February 7 Meeting Notes

Grand Neighborhood Alliance

Meeting notes for 2/7/2013

Update from Mike Gardner, City Councilman

Mt. Rubidoux cross: After much consideration, the city decided to divest itself of the cross. There will be a public auction and the land on which the cross sits will be sold to the highest bidder. The group Totally Mt. Rubidoux is collecting donations to purchase the land, would maintain public access to the cross if successful. The auction will take place in April. It is Mike’s impression that the group that raised the original complaint, American’s United for the Separation of Church and State, does not have an interest in purchasing the land and would be satisfied with its sale to a bidder. The city council was advised to follow this plan rather than fighting through litigation.

Discussed the shootings of two Riverside police officers.

Senior housing complex on Grand Ave.: It will be very similar to the one on N. Orange St. The developers are looking for co-financing. The city has approved the “concept” to build it but the details of the building plan are not yet finalized and are in plan-check.

Bonaminio Park: Grand opening should be at the end of June. Parking lot will open in the next few weeks. It will be lit and there will be cameras in the parking lot to discourage theft, etc.

Question: What can the city do to stop motorcycle traffic on the Santa Ana River trail? It is very disturbing to residents and to horses.

Mike Gardner’s answer:  Call the non-emergency police number and ask if the helicopter is available. Fairly stiff fine if they are caught.

RPD Update by Nancy Castillo

10th Annual Senior Conference is coming up (I will send out more information about this as it becomes available) as is the Police Chief’s breakfast on March 7 at the Mission Inn for the Riverside Police Foundation.

Nancy emphasized how important it is to report anything suspicious to either 911 or the non-emergency police number.

Wood Streets and Riverside plaza areas have been hard hit with thefts, especially of packages and car break-ins.

Samantha Eshelman on graffiti reporting

Samantha gave a great presentation on graffiti, why reporting it is so important, and how reporting has been made very easy with the new application for smart phones.

She spoke about the reasons why people tend not to report graffiti: 1) assume someone else has done it; 2) think it takes too much time to report it; 3) worry about own safety, possible retribution.

Reporting by calling 311 or doing it through the mobile 311 app takes only a couple of minutes at most. Also, when graffiti is reported through the mobile 311 application (by taking a picture of the graffiti) it goes to a database belonging to RPD.

The mobile 311 app is available for free, and through it residents can easily photograph graffiti and send it to the appropriate city division to remove it. More about this application is available here: http://riversideca.gov/mobile311/

***If graffiti is removed within 72 hours of appearing, it tends not to return.***

City of Riverside gets rid of graffiti within 24 hours of its having been reported, on average.

Graffiti removal costs the city 1.3 million dollars per year!!! Residents can have a tremendous impact if they report graffiti quickly, again because it tends not to reappear if it has been reported within 72 hours of being tagged.

In terms of fears about safety of reporting graffiti, 311 does not ask for the caller’s name so reports can be done anonymously.

Wendy DeBoer on Next Door site

Wendy talked about how using Next Door could benefit our area. Attendees seemed to be in favor of giving it a try. She will send out invitations to all GNA members in the next few days. (Update: invitations have been sent through e-mail. If you have not received one, please contact her at gnariverside@aol.com)


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