Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 28, 2013

MARK MAYNARD: Strengthening neighborhoods the hope for ‘Walk’

ASHLAND — We’ve all said it time and time again. Our neighborhoods just aren’t what they were back in the good old days.

Your neighborhood used to define you. Everybody knew everybody, neighbors were your friends and neighbors always helped neighbors. Always.

Today, we are more of a closed-door society — straight from the driveway to the front door and be sure to flip the lock once you’re inside. Fear has taken the place of friendship, even in good old friendly Ashland.

Nothing is quite like it used to be, but could we take back our neighborhoods from the fear and unfriendlessness that has become the norm?

How many neighbors do you know on a first-name basis on your block? We give a friendly wave to neighbors and sometimes speak for more than a few minutes, but honestly, it’s not enough to get to know them.

Back in my day (ever heard that before?), not only did they know you, but they knew your mother and father, too. So you had better not get into meaness because somebody was watching.

Our neighborhoods used to be a safe haven, too. We played pickup basketball and sandlot baseball and football on neighborhood lots. We might even break into a two-on-two game of Whiffle ball if just a few were around.

But that’s not what neighborhoods are like today. I see about as many deer on the streets as children playing. We are all inside behind those closed — and locked — doors.

Air conditioning may be at least partially to blame because, after all, if you leave the door open you’re “cooling off the entire outdoors.”

Taking back our neighborhoods and putting them back in a place of pride is Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles’ plan for his “Walk with the Mayor” initiative that begins April 20.

Mayor Charles is an avid walker, along with his dog Remington. He plans to take morning walks with residents through 15 of Ashland’s neighborhoods.

It’s his hope it will bring out neighbors to meet neighbors and that, collectively, these new “friends” can take charge of their neighborhoods with cleanup campaigns, neighborhood watches and simply friends who can help in a crisis.

If something bad was happening in your neighborhood — and nobody seems to be immune to troubles if a glance through the police blotter is any indication — is there a neighbor you’d feel comfortable calling? Do you even have a phone number for that person? Don’t try looking in the phone book because so many these days don’t have landlines. If you’re not “friends” on Facebook, you may be out of luck.

But, hopefully, when the mayor comes to your neighborhood, you’ll not only get the chance to meet him and ask anything you want (sorry, Chuck), but you may say hello, possibly for the first time, to that guy who lives across the street.

Some neighborhoods remain friendly and active. Our block on Holt Street has a summer block party.

If we can take back our neighborhoods a couple of blocks at a time, maybe it will eventually revert back to that place we used to know and love.

Charles’ “Walk with the Mayor” program may be the spark that ignites us.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Tensions rise among city commission members

    The controversy about City Manager Ben Bitter’s moving expenses revealed a division in the Ashland Board of City Commissioners.

    July 29, 2014

  • ambulance.jpg Ambulance flips on Winchester

     One minor injury was reported after a passenger car collided with an ambulance at the intersection in front of the Paramount Arts Center on Winchester Avenue around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Independent videographer Adam Black witnessed the accident and reported the ambulance was traveling south of Winchester with lights on and siren activated when it was struck in the rear quarter panel by a passenger vehicle that had a green light for the intersection and failed to yield for the emergency vehicle.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730Grimes_080.jpg Grimes campaign comes to Lexington

    A recent poll that has twice previously shown Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with a slim lead over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell now has McConnell up by two points.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • U.S. 60 yard sale will be Friday and Saturday

    Bringing bargain shoppers from miles around, the U.S. 60 Yard Sale officially begins Friday morning in Carter County.

    July 29, 2014

  • John Cannon: Bracing to stand on her own 2 feet: 7/30/14

    My youngest granddaughter, who will turn 5 on Sept. 2, has been fitted with a pair of ankle braces to help prevent her from falling down so often.

    July 29, 2014

  • War firearms demo set

    A few of the most devastating and accurate firearms used in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to world wars will be demonstrated for an audience limited to about 40 during an upcoming event sponsored by the Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society.

    July 29, 2014

  • Lawmaker pays tribute to late WWII veteran

    July 29, 2014

  • Local briefs: 7/30/14

    The Carter County Sheriff's Department charged an Olive Hill man Thursday with trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree.

    July 29, 2014

  • OLBH receives Quest Award

    Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital has been honored by Premier Inc. with a Quest Award for High-value Healthcare Citation of Merit for delivering high-quality, cost-effective health care.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0730Grimes_406.jpg Grimes bus tour gets rousing sendoff

    A recent poll,which has twice previously shown Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with a slim lead over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, now has McConnell up by two points.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone