Category: Community issues

July 23rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Residents in the Ghent neighborhood are begging for help from City Hall to do something about cars using residential streets as cut-throughs, raising the question, why wouldn’t City Hall help?

Could it be that City Hall doesn’t want to be seen as responsive when residents ask for help? That’s actually been an argument (“We don’t want to help you because then we’d have to help everyone”).

Could it be that City Hall thinks that throttling back on Ghent cut-through traffic will only push the problem elsewhere? (That actually happened recently when through-traffic was blocked and cars — temporarily — used nearby streets as a detour until they found that First Street is faster).

The real reason is something else, a mile away and an apparently unrelated issue — Farmers Market.

Farmers Market sits on a piece of prime real estate valued at $471,880, according to the county tax office. But that tax value figure belies its true value.

Located on railroad frontage and fixed between the N.C. History Center and Downtown Proper, this 1.2 acre parcel has been occupied by New Bern Farmers Market since 1984 (note: typo corrected from 1994).

The property was acquired by the Redevelopment Commission and then sold to the city for $10 in 1978. The enclosure on the property was purpose-built for the Farmers Market.

Farmers Market was originally seen by City Hall as an asset that attracted people downtown during a time when Downtown New Bern was getting back on its feet following years of decline.

The waterfront along the Trent River, once teeming with industry, had become derelict, nothing like what it is now today, and Farmers Market was one of the first improvements that helped downtown revitalization.

The city charged Farmers Market $1 a year to use the property, but when Dana Outlaw became mayor, something changed.

Outlaw, the son of a former New Bern city manager, started ridding City Hall of what he perceived as surplus properties.

He also ended city contributions to non-profits that had been helping the city in numerous ways, such as Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation, which was primarily responsible for downtown’s turnaround, and New Bern Firemen’s Museum, which was in a city-owned building and also charged $1 rent.

The city sold the Dunn Building kitty-corner from City Hall and moved offices around to other city-owned buildings, including a former elementary school on First Street between Spencer Avenue and Trent Boulevard.

City Hall owns other properties — numerous houses that it foreclosed on when cash-strapped owners were unable to afford repairs and then the demolition costs when the city bulldozed the houses, and a large parcel of wetlands between the Pembroke Community, U.S Highway 70, Carolina Avenue, and Trent Road that it is selling part of to the New Bern Housing Authority to build low-income apartments.

City success in the real estate business is hit and miss. The houses in its inventory earn nickels on the dollar when sold compared to the cost the city incurs in legal fees, demolition, and marketing.

It has been having trouble selling the old Firemen’s Museum on Hancock Street, and when a group of artists offered to rent it from the city, the city stole the idea but then failed at starting its own artist studio.

That wasn’t the first time City Hall tried to muscle in on the success of local non-profits.

Which brings us to the old Power Plant between First Street, Rhem Street, and Park Avenue.

After years of industrial use, the 3.8 acre parcel is an environmental nightmare beneath a thin layer of asphalt. No one in their right mind would ever buy such a property, given the high clean-up costs, although the county tax office values it at $339,720.

Stuck with surplus property that it could never sell, leaders at City Hall came up with an idea that they thought would kill two birds with one stone.

They would move, voluntarily or otherwise, Farmers Market from its attractive property downtown to the Power Plant property, once the city completed various improvements to accommodate Farmers Market needs.

The First Street property is a turd, but they would make it a shiny turd.

Unsurprisingly, members of the New Bern Farmers Market and downtown businesses and visitors resisted the idea. The timing was  all in the Farmers Market’s favor.

Even if City Hall evicted the Farmers Market at the end of its lease, the Farmers Market had a one-year extension option that, if it exercised the option, would have them being evicted the month before municipal elections in 2017.

The city backed down and granted another 5-year lease, but this time increased the rent to $500 a year (ed. note: corrected from per month).

Meanwhile, City Hall hunkered down. It claimed that instead of there being a farmers market-style City Market, it would partner with Craven Community College to hold courses at the newly branded VOLT Center.

But secretly, some city leaders held on to the idea of a farmers market, seeking grants and other funding using a technique called fraud. At least one grant application withheld key information, not the least of which was the implication that New Bern didn’t have a farmers market and City Market would fill that void.

Chemical contaminants and misleading grant applications aside, City Hall faced other obstacles in creating a new farmers market to put the existing one out of business.

The old electric generation plant, located between Country Club Road/First Street, Park Avenue, and Rhem Street, has access issues.

First, Country Club Road/First Street was butt ugly.

In fixing that problem (you may have guessed already, the city got someone else to foot the cost, namely N.C. Department of Transportation, aka state taxpayers), street engineers employed a concept called “Road Diet,” which is the latest thing at street engineer cocktail parties.

They took the street, a four-lane monstrosity with occasional sidewalks and plenty of eyesores, and spiffed it up, turning it into a two-lane street (with center turn lane), bike lanes, and sidewalks on both sides.

That led to another problem. N.C. DOT said it would do the work, but resisted the idea of there being an entrance to City Market off First Street. It would be too close to freeway onramps and offramps, they said.

That forced City Hall to figure out a different way for hundreds of visitors to get to their future farmers market, which left one choice: Rhem Street.

Rhem Street is one block long and located within a commercially zoned district, although there are just as many houses on Rhem Street as there are businesses.

The two main ways to get to Rhem Street are from Country Club Road, and from (drum roll) Second Street.

See what they did there?

To put New Bern Farmers Market out of business, City Hall has to keep Second Street open to commercial traffic, even though Second Street, just two and one-half blocks long, is located entirely in a residential district.

Connecting the dots, it leads directly back to the property on which New Bern Farmers Market is now located.

For some reason, forces inside City Hall want New Bern Farmers Market off the property on South Front Street really, really badly, either by moving it to another location, or by putting it out of business.

The question is, who wants that downtown Farmers Market property so badly that they have City Hall in their back pocket, fighting fiercely to get it done?

The answer is reached the old fashioned way: Follow the money.

Stay tuned for Part II.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Business, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Craven Community College, Farmers Market, Mayor

July 23rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Ever since Jeffrey Odham, then a candidate for Ward 6 alderman, ran on a campaign of running city hall like a business, I was apprehensive.

Once he took office, I started to see exactly what he meant.

He wasn’t talking about a business that puts customer satisfaction first. He was talking about the American concept of business efficiency — low cost, high profit, declining customer service, cut-throat competitiveness, and poor responsiveness to customer needs and wants.

There are numerous examples that bear this out.

There’s the example of City Hall pushing the Firemen’s Museum out of its old location on Middle Street into the old fire station on Broad Street. This was part of a push by the Board of Aldermen to get rid of surplus properties, even if the property is being used for the betterment of the community.

Once the Firemen’s Museum finished moving, the old building sat vacant. Despite some initial interest from buyers, the city was simply unable to sell the building.

Then a group of artists who had been forced out of their previous studio approached the city about renting the old museum property.

That brings us to another example, one of cut-throat competitiveness.

The artists wanted to rent the building for the non-profit rate (usually $1 a month or a year) or if not that, as low as possible, and in turn would provide numerous services and amenities to the community.

City Hall refused the offer, and instead tried to go into the art studio business itself. But it couldn’t find any takers and the old museum property continues to gather dust.

Something similar is happening with New Bern Farmers Market. The city tried to force it from its city-owned location on South Front Street to the old electric generation plant off First Street. City strong-arm tactics to get its way failed but only due to the proximity of municipal elections, which would occur at precisely the same time City Hall would be evicting the Farmers Market. Rather than face the wrath of angry voters, city leaders extended the Farmers Market lease for five years but increased the rent from $1 a month to $500 (the only example of the city charging a non-profit anything other than token rent).

City Hall plays the long game, however. If it can’t get New Bern Farmers Market to move, it plans to start its own, fraudulently going after government grants to help pave the way, with the ultimate goal of putting New Bern Farmers Market out of business so it can sell the property on which it operates.

Let’s not forget the city’s habit of tearing down houses of poor people and then foreclosing on the properties when the owners couldn’t pay the demolition costs.

Let’s also not forget the draconian utility deposits the city imposes on people having a hard enough time as it is keeping up with high utility costs.

Let’s not forget the place where you pay your electric bill. Until complaints came to light, they locked their doors 15 minutes before closing time and even closed their public restrooms.

The pettiness just keeps on coming.

These are not the only examples of City Hall being “run like a business,” they are just some examples.

Except where the law requires public participation, City Hall treats city residents (those without wealth, at least) as annoyances. City officials treat citizens disdainfully and ignore their requests whenever the law allows it.

Paradoxically, city workers continue to provide high levels of customer service despite what their management forces on them. Utility workers, police patrolmen, firefighters, desk clerks, street workers and more, they all get the job done.

My belief is that a city should not be run like a business, but should be run like a cooperative.

Citizens are stakeholders, not customers. The money they pay for their rents and mortgages, along with taxes they pay for goods and services, fund an organization that provides for the safety and well-being of these stakeholders.

They are represented by a board of directors, which in this case is the Board of Aldermen. It is each board member’s responsibility to interpret and represent the needs and wants of their constituency to the city executives that carry out those tasks.

But that’s not how it has been working.

Instead, ambitious city officials have been launching a series of vanity projects that will look good on their resumes and that they can point to with pride when it comes time for asking for raises.

Meanwhile, New Bern becomes less and less affordable, with some of the worst housing affordability rates in the state. That should worry everyone.

If entry-level workers can’t afford to live here, New Bern won’t have the entry-level workforce that is the foundation of New Bern’s commerce and tourism.

It takes a community to be a community, but go ahead, Alderman Odham and the rest who stand behind him, keep running the city like a business, searching for profits, and discouraging “undesirables” from living here.

City Hall may play the long game, but it doesn’t play the sustainable game.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Economy and Employment, Mayor, New Bern

June 20th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

New Bern received a mediocre score for family friendliness in North Carolina from WalletHub, a website that produces data-driven articles ranking various subjects in various categories.

In ranking North Carolina cities for “2019’s Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina,” New Bern ranked 56th out of 87 cities. The top-ranked city was Cary, while coming in at 87th was Laurinburg.

In Eastern North Carolina, Havelock — you read that right — was the highest rated city in the survey, coming in at 35th. Other Eastern NC cities were Wilmington (44th), Greenville (53rd), Jacksonville (59th), Wilson (70th), Elizabeth City (75th), Tarboro (77th), Goldsboro (81st), and Kinston (84th).

Taking just Eastern North Carolina cities into account, then, New Bern ranked fourth, just behind Greenville and ahead of Jacksonville.

The rankings took into consideration 10 metrics, of which New Bern did better than average in just three: violent-crime rate per capita, unemployment rate, and playgrounds per capita.

New Bern ranked low in several categories, including percentage of families with children under age 17, median family income, and high school graduation rate. It rated near the bottom — 72nd — in housing affordability.

New Bern appears at the top of many lists, from Top Charming Small Towns to Top Small Retirement Towns, but these are typically niche categories. Raising a family is about as fundamental to a city’s purpose as you can get, and New Bern’s ranking, indeed rankings of all Eastern North Carolina cities, should raise some red flags and help policymakers in making decisions.

The data used in these rankings is entirely publicly available, and is the same information that companies look at when determining expansion and relocations.

True, New Bern is constantly looking for ways to up its game. But take one example, the planned Martin-Marietta Park. New Bern already ranks high for playgrounds per capita (24th in the state). Martin-Marietta Park won’t move the bar one iota in rankings such as these, even if it’s a park that is physically larger than most of Craven County’s smaller cities.

The focus should be where New Bern and Craven County are average or weak — median family income, quality of school system, high school graduation rate, poverty rate, and perhaps foremost, housing affordability.

Here are specific rankings for New Bern:

Raising a Family in New Bern (1=Best; 43=Avg.; 87=Worst)

  • 64th – % of Families with Children Aged 0 to 17
  • 57th – Median Family Income (adjusted for cost of living)
  • 49th – Quality of School System
  • 52nd – High School Graduation Rate
  • 34th – Violent-Crime Rate per Capita
  • 72nd – Housing Affordability
  • 48th – % of Families Living in Poverty
  • 31st – Unemployment Rate
  • 45th – Divorce Rate
  • 24th – Playgrounds per Capita

Full report here:

Source: WalletHub

 

Posted in Achievements, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Craven County, Craven County Schools, Crime, Economy, Economy and Employment, Education, Infrastructure, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce, Opinion, Politics, Public safety, Retirement, State news, State politics

May 3rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

National Travel and Tourism Week 2019, the 36th annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry, will take place on May 5-11.

This year’s theme is “Travel Matters,” a recognition of the innumerable ways in which travel enriches lives and strengthens communities. Each day of NTTW will spotlight a different example of why travel matters to America.

For New Bern and Craven County, travel and tourism are so vital that “Travel Matters” are not mere words.

“They are the economic engine for the city, the county, the state – the entire country,” said Sabrina Bengel, chairman of the Craven County Tourism Development Authority. “That’s true whether you are traveling to a campground or a 5-star resort.”

Tourism creates jobs that keeps local economies humming, and brings in sales taxes that pay for vital government services.

“‘Travel Matters’ is quite accurate,” said Tarshi P. McCoy, executive director of the New Bern-Craven County Convention & Visitor Center. “Tourism has an enormous effect on New Bern and Craven County and continues to grow each year.”

True, New Bern has been in recovery mode since Hurricane Florence struck in September 2018. Damage to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern-Riverfront indefinitely reduced available downtown hotel rooms by 171 and left the city without its only full-service hotel.

Paradoxically, occupancy tax revenues actually increased to record levels since Hurricane Florence, Bengel said.

That’s one of those “silver lining” situations, as construction workers, insurance adjusters, government officials and others descended on New Bern in response to Hurricane Florence.

That surge is expected to subside by the last quarter of the year, about the same time that New Bern Riverfront Convention Center is scheduled to reopen fresh from repairs.

New Bern’s tourism industry continues to market the city’s unique and historic ambience, and there has been an uptick in business for the city’s Bed & Breakfasts. Pollock Street in downtown alone has six B&Bs offering around 43 rooms, all an easy walk from the Convention Center and other downtown attractions.

Having a major hotel and a convention center simultaneously out of commission affects the city’s ability to attract larger conventions, but the city has adjusted its strategies in order to focus on its many other strengths.

While the city may find it harder to attract large-scale conventions, its ambience and unparalleled services still suit smaller meetings and events.

“We can’t have full conventions but we can accommodate boards of directors,” Bengel said.

Case in point: PepsiCo continues to hold its annual meetings in New Bern, where Pepsi was invented.

Tarshi P. McCoy has been creative in addressing recent challenges while continuing to focus on New Bern’s entrenched strengths, Bengel said.

“The New Bern-Craven County Convention and Visitors Bureau works closely with the hospitality partners to ensure that we promote our amenities and educate travelers on everything the area has to offer,” McCoy said.

Downtown New Bern may have 171 fewer hotel rooms, but two other downtown hotels, Courtyard by Marriott New Bern and Bridgepoint Hotel and Marina, are open, and Havelock, a short drive away on U.S. Highway 70, offers 300-350 additional rooms, Bengel said.

Those amenities, coupled with value-added services including shuttle services, keep Craven County in the tourism game.

That’s not all. Downtown New Bern features a growing and vibrant arts and theatre community and a thriving night life. The area’s ambience is well suited for weddings and events, which by nature of their advanced planning provide stability for inn, venue, and restaurant bookings.

What is National Travel and Tourism Week?

Established in 1983 by President Reagan, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is the annual salute to travel in America.

During the first full week in May, communities nationwide unite around a common theme to showcase travel’s contributions to the economy and American jobs.

This year, the travel industry is coming together to celebrate why “Travel Matters,” spotlighting a different way travel matters each day to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

 

SUNDAY: Travel matters to the economy.

Travel generated $2.5 trillion for the U.S. economy in 2018 across all U.S. industries. Here in New Bern, the travel industry generated $142.10 million to the local economy in 2017.

 

MONDAY: Travel matters to new experiences.

From our national parks to our diverse cities and our scenic small towns, travel is uniquely made in America. Our attractions, restaurants, shops, theme parks, music venues and more—and the people who make them possible—are the best in the world and showcase what makes America great.

 

TUESDAY: Travel matters to our jobs.

Travel supported 15.7 million U.S. jobs in 2018—that’s one in 10 American jobs, making travel the seventh largest employer in the private sector. Here in New Bern, the travel industry supports According to “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2017,” prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association, the travel and tourism industry directly employed more than 1,170 people in Craven County. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Craven County was $29.06 million in 2017. State tax revenue in Craven County totaled $7.79 million through state sales and excise taxes, as well as income taxes. Local taxes generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses totaled $3.13 million..

 

WEDNESDAY: Travel matters to keeping America connected.

Within the next five years, Labor Day-like traffic will plague U.S. highways on a daily basis and within the next six years, our nation’s top 30 airports will experience Thanksgiving-like passenger volumes on a weekly basis.

Approximately 80 million inbound travelers visited America last year, about half of whom came from overseas. Spending by these visitors supports 1.2 million American jobs.

 

THURSDAY: Travel matters to health.

Americans are increasingly realizing the value of their vacation time, taking an average of 17.2 days of vacation each year. Yet less than half of that time is used to travel—despite its clear benefits for health.

Those who take all or most of their vacation time to travel report higher rates of happiness with physical health and well-being compared to those who don’t travel as much.

 

FRIDAY: Travel matters to hometown pride.

Over half of all leisure travel in the U.S. is to visit family and friends, making residents a community’s best tourism ambassador.

The intersection of sports—a key driver of hometown pride—and travel is unmistakable: in 2017, more than 150 million individuals attended sporting events last year across the five major sports teams.

 

SATURDAY: Travel matters to families.

Travel helps families connect, creating everlasting memories and develop a lifelong bond. When surveyed, most children (61%) say the best way to spend quality time with parents is on vacation. At their core, adults know this: 62 percent of adults say that their earliest, most vivid memories are of family vacations taken between the ages of five and 10.

Posted in Business, Community, Community issues, Downtown New Bern, Economy, Economy and Employment, Tourism

April 26th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The Craven County Board of Commissioners reversed its April 15 decision to decline renewal of the curbside recycling program in Craven County at its specially called meeting held on April 26.

The curbside recycling program in Craven County will continue, though residents will see modifications.  The Craven County Board of Commissioners voted to renew the curbside recycling contract with Waste Industries for the next five years to provide a monthly curbside pickup of recyclables in a 95-gallon rolling container.

The current curbside recycling program will continue as is until Craven County and Waste Industries are able to implement the program changes.  Residents will see a recycling fee increase on their annual tax bill and that fee will be determined during the Craven County Board of Commissioner’s annual budget process.  The fee is expected to be between $56 and $60 per household per year.  More details regarding the changes to Craven County’s curbside recycling program will be announced at a later date.

The Special Meeting of the Craven County Board of Commissioners was held in response to citizen demand for the continuation of curbside recycling services after the initial decision was communicated.

“The Board of Commissioners wants to be responsive.  I am so glad so many in the community support environmentally friendly policies,” E.T. Mitchell, Craven County Commissioner, said in a prepared statement.

Craven County’s curbside recycling program accepts aluminum cans, newspapers with inserts, clear/green/brown glass, #1 PETE clear plastic, #2 HDPE natural plastic, rigid plastic bottles with the neck smaller than the body of the container (except motor oil and pesticide containers), corrugated cardboard cut down to no larger than 2’ x 3’ and steel/tin cans.

Craven County offers a host of trash and recycling programs including electronics recycling, paint exchange and scrap metal recycling.  For additional information on Craven County’s trash and recycling services please contact Craven County Solid Waste and Recycling at 252-636-6659 or visit www.cravencountync.gov.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Craven County, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Environment

April 24th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County commissioners will be reconsidering a short-sighted decision to end curbside recycling following backlash from citizens upset by the decision.

Commissioners made the decision on April 15 rather than double the fee due to cost increases.

This is one of those no-win situations for the board, a majority-Republican group with two newcomers (E.T. Mitchell and Denny Bucher) hesitant to raise taxes or fees because, well, they’re Republicans.

But here’s the thing: ending curbside recycling forces people to do one of three things: discard their recyclables with the regular garbage; make trips to county convenience centers to drop off their recyclables; or toss their recyclables into the woods or by the side of roads along with their other garbage because people like that suck.

For those of us who actually try to be law abiding and who care about the environment, throwing out recyclables with the regular garbage actually violates county rules that forbid recyclables from going into the landfill.

On top of that, citizens would be charged $3 for every 33 gallons of recyclables they illegally send to the landfill.

On top of that, the amount of materials going into the landfill would increase significantly, reducing the life of the landfill. You want to talk about spending taxpayer dollars? Try expanding landfills or opening new ones.

The good news is, commissioners are going to reconsider their decision.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting Friday April 26 at 10:30 a.m. (I know! The time sucks!) in the Commissioners’ Board Room at the corner of Broad and Craven streets. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the decision made by the board on April 15 concerning the curbside recycling contract.

So here’s the other side. If county commissioners vote to continue curbside recycling, they will be accused of increasing taxes and fees by the usual group of folks who can’t see past this evening’s episode of Hannity.

The reason recycling has become an issue is because China has stopped accepting U.S. recyclables. We as a nation do a terrible job of separating our recyclables and properly preparing them, and the Chinese have decided it’s not worth the effort and expense to process it.

I know this doesn’t apply to New Bern Post readers, who statistically are better educated about such things and care about the environment. But, sad to say, you are in the minority.

If you want to make sure county commissioners do the right thing and continue curbside recycling, show up at Friday’s meeting.

Posted in Commentary, Community, Community issues, Craven County, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Environment

April 22nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

From prairie churches to urban cathedrals and synagogues, historic sacred places are often the oldest, and most beautiful buildings within our communities. Apply for a grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places to keep these places as an important part of our national cultural heritage.

The National Fund for Sacred Places is a comprehensive program that provides training, planning grants, and capital grants from $50,000 to $250,000 to congregations of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities.

In the face of changing demographics and inadequate resources now is the time to support these structures that have played a critical role in shaping the character of our communities.

Congregations are urged to submit their letter of intent by May 1 for the Fund for Sacred Places for projects such as: 

  • Urgent repair needs that are integral to life safety.
  • Projects that improve the usability or ADA accessibility of the property.
  • Renovation projects for important community outreach.

To date 44 congregations have participated in the National Fund.  From Birmingham, Alabama to Unalaska, Alaska, more than $3.1 million in funding has been committed to projects that range from steeple stabilization to exterior masonry repair to HVAC replacement. Learn more about these diverse projects.

Visit www.FundforSacredPlaces.org for more details, including eligibility requirements, guidelines, and online application.

The National Fund for Sacred Places is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in collaboration with Partners for Sacred Places.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Worship

April 17th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Join Earth Day celebrations on Saturday, April 20 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the corner of Craven and South Front Streets in the vacant lot next to Mitchell Hardware for fun afternoon of learning, children’s activities, giveaways, and an after party!

The goal is to bring people together for a fun, learning experience about our local ecosystem and discover how we can all become more socially-conscious.

“We want to start the conversation and spread awareness of how we can take steps to “Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.'”

The event will kick off with the reading of the Mayoral Proclamation of Earth Day 2019 (officially recognized on April 22).

Meet organizations who are making a difference in the preservation and conservation of our local environment. Your children will have fun with eco-conscious activities hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plains with materials sponsored by U. S. Cellular.

Continue the celebration with The After Party will be hosted by NCMZ.live and the Brown Pelican held from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Brown Pelican with live music by the Carolina Swamp Dogs and the Neuse River Ramblers.

New Bern Parks and Recreation is partnering with New Bern Now to present New Bern Earth Day 2019.

Educators:

  • Carolina Nature Coalition, 252-626-5100  
  • Coastal Environmental Partnership, 252-633-1564
  • Young Living Essential Oils by Dona Baker, 252-672-5933
  • New Bern Parks and Recreation, 252-639-2901
  • NC Sierra Club – Croatan Group
  • Trent Woods Garden Club, 252-288-4846
  • Veterans Employment Base Camp

You’ll also be given a map highlighting participating Downtown Businesses.

Enjoy giveaways both at the event and at participating businesses.

Participating Downtown Businesses:

  • Carolina Creations – Recycled Art Exhibit, 317-A Pollock St., 252-533-4369
  • Hanna House Bed & Breakfast – Beekeeping, Tesla Charging Station, and Water Reuse System Exhibits, 218 Pollock St., 252-635-3209
  • Living Well Down East – Healthy Living and Giveaways, 309 Middle St., 252-637-0011

Special thank you:

  • Volunteer Members of the Earth Day Planning Committee and Day of Volunteers.
  • Sponsors: Boys & Girls Club New Bern, U.S. Cellular, AlphaGraphics of New Bern, Harris Teeter, NCMZ.live, The Brown Pelican, Century 21 Zaytoun-Raines, Carolina Creations, New Bern Woman’s Club, Salon #9, The Sanctuary Gallery, and the aforementioned Exhibitors and Participating Businesses.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Entertainment, Environment, New Bern

April 4th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

CHERRY POINT— Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) will host the 4th Annual Brews & Bites on Friday, May 3 from 5- 9 p.m. The event will be located on the Neuse River, at the end of Broad Street, and will feature the return of New Bern’s own internationally-acclaimed stunt pilot, Hubie Tolson.

Attendees will experience an evening on the river’s edge sampling wine, local craft brews from Brutopia and Shortway Brewing, and food from The Tiny Tornado and Dank Burrito. There will be live music from Glorianna’s Tom Gossin and an air show performance by Hubie Tolson.

Brews & Bites was created as a community event to raise awareness for ACT’s efforts to protect and grow MCAS Cherry Point—this area’s largest economic engine and the largest employer in Craven and Carteret counties. All proceeds will benefit continuing efforts to cement the successful future of the base, which includes the next-generation F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

ACT President and Havelock Mayor Will Lewis, said, “We were extremely pleased with the success of last year’s event and the support shown for Cherry Point. This year, especially with a return performance from Hubie Tolson, we feel we can reach even more people in our community and spread the word about the vital impact the base has on our economy.”

Tickets for the event are $35 per person. Food is additional. To purchase tickets online, go to www.alliesforcherrypoint.com.

Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) advocates for the existence and success of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fleet Readiness Center East and its civilian enterprises. Board members include leaders from Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, and Jones Counties who work closely with Congressional and legislative delegations to push for laws and budget appropriations that will help preserve and grow MCAS Cherry Point—a base crucial to the success of the U.S. military and the economy of the region. For more information, call (252) 631-5021 or visit www.alliesforcherrypoint.com.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Downtown New Bern, Entertainment, Events, Marines

March 30th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Dawn Zimmer / Wikipedia

Dawn Zimmer, former mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, is giving a presentation on resiliency in New Bern on April 4.

A special meeting of the New Bern Board of Aldermen was called for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 4 in the City Hall Courtroom located on the second d floor, at 300 Pollock St., for the presentation.

According to Wikipedia, in 2012 Zimmer was widely acclaimed for leadership during the aftermath Hurricane Sandy. On Sept. 9, 2013, she was recognized as “Hero of the Harbor” by the Waterfront Alliance for her work “to make her city a national model for preparedness, meeting with FEMA and state officials, surban planners, scientists and many others to create an ‘integrated solution.'”

For her leadership during Hurricane Sandy, Zimmer was appointed to the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

More about Dawn Zimmer:

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Community, Community issues, Craven County, Hurricane

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