Northeast Times

Website expands coverage into E. Torresdale

Mem­bers of the East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation learned about a Web-based so­cial net­work that could be­come an al­tern­at­ive for folks who can’t at­tend their neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation meet­ings.

The Next­door.com site has ex­pan­ded its cov­er­age in­to East Tor­res­dale, al­low­ing res­id­ents to com­mu­nic­ate on­line with their neigh­bors to share in­form­a­tion privately about com­munity groups, loc­al busi­nesses, neigh­bor­hood prob­lems and each oth­er. It’s free to sign up for the net­work.

Sabra Town­send is a Next­door field or­gan­izer for Phil­adelphia. Res­id­ents in­ter­ested in join­ing the pro­gram may log on via next­door.com/phl or email her via stown­send@next­door.com.

The com­pany was foun­ded in 2010 in San Fran­cisco and claims on its web­site that “thou­sands of neigh­bor­hoods are already us­ing Next­door to build hap­pi­er, safer places to call home.” People have used the site to spread the word quickly about crimes in the neigh­bor­hood, to or­gan­ize Town Watch groups, to find reput­able babysit­ters and con­tract­ors, to find lost pets, to or­gan­ize block parties and to in­tro­duce them­selves to each oth­er, the com­pany says.

The site claims that ac­cess is pass­word-pro­tec­ted and re­stric­ted to res­id­ents, al­though it’s un­clear if people who move away from a neigh­bor­hood re­tain ac­cess to the site.

Al­though East Tor­res­dale is en­tirely with­in the 19114 ZIP Code, the “neigh­bor­hood” as defined on the web­site omits the por­tion of East Tor­res­dale between In­ter­state 95 and Frank­ford Av­en­ue, while in­clud­ing all of Up­per Holmes­burg in the 19136 ZIP Code. Next­door calls the ter­rit­ory “Holmes­burg,” ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­act­ive map on its web­site.

To sign up for the ser­vice, res­id­ents must be will­ing to sub­mit their email ad­dress and street ad­dress as well as their home phone num­bers, cell phone num­ber or cred­it card num­ber for in­stant ac­cess. The phone or cred­it card num­bers are needed to veri­fy the user’s ad­dress, ac­cord­ing to the site, which claims that all per­son­al in­form­a­tion is kept private and not shared with third parties. Those who don’t want to give a phone num­ber or cred­it card can re­quest a post­card veri­fic­a­tion, which takes three to five days.

In un­re­lated East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation busi­ness, mem­bers voted to donate $50 to spon­sor the sixth an­nu­al Glen Fo­erd Gala at Glen Fo­erd on the Delaware on Oct. 24. The din­ner will hon­or Nancy Moroz­in, pro­pri­et­or of The Din­ing Car, civic lead­er and phil­an­throp­ist.

The ETCA also ap­proved a five-mem­ber nom­in­at­ing com­mit­tee for the civic as­so­ci­ation’s ex­ec­ut­ive board elec­tions. Sit­ting Vice Pres­id­ent Bill Kennedy and Re­cord­ing Sec­ret­ary Con­nie Sif­fel are on the com­mit­tee, along with Mar­jor­ie Pap­pas, Ed Rice and Nancy Del­lavella. Nom­in­a­tions will be­gin at the ETCA’s next gen­er­al meet­ing on Nov. 11 at Liberty Evan­gel­ic­al Free Church, Linden Av­en­ue and Mil­nor Street. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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