July 30, 2009


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DRC reviews plans for new market

Local entrepreneur Jennifer Zoga last week took another step toward building community support for an upscale, gourmet convenience store at 12 W. Willow Grove Ave.

At the July 21 meeting of the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Development Review Committee, Zoga emphasized her commitment to making the Good Food Market a walkable urban grocery store where shoppers can buy healthy prepared meals when they don’t feel like cooking and pick up necessities like bread and milk between trips to the supermarket.

Hill resident manages city’s most historic cemetery

Bill Doran

On a recent weekday morning, I accompanied Bill Doran on a “50-cent tour” of his office.

But Doran’s office is not like any other. The Chestnut Hill resident is the superintendent of Laurel Hill Cemetery, a sprawling 84-acre graveyard (not counting the 187 acres of West Laurel Hill across the Schuylkill, of which Doran is also superintendent. Here, among the dead of Philadelphia’s social register, Doran fights a constant battle against the forces of nature — the constant threat of wind, rain and ice that topple 50 to 60 gravestones a year, according to Doran.

“Most people come and see the stones turned over and they think it’s vandalism,” Doran said as he showed me a large tomb that had actually been pushed off of its base several inches by ice last winter. “But it’s not.  Ninety-nine percent of it is not vandalism. It’s old age and it’s the landscape.”

More than 500 take part in “Run for the Hill of It”

Jenn Dimascio is the first woman to cross the finish line.

Saturday marked the 22nd annual Run for the Hill of It event in Chestnut Hill. The USA Track and Field certified five-mile run benefited The Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, an organization comprised of over 125 volunteer attorneys dedicated to providing free legal and social services to children who are victims of abuse and neglect in Montgomery County.

“[It’s a] great, great event for us,” Mary C. Pugh, administrative director of MCAP, said. “So many people in the community want to help.”

Pugh noted that in order to serve as an advocate for the organization, volunteers must be certified attorneys and trained in child advocacy. The Run for the Hill of It event provides a means for non-attorneys in the community to help abused and neglected children.

This year’s race numbers were up by about 100 participants, with nearly 560 runners and 40 participants in the one-mile walk. Overall winners, male and female, were Tom Haxton, 27, with a time of 25:41 and Lena Edelstein, 22 of Ardmore, with a time of 32:49. Previous course records for the event have been 25:12 (male) and 29:19 (female). Lin-Mark Computer Sports, Inc. provided the electronic timing services at this year’s event.

Sewage leak closes Rep. Youngblood's office

The district office staff for State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood (D-Phila.) got a surprise when entering the constituent service office at 5736 Greene St. July 16. Staff members found the office flooded, which eventually resulted in closing the space indefinitely.

R8 train stations to get makeover

SEPTA officials announced last week that eight stations along the R8 train line would be getting a makeover, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year.

“There will be basic maintenance at stations along the Chestnut Hill West line —nothing that changes the design anywhere on existing facilities,” said SEPTA capital projects manager Warren Williams at the July 23 meeting of the Chestnut Hill Community Association board of directors.