Needles, CA: The Needles Nugget for March 2012:
By Elaine Cullen
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Hello Everyone! What an amazing start we have had to revitalizing the wonderful City of Needles! We ended 2011 with the momentum gained during the successful Olde Fashioned Christmas event; and the first quarter of 2012 is full of successes, positive stories and City Council approvals for future projects – HOPE YOU’RE ONBOARD – IT’S FULL STEAM AHEAD!
We have some amazing people to thank for the successes below: Cathy McConnell and the wonderful Mustang alumni, and the many local Needle-ites (& their friends & families) for participating in the Readers Digest contest –what an extraordinary effort! To everyone involved in the 4th Annual Hot Boat & Car Show, and to “Billy B” for continuing to bring this event to Needles. Our social media seminars were well attended and could not have happened without the generosity of Eden Rudin, instructor (The Social Garden); Frontier Communications (Nello Rusceitti, Mike Sevillo, Larry Hubbard & Bobbi Limon), Parks & Rec. Dept. (seating) and the Needles Desert Start & Zach News for helping with the promo. A Big Thank You to all for your love and support of the City of Needles!
Our most recent success happened at 9:59pm Thursday night, March 1st! We “hung on” to one of the top 18 spots in the Readers Digest Contest which awards us $5,000 toward a community project and vast media coverage! Needles received over 611,000 votes! This hard earned award couldn’t come at a better time as there are many opportunities for its use. More details to follow, but a slide show of the winners is on the Readers Digest website; our city is there complete with a picture of a Santa Fe Engine! There is a link on the City of Needles Facebook page – be sure to check it out!
Another positive, fun & hugely successful event was the Hot Boat & Car Show last weekend at Jack Smith Park. The Friday night parade & community BBQ were full of beautiful boats & cars & plenty of noise as the boat motors revved up around Santa Fe Park. Saturday was an unbelievable success – 80 degree weather and unlike Sunday, no wind! People were here from all over the US – many returning and large numbers attending for their first time. Entries were a sell-out at 200+! The feedback has been tremendous and many stated it was the best event ever and would definitely return next year!
During the next several weekends, we will have the privilege of hosting many out of town sports teams from the Tri-State area. We want to welcome these families with a smile and “what can I do to help” attitude. For those in the restaurant and hospitality fields, talk with enthusiasm about the positive things going on in Needles – let them know about the murals through town, the nostalgia of Route 66 they can experience by visiting our museum and about other projects you’ve read or heard about. Remind them of our summer fun and invite them back to see the improvements we will be making during the next 12 months. The money they spend in our hotels & restaurants contributes directly to our City’s general fund and will contribute to our economic recovery!
You may recall that two community enhancement projects were presented to the City Council on January 24th: 1) new, larger stenciling of the Route 66 logo along Broadway through the City, and 2) a new entrance monument at I-40W/West Broadway. I’m happy to report the City Council unanimously approved both projects at the February 28th meeting and authorized us to move forward with fundraising for both. New designs are already in the works based on feedback received after the original presentation; the new design will be presented at a City Council meeting for approval at a later date. We are also in discussions with Fort Mojave Tribe representatives and BNSF to see how they can best be represented on our monument. Thank you to BCM Group for providing our new concept drawings!
The City Council also approved making preparations to market the 27-acre parcel behind Basha’s. We will begin preparing marketing materials and determining which trade show to attend so we can talk directly to potential end-users for the site and/or developers who may have an interest.
We will be holding a Volunteer Kick-Off soon at Santa Fe Park to start the sign fund-raising campaign and solicit for volunteer sign-ups. It’s going to be lots fun – food, live music – watch for details in the Needles Desert Star, Zach News and the City of Needles Facebook page.
The City of Needles received some “free press” in AAA (Arizona) magazine — a full color page of our mural at Econo Smog & Tune and narrative about our murals. We are very appreciative of the coverage; we want to be sure & invite Mr. Davis back (the author) as our projects move forward so he can see other positive changes taking place!
There is a new buzz around town that things are happening and it’s true! We have so many supporters – near & far – that want us to succeed. Keep the “YES WE CAN” mantra going! Get involved! There are so many opportunities for you to play a part in Needles’ economic recovery and every project is new and exciting! Please email me any time with your thoughts, ideas, offers to help; thank you to those who have contacted me to help and sharing your great ideas for our future! Working together, we will succeed!
Just a reminder to like the “City of Needles” Facebook page; you can always contact me at Elaine.Needles@gmail.com. I welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions. Have a Safe & Happy St. Patrick’s Day!