Top stories

Hundreds of Springfield teens turn up for Covid vaccination clinic

More than 575 Springfield Township students age 12 and older were vaccinated against Covid-19 at a free clinic Thursday in partnership with Keystone Hospice.  Keystone’s Shane Kolt, Sr. …

Preventing gun violence in our city—a group effort

There are likely as many unreported efforts to prevent gun violence in our city as there are reported incidents of gun-related crimes.
COVID-19 Weekly update - May 14

COVID restrictions will be lifted June 11

Mask requirement stays, for now. Some restrictions will be relaxed May 21: Density limits for retail, museums and libraries, and restaurants will be allowed to seat people a minimum of three feet apart, rather than six.

From corporate success to helping kids for Mt. Airyite

Marcella Blakney Collins had a high-profile, high-prestige corporate job at Johnson & Johnson for 10 years that took her to countries around the world, but when she was 57 and just about to fly to Amsterdam for a business trip, she put on the brakes.

Woodmere seeks support to add to $3.2 million for St. Michael’s fund

Since only last month, Woodmere has raised $3.2 million from within the community, and a large portion of that requires a match. The Sisters of Saint Joseph, who own the property, have given Woodmere an extension to June 15 to arrive at a purchase agreement.

Visiting destitute village made even worse by Covid

I feel a need to check in and see that we are doing what we say we are doing.

More News
The contested development plans for a 34-unit apartment building next to Pleasant Playground in East Mt. Airy hinge on known pollution at the site and what will eventually be done with it.
Awbury Arboretum has received funding to restore its water gardens in order both to reduce the possibility of potentially fatal flooding along nearby Belfield Avenue and to resuscitate a beloved neighborhood amenity.  
On Easter Sunday, 1996, a community in Southwest Philadelphia was surprised to find itself a destination for a caravan of large dump trucks. “Imagine you're sitting in your living …
The LUPZ meeting May 6 reviewed several agenda items, but no decisions were made, pending input from other groups.
They say that behind every successful man there is a woman. In this story, there is a woman behind every successful cheese.

Crime Report

  The following crime report is for crimes reported in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy for the period between May 3 to May 9. Some dates earlier than the current period took place at that date and …

Chill Local
Food for Thought

On May 13, 1984, the dining room doors opened for the first time at Face to Face in Germantown. The idea was simple: much like a soup kitchen, it would offer hot meals for locals, no questions asked.

I had the funny realization this week that I do not remember what my husband, I and the kids did for Mother’s Day last year.
The food scene is really heating up this spring in Flourtown, with a flurry of activity among new and existing restaurants and take-out.

The bravura biopic, “Selma,” is about more than one man; it’s about a community.


In “A Body of Water,” presented by Allens Lane Theatre in West Mt. Airy and streaming May 14, 15 and 16, we meet Moss and Avis, an attractive, middle-aged couple who wake up in bed …

Three local artists have an exhibit of their work that will take place May 21 to 23 at the Cellini Showroom in Ambler, and is quite unusual for two reasons.
Chestnut Hill author Doug Wechsler's 24th book, “The Cicadas Are Coming,” will be released in May in time for the big emergence of the 17-year periodical cicada.
Worth Reading
One of the pleasures of doing this column comes when readers send book suggestions.

25-year publishing dream comes true for Hill sisters

Twenty-five years ago sisters Abby Pete and Leslie Pontz hired an agent to find a publisher for a proposal they had for a children's book of theirs that would be called “Harvey the Hippo.”


St. Paul’s Anglican Choral Evensong returns

St. Paul’s Church resumes in-person celebration of Choral Evensong, Rite I. And Tempesta di Mare continued its series of “Artist Recitals” with a “virtual” performance featuring its resident harpsichordist, Adam Pearl.

Homes & Home

On mothers, daughters and houseplants

The Clivia plant that my wife, Valerie, is inspecting in the photo is at least fifty years old; it was her mother’s.

Plant an Earth Day tree

Earth Day returns on Thursday, April 22, 2021, the 51st anniversary of the seminal event that changed the world by giving birth to the modern environmental movement. Please plant a tree for Earth Day—any time in and around April 22 works.


When designers are given ‘carte blanche’ over a project

Normally this space is reserved to talk about design trends, styles, colors and architectural elements. These are the foundations of design. Rarely is it discussed exactly how those design projects evolve to completion.

Country styles are a comforting design staple

With so much changing in our world right now, we have been consumed with talking about and predicting what trends in design will result from the drastic changes in the ways we live and work.
Real estate
An architect’s rendering shows what the entryway to 7111 Germantown Avenue, a new condo development, will look like once complete. By Pete Mazzaccaro Local developer Ken Weinstein has made a …
Alex Aberle and Violette Levy stand in front of their 16-room, 6,724-square-foot structure with 12-foot-high ceilings, revitalizing one of Mt. Airy’s most historic homes into an airy modern …
Mimi represents this property at 28 West Abington, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, brick twin that was the home of one family for over 50 years. Asking price is $349,900. By Stacia Friedman Magnolia, …

PC girls lacrosse holds on against fired-up SCH squad

In a league that features a double-round of head-to-head contests, a team always has a chance for redemption if it didn't fare well against a given opponent the first time out. In girls' lacrosse …

Mount softball finds Pandas not so cuddly

The Mount Magic had beautiful spring weather for last Thursday's home field softball game. The game itself turned out to be not so enjoyable, starting with a four-run spree at the top of the first …

As they took the field on a cool, cloudy afternoon, Thursday, May 6, the SCH Blue Devils baseball team and  Germantown Academy (GA) Patriots were on opposite sides of the spectrum when it came …

On an April afternoon when the temperature reached the mid-80's at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy's softball field, visiting Lawrenceville School seemed to be on fire as well. Belting two home runs …
A few minutes into last Tuesday's Inter-Ac lacrosse contest at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, the visiting Malvern Prep Friars held a modest 3-1 lead over the host Blue Devils. SCH would not score …

Germantown Friends School has been celebrating their demisemiseptcentennial anniversary all school year with exciting virtual events showcasing alumni talents.

In a year with little allowance for an outside speaker to come into the classroom, Schuyler Bailar joined Upper School advisories via Zoom to recount his story about coming to understand his gender identity and subsequently becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team.

The smell of mulch is in the air and sprung has spring in Chestnut Hill! On Saturday, April 10, the community came together to help with the Jenks Playground cleanup, which was part of the city-wide Philly Spring Cleanup day.

At the 2021 George Washington Carver Science Fair, Jenks students Eleanor Palmer, Clarissa Lanzas, and Sofia Bartoli-Wright (8th grade) earned the honor of 1st Place for their project.

Powerful things can happen when you combine Quaker testimonies with computer science. The 2021 Germantown Friends School Quackathon (the GFS version of a Hackathon) proved just that.

William Penn Charter School has earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science Principles.
Anthony Kroch, linguistics professor
Anthony (Tony) Kroch, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, died of cancer at the age of 75 on April 27 in his home in Mt. AIry. He was attended by his wife, family and …
George O. Herold
George O. Herold of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully at home, in the company of his beloved wife Cara, on April 16, 2021.  George, who was 92, had been battling a series of …
Clarence A. “Otto” McGowan, Jr., 85
Clarence Aloysius McGowan, Jr., 85 of Chestnut Hill, died on Tuesday April 6, 2021 due to complications from metastatic melanoma. The eldest of a sister and three brothers, Mr. McGowan was born to …
Mary Anne McNelis Myer
“Polly” Myer, 93, of Chestnut Hill, died at home surrounded by family on April 22. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, class of ‘48, and Mount St. Joseph Academy …
Kevin Thomas Flatow
Kevin Thomas Flatow, of Westport and Norwalk CT, died unexpectedly at home on March 25, 2021. He was 47 years old.  Kevin grew up in Chestnut Hill and moved to Westport, CT at 14. …
Opinion & letters
Enemies of reading

Henri Matisse, a dollar, a postcard, and a custody trail

I drove home thinking how wonderful it was to own a card once held by the immortal Henri Matisse – one on which he had warmly inscribed thanks to a person who had contributed, even in such a humble way, to making his dream come true. I vowed to always cherish it.


Important questions for voters on May 18

Under a much more quiet set of circumstances than last November, local voters again are heading to the polls to vote in a primary election. So-called “off-year” elections, in which …

The new normal

With Mother’s Day around the corner and spring in full, floral bloom (sorry, allergies) the feeling of promise is palpable. And this year, the sense of renewal spring typically ushers in is …

New season memories: Baseball not great fun for all kids

In the Philadelphia suburbs of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, before the internet and mobile video and asking your child’s opinion, longer daylight hours just meant you wouldn’t see your kids for longer periods of time.
Thank you to our Community for helping us recycle over eight tons of electronics and 550 pounds of batteries on April 24. Thank you to the Sisters of St. Joseph Earth Center at Chestnut Hill College who made it possible by hosting our event. 
I was glad to see Len Lear’s article highlighting Mikel Elam, a local artist and manager of the Artist’s and Craftsman’s art supply store.
I'm writing as an animal lover and long time adopter of homeless animals to inform like minded people that the homeless dogs and cats of Philadelphia are in danger because ACCT Philly, the only shelter funded by the city of Philadelphia, is in crisis.
About Chestnut Hill
Discovering Chestnut Hill: Nurses Week
Did you know that May 6 is both National Nurses Day and the first day of National Nurses Week? This “Week” ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Covid collecting for the Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Scenes that typified Chestnut Hill during the early days of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 are already fading from our daily experience: next-to-no cars on Germantown Avenue, closed stores, Xs …
Discovering Chestnut Hill: The Wissahickon Garden Club
Normally, the first week of March brings us a reminder that spring is just around the corner, with the arrival of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania …
Together with our community champions: Looking back at 2020 for the Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Because of your support, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy has been able to sustain our stewardship of the history, architecture, and open space we treasure.
Discovering Chestnut Hill: Women’s Equality Day observed
This photograph from the Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Archives appears to show women heading to the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession held in Washington, D.C., in protest of the lack of voting rights …