June 3, 2014 General Meeting Minutes – Submitted by Chris DiCapua.
Meeting began at 6:37 pm, adjourned at 7:38 pm.
Present: Anton, Wilder, Klein, DiCapua, Emma, Knapp, Silva, Antonellis. Absent: Zenzola, D’Ippolito, DiGiulio, Wyatt.
Welcome and Introductions: Christine Knapp welcomed guests and introduced returning and new Board members. She also recognized and thanked outgoing Board members.
Beautification: Sarah Anton explained what the Beautification committee does and gave Passyunk Garden’s summer hours and schedule. Committee will facilitate giving away free trees to interested residents. Next scheduled tree planting will be in November. Sarah spoke of the PWD’s Soak It Up Program, which she explained provides the city with storm water infrastructure. Passyunk Square has 5 sites and the Beautification committee is looking for volunteers to help monitor them.
Parks and Translation Projects: Chris DiCapua introduced new Board member Ricardo Silva, who will be working with him on immigrant outreach and park projects. Chris reported that the third session of ESL classes began at Columbus Square the week of May 26. Level 1 (for beginners with a little bit of English) meets on Tuesdays for five weeks, beginning May 27. Level 0 (beginners with no English) meets on Thursdays for five weeks, beginning May 29. The cost for five weeks, including materials, is just $20. Free supervised childcare is offered. Chris also informed guests of the South Philly Language Exchange Program. Mark Phillips of Americorps VISTA and the PSCA have partnered to offer regular language exchange sessions at rotating local Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. The first session was held on Thursday, May 22 at Taquitos de Puebla Mexican Restaurant. The goal of this program is to bring together two populations that might not otherwise have contact, for networking, friendship and community building. This is a low-pressure, loosely organized program in which participants can choose to order discounted food or not. On May 29, 13 participants attended: 7 native Spanish speakers, 4 native English speakers and 2 natives of both. The next Language Table will take place on Thursday, June 12 at 7:00 pm at Don Chucho Mexican Restaurant (1108 S. 9th St.)
Nicole Hostettler announced summer programming at Gold Star Park, including “Kids Play,” the third Saturday of every month, May 17 – Sept. 20. “Kids Play” is a monthly playgroup offered in conjunction with the Friends of Kirkbride, South Philly Food Coop, and Friends of Gold Star Park. Toys, group activity & healthy snacks will be provided. 9:30am – 11am. “Music in the Park” will be held the second Wednesday of every month (June – August).
Education: Christine Knapp announced that the Wharton Lofts rooftop fundraiser for Jackson was successful. $65,000 raised. She also informed the guests of the recent death of a Jackson student due to a heart abnormality.
Home Tour: Caroline New and Jennifer Barr reported that this year’s Home Tour will take place on Saturday, October 11, and will coincide with the 10th anniversary of Design Philadelphia. The Home Tour committee is actively seeking homes and advertisers.
Zoning: Christine Knapp announced that there are no zoning cases this month.
Officer Ace Delgado, Community Relations Officer: Officer Delgado reported that there has been a rash of home burglaries recently in the district. He introduced the Property ID Program (a burglary deterrent program), and passed out applications. Officer Delgado offered safety tips to meeting guests, such as not leaving front or back doors unlocked, among others.
Ryan Callahan, Outreach Director of Philadelphia Runner: Ryan introduced his store, Philadelphia Runner, and reported that to celebrate its 10th anniversary, a 10k race is planned for September 6. He passed out a race route map to guests, and informed that the race will begin and end in the Passyunk Square neighborhood. He explained that 3000 runners are expected to participate and discussed some logistics issues, specifically parking. Parking will be restricted in areas of the neighborhood beginning the night before the race until after the race, which is scheduled from 7:30 am to approximately 9:15 am. From 9:00 am – 11:00 am there will be a street festival for runners and open to all in the neighborhood on Passyunk Avenue between Tasker and Dickinson.
Matt Stern & Ellen Chapman, Energy Coordination Agency (ECA) for PGW Energy Sense Program: Matt Stern and Ellen Chapman are employees of the Energy Coordination Agency (ECA), which is a participating contractor in the PGW Energy Sense Home Rebates Program. Information about the Home Rebates Program was distributed to meeting guests. Matt explained that Energy Sense helps homeowners solve many common home issues, such as energy efficiency, pest problems, mold, CO2, and other health and safety issues. For $150, ECA will perform a detailed home audit for PGW customers, which will result in a report with prioritized improvement suggestions. Low interest (1%) financing is available to take on projects. Ellen gave more specifics about the details of a whole-house audit. Ellen also informed guests of ECA’s free rain barrel program as well as various programs for low and fixed income residents. She instructed guests to call (215) 609-1044 for more information about these programs. Ellen ended the discussion with information about the benefits of LED light bulbs, and then she fielded questions from guests.
Christine Knapp announced that there will be no General Meetings during the months of July and August.