June 11, 2009


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The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
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2009© Chestnut Hill Local
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Delighted but concerned about Good Market plans

I just wanted to write and thank you for once again providing this community with the kind of reporting that fosters open and honest communication on issues affecting all those who live, work or otherwise find themselves woven into the fabric of this truly unique corner of Philadelphia. [“Delivery, curb service featured in new gourmet market plans,” June 4].

Just as those of us living adjacent to the old Grove Storage building began to notice increased activity within the relatively dormant space, activity which piqued our curiosity to the point of excessive snooping and speculation, your detailed article on Jennifer Zoga’s proposed business venture appeared — just in time to provide much needed facts to a neighborhood beginning to boil with mostly ill-informed hopes, fears and, well, gossip.

I’m excited and encouraged to hear during these challenging times that a local mother is willing to put in the time and energy to build something meaningful for our community, assume some risk and take a step forward when so many others are pulling back and sitting this round out. As a citizen I’m really quite proud of Ms. Zoga, and I wish her every success.

As a neighbor, however, I’ll admit that I’m still a bit worried. Grove Storage may have been empty, but it was quiet. Where will her customers park? (There is no lot and limited residential parking on Willow grove as it is.) How early/late will she take deliveries?

(We’re just getting over the Germantown Avenue detour, which brought us “5 a.m. motorcycle guy,” revving his bike loud enough to trigger car alarms and rouse considerable angst.)

How will you ensure the quality of life for residents in the immediate vicinity, some of whom have been here for more than 50+years? Will it be improved by your endeavor and not sacrificed in favor of those who just “drive by” for a quick pick up? (The gentlemen at Roanoke Garage are true pros at this.)

I’m really looking forward to learning more about what Ms. Zoga hopes to build, and I encourage her to personally engage her future neighbors sooner rather then later, that she might elicit their support rather than simply end up reacting to their criticisms. I’m looking forward to celebrating a successful, independent, local business, and I thank you, Pete, for giving this community the information it needs to engage in constructive, timely, open-minded debate.  

Michael Kolodner
Chestnut Hill


Pollution data questioned

Joanne Dahme objects  to the truth about fecal pollution in the Monoshone Creek [“The Water Department Responds,” June 4].

Let me clarify two key points:

Between 1995 and 2005, the city concealed the problems of its failing sanitary sewers behind a bogus defective laterals program that generated lots of numbers but never any measurable reduction in fecal bacteria leverls in the Monoshone Creek.

During these 10 yesrs, the city, measured fecal levels each and every month and reported all of these numbers to the state on a quarterly basis. Since 2005 the city has continued to check the Monoshone monthly but because of a legal loophole has gotten away with reporting only one of these three fecal numbers each quarter. It is fair, I think, to call one out of three “cherry picking.”

Dahme nimbly dodges the simple truth that human wastewater is leaking and spilling continuously into the Monoshone Creek from the city’s ruinous sanitary sewers by suggesting – somewhat menacingly – that fecal pollution in the Monoshone Creek and in other polluted streams throughout the city is somehow caused by rain and irresponsible property owners. That is not true. Not even close.

If you have any questions about the Monoshone or any of the City’s many other recreational streams, or about Mayor Nutter’s tax on water and his gross misuse of water revenue, please do no hesitate to contact me at 215-843-0749

Charles Parsons,President
Philadelphia Watershed Alliance


Support needed for clean energy

I was pleased to read in the Local about “Greenworks Philadelphia,” [commentary by Mark Ueland, June 4] [the pathway to making the city sustainable. I like that the plan includes targets for changing both government and private behaviors.

 One target of the plan is to purchase 20 percent of electricity used in the city from alternative sources. The church where I am a member, Chestnut Hill United Methodist, has been buying 100 percent wind power since 2002.

Although we pay a bit more each month, we see our purchase of clean energy as part of the good works we’re called to do by our faith. Clean energy helps lessen air and water pollution. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that wind-powered electricity helps rein in global warming. More than half of PECO’s electricity is generated by the burning of coal, which belches huge amounts of heat-trapping emissions into the air.

It’s time to move this country to a clean-energy future. Philadelphia is doing its part. Many congregations, businesses, and households are doing their part. Now it’s time for Congress to do its part and pass a strong, mandatory renewable energy standard.

Let’s leave a stable, livable climate for our children.

Joy Bergey


Opposed to state park cuts

The Friends of the Wissahickon join with the Friends of Fort Washington State Park in opposing the budget proposal in Pa. Senate Bill 850 to close up to 35 of our State Parks.

We recognize the need for our legislators to find cost-cutting measures to balance the state’s budget, but closing state parks is not the answer—not at a time when more and more people use our parks for recreation, fresh air, and exercise; when this economy is forcing more people to forgo vacations and stay close to home; when park volunteer groups are putting in hundreds of hours to keep our parks in good condition. It is time to increase, rather than decrease, park funding.

Fort Washington State Park, just across the City line, is a jewel of a park that is well-run by a very dedicated staff who work closely with their Friends group to steward the land and protect their stretch of the Wissahickon Watershed.

In addition, a recognized Hawk Watch program attracts hundreds of visitors from far and wide, contributes valuable data to a national hawk migration organization, and provides environmental experience for local school groups.

The Friends of the Wissahickon ask park users and all other concerned citizens to voice their opposition to this proposal in Pa. Senate Bill 850 to their state representatives.

Maura McCarthy
Executive Director