First --- Yes, indeed, it IS hot! (Weather forecasters are predicting only a few days of extreme heat and humidity this week, but we all know Summer’s just beginning.) And although it should go without saying, pleasecheck on elderly or homebound neighbors during weather like this. Extreme heat can put vulnerable people in jeopardy, and heat-related illness and death is almost entirely preventable.Find an air-conditioned spot if you can. If not, be sure to use a fan (but keep a window cracked open to prevent a convection-like heat build-up). Stay well-hydrated. At outdoor activities, seek shade (and be sure to use sunblock!). And make sure your pets have plenty of water and a cool or shady spot.
Speaking of pets…………….Please don’t let your dog walk itself around the neighborhood. We’ve had a couple of calls from people who have encountered loose dogs while out with their own (leashed) pets. While most pets are very friendly and charming, neighbors who are out enjoying Summer might not know that, and strange animals can be frightening. And loose dogs could be injured (or worse) by traffic. There are also lots of cats around the neighborhood. Some are feral (we have several feral “families” on my little block) and don’t necessarily welcome newcomers. Your cats, (even though they may plead with you to be allowed to roam), are much safer indoors. I know this can be seen as contrary to their nature, but it’s a dangerous world out there……..
The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) is the first BID in the city to use rain barrels to water hanging flower baskets and tree wells. Local artists were invited to paint the rain barrels (through the Mt. Airy Art Garage) and they look great. Congratulations to Hollie Malamud-Price (E.D. of the Mt. Airy BID) and Libbie Hawes (Preservation Director at Cliveden of the National Trust) for a wonderful idea! (And to BID Board Chair Ken Weinstein and the Philadelphia Water Department for their support.) There will be an “unveiling” ceremony for the rain barrels on Tuesday, June 26th at 2 PM, in front of Geechee Girl Rice Café, and the public’s invited.
Thinking about the City’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI) and what effect it will have on your property taxes? Even though the AVI has been postponed for a year, homeowners (who reside in the house they own) are still urged to apply for the Homestead Exemption, which is available to all Philadelphia homeowners, regardless of age or income. This exemption can reduce the property tax you will pay --- beginning in tax year 2013 --- if AVI is passed. For more info, call 215-686-9200. The City’s website (www.phila.gov) has additional information and an application form. (It’s a short form, and easy to complete.) The deadline for filing an application is July 31st, so check it out soon.
As Mt. Airy’s graffiti problem continues to worsen, an Anti-Graffiti Task Force has been formed. The first meeting was attended by representatives from EMAN, WMAN, the Mt. Airy BID, SEPTA, the 14thPolice District, Rep. Cherelle Parker’s office, and CLIP (the Community Life Improvement Program of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services). The resources of the participating organizations are limited, but it’s hoped that joining forces and sharing information will be helpful in addressing the problem. Any actions have to be community efforts to be effective. Removal of the graffiti is the first step. Please report any new graffiti to EMAN (email@example.com), WMAN (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to community activist Kelly O’Day (email@example.com). Documentation is important, so that when vandals are caught, the DA’s office can act. Please let us know the location (as specifically as possible), the approximate size, the date it appeared, etc. If you can photograph it, e-mail the photos to firstname.lastname@example.org If you are a Town Watch block, be alert to new instances of this. If you are interested in organizing a Town Watch, let us know and we will facilitate that.
Remember, as always, a rise in property crimes accompanies the rise in temperature. The 14th reports that while physical crimes against people are down, property crimes are up. Lock your doors (including your car doors) and use your alarm system if you have one. Be alert to unfamiliar people lingering on your street. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you see something suspicious.
Additionally, we’ve received a warning about a utilities scam. No, President Obama has not approved special funding for utility bill assistance! So, if anyone calls, e-mails, or stops at your home to sign you up for such a program, do not give them personal or financial information. Contact the police.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS:
The popular Moonlight Movies series returns to Lovett Park (6945 Germantown Ave.) this Friday night at 8:30. (Rain location is the carriage house at Cliveden of the National Trust.) This season’s opener isThe Princess Bride. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and snacks --- or take advantage of the addition of food trucks, which will be operating from 6:30 till 8:30. The series is presented by Mt. Airy USA, the Free Library of Philadelphia and Trolley Car Diner.
There will be a major recycling event this Saturday, from 1 till 4, atChestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse (100 E. Mermaid Lane). Bring electronic items for certified and secure recycling. Also being collected: clothing and household textiles; wearable shoes, handbags, wallets and belts --- these items should be bagged separately and labeled. Donations ($5 - $20) are requested; money raised will support Weavers Way Co-op’s environment committee grants and the peace and social justice committee’s community projects. For details, check outwww.weaversway.coop
The Mt. Airy Train Station/ Walk A Crooked Mile bookstore will be the location of a white elephant sale on June 30th, from 9 till 1. If you want to participate as a seller, call 215-242-0854 to reserve a spot. Vendors and shoppers will be entertained by musician Sharon Abbott while they mingle…………..it’s always a fun neighborhood event.
“Ales For Trails”, a fundraiser to benefit trail maintenance by theFriends of the Wissahickon (FOW) will be held at the Valley Green Inn on Saturday, July 7th, from 11 till 6. This pay-as-you-go event will feature live music and good company. For info, visitwww.valleygreeninn.com
And remember, the Mt. Airy Farmers Market happens every Thursdayafternoon from 3 till 7 at Greene St. and Carpenter Lane, (sponsored by Weavers Way and Valley Green Bank). Our local farmers would love to have your support, and will be happy to tell you about their crops and their growing methods.
There are still a handful of spaces available for EMAN’s “Swing Into Summer” fundraising party at The Gathering Place this Saturday night. E-mail us at email@example.com to reserve one of the remaining spots.
Check our website calendar for more events; we list them as we learn about them. And while you're there, join us! Memberships are always welcome.
Try to keep cool!