Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Just a reminder email about a cause that is near and dear to my heart; Mayfair Memorial Playground. I'm the vice--chairwoman of the playground committee and we are holding our 2nd annual Easter Egg Hunt at Mayfair Memorial Playground on Saturday, March 24 from noon til 2.
Last year's event was a HUGE success! We had over 1000 people attend and it was a great community event. With the money we raised, it helped bring us even closer to our goal of placing our first piece of . We were able to do just that on October 27, 2011 with the additional grant help from KaBOOM! and GIANT food stores.
This year our goal is to try to raise money to install an 8 foot fence to deter vandalism of the playground. Two days after the playground was completed we had our first incident and the bulletin board the volunteers built has essentially been rendered useless because they destroyed the plexiglass covering the bulletin board. We have had several other incidents since then and are doing our best to keep the playground nice after hours when we aren't able to monitor it; we feel the fence will be our best deterrent.
This year we are looking to raise more money by selling t-shirts with our playground emblem on the front and a list of contributing sponsors on the back. If you have contributed, thank you so much! If you haven't yet and are considering it please let us know soon. The Easter Egg Hunt is about a month away and we wanted to get the t-shirts printed as soon as possible.
Please see our Playground Page located on our website for info regarding sponsorship. If you haven't yet posted our flier in your window please do so as we want to get the word out to as many Mayfair residents as possible. We would also love to see you and your families attend if you can.
Mayfair Business Association
Monday, February 27, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
If you would like to become a certified member of Mayfair Town Watch, we invite you to the next training and certification class on March 12 from 6:30-8:30PM at the Mayfair Community Center (St. Vincent St.) Please RSVP via e-mail or join our Facebook event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/242730349146989/#!/events/242730349146989/
Thank you for your support in continuing to make Mayfair a great place to live!!!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Testimony of Joe DeFelice Before the PA House Policy Committee re: Absentee Landlords and Blight
Hearing on Landlords and Property Neglect
Tuesday, February 21
CORA Services, 8540 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA
My name is Joe DeFelice and I am the newly elected Chairman of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation commonly known as the Mayfair CDC. I have been a board member with this organization since last May however have been involved at the community level for quite some time serving as President of the Mayfair Civic Association and a Board member of the neighborhood Townwatch and Business Association. Nevertheless my roots in this community go back to my birth and upon marriage I bought a house a block and a half from where I grew up. The neighborhood is not the same as it was when I grew up but change isn’t always a bad thing; it is how one affects that change that is the often difference maker.
In the 1990s Mayfair was a community that saw an extreme majority of home ownership made up by a mostly blue collar parochial population. In order to salvage that identity, Mayfair sought to get ahead of the curve by not waiting for decay to meet it, as it did so many other communities in the lower Northeast, but rather to begin revitalization before bottoming out. The Mayfair CDC covers an area between Harbison Avenue to the South to Rhawn Street in the North to Roosevelt blvd on the West side and Frankford Ave to the Eastside North to Cottman then to the river North to Sheffield Ave centered around the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood known as Mayfair. It was created in the late 1990s to combat blight before it began. The concept was that, rather than investors coming in and taking advantage of our premier housing stock of rowhomes and twins with parking spaces and yards ranging from 1200 – 2000 sq feet just a short car/public transportation ride from Center City, the neighborhood would invest in for sale properties thus keeping them off the market. The neighborhood would renovate these properties and sell them to family members of other Mayfair community members thus making our neighborhood more tight knit and family centered. Thus the Mayfair Community Development Corporation was founded and for the first half decade of its existence it operated at high functioning level thanks in part to grants from former House Speaker John Perzel.
The Mayfair CDC has been a successful neighborhood partner for years and renovating and rehabbing houses has only been a small part of their efforts. Since our inception, we have renovated the Devon Movie Theater, renovated a pocket park known as Mayfair Memorial Park, built the Mayfair Community center which is a state of the art recreation center at the heart of our neighborhood, rebuilt, with the assistance of the Mayfair Civic Association and brand new playground at Lincoln High School valued at $80,000, we have taken over operations of local neighborhood establishments such as Schaaf’s Market, started a cleansweep program that maintained our residential and commercial corridors and planted hundreds of trees and flowers in and around our main thoroughfares such as Cottman and Frankford Avenues. This type of neighborhood improvement has stabilized Mayfair while other communities in the area saw much more drastic change.
In the mid 2000s, housing prices began to skyrocket and the Mayfair CDC’s ability to keep up with and be able to pay for the amount of properties for sale began to lag. The average home price in Mayfair rose from $80,000-$100,000 to between $140,000-$200,000. These prices presented a conundrum for our stable neighborhood: longtime home owners began to jump at the chance to nearly receive double their home value and the Mayfair CDC couldn’t keep up with the high level of buying and selling. As we all now know, the mid 2000s were high times for investors and Mayfair was not spared. The amount of investors changed the landscape of the neighborhood, blocks that were once almost entirely owner occupied began to see an increase in renters and vacant homes. In our community that has lead to a significant amount homes that were not properly maintained or cared for by either the renters or the home owners.
Since the influx of renters, the issues related to these renters have risen abundantly. No longer could a neighbor, in many cases, simply knock on a door and ask the person who answers the door to fix their sidewalk, put lids on their trash cans, turn their music down etc. This became difficult because the amount of turnover in these rental properties produced new faces quite regularly. Gone were the days when you would see that familiar face. Gone were the days that the person responsible for fixing the sidewalk lived in the house of the door you knocked on. When you went to lodge complaints to a property denizen, it fell on deaf ears so you had to try and contact the landlord and many times those calls were made to area codes in North Jersey or New York City normally to someone who spoke none or very little English. This has been extremely detrimental to our community. Many neighbors, who were here for several generations are beginning to or have thrown their hands up and sought housing elsewhere; it seems that we contact our local state representative or city councilperson almost daily with issues that deal primarily with negligent or reckless tenants or absentee landlords.
I personally spent my last two Sundays on the phone with a landlord from Montgomery County about getting his tenants to be more respectful to their neighbors on the 3100 Brighton Street. This has lead to both the landlord and our Townwatch president staking out the house and documenting the issues which rain from loud music, to abundant dog feces, to using the back bedroom window as a trash shoot into the backyard. However, this landlord has been exception, atleast he returns the calls or makes it look like he cares what his tenant is doing to our community. It is the other kind, the absentee landlords, whose behavior or lack thereof eats through the fabric of our neighborhood and we have plenty of them.
On the 3400 block of Cottman Ave nearly half the block is comprised by renters many of whom last a year or less in that property. Their block is one of the gateways into our neighborhood repairs to fronts and facades are few and far between. On the 3300 block of Guilford Street, for three years the block was under siege by two renters who disregarded common decency and engaged in regular illegal activity, it wasn’t until these tenants beat their landlord for rent that the landlords threw up their hands from New York City and put the houses back on the market; thankfully those houses were sold to Mayfair residents and an Iraq war veteran. In a twin on the 3100 block of Nesper Street, a neighbor has had to call an exterminator atleast five (5) times in the last six (6) weeks to combat roaches from his nextdoor neighbor, when knocking on the door was no longer an option, we had to call Councilman Henon’s office in order to send out Licenses and Inspection as well as the City’s Health Department. On the 2800 and 2900 blocks of Unruh Avenue Street, longtime neighborhood residents are fed up after having neighbors allowing animals to defecate across all their lawns, blast their music, deal drugs, etc. Thankfully former Councilwoman Joan Krajewski’s office interceded on several occasions finally leading the landlord to issue an eviction letter. However, decent hard working people should not have to live like this and we shouldn’t need our elected officials to intervene for the purposes of decency and cleanliness.
These issues have been the number one types of complaints we have received in the last three years. I personally handle anywhere from two to five complaints a week that somehow comes back to an absentee landlord or a laissez faire tenant. We are here to help and hope that our example will show our new neighbors the type of behavior that we expect in our community. We are committed to combating blight and quality of life and will strive, through many difficulties, to continue to make Mayfair a great place to live, work and play. Thank you.
Monday, February 20, 2012
There will be a craft/vendor fair at Holmesburg Baptist Christian academy sponsored by the PTF on Thurs 3/29/12 from 6:30pm-9:30pm. It is free to attend and they will be raffling off baskets to those who buy tickets.
Can you please advertise this on your calendar?
Mayfair Civic Association
Tuesday January 31, 2012
John Perzel Community Center
2990 St. Vincent St.
Present: Joseph DeFelice, Mike Williams, Peter McDermott, Mike Serverson, Donny Smith Kevin Leonard, Suzann St. Marie, Lisa Greco, Mia Hylan, Milt Martelack, Anna Stacey, Melinda Mulvenna, John Jenkins
Absent: Dana Lambie
Meeting called to order at 7:10 pm by President, Joseph DeFelice.
New meeting time
Joe DeFelice proposed a new meeting time of the first Monday of every month instead of the last Tuesday of every month. Seconded by board member. No objections from the board.
Suzann St. Marie has resigned as Treasurer. Joe DeFelice proposed making Kevin Leonard, the current Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms, interim Treasurer.
John Jenkins will be the new Assistant Sergeant at Arms.
Mia Hylan will be the Recording Secretary.
Seconded by a board member. No objections from the board.
Joe DeFelice proposed an amendment to the bylaws that general voting members of the Mayfair Civic Association must be a member in good standing and had to have attended 3 previous meetings prior to being allowed to vote on election/board members. Seconded by a board member. No other objections from the board. Bylaws will be amended.
Joe DeFelice proposed the usage of a robo-call several days prior to all MCA meetings to inform neighbors of the meeting time and topics. A donation of $50 made payable to Annie Havey is recommended for the use of the machine. Seconded by a board member. No other objections from the board.
Not available at this time.
MCA, in conjunction with Tacony and Holmesburg Civic Associations have been working on a proposal and letter regarding the upcoming Erin Express and Shamrock Shuttle. Joe DeFelice will be presenting a letter this week to the bar owners and participating business of the Shamrock Shuttles and Erin Express to address issues such as quality of life impact on the surrounding neighborhood, security, public urination, and sanitation.
2nd annual Friends of Mayfair Memorial Playground Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2012 from noon til 2pm.
Fundraising continues to raise money for the installation of an 8 foot fence and additional pieces of playground equipment.
Fallen Heroes Run
Will be held this year on Saturday, May 19, 2012 honoring firefighter Joseph Konrad. Registration can be done online or runners can register starting at 7:30am. The run starts at 8:30am.
Frankford Ave Revitalization
The possibility of creating a dog park and a Farmer's Market are being discussed. Suzann St. Marie of the CDC is also exploring the possibility of having local artists display their work in vacant storefronts on Frankford Ave.
Lots behind 3400 Ryan/Cottman Ave
Attorney Jimmy Roybal is working on bills of sale for the lots. Lots will be offered to homeowners directly adjacent to the lots for $1.
St. Hubert's--A letter from the MCA and MBA were sent to Archbishop Chaput in opposition of the closing.
Proposed bars opening til 3 am--residents are encouraged to contact their councilperson to share their opinion of this proposal.
The annual MCA Candidates Meeting is scheduled for March
Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Recording Secretary Mia Hylan.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
St. Hubert Alumnae Association & Advisory Board
P.O. Box 22104
Philadelphia, PA 19136
HIGH SCHOOLS ARE GRANTED ONE WEEK EXTENSION
ON APPEAL ANNOUNCEMENT
DEAR FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS OF ST. HUBERT HIGH SCHOOL,
As you may have heard, on Friday February 17th, the Archdiocese granted a one week extension on the appeal announcement concerning the High Schools. This means we have six additional days to continue our efforts to save our beloved St. Hubert’s.
We understand and believe that the one thing that can help us in this cause is FUNDRAISING. To date, we have received over $1 million in cash donations and pledges. We have set a new goal to raise an additional $500,000, to bring our total amount raised to $1.5 million by Friday, February 24th.
The funds we have already raised have come from over 6,000 individuals and businesses. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS INCREDIBLE SUPPORT. But we must ask for this support to be continued and increased. WE ARE ASKING YOU TO DONATE TODAY TO SAVE ST. HUBERT’S. If you have already made a donation—we are asking you to DONATE AGAIN in the next six days.
We realize that this is an extraordinary request- and we know that some of you have already contributed more than you can afford. But please know—this is an extraordinary moment in time when we have ONE FINAL CHANCE to save this school.
People have asked us how they can help. We need each and every one of you to become fundraisers for this cause. Make a donation yourself, and solicit your friends, family members, and neighbors for donations. Because we only have six days--fundraising events and merchandise sales are no longer our best opportunity to raise funds--we must receive donations ASAP by cash, check, or credit card.
Gifts by credit card can be made via Paypal at www.savehuberts.com. Gifts by check should be mailed to our P.O. Box (P.O. Box # 22104, Philadelphia, PA 19136) or dropped off to the main office of St. Hubert (7320 Torresdale Avenue) attention: Jackie McGrath, Alumnae Association Treasurer. All checks should be made payable to: St. Hubert Alumnae Association.
Gifts of $500 and more can be returned to donors if our appeal is unsuccessful. Major ($5,000+) multi-year gift pledges can and will be included towards our total fundraising goal. If you are interested in making a major multi-year gift pledge, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your gift is more than just a donation. It is an investment in the future of this school and the young women who call it home. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your continued support.
Click here to view this appeal delivered directly to you by St. Hubert’s students.
The St. Hubert Advisory and Alumnae Boards
Friday, February 17, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The Shamrock Shuttle is scheduled to come to Frankford Avenue on March 3, and neighborhood groups are working with bar owners to make it a peaceful event.
The Shuttle is held every year in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. Hundreds of people walk or take a shuttle to bars on or near Frankford Avenue in Mayfair.
The Mayfair, Tacony and Holmesburg civic associations and the Mayfair Business Association are serving as intermediaries between bar owners and the neighbors and businesses that they represent. They hope the giant party is fun and profitable, but also safe and respectful.
Complaints in past years have included public urination, litter and open containers of alcohol.
The groups are recommending that bar owners secure 74 portable toilets; pay for 30 private security guards who’ll be on the avenue from 2 to 8 p.m.; place 100 cardboard trash cans/boxes on every corner and along sidewalks; choose a beer “Cup of the Day” for revelers so they don’t walk the avenue with other alcoholic beverages; print signs that list rules for the partiers; obtain special event permits; and hang “No Parking” signs outside the bars so the buses can pull to the curb.....
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
(north side between Hegerman Street and Vandike Street)
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Wednesday February 1, 2012
Area Bar Owners Via Email
Re: Shamrock Shuttle 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
The 2012 Shamrock Shuttle is quickly approaching and we want to continue to work with you and make sure that this event is fun, safe, profitable, and respectful to the people who live here. Last year was a huge step forward and look forward to continuing a strong working relationship. Together we can make sure that not only is this a great event, but if run well, we could offer other similar events to take place throughout the year as well which would be a win for everyone.
o Suggested Locations for PortaPotties
§ Four (4) at McNoodle’s
§ Four (4) at Hammerheads
§ Four (4) at Casper’s
§ Four (4) at Reale’s
§ Four (4) at Christy’s (Should they participate)
§ Two (2) at Kilbane’s
§ Two (2) at Cappy’s
§ Eight (8) at Harrington’s
§ Two (2) at Frusco's Lot
§ Four (4) 3500 Englewood next to Jean Madeline
§ Eight (8) West side of Leon St between Cottman and Ryan Aves.
§ Eight (8) at Cottman and Frankford
§ Eight (8) at 3500 Aldine St. next to Gino’s Pizza.
§ Eight (8) at Tudor St.
§ Four (4) at Bleigh Ave.
o Total Amount Seventy-Four Portapotties
We've contacted and met with a company called Prodical Private Security. We've detailed the Shuttle, provided pictures from previous years, and walked the avenue, with them, pointing out the "hot spots" along the way. They do similar work and have done so at events like Welcome America. They fully understand the scope of our concerns and believe the most effective thing for them to do is keep the flow of traffic moving, deter public urination and provide a safe environment by seeing to it that the rules of the event are followed. Prodigal will ensure that the Shuttle is fun, safe, and respectful for all.
Litter was another major concern from last year’s event, and in all honesty, the ball was dropped last year. Only a few bars actually cleaned up after the event, and even fewer still cleaned up beyond their doorstep. We've come up with a two part solution to this problem that should keep litter to a minimum.
We're asking each bar to apply for a "Special Event" permit to allow the event to take place as well as providing "No Parking" signs in front of each bar so that the busses can pull up to the curb to allow attendees to get on and off. Last year the buses stopped in the middle of the street and as a result blocked traffic and made things unsafe for attendees. Having these no parking spots open throughout the day will totally eliminate this problem. We would also like each bar to cordon off an outdoor area for which to congregate because last year the overflow spilled into the outer traffic lanes.
Joseph J. DeFelice, Esq.,