LA VIDA LOCAL – IRREGULAR NOTES ON WEST END LIFE
Looking Ahead & Going Local
by Rosanne Graef
Hard to believe it’s the middle of fall and there’s not even been a frost on the pumpkins of Portland yet!
After a scare that the West End’s Halloween parade would be shortened due to a lack of volunteers to supervise the route, Wynne Wirth’s appeal on the Next Door social app and at the October West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) meeting successfully rustled up a sufficient number of neighbors. Thankfully, both the north and south sides of the West End were visited by witches, goblins and other scary and not-so-scary creatures that night!
Residents also stepped forward to ensure that WENA and the Portland Climate Action Team completed their goal of building 500 window inserts to help make homes and halls (such as Maine Irish Heritage Center, Amistad, St. Luke’s Parish Hall) more comfortable and energy efficient.
WENA ELECTION FORUM
Over 90 folks turned out on October 25th at the Reiche Community Room to hear from referenda proponents and opponents. Also, the At-Large City Council candidates discussed their views and answered questions.
To me, this is what neighborhood activism really looks like: showing up, face-to-face, and doing something together.
Activism is something that this neighborhood is good at, but it’s also something that needs to be nurtured and recognized. All too often, we assume that someone else will do it. Or worse, we think that our little contribution is negligible or even meaningless. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.
So here are some current projects underway that could use your help!
First is the Traffic Signal Box project sponsored by WENA and Portland Trails. Still in the hatching stage, this effort will decorate five boxes on High and State Streets. The goal is to make them both attractive and informative. Also, it will discourage graffiti.
What’s a noteworthy feature that defines the West End and shouldn’t be missed on these box designs? Let us know! We’ll be working on the project throughout the winter, so check the calendar at http://wenamaine.org and join in at any meeting.
Caroling on Sunday, December 24th, at 5 p.m! Join the band of neighborhood troubadours who have been singing for figgy pudding the past two years. After roaming the neighborhood for about an hour, we finish up with a stop for hot chocolate at the end of the tour. Once again, the WENA web site will have details.
DANCE PARTY FOR EVERYONE
At the next Dance Party for Everyone: Be Our Valentine, Ed King and I will bring our dance party of Congress Square Park fame to the Reiche Community Room. The party will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on February 12th, 2018. This event will be the West End Aging in Place Second Monday program for February. Come shake a leg to those hits, misses and dance crazes from 1940 to 2000.
We’re going to make this into a “senior” prom with decorations, prizes and souvenirs. We welcome your assistance in preparing for this event. We’ll start making party decorations on Friday, November 17th, from 8 to10 a.m. at the Reiche Community Room. So come have some crafty fun and give cupid a hand!
To some of you these may seem like silly things, but you never know what kind of a contribution your presence, involvement and kindness will make in someone else’s life or even your own. I hope you’ll join us.
Rosanne Graef is a West End resident.