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Parking Breaks

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					            The Heights Park Neighborhood Association Newsletter January 2009




P
Parking Breaks
Mayor Mitchell and the city council are working on your street
                                                                                                              DON’T
                                                                                                               MISS
                                                                                                                IT!
                       A frequent complaint that I receive from neighborhood groups is that there are
                       too many cars parked on our residential streets. This limits visibility for drivers,    The Next
                       diminishes maneuverability, and lowers the aesthetic value of our neighborhoods.          HPNA
                       The most common complaint is when one home has so much on-street parking that            General
                       cars park in front of adjacent properties, thus blocking mailboxes or making it dif-
                                                                                                               Meeting
                       ficult for the city to collect trash or brush left out for pick-up.
                           Over the last few years, the City Council has successfully addressed other         THURSDAY,
Richardson Mayor       parking issues through the adoption of new ordinances on recreational vehicles,
Steve Mitchell                                                                                                JANUARY 15
                       trailers, oversized vehicles, junk vehicles, and yard parking. However, we be-
                                                                                                               7:00 P.M.
lieved it was time to address this chronic, and often frustrating, issue. Thus, the City Council requested
our staff to develop recommendations to deal with issues associated with on-street parking. On Novem-
                                                                                                               More info
ber 17, we reviewed elements of a proposed ordinance that would allow a reasonable level of on-street
                                                                                                                 inside
parking, yet address the most common complaint we receive from residents. The proposed ordinance
will limit occupants of a home to parking only in front of their home overnight. However, by only limit-       on page 3.
ing parking between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., residents will still be able to host special events at their homes,
                                                                                                                Find out
such as Cub Scout meetings, holiday parties, and other functions.
    The Neighborhood Services Department will enforce this proposed ordinance once it is adopted,             what’s going
presumably in January. Similar to other types of violations, Neighborhood Services will work closely            on in your
with residents to achieve compliance. Our goal is to address the on-street parking concerns of our resi-      neighborhood.
dents. Other cities who have enacted similar ordinances have been able to successfully do so.




H E IG H T S PA R K
N EIGH BOR HOOD A S SOCI AT ION
To Protect and Serve
Your Citizens Patrol can reduce the crime rate on your street
The inaugural Heights Park Neighborhood                                   Pearce patrol team also attended class, which
Association Citizens Patrol program is up                                 was held specifically for the two new patrols.
and running! HPNA residents who signed up                                     During the class, Officer John Corbitt,
to participate in the patrol met on Monday,                               crime prevention officer for West Richardson,
Nov. 10, and Monday, Nov. 17, at the Richard-                             referred to the Richardson Heights citizens
son Senior Center to be trained for                                                 patrol unit, formed in 1993 as the
the program, which is sponsored by                                                   city’s first citizens patrol unit.
the Richardson Police Department.                                                       “After they started patrolling
   The HPNA residents who com-                                                      their neighborhood, their crime rate
prise the initial patrol team spent                                                  dropped 83 percent in one year,” he
six hours over the two evenings                                                      said. “So you see it works.”
studying, discussing, and review-                                                        After the class was completed
ing information that RPD presented                                                  and HPNA patrollers had earned
on topics such as citizens patrol procedures,                               their certificates, they received Citizens
what situations to observe, how to log infor-                             Patrol T-shirts and windbreakers. Patrol-
mation for submission to RPD, and how to                                  lers must wear either the T-shirt or the wind-
recognize gang and drug activity in the area.                             breaker when patrolling, and they must affix
   Citizens from the newly formed J.J.                                    magnetic signs to the sides of their vehicles.




Your Citizens Patrol could use your help
Although the HPNA citizens patrol is off to a     ed both sessions. RPD has agreed to allow          “It’s critical that we have a good surplus
good start, it faces some issues.                 the HPNA team to start patrolling and give it    above the 20-person minimum,” said Kirk
   RPD requires a minimum of 20 people on         extra time to meet the minimum number of         Couch, HPNA safety chairman and patrol
a unit to patrol a minimum of 9 hours a week;     members.                                         coordinator. “That way, if some residents are
participants must attend both training ses-          “As long as Heights Park shows an inter-      unable to participate, we still have enough
sions to earn a spot on the patrol. HPNA had      est in the program, we’re willing to work with   people to meet the police department mini-
27 residents sign up for the two-day training     them,” said RPD Crime Prevention Specialist      mums.
class, originally scheduled for Nov. 3 and        Ric Rocha. “And if we get enough HPNA resi-        “We hope that sufficient interest is gener-
Nov. 10.                                          dents to participate, we may schedule a class    ated in the patrol to keep it going,” he contin-
   However, RPD had to delay the class for        before April.”                                   ued. “It’s a great way to keep our neighbor-
one week, until Nov. 10 and Nov. 17, which           HPNA has enough residents who have            hood safe.”
caused schedule conflicts for some residents.      committed to taking the April class to push        Heights Park residents don’t have to be
Additionally, a few more residents had to         the patrol above the 20-person minimum.          members of HPNA to join the patrol, but they
defer their participation until the next class—   However, if schedule conflicts arise again and    must apply with RPD and undergo a back-
scheduled for April—because unexpected            HPNA doesn’t have the required number of         ground check. If you’re interested in joining
personal situations arose.                        participants, HPNA residents may not be able     the patrol or need more information, please
   As a result, only 12 HPNA residents attend-    to continue patrolling.                          contact Kirk at kirk.couch@tx.rr.com
                ng
                n
Historical Meeting
The next HPNA general meeting looks back at
the history of our neighborhood and Richardson
Are you interested in the historical significance of our area and architecture?                             Dr. Terranova,
Would you like to learn about the “character” of our Heights Park area and Rich-                           Professor of
ardson in general? Then you won’t want to miss our January 15 HPNA General                                 Aesthetic Stud-
Meeting. Charissa Terranova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies at                            ies at UT Dallas
the University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts & Humanities, will be our fea-                            and Director of
tured speaker. Two HPNA board members have heard Dr. Terranova speak and                                   the Artists Res-
think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at her insights!                                                      idency, brings
    You’ll learn some things about the value of mid-century modernism—includ-                              to the director-
ing the architecture of ranch houses like ours. She’ll provide an educated architec-                       ship a wide
tural critique of some of the new development in the area—both the “new good”          Dr. Charissa        array of train-
                                                                                       Terranova
and “new bad” in the context of compatibility with our existing neighborhoods.                             ing and experi-
You’ll definitely learn about the historical and architectural character of our area.   ences. She holds four degrees in
Whether you’re a long-time resident of the Heights Park area or a newcomer,            the arts: a BA in Art History from
you’ll enjoy Dr. Terranova’s engaging subject matter.                                  the University of Tennessee at
                                                                                       Knoxville, an MA in Art History
                                                                                       from the University of Illinois at

                  Find out what’s                                                      Chicago, and an MA and Ph.D. in
                                                                                       the History and Theory of Archi-
                  going on in your                                                     tecture from Harvard University.
                                                                                       She has taught art and architec-
                   neighborhood.                                                       tural history and theory at Har-
                                                                                       vard University, the University of

         The next HPNA                                                                 British Columbia in Vancouver,
                                                                                       Boston Architecture Center, and

        General Meeting
                                                                                       Southern Methodist University
                                                                                       (SMU) in Dallas. She was the art
                                                                                       critic at the Dallas Observer, an
       is 7 p.m. Thursday,                                                             alternative news weekly, from
                                                                                       February 2004 through February

            January 15                                                                 2007 and has been an art critic
                                                                                       for the Dallas Morning News,
                                                                                       the city’s daily newspaper, from
                Fellowship Hall,                                                       February 2007 to August 2008.

                  First United                                                         She has curated exhibitions at
                                                                                       Harvard University and UT Dal-

               Methodist Church                                                        las, is a frequent presenter at
                                                                                       international colloquia on art,
                 See you there!                                                        architecture, and urbanism, and
                                                                                       is widely published as an aca-
                                                                                       demic and critic.
Heights Park Progress
T
The new playground design expands on nature
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the City of Rich-                      The new playground design, which          overall Master Plan. The children loved
ardson Parks and Recreation Depart-                     replaces the rocket ship and other play-      the playful structures and were excited
ment conducted a follow-up focus group                  ground pieces, is based on a treehouse        to see the high elements of towers and
meeting whereby the families who gave                   theme. The consultant has created a           climbing pieces return to the play-
input to the design of the new Heights                  masterpiece of play value for the park        ground.
Park playground returned for a pre-                     that fits the future Heights Park Mas-              The playground design was pre-
sentation on the proposed replacement                   ter Plan. The overall theme for the           sented to the Park and Recreation
playground. Designers implemented                       Master Plan is “expanding on nature,”         Commission on November 18 for their
ideas generated by neighborhood chil-                   which accentuates the park’s natural          comments and input to the City Coun-
dren from a previous public focus group                 features and integrates people with           cil. The remaining schedule calls for
meeting. Several of the children who                    nature. The children and parents at-          the construction to begin on the play-
attended the first focus group came                      tending the follow-up meeting com-            ground this winter and be complete by
back to provide input on the proposed                   plimented the design team for match-          the spring of 2009.
design.                                                 ing the theme of the playground to the




  CLEARLY WINDOWS
                                                                            Sign Us Up!
                                                                             Kudos to our neighbors on Parkview Circle (the 500 block of Parkview)
                       Locally owned                                         for collecting funds to purchase a sign topper for their street! A very
         Professional Window Cleaning Business                               big ‘thank you’ to Vicki Branscome, their block rep, for getting this
                                                                             started. Vicki e-mailed her neighbors suggesting that they purchase a
         offering flat rates with no add-on charges                           sign topper for Parkview Circle. She made copies of the form that was
                   or square foot limits.                                    included in the last newsletter and included a stamped, self-addressed
                                                                             envelope back to herself. She asked each household to contribute their
           * RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS                                         portion ($200 divided by # of houses) and followed up with her neigh-
                                                                             bors a few days later. They were able to get the needed funds in a very
          * COMMERCIAL STOREFRONTS                                           short time. Parkview Circle has only 16 homes in their cul-de-sac, but a
              * LIGHTING FIXTURES                                            block with 30-40 homes would require that each household contribute
                   * MIRRORS                                                 a very small amount.
              * GUTTER CLEAN-OUT                                                If you would like to organize your block to do the same, you can ob-
                                                                             tain the Sign Topper Contribution Form on the Heights Park web site.
                * POWERWASHING                                               www.heightspark.com


         www.clearlywindowsdfw.com or call @
                       214.552.9135
          * This offer applies to Richardson Heights residents only.
        *French/storm window prices are different from offer above.

  * Mention this ad for additional discount*
V       V
Virtual Visit
The City of Richardson web site
                                                                            Concern or Make Comment” link. If you have code violations you need
                                                                            to report (barking dogs, overgrown vegetation, broken sidewalks,
                                                                            etc.) you can click on the link and fill out the information and it will be
                                                                            sent to the appropriate department(s). Review this site to see what’s

has a lot to offer                                                          available.

   The City of Richardson web site is very user-friendly and full of use-   • You can request Brush and Bulky Item pick up from the site.
ful information.                                                            You can pay your utility bills; renew your drivers license, etc.
   You can post photos and descriptions of lost or found pets on the        You can also get the latest on city entertainment and city news.
Animal Shelter site; click on the Animal Shelter quick link below; then     You can learn about City Council meetings and actions and see what
click on Animals. Please use this feature if you’ve lost a pet or have      the City Commissions are reviewing.
found someone else’s pet. The information will reach so many more           We’ll also have a link from our HPNA web site (a new version coming
households than our e-mail distribution list can cover.                     soon) to the city’s web site.
   You also can report concerns or issues you have via the “Express




   City of Richardson                                                       Warrant Search
   www.cor.net                                                              https://discovery.cor.gov/Public/PayTickets.nsf/
                                                                            WarrantQuery?OpenForm
   Animal Shelter
   www.cor.net/AnimalShelter.aspx?id=2506                                   Pay for Electrical, Plumbing, & Mechanical Permits
                                                                            http://discovery.cor.gov/permitInquiry/PermitsHome.jsp
   Adoptable
   http://discovery.cor.gov/public/AS/AnimalShelter.nsf/Adopt-              Police Alarm Permit
   ableAnimals                                                              http://www.pmam.com/atb/citizen/

   Wish List                                                                Renew Driver’s License
   http://discovery.cor.gov/public/AS/AnimalShelter.nsf/Sub-                http://texasonline.state.tx.us/NASApp/rap/apps/dpsdl/jsp/
   scribe                                                                   eng/welcome.jsp

   Citizens can Post Lost / Found Animals                                   Request Brush & Bulky Item Pick Up
   http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&                http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&
   ItemID=2586                                                              ItemID=2422

   City’s Interactive Maps                                                  Restaurant Listing
   http://maps.cor.net/                                                     http://discovery.cor.gov/public/health/healthtrak.nsf/cvsres-
                                                                            taurantsbycateg
   Download Maps
                                                                            ory
   http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&
   ItemID=5342                                                              Restaurant Scores
                                                                            http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&
   Express Concern or Make Comment
                                                                            ItemID=1230
   http://www.cor.net/NeighborhoodServices.aspx?id=3312
                                                                            Texas Electric Choice
   Job Openings
                                                                            http://www.powertochoose.org/
   http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&
   ItemID=2298                                                              View Property Tax
                                                                            http://discovery.cor.gov/Public/Tax/PropertyTax.nsf/
   Municipal Code of Ordinances
   http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.                               Boards & Commissions, Notices, and Agendas
   asp?pid=10221&sid=43                                                     http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&
                                                                            ItemID=2468
   Pay Water Bill
   https://discovery.cor.gov/public/H2OBill/UtilityBills.nsf/               Council Agenda
   Home?OpenPage                                                            http://www.cor.net/CityCouncilAgendas.aspx

   Quick log-on                                                             Council Actions
   https://discovery.cor.gov/public/H2OBill/UtilityBills.nsf                http://www.cor.net/CityCouncilActions.aspx

   Pay Traffic Tickets
   http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&
   ItemID=2320
Tried any new restaurants lately?
Afrah opened years ago as a bakery. Today, they offer deli-
cious pastries as well as savory Lebanese favorites. The
Afrah Sampler’s assortment of homemade dips, grape
leaves, falafel, kibbeh, and warm miniature pies provides
a newcomer to the cuisine with a great introduction. The
pita bread is chewy and served fresh from the oven; des-
                               serts include baklava filled with
 Afrah                         crushed cashews and Middle
  314 E. Main Street           Eastern-style gelatos—all are
  Richardson, TX 75080
                               wonderful!
  972-234-9898
                                   The decor is functional with
  Cost: $$ (out of $$$$$)
  Cuisine: Middle Eastern      lots of tables that accommo-
  Sunday—Thursday              date small parties of 2-4 as well
     10 AM—11 PM               as larger family gatherings.



                                                                   We’re #thing      2!
  Friday & Saturday
                               Black-and-white photographs
     10 AM—Midnight
                               on the walls depict Lebanese
countryside and cityscapes. The staff is friendly and helpful

                                                                   And that’s a good
with those of us who are new to the cuisine. The owner and
staff are welcoming to both newcomers and regulars.
    Having this Middle Eastern treasure in the heart of            Richardson places at the top of the country
Richardson is a treat in itself.                                   in National Night Out participation.
                                                                   Richardson’s National Night Out (NNO) program on Oct. 7
                                                                   was a huge success on several fronts, according to officials
                                                                   with the Richardson Police Department.
                                                                       The city of Richardson, with 273 block parties, finished in
                                                                   second place behind Suffolk, Virginia, in our population cate-
                                                                   gory (Category 3, cities that have between 50,000 and 99,999
                                                                   residents); Heights Park had 14 block parties that evening;
                            Home Repair
                                                                   two Heights Park residents captured runner-up spots in
                            Home Maintenance                       the Neighborhood Award Contest for West Richardson; and
                                                                   Texas finished first in the state rankings.
                                                                       Janis Riley, who lives in the 600 block of Lockwood, was
                                                                   first runner-up in the contest, while Greta Nusser, in the 600

   PROFESSIONAL                                                    block of Stardust, was second runner-up. The contest is con-
                                                                   ducted annually in the spirit of fun and friendly competition

    Handyman Services                                              through the city’s NNO event. The “NNO Award Winner”
                                                                   signs, which are shared each year, have been distributed and
                                                                   will remain in place for the next year.

                 Brian Buchan                                          NNO is normally held in early August. However, because
                                                                   of the Texas heat, the national committee allowed Texas to
                      972.985.4415                                 hold its NNO parties in October on a trial basis.
                 brian@bradleygroup.com
                                                                       “All in all, the comments and feedback from most folks
                                                                   seem to lean toward keeping NNO in October,” said Officer
          More than 20 years experience                            John Corbitt, crime prevention officer for West Richardson.
               References, Fully Insured                           “Hopefully, the NATW will see positive results from Texas
                                                                   that may allow us to keep October as an option.”
Heights Holiday Lights
Congratulations to Matt and Lindsey Flesher for winning
the HPNA Yard of the Month “Holiday Lights” award for
their lovely design at 600 Greenleaf!
                                                                         972-744-4800
    The Fleshers moved here in July and are enjoying how
friendly the neighborhood has been. Lindsey says Heights
Park is like neighborhoods from years ago when you could
borrow an egg or cup of sugar from next door and folks really
did bring food whenever there was an excuse. Matt also en-
joys Heights Park and rambles with their yellow lab, Ruger.
    Lindsey enjoys decorating and paper crafts, and Matt
hunts, plays golf, and collects sports memorabilia. Alums       Heights Park residents who witness what they
of Berkner High School and East Dallas’ Woodrow Wilson          consider to be non-emergency suspicious activ-
High School, both Fleshers are from the local area. Rumor       ity may report the situation to the Richardson
                                       has it that Lindsey      Police Department at 972-744-4800, the depart-
                                       makes a mean brownie!    ment’s non-emergency telephone number.
                                           Please join us in      Residents should be prepared to provide RPD
                                       congratulating them      communications personnel with as much infor-
                                       on their award and       mation as possible, including their name and
                                       welcoming them to        telephone number, description of the activity,
                                       the neighborhood.        and time and location.
Our Exemplary School
Principal Labue gives us the good news from campus

Happy Holidays to you and your family! I hope all of your
New Year’s wishes and resolutions come true. I wanted to
take this opportunity to let the Heights community know a
little more about Richardson Heights Elementary.
     This year, Heights Elementary was named an Exem-
plary campus according to the State Accountability System.
This is the highest rating offered by the State of Texas. We
also were awarded three Gold Performance Acknowledge-
ments from the State of Texas. These are awarded to cam-
puses for high achievement in different subject areas. We
strongly believe in providing an education that is challenging
and pushes all students to maximize their potential.               student’s education. We want every child to have a variety of
     Let me also take a moment to explain what Exemplary           opportunities to help them grow as people and citizens. We
status means to us here at Heights. We know what Exempla-          also believe in creating a team with our community. Com-
ry means in regards to the state accountability rating; how-       munity members entrust us each day with their most prized
ever, I feel there is much more to it than just the rating. Here   possessions; by working together, we can ensure that all
at Heights we strive for a school that is Exemplary in many        students here at Heights receive a well-rounded educational
ways. We provide many extracurricular activities for kid-          experience. We have frequent family events where families,
dos. We currently have 10 after-school clubs that enrich our       staff, and the community get to interact and have some fun.
                                                                   We also have a variety of volunteering opportunities for all
                                                                   interested parties. We believe in creating an atmosphere
                                                                   with high expectations but that is fun, friendly, and family-
                                                                   oriented. We strive to be an all-around, well-rounded Ex-
                                                                   emplary school. By working together as a team, we can take
                                                                   this already outstanding school to new Heights!
                                                                       Thank you very much to our community for your sup-
                                                                   port, volunteer hours, and contributions. You are all greatly
                                                                   appreciated! If you would ever like a tour or have a question,
                                                                   please feel free to call the front office at 469-593-4400.
                                                                                              Larry Labue, Proud RHE Principal



                                                                        Alert Pest Control
                                                                                      Bill Young
                                                                                     972-231-5954

                                                                          50-year Heights resident
                                                                          20 years of pest control
                                                                                experience
  me
  m
Some Things
Nv
Never Change
Are you wondering where your
money will be safest right now?
Investing in your home still pays off.
Remodeling magazine’s annual report shows that maintenance-relat-
ed projects and moderately priced upgrades provide stable paybacks,
even in a slower real estate market. Despite home price drops in many
areas, remodeling projects are holding their own as a way for hom-
eowners to add value to their property.
   Minor Kitchen Remodel Leave cabinet boxes in place but
replace fronts with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers, includ-
ing new hardware. Replace wall oven and cooktop with new energy-
efficient models. Replace laminate countertops; install mid-priced
sink and faucet. Repaint walls in neutral colors, and remove old floor-
ing and replace it with newer alternatives.
   Bathroom Remodel This is a difficult market to try to judge
how much a renovation is worth, but having a refurbished kitchen and        When home sales slow down, people stay put and renovate their
bathrooms makes almost any house more valuable. Adding new bath-         homes to make them more comfortable and livable. By renovating
room finishes such as a new vanity cabinet, updated lighting, a new       your home, you are also providing a service to future buyers. Plus
tile shower with recessed shower caddy, updated matching fixtures         those tasteful improvements—done the right way—will help sell your
– perhaps oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, new tile flooring, and a soothing,   home more quickly and for more money. Just be sure your renova-
sophisticated color scheme, will all add up to a great look.             tions are compatible with your home’s style and neighborhood! Get a
   Exterior Upgrades Home rehabbers should also focus on ex-             professional’s opinion if necessary before you begin.
terior upgrades: new energy efficient windows, exterior paint, wood                         Excerpted from Remodeling Magazine’s 20th Annual
decks, updated landscaping.                                                                               Cost vs. Value Report —Janet DePuy




                                 Boxtops Still Help
   You can still collect cereal boxtops from select General Mills products to
 benefit schools. All proceeds go into the school general fund to help the kids.
                                   Take them to the school or
                       bring them by David Hodde’s house at 528 Parkview.
                  H E IG H T S PA R K
                   N EIGH BOR HOOD A S SOCI AT ION
                          2009 Membership Fees are due in January
                  HPNA can’t continue its programs without your support!
          Membership is open to all residents of Heights Park for $15 per year per household

Name(s)                                                                                New Member or        Renewal? (Check
                                                                                     one)

Address                                                                              2009 Membership is from January 1st
                                                                                     – December 31st . (Renewing mem-
                                                                                     bers, please note that we have changed
                                                                                     membership to reflect the calendar
                                                                                     year)

Telephone                                                                            May we list your phone number in the
                                                                                     Neighborhood Directory?
                                                                                       YES       NO
Email


                                        Return form with membership dues to:
                                      HPNA, P.O. Box 833537, Richardson, TX 75080
                          Membership questions? Contact: Regina Harrison, Membership Chair
                                    regina_harrison@sbcglobal.net or 972-234-6610
                         Other questions/comments, visit our website at www.heightspark.com


                                 Let us know if you’d like to get more involved.
                   Check below if there’s an area where you’d like to serve your neighborhood

        Block Representative                      Safety Committee           Pro-   Social Committee        Recom-
      Assists with distribution of infor-         motes neighborhood safety               mends and plans social func-
mation to assigned block, greets new        awareness by communicating the mis-           tions.
residents, promotes membership.             sion of the police, fire and emergency
                                                                                    Membership Committee
                                            preparedness departments.
        Civic Committee         Attends                                                   Works to expand our current
      meetings of governmental bod-         Publications Committee                        membership and serves as a
ies and alerts the HPNA Board to items             Publishes a newsletter (with     communications link between the
that merit attention of the Association.           input from other committees/     Board and the membership.
                                            block representatives and officers),
Environmental Committee                                                                   Board Member Meet
                                            plans publicity materials.
      Sponsors projects for the im-                                                       once/month. Represent neigh-
      provement and beautification of                                                borhood interests in matters affecting
our neighborhood. Yard of the Month                                                 the neighborhood.
judging.

				
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