President’s message: Fantastic new Safeway is result of community efforts

How about that Safeway?

I freely admit, while I don’t like shopping generally, I truly adore grocery stores. As some of you know, I like to cook and I also like to explore. In my travels, I have found that grocery stores, whether they are giant American-style enclosures with aisle after aisle of thousands of neatly displayed goods, or roadside stalls offering bottled water, gum and hot sauce, present microcosms of societies.

Our new lovely neighborhood grocery store has fruits I’ve never seen from corners of the world I would love to see, many different fresh baked goods and offerings of meat, poultry and fish that should meet the needs of home chefs from almost every culture. And an ice cream aisle – aptly named for Moo Alley – that literally stretches from the store’s front to back.

Other shops, services, and restaurants are near completion, which will fill in what was once a bustling train yard and then – for a very long time – a vacant plot of land that needed a great deal of energy and money to clean up and prepare it for a new life.

In the March issue of Viewpoint, some readers thought I was saying the neighborhood association had been absent from or otherwise negligent in encouraging the best possible cleanup and outcomes for the railyard. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As many of you know, earlier neighborhood association leaders and residents volunteered long and hard hours to push the cleanup effort, convene residents from nearby neighborhoods to learn what they would like to see on that blank land canvas, and to ensure we would end up with as clean, safe and valuable a development as possible.

In no small way, this fantastic Safeway, as well as the lovely homes (built and planned), the stores yet to open, and the next phases of the metamorphosis of what we now know as Crocker Village, were made possible with the driving forces of community members who demanded quality every step of the way.

Also in that column, I expressed my concern that we, as representatives of SCNA, had not done a good job of reaching out to residents along Crocker Drive to make you feel welcomed and an important part of Curtis Park. That is something the SCNA board and I are addressing as we add new members to our ranks and undertake concerted outreach so that our association genuinely reflects and respects all neighbors.

The community members who drove this local, boots-on-the-ground effort to make Crocker Village a model for urban/suburban development, who exemplify community engagement and civic duty, must be thanked and recognized for their hard work.

Thank you.

And I hope you enjoy Moo Alley (the one with all the ice cream), as well as all the other offerings and services in Crocker Village as much as I will.

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