Thursday, July 19, 2012

Methadone Clinic Demonstration Recap and Update

Tonight, on the one year anniversary of last year's rally, close to 150 neighborhood residents showed up to rally against the opening of the Healing Way Methadone Clinic at Frankford and Decatur. The event was MC'd by Mayfair Townwatch President Milt Martelack. 

The event was kicked off by its first speaker, Mayfair Civic Pres and Mayfair CDC Chairman, Joe DeFelice, who explained the current status of the case, the briefing schedule for the Court hearing and the plan of action going forward including the establishment of a defense fund should an appeal take place as well as a field plan to distribute literature relevant to the Appeal. DeFelice stated that case had been appealed from the ZBA and that a "Briefing Schedule" had been laid out by the Court that gives a date for the ZBA to issue its findings and produce a record, then roughly 30 days later the Healing Way will have to issue a Brief why they should prevail, then roughly 30 days later the Appellees (us) will issue a brief why we should prevail then roughly 30 days after that,  November 5th (but that could change) there will be Oral Argument before the Court of Common Please where DeFelice stated that we should load up the busses again.  He also highlighted the creation of a legal defense fund in the instance we are unsuccessful and need to appeal to Commonwealth Court.  This fund, which is now accepting checks payable to Mattioni Limited, referencing 7900 Frankford Ave. with a mailing address of 399 Market St, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2138.  A donation of $10 per household was requested.  It was noted that we will not be soliciting door to door donations to avoid the potential for a scam.

DeFelice then introduced Richard Frizell, the newly elected President of the Holmesburg Civic Association, who cut his vacation short to be, who announced that they plan on fighting this to the very end and that this does not belong in our neighborhood and we should all reach into our pocket and pull out that $10 per household and make it happen.

Next up was City Councilman Bobby Henon who reaffirmed his committment to seeing this through and battling this clinic till the end. Councilman Henon is also an Intervenor in the lawsuit and will be present in each stage of hearing going forward.  

State Rep Kevin Boyle took the platform next and vowed to continue the fight he started over a year ago. It was Kevin's office who first notified the community that this venue was slated for opening. He was supported by his fellow State Representative John Sabatina who stated that while not in Mayfair or Holmesburg his District is close enough and that he had successfully fought a clinic in his District several years earlier. 

Businesses were represented when Chairman of Greater NE Chamber of Commerce Al Taubenberger took the stage and stated that this was bad for businesses along the avenue and vowed to take fliers with him when he went to knock on doors. Remaining on the business theme was Domenick Parris, Appellee in the case and proprietor of 8 Buck Cuts which is about 2 storefronts down from this proposed establishment  

The event was closed down by the law and order of the Lower Northeast, Tacony/Holmesburg Townwatch President Joe Niccoletti and Mayfair Townwatch President Martelack who spoke about how this type of business would ruin the quality of life in the immediate community.

DeFelice retook the stage to close out the meeting and stated that these people don't care about your neighborhood. They spend their time in Richboro looking down their noses at our Community. He reiterated the importance of fighting this and raising money at which point Councilman Henon put up his hand and pledged $500 to the fund which was immediately seconded by State Rep Boyle.  Not to be outdone, both State Rep Sabatina and Chamber of Commerce Chair Taubenberger also threw put their hands in their pockets and committed $500 as well. This was followed by a generous donation of $200 by the Living World Church, $100 by the Mayfair Business Association, the Mayfair Townwatch and $100 by the Mayfair Civic Association.   bringing the total of pledges to $2550.

Other guests that came to show their support were newly elect Greater Bustleton Civic League Chairman Jack O'Hara, Fox Chase Neighbor Jerry Rocks, Holme Circle's Joe Razler and Mike Gould, NE Quality of Life Chair Barbara Dooley, Ken Bode from State Sen. Stack's office, Karen Gurmankin from US Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz's office and Chuck White President of Teamsters Union Local 830, as well as Board Members of Mayfair Townwatch, Business Assoc, Civic Assoc, CDC including Pete McDermott, Donny Smith, Kevin Leonard, John Jenkins, Mia Hylan, Jim Ortlieb, Anna Stacey, Ken Stacey, Rob Pasco, Joe Conboy & Donna Conboy (who pledged $50), Danny Mills, Lisa Greco, Antoniette Montgomery as well as Kenny Miller who donated the stage (er, pickup truck) and Holmesburg Civic Association and Appellees Melissa Casey from Guppies Daycare, Dawn Parris from 8 Buck Cuts and Patti Vaughn, who did much of the legwork organizing this event and whose home is situated directly across the street from the proposed clinic and countless others. This Demonstration was another example of why Mayfair and the surrounding neighborhoods are great place to live and work and raise a family.