Harrisburg activists plan next protest at property in Forest Hills

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 11:40 AM
Last updated 11:52 AM
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Harrisburg neighborhood activists who on the Fourth of July marched against absentee landlords and drug dealers are planning their next protest outside a property owner’s residence in Forest Hills.

Lori Davis, Butch Palmer, Phil Williams and Kelly McKnight, pastor of Bible Deliverance Temple, were among 13 residents who met Tuesday night and resolved to picket in front of the Lake Forest Drive home of John B. Weigle Jr., on Aug. 8 at 10 a.m.

Mr. Weigle, who sells insurance for Dawson Taylor & Company on Wheeler Road, owns the house at 223 Eve St., one of three properties targeted as a “nuisance” during the July 4 march. He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment today, and efforts to reach him earlier this month resulted in a missed phone call.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Marsha Jones, music and outreach director for St. Luke United Methodist Church, questioned whether the group should try one more time to reason with Mr. Weigle. Mrs. Davis said she and others have been fighting problems with blight and crime for years, and they’re way beyond that.

“There is a group of us who are tired,” she said, “and this is what we’re going to do.”

Mrs. Davis, vice president of the Harrisburg-West End Neighborhood Association, said she has received more than 20 complaints about 223 Eve St., from surrounding neighbors during the past year and a half. According to the reports, an assortment of men who don’t appear to live there lounge on the porch and in the front yard day and night, sometimes walking to the corner of Ellis and Eve streets to make cell phone calls. Cars with out-of-county and out-of-state license plates come and go, and the property itself is an eyesore, Mrs. Davis said.

“These are signs – signs – of houses that deal drugs,” she said.

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D-man
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D-man 07/22/09 - 12:19 pm
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I know that house. There are

I know that house. There are always a bunch of dudes ranging from teenagers to middle aged just hanging out. Early morning, late night, middle of the day, there's aways people chillin on the porch. Looks like a good place to buy crack.

GuyIncognito
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GuyIncognito 07/22/09 - 12:22 pm
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I'm surprised they haven't

I'm surprised they haven't started burning down problem houses yet.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 07/22/09 - 01:46 pm
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Ha! I bet going to Weigle's

Ha! I bet going to Weigle's personal house and picketing will get some results! That's a good idea! You know good and well that this Weigle realizes what's going on at his property down there, but he's chosen to not do anything about it. Well, maybe the embarassment of this attention will get his tail in gear! Good for these people to do all this for THEIR neighborhood!

Painter
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Painter 07/22/09 - 01:49 pm
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sic um!!!

sic um!!!

Rose
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Rose 07/22/09 - 01:57 pm
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Go for it!Now if more

Go for it!Now if more neighborhoods will clean up their neighborhoods of crime too. It can be done if law abiding citizens ban together.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 07/22/09 - 02:43 pm
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Good idea. Maybe they can

Good idea. Maybe they can swing by 223 and pick up some of those dudes hanging around to help protest.

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 07/22/09 - 03:12 pm
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No Brad because then Mr.

No Brad because then Mr. Weigle loses his slum income and they lose their "business" establishment. C'mon you ought to know better than that. But I like your idea. Get a camera crew to go to the house and conduct interviews. Lets see how educated the people are hanging at the house.

TheDarkKnight
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TheDarkKnight 07/22/09 - 04:26 pm
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From reviewing the story and

From reviewing the story and picketing on July 5, I find it amazing that the only people in the pictures are white, while the people in the houses are black. Does anybody not think that the police are watching the houses? Maybe Ms. Davis is a better detective than the Richmond County Sheriff's Dept? Since when was it against the law to hang around and sit on a porch? Since when could a landlord evict a tenant for sitting on the porch? I'm sure that none of these good people would ever sue a landlord for improper eviction. Including those making comments. Sounds like somebody wants to choose their neighbors, does it not?

mgr
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mgr 07/22/09 - 04:43 pm
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I agree with the folks that

I agree with the folks that want to clean up their neighborhoods, but I don't think I'm quite in agreement to stand in front of peoples homes and protest. I think you are setting up for a lawsuit if not something worse.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 07/22/09 - 07:39 pm
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It is great to see

It is great to see individuals standing up for their rights and their neighborhoods. It was good to see the RCSO there last time supporting them as well and issuing citations. We have an excellent code enforcement division and they should work closely with Rob Sherman to have citations issued as often as possible. MGR, The right to protest is as American as Apple Pie. They have tried to reason with the absentee owner, tried to get him to do something positive and yet he still allows persons to live in squalor and bring down an entire neighborhood. He doesn't do this becasue he is poor or can't afford to solve the issues or get his but out there and cut the grass and clean up the place, instead he does this because he has been allowed to and doesn't care. I am sure his employeer isn't happy, nor should they be. These people are desperatly trying to improve their neighborhood and this man is one of the large problems - they should do whatever they can WITHIN THE LAW to get these problems corrected and a peaceful demonstration is certainly within their rights if they have applied for permits, etc.

The Ode
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The Ode 07/22/09 - 09:57 pm
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If you want to clean up

If you want to clean up neighborhoods like this then go picket on Capitol Hill and in Columbia and have them stop the entitlements like Section 8 vouchers and these folks won't be living there.

gcap
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gcap 07/22/09 - 11:23 pm
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Where would they live, Ode?

Where would they live, Ode? Fact is, Harrisburg has always been what it is -- a neighborhood of great folks and a neighborhood of thugs. Somehow, they've lived together there for decades and it ain't going to change. Leave Mr. Weigle alone.

Native007
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Native007 07/23/09 - 08:31 am
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NO, do not leave Weigle

NO, do not leave Weigle alone. PROTEST in front of the troubled houses and DEMAND results. I commend these people for takinga action! What is Capitol Hill going to do besides NOTHING? "Where would they live?" They would live at their own homes...like they do now...and in their free time maybe hang out somewhere else and do their loitering.

The Ode
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The Ode 07/23/09 - 09:52 am
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I don't know where they would

I don't know where they would live nor would I care. Maybe they would have to get job and wouldn't have time to be wannabe thugs. Maybe they would live in a van down by the river. Maybe they wouldn't be able to survive and would die off and make society better.

SnowBallCity
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SnowBallCity 07/23/09 - 12:37 pm
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I'm afraid I'd have to call

I'm afraid I'd have to call 911 if a group demonstrated at my doorstep on a Saturday morning. Don't they have public places for that sort of thing? The renters probably live there because they can afford it. I'm surprised the "Put'em on a raft and blow it up" mentality is still alive. Good luck with that.

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