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MRIA Meetings:
Minutes 2000
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Meeting_date: December 5, 2000
Posted_by: Clare Barkley

Minutes of Mount Royal Improvement Association December 5, 2000

Board members present: Charles Blackburn, Kevin Dorsey. Barry Harris, Al Joyner, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Debby Phinney, Ellen Williams, Mike Gray, Henri Daniels, Joel Balsham, Doreen Rosenthal, Peter Van Buren, Perry Cooper, John Massad, Dan Gilbert, Barry Blumberg, Tod Myers, Clare Barkley, Stan Smith.

MRIA President Stan Smith called the meeting to order at 8:05. The minutes of the November meeting were approved. Officer Butler reported current crime statistics and asked for information about problem areas in Bolton Hill. Doreen Rosenthal proposed a dues increase for MRIA membership. The Board unanimously approved the increase, effective May 1, 2001. Dues will be $20 per year for homeowners; $10 for renters; $30 for apartment building owners. Doreen Rosenthal also updated the information regarding Chang Mart. The hearing of the latest liquor violations will be January 11, but citizen presence is not necessary. However, citizen presence is essential in the spring, when the liquor license must be renewed Doreen Rosenthal asked for volunteers to keep various pages of the Web site current and mentioned that Charles Smith of Midtown had spoken to traffic officials regarding problems on Mt. Royal Avenue and North Avenue. Henri Daniels met with representatives of Jentry-McDonald. Apparently the current plans for the building at Eutaw and Lanvale include a group home for at-risk youth and day care for babies. Residents had objected to the idea of a group home for adolescents when an earlier plan was proposed. Right now the owners haven’t the necessary funds to renovate the building, which continues to deteriorate. As the search for funding goes on, MRIA will send letters to city, state, and federal agencies objecting to the planned use of the building. Mike Gray reported that the Amenities Committee continues to meet, and that letters to Rite Aid and SuperFresh are still under consideration. Stan Smith asked that members suggest names of candidates for MRIA president, first vice president and second vice president. These suggestions are to be submitted in writing to Stan and will be forwarded to the Nominating Committee. Charlie Duff continued his presentation of the Midtown Plan, which had been introduced at the October meeting.

Meeting_date: November 17,2000
Posted_by: Clare Barkley



Board members present: Dolph Druckman, Estelle Turner, Bob Nicholls, John Massad, Barry Harris, E. Trail Mathias, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Hans Pawlisch, Doreen Rosenthal, Henri A. Daniels, Peter VanBuren, Mike Gray, Tod Myers, Stan Smith, Clare Barkley (THESE ARE THE BOARD MEMBERS WHO SIGNED IN. IF YOU WERE PRESENT, BUT DIDN’T SIGN IN, PLEASE SEND ME THAT CORRECTION.)

The minutes of the September and October MRIA meetings were approved. Officer McCain reported on crime statistics for the past 28 days compared to last year: larceny auto down 52%; robberies down 88%; violent crime down 30%.

Charles Smith reported that the Midtown staff is incomplete, but leaf removal and other services are being done.

Diane Meckelburg, MRIA/Mt. Royal School liaison, reported on school activities and asked for community involvement in a food drive and hats and gloves donations being conducted by student organizations.

Mike Gray reiterated the intention of MRIA to send letters to the headquarters of Superfresh and Rite Aid. Copies of the letters will be sent via email to board members for approval.

Doreen Rosenthal asked that MRIA members attend the meeting of the Liquor Board at 3 p.m. December 4 when the case of the Chang Mart will be heard along with other cases of liquor sales violations in the Midtown district. She is also developing a plan for increasing dues to conform to the needs of MRIA and to dues structures of like neighborhood organizations. A coordinator is needed for CourtWatch.

Wendell Wright, representing Jentry-McDonald, said they have received a grant of $250,000 for rehabilitation of their building. Henri Daniels will meet with them to hear their proposal for use of the property. This proposal will be presented at the December MRIA meeting.

Trail Mathias asked for Board approval to request four-way stop signs at John and Lanvale Streets and at Park and Moser. Approval was unanimous.

Tod Myers noted that building construction and renovation is being done without regard for zoning and without proper permits. It is suggested that observers are needed to detect violations in progress. Once the properties are altered, little is done to correct the problems.

Meeting_date: 10/3/00
Posted_by: Clare Barkley


Minutes of MRIA Meeting October 3, 2000

Board members present (according to sign-in sheet) Perry Cooper, Bob Nicholls, Brian Ramer, Mike Gray, Hans Pawlisch, Katherine Vaughns, Debby Phinney, Donna Shapiro, John Massad, Kathleen Knust, Trail Mathias, Barry Harris, Estelle Turner, Doreen Rosenthal, Joel Balsham

MRIA President Stan Smith called the meeting to order at 8 p.m. Approval of September minutes is postponed until November meeting. The Board voted to change the November MRIA meeting to the second Tuesday, November 14 because the national election falls on the first Tuesday. Dr. Evans from the National Institute of Health came to the meeting to explain the purpose of a long term study on aging. Data will be gathered by using a mobile lab, which will facilitate testing of subjects. The mobile lab will be in the Bolton Hill area for several months. Objections were raised by two residents regarding the location of the mobile unit. Other possible locations will be reported to Dr. Evans by Stan Smith. Mike Gray, reporting for the Amenities Committee, recommended that Stan Smith draft a letter to management of Rite Aid, asking that the shopping center be sold or improved. The Committee also recommended that Stan draft a letter to a high level of management of Super Fresh. The MRIA Board approved the drafting of the letters, which will be presented to MRIA Board members for discussion before approval at the November 14 MRIA meeting. Charlie Duff gave a brief presentation of the Midtown Plan. Because the meeting was scheduled to end at 8:50, time was limited for the presentation. Charlie will be given additional time at the November meeting. Charlie, owner of Jr restaurant, will be at the November meeting to answer questions about the restaurant. MRIA will have a booth at Festival on the Hill October 14. The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.

Meeting_date: Sept. 5. 2000
Posted_by: Clare Barkley


Minutes of MRIA Meeting September 5, 2000

Board Members present: Stan Smith, Barry Blumberg, Mike Gray, Tod Myers, Clare Barkley, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Kevin Dorsey, Jack McFadden, Nathan Hubler, E. Trail Mathias, John Massad, Hans Pawlisch, Henri Daniels, Dan Gilbert, Debby Phinney, Dolph Druckman.

President Stan Smith called to order the regular meeting of the MRIA at 8:15 September 5.

The minutes of the June MRIA regular meeting were approved.

MRIA has sent a second letter to Councilman Jack Young and a copy to the Mayor regarding the graffiti at the Howard Street Bridge. So far no steps have been taken to remove the paint. Henri Daniels credited the Public Works Department with a quick response to deal with graffiti in Eutaw Place and at the Key monument.

Because of a city policy which deploys police to areas particularly vulnerable to crime, there is less police presence in other areas. While crime is down in Bolton Hill, there is still a significant number of car thefts and break-ins. MRIA will monitor to see that police presence is adequate.

Stan Smith reported that Bolton Hill participation in Midtown is declining because there are no immediately threatening problems, but residents are urged to volunteer, to continue to do things that will improve the neighborhood, even it is just picking up trash or cleaning up after dogs.

MRIA met with Mount Royal School officials to discuss solutions to vandalism by children walking through the neighborhood from the school. The newly formed PTA and school officials will work with MRIA, and MRIA will be present on Parents’ Night to hand out brochures about the neighborhood and to give students pencils and magnets imprinted with “Bolton Hill” and “Mt. Royal School.” MRIA members will also meet with the student government. Dianne Mekelburg, MRIA liaison to Mt. Royal School, asked for volunteers to work in the school. Fred Shokin reported that “Walk a Child to School” is an event that will take place in October.

Mike Gray spoke about a future meeting with justice officials and reminded members of the effectiveness of Court Watch and the need for volunteers. Mike also reported on the activities of the shopping center and amenities committee. Fred Shokin has presented a plan for shopping areas compatible with the neighborhood. This plan can be viewed on the Web site, using Adobe Acrobat. The next meeting of the committee is September 27.

Dolph Druckman reported that the Artscape survey taken at the May MRIA meeting showed that two-thirds of the respondents thought parking to be a problem. One-third saw no problem. There was no time to act before Artscape 2000, but there is time to ask for changes before next year. One way to limit parking is to collect signatures of residents and ask that an existing law be changed to include Artscape weekend in the regular permit-parking scheme. Another way is to go directly to the Mayor and ask for special parking regulations for Artscape weekend. Dolph says that email messages forwarded to Major McMahon resulted in getting some illegal vendors moved away from Dolphin Street. The concern sheet about Sumpter Park on the Web site will continue to provide an avenue for discussion. Only a few of the landlords who rented apartments through the Web site have actually paid the requested 5% of one month’s rent.

Dan Gilbert, of the Architectural Review Committee, reported that he and others had met with MICA to learn of its long-term plans for expansion. Information will be forthcoming from MICA as the spirit of concern for the neighborhood and cooperation with residents continues.

In response to lively discussion about dogs and leash laws on the bulletin board, Stan entertained further discussion. Anyone who is interested in exploring the development of a designated dog-run will contact Stan.

Stan asked for opinions on a proposal that would reward people for identifying criminals and giving that information to police. It was agreed to explore the plan, but to move cautiously.

Meeting_date: june 6
Posted_by: Stan Smith



1. Board Members present: Bob Nicholls, Charles Blackburn, Peter VanBuren, Barry Blumberg, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Hans S. Pawlisch, Stan Smith, Nathan Hubler, John Massad, Doreen Rosenthal, Michael Gray, Dan Gilbert, Jeff Thompson, Henri A. Daniels, Jack McFadden.

2. The meeting was called to order by Stan Smith, President, at 8:05 P.M.

3. The May Minutes were approved

4. Mt. Royal Elementary and Middle School. Diane Mekelburg, community representative to the School Improvement Team, announced that MRIA was presenting certificates of achievement to students and teachers.

5. Community Parking. Barbara White discussed the addition of certain areas into the area 3 parking program.

6. Citizens on Patrol (COP). Stan Smith reported that COP is now operating out of the Fox Building, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Drivers can pick up COP signs and a cellular phone from the guard in the building foyer.

7. Shopping Center: Tod Myers discussed the status of the sale of the Bolton Hill Shopping Center. Three offers to buy the shopping center are under consideration by Rite Aide Corporation.

8. Sprinkler System on Mt Royal Avenue. Barry Blumberg reported that the sprinkler system along Mt Royal Avenue requires replacement of the sprinkler control system. Two options were discussed: Replace the control system or replace and relocate the control system. The MRIA Board will investigate ways of funding and the associated costs for each option.

9. MRIA Representative to Midtown Development Corporation. Stan Smith requested the confirmation on Doug Kelso as the community representative to the Development Board. The MRIA Board members approved the appointment.

10. Proposed Change of the Baltimore City Council. Doreen Rosenthal explained the importance of restructuring the Council from six 3-member districts to nine districts. The League of Women Voters is spearheading the effort. 10,000 signatures are required to place the issue on the ballot in November. Doreen distributed petitions for people to take to get signatures.

11. Bolton Hill Web Site. The Web design team launched the site. Using two laptop computers they demonstrated how the site functions. Dolph Druckman, the Webmaster, and Doreen Rosenthal, the Taskmaster, answered questions. Donna Beth Joy Shapiro explained the PR process and distributed red window signs. Doreen thanked others who participated in the project, including Rachel Schreiber, Nancie Verkerke, Fred Shoken, and Mike Gray.

12. The next meeting is September 5, 2000, at the Strawbridge Methodist Church, 8 P.M.

Meeting_date: 5/2/00
Posted_by: Clare Barkley


President Stan Smith called to order the annual meeting of the Mount Royal Improvement Association at 8:10 p.m. May 2, 2000.

The following board members were elected by the membership for terms ending in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Board members present: Joel Balsham, Charles Blackburn, Trail Mathias, Robert Nicholls, Brian Ramer, Lois Schenck, Katherine Vaughns, Ellen Williams, Henri Daniels, Norma Epstein, Kathleen Knust, John Massad, Deborah Phinney, Rolf Schmitt, Jeff Thompson, Estelle Turner, Hans Pawlisch, Fred Brooks, Perry Cooper, Dolph Druckman, Barry Harris, Nate Hubler, Al Joyner, Jack McFadden, Donna Beth Joy Shapiro. Board members absent: Peter Van Buren, Steve Henderson, Dan Gilbert, Gregory Tucker, Kevin Dorsey. Officers present: Stan Smith, Mike Gray, Tod Myers, Barry Blumenthal, Clare Barkley.

The minutes of the April meeting were approved.

Barry Blumberg presented the financial report for FY May 1, 1999-April 30, 2000. (Attached)

Doreen Rosenthal explained a reorganization of the Police Department, which removes police officers from COP cars. The officers will be patrolling separately from COP.

Emmanuel Holmes of the Central Neighborhood Services Center spoke about services of his agency and of a “Neighbors Night Out” scheduled for August 3. This is an event designed to have residents doing something outside highly visible in their neighborhood with the goal of achieving zero crime for that day.

Fred Lazarus, President of Maryland Institute College of Art, was guest speaker for the meeting. He spoke about the circumstances of the college and projections for its future with emphasis on the relationship of the Institute and Bolton Hill.

Stan Smith gave the annual State of the Neighborhood address. (Available upon request.)

Past President Doreen Rosenthal presented Awards of Recognition to the following MRIA members: Barbara Blumberg for work with the Bolton Hill Walkers, Lois Schenk for organizing events to welcome new neighbors; Todd Baumann for tending the John Street garden; Ellen Williams for revitalizing block captains; Dolph Druckman for putting Bolton Hill on line. Special recognition was given posthumously to Lynette Anderson for the work she did with clean streets, court watch, and the gracious support she gave to the spirit of neighborhood improvement.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35.

The next meeting will be 8 p.m. June 6, 2000 at Strawbridge Memorial Church.

Meeting_date: April 4, 2000
Posted_by:    <DD>


The regular MRIA meeting was held at the Strawbridge Methodist Church.

Board Members Present: Charles Blackburn, Barry Blumberg, Fred Brooks, Henri Daniels, Norma Epstein, Mike Gray, Trail Mathias, Tod Myers, Hans Pawlisch, Brian Ramer, Doreen Rosenthal, Stan Smith, Gregory Tucker, Ellen Williams

Board Members Absent: Audrey Davis, John Denick, Curtis Elliott, Dan Gilbert, Prencella Hall, Karen Helm, Sarah Holley, Dan Malone, John Massad, Paula Matthews, Jay Marotte, Jim McComas, Laura McNabney, Lois Schenck, Rolf Schmitt, Walter Stone, Jeff Thompson, Estelle Turner, Katherine Vaughns

The minutes of the March minutes were approved.

Barry Kaminetz of the Midtown Community Benefits District reported that Bolton Hill had three groups of Neighborhood Walkers in the winter, and two new groups will be formed soon.  Training for walkers will be at the end of May.  At the Flower Mart, to be held May 17, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Place, all proceeds of sales of lemon sticks will go to the Walkers’ Program. He encourages people to come and help with the booth 
And volunteer as a Bolton Hill walker.  Contact Barry at 410/528-1512 or

Sgt. Hess of the Baltimore City Police Department reported that Bolton Hill has nine more burglaries than occurred in the same time period last year.  The police will do a home security survey for anyone who requests.  Stolen autos are up from 7 last year to 13 this year.  Residents can sign on with “Watch Your Car” program.  The stickers placed on cars can be a preventive measure.  Bolton Hill is getting extra attention for traffic and parking violations.

Barbara White asked permission of the Board to pursue parking problems, specifically having signs installed appropriately throughout the area, checking on special permits, shortening the hours of banned parking at Children and Family Services office.  Permission was granted.

The Nominating Committee announced the following additional Board candidates: for term ending in 2003, Perry D. Cooper, 1418 Park Avenue (replacing Laura Green); for terms ending in 2002, Deborah Phinney, 220 W. Lanvale Street (replacing Audrey Davis), Kathleen Knust, 122 W. Lanvale St. (replacing Dan Malone); for terms ending in 2001, Joel Balsham, 243 W. Lanvale St. (replacing Prencella Hall), Bob Nicholls, 1435 Bolton St. (replacing Karen Helm).

Doreen Rosenthal, reporting on the Police Community Council, identified the main problems in the area as vacant houses and prostitution.

The Board approved sending a letter in support of the Lyric’s expansion project.

Henri Daniels reported that the scheme for funding a 30-child daycare facility at 1212-1214 Eutaw Place died in committee in the State Legislature.

Dolph Druckman asked for suggestions to revise and expand the web site.  Visit at

The Annual Meeting of MRIA will be Tuesday, May 2, at the Parish house of Memorial Episcopal Church.  A donation of a non-perishable food item for the Samaritan Food Closet is requested.  A wine and cheese reception will be at 7:30; the meeting will start at 8. 

Meeting_date: 3/7/00
Posted_by:    nancie



MARCH 7, 2000

The meeting was moved to the Strawbridge Methodist Church because of the Maryland primary election at the Recreation Center.    The meeting was called to order at 8:07 PM. 

Board Members Present:  Barry Blumberg, Fred Brooks, Henri Daniels, Norma Epstein, Dan Gilbert, Mike Gray, John Massad, Trail Mathias, Tod Myers, Hans Pawlisch, Lois Schenck, Rolf Schmitt, Stan Smith, Estelle Turner. 

Board Members Absent:  Charles Blackburn (E), Audrey Davis (E), John Denick, Curtis Elliott, Prencella Hall, Karen Helm, Sarah Holley, Dan Malone (E), Paula Matthews, Jay Marotte, Jim McComas, Laura McNabney,  Jill Nyman, Brian Ramer (E), Doreen Rosenthal (E),  Walter Stone, Jeff Thompson, Gregory Tucker, Ellen Williams. 

The February minutes were approved.

Mary Worrell, pastor at Strawbridge United Methodist Church welcomed the Association and invited everyone to attend its services.  The church is beginning renovations and wishes to become involved in the community.

PARKING PERMITS       Barbara White reported that out of 600 parking permits outstanding,  through mail registration and neighborhood sign up,  she and her volunteer registrars handled 384 applicants..  The current green decals and visitor passes are good through  March 30.   Permit parking restrictions are not in effect on Saturdays and Sundays.

POLICE COMMUNITY COUNCIL        Doreen Rosenthal reported on the February 29th  council meeting.  Stan Smith read the report to the members. 

“Much of the crime in Bolton Hill is closely linked to drugs and prostitution.  The newly formed Central District Community Council is bringing together all of the neighborhoods in Central District to work in partnership with the Baltimore City Police Department to address these problems.  “One of the initial strategies of the Council involves removing prostitution and its accompanying crime by targeting customers or "johns."  In conjunction with the BPD, we will send letters to the owners of cars seen stopping for prostitutes and will enter the information on a database for both follow-up and targeting repeat offenders.  The unique feature of this strategy is that it includes all of the communities in the Central District, so no matter where in Central District such a car is observed, it will be tracked and the owner will be contacted.  And we should be able to minimize the problems of merely moving prostitution and crime from one community to another.

"The "john strategy"  relies on minimal, but critical, input from residents reporting "john sightings"  with the following information:  license number, make of car, time, date, and location.  All reports are anonymous.  You can report the information via e-mail to, by mail to Sgt Charles Hess, 500 W Baltimore St, 21202, or by fax to Sgt Hess, 410.396.2171.”

MIDTOWN COMMUNITY BENEFITS DISTRICT    Sandy Sparks, Midtown's executive director, reported that safety is the primary concern of Midtown, and 15 community security providers meet every other month.  They have a good working relationship with Major McMahon of the Central District. 

There will be a roll-off at Madison & Preston Streets this month, and there will be one monthly in the Midtown area.  Anyone living in Midtown can use the roll-offs wherever they are located.

There will be a meeting on the Jones Falls Trail from Penn Station to Druid Hill Park on Monday, March 13, at 7:00 PM at St Mark’s Church, 1900 St Paul St.  Everyone is invited to attend.

The Midtown Benefits District spring Town Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 30.  at the University of Baltimore.  Treasurer Jack Lapides will present the  proposed budget   for community input.  Charlie Duff will discuss the Midtown Plan.

Midtown is also in Annapolis lobbying for changing its charter review from the state to the city.  Midtown presents its annual budget to the Board of Estimates and has a good working relationship with the city. 

Midtown is in the process of hiring new security officers.  Historically, there has been a drop off in employees during the cold winter season.  Applicants must pass drug screening and criminal background checks before they can be hired.

Transportation Hub:   Greyhound and Amtrak are in partnership to build the new bus terminal adjacent to Penn Station (Lanvale and Charles).  Charles North is working with designers to ensure its compatibility with its location.    Plans include Greyhound Package Service, retail shops, a 300-car parking garage, restaurants, and other amenities.  There are 24 of these intermodal stations across the United States, and the concept seems to be working well in other places.   The Charles Street bridge at Penn Station closes on  May 1.  Work will be done to improve the approach to Penn Station and reconfigure access to the Jones Falls Expressway.  Plans include making the area more pedestrian-friendly  which will be good news to all those who walk to Penn Station.  

Planning is in the works for a flea market to be held on Sundays in the parking lot adjacent to the State Office buildings on Eutaw Street. .  The  person who ran the flea market at Memorial Stadium is studying the idea.

 The Maryland Institute is still interested in the Lafayette Avenue/John Street nursing home site.   So far the owner is unresponsive, even though he is under court order to sell or develop the property.   MICA also has a bond bill before the state legislature for a new classroom facility

Bolton Hill Plaza Shopping:    The McMechen Street shopping center, owned by Rite Aid, is for sale for $1.5 million.    Tod Myers has written  a letter to Rite-Aid reminding them that the property is in an historic district. and falls under urban renewal.   Historically, Rite Aid has been unresponsive to community concerns.  Tod Myers and his committee welcome neighborhood input on how to make this shopping center a positive part of the community.    

Jentry McDonald Corp.:     Henri Daniels reported that the Jentry-McDonald Corporation owner of 1212-1214 Eutaw Place, is asking for $750,000 in  matching state funds for a  30-child daycare facility as well as a group home for children up to age 12 who are taken out of their homes for various reasons.   After meeting with the developer,  the MRIA committee said that a group home is not an appropriate use because of a lack of outdoor facilities for the children.  The Board voted to write a letter of opposition to our state representatives with regard  to the use of this property for a group home.  Debbie Diehl recommended that  a delegation from Bolton Hill go to Annapolis to personally express our opposition to our state representatives. 

HIRAM GRAND LODGE     Grand Master Philip Ajayi asked the Board for its support for matching state funds to build a multi-purpose community center on its vacant site on Eutaw Place (1200 block).  Existing zoning would permit such use.  The Board voted conditional support for this project, requiring the lodge to work with the community on exterior design and use of the park.  A letter of conditional support will be sent to our state delegation. . 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE:  The following have been nominated and agreed to serve a three-year term on the MRIA board of directors beginning June 2000. 

Fred Brooks Maryland Institute
Jack McFadden 1423 Park
Barry Harris 1311 Park
Kevin Dorsey 1809 Bolton
Donna Beth Joy Shapiro 1707 Park
Nate Hubler1714 Bolton
Al Joyner 278 Robert Street (Spicer’s Run)
Steve Henderson 130 W Lafayette
Laura Green 1718 Linden Ave
Dolph Druckman231 W Lafayette

Paul Caiola,  1614 Park, has agreed to serve as general counsel for the coming year.

There are five or six vacancies on the board of directors.  Dan Gilbert, chairman of the nominating committee, would welcome your suggestions.  You can reach him at 410-669-6792 or

The meeting was adjourned at 9:31 PM.

Minutes submitted by interim recording secretary Kathy Smith.

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