Monday, July 7, 2014

Neighborhood Update - July 2014

Here is a quick update on everything that we have "in the works". This is basically a "State of the Neighborhood Association".


Our meeting on June 1st at Uptown's was a success, in my opinion. Over 20 people were there. Most people expressed concern about two issues. 1. Crime 2. Discourteous (to put it mildly) neighbors. Officers Mitchell and Stoker from the Erie City Police Department were in attendance and they were very polite and eager to answer questions. Basically, they said if you have a concern, call. As a result of that conversation, I created this picture, which you can save to your phone or print if you like. 

Concerned? Call! Sooner than later.

The number of "shots fired" incidents, which was peaking at the time of the meeting, seems to have gone down. I credit Erie City Police and their efforts to crack down on said incidents and to follow through with the prosecution of their perpetrators. Read more about it here.

We will be having additional meetings soon. I am waiting for a new meeting place to be made available for monthly meetings. I will schedule a meeting ASAP when that happens.


We are trying to raise enough money to file for 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status. As of July 7th we have almost reached our goal. We have...

                      $ 148.11 in our account
                      $ 100.00 check from PA Cleanways (runner up in video contest)
                      $ 125.00 (approx.) pledges from our campaign (ended 6-30)
                      $ 363.11 

This is not an exact amount. We actually had $135.00 in pledges through the indiegogo drive, but indiegogo and paypal (which some of the donors used) take a small fee. I'm not sure exactly how much we will receive from the drive until it is deposited into the account. This leaves us about 40 dollars short of our goal.

THANK YOU to everyone who donated money through!
THANK YOU to everyone who worked to make the bake sale successful!
THANK YOU to other people who have given money! 
We will use it well!

Note: Any person who would like to look at the checking account balance and monthly account balances can do so at any meeting, just ask!


This is an exciting development. We are tentatively holding a re-dedication ceremony at the field in late September. We have support from Howard Industries who have pledged a new sign for the field. We have a few dedicated neighbors who are working behind the scenes to make a community garden happen at the field. The revitalization plan for the field, and fundraising to make it happen, is going to be one of our big focuses for the remainder of the summer. 

Please find the Baker's Field Improvement and Re-dedication facebook page and "like" it today -just click

Weekly work sessions: To be announced soon
Also: We will publish a list of "things you can do" at the field to make it nicer, on your own schedule.


As I said before, if you see a clear code violation or suspected illegal activity call. Apart from that I would like to create a data base of rental properties in the neighborhood and give each property a grade in several areas, for example: appearance, upkeep, is the garbage bill paid, etc.  This graphic is from an organization that is trying to improve walking conditions. This isn't the exact grading system we would use but it gives you an idea of how such a grading system could work: criteria on the left, easy to assess grades going across the top. If people are going to make money in our neighborhood and potentially have a negative effect on the values of homes in the neighborhood, it is only fair that they be held accountable for their actions regarding their property. 

The graphics are small and hard to read in this photo but hopefully you get the idea about creating a standard and holding people to it. It will not be easy and some people may not like it!


Representatives of the Academy Neighborhood Association have attended the last two Erie Neighborhood Watch Council meetings. The Council has new leadership in Council President Steve Simmelkjaer and they are currently working to create an updated list of neighborhood groups, although we aren't on their map yet! 

I think there may be funding available to purchase Neighborhood Watch signs at a discounted rate through the Council. There was some spoken interest in this at the meeting June 1st so I will continue to pursue it. 


This is a new organization that was formed through cooperation between the Erie County District Attorney's Office and Mercyhurst University. I met with the new Director of the NRO, Dave Deter, last week and he is very willing to help our association. Basically, the N.R.O. is trying to help neighborhood groups copy each other's best practices in an effort to fight crime on a grassroots level.


(Held June 8th, 2014) I felt like, aside from the financial success of the bake sale, that this year's sale was a bit of a dud. Not enough people held sales to make it worthwhile for people to come to the neighborhood and it never really got the critical mass it needed to turn into something big. Ideas for improvement: Move the date or possibly make it an every other year event. I'm open to ideas. 


(Held May 27th, 2014) This was a great success! Thank you to everyone who worked that day. Next year's will be bigger and better! (Here's a wrap-up right here.) The clean-up video and the contest it was entered in gave our neighborhood some much needed positive attention. We also won $100 and I'm very thankful to everyone who helped earn us the votes we needed. 

Next Neighborhood Clean-up, April 25th, 2015!


I have spoken with the organizer of the parade and he is enthusiastic about our neighborhood's efforts to help promote the parade. It is a great event within walking distance of our homes and should be well attended. Please put it on your calendar today!


There are a number of ways to stay in the loop:

You can always contact me directly at academy . neighborhood . erie at gmail dot com.

Please take a few minutes to answer questions in our Baker's Field Survey. Your input will be crucial when it comes to determining what happens at the field.

If you read everything here you can consider yourself well informed when it comes to what we are working on. There are many good ideas to be acted on and many ideas that have been discussed that need to be followed by actions. I'm glad you have chosen to join us for the journey. 

Bob Hand - Academy Neighborhood Association, Erie, PA