Board meeting minutes – Sept. 10, 2007

CRRA Board Meeting – Minutes
September 10, 2007

Attending–Board: Annette Bak, Marilyn Barbera, Kevin Brown , Betty DiMarco, Marshall Hevron, Cindy Morse, Amanda Smithson, John Schackai, Jerry Speir, Jim Stratton, Evan Wolf

Residents: Lyn Adams, Pax Bobrow, Sandy Brown, Colby Johnson

Guests: Percy Marchand (legislative candidate), Jonathan Stewart & Tyronne Walker (campaign staff)

Percy Marchand, candidate for the state legislature, made a brief presentation concerning his candidacy and platform.

Treasurer Cindy Morse reported an account balance $2072.77.

Considerable discussion followed on a request for a beer and wine license for the Jazmine Café at 614 S. Carrollton. The board voted unanimously to support the zoning committee’s recommendation for the following conditions on such a license.

The Café owners and operators must sign a contract (to be recorded on property records) agreeing to:

–operate only as a “standard restaurant” as defined in the Zoning Ordinance
–sell alcohol only to restaurant customers being served food
–close no later than 10 p.m.
–use no “go cups”
–establish a litter abatement program
–use no signage visible to the street indicating the sale of alcohol
–have no video poker

The agreement will also reflect that the ‘conditional use’ status necessary to the permit will not transfer to new owners in the event of a sale, i.e., a new owner would have to re-apply.

The zoning committee also reported on a proposed coffee shop for the Carrollton/Cohn corner (site of the old Barber Laboratories). This requires a “change of use” for the property’s “non-conforming use status.” A city planning commission staff report has recommended denial because the coffee shop would be a more intensive use (longer hours, more impact on parking, etc). There will be a meeting of the zoning committee and all interested parties with the owners/applicants on Monday, Sept. 17, 7:00 p.m. at 8117 Cohn (home of Judy and Vincent Miranti). Judge Frank Marullo is the owner of the property.

The zoning committee also reported progress toward a “height moratorium” designed to limit out-of-scale projects that might be proposed for the neighborhood prior to the completion of a new zoning ordinance.

Amanda Smithson, Events Chair, reported on our very successful picnic/general meeting in Palmer Park on August 18 and on the recent trial-run trash pickup in the neighborhood. More clean-up efforts are planned for the future.

Kevin Brown reported on his submission, on CRRA’s behalf, of a grant proposal to benefit the Johnson Elementary School. The proposal seeks to involve parents more in school events and to expand community involvement with the school. Kevin and Cindy Morse have been named to the school’s Leadership Team by the new principal, a very positive development in our efforts to support the school.

Pax Bobrow reported on an effort to collect cereal “boxtop coupons” as a fund-raising effort to benefit Johnson School. She reports that Castellon Pharmacy, Saltwater Grill, and the Oak St. Café, so far, have agreed to serve as collection centers. Look for more news on this effort on our website as details develop. Pax reports that a similar effort on behalf of Lusher School raised more than $800 last year. The effort may also be expanded to include Community Coffee coupons.

Pax also reported on a meeting she attended re: bike paths in the city. In short, it’s complicated, but it’s possible for bike paths to be privately funded and executed, so long as they meet the relevant specifications, regulations, etc.

Annette Bak reported that Priestley School has 199 students (more than double its enrollment of last year) in its new, temporary home at St. Henry’s. But she also reported a move to put the Priestley building on Leonidas on the “surplus property market,” which could mean that the building could be sold. [Note: Information since the board meeting suggests that this proposed marketing of the building has been forestalled, at least in part as a response to public inquiry—doubtless from our board, among others. Una Anderson has been instrumental in that change.]

John Schackai reported that the new Robert’s Market proposed for Carrollton and Claiborne could be in jeopardy because of a problem acquiring “GO Zone bond funding.” [Note: Information from Councilwoman Midura’s office since the board meeting suggests that this crisis, too, may be averted. Public outcry about the potential for losing the store has doubtless been a factor here, too. We thank the Councilwoman for her intervention and await confirmation that the funding is, in fact, in place.]

NEXT MEETING: Monday, October 8, 7:30 p.m., at Asian Cajun.


Be on guard – attempted car-jacking on Cambronne

The 2nd District reports the following:

On September 11th at or about 10:45 pm, the victim pulled into the
driveway of her residence, located in the 1100 block of Cambronne
Street. As she was getting out of the vehicle, she was approached by a
black male who demanded her car keys. She refused the suspects demands.
The suspect then struck the victim in the head and again demanded her
keys. She again refused. After being hit again, the victim began to
fight back. A neighbor heard the commotion and went to her aid.
Observing the neighbor coming towards him, the suspect fled the scene on
foot. Nothing was stolen and the victim did not sustain any serious

The suspect is described as a 20-25 year old black male, 5’10”, 160
pounds, light complexion, short cropped hair, wearing plaid shorts and a
white t-shirt.

If you have any information on this case, please contact Sgt. Chris
Cambiotti or Det. Brian Baye at 658-6022 or 658-6020. You may also call
Crimestoppers anonymously at 822-1111.

This situation is sad in so many ways. Perps like this never learned how to live among civilized beings. Their human potential is wasted. Some of the rest of us become vicitms, paranoids or vigilantes, or we stick our heads in the sand, resulting in more lost potential and a narrow view of life.

But it also shows the power of neighbors helping neighbors.

All of us must keep in mind that there are predators living among us, and we must stay alert the the threats.

Is this another big negative in the “Why Are We Living Here?” scorecard? Yes and no. No one wants to live with crime. But a state of Constant Alertness can have benefits. While listening and watching for threats you might also notice other things you have taken for granted: mockingbords singing at night, the moon, a whiff of a night-blooming flower. You might start to live life more fully.

Also-get to know your neighbor. You might need to help one another some day.