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4800 Frankford Avenue Zoning Hearing November 14th

Opioid Treatment Crisis

The official zoning hearing at the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for the application by Wedge Medical to open a 16 unit residential facility at 4800 Frankford Avenue will be held on November 14th at 2 PM at 1515 Arch Street.

4800 Frankford Avenue

Why is this important?  The Frankford NAC is the RCO (Registered Community Organization) for our area.  That group held a meeting in October where Wedge presented their case for support for the project to the community.  There was almost universal opposition to the project.  The results of that meeting were then forwarded to the ZBA.

The ZBA on the 14th will render a final decision on the application.  They could go against the wishes of the community and give the project the green light.  Your attendance at this meeting will add weight to the results of the community meeting.

There are several reasons why I oppose this project.

  • We all know that there is an opioid crisis.  In Frankford, there is an opioid treatment crisis.  We have too much of it to meet the needs of the people from Frankford.  Frankford is overwhelmed with people in treatment and many are not from here.  Last year I met a young man on the Avenue.  He asked me where he could find something and we got to talking.  He said he was in a treatment program.  I said where are you from.  He said he was from Lancaster and had never been here before.  I asked how did he end up in Frankford and he said his caseworker had no openings in Lancaster but found a spot in Frankford.  I hope his treatment was successful.
  • At the community meeting with Wedge, they were asked if all the residential spots would be for Frankford residents.  Wedge said they do not control who gets the spaces.  They have to accept whoever is referred to them.
  • Somewhere in City Hall, they are tracking addiction and when they see there are a lot of people with addiction living somewhere, a light bulb goes off and they say let’s put another treatment facility there.  So with our many fine treatment facilities, it looks like the addiction problem is very high but the reality is that is is high because of all the treatment facilities that they have already allowed to move in.  It becomes a cycle the feeds on itself and there is no end in sight.
  • If you want to buy drugs in Frankford, go to Foulkrod Street and Frankford Avenue.  That is exactly where the location of the planned facility sits.  Even the few people I know who support the new facility acknowledge that this is the worst possible location for it unless you really don’t care whether these folks succeed or fail in their treatment.

If you decide to attend the meeting on the 14th, do not expect to be in and out.  These things can take time and I have yet to be at one that runs on time.  On the other hand, your voice can make a difference.  I’ll be there, it is too important to miss. Will you be with me?

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Pennsylvania to Fund Holistic Drug Addiction Treatment

Pennsylvania is funding health care centers that take a holistic approach to drug addiction treatment.  I am assuming that this is after a statistical analysis, they have proven that this method has significantly higher positive outcomes than the pill mills that have made a home in Frankford in the past.

There are 45 statewide “Centers of Excellence” and Frankford’s Wedge Medical is among them.  Get the entire story from Newsworks at the link below.

Source: Pennsylvania to fund drug addiction treatment centers — NewsWorks

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PSA1 Meeting on August 15th

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.

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When is neighborhood rehab clinic one too many?

That was the headline of the write up this week in the Northeast Times about the task force meeting on the drug services businesses in Frankford.  And what is the answer to that question?   Dump them in there till the people scream in pain.  So in Bustleton, they win and in Frankford we lose.  At least up until now.  Maybe they have pushed us too far.

Now maybe there is a chance that we can get this thing under control.  Why?  Well a lot of people are really justifiably pissed off.

…the councilwoman was adamant that she does not want any more approvals of rehab facilities or recovery houses in the 19124 ZIP code. She said her office is looking into the licenses and permits of facilities located in Frankford. The city Department of Licenses and Inspections prepared to start visiting the locations on the councilwoman’s list to make sure that city codes and regulations are being adhered to.

L&I’s Dan Quinn told the task force that any houses found to be in violation will be shut down. If they continue to operate after a shutdown order, the buildings will be sealed, Quinn added.

The next Frankford Civic meeting is on May 7th.  There is strength in numbers.