Tracy Talks: National Night Out is a perfect time to build a better neighborhood
by Anne Marie Fuller
Aug 02, 2013 | 2407 views | 0 0 comments | 132 132 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This coming Tuesday will mark the 30th anniversary of National Night Out, an evening designed to promote the Neighborhood Watch Program and neighbors getting to get to know one another.

In Tracy, there are 125 documented neighborhood watch programs, 20 of which will be taking part in this year’s event.

A caravan of public officials, police and fire personnel, Volunteers in Police Service and McGruff the Crime Dog will visit participating neighborhoods from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

I first became aware of National Night Out when I was invited to a friend’s neighborhood party several years back.

She did an elaborate 1950s-1960s theme, and so I attended in full poodle-skirt attire and hula hoop. Yes, I actually did the hula hoop at the party, and I had a lot of fun. It was great seeing the caravan come through, and that year my friend’s neighborhood took first place in Tracy.

Vivian Mendoza, a crime prevention specialist with Tracy Police Department, coordinates the annual event.

“This is a great time to renew neighborhood relationships,” Mendoza said. “We encourage everyone to turn on their porch lights to promote a safe community.”

Attending that first National Night Out inspired me to start my own Neighborhood Watch program. Starting the program was a great way to get to know all my neighbors, and even their pets.

We created a phone tree for the neighborhood that often came in handy when there were sales people going door to door. On other occasions, we hosted block parties, political meet-and-greets and Christmas gatherings.

Pet expo this weekend

Look for the second Pet Lover’s Expo and Health & Safety Fair taking place on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West Valley Mall, 3200 N. Naglee Road.

Several pet organizations are scheduled to take part in the event.

Some of them are Guide Dogs for the Blind, Chloe Cole Pet Couture, Animal Rescue of Tracy, Paws4Friends therapy dogs, Noah’s Ark Foundation of Tracy, K-9 Development, VCA Old River Animal Hospital, ACS Bark For Life, Dogs on Deployment and Smart Dawg University dog training.

Along with animal groups, there will be face-painting provided by Creative Art FX, and USA Trophies will also be in attendance.

Many adoptable animals will be on hand for the public to see.

This family-friendly event will be located across from JCPenney and next to Shedskin.

• Anne Marie Fuller is a Tracy arts commissioner and the television host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26 at 7 p.m. Fridays. Contact her at annemarie@

columnist.com.
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