East Falls Local

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A Fish Out of Order

UPDATE June 13, 2017: They’re baaaack! After months of repairs & maintenance, East Falls’ fish plates return to their spot under the Twin Bridges. 

All spruced up like new, the plates have been sand-blasted, straightened, and strengthened by sculptor Steven Sears. He even powder-coated them this time! “It’s harder than paint, and should last another 20 years, ” he explained.

The fish names, too, are much crisper and easier to read now, thanks to a special kind of vinyl lettering that’s unbelievably strong. “It’s the same stuff they use on airplanes,” Sears told us, “It holds tight at -30 degrees and 600 mph!” Whatever our wacky Philly weather piles on, these plates have been reinforced to take it in stride.

Hopefully, it’ll be a long time before he’s called out here again. We certainly don’t want another repeat of what brought them down last year.

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Just Push Play

UPDATE 6-12-17: The plot thickens… No one’s claiming responsibility for alarming (yet vague) new signs at McMichael. 

Mysterious signs have popped up at McMichael Park, in apparent response to a recent stakeholder meeting where plans for the new playground proposed using more space than the initial 1 – 2 % requested for a natural play area.

It’s just a first draft, though! Designers are back at the drawing board to address concerns. Meanwhile, Friends of McMichael park deny that they’re behind the new signs — but these “bandit” signs hung around for days without any comment from the Friends, so perhaps that’s telling?

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Seeing Red (Lights) on Allegheny Ave.   

Neighbors in Allegheny West take to the streets to fight for their traffic lights.

Intersection at 32nd & Allegheny

It took two deaths and a mass protest to get a traffic light at 32nd and Allegheny almost 40 years ago but a recent PennDOT project is threatening to take it away. Neighbors in the area, many unaware that the lights were scheduled for removal until recently, weren’t about to let that happen.

So during a Friday afternoon rush hour earlier this month, approximately 50 of them barricaded the intersection and carried signs into the street, causing buses and cars to back up for blocks all along Allegheny and triggering traffic snarls on surrounding roads.

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Scout and About: Five Scouting Lessons this Summer

Summer’s coming and outdoor adventures await in East Falls and beyond for Boy Scout Troop 474. Got a budding scout in your house? Archery, first aid, and firebuilding are just a few of the things he could learn this season.

When Joe Petrone of Petrone Realty was a kid, half the scouts in Troop 474 were from East Falls. “It was great, everybody came out and we did all kinds of fun wilderness and survival stuff.” Joe loved it so much, he volunteers today as a scoutmaster for the Troop. “We’ve got a good group from Roxborough and Manayunk, but we could always use more East Falls guys,” he told us recently.

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PennDOT Part Deux: Caught on Camera

Ummmm… Why are these people representing us, again?  (Videos have been subtitled for your convenience —  extra footage at links)

I think it’s important to give big thanks to the dozens of East Falls RESIDENTS who came out on a Thursday night to endure some public bullying for our safety. Without them, we could still be stuck in the same stalemate on Henry Avenue.

The kicker is, it’s our own local traffic committee members who were trying to block PennDOT’s plan for safety improvements on this busy roadway. Not all of them — just a minority, really. But a very vocal one with, apparently, all the time in the world to derail important projects around here.

Talk about uncompromising — committee members couldn’t even agree to take a proper vote when they met privately earlier in the week. Instead of a clear yes or no, chair John Gillespie could only offer the group’s “kind of informal group consensus (video)” on Option Five, which sounds kinda dysfunctional…

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DIG THIS: 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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Teaming Up for the Cleaning Up

Join your neighbors for fresh air, sunshine, and an awesome full-body workout! Free! Get a head-start on beach season while beautifying our community’s front door step. 

Mark your calendars: Philly Spring Clean-Up is Saturday April 8th (9am – 2pm). Meet at BuLogics for donuts & equipment, then join your neighbors in raking out & bagging up trash and debris along Ridge Avenue and lower Midvale.

“Last year we had enough people to clean up both sides of Ridge from Dunkin to the Twin Bridges,” block captain Felicite told members at a recent EFF meeting, “I’d love to have double the number of people and cover twice as much ground.”

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Huddle Up, East Falls!

Pennsylvania might’ve swung red this election, but Philadelphia’s a proud blue Sanctuary City. For many Fallsers, political action seems the next step — but how? Tactical, team-oriented strategies for local resistance. 

Sorry, guys, but journalistic “objectivity” is not our thing. You might as well know it: we disagree with the current White House administration — in particular their use of the phrase “alternative facts” with a straight face. That’s our defining line, at least. Yours may be gender equality or the Muslim ban or the Johnson Amendment

Whatever it is, experts have devised a plan with three targets & four tactics we can all employ to help fight against threats to justice, freedom, and the American way. Groups now meeting on Midvale!

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From East Falls With Love

Lovelights are here!  Now in its 18th year, the February tradition at McMichael Park celebrates loves of all kinds with Lovelight messages. Watch for the tree lighting on the evening of Feb. 14th when a tree will glow for all your loved ones. 

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