Orchard Ridge Neighborhood Association                                         Established in 1952
Action Teams/Committees
for details on each one

From the May 13th Joint Action Team Meeting:

Here is a summary list of Flad Park baskeball court issues raised at the Orchard Ridge Neighborhood Association Joint Action Teams meeting on May 13.  

Orchard Ridge Neighborhood Association Meeting (5/13/2009)

Flad Park Basketball Court Issues/Major Themes

Rude Behavior:

  • Disrespect of patrons keeping others from using park
  • Public urination on numerous occasions.
  • Court users repeatedly use profanity, even when asked by neighbors on multiple occasions to refrain from doing so
  • Court users repeatedly yell and fight - often well after sunset – even when asked by neighbors to stop this behavior
  • This park is drawing more disrespectful teens from within and outside of the neighborhood
  • Behavior of people using this court are not acceptable…not racial or diversity issues here
  • Noise
  • Kids (middle school and high school age) and adults (probably early 20’s) are always loud and profane (as in mother f******, etc.)
  • This is a behavior issue – lack of respect and courtesy to others.
  • Kids playing is great!  Kids roughhousing is normal.  Foul language is not OK.  Where are the parents?
  • Bad behavior hasn’t changed even after repeated attempts to engage the court users
  • The main users of this court display bad behavior.  This court is barely used by anyone else.
  • Have personally seen boys urinating out in the open
  • This court is no longer a nuisance. It’s a serious neighborhood problem 

Siting/Location Issues:

  • Basketball court is located too close to neighborhood homes, irregardless of any other issues
  • Quality of life for area residents
  • Located in extreme far corner of the park
  • Not enjoyable for my wife when gardening in our back yard or sitting on deck in back yard
  • Court is located about 10-15 feet from private yards
  • Directly affects 6 homes that border the park
  • Court is in isolated corner of the park w/ little “eyes/surveillance”
  • Difficult to monitor activity in the park from Flad Ave. and Wicklow Way
  • There should be a larger buffer between the basketball court and neighboring homes

Enforcement Issues:

  • Seemingly lack of tangible enforcement guidelines related to constant profanity and loudness from activity at the basketball court
  • City’s reluctance to address issue in District 20
  • Decaying park
  • Non-enforceable situation…more routine answers than real solutions
  • Are they only neighborhood kids?
  • Have parents been contacted?
  • Who should contact parents?
  • Is the Police Dept or Parks Division primarily responsible for enforcement of any noise/profanity/disturbing the peace rules?  Public urination? Trespassing?  Litter?
  • Are there noise/profanity/disturbing the peace rules that can be applied to this ongoing situation?
  • I want these kids to get the appropriate feedback for their out-of-bounds behavior which I have personally witnessed.  This is mostly for their own good.
  • Can Park Rangers help?  How quickly can they respond? This situation occurs mostly on evenings and nights during the week, and at any time during the weekends (e.g., 11:30 – 6 p.m. on Mother’s Day!).
  • I am concerned that the city department with jurisdiction can or will resolve the issue quickly and effectively
  • Enforcement very difficult without a sustained presence by Parks or Police in this park.
  • Is there (or will there be) coordination between Parks and Police on this issue?

Cutting Through Property:

  • Repeated trespassing through neighbors’ yards has been a big issue, even after many of these individuals have been asked by neighbors and police officers not to cut through private yards to access the park
  • Cutting through yards to short cut to court
  • Jumping private fences to get to park
  • Opening gates and walking through yards to play on the court
  • Many instances of yelling, swearing as basketball court users cut through yards over the past few years

Fear of Problems Spreading:

  • Small issues will become big stuff
  • Addressing this is critical now as part of “broken window” strategy
  • Flad Park issues carry over into other areas
  • If this behavior is unchecked it will spread to other parks

Litter:

  • Kids leave trash even though the Parks Division has recently placed a barrel there

  • Trash can is dumped over a lot

  • Kids use trash can to jump up and hang on the rim

  • Trash can tipped over and not cleaned up by people using the court

  • Trashing the court

  • Litter

  • Property vandalism

  • The trash can has caused more problems than it has solved!

Time of Play

  • Kids play into the night as late as 10 p.m.
  • Playing late into the evening/night, combined with loudness and profanity
  • Is there any way to restrict court hours to 9 a.m. through 7 p.m.?

Safety

  • The basketball court users do not change behavior even after repeated attempts to engage them.  They don’t seem to care about the neighbors at all.
  • Concerned that greater anger about issue will grow until an event occurs that no one wants to see happen
  • Personal safety of residents
  • Since these individuals don’t show any respect to the neighbors, will they escalate things and damage property if they know who calls the police?
  • Concern about safety for young children/young families using the park
  • Concern about good racial relations
  • Parks must “feel” safe for all children age groups.
  • Retaliation if confronting youths.
  • Disrespect of a few patrons threatening the feeling of safety of neighbors in their own homes – may drive them out of the neighborhood?
  • Fear of fights.
  • Police have been called numerous times, yet the same incidents are occurring at this basketball court. 

 

A related note from Action Teams coordinator/ORNA board member Scott Harrington:

Thanks again to you all for coming last night and participating in this important discussion.  As a reminder, this will be the key topic at the next crime watch meeting, which will be held at the community center next Wednesday at 6:30.  I'm glad we were able to give this attention it deserves and in a timely fashion, but I promise that we will return to the work of all of the Action Teams next month at our next joint meeting on June 10 at 6:30 at the community center.  In the meantime, please continue to refine your work plans so we can wrap those up and present them to the Board and our residents.

For the Board members who were not there last night, we had a scheduled joint meeting of all of the Action Teams last night but put that aside to  turn our attention to the problems residents in the back of Flad Park are having with some unruly kids (middle school through early 20's) using the basketball court.  Fortunately, this was one of the meetings being facilitated by Bert Stitt who did an excellent job in helping us focus not only on the problems but also on the solutions.  Thuy and a representative of the parks department were there and I think our/Bert's approach was viewed being very helpful and constructive while still allowing folks to express their anger, fear and frustration with the situation.

As a board member and resident, I was thrilled that our association could be there to assist these residents with a very real and difficult problem.  While we still have a long way to go in getting the problem resolved, it was wonderful watching (and being a part of) a group of neighbors who were willing to put their interests aside (again, this was supposed to be a meeting of all Action Teams, not just safety) and direct their full attention to these neighbors in need.  It was truly a thing of beauty.

One final note, the next board meeting will be this Sunday at 6:30 at the community center.

Scott Harrington

271-7603

escotth@sbcglobal.net


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 Committees


 CrimeWatch

Coordinator: Becky Jenn  (286-9571; thejenns@tds.net)

How can you help? Block Captains keep an eye out for crime on their streets and are the point person for neighbors who'd like to share information on a crime. Click on our CrimeWatch page to see if we have a block captain on your part of the street. If you'd like to help, contact Becky. For more CrimeWatch activities, see (Public Safety/Crime Action Team)

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 Newsletter

Coordinator: Diane Harrington  (271-7603; dianebh@sbcglobal.net)

How can you help? 

Photographers: We're always happy to accept photos for the newsletter - especially of neighborhood events! Send a digital JPEG or a snapshort (we can scan it in!) of your photo to Diane Harrington. 

Proofreading Helpers: The same people aren't always available for last-minute proofreading of the newsletter before it goes to the printer. If you have email and can read PDFs, Diane can put you on the Proofreading Crew and will contact you if another crew member is unavailable. 

Advertising Advocates: Sales? No way! We just proffer a bit of low-pressure encouragement to get local merchants (and neighbors with businesses) to buy ads in our newsletter (and biannual membership directory). Know some folks who might be interested in advertising? Do you frequent a store, restaurant or business that Orchard Ridge residents should know more about? Collect the quick price details and newsletter schedule from Diane, and then give 'em a shout-out. That's all there is to it!

Administrative Assistant: Prefer to work on your own schedule? We need someone to help coordinate the billing for ads – sending out simple invoices via postal or e-mail and keeping track of what's been paid and what hasn't. It's also nice to mail a copy of the newsletter to our advertisers.

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 Membership

Coordinator: Diane Harrington  (271-7603; dianebh@sbcglobal.net)

How can you help? Once every two years, ORNA has a membership drive. It begins early in the even-numbered years and continues through July. We're looking for new (inexpensive) ways to get renewals and new members, without printing the membership form in every issue of the newsletter. (Too many people forget they've signed up and send dues more than once!) We might consider hand-delivering invoices, or just going door to door to discuss why an ORNA membership is so terrific. If you can help us sort out the best choices, let Diane know.

We also will need people to help put the directory together: database inputters, database double-checkers, a designer, proofreaders, advertising advocates, and an administrative person (to ensure checks/cash match forms, aren't duplicating, and are submitted to the treasurer.)

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 Action Teams


In later 2008, Orchard Ridge residents gathered at two Town Hall meetings and filled out an extensive survey to pinpoint what they’d like to see the neighborhood association work – and we’ve hit the ground running, creating Action Teams to address six issues that residents felt were most pressing.

But just as everyone helped decide what was most important, we need as many of you as possible to help us plan and implement. Please choose an Action Team that best fits your interests, and give the leader a call. We’d love your input and help as we continue to make Orchard Ridge the best community it can be.

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 Programs Action Team

Contact: Larry Winkler (274-0414; winkllj@acm.org)

Plans to offer monthly programs and presentations on a variety of topics, with the goals of socializing, learning and participating. We need volunteers to help develop themes, schedule speakers, set venues and meeting times, and to gather suggestions from others. Topics can be of great immediate import (such as city-wide issues, advocacy, etc.) or those covering our neighbors' latest vacation, best recipes, hobbies and crafts, or Orchard Ridge history. "There is no limit to the number of volunteers this committee would need, but seven to ten volunteers would be most welcome.

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 Safety Action Team

Contact: Becky Jenn (286-9571; thejenns@tds.net)

We have had a successful Neighborhood Watch program over the past three years coordinated by one person with the help of now 23 volunteer block captains. Imagine the impact that the collective ideas of 5 or more people setting the course for the program could have! We are looking for people who have a vision of what our neighborhood's safety should look like, and who are interested in helping to more clearlyc hart the course for how we are going to achieve that vision.

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 Social Action Team

Contact: Tim Dybevik (692-8322; Timdybevik@charter.net)

To help Orchard Ridge residents get to know their neighbors better (and interact more often with those they do know), we established a committee to come up with fun ideas for us all. These can be anything from neighborhood coffees or cook-outs to bus trips to Miller Park, shopping in Chicago, or skiing at a local ski hill. How about an Orchard Ridge night at Concerts on the Square, or a pontoon ride on one of the lakes through the city’s Parks Department? A walking tour of the Arboretum, a class at the YMCA or Home Depot, group meals/refreshments at a local restaurant? Anything. We need volunteers of ANY age who would enjoy organizing any activity that would help neighbors get to know each other better and have some fun.

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 Schools Action Team

Contact:  Bruce Olsen (274-6299; olsenba@charter.net)

      or Harold Olsen (271-5309; olsen@engr.wisc.edu)

Because some neighbors have voiced concern about students’ preparation for high school and about safety and behavioral problems within and outside of Toki Middle and Orchard Ridge Elementary schools, we will work with the schools and the other neighborhood committees to address these issues. We need volunteers to help us define our scope and goals. Early work will likely include talking with parents, neighbors and teachers to clarify some of the problems and possible solutions, as well as talking with other communities to learn how they've effectively worked with local schools.

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 Neighborhood Plan Action Team

Contact: Scott Harrington (271-7603; escotth@sbcglobal.net)

Mature trees, larger lots, space between houses, and quite streets are just some of the characteristics that define Orchard Ridge. The city would like us to have a Neighborhood Plan to assist as Madison grows/redevelops. It will share our goals for the future so that city actions and decisions for everything from zoning to parks maintenance to traffic engineering will be consistent with our wishes. Over the next year this committee will focus on identifying the characteristics and assets that make Orchard Ridge unique, our goals for the future, and the issues of most interest and concern to us. This will involve working with the other Action Teams to determine what data and research needs they have, as well as becoming more directly involved in ongoing city programs like the rewrite of the city zoning code and traffic changes on Whitney and Raymond. By the end of the year our goal is prepare a detailed outline of what we'd like to see our plan address as a precursor to seeking grant funds to hire a consultant to prepare the plan in 2010.

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 Organizational Development Action Team

Contact: Mary Denig-Chakroff (274-6497; marydc@charter.net)

The ORNA board will comprise this committee, but any past board members (or those interested in a future board position) are welcome, too. We’ll be carving out time during our monthly board meetings, which typically are held the third Sunday of the month at 6:30 p.m. 

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