Meeting Notes for 2/3/2011

Grand Neighborhood Alliance Meeting Notes for February 3, 2011 (taken by Wendy DeBoer, GNA Leadership Team)

*Please note that this GNA meeting was distinct from previous ones held in 2010. It was intended as an open forum for residents of the Grand area to talk about their concerns and provide input on the direction of the Alliance itself. By request of the GNA leadership team, there was no City Council or RPD representation.*

Update from the Grand/Jurupa Shopping Center subgroup

The elder Mr. Wong passed away and his son acquired the Center. It is currently in escrow. The group, with the assistance of Mike Gardner, was unable to learn the identity of the buyer or the future property manager. Mike was told that the buyer owns around 20 other properties and intends to improve the Center and sell it within 4-7 years as a “value-added” property. There are concerns in the subgroup that the buyer will push up the rents, rid the Center of its good tenants, and put in less desirable tenants who are willing to pay higher rent just to have a place to operate (e.g., pawn shops). Unfortunately, the subgroup is in a “holding pattern” until we know who the buyer is. We are going to formally request a meeting with the buyer through the agent, as that will formalize our desire to speak to the buyer even prior to their purchase of the property.

Open Forum for Attendees

Attendees were asked to talk about what issues mattered to them and what they’d like to see addressed in future meetings. The following represents individual comments and concerns:

Appreciate having meetings where information is presented about what’s going on in the area, as we have been doing.

Really like having the police in attendance, it is comforting to have them here. Feel gratified to see that they are addressing issues raised in the meetings. Would like to have more about what programs the RPD offers in Riverside and what is available to residents.

Appreciate getting the alerts from Nancy Castillo about what’s going on.

The City really needs to address the issue of transients in the river bottom. There is a visible trail of transients moving from the river to the shopping center at Grand/Jurupa and to Ralphs on Magnolia Ave. The homeless seem to be shifting to our area through Magnolia Ave.

There is still debris from the clearing of the recent fire in the river bottom. It needs to be cleared. The fire department left trash behind and there are piles of brush that still need to be removed. Otherwise, they are acting as kindling for a future fire.

Regarding vacant properties, what is the City’s responsibility in helping to maintain these? Why hasn’t the City been doing its own tree trimming? Why can’t the City do more to help maintain our neighborhoods?

Speeding is very much a problem at Tower Rd./Old Rubidoux/Grand. People go very high speeds and residents are surprised that there haven’t been more accidents, injuries and even deaths. There is also a lot of speeding at Oakwood and Tower.

The shopping center at Grand/Jurupa is a blight on our neighborhood and the liquor store is attracting the wrong element and doing little to improve.

There are abandoned shopping carts all over our neighborhoods. Can call 311 but they just reappear. Need to address this issue generally and with the new owner of the shopping center. Can they put locks on the wheels that prevent them from being taken out of the parking lot?

Trash diggers are a serious problem. Their digging can lead to identity theft. One resident encountered a very organized group that sweeps the area and becomes aggressive if approached by residents. By the time the police respond, they’ve already moved on. City loses a lot of money and should do a better job of enforcing.

Wishes that RPD would do more ticketing of people who drive with overly tinted windows. It is dangerous because those drivers often have windows that are so tinted, they can’t see well enough to drive safely.

Most concerned about loud neighbors and nuisance issues at Northview Pl, have been working successfully with the police to address these.

Where the new construction has been done at Mountain View school, there is a street light that is not synchronized properly. At night, it never changes and wait forever to get a green. Many people just ignore it. Should be easy to fix if adjust the timing.

Homelessness is a major problem. Ralphs is full of homeless and people who are begging. Would be a good idea to work with MANA on this issue and write letter signed by our groups to the store owners to show that we want it addressed.

The area around Mountain View school needs better lighting. It is too dark.

Speeding on Deerfield and Grassy Trail Dr. Called Mike Gardner’s office to get a speed bump put in but hasn’t happened. She was told by Lynn Anderson that people aren’t going fast enough to get one.

A representative from RNP Area 1, Erin Synder, spoke about the Riverside Golf Course and the meeting in March to talk about it.

Opposed to speed bumps because they delay response times of ambulances, police, fire department. Lots of concern about speeding on Grand Ave at Old Rubidoux.

Party houses on Grand Ave. (5765 Grand.) One was shut down recently, but there is another that is still active. Attract lots of younger kids. Even after the police break them up, the kids park their cars somewhere else and walk back. They are noisy and promote activities that are of concern to our neighborhoods such as underage drinking and driving.

Shopping center at Grand/Jurupa is a hub for problems. What about considering demolition of the Center? It seems unlikely to improve otherwise.

Sunnyside post office problems. People are removing mail from the blue mailboxes out in front of the post office. Steal checks and write false signatures. When she went to report this to the police, they indicated that it is a common problem and that Sunnyside in particular is notorious for theft of this kind. Why isn’t this being addressed? It was recommended that she contact Calvert’s office and Barbara Boxer’s local office. We could send a letter as a group to each.

Tree maintenance issues should be taken up with public works, not parks and rec. The Wood Streets are having trouble with sober living facilities which are being filled beyond capacity.

Concern about Marcy library’s new location and that when it opens, it will further shift the homeless problem our way.

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3 Responses to Meeting Notes for 2/3/2011

  1. Karen Shiels says:

    I was unable to attend the meeting but one of my concerns was the homeless problem that is continually getting worse. I have complained before, but the situation is to the point where I will NEVER go to Ralphs after dark. Yes, there are panhandlers, and just the thought of them lurking is enough to scare anyone. My point is, I know they have a security force there, in fact the security office is located in the center next to the dental office. Why are they paid to protect the property-I’ve seen them sitting with the homeless, drinking coffee, chatting-if they’re not helping to rid the area of the problem, get a security company that does what they’re paid to do. Last time I went after dark, I was accosted by two-snuck up behind me-this is no way for us to have to live in our own neighborhood.

  2. Bob Camp says:

    Re: Tree trimming in our neighborhood (Lack of)

    I complained two weeks ago to the City because every year they consistently trim the palm trees on the west side of Grand along Charlotte Way area but do not touch the palms on the east side. I received a call back and they said the only reason they trim the ones they do trim is because of the power lines. They only schedule complete street tree trimming every five years. If I want a tree trimmed I could pay $50 and they would do so. The wind blew a few days later and they had to have trucks going around to pick up palm fronds all over the place. It must not be five years yet.

  3. Bonnie Russell says:

    Thanks for the notes from the meeting. The city is showing it’s concern by having these meetings. I appreciate these meetings. Sorry I couldn’t make the last one.

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