IT Works to Connect the Community

(Fayetteville, N.C.) – The City’s Information Technology (IT) Department is working to connect the community to create an atmosphere where citizens can become more engaged. The effort includes a multi-pronged approach with a goal of allowing citizens to access City services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as being better linked to the Internet.

One project involved Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks Recreation center upgrades, equipping all recreation centers with Wi-Fi and web content filtering. Through a partnership with Cumberland County Schools, recreation centers that are tied to schools received Wi-Fi installation from the City’s IT Department and the school system installed Chromebooks. Now, students who do not have a computer at home or Internet access have a place to do their homework assignments in areas that they frequent most after school. Secondly, residents without Internet access can view progress reports, school assignments and other items at recreation center computer labs. Several locations also received replacement computer monitors.  

The City’s IT Department has upgraded Seabrook Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC), Westover NRC and the Fayetteville-Cumberland Senior Center with new PCs. These upgrades include Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, 2010 Microsoft Office Suite, multiple browsers for ubiquitous Internet searches and 24-inch monitors. These PCs are based on new virtual desktop technologies that will clear user information upon sign off. Citizens will enjoy the speed and reliability afforded via this new technology. Future upgrade plans include the Airport Business Center, Old Wilmington Road Resource Center, Myers Recreation Center and Spivey Recreation Center.

Fire stations and Fayetteville Regional Airport have also received free Wi-Fi and web content filtering.

IT is also researching a public-private partnership to install free Wi-Fi in select downtown locations.

“We want to bring City Hall to residents, when it is convenient for them to conduct business; City Hall without walls,” City Chief Information Officer Dwayne Campbell said. “An engaged and connected citizenry leads to a more connected community. My goal is that citizens in Fayetteville have the same opportunities to utilize Wi-Fi and the Internet the same way that citizens of Raleigh and Charlotte do. This is all about increasing the quality of life for residents and allowing Fayetteville citizens to get connected.”

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Article source: http://www.ci.fayetteville.nc.us/pressreleases.aspx?id=1996

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Nov 22,2014: Exhibition

Free: See How You’re Listed

On Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages, AmericanTowns and 25 other directories!

Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/nc/fayetteville/events/exhibition-black-white-2014-11-22

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Nov 20,2014: Wine And Whimsy Painting

Set aside a relaxing evening for yourself before the exciting and frenzied holiday pace begins. Come for a fun date night or a girl’s night out. A canvas, paint, brushes, palette, an easel and instruction will be provided; theme to be announced. Wine will be available for purchase by the glass or bottle along with beer selections to enjoy while painting your masterpiece.

Limited to 16 attendees – register early!
Advance registration and payment is required. Call: 910.486.0221 x 20

Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/nc/fayetteville/events/wine-and-whimsy-painting-2014-11-20

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Innovation and Excitement Spearhead Person Street Greenscape Project

(Fayetteville, N.C.) – New sidewalks. Curb cuts. Beautiful landscaping. These are all attributes of a typical streetscape project. All of these components are essential in providing a facelift to streets and corridors; however, the City’s Engineering Infrastructure Department is about to add some innovation and excitement to its next streetscape project on Person Street. This is not a conventional streetscape project; it is the first “green street” in the city limits of Fayetteville. It incorporates stormwater management features along the road through an innovative design that provides great environmental rewards.

The Person Street Innovative Stormwater Greenscape is scheduled to begin next spring, thanks to a $309,500 grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The grant, which is the highest award in the state under the innovative stormwater category, is one of only two in North Carolina to be funded for the full amount of which was requested. Fayetteville’s grant will help fund construction of the stormwater components incorporated as part of the streetscape.

“This project was initially proposed as a typical streetscape project,” City Engineer Giselle Rodriguez said. “Once it was given to us, we identified so many attributes that we couldn’t let it move forward as initially proposed.”

The Person Street Innovative Stormwater Greenscape consists of renovating two blocks of Person Street between Cool Spring Street and the Blounts Creek Bridge. The project will utilize Low Impact Development (LID) technology, which will help to improve water quality to Blounts Creek. As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater runoff as close to its source as possible.

During construction of this green street, mechanisms, designed by North Carolina State University, include an experimental undersized permeable pavement design, bio-infiltration bump-outs, Silva Cells and a Filterra box. These LID components will be installed in order to meet the volume reduction and quality goals to improve water quality to Blounts Creek. With the LID improvements to Person Street, approximately 85 percent of the rainfall during a rain event will percolate into the surrounding soil.

Once complete, Person Street will have an improved appearance as one of the major corridors into Downtown Fayetteville, as well as improved access and mobility.

The City is hopeful that practices used in the project will be used in private construction projects in the future and also serve as an educational example in Fayetteville and for other municipalities.

“This project is a great example that no encouragement is greater than doing it ourselves, not to mention the educational opportunities that this project provides to our community and other municipalities,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez added that sample collection of existing stormwater runoff has started and will be compared to the samples after construction for volume and quality control analysis.

If that isn’t innovative enough, Methodist University is following the project through to completion and will in exchange fly their drone and collect video of before, during and after construction. Methodist University has already taken video of the before condition of the street section.

“At the City of Fayetteville, we have a commitment as stewards of our environment and it is time to give back and enjoy ecosystem services,” Rodriguez said.

For questions regarding the Person Street Innovative Stormwater Greenscape, please contact the City’s Engineering Infrastructure Department at (910) 433-1656.

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Article source: http://www.ci.fayetteville.nc.us/pressreleases.aspx?id=1994

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Nov 20,2014: Exhibition

Free: See How You’re Listed

On Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages, AmericanTowns and 25 other directories!

Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/nc/fayetteville/events/exhibition-black-white-2014-11-20

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Bryant Named New City Development Advocate

(Fayetteville, N.C.) – The Development Advocate position for the City’s Development Services Department, which was a position approved by the Fayetteville City Council in this year’s budget, has been filled by a veteran City planner. Marsha Bryant has been named Development Advocate because of her exceptional experience in the area of development review and her service for several years as the chair of the City’s Technical Review Committee. Bryant is highly respected in the local development community for her proactive, effective handling of all manners of development projects.

In this position, Bryant will have the responsibility of shepherding development projects, small and large, through the process from initial consultation to certificate of occupancy. Her position crosses departmental lines and she operates under the authority of the Development Services Director and the City Manager’s Office in carrying out these duties.

“My job is to ensure that projects move through the review process smoothly,” Bryant said. “People involved in the development process need a go-to person to help them get things done. I am here to show them that roadmap to success.”

Her new position is effective immediately and the City will begin recruitment for her old position in the near future.

City Manager Ted Voorhees said: “This appointment is one of a series of steps the Council is taking in improving development-related customer service. The upcoming FayWorx permitting software implementation, Council funding of two new building inspector positions and job-specific customer service training will all help with enhancing customer service. But it always comes down to the people we put in place to do the work.  I have enormous confidence in Ms. Bryant and look forward to seeing strong results.”

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Article source: http://www.ci.fayetteville.nc.us/pressreleases.aspx?id=1995

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Nov 19,2014: Exhibition

Free: See How You’re Listed

On Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages, AmericanTowns and 25 other directories!

Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/nc/fayetteville/events/exhibition-black-white-2014-11-19

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Earth Talk: Assessing the Risks of Genetically Engineered Crops

Dear EarthTalk: What are the potential health and environmental impacts of so many genetically engineered organisms in our food supply? – F.C.

Proponents of genetic engineering (GE)—whereby DNA from unrelated species is combined to produce improved or novel organisms—insist that the benefits of increased crop yields and less agricultural waste outweigh the potential risks, but many environmental and public health advocates aren’t convinced.

 

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), one risk of GE is that our new “frankencrops” could become invasive, toxic to wildlife, or dangerous in other as-yet unknown ways. “But the most damaging impact of GE in agriculture so far is the phenomenon of pesticide resistance,” reports UCS, adding that millions of acres of American farmland are infested by weeds that have become resistant to Monsanto’s popular herbicide glyphosate (known to most by its trade name Roundup). “Overuse of Monsanto’s ‘Roundup Ready’ trait, which is engineered to tolerate the herbicide, has promoted the accelerated development of resistance in several weed species.”

 

As a result, farmers are now turning to older, more toxic herbicides—and agribusiness companies are responding in kind with new rounds of GE crops engineered to tolerate these older chemicals. UCS worries that the process repeating itself is only leading us down the path of plants evolving quickly to overcome our defenses however technically brilliant they may be.

 

As for health risks, UCS acknowledges that eating refined products derived from GE crops is unlikely to cause health problems, but maintains that inserting a gene from one organism into another could still have unintended health consequences. For example, those with food-borne allergies could be at increased risk for reactions given the combination of genes in what looks like any other vegetable or piece of fruit. “This phenomenon was documented in 1996, as soybeans with a Brazil nut gene—added to improve their value as animal feed—produced an allergic response in test subjects with Brazil nut allergies,” reports UCS.

 

Given these risks, some 21 countries and the European Union (EU) have instituted policies requiring foods created with GE technology to be labeled as such so consumers can know what they are buying and putting into their mouths. EU rules mandate that if any ingredient in a food has 0.9 percent or higher of genetically modified organisms, it must be marked accordingly on its packaging. Environmentalists in the U.S. would like to see the federal government put in place a similar policy—research from the non-profit Just Label It found nine in 10 Americans to be in favor of mandated GE labeling—but lobbying interests from agricultural states with a vested interest in selling more GE products still hold lots of sway over elected officials. So for now, Americans concerned about what’s in their food will need to do their own homework regarding what’s safe to put on their dinner tables.

 

Luckily some natural foods retailers are making it easier for consumers intent on avoiding GE foods. Whole Foods, for one, is working toward full disclosure via labeling in regard to which of the foods on its store shelves contain GE ingredients. While Whole Foods may be a pioneer in this regard, environmentalists are hoping other U.S. grocery store chains will follow suit so that Americans can decide for themselves whether or not to take the risk of eating GE foods.

 

CONTACTS: UCS, www.ucsusa.org; Just Label It, justlabelit.org.

 

 

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

 

Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/ct/weston/news/earth-talk-assessing-the-risks-of-genetically-engineered-crops-21094815

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Nov 17,2014: WKML Stars & Guitars 2014


Warner Music Nashville’s new duo Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) are currently in the studio recording their debut album in Nashville, TN. The album, expected next year on Warner Bros. Records, will feature their newly released first single “19 You + Me.”

Meeting in December of 2012, Dan and Shay quickly hit it off with their musical similarities. The two began writing together and from those sessions their relationship grew to include performing together. From there, the duo discovered an infectious original sound all their own, mixing country rock/pop seamlessly throughout intimate power-ballads and stadium-worthy hits.

Born and raised in Natural Dam, Arkansas, Shay has been singing since he was a young child. At 14-years-old he fell in love with songwriting and at 16 began learning the guitar. He officially moved to Nashville last year but grew up frequently visiting and recording in Music City. Musical influences include Rascal Flatts, Dave Matthews Band, Usher and Kenny Chesney.

Dan was born and raised in suburban Wexford, Pennsylvania and has been writing and playing music since the age of 12. A Nashvillian since 2010, Dan has been on the local songwriting scene for several years. Musical influences range from Ryan Adams and Tom Petty to Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss.

Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/nc/fayetteville/events/wkml-stars-guitars-2014-2014-11-17-tm

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It’s Leaf Season!

(Fayetteville, N.C.) – Fall is here and trees are shedding their leaves, which can be a source of stormwater pollution. As residents rake leaves, the City’s Stormwater Division wants them to remember a few things:

  • Never rake leaves into the street or storm drain. Besides being a potential traffic hazard, this can cause the storm drainage system to become clogged, which could lead to localized flooding
  • The Stormwater Division encourages citizens to containerize leaves and lawn debris throughout the year. This helps to keep the leaves out of the drainage system
  • If you decide to participate in the citywide loose leaf collection program, always place leaves behind the curb and away from drains, and keep in mind the loose leaf collection dates that the City has set for the area. Please visit www.cityoffayetteville.org/leafseasonfor more information on pickup schedules.  Citizens can also call (910) 433-1FAY with any questions or concerns. Again, this helps to keep leaves out of the storm drainage system and will help to ensure that leaves are picked up by the City

Leaves not only pose a problem for the storm drainage system, but they also harm the water quality of our local rivers and streams. Excess leaves can shade aquatic plants that need the sun to survive. Decomposing leaves release nutrients that can cause harmful algae to grow and bloom, which lead to fish kills by robbing the water of oxygen.

Raking leaves into a pile behind the curb will help to prevent flooding and stormwater pollution. However, please use caution when raking leaves around a storm drain. If a storm drain is not functioning properly, or citizens feel that it is unsafe to rake the leaves from around the drain, please call the City’s Stormwater Hotline at (910) 433-1613.

For more information about stormwater pollution, or the Stormwater Division, please visit www.cityoffayetteville.org/stormwater, or call us at (910) 433-1613.

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Article source: http://www.ci.fayetteville.nc.us/pressreleases.aspx?id=1991

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