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Downtown Neighborhoods Association
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Monthly Meeting
November 7, 2012

The November 2012 regular monthly meeting of the Downtown Neighborhoods Association was held at the Harwood Art Center, pursuant to prior approval.
Board members in attendance: Miriam Ortiz y Pino, Jacque Wright, David McCain, Curtis Hunt, Ric Higginbotham, Bob Yuhas, Lindi Anderson, Chan Graham, Melanie Lewis, Rick Miera, Dick Deichsel and Sue Brych. Three board members were absent. Seven other neighbors also attended. Sign in sheets are on file.
Board chair Reba Eagles had called earlier that she would be unable to attend. Vice chair Sue Brych called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Introductions were made. The agenda was approved with the addition of a discussion from Rowan Wymark regarding an unflattering news story about Downtown on Channel 13. The October 4 minutes were approved.
Jacque Wright gave the Treasurer’s Report. For the month of October, there was $200 in income and $729.14 in expenses, including $500 to support the Halloween celebration on Forrester, leaving an October 31 balance of $27.809.01 The report was approved and is on file.
POLICE REPORT
Sergeant Kenneth Johnston of APD reported that there have been several auto burglaries during the daytime hours in the vicinity of 8th and Mountain. There were two commercial burglaries on Lomas and two residential burglaries in the neighborhood. There was a shooting in the vicinity of 14th and Marble. Sergeant Johnston advised the meeting that if you see a burglary or other crime in progress, you should watch the activity and call 911, but don’t confront the burglar. He also advised us to call Animal Control or 311 to report a dangerous dog.

Javier Benavides (with the Barelas neighborhood) discussed the City’s recent council redistricting plan. His group, Abq Fair Redistricting, is opposed to the plan, which removes one of downtown’s two councilors. The group is working with Councilor Isaac Benton, LULAC, SWOP and AFSCME. Their website is abqfairredistricting.org. Mr. Benavidez solicited donations. The national League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has agreed to represent the group at no cost, but $30,000 must be raised to pay the demographers who will appear as expert witnesses. Ric Higginbotham proposed that DNA discuss the issue at the December meeting.

Chan Graham reported that he had submitted a grant proposal to the County for the DNA History Project. He expects a decision by November 30 and wants the Budget Committee to meet after that. Chan wants a digital archive of text and photos of downtown houses, families and events. He will catalog the material.

Chan also reported for the Budget Committee. He proposed a $3000 matching grant from DNA to the Harwood Art Center for repairs to the room in which we meet. Chan moved and Miriam Ortiz y Pino seconded a motion to authorize Chan to meet with Harwood staff and negotiate Harwood’s match and other conditions of the proposed grant. The motion passed.

Lindi Anderson discussed a February newsletter to announce the March annual meeting. Rowan Wymark will edit and Chan Graham will design and produce the digital layout for printing. David McCain will work with Downtown Printing. There was a discussion of potential sites for the annual meeting, since the site must be announced in the newsletter. Rick Miera will talk to the Fruit Avenue Baptist Church, the only site to which no one objected. Chan Graham proposed V.B. Price as a speaker for the meeting but there was a consensus that adding any speaker to the agenda would make the meeting overlong. Lindi will organize food for the annual meeting. There was a discussion of proposed articles. The text of articles should be e-mailed to rowymark@gmail.com. Photographs should be sent to chan@centurylink.net.

COMMITTEES

Curtis Hunt announced that the second public meeting of the Traffic Plan Committee will be held on Tuesday, December 4 in the offices of the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, 809 Copper NW. This meeting will result in proposals for short and long-term options for downtown traffic. Post cards will be mailed to announce the meeting. Curtis told the meeting that this will be the best opportunity to voice opinions about the traffic on particular streets.

Bob Yuhas reported for the Safety Committee. He will submit reminders on the web site just before Thanksgiving and just before Christmas. These two periods are a peak time for auto and home burglaries.

Dick Deichsel nominated two properties for the Curb Appeal Awards. These are the rental property at 324 14th NW (the owner lives in Taos) and the Mauger Bed and Breakfast at 701 Roma NW.

Miriam Ortiz y Pino and Ric Higginbotham reported for the Projects Committee that the City is not cooperating about the proposed DNA kiosk in Mary Fox Park. The committee is working on a history project. They are also researching a streetscape grant, which has a submission deadline of January 18, 2013.

ZONING
Sue Brych reported three issues for the Zoning Committee.
The first was a proposal from Kirtan Khalsa to add a second storey addition to 309 13th St. NW. The house is described as “non-contributing” in the Fourth Ward Historic Overlay Zone (HOZ). Curtis Hunt said the addition would be inappropriate for the HOZ. A hearing is scheduled for November 15. Sue will get plans for the addition.

Kenneth Sandoval is proposing a 620 square foot structure behind his house at 907 Forrester NW, in the 8th and Forrester HOZ.

Lee Gamelsky is proposing alterations to 1223 Tijeras NW in the 4th Ward HOZ. The plan is to open a restaurant at the site. A similar proposed use for this house was denied approximately 15 years ago.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Gil Clarke from the Duranes neighborhood wants to start a coalition regarding improvements to Central Avenue in the vicinity of Rio Grande Blvd. Miriam Ortiz y Pino volunteered to liaison with the group.

Rowan Wymark reported that channel 13 News had presented a very negative report on downtown, emphasizing panhandling and the homeless population. Anna Muller added that people who attend events at the Kimo don’t patronize nearby restaurants.

Miriam Ortiz y Pino said that news media will attend the opening of the remodeled Lowe’s grocery. Dick Deichsel distributed invitations for the event, scheduled for Sunday, November 18.

Ric Higginbotham announce that the Raynolds Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, December 4 at Washington Middle School to discuss the City’s decision to move the 2012 Twinkle Light Parade to Nob Hill.

Rick Miera requested a letter to APD thanking officers for their support of the Forrester Halloween event.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted,
David McCain
Secretary