Apr. 16th, 2016

mellowtigger: (flameproof)
Three young guys were pounding on the front door of the house south of mine tonight, demanding that someone come out.  I called 911, and dispatch said that other calls were coming in for the same incident.  Several neighbors here are well involved in watching the street, and they also report problems to police.  I didn't want to stand around my porch as a big target during the incident.  I wish I had an outdoor camera to record details... a camera with high enough resolution to capture license plate numbers on vehicles passing my house.

This excitement comes after I slept through a drunk driver hitting the same neighbor's car at Friday 3:30am.  Police took the driver away for being drunk (I was told she opened the car door and beer cans fell out) and not having proof of insurance.  The neighbor's car is being totalled, but when her car jumped forward and hit mine, I only got a bumper scratch that I don't care about.  Police left a case number on my car anyway.  Again, an outdoor camera with good resolution would be nice.

I think maybe this morning I've managed to convince the alley neighbors not to use my yard as a parking lot.  I asked someone to leave my lawn the previous day.  Today I was out digging along the alley as one of them pulled into their own property.  He asked, "Are you building a gate?"  I told him that I was planting a garden.  I was planting seeds for giant sunflowers, which should make a nice 7-foot-tall barrier to help discourage future parking.  I'll add some corn behind it soon.  I'd still like a camera for the backyard too, so I can record the busy activity along the alley and keep track of license plates if they become necessary later.

It's really quite peculiar.  This area has its charms, and a recent poll of residents found that they were unusually committed to staying here.  They want it to be a safe place to live, in addition to its many great features.  At the neighborhood safety council meetings, the police representative tries hard never to say (even when asked directly) that we're the worst crime neighborhood in all of Minneapolis.  He's good at dodging a direct answer, but I think we have figured it out on our own.

I don't know that I've ever called 911 before, but tonight was my 3rd call in the 3 months that I've been here.  I've heard plenty of gunshots that I didn't call about, because they weren't close enough for me to figure out their direction.  They keep saying that we should call in every time we hear gunshots, but I'm not sure why.  They already know (thanks to technology) when and where the gunshots are.  Minneapolis just doesn't have enough police in this area to show up for every threatening sound.  According to a thread on a community forum, many neighbors were speaking up about a gunshot incident 2 weeks ago (about 4 blocks from my place) where they never saw a police car show up.  Someone finally said they saw a police car arrive, shine a light at the problem house, then drive away without getting out of the car.  Not very helpful.

In other news, I'm sunburned from beginning my garden.  I'm looking forward to getting more done.  As I said, this neighborhood does have its charms, and this lot in particular has some good gardening space on it.  Solve the crime issue, and this place is golden.  :)


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