Coalition formed to fight cross-community problems

March 03, 2002|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHAT AFFECTS the quality of life in Brooklyn and Curtis Bay also affects the quality of life in Brooklyn Park. At times, the border between us is virtually invisible. We share the same community concerns and goals.

Now, a group of community activists has brought those two communities together to form the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition, which is well on its way to addressing issues affecting the area.

"We needed to do something to bring this area back," longtime resident and coalition vice president Doris McGuigan said. "We were fragmented with each of us doing our own thing."

Coalition director Carol Kefford Eshelman is optimistic.

"The pieces are coming together and it is very exciting," she said. "I'm thrilled with the assistance we're getting. We're talking to foundations and a lot is happening."

McGuigan said crime and housing need attention.

"We have a lot of rental housing," she said. "It brings the neighborhood down. We are going to take the vacant housing and put it back on the tax rolls. We've received a $250,000 state legacy grant to strictly do that."

The coalition, with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Fannie Mae, will sponsor a Housing Festival from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 27 at Farring-Baybrook Recreation Center on West Bay Avenue.

Exhibitors will share information on mortgages, government incentives and credit assistance for prospective homebuyers. Buses will take those attending on a tour of the neighborhoods and to open houses.

The new courthouse on Patapsco Avenue will help to lower crime in the area, McGuigan said.

"It will bring some jobs into the area, and it will give us a better police presence," she said. "With police constantly on Patapsco Avenue, [criminals] will not want to be in this area."

Well, Brooklyn Park, where do you think the criminals will go? Perhaps we need to organize to address these issues before it gets too late.

Smorgasbord

A smorgasbord awaits you at the annual Oyster/Roasted Turkey/Baked Ham Dinner sponsored by St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church.

This year, the dinner will be held 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. March 10 in the church hall. Assorted vegetables will be served family style.

Carryout orders will be available, along with wine, beer and games of chance. Tickets are $15 in advance and $16 at the door. Admission is $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children younger than age 6 will be admitted free.

Information: 410-355-5740 or 410-761-6185.

Stories of spring

Don't let this short cold spell that we are experiencing get the better of you. To keep visions of spring alive, attend the Springtime Story Hour at the Brooklyn Park Library.

Children ages 2 to 6 and their caregivers can join the library staff for stories, finger puppet shows, crafts and other activities at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and at 10 a.m. Wednesdays through March. The Brooklyn Park Library is at 1 E. 11th Ave. Information: 410-222-6260.

Photograph collection

Many Brooklyn Park hangouts exist only in our memories. But perhaps some were captured in photographs.

Brooklyn Park High School Alumni Association is collecting old photographs of Brooklyn Park. Maybe someone has a photograph of the Chicken Roost, Gino's, the old shopping center, the Laundromat or children having a good time.

The photographs will be used for the high school display case at Brooklyn Park Middle School and for the Alumni Association records. Photographs will be returned.

Anyone willing to share copies of their photographs can call 410- 789-7214.

The Alumni Association's spring bus trip to New York is scheduled for May 4. The bus will leave at 6:30 a.m. from the Bingo World parking lot at 10th Avenue and Belle Grove Road. Guests can spend the day in the Big Apple seeing a Broadway show, going to a museum or sightseeing. The bus will leave New York at 7 p.m. and is scheduled to return to Bingo World at 11 p.m.

Tickets are $35 for nonmembers and $30 for members. Information: 410-636-3269 or 410-789-7214.

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