Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Germantown Unsettled ...

Ah, the Germantown Settlement situation; Germantown's cousin to the CHCA saga.

The Germantown Chronicle for August 23 isn't out yet, the story hasn't been read and Emanuel V. Freeman thinks he knows what will be revealed. The web was buzzing starting at 8 Wednesday morning.

"Much of their information is not accurate," sez Freeman. Freeman couldn't have read it, but he has his message flying all around the intertubes in Northwest Philly and is spinning his damage control as fast as he can. Take a look at who gets the e-mail sent this morning - Philadelphia politicians with toeholds in Harrisburg.

According to Freeman, the Chronicle follows the "negative editorial practices of the former Germantown Courier." Please. The Courier was fish wrap from JRC, suitable for burying dead guppies from the home aquarium. It had neither the time nor the staff to investigate what was going on with the Settlement outfit.

And Emanuel, what about those houses on the 200 block of Penn Street? How they holding up?

So, Emanuel, read the story and then critique it. It lends a little credibility to your arguments, however weak they may be.

You want to read the story, get this week's Germantown Chronicle (August 20). The piece is on the paper's web site today - Wednesday, August 19.

So here's this morning breathless spin from EVF of GS. In the e-mails below, non-government addresses have been redacted.

Unabashed Sunshine Policy Statement: I, Scott Alloway, work at the Chronicle in several capacities, not the least being web editor.
From: "Youngblood, Rosita"
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 09:23:50 -0400
To: Tim S. Ries; RT Donovan; Wall, Cherise; Tolentino, David; Barabin, Rochelle
Subject: FW: Germantown Chronicle


From: McClure, Miriam
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 8:04 AM
To: Donna Reed Miller (;; Myers, John; Kinsey, Stephen; LeAnna Washington (; Evans, Dwight; Youngblood, Rosita; Curtis Jones;
Cc: Freeman, Emanuel V.
Subject: Germantown Chronicle
Importance: High

To Friends of Germantown Settlement:

The Germantown Chronicle is going to run an article on GS/GGHDC and it will likely attempt to paint a very negative picture. It will draw attention to the financial challenges we are facing, including payroll, city and state taxes (all of which we have secured payment agreements for), and any IRS issues (we have also addressed and have submitted a proposed agreement which has not yet been approved).

Much of their information is not accurate but nonetheless it will further damage our image as an organization. This is the primary purpose of such articles. I have attempted to address some of what they raised but do not think they are likely to print much, if anything, that I said. While GS and GGHDC do have some liens and judgments (some of which were paid off or are included in our 2006 refi of the Burgess Center and some of the appropriate adjustments have not yet been made), I suspect what we outlined will also not be updated.

We have secured financing commitments for the Germantown YWCA (and the city is allowing us the needed time to move forward on this project). Our loan on the Burgess Center has matured and we have identified the sources to refinance. We have a new venture, identified as Medical Adult Day Care, and have just submitted financing proposals for the development and it will replace aging services. Our properties at 324 East High Street and Waring House at 48 East Penn Street will be converted into Child Care Centers. Together, these projects will generate more than enough revenue to pay off all liens and bring current any taxes that may become due between now and the end of the year.

We have executed a partnership agreement with a for-profit firm to co-develop the GYWCA. This site will in fact become our new home and the GYWCA will be placed back into service as a viable community facility. Within the next few months, we will complete the leasing on Burgess Center.

Wendy’s is now under construction and we expect to lease out the space now occupied by GS and GGHDC staff. This will likely require us to relocate to another section of the Burgess Center. This move will be temporary until the GYWCA is completed.

While the Germantown Chronicle is a new paper, it continues to follow the negative editorial practices of the former Germantown Courier. In many ways these are the same people that we, and the elected officials that support us, feel have historically treated us unfairly.

Other organizations within this community have challenges, but no one seems to make it public and write articles about them. We are resolved to stay the course, address our issues and continue to serve our people the best we can with what we have.


Emanuel V Freeman

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