The lost art of the Block Party returns Friday in The Heights. Citizens and business owners in the Heights commercial core and surrounding residential areas will hold a gathering on Pine Street, as the kickoff for a Neighborhood Watch program. (Please see story in the Community section).
Organizers expect the event to draw a large crowd. The gathering is primarily planned for people in Hood River’s new “Zone 9” but other city residents are also welcome.
The police department deserves a pat on the badge for initiating the Block Party, but it could not have happened without citizens getting directly involved. That kind of civic cooperation is what it will take, over the long run, to reduce crime.
The Block Party, along with other activities in the fledgling Neighborhood Watch program, is intended to get people together, to foster familiarity as a way of deterring crime in the Zone 9 neighborhood and throughout the city. (As RaeLynn Gill reports on page A1, in Hood River, Zone 9 and Zone 2, encompassing the downtown area, currently rank first in overall crime at 16 percent respectively. For Zone 9, Jubitz listed 265 crime reports for the last two years, with theft and criminal mischief the two most common problems.)
People talking to each other is far and away the best way to stop car prowls and the other property and nuisance crimes that continue to plague city and county neighborhoods.
So come out and join the party; bring a potluck dish and a couple of lawn chairs. Get ready to play some softball or toss a frisbee with a newly-met neighbor.
It will also be a time to talk, and to trade notes with neighbors, as well as with police, about our goals for the places where we live.