Board Members Needed

GET ON BOARD!!!

The Haw Creek Community Association is vital to our neighborhood; not only for our social events and newsletter, but letting the city know the feelings of our community regarding issues that affect Haw Creek. At our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 we will be voting for six new board members.

Per our By-Laws, the membership votes on board members at the annual meeting, then the board votes on officers. Next year the board will be voting for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

What is involved with being a board member?

  1. Be a member in good standing of the HCCA with annual dues paid.
  2. Attend monthly board meetings, which are approximately 1.5 hours in duration. Some month’s meeting may be shorter if combined with a social event. Be accessible for personal contact in between board meetings.
  3. Attend Association sponsored events.
  4. Be willing to serve on a committee or take on an assignment if needed.
  5. Take responsibility for self-education on the major issues before the board.
  6. Act as an ambassador for HCCA by helping to communicate the mission of our organization with neighbors and Haw Creek organizations through the Association’s various communications and at social events.

Next year will be a challenging year; the community will be working on Haw Creek Comprehensive Plan to be submitted to the city. This Plan will be the community’s vision for Haw Creek in five, ten, fifteen years.

If you are interested in being on the board and contributing to make Haw Creek a great place to live then please email us HERE.

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‘Move Haw Creek’ Safety Campaign Gets Underway

Mayor Esther Manheimer, on October 9th, joined by future-Councilman Vijay Kapoor, met with 120 Haw Creek residents in Evergreen Charter School to discuss safe walking and biking in Haw Creek. Also present were Anna Henderson and Troy Wilson of the N.C. Dept. of Transportation.

The mayor reported about bond referendum scheduled improvements–a sidewalk on New Haw Creek from Beverly to Bell Rds–scheduled for a 2019/2020 time frame. While certainly a needed and welcome improvement, many residents spoke up about the need for a more comprehensive approach to pedestrian and bike safety in the Haw Creek valley.

This desire for a more holistic approach to the safety needs of our growing community has evolved into the ‘Move Haw Creek’ campaign. In two follow up meetings since the mayor’s meeting, Haw Creek community members have identified and prioritized four community values they would like incorporated into any proposed improvements.

In order of priority, the four community values to be addressed in any improvements ought to be:

  1. Safety
  2. Connectivity
  3. Recreation/Wellness
  4. Sustainability

Next, Move Haw Creek volunteers identified five potential improvements that may improve pedestrian and bike safety in the Haw Creek valley. Small groups–including any interested resident–will be evaluating these five ideas for feasibility.

The five ideas to be evaluated for improving pedestrian and bike safety in the Haw Creek valley are:

  1. Widening New Haw Creek and Old Haw Creek Roads (to create a dedicated space for bike lanes and/or sidewalks)
  2. Greenway in the Haw Creek creek floodplain (to create a dedicated off road space for walking and biking)
  3. Make one-way portions of New Haw Creek and Old Haw Creek roads (to free up a lane as a dedicated safe space for walking and biking)
  4. Additional sidewalks (create additional dedicated safe space for walking)
  5. Increase traffic calming (to slow traffic thereby making walking and biking safer)

As the evaluation of these ideas is just getting underway, any interested Haw Creek resident is welcome to participate. Please email us at Movehawcreek@gmail.com to indicate your interest.

After evaluating for feasibility, we are hopeful of having a community discussion in 2018 about which options may or may not work for our community.

Thank you,

Brendan Beers, Thomas Wolfe and Chris Pelly

Spotlight On East Asheville – Little Free Libraries

By Kathryn Liss

Little Free Libraries are popping up everywhere. We have at least three in Haw Creek. By Haw Creek Commons (by the parking lot next to the Bethesda Methodist Church), one at 8 Rhododendron Place (set up by Janet Oliver) and one in the Stonebridge Community (set up by the Stonebridge HOA).

What is a “little free library?” It is generally a small box on a post with a door. Inside you can find books that have been left by people who no longer want to read them. You can take a book or you can leave a book. Or you can do both. Some little free libraries specialize in the kind of books that they have; books for children, books on religious topics, novels, non-fiction. As far as I can tell, the little free libraries in our neighborhood are not specialized.

I spoke with Paul Rollins who was the point person for getting the library started in Stonebridge community. It took from June to October to go through the process of getting community acceptance to put it up in a shared space. The community has 60 homes and 37 people came out to celebrate when it was opened. Mr. Rollins says that it is a great community asset, bringing people together who otherwise may be isolated from each other. It also supports reading and sharing of materials.  Like the little girl in the video below, children love the chance to get a book for free.

Why would you want to patronize a little free library? Maybe it is a holiday and the public library isn’t open. Or you just have a sudden desire to read something different. As the girl in the video says, “Our brains can’t go without books…. [without books] the world would be empty like a bucket without water.”

The Citizen Times article says it “is a way to tie small communities together and make literacy more accessible.”

I also heard from Janet Oliver. She said; “We have 27 children on our small street. We wanted to put up something that would keep encouraging them to read. The joy has been watching the kids stop by and see what new books have entered “the book box.”

Libraries are very important to communities. We have noticed how many people come out to the community meetings regarding the East Library on Avon. Exchanging information through reading is something we value, even in this day of electronic devices that can provide whatever information we want just by asking a question. However, the pleasure of turning the pages and relaxing by reading is something that can best be achieved with books. So for those of us still enjoying the tactile pleasure of a hard copy book, try out the little free libraries and see if you can find something surprising and enjoyable.

Visit www.littlefreelibrary.org for more on how to start your own Free Little Library. For more information you can also contact Paul Rollins at 828-505-0144.

 

 

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Spotlight On East Asheville – East Asheville Academy

SPOTLIGHT ON EAST ASHEVILLE: East Asheville Academy, by Linda Stanton
4 Beverly Rd.
Asheville, NC 28804

East Asheville Academy is a private child care and day care center right here in our neighborhood. Located in the heart of “downtown” Haw Creek, the center shares a building with Penny Cup Coffee and Creekside Tap House. The closing of Nurseryland Day Care (previously featured in this column), leaves EAA as only one of two community child care centers in Haw Creek, the other being the Haw Creek Elementary Head Start program.

The space had previously housed another day care center which came up for sale in 2007. This interested current owner Teresa Webb, who at the time had a small home-based day care center. She saw this opportunity to branch out and expand, knowing how much quality child care services are needed in the area. She had spent time as a child in the east Asheville Oakley neighborhood and was familiar with the area. On January 1, 2008, Teresa opened East Asheville Academy and the business is still going strong and growing.

Webb runs the business along with her daughter Jessica Shuford, RN, who acts as director. “This is really a family business” Webb tells us. Two of our teachers are mother daughter and two others are cousins. We have nine teachers in total, over half of whom have been here more than six years. This kind of longevity is not the norm in the industry. We have an excellent reputation and do no advertising, it is basically all word of mouth. Our current waiting list is up to a year. Jessica proudly explained that “three of the infants we currently care for have been on the waiting list since the parents found out they were expecting!”

The center is licensed for 45 children total, divided into three classrooms by age group: infants age 6 weeks to 2 years, toddlers 2 to 3 years and preschool age 3 to 5 or 6 years, depending on when they start kindergarten. East Asheville Academy practices what is called “volunteer enhanced ratios” for staffing which means less children per teacher. This allows more one on one-time, better care in general and usually less stress for the teachers.

Lead teachers have child care credentials through a college, usually a one semester program which includes skills such child development and psychology, teaching and lesson planning. There is a 90 day on the job training program for teachers and they all receive 20 hours of annual continuing education. The staff has CPR and First Aid as well as emergency response training.

A typical day starts with teachers coming in at 7:30 am. The kids get dropped off between 7:30 and 9:30 depending on each family’s schedule. “We don’t take them past 9:30 though because it gets disruptive once the lessons start,” Jessica explains. They serve breakfast, lunch and a snack during the day. There is outside time for play and science lessons. Circle and group time, readings and songs, nap time and other age-appropriate activities round out the day. Pick up is by 5:30 pm.

Often there is a theme for the week such as baby animals and they’ll get to see things like hatching eggs and bring pictures of animals. When the child leaves here for kindergarten we work to get them “school ready,” which means they know letters, can write their name, count to 30 and are socially able to work with other children in a group, although these goals change through the years as research changes.

“We do have some children with special needs at times. If we recognize a need, delay or problem with development, we’ll discuss this with the parents and can refer to a speech or occupational therapist for evaluation,” Shuford explains. EAA works to go the extra mile for the children and parents appreciate that. It is not a large center, but it is as homey as we can make it. We know all the families by name and keep parents involved with what is going on.

EAA is in the process of renovating a previously empty space between their center and the coffee shop into a new class room. This will allow for more differentiation with activities in the toddler group and give everyone more room to spread out. This is important because there are more child care centers that are just preschools which creates a greater need for the baby and toddler groups. They plan for this new classroom to be open by December. Their license numbers for enrollment will increase with the new classroom but those spaces are already filled.

Webb and Shuford feel the majority of child care centers in this area are safe and well run. Generally, though the child care need is not fully being met in our region. This deficit is attributed a boom in population and some centers closing because of various issues. Funding has become more available for income-based subsidy vouchers in the last 2 – 3 years but it’s still not enough.

It helps that there are home day care centers, licensed for up to six children. The atmosphere in these centers is typically more informal but they still need to meet many similar requirements for safety and health factors. For some children this type of environment in a home-based center may be a better option. The important thing is that the state licensing requirements are met and the children are treated with care and concern.

East Asheville Academy is a precious resource in our community. When asked what sets them apart from others Teresa jumped in, “we are very picky about who we hire. We’re a close-knit group. The people who work here have a passion for teaching the kids. We treat them as if they are our own.”

Contact East Asheville Academy at-
828-299-1401
Eastashevilleacademy08@yahoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/eastashevilleacademy/

For more information about child care center licensure go to NCChildCareSearch.dhhs.state.nc.us

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Spotlight On East Asheville – Local Author In Haw Creek

Our neighbor, Reynolds High School student and band member Aryelle Jacobsen, has written and published a book about being in middle school called A is for Awkward, which is getting considerable notice in our community and beyond. The book is a guide to surviving middle school and intends to help struggling preteens who are experiencing the changes which come with entering the sixth grade to weather those changes with less anxiety. Aryelle hopes that by reading this book, these youths will know that they are not alone in experiencing the awkwardness of growing into adulthood.

WLOS did a segment discussing the value of this book in August where Doris Sellers, principal of Reynolds H.S., said that she would keep copies of the book in her office for her high school students because is so encouraging. Our local sweet shop, Ultimate Ice Cream (where Aryelle works) named a favor after the book: “I is for Ice cream” and recently hosted a book signing. Aryelle herself got support and encouragement from her peers along with a foreword by Olson Huff, a well-known pediatrician in Asheville. The book is now available on Amazon as well as locally in Barnes & Noble and Malaprops. The book will be available in a teachers addition soon and Aryelle has is creating a business plan to launch workshop series available to school systems and is working with local school to pilot key concepts. For more information, check out the website www.aisforawkwardbook.com

Aryelle lives across the street from Bulman field on Redwing Lane with her mom Doral, Dad Tristan, brother Cayden and dogs Trina and Carlos. She was born in Asheville and played softball for many years across the street from her home. She will be attending college next year and plans to someday open a school. Maybe even in Western North Carolina!

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City Comp Plan Meeting June 28

You’re Invited! City of Asheville Comprehensive Plan Presentation for Haw Creek on 6/28

 

The Haw Creek Community Association (HCCA) invites you to a meeting on Thursday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church Parrish Hall (290 Old Haw Creek Rd.) to learn what the city is thinking regarding development in neighborhoods.

Todd Okolichany, planning director for the City of Asheville, will be presenting information from the city’s new comprehensive plan,Living Asheville: A Comprehensive Plan for our Future. Based on goals set by the community, the plan addresses Asheville’s future by focusing on livable built environment, resilient economy, responsible regionalism, healthy community, interwoven equality, and harmony with natural environment. Following the presentation, you will have an opportunity to ask questions related to the plan and how it affects Haw Creek.

Many people in Haw Creek have divergent opinions as to what we want in our neighborhood. We are a large neighborhood with people who have lived here for a long time and others who have moved in more recently. It is diverse neighborhood with newer homes, older homes, and rental apartments. The needs of different people must be taken into consideration in deciding what we want for the future of our neighborhood. The HCCA is seeking input from those who live in this valley.

In consideration of this, the HCCA Board of Directors is moving forward to better understand what is important to residents. In addition to this meeting, we will be holding a follow-up meeting later this summer where there will be opportunities for everyone’s voice to be heard. We are also asking neighbors to fill out a brief online surveyon what is important to you and how you envision our neighborhood’s future.  This survey is available and accepting your input currently.

We urge you to take the time to participate in our conversation in person and online. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@ilovehawcreek.com.