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Summit Avenue park renovation date set

Summit Ave park

This announcement is from Wendy Nilsson, the city’s parks superintendent.

 

Hi Summit Park Friends,

Good news . . .construction for the site work [concrete walk, logs, sandbox, playground mulch, bridge, boulders, log tunnel (new) Little Library, tree, bench and painting] at Summit Avenue Park will begin on August 15th and is expected to be completed by August 21st. Once the new equipment and parts arrive  (ETA early to mid-September), those pieces will be installed. This plan will allow us to plant grass around the play house rather than a synthetic turf or mulch.

From 8/15-8/21, the park will be closed as there will be heavy machinery in and out. Please access the community garden from the garden’s service gate. I know we originally thought we could do this in phases and leave the park open, but that is no longer an option due to the tight schedule. Sorry for any inconvenience. We will provide a sign for the park for the temporary closure.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

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Neighborhood Survey

The Summit Neighborhood Association invites you to take an online survey, developed to help us understand and better serve the neighborhood. The survey is brief (5 minutes or less) and confidential. Your participation would be very much appreciated!

You can access the survey here:
Thank you!
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Summer Newsletter is Out!

The summer newsletter is available here!

 

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Hope Street farmers market in full swing

Shoppers and fun-seekers crowd the Saturday session on the first day of July. The market is also open on Wednesday evenings.

Shoppers and fun-seekers crowd the Saturday session on the first day of July. The market is also open on Wednesday evenings.

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Candidates for Ward Three City Council seat get chance to state their positions

SNA President Ethan Gyles welcomes the candidates, from left, Daniel Chaika, Nirva LaFortune, David Lallier and Mark Santow, to the second of two public discussions.

SNA President Ethan Gyles welcomes the candidates, from left, Daniel Chaika, Nirva LaFortune, David Lallier and Mark Santow, to the second of two public discussions.

This time, the candidates for the Ward Three City Council seat got to speak their minds.

The last time four of the five declared office seekers got together – on June 15 at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School – they just sat and listened to the concerns of their constituents. However, on Tuesday evening at the same venue, they got to respond.

The event was the second in a two-part series sponsored by the Summit, Mount Hope and Observatory Neighborhood Associations that featured an “undebate” and then a traditional exchange.

After welcomes by MHNA official Ray Watson and SNA President Ethan Gyles, Channel 12 newsman Ted Nesi moderated and started by asking the candidates – Democrats Daniel Chaika, Nirva LaFortune and Mark Santow plus Republican David Lallier Jr. – what each thought was the main issue facing the ward.

Chaika cited “the tax burden we all bear living in this city” and said everything else flows from that. LaFortune said it was “the division in our community” saying “that’s why I’m running – to bridge that division.” Lallier said it was “education itself, because students are falling behind” and that leads to crime in adult life. Santow said “the issue facing the city and the whole country is unequal access to opportunity” and vowed to shift priorities to “locally rooted solutions.”

Nesi opened the floor to the about 200 people present and questions dealt with government ethics, transfer of wealth, gentrification, city pension debts, and crime.

For a full video of the forum, go to:

Ward 3 candidate forum provides insight into candidate priorities

For written responses by the candidates to issues raised at the previous forum go to:http://www.sna.providence.ri.us/daniel-chaika-d-un-debate-qa/

http://www.sna.providence.ri.us/nirva-rebecca-lafortune-d-un-debate-qa/

http://www.sna.providence.ri.us/david-lallier-jr-r-un-debate-qa/

http://www.sna.providence.ri.us/mark-santow-d-un-debate-qa/

In their closing statements this time, Chaika urged “all my supporters to give money to Mount Hope services” and food for children; LaFortune said “we must engage in community” and tap into resources available “to make government work for you and me;” Santow said it was “an honor” to walk the community” and be a part “of bridging gaps and sharing stories. This is what democracy looks like;” and Lallier said he is “proud of what I am and stepping up” because “the city has lost its honor and I want to bring it back.”

The Democratic primary will be July 12 and the general election will be Aug. 16. Independent candidate Christopher Reynolds has not participated in either of the above events.

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Community gardeners share breakfast

Participants in the community gardens project in the Summit Avenue Park gathered for breakfast on Sunday to celebrate a successful beginning.

Participants in the community gardens project in the Summit Avenue Park gathered for breakfast on Sunday to celebrate a successful beginning.

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City describes proposal for second phase of Summit Avenue park renovations

City landscape architect Megan Gardner explains the plan for the park renovations at a public meeting June 12.

City landscape architect Megan Gardner explains the plan for the park renovations at a public meeting June 12 as Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson, right, listens.

Now that the community gardens are in place at the Summit Avenue park, the city is prepared to move ahead with Phase Two of the renovations.

That’s the message that Parks Department Superintendent Wendy Nilsson and landscape architect Megan Gardner brought to a public meeting sponsored by SNA June 12 in the park.

Speaking with about 20 people gathered in the playground area, the two described the specific changes included in the city’s plan, focusing on safety and accessibility for all ages, as well as the procedures needed to implement them.

The renovations include:

– Replacement of all guardrails of play structure with pipe barriers, replacement of clatter bridge with new clatter bridge and pipe barriers, and repainting of all vertical posts and landings with metal paint;

– Installation of 16-inch high hardwood log retaining and seating wall plus lining of play booster side with filter fabric offset 8 feet from end of slide;

– Installation of “smart play nook” for children up to two years old, including a little house made of safe, bright-colored plastic with a ramp into it, open door/archways and surrounded by artificial grass;

– Installation of 6-foot long wood play bridge with dry-stream boulders;

– Installation of a little lending library;

– Planting of a flowering tree;

– Building bench surrounding tree;

– Repainting posts and beam for existing two-bay swing set;

– Removal and repurposing of sand for new sand play area;

– Removal of wood chips and replacement with fiber mulch to 12-inch depth;

– Addition of play area signage.

There was much discussion among the meeting participants about the artificial turf with the consensus that the parks people would determine the best option with the possibility of later replacement if it proves ineffective.

Nilsson and Gardner reiterated that the plastic structures and toys that accumulate in the park no longer meet safety requirements and will be removed, but that signs will be posted to explain why.

The cost of the new renovations was put at about $30,000 and will be met by about $12,000 in grant money from Miriam Hospital that SNA is holding plus city funds augmented by local fund raising. Some of the improvements in the original renovation plan proved to be too expensive, Nilsson said.

A new sign will be installed with the name of the park and Parks Department contact information, plus a new bulletin board may be constructed.

The project is designed to be completed by the end of summer, but the park will not be closed during the work, with just certain areas temporarily cordoned off.

Nilsson encouraged residents to contact the Parks Department with suggestions or questions.

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Ward 3 Candidate Written Q&A

Providence City Council Chambers in Providence City Hall interior.

Following last week’s Ward 3 2017 Special Election Candidate “Un-Debate,” a wide-ranging community discussion where candidates listened to citizen concerns, themes from the evening were distilled into a set of written candidate questions by members of the Summit and Mount Hope Neighborhood Associations.

The four candidates who participated in the Un-Debate were invited to answer the written questions. Their responses are posted below by alphabetical order of last name. Christopher Reynolds (I) did not respond to Un-Debate invitations. The candidate responses have not been edited. For those without internet access, hard copies will also be available at the Rochambeau Library and the Mount Hope Learning Center.

All community members are invited to our second candidate event, a more traditional candidate forum, on June 27th at 6:30pm at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School at 35 Camp Street (additional detail here).

Daniel Chaika (D)

Nirva Rebecca LaFortune (D)

David Lallier, Jr. (R)

Mark Santow (D)

 

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People banned from Lippitt fountain because of danger, parks chief says

Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson explains the danger of the Henry Bowen Anthony fountain while crews chief Joseph Wojtanowski, right, SNA President Ethan Gyles, left, and residents listen.

Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson explains the danger of the Henry Bowen Anthony fountain while crew chief Joseph Wojtanowski, right, SNA President Ethan Gyles, left, and residents listen.

City Parks Department Superintendent Wendy Nilsson says she strongly reminded residents that the fountain in Lippitt Park is strictly off limits because of the danger of playing in it.

“Parents were putting their kids into the water” and ignoring warnings by workers that they had just “shocked” the fountain with a toxic chemical – chlorine – to clean it, she said. In addition, the structure is made of granite, which is extremely slippery when wet, she added.

Nilsson spoke to about a dozen residents June 13 at a public forum at Summit Commons sponsored by SNA. The meeting was called because of a storm of discussion on social media sparked by Nilsson’s request that SNA disseminate her warning about people being banned from getting into the fountain. Comments ranged from preserving the integrity of the historic Henry Bowen Anthony fountain at all costs to tearing it out and replacing it with a splash feature.

The parks superintendent and her crew chief, Joseph Wojtanowski, explained that fountains in parks city wide accumulated all kinds of natural and human waste – including soiled diapers – and had to be cleaned every few days. He said the Lippitt fountain was monitored by park personnel but asked for park users to alert his department if they noticed anything wrong. The chemicals used dissipate in a few hours, Wojtanowski said, but the fountain is not designed for people and is still not safe to climb into.

Nilsson said the cost of installing a splash feature in the park would be about $250,000 and there is no budget for that, especially since there are water facilities in the Billy Taylor park just a few minutes away. She said residents near other parks had been innovative in using inflatable kiddie pools to “get kids wet” during hot days.

She said her department is developing an online tool that describes the features of all the city’s parks and is working on redesigning them using more natural materials while maintaining safety. The resource is available at https://pvdgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html… and a parks locator is available at http://demo4.geotg.net/providenceparks/ParkLocator/.

One resident at the meeting asked Nilsson for a redesign of the signs explaining why the Lippitt fountain is dangerous and she responded that she would work on that and asked for citizen input. She stressed that the Parks Department welcomes interaction with the neighborhood because “we want to do parks that are meaningful to the community, not for the ease of the Parks Department.”

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‘Undebate’ brings forth questions for Ward Three City Council candidates

Candidates, from left, Mark Santow, Daniel Chaika, David Lallier and Nerva LaFortune listen to questions from a resident assisted by co-moderator Mike Ritz.

Candidates, from left, Mark Santow, Daniel Chaika, David Lallier and Nirva LaFortune listen to questions from a resident assisted by co-moderator Mike Ritz.

Voters in Providence’s Ward Three had a public conversation Thursday night about the issues confronting their neighborhood and a panel of City Council hopefuls sat and listened.

About 150 East Side residents gathering at Martin Luther King Elementary School to pose questions to four of the people running to replace recalled Councilman Kevin Jackson. It was the first session of a two-part event cosponsored by the Summit, Mount Hope and Observatory Neighborhood Associations.

In this initial “undebate” stage, neighbors brought their concerns, their questions and their aspirations out into the open and the candidates were instructed to listen only. In the second stage, they will get their chance to state how they intend to address the issues. That will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, also at King School. In between, the questions raised at the first meeting will be collated, given to the candidates and made public on electronic media. As at the first stage, there will be light refreshments as well as child care.

“You’re in charge, you the voters. You’re affecting the next debate,” said Mike Ritz, who with Angie Ankoma, both of Leadership RI, co-moderated the event.

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