Minutes from the August 10, 2009

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association

Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by Maggie Blaha.


Neighborhood Light Installation Project

            Dave Weber, from the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative which is sponsored by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, congratulated us on a successful 1st annual neighborhood picnic and let us know that there is $20,000 available to our neighborhood for a project of our choosing.  He let us know there were no matching funds necessary and he suggested it be a project where we could charge each household no more than $25.00 - $50.00 so they would have something vested in the improvement. He said the only caveat is that we spend the money quickly. He informed us that he has a Community Council Meeting on September 14, 2009 and he would love to be able to report to them what we have done to spend the money at that time.

            After much discussion among all the neighbors present at the meeting, Pat Devitt made a motion, which was 2nd by Al Siemsen, for us to spend the $20,000 Dave Weber told us about on Dusk-to-Dawn Rudd lights for ceiling or wall fixture porch lights. Per the personal experience of Pat Mueller and Raymond Duncan, these lights don’t over power you from the inside or outside yet they give off enough light to see down a block and they earned a great rating from the electrician Pat consulted. The cost would be $139.00 per light and $135.00 for installation by the electrician. However, the quote from the electrician was for ceiling mounted porch lights only so Pat is checking to see if the cost would be different for wall mounted porch lights. In any case, the only price each household will have to pay is $23.00 to cover the cost of pulling the city permit. Pat will purchase approximately 50 or 60 lights that will be equally divided among the blocks in the neighborhood. She will have applications for the light installation project which should be completed and returned to her right away. Households will be picked on a first come, first serve basis until all lights are gone and we expect to have all lights installed by the end of September. Flyers will be distributed to all households with a start and end date for collection of applications.

            Although Pat got a great quote from an electrician she has experience with, it was suggested by the group that at least two more quotes be obtained to make sure we were getting the best deal possible. Terry offered to help Pat obtain the additional quotes.

Neighborhood Oral Cultural History

            Jill Lackey from Urban Anthropology presented information to us about doing an oral history of Martin Drive residents. All members present at the meeting agreed this would be a great idea and Lynne Grages, Terri and Al and Betty Siemsen were just a few people who were already identified as great resources for this project. Jill explained this is a long-term project that can take a few years to complete. However, once complete Jill produces a report that sometimes even culminates in a documentary that can be aired on PBS. They have done 15 so far and they have all ended in documentaries which can be obtained from the Milwaukee Public Library.

Martin Drive Website

            Laura Sokol, the person who offered to redesign our website with the blessings of Dave Johnson, presented what she has accomplished to date. Although she is not quite finished, she has done a great job thus far. Ultimately, the website will be a place you can go to do things like access polls, meeting minutes, news and updates, links to neighborhood businesses, lists of teen helpers, history, etc… There will be no database. If forms are requested they will go to e-mail addresses. She is also looking for anyone who is willing to write articles or submit old pictures of the neighborhood to be posted to the site. It will no doubt be a wealth of information upon completion.

1st Annual Neighborhood Picnic

            Marlo Hill reported that our 1st annual Martin Drive Neighborhood Picnic was a success! Great turnout, great food, great music, great helpers and an all around beautiful day! Some suggestions were made for things we could improve upon for next year; port-a-potty, grill attached to a trailer, corn roaster, more food tables, more individuals assigned to facilitate games for the children and more help with set up and tear down. We agreed that we would hold the next all following annual picnics on the third Saturday in July.


Art Project

            Pat Mueller asked for names of high school students that could be submitted to participate in a Youth Arts Project that will run from October 5 – December 4, 2009. This fall ArtWorks will offer the Identity Map Portrait Project in collaboration with LISC-Milwaukee, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the Milwaukee Arts Board. This 8-week after-school program will contract with Lead Artist Brad Anthony Bernard, who will interview a minimum of 24 Milwaukee youth, ages 14-21, with and without disabilities, which face significant barriers to employability, and will hire 8 apprentices from this group of candidates. In order to align with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Milwaukee Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, each of the 8 hired Apprentices will currently reside in one of each of the 8 GMF’s Milwaukee Healthy Neighborhoods.
            The Identity Map Portrait Project will ask Apprentices to identify a person from their Milwaukee Healthy Neighborhood that will be the subject of their mixed-media portrait. This person can be any community leader, historical figure, or any person who currently lives in the Apprentice’s Milwaukee Healthy Neighborhood that has a positive influence on their community.
            The Lead Artist will teach Apprentices basic technical skills in a variety of art mediums, such as: portrait making, printmaking, mixed-media collage, and digital photography. Apprentices will utilize and synthesize these techniques to create an Identity Map of the person they have identified from their neighborhood to be the subject of their portrait. The program’s deliverable will be a 24 X 36 multimedia portrait for each Apprentice that focuses on the person they have identified to be its subject, and will incorporate neighborhood maps and address the unique journey of each Apprentice’s identified subject.

            They are seeking candidates who face these types of barriers to employability:           

·         Underperformance – These apprentices have low GPAs and/or may drop out, despite having the capacity to graduate. At ArtWorks, we teach them that earning a high school diploma is key to finding employment success.

·          Disabilities– At ArtWorks, we teach our apprentices to overcome employment barriers inherent to misperceptions about their abilities.

·         Lack of resources and/or mentors– At ArtWorks, we provide our apprentices with resources and mentoring opportunities with ArtWorks’ staff and Lead Artists that can increase their chances of employment success.

·         Candidates’ artistic ability/experience is of no consequence to us: Only the candidate’s interest in the program is.

            If you have a high school student whose name you wish to submit for this exciting opportunity, please contact Pat Mueller at 933-5589.

Planning Committee

            Sharon Williams reported that the Planning Committee has a new structure and will have great things to report to us at the September 14th meeting.

Block Reps

            The need for block reps on every block in the neighborhood is greatly desired. This will help with welcoming new neighbors as well as having a point person to deliver flyers and attend monthly meetings when everyone on the block may not necessarily be able to do so. If you are interested in serving in this position, please contact Pat Mueller at 933-5589.

Miscellaneous Business

            Although they could never fill the shoes of the great Maggie Blaha, Vicki Provencher and Kim Jackson have agreed to assume the shared responsibility of taking minutes at the monthly meetings effective immediately. They will alternate months starting this month with Kim.

Safety First

           There will be a neighborhood Police Walk on August 20, 2009. Meet at Heritage West Properties,

4303 W. Vliet Street at 6:30 pm. We will take a brief walk around the neighborhood with members of the Police Department.


Duncan Family Housewarming

           Raymond, his twin brother Joey and his sister Andrea Duncan have just purchased their first home at 1260 N. 43rd Street and wish to invite their neighbors to their housewarming. Raymond thought it would be cool to have a party before it snows and have fun with neighbors and friends. Because the Duncan’s feel that they have been so blessed by what they already have, all they ask is that you bring a dish to pass and in lieu of a present to them, please consider giving a gift to the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association (MDNA) or a favorite charity of your choice.

           Raymond said that it was MDNA and the great neighbors that he had while he lived on Martin Drive that easily convinced him to stay in the neighborhood and move a block and a half to his new house. The party will start immediately following the neighborhood Police walk (walk 6:30 pm; food around 7-7:30 pm).

Brew City Bruisers Appreciation Night

           On Wednesday, August 26, 2009, the Brew City Bruisers will be sponsoring a big party at Washington Park. Please come out and join the Bruisers for skating, fishing, eating (free food while supplies last) and jamming to the sounds of The Addy Janes, The Barrettes, The Lillies and the BCB Beerleaders. It will be great fun! (flyer attached in e-mail)



Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by:

 Kim Jackson

4210 W. Juneau Avenue, Apt. 2