January 14, 2010


This Week
Crime Report


This Week's Issue
Previous Issues
Issues Before 2009

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



Whither Borders?

Some have come to realize that the Borders problem is not just sagging sales but also rising rents.

Did it ever occur to someone to subdivide the Borders property into a bookstore and possibly a movie theater? If Borders were not willing or able to downsize perhaps Barnes and Noble could be approached. It has other stores locally, in Bryn Mawr and at Drexel University, which have a smaller format than the Plymouth Meeting one.

Not everyone buys books over the Internet, for lots of different reasons. Even those who are able to do so, benefit from having shopped at Borders first where they may browse more than they buy, but they do buy something. And how can the educational process that occurs be quantified?

Part of the problem, anyway, is a crisis in reading, people unfortunately not reading as much. Then there are the periodicals. Many today choose not to subscribe for financial reasons or lack of time to keep up. But if a particular issue is needed, Borders (as does Barnes and Noble) has a fairly good selection available.

Mary Hansbury, Ph.D.
Chestnut Hill


Proud of Hospital

On Jan. 3, my brother Beal McIlvain, a senior research biologist at Wyeth, was admitted to Chestnut Hill Hospital’s ICU with meningitis. Early in the morning of Jan. 4, his heart stopped and for over an hour the ICU team worked, successfully, to restore his heartbeat and blood pressure. He was non-responsive and not breathing so he was put on a ventilator.

By Monday afternoon, when his nurse, intern and Dr. Kenneth Patrick, head of critical care, met with his wife Linda Gammon, daughter of Audrey Gammon, Linda’s two children and three of his six siblings, they had identified the infection as a strep infection that had progressed to the meninges from his sinuses and become septic.

Late Monday night they were unable to stabilize his temperature which reached 105. Tuesday afternoon, when we met again with Dr. Patrick and his staff, they were concerned that the area of his brain controlling his temperature was damaged. They planned to do a CAT scan next morning.

When we met with them on Wednesday, they told us that although the infection was under control, the CAT scan showed a massive hemorrhage, which caused irreversible brain damage. That evening, in spite of all support, my brother died.

If I were in need of critical care, I would want to be at Chestnut Hill Hospital and have Dr. Patrick, Dr. Henry, Anita, Anne and all the other wonderful people around me, caring for me in the professional and humane way they cared for my brother. I would want the same respect and kindness shown to my family and friends that they showed to my brother’s. I am so glad and grateful that I live in a community that sponsors such a place. We can all be proud of the ICU and its staff.

Taddy Dawson


Not so proud

As a health advocates group for northwest Philadelphia, we were happy to read, in the last issue of the Local, that a patient had a good experience at Chestnut Hill Hospital.  Unfortunately, Mr. Gupta’s good experience was not duplicated for many other patients.

Since the article regarding the issues with Chestnut Hill Hospital appeared in the Dec. 24 issue, our group has received numerous complaints.  They range from long wait times and lack of competent care in the ER, to patients who were under-medicated, over-medicated or not medicated at all.  Many patients expressed concern about the lack of communication between the hospital doctors and their primary care doctors or their specialists.

We are encouraging everyone to document their complaints to us or to write to the Local.  In either case, we are investigating every complaint and will try to work with Chestnut Hill Hospital to rectify these issues.  We are planning to contact Dr. John Scanlon, chief medical officer, to review these complaints and, hopefully, to improve the care provided by the hospital.

Our main concern is to bring problems with Chestnut Hill Hospital to the attention of the community so that everyone receives the quality of care they deserve.  Anyone with information regarding their experience with the hospital who would like to share it with us should call Sandy Thomas at 215-205-5538 or Phyllis Levitt at 215-248-1033.

Sandy Thomas
Phyllis Levitt
Chestnut Hill


Zoo elephants deserve better

People are being misled by the Philadelphia Zoo and its plan to allegedly do what is best for the elephants. The local media have been reporting that “the zoo is ready to move last two elephants to a conservation area.”

The conservation center in Pittsburgh is not the best outcome for Kallie and Bette. I was given a personal tour of the property by Barbara Baker, Pittsburgh Zoo president, and she explained the plans to breed African dogs, zebras, rhinos and elephants. This conservation center will be a breeding mill for African animals: exotic animals bred in barns and then shipped to zoos across America, where they will live an unnatural life on display.

Our city tax dollars support the Philadelphia Zoo, and our state tax dollars contribute to the Pittsburgh breeding facility. People need to know of the zoo’s intentions, seriously question its motives and hold it accountable for its actions. The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California has offered to take Kallie and Bette at no charge. There they would be free to roam hundreds of acres of land. That is the best outcome for our elephants.

Gigi Glendinning


Column by Janet Gilmore is ‘sublime ridiculosity’

Janet Gilmore’s column about (philosopher Ludwig) Wittgenstein had me guffawing with glee! Thank you. Reading your description of loving parties where “Spinoza” and “Leibniz” were spoken reminded me of the outrageously wonderful scene in “A Fish Called Wanda” where Jamie Curtis’ character is dramatically turned on by John Cleese’s character speaking any words in a foreign language! Have you seen it? Sublime ridiculousness. Ridiculosity?

I’ve been enjoying Janet’s columns, as well as Hugh’s, for a long time, and thought it was time to tell you how much I love the chuckles. And the idea of the “permanent record!”

Janet Mather
Chestnut Hill


CHCA to sponsor college talks

A group of interested parties in Chestnut Hill will begin a conversation in early February with Chestnut Hill College about the College’s extensive and important proposals concerning development of both sites including the Sugar Loaf site. The group will meet under the auspices of the Chestnut Hill Community Association.

The Group on behalf of the community is Chaired by Lawrence D. McEwen, Co-Chair of the CHCA Design Review Committee and a practicing architect.  Members on behalf of the community are Frank Niepold, Chair of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, a cultural and architectural interest group; Maura McCarthy, Executive Director of the Friends of the Wissahickon, an environmental interest group;  Richard W. Snowden, on behalf of the Chestnut Hill Business Association, a major investor and developer in Chestnut Hill, and a north Chestnut Hill resident; James Kise, a Philadelphia planner and developer who has developed historic properties in accord with the Wissahickon Watershed Ordinance and is representative for the interests of the Houston Family who created one of the two deed restrictions which exist on the Sugar Loaf site; George Thomas, Vice President of the Northwest Wissahickon Conservancy, an organization formed by the near neighbors of Sugar Loaf committed to the rational development of that Sugar Loaf site, and a cultural and architectural historian widely experienced in real estate development; and Joyce Lenhardt, a member and leader for many years of the CHCA Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee, and a practicing architect.

The Group on behalf of the College will be led by President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., and will consist of the architects, other design professionals, respective College Vice Presidents, and other representatives whom President Vale will be designating.

Preparatory to the commencement of those conversations, the two respective parties have been conducting extensive preparations and conversations among themselves.

 Both the community and the College have agreed at least in the early stages to retain the services as facilitator of the Hon. Abraham Gafni, retired, a universally respected jurist and mediator/facilitator, associated with ADR Options.  Both the community and the College are submitting preliminary memoranda to Judge Gafni who will as he sees fit then meet separately with both even before those conversations begin.

All are committed to conducting those conversations in a thoroughly positive manner.

It is to be anticipated that those conversations will continue rather frequently over a period of a number of months likely continuing into the spring and beyond.

 All are committed to the proposition that no statements for publication or dissemination will issue except as from CHCA President Walter J. Sullivan and/or Chestnut Hill College President Vale. 

Walter J. Sullivan
CHCA President




click here to see our ad