Battle over methadone clinic continues to rage in Holmesburg

At­tor­ney Frank Ben­nett has prom­ised to keep the battle go­ing to pre­vent a pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic from open­ing at 7520 State Road.

North­East Treat­ment Cen­ters is look­ing to open at that site. At­tor­ney Steve Pol­lock won a vari­ance in front of the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment.

Loc­al busi­ness people op­posed to the clin­ic can no longer af­ford to pay a law­yer, and Ben­nett agreed to handle an ap­peal to Com­mon Please Court pro bono. He doesn’t want to let NET lay one brick.

“We’re go­ing to fight till the very end,” he said at last week’s Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing. “When the will of the people isn’t listened to, then there’s a prob­lem. My job is to stop them at all costs.”

Ben­nett ex­pects to be pushed by Pol­lock, of the high-powered Mont­gomery Mc­Crack­en law firm.

“I will push back to the very end,” he said.

Ben­nett, an act­iv­ist from North­wood, said he has re­ceived a lot of sup­port from in­di­vidu­als, busi­nesses and pub­lic of­fi­cials, all of whom are tak­ing a “not in my neigh­bor­hood” ap­proach. Meth­adone is used to help drug ad­dicts kick the habit.

The crowd ap­plauded after Rich Frizell, pres­id­ent of the civic as­so­ci­ation, read his let­ter of op­pos­i­tion.

“We have to con­tin­ue this fight,” he said.

Ben­nett said he is will­ing to take the fight to state Su­per­i­or and Su­preme courts and the U.S. Su­preme Court. He’s hop­ing for a fa­vor­able judge in Com­mon Pleas Court and is ask­ing res­id­ents to show up for or­al ar­gu­ments en masse.

Dan Mc­Caf­fery, one of the ori­gin­al law­yers in the case, has agreed to as­sist Ben­nett.

In oth­er news from the May 14 meet­ing:

• Terry Tracy, a Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for city con­trol­ler, de­scribed him­self as in­de­pend­ent, com­pet­ent and thought­ful. He was un­op­posed in Tues­day’s primary and will face the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee in the gen­er­al elec­tion.

Tracy, who lives in Fitler Square, said the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia fisc­al woes keep him up at night, and he wants to man­age the city’s money in a way that will give the schools more re­sources.

Eco­nom­ic growth is also high on his agenda. He be­lieves his edu­ca­tion in the pub­lic policy field and pro­fes­sion­al busi­ness back­ground make him more qual­i­fied than the typ­ic­al es­tab­lish­ment can­did­ate.

“I’m not a sub­si­di­ary of that es­tab­lish­ment,” he said.

Oth­er can­did­ates in at­tend­ance were Brett Man­del, a Demo­crat for city con­trol­ler, and Anne Mar­ie Coyle and Gio­vanni Camp­bell, who sought seats on Com­mon Pleas Court. Dawn Tan­credi, an­oth­er Com­mon Pleas hope­ful, dropped off cam­paign lit­er­at­ure be­fore the meet­ing be­fore head­ing to oth­er com­mit­ments. Frizell, the civic group pres­id­ent, noted Tan­credi’s work rep­res­ent­ing op­pon­ents of a pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic at Frank­ford Av­en­ue and Dec­atur Street.

• New Found­a­tions Charter School is build­ing a com­munity garden near Rhawn and Tulip streets. There will be 15 garden plots open to the com­munity.

The school will sup­ply the land, wa­ter and tools, and will of­fer a work­shop. The ap­plic­a­tion dead­line is Fri­day, May 24. Email Ry­an Greene at or Tony Cole­man at tcole­  

Plans in­clude a read­ing garden and a green­house.

• Frizell said the group par­ti­cip­ated in suc­cess­ful neigh­bor­hood cleanups on two re­cent Sat­urdays. Sev­enty-five vo­lun­teers filled 230 bags with trash in a cleanup of the Pennypack Park area near Frank­ford and Solly av­en­ues. Sweet Lucy’s Smoke­house re­war­ded them for their ef­forts with free lunches. Also, res­id­ents cleaned up a por­tion of Frank­ford Av­en­ue.

• The Ta­cony/Holmes­burg Town Watch is look­ing for new mem­bers. The group patrols the area from Rob­bins Av­en­ue north to Fath­er Judge High School. In­ter­ested res­id­ents can vis­it or the Ta­cony Town Watch page on Face­book.

• Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet on Tues­day, June 11, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at Rhawn and Dit­man streets. ••

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