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Northwood Civic Meeting Centers On Lawsuits

UpdateNeast Philly also covered last night’s meeting.

Last night’s Northwood Civic Association meeting was a well attended one, by my count upwards of 30 people were there.  Among other business, two motions were passed unanimously allowing the civic to file lawsuits.  A suit in orphan’s court will be filed against the New Frankford Community Y to force them to open up their finances.  Civic president Barry Howell said that on several occasions the NFCY director Terry Toben has declined to explain where the money for the Y has been going for the last ten years.  George Santana, Tony Payton’s chief of staff, expressed frustration at not knowing who was on the board of directors, and said they may find very interesting things should the books be opened up.  There’s been a dispute over the possible sale of the Y to private investors with the the civic concerned it might be turned into a disco or or club.  The civic is very interested in keeping the property maintained as a community center and expressed frustration that several church groups have shown interest in the past without any follow through.

Another motion was carried allowing the civic to move forward with a suit in common pleas court against Volunteers of America for opening up a group rehab in a house at 4871 Roosevelt Blvd, inside Northwood’s deed restricted land.  “I don’t care what they call it” Howell said, “it’s a halfway house to me.”  He vowed to fight, saying that VOA has stopped any discussion with the civic.  Tony Payton was there and expressed strong support for the civic’s work to fight the incroachment.  Howell said Payton “really stepped up to the plate.”

Representatives from Juniata and Frankford civic associations were also at the meeting to show support for the halfway house/rehab situation that is affecting Frankford, Juniata and Northwood.  Howell said Northwood has laid back for years and it’s time to step up and take action.  He looked forward to a joint initiative between the three neighborhoods to engage local government to get their voices heard.  He spoke of petitions, and bussing people down to city hall to protest.  “Any politician that doesn’t work with us, we’ll work to remove them,” Howell said.

Other items included:

  • A petition was circulated in favor of traffic lights at Horrocks and Oxford, Howell says there were four accidents in the last year and possibly one fatality
  • The war monument plaque at Frankford Field at Large and Oxford fell down last Sunday.  A representative from the school board came and picked it up to make sure it wasn’t stolen.  Howell said they need to stay on top of them to make sure it’s put back up and not forgotten about in a closet for the next 50 years.  Questions were raised as to what organization actually owned it.
  • Jason Dawkins from Counselwoman Sanchez’ office noted there is going to be a meeting for the city’s small parks initiative(parks without buildings), at the Second Baptist Church at 1801 Meadow St on February 22nd at 6pm.  They’re looking for volunteers to help clean up the city’s small parks, including Wilmot and Overington Parks for the mayor’s Park Cleanup Day
  • Tony Payton was there looking for any residents in his district that would sign his petition to get on this May’s ballot.
  • A seargent with the 15th district talked about the new PSA(police service areas)
  • At the end of the meeting lurched into a debacle centered on whether it’s appropriate to save your parking space in a snowstorm.  The police at the meeting affirmed that it is against ordinance to save parking spaces, but you may have neighbor issues if you take their space
  • A census representative spoke about how important it is that Frankford’s residents are counted in the upcoming census.  He spoke about the many federally funded things that are allocated based on population including education and health care and said that for every person not counted in Philadelphia, the city looses out on something around 4000 dollars.  He said that community block grants are given out based on population which means the money given to our CDC is at stake.
  • The zoning issue at 950 Fillmore St will be held over to another time
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Northwood Civic Association Meeting

Over 30 people attended the Northwood Civic meeting Tuesday night.  Camera man from NBC channel 10 was also on hand.  Tim Wisniewski represented the Frankford Civic association.  Karen Phillips of Councilman Darrell Clarke’s office also attended.

One announcement of interest was that there will be a spaghetti dinner benefit this Saturday, January 23rd, at 5 PM in the gymnasium at St. Martins for the family whose home was destroyed in a fire at 957 Dyre Street.

The meeting was dominated by discussion of 4871 Roosevelt Boulevard which was purchased by Volunteers of America.  As it turns out, the purchase was funded by a city agency, Community Behavioral Health. Barry Howell lead the discussion.

Below is a video of about 8 minutes with the highlights of the meeting.