Crime, quality-of-life issues and park upkeep dominated members’ discussions during the Northwood Civic Association’s June 17 meeting at St. James Church.
Member Ed Martin said he has been looking over Northwood Park, and spelled out some of the improvements that are needed.
Benches at the park at Arrott Street and Castor Avenue are in bad shape, but could be easily and inexpensively repaired. The park’s tables are another matter, he said, and run into some big dollars to buy and have delivered. Steps leading into the park are in disrepair, he said, and the stairs’ railing need to be replaced or mended.
The park’s benches are wood fitted into concrete bases, Martin said. Those that can be repaired would need to have their old wood removed and replaced with new, treated lumber. The new stuff is easy, he said, and all that’s needed could be purchased for less than $300. Getting the old wood out would require grinding out the bolts that now hold the planks in place. He said he has the skill to do that, but he would need power for a grinder to get the job done.
Lisa Borine, an aide to state Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.), said she would make inquiries for the association to see if an electric line could be dropped temporarily to the park.
Joe Krause, the association’s president, said there were not enough members at the sparsely attended meeting to vote on the bench expenditure, but said he would ask board members meeting this week to approve it. The results of that vote will be announced at the group’s July meeting, he said.
Martin said the tab for replacing a couple of park tables with durable concrete models could be $925 each, and that doesn’t include delivery charges.
He said he is hoping to get in touch with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to ask for repairs to the steps in the park, which he said are in very poor shape.
“They’re dangerous … they’ve been deteriorating over the years,” he said.
Tom McAvoy, the association’s vice president, said the Northwood Town Watch had been alerted that robberies have been on the rise in the 15th Police District. Officer Coco, the district’s victim assistance officer, on June 18 said the spike has been in the 15th’s southern third, which includes Northwood and Frankford.
One resident asked about a June 12 shooting on the 1000 block of Allengrove Street. She said she heard there had been an arrest, but didn’t have any other information.
Police spokeswoman Jillian Russell filled in the details on June 18.
Officers who arrived on the block to investigate reports of gunshots saw 21-year-old Brandon Brown of the 3700 block of N. Bouvier St. discard a handgun and take off on foot. Offices pursued him and caught up to him on the 4600 block of Frankford Ave., Russell stated. Brown, she said, was charged with three violations of the Uniform Firearms Act.
Another resident said there are thieves roaming around the 1300 block of Orthodox St. and “they go up on your property and they take what they want.”
She said the men walk up and down the block with shopping carts.
WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
McAvoy said he has made repeated complaints about illegal truck parking in the neighborhood. Police issue tickets to the offenders, he said, but residents have to keep making the complaints so the violators finally get the point.
Neighbors said they have seen unpermitted renovation work on the 1000 block of Wakeling St., but said they were reluctant to call the city’s 311 line to report the illegal work, which they see as improving the block. Another neighbor said he has heard someone wants to cut down several city-owned trees on the same block.
Krause said the illegal work should be reported to the city’s 311 line.
“If there is a theme for the night,” he said, “it’s to call 311.”
The Northwood Civic Association’s next session will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, at St. James Church, Castor Avenue and Pratt Street. ••