Column: Blockwatch Beat

I know that I am getting older when it feels like it was yesterday when I was writing this column in the spring!

So far, we have had a fabulous fall season, with beautiful weather and not much crime to report. It seems that there are still individuals bent on stealing pick-up trucks and always the petty criminals breaking into structures or cars for cash or fence-able items.

Please remember to always lock your cars and doors, even the screen doors. Any extra deterrent to a thief will make him move on out of the area.

To that end, I would like to encourage all residents to turn on their porch lights every night. It costs pennies a year to keep the lights on and it makes the neighborhood brighter and safer.

If you have a broken light and can’t fix it or can’t afford a good bulb for your outdoor light, Camp Chase Blockwatch would like to help you with that. If you fall within their boundaries, contact Lisa Grazier for help.

We all love our park and recreation center; they are the linchpin of Westgate. Did you know that there is a group called the Community Recreation Council (CRC) that works directly with Carol Adams, the esteemed director, and the city, to ensure that you have all of those wonderful programs (and been doing so for several decades)?

There is now another group working with the CRC and Carol called The Friends of Westgate Park. If you like to help with programs inside the recreation center or if gardening is your cup of tea, then we need you!

The Friends of Westgate Park are looking for folks who love their park and love working outside and the CRC is looking for folks who love their park and their recreation center programs.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the wonderful entity that is Westgate Recreation Center, please contact Lisa Grazier at

Would you like to make a difference in your park? How about having a voice for change? Now you can!

The Friends of Westgate Park have a mystery on their hands and need your help in solving it. Drive or walk by the front of the Rec Center and look up at the doors. You will notice that it says "Westgate" but nothing else.

Upon further inspection, you will see the holes in the stone where it once said "Recreation Center." There are also holes on the right side where a plaque was once placed, probably stating the date it was built, etc.

Does anyone know the whereabouts of the letters and plaque? Please contact Lisa Grazier if you do!

Sept. 18 was the tribute spearheaded by Hilltop Neighborhood Action Group for our one and only Officer Norman Russell (no longer of 19th precinct).

It was a lovely evening with many teary eyes as we all paid homage to the best of police officers. We are happy for his new position with the police training academy, but sad that he is no longer helping us in the 19th precinct. The Blockwatches miss you, Officer Russell!

As always, keep in mind the motto of Camp Chase Blockwatch: Crime is negative, community impact is positive.

We must continue to work together to fight crime but more importantly, to make a positive impact in each others lives. If you are a new resident, get to know your neighbors. Come to meetings, be heard, and effect positive change in your community.

We can keep our Westside a stellar place to live, but only if we all participate together, report crime, and help one another. The Westside is a fabulous place to live and with your help, we can keep it that way.

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