Author Archives: Joe Stewart

Better Waverly Mutual Aid

How would YOU spend $15,000 to improve our neighborhood? Tell us your ideas and wildest dreams! Better Waverly Mutual Aid is applying to get a grant for up to $15,000 for the neighborhood. The money can be spent on five categories: employment, health, public safety, education, community revitalization.

Call/Text: (410) 635-0688 and leave a message if no-one answers.

Email: betterwaverlymutualaid@gmail.com.

Online: Fill out an anonymous form at https://tinyurl.com/bwma-grant.

Virtually: Attend a virtual sharing session online Wednesday January 27th 6:30-7:30pm at https://tinyurl.com/bw-listening.

BWCO Meeting Notes

The Wednesday January 13, 2021 BWCO Zoom meeting did occur but with technical problems that prevented some people from joining and that resulted in an unplanned early ending when Zoom time ran out. We apologize to anyone who tried but failed to join us. The link we circulated to join the meeting failed to connect folks which we only learned shortly after the meeting was to start. We apologize to anyone who made it on but then got cut off abruptly when Zoom decided our free time was up. We are working on solutions and will provide notice of future meetings sometime soon.

In attendance at our January meeting were Will Cannady, Sonja Merchant Jones, Joe Stewart, Sharon Neely, Waverly Main Street Executive Director Matt Smith, 14th District Councilwoman Odette Ramos and Vehicles for Change Director of Communications Simone Baptiste. 

Matt Smith briefed us on current Waverly Main Street (WMS) activities. He has agreed to put his presentation on the WMS website and we agreed to circulate a link to that once it is available.

Odette Ramos briefed us on her time in office since being  sworn in this past December. She was commended for her regular email blasts that are keeping her constituents very well informed. 

The Zoom clock ran out before Simone Baptiste was able to brief us unfortunately but she will be invited back to share what Waverly Vehicles for Change is doing.

BWCO Zoom Meeting Minutes

Better Waverly Community Organization (BWCO) held a neighborhood meeting online during the snow storm Wednesday December 16, 2020, which was longtime board member Debra Evans 65th birthday, virtually recognized and celebrated. Attending were officers/directors Michelle & William Cannady, Sonja Merchant Jones, Joe Stewart, Sharon Neely & Debra Evans, joined by community member Jon Smeton, Greenmount Partners Matt Herman, Marva Williams from Baltimore City Department of Transportation, Matt Henry & Nicole Williams from Baltimore Police Department Northern District Neighborhood Collaboration Unit and newly sworn in Baltimore City 14th District Councilperson Odette Ramos.

Greenmount Partners owns a number of Waverly Main Street properties. Matt Herman provided a brief update on their status after being congratulated and thanked for the new Gaia mural he commissioned on his building at Old York and Greenmount. That space is being renovated for retail and co-working tenants. Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) is coming to a new home on the east side of Greenmount close to Goodwill. A bookshop-cafe is coming to E. 32nd St. near Pete’s. Above 33rd Street on the west side of Greenmount is coming a Food Hall. Matt seeks tenants and owners who live locally who will provide goods and services for customers from nearby and surrounding neighborhoods. Matt Herman can be contacted at 443-681-9111 or <mherman@greenmountpartners.com>.

BCDOT liaison Marva Williams noted that a request for traffic calming measures on E. 30th between Greenmount and Loch Raven was under review. She can be reached at <marvad.williams@baltimorecity.gov> or 443-615-3363.

BPDNCU officers Matt Henry & Nicole Williams addressed crime and safety and urged anyone with concerns to contact the Neighborhood Collaboration Unit supervisor, Sgt. Monica Veney: monica.veney@baltimorepolice.org or 410-396-2455.

14th District Councilwoman Odette Ramos urged residents to contact her to receive her weekly online newsletter and town hall invitations: <odetteramos@baltimorecity.gov>

A motion passed authorizing Better Waverly Mutual Aid to apply for a Johns Hopkins Neighborhood grant. 

A proposal by Better Waverly resident Jon Smeton for having a legislative committee will be discussed by the board with Jon sometime very soon. 

The board agreed to continue Zoom meetings in 2021. The next one will be 6pm Wednesday January 13, 2021. Notices will be posted on Better Waverly Next Door, BWCO webpage and BWCO Facebook page with links for joining. 

BWCO ZOOM MEETING

Will Cannady, BWCO Parliamentarian, invites you to the upcoming rescheduled 

Better Waverly Community Organization Zoom Meeting: 

6:00 pm, Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Please note BWCO had to reschedule its originally planned 12/09/2020 zoom meeting as it would have conflicted with a special online event Odette Ramos just set up to host Mary Pat Clarke as the 14th District Baltimore City Councilperson changes. That event will offer an opportunity to hear from the outgoing councilwoman and to thank her for her many years of service. For details, please contact odette@odetteramos.com.

Join BWCO Zoom Meeting, 6pm Wednesday December 16, 2020

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6944151596?pwd=R0Q4KzF5dlptcWQxd01qdHY1dWNiQT09

Meeting ID: 694 415 1596

Passcode: Gt1Kdk

BWCO Nov. 2020 Zoom Meeting Notes

On Wednesday November 11, Better Waverly Community Organization (BWCO) hosted the first of two ZOOM meetings. The second one is scheduled for 6pm Wednesday December 9, 2020. Information about how to join that meeting will be circulated closer to then, including on the website, Facebook Page and on Better Waverly Next Door.

Present at the 11/11/2020 ZOOM meeting were BWCO officers/directors: Michelle Cannady (co-chair), Will Cannady (parliamentarian), Sharon Neely (treasurer), Joe Stewart (secretary) & Debra Evans, Better Waverly residents: Nova Robinson, Carly Wais, Jon Smeton, Julie Buisson, Nora Bundy & Najee Haynes-Follins, and guests: Retiring 14th District Baltimore City Councilperson Mary Pat Clarke, 43rd District MD State Delegate Regina Boyce, Strong City Baltimore Neighborhood Programs Mike Cross-Barnet & Johns Hopkins Community Affairs Director Jennifer Mielke.

Mary Pat Clarke thanked BWCO for the many years she has been honored to serve the neighborhood and noted that as Citizen Clarke in the future she remains available to help us whenever she is needed. Delegate Boyce urged everyone to get a flu shot.

Jennifer Mielke and Mike Cross-Barnet introduced themselves and noted that Johns Hopkins and Strong City Baltimore wanted to continue to work with and support our community.

Praise was given to Better Waverly Mutual Aid (BWMA) which continues to provide food boxes to over 130 households in the neighborhood every week. In addition, with help from a small grant from Johns Hopkins, community partnerships and donations, Better Waverly Mutual Aid has given out resources like masks, sanitizer, menstrual and incontinence supplies, and toilet paper. If you know someone who wants help and/or wants to get involved, they can email betterwaverlymutualaid@gmail.com, or call (410) 635-0688.  A BWMA volunteer member noted that help was needed for a family that lost their home in a house fire on the 800 block of Montpelier Street recently. 

Better Waverly resident Julie Buisson asked that BWCO consider serving as fiscal sponsor for a grant request to benefit three greening projects (Orchard Project, Homestead Harvest & Reese Street Green Lot). She was asked to submit a written request with details for the BWCO board to consider.

Better Waverly resident Jon Smeton asked that BWCO consider forming a Legislative Committee to seek out and represent the opinions of our neighbors in the Better Waverly area to our elected representatives at the city, state, and national level. He submitted a written proposal which the BWCO will be considering.

BWCO board member Debra Evans noted that 901 Arts is up and running outside at 901 Montpelier Street.

Invitation

Better Waverly Community Organization (BWCO) Officers and Directors are providing the platform (below) for Better Waverly residents to meet virtually while regular in person board meeting are suspended during the pandemic. The BWCO Parliamentarian has set up this meeting to which you are welcome. Will Cannady is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 

Topic: Will Cannady’s Zoom Meeting 

Time: Nov 11, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Join Zoom Meeting 

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6944151596?pwd=R0Q4KzF5dlptcWQxd01qdHY1dWNiQT09

Meeting ID: 694 415 1596 

Passcode: Gt1Kdk 

Healthy Neighborhoods

Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about the Healthy Neighborhoods program.

My name is Mike Cross-Barnet, and I serve as Manager of Neighborhood Programs for Strong City Baltimore. I am the organizer for Healthy Neighborhoods in Better Waverly, along with Peter Duvall of Community Development Services, a fiscally sponsored project of Strong City.

As you probably know, Strong City (formerly Greater Homewood) has a long history of supporting community leaders in Better Waverly. We worked with the community to bring Giant to the neighborhood and also to expand the Farmers Market to year-round. We were involved for many years with the Barclay school through our VISTA and Community School programs, and we still operate the nearby 29th Street Community Center.

For over 15 years, Greater Homewood/Strong City has partnered with Healthy Neighborhoods to strengthen North-Central Baltimore communities and help people stay in their homes. Healthy Neighborhoods encourages homeowner investment in stable but generally undervalued areas of Baltimore, i.e. “middle neighborhoods.”

Healthy Neighborhoods differs from a typical lender in a number of ways, including the fact that it is Baltimore-based and is a nonprofit dedicated to serving the community, not shareholders. Probably the biggest draw is its matching rehab grant: when obtaining a home mortgage or taking out a home improvement loan, Healthy Neighborhoods customers can receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10,000 for those earning less than 120% of Area Median Income. 

But the $10,000 grant is just one of Healthy Neighborhoods’ distinctive features. The program offers three kinds of loans: purchase/rehab for new buyers, home improvement loans for established homeowners (projects up to $30,000), and refinance/renovation loans for homeowners wanting to do more extensive projects. Other special aspects of Healthy Neighborhoods loans include: 

No private mortgage insurance (PMI) required for purchase/rehab loans 

With just 3% down, customers can borrow up to 110% of after-rehab appraised value for purchase/rehab or refinance/rehab and up to 105% for home improvement 

Loans up to $295,000 with no upper income restriction 

Free architect services to help plan improvements and review contractor proposals  

Can be combined with other homeowner incentives from Live Baltimore, Live Near Your Work, Maryland Historical Trust rehab tax credits, etc. 

Currently, Healthy Neighborhoods home improvement loans are available to any homeowner in Better Waverly, while purchase/rehab and refinance/rehab loans are available on these Target Blocks: https://healthyneighborhoods.org/target-blocks/

Another popular feature of Healthy Neighborhoods is its funding of block improvement and marketing projects that enhance the appeal of a neighborhood. Over the years, Healthy Neighborhoods and Strong City have made possible dozens of block projects in Better Waverly and other North-Central neighborhoods. These have included tree plantings, mosaic number signs, and house painting projects.

Mike Cross-Barnet

(Pronouns: He/Him/His)

Manager of Neighborhood Programs

Strong City Baltimore

410-218-0386

Fall-O-Ween Neighborhood Celebration

5pm to 8:30pm Saturday October 24, 2020 at 808-814 Homestead Street, in the Sculpture Garden. Come one come all to celebrate Fall in the neighborhood! All ages and costumes encouraged!

-Games

-Pumpkin carving and painting (First come, first serve for free pumpkins – adults bring your own knives for carving. We will provide paint, brushes, smocks for kids.)

-Maze

-Prize giveaway – best costume prize! 

-Fire pit and s’mores making

-Spooky music and double feature: 

-5:15-6:30 PM Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (G)

-6:45-8:20 PM Hocus Pocus (PG)

Mask & social distancing required! (Free masks and hand sanitizer provided.)

BYOB (21+ for booze), food for a picnic dinner, and blankets. 

We will provide apples, waters, and pre-packaged cookies.

Hosted by 901 Arts & Better Waverly Mutual Aid. Presentado de 901 Arts & Better Waverly Mutual Aid 

BWCO: Checking IN

Better Waverly Community Organization (BWCO) had an outdoor in person socially distanced mask wearing meeting of officers and directors on the evening of Oct. 7th at a Gorsuch Avenue lawn near Ellerslie Avenue. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, BWCO has not been able to hold normal monthly board meetings or general meetings either. No annual meeting took place in September to elect new directors. BWCO asks Better Waverly neighbors to accept the 2019-2020 officers and directors prolonging their terms until such time as a general election meeting seems both feasible and safe. 

To better serve our community, we will begin hosting monthly Zoom meetings at which residents will be welcome to join. More details will follow; but for now we want you to know that we hope to have Zoom meetings set up for 6pm Wednesday November 11 and 6pm Wednesday December 9, 2020. Our current officers and directors are: Michelle Cannady & Sonja Merchant Jones (co-chairs), Sharon Neely (treasurer) & Joe Stewart (secretary), William Cannady (parliamentarian) and Debra Evans. 

We invite you to visit us online at <www.betterwaverly.org> and on Facebook and to join Better Waverly Next Door if you haven’t already done so. We will post links to our Zoom meetings on our website, on our Facebook page and on Better Waverly Next Door.

We recognize how pinched and strapped many people are and will understand if you are not able to join or rejoin as a dues paying member. But if you are able and willing to do so, dues checks payable to BWCO can be mailed to BWCO, Post Office Box 16007, Baltimore MD 21218. Dues are $5 for individual residents and $10 for households.

If you would like to receive an email invitation to a Zoom meeting, please send a message to our secretary, Joe Stewart, at <joestewart31947@comcast.net>.

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