Friday, December 30, 2016

Celebrating Ken Parr's Life.

 Our tribute to Gary's Miller Spotlight volunteer, Ken Parr. https://youtu.be/tLXxg7ZQeF4

It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of our dear community member and co-chair of Gary's Miller Spotlight's Transportation and Infrastructure Action Group, Mr. Ken Parr. 

Ken was an inspiration to the entire community. He was recognized last month by the Miller Community Fund Committee as a “Miller All-star.” He was awarded this distinction for his tenacious devotion to blight busting, universal design and alternative transportation initiatives. 

Service was part of Ken’s soul. He was a member of the Miller Garden Club and Gary’s Miller Spotlight’s Property Improvements Committee. In 2015, he helped us construct our community vision for 2025 and our five-year community plan. Ken championed code enforcement, transportation alternatives and urban renewal as he helped us carryout our plan implementation in 2016.

His commitment to keeping Lake Street spic and span coupled with his adherence to public safety led many folks to mistake him for being a city employee. He would just humbly explain to them in his quiet way that he was a volunteer. He diligently cleaned our main drag by hand at least once a day through rain and shine. 

Ken was one of our most ardent promoters for biking activities and universally designed facilities in Gary, Indiana. He helped write a grant to fund 11 bike racks (they are being installed in January 2017). This summer he conducted monthly build-a-bike popup shops at our local farmer’s market. Teaching folks about bike maintenance and the benefits of cycling/ healthy-living were a great joy of his.

He also ran weekly bike tours from May-September and monthly tours from October-April. He lead our riders through all types of weather! He led our community to conduct forty-two bike tours between 2015-2016. These tours promoted community rapport, tourism, litter cleanups and healthy-living. They were attended by 9 regulars (plus an upwards of 30 additional people depending on the weather/ ride’s theme).

Most recently, Ken was helping us start our Take Bike Our Streets initiative. Take Bike Our Streets is a comprehensive program that involves community engagement, economic development and intragenerational environmental education. It has three phases: Planning, Educating, Implementing. Ken was promoting the build-a-bike portion and helping with our Adventures for Everyone (Adaptive Transportation Festival) for the summer of 2017. 

In many ways Lakefront District Cycles will be Ken Parr’s legacy to our city. We hope to keep up our community rides in his honor. Our condolences go out to the Parr family. Ken's amazing dedication to Gary, Indiana will not be forgotten. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Access 4 All Survey

Our volunteers are seeking to improve accessibility to public spaces, services and programs in Gary’s Miller Neighborhood and surrounding communities that would allow for full participation of persons with disabilities. We ask that you please complete this survey to help us create a barrier free environment, that will allow for inclusion and participation. This is a collaboration between Causes for Change International​, Great Lakes ADA Center​, Northwest in Paddling Association​, Team Gary, Indiana​, Marquette Park Gary​ and Gary's Miller Spotlight​ volunteers. Thanks!!!
Survey Link Here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KHTRGVT


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Man Cave Niteclub LLC Survey Results

On 10/4/16 Jessica E. Renslow (Community Builder, Gary, IN) delivered the results from the data gathered from the community survey concerning the Man Cave Niteclub LLC to the Lake County Liquor Board. The Man Cave Niteclub LLC was seeking a two-way liquor license. The Lake County Liquor Board denied the license on 10/4/16 due to overwhelming community concern. Access the survey presentation at this link:http://www.slideshare.net/MillerSpotlight/man-cave-niteclub-llc-community-survey-results 



Monday, September 12, 2016

The Man Cave Niteclub LLC Community Survey: Voice your comments, questions, concerns here.

The MCC and Gary's Miller Spotlight gathered data from emails received from people living in the area and constructed an online survey concerning The Man Cave Niteclub LLC. The data will be compiled and presented to the Lake County Liquor Board on 10/4/16 at 9am. Jobs and the Economy is one of the 7 themes being addressed in our 29 community goals. Gary's Miller Spotlight volunteers presented our community plan at Wirt-Emerson on Saturday 11/14/15. Check out our full length plan on the Miller Spotlight Facebook page and look for our blog about the project's next phase coming soon. You can also email millerspotlight@gmail.com directly if you'd like a copy of the PDF. You don't have to live in the 46402 or 46403 you just have to care about our revitalization efforts to participate. All are welcome to join!!!https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LWZ5C5K

Saturday, July 23, 2016

July in a Blink of an Eye

Volunteer Exchange
From 6/30-7/2 we had 70 volunteers doing a service-learning project in our community. 
 
Thanks for conducting a community clean up and for running a fun fair with our neighbors at Park Shore Commons Apartments FMCFW. 
 




Our 70 guests from Ft. Wayne were able to enjoy First Fridays too. Gary’s Miller Community was hopping on 7/1/16 for our monthly First Fridays Celebration.
Lake St was open late (festivities started at 5pm) and had tons of specials. Our local park rangers hosted a bonfire at Lake St Beach and Carmella's CAFE had a sunset concert. Come check out one of the Midwest's best kept secrets on on August 5th for First Fridays!

Launching the Lagoon Update:
6/25/16 was a Gorgeous day for a ribbon-cutting. 
     
Gary's Miller Spotlight's Access Miller Action Group partnered with Barrier Free Beach 2020, Marquette Park Gary, NWI Paddling Association and Miller Beach Arts & Creative District to get funding for an accessible canoe/ kayak launch for our community.
We were able to garner the funds for this project through grants and donations. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on 6/25/16 at the Gary Clean Water Festival. 
         
Please spread the word about our latest attraction! 
                           
On 7/1/16 the final part of the launch was installed. Go team!!! 
Thank you to all of our generous donors and granters for making this possible. Please spread the word about Gary's newest attraction! It is completely free to use!
                           
On 7/7/16 All of our Action Groups were represented at our first Sunset Paddle and Pickup. 

A large group excitedly listened to our local volunteers and used a variety of modes of transportation to get to our first Gary Sunset Paddle and Pickup in Marquette Park. 
                            
We're making these a weekly event. They start every Thursday at 6pm until winter chases us off the lagoon. The NWI Paddling Association provides some canoes/ kayaks, but they're on a first come first served basis. 

                          
Thanks so much to our community partner, The NWI Paddling Association, for sponsoring these awesome events!
                               
Wirt Swag Update:
Great job Troopers!!! We raised $725 for our local high school over the Wirt All Class Reunion Weekend in June. We still have some items available. If you weren't able to come to to the reunion, stop by Gary's Miller Beach Farmers Market on Sundays 10am-3pm and purchase your memorabilia while you still can! 
We've got track, cross country, baseball and football swag. Gary's Miller Spotlight: Education / Youth and Child Programming Action Group will sell authentic school swag at the farmers market until we run out of it. 
Proceeds from these sales will go to help fund classroom wish lists from our Wirt-Emerson teachers. Any additional funds will go towards programming at our local high school. So far we have raised $825.00! Contact millerspotlight@gmail.com for more info.
New Leadership Opportunity!
New Community partner, Northern Lights Expeditions, piloted their first camp from 7/18-7/22 in Gary's beautiful Marquette Park. Camp Director, Mandi Renslow, is helping address the leadership gap within our community by merging a love of our outdoor amenities with team building and community service. Thanks to our awesome intern, Jonathan, for coming from the Westside to volunteer with us this week.
Thanks to CARgo, The Douglas Center, Family Folklore Foundation and The NWI Paddling Association for volunteering to help run programming this week. These community partners ran workshops with the kids. They included water safety, discovering the dunes and creating a community poem with an artist in residence. 
This was an all-volunteer run project. Thanks to those who made this pilot project a success. We are hoping to expand it next year and will be seeking more volunteers and local sponsors. 

Fest in the First is Back!
Gary's Miller Spotlight: Education/ Youth and Child Programming's Action Group has partnered with our local Precinct Committeemen/ women to run Fest in the First 2016. Our chairwoman, Gretchen Sipp, and our community builder, Jessica Renslow, attended our precinct committee meeting at the American Legion this week. 
Fest in the First will be a fun, family-friendly event. It will take place from noon-6:30pm on Saturday 9/17 on Lake St in Gary's Miller Community!

Introducing our Newest Community Partners!

Directed by Women:
We will host a #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party in September! FILM LOVERS UNITE! Let's grow a deep culture of appreciation for women filmmakers and their work. If you have a film directed by a woman and wish to submit it to the viewing party please email millerspotlight@gmail.com 

What is Directed by Women????
Everyone's participation is welcome... as this is a grassroots, non-hierarchical, totally creative opportunity for women and men to mobilize screenings, filmmaker visits, house parties, family movie nights, virtual film viewing parties, etc. in communities everywhere to inspire the world to revel in the amazing film work already underway by women and fuel a proliferation of new motion picture expression by women eagerly embraced by audiences around the world.
Look around: Where do you envision women's films screening/streaming during the Directed by Women worldwide celebration in September 2016? Let's make that vision a reality... 





Reubuild Project:
On August 3rd our community partners, The Garden Club and Project Rebuild, will have a work day at Wirt-Emerson. They will spruce up the grounds and are looking for folks to join in the efforts and/ or lend the following. 
wheelbarrows 
rakes  
gloves  
tarps 
shovels  
newspapers 
a hose 
water bottles 

Please contact Corya Channing for more info via channing@purduecal.edu .  

We have 7 themes that are being addressed in our 29 community goals. Miller Spotlight
volunteers presented our community plan at Wirt-Emerson on Saturday 11/14/15. Check out our full length plan on the Miller Spotlight Facebook page and look for our blog about the project's next phase coming soon. You can also email millerspotlight@gmail.com directly if you'd like a copy of the PDF. You don't have to live in Miller you just have to care about our revitalization efforts to participate. All are welcome to join!!!


June Blooms

Access Miller 
On 6/6/16 Gary's Miller Spotlight: Access Miller Beach Action Group (transportation and infrastructure) represented our community at the well attended SC2 meeting in Aetna. Long term plans for our train station and surrounding areas were discussed by Vita Nova. 

Launching the Lagoon Update:
Yay! They've installed the launch in Marquette Park. 

 Come and check it out! 
 Workers started installing the sidewalk on 6/19/16.
 The sidewalk was finished for the launch in Marquette Park on 6/24/16. 

Like canoeing/ kayaking? Dig universal design and inclusion? Gary's Miller Spotlight's Access Miller Action Group partnered with Barrier Free Beach 2020, Marquette Park Gary, NWI Paddling Association and Miller Beach Arts & Creative District to get funding for an accessible canoe/ kayak launch for our community. We were able to garner the funds for this project through grants and donations. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be on 6/25/16 at the Gary Clean Water Festival. Please spread the word!!! Here's an article about the project: http://www.nwitimes.com/business/steel/gary-debuts-accessible-canoe-and-kayak-launch/article_8238ea97-f2e0-5b48-84d8-c99f3ec9e560.html 

Wednesdays at Wells
A great turnout at the first Wednesdays at Wells (sponsored by Wells Street Beach). The Pickford Family has been operating Wells Street since 1928. They've got an array of food, sweets and adult beverages, plus reasonable all-day parking rates. They are hosting family friendly programming each Wednesday of the beach season from 5:30-7:30pm. Thanks for helping address our community's need for teen and family friendly programming Wells Street!
Oral History Project Update:
It's official the first phase of our community's oral history project is complete. This spring Gary's Miller Spotlight's Area Context Action Group partnered with NPR's StoryCorps in Chicago to collect oral histories for the Library of Congress
We were the first Hoosier community to do an onsite recording partnership with StoryCorps. We are now branching out and partnering with more local groups to help create a digital library for our community. Thanks to our community partners, Marquette Park UMC - Gary and Temple Israel for providing recording space with the first phase of this project. 
An Intro to StoryCorps:
Volunteer Exchange with PSC
Thanks Grace Gathering for coming up from New Haven Indiana to do some service-learning projects with Gary's Miller Spotlight partners, Park Shore Commons.
Wirt Swag:
Gary's Miller Spotlight: Education / Youth and Child Programming Action Group sold authentic school swag at the All Wirt Class Reunion the 4th weekend in June. 
We've got track, cross country, baseball and football swag Proceeds from these sales will go to help fund classroom wish lists from our Wirt-Emerson teachers.
 
Any additional funds will go towards programming at our local high school. Contact millerspotlight@gmail.com for more info.
                           

He found his jersey number! Yes you too can kick it old school.


Old home week with Coach King and his All-star Pitcher, Taylor Lacefield. 
More sales to take place at our Farmers Market Sundays from 10AM-3PM!!!

PIC Update:

PIC Chairwoman Jen White and our Community Builder Jessie Renslow were interviewed for Yale’s Environment 360 magazine along with Gary’s Director of Redevelopment, Joe Van Dyk. Access the full article here: 

Check out our awesome Property Improvements Committee Volunteers aka Property Improvements Committee is at it again! This time they spruced up our utility box that greets all of our trains. They got it done just in time for July's First Friday celebration (First Friday on Lake Street Jam Fest). The awesome owners of Beach Art Studios donated their expertise and NICTD was a great partner too, providing a flag man for all 3 days (a donation worth $2,400). Thanks for all your hard work PIC!!! PIC is ALWAYS looking for more volunteers. This is a fun group for anyone to join in and do a one-off project or continuing ones. You can join their Facebook group here: Miller Beach Spotlight Group - Property/ Blight.   

Miller K Update
What a beautiful bounty!!! The Miller K is starting to carry items requested from our survey.


Thanks to those who took our Miller K Market survey and the MCC for partnering on this effort with Gary's Miller Spotlight. 
Our local grocery store, Miller K Market, is family owned. They have started incorporating the constructive feedback on more upgrades they can pursue this year. 
 
We took general data from emails received from people living in the area and constructed an online survey that 200+ members of the community took. 
 

The data was compiled and given to our local grocer. Miller K is now starting to implement the feedback. 
 
This is an effort we are replicating across a broad spectrum of sectors within our business community. By giving constructive feedback with implementable action steps we are hoping to improve our economy as a whole and foster more sustainable local businesses. 
                 

Lake Street Beach Update:
Our local food cart park is open! Come and see what's on the menu! Bringing in summer at Lake Street Beach in style. The Dune Buggy Shuttles (FREE) are up and running!!! Thank you parks services!!! They stop at the Miller Train Station, the Douglas Center, Lake Street Beach and Marquette Park. They're running weekends and holidays all summer long! They're also ADA accessible!
Buy 10 burritos get 1 free! Fly a kite, ride the dune buggy, take a hike, swim.... 

If you missed our free grant writing webinar put on by IACED, or you'd like a second look, you can view it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DbLip2ToPWE&feature=youtu.be 



We have 7 themes that are being addressed in our 29 community goals. Miller Spotlight volunteers presented our community plan at Wirt-Emerson on Saturday 11/14/15. Check out our full length plan on the Miller Spotlight Facebook page and look for our blog about the project's next phase coming soon. You can also email millerspotlight@gmail.com directly if you'd like a copy of the PDF. You don't have to live in Miller you just have to care about our revitalization efforts to participate. All are welcome to join!!!