October 14, 2010

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Festival thanks

We would like to thank the new CHCA membership committee and other members of the board – Gerald Tracy, Mike Chomentowski, Bob Rossman, Marissa Morris and Tolis Vardakis, Mark Keintz and AnnMarie Arment – for coming out for the Fall for the Arts Festival this past Sunday.

A lot of conversations were sparked when they went to the street with a newly formed survey asking CHCA members and non-members their feelings about and knowledge of the organization and its work in the community as well as the Chestnut Hill Local. There was a lot of great input, some new members and renewals – all made for a good day.

Jane M. Piotrowski
CHCA membership co-chair
Jay Valinis
CHCA membership co-chair

Thanks to teens

We have a treasure in our midst, and it’s called Teenagers, Inc.

Most of us are familiar with the Halloween Ghost Walks they have led for a number of years, and we have been reading about Teens Inc. recent summer mission trips to Guatemala, as well as occasional just-for-fun adventures these young people enjoy throughout the year.

Some of you may know they have a peer homework-help system in place at their Bethlehem Pike “home base.” And each year they put on a very special “Taste of Chestnut Hill,” which serves as a fundraiser for the organization as well as a special occasion to bring neighbors and restaurateurs together. But how many of you know that this wonderful cross-section of teenagers quietly goes about serving the community in other ways too?

Here at the Center for Enrichment, for instance, we could not successfully ready ourselves for a fall flea market without the help of six extra pairs of hands and strong backs (Milan and Roy Chambers, John Evans, Eric Samuels, Ryan Conway and her friend Jennifer) to pack up and move dozens of boxes of bric-a-brac. Nor could we have had such a successful Art Show opening reception without the teens (Rachel and Eric) to help check in guests and pass the hors d’oeuvres.

So thanks to Marianne Dwyer for answering our calls for help, and to those great kids who show up, always so polite and hard-working and cheerful.

Mary Zell, Executive Director
Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment

Iran can’t catch a break

I don’t think there has been a day gone by in the past year or more that there hasn’t been a negative commentary by a government official or commentator in the media about the country of Iran.

To wit.

“Iran’s nuclear program rounding third and heading for home;”

“Iran a threat to world peace;”

“Be afraid of a nuclear Iran;”

“Iran a threat to Israel.”

Reminds me of the ‘60s when the nation was being conditioned by similar headlines, only then it was North Vietnam that was the threat. And juniors and seniors in high school couldn’t wait to graduate so they could “join up” and serve.

More than  56,000 U.S. citizens died serving in Vietnam. Serving what? As far I know, there is only one nuclear power in the Middle East. And there is only one country continually violating UN resolutions. That same country occupies and oppresses another people. That nation is the U.S. proxy in the region: Israel.

Isn’t it telling that when the Shah of Iran was brutally running that country, violating Iranian human rights left and right, he wasn’t an issue. But as soon as the Shah was, thankfully, deposed by his people in 1979, and a new leadership arose to challenge U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, human rights and Iran “a threat to world peace” became issues.

Wake up, America! The military/industrial complex is still dumping on us. And Washington is there to do its bidding.

Lawrence Geller



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