New voting system will be used in Columbia for Nov. 5 elections

A city election is coming up in a few weeks, and South Carolina’s new voting system will be used in Columbia for the first time. Here’s a handy guide to how it works: scec_10856_01_Cast_Your_Ballot_8.5 X 11_2019_02 (00000002)

Proposed change to Rosewood Drive at S. Walker near Rosewood Elementary

Jay Rogers lives in Shandon and has kids who attend Rosewood Elementary. He also chairs the Rosewood Elementary School Improvement Council. He got in touch recently to let us know about a possible change to the intersection of Rosewood Drive and S. Walker, a place where numerous kids and families cross Rosewood Drive going to and from school. The proposed change would make Rosewood Drive right-turn only at that intersection. A concrete median would be constructed in the middle of Rosewood Drive at that intersection, with a single wide crosswalk cut through the middle. Two “Yield to Pedestrians” signs like the ones around USC would also be installed. South Carolina DOT has approved the plan, and they’re now looking to get feedback from neighbors about the change. A schematic of the plan is attached below. Comments left at this post will be passed along to the School Improvement Council.

SC 16 Rosewood Dr & S-355 S Walker St

Proposed traffic-calming measures for Rosewood

At the January meeting of Rosewood Community Council, a lengthy discussion was held about possible solutions to the problem of drivers speeding through the neighborhood. City Councilman Moe Baddourah and city traffic engineer David Brewer asked the neighborhood to submit a proposal for desired sites for traffic-calming measures. Rosewood residents responded strongly, and a committee collated the requests and submitted a map to the city for review. A couple weeks ago, Mr. Brewer sent us the city’s return proposal, and it’s a very good one with many of the requested sites designated for  traffic-calming measures. Yesterday, June 18, Columbia City Council voted to approve the plan. Rep. Seth Rose has asked DOT to issue the necessary permits, and Councilman Baddourah says implementation of the measures could begin within two months. A map of the proposed traffic-calming measures for Rosewood is attached below.

Rosewood Area Speed Hump Map 3

Minutes from Rosewood Community Council’s meeting on April 18

Thank you to everyone who came to Rosewood Community Council’s quarterly meeting on April 18.  As someone said afterwards, it was great to feel so much energy in the room and see so many people invested in our community.  Here’s a brief summary of the meeting with contact information for the guest speakers.

Given recent public safety concerns in central Rosewood, CPD officer Mason Frier invited Sgt. Christopher Morris, investigator R.M. Henry, and Captain John Williams to address our group. It was a lively discussion, and we received a lot of good advice from the policemen. Contact info:  Captain Williams, 803-737-5880; investigator Henry, 803-545-4255; Officer Frier, 803-391-6203; Sgt. Morris, 803-315-5428. Also, Sgt. Morris informed us that anyone who would like to host a front-porch roll call may contact him at christopher.morris@columbiasc.gov. You can also sign up for a front-porch roll call by contacting Officer Frier at mason.frier@columbiasc.gov.

We also met John Loveday, a candidate for the District 3 seat on Columbia City Council. He will be opposing Moe Baddourah, who is up for re-election in the November election. You can contact Mr. Loveday at john@votejohnloveday.com and 803-728-6821.

Our Rosewood neighbor Jen Coody, who works for the Columbia Animal Mission, gave us a brief outline of improvements coming to the Paw Path in Rosewood Park. New landscaping is being done, and more memorial bricks are being added. If you would like to purchase a brick to remember and honor a former pet, go to animalmission.org or call 803-776-7387.  It costs $50 to purchase a brick and all proceeds go to the Animal Mission.

 

Thanks, everyone, and we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on July 18 in the large conference room at Owens Field Airport. This will be an important meeting because we will be accepting nominations for new officers for Rosewood Community Council. Nominations for president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer will be accepted, and the vote will take place at our October meeting. Have a great summer, and we look forward to seeing you in July.

The year in Rosewood, 2018

Hi folks, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and looking forward to the New Year. I thought I’d take a minute to recap 2018 in Rosewood and provide a glimpse into what we might expect in 2019. The renovation of Memorial Stadium is 99 percent complete, and it looks absolutely great. The upgrades were direly needed, and the plan was a good one. However, we had some parking issues during a couple games at the end of the season. The reconfigured parking lot has taken away some parking spaces, and neighbors on surrounding streets were inconvenienced by overflow parking. District One and the police department are aware of the problem and are working towards a solution. Also, when the press box construction is completed, the new public address system will be installed, and we’ve been informed that it will be integrated into the scoreboard. That means it will be loud and pointed towards homes in Rosewood. We will be vigilant in monitoring the situation and informing District One of excessive noise if that occurs.

Traffic calming is still an issue in Rosewood, and while it’s a frustratingly complex problem, we will be pursuing possible remedies in 2019. The “Welcome to Rosewood” sign was reinstalled on S. Holly across from the Publix entrance, and it looks great. A special thanks to Tim Malson and the Rosewood Rangers for making that happen. The hard work and generosity of the Rangers continues to be a shining testament to Rosewood’s gregarious character.  Rosewood Park has seen some improvements, and after a bit of excitement, a “Welcome to Rosewood Community” sign was successfully erected at the corner of Montgomery and S. Holly.

A cool holiday social/fundraiser was held recently at Cock ‘n’ Bull pub, and we hope to have another such event in 2019. The Hunter-Gatherer Hangar and City Roots Farm have become busy, fun-filled destinations not only for Rosewood folks but also for lots of people from other downtown neighborhoods. The Rosewood Public Orchard is still going strong, and a hearty thanks to all the people helping to maintain it. Owens Field Park is one of Rosewood’s most vibrant assets, and we’ve begun the formation of a “Friends of Owens Field Park” group to preserve and manage the park and its unique urban forest. We received a $2K grant from Richland County Conservation Commission to reintroduce native species of plants into the park, and we will continue those efforts with more plantings in 2019.

OK, whew. It seems like there’s never a dull moment in The Wood. Quarterly meetings of Rosewood Community Council have been scheduled for 2019, and they will take place in the large conference room at Owens Field Airport on the third Thursday in January, April, July, and October. This will be the second year of my second term as president, so I’ll be stepping down at the end of 2019. Treasurer Cyndy Storm will end her tenure as well. We’ve had wonderful support from Vice-president Mike Ely and Secretary Julie McCaulley the past two years. Nominations for officers will take place in July, and voting will be done in October. I’ve had a blast and will do my best in 2019 to make sure Rosewood remains the coolest neighborhood in Columbia. Happy New Year, everyone, from the Rosewood Community Council!

Mike Miller

President, Rosewood Community Council

RCC Drop-in at Dano’s This Thursday, July 19

Hi folks, I hope everyone is having a nice summer and managing to stay cool in this heat. Another organization has booked the airport conference room this Thursday, so since we’re in the middle of a hot-and-lazy summer and a lot of people are out of town, we’ve decided to do what we did a few years ago and have an informal Rosewood Community Council social on the patio of Dano’s pizza. It will be this Thursday, the 19th, starting around the usual time of 6:30. I hope many of you will stop by to visit with your Rosewood neighbors, and have a Coke, beer, or a glass of tea. No official agenda, but if you have an issue you need to tell us about, we’ll certainly take note of it.

I’d also like to take a minute to give a mid-year report of news and happenings around the neighborhood.

  • The Rosewood Public Orchard is doing great, and there are lots of things to pick. A big thanks to Karen Murphy for her energy and hard work to keep it going.
  • Rosewood Community Council has been awarded a $2,100 grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission for an Owens Field Trail Restoration project. We’ll be planting 36 trees and other native plants along the trail this fall. Thanks go to Debbie Bloom for spearheading this project.
  • While we’re talking about Owens Field, I’m sure many of you have heard that Columbia Parks & Rec. received a $95,000 grant to build a bicycle pump track at the end of the park near Jim Hamilton Blvd. We’ll keep you updated on what type of track it will be and when construction will commence.
  • Hopefully, we’ll get some movement soon on promised upgrades to Rosewood Park, primarily the split rail fence along Montgomery to keep people from parking in the park. Also, a park sign of a more permanent, theft-proof nature has been proposed for the corner. We’ll keep on them to make this happen.
  • There are two big events coming to City Roots Farm during the next couple of months. The annual Tasty Tomato Festival that benefits Sustainable Midlands will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11. And a major music festival is scheduled for City Roots on Sept. 22. We’ll pass along more info on that as it becomes available.
  • Finally, we’re planning to have a National Night Out event in Rosewood Park on Tuesday, Aug. 7. So be on the lookout for upcoming notices about this really fun family affair.

OK, folks, that’s about it. Thanks to all of you for helping make Rosewood the coolest neighborhood in Columbia, even in the middle of a heat wave, and I hope to see some of you at Dano’s this Thursday.

— Mike Miller, president Rosewood Community Council

Richland District One should listen to Rosewood’s concerns

I’ve followed with interest the continuing saga of Dreher High School’s attempt to build some additional sports facilities on its campus, and for the life of me, I can’t see what all the fuss is about. After all, we’re only talking about a practice field and a few tennis courts, and it seems Richland School District One has bent over backwards to pacify the “mostly affluent” neighbors who are adamantly opposed to the project.

The practice field will have no lights, pubic-address system or scoreboard, although the tennis courts will have lights. And yet Dreher neighbors fear their “quality of life” will be threatened by after-school soccer practices and the plop, plop, plop of tennis balls. It all sounds fairly benign to me, but then you see, I live in Rosewood, a block from Memorial Stadium, where for decades folks have learned to live with substantial traffic and noise associated with the stadium and ball fields on S. Holly Street.

It hasn’t been easy. Additional facilities that accommodate more frequent events have made life around the stadium more stressful. Having a marching band bang away outside your living room window for four straight hours one night a week is one thing, but when it starts happening two or three nights a week, well, that’s tough. Add soccer season and the loud music pounding from the PA before games, and you get the picture.

Then there’s the traffic that flows into our neighborhood on game days, making evening commutes treacherous for Rosewood residents. A traffic study was conducted in 2003 when District One last renovated the stadium, and it concluded that there would be “considerable congestion at several intersections before major events.” Nothing was done to address that concern 15 years ago, and now a multi-million-dollar renovation of Memorial Stadium is underway that promises more traffic. To top it off, the stadium plans call for a new high-tech sound system that’s capable of blowing the roofs off houses all the way to Rosewood Drive.

Look, we get it. Dreher is an in-town school and deserves to have athletic facilities in reasonable proximity to its campus. And to be fair, the Rosewood neighborhood enjoys the excitement of next-door sporting events most of the time.

But District One must show respect for the neighborhoods, and realize that its actions have consequences for residents on nearby streets. They seem to have done that in regards to adjusting the on-campus project to lessen community impact there. We hope they will show the same consideration for Rosewood. No mediators needed, just do the right thing.

Mike Miller

President, Rosewood Community Council

Possible Pump Track in Owens Field Park

Hey, everybody, a cool opportunity has come our way, and we need some community feedback to try and make it happen. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department is applying for a grant to hopefully fund a project in Owens Field Park. There are two options on the table. The first would be to build a walking trail around the east side of the park from S. Ott towards Jim Hamilton Blvd. The second option would be the construction of a bicycle “pump track” where the large mounds of dirt are located at the south end of the park.  A pump track is an off-road course with hills and banked turns that riders navigate by using the momentum gained from pumping up and down with body movements.  Several cities in the region have pump tracks, and they’ve proven to be very popular. Comments we’ve received so far indicate that people already enjoy walking through the woods on the east side of the park, and a manicured trail is not

pump-sunset

really needed. The idea of a pump track complementing the skate park and disc-golf course seems to be a good one. But Parks & Rec. would like to hear from you. If you think a pump track would be a fun addition to Owens Field Park, please let us know by commenting below. We’ll compile the responses and deliver them to the Parks people at the end of the week. Thanks, everybody!

Minutes from Jan. 18, 2018, RCC Meeting

  • Big thanks to Ken with The Boys and Girls Club for keeping the building open late to serve for our meeting space.
  • New mural inside of The Boys and Girls Club is a joint effort with One Columbia and Rosewood Community Council.
  • RCC is meeting with the city in February to discuss traffic calming options.

 

  • February 1- S. Kilbourne Community Meeting @ 6:30pm at the Lutheran Church off Moss Ave. Meeting being held to discuss cell tower
  • CPD Roll Call being held this Thursday, January 25th at 1001 Elm Ave. 6:30pm. Get to know your neighbors and officers a little better!

 

CRT Officer Mason Frier joined us for an update. He stated that since November 27th there have not been any reported property crimes in Rosewood!! This is tremendous and due in part to our community efforts of calling in suspicious activity and having our South Region Officers patrolling our neighborhood more often.

Betsy Kleinfelder, Visitor & Interpretive Services Coordinator for Historic Columbia, gave us information about volunteer opportunities with Historic Columbia. They currently have approximately 100 volunteers serving in many capacities. You can contact her to find out when the next volunteer orientation will take place. bkleinfelder@historiccolumbia.org or (803) 252-1770

 

Our next meeting will take place in April. More details to come. 

 

A New Year’s message from the Prez

It’s been a busy year in Rosewood, so on this final day of 2017, I thought it would be fun to look back at happenings in 2017 and take a brief look ahead to 2018. Rosewood experienced positive development in 2017, most notably the completion of the Miracle Field in Owens Field Park and the Hunter-Gatherer Brewery in the Curtiss-Wright Hangar. After years of planning and persistent cajoling, the nature trail behind Memorial Stadium was dedicated (see photo). Multi-unit residential projects on S. Saluda and S. Gregg have been approved, and should bring improvements to those areas. A long-needed sidewalk on Capers Avenue behind Rosewood Elementary was finally installed, thanks to the Richland Penny Program. We are still struggling to address the problem of speeding traffic in Rosewood, but we’re meeting with various government agencies and hope to make progress in 2018. There has been an encouraging wave of activism in Rosewood this year, with folks hosting periodical block parties and the formation of the Rosewood Rangers, volunteers who take on all sorts of projects. This is the way neighborhoods are supposed to work, so let’s keep it up in 2018 and set a positive example for other parts of the city. Speaking of next year, Rosewood Community Council will meet four times: Jan. 18, April 19, July 19, and Oct. 18. We’ve encountered a scheduling conflict on those Thursdays at Jim Hamilton Airport (the Aviation Authority will be using the conference room on those nights), so we’ll  return to the Norman Arnold Boys & Girls Club on S. Holly for our meetings. The director there, Ms. June Booth, is excited to have us back, and she even has some projects she needs our help with in 2018. One final word about a somewhat touchy subject. The Rosewood Neighbors Facebook page has provided a wonderful and helpful forum for everything from finding lost pets to getting a recommendation for a plumber, and it’s a great place to share neighborhood news. However, it reflects negatively on Rosewood when comments become mean, hateful, and racist. I would encourage folks to keep the discourse civil, and I would encourage the administrators of this page to be more vigilant in prohibiting negative posts and policing those who make them. OK, enough harping about that. Rosewood is still Columbia’s coolest neighborhood, so let’s work together to make it even cooler in 2018.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Mike Miller, RCC president.DSC06568