February Newsletter

Dear Friends of Five Points,

As I walked my dog on Wednesday evening along the Fire Station, it seemed like Christmas Eve with most of the businesses closed. The snow on the ground added to that Holiday feeling. Waffle House seemed to be doing brisk business as usual. But, it was the sound of music, laughter and the savory smell coming from the Royal Peasant that gave that feeling that this is a special place. There were just a few cars in the adjacent parking lot which indicated that some of the residents had walked over to one of their neighborhood pubs.

There is no doubt that it is these local retail businesses, the mixed-use developments, and the diversity of the residents that make Five Points such a desirable place to live in Athens. At our last Board meeting, we discussed Business memberships and how neighborhood businesses and the residents may benefit joining our organization – we are also awaiting the Five Points Business Association to appoint a person to our Board so we may work with them to help us determine how we may structure this without seeming biased towards any establishment.

This week on the listserv, we had an interesting exchange of thoughts on the fine line between endorsements and ads. Over the years, the listserv has worked out very well for the overwhelming majority of the folks who participate in this forum. Also, the Board does define policies and pay attention so that we keep our listserv as the great resource that it is. We stop spam and advertising attempts fairly often. When I introduced our Board last year, I indicated that Jill Gambill had the most difficult job of monitoring the site, and I believe it could not have gone any better. All in all, our members have self-regulated so that what is expressed is done so in a respectful way, and we hope it continues. Coming up with a comprehensive policy that looks like our tax code is not the solution, as much of this self-regulation depends on common sense and a little give and take. Besides, a perfect policy cannot be construed for public listserv. We will bring this up for discussion again at our next meeting as we did at our last meeting. I invite your input on any caveats that should be considered when we put together a policy.

The listserv has allowed many residents to connect with each other for support at various times. It has provided some of us with a sense of our local community and it has kept us informed of events and issues that we may not have come across so easily. We trust that you were warm, safe and dry during the ice and snow. The sun is out as I write, but it will be a while before the slush is gone.

Hank Qadir

FOFP Board Chair