Monday, November 25, 2013

Are You Paying Attention?

I heard a rumor that a Zoning Board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night (Tuesday) - [Update: CONFIRMED, Tuesday at 7 pm] - and that the drug counseling center Gaudenzia wants to set up on Main Street is on the agenda. I say "rumor" because the meeting and agenda aren't listed on town calendar. Not that THAT's usual. If you've been reading this blog, you know meetings and agendas haven't been posted until the very last minute all month.

But does it matter? Are you paying attention, Norristown? I've gotten the distinct feeling that you haven't been since the election. I don't mean paying attention to me. I mean paying attention to what's going on around you. Not just what's happening at 235 E. Airy, but all around town.

Saturday, the Norristown Regional Health Center hosted a program explaining the new health insurance law. This was one of the best publicized events in ages. It was shared all over Facebook, bouncing between 3 or 4 volunteer groups and many individuals like a ping pong ball. It was on the town calendar, Linda Christian included it in her newletter, Viviann Schorle put it in her Youth Network emails. I posted about it TWICE on the Diary last week. Yet, Saturday morning when only a handful of people showed up, and Linda Christian sent out an extra emailing and Facebook posting asking where everyone was, people responded that they hadn't known about the event.

Yes, I know the holidays are fast approaching and we've got our minds on other things. This week we'll be preparing for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, worrying about family coming to visit, or about traveling to visit others, or about shopping on Friday and the weekend. Worrying about the approaching storm disrupting all these plans.

But, honestly, certain members of Council are COUNTING on all this week's activities to keep everyone away from the zoning meeting. They don't want anyone protesting the Gaudenzia proposal. They could care less if the drug users that the counseling center brings in would then hang out on Main Street, attracting drug dealers, and scaring away patrons for our restaurants, scaring away prospective businesses from opening in our empty buildings. These Council members are counting on us to NOT be paying attention.

I'll post as soon as I know if the zoning board meeting is on or not, and the time. But maybe the best thing for our downtown this week might be if that storm hit in time to cancel the meeting altogether.

I'll end on a good note: I saw A LESSON BEFORE DYING at Centre Theater yesterday. The play and performance were excellent and moving. Better quality that most plays I've seen in Philly, and half the price, too. You've got one more weekend to see this first-class production--this coming Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm. Buy tickets online at

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