Saturday, May 16, 2015

CCRA Newsletter

Read All About It
CCRA Annual Meeting
Workshop on Tomatoes
Lady Bug Release Party
Street Scene Urban Garden and Photography Competition
Street Scene Tip
CCRA Merchant Member Discount Program
Society Hill House and Garden Tour
Help Send Masterman's Odyssey of the Mind Team off to the Word Finals
Penn's Village


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Don't forget to vote in the Primary Election! Tuesday , 5/19,  Polls open from 7 AM - 8 PM
In February, the Crosstown Coalition, of which CCRA is a charter member, presented the Council Candidates with a 16 item questionnaire.  7 incumbents, and 12 challengers, 14 Democrats and  5 Republicans have answered the Questionnaire. For the full text of each response or highlights of the responses go to the Crosstown website . which also contains breakouts as to the Democratic and Republican responses.
As with the Mayoral candidates, the most interesting Council candidate responses are those where there is wide agreement. Fourteen candidates believe that Council should have conducted public hearings on the PGW sale issue. Three candidates (Greenlee, Oh, and Reynolds Brown), all incumbents, replied that Council handled the issue appropriately. Neilson, another incumbent, replied but did not answer the PGW hearing question, and challenger Isaiah Thomas side-stepped the question. Eighteen respondents favor making the Inspector General a permanent office. Only Bill Greenlee doesn't answer, noting that a number of City offices have duties that conflict with the Inspector General's and observing that the finances and resources of the Inspector General's Office "need to be taken into consideration". Asked whether an independent commission should be charged with mapping Council's electoral districts instead of Council, 14 respondents, including Council incumbents Neilson and Squilla, favored a non partisan commission, while four incumbents support the current system under which Council draws the boundaries - Greenlee, Johnson, Oh, and O'Brien. Incumbent Reynolds Brown replied that she would consider this innovation.
CCRA Annual Meeting & RECEPTION, WED, 5/20, 7PM Curtis institute, 1611 locust st
The Association's  Annual Meeting will be held at the Curtis Institute's Lenfest Hall, followed by a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception in the gracious public rooms of the Berger & Montague law offices.
The Meeting will include the election of Officers and Directors.  As in past years, the Nominating Committee had a wealth of candidates to choose from.  To view the list of 10 Officers and 10 Directors that have been nominated by the Nominating Committee, as well as their respective "bios," click here.   Following the election, of the board and officers, Vincent Feldman will discuss his book, City Abandoned ,  a photographic homage to previously grand, but now abandoned, buildings throughout Philadelphia.  Mr. Feldman will be selling and autographing copies of the book as well.  Learn about the book Inga Saffron calls  "a deeply moving survey of the great civic structures that Philadelphia erected, then neglected."

Finally, the Association wishes to extend a grateful "thank you" to outgoing Officers Jeff Braff (Pres.) and Virginia Nalencz (Ass't. Sec.) and Board Members Bill Faust, Kim Jessum, Michele Langer, and Fred Murphy.  Although their  terms will expire on June 30, we are confident that they will continue to generously contribute their spirit, time, and talent to CCRA and our neighborhood.
Workshop on Tomatoes, Mon, 5/18 6PM, Schuylkill River Park Community Garden, 25th & Spruce Sts
Tomatoes are almost everyone's favorite summer crop, and there is considerable lore about how to grow them. Scott Poethig has grown tomatoes for research, and is now growing them for fun in the SRPCG.  He will talk about starting plants from seeds, pruning, fertilizing, watering, pests/diseases, and, of course, his favorite varieties.  He promises to leave plenty of time for questions. All are welcome. No RSVP required.
All are invited to attend our Annual Ladybug Release Party which  introduces children to the garden via a brief activity, release of the ladybugs, and hot dogs & healthy snacks. The following volunteer opportunities are available:
  • Provide healthy snacks and/or desserts
  • Help supervise activities
Interested volunteers or those with additional ideas or services to contribute, please contact Event Chair Jacoba Johnson at Please bring a healthy snack or dessert to share. RSVP required to  by Wednesday May 20.

Event sponsored and food provided by CCRA and SRPCG
CCRA's Street Scene urban garden and PHOTOGRAPHY (new this year) returns, bigger and better than ever.  Garden entries are due by June 30, and photography entries are due by August 15.   The CCRA Street Scene web page and entry forms are live.  In addition, each week through October 31, the CCRA e-newsletter will contain a gardening tip to help you plan, plant and maintain your most fantastic Street Scene entry yet!

A big thank you to our sponsors, Reinhold Residential, Pam Rosser Thistle, REALTOR, and Friends in the City. 

Right plant, right place.  If you are blessed with a window box in a sunny location, be sure you plant the right plants for that location.  Impatiens will not be happy in a sunny window box, but here are some suggestions of plants that thrive in the sun.  
  • Marigolds are sun-loving, drought-tolerant and come in many varieties that stay low and bushy, with no deadheading needed. The blossoms can be singles or doubles and come in cream, rust, yellow and brilliant orange. Their foliage is fine, ferny and pest resistant. 
  • Portulaca, or moss roses, come in vibrant colors such as pink, red, yellow and orange. The 1-inch diameter flowers have almost transparent petals surrounding the centers.
  • Zinnias are the best friends of a sunny window box. Varieties grow from 6 inches high to 36 inches high in every color except true blue.
  • Geraniums have clusters of flowers in the shape of a ball on the top of stems from 3 to 6 inches tall. Colors include red, pink, white and purple. Trailing geraniums also called ivy geranium are excellent in window boxes. 
  • Lantana another heat-loving perennial, mounds over the window box. Colors include red, orange, yellow pink, purple and white. It's not uncommon to find two or three colors on the same plant.
  • Gazanias and Gaillardia) are two more perennials that are happy in a sunny window box.
Other annuals that thrive in the heat include celosia which comes in bright colors and adds height to a window box.  
S upport our local merchants and save money too. These local merchants will provide a discount (described here) to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card (Di Bruno Bros. has its own CCRA card) and personal identification.

Dom's Shoe Repair, 203 S. 20th St (215-972-0098)
Eye Candy Vision, 218 S. 20th St (215-568-3937)
Koresh Dance Company, 2002 Rittenhouse Sq St. (267-687-1769)
PhotoLounge 1909 Chestnut Street (267-322-6651)
Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St, (215-772-1911)
Rim's Dry Cleaners & Tailors,2203 South St. (215-546-1889)
Rittenhouse Hardware, 2001 Pine St. (215-735-6311)
Rittenhouse Pet Supply, 135 S. 20th St (215-569-2555)
Computer Troubleshooters ,108 S. 20th St. (215-825-2101)
Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St. and the Market at the Comcast Center (215-665-9220)
Uber - Limo service Uber provides $20 off a first ride, Good for new users only. Members use code CCRA14.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
Society Hill House & Garden Tour, Sun, 5/17, 1-5PM
Join the Society Hill Civic Association on a self-guided walking tour of 10 private homes and gardens in historic Society Hill with architectural and interior styles range from the 18th and 19th Century to contemporary. All ticket holders will receive a 15% discount for dinner after the tour at five area restaurants.

Advance ticket purchase suggested. To purchase a ticket, or to get more information, click here, contact Society Hill Civic Association at 215-629-1288, or Day of tour ticket purchase: Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard St. Tickets: $30 per ticket in advance, $35 at the door. Group rates available for 5 or more. Complimentary light refreshments; rest rooms available. Comfortable shoes recommended.

Help send Masterman's Odyssey of the Mind Team off to the World Finals, Mon, 5/18, 3-8PM, Rita's South Street West, 2124 South St.
Masterman's Odyssey of the Mind team took 1st place in the regional and state tournaments again and are heading to the World Finals at Michigan State University. Join Rita's South Street West to help send the team off!   For every purchase Rita's will donate a portion of all sales during this time period to Team Masterman's fund for travel to MSU. Can't get away?  You can still make a contribution to the team travel fund at 
Penn's Village Anniversary PERFORMANCE and Member/Volunteer Party, Wed, 5/27, 6 PM, Acad of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St
  Celebrate Penn's Village anniversary this year with a Lyric Fest performance.  Lyric Fest's mission is to bring people together through the shared experience of song, and the songs they have chosen echo our mission with zest and good humor. Afterwards, filter out to the garden for the member and volunteer party with refreshments donated by Whole Foods.  All are welcome.  The performance and party are free for Penn's Village members and volunteers;  $20, payable at the event, for guests and non-members. Register by calling 215-925-7333 or emailing

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