Weed and Seed - July 2009 - Newsletter by AnthonySeuseu


									                             LEHIGH ACRES WEED AND SEED
                                                Volume 1 Issue 2                                JULY 2009

The area surrounding Westminster received a much needed facelift and got it!

Over the past years the residents of Westminster have worked very closely with Lee
County Code Enforcement to help beautify the area. This beautification includes orga-
nizing neighborhood watch groups and helping code enforcement identify abandoned

The area residents cleaned-up trash and construction debris, but, much to their dis-
may, graffiti still littered properties. Having nowhere else to turn they called to action
Lee County Code Enforcement, and their call was answered at the March, Neighbor-           Before graffiti was an eye-sore in
hood Restoration Subcommittee Meeting. At the meeting, Bill Keeler, Senior Code Of- the area surrounding Westminster
ficer with Lee County Code Enforcement, gave a report of promising news where he
indicated that of the 35 cases of reported graffiti on homes, 23 cases of those cases
were attended to, but there were still more graffiti stricken properties to clean. The
members of Neighborhood Restoration Subcommittee did not give-up their hopes of
eliminating the eye-sores.

Those hopes were answered when George Symanski received exciting news relaying
that Rick Roberts, Director of Code Enforcement Contract Licensing, Bill Keeler, Senior
Code Officer, and six code enforcement staff members personally painted 13 proper-
ties in the area surrounding Westminster on April 24th - eliminating all of the graffiti!
                                                                                             After Lee County Code Enforce-
Weed and Seed thanks the team from Lee County Code Enforcement for their contin-             ment took action against graffiti
ued support keeping Lehigh Acres a beautiful place to live!                                 painted on abandoned properties

                                                How Does Weed and Seed Work?
                                ...by establishing community bonds in the Indian Village subdivision off Alabama

                            Approximately 50 people attended the community block party
                            in the Indian Village subdivision off Alabama Road. On June
                            19th, residents came together to help clean-up the streets and
                            meet their neighbors. Neighborhood, volunteers came to-
   Yolanda and another      gether to pick up trash on Alabama Road, Cherokee, Navajo,
Volunteer, working together
                            Alcala, Apache Street, and the canal banks off Kanza Court.
                              After the clean-up all were invited to a bar-be-que at Robert
                              Anderson’s home. Robert set-up a tent and chairs, and every-
                              one enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by Henry Rob-
                              inson and watermelons donated by Dewey Tyler.
                              To learn more about the Indian Village watch program or
                              to learn how to set-up a Neighborhood Watch program,
                              attend the meeting on July 7th at 7:00 in the conference              Adrian, Mirror Lakes
                              room at the MicroTel Hotel, on Business Way, Lehigh                      Elementary and
   Henry, grilling for the                                                                        Joe, Lehigh Acres Middle
        neighbors             Acres.                                                                       School
       Page 2                                      LEHIGH ACRES WEED AND SEED

 Law Enforcement
                                         Neighborhood Restoration Subcommittee

    New officer for                                 Gunnery Road Tree Planting
     Lehigh Acres
                           Take a drive down Gunnery Road to see the oak trees, palm trees, and magno-
    Weed and Seed
                           lia trees planted in the median that now stand like tall like majestic statues.
Officer Raymond Dimm,
                           The Neighborhood Restoration Subcommittee sends a special thank you to
with the Lee County
                           Lehigh Community Council members, Damon Shelor, Rick Anglickis and Edd
Sheriff’s Department, is
                           Weiner, and John Miller of Keep Lehigh Acres Beautiful for their efforts in se-
the newest edition to
                           curing the beautification of Gunnery Road. Their tireless efforts resulted in
the Law Enforcement
                           the landscaping that now embellishes Gunnery Road. “The new landscaping
                           on Gunnery Road truly looks like paradise,” says Tammi Downs, longtime Le-
Dimm has been with         high Acres resident.
Lee County for one and
                           This project was headed by Ron Gogoi from Lee County DOT.
a half years. He brings
the Weed and Seed ef-
fort 25 years experi-
ence in law enforce-
ment, and within those
25 years, six years were
spent as a Weed and
Seed coordinator for
the Lancaster, PA city
police force.

He is well experienced
to continue the cam-
                                             Community Policing Subcommittee
paign to weed out trou-
bled areas and seed in
                           One of the goals of the Community         established in the Winn Dixie Plaza,
community pride and
                           Policing Subcommittee is to triple the    under the direction of Sherron
                           number of Neighborhood Watches in         Smith representative of the man-
If you see happen to       the Weed and Seed area.                   agement Company of Colliers Ar-
see officer Dimm                                                     nold.
                           When Weed and Seed first organized
around town, give him      in August 2008, it began with eight
a warm Lehigh Acres                                                  Welcome these new groups as they
                           Neighborhood Watch groups. Pat
welcome, and invite                                                  join our team to make Lehigh Acres
                           yourself on the back Lehigh Acres, be-
him to play a round of                                               a safer place to live.
                           cause the number of Neighborhood
golf. It’s his favorite    Watch groups has grown to 15 in the
activity!                  Weed and Seed area.
                           In addition, a Business Watched was
        VOLUME 1 ISSUE 2                                                                           Page 3

      Weed and Seed Initiative Reflects Community’s Character
The economic downturn has se-           with its program beginning in 2002.    Code Enforcement: Residents are
verely strained our community’s         We want the same for Lehigh Acres.     assisting Lee County Code Enforce-
resources and contributed to an                                                ment personnel in identifying and
increase in crime. Lehigh Acres will    Weed and Seed is a community-          resolving code violations.
not stand-by and allow our com-         based, multi-agency approach to law
munity to deteriorate.                  enforcement, crime prevention and Neighborhood Watch: Our goal is to
                                        neighborhood restoration. Its strat- triple the number of groups in the
Instead, members of our commu-          egy is two pronged:                  site from eight to 24.
nity are actively involved in a solu-
tion: Weed and Seed.                    Citizens, law enforcement agencies     It’s working.
                                        and federal prosecutors work to-
                                        gether to "weed out" the worst of      Bo Turbeville, Chair, Weed and
      “Weed and Seed
                                        the worst criminals from the desig-    Seed Steering Committee
   is successful because                nated area;
        it leverages                                                           To get involved with a sub-
        community                       "Seeding" brings enhanced social
        resources. “                    services, youth and family programs        committee contact:
                                        and neighborhood revitalization to
        -Bo Turbeville                  the area.                                 •   Neighborhood Restora-
                                        The first public forum in October
The U.S. Department of Justice                                                        George Szymanski,
                                        2008 attracted nearly 160 residents,
started Operation Weed and Seed                                                       239-303-1337
                                        of which more than 80 signed up to
in 1991. Since that time the pro-
                                        volunteer. Many more have since               Community Policing,
gram has expanded to more than                                                    •
                                        volunteered for projects, which in-
300 neighborhoods in the nation.                                                      Damon Shelor,
A suburb of Phoenix, Ariz., saw a
48 percent decrease in drug re-                                                   •   Prevention, Intervention
lated calls, weapon offenses drop                                                     and Treatment,
28 percent and they created
                                                                                      Rae Nicely,
homework clubs that improved
end of grade test scores by 130
percent.                                                                          •   Public / Media Relations,
The South Bronx Overall Economic                                                      Joann Ellis,
Development Corp. instituted a                                                        239-462-3858
Weed and Seed Program in 2002
that has resulted in a 38 percent
reduction in homicides, a five per-            Deborah Sebastion
                                             Preparing for a clean-up
cent reduction in robberies, a 13
percent reduction in aggravated
assaults, a 24 percent reduction in     Neighborhood Restoration: About
burglaries and 20 percent reduc-        40 volunteers removed nearly four
tion in drug arrests in the site.       tons of trash in a January Neighbor-
                                        hood Watch cleanup. More cleanups              Residents collecting over
                                                                                          four tons of trash
Immokalee had similar successes         are planned.
                  Weeding and Seeding throughout the month!

                     JULY 2009

July 7
 •   7:00—How to set-up a Neighborhood Watch
     MicroTel Hotel conference room, Business Way

July 9
 •   6:00—Steering Committee meeting
     Community Recreation Center, Veterans Park

July 16
 •   6:30—Community Policing meeting
     Living Water Christian Fellowship Church, 500 Sun-
     shine Blvd.

July 22
 •   6:30 Public Relations committee meeting
     East Lee County Library

                                               How do I start a “Neighborhood Watch”
       Okay, I am Ready;
                                                          Larry Gutridge 477-1802
     How Do I Get Started?
                                            How do I organize a “Community Clean-up”?
                                                    Keep Lehigh Acres Beautiful, Inc

                                                  How do I organize a “Neighborhood
                                                          Restoration Group”?
                                                      George Szymanski 303-1337

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