East Falls Can Do Better! Taking a stand against negativity & incompetence from East Falls Community Council. We’re looking at you — Alex Keating, elected member at large — for demonstrating local leadership’s shocking inability to work out disputes productively.
Not sure what the procedure is, when you’re feeling bullied by your local Community Council.
Is “bully” too strong a word? OSHA’s examples of workplace bullying include spreading rumors, exclusion, undermining, withholding info, using profanity, and unwarranted/undeserved punishment… Bullying doesn’t stop when you leave school.
Whatever, please watch the video, which admittedly isn’t the best example — but it wasn’t the first time either.
Since “daring” to report on the neighbor’s side of a contentious dog park proposal for the land behind Trolley Car Cafe (back in 2014), Alex had not only refused to speak to us at dog park meetings but was downright rude to our faces when we asked how we could fix or at least address the animosity between us. He batted away Steve’s handshake, literally saying, “It’s a free country!” when we asked why he couldn’t even tell us what we’d done to offend him so horribly.
After that, whenever he’d see us on his street, he’d glare, posture, and mouth “Fuck you!” as if to chase us off. But Indian Queen Lane is one of the prettiest, most historic streets in the Falls — home of the Hohenadel Mansion, subject of an entire website we researched in 2013. We take morning photos all around the neighborhood, and weren’t about to eliminate a favorite area because of some dude’s weird grudge.
And, duh — I have a camera on me at all times. What better way to combat bullying, than to video it?! And the morning of this “Alex” video you see here, I happened to be live already, following a bird from Weihle (true story!). Furthermore, EFCC had just sought our help promoting the Fall Fest, which had been such a success that year we were feeling that maybe since we’d technically worked together, we had a reason to compliment him on a job well done.
At the very least, I thought maybe if we offered him civility before he was reacting angrily to our presence, we’d make some progress being cordial in public. But no. He took the opportunity to curse at us in front of his kid. 🙁
Alex, this sucks. We were just trying to be nice, you don’t have to be so hateful. No, we weren’t “stalking” you — you were caught being an asshat. That’s on you, not us. We’re just trying to walk around freely in our own neighborhood. If you don’t like being called out online, learn to control yourself in public.
Real classy, too: trashing us behind our backs — and then hiding behind your buddies in Community Council. For the record, despite everything we’d be more than happy to take this video down, if we could talk things out between us. We don’t have to be friends but must we be enemies?
Look, you guys don’t need to like us — but we’re not going anywhere so you might as well try to be civil, at least for appearance’s sake. Otherwise, you come across really unprofessional, and do a disservice to our community (which we care about very much).
We love East Falls, and you don’t get to make us feel unwelcome.
Calling bullshit, too, on all the local organizations that use us for free promotion while aligning with our haters, brushing off (even supporting) their bullying as neighborhood politics. Sorry to get negative, but really, someone had to say something cause this is ridiculous.
Our community leaders don’t have to like everyone here, but they should at least be civil. We’re all neighbors here, we’re all adults. Can we act like it, please? Meanwhile, we have every right to defend ourselves, not just for us but for our advertisers, sponsors, and the good people featured in our pages every month.
Steve and Carolyn (just two local volunteers who’ve been nothing but accommodating to EFCC requests to disseminate info & promote events — maybe some support or at least some props, guys?):
UPDATE 2018: This tension resurfaced March 31st at Alex’s property on Ridge Avenue. East Falls Beer Garden (working with EFDC) was hosting a pop-up speakeasy here on weekends, and apparently the contract stipulated that we — East Falls Local — was not to be permitted on-site.
No one told us though. We were invited on a night Alex was out of town, and then promptly blocked from entering when it was discovered the DJ for the evening (speaking as a member of the EFCC) had blown the whistle.
Anyhoo, long story short: although we are used to being treated like this around the neighborhood, our friend Trinette was shocked and appalled, and could not be dissuaded from giving The Red Lady peeps a piece of her mind. As usual, I had my camera on me…
The next day — Easter Sunday — Alex’s wife took to Nextdoor with a post accusing us of stalking them (among other things) and demanding Steve be removed as a Lead. Instead, Nextdoor booted her and removed the thread after throngs of neighbors reported the post. A month later, EFCC announced their new newspaper not to their general membership but at a Town Watch meeting. I dunno what they felt they were hiding, but it’s weird we can’t print together.
It’s a true shame we can’t work together on one paper with many voices. We’ve put out a standing offer to give EFCC their own 12-page insert with their own control over content and even their own ads. Free space! Cause it’d be a cool resource to have one blanket publication for the whole neighborhood. Wouldn’t it?
Sigh. Maybe one day.