Ah Summer in Philly……………..heat and oppressive humidity!

This year, we were treated to the additional thrill of huge amounts of rainfall, with flooding, downed trees and branches.  

            Temperatures are forecast to hover close to 100 the rest of this week, with nighttime lows not going much below 80. And it’s supposed to remain humid throughout. While the heat makes life uncomfortable for most of us, it creates serious issues for many. We know you are already aware of much of the following, but...........

            Please take a minute to check on elderly or housebound or ailing neighbors. Make sure they have some sort of relief from the heat, at the least, a fan. Many older residents keep their homes shut up tightly because of fear of crime; it’s unhealthy to have a fan running without a little “fresh” air coming in. A dangerous heat vortex can be created, so please keep a window open --- even a little bit --- somewhere in your home.

            Excessive heat can also affect infants, children, pregnant women and people with chronic health problems  or on certain medications. Symptoms of heat-related illness include rashes, cramps, nausea and light-headedness. Contact a medical professional if you think you have a problem.

            Our companion animals suffer during heat waves, too. An air-conditioned space is best, but a fan will help.............. shade and lots of available fresh water are imperative. And please, please don't leave an animal in your car, not even for a few minutes, not even with the windows open a little.

            If you have to be outdoors during the peak heat hours (generally afternoons), try to find a shady spot. Drink water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing if possible. And take it easy if you can.

            Of course, many jobs require outdoor exertion. Take breaks if you can, and stay hydrated. (I made my mail carrier really happy by offering him a bottle of cold water. He had run out of his own.)

            There are some air-conditioned options available, like libraries, most restaurants and stores, community/senior centers. The closest officially-designated “cooling centers” to us are Lovett Library, Awbury Rec. Center (Ardleigh and Haines Sts.), Northwest Regional Library (Greene and Chelten), Simons Rec. Center (7200 Woolston St.), and WaterTower Rec. Center (Chestnut Hill).The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has activated its HeatLine (215-765-9040), and can provide more info on services for seniors.


            Another major concern with all this heat and rain is theburgeoning mosquito population. These insects can do more than make you itch when they bite; they are also responsible for spreading disease, most prominently, West Nile Virus, which can lead to long-term health problems. And ticks, which also thrive in this weather, spread Lyme Disease, which can be debilitating and have long-term effects.

            The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has requested that we pass along some info on prevention. You can get complete info at their “Fight The Bite” website, (www.phila.gov/health/diseasecontrol/FighttheBite.html ), but here are a few helpful hints:

o   If the weather permits, wear long sleeved shirts, and choose pants over shorts.

o   Dusk and dawn are peak biting hours, so try to arrange outdoor activities for other times of day, if possible.

o   Use insect repellent on exposed skin. DEET and picardin are the preferred chemical repellents, but oil of lemon eucalyptus has also proven effective. (Ask your health professional about other non-chemical repellents, which have varying degrees of effectiveness. You can check out “health-food” stores and Weavers Way Co-op for other natural repellents.)

o   Drain standing water on your property. This can be quite a project, given recent rainfall frequency. Mosquitos need very little water in which to lay their eggs. Clear moisture-holding garden debris (leaves, etc.) regularly. Mow your grass regularly, too.

o   When you come inside from outdoor activities, do a self-check for attached ticks. Remove them promptly, (complete instructions and photos at the above-mentioned website).

o   Speak with your vet about flea and tick prevention/control treatments for your pets.

o   If you develop a rash, accompanied by headaches, fever, neck stiffness and/or disorientation, contact your doctor immediately for a full exam and tests.

From the 14th Police District:

            Recently there has been a rash of thefts from autos in the vicinity of the 6100 block of Wayne Avenue. On July 10th, a call into 911 led to the arrest of 3 young individuals who had broken into 3 autos. We hope that with this arrest the theft from auto crimes in this area will stop.

            We encourage all owners to continue to be vigilant in their neighborhoods and to continue to not leave valuables in their cars. In this incident the car windows were broken and "ransacked" but nothing was taken.


In the Neighborhood:

            WMAN is conducting a survey to determine the needs and priorities of residents who want to remain in the neighborhood as they grow older. (This is separate from the Mutual Mt. Airy group’s work.) Because they want to get a fuller picture of the whole community, they are asking East Mt. Airy residents to participate. The results will be shared, as there are many issues that affect us all, regardless of the Germantown Ave. “boundary” that separates the halves of the neighborhood.

            To take the survey, go towww.surveymonkey.com/s/7NNZ9W2


            MAUSA’s Moonlight Movies series continues on Friday evenings at Lovett Park (next to the library), featuring food trucks as well as movies. The event moves indoors if the weather’s bad, to Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church (Germantown and Mt. Pleasant Aves.).

For a schedule, times and other details, visit www.gomtairy.com


            And Trolley Car Diner is showing free movies on Saturday nights, on the parking lot. Water ice and ice cream are available for purchase.


            We’ve been asked to let you know about some changes at Mt. Airy’s Catholic Churches. Fr. William Grogan was recently appointed the new pastor of the 3 consolidated Mt. Airy parishes, and a new Summer Mass schedule has been set.

            Saturdays at 5:00 PM, St. Therese’s

            Sundays at 9:00 AM, St. Madeline’s

            Sundays at 11:00 AM, Holy Cross

All Mt. Airy Catholics are welcome at any or all Masses.

            There are many local organizations and businesses that offer special programs throughout the Summer.  Check their websites for details and schedules.

  • Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) has many activities all year, for all ages and ability levels (www.fow.org).

  • Walk a Crooked Mile Books in the Mt. Airy Train Station offers occasional “yard” sales, free concerts and friendly owners all year round. Go to www.walkacrookedmilebooks.comfor more info.

  • Awbury Arboretum, which straddles the border between East Mt. Airy and Germantown, is free and open to the public, and beautiful in every season. They offer a number of low-cost special programs and activities every month. Check out their website: www.awbury.org

  • The Business Association of Mt. Airy (BAM --- a part of MAUSA) has a website that lists all the specials offered by our local restaurants and businesses. Visit www.GoMtAiry.comregularly to see what’s happening on the Avenue.

          EMAN is collecting recipes for a community cookbook that’s tentatively titled “United By Germantown Avenue”. We hope to have it ready to go in time for holiday gift-giving season. We would love to receive your favorite recipes (up to 3) for inclusion. Our neighborhood’s diversity extends into our kitchens, and we know this project could be fabulous --- with your help!

          To submit a recipe, go to: www.typensave.com.  Our user name is emancookbook and the contributor password is simmer374.

          We’re also collecting Labels for Education and BoxTops for Education, for distribution to our local public elementary schools. Sure, it seems like a very tiny drop in a huge ocean of need, but our feeling is that we have to do whatever we can. You can drop off the Labels/BoxTops at our office, or mail them to us (EMAN ~ 7301 Germantown Ave. ~ Phila. PA 19119), or put them in the collection box at Little Jimmie’s Bakery Café, (6669  Germantown Ave., right next to St. Michael’s Lutheran Church).

Are you an EMAN member? We’re happy to have you join at any time of year! We can only continue our services with the support of the community. To join online, visit our website, (www.eastmountairy.org), where you can join using PayPal. You can also print out a mail-in form, if you’d rather pay by check.

EMAN’s regular Community/Board meetings will resume on September 10th. The Board meets in Executive Session at 7:00, and the meetings are open to the community at 7:30. We meet in the EMAN Office, which is in the Wiedemann Building on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, 7301 Germantown Ave. (Directions & map on our website.) We’d love to meet you, so stop by!