May 7, 2009


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The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
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Great story on Tedyuscung

Just read the story about Tedyuscung [April 16] and loved every bit of it! When I was young, about 9 and up, my two girlfriends and I often went to the Wissy on a Sunday afternoon just for the walk and something to do, and climbed up to Tedyuscung and although we didn’t know it then — good exercise. Perhaps that’s why I’m still going strong at 91! Good story, which I enjoyed very much.

Each week I enjoy the Local and read through it to see what’s doing up there. Although I grew up there, there is no one left and I haven’t been back in years — but my heart’s still there.

Esther M. O’Connor
Seminole, Fla.


Rules and those who break them

There are reasons for rules. They provide the guidelines for what is regarded as civil behavior. Depending on the purpose of an organization, rules provide a measure of order and, when followed, allow individuals of differing perspectives to work together productively for the common good.

When these rules are not followed, conflict results, rights are trampled and people can be and are injured .

CHCA officers, committee chairs and committees have violated the rules repeatedly during the last two years, effectively thumbing their noses at the community and the Board. Conflict has resulted. It was unnecessary and destructive.

Rules are broken by different means and for different reasons. It is incumbent upon each of us to look at what is behind the actions and whose interests those actions serve. Jumping to conclusions seldom serves the community’s best interest.

Mr. McGuckin [“Local should report behavior,” April 16] complains of the outrageous behavior of Mr. Feldman at meetings, as it can be. But an important question, which people should examine, is why Mr. Feldman considers it necessary to act in this manner.  What is it that he is trying to get across that others have been unsuccessful in conveying more quietly? Why is he shouting? Why is he disrupting an otherwise seemingly orderly meeting?

When officers or committees break the rules, quietly, behind closed doors, matter-of-factly, as though in line with all proper procedures, their actions are equally outrageous, and  far more damaging. When misinformation is presented as fact, when partial information is passed on, out of context , they violate the purpose of the Community Association and the trust of the community.

Ann Ward Spaeth
Chestnut Hill


Character assasination

For the past two weeks, Mr. William J. McGuckin has attacked my character and personality in the pages of this newspaper and in various Internet communications. I would like to respond in kind; unfortunately, after researching the matter, it turns out McGuckin possesses neither of those attributes, so I’ll just report the facts.

McGuckin is someone who lives in Montgomery County who has somehow been allowed to manage hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for the improvement of a neighborhood in a city in which he neither lives nor works. Your money. Your neighborhood. Your city, but not his.

McGuckin is right though; I have tried to “hinder” the CHCA. Read my work in the Local archives and you will see why.

But McGuckin’s time is past, as is the CHCA’s, as is your interest in either.

Item — Richard Snowden’s Bowman Properties placed the Positively Chestnut Hill ads. Lisa Howe is his tenant. Wendy Kern is his architect. Carrots and sticks worked to get the rest of the CHBA to become the CHCA. Greg Welsh was the front man, but Richard paid for everything, including just enough memberships to buy an election participated in by a whopping 18 percent of CHCA membership and 4 percent of the population of 19118. The people have spoken, especially the ones who were bought.

You can read more of my work on this matter at As a matter of fact, soon that will be the only place Hillers will be able to read anything not approved by “Positively Richard.”

You’ve got one more chance. A new community group is forming. Chestnut Hill Neighbors United will have its first town meeting on May 6 at 7 p.m. in the Chestnut Hill Library. Its membership will be for residents of 19118. It’s free to join and it will have the democratic town meetings the CHCA is afraid of. It will represent all the people of the Hill, from the bottom to the top. Tired of being ignored? Tired of suburbanites running your neighborhood?

May 6 is just the start. Let Richard and the CHBA have the CHCA. You can get your neighborhood back.

Ed Feldman


Answers and a question for Bill McGuckin

Bill, get a grip! Your assertion that I spend hours on a daily basis with the editor and editorial staff of the Local is totally absurd. I go to the office on a daily basis because my Doberman, McGwire, likes to hang out with the employees, who are not allowed pets in the office. Since the morale is quite low, McGwire is their therapy dog.

I have never suggested to the editor what he should print in the Local. If you would like to hang out with me and McGwire, we would love to have you. You might also make yourself useful by stuffing membership envelopes with Nancy Hutter, Jane Piotrowski and me. I hope you and the entire community is satisfied with this explanation and answers to your questions.

Now here’s my question for which the entire community deserves an explanation. Why as a trustee and treasurer of the Chestnut Hill Community Fund, have you not provided any hard copy of the performance of our Merrill Lynch account? You rambled on at the annual meeting on how our investments were in keeping with the Harvard and Yale Endowment Funds (down 30 percent), but we have yet to see what equities were purchased with the sale of 8431 Germantown Ave., management fees charged, loss of asset value, etc.

I’m all about transparency and accountability. If that’s detraction, you’re going to have to live with that. Also, if you think that only “half a dozen or so” think this way, you have a real problem with numbers. Why not follow the advice of your predecessor and mentor, W. Keen Butcher, when he recommended per the minutes of the CHCF meeting of the trustees on May 6, 2007, to make a public announcement in the Local of the operating policies and financing limitations of the CHCF in an effort to “regain confidence among our membership that we intend to remedy much-publicized sloppy financial practices of the past.”

Ron Recko
Immediate past president, CHCA



On Saturday, April 4, at the Wissahickon Skating Club, a shining example of generosity, commitment to community and love for our daughter was on display. “The Friends of Reilly Meiers” gathered in support of a beautiful young woman and her family while she recovers from a traumatic brain injury caused by an accidental fall. Our neighbors, Bill and Alba Bear, their wonderful children, spouses and friends, with some great people from our community and Temple University, organized the “Rally for Reilly” that included food and beverages, ice-skating, live music, and raffles for prizes. More than $15,000 was raised. This, and other selfless acts of caring by so many, have been a transforming experience for our family and will not be forgotten. We are immensely grateful to all of you who were present and to those who could not attend but gave to “The Friends of Reilly Meiers” at TD Bank.

Our gratitude is only exceeded by our conviction that Reilly will one day recover to thank you all herself.

Bob and Terry Meiers


Thanks for 10th Pancake Breakfast

The Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill extends its sincerest appreciation and thanks to the   entire community for so generously supporting this year’s Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 25.  Hundreds joined us for a wonderful community affair with lots of great food, sunny weather and neighborly cheer!

Special thanks go to Eden Harvest and John Anderson of Solaris Grille and their wonderful staff for donating their time, energy and beautiful restaurant and patio.  We also appreciate the promotional support that we received from the Chestnut Hill Business Association, with a special nod to Kate O’Neill.  And this year, marking our tenth anniversary, many special guests joined us.

Chuck Marion, a Chestnut Hill Rotary member, entertained the breakfast crowd with his keyboard expertise while everyone — especially the children — loved the special visit from the Cat in the Hat, compliments of Fran O’Donnell and O’Doodles!   And rounding out our special guests, we had the distinct privilege of hosting and thanking the policemen and several of the firemen who provide such outstanding service to our community.  

All funds raised by this event will directly support the Rotary Club’s local community service literacy initiative, providing complimentary dictionaries to all students in third grade classes in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and Germantown, as well as Rotary’s International project, which supports Hope School and Orphanage in Guyana, South America.

We thank everyone who joined us and/or helped make it such a special event!

Rick Dodridge
President, Chestnut Hill
Rotary Club

Crooks everywhere!

The Obama administration needs to be a strong team with competent, trustworthy individuals who can help make policy for a President who has limited national and international experience.

His cabinet officials include Panetta at CIA, who has no experience in the intelligence community, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who numerous times received campaign contributions from Chinese people (possibly with foreign connections) that were noted in newspapers but never fully identified or investigated, who tried to loot the White House of furniture and items that did not belong to her at the end of the Bill Clinton administration, and whose brother received money for getting Bill Clinton to pardon someone at the end of his term.

Attorney General Eric Holder,  was in the middle of the corrupt Marc Rich pardon during that same administration. Marc Rich had evaded taxes and was involved in a fraudulent oil deal with Iran. Treasury Secretary Geithner, who cheated on his taxes and, when caught, paid back only what he owed for years in which he was legally responsible, not the other years where he also made “mistakes.” How slick.

Homeland Security Chief Napolitano has now made several ridiculous statements offending veterans and Canadians. Other possible appointees were discovered to have not paid their taxes and withdrew nominations, leaving a number of posts and departments not fully staffed. Surely there are actually some people in the country who are not corrupt or incompetent to run the country at this critical time.


Nelson Hedges
Chestnut Hill


CH Hospital says it’s prepared for swine flu

Chestnut Hill Hospital Chief of Medicine Dr. John Scanlon told the Local that his staff was prepared for and taking precautions to guard against H1N1, popularly known as the swine flu.

Scanlon said that the hospital’s Web site,, currently carries information about the flu, including steps concerned citizens should take.