Civic group helped bust short dumpers

A couple of FNA mem­bers happened to be in the right place at the right time and helped po­lice catch two men dump­ing tires along the Delaware River.

Kristie Landry prob­ably didn’t see her­self as a crime fight­er when she signed up for the Fishtown Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation’s Beau­ti­fic­a­tion Com­mit­tee. But that was ex­actly the role she found her­self in last month as she and an­oth­er vo­lun­teer helped the cops nab two men dump­ing tires in a no­tori­ously pol­luted lot along the Delaware River.  

Landry re­told the story at last week’s FNA meet­ing, held Oct. 20 at the Fishtown Re­cre­ation Cen­ter.

Landry said the ar­rests came while mem­bers of the FNA com­mit­tee were tend­ing to the prob­lem lot, loc­ated on Beach Street just north of Penn Treaty Park, on Sept. 30. The lot, she said, is a weedy, tire-strewn prob­lem that nags the com­munity both as an eye­sore and  fire haz­ard.

In fact, the fire de­part­ment had to stop a tire fire there on Oct. 9 that filled the neigh­bor­hood with thick black smoke.

“It’s amaz­ing. There are thou­sands of tires from our streets out to the wa­ter,” she told the audi­ence. “While we were there, these guys came by and were ar­res­ted by po­lice.”

Landry said a white pan­el van showed up at the lot and, when asked, the two men — Mi­chael Rut­ling, 20, and Ral­ph Grandy, 55, as re­por­ted the Daily News — told po­lice they were col­lect­ing good tires to sell at a gar­age.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” she scoffed.

The men were later ar­res­ted and charged with il­leg­al dump­ing.

The lot is owned by Glas­gow Inc., a Glen­side, Pa., based con­struc­tion com­pany.

Landry said the com­mit­tee is plan­ning fur­ther cleanups to deal with the prob­lem of lot and oth­er loc­al sites that have be­come dump­sites for old tires.

Mari­an Hull, plan­ning group lead­er for PennDOT also ad­dressed the meet­ing,  lead­ing a short dis­cus­sion on the sound walls that could come to the neigh­bor­hood if res­id­ents want them.

The walls are de­signed to shield the com­munity from the noise of traffic along I-95, and she said there is a wide vari­ety of op­tions for types of walls avail­able to the neigh­bor­hood.

One op­tion she said PennDOT is ex­plor­ing is clear walls to al­low a bet­ter view of the river.

“It’s loud out there already, and it’s go­ing to stay loud,” she said. “But, a couple areas will get quieter.”

But, she wasn’t ready to present plans or pos­sible choices for the types of walls the com­munity might see along I-95.

That’s a dis­cus­sion for next year.

This year, “we are just try­ing to make a de­cision on wheth­er there are go­ing to be walls,” she said.

For more in­form­a­tion on the pro­ject or to give your opin­ion on the sound walls, vis­it ht­tp://www.95sus­­volved/give-us-your-opin­­px.

Also, Liz Hae­gele of the Pennsylvania Hor­ti­cul­tur­al So­ci­ety told res­id­ents that, thanks to an in­vest­ment from the Pennsylvania In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity, Pen­nvest, the neigh­bor­hood will be get­ting new trees.

The Fishtown Re­cre­ation Cen­ter alone is set to re­ceive 18 trees, which will be ten­ded by the city for two grow­ing sea­sons be­fore they will need to be ten­ded by neigh­bors.

There will be a tree-plant­ing event on Nov. 20 held through the hor­ti­cul­tur­al so­ci­ety and TreeVi­tal­ize. The PHS is seek­ing vo­lun­teers. For more in­form­a­tion, vis­it the PHS’s Web site at www.pen­


Fi­nally, next month’s meet­ing will in­clude vot­ing for the FNA Board mem­bers.

Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at 215-354-3124 or hmit­

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