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Thursday, October 26, 2017

October 18,2017

September 2017

Message From The Outgoing President, Bob Ruckman

As I remarked in my first Occasional article a year ago, Fall is a great time to be a resident of the District. Once again, as the weather cools down, more neighbors are out enjoying the beautiful neighborhood that we live in which is even more inviting than last year, with all of the work done on the sidewalks, trees and median by our Beautification Committee. What is surprising is that the coyotes must think it is a pretty nice neighborhood too, since they have not yet done their disappearing act and in fact have remained very active. And in our block, we have a Muscovy duck which appeared one day on the street and can still be spotted on occasion as it grazes on grass along the sidewalk, apparently oblivious to the walkers and their pets as they come by.

As I wind down my year as President of the District, I would like to recognize some of our neighbors who have served our District and are responsible for what I believe to be a very good year for the neighborhood. Marilyn Waisanen and her Beautification Committee, in addition to the great work done on the sidewalks and trees mentioned above, have done a great job with plantings in Savage Park and at the entrances at Fitzhugh and LaVista. We really appreciate the tremendous job done by our neighbor Gary Ahr in managing the tree trimming on his own time. Jerry Baus has worked tirelessly with the Parks Department in getting them to focus their e orts on what is needed from them for our median and throughout the District.

Neighborhood safety continues to be a priority of the SAHDA as the Dallas Police has fewer officers to put on the street and our residents have expressed concerns about increases in crime. Our Alliance Against Crime committee, headed this year by Robin Marin, continues to manage our Extended Neighborhood Patrol (ENP) program with off-duty police officers providing extra patrols for the neighborhood. While additional funds were allocated last Fall to support this program, we continue to need the donations from our residents to maintain an adequate number of officers on patrol. It was a pleasure to work with Sgt. Steve Forman, our contact for the ENP program, who came to many of our meetings and reported on criminal activities of concern to the District and also Jose Ruiz, our Neighborhood

Code Representative, who has been very helpful with neighborhood issues and who also attended most of our meetings. In addition, we have also worked with City of Dallas representatives on matters involving tra c safety and parking issues in the District and finally did get the four way stop sign installed at Collett and Swiss.

Our Outreach Committee, headed by Robyn Schaub, did a great job in preparing new guidelines for the Committee and in administering the Outreach budget. In addition, the Outreach Committee sponsored rummage sale, headed up by Natalie Kinvig, resulted in additional funds for charitable donations by the Committee.

Thanks to the efforts of Kim McCrea and the Children’s Social Committee, the SAHDA had some great events this year for the kids in the District with special holiday parties. Likewise, the adults had some well attended social events during the year, including a Christmas Party at the home of Lee and Bryan Jones. Many thanks to Natalie Kinvig for heading up the social committee and, along with Cameron Kinvig, for having our food and beverages at all of our monthly meetings.

From the very start of our term, our Planning & Zoning Committee, headed by Jim Dunkerley, was faced with numerous zoning matters that could have impacted the SAHDA. We want to thank the committee for its vigilance in keeping the District aware of matters that require our involvement and to Nancy Phillips, who took over as chairman of the “P&Z” Committee this summer.

None of the above would be possible without funding. Our primary source of funds for the District is the annual Mother’s Day Home Tour. Our Home Tour chairman, Lee Jones, and her committee did a great job in putting on what many thought was one of our best tours. And I think that special recognition needs to go to Larry and Marilyn Waisanen, since it would be di cult to put on a home tour without the knowledge and expertise they have gained from their many years in working all facets of the tour. A special thanks to all of you in the District who again this year were house captains, docents, organized transportation or worked in the park and all the many tasks that allow us to have a memorable tour. 

Of course, the Home Tour could not be done without Bob Cox, who manages our website year round, and devotes a considerable amount of time and effort in supporting the Home Tour every year. In case you have not done so already, please log on to SAHD.org and sign up on the residents only section of the website.

This year, we alternated our monthly meetings between St. Matthew’s Cathedral and Munger Place Church and greatly appreciate their hospitality.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to our officers, directors, and committees that worked so hard to make this a better District. Good communication within the District is very important and Jean Dean, our Secretary for the District, has done a great job in keeping everyone informed. And, as I mentioned in my first article last Fall, we also have so many neighbors that do things for the District that we take for granted and often go unrecognized. I would like to again thank those individuals but will not attempt to list names for fear of leaving someone out, but know that what you do makes this such a great place to live. We would also encourage our new neighbors to get involved and join us at the monthly meetings, where you will have the opportunity to get to know many of your neighbors, and the issues that involve the District.

Finally, I look forward to working any way that I can with the new officers, directors and committees that will be serving the District for the upcoming year.

Bob Ruckman
President (2016-2017), SAHDA 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

To download the entire brochure, click on the link below the article.

Message From The President 

After what seemed to be one of our shortest and mildest winters, we are enjoying the neighborhood trees and plants blooming again and everything looking green. Thanks to our Beautification Committee, everything should look even better this Spring with their new plantings, along with our tree trimming and sidewalk replacement programs that are being administered by Marilyn Waisanen, chair of the Beautification Committee. We also very much appreciate the efforts of our neighbor Gary Ahr, who has volunteered his time to organize and supervise the tree trimming throughout the District. The Committee has also been coordinating with the City Park Staff to address mowing, weeding, fertilizing, sodding, irrigation, and other maintenance matters for the median.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, the Home Tour Committee, headed this year by Lee Jones, has been busy since last Fall organizing the 44th Annual Swiss Avenue Home Tour, which will take place May 13-14. We have 7 outstanding homes this year on the tour, 3 of which are celebrating their centennial. The Home Tour serves as the main fundraiser for our District, which allows us to improve our public spaces in the district with programs such as the those discussed above, hire extra police patrols to make our neighborhood safer, and to support neighborhood schools and other charitable organizations that make this a better place to live.

It also takes a lot of volunteers and support from the neighborhood to put on a successful home tour and volunteering is a great way to meet many of the neighbors that you may not have a chance to interact with otherwise. If you would be interested in volunteering, please contact Lee Jones at bhjones@sbcglobal.net or Larry Waisanen at ljwaisanen@sbcglobal.net. Even a 3 hour shift as a docent at one of the homes on tour would be very much appreciated.

Unfortunately, we have been seeing an increase in reports of criminal activity in the District recently. As we know, the Dallas Police has a manpower shortage and we may not be able to count on the number of patrols in the neighborhood as in the past. The SAHDA Alliance Against Crime Committee coordinates with off-duty City of Dallas police officers who are engaged through the Extended Neighborhood Patrol (ENP) program, whereby neighborhoods can pay for extra patrols. Last September, as part of the budget process, we allocated some of the funds raised through our home tour to pay for extended patrols in our neighborhood. However, those funds are not sufficient to provide the level of patrol activity that we would like to see in our District and need your support by way of donations to the help fund the program. Please consider a yearly donation of $600 or $50 a month to help fund the ENP. Letters are being sent out by the AAC committee with our AAC Committee chair Robin Marin at rrmarin@swbell.net.

Our SAHDA committees have all been busy. Our Planning and Zoning Committee, headed by Jim Dunkerley, has been addressing various possible code violations involving projects adjacent to the district and providing proposed courses of action for the Board’s consideration. We have also started an Ad Hoc Parking Committee to address the problem with the number of cars that are now being parked on both sides of our side streets, apparently from the nearby apartments. We have submitted petitions to the City to try to get no parking signs placed in such a manner as to keep the intersections clear at Glendale and Gaston and Glendale and Live Oak, and are working on additional signs for Collett. The Committee will also be looking into issues with non-resident parking, primarily on Swiss Avenue between Fitzhugh and Munger.

Our Outreach Committee chair Robyn Schaub advises that the Committee has been reviewing charitable donation requests and will be making their recommendations to the SAHDA Board. The Outreach Committee is also planning a neighborhood garage sale in order to raise additional funds to support their funding efforts.

Our Social Committee, headed by Natalie Kinvig has organized a happy hour at La Calle Doce on their patio for Friday, April 7 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Also, Kim McCrea reports that our Children’s Social Committee has arranged for SAHD Annual Easter Egg Hunt to be held on Sunday, April 9, from 1pm to 4pm, at the home of Elizabeth Odstrcil and Brian Shultz at 5007 Swiss Avenue.

Please visit our website at SAHD.org for information about the district and if you have not done so, please sign up for the residents only section of the website. Bob Cox continues to do an excellent job in maintaining the site for us.

Our monthly Board meetings are open to all residents and I would encourage you to attend in order to keep up with what is going on the District. Please note that the next Board meeting which is scheduled for April 18 will be held at Munger Place Church, and you will be receiving a meeting notice with the details.

As I mentioned in my message last Fall, we have so many neighbors that do so many things for the neighborhood that often goes unrecognized. Today, I noticed that a plea for assistance went out from one of our committee chairs and within 20 minutes someone stepped up to handle it. Again, thanks to all of you who are willing to step forward and volunteer your time and efforts to make this a better place for all of us.

Bob Ruckman President, SAHDA 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

To download the entire brochure, click on the link below the article.

Message From The President

Fall is a great time to be a resident of the District. As we get past the summer heat, more neighbors are out enjoying our beautiful neighborhood. I am one of those early morning dog walkers and it is amazing how many neighbors you get to know by walking our neighborhood.

The District’s annual meeting in September had a huge turnout and I think we have a great slate of officers and directors in place for this year. Many of our neighbors have stepped forward to head up our committees and anyone who would like to get involved should let me know. I am pleased to report that Lee Jones is our Home Tour Chair for the 2017 Mother’s Day Home Tour. This will be the Districts’ 44th home tour. Please consider including your home on the tour, even if you have done it before and if interested, contact Lee Jones. Revenues from our home tour go primarily toward funding our neighborhood improvements, additional police protection and our outreach program.

Our Beautification Committee, led by Marilyn Waisanen, has done a great job over the past years with improvements to Savage Park, our medians, and landscaping for the gates at Fitzhugh and La Vista. In addition to continuing with plantings, fertilization, irrigation repairs, and replacing the donor signs that were removed from the Fitzhugh Gates, we are also instigating a program this year by which the SAHDA will provide parkway tree trimming that will be organized by resident Gary Ahr. Additionally, SAHDA will also provide funding whereby SAHDA will help subsidize sidewalk replacement costs in connection with the City’s 50/50 Cost Share program. Let Marilyn know if you are interested in any of these programs.

Our Board also voted to increase spending this year for our Alliance Against Crime

Committee, which will continue to be led by Robin Marin. With recent concerns about a shortage of officers for the Dallas Police Department and some increase in activity, particularly towards Fitzhugh, we want to do what we can to keep this a safe neighborhood. However, the AAC Committee cannot provide for sufficient patrols without our individual contributions and I would encourage you to continue to support the AAC.

Our Social Committee, headed by Natalie Kinvig, and our Children’s Committee, headed by Kim McCrea, continue to plan activities that provide us opportunities to get together with our neighbors. A Halloween Party for the children has been scheduled for October 30 (Contact Kim McCrea for details) and our SAHD Holiday Party has been tentatively scheduled for December 11.

Our Planning and Zoning Committee provides the important function of monitoring land use or zoning plans that could potentially have an impact on the District and it develops proposals or responses for the Board’s consideration that are in the best interest of the SAHD. Tom Bonifield has ably led this committee for several years but is not able to continue. Jim Dunkerley, who has considerable experience in such matters, has agreed to step in and lead this committee. 

Robyn Schaub will head up our Outreach Committee. This committee’s responsibility is to review and support projects to benefit the district and surrounding neighborhood.

Finally, I hope that everyone has had the opportunity to visit our website at SAHD.org, which has a wealth of information about the District and ongoing activities, and is a key resource in marketing and managing the Home Tour. If you have not done so, you should sign up on the residents only section of the website. We have been fortunate to have Bob Cox who has devoted a considerable amount of time and expertise in making this an excellent website.

Aside from our officers, directors, and committees, we have so many neighbors that do so many things for the neighborhood that we take for granted and often go unrecognized. I do not even want to attempt to list names at the risk of leaving someone out. However, know what you do makes this such a great place to live.

Bob Ruckman President, SAHDA