Editorial: Give Milt a hand

So­ci­olo­gists call it the “broken win­dow the­ory.” It goes like this: A broken win­dow in a home or store that goes un­re­paired is not only an un­at­tract­ive nuis­ance, it also in­vites van­dal­ism and oth­er crime. Re­pair the win­dow soon after it breaks, though, and you’ve nipped the prob­lem in the bud, thus pre­vent­ing a minor prob­lem from be­com­ing a neigh­bor­hood eye­sore.

Ex­pand that the­ory a bit and you will ap­pre­ci­ate the work of neigh­bor­hood Town Watch groups, in­clud­ing the re­cently re­in­carn­ated May­fair Town Watch.

As Phil­adelphia’s sur­ging hom­icide rate shows, crime is every­where and way too of­ten takes a deadly turn. One of the ways to pre­serve the good­ness of May­fair and oth­er still-stable North­east neigh­bor­hoods is for neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents and busi­ness own­ers to sup­port the new group, which cov­ers most of May­fair and goes as far north as Shef­field Av­en­ue in Holmes­burg.

May­fair Town Watch was out of com­mis­sion for a while, the vic­tim of, not sur­pris­ingly, cit­izen apathy. This time, though, the good people of May­fair can’t af­ford to look the oth­er way. They need to rise up and join the group.

The new or­gan­iz­a­tion is led by neigh­bor­hood act­iv­ist Milt Mar­telack, who de­serves cred­it for lead­ing op­pos­i­tion to a planned meth­adone clin­ic on Frank­ford Av­en­ue in Holmes­burg. The new pres­id­ent has the sup­port of movers and shakers in­clud­ing May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation Joe De­Fe­lice and Frank Bach­may­er, com­mand­er of Phil­adelphia’s largest and busiest po­lice dis­trict, the 15th.

With plenty of hot spots in May­fair, Mr. Mar­telack has his work cut out for him, but his group will be a huge suc­cess — as long as the people of May­fair get off their butts and help out. ••

Send let­ters to the ed­it­or to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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