Public Safety Feed

Installing the new RF smart electric meter

Installs smart RF electric meter

PECO is replacing the existing electric meters in the neighborhood with new remote controlled smart meters using Radio Frequency (RF) transmission. Installer Peter Paige stopped by one morning, as scheduled, to make the 15 to 20 minute switch-out.

This is the process: Wearing fire resistant clothing, Paige first dons personal protective equipment: a hood, helmet and goggles to guard against a flash which might occur should he touch a live spot inside the box. He credits the protective gear with saving him on more than one occasion!

Paige then records the old meter number and reading and the new meter number and reading on a multifunctional, handheld electronic device. Then pulling off the old meter, the lights in our utility room and house go out. With a helmet-mounted lamp lighting the box, he tests the voltage. Trilling sounds indicate it’s OK. He snaps in the new meter and attaches a seal; its thin gauge wire can be cut but if it is discovered so, will indicate tampering.

With the handheld, Paige then takes photos of the old meter. Melting, burning or char on the plastic back of the old meter will indicate an electrical problem that a special PECO team will follow up on. And lastly he beams a red light at the meter to activate it. And it’s on to the next job. Paige says his appointment team can do up to 15 or 20 or more on a good day.

The smart meter allows PECO to turn it off in case of either emergency or delinquency. The new meter also has a sensor that detects overheating, surges or other improper conditions, can signal PECO and can shut itself down. Soon, a website will be available for customers to monitor and analyze their electric usage and achieve savings.

A “New Metering Technology” handout Paige provides explains that the new meters are being installed in accordance with the requirements of Pennsylvania Act 129 of 2008. In addition to the quick detection and correction of problems, the new technology is expected to provide the basis for new products and services. The handout also addresses consumer concerns about the level of Radio Frequency (RF) emitted by the meter and potential concerns about the privacy and security of the information captured.

Watch video of interview and installation here.


T shirts mark gun deaths

t-shirts mark gun deaths

When Joanne Thompson arrived at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, she was taken by the display of hundreds of t-shirts mounted on wooden crosses, flapping in the wind. From someone coming out the church door she learned that each shirt bore the name and age of each of the 312 people killed by a gun in Philadelphia in 2012. She pointed out a sign at the sidewalk calling for Mayor Nutter to take action. Although Thompson, personally, has not been affected by gun violence, “it’s horrible”, she says and affects the whole community: everyone has to fear for his or her own safety or that of a child. The display is being mounted by an organization called, “Heeding God’s Call.” www.heedinggodscall.org/

Watch video here


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

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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.