June 24, 2010

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The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
Ph: 215-248-8800
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2009© Chestnut Hill Local
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For CHCA, words don’t match actions

The president of the CHCA continues to pontificate that his organization is grassroots (“Regarding the proposed Fresenius dialysis center,” June 17) and represents the residents of Chestnut Hill. The evidence shows otherwise.

This was again demonstrated by the actions of the CHCA president and his board to gain approval for the Fresenius dialysis center variance request. Again reasonable near neighbors who did not irrationally oppose the granting of a variance but rather requested minimal restrictions in order to maintain their quality of life, were not supported by the CHCA.

Time and again this organization has sided with special interests against near neighbors. If you don’t live in the immediate area and are not impacted by a commercial and or institutional development you may not care. But eventually your neighborhood may become ripe for a development that impacts upon your quality of life.

Who then can you turn to for support? Don’t count on the CHCA. They demean community interests in support of business and institutional interests. They protest that near neighbors oppose development that will be good for the “community” and allow for improvement in physical eyesores, yet they continue to look the other way when properties on Germantown Avenue owned by members of their board remain dilapidated and unoccupied for years.

The ZBA has shown more concern for near neighbors than your so-called community association.

If you want a voice in how your neighborhood gets developed join the Chestnut Hill Residents Association.

P.S. Your ox may not be gored now but it will eventually.

Joseph A. Pizzano
Chestnut Hill


Jesse Biddle and the spirit of Mt. Airy

Congratulations to Jesse Biddle for being drafted and signed by the Phillies.

Also congratulations to Mt. Airy baseball for its part in the training and channeling of Jesse’s talent.

The people of Mt. Airy deserve congratulations for coming out to wish this young talent good luck and success in his baseball career. Thank you Mt. Airy.

As a baseball aficionado, I wish to add my thanks to all of the people who made this event real and heartwarming. Furthermore, I wish to express my special thanks to the person(s) who saw this older man in line for autographs, and used their influence to move me to the head of the line. Whoever you are, I am extremely grateful for your interceding. I do not believe I could have made it without your assistance.

Again, thank you all for your kindness and your spirit of neighborhood.

John M. Dallam
Mt. Airy


Jules story ‘a comfort’

I was profoundly touched by Jules Csatry’s memorial, written by Rich McIlhenny.  I too had encounters with Jules and often wondered why this nice man ended up homeless, walking the streets of Chestnut Hill.  You can only imagine, but never really know.   I would sometimes see Jules sitting outside Wawa on Highland Avenue.  I would smile and nod and he would smile and nod back.  

In this week’s Chesnut Hill Local, I was saddened by Andrew Whelan’s remarks (“Jules Story lacked important details,” letters, June 17) that the Local should have assigned the story to a staff writer.  Would it have been such a beautiful memorial if a staff writer tore it apart, like Mr. Whelan suggested, by including research on drug-induced psychosis, schizophrenia, demographics, family dynamics and LSD?I don’t think so.  This was the story of Jules, an artist, whose life changed in the blink of an eye.  

The picture of Jules’ home that Mr. McIlhenny included in the article was a comfort.  It helped to know that Jules was not homeless.  He had food, a home that was safe, a mother that loved him and a community that cared. In a sense, I would like to think, that Jules was lucky.  

Kim Schlicher
Mt. Airy


Brought to tears

I just read the article on Jules Csatry (June 10 issue). Wow! I have tears in my eyes. I am sure anyone who read it was equally touched. How cathartic for the mom to have her son’s story told! My definition of success is simple: “The world is a better place because you were here.” What a contribution Rich McIlhenny has made to so many by way of this article. Unfortunately, you may never fully know the impact of your writing.

Linda Leever


A remarkable human being

I appreciate your kindness and sensitivity to Jules Csatry’s mother and legacy. I didn’t know his story, but like many on the Hill, I wondered. My wife, Peggy, has a small store on the avenue, Mango, and I work for Prudential Fox Roach on Evergreen. Unlike Laddie and a few others we have interacted with, Jules was someone with whom we couldn’t establish a connection or even make eye contact with whenever we saw him come by.

Thank you for all you have done, and please let his mother know we appreciate all she did and suffered, both as a mother caring as best she could for her son and as a person who suffered the loss of the world and family she knew long ago. Life isn’t fair, but this good woman certainly had more than anyone’s share of setbacks. She is a remarkable human being.

Tom Garvey
Chestnut Hill



I would like to thank Paula Riley for her very kind article about me and my work at The Little Treehouse on Gravers Lane in Chestnut Hill. I was also pleased to see Paula mention the Center for Parenting Education, in Abington.  Both organizations are committed to parents and young children and it is terrific to see their work recognized.

While Paula’s article was very flattering, it is the work of my co-manager, Beth Miranda, in addition to our wonderful staff, that deserve the credit for the success of the Treehouse.  Beth brings experience, enthusiasm and unflagging energy to a very dynamic workplace.  She has been instrumental in executing each step of our evolution as we have grown. 

I am very lucky to work with her and grateful to Rachael Williams for giving Beth and me free reinto get the business on its feet.

I hope the community continues to enjoy The Little Treehouse. If you haven’t yet,  stop in anytime to see what makes it so special.

Therese Tiger
Chestnut Hill


Exchange students

Seven deeply changed teenagers from overseas have just completed a year studying at area high schools and living with American families. 

Accompanied by many tears, they have departed for their home countries with fond memories, amazing impressions of new experiences and friendships that will endure their whole lives. 

The host families they have left behind have been much changed by sharing their homes and their hearts.  They have all gained understanding, acquired knowledge and developed skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world

Until families have had the experience of hosting an international exchange student, they cannot imagine how rewarding it is to bring the world into their own home and to experience the bond being created between a host family and a teenager from another part of the world. 

In my teens, I began a lifelong love of travel through participation in a foreign exchange program.  I’ve learned that the world can be made better through cultural exchange. I have hosted students from France, the Czech Republic, Thailand, and China, and we have used globes and Google Earth to see where our new family member lives and to compare the relative sizes of our countries. 

We have learned about different cultures as well as different values and traditions, deepened our knowledge of language (ours and theirs), tried unfamiliar foods and so much more. 

I urge everyone to consider volunteering to give a young international student the opportunity to discover America through another’s eyes.  CIEE accepts all kinds of host families — kids, no kids, empty nesters, single parents, and so on. 

Families interested in hosting can find out more at http://usahs.cieeorg/HighSchool/login.aspx .   I would be happy to help anyone who might be interested in hosting an exchange student; I can be contacted at

Sheila Buckley
Chestnut Hill




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