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WHAT'S NEW IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
READ ALL ABOUT IT: THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES
In February the Crosstown Coalition, of which CCRA is a charter member, presented the Democratic Mayoral candidates a 16 item questionnaire. The complete responses of Abraham, Diaz, Kenney. Oliver, and Williams are posted at www.philacrosstown.org. (as are the responses from 19 candidates for Council ). On the Republican side of the Mayor's race, Melissa Murray Bailey is running uncontested so her chance to answer Crosstown queries will arise prior to November's general election.
The most interesting mayoral candidate responses, captured in the enclosed highlights, fell into two categories - answers where there was disagreement among the candidates and answers where the candidates agreed. The candidates disagreed on:
The merits of the 10 year realty tax abatement program
Whether Council should remove itself from land bank sales procedures
Whether an independent commission should take over Council's role in remapping Council districts
Whether uncollected tax liens should be sold to private parties
The frequency of real estate tax reassessments.
On the other hand, the contenders agreed that:
The Inspector General position, currently held by bulldog prosecutor Amy Kurland, should be made permanent.
The PGW sale issue should have been debated in Council
Realty tax revenues should increase while wage/business tax revenues should decrease.
The pension program for City employees should be shifted away from a defined benefits program (where pension payouts are computed relative to years of employment and compensation level) to a defined contribution program (where the payout is determined by the funds set aside for the employee).
In next week's What's New, we will analyze the 19 responses received from 14 Democratic City Council candidates and 5 Republicans.
STREET SCENE URBAN GARDEN AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION WINDOW BOX PLANTING WORKSHOP, SAT, 5/14, 6:30 PM , GARDEN, 25th & SPRUCE
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. There will be a window box planting workshop on 5/14 at 6:30 PM with Grace Wicks of Graceful Gardens at the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden. A photography workshop is planned for later in the summer. 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.
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.
LADYBUG RELEASE PARTY, THURS, 5/21, 5 PM, SCHUYLKILL RIVER PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN, 25TH & SPRUCE, RAIN OR SHINE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please bring a healthy snack or dessert to share. RSVP required email@example.com by Wednesday May 20.
Event sponsored and food provided by CCRA and SRPCG
PLANTS FOR YOUR WINDOW BOX
Choosing a container, location and soil is a fine start for window box gardening, but picking the right plants really makes the difference in your window box beauty.
Plan for your plants to grow up and down with a mixture of trailers, compact upright plants tall enough to be seen without blocking the window and plants to act as fillers. For drama, choose plants that contrast with the background - bright plants against light siding or wood, pale flowers against dark brick walls.
Consider using plants with unusual foliage, such as flower kale, sedge, grasses and ferns. That way you can enjoy the beautiful leaves and their distinct textures if the flowers take a break. Grasses like mondo grasses and evergreens such as trailing juniper may live for more than one year in your window box.
Choose some plants that reach for the sky like coleus, dracaena (spike) and geranium, and others that grow down with gravity like sweet potato vine, ivy and verbena. Garden designers know the power of contrast. Look at the growing habits of the plants you choose to be sure you have a contrast of tall and trailing plants.
Sweet potato vine is a no-fail trailing plant that's perfect for sun or shade. It's a quick grower that adds a lush, cascading look and softens the window box it grows from. There are a number of varieties, but a standout is the popular golden selection "Margarita' that looks great combined with practically everything. For a dark contrasting sweet potato vine, grow 'Blackie' which offers purple hand-shaped foliage on a vigorous plant. In any case, pinching back the plant after it has grown a foot or so will make it branch and result in a fuller look trailing from your window box.
CCRA MERCHANT MEMBERS DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Support 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.
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.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND EVENTS
NEW YORK TIMES SAYS WE'RE #3!
Philadelphia is number 3 in the New York Times list of 52 Places to Go in 2015.To view the article, click here.
Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair, Fri and Sat, 5/9 and 5/10, 11AM - 7PM, and Sun, 5/10, 11AM - 5PM, Rittenhouse Sq.
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen returns to Rittenhouse Square with its fifth juried fine craft fair over Mother's Day weekend, May 8, 9 & 10. For more information, click here.
Fitler Square Spring Fair, Fri, 5/8, 10AM - 6PM, and Sat, 5/9 10Am - 4PM, 23rd & Pine
Come out and support Fitler Square. Admission is free. Rain or Shine. There will be plants and herbs, baked goods, food and drinks, white elephant items, flea and craft market, activities for children - including moon bounce on Saturday, and gently-used books and children's clothes. For more information, click here.
THE WISTER QUARTET CONCERT AT ACAD OF VOCAL ARTS, MON, 5/11, 7:30PM, 1920 SPRUCE ST
Hear the Wister Quartet as they perform Sketch Based Indian Themes. Tickets are $17 per person. For more information, call 215-438-4027 or 215-978-0969.
ALBERT M. GREENFIELD SCHOOL REGISTRATION AND TOUR INFORMATION, THURS, 5/14, 9AM
Greenfield School, located at 22nd and Chestnut, serving grades K-8, is now accepting registration for children living within the school's catchment area: the south side of the Ben Franklin Parkway to the north side of Bainbridge St., and from the west side of Broad St. to the Schuylkill River. When registering, bring your child's original birth certificate or passport, his/her vaccination records, your own government issued photo ID, and your original gas and electric bill from the past month as proof of residence. Water or cell phone bills are not accepted as proof of residence. Contact Amy Arcaro if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org visit the Greenfield website at www.greenfieldhsa.org.
Renting Your Home for the Pope's Visit: A Free DIY Seminar, THURS, 5/14, 7:30 PM, Trinity Center, 22nd & Spruce
Coldwell Banker Welker Real Estate is sponsoring a series of seminars on how to rent out your home for the Pope's visit. Julie Welker will walk participants through the steps of listing their home, arranging payment, and how to address taxes and insurance for the rental. These events are completely free. Click here to register.
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 email@example.com. 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.