The Silver Strand Block Captain Committee, chaired by SSMHOA Board member Nora Nicosia, had a very successful annual meeting. The event was hosted by Cindy Carlin with potluck refreshments, wine and margaritas. Nora opened the meeting by congratulating the Block Captains’ spirit of volunteerism. She reminded them that Dr. Steven Cole of UCLA has shown that those who volunteer by doing good for others develop a higher level of antiviral and antibody genes which promote good health.
In preparation for a presentation by homeowner Bill Boyd on Emergency Preparedness, Nora and Board Member, Richard Lylse distributed flashlights and bottled water to Block Captains as a reminder of how important both are in the event of a catastrophe. Bill, who is CERT trained, said that the community needs to be prepared to help itself. He emphasized that, at the minimum people, should purchase emergency kits, store sufficient water, keep sturdy shoes nearby and make a plan in the event of an earthquake/tsunami. He handed out Red Cross booklets. There was a discussion Block Captains making use of Walkie-Talkies (the SSMHOA Board has already approved the purchase of these). Jennifer Manoogian passed out a sheet of basic suggestions from Michael Greenberg who was not able to be present. There was a discussion of how Block Captains could educate their “constituents” about preparedness.
SSMHOA Board member Eric Beane announced that he has formed and will Chair a Committee on Childrens Activities for the Silver Strand. Block Captains were asked to email him the names of people with children on their Malls and Roma Court adjacent who might be interested. He also is looking for suggestions from parents on programming. Block Captains Beth Holden and Rachel Small have since agreed to work with him. If you are interested in joining the Committee or having your children participate in upcoming events, please leave a comment below and we will forward to Eric.
One of the first Children’s Activities Committee projects will be to participate in the Little Free Library program. Sandra Starr proposed this to the SSMHOA Board at the last meeting and it agreed to help fund the purchase of a box.
The Little Free Library is a nationwide program which started in 2009. Neighbors purchase or build a 2-shelf box and stock it with children/young adult books they no longer want. Parents can drop by with their kids and take a book. They can either eventually return it or replace it with another book. If you would like to help Eric, Rachel and Beth get this off the ground, please leave a comment below.
Jennifer Manoogian, Chair of the Ad Hoc Annual Block Party Committee reported that she and the Board will begin planning the 2014 event in the next few weeks. Cindy Carlin, who coordinated the successful mini-Block parties begun last year, brought up the question of when to start of the sequence of parties so that they don’t get too bunched up in the summer. The conclusion was to start the five events in April, rather than May, with the last party being held in August prior to the Annual Party.
Marilee Karlsen, co-Chair of the Silver Strand Art Group reported that although the tours have been very successful, she would like to see more new participants signing up for the tours.
Sandra Starr distributed the revised Welcome Packets and Emergency Forms to those Block Captains with new homeowners on their blocks. She also emailed instructions for distribution and record keeping, along with a list demystifying the complicated house numbering system on Via Dolce and Roma Court.
Sandy Gooch, Board Member and co-Chair of the Landscape Committee, reiterated what she had said at the SSMHOA Board meeting that landscaping was always “a work in progress.” Concerning current drought conditions, the Committee will be checking the entire sprinkler system and adding new sprinkler hardware where needed. She plans to put in 2 new small trees on Reef Mall to replace ones that died. In order to add color, an additional planting of annuals is underway.
Bill Boyd brought up the existing discrepancy which between sales prices in Venice and Marina del Rey. Prices per square foot are higher in Venice than in Marina del Rey. He and Block Captain Angela Durrant have been researching this issue and have met with two local realtors. There is a certain amount of confusion on the subject since although the Silver Strand has a Marina del Rey post office address in every other way it is in Venice. It was suggested that they continue to contact realtors and encourage them to find ways to publicize the special values unique to the Silver Strand.
Nora suggested that the Silver Strand News blog put up a Community Bulletin Board page of Services and Requests where residents could recommend services ranging from plumbers to roofers and also post queries about services they are in need of. Sandra Starr discussed issues concerning privacy, but said that as long as the referrals were commercial services, she could post phone numbers and email addresses. The Bulletin Board page would carry a disclaimer in terms of the Silver Strand News’ liability for same stating that the information was caveat emptor.
Lisa Amster, her husband Sam Gorodistian and their infant attended the meeting and Lisa has agreed to become the Block Captain for Reef Mall.
Cindy Carlin gently timed the speakers in order to keep things moving along. All in all the mood was both fun and productive.