The entire content is the responsibility of ken and some haphazard research

(Mea culpa)


It’s been a while since the last issue from this source of the newsletter from the Unit South Durham Homestead Houses Inc.    I say this source because I wait for someone else to chime in.   When I began the history of the homestead houses I began to look through the tens of thousands of photos taken over the past five years and decided to slap everything up on the Web ( beginning with 2002IMPRESSIONS and so on.  I discovered that I made a mistake about the timing of the magnolia trees and the fence vine being planted.  It was 2003, not 2002.  I still have tens of thousands of photos to filter through. 


We have gone through a local election and the players are in place.  This past mayoral election we learned that by a little after 7:00 p.m. only 75 people out of 850 registered voters had voted in our local polling place across Wolfe street at Saint Michael’s Hall.  Councilman Kraft was re-elected and we still have a liaison, Jennifer Piorkowski, in his office, working to help us gain permanent ownership of the park and a guarantee through our stewardship of the Park that we maintain the tenant parking granted over 30 years ago. 


We still have problems.  Specifically Calvin and Pat still believe that, unlike everyone else, they are entitled to more than one parking slot.  To reinforce the need for posts and boundaries everyone may recall the e-mail from Avon where he felt he was being treated unfairly since he and Jerry were paying twice as much as the resident tenants for the upkeep of the park.  I shouldn’t have to repeat any arguments as to “Why Boundaries and Rules are Necessary”.  Several weeks ago I noticed that the renovators of the former SECO headquarters were piling heavy items against the fence the City constructed back in the 70s, and I pointed out the possible damage being done to the “work foreman.”  He informed me that the fence was to come down and a brick wall was to replace it.  I made the necessary calls to the City.


Back to the progress of the Green Space ownership.  As you’ll recall, following advice from Laurie Feinberg, a letter of intent to purchase the green space was sent to Edward Anthony, Sylvia Paylor and Jim Kraft several months ago.  Sylvia Paylor notified us that she planned to list the park publicly, and Councilman Kraft’s office immediately contacted her at our request to discourage opening the property to development proposals. 


Since then we were called by Stewart Pope from the Planning office, who said that the dollar offer was good and things should move along rapidly—but he later disappeared and is no longer working for Baltimore City.  Thankfully we have Jennifer and Councilman Kraft in our corner and Jennifer assures us that the negotiation continues.


As of November 1 we have $1775.00 in the treasury.  Until we find out our precise financial responsibility for liability insurance and what have you—no money is being used for upkeep of the park, which is still being done on a volunteer basis.  I haven’t mowed—mulched leaves—in a while due to cataract surgery, but will get back at it after Thanksgiving.  I paid $121.00, after making numerous calls around the country for parts, to repair the chipper shredder.  Chipping and shredding will also resume after Thanksgiving.  I shouldn’t have to remind anyone in our model block that the residents are responsible for clearing litter in front of their respective homes—renters too.  (City law requires such maintenance:  Trash in front of our houses otherwise flows into the storm sewers, into the harbor, and ultimately the Bay.)


Parks and People recently announced its Neighborhood Greening Grants and Partnerships for Parks Grants for Spring 2008.  The application workshop dates are Tuesday December 11 or Thursday, December 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 800 Wyman Park Drive, Suite 010, with RSVP deadline by December 10 to 410-448-5663 ext. 111, or by email to  The deadline for applications is (postmarked by) Friday, February 1, 2007 at 5 pm.



Happy Thanks-Giving.


This will be slot dropped and posted at


P.S.  If any of you out there know how to set up a message board to enhance information exchange, please let me know.  I’ve got software and equipment but limited knowledge and not much patience for tech support on the phone and enough Ketchup work for the next year, so I do need help.  No pay, short time.