40th Street Community Forum


Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Greetings ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2004-02-15 11:50:09
Link to this Comment: 8169

Welcome to the forum area for 40th Street community conversation. This forum is hosted by Serendip, a website for people interested in sharing stories as a way of encouraging social change.

Like other forum areas on Serendip, this is a place for public informal conversation. Read what other people have to say, and leave your own thoughts and reactions for others. The idea is that thoughts in progress are important: everyone can learn from what other people are thinking, and have their own thoughts affected by reading the thoughts of others.

We at Serendip are pleased to be supporting this conversation, not only for what it can do for your community but also as an exploration of what the web can do to help build stronger communities in general. So thanks for your contributions to that also. And, if you're at all inclined, we'd be pleased to have you browse around other Serendip locations as well.


Buidling on success
Name: Harris Sok
Date: 2004-02-15 14:18:45
Link to this Comment: 8171

I am excited by the opportunity for focused deliberation this project -- the public meetings and the on-line forum -- presents. I look forward to reading about people hopes and dreams for the street, and the neighborhood. One of my hopes is that we can build on past successes and positive interactions to further enrich both 40th street and the neighborhood. To that end, I wonder what stories of success and positive interactions you might tell.


Last Night's Forum
Name: Harris Ste
Date: 2004-02-18 12:55:01
Link to this Comment: 8264

The forum last night was a wonderful example of positive, constructive civic engagement. The fact that 100 or so people came out on a Tuesday evening in February to be part of a conversation about 40th Street is inspiring. Our hope is that this is just the beginning of a series of civic conversations about issues that truly matter to us all. It's only through dialogue that we can hope to find, what Harris Sokoloff refers to as, "common ground" - through active listening and engagement. We look forward to moving ahead with this process as we work together to craft a series of planning principles for 40th Street. Working together, we can make a differnce, each of us adding our voices to the mix. Thanks to all who came and made the first forum a success.


Engaging the Stakeholders
Name: Alan Krigm
Date: 2004-02-18 18:27:34
Link to this Comment: 8273

The DP reported on the kick-off meeting in an article on 2/28/04, stating in part:
"A businessman clad in a gray suit. A police officer in uniform. A Penn student wearing workout clothes.

All were in attendance last night at the Rotunda for a community forum focused on the future development of 40th Street."

-----------------------------------------------------------------

What the DP didn't state was that of the, what, nearly 100 business owners on the relevant blocks, only four were in attendance. And these are the folks most likely to be highly impacted by anything that's done. Likewise, the DP didn't report that of the community people who live at the north end of the "corridor," many of whom have few options as to shopping for their essential needs and services beyond the immediate vicinity in which they live, almost (or maybe precisely) none were there.

Why not? I'll assume that Dr Sokoloff indeed visited all the businesses along the strip and invited the owners to this session. Maybe the problem is that the population of businesspeople and residents in question is culturally disinclined to attend meetings. The affected parties have to be approached for inputs and information exchanges in other ways. Perhaps (and this is just a guess) by visiting them one-on-one in their own zones of comfort. Understanding and appreciating cultural diversity to the extent needed to actually work with people, to include them in planning, means a lot more than enjoying seeing folks walking around in colorful garments and speaking melodically exotic languages, and smiling at them on the sidewalk or even being so bold as to say "Hello, "Hola," "Ni How," or whatever (a lesson I'm admittedly not doing well enough learning myself, although at least I think I'm not as oblivious to it as I used to be).

Failure to do this will result in yet another top-down program which the promoters justify by saying "we held public meetings," implying that they got the participation of the affected stakeholders when in fact they did no such thing. As, unfortunately, has been the case with several current "projects" in our area.

Surely, there are individuals at Penn, one of the great universities of the world, with genuine expertise at engaging people who don't come from democratic, participatory backgrounds and to whom the idea of a non-obligatory public meeting makes no sense at all. Individuals, for instance, to whom "officials" connote "authority" rather than dialog. The organizers of this project owe it to the community -- indeed they owe it to their own consciences -- to find these experts and bring them into the process so we can all be more confident in having made made a truly honest effort to involve everyone.

Al Krigman
housing provider (KRF Corp)
University City


We are seeking comments and advise
Name: S. Sharrie
Date: 2004-02-26 10:16:14
Link to this Comment: 8521

I'm a member of the steering committee. I can tell
you there is no "boogie-man" or conspiracy here. The
steering committee has been taking responsible steps
to create access for anyone who decides to participate.

The process is designed to allow more stakeholders to
get involved with the "guiding principals" of the corridor.
Penn is responding to public criticism and taking a new
approach. For now, lets put past surveys and reports behind
us and think freshly.

Ultimately, any development is going to be controlled by
those who put their money where their mouth is. Any
business that decides to locate there will be doing
so based on economic decisions and not solely for
the "guiding principals". It will be helpful if there are
concrete recommendations that have come from a varied
group of local stakeholders before development begins.
That is the goal.

It was insightful of Penn to take an "outside of the box"
approach this time around and also to realize that 40th Street
needs more partners. Penn doesn't always need to dominate
local development. The Restaurant School is an example of
a local partner that has stepped up to the plate and hit
a home run.

Penn, by virtue of their resources will always be a
strength. (even a silent gorilla at the table will
get your attention)

The current process will allow "locals" to make
suggestions on big-box or small-box, local-owned or
outside-owned businesses, franchises or small local
grown businesses (Marvelous on 40th) , more arts and
culture related or service based businesses as well
as seeing 40th street as a destination.

Jim Lilly is a local resident opening a franchise operation.
Does it make it more appealing that a local person is the
operator?

Local business owners on 40th street were all invited to the
recent forum and are mostly people that do not live locally.
Their sense of "community" is different than those of us who
live here. As someone who has been organizing community
meetings for the past 14 years, I can tell you that they seldom
come out to "community" meetings or events. The business
owners are more interested in issues that they see effecting their
day to day operations and bottom line, their time is also very
limited.

Tell as many people as you can about the forums and encourage
them to get involved, share their opinion or become a partner on
the corridor.

S.


"West Bank Square"
Name: S. Sharrie
Date: 2004-02-26 10:28:27
Link to this Comment: 8522

One of my ideas from the break-out sessions on
Tuesday was a "Rittenhouse Square" type park to
be located next to the Free Library at 40th and
Walnut extending to Locust Street at 40th
connecting with paths. A place where tourist,
students, residents can hang out, sit on a bench,
play with their children, see a beautiful fountain,
play a game of chess on the grass. A well planned
square.

A open space plan like this one would give 40th
street the tourism boost it needs.

Mixed use developmenmt, commercial/residential
is most desirable for future.

S.


40th., merchants, integration
Name: Magali Lar
Date: 2004-02-29 13:26:47
Link to this Comment: 8560

I am delighted by the electronic forum. I plan to attend on March 10 (Feb.24 was impossible). Perhaps we could follow Sharieff Ali's suggestion and interview the merchants, or devise a survey, about THEIR issues.
Responding to another comment, I applaud the idea of developing a lively space between the Library and Locust Walk. It looks too much like a vacant lot right now! Perhaps a part of that very wide sidewalk could be devoted to some tables where people could eat in the good season, if the merchants on the other side were interested.
I am concerned also that we do not forget 40th.street North of Chestnut. It has a few interesting stores (although visually not too nice), but it is very dead. What could we think of to entice people to go there? It is the main way to the subway. In my view it would be wonderful if a nice (and cheap)vegetarian restaurant with tables opened at the East corner of 40th. and the village housing.


Concerns about the Penn Praxis process
Name: RRorke
Date: 2004-03-01 10:34:47
Link to this Comment: 8582

In addition to Mr. Krigman's concerns about representation at these meetings, and whether meetings truly engage stakeholders, I have concerns about the nature and process of this 'dialog' taking place about the fate of 40th Street, a public thoroughfare that 'mirrors who we are' and where 'traditions merge.'

From what I've read in the Daily Pennsylvanian, the University City Review, and on this website, these meetings are led by Penn, hosted by Penn, officiated by Penn, facilitated by Penn: Omar Blaik, Penn's Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities Services; Harris Steinberg, Penn School of Design professor and Penn Praxis Executive Director; Harris Sokoloff, executive director of the Center for School Study Councils in the Graduate School of Education. In addition, the 'community-based' steering committee for these meetings -- about half of whose members are Penn-affiliated -- was put together by Penn (Glenn Bryan, Penn's Director of City and Community Relations). Each meeting's agenda and structure -- not to mention their timing and frequency -- are decided on by Penn, and the content of these meetings, including the series of questions and topics participants are asked to respond to, are framed and designed by Penn.

The articles go on to point out that these Penn-hosted meetings are modeled after the same kind of Penn-hosted civic interactions that took place during Jan - Mar 2003 regarding the development of the Delaware River waterfront. And the articles go on to point out how Penn is not taking a leadership role in development, is taking a hands-off approach, is one voice among many. This website describes the process as one in which experts 'establish a foundation of common knowledge' which is then used to build 'a productive, facilitated conversation' so that 'we, the citizens create the principles' which 'incorporate the goals and values of all who participate.'

In light of this news, what steps are being taken to ensure that this model of civic discourse isn't, in fact, a co-option of the public will by a non-elected institution that has assumed the role of authority, by organizing the 'community table,' framing the dialog, designing the ways results are counted, interpreted, and put to use, etc. -- all while presenting it as something 'of, by, and for' citizens? What mechanisms are in place to ensure that the outcomes of this process are not merely a self-congratulatory confirmation of the expectations and interests of those who have guided the conversation and populated the participation, rather than of all who will be affected? What, finally, are the implications of such a model on the definition of citizenship as we know it?

I ask this in the spirit of looking forward to the future (as indeed the instructions to this forum explicitly suggest I do, along with leaving histories at the door). And while looking ahead, I am trying to examine the shifting grounds and premises for what constitutes 'working together' and 'public engagement' and the 'deliberative process,' especially as they relate to Penn's future development east of its campus and Penn Praxis' continuing 'efforts around the country to engage citizens in deliberation about the future of their communities -- local, regional and national.'

Thoughts? Comments? Thanks.


Shopping Avenue
Name: Linda Amst
Date: 2004-03-03 13:01:24
Link to this Comment: 8655

I am mostly concerned with North of Chestnut St. This is a main avenue for people of all socio-economic backgrounds to enter the subway at 40th and Market. I travel it to get to work at all hours. I don't feel safe there, because there are several empty storefronts, and all the shops are closed and shuttered at night. Street lighting, awnings and consistency of signage would do a lot for this block.


Ongoing Discussion
Name: Harris Ste
Date: 2004-03-04 14:52:45
Link to this Comment: 8672

I want to thank all who have posted comments on this electronic forum for being part of the ongoing conversation. It's gratifying to know that the different avenues for expression that we've tried to put in place are being used. This process is grounded in the belief that ongoing dialogue is fundamental to the ongoing health of a community. Thanks for your participation

I'd like to take a minute to respond to some issues that have been raised. The issue of who is attending the 40th Street forums and who isn't is an important point. We, the steering committee, have been very careful in trying to be as inclusive as possible in our outreach efforts - and yet, we all know, that we can always do better.

Towards that end, in response to what we have heard, we are hosting a special breakfast meeting for 40th Street area merchants on 3/10/04 at 7:30AM in the Rotunda. Merchants are being asked to RSVP to the Office of Commuinty Relations at 215-898-3565. We are exploring other possible smaller gatherings as well.

Please also recall that in addition to the wealth of information that is housed on this website - all of this information is also incldued in outreach binders located at 6 reading locations in the community:

Walnut Street West Free Library
3927 Walnut Street
215-685-7671

Office of the Honorable James R. Roebuck, Jr.
4800 Baltimore Avenue
215-724-2227

Penn's Office of Community Relations
Suite 507, 133 South 36th Street
215-898-3565

House of Our Own Bookstore
3920 Spruce Street
215-222-1576

Partnership CDC
4020 Market Street
215-662-1612

Community College of Philadelphia
4725 Chestnut Street
267-299-5863 or 267-299-5851

Another issue raised is that Penn is the one convening the meeting. This is true - Penn is. But it is not a "co-option of the public will." Rather, Penn, as a long-standing member of this community, is aksing people to talk about their goals and dreams and visions. No one is being forced to participate. This is offered as a constructive, positive process in which Penn is sharing its talents and resources in helping to bring people to the community table in a respectful manner.

It's in all of our interests to work together towards developing shared goals. We won't know if we share any goals unless we figure out how to talk with each other. And this is what we're doing - talking and working together to create a set of shared principles or common values that will become the way that we (all of us - not just Penn) think and talk about 40th Street.

Let's all work on figuring out what's important to us and figure out a way to say "yes" rather than "no." There is no hidden agenda. Penn, as an institution, has come to understand, in a meaningful way, the value of community engagement. This process is genuine.

We learned at Penn's Landing that you can bring people together to talk about issues of import and help create safe and structured arenas for public discourse. Can we do better - of course we can. Help make this process better through your active participation.



Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2004-03-07 15:55:37
Link to this Comment: 8718

The primary business of this forum is, of course, to share thoughts about 40th Street and what people would like it to become. And, for that purpose, I'm very much an outsider, with no connection to 40th Street either by residence or by work/employment (here's more about me if anyone is curious). There is though, as I said in my welcome, an additional significance to this forum: its "an exploration of what the web can do to help build stronger communities in general", and a record of that exploration on 40th Street that is available to help people elsewhere in their own efforts to build stronger communities. So I hope no one will mind (or be unduly distracted from the primary task of the forum) if I thank you for what I've learned from you so far, adding some thoughts "from the outside" in so doing. If the general thoughts in turn proved useful in the immediate context (sometimes an "outsider" perspective can do that), so much the better.

Concerns about "power" and "control" (hidden and otherwise) such as those raised by Alan Krigman and RRorke are not only appropriate at the outset of any community building effort but probably inevitable. At the very least, they are far from unique to the 40th Street context. The Serendip forums themselves have on occasion prompted similar concerns about who's in control. The following challenge and response (see archive) took place in an on-line forum we created immediately following the events of 11 September 2001, and seems relevant here (both generally and, perhaps, locally):

In the meantime, the sponsor of this web-site--if he really wants to be inclusive, as distinguished from pretending to be so--would be well-advised not to use epithets like "jingoistic" to characterize points of view with which he does not agree.
... Name Withheld, 17 September

My apologies. Serendip and this forum were conceived, have always functioned, and will always function on the principle that the greatest wisdom emerges from the interested and respectful sharing of the widest possible range of human perspectives. Like other humans, I personally have my own idiosyncratic perspectives (subject to changes reflecting the sharing) and, like other humans, I sometimes say things in more private contexts which, out of a wish not to discourage others from sharing their perspectives on matters under discussion, I would not say in more public ones. I regret that an email in which I used the term "jingoistic" somehow reached you and led you to feel your perspectives might not be welcome in this forum. They are, not only welcome but valued. My apologies, and wishes that we can continue to exchange ideas on the important matters at hand, without raising issues of personal integrity. The latter is itself destructive of the free exchange of perspectives.
... Paul Grobstein, 18 September

No human being is, or should be expected to be without their own personal "idiosyncratic perspectives" and personal agendas, and that includes the human beings who try and encourage community conversation. What can be reasonably asked (on 40th Street and in general) is that such people be open about their own perspectives/agendas, put their interests in community conversation ahead of such perspectives/agenda, and, even more importantly, make it clear to all that their own personal perspectives/agendas are open to modification by the community conversation.

While "establish a foundation" and "facilitated conversation" are phrases that might, as RRorke indicates, raise some concerns, it looks from the outside (for whatever that's worth) as if there is in fact "no "boogie-man" or conspiracy here", that the initiative really is "to work together towards developing shared goals". Its always worth being alert for problems, but community building requires as well that wariness be balanced with some measure of trust, and a willingness to give everyone a chance to prove (or disprove) their trustworthiness. On 40th Street and elsewhere.

Another related, and perhaps useful, "outsider" thought is that all of us may need to re-examine our own tendencies to always see things in terms of "power", and of an opposition between distributed ["the people"] and centralized responsibility/control. Here too I think there is a quite general issue : a need for everyone to change old habits of thought in order to genuinely build communities (see here for another case that made me think about it). My suggestion is that we should not think of "centralized" entities as the locations of power and authority (and they should not think of themselves that way). Instead we should keep in mind that centralized entities always succeed or fail precisely to the extent that they successfully bring about the kind of sharing of stories among individuals out of which genuinely new and wiser stories emerge.

Power, in the long run at least, is actually distributed among all of us as individuals, and in the commonalities we find among ourselves. To the extent we fail to exercise that power as individuals, by not telling our own stories and listening to those of others, we are complicit in the default of power to centralized entities. So ... the best way to make sure that community building is reflective of the community (on 40th Street and elsewhere) is for individuals to get involved in the building, and to get as many other individuals as possible also involved in it.

Thanks to all for what you've taught me so far. Very much looking forward to hearing more stories from more people, and seeing what kind of community you all build.


4Oth street landscape
Name: rick
Date: 2004-03-09 16:29:57
Link to this Comment: 8722

one suggestion i would like to make is that i think if market, chesnut and walnut streets have better lighting and perhaps new different style of pavement somewhat similar to center city we can greatly improve 40street and take it to new level. If you come down on 4oth street you can see a huge difference but the main streets still need improvment. this in turn will attract move merchants to 40th and market, which still has alot of vacancies.


General Commentary
Name: Matthew Wo
Date: 2004-03-11 01:15:08
Link to this Comment: 8724

University City Republican Committee Comments on 40th Street Study

The University City Republican Committee has undertaken its own study of 40th Street and its potential. We report back to the community in an effort to add to the discussion currently taking place. What follows is a drastically shortened version. If you would like to review the entire commentary, contact Matthew Wolfe at Matthew@Wolfe.org.

The meetings that have been held were allegedly to develop a set of principles to be followed in planning for 40th Street. What does that mean? It is hard to say. Guidelines? Recommendations? Directives? Well, we are not as smart (or as pretentious) as the people running this formal process, so rather than developing principles, we will suffice ourselves with coming up with Stuff We Should Talk About regarding 40th Street.

Stuff One: It's about the market, stupid!

We can talk about this and that, but if we are talking commercial for 40th Street, whatever happens must be responsive to the market. Just building it does not mean that they will come. It is not about what we want, but about what the market will bear.

There are several potential groups that would provide markets. First, there are college students. Lots of them. Permanent residents are another market. Although there is no bright line, it would be ignoring the obvious is it was not noted that there is a distinction between relatively upscale University City and the relatively economically depressed rest of West Philly (is that diplomatic enough?). To over-generalize, these are two separate groups and markets. Another market consists of people from outside the neighborhood. Some work in the area, normally for our local institutions. Others do not work here and come simply for the amenities of 40th Street and University City in general. While more of these people can be lured to 40th Street, it is more likely that they will remain a small segment of the market.

Stuff Two: MALL ! We don't need your stinkin' mall.

40th Street should not look like a suburban mall. Not because that's what we want, but because that's what will work. This is an urban strip and it should look like one.

As an urban area, we have advantages and disadvantages. Most of our patrons will walk there. The real estate itself is broken down into small rowhouse sized units. There are already some residents on 40th Street and where there can be more mixed-use (commercial downstairs/apartments upstairs), whether in renovation of existing properties or construction of new properties, that probably makes a revitalization of 40th Street closer to a reality.

Stuff Three: It's bad if someone gets run over.

This development should be done with pedestrians as a priority. There are lots of people who live within a 15-minute walk of 40th Street. People will be driving there, but those who do will drive, park and then walk. There is limited on-street parking, but the huge (and ugly) garage that Penn built at 40th and Walnut should be sufficient for the foreseeable future. 40th Street is well served by public transportation.

40th Street should be planned to make it attractive to walk its length. The businesses should have attractive facades. The metal grates that close in many of their windows when the store is closed have to go. Landscaping is an important component.

Perhaps the single component that we have the least control over that affects this development is the impact of Chestnut and Walnut Streets. It is important, from a pedestrian's perspective, that traffic on Chestnut and Walnut is slowed downThey seem to be moving towards turning them from 3-4 traffic lanes (one parking lane becomes a travel lane during rush hour) to 2-3 traffic lanes. That is a start. The lights need to be timed so that pedestrians get not just equal time but an advantage.

Stuff Four: Being in favor of economic development does not mean that you are a racist.

Gentrification. Displacement. Bad words? Evil concepts? Not really.

Let's first say that we are not going to apologize for saying that 40th Street should move towards stronger economic development. Rising property values is a good thing, not a bad thing. Development occurs and property values rise in commercial areas because the businesses in those areas are attracting customers who are spending more money. This creates jobs and wealth.

On the whole, the market that probably holds the most promise is the student market, and to a lesser degree, the upscale University City residents market. They are more likely to be attracted to dining and entertainment rather than retail or service establishments. The student market also goes later into the evening and businesses that cater to that market will be a good fit. There is certainly a dearth of locations where you can have a drink and listen to live music. A good mini-example might be the 3400 block of Sansom Street. Another example might be Main Street in Manayunk. Even the retail is an entertainment experience and more unique retailers tend to locate there.

Stuff Five: What are we, afraid of commitment?

One problem in turning 40th Street into a thriving commercial strip is that it is not wholly commercial. The east side of 40th between Spruce and Walnut is devoid of commercial, but for the library at Walnut. There is a surface parking lot (the lowest and worst use of urban land) at Sansom Street. The east side between Ludlow and Market is parking and landscaping. The first thing that we should do is fill those areas in.

Another level of commitment goes to strengthening our commercial strips at the expense of sporadic commercial development. The corner store will always have its utility, but there is a reason for planning and zoning. Most people want to live around other neighbors. If businesses are grouped together, a single customer is more likely to patronize multiple establishments. To the extent that incentives could be developed to encourage and assist commercial ventures in residential areas to move to a commercial corridor, it strengthens both the individual businesses and the strip itself.

Stuff Five: Don't be afraid to take a stand.

One of the problems in dealing with University City issues is that there is a core of community leaders who are afraid to take a stand because they are concerned that someone will be upset, that there will be controversy or confrontation or that their stand is not "politically correct." These candy-asses do us no good. Frankly, we will be surprised if the Stuff we have raised makes it to the final table, so to speak. Particularly where we advocate higher end market-based economic development we expect that the powers that be are unwilling to say that and risk the flack they would receive. We recognize that there are arguments against the Stuff we point out and we respect that. If you disagree with our positions, that's fine, but do so because you think there is a better way, not because you are trying to avoid criticism. A CONCENSUS WILL NOT BE REACHED. We are better off arguing about these issues now rather than being afraid to take any stand at all that may smack of controversy.


Response to UC Republican Committe
Name: Jennifer R
Date: 2004-03-11 14:05:21
Link to this Comment: 8726

To: The University City Republican Committee

From: Jennifer Rodríguez, 40th Street Steering Committee Member

Re: Comments about 40th Street published 3/11/04
__________________________________________________________________

Thanks for contributing to the continuing discussion about 40th Street.

In response to the comments published on 3/11/04 by your committee I would like to make the following remarks:

Contrary to what you published comments indicate, the process that Penn Praxis and the steering committee are undertaking is not a study, but a dialogue. The forums are not meant to make a definitive statement on the future of 40th St, quite the contrary, the objective is to establish a dialogue between Penn and the community about the future of the corridor; we are not looking for consensus, we are looking for voices. The result will not be a plan, but a set of guiding principles that we hope will be adopted by stakeholders with any interest in the corridor. Claiming that we can dictate the type of development that should occur along 40th Street would be presumptuous since, as acknowledged in your comments, the market will dictate what establishments will locate, which ones will thrive and which ones will not survive. Urban markets, however, are misunderstood and underrated and we can do something to correct this flaw.

Through this public process Penn Praxis and the steering committee have tried to educate the public about the characteristics that make 40th street special (diversity, access, variety in uses, users and lot size, and not to be forgotten: purchasing power), and we have also asked the public to tell us what they value about this corridor today and what values they would like to see adopted in the future. Hopefully, the University, merchants, and other stakeholders will pay attention and think before they leap into their next development projects. The corridor does not have a single controlling entity, which makes it impossible to direct the planning and development, but by establishing this dialogue we are creating a voice with the potential to influence what takes place.

Once the process culminates, it will be difficult for local institutions and the government to take a position that is contrary to the principles that are developed, which in my view is very positive. The public process has been transparent and inclusive; its participants have been responsible and constructive, overall a model for future public engagement processes and a great tool to help communities shape their future. The final outcomes are unknown, but the conversation has been well worth the effort.


Coffee shop
Name: Linda Amst
Date: 2004-03-11 14:13:11
Link to this Comment: 8727

Enough of the vagaries. Penn is just trying to help (and doing a good job I think!)

I think it would be just great if Paris Cafe (at 41st and Sansom) could be lured to the Sassy's storefront, or the United bank storefront, at 40th and Chestnut.

Paris Cafe is a wonderful establishment, with gourmet coffee, muffins, and more substantial food. It just happens to be in a poorly traffic'd spot. The new location could be a hangout place for students and business people (many of whom are a stone's throw from that intersection, of which I am!) It could be open, and open late, which would help with the security/safety issue of people picking up the L at 40th and Market.

It is just what that intersection needs.

Linda Amsterdam
Common Ground Realtors


Response to Matt Wolfe
Name: Jennifer R
Date: 2004-03-11 14:45:50
Link to this Comment: 8729

To: The University City Republican Committee

From: Jennifer Rodríguez, 40th Street Steering Committee Member

Re: Comments about 40th Street published 3/11/04
__________________________________________________________________

Thanks for contributing to the continuing discussion about 40th Street.

In response to the comments published on 3/11/04 by your committee I would like to make the following remarks:

Contrary to what your published comments indicate, the process that Penn Praxis and the steering committee are undertaking is not a study, but a dialogue. The forums are not meant to make a definitive statement on the future of 40th St, quite the contrary, the objective is to establish a dialogue between Penn and the community about the future of the corridor; we are not looking for consensus, we are looking for voices. The result will not be a plan, but a set of guiding principles that we hope will be adopted by stakeholders with any interest in the corridor. Claiming that we can dictate the type of development that should occur along 40th Street would be presumptuous since, as acknowledged in your comments, the market will dictate what establishments will locate, which ones will thrive and which ones will not survive. Urban markets, however, are misunderstood and underrated and we can do something to correct this flaw.

Through this public process Penn Praxis and the steering committee have tried to educate the public about the characteristics that make 40th street special (diversity, access, variety in uses, users and lot size, and not to be forgotten: purchasing power), and we have also asked the public to tell us what they value about this corridor today and what values they would like to see adopted in the future. Hopefully, the University, merchants, and other stakeholders will pay attention and think before they leap into their next development projects. The corridor does not have a single controlling entity, which makes it impossible to direct the planning and development, but by establishing this dialogue we are creating a voice with the potential to influence what takes place.

Once the process culminates, it will be difficult for local institutions and the government to take a position that is contrary to the principles that are developed, which in my view is very positive. The public process has been transparent and inclusive; its participants have been responsible and constructive, overall a model for future public engagement processes and a great tool to help communities shape their future. The final outcomes are unknown, but the conversation has been well worth the effort.


meta-comment
Name: Matthew Sn
Date: 2004-03-16 15:24:02
Link to this Comment: 8841

Not to quibble over relatively minor things, but if the members of the steering committee really want this website to become one of the major discussion forums for this process, it might help to use software that's more full-featured. The display now is rather clunky and dry. There are no "threads" and it's difficult to quote other people's text. The only option to sort previous posts is by date. There is no way to login, so there are no stored preferences.

Successful web-based discussion forums usually have a lot of (and possibly too many) features. The bells and whistles undeniably attract people. As an example of what I'm talking about, check out the PHPBB software at http://www.phpbb.com.

(Alternately, a mailing list with web archiving might serve just as well.)


on-line forum styles
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2004-03-17 09:05:05
Link to this Comment: 8848

For Mathew, and others interested ....

Its actually we at Serendip, rather than the "members of the steering committee" who need to answer for the "clunky and dry" forum. And we appreciate/will take into consideration the concerns Mathew expressed, thanking him as well for including the "(possibly too many) features" characterization of other forums. We've actually done pretty well with our home grown forum software (see, eg, 11 September 2001), but are always interested in ways to do better.

In the meanwhile, there are some aspects of this forum worth noticing, if one hasn't. If you click on the "Keep me posted" icon (top or bottom of the forum), you can register for the equivalent of "a mailing list with web archiving", ie you will get an email with a direct link to the forum on any evening when a posting has been made, so you don't have to remember to check the forum itself.

Every message in the forum is uniquely identified by the "message id" (just below the date in a posting). You can use this to make direct links to earlier messages, as I did at the beginning of this posting. Instructions are on the "Post Comments" page:

You can create a link within your message to another message in the same forum by referencing the message-id of the message to which you want to link. For example, you can create a link to message #9 as follows: As Margaret said in <a href="#9">her message</a> If you happen to be familiar, or want to become familiar, with HTML, you can use all html tags in the forum, allowing full control over formatting of your postings as well as images and links to other materials.

There's an ongoing debate about whether "keep it simple" or "bells and whistles" is the best way to "attract people" less familiar with computer technology. Our guess is that people are different, some more attracted by one approach, some by the other. Serendip tends to favor the "keep it simple approach", feeling that its better in the long run if people acquire some sense of the "insides" of what they're working with along the way. But we also agree that "keep it simple" sometimes is best served by making it easier to do some things.

You can "quote other people's text" simply by cutting and pasting (for this its probably easiest if you have two browser windown active at the same time), but this may be one of those situations where we could usefully make things easier.

"Threading" (arranging things so that people can comment specifically on someone else's comments and then comments can be made on those comments, with a corresponding tree like display of the relatedness among comments) is indeed a common forum feature, but one with pros and cons. On the one hand, it makes it easier to see a set of comments on one topic. On the other, it tends to encourage people to read and comment on only what they think they're interested in, so conversation tends to fragment. In addition, some people find threading "easier" to understand, others find it less so.

Bottom line: on-line forums (like 40th street?) have an organic character. Their organization at any given time reflects a healthy mix of perspectives, is never quite "right" but works (better in some ways, less well in others), and is always evolving to get it less wrong. Thanks to Mathew (and others, including Magali), for contributions to the evolution of Serendip's forums.



Name: ellen reyn
Date: 2004-03-17 11:36:42
Link to this Comment: 8850

I'd really like to know some of the process, as much as a person could take time to relay, AND outcomes of the 40th street planning meetings. Did "core values" emerge? What are they? I learned from our UCity forum that this was the place to look for a more in depth discussion, but I don't see much at all, barring Fred Wolfe's "STUFF". Is this it? There are probably quite a few people who, like me, cannot attend evening meetings, but are still interested in the process. And by the way - by "process" I don't mean a continuation of the squabbling that dominates the other forum. I am interested in the future of 40th St. and whether there seems to be a genuine organic vision emerging. It would be great if someone could spend some time documenting what has been happening for all to share. I assume this will be an ongoing community project, now that the meetings are over - what is the next stage?

Thank you,
Ellen Reynolds


Forum
Name: Harris Ste
Date: 2004-03-17 14:01:49
Link to this Comment: 8856

Ellen,

Thanks for your thoughtful query. Please refer to the "Project" page of this web site for all of the material that has been handed out and produced during the forums. The Monday night meeting was good - a robust conversation about the draft principles and how to move forward. People basically accepted the broad outline of the six principles (which are accessible under the handouts from the 3/15/04 event). All information continues to be added to the notebooks at the five reading locations (there is a hot link in the text on the left hand side of the home page of this web site).

A lot of the conversation focused on possible next steps. The group agreed that there was merit in forming a larger community-based committee or task force to use the principles to continue to cultivate a community process about the future of 40th Street. The sense of the group was that an enlarged committee, which drew heavily from community representatives with specific interests, skills and engagement along 40th Street, could be helpful in moving the process forward. There was also a strong sense that this was preferable to depending on Penn to continue the process. The steering committee was asked to help be the bridge between the forums and the enlarged committee.

I welcome thoughts and feedback from others who were there that night to augment or clarify what I've reported. Here are some things to think about as we move forward:

1. What does "taking ownership of the process" mean?
2. What would that look like?
3. What kind of authority might this group expect to have?
4. Are there established models or examples of how to effectively organize an advocacy group for 40th Street? What are they?
5. Protecting the mix and diversity along 40th Street was a primary goal of everyone. How do we ensure this?

Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks about this.

Harris Steinberg


Final Principles
Name: Matthew Wo
Date: 2004-04-01 11:32:22
Link to this Comment: 9113

First of all, I think that this process was a worthwhile one to have undertaken. Bringing people together and encouraging a dialogue was a step in the right direction for a commercial strip that is vitally important both socially and economically to our neighborhood. Of course it was not a perfect process, but much more good than bad came out of the effort. Those in charge of putting this together and running things deserve our thanks.

That being said, the written results of the process were worthless. The ?principles? were so weak that there may as well be no principles. The process used to develop them, which seemed to be taking 80 or so seemingly random thoughts that came out of four meetings broken down into smaller discussion groups and condensing them into a manageable number of principles, was ridiculous. In a never-ending effort to avoid controversy and be able to claim some moral high ground for being ?inclusive? (they were Creating Unity While Maintaining Diversity) the managers of the process mishandled what was potentially the most valuable component of the work that was done. What we needed were some principles that gave some direction and vision for the future of 40th Street. What we got were some feel-good but meaningless verbiage that at best highlights the obvious. If I want to open up a strip club on 40th Street, could I design a proposal that would fit into the principles? Sure.

The biggest problem with the principles is that they do not make clear that we need economic development that will be supportive of the institution of Motherhood. Somewhere they could have at least mentioned Apple Pie.

All is not lost. One favorable result of having no firm principles is that we can continue the dialogue, which the last principle encourages. We do not really have any principles to tie us down, so as more concrete plans develop from Penn or some of the other landowners on 40th Street the structure that was set up can react and give input. While it might be nice to rely on some written principles to guide development, the reality is that regardless of any principles we did develop it will be the work and input of individuals that will shape the future of 40th Street and the rest of the neighborhood.


University City Trolley Day
Name: Mark Chris
Date: 2004-10-12 15:30:54
Link to this Comment: 11084

University City presents Trolley Day, Where 1938 Meets Today on the Tracks

University City District invites you to participate in UC Trolley Day, "where 1938 meets today on the tracks." On October 16th, from 10am to 6pm, SEPTA, the University City Historical Society, University of Pennsylvania, and University City District will be encouraging everybody to taste, hear, and see the modern and historic charms of University City. Free rides will be available all day on three newly renovated 1930's era Philadelphia trolley cars. These cars will operate in a continuous loop, connecting riders to concerts, historic home and garden tours, restaurants, bakeries, shops, farmers' markets, museum displays, book sales, and tree plantings.

UC Trolley Day will be the passenger debut for SEPTA's restored PCC cars. These cars originally ran in Philadelphia from the late 1930's to the early 1990's. Light, agile, and now air-conditioned, the 18-car fleet was rebuilt to operate on the route #15 Girard Avenue trolley line, re-introducing lost connections between West Philadelphia, Fairmount, and Northern Liberties.

The construction of horsecar lines in the late 1850s and their electrification in the mid-1890s enabled the conversion of the neighborhood from a collection of estates and farms into a thriving residential area. Federally designated as a "historic trolley car suburb," much of University City retains the streets, trains, housing, institutions, and parks that were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The neighborhood also enjoys recent developments such as new retail and restaurants, park renovation, and an influx of new families choosing to call the neighborhood home.

“UC Trolley Day showcases University City's brilliant present by riding on a shining piece of the past,” says Mike Hardy, one of Trolley Day organizers and member of the University City Historical Society. “We invite you to pick up free tickets at many locations throughout University City including UCD’s office at 3940 Chestnut Street.” The trolleys will loop south through the Penn campus along 40th Streets, West on Spruce and 42nd Street to Baltimore Avenue, South on 49th Street, and East on Chester Avenue.

Riders will be able to board and disembark at more than 15 locations throughout the neighborhood approximately every twenty minutes. From 10am to 6pm, trolley riders will be free to enjoy the following attractions during their tour:

Tour historic houses and gardens (on the 4500 block of Chester Avenue) including visits to the Gables, a Victorian bed and breakfast, and private homes and gardens on this intact block designed by Willis G. Hale in 1888

Attend book signings of Joel Spivack’s “Philadelphia Trollies” and Robert Skaler’s “West Philadelphia, University City to 52nd Street,” purchase UC “Architectural Treasures” posters highlighting images of the area’s famed period architecture, and experience University City “Then and Now,” a beautiful and informative slide presentation at the UCHS office at Calvary Center, 48th and Baltimore Avenue

Visit The Rotunda at 4014 Walnut Street to experience a variety of crafts from oil paintings, prints and sculptures to clothing, handbags, mirrors, and footstools, with posters, zines, and more to spare! All the items for sale are handcrafted by Philadelphia artists. PLUS Noon-2PM: Russell Kutcher & Eric Coyne perform Classical duets for Cello and Violin from members of the Muhlenberg Piano Quartet and the Haddonfield Symphony Orchestra.

Tour the Lower Mill Creek Garden (a joint project of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, UC Green, Baltimore Avenue in Bloom and the Philadelphia Water Department) at 43rd and Chester
Meet at SE corner 43rd and Chester for registration and demonstration tree planting.

Break into teams to plant 50 "underwire" trees appropriately sized for planting under PECO's high-voltage wires at various locations in University City. Join University City Tree Tenders, neighbors, and USP students in this community greening event

See a photography exhibition at the University City Arts League at 42nd and Spruce Streets

Visit the pharmacy museum at the Marvin Sansom Center for the History of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Main Floor, Griffith Hall, 600 S. 43rd Street

Enjoy international cuisine along Baltimore Avenue from Italy, Laos, Thailand, Africa, India, and Eclectic American including the newly reopened Marigold Kitchen at 45th and Larchwood

Shop for fresh and organic groceries at the Firehouse Market, 50th and Baltimore; Fresh Grocer, 40th and Walnut; and the Clark Park Farmers Market, 43rd and Baltimore

Purchase baked goods (at Sugar Hill Bakery, 49th and Baltimore; Metropolitan Bakery, 40th and Walnut; Genuine Bread and Specialty Shoppe at 45th and Springfield Avenue)

Experience Philadelphia’s largest Tiffany windows at the Calvary Center, 48th and Baltimore, as part of the historic Calvary Church of 1895

Enjoy coffee or water ice (at the Green Line, 43rd and Baltimore; the Paris Café, 41st and Walnut; the Bucks County Coffee House, 40th and Locust ; La Naz Café, 47th and Baltimore and Café d’Afrique, 45th and Baltimore Avenue)

See a movie at The Bridge Cinema de Lux, 40th and Walnut

Have a drink at the new Mar Bar, 40th and Walnut; Copa, 40th and Spruce; Mill Creek Tavern, 41st and Chester; Gojjo’s, 45th and Baltimore; Dahlak’s, 47th and Baltimore; The Library at the Inn at Penn, 37th and Walnut;

Get your membership card and borrow a book from the newly restored Walnut West Library, 40th and Walnut

Visit Clark Park, University City’s largest public space, at 43rd and Chester avenues and see only statue of Charles Dickens in existence

Experience West Philadelphia Streetcar Suburb Historic District in style (as you travel thru portions of the Cedar Park and Spruce Hill neighborhoods still laced with functioning trolley tracks, a prime factor for their original development and one of the special amenities and opportunities for their future desirability for living in the 21st century)

For tickets vist UCD, 3940 Chestnut Street or call Mark Christman at 215-243-0555.


Women's-Self Defense Class in West Philly
Name: Debasri Gh
Date: 2004-10-28 12:10:29
Link to this Comment: 11246

Hello, I wanted to let everyone know about an upcoming self-defense workshop hosted by Women's Anti-Violence Education (WAVE). We teach self-defense, assertiveness, and safety to women and girls throughout the area. In response to recent muggings in West Philly, we are holding an open community workshop on November 6, between 1 and 4 pm, at the Calvary Methodist Church at 801 S. 48th St. (corner of Baltimore and 48th). The full fee is $30, but all of our classes are pay-what-you-can so no one is turned away. Call 215-241-5720 or email us at aware1@afsc.org for more information or to pre-register.

Hope to see you there!


Welcome Back
Name: Harris Ste
Date: 2004-12-01 16:05:42
Link to this Comment: 11833

Welcome back to the 40th Street Forum. The Friends of 40th Street, an advocacy group that evolved from the community forum process, has been meeting since May 2004. To date, the Friends have developed a robust set of committees working on projects such as the quality of life issues at 40th and Market Streets and arts along the corridor.

This forum is a place where we can continue conversations we have at the Friends regular meeting (the last Friday of each month), as well as a place to post new thoughts and ideas. If you sign up for the keep-me-posted service available at the bottom of this page, you'll be automatically notified of forum conversations.

So, welcome back to 40th Street. We hope you'll participate in the ongoing conversation and evolution of this diverse community gathering place.


Friends Arts Task Force
Name: Lucy Kerma
Date: 2004-12-02 14:49:33
Link to this Comment: 11852

I thought I would share a report from the Friends of 40th St arts task force, which met yesterday. We had a lively and engaged group at the meeting, representing an extraordinary range of resources in the arts: artists, representatives of non-profit arts and educational organizations, concert and performance organizers and venues, for-profit arts spaces (like galleries and graphics companies), and arts visionaries. We came together to explore how to use the arts to support the development and evolution of the 40th St corridor, initially from Baltimore to Lancaster. We were reminded, though, of the future of 40th St, which extends to Parkside, soon to host the new Microsoft High School and the Please Touch Museum. What a potential!

We agreed that there was enough talent in the room to begin to harness the even more extraordinary talent in the neighborhood.

As a task force, we are committed to working on these issues:

* Support for individual artists and non-profit arts organizations
* Outreach to neighborhood youth to tap their creative energy
* Performances, installations and public art throughout the neighborhood (especially on Market and north)
* More arts-related retail, exhibits in store-fronts, and facade renewal on and around the corridor
* More arts-related activities for senior citizens
* Using the arts to improve the overall quality of life for the community, particularly 40th/Market and 40th/Lancaster.

We are ready to move ahead with a number of projects, including developing a directory of the different arts partners, and new signs or banners on the street that will point the way to the non-profit and for-profit arts resources in the neighborhood. We also hope to put together performance series that will bring concerts and performances to different venues in West Philadelphia, from the Rotunda to 3901 Market, from Walnut West Library to PEC.

The next arts task force will be Wednesday Dec 15 at 8:30 a.m. at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.

And remember, the full Friends of 40th St will be meeting on Friday Dec 3 at 8:00 a.m. in the community room at 3901 Market St. The next meeting after that will be January 28, 2005.

Please join us, spread the word and invite others.


40th St. History; c. 1900; Farmer's Market?
Name: Jack Falli
Date: 2005-01-03 16:14:01
Link to this Comment: 12017

Dear Friends,

Having "googled" my way to this site, I'd like to see if anyone has an interest in the Street's history. I have, from a family bible, a small card that reads "Sympathy of the 40th Street Farmer's Market." I'm reasonably certain that the card relates to the death of my great grandfather (S. Holcombe), who, as of 1890 was listed as a "grocer" living on Budd St. My guess is that he died somewhere around 1900. Anyone know anything about this near-ancient Farmer's Market?

Thanks in advance for thinking about this out-of-date topic.

Jack Fallin


CELL PHONE DONATION PROGRAM
Name: Lucy Kerma
Date: 2005-01-28 13:39:49
Link to this Comment: 12289

The Friends of 40th Street, the Undergraduate Assembly at the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University are sponsoring a cell phone donation drive: please join us! Donate your old cell phones to Phones for Life: they will reprogram them to dial 911 and distribute them free to senior citizens in West Philadelphia. Collections boxes are set up on the Penn and Drexel campuses and at various locations in the community.

Phones for Life improves the quality of life among senior citizens by meeting their emergency medical access needs through wireless technology. Phones for Life, Inc., is a national distribution center of 911 cell phones and an informational resource center for members throughout the country. It services the dual purpose of increasing elderly citizens sense of security and protecting the environment. It collects used cellular phones from individual and corporate donors, which are then tested, recycled, programmed and distributed to senior citizens 65 years and older.

The phones we collect will be distributed to residents at 3901 Market St this spring.

Help increase a sense of security for the elders in our community by donating your old cell phones.

There is one week left: the drive will end on February 4. Stop by one of these locations and donate your used cell phones to a good cause!

In the community:
Walnut West Free Library
University City District (UCD)
Community Education Center (CEC)
Calvary Church, 48th and Baltimore

On Penn’s campus:
ALL College Houses, information desks
Civic House
Graduate Student Center
Houston Hall – information desk
President's Office, 100 College Hall
African-American Resource Center, 3537 Locust Walk
Veterinary Medicine, Rosenthal Lobby
Engineering, 107 Towne Building
School of Arts and Sciences, 120 Logan Hall
Renal Division, 700 Clinical Research
Wharton, 1000 SH-DH
Faculty Club,3611 Walnut/Inn at Penn
Center for Community Partnerships, 133 South 36th/5th Floor
Cell & Dev. Biology, 1157 BRB II/III building
Provost Office, 353B 3401 Walnut
Medical School/Facilities Planning, 233 Blockley Hall


At Drexel University (other locations to be determined):
Community and Government Relations, Suite 228, Main Building
Office of the Dean, LeBow College of Business, Matheson Hall


One more phone donation site
Name: Lucy Kerma
Date: 2005-01-28 16:09:34
Link to this Comment: 12290

We've added one more phone donation site since I posted the above:
Penn Hillel, Steinhardt Hall, 215 S. 39th St.


LIBRARY LETTER CAMPAIGN
Name: Cassi Pitt
Date: 2005-02-07 12:44:39
Link to this Comment: 12600


Dear Friends,

At the last monthly meeting Beth Ann Johnson and Patti McLauglin, from the
Walnut West Branch of the Free Library, spoke to us regarding some pressing
issues that are facing the libraries in West Philadelphia.   It is important that
we support them in their efforts to prevent layoffs of librarians and the reduction
of services to the community.

As Beth Ann mentioned at the monthly meeting, we can demonstrate our support
through writing letters and also by attending the rally on Sat. February 12th at 10:30am at the Central Branch of the Free Library, 1901 Vine Street.

Please write to the following to express your concern about the loss of services at 20 library branches and the loss of 13 branch library heads:

Elliot Shelkrot
Director of the Free Library of Phila
1901 Vine St
Phila., PA 19103-1189

Mayor John Street
City Hall
Phila., PA 19107-3290

Philip Goldsmith
Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia
14th floor, MSB,
1401 JFK Blvd
Phila., PA 19102

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
City Hall, Room 408
Phila, PA 19107-3290


Thanks and Have a Great Day!
Cassi Pittman


Article in the Daily Pennsylvanian
Name: Sarena
Date: 2005-04-12 17:12:40
Link to this Comment: 14526


I am the reporter on West Philadelphia for the Daily Pennsylvanian. I was hoping to write a feature article on 40th St. and how it has changed over the years -- where it is going in the future -- etc. (Perhaps a few different articles!)

If you would like to contribute to the article, or simply talk about this issue, please email me at snider@sas.upenn.edu. Anyone who has an interest in this topic should contact me, even if you are not involved in any projects here. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks!
Sarena
snider@sas.upenn.edu


SEPTA Community Mtg.
Name: pittman
Date: 2005-05-02 15:16:26
Link to this Comment: 15017

Dear Friends of 40th Street,

For all those who might be interested SEPTA is holding a community meeting.
The meeting will include an update on the El construction project and the
discussion may include 40th Street.

Have a Good Day!

*************************************************************************
What: SEPTA Community Meeting

When: Tuesday May 3
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Where: White Rock Baptist Church
5240 Chesnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139

*************************************************************************


Free Business Law Seminar
Name: Clara Flor
Date: 2005-05-04 15:36:22
Link to this Comment: 15037

LawWorks and The Partnership CDC present:

FREE BUSINESS LAW SEMINAR

May 17, 18, and 19 at 6:00 PM

at Penn Alexander School Community School
(Entrance is located on 43rd St., between Locust and Spruce Sts.)

Topics: Forming Business (Legal Form and City Filings), Real Estate Leasing & Purchasing, General Employment Law, Intellectual Law

For registration, contact Clara Flores via email cflores@sas.upenn.edu or at (215) 823-5288.

There is FREE childcare available to program participants.


Arts Task Force
Name: Lucy Kerma
Date: 2005-06-20 17:28:14
Link to this Comment: 15358

The Friends of 40th St arts task force has been meeting since December to explore how we can use the many arts venues in University City to strengthen our community. This extraordinary group has been meeting regularly, and has been working on a shared calendar, joint marketing, and a map of our various locations, which will be posted on this 40th St website. We have pages for some of our partner organizations available under the arts tab on www.40thst.org.

In recent meetings, we have talked about our interest in developing a "mission statement" that more clearly reflects our goals. We agreed that we would have a virtual conversation about our mission, using either an email listserv or this internet forum -- or both, depending on what worked best.

I have sent an email to the group, and wanted to post some thoughts here too, to see how it works and if this attracts some conversation.

To start the discussion, let me share some notes from our last meeting:
* we are committed to supporting local artists, arts organizations, arts venues, and arts businesses in University City, spanning the different kinds of arts, from avant-garde to traditional and everything (and everyone) in between.
* we believe in K-12 arts activities and engaging the youth of the neighborhood.
* we want to encourage intergenerational arts experiences.
* our work is event-driven, supporting major events (like the Fringe) and ongoing activities (Second Fridays, music and dance performances, poetry readings, gallery showings, Rotunda's summer series, etc).
* we have an interest in and need for joint marketing.

This is far from being a mission statement, but it's a place to start as we collect and share our thoughts.

We also agreed we need a new name, that the "Friends of 40th St arts task force" doesn't capture our enthusiasm!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.



Name: Jessica Fi
Date: 2006-02-07 09:58:39
Link to this Comment: 18004

Hi, this is Jessica Fisher- I'm the retail and real estate beat reporter for the Daily Pennsylvanian. I'm currently writing a story on the construction site (the new apartments) at 40th and Chestnut. If anyone has any input into this project and would like to add to the article about it, please contact me; I can be reached at 516 314 1667 or at fisherjl@sas.upenn.edu.
Thanks!


Town Hall on Crime
Name: Chuck Will
Date: 2006-05-04 11:57:57
Link to this Comment: 19223

The meeting will be held at the Spruce Hill Christian School (Church Bldg at 42nd Baltimore Ave.) 6:30 P. M. - 8:30 P. M. on Wednesday, May 31st.

Confirmed thus far:

Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnon PPD
Lt. Jason Smith UCD Police Station
Capt. Rowell SEPAT Police Commander
Men United for a Better Philadelphia (MUBP)

There will be a presentation of recent crime stats.

Community/Civic groups are all invited to attend as well as any person (s)interested in this very important issue.

What we know thus far**

Overall violent crimes are down by 10%
Residential Burglaries are up 60%
Non-Residential Burglaries are up 100%
Robberies (w gun) are down 21%
Robberies are down 5%
Auto Thefts are up 55%
Retail Thefts are up 44%

**These numbers reflect Compstat comparisons made contrasting this year's figures versus last year's figures in the 16th and 18th Police Districts as of April 2006 (I believe).

We will discuss the present crime situation in UCity/West Philly as well as things that can be done to assist in the overall public safety effort going forward.

If folks have more questions, please feel fee to email me at chuckwilliamsphd@aim.com or send me an instant message on PB.

(I will be serving as "moderator" of the mtg.)

The townhall is sponsored by the Philadelphia Young Democrats (PYD).

Hope to see all of you there!

Regards,
Chuck


Forum Archived
Name: Webmaster
Date: 2007-01-25 21:39:17
Link to this Comment: 21408

This forum has now been archived and is closed to new postings. If you are interested in continuing the conversation, please contact Serendip. We like to hear from you.





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