Dimond Neighborhood News

by Daniel Swafford

Peet’s Coffee on Fruitvale Ave. presented a $20,000 check to the Dimond Improvement Association on February 20. Photo by Nikki Mortimer.

Peet's Gives $20K to Beautify District

Peet's Coffee on Fruitvale Ave. presented a $20,000 check to the Dimond Improvement Association (DIA) on February 20. The donation is designated for a community art project in the Dimond business district, acknowledging the work of DIA volunteers and serving as a reminder of the mural removed during the Peet's renovation. Artists are being sought to consider the design and location of the new installment. Contact dia\@dimondnews.com to get involved.

The art project is one of many changes to come to the Dimond Streetscape. The Fruitvale Alive plan is moving through the design phase with groundbreaking scheduled for summer 2009. Fruitvale Alive grew out of an MTC transportation grant to bring pedestrian improvements along Fruitvale Ave. Under a grant authored by David Ralston of CEDA, the funds will add trees, lighting, crosswalk bulb outs, and a plaza with seating area at MacArthur and Champion.

Councilmember Jean Quan, her Chief of Staff Richard Cowan, Ralston, and the Chair of Dimond Merchants Association, Ruth Villaseñor, joined area residents on March 15th to walk through Dimond and discuss the Fruitvale Alive plan. Recommendations will be considered in the next phase of the design. Visuals of the design and public comment can be found at Dimondnews.org.

22X NCPC Gets to Work

March 10 brought together another large group of neighbors and merchants at the second meeting of the Beat 22X Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council. Sequoia Elementary hosted this working session at which over 120 people worked together to determine priorities and projects for the area. Members of the community came ready to act and to choose one of seven workgroups designed to address concerns about crime and safety, beautification, traffic, economic development, education, zoning, and Beat council structure.

OPD asks each NCPC to bring three top priorities; 22X has decided that reducing armed robberies and assaults, drug dealing, and traffic calming should be the current focal points of police resources in the Beat.

Groups left the meeting with specific objectives. The Economic Development Team is working to ensure quality businesses open in the area. The team will be asking for community support to persuade the City Planning Department to help us send a message to brokers and property owners that businesses must fit our vision.

Renee Sykes, the Neighborhood Services Coordinator, and Councilmember Quan are actively engaged to ensure volunteers have access to the people and resources needed to get results.'

The next 22X NCPC meeting is April 21, 7 p.m. at Sequoia Elementary; your participation is greatly appreciated.