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As of October 24, 2019, the 15th Police District had 107 school crossing guard posts, of which 21 posts were unfilled.  Among the intersections that lack a guard is Large-Wakeling, where a vehicle passes every 4 seconds on average immediately before and after the former H. R. Edmunds school is in session.  Some intersections, such as Castor-Dyre and Castor-Pratt, have been without a guard for longer than a year.  Similar situations exist in other Police districts in Philadelphia.  To fill the unfilled posts, qualified applicants are sorely needed.

A school crossing guard position offers steady, secure, part-time work with benefits.  Pay exceeds $15 per hour.  Guards work 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. when schools are open. As a civilian employee in the Police Department, a guard receives Civil Service benefits, such as paid time off (vacation and sick) and health insurance, and is eligible to earn retirement pay.

To qualify for training, an applicant for the position need not take a written test, but must undergo a physical examination, a drug test, background checks (for crime and child abuse) and a financial investigation (for money owed to the City of Philadelphia).  Application is required to be done online.

To help reduce the shortage, the Northwood Civic Association has asked the 15th Police District to request that the Police Department increase advertising of open school crossing guard positions.  Also, the Civic is encouraging residents to inform friends and neighbors of the need for qualified applicants.  Most importantly, the Civic urges interested people to apply online as follows:

  1. Go to Click on the green rectangle, which will take you to
  2. At the bottom of, under Quick Links at the bottom of the screen, click on Login / Create Account, which will take you to
  3. On, click on the dark green rectangle. Create the account.  Next, under Quick Links, click on Job Interest Notifications, which will take you to
  4. On, type 6D44 in the Search rectangle, which will take you to a one-line description of Job 6D44, School Crossing Guard (B), including pay per day. Click on the 6D44 below Class Code, which will take you to, where you can view a detailed job description.  Close the SCHOOL CROSSING GUARD tab at the top of the screen to return to the one-line job description.  Click on the feather pen at the right end, which will take you to  Fill out and submit the Job Interest Form.  Next, under Quick Links, click on Civil Service Job Opportunities, which will take you to
  5. On, click on Job Opportunities to see whether Job 6D44, School Crossing Guard (B), is listed as currently open. When an opening is announced, the City of Philadelphia will notify you via the email address that you provided on the Job Interest Form.

For questions about the hiring process, interested people are advised to call Captain’s Clerk Maureen Wharton of the 15th Police District at 215-686-3150.  Ms. Wharton is a former school crossing guard.

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Simpson Rec Renovation Phase 2

A large crowd turned out to hear the plans for the next phase of the renovation of Simpson Recreation Center on September 18th at the Northwood Civic Association meeting.

Councilwoman Sanchez makes her presentation

The first phase has already been completed with the repairs to the exterior of the building earlier this year.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez presented the plan to rehab the Tiny Tots area and install new equipment at a budgeted cost of $300,000 for the project.

Tiny Tots is at present not used because of the condition.

Although the crowd was generally pleased with the improvements, questions were about making improvements to the rest of the facility.  The basketball courts and baseball field get a lot of use and need improvement.

Illustration of the building showing new planting to the right of the entrance replacing equipment shown above.

Sanchez explained that this is the next phase in what must be a long-term plan and she would not make any promises that could not be kept.  She emphasized that the best way for stakeholders to make sure that plans of this type meet their needs is to actively be involved in the Advisory Council at the facility.  That group is part of the planning process.

Construction for the project will begin when the weather breaks in the Spring of 2019.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on October 16th at 7 PM at the Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott Street.

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Did Squatters Take Over the Mayor’s House?

Well, No, they didn’t.

You never hear about Philadelphia’s Mayor, Jim Kenney, having his house stolen by squatters.  That is probably because it has never happened.  Squatters know that it would not be allowed to happen.  If the mayor came home from being away one day and found squatters occupying the premises, the police would have the bums in cuffs and charged with Criminal Trespass in the blink of an eye.  That is how it should be for any situation of that kind in the City.  If you steal a house, you get arrested.

Yet, when the property at 1301 Wakeling Street (right across from Frankford High School) was taken over by squatters in the 3rd week of March, why did the Conservator (Scioli Turco), working on behalf of the Northwood Civic Association, have to go to court to have the crooks legally evicted?  Why should the victim of this crime suffer further loss?

1301 Wakeling Street

Why didn’t the police just throw the bums out when they were called on the first day when they were called to the property?  It is the theft of a house.  But that is not the way it happened.  Instead it took 3 weeks for the legal process to get them out.

Joe Krause, President of the Northwood Civic Association, has been working to bring this property back from near extinction, since 2015.  Last year, after battling the absentee owner for two years in court, the Conservator was appointed, and work began to rehab it and get it back onto the market as a single-family home.  Great progress was made.  Until somebody stole it and held up the project for three weeks.

Its back in the hands of the Conservator now and work must be done to repair the damage.  Three weeks of time lost in the battle to keep the neighborhood a decent place to live.

What will happen the next time squatters take over a house?  It could be yours.

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Northwood Civic Green Lights Triplex

At the Northwood Civic Association meeting on January 16th, members voted not to oppose an application to legalize an existing triplex at 4725 Northwood Street.  The zoning had lapsed for the property due to a technicality and it had been in legal use as a multi family previously.  It is not in the Deed Restricted area.

4725 Northwood Street from Google Street View

Also at the meeting Joe Krause, President of the Association, updated the membership on the conservatorship progress of the Wakeling Street property.  The Civic plans to address other problem properties when the current project is completed.

Terry Heiser talked about additional traffic calming measures coming to Castor Avenue in the Spring and new signage coming to the 4600 block of Oakland Street in an attempt to slow down traffic on the block which has many children.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on February 20th at 7 PM at the Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott Street.

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Important Northwood Civic Meeting

Tuesday, January 16th, will be the next Northwood Civic Association meeting at Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott Street at 7:00 PM.

The owner of a property on Northwood Street, adjacent to the park, will be presenting and seeking neighbors support to convert a property to a multifamily tri-plex. Please come out to this important meeting and ask questions and be informed before making a decision.

The Civic Association will represent the neighbors vote at zoning and not our own opinion.