There were no guest speakers at last week’s Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association meeting, but members enjoyed a nice meal and a mini-concert that featured Christmas music.
The scheduled guest, City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez (D-7th dist.), was unable to make the meeting for the second month in a row. No representative from the 2nd Police District was able to attend the Dec. 13 meeting, either.
Instead, Don Garecht spoke of planning the first Burholme Pride Day. Garecht, a deputy under City Commissioner Al Schmidt, is working on the logistics with Town Watch/Civic Association leaders Al Taubenberger, Larry Gallagher and Jeanette Scally.
The date, location and activities are to be determined.
Nick Himebaugh, an aide to state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.), told the crowd that the lawmaker’s district offices is collecting new toys for needy local families through Thursday, Dec. 20. The offices are located at 7215-B Rising Sun Ave. in Burholme (215-342-1700) and 14230 Bustleton Ave. in Somerton (215-676-0300).
Also, Himebaugh encouraged people to request free smoke detectors through the fire department. Firefighters will install the smoke detectors and provide fire safety material. Call 311 or 215-686-1176.
Several people complained of recent increases in property taxes. The city has increased property taxes three years in a row, including two “temporary” taxes that became permanent.
Himebaugh pointed out that it was Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council members, not the state legislature, who hiked the taxes.
“If I ever get elected to City Council,” he joked, “I promise to keep your taxes low.”
The Quaker Diner, at 7241 Rising Sun Ave., kept everyone well fed at the meeting by delivering chicken tenders, cookies and other goodies.
A four-member praise band from United Methodist Church of the Redeemer performed Christmas favorites such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Away in a Manger, O Holy Night and Joy to the World.
The Rev. David Brown, the church pastor, played guitar. Scally, the Town Watch/Civic Association secretary, provided lead vocals.
The church, at 1128 Cottman Ave. (at Lawndale Avenue), is inviting the public to a “Blue Christmas” worship service this Saturday at 6 p.m. The service is for people whose losses and hardships make it difficult to join in Christmas celebrations. Refreshments will follow. Call 215-342-7230.
The Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association’s next meeting is set for Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org