Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Corzine visits Cumberland County

I spent my evening at the town hall meeting at Cumberland County College. We listened to Dough Raineer and Jeff Van Drew thank the Governor for the Motersports Park and for Visiting twice in 6 months. Bob Terisoni as a representative of Millville First, asked the Governor if
he would put a moritorum on eminent domain? The Gov. said flatly NO, then said there are bills in the Senate and Assembly concerning this issue. Nothing in detail though.
There was an Editorial in the Daily Journal busting on the City Commission concerning eminent domain. It states that the Commission is ignoring the Millville First petition but they were obeying the NEW JERSEY STATE CONSTITUTION. There is one paragraph in this editorial that gets to the point:
"However, totally banning eminent domain for private development could be just as detrimental to the city's well-being as government abuse of the practice. Such cases could include blighted areas where absentee landlords or slumlords stand in the way of a development that would obviously improve the quality of life for all city residents."

Good point. Take a walk though parts of Center City Millville or the 3rd Ward

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Booze and $$

Well, another "wintery mix" is upon us. Of course here in Millville a nice snow just turns to rain. We will see tomorrow what happens when I hit RT 55 at the Glassboro exit.
I was reading my email and ran across this email exchange. Its the politics of booze as commerce and religion in my old West Philly nighborhood.

From: Ross Bender [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: MLamond
Subject: Re: [UC] Re: Liquor Store at 43rd and Walnut
Date: Feb 25, 2007 6:01 PM
WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO THIS NEIGHBORHOOD??? HAVE WE ALL GONE MAD?? HAVE THE YUPPIE SCUM TRULY FINALLY TAKEN OVER??? Pardon my French but I am absolutely LIVID!!! Are we really redesigning our beloved Hood solely with the interests of Melani's "clients" in mind? Making more and more and fancier booze available for the convenience of the out-of-towners who come to sample the urban delights of Melani's "Bed and Breakfast"? Fagh!! Not only that, but what the Hell IS a "Bed and Breakfast" anyway, but a fancier term for you know what. In Japan they call them "Love Motels." Have things really gotten so bad that we cater to the suburban boozehounds who come to University City to get all juiced up for a Lost and Salacious Weekend? This is the nuttiest thread that I've seen yet on this list. Everybody's lost their senses, not to mention their minds. Now we seem to have a Cedar Park Neighborhood Association board loaded with Stealth Mennonites whose major purpose in life, besides keeping up the property values, is to provide designer alcohol NOT ONLY in the Mennonite Firehouse but in a brand new liquor shop on Baltimore. And ANOTHER one at 43rd and Walnut presumably for the benefit of the Penn kids, who are already so soused they don't know day from night. People, what is Happening? Before you know it those nice Mennonite kids who run the Green Line Coffee Shoppe are going to have to add fancy wines to their menu JUST TO STAY IN BUSINESS!!! Can't you inebriated hotsy-tots take a break from your boozing, have a nice strong cup of black coffee, peak out from under your alcoholic haze, and think what you're doing to this hood? I mean, what is the point of having all those AA meetings down in the basement of the Calvary Center, if all the Yuppies are doing their darndest to get get more elegant, upscale dives, speak-easies, and liquor shops built in our neighborhood? Carrie Nation and her axe must be turning in her grave. -- Ross Bender On 2/25/07, <> wrote:

Dear Vivianne, here are some comments on the wider impacts of this upcoming decision.

Convenience? Yes, there will soon be a new PA Wine & Spirits shop on the 4900 block of Baltimore Ave. - after about 10 years of patient, persistent work by dedicated volunteers at Cedar Park Neighbors who found a new, larger location and got the PLCB on board. This is great news for me, living on 46th St., and you, living on 47th. But the location is hardly convenient for our Powelton Neighbors or our neighbors in other eastern parts of University City, especially if they do not drive.

More elegance? Even the most up to date State Stores aren't elegant, and no one has said this new one would be. But a new store at 43rd & Walnut would have several things the current one at 41st & Market does not have:
more space to stock a decent product selection; a safer location , with more street and foot traffic; a different landlord with a better building maintenance record (the current one is reported to leave the current State Store's roof leaking, the heat not working, etc.), and a parking lot. On top of that, the new landlord has promises from the PLCB to stock more wine and less heavily-alcoholic spirits, to make sure that the staff is friendly and helpful, and to NEVER AGAIN lock people out of the store at busy times when the staff didn't want to deal with so many customers. I think it's pretty clear that the old landlord only cared about collecting the rent and had no interest in how the PLCB operated in his building.

A new Wine & Spirits shop will also benefit other businesses in University City which now suffer because of the current nightmare stores : our BYOB restaurants lose potential diners when visitors to our neighborhood don't have a decent place to pick up a bottle of wine. Our local bed & breakfasts inns cannot, now, direct guests to a clean, safe liquor store - right now, they must send guests far, to 19th & Chestnut. This is too far, if they've come without cars. Our other local grocery and take-out food places also lose business now, because when a UC resident must drive to an out of the area liquor store, s/he is likely to do other shopping in that location on that trip, instead of returning and doing the other shopping here. So there's a significant interwoven business relationship at stake here, which you might have realized. A new store is not only for your shopping convenience, or mine.

We who have chosen to live in University City usually do pride ourselves on being respectful to our neighbors. We have been willing to pay extra for that privilege, willing to put up with some negatives of city life because we appreciate the positives of a place where so many different people live in harmony. Which means that we tolerate others' different priorities, lifestyles, values, religions, lack of religions, and lots of other focuses which we do not personally share. The mosque chose to move to an area where it is surrounded by lifestyles and behaviors with which its members do not personally agree. And we can be sure that some UC residents might take exception to some of the views held by members of the mosque, or by people of any other religion.

But Walnut Street is not home to just one group, one faith, or one lifestyle; it is a busy corridor where many folks with different wants and needs get along, doing as they chose in their own spaces, and tolerating others' different choices in the others' spaces. I hope that it will continue that way. In a country where church and state are separate, how could the beliefs of one religion, on this street of many, prohibit leasing of a space to a legal - indeed, state-run - business which others want?

Melani Lamond

PS - I was asked yesterday whether I favor the new Wine & Spirits shop for personal reasons, or whether my support is a business endeavor. The answer is that the real estate company where I work is not involved in the liquor store lease. However, I own the Carriage House B&B next door to my house, and I constantly face the quandary of how to advise a guest who wants to get a bottle of wine to take to a BYOB for dinner - and the guest could well be going to Vientiane Cafe, a tenant in a building which I own.

Melani Lamond, Associate Broker
Urban & Bye, Realtor

2005 recipient of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors awards:
- Diamond award for over $8 million in sales, and
ALL SIX of the West Philadelphia awards:
- Top Lister
- Top Seller
- Top Overall Combined Volume
- Top Listing Units by Area
- Top Selling Units by Area
- Top Overall Combined Units by Area

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Where were the PLOWS????

I got word that work would open 2 hours late, so I took my time leaving from Millville via Rt 55 to West Phila around 8:15 am. Between then and 9:45 when I arrived I saw no plows. All the MAIN Roads were completly snow covered from Glassboro to Walnut Street in W. Philly. Even RT 42 and the Walt Whitman were covered. There was little traffac, so I got to work ok. There is NO excuse for this because this "storm" was forcast for about a week. The picture is of Rt 76 in S. Philly. Lets hope the roads are cleaned u BEFORE the temps plunge tomorrow

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I was attempting to do my taxes on Turbo Tax online and well their server is down. Umm..not too good when I
Well 45 min later Turbo Tax was up and running and I got $59 back. I am ok with that. Next I will do the NJ Tax which is offset by the good ole Philly wage tax.