October 25, 2005

Twice Is Nice, But Do We Really Need It?

N.I.C.E. Attempt Is No Phoenix Rising
By Fred H. Arm
Last night, the wannabe movers and shakers of the Point Richmond Business Association (PRBA) endeavored to resurrect the NICE (Neighborhood Improvement and Community Enhancement) Community Group calling it euphemistically “Twice is N.I.C.E.” or “NICE II”. After NICE was resoundingly defeated, the more hopeful members yearned for another bite at the apple. They convened a meeting, although this time open to all members of the community, at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Hall. Unfortunately, the turnout was a bit light.

On the agenda and vigorously discussed were such hot topics as the Trainmaster building status, PR Market remodeling, New tenants, the Plunge resurrection, Business/Neighborhood watch, Improvements to the Rose Garden, Fire station Planter box; pending Signage from freeway “biz dist” by the PRBA, Sign/map WWIC and a takeaway brochure, historic freeway signs, pass-through signs at walkways, “quiet Zone” update and more.
One of NICE’s principal protagonists, Richard Lompa, vented his spleen once again by attacking the City of Richmond, the Railroads, the PRBA, and the PRNA as being totally incompetent by allowing the closure of Cutting Blvd. to appease the Railroads rather than face the threat of extra lights on the train crossing at Richmond Avenue. He contends the Railroads were bluffing. He argued that even if the threat was real, it is a bad exchange to allow the traffic impediments that the road closure of Cutting has created. In the future, with the addition of many new residents in the Brickyard, the infill housing at the Point, and the increase of commercial construction, the traffic congestion, together with lack of available parking could be disastrous.

As the tenor of the discussion turned adversarial, it seemed to be scaring off several of the assembly who quietly left the arena. Marsha Tomassi really held her cool as the sparks flew and the optimism faded. By all outward appearances, it seems that NICE II was not getting off to a flying start. It was a good try, however, the lack of attendance and the spirit didn’t quite make it a resounding success.

It is always sad to see such beneficent efforts go unheeded, unfulfilled, and unappreciated. Perhaps a core meeting of the more committed would initially be more fruitful; however, I believe the downbeat reaction and antagonistic stance of the former naysayers may have irrevocably contaminated the spirit of the community. A “nice” try nevertheless. Good job Marsha, Andy, and Paula. It seems that your time is not yet ripe for fruition.

Posted by fredarm at October 25, 2005 10:46 PM