The 4th is fast approaching which means Julie Glowka and Cindy Thrasher are busily wrapping up all the preparations before the big day. That includes everything from lining up the parade participants to planning the park events to fundraising. It's a lot of work and requires a lot of volunteers to put it on, but it really is enormous fun and a highlight of our year. If you haven't donated yet, you can send a check to our PO box listed below or donate the "day of" at the table by the tennis courts.

This year's Spirit of the Park Award, given by the Foundation to a deserving person who has made a big impact on our community life, goes to Bruce Perrizo, a former Langford Park Rec Director who is responsible for initiating and supporting much of what we love about our park, rec center and rec programming. It will be a privilege to honor him for his meaningful contributions.

The Bugle has a number of great articles telling about the history of the 4th event, it also has an update on the accident on the Bistro patio which left two visitors injured. I contacted one of the women who has a shattered ankle and some bruises but is slowly recovering. She wanted everyone to know she and her friend really appreciated the concern shown by our community. Wouldn't it be nice to invite those two back when they are healed and give them a better memory of our neighborhood than their last?

D-12 - There was an informational meeting tonight hosted by the Council and BSNF railroad to explain the railroad's policy regarding the transport of sand used in "fracking" - a controversial process of gathering natural gas from under the earth. There has been concern shown by our neighborhood and others about the open cars and the chances of sand blowing out and causing harm. BSNF has tried to reassure those with questions that the uncovered sand is wet, unprocessed sand and therefor poses no threat to the area. The dry form used in fracking is transported in covered cars to protect the environment...there are some lovely new murals along University Avenue on the sides of buildings. Local graffiti artists were contracted by the city to brighten up the corridor. Check out that video and more on the CC website.

listserv - more controversy surrounded some mysterious posters around the community that seemed to contain inappropriate language about various types of people. It turned out to be an advertising campaign intended to draw attention to lung cancer and the stigma many attach to those who suffer from it. Most of the posters seem now to have disappeared. Interesting approach...a number of people are frustrated by the new traffic barrier that prevents a west turn from Pelham onto Franklin. As one person pointed out, there are other ways to get where you want to go, but this one seems to worsen the congestion on University with the prospects for even more problems when final construction returns. Not sure what the city traffic engineers were thinking, but they usually don't make arbitrary decisions. Questionable decisions, perhaps, but not without extensive consideration...

StAPnotes - the first of the summer Park B4 Dark events occurred on a lovely evening last week and the attendance was pretty good. It would always be nice to see a few more neighbors appreciating the good food, drinks, shopping, music and weather, but summer can be a busy time. The next one is July 19, so mark it on your calendars now and join your friends and neighbors for a very nice experience...rumblings about a brew pub in the Creative Enterprise Zone surfaced as that area continues to generate interest from businesses and developers...I had a tasty lunch with Amy Sparks last week at Foxy Falafel's food truck which was parked out in front of the old Cafe Caribe. Owner Erica Strait is planning to move her middle eastern food operations inside toward the end of the summer...Fundraising will soon be under way for a second performing space in the Park Square Theater in Lowertown. The additional theater will be named in honor of the Park's very own Andy Boss, who with wife Linda have been staunch supporters of the theater, and the arts in general around the twin cities. Congratulations, Andy!

That's all for now. Take care of yourself and be a good neighbor.