So what exactly do residents have to say at a neighborhood block meeting in Southwest Germantown? A lot, it turns out. One of our goals for 2013 is to show how we organize our block. Check out our meeting minutes from the August block meeting for an inside look. Over 15 households were represented at the meeting. Afterwords, a printed copy of the full meeting minutes was distributed to each of the 46 households on W Rockland Street. Yes, that’s a lot of paper, but our block is old school and the best way to communicate is by pounding the pavement and flyering. Delivering a constant flow of information helps us keep an informed block. The notes are a straightforward rundown of everything that was discussed at the meeting. You can’t say you didn’t know…
The last Block Meeting was held on August 6. Over 15 households were represented. Future block meetings will be held the first week of each month from April to September. Enjoy the block update and meeting notes.
PLAYSTREET – LAST DAY IS AUGUST 30. CELEBRATION!
All children up to 18 years old can receive a free summer lunch & snack Monday to Friday until August 30. On Friday August 30th there will be a special end of summer celebration for the children.
BLOCK PARTY & ACTIVITIES
The block party on July 27 was a big success! A Block Party Committee is forming for future events, and starting at the next block meeting we will be collecting for the 2014 party. It’s been decided by the group that fundraising for block activities needs to go year-round. We will keep records of all donations throughout the year. This should ease the burden of giving a large amount at one time when it is block party time next year.
FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES & BOOK BAGS
There are numerous events offering free school supplies and book bags for children. Every time we find out about another event, a flyer will be sent out. There is a free supplies event this Saturday so look for the flyer coming around. Get your kids stuff for free this year!
In October there will be a West Rockland Street Fall Festival with fun activities for children. Please start thinking about how you can help with the festival. Will be discussed at the September block meeting.
BLOCK MAINTENANCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
TRAFFIC / SPEED BUMPS PETITION
We have requested help from our Councilwoman Cindy Bass. We have also requested a traffic study be done for our block by the Streets Department. Please look out for the petition that we will submit from our block to the Councilwoman and Streets Dept. requesting help with slowing the traffic on W Rockland Street and making our block safer. 25 people have signed the petition so far.
LICENSING & INSPECTIONS AND 311
Call 311 or 215-686-8686 if you think illegal construction is being done on a property on the block. Construction work at 22 W Rockland Street is being done without any permits. Neighbors have reported it. This is a danger to the block. Wild animals living in the roofs of certain properties on the block was discussed. Please report. We will be inviting out a rep from 311 and L&I to answer questions about code violations and property owner’s rights and responsibilities.
STREET CLOSURE & PHILADELPHIA WATER DEPARTMENT
Two houses at the top of the block are getting pipe work done. The date is unknown. PWD will post signs and notify residents.
ABANDONED VEHICLES ON THE BLOCK
If you have a non-working vehicle on the block, please do your best to remove it ASAP. Many block residents have been complaining about this issue and it will be reported to the Abandoned Vehicles Unit at the Police Department.
DUMPING IN THE INLET (also knows as the sewer)
The sewer or inlet (located in the middle of the block on both sides of the street and the bottom of the block) is for water only. This leads directly to our rivers and water supply. Do not put anything down this drain! Children and adults have been seen stuffing trash in there (including whole bags of garbage). The middle drain on the even side of the block is now clogged. The Philadelphia Water Department has been called to dredge the drain. If you see someone stuffing trash in the sewer, please kindly ask him or her to stop.
RACCOONS, POSSUMS & BUGS
Please continue to keep your property clean to deter these pests. Encourage children not to throw food or trash on the sidewalks.
BEAUTIFICATION – KEEP UP THE SWEEP UP!
YARD TOOL LENDING LIBRARY
The yard maintenance tool lending library is officially open. Tools available to borrow for front and backyard projects include: an electric hedge cutter, an electric weed whacker, a manual hedge clipper and two heavy-duty branch pruners. Tools will be available for check out on a 24-hour basis. Rental charge is $3 for the entire tool kit. This charge covers maintenance of tools, replacements parts, sharpening and full tool replacement if broken.
LITTER SCAVENGER HUNT
On Sunday, August 4 we had the first litter scavenger hunt for kids on the block. About 15 children participated, won prizes and cleaned up a bunch of trash on the block. It was educational and cool! We hope to do it again soon. Thanks to Debbie and Anon for the hotdogs! See photos on Flickr.
CORNER LOT CLEANUP
The large vacant lot at the corner of W Rockland Street and Greene Street was cleaned on Saturday, August 10. All litter was picked up and the grass was cut. Thanks to Roz, Herb, Carmen, Ron Ron, Emaleigh and Aine for organizing and thanks to Angie and Marsha for donating water, hotdogs and burgers for the kids and workers! Join us next time!
Overgrowth of weeds in the sidewalk will tear up your sidewalk over time, is ugly, and catches trash. The weed killer spray is now in circulation. It’s being passed around starting from the bottom of the block. Each resident can use it and pass it along to their neighbor. Please hand to an adult directly because the weed killer is a strong chemical and should not be handled by children. Participation is optional. If you would like to kill weeds naturally you can pull them up from the sidewalk, pour boiling water on weeds and spay a mixture of vinegar and dish soap (very small amount of soap) on them. Be careful not to get any of these solutions in your garden. They can all kill plants too! Be careful of children and pets nearby too.
ALLEY CLEAN UP
Alleys need to be clear of debris and passable in case of an emergency. As a block we will pick a date for an alley clean up at the next block meeting.
BLOCK SAFETY & QUALITY OF LIFE
NOISE & OVERALL RESPECT FOR YOUR NEIGHBORS
We live in very close proximity to each other. Noise that you may not think is loud can easily carry through the walls and in the open windows from porches to your neighbor’s house. Let’s respect each other.
CURFEW / PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY / LARGE GROUPS OF CHILDREN
Curfew for children under 18 was discussed again. It was noted that children do not have to be completely in the house by the curfew times listed but should be on their own porches and keep the noise down. Due to the fight on July 29 and the number of children that have been coming to the block, the 39th District will be patrolling Rockland Street to enforce the citywide curfew for children under 18. It is up to parents to monitor their own children and be aware of their children’s friends that are visiting the block.
Because of recent incidences of fighting, large gatherings, and constant trash and litter, residents at the block meeting strongly felt that no children should be allowed to hangout on the school steps or around the school property after curfew, if at all.
- Establishing a town watch was talked about again, a rep will be visiting on September 4 at 6 p.m. to discuss with interested neighbors.
- Movie nights were discussed again. A resident is working on this!
- Smoking marijuana out front – on porches, on other people’s property, and in front of children was discussed again. Residents ask that this activity not happen out front.
Harmony and Indyia display their trash collection while matching up their littered items to the scavenger hunt list. Did they find everything? See more photos on Flickr.