Beautification and Capitolo and Columbus Square and Communication and Education and Event and Fundraising and Minutes and Trees and Volunteers and Zoning05 Sep 2014 04:15 pm

September 2, 2014 General Meeting Minutes

Submitted by Chris DiCapua. Meeting began at 6:46 pm, adjourned at 7:38 pm. Present: Anton, Wilder, Klein, DiCapua, Knapp, Silva, Antonellis, Wyatt, D’Ippolito, Zenzola, Emma. Absent: DiGiulio


Welcome and Introductions:

A list of PSCA accomplishments from August 2013 through August 2014 was distributed to the membership as well as a postcard invitation to the upcoming Columbus Square Fundraiser. Pam Zenzola welcomed guests and thanked Francoluigi’s for their pizza donation.

Pam called for volunteers for a number of upcoming events.


By-Laws Vote: 

Prior to today’s General Meeting, the revised by-laws were distributed, and two neighbors submitted some comments/questions for clarification.

Below is the transcript of the comments and responses:

1. What does the word “representative” mean in Article 3, Section 2(a)? If a husband and wife own a property, does that mean that only one of them votes as “representative” of that property? Or do both vote? I think the latter is your intention. For clarity, I recommend deleting the word “representative” from this section. Alternatively, you could write two different sentences, one for “residents” and another for non-resident property owners. If a corporation or partnership owns a property, presumably you intend that only one representative of the corporation or partnership votes.

2. What does the word “representative” mean in Article 3, Section 2(b)? The implication seems to be that a business gets only one vote even if it is owned by several people. If that’s the case, then the word “representative” means something different in Section 2(a) than it does in Section 2(b). The wording of the two sections should be reconciled and clarified.

1 & 2. The intent here, as you correctly surmised, is that every adult resident is entitled to one vote, while a business would need to assign one individual to vote on behalf of the business entity. While I agree this could be clearer, I think the distinction between Article III, Section 2 a & b is with the word “each” as applied to residents, as opposed to “one” being the descriptor for business.

3. Does Article IV, Section 8 mean that political party Committee persons cannot serve as Directors or Officers? Is a Committee person an elected municipal official? I think the answer should be no, but I’d appreciate a clarification.

3. We discussed this point in some depth and a Committeeperson can serve on the Board. We considered a Committeeperson to be a party office holder, not a municipal office holder, so Committee service would be acceptable. Of course, should a Committeeperson be elected to the Board, they would be subject to the same stringent limits on political activity as all other board members, and could not use the platform of the Association to the benefit of the party or any candidate.

Following are comments related to the PSCA Bylaws:

Article II Section 2 (o)
Is this limited to public schools? I would have a problem contributing to an organization that supports a school associated with a religion.

Yes this is limited to local public not schools with a religious charter or mission.

Article IV Section 5
Is there any value to changing the wording as follows: …shall not authorize or approve debts in total beyond the current balance….

We have it covered even without the clarification when the Bylaws are combined with our financial procedures. As we take on debts, they become part of the rolling budget and we update the current balance of the treasury accordingly. Board members aren’t authorized to spend beyond their budget line without board approval, so I’m not sure there would be the opportunity for this to be a problem.

Article V Section 5
If there is a tie for the last available position how will it be resolved?

On the specific issue of a tie, that would seem to be something that doesn’t need to be spelled out in the bylaws so as not to tie future election committee’s hands. So determining what to do in case of a tie can be a decision made by the election committee. As long as that procedure is spelled out at the very beginning of the process for all voters and prospective candidates, then whatever is chosen should be fine.

Article XI
There may be informational value for Association Members and contributors in knowing which standing committees exist.

As our standing committees change from time to time based upon serving the needs and request from the community listing them in the by-laws would not be prudent. However, to keep the members informed the committees are listed on both the website and in the newsletter.

A motion was made to accept the amended by-laws. A suggestion from a resident was made to add partitions to the voting tables for more privacy in future elections. A vote was taken and the motion to approve by-laws was carried.


Board Updates:


Jared announced 2 possible but unconfirmed zoning cases for this month: 1246 Federal & 1400 S. Darien. The PSCA website and Facebook page will be updated when more information becomes available.

Home Tour

Caroline New, event chair, reminded residents of the upcoming Home Tour, scheduled for October 11 from noon to 4:00 pm. Brigantessa, the soon-to-open restaurant from the team behind Le Virtu, is now confirmed as the after-party location. Caroline announced that she is accepting payment at tonight’s meeting – by cash and checks or credit cards. Advance tickets are $20, and can also be purchased through PayPal. The Home Tour Committee is seeking additional homes and program advertisers, as well as volunteers for the day of the event. Those interested should contact Caroline at hometour@passyunk.org. For more information visit passyunksquare.org/hometour or email hometour@passyunk.org!


Tom Wyatt announced school starts next Monday, September 8. Andrew Jackson School (1213 S. 12th St.) needs about 100 volunteers for its Community Day on Saturday, September 13. At 11:00 am, volunteers will begin various painting and beautification projects around the school – those interested in volunteering should contact education@passyunk.org (no tools or experience needed). After the volunteer work is completed, at 3:00 pm the ribbon for Jackson’s brand new playground will be cut. Refreshments and a DJ will be on hand for the celebration, and all are welcome.


Ilene Wilder announced that the current number of PSCA sponsors is 15 to date. Residents were encouraged to visit the PSCA website for the list of sponsors. The newest sponsors are Noord, Garage and Francoluigi’s. When visiting our sponsors’ establishments, thank them for contributing to the betterment of the community by supporting the PSCA. Ilene invited people to volunteer to get involved in her committee. Those interested in donating money to the PSCA can do so via PayPal on the PSCA website.


On Saturday, September 6, Passyunk Garden will be part of the neighborhood Garden Tour from 1:00-4:00pm. There will be 22 gardens featured. Passyunk Garden is open every Thursday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and Sunday from 4:00 pm—6:00 pm. All are welcome.

A new mural is scheduled for the Capitolo Playground Building on the Wharton Street and playground facing sides. Over the winter work will be started on a mural at 10th and Washington Streets, facing the Sunoco Station. The Beautification Committee welcomes ideas for new projects. For more information email beautification@passyunk.org.

The next meet up with the PSCA pruning club will take place on Sunday, September 21 at 10:00 am, at Passyunk Gardens. Participants will work with certified arborist Joe Schiavo on one of the blocks in the neighborhood. Last month the club pruned the 900 block of Tasker. Residents were reminded to save the date for the final session on October 5.

The next neighborhood tree planting will take place on November 15th. Email beautification@passyunk.org for more information. An advanced Tree Tenders class will take place on September 17. The class is full but it is still possible to participate in a webinar. The basic Tree Tender Class must be completed first. Those interested in helping out should email beautification@passyunk.org for more information.

PSCA is partnering with the Philadelphia Water Department in their Soak It Up! Adoption Program this year to ensure that storm water management installations through out the neighborhood – the planters and rain garden at Columbus Square Park, the planter outside the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, the tree trench on 12th Street between Dickinson and Tasker, and the tree trench on 10th Street between Wilder and Reed – are as beautiful as they are effective in keeping our water clean. Volunteers are needed to help monitor these sites. Those interested in helping out should email beautification@passyunk.org for more information.

Parks and Translation Projects

Chris reported that the third session of ESL classes will began at Columbus Square the week of September 8. Level 1 (for beginners with a little bit of English) meets on Tuesdays for five weeks, beginning September 9. Level 0 (beginners with no English) meets on Thursdays for five weeks, beginning September 11. The cost for five weeks, including materials, is $20.

Chris informed guests of the South Philly Language Exchange Program. Residents should check the PSCA Facebook page for information about September’s Language Exchange.

Chris invited residents to View from the Top: Columbus Square Park Fundraiser scheduled for Friday, September 12 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on the roof of Wharton Lofts (12th and Wharton Streets) to help kick off Columbus Square Park’s fundraising campaign and learn of the proposed renovations to the park. Participants will enjoy drinks and bites donated by local restaurants and find out how to get engaged. Suggested donation is $25. There are three ways to purchase tickets:
1.) by check made payable to “Passyunk Square Civic Association” with “Columbus Square Fundraiser” written in the notes line; checks should be left with Jessica Porco, Recreation Leader at Columbus Square; 2.) via PayPal on the Columbus Square Facebook page, or 3.) at the door.

The monthly PSCA Newsletter continues to be translated into Spanish and posted to the website monthly. Chinese translation of newsletter will begin in the fall, pending award of recently submitted Activities Grant.


The NAP is planning a meeting on Monday September 15, to be held at Angel’s home (1326 S. 9th St). Volunteers are being sought to help with various projects. Angel announced that the PSCA is looking for a new leader for the Welcome Wagon program. Those interested should contact Angel directly.

$200 in cash and a $100 Acme Gift card were awarded each to three Block Party Award recipients: the 700 block of Ellsworth, the 700 Block of Sears, and the 600 block of Annin. These community building block parties are scheduled in the coming weeks.



Officer Ace Delgado, Community Relations Officer, was scheduled to speak but unable to stay at the meeting. Pam spoke for him. He reports that bicycle and auto thefts are up in the neighborhood. Officer Delgado suggests that nothing be left in cars to reduce risk of break-ins. He reports that violent crimes are down in the neighborhood significantly. He also strongly recommends that residents turn on porch lights in front and rear of their homes. Statistics prove this deters crime. He invited interested residents to support the Police Department by attending the Division Police Banquet on September 18th from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm at Galdos Banquet Hall (1933 W Moyamensing Ave).



On Saturday, September 6, a 10K run starting at the neighborhood Rita’s Water Ice and ending at the Fountain will take place. 3500 runners are expected. The event will take place from 7:00 am-11:00 am. Residents were advised to read signs to learn of anticipated parking restrictions. An after party is scheduled at the fountain at the end of the event.

Pam announced that next month we will host a speaker from the City Planning Commission to discuss the process for planning for the future of the municipal complex at 12th and Reed.

Minutes10 Jun 2014 02:22 pm

June 3, 2014 General Meeting MinutesSubmitted 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.

Board Updates:

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.

Minutes15 Apr 2014 10:46 am

Minutes from April 1, 2014 PSCA General Meeting @ Annunciation BVM

Board Members Present: Zenzola, Knox, DiCapua, D’Ippolito, Knapp, Emma, Anton, Fioretti, Wilder, Wyatt, Klein; Absent: Morris

Welcome and Introductions: Pam Zenzola welcomed guests.

Committee Updates:

Events: Pam Zenzola thanked everyone, from artists to attendees, and especially the organizing committee, for making the art auction a great success.

Zoning: Jared Klein announced that the following cases will be heard at the next Zoning Committee meeting on April 8th at 7pm: 1114 Annin: Rehearing on application for use variance for multi-family; 1143-45 Tasker St: Application for new construction of attached three story single family dwelling with cellar and roof deck; 738-44 Wharton St: Lot line relocation to create three lots out of four deeded parcels for use as three single family dwellings, three stories high with roof decks; 1500 S. 9th St: Rehearing for use variance to legalize an existing off-street parking space and to allow the use of the property as a two-family dwelling, and License and Inspection issued a refusal because both uses are prohibited in the zoning district.

Trash: Carmela Fioretti announced that the City of Philadelphia’s 7th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup is to be held Saturday, April 5, 2014 (rain date, Saturday, April 12, 2014) from 9am-2pm. Meet at Passyunk Gardens (Wharton & E Passyunk Ave.) to kick things off. PSCA plans to clean the areas of 9th and 10th Streets from Dickinson to Wharton with a focus on the alley located at S Percy St. off of 9th St.  The objective is to sweep and remove litter on the sidewalks and curbs and remove debris from storm drains. We will be distributing recycling bins, signing people up for recycle rewards and also handing out circular free stickers to help keep flyers off our streets. This is always a great event for our civic and a good way to meet new neighbors.  Volunteers are needed to make the Annual Spring Cleanup a success.  PSCA’s first ever Document Shredding Event will be Saturday May 31st from 10-12 at the parking lot of Reed & E. Passyunk Ave.  We have contracted with ProShred for our onsite shredding event.  The documents will be permanently destroyed as you watch and the paper will be recycled! As we gear up for spring cleaning and tax season, consider putting together your old documents and bring them to our shredding event. Suggested donation of $5 is requested to cover the cost of the service. Please contact trash@passyunk.org with any questions.

Education:  Tom Wyatt invited everyone to the April 10th Education Committee meeting at St. Maron’s (10th and Ellsworth) and announced that tickets are now for sale for the May 15 fundraiser, “Raise Your Hand for Jackson” on the Wharton Lofts rooftop for the Jackson School.

Beautification: Sarah Anton and Andrew Emma announced that 9th Street will have a special clean up on April 3 from 10-12. There is a yard tree giveaway on April 12 10-12 at Columbus Square.  For neighbors with room on their own property, free trees are available, no pre-registration is required. PSCA continues to partner with PWD to monitor the Green Stormwater Infrastructures in our neighborhood. Detailed descriptions of  all the sites are available by getting in touch with the Beautification committee. There is a good team in place working on this project, but more volunteers are always welcome. The next tree planting is April 26 at 8:45, meet at Capitolo Playground 900 Federal Street.  For more information on any of these projects email beautification@passyunk.org.

Parks: Chris DiCapua announced that a second five-week session of  ESL classes began the first week of April .  We now offer two levels: Level 0 and Level 1.  Classes are held at the Columbus Square Recreation Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:00.  Cost is $20 for the five-week session. Free children’s programming is provided.

Neighborhood Ambassador Program:  Angel D’Ippolito announced the NAP is working on some upcoming flashlight brigades and a block party, stay tuned for more info.


Frank Mililio, the new Captain of the 3rd District of the Philadelphia Police Department, introduced himself to the community. He announced that there has been a major increase in car break-ins in our area, and urged us to make sure not to leave anything in cars and always lock them. A recent South Philly anti-gang effort has led to a major decrease in violent crime and they may be broadening it in the future. He urged residents to turn on lights in front of their homes to deter crime. The Captain took questions about dogs being walked off leash, as well as cars illegally parked on sidewalks.

Dan Pohlig of the PSCA Nominations Committee announced the slate of people running for the 12 PSCA Board seats in the upcoming election on May 6. Candidates are: Sarah Anton, Joe Antonellis, Christopher DiCapua, John DiGiulio, Angel D’Ippolito, Andrew Emma, Michael Giangiordano, Jared Klein, Christine Knapp, Larry Lichtman, Ricardo Silva, Ilene Wilder, Tom Wyatt, and Pam Zenzola. For more on the candidates:  www.passyunksquare.org/about/board-of-directors-election/

–Submitted by Karin Morris, PSCA Secretary, April 10, 2014.


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