Needles, CA: The Needles Nugget for April 2012:
By Elaine Cullen
“We’re Movin’ On”
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Hello Needles! I hope you all had a great Easter holiday. Thanks to all of you, our successes keep building! I really hope you haven’t missed the wonderful activities that have been happening in our city during the several past months! No doubt, whether you were present or not, you have heard something exciting about one or more of the events throughout the community! But, just in case you’ve been “under a rock” and haven’t heard, the City of Needles is “Movin’ On”!
Two major challenges we face are improving our image and spreading the word about the tremendous attributes in and around our city. On March 12 , Councilman Lopez and I were on the Speak-Out radio program; we had an hour interview on live radio (with a tri-state reach) to promote our events, our projects, Route 66 and the many recreational activities we have in and around the city. There is a link to the radio program on the City of Needles Facebook page if you missed it. Thank you Roger Galloway and My Radio Central for this great opportunity!
On March 21st, the NDBA hosted our first “Meet and Greet”, and Chamber of Commerce members also participated. At least 40 people attended to mingle, network and talk about our revitalization efforts. Thank you Jan Jernigan and the NDBA for hosting such a great event and to Sue Godnick and the Chamber of Commerce for providing raffle prizes. Candidates for State Assembly and San Bernardino Co. Supervisor (1st District) also attended; we appreciate their interest in their Needles constituency. The next Meet and Greet is scheduled for May 9th from 5-7 pm at Four Seasons Nursery.
Both Dog Day in the Park and the Three Petes’ event were well attended and good times were had by all! Much needed funds were raised for very special causes and needs. These events are put on by volunteers and private donations, and require many hours of time and commitment – thank you to all for giving so much back to your community! Special thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, Mike Servillo, Frontier Communications, Dale Jones, Big O Tires, CO River Distributing, the NEDC and the many other countless volunteers and numerous donors that helped with these fun community events and made them possible!
Based on the attendance and feedback we’re received from everyone, the Santa Fe Park Marketplace is a tremendous success! Our initial farmers market and arts/crafts fair held April 7th is still the talk of the town and the surrounding communities, too! Vendors offered fresh fruit and produce, flowers and herbs, beautiful artwork, homemade salsa, quilts – the list goes on and on – and many had great sales or sold out! The Mayor and several members of our City Council also attended and spoke to everyone about the positive changes taking place and thanking everyone involved for working together for the betterment of the entire City.
We have re-written the words to the original song “Movin on”, made famous by Bad Co. in the ‘70s, and presented it at the event; the song was played each hour and everyone in attendance joined in to sing! We raised $290 for our Route 66 stencil project and 15 volunteers signed up to help as we move forward! It was a wonderful day full of positive comments, fun, singing and a true sense of community, many saying it was like the “old days”! The next Marketplace will be held on Saturday May 5th from 9am to 1pm; we will be adding food and drink booths and seating in response to feedback we’ve received. Booths are only $10 and can be reserved by contacting Mr. McDaniels at Four Seasons Nursery. A very special thank you to Jan Jernigan and the NDBA for organizing and starting this wonderful event, and to all our vendors who made it happen! Also thanks to Tim Cullen for donating his time to provide the great music– he’ll be back on May 5th! If you’re not on Facebook and have computer access, you can see the video of our song by going to http://www.youtube.com and searching for Needles Theme Song. Thank you to ZachNews for recording and posting our video!
Rodeo in the Park held Thursday night gave every one of all ages a chance to put on their boots and jeans, kick up a little dust, pitch some horseshoes and enjoy a great evening of fun! The mutton-bustin’ with the kids was definitely the highlight of the evening, although the “best dressed” contest (also the kids) was also a crowd pleaser! What a great way to kick-off the rodeo weekend! Thanks to Bob Browder, Boot Barn and the many volunteers and donors who supported this annual event!
I also want to update everyone on the status of El Garces. This major icon is the focal point in our City and its completion is critical to creating a successful “downtown” area. At the Council meeting on March 27th, the Mayor appointed a special ad-hoc committee to work on the project and be sure everything is in place once funds are released. Staff is working with the FTA and OmniTrans to resolve any outstanding issues, and the Council plans to select a new construction management firm by June 1. Obviously construction won’t start immediately, but it is the essential first step in moving forward; while we cannot finish any of the commercial part of the project (hotel, offices, etc.), we can finish the outside, and construct any portion that is “transportation-related”. This is very exciting for the City and we look forward to providing continual updates on the progress.
We will also be attending two conferences in May: an alternative energy conference and ICSC (all retail tenants and developers). We have ample opportunities for both industries and will meet with multiple companies to generate interest in a future Needles location.
The NEDC is also moving forward with its mural program; we have three muralists visiting Needles next Tuesday to tour our existing murals and present their artwork. They will all be in attendance at the NEDC meeting on Wednesday, April 18th at 11:30 at the BLM offices on East Broadway; we welcome you to attend and meet these fine artists who are interested in enhancing our city. Thank you to Phil Crouch and the Rio Del Sol Inn for accommodating our visitors!
Summer is around the corner, and soon the beautiful Colorado River will be buzzing with boats and jet skis and our summer tourism season will be in full swing! Be sure you and your staff welcome our visitors with open arms and let them know about all the positive changes taking place. We also have the Amtrak National Train Day on May 12th and our first KCBS-sanctioned BBQ event on October 4, 5 & 6th! Both will bring visitors from outside the City offering us yet another chance to promote our tremendous assets!
I want to offer special thanks to city staff, the residents, business leaders and all who contributed their time and/or money to all these events, past and future – we could not do it without you! My sincerest apologies for not listing everyone involved in all these wonderful activities – the list is so long that we’d need to add a page to the paper! All of you are appreciated and respected more than you’ll ever know.
Let’s keep the buzz and 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. Working together, we are succeeding!
Just a reminder to like the “City of Needles” Facebook page; all our events are posted there, along with photos and videos from past events. You can always contact me at Elaine.Needles@gmail.com. I welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions. Make it a great day!