Friday, April 23, 2010

Musings From My Neighborhood...

Wednesday was the first day of the new street sweeping program in my neighborhood. The south side of the street is done on Wednesday and the north side is done on Fridays. Two teachers received warnings on Wednesday for not moving their cars. It didn't seem to make a difference because they still park there everyday. Today, Friday, there was one car that received a warning. It was a neighbor parked directly in front of the sign. Can't understand how he missed the sign.

Teacher parking continues to be a problem. There is a huge lot for them to park in and many spaces unused everyday, yet they are disrespectful of the neighbors and park on the street. Along with the continued deterioration of the property surrounding Cottingham Stadium, the school district and employees show little concern for the neighborhood. I am waiting to see if the city will press them on the code violations such as the sidewalks that pose a danger to anyone who walks on them. I can only hope.

The Easton police are doing a nice job of patrolling the playground and Vanderveer Park. I am pleased to see a patrol car sitting in the parking lot while the officer does reports. I believe it makes a difference. If I could have one wish it would be for some of the bike officers to interact with the kids using the basketball courts. I believe it would go far in showing that this neighborhood is not one where drugs, loitering and violence will be tolerated.

I continue to be impressed with Dean Young and all involved with the skate board initiative. I have tried to attend as many meetings as possible at the Boys and Girls Club. The meetings are going well and it is wonderful to see community members getting involved. I regret not being able to see the initiative in action at Lower Hacket's Park last night. I hope to make it next week. Carry on Dean and kids. You are setting an example that other organizations would be wise to follow.

Lastly, I would like to give everyone an update on the orphanage in Haiti that is so close to my heart.  The children were temporarily housed at Love A Child Orphanage after the earthquake until a new home was found for them. That new home has become a reality and the children are moved in and starting to get some normality back in their lives. The older children started school again last week and the younger ones will be back to school within the month.

The new orphanage is about a mile from the destroyed home they were living in at the time. That site has become a temporary medical clinic for the neighborhood and there are plans to create a permanent clinic on the site. Many volunteers from our area are going down and helping staff the orphanage and working with the kids. They are taking the kids to devastated areas around the orphanage and doing outreach programs. The hope is that the kids will learn that so much was given to them and they should bless others in return.

I can't thank everyone who donated money enough for their generosity. With the new volunteers, I will not be going down to Haiti for some time to come. But I did let the kids know how the people in my town rose to the occasion and came to their aid. They were truly blessed by you. Thank you.

Tim Pickel


Anonymous said...

must be nice you live in a part of the city they deemed worthy to be swept. if you live on Jackson or Bushkill (or anywhere N of Wood) you ain't gettin swept.
I saw numerous cars on Ferry parked right in front of sweep signs when it was their turn. nice artwork on the street, all the squiggly sweeper lines down the street.
make sure to wear some thick soled boots at the park behind cottingham, the broken glass shards can be harmful.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

There is a letter in today's Express Times against the street sweeping. If you support the sweeping, as I do, you may want to post a counter letter.

David Caines said...

Hi Tim,
Always nice to hear from you.
About the same here, but I must admit I do have a question for you. I don't know if you've been following the local educational stuff but I'd like to know (If you have an opinion) how you feel EASD compares to the Hatian schools that you've ineracted with on things like education, basic social skills, etc...? I know it's a bit silly not to have asked before, since you obviously have a means by which to judge, but saddlt the question just never came to mind.

g_whiz said...

Heh yes, street sweeping is somehow bad for the neihghborhood... not sure how that argument is supposed to go. Seriously though, I got a notice about the street sweeping last week, it took me about 5 minutes to figure out what it was about and have avoided getting another. It IS a little inconvenient having to find parking those days, but I'd rather that than have to pick up stray garbage (like I had been doing)

noel jones said...

It's all good. Until people learn to be respectful and responsible and move their cars so the neighborhood can be swept, the city will make extra revenue on the tickets--I'm all for it--we can use a new revenue stream!

I for one, was delighted to see our street swept today. And yes, we should all write letters to the editor thanking the city for the new program so that the naysayers aren't the only voice heard.

It was so nice to come home today and not have to pick up trash in the street. It really gave a sense of how nice the can look.

noel jones said...

Tim, many thanks for the update on the orphanage--that's great news!

Anonymous said...

Sal Panto says:

The sweeping program removed almost 90 cubic yards of trash from the streets in the first week. Not only does this program provide for cleaner neighborhoods, it also keeps the trash from poluting our waterways and killing our fish as it makes its way into the catch basins when it rains.

For those areas not covered this is a start and hopefully we will be able to expand the program to do the rest of the streets maybe bi-weekly or monthly.

WE are extending the warning period another 2 weeks. Contrary to the popular thought by some we son't want to make moneyon the program and we aren't doing it for that reason so wee are offering another 2 weeks for everyone to get used to it.

Thanks for the support and I will be caling the individual that wrote the letter to the editor to explain the program further and also explain that no taxes were increased this year nor as a result of the program.

Tim Pickel said...

Good question David. I have been following the goings on with the Easton School District. I believe their dilemma comes from years of mismanagement, unqualified school board members and too many administrators. Because of that mismanagement, hard decisions will have to be made to right the ship.

I have little experience with Haitian schools. When I first went to the orphanage, they were hiring private teachers to come in and teach the children. The little ones were taught in the morning and the older ones in the afternoon, all by the same teacher. There seemed to be constant problems with discipline. We didn't believe you physically punished the children while the Haitian teachers thought that was perfectly acceptable. Several were dismissed for that reason.

When the orphanage was moved, the kids were sent out to a school. I only visited the school once to meet a teacher about getting the proper uniforms and books for our kids. The school seemed well organized and our kids were soon bringing home work each night to be completed.

Nothing but the basics were offered. There was little or no technology involved. Parents were responsible for uniforms and supplies. For that reason, many kids in our neighborhood did not go to school.

One important thing I saw was, that despite not having the bells and whistles our kids here have, they were grateful simply to be going to school. It was a privilege not something to be taken for granted.

Sophia Feller said...

Today is clean-up day in the neighborhoods. The Teen Center was at Vandeveer Park spreading new mulch on the playground and picking up trash. Weed and Seed (Laura Accetta) was at Centennial Park with kids from the Juvenile Justice Center. Police Officers, John Remaley, Matt Rush, and Russ Demko were there working with the kids. I was with 4 community volunteers sweeping and picking up trash on North 7th. Other volunteers planted the urns on the 600 blk with flowers. I love the street sweeping program! There just wasn't much trash to pick up! As the mayor said 90 cubic yards in one week, that's about 3 dumpsters. Our neighborhood is looking better and better. Thank you to all who worked so hard today on the clean-up.

David Caines said...

Thanks Tim,
I thought it might be something like that, but it's been a while since I've worked with Haitian immigrants. I had a great crew of them back in the eighties when I managed a TGIF in North Jersey, and found their basic skills to be good, they were friendly, adaptable, interested in becoming US citizens, and most were bi-lingual. I wish I could have had such employees in my own business. Nonetheless we agree about the why of the problem with EASD, now if we can just get those involved to 'Fese up, maybe things can move forward.
As to clean up day, we now have four tires that hopefully we can get rid of Tuesday. If not Jeanette has promised to bring them to the next steering committee meeting (hopeful she's kidding, hard to tell with her...but it could be interesting.)