What Happened Next: Baker St. noise battle between Stellar Cheer Academy and its neighbors

NewsWorks went back to check in on several of the stories it covered in 2012. These “What Happened Next” updates will run throughout December. 


Tensions mount between Manayunk cheerleading academy and Baker St. neighbors who want noise toned down, Oct. 23

The storyWhen Tina Kingkiner first opened Stellar All-Star Cheer Academy two-plus years ago, she didn’t hear a word from neighbors. Everything, she thought, was fine.

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Eventually, however, a pair of homeowners, whose properties directly face the business on Baker Street, started filing noise complaints.

Most of all, they took issue with Kingkiner’s decision to leave a garage door open during practice when weather permitted. The pop music pumping on to the street, they said, made it impossible to relax after work.

For Brian and Lindsy Farina and Robert and Yulia Watkins, though, the situation has reached a point where they’ve all considered moving.

Kingkiner, who agreed to close the garage door by 8 p.m., maintains that she has bent over backwards to accommodate neighbors.

When NewsWorks last spoke with Kingkiner, she mentioned that her three-year lease at 126 Leverington Ave. was up at the end of 2012 and that she wasn’t sure if she was going to stick around.

What Happened Next? Kingkiner is still mulling a move.

Ideally, she said, she’d have a bigger space with better parking.

“We would love to move to a new location, the trouble is finding a new location,” she said.

The biggest obstacle, she noted, is finding a building that has a high enough ceiling. She needs one that’s at least 35 to 40 feet to safely conduct her cheerleading practices.

So far, Kingkiner’s search has yielded a number of vacant warehouses, but none of them fit that bill.

As a result, she is considering signing another lease in Manayunk, perhaps one that’s just six months, if possible. She isn’t interested in signing another three-year deal.

Kingkiner said if she finds a new space, the earliest she would move out is May, the end of her season.That said, there’s a possibility she’ll stay for longer.

“I would only move to a better location,” said Kingkiner. “I’m not going to let the situation [with the neighbors] run me out.”

In the meantime, she said she will continue to close the garage door by 8 p.m. and try and be as accommodating as she can as long as requests are “reasonable.”

If you have any stories from 2012 that you’d like NewsWorks to follow up on, let us know at nwproducers@whyy.org

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