Monday, June 9, 2014

283rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

If You Like On Demand Movies,
You Are Going To Love
On Demand Neighborhood Participation.

Shortly after I joined the Miles Neighborhood Association I began thinking about ways to increase participation in the monthly meetings. When the BMX Park was on the agenda, there were lots of folks interested in the outcome and attendance was high. Before and after … not so much. Also older neighbors where having a difficult time negotiating steps and curbs when they came to the meetings. Soon they stopped coming, too.

The Mile Neighborhood has its own official, secure website.
Names, addresses and emails of neighbors are verified online
and via postcards. Strong net security.
At least five years have gone by and I still have no idea how to help get neighbors involved in the neighborhood. Then in Wednesday’s mail I received a postcard from Danielle Schoon, a neighbor on E. 12th Street. She asked me to join a website called Generally I pitch postcards but since it had Danielle’s name and address on it, I forced myself to take a closer look. As I typed in the special code, I was thinking, “Oh, boy, I hope this is not a trap.”  I’m not paranoid but I do have tendencies. Anyway, everything looked terribly simple and terribly direct. I could see what I was getting into and a smile crept across my face. “This is incredible. It’s Facebook tailored for my Miles Neighborhood,” I thought.

Next I read their whole About page … a first for me … and discovered they were a serious social network organization funded by some very serious Silicon Valley investment groups. In fact, the founder is Nirav Tolia who was involved with Epinions and

A fun feature is the map of the Miles Neighborhood and the

satellite photo. Both are very accurate and easy to use. Each neighbor is located on the street map.

Further research turned up their 2010 founding date and their October 26, 2011 website launch. When I returned to the Miles/Next website I gladly filled out all of the requested info—without the bio— and clicked send. A few minutes later I was in. My first click was to send an invitation to Robert Hadel, a friend and the neighborhood association’s Co-chair. Then I invited Greg Clark another friend who currently is deeply involved in the Broadway Widening Project.  

Within hours they both got back to me and told me they joined. They saw the neighborhood and community building opportunities immediately. All kinds of neighborhood situations could be discussed online such as pot holes and placement of those free Roll-off bins without scheduling meetings and interfering with peoples’ busy lives. Neighbors, too, can quickly voice there concerns or issues and probably receive helpful responses in minutes. And they never have to schedule or attend another neighborhood meeting. This is how life is supposed to be in the tech lane.

Even older neighbors can engage. Their kids just sign them up and on every visit check out their NextDoor invites or comments. How hard is that?

Please go to and sign up or wait for me to send you an invitation during the week.

If you do not live in the Miles Neighborhood that does not matter. You can sign up in your neighborhood and ask you neighbors to join you.

I’m not crazy about Facebook because I don’t much care to hear about what someone ate for lunch. But  That’s different. I do care about everything involving my neighbors.

Sprouts Farmers Market Update
On July 29, the Sprouts One Can A Week program will celebrate its First Anniversary. To date the Sprouts customers have donated over 6.3 tons of food. When two more volunteers help bring all five Tucson supermarkets on line, the annual tonnage will be remarkable.

616 lbs. of the 1,058 lbs. Donated to the
Community Food Bank This Week
were Potatoes.


20th Truck Load – 2014
Since there are 140 local kitchens served by The Agency Market at the Community Food Bank each could have received just under one full bag of potatoes or 4.4 lbs. Of course that is nowhere near enough potatoes for the demand each kitchen is experiencing. 

My next goal is go from 120 5-pound bags (most weigh slightly more than 5 lbs.) to 140 bags which will cost approximately $210. (As an aside, this week Sprouts offered their quality potatoes at 2 5-pound bags for $3.00. That’s an amazing 30 cents per pound.)

A few more conversations with Sprouts customers about the shortage of potatoes at Tucson’s charity kitchens and my drive to feed as many older woman and kids as possible should provide the impetus to collect a couple more $20 bills each week.

This week’s donations amounted to 1,058  lbs. and included Ward 6, 106 lbs.; Sprouts (Speedway), 268 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 370 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 122 lbs; Shiva Vista, 52 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 140 lbs. is already working – About 6 pm tonight I got a surprise call from Lorraine Aguilar, the matriarch of our Miles Neighborhood. She had just received a postcard from Danielle Schoon on 12th Street about and wanted to know what it was all about. Lorraine laughed and said they don’t have a computer in the house. “In fact, we’re lucky to have a phone and a TV.”

Lorraine really liked the idea especially when I told her that her daughter Candy could handle all of the technical stuff and help bring her voice back into the conversation about her neighborhood without having to leave her home. She still is a bit afraid of the computer but now that she has a new way to speak to her neighbors, things don’t look so scary.

We collected a total of 140 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $65.00, a $25.00 check and $40.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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