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Food, music, awards, OWN discussion at Westside Neighbors Picnic July 19

       The Westside Neighbors Picnic, a free, annual barbecue geared for people from this part of town, will be Saturday, July 19 from noon to 2 p.m.
       The location will be the grassy lawn outside the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.
       The 14th annual event will be sponsored again by the volunteer Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN). Typically close to 200 people take part.
Firefighter Mike Foos (foreground) was joined by colleagues from Station 5 in the food line at the 2012 Westside Neighbors Picnic on the Westside Community Center lawn.
Westside Pioneer file photo
       Attendees will be treated to grilled bratwursts and hotdogs, side dishes and lemonade. A band led by local musician John Wise is scheduled to be back for the fourth consecutive year. Tables and chairs will be set up on the lawn.
       Established in the late 1970s near the start of the Old Colorado City/Westside revitalization effort, OWN represents residents in what the city calls the Westside Neighborhood Strategy Area (NSA). The Westside NSA consists essentially of the southern part of the 80904 zip code and northern part of 80905, with its boundaries determined on the basis of average income.
       Also at the event, OWN board members will present their annual Spirit Awards recognizing significant property improvements around the Westside.
       According to the OWN newsletter, the Westside Story, “we ask that attendees bring side dishes such as salads, vegetables and desserts, but this is optional and we'll let you in whether you bring one or not.”
       OWN board members are also hopeful that the picnic this year will provide an opportunity to talk to Westsiders about the future of the organization. The Mayor's Office is reconsidering its traditional NSA strategy, in which the Westside (including OWN) is earmarked for federal funding through the city, along with the city's four other NSAs.
       The potential elimination of that earmark "is not necessarily a negative outcome, but it does present new challenges and possibilities for the direction of OWN,” the OWN newsletter states.
       With the NSA funding in place at least for this year, OWN is working with the city to gather ideas on how to spend federal money that can be earmarked for such public improvements as curbs, gutters, sidewalks and handicap ramps. So any Westside NSA residents are welcome to step forward with suggested project locations, the newsletter also states.
       The picnic will be preceded by a non-competitive bicycle ride, starting at 10:30 a.m. from the center. Anyone is welcome to join.
       Picnic parking is available in the lot behind the center's buildings (accessible from 17th Street). Westside Community Center restrooms (in the cottage buildings beside the lawn) will be open, according to center manager Bill Morr.
       For more information, call OWN President Welling Clark at 471-4740 or e-mail info@westsideneighbors.org.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/11/14; Community: Neighborhoods)

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