Would you want a 400-foot-long wall as the view in your back yard?
That's the topic being discussed at Thursday's association meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Mirror Lake Academy, 559 Mirror Lake Drive. Guest speaker will be Craig Sher, president of the Sembler Co., the group hoping to build a theater complex downtown. "We're real excited about the prospect that we're getting more downtown businesses and especially the movie theaters, but we're concerned about the wall," M.A. Musselman said.
She said neighborhood representatives have not been included in discussions concerning the project. Musselman indicated residents will suggest changing the planned location of the wall to the middle of the theater property and adding planters and trees in its place. "You know the other thing a wall brings . . . graffiti," she added.
gain city knowledge
Twenty-four residents have entered our neighborhoods armed with a fuller knowledge of how the city operates and who makes the wheels turn.
They are graduates of the Council of Neighborhood Association's Leadership Seminar, a three-month session of workshops and one-on-one discussions with community leaders. "I recommend to anyone in a leadership position, whether they're active in a neighborhood or not, to take this course," said graduate Richard Smith of Allendale Terrace neighborhood.
"It opened my eyes to nooks and crannies of the city I never knew existed."
Susan Stanton of Fossil Park agrees. She graduated from Northeast High School. "It far exceeded my expectations," she said. "Sitting down and talking to some of the leaders within the city gave me an opportunity to understand they're approachable."
The intensive course included a night at City Hall with a tour and discussions with council members. Participants also sat down for a casual exchange with the police chief, state attorney and public defender at the police station. They learned about cultural diversity, effective communication and took an all-day bus tour of the city's neighborhoods. Smith recommends taking the workshops before getting involved in neighborhood leadership.
"I've learned so much but it can be overwhelming," he said. Stanton said although she grew up in the city, "I feel more well-rounded now."
Graduates of the 1998 class and their neighborhoods are Betty Albritton, North Kenwood; Viola Bates, Lake Maggiore Shores; Randall Bricker, Tyrone Gardens; Shirley Carpenter, Ponce de Leon; Jeff Danner, Historic Kenwood; Stephen Finch, Uptown; Peter Goldhammer, Tropical Shores; Lisa Henderson, Crescent Lake; Adelle Hughes, Campbell Park; Gretchen Mook, United Central; Debbie Mottola, Jungle Terrace; Ernestine Nguyyen, Coquina Key; Susan Phipps, Euclid/St. Paul; Heidi Pritty, Ponce de Leon; Reina Pronk, Uptown; Linda Sessions, Jungle Terrace; Richard Smith, Allendale Terrace; Susan Stanton, Fossil Park; Libby Steele, Lakewood Estates; Chris Taylor, Lakewood Estates; Patty Van Alstine and Jon Whipple, Greater Woodlawn; Nicol Williams, Campbell Park; and Khamphay Xayavong, Asian F.A.C.E. Center.
Applications for the 1999 session are available in the fall. Call Barbara Ellis, CONA president, for details, 866-2398.
This neighborhood has two active community groups. The association led by Ed Van educates neighbors, preserves neighborhood history and provides opportunities for residents to get to know each other. Crime Watch with community police officer adviser Richard Grimberg and volunteers work to provide a safer community. The group also has speakers and socials.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Karen Reich of St. Anthony's Hospital will talk to residents at Lakewood United Church of Christ, 2601 54th Ave. S. She will give pointers on how to care for older adults.
Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe will be at next month's meeting, May 26, and neighboring associations are invited to attend.
The association is continuing work on signs and will soon have two urns in place at the entrance on Country Club Way, west of Alcazar Way, said Van.
Another proposed project is a drive-off area on Country Club Way, which would allow visitors to study the neighborhood map already in place without the risk of being rear-ended.
Lakewood Crime Watch continues to be one of the most active in the city. In this month's newsletter, the group focused on crime with a mock wanted poster bearing red headlines, "Lakewood's Most Wanted."
Richard Grimberg edits the newsletter. He reports 100 calls for service in February and four residential burglaries in March. False burglar alarms, someone ringing door bells at 1 a.m. and domestic quarrels lead the list. Attempts to steal vehicles are also a concern.
To volunteer for neighborhood patrols, call Harry Watson at 867-7189.
Spring planting is being made easy in this neighborhood because of the success of last year's "Plant the Future" campaign. From now until May 15, residents can request a free tree for public rights of way as long as they're willing to water them. Volunteers buy, deliver, plant and stake the trees.
Trees planted more than 6 feet inside the sidewalk area are available for half price. Property owners must dig the holes, however, then water and fertilize. For information, call Martha O'Bryan, 822-0449.
Community police officer Lefty Lefkimiotus reports few crime concerns; however, speeding cars are another matter. Enforcement of 30 mph limits is being increased.
It's getting hotter, and this neighborhood has a cool solution with the help of a $1,000 donation. Families may compete for 10 free pool memberships if they have a children ages 6 to 18. A recent newsletter incorrectly listed the ages, said editor Deanna Wagner. The swimming pool is at Coquina Key Clubhouse on Pompano Drive SE.
Entrants must submit their names, addresses and members of their households. To strengthen their chances of being selected, they may write a short story on one of two topics: (1) Why I like living on Coquina Key, or (2) Why I want a pool membership. All entries must be dropped off at the clubhouse by Thursday.
Have a good week, neighbors!
_ JOANNE B. WALKER