Thursday, October 2, 2008

August 2008 / Meeting Notes

Thank you to all of you who were able to attend last night’s neighborhood meeting!!!! Just your very presence there meant a great deal.

Thank you also for all of you who volunteered to help Laura this weekend and Sam next Saturday and for those who expressed an interest in helping to organize their blocks and possibly being part of the citizen’s patrol. For those who didn’t sign up at this time, we know there is a place for everyone even if it is in being part of a phone tree for your block or taking note of suspicious activity when you are out walking your dog or driving home from work! Everyone is valuable and appreciated no matter how much or how little they are comfortable doing. I realize some are still skeptical and/or apprehensive but there is safety in numbers and united we stand!!! We are gaining momentum and seeing amazing results and it is only going to expand and increase.

We certainly had an unbelievable turn-out, didn’t we? 53 on the sign-in sheet and that doesn’t include our CLO’s and Tribal Police…I think I counted 4 or 5 of those! Thanks to them as well. It is so wonderful to be working in concert with so many of you!!!

For those who weren’t able to make it last night…..John impressed us all with before and after pictures of some of the code violations he’s gotten cleaned up!!! He is really working hard and deserves our support and cooperation. We have to get rid of the blight so that the bad guys we get rid of do not want to come back and so that any new bad guys don’t want to move in. Folks can get two free pick-ups a year from Call-2-Haul…spread the word! Next neighborhood clean-up is August 23rd…meet at 9am at the park….contact Samantha if you want to volunteer or if you need anything picked up….

Chris wowed us with slides of the First Creek (former) dumping site and METH lab clean up and shared a story of a couple of neighborhood children who were so thrilled that our environment is being restored. One of the slides showed a colorful canister that would be appealing to young kids but that is associated with meth. We are taking this neighborhood back!!!

David shared the vision the tribe has for cleaning up the entire creek and possibly putting in an interpretive center where young people (aren’t we all young?) could learn about the original settlement. There will hopefully soon be walking trails down there, too. David said that if good people are able to go down there and use the space then the not-so-good people will NOT want to be there!

Edwina reported that ____ tons of garbage were hauled off at our last clean-up and that ____hundred tires were taken as well. (sorry I don’t have the exact figures there) Edwina also reminded us of the importance of introducing ourselves to new neighbors (southern hospitality style) and the common sense of simply being good neighbors. She is awesome, isn’t she?

Don spoke about gangs and said there were around 50 in Tacoma and we have some problems here with a few rival gangs. The McKinley station has free paint and brushes to paint over graffiti and the tribe has a volunteer crew that goes out on Saturdays. WE really need to be quick about getting rid of those messages so that the gangs know we mean business! Unfortunately, homeowners can be fined if it isn’t taken care of promptly. Don encouraged us to call in the non-emergency number (798-4721) for any suspected gang activity we see. More on that later…..He stressed that we need to use the problem house forms to keep a record of suspicious activity in our area because the city uses the statistics to decide where to focus their efforts in order to be the most effective. It really helps them build a body of evidence that can be used to make arrests if necessary. Don’t despair if you call something in and don’t seem to get a response…..every call adds up and the statistics will eventually lead to solutions!

Our newly appointed but very experienced CLO was introduced to us. We are extremely happy to have our very own CLO now! She already took action on the Browning St. dumping! She prefers email if you need to relate anything to her. She is so dedicated she even checks her email from home!

Guy was thrilled that several want to attend the training classes for citizens’ patrol and/or assist. He believes a proactive approach to increase awareness of the programs available (Call-2-Haul, Graffiti abatement, etc) can be an important part of what they do. He wanted to stress that you can be involved formally or informally. It is simply being the eyes and ears of our police force so if you are out and see anything suspicious make a record of it or call it in, please.

Of course, I am working on organizing every block so that we can support one another and so that we can identify ways to make our blocks less desirable to criminals and deadbeats. I am looking for block point persons and would like to create phone trees and email trees for everyone on the block. Don gave an example of an undesirable person walking down our block and every house he passes flips on the porch light some before the person even gets that far….it will make them want to leave!!

There is a place for all….we need volunteers to see, hear, write, phone, plant, paint, clean, haul, patrol, report, people to invite others to join us and to spread the word about our successes, and people to pass out flyers for the next meeting (Wednesday September 10th at 6:30pm at the park). Just tell me what your strengths are and what your comfort level is and we will find a place for you!

Anyone have an idea for a name for our group?

Email or call us anytime for more information or for copies of forms or flyers or whatever.

Meeting notes submitted August 8, 2007 by:

Guy T. & Lena T.

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