23rd Annual Bark in the Park!

by Fran Byers

On Sunday, October 12, Clark “B” Park was the site of more than 25 canine contests. After being postponed from Saturday for rainy weather, Sunday’s weather was gorgeous. Several activities were going on simultaneously in the park, so contestants arrived at the bowl gradually. However, the rivalries became spirited as more competitors appeared. Many thanks to D.L. Wormley Casson and judges Cindy Roberts, Christine Nelson, Janet Lewis and Andy Cole. Dr. David Littlejohn of O’Neal Animal Hospital was unable to be present on Sunday.

Each contest winner was given a dog toy and a bag of Iams kibble, as usual, in addition to a sample package of extraordinary dog treats donated by Neil Sprafkin called “MyDoggy” all-natural soft-baked cookies (www.mydoggy.com, 315-753-0520). A large package of MyDoggy treats was one of two dog-related raffle prizes that ended the event. A fine time was had by all!

2014 Results:

Category Winner Owner
Youngest dog Cocoa – 15 weeks Gabriel DiFelice
Oldest dog Esteban – 15 years Stephanie Seifert
Tallest dog Jake Eva Jacobs
Shortest dog Mango – 12 inches Stephanie Seifert
Longest legs – tie Austen Janet Lewis and Andy Cole
Jake Eva Jacobs
Shiniest coat Atticus Ella Serpell
Longest ears Jake Eva Jacobs
Smallest ears Esteban – 2.5 inches Stephanie Seifert
Shortest tail Levi Eva Jacobs
Longest tail – tie Atticus Ella Serpell
Jake Eva Jacobs
Most spots Skyler Alessandra and Sylvia Brown
Most stripes no winner
Curliest tail Atticus Ella Serpell
Longest fur Molly Carol Coccagna
Shortest nose Levi Eva Jacobs
Longest nose – tie Lola Vivian Zauhar
Nell Janet Lewis and Andy Cole
Highest-pitched bark no winner – dogs barked later, but not during competition
Lowest-pitch bark no winner
Fastest runner Cassidy Adam Comigliaro
Highest jumper Cassidy Adam Comigliaro
Best catcher of Frisbee no winner
Best catcher of ball Jake Eva Jacobs
Best catcher of stick Nell Janet Lewis and Andy Cole
Best trick Austen – fetch and other commands Janet Lewis and Andy Cole
Silliest trick Levi – dancing dog Eva Jacobs
Owner and dog look-alike Lola Vivian Zauhar
Two dog look-alike in same family Austen and Nell Janet Lewis and Andy Cole
Two dog look-alike not in same family Dino and Lola Igor Burstyn and Vivian Zauhar
Best costume Esteban-Captain Kirk Stephanie Seifert
Raffle of “MyDoggy” Pumpkin Carob dog treats Nell and Austen Andy Cole
Raffle of basket of doggie goodies Ishtar Jen Locke

Cindy_Roberts_and_Andy_Cole_measure_Nell_in_the_Longest_Nose_contest Dino_and_Lola_-_Look-Alikes_NOT_in_the_same_family Esteban_won_Best_Costume_contest_as_Captain_Kirk Some_of_the_contestants_preparing_for_the_competitions Sylvia_and_Alessandrea_Brown_with_new_puppy_Skyler A_family_portrait_-_Andy_Cole,_Nell,_Austen,_Janet_Lewis


21st Annual Veterans Day Ceremony in Clark Park

by Fran Byers

The sun shone brightly in Clark Park on Saturday, November 8, as neighbors gathered at the Gettysburg Stone in Clark Park to pay tribute to all those in the Armed Forces who have sacrificed, past and present, to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in America.

After a greeting by Doug Naphas, President of the Friends of Clark Park, Frank Innes told how his father built “Bailey” bridges in France during World War II, and that the large flag traditionally used at this ceremony was presented to his family at his funeral.  Guitarist Doug Hall accompanied everyone in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Bill Hunter introduced four HMS students:  Brett Marsh, Emily, Sam Karp and Diana Rich, who described the history of Veterans Day and Satterlee Hospital with their computerized communications devices, activated by their eye gaze.  They also led the audience in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Boy Scouts John Cherry, Jorge DeSilva, Daniel Ruley, Jacob Stills and Tymir Griffin of Troop 152, St. Francis de Sales, participated under the direction Troop Leader Michael Horsey.  Two of them held the Innes flag aloft in front of the Gettysburg Stone while John Cherry read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Veterans in the audience were introduced by Sgt. Major Wallace Presley and Colonel Cynthia Wilson, director of the Philadelphia Veterans House.  They represented the various armed services in nearly all of the wars from World War II forward.  They were Staff Sergeant Robert Iannucci, First Sgt. John Jamison, Tim Szerlick, Tom Sheridan, Javan Tilghman, Henry Thompson, Joseph Mixson, Doug Hall and Lauren Leatherbarrow’s father, Dr. Jim Watkins, a Navy Lt. Commander in World War II.

The Philadelphia Veterans House works on a slim budget, and donations of food and money to help it extend its scope of service would be much appreciated.  Contact the House:  4108 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia PA 19104, 267-292-2052, www.phillyvetshouse.org.

All present joined in singing “God Bless America” while two Boy Scouts folded the American flag in military fashion.  First Sgt. John Jamison solemnly laid flowers at the base of the Gettysburg Stone to conclude the ceremony.  As we go about our daily activities, let us remember to give thanks to veterans that we meet for their service and to pray for them and their families who have sacrificed so much.

Note:  In continuing a long-standing tradition, students from the HMS School and Boy Scouts participated in the placement of the Gettysburg Stone in Clark Park in 1916 by grateful neighbors in thanks for the fine work performed by the medical staff at Satterlee U.S. Army Hospital.  Satterlee was the nation’s largest Army hospital during the Civil War.  The hospital was situated northwest from Baltimore Ave. to approximately 46th and Pine St. and treated at least 60,000 sick and wounded soldiers until its close in 1865.

Dr._Jim_Watkins_and_daughter_Lauren_Leatherbarrow Boy_Scouts_perform_the_ceremonial_folding_of_the_flag John_Cherry_reads_the_Gettysburg_Address HMS_students_Sam_Karp_and_Emily_use_communication_devices_to_lead_thePledge_of_Allegiance Veterans_honored_for_their_service Doug_Hall_and_Frank_Innes_sing_before_the_ceremony

Love Your Park Day this Saturday

We are having a work day this Saturday, 11/15, for city-wide Love Your Park day. We’ll work in the garden, rake leaves, spread mulch (hopefully), and pick up trash. Meet by the shed on the west side of the bowl where Regent Street meets 45th Street at 9 AM. We’ll work until probably around noon.

FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK General Mtg & Election: Join, Vote, Learn About Vital Park Developments

Come to the Friends of Clark Park October general meeting! This is our most important meeting of the year, as we will hold elections. Come, join if you’re not yet a member, speak up about your concerns in the park, and learn what is happening and how you can help. Wednesday, October 15th, 7 PM, Griffith Hall, University of the Sciences, Lecture Hall A, 43rd Street just north of Woodland across from the park.

JOIN the Friends of Clark Park! Come to our public meeting, pay your dues & cast your vote to defend the park.

JOIN the Friends of Clark Park! Come to our public meeting, pay your dues & cast your vote to defend the park.

We will also bring you up to date on the development of the 43rd & Baltimore site, which will determine the fate of Clark Park for the next 60 years – for better or for worse. Every neighbor & park-lover should get involved!

Please go at once to this Change.org petition & sign to support the community-based design.


Bark in the Park this Saturday, 2 PM in the Bowl!

BARK IN THE PARK, CLARK PARK’S AMATEUR DOG SHOW is this Saturday, October 11th, 2 PM in the bowl south of Chester!

Bring your dog by to compete! This is our 23rd annual competition, and we have about 25 prize categories. The only ones that require any advance preparation are Best Costume, Best Trick, and Silliest Trick. You could technically also train for Highest Jumper and Best Catcher of Ball, but if you have a dog, please come on by. It’s great fun, and there are prizes!

Rain update: Right now it looks like we will not have Bark in the Park today, due to rain. We are trying to reschedule for tomorrow, Sunday, at 2 PM. I’ll confirm here if it will indeed be tomorrow.

WHAT WOULD The Bad Development at 43rd & Baltimore Look Like?

It’s much easier to obtain advance visuals from developers who care about their building’s looks than from those who plan to build the cheapest, ugliest building permissible.  For this reason, it is hard to show pictures of the bad development at 4224 Baltimore Ave that Friends of Clark Park opposes.
45th St by right

Here is an image that illustrates our case. It is of damage that has already been done to the park perimeter down toward Woodland along 45th Street. The “by-right” building — what we’ll get for the next 60 years if we don’t act swiftly — will look pretty much like these — only on a scale 10 times bigger. We’re not kidding.

Our park is pretty as a picture, & all West Philly likes it that way & wants it to grow that way. So do we. But every picture needs a proper frame. As of now, by-right zoning isn’t right for our community park.

Please help save Clark Park & West Philadelphia! We can do better than this. West Philly is a better neighborhood than this.

Go to this Change.org online petition below & sign. It takes 60 seconds. Express yourself. Defend the park. Do it now — time is short. Your community will always be grateful that you spoke out!

Trash Solutions for Clark Park – We Can Do It!

by Ann Dixon
There are so many of us enjoying the park in these glorious summer months that it gets filled with trash very quickly. It takes effort to keep it looking clean. Thomas is a seasonal employee working for the Parks and Recreation Dept. You’ll see him hard at work on weekday mornings, bagging trash and doing other tasks. Both the University City District and the City pick up those trash bags once a week. The UCD also picks up recycling once a week. Despite all this, on busy weekends trash bins are often overflowing.

Jessica Plummer is ready to clean up the park tomorrow morning, Saturday, Oct. 4. Can you pitch in for an hour & help her?

Jessica Plummer is ready to clean up the park tomorrow morning, Saturday, Oct. 4. Can you pitch in for an hour & help her?

Jessica Plummer moved to West Philly at the beginning of August. One morning she was running by the park and noticed broken bottles in the play ground. She didn’t have time to pick them up, but didn’t forget them.

A friend told her about the Friends of Clark Park. A few days after bringing up the issue at an FOCP meeting, Jessica volunteered in the park with Doug Naphas (President of FOCP) and two of her friends. They removed full trashbags from cans and put in clean liners. A couple of weeks later, she was back at it again, working with her friend Ben Crescenzo.

Jessica graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in public health in May and now works for the Food Trust as an executive assistant, helping with event planning and many other tasks. She says, “I love how communal the park is. There are so many babies and families, open space for everyone to enjoy…. Volunteers really connect people to their community.” Her parents instilled the values of volunteering, asking questions and finding solutions to problems.

She is available many weekends to deal with trash and would love some company! The next organized cleanup will be Saturday, October 4th, from 11 am – noon. Meet at 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue.

If you want to help on other dates, e-mail Jessica: jplummer@thefoodtrust.org

Clark Park Soccer Program: Walk-in Registration

Saturday, September 27th is the start-up day for the Clark Park Youth Soccer program.  There is currently space available in all age groups for walk-in registrations.  Walk-in registration — and t-shirt pickup for already-registered children —  will be from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday at Rosenberger Hall (the building just south of the basketball courts on 43rd Street).  Please see our Soccer page for more information about the program.