East Mt. Airy is HOT and we don't mean just the weather

Important & interesting things are happening in the neighborhood. YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD NEEDS YOU!

As you've heard, Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA) has received a Neighborhood Planning Grant (from Wells Fargo Regional Foundation), & work is beginning. EMAN is among the partner organizations on this project, & much of the area included within the planning boundaries is in East Mt. Airy. Go to http://MtAiry2025.org/ for more information about the grant & the planning process. The project is very resident-driven, examining what we want in the community. Topics discussed at the first public meeting included blight removal & better low-cost housing; public safety issues; schools; specific additions to the commercial corridor & more.

Volunteers are urgently needed.          To get input from residents, a major survey process is beginning. Just 2 or 3 hours of your time, (or more, of course), in August would be greatly appreciated. There'll be a kick-off breakfast event at Little Jimmie's Bakery Cafe (6669 Germantown Ave.), this Saturday, August 1st, from 9 AM tillnoon. Following a brief training, volunteers will get started!  If you can't stay for the breakfast, you can pick up a packet of surveys to administer on your own schedule. (If you can't attend at all, you can pick up survey packets at the MAUSA office --- 6703 Germantown Ave., Suite 200 ---  the week of August 3rd, from 9-5 weekdays.) All participants will be entered into a raffle for a $100 VISA gift card. The breakfast is free, but it'd be helpful to have an idea of how many people to expect. (Jimmie doesn't like anyone to leave his Cafe hungry!) To register to volunteer here MAUSA wants to make it as easy as possible for you to participate, & with your address, can arrange for you to survey near your home. In other news.....

Quintessence Theatre Group has announced its upcoming Season VI. Quintessence has received critical & popular acclaim since it started, & the new season promises to live up to all that praise. Fall will feature a "Love & Lust" repertory, & Spring's repertory will bring us  "Devils & Saints". Productions will range from Romeo and Juliet, to Hansel and Gretel, to Saint Joan and Doctor Faustus. Truly something for everybody! All performances take place at the Sedgwick Theater. For info on schedules, tickets, & membership, visit their website:www.QuintessenceTheatre.org

          Ever wonder what happens to the piles of wood chips that result from tree trimmings around utility wires, etc.? Thanks to a new progam,Chip Drop, some of these chips can be yours. And they're free! We have many gardeners in the neighborhood who might want to take advantage of this program. Visit www.chipdrop.in to sign up.

    Mt. Airy residents Hector & Sue Badeau are featured in an article in the August 3rd issue of The New Yorker. (You may know Hector & daughter Chelsea as stalwart Mt. Airy Day volunteers, among other community activities, & Sue has served on the WMAN Board.) The article documents their journey to becoming the parents of 22 children, (20 adopted), and the joys & sorrows this choice has brought them. The Badeaus' faith & deep understanding of what happens to kids "no one wants" led them to focus on kids with physical, intellectual &/or emotional special needs, & their story is compelling & moving. You can read it online:www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/03/the-children-of-strangers

          Awbury Arboretum's hosting an interesting fundraiser on August14th, from 6-9:30 PM. It's a "Forest to Plate" Dinner, "an evening of wild edibles, foraging, identification & dining". Tickets are $65, & it's BYOB. For more info, visit www.awbury.org/events/forest-to-plate-dinner/

          More on mosquitos: Adina Silberstein of Queenie's Pets alerted us to a way some blocks are banding together to fight the nasty critters by using (nontoxic) BTI to kill larva. (And you thought she only advised about 4-legged animals!) "Mosquito dunks", which are placed in areas where there's standing water, (like birdbaths, or where water tends to pool when it rains), are widely available at garden centers & hardware stores. There was an article in the June issue of The Shuttle, & there's a video on YouTube that demonstrates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXonZMazpZs

There are free, family-friendly activities throughout the rest of the Summer in the neighborhood. Too many to detail here, but for a complete listing, visit www.GoMtAiry.com

          An especially important alert following several major crimes/attempted crimes in Mt. Airy: PGW is warning about fake utilityworkers going door-to-door, hoping to gain access to your home or to your personal info. Please DO NOT allow strangers into your home. Any worker from the City or our major utilities will carry photo ID; ask to see it before you even open your door. DO NOT give any identifying info to strangers who come to your door. If the person seems suspicious, call 911. Your safety is primary! (PGW is also offering an extra $500 rebate for qualifying home upgrade projects this Summer, under their EnergySense program.  And they want to assure you that they send only licensed contractors to perform energy assessments & to do any work you decide to have done. For info, go to http://www.pgwhomerebates.com/)

As we head into another several days of excessive heat & related warnings, there are resources to help with preparedness & safety. TheCity's website, (http://www.phila.gov, has lots of useful information in aStay Cool Guide, including the locations of "cooling centers" & "spraygrounds", (mostly at neighborhood libraries & rec centers). There's no charge for hanging out at any of these facilities The elderly are most at risk for heat-related medical emergencies. The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) operates a "heatline" during heatwaves: 215-765-9040. If you have elderly or home-bound neighbors, please check on them to make sure they're okay. It won't take much time or energy, & could save someone's life. (And bear in mind that pets suffer on scorching days, too. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water & a cool place to stay, out of the sun.)

Let's try to stay cool & look out for each other.