April 2, 2009


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Candidates offer views on running DA’s office
Democratic DA hopefuls Mike Turner, Dan McElhatton and Seth Williams (from left) appealed to potential voters at a candidates forum in Mt. Airy last week moderated by John O’Connell, a Ninth Ward Democratic leader who organized the event. (Photo by Joel Hoffmann)

Democratic candidates for Philadelphia district attorney stepped up efforts to separate themselves from the pack and longtime incumbent Lynne Abraham at a candidates’ forum held last week at the Lutheran Theological Seminary’s Brossman Center in Mt. Airy.

“The criminal justice system in Philadelphia is broken,” said Seth Williams, a Philadelphia assistant district attorney from 1992 to 2003, who made some of the strongest statements of the evening. “It’s broken for all of us — black or white, yellow or brown.”

UCP loses funds for social Services

United Cerebral Palsy’s power wheelchair floor hockey team is part of the organization’s Community Recreation Program threatened by funding cuts. (Photo by Steven Crossot)

For the past 31 years, Joe Scullin has helped families navigate the labyrinth of social programs available to children with disabilities. In his role as director of community social services at United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia and Vicinity on Mermaid Lane in Chestnut Hill, Scullin has worked with tens of thousands of individuals and their families at no cost to them.

All of that is about to change. In July of last year, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania significantly restructured its priorities to focus on improving substandard day care centers, training and internships for middle and high school dropouts, and in-home services for area seniors.

The changes effectively eliminated service providers such as UCP, denying the social service organization approximately $156,000 in discretionary funding, including $78,000 of Scullin’s budget.

Business association forms slate of candidates for CHCA board election

The Chestnut Hill Business Association wants change, and to get it will run a slate of candidates for the Chestnut Hill Community Association board of directors.

The goal, in the words of Chestnut Hill Business Association president Greg Welsh, is to “infuse the board with fresh energy and new ideas.”

Think spring at Senior Center

Landscape architect Larry Weaner will visit the Senior Center on April 7.

All are invited to “Think Spring!” at the new home of the Chestnut Hill Senior Center, 8431 Germantown Avenue, next Tuesday, April 7. We will begin with a light lunch, featuring treats from the garden, dessert and beverages ($3 a person). Help us plan by calling ahead to say you are coming.

At 1 p.m. the Center is pleased to present Larry Weaner, a professional landscape designer since 1977, whose Glenside firm has a national reputation for its work combining the environmental sciences and garden design. Larry is a well-respected author on these subjects and a sought-after instructor (University of Pennsylvania, New England Wildflower Society, Temple University, Conway Graduate School of Design, and the Morris Arboretum among many others).

When not designing gardens himself, Larry is active as a guest lecturer for numerous horticultural and environmental organizations, including the National Arboretum in Washington, DC and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center in Austin, Texas.

Weaner will present a power-point presentation to answer the questions about Designing natural landscapes in residential settings. He will explore, through a series of case studies, techniques for gracefully integrating native plant compositions and ecological processes into the residential landscape. He will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the practical and aesthetic considerations in creating natural gardens. Come with friends and questions.