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News Archive--April 2011

FYI--Storm Debris Pick-Up Through May 13th

The Hot Springs Sanitation Department has announced that through May 13th area residents can have storm debris collected curbside at no cost.  Residents are allowed two free curbside CAPS (Clean Attractive Property Service) pick-ups per year; but because of the recent severe thunderstorms, the Santiation Department will wave all fees for collection of tree and brush debris resulting from the storms.  Residents will need sort their storm debris and tree limbs into separate piles.  Typically, a CAPS pick-up is limited to one ton.  However during this "amnesty" period, recognizing that storm debris can often exceed this weight limit, the limit will be waived.  For more information about having for your strom debris collected curbside, or to schedule a pick-up, call the Sanitation Department's CAPS line at 321-6921.
- Posted 4/29/11 by VL

NEWS--Association Letter Published in Newspaper

A letter authored by the Neighborhood Association's Board of Directors appears in the Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 edition of the Hot Springs' Sentinel-Record.  In their letter, the Association thanked the Mayor and City Directors for adding the short block of Woofin Avenue near Weyerhaueser to the City's 2011 Street Paving Program.  To read the Association's letter in its entirety, click here.  (Note: letter is in pdf format and is quite large 365 KB.  It may take a minute or longer to download on slower connections).
-Posted 4/27/11 by VL


NEWS--Severe Thunderstorms Hit Valley: Strong Winds Downs Trees, Utility Outages Result

On Monday, April 25, 2011, beginning in the mid-afternoon and continuing through the evening, Hot Springs and surrounding areas were repeatedly battered by strong thunderstorms. According to the National Weather Service, a tornado touched down in western Garland County, approximately 15 miles west of Hot Springs and the Whittington Valley.  Entergy reported that immediately after the storms nearly that half of all residents in Garland County were without power (23,000 of Entergy's 52,000 customers were without powery).  Fortunately there were no storm-related reported injuries in the Valley.
Downed tree at residence near the west end of the Federal Park.  Strong thunderstorms on Monday, April 25th, 2011 toppled several trees in the Valley.
(Click photo to see enlargement.)
The first line of storms began rolling through about Valley around 3:00 pm. A second line of storms followed around 5:30 pm and a third line struck the area around 7:00 pm. The second line of storms generated strong winds which downed several trees in and around the west end of the Federal Park.  One of the downed tree damaged two houses (see photo above).
Downed tree at a home at the west end of the Valley.  The tree narrowly
missed hitting a garage and car.  (Click photo to see enlargement.)
By the time the third line of storms had left the area, another tree at the west end of the Valley was toppled (see photo above). The strong winds also knocked down power lines serving the west end of the Valley, leaving some 300 Whittington Valley residences past Weyerhaeuser in the dark.
Crews from the National Park Service cleared away the downed trees in the Federal Park early Monday morning. As of the time of this report (Wednesday, April 27, at 6:10 pm), power had not been restored to the west end of the Valley.  Entergy’s website shows that repairs to the downed lines are "pending."
Two downed trees at the west end Whittington Federal Park.  Strong thunderstorms on Monday downed several trees in the Valley.
(Click on photo to see enlargement).
Since Monday evening, cable service throughout the Valley has experienced intermittent outages. The main transformer powering the Valley’s cable system is located near Weyerhaeuser and, because of the downed power lines, cable service in the Valley has been powered by a portable generator.  For the most part, cell and landline telephone service was not been impacted by the storms.
- Posted 4/27/11, 9:30 am by MT (revised 4/27/11, 6:13 pm).

UPDATE: Electrical Service Restored To West End Of The Whittington Valley

Thursday, April 28th, 2011, at approximately 8:30 a.m., electrical service was restored to some 300 plus residents at the west end of the Whittington Valley.  Service had been off for four days after a line of severe thunderstorms had moved through the area.  Strong winds downed lines and trees on Monday, April 25th, 2011.
- Posted 4/28/11, 10:30 pm by MT


FYI--Valley Resident to Perform at Disaster Relief Concert for Tsunami Victims

Louis Menendez, a gifted pianist and resident of the Whittington Valley, will be among the performers at a benefit concert on Thursday, April 28th starting at 7 p.m. at Horner Hall in the Hot Springs Convention Center. In lieu of an admission fee, attendees are asked to make a donation, of whatever amount they feel is appropriate, to aid relief efforts for victims of the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami. All proceeds will go to the Japanese Relief Fund of the Hot Springs National Park Sister City Foundation.
Other performers at the concert include singer Deleen Davidson, members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, numerous Hot Springs musicians and schoolchildren (who will perform in a choir). Musical selections will include works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Pucini, Brahms, Faure, Schubert, Chopin as well as Gershwin, Bernstein and Andrew Lloyd Weber.
All monies donated will assist residents of the recent disaster in Japan who have fled to Hanamaki (Hot Spring’s Sister City). To date, Hot Springs residents have raised more than $18,000 to aid those effected by this disaster.
- Posted 2/27/11 by VL

FYI--City Announces "Spring Fling" Residential Waste Disposal Program for Late April

Starting on Saturday, April 30th and continuing through Sunday, May 1st, the Hot Springs' Sanitation Department will be operating multiple refuse collection sites for residents to clean out unwanted items from their garages, storage sheds and houses. Residents can bring anything except household garbage (which the City collects curbside weekly), hazardous waste (such as gasoline, paint, oils, cleaning fluids, household chemicals, batteries, etc.) and brush (which again the City collects curbside every few weeks). A special collection day will be held in October for household hazardous waste. There will be large roll-off construction size boxes at each site, which residents are asked to place their items in. The collection sites closest to the Valley include:
  •  The corner of Dell and Park Avenues; and
  •  Quapaw Community Center, 500 Quapaw Avenue.
The collection bins will be in place until about 4:00 pm on Sunday, May 1st. For more information, contact the Hot Springs Sanitation Department at 321-6911. 
So if you have been procrastinating about getting rid of all the junk in your garage because you didn't want to pay someone to haul it away, avail yourself of this opportunity to dispose of these items for free.
- Posted 4/23/11 by VL
Recommended by DT

NEWS--City Directors Add Valley Street To 2011 Paving Program

Tuesday night, April 21st, 2011, the Hot Springs Board of Directors voted unanimously to add one short block of Woodfin Avenue, located here in the Valley, to the City’s 2011 Street Paving Program.  The street, located near the west end of the Federal Park between Whittington Avenue and Sabie Street, is in very poor condition and has not been repaved in more than twenty-six years.
Stretch of Woodfin Avenue that the City Directors approved repaving in 2011.
The decision by the City Directors came after a short presentation by Association President Mark Toth.  Aided by color slides showing the pot-marked and uneven roadway, Toth argued that repaving the road was a matter of public safety since many pedestrians, including school children, have to walk on the road every day.  The Neighborhood Association has been working for more than six months to get the street repaved, writing letters to the City Manager and other officials as well as providing information for a front page article in the local newspaper, the Sentinel-Record. (See related story below, "Neighborhood Association Asks that Crumbling Valley Road Be Repaved.")
After Toth’s presentation, City Director Peggy Brunner-Maruthur made a motion that Woodfin be added to the City’s Paving Program.  Director Elaine Jones seconded the motion.  Director Karen Garcia, who works in the Valley, advocated that unspent 2011 bridge repair funds be reallocated to the City’s paving program, thereby making it possible to pay for this paving project and other additional street paving.
Woodfin is just one of three streets in the Valley the City intends to repave this year.  Regal and Hembee Streets, which provide access to the new Habitat houses at the west end of the Valley, will also be repaved.  City officials say that the repaving program will begin once the weather gets warmer, probably by mid-June.
- Posted 4/20/11 by VL

UPDATE: Newspaper Reports on Addition to Paving Program

On April 21st, 2011, the Sentinel-Record, in a front page article, reported on the City Board meeting and the Board's decision to add the short block of Woodfin Avenue to the City's 2011 Street Paving Program.
- Posted 2/22/11 by MT

NEWS--Neighborhood Association Asks that Crumbling Valley Road Be Repaved

At its April 11th, 2011 meeting, the membership of the Neighborhood Association voted unanimously to request that one short block of Woodfin Avenue be added to the City’s 2011 Street Paving Program.  This short block, located at the west end of the Federal Park between Sabie Street and Whittington Avenue, is a important route for many Valley residents (see map below).
Click on map to see enlargement.
In a letter to City Manager Lance Hudnell dated April 14th, the Association’s Board of Directors explained that "This particular stretch of roadway is very narrow and short--only about thirty feet long.  However this ribbon of asphalt is a vital link for many in the Whittington Valley.  It allows residents quick and easy access to their homes on the north side of the Valley without having to take the long way around the Federal Park--a trip that can take drivers more than half a mile out of their way.  This road is used by many people every day, including homeowners in Habitat’s Wheatley Village as well as many other Valley residents."
In their letter, the Association’s Board of Directors went into detail about the road’s poor condition, writing that "City crews have patched this road on an ad hoc basis--and for years this sufficed. However, recent heavy rains and the harsh winter, combined with daily wear from vehicle traffic have left the roadway crumbling, uneven and quickly deteriorating."  (See photo of road below)  (Want to read the Association's April 14th letter in its entirety?  Click here.)
Short block of Woodfin that the Association hopes the City will repave.
This particular road has been a concern for some time. More than six months ago, in October 2011, the Association wrote a letter to City officials asking that the road be repaved.  At the time, the Association was told that it was not possible to repave the street due to the City’s tight budget. But as the road’s condition continued to deteriorate, the community’s concerns have only increased.
In a front page article in the Tuesday, April 19th edition of the Sentinel-Record newspaper, several Association members explained why they are so worried about this stretch of road. David Tyler, whose house overlooks the roadway, talked about one couple in particular who use motorized wheelchairs. David was quoted as saying, "On weekends, every Saturday and Sunday, they come out to get water [from the Valley’s spring water station] and go to church. You can see how choppy the street is and they go as far to the right as they can, but when they do that is when they are in trouble." In the article, David said that the road had not been repaved in more than twenty-six years and that "I just think it’s an accident waiting to happen."
In the same article, Association Secretary Gayle Gantner explained how the road " so narrow there have been times when she has had to back her vehicle away from the intersection to allow another car to pass." And in the article, Association President Mark Toth said that "It’s one of those things where if you get a road paved, it brings up the whole neighborhood, and that’s what we’re looking to do."
Members of the Association will attend the City Board meeting tonight, Tuesday April 19th. They intend to ask that this short stretch of road be added to the City’s Paving Plan.
- Posted 4/19/11 by MT

NEWS--Neighborhood Association Hosts Fund-Raising Rummage and Doughnut Sale

On Saturday April 9th, 2011, the Neighborhood Association held a fund-raising "Rummage and Doughnut Sale" at the First Presbyterian Church, 213 Whittington Avenue.  Aided by pleasant weather, a steady stream of customers and happy volunteers, the event saw the sale of 75 dozen doughnuts and various home electronics, glassware, collectibles and toys. Buyers began arriving around 7:30 am and the sale continued until 3:45 pm. Association member Verna Linder took the lead in organizing the event.  "Miss Verna" put in many long hours contacting our members and soliciting donations.  Due to her tireless efforts, the Association had the Community Room at the Presbyterian Church packed to overflowing with saleable items.

The Rummage Sale was well stocked with plush toys.
Photo of the many items available at the Association's recent fund-raising Rummage Sale.  Thanks to overwhelming support from Valley residents, every table in the Church's Community Room was filled to near overflowing with merchandise.
A special thanks goes to Association Treasurer, Darthy Tyrity. "Miss Darthy" provided many items for the sale, helped setup, staffed the event all day, watched over the money, helped cleanup and then went home and counted the sales' profits (she liked counting all the money best of all—although Darthy did complain about the $40.00 in nickels collected during the sale—which may have been a slight exaggeration).  We are very fortunate to have Darthy as our treasurer (and for the record the rumor that Darthy is suddenly able to afford a trip to Hawaii because of some "newly found" cash is absolutely baseless).

WVNA Treasurer Darthy Tyrity (left) and WVNA member Bernistine Kilgore (right) greeted all who attended the Association’s Rummage and Doughnut sale with a bright smile and good cheer.
The Association would like to thank everyone who donated items for the sale.  Also, our thanks to everyone who helped publicize the sale and to the hard working crew at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts up in Little Rock for providing discounted doughnuts for our sale.  Thanks also to everyone at the First Presbyterian Church here in the Whittington Valley for allowing us to hold our sale at the Church’s community room.  Finally, our thanks to everyone who came by and bought something.  The sale would not have been a success without your support and patronage.
- Posted 4/18/11 by MT

UPDATE: Newspaper Prints Photo From Rummage Sale

On April 24th, 2011, the Sentinel-Record printed a photo showing Association members Darthy Tyrity and Bernistine Kilgore working at the Rummage Sale (the photo in the paper is a reprint of the one of Darthy and Bernistine above).
- Posted 2/24/11 by MT
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