EMAN’s Annual Meeting

EMAN’s Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday evening, June 11th, at 7 PM, in Hagan Amphitheater on the Lutheran Seminary Campus (7301 Germantown Ave.). Our President, Kent Reichert, will summarize our activities since September (we "officially" operate on an academic year basis, because people’s schedules in the Summer often preclude meetings and such), and outline some of our goals for next year. New/continuing Board members and officers will be elected. Our special guest will be Capt. John Fleming of the 14th Police District. He will describe how the 14th is working to keep the neighborhood safe, and will be able to answer a few questions. Several  other community leaders will make short presentations about their organizations, activities and projects.

The meeting is open to the community, and light refreshments will be served.

            We’re having a picnic! Thanks to a Philadelphia Activities Fund grant which will cover some of the expenses, EMAN and our partners at Awbury Arboretum will co-host “Picnic in the Garden” at Awbury’sHaines Field, on Saturday June 22nd, from 11 till 2 PM. (Rain date is June 29th.) The field is located along the 6200 block of Ardleigh St.

          On-street parking will be available across from the rec center, 6101 Ardleigh St.

          Bring a blanket and join friends and neighbors for a delicious low-cost lunch provided by Little Jimmie’s Bakery Café. The lunches will be provided FREE for current paid members of EMAN and/or Awbury; for non-members, $4 for adults, $2 for children age 10 and younger.

          There’ll be information about activities and services from other community organizations, free kids’ games and crafts --- fun for all ages! Spaces are limited; to get more information or reserve a spot, e-mail to contact@awbury.og, or call 215-849-2855, ext. 25.

          Many thanks to Councilwoman Cindy Bass for helping us, through the PAF grant!

            Overlapping with the picnic, Depaul USA will be having a 5K Walkabout at the Arboretum. Depaul provides transitional housing, job counseling and other vitally needed services to homeless men in the Germantown area.

            Registration for the walk/run is at 9AM. Participation is free, but Depaul is hoping participants will raise at least $100 in pledges, which will directly support their programs. For info, go towww.bit.ly/depaulusawalkabout



Our friends at Awbury would like you to know that there are alimited number of scholarships available to low-income residents of zip codes 19119, 19138 and 19144, for 3 of their Summer Camps, ("Bee & Bug", "Build It", and "Lazy Days of Summer" --- you can find descriptions of these programs at www.awbury.org). These will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Education Director Heather Zimmerman at 215-849-2855, ext. 21, or e-mail hzimmerman@awbury.org if you're interested.

News from Friends of the Wissahickon:

            The FOW website is the place to go for details about the many activities offered in the beautiful Wissahickon (www.fow.org). There will be several nature walks this month, exploring different parts of the area, and there’s something for almost every interest (and every fitness level).

            Here’s something we should all know --- the Upper Valley Green Parking Lot will be closed from July 1st through September30th for a 2-phase improvement project. Among the many needs addressed by the project are stabilization of the stream bank, improvement of water quality, restoration of native vegetation, and repaving/improving the parking area.

            FOW urges park users to bike, walk or take public transit to the Park. There are maps and suggested alternatives to the parking lot at www.fow.org/about-park/maps

            The Mt. Airy Art Garage (11 W. Mt. Airy Ave.) is looking for artists to participate in their upcoming “Summer Show Off”, a.k.a. “a hot Summer of cool art”. Artists in all media are invited to submit work for possible inclusion in the show. Send a jpg of your work tolinda@mtairyartgarage.org.  You can also bring your submissions to MAAG on Saturday 6/15th from noon till 6 PM, or Sunday the 16thfrom noon till 5. You can get details or download an application atwww.mtairyartgarage.org

            Mt. Airy USA is working on revitalizing the underused Lovett Park space, next to the Lovett Library. The Friday night “Moonlight Movies” have been a popular Summer family activity (dates and movies are on our website calendar), featuring food trucks and films. The tables and chairs that were in place last Summer were well-used every day of the week, drawing more people into the space. But, alas, they were not durable outdoor furniture, and they didn’t make it past the Summer.

            So, MAUSA has launched a fundraising campaign through “crowdsourcing”, complete with perks for donating, to raise $6,000 to purchase quality, durable outdoor chairs and tables for the space. To donate, go to: www.indiegogo.com/projects/dining-at-lovett-park?c=home  Or check out www.GoMtAiry.com for more information about Lovett Park or Moonlight Movies.

            Speaking of better use of public spaces………..On June 22nd, there will be a Night Café and Block Party on Maplewood Mall, featuring free music and other entertainment, and food available to purchase. This is the kick-off for discussions about re-imagining and re-designing the Mall. The party will start in the late afternoon and run through evening.

A new and much-praised public space is now a major attraction along the Schuylkill River. Congratulations to East Mt. Airy resident (and EMAN member!) Josh Nims, who spearheaded the effort to create a public skateboarding park in the City. The fruit of Josh's vision and decade of work opened at the end of May --- Paine's Parkhas been lauded by city planners, designers and skaters alike. It's a mixed-use public space that's designed with skating as the featured activity. It's welcoming to pedestrians and has seating that offers a great view of the River.


Special Community Meeting:

            Vacant buildings bring down surrounding property values and increase the risk of crime. We can all help by referring reliable developers, entrepreneurs and potential home owners to our neighborhood. On Thursday, June 13th at 7:00 PM, there will be a community meeting at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church (6671 Germantown Ave.) chaired by Rep. Cherelle Parker to discuss plans for a baking facility for High Point Café and a proposed Wing Stop sit-down restaurant in one of the vacant buildings on Germantown Ave. near Westview St.

            There have been rumors swirling around these proposals; this is your opportunity to get reliable information, to ask questions and to have your opinions heard by elected officials, community associations and planning organizations.

It’s Not Too Late…..

            But time’s running out, as we approach the July 1st application date for businesses to participate in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

            The Mt. Airy Schools Initiative --- EMAN and our partners at MAUSA and WMAN --- has been officially approved as an Educational Improvement Organization that’s eligible to participate in PA’s EITC program. We thought the work was important before the new School District “doomsday” budget was made public. Now, it’s critical, as our schools are facing draconian cuts.

            In summary, businesses that pay certain PA business/corporate taxes can re-direct those tax dollars to the 5 public elementary schools in Mt. Airy, instead of letting Harrisburg decide how to allocate your money.

            Abby Thaker at MAUSA has worked tirelessly on this process, and we are grateful for her energy and persistence! Now, she’ll help interested businesses see if they qualify, and will help complete and submit the form necessary to apply. The application can be filled out ahead of time, but the “send” button must be pushed on July 1st.

Contact Abby at athaker@mtairyusa.org, or 215-844-6021.

School’s Out Soon!

            This means more children out on bikes and skateboards, playing games in the tree-lined streets……………..Please watch out for them. Drive carefully. (That includes not texting!)

            In other neighborhood school news, we’ve just learned thatHouston School Principal Kim Newman will be leaving us at the end of the year, to accept another position. (Houston draws students from both East and West Mt. Airy.)

            Ms. Newman has been both successful and popular, and Houston School has benefited enormously from her energy and vision during a time of great difficulty for the school system. We’ll miss her passion and positivity. We wish her well at her new school.

Our regular Community/Board Meetings stop for the Summer, and resume in the Fall. (The September meeting will be on the 10th.) But EMAN's work continues throughout the year, as does our need for your support. We urge you to become a member.

Membership is rolling, and you can join at any time of year. Visit our website (http://www.eastmountairy.org/membership.cfm) to join using PayPal, or to print out a membership form to mail with payment.

 We hope your Summer gets off to a good start, and look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood.