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Fair and market give area a boost

Posted on July 20: The South Perry Street Fair and Parade this weekend is over and has been declared a success. It was the 11th year that neighborhood organizers pulled off this event and attendance was higher than ever before. Feel free to post about your favorite or not-so-favorite parts of the event – and then let’s move on:

This summer’s outdoor movies at The Shop begin on Saturday with “Time Bandits” – bring your own chairs, movie is free and starts at dusk.

An out-of-state blog reader sent this e-mail:

“I am so glad to see that you have a love for the neighborhood. I bought a home on East Seventh in late 2005. At the time the neighborhood was really improving, but I am hearing distressing news about the neighborhood. Everything on your blog seems to suggest the opposite of what I am hearing. Please e-mail me to let me know if you think the neighborhood is improving.” What do you think? Is the neighborhood improving? Leave your comment on the blog or send an e-mail.

Posted on July 15: The Spokane Regional Health District has selected the East Central neighborhood – including South Perry Street – as a partner for the 2  1/2-year-long Neighborhoods Matter Program. The kickoff meeting was Monday.

Through the Neighborhoods Matter Program, health district staff will work with residents and service providers already in the East Central neighborhood to develop new approaches that will improve the health of families. Focus areas will be chosen and developed by the neighborhood and they can be anything from obesity prevention to poverty issues to housing and transportation issues.

“We are hoping to mobilize the neighborhood and to really get people involved in the issues they chose to focus on,” said Cindy Green, program manager for the division of health promotion at the Spokane Regional Health District. “We try to build on the know-how that’s already in the neighborhood so when we leave after 2  1/2 years there is a greater capacity in the neighborhood than when we go there.” To learn more about the program contact Cindy Green at the Spokane Regional Health District by calling (509) 324-1664.

Posted on July 14: The South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association met at the Perry Street Cafe last night. The business district is part of the East Central Neighborhood Council, yet years ago broke out a smaller business and neighborhood association to better be able to deal with South Perry issues and topics.

Brian Estes from the South Perry Farmers Market said the market is doing great this year. “Many vendors have already doubled or tripled their sale at this point compared to last year,” Estes said. “We are completely out of space and we have enough vendors on a waiting list that we could replicate the market two or three times.”

Estes said the market is already talking to the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department about creating a more permanent location in Grant Park, perhaps between the school and the backside of the businesses on the west side of Perry. “The farmers market wants to seek a collaboration with the neighborhood, we really want input from people,” said Estes. “We want to know what we can do to best serve the neighborhood as a whole in the future.” He’s hoping to have some sort of plan ready by the beginning of the school year.

There was an update from the fair and parade committee and a conversation about how to best work together with the East Central Neighborhood Council and the International District (on East Sprague Avenue, by One World Cafe) to avoid reinventing the wheel as the South Perry Business District develops.

The last part of the meeting was led by Spencer Grainger, who took the group through an exercise prioritizing community development goals such as increased visibility and branding, a summer concert series, how to develop a bike friendly neighborhood and how to create a website – those are just a few examples from a very, very long list. Grainger is following the Main Street USA model as a way in which to help the neighborhood hone in on high priority projects. By the end of the meeting everyone had signed on to several projects from the list.

Meetings are the second Tuesday of every month and they begin at 6 p.m. – next meeting is on Aug. 10 – everyone is welcome.