BCNA Coordinator Position

BCNA Coordinator Position
We are moving toward a formal contract in our Coordinator position, and are opening it up to an application process. Please review the job description and expectations listed below. The position pays 10/hr and generally requires about 30 hours a month. All are welcome to apply. Questions and resumes can be submitted to Rena Figures at thegreensoaper@yahoo.com. Submissions accepted until position filled, with a start date of Sept 1st.

BCNA COORDINATOR JOB DESCRIPTION
Summary: The Brook Creek Neighborhood Association (BCNA) Coordinator is responsible for completing, or coordinating the completion of, the following tasks, some of which may be completed by BCNA officers, directors, and other volunteers: coordinating and attending regular meetings, planning for yearly events, reviewing news and alerting organization, maintaining BCNA inbox and responding to emails, coordinating newsletter, and other various tasks delegated from board. Decisions about the Coordinator position are made by BCNA Board, and the President supervises the planning and completion of tasks. The coordinator is expected to work about 30 hours per month at a pay rate of $10 per hour. Coordinator position contracts are completed for no longer than 12 months, from September 1 to August 31. Annual evaluations will be conducted in June. If needed, the position will be advertised in July, with a coordinator to be selected to begin on Sept. 1.

Expectations: The Coordinator maintains professional demeanor and appearance while representing BCNA. The Coordinator has excellent organizational, writing, editing, verbal and interpersonal skills. The Coordinator has proficiency with, and access to, Word, Excel, and Publisher software. The Coordinator will take initiative, contribute ideas, and keep officers/board informed of Coordinator’s activities. The Coordinator will schedule time efficiently, and work through objectives to meet goals and deadlines on time.

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Special Meeting: Bylaws change discussion

A special meeting has been scheduled for December 3rd at 7pm at the East Lawrence Rec Center.

During this meeting there will be open discussion about several possible changes to the bylaws.  A copy of the current bylaws and a draft of the proposed changes is posted below. Please note that this draft is not complete. They’re only offered as a starting point for discussion at the meeting The purpose of the meeting will be to craft a version of the bylaws that allow for a Board, plus a few other tweaks. If we come up with something that looks like it will benefit BCNA, maybe people will vote to ratify the changes. If not, then we may keep the bylaws as they are– but there is interest in at least exploring the Board option.  There is further explanation of the thoughts behind the proposed changes in a memo at the start of the draft.

Current BCNA Bylaws

BCNA bylaws draft Nov 2014

Verizon Cell Tower

There is a petition available for neighbors to sign at Cottin’s Hardware (1832 Mass).  It will be there until December 1st 2014.

There is also an online petition:

https://www.change.org/p/lawrence-city-commission-lawrence-ks-please-oppose-putting-the-verizon-cell-tower-in-a-residential-neighborhood-in-east-lawrence?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_lonely

PDF of the letter from Brook Creek Neighborhood to the Planning Commission

BCNA to planning comm re cell tower Nov 2014

Hi everybody:
You may have heard that Verizon has proposal a microwave cell tower right next to the Burroughs Creek Trail in the Brook Creek Neighborhood. The tower would be at 1725 Bullene Ave. just south of the Tenants To Homeowners houses, at the west edge of our neighborhood. Our Neighborhood Association discussed it last Wednesday, and we unanimously voted to oppose them putting it in our neighborhood. We hope you will attend the Planning Commission at 6:30pm Monday at City Hall.

This proposal will be heard as a Special Use Permit (SUP) at the Planning Commission –http://www.lawrenceks.org/boards/planning-commission/agendas. The tower would be 120 feet tall, have an omni-directional transmitting antenna on top (with space for two more in the future), though no lights.

There are several reasons why we oppose the tower. Health effects from microwave radiofrequency radiation (RF) is the main one. Although we all like the convenience of cell phones, the radiation intensities are very high nearest to the transmitter, and health effects are most pronounced. There is little direct-cause evidence (though much correlation) of illness or organ damage attributable to RF. This is because there are so many variables, and impact is measured over decades.

But to quote Dr. Elizabeth Cullen in “Radiofrequency Radiation and Health”, “It is not disputed that physiological changes occur at currently accepted safe levels of exposure. Children are particularly vulnerable, as their skull is thinner, with the absorption of radiofrequency radiation twice as high as that of adults. People living closer to transmitters suffered significantly more frequently from symptoms such as tiredness, headache, sleep disturbance, depression, loss of memory, and dizziness.” The City Planning Staff Report doesn’t mention these important considerations of health effects, cancer, child development effects, etc.

Another reason we oppose this is that it is inconsistent with the 2006 Burroughs Creek Corridor Plan. The main purpose of that Plan is to transition the industrially zoned corridor into a neighborhood-unifying linear park. The Plan calls for down-zoning all industrially zoned properties to be consistent with their actual current uses (essentially commercial, warehouse, and/or retail).

1725 Bullene is one of those properties that’s supposed to be downzoned. But it is still industrially zoned IL. It should be zoned CN2 “Neighborhood Commercial Center District”. Instead they are proposing to make it even more heavily industrialized, counter to the intent and recommendations of the Burroughs Creek Corridor Plan. The City Planning Staff Report doesn’t mention downzoning, but recommends the more intensive use of the microwave tower.

Other concerns:

  • Detraction from the use of the trail, especially when trees are leafless.
  • Salvation Army transitional family housing that will be built at the corner 200 feet to the south (Lynne & Bullene).
  • Verizon’s stated plan to triple the transmission capacity in the future
  • Verizon’s option to build a larger tower in the future, once this precedent is granted.
  • Located in very low ground (creek bottom), whereas higher ground is more logical and more common.
  • They would do better to locate the tower on the existing tall structure of the Ottawa Co-op grain elevators.

Please attend the Planning Commission at 6:30pm Monday at City Hall. It’s the second agenda item (the first is another Verizon tower elsewhere).

thank you,
Michael Almon
Brook Creek Neighborhood Association

Invasive Amur Honeysuckle: Not a Good Neighbor

It’s sneaky, it’s pretty, it has berries the birds love, and it’s the invasive plant problem you never heard of. Amur Honeysuckle (botanical name Lonicera maackii), a non-native bush from eastern Asia, is a very aggressive plant that sprouts abundantly, out-competes many plants, and tends to take over if not controlled. In March, it leafs out earlier and grows rap-idly to get a head start on other bushes. It has a white bloom by early May, and by August is setting berries. The berries are red, stay on the bush all winter, and birds spread the seeds.

Eight states have outlawed it. The Kansas Department of Health & Environment recommends that cities erad-icate it, but Lawrence Parks & Recreation doesn’t have the budget to control it. Amur Honeysuckle is taking over Brook Creek Neighborhood and many areas of Lawrence. It’s all over the Brook Creek Woods, all along the Burroughs Creek Trail, along the Kansas River, in many City drainageways, and is even a major problem at the Prairie Park Nature Center. You very likely have it in your fence line.

The Brook Creek Neighborhood Association is launch-ing an effort to eradicate Amur Honeysuckle in our neighborhood. Any occurrence of it poses a problem for your neighbors, so please identify it and remove it if you have it.

To learn more about it visit http://www.invasive.org/browse/subinfo.cfm?sub=3040, & http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/loma.htm

Red berries in the Fall

0016073_Amur_honeysuckle_berries_large.gif

BCNA Welcomes Struct/Restruct to the Neighborhood

Eric Jay of Struct/Restruct provided the following information about the business and their new location at 1146 Haskell Avenue.

“Struct/Restruct (SRS) is a full-service design-build studio rooted in the heart of East Lawrence. Lifelong friends, Matt Jones and Eric Jay own and operate the busi-ness at 1146 Haskell, the previous location of the Recycling Center. They currently have 9 full-time employees and one resident watchdog. Over the past 6 years they have been designing and building throughout Lawrence, with their main focus in East Lawrence. Each project implements in-novative design, custom woodworking and reclaimed ma-terials. Their previous shop was located at 920 & 924 Dela-ware, current home of Decade Coffee and The Lawrence Re-Cyclery. SRS spent four years at that location and was quickly outgrowing the facility. When 1146 became availa-ble last spring, SRS met with the previous owner and im-mediately saw its potential.

Currently, SRS has office, storage and woodworking space set up in the building with high hopes for it all. We’re in the process of updating the building with a fresh coat of paint, an accessible bathroom, and fire rating portions of the space. With an approved site plan in place we can also begin working on site improvements like removing the green fence, sidewalk, curb & gutter and doing landscap-ing improvements. The first course of action is to remove the green fence along 12th St. Portions of the fence will be re-purposed for the buffer yard fence between our indus-trial space and the residential lots to the east. As part of the redevelopment of the property, nine residential lots were created along 12th Street. Once the infrastructure is de-signed and installed, we can start selling the lots for resi-dential development. It took a year to get where we’re at now, and the process from here on out will be lengthy as well. When it’s all finished, we feel it will be a great asset to the neighborhood.

Other major things that will happen as part of the site plan are demolishing the two small out-buildings to the north of the shop and the addition of a sawmill in the shop yard. SRS has a stockpile of harvested logs from around town which will be milled into boards and used in its projects. We also hope to make local hardwoods more accessible to people in town by having milled and surfaced lumber available for sale on site.

When the crew isn’t around the shop, you can find them at their many current projects going on in the Eastside. If you really want to see what we’re up to, you should stop by the shop and get a first hand glimpse.”

City Offers Free Repairs to Help Manage Stormwater

The Lawrence Waste Water Treatment Plant on the Kan-sas River has an average daily capacity of 12.5 million gal-lons. But when there’s a heavy rainfall, water enters the sanitary sewers in many places, increasing the flow into the treatment plant to a point of overload. This causes problems of extra pumping energy and extra chemicals that cost taxpayers more, and also possible overflow of untreated sewage into the Kansas River. The City has two options – either build a very expensive larger treatment plant and larger sewers or reduce the rainwater infiltration into the pipes. They have chosen to reduce the infiltration.

Lawrence has already sealed the inside of many sewer pipes, which did help the problem. The next phase is the eight year “Eco-flow Rapid Rainwater Reduction Pro-gram.” The City wants to locate where rainwater from downspouts, sump pumps, floor drains, exterior drains, damaged sewer cleanouts, and other similar places may be infiltrating the sanitary sewers. They are starting with an area which includes the Brook Creek Neighborhood. They will be evaluating many properties, both residential and commercial. It’s a voluntary program, and they hope folks will be willing to participate.

A hired contractor, Trekk Design Group, will be contacting selected properties to set up an appointment for an evalua-tion. If any incorrect discharges are found, the City will pay for any repairs, including both materials and labor. Landlords must give tenants a three-day notice of an in-side evaluation, and tenants may make the appointment themselves. Property owners have the option to select a plumber to do the repairs from a list provided by the City. For more information, call the City at 832-7800 or visit – http://www.lawrenceks.org/utilities/ecoflow

12th & Haskell to Become Homes and Business

Over the years, the Brook Creek Neighborhood has successfully preserved the character of our neighborhood. We stopped a strip mall proposal on 15th St. between Haskell and the old tracks. We eliminated five square blocks of high density apartment zoning. We blocked the County Jail from building in Brook Creek Park. We expect the Salvation Army to develop family housing instead of a drop‐in center.

What may be our most important victory yet is the closing of the illegal, polluting junkyard at 12th & Haskell. They green washed themselves with a “recycling” name, but they were an industrial salvage yard next to single‐family homes, with disturbing noise on each day of operation. Spilled auto fluids polluted the groundwater in the flood plain of Burroughs Creek and Brook Creek. Machinery exhaust from the center polluted the air. Six auto fires put the neighbors’ properties at risk. Due to soil tests, Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment had the junkyard owner remove loads of contaminated soil from the site.

Even though the City eventually cited the junkyard with various code violations, the illegal activity continued for 6 years until neighbors got the City Commission to send the case to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Neighborhood representatives effectively presented the facts of the case and the impacts to the neighborhood to the City by neighborhood representatives, and the junkyard owner decided to move to a more suitable location.

The Brook Creek neighbors who fought this battle kept pressure on the City to make sure heavy industrial use never happens on that site again. After reviewing plans with the innovative local construction company, Struct/Restruct, we approved their plans to plot nine homes along 12th Street, and to locate their business in the corner building and yard. The development plan includes perimeter trees, removing truck traffic from 12th St., protection of a remarkable bur oak tree, and a sidewalk. Land along the creek will become City park land, on which we expect an extension of the Burroughs Creek Trail.