Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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Union Square News
May 2012 Newsletter (PDF)
FEATURE ARTICLES
POLICE SEE CRIME RATE DROP, JUST AS SUMMER MONTHS LOOM
     Crime rates are down in the Southern district when compared to this time last year.
     There has been a 27 percent decrease in robberies, an 11 percent drop in aggravated assaults and a 20 percent decrease in total violent crime.
     But there's typically an increase in crime during warmer weather.
     "We're starting to have a little bit of a problem with some burglaries up by Union Square," says Southern Police head Major David Reitz.
     "We need to make sure when we're out walking our dog or talking or just taking a walk, parking our cars, walking back and forth to the stores and to our houses that we're aware of our surroundings."
     Reitz says one of the biggest problems is break-ins to vacant properties...
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) to read the rest of this article.
Jack Baker stands outside the Southern District Police Department. Baker has been president of the police community relations council for eight years. The group works to help reduce crime.
JACK AND THE COMMUNITY CRIME STOPPERS
     The relationship between the police and the community is important.
     There's a reason for the current drop in crime, and it's because of the work the community is doing. It's not just the police, says Major David Reitz of the Southern District Police Department.
     "A lot of the arrests come from the information we got from the community," Reitz says. "The houses that we hit; the guns that we got off the streets came from information that we got from citizens."
     At the center of the storm of community involvement is Jack Baker. Baker has been president of the Southern District Police and Community Relations Council for eight years. Each of the city's nine districts has a council. The Southern district consists of neighborhoods from Union Square to Curtis Bay. Every third Thursday council members meet with district brass at police headquarters, located at 10 Cherry Hill Road, to get reports on community crime and provide suggestions to reduce robberies and other deterrents to quality-of-life issues. The meetings are at 7 p.m. and all neighborhood residents are welcome...
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) to read the rest of this article.
Jennifer Bodine shows off her new book, "Bodine's City," while standing inside the Mencken house garden. Bodine's book features the photographs of her father, Aubrey, a long-time Sun newspapers photog. The book can be purchased at www.aaubreybonine.com.
WRITER KEEPS FATHER'S PHOTOGRAPHS ALIVE WITH BOOKS, WEBSITE, REPRINTS
     Jennifer Bodine says her goal is to have her father, Aubrey Bodine, permanently remembered as the great artist that he was.
     In her latest book, Bodine's City, the long-time Sun newspaper photographer's work is highlighted. A book signing was held at the Mencken house on April 21.
     "My father and [H.L.] Mencken were friends," she says. "They were on the Sun papers together. Bodine was on the Sunday Sun, and Mencken was on the Evening Sun. After Mr. Mencken had a stroke in 1949, my father was on the short list of people allowed to come and visit him. So that, to me, speaks to their relationship."
     The author, born in 1948, is Aubrey Bodine’s only child...
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REIKI MASTER HELPS HURTS, HEALS HARMS
     There's a Reiki master in the neighborhood, and she wants to spread a message of stress relief and accelerated healing.
     Andrea Wenger, and other volunteer Reiki practitioners meet every second or third Saturday, depending on the number of scheduled appointments. The sessions are held at The Clay Pots, at 1635 W. Pratt St., between 1:30 and 3 p.m...
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) to read the rest of this article.
GROUP PRESIDENT HAS VISION FOR NEIGHBORHOOD
     Union Square Association president has a vision of the neighborhood being an attraction for artists and artisans from around the city.
     "This is something we really need everybody's help on, particularly people in the artist community," Taylor says. "We can go to the city and ask to adopt five to 10 city-owned lots in our neighborhood. And we say we want them all at once. Our plan is to clean them, to fence them in, put basic gardens and a couple of benches. And then, we would use them strictly as public performance art spaces."
     Taylor's quick to label this project as long-time and far-reaching, but, he says, it would be a gamechanger for the community...
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) to read the rest of this article.
Union Square residents help clean a vacant lot on Carey street, between Lombard and Hollins streets. The Saturday morning event was organized by the Association and Gallery Church. More than 25 people showed up for the clean-up.
CHURCH, ASSOCIATION KICK OFF STREETSCAPE SPRING CLEANUP AIM
     More than 25 Union Square Association members and representatives from Gallery Church gathered on April 21 to clean the vacant lot on Carey Street, between Lombard and Hollins streets. The Saturday event lasted for five hours.
     "We hope to have a long-time presence here in the community," says Josh Smith, Gallery Church member and co-organizer of the event. "My church is really community-oriented, and we decided to adopt a couple of lots here in Union Square."
     The event is part of the ongoing Streetscape initiative, spearheaded by Andrea Leahy. She reached out to Smith and his church's members, a few who currently live in Union Square.
     Smith said his church is working on being more active in the neighborhood...
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) to read the rest of this article.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT BOARD DIRECTOR AT LARGE POSITION
     Chris Wyatt, Union Square Association Director at Large, will be resigning this month. She is moving to Houston to further her career.
     We wish her the best in her future endeavors, and we thank her for her community service over the years.
     The board has voted Josh Smith, a four-year resident of Southwest Baltimore, to replace Chris Wyatt as Director at Large...
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) to read the rest of this article.
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • SOWEBO RUNNING & WALKING CLUB
    FREE - First Saturday of each month starting 10 AM
    Click the newsletter PDF link (above) for more details.
  • DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES
    At Clay Pots, 1635 W. Pratt St. includes contact information
    Click the newsletter PDF link (above) for more details.
SOWEBO FESTIVAL TIMELINE
  • May 7
    Return posters for show deadline
  • May 14 to June 1
    Poster show at The Charles
  • May 27
    Return posters for auction deadline
  • May 27
    Sowebo Arts Festival
  • June 3
    Sowebo Poster Auction
    Click the newsletter PDF link (above) for more details.
NEWSLETTER SUBMISSIONS article by Ray Williams
Invitation for comments, submissions, suggestions
Click the newsletter PDF link (above) for more details and contact information.

MEETING REMINDER
The USA Regular Meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday May 2, 2012 at the NDC, 1401 Hollins St.

2012 USA OFFICERS
Chris Taylor, President; Andrea Leahy, Vice President; Thomas Pointer, Treasurer; Kristine Balazs, Recording Secretary; Ray Williams, Corresponding Secretary; Jacob Booher, Historic Preservation; Querin Brown & Josh Smith, Directors at Large.

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