PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

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PPNA Block Party

Posted by ppna on July 16, 2008

i just wanted everyone to know that we had a great time at the PPNA block party.  I couldn’t believe how much work there was to setting it up but I was happy with the turnout and plenty pleased that those neighbors that showed up seemed to have a good time.   I have a firm grasp on what is needed for next year and how to delegate the duties so next year will be easier except I intend to grow the party each year.

We accomplished the goal of getting a lot of neighborhood kids to show up and getting neighbors to interact.  I built several carnival games for the kids to play and play they did.   Cafe Luwak and Gordon’s Five and Dime came through with some fabulous prizes and I want to thank them for their generosity and for their businesses.     Every kid walked away happy.     A couple of other highlights for the kids were a fantastic interactive story time and some of the best face painting ever.     I’d like to thank Mary and Marlena for helping out with those things and of course thank all the neighbors that helped run the games.

For the adults the Corner Brewery generously donated a keg of beer which was empty by the time the neighbors went home.   We were also graced by the band Hullabaloo which played an extremely entertaining show and I think brought people out of the woodwork.

A nice group of our local politicians were on hand as well including the Mayor, Brian Robb, Pete Murdock, Rod Johnson, and my favorite of all Alma Wheeler Smith.   I’m certain a lot of the neighbors didn’t know their local politicians so it was great that they came out to answer questions and enjoy the party.   I did have a heated talk with Brian Robb about us taking the South Side of Forest away from HESNA and bringing those people into the PPNA.

I’m very happy I live in a neighborhood which has such great neighbors who have such a great time together.

Thanks to all that attended and to the businesses that supported us now please get out and support those businesses.

Kurt

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PPNA Mailing List

Posted by ppna on June 19, 2008

The PPNA IT department has had it’s hands full as of late trying to get the launch date set for the official PPNA satellite but they managed to find time to create an official PPNA mailing list. If you are interested in receiving announcements from and about the PPNA and Ypsilanti events please visit the mailing list subscription page.

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PPNA committee meeting tonight

Posted by ppna on May 13, 2008

Just a reminder, a few PPNA residents will be getting together tonight at the Corner Brewery at 7pm. We will be discussing plans for the Neighborhood Block Party, A Parade Team, Wireless Ypsi, Kickball and a few other things. If you are interested please drop by. If you can’t drop by leave a comment or send an email and we will discuss your views.

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My First 100 Days

Posted by ppna on April 3, 2008

I want to once again thank all of those that helped me in my campaign but I realize now is not the time to party now is the time for action.

The first order of business is to get the official PPNA website up and running. The PPNA website will include but will not be limited to

  • General Meeting Information and Minutes
  • Information on our neighborhood
  • Real-Estate Listings
  • PPNA Yellow Pages where anyone in the PPNA will be able to post what they offer. Neighborhood kids can post in the lawn-cutting, shoveling section, contractors, writers, lawyers, IT experts, can post. Even if it’s not your occupation but you can help out we would like you to post.
  • A form for volunteers needed, If a neighbor is going out of town for a week or for some other reason can’t shovel, rake, or mow this form will allow us to help them find a neighbor that will help out. Maybe you need help moving a refrigerator or Pool Table, we need to get neighbors involved in helping each other.
  • A form for volunteers available to help
  • Information on our parade ideas

The 2nd order of business will be to help Steve and Brian bring Wireless Ypsi to our neighborhood. Wireless Ypsi might not seem like a good idea to you but it is a marketing tool. If we were the first neighborhood to blanket ourselves in a wireless signal it would set us apart, not just in Ypsi but in the entire state. The cost of this is $50.00 per every 5 or 6 houses.

To accomplish a Wireless PPNA we need

  • People to share their bandwidth — Most people have more than they need and would never notice it to achieve this we need DSL subscribers not Comcast customers.
  • Donations to buy the receiver/transmitter/repeaters — We need to place these every third or fourth house (every house doesn’t need a broadband connection.
  • A Fundraiser — I’m thinking something at the Corner Brewery or Frenchies and perhaps during the community yard-sale day having another site set up where we will accept donations from people that have things to sell and have a big benefit yard-sale or if people have Books/CDs/DVDs/LPs/Video Games to donate we could set up a PPNA Amazon.com account where we could sell things through that and the money would go directly into the PPNA bank account

Thankfully, last night we were able to establish a new PPNA cabinet position and fill that position. We now have the office of ‘Technical Affairs for the PPNA’ and we have 2 well qualified volunteers running it.

The Third order of business is planning the PPNA BBQ on June 29th. This needs to be a big ordeal that draws our neighbors down to the corner of Gordon and Hemphill. If you have suggestions please comment.

Other things that need to be worked on —

  • The PPNA has Membership Dues of $10.00 per household, it would be nice if we could get each household to contribute, this will give us the ability to do things like making a Wireless PPNA, run our webpage, get things for the picnic, buy the church on Riverstreet for a community center, etc.
  • A Parade group — Anyone that wants to be any parades let me know.
  • Groups to volunteer at city things like Capture the Trash and Ypsilanti Pride Day

I think those goals are ambitious but they can be accomplished.  I don’t want to hear how great Normal Park is anymore.

Kurt

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PPNA Spring 2008 General Meeting

Posted by ppna on April 3, 2008

Hello Neighbors,

If you didn’t make the PPNA meeting last night we had a good turnout and we wish you could have been there. The meeting started off with an answer session by our police liaison officer Zachary Allen. He commented about the low crime rate in our neighborhood and what the city was doing in other parts of town. He mentioned that the police had been concentrating on running the prostitutes out of downtown and away from riverside and frog island parks and said they had been successful. Officer Allen also stated that the city was now concentrating on the panhandlers downtown. He gave recommendations to make sure you lock your cars and garages and not to leave anything in view of a potential thief. He also reminded us of the Ypsilanti curfew law which blocks people 17 and under from being on the streets from 11pm till 5:30am. In the question portion of his talk the problems of noise and speeding were brought up once again as they are in every meeting. He said that in both cases you can call in the cars information (description of car and driver, license plate number, offense, and direction) and they would try to head it off. If you have any minor concerns call the POLICE NON-EMERGENCY NUMBER 483-9510.

Steve Pierce and Brian Robb were at the meeting to discuss Wireless Ypsi and how we can help support the project by buying our own Meraki receivers and joining the network.  The receivers are $50.00 (indoor) or $100.00 (outdoor greater range) and with them you can share your broadband connection (unless you use Comcast which doesn’t allow it).  Even if you don’t have a personal internet connection to share  you can still help the network by installing a receiver which will work as a repeater for an existing signal if there is one to repeat.  I was happy to see that there was a lot of interest in what they were saying.  As of now the closet transmitter is at the Corner Brewery.

The meeting ended with an election of a new PPNA President.  It was a tough battle but I put my hat into the ring anyway and through popular support I have become your new PPNA President and I really hope to turn the PPNA into a more active organization.

We also discussed our summer block party which is going to be June 29th and I hope to help make this a bigger and better event.   If you have ideas for the party let me know, if you have ideas about games let me know (I was thinking some carnival things but anything, If you are an entertainer or know someone who will perform for free let me know.

I think that sums up the meeting for the most part.   If you are interested in getting more involved with the PPNA or have any ideas of things you’d like to see happen please contact me.

Thanks,

Kurt

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Rumbling in the neighborhood

Posted by ppna on January 28, 2008

I received this from a ppna neighbor:

 “I don’t know how close to Prospect Road you are, but I was wondering if you’ve
noticed/heard anything about truck traffic up and down Prospect. It seems like
this winter there are tons more trucks, and much heavier trucks, than I ever
remember, to the extent that my house  shakes violently
several times a day. (I say this having become pretty acclimated and able to
ignore to the teeth-shaking bass on car stereos.) I’m pretty sure that I saw a
double-length trailer this afternoon.
I’m out of touch with the Neighborhood Association, but it seems like an issue
that they/we might want to discuss. I called Ypsi Public Works, who was pretty
uninterested (though, as I pointed out, they have to fill the craters these trucks are making) and told
me to call the police. The police said they had gotten three calls about trucks
today, but their impression was that it was about reckless trucks involved in
construction at Walgreeen’s.
Anyway, I’m not sure what a community could do, but this has certainly meant an
erosion in quality of life at my house, and probably for those in the
neighborhood as well, especially those on or close to Prospect or Forest.”

I really appreciate this type of comment.  My intention for this blog was to open a discussion forum for the residents of the PPNA.  I haven’t been effected by the trucks coming down the street but I’ll try to figure out what they are doing.  I certainly know how annoying those trucks can be because 2 years ago trucks rumbled down River Street hauling dirt and spewing dust from Water Street to Highland cemetery (Dirt not good enough to live on but good enough to be buried in).    

This is a tough issue because I don’t think it falls within the framework of any of our city services.  Trucks are permitted on Prospect and those trucks are inherently loud and with development comes noise.   What I would suggest, if you can, get the name of the construction company that owns the trucks (read it off the side) and ask them what they are doing and how long they are going to keep doing it.  If any of you do find out please comment.

This is also the type of thing I like to bring to the attention of our fabulous City Council member Brian Robb (brobb at cityofypsilanti dot com) 

Hopefully we’ll get some comments about what might be done.

Thank you for your question and I look forward to more in the future

Kurt

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Bike lanes on Forest Ave

Posted by ppna on January 3, 2008

This article was clipped from Metromode

Ypsilanti – Ypsilanti looks to add more bike lanes on Forest Avenue

metromode, 12/13/2007

Everyone sing:

“I want to ride my bicycle.
I want to ride my bike.
I want to ride my bicycle.
I want to ride it where I like.”

Though cycling is about to become easier in Ypsilanti, Freddie Mercury might have a tough time figuring out a rhyme for the city’s name (If he were alive).

The Ypsi City Council approved adding seven blocks of bike lanes along West Forest Avenue between College Place and Norris Street.

A Michigan Department of Transportation grant is paying for most of the $80,000 project while the city forks up (pun intended) $16,000 of the tab. The city will widen the road at certain points to accommodate bike lanes on both sides. The stripping is expected to be done this spring

Although Ypsilanti doesn’t have a specific non-motorized transportation plan, like Ann Arbor, it does try to add in bike lanes and paths where possible when roads are being rebuilt or resurfaced. The city has already installed several miles of bike lanes over the last few years, enough to allow bicyclists to cross the city on paths made especially for them.

Source: Karen Hart, community development director for Ypsilanti and Bill Bohlen, department of public works director for Ypsilanti
Writer: Jon Zemke

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Buy a Church

Posted by ppna on December 19, 2007

Don’t get distressed by your property tax bills anymore. It’s a great time to buy a church and start a service –TAX FREE

The PPN is surrounded by Churches and I’ve learned that two are now for sale. If times were better and the PPNA was stronger I’d suggest picking one of these buildings up as our own community center. Forget the times I’m suggesting it now.
Forest Avenue Babtist Church
At 218 East Forest we have Forest Avenue Baptist Church. This building is much larger than it seems but at $2,000,000 I think it’s a little out of our budget. The church says they are planning on moving South of Ypsilanti.

North River Church802 North River would be great. I’m not sure why a cinder block building is priced more than nice houses in the area but we’ll do what we have to do. It would be around $500.00 per household within the PPNA and then $100.00 a year for our own community meeting place. We’d easily make our money back with Fish Frys and Bingo. Just think how much fun Sunday mornings at the Church of the PPN would be.

There is one other local church for sale at 885 East Clark. There might be more but these were all found at ReligiousRealEstate.com

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