August 29, 2008

A new change to Indiana State Law could allow people in our neighborhood to send the children to Perry Township schools. Here we are in University Heights neighborhood which is in Perry Township, yet because of the way they did things in the past, students here go to IPS. What if this change in state law allowed students to be sent to Perry Township Schools? Would that allow more families to move into our neighborhood? More homeowners?

From the Indianapolis Star:


In the past, schools have charged parents as much as $5,000 a year to recoup the difference between what the state paid to teach their child and what local taxpayers contributed. But next year, the state will pick up schools' entire operating budgets as a way to reduce property taxes.

With the state paying all operating costs, tuition will largely be a thing of the past after this semester, though some districts can still charge small amounts.

The new rules should give parents more opportunity to choose their child's school. Unless the legislature steps in, though, school districts have discretion to decide whether to accept transfer students and, if they do, which ones they will accept.


May 16, 2008

Get your stuff out! Garage sale tomorrow!

Read this today regarding the value of trees:

Trees worth $5.7 million a year to Indy, study says

Study details the economic value of trees and the need to plant more

As a push to plant 1 million new trees across Indiana nears its halfway mark, a new study shows that trees provide an annual $5.7 million benefit in Indianapolis alone.

» Intercept 318.9 million gallons of rainfall a year at an estimated savings of nearly $2 million, or about $17 per tree, in storm-water handling costs.

» Cut electricity use by more than 6,447 megawatt hours, worth $432,000, by the shading effect of trees in the summer, which helps keep homes cool.

» Remove 1.5 pounds of air pollutants per tree, valued at $212,000.

» Increase property values and provide other benefits worth $2.9 million or, on average, $24 per tree.

Read More at the Indy Star:

Not mentioned in the article is that neighborhoods with more trees have less vandalism. Trees slow the cold winter winds. And best of all trees have a positive effect on people - they make us feel happy and connected with nature, they reduce stress, they help us recover from illness faster, and they restore our spirits.

Plant a tree this weekend!


May 13, 2008

This Saturday, May 17th, is the neighborhood yard / garage sale. Ads in the Indianapolis Star start tomorrow, May 14th, and run also on Thursday, May 15th in the print addition.

The online addition will carry info about the garage sale through the weekend.
Remember, while this is a neighborhood wide garage sale, you will host your items in your garage, front porch or in your yard.

Try and be outside by 7:30AM. Big buyers are early birders.

  • Have calculators, pens, newspaper to wrap breakables, boxes, and bags handy.
  • Have plenty of change and one dollar bills on hand.
  • Set up a secure area for your sales transactions to enable you to keep a close eye on your money box.
  • Inform your direct neighbors that you are having a garage sale. Offer to rope their yard so people don't park on their grass.
  • Have extension cords plugged into outlets so that electrical items can be tested.
  • Plan to set an inviting mood by playing soft, easy-listening music.
  • If you are short on help, consider wearing a 3-pocket apron or a fanny-wrapper purse, so that you can keep your money near you while you mingle with your shoppers.
Below are some tips and a couple of hyperlinks you should in preparation for Saturday!

From the Fun Times Guide to Yard Sales:

If You've Had A Yard Sale Before...

tennessee-yard-sale-in-2002.jpg Think back to what went wrong and what went right at your previous yard sales. Make mental notes of things you want to do at this year's yard sale, based on what you've learned from previous ones.

And if you want to do it even better the next time, then take the time to jot down some notes, and make a point to save any items that you can reuse at future yard sales.

For example, I've probably hosted a dozen or so yard sales in my lifetime, and I have one large Rubbermaid container that contains all my "necessities". So, whenever it's time to have another yard sale, I just drag out that one bin and everything I need is right there.

What's inside:

black sharpie markers flags, pennants, balloons
blue painter's tape staple gun
coin box waist aprons with pockets
leftover posterboard any old, leftover signs
clear see-thru page protectors notepad of all my notes & a pen
mr. clean magic erasers

Prepare Your Individual Items For Sale

mr-clean-erasers.jpgThis year, I found a lifesaver... it's called the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!

Those little white cubes worked "magic" for cleaning things up a bit. For the yardsale, they worked best on hardbound books, removing soot from candle jars & candle holders, and cleaning out all the tiny nooks & crannies on plastic things like coolers, chairs, handles, lids, etc.

Also helpful were Lysol Cleaning Wipes. I used those to wipe-down practically everything I was selling.

As a result, many of the items I was selling looked much newer than they actually were!

Decide What You're Going To Do With The Dog

The the dog lover in me agrees with The Queen of Yard Sales:
Although you may have the friendliest dog in the world, it's best to keep them away from your yard sale. Some people are afraid of dogs or are allergic. The day of your yard sale may be the day that your friendly dog, unaccustomed to the excitement of all the people, may decide to take a chunk out of the toddler that pulls on his tail. (Or jump up on customer and get mud on a customer's pants - but hey, I swear it wasn't my fault - that customer shouldn't have come to my yardsale until I was officially opened!) It's also for the dog's safety as well, since cars will be coming and going from your driveway."

tenor-dog-on-garage-steps.jpgAt first, I gave my (very shy) dog room to roam back & forth from the kitchen to the garage -- up to a certain point where I'd strategically placed tables to "block off" the back of the garage. But after awhile, I decided this was a bit confusing to him, so I let him hang out in the house alone. If your dog isn't particularly comfortable entertaining himself in the house alone, you may want to try a crate or kennel instead. (My dog would've done just as well inside his crate.)

Read more yard sale tips here:
Good tips!

April 28, 2008

This last Saturday saw hundreds of students and volunteers out cleaning our neighborhood. Gutters were cleared, brush was removed and litter picked up. This event didn't just occur in University Heights, but was mirrored in neighborhoods throughout the city.

The weather cooperated and the sun came out. I must say that this clean-up would not be possible with out the help of many contributors. The University of Indianapolis was probably carried the most weight in getting this together along with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. The students I worked with great, full of energy and goodwill. They worked hard and I think that should count toward their grades. I will have a list of other gracious folk who should be recognized.

Here is a short paragraph from our president, Denny Rusher:
"I want to thank everyone personally for their efforts last Saturday . . . As a group we need to figure out how to publicly thank the students for their contributions . . . Their contribution was awesome. We drove around the next day and the neighborhood looks great."

I thought the process was more efficient than last year. The event kicked off with several dignitaries including the mayors of Beech Grove, Southport and Indianapolis. For lunch, pizza was served, both from the campus dining service and from Papa John's. Workforce, Inc. was onsite and was able to recycle more than a dozen gaylord boxes of recyclables.

March 27, 2008

Spring Meeting Just Around the Bend: MONDAY APRIL 7th! Yes, It is on a Monday this time.

Monday April 7, 7:00 PM– In basement of University Heights Methodist Church at the Corner of Otterbein and Hanna. If you have any neighborhood concerns, please bring them to this meeting.

How about the election this month? Did you vote? I almost didn't realize our polling location had changed. I liked walking to UHMC to vote, but I must say the new location on Sumner was fine.

The Great Indy Clean-Up

After last years very successful clean-up of our neighborhood, this year's clean-up has a broader vision with clean-ups around the Southside.

We need 50 volunteers from our neighborhood– Section Leaders, Block Captains, and workers. Bring your own shovels, brooms and other tools that might be useful.

If you have a pickup truck that could be used – bring it. Gloves provided.

Our focus this year will be curbs and then trash in alleys as time permits.

All residents need to park their cars off of streets that morning – church and/or UINDY parking lots should be utilized.

If you are going to work the cleanup, but can not attend the Spring Meeting (see below), contact Denny Rusher @ 788-7019 or 965-4966 so that you can get a T-Shirt.

Annual Garage Sale will be Saturday, May 17.
Get out your stash and sell - sell - sell!

February 23, 2008

At 7:00PM this Wednesday, Feb. 27th, meet me and other concerned neighbors for 2008's first University Heights Neighborhood Association board meeting. As usual we'll meeting at the United Methodist Church at Otterbein and Hanna. We will be discussing this year's neighborhood clean-up, which is NOW scheduled for Saturday, April 26th. Last year's clean-up was such a success that several other Southside neighborhood's will be participating as well.

Our Spring general meeting will be held Wednesday, April 9th. We plan on passing out fliers, supplied by University of Indianapolis, at the end of March. Along with fliers we have an awfully neat refrigerator magnet to hand out also. I believe these were designed by students and include several helpful phone numbers on them. Cool. At this meeting we will need two to three folks to stand up and help organize the flier dispersal.

I'll have some images up soon (of the flier).

Thanks, Greg