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Sunday, June 24, 2001
Last modified at 6:21 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2001
© 2001 - The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

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Group helps bond neighborhoods


When Lubbock Independent School District decided to close down Stubbs Elementary School, the people in the small, post-war prefab neighborhood that envelops the school began to organize.

Neighborhood resident Debbie Chaney, 49, had a son attending first grade at Stubbs. She herself attended the elementary school from 1958 to 1964.

Numbers in parentheses denote loction on map
(1) Arnett Benson
(2) Clapp Park
(3) Guadalupe
(4) Parkway & Cherry Point
(5) Harwell
(6) Raintree
(7) Chapel Hill
(8) Preston Smith
(9) Tech Terrace
(10) Heart of Lubbock
(11) South Overton
(12) North Overton
(13) Caprock
(14) Chatman Hill
(15) Bayless-Atkins
(16) Wheelock & Monterey
(17) Jackson-Mahon
(18) Bluesky
(19) Maedgen Area
(20)Dunbar-Manhattan Heights
(21) Slaton-Bean
(22) Clayton Carter
(23) Northridge
(24) Skyview
(25) Bowie
(26) Maxey Park
(27) Whiteside-Irons
(28) North By Northwest
(29) Coronado Area
(30) Ballenger
(31) Regal Park
(32) University Pines
(33) Waters
(34) Southgate
(35) Carlisle
(36) West End
(37) Wester
(38) Windmill
(39) Kings Park
(40) Stubbs-Stewart
"It was too late to really form a neighborhood association," Chaney said of the mobilization process. "Nevertheless, it did get us started. (Lubbock United Neighborhood Association) sent me information on getting a neighborhood association started. Then a week later, we found out about Stubbs. I was like, 'OK, now. Let's get started,' you know? 'Let's get moving on this."'

The school's impending closure, she said, spurned this neighborhood, across the street from Coronado High School, to come together for the first time.

The Lubbock United Neighborhood Association helped to get out the word and draft bylaws. The Stubbs-Stewart Neighborhood Association convened for the first time this February, she said.

"They just got us all together and got us some sort of organization started," she said."They printed up flyers and sent them in the mail, and that really helped."

Chaney was elected president of the association.

Now, between 20 and 30 residents show up for the meetings, which now mainly looks into crime prevention and neighborhood beautification.

"It turned out to be quite a lot of work that I wasn't prepared for," she said of being president. "I got my first hate mail the other day. Some lady wrote me and said all we talked about at the last meeting was the school and we wasted her time."

Despite the fact that Chaney walked her son the block and a half to school for the last time on May 24, she said she's glad the neighborhood got motivated enough to form a group.

The formation of Stubbs-Stewart and Kings Neighborhood association This year, two more neighborhood associations joined LUNA, which brings the total up to 40 associations throughout the city.

Cathy Jung, executive director of LUNA, said that the associations in LUNA are formed to keep neighbors acquainted with each other while dealing with issues like beautification, crime prevention and revitalization.

"The reason LUNA started is because, in the beginning, there was only a handful of neighborhood associations," she said. "The city thought if Lubbock had more of these, they would get more neighborhood involvement. LUNA is here to organize, support and promote the organizations."

Also, Jung said, having an organized force speaking out on neighborhood issues can only help residents when facing problems.

One aspect of LUNA, she said, is that the non-profit organization works as an information base to the separate neighborhood associations, supplying them with information on crime statistics for an area, beautification opportunities and other information.

LUNA also prints the newsletters for organizations to pass out to their neighbors.

When first starting, Jung said, each neighborhood group holds two meetings with residents of the neighborhood. Once a board of directors is chosen by the neighborhood from those meetings, LUNA helps the board write up bylaws.

Then, she said, they're on their own to govern themselves.

"We are not a parent organization," she said. "It's not just for lower economic areas or neighborhoods out in the Southwest. It's for anyone."

John Davis can be contacted at 766-8713 or [email protected]

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