Mentelle’s oldest resident dies at 97

Martha Jane Stone, a longtime Lexington musician who had lived in our neighborhood since 1933, died Wednesday at age 97. At the neighborhood history program in May at Bell House, she told some delightful stories about her memories of the neighborhood, from bus companies competing for passengers on Cramer Avenue in the 1930s to the World War II victory gardens on the other side of National Avenue. Read more about her on

Martha Jane Stone, left front, at the unveiling of the historical marker in May.

Snow joke: keep sidewalks clear

Now that winter is here, please remember that shoveling your sidewalk after a snowfall is a good way to be a good neighbor. Mentelle is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, and keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice helps keep it that way.

Also, please be mindful of elderly or disabled neighbors unable to shovel their sidewalks. If you are able to do it for them, please do. If not, reach out to another neighbor who is able. If you are unable to find someone, Jake Gibbs, our 3rd District council member, asks that you contact his office and he will try to find a community volunteer to help. You can reach him at:

This year Lexington has a new, tougher snow-shoveling ordinance. It requires property owners to clear their sidewalks 24 hours after the officially declared end of snowfalls of four inches or more. (However, no property owner will be cited if their street has not been plowed.  Most of the time, Mentelle Neighborhood’s streets are not plowed.)


The new ordinance is complaint-driven. The city Code Enforcement staff will not look for people to cite. They will respond to citizen complaints reported to LexCall, 311. If someone complains about your property, Code Enforcement will follow up. If the snow is greater than four inches and the street has been plowed, they will leave a warning. They will return after 24 hours. If the sidewalk has not been cleared a citation will be issued. The initial fine is $100. (That’s the same fine for all nuisance violations, such as not mowing grass.) This essentially gives homeowners 48 hours to clear their sidewalks after a four-inch snowfall before being cited. To help people adjust to the new ordinance, Code Enforcement will give only warnings — no citations — during the first big snow.

There are no exemptions from this ordinance. “Snow birds” must make arrangements to have their sidewalk cleared in their absence.

Ashland Elementary raising money for a new playground. Will you help?


Our neighborhood school, Ashland Elementary, is trying to build a new playground. The goal is to build a playground next summer that is accessible and inspiring to all of Ashland’s students and supports more active, artistic, beautiful, creative and diverse play and garden spaces that better reflect the school and its focus on the arts.  

school-picture_275x206Estimates for final playground design are between $85,000 and $100,000. The Playground Committee at Ashland has set a goal to raise $100,000 by March 31, 2017 in order to ensure that the playground is completed by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.  To date, $22,000 has been raised through Jog-a-thons, donations gathered at events, and some generous family donations. In addition to fundraising, the committee is applying for grants and approaching local and neighborhood businesses for support. But the playground committee also needs our help.

The committee is asking that families and the neighborhood association consider a donation. No gift is too big or too small!  If you are considering your charitable donations for this year or next, please know that this is a special project of the Ashland PTA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your contribution is tax-deductible. 

If you are interested in making a gift, please send an envelope marked ‘Playground’ with your name and address to: Ashland Elementary School, 195 N. Ashland Ave., Lexington, KY 40502.  Checks should be made out to Ashland PTA with ‘Playground’ in the memo. Please include your name and address so a letter acknowledging your donation can be sent to you.

If you have any questions about giving or ideas to help raise additional funds, please contact Mentelle Neighborhood resident Stephanie Spires at

Thank you!

Shelly Fortune, MNA President