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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n05)
BRVA meeting produces crowd, despite weather
by Alan Hague
posted: Mar. 09, 2007

For an icy February (2007) night, there was a surprisingly large crowd of about 40 at the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA) public meeting. BRVA president Ellen Morley Matthews opened the meeting and welcomed everyone a little past 7 P.M. IPD sergeant George Burge handed out the latest Tiburon report for police runs. "Our computers are up. It took a while," said Sgt. Burge, "but our criminologists were able to put the reports together for January. The report shows that the crime in your area wasn't too bad."
Sgt. Burge reported that IPD has finished the move to the new North District headquarters on 30th Street and that everything is up and running. There was a question from the audience asking if there is still any IPD activity around the old 42nd Street headquarters. The neighborhood there was concerned that without an IPD presence, crime would increase. Sgt. Burge said that during the day there is a lot of visibility because of the youth services in the building. "One person came by and asked why we were storing all of the paddywagons [at the old headquarters]. We explained that those were actually the vans used to transport the kids back and forth." After 7 P.M. the Street Level Enforcement Detail uses the facility.
Sgt. Burge announced that the North District Community Day will be held in July at Arsenal Park on 46th Street. He then answered several questions about the Tiburon report. Most of the questions were about what some of the police run descriptions meant, as the official police wording is confusing to non-IPD types.
Next on the agenda was the BRVA announcement by Ellen. It was hoped that Mayor Peterson would attend the February BRVA meeting, but he was unable to because of family activities. Ellen stated that the BRVA is working with the mayor's office to reschedule the visit.
Ellen said that in lieu of the April 17th public BRVA meeting, there will be a spring Town Hall Meeting at Broad Ripple High School. This town hall meeting will focus on public safety and the general Village appearance, such as litter and graffiti.
Next, Ellen announced that Elizabeth Ricke, the new director of the BRVA business division (see BRG volume 4 number 3), is now a member of the BRVA board. She also said that Catherine Yost, Indianapolis Art Center (IAC) director of guest services, is now serving as a liaison between the BRVA and the IAC. "Catherine has generously indicated that she would like to partner with the BRVA and work with us on our many endeavors," explained Ellen. "We look forward to working with Catherine. She will be our main connection with the Art Center."
The Guest speaker for the February meeting was the Mayor's liaison for crime prevention, Marshawn Wolley. Marshawn was appointed to this position, which was created about a year ago. "This position was created when it was clear that the consolidation was going forward. I approach crime from a quality of life perspective, instead of from a law enforcement perspective. I use the city resources to address crime issues." Marshawn is someone citizens can call when they don't know who to call. Marshawn answered several questions from the audience on topics such as graffiti, abandoned cars, and trash in the Village.

Mayor Peterson's liaison for crime prevention Marshawn Wooley.
Mayor Peterson's liaison for crime prevention Marshawn Wooley.

Next on the agenda were the committee reports:
-Beautification - Caryn Atkinson - Caryn said the committee is looking for new members to support the projects that are planned for this year, such as business and residential recycling, graffiti removal, tree plantings, and College Avenue median plantings.
-Business Division - Elizabeth Ricke - Elizabeth reported that the business division meetings will continue to be held on the second Thursday of each month. The start time for those meetings has been changed from 8 to 8:30 A.M. The projects organized by the business division include the Spring and Fall Gallery Tours, the Holiday Preview Party, and the Sidewalk Sale.
-Communication - Diane Seybert - Diane announced that the first edition of the BRVA news will appear in the March 9, 2007, issue of the Broad Ripple Gazette [see pages 14 & 15 of this issue].
-Cultural Tourism - Sharon Butsch Freeland said that the front license plates with the Broad Ripple Village logo are now available from the BRVA. They are free! She also announced that a Broad Ripple Village logo mural will be painted on Chelsea's, located at 902 E. Westfield Boulevard. Both of these projects are funded by the Indianapolis cultural tourism program. There was a comment from the audience suggesting that mural artwork should be provided by Broad Ripple artists. It was explained that the cultural tourism projects are not organized by the BRVA, but are planned for and paid for by the cultural tourism program. The artist planned for this mural was also hired for other projects in other cultural districts.
-Membership - Cathy Adler - 2007 Membership forms are available and letters for renewals are being sent out.
-Public Safety - Michael Seufert - Michael mentioned the two monthly public safety meetings that occur for the north side of Indianapolis. The IMPD (The new M is because IPD is now Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department) Task Force meets on the first Thursday of each month at 3:30 P.M., and the Mid-North Public Safety meeting is the first Friday of each month at 10 A.M. Both meetings are held at the 42nd and College Avenue branch library.
-Special Events - Diane Seybert announced that the dates for the Spring and Fall Gallery Tours are May 11, 2007, and September 12, 2007. She also mentioned that this year the IAC will be assisting the BRVA with media contacts.
-Historic Home Tour - Sue Zilisch - Sue gave an update on the 2007 tour planning. The tour will be on September 29, 2007. While some of the homes have been selected, there are still some slots open. If you have a home or know of a home that could be on the tour, contact the BRVA. The tour also needs the services of about 100 volunteers. Positions can be found for almost any willing volunteer.
-Zoning/Land Use and Development - Peter Dean - Peter said two petitions came before the committee in January. The first was a zoning variance for a house at 6548 Cornell [see BRG volume 4 number 3]. The BRVA board recommended that three parking spots be added to the plan and voted to support the petition. The second petition was for Three Sisters Café [see BRG volume 4 number 3]. Due to changes in building ownership, new variances were required for parking and the sign on Guilford. The board voted to support this petition. Peter also said that liquor licenses were granted for Steel Pony Saloon, Spin, Naked Tchopstix, Sunflower, Hoghead's, and Casba.
Near the end of the meeting someone in the audience asked about the next zoning committee meeting, as they plan to attend it to remonstrate against the Ripple Flats @ 6310 College project. I commented to Ellen that the BRVA board vote on that petition has not been made public and that since the board has already voted, further remonstrance is unneeded. Ellen explained that the board vote was for non-support of the proposal. This means that the BRVA will neither support nor oppose the petition when it comes to hearing downtown. This announcement prompted the architect for the Ripple Flats project to question the practices of the BRVA board, specifically relating to the private voting on zoning matters. This resulted in a lively discussion that even included non-BRVA members from the audience. The conclusion was that it is fairly normal for a board to conduct its voting in private. Ellen agreed to send a letter describing the vote on the 6310 College proposal and the reasoning behind it to the petitioners.
The next public meeting of the BRVA will be on March 20, 2007, and the Indianapolis Art Center at 7 P.M.
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