicycling, College Hill Neighborhood Association, College Place UMC, UNCG, Weatherspoon Art Museum | 1 Comment

A note to Realtors and prospective College Hill home buyers about buying property in Greensboro’s historic districts

306 S. Mendenhall St.

306 South Mendenhall Street

Welcome to College Hill! Thanks for your interest in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood association of residents and property owners is committed to improving the quality of life and historic character of the neighborhood. If we can answer any questions about the neighborhood or the historic district, please let us know.

f Historic District Manual and Design GuidelinesEven though College Hill has been a historic district for more than 35 years, the Greensboro Historic Preservation Commission and the city Planning Department still occasionally hear from newcomers who say they have no idea that property ownership in historic districts carries responsibilities not found in other neighborhoods. Please understand that:

  • Homes in College Hill and the city’s two other historic districts are under all the same regulations as homes in the rest of the city. For example, no more than four unrelated individuals can occupy a single residential unit, and parking is prohibited in front yards.
  • In addition, exterior renovations must comply with the city’s Historic District Manual and Design Guidelines. Before work can begin, most projects require a certificate of appropriateness approved by the city historic preservation staff (for small-scale and routine projects) or the Historic Preservation Commission, which meets monthly.
  • To maintain the historic character of College Hill and Greensboro’s two other historic districts, the guidelines rule out some relatively modern exterior renovations that are taken for granted in other neighborhoods. For example, the replacement of wood siding or exterior doors with aluminum or vinyl is considered inappropriate for homes in the historic districts. Also, the division of single-family houses into apartments is not allowed.
  • Projects requiring prior approval include placement of satellite dishes, replacement of windows, adding or expanding parking areas and walkways, and cutting down trees that are at least 4 inches in diameter at breast height.
  • Projects that do not require approval include interior renovations, exterior paint colors, and repairs in which there is no change in materials or design.

The historic designation of College Hill in 1980 has increased property values greatly. The neighborhood has improved dramatically in every way thanks to the commitment of property owners and the city to maintain College Hill’s historic character. We look forward to new neighbors joining us.

Posted in College Hill Neighborhood Association, Historic Preservation, Real Estate | Tagged , | 2 Comments

College Hill news of the week in photos: Tate Street gets digital message board; sewer work getting under way on Springdale?

UNCG digital message board on Tate Street

The chain link fence is still up for some reason.

UNCG lights up its digital sign

The university has spent weeks building a large brick structure with two digital screens in front of Taylor Theatre on Tate Street. It was turned on yesterday, and like a similar sign at Market and McIver streets, it will promote university events and distinctions.

Sprindale Court closed to traffic on Tuesday

A city crew blocks of Springdale Court on Tuesday to dig a hole.

City truck with a line of some sort extending down into a manhole

On Wednesday, the work appeared to move under the street.

Is the sewer rehabilitation finally beginning?

On Tuesday, city workers dug a big hole on Springdale Court. Today, the work appeared to continue via a manhole. Perhaps the big sewer rehabilitation project announced in December (“work will begin in approximately 48 hours”) is getting under way. Or, of course, it could be something else entirely. There was no one around to answer questions. It seemed inappropriate to yell down and ask. Working in a sewer line, sanitary or otherwise, is probably tough enough without some random guy hollering, “Hey, what’re you doing down there?”

Posted in City Government, Springdale Court, Tate Street, UNCG | 1 Comment

126 South Mendenhall sells for a very good price, and quickly; Neighborhood Watch: Much happening again at The Province

house seen from the street

126 South Mendenhall Street: The asking price was $399,900.

Happy news for College Hill homeowners: 126 South Mendenhall sold recently for $385,000. The offer was received after the house had been on the market for about a month. The price represents a modest 4% increase in value over the six years since it was last sold, but to sell a house in Greensboro in essentially a month you really have to have something special. …

A Democratic Party precinct meeting for our precinct (G44) will be held Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., at the home of Denise Ross and Wayne Plummer, 800 Walker Avenue (between South Mendenhall and Fulton streets). … Speaking of Walker Avenue, 801 Walker really stands out now after a thorough exterior renovation that included extensive stucco repair, a new paint color and a very nice metal roof. …

Traffic safety reminder: When you’re driving on Mendenhall or Tate, never run a yellow light at Market or Friendly. No, really … never. There was a wreck at Mendenhall and Friendly one morning last week that blocked both of those streets for a time, most likely because a driver ran a yellow (or red) light. When I worked in an office at Tate and Market, I saw accidents there over and over. Take a chance at those intersections and you’re really asking for it. …

Neighborhood Watch

February was pretty quiet in College Hill, except for The Province. The month’s non-Province highlight was three drug arrests at Winburn Court (two on February 6, one on the 17th). Charges included possession with intent to distribute. There also were two auto break-ins, one in the parking lot of 811 Walker Avenue and one at McGee and Fulton streets.

At the Province, reported crimes included two reports of gunshots fired, one of shooting into an occupied dwelling and two cases of items stolen from cars. There also was a robbery at Spring Garden and Jackson streets, which was either at The Province or right across the street. There were no violent crimes reported elsewhere in the neighborhood in February.

In the past six months, there have been four violent crimes at The Province and two more within a block. There have been three in the rest of the neighborhood.

Posted in Fulton Street, Market Street, Mendenhall Street, Public Safety, Tate Street, The Province, Walker Avenue | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Major College Hill traffic project takes its first step

Traffic at Tate and Carr streetsCollege Hill has far more residents than were ever imagined when the neighborhood was laid out in the late 1800s. As a result, our pedestrian-centric neighborhood has too many cars running through overcrowded streets and off-kilter intersections, often recklessly and too fast.

A major neighborhood initiative to slow traffic and make our streets safer and more attractive took its first step Tuesday when the city issued an RFP to develop permanent improvements to streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, etc. After this planning/design phase, improvements will be selected jointly by the neighborhood association and city. Then they’ll be engineered and implemented.

The cost of planning, design and implementation will be covered by money from the College Hill Municipal Service Fund. The project has been initiated by the neighborhood as the result of needs identified by residents in the 2015 neighborhood plan. That plan was developed by the neighborhood and city Planning Department.

“Over the years, the College Hill Historic District and surrounding properties have experienced an increase in the number of residential housing units while a number of neighborhood streets have been closed, disconnected, or re-routed. These events have coincided with perceived increases in traffic volumes and speeds on certain streets and pedestrian safety concerns throughout the neighborhood. The College Hill Neighborhood Association (CHNA) desires to address these issues proactively through a series of design studies, short-term tactical upgrades to test possible solutions, and long-term physical upgrades to streets, intersections, signage and markings. The intent of this work is to test strategies that will slow traffic, provide safer vehicular and pedestrian movements, and begin the process of creating permanent improvements to the street environment that better identify and enhance the historic character of the College Hill Neighborhood.”

— from the RFP’s Introduction

The timeline calls for a firm to be selected by May 31 and for planning and design work to be complete by the end of November.

Anyone interested in the entire 13 pages of dense and largely boilerplate city government prose should click here.

Or, here’s a brief summary of the work:

Continue reading

Posted in City Government, College Hill Neighborhood Association, Municipal Service District, Parking, Public Safety, Traffic | Tagged | Leave a comment

March 2017 Calendar of Events

March calendar of eventsRecurring on Tuesdays

  • In*Spire Meditation group
    Tuesdays, noon, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 South Mendenhall Street, in the Sanctuary. The meditation period is less than an hour and is open to the public.
  • Noon at the ‘Spoon
    Second Tuesday each month, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Spring Garden Street at Tate Street, a 20-minute exploration of a new exhibition.

UNCG event calendars

March

  • Friday March 3
    Recycling and bulk trash will be collected along with the weekly garbage and yard waste pickup.
  • Sunday March 12
    2 a.m. — Daylight Savings Time begins. Move clocks ahead one hour.
  • Monday March 13 through Friday March 17
    UNCG Spring Break
  • Friday March 17
    Recycling and bulk trash will be collected along with the weekly garbage and yard waste pickup.
  • Monday March 20
    First day of Spring
  • Monday March 27
    7 p.m. — College Hill Neighborhood Association board meeting.
  • Friday March 31
    Recycling and bulk trash will be collected along with the weekly garbage and yard waste pickup.
Posted in College Hill Neighborhood Association, UNCG, UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts, Weatherspoon Art Museum | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Update: Rhiannon Giddens, who sang at church years ago

Cover of Rhiannon Giddens's album, "Freedom Highway"I kept running into Rhiannon Giddens on the internet yesterday, and it made me think about the days when she lived in Greensboro. I don’t know whether she ever lived in College Hill; perhaps she was like EmmyLou Harris, just dropping in to the neighborhood to sing a bit now and then before going on to her brilliant future.

Around 2004 Rhiannon was a regular participant in what was then the 9:20 service at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. She offered thoughtful comments during the group discussions, and she sang once, maybe more than once. Her voice was a revelation for everyone, I think; her singing provided a “what’s-she-doing-here” moment. And, sure enough, soon she moved away from Greensboro. The next we heard of her, she and the Carolina Chocolate Drops were getting famous and, in 2011, winning a Grammy.

A week-old email I opened yesterday from the Carolina Theatre listed her June 8 concert there among its coming attractions. And while looking for something else online, I happened to see that the All Music Guide was featuring a glowing review of her new album, “Freedom Highway,” one of many excellent reviews it has received (“A timely, arresting album,” The Guardian).

Moving on to The New York Times website, I expected little more than the day’s awful news out of Washington, but there she was again, in a prominently displayed piece headlined, “Rhiannon Giddens Celebrates ‘Freedom Highway’ in the Big House.”

“OSSINING, N.Y. — The music industry usually rolls out new albums with in-store performances at record shops, high-profile media appearances or buzzworthy kickoff concerts. But when Nonesuch Records released ‘Freedom Highway,’ the new album by the folk singer Rhiannon Giddens, on Feb. 24, the occasion was marked by Ms. Giddens and her backing band’s spending a day in a far more sobering environment: the Sing Sing Correctional Facility. …

“The trip up the river, however, turned out not to be as far afield as it might first appear. Ms. Giddens’s visit — which included leading an afternoon workshop with inmates and performing an evening concert for them — was organized through Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, which sponsors educational outreach at Sing Sing, helping participating inmates learn to play instruments and compose. In a conversation on the way back from the prison, Ms. Giddens called the day’s setting ‘perfect for what this album is about and the sort of social consciousness and activism that surrounds this record.’”

Wouldn’t Johnny Cash have just loved her?

Posted in Presbyterian Church of the Covenant | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The People’s Perk has a deadline on Kickstarter this Thursday for a mural to honor ‘Wonderful Women and Fabulous Femmes’

Karen and a wall with many small drawings of women

Co-owner Karen Archia at The People’s Perk

Our good neighbors at The People’s Perk have set a deadline of Thursday morning to reach their goal of raising $1,600 to create a mural titled, “Wonderful Women and Fabulous Femmes.” They’re about halfway to their goal as of midday today.

From their Kickstarter page:

“Too often, important people — particularly women, trans women, and women/trans women of color — who’ve fought for social justice, equality and unity, are forgotten in mainstream historical accounts.

“In celebration of Women’s History Month, The People’s Perk, a locally-owned, neighborhood coffee/retail shop in Greensboro, NC, which encourages creative expression in all people, is partnering with the Greensboro Mural Project (GSO Mural Project), a Greensboro-based grassroots, arts-centered  organization, to create a special mural entitled ‘Wonderful Women and Fabulous Femmes.'”

The mural will be painted on a wall in the shop that has been used for exhibits from local artists.

Click here to contribute and see more about the project.

Click here to see the list of 12 finalists to be included in the mural.

Posted in Businesses, Mendenhall Street | Tagged , | Leave a comment