Monday, May 26, 2008

Latest on Berkana

From an email I just sent out to the world......


Please pass this message along to your community leaders in Arizona (original message below). It should especially be meaningful to neighborhoods in Phoenix interested in taking their respective battles off of the home turf and saving exorbitant legal fees down the road. Similar battles have been mounted in response to redevelopment of central neighborhoods like Willow, Coronado, Biltmore, CenPho, Arcadia, and Encanto; as well as newly developing areas like Desert Ridge and Desert Hills. If you oppose unplanned sprawl and support neighborhood/community rights, this is your chance to speak out!

Catherine and I have already contributed generously, but we will match other funds (resulting from this email) up to a total contribution of $1,000. Plus, I'll personally see that any neighborhood or sympathetic organization that raises $1,000 or more on our behalf receives a press release and other promotion of their efforts. Thanks to Randy and Jen's passion for this cause, we've already gained the attention of the local media: This is only the latest of press coverage, with more sure to follow.

Please help however you can, whether for principle or to forgive any long forgotten debts to us. I copied only personal friends and family on this email because I knew you would at least make it this far before deciding how to respond.


Patrick Brennan

Hiking Nearby!

Just as I was about ready to mount a fight for South Mountain trail access on the western half of the park, Catherine and I discovered the trail head at 19th Ave. Somehow, it had never occurred to me that it was there before Erika mentioned it to me a couple of weeks ago.

After our first hike today, I decided that this is my new favorite access point to the trail system. There was almost nobody else around, which meant that we could let Ilsa off her leash for most of the hike; and the trail was moderately challenging, so it felt like a great workout.

Now you will know where to find me on Saturday and Sunday mornings. And thank goodness that we don't have to drive as far for hiking anymore!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Block Watch Progress This Month

Sorry for not posting much lately - things have been quite busy.  It was due to a comment on my last post that I even remembered to log on again (thanks, Anonymous Laveenite)....

So here's the big news: This month marks the formal beginning of the Highland at Rogers Ranch Block Watch.  At our first meeting, we had about 30 people, with only about a 50% overlap of those already volunteering.  This means that we have an active base of almost 50 people (or one person for every 3 occupied homes).  And we're officially registered with the city.

Stef and Robert, a couple of neighbors that I am proud to have met from these efforts, have taken the most active roles in leadership.  And from Stef's patrol activities, we may finally have a newsworthy event to share soon.  We've been diligently keeping an eye on a couple of trouble-making teens in the community and almost caught them engaging in criminal activity twice.  Next time, perhaps.....

The lesson that I learned from this is that the teenagers are almost always going to be the most knowledgeable about what goes on in the neighborhood, so we should look to them as a potential resource.  And at the same time, a few of them are to blame for much of the problems we face.  The situation is entirely controllable, but we need to manage it better than we have in the past, as well as provide better programs for the kids who can either help or hurt our community.