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  December 25, 2008 Issue                                       

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Chestnut Hill Local
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Local News

2-alarm fire
First responders were dispatched to the 8700 block of Montgomery Avenue in Wyndmoor on Monday to put out a two-alarm fire at the residence of Janet and Ronald Rock. Firefighters from Wyndmoor, Flourtown, Oreland, Glenside, Barren Hill, Wissahickon, Edge Hill, Weldon, Ogontz, North Penn Goodwill, Fort Washington, LaMott and Second Alarmers for Rehabilitation were able to drown the flames, but damage had already been done to two rear rooms and the main stairwell and hallway. The Rocks were unscathed by the fire, but one of the firefighters had to be treated for a minor hand injury. The Springfield Township Fire Marshall’s Office was still investigating the cause of the fire when the Local went to press.

Contested zoning variance approved by CHCA board
by JOEL HOFFMANN

Despite lingering complaints from upset neighbors, the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors last week voted 20-6 in favor of a pair of zoning variances for a two-story garage and exercise studio to be built at 424 W. Springfield Ave.

The majority of the board seemed convinced that the homeowner, Henry O’Reilly, and his architect, Larry McEwen, had negotiated the variances in good faith with the Crooks and Halloran families. After all, Ned Mitinger, vice president of the CHCA’s Physical Division told them that both the Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee and the Design Review Committee of the CHCA supported height and use exemptions for the garage after McEwen, an LUPZ member and DRC co-chair who recused himself for the votes, redesigned it in light of the neighbors’ objections.

CHCA board cuts pay for Local’s display ad team
by JOEL HOFFMANN

The Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors voted Dec. 18 to cut compensation for the Chestnut Hill Local’s two-person display advertising department by at least $36,000.

The vote ended a nearly two-hour discussion about the Local’s financial health, spurred by CHCA treasurer Mark Keintz’s assessment that the paper had “serious” budgetary problems that needed to be fixed.

 

Commentary: The honeymoon is over; Mayor slammed for cuts
by JENNIFER KATZ

On Thursday evening, Dec 18, Mayor Nutter brought his mea culpa dog and pony show to the academic halls of Martin Luther King High School on Stenton Avenue — literally. In one of the most stunningly insensitive displays of political hubris, the Mayor’s staff had the meeting set up in the entrance hall of the school. According to one City Hall worker, a staffer chose the location because of a wall mural that would serve as background for the Mayor’s podium.