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Are new Thruway rest areas needed?

The Times Union reported on the $ 450 million project to renovate New York State’s Thruway rest areas and introduce some of the largest nationally recognized food franchises. Come on, is it really necessary?

Thruway rest areas have all been remodeled relatively recently over the past 20 years and this project was totally necessary to replace the old 1950s rest areas with their old-fashioned cafeterias and limited food and convenience stores.
These alternate seating areas have all been very well designed to fit in with the characteristics of their area, like the Adirondack style buildings here in our area. It’s nice facilities and good vendors like McDonalds and Starbucks, plus expanded travel shops and large, clean bathrooms. They serve all the purposes necessary for a traveler to get in and out quickly and safely and get back on the road. This is their only goal. They are not malls, food courts or entertainment centers.

The Thruway Authority should also carefully consider the use of at least the upstate rest areas. The parking lots seemed almost empty when I saw them on several recent trips.

It’s great to bring in other good fast food vendors with a few minimal changes to the current facilities, but $ 450 million (not including cost overruns)? That makes a lot of fancy chicken sandwiches and burgers !!

Paul Culligan
Brunswick


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NorthPoint to build two more warehouses west of Hagerstown

NorthPoint, the company that is building the four-warehouse complex on Wesel Boulevard, plans to build two more facilities west of the city.

One building would cover 1 million square feet and the other would cover 652,080 square feet on a site at 16822 National Pike. Each building, described as warehouses and offices, is said to be 50 feet high.

The property is on the north side of US 40, west of the intersection with Md. 144. It is in a “planned industrial district” according to the county zoning code.

A drawing provided by NorthPoint Development for NorthPoint's Dickinson Farm shows two structures - the rectangles with the bold black lines - on a plot off US 40 west of Hagerstown.  The largest building would cover 1 million square feet.  The smallest would be 652,080 square feet.

“We are already working with a potential tenant” for the larger building, David Salinas, director of development for NorthPoint, told the Washington County Planning Commission on Monday.

This potential tenant has what Salinas has called a “manufacturing component” for its operation, as well as warehousing and logistics.

“The deal is not yet done, but we’re pretty excited about it,” he said.

The project, called “Dickinson Farm” on NorthPoint documents, would represent an investment of more than $ 109 million and create 920 full-time jobs, he said.

“We’re hoping to have shovels in the ground early next spring.… We’re really looking to deliver that million feet by summer 23,” said Salinas.

According to information presented at Monday’s meeting, the company is considering requesting a waiver of standard parking requirements.

The county’s zoning code would generally require 1,182 parking spaces for the development. The company plans to provide 1,002 spaces.

A preliminary plan of NorthPoint's Dickinson Farm shows two structures - the rectangles with the bold black lines - on a plot off US 40 west of Hagerstown.  The largest building would cover 1 million square feet.  The smallest would be 652,080 square feet.

Members of the Commission and Salinas also discussed housing for solar energy.

Planning commission Denny Reeder asked if the company has considered putting solar panels on top of buildings.

“We are moving towards solar on all our buildings, not only for renewable resources, but also for a benefit for tenants in terms of renewable energy,” replied Salinas.

He said the two buildings would be “ready for solar infrastructure”.

Planning committee member Jeff Semler welcomed the comments. He said the commission had sent out requests to cover acres of land with solar panels.

“It’s almost 38 acres of rooftop,” he said. “I am happy to hear you say that it will be ready for solar power. I will be even happier to see panels on the roofs of these structures.”

Salinas said NorthPoint must “put tenant in place first” before installing solar panels.

Each tenant has different needs and requirements for rooftop units and ventilation. The panels cannot be installed until these issues are resolved, he said.

Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard aims for 50% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 provides that 14.5% of this target will come from mandatory solar development. .

Members of the planning committee also voted on Monday to amend the zoning code with language designed to protect the county’s main farmland from the use of solar fields.

The proposed amendment will go to the county commissioners, who have the final say.

Preservation:Solar power grows, but agricultural advocates want to save farmland

Climbing :Approval of plans for truck placement near Hancock and two new warehouses

Accommodation proposal:Commission recommends ‘no’ to the development of the planned Black Rock unit

NorthPoint Development is based in Missouri. Its ongoing four-building warehouse complex on Wesel Boulevard, called its Hagerstown Logistics Center, is ahead of schedule.

“It’s a great site for us,” said Salinas.

According to its website, NorthPoint has more than 388 customers, ranging from Amazon, FedEx and UPS to Home Depot and Lowe’s to Ford and GM.

In October, Amazon was announced as the occupant of Building No.1, which is over a million square feet.


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Decarbonize health care at the facility level in Colombia

“Mental hospitals have long been branded as dark, sad and even frightening places. At San Rafael Hospital in Pasto, we are convinced that this is not the way it should be. The symbiosis between a healthy environment and our patients’ recovery processes is clear to us, and therefore we believe that environmental stewardship is a crucial strategy that supports increasingly humane and inclusive healthcare. “

–Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of San Rafael de Pasto hospital

Background

San Rafael de Pasto Hospital is a mental health facility located in the city of San Juan de Pasto, Colombia. The hospital consists of eight large buildings and takes care of more than 23,000 patients each year. As an active member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network, the hospital is committed to reducing its environmental impact by implementing programs on issues such as water, waste and sustainable purchasing.

The challenge

San Rafael de Pasto Hospital has been running an ambitious climate program for almost a decade and has been reporting greenhouse gas emissions since 2015. Its goal is to replace high-emission technologies with cleaner technologies and to modernize infrastructure to reduce global emissions.

“We understood the close relationship between what we do and the damage it creates on the environment, as we demand a significant amount of resources such as water, energy, food, technological equipment and various other inputs. “

–Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of San Rafael de Pasto hospital

Climate and Health Solutions

Some of the main interventions that the hospital has implemented include:

Efficient lighting and equipment: The installation of LED lighting started in 2015; in 2019, over 90% of light bulbs had been replaced. As part of its sustainable procurement program, the hospital purchases all new electrical equipment with a certified level A energy efficiency label.

Switch to renewable energies: the hospital has started to replace the lighting of the hospital grounds and parking lots with solar-powered devices. Additionally, all of its medical units now use solar panels for water heating (currently totaling 14 water storage units with 6 solar panels each). The drying station also switched to solar power, after washing and drying clothes and linens was identified as one of the most energy-intensive activities at the facility. The hospital invested in the construction of a drying station using passive solar architecture and displacement air fusion technology, which made it possible to replace industrial equipment and reduce the consumption of electricity, fuel and water.

Fuel switch and boiler modernization: stationary combustion, mainly from boilers running on diesel, also proved to be a major source of emissions (43% in 2017). In 2018, the hospital purchased a gas boiler which, along with the solar drying station, saves the administration around US $ 17,000 per year. Emissions from stationary combustion fell by 45% in 2018 compared to the previous year, while electricity consumption fell by 6.4% over the same period.

Nature-based solutions: The hospital participates in the local government’s “One Million Trees for Pasto” initiative and has purchased 1 hectare of land where, over the past six years, nearly 6,000 native tree species have been planted.

As a healthcare institution, we were aware that the demand for resources, their use and their final disposal, directly and indirectly contribute to climate change. We had mitigation and control strategies in place, but it was only after estimating our institutional carbon footprint that we were able to determine and measure our impact in terms of carbon emissions. It was then that we understood the need to reformulate our environmental strategy and make it much more meaningful and participatory, which we did through a project that included contributions from our operational and technical staff. This project has greatly contributed to the environmental and financial sustainability of our institution.

–Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of San Rafael de Pasto hospital

Progress made

Since the implementation of these measures, the hospital’s annual energy intensity has been reduced by 42% from 2015 levels, while it has led to a reduction in emissions of 32% per hospital bed. and 64% in total (scopes 1 and 2) between 2014 and 2018.

Some of the key actions taken by the hospital to achieve these results have been the appointment of an environmental officer, the creation of a procurement committee to leverage its purchasing power to drive transformational change in the supply chain and engagement with the local government of Pasto on sustainability projects.

The hospital uses its purchasing power to drive the transformation of its supply chain; in 2019, it had invested more than $ 5,000 in sustainable procurement purchases. Most recently, San Rafael de Pasto Hospital joined the first cohort of healthcare systems and facilities in the world to participate in the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero campaign, pledging to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and reporting annually on its progress.

Lessons learned

Some of the main lessons learned from the San Rafael de Pasto experience include:

  • Information is the key to make strategic decisions and maximize impact: using Health Care Without Harm’s carbon footprint tool, the hospital was able to understand its carbon footprint, identify its main sources of emissions and select projects and key interventions that would produce the greatest emission reductions.
  • Mitigating climate change is crucial for public health, but it is also a wise investment: the hospital was able to recover its investments quickly, and its new infrastructures and technological substitutions allow significant savings to be made.
  • No healthcare facility is too small to make big changes: The impressive achievements of the hospital have served as inspiration for many other health establishments in the region. Since 2016, he has consistently been recognized for his leadership and career through the Health Care Without Harm rewards program, “Smaller footprint, better health“, And in 2018 received the”Impulso Atures”For the best climate initiative, and became the first psychiatric hospital in Latin America to be ISO 14001: 2015 certified.

“Our patients are our allies in our mission to educate, raise awareness and mitigate environmental impacts. We recognize the significant environmental burden of healthcare, and we have made it our obligation and commitment to drive changes that allow better patient care while balancing the needs of our planet.

–Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of San Rafael de Pasto hospital

More information

You can read more about the efforts of San Rafael de Pasto Hospital in Healthcare Without Harm’s report, Hospitals That Heal the Planet.

This story is part of a series of case studies on climate change and health. The case studies aim to highlight the links between climate change and human health and present some of the solutions implemented by the health community. Case studies do not necessarily represent WHO or any of its Member States.


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ERA, councils oppose nine-story building overlooking Wied Għomor

The environmental watchdog, two local councils, NGOs and dozens of residents have opposed a proposal to transform a site previously intended for a 26-story hotel into a nine-story building of offices, shops and residences, located on the edge of the Wied Għomor Valley protected area, in St Julian’s.

Opponents say the site, although located in the development zone, is designated as open public space locally and should remain so.

The site is located just outside the regional road tunnels.

Landowner Carmelo Borg has submitted a “development control” request to change the site’s zoning and allow for mixed-use development.

It offers four floors of underground car parks and offices, shops and a residential development above.

One level would include sports and community facilities.

The land has been in the Borg family for generations and part of it was expropriated in the 1960s for the construction of the regional road.

Last year, Borg entered into a promise to sell agreement with TUM Invest Limited, which planned to build the hotel on several floors. The plans failed after a barrage of objections and the company changed its mind.

The 3000 square meter land is located in the development area. However, locally it is not designated for development but rather as an open public space.

St Julian’s mayor Albert Buttigieg said the project was “inappropriate”.

The local plan of 2006 specified precisely that the locality lacked open public spaces, at a time when “the situation was less chaotic and congested than today”.

“St Julian’s is suffocated, overdeveloped and crowded. It desperately needs open spaces – open green spaces – and not an excess of new commercial and residential development.

“There is a large supermarket and a shopping complex a few meters from the site. The rezoning will lead to an intensification of development and an increase in density, ”Buttigieg wrote in his objection.

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) said it had “reservations” and recommended that the site remain an open space. He said he would be able to make further comments if a more detailed environmental review was required.

The mayor of Swieqi, Noel Muscat, said the ecologically important valley must be protected at all costs “not only against inappropriate developments in the valley itself but also on its banks”.

“The sacrifice of land allocated to open public space, from which the general public will benefit, in favor of property for the enjoyment of a few, will set an unfortunate precedent which will lead to the further decimation of the open spaces available to the public. public. . It cannot be allowed, ”he added.

Environmental NGOs, including Din l-Art Ħelwa, argued that the loss of open spaces, the increase in development density and the introduction of conflicting activities through the mixed-use element “would have an impact. debilitating on the surroundings ”.

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Plan to turn family home into seven beds in Burton denied

A plan to turn a family home in Burton into a seven-room studio was rejected by planners.

The house at 310 Shobnall Street in the town is said to have become a seven-bed multi-occupancy house (HMO) with space for two cars, but a planning request was denied by East Staffordshire Borough Council .

In addition to making modifications to the house, the request included the construction of a one-story rear extension and another extension for second-floor housing.

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An Ambergate Assets report submitted alongside the request to East Staffordshire Borough Council said: “A total of seven individually rented rooms would be created and each would benefit from an en-suite bathroom. The property would also include a spacious communal kitchen with dining area.

“A total of two off-street parking spaces would be provided at the rear of the plot, which would be accessed by the private service road. “

The report went on to say that Shobnall needed starting homes, homes suitable for young families and affordable housing.

He added: “The proposed development aims to utilize the existing space in the building and, in conjunction with reasonable extensions and additions, would help advance shared housing.

“HMOs play an important role in meeting local housing needs and the proposal will help meet the needs of people who may not be able to afford a house or rent a separate apartment. The type of housing created would serve as a stepping stone to the housing market and is located in a sustainable location where a choice can be made on modes of transport and where there is access to a number of amenities and services.

The proposal provides for two parking spaces for the seven-bed apartment, and the report adds: “There is evidence that HMO accommodation has generally significantly reduced the number of cars and sustainability benchmarks due to the location of the site. must also be taken into account. A reduced level of parking is therefore justified, while priority has been given to the integration of new, safe and accessible parking to overcome any dependence purely on availability on the street. “

However, the town planning officers of the borough council did not agree and indicated in their reasons for refusing the request that “the proposal would lead to a significant deficit in the parking arrangements for the proposed use”.

They also said: “The proposal would result in the loss of a family home and no evidence has been provided to demonstrate the need for a multi-occupancy home there.

“The proposal would result in a clearly insufficient amenity space to serve the proposed house for multiple occupancy, which would have a negative impact on the amenity and residential environment of future occupants. “

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The town of Quepem has been asking for a parking space for decades

Jul 19, 2021 | 6:23 AM HIST

The town of Quepem has been asking for a parking space for decades

Christian and Pednekar

QUEPEM: The Quepem Municipal Market area is jam-packed with unplanned illegal construction since the expansion of Quepem Municipality in 1985. Urgent civic needs are being ignored. Parking is a headache in Quepem due to space constraints. Quepem’s vision of development has been lost in people’s priorities and interests for decades.

At least for now, their priority should be to identify the right places in and around the usual overcrowded areas for vehicle parking and bus stops. People say that the real responsibilities of the local MP are ignored in this agreement.

A resident of Vallabh Prabhudesai said: “The biggest drawback to Quepem, which is the crescent of four constituencies and the administrative seat of around 10 offices, is that it still lacks basic parking facilities. The municipality must make a quick decision for the well-being of Quepem residents.

Another local Angelista Da Costa said: “As far as I know, the Municipality of Quepem started operations in 1985, although 37 years have passed since then a reasonable parking solution has not yet been found. It is a puzzle for people who come to the administrative headquarters for their work. A quick solution to this parking problem is needed at the earliest.

Local businessman Avadhut Sukhtankar said: “The main problem with the parking lot is that the Municipality of Quepem does not have its own property. The land which is used for parking in the Quepem market area is mainly private and no seriousness is shown on the part of the authorities concerned to tackle or find a solution to this problem.

Curchorem resident James Fernandes said: “The Municipality of Quepem has neglected parking lots for many years now. In fact, this should have been a priority because Quepem is the administrative headquarters. Due to the unavailability of parking spaces, there is a tendency to park along the road, which can lead to accidents.


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‘PCMC is plundering us with pay-and-park’

Residents of the Twin Cities oppose being charged an hour even for short parking stops; demand better facilities

Citizens in the Twin Cities claim to face several problems due to the payment and public parking policy recently implemented on July 1, thanks to the complete lack of parking spaces generally available in commercial and residential areas for visitors.

They say parking for just 10 to 15 minutes also incurs a parking fee for an entire hour, with only paper receipts given to them. Now they think the civic body is looting them in the name of this ploy.

In addition, citizens demanded that instead of paying and parking, Municipal Corporation of Pimpri-Chinchwad (PCMC) is expected to develop several parking complexes like the city of Pune for busy streets, adding that residential areas should be exempted in the program anyway.

For example, Sushma Kale, pharmacist and resident of Nigdi-Pradhikaran, shared: “We are not opposed to pay-and-park. But in the name of this stratagem, the municipal administration plundered the population.

This is unacceptable. Around Akurdi station there were several government offices, colleges and shopping complexes. Many times, local citizens go there several times a day for various reasons and only have to park their vehicle for a few minutes. Yet, they are billed every time.

Another resident, Shashank Kulkarni, said: “Public institutions and some hospitals do not allow vehicles to be parked on their premises. Outside, I pay Rs 5 for 10 minutes. This is not true. The same thing happens when I just have to withdraw money or deposit a check at an ATM. We shouldn’t have to pay for such trivial parking lots. ”

Resident Kirti Salunke echoed, “Behind the Nigdi bus stop there are several health facilities and a few pathology labs. There is always a rush here. At those times, I just had to give a urine sample for the test, and parked for barely 10 minutes, but paid Rs 5. In the evening, when it was time to pick up the report, I Had to pay Rs 10 again to park my four wheeler for only five minutes spent inside.

People have also asked that the city administration may be able to implement such a rule on highways or markets, but residential areas should be exempted. Here, residents said, parking complexes are expected to be developed, where they will pay charges. Moreover, they added that citizens already pay huge taxes, including a road tax to PCMC – so why pay parking fees again, they asked.

Public transport has been a major problem in Pimpri-Chinchwad for a few years now, with automatic rickshaws without meters; a huge population of two-wheelers populate these roads.

Tushar Shinde, organizer of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Citizens Forum, commented: “We are not totally against payment and parking. But PCMC needs to be vigilant about this system, such as implementing digital payments to maintain transparency. For limited-time parking for routine work, the fee should be revised. Citizens should not have to be so confused.

But firm on their policy, PCMC Joint Municipal Engineer Shrikant Savane said, “The PCMC has collected Rs 88,900 from payment and parking to date in one week. We have introduced this program to discipline traffic and the fees are very minimal. ”

The implementation of PCMC’s payment and parking policy began on July 1 of this year, according to which citizens must cough to park their vehicles on the roads every hour. This facility is available on 13 major routes, under flyovers, and at a total of 450 locations across the Twin Cities. PCMC had previously appointed a private agency to implement the same. According to the price indicated, two-wheelers and automatic rickshaws have to pay Rs 5 per hour, four-wheelers and tempos Rs 10, minibuses Rs 25 and private trucks and buses Rs 100 per hour.

Both Nationalist Congress Party (PCN) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have opposed the payment and parking system in recent days and sent a letter to the PCMC commissioner to shut it down.


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The corner room renovations aim to maintain a familiar atmosphere while providing “much needed upgrades”

Businesses at the State College Hotel at the corner of West College Avenue and South Allen Street, including The Corner Room, have undergone renovations since 2020. Photo by Geoff Rushton | StateCollege.com

The Corner Room is in the midst of an approximately two-week closure while the downtown restaurant undergoes renovations, making the oldest of the State College & Co. hotel properties the latest to suffer renovations over the past year.

Curtis Shulman, director of operations for Hotel State College, said the work will refresh the restaurant at 100 W. College Ave. while maintaining the atmosphere of long-standing comfort and familiarity that has made it “the traditional meeting place since 1926” for generations of residents. , students and visitors to Penn State.

“We’re just making much-needed improvements to the facility…” said Shulman. “… Customers are really going to feel in a much cooler space. It will always look a lot like The Corner Room and it’s our top priority to make sure we maintain that familiarity and charm.

The corner room closed on Monday and Shulman said the hope was to reopen on July 26

The only major structural change is actually a piece of history: the addition of the restaurant’s original 1930s breakfast counter.

“There have been a couple in the last century. We chose to bring back the original, ”Shulman said. “We’re going to bring back this breakfast bar to pay homage to the past a bit.”

The old restaurant carpet has been replaced by a more aesthetic and more convivial laminate floor.

“Obviously, carpets in a restaurant over the course of a century, it’s pretty knotty what can get in there, so we’re trying to move away from it and just improve the overall aesthetic while still retaining that charm.” , Shulman said.

The rear seating area is also being redeveloped to have more open space to accommodate meetings and other types of small gatherings.

Outside, the repainting had already started in June to refresh the blue and white facade of the restaurant. Shulman said that due to the age of the building and the repairs that need to be done along the way, painting is a two to three month job.

“The exterior is really just paint, but with buildings this old and when there are so many shavings and stuff, it really takes a long time to fix,” he said. “It will look pretty much exactly the same (as before). “

Shortly after it reopens, Shulman said, the corner room is expected to resume serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Recently it has only offered breakfast at limited times on weekends.

A second phase of renovations will come later in the year when the kitchen is redesigned, which Shulman says will lead to an expanded menu.

“We want to get to a point where we have a little more of a high breakfast experience, high food experiences, but it’s all going to fall into that comfort food realm,” he said. “It’s going to be very comfortable for everyone, just great food that reminds you of home and Happy Valley.”

Since acquiring the companies in late 2019, Pat Croce & Co. – led by Penn State alumni Jeff Sorg and Michael Croce – has embarked on a long-term investment plan to modernize the properties of the Hotel State College around the corner. of West College Avenue and South Allen Street while maintaining their history.

Both Allen Street Grill and Chumley’s have undergone months-long renovations, with the Grill reopening last September and welcoming Chumley patrons in April.

Bill Pickle’s Taproom, Zeno, and Basement Nightspot needed less renovations, but also got some upgrades.

“[Pickle’s] and Zeno’s and the Nightspot, the facilities are working, ”said Shulman. “They weren’t going to do a century of business without love. We do the maintenance to preserve their charm, but we obviously also have to bring them into the 21st century. So we’re going to make these thoughtful changes.

Pickle has new TV screens and a new sound system, and, as customers and passers-by have no doubt noticed, a new paint job on the exterior.

The exterior of Bill Pickle’s Tap Room, 106 S. Allen St. at State College, has been given a facelift for the summer of 2021. Photo by Matt DiSanto | Advanced state

“We just wanted to be able to identify the space, make it a bit bold and pop more like a pub or bar would,” Shulman said.

In April, State College Borough Council approved a request to install a pedlet that will support outdoor dining at Pickle’s during the warmer months. The seasonal walkway has been approved to be in place from Spring to Fall in the two parking spaces directly across from the 106 S. Allen St. Tavern, connecting to the sidewalk and bypassing the Pickle’s seasonal outdoor patio. The walkway will be accessible by the ADA and will have a fence along the street.

Shulman said the company is targeting the second week of August for the installation of the pedlet, noting that it has to wait for code approvals before it can be completed.

The Basement Nightspot is scheduled to reopen on August 5 and the nightclub at 112 W. College Ave. will have new lighting and sound systems.

“These will be some cool changes that you really notice more on the dance floor, but the overall setup is going to maintain a pretty similar expense,” Shulman said.

Meanwhile, for The Corner Room, the renovations aren’t nearly as big as the Grill and Chumley’s, but Shulman is thrilled the community is experiencing it.

“I think the community is going to receive him well and they are going to feel good that their old warhorse, so to speak, is going to be here for another hundred years, just in a little more comfortable way,” he said. said.


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Alternative solutions | The Argonaut Newsweekly

The proposal to place temporary shelters in the MDR raises the concern of local businesses

By Andres de Ocampo

Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Janet Zaldua offered two alternative solutions to Mike Bonin’s proposal: a task force on the homeless and take a percentage of the transitional occupancy tax that Marina del Rey pays LA County as an unincorporated area and allocates funding to other initiatives for the homelessness crisis. Commercial images courtesy of Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau

A motion to build temporary single-occupancy housing for the homeless in the parking lot of the fishing village of Marina del Rey worries local tourism and hospitality businesses.

District 11 board member Mike Bonin drafted the motion in March and writes that “tackling the homelessness crisis requires a wide range of solutions,” and despite initiatives such as Project Roomkey, Project Homekey and more so, homelessness continues to increase and, “much more needs to be done. Different interventions need to be tried and more locations need to be identified.

Bonin described four county-owned parking lots and an RV park in the proposal for “tiny detached houses or secure camping” and temporary “secure parking”. The fishing village parking lot, a short walk from tourist attractions like restaurants and party boat rentals, has prompted many businesses to speak up.

A letter from the CEO of the Marina del Rey Convention and Tourism Bureau (MDR CVB), Janet Zaldua, was written to Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4, outlining and expressing the concerns of local businesses in Marina del Rey, in particular in the fishing village.

Zaldua, whose job it is to bring visitors to Marina del Rey, said MDR CVB is “a destination marketing organization. We promote Marina del Rey for tourism and serve as the voice of tourism and hospitality in Marina de Rey.

Although the proposal is in a “feasibility study” phase and it is not clear what warrants the study and what other requirements are needed for the temporary accommodation site in the fishing village, Zaldua said : “We don’t think it’s appropriate or possible to bring homeless pallets to a tourist attraction… Just for party boats and to access the water alone, a minimum of 200,000 people come here for it .

According to Zaldua, Supervisor Hahn responded to the CVB letter and Zaldua stated that, “[Supervisor Hahn] recognize the [CVB’s] concerns and supports a feasibility study. This is a very complex issue and it is a balance between finding support for the homeless and considering the needs of business owners.

Zaldua believes placing the temporary housing site in the fishing village parking lot could deter tourism and families from visiting Marina del Rey, thereby affecting businesses recovering from the pandemic.

“The marina is 800 acres and a lot of it is water,” she said. “We have very few open public spaces and most of them are used to access the beach. Many lots are always full of families.

Zaldua expanded on his position in the letter to Supervisor Hahn, stating: “Building homeless housing in a small tourist destination surrounded by tourist attractions where homeless support services are not available nearby is one solution. poorly thought out for business. sector and the homeless population in need of assistance.

“Areas of Los Angeles County that are close to medical and mental health facilities, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, and other support services should be identified first as a more convenient location to house the homeless population. shelter. “

Although Zaldua and Marina del Rey companies oppose Bonin’s proposal, they are “sympathetic about this issue and want to be included in the dialogue,” Zaldua said. “We are not against temporary housing,” she said. “We say that placing temporary accommodation in the middle of a tourist attraction is not very feasible…

“You also have to consider the needs of business owners, the family businesses that have been here forever, that is their livelihood.”

Zaldua offered two alternative solutions to Bonin’s proposal, one of them being a ‘homeless task force’, which would be made up of local businesses and tenants to facilitate dialogue between the community of Marina. del Rey. A task force previously existed in 2014, according to Zaldua, and was led by the local sheriff’s post in Marina del Rey under the command of Captain Reginald Gautt.

Another alternative to the fishing village temporary housing site, Zaldua said, would be to levy a percentage of the transitional occupancy tax that Marina del Rey pays to LA County as an unincorporated area, and to the allocate funding to other initiatives for the homelessness crisis.

Ahead of the pandemic, in a 2019 MDR CVB annual report, the economic impact of Marina del Rey tourism reached $ 398.2 million and paid LA County $ 11.7 million as part of the tax of transitional occupation. Since then, MDR CVB has reported that hotel occupancy rates have fallen by 50% due to Covid-19 and that the transitional occupancy tax payment has dropped sharply to $ 4 million.

Many attractions in and around Fisherman’s Village are struggling to recover from the pandemic, with business just starting to return to normal before the pandemic.

Stefano Baccianella, owner of Italian restaurant Sapori in the fishing village, which is next to the proposed parking site, said the pandemic was a struggle for everyone, including his restaurant.

“My business survived because I worked 14 hours a day [with my daughter], “he said.” I worked everyday with one guy in the kitchen and now the [county] gonna do this to us?

Baccianella is hoping for an alternative solution, but is not fully confident that LA County is listening to the concerns of local businesses.

“We can fight whatever we want [as local businesses]”He said,” but when the county decides something, they do it and they don’t listen to us… that’s my fear. If that should happen, I’m leaving. You start to lose money. It will crush all business.

Baccianella worries that “people will start to hear from the marina” and that customers and tourists will choose to go elsewhere, like Newport Beach or San Diego, to eat, plan vacations, or go out on the weekends.

Combined with being heard by local elected officials and having a say in alternatives to Bonin’s proposal, Baccianella said there needs to be more understanding for local businesses.

“There are no businessmen,” he said of local elected officials. “They don’t know what it means to run a business. They send emails, but they don’t come and watch or sit here for a day to see how to run a business, or how we pay the rent or pay our bills.

Jennifer Kirkley-Vaughan, co-owner of Pro SUP Shop which is located across the marina from Mother’s Beach, said her business was fortunate enough to remain open during the pandemic, but is still feeling the effects nationwide business closures.

“Obviously the tourism not being here in Marina del Rey has affected our business,” she said. “We turned more to local businesses [during the pandemic], but the whole community of Marina del Rey was suffering.

Kirkley-Vaughan said that while it is important to have compassion for the homeless crisis and find potential solutions to help, she would like the community of Marina del Rey to have a seat at the table for alternatives and does not consider Bonin’s proposal to be practical.

“Why would you want to put these pallets of homeless housing right in the middle of a bustling tourist community where families visit? ” she asked. “It just doesn’t seem like we have the right infrastructure like roads, hospitals, mental health facilities and rehabilitation centers to make this a good solution.

“Especially after the tough year this community has had,” she continued, “Now that tourism is coming back… Then placing pallets of homeless people in Fisherman’s Village, it could deter tourism and this town is so dependent on tourism.”

Kirkley-Vaughan is concerned that if the temporary shelters are built in the fishing village there could be an influx of homeless people into the marina, which she says could affect the marina’s business even to the point of shut down small businesses.

To those with opposing views on the MDR CVB and Bonin’s proposal, Kirkley-Vaughan said, “We can want our business, [employees and other businesses] do well and have compassion to find a solution, but not wanting [that solution] here. We are not saying that we do not want to help, but we are saying that we have to find a solution that will help everyone.

Zaldua said she had grown closer to many local businesses in Marina del Rey during the pandemic and saw the “human side and the pain” that local businesses have suffered.

“To shame people by saying, ‘You don’t want it in your backyard because you don’t want it for your business’ is an unfair argument,” she said.

“[These business owners] feel like they’re going to lose everything they’ve worked for their whole life. That’s when all the walls come down. Some of these people, during the pandemic, did not know what to do. “
Board member Mike Bonin was unavailable for comment.

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Boise’s New Elementary School Gets a Name, Faster Schedule, and Three-Story Design

The Boise School District has announced that it will be opening the new elementary school in Boise’s Barber Valley earlier than planned. He also announced a name for the school, along with revealed design details.

“We were able to move this school forward to the fall of 2023, which we are delighted with,” said Brian Walker, Director of the Boise Schools Area. “I know that members of the community are eagerly awaiting the opening of this school. “

The date is one year earlier than the previously expected district.

The school will be renamed Dallas Harris Elementary. Harris was a large landowner and rancher in the area, and his descendants developed the Harris Ranch subdivisions. Harris died in 1999.

The Harris family donated a total of three acres for the school site. As part of the deal, the family stipulated that the school is named after a family member.

[Boise Schools auctions property near Murgoitio site; Developer hopes to build ‘wellness-focused‘ housing]

“We had a memorandum of understanding with the Harris family and the Harris partnership where one of the things that was agreed upon was to name the school after a family member,” Walker said. “That family member is Dallas Harris.”

The Boise school board approved the name on Monday evening.

Dallas Harris Elementary could accommodate up to 500 students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The district will follow a process to draw new boundaries for the school. Students in the Barber Valley area currently attend Riverside Elementary School. The process will end in the spring of 2022, according to Walker.

Walker said details like the school’s mascot and the school’s colors will come later once a principal is in place for the school.

[Harris Ranch family seeking to trade Barber Valley land for SW Boise’s Murgoitio park site]

Safety concerns

The school was originally located on a smaller site and the students would have crossed a public street to reach a green space in the village for school activities. But security concerns prompted a change of course.

“There were too many safety concerns,” Walker said. “The Harris family graciously donated an additional 0.7 acre, which allowed us to put the school on one site.”

The additional land will allow a small playground adjacent to the school, protected by a security fence. Buses and parents will load and unload in adjacent streets. Parking for the school will be in a nearby parking garage.

[The future of Boise’s Harris Ranch: park, school, apartments and maybe that elusive restaurant]

Three-story school

Site plan showing the ground floor of the school. Via CSHAQ

The school will be unique to Boise, spanning a total of three floors.

“As you can see, we have a three story building. The urban nature of this site, and we really wanted to keep some space for the students to play, led to a three story option, ”said project architect Ariel Mieling. “It’s also a good solution because it allows the second and third floors to be dedicated to student learning, with more public facilities on the first floor. “

The first floor will include a gymnasium, multimedia center (library) and administrative offices, with classrooms for kindergarten and special education. The other classrooms will be located on the second and third floors.

The third floor will also include an outdoor terrace which could be used as a learning space.

“This allows everyone who is engaged in the school to be engaged and outdoors with fresh air during their school day,” said project architect Kelly Mabry.

You can see the full video presentation here.


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