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    Better Balance For LB Brings Xmas To 14th St. Park

    (December 25, 2005) -- Better Balance for LB (BBLB), the activist group that pressed City Hall to curtail nuisance and law-flouting activities in the 14th St. Park/Washington Middle School area, brought Christmas to the neighborhood early on December 17...including Santa Claus.
    Photo credit: Annie Greenfeld-Wisner

    Photo credit: Annie Greenfeld-Wisner

    BBLB says 400+ residents (including parents and children) turned out. Late last year, BBLB began holding high-visibility neighborhood picnics to call attention to conditions in the area...and city officials responded by launching a coordinated, multi-Departmental approach to address persistent problems.

    Since then, even BBLB's hard boiled activists say there's been visible improvement.

    Among other things, LB's Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Marine made significant improvements to 14th St. Park, including adding lighting, enlarged safety fencing and multiple amenities (including a piñata pole) to what was once a street median.

    1st district Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal has noted that these improvements are part of a larger long-term city plan to create new parkland stretching from Drake Park to the north to 14th St. Park and expanding westward.

    Photo credit: Annie Greenfeld-Wisner

    The combined support of grassroots activists and City Hall has helped inspire residents to take back their neighborhood and the park.

    "We served over 230 hotdogs until we ran out of all the hotdog buns, drinks and snacks," BBLB co-organizer Annie Greenfeld-Wisner said. She emailed:

    Santa gave out over 290 Christmas gifts to the children of this fragile neighborhood and 150 bag prizes with the traditional fruits and nuts - all of which were distributed by BBLB members.

    Thanks for the wonderful gifts received from Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal from the 1st District, Councilwoman Tonia Reyes-Uranga from the 7th District and BBLB members who supplied some gift bags and all the food.

    Community members citywide appeared to assist and we even surprised 9th District Councilperson, Val Lerch, and 7th District Councilperson, Tonia Reyes-Uranga by the number of children and volunteers we had at the picnic. A festive time was had by all.

    Thank you especially to Linda Palacios and the wonderful mothers of the Washington Neighborhood who took charge in setting up the park, giving out the food, running the games, and cleaning up the park after the picnic.

    Photo credit: Annie Greenfeld-Wisner
    BBLB is proud to have this neighborhood as members in this grassroots organization and is proud to see them as stakeholders in the events that take place in their neighborhood.

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