Want to connect with neighbors, businesses, other people at Admiral? The Admiral’s Quarter Association hopes to help and holds general meetings every two months these days to talk about it. Here’s what happened when the ANA invited anyone interested to grab a chair on Tuesday night:
ANA Vice President Joanie Jacobs moderated the meeting Admiral’s Congregational Church. As she said as she welcomed the dozen attendees, “We’re all here because we care about the Admiral Quarter.”
Here are the highlights of what they talked about:
ADMIRAL JUNCTION FUNCTION: It’s been almost three weeks since that first street party. In an open discussion, one participant described it as a “good start”, suggesting that in the future more preparation time could be planned for businesses. The relatively last-minute planning was due to the grant that helped fund the party not being received very far in advance, Jacobs noted. She praised the companies that sponsored the entertainment. Bebop Waffle Shop owner Corina Luckenbach hailed the “great energy”. Jacobs said people who stopped by the ANA booth were happy to have something in their neighborhood. Another resident was happy to see “full to bursting” restaurants.
SOUTHWEST SECTOR POLICE: Lt. mike watson, second shift supervisor (day shift), was there. Nothing major is happening, he said. What are the main reasons for appeals in this area? he was asked. Car stalkers, auto thefts – he had a citywide stat on the latter, 483 all last year, 708 so far this year. What can people do? “Don’t leave any valuables in your car…have the steering wheel locked…send the police a video of any suspicious people you see on your home security video.” Please report everything, he urged – “we are a data-driven department”. A resident mentioned a chronic shoplifter he encounters frequently at a local store. “I’m sure he’s been arrested several times,” the lieutenant suggested. “He did,” said the participant. “There are several components to the justice system,” the lieutenant noted. In the back and forth that followed, the resident mentioned a recent encounter with the chronic shoplifter, but had not called the police. “Why not?” asked the lieutenant. “What’s the point? He’s gone.” The lieutenant resolutely insisted that reports be filed. Another resident mentions speed issues. “Did you ask SDOT for traffic calming bumps?” Yes, they worked with the city – and they are trying to organize themselves again. They also hope to get light in the area. After a discussion on road safety, Lt. Watson shared more crime statistics, city-wide – all major types, including property crime, are up double digits. Asked about staffing, he noted that the department had lost “about 400 officers.” He had no details about the southwest quarter. And morale? “We’ve been beaten a lot… (but) we’re hanging on.” What are the main types of incidents for which you have been called and for which you should not be? The lieutenant declined to answer that question directly, but offered some advice: “Even the most mundane (incident) can turn violent… give us a call.” One participant spoke of a person who appeared to be overdosing; SFD and SPD were called and the person said they didn’t want help. In that case, said Lt. Watson, they have no choice but to back down. Someone else mentioned a person who was shot in the neighborhood in an abandoned car that the police had been told about. If someone lives in his car, the lieutenant noted, there’s nothing he can do about it.
INACCESSIBILITY TO HIAWATHA: ANA couldn’t have summer concerts or even an outdoor movie at Hiawatha Community Center Park this summer, I was told that there would be work in progress… but there was none. Parks declined to send a guest to this meeting but sent information via email. The Official Timeline: Two projects remain slated for Hiawatha, the Community Center Stabilization Project – “They’re still waiting for a FEMA grant” – hoping to get grant approval in late September, would then proceed with the appeal of tenders, the works having to be carried out in winter. (In June, Parks told us they expected grant approval to be “shortly.”) Hiawatha Playground Renovation/Relocation – got approval in late July, hoping to bid this fall, build in winter. Next year they will have a backup plan if the Hiawatha projects are further delayed – probably Hamilton Viewpoint.
THE FUTURE OF ADMIRAL CHURCH: Anita Shaffer from the church board said they were continuing the conversation and had no new information to share – just that progress was being made. There was a poll Rev. Andrew Conley Holcom summarized some of the original conversations from four years ago. Planning dropped as COVID – then came focus on land trust; they talk with Farm CLT on viability. “Our congregation is really committed to staying in this neighborhood” rather than selling for the “large sums of money” the site would likely bring, Reverend Conley-Holcom said. He recapped the kind of affordable housing that largely goes unbuilt – 65-85% of the AMI. Something that fits into the neighborhood, as the pastor said. The church has been here since 1899 – “we want to remain part of this neighborhood, not outside of it.” They will have more community conversations when there is something more to discuss.
EVENTS TO COME: The Admiral’s District round or treat is scheduled for Oct. 31 from 3-6 p.m. this year…The next ANA meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15…A “Beer Run of 0, 5K”, a sort of pub crawl, is being prepared for the start of next year. .
ON LINE: look connecttoadiral.org for updates.ndee volunteered to manage.