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UNION SQUARE NEWS April 2004
FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Neighbors:
Spring Greetings! With the promise of the new season now arrived, and new growth starting, is the promise of the rebirth of our neighborhood! Some areas are already doing quite well with more owner-occupancy and better upkeep of rental buildings. However, there are issues on all our blocks as we well know. Here's to a successful spring cleaning out of some problems. How you can help: First, please don't use the cans on the corners of Union Square Park for your personal trash. Don't simply pile your trash on a corner either. Use your trash cans and put trash out on Mondays and Thursdays, except holidays, either in front of your house or in the alley as designated. If you are a renter, your landlord must provide you and the other tenants with trash cans. We have asked the Sanitation Department for stepped up enforcement. Putting your trash on a corner where it is not supposed to be is not only ugly, but it is illegal and you will get a ticket! Call 311 for more information or to report violations. Secondly, come to the Mayor's Clean up on Saturday, April 17th. We will meet on the square to get supplies, and then teams will go off to clean different street and alleys in the neighborhood. Beautifying the area makes a positive difference for everyone. So I'll see you there on Saturday April 17th! Greg Grass Springtime! Flowering trees are in blossom and colorful plants are poking through in our gardens. It's the perfect time to start the hard, yet rewarding, work of beautifying our neighborhood. Home-owners know this is part of the responsibility of protecting their investment - and being a good neighbor. Those are all good reasons, but there's more... Company's Coming! Union Square has seen recent jumps in property values and more homebuyers are aware of our neighborhood. As homes go on the market, they are often quickly snatched up by people eager to live in our special community. In a few short weeks, more visitors will show up for the Buying Into Baltimore event scheduled for May 8th. It offers a $3000 grant for anyone who buys a house within 90 days of the tour (for details, go to: www.livebaltimore.com). A few weeks later, it's one of the neighborhood's favorite and most exciting events: the Sowebohemian Arts Festival on Sunday, May 30th (for more details, see www.soweboarts.org). Also, "The Secret Gardens of Union Square" Garden Tour is coming back - bringing even more attention to the area (date to be determined, see the Union Square website for details). Getting Ready! Obvious basics involve simple cleanup of winter's debris. Tree wells and any shrubbery in front can always use maintenance - and new plantings make a attractive addition. If your block is interested, the Association can add planters to your street corner. Come to a meeting for more details. The returning Garden Tour may be an incentive for something ambitious in your back yard - a pond, fountain, artwork, gazebo, deck, or container garden - show off your creativity! And don't forget the Mayor's Super Spring Sweep Thing 5 on Saturday, April 17th. This is an opportunity to join with your neighbors and make a difference in the community. Neighborhood Beautification! Union Square Association General Meeting Wednesday, April 7, 7:00 PM 1401 Hollins Street Guest Speaker: Frank Rodgers Topic: Watershed 263 Project Next meeting: Wednesday, May 5 Special Topic: UMB Biotech Park (800 Block of W. Baltimore St.) April Calendar Sunday, April 4th Palm Sunday, Daylight Savings Time Begins Monday, April 5th Passover Wednesday, April 7th Union Square Association General Meeting 7:00 PM Friday, April 9th Good Friday Sunday, April 11th Easter Saturday, April 17th Mayor's Super Spring Sweep Thing 5 Tuesday, April 20nd Buying into Baltimore. Preview 5:30-7:30 PM Saturday, April 22nd Earth Day Monday, April 26nd Hollins Roundhouse Community Town Meeting 5:30 PM No holidays affect the trash schedule this month, so it will be the usual Monday and Thursday pickups: Mondays 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th Thursdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Household Hazardous Waste Day Drop-off at Poly/Western High School: Saturday 24th - 9 AM to 3 PM Sunday 25th - 11 AM to 4 PM REAL ESTATE LISTINGS $450,000 1518 W. Baltimore Commercial #BA4705650 $195,000 1413 W. Baltimore Commercial #BA4741678 $149,000 36 S. Schroeder 4BR/2BA #BA4803278 $121,900 1138 W. Lombard 4BR/2BA #BA4727639 $ 94,999 1709 W. Lombard 4BR/4BA #BA4650030 $ 89,900 1110 W. Lombard 4BR/1BA #BA4804958 $ 85,000 1419 W. Baltimore Commercial #BA4637967 $ 82,900 1231 Hollins 3BR/2BA #BA4801350 $ 65,000 1201 W. Lombard Commercial BA4766078 $ 65,000 1128 W. Pratt 2BR/1BA #BA4591821 $ 60,000 1520 W. Pratt 3BR/1BA #BA4775019 $ 14,400 1139 W. Lombard 3BR/1BA #BA4788625 $ 15,000 1228 W. Pratt 1BR/1BA #BA4279947 Get Ready to Buy a Home in Union Square! A "Buying into Baltimore" Preview Coming soon, so RSVP today! Tuesday, April 20, 5:30-7:30 PM Western High School, 4600 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD Free Parking Meet Real Estate Agents, Mortgage Lenders, Home Buying Counselors and take two informative workshops. FREE $250 voucher towards a home inspection for everyone who attends this event! Call 410.637.3750 for details! Park Cleanup Success! On March 27th, a clean up was completed on Union Square with participation from the City Parks and Recreation workers - and two new oak trees were planted. Projects on the Square will continue with weeding and more clean up events. Please come to community meetings and watch for flyers! $3000 to Help Buy a Home! Tell your friends about the "Buying Into Baltimore" Home-Buying Fairs and Neighborhood Tours on Saturday, May 8, at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21209. The $3,000 down payment and closing cost award from the City go to the first 50 participants who close on a house in the western region within 90 days of the event. For grant information, call: 410.396.3124 Hollins Roundhouse Community Association Town Meeting Monday, April 26, 5:30 PM at St. Peter's Church Hall at Hollins and Poppleton. This is a strategic planning event that needs the input of all residents. For more info call 410.625.4665. For transportation call 410.727.8777. Free Dinner and Dessert. Super Spring Sweep Thing 5 Mayor Martin O'Malley joins Public Works Director George L. Winfield and thousands of volunteers on Saturday, April 17, 8 AM to 4 PM, for Super Spring Sweep Thing 5. Union Square neighborhood participants are invited to meet on the Square. Public Works will provide gloves, brooms, rakes and shovels for the cleaning effort and remove the accumulated debris. Come join your neighbors in this effort! OPPORTUNITIES! Housing Committee The Housing Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 21. The group discusses and prioritizes solutions to housing issues - including zoning matters, vacant houses, vacant lots, problem properties and more. If you would like to participate and express your own concerns, contact any Association officer or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Public Relations Committee This group promotes the neighborhood and develops plans to market our community to homebuyers. On Saturday, May 8, they will have a booth at the Buying Into Baltimore homebuyer's fair; on Sunday, May 30, they will have a booth at the Sowebohemian Arts Festival. The group is also creating promotional brochures and plans to revive a "Welcome to Union Square" packet for new residents. They are behind the neighborhood website as well as this monthly newsletter. Volunteers and their talents are welcome. To join in, contact any Association officer or e-mail: email@example.com Sanitation Committee This is a critical matter in any neighborhood. Illegal dumping, improper disposal of household trash, rat eradication, graffiti removal, stagnant water, vacant lots, and issues with City Public Works agencies are some of this group's concerns. To get involved, contact any Association officer or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Public Safety Committee Crime and "quality of life" issues are the focus here. There has been talk of reviving the Citizens on Patrol group - plus Block Watch and other programs exist to improve the community. To get involved, see any Association officer or e-mail: email@example.com Sowebo Arts, Inc. The 2004 Sowebohemian Arts Festival is coming Sunday, May 30. This annual party seeks participants in the form of musicians, visual artists, performance artists, sculptors, vendors, and assorted volunteers in a wide range of areas to help with this event. To learn more, the website is: www.soweboarts.org NEWS BRIEFS Newsletter is produced by volunteers and is contributed as a service to the Union Square Association (USA). To offer an article, idea, or suggestion, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - or visit Union Square Online (www.union-square.us), go to the message board and post a note in the Newsletter Forum. All comments (positive or critical) are welcomed! Support our Market! HOLLINS MARKET Stop in at Hollins Market. You'll be surprised at what you've been missing.