March 11, 2010

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Borders thoughts

Great, though sad, article on the “Borders Effect.” I’ve heard suggestions that a Barnes and Noble would be a welcome addition to the Hill. Has that been considered? They are always bustling and the current location is ready for a bookstore move-in. Minimal renovations would be needed.

Anne Tanner

Only 9

I am sure that I am not alone on this, but I think that the community should replace Borders with a movie theater. If you decide to put this letter in the newspaper, maybe some people who agree will be able to do something. I am only nine.

Timothy Moxey
Chestnut Hill


Taken to the cleaners

When the Board of Directors of the Chestnut Hill Community Association voted to fund $10,000 toward Midge McCauley’s fee of $75,000 – a fee to recruit and train someone to fill the more than two dozen empty commercial properties in Chestnut Hill – I felt that they were being taken to the cleaners.

To pay someone this amount of money for another study seemed like a total waste, especially since anyone with half a brain should understand what the problem is. Now guess what the first of these empty storefronts will be housing very shortly – another cleaners.

It will be the eighth cleaners in Chestnut Hill. That’s right – ten banks and eight cleaners. This wonderful addition to the mix will be occupying the old Mango site at 8862 Germantown Ave.

I suppose it’s better than an empty storefront and at least it is getting the cleaners closer in number to the banks (the departure of BNY-Mellon on April 15 will now make the scorecard read: Banks, 9 – Cleaners, 8).

I’m conflicted – do I root for the banks or the cleaners, especially since the bank leaving happens to be my bank. Good luck Midge – for $75,000 I know you can do better.

Ron Recko
Past President CHA

Helping hands

As happens so often people in Chestnut Hill band together to help wherever needed.

Currently the Chestnut Hill Rotary, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, John Story Jenks Public School, Chestnut Hill Academy, and Seane Baylor’s Scout Troup #221 have been working together to raise funds to support the Shelter Box, an International Rotary initiative that has for 10 years worked as first responders to international disasters.

One thing you can always count on in Chestnut Hill is that so many terrific people from all segments of the community jump in to help. It’s one way we get to know each other in our community while we help those in need. At the same time we all benefit.

Springfield, Conshohocken, and Blue Bell Rotary Clubs also participated in the Shelter Box effort led by Bill Decker, Northeast Regional Director of Shelter Box. Learn more at It’s a very successful first response program for crises throughout the world.

Marie Lachat
Chestnut Hill


A concern about the deer

Deer culling in the Wissahickon has been going on, year after year, for over 12 years now.

I’ve been very concerned that the Fairmount Park Commission has continued to ignore suggestions about more humane and effective ways to decrease the deer population in the park, and, like many other Chestnut Hill residents, I feel its time for us to work together toward finding new and more humane ways to coexist with the animals in our neighborhood.

I have just begun working with Friends of Animals (FOA), a national organization with a great deal of expertise around these issues. FOA was recently very helpful in stopping the culling of deer in both Valley Forge and Lower Merion, and is now interested in working with a new group in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown on this important issue.

Please consider getting involved: with so many interesting people in our community to contribute to this venture, I’m sure we can move forward. Please contact me at if you would like to discuss the issues, meet like-minded neighbors, and make sure that next winter there will not be a deer cull in the Wissahickon.

Mary Ann Baron
Chestnut Hill


Thanks to Bowman

I am writing this letter to express my deepest thanks for the generosity displayed by Mr. Richard Snowden and the Bowman Properties.

The community is well aware, with the recent snowfall, parking for teachers and staff at J.S. Jenks Elementary School was limited. The staff and teachers need parking on a daily basis and we currently do not have a parking lot to accommodate this necessity.

Usually, teachers and staff park along the streets in the neighborhoods around the school. However, due to the severity of the snow accumulation this was not an option. Many of the teachers and staff had to find parking along the snow piled streets and had to park great distances from the school.

The limited parking made it very difficult for teachers and staff members to arrive at school on time. Mr. Snowden, along with other members of the business community, gathered to resolve this problem. Mr. Snowden generously offered the solution. At his own expense, he plowed the Magarity lot and opened it to all staff at the Jenks Elementary School.

We very much appreciate Mr. Snowden’s willingness to provide spaces for parking. The teachers and staff devote a great deal of effort in teaching our students about character development and the idea of being a community. Through providing parking, Mr. Snowden has given our students an excellent model of citizenship.

On behalf of the teachers and staff of the Jenks School, I would again like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Mr. Snowden and Bowman Properties for their commitm- ent to education.

Mary Lynskey
School Principal, J.S. Jenks
Elementary School


‘Appalled’ over upcoming talk

As a licensed Pennsylvania Wildlife Rehabilitator, I am appalled by the Wissahickon Horse-lovers Organization for Adults (WHOA) upcoming presentation March 21 at the Northwestern Stables in Chestnut Hill about “humane” fox hunting. That is truly an oxymoron.

There is nothing humane about having a pack of trained dogs chase a wild animal that is terrified of dogs in the first place, and forcing the poor animal to run for extended distances. The argument is often that “U.S. fox hunters do not kill the fox, like they did before fox hunting was banned in the UK in 2004.”

Well, unfortunately, the fox has no way of knowing that. He is running for his life. And the truth is that the hunters and their dogs may not directly kill the fox by shooting him or having the dogs tear him apart, but in many cases, the fox IS killed-either by being chased so far from his home territory, or by being injured trying to escape, or by depleting all of his fat resources.

You may have noticed that foxes are not rotund animals with lots of available fat to burn off by running. It is even worse when that fox is a nursing mother with a den full of hungry kits that she is trying to feed and protect.

I treat sick or injured adult foxes as well as raise orphaned fox kits. Foxes are intelligent animals with strong family bonds. Although they can be seen in fields and neighborhoods, they are extremely wary of humans and will always avoid dogs of any size. To have any animal tormented by a group of humans, horses and dogs is cruel. Would the hunters feel any differently if it were their family cat or skittish dog being pursued?

Fox hunting is an elitist and barbaric blood sport. It is a shameful tradition that should be outlawed in our “civilized” society.

Deb Welter

Licensed Pennsylvania Wildlife Rehabilitator



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