"All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors - in our own way, each one of us is a giver and receiver".
There are two young couples in my block who have been active in establishing the association, and have taken advantage of some of the grant funding available for special projects to improve the area. In our case here, that has meant city-funded beautification of the "park strips" between sidewalk and curb, with labor contributed by the property owner.
Where once was gravel or dirt, we now have irrigation, new trees, and attractive xeriscaping. It's rather impressive (and will become more so as the plants grow), and a credit to the owner-occupants who put forth the effort.
Combined with some of the wonderful things being done by other residents that I've written about previously, the potential for continued improvements to the cohesiveness and beauty of the Hawthorne Park neighborhood is greatly enhanced by the initiative of these neighbors to approach the City about such a designation.
- The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.
- - G.K. Chesterton
If the neighborhood association turns out to be a facilitator for assistance and developing those community efforts and human intangibles that I referred to above, then it stands to do a great service to our area. However, I will be watchful for signs of intolerance, such as those that tend to populate many HOA's, here and elsewhere. Neighborhood associations should exist for the betterment of the community at large by promoting improvement strategies, not attempting to impose them by ostracism or other means.
There are several things that I can think of that would enhance the quality of life and sense of community in our neighborhood. One is a neighborhood watch program, which again can be a slippery slope if not managed properly.
Another idea concerns those vacant lots at the corner of 5th and Chipeta, several of which are owned by the Library District. If the library isn't planning on expanding anytime soon, those lots might be a great place for a community garden, much like what is happening in the 1000 block of Main Street. That's a project I'd be interested in, even though I seriously lack any kind of green thumb. I guess I'm more driven by the divine inspiration provided by fresh red bell peppers and Roma tomatoes.
- The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.
- - Hubert H. Humphrey
This agreement needs to be re-negotiated, and/or more stringent, individualized consideration given to development applications that involve annexation. The effective quality of life of all current city residents is at stake.
On both sides, restraint is the order of the day. Let's be good neighbors.
- The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.