Summer 2016 is behind us, the kids are back in school or off to college everyone seems to be settling into the fall routine. Football is being played. I’m hoping that we are on the downside of Hurricane Season and that we don’t have to experience any serious weather issues between now and December 1. I hope everyone survived this summer’s brutal heat considering it didn’t seem like we ever had any respite from last summer. So, with hopefulness, we can now say Winter is Coming!
For Vernon Heights Board of Directors it’s back to business, having held our first Board meeting since June on Tuesday, September 13. Deputy Frank Acierno of PBSO attended and at that time, we had not had any reportable crimes in the neighborhood, which was good news. Since then, however, there was a break in and there was a large police presence in the neighborhood looking for the suspect. As I understand it, he was able to elude police via an escape into the woods on the south side of the neighborhood. I certainly didn’t want to “lead” my update to all of you with news like this, but all members of the NAPC had been contacted by Community Liaison Deputy Benito Gaspar and Property Crimes Detective Michael Donovan from PBSO District 14. They are requesting that ALL homeowners who have surveillance cameras on their property register with them so that when an incident occurs PBSO Road Patrol and Detectives would be able to contact residents regarding possible footage of the incident. Property owners would register directly with PBSO and this list would be an investigative tool ONLY to be used exclusively by PBSO. This list would be stored in house and all information is kept confidential. Accordingly, if you are interested in being part of PBSO’s proactive crime prevention team, they will need the following information:
Name, Address, Phone Number, Neighborhood Association Name
If applicable, Name of Security Company that monitors cameras
If self-operated, who can PBSO call to obtain video retrieval?
Please contact Deputy Benito Gaspar (561) 301-2575 with your information as requested above.
So, now, on to more positive news. The skinny on the meetings. I acknowledge and understand that these meetings are dull and boring. I am trying to make them more interesting for residents and so the following format will be instituted beginning in October. Meetings will start at 7:00 p.m. and there will be a speaker who (I hope) will bring information regarding local issues of interest and importance to you. The allotted time will be 30 minutes for the presentation.
At the conclusion of the presentation, we will open the floor for a maximum of 10 minutes for questions and issues brought to the Board by residents. Should you have something you wish to have included on the agenda for the Board to discuss, please submit it via e-mail (email@example.com) by the Friday before the meeting (2d Tuesday of each month). The business portion of the meeting will begin at 7:30 or as soon thereafter as possible. During the meetings, the Board will address issues presented, budgets, plans for the neighborhood, etc., which were properly placed on the agenda. The goal is to stay focused and move forward with as few interruptions as possible and conclude the meeting early enough to catch prime time TV!
We are conducting Requests for Proposals from Fencing Companies in order to replace the fence along A Street. We hope to have the proposals by the October meeting and some of the work started on this project before the end of the year. If you have a great fence company, please let me know!!
We await word from the Palm Beach County Commission as to when we will receive the REAP Grant we were awarded to establish our neighborhood Crime Watch Program and for installation of the Banners announcing our area. We are soliciting “logo” ideas from residents. If you are artistically inclined, I’m encouraging you to submit a proposal for the Banners. The criteria requires that it be a tasteful depiction of our neighborhood name. It will be placed on a vertical banner, so please keep that in mind. If you would like to submit a drawing, please do so by October 7 so it can be presented to the Board at our October 11 meeting and voted on by the Board.
Vernon Heights will be sponsoring a hole at the PBSO Toy Drive Golf Tournament which will take place at the Atlantis Golf Course on October 9. PBSO is seeking both sponsors and players for this event. Each year the proceeds from this event assist the Community Policing (CP) Unit in providing Christmas gifts for low income or families enduring hardships during the holidays. In 2015, generous donations were able to provide breakfast and Christmas gifts to 120 needy families (350 kids) from the City of Lake Worth – the children were the recipients of 800 gifts and 65 bicycles. If you or your business are interested in sponsoring a hole or participating in the Golf Event, please contact D/S Devin Zuchowski (561) 662-1850 or Benito Gaspar (561) 301-2575.
Take a Book, Leave a Book. Encourage reading for all, especially children. The Board voted to install two Little Free Libraries in Vernon Heights. The LFLs will be located at the East entrance to the Park on Vernon Street, and the other will be installed in the island at the island on Pierce. They will be built and installed by Raymond Casazza within the next several months. We need someone to paint and decorate them – it’s artist’s choice and you can let your creative juices flow!! We are also looking for one or two volunteers to Steward the LFL on Vernon Street and we will need books – particularly children’s books — to fill it with. Please contact Tina Casazza or Carla Blockson if you are interested in Stewarding or if you have some books you’d like to donate.
As a member of the NAPC, Vernon Heights will be participating in two Evening on the Avenue Events, and “manning” the Beer Tent (we get to keep all the tips) twice in early 2017. You can stay for as little as one hour or stay for the entire 4 hour shift. The requirement is that 4 people are in attendance at the tent for the duration of the evening (6:00 p.m. to 10). I will be there for all 4 hours and if you are interested in volunteering to help sell some beers, please contact me, Tina Casazza at (561) 301-0123 or by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a community-wide Yard Sale on November 12 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon. If you have something to sell, that’s the day to do it. Residents in Lake Worth are allowed only 1 Yard sale per year without necessity of obtaining a permit. Start gathering those items that you no longer use, that the kids don’t play with any longer and that you’ve been meaning to get rid of, but just haven’t!!
In case you didn’t know, this year, Vernon Heights entered a raft into the Great American Raft Race for Fourth of July. The raft was built with by Raymond Casazza, Ron Gonsalves, Tom Bassie, Joe Dively, Will Baldwin and Scott Westveer (who made a cameo appearance from California one weekend). Sally Gonsalves used her artistic talents to help draw and paint the raft. While the Race never took place, we did participate in the Parade and we were awarded the “First Timer’s” trophy. We hope to participate again next year and will notify everyone when to start planning its construction.
Decal distribution will recommence now that the brutal summer heat is diminishing and I won’t pass out walking from door to door and greet neighbors bathed in sweat!! I look forward to meeting those of you that I don’t know!!
I’m sure there are other things I’m supposed to inform you of, however, I think this little missive has been lengthy enough and you are probably losing interest right about now. Since it’s back to business, I will likely have more news in a few days to post. Thanks for reading to the end and I hope to see you all soon….