EDITORíS DESK: Sorry, OWN, but this was sloppy

       A lot of you probably know about the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN).
       It's hard not to. The group sends out its newsletter (the Westside Story) every three months and serves free hotdogs at a picnic every summer.
       But how many of you take the time to read their newsletter and consider what it's about? Maybe less than "a lot"? How many of you have gone to an OWN monthly town meeting to hear their speakers or talk about issues? Just some, perhaps? How many have called to thank any of its volunteer members for sticking up for the rest of us over the years, studying stuff like sewage backup policies, giving up evenings to visit planned development sites, and asking hard questions of city officials who sometimes seem to forget about this part of town? Count 'em on one hand?
       It's true. I'm leading up to something here. It's not an easy thing to lead up to because I admire and like everybody on OWN... but it's got to be said that they need to get their act together.
       This election fiasco (see article, Page 4) reflected sloppy organization and could even have ended in a lawsuit if the OWN board members who were hurt by it weren't so good-natured. Worse, apparently through additional sloppiness, the newsletter was mailed out so late it did not arrive in people's mailboxes until about three days after the meeting. So the only way, other than word of mouth, that most of the estimated 7,800 residents and 200 businesses in the OWN area could have known about the elections was from an article and calendar listing in the Westside Pioneer. This is not good for an organization that needs credibility when it takes bold actions like inviting the Guardian Angels to the Westside or requesting donations for a Westside historic overlay. Straighten up, OWN! We Westsiders need you... probably more than we know.

- K.J.