East Falls Local

East Falls for All's!

Author: Steve Fillmore (Page 1 of 16)

Top Cop on Coulter?

With the top spot on the democratic ballot and some big endorsements, Coulter street’s Rich Negrin could be Philly’s next District Attorney. We get his take on a few of the big issues as well as some of his favorite spots in the Falls.

Family time at Penn Charter. (l to r) Rachel, Helen (grandmom), Connor, Rich, Karen, Mariel, and Brian (grandpop)

We’ve got Ed Rendell and a few other political notables hereabouts, but we could always use another local celeb. With any luck next month’s District Attorney election will make Rich Negrin the new top cop in Philly. In preparation, we got his take on where he’s from, how he got to the Falls, and what he hopes to do as DA.

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Well Founded

Founded Coffee and Pizza is more than an innovative new business, it’s a classic immigrant success story.

Fahri and his brothers. (l to r) Ahmet, Fahri, Mustafa, and Halil

Fahri Demirpence, owner of Founded Coffee and Pizza on Henry Ave., didn’t always dream of coming to America. But when he was growing up in the village of Atmanek in Turkey (near Suruc and the Syrian border), the constant threat of violence convinced him early on that life had to be better elsewhere.

I was 5 or 6 and I can still remember the bullets, the red tracers, flying overhead. My brothers and I could see them from our bedroom….”

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April 2017

35XX Indian Queen Ln.
Complainant viewed her home security camera footage and witnessed offenders removing packages from her front porch. Compl found her opened packages a few yards away. Nothing was taken. Description: Two juvenile black males, thin builds — one wore black hoodie with tan pants, the other wore gray hoodie with blue jeans.

3520 Indian Queen Ln.
Complainant, a wire tech for company, stated that between 1/30/17 and 4/19/17, unknown person(s) took copper wire from cellphone tower, which is fenced in. No security camera. Compl stated he makes random inspections. Value: $2000

Merrick and Dobson Sts.
Complainant discovered passenger side window of her Honda smashed in and driver-side airbag stolen. Police notified. Compl. checking area for surveillance camera footage.

Thanks to Jen A., from the East Falls Nextdoor forum, for this report.

Theft (Auto)
3550 Scotts Lane
Owner parked 2016 silver Toyota RAV4 on the street near his residence at 6PM. When he returned to the spot, the vehicle was gone. Negative results on police tow file check. Value: $24,000

5500 Wissahickon Ave. 
Complainant received delivery confirm from Amazon on 4/2 but boxes were missing from his residence. On 4/10 residence coordinator, in checking on well being of another resident, entered that person’s apartment and discovered missing items and Amazon packaging with compl’s address. Stolen items: Brown box, cat sack, book, pet raincoats, bell, and Handson base layer. Value: $163

2700 Kelly Drive 
Unknown person(s) smashed rear driver’s side window of complainant’s 2014 Chevy Cruze and stole white Jansport backpack (with flowers) that contained laptop computer and college textbooks. Value: $700

East Falls Squash Star Rises this Summer

From EFSA to New Zealand this summer — one Fallser’s rise in the ranks of this 140-year-old sport with deep roots in NW Philadelphia. 

Congratulations, Elisabeth Ross! This Penn Charter sophomore has been selected to play for the USA at the 2017 Junior World Championships in Tauranga, New Zealand this summer.

All-American in 2016, she won the National title last month at Harvard and is now ranked the #1 Girls Under 17 player in the United States — and soon, quite possibly, the world. After discovering her swing in little league at McDevitt, she’s now putting Philly back on the map as this kinetic sport makes a modern comeback.

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Spruce-ing up the neighborhood

Calumet couple helps beautify their block with a street tree.

Air purifier. Wildlife habitat. Privacy screen. Shade. Stormwater management. Beauty. So many reasons trees improve the neighborhood and the environment — hard to believe anyone wouldn’t want one.

But according to Tree Tenders, many East Falls homeowners Just Say No when offered a free street tree for the front of their home. So we tracked down two brave neighbors who took the plunge on an Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac last year, for the full scoop on their hassles and pitfalls.

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Bon Voyage, Gina!

The former EFDC Executive Director exchanges an office space for a year-long adventure in the south of France.

Wow, what a surprise! One minute Gina Snyder’s planning a boat landing and next year’s Dance on the Falls Bridge, the next she’s off to the south of France. From Ridge Ave to Marseille, a fishing port on the Mediterranean, in a heartbeat. We had no idea (and neither did many other Fallsers) until she made the announcement late last month.

We’re sorry to see her go, but are excited at the prospect of her tooling around the ancient streets of France’s 2nd largest city. She won’t be leaving us just yet though. She has tendered her resignation but agreed to stay on with EFDC until a replacement can be brought up to speed (sometime this summer).

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Canines Just in Time

Therapy dogs coming to the rescue at the VNA Philadelphia Hospice.

Doggie dearth. Canine decline. Whatever you call it, the patients at the VNA Philadelphia Hospice (VNAPH) haven’t seen a cheerful pup since 2016.

Back then Stella, an intuitive, sweet Doberman mix, and Ni-Chin, a Japanese Chin, who often wore costumes and rode in a Santa sleigh during the holidays, used to go room to room in the 15-bed inpatient unit, bringing smiles to the patients and the staff.

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EFL Traveler: Wave of the Future

Local tech firm shows off latest “Smart City” gear at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin.

Smart Cities” are a thing! Around the world, cities are using digital technology to function more efficiently. And who knew that a local firm has been pioneering some of the techno-wizardry for these cities of the future? (Well, we did – but you should know too!)

So we asked Felicite Moorman, CEO of BuLogics, a few questions about her recent trip to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) where she talked up Smart City technology (and brought along an EF Local)!

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Springtime menace: Floods and freshets on the Schuylkill River

Springtime on the Schuylkill in the 19th century could be extremely hazardous because of sudden ice thaws known as freshets.

Kelly Drive. May 1, 2014

Flooding these days on Kelly Drive is often an inconvenience. Traffic gets rerouted and things are back to normal in a few hours. But not long ago, flash floods known as freshets could wreak immense havoc.

Destructive power of freshets
These flash floods occurred in March or April, when ice sheets covering the Schuylkill began to thaw, crack, and move downstream. Occasionally, these floes piled on top of one another, clogging the river at choke points and forming enormous ice dams.

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A Fish Out of Order

Repairing the damage to an iconic East Falls art installation.

History buffs in the Falls might have noticed something missing on Kelly Drive beneath the Twin Bridges – the “Five Fishes” art installation, installed in 1995 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Falls Bridge, has been temporarily removed for repairs.

It was damaged in a fatal car accident in April 2016 that also destroyed the informational sign that stood in front of it.

Sculptor and metal fabricator Steve Sears, who created the original work, visited the Falls in mid February and removed the iron sculptures from the wall. He was amazed that after 20 years, the pieces were still so firmly anchored that some of the bolts had to be cut to remove them.

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