January 1, 2009 Issue
During the next two weeks we will look back at the biggest stories the Local published in 2008. We will reprise the controversies: the Treehouse Play Café, the Chestnut Hill Community Association election ballot fiasco and the downfall of Caruso’s Market. We will also highlight some of the triumphs: from the optimism of Barack Obama’s election – including visits by Ted and Caroline Kennedy — to wrapping up a successful campaign to light Germantown Avenue’s trees for the Holidays. If it was significant, we’ve included it here.
A $7.1 million renovation of the Allen Lane train station is about to get underway as SEPTA prepares to implement an improvement plan in the new year.
After years of planning and community meetings, the two-year construction phase of the project is expected to commence in January. The plan includes the construction of new high-level platforms with ADA accessible ramps, new canopy shelters and a new pedestrian bridge.
Longtime Local employee Jimmy J. Pack Jr. was fired Monday morning, Dec. 29, because of a series of comments he made to members of the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s board and its employees that were deemed harassing and otherwise inappropriate, according to sources in the CHCA.
Pack’s firing was approved by a vote of the CHCA board of directors during an executive session at the organization’s Dec. 18 meeting. Because executive sessions are not open to the public, the Local’s information comes from interviews with board members who did not want to be indentified.
The association owns the Local, and its board – composed of 50 members – has final authority on personnel matters. It does not, however, normally hire or fire Local staffers.
Dina Hitchcock, vice president of operations for the association, declined to comment, saying that the matter was personal and that discussion of personnel matters was inappropriate. Further, she said that because the matter was discussed in executive session, she was bound by association rules not to divulge those details.
The following crimes were reported for the week of Dec. 21-28, 2008:
Dec. 22. 7900 block of Crittenden St. An unknown person stole a blue 2003 Honda Civic that was parked on the street between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Dec. 23. 8300 block of Germantown Ave. The principal at J. S. Jenks told police that an unknown person removed $2,500 in cash and various credit card receipts from the school’s book fair from a file cabinet in her office between Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 23 at 1:30 p.m. She also told police that a key ring belonging to the Dean of Students, which contained a key to the locked file cabinet had been missing on Dec. 9 but was returned on Dec. 10.