Board Meeting, 14 March

This meeting was informative on a number of subjects. The kickoff was a presentation on historic landscape of the Armory Park (the park, not the neighborhood) and children’s museum (former Carnegie library). This is a research project leading to a preservation plan. The researchers are seeking community input on improvements and restoration of both spaces. Board discussion centered on keeping open space, preventing changes detracting from AP’s historic character, documenting the history of both spaces and addressing parking issues related to events in the park. Armory Park is the city’s signature park; there are many well attended events staged there so parking is often a problem. More parking lots are not the best solution. Encouraging event sponsors to publish available parking options and connecting public transit could make life easier for event attendees and nearby residents. John Burr, Mark Crum and Martha McClements agreed to accept neighborhood input. Please contact any of them with your thoughts. The presenters will return for the April board meeting. Continue reading “Board Meeting, 14 March”

Politics in this Blog?

Donna and I are news junkies as well as concerned citizens. As I reflect on the recent months, I wonder if our neighbors are similarly concerned. If so, would they (you) want to have a local place to discuss politics and advocate for a certain point of view.

Disclosure: I am a pragmatic moderate but liberal on social issues. I am not registered with a political party. The blog is likely to reflect my views though I want to include other points of view that are not repugnant.

If you want to express your position, please complete the following survey.

Mistakes Can Be Expensive

At the December meeting, the historic board considered a case where the contractor mistakenly built a structure three feet taller than approved. The property under discussion over-height-garage-1is the large guesthouse still under construction behind 741 S 4th Avenue. Because the structure was built so tall, it loomed over Railroad Avenue and appeared much taller than any building nearby. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture before the garage roof was lowered but you can see what it looks like today. The three feet it was lowered gives a normal appearance to the garage and makes it similar in height to other structures nearby. Continue reading “Mistakes Can Be Expensive”

Steve’s Dining List

It’s always helpful to have a little inspiration when looking for a dining spot but when you don’t have a definite plan. Steve Dibble queried our listserv about favorite eating spots and here are his results. You’ve probably seen this already but filed here under the reviews category, it may be easier to find next time you’re hungry for something new. I’ll do reviews of some, also. Thanks, Steve, for collecting these good leads. Continue reading “Steve’s Dining List”

APHZAB Reviews Three Projects

Once again your neighbor representatives worked hard to accommodate their historic preservation mission and the needs of property owners.

509 S 6th 3.jpgThe first project under formal review was the large historic home at 509 S 6th Avenue. The owner described in some detail the deterioration which has afflicted the property and the steps being taken to restore it to its former glory. As is often the case, major plumbing, electrical and structural updating were needed. The brick exterior was repaired with bricks closely matching the existing and on the house next door. The owner proposes to paint509 S 6th 1.jpg the brickwork. Board members advised against it but paint is not within the purview of the APHZAB. Upon being asked, the owner said that he was never informed by the real estate professionals of historic zone requirements. Long Realty was the brokerage. The board approved the project. The owners, Sheldon
Goldstein and Michelle Scopellite, deserve the community’s thanks for bringing this important historic property back to life. Continue reading “APHZAB Reviews Three Projects”

More Acts of Kindness

Among my first positive impressions of Armory Park was the strong sense of community. What makes a neighborhood a community? It is the sense of connection of its residents to each other. That connection is best illustrated when a neighbor has a need and others step in to help. The following two examples gleaned from emails on our listserv illustrate what I am talking about.

The first is an example of a neighbor stepping in to gather support for another experiencing hard times. In addition to the money and food gathered for our struggling neighbor, there is the sense that others care and that you do not have to suffer alone. This last part may be as important as the more material aid. Continue reading “More Acts of Kindness”

Solid Tips for the Life Planning Novice

Recently I received an email offering an article that might be helpful to our residents, especially the younger ones. Jackie is a blogger who does not live in Arizona but her ideas could be useful in your financial planning. Here is her email:


Recently, my husband’s mom passed away, and as we went through the probate process, I began to feel like my husband and I hadn’t done enough to plan for the future.

Sure, we have a retirement plan and a will. But I worried that we hadn’t done enough to ensure our child on the autism spectrum would have a caregiver into adulthood. I realized I wasn’t clear on whether our home could be passed on to our children if something were to happen to us. And these concerns spun into others. Continue reading “Solid Tips for the Life Planning Novice”

Lots of Action at Board Meeting

The 14 February APNA board meeting was well attended and the agenda was a full one. You can see the agenda, financial report and minutes on the board website at

Since I am now managing the APNA website, the board’s adoption of my proposals was most interesting to me. It’s now clear that the site is the voice of the board and those it chooses to allow. It is targeted at Armory Park residents and stakeholders; others who may access it are incidental. In the interest of simplicity and easier management, rehosting the site was approved. The board and its designees will provide content. For those few who want to see the details of the email I sent board members, click here: meeting-20170214 Continue reading “Lots of Action at Board Meeting”

Kindness in the ‘Hood

Note: One of the special qualities of our neighborhood is the kindness and generosity often displayed by our residents. Concern for the well-being of less fortunate individuals is a frequent theme on our listserv as shown in the following post. I have created a new category for posts on this blog so you can quickly find what people are doing to help others. You may want to join the effort.   -Ken
Hi Neighbors
I work in property management, and a few of our properties are owned by a local non-profit that helps to provide housing for low income, homeless, veteran or mentally ill folks. I am looking for a few items for a few special individuals who literally have nothing except 4 walls, but are in need of a few decent donated furniture items. Finding furnishings isn’t something I typically do for our tenants but I hate to see people sleeping on the floor. I figure I would put the word out and see if any one in our neighborhood is replacing these items and would like to donate.

Continue reading “Kindness in the ‘Hood”

Falling Off the Turnip Truck

I fell off the proverbial turnip truck shortly after I purchased property in Armory Park almost ten years ago.

I arrived in the neighborhood full of hope and vision. I was thrilled to have found such a lovely neighborhood in which I could establish my business. As I looked at the property that used to house Central Alarm, I began to see ways to make it more homey and welcoming–especially with natural light through windows.

Living on 4 acres in west Tucson at the time, I was used to doing whatever I wanted and when I wanted on my property…without having to consult anybody. My independent streak was also rooted in the soil of my home state, Wyoming–true cowboy country with lots of open prairie and very few people. Its history includes being the first state to give women the vote. Continue reading “Falling Off the Turnip Truck”