Thursday, November 4, 2010

The WHNA is Fired Up and Ready to Go Again

A recent spate of robberies in our neighborhood has gotten neighbors concerned and has inspired a renewed impulse to band together and stand up for Watsessing Heights.

We recently sent out a note to all the neighbors that we could reach via e-mail, and we are posting part of it here to reach anyone else who has not been contacted. We will be setting up a meeting in the near future where we hope to get Mayor McCarthy and possibly representatives from the police department to discuss their plans for the downtown and for enhancing security in the Watsessing Heights area.

In addition, a new Facebook Group has been created, called "Watsessing Heights Neighbors," where we are also sharing information among any neighbors who are on Facebook. Just search on that term and you will find our Group.

From the recent message to the neighborhood:

"As many of you who have been involved in the past have probably noticed, the WHNA has not been very active recently. Many of the original members have left the neighborhood or have become too busy (or tired!) to be as active.

However, we are aware there are many new people in the neighborhood who may be interested in getting involved, and perhaps there are others who now have the time to become more active in the association than in the past.

Now seems like a good time to revitalize the WHNA, as there has been a recent break-in our neighborhood. It happened during the day when no one was home. In addition, there have been reports of suspicious vehicles driving up and down our streets in the middle of the night, shining flashlights at houses and talking on walkie-talkies. Please keep your doors and windows locked when you aren't home, and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. If you notice anything unusual happening, please let the police know.

We hope by revitalizing the WHNA we will increase the number of "eyes on the street" and also get more attention paid to our neighborhood by the police. In addition, with the downtown redevelopment finally starting (we hope!), now is the time to get together and make sure that whatever is done suits our needs and desires, since the downtown abuts the Watsessing Heights neighborhood. The redevelopment is key to enhancing our property values and making Bloomfield a better place to live.

As many of you may recall, in the past the WHNA has done the following:

- Held monthly - then quarterly - meetings. These meetings had speakers ranging from representatives from the police and fire departments; the mayor and council representatives; real estate agents discussing the real estate market; zoning board chairman explaining the zoning board process; school officials discussing school-related issues, and more.

- Created and distributed a newsletter to the entire neighborhood plus local officials.

- Held biannual park cleanups (with sister organization, the Watsessing Park Conservancy)

- Sponsored wine tastings, evenings at the theater, and other social events.

- Held annual Holiday Parties and Summer Socials.

- Put up holiday decorations around the fencing of Watsessing Park.

- Submitted detailed suggestions to the Planning Board for the downtown redevelopment following input from professional planners.

We would love to which of the above activities you feel are the most important things to revive. In addition, if you have other suggestions for projects and issues for the WHNA to address, please let us know. And naturally, if you are interested in becoming directly involved with any of these projects, we want to hear from you!"

Please comment here or send an e-mail to with any suggestions.