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Luminaria Returns!


The response to our little survey has been bold and clear: we want our Luminaria to return. And this is even from people so new to the neighborhood they had not even seen it before. 

Saturday, October 30 – the Night Before Official Halloween
Gather at nightfall – 6 pm- in Germantown Fields at picnic benches
Parade steps off once it is dark.
Twice around the Loop to chase away the dark
Post-Parade-Partying BYOB

We will not be doing workshops this year. Too complicated. However, scattered throughout this Neighborhood News are photos to give you inspiration for making your own lanterns from whatever. If we get it together, we will do a video to show some simple ideas. Our advice? Gather clear plastic bottles of various sizes and get strings of cheap battery-powered lights. We will circulate more news in a special edition of N’hood News.    

Candidates Night
We are blessed with two competent candidates for City Council, Ward 2 – Karma O’Neill and Scott Gibson. The West Annapolis, Admiral Heights, Wardour, Morris Blum Apartments, Obery Court and the Germantown-Homewood community associations, have joined to present a debate, a chance to hear Karma and Scott present themselves. 
 
Wednesday, October 20 at 6:30 pm
In the Library and streamed (somehow) online
Masks required in the Library
Streaming details to come in a special edition of N’hood News

Email your questions to annapolisward2forum@gmail.com. They will be vetted by the association presidents. 

The more local, the more it actually affects us. 
Library Crosswalk
Conor Miller from S. Southwood has been the point man on this. He reports:
 
First I would like to thank all the homeowners who provided feedback in our survey. Over 40 people responded.  The consensus was overwhelmingly positive and corroborated our hunch that the timing of the lights must be changed.  
 
After speaking with a variety of state, city and town public works officials, we have finally been put in the queue for an in- person study of the timing at the library crosswalk.  The team will be onsite in 2-3 weeks and will share their findings with the Association board.  We are hopeful that they will observe the timing issues and will make the necessary adjustments.  Thank you again for all the feedback! 
    
The voices that speak get heard.
McGuckian Access to Ceremony, Smithville and Bates Old and New
Goodness Gracious, finally. This photo does not tell it all.



The City, in its continuing quest to make things safely walkable and bikable, took advantage of the bit of land it already owns at the foot of McGuckian, and made it “park” land, and formalized the connection from Homewood to the world east of Homewood. Enjoy it.

There is, by the way, no new news on the City’s efforts to emplace a sidewalk on Smithville from West St. to Bates Heritage. Apparently the property owners on both sides are not cooperating.

 
Poplar Park
First, an access/exit ramp at the foot of the odd side of Poplar has been installed. This is to separate bicyclists from pedestrians. The cyclists – and e-vehicles – are encouraged to use the ramp and ride on Poplar Ave all the way to N. Southwood where they can re-enter the Path. This is in anticipation of the Poplar Path Extension (aka PP+) to Route 2 which will bring more traffic to the Path in Poplar Park. Hopefully, a bike lane will be painted on Poplar Ave. A bike lane will probably slow car traffic by making the street look more narrow.

    A short story detour:
BGE needed to repair a power line; we asked them to do it from the road; they said they had to do it from below, from in the Park; we asked them to be careful with the big trucks in the park; they said they would; they didn’t, and left big ruts as they pulled out at about Woodlawn. Then, the City DPW snagged a Reliable Contracting crew to put in the bike access/egress ramp at the east end of Poplar. The Reliable guy came by, saw the ruts, and figured this was where the ramp was to go. Early the next morning, the excavators ‘n drump trucks ‘n rollers ‘n pickup trucks rolled up. Luckily, (a shoutout to…)Laura Zettler had seen the white line the guy had put down in the wrong place, and luckily the splenetic texts to DPW and the Mayor and Alderman Paone worked. The word got to the foreman and, lo and behold, the painted white line was in the wrong place. The ramp got dug in the right place, and DPW got Reliable to use some the dirt they would otherwise haul away to fill in the ruts, which the man behind the excavator shovel did so smoothly like, as he said, putting icing on a cake. Whew. 

What do you think the signs separating fast bikers from walkers should say? Send to ghca21401@gmail.com. How about…?

<-  Bikers & Scooters          Walkers ->

By the way, slow bikers can still enjoy the Path, 

Second, the original Path has been repaved to its original 6 foot width.

Third, we have at least 100 tulip and daffodil bulbs coming. We would like to plant some in Homewood. Any suggestions as to where? We will call for planters to help at the right time. Get your trowels ready.

With leaves falling and winter coming, the Poplar Park Posse foresees some days of devining and general cleanup. If we don’t do it, nobody will. Get your pruners ready.

A long term plan for sustainable maintenance of the Park will be presented to you when it has gelled. Get your checkbooks ready.

 
Homewood Sign

Homewood needs an identity. The problem is there are two Homewoods – the S. Cherry Grove/McKendree Homewood and the S. Southwood/Homeland Homewood. 

A small sitting area with perhaps a little library or a small bulletin board in each of the Homewoods, or a sign on West Street would be a start. Do we have volunteers willing to devote a bit of their property to either of these? Generosity bestows fellowship.

The current sign needs a removal of the shrubs to behind the sign. Any volunteers? Let us know at ghca21401@gmail.com.


 
West Street Rezoning
Some of the Germantown side of West St. is in a “conservation” zone. The low scale and older residential-style buildings give Germantown-Homewood a distinctive character. What has saved them is allowing commercial activity in them. 

Your Chairman has always wanted to extend the conservation protections to all the buildings all the way to the cemeteries. Businesses could still operate out of the older properties, but willy-nilly demolition would not be permitted. We would retain our human scale.
    
But there are properties which lend themselves to three story mixed use structures. More residents mean more businesses along West St., and higher buildings (no higher than the current ridgelines of nearby homes) mean a buffer from West St. noise and activity. Mason’s Auto is one such property. The BP to Quick Mart is another. 
 
Therefore, your Chairman’s proposal has always been two-fold: extend the conservation protections to all the current older residential-style properties and permit mixed use three story structures on new construction on the larger, formerly industrial lots.

On the other side of West St., from the dialysis center to Hyundai, change the zoning to higher density mixed use. If in ten or twenty years, the land becomes more valuable for housing than for car dealerships, there will be an incentive to remake those properties into something which serves our interests better. The golden prize would be a bakery.

The new Comprehensive Plan is the time to get these things done. 
Your Chairman encourages your comments via ghca21401@gmail.com.
Free Trees and Not-Free Trees
The City, through the Arbor Day Foundation, offered free trees to homeowners. There are fifty reasons why trees are good. All the inventory devoted to Annapolis was gone in three days. However, in an act of emergency resuscitation, the City convinced the Arbor Day Foundation to double the number to 400.  Two per household.

Our plan is to plant what we get around the Germantown Fields. Already we have planted twelve which are flourishing. If a few of you would order them at The Arbor Day Foundation and agree to help plant, that would be great. Sycamore, Red Oak or Red Maple will be large and provide shade and all the other good things trees provide. You have to say you are using them on your home property, and you can plant them there. Or you can help re-tree the fields. Either way is a good thing.

Please let us know if you ordered for the fields. Ghca21401@gmail.com

If these 200 go too soon, due to the incredible generosity of you, the dues-paying
members of the Association, maybe this winter the Association will pay for some trees and some of you will help plant them.
The Boiler Departs
To no one’s regret, the smoky, oily old boiler from the lower guts of Studio 39 is gone, gone, gone. R.I.P. Replaced by gas and a full side-dressing of ac/heat split units in each classroom. Studio 39 shall live forever. 

Arctic Adventures
In anticipation of cold weather, our neighbor and resident meteorologist, glacierologist, and lover of cold and beautifully desolate places, John “Cool Runnings” Woods will be giving a photo tour of the Arctic. All ages. Interactive. Videos. Breathtaking scenery. Danish ships. Tracking icebergs. Who could ask for more? It might be streamed; we will let you know. Another installment of Experts in the Neighborhood.
 
Tuesday, October 26  7 – 8:45 pm
The Library Big Meeting Room
Masks required.


Yours, as always,
 
The Board and Steering Committee
 
 Board
Bob Waldman, Chair
Tim Doyle, Vice Chair
Erin McCopp, Treasurer
Michele Deckman, Secretary
 
Steering Committee
Antonia Barry
Kathleen Doyle
Peri Lane, Graphicsmistress
Conor Miller
Susan Rensted
Leon Shapirpo
Anne Woods, Emeritus

 
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