This summer, Newark is becoming more colorful, as the Newark Arts Alliance begins decorating Main Street buildings with bright mural paintings and colorful tiles. There also are plans for flowers of all varieties to line the streets.
According to Terry Foreman, executive director of the alliance, the idea is to make Main Street more welcoming to the community. "I've been to other towns that have prominent public art, and it enlivens the space," Foreman says. "People are enriched by it." The arts alliance received an $8,000 grant from the city to fund the project.
The Wilmington News Journal recently lauded efforts by the University and the city of Newark to avert danger to pedestrians at the intersection of College Avenue and Main Street. With the opening of the Trabant University Center, foot traffic at the intersection increased and some students tended to ignore traffic signals and crosswalks. In short order, the University added police officers to patrol the area. To help ensure the safety of pedestrians, the city decided to place pedestrian barriers along the sidewalks, forcing them to use crosswalks. Timed traffic lights at several crossings are another part of the city's efforts.
A poll conducted by UD's Institute for Public Administration found most Delaware residents are happy with the office hours at the Division of Motor Vehicles. The division is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for Wednesday, when it's open from noon to 8 p.m.
The survey found a "general high level of satisfaction" with the current DMV hours among members of the general public, motor vehicle dealers and division staff.
DiamondNet, Delaware's Online Community Network, is now available on the World Wide Web, thanks to UD's Center for Community Development and Family Policy. DiamondNet gives Delawareans access to nonprofit state and local government agencies, and community-based organizations. Some of the agencies available via DiamondNet include the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics, the Delaware Housing Coalition and the Food Bank of Delaware.
Help for Delaware parents of children from birth to 36 months is available in "Great Beginnings," a newsletter from UD Cooperative Extension. Mailed monthly, each issue contains information specific to a child's age.
Published since 1980, the newsletter currently reaches 2,000 families in the Delaware area. A Spanish version is available, and a newborn issue is distributed by hospitals to new mothers throughout the state.
The recently created Downtown Newark Partnership is funded by the city, the University and local businesses. The 13-member partnership brings together representatives of the Downtown Newark Business Association and the Newark Parking Authority, with the mayor, city manager and University president as permanent members. The group will set economic development policy, pitching Newark as "a welcoming, prosperous and friendly downtown that is bustling with activity and an interesting mix of people...a beautiful and historic place that makes you feel young at heart." The University will help finance the program as will business owners through a business-license fee increase. The city will contribute staff and services.
This summer, the Newark Shopping Center will get a face-lift and some new tenants.
"We're not going to make it too modern because we want to retain the 'mom and pop' appeal of the businesses, but we're definitely going to give it a new look, with some new siding and fascia board," says Bill Burris, a representative for Krapf & Sons, the owners.
"We've attracted a couple of businesses to the vacant spots and are currently in negotiations. We're also in the market for a grocery store, and I'm getting calls from interested businesses every day."