ENA Newsletter – February 2017
Prepared by Karen Hlynsky, Chair, Elmwood Neighborhood Association
In January there was no end of opportunities to make our voices heard at either the federal or local levels. It’s great to see so many citizens involved with community development and national politics. Distilling all of the dialogue exchanged by email and in meetings is challenging and finding something to truly celebrate is even more so. But, yes, there is something to celebrate.
PeopleforBikes selects Providence for the Big Jump
Providence is one of 10 cities chosen from a pool of 80 for the Big Jump Project. The City Walk corridor that includes Elmwood Ave and Broad St is the target area for the project in Providence. The Big Jump Project, aims to double or triple bike ridership in specific neighborhoods over the course of just three years. Cities in the project will be laboratories for innovation, ultimately illustrating the ways in which U.S. cities and towns can tap into bicycles to improve the health and vitality of their communities.
Each city will annually receive the equivalent of $200,000 in technical support from PeopleForBikes to support the development of bike infrastructure and programs that encourage biking; an additional $50,000 in local matching funds from the city, community partner, or local foundations each year will also be contributed to the program.
Reminder: Using PVD311
Use the 3-1-1 hotline and/or the PVD311 mobile app to report quality of life issues and to request city services. The hotline is an important tool for documenting issues at troublesome locations. A record of complaints can affect liquor licenses and zoning changes at locations described below. To learn more about using the service, attend a meeting at Reservoir Elementary School on February 6 or at Knight Memorial Library on February 27.
Reminder: Prepare for snow emergencies
If you or your tenants park on the street at night, make sure to have an alternate parking space available in case of parking bans. Property owners are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, catch basins, fire hydrants and pedestrian ramps adjacent to their property. The city can fine property owners who do not clear adjacent sidewalks of snow. Learn more at the City’s Web site. http://www.providenceri.com/snowready/faqs
PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Parole Board gets approval for locating an office in South Providence
On January 3 the RI Dept. of Corrections went before the RI State Properties Committee to request locating a parole office at 49 Pavillion Ave in the South Side near I 95. The office will serve residents from zip codes 02905 and 02907. Luis Aponte is planning a press conference at the Washington Park Community Center to announce the plan on February 23.
Residents may remember that a proposal to locate the office on Broad St was met with overwhelming neighborhood opposition because of its proximity to schools and the high number of social services already on the South Side.
CPC recommends zoning change for 12 Lenox
PEKA Properties, the owners of the vacant lot at 12 Lenox, went before the City Plan Commission (CPC) on January 17 to request a change in zoning from residential (R-2) to commercial (C-2). PEKA also owns buildings on Broad that house Aqua Lounge and Monaco Night Club. PEKA aims to phase out the nightclubs and bring more retail businesses to the corner of Broad and Lenox, expanding them to 12 Lenox.
While PEKA argues that the location would not be attractive as a residence, residents argue that it is PEKA’s poor management of their properties that has made it undesirable. Residents are concerned about commercial creep into residential areas, the traffic congestion already existing at that corner, and the lack of parking. They recommend that before making a zoning change, PEKA should prove itself by cleaning up 12Lenox, which has become a trash filled parking lot for the automobile service stations at the corner.
After hearing from residents, CPC voted to recommend a zoning change to C-1 with restrictions: no liquor establishments or auto repair operators. City Council will have to approve the change.
Next steps: Residents can voice their opinions to City Council President Luis Aponte(firstname.lastname@example.org), Ward 9 Councilwoman Carmen Castillo (email@example.com), and/or CidMcKenna, Chief of Staff for the City Council (firstname.lastname@example.org). Telephone messages can be left for all at 521-7477.
Contact Elmwoodian Paula Donovan for more information: email@example.com
Paolino Properties buys St Joseph’s
On January 24 Joe Paolino announced that Paolino Properties had bought St Joseph’s Hospital on Broad St with the intention of developing it to help resolve the homelessness issue downtown. Thanks to community networking, nearly 300 people showed up at the press conference to protest the “dumping” of social services inSouthside neighborhoods and the lack of community involvement in developing a plan for the property. Ward 11 Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris voiced strong opposition to the plan and at follow-up meetings MayorElorza has said that the development as announced would not happen. Meanwhile, residents have been drafting an ordinance to limit the number of social service agencies in Ward 11 (Mary Kay Harris’s ward).
The announcement and event got a lot of coverage. If you missed it, take a look at these links:
- Paolino wants to convert St. Joe’s Hospital into center for social services, housing (WPRI.com)
- Neighbors shout ‘No’ to plan for Providence’s St. Joseph’s Hospital (ProJo)
- Protesters take over Joe Paolino’s news conference (WPRI 12)
- Fmr. Mayor Joe Paolino and South Side Community Leadership Face Off Over Fmr. St. Joseph’s Hospital Land Use on State of Mind (Fox Providence.com: Dan Yorke 1/27)
Liquor license hearing for Club Pablo Duarte postponed again
Club Juan Pablo Duarte at 100 Niagara and Congress has been before the Board of Licenses to request a liquor license; however, the hearing has been postponed indefinitely, in part because of translation difficulties. The Dominican-American club hosts weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, and other events, and has had licenses to sell wine and beer at events in the past.
The BOL has asked that the Club work with nearby residents to resolve quality of life issues, including noise, litter, parking, public drinking and drunkenness. According to our State Rep, Grace Diaz, the club is taking seriously the need to hire a security company to monitor activities at the club. She has offered to speak to the Club’s management to help resolve other issues related to activities there.
Keep reading for meeting and event details and to see what else is happening.
Find general information about greening Elmwood, community policing, and city services in the reference guide emailed seasonally.
FEBRUARY MEETINGS, DEADLINES, and EVENTS
- through February 12 – Wilbury Theatre presents Betrayal
- Saturday, February 4 – Friends of Knight Memorial Library Book Sale
- Monday, February 6 – Friends of Knight Memorial Library meeting
- Monday, February 6 – Talking Trash and PVD311 with Sustain PVD
- Wednesday, February 8 – Elmwood Ave Business & Community Association meeting
- Saturday, February 11 – Beginning Farmer Classroom Training
- Thursday, February 16 – Citywide Conversation on a Long-Term Vision for Kennedy Plaza
- Wednesday, February 22 – Crime Watch meeting for Elmwood & South Providence
- Thursday, February 23 – Press conference about new parole office in South Providence
- Monday, February 27, 6:00 pm – PVD311 Tutorial for requesting City Services
- Thursday, March 2 – Roger Williams Park Community Meeting
- Week of March 11 – ENA meeting
- Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30 to 12:30 – Friends of Knight Book Sale
through February 12, 7:30 – Wilbury Theatre presents Betrayal
Location: Southside Cultural Center at Broad & Elmwood, 393 Broad St
Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter innovatively explores the complexities of love, guilt, and duplicity in this Olivier Award-winning classic.
Read more: http://www.thewilburygroup.org/betrayal.html
Saturday, February 4, 12 to 4 – “We Love Books” Sale
Location: Knight Memorial Library Community Room, 275 Elmwood Ave
February features the original art and prints, the Black experience, comics, manga, history/political commentary, cooking and healthy living, mystery/suspense novels, children’s books. Coffee table books are steeply discounted.
To help with monthly sales contact: Karen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, February 6, 6:00 – 7:30 pm – Friends of Knight Memorial Library meeting
Location: Knight Memorial Library Board Room, 275 Elmwood Ave
All are welcome to join the dynamic Friends group as they develop Super Saturday programming, an online Mrs. Shaw’s Fund to raise money for books, and a fundraising event scheduled for June 2.
Contact: Debbie, email@example.com
Monday, February 6, 6:00 pm – Talking Trash and PVD311with Sustain PVD
Location: Reservoir Elementary School Cafeteria, 156 Reservoir Ave
The City of Providence is updating its trash and recycling contracts and wants to hear from you. Your feedback will help the City provide quality, cost-effective services that meet our waste reduction and cleanliness goals. Let the City know what’s working and what needs to change.
For more information, contact Grace Diaz at 401 421-2489, ext 5766
Wednesday, February 8, 9:00 – 10:30 am – Elmwood Ave Business & Community Association meeting
Location: Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 225 Elmwood Ave
At last month’s meeting members met with an artist and a representative of the RI Historical Society to discuss their involvement in developing an Elmwood Ave map. On February 8, members will be identifying locations and items of historical interest to be on the map. RSVP to Karen, Karen_ena@earthlink.net, 401 9418249
Saturday, February 11, 11:00 to 5:00 – Beginning Farmer Classroom Training
Location: Southside Community Land Trust, 109 Somerset St
Join with other aspiring sustainable farmers who want to grow and sell healthy food for friends, neighbors, and customers in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. Attend our FREE workshop and learn the basics of growing for market, crop planning, marketing strategies and operating a farmers market booth. You will also learn about processing SNAP/WIC benefits, and financial/business planning and record keeping. Class will be taught for English Language Learners. Snacks will be served, and there will be a break for lunch.
SCLT (www.southsideclt.org) supports beginning farmers through training, technical assistance, access to land and access to market channels. We welcome farmers and prospective farmers to participate in our programs. Participating in training programs also makes you eligible to lease available SCLT land and to sell through SCLT market opportunities.
Thursday, February 16, 5:00 to 7:00 pm – Citywide Conversation on a Long-Term Vision for Kennedy Plaza
Location: 444 Westminster St, First floor Conference Room
Join Mayor Elorza and the Department of Planning and Development to discuss the future of the civic plaza in the heart of downtown Providence.
Contact: Martina Haggerty, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 – 7:30 – Crime Watch meeting for Elmwood & South Providence
Location: 640 Broad St, YMCA for Youth Development Community Room
Meet with Police who report on incidents since our last meeting. Other speakers often attend to address crime-related and quality of life issues. In January Mayor Elorza attended to answer questions about the development of St Joseph’s Hospital. Elmwood resident Osto Vargas was due to make a presentation about Ring.com, a home security system. Crime Watch window placards are available at each meeting.
For agenda updates , contact Doug, email@example.com
Note: Crime Watch meetings are generally held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Crime watch window placards are available at each meeting.
Thursday, February 23 – Press conference about new parole office in South Providence
Location: Washington Park Community Center, 42 Jillson St
City Councilman Luis Aponte will announce the plan to locate a parole office at 49 Pavillion St in South Providence.
To learn more, call the Community Center at (401) 461-6650 or the City Council at 521-7477.
Monday, February 27, 6:00 pm – PVD311 Tutorial for Requesting City Services
Location: Knight Memorial Library Auditorium, 275 Elmwood Ave
Learn how to effectively use the city’s PVD311 AP in this hour-long tutorial given by Andrew Jacques, Director of the Mayor’s Office of City Services. Knowing how to request city services for things like pot hole repair, clogged storm drains, and litter help to make our city run more effectively and improves our neighborhoods. All are urged to attend.
Contact: Grace Diaz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 2, 6:00 to 7:00 pm – Roger Williams Park Community Meeting
Location: Dalrymle Boathouse, Roger Williams Park
Quarterly community meetings of Roger Williams Park will kick off on March 2. It will feature Dr. NumiMitchell of The Conservation Agency on their coyote study.
Week of March 11 – ENA meeting
Stay tuned for more information. A preparatory meeting is tentatively planned for Sunday, February 19.
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30 to 12:30 – Friends of Knight Book Sale
Location: Knight Memorial Library community room, 275 Elmwood Ave.
Browse through 1000s of books, videos, LPs, CDs, DVDs and original art works and prints. Proceeds support library programs and improvements.
To help sort books on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, contact Doug, email@example.com
Bookmark ElmwoodExchange for a summary of current events.