Minutes09 May 2013 10:59 am

Minutes from May 7, 2013 PSCA General Meeting @ St. John the Baptist Church

Meeting began at 6:38 pm, ended at 8:04 pm. Attendance: Approximately 26.

Board Members Present: Zenzola, Morris, DiCapua, Geary, Knapp, Wilder, Knox.

Absent (excused): D’Ippolito, Anton, Emma, Fioretti.

Welcome and Introductions: Pam Zenzola welcomed guests and reported that the unrepresented civic association gap in our neighborhood was being discussed at another meeting at the same time as our Board meeting, thus why some Board members were absent. The gap in civic representation is Tasker to Snyder, 8th to 6th; Mifflin to Snyder, 6th to 4th; and Snyder to Oregon, 8th to 6th. EPX is expanding from Tasker to Snyder 8th to 6th; Pennsport will cover Mifflin to Snyder, 6th to 4th; and LoMo and Dickinson Square West were still in discussion regarding the other gaps. PSCA supports these expansions.

Committee Reports:

Trash and Recycling: Pam Zenzola announced that PSCA will host another e-waste (electronics, anything with a plug) recycling event on May 11 from 10am-2pm in the Acme parking lot. PSCA held a very successful neighborhood cleanup on April 13.

Neighborhood Ambassador Program (NAP): Pam Zenzola announced that the next NAP meeting will be May 8 at 7pm at 1326 S. 9th Street. BJ Phillips, our new Police Advisory Council liaison, spoke about planning for this year’s National Night Out on August 6. She is looking for ideas for entertainment and contacts for elder services and medical screenings. She is also working with the police to do a map of crime hot spots in our neighborhood, to then do targeted flashlight parades and leafleting in those areas. She also encouraged residents who have home security cameras to register them with the police.

Education: Christine Knapp reported that PSCA donated breakfast at Kirkbride and plants to Jackson School for Teacher Appreciation Day (today, May 7). Knapp encouraged residents to donate to our schools’ projects through www.donorschoose.org (one project at Eliza Kirkbride School, school code 90773), specifically through May 10, as your gift will be matched/doubled. 

Jackson has a new school website at www.philasd.org/schools/jackson. Jackson will hold a Community Unity Day and Flea Market on May 18. Kirkbride had a library installed two years ago but has no books or librarian, so they are looking for books. Knapp is asking the school what types of books they need and how to get books approved for donation. The Passyunk Post blog is looking for writers to contribute pieces about education. Open Enrollment/Tours of local schools are May 13-16. The Education Committee is encouraging residents to contact City Council to urge them to make up for the budget shortfall for the public schools.

Parks: Chris DiCapua reported that all three parks will participate in Love Your Park Day on May 11 and are looking for volunteers to help with cleanup/park projects on that day. Columbus Square will host a flea market on June 1. Columbus Square is working with the Community Design Collaborative on an overall plan for the park, and 60 residents have offered input so far by emailing columbussquarepark@gmail.com. The next meeting for the park plan is June 17.

Columbus Square Advisory Council meets the 3rd Thursday of every month, while Capitolo Advisory Council meets the 1st Wednesday of every month.

Planning: Karin Morris reported that PSCA is interested in nominating properties to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, and is looking for volunteers to assist in the process, along with ideas on what buildings you would like to see nominated. Send ideas and volunteer inquiries to planning@passyunk.org. Listing in the register protects the property from significant alteration and/or demolition. Possible candidates include schools, churches, cemeteries, or sites with social significance, as the building itself does not need to be architecturally significant if something important occurred there.

Zoning: Tina Geary reported that the Zoning Committee will hear three cases on May 14 at 7pm (at St. John The Baptist Church at 1234 Tasker Street): 617 Dickinson Street is an application is for three (3) family dwelling in an existing structure (use prohibited); 1430 South 7th Street is an application for a two (2) family dwelling in an existing structure (use prohibited); 642 Washington Avenue is an application is for the retail sale of consumer goods on the first and second floors in the same building with an existing single family dwelling on the third floor (retail is prohibited use). The Zoning Committee is also looking for a few new volunteers for their important committee work, and you do not need to be a lawyer or architect to be on the committee.

Fundraising and Events: Ilene Wilder noted the plant sale was a great success, the busiest one yet at Urban Jungle. The Fall House Tour will be October 12, and Ilene is looking for volunteers.

Beautification: Pam Zenzola announced that Passyunk Gardens is now open and hours are Sundays 4-6, Wednesday 9-11:30, and 4:30-7:00.  Also, a palette gardening workshop will take place June 1 at South Philly HS.


South Philly High School Principal Otis Hackney spoke about their work with the LoMo Civic Association and local firm Roofmeadow to create a rooftop farm at the school. They need to raise $27,000 to complete a planning study and cost estimates, and are raising funds at https://projexity.com/projects/view/South-Philly-High-Schools-Greening-Plan/3. They hope to make this very large space into a community space open to all, as well as a resource for teaching environmental science, agriculture, and green technology to the students. Anyone can email him with ideas for the space at ohackney@philasd.org.

SEAMAAC’s Director of Health and Social Services Amy Jones spoke about the nonprofit’s work with local immigrants and refugees, particularly Asian immigrants. SEAMAAC (Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition) is located at Broad and Castle, and was established in 1984, and has two broad program areas—health and social services and education. They provide numerous programs to elders such as weekly breakfast meetings, healthy living workshops, workshops on voting and access to language resources, case management, and an elders council. In addition, not just for elders, they offer an Asian women’s health program, citizenship-focused English classes, healthcare navigation, a continuum of care program for refugees six months to five years post-resettlement, and a safe families program to teach about domestic violence. They also work with Southwest Philly schools on truancy, and have a Hip Hop Heritage work-ready summer program that teaches kids dance, dj-ing, graffiti arts, etc. A large part of what they do is also to bridge their work with other organizations, so PSCA will be seeking their assistance and leads on how to translate our communications into multiple Asian languages. More information about their services can be found at www.seamaac.org.


–Submitted by Karin Morris, PSCA Secretary, May 8, 2013.


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