EDITORíS DESK: Recognizing OWN

       By the time most of you read this paper, board members of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) will already have presented their annual Spirit Awards to several homeowners and builders who significantly improved their properties. But that Dec. 4 festivity would never have happened if OWN members (particularly Bunny Blaha) hadn't spent considerable volunteer time on it. OWN not only rounded up prize donors and judges, they had to find projects to be judged as well (because a call for entries pretty much went unheeded).
       But that's just one of the ways this advocacy group is working for folks who live on the older Westside (whether we always notice it or not). Perusing this issue of the Pioneer will turn up others. The historic-overlay effort is one that the group has been pushing for a good six years. Note that "pushing" in this case doesn't mean just making phone calls to city officials, that sort of thing. These folks sat down for hours, poring over architectural detail on some 4,000 houses, establishing a database that is being used by the city-contracted architect who is writing the design guidelines that will form the backbone of the overlay.
       But wait, there's more. On Dec. 11, the city has called a neighborhood meeting on the Shoppes at Bear Creek expansion (at Eighth and Highway 24). OWN members are rescheduling their own meeting (which would have been at the same time) so they can be on hand.
       I know, there are those who will say all this reflects a wish by some people to put their noses in other people's business. But even partially conceding that, know that it's a well-intended nosiness, and as a rule we are all better for it.
       One more point with OWN. Its annual board elections are in January. They could use some fresh faces, or even just volunteers. President Welling Clark can be reached at 471-4023. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to assign a beneficial yet thankless chore to anyone who calls.

- K.J.