Public Safety Feed

Student studies roadkill

Studies road kill

Desmond O’Donovan, a student at the Science Leadership Academy chose to study animal-car collisions for a school project on a local or global issue. Driving along Cresheim Drive earlier with his Dad, he saw a young deer felled on the sidewalk and came back later with his Mom to photograph and examine the mishap. He’s been doing research into the issue and sharing his information with classmates and on blogs. He believes collisions might be reduced by educating drivers to drive more slowly in the Wissahickon where, he says, deer are overabundant and possibly, also, by lowering the speed limit.  For the activity requirement of his project, O'Donovan may try to raise awareness about the problem.

Update from O'Donovan 4/2/13

You might be interested to know that i have decided what i am doing for the project. i'm going to try to get a deer crossing sign posted on Wissahickon Ave and Mount Pleasant.

Continue reading "Student studies roadkill" »


Mounted police on patrol in Chestnut Hill

Mounted police return to Philly streets

Officers Manuel Lorenzo (left)  and Carmello Oquendo (right) were patrolling Chestnut Hill along Highland Avenue astride their mounts.  Lorenzo was riding Ruben, a black coated Dutch warmblood and former dressage horse and Oquendo was riding Ranger, a rescued Belgian draft  who had been pulling farm carriages. The policemen are two of the 12 officers riding horses from a stable of 15. They patrol throughout the City, says Oquendo,  and could be in Chestnut Hill one day and in  Old City, the next. Although there were a couple hundred in the unit in the 1950s and 60s, the hope is for the unit, re-introduced in 2010, to build back up to a more recent level of 30 riders. Although the officers can perform all regular police functions, their main purpose is deterrence and the officers equate a mounted duo’s effectiveness to that of 20 officers walking a beat.  The horses are trained to deal with different conditions, disturbances and people.  Ruben and Ranger were receptive to pats on the neck and the officers say they are good for community relations - the public loves them. The Philadelphia Police Foundation website accepts donations at http://www.phillypolicefoundation.org/projects/mountedunit/ to rebuild the mounted patrol. Watch short video here.

 

 


Three days on roof, survived Hurricane Katrina

NOTE: INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED ON 4/21/13 WHICH CALLS THE VERACITY OF THIS ACCOUNT INTO QUESTION.

Mount Airy resident survived Hurrican Katrina

Watch video interview here

Jo Quasney is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. Of French Creole heritage, Quasney is a native of New Orleans who was living alone in her house in the eighth ward when the hurricane struck on August 29, 2005.  Quasney bred birds and had no way of transporting or finding shelter for the birds when New Orleans residents were advised to evacuate so she stuck it out. Her neighborhood began to flood after she heard an explosion that she attributes to a Halliburton company oil barge breaking through a levee. (For a discussion on the cause of the breech, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ING_4727)

Continue reading "Three days on roof, survived Hurricane Katrina" »


From Kickboxing to Childcare: Children of America opens in Chestnut Hill

Children of America staff with Mascot Bentley

Children of America greeters with Mascot Bentley

Watch video tour and interview here.

Assistant Director Katie McDonnell and coworker Mary Catherine of the Lansdale Children of America   “Educational Childcare and Academy” were on hand to welcome the Chestnut Hill community to the company’s newest location on Saturday June 16th at the site of the former Borders Bookshop at the top of the Hill.

According to its website, “C-O-A” has about 60 sites from the east coast west to Wisconsin and plans for another 30 locations. The Chestnut Hill center, its largest, can accommodate up to two hundred and ninety one children ranging from 6 weeks old up through third grade. WHYY Newsworks.org reports that COA is in the process of seeking accreditation to become a Pennsylvania chartered school for up to 5th grade.

The school’s proprietary curriculum, developed specifically for COA by educational psychologist Vicki Folds and expounded in her books, is based on children doing tasks set up on what look like lunch trays (“traytasking”).  The concept is to get children to manipulate things left to right and up to down, the same spatial directions they will use for reading.

Upon noting that a youngster has completed a certain age specific task, such as simultaneously pedaling and steering a tricycle, a childcare worker dates and initials the accomplishment in a checklist file for the child.

A sixteen hundred square foot but windowless playground in the basement has slides, a tree house, green artificial turf and purple rubber tiles for scrape free falls.

Children may go for rides aboard four or six-seat buggies through the hallways or, for some fresh air and a change of scene, along the building’s sidewalks. There is no outdoor playground.

Six-week olds start out in Infant Room A and after mastering sleeping in their cribs will graduate to Rooms B and C to begin sleeping on cots.

Security, which features prominently in the company’s marketing, is highlighted by its “Always Close By” system. A camera or two in every room can be monitored in the office by the director or assistant director. For $19.95 additional a month, (enrollment fees run $1600 a month) parents can view their children in real time remotely through the Internet. Mary Catherine reports that one mother at the Lansdale site will call in and have a talk with her child if she sees that her child is misbehaving.

In one classroom we visited, a menagerie of small plastic animals on a table top is ready for children to manipulate, learn their names and the sounds they make.  At COA, dogs go “Woof.” 

Walls are adorned with an illustration of the school’s mascot a dog named Bentley with a black circle around one eye who strongly resembles “Petey” from the 1920s and 30s television show “Our Gang.” Bentley is the main character in stories being written at all the COA centers and to be published and available to parents online.

There is a real life Bentley. He runs around on a beach in Florida where he lives with his owner, “Mr. Thad” [Pryor] a former world kickboxing champion and owner of the Children of America enterprise.

Prospective infant at  Children of America

Parents with infant speak with director at reception desk

 

Children of America opens in Chestnut Hill

Children of America opens Monday June 17th at the site vacated two and a half years ago by the defunct Borders Bookstore chain


Quiet fallen firefighter played "Prince Charming"

Recalling fallen firefighter, "Prince Charming"

Bishop McDevitt High School Admissions Director Christopher Seifert smiles recalling the memory of former  schoolmate Daniel Sweeney. The  young Philadelphia firefighter  died from injuries suffered battling a blaze in a vacant building in the city's Kensington section. Sweeney, a junior when Seifert was a senior, was so quiet around school, that Seifert was surprised when Sweeney assumed the lead role of Prince Charming in the musical Cinderella they were both acting in. Sweeney's mother still teaches at the school and his  youngest sister  just graduated. There will be a memorial service at the school with the family in the next month. Wyncote, PA. Watch video interview here.


Police Seargent to citizens: Get organized

Police officer tells community to take charge

HOW CAN WE HELP [YOU,] THE POLICE, DO YOUR JOB? The way citizens can help out the police department- we're supposed to work in partnership with each other. I would suggest that the best way is just to be visible. First, call us, 911, if you see anything that is suspicious or out of hand and the police can come and investigate it. But also, as a community, there's more that you guys have to take on your block. So it would be better to get organized and work with the police. You guys are out there every day, you're coming home from work, from school and play. You can just form up, you can have meetings on the corners that you identify as problem corners and inform us that you're doing it. Take charge of your block.

HOW DO THE PSA'S WORK?

The PSAs are police service areas and we've been up and running with the PSAs for at least two years already. Basically, we can identify problem areas, we can bring in specialists such as L&I, Abandoned Autos, on the specific problems you're having in the neighborhood. 

I NOTICED A YOUTUBE CHANNEL WHERE YOU HAVE VIDEOS,MAYBE SURVEILLANCE CAMERA? DO YOU KNOW IF THEY'RE EVER HELPFUL IN APPREHENDING ANYONE? With the technology these days, everything is helpful. If it's verbal, by telephone, or if it's video the detectives or police can definitely use it.

Philadelphia Police Seargent Michael Kennedy with daughter Lori after a Town Watch Meeting he helped lead at the 14th police district headquarters on Haines Street in Germanown, Philadelphia.

Watch video interview here.


Nuclear faith, nuclear fears- workmates differ on energy alternatives

IMG_6965.JPG

Workmates Stephen McShane and Jarek Heljak (seated on other side of table) of Northeast Philadelphia talk about the nuclear plant crisis in Japan and energy generation alternatives. McShane has a Japanese friend whose parents in Sendai were far west enough to have only lost power. He expressed grave concerns about water and food contamination and favors solar or wind energy. Heljak, who says his native Poland relies on coal and has no nuclear plants due to the expense, favors nuclear. Starbucks Coffee, Chestnut Hill. Watch video interview here.


Gasland comes to Philly - fracking for natural gas in the Delaware River watershed?

photo

Punctuated by first hand accounts  of health problems caused by fouled air and water and scary stunts  by homeowners across the country setting their polluted tapwater on fire, the film “Gasland”, an Academy Award nominee,  documents the dirty production side of  what’s marketed as clean natural gas.

On Tuesday evening,  about seventy five people attended a showing  of the banjo-playing filmmaker Josh Fox’s movie at the Germantown Jewish Center, organized by the synagogue, Weavers Way, the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement and the Unitarian Society of Germantown.

Afterwards. a panel of scientists and directly affected individuals and activists from the Marcellus Shale region of upstate Pennsylvania described the adverse health and environmental  impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (“fracking” in common parlance, “frac jobs” in industry terms). SEE PANELIST INFORMATION BELOW

It’s a process that injects water combined with several of some hundreds of available chemicals, many known toxins such as benzene,  at high pressure, to release the gas.  Developed by former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Haliburton company, fracking was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water act by the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Under newly elected  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, it appears to be open season for the drilling of new wells in Pennsylvania which may extend into the watershed area which is the source of drinking water in Philadelphia. This is cause for serious local concern as expressed by Linda Cherkas, a Mount Airyite attending the filming  and the subject of a  Philadelphia city council forum the very same evening.

After the showing, attendees flocked to tables to sign letters urging President Obama, who voted for the 2005 Energy Act, to direct his representative on the Delaware River Basin Commission to vote against finalizing draft rules on gas drilling and urging the President to call a nationwide moratorium until an Environmental Protection Agency study is complete.

Watch video here.

linda cherkas

This account makes use of critical analysis of the film and counter-allegations of its critics in the New York Times by Michael Soraghan of Greenwire athttp://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/02/24/24greenwire-groundtruthing-academy-award-nominee-gasland-33228.html

Continue reading "Gasland comes to Philly - fracking for natural gas in the Delaware River watershed?" »


Peace High School Students talk about guns and Martin Luther King Day

IMG_4572.JPG

WE WOULDN’T BE CELEBRATING MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY IF HE WERE STILL ALIVE AND NOT ASSASSINATED BY SOMEONE WHO WAS A LITTLE CRAZY, WITH A FIREARM. I’M THINKING THAT IT’S TIME TO REPEAL THE SECOND AMENDMENT. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE BUT NO RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE ARIZONA SHOOTING AND THE VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTINGS?

“Most of us agree that the second amendment should be revised as to who’s allowed to carry a gun. We learned that in certain states you can carry concealed weapons. There’s no law against it. They force some colleges to allow students to carry concealed weapons…. There should be some sort of test to pass, not just filling out paperwork.” Breanna Hawkins, right.

“We’re actually learning about that in our English class. We have a lot of opinions about what happened what should have happened … Maybe it’s time for the police to also step up and go through the streets and find those people that are selling the guns and people that are buying them illegally. Most teenagers that have firearms are getting their guns illegally from the streets.” Brittany Moldey, left.

Brittany and Breanna, eleventh graders at the Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice in Mount Airy, were welcoming prospective students and their parents on Saturday as part of their required community service. On Martin Luther King Day, Parkway students will help paint the lunchroom and others are volunteering to cook with younger children at the Waldorf School, also situated on the New Covenant Church campus in Mount Airy.

Watch video interview here.