Stuck Boat Extracted from Boston Snowbanks

Stuck Boat Removed by Block by Block

Block By Block Ambassadors Remove Stuck Boat from Snow

From the Boston Globe:

Even boats are not safe from Boston’s snowbanks this winter.

The Maggie Mae, based out of Jamestown, R.I., became stuck at the intersection of Summer Street and Lincoln Street in Boston Wednesday afternoon for about two hours, said Rosemarie Sansone, president of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District.

Lieutenant Michael McCarthy of the Boston Police said that the truck that was carrying the boat had a mechanical issue.

About 12 business improvement district “ambassadors” helped dig the vessel out of the snow, with assistance from Suffolk Construction.

The Maggie Mae tied up traffic in the area and attracted pedestrians armed with cameras, Sansone said.

“It was just a spectacle,” she said. “People were just saying, ‘wow we’ve seen everything.’”

McCarthy said police officers in the area assisted with traffic that became tied up.

The boat was towed from the scene just before 3 p.m.

Read the original story by Christina Prignano at The Boston Globe.

Learn more about our Downtown Boston Ambassadors.

Special Interview with Grand Rapids Ambassador

Grand Rapids Ambassador Interview

Meet Grand Rapids Ambassador, Veronica Aho

Wood TV’s eightWest does a special interview with Downtown Grand Rapid’s Kristopher Larson and Block by Block Grand Rapids ambassador, Veronica Aho, who was recently named Downtown Ambassador of the year.

Larson explains the Block by Block Grand Rapids Ambassador program as, “It’s a team of good samaritans we deploy in the downtown 6 days a week…Anywhere from 8 to 10 ambassadors there to really help people. I like to tell them they get the honor of being someone’s hero everyday…They’re there to help people. They’re there to find somebody who needs some type of assistance.”

On how to find the right type of person to become a Grand Rapids ambassador, Larson responded, “I need superheros and rockstars like Veronica here. It really requires a special breed of person.”

Watch the interview at

Photo courtesy of eightWest.

Learn more about our partnership with Downtown Grand Rapids.

Hollywood Ambassadors work to provide safe and welcoming downtown environment

Hollywood Ambassadors

How Hollywood Ambassadors Help Keep the District Safe

The Sun Sentinel features an article about Hollywood Ambassadors’ Safety Program and their latest stride to maintain calm in spots that are known for both tourism and crime.

The article takes a close look at how exactly Block by Block Hollywood ambassadors thwart crime and keep the district safe, while maintaining their other responsibilities such as removing graffiti and litter and providing outreach to the downtown’s homeless population.

For example, the Sun Sentinel details how the Hollywood ambassadors, “work from 4 to 10 p.m. five days a week, and from 4 p.m. until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Clad in bright yellow shirts, they are unarmed, but keep in close contact with police and each other via two-way radio.

“Roaming on foot and bike, they report crime, alert officers to suspicious activity and keep an eye out for code violations. They also walk visitors to their cars, give directions and answer questions about the area, handing out brochures on shops, restaurants, special events and trolley schedules.”

Read more at the Sun Sentinel.

Photo courtesy of Michael Laughlin, Sun Sentinel.

Visit Hollywood to learn more about our Hollywood Ambassadors.

University of Cincinnati safety ambassadors promote campus resources

uofc safety

University of Cincinnati Safety Ambassadors Raise Campus Safety Awareness

Our University of Cincinnati safety ambassadors have partnered with the University Police Department and Student Safety Board in a collaborative effort to ignite awareness among students to promote safety resources on campus.

The organizations have combined forces to create a “safety table” in residence halls Wednesday and Thursday. According to The News Record, University of Cincinnati’s independent newspaper, Dave Hoffman, UC crime prevention officer stated, “The purpose of the safety table is to educate students, faculty, staff and parents on UCPD’s activity and to ensure a safe environment on campus and within the surrounding community.”

The University of Cincinnati safety ambassadors are working with UC on a, ‘Be Smart. Be Safe’ initiative to encourage students to make smart and safe decisions on and around campus.

Read more at The News Record.

Learn more about the University of Cincinnati Safety Ambassadors.

Photo courtesy of Coulter Loeb, The News Record Staff Photographer.

Block by Block Receive Cleveland Police Foundation Award

Cleveland Police Foundation Award 2014

The Cleveland Police Foundation awarded Block by Block with the Cleveland Police Foundation Award for their work serving alongside Downtown Cleveland Alliance since 2009. The award was presented at the 3rd Annual Cleveland Police Foundation Gala on November 15, 2014 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Grand Ballroom in Cleveland, OH.

Block by Block and Downtown Cleveland Alliance have worked together to cultivate a culture of ownership with one mission — “To do whatever it takes to positively shape the downtown Cleveland experience through safety and appearance.”

The Cleveland Police Foundation 2014-2015 Annual Program writes, “In 2013, Block by Block removed 509,056 pounds of trash, cleaned 5,950 graffiti sites, resolved 5,929 panhandler issues, safely escorted 3,419 people, and assisted people 50,421 times with directions, answering questions and being exemplary ambassadors for our city.”

“We’re extremely proud of all we’ve accomplished working alongside the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. We couldn’t be more honored to receive this award.” Blair McBride, President of Block by Block said. “It’s been incredible to watch the district grow and evolve, and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”

Block by Block’s district boundaries go north and south from Lakeside to Carnegie and east and west from East 18th to West 10th, covering roughly 105 city blocks. Block by Block employs 79 staff members in Cleveland, including 68 ambassadors, five full-time leaders, one outreach specialist, one training manager, one office administrator, two operations supervisors and two operations managers.

Learn more

Take a closer look at our partnership with Downtown Cleveland Alliance or find us at a neighbor near you.

South Side Ambassadors improve appearance and safety in Bethlehem, PA

South Side Ambassadors

The South Side Ambassadors Keep the District Safe, Clean and Friendly

On September 5, Lehigh University’s President Kevin Clayton and Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez announced in a press conference the launch of the new South Side ambassadors program in Bethlehem, PA.

Since then, the South Side ambassadors have proven their working knowledge of the area to help both residents and visitors and are acting as a “task force” focusing on safety, cleaning and hospitality services.

Hector Lopez, supervisor of the South Side Ambassadors, stated that the ambassadors are already helping by providing an extra level of presence in the neighborhood to report and incidents they witness.

Jordan Snelling, the business recruitment, retention and expansion manager for the City of Bethlehem echoes this sentiment with, “(The ambassadors) will be working with the city closely to report what happens and will be the eyes and ears on the street.”

Read more at The Brown and White.
Learn more about how our South Side Ambassadors.

Photo courtesy of M. Reilly, B&W Photo.

Downtown Action Team revolutionizing Downtown Albuquerque

downtown action team

Downtown Action Team Partners with State Correction Department

Block by Block’s Downtown Action Team in Albuquerque, NM partnered with the state’s correction department to complete community service projects within the downtown area.

This partnership has allowed assistance to keep downtown streets beautiful while promoting employment opportunities and awesome role models to those involved in the state’s probation and parole department.

1,151 probation and parole offenders have picked up trash, removed graffiti and planted trees for about 7,000 hours of total community service Downtown in the last 12 months, working alongside the Downtown Action Team.

The Downtown Action Team reports a large increase to the area in terms of business and community, which they attribute to the assistance they have received to keep it clean.

Read more about this partnership at Albuquerque Business First.
Learn more about our Downtown Action Team in Albuquerque.

South Side Bethlehem Ambassadors Launch Program


Meet the new South Side Bethlehem Ambassadors

Ambassadors are beginning to patrol the streets in South Side Bethlehem. Ambassador responsibilities will include litter removal, preventative maintenance, patrolling and hospitality assistance. The ambassadors aim to beautify the district and increase the level of community in the area.

In an article on Lehigh Valley High, you can meet the team to put a name and a face to each of the South Side Bethlehem ambassadors. If you are in the area, be on the lookout for these individuals, and be sure to say hello and ask any questions!

Learn more about our South Side Bethlehem Ambassadors.

Block by Block University of Cincinnati ambassadors contribute to 5-year low in crime

University of Cincinnati Ambassadors

University of Cincinnati Ambassadors to Protect the Campus

As part of a push for student safety and reducing crime, University of Cincinnati hired Block by Block Ambassadors in the spring to patrol the Short Vine and U Square districts near campus. The university reports crime is at a 5-year low.

A month into the school year, the University of Cincinnati experienced 18 violent crimes, most of which occurred off-campus. To combat this issue, the campus quickly enlisted the help of Block by Block to create a team of University of Cincinnati ambassadors.

These ambassadors will work alongside campus security to patrol and be an active presence in off-campus areas still heavily frequented by students. This will help to create an overall safer atmosphere for the university.

“We are preventative, but as we learn our neighborhood and what’s around our patrol area, we change our habits,” Patrol Supervisor Markita Coach said. “It’s never to be more aggressive, but it’s to be more social.”

The ambassadors also aim to provide friendly services to locals and visitors in order to improve the social environment and provide assistance as needed.

Read more and watch the video about the program at WCPO Cincinnati.

Learn more about our University of Cincinnati ambassadors.

Lancaster Ambassadors: Same but Different


Lancaster Ambassadors: Same but Different

The Lancaster Ambassadors program will continue! My Lancaster News, a partner with Lancaster Online, reports that Downtown Lancaster has decided to expand their partnership with Block by Block. Under the new contract, Block by Block will be supporting both the clean and safe programs of the city’s Downtown Investment District.

Tony Wright, operations manager of Block to Block, stated, “Our focus is customer service and that’s what we’re going to strive for.”

New changes included in the contract renewal with Block by Block for Lancaster Ambassadors include:

  • 20 additional hours of service per week.
  • Additional clean team and bike squad shifts on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 168 working hours for the bike ambassadors and 116 clean team hours weekly.
  • The placement of 175 sensors spread across the downtown used for tracking.

Ambassadors will be cross-trained to perform cleaning functions as well as the security functions of the patrolling bike squad. Read more at My Lancaster News.

Learn more about our Lancaster Ambassadors.

Photograph by Marty Heisey.