Northeast Times

Fishtown briefs: two hit-and-runs, and a new community group

Fishtown news in brief: two sis­ters sur­vive two hit-and-run ac­ci­dents just days apart; the Mo­ve­On polit­ic­al group opens a coun­cil in 19125.

Fishtown girl, and her sis­ter, in­volved in sep­ar­ate hit-and-runs last week

Two young sis­ters, one from Fishtown and the oth­er from Wissi­nom­ing, were hos­pit­al­ized by hit and run drivers in two sep­ar­ate in­cid­ents last week.

The ac­ci­dents happened barely 55 hours apart and in­volved two dif­fer­ent vehicles, ac­cord­ing to Phil­adelphia po­lice.

On Thursday at about 2:15 p.m., a 10-year-old girl was walk­ing with a friend on the 2400 block of Mem­ph­is St. when a white GMC sport-util­ity vehicle with white cus­tom rims struck the 10-year-old. The vehicle failed to stop and fled the scene south­bound on Mem­ph­is Street, po­lice said. No de­scrip­tion was avail­able of the driver.

Emer­gency re­spon­ders took the vic­tim to St. Chris­toph­er’s Hos­pit­al for Chil­dren, where she was treated for a broken leg and fa­cial in­jur­ies, then re­leased.

On Sat­urday at about 8:30 p.m., the vic­tim’s 14-year-old sis­ter was walk­ing along Chel­ten­ham Av­en­ue near Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue when a white, four-door sedan with tin­ted win­dows struck her. The car stopped about a half-block from the ac­ci­dent.

Wit­nesses de­scribed the driver as a His­pan­ic man, who ex­ited his vehicle briefly be­fore get­ting back be­hind the wheel and flee­ing in an un­spe­cified dir­ec­tion.

The 14-year-old was taken to Aria Health-Tor­res­dale for un­dis­closed in­jur­ies and lis­ted in crit­ic­al con­di­tion, po­lice said.

On Sunday, the fath­er of the two vic­tims told news re­port­ers that the young­er girl lives with him in Fishtown, while the older girl lives with her mom in Wissi­nom­ing.

To re­port in­form­a­tion about either ac­ci­dent, call the Ac­ci­dent In­vest­ig­a­tion Di­vi­sion at 215-685-3180.
-Wil­li­am Kenny

Fishtown res­id­ent or­gan­izes new polit­ic­al force

A long­time Fishtown res­id­ent has asked neigh­bors in­ter­ested in pro­gress­ive polit­ic­al con­cerns to be part of a meet­ing to help or­gan­ize a po­ten­tial new polit­ic­al force.

“All polit­ics is loc­al,” said Ar­thur Meck­ler, who is or­gan­iz­ing a loc­al Mo­ve­On coun­cil for res­id­ents of the 19125 ZIP code. “The grass­roots level is where you’ve got to start it.”

Meck­ler said Mo­ve­On, a non-profit na­tion­al pro­gress­ive group, con­tac­ted him about set­ting up a loc­al coun­cil. Though not him­self a mem­ber of Mo­ve­On, he thought it might be a good idea.

“It’s all about be­ing or­gan­ized. That’s how the Tea Party has made some pro­gress, by be­ing or­gan­ized and reach­ing out to people and mak­ing small groups,” Meck­ler said.

Meck­ler said he has no real agenda with this group, bey­ond find­ing people who share his ba­sic val­ues of so­cial justice and pro­gress­ive polit­ics and help­ing them to or­gan­ize about the is­sues they are con­cerned with, wheth­er that’s school clos­ings or en­vir­on­ment­al is­sues.

“These coun­cils are way of form­ing groups to work on so­cial is­sues – en­vir­on­ment, health­care, edu­ca­tion, vot­ing rights, all those sort of things,” Meck­ler said. “I think there’s al­ways people who care about those is­sues, and I look for­ward to hear­ing more from them.”

Meck­ler said that gov­ern­ment cuts to funds for things like schools and en­vir­on­ment­al is­sues due to the re­ces­sion makes a loc­al Mo­ve­On coun­cil even more ur­gently needed.

“When you tight­en the belt it prob­ably means … you’re not con­cen­trated on edu­ca­tion and health­care. That may present cer­tain chal­lenges. But it doesn’t mean that it’s im­possible, and it doesn’t mean people in gov­ern­ment give up,” he said. “That’s a good reas­on to have a coun­cil like this, so that we don’t aban­don those im­port­ant is­sues of so­cial justice.”

The group’s first meet­ing last month was at­ten­ded by five people. This time, Meck­ler has booked space in the Fishtown Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, hop­ing to get a lar­ger at­tend­ance.

“The neigh­bor­hood’s changed so much, there’s so many young­er people mov­ing in. I think it’s prob­ably moved a little bit to the left,” Meck­ler said.

Meck­ler is a Fishtown Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation mem­ber, a former mem­ber of the now-de­funct Fishtown Civic As­so­ci­ation, and part of Friends of Fishtown, a group that has ten­ded to Palmer Park for the past 15 years.

Even though Mo­ve­On is a lib­er­al group typ­ic­ally as­so­ci­ated with Demo­crat­ic polit­ics, Meck­ler said that the group is non­par­tis­an and open to every­one.

The 19125 Mo­ve­On coun­cil will meet Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at the Fishtown Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at 1202 E. Mont­gomery Ave.
-Sam Ne­w­house

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