Northeast Times

Dreams of 2013

The year 2012 is his­tory. How many of you kept your New Year’s res­ol­u­tion all year?

How many of you have already broken your 2013 res­ol­u­tions?

It’s once again time for the Times to check in with some loc­al pub­lic fig­ures to ask them if they’ve made a res­ol­u­tion for this year.

Also this year, we’ve asked them to pin­point one thing that can be done to im­prove the North­east.

And we’ve asked them this: “If you could help one per­son, who would it be and what would you do for that per­son?” That ques­tion came out of a dis­cus­sion with New Found­a­tions Charter High School sopho­mores Allyson Mul­len, Nicole Gonza­lez and Gregory Sherid­an, who vis­ited our of­fice dur­ing a re­cent Ca­reer Shad­ow Day co­ordin­ated by their school.

Here we go…

What is your New Year’s res­ol­u­tion?

• Bill Dol­bow, pres­id­ent of the Lawn­crest Com­munity As­so­ci­ation, whose group at­tracts large crowds to its monthly meet­ings: “We’re go­ing to get big­ger and do more for the neigh­bor­hood.”

• Jared So­lomon, pres­id­ent of the Castor Gar­dens-based Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood Civic As­so­ci­ation, joked that he’s had enough of the boy-band craze. “I’m go­ing to try to listen to less of One Dir­ec­tion.”

• Al Tauben­ber­ger, pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce, needs to be in top form for a busy 2013. “My New Year’s res­ol­u­tion is to stay in shape, con­tin­ue to lose weight, paint my house and any­thing else that’s on my wife’s honey-do list.”

• In­spect­or Mike Co­chrane, the new com­mand­er of the North­east Po­lice Di­vi­sion, is tasked with re­du­cing crime in the 2nd, 7th, 8th and 15th dis­tricts, with a par­tic­u­lar em­phas­is on vi­ol­ence in Lower North­east neigh­bor­hoods. “I want to make the North­east a bet­ter and safer place to live for every­one.”

• John McNesby, pres­id­ent of Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5, is look­ing for­ward to open­ing the new FOP headquar­ters in the Far North­east later this month. His res­ol­u­tion con­cerns the well-be­ing of his mem­bers. “Mine is to do my best to keep po­lice of­ficers safe and bet­ter equipped. We bur­ied two this year. I don’t want to have to do that any­more.”

• Un­like McNesby, In­ter­na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Fire Fight­ers Loc­al 22 pres­id­ent Bill Gault does not have a con­tract for his mem­bers. May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter has ap­pealed con­tract awards an­nounced twice by a neut­ral ar­bit­er and up­held once by a Com­mon Pleas Court judge. The uni­on last week filed a court mo­tion to hold Nut­ter in con­tempt. In 2013, Gault wants to fi­nally win the con­tract battle and hopes that Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers changes his mind on a plan to in­vol­un­tar­ily trans­fer 293 vet­er­an fire­fight­ers to give young­er fire­fight­ers ex­per­i­ence at busy sta­tions. The uni­on con­tends it’s im­port­ant to keep the vet­er­ans in place be­cause they know the neigh­bor­hoods the best. “I hope the com­mis­sion­er stops his un­pre­ced­en­ted, ri­dicu­lous trans­fer of seni­or guys. It’s a very stu­pid plan.”

• Elsie Stevens, pres­id­ent of Holme Circle Civic As­so­ci­ation, has plenty of res­ol­u­tions, both per­son­al and for her neigh­bor­hood. She wants to give up chocol­ates and trust her GPS in­stead of her own sense of dir­ec­tion, among oth­ers. As for the civic group, she wants to fa­cil­it­ate an am­ic­able solu­tion to the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment of the Sis­ters of the Holy Fam­ily of Naz­areth con­vent; de­vel­op closer re­la­tion­ships with the Im­macu­late Mary Home, Naz­areth Hos­pit­al and Tor­res­dale Lib­rary; in­stall a “Wel­come to Holme Circle” sign and plant­ings at the Holme Circle traffic circle; beau­ti­fy the Old Crispin Cemetery; cre­ate a Cita­tion of Mer­it Award for res­id­ents and busi­nesses; ad­dress pos­sib­il­it­ies for the fu­ture of the his­tor­ic­al Stokes House on Welsh Road; mon­it­or new own­er­ship of the North­east Com­munity Cen­ter; and or­gan­ize a “Meet and Greet Your Neigh­bors” event. “Wish­ing all a happy, healthy and pros­per­ous New Year.”

• City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez de­scribes her­self as the Sev­enth Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict’s main cheer­lead­er. “My res­ol­u­tion this year is to be pa­tient.  I have frus­trated my­self over the length of time it takes takes to do any­thing in gov­ern­ment. This has led to frus­tra­tion and dis­ap­point­ment, al­though I am very pleased with our ac­com­plish­ments to date.”

• State Rep. Brendan Boyle re­solved last year to eat at few­er fast-food res­taur­ants, but that didn’t go so well. He vows to stay away from them in 2013 and to ex­er­cise more. “My New Year’s res­ol­u­tion is to get in good enough shape to run the May­fair 5K.” He also put out a chal­lenge to his young­er broth­er Kev­in, who rep­res­ents May­fair in the state House, to be ready for the May 18 race.

• City Con­trol­ler Alan Butkovitz also plans to be on a health kick. “I’ve got to watch my diet and my weight. I’m dia­bet­ic.”

• State Rep. Mark Co­hen says, “I hope we can re­store the full right to vote for all Pennsylvani­ans and get rid of the voter ID le­gis­la­tion.”

If you could do one thing to im­prove the North­east in 2013, what would it be?

• Bill Dol­bow, Demo­crat­ic lead­er of the 35th Ward (in ad­di­tion to be­ing pres­id­ent of the Lawn­crest Com­munity As­so­ci­ation): “Get North­east can­did­ates elec­ted.” Ac­tu­ally, Dol­bow is two years ahead of him­self. That’s when there should be at least one open­ing for a Demo­crat­ic at-large City Coun­cil seat. Loc­al ward lead­ers are ex­pec­ted to mo­bil­ize to sup­port a North­east hope­ful.

• Jared So­lomon said the North­east shouldn’t be known primar­ily as the place where fans gath­er to cel­eb­rate play­off wins by our loc­al pro sports teams. “We should be pro­mot­ing the his­tory, cul­tur­al di­versity and prom­ise of the North­east.”

• Abby Gil­bert, pro­ject man­ager of the Rhawn­hurst Nat­ur­ally Oc­cur­ring Re­tire­ment Com­munity, knows of many seni­or cit­izens who could use year-round help find­ing trans­port­a­tion, rak­ing leaves, pulling weeds, mow­ing lawns and shov­el­ing snow. “I’d like to con­nect more people with seni­ors who need a help­ing hand, not just here in Rhawn­hurst, but throughout the North­east.”

• Joe De­Fe­lice is pres­id­ent of the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation and chair­man of the May­fair Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion, and works closely with the May­fair Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation. All of those groups are hop­ing for an in­crease in vo­lun­teer cit­izen act­iv­ists and will be work­ing to in­crease foot traffic and de­sir­able busi­nesses on the main com­mer­cial cor­ridor. “What I’d like to see in 2013 is more vi­brancy along Frank­ford Av­en­ue. As Frank­ford Av­en­ue goes, so goes the neigh­bor­hood.”

• Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez said, “As for help­ing someone, I try to help someone every day in all that I do.  But it is par­tic­u­larly grat­i­fy­ing to help a young per­son.  Their view of the world is less tain­ted, and I find, al­ways spir­ited.”

• Alan Butkovitz, who lives in Castor Gar­dens, sees the North­east as an old com­munity with little new de­vel­op­ment. Too many of its good cit­izens are mov­ing to the sub­urbs and South Jer­sey. “I’d like to see the North­east cap­ture the kind of dy­nam­ic they have in Cen­ter City, start­ing on the river and mov­ing west.”

• Brendan Boyle is a sup­port­er of Build­ing Amer­ica’s Fu­ture Edu­ca­tion­al Fund, a group co-chaired by former Phil­adelphia May­or and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, which seeks to im­prove the na­tion’s in­fra­struc­ture, such as roads and bridges. A sim­il­ar plan boos­ted China’s eco­nomy, Boyle said, and he wants un­em­ployed North­east res­id­ents to be able to ap­ply for jobs for fu­ture in­fra­struc­ture up­grades. “We have to make sure the twenty-first cen­tury is an Amer­ic­an cen­tury, just like the 20th cen­tury.”

• Mark Co­hen also cites in­fra­struc­ture, spe­cific­ally drive­ways be­hind rowhomes. “I’d like to see an or­gan­ized ef­fort to deal with drive­way prob­lems. We have a huge num­ber of old drive­ways. They’re a ter­rible eye­sore, put ex­tra wear and tear on cars and down­grade the value of every­body’s house.”

If you could help one per­son, who would it be and what would you do for that per­son?

• Jared So­lomon is not sur­prised that Andy Re­id was fired on Monday after 14 years as Eagles coach. So­lomon grew tired of hear­ing Re­id, after each loss, take full re­spons­ib­il­ity and vow to get his play­ers ready to play. The civic lead­er is ready to as­sist Re­id, who is widely ex­pec­ted to be hired by an­oth­er NFL team. “I’d prob­ably help Andy Re­id at his press con­fer­ences.”

• Abby Gil­bert said she can come up with 15 low-in­come people whose houses are in need of re­pair be­cause of wa­ter dam­age caused by a leaky roof or out-of-date plumb­ing and elec­tric­al work. “I can pick any one of those ladies, all wid­ows, who’ve lived in the North­east all their lives but have no fam­ily to help them.”

• Mark Co­hen would give a help­ing hand to his wife, Mona, a teach­er at Ju­lia Ward Howe Aca­dem­ics Plus, at 13th and Grange streets in East Oak Lane. “I would help her ef­forts in the classroom to in­teg­rate ser­vices for kids with aut­ism.”

• Brendan Boyle wants to ease the bur­den on his mom, Eileen, who lives with her hus­band in Ol­ney. “I’d get my mom a full-time cook so she wouldn’t have to do it her­self.” ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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