Things are getting better on the 4700 block of Griscom Street say the residents and they expressed their thanks to Lt. Wood for his help over the past few months. No, it has not turned into heaven but it is not the living hell that it has been for the last year.
Other issues that came up at the meeting attended by about 15 residents:
4524 Penn Street is being demolished. That is the house opposite Friends School.
Nobody attended from Foulkrod and Frankford, so it must be fairly quiet in that area.
L&I has a great new web site that, amazingly, gives some useful information in map form. You can try it out here.
4834 Penn Street is becoming a drug magnet after dark now that most of the former residents have been forced to move by the new owners. Police will put it on the radar for monitoring.
4200 block of Griscom Street is over run with drug dealing. It has gone so far that the play street is used as a device to keep the police from effectively patrolling the block between Adams and Womrath. Lt. Wood will see to it that the bike patrols and maybe even the mounted police go down there. Yes the mounted police are back and they make quite an impression coming down Frankford Avenue.
Drug dealing at the corner of Frankford and Church is ongoing and under investigation.
Illegal truck parking in Northwood continues. The Northwood Town Watch is working to have no parking signs restored so the enforcement action can be taken against the violators.
Illegal parking at Frankford and Margaret is a daily occurrence. The problem is that intersection has a lot of bus traffic making the turn and when vehicles are parked illegally outside of the pawn shop the bus cannot finish the turns and not traffic gets by. This will be referred to the Philadelphia Parking Authority who will cite the violators.
While the 4700 block of Griscom has improved, there has been some increase in problems around the corner on Oxford Avenue.
It was a good meeting with some new faces and the dedicated old hands giving advice.
My final thought on this is that I have been attending these meetings for about three years now. Not once in those years has a representative of the major drug rehab centers (NET and Wedge) attended a PSA meeting. You might think that as professionals in the drug recovery field that would be interested in curtailing drug dealing in the neighborhood where they do their work. Many of their clients live here. Some of them may even cause problems here. Yet nobody from NET or Wedge cares that there is drug dealing only steps from their doors. It almost makes it sound like they have an interest in seeing that continue.
I’ll post the date for the next PSA meeting when it becomes available.
Wednesday afternoon, April 18th, was the inaugural day of a new partnership between the Frankford CDC (Community Development Corporation and NET (Northeast Treatment Centers. Aimed at keeping the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor litter free, in light of the recent disbanding of the Frankford Special Services District, three days a week, four NET clients, with assistance and supplies from the Frankford CDC, will walk from Womrath Park to the Frankford Transportation Center, picking up litter and sweeping the sidewalk. The program is designed to be a sustainable means for regular cleanings of the Avenue, as well as an employment training mechanism for NET clients.
Terence McSherry, CEO of NET and Frankford CDC board member notes “A critical part of the recovery protocol is the concept of ‘responsible concern’ which fosters long term civic pride and involvement in our PIRs, as well as a positive impact on the community in which we live. This project achieves these goals and continues the commitment NET has made to the community to be an asset.”
Any help we can get in keeping the Avenue clean is welcome and at the same time it can be instrumental in helping these folks recover. Slideshow below of the first day on the Avenue.
What does NET do?
NorthEast Treatment Centers (NET) offers a range of mental health, addiction, foster care, community based, residential, and in-home social services to adults, adolescents, children and families. NET is dedicated to providing a comprehensive recovery and resiliency-oriented system of behavioral health care services and supportive social services to adults, adolescents, children, and their families utilizing a quality-driven, cost-effective service provider network.
Please be notified that the next Frankford Business & Professional Association meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 24th from 12n to 2p at Northeast Treatment Centers (4625 Frankford Avenue, in the main room of the Recovery Support Center located on the lower floor).
Tom Conway from the Managing Director’s office will be speaking about the City’s Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP), and Juan Vila from the Food Trust will be on hand to discuss their Healthy Corner Store Network.
The next general meeting for Frankford Business & Professional Association will be held at Northeast Treatment Centers, 4625 Frankford Avenue on Wednesday, May 12 at 8:30am. There was a scheduling conflict with the previous locations. At this meeting there will be presentations from SEPTA on the upcoming construction of the Margaret-Orthodox El Stop and from The Enterprise Center on the programs they now offer for Frankford businesses.
Some readers have noticed activity in the old Salvation Army building at 4342-44 Frankford Avenue. They packed up shop last year and since that time it has been vacant. Since our unfortunate experience with the opening of NET and Wedge without our support, people are very concerned about any changes on the Avenue that may be counter productive to improving our community.
I contacted Jorge Santana, Chief of Staff for Tony Payton and he updated me on what is happening with the property. It is listed for sale with Ken Blum of Benjamin Jacobson Associates for 1.2 million dollars.
As Jorge reported:
Since getting in touch with Ken Blum, I have been working very closely with him. I have made it clear to him that the building cannot by any means be sold for a purpose the Frankford community does not want, and that the community is ready and willing to use any legal means necessary to ensure the building falls into good hands.
That said, I see this as a major opportunity for Frankford. I believe the building is perfectly suited for a charter school or vocational/trades school like Devry, Thomson, or Orleans Technical. We will be reaching out to local charters to see if they are interested in the property. We also have meetings throughout January planned to show the property to other reputable charters not currently in the neighborhood.
Its good to know that Payton’s office is on the case. I agree that this can be an opportunity and it will be if we all stick together and make sure it goes that way. It’s a simple issue. Our political leaders will do what we tell them to do if we speak loudly enough and in the right way. We rolled over too easily for Wedge and NET. Let’s make sure it does not happen again. Stay tuned for further information.