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Frankford Civic Association Meeting

It was almost surreal to hear, once again, a call for a moment of silence at the Frankford Civic Association meeting on Thursday night.  At December’s meeting, Frances Clay had asked for that moment in honor of Thelma Young, long time member.  This month, Brian Wisniewski asked for that moment of silence in honor of Frances who passed away before Christmas.

Alice Henry read a thank you card to the Civic for the remembrance at her memorial service and then the meeting commenced with new business exactly as Frances would expect.

The election for officers was conducted with the following results:
President – Brian Wisniewski
Vice President –  Alice Henry
Secretary –  Rose Zimmermann
Treasurer –  Tim Wisniewski
Zoning – Pete Specos
at large – Al Rose
at large – Al Mitchell
at large – Margie Rivera
at large – Steve McClintock

Jason Dawkins

Several issues of problem properties were raised by Mike Mawson of West Frankford Town Watch.  The Civic will look into those issues.

Roselyn Gonzalez attended on behalf of the club the “Third Floor” at 4651 Frankford Avenue.  She has been in contact with Councilwoman Sanchez office recently(Jason Dawkins) in attempt to work through the process of finding out what has to be done with the city to become legal. You can see the coverage and video by the here.

The club has been operating unlicensed for several months with some problems as previously reported here.  The intention is to resolve the problems and become a members only club.  They will be going before the zoning board to complete that process at some point in the future.  The Civic will then have some input in the process.

Roselyn Gonzalez

The next Frankford Civic  meeting is scheduled for February 3rd at 7PM at Aria Health, 2nd floor conference room.

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Northwood Civic Meeting

The Northood Civic Association held their monthly meeting last night, April 20th at St. James.  A good crowd was on hand.

The Civic has met now met with all political representatives involved and has their support on the issue of the Volunteers of America (VOA) purchase of the house on Roosevelt Boulevard for use as a group home.  No compromise is possible and the home must be used as a single family home period.  The ball is now in the VOA court.

The lawsuit against Northwood Civic Association by Attorney Guinan has been settled satisfactorily.  No further action is to take place on the matter.

Barry Howell reported on the meeting Friday night with New Frankford Developers LLC.  His comments are below.


In addition, Felicia Richardson of New Frankford Developers attended the meeting and took the opportunity to speak for a few minutes about plans for the Y.  Her comments are below.


The issue of crime came up at the end of the meeting and many of those in attendance had personal experiences to report.  Many were relatively minor nuisance crimes that would not usually get a police response.  Barry noted however that a call to report the problem should always be made to get it on the record.  Pete Specos (Frankford Civic) noted that people should take advantage of the newly implemented PSA meetings to bring these issues directly to the captain.  The next PSA (Police Sector Area) meeting for sector 1 is on May 4th at 7PM at the second floor conference room at Aria Frankford.

Barry also noted that there was a flash mob in Northwood last Wednesday, April 14th.  Police had been monitoring it and expected it to happen at Roosevelt Mall.  No damage or injury was reported.

The Greenwood Cemetery will hold a ground breaking on the restoration of the old farmhouse on Friday, April 30th at 10AM.  The pols will be there for picture opportunities.  It is a historic building and the public is invited.

The next meeting for the Northwood Civic is on May 18th.

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Frankford Civic Association Meeting

The Frankford Civic met Thursday night at Aria Health (Frankford) at 7:00 PM.  The meeting called to order by Frances Clay and the minutes  from last month’s meeting were read by Brian Wisniewski.

The first item on the agenda was a zoning issue related to the property at 1845 Wakeling Street.  It is a commercial property presently zoned as residential.  It has never been a residence but now must be officially rezoned to be legal.  You can view the presentation made by Tom Citro, the expediter for the owner, at our YouTube channel.

Pete Specos went over a zoning issue regarding 4314 North Penn Street.  Owner wants to convert it to a two family dwelling.  The hearing is scheduled for next week.  The issue of 1715 Harrison Street from last months meeting was also discussed where the owner wants to convert if from a two family to three family dwelling.  The Civic issued a letter of opposition to the ZBA for that change.

Next up was Jason Dawkins of Councilwoman Sanchez office with an update on the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program.  This program is a no brainer.  You get free stuff for your trash.  All you need to do is recycle.  The City saves money and you get something.  Recycling bins are available at Tony Payton’s (4665 Frankford Ave.) office and Tina Tartaglione’s office (Bridge and Large Streets) as well.

Jason also talked about the proposed Stakeholders/Town Hall meetings on the issue of recovery homes. The meetings may possibly be scheduled by the summer.  Some rational discussion about the recovery house issue followed.

The book he mentions (“How it works”) is available in our book store.

Mayor Nutter sent Lauren Vidas (Coordinator, External Affairs and Public Engagement at City of Philadelphia) , Dr. Don Schwartz (Health Commissioner) and Carl Williams (Deputy Streets Commissioner) to explain the budget options that have been proposed to close the 120 million dollar budget gap for fiscal year 2011.  The discussions focused on the proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages and the trash collection tax.  They also made the point that the mayor is open to any reasonable proposal to increase revenues but at this point does not believe that further service cuts are possible or realistic.

This Saturday, park cleanups are scheduled all over Frankford.  Check the upcoming events for more information.  The next meeting of the Frankford Civic is scheduled for May 13th.  At that meeting, folks who would like to join the Civic and become a voting member may pay their annual dues of $10.00.  The Civic needs your support to continue doing the vital work that needs to be done.

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DA Seth Williams And Absentee Landlord Among Presenters At Tonight’s Civic Meeting

A standing room crowd showed up for a full agenda at tonight’s Frankford Civic meeting.  DA Seth Williams stopped by to discuss his office’s new iniative of assigning his assistant district attorneys to geographic areas.  He feels that this will allow them to better understand and relate to the needs of the community.  Sounds kinda like the police departments PSAs.  Here’s video of Seth talking about Frankford’s issues.

Also at the meeting, Jason Dawkins from counsel-woman Sanchez’s office spoke:

  • of her reservations about the obesity tax pending in counsel stating that coming from retail and small business, she was concerned about increased taxes hurt small business.
  • He also talked about Smedley school at Bridge and Charles Streets becoming a Renaissance school.  The plan proposes to turn around about 30 schools over the next three years by bringing in new leadership from education management organizations (EMOs), charter schools, or teams of District educators.
  • Spoke again of the city’s “Spring Into Your Park” cleanup scheduled for April 10th.  He has to possible projects and are looking for input
  • He’s got recycle bins, get into contact with him if you need one
  • tomorrow at Sankofa Freedom Academy at 1 pm, they have their rescheduled Black History Month presentation
  • THEY ARE PLANNING FOLLOWUP STAKEHOLDERS AND TOWN HALL MEETINGS ABOUT THE HALFWAY/DRUG HOUSE TASK FORCE! Remember the last one?  It was a year ago and apparently there’s been some steady progress.  No firm date has been set.

Carla Sastio came in to talk more about Philadelphia’s Recycling Rewards.

The business owner of 4102 Paul Street, sitting at the corner of Torresdale and Paul St, came in because he’s seeking a zoning for retail sales of aftermarket wheels and tires.  The place is currently zoned commercial but because he wants to be able to take the tires off of cars, it has to be zoned as auto repair.  There were concerns over where he would be storing all the tires after another tire joint burned down two of it’s neighboring houses.  His zoning hearing is March 9th at 2:30 pm.

The owner of 1715 Harrison Street came in looking to get zoning to convert it from a 2 family home to a 3 family home.  He stated he lives in New York and that he’s owned up to 100 properties in Philadelphia at one time.  He admitted to having one outstanding L&I violation for having key locks on every room which usually means its a being used as a boarding house.  He said 5 people were living there now.  The owner left after his presentation.  Later on Pete Specos spoke of taking 3 weeks and 4 letters to get into contact with the owner, and that there were 3 or 4 violations on the property.  He also said all three floors of the house were occupied and that when he went to the location, it was a “pig pen”.

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Frankford’s Police Service Area and ReadyNotify PA

Police office Sgt. Rosenbaum came to last night’s Northwood Civic Associaton meeting to speak about a few things including the newish initiative of PSAs.  The 15th district is being broken up into three sectors: from the Frankford Creek to Bridge Street, Bridge to Unruh, and Unruh to Rhawn.  And so while a captain still has responsibilities over the district, lieutenants have been “promoted” to oversee each area.  Also, instead of officers rotating throughout the district, the same 60 officers are going to be around all the time.  Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month on the second floor of Frankford hospital in their conference room.  Pete Specos is the community co-leader.

Sgt Rosenbaum also talked about Philadelphia Ready Notify Pa.  A system from the Department of Homeland Security which was set up to notify community residents of fast breaking news.  It was designed to notify you via your cell phone(text message) or by email in the evens of emergencies, severe weather, road closures and crime alertsInstructions on signing up can be found here.