From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

July 8, 2010 • GC.070810.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletAvenue Fire Station to Reopen This Fall

  2. BulletResidents Share Views on Improving Germantown

  3. BulletFreedom Rings Out – 234 Times – at Historic Concord School

  4. BulletWhat is the True Cost of Owning a Computer?

  5. BulletNavy Personnel Visit Aces Museum

  6. BulletCurb, Sidewalk Work to Begin in Business District

  7. BulletTwin Bridges Ramps Closings This Week

  8. BulletCity Announces Heat Wave Measures

  9. BulletEvery Murder is Real Dedicates Murals

  10. BulletCorrection to Awbury Park Story

  11. BulletBeekeepers to Meet

  12. BulletBounty to Community Groups for Illegally-Discarded Tires

  13. BulletCool Off Your Kids at City Gardens

  14. Bullet Ask the Physical Therapist

  15. BulletNehemiah Tabernacle Ministry Projects

  16. Bullet1st Presbyterian Grants for Community Service Projects

  17. BulletSunday Summer Services at UU

  18. BulletA Capella Concert at St. Luke’s

  19. BulletFamily and Friends Day at Mt. Tabor

  20. BulletNew Office for Youngblood

  21. BulletArtist’s Exhibit at Stapeley

  22. BulletLocal Authors at CH Book Fair

  23. BulletFamily Festival at Cliveden Park

  24. BulletJazz at Woodford

Avenue Fire Station to Reopen This Fall


Editorial Staff Intern

It’s going to take longer than initially anticipated, but the Engine 9, Ladder 21 fire station at Germantown Avenue and Carpenter Lane will indeed reopen after renovations to the building have been completed.

Residents may have been surprised the week of April 19 when fencing was put up around the station because it was the first sign to the community that anything irregular was taking place there.

“We were not advised,” said Lizabeth Macoretta, executive director of West Mt. Airy Neighbors. “We found out after the fact.”

It wasn’t until Macoretta was contacted by residents about the fence around the fire station that she contacted Ernest Hargett, deputy commissioner of operations with the Fire Department, to find out why the station had been closed.

Similarly, Executive Director of East Mt. Airy Neighbors Elayne Bender did not receive notice of the station’s closing until she observed the fence herself and contacted Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. “We noticed it driving,” she said. “I guess [the fire department] just didn’t think about [letting us know].”

According to Hargett, the station, which houses Engine 9, Ladder 21 and Medic 10, was closed on Monday, April 19 due to cracks that had developed in the apparatus floor, the space where trucks are parked when not responding to a call. 

“A new floor was called for,” Hargett said. “It was a safety hazard.”

The matter became more complicated, he said, when the apparatus floor had been removed. It became apparent that the basement ceiling underneath the apparatus floor was also sinking.

“The work expanded,” Hargett said. He said that at the time the station was built, fire trucks were lighter. Over time trucks have become heavier and the building was never been prepared to take on the increase in weight, eventually rendering it structurally unsound.

To maintain the integrity of the floor will require steal reinforced beams to be placed in various locations throughout the station’s basement, Hargett said. “They’re going to have to cut a hole in the sub-floor [to make room for the beams],” he said. “

When they were focusing on just the apparatus floor, engineers expected to complete the project sometime around the third week in June, Hargett said. Now, he said, the project could now take as long as late September or October for renovations to be complete.

It took several weeks for the contract to be put out on bid. Pennoni Associates Inc. has been chosen as the engineering consultants for the project. “They’re coordinating the whole project,” Hargett said. 

Hargett said that construction should start sometime this week, although he could not give the exact day. “I know they’re opening the floor up this week.”

In the meantime, the firefighters and trucks of Ladder 21, Engine 9 have been temporarily moved to other stations. According to Bill Gault, president of Local 22 Firefighters Union, Ladder 21 has been moved to Engine 63’s station near Broad Street and Oak Lane. Engine 9 was relocated to Engine 39’s station in Roxborough, which was closed down last year, and Medic 10 was moved to Engine 37’s station in Chestnut Hill.

Macoretta was not disappointed with the way the Fire Department handled the situation. “Ideally we’d like to know these things in advance,” she said. “[But] it wasn’t something that had been planned long in advance.”

“My biggest concern is that the fire department will now have real data about time responses [and use that to close the station down],” Macoretta said. “[But] the deputy commissioner [Hargett] assured me that it will reopen,” she said.

Bender shared her concerns. “My main concern was whether it was going to be reopened,” she said. “[But] we’ve been assured that we’re being well taken care of.”

Gault, however, was not sure that other fire stations can adequately handle covering Mt. Airy as well as their traditional areas in the meantime. He said that Engine 9 made 2100 runs last year, Ladder 21 made 900 and Medic 10 made about 4500 runs. “There can always be a problem,” said Gault. “They’re expecting us to do more with less. You can only do less with less.”

Gault also said that Ladder 21 station is not one of a kind. “[That station] was like most of my fire houses,” he said. “It was probably going to cave in.”

Bender was confident that the city is taking care of the issue as best as it can. “We certainly hope it will be open as soon as possible,” she said. “[A firefighter’s] job is dangerous enough without worrying about falling through the floor.”

Residents Share Views on Improving Germantown



More than 50 people came to share their views and listen to those of others, including Kenyatta James (right) who stressed the need for individual responsibility in keeping neighborhoods clean.

About 40 people attended the “Living in Germantown” town meeting sponsored by Germantown Community Connection and West Central Germantown Neighbors on Wednesday night, June 30 at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 West Chelten Avenue. Their aim: finding ways to create “A More Perfect Union” for the community.

Betty Turner, president of the Germantown Community Connection (GCC) advocacy group, said the town meeting was held “in an effort to make Germantown a more harmonious place to live and work.” GCC is a “local community representative to promote Germantown as a classic town of Greater Philadelphia. It’s a great place to live, work, play and invest,” Turner said. “When people join our organization, they are joining a community of communities.”

The mission of GCC is “to be a bridge and a voice,” she said. “This is an opportunity to generate pressure the government to make changes.”

Northwest resident Susan Guggenheim contacted Turner about arranging a meeting to generate community-wide cooperation and interest. The idea was to create an informal forum where people could discuss a series of problems and issues that face Germantown, said Guggenheim.

“I was inspired by President Obama’s ‘A More Perfect Union’ speech,” she said, in which the President said, “We cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.” Germantown is made up of many different community organizations and individuals working for a positive change, said Guggenheim. The goal of this forum, the first of more to come, was to combine those efforts.

Tom Grundy, who teaches at Martin Luther King High School, opened the discussion by asking, “If anything was possible what would Germantown look like?”

Barry Cross, president and CEO of Elsie Y. Cross Associates, Inc., envisioned a “fully recognized community not just locally but nationally and internationally.” When tourists come to Philadelphia to visit, Germantown will be a place they want to visit, he said. It will be recognized as a place rich in history. It is necessary to first obtain a “degree of respect for this community and its history,” he added.

Laura Richland, an artist, envisioned a Germantown with “wonderful restaurants and coffee shops.” People need to shop in Germantown instead of going to Chestnut Hill or Mount Airy, she said.

Jim Foster, publisher of this newspaper, said that his vision for Germantown “is to become an informed and self-directed community ... We cannot allow developers to fracture this community. The opportunity is now. We must demand it from our politicians.”

“We can’t depend on politicians to make something happen. We have to do the work,” Stan Smith, a community developer said, “I challenge everyone in this room to talk to your neighbor and to honor your commitments.”

“When you walk down the street and you see trash on the ground, you may think why is my neighborhood so dirty? But it you don’t pick up that piece of paper, you become the reason,” said Kenyatta James, a community organizer and a member of Greene Street Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

Germantown was a wonderful place to live not because it had many of the modern day amenities “but because it had a human quality” and “a sense of togetherness,” according to Marshall Freeman, commissioner of human relations for the City of Philadelphia. “One of the major problems with Germantown is that for decades people have attempted to change things individually. We never spoke with one voice. We need to collaborate on issues that have to do with quality of life.”

Germantown must address the needs of the people, said Freeman, who added that many people were struggling to survive in the community.

“People need to focus not just on race relations, but on the quality of life for everyone,” Freeman said.

“One of the problems with Germantown is that there are more activists per square foot than anywhere else. There is always the issue of ‘whose turf is it?’ I am not an activist, but I believe Germantown is worth getting active for,” said Sharpless.

The next town meeting “Living in Germantown: All Together” will be held on September 22, at the Germantown Historical Society, 5501 Germantown Avenue. For more information, go to default.aspx or e-mail to .

Freedom Rings Out – 234 Times – at Historic Concord School

David Young (at left), president of Historic Germantown, Freedom’s Backyard, began July 4 ceremonies at Cliveden of the National Trust, Concord School and the Upper Burying Ground, and Johnson House Historic Site by noting that all the sites were standing at the time of the Declaration of Independence, which stated that all men are created equal. 

“We are still working out that idea,” said Young, “but programs like this keep it alive.” Young, seen with historic re-enactor Joe Becton, noted, “Downtown, they only tap the Liberty Bell. Here in Germantown we ring it.”

The bell in the steeple at Concord School was rung 234 times – once for every year since 1776 - by Michael Schweisheimer.

The graveyard at the Upper Burying Ground on the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue contains several resting places of Revolutionary War soldiers, including that of Lt. Thomas  Lucas of the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment who was killed during a failed assault on Cliveden during 1777’s Battle of Germantown.

After the bell-ringing, Joe Becton, a retired National Park Service Ranger and noted historical re-enactor, gave a spirited presentation on the life of black abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Samuel Burris at the Johnson House. For information on Becton’s re-enactment work, visit

The Computer Lady

What is the True Cost of Owning a Computer?


Guest writer

Editor’s note: this is the first in a series of occasional columns by Susan Guggenheim that will cover various facets of computer use, maintenance and operation.

My topic this month is how much households need to budget for the actual upkeep and maintenance of a computer, an important asset. The minimum maintenance would be:

Do you have enough memory installed? Upgrading your installed memory will add years of use to your computer.

Is your computer installed with an anti-virus product, an anti-malware product and an anti-spyware product? Prevention is essential for low cost maintenance.

Have you configured Windows Automatic Update to run nightly? This means you really need to leave your computer running over night, so you will Logoff but not Shutdown.

Do you have passwords enabled on your login accounts? Without passwords on the accounts having full control, a hacker has a free ticket to using your machine for his/her own purposes.

Do you have an online backup system in place? I recommend online backup because if you don’t know how to restore from your external hard drive, it’s worthless to you. I’ve restored 27GB of data with Mozy, in two clicks and a couple minutes.

Memory can be bought online for between $25-60 a stick, most people need only one. The older the computer, the more the memory costs.

The free security products I recommend are AVG Free, Malwarebytes and Spybot. Malwarebytes’ $25 license lets you schedule updates, scans and Internet protection. It stops you from visiting bad websites, which you cannot avoid. My teenage daughter is stopped 30-50 times a day! Each visit could be an infection. This is the best $25 you will ever spend.

Configuring Windows Update to run nightly is free, and I will email anyone the steps with screenshots on how to do this, no charge. This takes 2 minutes.

Creating accounts with passwords is free, and I will email anyone the steps with screenshots on how to do this, no charge. This takes 2 minutes.

Backing up online is free for up to 2GB of data, which will suit most of you. It took me 5 minutes to create an account and let the product configure itself to do its thing, continually and automatically.

So far, we could spend $75 for upgrading memory and the Malware license. The installs and initial configurations will take between 1-1.5 hours. Once you have confirmed that your new security products are updating, upgrading and protecting, you will check the logs on all three once a month - about 20 minutes at most (per computer). So for an annual time factor of 4 hours, your computer is protected, backed up and updated daily.

How much time each month do you spend washing your car, or cleaning lint from the dryer filter, replacing air conditioner filters, or wiping out your microwave?

Your computer is a valuable asset that enriches your world, extends your reach to family and friends, helps you find a job, a home, lets you purchase many goods and services more cheaply and gives you access to just about all your account services i.e., banks. So isn’t 20 minutes a month worth all that access and connection and communication?

The Computer Lady delivers technical support, training and data services to NW Philadelphia. Visit her website, or email her for information.

Navy Personnel Visit Aces Museum

As the USS Bulkeley was docked at Penn’s Landing preparing to depart the next morning heading back overseas, some of the crew decided to visit Germantown’s ACES Museum at 5801 Germantown Avenue. The museum, which honors black and minority veterans of World War II and their families, houses a former USO (United Service Organization) site named Parker Hall, where black soldiers would socialize and party during World War II.

Sergeant Stephen Sherman, an 89-year-old World War II army veteran, flew in from Los Angeles to be the guest speaker. “ACES is very special to me and Parker Hall is one of a kind,” voiced Sherman. “I will continue to fight for ACES and help pass on our history.”

The celebration included a barbecue, horse rides, the museum’s Puppets With History Show and a medal presentation. “Everything from the food, puppet show, horse rides to the picture with the Buffalo Soldier and WWII Army Vet all contributed to making that day special for me and my shipmates,” said Lt. Landerrick Bolding.

The museum’s Puppets With History Shows are held on Tuesdays and it is open for group bookings. For more information call 215 842-3742 or visit


Curb, Sidewalk Work to Begin in Business District

Another step in Mt. Airy’s streetscape transformation will begin soon, with the beginning of curb and sidewalk reconstruction work on the east side of Mt. Pleasant and Germantown avenues.

Construction crews will work their way down Germantown Avenue to Nippon Street and loop around to return to Mt. Pleasant. Concrete and electrical crews will progress mainly one block at a time, to complete the excavation and the installation of electrical wires, light pole foundations and new concrete and curb. This phase of the work is expected to be complete by the fall and is designed to be minimally invasive to local patrons, homeowners and businesses.

“The streetscape construction may be a temporary inconvenience to Germantown Avenue but ultimately the project will be a huge asset to the Mt. Airy community,” said Farah Jimenez, Executive Director of Mt. Airy, USA.

The streetscape renovations are part of a $3.5 million redevelopment plan for Mt. Airy that includes the addition of vibrant murals, lighting, landscaping, sidewalks, curbs and solar powered trash receptacles along the commercial corridor of Germantown Avenue, a premier destination for dining, art and shopping.

The initiative, supported by city, state and federal funding, will offer new pedestrian scale lighting and overhead lighting at key intersections. Landscaping improvements include the installation of new trees and trench planting beds from Nippon to Springer, pruning of some existing trees, enlargement of existing tree pits from Mt. Pleasant to Upsal and the removal of dying or hazardous trees.

Sidewalk and curb improvements include the replacement of sidewalks and curbs from Nippon to Mt. Pleasant, repair of certain areas of sidewalk and curbs from Mt. Pleasant to Upsal, repair and replacement of select driveway aprons and new crosswalks at key intersections.

Twin Bridges Ramps Closings This Week

On Friday, July 2, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the southbound Route 1 on-ramp to westbound I-76 will be closed through Thursday, July 6-8, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning.  Southbound Route 1 motorists wanting to access westbound I-76 will exit onto eastbound I-76 and follow to Montgomery Drive and then exit onto Montgomery Drive and follow to the westbound 76 on-ramp.

The right lane will be closed on the southbound Route 1 Twin Bridge through July 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for bridge deck demolition.

The northbound Route 1 Twin Bridge will be reduced from three lanes to two beginning through Thursday, July 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for bridge deck demolition.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling on the Route 1 bridges because delays will occur.  People are urged to use alternative routes.

The work is part of PennDOT’s $10.7 million project to rehabilitate the deck, superstructure and substructure of the Route 1 (Roosevelt Expressway) Twin Bridges over the Schuylkill River. Construction is expected to be completed by February, 2011.

PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions on major highways before heading out.

For more information, visit or call 610-205-6700.

City Announces Heat Wave Measures

On July 7 the City of Philadelphia outlined measures to be implemented in response to the current heat wave. Since the start of calendar year 2010, five heat-related deaths have been reported in Philadelphia.

The following initiatives will go into effect:

Operation Thirst Quencher:  The Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Housing Authority have partnered to provide 4,000 bottles of water to all firehouses across the City.  Beginning July 8, the water will be made available to anyone who stops in a firehouse to request a bottle.  Residents can dial 3-1-1 to learn about firehouse locations in their communities or log onto

PCA Senior Centers: The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) Heatline serves callers with heat-related questions, including tips for coping with the heat and or to learn about extended hours at senior centers across the City.  The PCA’s Helpline Call Center, open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., is also a resource for additional information.  The phone number for the Heatline and Helpline Call Center is 215-765-9040. Hearing impaired callers can dial 215-765-9041.

Modified Hours at City Facilities: The City’s Office of Supportive Housing has issued a Code Red warning in response to the heat wave and the Department of Recreation’s Senior Centers will extend their hours to 6 p.m. until the warning is lifted.

Members of the public are asked to log onto the City of Philadelphia’s Health Department website at or the Office if Emergency Management’s website at for additional information and tips on staying cool during the heat wave.

Every Murder is Real Dedicates Murals

When she lost her only son, Emir, to violence on March 26, 1997, Victoria Greene felt that her heart was beyond broken; it was burning.  As a result, this year, Mural Arts Program artist Nathaniel Lee and students from St.Gabriel’s Residential Program used this image to inspire a beautiful and powerful  mural on the second floor of Every Murder is Real (EMIR), an organization founded by Greene to help victims of violence. The mural is a tribute to survivors of homicide.

On June 10, the public got a chance to see the mural entitled “Mending the Broken Heart” at a dedication and reception at EMIR’s headquarters on 5213 Germantown Avenue in Germantown.  The mural depicts, among other things, a phoenix rising from the ashes, a little girl mending her Teddy bear’s heart and a little boy fixing the wing of an airplane.  Additionally, the mural includes a giving tree which will soon have painted leaves and branches honoring donors and loved ones.

Jane Golden, executive eirector of the Mural Arts Program, John Mulroney, principal from St.Gabriel’s, and Emily Reilly from the Connelly Foundation were among the 100 people who attended the reception. Also in attendance were students from DePaul Catholic School and YouthBuild Charter School.

Members of the community who missed the dedication are invited to another reception on July 17 at noon.  There they will have the chance to see the mural, and meet the staff of EMIR.  Light refreshments will be served. 

RSVPs should be made by July 14, 2010 to 215-848-4068.

Correction to Awbury Park Story

The name of the sponsoring association in the front page article in this newspaper, issue of July 1, about the meeting discussing Awbury Park violence was incorrect. The organization was listed as Chew and Belfield Neighborhood Club, Inc. The  sponsor of the meeting was Awbury Arboretum Neighbors.

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Members of Soroptimist International of Five Points Magneta, a local women’s service organization, will join with representatives from the legal profession, law enforcement, and community experts to raise awareness about the sex slave trade in the United States impacting women and girls. On Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m. to noon at  Providence Baptist Church, 85 East Haines Street, view excerpts from the movie “Taken” and participate in a discussion with a panel of experts. Registration is required; visit

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FOW Trail Ambassadors Bruce Wagner and Diane Garvey (pictured here) will be leading a hike in the Wissahickon on Saturday, July 10, beginning at 1 p.m. that will explore the “Spirit and Science of Wissahickon Creek Waters.”

Interested hikers should meet at Northwestern Stables, 110 West Northwestern Avenue. This two-hour walk will cover less than four miles. 

For further information contact Bruce at FOW Trail Ambassador Kimberly Quinn will lead a three mile hike on Wednesday, July 14, at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 17, at 9 a.m.

Meet at the Valley Green Inn for this two-hour, very aggressive hike.

For further information contact Kimberly at

Beekeepers to Meet

The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild will meet Thursday, July 15, 7–8:30 p.m., at Wyck, 6026 Germantown Avenue. There is no cost to attend. For information call Wyck at 215-848-1690.

Free Workshops for First-Time Homebuyers

For first-time buyers, making the investment in a new home is as complex as it is exciting. Mt. Airy, USA, a HUD-certified counseling agency, offers services designed to teach the basics and beyond, including purchasing foreclosed homes.

Free First-Time Homebuyer Workshops will be held at Mt. Airy, USA’s office (6703 Germantown Avenue, Suite 200, Philadelphia) on July 14, July 29, August 11 and August 26 from 5:30-9 p.m.  They’ve been offered for 15 years and Mt. Airy, USA has helped more than 4,000 individuals buy their homes and avoid foreclosure.  To register go to

For more personal, one-on-one advice, Mt. Airy, USA offers individual homebuyer counseling sessions on a sliding scale basis. The sessions are offered at a reduced rate due to subsidies from HUD and the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development. Private credit and budgeting counseling is also available, offering tools and instruction to help individuals manage finances, improve their credit and build their savings.  To sign up for individual counseling email Marianne Holt at or call 215-844-6021 x213.

Mt. Airy, USA is a non-profit organization located at 6703 Germantown Avenue that is spurring the revitalization of Mt. Airy’s business and residential communities.

Bounty to Community Groups for Illegally-Discarded Tires

On Saturday, July 24, the Streets Department will continue its 2010 Tire Round-Up Program. Registered participants may drop off their illegally discarded tires at the temporary tire drop off locations at 18th Street and Windrim Avenue, and 21st Street and Godfrey Avenue.

The hours of operations will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Only registered Block Captains, organized community/civic organizations, Town Watch organizations, and Partnership Recycling Groups who have registered for the Tire Round-Up Program and have received an ID number are eligible for participation.

The program is an opportunity for block clubs and community groups to earn money for their treasury to help with cleaning and beautification projects. Registered participants are offered a “tire bounty” of $.50 for each illegally discarded tire they collect and drop off at one of the designated sites around the city. The tire drop-off limit is 1,000 tires per group.  Reimbursement is limited to up to $500 per registered participant.

Participants are urged to use their proceeds from the Tire Round-Up Program for worthwhile community projects. The first ten registered participants to drop off tires at each site will receive a Tire Round-Up t-shirt.

Tires from auto repair shops, mechanic shops, car dealers and private storage lots are required to be disposed of by the merchant, for a fee. These tires will not be accepted at the drop-off sites.  For more information contact the Streets Department’s Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will pay tribute to community greening champions across the Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey this fall. The Community Greening Award recognizes individuals, garden clubs, civic associations, churches, businesses, municipalities and community groups who have created and maintained public green spaces that enhance their communities. The deadline to enter is July 15. Enter online at Judges will evaluate the sites in July and August based on plant variety, design, use of space, and horticultural practices. PHS will notify selected sites receiving the award in September. Sites that have been recognized in previous years may be evaluated for maintenance. All honorees are invited to a fall Awards Reception.

For more information, email us at or call 215-988-8897.

Cool Off Your Kids at City Gardens

Greater Philadelphia Gardens’ new “Cool Kids’ 2010 Summer Guide” lists over 100 special activities for kids and their families throughout July and August at 14 public Greater Philadelphia Gardens.  The new Cool Kids’ Summer Guide that reminds us all “It’s Cooler in the Garden” is now available on

Listing more than 100 activities at public gardens for toddlers to teens, it’s a must-have resource for kids’ families, too. “From river boat trips and bike hikes to concerts that rock and roar, there are trains that whistle and gnomes that rustle and homemade kites that soar at 14 public Greater Philadelphia Gardens,” writes Louise R. Eliason, coordinator for Greater Philadelphia Gardens’ 2010 Cool Kids’ Summer Guide.

The Cool Kids’ Guide suggests that readers refer to to easily link to and check all 29 public gardens for any activity updates.

The new 2010 series of informal Seasonal Guides are crafted to highlight the topical interests of visitors and garden writers alike, and to complement Greater Philadelphia Gardens’ weekly newsletter and website calendar of events. Each new Seasonal Guide offers a factual list and brief description of a selected group of activities, exhibits and events in 29 public Greater Philadelphia Gardens.

The new Seasonal Guides are planned for spring and fall plant sales. Other 2010 Seasonal Guide topics include early spring bird habitats, late spring rose gardens, kids’ summer activities, autumn and holiday events, exhibits, and workshops that highlight the natural joy of visiting public gardens.

Visitors and garden writers are encouraged to request topics of interest for future Seasonal Guides by emailing requests to

Greater Philadelphia Gardens is a nonprofit association that serves to heighten awareness and visitation of the Philadelphia region’s public gardens, arboreta and historic houses with gardens.

In the early 1980s, several marquis public gardens banded together to jointly promote all area public gardens and encourage visitors. That collaboration, one of the first of its kind in the country, has evolved into Greater Philadelphia Gardens, whose nearly 30 member gardens attract three million visitors each year.

For more information on Greater Philadelphia Gardens or any of their members’ upcoming events, workshops, activities, and information, visit the website,

Waterview Recreation Center is sponsoring a Summertime Water Aerobics class to be held at Pickett Pool at Wayne and Chelten avenues.   The class will be held three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9-10 a.m.  Classes run through the last week of August, the exact date as yet to be determined.  The fee is $5 per class.  Participants will pay at the end of each week for the classes they attended. For more information or to register, call Beverly Rolfsmeyer at Waterview at 215-685-2229.

Ask the Physical Therapist


Editor’s note: “Ask the Physical Therapist” is an occasional column from Northwest Physical Therapy, Inc., 8200 Flourtown Avenue, Suite 11, Wyndmoor, PA 19038 .

Question: what is the difference between a strain and a sprain?

When you twist your ankle or pull your back, you probably don’t care what it’s called - it just hurts! But there’s an important difference between the two, and it’s not in the level of severity, as many people believe. A strain is not a less severe sprain or vice versa.

Strains are injuries that affect muscles or tendons , (the thick bands that attach muscles to bones). This occurs when a muscle is overstretched or overcontracted. An example of an acute (instant or recent) strain is a sudden “pull” or tightness in the back of your thigh when you are running, indicating a probable strain of your hamstring muscles.  Common symptoms of an acute strain may include pain, muscle spasm, limited motion, and loss of strength.

Chronic (long-lasting) strains are injuries that gradually build up from overuse or repetitive stress, typically resulting in tendonitis, (inflammation of a tendon). For example, a tennis player may get tendonitis in the shoulder from the constant stress of repeated serves.

Sprains occur when a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion, such as turning or rolling your ankle. It involves the stretching or tearing of a ligament, (tissue that attaches bone to bone). Pain, swelling, bruising and limited movement often occur with a sprain.

Many of these injuries will heal spontaneously with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Therapeutic exercise can help restore strength and flexibility. The key to full recovery is an early evaluation with a health professional. Once the injury has been determined, a proper treatment plan can be designed, and, in most cases, complete healing can be expected.

The author is a physical therapist at Northwest Physical Therapy. For more information call 215-233-5572 or visit

Covenant Toastmasters Club will meet Wednesday, July 14 at Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Avenue, from 7-8:45 p.m.  Covenant Toastmasters Club provides a comfortable, instructive environment for developing public speaking and leadership skills.  Guests are always welcome. For information visit

Nehemiah Tabernacle Ministry Projects

Nehemiah Tabernacle, Inc. is an independent affirming congregation that welcomes all denominations. Its precepts are based on Apostolic-Pentecostal church doctrine. This congregation presently serves the Germantown community through a Food Bank Ministry and HIV Counseling Services.

The church is a charitable nonprofit organization with tax exemption under 501 (c) (3). It is requesting for donations in monetary form in any amount towards its $4 million dollar building project. Please write checks or money orders to Nehemiah Tabernacle, Inc. Mail all contributions to: Nehemiah Tabernacle, Inc. 4551 Morris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144. All funds are due by Monday, August 2.

This facility will serve the Germantown community by assisting in the following programs: Food Bank, HIV Counseling Services, Job Services, Clothing Ministry, Community Dinners, Dental Education, Health Fairs, Summer Day Camp, and Day Care Center. For information call the church office at 215-844-8389 or visit

1st Presbyterian Grants for Community Service Projects

The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown has a rich history of ministry in the Germantown community over the last two centuries.  Much of this ministry has been possible as we partner with other agencies and organizations by offering financial support for their efforts to minister to others and benefit the greater Germantown community.

The church is now accepting applications for grant money to fund programs and ministries that are consistent with our congregation’s mission by providing direct service to people in need (including children and youth) through education, advocacy, housing, and other ways that may enrich their lives.

Individuals and families are not eligible to receive a grant.  Grants will range from $500 to $5,000 and will be made on a one-year basis.  Those organizations which have previously received funds from The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown must complete an application to be considered for future funding.

Applications will be reviewed by The Mission and Outreach Committee of the church.  The deadline for receiving applications is August 1. Grants will be awarded for programming during the 2011 calendar year.  All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision regarding their request by October 1.

To receive guidelines and procedures for making an application, you may contact the church by e-mail (, call 215-843-8811, fax to 215-844-8141, or write to the Outreach and Mission Committee, The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 West Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

Sunday Summer Services at UU

Visit the UUChurch for informal Summer Sunday Services at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue at the corner of Stenton Avenue and Gorgas Lane, at 11 a.m. in our Fellowship Hall. On July 11, Mark P. will focus on the challenges of discussing issues with those who have different points of view in “Listening to Other Who Disagree With Me”. The subject under discussion will be what to do with the side yard adjacent to the church. Attendees will each have a chance to share what they hope the land could be used for.

For more information call 215-247-2561 or visit

A Capella Concert at St. Luke’s

Angelus: Sacred Music for Women’s Voices, is comprised of five young women from Mt. Vernon Senior High School, Mt. Vernon, IN. Angelus has dedicated itself to the performance of the sacred music of varied religious traditions and historical periods. Featuring music ranging from medieval chant and polyphony to contemporary Irish choral music and American Sacred Harp tradition, the ensemble’s influences include the Irish choral ensemble Anuna and the American quartet  Anonymous 4. The ensemble performs almost exclusively a cappella.

They will be performing July 19, 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5421 Germantown Avenue. The event is free, with donations accepted.

Family and Friends Day at Mt. Tabor

Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, 110 West Rittenhouse Street, will be “Celebrating Our Spiritual Connection” during the Annual Family and Friends Day on Sunday, July 11, at the 10:30 a.m. worship service. All are invited to come out and join our “Family” on this special day. For information call 215-844-2756.

New Office for Youngblood

After nearly a year of serving her constituents from a temporary office, state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, (D-198th), has announced the opening of her local constituent service office in a permanent location. Youngblood and her staff are now providing services on the first floor of 208 West Chelten Avenue.

Flooding and contamination due to torrential rainstorms last July caused Youngblood’s office to relocate to a temporary location.

At the new office, Youngblood’s staff is available to assist the citizens of the 198th Legislative District who are seeking services from various state agencies such as Property Tax/Rent Rebate, tuition assistance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, energy assistance, the PACE prescription assistance program for senior citizens and motor vehicle registrations. 

“In addition, I encourage my constituents to utilize my office to share their ideas, insights and concerns about how I may best represent them in Harrisburg,” said Youngblood. “I am confident that the citizenry of the district will be delighted with the staff complement and their competency.”

To introduce district residents to the new location and provide updates on the services it provides, Youngblood will host an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, July 16 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 17. The phone number at the new location remains the same: 215-849-6426. Youngblood also can be contacted by e-mail at

Artist’s Exhibit at Stapeley

Summer means a relaxed and peaceful time for many in our area.  The paintings in the current exhibit at Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley, 6300 Greene Street, will certainly add to that experience.  Award winning artist, Christine Hennessy brings her art to the Bridge at Stapeley in a show titled   “...The Frailest Leaves of Me” on view from July 1 through August 29. The artist will host a reception on Friday, July 16, 6-8 p.m.  Hennessy is showing over 20 of her most recent paintings.  Her landscapes and floral still life are both reflective and a spontaneous representation of local scenes. “Here the Frailest Leaves of Me,” a poem by Walt Whitman, describes for the artist her view of art making and this collection of her most recent work in particular.  Hennessy has lived and worked locally for over 30 years. She holds a master’s in Art Education from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and a bachelor’s of Fine Art, Printmaking from the Philadelphia College of Art.  She has studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. The artist works in acrylic, watercolor, lithography and book arts.  Her prints are represented in the Chestnut Hill Gallery.  She has exhibited at the Cheltenham Arts Center, Samuel Fleisher Memorial Art Center, and the Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists. 

The artist will present a greeting and “Artist Conversation” with the residents of Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley on Tuesday, July 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Local Authors at CH Book Fair

Walk a Crooked Mile Books will be hosting a book signing in their booth,in the driveway of Stagecrafters theater, at the Chestnut Hill Book Festival this Saurday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11 from 1:30 - 3:30 a.m. by Amy Ignatow, Mt. Airy author/cartoonist (for the Mt. Airy Independent) whose book The Popularity Papers has received the following review from the New York Times: “The Popularity Papers, a first novel written and illustrated by the hugely talented Amy Ignatow, invites us to enter the world of two best friends, Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang, through a scrapbook they create together over the course of fifth grade. It details their “very brilliant plan” to observe the popular girls in junior high.

“Then, when we have enough information about the popular girls, we’ll know what it is that they do to be popular and we’ll try to do the same things to see if we become popular as well” — for example, conducting an experiment to see if a given article of clothing can help “improve social standing.” The girls’ research leads them into zany adventures, memorialized in notes, poems and doodles that capture the fun of an underground correspondence.”  

Then, from 4-6 p.m. on July 10 and 11 at the booth, Walk a Crooked Mile Books will be hosting a book signing by recent Chestnut Hill Academy graduate John Tordoff (pictured). John’s book, Tordoff’s Fun Fact, grew out of his fascination with unusual bits of knowledge that he would share on a daily basis with his friends. 

Family Festival at Cliveden Park

The Friends of Cliveden Park invite everyone to join us on Saturday, July 24, for our annual Friends and Family Day Community Festival in Cliveden Park, 6415 Musgrave Street, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We’ll have line dancing with Tina Walls, live entertainment by Tap Team Two and Co., Dime Street Joker, Vanida Gail and LXG (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and vocalist Ms. Barbara Sheree with a special demonstration by the students of Uechi-Ryu-Karate Do Academy.

Come spend the day with friends and family enjoying the games, music and great food and fun. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, kick back and enjoy.

For information e-mail

Jazz at Woodford

Woodford Tennis Club, 424 East Wister Street, will present its annual “Afternoon of Jazz” on Sunday, July 11, 4-7 p.m., on the lawn.

Ralph Penn and Friends, featuring vocalist Barbara Walker and special guests Bootsie Barnes on tenor sax, Rich Budessa on organ, and Wayne Morgan on drums, will highlight the afternoon gala. The rain date is Sunday, July 18.

For more information contact Liz Ragin at 215-424-4584 or Mary Sanders at 215-849-1468.

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Face to Face in Germantown

Sydney Weinberg (right) and Alice Renzulu (left) were among the attendees at a unique photography show recently held at William Penn Charter School to benefit Face to Face Germantown, the multi-service community agency on 109 East Price Street. Weinberg, a senior at Penn Charter, worked with guests of Face to Face in Germantown to tell their stories through her photographs which were featured during Weinberg’s exhibit of her senior portfolio. Renzulu was one of the featured guests to join the photographer at the opening of the exhibit in June.