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Don't let squeaky wheel ruin block parties
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Dear Editor,          


My name is Melody Remington and I live at 1231 N. Mitchell Ave., in Turlock. I was one of many residents who had a 4th of July block party, which, much to our delight, turned out amazingly. Along with our family and friends, there were so many other people, including 30 of our neighbors who came out and enjoyed themselves.

The party started at noon, when about 15 minutes in (while we were still setting up) one neighbor in particular essentially harassed us by calling the police four times, an absurd number to call someone when all they’re doing is having a family orientated Independence Day festivity. The entire issue began when she called and told the officer we had alcohol in the street. Understandably, we complied to the police (officer's) request, and moved it back into my garage.

A few hours later, she sends her daughter-in-law to my home to tell me I need to move my barricades so they can pull out of their driveway. In response, I told her they can’t keep going in and out due to the large number of children playing in the street, and the risk constant traffic would pose.  Additionally, I had already asked her earlier in the morning to politely move her cars, exactly for this reason. During this time, the police came out again and spoke to us. In compliance, I eventually moved the barricade under the impression those particular neighbors would be leaving for the rest of the day. However, that was hardly the case. Just shortly after the police left, they had to return again, and four more times in regards to the neighbors moving my barricades. In hopes to prevent any unnecessary conflict, I once again asked them to stop. Shortly after, the neighbors sent their daughter-in-law to tell me to move my barricades, but this time it was so they could light fireworks in front of their home. I opposed the idea, seeing as though my permit allotted us to have rights on the street to light fireworks, and instead insisted that the neighbors join us in lighting our fireworks. At this point, the conversation headed south and strong words were exchanged on both sides.

After the word exchange, two officers came (which the neighboring party had called), proceeded by two more. The entire fiasco ended up resulting in the police asking if we didn’t mind moving the barricades up a little for the rest of the night just so this woman would stop calling them. Having heard that, I decided to be the bigger person (and also not wanting the police being taken away from more important business) and did move the barricades.

I, in no shape or form, am an argumentative person. Frankly, I am just the opposite. I love people and have always had the ability to make friends very easily and I love this community in which I live. Despite all the drama that ensued, I still had a fabulous time and not one person at my party ever had conflict with any one there. My family and I have gotten to know and spend time with our neighbors and it’s sad to see that everyone enjoys participating in community events except for one person who refuses to be a part of our activities.

In direct response to this, I am taking part in Turlock’s “National Night Out,” where I will be coordinating a block party for our whole street as well as anyone else who would like to come and get to know one another. I am very proud to be a part of something that fights crime and helps community members get to know and meet people. I’m looking forward to this night and hope everything goes better than the 4th.


— Melody Remington