In this two–part series, we examine the effects absentee landlords have on neighborhoods, and what residents are doing to fight them. In the first part, we hear from Mayfair residents.
During their patrols as Mayfair Town Watch President and Vice President, John Vearling and Len Roberts heard the same complaints from residents over and over again.
The owner of this property did not shovel his sidewalk when it snowed. This owner failed to maintain the lawn. The renters in this household would not put their trash outside at the proper time on the proper night. The sound of barking dogs and blasting music that came from this apartment never ceased, day or night.
Roberts said the gripes escalated as time passed. Some neighbors told him that certain properties on Cottman Avenue were known drug houses. Vearling heard from others that residents would move out in the middle of the night. continue reading »
The original Frankford High School building -- an annex of Central High School. Photo by Jennifer Reardon for Philadelphia Neighborhoods.
Dr. Thomas Mills, the current Frankford Alumni Association president, graduated from Frankford High School in 1948 with 477 other high school seniors. All but two of the 478 individuals were Caucasian males.
Terry Tobin, the Alumni Association’s financial secretary and treasurer, graduated from Frankford High in 1962. In his first year at Frankford, he witnessed the voluntary desegregation of the school.
Joe Farina, a first-year health and physical education teacher and a wrestling and baseball coach at Frankford, graduated in 2004. Frankford’s demographics during his last year there closely resemble the current statistics.
During the 2008-2009 school year, the most recent school year for which data are available, African Americans made up the majority of Frankford’s student population at 62.4 percent. At 9.9 percent of the student population, Caucasians ranked third. Latinos were second at 25.1 percent. The high school had 1,921 students enrolled that year, quite a jump from the 37 students who attended the Central High School annex its first year, September 1910, 100 years ago. continue reading »
Inside the Excel Academy South in Northwood, Executive Director Milton Alexander stands with Stephanie Buca and a select group of the interviewed honor students. Photo by Maria Konidaris.
Jamirca Delacruz dropped out of Frankford High School. Sarae White was struggling academically. Brandon Ausborne was simply not attending a high school at all.
All three chose to attend the newest Camelot School, Excel Academy South, which opened this year on the grounds of Friends Hospital at Roosevelt Boulevard and Adams Avenue.
“I didn’t want to stay home and not graduate and be a failure,” Ausborne said.
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Some of the members of Lawncrest's Fourth of July Committee: Standing (l to r): Bill Dolbow, Eva Baumgartel, Suzanne Turner, Steve Cartledge. Seated (l to r): Hank Baumgartel, Gary Weaver. Photo by Maria Konidaris.
Jean Pleis volunteers with Lawncrest’s Fourth of July Celebration Committee because her father, Gene Mansdoerfer, or “Mr. Olney,” did the same in his community.
“He got me involved right away and drilled the Fourth of July into me,” Pleis said. “I wish I could do more in his memory to honor him.”
Gary Weaver, the committee’s treasurer, invests his time in the cause because his mother was born on the holiday.
This year will mark the 95th anniversary of the Lawncrest Fourth of July parade and fireworks celebration, assuming it all comes together. continue reading »