Newsletter – January 2010

It has certainly been difficult to watch the news over the past week. The earthquake in Haiti has created horror beyond words, and we all want to do something to help.  The EMAN Office was mistakenly listed on a website as a drop-off site for donations of relief supplies. Because of logistical problems, we are unable to do this. If you want to donate emergency supplies, State Sen. LeAnna Washington’s office is our closest collection site (1555-A Wadsworth Ave.; 215-242-0472), and the website of Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia has regularly-updated information on how and where to donate (www.hpphilly.org).  Cash donations are urgently needed. Many houses of worship are collecting for this emergency effort. All of the local media outlets (TV & radio stations, newspapers) have lists of active charities on their websites, and info on how to donate.            

   It’s easy to text a donation; and we have been told that the wireless phone service providers are waiving the usual texting charges:  Text “HAITI” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red CrossText “HAITI” to 864833 to make a $5 donation to the United WayText “QUAKE” to 20222 to donate $10 to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund   (Unfortunately, there have been reports of scammers going door-to-door and making phone appeals. Please be cautious and never give personal or financial information to unverified appeals.)

    East Mt. Airy has suffered a loss of a more personal nature. Ernestine O’Connor, long-time community activist and EMAN Board member, passed away last week. Mrs. O’Connor fearlessly fought crime and drugs in the community, and worked on behalf of all residents to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood. She will be missed.    Mrs. O’Connor’s funeral service will be on Saturday, 1/23rd at 10 AM at the White Rock Baptist Church, at 5240 Chestnut St. 

   The 14th Police District has new leadership. EMAN joins the Northwest Philadelphia community in welcoming Captain Joseph Bartorilla, and we look forward to a productive working relationship. We wish our former Captain, Winton Singletary, much success in his new position with Northwest Detectives.  The new “Police Service Area” strategy has been rolled out, dividing large districts like the 14th into smaller geographical subdivisions. The goals are to increase geographic accountability, to build proactive neighborhood policing strategies, to establish continuity of police assignments and build stronger neighborhood-police partnerships. EMAN’s boundaries include parts of 3 of the 4 PSAs in the 14th. Each PSA will be setting up monthly meetings with community organizations and residents. (These will be listed on our website’s calendar when they’re scheduled……… www.eastmountairy.org ) For more information about the PSA strategy, visit www.phillypolice.com    Please remember that in an emergency, 911 is the number to call. 

   It’s not too late to support the effort to bring a farmer’s market to the William Allen Plaza at Lutheran Theological Seminary. The Seminary and its partner, Valley Green Bank, are conducting a survey to gauge interest. If you haven’t already, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/KQ7V7DN and answer a few questions about your preferences. 

   Planning for Mt. Airy Day 2010 (May 1st) is getting underway. This’ll be the 40th year for the annual community festival that’s co-produced by EMAN & WMAN. As always, the event is only possible with help from volunteers. If you’d like to help, we’ll find you an assignment that suits your talent & time availability………send a note to info@eastmountairy.org& we’ll have someone contact you. 

   If May seems a long way off for a celebration, mark your calendars for February 27th, when EMAN will hold its 2nd annual fundraiser/dance party. The Urban Guerilla Orchestra will be heating up a cold winter’s night for us. More details soon!

Elayne Bender

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