Northeast Times

Civic association has a packed agenda at well-attended meeting

Start­Frag­ment

The May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing las­ted three and a half hours last week, as mem­bers wel­comed polit­ic­al can­did­ates and de­bated sev­er­al zon­ing is­sues.

The meet­ing at­trac­ted about 150 people.

At­tor­ney Ron Pat­ter­son spoke of a bid to move a Plan­et Fit­ness in­to a former Fash­ion Bug at 6520 Frank­ford Ave., in the May­fair Shop­ping Cen­ter. The 10,000-square-foot gym would be open 24 hours a day, sev­en days a week. Pat­ter­son and Plan­et Fit­ness of­fi­cials will re­turn for a fol­low-up meet­ing.

The group voted 24-1 in fa­vor of a pro­pos­al by the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia to place a fourth trail­er in the yard of May­fair Ele­ment­ary School to ease over­crowding.

Prin­cip­al Roberta Besden said the school did not re­ceive ap­prov­al to hold classes in the ad­ja­cent May­fair Com­munity Cen­ter, which holds many pro­grams for seni­or cit­izens dur­ing the day. This will be the fourth “tem­por­ary” trail­er, in­clud­ing one that has been on site for 15 years.

The group voted 20-7 in fa­vor of al­low­ing a Laun­dro­mat to open in a former Wawa store at 2847-49 Tyson Ave. Mem­bers will de­mand that the own­er agree to sev­er­al pro­vis­os be­fore grant­ing fi­nal ap­prov­al. The own­er plans to have the store re­main open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. sev­en days a week. The spot would con­sist of 56 wash­ers and 58 dry­ers. The last wash would be at 11 p.m.

Op­pon­ents cited park­ing con­cerns and ar­gued there is no need for an­oth­er Laun­dro­mat.

“We all have wash­ers and dry­ers,” one man said.

Some wor­ried that the busi­ness would at­tract poor people, home­less people and riff-raff.

“If we can’t do bet­ter than a Laun­dro­mat,” one man said, “we’re in trouble in a couple years.”

Civic as­so­ci­ation pres­id­ent Joe De­Fe­lice and oth­ers aren’t thrilled with a Laun­dro­mat, but he said a va­cant shop or some al­tern­at­ives could be worse.

“I want to see Brooks Broth­ers. I want to see Tiffany. But they’re not com­ing,” he said.

The as­so­ci­ation voted 19-0 in fa­vor of a pro­posed J.J.’s Smoke Shop at 7221-23 Frank­ford Ave. It’s the former home of a soft pret­zel shop and Bobby Hen­on’s City Coun­cil cam­paign of­fice. Cus­tom­ers will be able to buy high-end ci­gars and roll their own to­bacco. Gro­cer­ies will also be sold. Pipes will not be for sale.

The group voted un­an­im­ously to op­pose leg­al­iz­a­tion of a car­pet clean­ing busi­ness in the base­ment of a corner prop­erty at 3256 Friend­ship St. Neigh­bors com­plained that the prop­erty was an eye­sore, es­pe­cially a bright yel­low ban­ner and sig­nage in the grass and on win­dows. They also com­plained about the poor at­ti­tudes of em­ploy­ees.

Even be­fore the vote, own­er Dave Zeitz said he’d re­turn to op­er­at­ing the busi­ness out of his home else­where in May­fair.

“I’ll move out. It’s OK,” he said. “I will move out at the end of the month. I’m sorry for dis­turb­ing every­body in the area.”

In oth­er news from the March 19 meet­ing:

• Polit­ic­al can­did­ates in the April 24 primary elec­tion were giv­en three minutes each to woo the audi­ence.

State Rep. Kev­in Boyle (D-172nd dist.) cel­eb­rated the strength of the May­fair Com­munity Cen­ter and the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment’s de­cision to re­voke per­mits for a pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic. He plans bi­par­tis­an le­gis­la­tion to ad­dress neg­li­gent prop­erty own­ers.

Primary chal­lenger Dan Collins, a teach­er, de­scribed him­self as a lifelong May­fair res­id­ent. He’s been act­ive with the St. Mat­thew CYO as a coach. He’d fight state cuts to pub­lic edu­ca­tion.

Re­pub­lic­an Al Tauben­ber­ger, pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce for nearly 20 years, spoke of his long ten­ure as head of the Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation. A mem­ber of the St. Hubert High School ad­vis­ory board, he cred­ited col­league Kath­ryn Ott Lov­ell with lead­ing the ef­fort to raise money to save the school. He prom­ised to help res­id­ents lobby for a new school, if war­ran­ted, to re­lieve over­crowding at May­fair Ele­ment­ary School.

Wil­li­am Dun­bar, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 177th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, op­poses state cuts to edu­ca­tion and seni­or cit­izen pro­grams. He wants to give more op­tions to par­ents with chil­dren in fail­ing schools. He faul­ted Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Taylor for sup­port­ing a bill that re­quires photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion to vote.

Taylor, first elec­ted in 1984, said his top pri­or­ity is neigh­bor­hood sta­bil­iz­a­tion. He’s been ad­dress­ing blighted prop­er­ties and wants to strike a del­ic­ate bal­ance between mak­ing Cath­ol­ic schools vi­brant, im­prov­ing pub­lic schools and sat­is­fy­ing the de­mand for charter schools.

State Sen. Mike Stack (D-5th dist.), elec­ted in 2000, has been work­ing on keep­ing health in­sur­ance af­ford­able and pre­serving fund­ing for Phil­adelphia pub­lic schools. He’s con­cerned about the city’s tax re­as­sess­ment plan, call­ing it “a tax in­crease on the middle class.”

John Feather­man, the Re­pub­lic­an chal­lenger to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-1st dist.), joked that some people think he’s on a “sui­cide mis­sion.” He at­ten­ded a May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing last year when he was run­ning for may­or. He lost the primary by 64 votes. Cit­ing that race to ar­gue that every vote counts, he called on civic mem­bers to ask their fam­ily and friends who aren’t re­gistered to re­gister.

Joe Rooney, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, cited the budget de­fi­cit, na­tion­al debt and high gas­ol­ine prices as is­sues he’d tackle if elec­ted. The mar­ried fath­er of five served in the Mar­ines on act­ive and Re­serve duty for 23 years and today is a cap­tain for Delta Air Lines.

Polit­ic­al dir­ect­or Neil Dee­gan spoke for four-term Demo­crat­ic Rep. Allyson Schwartz. He spoke of her of­fice’s con­stitu­ent ser­vice work, her op­pos­i­tion to the privat­iz­a­tion of So­cial Se­cur­ity and the fund­ing she has se­cured to de­vel­op the Delaware Av­en­ue river­front and make Roosevelt Boulevard safer.

• The crowd ap­plauded Dec­atur Street res­id­ent Patti Vaughn, the first per­son to spread the word that a meth­adone clin­ic was planned for 7900 Frank­ford Ave. The zon­ing board re­cently voted to re­voke per­mits is­sued by the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions.

“That is not the end of the road,” said at­tor­ney Dawn Tan­credi, who rep­res­en­ted clin­ic op­pon­ents in front of the ZBA.

Tan­credi and Phil Mc­Fil­lin, of the Mat­tioni law firm, told the crowd the meth­adone clin­ic op­er­at­or would likely ap­peal.

• De­Fe­lice said there were no re­ports of pub­lic ur­in­a­tion or oth­er prob­lems dur­ing the re­cent Sham­rock Shuttle, a pre-St. Patrick’s Day cel­eb­ra­tion at May­fair bars.

“We got eighty-three phone calls last year, but not one phone call this year,” he said.

• Friends of Pennypack Park in­vites the com­munity to re­cycle elec­tric or bat­tery-powered items on Sat­urday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School’s Ry­an Av­en­ue park­ing lot.

A $5 dona­tion is sug­ges­ted for each tele­vi­sion, fax ma­chine, scan­ner or com­puter mon­it­or.

Pro­ceeds will be­ne­fit park main­ten­ance and re­vital­iz­a­tion.

The Friends group col­lects re­cycled items at Lin­coln on the third Sat­urday of every month, rain or shine. The group also holds park cleanups on the fourth Sat­urday of the month from March through Novem­ber.

More in­form­a­tion is avail­able by call­ing 215-934-PARK.

• The May­fair Fallen Her­oes Run and May Fair will take place on Sat­urday, May 19.

The run raises money for Hero Thrill Show Inc., which provides col­lege schol­ar­ships for the chil­dren of Phil­adelphia po­lice of­ficers and fire­fight­ers who were killed or dis­abled in the line of duty, This year’s event will be held in memory of Joseph Kon­rad, a fire­fight­er killed in a 1984 ar­son blaze in Fishtown.

The May Fair will fea­ture side­walk sales and live mu­sic at Frank­ford and Cottman av­en­ues.

Monsignor Charles Mc­Groarty, long­time pas­tor of St. Mat­thew Cath­ol­ic Church, will re­ceive the Res­id­ent of the Year award.

• The May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet on Monday, May 21 at 7 p.m. at the May­fair Com­munity Cen­ter, at 2990 St. Vin­cent St. ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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