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Deni Playground News

Deni Clean Up Crew

The Deni Whiz Kids held their annual park clean-up to kick off the 2011 Baseball Season.  It was a day of brooms, rakes, trash bags, teamwork, and fun. Players, parents, and coaches put on their work gloves to sweep, pull weeds, and remove litter. The Deni Playground Advisory Council and the Whiz kids maintain the park in the absence of an on site recreation leader from the City of Philadelphia.

Danny Savage, President of the Deni Playground Advisory Council and founder of the Deni Whiz Kids said, “It is great to see everyone work hard and take pride in caring for our home field.”

Nolan Allen, Deni Whiz Kids Baseball Commissioner noted, “The Deni Whiz Kids love baseball and they love this park.”

This is the 5th season of baseball for children at Deni Playground. The Deni Playground Advisory Council was formed in 2007 via Danny Savage and Lizz McCollum-Nazario to bring back an absence of youth sports for over 20 years.


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Thanks from the Friends of Overington Park

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the great work that was done this past Saturday! 36 hard working, caring neighbors and friends worked cleaning up our park and getting it ready for winter. THANKS to everyone! You raked the perimeter of the Park, cleaned up the sidewalks, filled 50 bags with leaves for composting in Fairmount Park, and 12 contractor bags of trash/weeds. Together you weeded and mulched 9 garden beds – dug up two beds of Canna bulbs for winter storage, planted 6 chrysanthemums, 12 Easter lilies, and mulched 20 trees! The park will look beautiful this spring thanks to all the great work our volunteers did this past Saturday. I also need to thank the generous contributions from Tony Payton’s office for flyers, Dan Savage for pretzels, Lorraine Fortino for water, ROTC Joe for doughnuts and the rest of our group for their time and commitment to Overington Park! Without your help the park would not be the wonderful place we have come to enjoy. Thanks for your hard work, and time you have all given to make Frankford a better place! It was a beautiful day, made better by your caring! Diane Kunze, Friend of Overington Park

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Dan Savage Responds to Councilwoman Maria-Quinonez Sanchez

Back in February I posted a bit about the recovery house issue.  It was the one year anniversary since the town hall meeting called to discuss the issue and the promise made to return to the community had not been fulfilled. Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez offered a response which I posted here.

Recently I was contacted by Dan Savage, our former Councilman, with some words of clarification.  They follow in full below.

As a life long resident of Frankford, I feel compelled to set the record straight.

Frankford is my passion. I went to grade school at St. Joachim’s and learned to play basketball at the Deni Basketball Courts. I played at Overington Park and my friends played football for the Frankford Chargers at Whitehall which is now known as Gambrel Recreation Center.  After school, I would walk up Frankford Avenue. I would stop at Schwartz’s Pretzels or get a slice of pizza at Leandro’s with my friends. Sometimes I would stop for a haircut at Lorenzo’s where I still get my haircut today.

I have great memories of Frankford and wish for brighter days for the neighborhood my family has lived in for 4 generations.

For 13 months, I had the privilege and opportunity to serve the people of Frankford from November 27, 2006 to January 7, 2008 as Councilman. The first minute I got in office, I used the resources available to a Councilperson to fight for Frankford.

I was the Councilman who had the basketball courts remilled and color coated at Deni Playground because I wanted the kids to enjoy Deni like I did. I had over $1.6 million (on top of the $1.3 million I helped get donated for Operation Field Rescue) put into Gambrel Recreation Center because the Frankford Chargers deserved a better home.  I placed over $93,000 into the restoration of the historic stonewall at Overington Park because I am invested in the neighborhood. In addition, I had new basketball backboards and swings installed as well as the fencing fixed at Wilmot Park (known as the “The Square” to people in the neighborhood).

I allocated $1 million to the Frankford Avenue Business Corridor to help revitalize the avenue. Councilwoman Sanchez moved that money the first month in her term. In addition, she introduced a bill in Council to terminate the Frankford Special Services District. I allocated $450,000 and already had landscape architects working on putting a spraypark at the old tennis courts at Deni Playground. Councilwoman Sanchez moved that money from Frankford.

When it comes to recovery houses, I fought them before I was in Council, during my term, and even today. Mayor Rendell brought us recovery houses in 1995.  Please see below the excerpt from the DBH website.

In 1995, the Philadelphia Coordinating Office for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs (now known as the Office of Addiction Services) established a recovery house system for persons enrolled in state-licensed outpatient substance abuse programs. The goal was to improve treatment outcomes by placing people in a positive, stable living environment that is conducive to recovery. ( )

This is a laudable goal. Unfortunately, because there is a lack of adequate control and monitoring, these recovery houses create problems for the stability and welfare of the communities where they are placed.

If recovery houses or drug treatment centers do not have to go before the Zoning Board, they can only be stopped by the Administration (Dept. of Behavioral Health/Office of Addiction Services). It has to come from the top.

After reading the response of Councilwoman Sanchez to your article regarding the recovery houses, I felt compelled to set the record straight. This is not the first time Councilwoman Sanchez has taken credit for the works of other people in Frankford. The bottom line is she did not come through on her plans for the “recovery task force”. At the end of her long response, she still did not address your initial concern. Instead, she took it as an opportunity to run off a laundry list of good things that happened in Frankford. Unfortunately, she had nothing or very little to do with any of them.

Daniel J. Savage

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Overington Love Your Park event May 8th

Overington Love Your Park event was a big success!
We had 47 volunteers come out and plant , weed, and mulch our park, Frankford Garden Club members, Frankford ROTC members, a group from Philly Cares, neighbors, and Friends of Overington Park (Leiper and Overington Streets). We worked from 11:30 to 3:00. We gave away 44 recycling bins along with information on signing up with Recycling Bank.
Thanks to Maria Quinones-Sanchez, our councilwoman, and her aid, Jason Dawkins. We planted 50 seed packs in the park and gave away 150 packs to our volunteers, along with seed starting instruction workshops.  We painted over 9 benches that had been covered in graffiti. We added 2 new flower beds, and planted over 20 new plants and shrubs in our beds. We cleaned the sidewalks surrounding the park of weeds. We  received a snack, soft pretzels and water, from ward leader Dan Savage, for all our hard work.
A discussion was held about future work in the park, we spoke about water being opened, lighting being upgraded, park signs, and event planning. We came together, worked hard, laughed, and felt good about making the park a better place for everyone. Thanks to all the fine people who helped make this event a big success!  We couldn’t do this without you!
Diane Kunze, Friend of Overington Park