Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

It’s cold and cloudy again; we have about 50 laborers, men who are hoping against hope that there will be work today. For those renting houses or apartments rent is coming due, utilities are coming due, as it is for all of us. Unfortunately, most have not had any substantive amount of work since before Thanksgiving. Some have caught a few hours here and there. I know they’re looking forward to a warm spell and people get out and work on their yards. The men hope to pick up a little work then.

The donated cold and cough medicine has been a huge help. In such confined spaces with so many people we’ve been sharing coughs and colds since November. The DayQuil tablets have been big hit, as have the cough drops. It was a blessing that most of the men, the officers and I all received our flu shots thanks to the KCMO Health Dept. and the extraordinary sheep-herding talents of Maria Reyes/GCI. The Health Dept. is coming next

Remarkably their spirits are good and hopeful. We’ve had a lot of venison donated to the WCAN Center this winter season. Some of it has come directly from hunter’s whose own freezers are filled, some has come from processors when hunters don’t pick up or take all of the processed meat. The meat has truly been a blessing. One week we had about 5 deer donated. Venison is all protein with little cholesterol so it’s very good for you. We’ve kept some of the meat for communal meals and the rest we’ve let the men take the meat home or to their camps.

Our Police Officers, Chato Villalobos and Matt Tomasic have been pro-active in several of our schools, Cristo Rey, Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School, Foreign Language Middle and Alta Vista. We’re seeing a lot of middle-school aged boys succumb to the lure of the gang culture. They are making decisions that will affect them the rest of their lives. We wish more parents would check to see what their kids are doing on-line. Computers should be in a communal room with lots of traffic, not in their bedrooms or inner sanctums where you never darken their doorways. A number of boys have become discipline problems in school, at the library, at the Tony Aguirre Community Center and a nuisance in the neighborhood. We hope that you, our neighbors will let us know if you see neighborhood youth behaving inappropriately so that the Officers can meet with their parents or guardians to help these kids pick a better path.

In the former Casa Grande, former Café Seville and former California Taqueria there is to be a new venue, the Jared Allen Sports bar. (700 Southwest Boulevard, directly north of La Bodega.) This will add to the eclectic mix of the neighborhood.

For those in the Sacred Heart area who haven’t ventured north of Southwest Blvd. in a while, we have a new panaderia at the corner of Summit /21st Street/West Pennway. They have Mexican bread, menudo and burritos. Miguel’s Panaderia.

We’re going to have a meeting of our WAY Coalition on Wednesday, 1/23/08 at 3:30pm at the Ruiz Branch Library. We’re going to plot out our neighborhood activities for 2008. Agencies, businesses, residents interested in planning family and youth activities are welcome to join us. Or, if you have any ideas we’d love to hear them.

We’re going to being working on our Back To School Celebration since that is our biggest activity and requires the most fund-raising. Additional definite activities will be our Westside Old Fashioned Family Fall Festival, our Westside Family Campout and we help with the KCMO Mayor’s Christmas Party. We will be looking at doing an Easter Egg Hunt, perhaps a Westside Family Halloween party and who knows what else we’ll come up with.

We will also be expanding our Monarch Butterfly Way Station Garden in front of the Tony Aguirre Center. Last fall we saw quite few butterflies and Monarchs; we hope to attract even more this year.

You are welcome to volunteer or donate goods or donate cash to make our neighborhood, the Westside, the Bestside

Lynda M. Callon