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Blockwatch Beat: Your Westside resource
I am going to start the first Blockwatch Beat of 2009 by asking a simple question - who wants to save their community?
It seems like a ridiculous question because of course you want to continue to live in a great place like the Hilltop. But what are you really doing to make your neighborhood succeed? It takes all of us working together to fight blight and apathy.
Not this tactic again, you may think, but really what other way is there other than to pull together? People all over the Westside are working on this and the following are some examples to inspire you.
Lisa and Justin Boggs of the South Odgen Blockwatch are totally re-working their blockwatch after over 11 years of running it and will no doubt make it stronger than ever. Most people suggest we just move. Why should we move and let the criminal element take over?
Jay McCallister of the Great Western Blockwatch and Civic Association is continuing to hold excellent community meetings, open to all, the next one being Feb. 10. Not in your area? So what? Go out to support others and learn what everyone else is doing.
Karen Lorenz of the Westgate Blockwatch is always on the alert for suspicious activity and takes the time to investigate and call it in. She has one of the largest and longest running blockwatches with hers being approximately 17 years old.
Annette Jefferson and Bob Yocom are two more long-time coordinators on the Westside. Camp Chase Blockwatch has been running for about 12 years.
There are several folks within the past couple of years who have taken the initiative to start a blockwatch: John Contonio, Nancy Rhynard and Butch, and Kathy Hoke of Wilshire Heights. Mari Ann Futty saw a need in a community and started Westgate Neighbors Association. She has seen a wonderful year with many positive changes due to people pulling together for the good of the community!
How about folks like Pam Weaver who have been involved in starting and assisting blockwatches for about 20 years? She and others before her have persevered in the face of crime.
We have wonderful city employees to work with. Code Enforcement Supervisor Heather Truesdell has been on the Westside for 13 years and Code Enforcement Officer Danielle Weber has been here for many years as well. City folks care about us on the Westside and will work with you! Call 3-1-1 and get directed to the appropriate department for any type of complaint or inquiry. Our patrol officers and Sergeants, like Sgt. Horton, work hard to take care of us on the Westside!
There are many, many more names out there and I could take up multiple columns to talk about everyone.
It truly takes only one person to make a difference. Are you going to be one of those people?
Lisa Grazier is coordinator of the Camp Chase Blockwatch.
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