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.
Neighborhood Association Meeting (5/13/2009)
Flad Park Basketball Court Issues/Major Themes
of patrons keeping others from using park
urination on numerous occasions.
users repeatedly use profanity, even when asked by neighbors on multiple
occasions to refrain from doing so
users repeatedly yell and fight - often well after sunset – even when
asked by neighbors to stop this behavior
park is drawing more disrespectful teens from within and outside of the
of people using this court are not acceptable…not racial or diversity
(middle school and high school age) and adults (probably early 20’s) are
always loud and profane (as in mother f******, etc.)
is a behavior issue – lack of respect and courtesy to others.
playing is great! Kids
roughhousing is normal. Foul
language is not OK. Where are
behavior hasn’t changed even after repeated attempts to engage the court
main users of this court display bad behavior. This court is barely used by anyone else.
personally seen boys urinating out in the open
court is no longer a nuisance.
It’s a serious neighborhood problem
court is located too close to neighborhood homes, irregardless of any
of life for area residents
in extreme far corner of the park
enjoyable for my wife when gardening in our back yard or sitting on deck
in back yard
is located about 10-15 feet from private yards
affects 6 homes that border the park
is in isolated corner of the park w/ little “eyes/surveillance”
to monitor activity in the park from Flad Ave. and Wicklow Way
should be a larger buffer between the basketball court and neighboring
lack of tangible enforcement guidelines related to constant profanity and
loudness from activity at the basketball court
reluctance to address issue in District 20
situation…more routine answers than real solutions
they only neighborhood kids?
parents been contacted?
should contact parents?
- Is the
Police Dept or Parks Division primarily responsible for enforcement of any
noise/profanity/disturbing the peace rules? Public urination?
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.
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
- I am
concerned that the city department with jurisdiction can or will resolve
the issue quickly and effectively
very difficult without a sustained presence by Parks or Police in this
there (or will there be) coordination between Parks and Police on this
Cutting Through Property:
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
through yards to short cut to court
private fences to get to park
gates and walking through yards to play on the court
instances of yelling, swearing as basketball court users cut through yards
over the past few years
Fear of Problems Spreading:
issues will become big stuff
this is critical now as part of “broken window” strategy
Park issues carry over into other areas
this behavior is unchecked it will spread to other parks
leave trash even though the Parks Division has recently placed a barrel
can is dumped over a lot
use trash can to jump up and hang on the rim
can tipped over and not cleaned up by people using the court
trash can has caused more problems than it has solved!
Time of Play
play into the night as late as 10 p.m.
late into the evening/night, combined with loudness and profanity
there any way to restrict court hours to 9 a.m. through 7 p.m.?
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.
that greater anger about issue will grow until an event occurs that no one
wants to see happen
safety of residents
these individuals don’t show any respect to the neighbors, will they
escalate things and damage property if they know who calls the police?
about safety for young children/young families using the park
about good racial relations
must “feel” safe for all children age groups.
if confronting youths.
of a few patrons threatening the feeling of safety of neighbors in their own
homes – may drive them out of the neighborhood?
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.
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)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Neighborhood Plan Action Team
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.
Organizational Development Action Team
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.