Northeast Times

Holmesburg Civic discusses Philly311 smart phone app

Rich Negrin, the city man­aging dir­ect­or, is really high on the Philly311 smart phone ap­plic­a­tion.

“This is City Hall in the palm of your hand,” he said at last week’s meet­ing of the Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation.

The ap­plic­a­tion can be down­loaded for free on iPhones and Droids. It can be used to make ser­vice re­quests, send pic­tures and re­port graf­fiti, potholes, over­grown va­cant lots and broken curbs.

“You guys need to use this,” Negrin said.

The app was in­tro­duced about five months ago, and so far some 14,000 people have down­loaded it onto their smart phones.

Dur­ing the re­cent elec­tion sea­son, cit­izens used it to find their polling place loc­a­tion, read a sample bal­lot and learn about the pending voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion law.

When Hur­ricane Sandy hit the area in late Oc­to­ber, the app provided an­swers to fre­quently asked ques­tions, had a list of res­cue cen­ters and in­vited people to re­port the loc­a­tions of fallen trees.

The app also con­tains the e-mail ad­dresses and of­fice phone num­bers of city of­fi­cials.

“This app is a great source of in­form­a­tion,” Negrin said. “Your gov­ern­ment is more ac­cess­ible than it has ever been.”

In oth­er news from the March 12 meet­ing:

• New Found­a­tions Charter School CEO Paul St­adel­ber­ger told the crowd that the three-story high school opened in early Janu­ary at 4850 Rhawn St. The ele­ment­ary school re­mains nearby at Rhawn Street and Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue.

St­adel­ber­ger said the school paid $1.5 mil­lion for the high school prop­erty, which formerly housed a met­al and glass com­pany. The de­moli­tion and con­struc­tion cost an­oth­er $12 mil­lion, and there are plans to build an aud­it­or­i­um.

St­adel­ber­ger ex­plained that he’s asked the 8th and 15th po­lice dis­tricts to place a cross­ing guard at Rhawn and Tor­res­dale, but that stud­ies have shown not enough kids cross the street at that in­ter­sec­tion to war­rant a guard.

“I would love to have a cross­ing guard. I’ve asked and asked and asked,” he said.

Lisa Dee­ley, an aide to City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on, said she’ll re­quest an­oth­er study now that the high school is open.

St­adel­ber­ger sparred with a few neigh­bors on park­ing and traffic is­sues. He said teach­ers are not per­mit­ted to park on the street. He also called on mo­tor­ists to slow down on Rhawn Street for the safety of the stu­dents.

• Kar­en Lash, pres­id­ent of the Friends of Holmes­burg Lib­rary, spoke about all of the up­com­ing free events at the branch, loc­ated at 7810 Frank­ford Ave. (at Har­tel Av­en­ue).

The dates, times and events are April 8, 6 p.m., Apreg­gio Jazz En­semble; April 29, 6:30 p.m., Mad Sci­ence Presents Spin, Pop, Boom; May 2, 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Com­puter Ba­sics for Adults; May 9, 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., In­ter­net Ba­sics for Adults; May 13, 6 p.m., Pages to Pi­rou­ettes bal­let, with ap­pear­ances by Cinder­ella and full-cos­tumed dan­cers; May 16, 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., E-Mail Class for Adults; and June 17, 6:30 p.m., Pir­ate Ma­gic and Pup­pet Show.

In ad­di­tion, the sum­mer read­ing/make-and-take crafts pro­gram is sched­uled for Thursdays at 3 p.m. from Ju­ly 11 to Aug. 1.

Call 215-685-8756 or check out the Friends of Holmes­burg Lib­rary page on Face­book.

• The civic group ap­proved three zon­ing pro­pos­als. Mem­bers voted 19-2 to leg­al­ize an ex­ist­ing beauty salon on the 4600 block of Ashville St., 16-5 to leg­al­ize an ex­ist­ing corner du­plex on the 4500 block of Aldine St. and 21-0 to ap­prove an awn­ing out­side McGee­han’s, a bar at Cottman Av­en­ue and Cot­tage Street. There was one ab­sten­tion in each of the three votes.

• Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet again on Tues­day, April 9, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at Rhawn and Dit­man streets. ••

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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