From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

June 3, 2010 • GC.060310.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletMeet D.A. Seth Williams on June 8

  2. BulletBusinesses Meet with City Reps, Protest Treatment

  3. BulletD.A. Williams Stresses New Approaches at EMAN Meeting

  4. BulletWide Variety of Summer Camping Experiences in Northwest

  5. Bullet‘Biz’ Mackey: Great But Unknown Catcher

  6. BulletBlack Writers Museum Opens Saturday

  7. BulletAnnual Sale at Lovett

  8. BulletClassic Tones Available

  9. BulletGood Neighbors Nominees Announced at WMAN Annual Meeting

  10. BulletAvenue To Be ‘Jammed’ with Art This Saturday

  11. BulletSustainable Trails Initiative Under Way

  12. BulletHome Improvement Workshop

  13. BulletLegal Scholar at Enon

  14. BulletObituary: Rev. Dr. John Newpher, Former LTSP Head

  15. BulletSafe Nights at St. Mike’s

  16. BulletFamily Fun at Grace Epiphany Festival

  17. BulletJewish Dialogue

  18. BulletMt. Zion

  19. Bullet‘Fantasticks’ at Stagecrafters

  20. BulletArt Opening at Artista

  21. BulletHelp Beautify Center #9

  22. BulletYard Sales

Meet D. A. Seth Williams on June 8th

Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller invites the community to a town hall meeting to introduce R. Seth Williams, District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia, and his staff. The meeting will take place at Thankful Baptist Church, 1608 West Alleghany Avenue on Tuesday, June 8, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Services provided by the DA’s office include:  Public Nuisance Task Force, Crime Prevention and Safety, Repeat Offenders Unit, Victim/Witness Services, Elderly Victim Project, Domestic Violence, You Violence Reduction Program, Youth Aid Panel, Youth Anti-Crime Initiative and Police District Advisory Council.

For more information, contact Vernon Price, director of Community Outreach and Government Relations, at 215-686-8716, or David Yurky, assistant to Councilwoman Miller, at 215-686-3424.

Businesses Meet with City Reps, Protest Treatment


Editorial Staff Intern

Representatives from several city agencies and a few business owners of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and Germantown met in the first of several town hall meetings sponsored by 8th District City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller on Tuesday, May 25, at the Lutheran Seminary, 7301 Germantown Avenue, to discuss various business-related issues.

The impetus for the meeting were several complaints that Miller’s office had received from business owners in Chestnut Hill who felt that they had been treated unfairly by Health Department inspectors.

According to Greg Welsh, president of the Chestnut Hill Business Association and owner of the Chestnut Grille and Sidewalk Café, the department called for inspections less than a week before the Chestnut Hill Garden Festival.

“The Health Department came out and inspected just about all of the restaurants involved in the festival,” he said at the meeting. Inspections weren’t what business owners took issue with, however.  The timing, on the other hand, was.

For non-critical violations, restaurants are typically given 30 days to comply with the department’s demands, but the time frame for critical violations is much shorter. According to Welsh, Health Department inspectors informed the restaurants with critical violations that another inspection must be passed later in the week in order to receive permits to operate on the sidewalk during the Garden Festival.

“It was a lot more heavy-handed than we’ve seen in the past,” Welsh said in a later interview . “They tried to pressure the restaurants because it was Festival week.”

While all of the restaurants did pass follow-up inspections and none were barred from participating in the festival, the manner by which the Health Department handled the inspections amounted to less than courteous business practices, said Welsh.

“It was poor timing on their part,” Welsh said. He said it had been over a year since his restaurant was last inspected, and that the inspectors were not consistent with their evaluations. “They were finding things that other inspectors for years haven’t found to be violations.”

The complaints of Welsh and other business owners at the meeting amounted to a one concern: a lack of cohesion between city operations and businesses.

That was a major reason that Miller scheduled the meeting, said Miller staffer Michael Quintero-Moore in a later interview. “[We wanted to] try to get rid of that perception that Philadelphia is not a business-friendly city,” he said. “It was just the thing to push the button and turn on the bright light.”

City representatives included members of the Department of Public Health, Department of Revenue, Department of Licenses and Inspections, Department of Commerce, and the Office of Business Services.

“I don’t know if the city of Philadelphia is a business-friendly city,” Curtis Gregory, representative of the Office of Business Services, said at the meeting. Gregory left commercial banking in the private sector to work for the city about a year ago. He emphasized the need for the creation of a new business model that would improve efficiency of government operations.

Frank Breslin, representative of the Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue Department, spoke about the difficulties that businesses have interacting with his department, and of a bill that City Council passed granting temporary tax amnesty between May 3 and June 5. “I realize we have a way to go with taxpayer services,” he said. “We’ve strived toward simplifications.”

Jim Flaherty, the Renewal Community Senior Manager of the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, brought up issues of gathering funds for neighborhood restoration as well as the need for the city departments to work together. “What they do effects what I do, and I can help them do what they do,” he said. “We’ve got to try to connect the dots.”

Licenses and Inspections did little to participate in the discussion. “For these types of meetings, it would be helpful if a commissioner or deputy commissioners would come,” Veronica Saunders, a supervisor in the business compliance office of L&I, said. She said that she was called to the meeting at the last minute. “Basically, tonight I’m going to listen, take notes, and take it back to the department.”

“Our mission is to protect and promote health of Philadelphians,” Mayla Henderson, representative of the Health Commissioner’s Office said. Business owners did not take issue with that. “I like the fact that there are fresh eyes walking into my restaurant to check things out,” Welsh said. Keeping people healthy is the goal of all responsible business owners, he said.

Few if any solutions were reached at the meeting. It was agreed that future discussions were necessary to resolve ongoing issues.

Other complaints raised by Welsh during the meeting included the lack of promotion that the historical areas around Germantown Avenue receive, the trash collection fee that commercial properties are now required to pay, and the menu labeling ordinance that requires restaurants to list calorie content. Lack of street maintenance and the safety of pedestrian crossing areas were also issues raised, although the Streets Department was not present.

Councilwoman Miller expressed satisfaction with the meeting. “This [meeting] happened so quickly because the need was immediate,” she said.

Welsh agreed, saying, “I applaud you for bringing folks together,” he said. “We need to find ways to streamline.”

In a later interview Kim Miller, president of the Mt. Airy Business Association, said that similar problems had been encountered at Mt. Airy Day among food vendors who had never before had any problems with either the Health Department or L&I. Two vendors were prohibited from selling food, she said, because of a lack of license documentation on-site at the festival.

Remaining meetings will be held June 14, 8-10 a.m. at McDonald’s, 21st Street and Lehigh Avenue, second floor conference room, for businesses in and around the 22nd and Lehigh business corridor; and June 28 meeting, 6-8 p.m. at Porter’s Day Care, 1437 West Belfield Avenue, for businesses in and around the Nicetown/Logan area including all Broad Street businesses south of Belfield Avenue within the Eighth Council District.

For more information call Michael Quintero-Moore or John Weatherbe at 215-686-3424.

D.A. Williams Stresses New Approaches at EMAN Meeting



A presentation by District Attorney Seth Williams on what he has accomplished in his first months in office and what he hopes to accomplish in the years to come was the highlight of the 2010 annual meeting of East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN), held  Tuesday, June 1 in Hagen Hall at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue.

Before his election as District Attorney, said Williams, “I was the president of the Overbrook Civic Association and Townwatch for over ten years so I recognize the work that community members do.”

Williams went over his background and history with the District Attorney’s office – he was an Assistant District Attorney for more than ten years – and said that his experience as head of the Repeat Offender’s Unit there had strongly influenced his views on the prosecution of crime. “When I was asked to supervise that unit I began to think about the bigger picture,” he said. He left the D.A.’s Office for an initial run against incumbent Lynne Abraham for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney in 2005. He gained 46 percent of the vote that year, and was elected in his next bid in 2009.

Among the problems with criminal prosecution in Philadelphia  that he had noted, he said, was the fact that a high percentage of cases were thrown out of court before trial, “twice as bad as the national average.” One way he planned to combat that, Williams said, was what he termed “community-based prosecution,” which he indicated could be a reality by the fall of 2010.

Noting that police and probation officers were assigned geographically, Williams plans to assign Assistant District Attorneys on the same basis.  “D.A.’s are assigned on the basis of experience,” he said. “They get their cases right before they go to court.”  Under community-based prosecution, he said, “D.A.’s will get to know neighborhoods they are assigned to and the criminals there too.”

Those assignments would not necessarily mean that D.A.’s would be physically located in the neighborhoods they are assigned to, he added, but might be concentrated in particular areas at the court house – “perhaps all the cases would be on the 9th Floor.” 

In response to a question about whether a community justice center might be established in the currently-vacant Germantown Town Hall, Williams said that centrally concentrating D.A.’s and dispersing their functions throughout the city were not necessarily mutually contradictory. However, he said that putting all arraignment and prosecution functions into a community center was an idea to be treated cautiously, saying that there is always the potential for violence at hearings. “At Broad and Champlost there’s a lot of intimidation and attempted intimidation going on … community-based prosecution centers wouldn’t be for felonies,” he added. 

Other changes Williams is pushing forward include changing the system by which charges are filed. “Under Abraham, he said, “The D.A.’s office really overcharged people. I’m not going to do that ... we’ll be looking at cases with a much sharper focus.” He has increased the staff of the Charging Unit from five to 18.

Williams noted that there were 7,500 arrests for marijuana possession in a recent year, with 3,000 of those cases being for possession of less than an ounce. “We were spending thousands and thousands of dollars on those cases for possesion of less than $10 worth of marijuana …  we decided to change the penalty to a $300 fine.”

Perhaps closest  to Williams heart was what he termed the “Back on Track” program he want to create for first-time offenders. He noted that he himself had received a second chance by being given up for adoption as an infant and being adopted by a caring family.

“Back on Track” would replicate a program in San Francisco that combines drug and alcohol treatment, literacy and life skills training for first-time offenders. The result for people who go through the program there, he said, was that “There’s only a five percent recidivism rate after two years. In Philadelphia, it’s 70 percent.”

He also stated that he would be working with other district attorneys across the state to get Pennsylvania’s gun laws changed to curb the sale of unlicensed handguns and to ensure that those who committed crimes with guns got prison time. “Not one person charged with homicide in Philadelphia in the last four years had a license to carry a gun.” He said.

Williams touched on many other facets of crime fighting and made particular mention of replicating what he termed the San Diego Plan. “In San Diego, 75 percent of cases are settled by  guilty pleas before trial. How do you do that? I asked and this is what they said: You only charge people with crimes we think they are reasonably guilty of;  you prepare the D.A.’s better, and you make reasonable offers [of proposed sentences].”

He also made a pitch for parental and community involvement in the lives of young people, noting the city’s 50 percent high school dropout rate and the connection between crime and lack of education. “If you want to reduce crime, reduce truancy,” he said.  

After Williams left,  EMAN members turned to the election of officers and the presentation of the Edgar Baker Award, named for community activist Edgar Baker and given each year for service to the community.

Dan Muroff, who has been EMAN president for three years, will continue in that office for one more year. Other officers chosen included Dwayne Wharton, vice president; Lou Incognito, second vice president; Beth Hagovsky, secretary; and Dutch Klugman,  treasurer.

Greg Williams, proprietor of Walk a Crooked Mile Books in the Mt. Airy Train Station, was the 38th recipient of the Edgar Baker Award. Williams was cited for the preservation of the historic Frank Furness-designed station and for his work not only with the store but the many concerts and benefit projects held there annually. 

Williams said, “It’s a great honor. When I started the store I left a career in education and hoped to build community … I’m a lousy businessman but a pretty good community builder.”

Wide Variety of Summer Camping Experiences in Northwest



If you are looking for something different in the way of a camping experience for your kids this summer, you don’t have far to search. There are plenty of camping experiences available in the Northwest for those seeking something more than the usual games and arts and crafts for their children.

For example:

Aspiring fashion designers should love the experiences they’ll gain at camps from the Handwork Studio, held at Springside School, 8000 Cherokee Street, Chestnut Hill. “We combine a loving staff with a fun and unique curriculum, with an opportunity to learn wonderful arts such as machine sewing, fashion design, knitting, crocheting and embroidery,” said Melissa Haims, director of the Philadelphia and Bucks County camps. “We are taking traditional needle arts and bringing it to our campers with an updated, funky, fun, modern twist.”

Camps include:

Kids’ Needle Arts and Fashion Camp: Handwork Day Camp is for grades K-6. Campers will have a blast participating in creative activities such as knitting, crocheting, machine sewing and making crafts. Projects include backpacks, flip-flops, room décor, toys, fashion accessories and more. Each week, will have new projects to choose from. New this year is a “Handwork Kit” filled with favorite supplies. Each camper can take home a tool so they can practice at home. The Handwork Studio runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from August 2 to September 3 for $390/week or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for $150/week.

Machine Sewing Camp for grades 5-10. Campers sew their own pajamas, hoodies, skirts, quilts, bags and more. Campers will learn pattern reading, measurements and sewing techniques. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. $460/week includes all materials.

Teen Fashion Bootcamp for grades 7-11. Aspiring fashion designers will spend three weeks learning to sketch, drape, sew and model their fashions, with field trips to Fabric Row in Philadelphia and the Fashion District in New York City. Campers will model their designs at the end of camp and at Philadelphia’s Fashion Week in October.

For information about Handwork Studio camps, call 610-660-9600 or visit

Music, Dance, Art and Performance

For the musician, dancer, actor or artist there’s a wide variety of camping experiences to choose among.

Settlement Music School has offerings at several branches, including:

Summer Jam for Guitar, Bass, Drums and Piano/ Keyboard Players for ages 12-18.  This new camp is for teen musicians and band members looking to hone their skills, record a DVD/CD and learn about producing music. The program emphasizes practical playing experience through clinics by Settlement faculty including former Roots bassist Leonard Hubbard. Participants will record their work and perform a live concert at the end of the camp.  It will be held June 21-July 2, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Settlement’s Germantown Branch, 6128 Germantown Avenue. The cost is $650. For information call 215-320-2610.

Summer Arts Camp for ages 4-7 provides daily activities in music, dance and visual art. Families are invited to a presentation of the student’s work. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon, July 6-30, at 6128 Germantown Avenue. The cost is $630. For information call 215-320-2610 or visit

For aspiring ballet dancers, the Wissahickon Dance Academy offers the Summer Ballet Intensive for ages 10-22. The Summer Ballet Intensive is for intermediate and advanced ballet students. It is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from July 26 - August 13 at 38 Schoolhouse Lane. The program stresses the highly-structured Vaganova syllabus, and closely resembles the program of study in the former Soviet Union.  It includes two daily ballet classes plus classes in other dance forms including character, yoga, historical dance and classical variations. Advanced classes will include pointe work and partnering. Seminars such as Pilates, nutrition, massage, injury prevention, and drama will also be presented. Students should bring a bag lunch. The cost is $750 for three weeks or $250 per week. A limited number of scholarships are available.  For information call 215-849-7950 or visit

At the Summer Art Studio at Mindy Flexer Art Studio, 5225 Greene Street, students will make 2D and 3D projects related to a different theme each week in half-day sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Monday-Friday. “Summer Art Studio is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience themselves as artists among other artists. It’s exciting for them to be in a real working artist’s studio, with enough structure and enough freedom to pursue their own artistic goals. The classes are very small, so everyone gets a lot of personal attention,” Flexer said.  One-week sessions include the weeks of June 14, July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2, August 23 and August 30 (this final week is in conjunction with Artstory Camp). The cost is $175/week.

In Flexer’s full-day Artstory Camp, each participant will learn solid art skills and get to express his or her unique vision in a fun and relaxed atmosphere in a children’s full-day “artstory” (art and history) camp.  It’s a one-week session, week of August 31, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a picnic lunch. Common themes will inspire artistic creation and intellectual exploration both at the studio and at historic Grumblethorpe, nearby at 5267 Germantown Avenue.

For information call 215-991-5817 or e-mail to

At Allens Lane Summer Art Camp 2010 for ages 5 – 12, children will enjoy professional arts instruction, theatrical performances, theme days, field trips, swimming, sports, tennis and much more. The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from June 28 to August 20 at Allens Lane Art Center, 601 West Allens Lane. Extended hours are available. For information call 215-248-0546 or visit

Does your child dream of running away with the circus? Then check out Circus Summer Youth Camp for ages 7-15 at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 5900A Greene Street. Kids will have the chance to work on trapeze, aerial rope and silks, juggling, unicycling, platespinning, diabolo, devil sticks, tightwire, rolling globe, rola-bola, clowning and tumbling. Also included are dance and performance classes, student showtimes, lunchtimes in the park and co-operative games. At the end of each two-week session, the kids will perform their very own Circus Show for friends, family and the general public. Camp is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in each of threee two-week sessions: July 5-16, July 19-30, and August 2-13. The cost is $650 per camper.

At the school’s Circus Kinder Camp for ages 5-6, campers will practice trapeze, aerial rope and silks, feather balancing, scarf-juggling, plate-spinning, tightwire, rolling globe, tumbling and obstacle courses.  It also includes time for playground visits, arts and crafts projects, and rest time if needed.  The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  on July 5-9, July 19-23 and August 2-6.

For information on Philadelphia School of Circus Arts camps call 215-849-1991 or visit


Arthur Ashe Tennis

For the aspiring tennis player there’s the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education National Junior Tennis League for ages 7-18. The AAYTE offers an affordable program that provides opportunities for children to be exposed to tennis.

“The National Junior Tennis League is a community based program that encourages kids to play a traditionally non-urban sport in an urban community. One of the primary focuses of the program is to build a sense of community,” said J. Chapman, Director of Operations at Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center in an interview last summer.

NJTL programs are offered at 34 sites in Philadelphia, including Allens Lane Recreational Center, 601 West Allens Lane.   The program offers three levels of instruction: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.  Beginners meet five days a week from 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday for instruction and match play.  Intermediate and Advanced players meet from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The program includes seven weeks of tennis instruction, team match play and citywide competition, jobs and training for junior instructors from their neighborhoods, racquets, balls and T-shirts, Daily Life Instruction and program-wide participation in the USTA “Arthur Ashe” Essay Contest. The camp runs from June 28 to August 12. Scholarships are available and discounts are given to siblings. Costs are $195 individuals, $250 for two family members or $300 for three-plus family members. For information call 215-487-9555 or

Much to choose at Penn Charter

Penn Charter’s summer camps, held at 3000 West Schoolhouse Lane, include science, singing, swimming and more among their offerings.

“We want the children to come away from camp more confident in skill areas they have focused on, whether it be swimming, tennis, music or art in the day camp; a particular sport in the varsity and sports camp; or acting and singing in the performing arts and choir camps. We also want kids to make new friends, try new things and have fun,” Charlie Kaesshaefer, director of Penn Charter Summer Camps said.

Camps include:

Day Camp for ages 3-14 offers swimming, tennis, art, archery, music, drama, computers, sports, games, science fun, a summer theme, trips, guest performers and color team contests.  Offers counselor-in-training program, Swim-America Program, Australian Tennis Association instruction, half-day option for 3-year-olds, extended-day program, transportation, academic enrichment/tutoring. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m from June 21 to August 6. Extended hours are available.

Enrichment Camp for ages 7-12 stimulates creativity with hands-on learning. It features chess, dance, cooking, drama, art, creating digital music, origami, sports, detective science, engineering and design. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from June 14-18.

Penn Charter Sports Camp for ages 7-14 provides expert instruction in basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball/softball, flag football/field hockey, floor hockey, team handball and swimming. Sports Camp is open to beginner, intermediate and advanced athletes, and offers instruction, competition, coaching, games and fun. Choice sports include archery, tennis, pickleball, ultimate Frisbee and racquet baseball. Also: weekly tournaments, skill contests, daily instructional swim and trips. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from June 21-August 6. Extended hours available.

Varsity Camps are one-week camps (dates, ages vary) in softball, field hockey, tennis, basketball and soccer. Featuring skill instruction, drills, game play, conditioning, fitness, nutrition and motivation.

Performing Arts Camp will be held in Penn Charter’s newly opened Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to daily instruction in music, dance, drama and design, campers will enjoy weekly workshops with members of local theater companies and will have the opportunity to participate in a full-scale musical production.  It runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 from July 6 to 30.

Keystone State Boychoir Camp for grades 3-8 (Camp KSB) will return for its second season, offering a weeklong session. It gives boys the opportunity to sing songs from all over the world in addition to spending time honing a particular skill in a small-group setting.

Music “majors” include conducting, voice lessons, auditioning and songwriting. Also included are recreational activities such as swimming, indoor and outdoor sports, and board games. The program runs   8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. from August 9 to 13.

At Pennsylvania Girlchoir Camp for grades 3-8 (Camp PG), girls will have the opportunity to sing choral music from all over the world as well as learn music theory, conducting and sight-reading. The camp also includes an art component and a variety of recreational activities throughout the day, including swimming. It runs from 8:45 to 3:30 p.m. from August 2 to 6.

For information about Penn Charter Summer Camps call 215-844-3460.

Black Diamonds

‘Biz’ Mackey: Great But Unknown Catcher


Guest Writer

Probably the greatest Philadelphia baseball player you have never heard of is Raleigh “Biz” Mackey.

Mackey had a professional career that spanned 32 years, including playing for the 1925 championship Hilldale Daisies and 1934 Philadelphia Stars. He was also a tremendous manager and mentor. Roy Campanella was among those whose careers he helped.

Mackey, a switch-hitting catcher, began his career playing in Texas with his two brothers, Ray and Earnest.  In 1918 he joined the semi-professional he joined the San Antonio Black Aces.  When the team folded, the Indianapolis ABCs picked up his contract for the first Negro National League season. 

In 1923, he joined Ed Bolden’s Hilldale Daisies, helping to lead them to their first Eastern Colored League title, batting .423. The next season, platooning at third, short and catcher, he once again led the Daisies to the league championship.  They would lose in the first Negro League World Series, 4 games to 3 against the Kansas City Monarchs.  In 1925, batting .360, he led the Daisies to the championship against the Monarchs.  He drove in a run in the 11th inning of game one, a 12-inning victory for the Hilldale club.  He would score the winning run in game 5, a 2-1 victory and then get three hits in game 6, clinching the title.

Mackey is widely given credit for helping to establish the interest in Japan for baseball.  In his first barnstorming trip in 1927, he hit three homeruns out of Meiji Shrine Stadium, the first man ever to do so.  He would return in 1934 and 1935 in series that were widely followed by the Japanese.

During the 1930’s, Mackey was selected to several East-West all-star games.  For his first appearance in 1933, he was selected as the catcher and clean-up hitter over the young Josh Gibson.  With his skills in decline, he was still able to help the Philadelphia Stars to the championship the following season.  Mackey was also a repeat all-star, appearing in three more games up till 1938.

Mackey began to manage the Baltimore Elite Giants in 1937, helping to mentor the young Roy Campanella.  Campanella would later recall.

“In my opinion, Biz Mackey was the master of defense of all catchers. When I was a kid in Philadelphia, I saw both Mackey and Mickey Cochrane in their primes, but for real catching skills, I don’t think Cochrane was the master of defense that Mackey was. When I went under his direction in Baltimore, I was 15 years old. I gathered quite a bit from Mackey, watching how he did things, how he blocked low pitches, how he shifted his feet for an outside pitch, how he threw with a short, quick, accurate throw without drawing back. I got all this from Mackey at a young age.”

Mackey would continue to manage with the Newark Eagles.  He was a mentor to many other young players, including Don Newcombe, Larry Dobe and Monte Irvin.  Once his career ended, he moved to Los Angeles.  In a 1952 Pittsburgh Courier poll, Mackey was selected as the greatest Negro League catcher over Josh Gibson.  In a May 7, 1959 game in which Roy Campanella was honored at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Mackey was introduced to the 93,000 fans on hand.

After a long campaign, Mackey was posthumously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Editor’s note: this is the seventh in a series of articles called “Black Diamonds”  on the history of African American baseball,  commemorating the 25th anniversary of Mt. Airy Baseball. Mt Airy Baseball honors this great tradition by calling its senior and tournament teams the “Stars,” paying tribute to the former Philadelphia Stars team of the Negro Leagues. 

Black Writers Museum Opens Saturday

On Saturday, June 5,  from noon until 6 p.m., the new Black Writers Museum (BWM), 23 Maplewood Avenue in Germantown, is hosting its public grand opening and  unveiling its inaugural exhibit, “Selected Writers of the Harlem Renaissance.” This unique cultural arts and educational venue is the only one of its kind in the Philadelphia region.

At 2 p.m. the program and special youth literary presentation will begin.  Reciting classic Paul Laurence Dunbar and more, the youth will bring some of America’s great literary compositions to life.

Treating a diverse crowd of educators, students, non-profit professionals, social workers, and corporate professionals, the BWM will share its vision for transforming urban education.  Join the Delaware Valley in welcoming its newest institution of honor, heritage and distinction.

Museum hours will be Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information call 267-297-3078.

Annual Sale at Lovett

The Friends of Lovett Library will hold its annual book sale on Saturday, June 5, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue. The sale will include not only gently-used books, but also home-baked goods and annual and perennial plants, including geraniums, hostas, and ginger plants. For more information call the library at 215-685-2095.

Classic Tones Available

The Classic Tones, a non-profit a cappella senior singing septet, is available to sing for your organization. Now in their fourth year, they feature  songs from the ‘30s,’40s, and ‘50s.  For information, call Skip Geller at 215-455-6876.

Good Neighbors Nominees Announced at WMAN Annual Meeting

West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) is holding its annual meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Germantown Home, 6950 Germantown Avenue.  The meeting agenda includes the 2010/2011 election of officers and directors, the president’s report, and the announcement of the 50 Good Neighbor nominees who will be honored in September in conjunction with WMAN’s 50th Anniversary.


All are invited to attend the annual meeting and current WMAN members are eligible to vote.

To view the 2010/2010 officer and director candidates visit

Avenue To Be ‘Jammed’ with Art This Saturday

The Mt. Airy Business Association is excited to present Mt. Airy Art Jam 2010.  Festivities kick off on a special First Friday, June 4, from 6-9 p.m., and go into full swing on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Come out and celebrate our community’s diverse and talented crafters, artisans and musicians. Germantown Avenue, from Allen’s Lane to Mt Pleasant Avenue, will be alive with a collection of juried artists and spirited musicians. The neighborhoods restaurants will be open for lunch as well as dinner in support of the day’s events.

This year, Art Jam is featuring artists from local neighborhoods as well as artists from South Jersey, Montgomery County and surrounding areas. Wanamaker Lewis, Tom Gala and Friends, Rhetta Morgan and Choir, Sharon Katz and the Peace Train as well as many others will be filling the streets with their tunes.  Kids’ activities, including a drum circle with percussionist, Ron Kravitz and a children’s music workshop with Chana Rothman, will be held in the Mt. Airy Presbyterian Churchyard. A face painter, sponsored by Valley Green Bank, will be set up in front of the bank. And more activities for families will be hosted by Urban Athlete and Rhino Chiropractic in the area behind Elfant Wissahickon.

“Mt Airy Art Jam was once an annual celebration and this year we are looking forward to a revival of that community spirit,” said Kim Miller, president of the Mt. Airy Business Association.  “The business owners, all of whom are Mt. Airy neighbors, have been working hard to bring this event back to Mt. Airy.  We hope our neighbors and visitors will look forward to the Mt. Airy Art Jam year after year.” 

Along with the crafters, artists and musicians, the businesses along the Avenue will be holding a sidewalk sale, so come out to see what you’ve been missing.  The Mt. Airy Business Association is hosting a special feature at their table, near the Sedgwick Center.  Come spin our carnival wheel to learn about Mt. Airy’s unique business community and win a chance at fabulous give-aways and prizes. 

Visit our website, and find us on Facebook to learn more.

Sustainable Trails Initiative Under Way

The largest volunteer-driven Sustainable Trails Initiative (STI) project of the Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) to date is underway — the Golf Course Climb Re-route. “For the first time we don’t have outside consultants coming in and looking at volunteers’ work day to day,” says FOW Executive Director Maura McCarthy. “Volunteers who have learned about trail building for the past five years are now able to work semi-autonomously.” Although FOW still works with trail designers to select proper machinery and trail-building techniques, and Fairmount Park approves all work, the ingenuity of the daily build is coming exclusively from volunteer trail experts.

STI will rebuild 50 miles of natural surface trails in the Wissahickon in order to make the park more enjoyable for all park users while mitigating the effects of stormwater runoff and human use of the trails.

The Golf Course Climb re-route is a sustainable re-route of an eroding section of the yellow trail near the Walnut Lane Golf Course between the Henry Avenue and Walnut Lane Bridges. The eroding trail is too steep and has become a gully that is gradually impacting nearby habitat. Fairmount Park is closing the trail and replanting the area. 

According to McCarthy, this project is one of the most balanced partnership activities the Friends have had with Fairmount Park. FOW volunteers from the community are building the trail with the Friends’ resources and Fairmount Park is undertaking the environmental restoration. Volunteer trail experts Chuck Uniatowski and Dan Mercer are leading the project and have worked many weekdays and weekends on the trail.

FOW’s work protects the Wissahickon watershed and preserves the natural and historical features of this spectacular urban wilderness for future generations. For more information, visit

A first-time home-buying seminar offered by Clara Glenn and Dawn Evans from Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors will be held at the Wadsworth Branch of the Free Library, 1500 Wadsworth Avenue, on Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m. Ask about the $8,000 stimulus credit, home inspections and more. There will be free dinner and door prizes. Bring a friend. For information call the library at 215-685-9293.

Home Improvement Workshop

For homeowners, making an investment or repairs in a home can be complex but exciting. Mt. Airy, USA, a HUD-certified counseling agency, offers services designed to teach the basics and beyond, including information on affordable home improvement loans and how to choose a contractor.

A Free Home Improvement and Safety Workshop will be held at Mt. Airy, USA’s office, 6703 Germantown Avenue, Suite 200, on Saturday, June 12, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.  The session will focus on affordable home improvement loans and how to avoid home improvement scams. Information on low-cost do-it-yourself repairs, choosing a contractor, energy efficient repairs that can lower monthly bills and home safety tips will also be provided. Refreshments will be served. To register call Cynthia Bradley at 215-844-6021 x214 or visit

Legal Scholar at Enon

Charles Ogletree (pictured), the renowned Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, a prominent legal theorist and renowned author whose most recent publication (coming out in June) is Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will be the guest speaker at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church’s Annual Student Recognition Worship Service on Saturday June 12, 4:30p.m.  This celebration is under the auspices of the Enon Scholarship Ministry which helps youth reach their goal of higher education by providing exposure to resources, access to opportunities and financial support to pursue careers.

Professor Ogletree has also authored The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States; When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice; and From Lynch Mob to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America.  His books are prestigious and historical treasures.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. Enon is located at 2800 Cheltenham Avenue.

For information call 215-276-7200.

Obituary: Rev. Dr. John Newpher, Former LTSP Head

The Rev. Dr. John D. Newpher, 90, pastor of five Pennsylvania congregations over a 40-year ministry career and one-time president of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), died Saturday morning, May 22, at Springhouse Estates in Lower Gwynedd, PA, after a brief illness. He was a resident of Ambler.

Newpher was LTSP president from 1971 to 1975, and “brought both scholarship and strong parish experience” to the task of being president, recalls the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Hughes, who was himself president at LTSP during the 1990s.

“Dr. Newpher was president of the seminary during a time of renewed commitment to the present campus location in Philadelphia’s East Mt. Airy section,” recalls Dr. Robert Blanck, who was vice chair of the LTSP Board of Trustees during Newpher’s tenure. “Before he became president, the seminary had contemplated establishing a campus in West Philadelphia with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and it had also later considered consolidating with Philadelphia Divinity School, a seminary of the Episcopal Church. After considerable discussions, neither step was taken,” Blanck recalls. “So the focus shifted to the 14-acre Mt. Airy campus. While he was president, the Hagan Administration Building was expanded, and improvements to faculty housing, which had been deferred, were made.”

In 1975 Newpher announced his desire to return to parish ministry, and subsequently became pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Slatington, PA, where he served 10 years, retiring in 1985.

John Newpher was born March 28, 1920, and was a native of Reading, PA. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in 1942, a Bachelor of Divinity from LTSP in 1945, a Master of Sacred Theology from LTSP in 1946, and a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in 1958 from Temple University.

Ordained in 1945 into the United Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor body to the current Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Newpher first served a two-point parish, Salem in Audenried and St. Paul in Beaver Meadows, both in Pennsylvania, from 1946 to 1948.

Other calls were to Christ Lutheran Church, Camden, NJ; Ascension Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, and Christ Lutheran Church, Oreland, PA, prior to becoming seminary president. While serving at Ascension Church, located on the seminary campus, “Dr. Newpher was the pastor to many of the faculty members who taught me at the seminary,” Hughes remembers. Hughes was a PhD student at Princeton Seminary during Newpher’s seminary presidency.  

Along with his widow, the former Suzanne Van Arsdale, Newpher was a member of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in Ambler. He had a strong interest in social ministry. For 10 years he served on two boards for Ken Crest, a Lutheran social ministry organization based in Plymouth Meeting, serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. From 1992 to 1997 he served on the Board for Ken Crest Centers, and was treasurer for two years and president for one year during that time.  From 1997 to 2002, he served the Board of Ken Crest Services, and was treasurer for a time during that tenure.

Newpher is the author of What is the Gospel?  and On a Ship with Paul, a children’s teacher resources guide. 

Surviving are four children from a first marriage with former wife Gladys.

Funeral services were held Thursday, May 27 at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler. Memorial gifts may be made to Ken Crest, 502 West Germantown Pike, Suite 200, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462, or to the Social Ministry Committee of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church. No flowers please.

Safe Nights at St. Mike’s

The Safe Nites at St. Mike’s Program of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 6671 Germantown Avenue, will feature the movie “To Save A Life” this Friday evening, June 4, at 7 p.m. 

Youth, parents, and others who care about the challenges of teenagers are encouraged to view the film that raises issues of suicide, friendship, teenage pregnancy, faith and making choices. St. Michael’s hopes the movie will help families and the community talk together about these important issues.

The movie is rated PG 13 and runs 120 minutes.  The event is free. Food and popcorn will be provided. 

Safe Nights at St. Mikes is held on the first Friday of each month and provides an evening for youth and families in the community that includes a shared meal and featured activity.

You need not be a member of St. Michael’s to attend.  All are welcome.

For more information, contact 215-848-0199 or e-mail

Family Fun at Grace Epiphany Festival

Food, fun and fabulous finds for everyone are featured at the 20th annual Strawberry Festival and Flea Market at Grace Epiphany Church on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Come early to get your pick of gourmet baked goods, then select a few bargain books and check out the irresistible Attic Treasures. Drop in for a short concert featuring Grace Epiphany’s Skinner organ at 11 a.m, and  have a hamburger or two, followed by the Festival’s strawberry shortcake. And before you leave, take your car to GE’s car-washing specialists who are known for their super shines.

Grace Epiphany Church is located at the corner of Gowen Avenue and Ardleigh Street. There is ample parking.  For information please call 215-248-2950.

Jewish Dialogue

Jewish Dialogue Group, a grassroots organization in Philadelphia, will hold a Chana Rothman Benefit Concert on June 10, 7:30-10 p.m., at InFusion Coffee and Tea, 7133 Germantown Avenue. An $18-plus donation is suggested. Come and enjoy amazing spirit-raising, soul-calming, bilingual English/Hebrew music with folk, worldbeat, reggae, and hip hop influences;  eat delicious desserts; and support the Jewish Dialogue Group’s efforts to foster constructive dialogue within Jewish communities across North America and around the world about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Learn how you can get involved. For information, e-mail to or call 215-266-1218.

Mt. Zion

The January Circle of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Germantown will present “An Afternoon of Music with the Newman/Horton Family” on Sunday, June 6. The afternoon begins with a meet and greet at 3 p.m. followed by the concert at 4 p.m. Come for an afternoon of singing, praising and rejoicing in honor of our Lord. The free worship concert will be at the church, 41 West Rittenhouse Street.  For more information call the church office at 215-844-7614 or visit

‘Fantasticks’ at Stagecrafters

The Stagecrafters brings its eighty-first season to a grand finale starting on  Friday, June 11, with the opening of one of the most endearing and enduring musicals in the American stage repertoire, The Fantasticks, by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. Through this universal and timeless fable of love and longing, audiences for the past three generations have been treated to some of the most recognizable and appealing melodies ever crafted for the musical stage.

Start with a boy, a girl, two meddlesome fathers, and a Wall ... throw in a few more obstacles, lots of misunderstanding, disillusionment, and ... can love really conquer all?! Well, maybe ... if one believes in small miracles. This charmer in words and music weaves the quintessential yarn of young love, with poetic language and catchy and memorable tunes.  For five decades The Fantasticks has been seen in myriad venues throughout the world in some 67 countries.  The original Off-Broadway production alone ran from 1960 through 2002, for a record-shattering 17,162 performances.    

Performance dates are June 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m., and 13, 20, 27 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are priced at $20. Thursday evening performances are two for $30.  Students with valid ID get $2 off general admission. Groups of 15 or more are offered a reduced rate of $16 a ticket.  In addition subscriptions are now available for the theater’s upcoming 2010-2011, season at $65 for five productions and may be purchased on line, by mail using the form in that season’s brochure, or at the box office when attending a show in the current production.  The box office opens 45 minutes before each performance. For information and/or reservations call 215-247-8881.  The theater at 8130 Germantown Avenue. The web address is

Art Opening at Artista

On First Friday, June 4, 5-9 p.m. Artista Gallery, 7151 Germantown Avenue, will host an artist’s reception for award-winning fine art photographer and digital artist Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes.

Her work has been featured in a number of venues, including the Tiberino Memorial Museum, City Hall Philadelphia, Staube Art Center and the Space Gallery. Her photography was selected as the cover art for the 2009 “Paws of Charity” Art Book benefiting the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and her collection of nursery art called “Alphabet Soup” is now available as a children’s book of the same name. The exhibit of runs through June 30. For information call 215-248-2450 or email her at

Help Beautify Center #9

The board and staff of Public Health District #9 Mattie Humphrey Center is requesting community assistance and support in greening and beautifying the Health Center entrance at 131 East Chelten Avenue. Until Saturday, May 22, it was covered with grass and weeds. Thanks to a group of AmeriCorps, board volunteers, and staff the area has now been prepared for planting.

They are seeking plant donations from area gardeners of perennials, bulbs, bushes or any other items you can spare from your garden. Donated plant items can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 8-a.m.–5 p.m. until Saturday, June 5. When dropping off plant donations during regular operating hours, ask for Dan Ryan, AmeriCorps volunteer. If dropping off donations after hours, please leave plantings in a bucket of water to the right of the entrance of where the garden will be located.

On Saturday, June 5, 8 a.m. – noon, volunteers will assemble at the Health Center to plant donated items. The public is invited to volunteer to come out and help plant items to help us beautify and green this historic Germantown community. For questions, call the Board of Citizens hotline at 215-685-5749 and leave a message.

The children in Diana Miller’s kindergarten class at Houston School were circling the playground equipment last Thursday, as they do most days around noon. 

The class keeps track of how many circuits they do -18 circuits make a mile – in order to promote physical fitness, and those who make a total of at least fifty circuits are rewarded with a small prize.  And they’re getting into it, says Miller:

“Some haven’t done any circuits but some do eight or ten a day.”

Yard Sales

On Saturday, June 6 the 6800 block of Anderson Street will be having multi-family yard sales to benefit the snow removal fund for Anderson Street. Anyone can participate for a fee of $10. All participants must provide their own tables and chairs. For more information call 215-848-0697.

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Wister School Market

Rebecca Long’s 6th graders at John Wister School, with the assistance of the Penn State Cooperative Extension and Grumblethorpe on Germantown Avenue, have been growing produce in the garden at the house for sale, and they offered it to the public on Thursday, May 27, at their own “farmer’s market” in front of the historic site.

As can be guessed from the picture, though they didn’t grow them themselves, they also sold peanuts.

This was the third consecutive year for the project.