National Night Out preparations are underway

Last Au­gust, the Fox Chase Town Watch re­vived the city’s biggest Na­tion­al Night Out cel­eb­ra­tion. Last Wed­nes­day, or­gan­izers got a head start on mak­ing the event even big­ger in 2014.

State Rep. Brendan Boyle con­trib­uted $800 to the Town Watch to fund the an­nu­al com­munity fest­iv­al. Boyle made the present­a­tion dur­ing the bi­monthly joint meet­ing of the Fox Chase Homeown­ers As­so­ci­ation and Fox Chase Town Watch.

Al­though pub­lic fund­ing for com­munity events has been dif­fi­cult to find as a res­ult of re­ces­sion-re­lated budget cuts, Boyle said that North­east-based cor­por­a­tion Crown Cork and Seal had sponsored the event and is­sued the check. Since the re­ces­sion hit sev­en years ago, state law­makers and their con­stitu­ents have had very lim­ited ac­cess to state grant money. So le­gis­lat­ors have turned to cor­por­ate en­tit­ies to sup­port com­munity pro­jects. As a For­tune 500 com­pany, Crown is well-po­si­tioned to help loc­al or­gan­iz­a­tions.

The Fox Chase Town Watch is a great ex­ample of a de­serving or­gan­iz­a­tion, he ad­ded.

“I brag a lot in Har­ris­burg how, in the North­east, we put com­munity first,” Boyle said. “It shows that where people are in­volved in the com­munity, there’s a strong com­munity. In many ways, we put Demo­crat and Re­pub­lic­an aside and work to­geth­er for the com­munity.”

Fox Chase will cel­eb­rate Na­tion­al Night Out on Tues­day, Aug. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fox Chase Ele­ment­ary School, Rhawn and Hal­stead streets. Dozens of loc­al or­gan­iz­a­tions and mer­chants will join elec­ted of­fi­cials, po­lice, fire­fight­ers and oth­er pub­lic agen­cies in demon­strat­ing unity and sup­port for pub­lic safety. Fox Chase Town Watch Vice Pres­id­ent John Duffy or­gan­ized the event for years un­til his ill­ness and eco­nom­ic factors led to the can­cel­la­tion of the 2012 in­stall­ment.

Last year, state Rep. Kev­in Boyle and Town Watch Pres­id­ent Steve Phil­lips spear­headed a re­viv­al of the event, which Duffy was able to at­tend. An es­tim­ated 2,000 people or more at­ten­ded the free event.

“The po­lice com­mis­sion­er said it was the biggest turnout he’d seen at any event in the city,” Brendan Boyle said.

Neigh­bor­hoods throughout the city will host their own Na­tion­al Night Out activ­it­ies on Aug. 5. One night earli­er, the city­wide Op­er­a­tion Town Watch will spon­sor three kick-off ral­lies, in­clud­ing one at the Tar­get Shop­ping Cen­ter, 7400 Bustleton Ave., from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

In un­re­lated busi­ness, Homeown­ers As­so­ci­ation Pres­id­ent Matt Braden re­por­ted that the or­gan­iz­a­tion is mon­it­or­ing a zon­ing case re­gard­ing a home at 7943 Ver­ree Road, al­though the prop­erty own­er has not con­tac­ted the civic group as re­quired by the zon­ing code.

Re­cords from the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tion show that a Zon­ing Board hear­ing re­gard­ing the prop­erty is sched­uled for Ju­ly 29. The ap­plic­a­tion seeks a per­mit for con­struc­tion of a shed and ma­sonry wall, as well as a car­port and front porch on a single house.

Braden said that the ap­plic­ant is re­quired by the Zon­ing Code to present his plans at a pub­lic meet­ing of the Re­gistered Com­munity Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the neigh­bor­hood. The Homeown­ers As­so­ci­ation is the RCO and meets on the second Wed­nes­day of every odd-numbered month. The next ses­sion will be Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Amer­ic­an Le­gion Post 366, 7976 Ox­ford Ave.

Jeff De­mp­sey, an aide to state Rep. Kev­in Boyle, in­vited wo­men to re­gister for free mam­mo­grams on Ju­ly 25 at Boyle’s dis­trict of­fice, 7801-A Has­brook Ave. Fox Chase Can­cer Cen­ter will co­spon­sor a vis­it by the mam­mo­graphy van. Eli­gible wo­men must be age 40 or older and not have had a mam­mo­gram with­in the last year. Tests be­gin at 10:30 a.m. Call 215-695-1016 for an ap­point­ment.

De­mp­sey also re­por­ted that Kev­in Boyle has in­tro­duced a res­ol­u­tion in the state House to re­cog­nize the 20th an­niversary of the Ed­die Polec murder. The 16-year-old Polec was beaten to death by a gang of sub­urb­an youths on the steps of St. Cecil­ia’s Church. In the face of the tragedy, the com­munity united to form the Town Watch, while Polec’s par­ents led a grass­roots ef­fort to re­form the city’s 911 emer­gency tele­phone sys­tem. The res­ol­u­tion is pending ap­prov­al by the state le­gis­lature. ••

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