February 5, 2009


Crime Report
This Week


This Week's Issue
Previous Issues

this site web

Call 215-248-8800



The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
Ph: 215-248-8800
Fx: 215-248-8814
2009© Chestnut Hill Local
Terms of Agreement



Good news

Two pieces of good news appeared in the Local last week. First, Weavers Way is filling the large hole left in our community by the departure of Caruso’s. I’m happy as can be about that and promise to change my old ways and go as natural and co-operative as I can to support them.

The second piece of good news is that the CHCA board apparently got some backbone at the January board meeting and declined to follow the wishes of its leadership to fire the Local’s editor. 

Over the years I’ve watched in dismay as leaders of the CHCA have periodically run roughshod not only over their own bylaws but also the laws of humanity by treating the staff of the Local so badly.

What is it that happens to these people?  They get power in the CHCA and turn into petty tyrants. It’s terribly disillusioning. But now there seems to be some push back from within the ranks.

I salute all those board members who thought for themselves. I am grateful for your good sense and courage.

Mary Sue Welsh
Chestnut Hill


Board actions

It is inconceivable to me that the editor of the Chestnut Hill Local came close to being fired by board members who have not advised the readership (or members of CHCA) of their plans, including their intentions and goals in so doing. The Local should be their forum, not the phone mafia or secret meetings. 

Firing the editor should not be disguised as an employee evaluation. My message to board members who participated in this despicable act is that you have a duty to explain your actions and then to resign your positions on the board. It is clear you were not acting in the best interest of the Chestnut Hill community.

David J. Fielding
Brant Beach, NJ
Former CHCA board member



Through the LaSalle Nonprofit Center, I am certified in board leadership and nonprofit management. So, having read letters in last week’s Local written by some people who were not present at the CHCA board meeting and certainly not at any executive sessions (Sessions at which board members agree to respect the privacy and sensitivity of a given issue by keeping their mouths shut.), I am dumbfounded that we have letter writers who are comfortable penning their outrage based on hearsay, and I am more than upset that I serve among board members who have violated the trust of their fellow board members by squawking on their cell phones and e-mail chains about the content of two of these board sessions.

Kids might call these dishonorable, untrustworthy board members “tattletales.” The Mafia would call them “rats.” The squawkers are people who asked the community to trust them and support their interests when they ran for the board. They also put the entire organization at legal risk by this irresponsible, self serving behavior. This is community first?

Marie Lachat
Chestnut Hill
CHCA board member


Here we go again

Deer in Fairmount Park have once again been targeted for assassination. This winter will mark 11 years that killing professionals will have plied their deadly trade. Thus far, a reported 702 deer have been wiped out in the Wissahickon alone. Before the first shot was ever fired, 159 deer were reported observed in the park. Think about the numbers. You’re seeing what’s called compensatory rebound. This is a biological response to a reduction in deer numbers.

Trust me readers, this will never end. An officer with The Pennsylvania Game Commission told me that the park’s goal of 30 deer would never be reached.

That aside, there’s a public safety concern that I’ve expressed to the print media, Mayor Nutter, Fairmount Park Commission, Philadelphia Police Department, City Council and United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (deer killers).

The private contractor who first killed deer in the Wissahickon in 1999 wanted the state of Iowa to amend a state law that would have all but eliminated the safety zone in Iowa City. Has there been a change here allowing the USDA deer killers to discharge high-powered rifles very close to private homes? This, in fact, has happened.

Further, the public believes the assertion that all deer were killed within park boundaries without exception — NOT SO. When I confronted The Fairmount Park Commission, there was a very angry response, which was most telling. I was told that the location of park boundaries was open to interpretation. Really! I am dissatisfied with the lack of genuine interest and concern regarding this matter.

People have been all too receptive and passive. They’re blissfully content with the status quo, unwilling to take an honest look at this issue. Those with the power have done a good job of keeping an unsuspecting and trusting public in a whirlpool of deception.

Lastly, how can the cost of killing deer be justified given the current economic climate which has necessitated cutbacks in spending?

Bridget Irons
Chestnut Hill


Peace Party

On Feb. 7, the Philadelphia Division of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is throwing a party at the Fairmount Waterworks Interpretative Center to draw attention to water issues and offer attendees the possibility of contributing to some international projects. The party is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will include films, guests, rain barrel raffle, and light refreshments.

Cost: $15 for singles, $25 for couples and $5 for students at the door. Donations may be made directly to an  organization of your choice. No checks made to WILPF!  If you come wearing either a blue scarf or tie you’ll receive one of our Blue Water Buttons free!  Please let us know you’ll be there!  RSVP by phone to Dory at 215-438-5323  or to Judy by e-mail at

Joan Martini
Chestnut Hill

Magarity fits Bowman profile

I was so happy to learn that the Magarity parcel was purchased by Bowman Properties and that Richard Snowden was pursuing “several options” for the property.

I’m optimistic that it won’t take Bowman too long to find a tenant that’s a “good fit” and is “consistent with and complementary to other business along the Avenue.” It’s Bowman-owned and it’s empty, so that already makes it a “good fit” with other properties on the Avenue. The only thing missing is the (Aesthetics Committee approved?) brown paper on the windows to make it consistent and complementary.

As one of Forbes’ seven best urban neighborhoods in the nation, I can only imagine the others are green with envy and out looking for their own civic-minded landlord who has only their interests at heart. Good luck to the rest of the country, we already have the best here.

Judy Muenzberg
Chestnut Hill

Shovel that sidewalk

For those of us who regularly traverse the sidewalks of Chestnut Hill on foot, winter can be very dicey. Especially when you’re on your way to the R8 or the Library or one of the shops on the Avenue and you have to pick your way across numerous neighborhood sidewalks that haven’t seen a shovel all winter.

If you shouldn’t shovel because of age or medical reasons, hey.  I understand. That would be foolish, so try a younger friend or neighbor and offer them lunch at McNally’s or dinner at the Grill or simply your honest appreciation and thanks.

On snow days when schools are closed (read: big snow) I’ll bet you can even find a youngster willing to shovel for money. Or ask around. I know there are folks who are looking for work and will shovel a sidewalk and drive for cash.

I’m not asking anyone to risk injury or take a chance with his or her health shoveling. I’m asking you find a way to clear the walk in front of your home and make a snowy day in Chestnut Hill kind of picturesque instead of kind of hazardous.

Tom Hemphill
Chestnut Hill