Thursday night felt like a turning point.
You could feel it in the air in the dining room at Aria Hospital as about 65 people came out to express their feelings at the proposed drug rehab house at 4834 Penn Street.
People came from all over our community to say NO. There would be no discussion, no compromise, no movement. For too long Frankford has been treated as one big rehab by those who would make a living in that industry. It is over and in the past. Look elsewhere because if you choose Frankford, you will be in for a battle.
The new owners of the building have told several different versions of their plans. I won’t go into them because they do not matter since Innovative Treatment Alternatives Inc. has not made a presentation to the community of any kind. They have been doing work on the building without proper permits and this afternoon, with the help of Councilwoman Sanchez office, L&I made an inspection and shut it down. They say they will apply for permits on Monday.
They have indicated to one of our neighbors that they will modify their plans so that it will be acceptable to the community. We will have to wait to see the plan presented to the Frankford Civic Association at a public meeting.
Those are the details but the big story of the night is that Frankford stood up when it counted. The Northwood Civic Association is working with the Frankford Civic on legal action to oppose any negative use of this property. Northwood, in fact, is funding the start of the action with a donation of $1,000 to get the ball rolling. Frankford intends to do fund raising to keep the ball rolling.
There will be a public protest action at 9 AM on Monday in front of 4834 Penn Street. This is an opportunity for Frankford to once again say it loud and clear, NO.
The work of our two Civic Associations has been crucial to this process. If we can take those 60 people in the room and convert them to Civic Association members can you imagine what a transformation it will make in Frankford. The Civics need your support, they are the first line of defense for your community with this kind of problem.
The Gazette did its part in communicating the problem to all of our readers and subscribers both on line and in print. In addition, we did a flier distribution with our neighbor Veronica Daniel on July 4th in the area surrounding the proposed rehab house. We also used text blast to send notices to cell phones throughout the community. We did an online petition and we hyped the Civic meeting on Facebook.
It took a lot of people working together to get this done and it got done. Congratulations Frankford, we won a battle but the war is not over. See you on Monday morning at 9 AM.
Our good friend, John Loftus, of the Far Northeast Times attended the meeting and has his story here. Glad to have him back