Sunday, July 7, 2013


I was in Norristown's July 4th parade (as part of a local singing ensemble). Since I couldn't sit and take photos of the parade, I took photos of the onlookers instead. Here are some of the many children who lined this year's parade route.
We saw expressions of delight, wonder, happiness, patriotism, and pure friendliness, from kids and adults alike. When I smiled and waved, people smiled and waved back, frequently calling out "Happy 4th!" Hundreds of flags were in evidence. For one day of the year, race, religion, economic and cultural background don't matter. We're all neighbors.

Norristown can be surprisingly wonderful at times.

That same day we had two shooting incidents in town. One was a murder. I personally know of one house that had a break-in. No doubt there were others, given the current rate of burglaries. Crime has gotten completely out of hand during the last year and no one in charge seems to want to talk about solutions. We keep hearing that better days are coming for Norristown, that it's the next "hot neighborhood." If by "hot" they mean stolen or dangerous, then yeah, maybe that's true. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a renaissance for our town, but we need to solve immediate needs before expecting newcomers to flock here.

Not one of the kids above wants to be scared. They don't want members of their families or their friends killed. They don't want bullets or intruders coming through their house windows.

So I think it's time for our townspeople declare their independence from the rhetoric and poor choices of our council, and start demanding, first of all, safe neighborhoods for ourselves and our children.

Norristown can be a wonderful place. More than once a year would be even better.

Coming up this week:  Wed., July 10. 6 pm
Zoning Meeting at Municipal Hall, 235 E. Airy St.
Topic: Proposed changes to zoning in Norristown neighborhoods. These changes will effect a lot of residents. More tomorrow.

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