Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Third Condemned House Demolished - The Deer Park & Habitat For Humanity Partnership

Before - January 2011

Hey Everyone,

I hope you are getting ready for the holiday season. I know we are. Thinks are hectic around the Duran Household, as Katie and I are wrapping presents, remodeling our offices, and planning strategies for next year's newsletter. With all these things to do, we always make sure we thank each other for the things we do for each other.

After - December 2011
In spirit of holiday thanks, I wish to thank Habitat for Humanity of Omaha and Wells Fargo for a wonderful Deer Park Christmas present. This week, a third condemned property in Deer Park was tore down as part of our partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. This is a huge blessing, as this property, only one block from a great elementary school, was the first property identified for demolition less than one year ago.

What a great way to end 2011. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

What A Merry Christmas! - 2011 Deer Park Christmas Party a Huge Success

Hey Everyone,
Thanks to everyone who attended our annual Deer Park Christmas party. It was great visiting with you all.

A special thanks are needed for..

Traci Bittleston & Katie Duran - The hall and decorations looked fabulous,
Guss Plamer - The best Santa we know,
Rick Long - The Food was delicious,
Garry Gernandt - Our holiday greater, and of course
The Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall # 3 - Thanks for being such great neighbors and letting us use your hall.

If you missed the event, no worries, we are planning more fun events for 2012, just keep visiting this website or reading our newsletter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thank You Palleton!!! We are Proud to Have You in Deer Park

Hey, Hey,
I an writing this post with a big smile. Why? I was doing my typical internet searches looking for people talking about our wonderful neighborhood, and I found a shout out from Palleton Inc..

They mention us on  their website and say they are a  "Proud member of the Deer Park Neighborhood Association - Omaha, NE".

I get so excited when a strong business leader in our community has pride in their neighborhood. You Rock Palleton!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Lot to be Thankful For: Deer Park Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative Progress

Greetings All,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I wanted to use this month’s An Exciting Future to announce that Habitat for Humanity of Omaha (HFHO) scheduled the demolition of a condemned home within Deer Park for Wednesday, November 23. I am pleased to announce that this will be the second blighted structure tore down in Deer Park this month as part of Habitat for Humanity of Omaha's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). Next year, a newly graded lot will make way for a new home, making this the sight of the first Habitat house in Deer Park.

The photos included in this post show the demolition of the first condemned house in Deer Park that occurred last week. The removal of these condemned structures marks that positive changes in the condition of housing in South Omaha are underway.

This hint of progress should be celebrated, but remember this is only the beginning. The Deer Park Neighborhood Association and HFHO are taking back our neighborhood one condemned house at a time, but we have a long way to go and really need your help. If you know of a vacant and or condemned property around your part of the neighborhood, please let us know so we can look into it. If you know of a neighbor that could use some critical exterior home repairs, tell them about Habitat’s Roof & Repair program that offers zero interest loans to qualifying home owners. If you see a new neighbor moving in on your block, go and say hi and tell them about DPNA.

DPNA has shown that we not only care about housing, our youth, our neighbors, and our neighborhood we live for them. Please tell as many people as you can about the great things our organization is doing to improve life in our neighborhood. Share these experiences with us and others by spreading the words that we know so well, that our neighborhood and its’ residents will make a positive difference.

It is a great feat for our neighborhood to begin to see these condemned structures tore down and make way for new families to move into the neighborhood. Even better is that this has come to fruition around the Thanksgiving season. These events remind me that I am very thankful for all the great things going on in our community because of neighbors like you and community partners like Habitat for Humanity.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about anything our organization is doing in the community. We love your input and especially your encouragement.

Kindest Regards & Happy Holiday’s,
Oscar Duran

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hardware Gallery's Street Art Show - November 4, 2011

NFS - Not For Sale Street Art Show

Friday, November 4, 2011 from 6 pm - 10 pm at Hardware Gallery.

This is a special show designed for the appreciation of Street Art! The collection will feature works by Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Mr. Brainwash, Imbue, Rene Gagnon, Fake and many more! Although no pieces are for sale from the collection, there will be Mr. Brainwash posters and a signed Shepard Fairey print given away!

Also, artist Gerard Pefung has done a special print for the show which will be available for sale! A limited run of 20 prints have been produced!

If you have not visited this Deer Park treasure, you are missing out. come support local artists, the Deer Park neighborhood, and a wonderful addition to our neighborhood.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dia de los Muertos at the Bancroft Street Market Gallery

Hey Everyone,There is another terrific event being hosted in our neighborhood. Make time to support our community and our local artists, it will be worth it.

Gallery opens October 29 and will run through November 12. Look for specific times in the flyer below.

Dia de los Muertos at the Bancroft Street Market Gallery


Eighteen artist once again take part in this year's Annual Invitational Dia de Los Muertos "Mensaje de las Mariposas" exhibit and installation. Organized by Chicana artista Linda Garcia, this event brings both traditional and contemporary aspects of the art, ritual and spirit of an ancient tradition going back to the writings of the Popul Vuh.

Thu, October 20, 7pm – 8pm
Bancroft Market - 10th & Bancroft Street

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hey Everyone, 
The Chamber is hosting a community meeting in Deer Park. there has been a big buzz around Vinton street and many people are starting to see what our neighbors know, that there is a lot of potential to develop this part of our neighborhood. 

The Vinton Street Talk Back meeting will be held in both Spanish and English.  The community meeting details are also listed below.  

The Chamber had had a great study conducted in our and three other neighborhoods. Come hear what they found and give your input. 

See you there!

Date/Time:  Tuesday, Oct. 18, 5:30 PM
Location:  Ferguson Studio; 1701 Vinton Street
Intention:  We need your feedback!  Come hear a summary of the Neighborhood Business District Project findings and share your input on project ideas. 

For more information visit:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Deer Park in the News!!! Abstract Concrete Urban Art Competition

Hello Everyone,
This has been a very busy year for our neighborhood. Our latest project, Abstract Concrete was a great success and was a great way to begin to wind things down for the end of the year. I would like to give  a special thanks to Bill Sielder of the Bancroft Street Market and Fairouz Bishara, of South High School. This project would not have been possible without your efforts. I am excited to announce that we received some good media coverage of our neighborhood event. Please visits the Omaha Word Heralds article here, for a summation of the event  by Michael Kelly. Augusta Olsen, a writer for Shout Omaha, had our event showcased  in a two page spread with her wonderful article. Their website has been having some issues, so I have posted their article at these two links, Page 1 and Page 2.

Thanks again Augusta and Mr.Kelly, your articles were a pleasure to read, as always.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Deer Park's Graffiti Competition August 27, 2011

Hey Everyone,
The local efforts to address illegal Graffiti have taken huge strides for the last few years. 

I am so excited that, as part of these efforts, positive strategies are also being explored and incorporated. I have been to many informal and formal meetings/discussions about Graffiti. Discussions led by groups of civic advocates, local artists, neighbors, and even governmental figures. It is no surprise that at most these meetings, someone says, "we need to do more than just erase graffiti!" 

Discussions move into topics ranging from having public spaces for people to display their art, to creating more new urban art programs. I enjoy strategies like these because they require a need to learn more about other groups of people, in this case those that openly display their public works. Some call such people vandals, others call them artists. Most new age strategies do not get hung up on discussions like this, but rather build around how to utilize local opportunities and or maximize community assets.

The principal idea behind many of the positive strateiges to address illegal graffiti is, "by offering people more opportunities to display their urban art either by projects, events, or spaces, we could minimize the amount of illegal tagging in our city". 

Google "Omaha Graffiti Art" and several recent local projects will come up that sought such strategies. The portfolio of these projects includes sponsors like local schools, the South Omaha police department, several non profit groups, and many businesses. 

Now, it is our neighborhood association's turn to try a project. With the help of several community partners, we will be hosting a city wide Graffiti Competition, information below. These event is intended for many audiences. It is truly amazing to see these people in action. See You there!                                                                 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 article about Deer Park program What the Future Community Leaders of Omaha Are Doing This Summer

Last month ran a great article about our CCL pilot program. I recall answering questions about the pilot but didn't know when the article was going to run.  Sorry for the delayed notification, I just read this for the first time today. Below are a few highlights of the article.

Photo by Jessica Clem

"What the Future Community Leaders of Omaha Are Doing This Summer"
By Jessica Clem
Published on July 3, 2011

"When high school students picture summer, they typically imagine late mornings, late nights, and hours of carefree freedom.

But for 15-year-old Lucy Chung and and a dozen other students, summer instead begins with a 9 a.m. wakeup call, a 10 o’clock class, and community project work by 10:30. While many of her peers are still sleeping away a cheeseburger-and-soda hangover, Chung is out making her community better.

Her reason? “It’s good for the neighborhood!”

Chung is a participant in the 2011 pilot program Cultivating Community Leaders (CCL), a project focused on teaching young people the importance of community service and to help improve South Omaha’s housing stock. Created by Deer Park Neighborhood Association President Oscar Duran, this program encourages young people to recognize their potential as community leaders."
"CCL is a 10-week program that began in June and will wrap up in mid-August. Duran leads the classroom sessions, held at Metro Community College. Elizabeth Moldenhauer and I from the Neighborhood Center work in the field with the kids, with Duran’s home as base. It’s a versatile program that will not only enhance resumes but also create a sense of pride in their communities.

Duran has expanded the program by partnering with his employer Habitat for Humanity and the Neighborhood Center. Both organizations have helped in program development and have been assets to building upon the program mission. “I noticed that there was a gap in community service,” said Duran. “There was a significant difference in who had the energy and the resources to volunteer. I felt inspired by the active members of other organizations and started thinking about how we can improve the numbers of volunteers. Then I realized the number one asset was young people. That’s how this program came about.”

Omaha Neighborhood Scan volunteers in Deer Park
"This program requires commitment from the kids. A typical day would be me giving wake-up calls at 9 a.m., and to make sure everyone has a ride to Metro,” said Duran. “We get everyone together by 10 a.m., by 10:30 we are dispersing maps and are doing foot patrols through the neighborhood. We usually wrap up around 2:30 p.m. and then have lunch.”

"They are truly dedicated and work quickly and efficiently during scans. They have no problems talking with residents who are curious as to why they are looking at their homes, and can respond in English and Spanish, breaking language barriers. Maria Gomez, 14, has no issue talking to residents. In fact, she enjoys it. “I explain what we are doing so they know that we are not just scanning, but also helping them,” she said.

For these students, their summer is more ideal than the stereotypical dream. They are making their neighborhoods better and helping keep their communities alive and healthy. Through the CCL program, these kids will inspire people to take pride in their communities and their city for years to come."

A special thanks to Ms. Clem for such a great article promising the amazing work these kids are doing. Please visit this link to read Ms. Clem's full article.

Deer Park August Meeting Tonight- Honoring CCL Participants

Tonight, Wednesday, August 10, 2011, we will hold the monthly Deer Park Neighborhood Association meeting. Deer Park is dedicating the August meeting to the youth participants of the South Omaha Cultivating Community Leaders Pilot. These young community leaders have and are continuing to help with a variety of South Omaha projects including…

·        Deer Park Scan – Neighborhood Center & Habitat for Humanity Omaha
·        Storm Drain Project – Keep Omaha Beautiful
·        Spring Lake Park Beautification – Spring Lake Neighborhood Association
·        Program Outreach - Keep Kids Alive Drive 25
·        National Night Out – Deer Park Neighborhood Association

Cultivating Community Leaders evolved from the mission of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

Please come and show your support of our young community leaders. They have the internal drive to continue to do great things and we need to show them that we are behind them 100%.

Deer Park Neighborhood Meeting
7:00 PM – 8:15 PM, Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Sheet Metal Workers
 International Association
3333 South 24th Street
Omaha, NE 68108-1852

View Deer Park Meeting Location in a larger map

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deer Park Health Festival Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saludable Omaha is a group of Latino youth activists from South O working to create a sustainable health movement in the Latino and wider Omaha community.  

It is the Saludable Omaha mission to inform, inspire and mobilize a wide range of community members to live healthier, more active lives. Their group aims to create an environment and partnership network right here, right now - that supports and sustains healthful community living.

I am excited to announce, the Saludable team now includes; South Omaha High School’s Packasso Project, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s NRI project, Rybin Plumbing and Heating (Head of our Vinton Merchants Committee),  and guess who ....
                                                  The Deer Park Neighborhood Association!!!

Together, we invite YOU to be part of this network!

Please Join us this Saturday for a fun, educational, and entertaining festival.

Saludable Omaha Health & Wellness Festival (official name TBA)
Bag & Save parking lot
1826 Vinton Street, Omaha, NE 68108
Saturday, July 23, 2011
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
What will you find/see at the event?
Children’s’ activities, food demonstrations, physical fitness booths, a healthy cooking demonstration, a 5 piece mariachi band, a Krock Center membership raffle, and most excitingly the dedication of a new community mural on Rybin Plumbing & Heating (18th and Vinton).  
Two youths from the Packasso Project started the mural today, July 20, 2011 and the message within the art is very positive. The dedication ceremony will be around 11:30 am.
Please tell as may people about this event as possible, it is so exciting to see an event held by the joined efforts of  local youth, a neighborhood association, local merchants, and organizations like UNMC, Habitat for Humanity and South Omaha High School.
Together, we can create a community that makes it easier to make healthy choices a habit.
A special thank you is in order to (1) Bag and Save for allowing us to use their parking lot for the festival and for providing water for this summer event, and (2) Rybin Plumbing and Heating for offering the West wall of their building to house a beautiful two story mural. We are so fortunate to have such strong and active business neighbors in our neighborhood. 
Thank You!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deer Park Awarded 2011 Beautification Grant

I had this wonderful news early last month, but I held off on announcing it online until we were ready to implement the next stage of our awarded project. Because of the tremendous generosity of the Sedgwick fund through the Omaha Community Foundation, The Deer Park Neighborhood Association was awarded a grant for $6,510 for our Vinton Business District Beautification Project.

If you did not know, over the last five years, our Neighborhood Association  has assisted in raising and investing an abundance of monetary and capital improvements on the Vinton Business District located at the core of our neighborhood. Since its existence, it has served as a gathering point for neighbors as well as an imperative source of goods, services, and neighborhood pride. The portion of Vinton Street between 16th Street and South 20th Street angles southwest and is one of the few streets within South Omaha oriented diagonally to the surrounding street grid. It is within this subsection of the Vinton Business District where our project will occur.

Photo by Larry Ferguson Studio
As part of our ongoing strategy to progress the appearance, ambiance, and use of this part of our neighborhood, DPNA maintains 31 flower planters, 44 tree wells, and 8 trash receptacles.

In this year's project, DPNA will...

  • till all soil beds,
  • have the tree wells mulched,
  • have planters cleaned and replanted where necessary,
  • fund yearly trash removal services of the trash receptacles we installed last year
  • replant our 20th Street Identity Garden
  • and paint a series of  community focused murals on the Vinton street planters.

Photo by Oscar Duran
For the planter murals process, DPNA will collaborate with students of South Omaha High School Packasso Project to design a series of murals for the Vinton street planters. This piece of the project will begin with a series of meetings, storytelling, and one-on-one conversations with a special Deer Park Arts Committee to learn the history of the neighborhood and  proceed to paint murals that will depict the rich past of our neighborhood.

Together, the above mentioned efforts will drastically add to the beautification of the Vinton Business District. The serviced trash receptacles will decrease the amount of litter on Vinton. The tree wells, identity garden, and planters will improve the quality of the green space, and the planter murals will aide in the establishment of a unified identity for the Vinton Business District while educating patrons of our neighborhood's history. With these improvements Vinton visitors and patrons will be encouraged to return to the Deer Park neighborhood and to help spur our neighborhood pride. In addition to the aesthetical gains, this project will strengthen the relationships and cooperation between DPNA, Deer Park residents, and local high school students.

This project is supported by the Sedgwick fund through the Omaha Community Foundation.

We will be collecting submissions from the Packasso group late August and will have completed the planter murals by late September. Come back to this blog or come to our monthly meetings for updates.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget, our monthly meeting is this Wednesday night at the Sheet Metal Workers Union #3 at 24th and Deer Park Blvd  68108.

Oscar Duran : Deer Park President

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Graffiti Consultant Neighborhood/Business Leaders’ Workshop

The Graffiti Consultant Neighborhood/Business Leaders’ Workshop will be held...

Thursday – July 21, 2011
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Kroc Center
2825 “Y “Street

Come and learn how your neighborhood association or business group can assist in abatement/prevention efforts of illegal graffiti  in Omaha, Nebraska.

Please RSVP and/or call with any question at 402-444-5522

This workshop is a collaborative effort of the City of Omaha, Deer Park Neighborhood Association, Catholic
Charities, The Neighborhood Center and Graffiti Consultants of San Jose, CA

Light Refreshments Available.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cultivating Community Leaders 2011 is Going Great!!!

Hey Everyone,
I wanted to take a moment to give an update on our Cultivating Community Leaders (CCL) project. First, let me tell you a little bit about the program. The main goal of CCL is to connect a new generation of neighborhood leaders to the resources, contacts, and hands on education they will need to continue to transform our South Omaha community. Having worked with South Omaha neighborhood leaders for the last 4 years, I can not express how much I have learned from my community teachers. Last year I decided to set out on making sure that many others had the same opportunity to learn these skills that I had. You can read the previous CCL blog post to learn more.

We did have to adjust the program a bit to include a different group of kids. CCL is now working with Metro's (MCC) Bridges to Success program, but guess what, about half of the CCL volunteers are not even in the Bridges to Success program, they are friends of the Bridges kids and all wanted to spend their summer making a difference in our community.

I have worked with these youths for over  five weeks on several community projects. By my rough estimates, together these young adults have logged in more than 300 volunteer hours in the Deer Park neighborhood. For the first CCL project, we are working with Habitat for Humanity Omaha and the Neighborhood center on a housing study.  The objective of this study is to learn of the exterior housing conditions in our neighborhood. When applicable, we are referring neighborhood property owners to agencies and programs that could aide them in repairing their homes.

This is just one project, so please come to our Deer park meetings or email me at to learn more.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Deer Park - In The News

Extra, Extra!!!!!
Deer Park was been mentioned in two separate June news articles last week. Please use the links below to read two articles that mention our Habitat for Humanity Partnership Project, the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

Omaha World Herald Article

The Reader 

I want to give a special thank you to reporters,  Brandon Vogel (The Reader) and Sue Story Truax (Omaha World Herald) for mentioning our positive neighborhood efforts. Last but most certainly not least, Thank You Habitat for Humanity Omaha, this project is an amazing opportunity and we are most grateful.

Keep up the great work Deer Park!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thank You Rosenblatt - Auction This Week

It is time to Come and Say Goodbye,
It has been a marker in the Deer Park neighborhood and in Omaha since its construction in 1947. Well, this Thursday will be a great day to come and say goodbye. The Rosenblatt Auction will be held this Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 1202 Bert Murphy Avenue (I-80 & 13th Street). All funds go towards the Omaha Zoo Foundation.  In all, more than 900 lots of memorabilia, including dugout seats, signage, bases, players' lockers and more will cross the auction block.
Even if you are not interested in bidding, this day will mark the last time people will be able to see these items together in our beloved Stadium.  I want to take a moment to thank the Rosenblatt Stadium and all its staff over the years, because of your service many citizens, families, and visitors made fun lifetime memories. 

For more information you can visit a dedicated auction website at

Auction Starts at 9:00 AM !!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cultivating Community Leaders in the Deer Park Neighborhood

Hey Everyone,
Don't forget, the Deer Park Spring Cleanup is this weekend. 

I wanted to let everyone know that Deer Park is going to be a part of an exciting pilot project that is starting June 6, 2011.  Below is a narrative that sums the general scope of the pilot. 

Impact One Community Connection’s goal is to connect the people of the Omaha community with available resources here and beyond. They focus on assisting at-risk youth and young adults by providing gang intervention and prevention, employability training, job placement, re-entry assistance and referral services. Through a hand up, not a hand out approach, Impact One strives to empower the individuals they work work with to take control of their lives and move towards positive change.

Through Impact One’s Great Summer Jobs Program, they provide summer job opportunities for youth and young adults throughout the community. Participants engage in employment and life skills training prior to being placed at various job sites throughout the city. This program provides participants with leadership skills and teaches them to be responsible.  The Great Summer Jobs Program provides 150 jobs to area youth and leaves each participant with work experience. 

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) uses an asset-based community development model to work with neighborhood members to utilize existing strengths. Through this program, Habitat Omaha will work with neighborhood leaders to identify and solve other needs/problems in the community (ie: street repair, litter control, homeownership preparedness, etc.). 

The NRI goal is to identify and fully understand assets within the neighborhoods and incorporate said assets within a neighborhood redevelopment plan. As NRI conducts neighborhood, house by house, scans using the Omaha Neighborhood Center’s Neighborhood Scan Program, Habitat Omaha will integrate Habitat housing solutions as appropriate, including: land acquisition, New Home Projects, Rehab Home Projects, Critical Home Repairs (roof replacements and other exterior repairs), and demolitions.

Cultivating Community Leaders (CCL) is a pilot program that builds upon Impact One’s Summer Jobs Program & Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. As an extension of the Great Summer Jobs Program, CCL will teach youths the benefits and fundamentals of grass roots community engagement. For 10 summer weeks, youths will work directly with Neighborhood Associations to complete community projects while developing the youths’ sense of community ownership. CCL participants will work in a variety of projects including; neighborhood scans, graffiti scans, yard cleanups, community gardens, community outreach, and park and litter cleanups.

A variety of Omaha organizations and neighborhood alliance groups are accomplishing many positive projects in our communities, but are struggling to cultivate a new generation of civic advocates and leaders. CCL will be a step towards linking a new generation of leaders with existing community builders whom have fought to make our neighborhoods safer, beautiful, and more collective. There are many great community leaders in Omaha, and this project will showcase just how together they will continue to make positive changes in our communities. 

I want to publicly thank Impact One, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, The Neighborhood Center, and members of the  Deer Park, Hanscom Park,  and Spring Lake Neighborhood Associations for providing the resources and vision to help me launch this pilot. I am confident that CCL could develop as a critical effort in neighborhood redevelopment and community sustainability. 

You can follow CCL efforts and progress on this blog. If you see the youths in the neighborhood make sure to thank them for helping us improve our communities.

Thanks for Reading,
Oscar Duran: Deer Park President

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vinton Street Community Meeting, May 25

Greetings Neighbors!
We hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather out there, that perfect Spring weather is finally here. Now that the cold weather is behind us, we can get outside and do some fun neighborhood projects. As our neighborhood is gearing up for its annual neighborhood cleanup on May 21, we are implementing several new exciting projects for the duration of the year.  

Before, I continue I wish to extend a warm thanks to the local Deer Park merchants. A group of Vinton Street merchants have met twice to discuss how they can actively participate thru our neighborhood association. I was moved, that during both meetings, the merchants expressed the greatest amount of thanks for all the hard work and effort we have invested into our beloved Vinton street business district. Over the last few months several business members have been joining our organization and have expressed an excitement to work with you, their neighbors, to enhance our neighborhood.  They are now meeting together to develop more community projects for Vinton Street.

This movement, spurs strong and viable progress for our neighborhood, and as the residents, we need to assure we continue to do our part. The Omaha Commerce's South Omaha Development Project has helped organize a community meeting at one of our active community merchant member’s studio.

Local photographer Larry Ferguson, will be hosting a community meeting at his studio on Vinton Street Wednesday, May 25. The agenda of this meeting is to continue discussing visions, ideas, and projects on the future of our beloved historic Vinton Street. The Deer Park Neighborhood Association has put a lot of effort and funds into the beautification of this area, and we are pleased to see community meetings being hosted to talk about the future and aspirations of Vinton Street. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce organized this event and plans to have one to two more meetings in the preceding months. If you are a resident of our neighborhood,

PLEASE, come to this meeting and share your vision as we discuss this part of our neighborhood's future. Come be a part of and whiteness a coming together of our community.

View Vinton Street Community Meeting in a larger map

Where: Ferguson Studio – 1701 Vinton Street (The building in the blue box above)
When: Wednesday, May 25, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Stop by anytime, whenever is convenient for you!


If you have any questions or wish to receive more information about this meeting, contact the Omaha Chamber representative, Karen Mavropoulos, at or (402) 978-7929.

See you there!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Project in Deer Park

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Grant Project in Deer Park/Bancroft Elementary Neighborhood

Hey everyone, more exciting things going on in our neighborhood. This post is to update you on a traffic safety project that is being conducted in our neighborhood. 

Deer Park is one of three lucky neighborhoods that will have this study done and we are most grateful for this opportunity.

1. Speed Studies will be conducted by Camilo Torres and Donnie Butler - UNO Transportation Engineering Students - between the dates of May 10-12. Sites for data collection include:
  • -Bancroft between 11th and 12th Streets
  • -13th and Martha - in front of Castelar Elementary
  • -16th between Vinton and B
2. Kick-off educational event will be in conjunction with Bancroft Spring Festival May 13th. KKAD25 will provide trash can decals and key chains to pass out at event (and pencils if available). Volunteers are needed to staff this table. PLEASE NOTE - For the sake of continuity and to help support a clean study on the effects of efforts, Deer Park will be designated as a "Trash Can Decal" zone in getting the KKAD25 message out on as many residential cans as possible that go curbside for pick-up. We can also talk about other ways to supplement the message.

3. Deer Park NA can decide how they would like to engage other partners as part of ongoing educational/community engagement efforts throughout the summer - businesses, faith communities, other civic organizations. Any business that is interested in co-branding resources to pass out to the public - trash can decals, key chains, etc - should contact Tom, directly - 402-334-1391.

4. Once educational efforts are underway, UNO engineering students will return to do immediate follow-up studies to see if initial efforts have made a difference in lowering average speeds.

5. Going in to the school year, we will want to ramp up educational efforts once again. We can meet during the summer to talk about how the association and school would like to do this.

6. In September a final data collection will take place before putting together a final report on the project.

If you have any questions about this project and want to know how you can help, call....

Tom Everson
Executive Director
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25®- A Non-Profit "For Action" Organization
12418 C Street
Omaha, NE 68144 

See you at our neighborhood meeting...

7:00 pm, Wednesday, May 11 
Sheet Metal Workers' Union Hall 
3333 South 24th Street Omaha, NE 68108

June 2011 Deer Park Meeting Moving Location &Time

June DPNA Meeting Location/Time have Moved!
Photo From MCC Website
Hey Neighbors, on Wednesday, June 8, the Deer Park Neighborhood Association meeting will take place at the ITC Building at Metro Community College (MCC). The meeting is not cancelled, the location has just been moved. The South Omaha Development Project is hosting the first annual community meeting on June 8 at 6:00pm. This meeting will follow a different format than traditional DPNA meetings. Booths will be set up by South Omaha organizations doing positive things in our community. Of course Deer Park and Habitat for Humanity are two of these organizations. Our partnership Block by Block housing program is being showcased as an ongoing success in South O.  If you have not come to a meeting before or haven’t come in a while, this is a fun and important meeting to attend.  Join us in learning of the great things going on in South O, and come spread our Deer Park Pride. See you there!

The South Omaha Development Project - First Annual Community Meeting 
6:00 pm, Wednesday June 8, 2011
ITC Building , Metro Community College
South 27th Street & Q Street Omaha, NE 68107

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

In grade school, we would do a Mexican hat dance and eat tacos on Cinco de Mayo.  I was proud I could say a few Spanish words but my vocabulary was very limited.  Little did I know, only 50 miles away from my hometown rested one of the biggest Cinco de Mayo festivals in the Midwest.
While Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is actually more of an American holiday than a Mexican holiday.  Cinco de Mayo celebrations are believed to be started in California by Mexicans and Latinos wanting to bridge the gap between Mexico and America in the 1950’s.  It steadily became popular throughout the states and hit Omaha in the 1980’s.

South Omaha’s rich culture has embraced Cinco de Mayo with its festive activities this week.  While some may see it as just a big celebration, Cinco de Mayo is extremely beneficial to our community.  First National Bank and South Omaha Business Association have created a celebration that draws crowds not only from the Omaha Metro but from a 200 mile radius from South Dakota to Missouri.  The Omaha World Herald reported that $40,00 was given back to non-profit organizations from the Cinco De Mayo proceeds.

Looking through the pictures from past years at, I can’t wait for this year’s celebration.  There will be a Mudo de Ninos (Kids section) on N Street from 23rd to 24th Streets and the carnival opens Friday at 5:30 on 25th Street from O to M.
The famous Grupo Control ( be shaking up South Omaha with their danceable music on Friday at 7 p.m.  Music by Grupo Control and local artists will be free and located at the Plaza on 24th and N Streets.

There is no other place to be in Omaha than the parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Experience one of Omaha’s biggest parades while Mexican heritage is celebrated by all.  After the parade, the fiesta includes food, a carnival and booths with over 80 shops and restaurants open to the public.

Join in the unique fellowship of the Mariachi Mass on Plaza de la Raza (25th and N) on Sunday, May 8th.  Bring the whole family participate  in the fun of the carnival with food, booths and entertainment from noon – 10 p.m. on the plaza.
Nos vemos en la plaza! (See you at the plaza!)

Photos courtesy of