Friday, August 29, 2008

Green Acres One of the Most Walkable Neighborhoods in the U.S.A.

It's true! According to independent rating service, our neighborhood ranks as "very walkable", placing it in the company of the trendiest neighborhoods in Chicago, Boston and New York City.

When long-time Green Acres resident Georgia Schaich read about WalkScore in a recent Bloomingfoods newsletter, she found the site and entered her address. WalkScore instantly used Google Maps technology to compute a score based on her distance from schools, churches, restaurants, stores, parks and other amenities. On a 100-point scale, scores below 50 mean that most destinations are too far to walk. But scores above 70 suggest that you most likely could get by without a car.

WalkScore does not pretend to be a perfect measure: scores don't take into account actual road design (such as the lack of crosswalks on 3rd and the Bypass), and they vary somewhat by address within a neighborhood.

Nevertheless, Georgia was elated with her score: 80 points. By comparison, Lincoln Park in Chicago was only 76, and even trendy New York City neighborhoods scored only 83. "We're sitting pretty in Green Acres!" said Georgia. "I think we should boast about it more."

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

French & Spanish Classes

French & Spanish Classes IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
for children and adults, ages 4+

Instructor: Katie Zukof
Katie Zukof is a former high-school teacher and a creative & dynamic instructor who incorporates songs, games and stories into every lesson.
Children's French: September 1 - December 17; meets 2x week for 45 min.
Mondays 5:15 - 6 pm & Wednesdays 4 - 4:45 pm.
Children's Spanish: September 2 - December 18; meets 2x week for 45 min.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4 - 4:45 pm.
I am asking for a 6-week commitment from parents for the children's classes; at that time parents can decide whether or not to continue through December.
Adult French: September 1 - October 27; meets 1x week for 1 hour.
Mondays 6:05 pm - 7:05 pm.
Adult Spanish: September 1 - October 27; meets 1x week for 1 hour.
Mondays 7:10 - 8:10 pm.

Location: My home; 2615 Dekist St.
Cost: Children's Classes: $6/lesson. $72 (cost for the first 6 weeks) due on or before the first lesson.
Adult Classes: $8/lesson. $72 due on or before first lesson.

Private lessons & tutoring also available.
For more information or to register, call 812-339-8198 or e-mail

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ice Cream Social on gorgeous afternoon

Twenty-five GANA neighbors gathered on Sunday, August 10 for our annual ice cream slurping party.This year we met in the shade at Ann's house on Overhill. The afternoon was gorgeous, not too hot or humid, and we circled our chairs near the ice cream which, of course, got pretty soupy after two hours. We were old, college-age, and middle-age, plus three dogs who got along pretty well, considering that one was a lot smaller than the others. Rather than grabbing ice cream and wandering off, most people stayed to talk and laugh and breathe in the sweet summer air. No children this time, unfortunately, but we heard there was some special event for kids on this day that probably took them away. Our event was supposed to end at 4 p.m., and didn't. We finally pulled out the chairs from a few, Kevin loaded up his big ice cream table on his workhorse of a bike, Georgia loaded the chairs into her tiny car, Ann's puppy Emma finally got exhausted from all her running around, and it was with real regret that we finally went our separate ways.

Edwards Row residents meet new 4th Street residents

Jessica and John Gaus

GANA sign with Ann K.'s street bench

Gilbert and Shirley Bushey

Bill Schaich and Ignacio Lledo

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Where are all the "For Rent" Signs in Green Acres?

My little white puppy Emma and I walk to and from campus regularly in the early mornings. A couple of months ago, while walking I noticed that unlike other years since my 2003 arrival in our wonderful town and neighborhood, there are hardly any "For Rent" signs displayed. This surprises and puzzles me. Why? Usually these signs are up most of the year, scattered throughout the neighborhood, as many as four or five on each side of most blocks, creating a decided "temporary" feel to the place. Many of us have disliked the signs for that reason, and especially dislike it when landlords leave them up for all or most of the year.

So, it was with great surprise and astonishment that this year I see hardly any "For Rent" signs up in the entire neighborhood. You'd think that especially in spring and summer they would appear, in time to attract new renters for the usual August IU arrival.

I brought this subject up at our potluck meeting at my house in early July, and asked for opinions as to why this is the case. One neighbor said she thought that maybe the economy is so sluggish that people aren't getting out-of-town job offers when they graduate, and so elect to stay on.

I'd like to think it's because renters like where they live and for that reason elect to stay on for more than one year. Or even better, that some houses that were formerly for rent are now occupied by their owners, or by new owners, the houses having been sold. I know that's true in a couple of cases, and would love to extrapolate but know that's foolish.

Any other theories on this subject? I'm going to contact the city's HAND department (Housing and Neighborhood Development) to see if they have any clues. It may be a city-wide development and not just Green Acres.

Ann Kreilkamp

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