Top stories

Woodward Community Center: Aging gracefully or falling apart noticeably?

A fundraiser is now on for desperately needed renovations and repairs of the Chestnut Hill Community Center, 8419 Germantown Avenue. This historically certified building has a long and rich history …

Mount Airy Learning Tree suspends classes due to Covid

Since 1981, Mount Airy Learning Tree (MALT) has used the “neighbors teaching neighbors” approach to tie the Mt. Airy community together.  Since most of this involves offline, hands-on experiences, they have decided to pause all programs until Fall 2021.
Community

Planting trees: Good for the planet, good for you

Overwhelmed by climate change and not sure what you can do? Planting trees is a small, simple way to help the planet.

The little café on Forbidden Drive is a family affair

If you’ve walked in the Wissahickon Woods lately, you probably noticed a change at Cedars House, the historic property on Forbidden Drive at 200 W. Northwestern Ave. Since last May, the …

More News
While the continued impact of Covid-19 has made headlines – both for its unchecked spread and the businesses forced to close in its wake – many are finding the now nine-month-old pandemic …
As COVID-19 cases surge, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley braces residents for possibly the most dangerous period of the pandemic while expressing hope for a vaccine arrival by the end of the …
Business
Walter Lapidus learned about Bahia Bowls Açaí Cafe on vacation to Nashville and New Orleans. Its "fast casual" healthy dining stores offer an assortment of all-natural “Superfruit” bowls, Smoothies and other specialty products.
Crime

Crime Report: $20 taken from Hill home break-in and an armed robbery in Mt. Airy

The following crime report is for crimes reported in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29. Chestnut Hill  Nov. 23 Burglary on 100 block of W. Mermaid Lane. Security camera …

Chill Local
Food for Thought

So you sprung for the 20-pound turkey because you couldn’t find a smaller one. Better yet, you earned a free turkey at your local grocery store, and you happily loaded that 25-pound prize into …

For the past eight months, I have delved into the world of DIY in ways I never thought possible. I used to think DIY meant spending five hours putting together a maddening Ikea product. But since …
Flix

Each week, veteran film critic Bill Wine will look back at an important film that is worth watching, either for the first time or again. Quiet tastefulness. Low-keyed sensitivity. Dry wit. Elegant …

Arts

The Academy of Vocal Arts continued its virtual season with its most hopeful program of the year: the New Artists Recital. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s most recent series of virtual concerts featured three scores focusing on woodwinds.

Ever wonder why the town just north of Chestnut Hill is named Lafayette Hill?
Not too many local musicians have memories of playing with two legendary American innovators and composers whose music is still performed all over the world, but Ron Lipscomb, 77, who previously …
Liz Kinder, 50, a Mt. Airy resident for six years, opened her pottery studio at 7111 Emlen St. in West Mt. Airy just as the pandemic hit in March. “I had a new kiln to explore,” she told …
Worth Reading
John Steinbeck, a native Californian, went to Stanford University hoping to find someone who'd teach him to write. He didn't. What he found, according to William Souder’s new biography of the …
BOOKS

New Hill children's author has ducks lined up in a row

Ed. Note: Chestnut Hill native Elspeth Lodge, 33, is the author of “The Garden Ducklings,” a children's book published in August of this year by Archway Publishing, a division of  …

'Battles of Germantown': addressing the past honestly

History belongs to the victors, Winston Churchill said, referring to what is recorded in books, enshrined in museums and commemorated with parades — at best, an incomplete version of events. In …

Calendar
Liner Notes

Gorillaz new album is the ultimate pandemic playlist

There’s really nothing like Gorillaz. The virtual band began in 1988 as a side-project of Blur frontman Daman Albarn and his good friend, the animator Jamie Hewlett. It started primarily as …

Homes & Home
Gardening

There’s no way to avoid attention-seeking begonias

Valerie, my wife, has diagnosed me with Selective Attention Disorder (SAD).  One could say that I suffer from SAD, if in fact the condition was in any way painful or debilitating. But I do not …

Garden visits from traveling hawks

We see birds at the feeders whenever we look out the back window. Valerie, my wife, fills feeders with shelled sunflower seeds three or four times a week. In early Fall, after the babies have fledged …

Features

Firehouse proposal challenged Hill’s sense of surroundings

Working in the field of design, my interests are quite varied, especially in how we are all affected by our surroundings, both interior and exterior. It has always been fascinating to me how people …

The challenge of restoring historical rooms

  Although it is a well certified and established belief that the architectural exterior of a building conveys, with great distinction, a very specific period in time, a single historic …
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, …
Lifelong Mt. Airy resident Tamika Nealy-Farmbry, an associate broker for Elfant Wissahickon Realtors in Chestnut Hill, points to one of the company’s local billboards. by Len Lear Growing up in …
Sports

College NLI signings proceed as usual for area athletes

For high school athletes in the area, it was a normal November in at least one sense; top performers officially committed to the colleges of their choice by signing a National Letter of Intent during …

Patriots and Devils don masks for final field hockey outing

Earlier in the brief 2020 field hockey season, Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy had each beaten the Penn Charter squad by one goal. That led many people to expect a very close …

Aside from skipping a few multi-school invitational meets during the regular season, the cross country team at Mount St. Joseph Academy carried on pretty much as normal during this unusual autumn.

Just minutes before they took the field for last Tuesday's Inter-Ac League soccer match, the girls of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy were informed that this would be their final game of the …
For Mount St. Joseph Academy's tennis team, the 2020 pandemic affected the season schedule, but the final outcome remained the same as in years past. The Magic won the Athletic Association of …
Schools

SCHConnex rolled out a ZOOM cooking class featuring master Chef David Jansen.

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy alumna Nilah Jordan '20 recently donated $1,500 to Operation Smile to help pay for six cleft palate surgeries, antibiotics for 30 children, and a new exam station for …

We all need the reminder to take a deep breath, especially in today’s world. Taking a moment to breathe and reflect is the driving impetus behind BREATHE, a new program in Springside Chestnut …

Vote for me until I can. Those were the words LaTosha Brown, award-winning organizer, co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, and jazz singer, shared with middle and upper school students at …

Not to be deterred by the inability to perform on stage for a live audience, this fall Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s high school drama group,  Players, will be performing and …

Last week, Germantown Friends School (GFS) kindergarten teacher Annie Errickson and assistant teacher Lauren Postell transformed their classroom into a construction site as part of their themed …
Obituaries
Vera Louise Glassman, public school teacher, Bird-in-Hand volunteer
Vera Louise Glassman, a longtime resident of Mt. Airy in Philadelphia, died due to complications from breast cancer on November 8 at home with her family in Greenville, Pennsylvania. She was …
Valerie Wunder, past president of the CHCA
Valerie A Wunder, of Tucson, Arizona, a former resident of Chestnut Hill, died on October 9 at St Joseph’s hospital. Born on July 30, 1941, in Philadelphia, Wunder attended Lincoln High …
Mt. Airy peace activist dies of brain cancer at 47
Mt. Airy resident Emile Bruneau, a lecturer who served as director of Annenberg’s Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, died of brain cancer on Sept. 29
Hail Caesar! Unique area chef/restaurateur dies at 85
Alfio Gaglianese, who died Sept. 25 after a brief illness at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery in East Norriton at the age of 85, was definitely one of a kind. There are countless talented Italian …
Obituary: Charles E. Peter Mather III, insurance broker, British consul
Charles E. ”Peter” Mather III, 86, died Sept. 21 after a long illness. Born and raised in Chestnut Hill, he was a resident of East Falls at the time of his death. Mr. Mather attended …
Opinion & letters
Enemies of reading

Detoxing from my 4-year cable news addiction

I was at work one day in 2001 when my wife phoned and said I should come home. An airplane had crashed into the World Trade Tower in New York. Something was going on. It didn't seem like an accident. …

This being the Local's last issue before the election, it's time to summon up some of the issues this writer is glad to have over with. And then give thanks where it's due. If we all figure out …
Opinion

Things for which to be thankful

Last week we launched the Mt. Airy Local.  The new weekly newspaper is an edition of the Chestnut Hill Local, meaning much of the content is common to the two …

City’s Holiday Covid guidelines miss the mark on shopping advice

Last Thursday, the City of Philadelphia issued its guidance on celebrating the holidays safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The bullet-pointed advice advocated limiting holiday dinner guest …

Hoping for an end to Trump’s relentless hopelessness

On Sunday night, some 24 hours after the banging of pots and honking of car horns in celebration of Donald Trump’s electoral defeat had subsided, 60 Minutes lead its hour-long news magazine …

The robocall scourge

When we all first joined the digital revolution, picking up our first smartphones 10 or 15 years ago, we all likely imagined the amazing new opportunities these devices would afford us. We all had …
Letters
Whatever the solution, I hope we as a community may gather our resources to make changes to spare our deer population from unnecessary suffering.
 Please take a bow. Don’t be bashful, you deserve it. Four years ago, in the wake of the Trump victory, 87 Cathedral Villagers came together in two organizing meetings held on …
This has been a hard-fought and discordant campaign season, disruptive to sone friendships and, yes, to families. I can add a brighter aspect to the election. Learning that some of our …
When Joe Biden takes office his very first action should be to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.  His second action should be to implement a plan to heal the divisions in the electorate …
About Chestnut Hill
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 …
Discover Chestnut Hill: remembrances of Chestnut Hill Past… (Part 1 Of 2)
This April 1940 photograph shows Alessandra Cartelli’s mother and sister, Rose and Louise Cartelli, before boarding the ship to Philadelphia to join Pietro Cartelli. By Molly Murphy Anyone who …
In celebration of International Rock Day
This circa 1924 photograph shows a large outcrop of Wissahickon Schist being quarried in the 7500 block of Germantown Avenue, later the site of the Trolley Car Diner. Vito Benvenuto of Benezet …
Discover Chestnut Hill: Documenting our history and the pandemic
SEPTA’s “Lifeline” map of Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy is shown here, with lines in operation highlighted, as well as the locations of “life-sustaining” businesses. By Alex …
Discover Chestnut Hill: Earth Day turns 50
This photograph from the April 26, 1990, Chestnut Hill Local shows John Story Jenks School teachers and students celebrating the 20th anniversary of Earth Day by planting a flowering crabapple tree. …