Funds, dogs, politics mark July meeting

We had a diverse set of speakers at our July general membership meeting.

We started off with a visit from Reginald Milton, our county commissioner for District 10. Milton gave us updates on a number of items, including information on a new source of funding for neighborhood development. The County Commission recently voted to allocate funds for projects that could help improve communities. The idea is to find projects and/or local non-profits that will help improve the quality of life in many of our neighborhoods. Milton suggested using some of the money for our district to bring new speed bumps and caution lights to the intersection of Cooper and Young. Many of us have seen how people speed through our neighborhood, and the hope is that these measures would help slow the traffic near our main intersection. One attendee suggested also putting speed bumps and caution lights at the intersection of Oliver and Cooper near Celtic Crossing. Another suggested adding crosswalks across Cooper, and a third suggested looking at ways to improve our sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. Milton was happy to hear all of these suggestions and encouraged all of us to reach out to him at reginald.milton@shelbycountytn.gov or 901-222-1000 if we have any other ideas.

Next Patricia Belt of the Tennessee Safety Spotters, a group devoted to promiting the use of deaf dogs as therapy animals, joined us. Belt is resident of Cooper-Young. She began working with her unique service dogs several years ago when her son rescued a deaf Dalmatian from the side of the road. Because the American Kennel Club mandates that all deaf Dalmatians be put down by breeders, these dogs are often difficult to save and care for, but Patricia says that they make excellent service dogs. She has proved her point, training dogs to teach kids with disabilities, for fire safety, improved confidence in reading, and how to deal with bullies. Her dogs have also been wonderful in assisting disabled veterans and visiting children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We were lucky enough to see one of her dogs, Izzy, in action. Patricia showed us how she trained Izzy to watch for hand motions instead of vocal cues and had Izzy demonstrate crawling low, a technique used to teach kids how to stay low in a fire. For more information on Tennessee Safety Spotters you can visit Patricia’s website, tnsafetyspotters.org, or check her out on Facebook. If you’re interested in training a therapy dog, Patricia suggested taking a look at Therapy Dogs Incorporated (therapydogs.com) for more information.

Finally, John Cornes, a candidate for our upcoming city council District 4 election, joined us. Cornes described himself as an “advocate for the community, not a politician” and has experience working as an accountant for the past 15 years. He is also very involved in local education. For more information on this candidate, you can visit his website, cornes4citycouncil.com.

Unfortunately, our speaker from Methodist Hospital was unable to make the meeting due to a personal emergency. We would like to thank everyone who came out and made this another great community meeting and special thanks to Demetrius Boyland for preparing sandwiches for the evening.

Next month we will not have a regular meeting, but we will have festivities for National Night Out. We are also planning a special meeting later in the month to talk about composting. We hope to see you all again for our next community meeting on September 8th.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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