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Taylor Bill to Increase Penalties for Illegal Guns Passes House

Legislation sponsored by Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) to toughen the penalties against those who carry illegal guns has passed the House.

“This is a victory for the people of Philadelphia,” Taylor said. “This legislation will help prosecutors in their fight against illegal firearm possession and violence in our city.   If someone is carrying any type of firearm in public it is a crime unless the person is properly licensed or exempt from licensing.”

Under House Bill 1091, the possession of a firearm without a legal permit and that is not owned by the person carrying the weapon, would be a third-degree felony, and anyone convicted would face a minimum mandatory sentence of at least two years total confinement.

The bill was introduced following discussions with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, which wanted to duplicate the success of a New York City law that calls for a mandatory three-and-a-half-year sentence for anyone convicted of illegally carrying a loaded firearm. Violent crime in New York City fell significantly after the new law went into effect.

“Having witnessed the success in New York City, law enforcement officials expressed a hope this legislation could be a major tool to address violent crime in Philadelphia,” Taylor said.

“We must keep our families safe from gun violence,” Taylor said. “That starts with making sure those who illegally carry weapons are placed behind bars.”

The bill now moves on to the Senate.

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Nominations for New Board at Northwood Civic Association

The Northwood Civic Association meeting on October 16th featured the nomination for elections to the board.  Joe Krause was the sole nominee for President.  Tom McAvoy is the sole nominee for Vice President.  Gina Panchella is the sole nominee for Secretary.  Mary Robus, Ed Martin, Lou Kubik, Rodney Allen and Frank Bennett are the nominees for board members.  The election will take place at the next meeting.

The meeting opened with reading of the minutes followed by the treasurers report.  It was noted that Cancer Treatment Centers of America donated $2,500 to the Neighborhood Security Patrol via a donation the the Northwood Civic.

Membership now stands at 109 paid members.  Notice of dues coming due are being distributed and dues are $10 for the coming year.

Frank Bennett gave an update on the Frankford Y.  The building has been secured and Troop 100 of the Boy Scouts from St. Martin’s participated in a clean up of all debris from inside.  It is now stacked up in front of the building and should be picked up for disposal shortly.

The is significant damage to the mansion building from a leak in the roof which is need of immediate repair.  Fund raising is now underway to begin the necessary repairs that will stabilize the building.  There are electric, water and gas bills due before those services can be restored.  Frank Bennett took over as president from the last surviving board member, Tony Rachuba.  Mr. Rachuba then resigned leaving Bennett in control of the organization.  On October 28th, Bennett will then select new board members to serve out the board members terms of office.

The financial records of the Y have been secured. A brief review by Bennett showed that the Y failed because of the loss of subsidies for the day care service which had been carrying the burden of the entire enterprise for a long time.  He characterizes it as lack of participation by the community.  There are many reasons why that was true and the new Y would be wise to plan its programs and facilities accordingly.

Tom McAvoy gave an update on the Northwood Town Watch.  Illegal truck parking has been declared under control in Northwood.  Vigilance is needed to keep on top of it and more volunteers are need in the non patrolling, eyes and ears effort.  For reporting problems or to volunteer for the Town Watch, email tom at

Candidates for the Pennsylvania State Representative 177th legislative district were scheduled time to speak.  John Taylor, the Republican party incumbent, was delayed in Harrisburg.  His district office manager, Marc Collazzo filled in.  William Dunbar, the Democratic party challenger was present and spoke.  A surprise visitor, was Democratic candidate for US Congress in the 13th district, incumbent Allyson Schwartz, who also addressed the gathering.  You can see all three videos on the Frankford Gazette video list or go to our YouTube channel.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association meeting will be on November 20th at 7PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Castor Avenue and Pratt St.


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Northwood Civic Meeting – October 16, 2012 7:00PM

Northwood Civic Association St. James Lutheran Church 4600 Pratt Street *****

Agenda: Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez is scheduled to attend the meeting

Speakers: William Dunbar and Representative John Taylor will introduce themselves.

Elections:  Nominations for all board positions will take place at the meeting.

Updates: Frank will give an update on the Frankford Y

Bring a neighbor!

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Northwood Civic Meeting 2/21/2012

Ian Litwin - Community Planner

Frankford in 2035 was on the agenda at the Northwood Civic meeting on Tuesday with a presentation made by Ian Litwin, a community planner with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.  Litwin explained that the lower northeast planning district will now be the focus of the planning process for Philadelphia2035.  That process will begin with a meeting at Friends Hospital on April 3rd at 6PM.  Subsequent meetings will result in a draft plan for the district in the Fall.

During each district plan, a Steering Committee will help guide the plan, facilitate information flow and review outreach efforts.  Chaired by Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s Project Manager, a Steering Committee is comprised of leaders of neighborhood groups, business groups, and institutions such as colleges or hospitals.  Steering Committees will meet on a monthly basis during a district plan.

Three public meetings in total will take place during each district plan.  Public meetings are designed to be available to all citizens in a district.  Advertised through community organizations, flyers, direct mailings and internet postings, the public meetings will update residents on the progress of the plan and seek public input.

The opportunity to have a voice in a plan that will ultimately shape the neighborhood of the future does not often come along.

In other news from the meeting, Joe Krause gave a brief treasurer’s report and announced that Renee Hudson will be acting Treasurer until at least next month.  Some records need to be sorted out and then a report for the last two years can be made public.

Joe Krause Presdent of Northwood Civic

Committees are still being formed and volunteers are needed.  Come to the civic meeting to get involved.

The illegal parking problem on Bridge Street discussed at the last meeting seems to have been resolved but members should continue to keep an eye on the situation.

Joe has made contact with the Frankford Civic to offer to work together toward common goals.

Joe Menkevich was recognized to talk about the Burk Deed restriction and offered copies of the relevant documents.  They are linked on our history page where you can download the pdf files for viewing.

One person attending was recognized and raised the issue of the poor condition of Greenwood Cemetery.  Significant improvements were made to the cemetery over the last two years but in the back over along the Castor Avenue side, it is still overgrown and people are going in there at night.  This is a link to a slide show we did in the fall that shows some of those conditions at that time.

Another resident complained about the new Northwood Academy Charter School building on Castor Avenue.  He said it looks much larger than was originally planned and looms over the neighborhood.  There are traffic concerns too in that there is no safe place for students to be picked up and discharged from the buses.  Joe Menkevich noted the presence of a vacant lot at 4601-19 Adams Avenue that might be utilized for a bus loading area.  State Rep. Tony Payton offered to pass along this information to Northwood Academy.  Joe Krause said he had a meeting scheduled with them and would bring the issue up at that time also.

Attending the meeting were our two State Representatives, John Taylor and Tony Payton.  They both spoke briefly about what is going on at the capitol and the problems of being in the legislature in this period of financial crisis.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on March 20th at 7PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Pratt Street and Castor Avenue.