This meeting of Community Heights Neighborhood Association was called to order at 7:05 PM by President Susan Smith. We had several new neighbors attending tonight, and President Susan told them that our meetings are always on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
Treasurer Drew Breite said that the Treasurer’s report is always filed electronically with Secretary Beth and is available for review on our website. He told us CHNO is looking for sponsors to pay the rent on this room. It is only $25.00/mo. We have one for next month. He also brought some house plants that he gave away for free.
Sven Schumacher with Lutherwood Child and Family Services was not with us tonight, but President Susan gave us an update. The construction was approved. It is primarily for a dorm for young men who have aged out of the system and had no family to go back to. They learn life skills such as how to cook, keep house, pay bills. Lutherwood will also build an interior playground for the children. A few more parking spaces will be added to the lot at 16th St. and Ritter Ave. Lutherwood also has a food bank called the Sharing Place that we can donate to.
Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, who is a WIBC radio host and a guest columnist for the Indianapolis Star, spoke. His primary focus is politics. He asked why we should pay more attention to local politics than the national. Because it can affect us more. Abdul also focuses on crime. It is an issue here. This year so far, we have had 55 murders. We have had one during each of the last three days. About 5 of those have been juveniles–young men trying to get into the drug trade. Of those involved, 70% had a prior felony. That includes those murdered or the suspects.
IMPD East District had allocated about $25,000,000 to try to reduce this problem. Abdul said beginning 7/1; we will see more road construction. Some taxes and fees will go up, including 10 cents/gal. On gas. This money will help fund infrastructure improvements, which are badly needed. The city needs to improve the transit system. His primary concern is getting people to work. It is possible that by next year, we will be able to buy alcohol on Sunday and cold beer at grocery stores and gas stations. The legislature is looking at our archaic liquor laws.
Jim Miller, owner of Miller’s Marathon at 21st St. and Ritter Ave. Spoke about what is going on there, He said the store opened in 1969, and he bought out his parents in 2005. The east side is important to him because he grew up here. He is expanding the store area and doing the work himself. They see a lot of EBT use, and he wants to offer healthier options, so they will carry his dad’s vegetables as they are available. His dad is the one you see selling vegetable on the corner in the summer. He put in a new sidewalk around the building, with a wheel chair ramp. They will still have a repair shop, but it will be two bays, not 4. Cars don’t break down like they used to, so two should be plenty. He always needs help. He and his wife are there 12 hours a day–not always the same 12.
The station is open M-F, 5:30 AM to midnight and Sat. And Sun. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
Blake Johnson, our 12th District Councilman, told us there is a priority list on his website. Please take the survey within the next few weeks. They just gave away the second set of $5,000 scholarships to kids in this area.
Hannah Harper, our Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate, said that 7/8 is the deadline to apply for the IPL Project Green Spaces Grant with KIB. KIB will help detail the plan and provide the plants, but we do the work on this park. She said they would have a Community Clean Up Day on Sat., 6/24 beginning at 9:00 AM. Lunch will be catered by Jockamos and They will have a Collard Green Cook-Off at noon at PLA School #103 at 3920 Baker Dr. She also brought the schedule for Indy Parks and Recreation Summer Concert Series and Garfield Park’s Movies. She also had a list of Indy Parks Spray Grounds and told us when some of the pools would open.
Karen Lightbourne, Director of Community Collaborations with Community Hospital East. She said the construction is coming along and is scheduled to be finished in Oct. of 2018. They are hiring at Community Hospital East, and not all positions require a degree. They have received a $2.5 million grant to hire a Community Health Advocate. The hours are 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. The responsibilities are to provide outreach, social support, care transition and community resource information to patients/clients and their families. Applicants need six months experience as a Community Health Worker or a related field. Prefer bilingual in Spanish-English.
They have contracted with Urban Farms and with Brandywine Creek Farms to have a roving truck with produce for sale.
Most of you have noticed that part of Ritter Ave. is closed, It is finally being repaved!
President Susan read the list of candidates for officers and Board of Directors for the year 2017-2018. With the addition of Andy Duncan and Buddy Steffy, we will have a full board. If anyone is interested in providing competition for any office, contact Secretary Beth Reideman. Our general elections are at our meeting in July. You must be a member to vote. Dues are $10.00/yr.
So far, Erin, Beth, and Susan have committed to attend the Indianapolis Community Building Institute, and we would like to have a couple more members. By completing the program, we could receive funding for a community project. The application is due by 6/28/17.
There will be a Health Fair on 6/28 from 10 AM-2PM at the Marion County Public Health Dept. at 21st St. and Arlington Ave.
President Susan reminded us about the Amazon Smile Foundation–if you shop on Amazon, they will donate to CHNO.
We are still trying to repurpose the community garden area. We want to put in a soccer field and a family area. It could be a nice little pocket park since we have no green space in our neighborhood. Anyone interested in helping design this can bring a sketch to next month’s meeting.
At our last board meeting, we discussed inviting the community bounded by 21st St. and I70 to one of our meetings so they can see what a Community Organization can be. We decided to invite them to our Sept. meeting and encourage and help them to form their neighborhood organization. Ashley Weaver said there is another neighborhood above I70 that would like to be organized, too.
Sandy McConnell told us about Dr. Bottle and Vial. They use soap nuts to make an all natural soap and all purpose cleaner that is sold at Indy Artsy. We can fill the bottles, and they will pay our organization what they would have paid an for that hour’s work.
Someone asked about the rules for setting off fireworks. They are available on the Marion County website.
Michelle Robinson, who lives at 12th St. and Downey Ave. would like to have a free library in our neighborhood. We could put it on our property. A non-profit organization builds and installs them. The cost is $200.00. She would like to have it up by the end of July. In New Orleans, they use old microwaves. There is one by Secina High School that looks like a bird house. The idea behind the free library is if you take a book, you leave one.
We were reminded that the Irvington Farmers Markets are held on the second Sun. of the month through Oct.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 PM.
Submitted by acting Secretary Sandy McConnell